A/N: Note the dates for this chapter below. 961 ARR/39 BBY (After the Ruusan Reformation; Before the Battle of Yavin; The Battle of Yavin year 0 happened 1000 years after the Ruusan Reformation, and counting up is just easier for me to wrap my head around than counting down and then up. So I am using this Galactic Calendar for myself. However, I will include the appropriate BBY years as well for all those that prefer that dating system.)
Chapter 1 - Purple Blade, Purple...Eyes?
961 ARR/39 BBY
"Why are we walking again, Master?" Depa asked, wrinkling her nose at the smell of of a particularly slimy being as it sludged along past them. Having earlier met with Chancellor Valorum who had requested a meeting with her Master in the Senate Building they were now making their way back to the Jedi Temple on foot.
Narrowing his eyes at her lack of decorum, Master Windu responded "Depa..."
She had the grace to look ashamed, "Apologies, Master."
He nodded then continued, "The Jedi are here to serve. Not just those in positions of power such as Chancellor Valorum, but the Force itself. We are the keepers of peace and harmony within the galaxy. Now you tell me, Padawan, why are we walking?"
She was quiet for several moments composing her reply.
"The Force is the unifying energy that connects all living things. So as Jedi we need to be able to work with and understand all sentients in the galaxy. Those who have power and those who do not. The only way to truly understand someone is to spend time with them. Even walking along as we are, we are able to gain some understanding of the people here on Coruscant," Depa reasoned.
"We too are people here on Coruscant. For all that we are different given our abilities with the Force, we are also the same. You would do well to remember this."
The two, Master and Padawan, continued making their way through the teeming throngs of people along the upper walkways of Coruscant in silence. Depa contemplating her Master's words and Mace enjoying the peaceful ambiance that was the raucous of thousands all clamoring on along the threads of their lives in the grand web of the Force. She noted they were just passing a spaceport when abruptly her Master stopped. Suddenly there was a sound like tearing lightning behind her and she spun around. Depa couldn't believe what she was seeing.
Several meters away a small child stood in a wide stance with her Master's distinct purple lightsaber ignited and held out aimed at them. A defiant look of challenge in his startling purple eyes.
"And what do we have here?" Master Windu slowly turned to take in their adversary. He stared in that resolute and rather intimidating manner that Depa often saw him use. It was a look that had caused senators and crime lords alike to falter. And yet, this child was not cowed in the slightest. As the seconds dragged on Depa looked back and forth between her master and the eyes of purple. A minute and momentary crinkling of his brow was the only sign that her Master was anything other than the cool collected image he presented. The moment eventually passed and time seemed to reassert itself.
"Apologies, Master Jedi! Hadrius! Return the Master's weapon immediately!" A lithe woman with dark grey skin and white eyes ran up to the boy. He looked back at her and hesitated before suddenly powering down the lightsaber and dropping his arm and staring at the burnished metal in his hands. The woman placed her hands on his shoulders and repeated herself. He tilted his head up to look at her before quickly ducking his head.
As the woman went to repeat herself a third time the child raised the hand grasping the saber and it rose out of his hand and froze in midair horizontally about a foot in front of his face. He lifted his head, held the hilt in his gaze for a moment before looking at Master Windu again.
Depa looked to her Master and relaxed as she saw him completely at ease with his hands folded in front of him. He nodded to the child and the hilt quickly zipped forward until it hovered in the air directly in front of the master. Who slowly reached out and re-holstered the hilt at his waist.
He began striding forward to the clearly mother and son pair. And the noise level suddenly picked up. It was only now that Depa realized they were in the center of a large circle. The crowds having stopped and quieted the moment the lightsaber was activated. Now that the action was done the crowds began to disperse. She hurried to catch up to her Master who was now conversing with the woman.
"My apologies again, Master Jedi."
Master Windu waved it off. "No one was harmed."
