Edge of a Coin
Written by Bubbajack
Disclaimer: I don't own any of the Star Wars, DC, or Marvel characters that may show up in this fic, I just own the plot.
Arc 1: New Perspectives
Ch.1: Welcome to the Galaxy Garfield Logan.
Pain and darkness that was all he knew. His name, the reason he was in the dark, even the reason for the pain escaped him now. All there was, all there seemed to ever be, was pain. It ripped and tore at him, never ceasing, never ending, and never letting him sleep or die. Then out of nowhere there came a voice, calm and soothing. It said "Do not worry Garfield Mark Logan; we are with you as we have always been. The Force, the Force is always with you..."
Next thing he knew there was a very bright light...
26 BBY, Four years before the start of the Clone Wars; Location: Unknown planet in the Outer Rim.
'I wonder why the Force has drawn me here. Whatever could it require of me?' thought Jedi Master Titania Fey, a seemingly beautiful twenty year old near-human woman with blonde hair, grey eyes, a lithe elf-like figure that was further enforced by her pointed ears usually only seen on Sephi.
The Jedi Master made her way through the dense underbrush on this unknown planet; she made her way into a clearing. Shortly after she arrived a midnight black swirling portal opened up, and deposited a screaming, green skinned, young man that was heavily bleeding from his amputated limbs, as well as his exposed chest cavity exposing his still beating heart and lungs to the open air.
Fay took all of this in as she rushed to the boy's side and immediately began drawing upon her immense connection with the force to heal the boy's numerous wounds. The moment she laid her hands on him to begin the healing process, she felt it, a connection to the force so strong, it made her's seem like a younglings' by comparison.
'Who is this child?' she thought as she redoubled her efforts to save him managing to seal his chest wound, and close the bleeding on the stumps where his arms and legs used to be.
Taking a canteen from her sash, Fay used some of the water to wash the blood and sweat off the boy's face and out of his hair. With all the grime removed she found he had a rather cute face that was still slightly covered in baby fat, with a fang that stuck out slightly from his lower lip.
'He's adorable. Who would do such a terrible thing to him though?' Fay thought to herself, before she blinked realizing what she had just thought beforehand and shook her head.
'How strange, I do not even know this child's name and yet, I already feel protective of him. Is this the will of the Force? Or is it simply my own want to have what is forbidden? A child and family of my own... Stop it Fay! You're a Jedi master, the Order forbids forming attachments for a reason; you know this...All your feeling is a paternal instinct to protect.' She scolded herself even as she absentmindedly stroked his grass green hair.
Garfield slowly opened his eyes, only for his breath to catch as he awoke to find what could only be an angel sat beside him stroking his hair as she stared off into space seemingly lost in thought. Garfield tried to mover his arm to get her attention, only to realize his arm wouldn't respond he glanced over to see his right arm missing just above the elbow. He just stared at the place where his missing appendage should be in horror for a moment unable to comprehend what he was seeing...when he did, he started screaming.
Being pulled out of her near meditative thought by a scream; Master Fay looked over to see the young boy was awake and had become aware of his lost limbs. Acting on instinct, she pulled him into an embrace and held him there while doing her best to calm him as he cried, even as the ground shook beneath her from his fear and anguish. After about five minutes, the ground quit trembling as the boy finally managed to calm himself down. After a few moments of silence, she felt him push against her and he held him at arm's length and looked directly into his emerald green eyes, which were currently full of confusion and worry as he asked "Dude, what the hell happened to me? And who are you?" He added as an afterthought.
She gave the young boy her sweetest most comforting smile and said "I am Jedi Master Titania Fay; I was drawn to this planet by the Force, where you were mysteriously dumped into this clearing by a black portal. After using the Force to seal up your wounds as best I could, I waited for you to wake up."
At the mention of a black portal it all came rushing back to him. Her jealously, then anger, the crimson tears and heartbreak, the loss of control, infinite amounts of pain...
"Little one, is everything alright? I sense much sadness in you right now." Master Fay asked concerned.
"Huh? Oh, I'm fine; don't worry about it. Could you put me down on the ground for a minute?" he asked distractedly.
After the Jedi Master complied with his request she was rendered speechless as he, with a mere thought regenerated his limbs using the Force. He then stood up and, dusting himself off he offered her his hand and smiled kindly saying "I didn't properly introduce myself did I? My names-"He paused for a brief moment before saying my names Garfield Logan, it's nice to meet you."
Fay smiled sweetly and took his hand gave it a light shake. The two stood and studied each other for a moment, until Garfield decided to speak "Umm not to sound needy or anything, but you wouldn't happen to have any spare clothes I could wear do you? It's kinda chilly out here." He commented while he rubbed his hands on his arms to stimulate warmth.
Fay nodded "Follow me to my ship youngling and we'll see what we can do about getting you some proper attire." She said before heading back to her ship.
Garfield smiled happily saying "Sweet!" Before becoming confused and asking "Youngling?"
Fay merely chuckled at her own blunder "I apologize for that. It is a term used to describe a child. My Order uses to describe someone who is young and has a connection with the Force and is undergoing training but has yet to train under a master." She explained.
Garfield nodded in acceptance. "You mentioned this order, Jedi wasn't it? Before and you said you that you were a Master. You also mentioned this Force a couple of times. What is the Force?"
Fay was silent for a moment, contemplating how to answer such a question, after several minutes she believed she had an answer that could satisfy the green child, and so she said "The force is the embodiment of life. As life exists so too does the force. It exists in all of us, and to those of us that are strong enough; we may reach out and affect the world through the force."
"Woah, heavy philosophy, dude." Garfield said in an awed tone.
"Indeed. What does that word of yours 'dude' mean?" she inquired.
"It's like a universal pronoun on my planet; you can call anyone dude, well almost anyone, and it'll be accepted as normal." He explained.
