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Andy

Darksider: Apprentice

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Andy

DARKSIDER: PART I

APPRENTICE

DRAMATIS PERSONAE

Jay Darksider

11 year-old human male

Dark Jedi Apprentice

Kotor Ami

56 year-old human male

Dark Lord

Ben Aatar

10 year-old human male

Dark Jedi Apprentice

Treag

13 year-old devaronian male

Dark Jedi Apprentice

Trepe

32 year-old human female

Dark Jedi Instructor

CREDITS

Kotor Ami is based on a character created by Grand Moff Tarkin

Ben Aatar is based on a character created by darthraptor52

Edited by beeurd

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Andy

Please bear in mind that I am by no means an expert at writing. I have started writing many stories though, but have not yet finished one. :red:

Well anyways, here goes with Chapter 1...

CHAPTER 1

Jay Darksider stood in the centre of the duelling pit. His opponent had been a Sith apprentice a year older than him, who now lay dead on the cold stone floor. Jay hadn?t meant to kill him, but his emotions and the Force had swept him away and he had cut down the boy he had been challenged by. In the Jedi Academy he would have been disciplined, but here in the halls of Kotor Ami and the Disciples of Kun he would be praised for his skill and good work.

?You have done well, apprentice,? Instructor Trepe said as she walked over to him, ?Lord Kotor will be most pleased with your progress.?

Trepe was a tall slender woman with piercing green eyes and dark brown hair that seemed to flow out like a cascading waterfall. She bent down and picked up the fallen boy?s weapon and clipped it to her own belt.

?I didn?t mean to kill him?? Jay started, and watched on as a pair of guards lifted the limp body and carried it out of the room.

?Of course you did. And you enjoyed it.? Trepe smiled confidently.

Jay didn?t deny that he had felt a certain satisfaction from the outcome of the battle, his skill with a blade was undisputed in the academy, but he had never actually struck down and killed someone before. It was a new feeling: one that filled him with pride, but brought with it a hollow feeling of guilt.

?Oh dear,? Trepe said, ?It looks as though we will have to remove that feeling of guilt from your mind. But never mind that now, Lord Kotor will be choosing his final apprentice in the throne room soon, and you must go there now.?

?Yes, instructor,? Jay bowed to his teacher and quietly left the room, clipping his lightsaber to his belt as he went. As he walked out he was congratulated by several students who had been watching from the gallery above the duelling pit. The guilt was slowly being eaten up by the growing sense of pride in his abilities.

He stepped outside into the courtyard that separated the training centre from the main temple building. Although it was midday the sky was dark on this world: Kotor Ami?s temple was in the Deep Core, on a planet that was once an ancient stronghold of the Sith, a world that has completely enclosed in a poisonous cloud of gas that blocked out most natural light from the star it orbited. An icy wind breezed past, causing Jay to huddle his robes around him and hurry along to the entrance. The guards there let him pass and he headed on up to his Master?s throne room.

Ben was already waiting outside the door to the throne room. A year younger than Jay, Ben Aatar was the closest thing he had to a best friend. They were both Kotor Ami?s apprentices and today they would meet the third and final apprentice of the Dark Lord. There were five hopefuls who had made it this far, and they stood in silence in the lobby ? three male humans, one female twi?lek, and a devaronian male.

The door opened and they were allowed in. ?Welcome, my students. I hear many great things about your progress from Instructor Trepe.?

Trepe herself stood to the left of Kotor?s massive throne, where the Dark Lord currently sat. He was a powerfully built human in his fifties, his shoulder length black hair was streaked with grey, and he wore his finest battle armour for this occasion.

?Please, take your places at my side? Kotor gestured to a pair of seats on the right-hand side of his throne, and they took them, just as the potential apprentices were ushered into the hall. They stood in a line across Kotor?s view and bowed.

There was no messing about with this, it would be as quick as possible. Instructor Trepe strode out to the first boy, a tall dark-haired human about 15 years old. ?Present yourself to the Dark Lord, boy.?

The boy stepped forward and knelt at the base of the throne. ?Jan Auro, my Lord.?

?You may rise,? Kotor commanded. ?I sense much confidence in you; tell me what gives you this pride in yourself??

?The Force gives me strength and the power to fight. As long as the Force is with me I shall prevail.?

?The Force is also with your adversaries, why are you so much better than them??

?The Jedi are weak-minded and??

