The Lost Jedi
"So, who does the jedi serves? Does anyone know the answer?" the red skinned twi'lek male known as Master Senji asked the class.
An eager looking youngling raised his hand high up into the air, waving it about. The twi'lek smiled and nodded, "yes Doma?"
"The Republic! The jedi serve the republic and its people," the like boy squeezed, his answer robotic and predictable.
Senji smiled and nodded, "yes, that is correct. The jedi are the peacekeepers and we help the Republic thrive, negotiating settlements and settling disputes. That is our role in the galaxy."
The children around the youngling who answered smiled and patted him on the back. Funny, I didn't realise brainwashing would be so...easy.
Slowly, I raised my hand. Senji noticed and sighed, "yes intiaie Skywalker?"
"Forgive me if I am wrong master Senji, but doesn't the jedi serve the Force? Not a government?" I asked, an oh so innocent smile on my face.
Senji sighed and rubbed his temple, "you are also correct Skywalker, we do serve the Force. But we serve the Republic as well."
"But how can we have two masters? Which do we serve the Force or the Senate? If the Force tells us to stop putting our faith and trust in the Senate, should we?"
Senji signed, an act he did often with me in his class, "that is an excellent question Skywalker. But that isn't how the Force works. It is not so direct."
"But we know that it does have a will," I argued, "what if one day the Republic starts a war and they order us jedi to fight in it? I mean, we are peaceful monks, not warriors. The Force wouldn't want us to take a life, what should we do then?"
This caused the children to whisper and Senji to narrow his eyes dangerously at him. I leaned back in my seat and folded my arms, raising a challenging idea. I knew I was being difficult, but screw it, I refuse to be a brainless drone.
An hour later:
I may have overdone it just a little.
"He is a menace!" Senji cried out to Qui-Gon and Yoda, the two masters sighing heavily as the twi'lek continued, "he always interrupts my classes with pointless questions. He questions everything, why just last week he insulted the code, saying how the jedi worked no better than droids! He's corrupting the other students Master Yoda, please, send the boy out of this temple, I beg of you!"
"Consider your judgement on this matter I will master Senji," Yoda nodded as he turned to me, "handle him, I will."
The man bowed and walked away, leaving just the two Master and I alone in the temple courtyard.
Jinn sighed as he rubbed his forehead, "Anakin...why do you do this?"
"I….he was wrong," I shrugged, "he said we serve the Republic...I wanted an answer."
"No, did it you did, to test his resolve," Yoda guessed correctly as he motioned us to follow, leading the way to a bench and sitting down.
"Well I...I won't say test..." I looked away, the sun slowly setting in the distance as night quickly came up.
"Master Senji isn't the only teacher you have upset," Jinn sighed, "many claim you seek to disrupt their classes. Try and change the minds of the younglings around you..."
"Do you expect me to apologize?" I raised an eyebrow.
Jinn snorted, "hardly. I know by now that won't work."
"Very advanced you are," Yoda humming, "performed admirably you did in such a short time. Master Wen tells, absorb knowledge like a sponge you do. The six months you spent here have proved useful."
Jinn nodded in agreement, "all the teachers agree, you are quite clever, they admit that if you were just a little more disciplined you would be a model student."
I snorted, "I guess….it's just basic stuff really. Like the jedi creed it's laws and such. Not that complex. I guess the only reason kids take so long to learn it is because they're distracted. I'm more mature."
"Problem that might be..." Yoda humming, "think critically you do, much more advanced for your age...a different clan you will need to join."
I blinked, "what do you mean Master Yoda?"
"Advance you, we will," the puppet said as he got off the seat and hobbled away, "learn what you can from your peers you have. But impressionable they are, the older ones will be more understanding."
He walked away, leaving me and Qui-Gon alone.
"So...have you spoken to your mother lately?" Jinn asked softly.
I stiffened for a moment before shaking my head, "no...it's against the rules so-"
"-Anakin, I know you sneak into the communications room in the South East wing every 5th day to talk to her," Qui-Gon cut in, sending me an amused smile.
I sighed, "damn, I thought I was being sneaky… does anyone else know?"
"Master Yoda I suspect. And of course Obi-Wan and Windu," Jinn grumbled, rubbing his beard, an action I came to connect as a nervous tick.
"Why haven't they tried to stop me?" I asked.
"Because...because they don't want to," Jinn admitted, "Windu has always been hesitant at the idea of you training here. And Obi-Wan still doesn't believe you are cut out for this life."
"They want to use my connections against me," I realised, speaking aloud, "so when I mess up, they can use it to kick me out."
Jinn sighed and nodded, "yes… they do."
I turned to him, "do you remember what you said to me on Tatooine?"
Jinn nodded, "yes. About how if need be, I would leave the temple in order to train you properly."
"Yeah...did you mean that?"
"Yes. Every word."
We turned to the sun set and watched as it slowly sank down and the night sky took over. We sat there in silence and I wondered about my future. Hopefully...it would be a good one.
The next day:
Yoda came in early that morning and ordered me to take all my belongings, I didn't have much on me.
In fact after I officially joined the order all my stuff was put into storage pending on my graduation into padawan, upon which all the items would be returned to me. They took everything, from my tool kit to even my homemade lightsaber. The latter of which I understood as I hadn't yet earned the right to use one.
I only had my necklace of Krayt dragon teeth with me which also held in it the clear white crystal that I obtained from Sidious' lightsaber. And this was only because the crystal was a trophy of sorts that the jedi deemed I was worthy off.
We traveled silently through the sacred halls of the jedi temple, going into the West wing where the living quarters were located. The doors were identical to every other door, with only a simple name plate with the name of the clan attached to the front door providing any difference.
We stopped before the second to last door on the left, the name tag read 'Bluebird Clan', which is one of the many many clans the initiates were divided up into.
"Ready to meet your new initiate clan members are you?" Yoda asked me, a little worry in his voice.
I smiled and nodded, "I'm sure we'll get along great."
"Hm, wrong you might be. Bond together through time and trials these ten younglings have. Difficult to earn their trust, it will be."
"I know...I have never been the best when it comes to dealing with children, but I'll try at the very least. I'm sure it won't be a problem master Yoda."
The puppet nodded and turned to the door, waving his hand to cause the door to open revealing the ongoing chaos inside.
"Give it back!" a blue skinned tentacle haired girl called out. I think she was a Twi'lek, supposed to be the most beautiful race of women in the galaxy.
"Oh come off it Secular! What are you going to do?" a human male with dark hair and a wide grin called out as he held a data pad out of the Twi'leks grapes.
"Give it back! Master Jocasta will be angry if anything happens!" the blue skinned girl cried out.
"So what?" the boy laughed, a few of the other boys in the room joined him from on top off bunk beds.
I felt my eyebrow twitch as I raised my hand and immediately plucked the pad out of the boy's hand and into mine.
"Hey!" the turned to yell but stopped as his eyes widened in fear, "m-master Yoda?!" Several of the boys started to sweat, though the girl seemed to ignore Yoda and instead turn to me holding her pad.
"Is this yours?" I asked her holding it up. She nodded shly, not saying a word. I smiled and slowly levitated the pad over to her outstretched hand. She plucked it out of the air and held it tight, the children now all silent at the sight of my Force abilities.
I sighed and turned Yoda, "are you sure there's no way I can't just get master Jinn to train me right off the bat?"
Yoda hummed as he narrowed his eyes at the human boy who hung his head in shame, "think about it I shall. If this is too be the range of maturity a future padawan is to have, overqualified you might be."
"W-we were just playing a game master Yoda," the boy tried to defend himself.
"Oh is that what it is?" I chuckled as I walked forward and looked around. The younglings around me all wore robes and had similar looks of confusion and curiosity. "So, you guys are Bluebird clan huh? Honestly, so far only the cute Twi'lek over there seems to match the description."
The girl blushed, "w-what?"
"Well, you know...because you're blue...and a member of the Bluebird clan..." I looked around, none of them laughed. I sighed and hanged my head, "my comedic talents are wasted on you lot."
Yoda shook his head, "much difficulties, you will cause us."
I raised an eyebrow, "you don't need to be a jedi to know that."
"Hm..children, come," he ordered the younglings, causing them all to assemble around in a circle before Yoda. He motioned me to come by his side and I did, standing next to him and waited for him to introduce me.
"Anakin Skywalker this is, joining you he will," Yoda hummed as he motioned to me.
I waved with a smile, "hello."
"Who is he master?" the twi'lek asked curiously.
"A learner, he is. Advanced for his age, so put him here we have," Yoda explained, he then turned to me and nodded, "wish you luck I do young Skywalker, first steps to becoming a jedi you take," he then turned to the others, "treat him as an equal you must, earned that respect, he has."
"Forgive me master, but what has he done that earned him such respect?" the human youngling asked.
"Helped reveal the treachery of the Dark Side he has," Yoda hummed proudly, immediately I felt the younglings looking at me and staring, weather in awe or disdain, well….that was a sort off a mixed bag.
They looked at me and I sighed, "way to throw me to the sharks master Yoda, it's almost as if you want them to be envious of me."
"We are jedi, we don't feel envy," a green skinned youngling with small horns on his head shot back.
I raised an eyebrow, "oh? You're a jedi? I was under the impression you were younglings, not even padawans yet. My bad, master Yoda, we seem to be in the wrong place."
Everyone laughed while the green one blushed, "I-I meant we are training to be jedi!"
I shrugged, "oh, now I get it. Anyway, it's fine to feel envy, everyone does. It what you do with those emotions that define what kind of person you are. Be it someone worthy of the title of jedi or...well, not."
Yoda hummed, "wise words you speak youngling Skywalker, if only you remain so mature all the time...I leave him in your care, clan Bluebird. Take care of you, I trust you will."
And with that, he turned and left me alone with the kids. I turned to them, we stared at each other, silent for the longest time. I cleared my throat, "so...where do I sleep? Or do we jedi not sleep? I never did get that part."
The younglings seemed to be amused. The human male that was leading the group stepped forward, the majority of them clan stepping behind him as he approached me, including the green skinned horn boy. They all snarled, I blinked, they were a few inches taller than me, but after facing a Sith Lord, this wasn't really a big deal as such.
"Listen well little guy," the boy spat, "we have been through everything together. So you aren't welcome here. Ever," he pointed to the bunk near the door, it was a single cot, nothing fancy, a metal frame and a thin mattress, "that's your bunk, don't even think about moving."
I was silent as I looked at him and everyone else. They all looked hostile, I could feel...insecurity come out of them in waves. They didn't like me...which was understandable.
I shrugged, "fine then, if that's the way you want to do things, I won't object," I flashed a smile, "I hope we get along."
The boy looked pissed, I turned away from him and walked to my bunk and sat down. Guess I had officially moved in.
"Secular," the boy then turned to the Twi'lek girl from before and snarled, he reached out and grabbed her data pad again, "it's because of you we got in trouble! We need to-"
The data pad then flew out of the kid's hand and again into mine. They all turned and saw me sitting on my bed, the data pad in one hand and arm unamused frown on the my face.
"Skywalker! Give that back!" the youngling cried out looking pissed.
I narrowed my eyes at him, "no."
The answer seemed to be like a bucket of ice cold water poured over his head. He growled, "give it back!" he reached out and tried to summon the data pad with the Force. But his connection was so...sad, I managed to brush it off without a thought.
I huffed, "pathetic," I waved my hand and suddenly the initiate was pushed back, his friends helped him stay upright, but he was still shaken from the suddenly rush of energy.
He shook his head and growled, "get him!" he ordered as he and his friends help out their hands and focused. They all reached into the Force and tried to pull me forward.
And for a second, the bed started to shake in response. I smiled and focused the Force on myself, levitating my body into the air releasing my hold over my bed, cause it it fly through the head soaring at the initiates.
The others quickly jumped away, but the five younglings who were using the Force were too distracted, they weren't aiming properly, focusing not on me, but my general area.
I chuckled as they collapsed in a heap with the bed on top of them. I slowly brought myself down and walked over, waving my hand to pick the cot and place it back in its place.
The initiates groaned in pain and they looked up to see me smiling down at them. "You may use the Force little ones, but you don't own it," I turned to Secular and handed her the data pad, "here, if they continue to give you trouble, don't hesitate to tell me. Okay?"
The Twi'lek blushed and nodded, "o-okay," she took the pad and held it to her chest, "t-thank you."
I smiled and went back to my cot, patting the mattress to get rid of all the wrinkles. By now the boy was on his feet and pissed, "hey! We told you not to interfere! What is wrong with you?!"
I turned around and smiled, "just because you say something doesn't mean I'm going to listen."
"You don't want us as an enemy Skywalker," the boy growled, "you won't like that."
I smiled, "I see….tell me, what's your name?"
The boy snorted, "Kento Marek."
I blinked, recognizing the last name. Marek...could he be related to Galen Marek? Starkiller? My possible future apprentice? Hm….is that even canon? Ugh, who cares, at this point with Palpatine gone canon isn't even a real thing anymore.
I took a deep breath and let it out, "listen well Kento, I don't' like bullies, and what's more, I don't like self righteous bullies. So," I looked at him and glared, "if I ever see anyone being hurt or belittled, by anyone...then I will not sit about and let them suffer."
"Whatever," Kento growled as he turned around and left, his friends following him, "know it all," he spat under his breath.
I sighed, this was going to be a long, long life.
The life of a jedi initiate was a dull one to be sure. They did nothing but study and then meditate. They meditated nearly five times a day. Yeah, five times. God that sounded boring. I almost wish a war did break out if only to eliminate this boredom!
I became a sort off outcast for the Bluebird clan. There was a divided to be sure, out of the ten members, the six boys and four girls spent time with their own gender, leaving me alone. I suppose it had to do with the fact that I was two years younger than them.
While Secular did seem interested in being a friend, she never spoke out to try and do so, always hesitating, which I found adorable. We were given many texts to read, mostly on lore and how to behave in public befitting a jedi. I suspect the really good stuff will only begin when we grow older.
We did however gain lightsaber training, which wasn't as amazing as I expected it to be.
Three days after I joined we had a training session. We gathered in the court yard and presented with practise sabers, which while did act like a real lightsaber, were actually just beams of light that could give someone a nice tan if applied long enough.
The others had grabbed their blades and began training, moving through various katas that would help them in their training. But since I was just starting out, I had to learn everything from the beginning.
The jedi master incharge of this was an Ithorian by the name of Genja. He was old, maybe a hundred at first glance. He walked with a cane, but I saw a firmness in his step that told me that there was more to him that just a bag of bones.
The Ithorian met me and smiled, "so, you are the boy who held his own against a Sith lord."
I smiled and bowed, "it's a pleasure to meet you master."
"And I you initiate Skywalker...I see great things ahead in your future…." he smiled, "now, tell me. What are the different styles of lightsaber combat? I trust you know them?"
I nodded and recalled the texts I had read before, "there are seven forms. The first is Shii-Cho, the most basic form used when the jedi still had metal blades instead of the plasma cutters we use now. I think most initiates learn this form before developing into other fields yes?"
Genja nodded, "that is correct. I will teach you this form soon enough, but please, continue."
I nodded, "right. Then comes Makashi, which is mainly used to fight other lightsaber fighters, like the Sith. Then comes Soresu, which is used for economic use of ones energy and movement. Here one mainly focuses on deflecting blaster bolts. Then comes Ataru, which is more acrobatic and uses the Force to aid your movements. The fifth form is Shien, which uses one's natural strength to defeat an enemy.
"The sixth form is Niman, which most counselor types use, which is a combination of all previous lightsaber forms, but isn't that good of a tradeoff as a true master of any of those forms will be easily able to overpower them."
The Ithorian nodded, "true, true...and the last form?"
I hummed for a moment before replying, "Juyo. It uses one's emotions and frustrations to fuel their attacks. It's unfocused and chaotic."
"Correct young Skywalker, correct," the master nodded as he looked to the other initiates who were not wearing helmets that blocked their line of sight, deflecting stun bolts from hovering practise droids, "shall we begin?"
I nodded, "yes master."
He took out a practice saber and tossed it to me. I grabbed it and light it up, with a snap hiss a green blade came out. Immediately I felt a warning go off. I turned around and brought my blade up to block, deflecting a blaster fire from a training droid that was floating behind me.
"Good instincts you have," the ithorian smiled, "the Force is strong with you indeed," he waved his hand and the training droid was sent flying away, back into it's holding box, "now, I trust you learnt the first form with the younger batch you belonged to?."
I nodded, "yes master."
"Good, show me," he instructed and I got into position.
The steps were simple enough. I had read ahead and learnt there were a total of 50 katas to be learnt in this form. And it was the simplest on the jedi had. Soon after I had shown what I knew Genja had began drilling other forms into me, bringing me up to speed with the others. And that was how I began my lightsaber progress.
I was then introduced to the giant library we had in the jedi temple. Jocasta Nu was the librarian and the moment I entered with the Bluebird clan for study time, she noticed me.
"Anakin Skywalker," Jocasta said with narrowed eyes as she pulled me aside.
I gulped, "h-hey master Nu. Isn't this a surprise. How's it hanging?"
"Are you here to cause trouble again?" she asked with a raised eyebrow.
I gulped, "t-trouble? Me? Never!"
"Then what would you call trying to slice into the restricted records of the library with a home rigged slicing unit?"
"A very sad case of mistaken identity."
She narrowed her eyes on me, "I have my eye on you Skywalker, remember that," he motioned us along, the others looked curious as I shot her a smile, giving her a mocking bow and quickly rushing away.
"What did you do?" Aayla asked me as we reached the section we were supposed to learn from.
I snicked, "when I first came here to study I wanted to see if I could learn some new advanced force techniques."
"Oh...so did you?"
I sighed, "sadly no. That woman is my Everest, and one day, I will overcome here. And when that happens, all the books in this library will be mine! Wahahaha!"
In hindsight maybe I should not have lead with the evil laugh. Aayla didn't talk to me for the next three days after that stunt.
And then came meditation. The jedi master we had was a Yarkora, a giant rat looking alien with curly whiskers that twitches every time he was about to hit someone, which was a lot.
The jedi held meditation in high regard and one was expected to be able to meditate with little to no issues. Meaning if you fighted around or failed to meditate, like any normal teenage would, he would start making louder and louder demands.
But I wasn't the target of his actions, no, that honour belonged to someone else.
"Focus initiate Marek!" the instructor yelled, "you need to be able to do this without thinking! Why look at initiate Skywalker! He's already got it!"
Marek and the other members of Bluebird clan turned and looked at me. And sure enough, I had got it.
I was levitating in mid air, a common byproduct I tend to do while in a deep meditative trance. While most meditate to be alone with their thoughts, I meditate to be with the Force. It surrounds me like a wall of paintings, giving me clarity, and it honestly felt amazing.
It was like seeing the way the word really worked. The emotions, the feelings of people given...given a light to shine through on the screen of life. It was a movie that only I could see, and sometimes, sometimes I wont' just seen what's near me, but what's beyond me.
But getting into a meditative trance like that took time, and right now the negative emotions of envy and hate from the rest of my clan was awfully distracting.
I heard a smack again, "focus Marek!" I opened my eyes and noticed the instructor had hit Mark across the head with a stick.
"Master Penon," I spoke, slowly breaking out of my trance and floating back down.
"Yes initiate Skywalker, what is it?" the man turned to me, "is initiate Marek's lack of focus disturbing you?"
"No, it's your constant belittling and insults that are doing so," I shot back with a glare.
The Yarkora narrowed his eyes at me, "yes...the other Master warned me about you and your ways. I thought your abilities to have a calm mind would make you more compliant, but I see I was wrong. How I train my students is off no concern to you initiate. Do not think just because you excel in this field it somehow means you can now tell me how to do my duties."
