The Padawan stilled her breath, feeling waves of calm wash through her. The weapon in her hand was heavy; unfamiliar. She had been forced out of her dual-wielding comfort zone and she now had a double-bladed lightsaber in her hands. Completely aware of her body's reactions, she knew that she was in complete control of the situation. This was more than just a normal practice, however. It had felt different ever since they had started practicing. Kavar wouldn't tell her what he was planning, but she knew it was something big, and she wasn't about to screw up when she could sense the importance of this match in the air. This meant something major.

Reaching out with her Force enhanced sense, she could feel the presence of her opponent in front of her. His aura was, as always, steady and strong. She took comfort in the familiarity of her master's presence and activated the deadly blade. The glowing blue blades sprung forth from the twin crystals locked inside the hilt, humming softly in the Padawan's ears. Her crystal blue eyes snapped open, fixating on her master's handsome face. His gaze was fixed on her and she forced her heartbeat to stay steady.

For a few moments, master and Padawan stared at each other. Their time together briefly flashed through the pale skinned beauty's mind and she could hardly believe they had been through so much together. They were more than master and Padawan now. They were best friends, they were lovers, they were spouses, they were the other half to the other's soul. They trusted each other with their lives, and she could feel the strength of their bond in an instant. But now, now was not the time for such thoughts. Now was the time for truth through combat, truth through expression of movement, and truth through learning.

With a flash quicker than lightning, Kavar came after her, lightsabers hissing through the air. She quickly dodged and twisted out of the way, easily falling into the base stance for Ataru. Kavar was stronger than she was and had more experience, but she was smaller and faster and could doge him easier. If he scored one strike against her, she would probably be dead. She needed to wear him out, frustrate him enough to make him make a mistake. That would not be an easy goal to accomplish though. Kavar had years of experience over her that she didn't even come close to, and he had been in far more situations that required patience that she did not have. And, to make it worse, everyone in the enclave and temple knew that she was not the most patient Jedi to ever be. She liked to go after what she wanted and not have to wait. This was a different situation though. If she ever wished to be a weapon's master, she had to display an uncommon understanding of combat and what was required of her. And that required patience and the ability to predict her opponent's next move. If she was correct now, Kavar's next strike would go up, towards her head.

His twin blades came up in a deadly strike that would have severed her head, and only Tyla's quick reaction allowed her to spin her weapon up and clash with his. A small flare of happiness flared in her about the fact that she had been correct about her assumption, but she quickly quelled it. She could not allow her emotions or eagerness effect her. It could be a potentially deadly mistake. She made no room for mistakes. It wasn't even a concept for her. Once again predicting Kavar's technique, she could assume that he would try to use his greater strength to cause a break in her defenses. That was something that could not happen, or else she would be dead.

And Kavar did not disappoint her. He pressed towards her with all his strength, but her several years of training allowed her to not crack under the pressure. In fact, the Force flowed through her limbs and gave her new strength. She began to press back against his weapons as the weapons locked in the clash began to cause sparks, and the gentle humming began to grate against her ears as the sound changed. She didn't put her full force into the push though. If he choose to randomly move away at some point, it would leave her off balance and it would be very easy for her to fall. She smiled at Kavar and a faint smile tugged at his lips.

Tyla took advantage of his moment of distraction and swiped her leg out, knocking the weapon's master off balance. She shoved him away with a burst of the Force, further upsetting his balance. A flash of the future played across her mind and she deactivated her weapon and rolled to the side before coming up and reactivating her weapon.

One of Kavar's lightsabers at this point had finished the deadly arc it had created through the air, soundly landing back in his hand. For the first time, the Padawan realized, Kavar wasn't giving her any allowances or going easy on her. This was a true test of skill. The simple fact brought a smile to her face.

By this point, the double-bladed saber had already become an extension of herself as she fought and she had adjusted her dual-wielding stance for the humming, deadly blade. The blue light reflected back onto the Offshoot's face and she used the moment's pause in combat to plan her strategy. She was going to have to make some changes if she wanted to win this. Deciding that her speed was her best advantage, she decided that was her best chance.

Not waiting for Kavar to make the first move, she spun her weapon in a defensive motion, knowing that most of Kavar's strikes would be deflected by her momentum. It would leave her more defensive than offensive, but she had an advantage over Kavar. She was more capable in the Force than he. Another flash played across her mind and she spun around, swinging her weapon down low. Kavar barely managed to jump over her blow, only slightly avoiding having his ankles chopped off. She spun back and elbowed Kavar in the chest with all her strength. Unfortunately, her back was now exposed to her opponent. Without thinking she gripped her weapon with both hands and placed the saber behind her back. Right as she did so Kavar's weapons clashed with hers once more. She broke away from him and turned to look at him.

This time though there was no hesitation. They charged at each other and Tyla swung low once more, using his distraction to kick him hard in the knees but he was off balance once more. She built the Force within her as quick as possible, unleashing a wave strong enough to blow him all the way across the training room and into the wall. He fell to the ground, but Tyla knew that it wouldn't last long. He would catch his breath and be back up in action in no time. She jumped forward towards him, using the Force to propel her jump as she landed directly in front of him. He was ready for her though and pushed her back with a push of his own, but she didn't hesitate. She already had herself shielded and managed to deflect it back at him, using his own power to keep him down for good. She drew her lightsaber and pointed it at his neck and kept her foot on his chest in a victorious pose.

"I win." She smirked, looking down at her defeated master. He smiled at her and she deactivated her weapon and slipped it back onto her belt. She reached down and grabbed Kavar's hand as she helped pull him up to his feet. He kissed her intensely and pulled away, smiling at her brightly.

"You did fantastic Ty. You beat me using an unfamiliar weapon while I was using my best weapons. I think you're ready." He praised and Tyla tilted her head at him.

"What do you mean? Ready for what?" The Padawan asked, confusion in her silky voice. Kavar sighed and stepped closer to her, pulling her hands up and kissing them lightly.

"I think you're ready to become a Knight." Kavar explained. Tyla's entire body froze. Her, a full Jedi Knight? He thought she was actually ready for that step? Not that she didn't want it. She wanted to be a Knight more than anything. But she was still so young. She was just seventeen. If Kavar thought she was really ready though…She smiled up at him and nodded her eyes bright with excitement.

"Then I guess it's time for me to go through my trials."

Anything familiar belongs to LucasArts/Obsidian/Bioware. Tyla Moore belongs to Shadows of the Storm.

Beginning of the End © Shadows of the Storm