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 also don't own any songs that may or may not show up for the record, I just own the plot.
Arc 1: New Perspectives
Ch.3: Of Mandalor's and Men...
Today was the day. Today, Garfield was going to get his own lightsaber! He was tweaked! The only thing that kept him from literally bouncing off the walls was the holocron he had been given by Jax a week previously. Within its depths were the teachings of Jedi Battle Master Cin Drallig, teaching the proper form and techniques' for all seven forms of swordsmanship. Form I: Shii-Cho was easily picked up by the changeling as it was very similar to the fencing lessons he had when he was younger. The best part was, he could talk to the hologram, ask it questions, and have them answered to the best of its abilities.
'It's like having a personal tutor, it's awesome!' he thought as he went over the strengths and weaknesses that the hologram had provided him for the various forms. Form I Shii-Cho was the training style that outlined the basics of lightsaber combat, the Body Target Zones, the Three Rings of Defense, the Marks of Contact, and the various blocks and ready stances. It focused on disarming and not harming the opponent.
Form II: Makashi was a true fencing style, one of graceful footwork and light cuts and stabs. Its primary weakness was it lacked momentum to knock aside opposing lightsaber blades, and relied primarily on the last Ring of Defense which was the most dangerous to block from but was the most useful for counterattacks.
Form III: Soresu was a heavily defensive style that was highly specialized towards blast deflection and keeping the user alive at the cost of offense. However Soresu users were known to be able to outlast most other combatants.
Form IV: Ataru made use of Force-enhanced acrobatic maneuvers to slash at opponents extremely quickly and from odd angles. But because of its constant use of acrobatics, the fourth form was not recommended for blast deflection or taking on multiple opponents at once.
Form V, which came in to variants Sheim and Djem So. Sheim considered the classical version of Form V, specialized in deflecting blaster bolts back at opponents while Djem So on the other hand, was created later for use in lightsaber combat. Both forms emphasized the used of heavy attacks and block followed immediately by counters.
Form VI: Niman focused on moderation in all things specializing in nothing but being decent at everything. However one notable exception is that Niman has roots in Jar'Kai twin blade usage.
Lastly there was Form VII known as Juyo or Vaapad. Originating as Juyo, a vicious Sith fighting form that requires one focus internally, the style was then recreated by current Jedi Master Mace Windu with the help of Sora Bulq, allowing the user to channel their own inner darkness into a duel and accept the fury of their opponent creating a loop of power.
After careful deliberation and many questions asked to Master Drallig's hologram Garfield came to the conclusion that none of the current seven forms were going to work for him. The reason being, one might ask? He was a shapeshifter; he relied on two things in a fight because of that: Being utterly unpredictable, and always having the right tool for the right job. Now, each of these forms had their strong suits but none of them had exactly what he was looking for. And that meant he had only one option...
"Master Drallig?" he asked the hologram.
"Yes Padawan, what is it?" the transparent image of the battle master inquired.
"Is it possible to combine all the strengths of the various styles into something singular and cohesive?" he asked the holo.
The holo was silent for a moment, as if thinking, before saying "It is possible, but highly improbable that such a thing could be done."
The changeling raised an eyebrow in response before saying "Why not?"
"One would need to decide what to add and take out from various styles some things just don't mix you know?" the Holo chuckled before continuing "And if you take away a crucial part of one style and add it to another, say for example trying to combine Djem So's Offense with Soresu's defensive movements? It would be hard to pull off as Soresu is made use minimal movement to be as defensive as possible and creating a small target, while Djem So requires sweeping saber attacks for offense and counter active defense. Thus, combining the two in this way would be impossible. Now try throwing the other seven styles into the mix." The holocron finished.
The changeling hummed in thought. 'It's true that certain movements just wouldn't mesh properly with one another...but perhaps..!' he thought.
It was a crazy idea, and as far as he knew no Jedi or Sith had ever attempted such a thing. But theoretically it could work.
'And besides, what was it I told Raven once? I may not be smart enough to do everything, but I'm dumb enough to try anything?'
Nodding to himself he muttered "I guess it's time for me to put those words to the test."
"Master Drallig, I think I have a solution, but it will have to wait until I see what kind of lightsaber I'm given and I'll have to go from there." He told the holocron.
The holo nodded "Very well, I shall see you later then and we shall continue this discussion?"
"You bet!" BB said with a nod before the holocron disappeared.
Just as he put the holocron in hidden pocket on his robe he heard a knock at his door. Focusing on the force and his naturally enhanced senses he deduced that it was one of the girls. Interestingly, it was one of the girls he'd had little to no interaction with up to this point which is why, he it took him a moment to call out "It's open, c'mon in!"
The door opened and in walked San'dara Secura the elder of the two Secura sisters. She was wearing what looked to Gar like Charcoal-washed jeans and a green long sleeved shirt that was cut off to show her well-toned midriff. Her headtails, which he had found out where called Lekku that housed part of her brain, were braided with crisscrossing black ribbons. She wore a pair of functional brown leather boots on her feet, completing her look. In place of eyebrows which all her species lacked, she had an elaborate set of spiraling tattoos in black ink.
"Hey San'dara what's up?" he said in a kindly yet curious voice. As San'dara was a serious type of girl with only one thing on her mind from what he could tell: Protecting her little sister. One could almost say she was overprotective, as she watched her younger sibling like a hawk, and was extremely distrustful of others including himself. Why one time he tried to play with little Astraal during one of his breaks in Shii-Cho training, San'dara walked in, and pulled her little sister away but not before saying "Stay away from my little sister pirate scum!"
He didn't know what he did to make her hate him yet, considering what they both probably went through as "Cargo" for Hondo he can't really blame her for being overly protective of the only family she still had around her.
Folding her arms over her chest, the Twi'lek looked away from him only to mutter something illegible under her breath that even with his sharp hearing he couldn't make out causing him to say "Sorry couldn't quite catch that?"
She opened one eye revealing it to be a vibrant orange hue as she looked at him and said "I'm sorry about the other day. You have been nothing but kind to me and my sister, as well as the others, you didn't deserve that. I apologize. I just become borderline frantic whenever Astraal is out of my sight!" She said letting out a sigh before taking a seat on his bed.