"I can if every time you hit Marek and the others for failing I can feel the Force being plunged with dark emotions," I snorted, "your methods are cruel, no child would ever properly benefit from them."
He snarled, "I had three decades worth of students who will disagree."
"You mean you have three decades worth of students who were beaten into submission? You teach them to ignore their pain, anger and suffering. Hm, no wonder the jedi failed to see the Sith lord under their nose. They haven't been taught to fight the darkness, but ignore it."
His eyes widened in shock before turning to fury, "you insubordinate little brat! How dare you question the orders teachings!" he raised his stick and brought to down.
I looked at it, and for a moment, his hand stopped. And then, the stick began to shake, it began to splitter and then-
It shattered into pieces and Penon was left holding a simple stump in his claw like hands. He looked at it and was shocked, the others as well.
I huffed and looked away, "so easy to anger. If the sensible words of a simple child is enough to drive you into a frenzy master Penon, then maybe it is time you focus on your meditation training instead."
The others looked at me in awe, I turned to Marek, he said nothing, looking only surprised and amazed.
"Leave," Penon hissed, "never again enter my class Skywalker. I will not stand for disobedience."
"And here I was thinking that only Sith were the impudent lot," I snorted as I got up and walked away, "think Penon, are you angry because I was disobedient. Or because I started to make sense?"
And without another word, I left.
I went back to my quarters and sat there, closing my eyes and meditated. I was finally able to immerse myself in the Force and relaxed, able to finally let go of my frustrations and focus on thinking clearly.
I won't say emotions were distracting and useless, but sometimes they did get in the way of things. I understood why the jedi disapproved of them, but then again anything without restraint and moderation would always be a bad thing.
Now that I was finally free of distractions and being surrounded by such despair, I was able to open my senses to the world. I missed my meditation room back home, it might not be as amazing at the jedi temple, but at least there I wouldn't be disturbed.
I felt the planet around me and slowly but surely I connected with the life forms on the planet. It was like seen a map of stars, only each star was a life form. They each felt different, I could feel Kenobi, he was currently meditating in his chambers, Windu was in a training session, fighting furiously with his blade.
I could feel Secular, she was...happy? Her novice abilities with meditation allowed her access to the Force, but I doubt she could feel me like I felt her. The other masters I was sure could sense my presence as well, after all I was like a beacon to them all. But initiates and padawans were yet to be so refined.
I then turned to the jedi temple. The Force was strong here, it was like the sun when compared to the rotten world it was built on. Croissant was a dying planet in the Force, so much technology choking it alive. But still...it was powerful.
I felt the people they're, the ones living outside in the city. Their presences in the Force felt...so complex. Every living being had the Force in some form, but these people...it was like the city was choking them alive.
The city planet was divided into several levels, with 1 being the lowest and 5,000 something being the highest. And one could tell through the Force which was which. The lower you went...the more dead inside the people felt.
"Initiate Skywalker," Yoda's voice cut through.
I opened my eyes and found myself and every single object in the room floating five feet off the ground.
I immediately cut my connection to the Force and it all came crashing down. I winced, I really hoped nothing broke.
I sighed, "sorry," I looked up and saw Yoda smiling at me, chuckling to himself, "master Yoda. What can I do for you?"
"Hm...quite troubling things, I have heard from master Penon," Yoda spoke, "questioning his teachings you have."
"Did he tell you why?" I asked him with a raised eyebrow.
"Hm...tell me," Yoda said as he plopped down besides me, waiting for me to continue.
I sighed and began, explaining to the green puppet why I disagreed with Penong's teachings. Why I thought it was ineffective and more importantly, why it contributed to allowing the Sith to hide from the jedi for as long as he did.
"Hm," Yoda hummed, "much to think on you have given me...meditate on this I shall. But...suspect you are right, I think," he smiled, "but, not a right to dismiss a teacher this does."
I shrugged, "a teacher who teaches patience and kindness but does not practise it has no right to be such a teacher."
"Hm, and you do? Tell me initiate Skywalker, better teacher would you make?" Yoda challenged.
I looked at him and for a moment I tried to figure out what his end plan was. But for the life of me, I couldn't think off one. So I just sighed and nodded, "yes...I think so."
"Then it is decided," Yoda said as he got off and hobbled away, "teach the Bluebird clan from tomorrow onwards you shall. See if your methods are better, we shall."
As he closed the door behind him I gulped, "oh kriff," which means fuck. Oh fuck.
Ten minutes later Bluebird clan came back, and leading them was a very pissed off Kento Marek.
He walked in, took one look at me and threw his shoe at my head. I didn't bother raising my hand to deflect it, the throw was off by a few feet.
"Do you have any idea what you just did?! We lost our master because of you!" Kento cried out.
"What were you thinking Skywalker?!" the green skinned initiate form before, who was named Therow, yelled at me, "if we can't meditate, then we can never be jedi!"
I sighed, "look...I understand you're all angry at me, but I promise, I'll find a way to make this right. Yoda is just trying to teach me a lesson, if it comes to it, I'll beg him and Penon for forgiveness and make sure they train you all, okay?"
Marek growled, "you better hope so Skywalker, or else I swear to the Force you will regret ever putting on those robes."
We went to dinner soon after, once more I was left to eat alone. Secular looked like she wanted to join but was too shy, again, adorable.
After dinner we returned to our quarters to sleep. But I found it next to impossible. I twisted and turned, trying and failing to relax. I was nervous, if I failed them...then their future in the order was at risk.
I didn't care what happened to me, if I got kicked out, Qui-Gon Jinn would be willing to follow me out and train me as a Force user, regardless of what the jedi want. But they did not have that option. For them, the jedi life was all they knew. That's all and nothing more.
And I just put that at risk.
So I did the only thing I could. I tried to meditate to get some clarity.
Once more I immersed myself in the Force, I let myself go and I slowly searched through the jedi temple through my mind. Everyone was either asleep or meditating, they were doing their own thing.
Growing bored of the temple, I turned my vision ot the planet city, once again looking at the horrible people. It was like a car crash, horrible, but you have no choice but to look.
It was like looking at the bottom of a muddle and trash covered well. Not pleasant and definitely not a pretty sight. The people themselves were either shining through the Force or muddled. And the environment...or rather the lack there off, it was like a hairless cat.
I was so disgusted by what I saw, hell, even Tatooine, a desert planet, had more spunk than this place.
But then...I felt something. A cry, a muffled cry that I didn't seem to be able to hear. It was similar to the time I 'saw' Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan enter Tanoinee space. The harder I tried, the more it seemed to dance away form my vision. I was close, so very close, I could almost-
"-Skywalker!" My eyes shot open and I found myself and the rest of the room floating in the air. I gasped and cut off my connection to the Force, causing everything to immediately come crashing down.
"What the hell do you think you were doing?!" Marek cried out as he and the rest of the younglings had woken up and were pissed, even Secular looked dishaven.
I blinked, "I-I couldn't sleep, I wanted to meditate."
"Oh, I'm sure," another human yongling scoffed, "meditate my ass. No other jedi master ever levitates the entire room while meditating, you're just showing off!"
"No, I really-"
"-Save it Skywalker," Marek scoffed as he and the others went to bed, "we already know you're powerful, no need to prove it over and over again."
I sighed, looks like I can never win huh?
The next day:
We all entered the meditation room where we were supposed to be learn from Penon. All the other clans were already here and the rat master stood at the head of the class and noticed us walk in.
He snorted, "ah, the Bluebirds, finally, the trouble makers have arrived," this caused all the other to snicker and laugh. I raised an eyebrow, future guardians of the galaxy everyone. But while I just brushed it off the others, the actual children standing behind me, felt shame.
"Master Yoda has told me of your challenge initiate Skywalker," Penon snorted as he pointed with a clawed finger at one corner of the giant room, "you and your clan members may practise there."
I bowed, "thank you of great and kind master jedi, but that is not needed. We don't' want to interfere in your unique training ways," I turned to the others, "come, we'll be meditating outside."
Penon narrowed his eyes but said nothing, letting me guide the Bluebird clan out of the meditating room and into the courtyard.
We walked outside, I looked around, the place was pretty barren, except for one large tree in the middle that seemed to be currently the only greenery in this entire temple. There were smaller plants and such, but this was the only tree here. Huh, sad.
"What are we doing here Skywalker?" Marek snorted, "we don't have time for this...look, I understand you were just trying to help me. I don't' mind okay...I haven't always been the most patient of people, you don't-"
"-Kento," I cut him off as I approached the tree and touched its trunk, "are you a droid?"
He blinked, "what?"
"I asked, 'are you a droid'. Well, are you?"
"Then you cannot be trained like one," I felt the Force him from the tree, this wasn't an ordinary tree, it was a Force Tree, I'm sure off it.
"The jedi have been training like this for hundreds of years," Aayla argued.
"And yet they never once realised the Sith were still alive," I replied as I sat down under the tree and motioned to the others, "come."
They looked unsure, but curiosity overtook them. They all quickly sat down next to me and waited for me to continue.
"The Force isn't a tool," I began, "it isn't something you can...call upon or demand from. It's kind of like a parent...but then again I suppose you all don't know what that feels like do you?"
The younglings shook their heads. A Ithorian younglings named Kan spoke up, "we were raised in the temple. The masters are our parents."
I sighed, "and yet that isn't the same thing….I have a mother. Her name is Shmi, Shmi Skywalker-Kryze. And everytime I wanted something, I would ask her, kindly, a request. It's the same with the Force, you don't beg, you don't' order. You ask."
"But what guarantee do you get that the Force will do what you ask?" Ayala asked.
I smiled, "that's why I say think off it like a parent. The Force, like a parent, knows what's best for you, even if you don't. And no parent will ever want to see their child unhappy. The Force will listen and obey, but if you demand it...then that is the Dark side."
The initiates looked shocked, whispering among themselves, obviously the revelation was a shocking on and they didn't yet believe it. Either way, I knew I was right, the Force almost snag when I explained it's nature.
"Here, let me show you," I extended my hands openly, "take hold of my hand and close your eyes," they did, slowly but surely we all sat in a circle, our eyes closed and hands together.
I closed my eyes and took a deep breath and let it out, "it's there...it's right there. All around you, like a warm blanket, a hug. You can feel it can't? The way it almost knocks on your skin, asking to be let in...well...let it in. It won't harm you, it will never harm you. It is the Force...it is you."
I felt myself channel the Force through my hands and into the younglings. Marek was holding my right hand, he gasped as he felt it flow into him. Kan held my left, he felt it next.
"Now...push the Force along, complete the cycle."
And slowly, I felt Kan do the same. And while Kento had some trouble, he too was able to push it along. I continued spokea, "push the Force along, complete the chain."
I sent wave after wave, soon they too copied my chant, "push the Force along, complete the chain."
"Push the Force along, complete the chain."
"Push the Force along, complete the chain."
"Push the Force along, complete the chain."
And then it reached the little Bothan girl at the end of the chain. She held both sides of the Force and slowly managed to push them around once more.
The chain became large and large and large. I felt the Force build up slowly. I took a deep breath and let it out, "now," the younglings heard me, "turn away from the circle, and reach out with the Force. Tell me, what do you see?"
The younglings did and for a moment they were shocked still before they gasped.
"I-It's beautiful," Keto Marek gasped as for the first time in his life he truly saw the universe.
"Is this what meditation is supposed to help us do?" Ayala asked in disbelief.
"Yes," I replied as I cut the connection with the Force, causing it to vanish out of them all.
"Hey!" Kan cried out, "what did you do that for?!"
I smiled at him, "you want to feel that again?"
"Yes! Of course we do!" Kento cried out.
I shrugged, "then learn to meditate on your own. What we did just now, that was like driving with training wheels. You need to learn how to do it yourself."
"What are training wheels?" the bothan girl asked curiously.
I blinked, oh right, they don't have those, damn hover technology. I cleared my throat, "n-never mind, it's a technical term. Now, who wants to learn how to meditate?"
Immediately all ten hands shot up. I grinned, this was going to be fun.
It took some time, but I got them all excited about meditation quickly enough. And after I taught them the first basic few steps, I sat down and began meditating myself, giveing a small push to those who weren't good enough to connect with the Force.
And slowly though, I let myself be absorbed into the Force as well, bathing in the bright Force infused area around me. The Force tree itself was special, like a giant beacon of energy and light, it felt warm, safe and-
I paused, a disturbance in the Force caused me to feel...something. Something was off. I turned my senses to the city outside the walls of the temple and felt the disturbance coming from deeper underground, far far deeper.
That voice I heard, the muffled vision the Force was showing me, it was becoming clearer now! I-I could see it, I think I could even hear something.
'Hel-' the cry was cut short and my eyes snapped open in surprise. I was floating in mid air again, but that was the least of my concern.
Someone was in trouble, they needed help. I closed my eyes to try and focus and locate them again, but when I looked into the cesspool that was the city planet of Coruscant, I only saw disgusting walls and blocked off people.
They all were crying out for help in some for...I suppose though, some were more vocal than others.
After meditation that night I went and found Yoda, approaching the small master as he finished up basic lightsaber practise for the unsorted younglings too young to belong to a clan.
He noticed me and smiled, "hm, how goes the lessons Master Skywalker?"
I smiled, "good...I think...but Master that's not what I'm here for. When I was meditating I heard someone cry out for help through the Force. I tried to find them again but..."
"Hm...where this voice came from, do you know?"
I shook my head, "no...but I know it came from the City outside the temple."
"Ah...very attuned to the Force you are young Skywalker, very attuned. Picked up a cry for help you may have."
"I see...so….what should we do?" I asked him.
"Nothing we can," he sighed and shook his head, "such is not our duties."
I raised an eyebrow, "then what exactly is the role of a jedi if not to help those who ask for it?"
The green thing looked at me and helped out his hand. I was hesitant but slowly did so. "Close your eyes, see the city," he instructed.
I slowly closed my eyes and did as he asked. I felt his processes in the Force guide me to the city, he showed me to a cliff, and then suddenly through him I felt a veil lift, bombarding my senses with the cries of help.
I flinched so hard I snapped my hand away from him like it was on fire. I was panting, in a sweat as Yoda carefully guided me and sat me down on a nearby bench.
"Much to learn you do, young Skywalker," Yoda began, his voice sounding every bit his 900 years of age, "the stronger in the Force you are...the more you see, the more you hear. All cry for help...but not all can be helped. Such is our burden."
I slowly managed to get my breathing back in order. I looked at him, "I...I never felt something like this in Tatooine. It was easier there...I could sense the people more easily."
"Many people there are on this planet," Yoda hummed, "like seeing a black grain on a dessert it will be. Difficult to feel them, it will be."
I looked at Yoda, his eyes off in the distance, obviously thinking about something else. "I see...but master...I'm not saying we help them all...but can't we help just one?"
The green creature smiled, "sometimes, it is better to do nothing...but...that may not be the path you take hm?" I was silent, I honestly didn't know how to respond to that.
A week later:
I swiped, ducked and doged the blaster bolts. I felt a shift in the Force and ducked down, narrowly avoiding the blaster bolt that I knew was coming for me.
I grinned underneath the solid metal mask I wore on my head, this was getting easier. I moved the blade in my hand through the various katas for Shii-Cho. Katat 32, 31, 48 and then finally finishing form 50 that swung and hit the training droid, disabling it.
I heard clapping as I lifted the blaster shield for the helmet and saw master Genja smiling at me, and behind him, the majority of the Bluebird clan.
"You have achieved quite a feat young Skywalker," the old Ithorian smiled, "Shii-Cho maybe the most basic form of lightsaber combat, but it is not an easy one to learn. You have true talent for the Force, and I must say with enough training you might be a decent fighter as well."
I bowed, "thank you you master."
"Hm...how about a challenge now? Initiate Marek," Genja called out and immediately the human boy stepped forward, "I wish to see you and Skywalker do battle. Do give us a good show will you?"
The boy grinned as he clicked his lightsaber on, "oh don't worry I plan too."
I took off the helmet and put it aside, turning to Kento and getting into the beginning form. He and I stood ten feet apart, "begin," Genja ordered and we moved.
I know now that the little exchange with Sidious was sheer luck. The Force had saved my life and nothing else. That was the only reason I was still alive.
Because Kento Marek was currently kicking my ass.
His hits were rough sure, but then again so were mine. He had been using the form a lot longer than I, his body already used to lightsaber fighting.
He moved and doged my strikes as I made them, I in turn couldn't do anything about his strike except block or deflect. It was hard, his hits kept coming, they weren't refined, I could identify and list the kata forms he used, but I could do nothing to fight back.
And then, he managed to swipe my feet, stroking my left knee join and knocking me back. He leveled his saber against my throat and grinned, "guess you aren't good at everything."
I smiled, "yes...but at least I'm handsomer than you."
Kento rolled his eyes as Genja came forward. I got back on my feet as the Ithorian began, "you may have mastered the katas, but you have much to learn young Skywalker. And as they say, practise makes perfect. Begin again."
And so that day Kento got the absolute pleasure of kicking my ass three times in a row while the fourth match ended up as a tie.
Although I may have cheated and used to Force to pull his practise saber out of his hand the moment he struck me down.
Genja did not like that. In punishment he made me clean the entire training yard. Sucked, but whatever, at least I didn't lose four times, that was something.
I came to the clan room late that night. The others were all gathered around in a circle chatting amongst themselves. I smiled and slowly made my way to my cot, maybe i could mediate some more...try and figure out what that vision the Force keeps trying to show me is.
"Hey Skywalker! Come here, we're having a hologame," Kento called me over.
I blinked, "what?"
He motioned over, in the middle of the circle was a hologame, sort of like a chess game with monsters instead of chess pieces.
I was curiously, I walked over and sat down with them and watched as the Bothan girl beat Kane in five moves.
"Atta girl Kakao! Get him!" the others cheered.
"Kakao is a little shy when it comes to people, but she's a master at this game," Ayala told me as the girl crushed Khan's last piece, securing victory.
"And I win!" she cheered, "alright who's next?!"
"Skywalker! Get in there!" someone cried out as suddenly everyone began to cheer, pushing me forward.
I was surprised, I didn't realise I was already accepted into their little group. But the way they smiled at me and cheered as Kakao kicked my behind told me otherwise. They were finally beginning to accept me. They were finally-Force this girl is good! ARGH! She beat me already!
That night, while all the Bluebird clan members were asleep, I stayed awake. I was meditating again, this time, I was determined to get to the bottom of what I was being shown through the Force.
I closed my eyes and focused, reaching the Force easily and immersing myself in it. I then looked out into the world like I had done every night from the day I had first felt the people outside the temple walls, and I listened.
'I can't do this anymore...I should just die.'
'Why? Why can't daddy come back home mommy?'
I gasped for air and shot my eyes open forcing myself cut off from the vision. I looked around, nothing had begun flying through the air...nice. At least I dont' wake everyone up now.
I don't know why I...why I did this. Every night I would stare into the abyss...what was I hoping to find? I knew what was there, just...pain. And suffering, and I was fuckign trapped her doing nothing! What good was it being a jedi if I can't help people?!
I couldn't sleep, not after this. My mind was rushing, too many random thoughts going through my head.
So I got up and snuck out of the clan dorm, closing the door behind me as I did. I reached out with the Force and let it guide me, a sort of tugging sensation in my gut helped lead me forward, telling me where exactly I had to go. Wherever that was.
I snuck through the temple, it was dark outside and most were asleep by now. But I could sense that few, older and more powerful Force users, were deep in a meditative trance. I passed by the meditation room and I noticed quite a few jedi masters in there.
I ended up at the courtyard, standing with the Force tree to my back with my gaze off towards the horizon, the city planet before me, dead in the Force, yet very much alive.
