Hey everyone! UCCMaster here!
I'm back with the next chapter of The Tythos. I hope this long chapter can make up for my long wait. We're going to get a lot going on here so pay close attention. Anyways, I hope you enjoy this chapter and post your comments below.
I do not own Bioware or Disney
"Zybron, I have an assignment for you."
"What is that Master?"
"Go to the Cardia System to meet up with an old ally of mine."
"Yes Master, and what of the Tythos?"
"They will come in due time my young apprentice."
Tythos Training Grounds, Tython
0800 Hours, 13 BBY
Taranto panted as he put down the heavy staff. This wasn't what he had been expecting when he had started his Jedi training. The Council had granted him basic training, giving him both room and classes to study under several Jedi trainees.
So when he had first started his training two weeks ago, he was sorta expecting some sort of meditation ceremony and learning how to use the Force. To his surprise and a rather painful one it was, the instructors hadn't been the philosophical Jedi Masters he had been expecting, but rather a series of drill instructors, ordering him to follow a series of stances and poses while holding a heavy wooden quarterstaff. It felt more like he was in a boot camp rather than some sort of Jedi institute like he had imagined. The Jedi trainers were brutal, relentless, and harsh, giving him few breaks whilst constantly drilling through endurance tests the first week and now these stance drills. Stand here like this, move your leg forward and point your staff this way, now switch and move this way, and so. He was exhausted, tired, and frustrated. This wasn't what he had signed up for. He wanted to be a Jedi, not a beat up victim all over again.
"Wow, they got you good."
The boy turned to see a familiar teenage girl watching her from a balcony. She seemed to find amusement in his suffering.
"Yeah, well you try doing this pointless exercises." He muttered in retort.
The girl leaped down from her vantage point onto the training ground. Her hair was tightly put up into a bun, making Taranto frown slightly. She looked cuter when her hair was down like back at the academy. She reached out her hand and to Taranto's mild surprise, the staff leaped out of his hand and flew into hers. The brunette gave the staff a few experimental spins, the heavy staff moving so freely in her practiced hands. "I've been watching your training when I have time. You're definitely improving. You just need to apply the Force now."
"The Force?" Taranto raised an eyebrow. "Isn't that what I've been doing?"
The girl shook her head as she laughed. "Nope, that's not it. The Force is something else entirely.
"The Force is an energy field that connects all living things. It's what binds the galaxy together. As Jedi we have the gift to tap into the energy and channel it. While most people think that means telekinesis and shooting lighting, there's so much more that Jedi use the Force for. For Tythos Jedi we use it to enhance our own physical strength and endurance. Some Jedi let it guide them in battle, others use it conceal themselves in the shadows, while even more talented users utilize the Force to protect them and others from danger."
She held the staff in a two handed grip before beginning a complex routine. The staff seemed to move all on its own in her hands as it twirled, whirled and sliced through the air. As Taranto watched the girl's routine closely, he realized that she was doing the exact same set of stances he was supposed to be doing except instead of using stiff movements, her entire body was in fluid motion. She eventually ended the routine and tossed the staff back to the boy. "Now you try."
Taranto studied the staff carefully, then his own hands. He carefully took the first stance, then tried to flow into the next but stumbled over the strike. After several more attempts, he threw the staff down in disgust. "It's pointless!"
"Taranto you just have to keep..."
"I'll never get it!" The boy grumbled.
The girl sighed. "Look, let me help you with this."
She picked up the staff and tossed it back into the boy's hands. Then, much to the boy's surprise, she moved behind him and held the staff along with him. Taranto blushed as he could literally feel the girl's warm breath falling on the back of his neck.
"Let's try this together ok?"
Little did they know, they had attracted the audience of a particular playboy within the academy as Dustil watched the pair begin going through the drills hand in hand. "I swear," he muttered, "I'm going to ensure they get together, no matter what."
The two began moving in fluid motion, one leading the other in the complex series of strikes, blocks and dodges. Dustil sighed as he lay his head back to enjoy the show. "Why is the poor socially awkward kid the one who get's the girl?"
"Then again, he is the Revanchist. Revan and his descendants never failed to attract beautiful women." The boy turned around in surprise to see an old Twilek master standing next to him.
"Master Kifar, what are you doing here?"
