MistiWhitesun: Hehehehe yeah those computers are buggers sometimes aren't they? I hate them, but realize one can not live in this day and time any more w/o one. Well I guess you could...but a person would be missing out on a looooooot of things! Thanks for reading!!
Chandlia Jade: Thanks so much! I'm so glad you're enjoying it! Hope you like this chapter too! It's going to be a rollercoaster of emotions that much I'll tell you ahead of time!!
Here's the long awaited talk between Master and old Padawan!
I cannot take this anymore
I'm saying everything I've said before
All these words they make no sense
I find bliss in ignorance
Less I hear the less you'll say
But you'll find that out anyway
I find the answers aren't so clear
Wish I could find a way to disappear
I find bliss in ignorance
Nothing seems to go away
Over and over again
Everything you say to me
Takes me one step closer to the edge
And I'm about to break
I need a little room to breathe
'Cause I'm one step closer to the edge
And I'm about to break
"One Step Closer" Linkin Park
For the first time in decades, Jedi Master Talias Banz allowed his frustration to be visible. His ears were laid back flat against his head, fur bristling, eyes narrowed, and his claws were unsheathed from his fingers as he walked to the turbolift that would take him to his Padawan.
They have done nothing! And will say nothing to me about what has happened! They have neglected him! The growl from the Jedi Master startled a young Padawan that was coming off the lift at the same time the Bothan was getting on and the two nearly collided. The young boy bowed and mumbled an apology as he nearly ran from the irate Master.
Talias was oblivious to it all as his thoughts were centered on Lindoro.
Knight D'Lockens sat in the middle of the gray room. He had not bothered to program the room in order to have no distractions. What am I going to say? Where to start? I'm...I'm afraid of what his reaction will be. What if he...he becomes ashamed of me? What if he denounces me? Oh Gods! I could not bare that! He's all I got left... The agony ripped through his chest as a blaster bolt would a door.
Talias paused at the door as a wave of agony slipped through the bond that he shared with Lindoro. Though it had been quiet for a long time due to the distance between the two, it was still there. Though it was strongly shielded from the Knight's end, but being a Master for decades, the skills, and the closeness with Lindoro it allowed him to home in on the man's grief and pain.
The Bothan over rode the security lock on the door instead of signaling his arrival to the man inside. Needless to say, Lindoro did not hear his Master open the door. Talias' heart nearly broke in half at the sight he beheld.
Lindoro was kneeling with his head cradled in his hands, shoulders shaking under the silent sobs that wracked his body. His breath caught in his mouth as he finally felt the presence of his Master. A grief stricken and tear stained face looked up and locked gazes with the Bothan's furred worried and concerned face.
"Oh my Padawan..." Talias closed the distance between the two, falling upon his knees besides the tall Knight. He then took the full-grown man into his arms while sending his love and assurance through their bond.
Lindoro had not expected his Master to arrive so soon. As he tried to recover himself and come up with some excuse for his lack of control, the words from his Master took his breath away. For they had been heartfelt and softly spoken. When the Master embraced him, Lindoro could not hold back any longer. The pain and agony that had built up for so many years came crashing through the walls that he had crafted and erected around the penned up feelings. He began to ramble in between the sobs, not even realizing what he was saying.
"I'm so sorry Master! I've failed you! I'm a failure and unworthy of being a Jedi! Unworthy of being your...your Padawan!" The last few words were nearly drowned out by the agonizing pain that nearly drove the Knight to the ground due to it being so excruciating.
Talias held the man tightly as the Knight shuddered continually under the onslaught of his emotions. The Master had brought up a shield around them when he felt his Padawan's shields collapse, for the Knight could no longer maintain control of his own. The girl will sense it otherwise... The Bothan thought as he knew that Lindoro would never forgive himself if he hurt her in any way. If it weren't for the Master's knowledge of control, he too, would have buckled under the pressure of the pain and grief pooling from the Knight. So much pain and suffering! What have they done to my Padawan?! His anger rose slightly once more at the idea of the Council allowing anything to happen to Lindoro. How could they have let something like this happen?
"Lin...Lin listen to me. I am here now, son, I'm here. I will help you young one. Tell me, tell me what is wrong? What has happened to have distress you so?" Talias was breathless as he tried to keep the shielding around them in tack while soothing his old Padawan. "Please Lindoro..." He pushed gently when the Knight didn't reply. He felt the man stiffen in his arms and then look up into his face.
The man's face looked far older than his forty standard years and his eyes were lifeless and dull.
"I've wronged Master..." His voice was thick as he sat up slowly, reluctant to leave the Master's comforting embrace. "I've killed...murdered..." The gulp echoed in the silence of the room as he braced himself for what he thought would be the worst thing ever possible; his Master's wrath or the denouncing of him being his Padawan...or worse his son.
The Bothan was not prepared for those words. Yes he expected something bad. But murder? The Bothan took several slow breaths before speaking. "Are you sure they were murders?" His deep voice was soft with doubt.