I felt a Force figure approach from behind, I didn't bothering hiding, they would have already seen me by now. I wasn't doing anything wrong...plus, I knew the one approaching me.
I turned over my head and smiled, "hello master Qui-Gon. Lovely night for a stroll isn't it?"
The man that bore a striking resemblance to Liam Neeson smiled, "indeed it is Anakin. May I ask what you are doing out here on this fine night?"
I turned to the horizon, Jinn reaching my spot and looking out as well. I sighed, "I….I don't know. I couldn't sleep."
"Why is that?"
"Because the Force is screaming at me to help the people crying out for a saviour," I snorted.
Jinn groaned, "I see...so you finally were able to sense them...the people...I wondered when you would."
"How do you deal with it?"
"The jedi tend to see the forest, not the trees," Jinn argued, "while we could go out in force and save people in danger, if we spent the same amount of time on other matters, such as diplomacy, then many more people would be saved. I suppose in the end it's all about choice."
"But in the end, do we make the choices, or do the choices make us?" I asked. And silence slowly blanketed us both, we knew this discussion was a difficult one.
"So, I heard you have been causing trouble for master Penon," Jinn began again with a small prompt.
"He's cruel and mean and he doesn't know the difference between a steady mind and one clear of confrontation. He would force one's fears aside rather than dealing with them."
"Hm...and how are you clan members fairing? Have you been able to teach them how to meditate?"
"I...I don't think in the common sense of the word, no. But I have been able to get them to connect with the Force."
"Oh? How did you manage to do that?" Jinn asked.
"By holding hands and sitting in a circle under a tree," I grinned at his confused staring. Now I get why Yoda likes to act the fool, it's so fun!
Jin shook his head, "never change Anakin."
"Yeah well that's going to be stupidly difficult to do," I snorted, "I haven't been able to be myself since the moment I felt this stupid city."
"Oh? And why is that?"
"Because if I was to act as myself, then I wouldn't be standing here just training," I motioned to the streets, "I would be out there. Going after the most desperate of cries and saving them."
"I see...such a task would take infinite time to complete Anakin as you are not treating a disease, but rather its symptoms."
"So what would you do?" I asked the man.
"I...I would train. I would become stronger and I would become wiser," he stroked his chin, "it is no secret I sometimes disagree with the way the council does business. But they are right, often times, we must focus on actions that gain us better results, than doing something that will only serve to make us feel like we are making a difference, instead of actually leading to change."
The words range in my head and I realised it was true. I didn't want to save them because I felt bad, I did, but just a little. Mostly, I did it because I didn't like hearing such scared voices in my head every time I focus on anything other than the temple.
Maybe I was being selfish, only trying to put myself up on a moral pedestal while refusing to put my efforts into something more...permanent.
I bowed to Qui-Gon, "thank you master...I think I might be able to actually sleep now."
He smiled in response, "anytime Anakin, anytime. Please, if you need my council again, don't hesitate to ask." I promised, I most definitely would.
The next month moved quickly for me. I spent time meditating, training and bonding with the Bluebird clan.
I began to make progress, though it was...slow to say the least. Like master Genja said, I was a quick study, but not much for practise. That's why while I had technically learnt all hundred katas of form 2 and form 3, I was not proficient at them. And why I wasn't that good of a fighter.
My meditation however was another matter. I was slowly able to teach the entire Bluebird clan how to meditate, and they in turn helped me deepen our combined connection to the Force.
A few weeks later Penon had ordered us to return to the meditation room, the rat looking smug with Yoda by his side.
"So? Have you mastered the secrets of the Force?" Penon asked in his squeaky voice while Yoda simply waited in silence.
I motioned to the clan and we all sat down, closing our eyes and quickly slipping into a meditative trance. Slowly, one by one, we all began to levitate, me higher than the others while those like Secular and Kan, who were strong in the Force, came up five feet while Marek and a few others just a few inches.
We meditated for an hour straight, and when we were done, he didn't even have to ask what Penon thought, we all could feel his frustration. He scoffed and walked away, leaving Yoda with us, a smile on his face.
"Learnt this skill well you have," he nodded, "very...powerful your connection is. How, did you learn this, may I ask?"
I shrugged, "I just...I just taught them what felt natural to me." The only thing I got in response was a hum.
We were then allowed to rejoin the other clans for meditation time, which again, WAS FOR FIVE HOURS A DAY! Sigh...anyway, with that done, I quickly found myself with a lot of free time on my hands.
The other initiates all went their own ways, some playing games while the others studied and explored the jedi temple. And while I was getting along better with them all, I was...still somewhat ostrichsized. So I had to try and figure out something to do myself.
And then, I stumbled into the workshop.
Jedi aren't meant to form attachments, so things that aren't directly relating to our studies is not encouraged. But if one was free and had the drive, they could pick up some new skills, one of which was engineering.
We had an entire workshop where jedi knights and masters would come and work on certain projects, like their lightsabers or other machines. So it was basically a match made in heaven for me.
I walked in and immediately I was stopped by a very large hairy jedi master. A Talk, basically a giant yet with a circular face with big eyes and a small straw for a mouth. He looked down at me and spoke in garbled tongues, once which apparently Anakin understood.
"Ah...well I thought I could come in a try and build something," cue more gurgling, "well, because I'm bored."
" #!~$#! #$! " again, pure nonsense, but again, Anakin understood, meaning I understood.
"Well that's just what you think. I actually worked for a junk yard all my life, I know my way around a droid."
"The carburetor, you don't need one for a type A battery unit."
"No...that's false. If you remove a coupling unit you'll cause the Teta particles to overload and cause a self implosion."
"#~! #! #! "
"Now you're just insulting my intelligence. The answer if pink. Because Bothans hate green."
The Talk threw his head back and laughed hard. It was actually a joke, the peruvian power capacitor used pink wiring in it's system, something very unique and not done for any other machine in the galaxy, and the only people who did so were the Bothans. Why? Because they hate the colour green, so they used pink.
Needless to say, I got access to the workshop after that. Which means, I could finally began working on some of those sweet sweet battle droids I found lying around.
And that was exactly what I did. And I worked on them for a very specific reason, to help with my own training.
And soon, time seemed to go by.
A month later:
I was focusing on the Force and moving my hands, mechanical parts floated around me before slowly moving together and clicking in place. The parts moved as a single fluid device as they slowly began to float down to the table below.
I opened my eyes and smiled at the sight before me. The protocol battle droid hybrid I had designed was finally complete. I pushed the Force into it, activating a secret activation switch hidden inside it's chest piece and slowly i began to whirl to life.
It was grey and metallic with glowing silver eyes and artificial strengthened limbs that were strong enough to bend, if not outright crush steel. It's design was actually based on another droid I remembered from a video game called the Force Unleashed, ironically enough, Kento's son was the main character and Anakin Skywalker was the villain.
And the droid's name was PROXY.
It deeped alive and sat up straight, "operations at 100%," it turned to me and titled it's head, "ah, you must be my master, yes?"
I nodded, "yes PROXY, I am. Do you know my name?"
"My data banks indicate that you are called...Anakin Skywalker, yes?"
"Yes," I nodded as I smiled at the droid, "so, how are you feeling?"
"I am operating at 100% efficiency master. Do you require anything from me?"
I hummed, "well...let's see how strong of a fighter you are yeah? You have the digital data in your banks yes?"
"Yes sir," he got off the table and stood up, his feet a little shaken, but he could still stand properly, "shall I begin here?"
I smiled and nodded, "yes, this is my private work chambers," meaning it was just a unused chamber in the jedi temple I had found during my searching, "can you access the flash learning chips I installed in you?"
PROXY nodded, "most definitely sir. What form do you wish me to use? And the difficulty range?"
I hummed, I reached out and grabbed two metal staffs I used as lightsabers during my own personal training session and tossed onto PROXY, "how about...Shiin-Cho, and set the difficulty rate at padawan level," meaning he would be moving at just above peak human abilities.
"Very well sir," PROXY nodded as his form shimmered, taking the form of a hooded jedi knight that had a large white and brown robes covering his specific features. We got into position and then suddenly moved at each other.
I was sent flying back from the strike, landing on by back as PROXY stood over me victorious. I rubbed my sore cheek, "maybe set the difficulty rate at initiate instead?"
PROXY nodded, "yes sir," I got on my feet once again and we fought. This time it took him ten seconds to kick me on my ass.
"God Damn it man! Just how strong did I make you?!" PROXY off course knew not to answer the question. I sighed, it would seem I had a lot of work ahead of me.
A few days later:
I ducked and rolled aside, swimming upwards and catching Kento's blade with my own before pushing forward and swapping out his legs from under him.
Marek then began to swing his blade violently, forcing me to back away and let him get on his feet. He swung at me head, I bent down, on leg extended forward with the other coiled. And then, I let loose, springing up into the air and landing behind him.
My blue training blade stopped at his neck as he looked at me with wide shaking eyes, "damn it."
I grinned, "and that, is how you do it my scruffy little friend."
He grumbled, "luck."
"Ain't no such thing," I replied as I pulled the blade away and turned it off.
"Well done, well done indeed," Genja smiled as he and other others observing the match came forward, "your skills with the blade have improved vastly young Skywalker and your particular talent in form five is impeccable. I have no doubt you can very well become a noted user of this form with enough practise."
I bowed, "thanks you master." A few days of practicing with PROXY at initiate mode and I was able to match up to Marek, it hurt like hell, but sooo worth it.
Genja nodded, "you are welcome. Now, I suppose that's enough for today. Bluebird clan, you have the rest of the day off, use this time wisely," the old Ithorian moved away, walking to the other duels going on around us, attending to the other clans who were training now as well.
"Nice job Skywalker!" Kan cheered as the others in my clan quickly gathered around me. I smiled as I thanked them all, but I noticed among the crowd was a silent Aayla who was staring at me. I caught her gaze and smiled, she chuckled and smiled back.
"So Skywalker," Marek said as he patted my shoulder, "how did you get so good in so little time? I swear it was just a few days ago when I was still kicking your behind on the yard."
I shrugged, "I just practise a lot, that's all."
He snorted, "when? All I see you do is meditate or in the workshop creating some mad invention."
"Hey, I can multitask!" I argued back causing the rest to laugh.
"So, this is what the birds have been squeaking about," came an unfamiliar voice. Our clan seemed to open up, revealing another clan approaching us with a green skinned Roadian at the head.
Marek narrowed his eyes next to me, "what do you want Fashe, we don't' have time for your nonsense today."
"Nonsense? Please," the rodian snorted, "if anyone here is spouting nonsense it's the slave boy you now own. Disrespecting the jedi, spitting in master Menon's eye. He told us you know, what you really are, scum," he narrowed his eyes at me.
The Bluebird clan were enraged, a little pissed off. I for one was a little taken back. I turned to Marek, "ah, am I missing something here? Who's our new friend?"
"Fashe, a member of the Great Lizard clan," Marek snarled as slowly the Bluebird clan assembled next to us, facing off against the opposing clan, from the glares and snarls, I'm guessing we don't have the best relation with each other.
"So slave boy, how has the temple been treating you?" Fashe asked, "have you ever been someplace so luxurious? Or are you more suited to the lavatory? Reminds you off home?"
Fashe's comments sent a ripple of laughter through his clans while my clan looked insulted, sending me pitying looks.
I blinked, "wait...are you trying to insult me?"
The Rodian snorted, "took you long enough. What? Did the desert sand clog your brain?" Cue more laughter.
Marek looked like he was about to speak out for me when I held up and hand and stopped him. He looked unsure, but I just smiled and spoke, "so, I have a question for you," this gained their attention, "when exactly do you all graduate to den mothers?"
The Lizards looked confused. "What are you talking about?" She asked, "we are initiates! Not den mothers!"
"Oh? Well you're certainly acting like gossiping old women instead of jedi, sorry, I got confused," the Bluebirds chuckled softly, but held off laughing, "after all, what kind of jedi spends their time gossiping and insulting others? You all act like old women with no lives rather than elite warriors, but then again, that's just me."
I shrugged and immediately the Bluebirds began laughing, even Aayla looked like she was going to explode into laughter.
Fashe and his clan on the other hand looked pissed. "Shut it! A slave like you has no right to lecture me! You shouldn't even be here! Why don't you go back to that desert ball of sand you call home?!"
I shrugged, "why don't you go kriff yourself?"
"What was that?" I heard Penon's voice suddenly call out, I turned and there he was staring at me, eyes narrowed.
I sighed, "of course, now you show up."
I sighed as I finished wiping the floors in the library's main chamber. I looked to the side and found Kenobi leaning against a pillar, smiling at me as he kept watch.
"You missed a spot," he pointed at the far side off the chamber, a small smudge I had forgotten to clean.
I sighed, I pulled the bucket of water and mop over and began to clean, "this would be so much easier if I could use the Force."
"The Force isn't a tool Anakin," Kenobi scolded, "you should not use it as a tool to do your chores. It is a powerful binding entity that governs all life in the galaxy."
"Actually Kenobi, since the Force is everything, it can be a tool or a guiding light, that's the literal definition of the word omnipotence," I snorted as I finished, wiping my brow, "and honestly, this is one hell of punishment. Totally unjust."
"I believe master Penon would disagree," Obi-Wan chuckled, "the way he spoke it sounded like he wanted to expel you."
"Like I care," I put the mop into the bucket and pushed it towards the knight, "if I am kicked out I'll probably just continue my training on my own. A threat only works if they can follow through on it."
"Maybe...but still, you need to have a better control of yourself Anakin. Do not let your emotions guide you," he warned.
"I didn't, that's why I just told him to go kri-"
"-I mean, that's why I used words instead of fists."
Obi-Wan nodded, "true. But maybe next time, don't respond at all."
"Yeah, yeah, I get it," I waved at him, Kenobi groaned, I could sense his frustration, but I honestly couldn't care. I approached him and turned to the hall, smiling at the now clean floors, "there, spotless."
"Yes...I suppose so," Obi-Wan sighed, his frustrations melting away as he smiled and patted my shoulder, "good job Anakin. Now, go to your clan rooms and get some rest, you have earned it."
"Not yet Knight Kenobi," Penon called out as he walked in, pushing along a large pile of what looked like data pads. He stopped and nodded to Kenobi, "Knight Kenobi, has he been causing you any trouble?"
Obi-Wan shook his head, "not at all Master Penon. He's been good," he ruffled my hair, "he finished his punishment, I was just about to dismiss him."
"Hm, I would think not," he patted the trolley, "all these pads need to be put into their appropriate location," he motioned to the analog portion of the library where instead of data banks they allowed for information to be stored in data pads which people could check out.
I blinked at the stack, it was huge, "b-but that will take me all night!"
"Then I would suggest you get started," Penon snorted, turning to Knobi, "Knight Kenobi, I belive Master Jinn is looking for you. I would suggest you seek him out."
"But Anakin-" Obi-Wan began to argue.
"-Worry not," Penon motioned over his shoulder at Jocasta who was at the library's helm, looking over a few hard copy books, a rare sight since most information here was digital, "Master Nu has promised to ensure Skywalker does not leave before finishing the task."
"But I-" Obi-Wan stopped, Person's eyes narrowed to him. The human male sighed, "understood master."
The rat bastard smiled, "good," he then turned to me and glared, "remember boy, all of them, no exception. If I find one book out of place, I'll have your hide."
He turned and walked away. Obi-Wan grumbled and turned to me, "I'll see what Master Jinn wants and then return to help you Anakin, don't worry, you won't have to do this alone."
He then took off, speed walking out of the library. I signed, my back and body aching from the hours I spent cleaning the floors of the library. Don't' they have special droid for this? I suspect they did, but they used this as a sort of punishment.
I looked to the pads, I felt...tired, so very tired. I sat down and leaned on a shelf, my back of my head smacking the shelf. I closed my eyes, Force this sucked.
"Anakin?" I opened my eyes and turned, surprised to see Aayla there, looking down at me with worry in her eyes.
"Aayla? What are you doing here?" I asked her.
"I came to see why you were taking so long. I thought by now you would be done," she spoke, looking at the bucket next to me.
I sighed, "I was...but then master Penon in his infinite wisdom decided I didn't have enough," I motioned to the trolley of books, "I have to arrange those before I'm allowed to leave."
"Oh," she hanged her head, her lekku falling down, kind off like a dog's tail did when it was sad, "I'm sorry you have to do this...I didn't think he would be so unkind."
I shrugged, "it's fine...I guess..."
She was quite, she looked at me and then the pads, "w-would you like me to help?"
I blinked, "what?"
"The pads, would you like me to stack them for you?"
"Aayla I can't ask you to do that," I shot back.
"N-no, I want to," she smiled, walking to the trolley and picking out a few pads in her hands, "you rest for a while, I'll do this."
I smiled, "now what kind of man would I be if I just let a beautiful girl like you do all the work?" I bounced to my feet, happy to see such a token of friendship.
Aayla blushed, I think the beautiful comment caught her off guard. Soon we began working in silence, the two of us carefully putting the pads away, ensuring they all went to their correct slots.
It took us half an hour, but we were done. I stepped back and smiled at the empty trolley, "take that master Penon!"
"Sh!" I heard Jocasta call out from her desk, not lifting her head from her book.
I rubbed her head sheepishly while Aayla chuckled, "now, let's go, it is getting close to bedtime," she said.
I nodded, "right," we walked out and approached Jocasta, I cleared my throat causing her to look up, "I'm done."
She narrowed her eyes at me and then turned it Aayla, "I see," he looked over to the trolley and then closed her eyes. I could feel her reaching out through the Force to check if all was correct, I honestly didn't know you could even do that. After a moment she opened her eyes and looked to me, "very well initiate Skywalker, you may leave."
I smiled as Aayla and I rushed out, Jocasta's warnings on not running in the temple halls fell on deaf ears.
We rushed through the temple, the girl setting the pace. She was surprisingly fast, I suspect she used the Force to do so.
Soon however we came across the courtyard, and instantly I felt the desire to slow down and look at the city outside the jedi walls.
"What's wrong Anakin?" Aayla asked as she noticed me stopping.
I looked out at the city, taking in the sun set, "nothing...just admiring the view." Aayla said nothing, instead joining me and looking out. I turned other and smiled, "you know, on Tatooine there are two suns?"
"Really?" she asked surprised, "it must be hot."
"Oh it is," I smirked, "I like the heat...I suppose it's something I just grew used too. And...I suppose I miss it. I always find the bed chambers a little too cold."
"Is that why you wrap yourself up like a worm everytime you go to bed?" Aayla asked, chuckling as she did.
I grinned, "exactly." We waited for a moment longer before eventually leaving for our clans dorms.
Two days later:
I groaned as I walked into the Bluebird clan housing room, limping as I did. I had just imputed all seven jedi fighting forms into PROXIEs servers. It wasn't hard data to get, spend some time watching the jedi masters training with a camera, convert the feed into data and boom, instant flash learning program.
Good for him, not so much for me. While I had grown strong enough to beat it while at the padawan difficulty level, an achievement off it's on, it's new programs made his fighting pattern quite...extreme.
It was like fighting a jedi battle master, switching between forms like it was nothing. Form 3's tight swings which then gave way to form 4's acrobatics. Now, I could barely match him in Initiate mode.
Hence when I currently looked like a bag of mashed potatoes.
I was late, by now the other children were already asleep. As Anakin, this body always had tough long hours not working, barely getting any sleep. And since I was an adult, I also didn't strictly follow a sleep schedule.
I limped quietly into my cot, struggling to hold back my grunts of pain. I plodded down and took a deep breath, focusing on the Force to try and reduce the pain.
It was something I had stumbled onto a few days into this horrendous new training regimen of mine. When I meditated and got lost in the Force, my body healed faster, much faster. It was the only way the jedi masters still hadn't noticed the wounds, they were able to heal by morning.