?Stop,? Kotor glared at Jan, ?foolish boy, if you think like that then you will be destroyed by your own actions. You will be lead down a path that can only be walked by the immortal, and you will not see your doom coming for you.?

?Y-yes, my Lord,? Jan stammered.

?You may leave now.?

The rejected applicant walked away silently, the others shifted uneasily.

The next two humans failed on similar questions, but the twi?lek got as far as being granted the chance to prove her value by fighting against Ben. Her hope ended when her lightsaber clattered across the floor after Ben knocked her backwards with a push of the Force. The final hopeful, a thirteen year-old devaronian called Treag similarly passed Kotor?s first test and was given a chance in battle.

Jay stepped forward, emboldened by his success earlier in the day, and ignored the sly grin on the devaronian?s devilish visage. I?ll show him he thought as they bowed to eachother, and ignited their weapons. Jay?s deep blue blade shone brilliantly in a stark contrast to Treag?s more traditional red blade. Treag motioned for Jay to make the first move, and he did ? he jumped forward in a blur of motion and knocked Treag aside, taking the advantage from the start. The counterattack came quickly, a diagonal swipe from the left, almost catching Jay off-guard. The two duellists exchanged hits; it was a fairly even match, to Jay?s surprise, had he grown overconfident? Treag stepped back out of the way of an attack, and Jay fell forward but quickly rolled back to a crouching position. Treag flourished his blade, obviously taking this time to show off rather than finish it with another attack.

?Now it begins,? Treag said with an eerily calm grace.

Jay rolled forwards towards Treag, and lunged forward and upward with his blade; it met Treag?s blade hard, with a loud crackle of energy accompanying it. Adding the strength of the Force behind him Jay pushed upwards, knocking Treag back slightly, and jumped to deliver a swift kick to the face. He landed on his feet a short distance away and swung around to gain power for an attack, but to his further surprise Treag was already up and moving ? Jay was forced to convert his attack into a rather sloppy parry, and his momentum had been lost. Now stuck on the defensive, Jay was being pushed back towards the steps of the throne. He managed to get in a couple of good hits, but before he could do anything about it, he had tripped backwards over the steps and felt a sharp pain as his back made contact with the unyielding stone surface. To add insult to injury, Treag pulled Jay?s weapon from his hand with a Force pull and caught it in his hand. When he pointed both blades at Jay?s throat Jay knew he had been beaten.

?Very good,? Kotor praised, ?lower your weapons. You have done well.?

Treag grinned obnoxiously at Jay, and returned his lightsaber, then clipped his own to his belt.

?Now recite the ancient Code of the Sith.?

Treag stood straight and placed his hand over his heart, and recited the Code: ?Peace is a lie; there is only passion. Through passion, I gain strength. Through strength, I gain power. Through power, I gain victory. Through victory, my chains are broken. The Force shall free me.?

?Excellent. I have made my decision,? declared Kotor, ?the devaronian known as Treag will become my apprentice.?

Jay cursed silently and swore that one day Treag would learn the true meaning of revenge.

To be continued...

Comments welcome! :D

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chozen

well.. in all honesty.. I enjoyed it..

good stuff

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chozen

"Jay cursed silently and swore that one day Treag would learn the true meaning of revenge."

Yay.. Jay didn't get it..

Now.. Netx chapter, chop chop!

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Sticks

What, is that all ya got? Come on, beeurded one, give our hungry minds more! :p

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Andy

Come on, it took me tw omonths to get round to starting this thing, I need at least a week to get the second chapter under way. :p

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Tsl

Good stuff, Beeurd! *claps* hehe, sorry it took me so long getting around to reading it...

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Andy

Not as big as the last one, but never mind, I was was struggling for ideas for this one.

CHAPTER 2

Jay awoke the next morning to the familiar hum of his alarm clock. It was 8am and time for some breakfast. He was fortunate to be Kotor?s apprentice as the other students would have been up since 6am, some of them having been literally dragged from their sleep by their camp leaders. He had a quick shower and pulled on some casual clothes, his combat gear was still lying in a heap on the floor from yesterday, so he picked it up and put it in the laundry basket on his way out.

In the canteen several students looked over and seemed to be talking about him. It seems that Treag had gone for breakfast an hour earlier, boasted about defeating Jay in a lightsaber battle, and headed off in an attempt to further impress the Dark Lord.

He waited in the short queue for breakfast took his food over to the reserved table. It wasn?t long before Ben joined him.

