Jedi Academy

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Jedi Academy

Post by Pryde » Wed Mar 24, 2010 8:39 pm

Eleven years ago...

As Faye Ward strolled into the center of the foyer of Devon Vos' Jedi Praxeum she couldn't help but notice that everyone's eyes seemed to be on her. She was of course strangely dressed in the formal garb of her people but Faye knew better than to think they were staring at her because of that. They were staring because of the surprise that she was even here at all. The Followers of Palawa and the Jedi have never really been on friendly terms, not since the Jedi Council was supposed to have been involved in the destruction of Palawa and untold millennia ago.

Faye tried to pay them no heed as she walked with dignity down the long corridor. About halfway down a man dressed in the formal robes of a Jedi stopped her. "Ah, Miss Faye Ward, is it? Good, we've received word you would be arriving today."

"Word," Faye said in surprise, "from whom?"

"A mutual friend, now if you'll accompany me I have taken the liberty of assigning a special instructor for you."

Faye was about to object but she was never given the chance. The man took her bag from her then gently grabbed her by the arm, leading her deeper into the temple. As they walked they passed by a number of class rooms each occupied by a small group of Jedi students and led by an instructor. Faye of course didn't recognize any of the instructors whose faces she had seen but one in particular seemed quite a bit too young for the part. Before she could inquire about the young girl leading a group of students in meditation, however, she was pulled along to the next room.

"What is it about this place that's so special? Why keep it a secret," Faye asked as they moved into the branch of the temple that contained the living quarters of each of the students.

"I'm sorry," the man said, barely catching the tail end of her question.

"I wasn't told where we were going. Two Jedi arrived to pick me up and take me here, but I have no idea where 'here' is. Why?"

"That's something we can discuss later," he replied, neatly evading the question. "Ah, here we are."

He stopped in front of one of the student's quarters and gently rapped on the door. A moment later the door slid open and a woman perhaps seven years older than Faye greeted them. "Master Renning," she said, "this is a surprise and who is this?"

"This is Faye Ward, recently arrived from Bunduki."

"Bunduki," the woman repeated, staring at Faye in shock. Faye resisted the urge to turn away and continued to stare back at her with open defiance.

"Faye Ward, this is Jedi Knight Tasha Vale, a graduate of this very praxeum. She is going to be your new instructor."

"Her," Faye said with a laugh, the corner of her lips curling up into a smirk. "surely a master with far greater skill is available to instruct me."

Tasha's face grew ashen but before she could reply Renning stepped in for her. "Are you attributing skill to age or appearance," he asked pointedly. Faye did not have an answer for him. "Well then, I'll leave you two to get acquainted," he continued and before either of the two women could object he handed Faye back her bag and quickly retreated.

Faye was left staring at Tasha who was also staring silently back at her. "Well, why don't you come in," she said finally after a moment's hesitation, stepping aside just enough to permit Faye to enter the room.

"Just drop your bag over there we'll find you a spare room in a moment."

Faye did as she was asked then turned to look at Tasha. "Please sit," the Jedi said gesturing to a chair.

Faye shook her head. "I would rather stand."

Tasha stared at her a moment then shrugged. "As you wish," she said, slipping into a chair opposite Faye, "So you're from Bunduki? Are you a Follower of Palawa then?"

"Isn't it obvious?"

"Yes, well...," Tasha answered, sheepishly scratching the top of her head with one finger. "I have to apologize, this is somewhat of a surprise for me. I did not think they would assign me a padawan so soon after graduation."

"Soon," Faye repeated with a flash of anger. Then suddenly she reached down and threw her bag over her shoulder and turned to leave the room.

"Wait, where are you going?"

"To demand that I be assigned a new instructor," Faye answered as she pressed the switch to open the door. When nothing happened she pressed it again and again and again then finally turned back to look at Vale.