And the meditation also helped me rest, so it was like sleeping, except far more...enchanting. Plus, it did technically count as Force training, so it was three benefits for the price of one! Wahahaha!
I closed my eyes, seeping deeper into my meditation trance. I felt...relaxed. The last week had been hectic. Penon had been relentless, training with PROXY was becoming hell, thanks to the upgrades I gave him. And then there was the other clans, which were honestly beginning to get on my nerves.
I looked through the Force, trying to keep my attention onto the temple alone and it's glowing beacon of light in the Force. But like always, my sight was drawn to the people suffering around me.
I looked into the deeper levels, feeling the people's pain and suffering. They cried out louder and louder and I felt helpless.
"My wife! She's bleeding out!"
I forced myself to look away, I couldn't help them...Jinn was right. I wasn't ready, not yet. I understood that if I interfireed right now...I would just be making things worse. I felt them through the Force, their anguish, their pain. I would help them...some day. Suddenly, I heard someone speak, cutting me from the Force.
"Anakin? Anakin are you okay?" I opened my eyes and sure enough a concerned Aayla was looking down at me, worry in her eyes.
I was a little taken back. This had never happened before, I must have made more noise then I realised.
"Ayala? What are you doing?" I asked her in a whisper.
"I felt something go wrong in the Force," she whispered as she looked down, her eyes landing on the bruise forming on my cheek. She looked horrified as she slowly reached out and touched it, her fingers gliding across the skin.
I winced, "careful."
"S-sorry," she replied, her hand moving away. She looked at me once more, and slowly, a deadly glare came to it, fire I had not seen before was light behind those eyes, "Anakin...who did this?"
I blinked, "what?"
"Who did this to you Anakin? Who?"
"Ayala, no one did this to me, I-"
"-Don't lie to me," she hissed, "I-I know I may not be the strongest or the best initiate, but I won't sit by and watch my friend get hurt. Tell me their name Anakin, I swear, they will pay."
I was shell shocked, my jaw hanging low. I honestly couldn't' believe what I was hearing. Had I really made such an impression on the girl? To get so passionate...woah.
I smiled, "Ayala, I'm seriously. No one did this to me, this is...well, it's the result of my training."
She gasped, "you...you did this to yourself? Anakin...that is dangerous. You shouldn't do things the masters don't' teach us!"
"Aayla, I'm not doing anything dangerous, I'm just fighting against a practise droid," I smiled.
"I have never seen a practise droid do this before," she pointed at my face with narrowed eyes.
I sighed, "I may have...give him a few adjustments."
"Aayla, I promise, I'm not doing anything dangerous. I just want to be good at what I do, that's all, I promise," I smiled at her and through the Force, I felt her calm down.
"Good...but...Anakin...you still seem troubled. What's wrong?"
"I….I have a bad feeling," I admitted to her, "I have a bad feeling and I don't know what to do."
"A bad feeling about what?"
"Just a general bad feeling," I shrugged.
"Oh...well, maybe you should ask the Force what you should do, you did say to think of it like a parents," Aayla said with a chuckle.
"Yeah, but that's not exactly what I mean," I smiled, joining her laughter.
She looked at me, concern and joy in her eyes, "Anakin...you're my first real friend here...and...I just don't want you to get hurt." I saw her lekku wave around behind her before they braid around themselves, "please, be more careful."
I moved forward and wrapped my hands around her, wrapping her in a hug so suddenly she gasped in surprise before slowly leaning into the hug and hugging me back.
"I promise, I'll be fine," I smiled, it honestly felt nice to have a friend...maybe even my first one. And it only took me two months to do so.
Soon she went back to sleep and I managed to heal myself enough to sleep comfortably too. But as I laid down I thought about Aayla's advice. The Force won't' ever be so direct, even if I am it's child. But I did have another parent I could ask...
The next day:
I snuck into the storage room in the jedi temple like I did a several times before. I got int and went to he back where I stood before a chest which I pried open using the Force.
I reached in and grabbed a communicator, locking the chest and sneaking out, making sure no one spotted me.
I snuck into the room where I trained, PROXY propped up in one corner of the room, switched off. I turned the communicator on, and inf five minutes, Shmi picked up.
"Ani?" her form shimmered as it appeared before me, glowing blue and white as she held a small infant in her arms.
I smiled, "hey mom. How are you?"
"Oh I'm fine Ani," She smiled so radiantly the mere sight of it calmed me down more than a thousand hours of meditation ever would.
"Great. And how's my little brother?" I asked looking at the small wrapped up baby in her arms.
"Little Kal is doing just fine," she smiled as the small thing slept, his eyes closed and his mouth open as small mumbled words came out, "he actually had a little bit of a fever yesterday, but no cause for concern."
I nodded, "thank the Force."
"Yes indeed…." She said as slowly her smile turned sour, "Ani...what's wrong?"
I sighed, "I swear, it's like sometimes even you an use the Force."
"It isn't space magic dear, I'm just your mother, and I can tell when my baby is upset. So...what's wrong?" Shmi pressed.
"Mom, I...I don't' know what to do. I can feel people...I can feel them hurting, and I nt to help, but I just can't."
"Because...what if I can't solve the problem? Remember what Nato used to say? You can't trick the sand people because there too many to trick. I can't save them all and if I try...I don't know what to do mom."
"Ani...Ani look at me," I lifted my head and looked at her. She smiled and replied, "Ani...what do you think you have to do?"
"I have to help them."
"Then what are you doing here? Go get them Ani," the woman smiled, cutting the call on her end. I sighed and shook my head,a smile forming on my face, damn that woman is amazing.
I walked over and turned on PROXY, the droid hired to life and got on its feet, "master. Shall we continue with your training now?"
"No," I smirked, "I actually have something else planned in mind. Come, follow me and stay quite. And remember, if anyone asks you are just a protocol droid I have been tinkering with in the lab okay?"
PROXY nodded, "yes sir."
We walked out of the room and the droid followed me back to the storage room. I broke into my chest and took out the torch come lightsaber I had designed. It wasn't the perfect weapon, but for now, it would do.
I then searched a few other chests, finding a blackish red cloak for myself and a brown one for PROXY that seemed of common enough quality that we would be ignored in a large crowd. I wrapped it around my shoulder and put up a hood and covered the lower half of my face, ready to move out.
We then snuck out out of the jedi temple, it was approaching sun set, people wouldn't be searching for me for a few hours. So I snuck into the lower levels, taking over an hour to reach to the 1,000th level, when slowly, the precitine and nobility of the planet started to die out.
The streets here were bad, worse than bad, they were garbade. Trash littered the streets, people seemed to ignore it though, waking ahead like it didn't bother them a bit.
The streets were basic enough, the served as the ground level basis for the 5,000 floors over them. The people here could look up, and while they may not be able to see the sun, they sky at least still had their gaze.
And then, I decided further down, using a set of stairs that seemed rarely used to go down, worn out on the other directions only.
Now, the sky did not exist. It was only the ceiling that would hover over people's heads. And here, the lights and shadows were a more contrasting picture.
Peopler here wore poorer looking clothes, they were shitty and careful to watch out for unexpected figures, which I suppose I was now one off. Damn.
As I continued my journey though, I let the Force guide me, allowing me to reach out to the most desperate of people. At at level 698, I felt the Force pull me sideways instead of further down.
The streets here had tall buildings, I didn't even realise just how much ground the city was covering until I saw these buildings. Over 5,000 levels down and they still have buildings with over 10 stories tall. Granted they ended at the ceiling, but still.
And it was towards one of these abandoned buildings that I felt the Force pull me towards. POXY and I snuck into the alley next to the building. I instructed the droid to wait as I snuck around. And near the back, I heard something.
The sound of flesh hitting flesh I was sure off it. I looked around, finding a small door off in one corner. Using the Force to unlock it, snapping the locks keeping it shut, I slowly pushed it open and peeped inside.
A Besalisk, large and fat with huge meaty limbs stood over a group of children, snarling. There were five of them, all dressed in rags, all looking younger than me, with one boy looking around my age, pale skin and small horns on his head, marking him as a Zabrak.
"This isn't enough!" the Besalisk held a fist full of credits in his hand, shaking it furiously, "you think so little contribution can guarantee my protection?! Are you all retarded?!"
"W-we don't know where to get more," a small tortuga female squeaked out, she was around five years of age, maybe younger.
"I don't care!" the large male cried out, he raised his fist,ready to beat her down, when suddenly the zabrak boy stood before the girl, arms spread out protectively.
"Please Donno! I promise we'll do better next time! Please, don't' hurt her," the boy squeaked out, the tortugan girl flinching behind him.
The Besalisk growled, smacking the boy up the head, "why the hell should I listen boy?! Maybe I should make sure you all learn the lesson properly this time," he grabbed the boy's right arm and started to squeeze.
"Argh!" he cried out, Donno smiled, grinning as he tried to ground the boy's arms under his strength.
I knew it was stupid, but I honestly wasn't thinking. I growled and held out my hand, reaching out with the Force and closing around Donna's throat.
"BACK!" he cried out, his hands dropped the zbrak boy and dropping his down, all four arms reaching for his throat.
The boy backed away, all five children moved away from the choking giant alien and watched in horror as it choked before them.
I pushed the door open, the sound of the rusty hinges alerting them all to my precencess as I walked in. The children's eyes widened, I held a hand out, they could obviously figure out I was responsible for the sight before them.
"H-help," Donno cried out.
I turned to the children, "are you hurt?" they didn't say a thing, simply choosing to instead stare at me in horror. I sighed and repeated myself, "I said, are you hurt?"
"N-no," the zabrak boy, probably the bravest of them lot stepped forward, standing protectively over the others.
"Good," I turned to Donno, his eyes rolling backwards, I released him, dropping the now unconscious alien to the ground.
I then turned to the children, they were tense, all moving away from me. I could feel their fear, their worry. I need to reassure them, and I could only find one way to do that.
I held out a hand, they flinched, scared i would choke them next. Instead I reached over and pulled my hood and face mask down, revealing my face to them, making the children gasp.
"Y-you're just a kid," the Tortuga girl gasped.
I shrugged, "yeah. I noticed. I always thought I was just a really really young looking, but apparently my mother disagrees."
"Are you a jedi?" a small human boy with blue eyes and black hair asked.
"Toru, sush!" the Zabrak boy hissed, turning a cautious eye to me, "please sir, excuse him, he's simple in the head. He didn't mean anything by it."
I blinked, "why are you calling me sir? You're my age dude."
The boy blinked, "y-yes but...you are a jedi."
"Hm...not really. I'm just a learner," I shrugged, the kids looking more relaxed at the admission.
The Zabrak boy looked at the unconscious alien behind me, "w-what did you do to him? I-is he dead?"
"No," I shook my head, "just knocked out," I kicked the alien's side, it groaned, but didn't move.
"You should kill him," a small lizard like hatching hissed out, "if you don't, he'll only try and kill you."
"I can take care of myself," I replied as I looked them over. A male Zabrak, a female To Guna, two humans, judging by their similarities, brother and sister and the youngest was a lizard like alien.
"You should go," the boy warned, "he'll be angry when he gets up. He'll hurt you."
I raised an eyebrow "what about you? Won't he hurt you as well?"
"We can handle ourselves," the boy admitted, "we are good at hiding. If we're lucky, he won't be able to find us for a few days."
I looked at the boy, curiosity taking over, "tell me, what's your name?"
He looked unsure, but slowly spoke out, "Jory. My name is Jory."
I nodded, "Anakin, Anakin Skywalker." Suddenly, I sense Donnon move, he was waking up once again. I looked at the kids and immediately I made a choice, to help them. And maybe through them, help this planet.
"Tell me something...what do you all want to do in life?" I asked.
"What do you mean?" the Togruta girl asked.
"What is your dream?" I asked her, "mine is to live a life of happiness and adventure. What's yours?"
The kids looked at each other unsure, finally Jory spoke up, "I guess….we never had a dream. If anything, we just have a desire to stay safe and try to not die in the gutter."
I nodded, "I see...well….then let me help you."
"How?" the lizard boy asked.
"Argh," a grunt came out, the kids all gasped and moved aside as slowly Donnon got on his feet, rubbing his head. "W-what hit me?"
"I did," I replied as I turned to him, staring the giant down with a glare. He looked surprised, the children looked scared, I stood between him and the kids, I could sense Jory was planning on rushing the children out, good kid, smart and brave.
"You? Who are you?" he spat, "you're just a kid!"
"A kid with a lightsaber," I moved, there was a flash of green as the blade haled at his neck, the alien's eyes wide with fear, "and I won't' hesitate to lop off your head. Listen well Done, from now on, those kids you see standing behind me? They are under my protection. Not yours, mine. Meaning, you don't' harm them, ever. Do you understand?"
He looked down at the blade, at then at me, "w-what is a jedi doing here? You don't' belong here, you all are high level folk!"
"I felt the children crying out for help all the way from those top levels, that's what I'm doing here," I moved the blade to his skin, a hiss of flesh burning came out, Donno flicking away in shock.
I deactivated the blade and put it away, "I hope we understand each other Donno. I would hate to think you didn't get the message."
"Y-yeah, I got the message," he said, holding his burnt neck. He got on his feet and rushed out the door.
I turned to the kids, the younger ones smiled and cheered, while the older Zabrak and Togruta looked worried. I smiled, "don't worry, like I said. You're under my protection."
"And when you go back to your temple on the upper floors?" Jory asked, "what if he tries again then?"
"I'll know, and next time I won't stop myself," I gulped. I had never killed a living being before. But...I mean...if I had no other choice.
"How?" the Togruta girl asked.
I smiled at her, "the Force."
"What's the Force?" the lizard boy asked. In response I just smiled. I just know this was going to be the start of a beautiful friendship.
"I'll explain later," I replied, "but first, we need to get you lot somewhere safe."
"Where?" Jory asked with a snort, "everywhere on this level and the hundred levels below are Donna's territory, he'll find us easily."
"I suppose...wait, I have an idea," I turned around and called out, "PROXY! Get your ass in here!"
"Master? Is it training time now?" the droid asked as he came in, his cloak covering his features.
"No, not yet. I want you to access the schematics for this entire floor, can you do that?" I asked.
"Hm...I seem to have some difficulty finding a signal but..." the droid humned for a moment before holding up a hand and forming a hologram on it, "there we go."
"Thanks," I replied as I looked at the schematics, humming as I felt the Force, seeking guidance as my eyes roamed the diagrams.
"Cool! It's a droid!" the human girl said, her eyes bright and shivering with excitement.
I smiled, but turned my focus back on the map. And then, I felt something pull. I pointed at a section a few minutes walk North of here, "there."
"That?" Jory blinked, "that's nothing. It's literally just a sealed off portion of the city."
"That's what you think," I said as I hummed, "it's actually a subway tunnel, if I'm right only the top tier politicians and wealthy personnel are allowed to use it, seeing as most would rather use speeders."
"I didn't know that," the Togruta girl admitted freely.
"Most don't," I hummed, "alright, can you lead us there Jory?"
The boy nodded, "yeah...I think so."
Five minutes later, we arrived as a sealed off portion that Jory described. "See, it's sealed off," Jory stated.
I closed my eyes and focused, the Force called to me, highlighting a small portion of the wall as important. I reached out with my fingers and touched it and slowly, a man sized portion of the wall opened up, revealing a long and wide tunnel.
"What is that? And how have we never seen it before?" the small human girl asked in awe.
"Because we weren't looking," Jory replied, his eyes narrowed as he turned to me, "and how did you know where to find it?"
"I told you, the Force," I replied as PROXY and I walked inside, I looked over my shoulder at the children, "well? Are you coming inside?"
They looked at each other, unsure. But then the Togruta girl broke the stunned motionless action by walking forward, the others following behind her.
"What is the Force," she asked as we walked inside, the door closing behind Jory who was bringing up the rear.
"The Force is...it's what connects us," I explained, "think off ti like an energy that is all around us and binds us together. Like a giant bottle of glue if you will. And the jedi, like me, can manipulate the Force."
"That's the stupidest thing I ever heard," Jory snorted, "an invisible energy? Are you kidding me?!"
I smiled, "yeah, I suppose it does sound stupid to someone who can't feel it."
"Oh? And you can?" he snorted.
"Yeah...tell me Jory, what colour is are my robes?"
"What colour are my robes?"
"What does that have to do with anything?"
"Just answer the question," I rolled my eyes.
He narrowed his eyes, "fine. Red. They are red."
"And how do you know that?"
"I can see it with my eyes, duh."
"Exactly," I grinned, "you have organs to view the colour of my clothes. Same thing with the Force, only a few people can even detect it, let alone interact with it."
"So you have an extra organ or something?" the curious human male asked.
I smiled, "something like that."
We eventually reached a dead end with a door before us. I used the Force to flick the door open and behind it was a room, a big room with several computers and several other tech just lying around.
"What is this place?" the lizard boy asked as they all looked around in law.
I hummed, "if I was to guess I would say it's a sort of control station. These subway tracks last for miles, so you need some way to make sure they all run smoothly," I looked around and at the other end of the room was a window with a view of a large circular tunnel where pods of white occasionally flew by.
By now the other kids had noticed, we all walked over and watched as hundreds upon hundreds of pods whizzed by without a second look at us. There were five lanes in the tunnel and each lane had at least one pod zooming by.
"They don't' even notice us," Jory spoke in a scanned voice, "to them...we're nothing but a passing face."
"Yeah...but that isn't a bad thing," I turned to the kids, they all looked at me, "PROXY, can you erase this control post from the city records?"
"I can try master, but if someone takes a second look at it, they can easily find out. This is after all a part of the planet's central infrastructure. It can't remain hidden forever," PROXY argued.
"How many stations similar to this are there on this level alone?" I asked.
"Around 289,000 sir," the droid replied.
I smiled, "so we have a one in 289,000 chance of being found out. I like those odds. Do it," the droid went to a terminal and began the process of erasing this place from the planet's data banks while I turned to Jory, "so...can you all use this place to hide?"
The kids looked around, they all nodded excitedly. Jory sighed and nodded, "yeah...I suppose so." I smiled, perfect.
I had to leave the kids soon after, it was getting late and I didn't want to get caught out of the temple. I promised to come back tomorrow. Jory didn't believe me, the kids did. I think I instilled a little hope in their hearts.
That night when I meditated after my hour long training session with PROXY to heal myself, I looked out into the city and the vile dirty and destructive nature of the people struck me hard. But, in that darkness, there was a glint of hope.
Hope in the form of the a small group of children sleeping soundly in a safe place. For the first time, not scared and not crying from nightmares. And after seeing that, any doubts on whether I did the right thing or not flew right out the window. I was happy, and I radiated a calmness through the Force, so much so, the next day, everyone in Bluebird clan overslept by an hour.
A week later:
All the Younglings were gathered around the training yard, all eager and waiting. Genja came out with Windu in toe, the later had a stoic look, almost daring someone to cross the line and break their training in discipline.
"Today students, we will be privy to a very special performance," Genja said with a smile as he motioned to Windu, "Master Windu here has agreed to display his skills in the variant of form seven, Vaapad. A form I might add, he created all by himself. Master?"
Windu stepped forward, he the proceed to give some long boring speech about responsibility, sticking to the light and also making sure never to even think about using this form unless given proper training, something only the best of the best can obtain.
Obviously I wasn't paying attention.
But when he took out his lightsaber and began swinging the blade, I was mesmerized. I remember the battle against Sidious, I remember that fight. And I remember how deadly and amazing it was too watch.
After the performance Windu began answering questions. The younglings had some stupid ones, like how strong it was or whether it was the strongest lightsaber form the jedi knew. Marek even had the balls to ask if he was good enough, Windu would consider teaching him.