Sensing her distress through the force, he cautiously walked over and asked tentatively "Do you want to talk about it, whatever it is?" before sitting down next to her and putting his arm around her. Instead of shrugging him off, she leaned into him embrace and put her head on his shoulder and without looking at him, began to speak.
"On my home planet of Ryloth, it is commonplace to sell the women into slavery, as we are considered beautiful by all, and status symbols by many. Plus, is it considered the backbone of our economy to stop would destroy what little my people have." She said dully feeling him tense up more and more with every word she spoke.
'Dude, this is some fucked up shit!' he thought as San'dara continued.
"Our Father was a part of the ruling council in one of the major cities on Ryloth, called Secura. Then one day our father died and one of our uncles was to hold his position and ruled as regent until I came of age. That was until the day a Jedi and his padawan arrived on our planet looking for a smuggler who happened to be one of my uncles' and found that my younger sister, Aayla was in fact Force-sensitive, taking her with them back to their temple on Coruscant . However, when our other uncle Lon, came into power he sold both my sister and myself into slavery as he knew both of us had a right to the council seat that he wanted for his son Nat. So, when Hondo Ohnaka came around looking to buy some spice, he pawned us off on him."
"Dude, so you're like royalty?!" the changeling said looking at her with mouth agape.
San'dara became flustered but nodded "Yeah I suppose so, but that doesn't mean I want you to treat me any differently you hear?!" She said giving him a stern look.
Grinning, Garfield responded "No need to worry about that from me, I lived with a princess for a good two years she was in fact Blackfire's sister and I never treated her any differently than I would anyone else."
She lifted her head off his shoulder and gave him a surprised look "Blackfire has a sister?"
Nodding he said "Yep names Starfire, one of the sweetest girls you could ever meet. Just don't eat her cooking, that might kill you!" He said dead serious.
Laughing she said "I'll keep that in mind. I never knew Blackfire had a sister or any family for that matter. She has never once talked about her past in all the time I've known her. But it's a good thing you treat royalty like normal people Garfield."
"I'll admit I'm curious as to how Blackfire ended up in Hondo's possession." Garfield mused.
Becoming rather somber, San'dara elaborated "We were in the middle of deep space, our hyper drive had malfunctioned and it was a few good sub-light years to the nearest planet to get it fixed. We found her just floating out there in the black void of space, half starved, out cold, and completely dehydrated. I'm sure you've noticed by now, but Ohnaka isn't exactly in the killing business, that isn't to say he won't get his hands dirty when it comes right down to it, but he believes that people are more useful and more valuable, alive than dead."
"A breathing person is worth more than a corpse." The Changeling surmised.
Nodding San'dara continued "Correct, so when he saw Blackfire out there he brought her aboard and had me take care of her until she regained conscientiousness. However, the moment she woke up..."
"She started blowing things up?" He guessed.
"She started blowing things up." She affirmed with a sigh before continuing "It took all of Ohnaka's crew to hold her down just so he could stun her, after he did, he kept her stunned until we reached port and bought the restraints you found her in."
"Ahh." He was silent for a moment before he asked "Is there anything I can do to make you more comfortable with me?"
San'dara's face scrunched up in thought for a moment before she said "Help me keep Astraal safe."
The changeling nodded slowly "Sure I can do that."
The Twi'lek gave him a searching stare before she nodded and asked "So, what do you have planned for today?"
Grinning like a loon, he responded "You mean besides getting my lightsaber?"
A look of realization crossed San'dara's face "That's today isn't it?"
Near maniac grin still in place, Garfield nodded "Yep."
"Call it female intuition, but I think you might be excited." San'dara said as she rolled her eyes.
Chuckling while rubbing his head in embarrassment, Garfield said "What gave you that idea?"
Rolling her eyes again, San'dara grabbed the changeling's arm before dragging him down the hall, towards the dining room. After managing to catch his balance the 'Padawan' asked "Where are we going?"
Glancing back at him briefly the elder of the Secura sisters said "To breakfast, well more like brunch since someone decided to sleep in so late." San'dara said casting the changeling an amused glance.
"Eh Heheh, I was so excited about today I didn't get much sleep last night." He explained
Shaking her head in bemusement, the Twi'lek let go of Garfield's hand just as they would've been seen by anyone in the dining hall. Approaching the table, Garfield found two plates set across from each other on each was a sandwich. Sitting nearby each plate was a tall glass of bantha milk. He also noticed none of the others, not even Satine and his Master were present.
"Where is everyone? I thought this was brunch?" he asked while looking at San'dara who was now shifting in place, an obvious sign that she was nervous.
"Umm, look. I treated you like crap the other day so I thought if I made you lunch and we talked for a bit we could...get to know each other better so this doesn't happen again. Unless you don't want to of course! That's fine if you don-"San'dara stopped talking when she saw Gar go over to the table and pull a chair out for her.
The atmosphere around the two was awkward to say the least. Several times, Garfield opened his mouth as if to say something, only to close it, with San'dara mimicking him on numerous occasions.
'I need to break the ice somehow, but how?' the Twi'lek thought to herself.
Then, as if granted insight by the force she had an idea. She asked "Garfield, can you tell me more about your home planet, the people, the culture, or maybe just your friends?"
The changeling blinked slightly in surprise before putting down his half eaten sandwich and clearing his throat before asking "Anything specific you wanted to know?"
Shaking her head, San'dara responded "No, not really."
The Jedi apprentice hummed to himself in thought for a moment before he said "On my planet there are all kinds of people with numerous different cultures and more often than not, these cultural differences led to conflicts and wars."
He paused a moment to collect his thoughts before he continued "But that wasn't even the worst of it, now that I think about it. The worst were the Supervillains. The bad guys with special powers or lots of money or both that basically wanted to rule the world with an iron fist or just watch it burn."
"It sounds even worse than my home planet." San'dara commented at length.
"I suppose in some ways it was, but for every villain there was a hero ready and willing to stand up to them and stop them." He said with wistful pride in his voice.