"You believe I am inadequate as a teacher because of my inexperience," she began in a level tone, "but that is an assessment you have made in haste. I admit I may not be your equal when it comes to fighting but in matters of the Force that is another story."

Suddenly Faye's bag slipped from her shoulder on its own and floated across the room to settle itself gently on the floor. "Now please, take a seat," Tasha said once again gesturing to the chair in front of her.

Faye looked at her then at the bag that had miraculously flown across the room and reluctantly she walked over and settled herself into the chair Tasha had indicated. "Good," Tasha said with a smile, "Now we're getting somewhere..."

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Re: Jedi Academy

Post by Pryde » Thu Mar 25, 2010 10:47 am

Faye woke up early the next morning and quickly got dressed into her formal Palawan garb. She was given the robes of a padawan but she preferred to honor her people instead rather than acknowledge her place amongst the Jedi. After making sure her mahogany hair was straight she stepped outside her room and walked with purpose down the corridor in what she hoped was the direction of the Headmaster's quarters. Before she was even halfway there she was stopped by the one woman she didn't want to see that morning.

"Oh good, you're awake," Tasha said cheerfully when she saw her pupil walking by her. "Today we're going to begin our lessons. Come along."

She started to walk in the opposite direction and Faye considered not following her for a moment but that option was quickly taken away from her when she felt a gentle tug on her body. Tasha was once again using the Force to compel her student to obey and Faye found it infuriating. There was nothing she could do, however, so she simply followed the woman in silence.

Tasha led Faye into the training rooms and past groups of students practicing lightsaber techniques and into a small room of solitary confinement. Faye entered the room and looked around, noting that there was not enough space for weapons training. "What am I expected to do here," she asked distastefully.

"Meditate," Tasha answered, "You're to sit here and meditate until I come back for you."

Faye's expression darkened and her hands balled into fists. "How is this lesson supposed to help me improve my skills as a warrior?"

"A weak minded warrior may only see the enemy in front of him, but a Jedi, however, must learn to take in everything around her. You will meditate on this until I return," she answered then she turned and left the room before Faye could offer any more objections.

Faye immediately tried to follow her but found the door locked. No, not locked--jammed. Tasha must have known she would disobey and is probably outside the room forcefully keeping the door from opening. The Palawan woman balled up a fist and slammed it into the door in frustration then she turned back to look at the room. At least there was enough space for her to do some calisthenics to begin the day then she could practice a few mantras while she waited for Tasha to return.

Outside the room Tasha leaned against the wall, her mind's eye keeping track of her student locked within. When she felt a familiar presence approaching her she opened her eyes and turned to give Renning a smile. "Good morning, Master Renning."

"And a good morning to you too, Ms. Vale," he answered back then he turned to look at the wall upon which she leaned. "How's she doing?"

"Stubborn, disobedient, arrogant and a lot of other words I can't think of right now."

Renning just smiled, "Then it seems my choice to give her to you was indeed the right one. Tell me, what is she doing now?"

"Push ups," Tasha said with a note of frustration. "She was ordered to meditate but it seems she's doing anything she can to defy me," she let out a sigh then, "Ah well, she'll be in there all day if that's what it takes."

"Well, you let me know how it goes," Renning said then he turned and walked away leaving a dumbfounded Tasha to tend to her student...

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Re: Jedi Academy

Post by Pryde » Thu Mar 25, 2010 12:19 pm

Faye's stomach growled in protest as she leaned against the wall. How long she'd been stuck in this room she couldn't rightly say but she knew it was way past breakfast time and possibly even lunch. She had long ago worn herself out from physical exertion and now took to resting instead. Tasha should have come for her awhile ago Faye was almost certain of that. The fact she hadn't yet meant she was waiting for something, but waiting for what? Waiting for her to meditate?

