"FRACTURED MIRROR" - CLAN ARTISAN RUN-ON
Temple of Light
The four new councilors had taken their place with the High Council, as they and Master Orian looked out at the vast number of Jedi gathered. It was time to close the ceremony in the tradition way: in remembrance of those lost. During this time of conflict Urias thought it especially worthy to mention those Jedi of his enclave that had died during the Vuuzhan Vong war.
"Each Jedi carries inside them a piece of the Force; a light that shines out so bright it can bring hope to the darkest corners of the galaxy," Urias said, "yet each flame must come to an end."
Orian closed his left hand and reached out to the collection of apprentices, padawans, knights and masters in front of him. He then opened his hand and ball of light (no bigger than a tennis ball) appeared. It hovered away from him and rose into the air slowly.
"Yet death is not the end, as surely as a Jedi life returns to the force: matter become energy and a new light exists where the old one had been." The ancient master said as he looked up at the ball of light he created. There was a slight gasp from the younger Jedi as the ball of light split apart to become lots of lights hovering above them. "Each one of these balls of light represent one of our numbers who sadly are no longer with us in this form. Yet they live on... let us remember their names."
One of the hovering balls of light started to ascend further into the air and through the marble ceiling.
"Let us remember Jedi Master Yoni."
Then another ball of light ascended.
"Let us remember Jedi Master Muz Ashen."
More of the lights because to rise up as Master Orian called out those who had died. Jedi Masters and Knights who loss was still felt, whose faces were sorely missed.
"Let us remember Jedi Knight Sakura Haruno, who sacrificed her life so other may live."
Ashura dropped his head slightly, Sakura had been his best pupil and brightest of all sparks. He had been there at the end, she had saved his life during a heated battle with the Far Outsiders on Telos. Knight Haruno had stayed behind to set the explosions off manually as the auto-destruct had been damaged in the research colony the Vong were using for sick, twisted experiments.
The immortal carried on and eventually came to names the Padawan and Younglings who had been killed. One name in particular stood out among the rest. For most (including Urias Orian himself) the wounds were still fresh.
"Let us remember Jedi Padawan Aleho Ruoxf, a light that will sorely be missed among us."
The last of the balls of light ascended through the roof and joined with the others now circling Sepros. Each began to travel outwards to the depths of space and for the next hundred years went on a separate journey, where at the end they would ignite to form the foundation of life: each one becoming a star.
Victory I-class Star Destroyer Erisi Pride
Araic Simonetti watched from the window in his quarters as the collection of lights left Sepros for space. He felt sad, but then many have suffered much during this war, not just the Jedi. Araic had lost friends, soldiers under his command, but he knew it was better to die on your feet then hiding in some hole. He sighed deeply and turned back to the two guests.
"So there is nothing I can do to convince you otherwise?" He said to the tall woman with long black hair.
Erisi Dlarit sat in the modest chair with her legs crossed looking up at the captain. "If I was to run then it wouldn't be the kind of example to give my employees," said the Viceroy of the Dlarit Corporation. "I didn't form this company after my father's went bust to just give it up and run away. I was very lucky to get this contract with Master Orian, especially with our contract going bust in the Phare system."
Araic looked at her and voiced his concerns; although he was just a lowly ship's captain, he did have a close connection with this woman. "What about Elise? Do you think it's fair on her?" He turned to look at the deaf girl.
Elise Dlarit was Erisi's eleven year old daughter. She had been born on Aeotheran a year after the Dlarit Corporation had moved to the Sepros system. The Viceroy had never mention who the father had been, but Araic always suspected it was him. He and Erisi had been having a on/off romantic interest for the past fifteen years.
"She'll be safe back on Sepros. I've arranged it with Master Orian to have many of the children moved there. There's no safer place: both Tarthos and Aeotheran would be the first to fall if ever the Vong were to attack." Dlarit's reasoning was sound as ever.