"My name is Lysanna, this is my son, Hadrius. We just arrived from Rattatak with my husband and daughter. We actually came to Coruscant to meet you. The Jedi I mean. Our world is—"
"Lysanna! What happened?"
A tall, broad shouldered male was making his way through the crowd to them. Depa could see his arms and upper body rippled with muscles as he swung a child up onto his shoulders to ease their passage through the crowd. The child appeared to be a female and looked a few years older than the purple eyed one before her.
"Everything is fine, Akacius. Come meet the Master Jedi and his apprentice," she replied.
Finally walking up to the group the Rattatakan man nodded in greeting first to Master Windu and then Depa. "I see you found one. Much quicker than I expected. We haven't even found a place to stay."
"Found one?" Mace inquired with a raised eyebrow.
"Yes, as I was saying, we just arrived from Rattatak in the Outer Rim. Our planet is remote and our people are constantly at war with each other and the other races on our world. My husband is a Battlemaster and I too am no stranger to bloodshed. But our children are different. My daughter Clio is not a fighter and is interested in music of all things. My son Hadrius as you have seen for yourself is blessed by the Gods. He can do things no one else on Rattatak can. We kept it a secret as much as we could. But that alone brought us almost more than we could handle. If we had stayed any longer we would have had entire armies hunting us down to take him and make him their champion. But even on Rattatak we have heard of Jedi. You could keep him safe and train him into a warrior we can be proud of."
"I see," replied Master Windu. "Allow me to go over a few things. Firstly, Jedi are not warriors. We train in combat, true. But violence is our last resort. Our duty is to uphold Peace in the galaxy. We are not soldiers. Second, we can help your son discover and achieve his full potential in the Force. But from the moment you give him into our care he will no longer be your son. He will be a ward of the Order until he becomes a Knight or joins one of the Service Corps. Attachments are forbidden within the Order and you will not be allowed to contact him ever again. To this end most children are taken before they are old enough to form strong bonds. How old is your son?"
"He just turned 4!" Piped Clio from her father's shoulders. "And I'm 6!"
Master Windu spared the child a rare smile before continuing "We do not generally accept younglings much older but 4 is young enough that in time he will be able to forget you, his family. To aid in this transition he will be given a new name upon arrival at the Temple. This will be his name going forward and his old name, like his old life will ultimately fade."
There was a stunned silence. Rattatak was removed enough from the Galaxy that this level of information about the Jedi was not known. Despite being fairly common knowledge.
"It is a decision of the utmost seriousness and should not be made lightly. We must return to the Temple. I will return here tomorrow at midday. You can use the time to consider whether or not this is the right choice for your family. I will also meditate on this and seek the guidance of the Force on this issue."
"Thank you, Master Jedi," replied Lysanna. Akacius nodded in agreement.
Master Windu nodded and glanced at the children. "May the Force be with you."
Then turning to Depa, who had silently observed the entire exchange, he began the walk back to the Temple.
3..2..1..Here we go
"MASTER! How did he do that?!" Screeched Depa from where she walked to the left and slightly behind her Master.
"Exactly 5 minutes… You're getting better at exercising your patience, my Padawan.
...At the slowest rate that could technically be defined as improving. Last time was literally 4 minutes 59 seconds. If I had any hair you'd be making it grey. Luckily for me I am bald. I do not look good in grey." Safe from her view Mace allowed himself a hint of a smirk.
"And to answer your question— the Force."
"URGH that's not what I meant Master!"
Enjoying his Padawan's clear frustration, perhaps more than was proper by the Code, he responded "Then you must work on asking the right question, my Padawan." Mace decided in that moment that this vice of his was unfortunately not something that he would conquer anytime soon and continued leading his Padawan back to the temple.
Just as they had finally reached the steps and begun to climb Depa had finally gotten her frustration under control and decided on the question she wanted to ask her master. "Master, how did that child manage to steal your lightsaber? You, the most renowned blade master in the Order, caught by surprise? How is that possible? You can see shatter points!" By the end she was almost shouting.
