Star Wars: Extinction
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The war between Jedi and Sith had raged on for over five hundred years, hundreds of millions of men and women had died in the battle between "good" and "evil." The Lord of the Sith, Lord Zorak, came from a line of Sith that had ruled the Empire since recorded history, the Royal Line. The strongest had always ruled, it was the will of the force. Recently, however, a great hero to the people of the Sith, General Tesszus, had secretly become power hungry and formed a plot to overthrow his long time friend. Many other revolutions had been tried through the years, all were swiftly defeated. None had been tried with the Empire's own troops used against her.
The war itself had extended the militaristic resources of the Sith to extremes. Battle Cruisers patroled the space nearest the capital and easily defended the planet from any weak incoming attacks from the Republic. Since the Sith had the Republic on it's heels, the enemy couldn't muster up the forces needed to blast through the great wall of Cruisers. A wise Jedi Master predicted that the tide of the war would soon be changed, but the final outcome was ultimately out of the hands of the Jedi.
Now, General Tesszus' forces have reached the palace on Korriban, undected; written off as troops returning because of battle fatigue...
Two massive, black doors opened to Sith Lord Mar Zorak's quarters. In walked the Lord's closest advisor and handed him a hologram disk of the most recent tragedy of the Republic.
"I have sensed that our plans are in danger. Something terrible has happened to our closest supporters, I'm afraid," said the Sith Lord.
Zorak took the disk and ploped it into his projection monitor. An image of a young female newscaster flickered to life on the screen and began speaking with great distress, "This morning, a passenger ship carrying the beloved Jedi Master Dominu Bunnai and Jedi Master Trech Killmore suffered....Technichal malfunctions with...With...The fuel cells in their craft and....It exploded mid-flight. The suspected phenomenon hasn't occured since all passenger ships within the Republic had been outfitted with..."
Zorak jerked the hologram disk out of the projector and threw it across the room, shattering it into a million pieces.
"That wasn't coincidence," he told the advisor, "just as I feared, there's something behind all of this...We were incredibly close to ending this with the support of Master Bunnai and Killmore. Now, we have a teeder totter of support within the council. The replacement members will be influenced greatly by the older members. Since these young Masters have been at war for so long, they will have negative feelings toward us to begin with. I wouldn't doubt if our proposal was defeated unanimously in the Senate with the Council's firm objection."
A tall and lanky messenger rushed through the doors, out of breath from sprinting across the great palace and frantic from the events that had just unfolded. "Sire! There are rebels attacking our troops," he continued, "Sith rebels. I've never seen such a thing. Our own people are fighting us! General Tesszus is leading the charge!"
"Alright, calm yourself," Zorak said as he picked up his lightsaber, "Moril, gather the Royal Knights and meet me in the main entrance as soon as possible. You, boy, Alert all troops that are still quartered in the city. See if our anti-aircraft cannons can be maneuvered to fire to the ground. Gather any heavy weapons experts as well, we'll need them."
Zorak left the room and walked up a flight of steps made of dull, black stone. He proceeded to calmly walk into the bedroom where his wife was folding clothes and singing to their child.
"Almire, something has come up. There are a large number of rebels attacking the palace. I want you to take the boy," he paused momentarily as she glanced up with tears streaming down her face, "take the boy and go to the farthest point in the Republic from here, the farther the better. I want you under the protection of the Jedi. No arguments, I don't have time," he began to walk back through the entrance.
She softly replied, "Tesszus is going...to...kill you, isn't he?"
Zorak turned back and slowly walked closer to her, placed his hands gently on her trembling shoulders, and kissed her forehead, "If I live through this," he said, "I will find you. The boy will be raised my son, as he is, the last pure blooded member of Sith Royalty. If I don't live through this, let no one know who he is, let no one look at his wrist, let no one know how naturally in touch he is with the force...Not even him."
Zorak turned and walked back through the doorway, ignored the tear falling down his face, and continued toward the confrontation with his closest friend for the past two decades, the great General Tesszus.
Almire placed her child in a snug carrier and flung him over her back, snagged a suitcase now filled with folded clothes, by one hand, and sprinted down the hall. As she passed each of her sevants' rooms, their faces appeared in her head and she mentally shoved them away. She had to concentrate on escaping. No one else's lives were considered important at this point, even close friends.
