|This is a Star Wars fanfiction set in the KOTOR era. It needs some editing but whatever, I figured I would post it anyways. If you read it go ahead and tell me what you think regardless of whether you think I'm thew new f*cking Hemingway or a complete retard that should never so much as type another word of fiction.
Or... don't comment at all (and be lame).
Everything is to be doubted.
Prologue – Jedi Temple, Coruscant – Early 3,964 BBY
“A Jedi seeks knowledge, because only through knowledge, can a Jedi make an informed and dispassionate decision, a rational decision. It is because of this that I say: all ignorance is evil.” Master Dorak paced in front of the holodisplay. Making occasional gestures towards the information displayed on the screen. “Just over three decades ago, one of the greatest of our number fell because of his ignorance and when he fell, he nearly dragged the galaxy with him.” A high-resolution image of a tall man with dark hair kept into a ponytail appeared on the display. Exar Kun, late Dark Lord of the Sith and fallen Jedi. “Exar Kun was ignorant of the dark side’s corruption, ignorant of the damage it would cause. He believed he could create a golden age of power and prosperity.” Master Dorak shook his head, as if mourning the actions of a fool. “In his ignorance, he became evil, in his ignorance, he killed millions.”
Master Dorak opened his mouth to continue speaking, but just then, a robed figure stepped out of the darkness of the classroom and stepped partially in the way of the holodisplay. Silhouetted by the light behind him, the mysterious robed figure turned to Master Dorak and bowed slightly in respect for the higher-ranking Jedi.
“Master Dorak, if you do not mind, I have a question to pose.” The voice was smooth, monotone, as if the speaker kept the pitch and volume under constant control.
“Of course Knight Kaviss; your contribution to these discussions are always welcome.” Master Dorak’s voice was smooth, but through the force, it was clear he was mildly annoyed at the interruption.
“Thank you Master Dorak.” The Jedi Knight turned towards the class of assembled padawans, still little more than a silhouette to their light blind eyes. The padawans could sense him though, a bright beacon in the Force. “Master Dorak claims that it is Exar Kun’s ignorance that perpetuated his fall and I agree with Master Dorak.” Kaviss paused, letting his statement sink in, deliberately letting the padawans form conclusions about what he was going to say. “However, my question is not about Exar Kun’s ignorance so much as I am curious as to source. Why was Exar Kun ignorant? Would he not have been educated on the dangers of the dark side, like any Jedi? Would he not have been warned repeatedly that the dark side is dangerous, to be avoided? In light of this, I have to ask, how was Exar Kun ignorant? Perhaps Master Dorak has the answer?”
“I would suggest that it was Exar Kun’s own disregard for the tutorship of his Jedi Masters that made him ignorant. One cannot learn unless they are willing to.” Master Dorak replied. The more intelligent padawans could sense that something was not quite right. Perhaps if they focused hard enough, they might notice the building war of words about to take place—was already taking place.
“You propose it to be a defect in character then? A valid point; ethical behavior can be argued to come only from a virtuous character. If Exar Kun was not virtuous in nature, then he would be more susceptible to the lure of the dark side; however…” Kaviss trailed off, feeling the rising questions in the assembled padawans. He let them stew for a few moments, purposely letting them silently argue among themselves as to what he was about to say. It was one of his favored tactics; leave your audience off guard.
“However?” Master Dorak probed. Apparently, he was impatient for an answer as well.
“However, to claim that Exar Kun had a deficiency of character is a bold assumption. It demands an explanation for this supposed deficiency and for that matter, where it came from. Was it a natural facet of Exar Kun’s genetic makeup? Or was it in the environment he grew up in?” It was the ages old nature versus nurture question. “Master Dorak has yet to clarify which of these factors are to be the culprit, or perhaps both?”
“I obviously do not know; it was only a suggestion in any case. No one can accurately explain why Exar Kun was so ignorant of the dark side’s corruption.” There was just a hint of irritation in Dorak’s voice, no doubt because of Kaviss’ hidden accusation that Master Dorak made unwarranted claims.
“I have a theory, if you do not mind hearing it.” Kaviss said.
“By all means, go ahead.” Dorak replied.
“I have a question for all of you; it’s a yes or no question, so all you need do is raise your hand. How many of you have broken a bone, any bone?” There was a group of raised hands among the padawans. About half the class. “Very good, now, I want someone that has never broken a bone to explain to me what it feels like.” Naturally, this caused a number of confused mutters from the class. How could someone that had never broken a bone explain what it felt like?