Windu rubbed his ear on that side with a finger to ease the sudden ache before responding. "That was actually three questions, Padawan. But you are getting to the heart of the matter. The child should not have been able to do that. He must have some innate ability with shatterpoint himself to have achieved it. Furthermore, when I reached out to him in the Force, I was met with something I'm not sure I understand. It was a shifting Force presence."
"I thought Force presences are fluctuating all the time based on any number of variables such as person's physical health, current emotional state, etc."
"This is true, Padawan. But those fluctuations are minor. The core of a person's force presence is more stable. Changes happen slowly over long periods of time. This was a constantly shifting presence. It was almost layered. A core with an aura. For a moment blazing and the next so muted as to appear to be a complete void. Projecting a void is a power the Ancient Sith were rumored to have. But I did not sense anything that I could clearly describe as the Dark Side. And this too, all in what was clearly a young child. Too young to even be able to harness the Dark Side."
By this point the pair had reached the entrance to the Temple proper. "I must meditate on this. I release you for the day Padawan. Attend to your studies and I will see you first thing tomorrow for our morning exercises."
"Yes, Master. Until then," replied Depa before making her way straight ahead to the archives deeper in the Temple. Mace stood and watched her go for a moment before heading to the lift on the side of the hall to take him up to the living quarters for the High Council and his personal meditation chamber.
Several hours later Akacius and Lysanna sat together at the little table in the room they were able to procure for their small family. The children were currently both sleeping peacefully a few feet away on the single bed. The room with its attached fresher were the only accommodations they were able to afford. Exhausted Lysanna leaned into Akacius and dozed off. Akacius though tired could not sleep and he thought back on the journey that had led them here.
Hadrius, his fearless little one, had in many ways been the quintessential Rattatakan child. Following him to the clans training grounds and wrestling with the other little boys or fighting with sticks as they mimicked the sparring Akacius did with his clan troops. Akacius had initially hoped he would grow and follow in his own footsteps as Battlemaster for the clan and help protect their people. But just over a year ago now Hadrius had first shown signs of being something different.
A group of weequay mercenaries had attacked their settlement. Akacius had been out training and Lysanna had related what had happened to their little family although he could still scarcely believe it. One of the mercenaries had entered their home and started firing his blaster. Lysanna taken by surprise was hit in the shoulder and just as he had fired another shot to finish her off Hadrius jumped in front of her and thrust his hands out. The blaster bolt hung suspended in the air between them. Shocked silence filled the small abode for a long moment. Before the weequay snarled and went to fire again. But in that moment the bolt flew back and impacted their attacker in the gut. Lysanna shook herself from her stupor and quickly collected the blaster from the corpse and herded the children into the bedroom at the back of their home before taking position at the front window and firing out on the raiders.
Akacius and the clan warriors drove back the raiders shortly afterwards. Upon returning home Akacius was relieved that his family had survived. His relief turned to shock and disbelief when Lysanna related what had happened. But in the days following the attack that disbelief crumbled in the face of his son's newfound abilities. The boy would pick up rocks with his mind and float them around the room. Throwing them away and calling them back to him. First with small gestures. Then without any gestures at all. The child would giggle and jump around while his older sister cheered and clapped. At first he too was awestruck. But he quickly realized that if his son's abilities became known then not even he, a respected clan battlemaster, would be able to protect him. So he and Lysanna made plans to leave the planet. Hoping that among the stars they'd be able to find a safe place for their children to grow strong.
Rattatak, as removed as it was from the greater galaxy and the presence of warring clans as opposed to a unified government, mostly used a barter system. They had managed to barter their way off the planet with Akacius working as security for a smuggler. His imposing stature and the two vibroswords at his hip got him the position with relative ease. In this manner they made it all the way to the Republic world of Kinyen in the Expansion Region. An agriworld on the edges of Republic Space, Kinyen was no stranger to sentients from the outer regions seeking work or travel deeper into the Republic. Thus it had a formal customs and immigration center that sentients could present themselves to in order to receive Republic-issue identification as well as local employment listings. There the family were registered as immigrants from the Outer Rim and both adults were issued work permits. They were all also given the standard galactic immunizations. Both Akacius and Lysanna were able to find work as farm laborers and for a period of 9 months the family lived on a remote plantation.