?Hey,? Ben said as he sat down opposite, ?how are you??

Jay looked up from stabbing the sausage on his tray. ?Could be better??

?Everybody gets beaten at some point,? Ben said, as if it would comfort him.

?Not me, I haven?t beaten ever,? said Jay, ?just who does this guy think he is??

Ben took a mouthful of scrambled eggs. ?Just forget about it, we?re gonna have to work with him from now on.?

?Yeah?? Jay heard someone behind him and turned round to see another student standing there. ?What do you want??

?Uh, is it true that Treag beat you yesterday in a duel?? the kid asked.

Ben banged his head on the table, as Jay stood up and pushed the student back. ?Never mention that again!? Jay yelled. He turned round to see everyone staring at him. ?Got a problem?? he said, and used the Force to knock someone?s drink all over them. Everyone quickly went back to their meals.

?You know, you?re taking this a bit too seriously,? said Ben.

?Maybe I just got overconfident.? Jay admitted. ?I let my pride take over my common sense. Did I tell you that I killed someone yesterday??

?You did?? Ben was shocked. ?How did it happen??

?We were duelling in the training centre and he let his guard down, I got carried away and struck with too much power.?

?Oh man. What did it feel like?? Ben asked, now he was getting interested.

?Well,? Jay sighed, ?at first I felt guilty, but afterwards it felt as though it was alright somehow. People congratulated me, and Trepe said it was good.?

?Oh.? Ben looked thoughtful for a moment. ?I like Instructor Trepe? She?s cool, and good-looking.?

?Don?t tell me you have a crush on Trepe!? laughed Jay.

?No, I have not! But you have to admit she is so hot.? A look of horror crossed his face and he turned bright red.

?Morning, Instructor Trepe.? Jay said with a grin.

?Good morning boys,? she said, as she quite deliberately sat down next to Ben, ?feeling alright this morning, Jay??

?If wanting to kill somebody is alright then I?m fine.?

?Wanting to kill your enemies is perfectly natural, but Treag is not your enemy.? Trepe explained, ?That kind of squabbling is what led to the ultimate demise of the ancient Sith Empire.?

?Yeah?? Jay mumbled.

?You?re awfully quiet today, Ben.? She teased.

?Uh, well I, umm?? Ben failed to create a sentence. ?I?m going to go get a, uh, drink.?

?Of course,? Trepe said with a smile as he wandered off to get a drink. ?So, Jay, have you gotten over your little guilt problem yet??

?I think so.?

?Good, we can?t have that shadow lingering over every casualty of war can we??

Jay finished off his breakfast and stood up. ?Well I have to go study, might practice a bit too.?

?Okay, I?ll see you later,? Trepe said, ?but promise me you won?t try to kill Treag. He?s just an apprentice like you.?

?I?ll try not to.? Jay unconvincingly promised.

A rematch, Jay decided. That?s what was needed; as soon as he got the chance he would challenge Treag to a rematch, and if he accidentally killed him it would be a terrible shame. He stepped into the library and up the stairs to the second floor. Up here he has his own study area, set out the way he liked it.

?Treag!? Treag was sat at Jay?s desk, listening to his music, and using his personal datapad.

?What?s the passcode for this thing?? Treag asked, flashing the same obnoxious grin that he seemed to be an expert at displaying.

?What are you doing in here?? Jay said, trying to stay calm.

?Well, Lord Kotor said to find a study area up here,? Treag said, ?and I found this one.?

?It?s already taken,? Jay growled, ?so go find another place.?

?No,? said Treag, and pushed Jay?s belongings off the desk onto the floor, ?I think I like it here.?

Jay lurched forward and punched the devaronian in the face.

?Wha-?!? Treag looked back at Jay, and rose to his feet. He wiped a trickle of blood away from his mouth. ?Run away, Darksider. I can always beat you again if that?s what you want.?

?You were just lucky.?

Treag laughed. ?Yeah, lucky I came up against someone as useless as you.?

?I?ll show you. Name the time and place and I?ll be there, Treag!?

?If you insist: South entrance, two hours time.?

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chozen

Jay heard someone behind him and turned round to see another student standing there.

Good, but felt.. Jay felt

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Andy

Pfft. I said comments, not criticism :p

lol, j/k

that would be more appropriate...