“Knight Kaviss? I do not understand.” One of the front row padawans said.
“Of course you don’t, because you are asking yourself how someone can explain something they had never experienced. Intellectually, you are aware that breaking a bone is a negative experience, but you can’t explain how it feels, because you do not know it. Knowledge is gained through experience. Ignorance is the lack of knowledge; ergo ignorance is the lack of experience. If the lack of experience is the lack of knowledge, which is in turn ignorance, than all lack of experience is evil.” The logic of it all was absurd, but that did not stop the sudden chorus of voices that filled the classroom. Master Dorak sighed at how easily Kaviss twisted his earlier statement. The argument was in fact, valid, but it was hardly sound.
“Congratulations my former apprentice, you have created a mess of my classroom.” Dorak told Kaviss.
“Hardly, I’m making them think.” Kaviss replied with a grin that Dorak could not see due to the dim light. “Perhaps a few will be intelligent enough to spot my actual point.”
“I do hope not; your point would only confuse them.”
“Disequilibrium is always a sign of true learning. One must be confused before they can understand.”
“Another of Master Kreia’s little phrases I take it?”
“Of course.” Waves of satisfied glee rolled of Kaviss, causing Dorak to sigh again. The young Jedi was entirely too smart for his own good.
“Perhaps you could warn me next time you are planning on disrupting my class? I would appreciate it.” Dorak was not upset, not precisely; however, the arguments Kaviss had presented were… more complex than Dorak felt were proper for a class of younger padawans. Especially the implications of what Kaviss had said. There were hidden whispers behind Kaviss’ words, dangerous whispers.
“Of course Master Dorak, I will try my best.” With a slight bow, Kaviss turned and left the classroom, leaving Dorak to restore order by himself.
"Nothing endures but change"
Jan 26th, 2010 05:32 AM
Chapter One – Senate Chambers, Coruscant – Early 3,964 BBY
“Something must be done about this Mandalorian menace!” Senator Akarius Vallin shouted towards the thousands of senators assembled for the session. “They have raced down three invasion corridors in what seems like overnight. They must be stopped and only by declaring a true state of emergency can the proper resources be allocated to stem the barbarians.”
Jedi Knight Kaviss, listened with distracted interested as the Galactic Defense Party, argued for greater military powers to be granted the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the cobbled together coalition of Republic Command, a haphazard merging of local fleets with the regular Republic Army and Navy.
“The situation does not warrant such centralized control!” That was Senator Kyra Elaine from the powerful Mid Rim system of Antares. Racist against aliens and fiercely independent, the Antaryak Confederation no doubt disliked the idea of their precious fleets falling under the direct control of the Joint Chiefs.
Pathetic. The Mandalorians ravage the Outer Rim and yet these Senators bicker over irrelevant power plays.
The entire affair disgusted Kaviss even as he found it amusing to pick it apart.
“I am inclined to agree with Antares’s position.” That was the Senator from Corellia, typical of the fiercely nationalist system to side with other fiercely nationalist systems, common good be damned. Kaviss wanted to shout at them and remind them how foolish they were acting. He could do none of that though from his observation window near the upper floors of the rotunda. As a Jedi Knight he was allowed to watch, not comment.
“How can you stand there for hours and not get bored to death?” The question—and voice—belonged to Kaviss’ best friend and fellow Jedi Knight, Alek Squinquargesimus. A giant of a man with a giant last name, Kaviss felt that Alek’s size was fitting. He was as cumbersome as his impossible to pronounce home village. Alek tended to tower over most people and indeed, he gave the appearance of towering over Kaviss, although the two were closer in height that most people realized. Alek just had this way of looking like a giant
“Its politics Alek; you have no idea how entertaining it is to read the faces of these senators, to listen to the brief whispers of thought that float through the air.” Kaviss grinned. He loved these games, loved the challenge of navigating through the word maze these senators spun. No other group in the galaxy was adept at spewing verbal banthashit as these people.
“If you say so.” Alek muttered, doubtfully. Alek had never displayed any interest in adaptive psychology, which suited Kaviss fine. Alek wasn’t suited for reading people. Not that this was so much about reading people as more about shifting through all the garbage the senators were spewing and trying to find the rare gems if truth beneath.