Simonetti wanted to protest but never got a chance to as condition red was suddenly sounded across the intercom.
||ALERT! ALERT! OUTER SYSTEM PROXIMITY RADER HAS DETECTED ENEMY FORCES ON APPROACH. ALL HANDS REPORT TO BATTLE STATIONS.||
"Mother." Elise said in a flat tone.
Erisi turned to look at her daughter who was looking up at her with wide eyes. The kid must have noticed the alarms flashing.
"It is all right sweetheart," Erisi said making sure her daughter see her lips clearly, "there is nothing to be afraid of."
"Mother. This is just like in my nightmares, the one where the monsters come to chase me." The child was trembling slightly as Erisi picked her up and looked at Araic. There was no need for words now, as both knew the day everyone had been dreading was now upon them.
"Go! Take her to Sepros." Simonetti said as he grabbed his jacket uniform and pushed the Viceroy out of his door into the corridor. "GO! Damn it." Erisi nodded and started to run off, she only stopped quickly to give Araic one last look... as if to burn his image into the back of her mind forever. Erisi knew she would never see him again.
Sepros system outer-rim
What looked like a hundred Worldships hung at the edge of the system. This was not going to be a battle, but more like a slaughter. This had been a day Talorthane Zemar had long waited for. The warrior wanted blood; he wanted to finish these 'Jedi' like he had on Corusant. The anticipation was enough to send him into a frenzy.
Talorthane spun around to look at the female Executor and hissed, ""
There seemed to be a slight stand off between these two Yuuzan Vong. The war had taken its toll on both sides. If it was not for the strong leadership of Warleader Drathul Amnan, there would likely to be infighting between all the Vong on how best to cleanse this galaxy in the name of their gods.
The Supreme Commander had arrived on the scene, and this was enough to get Zemar and Shul back in line.
"" Amana commanded.
The warrior and the executor set off to carry out the will of the Supreme Commander. Drathul eyes looked at the small glowing dots which pasted by his fleet. He watched then with mild interest until out of side and then focused on the Worldships in front and smiled.
Temple of Light
The Mandalorian dressed in his red and black armor carefully watches as Jedi Master Urias Orian spoke with a fellow Consular. The helmet concealed the alert eyes as the personal guard accessed each individual and surroundings for any threat to show itself. For the past year and a half, Sepros had been a fairly safe place, but since the Vong War had finally reached the system, times had changed.
The Protector had been finishing up his supercommando training on Raxus Prime when the Mandalore had decided to ally them with the Republic and Jedi in the war. Various commandoes were assigned as protectors to the Jedi Masters and Urias Orian had received Robert Daragon as his personal guard
Urias Orian stopped in mind sentence; he was talking to Trevarus about patterns of Enlightenment when he had sensed it. Caerick too had sensed the coming storm. The Dlarit Corporation had mobilized their fleets to defend the system. It could only mean one thing.
"It looks as if this is it, my old friend," said the Immortal, "I only wish we'd had more time to prepare the council and others."
"I know master, but in the end all we can do is have faith in the Force, and in each other," said Master Caerick. Urias smiled mentally to himself, in all the thousands of years he had lived, he had never had someone so attuned to the ways of enlightenment like Trev.
"Prepare the generals and the others, our final battle with the Vuuzhan Vong begins. I will be along shortly, someone is here to see me." Urias then bowed to his Jedi brother. "May the Force be with you Lord Caerick."
"And with you Lord Orian," replied Master Jedi with a bow, and then Trevarus departed. Urias stood there for a moment and then walked off down the corridor to another room. Here he found Erisi and her daughter waiting for him.
"Welcome Viceroy," he said to Erisi before turning to the girl, "and to you Elise Dlarit ." The little girl smiled slightly.
"Master Orian, I would consider it a personal favour if Elise could stay with you rather than the shelter. There is no one there she trusts, she is special and I fear for her being alone."
Urias nodded his head and replied, "I understand Erisi, she is very special. Rid yourself of this fear and go do your job. She will be safe with me." This calmed the older woman down greatly. Dlarit knelt down to look her daughter in the eyes and said something to the girl using sign language. Elise replied with her hands and then hugged her mother.
