Mark of a Knight [M/S Run-On - Xantros and Kazumi Matsumoto]
Other people on invitation only.
First post: Xantros
Ptolemea, Headquarters of Caliburnus
Xantros was doing some paperwork in his office of the Battleteam Leader of Caliburnus. Despite that he was expecting a guest to arrive promptly, he did not want to lose his time and decided to deal with the boring stuff, which he could handle in relatively short time. Fortunately, the guest did not make him wait much longer. Few minutes later, he saw Jedi Hunter Kazumi Matsumoto entering his office. She was his Apprentice in the Master / Student Programme, which was run by the Summit of House Scholae Palatinae.
"Please, take a sit, Kazumi," said Xantros with a smile. "I was expecting you."
"How can I help you, Master?" asked Kazumi.
"Now, as you are the Jedi Hunter, you have to make the very last step towards your Knighthood. You need to construct your own lightsaber. However, before it happens, you have to obtain all necessary parts."
"I have spoken with the Quaestor and he has granted us the permission to leave for a mission to get all the stuff for you. I mean 'us', because I will assist you, in case that you may be exposed to a threat, which you might not be able to deal with. We do not want you to die..."
"Thank you, Master."
"On the other hand, if you are not able to gain the parts for your lightsaber, it means that you are not ready to advance in ranks and to become fully trained Dark Jedi Knight. Thus, I shall intervene only, when necessary to save your life."
"The first destination to visit shall be New Tython. As you know, the united forces of all Clans and Houses have invaded the headquarters of the Jedi, who are in ranks of our Brotherhood. The pathetic Jedi have been defeat and there have been many casualties on their side. We might use the post-war chaos to obtain some parts for your lightsaber. However, we shall not kill any of the Jedi. Also, we shall visit some other planets to get other things for you, like the lightsaber crystal."
"That is all right, Master."
"Good, do you have any questions?"
Xantros observed Kazumi, as she was thinking what questions to ask her Master. He could sense that the Jedi Hunter was very excited. Xantros smiled, as he remember his own Trials of the Knighthood very well...
Kazumi was very surprised and had mixed feelings because it was her first time. She thought as she only dreams and asked to her master: “Xantros.”
Xantros gave her an answer: ”Yes?”
“I have one question to you. Am I dreaming now?”
Xantros looked first at her because he did not understand that question first. His reaction was first with a question mark.
The Jedi Hunter reiterated her question: “I mean. How shall I explain it now. I have the feeling that I`m dreaming, you know. I have the feeling that I’m lying in my bed and in the dream, we sit here and discuss the travel to New Tython, so that I may prepare to become a Dark Jedi Knight. I have a feeling that whole situation is a dream.
The Dark Jedi Knight answered to her: “Ahm I know now. It`s not a dream. It`s really. I want to make you become Dark Jedi Knight. If you don`t want it, say it now.”
Kazumi nodded and said with excitement: “Of course! Of course! I want. But I have the feeling it`s a dream because I'm able to obtain an own lightsaber, you know.”
Xantros: “I know.”
“My last question is…” so Kazumi continued to ask, “I`m thirsty. Is it possible to drink something before we`ll go?”
The Dark Jedi Knight answered: “Yes.”
The Jedi Hunter wanted to to ascertain if that it wasn't a dream. When dreaming, the stomach never got full. Kazumi drank couple of glasses of water and felt that her stomach was getting full. Few seconds later, both Dark Jedi could hear loud rumble.
Xantros asked her apprentice: “What happened? Do you have stomach cramps? ”
She began to laugh and answered: “No. I have drunk too much water. My stomach is full and I can not walk upright. I wanted to make sure that it's not a dream. Now, I know.”
“I see.” said Kazumi's Master.
The Jedi Hunter was determined to go to New Tython, as Xantros suggested.
Xantros looked at his Apprentice. She was fairly young and inexperienced and it was very easy to notice that. 'Kazumi is very eager to assembly all necessary parts for her lightsaber. I'm not sure if not too eager. On the other hand, she is a Sith...They are always prefer to act immediately, instead of planning their actions.' thought Xantros.
For some time, the Dark Jedi Knight observed Kazumi, as she was getting ready herself to set off. He accompanied her in the armoury of Caliburnus, watching what types of weapon would she choose for the dangerous mission. He smiled, when she asked, "Shouldn't you prepare yourself, Master?"