At the end of the hall, she was met by her personal pilot, Klayton, and 3 Royal Guards. The convoy was ordered by Lord Zorak to escort her to the high-speed terminal, through the hanger, and make sure she boarded the ship that was destined for Roon, a planet just outside the grasp of the Sith. A decent amount of Republic credits awaited her at the beautiful blue planet.
As they boarded the terminal, Almire had a queezy feeling in the pit of her stomach. Within a few seconds, they arrived at the hanger. The doors slid open and the queezyness ceased as a rifle shot blasted a hole in Almire directly between the eyes. With a slight moan, she fell on her side in a heap. The guards beside her sprung into action and returned fire in the general direction of the shot, then dove for cover. A tatical sniper had been situated by General Tesszus to kill any remaining members of the family or staff who tried to escape via the hanger; a cruel and unnecessary punishment for being loyal to the rightful Dark Lord.
In the distance, a saber could be heard roaring to life with a powerful hum. A vibrant red hue glowed magnificently off the far wall behind a large bomber that obstructed the group's view. Two rapid blaster shots were followed by a swoosh and a loud scream. The saber then wistled as it retracted.
Soon after, a Royal Knight of the Sith, equivalant in the Sith Empire to a Jedi Knight of the Republic, jumped off of a bomber's wing. "The assassin is now dead. I apologize to the memories of Lord Zorak and Queen Almire that I was too late. The Empire is in shambles. You must leave now if you are to live! Lord Zorak's final wish was for Almire and Christof to live, let his wish not end in vain! Find a peaceful home for the child. I cannot go with you, it is my duty to try to save what's left of what we dedicated our lives to."
Klayton reached down and unstrapped the crying infant from the fallen Queen's back, held him in his arms and stated to the group, "I owe my life to Lord Zorak. He was like a father to me. The only way I could ever think of repaying him is by being a father to his son."
The four soldiers proceeded to march to the gold plated passenger ship. A melancholy mood swept over the group as two of the guards carried the slain Queen, the pilot held the terrified child, and the fourth guard scanned the area for any more suspected danger. The hangar doors opened as the skies blackened and began to weep for the millions who had died and for the millions who were about to die. Christof was now safe for now and he would remain safe for many years to come...
Klayton took Christof under his wing, so to speak, for the next portion of his life. With a promise Klayton made to himself to teach the values instilled in him by Zorak to Christof, he decided that keeping Christof from ever returning to Korriban would be the best option. Klayton didn't realize that these same values would eventually lead Christof to fight in the war himself.
Now seventeen years old, Christof felt lost in Roon. Although he was already a champion of the International Roonian games and almost a celebrity in the athletic world, Christof felt utterly alone. He felt anger and serenity at the same time which completely confused him. He was a smart young man and realized with fame does not come happiness. He needed more fufillment in his life than a few medals on his wall so, one day, he decided to have a talk to his "father," Klayton.
"Father, there are a few things I've been meaning to ask you," Christof said with a nervous tone, "What happened to mother? Why do we live here, so far away from the heart of the Republic? I just don't understand..."
"It's perfectly fine to not understand; to strive for knowledge. Knowledge makes you stronger. As I've told you before, your mother died on the trip here, we were ambushed by soldiers of the Sith and they murdered her. I can't explain to you why we live here, I just don't know," Klayton responded.
Christof looked slightly confused, "You don't know why we live here. Who told us to live here, then? We must have been forced...Forced by the Sith, no doubt! Either way, it doesn't matter, I really only wanted to talk to you about what your opinion would be of me joining the Army of the Republic."
Klayton took a long pause and his head dropped in disgust and thought to himself, "Times have changed. My friend has become the enemy. The enemy of my enemy has become my friend. I look into the boy's eyes and I don't see his father, I don't see his mother. I see someone beyond great, someone who will do unprecidented great things. Can I let him fight his own people? What cause would Zorak want him to fight for?"
Klayton responded, "Realize that not all the Sith are evil. Realize that they are not fighting for a cause but rather for a leader. They are forced to follow whoever leads or die. At this time, that leader is Darth Prodius, a man who believes in nothing but slaughter. If you must fight, fight. Fight for a cause, don't fight against a people. One day, you may regret the latter."
Christof glared outside into nothing and said, "The Sith killed my mother. How can you be so neutral with your opinion towards them?! They had no reason to, and they killed her! If I can, I will kill every last..."
