Disclaimer: Only Zim and her team belong to me (and Gale, kind of, because he kind of belongs to my sister too hehe). I don't own the star wars universe or anything else... you know the rest.
**I went canon with this and so Revan is female (yes, that is canon thank you) and the exile is male (of course he isn't actually exiled yet)**
I was born to a family of nobility. My mother was a wealthy noblewoman by birth as well. My father was a famous racer. I was told it was love at first sight. But I know better than to believe that, for there is no such thing. I never even believed in love until I was eleven years of age. The day I met him... I thought he was a dweeb. We were both students at the Jedi academy of Dantooine. We were taking totally different training courses, but somehow we had met during one of our free periods when most of the students were meditating.
I was taking a walk out on the plains nearby the enclave. There was a small waterfall that fed the stream that ran through the nearby settlement. Few people went out there on a regular basis. I was standing on the railing of the bridge, letting the spray of the water hit my face. Atris had always warned me not to go out on the plains because of the Kath Hounds, but I'd never listened to her. The one day she found me walking along the railing of the bridge she'd nearly thrown a fit, but for all her whining, that didn't stop me either. When I heard someone running up behind me, I expected to turn around to her blazing white hair and her endless reprimands. Instead I was greeted by the sight of a boy a bit older than me, running at top speed, waving his arms over his head like a mad man. I turned around to face him fully, squinting into the light so I could see him better. When I finally realized he was yelling 'help' I grabbed my lightsaber from my hip. Before I could activate it he crashed into me.
He scrambled to try and catch me, grabbing at my legs and the like, but that only made it worse, and I tumbled into the water. Thank the Force it wasn't that deep. I sputtered and sat up, coughing a little. The water covered my hips when I was sitting, so it wouldn't have even reached my knees had I been standing. He leaned over the railing and looked down at me sheepishly.
"I- I- Uh... Sorry..." I held up my hand to stop his pathetic attempt at an apology. He put his hands on the railing and jumped over into the water, sending a small wave over me. "Sorry! Again! I'm- I'm so sorry. I really didn't mean to..."
"Just... Stop..." I said holding up my hands again. He promptly shut up. I tried to wipe some of the water off my face and then examined my soaked sleeves. Blushing, he extended his arm to me. I sighed and took it. He was surprisingly strong for someone so clumsy and pulled me to my feet like I weighed the same as a feather. "Thanks..." I grumbled, letting go of his hand and removing my robe, which was thoroughly soaked. I threw it over the railing of the bridge and let it hang there. I grabbed onto the railing and swung myself back over onto dry land. The boy did the same.
"Why were you yelling?" I asked, examining the clothes that I couldn't take off, which were also thoroughly soaked.
"Well, I was being chased by-" That's when I regretted asking. The distinct call of a Kath Hound was heard, not too far off. "Uh, those!" He half yelled in a panicked voice. As I reached again for my lightsaber, he retorted with "I've got a better idea: Run!" He grabbed my arm and I had just enough time to grab my robe as he dragged me away from the scene.
If I hadn't been ladened down my all the water that clung to my clothes, I wouldn't have been surprised if my feet had never touched the ground as I was practically already flying behind him. I finally got myself situated and I was now running beside him, thanking everything I knew to thank that I was a fast runner, or else my hand would have probably been dislocated from my wrist, 'cause this guy wasn't slowing down. He didn't even stop at the academy doors. In fact, he didn't start slowing down until we were standing in the middle of the enclosed garden area of the academy. When he finally let go of me, I collapsed onto a nearby bench, trying to slow by breathing.
"Well!" I said after a few moments of simply staring at the boy and panting. He blushed and stared at his shoes, sitting down on the bench across from me.
"I'm sorry. Really. I didn't mean to do all this to you..." He mumbled. After a few moments more, I started laughing. I laughed so hard I nearly fell off the bench. His face turned a dark scarlet, which proceeded to climb all the way up and over his forehead and disappeared beneath his dark black hair, but he smiled and finally looked up at me. Still blushing he gave a small nervous laugh, "I, um, my name's Alek".
I wiped the tears from my eyes and extended my hand, "Zim" I said through the last of my giggles. He gently took my hand and shook it. From the overwhelming examples of his strength earlier, his gentleness came as a bit of a shock.
"That's kind of a strange name for a girl, but I think that's kind of cool" He said as he let go, the color in his cheeks starting to return to normal.