As if, she thought to herself in frustration as she pulled herself up to her feet and started pacing around. She wasn't about to meditate she saw no point in it. She couldn't improve her skills by sitting idly around with her eyes closed she needed to physically exert herself against another, stronger opponent. This--Jedi just didn't understand the rigors of being a warrior. The Jedi were pacifists first and soldiers second. They resolved their differences through peace talks and negotiations and rarely with the sword. Faye was determined never to become one of them.

Another hour had passed and still there was no change. Faye continued to pace back and a forth all the while her eyes were transfixed on the door. Why is she not coming for me now? Surely we have wasted enough time as it is. She stormed over to the door and tried to open it, thinking Tasha had long ago walked away and forgot she was here. There was no such luck, however, and once again the door stubbornly refused to budge. In frustration she foolishly tried to force it open with her fingertips only to once again be met by the same results. Finally she turned and wandered into the center of the room all the while muttering a string of curses under her breath.

With nothing else to do she plopped down onto the center of the floor and closed her eyes. At first there was nothing, just darkness and her own rising anger as the foolishness of this became more and more apparent. Then suddenly she could see her master sitting against the wall just outside the room. Turning herself around without physically moving her body she found she could see the students practicing outside with their instructors. Is this for real? Or am I imagining it? Concentrating even harder she allowed herself to float freely through the temple, passing from room to room and class to class. She saw many things, the young girl from the day before once again leading a group of students in meditation, Renning overseeing the placement of padawans with masters and Devon Vos working at his desk. She even saw herself sitting alone in the room in meditation and when she looked up the door finally opened.

Faye snapped herself out of her trance and looked up to see Tasha standing over her. "And now you finally understand," she said, offering her hand to the young padawan.

Faye accepted it and allowed herself to be pulled to her feet, still wondering whether everything she had seen was really happening.

"The Force can grant you vision of the past, the future and the present," Tasha said seeming to read her mind, "So long as you open yourself up to the Force and allow it to become your guide you will find that it can help you in ways you can't even imagine."

"I wish to learn more," Faye said, sounding earnest for the very first time since they had met.

Tasha gently shook her head. "No, that is enough for today. Just think about everything you've learned and relax. There is food available in the mess hall, I'm sure by now you're hungry."

The mention of food set Faye's stomach to growling again and silently she nodded. Tasha just smiled at her, "Go get something to eat. We'll reconvene tomorrow morning for more lessons."

Then she left the room, this time leaving the door open for Faye to leave. The young girl reluctantly followed her outside but stopped briefly to gaze back into the empty room. So, everything she had seen was real but she was still unsure yet as to how being able to see the present was going to help her. With a shrug she turned and headed out of the training rooms towards the mess. There was a large number of students there all waiting for their meals and Faye silently slid into line behind them. After she was served a plate she find a nice quiet spot in the corner of the room away from everyone where she could sit alone. It wasn't long after she had settled herself into a seat that a young boy about her age slipped into the chair opposite her.

"Hi there," he said cheerfully as he carefully separated the food on his plate. "You're new here, aren't you? It's a pleasure to meet you, my name is Marius Lavar."

Faye ignored him and continued to eat in silence.

Marius sheepishly scratched the back of his head and forced a smile onto his face. "Not one for talking, are you? Well, that's alright I can talk and you can listen--if that's alright with you."

Again Faye said nothing as she shoveled another spoonful of food down her throat.

"So, I hear you've been assigned to Tasha Vale," the boy continued, "I must say you're pretty lucky. Usually students will spend a few months here before they are assigned a master. You were given one the moment you arrived. I can't help but say that the others and I are a bit envious of you. We would give anything to be in your--," he was interrupted suddenly by the sound of Faye's spoon hitting the table.

"I will put this as gently as I can," she began in a low voice, "I am not here to fraternize with you or anyone, so please leave me be."

The boy seemed to hesitate a moment and nervously tugged at the collar of his robe. "I, uh... Can't," he replied, "You see, I was told to come over here."

"Told," Faye repeated and she looked back over her shoulder towards the entrance where she found Master Renning smiling and waving to her. Faye just hung her head over the table, that man is insufferable...

