The Journey to Knighthood [M/S RunOn: Drodik and DelGotto]
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A thick white fog clung down onto the grassy knoll of the morning. Sunlight had insofar penetrated the moisture magnifying its own brightness; to see but a foot in front of your body was nearly impossible. Bright white, the pain from straining to see straight proved an inability. Light footsteps seemed to dance around the soil with the sound of small depressions pit-patting into the dirt. Rushing sweeps too sounded off as cloth brushed against blades of grass when at last the flaps and sharp coos of an avian creature chaotically rustled in escape.
“….Look with your mind, see without seeing…”
A voice reached out of the dense fog, it seemed to penetrate the Consulars head but not his ears; where could it come from? The human closed his eyes and slowly pictured himself in the field: He saw his body lost in the fog, reaching out for that which pervaded him. Slowly his intuition began to take over and began to strip away the fog of his mind. At last he could sense his location in the knoll.
“….Your eyes are secondary vision….”
The human whipped around as he heard the familiar voice. His training saber in hand he raised it. An uneasy calmness spread around his body as he centered himself. He could feel the whole of New Tython beneath his feet, and the vibrations in the air as the lone figure approached him from behind. Spinning on heels he frantically jutted out the blue blade. Another saber blade clashed off of his sending him down to his knees.
He held out a hand feeling out the vibrations in the air. A cold sickness overcame him as he was aware of his next course of action. He sprang up and walked forward into the thick humidity of the Harakoan morning yet again, he readied himself for another attack…eagerly anticipating that which would not come; anger began to seep in.
“….patience is a virtue unto itself, calm your heart and mind, allow recognition of the breath of life…”
A bit of time passed as the human padawan stood ready in meditation desperately trying to calm his mind. At long last he sensed an attack. Without his voluntary indication he felt his body raise the training saber in response to the oncoming turquoise beam of light. The sabers clashed, one banking off of the other into the air. The Human could see clearly his Nagai opponent before him as they exchanged a few more bouts of dueling; with the last strike the blue training saber shorted out and dissipated. The Nagai raised his hand and pushed out a channel of air-current gently forcing the padawan back a few feet while he reattached his hilt to the clip.
“Can you see without seeing?” Drodik asked knowing the response. The padawan Alexander DelGotto returned his own hilt to its clip and responded, “Yes, but where did all that fog go? It was so thick it couldn’t have…..” he asked as the answer abruptly came to him; the white fog was illusory, he had cleared the fog of his mind.
“That’s all for now Alex.” Drodik declared
Alex bowed his head at his Master and walked away. He had much to meditate about. The feelings he had were new. For the first time it was as though he could truly sense the the force. As a child on Anaxes when the Force Spirit of Master Sanres tried to teach him to reach out he was unable to. After he arrived on New Tython and started fully training as Jedi he had had trouble. But this morning he was able to clear his mind and see without seeing. He wondered what had changed, had it been seeking revenge, the feeling of emotion or something else entirely. He wanted an answer, he needed and answer, and there was only one place to go. Alex stopped “The teachings of Odan-Urr, they imply that the force is not Dark or Light, it is the user and intent. Then why does it seem that when you let your emotions help guide you, it is easier? And the Jedi teach that is the path to the Dark Side.”
Master Drodik thought for a moment “when you know the answer to your own question you will be ready. And I am sure you will find your answer.” The Nagai Jedi Master simple turned ans walked away.
Alex was unsure what he meant. Was he giving him permission to study some of the forbidden text at the library. Or was he telling him that he needed to be resourceful to get the answers. Damn the Jedi and there cryptic answers. “Yes master,” was all he could reply. He headed for the library. “There is only one way to find out,” Alex muttered to himself as he set off.
When he arrived at the library, it was empty. Even the librarian, who Alex guessed was an old Jedi Master was not there. It seemed odd that at this time there wasn't anyone there. Alex heard the words of his Master, “... Look with your mind, see without seeing...” Alex closed his eyes and reached out, letting the calm flow over him. There was nothing, it was as if something was blocking him. Alex paced a few meters back and forth at the door. When he had been at peace it was slow to see without seeing. But when his master attacked, and he used instinct it was much clearer.