"You were one such hero?" San'dara guessed.
He nodded "Yeah, I guess you could say after my accident it kinda came naturally to me."
Garfield sensed San'dara suddenly become annoyed through the force, and it showed in her tone when she asked "So, I suppose a big hero like you had lots of female admirers huh?"
Much to the Twi'leks surprise the green skinned changeling laughed and shook his head "Nope, in all honesty back home for the most part I couldn't get normal women to look twice at me. Turns out the green skin was kinda a turnoff who knew eh?" he chuckled, but San'dara could hear the slight bitterness in his tone.
Deciding to lighten the mood San'dara asked "Ah c'mon surely not all the people on your planet were so superficial were they?"
This caused Gar to smile wanly and shake his head "No not all, just the women without superpowers. Now back home I was quite popular among the super heroines and even a couple villainesses wanted a piece of me, which I found frightening quite frankly."
To say San'dara was fuming would be an understatement 'So he was some kinda playboy back home huh?' she thought to herself.
"I know what you're thinking; you're thinking I was some kind of player weren't you? Well that's not the case." He assured.
"How-Did you read my mind?!" San'dara asked becoming angry with the former Titan.
Shaking his head and holding up his hands in submission Garfield said "No, you wear your emotions on your face sometimes, and then was just one of those times."
San'dara blushed green before looking away "S-shut up!" she stuttered out.
Feeling he might've embarrassed her slightly he apologized, causing the Twi'lek to roll her eyes at him before asking "So how many girls did you have back on your home planet?"
Quirking an eyebrow Garfield asked "Why do you want to know that? Worried about competition or something San?"
Her face warmed at the pet name, and now flustered she said "No-I...I was just curious is all! I mean it's bad enough that I need to compete for your attention with the others the last think I need is...Oh Frak did I say that out loud?" she asked her face cheeks suddenly turning the same shade as Garfields skin from her embarrassment.
Slowly Garfield nodded, causing San'dara to continually bang her head against the back of her chair while she said "Stupid, wait to blow it San'dara! Now he probably thinks-"Her rant was cut off by him catching her head with the force and saying gently "I think you're being a bit too hard on yourself."
"Garfield?" She asked her orange eyes meeting his green ones.
Sighing he said "Look, I'm gonna be entirely honest here, I'm not really looking for a relationship right now due too...well the circumstances that landed me here in the first place. Also, I already knew you girls had a thing for me."
"Huh, how? Was it the force or something?" San'dara asked her curiosity overcoming her embarrassment.
Shaking his head he said "No, nothing so complicated Ashara straight up told me in my room the night after you all arrived."
"Oh really, and what was she doing in your room Garfield?" San'dara asked inquisitively with a slight edge to her voice.
"We were uh just talking is all?" He said evasively as he remembered the kiss she gave him.
"Uh huh." San'dara said not believing a word he said.
"We were!" he said defensively.
"Right, sure, it's fine if you don't want to tell me Gar." San'dara said becoming standoffish.
Now Garfield was getting slightly annoyed, he was being entirely honest with her and she has the gall to all but call him a liar.
"Look, if I said nothing happened then as my friend you should believe me." Garfield then roughly pushed back his chair and said "Thanks for lunch, but next time hold off on the meat as I'm a vegetarian." He said before he stalked away.
Garfield stalked down the halls of Satine's palace, dark thoughts consuming his mind 'Dude, why is it that no one ever believes me when I say something? Do I have the words 'perpetual liar' tattooed on my forehead or something?' he thought as his absentmindedly rubbed his head as if to wipe off the offending words. He opened what he thought was his room to find out that, that was not the case. Instead he found himself inside a room full of what appeared to be musical instruments.
Going up to one that had the appearance of an acoustic guitar, taking it in hand, he strummed a few cords experimentally. He also found a flute, drum, and various other instruments; enough that if he so chose, he could start his own orchestra.
"Something wrong cutie?" a familiar seductively playful voice asked.
Not bothering to turn around he said "Not much Astara."
He heard her silently approach and then wrap her arms around him from behind. He inhaled slowly, taking in her scent which smelt of some kind of strange exotic flowers, her hair tickled his nose. He found himself relaxing into her embrace, his previous anger almost entirely forgotten.
"There now, are you feeling better sweetie?" The Zeltron asked softly.
Garfield nodded slightly before he looked up at Astara who was smiling down at him serenely. Managing to give her a small smile of his own he nodded a little and said "Yeah a bit. What did you do anyway?"
Chuckling slightly causing her purple eyes to crinkle in mirth Astara responded "Nothing Sweetie, I just held you till you calmed down is all." A playful smirk then flitted across her face before she asked "By the way, are you comfy?"
Garfield glanced around him to realize his head was currently resting in the pink Zeltrons bosom. Blushing slightly he began to get up, only for her to hug him tighter and say "I never said you had to get up cutie, I just asked if you were comfy, are you?"
"I-um yeah I'm very comfy thanks." He mumbled.
"Good, now why don't you tell me what's going on, eh? I don't like seeing you upset it gets me down sweetie." Astara cooed.
Sighing he began "It seems that no matter where I go, nobody trusts my word, it was like that back home and its like that here too."
Astara looked into his eyes; the emerald orbs were full of confusion and pain. "What happened cutie?" she whispered.
"Back home, there was an incident where I turned into a...well I call it the Beast. It's a fusion of all my base instincts, an ultimate predator if you will. I had no control over this form and it seemed intent on protecting one of my other...friends at the time." He practically spat out the word friends.
Taking a moment to calm himself he continued "Anyway, because I was found with her in a slightly compromising situation I was immediately considered guilty. No trial, no looking for evidence to the contrary, no nothing. Now this is significant because when something happened to my other friends our leader didn't accuse them of a crime right off the bat, he didn't threaten to throw them in jail if they didn't tell the truth, he accepted their reasons for doing what they did."
Garfield then gave a hollow laugh "But me, me he treats like a criminal."
Hearing sniffling above him, Gar looked up to see Astara holding back tears, her beautiful face contorted in anger "That, damn piece of bantha shit! H-he treats you like a criminal jus-just because of-"Astara let out a scream of frustration, causing Garfield to wrap her in his arms and make comforting noises.