The man merely watched the pair in amusement. "Just keeping an eye on our young prodigy's progress."
"I wouldn't call him a prodigy..." Dustil muttered.
The man chuckled. "I wasn't referring to him."
The boy's eyes followed his gaze until they rested on the young girl guiding her friend. "Ra'chelle?"
"You see Dustil," the old man explained, "You know better than anyone that she's the one who really needs help. All her life she's been trying to earn the recognition she deserves, something that can erase the flaws she can't control. Taranto is exactly what the girl needs."
"A new face. Someone who won't judge her based on her ancestry. Taranto is just like her: defined by his own ancestry while trying merely to become his own person. Whether or not they get together is none of my concern."
Dustil sighed. Master Kifar, noticing the boy's face, chuckled. "Although they do look cute together. I must agree to that. He reminds me sort of like myself."
The boy gave the master a queer look. "Since when were you the playboy?"
"Since before you were born child. When I was your age, I made even shamed even Grand Master Carsen with the number of young women and even a few men who had fantasies of me. I was quite the man, both inside and outside the bedroom."
Suddenly the thought of the old Twilek man with dozens of cute girls surrounding him burned through the poor boy's mind. "Aww! You had to tell me that?"
The old master chuckled as he watched the violated boy rush off trying to rid of mind of the awful picture stuck in his mind. "Someday my boy, you'll learn how to truly pick up women. Now I must be off or my wife will have my head and Lekku for lunch."
Tythos Training Grounds, Tython
1400 Hours, 13 BBY
It had been several weeks since that special training session and Taranto found himself actually making progress. He had been feeling something a little different ever since that first training session. Like, a sixth sense or something like that. There was something about whenever he tried to focus his thoughts and emotions on something around him, he could suddenly feel a reaction. Was this the Force?
"You're right Taranto."
The girl gave it a moment to think before nodding. "Yep, that's the Force, though you gave an interesting description of it. I normally would describe the feeling as a tool, a willing or enhancement of sorts. Have you felt it when we practice?"
Taranto nodded. "Yeah, it's sorta moving my hands."
"Exactly!" The girl grinned. "See Taranto, you getting it! We might be ready for a mission soon!"
The boy's eyes widened. "Mission?"
"Well duh?" She rolled her eyes. "To go fight the Revanites? They're still out there and with that Vow spawn trashing us, we need to take action. Now I found out about this Revanite infiltration on..."
"Why us?" Taranto wasn't trying to be rude but let's look at reality, he had just started his training and already this girl wanted to get them killed? Was she out of her mind? "I mean, I get it, we're Tythos now but there's plenty of experience Jedi around here. Why do we have to do it?"
The girl's eyes darkened. "Because it's our duty. I have faith in you. We can get this done and prove that the Tythos won't ignore the Revanites and their dirty plots."
"I'm sorry." Taranto turned around. "I'm not just ready for something like this. We're not ready. It's just the two of us and we're nothing special."
"Oh so you're just going to walk away then?" The girl taunted. "We're not children anymore. We're Jedi and it's what we do."
"Yes we are children. We're fourteen and Dustil is sixteen. What can a bunch of teenagers do? This isn't some sort of fantasy. Remember how that Revanite just trashed you? There's probably dozens of people like that in their order. Stop trying to be the hero for once!"
Ra'chelle froze as Taranto could see a tear slowly fall down her cheeks. "Fine then! If you're just going to run away then...be that way! Forget that I ever helped you." The girl stormed off.
Taranto couldn't understand why she left. Couldn't she see that they were just kids?
"Man that was tough."
Taranto sighed as he recognized the voice. "What do you want Dustil?"
The playboy shrugged. "I don't really know. I just waltzed in here and found Ra'chelle storming past me and assumed you guys must have broken up or something."
The boy sighed. Dustil had been teasing them nonstop about this for the last two months. "For the last time, we're not together."
"Sure, that's what they all say."
"What do you want anyways?"
The older boy slouched on the railing as he stared hard at the boy. "I just want to know what you did the hurt my best friend. Don't forget, she may be your girlfriend, she's also my bestie."
Taranto decided to let the girlfriend thing go for now. "I don't know, I just. Well, she wanted to go fight the Revanites and I just got into this and..."
"You told her you didn't think it was for you guys. I see what the problem is now."