"Ah, I see." Seeing him struggle slightly over the terrain she lifted him up with the force and placed him next to her before saying "It's not much further now Youngling, keep going just a little further."
Garfield nodded gratefully "Thanks but you don't need to worry about me too much, I can pull my own weight." The changeling said puffing out his chest causing the Jedi Master to giggle at his 'manly' display.
"Indeed, I sense much maturity in you for one so young, though you choose not to display it, which is your choice. We all must choose when and if to grow up." Fay commented sagely.
This caused Garfield to look at her in shock for a moment before he smiled at her kindly saying "Thanks, all my old friends were constantly telling me to act more mature and grow up, but the thing is, I'm not ready to grow up yet."
Fey nodded "One does not rush growth, which could lead to things one is not ready for. Every tree, every animal, every lifeform develops at its own given pace. Do you force a tree to grow quicker than it is supposed to? No, you don't. You simply nurture it and wait."
"Wow, where did you hear that?" Garfield asked as they finally made their way to her ship, which was vaguely in the shape of a stingray to Garfield.
Leading him up the hatch she answered "The force reveals many things, even dreams can lend one great insight. Here, you can wear these until we can get you some proper clothing of your own." She said reaching into a locker and handing him a tan robe and brow over coat as well as a pair of slightly worn if sturdy looking leather boots.
"Thanks Master Fay." He said giving her a nod and a smile.
The Jedi Master returned the nod saying "Your welcome Garfield, I'll leave you here to change while I prep the ship for takeoff alright?" she said while making her way towards the door.
"Sure, thanks again!" he called.
As Titania made her way down the hall a thought occurred to her, one that made her turn back around and walk back into her quarters unannounced... and walked in on Garfield just as he was about to pull on the robe she gave him. She noticed he was thin yet well-toned for his age, and when he turned around at her sudden intrusion she got a good look of his fit green washboard abs. Titania Fay couldn't help but stare, until Garfield asked "Umm did you forget something?"
She shook herself out of her trance and, after taking a minute to compose herself, she said "You don't need to address me so formally you know? It's not like you're my padawan or anything. So please feel free to just call me Fay, or Titania if you like." She said while not making eye contact with him as she didn't want him to see her blushing.
"Oh, alright then, thanks for the heads up Fay." She could hear the smile in his tone which made her smile unconsciously.
When she realized what she was doing, she thought. 'I need to stop this! I need to get away from him for a bit and meditate, let the force guide me on these feelings.'
Hearing a final rustle of clothing, she turned around to see him fully clothed in the items she gave him. He looked every bit a Jedi Knight just then, standing there in old leather boots a tan robe with a matching colored sash keeping it closed, and to top it all off the dark brown cloak. Garfield looked at his appearance as best he could till he just decided to ask "How do I look?"
"You look dashing Garfield. You look every bit the handsome Jedi knight, you'd best be careful or the young girls will swarm all over you." Fay told him; ignoring the odd pang she felt when she did so.
Garfield rolled his eyes "Yeah, right; I dunno if you noticed Fay but I'm green! What kind of girl would fall for me?" he asked self-loathingly.
Sensing his pain, Fey stepped closer to the young man and putting her hands on his shoulders said "Nonsense Garfield. In the Republic, having green skin is no different than having pale or orange or blue skin as there are many different species of that are a part of the republic. You'll fit right in." she assured him.
"Really?" He asked hopefully.
Fay nodded "You never know, the right one for you could be right in front of you, just stay optimistic alright?"
Garfield grinned and nodded "By the way, where are we going?"
"I'm not really sure, the Force has yet to lead me to my next destination." The blonde Jedi master replied.
Garfield rose an eyebrow before he asked "Then why are we taking off if you don't know where you're going next?"
She had to admit, the youngling had a point. Crossing her arms over her chest she smiled and decided to humor his as she asked "Where do you think we should go? I have about a weeks' worth of food if we split it between the two of us, and the nearest planet I know of is ten days away even with a hyper drive. So, where do you propose we go?"
The Jedi Master felt, for a brief moment a swell of negativity come from the young man before her, but it was swiftly covered up by a wall of bliss as he said "Don't worry about that, I can easily go a week and a half without food. I've had...plenty of practice in that department." He whispered the last part to himself.
Unbeknownst to the changeling Titania heard what he said, but it was obvious he didn't want to talk about it, so she let sleeping Rancor's lie. Instead, she merely nodded and said "In that case, if you're sure you can go without a meal for so long then I'll prep the hyper drive."
"I'll be fine, don't worry about me." The boy responded before he asked "What's the closest planet called anyway?"
"Mandelore, it's called Mandelore." She responded.
The Green teens' eyes lit up in excitement "What's it like?" he asked.
"Well from what I've heard it has jungles, forests, oceans, deserts, and is inhabited by all different manner of alien species.
'Ah, so it's like Earth then except even more diverse.' Garfield thought. Aloud he said "Sounds cool, let's get going then shall we?" he said while offering her his arm.
Fay smiled at the offer and accepted thinking now would be a good time to give him a tour of the ship. As they walked she explained what various areas of the ship were and what they were used for, and even designated a spare room of his own that he could use room until they got to the cockpit where he took his seat in the co-pilots chair.
After a moment of silence in which she prepared the ship for takeoff he asked "So this ship is nice, what kind of ship is it anyway? Assuming there are different kinds of course."
Fay nodded silently as she finished the takeoff sequence, once the two were in space however she answered him "Yes indeed there are many variants of spaceships this ship in particular is a modified cloakshape starfighter used by the Jedi Order called a Whitecloak."
She glanced at Garfield to see a curious look upon his face. "You have another question?" she asked.
Garfield smiled slightly "Well since you asked, does this ship have a name? Where I come from, it's common to give ships names."
Titania shook her head in response before saying "No, it doesn't. Why, do you have a name in mind?"