After she had calmed some he said "Sorry, I never meant to upset you by telling you that."
Shaking her head and causing her vibrant pink hair to whip back and forth. "Its fine sweetie, it's not your fault, it's just not fair that someone as nice as you had to go through that."
Garfield shrugged "Life isn't fair, as I'm sure you and the other girls can attest."
She nodded before making an odd request. "Gar, can you play me a song?"
Holding her at arm's length he gave her a look that said "You serious?"
It was then that Astara pulled out her secret weapon: The puppy dog eyes. "Please Gar; I want to hear a song from your home planet."
Garfield didn't stand a chance, he may be immune to her pheromones, but she still had plenty of other tricks up her sleeve. Relenting he said "Ok, but I'm gonna need a few minutes to experiment with the instruments."
Seeing her smiling happily made it all worth it in the changelings' opinion as he levitated various instruments via the force and began plucking strings, forcing air through flutes, and beating drums. After several minutes of this he felt comfortable enough to try and recreate one of his favorite songs from memory.
Starting with the slow strum of something he could only equate to a guitar, he played a few chords before he began to sing
"A hundred days have made me older
Since the last time that I saw your pretty face
A thousand lies have made me colder
And I don't think I can look at this the same
But all the miles that separate
Disappear now when I'm dreaming of your face"
A drum began to beat as Gar started to sing the chorus
"I'm here without you, baby
But you're still on my lonely mind
I think about you, baby
And I dream about you all the time
I'm here without you, baby
But you're still with me in my dreams
And tonight it's only you and me, yeah."
The tempo of the song sped up as the second verse started
"The miles just keep rollin'
As the people leave their way to say hello
I've heard this life is overrated
But I hope that it gets better as we go, oh, yeah, yeah"
The tempo reached a crescendo as Gar sang the second chorus and wound down as he finished the song
"I'm here without you, baby
But you're still on my lonely mind
I think about you, baby
And I dream about you all the time
I'm here without you, baby
But you're still with me in my dreams
And tonight, girl, its only you and me
Everything I know, and anywhere I go (oh whoa)
It gets hard but it won't take away my love (oh whoa)
And when the last one falls
When it's all said and done
It gets hard but it won't take away my love, whoa, oh, oh
I'm here without you, baby
But you're still on my lonely mind
I think about you, baby
And I dream about you all the time
I'm here without you, baby
But you're still with me in my dreams
And tonight, girl, it's only you and me"
He looked over at Astara to see what she thought of the song, only to see her with tears in her eyes again. "Jeesh, is my singing that bad?" the changeling asked.
The Zeltron shook her head. "No, that song was beautiful." Astara sniffled and the two suddenly heard applause behind them.
They both turned and found the rest of the girls crowding around the doorway clapping still. The changeling took a bashful bow, rising after the ovation ceased. Blackfire sauntered over to him with a mischievous grin on her face as she purred "You can gamble, fight, sing, and you own a small army of pirates, if you're careful Garfield I might start falling for you."
The padawan chuckled nervously before saying "Umm, thanks Blackfire, that's really...kind of you."
The Tamaranean princess stalked around him like a tiger, as if sizing up prey before saying "Yes, I think you would make a good consort your just lacking one thing."
Garfield decided to humor her and asked "What might that be?"
Stopping in front of him and invading his personal space to the point their noses almost touched, she said huskily "Experience...in the bedroom. If you'd like I could help you with that?" She offered a gleam in her dark purple eyes.
"I-umm-ehh-"Garfield was saved from answering by the sound of someone clearing their throat.
"Don't you have to go and pick up your lightsaber today Garfield? I'm sure your master is waiting for you, you had best be going." Ashara said kindly casing the changelings' eyes to widen before he rapidly made for the door.
After he had gone, the Togruta gave the Tamaranean a pointed look with her arms folded across her chest she asked "Would you mind explaining what that was about? We agreed-"She was cut off by Blackfire who said "I didn't agree to anything! It was you all who agreed to that stupid pact!"
The pact Blackfire was referring to was one that was made between most of the girls the night that Ziva and Astara made a scene in front of Garfield two weeks ago...
The girls, after being forced to share the cargo hold on Hondo's ship for so long all opted to share a room. As they got ready for bed, Astara complained "Well, we certainly didn't make a good first impression on Garfield did we sis?"
"That's putting it mildly. Still, it was rather sweet of him to say what he did." Ziva responded, as a small smile played on her lips.
Looking over and seeing Astraal was already asleep, Ashara cleared her throat and said "Girls, I have a proposition for you all."
Seeing she had their attention she said "I propose we try to ease Garfield into the idea of polyamorus relationship."
All the girls were silent at this proclamation for a minute as they digested what the Togruta had suggested. Astara broke the silence asking in a curious tone that lacked her usual bubbliness "Why even suggest such a thing Ashara, surely you'd rather have Cutie to yourself than share him with the rest of us right?"
Ashara nodded "While that's true; Garfield needs us all of us."
"What makes you say that?" The cool analytical tone of Ocheeva asked as her sister nodded beside her.
Closing her eyes and taking a deep breath, she then let it out and said "I had another one of those odd dreams; in it, Garfield did incredible and in some cases terrifying things, but he can't do it alone he needs us!" she said with emphasis, and with such emotion her Lekku turned red showing her duress.
Taking a moment to calm herself; Ashara said in a calmer tone "He needs us to keep him safe, from breaking down, from overtaxing himself. It may not seem like it now, but Garfield will play a very important role in the fate of the entire galaxy and he'll need us to keep the weight of such a destiny from crushing him."
The others were silent for a long moment contemplating what they had been told. Ziva finally asked "Can you be more specific about what he's supposed to do Ashara?"
"He shall shape the fates of millions wherever he walks, he shall carve a kingdom out of an empire, and he shall forge a third path." She responded.
"Yeah~ that wasn't cryptic or anything." Blackfire said sarcastically.
The Togruta shrugged "Sorry, but it's not something that can be explained, only experienced and seen for oneself."
