AN: Hello hello! Well you folks know the drill. I don't own Star Wars. The OC's are all mine as is the interpretation of the Force that I'm using for this story! hope you all enjoy the ride! Yes, I drew on a few of my own character traits when writing the John but this is NOT an SI... Just trust me. The lightsaber style was inspired by personal experience, and yeah, I can sometimes be a snarky, but not reliably. John's motivations, hobbies, job, attitude... This is not an SI or wish fulfillment. It's just a crazy idea I'm filling out as believably as I can manage.
Looking into the camera I blew out a breath.
"My name is John Kesel. I was eight when I started trying to dig through the archives for lost force techniques. The histories were full of holes, and vague mentions of abilities that showed up nowhere else. Sometimes we could even drag old forgotten legends out of the Masters."
"They all agreed we should be able to do more. But no one alive knew how. Worse, no one alive was interested in recreating those abilities. There were other Force sects who supposedly had their own abilities, people capable of things no Jedi could accomplish. But they were not our enemies, and they were not Jedi, so what did their abilities matter?"
"It didn't make any sense." I shook my head, trying not to let old frustration bleed into my voice too deeply.
"But the library had no information on the lost Force techniques. Maybe some of the holocrons did, but only the Knights and Masters had access to those. So, there was nothing. No information, no instructors, and no one even trying to find out. It was maddening. How could they not be interested? How could they not want to know?"
"I was ten when I started searching the holonet for anything and everything about Jedi, Sith, the Force, magic. I didn't learn much about the abilities that fascinated me, but I learned other things. I learned what the galaxy actually thought of us." And hadn't that been a slap in the face to discover.
"Most of it was good. But not all of it. Some called us kidnappers. And I realized that never having known my parents was strange. Plenty accuse Jedi of being elitists, or Senate lap dogs, or any number of other things."
"My biggest find was a paper written by someone studying to be a psychologist. They claimed Jedi doctrine with regards to emotions and attachments is inherently self destructive. They backed their claim up with numerous studies and facts. There's a link to that paper embedded below the video."
"I was eleven when I realized that even if I wanted to start embracing my emotions and learning to live with them… There was precious little to feel emotional about in the temple to begin with. If I questioned a master or disagreed, I was given a short lecture and told to meditate on it. Which was frustrating, and annoying, but didn't make me angry either. At least not then. Later it would, but it didn't then."
"Some of the girls were cute, but we were all kids. Thinking someone's hair or eyes were pretty was a far cry from love. Even then I knew that much." I grinned wryly. It was true. I'd wondered at first how much the difference really was, but I'd still known it wasn't the same.
"I turned to fiction. Every day I set aside some of the time meant for meditation to just read. I let myself be swept away. Excitement, sadness, anger, joy, even the barest glimmer of what love really meant to people. I would let the stories sweep me away, and then I would set it aside and meditate. I taught myself to live those emotions and then calm myself back down." I grinned wryly even as a few chuckles slipped out.
"It was poor training for the real world, but it was the best I could do."
"I was twelve when I realized the things I read about would never be allowed for a Jedi. I also realized that my changes were noticeable to the rest of the order. They didn't approve. No Padawan wanted to sit with me. No Master showed any interest in taking me as a Padawan. I had until I was fourteen, maybe fifteen, until I would be sent to one of the corps. If that happened, my life would be dedicated to growing food for an order that was rejecting me."
"For the first time in my life I was angry." I blew out a breath in a near hiss.
"One of the Masters noticed and pulled me aside. I explained to him why I was angry. As politely as I could. I kept a firm grip on my emotions so as not to lash out verbally. He told me if I was meant to have a Master the Force would provide one. And if I was not then the Force felt the corps was where I was meant to be. Every word he spoke was calm and empty."
"It was the first time I knew what rage really felt like. They took me from my family before I even knew what that loss truly meant, and now they were starting to decide I wasn't good enough for them. They thought I should just be happy with a life of doing exactly what I was told for no personal gain. It sounded an awful lot like being a comfortable slave, and the Master had the nerve to stand there and tell me if it was my fate, I should be content with it."
"I told him he had the emotional range of a teaspoon, the empathy of a slaver, and the tact of a battle droid." My grin was all teeth. "I threw myself into the simulators. If it had a hyperdrive, I learned how to fly it, and I made sure to have the paperwork to prove I could."