"You are correct, we can not wait too long, if you are to construct your lightsaber in proper time. I'll be waiting on you aboard my ship, Buccaneer. Get there as soon as possible." said Xantros and headed back to his own quarters, in order to get the necessary equipment for the mission. He did not inform Kazumi, where his ship was parked, as he wanted her to show certain level independence.
The preparations did not took Xantros much time. He needed nothing more than he had in the quarters. His lightsaber, a blaster rifle, few thermal detonators and more comfortable clothes. Half an hour later, he walked slowly to his ship. He was not surprised with the fact that Kazumi was not there yet. He did not expect her to arrive so soon, as he taught her to always take her time to think the situation over, when it was only possible.
In a meanwhile, the Dark Jedi Knight prepared his freighter for their journey and gained all necessary permissions to set off. 'All right, everything is prepped and ready,' thought Xantros, 'Don't make me wait, Kazumi.'
Matsumoto began to realize slowly it was not a dream, after the stomach cramps, looked at her Master and smiled. She immediately headed towards the armory.
In the armory of Caliburnus, Kazumi looked at numerous types of weapon. She didn`t think about it long and search for a very specific training lightsaber, but this weapon was not to be found there. Kazumi took a long search for other training lightsaber. Finally now found the Jedi Hunter the Plain-like Armory Saber with the red blade and took it quickly. It was the weapon that she needed. After she took this lightsaber, the Jedi Hunter quickly headed to the location of Buccaneer. As soon as she got there, she said, “Master, sorry for being late. I had to look for the lightsaber couldn’t find it quickly. Now I have everything what I need. We can leave.”
When the Zabrak girl got close to Buccaneer, Kazumi got to do with nightmare from the past. She had survived a shuttle crush years earlier. There was a familiar hiss, as the door cracked open and the ramp lowered. Xantros saw in the eyes from his Apprentice could be read that she was afraid. Dumbfounded Jedi Hunter stopped and stood stiffly, but the dream of gaining her own lightsaber helped her to overcome her fear, as she finally went aboard the ship.
Xantros said to her apprentice: “I`ll promise you that’s that the second time will not happen.As soon as we get necessary parts, you’ll be able to make your own lightsaber.”
“I know, Master. Can`t wait to make it together with you”, said the Zabrak smiling to the Dark Jedi Knight.
“All right, let’s head to New Tython.”
The journey to New Tython was more boring than Xantros expected it to be. Nothing extraordinary took place during it, so the Dark Jedi Knight used the opportunity to speak with his Apprentice about their mission and the Knighthood. It definitely was not an easy and short talk, but he wanted to make sure that Kazumi was aware of her future duties and position in the House.
Finally, the navcomp stated that they were fifteen minutes remaining to jump out of the hyperspace. Xantros raised his eyebrows and spoke to Kazumi, "Let's get prepped and ready, as we are going to enter the hostile space soon. Remember, it is a quick in and out mission. If we cannot find what we need quickly, we must retreat and look for it somewhere else."
Kazumi nodded. It seems that she was very zealous about the perspective of fighting the Jedi of House Odan-Urr. Xantros frowned, as he was worried if the his Apprentice was not a bit overzealous about that. The main goal of the mission was to obtain some parts for Kazumi's lightsaber. Killing or seriously harming any of the Jedi was not an option, unless they wanted the Grand Master to execute them personally. Xantros wanted to fight only if it was necessarry and inevitable, but he preferred not to engage anyone.
Perfectly, no one would be aware of their presence. They would steal some lightsaber parts and fly from the planet before anyone could even realize what just happened. However, Xantros was aware that it was hardly possible to happen. He looked at Kazumi and said, "We are dropping out of the hyperspace in five...four...three...two...one...NOW!"
The ship returned to normal space. Xantros piloted it towards New Tython and some time later landed few kilometers from the main base of the Jedi, the location of which he learned during the Invasion of New Tython. Fortunately, it seemed that no one noticed them...Yet.
Xantros attached his lightsaber to the belt of his suit, lowered the ramp and said, "All right, Kazumi. Let's move on...We have a mission to accomplish here." As soon as they left the ship, the Dark Jedi Knight looked carefully around and closed the ship, in order to make sure that no one would enter it, before they would return.
Kazumi was pretty excited after they arrived New Tython. The Zabrak couldn`t wait anymore to get parts necessary her own lightsaber.
When the Buccaneer landed few kilometeres from the main base of the Jedi of House Odan-Urr, Kazumi asked anxiously her master : “Don`t you think that not a bit scary to land so close to the main base of the Jedi? What about if they hear us or see us I mean by their force?”