Klayton interrupted, "Stop it! If you keep up with this attitude, you may as well kill yourself before you join the Army. That's where you'll end up if you just want vengance - dead. So clear your mind of these silly thoughts of dillusion, of genocide. Keep your hate, make it fuel your purpose but don't allow it to consume you! Don't only fight for vengance. The Republic is crumbling. If you join them and they are defeated, the Sith will kill every remaining soldier and every supporter of it. Do you understand this?"
"Father..." Christof began to respond with a somber tone, "That's exactly why I must fight. If I stand by and watch it crumble, watch those people get slaughtered, my life is worthless no matter how many more trophies I win. I know that somehow I can help those people, I need to help them any way possible."
Klayton gave an appreciative sigh, "You were always the defender of the weak. I don't understand why or how, but you were. In a way, it is your strength. In another way, it's your greatest weakness. I understand more than you know that you must fight for what you believe in. Use your gifts, learn new ones. I allow you to fight for your beliefs but I will not aid you in your quest. You will have to get to a recruiting station on your own. I won't help someone I care about get shipped off to war."
Christof called a taxi to take him to the nearest recruiting station on Roon. Little did he know that it was in the capital city of Tay, almost two thousand miles away. Temporarily disheartened, Christof talked to his father about somehow getting him to the capital.
"Well, you could walk," Klayton joked, "Seriuosly, though? If you're this determined, there are transport shuttles that could get you there within five hours or so, relatively cheap. They depart from Rusk every few hours to trade mainly produce. Also, they ship poor folk like yourself."
Christof scoffed, "It beats walking, I guess."
He took a few hours to pack a small amount of clothes. How would he really say goodbye to the ones he knew and loved? He thought about the consequences of joining the Republic, the consequences of joining the Sith one last time. His decision was made and he had no true intentions of waivering, but the strange part was that he felt something inside of him almost pulling his will to the Sith.
Christof said goodbye to his closest friends and had a final moment with Klayton, "Dad, I hope that you're proud of my decision. I'm not doing this for me, I'm doing it for everyone you know; I'm doing it for everyone else you don't know. Without people to fight back, the Sith will bring suffering to the galaxy, I know this in my soul. What is it with power, anyway? Why do those that have it always want more? Can't people just be happy with what they have?"
"Why is it that you want to stop the Sith?" Klayton retorted.
Christof looked puzzled, "I told you, I need to help those people."
Klayton smiled and nodded a few times, "Yes? You want to stop those with power. Is that not a form of power in itself?"
Christof didn't know what to say, for the first time, he was utterly speechless. The power which the evil Sith wanted over the Republic was the exact same power that the Republic wanted over the Sith. There was no difference. In the end, they both wanted what would be considered ultimate power.
"Christof, power isn't a terrible thing if used in the right way," Klayton reassured him, "There always has and always will be a power struggle. Only an absolute balance will produce harmony in the galaxy. Few people realize this and fewer yet strive to achieve that balance."
He quickly responded, "So you're saying that I shouldn't fight to kill every Sith I see, I should just fight until the balance is equal? Would they not destroy us if they had the chance?! Are they not trying to destroy us now?!"
Klayton was obviously dissapointed, "You're missing my message. In time and with maturity, the answers will come to you. Be patient. I love you."
They shook hands and their eyes met, the conversation they had that moment without saying a word gave confidence to both. Christof walked down the sidewalk and placed the suitcase in the rear end of the taxi and, with a glancing look back to Klayton, dissappeared from of his life forever.
On the ride to the transport station, Christof thought of the great times that he had with his father, Klayton. They might have had no biological connection but Christof was never told about the events of his infancy and if he would have been told, he would have felt no disapointment that he never knew Zorak. Klayton was all the father that any child could have ever wanted to have; he offered his son support in anything he did and reminded Christof constantly that there was a life's lesson in every act. In competition, even, there is victory and defeat and something to be learnt from each end of the spectrum.
"That'll be 34 credits, kid," the Cabbie spat as he talked.
Christof jumbled through his pockets, "Umm, here's 40," the cabbie interjected, "I only got a five!"
Christof sighed, "Yeah. Right. That's fine."
As Christof was shutting the trunk, the Cab sped away to pick up another nearby customer, "What a jerk," he mumbled.
He walked up to the terminal window and talked to the cashier behind the counter about purchasing "coach" tickets.
"How much for your coach tickets to Tay?" Christof asked as he dug through his pockets, looking for credits.
She replied, "Round trip, 80. One way, 50."