Erisi stood up and look at the ancient Jedi, she then slowly nodded her head and left the room. Elise turned and walked up to the Jedi Master; Urias could feel the fear coming from her.
Do not be afraid little one, I will not let anything happen to you.
Do you promise? You have to promise!
Urias smiled slightly as he knelt down and tapped her nose with his index finger. I promise you.
Far above them the Dlarit Navy positioned their starships to form a defensive line to stop the alien invaders. There was everything from Star Destroyers to X-Wings all ready to give it to the Vuuzhan Vong, or die trying. There was no where left for anyone to run, this was the final hour. The Far Outsiders had put the bulk of their forces into this invasion.
As the battle of Sepros system commenced, Urias Orian, a Jedi who had sought enlightenment and gained immortality, a man who had lived to train Jedi in new ways of thinking now feared only one things. It was was not death, nor allowing his brothers and sisters to sacrifice their lives in an impossible battle. It was none of those things at all.
What Urias Orian feared, as men and woman started to die in the coldness of space, that he would not be able to keep his promise to Elise Dlarit. He would not be able to save her from the coming storm.
Jedi Master Ashura Konden ran through the temple as the news spread like wild fire. He knew this day was coming, it had been an indisputable fact which every Jedi knew. The Sepros Conclave had prepared themselves for this, but now it was actually happing their was a sense of disbelief within the minds of the younger Jedi.
"Get to your transports!" He shouted as Jedi Generals and Commanders rushed past him. Each of them knew which of the Dlarit ships they were assigned to assist in the battle commencing above them. Ashura quickly grabbed his knighted apprentice as she ran past.
"Kalei," his voice was softly spoken as he looked her in the eyes, "take care of yourself out there. I don't want to loss another apprentice." That fact he lost Sakura and then little 'Leho caused Ashura to be a little overprotected of his last remaining apprentice... even if she did pass her trials. Master Konden had yet to select a new padawan, his heart was still heavy over Aleho's death.
"Yes master, I promise," replied the Knight as he let go of her. He watched her dash off to board one of the transports.
"They grow up so quickly."
Ashura spun around to see Jade looking at him with those caring eyes of hers. He didn't reply to her, their was no need to.
"Let's meet up with the other council members heading off. I hear Master Paladin will be remaining of Sepros to keep the younglings safe."
"Yes, as one of the Enlightened Masters, there has to be at least two of them teach the children the enlightened way," replied Ashura as the two of them walked off. It was likely that Masters Caerick and Zorrixor would join the other councilors to aid the fleet in the battle.
(OOC: The run-on has begun. Please use the Fractured Mirror OOC thread if you have any questions)
Temple of Light
"Master, shouldn't we be getting to our transport?"
Confusion hung on every syllable of the words. There was no response from the Jedi Master, his arms folded into the sleeves of his robes, a calm smile playing on his lips. Glancing down at the auburn-haired Padawan, he spoke reassuringly.
"All in good time, my young Padawan. Do not worry yourself- we are in no immediate danger."
Slowly the Padawan nodded, glancing at the female Jedi Knight walking along the corridor on the other side of her Master. The girl glanced back at her, rolling her eyes with a friendly smile before speaking.
"Relax, Dyrra- if father thought we had to hurry, we'd be hurrying."
"I sometimes wonder..."
The Master spoke again as the trio reached a doorway, the hydraulic door sliding open swiftly to reveal the bustling hangar beyond.
"Tsukiko is right, Dyrra. Hurrying would serve only to distract us from what needs to be done. Remember the teachings of Dōgen- maintain your composure."
A smile flickered across Dyrra's lips. She'd heard that catechism before.
"Thank you, Master Manji."