The Dark Jedi Knight answered to her: “Then we will fight, but only if it was necessary and inevitable. Do not be worried about that.”
“I know, master. You`ve explained it to me”, answered the Zabrak.
Xantros still talked with his Apprentice, while she was looking around. At the same time Kazumi was also listening what her master was telling to her. After the ship was closed, Xantros and Kazumi moved slowly to approach the base of the Jedi. It turned out that guard were standing next to the main entrance. When they got closer to the base Kazumi was getting increasingly anxious and her heart began to beat loud.
The Jedi Hunter asked to her master very suprise: “Why are we going in to the base?”
“Because”, Xantros answered, “we`ve greater chance to obtain some parts for your lightsaber.”
Kazumi stopped for a while and looked at her Master with a smile. “I trust you, Master, but I’m still trembling with fear. What will happen if the Jedi discover us?
"Then, we shall show them our superb abilities," replied Xantros, "They shall regret, if they decide to face us."
"Master...what if they outnumber us...or turn out...to be more powerful?" asked Kazumi with fear in her voice.
"Well, our lives are the highest value at this moment. If we encounter an obstacle that we cannot overcome, we shall retreat, in order to save ourselves. There are various places to obtain necessary parts for your lightsaber and our priority is to continue our service to the Dark Jedi Brotherhood," answered Xantros
"All right, Master," replied the Jedi Hunter.
Xantros gave her sign to remain silent, as she followed him. The Dark Jedi Knight did not want to attract the attention of sentinels, who guarded the main entrance to the Jedi base. Despite his proud words, which were aimed to comfort his Apprentice, he was aware that he could match only someone equal or weaker than he was. Fighting someone more powerful would probably be a suicide and even if he was a Dark Jedi Master, he could find it difficult to face whole House of the Jedi at the same time.
The two Dark Jedi moved slowly, seeking for a large ventilation shaft, which would allow them to enter the base unnoticed. Xantros remembered that there was one that would be just fine. All the way to the shaft, the Dark Jedi Knight had a disturbing feeling that something wrong was going to happen. Certainly, Xantros did not ignore the feeling. He had experienced such feelings before and it had always been wise not to ignore it. Thus, he remained vigilant, though he did not share his doubts with Kazumi. He did not want her to panic, if there was no direct threat.
Kazumi tried not to think about growing fear, but listened to what her Master was telling her. The Zabrak followed her master, looking for a large ventilation shaft. Finally they found what they were looking for . Both Dark Jedi quietly entered a narrow shaft, unnoticed by the Jedi guards.
As they moved through the ventilation shaft, Xantros sensed the presence of numerous Jedi nearby. It seemed that they were vigilant, like if someone alerted them that some intruders entered their base. The Dark Jedi Knight whispered to his Student, ”Kazumi, there are many Jedi ahead. I’m sure that they have sensed us, as I have been able to sense them. They are a direct threat threat and avoiding them seems to be impossible. I don’t want to risk. We won’t be able to steal lightsaber parts without getting notifced. Let`s return to the ship and leave this damned planet. I know where we can get parts for your lightsaber. Dantooine is one of such places and we shall go there now...”
The Jedi Hunter was surprised with his words, as he had previously insisted on stealing the stuff from Odan Urr. “All right,” said Kazumi and they silently left the base of the Jedi.
In the ship, Kazumi was sitting for a moment, like if she was paralyzed with fear. She remained silentThen, she silently said to her the Dark Jedi Knight: “Master, I’m so glad that no one noticed us.”
"Indeed, we are lucky, my Apprentice," replied Xantros. 'It was really, really close. Few minutes more and we would not be able to retreat from the Jedi base. They would surround and catch us. However, it has been an important lesson for both of us, Kazumi."
"A lesson?" asked the Jedi Hunter. "For both of us?"
"Yes, Kazumi. I want you to learn it on your own. If you aim to become a Dark Jedi Knight or to advance even further in ranks, you must be able to draw conclusions on your own," replied Xantros.
The Jedi Hunter thought in silence for few minutes, but her eyes lighted up with pride, when she spoke, "It is extremely important to be cautious. Sometimes, it is far better to retreat and lose a battle, but to save your life and win a war."
"You are correct, my Apprentice. Even though it may seem to be a way of the Krath, not the Sith, but this simple rule shall be followed by all Dark Jedi of the Brotherhood," said Xantros. "Do you have anything else to say?
"Yes, Master," replied Kazumi. "We shall be careful, but not fear risk. It is a matter of wise choice, when it is worth risking and when it is not. If we wish to be successful in our quest, we must join courage and caution together. Choosing only one of these values, we may fail either due to great loses in man or due to lack of action."