"I was fourteen and a half, roughly, when they came to kick me out of the order. It wasn't even anyone important, just one of the dozens of Masters that worked with the younglings."
I closed my eyes and let the memory sweep me away.
I took a deep breath squared my shoulders and turned to start walking away from the shuttle bays.
"Mister Kesel," Force, he called me mister, not youngling, mister. "Where do you think you are going?"
I stopped walking and took a moment to let my emotions run their course. I'm angry, I'm sad... but I'm not surprised. This won't break me. I won't let it! I turned on my heel and faced the Master fully again.
"Master, I am returning to my bunk to collect my credentials as a pilot, as well as to pack a few changes of clothes and toiletries."
"That is unnecessary. Your needs will be taken care off once you reach your destination, and the trip is only a day or two." The Master stated with a note of confusion.
I nodded. "And I have no intention of going there. Which is why I will need the spare clothes and the data chip with my flight credentials." I shrugged keeping my face carefully bland even though I wanted to smirk at the look of surprise on the Master's face. "The galaxy always needs pilots after all, and it's a much more appealing career than farming."
With a negligent shrug I turned on my heel and marched off.
Opening my eyes, I shook off the memory, and refocused on the camera in front of me.
"I actually made it out of the temple before anyone thought to confiscate my lightsaber, which was fantastic. Then I found a public library and applied to every local pilot, co-pilot and navigator position I could find. I spent a few hours loitering around bars to snag credits off of drunks with a bit of creative Force grabbing. Pickpocketing is of course illegal, but I needed credits if I wanted to eat, not to mention have a roof over my head while I slept. Part of me marveled at just how quickly I had thrown away my past life and morals in favor of freedom and practicality. But the rest of me just couldn't forget the heartache of being rejected."
I scowled for a moment feeling that old wound hurt like new before shaking it off.
"I was determined to find my own way. To do what I had always wanted to; try to learn lost, or just new, Force techniques. If I couldn't be a Jedi, I'd just make my own Force sect. Hell, maybe I'd even give it a silly name and invent a new name for the Force just as one more way to flip the Jedi Order the bird."
"Well that was then, and this is now. I like bouncing around the galaxy too much to slow down and start teaching. But I still want to get my last dig in against those idiot monks." I smirked at the camera. This was it. This was going to drive the old fools absolutely mad, and there wasn't a damn thing they could do about it. I'd plaster this all over the net and if they took it down, I'd just put it right back up.
"Truth be told? The Force is amazing. But, if you don't feel like spending most of your life meditating, or fighting for your life with a sword, when everyone around you uses ranged weapons because they aren't idiots… Really the Force is just an interesting hobby, or a cool thing you can use to win bar bets." I affected a disinterested shrug and tried not to break down laughing at the scandalized looks I could clearly imagine the Jedi would make when they heard that.
"A little helpful intuition at the saback table. Guiding a dart to hit just the right spot. Those are just the obvious ones. If you master the basics, then you can get creative. I once got five drinks in a row for using a spoon, to launch a knife into the air, before it would come down point first in a piece of fruit." I laughed at the memory. "Gentleman, if you're watching, I promise the next round is on me."
"So! If you'd ever thought you had a bit of Force potential, ever had reactions a bit too quick, or luck a little too good? Here's your first lesson on how to use the Force. Keep an eye out, because I'll be making more soon. For those of you who are interested in more than bar tricks don't get discouraged, those are just the basics." I leaned back and started going through the first simple lesson I'd decided on. Reaching out and feeling the Force.
Outwardly I was calm and serene. Internally I was all but cackling. The various Force sects all thrived on a sense of mystic that set them apart from the rest of the universe. I was going to rip that away and make the Force something anyone with potential could dabble in or commit themselves to without being beholden to some secretive group. It was petty, and spiteful, and I might be paving the way for Force wielding criminals. I was willing to accept that. This was revenge. It was also my attempt to force the Order to change. Maybe it wasn't my place to determine that thousands of years of tradition needed to change. But I'd lived their life, and I'd lived like the rest of the galaxy. Few Jedi could claim that. I had the frame of reference they lacked. Whether I had the right to make the call or not, I was making it.
I couldn't wait to see what happened next.