Temple of Light Hangar Bay
The hangar bay was filled with people- Jedi Knights and their apprentices running to the transports scattered around the room, workers and assistants bustling over the ships like ants over a downed animal, fixing minor problems and making sure that each transport was fit to carry the Jedi to the battle above. The movement of people would have seemed without pattern to an outside eye, but there was an underlying symmetry to it; the Sepros Conclave had been preparing for this invasion since the prophecies of the Immortal and the other High Councillors had been deciphered. Every Jedi knew which transport was theirs, and every crewman knew which ship it was their responsibility to see to.
Surveying the hangar bay, Manji Keibatsu freed one of his arms from the sleeves of his robe and pointed towards a nearby ship.
"Dyrra, Tsukiko... I believe this is our ride."
Above Seng Karash
Jedi Master Malisane's eyes snapped open as the sound of alarms burst through his consiousness. He frowned, glancing around himself in annoyance at the sound. In one smooth movement he got to his feet. He picked up his silver bladed saber and strode to the door, and out into the corridor. His eyes met the tall figure of the trandoshan whose hulking form was hurrying past. Jedi Knight Mrussk turned. "We are called to battlestations Master Malisane."
Malisane nodded, his mind racing. "So the Yuuzhan Vong have arrived," Malisane said with a grim satisfaction. "So it is time."
Mrussk nodded. "Master Xorrizors vision was correct."
"The fleet will be assembling above us," Malisane surmissed.
"And Marakith is moving to high orbit," the trandoshan added, "it must protect the city."
Malisane glanced around him. "It will suprise them," he said with a brief touch of pride, "we have our own battle to fight. We shall take a shuttle for the flagship. Much will need to be done there. A line must be drawn before the enemy can threaten the civilian population."
Mrussk nodded, falling into step besides the master. "May the force be with us," he growled.
"It will be," Malisane replied.
The human master and the trandoshan knight sat onboard the shuttle as it left the Aoetheran atmosphere. Malisane glanced down at the city of Seng Karash below them, and the immense skyhook that was slowly moving to take up it's defensive position, it's bristling turbolaser and missile ports opening as crews performed drills to make ready. Below it in the city civilians made their way to underground shelters or the covered hydrophonics facility, a great mass that fought it's way to safety, herded by the Dlarit police. He glanced into the blackness of space to where he estimated the Vong war machine was advancing. "You have made a mistake coming here," he muttered, "we do not flee or surrender like others have. You will pay for your actions."
The trandoshan knight glanced at him but kept his own council, as the shuttle cleared orbit.
Temple of Light
rose from his meditation, the alarms had disturbed his concentration and he knew his services would be required. His recent losses in the battles against the Far Outsiders had scarred him. He doubted his effectiveness in battle as these monstrosities could not even sensed through the Force.
"Put away your doubts, my young Padawan."
Astronicus heard a voice say behind him. He turned only to see the ghostly image of his former Master, Yoni - another one of his losses in this damned war. "Rely on the Force and you can defeat them."
"Defeat them? It is impossible, Master." Astronicus walked over to his closet and grabbed his travel bag, collecting what he would need or at least felt he needed. "After all, they defeated you. How can we possibly gain a foothold over something that is totally void of the Force?"
Questioned the Force spirit. "I see my lessons have already been forgotten by you. Lesson One, what is the Force?"
Astronicus did not have time for this, especially to be chastised and treated like a youngling. "Master, please I have things to do, I do not have the time to play the ignorant pupil."
"Lesson One, what is the Force?"
"The Force is an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us, penetrates us, and binds the galaxy together." Replied Astronicus exasperatedly.
"Very good, at least you remember that basic principle."
Yoni's Force aura meandered over to stand closer to his former apprentice. "And so, following that logic, if you compare it to the Yuuzhan Vong, what conclusion do you come to?"
Astronicus was losing his patience, the enemy could be destroying his sister's fleet at this very moment, his mastery of Battle Meditation was needed. "The Yuuzhan Vong had the Force stripped of them - how I do not know, but they no longer have a connection to it..."
"And yet at one time they and their creations did have a connection. The how and why do not matter, what matters is that they no longer have this connection yet are living."