Garfield scratched his cheek nervously "Well back home on my planet they had this play, and in it there was a group of magical creatures called the Fae which were ruled by a king and a queen. The Queens name was Titania. She was said to be the most beautiful woman in all of existence-"Gar paused, upon realizing what he'd just said, and looked at the floor, unable to meet her eyes.
'Wait to say something stupid and embarrassing Gar! She probably thinks your weird now!' he thought to himself fearfully glancing over to find her merely staring at him curiously, as if waiting for him to continue.
"And what was the King called?" She asked after another moment of silence.
"Oberon, the king was called Oberon. So what do you think? Would Oberon be a cool name for a ship?" he asked.
Her response was to smile warmly at him and say "I think it's perfect."
"Really?" he asked surprised.
She nodded "Why yes, why do you ask?"
Garfield shrugged before his good mood seemingly deflated "Well, it's just that, back home people I considered my friends usually considered my ideas crazy or stupid and they mocked me more often than not."
Patting him on the arm reassuringly she said "Well it seems to me that your friends either didn't understand you, or they were never really your friends to begin with."
Garfield sighed "Ya know what you're probably right. So, care to tell me more about that Force thing you were talking about earlier? It sounded pretty interesting."
"Just a moment." she said before she typed a set of coordinates into the ship computer before activating the hyper drive, and sending the ship rocketing into space. That done she turned to the young man and asked "What do you want to know?"
"Well you said you healed my wounds using the force and that it somehow guided you to me. So is this force sentient and can anyone learn how to use it?"
Fay took a moment to answer when she did; Garfield could tell she was very careful about what she said, as each word was carefully thought over before it was pronounced. She told him that "The force is sentient to a point, yes and like I said before the force exists in all living things on all worlds so in a sense it is omnipotent, it is what many beings would refer to as gods or deities from various forms of religion. Do you understand?"
Garfield blinked as if in a daze for a moment before asking "So everything I've been taught since I was a little kid was wrong? There really is no ultimate good or evil force in the universe?"
"That's not exactly true; the force is...how do I put this? The force is the driving force behind all of creation, both good and evil creatures alike. It is up to the individual to decide whether they are good or evil. The force itself is neither and both as it can be used for great good or great evil depending on the will of the individual. And if you let it, it will guide you down the proper path in life, ignore it and give in to your passion, anger, and fear you will fall to darkness however. This is why the Jedi Order teaches all padawan to suppress their emotions as they lead to what is known as the Darkside of the Force. Do you understand what I'm trying to say?"
Garfield scratched his head, trying to make sense of it all "I think so; too much of a good thing is bad basically right?"
Indeed, now as for training you-"She was cut off by the young man saying "But that doesn't make any sense."
The Jedi Master gave him a confused look before she said "I'm sorry, but I'm afraid I don't quite understand what you mean."
The Changeling sighed looking downcast before he elaborated "I had this friend once, and she, was an extremely powerful telekinetic and empath. Ya know someone who can move things with their mind and feel other people's emotions?"
Seeing the older woman nod he continued "Well, her powers were tied directly to her emotions the more she felt, the more things got destroyed. She had to constantly emotionally repress herself so as not to be a danger to others, she meditated constantly, but when her control finally slipped something terrible happened."
"What?" Fay asked almost afraid of the answer.
"I ended up a quadriplegic in the middle of nowhere on a backwater planet." He deadpanned, referencing his original condition when they first met.
"Oh, oh I see. But does that mean that you shall surrender yourself to your emotions?"
"Pff, hell no, that's no better than feeling nothing at all." The Changeling scoffed.
'Ok, well he is certainly no up and coming Sith Lord, but if he refuses to repress his emotions and refuses to give into them, then what shall he do?' The Jedi Master thought to herself before asking him as much.
Garfield pondered his answer for a long time when he finally spoke, what he said was so obvious it couldn't have been anything other than genius "Well, since I know from experience that feeling nothing is bad and that also letting your emotions control your actions is also bad." He said while thinking of Raven and his Beast form respectively for a moment before he continued "Then I guess I'd choose to seek balance between the two states."
"Balance?" she asked hoping he would elaborate.
Her new shipmate nodded before doing just that "Yep balance, like walking on a tightrope I suppose. I would neither suppress my emotions but nor would I allow myself to give into them. That way I could feel passion, love, and even hate, but as long as I kept myself in balance, and don't let the emotions I allow myself to feel consume me, I think I should be ok. Everything in moderation ya know?"
She had a feeling that the young man in front of her may well just be onto something new and extraordinary. But she decided to test his convictions and see how he would answer an age old question.
Smiling slightly she asked "Tell me Garfield, which one of these codes sounds more correct to you? There is no emotion, there is peace. There is no ignorance, there is knowledge. There is no passion, there is serenity. There is no chaos, there is harmony. There is no death, there is the Force. Or-"
Fay paused as if trying to remember the other option before she recited "Peace is a lie, there is only passion. Through passion, I gain strength. Through strength, I gain power. Through power, I gain victory. Through victory, my chains are broken. The Force shall free me."
The green teenager blinked for a moment or two before he said "In all honesty, I don't like either one of those codes as each one promotes either feeling nothing or feeling everything each to the upmost extreme, and like I've been saying if I had to choose, I would choose to balance myself."
Fay nodded accepting his answer before she asked "Then if you did in fact walk down this path of balance what would your code be?"
Gar 'hummed' for a good long minute before he said "Through Passion, I gain Peace. Through Knowledge I gain Strength. Through Serenity I gain Power. Through the Force I gain Victory over Death. The Force shall free me."
It was simple yet oh so eloquent. It combined both the teachings of the Jedi and the Sith codes perfectly into a single cohesive and easily understandable doctrine, and in doing so had the potential to 'bridge the gap' that had existed between both sides of force users since time immemorial.