It was a tough time for the family. As initially Akacius and Lysanna only knew a smattering of Galactic basic and the children none at all. But being a point of entry into the Republic, Kinyen had programs for basic education regarding language and laws. Which both parents attended when their shifts were over. As many migrants also had children there were facilities in place for the supervision and education of the children during the day as well. It was here they learned of the Jedi, and that the strange powers Hadrius had continued to display were manipulations of the Force. It was also here where Clio discovered music and began practicing on an old slitherhorn she'd found in the plantation basement.
A peaceful world where the Jedi were known but had no real presence. Hadrius and his powers were found surprising by the other inhabitants of the plantation but not regarded with fear or suspicion. Thus they were able to stay and continue to build up their resources in peace as they figured out what their next move would be. In the end they decided that they should make their way to Coruscant to seek the Jedi's aid in training Hadrius. Clio had shown some musical talent and they would likely be able to find opportunities for her in or near the galactic capital as well. And while they both were glad to have their current jobs. They would both be better suited to the roles of bodyguards or security. Which there should be plenty of opportunity for in the capital as well. But it would be a long journey and they would need to save up credits.
And now here they were on Coruscant. A little more than a year since they left Rattatak. It was surreal. How much their lives had changed in such a relatively short time. Coruscant was bigger and more packed with people than he'd ever seen in his entire life. Part of him wanted to take his family and run. Return to familiar surroundings. Rattatak was dangerous. But at least there he knew those dangers and had spent a life overcoming them. Here they knew no one and as much as they had learned in their time on Kinyen, Akacius did not for a moment feel that that meant he knew everything about how to protect his family in the galaxy at large. It did not help that their little family was in danger of being torn apart. It was clear the Jedi would be able to help Hadrius. But to lose him forever in the process? Was that worth it? He wasn't sure. But maybe some sleep would give him answers. With that last thought and a glance at his children sleeping soundly in the bed. Akacius wrapped his arms tightly around Lysanna, leaned his head back in the chair and let sleep take him.
Hadrius walked briskly to keep up with the longer strides of the tall imposing figure beside him. It had happened quickly. He and his family had met the Jedi—Master Windu, he corrected himself— at noon outside the spaceport. His parents had many questions. Most he hadn't understood exactly. But eventually with strong embraces and the tears of his sister they parted ways. If he closed his eyes he could still see them. Could still feel his mother's arms. Hear his father's voice. A breeze blew and he could feel the dampness of his shirt at the shoulder where his sister's tears had fallen. He squared his shoulders and lifted his chin up. He was the son of a Rattatakan Battlemaster. He would become a Jedi. He would make them proud!
They walked for another five minutes before suddenly the great edifice of the Jedi Temple loomed up above them. Hadrius stopped and stared. Dwarfing every structure around it for as far as he could see. The lanes of Coruscant's air traffic giving it a wide berth making the difference in size even more shocking. He'd never seen anything quite like it. The long staircase, the many towers and terraces. It was beautiful. To think, this is where he would be living.
"Youngling, you will have other opportunities to contemplate your new home. Now come along. We have to get you checked out by the medidroids and then assigned to a youngling clan."
"Yes, Master Windu!" with a grin on his face full of excitement at this new beginning Hadrius ran to catch up with Mace.
His destiny beckoned.
A/N: Hi All! Welcome to Force Polarity! My first foray into writing fanfiction. I've been a reader for over 15 years. Figured it was high time to get my feet wet. There will probably be some rough patches early but bear with me, I've got quite the tale to weave. I welcome constructive criticism. My aim is to publish original fiction someday. If you enjoyed the chapter please write a review!