The younger boy glanced up at the older boy. "What are you talking about?"
"You see," Dustil started, "Ra'chelle has always had a strong sense of duty and even more so, she's been dying for recognition."
"So she's prideful?"
"No, it's not that. She just wants...well...how do I put this? She's...different. You notice how nobody seems to notice her?"
The boy had a point. In the two months he had spent on Tython, he had seen and met plenty of young padawans they're age, but none of them chatted with Ra'chelle. She always ate alone with Dustil and himself. "Come to think of it, yeah. What's that got to do with anything?"
"Well, you see, it's about Ra'chelle's dad."
"Who's her dad?"
"Grand Master Carsen."
Taranto gasped in surprise. "Grand Master Carsen is Ra'chelle's dad? But I never see him with her."
"That's because he doesn't acknowledge her as his daughter."
Taranto gasped. And he thought he had parent issues. Sure his parents sent him off to academy against his will but at least they always cared for him. But to be neglected by your own dad...ouch. So that's why she introduced herself as Rachelle Shino rather than Ra'chelle Carsen. "I'm sorry to hear that."
"And that's not all," Dustil continued, "Ra'chelle seems to think that if she can prove herself as a successful Jedi, her father will have no choice but to accept her as his daughter."
"So me not wanting to take part in the fight makes her feel like I'm not helping her prove herself." Taranto realized.
"You're pretty sharp kid." The older teen grinned. "You'd better make things up with her. She tends to hold onto grudges for a while."
Women's Dormitories, Tython
1600 Hours, 13 BBY
Taranto stood before the girl's door. Should he knock or should he wait for a better time? Well, he might as well get it over with now. As he raised his hand to knock, the door opened automatically. "You can't stand in front of a Jedi's room without he or she being aware of your presence. What's this all about Taranto? I'm not in a good mood right now."
Taranto froze. "Umm...well...I'm..."
The girl glared at him. "You're what?"
"I'm..." Sorry, horrible, a ruiner of friendships, a coward, a bad friend.
"I'm sorry." The boy managed.
The girl raised her brow slightly. "Sorry? For what?"
"For not understanding. For being a coward about the entire Revanite thing. Look Ra'chelle, you inspired me. Back on Anaxes, I didn't think much about myself. I was a coward back then. But then you came and then, well, I'm learning how to make a person out of myself. So...well...if you want to go fight the Revanites, I'll help you however I can. I won't run away anymore."
Ra'chelle let her gaze examine the boy, trying to find some sort of reason not to believe him. When she found none, she broke her tough girl facade and rushed into his arms. "Thanks Taranto!"
The boy blushed heavily at her hug before returning it. "So I'm forgiven?"
Ra'chelle gazed into the boy's eyes. "We'll see." She purred softly.
"Wow! Way to make a move T-man!"
The two broke apart faster than same polarity magnets. "Dustil when did you get here?"
The boy grinned. "Around the time you guys were about to make out. And I just so happened to have an assignment we can do."
"Really?" The girl cried. "What is it?"
"We'll get to that soon enough, but first we need to make sure Taranto's combat ready. We'll going in pretty Imperial Territory, so you might want to, I don't know, make sure Taranto has a lightsaber?"
The two blinked in surprise before the realization hit them. "By the Force Taranto, I completely forgot you don't have a lightsaber yet!"
Taranto, only realizing it himself, shrugged. "Alright then, where do we get one?"
"Well normally, you would construct your own during your graduation ceremony to padawan. But that's not until the end of the year."
"Why can't I make one right now?"
"Because you need the help of a crafting table." Ra'chelle pointed out. "Sure you could make a lightsaber anywhere with the right parts, but it takes incredible amounts of concentration and Force Reserves to make one without a table, much less ensure that it's built right and won't malfunction."
"Unfortunately," Dustil pointed out, "Crafting tables are exclusively controlled by the Council and they won't agree to letting Taranto build his saber this early, much less for a mission that we're technically not supposed to know about."
"What are you talking about?" Taranto protested.
Ra'chelle glared at the boy. "What did you do?"
"Alright, I stole the mission datapad from the team that was supposed to go. I knew you really wanted to go on a mission and this one seemed easy enough so I swiped it before they got it."