"Is this really that important?" Astara asked in a tone of seriousness that she rarely if ever displayed.
Ashara nodded "It is; the fate of Galaxies depends on what we decide."
Turning to her sister, Astara said "Sis, I think we should go with Ashara. She's never been wrong about these dreams before and this one looks like a big one."
Ziva saw the serious look in her sister's eyes and, turning to Ashara she nodded saying "We'll join you." She then grinned lustily and added "Besides, I want to find out how good Gar is in bed."
Ashara nodded before glancing at the elder of the two Twi'lek sisters. Folding her arms across her chest, she asked "Will doing this keep Astraal safe?"
"It would take several armies to harm her." The dark-skinned Togruta affirmed.
"Fine then; count me in." she said.
Smiling victoriously to herself a bit, she turned to the Falleen sisters who were whispering quietly to one another. They then turned to her and silently nodded as one. All that was left was Blackfire, when she turned to her she found her making her way out of the room.
"That's true, you didn't, did you?" she asked calmly but with a slight edge to her voice.
Smirking, Blackfire said "that's right, why should I share him when I could have him all to myself?"
Sighing to herself; Ashara thought 'The best laid plans...' before she said "I suppose this means war then?"
Her eyes glowing violet, Blackfire responds "Yeah, I suppose it does. War, with a man as the spoils hmm? Sounds like something that would happen back on my planet." She mused.
"Let the best woman win?" Ashara said while hold out her hand for Blackfire to shake, only for her to completely ignore the gesture and make her way to the door, only turning back to say "I intend to."
Stopping in front of his Master slightly out of breath he said "...Sorry I'm...late Master."
"Not a problem Gar, now let's get to Jax's. We're running late."
Looking at a nearby chrono placed outside above a shop, Garfield realized they were running five minutes late. But, that gave him an idea.
Doing his best to suppress a smile he turned to his master "Master, how would you like to fly the rest of the way to Jax's place?" he asked.
"On what, we don't have any form of transportation Gar." She said giving him a suspicious look.
"Yeah, you do...me." He said before shapeshifting into a green pterodactyl.
'What in the force!' Fay thought to herself as she watched her apprentice-lover into a giant flying lizard creature in a matter of seconds' right before her eyes.
"Garfield, how...how did...how long have you been able to do that?" she finally asked. He looked far too comfortable shifting his form and it came far too easy for him to not be something long practiced.
'Does it matter?' he asked through their bond.
She could feel his unease which meant one thing: He'd been able to do this the entire time and didn't tell her.
'Why didn't you tell me? I thought you trusted me.' She sent over their link.
He returned to his normal form before saying "It's not that I didn't trust you, honest!"
He allowed her to feel his sincerity as well as several other emotions through their bond before he said "It's just, I already considered myself weird enough being green and all, and felt no need to compound that with the shapeshifting."
He suddenly felt her arms around him but did not look up, not even as she gently ran one of her hands through his hair and whispered "You have nothing to be ashamed of Garfield. You have a unique gift; such gifts are to be celebrated not shunned as yours were. I can promise you this-"
She bent down to look at him eye level "-I will never be ashamed of you. And I'll let you in on a little secret Gar..." She then leaned forward and whispered in to his pointed ear conspiratorially "So long as you do what you feel is right and not betray your own heart, it doesn't really matter what anyone else thinks, because those who believe in you, your true friends, will gladly follow to the ends of the galaxy if you ask."
Garfield didn't know what to say, he was overwhelmed really. No one had ever told him they would never be ashamed of him besides his own mother, not even Rita, his adoptive mother had told him that. He looked at his master, someone he loved as more than just a teacher and said the only thing her could "Thanks Master, now, are you ready to fly for real?" he asked before he resumed his pterodactyl form.
'What...the...krif is taking those two so long?' Jaxson thought to himself as he glanced at his wrist-chrono.
'They should've been here twenty minutes ago.' He thought sourly.
He then heard a very loud flapping noise, and the glass of his windows shook slightly, in time with the noise.
"What in Mandalore the First is that?" he said to himself before going to his window and looking outside to find a giant green winged reptile landing in front of his shop. What was even more shocking was that Master Fay was hanging onto the creature's neck. He came outside just in time to see her slide off the creature's wing and then for the thing whatever it was, to change into her apprentice in the blink of an eye.
"Nice trick kid, do you do children's parties?" He asked as the two turned to the lightsaber smith.
"Sometimes." He affirmed with a nod.
Shaking his head in amusement, Jax said "Whatever kid, c'mon in, your sabers are ready."
The two force users were led to the back of the shop where two wooden boxes were waiting for them. A sort of serene calmness descended upon Garfield as he stepped forward and opened his box inside lay an exquisite lightsaber hilt in the shape of a European broadsword. Its hilt was wrapped in a weave of Rancor and Sarlacc hide and the guard and pommel were a bright grey Beskar iron and on each of the cardinal points on either end of the grips were four curved Vexnu teeth. But that wasn't all, attached to the hilt was a large triangular sheath made of Beskar metal which was primarily black and purple and covered in crisscrossing designs. Garfield wondered at its purpose, as lightsabers didn't require physical sheaths to house their blades. Looking at Jax questioningly the Mandalorian gave a wicked smile before whispering in his ear conspiratorially.
"This... is... awesome!" He said before picking up the sheathed blade excitedly.
"Be careful Garfield; that will do far more than just shock you if it is turned on." Fay cautioned.
"Right; right, sorry Master." He said sheepishly before he noticed the weapon in her hand and exclaimed "Woah, is that your Lightsaber?"
Indeed she said holding the large flower forward. It was now covered in a chrome-colored sheen and had an activation stud poking out from its bark-like stem.
"These are perfect Jax, I've never met Master Baaks' but if he was here, I think he'd agree with me." The shapeshifter praised.
The smith nodded accepting the compliment silently.
The changeling then turned to his master "Well what do you say we test these bad boys out Master?" Garfield offered.
Fay raised a quizzical eyebrow "What exactly did you have in mind Garfield?"