I shrugged, "At least my name isn't Fred, or I'd be screwed, don't you think?" He nodded and smiled.
"Zimithra! What in the blue blazes was that racket you just made all about?" Atris said as she bustled over to where we were sitting.
"Uh..." Was all I could say.
"Don't you "uh" me, missy!" she paused and surveyed my attire "Why are you all wet?"
"...Hello to you too, mom..." I said, squinting up at her distastefully.
She pursed her lips and looked down almost angrily at the puddle I had created with my dripping clothes. "Stop watering the plants and go change, please. Lessons are going to start again soon..."
I sighed "Yes, mother." I turned to Alek with a mischievous twinkle in my eyes, "Nice meeting you, Alek" I grinned and he stared back down at his shoes sheepishly. As I started to walk off, Atris stopped me.
"Zimithra Carlyn Lionsheart!" She screeched. I cringed. I didn't know what I'd done this time, but she only used my full name when something was really upsetting her. It was usually something I'd done. I slowly turned around to face the fire in her eyes and the steam rising out of her ears. "You were on the bridge again, weren't you?" She said slowly and angrily.
"No" I lied.
"Don't lie to me. I told you not to go out there! There's kath hounds and kinrath and graul!" She wiggled a finger at me.
"And iriaz and bols-" I responded, honestly trying to push her buttons.
"...And fabools and pikets..."
"...And brith and thunes..."
"And you can't forget the carnivorous snails, of course..." I listed off, using my fingers to keep track, secretly reveling in the waves of annoyance rolling off of my senior.
"Arrrgh! Just- just...! Go To Your Room!" She pointed off behind her toward the hallway.
I rolled my eyes. "Yes, ma'am..." I mumbled and plodded off toward my chambers. I heard her taking deep breaths and reciting "There is no passion; there is peace" over and over again. I was grumbling most of the way down the hall once I was out of her hearing range.
"She just thinks she can boss me around because I'm younger than her... Yeah, younger- by five years! Big difference! Note the sarcasm..." I mumbled to myself as I walked into my quarters and started stripping out of my wet clothes. I was down to nothing but my undergarments when there was a knock on the door.
"Gah! No, no, don't come in! I- I- I'm not decent!" I said in a panic, quickly grabbing a set of fresh, dry robes and wrapping myself in the over-robe.
"It's just me..." I heard a male voice say.
I let out a sigh. "Oh, ok..." The door opened and Kavar walked in. He smiled at me for a moment, then looked down at my choice of clothing and gave a mock frown of disapproval.
"You weren't kidding..." He said. He looked over at the pile of wet clothes on the ground. "You shouldn't leave those there or they'll start growing mold, you know," he said with a twinkle in his eye.
"Well, you can hang those up for me then, and I'll go change..." I suggested.
"Nope" He stated, "I won't do it. Not until you say please"
I sighed "Please, oh-ever-important big brother?" He grinned and nodded moving toward the pile. I grabbed the rest of my dry clothes and scurried off behind the screen that hid the refresher from the rest of my room.
"So, I heard Atris screeching at you from half-way across the academy. What did you do this time?"
I cringed again. My brother was about to become a Jedi master here at the academy. We had tried to keep it a secret that we were siblings, since a couple of the masters here didn't approve of excepting siblings into the same academy, but somehow they'd found out anyways. Atris was also being looked at to join the council. She could ruin everything for my brother simply by making me look bad. Atris and I had been friends since the day I arrived, but once she became a Jedi Knight, whilst I was still a Padawan, she decided to try and mother me and instruct me on right from wrong outside of my lessons.
"The, um, the clothes should explain the majority of it..." I told him a bit sheepishly.
"Hmm..." I heard the thud of wet clothes "I'm guessing you fell in the stream..." I finished fastening my belt around myself and walked back out, putting my over-robe back around my shoulders.
"Technically, I got pushed..." I grabbed my wet shirt from off the ground and helped Kavar hang it up over a thin piece of wire I'd stretched across the room for moments like this.
"I'm not even going to ask what happened..." Kavar shook his head as he pinned down my pants to the wire. He turned and looked at me. "Lessons are going to resume in just a couple of minutes. Go on, I don't want you to be late."
I stuck my tongue out at him. "I don't want you to be late, Zim, but don't mind me, I show up to everything late anyways..." I mocked him.
He grinned and gave me a playful little shove. "Go on, get" He chuckled.