'This child, no this young man, has in a matter of mere hours after meeting me, inadvertently created a way for both Jedi and Sith ideals to peacefully coexist and without even really trying! If he can solve an age old philosophy issue in a matter of moments, what else is he capable of?' she thought in wonder while keeping her face neutral.
Over the next ten days the Jedi Master began training the young changeling in the use of the force. She was completely and utterly shocked at the rate at which he progressed. Apparently due to constantly being around an empath, as well as being raised by a telepath, he had learned how to empty his mind as well as hide his emotions from an early age. As such, within a matter of six days he had almost mastered the basics of the second of the three pillars' of the force being that of Sense. However, some abilities still eluded him the reason being that he simply wasn't the type to sit still and meditate for very long. The first pillar, which was of Control, seemed to be innate to him as he demonstrated his body naturally seemed to heal from even the most severe of wounds reversing itself back to a non-injured state with merely a thought. She had decided to hold off teaching him most of the third pillar that of Alter. As most of those skills, if used improperly inside a spaceship could have disastrous results.
'What is he; no one in the twenty-five thousand years of the order has progress this quickly! He's mastered abilities in a matter of days that has taken me centuries to learn! I need to test his midi chlorian count as soon as possible.' She vowed as she watched him effortlessly levitate several ball bearings in an aerial display around him forming a double helix as they rotated around his body.
"Hey Fay?" He asked getting the Jedi master's attention.
"Yes Garfield, what is it?" she asked distractedly.
"You told me that Jedi use those lightsaber things right? Well when can I start training on how to use one?" he asked eagerly with stars in his eyes.
The Jedi Master chuckled to herself at her padawans' enthusiasm before she admonished "You'll learn how to use a lightsaber in due time Garfield. For the time being however, just focus on strengthening your connection to the force."
He frowned slightly but nodded. He was silent for a good twenty minutes before he said "Fay?"
"Hmm?" she said letting him know he had her attention.
"You once told me that force users sometimes are given visions of the future through dreams right?" he asked nervously.
"Have you seen something Garfield?" she asked concernedly.
'Ah crap, now she's worried over nothing probably.' He thought to himself. Not wanting her to be concerned over nothing he brushed it off saying "Look, it was just a bad dream nothing to worry about ok?" Seeing that she wasn't convinced he added "If it happens again I'll tell you all about it alright?"
Upon hearing this, the Jedi Master nodded albeit hesitantly.
'I have a bad feeling about this...' she thought to herself.
'This place reminds me of New York City.' Garfield thought as he and his master docked The Oberon at the docking bay on Sundari the capital city of those calling themselves New Mandalorians, which reminded the changeling of that one comedy 'Bio Dome' as the entire city was covered by a black dome. From what Fay had told him, it was there to regulate the climate within and help the city survive in the white hot desert they called home. Sundari was a city covered in concrete, glass skyscrapers, and a constant flow of traffic. Though to be fair, most of the traffic was up in the air as all the vehicles' was flying in midair.
'Still, that can't be good for the environment.' He thought.
He was pulled out of his thoughts by the voice of a woman saying "Welcome to Sundari Master Jedi."
He looked over and saw a woman almost six foot, with blonde hair, in a navy blue dress and accompanying headdress which he secretly found slightly ridicules' striding towards them with a kind smile plastered on her face.
'Ok, not the weirdest outfit I've ever seen but its' up there.' He thought to himself as the woman and his master exchanged pleasantries.
"And this is my padawan Garfield. Garfield this is the leader of the New Mandalorians Duchess Satine Kryze."
Giving the woman his best smile he said "Hello ma'am how do you do?" before giving her a kiss on the back of her outstretched hand which she probably intended for him to shake.
"Oh my, what a gentleman you have here Master Fay." Kryze responded as she took her hand back.
"He didn't learn that from me Duchess." Fay responded ruefully.
Garfield just shrugged "Well what can I say? The ladies love me."
This caused the two older women to chuckle at his antics before Satine led the two Jedi towards their transport a rather fancy looking hovercraft that was likely Satine's personal transport. Once the three were seated in the posh interior the Duchess asked "So, what brings you and your padawan to Mandelore Master Fay?"
"Our ship was in dire need of resupply and Mandelore was the closest planet I could think of." The Jedi Master replied.
The duchess nodded in response before turning to the changeling and asking "How long have you been apprenticed under Master Fay Padawan Logan?"
"About ten days after she rescued me off an unknown planet in what she called the Outer Rim." He replied staring out the window all the while.
Satine blinked in surprise before asking "You mean you weren't trained at the temple on Coruscant?"
Garfield shook his head in response still looking out the window as he responded "Nope, never even been there. In fact, never even knew there was such a thing as a Galactic Republic till ten days ago. On the planet I grew up on, we consider getting to our moon and back without anyone dying horribly in the process quite an achievement."
"Oh, I apologize." She said feeling awkward.
For the first time since sitting down in the hovercraft Garfield locked eyes with the Duchess as he said "What for, it's not like you caused anyone's death or caused me to end up here did you?"
"Well, no I suppose not." Satine responded.
"Word of advice, don't apologize for shit you didn't do. It doesn't do anyone any good and all it really does it make the person your apologizing to think your pitying them, and some people may get pissed at that." He told the New Mandalorians' leader.
Satines' eyes widened in shock before she began to apologize again; only for the changeling to raise his hand and silencing her and pointing out "You're doing it again, right now."
Satine opened her mouth to argue before closing it and merely nodding in response to which Garfield smiled slightly his fang protruding from his lower lip before he went back to staring out the window. After a few minutes of silence Satine dared ask "What is it that you find so fascinating out there Padawan Logan?"
"All the vehicles." He said pausing for a moment "They're all flying. It's not like back home. Back home all the transportation drove on the ground. I mean we had some flying things planes and shit, but nothing like this...I feel like a stranger in a strange land or a fish thrown out of water and left to cope."