"I only have," Christof dug around some more, "45. I only need a one way ticket."
"Ah. That's fine, you little scam artist. Give me the credits and get on the ship."
Right, that's a little scam that someone of his stature was known for running, coning a freighter out of ten credits to go two thousand miles. Why had the average person become so hostile in a usually hospitable world? The woman behind the counter stamped his hand and told him to get in the next line.
Christof slowly got into the line that read "Tay," on a big, handwritten sign behind the ship. "Goin' to Tay, buddy?" he heard a voice say.
He looked behind him only to see a face that he recognized but couldn't put a finger on. "Well...Yeah. I am. You?"
"Yep," the man replied, "enlisting in the Republic Army. I heard that they're giving big bonuses to anyone that has athletic ability like us. Heck, first thing out of training, they might slap Sergent on us just because we can run fast and jump high."
What a reason to join the Army of the Republic, for a big bonus. Christof now knew who the man was, Vikten Goron, the second place finisher in the last Roonian games. "Well...Vikten...Did you ever think that the Republic might lose the war? If we do, how much will those big Credit bonuses be worth?" Christof replied.
"I'll worry about that if it happens," Vikten shrugged it off.
The transport landed after a few minutes of worthless conversation. Christof was starting to get annoyed with his ex-competition, anyway. "Passengers enter through side doors!" The pilot shouted after exiting the cockpit of the ship. Sure enough, Vikten sat next to Christof on the ride to Tay.
"..And then in my second Roonian games, I won by a landslide, a total of 327 points! I was 22 then. Last games, when you beat me, I was 26..." Christof interrupted, "Listen, Vikten, I'm really tired. Would you mind if I just get some sleep?"
"Oh yeah, sure. Sorry. I'm just really nervous about this whole thing. I tend to talk alot when I'm nervous, you know, like how some people bite their fingernails, I talk..." Christof interrupted again, "Vikten!"
"Right, sorry." Vikten looked out the window and stayed silent for the rest of the trip.
Once the ship landed at Tay, the passengers were quickly forced out, swapped with new ones, "Passengers enter through the side doors!" the pilot yelled once again.
Christof staggered around, his head constantly cocked upwards to look at the vibrant skyscrapers and hustle and bustle of the capital city. His home city of Fleur was quite small in compairison to Tay. It seemed as if at every corner there were venders trying to sell things; apparel for the war against the Sith. "The Sith will kill us all! We're all doomed" one feeble old man yelled as he ran around a small child. This, of course, made the child cry. Christof walked past the little girl and stopped the man, "Come on, she's no more than 5 years old. You're scaring her to death."
"The Sith won't care how old or young she is! They'll kill her just the same! Unless you stop them!" he yelled in a high pitched voice.
Christof smiled, "I plan on it."
The man continued to run down the road and to shout his message to everyone whether they wanted to hear it or not. A few seconds later, two Republic Police Officers tackled the man and arrested him. Christof sprinted to them to see what his charges would be.
"This is treason, punishable by death!" One burly officer shouted.
Christof looked at the three men on the ground, "Well, that's hardly a fitable punishment. The man has just lost his mind. There might be more behind this than meets the eye."
"What are you babbling about, boy? This man has been spewing propoganda that the Republic will lose the war. That's treason, any way you cut it," The officer retorted.
"Sir, tell me," Christof said sympathetically to the crazy man, "have you known anyone that has faught in the war against the Sith?"
"Father! Mother! Brothers! Sisters! And now my son! All killed by the Sith! Just like they will kill all of you!" The man screamed as the police tightened his restraints.
"Officers, this man needs to go to an asylum, not to be executed. How would you feel if your entire family was brutally murdered?" Christof pleaded.
"Listen, son," the other Officer replied, "we don't make the rules, we just enforce them. If you want to change the laws, run for Senate. If you want to avenge this man's family, join the Army. We've got nothing else to say to you."
"Alright, where would I go?" Christof replied.
"Where would you go for what?" the first Officer seemed a bit confused.
"You told me if I wanted to avenge this man's family to join the Army," Christof continued, "That's what I'll do, then. If you take him to an asylum and not to be murdered, I'll join the Army of the Republic. No one needs to know about his presence here nor what he has said. The punishment of his family dieing is worse than death. If he can be helped to overcome the torture of that, he may still be a valuable citizen, useful to the Republic."