For which the blade master replied, "that depends on how strong your connection with the Light side of the Force is," needless to say Marek's eyes spoke more than words, he was determined to gain that form.
"Now, does anyone else have any questions?" Genja asked.
I held up a hand, Windu looked over and sighed, nodding, "yes Skywalker?"
"How does it feel to use the form?" I asked simply. The question seemed to surprise him Windu, but he didn't let it show.
"It feels like you are dancing on the edge of a very sharp blade. One misstep, and you cannot expect to survive," he answered honestly. And then, without another word or a goodbye, he bowed out and left.
Genja continued the class. But that night, I went to my secret hideout in the temple and activated PROXY.
"PROXY, today we're going to be doing something different," I told the droid as I took the practise sticks we used instead of blades and threw him one.
"What is it master?"
"I want you to use all lightsaber forms against me," I told it as I gulped, "and..." he did say I had to dance on the edge of a blade right? That and use the Force in conjunction, "update to Master level."
The droid seemed to process the information for a moment before nodding, "understood. Shall I keep the safety features?"
I shook my head, "no...remove them." The moment I said that, I felt the Force cry out. I ducked, avoiding a wide sweep from PROXY before jumping back and trying desperately to block his hits.
As the night went on, as the hits kept coming and slowly evolved into bruises, I slowly immersed myself deeper and deeper into the Force. I still couldn't...control it all, but for now, this was a fine way to begin.
A week later:
"Are you okay?" asked the Togruta girl I met in the lower levels, her name was Que. I was right now in our hideout, the younger human kids, the boy Tor and the girl Try, named it the Nest.
"I fine," I said as I opened my eyes from my meditation smiled at her, "it just takes a while to heal."
"But still," Que looked at my bruises in worry, "they look like they hurt."
"It's better I have these now that have a lightsaber to my face later," I shrugged as I uncrossed my legs and stood up, cracking my neck, "so, are Hehe, Tor and Jory back yet?" Hehe being lizard boy, the three boys had gone out for something to eat, careful not to draw attention to themselves.
"No," Que shook her head, "they haven't come back yet."
"Hey Ani! You're finally awake!" Try, the human girl cried out as she she came running into the room.
"Try, be careful!" Que scolded, something the little girl promptly ignored as she jumped into my lap playfully.
"Oh relax, big bro Ani can take it!" the girl squeaked as she smiled up at me, eyes sparkling, "hey Ani, why do you sleep so much?"
I chuckled as I hugged the girl and rubbed her hair, "well you see Try, it's a way for me to access the Force. And through the Force, I can heal myself faster."
Try's eyes seemed to sparkle, "cool! Hey Ani! Can you teach me?! It would be so cool if I could heal myself!"
I blinked, "well...I mean...I never tried..." I felt Try through the Force and felt...a small weak connection, a connection everyone in the galaxy had with the Force, not a Force sensitive, "sorry Try, but I can't."
"What? Why not?!" she pouted, I chuckled, it was honestly adorable.
"Remember what I said? You either have it, or you don't. And sadly, you don't."
"That's so not fair!" she whined.
"Try, why don't you get something to eat? I don't think you had lunch yet right?" Que said, it was not a request, but rather an order.
Try pouted, "fine," she grumbled as she hopped away from me and rushed away, her spirits not at all dampened.
Que shook her head, "that girl...are you sure she doesn't have the Force?"
I nodded, "yes, I'm sure."
"That's too bad...she was hoping she could be more like you," Que turned to me, her eyes narrowed, "you do know that you're her hero right?"
I nodded, "yes...I do," out off all the five kids, Try and her brother Tor looked up to me the most. Hehe was still suspicious while Jory and Q, being the oldest were fiercely protective. I had yet to earn their trust, but I was patient.
"So...tell me Master jedi, what exactly are you planning?" Que asked.
"Why do I need to be planning anything?" I asked her.
"Because you aren't stupid not too," she replied.
I blinked, "huh...actually, I don't really have a plan. I just...I honestly did this one the fly, I don't have a plan or a goal. I just want to try and make this place less of a shit hole."
Que snorted, "well then Master Jedi, you have a lot of work to-"
The door was thrown open as Tor ran in, panting and bleeding from a cut on his head, "Donno got Hehe and Jory!"
I jumped to me feet and used the Force to robe me and summon my lightsaber from it's hidden compartment in the wall behind me. I rushed out and grabbed Tor, the boy fainting in my arms.
"Tor?" Que called out in panic.
I close my eyes and felt him through the Force, "he's going to be fine, he's just exhausted. Here, take care of him," I gently pushed him to Que's arms, the girl desperately cradling the boy in her arms.
"W-what are you going to do?" Que asked.
I rose and walked out the door, I turned and looked at her, "I'm going to bring them back...and I'm going to send a message." Queue said nothing, I saw Try walk in, gasping in shock. I walked out and closed the door behind me, I didn't have time to comfort the girl, I had two children to find.
I reached the streets and closed my eyes, feeling the Force, searching for the two signatures I grew to be familiar with, even a few hundred levels down.
I felt them down South, they were in pain. I ran through the streets, using the Force to guide me as I ran, the people seeing a flash of red and nothing more.
I reached a giant junk yard, the gates closed and covered with electrified wires. I hide in an alley and observed the building.
There were guards with blaster in the front. I didn't have time to waste fighting them. I looked around, a light post stood a few feet away. I reached out and closed my fist, lifting it, and slowly the metal of the post started to groan and rise up.
The metal snapped and the ground was upheaved as the lamp post rose into the air.
"What the hell?!" the guards finally noticed me as I walked towards the main doors, the post floating behind me.
I then threw my arms forward, sending the post into the guards, knocking them all down like a sickle reaping straw. It kept going, breaking down the main doors with a loud crash. I walked in, using the post as a bridge.
I followed the Force and entered a small clearing in the yard which was surrounded by mountains of junk. And in the center, tied to chairs, were a bound and gagged Hehe and Jory, but crying out for help.
I felt the Force signatures hiding around the piles of junk. It was an ambush, I knew it was. But...I didn't care. They needed to be treated to a show of force, and this would be the perfect setting for just that lesson.
I walked out into the clearing. Hehe spotted me and started cheering, Jory however was telling me to run, motioning with his head to run.
I walked over and waved my hands, the gags flying away from their mouths. Immediately Jory roared, "it's a trap!"
"Get him boys!" Donno jumped out of a pile of garbage with a blaster in hand. Immediately, ten more men jumped out, all off them aiming and firing at us.
I moved a hand, immediately a hull of a ship in one of the piles of junk came flying out, the gunners on the pile all falling under a mountain of junk.
I brought the hull before us, shielding us against the blaster fire. The hull was treated to withstand the cold and pressure of space. Handheld blasters didn't do much to it.
When the blaster fire stopped, I banished the hull, launching it at another pile of junk, taking out three more men.
I turned, five men of the ten remaining. I used the Force to blast away two. More blaster fire, my lightsaber came alive and I moved, practised ease allowing me to deflect the blaster fire back at the gunners, knocking back three more.
That left just Donno. The giant aline aimed his giant blaster and fired. The shot came flying at my back, "watch out!" Jory cried out.
I turned, the Force swimming to protect me. I held out an outstretched hand, the red blaster halting in mid air.
The few men that still lived gasped at the sight of the blaster bolt being halted in mid air. The feat in the Force was one I saw my supposed grandson perform. It would seem he got it from me.
I lowered my hand and flicked my blade, Hehe and Jory jumping out of their seats, now free of their bounds. Then I turned to Donnon and glared, the aline gulping in fear.
"I told you," I spoke with a deadly silent tone, "they are under my protection...meaning what you just did, it was extremely stupid," I reached out with the Force, Donno gasped as he clutched his throat, dropping his blaster as I lifted him into the air.
I then pulled, he came flying through the air, coming right for the blaster bolt. His eyes widened in surprise, and then, he was impaled on the blaster bolt, the energy beam vaporizing on contact.
I dropped him and turned out the others, the men still alive were horrified, scared even. The message was given, tiem to tell them who the messenger was.
"My name is...Zordon," I smiled under my hood at the small inside joke, "I am not a jedi. But I am trained in their arts. Meaning what you just saw right now, that wasn't even a hint at my true powers. These kids, are under my protection. They are my kids now, my Rangers. Fuck with them, and you'll deal with me."
I turned, cloak billowing behind me as I walked away, the gunners so stunned they did nothing to stop me, Jory and Hehe leaving the junkyard.
They said nothing all the way back. When we entered Que, Try and a now awake and bandaged up Tor leapt to great us.
"You're back!" Tor charged and hugged Hehe, "I thought you were a goner!"
"How?" Que asked in shock.
Jory turned to me, "Anakin...he saved us."
"Not Anakin," I replied as I floated my lightsaber into the hidden compartment in the vents, my new hiding place for the tool, "Zordon. From now on, call me Zordon. I can't risk the temple hearing about me...do you all understand?"
The kids looked at each other before nodding. And form that day forward, we formed a stronger bond, one that only grew in time.
A month later:
The majority of the Youngins were yawning in boredom, not that I blame them.
"The senate floor recognizes the senator from Dohma!" the chancellor cried out.
"Thank you of gracious chancellor. I am here for one reason, and that is-"
"Force this is so boring," Aayla hissed as the other members of the Bluebird clan nodded in agreement.
"Why do we even have to do this?" Kento asked, obviously bored out of his mind.
"Because it's important," I replied, narrowing my eyes at the senator, "and...because we will have to one day deal with this as well."
"Hm? What do you mean?" Kan asked.
"The Sith lord, Palpatine, tried to take over through the senate. This is the heart of the galaxy, so it is the perfect place to strike. So, we need to be aware of what's going on here."
"But the Sith is gone," Kento argued, "why would he ever even think of coming back here?"
"Palpatine had many friends and many allies," I explained, "publically they may have defaced him, but I don't doubt they are still his allies. So while the Sith may not be in the Senate, I assure you, he still has his fingers in many many people's pies."
"Excellent deduction Youngling Skywalker," we all turned, and standing over us in the sneatorally stand was Master Plo Koon, our chaperon for this trip, "that is a most accurate assumption."
The clan kids stiffened, they hadn't realised he was standing right there. Damn, maybe I need to increase their meditation training.
"Tell me Skywalker, what do you think the Sith will try next?" Koon asked me.
I looked out at the senate, I looked at the senators and the petty arguments they were having. I thought for a moment and explained.
"If I was him? I would strike at the people's doubt and mistrust of the senate," I explained, "I would seem like a champion of the people, get their support and then use them to fight the senate. And since the jedi are the allies of the senate, I would take that chance to turn the people against the Jedi as well. Thereby destroying the senate and the jedi in one scoop."
The Younglings and the Jedi master around me were eerily silent. Finally the orange skinned master spoke, "I am very, very glad you are not a Sith Skywalker."
I smiled at him, "oh you have no idea."
A month later:
"I got it! I got the job!" Que cried out as she jumped in joy.
"That's awesome!" Try cheered, "now we can stop stealing!"
"Where is the job?" For asked.
"At level 2,871, the Buckering Droid store. I'm just a mechanic, but at least it's something right?" Cue said happily.
"This is good," I heard Jory say, "now with you getting a job, and my job at the construction yard, we have more than enough to rent a real place."
"Or we can just stay here," Try argued, "I don't mind!"
"We'll think about it," Que replied.
"Either way, you did good Que, we're all proud of you," Jory replied.
"Honestly...if Anakin hadn't helped me by teaching me a few things, I don't think I would have gotten the job," I felt all their eyes on me. I was currently meditating, or at least pretending too.
"I see..." I heard his speculative tone, but feel joy through the Force. I smiled, guess I finally conquered his walls and earned his trust.
"Do you think he can hear us?" Hehe asked, "he's always in his own world when he does his jedi stuff."
"Of course I can hear you, I'm meditating, not deaf," I replied, causing the hatching to squeak in surprise.
A week later:
"Go Kriff yourself!" I yelled, throwing the final essay I had to read for my studies down. This would make it 20 for 20.
"Youngling Skywalker!" Penon cried out.
I groaned and slumped my shoulders, "how is he always there?!"
Another week later:
I blocked, sweeped and trust, hitting PROXY in the gut. He became unbalanced for a second, but in that second I moved. My pipe was a bur as I disarmed him and hit his head, causing the droid to stop attacking.
I stepped back and panted, wiping away the sweat I gathered with a smile. The droid got on its feet and nodded, "good job master. You have finally beasted me in Master mode without sustaining a single injury. Would you like me to engage dual wielding mod now?"
I shook my head, "no," I switched hands, "set it back to initiate level, use all the Forms. If I use my right hand it's your victory."
PROXY nodded, "yes sir."
That night I came into my room exhausted and hurt once more. But I knew, I was making some progress.
Many months later:
It's been a year since I joined the Bluebirds clan, and time seemed to speed by without any notice. I honestly didn't realise this was the case, I was too busy learning the jedi ways and I was honestly having a blast.
The training grew more and more intense, the forms grew more and more complex and harder to master. My attempt to create my own version of form 7 was going...poorly.
I wasn't making any progress on that front. But I was quickly mastering Form 5, Shein and Djem So, which seemed to be what I was more naturally attuned to. Strong and precise hits used to deflect blaster bolts, which I seemed to be good at, and deflecting and quartering lightsaber attacks.
I was also getting good at form 4, Ataru. It was more acrobatic, and since I was still developing my psychic, I didn't have a practising mastry at it like I did for Shein and Djem.
And so, I now trained to be able to use my second hand as well. I wasn't planning on dual wielding, not my thing. But being able to use both hands for combat was one with merit.
Then came meditation. I was always good at this, even with the more advanced forms, like meditating with loud noises trying to distract you or having things thrown at you. I was able to excel in this field, the Force was after all my pops.
Penon seemed to finally grow up, over the weeks after his punishment I kept my head down, the trouble was just not worth it. This caused Penon to finally get over himself and properly teach the others. And since the bluebird clan also got help from me, none of them had to worry about meditation.
I also had various other fields of study, like galactic law and the history and cultures of over a thousand planets drilled into my head. I'm sure in a normal human's body, it would seem like an impossible task, but with the Force, I learnt that word held no meaning.
It was easy to digest and absorb information while one meditated. So while I no longer had the time to see the world outside the temple walls through the Force, I could look inside myself and figure out how to remember things better.
Halfway through the year I stumbled onto another discovery, an impressive one at that. Using the Force I was able to construct a memory palace in my head. A mental construct that would allow me to remember virtually everything, rpo provided I had the mental bandwidth to store the information, which I did.
And so, a thousand planet's history and customs came into my head and stayed there. It was actually scary for accurate I could be sometimes. The jedi masters teaching us were impressed, and while a few of the Bluebird clan members were...jealous, I could feel they were more proud, after all, any reason to show off against the Lizard's was a good one.
Que and Jory's jobs helped support them and the kids. I gave a few credits wherever I could, swindled from Master Person's personal stash in his room. Hehe, sucker never realised.
I visited at least once a week, though i kept the visits short. I just came to make sure they were safe and happy, which they were. And since they were taken care off, and I felt their light every time I meditated, I didn't feel completely useless or a right selfish bastard.
And now, a year and few months since I joined the temple as an initiate, it was finally time for the next step in my journey.
It was a ceremony an initiate took before beginning the final stage of the initiate trials, the final step to becoming a padawan. They would travel to Illum and find their kyber crystal to put in their lightsaber, and of course, everyone was excited.
We had all been gathered into a cruiser known as the Crucible, a ship which was used for every Gathering ceremony since the reestablishment of the Republic...I think...don't quote me on that.
Yoda, Windu and Shaak Ti were on board with us for the trip. The younglings had all been strapped in, excited and chatting amongst themselves in hushed tones.
Clan Bluebird itself was gathered around each other, Aayla and Kan talking in giggles while Kento proclaimed how he was going to get the best crystal in the world. How it would be purple like Windu's and be the next battle master of the order.
And soon, we began our descent into the ice planet. They all gathered by the window and watched as the ship landed into the planet, a storm was being kicked outside, but just ahead I could see a cliff of ice, and etched into the cliff side was a giant hangar bay.
"Everyone, gather your belongings and your thermal wear, we shall be moving out soon," Master Ti instructed, the woman carrying much respect and admiration, causing the younglings to move without hesitation.
As I put my own jacket on I looked at Aayla, the girl looking scared, Kan had left her and gone on her own.
"So, you nervous?" I asked in a whisper.
She looked at me, "a-a little...I am scared but...I think I can do this."
I smiled and reached out, holding her hand in mine, "don't' worry, I know you can." Aayla smiled back.
Just then I felt something. The Force seemed to ripple, the feeling causing me to pause and falter in my steps. I shook my head, something felt off.
"Hm...something wrong Youngling Skywalker?" Yoda asked.
I looked at him, I blinked, "I...I don't know. The Force is...it's rippling. I think something's going on here."
"Hm...the caves, strong in the Force they are. Perhaps it is them you scene?"
I hummed, "maybe… Master, should anything happen-"
"-Nothing will happen Youngling Skywalker," Windu cut in, pushing me forward gently, "it is just the nerves talking. Do no worry, should anything do go wrong, Mast Shaak Ti, Master Yoda nad I will handle it."
I looked at him for a moment before slowly nodding, "right...got it." I joined the others and waited. But no matter what I did, the nagging feeling in the back of my head still remained. Just what was that feeling I got?
The ship's bay doors opened and thirty jedi younglings walked out of the ship. We followed Master Ti and Windu, Yoda bringing up the rear. We entered the giant doors on the ice cliff and inside we found a antechamber waiting for us with a giant lens on a mechanism of sorts overhead and a pillar of ice on the far side of the room.
"This is the begining to your path as a true jedi," Shaak Ti began, everyone gallery listening to her as Yoda and Windu covered her sides, making sure all attention was one her, "you will enter the caves of the planet and you will seek out the crystal that is most resonate with you. Remember, while there are many a crystal inside the cave, only one is yours."
A small hand raised up, Ti motioned to it and a human girl from the Lizard clan squeaked out, "w-what if we don't' have a crystal?"
"Then you cannot become a jedi," came Windu's harsh reply, causing the girl and several others to worry.
Yoda seemed to him, "many a challenge you will face. But none more important than the battle against yourself," he raised his hand and slowly the lens hanging over our heads shifted and changed positions, allowing a focused beam of light to hit the ice wall in the chamber, melting it slowly.
The ice wall broke apart, revealing a cave entrance behind it. I felt the Force sing out to me from inside, almost begging me to enter. The caves were alive, I'm guessing the crystals formed inside had something to do with that.
"You have until the ice reforms over the door to find and return with your crystal," Windu explained, "fail that, and again, you will have no place as a jedi."
"B-but what we only find the crystal after the ice closes," Kento asked. In response, all Windu did was stare and raise an eyebrow. Obviously he wasn't going to answer.
"You may begin, may the Force be with you," Shaak Ti bowed and stepped aside. Immediately scores of younglings rushed inside, desperate to search for their crystal and make it back out in time.
I wished Aayla luck as we went inside, and almost immediately, we lost each other. Which was fine as this was a test one had to face alone.
I walked a few tunnels deep and stopped once I got far enough away. I then closed my eyes and immediately connected with the Force, feeling the caves around me.
Almost at once I felt a crystal call out to me, the one wrapped around my neck. The white crystal I wore as a trophy from Palpatine. But I could not use this crystal, it was a white one, the jedi would not like that.
It was traditions...granted it was a stupid tradition, but a tradition nonetheless.
I looked outside and into the caves and immediately I felt something else call out for me.
I opened my eyes and walked forward, letting the Force guide me as I put all thoughts of finding my way back or getting lost behind me.