I shoved him back and ran out of the room to the training grounds for my squadron. Yeah, that's right, I said squadron. I said I wasn't taking the same courses as other Jedi, didn't I? Well, that's how it worked. I wasn't like the other Jedi at the academy. I was practically one of a kind. I was put into training that would lead me to become a Jedi Ace- a fighter-pilot armed with the force. But that wasn't all.
There were two other groups like mine, so three in total. More or less, our existence was a secret. We were trained to work as a group, to think as one. We weren't given the same rules as the rest of the students at the academy either. Oh, we were told right from wrong, we were given moral values, but we were never told to follow them. We were never punished if we didn't stick by them. I was told I was a grey Jedi, but I didn't know if that was right, nor did I care. The good side to this sort of training was that it heightened our ability to read other's minds and talk without saying a word. We usually received dirty looks from our masters when we tried doing it while they were still instructing us.
The downside to our training: we were purebred assassins. Yes, I said assassins. That's why we were a secret. To the rest of the students, and the majority of the masters, we were nothing but a group of elite fighters, skilled in group combat. But someone had meditated hard enough and long enough to see the future. There was a series of wars coming that no one could prevent, and if the masters intervened directly, all that the republic had strived to protect all these years would crumble and fall to pieces. That "prophecy" said nothing about all Hell breaking loose if they took action indirectly, discreetly. So they chose us to fight for them. Assassination was crude, but effective, and since that was what we were trained for, obviously we couldn't apply ourselves to the Jedi code all the time. We all knew that once this war had come to pass, the masters would want nothing to do with us. We would never be able to return to what we had here or we'd be permanently cast out, and that would add shame to our names.
I strode into our courtyard just as the horn sounded across the academy that meant our free time was over. I was greeted by the sight of three of my squad playing keep-away from another of my teammates. Vanek jumped up and snatched a necklace as it went sailing over Aviel's head. He laughed and threw it to Lachelle. She grabbed it before Aviel could even hope to reach for it, and then she passed it to Jusa, the Twi'lek of the squad. Jusa passed it to Vanek again as Aviel ran towards the Twi'lek. Panting, he then turned to Vanek. Vanek tossed it back and forth between his hands, giving the Zabrak a taunting look. Aviel slowly walked toward the Human boy, trying to catch his breath.
"You want it back, Horny?" Vanek taunted, throwing the jewelry back and forth, back and forth. Aviel merely nodded and held out his hand, expecting his property to be returned to him. I was not shocked by the nickname, because we all called Aviel "Horny". We were kids, we found it funny. He got used to it and it stuck. "Too bad!" Vanek said with a laugh and threw it back to Jusa, who threw it to Lachelle, who threw it to Vanek, who threw it back to her, then she threw it back to Jusa. When Jusa caught it, Aviel was in such a state that he actually fell to the ground, either from dizziness or he was just too tired to go on with their game. Jusa threw it to Vanek, and he caught it, but did not continue the game. I walked into their circle and helped the Zabrak to his feet.
Aviel and I were the youngest in the group, and I was younger than he was. Lachelle was in the middle, Vanek a bit older than her, and Jusa oldest out of all of us there. We had another teammate, but he hadn't showed up yet. Lachelle and I were roommates, so we had quickly gotten sick of each other. Vanek, Aveil and I were the closest friends in the group. Aviel smiled at me as he regained his composure. We turned simultaneously and gave Vanek dirty looks. He walked over and handed Aviel his necklace back.
"I still don't see why you have this thing..." He said as a bit of a joke as he dropped it into the Zabrak's hand.
"It's a locket" Aviel explained.
"I can see that, Horns" Vanek said in his "no, duh" voice.
"It's the only picture of my brother I have" Horns explained further.
"...Oh... He dead?"
"No, but I don't know what happened to him. He got adopted and I went here"
"I forgot you were adopted..." Lachelle said approaching us.
"You'd forget your own name if we gave you half a chance!" Jusa said through his accent. Lachelle threw him a dirty look.
"Don't scrunch up your nose like that, Doll, it makes you look even uglier..." Vanek smirked. Lachelle gave a small gasp and backhanded his shoulder. Lachelle was always trying to look pretty, so she'd received two nicknames: Ugly and Doll. When we were in need of our codenames, she was "Doll". When we were poking fun at her, or talking behind her back, she was "Ugly".
