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 Jedi Rising (Continued, ATTN Ava)

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Join date : 2010-07-26
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PostSubject: Jedi Rising (Continued, ATTN Ava)   Fri Dec 03, 2010 2:00 am

My name is Meric, Jedi Knight of the planet Kashyyyk, student of the great Master Mace Windu, mentor to Jedi Knight Avadedra Hetarra. My history before the beginning of the Rebellion you may already know, but it is not that which is important.
Rather, my true task began when I first met the girl on the Forest Moon. She was sixteen years old, frightened and injured, and she had a blaster pointed straight at my heart, but the Force has a funny way of working things out. Before long, I had her aboard the Rebels' medical frigate and under the care of a doctor, and that is where, after receiving a vision from the spirit of Anakin Skywalker, she became my apprentice.

Despondent though she was initially, the thought of being given the chance to pursue her mother Atdanna's heritage seemed to fill Ava with a sense of hope. I believed it was this hope which would help her overcome the dark shadows I saw even then beginning to grip at her heart.

As she recovered I reunited with my living Starship, the Katarn, and after some brief and slightly awkward introductions, we made our way to Admiral Ackbar's flagship, Home One, to pick up passengers for our trip to the Imperial Capital of Coruscant. Luke Skywalker bonded quickly with Avadedra, while she seemed eager to steer clear of Artoo Detoo, and any other droid for that matter. Our journey was brief, but Ava managed to take her first steps into her new walk with the Force.

We touched down on Coruscant and made our way into the lower city, doing our best to avoid Imperial entanglements. The journey was not entirely uneventful, as I ran across an old foe, Cradossk, a Trandoshen and former head of the Bounty Hunter's guild who bore a personal grudge against me. It was I who retrieved and released information within the guild which allowed Cradossk's son, Bossk, and his partner Boba Fett the opportunity to overthrow Cradossk... an event which culminated with Cradossk's attempted murder by his own son. I was forced to kill him before we could journey lower into the city.

There I reunited with more old friends:
Captain Juno Eclipse, a former Imperial Pilot and one of the key figures in the launch of the Rebellion.
Proxy: A droid designed and built by Darth Vader to train his apprentice, Galen Marek in the ways of the Dark Side, built with fully capable hologram projectors, lightsaber and other weapon slots and other various mechanics designed to mimic force abilities.
And General Rahm Kota, a famous general during the Clone Wars I'd had the honor of fighting under, whose actions ignited the rebellion, and who became one of its unsung heroes.

Ava, Proxy, and Juno managed to infiltrate the Imperial Palace and gain access to their computers, but were quickly discovered. Only a backup plan and the timely intervention of Katarn (along with Ava's burgeoning powers) saved them.

Hoth was our next destination. Ava and I paid a visit to the old Rebel base there, the place where her mother had died. In this dark place she received her mother's second gift: a small case, containing among other things a single gem... perfect for creation of her lightsaber. She completed it faster than many Jedi who had been studying the Force for far longer than she... The Force ran storngly in her as it did in her mother.

And now, our path has brought us one step further. Luke hopes to establish a Jedi Academy on the fourth moon of Yavin, in the old Massassi temple once used as a base by the Rebels, but General Kota warns against it. Millenia ago, the Dark Jedi Exar Kun led a war that nearly destroyed the Jedi order. It was said his final resting place was on the moon... As we approached I sensed nothing sinister.... And so I decided that not only would Ava and I examine the jungles near the temple for any sign of Kun's presence... I would use this as a training exercise for my apprentice... This was my first, and would be my most costly mistake... I did not realize that Kun WAS in fact alive on this moon... And though she was not yet strong enough to hear his voice. Ava would very well experience the dark lord's presence upon the moon...

--------------------------------

Avadedra smiled in return, inclining her head at Luke briefly. "Of course I remember them, Master." Her gaze turned on Juno and Kota in turn. "It's good to see you all again. It's been a while. Sorry if I'm interrupting anything important." She took in the pinched expression on Kota's face.

Ava stepped up next to Meric, folding her hands in front of her. "I returned the blueleaf." She looked up at him. "I'm sure it's not the exact place I took it from, but from what I can remember, it's close enough. I think it'll do fine."

Luke shook his head. "No, it's nothing as important as it might seem," he assured Ava, "Master Kota merely has... concerns about the location I've chosen as the facility for my Jedi Academy... He fears Exar Khun's spirit, but so far I haven't sensed anything."

Meric didn't answer Luke, but it was clear he wasn't quite so confident as the still-headstrong young Jedi Knight. In the meantime, he turned to his apprentice, nodding in affirmation. "That is good, Ava," he said, "All things have a place in the galaxy... and even those that choose to wander must return to it eventually. That is why once things settle down, I'll be returning to Kashyyyk... I feel there's much work there that still needs to be done... but I'd best not dwell too much on the future."

He turned his attention back to Luke. "Ava and I have business in the forest anyway," he continued, "I believe we'll have time to examine the ruins for any trace of Khun. We should return within two days' time."

"Two days?" Juno spoke up, "Meric... you've been... gone a long time, and you're leaving again?" She stepped closer to Meric. "I had hoped that... we might be able to spend some time together."

Meric shook his head. "I'm sorry, Juno," he said, "But my vows and commitment to the Jedi come before anything else, much as it would be good to... catch up with an old friend again."

He turned and slowly began to walk out of the temple. "Ava, did you bring your lightsaber with you?" he questioned, "You will need it."

Ava nodded, keeping her eyes averted throughout the exchange between the men. She vaguely remembered hearing the name Exar Khun before, but she stored it away. She'd ask later, when there was time. Even at her age, though, she caught the undertone of homesickness in her Master's voice, and felt her own twinge of pain for her own homeworld.

At Meric's mention of business in the forest, she glanced up sharply. He hadn't mentioned anything to her about it. She'd just assumed they would be here long enough to help Luke with a few things, then be off again. But two days in the forest? That was a bit out of nowhere. She snapped out of her reverie when Meric suddenly turned to her.

"Of course," she said, twitching her top robe aside to show the saber attached to her belt. "But why will I need it?"

Meric said nothing, but there was an almost-playful gleam in the older Jedi's eyes. He led Ava from the hangar, leaving the two men to continue their conversation, while Juno decided to look around and see if she could find any spare parts.

Meric closed his eyes a few moments, squinting against the light reflected from the bright orange planet above. When at last he adjusted, he opened them and took a deep breath.

"A Jedi is always prepared for any eventuality," he told Ava, "Your lightsaber is more than a simple weapon. It is your life, your defense... It, and the Force, are your constant companions, though your saber should be your last resort."

He turned east as the temple faded further and further into the jungle's thick foliage, moving until he came to a small clearing, barely as large as a cantina's back room. There, he suddenly stopped and turned to face his apprentice. "From here on, you are going to be tested," he told her, "We will travel awhile through the jungle, and then I'll leave you. You need to make your way back here... Understood?" It seemed like a simple test, but as was often the case with the master, there was a lot he was not telling her... Thus was part of the test.
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