I searched and searched, the tunnels leading me deeper and deeper. I pulled my jacket closer to conserve heat. Force it was cold in here.
And then, I reached a giant wall of ice that blocked my path.
I was honestly stumped. I couldn't understand, how do I get around this? I mean...how? The Force was telling me my crystal was around this wall, but I can't break it down, I would risk a major tunnel collapsing and the death of many people.
So I back tracked to find another way around.
It took me a while, but I did find a path, going back up before moving down once again. And then, I heard Aayla scream.
I don't understand how she was so close. We had separated so long ago and yet it was like she was right next to me.
But that didn't matter right now. I immediately abandon all thoughts of finding a crystal and rushed to help her.
I ran, charging through the tunnels until I came at the edge of a cliff that opened up to a giant valley with several tunnel openings on either side of the valley, and dangling off a ledge was Aaliyah, across the hundred foot deep fall before me.
I was about to call out to her, when I saw something come out from the tunnel where Aayla was hanging from. A figure dressed in black robes, a hood covering his head and in his arms a large metal pipe.
'No,' I realised, 'that's not a pipe.'
With a snap hiss a long red blade came out off one end of the blade. Aayla gasped at the sight before he and I was shocked to see yellow eyes slowly rise from the darkness of the hood and met my own. Darth Maul smiled.
I realised immediately this was the shift in the Force I was feeling. Maul approached Aayla and swung his blade down.
Immediately I reacted, "no!" I sent the Force out, Maul was pushed back a few inches form the impact. But as a result, Aayla's holding was also broken, as she feel.
"ARGH!" she cried out as she feel down.
"Aayla!" I cried out as I jumped out, flying down after her. I used the Force, begging it to obey, pulling Aayla towards me.
She came flying through the air and I grabbed her, holding her tight. Her hands wrapping around my neck, "hold on!" I called out and slowly focused on slowing our decent.
We hit the sheet of ice at the bottom of the drop. It shattered and broke, the two of us falling down into the icy cold water and was carried away by the current.
We gasped for air as we swam to the surface. I held Aayla in my arms and looked up, Maul looking down at us and smeared, his blade retracting back as he walked away. Suddenly felt afraid for the other Initiates, I need to warn them!
I closed my eyes and cried out to the Force, "Master yoda! Help! Sith! The Sith are here!"
But I didn't get any response back.
"There!" Aayla called out as she suddenly pulled me along to the side of the river bank, managing to drag the two of us and our soaking wet clothes onto the snow covered shores, panting as she dragged me on shore.
"W-what happened?" I asked as I turned to her.
"S-someone pushed me," she explained, panting hard, "d-do you see who he was?"
I nodded, "yes...a red skinned Zabrak with a red lightsaber."
Aayla's eyes widened, "a-a sith?" her fear obiols and palpable.
"Yeah...I'm guessing," I nodded.
"W-we need to warn the masters!" she cried out, "only they can stop him!"
I looked around, spotting a small tunnel in the wall of ice before us. And what's more, the tunnel wasn't made of snow, but ice.
"There," I pointed as we got to our feet, "it's the only way out." Aayla nodded as we wlake disney, glad to finally not being surrounded by snow.
We shivered as we walked into the tunnel. I sneezed hard, twice, "damn it. Our clothes a soaking wet."
"We need to get out of them," Aayla said as we suddenly reached a dead end of the tunnel, "damn it! Now what?!"
"I think we should first dry off," I told her as I took off my coat and boots, "after that, we can search for a way out of here."
Hesitantly she nodded, "right...but we need a fire."
I hummed, I held up my jacket and looked it over. At this point it was ruined and would only hold me down. So I grabbed the stitching and ripped it open, revealing the simulation fiber inside.
"What are you doing?" Aayla asked as I placed the jacket on the ground in the middle of the small chamber we found ourselves in.
"The fiber is hyper flammable," I explained as I reached into my pocket and took out a lighter, sparking ti to life and carefully putting the flame to the open fabric, causing it to heat up, creating a small but powerful flame.
"Why do you have a lighter with you?" Aayla asked with a curious eyebrow.
"Oh, I decided to pick up smoking," I said with a shrug, aking off my inner shirt and pants.
"Anakin," Aayla narrowed her eyes.
"We were traveling to an ice planet. The question is why don't you have a lighter with you," I smiled as I placed the clothes next to the fire to heat up, but far enough that they wouldn't turn to ash any time soon.
"I see...good point."
"Yeah, I know," I replied as I removed all my clothing, remaining in my underwear. I then turned to Aayla, the girl looked down, refusing to met my gaze, "Aayla? What's wrong?"
"T-turn around," she whispered.
"What?" I looked down and then suddenly, realisation hit me. I was in a cave, with her, alone, demanding her to strip. Woah. Guess when you have a Sith lord on your trail you tend to forget the obvious.
"Right," I said, pushing down my blush as I turned around and sat down. I heard a rustle of clothing being removed as I saw in the edge of my eye that Aayla's' clothing had joined mine in drying off next to the flames.
I heard the sand crunch behind me as she sat down, her body's warmth almost radiating outwards as I sat with my back to her, looking at the shadows we formed on the wall. One human and one Twi'lek sitting back to back, alone in a cave.
"So...what do we do if the Sith finds us?" Aayla suddenly asks.
I hummed, "well...I suppose I'll try and hold him off while you go and get help."
"How are you so brave? Master Yoda told me it's only natural for a child my age but then I look at you and Kento and I can't help feel I'm a failure somehow and I don't...how do you not feel fear Anakin?"
I leaned back and slowly I felt the back of my head touch her's. She stifled for a moment before she let me continue as I spoke, "Aayla...I'm always scared."
"But I don't let that stop me from doing what needs to be done. Bravery isn't the absence of fear Aayla, it's the concurring of fear. It when you fight what makes you afraid, because you know if you don't, you will fail. You...you try and be the best you can with what you have, hope for the best, but prepare for the worst."
"But what if you fail?" she asked turning around to look at me.
"Then I won't," I replied back as i turned to look at her. And immediately, my breath hitched. I looked at her and immediately I understand just why Twe'lik's were considered a race of galactic beauties.
Her body was fit, her skin perfect and the black training bra that all female jedi wore pushed her perky chest upwards, applying her cleavage. Her gut was toned and flat, her tights silky smooth and thick.
I looked at her, she looked at me. Her lekku started to wave as slowly they began to come forward, twirling around each other. I knew what that meant. Every boy in the galaxy knew what that meant.
It meant you were a very lucky son of a bitch because the Twi'lek who did that just told you she loves you.
She leaned forward, and so did I. We didn't even hesitate. The forbidden act of kissing as ruled by the jedi council was not even in our rearview mirror.
Her lips were soft, like a piece of cake that was warm, melting into your mouth as you bite into it. I closed my lips around here, the sound escaping our mouths echoed through the empty cave. It wasn't an experienced kiss or a very good one. But it was one filled with passion and love. So it stirred joy in both of us, pure unfiltered joy.
I opened my eyes and looked at her. She looked at me. I whispered, "Aayla..."
"Anakin," her words soft, like a feather. And immediately, we both felt something stir.
It was the song of my crystal, crying out through the Force. We both followed the sound, looking up to see a glowing white light above us. There, imbedded into the ceiling of the cave was a giant crystal formation where two crystals had been fused into one.
"Holy shit," I whispered as slowly the crystal pulled itself out of the ceiling and came down, floating before us as it split in half, one half going to me and the other to Aayla.
Aayla looked at the crystal in her hands and then to me. She blinked in surprise, "I...I don't think that is normal Anakin."
"No...I don't think it is," I replied back.
"We...we kissed," she stated.
"Yes….do you regret it?"
I shook my head, "never...so...does this mean you...well, like me?" I felt so awkward, but then again, this would be the first time I'm doing this.
She smiled, "yes...but...the jedi," her smiled slowly dieing away, the worry now taking over.
"I won't' tell them," I replied immediately.
"So...we're keeping this a secret?" Aayla asked.
I nodded, "yes...I suppose we are."
She looked at me, her eyes sadness and heavy. She leaned forward and rested her head on my shoulders, "I don't think I want to leave this cave."
I wrapped my arms around her and sighed, "I don't think I want too as well...but...the Sith could still be out there. He hasn't killed anyone yet...we would know if he did. But...we need to leave, now Aayla."
She nodded, "right Anakin." She sounded professional, but something felt...off. Immediately I knew what it was.
"Ani...you can call me Ani." I won't ever admit it but...the nickname kind of grew on me.
For a moment, I think she hesitated, but then she smiled and spoke out the words, like a lover to one another, "Ani...I like it."
And without another word we both got on our feet and put on our clothes. We tucked our new crystals inside out pockets and walked out.
We reached the river again, and this time the entire ice sheet had frozen over significantly, allowing us to walk over it with the danger of the ice cracking.
The Force guided us as we made our way out of the ice caverns. Soon the ways started to seem more familiar, until finally, we reached the main tunnel.
"We're almost there!" Aayla cheered as we began to run.
I smiled, we did it, we actually did it! But as we ran, I felt something shift. "Aayla! Look out!"
The twi'lek heeded my warning ad we both listened to the Force with told us to duck immediately. We did so, just as a huge block of ice came flying over our heads and into the passage, blocking our way out.
I slowly turned around, and sure enough, there he was. Dressed in black with a hood on his head and his lightsaber out and ignited.
I gulped as I moved before Aayla, the girl's fear obvious. "Aayla...run," I whispered as I began walking forward.
"Anakin!" she hissed, but I ignored her.
"Run!" I whispered before turning to Maul and giving him my full attention. I didn't have my lightsaber, it was too great of a risk to bring it with me, then the jedi would have known I had stolen it from storage. But now...damn it.
"So...how's Sidious doing? That stump of his giving him trouble? Did he rip his dick off last time he jerked it?" I asked, a pleasant smile on my face.
Maul chuckled, "you have balls young one...my Master demands your alliance Skywalker. That is why I am here."
"Why are you so eager to let your master have another apprentice? Doesn't the rule of Two mean that one day I'm going to come for your head?"
"Oh how little you know," his orange eyes dancing in the shadows of his hood, "this is your one and only chance. My master has been patient, waiting for the one moment you have been off world. Join us...or die."
I looked at him, "I can honestly tell you...I would make a shitty Sith."
"I find one only needs the proper...motivation," his eyes went to Aayla. My own widened, but in seconds, he moved.
"Get away from her!" I yelled, sending a blast of Force energy at him, forcing the Zabrak to kneel to avoid being sent flying away.
"Foolish boy!" he cried out, swiping hsi blade, and suddenly a rush of energy came blasting at me, sweeping me to the side and into an ice wall.
I groaned, now that was new. I looked up, I saw Maul walk over, his blade shimmering in the snow, hissing the ice and melting it upon contact.
"My Master also ordered me to eliminate you if you so denied his offer," Maul explained, "so I'll ask you again. Will you join us boy?"
I looked at him and glared, "eat shit asshole."
Maul said nothing, snarling and swiping his blade down. I was about to e tyr and use the Force again to stop him. But then suddenly, in the last moment I heard someone cry out.
"NO!" Aayla threw the full weight of her abilities. And for the first time, the legendary master of the clone wars appeared before me.
She sent Maul blasting off his feet and to the side. He spun but planted his saber into the ice to stop his spinning. He looked up and snarled, the girl panting as she rushed to my side, both hands spread out protectively before me.
"I-I won't let you hurt him!" she yelled, her fear and doubts all pushed aside, bold determination took their place, leaving me in awe and Maul annoyed.
"Then you will die!" he threw his free hand forward and suddenly aayla flew up, holding her neck as she choked.
"No! Let her go!" I tired blasting him away, but the Dark side cloaked him like the robes he wore, my own abilities useless before him.
I grew desperate, Aayla's eyes started to blink rapidly, she was going to die, choking to death before me. Anger, hate, fear and love took over, I promise Jinn and the council members I wouldn't use this ability again...but it would seem now I can no longer keep that promise.
I threw my hands out and a rush of pink lightning came flying out. Maul's eyes widened in surprise for a second, and a second was all I needed.
He was sent blasting backwards as the pink lighting hit his body. "ARGH!" he cried out in pina and I kept the attack going, the Sith twitching in pain before slowly my elated emotions were drained, leaving me exhausted.
I put my hands down to my sides, panting as I turned to Aayla, the Twi'lek on the ground coughing as she rubbed her sore throat.
"Aayla!" I cried out in relief as I rushed to her side and helped her head up, "are you okay? Can you hear me?"
"A-Anakin?" she asked, her eyes beginning to focus back on me.
I smiled, "yes...it's me."
"No wonder he wants you so badly," I heard Maul say as he got back on his feet, his fingers twitching as he held his deactivated lightsaber in his hands, fury and eagerness in his eyes, ", your lighting is almost as painful as his! So much raw power in such a small thing. You would do well in the Dark side boy!"
"Yes, but with us he will remain," Aayla and turned and there they were, Yoda, Windu and Shaak Ti. The ice that blocked the passage had been carved open. Windu's doing I would recon.
"Jedi," Maul snarled.
"Sith," Windu replied as he and the others realize their bleed, the glow of purple, red, blue and green covering the cavern walls.
Maul looked at them all and then, he smiled, "next time," he took out a remote form his belt and pressed the button.
The entire top of the cavern exploded as suddenly the ceiling collapsed.
The ice over our heads came crashing down. I covered Aayla with my body, but Shaak Ti was quick on her feet, using the Force to push the ice away.
"Damn it! He's escaped!" Windu hissed as he rushed forward, yoda hot on his tail, obviously chasing after Maul.
"Initiate Skywalker, initiate Secular, are you both alright?" Shaak Ti asked as she helped us both to our feet.
"We're fine, the others, are they-"
"-They all are safe outside. You two were the last to arrive," Ti informed us as she took us out, where the other all lead waiting for us.
"There you guys are!" Kento suddenly called out as soon the entire Bluebird clan surrounded us, "are you okay?! What took so long?!"
"It's a long story," Aayla hissed, a glare in her eyes. Something no one except I knew to expect.
An hour later Yoda and Windu returned, empty handed. "Lost him in the caverns we did," Yoda explained.
"Skywalker," Windu called me out in front of all the Younglings, "what did he want with you?"
"He wanted me to join him and Sidious," I answered honestly.
"He believes I'm strong in the Force," I replied with a shrug, "which I am."
"I see...and how exactly did you manage to hold off a Sith lord for as long as you did?" Windu asked, though I knew he could already feel the answer, judging by the way I felt through the Force.
I looked at him, "Aayla was dying...would rather I did nothing?"
"You swore not to use those abilities again Skywalker," Windu narrowed his eyes, "and yet, in the first sign of danger you resort to the Dark Side," the declaration sending a ripple of gasps through the Younglings gathered in the temple.
"So...I was just exposed to let Aayla die?" I asked Windu.
"I expected you to act like a jedi, not a Sith," Windu replied before he walked away, dissing me outright.
I snarled, pissed off. Just then Shaak Ti's gentle hand rested on my shoulder as she smiled at me, "worry not Initiate Skywalker. Secretly, under all that bravado, he's proud that you defended your fellow clansman without a second thought."
I snorted, "yeah...well he sure has a way of showing it."
We soon were all pushed back into the Crucible and the ship took off into space, heading for Coruscant once more. Yoda gathered us all around the Northern part of the ship, which seemed to be some kind of storage room with several shelves filled with machine parts inside and a few working tables inside.
"Gain a crystal, you all have, next stage we will now begin," Yoda explained.
There was a sudden whirl of electronics as s droid suddenly came out from behind a dusty group of shaves, his body rusted and old. He was a very old model and had a pack with an extra pair of arms on his back.
"May I present, Professor Huyang," Shaak Ti motioend of the droid, "he will be helping you construct your lightsabers."
At the mention of Lightsabers the kids were quickly distracted. From their thoughts of almost meeting a Sith to a glowing light stick. Wow, no wonder the jedi are so strict with training, even now these toddlers are barely ready for the real world.
"These are the new initiates?" the droid asked as it observed us all with glowing yellow eyes.
"Yes Professor Huyang," Shaak Ti nodded.
"Hm," his scanners passed through me and then stopped for a second before continuing, "they have potential..."
Some were curious to see that their new teacher would be a droid. They began bombarding him with questions, all which the droid was more than happy to answer.
I however had another thing on my mind. It was rattling in my head and subtracting me, and I guess the Master around me could feel it as they sent me a curious look.
I motioned to the corridor outside and quietly we four left, leaving the Younglings to the droid's speech on how he helped create lightsabers for the Jedi order for the last thousand years, knowing every design ever made, all stored in it's data banks.
"What troubles you Skywalker?" Master Ti asked the moment we were alone
"It's something the Sith said," I told her, "he said...he said that he wanted me to join him and his master, despite the Rule of Two."
Windu raised an eyebrow, "are you saying that the Sith have dropped their creed?"
I nodded, "it certainly seems like it. I think Sidious is getting desperate, meaning we might have more than two Dark side Users to deal with."
"Hm...much is changing in these times," Yoda humming, "good thing you did, bringing it to us."
"Yes..." Windu narrowed his eyes, "when we return to Coruscant, we shall discuss your blatant use of the Dark side."
I narrowed my eyes and scoffed, "yeah, whatever," I walked away from them, my frustration clear.
As I walked back into the workshop I heard To speak, "he's getting stronger...and more protective about his fellow Clansmen."
"Formed attachments he has, close with Secular he is," Yoda human.
"He is far too stubborn to be a jedi," Windu observed, "and if we allow Qui-Gon to teach him I can't see him being respectful of the Order at all."
"Then a different trainer he might need," Yoda humming, "tell me old friend, desire to teach him do you?"
I was shocked at the statement, I know Windu always kept an eye on me, but I never suspected he ever wanted me as a Padawan. He always seemed too cold and distant, never caring but always judging.
After a brief pause, Windu replied, "he has potential...it would be well served on the side of the Republic."
"And here I was thinking you disliked the boy," Master Ti said with a soft chuckle, an audible groan from Windu gave out making me smile.
I imagined Windu as my teacher, maybe I could finally learn Form 7 and maybe...maybe I could actually flourish.
Qui-Gon was powerful, there was no denying that. But Windu was the Grandmaster of the Order and the greatest fighter and probably the best weapon we have against the Sith. So...the idea of being under him as a student isn't a bad one plus maybe I could finally get the fucker to lossen up.
I walked into the workshop, Huyang was finishing up his speech. Aayla immediately noticed me arrive and smiled, I smiled back as I stood next to her, my her sweeping over the back of her as for a moment her digits wrapped around mine before separating, it was far too risky.
"Now, we shall begin," Huyang stated too much excitement. "The first step to crafting a lightsaber is simple, the mechanical components," he waved his hand and a giant holographic image of a basic lightsaber showed up, it's various parts displayed and labeled, "use the force to chose your components first, then, we shall begin on your crystal."
Aayla and I were forced to split up, not that I minded, right now my head was filled with a lot of things, love for her being chief among them, but also a worry for the galaxy as a whole. And if I wanted to save them...I will need a proper blade.
I reached out with the Force for the pieces I needed. I already knew the type of blade I wanted to build, the same one I saw in the beginning of 'A New Hope'. The blade of Skywalker. The blade I saw save hundreds and kill more. It was a blade that stopped death, but also dealt it when needed.
I let the Force guide me, and I found the parts I needed with ease, the metal image of the blade helping me find it easier in the many many drawers in the shelves of the workshop.
Soon, I had the parts all lined up and ready. The Jedi were masters at the art of building a lightsaber, over the year I spent in the temple I had learnt what mistakes I had made while forming my first blade and corrected it in this model.
Soon we all gathered, the parts for our blade ready to be constructed. By now Shaak had returned and was waiting for us with Huyang, smiling at the sight of the many younglings before her.
