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 Jedi Rising... (ATTN: Ava, but AW)

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Avadedra Hetarra
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PostSubject: Re: Jedi Rising... (ATTN: Ava, but AW)   Fri Oct 17, 2008 1:05 am

Ava cast a hurried glance over her shoulder, her stomach churning as her nerves went into full alert. "Good," she said tersely. "Can't wait." She continued onward, peering down corridors and around corners before taking the turns.

"This place brings back memories," Juno said, "not all of them pleasant... It's like the Death Star all over again..."

Juno's comment sparked a note of interest in Ava. She glanced back once more, her eyebrow raised in question. "Death Star? You were on one of those monstrosities? I can't imagine."

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PostSubject: Re: Jedi Rising... (ATTN: Ava, but AW)   Fri Oct 17, 2008 1:24 am

Juno sighed, but she didn't answer until the party emerged in the comm center. Dozens of monitors lined the walls, control panels below and along the sides. Security monitors resided in a dash panel along the top of the walls, each one focused on a different hall of the palace. Several small droid sockets were positioned just below the control panels.

"Proxy, plug in," Juno ordered. While the droid obeyed the command, Juno turned and looked at Ava. "I was never... on a Death Star," she explained, "But..." She closed her eyes. "I was there... I was there when Bail Organa and the others declared their rebellion. I was there when they were captured. I transported a young jedi named Galen Marek, who had been the secret apprentice of Darth Vader himself to the Death Star, and there, Galen fought not only Vader, but the Emperor himself to rescue the fathers of the rebellion.. He won, but no sooner had I landed the ship inside the observation dome of that first Death Star than the emperor launched a surprise attack againt General Kota. Galen intervened, and he saved us all... but there was... a terrible explosion of Force energy... The emperor and Vader survived but... Galen was killed." She closed her eyes, a single tear standing between her lids. "For the second time, I had lost my life... and yet... Galen did it... did it all for me... His love for me... redeemed him... and eventually the Galaxy but..." She sighed, "Some wounds never fully heal."

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PostSubject: Re: Jedi Rising... (ATTN: Ava, but AW)   Fri Oct 17, 2008 1:39 am

Ava's face twitched with hidden emotion. She didn't want to pity Juno, but she didn't know what else to do. She held herself tightly in check, lowering her eyes to the floor. She barely noticed when Proxy moved past her, but she did hear a slight mechanical hum as he began doing whatever it was he had to do to complete their task.

She looked up when Juno stopped talking, quickly looking away when she saw the look on the woman's face. Her own tears threatened at the way Juno's voice shook at the mention of Galen Marek's name. She knew that emotion, that look; her mother had worn it whenever she'd spoken of Avadedra's father.

"I'll keep watch near the door," she said softly. "Just to be safe. I still don't like the look of that last group. Something about that officer." She waved a hand and shook her head. "Ah, maybe I'm just being paranoid."

Ava moved across to the door, passing Juno close enough to drop a brief, yet firm, grip onto her wrist. She didn't want Juno to think her cold, but she knew that now wasn't the time to rehash the old memories. There'd be time later. If they made it out of this, that is. Sighing softly, she leaned to one side and peered down the corridor in the direction that they'd come from. Seeing no movement, she looked the other way. Time passed slowly, too slowly, and the tingling and ringing in the back of Ava's mind began to grow louder.

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PostSubject: Re: Jedi Rising... (ATTN: Ava, but AW)   Wed Oct 29, 2008 12:34 am

Proxy seemed to be ignoring this display of emotion by the two organics. His friend and master had been lost, but he was not quite as sentimental as the other two. Instead, he focused on his task. One by one the display monitors began to blink, going from camera displays to static, with some even shutting down fully. Outside the palace, the same thing would be happening all over Coruscant. Every monitor and holonet transmission made on the Imperial Network was shutting down. A few lights flashed before going out entirely. A chilling hum echoed through the palace as back-up generators switched on.

"Well, that should do it," Juno said, "Now if we can just get out of here without being detected-" She almost wished she hadn't said that, for right at that moment, alarms blared all through the palace.

"INTRUDER ALERT!" a voice called, "WE HAVE AN INTRUDER ALERT! ALL STORMTROOPERS AND GUARDS TO YOUR STATIONS!"

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PostSubject: Re: Jedi Rising... (ATTN: Ava, but AW)   Wed Oct 29, 2008 1:05 am

Ava nearly jumped clear out of her skin when the alert sounded, her eyes going automatically upward, as if she could pinpoint the location of the hidden voice and muffle it. Her second reaction was to slip her blaster from its holster and take a firm grip on it. Taking another look up and down the corridor, she ducked back, keeping an eye and ear on their surroundings. Sparing a few moments, she looked to Juno.