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chozen

"Listen to the squirt, you know it makes sense. "

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Andy

(( I've had some of this typed up for ages, but only just got round to posting it, lol. tis funny, Ch3 refers to something over at JPL (red Force Stone) and Ch4 refers to Jay's mission in the original GBnet RPG. ))

CHAPTER 3

The south entrance was a bridge over a deep canyon. The generators that produced the artificial bubble of breathable air ? the life zone ? stopped here, and the bridge extended out into the depths of the thick poisonous gases that made up the planets atmosphere. Treag waited about midway between the temple gates and the extent of the life zone.

"So you did show up. I was beginning to wonder" Treag taunted.

"I'm still quarter of an hour early." Jay responded.

The group that had gathered to watch the duel stepped aside to let Jay pass. A few of them said a few words of encouragement; some bombarded him with insults.

"The early bird catches the worm," said Treag.

"But it still has to eat worms?"

"Funny guy," Treag sneered, "just how did someone as weak as you get to be Lord Kotor's apprentice in the first place?"

"Where did you come from anyway?" Jay quizzed, "I don't remember seeing you around the training centre before."

"I only arrived a week ago, and I'm already ahead of you and that pathetic Ben you always hang around with."

"Geez, leave Ben out of this ? this is between you and me, are we going to get started or what?" Jay took a step forward and ignited his lightsaber, moving into a defensive posture.

Treag ignited his weapon, too. "Look, we haven't even started and he's already on the defence!"

There were a few laughs from the other students, and Jay lost it.

Treag was ready for Jay's lunge and blocked it with no problem, the crackle of energy echoed down through the canyon below them, as they traded blows.

Jay was intent on hurting Treag, maybe not killing him, but at least wounding him: if only just to wipe that stupid grin off his face. Every attack was met by a parry however, with neither of the combatants gaining a noticeable advantage.

To the crowd of onlookers it was as if they were watching a carefully choreographed combat routine developed for a training holovid.

"Stop this at once!" A voice boomed out from the gateway. An unmistakeably powerful voice carried and amplified by the Force. Kotor Ami.

Jay stopped on his Master's command, but Treag did not. Treag's final attack knocked Jay back again, and sent his lightsaber flying out of his hand and over the edge of the bridge. A young student tried to catch it, but almost fell to their doom with it. The crowd scattered as Kotor marched towards his apprentices.

"What is the meaning of this?" He demanded.

"I was teaching him a lesson," said Treag proudly.

"I do the teaching here, not you." Kotor glared at Treag, "wait in my office."

"Yes, my Lord." Treag scurried away sheepishly.

Jay gathered his thoughts together to make up some story to get him off the hook.

"Jay, what do you have to say about this?"

"Well, me and the guys here were having one of our TK contests, when Treag came along and said we were all pathetic and attacked me, unprovoked."

They regularly had telekinesis contests by the south entrance, where they would see who could manipulate the most chunks of debris from the decaying structure of the bridge, so this was a feasible alibi.

"What about Ben?" Kotor asked suspiciously. Ben was far better at this than anyone else was, and always won the TK contests.

"He's studying for his ancient Sith languages exam tomorrow." Jay said truthfully.

"Yeah, we thought we'd get some practice in while he was busy," one of the students who had come to watch said. Jay recognised him as Jan, one of the humans who had failed to become Kotor's apprentice.

"I see," Kotor said warily, "I will have to speak with Treag to find out what he has to say. Expect me to be speaking to all of you soon."

Kotor strode away back into the temple, and everyone breathed a sigh of relief.

"He doesn't believe us." Jay said bluntly. "We're all dead."

"I'm not gonna let that stuck up nerfherder get away with that." Jan said. "He's been strolling around as if he owns the place since he got here."

"I heard he was related to royalty on some minor planet in the Mid Rim," one girl added.

"Royalty or not," Jay said, "he's going down."

Jay walked over to the side of the bridge and looked down into the canyon.

"I tried to catch it," someone said, "but it was just too far out of reach."

"Never mind? I need to build a new one anyway." Jay said.

Most of the crowd of people had wandered back inside the academy leaving just Jay, Jan, and a few other students outside. Ben joined them a few moments later.

"Hey, what's going on?"

"Uh, nothing much," Jay answered.

"Oh," Ben said, disappointed, "I heard there was a fight going on here."

"Ah," laughed Jan, "you just missed it. Jay was about to kick Treag's arse, but Lord Kotor showed up."

"I wonder what he's going to do..." Jay wondered aloud.