Shrugging he said "Just a light spar nothing too serious, but I would like to know where I stand next to my three centuries old Jedi Master."
Fay knew damn well he was trying to rile her up by bringing up her age. She was about ready to accept if only to teach him a lesson in humility when suddenly, her comlink went off.
"Hello?" she asked.
"Hello Fay, its Satine. Have you and Garfield picked up your lightsabers?" the Duchess asked over the Com.
"Yes we just got them." She responded.
"Excellent, I need you both to return to the Estate at once." Satine requested over the com.
Feeling alarmed Fay asked "Is something wrong Satine?" All the while, she waved off Garfields numerous questions with one hand.
"Nothing is wrong per say, it's just that some important people showed up and I would like it if the two of you Garfield in particular were here to meet them." The Duchess told her friend.
"I see, we'll be there shortly Satine." She promised before turning off the com, and turning to her apprentice who was looking at her worriedly.
"What's up?" he asked.
"We're needed back at the estate immediately, it appears some important people have showed up and wish to meet with us." She told him while clipping her new 'saber to her sash.
Garfield's eyes widened "US?" he asked, his voice cracking.
Titania looked at her apprentice and gave him a reassuring smile before saying "Yes, Satine said they wished to meet us both, they seem to be looking forward to meeting you in particular."
"Oh, great." He groaned.
Chuckling at the green boy's antics Jax said "Don't worry so much kid, just be straight up with whomever it is and you'll be fine. But before you go, I got sumthin extra for you." He told the changeling before he reached underneath the table the lightsabers were originally sitting on and produced another box.
"What is it?!" he asked excitedly.
"Why don't you open it and find out?" Jax offered.
Garfield did so and once he looked at what was in the box all he could say was "Oh yeah, this is so me, right here..."
Satine sat around a large rectangular table made from the trees found on the moon of Mandelore. Sitting around the table were the heads of the various tribes from the furthest reaches of Mandelore, all of them wearing their finest armor, and even at her protest bearing numerous weapons. Satine was in fact quite nervous. Not over the tribal leaders those she could handle, but it was the man who managed to convince them all to gather here, her predecessor: the infamous bounty hunter Jango Fett.
In truth, though she led the New Mandalorian faction she did not hold the title of Mandelore, that title still belonged to the bounty hunter sitting across from her. She couldn't see his face, as it was hidden behind a typical 'T' visored Mandalorian helmet. Satine could feel his gaze on her, boring on her from within.
"Where is he?" he asked coolly.
Doing her utmost to keep her composure Satine replied "I'm sure he'll be here soon Lord Mandalore, he and his master are just looking over their equipment no doubt."
This seemed to placate the older warrior as he nodded and said "Yes, you're probably right, finicky things those lightsabers, if not properly put together, their liable to explode."
"I suppose you would know wouldn't you Mandalore?" One of the warchiefs, who was garbed in his own set of armor made of crimson colored Beskar asked in the form of a taunt.
Looking in said man's general direction he replied coldly "Yes Marec, I would indeed I would know that most Mandalorian tactics would be useless against an assault from a Jedi and the only saving grace you or anyone else in this room has is the Beskar hide your hiding in."
Marec Takisir; he was a longtime opponent of both the previous and current Mandalore, mainly because he coveted the position for himself, yet was too cowardly to claim it by right of combat. As such he opposed the Mandalore at every turn, but usually just ended up making a fool of himself like so.
Before the Mandalorian could retort, and likely get him killed, the massive doors leading into the meeting hall were blown off their hinges and sent slamming into the opposite wall.
"Oops my bad, I'm still getting used to this suit." A deep apathetic sounding voice said.
Looking at the place where the massive doors once stood were two people. One was an elegant woman in her early twenties and the epitome of beauty, with long golden hair, grey eyes, and lithe elf-like figure covered in a tan brown cloak, tan robe, and rawhide boots. Her wardrobe combine with the air of tranquil serenity she was giving off left no doubt in anyone's mind that she was a Jedi of the highest order.
The person beside her couldn't look more different by contrast. He was clad in a full set of Mandalorian armor, consisting of a black bodysuit made of armorweave beneath royal purple colored chest piece that's front was shaped in such a way to give the impression of an eight pack as well as provide its wearer optimum movement, covering up to the upper arms and thighs to the knee and elbow respectively, before it tapered off to allow silver calf–high boots and elbow length gauntlets to take over, on his waist was a utility belt with several pouches and a black leather kama that went down to his knees. But the most impressive feature of his armor was by far, his helmet.
The helm was no less impressive, the same purple hue as the rest of his armor, it was carved in the likeness of a Mythosaur skull, horns curving downwards from the sides of the skull and the skeletal nose giving way to three long jagged teeth. The 'eyes' of the skull were covered by what appeared to be two darkened transparisteel lenses.
The chieftains muttered darkly at this unknown individual blatantly wearing the symbol that should represent the Mandalore alone, but most of all they watched their leader to see what he would do.
Getting up from his seat, he slowly approached and circled the boy silently for a moment before he said "Do you know what that helmet you wear symbolizes boy?"
Shaking his head, said boy replied "No sir."
Sighing to himself, Jango said "It is the symbol of the ruler of this planet; of the Mand'alor, and by wearing it so brazenly; you've all but challenged the current Mandalore to a fight for his throne."
"Oh shit really?" the boy said sounding nervous.
The bounty hunter nodded and said "Yeah, but lucky for you, I just so happen to know that Jax is an asshole, and this is just his kind of humor, so I won't take this as a serious challenge."
"Wait, you mean that you're?-"Garfield began only for Jango to take off his helmet, revealing his tanned complexion and dark hair and finish "Jango Fett, bounty hunter and current Mand'alor of Mandalore; pleased to meet you."
Taking off his own helmet Garfield smiled and said "Garfield Mark Logan padawan learner at your service your highness."
Smiling a bit, Jango said "No need to be so formal Garfield, though it is appreciated. I must say that Jax out did himself on the armor I commissioned for you, highly defensive yet incredibly flexible. Gives it more weak points than most Mandalorians would be comfortable with but that shouldn't be a problem for a Jedi, and I don't think I said anything about adding crushguants or built-in blasters to the gauntlets either but I can't argue with the results. May I see your lightsaber?" he inquired.