The burly officer scratched his head, "You really mean this? You'll join the Army if we get him some help?"
"Absolutely. You can even take me to be enlisted yourselves. That's how much I believe in this man," Christof felt as if he was on a roll with the officers, "you can even watch me sign the papers. It's a done deal."
The two officers looked at each other and nodded. Their duty was to the Republic, what difference did it make if one more loon was executed or not? First of all, the Republic needed defenders. They didn't realize that Christof's plan from the beginning was to enlist.
The officers took Christof to the local enlistment center where a few arbitrary physical wellness tests were done: blood pressure, eyesight, lung capacity. All were better than perfect. "You're a perfect specimen of human health, Mr. Jolden. Heck, even some of the 'superior' aliens would be blessed to have your eyesight and lung capacity! You're as fit as a Roonian Athlete!"
Christof chuckled to himself, "Thanks, Doc. So what else do I have to do?"
The doctor grabbed a few forms, "Just fill these out, they're self explainatory. We need to take a couple blood tests and then you'll be immediately assigned to your platoon. They need to start training right away. If you're not ready to join up just yet, don't finish the forms."
Christof took the forms, filled them out as quickly as possible, and handed them back to the doctor. "Son, it says you're only 17 years old. You must be 19 to enlist. I'm sorry," The doctor said.
"Sir, I've come two thousand miles on my own money," Christof pleaded, "I don't have a penny left to my name. All that I want to do is join the Republic Army. We're in big trouble, everyone knows that. I want to help as much as I can before the Republic crumbles. I want to stop her from crumbling. I want to keep her head above water. Can't you just look the other way this one time?"
"Hmm...Well...You're right, we're closer than most know to losing this war but, don't let that get out. With your psyicality, yeah. I can look the other way. You're going to be a great soldier," the doctor replied as he edited the seven to a nine, "just don't let anyone know about this. Good luck kid, you're going to need it. Don't do anything stupid. All the heroes of this war are buried."
Christof shook the doctors hand, thanked him, and walked out the back door. Immediately he stepped into the training area. It was an odd sight to see so many troops in the middle of a city, packed like sardines into a makeshift battlefield; shooting rifles, practicing hand to hand combat, and running. This is what the Republic had been reduced to on the outer rims, a makesift training area. Republic controled planets were so scarce, and getting more scarce after every battle, that the Republic had to fit training grounds in the more populated cities to attract more recruits. The Sith had taken the "surround and crush" tactic to the war now; surround the middle of the galaxy with Sith forces and squeeze the life out of the Republic. It was working brilliantly. Roon was one of the few strongholds left in the outer rims and was sure to be targeted soon by the Sith.
Christof told a recruiter his name and identification number. The recruiter snapped back with, "Evaluation station 16 B 32 Alpha Delta Zeta! GO!"
Christof jogged down a long row of perfectly lined troops until he came across what looked like his evaluation point. "What group are you in, slime?!"
"16 B 32 Alpha Delta Zeta, sir." Christof replied.
The Sergent smiled, "Perfect. You're the first that's gotten that right in a long while. Let's see what kind of soldier you are, though, HURAH!?"
Christof simply looked at the Sergent with a clear glance, "One that doesn't let his emotions get in the way, sir."
"Oh is that a fact?! We'll see!" the Sergent strutted closer to Christof. Suddenly, he threw a right hook which Christof dodged easily followed by an uppercut and another right cross, all dodged easily. The Sergent was turning red from frustration. He dropped into a combat stance, and started to throw a few rapid fire attacks at Christof: a left hook, a right uppercut, a right roundhouse kick. On the last, Christof ducked low and kicked the Sergent's leg out from under him.
"Damn son! First of all, how did you anticipate me? Second of all, where did you learn to do that?!" The Sergent was very impressed.
"I felt what you were going to do," Christof replied, "And I was a Roonian Games Gold Medalist."
"You felt how I was going to attack you?!" the Sergent chuckled, "We've got a Jedi here, boys! An athletic Jedi!"
The rest of the platoon laughed with the robust Drill Sergeant. They had no idea how soon the Sergeant would be exactly right.
"Jolden!?" The Captain screamed as artilery rounds went off nearby.