Again a voice seemed to penetrate Alex's head and not his ears “….patience is a virtue unto itself, calm your heart and mind, allow recognition of the breath of life…” Alex continued to pace, letting the frustration rise. It was as if he was back at the Citadel on Anaxes. He instructors would push him to the point of frustration. As he paced once again the voice seemed to penetrate his mind “….Your eyes are secondary vision….” Alex turned to walk into the Library, concentrating on what was not there. He reached out and felt it. It was as if the light of a star was in the room, almost blinding him. He suddenly seen the living force in every one and everything. With that he smiled, and headed into the library. He quickly walked to back. To the Stairwell that would take him into the “vault”. That is what Alex called it. He had been there once before, it was were he was when he felt the explosion at the Abby. He stood looking at the featureless wall. He knew there was a door, it had been open when Drodik called him down here before. More appropriately there was an opening, Alex did not see a door per say that last time. He stood frustration building, he closed his eyes and reached out. He felt the room, the Pedestal with the great tome that had the teachings of Master Odan-Urr, the rows of shelves with tomes and holo prjectors, the numerous holocrons, he felt it all. Most importantly he felt the lever, just on the other side of the wall. He reached out and lifted it using the force, and as he did the center of the wall lowered. As it lowered Alex heard the soft scrap of heavy cloth on stone and turned. But nothing was there. He entered, and it was as if he was drawn to a certain tome. He pulled it off the self, the seal unusual to him. And the lock had no opening, no visible mechanism to open. He was so close, and the frustraion rose. He place the book on a stand, looking at the symbol, feeling it call to him. He studied it, Three circles, the outer 2 broken into three pieces each, the center unbroken. Three diamond shapes connecting the inner circle to the outer passing through the breaks in the middle circle. Alex looked for a pattern, sign, anything. He touched the lock his frustration building to anger. And then it clicked open.
There was a long sigh, and as Alex looked there stood Master Drodik at the door.
Drodik approached his apprentice. He could sense the frustration and anger of a rougher temperament in the young Odanite. Sensing that his master was close at hand Alex rolled his eye in castigation at having found what he presumed to be an off-limits text. The approaching boot steps were no doubt that of the High Councilor.
“The lines are illusory,” Drodik began as he sat on a stone bench before the shelves. “the ones that dictate dark from light that is. There is only the force padawan, and how you use it whether you believe it or not will determine the fate of the galaxy.”
The Nagai reached out and grasped the tome into his possession. He glared at the student a brief moment before thumbing through the pages. The pages were considerably yellowed with age; although the text itself was old, it was indeed not ancient. Drodik continued to thumb through while spotting various images and passages.
“From the earliest days of the Jedi, we force-users have caused more suffering to the people of the galaxy than any other group. Our actions, our capabilities have created and toppled empires for thousands and thousands of years. We have been instrumental in the pain and peace for generations. Our responsibility now, here on New Tython, is a chance to make right the wrongs that could not be unmade. Our duty is to protect the people from ourselves.” He said as he closed the cover.
“Your anger, your frustration, the magnitude of it all will no doubt culminate in your seeking out the esoteric and malevolent. How you use the force and what you do with your own story is no longer your right Alexander. As a Jedi you give yourself to your vows; on the day you construct your saber and take your knightly vows and vestments remember that you are just one in a long long line of individuals who have turned toward or from chaos. And if it is to be chaos
He handed the tome over to his apprentice and departed.
Alex stood there for a moment. Thinking of what his master had just said. That the Jedi had caused more suffering then any other group. This could not be possible, truly the Sith caused more. That is what is always been taught. The way of the Sith was through suffering. He looked at the the tome in his hands. His master had just dismissed it as if it were nothing. But the symbol on the book, He had seen it before, when the Brotherhood at attacked. It had to have some knowledge of of the Dark Side in it. Alex knew there was one person on New Tython that could answer his questions. Or at least give him something with the information he seeked. And if not on New Tython, he would leave to seek it. But first he would Talk to Morotheri, the Rollmaster. He not only had access to the entire library, but the Praxeum as well. He retunred the book, and headed for the office of the Roll master.