"Who, Treag?" asked Ben.

"No," Jay corrected, "Kotor. He seemed pretty mad at us."

"Well, he didn't fry you with Force lightning or choke you to death, did he?" Ben joked.

"That isn't funny."

"Sorry." Ben sat cross-legged on a rock and lent his elbows on his knees.

"Probably be some kind of challenge or contest, you know how he loves those."

"As long as it's not like that one where he dropped us in the middle of nowhere on an unknown planet and we had to find our ship and head to a rendezvous point." Jay mumbled. On that particular occasion, local bandits had stripped the ship down by the time they reached it, and they had spent the next week running from a bounty hunter before they managed to hijack a transport from a small civilian spaceport.

"It was fun though, in a way." Ben commented.

"Yes," Jay admitted, "it was fun ? in its own crazy way."

"Apart from those spiders."

"Yeah, the four-metre-high poison spitting, flesh eating spiders that almost ate Petyrson and Rahnik weren't exactly my favourite part of the trip."

"Don't like spiders, huh?" Jan asked.

"As long as they aren't bigger than me or trying to eat me I don't have a problem with them." Jay replied.

"Can't argue with that?" Ben added.

"I got this pet spider I found in the Red Stone Temple," Jan told them, "its Force sensitive and can communicate telepathically."

"You what?" Jay gasped, "I have got to see that someday."

"Me too," agreed Ben, "I've never heard of anything like that before."

"I reckon it must be something to do with that Force Stone," explained Jan, "they say it enhances the strength and abilities of those around it."

"Yeah, that's why we go there for meditation every so often. I think I'll go there to build my new lightsaber."

"I knew someone who tried that once," a female student said, "the circuits overloaded and blew his arm off."

"Oh yeah, I remember hearing about that," Jay said.

The PA system crackled to life: "Jay Darksider to the briefing room immediately."

"Oh man, I knew it!" Jay cursed, "It's going to be some kind of mission."

"I'm sure you'll be fine," said Jan.

We'll see?" Jay shrugged, and headed off to find out what was going on.

CHAPTER 4

Jay stood in the briefing room, "Yes, Master?" he reluctantly agreed.

"I knew you would agree." Kotor said, as he deactivated the holoprojection of a distant planet. "You both have 48 hours to choose two team-mates and then meet at the landing pad in the Quad. Go now."

As Treag and Jay bowed to their master then silently left via different exits, Kotor and Trepe watched silently.

"Those two need to get over their rivalry if we are going to achieve anything," Trepe observed after the apprentices had left, "petty squabbling in the ranks is never good for harmony and morale."

"Indeed, Instructor," Kotor answered as he stroked his beard thoughtfully, "that is the way the old order of the Sith destroyed itself. Although, had Darth Sidious not been overconfident, as I had warned him on numerous occasions, we might have been in the midst of the Second Golden Age right now."

"Speaking of a Golden Age," Trepe changed the subject, "how is the construction of the new flagship proceeding?"

"All is as scheduled; the vessel should be completed in the next two months," Kotor said with a wicked grin, "and I want the assault on the Republic to begin in no more than five standard years."

"Then we must soon choose the apprentice who will infiltrate the Jedi Academy, should we not?"

"Yes, yes, I know." A look of uncertainty crossed the Dark Lord's face for the first time in years, "I just am unsure who to send. Not Ben, he is too quiet for his own good, I fear that they would suspect something."

"I agree with your decision there, my Lord," Trepe thought for a moment, "I think Jay would be better, Treag has no self control; whereas Jay would be able to blend in easier, I think."

"I see your point, plus young Darksider is more than capable of defending himself should he be discovered. But perhaps we should wait and see how this current scenario plays out?"

"A wise decision, my Lord," Trepe bowed, "forgive my foolish chatter."

Kotor laughed, heartily. "Trepe, I always admire your foolish chatter! Such idle banter often brings helpful suggestions and ideas to the fore."

"Yes, but I do rattle on a bit sometimes," Trepe admitted.

"I cannot deny it!" Kotor laughed again, "but as much as I'd like to chat some more, I have some work to do."

"As do I," replied Trepe, "I have a novice duelling class starting soon, so I had better head over to the pit and set up the lesson for today."

"Teach them well, Instructor." Kotor said.

Trepe bowed and left the room.