"Yes, Master. And..." He paused as he lowered his head swallowing loudly once more. Here it comes... "And I took pleasure in several of the killings..." The last part was whispered so low that Talias had to flick his ears forward in able to hear it all.
"No..." Denial was evident in the voice as well as on the Master's face. Talias reached out and gently took the Knight's bearded chin in his hand, lifting the man's face in order to stare into the deep blue eyes. His claws had retracted earlier upon the sensing of the Knight's pain. The man's eyes shimmered with fresh tears as two made their way slowly down the haggard face and fell upon the furred hand of the Master.
"Is this true? You gave in...?" Talias could not finish the words as Lindoro's haunted expression answered the unfinished question for him. The Bothan immediately drew the man into a tight embrace once more. He maneuvered Lindoro across his lap like he used to when the man was a boy. Pushing the dark hair away from Lindoro's face, the Master's voice was broken under the emotional strain. "My Padawan...son...how could you? Was the pressure too much? Would the Council not talk with you? Did you not ask to talk with me? I'm sure they would have arranged..."
Lindoro allowed his Master to take him in his arms and move him onto his lap. He sighed as the familiar warmth was felt through the bond he shared with Talias. He was comforted once more by the Master's arms and love. He relaxed a little as the memories of his Padawan days flashed through his mind. But as Talias questioned him about the Council, anger began to tear its way through the relief and warmth, chilling him once more as it bit him hard in the mind. Scrambling off the Bothan, he cursed loudly.
"Sith take the Council!" His voice roared hoarsely as he stood away from his Master not facing him. He did not want to see the Bothan's compassionate face. He is only concern...he cares for me...Damn them all! Anger hammered through common sense as the past few days hit him squarely in the face and he began to tremble under the rage. "Yes! Yes I asked countless of times but they denied me! You have no idea what I've been through! No idea of what they have done to me! They don't trust me! They don't even care!" He paused to catch his breath as sweat began to bead on his skin and his eyes were ablaze.
Talias was taken off guard for the second time. He struggled to hold onto the shielding that threaten to buckle under the Knight's fury. So much anger...I've never seen him like this! Never! Tears welled up in his eyes as he watched his pride and joy tremble under the duress of rage. Focusing on the Force, he saw the light dim further as the grey in his aura darkened while it swirled around the Knight. Upon seeing the darkness, he couldn't hold back the tears any longer. The sob started from his chest and escaped the furred muzzle. "Oh my son!"
Lindoro's vision blurred as he began to see red, anger coursed through his very being, energizing him. Taking deep and slow breaths he basked in the pleasure of the feeling. But it was short lived at the furred Jedi's cry as it drew him away from the blissful moment. He whirled around to verbally lash out at his Master, but stopped at the sight of the Bothan's tears. Everyone knew that Bothans hardly shed tears and that it had to take something drastic to cause them to cry.
Lindoro's breath caught as a large lump formed in his throat. I'm such a fool! His tears...Menaria's tears... He suddenly fell down in front his Master, dropping heavily on his knees and laying forward upon the ground arms straight out and forehead touching the floor.
"I have failed Master, as both a Knight of the Order and as your Padawan. Under the jurisdiction of your title as Master you have the right to punish me accordingly. I am yours to do as you see fit..." His voice was gruff as he gave into the despair and guilt that he was feeling. I'm so tired of holding on...holding back. Please take my pain away...Gods...Force take me!
Talias witnessed the change of the Knight's emotions and the man's giving up. And for the third time he was taken back by his Padawan's actions. As the Knight threw himself at the Master, Talias felt the pain and heard the heartfelt silent plea.
Reaching out, he lovingly caressed the man's bowed head. "No...you have not failed all together otherwise you would not be here today my son. You feel remorse and regret, which a Darksider could never feel. No... you have not failed me though you may believe that you have done so. Yes, I am disappointed, but not with you. I am disappointed with the Council. How dare they allow this to happen?" He stopped to gather his breath. "Tell me...tell me what happened!" Talias' voice changed to the familiar authority tone that Lindoro remembered in his Padawan days. It left no doubt that he had to do what he was told to do.
Lindoro felt a weight lift off him as he took in what his Master had just said. He isn't ashamed or disgusted with me! And he still calls me his Padawan...his son! Joy filled his broken heart as he sat up quickly taking in his Master's concern and stern expression. He slowly pushed his hair back from his face.
"You...are not ashamed?" He quietly asked under his breath, longing to hear the words instead of seeing it.
"No Lin, I am not. You can not be held accountable for what you have done."
The Knight shook his head roughly. "But I can and I should!" He cried out as he got up from the floor. Lowering his voice he continued as he stared down at the still kneeling Bothan. "I wronged Master, and I am paying for it greatly. I should have never given into those feelings. But in my moment of weakness I did."
"Lindoro! You were not allowed contact with me. You could not work those problems out alone. Those issues should have been worked." A growl rumbled in his chest as he got up from the floor and headed for the door. "And I am going to discuss this with the Council right now." The words were grounded out through his clenched teeth.