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Re: Jedi Academy

Post by Mir » Thu Mar 25, 2010 12:36 pm

"Master Renning can be a bit much sometimes, don't you think Marius?" A new voice said.

Faye ignored the voice and went back to eating, but Marius looked up and saw a young woman walking towards them. She was roughly five foot five, and she had long black hair. Her blue eyes twinkled as she walked towards them.

"Chaatra?" Marius said. "Master Renning asked me-"

"Make the newcomer feel comfortable? I gathered that, but all you're doing is making her feel uncomfortable. Well, maybe not uncomfortable, but in the very least, annoyed." Chaatra said. She had her smile on again and she sat down at the table. "I'll take it from here." She said, her smile widening. She was sitting across from Faye and after that line she paid Marius no more attention. "I've heard interesting stories about you already, which is, in and of itself, interesting considering you're brand new here. I'm Chaatra Myun. I gather you're not too keen on, what was it, fraternizing with Marius, or me, or anyone, so I won't try to convince you otherwise. I'll just sit here and wait patiently until you wish to speak to me. If you don't, I can always wait until the next time you have to eat."

There was a glint in her eye and her smile turned a little mischevious. She fell silent and gave her attention to her food, beginning to eat.

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Re: Jedi Academy

Post by Pryde » Thu Mar 25, 2010 12:54 pm

Faye's hand tightened around the stem of her spoon as she stared daggers at the woman. She couldn't understand why these Jedi just wouldn't leave her alone. Her former master had requested her to come here and train but he did not ask her to make friends. She merely came to learn and that was it, why wasn't that enough for them? Finally she became so frustrated that she simply grabbed her plate and moved over to the next table then much to her dismay Chaatra and Marius both followed.

"Why are you bothering me," Faye demanded of them as they once again sat down in front of her, "Why can't you just leave me alone? I do not wish to know any of you any better than I need to."

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Re: Jedi Academy

Post by Mir » Thu Mar 25, 2010 1:04 pm

"Well, that's a good question." Chaatra said. "I'd like to think it's because we're all connected through the Force." She said, waving her fork around in the air. "It brings us together, binds us together, makes everything nice for people to get along with each other." She added. Chaatra reached down and grabbed a piece of her meal. She lifted up the Soy piece and watched as the oil and groat milk dripped off. "They put too much oil, but the groat milk makes it okay, sometimes." She said and ate the piece. "Jedi are supposed to work together and be a unified front against the evil that plagues the galaxy." Chaatra said after she chewed, swallowed and had a sip of her water.

"Yes, so we should get to know each other, so that we can work well with each other." Marius said.

"Or," Chaatra said, "you could look at it this way." She said, with more fork waving. "Your training is going to be harsh and hard. You're going to need someone to complain to when you want to complain, if you want to complain. You're going to want to talk to someone. That's how its going to be for everyone, so we rely on each other to help us out when we need it. So if you think about it, it kinda is the same thing, just a little more selfish, and a little more...realistic, I guess would be the term, than just saying that the Force brings people together to be friends."

"Now I'm confused." Marius said.

"So am I, but I ramble." Chaatra said with a smile. "Think of it this way," She said, turning back to Faye, "when you're really tired and your muscles are cramping, don't you wish there would be someone to help crack your joints and smooth the muscles out or grab you a stim drink, so you can get back to training faster?"

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Re: Jedi Academy

Post by Pryde » Thu Mar 25, 2010 1:21 pm

"No," Faye answered stiffly, "a warrior understands that physical pain is part of the exertion. She accepts that and continues her training she does not--complain." There was a short pause there as Faye watched the two eating in front of her. She decided moving to another table was just pointless as the two padawans would simply follow her again, so she tried to forget they were even there and finish eating her meal.

After awhile Marius spoke up again. "Those robes you're wearing that's the garb of the Followers of Palawa, is it not?"