The platoon that Sergeant Christof Jolden was assigned to was pinned in an attempt to destroy a B7-N3 tank production facility. Behind them, a jagged cliff held slim hopes of decending if the Sith forces discovered they were trying to escape. The only thing that kept the platoon from being bombed by bombers was the anti-aircraft mobile artilery, which the Sith artilery had been coming incredibly close to hitting, just short. Lucky for them, they were in a small wooded area with some clearing, just enough cover to not be totally detected by the enemy's radar.
"Captain, we've got forces flanking to the right, through the torrents, to take the plant," Christof replied.
"Through the torrents?! Who sent those orders?! That's going to kill a squadron of soldiers! And take the tank plant?! We need to worry about that artilery first!" The Captain screamed as he grabbed Christof by the vest.
"Sir, I sent them. I just have a feeling. It feels like I've seen this battle before. The torrents won't be a problem. I can't explain." Christof told the Captain as he pushed his hands away from his vest.
"Damn rookie! How could someone as dumb as you ever,"
The captain was interrupted by explosions in the distance. The troops had flanked in perfect timing as reinforcement artilery was sent through the line of fire. If the troops had been sent five seconds sooner or later, they would have been massacred by the torrents or the artilery that hadn't yet been packed. In this case, however, a few well placed thermal detonators took out both the artilery and the torrents. The whole platoon of soldiers stormed the defenseless tank production facility, cheering and yelling warcries. This soon-to-be victory was an incredible sight. A few seconds before, desperation could be seen on the faces of all the troops. The Republic hadn't won a significant strategic or outright battle in the past 2 months. Now, because of a gamble made by Christof in his first battle, the Republic had hold of one of the largest anti-infantry tank producing plants on the Sith-controled part of the galaxy. If the Republic could strengthen their forces in this area, it could be a key strategic point to launch counter attacks.
"Sir, we have to strenghten our defenses now. Right this second. Call in for any backup," The Captain interrupted Christof, "Who is the commanding officer here? Just because you made one lucky call that should have ended up with our men being killed doesn't mean you can order me Sergeant!
Just then, some men ran out from behind an ammunitions building, "Sith! Converted Jedi! It's a Dark Jedi," they screamed as they ran past.
Christof pulled out his Viroblade and took an aggressive stance.
"Son, you're out of your mind! You're going to get yourself killed right here and now!" The Captain yelled as he slowly backed away from the ammunitions building.
"Captain, it's one Sith. We can't just run away. I won't just quit like this. We need this." He stubbornly replied.
The Dark Jedi was fully cloaked as he exited the dark cooridor. Only his dull yellow tinted eyes were visible features of his face. He whispered to Christof in a barely audible voice, "You are a brave but foolish young man, Sergeant. If only you had been trained by the Sith, you could have been a powerful warrior. As it is, you will be killed here, today."
The Sith ignited his blood red saber and made a slight twirl with it. He continued to whisper, "You have never seen skills with a weapon that I posess, child. If you yield now, I will spare you, perhaps make you my apprentice. If you do not, I will remove your head and place it in my ship as a prize. Don't worry, though, you'll have company. I'll slaughter the rest of your platoon and do the same."
Christof said nothing and continued with his cold stare, his viroblade's handle close to his head, the point straight at the Sith; a very agressive stance indeed. Within seconds, the Sith took Christof's silence as a threat and jumped straight at the young Sergeant, twirling his saber and bringing it down like an ax, Christof swung back at the saber instead of merely blocking it, this caused a loud twang; nothing like two lightsabers meeting. The two parryed and thrusted back at each other in an attempt to feel out the other's style. Christof made a swing that would have decapitated the Sith, he ducked, this left Christof's midsection wide open for the kill. Christof continued the motion, though, and performed a no hands cartwheel; the saber blade passed just around his leg, burning his pantleg. The odd maneuver left the Sith off balanced with his saber above his head. Christof thrust his blade into the Sith's chest and twisted. The Sith fell to his knees and let out a suprised groan. Then their eyes met. Christof's bright blue stare pierced through the enemy, almost as if he wasn't there. Christof retracted the blade and then reintered it again and again as blood spewed over his face, emotionless, Christof continued to stare into his foe's eyes. The Sith made a final gasp and fell from his knees, facefirst to the ground. Christof put his viroblade on his back and bent down to pick up the Sith's saber. Now, with his face covered in blood that resembled the warpaint of local pirates, Christof turned to face the Captain.
"Bulster the defenses. Now," Christof calmly said as he walked past the terrified Captain to continue to inspect the surrounding area.