"Wait you commissioned my armor, why? Not that I'm not grateful and all, but seriously you don't even know me dude." Garfield pointed out.
Smirking in mysterious manner he replied "Consider it a...thank you gift for talking some sense into our dear Satine over there. Now, may I see your lightsaber?" he asked again as said woman blushed.
Seeing no harm the request; Garfield obliged. Moving aside his Kama, he pulled forth his lightsaber by its handle and presented it to the planets ruler, sheath and all. Taking it gently, Jango examined the weapon. The sword looked like a broadsword, its pommel and slightly curved guard wrought of bright Beskar iron, handle wrapped in the intertwined skins of the Sarlacc and Rancor skin in-between which, near the guard were placed four teeth of a Vexnu. The sheath the blade rested in was no less brilliant. Triangular, capped in the same bright grey Beskar metal, primarily colored the same royal purple as his armor with four black lines traveling across its surface in an X pattern.
"Magnificent, truly Jax has created a masterwork in this." He said lowly as he admired the sheathed lightsaber.
Nodding, Garfield said "Yeah, Jax really did a great job on both Avalon and Excalibur."
Giving him a curious look, Jango handed him back his armaments echoed "Avalon and Excalibur?"
"Yeah, that's what I named them." The changeling replied while clipping the sheath back to his belt beneath his Kama.
"I see." Jango said before he donned his helmet once again before walking down to the far end of the table and standing on it.
Gesturing to the Padawan, he said "Come on up here boy, and don your helm, let's see if your worthy of it."
Garfield was now both scared and confused "But you said that we wouldn't have to fight!"
"Oh c'mon boss, get up there and kick his ass!" Hondo's voice called from behind him.
Turning Garfield found the entirety of Hondo's crew, plus the girls crowding around the entranceway behind him and his master.
"Come on Greenie you can do it!" Astara cheered happily next to her sister who gave him an encouraging nod.
"It's time for you to prove your worthy of being my consort BB." Blackfire said before nodding towards the table where Jango patiently waited.
Looking at Ashara she whispered "The path of one-thousand light-years begins with a single step."
"Master, Satine?" he said nervously looking to them for help.
"My hands are tied since he's the Mand'alor. I'm sorry Garfield." Satine apologized.
Titania looked from her apprentice to the infamous bounty hunter and back again before saying "I don't think a brief spar could hurt" She then looked sharply at Fett and said warningly "Should anything happen to my padawan however..."
"Should anything happen to your padawan, Mandalore will be looking for a new ruler." Jango finished for her with an accepting nod.
Resigning himself to his fate, Garfield sighed before donning his helm and getting up on the other end of the table muttering "Might as well give the people what they want."
Standing across from Jango he said "Ready to give the people a show?"
Fett nodded before bent his knees slightly in preparation and said "Ready whenever you are."
In response, Garfield drew his lightsaber, revealing it had an emitter covered in silver and black enamel in the middle of the guard embossed the sigil of Mandalore. The blade then came to life with a thrum and it was a deep purple, wider than most lightsaber blades at half an inch across, but it was also shorter than standard, bearing only three foot nine inch blade, instead of the usual four foot seven of most lightsabers.
Jango took all of this in as the boy in front of him took a stance raising his blade in salute before flicking it downwards and slowly advancing. Jango sprang into action then, drawing both of his blasters which he had previously set to stun, he fired off two shots. Garfield blocked them easily, hardly faltering in his advance at all, but he did say "Do you think it's safe to be shooting that in here?"
"Don't worry this thing is set to stun." Jango replied as he unleashed a barrage of blaster fire upon the Jedi, causing him to block and stop his advance, and eventually retreat under the Mand'alor's heavy suppressive fire.
"Is this all you got kid? I'm disappointed." Jango said in a mocking tone as he continued to lay down a heavy rain of blaster fire.
Gritting his teeth in frustration, Garfield growled out "Not even close Jango, watch this dude."
He then held out his free hand and the blaster bolts suddenly dissipated as they came within five feet of his out stretched palm, which began to take on an ominous red glow.
'Oh shit!' Jango thought before he hit the deck, realizing just what the boy was doing. He ducked just in time to avoid a large blast of red energy that not only would've knocked him out, but would've likely sent him flying through the wall.
From his prone position, Jango said "So that's how it is, you wanna play rough do ya?"
Garfield shook his head and said "No actually, that? That was a distraction."
'A distraction for-'The bounty hunter didn't get to finish his thought as the Jedi suddenly brought his other arm, the one holding his lightsaber forward, the arms muscles now all bunched up and coiled, when they were suddenly let loose creating a drill-like effect with his lightsaber as the drill bit.
Jango just managed to roll to the side before the lightsaber turned drill bit came crashing down into the solid wood table, easily sawing through it. Standing and taking in the scene; Jango realized he did not in fact get away totally unscathed. His right shoulder had been partially torn into by that ingenious attack.
'But I did learn some interesting things though. First off, the kid is either a contortionist or a shapeshifter, which means he's likely used to adapting to new situations rather quickly. Secondly, he is clever. And lastly...lastly...' Jango thought to himself, while standing up as the kid finished putting his arm back in place.
"You're going to be hard to beat if you've got more tricks like that kid." Jango said with respect entering his tone.
Smiling from behind his helm, Gar replied "You ain't seen nothing yet Jango, I'm just getting started."
"Why do I feel like that means this is going to end very badly for me?" the bounty hunter asked.
"I dunno, probably because it is?" The voice of Garfield said...from directly behind him.
Jango's eyes widened in shock from beneath his T-visor as the image in front of him shimmered like a mirage before it disappeared. 'An afterimage' he noted in the back of his mind as he rolled away from his opponent and righted himself just in time to witness his next maneuver, which again would have ended the fight if he'd been hit with it. With his body facing away from his opponent Garfield's sword arm moved impossibly fast turning his entire arm and Excalibur along with it into one massive blur of motion.