Ra'chelle face palmed. "Alright then, we'll need to find some other way to get the table."
Dustil thought for a while before he had a thought. "Well, there is one at the Forge."
"No way," Ra'chelle objected. "That's dangerous territory."
"What's the Forge?" Taranto asked curiously.
"The Forge is the ancient ruins of the first Jedi Temple." Ra'chelle explained. "It was rumored that Jedi used to build their lightsabers there, though the last record of a Jedi using a table there was back with the Hero of Tython and the Barsenthor. It's crawling with creatures and Raiders."
"We'd be able to protect him while he builds it." Dustil pointed out. "Besides, how else is he going to construct a saber. I already got the parts plus the two standard crystals."
"Since when did you get access to those things?"
"Ra'chelle, the less you know, the better."
"Fine...let me first give Taranto the run down of how to build one."
"Do I even get a say in this?" Taranto protested.
Ra'chelle grinned. "Nope!"
"I've got a bad feeling about this."
The Forge Remains, Tython
2200 Hours, 13 BBY
"Got another Raider on your left!"
Sure enough, Taranto found himself two days later standing before a partially standing crafting table while Ra'chelle and Dustil engaged the local predators.
He stared at the parts put in front of him, now what color crystal should he use?
"Hey Taranto, could you hurry it up?" Dustil called from behind a boulder.
"Yeah, it's not easy dealing with all of these raiders on our own here." Ra'chelle agreed, cutting down two more of the raiders.
Taranto froze with the anxiety rushing over him. Calm down, he needed to be one with his emotions before he could construct his saber. He closed his eyes and tuned everything else out. What happened next, he could not really explain. A strange feeling of warmth and strength washed over him as he let his senses intertwine with the table's. Before he knew it, he was holding a completed lightsaber in his hands. He must have chosen the green crystal, seeing as the blue was leftover.
He thumbed the switch, allowing a brilliant green blade to spring to life. There was something special about it, the way it hummed and vrmmed in his hands. He raised the saber over his head and cheered. "Yes! I did it!"
"That's great T-man, now let's go!" Dustil congratulated as he rushed towards the stolen shuttle.
Rachelle turned to him with a warm smile. "I'm proud of you Taranto."
"Let's go!" Dustil reminded the two.
Boy's eyes met girl's. "Shall we?"
Taranto nodded as he clipped the saber to his belt. "Let's do this!"
Together the two, hand in hand, rushed towards the shuttle, creatures of the night chasing after them, but they couldn't have felt more joy and pride. If only it would last...
First Jedi Temple, Unknown Planet
2300 Hours, 33 ABY
Rey opened her eyes as she stared at the holocron in front of her. "I don't understand, why am I seeing this?"
Luke Skywalker scratched his beard softly. "I don't know child. The Force seems to be leading you in ways we don't know."
The young woman shook her head. "I get that. But what I don't get is why I'm so attuned to the Force. You said it yourself: you've never even heard of me before. But you also said the Force is strong in certain families, so what is this all supposed to mean?"
The older man closed his eyes. "Young Rey, that's up to you to discover. I've already confronted my past with Vader. But you, there's something different about you. Something I haven't felt in a long time."
Rey took the thought in. So many things didn't make sense. Why was she abandoned on Jakku? Who were her parents? Why was she so gifted in the Force? She could only gaze up into the stars and hope that...somewhere...somehow, her family was still out there, searching for her.
First Order Stronghold, First Order Planet
2300 Hours, 33 ABY
An elderly woman gazed at the same stars. Behind her, the wreckage of a First Order stronghold burned. "So they don't know either." She muttered in disgust. She had been traveling across the Outer Rim, searching in vain for some sort of clue as to her whereabouts.
"Oh, if only you could be here." She sighed as she remembered the tragic events.
The woman turned around to find a squad of Stormtroopers aiming their weapons towards her. "Now there's no need for a fight here boys." She pointed her cane at the troopers.
"You're under arrest for attacking First Order property."
"Oh am I?" The woman raised a brow.
"Yes ma'am, please come with us or we will use force."
"Is that so?"
A few moments later, the squad lay in a heap of crumpled bodies, armor, and sliced weapons. The woman reattached her cane saber to the remained of her cane before walking off. "Rey, wherever you are, I shall find you...my granddaughter."
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