“The session should be over soon and then we can—”
“—when are you going to take an apprentice?”
“What kind of random question is that?” Kaviss demanded. “And how does that relate at all with what we were just talking about?”
“It’s a valid question I’ve been meaning to ask and I figured now would be good a time as any.” Alek replied, shrugging as if it was a small issue. “You have been a Knight for five years now and yet in none of those five years have you decided to take an apprentice.”
“Your point being?”
“When are you going to take a Padawan?”
“I don’t know Alek, when I find the right one I guess. My standards are high.”
“You mean strange. Your standards are strange, not high.”
“Whatever you say Alek.” Kaviss paused and leaned back towards the window. The closing arguments had been given for the day. Nothing would happen until the senate reconvened. In that time, Kaviss had to get to work. He had a host of tasks to complete and none of them simple.
“You know they have a nickname for you now?”
“Oh, what is it?” Kaviss never watched the holonet. The media was full of biased shit anyways.
“The Revanchist, of all things, due to your aggressive policy of retaking captured systems from the Mandalorians.”
“Well, I suppose that at least leaves little doubt at where I stand.” Kaviss murmured in response. Labels could be useful, if properly applied.
“The Council is going to have a fit you know.” Alek warned, but Kaviss waved his hand dismissively.
“Let the old bastards stew; their opinion is becoming increasingly meaningless to me anyways. They tell me we need to asses the situation, as if there was anything to asses!” Kaviss shook his head. “They are paralyzed by indecision, chained by the past.”
“Exar Kun.” Alek offered.
“He put the fear of the light into them and even now it still holds them in a vice grip.”
“I heard about your stunt with Master Dorak’s class.” Alek chuckled. “Figures you would be the one to ruin his class.”
“I didn’t ruin anything; I encouraged his students to think for themselves. The Order could use some independent thinking.” Kaviss turned away from the window and stared towards the hallway that circled around the rotunda. “Padawans need to come to their own conclusions about the galaxy and the Force. Getting dogma spoon fed to them helps no one.”
“That’s dangerous thinking.” Alek muttered as he followed behind.
“Of course its dangerous thinking, but dangerous thinking is what I specialize in. It’s my job as a radical.” Beneath his hood, Kaviss narrowed his eyes at Alek. “Are you trying to imply that I shouldn’t’ be doing my best to present radical opinions?” Kaviss shook his head. “I’m disappointed in you. We radicals have to be uniquely dedicated and here you are, trying to make me shirk at my duties!”
“That was a terrible joke, absolutely terrible.”
“I need to get them all out of my system before tonight.”
“Why? What’s happening tonight?” Alek asked, his curiosity piqued.
“I’m having dinner with Senator Kyra Elaine of Antares.”
“Isn’t that the beautiful blond lady that always shouts at the Senators of the Galactic Defense Party?” Kaviss grinned at Alek’s description.
“The one and only. I’m going to convince her to switch sides and throw Antares support behind the GDP.”
“And you will do this how?” Alek asked.
“I haven’t a clue. I’ve never been on a date with a woman before.”
“Neither have I.” Alek seemed almost mournful and Kaviss couldn’t blame him. They still had needs after all, Jedi were human… well most of them anyways.
“She picked this very expensive restaurant… ridiculously expensive.” Kaviss frowned as he considered how many credits this was likely to cost him. It was not as if Jedi just carried around credits to throw away like trash, well most Jedi didn’t. Some of the richer dynasties were sufficiently wealthy. Kaviss should know; he had borrowed money from one of those richer dynasties.
“Do you even know this woman aside from her reputation?”
“We’ve met several times, spoken to each other at several senatorial functions. Due to my ‘hardline’ position on security and political activity, I’ve become something of a known political force. Why else would they be giving me nicknames?”
“Going out to dinner still seems rather personal.”
“I suppose it is. It wasn’t my idea mind you. She was the one who asked me if I was available and I could hardly refuse no could I?”
“No, you really couldn’t.”
“Exactly, I suspect she noticed that I am beginning to gain considerable political support in high circles. I wonder if she expects to sway me to her side.”
“The Independence Party?” Alek asked.
“I believe that’s the one she’s part of; its lead by Corellia of course, naturally. With both Corellia and Antares having rebellious streaks in them, it makes sense for the two to be political bedfellows.”