"So, what's the bet that this was our doing, or that Meric, Luke, and Kota are up to no good?" she asked, cracking a roguish grin. "I'm hoping that all bets are on them, because if not, we're in for a long haul out of here."

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PostSubject: Re: Jedi Rising... (ATTN: Ava, but AW)   Thu Dec 11, 2008 12:49 am

PROXY was already at their side the minute the alert sounded. Strangely, in spite of the alarms blaring all over the place, Juno seemed calm. Her years as a soldier had hardened her to combat, and a part of her dearly wanted revenge against the Empire for what had happened to Galen, even though the Emperor and Vader had both paid the price at Endor.

"Let's not wait to find out," she hissed, "Come on!" She grabbed her blaster and dashed from the room, pulling Ava along with her. Shifting back into his imperial form, Proxy followed, stopping just long enough to grab a lightsaber from one of his hidden compartments. At last he could put his combat protocols to good use!

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PostSubject: Re: Jedi Rising... (ATTN: Ava, but AW)   Thu Dec 11, 2008 1:23 am

Avadedra quickly got her footing and followed Juno, staying between her and PROXY. She kept her blaster tightly in her hand as they moved. They'd gone about three-quarters of the way back down the section of corridors before the first wave found them. Juno, being slightly ahead of Ava and PROXY, stepped into a T-junction and was knocked short by the blaster bolt that sizzled past her head. A black scorch mark erupted on the wall a few feet from PROXY. The droid's expression never changed, but he reacted appropriately by backing away rather quickly.

Juno danced backward, shoving Ava against the wall next to her.

"Listen," she said, looking down at the girl, "I need you to stay close and do exactly as I say. There's a lot more to you than Meric told and I don't think he'd forgive me if you went and got yourself killed. Understand?"

Ava nodded immediately, shifting her blaster in her grip. "I understand completely. And I think the same goes for you." She glanced at PROXY, her smile hardening slightly. "So, what now? They've got us pinned from the direction we need to go in and there's no sign of Meric, Luke, and Kota. Wait!" She reached up and touched the communicator attached to her ear. "Master? Master Meric? How am I supposed to use this thing? Hello?"

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PostSubject: Re: Jedi Rising... (ATTN: Ava, but AW)   Thu Dec 11, 2008 1:44 am

Juno glanced back at Ava, noting that the girl seemed focused on trying to contact her master. "Keep your mind in the fight!" she hissed. She poked her blaster around the corner and got off a couple shots, one of which caught a stormtrooper right in the center of his chest. A black mark spread across the white plastoid armor along with a small tongue of flame.

PROXY ignigted his lightsaber. A shimmering red beam erupted from the hilt. He charged forward, deflecting a few blaster bolts before cutting down another trooper. A second was dispatched by the same mechanism that had knocked out the guard before. Unfortunately, for every stormtrooper killed, two more took their place. "

"We've got to get out of here before our escape is cut off completely!" Juno shouted, "Ava, see if you can make it to the next junction! Proxy and I will cover you!"

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PostSubject: Re: Jedi Rising... (ATTN: Ava, but AW)   Thu Dec 11, 2008 2:19 am

"Gee, I was just trying to help," Ava muttered, but she nodded and dropped her hand.

The snap-hiss of PROXY's saber drew her attention, causing her to pause momentarily and stare. Shaking herself out of her reverie she ducked low beneath Juno's cover fire. Taking a quick look to assess the situation, she bolted.

Bent double, she fired off a series of shots as quickly as her blaster would allow. Most of her shots found their targets, dropping the stormtroopers like flies, yet too many of them missed for her liking. Besides, she was getting extremely close to the thick of it. Dropping her shoulder, she caught the closest stormtrooper in the midsection. With an audible UMPH, he dropped to the floor. Leaping past him, she fired close range at the next few troopers, grimacing as parts of their armor exploded or caught fire. Blaster bolts rained down all around her, both from the troopers and from Juno and PROXY.

Ducking around another trooper, subsequently causing one of his fellows to fire on him in an attempt to kill her, she allowed herself a small laugh. Grinning wildly, she spun around, firing at another trooper before she lost her footing. Crying out, she collided with the back of a stormtrooper. He turned and grabbed her, thrusting her against the wall. Her blaster flew from her hand and was lost in the midst of the shuffling of feet. Catching her breath, she stared wide eyed down the barrel of a blaster rifle. Fear clutched at her for a moment before the stormtrooper suddenly toppled. Vaguely, she heard Juno calling for her to run. Turning, she barrelled her way through. She used her shoulders and arms, shoving them to each side. Her wounded left arm was agony, but she ignored it. She was unarmed and vulnerable, unwilling to trust her untested Jedi abilities against this many enemy.