It was then that both women realized the young man before them was suffering from culture shock. It was one thing to have things explained to him, it was quite another for him to see it firsthand.
'Oh, great job handling your apprentice Fay.' The Jedi master berated herself before she slid on over next to him and place a hand on his shoulder before asking "Are you going to be ok Garfield?"
Slowly hesitantly he nodded "Yeah; I should be ok, but whenever we get to where we're going, I seriously need to get ahold of the most recent copy of a history book and start reading."
"Oh in the Galactic Republic we have something much better than books Garfield." Satine said smiling happily.
"Like what?" he asked.
"You'll see soon enough." She replied mysteriously as the transport stopped in front of an elaborate mansion, obviously the duchess' residence. Satine led the two inside and after going down several hallways which were furnished with everything from paintings, to rugs made out of various materials that Garfield had never seen before they finally came to a stop at an elaborate set of doors where Satine turned around and faced the Jedi, more specifically Garfield smiling at him as she said "Welcome Garfield to my library, here you can learn all about the galactic republic and numerous other things as the entire building has access to the holonet." She told him while leading the way into a room filled with...
'Cd's?' Garfield thought to himself.
"Umm Satine, not that I don't enjoy good music or a game every now and again, but how are these disks gonna help me learn anything?" he asked.
"These aren't computer disks Garfield these are holodisks. They record a holographic projection of a person who's talking about a particular subject. As I'm a political leader these holodisks hold information on everything from people and places in the galactic republic along with their customs and homeworlds, as well as the political climate of ages past; as if one cannot learn from history one is doomed to repeat it." Satine said sagely.
"Umm cool, ok then. Where do I start?" he asked still very much confused.
Fay stepped forward sensing her disciples' unease. Putting a hand on his shoulder reassuringly she said "I would suggest you start with an abbreviated history of the republic and then, learn more about each individual planet and its people as you go." She suggested.
The green-skinned padawan nodded uncertainty still in his eyes though lessened.
"Better let me get started then." He said as he sighed rolling up the sleeves of his robes as he did so.
The two older women then left him to further his knowledge of the galaxy but not before Satine informed him that if he required anything to use the intercom and call for service. That done the Jedi Master and the Duchess left the changeling to his task.
The two women walked silently after leaving young Garfield to his studies after a moments silence Satine asked "Has he really only been your apprentice for a week?"
To which the almost elf-like Jedi responded with a nod "Not only that, but when I found him he was in horrible shape, his limbs Satine, they had been torn off him! His chest cavity too was exposed I could see his heart and his lungs I managed to heal all his injuries with the force, but...by the force who would do something like that to him?!" she questioned.
Seeing her friend in duress Satine patted her back and said "It'll be alright Fay, he's fine now. Though I must say, you did a remarkable job healing him legs arms chest cavity and all." She said approvingly.
The Jedi master shook her head at this saying "I didn't heal his legs or arms; I merely healed his chest wound and stopped the bleeding in his arms and legs. Garfield did the rest himself." Fay hesitated before she continued "He regenerated his arms and legs through innate use of the force Satine and, once I started teaching him, he learned almost everything a youngling needs to learn to become a padawan in a matter of ten days! The boy is a prodigy of untold skill in the Force and he doesn't even realize it."
Satine looked at her friend concerned. "You mean you haven't told him yet? That could be harmful towards you in the long run couldn't it? I mean he's supposed to be able to trust you completely, isn't he?" the Duchess questioned.
Now it was the Jedi master's turn to look worried "Do you think I should tell him Satine? The only reason I don't is because I don't want him becoming arrogant because of overconfidence and then dying because he thinks he's invincible."
Kryze nodded "I see your point, but if he finds out you knew and didn't tell him..." she trailed off.
"He likely won't trust me again after, that I know." Titania responded as she slumped against the wall in defeat.
Satine merely looked sadly at her friend saying "Sometimes we hurt the ones we love."
Slowly, the three century old Jedi nodded "Yes, yes indeed."
A green Peregrine Falcon winged its way away from the duchess's palace, making a bee-line for what could only be described as the seedier parts of the city. As he flew Garfield couldn't help but think about what he'd accidently heard his master and the duchess discuss.
'So I'm some kinda force prodigy huh, and somehow this is related to my ability to shapeshift. Urgh! Why does everything have to be so damn confusing?! Why can't it just be simple for once?' he asked himself as he landed in an alleyway and shifted back to his normal form before pulling his barrowed cloak over his head and making his way down the main street.
'Not much to see though.' He mused to himself.
It was true, refuse was scattered all along the ground as well as what looked to be various scrapped vehicles' that he was currently unfamiliar with but they vaguely reminded him of motorcycles except without wheels. As he made his way down the street his sensitive nose was assaulted by smells of the unpleasant variety that is until he picked up an odd scent that stirred up a feeling familiarity in him, making him stop in his tracks for a moment.
'What the, who the hell could I recognize on a planet I've never been to before? Well, I guess there is only one way to find out.' He thought with a shrug as he began to follow the scent with his nose.
The trail led him to what could only be described as a seedy bar on the wrong side of town. It was worn looking with several broken windows, shards of glass, as well as busted barstools lay strewn across the road from the entrance, and Garfield could hear shouting even from where he stood. He took note of both the graffiti plastered on the walls and he could also see some kind of shady looking deals going down right out in the open as he approached the rundown establishment; searching for the source of the smell, but he paid it no mind. This wasn't Jump City and he wasn't a superhero anymore.
The moment he entered the room everything stopped. 'It's like in one of those western movies when the hero enters the bar and everyone freezes till he sits down.' Gar thought as he took a seat at the bar and the bartender a dark-skinned, four-armed alien with a prominent crest jutting from his head grunted out as he used his lower set of arms to clean a glass "What'll it be stranger?"