Edited by Andy

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Andy

CHAPTER 5

?I told you it was going to be a competition,? Ben said after Jay explained the mission he had been given. The briefing had stated that the two teams were to be dropped off on opposite sides of a distant planet, and follow clues to find their way back to the ship, which would be on a planet in a nearby star system. It was a simple enough challenge.

?Where the kriff is Jan?? Jay cursed, ?I want him to be my other team-mate.?

?Weapons training, I think.? Ben replied, ?He said something about being let loose with the new Tenloss disruptor rifles that arrived last week.?

?Blast!? Jay struck the wall with his fist. ?Can you track him down for me and give him this??

?Where are you going?? Ben said as he took the datacard Jay offered him.

?The mission starts in 45 hours time, and I don?t even have a lightsaber!? Jay told him.

?Okay, calm down,? Ben reassured his friend, ?I?ll take care of all this for you.?

?Thanks a lot, I owe you for this.? With that said, Jay sprinted off to the garage to find a landspeeder he could borrow.

After tracking down a suitable vehicle, Jay sped off to the south out into the toxic clouds. From this point he had to rely on the navigation system of the speeder?s computer, as the clouds obscured everything outside, even the powerful headlights did little to affect the visibility. He got to the location on the navicomp and waited in the fog; suddenly the dense clouds were pushed away as the generator kicked in and formed a breathable air bubble. Nestled in the valley below was a tall black tower: Jay piloted the speeder towards it, driving between the cracked and broken obelisks that marked the entrance to the temple. He pulled up outside and walked up the steps, two green pools that had been polluted by the toxicity of the atmosphere steamed at either side, and three immense statues stood guard inside the entrance. Flaming chandeliers a thousand years old lit up the way into the tower.

Jay could only imagine wait this place was once used for, inside the circular main hall lay a few uncared for pieces of furniture, dilapidated and untouched for centuries. The walls were covered in Sith designs that seemed to tell an ancient tale. Ben would probably be able to translate it, but Jay didn?t care much for ancient languages. He went down: the staircase seemed endless, and the air was cold and stale, but he continued nonetheless. The very bottom floor of the tower seemed to have the layout of some kind of chapel, with an altar at the far end. A spherical red stone glowed at the far end, a Force stone that was said to enhance the strength of those who carried it. Unfortunately, the stone was locked in place by a mechanism nobody had yet figured out, but Jay thought that the stone might lend him the power to construct a lightsaber that would last him the rest of his life, one that would be enhanced by the strength of the Force stone. He even dreamt that one day he might one day fight a famous Jedi with it.

He sat on the steps to the altar, facing the stone, and set out his tools. He had the parts he needed, which were mostly casings he had excavated from other temples in the area and experimented with to create a design he liked. The power cell was a standard one from the academy, and the main crystal was synthetic red jewel that was created by Kotor Ami himself when he accepted Jay as his apprentice: it was perfectly cut and had no flaws, so Jay had been saving it for when he would build his best lightsaber. There was also a pair of other focusing crystals that needed to be shaped, and all the other necessary components were laid out where he could see them. He closed his eyes and meditated, letting the Force and the power of the stone guide him in his efforts.

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Chickenman

Yay! Cool fic, Beeurd.

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Andy

I'm bored. Really bored. :p

CHAPTER 6

"Jay?" Ben said as he pushed open the manual door to Jay's room. He had heard his friend return a while ago, but hadn't seen him.

"You can knock, you know," Jay said dryly as he stood half-dressed in just his black combat trousers in the middle of his room.

"Oh, sorry..." Ben turned to leave.

"Don't worry about it," Jay pulled on an old under-shirt and put his black combat jacket on over the top of it, zipping it to the top.

"Umm, going somewhere?"

Jay put his boots on and pulled on his duelling gloves, "I need to test out my new blade."

"Where is it?" Ben asked, curious to see the latest weapon. He'd seen the plans before, and was eager to see the final product.

"On the bed," Jay gestured towards his unmade bed. The brownish unpolished metal hilt lay on top of the heap of covers. He watched as Ben picked it up.

"Oh wow, that is nice!" Ben said as he turned it around in his hand, "I love the emitter design, you've changed it from the plans."

He watched as Ben ran his finger along one of the four larger jagged spikes of the eight that encircled the emitter, "I figured if I ever ran into trouble I could always stab them with the hilt if I had to."

"I love it," Ben said again, as he placed it in Jay's hand. "Who are you duelling with?"