“And your goal is to convince her that it is in Antares’ best interests to support the Galactic Defense Party?”
"Nothing endures but change"
Jan 26th, 2010 05:37 AM
Kaviss felt out of place. First off, it was his dark brown robes. They were simple if heavy in design. They were also very plain and the high-class restaurant that he was in was most decidedly the opposite of plain. It was extravagance and luxury personified into a building. From where he sat, Kaviss could see the vast expanse of Coruscant below; an endless city of glittering lights.
Secondly, Kaviss felt out of place when he considered the company he was keeping as she sat across from him. Kyra Elaine apparently had some kind of gleeful desire to make Kaviss feel more awkward then he already did. Her black dress, a luxurious item of nanosilk and glittering sparkles, had apparently been designed by someone who’s sense of modesty was a quite bit different from anything Kaviss was aware of. Only rigid Jedi control kept his more primitive desires completely hidden.
“Master Kaviss, I am so glad you could meet me like this.” Kyra said with a smile. She had done her hair up in elaborate pile of golden curls that still allowed blond ringlets to fall just short of her bare shoulders. Kaviss could have sworn she had spent hours arranging that hair.
“I’m not a Master, just a Knight.” Kaviss corrected her. Far too often people misunderstood the differences in the Jedi hierarchy.
“My apologies Knight Kaviss.”
“No, no, there is no need to apologize. It’s a common mistake.” Kaviss tugged at his menu—a small flexible datapad—with the Force and snatched it to his hands. Kyra’s eyes flashed briefly at the stunt and Kaviss could feel a slight well of unease flowing off her presence in the Force. “Many people have a number of misconceptions about Jedi.” That unease wavered, moving back and forth between curiosity and suspicion. That was fine with Kaviss; his goal was to keep her guessing.
“I would recommend the Corellian Special, its one of the best platters this establishment serves.” The Senator offered.
“Corellian you say? I wouldn’t know… I’ve never been to a place this expensive in my life.”
“It wasn’t a burden to pay for was it?” It was almost quant. The Senator sounded concerned. She looked concerned. The Force told Kaviss that she was not.
“No; we Jedi are a big happy, sharing family.” That was a load of banthashit. Begging the Draay Estate for money had been one of the most embarrassing moments of Kaviss’ life.
“I’m glad to know that this caused no stress on your part.” Was that… smugness he felt? Damn senators and their vast wealth. “To be fair, I have been interested in your arguments for quite some time now. Your arguments relating to the Mandalorian threat have piqued my interest.”
“Couldn’t you have simply watched them on the holonet? I’m a Jedi, not a politician. What I say in public is no different than what I say in private.” That was another load of banthashit. Kaviss was very adept at twisting the truth when he needed to do so.
“Perhaps that is so, but you intrigue me Knight Kaviss. Perhaps because you are always hiding under that hood; perhaps because you had never said on the holonet why you support the hardline approach. You only tell the public why it should be done.”
“This is to be a personal inquiry then?” Kaviss didn’t pull down his hood. He was waiting for her to ask him to do that. “I spent the first five years of my life in some of the worst places imaginable. In places like that, the strong crush the weak on a daily basis. Perhaps this offends me; perhaps it upsets me when I see the Mandalorians moving unchecked through Republic space. Perhaps, I feel we should present a united front against such aggression.”
“Your anger and drive is personal then.” Kyra noted, but Kaviss was already shaking his head, having heard the thought form in her head before she had spoken it.
“No, this isn’t about me, this is about justice. This is about defending the Republic from one of the savage and violent cultures in the galaxy.” Only careful control kept the anger from his voice. Unlike most Jedi, he did not suppress his negative emotions. He didn’t embrace them either—for obvious reasons—but he did not feel that holding them down would accomplish anything. He let them run their course, because it was only natural to do so. Denial of one’s emotions helped no one.
“You do not approval of my pro-independence stance.” Kyra was eyeing him with an unreadable expression. However, through the Force, Kaviss could read her easily enough. She was curious; she wanted to know what his childhood had been like. She wanted to know where he came from.
“I do not believe it is helpful.” It was diplomatic as Kaviss would be on his opinion concerning her position.
“Have you considered that it is not my position so much as it is the position of my constituents? I am an elected official after all.”