As Alex was shown into the office, he sensed something he had not sensed since the fight in the forest. He was not sure what it was, be he had felt it before. Alex approached the the desk, the Morotheri sat studying a text. Alex stood silently awaiting for the roll master.
“Yes padawan”, the Miraluka said without looking up.
“Morotheri, I had a question about the Force”, and Alex recanted what happened both in the forest shortly after the explosion at the Abby, and recently with his master.
The Miraluka listened intently as Alexander recounted Drodik's advice and his encounter in the forest. A lone candle flickered dimly between them as the sun made it's way to disappear over the horizon. Over the Miraluka's shoulder, the Padawan caught the last glimpse of the sun's golden rays as it disappeared behind the snow-capped mountains. A deep orange glow illuminated the face of the Padawan. As the Padawan recounted recent events, the Miralukan Rollmaster seemed to grow increasingly worried. The Padawan before him, he could sense was deeply troubled and puzzled by the events taking place. His emotions were that of confusion.. and anger. The Miraluka's mind wandered off as he studied the human before him.
"What do you think, Master Morotheri?"
And with that, the Rollmaster snapped back to reality.
"Drodik is right, the lines between light and dark are illusory." Stated the Rollmaster, tossing the text in his hands up towards the Padawan. The spine of the worn text made a crackling noise as Alexander lifted the cover, the pages, guided through Morotheri's use of the Force flipped to a certain entry. "He speaks of the Unifying Force. That the Force in itself is not good or evil. It is simply what it is. How you use it is the most important thing. It shapes our galaxy, and determines fate itself." The Miraluka explained. He had given lectures of the sort before, in the Praxeum.
The Padawan gave the Miralukan Rollmaster an uneasy stare, "What do you believe, Master Morotheri?" Once again, the pages shifted, revealing yet another related topic.
The Miraluka smiled, this question was rare, and only asked by the most brilliant of Padawans. "I hold my beliefs in the ways of the Living Force, the belief of living in the moment, if you will, rather than fullfilling a destiny, although we are mindful of it. The choice to pursue either belief is up to you, but be mindful of the choices you make. Every decision has a consequence. Every action has repercussions. Be conscious of that." Morotheri let his mind slip once again. He had felt the disturbance in the Force during DelGotto's encounter in the forest. He eyed the Padawan, who had begun reading through the text as the Miralukan Rollmaster spoke.
Instantly, the tome resting within the Padawan's palms slammed shut, levitating back onto the desk with a heavy thud. The candle in the center of the desk sputtered as a breeze filled the room.
"Also, remain watchful of your actions. The lines between light and dark may be illusory, but each of your own actions will reflect upon what you become. This is the difference between Jedi and Sith. As a Jedi, you must control your emotions, reflect on all possible outcomes before making the final decision. Meditate on this, Padawan, and remember, the Praxeum's doors are always open to you, should you require guidance. Now go, and may the Force be with you."
Alex left Master Morotheri's office and walked back to his small room at the Hall of the Watchman. As he did he thought of what both Master Drodik and Morotheri had said about the Force. About the lines being illusory, and that one's own actions decided the difference between Jedi and Sith. He needs to clear his head, to go to a place where he could relax. He needed to see Firith. Alex activated his commlink, “Zeethree get the ship ready, we are leaving. We are going to see Firith.” When Alex got to his room at the hall he changed from his robes. As he turned to leave, he looked at the robes folded neatly on his bed. He unhooked the training saber from his belt, and placed it on the robes. “I'm sorry Master Drodik, I do not think the Jedi way is for me.” As he walked away he thought he heard Master Drodik's voice say “Yes it is, you just need patience”
Two weeks after leaving New Tython Alex returned. He was met at the Star Port by both Master's Drodik and Morotheri. They could sense that something was very wrong. They noticed a lightsaber hanging from his belt, but did not recognize the design. They also could not sense the anger anymore; in fact they could not sense anything. As Alex walked down the ramp he removed the light saber from his belt and handed it to his master. “We have a problem,” the three of them walked in silence to the Hall of the Watchmen, members of the 4th Ranger Platoon exited Alex’s ship, followed by Zeethree.