"Well, I'm not really big on alcohol. So, bantha milk if you have it please." He asked politely becoming quite keen on the drink during his ten day trip to Mandelore.
The bartender gave him a surprised look before he smiled and said "Well, it's nice to finally see someone with manners walk into this place. Coming right up kid, ya need anything else just gimmie a holler, ok?"
"Yes of course sir, thank you." He said as he scanned the room for the scent.
'It smells familiar similar to Starfire's but different...' suddenly it hit him like a ton of bricks he knew whose scent it was.
But still he didn't rush over there. No, Garfield realized he needed more information still. So he scoped out the bar for her using the force to aid in his search. He found her soon enough in the far left-hand corner of the room on the ground power nullifying cuffs on his hands and some kind of visor on her eyes. She sat there along with several other women of various species he didn't know while some tough looking guys sat around a table drinking and playing cards. He turned back to the bartender and asked "What can you tell me about those guys over there?"
"Them, that's Hondo Ohnaka and his crew of space pirates, they usually run spice and ransom people for money back to their home planets you know small time stuff not big enough to get on anyone's radar. Why do you ask?"
Instead of answering Garfield said "Thanks, you've been a big help." As he made his way over to the pirates table addressing him as he got close "Mr. Hondo Ohnaka?"
The pirate looked up from his game a curious look in his eye, his face partially covered by grey dredlocks before he smirked and said "Well, I don't know about 'mister' boy but I'm him, what can I do for you?" he asked as the men around him tensed up.
Sensing the tension through the force Garfield said "First of all if you could tell your men to relax that would be appreciated, I'm not here to fight, just talk. I'm not even armed see?" he said holding his arms wide open to prove his point.
Hondo smirked before raising his voice and said "Easy boy's he may wear the trappings of a Jedi, but he has no lightsaber."
Though the space pirate couldn't see it the changeling quirked an eyebrow and asked "What makes you think I'm a Jedi Mr. Hondo?"
Hondo chuckled "Kid, only a Jedi would walk in ta a place like this dressed like a monk, acting completely calm, bearing no weapon, acting polite, and then have the guts to walk up to space pirates and start casual conversation. If you aren't a Jedi you are one crazy son of a bitch. So which is it?" he asked while counting off reasons on his fingers.
Garfield scratched his head sheepishly "Ok, I'm a Jedi you got me. But seriously I'm just here to talk." He said honestly.
"Then pull up a chair kid and let's talk business." The alien said waving his hand next to an empty chair which the changeling promptly took.
The still hooded padawan nodded that's true I actually came over here because I recognized one of your girls." He said motioning towards the one of the bound woman on the floor.
Now this caught the pirate's attention "You know her eh? So then by any chance would you know where she's from and how much we can ransom her for? She kept saying she was a princess of some place called Tamaran but me and my boys have never heard of it."
Garfield nodded "Well what she says is true she is a princess of Tamaran, but what she didn't tell you is that she's an exiled princess which means that, even if you did manage to find her home planet they wouldn't pay a thing for her."
At this, Ohnaka's men began to mutter darkly until the pirate captain himself raised a hand for silence. "Yes, yes I see, this is a most...unfortunate turn of events but that begs the question what's she worth to you?"
Garfield thought quickly he only had a handful of credits on him not nearly enough to buy the girls freedom. So he did the next best thing.
"She's worth a couple of games of cards and a bet." He said slyly.
He could tell Ohnaka was intrigued he could feel it through the force. This was why when the captain spoke next; he already knew what to say "What kind of bet boy?"
Garfield smiled from within the shadows of his hood 'perfect' he thought "A very simple bet Mr. Hondo best of ten games, just you and me, whoever wins serves the other faithfully until the end of his days."
Hondo's men were now in an uproar on was even prepared to gut him with some kind of humming knife until Hondo stopped him dead at the last second by saying "Deal boy."
"Umm Capin', 'cuse me for sayin' this but are you high on bantha shit fumes?!" the pirate wielding the humming knife asked.
Hondo gave the man a steely glare and said "No, I can assure you I am quite fine which is more than you will be if you don't put that vibroblade down and shut up." The pirate complied immediately sitting down with an audible 'thump'.
After the man sat down, Hondo turned back to the 'kid' and asked "You know how to play sabacc kid?"
The changeling Jedi shook his head in the negative "Nope what are the rules and how do you win?"
It turns out the game was a mixture of both blackjack and poker as one would get cards and the person with the highest count close to twenty-three by the time the round was over. The game had four phases: The betting phase where each player put money into a pot, the call phase where each player could call out another's hand, the shifting phase where the cards that were electronic could change their suit and value, and the draw phase where each player could either draw or discard a card.
It was almost like a normal game of blackjack except for the fact that at any given time, the 'face cards' were worth negative numbers and there were three ways to win: getting exactly either a positive or negative twenty-three, which was called 'pure Sabacc' or getting a card worth zero called the idiot idol and a two and three of the same suit and literally having '023' an automatic win called an Idiot's Array.
Garfield was surprisingly good at the game and much to his and Hondo's shock he won six out of ten times having never played before in his life. His last hand actually ended up being an Idiot's Array much to his and Hondo's shock.
"Wow that was lucky." Gar said completely shocked.
"Yeah no kidding..." Hondo said looking down at the cards in shock for a moment before he sighed and said "Well kid I'm a Weequay of my word, my ship, my men, and myself are at your disposal until either you die or I and all my men do. So, what's your first order captain?"
Garfield grinned under his hood as he thought 'Captain huh? I could get used to that.'
"Ok First Mate Hondo, my first order is for you to take me to our ship I'd like to see what I have to work with."
Hondo grinned "Of course captain right this way." He said leading the way out of the bar, down several streets, and into a seemingly abandoned hangar. Inside the 'abandoned hangar' sat a giagantic flying sacucer.
'Holy shit, it looks just like the one from Mars Attacks!' "What are the chances of that?" he said speaking the last part to himself.