As the war continued on, the legend of Christof began to grow within the ranks of soldiers. He continued to make questionable orders that could result in utter defeat, but yielded almost flawless victory. His newly acquired lightsaber was with him constantly. When the lights went out in camp, the other soldiers could hear the faint hum and see the eerie glow of the saber. As the days passed, he became more and more profeciant with using it, "a more dangerous viroblade," he would say. In the more recent campaigns against the Sith, he had met with Jedi Knights and talked to them about the true art of using a saber. They would just shake their heads and say, "You don't understand what you're dealing with. That's going to get you killed one day. Destroy it or deactivate it, that's our best advise." Christof saw otherwise, however, and continued to practice whenever he got the chance.
With his growing fame within the Army of the Republic came attention from the Republic itself. The Senate began to keep it's eye on Christof and his company and made sure that he was in dangerous situations that would gain prestige but not situations that were likely to get him killed. The Jedi Order also had their eye on this unusual soldier. One day, even, the Order met in specific to discuss what, if anything, they should do with him.
Master Tyun blaired out, "He should have the lightsaber removed from his possession. Only bad things will come from it, of this I am certain."
A few other of the Council members agreed fully. However, the most influential member, Jedi Master Robos Jan Kodie, stressed that the young man should be tested for a strong natural connection with the force. He argued that no one man had ever defeated a Dark Jedi Knight in the history of the Sith Wars, and with his brave orders, he almost certainly had a great connection with a higher force than the average being. He argued that if Christof could be trained to become a Jedi Knight, and stayed on the light side of the force, he could be accepted to the general public as a great hero to the Republic.
Master Kodie was a wise Master with broad shoulders. His deep grey eyes seemed to calm any doubters of his word. He had been a member of the Council for around fifteen years and, in his time, had been given the greatest respect for his efforts on the battlefield. Through this respect, the other members allowed him to influence their decisions. He spoke with eloquence and grace, the same style that he moved his saber. The other members sometimes agreed with him solely because he simply made more sense than most of the other Jedi, not because he followed the Jedi Code at all times. He was far from a posterboy for the Jedi Order so, being a short-term member, his membership in the Council was always in question. This never hindered him from making liberal suggestions.
"However," Master Kodie warned the council, "If he strays down the wrong path, if he is overcome by the Dark Side of the force, that will surely mean the end of the Republic and of the Jedi Order. This young man undoubtedly has a superior connection with the force, maybe greater than any of us in this room. Maybe greater than any of us put together. If we are to win this war, we need a hero, we need someone that the young men of the Republic will look up to and will strive to become."
"That is exactly what he cannot do as a member of the Jedi Order. It is a basic concept of ours that no one Jedi Knight is placed above any of the others. If he wants fame and glory, he should stay in the Army or join the Sith. Fame has no place within the Order," Master Juk Un Kar Mitz retorted.
"He will never reach his full potential by staying in the Army. We need a powerful hero, one that will give the Republic hope. If you don't see this, you're blinding yourself to the truth and are accepting our fate. Are you going to be such a stickler to the Code that it will mean the destruction of the very Order that the Code was made to protect? I move to bring Christof Jolden to Coruscant as soon as possible to have him go through tests to find if he truely does have a connection to the force. All those in favor, raise your hand," Master Kodie stated.
Seven of the twelve Masters raised their hands.
Master Kar Mitz was irritated, "And if he does have a connection with the force?! Then what?!"
Master Kodie gave him a convincing glance and replied, "Then he will be trained to become a Jedi Knight."
"Nonsense! I've never seen such a thing in my day. He is far too old!" Master Kar Mitz stormed out of the room.
"Then it is final. I will have the word sent out as soon as possible. He will be here within a few days," Master Kodie said.
The ride to Coruscant was less than dramatic. The Republic had begun to turn the tide of the war in the local section and had secured a route from Zykkr, where Christof was, to Coruscant. Once the ship entered the atmosphere, Christof was completely dumbfounded with the giant city, "In my short time traveling this galaxy, I've never seen a city that actually lived," he said to the pilot as they decended toward the Jedi Temple. He could feel the energy below him, pulling him in, the people going about their daily routines made a harmonous melody that played like wind chimes in Christof's ears. Time almost stood still as they descended closer and closer to the landing pad. He felt calmness and safety as his foot hit the ground. Never before had he been so relaxed, it was as if he had taken a sun bath for hours within those few seconds of descent. He was in such bliss that he didn't remember the ship landing or even standing to exit.