"Hey! What're you all doin' standin' around here? The war's already started, in case you didn't notice, kids!" Our master said as he walked out to the courtyard. We all scrambled to form our perfect little line- just like soldiers. Master Rogen clasped his hands behind his back and walked our line, examining us each in turn as he did. He was a Jedi Weapon Master, so he was naturally the best choice to teach us combat. Since we lined up by age, I was last in line. When he came to me, he smirked and reached out to touch my short black hair. "Went for a swim, did you Zimmy?" He asked amused as he let my wet hair fall back into place.
"It wasn't exactly planned, sir" I clenched my jaw and looked away. He chuckled and turned around.
"Well, Zim dear, I'm sure you'll be happy to know that today's training will give you a chance to dry off a bit" He said as he walked over to a spot where all five of us could see him clearly. He frowned, surveying his group one more time, "Where's Tertuis?"
"Meditating..." Jusa informed our master.
Rogen quirked an eyebrow, "Still?"
Jusa nodded, "Yes sir. I doubt he even heard the horn"
Rogen hung his head and sighed, "If that boy spent half of the time in combat training that he does in meditation, I'm sure he'd be far better able to-"
"I'm here, sir" Tertuis announced as he walked into the courtyard and stood by Jusa.
"What've you been doing?" Vanek hissed at his senior after appraising the smug look on his face. Tertuis's small smirk turned into a grin, but he said nothing. He had a strange twinkle in his eyes.
"Eh-HEM!" Master Rogen coughed, tying to refocus our attention. We immediately snapped back to attention. "As I was saying, I set up an obstacle course for you kids over yonder," He gestured behind him, "I want you to split into two teams. Whichever team can complete the course first, using what you've been taught, will get some time off. The team that loses, has to do the course three more times. Get to it, kids" He walked off and sat beneath a nearby tree, pretending to meditate.
"That's Rogen for you... 'You go off and do all the work and I'll just sit here and not even bother to look like I'm doing anything'..." Vanek mumbled.
"I'm meditatin'!" Rogen called out from his distanced vantage point. Vanek just sighed and shook his head while Doll jumped.
"How did he hear you...?" She whispered, more to herself than actually to Vanek.
"He's a full-fledged Jedi, Doll, he can hear through the force better than anyone could without it..." Horns tried to explain. Doll's eyebrows knitted together in confusion and she tilted her head to one side, her blonde curls bouncing off her shoulder. Sadly, I had picked up this habit from her, but I had shorter hair that was always pulled back anyways, so I didn't look like an idiot when I did so.
"Are we going to make teams or are we just going to stand here?" Tertuis asked, leaning against one of the pillars that marked the start of the course.
Vanek immediately grabbed me by my elbow and pulled me toward him "I call Zim!" Doll walked over and hooked her arm with Tertuis's, batting her eyelashes at him playfully. Tertuis gently tugged on one of Jusa's head-tails as the Twi'lek was about to walk toward me and Vanek, but he complied and joined his roommate. Horns joined me and Vanek like he would have anyways.
Once in our teams, we turned to face our training grounds. It looked no different than it did from any other day. Debris littered our field. There were piles of scraped droids and computer parts, wrecked swoop bikes and malfunctioned landspeeders. There were crashed fighter planes and broken rocks jutted up from the ground in random places. When we were younger, it was like our playground. Now it was just a junkyard. Something was different about it today though. The air had a certain stillness that made the summer heat even more noticeable.
"Smells..." Jusa began.
Horns finished for him, "Kath Hounds"
"Fun" Vanek rolled his eyes.
"Have we suddenly become incapable of speaking in complete sentences?" Lachelle asked, shaking her head.
"Do you have a brain?" I asked without looking toward my roommate. I knew what her reaction would be, I didn't need to prove it to myself. "Something's moving around out there- and I don't think Kath Hounds go 'clank' so I'm guessing we've got droids..." I whispered to my boys.
Tertuis pointed across the field to a tall pole. It had an electrical current running through it. We could tell because every once in a while we'd see a blue jolt of electricity cackle around the ball at the poll's top end. "That's the finish line"
"Who ever shuts down the electricity first wins, right?" Vanek asked eyeing the poll.
"If you can..." Jusa snickered. Tertuis grinned at him as if they were sharing a private joke.
"Get going already!" Master Rogen called out. We pulled out our weapons and were off like a shot. Tertuis's team took the left while we went to the right. Had I been paying attention, I would have heard Rogen snickering as we ran off like blinded fools.