Faye just gave him a look which seemed to be answer enough for him. "You must know Teräs Käsi then. Do you think you could teach me?"

"I cannot," she answered simply then she went back to eating her meal.

Marius was confused. "Why not?"

Faye settled her spoon on the table in frustration and looked at him again. "Teräs Käsi was invented to combat Jedi," she told him, "I will not betray my ancestors by teaching it to you."

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Re: Jedi Academy

Post by Mir » Thu Mar 25, 2010 2:52 pm

"Aren't you then betraying your ancestors by coming to a place of Jedi learning and trying to learn the ways of the Force?" Chaatra asked. "I mean, it kind of seems like the same thing to me." She said, eating more of her food and looking at Faye, wondering how the double standard worked in Faye's favor.

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Re: Jedi Academy

Post by Pryde » Thu Mar 25, 2010 4:08 pm

"It's--complicated," Faye answered, diverting her gaze to her plate.

Marius was intrigued. "Complicated? Like how?"

Faye debated not telling him but decided he would just keep pestering her about it. "My Grandfather asked me to come. I would not be here otherwise."

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Re: Jedi Academy

Post by Mir » Fri Mar 26, 2010 10:26 am

Chaatra just nodded and continued eating. If Faye wished to speak about it, she would. Chaatra was not the kind of person to force someone to do something that they didn't want to do. She hoped eventually Faye would open up and tell them what had happened or whatever it was that had caused her to be here. She didn't doubt that down the road this would happen, but she did know, especially with Faye's personality, that pushing the other woman to tell them would end disastrously. Chaatra could only hope that Marius would figure that out as well. As she ate, she quickly brainstormed other possible topics of discussion. Deciding, she spoke.

"Well, for whatever reason, you are here now." She said. "What do you think of the Jedi praxeum here? It's a very good place for the Jedi to learn and study the Force, and I think that people here will be able to help others very well. I hope you're, I guess, enjoying it, so far. Though, I'm not sure what it is that you enjoy so I'm not sure if you are enjoying it, but I figured I would ask." She finished, a wispy smile on her face.

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Re: Jedi Academy

Post by Pryde » Fri Mar 26, 2010 11:35 am

Faye silently finished the last of her meal then stood up, her chair making a slight screeching noise as it slid against the floor. Without even bothering to answer Chaatra's question or acknowledging Marius' presence she turned and walked away dropping her plate off at a nearby trash recepticle. Marius watched her leave for a moment then glanced back at Chaatra. "Do you think Master Renning would want me to follow her?"

Faye left the mess hall and headed down the corridor towards her quarters hoping none of the other students would try to fraternize with her or that Master Renning or Tasha Vale wouldn't try to interfere with her again. Her wish would not be granted, however, when she turned the corner and found Master Renning leaning against the wall.

"You left in a bit of a hurry," he noted then he pushed off from the wall and walked over to her. "Or perhaps I was pushing you too hard."

Faye didn't immediately say anything so Renning continued, "You'll open up to the others in your own time, but try to remember that we are all here to help you. Jedi are at their strongest when we work together. Only the Sith walk the path alone and you are not alone, Faye Ward, not here. You'll realize that soon enough."

He walked away then and left her standing in the middle of the corridor contemplating his words. It was almost a full minute before she realized people were staring at her for just standing there so with reddened cheeks she turned and continued her walk towards her quarters. When she arrived she quickly slipped inside and turned out the lights. She didn't want to see anyone right now, in fact she wanted desperately to leave. She was fine on Bunduki why would her Grandfather insist she come here? What purpose did it serve? With no answers immediately forthcoming she threw herself onto the bed and closed her eyes...

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Re: Jedi Academy

Post by Pryde » Fri Mar 26, 2010 5:41 pm

When Marius and Chaatra emerged from the mess hall Master Joseph Renning was waiting for them. He nodded to them both and quietly approached them, smiling at Marius in particular. "Thank you, Padawan Lavar, but it seems my experiment as failed. If you please I would like to speak to miss Myun alone for a moment."

