To Break Down a Defence
One Year later…
“Quick, they’re at it again!” one Padawan said to another. And with a wild gesture he and collective group of trainees-on-lunch-break rushed to hillside he indicated.
There was no need to ask who “they” were. This happened at least once a week, sometimes more frequently. Cor-Jhan and a red-skinned Padawan whose name nobody knew were duelling again. Cor-Jhan with a wooden staff, and the red-skinned one a much shorter pole were battling it out. Both were training in the defensive arts, meaning these fights often went on for at least an hour each time. Usually the two ended up exhausting each other out and collapsing on the Tythonian grass laughing.
Today was not one of those days.
“For a Jedi you’re being very aggressive,” the red one breathlessly pointed out, taking a couple of steps back.
“Are you accusing me of something, Sith?”, Cor-Jhan frowned lunging one end of his staff towards the red one’s throat.
“Stop calling me that,” he growled as he frowned, stepping aside from Cor-Jhan’s attack and swept his weapon towards the Zabrak’s knees.
“Why are you here, Sith?”, Cor-Jhan taunted, parrying one of his opponent’s shots and twirling the other end round towards his face.
“I am only Sith by genetics, can’t even you see that?”, he replied deftly flicking his wrist first up and down to meet Cor-Jhan’s attacks
The Zabrak attempted to swing a kick at the Sith’s face, but he ducked out of the way.
“Never met a Light Side Sith before. Only those who wanted to destroy the Order”, Cor-Jhan shouted, gulping up air.
The “Sith” jumped straight at Cor-Jhan bearing down with the end of his pole.
“And no other Jedi here has less Light than you, Zabrak!”
Cor-Jhan saw him in the nick of time, and bashed the red-skinned Padawan with the middle of his staff knocking him onto the ground, causing blood to ooze slightly from a cut to the face. Cor-Jhan stood over him and pointed one of the ends of his staff at his opponent’s face.
“What do you mean by that?” he growled, “I’m hardly Dark Side. And I refuse to take insults from a creature who has never told me his name.”
“Fine,” the Sith conceded, “I’m Schlektani. And I didn’t say you were Dark Side.”
Turning to the oggling Padawans, who were passing among each other the small cred sticks they used to bet on these fights, he said:
“CJ has won this time. Please go back to your training.”
The Padawans grumbled something about the score being equal again, but slowly trickled away.
Turning back to the Zabrak Schlektani said:
“You can put that down, there’s no point in continuing this. Wait, someone’s watching.”
The grass behind the nearby trees rustled and Master Ghiran stepped out.
“Indeed, he is right. Your fellow Padawan is beaten, step back.”
Cor-Jhan stepped back reluctantly and secured his staff behind his back. Reaching out a hand, he helped Schlektani up. Their eyes met but no words were exchanged – that would come later. Or so they thought.
“Good. Taking a life is a last result CJ, you should know that. Sometimes it is necessary, but Schlektani here isn’t an enemy. He is a fellow Padawan. Treat him as such.”, Zav-Yun explained gently but firmly.
“Yes Master, but he said…”
“I am fully aware of what he said and now I will ask him myself.”
The Master turned and looked kindly on the red-skinned Padawan.
“Please go to the med centre after this, we don’t want that cut obscuring your vision.”, he started.
“Yes, Master Ghiran.”, Schlektani acknowledged.
“Good. Now what did you mean that Padawan Cor-Jhan has ‘less light’ in him than others here?”, Zav-Yun asked.
“Exactly that. He’s not dark, but he’s not really light either. I can’t explain it. I just feel it.”, the Sith struggled to get his words out.
Zav-Yun looked from one Padawan to the other then nodded, and sighed.
“Next time you two duel, please don’t argue in the process. You can’t focus on technique if anger’s getting in the way. Now go get food and get to class. Cor-Jhan you’re in Philosophy, Schlektani you’re in Artifice.”
The two Padawans looked at each other, then to Master Ghiran before turning their back and going their separate ways for training.
Master Ghiran himself leaned against a tree and let the Tythonian breeze cool his face down. The words of the Pureblood were going round and round in his head.
But…”they” aren’t supposed to exist, are they? Could they?, he wondered.
He would need to speak to the Jedi Council about that. Turning on his heels he proceeded out the training grounds up towards the Forge. He needed some time to think.
The Code Questioned
“There is no emotion, there is peace. There is no ignorance, there is knowledge. There is no passion, there is serenity. There is no chaos there is harmony. There is no death, there is the Force.”, Master Braga began as he did every lesson. If the Padawans couldn’t keep five lines of the Jedi Code, they could not hope to live up to the other ideals of purity, selflessness and justice.
Cor-Jhan fiddled with his datapad. He hated Philosophy. He knew about being good to others – and he even tried to do that.
With occasional success, he thought as Master Braga’s words became a muffle somewhere beyond his immediate consciousness.
Added to that, the Zabrak had found on other research that the Jedi Order had changed its code.
It used to be “Emotion yet Peace”, “Ignorance yet Knowledge”, “Passion yet Serenity”, “Chaos yet Harmony”, “Death yet the Force”. Why did they alter its meaning? Could not both components exist at the same time?
His hands were still grimy from the wood of his staff after his fight with Schlektani, and more bruised than he wanted to admit back then. But the Pureblood’s words were echoing in his own mind, as they had with his Master.
But I am a Jedi!, he inwardly protested. But what kind of Jedi am I becoming?
The Council Convened
“My Agents on Tatooine and Alderaan report Sith activity in sites of ancient history,” Satele Shan continued, “I am concerned about the relics they may find there”
“Nothing we want them to find, that’s to be sure,” Master Kaedan sat back, rubbing his head in thought.
“I will ask Master Braga once he is out of tutoring about his own sources on Balmorra. We may have to do something about this.”, Satele frowned.
“Agreed.” Master Kaedan confirmed.
The towering, arching doors of the Council Chambres swung open to reveal a blue-skinned Jedi Master.
“Apologies for not arriving sooner Masters”, Zav-Yun bowed his head.
“Something’s on your mind isn’t it?”, Satele pressed gently.
Zav-Yun strode into the Chambre and allowed the doors to shut before continuing.
“Indeed Master Satele,” he took a deep breath, “I was not here on time as I needed to commune with the Force before reporting.”
Master Kaedan waved his hand as if to say “Yes… and?“.
Zav-Yun looked around at the assembled Masters.
“It’s one of my students…” and he began to explain.