Yoni took a seat on Astronicus' divan. "Now, answer the question, what conclusion must you come to."
"The conclusion," sighed Astronicus still throwing odd things into his bag, "is that no matter what has taken place, there must be a trace of the Force left in them - something we can use to our advantage. But what?"
"That I cannot tell you my young padawan, but what I can is that you will discover it and it will cause a turning in this war - I only hope you find it before it is too late."
Yoni leaned forward, placing his hands on his knees. His gaze was no longer fixed on Astronicus but on something farther away and more distant. "Tell me, can you think of any examples in the history of the Jedi that are similar to what has befallen the Yuuzhan Vong?"
"Do you mean Ulic Qel-Droma?" Asked the Jedi Master, knowing the Force aura of Yoni would not reply. "He was stripped totally of the Force, only to have it given back upon his repentance. Of course, the Yuuzhan Vong are not the only ones immune to the Force. Toydarians and ysalamiri are insusceptible. But what good does that do us, we do not even know how they are immune."
"Discover the answer and you will know how to defeat your enemy."
Instructed Yoni as his Force aura began to disappear. "May the Force be with you, my padawan."
As was usual when his Master tried to teach him a lesson, Astronicus was more confused than ever before. He pushed all that had just transpired to the side, he needed to get to the hangar and help his fellows in the battle above.
Victory Star Destroyer True Enlightenment
Ashura's Konden's transport landed safely in the starship's hanger despite the raging battle. The Worldship might be moving at a snails pace but other Vuuzhan Vong forces were already engaging the Sepros fleet with deadly vigor. Master Orian had arranged it with the Viceroy for the Conclave to have their own ship when the battle came; of course not all the Jedi were going to the fleet, some were making their way to Tarthos and Aeotheran to aid with the impending ground assaults
The Jedi Master quickly made his way towards the bridge to take command of the True Enlightenment. He was current the only Jedi Councillor on board and needed to help coordinate the defensive.
He swore lightly as he saw for the first time the massive armada the Far Outsiders had assembled for the assault on the Sepros system. A sense of dread sank into the core of his bones; this was a space battle the Dlarit fleet could not win.
"Admiral Nestor," said Ashura as he pressed the communications button to get in contact with the fleet commander, "you need to pull the fleet back from advancing on the Worldships. Our objective is to hold the line against the alien armada long enough for both our forces to get into position on Tarthos and Aeotheran."
The old admiral's voice crackled back at the Jedi. "Don't tell me how to do my job Master Konden, I've been commanding starships since before you were in diapers. I'm not about to let these bastards cross this line. I'm not about to let them win"
"Admiral, please wait for the Enlightened to arrive; only together does the fleet stand a chance of holding the Far Outsiders off!"
Ashura's reply never came as Nestor cut off communications. "The fool!" He said and turned to one of the Jedi Knights beside him. "His self-confidence is going to be his down fall... and ours if he doesn't wait. This space battle will be for nothing without the Enlightened to preform Battle Meditation to unite the fleet."
Temple of Light
Kalei had watched as her master had gone off and realized that leaving wad not something that she wanted to do. It was unlike her to disobey an order, especially one as serious as this, but these were trying times and it was each Jedi for themselves.
But looking at all of the apprentices on the transport, she realized they wouldn't have much of a chance if they ended up in battle after they landed, she had to get a hold of herself. It was not often she let her emotions get the best of her but after everything that had happened lately, even after passing her trials, she was not sure, at this moment, how to control them.
Looking to the pilot of the transport, she went up and sat in the seat nearest him, "We best get moving before the battle begins. Take us down."
The pilot nodded, "Yes, Knight Amari," and got them clearance to leave. She sat back, most realized that she had forsaken her first name and started to want to be called by her given middle name, Amari. But as for Master Konden, she did not force the issue. It was because of things that happened in her trials that she wished to give up the name Kalei, but she'd grown up with Master Konden calling her that, and it was a hard to change something that had been going on most of your life.