"What was that boss?" Hondo asked.
"This, this is gonna be awesome." He told the former captain.
"Indeed sir, I'll give you the grand tour right after I have a chat with the men. In the meantime why don't you get reacquainted with your girl? Just hit the yellow button to talk to her first, then the green one to undo the restraints."
In all the excitement Garfield had forgotten about the main reason for the bet in the first place.
'Oops' he thought as Hondo passed him the control to the girls restraints before he led the girl over to a corner that was seemingly out of earshot before he hit the yellow button and said "Blackfire can you hear me?"
The Tamaranean princess jumped at the sound of his voice before asking hoarsely "Who are you?"
Putting his hand on her arm comfortingly he responded "You probably don't remember me, but I'm one of your sister's friends, Beast Boy the green guy with the lame jokes, remember?"
She cocked her head to the side "The green guy...but if you're here then is my sister-"She began to ask embarrassed before he interrupted saying soothingly "No Star and the others aren't here, it's just me."
She was quiet for a moment before she asked "How did that happen?"
He sighed and said "It's a long story and we can talk about it some other time, but right now I need to know a few things ok?" to which the princess nodded.
"Great first things first, if I take these restraints off, are you gonna attack me?" he asked.
"Pff, look string bean I may be a lot of things but even I'm not that much of an ungrateful bitch. By X'hal if you take these damned restraints off, I'd be more than willing to...make it up to you later." She purred seductively.
Gar chuckled nervously "One thing at a time Blackfire, ok?" to which she smirked and said "Whatever you say hero. Now are you going to take these restraints off or not?" she asked while holding her bound hands out pleadingly.
"Sure hand on a sec." he said before hitting the green button and watching as the visor and the manacles fell to the floor with a clang.
"Feel better he asked?" As he watched the dark haired and equally dark hearted exiled princess rub her wrists to get feeling back in her hands.
"Much." She said before she grasped him by the shirt and smirked.
'Ah shit now she's gonna-' Garfield didn't finish his as instead of hitting him and escaping like he thought she was going to do, instead she smashed her lips onto his wiping out all forms of cognitive thought from the changelings mind as he got caught up in the intensity of the kiss.
It was intense, wild, dominating, and demanding much like Blackfire's personality. The green human didn't know what hit him one moment he thought he was going to be struck and the next he knew the incredibly evil yet incredibly hot women's tongue was in his mouth. Not one to be controlled by anyone, Garfield took control of the kiss much to the woman's surprise and in short order he went from being dominated to the one doing the dominating. When the two finally broke for air Garfield noticed he wasn't the only one that was blushing making him feel pleased with himself.
"Where..." she gasped "Did you learn to do that?"
"Instinct." He responded equally out of breath "Animal DNA you know?"
In response to this the princess licked her lips hungrily and said "Nice."
Before she could no doubt pounce on him like she was planning to they were interrupted by an "Ahem."
The two looked over to see Hondo standing there smirking "I'm not interrupting anything...important am I, boss?"
"You!" Blackfire spat venomously before something he said clicked and she turned to the changeling and asked "Boss?"
Garfield became sheepish once again as he said "Yeah, I kinda won the loyalty of the entire crew until death in a high stakes card game."
Blackfire looked at him as if he had spontaneously turned into her sister before asking "You're joking right? He's joking right?" She asked Hondo.
To which the space pirate smiled sinisterly and shook his head no. "He owns our loyalty now and the ship, which has a crew of sixty-four, passenger seating of up to two-hundred, a compliment of six Flarestar-class Weequay ships, a dozen WLO-5 speeder tanks, a cargo capacity of four-hundred-fifty tons, and a class one hyper drive as well as one years' worth of consumables."
Garfield responded to all of this with a "Dayum~!"
Blackfire's eyes bulged as she looked at him and asked "Wow BB, you planning any hostile world takeovers I don't know about?" she joked.
The changeling shook his head "No not at the moment but if I ever get that itch, it's nice to know I can scratch it."
This caused the princess to laugh and ask "Ok, who are you and what have you done with the green goofball I remember?"
"Shit happened Blazing B, some serious shit happened." He said suddenly becoming depressed much to the princesses and the pirate's puzzlement.
"You wanna I dunno talk about it?" Blackfire offered to which Garfield shook his head.
"No, not right now, not today at any rate." He glanced outside before saying "Look, its getting dark and I should be heading back to my place for the night..."
Blackfire reached out and grasped his hand "Wait, before you go, since you own the ship now you own the cargo so could you...umm..." she trailed off.
"Yeah, what is it Blackfire?" he asked sounding tired and impatient.
"Could you free the rest of the prisoners'?" she asked.
He blinked twice, not sure if he had heard right but then he smiled "Well looks like someone made some friends huh?" he ribbed.
She glared at him saying "Shut up lima bean! I just don't like the idea of leaving those girls tied up in the hands of these creeps is all. In fact, seeing as you're the hero here, shouldn't you do the right thing and make sure we all have someplace safe to sleep tonight?" she said smirking predatorily.
'Damn her.' He thought as he sighed before he turned to Hondo and said "Hondo release the other prisoners and then, if you would be so kind, give us all a lift back to the duchess's palace where I'm staying. If you behave, I'll see what I can do to get you boys inside." He promised.
Both the Tamaranean and the Weequay blinked as they stared at him in shock "You're staying at the Duchess' estate? How did you pull that off?" Hondo finally asked.
"Hondo my man-"Garfield said as he put an arm around the Weequay's shoulder "There are all kinds of door that open up when your captain is a Jedi as you are going to find out. Now-"He said giving him a light shove "Go unleash those prisoners! We're burning daylight here!"
"Kid, this could be the start of a beautiful friendship, and deadly partnership." He said before he started barking out commands to his men.
"So, Jedi huh?" Blackfire's voice came from behind him, making him turn to see her amused look.