"Indeed. Balance between valour and reason is a crucial factor in our quest. Very well done, Kazumi."
The Jedi Hunter smiled with pride. It took her a bit of time to understand the reason, why Xantros decided to start their mission to obtain lightsaber parts for her on New Tython. It was a part of a long term training, which was aimed to help her become a wise Dark Jedi Knight. She appreciated that very much, as Xantros devoted her much of his time to make sure that she was going to understanding every single nuance of the Dark Side and the ways of the Dark Jedi Brotherhood.
In a meanwhile, Xantros passed a datapad to his Student and said, "Please, study the information gathered in this datapad. It includes basic data about Dantooine. We have some time before we reach the planet and I am sure that you will need this knowledge, when we reach our destination point."
Kazumi was not afraid anymore, when the two Dark Jedi finally landed on Dantooine, where Kazumi could get her own lightsaber crystal. They landed nearby a crystal cave and Xantros closed the door of their ship. Kazumi was impatient to investigated the cave and she entered it immediately, not noticing that her Master still stood outside. A moment later, Xantros went into the cave too, looking for his Apprentice. He called Kazumi, but the Zabrak heard nothing. She was very curious what she would find in the large cave. Full of enthusiasm, she continued her search, watching for blue and green crystals that might be suitable for her lightsaber.
Xantros was looking for his Apprentice, but she did not look around for her Master. The Krath called Kazumi with loud voice, which echoed in the cave, so the Zabrak could hear her Master: "Oooh! Xantros, I thought you stood behind me. Sorry. I was focused on the crystals, which I could use for my weapon and did not look back. I know, I should have waited for you." The Zabrak apologized Xantros.
The Krath said to his apprentice, “I know, Kazumi. You do not need to apologize me. You are very enthusiast and you can look for the crystals. It is what we are here for. I called you, because I do not want you to be too far for me to sense you, so that I can`t find you.”
“Oh, I see. I understand now, because the cave is also very big, right?”
Kazumi spoke again, “Master. I`m very glad that we are here in Dantooine, instead of being on New Tython, being aware that the Jedi might detect us. But I want to tell you something else. When I get promoted to the rank of Dark Jedi Knight I will miss you very much as my Master.”
Xantros smiled and replied, “I am glad to hear that. I must admit that I will also miss you as my Apprentice. Let`s go now. We must find your crystal.”
They moved deeper into the cave, looking for the suitable Adegan crystal.
Moving deeper and deeper into the cave, Xantros could sense growing disturbance in the Force. At the beginning, it was very weak, like a faint echo of the past glory of the Jedi, who lived on Dantooine centuries before the arrival of the Dark Jedi Knight and his Apprentice. However, with time the disturbance became stronger, as if the two Dark Jedi were getting closer and closer to its source.
The Dark Jedi Knight asked Kazumi to stop for a moment. She nodded and asked, “What is going on, Master?”
“I can sense a disturbance in the Force. Its source is located nearby and we are moving directly in its direction,” spoke Xantros. “Can you sense it?”
The Jedi Hunter closed her eyes and focused. Several seconds later, she answered, “Yes, Master, I can sense it now. I have not paid attention to it, as I have been busy with searching the proper Adegan crystal for my lightsaber.”
“I know, but you must be careful. You must be able to detect such disturbances subconciously. You must learn to observe the reality in a wider perspective. It will allow you to notice things, which may remain concealed, if you focus on one task too much.”
“Now, tell me, what can you say about this disturbance,” commended Xantros.
“It is definitely good thing…” started Kazumi.
“’Good’ thing is only what serves you and your Dark Brethren and Sisters.”
“You know what I mean, Master.”
“Yes, I do. But you should be more precise and careful, when you are looking for a proper wording. You may often gain more with refined speech than with brute force.”
“I understand, Master.”
“This disturbance definitely comes from the Light Side of the Force.”
“Yes. What does it mean for us?”
“A Jedi or possibly two – Master and his Student. They are coming back this way, like if they found a crystal.”
“Yes, go on.”
“We might try to kill them and to take it for me. If a Jedi found a crystal for his lightsaber, it may be suitable for mine, as well.”
“Indeed. I will keep the senior Jedi busy, while you shall deal with the Padawan,” spoke Xantros with delusively mild voice. “Let’s get prepared for the fight. If everything goes fine, we should obtain the suitable crystal for you in less than half an hour.”