“Then I suggest you educate your constituents on the more violent aspects of this growing conflict.” Kaviss said. Kyra cocked her head to the side, as if she was listening to something. It was the gesture people made when they had something to say, but weren’t sure how to say it. “The Mandalorians will not stop at the Outer Rim, or the Mid Rim, they will burn a path all the way to Coruscant if they can.”
“You sound so certain.” She paused and looked down at her own menu. “ In any case, we can continue this discussions after we eat. I’m hungry.” She looked at him and popped that smile again. “The Corellian special is a rather large serving.” She looked up at him. “Would you like to share?” At her suggestion, Kaviss narrowed his eyes suspiciously.
“Share? If that’s the case than you can pay for it and I can return the money I had to borrow.”
“I thought the Jedi shared everything.”
“I lied. I had to ask for credits for a… friend in the Draay Family.”
“The Jedi family dynasty here on Coruscant, correct?”
“The one and only. Despite the Order’s new focus on living simple lives free of possessions, such sentiments don’t tend to stick when you are rich.” With a third smile that lit up her oval face, Kyra pulled a credit chip from… somewhere, and inserted it into her menu. Kaviss’ eyes nearly boggled as he saw the number flash across the screen. That was ridiculous! He could have fed himself for a standard month, maybe longer, on such a sum.
“Next time you and I eat together, I will expect you to pay.”
There will be a next time?
Kaviss hoped so; he could spend time with this woman.
“Well if I am going to be paying then I hope you like regular food, common food. The food that poor bastards like me eat.”
“You could save up the lunch money the Order gives you.” Kyra replied.
“And starve just to please you?” Kaviss shook his head. “I’m not that desperate… not yet anyways.”
“You could at least show me your face, maybe try and look like you belong. I’ve been getting stares since I first sat down.”
I was wondering when that could come up.
Kaviss kept his face hidden for various reasons. Mostly because he liked to be able to move around freely with his hood down and not get swarmed by holonet reporters. He supposed it wouldn’t hurt to show his face at this place. As far as he could tell, not even the reporters could afford this exercise in decadence. With a flick of the Force, he knocked his hood back, revealing his face to Kyra.
“Hmm, it’s almost a pity.” She murmured as she stared at him.
“You have the face of a holovid actor, complete with the most stunning green eyes I’ve ever seen, yet you hide it under a hood all day.”
“The less people know what I look like, the easier it is to avoid holonet reporters.”
“Wouldn’t someone like you want to be noticed by the reporters? Considering your fairly… aggressive political tendencies.” Kaviss was shaking his head. She did not understand, but then, he hadn’t expected her to.
“None of this is about me; it’s about what is best for the Republic. Who I am, is not important; however, my message is important. The Mandalorians must be stopped. If people start to focus on me, then they would forget my message.”
“Your message doesn’t sound—ah here is the food.” A serving droid arrived with a large platter of salad, some meat that Kaviss couldn’t identify, and various side dishes. As his nose picked up the spicy smell rising from the meat, his stomach rumbled in anticipation. Damn, but he was hungry.
“What kind of meat is that?” He asked.
“Smoked nerf. The salad is made from greens imported all the way from Corellia.” Kyra replied.
“Because importing lettuce from a location thousands of light years away, makes it taste better.” Kaviss shook his head. The money people would waste was beyond his ability to understand. He had been born on a shithole world in the unknown regions, and never saw so much a credit until Master Kreia had picked him up.
“It’s a failing of us rich folk. We need to find ways to waste our vast mounts of wealth.” Kyra said with a grin. Kaviss didn’t share her amusement and he made sure she realized it as he compressed his lips into a flat line. As she involuntarily winced, Kaviss wondered if perhaps he might have been too overt. “I am sorry, that was uncalled of me.” She said. “I forgot that you came from a—”
“—its nothing.” Kaviss said, waving a hand dismissively, stopping her before she could blunder a second time.
“No, it isn’t nothing. I said something offensive and I shouldn’t have.” To Kaviss’ surprise, the regret was genuine. Perhaps not all politicians were complete slime balls. Not that he would have ever categorized Kyra as a slime ball. That term just… didn’t fit her.
“I thank you for your apology. In any case, I’m hungry, so unless you have any religious preferences you wish to observe before you eat, I’m going to dig in.”
"Nothing endures but change"
Jan 26th, 2010 05:38 AM
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