He shrugged "Yeah as it turns out. Cool huh?"
She nodded "Very much so." She said before smiling and taking his hand dragging him toward the ship where several confused alien girls were disembarking as she said "C'mon hero, your adoring crowd awaits. Plus you need to convince the Duchess to let us crash at her place."
'Well, I just remembered that I left the estate without telling Fay or Satine where I was going...I am so dead, and now I'm bringing home pirates and former ransom girls. This, is gonna be fun.' He thought sourly to himself as he continued to smile all the while.
Fay was worried Garfield had been missing for several hours now and she had been scouring the city looking for him, so far without success. She trudged back up the steps of the duchess's estate covered in dirt, worried about her Padawan, and dejected.
'Be safe Garfield.' She thought looking back over the horizon from the steps of Satine's home...only to see a Weequay cruiser-class ship rapidly approaching.
"What the hell?!" she said holding her ground yet preparing to use the force to jump out of the way if necessary.
Thankfully just seven feet before it would've crashed into anything the ship came to a full stop and the gangplank lowered and from there she heard a very familiar voice say "See, told ya I could pilot this thing you were worried for no reason Hondo."
"Yeah of course boss and those half dozen buildings' you crashed into getting her into the air were no cause for concern?" A Weequay in a longcoat and pirate gear said sarcastically.
"Hey it's not my fault! I've never driven a stick shift before- Oh, hey Master didn't seeya there-"Garfield didn't get to finish as he suddenly found himself glomped into a hug as she said "Don't you ever scare me like that again! Do you have any idea how worried I was?!" She then held him at arm's length and the changeling could see the tears in her eyes as she said "I thought I'd lost you."
"You worry too much teach, I can't die on you until I achieve the rank of master at least. So, knowing that, you can chillax alright?" He joked.
The tender moment was broken when both master and apprentice heard a collective 'awe' behind them. The two turned to lock eyes with several female aliens. There were two Twi'leks both blue skinned, with one slightly shorter and younger than the other, two Zeltros women one with red skin and purple hair, and another with pink skin and hair. Two Falleen women with green skin, an adolescent Togruta girl, with a near full set of montrails, and finally an orange skinned dark haired green eyed young woman who stood at the fore with her arms crossed and a smirk in her lips seemingly in charge of the female herd. All of them seemed to be dressed in rather revealing rags.
"Garfield just who are these women?" Fay asked arching any eyebrow at her padawan.
"Umm, how about we find Satine and then I'll explain?" He offered.
"I'm already here." The duchess' voice cut in as she made her way up to them as she was followed by several armed soldiers "Surely you didn't think I wouldn't notice a crusier-class ship parking right in front of my home?" she asked rhetorically.
"Would you think less of me if I said yes?" the green skinned padawan asked.
"Garfield!" Fay admonished "Be respectful, and stop avoiding the question. What are these girls and this ship full of Weequay pirates doing on Satine's doorstep?" his master demanded.
"Well that's kinda a funny story, but before I tell it can we go inside? I'm starving and I already made the boys promise they wouldn't take anything...right guys?" he questioned looking at pirates sideways.
"I swear upon my mothers' grave." Hondo promised.
Garfield gave the alien an odd look "I thought you told me on the way over here that your parents sold you into slavery and you haven't seen them since?" he questioned.
To which he nodded and replied "She did and I hope to that piece of bantha shit they worship, Quay, that she really is dead and may she rest in pieces."
"Right...anyway can we all come inside? Please Satine?" Gar begged.
Satine sighed but nodded saying "Fine but if anything ends up missing, I'm holding you personally responsible Garfield." She said while leading the way back in the house.
"Ok, so let me get this straight. You bet your freedom on a card game you've never even played before?! Garfield answer me honestly...are you insane?" Fay deadpanned at her padawan as she sat in a comfortable armchair. After dinner; she, the duchess, and her student had excused themselves to Satine's private study to hear the changelings' tale. Now that she had heard it she didn't know whether to congratulate him or berate him for doing something so foolhardy.
"Master you worry too much, I won, we have a cool new ship, and to top it all off we have minions now. How cool is that?"
The three century old Jedi sighed and said "Allies Gar, we have allies not minions. While I do not agree with what you did, you are correct that I can't argue with the results. Speaking of results could you take your glove off and hold out your finger for me?" she asked.
He gave his master an odd look be did as she asked she then took out a small hand held device and held it up to his finger...
"Ouch! You didn't say that thing was gonna poke me!" he said sucking on his finger and sulking.
"Oh come now, you can bet your life in a game of Sabacc but when it comes to a small poke with a needle you're a big baby?" Fay questioned.
Garfield gave her a mild glare "It's not the pain that bothers me, I just don't like needles... at all. What did you need to poke me for anyway?" he questioned irritated.
"How about you get some sleep Gar, you've had a long eventful day. I'll tell you tomorrow I promise." The Jedi Master told him.
Sensing the seriousness of the situation Gar nodded before saying "Goodnight Fay, goodnight Satine."
"Goodnight Garfield" both women said at once.
After the changeling had left the room Satine asked "Fay, what is it?"
Wordlessly she gave the Mandalorian bureaucrat the device. It was midi chlorian counter used to tell the number of the microscopic organisms' in an individual cell of a living being. She looked at the number at the bottom of the counter that signified Garfield's Midi Chlorians per Cell count. It read:
Chap length: 10,190 - Date completed 11/25/13
AN: Yo everybody and welcome to the first chap of my fic Edge of a Coin. Why is it called that? Well, because I've always viewed the Sith and the Jedi as two equal yet opposite extremes, as opposite sides of the same coin. But what about someone who chose to balance themselves between the two, to walk the edge of a coin if you will? Well that's what we're gonna find out. I hope you all enjoyed. If you did please feel free to review. Till next time everyone, Bubbajack out!