"Of course, Master Renning," the padawan said with a bow then he quickly retreated.

Renning made a gesture with one hand and invited Chaatra to walk with him. "I appreciate what you tried to do for Faye. Her Grandfather had told me she was a bit of a hard case before he sent her here."

"You know her Grandfather," Chaatra asked with a bit of surprise.

"We've met a few times in the past," he told her, "He's a good man and he's taught his granddaughter well, but he's afraid her training may have gone to her head. That's why he needs us, to temper her as it were."

"So what do you need from me," she asked.

Renning smiled, "You are a sharp one indeed. What I need from you, Ms. Myun, is to be her friend. Take her around the temple, introduce her to the other students, try and get her involved with group activities anything you can think of that will help her come out of her shell. Can you handle that for me?"

**********

The next morning Faye was up bright and early. She was about to begin her morning calisthenics when there was a knock at her door. She opened it up and the blond-haired Tasha was standing outside. "We're going for a walk," Tasha informed her, then she casually tossed Faye a backpack.

"What's this," Faye asked, eying the bag.

"Supplies," Tasha explained, "we're not coming back until nightfall. I'm sure you'll get hungry."

Then she turned and left without offering an explanation. Faye took one look back at her room then quickly followed after her knowing full well Tasha would give her no choice in the matter. The two women strolled through the temple in silence while Faye puzzled over where Tasha was taking her and why. Tasha could feel her student's confusion but she let it pass. Faye would understand the purpose of their trek in due time.

The left the temple grounds and Tasha led her pupil into the jungle surrounding the Jedi praxeum. They walked for hours through the dense jungle foliage, cutting their way through the ferns with the help of Tasha's lightsaber. Faye had tried to keep track of all the twists and turns they made on their way out from the temple but the jungle was so thick it wasn't long before she became hopelessly lost.

"Where are you taking me," she demanded as Tasha tried to cut her way through a particularly dense fern.

"You'll see," was her only answer but that wasn't good enough for Faye.

She dropped her backpack and stood defiantly with her arms crossed over her chest. "No, I won't. I am not moving another step until you explain to me what all this is about."

Tasha stopped chopping at the fern and turned back to look at her. With a sigh she disengaged her lightsaber and clipped the hilt back to her belt. "As you wish, I believe we've gone far enough already."

She came over next to her student and gently lowered herself to the ground, patting the think jungle moss next to her with one hand. Faye wordlessly settled herself down beside her and Tasha closed her eyes and started to explain. "Teras Kasi is the mastery of one's self, am I right?"

Faye only nodded in response.

"To master the art one must learn to draw upon their own Force energy hidden deep within their body. That is what gives a Teras Kasi master his strength."

The young padawan had heard all of this before from her Grandfather so Tasha wasn't telling her anything new. "The difference between the art of Teras Kasi and the Jedi is that Jedi draw their strength from the world around them. Go ahead, close your eyes and feel the life that surrounds you."

Faye tried to do as she asked but the exercise seemed foolish to her. Tasha took note of her student's struggle but chose not address it. Instead she simply continued her explanation. "The Force is an entity that is found in all living things. Life creates it, makes it grow. Its energy surrounds us and binds us together. You must learn to not only feel the Force flowing through your body but through mine as well and the trees, the rocks, the creatures in the jungle, even the other Jedi back at the temple."

She stopped her explanation and turned to look at Faye. "You cannot find your way back to the temple on your own, can you?"

Faye returned her gaze then sheepishly averted her eyes before shaking her head.

"That is because you have not learned to properly feel the Force. Your master has taught you a little of what you need to know but there is still so much left for you to learn. Even from here I can still see the temple as clear as day and soon you will learn how to see it as well. We'll start today and we're not heading back until you can properly lead me there on your own..."

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