Releasing an impressed whistle, Jango said "That's the fastest I've ever seen a force user move. How'd you pull that off?"
'He caused constant shifts in his arm using his shapeshifting powers and combined that with an application of Force Speed specifically to his arm alone making it almost impossible to control which is why he turned his body like so.' Titania perceived in wide-eyed astonishment as she whispered "Incredible Garfield, you're truly incredible."
Speaking of Garfield; he raised a finger and said "Tsk, tsk. Hasn't anyone ever told you a magician never reveals his secrets?"
"No." Jango replied honestly.
Shrugging, Garfield said "Well, there's a first time for everything bub." He then charged the current Mand'alor once again, ignoring the warning bells going off in his head.
If he had listened to his instincts'; he might've noticed that this time, Fett was ready for him. Quickly tossing a metal sphere up in the air, Garfield watched it ascend he briefly wondered if it was a grenade, but highly doubted Fett would risk harming so many innocent people over a simple spar. By process of elimination he quickly surmised that the sphere was supposed to incapacitate him in some way and did the only thing he could with the few seconds he had remaining...
"Kriff!" He swore before turning into a Galapagos Tortoise, hoping to escape the worse of what was to come.
For the most part it worked. From within the confines of the tortoise's shell he managed to escape the blinding flash. However, it had the unintended side-effect of increasing the noise produced by the flashbang, and so still managed to disorient him forcing him back into his human form. Dizzy and feeling like he spent months at sea and needed to get his land legs back, Garfield was completely unprepared to defend himself from Jango's counterattack, which came in the form of a small metal dart that had three prongs and was just small enough to slip through the plates of his armor.
The drugs in the Kamino saberdart quickly took effect, and Jango watched as the boy became suddenly lethargic, his legs giving out from under him, as he landed on his back spread eagled. Turning his head weakly towards Jango he asked "Damn, I lost huh?"
To which Jango nodded, but said with a hint of admiration in his voice "Yeah, but with a bit of spit and polish, we might just make a Mand'alor out of you yet."
"M-Mand'alor huh, cool dude." Gar said before finally succumbing to the drug in the saberdart and passing out.
The room was silent except for Satine who had been woefully unprepared for the flashbang and ended up taking its full effects.
"Was-"She began only to groan, rub her head, and try again "Was that really necessary Lord Mand'alor?"
"I thought so." He responded stoically.
"I see, thank you Bo-tan." She said to her sister who had been kind enough to fetch her a glass of water, calling her sister by an affectionate nickname.
"Not a problem Tine." She responded.
After gulping down the water, Satine's head cleared enough for her to question her planets' true leader "Did you mean what you said? Do you really intend for Garfield to-"She stopped talking when she saw Jango raise his hand for silence.
Taking a moment to gather his thoughts, he spoke "There is an old Mandalorian saying that you can tell a lot about someone by how they fight. Well, after fighting Garfield I feel that he would make an excellent successor to the title of Mand'alor. He is driven, he has the will to succeed, and he is capable of things no one else is. Did you all see how quickly he changed his form, and with no pain? That proves that he is neither Shi'ido nor a Clawdite, but something altogether different. With his Master's permission I would like to train the boy in Mandalorian battle arts." He finished while looking at the blonde Jedi Master expectantly.
Knowing he'd backed her into a corner, Titania said "It's not my place to accept or refuse your offer; it is Garfields' alone. Therefore, if he decides to learn from you, I will not stop him."
"Good to know."
"This is utterly ridiculous; do you truly expect us to accept this...boy as the next Mand'alor?" Marec Takisir said in unconcealed distaste.
"If he accepts my offer of training yes, that's exactly what I expect. Unless you'd rather face him yourself when he wakes up that is Takisir?" Jango challenged.
When the Mandalorian remained silent, Jango took that as a no and said "Good, anymore objections? No? Good. Now, then here's what's-"He was cut off when he heard a groaning coming from his downed opponent.
"Oh shit did anyone get the plates of the bus that hit me?"Garfield asked groggily as he sat up.
'How the hell is he awake already? There was enough tranq in that dart to put a normal person asleep for a good twenty-four hours.' Jango thought to himself.
Looking around, he found Jango standing above him and came to the obvious conclusion "Damn, I lost didn't I?"
"Indeed but I got permission from your master to barrow you for a bit of training. We can't have the next Mand'alor be a half-assed fighter now, can we?"
Garfield was confused "Next Mandalore, wah-"He was interrupted by Astara who had somehow snuck up behind him and turned him to face her before saying in her bubbly cheerful manner "You're going to be groomed to be the next ruler of the planet Gar, isn't it exciting?"
His eyes widening from beneath his mask, he stuttered out "Next...ruler...of the planet, me?" he asked pointing to himself while looking at both his master and Fett, both of whom nodded.
He did the only thing he could upon hearing this...he feinted in Astara's arms.
Turning towards her Hondo asked the senior Jedi "Do you think that was a yes?"
Chapter Length: 10,058 – Date Completed: 5/24/14
AN: I LIVE! Ahem, hello everyone and welcome to the third chapter of Edge of a Coin. It's been awhile I know but I am not in fact dead. Now some of you are probably disappointed BB who has an insanely high Midi-chlorian count lost to Jango...well Jango is...He's Jango. He's got a good twenty or so plus years' worth of experience on Gar who has only been using Force Powers for...about three weeks, add on top of that the fact Jango has experience fighting Jedi, and this fight was over before it began honestly. Even when combining it with his shapeshifting in a unique fashion he was still taken out in the end.
Now, some of you have been saying that I haven't been using BB's shapeshifting powers enough well here you go, a chapter full of it! But there is a reason for that. You see, to me BB's normal animal forms wouldn't last five minutes in a fight in the Star Wars universe! They have superior technology; everything from their weapons to vehicles is better in my humble opinion, and with his current skillset he wouldn't last long. Hence until he comes into contact with some of the more 'vicious' aliens, expect me to keep the shifting to a minimum.
Well that's all I have to say other than I hope you all enjoyed the chapter, if you did please review as it let's me know what I can improve on and that I haven't lost my touch. Till next time everyone, Bubbajack out!