"How was your trip," a Jedi asked, "I'm here to take you to the council."
Christof was still quite amazed with his surroundings, he simply nodded as he gawked around and said, "Lead the way."
The young Jedi Knight, no more than 26 years old, walked Christof through the waiting area and into a clear elevator. "Those people in the waiting room are quite annoying. They come here and expect us to help them with things like finding who killed their parents 20 years ago. They need to realize that we're fighting a war here. This war ranks above even keeping the peace within the Republic right now. You'll find that out soon enough."
The elevator shot upward and gave a fantastic view of the nearby political buildings; the House of the Senate, the Chancellor's Dwellings, and even the Headquarters for the Army of the Republic. The elevator came to a smooth stop at the very top of the Temple, the doors opened, and Christof found himself in the presence of the twelve members of the Jedi Council.
"Good morning, Christof, I am Master Kodie. Please, have a seat," Master Kodie gestured to a chair in the middle of the circle.
Christof glanced around, he saw some of the most well known Jedi Knights of the War sitting in the Council.
"First of all, before you sit down, we'd like to take a look at your newest weapon. Would you mind handing it to us? We've heard a lot about it," one of the Masters said.
Christof removed the Saber from his belt and handed it to the requesting Master, then took a seat.
"Well, Christof, this saber isn't just from an average Sith. This is a Royal Knight's saber. If you killed a Royal Guard, you were close to the Emperor of the Sith. Nonetheless, it has a few etchings on it that I find intriguing. It almost looks like he was an experienced duelist. This is quite an achievement, young man. Quite the prize," The Master said and then looked to Christof. He was obviously the Historian of the Council.
Christof only nodded, "If it intrigues you so much, you can keep it. I can make another. It's not a trophy but a weapon, a weapon that I have grown attached to."
The Masters all laughed. Christof said nothing more, he sat with a curious look on his face. He still had no idea why he was here, in the presence of twelve of the most powerful and influential men and women of the Republic.
"Young man," Master Kodie continued, "we have a special interest in you. Call it timing, call it coincidence, call it whatever you want but, many of us on the Council have a feeling about you. We feel that you could be a very influential member of the Jedi Order. Realize that the Order usually doesn't allow Padawans after the age of 5. With our numbers being so low, we're willing to make an exception for someone of your," he took a pause, "abilities. If this isn't something you want to enteratin, you may leave. If you are interested in becoming a keeper of the peace within the Republic, there are a few basic tests we must perform to establish whether or not you have a connection to the living force. Make your decision now."
Christof glanced at the twelve members of the Council and shook his head. He stood up and walked over to the Council member with his saber. The Jedi Master looked at him in shock, "There are so many children in the galaxy that dream of being where you are now," he said to Christof. "That may be but I'm not one of them," Christof replied as he took his saber and walked into the elevator. The doors started to close but a hand jutted in and stopped them. Master Kodie stepped in. The elevator then began its descent.
"What are you doing? This is a perfect oppertunity to represent the Republic and make more of an impact than you ever could as a member of the Army. Why are you walking away from this?" Master Kodie asked in a sincere voice.
Christof looked straight out of the window, into the Coruscant skyline and said, "Hypocrites, all of you. You brag of being keepers of the peace yet you fight and kill. This war is more of a priority than helping the people you represent. You're a joke."
Master Kodie chuckled, "You're right there, we are hypocrites. Christof, we're fighting for our survival, here. It's a seperate war from the Republic's. It's more drastic, it's more personal. The war between Jedi and Sith has raged on since well before the Republic was created. Upon being founded, the Republic 'adopted' us in an effort to gain resources to further their cause and to gain more territory. We accepted because, quite frankly, we were having trouble finding enough children to become Jedi Knights. With our small amount of influence, it was impossible to spread the word of the light side of the force; of keeping justice throughout the galaxy. It was a give-give relationship with the Republic; we gave them glorious warriors to defeat the less-capable Sith, they gave us more warriors. We returned to the keepers of the peace as the Republic's War with the Sith died down, almost 20 years ago. Now, however, we're nearing destruction and do not have enough Padawan to recover to our previous standing. The Republic may look to be on the upswing but that will be futile if we are defeated; the Sith will have a free pass straight to Coruscant. If we fall, the Republic will fall. Our fates are intertwined. We need you now, Christof."
I havent read it all properly, but it sounds good
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