"Now, we shall construct your blades," Ti explained, "but to do that, we must first tune your crystals to your Force signature. This is what causes the colour change in the crystal. Does anyone remember what each colour means?"
Kento raised his hand and immediately answered, "blue means your a fighter! Green means your a diplomat!"
Ti chuckled, "a very general assessment, but agreed. That is correct, blue means you are more attuned with the physical blade works of the Force while green indicates you are more suited for the role of a counselor."
"Master Ti," a small Nautolan girl squeaked out, "Master Windu's crystal is purple though, why is that?"
Shaak Ti smiled, "that's because Master Windu is a special case. Very well connected with the Force which allows him to understand and conquer the Dark side, while still remaining in the light."
Suddenly, I felt a pull. I blinked as the crystal in my pocket hummed alive. I took it out and looked at it, it hummed alive, I felt a connection to it awaken, it was calling out, begging to be used.
"Now, let us begin," Huyang ordered us into an individual work bench, sitting away from others, "use the Force to meditate on your crystal and your lightsaber. Allow it to gather around and assemble itself. Do not push it, no, you must guide it, for that is the jedi way."
I sat down in one corner, I looked over and saw Aayla in the other, her eyes on her crystal. She looked up at me and for a moment, she radiated confession mixed with love.
I groaned, I wanted to ask her what was wrong, but before I could, she closed her eyes and slowly, her crystal and blade parts started to levitate.
I sighed and began to do the same. I let the Force guide me, sinking into it's warm embrace once more like I have so many times before. I felt the crystal and saber parts float into the air and around me, slowly orbiting me like a ring of asteroids.
But I didn't really focus on them, no, I turned my attention to Aayla, the girl was radiating determination and focus. I felt her mind and suddenly, her words came into my head.
'I won't let him get hurt again, I refuse to be weak. I will be a jedi strong enough to protect the people around her...Force...if you truly are my parents, then please, help me protect the people I love.'
I understood her confusion, torn between what the jedi code said and what her heart felt. It was a difficult choice. But...her resolve was permanent and true, I drew away from her and returned to my own saber, my curiosity sated.
I focused, I closed my eyes and focused. And slowly, I felt the kyber crystal resonate with me, morphing as it demanded to be robbed in a causing of metal and power.
I pushed the parts around it, slowly the parts snapped together, spinning and locking into place until finally-
I snapped my eyes open and there floating before me was the silver lightsaber with the large black grippers at the end every Star Wars fan knew and loved.
I smiled, reached out and grabbed it.
"Well done Younglings," I looked up and Shaak Ti was sliming as slowly everyone got on their feet.
Kento was the first to ignite his blade, excited beyond belief as a blue blade shot out, cool! This is so amazing!"
Kan got green, the Ithorian cheering in joy at the sight. Slowly one by one every Youngling gathered ignited their blades, a mix of green and blue lights filling the room.
I turned to Aayla, the girl looked at her saber hilt and liked it. A bright blue blade shot out, she smiled at it before turning to me.
"It's beautiful," I replied.
"Youngling Skywalker," Huyang called out, "you have yet to ignite your blade?"
Soon the enter room turned to me. I looked to the blade in my hands and held it out. They all watched eagerly, but I already knew what it was going to be. I knew the moment Shaak Ti mentioned the colour and my crystal called out in recognition.
A single purpled blade out out in the room of green and blue. The Younglings looked at it in awe, Shaak Ti however just seemed to smile, a knowing smile that I grew to associate as a Force User's 'I knew it!' face.
I waved the blade, the purple stream it left behind was like singing to my ears. The blade resonated with me, called out to me in a way the Krayt dragon blade never could. This...this was my blade.
"That is so cool!" Kento cried out in joy, "dude! You're just like Master Windu!"
I grinned, "totally."
The next day:
After coming back form Ilum, we were all sent to our clans rooms to celebrate. The rules stated we all had to be in bed by 9, but, well, since it was a special occasion, the jedi allowed that rule to be bent a little.
"This is so amazing!" Kento cheered as he held out my purple blade, the others coin at the sight of it.
I huffed, "of course, what else did you expect, you've seen how awesome I am."
Kento rolled his eyes, "yeah yeah," he looked at the handle, "although the saber design could be a bit better. I mean it looks so basic!"
I rolled my eyes, "well we all can't have handles as beautiful as Aayla's." Which was true, her bald edesign was simple, yet elegant.
The Twi'lek girl smiled, "thank you Ani."
"Ani?" someone called out, "you guys have nicknames now?"
"Oh," Kento smiled in a teasing way, "is there a story you two want to share."
"No," I replied harshly as I summon my blade back, the plasma beam cutting out the moment it left Kento's hand, "if you fight and survive an encounter with a Sith, you tend to be on better terms."
"So it's true? You did see a sith? A real one?" a human girl named Flora asked.
Aayla nodded, "yes...we did. He had a red blade and felt...cold, colder than the ice caves."
"So they are really black," Man whispered as a silence came over us all.
I cleared my throat, "so, now that the Gathering is over, are all of you ready for the Initiate tests?"
"Oh yeah!" Marek grinned, "I'm so ready for the tests! I'm going to ace them and then Master Windu will have to take me as his padawan!"
"Actually, I think he would be more interested in training Anakin," Kan said with a smile as the others agreed.
"Oh come on! Why?! Because his lightsaber the same colour?!"
I chuckled, "no Kento...it's because I'm cooler than you." We all laughed, the boy grumbling in jealousy. I felt it, but...well, I doubt he would actually do something stupid.
After the small party we all went to bed, but I honestly had too much on my head to sleep. Sidious was making his moves and apparently, the Rule of Two was a thing of the past. Then was Windu...did I really want him as my master?
And then came Aayla..she deserved to be my number one concern, but now...with all of this going on she has been allocated to the third thing on my mind...damn it all.
I needed to focus, so I got on my bed and began to meditate.
Sidious is a problem I can't do anything about. I need to be a Jedi Knight to even have a say in anything the Jedi do. Windu is...he;s a decent enough trainer and I;m sure a great master, but he's not my master.
He and I are too different, he would never be able to connect with me and I would refuse to listen to him. No...Qui-Gon Jinn, the man who would release a slave boy from an abusive master, he was the man I would have training me. I knew it now, there was nothing Windu could offer me but power, but Jinn...he could offer me a true mentor.
And then...Aayla… the girl who I kissed. I had a suddenly flash, Padme in her royal robes, looking up at the stars from a balcony. She smiled as she closed her eyes and went into her bedroom.
Did I love her? The answer was...no, I didn't. Anakin Skywalker did, but now, the person I was now is not him. And yet, I find myself in a forbidden again. It seemed history did repeat itself.
I liked her, I knew it. And maybe one day...we can actually be something together.
With that done I looked upwards, moving from the Temple to the city outside, searching for the kids I considered friends that lived on the 1,000 th floor. I felt Tries happiness first, the girl always acting like a lightbulb in the dark. They were all in the base, sleeping. Happy and safe.
But then, I felt something else. Something calling out to me through the Force. A cry of pain. A loud and scared cry. Suddenly flashes of a building from deep down below came up. I saw a large pen, like the kind they store chickens in and I saw several people inside.
I then heard a voice, it was old, male. I saw a figure wearing dirty old robes holding a wailing baby in his arms. He looked up, pale green eyes looked at me, begging me, "help my son."
And I gasped. I opened my eyes, I was sweating heavily. I needed to do something, now. I can't sit back, not this time.
I lifted my cot and grabbed my red cloak. I then reached for my lightsaber and clipped it on my belt but paused. A lightsaber was iconi...a purple one was even more so. Literally only two people in the entire galaxy have it, Mace Windu and me.
I need my other blade. I snuck out of the temple, by now it was with practised ease, and made my way down the planet's many levels to the base to collect my saber.
I rushed down, using a industrial elevator to go down quickly. I raced to the base, it was dark inside and I didn't turn on the lights, the kids didn't need to know about this.
I made sure to be quite as I reached into the vents to pull out my saber, only for the nozzle of a blaster to be pressed against my head.
"Who are you?" I heard Que growl.
"It's me," I waved my hand, causing the girl to blink as the Force pushed her back a few inches, allowing me to remove my hood, "honestly Que, I thought you would recognize the cloak by now."
"Anakin? Oh...I-I'm sorry, I couldn't' tell," the Togruta lowered her weapon and groaned, "what are you doing here?"
"Don't worry about it," I replied as my lightsaber came flying out and into my arms. I grabbed it and tucked it under my cloak, "just go back inside and get some rest, you have work tomorrow yes?"
"Anakin," I turned to see Jory there, blaster in hand, "where are you going?"
"I said don't' worry about it," I looked around, the others were asleep, thank the Force.
"Are you going to fight someone?" Que asked cautiously, "is someone threatening us?"
"No Que I..." I sighed, "I got a cry for help through the Force. Someone is in pain and they need help."
"You mean someone like us?" Jory asked.
I narrowed my eyes, "worse...I think they're slaves."
Silence reigned between us three. And then, after a moment, Que spoke up, "then we're coming with you."
"It's too dangerous Que, I can't protect you and save them," I argued.
She and Jory held up their blasters. The Zabrak boy snorted, "we can take care of ourselves."
"-But nothing," he hissed, "if you're going out to help someone, then I'm coming with you. I'm not just going to sit in the sidelines and let you protect us Anakin. I'm sorry, I know you're probably stronger than me and smarter, but I'm not helpless."
I wished, "I never said you were…."
"Then it's settled," Que grabbed a holster for herself and Jory, "we're going with you."
I felt their resolve through the Force. They could not be changed. So I didn't bother, I just sighed and nodded, "fine...follow me, stay quiet and do exactly as I say, got that?" They did, and in seconds, we left for the elevator.
I went down even further than last time. We went down to the 900th floor, and then to the 700th. And then, the 500th.
"I've never been here before," Que qhispeed as we snuck through the crowded markets of floor 498, the stalls filled with hundreds upon hundreds of junk items that were being sold.
I actually found a few things I would like to look into, but maybe at a later date. Oh is the a 10,000 X micron fluid injection coil? I thought they stopped making that over a hundred years ago!
No! Bad Anakin! Focus on what's important.
"We're close," I told them as we stuck to the shadows, looking around the large level, going towards the trade district, which was highly notorious of being the black market region of the entire city planet. Even the Younglings in the Temple knew this.
"I hope so," Jory said as he narrowed his eyes at a few bandits that looked us over. I noticed them too, but ignored them, trying to focus on finding the call for help from before.
We crosse a few streets, and then went around a few times. I was getting a general location, but nothing concrete. Damn it!
"We have company," Jory suddenly spoke, motion in behind us to the bandits form before.
I smiled, "hm, I see...alright then, you two ready to show me what you got?" Que and Jory didn't hesitate to node, eager to prove themselves.
We went into an alley and quickly hide on an escape ladder. We waited and then the bandits came in, following us.
"Die!" Jory cried out as he sent blaster bolts at them all, getting a few while the others were taken down thanks too Que's sharp shooting.
Then there was one, who scrambled to try and run away. But I didn't let him. I held out a hand and lifted him into the air, summoning him to me and held him upright fifteen feet over the air as he choked and suffocated.
"I'm looking for slavers, where can I find them?" I asked in my best menacing voice.
"K-Kriff you," he spat. I felt his resolve, this was pointless.
I threw him away, he flew threw the air and crashed into a trash can, collapsing in a heap and groaning in pain.
"Well? Now what?" Que asked as we got down on the streets.
"Well," I looked over the bandits, "strip them, get anything useful and then we'll move on. If we don't' find them today, we'll check again tomorrow."
They nodded as they did just that. Living on the streets their whole lives made sure they didn't squirm from touching a dead body, let alone stripping them bare.
I myself checked on the body of a few bandits, finding nothing useful except a nice looking blaster that I took for myself and a small vibro knife that could be useful.
But then, I felt something change, "you bastards!" I turned, the bandit I had knocked out was on his feet, blaster aimed at me. He was about to fire, my saber flying into my hands as I stepped before Que and Jory.
A blue blade flew through the air, the bandits blaster arm was sliced off as he fell to the ground in pain. Suddenly I felt he Force ripple as he was sent flying into a wall again, and standing behind him were two cloaked figures.
A blue hand came out and the blue saber came into her hands. I gasped realising the saber and the hand.
"Aayla?" I asked as I lowered my hood. Que and Jory were on alert, similar to the two robed figures.
Slowly the robes' hoods were lowered revealing Aayl and Kento. I blinked, "w-what are you doing here?"
"We followed you Ani," Aayla ran to my side, concern all on her face, "what are you doing down here? Why are you even out of the Temple in the first place?" She then spotted Que and narrowed her eyes, jealousy seeping through her, "and who are theses people?"
"Aayla I…" I sighed, "I'm sorry...I should have told you but...I'm here because I heard someone cry out for help in the Force."
"What?" Aayla looked confused, Kento was shocked silent, both of them waiting for me to explain, with a sigh, I began.
"When we first began meditating I...I felt people crying out through the Force," I looked around, the bandits around us and the Black Market just outside the alley, "I had never felt anything like it before...I-I tried to ignore it, I tried to ignore them all but...i couldn't."
I turned to Que and Jory, "these are some of the kids I help...I've been sneaking out to help them survive."
"How many times?" Aayla asked.
"I...I don't know. Many."
"How did you never get caught?" Kento asked in shock.
"I was just careful..."
"And your here now...in the middle of the most viel floors on this planet, because you felt someone else cry out for help?" Aayla concluded, shock and wonder in the Younglings eyes.
I nodded, "yes..."
They were all silent, Jory, Que and I waited for the Younglings to do something...say something. I felt Aayla's emotions, they were a swirl of several things, but most of all...happiness.
She smiled at me and I smiled back, but suddenly, I felt a raging hate pierce my side.
"Are you crazy?!" Kento cried out, "you're a jedi! What would Master Windu think seeing you like this?! You can't just-just act so irresponsible! You shouldn't be done here Anakin! You have to come back with us right now!"
"Kento-" Aayla began, but Kento cut her off.
"No Aayla! We can't let him do this! If anyone finds out...we all need to go back, before someone notices we are gone!"
Aayla turned to me and they waited. I closed my eyes and sighed, "I'm sorry Kento...but no."
"What do you mean no?!"
"I mean I refuse," I opened my eyes, determined more than ever.
"Anakin! We can't be here!"
"Why the hell not?" I asked, "we are jedi aren't we? We fight for the innocent, we save people, that's why we train, every single day, we train. Haven't you ever wondered why Kento? This is why. To save those who are oppressed, who can't fight for themselves, this is why we fight and you want me to...to just leave?"
He was silent, for the longest time he said nothing before he spoke out, if you don't come with us right now...I'll tell the council what you're doing."
"Kento!" Aayla cried out, "that's too far! If you do that they'll throw Anakin out of the Order!"
Que and Jory turned to me, worried about my future. But I honestly did not care, because in that very moment, I felt a pull from the Force, it was showing me where the slaves were, their despair like a beacon, calling out to me, from the other side of the alley.
So now I had a choice, follow Kento and aayla back to the Temple or...turn my back on them, but figuratively and metaphorically.
It took me less then a second to know which was the right choice to make. I turned around and walked away, they gathered children gasping in surprise.
"Anakin! I'm serious! I'll do it!" Kento cried out.
I looked over my shoulder, "you do what you have to do Kento...and so will I. But just remember, if you do this...you will be more Sith the Jedi and nothing you ever accomplish in life will make up for the time you chose the rules and laws over common decency and life. That is your burden Kento Marek, you have been warned."
The boy was stunned as we left him, Que, Jory and alia following me into the alley. I didn't spare him a glance, I honestly didn't care what he did now, because I knew if I turned my back on the slaves crying out for help, I would never live with myself.
"Anakin...are you sure about this?" Aayla asked quietly as she followed us.
"I will never be the kind of jedi that ignores those who cry out for help," I told her, "I made my choice...damn anyone else who thinks it's the wrong one."
"But the Council...they might kick you out," aayla argued, her leku swinging sadly as she spoke.
I looked at her, she was following me because she felt obligated, but I could feel her desire to remain in the order. If Kento told the Council and Aayla was with me...she would be kicked out...I can't let that happen.
So then and there, I made a choice. "Aayla," I told her, "I need you to go to the Temple and call Master Jinn. Tell him...everything. He's the only one on the Council who will support me...can you do that?"
Her eyes widened in realisation as she nodded furiously, "yes Ani that might work! Master Jinn will protect you! He can make sure you wont' get kicked out!"
I nodded, "then go, make sure you tell him before Kento tells Windu. Hurry!"
She nodded, "I will," she leaned forward immediately, her lips went over mine as she kissed me for barely a second before pulling away and running out of the alley.
I blinked, I was honestly not expecting that. I turned around, Jory had his jaw dropped while Que's eyebrow was twitching.
"What?" I asked.
"You lucky bastard," Jory grumbled.
I snorted, "that I am...come on, we have work to do." As we continued forward I pushed all thoughts of the future from my mind...whatever happens, happens. Right now...I could feel those who needed my help cry out louder and louder.
I guided the two kids following me and we entered a shady looking alley. I stopped before a grilled metal door with a red light and a camera in front of it. Lucky we all had put our heads backup to protect us.
I closed my eyes, and immediately, I felt them. They were all there, right behind this door.
I turned to the kids, "we're here...are you ready?"
They nodded, drawing their blasters. I turned to the door and flicked my hand. Instantly the door was pushed back, blasting off its hinges.
"What the hell?!"
I walked into a dark tunnel, doors on either side as suddenly they were thrown open and out of each opening came at least two people, blaster drawn.
I summoned both my lightsabers into my hands, if Kento was serious, there was no point hiding anymore. With a hiss they were ignited, bathing the hallway in shades of purple and green.
"It's a jedi! Blast him!" someone cried out as they all sent blaster bolts right at me.
I moved, slipping into the many Shien forms I had grown to consider second nature. The green and purple blades met red, flashing through it all, cutting them off or deflecting them back.
"Argh!" some cried out as they went down, their own blaster bolts reflected back at them.
Slowly they all grew more and more desperate, firing randomly, standing out in the middle of the hallway, allowing Que and Joey to shoot them down immediately.
Soon, only five remained. I pushed them back using the Force, causing them to hit their head and fall back unconscious.
With the hallway now empty I turned off the blades and looked to my friends and nodded, "come on."
We ran through the hallway, searching the rooms for the slaves. It was the third door to the left that allowed showed us what we were looking for. A set of stairs leading underground.
"We're close," I told them as I lead the charge down. The stairs started to go around in a circle, an alien suddenly appeared with a blaster, he didn't even time to shout in surprise before I jump kicked his head into the wall.
We reached the basement, and there, I saw the pen from before. There were alien locked inside, the smell of feces hung in the air and the sight of the clothing they wore made me furious.
Que and Jory looked on in horror at the sight before them. I suspect they never realised this was even possible.
I walked over to the cages, I counted quickly. Ten...twenty...thirty...thirty five slaves. Their eyes slowly turned to me, looking, but not seeing me.
Some of them were women dressed in skimpy outfits, some men in rags with cuts and bruises. Some...some were children.
I walked over to the cage and slowly the slaves got to their feet, all looking at me with fear and worry. None of them saying a word. But then I noticed one was no standing, one was on the ground, holding a small bundle in his arms that was whaling.
"Gezo! Gezo get up!" another slave hissed, trying to kick the man awake, but he wouldn't move. He looked in panic at me, "I-I am sorry sir, but he does not seem to be awake. Please, forgive him. His mate passed on and he hasn't been eating well."