"Jan, I ran into him on my way back into the dormitories. Thanks for convincing him to join the fun tomorrow."

"It was no trouble," Ben shrugged it off, "he said he was itching to get off-world anyway."

Jay laughed; it could get quite tedious being stuck at the Academy for months on end. "Want to come watch?"

"Anywhere interesting?"

"Nah, just the Pit."

"Yeah, why not. I have nothing better to do anyway."

"Well, I'm leaving in a few minutes, if you want to get ready," Jay said.

"Sure thing," Ben agreed, and headed back to his room to change.

( tbc ... )

Note: The lightsaber in question is this one: http://beeurd.deviantart.com/art/Jay-Darks...tsaber-11013269

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Andy

When Ben was ready, they walked down to the Pit. Lessons were finished for the day, so Instructor Trepe had agreed to let Jay practice with his new weapon. He hadn't expected her to turn up to watch though.

Jan Auro was sat meditating on a rock at the edge of the circular duelling area. He opened his eyes and smiled at Jay and Ben as they arrived. He had already seen the hilt earlier so didn't need an introduction. "Remember you're a better duellist than me," Jan said, "go easy on me."

"I'll try," Jay replied with a lop-sided grin.

The snap-hiss of his new lightsaber activating was satisfyingly sharp, and cast a faint red glow in the dull lighting of the Pit. He twirled the blade around a couple of times to fill the room with vwooom sounds, then held it still to hear the soft humming sound.

Ben climbed the stairs to the viewing platform where Trepe was stood observing. "Err, hi," he said awkwardly.

"Hello Ben, how are you?" She replied, then noticed Ben was looking slightly lower than her face. "I'm up here, Ben."

"Oh, err, I'm fine." Ben turned away and cringed inwardly, and stood over the other side of the platform away from his crush who was probably old enough to be his mother.

Jan activated his green lightsaber and Jay suddenly realised he'd never seen a green blade before, red being by far the most common choice around here.

Jay nodded towards Jan to signify that he was ready and waiting for Jan to make the first move, and when Jan moved towards him with a lunge he was ready to knock the blade aside. They traded a few blows, and Jay was pleased with his lightsaber's handling. Soon they were stuck in a lock.

"That blade is really heavy," Jan commented.

Although the blade was technically weightless, Jay knew what Jan meant. The light was very intense, which gave it a more solid existence when activated. Some blades were softer and less concentrated which often proved to be disadvantageous as weaker blades were more likely to short out. "Good," Jay replied.

Jan found himself pushed backwards by Jay, who rained blows on his blade until he fell to the floor holding his 'saber in front of him to block Jay's attack. "Okay, I think you've proved your point."

Jay grinned, and turned his blade off and clipped the hilt to his belt. Once Jan had done the same, Jay helped him up.

Ben jumped to the floor from the viewing platform, using the Force to soften his landing. "All good?"

"Yeah," Jay said, "I think so. Better than the old one."

"So, when's this mission leaving?" Jan said.

"Wow, you are eager," Jay laughed, then glanced at his chrono, "another twelve hours yet. And I don't know about you, but I didn't sleep yesterday."

"I guess it would be an idea to get some now then," Ben suggested.

"Ya think?" Jay said. He looked around for Trepe, but she seemed to have gone without commenting.

As the trio left the Pit, they bumped into Kade and Triina. Kade was 13 and muscular for his age; while he was known about the Academy as a bit of a bully, he respected Jay and admired his skill. Triina was blonde, and would probably be a cheerleader if Sith had them; she appeared extremely out of place here, but had a ruthless mean streak lurking inside.

"Hey Darksider," Kade greeted Jay abruptly, "just so's you know; Treag just picked us two for his team."

"He picked you two?" Ben said incredulously.

"What of it?" said Kade defensively.

"I just meant it was a surprise, that's all!"

"You better watch it, mister!" Triina threatened in her squealy voice that Ben didn't know whether to take seriously.

"Or what, exactly?" Ben challenged, "you'll pull my hair?"

"Cut it out," said Jay, rolling his eyes.

"Thin. Ice." Triina muttered, just having to have the last word.

"So anyways, I guess we'll see you tomorrow morning, right?" said Kade.

"I guess so," Jay answered.

They continued on their walk back to the dorms, with Triina's voice fading into the distance as she said "can you believe the cheek of it?"

(( Chapter 7 coming... next time I'm bored. I need to go back and edit the older posts for continuity, arghh! ))

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