Lindoro put a restraining hand upon the Jedi's furred arm, turning him to face the taller Jedi. "No Master...what is done is done. We can't change the past. We have to work with the future and we must focus on the here and now." Lindoro said quietly, his shoulders slumped. His deep blue eyes echoed the love he was feeling for the Bothan Master.
Talias looked up at his old apprentice and sighed heavily. "The Padawan reminds the Master?" He then chuckled lightly as the agitation slowly left him. "As you wish Lindoro, although I should still chew them out." He then looked further into the warm blue eyes and shook his head. "Look what type of influence you have had on me, Padawan. Now I want to go and defy the Council!" He 'tsked' 'tsked' several times then hugged the Knight once more. "I have missed you considerably, Padawan of mine." His voice croaked with emotion.
Lindoro's voice caught as well as he returned the loving embrace. "And I've you, Master of mine."
For the next couple of hours the two caught up on each others' adventures. Several times Lindoro was comforted by his Master as he relayed what he could of his last six years. Having to leave out the classified information only slightly bothered him, but Talias could make out the jest of what had happened.
"I can't believe that they allowed you to continue after the slaver's death. I would have thought..." The Bothan was shocked at what information Lindoro had given him, it wasn't much in detailed but the murders...
"The Council is blind, Master. They can't even see what is going on around them. If they do, then they are fools for not trying to stop it!" Lindoro felt the rise of his disgust mingled with disappointment and anger creeping back up on him.
Talias was confused. "What are you talking about?"
"Corruption. The Senate is corrupted from the inside out! And they are not doing anything about it! I am glad that Senator Palpatine is trying, at least he is concerned about the welfare of the Republic!" Lindoro took several breaths as he tried to rein in the fury that threatened to engulf him. What is wrong with me? Why is it getting harder to control...? Before he could think further, Talias cleared his throat.
"Corruption, Padawan? From where are you getting this information? And who is this Senator? The name sounds familiar...hrmmm." The Bothan rubbed his furred jaw as he tried to think back on all the Senators he knew.
"Corrupt Senators, Master. I've discovered a few while I was undercover that had secretly sanctioned slavery and other illegalities which I can not mention. There is a rise on the numbers of corrupted Senators. As for Palpatine, he's the Senator from Naboo." Lindoro stated as he wished he could tell his Master more, but the sensitivity of the issue was prohibiting him in doing so.
"Ahhh yes, now I remember him...elusive man that I remember." Talias then eyed his Padawan carefully, cocking his darkly furred ears forward. "You and he know each other, I take it?"
Lindoro nodded. "Yes, we meet a few days ago. He seems likeable enough and I am going on a mission with him in a few weeks that is Menaria and I. He requested Jedi assistance on an upcoming convention he will be attending for the Supreme Chancellor and he requested me." For some reason Lindoro couldn't help but feel pride in telling his Master of the upcoming mission. Pride...? He glanced away slightly, his brows knitted in confusion, but he wasn't allowed to ponder on it further due to his Master's rough barking laughter. He looked back Talias.
"You and a Senator! Well I'll be a wampa's fang! I never thought I'd see the day that you would willingly associate with a Senator!" His dark eyes shined with mirth. "I have to take note of this occasion!"
"Master...please." Lindoro chided the Bothan. "So I have one that I call a friend." He rolled his eyes at his laughing Master.
"He will indeed help you with your diplomacy skills then I'm sure." The Bothan chuckled some more and then looked sternly at the man. "Now about this attitude of yours with the Council..."
"I don't want to hear it or even talk about it." Lindoro's smile faded as his eyes simmered to an icy reflection.
"You should not mock them or insult them. They are who we look up too and..."
"No! They are not worth my time or patience!" He growled out as he turned away from the Bothan.
"Lindoro..." Talias started as he reached out to his old Padawan.
Lindoro shrugged the furred hand away. "NO! They don't trust me! They have assigned a Jedi to follow me where ever I go! And you want me to forgive and to forget? To think highly of them? Perhaps when I was a Padawan, but not any longer!" The anger peaked and caused his face to flush. "No Master, never again will I ever do that. I will obey them only because of Menaria..." He trailed off while slamming his hand against the console, programming the room to reflect as open and then he stomped out through the door. "I'm off to have lunch with my Padawan. If you wish to meet her, Master, you may come along. But..." He abruptly turned around nearly bumping into the trailing Master. "But do not mention anything of what we talked about in her presence, let alone bring up the Council." His voice laced with wrath, barely restraining the rage he was feeling as his eyes narrowed.
Talias could not believe that this was his Padawan in front of him. He just nodded and watched as Lindoro turned on his heel and walked briskly towards the turbolift. He had to walk quickly to keep up with the taller Jedi's stride. Following him...? They don't trust him? Oh Padawan...we will talk more later, we must. I have to find out what else is going on.
Neither talked on the way down to the dinning hall and as they entered the cafeteria, the two were still deep in thought.