Suddenly the Force spoke to me. It sent me images of Gezo, he was begging for more food for his child, begging, praying. In the end the slavers gave him none. No, instead, they just served him a single meal a day. And left with no choice, Gezo chose to starve, feeding everything he had to his child.
And now, the man laid dieing on the ground, like a rat.
Slowly, the metal pen began to shake. "Is it an Earthquake?" Jory asked in worry.
Que's eyes winded, "no...it's not."
I felt my rage boil to the forefront of my soul. I felt pure unfiltered rage. I leaked the energy out and the world around me responded in kind, The slaves cried out in worry, scared out of their minds.
Suddenly a child's cry rang out, the son of Gezo. And he suddenly called out, "please stop, you're scaring my child."
I realised what I was doing and halted myself, cutting my connection so quickly I felt giddy format the action.
Immediately the room quite, the slaves, Que and Jory now looked to me in fear and worry and watched my every movement.
I reached for my saber and clicked it on, the purple blade bathing the cellar walls.
"Jedi," a female slave whispered as suddenly I felt a rush of hope come into their hearts. I felt disgusted, they thought the jedi had come for them, they didn't realise...they didn't realise that the jedi never would in a million years.
I swung the blade and cut the pen open. I stepped aside, "come out, we are leaving." The slaves rushed out, all of them bowing before me as they did. Finally, only Gezo and his crying baby was left inside.
I walked in and squatted before him, I turned off the put away my blade, looking down at the child, human, bright green eyes and black hair. I smiled, "he's beautiful."
"He gets it from his mother," Gezo smiled, looking up at me, similar green eyes looking at me, though these had seen far more death and pai than the former. "His name is Dan..Dan Koxo….can you...can you protect him for me? I...I don't think I am long for this world."
I nodded, "yes...I will make sure he's safe," slowly Gezo reached out and placed the child in my arms. The moment Dan fell in my grapes I felt the Force sing, the child, he was Force sensitive. That was how I heard his and his father's cries...it was because he was a force user.
"I knew you would come," Gezo admitted as he leaned back in the cage, his arms falling to his side, finally at rest from holding his child for so long, "I...my wife, her name was Cho, Cho Koxo. Tell him that won't you Master Jedi? When he grows up, tell him his mother's name...tell him she liked yellow flowers, bright. Tell him...tell him that she and I loved him more than life itself...tell him...tell him he was born a blessing. Tell him...tell him I love him."
And without another word, Gezo's head dropped to a side, his spirit one with the Force.
Dan cried in my arms. I looked down at the boy and I felt pity, sadness, and most of all...I felt fear. Fear all around me, from the slaves, from Que and Jory and form the baby.
From a baby. A new born baby, it knew fear. I felt disgusted. Qui-Gon and yoda were wrong, waiting to make a bigger impact? That would never work, not with the senate as corrupt and broken as it is.
Sidious didn't cause this...but he did take advantage of it. He knew an opportunity when he saw it, and while he may be the bad guy, that didn't make the Republic as it was right now the good guy.
I reached out with one hand and closed Gezo's eyes, "rest in peace Gezo Koxo...may you finally find peace."
The Force suddenly shifted. More People were coming, more slaves.
I stood up and walked out of the pen. The slaves, Que and Jory all moved away, giving me a wide berth. I held little Dance with my left arm, using the Force to surround him with comfort, while my right took out my blade.
The purple blade glowed again, "follow me," I didn't look back, I knew they would.
The door was suddenly thrown open, "everyone get back in your-"
"ARGH!" I didn't bother looking at the corpse behind me as I walked over him. Dan slept in my arms to the lullaby of many many slavers last cries of pain.
The slaves grabbed the guns and ammo of the fallen slavers, helping me kill them all. Soon I didn't even have to lift my blade any more, they all died in a hail of blaster fire.
They then stripepd the bodies of credits and used anything they could get their hands on to cover themselves.
We made out way through the building, going out into the streets once again. Que and Joey were right behind me, the Zabrack asked, "so...what now?"
I closed my eyes, the Force told me immediately. I opened my eyes and looked upwards. It was a public news broadcast hologram, they were mandatory on curusant, on every level.
This one was currently playing the arrival of the Queen of Naboo to Coruscant for the first time since her home planet had been under siege. It was a momentous occasion, and I suspect, not a coincidence. This was the Force at work, sometime...I wonder if it really does have a plan laid out for us all before hand.
I knew the way, I memorised it just in case. So I moved, the others following without comment, trusting me, I was a jedi after all.
We were stopped several times. Other rogues and criminals try to take advantage of us. But one look at my lightsaber and the armed thirty men and women behind me made them think otherwise.
We got into an elevator and rose into the higher levels where the Naboo senatorial building was located, the place where Padme was most likely staying.
When we walked out onto the 5,000th floor, many of the slaves gasped in awe. I stopped and watched them look around, blinking in shock and wonder.
"It's so beautiful," a twi'lek slave whispered, her eyes tearing up, "I didn't think I would ever see the stars again."
The other slaves all felt the same. Awe and excitement. However, I just felt shame. This was the same view I enjoyed every day for a year, while I ignored the cries of the slaves down below.
We continued, the sophisticated and high class people living here were curious, shooting the slaves strange looks. Some even tried to stop us. But one glare from me silenced them.
Soon we all reached the palance. However, the guards stopped us from entering. They were armed with blaster but only five in number. They were scared at the sight of our numbers, but more importantly, off me.
"H-hault master jedi!" one cried out, "what is your business here?! This is Naboo senatorial building!"
"I wish to see Padme Amidala, the handmaiden of the Queen," I spoke in class words.
The guards looked at each other, unsure. The brave one that spoke before continued, "I'm sorry, but it is late, I don't believe-"
"-You will inform Padme that I am here and waiting for her," I waved my hand, using the Force to cover their minds like a fog, influencing them, a skill I never used before, but by the way their eyes glossed over, I think it worked.
"I will inform Padme you are here and waiting for her," the guard nodded, "and what is your name Master Jedi?"
"Anakin Skywalker," I replied.
Fifteen minutes later Padme came rushing out with guards, dressed in very plain clothing, but beautiful nonetheless. Her hair was no made up and she had no make up on, I suspect she came as quickly as she could.
"Ani?!" she looked at me and then at the slaves around me in horror, "what's going on?"
I finally switched off my lightsaber and got to one knee, bowing my head before her, "my Queen...I need your help."
An hour later:
I sat on the couch, my eyes staring at the wall of beautiful Naboo art, depicting a lake shore on the planet. Que and Jory however were too busy staring out the window, gasping in surprise at the view they saw before them, overlooking the city below. They had never been this high up before...I doubt they ever will again.
The doors opened and Padme walked in, now dressed like her status demanded, like a Queen, white makeup with red lining and heavy eyes.
Que and Joey stiffened and looked on in silence, they had never even seen royalty before let alone be in the same room as one.
I however, had done both. I smiled and got to my feet, "have I ever told you how oddly appropriate those robes are on you?"
Padme smiled, "you jedi wear your robes, I have mine," she then turned ot Que and Joey, still stunned, "I believe your friends seem to be in a state of shock."
"They'll get over it," I chuckled as I sent them a smile before turning to Padme, "how have you been Padme? How's Naboo? I rarely get free time at the temple, I hope the Trade Federation hasn't been giving you any trouble?"
"No, no, nothing like that. They are...well, I won't say it has been easy, but we're getting back to a more stable form," she looked at my friends once more and smiled, "I'm sure you both must be tired, unlike Anakin here, who seems to be just a ball of energy. My handmaidens will escort you to a room to freshen up and get you something to eat."
The women in red and orange stepped forward and guided Que and Jory out, they bowed to Padme, still too stunned to say anything. And when they finally were gone, Padme turned to me, reached out and cupped my cheek.
"It's been only a year and yet...you've changed so much," she smiled sadly.
I looked down, "how so?"
I turned o the window, the city below lost all its splendor and appeal, now serving as a dark reminder at the horrors that could be going on just below.
"I felt them all," I told her, "for over a year...I felt them cry out for help through the Force."
"Why didn't you do anything?" Padme asked.
The accusation struck me hard and I felt shame, "Yoda and Jinn...they told me it was pointless..."
"Anakin...it's not pointless. Because of you, thirty five men and women are going to be free," Padme replied.
I nodded, "I know...I never should have listened to them...I should have done something sooner. I should have….I should have been smarter...because as far as the jedi are concerned, I'm nothing more than a selfish brat."
Padme touched my shoulder and leaned forward, a small chaste kiss on my forehead, "as far as I'm concerned Anakin Skywalker, you did the right thing."
I smiled, the words pushing off some of the weight I felt on my shoulders, "thank you."
"I've asked our senator to call for an emergency meeting in the Senate," Padme told me as she smiled down, "thanks to your efforts we now know just how rotten this world truly is. We cannot expect to clean the senate if the world around is just as rotten. I promise Anakin, I'll do whatever I can in my power to make sure something like this never happens again. Just do me a favour and stay here and don't' do anything until it's over, I might have to call you as a witness."
"Thank you Padme," I sighed, "and the baby...can you...can you make sure he has a home on Naboo?"
Padme nodded, "yes, I promise he'll be raised in a loving home. What is his name?"
I didn't even have to think hard, the same seared in my head, "Dan, Dan Koxo, son of Gezo Koxo and Cho Koxo." Padme nodded and soon left.
I waited in the palace like Padme asked me too and soon met Que and Jory in the dining hall for something to eat.
"Anakin! You didn't tell me you knew a queen!" Jory hissed as we sat down to eat.
I smiled and shrugged, "you never asked."
"I didn't think I had too! That's the sort of thing you tell people!" Jory hissed.
"So...are you and her..." Que raised a curious eyebrow, sending me a knowing grin.
I rolled my eyes, "no. She's just a friends, a good one."
"She would have to be if she just accepted you and thiry slaves into her home in the middle of the night," Jory snorted as he picked up a fork and inspected it, his eyes widening in shock, "is this real gold?"
"Don't even think about it," I used the Force and plucked the form out of his hands. Just then the holo screen that hangs over the walls of the dinning hall was turned on, displaying a senate meeting.
"Hm, I guess they're starting," I narrowed my eyes as I saw Padme begin her plea for the senate.
For an hour I watched her speak, pleading, begging and demanding action be taken. But, in the end. Over the course of the entire hour, there was no progress. The senate acknowledged this was happening in the lower levels and promised to bolster monitoring cameras around the area. But that was it.
Even with someone speaking for the little guy and speaking so well, it would seem justice would not be served today.
Padme returned broken hearted, the doors opened and she came in with her head hanging low, I'm sorry Ani...but they refused to do a thing."
I said nothing, instead I just reached out and hugged her, holding her close, "it's fine...thank you for trying."
She was a wreck, but she promised to make sure the slaves I had saved would at least be given freedom and a place on Naboo. It wasn't much, but...it was something.
Jory and Que went back home, excited to share stories of their adventure with the kids. Though I suspect Joey was excited because he got to meet a real queen. I'm sure he was never going to stop talking about that.
But while their ending was happy, I knew mine was not.
A Naboo gaurd dropped me off at the steps to the Temple. And sure enough, waiting for me was a furious looking Mace Windu, a bewildered Yoda, concerned Obi-Wan, a distraught Qui-Gon and Aayla and a smug looking Kento Marek.
"Skywalker...do you have any idea what you just did?" Windu asked, a snarl on his lips.
I looked at him and without blinking I responded, "I did what I did. Bite me," I only got a glare of contempt in response. He ordered me to follow him, and without another word, I did.
By the time the sun rose I found myself in the council room. All twelve seats of the council now filled and all twelve master looking at me. Obi-Wan, Aayla and Kento were standing by the side, the former two worried while the latter looked curious.
"You snuck out of the Temple, traveled to such unsafe areas and began a war with the underground market," Windu glared, "and what's more, you involved the Queen of Naboo, had her call an emergency senate meeting and sullied the face of the Republic! All while calling yourself a jedi! Do you not have anything to say for yourself?"
I ignored him, I ignored them all. Instead, I had my eyes on the horizon, at the sun slowly rising up to greet a new day on the planet.
"Skywalker?" Yoda humming, "nothing to say, you do?"
I looked at the sky, my eyes glued to it, "the sun is beautiful today...it's not often I get to see it rise from this height."
"Skywalker," Windu growled, obviously at the edge of his patients.
"Anakin," Qui-Gon called out, I turned to him and he looked at me in worry, "do you know what you did?"
I sighed and nodded, "yes...I do."
"Do you regret your actions?" Shaak Ti asked.
I shook my head, "no I do not."
"Why?" Plo Koon asked.
"Because...I know I did the right thing," I replied.
"You destroyed the jedi's standing with the senate, the senators all mistrust us now and or weary of us," Windu explained, "your actions may just give Sidious enough amination to kill us...for good."
"So you care more about how the jedi look to the senate then the people suffering around us?" I asked.
Windu narrowed his eyes, "it is not that simple Skywalker. We must look at the greater good."
I turned to Windu, I realise now it was not the council I was fighting, but him. I narrowed my eyes, "Dan Koxo."
"Who?" Kento asked, but got no response, only a glare from Aayla and Kenobi.
"Dan Koxo...he's the son of Gezo Koxo and Cho Koxo..he was born a slave. I took him from the dieing form of his father, he had killed himself through starving, feeding his son with all his meals, so he wouldn't die. Tell me Windu," I stressed his name, "is it right to leave a child in the hands of his dead father? Is that more than the greater good?"
"The life of one life-"
"It's not just one life!" I snapped, "it's hundreds! It's thousands! There are so many on this planet alone that-that are crying out! And yet you all close yourself off form their pain! Refuse to do anything! How?! How is that anyway right?!"
"Our position in the Republic allows us to do more then what we can on our own," Plo Koon explained, "we need to maintain that position."
"Only a Sith cares for Power over the lives of others Koon, are you a Sith? Or are you a fucking Jedi?" I hissed.
"Skywalker! You will show this Council the respect it deserves!" Ki-Adi-Mundi cried out.
"I will when it does something other than sit on it's ass and twiddle their thumbs, acting more like politicians then jedi! Who do we serve?!"
The master looked at me in curiosity. Yoda humming, "the Force."
"Then why the kriff do you care what the fucking corrupt Senate thinks?! If they want to kill us, fine! If they want to burn us, fine! But the moment the jedi place position over a single sentient life is the day we stop serving the Force and begin serving the Senate!"
"We serve all life and the Republic is a representation off all the voices in this galaxy. It is the Force in a way and if you cannot even understand that, then you have no place in this Temple!" Windu snapped.
The entire room was silent, eerily so. I looked at him and him at me.
Finally I nodded, "you know what...I think you're right," I took out the lightsaber I had built on Illum and threw it on the ground, "keep it. I'm done with this place. I'll be out of here by the end of the day."
I didn't wait for a response. I walked out, heading straight for the turbolift to take me back down to the storage rooms.
I broke in, like I did a hundred times before and grabbed all my things and put them in my bag. But as I did, I felt two Force signatures approach me.
I sighed and looked up from my chest, Yoda and Qui-Gon standing at the entrance, both sad.
"Packing already? Hm?" Yoda asked.
"I told you...I have no place here, I know that now. I'm sorry Master Jinn, but I did try, I really did."
"I know Anakin...I know," Jinn nodded sadly.
"Here," Yoda called out as he took out my lightsaber from behind his robes, "forget this you did."
"I don't want it...that blade belongs to a jedi...I am most honestly not one."
"Hm...maybe, maybe," suddenly, it floated into the air and began breaking apart, revealing the purple crystal inside. Yoda pushed the crystal towards me while eh reformed my lightsaber and put it away, "but that, most certainly belongs to you."
I took the crystal, it hummed through the Force, purring at me, "I...thank you." yoda nodded, "are you disappointed?"
"Not at you, no," the green puppet hummed, "at myself, I am. Wise words you said Skywalker, harsh, but wise. But...the jedi are needed...the Sith we must face. Afford to lose face...we cannot."
I snorted, "you're trying to beat Sidious at a game he's already mastered Master Yoda."
"Hm...leave the Republic, unprotected, we cannot," Yoda shook his head, "protectors we are...that is final."
"Then...I wish you the best of luck," I told him as I picked up my now packed bag and sling it over my shoulder, "I foresee many dark things ahead master...please, be careful. The Force does not choose sides, it just is. Balance will be achieved, but balance does not mean the absence of dark and light, but rather the coexistence of it. Remember that."
Yoda nodded, "that I will."
"So, where are we going first Anakin?" Qui-Gon asked.
I blinked, "y-you're...but-"
"Yes, I am," Jinn nodded, a smile on his face, "I promised you so long ago didn't I? If you leave, so will I. I will train you Anikin, maybe not as a jedi, but as someone who can bring about great change in this world. I'm sure one day you will do great things, and it would be privileged to help show you the way."
"But the council-"
"-Spoken to us he has, firm his decision is," Yoda hummed as he shook his head, "splintering the jedi are...worried I am."
"If you ever need my help Master, please, call," Jinn assured him.
"You mean, if you ever need our help," I spoke out, the two masters turning to me, "I may not be a jedi or agree with your ways. But I won't watch and let people die...that's not my way."
Yoda smiled, "then Chosen One, you may yet be," without another word he turned wand hobbled away, leaving me and Jinn alone.
"I'll be a while to pack my things," Jinn explained, "we shall leave in the hour Anakin. We'll then see about getting a ship to bring us back to Tatooine."
"We're going back home?" i asked in surprise.
Qui-Gon nodded, "yes. It will be the perfect place to train you. No go...I'm sure you have people to say goodbye too before you leave."
I walked out of the Storage room, making my way to the Bluebird clan dorms. I honestly didn't know what to say to them...sorry? Goodbye? But as I had my head down and filled with random questions, I felt someone stand before me.
I looked up, Aayla stood before me, her eyes red, she had been crying. "Y-you knew," she began, "you knew this would happen."
I smiled, "yes...I did."
"Why?! Why did you do this Ani?!"
I dropped my bag and wrapped my arms around the girl, she hugged me back fiercely, sobbing as we both held each other close.
"I...I was never cut out to be a jedi," I whispered.
"No...you are a jedi. More than me, more than anyone of those masters who kicked you out and definitely more than Kento," she spat the name.
"Maybe...but Aayla...I would have made a piss poor jedi. I would constantly break the rules, I would question everything and...I doubt I could keep myself from falling in love."
She stiffened, her arms weakening as she held me tight but moved her head back, looking at me with tear filled eyes.
"Let me come with you."
"I would have made a piss poor jedi...but you would make an excelnet one," I replied, "I just know it Aayla...I may not be a jedi, but you are. So...no, as much as I would love it...you cannot come with me."
"You think I can do that? Be a jedi? When I so clearly love-"
"-Aayla...please," I begged her, "don't complete that sentence. Because I promise you, if you do...I don't think I can keep myself from falling apart."
She hugged me against, "when can I see you again? I-I am going to be so alone."
"You will never be alone," I told her, "not when you have the Force...and," I pulled back and held out my hand, opening it to reveal a purple crystal shining inside, "not when you have a piece of me with you."
"Ani, I can't-"
"-You can...and you will," I pushed it into her hands, "our crystals came together...it's only fitting that they remain together...until we meet each other again."
The twe'lik looked sad, but at the same time, a sense of satisfaction and understanding came over her. She understood this wasn't my path and she realised she didn't have the character to walk it with me.
So instead, she just nodded, "until then...may the Force be with you Ani."
"And with you, Aayla."
She leaned towards me and I smiled as I felt her lips touch mine. I didn't want it end, her very preakness covering me, wrapping around me like a blanket. I threw away all concepts of time as I gave myself into the kiss, screaming for joy into the Force.
And I knew right then and there, I would most definitely see Aayla Secular again one day. And I couldn't wait for that day to come again soon.