It was going from bad to worse, and fast.

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PostSubject: Re: Jedi Rising... (ATTN: Ava, but AW)   Thu Dec 11, 2008 2:36 am

"Avadedra... don't fear... Close off your mind to it... listen to the Force... With it as your ally, you are never unarmed

The voice was that of Meric, but rather than coming through any comm device, it seemed to be in Ava's mind. It was at that moment that something else happened. Above the heads of Ava and the others, a series of glow panels parted, allowing several blaster turrets to drop from the ceiling. Sprays of crimson blaster fire flew everywhere.

Realizing what was happening, Juno leaped to her feat and charged, cutting down several more stormtroopers. "Ava, forget the lift!" she called, "We're headed to the Throne Room!" PROXY followed, cutting down troopers left and right. The three had to get to a lift that would take them up that far.

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PostSubject: Re: Jedi Rising... (ATTN: Ava, but AW)   Fri Dec 12, 2008 12:59 am

"Oh great!" Ava called back, knocking another stormtrooper off his feet. "What next, a guided tour?"

She dove for his weapon and got to it first, rolling to her back and firing directly into his face. Not waiting around to see the result of her work, she was quick to her feet and running again. The turrets overhead did not go unnoticed, fear igniting once more in her chest. Remembering Meric's advice she quickly reigned it in and pushed it aside. A blaster bolt sizzled past her shoulder and struck the wall in front of her. Ducking low, she tried to speed up her pace. She was aware that Juno and PROXY were closing the distance between them, and for that she was grateful. Sparing a moment to glance over her shoulder, Ava watched the droid cut a swath through the middle of the gathered stormtroopers.

She rounded a corner and found herself in an unfamiliar corridor. Thankfully, there were no stormtroopers here, but the sound of battle was still too close for comfort. Still, she had to catch her breath, and she wanted to wait for Juno. Keeping a tight grip on her new blaster, in all its Imperial glory, she leaned against the wall, sucking in deep breaths. Her ears rang from the echoing blasts and her head spun, but she was mostly unscathed. A scratch and a bump here and there, nothing that wouldn't heal.

Juno appeared suddenly, almost passing the corridor in her haste. Spotting Ava, she slid to a near-halt and slid into the corridor alongside Ava. PROXY followed close behind her. By then, Ava had gotten her wind back, so she stepped to the corner. For the moment, there was no pursuit. In fact, the turrets were still blazing. Ava would be surprised if any of the stormtroopers they hadn't killed were still alive at all.

She turned back to Juno. "Now what? Which way?'

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PostSubject: Re: Jedi Rising... (ATTN: Ava, but AW)   Fri Dec 12, 2008 1:22 am

Juno fired on another stormtrooper, causing him to fall atop the body of one of his comrades. She quickly crouched at Ava's side. "Down that corridor!" she hollared over the din. She gestured with the barrel of her blaster down a starboard hall. "There's a lift at the end that will take you to the throne room. It requires a code, but if things are happening as I think they are, we won't need it. You go first. Proxy and I will follow!"

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PostSubject: Re: Jedi Rising... (ATTN: Ava, but AW)   Fri Dec 12, 2008 2:25 am

Ava nodded and started away. She was still slightly winded from the first mad dash, so her going was slow on this approach. She kept an open ear for reinforcements as she moved steadily away. A quick glance now and then affirmed that Juno and PROXY were following her. One or two stormtroopers braved the corridor, only to be dispatched by some means or another.

As promised, there was a lift at the end of the corridor. There was just one problem. An armed stormtrooper stood just in front of the doors, staring in her direction. Were it not for the helmet and mask, she could almost believe that he wore a snide smirk on his face. He raised his weapon, which Ava realized, almost too late, was a repeater, and opened fire. She dropped to the floor and threw herself against the wall, firing her own blaster. There was a shallow doorway on the other side of the corridor and, taking a huge risk, she threw herself across the path and into it. She cowered there for a moment, catching her breath.

Closing her eyes, she called on what Meric had already taught her. She focused herself, removing fear and panic from her thoughts. She had an objective, an obstacle that had to be overcome if they were to survive. In her mind's eye, she pictured the stormtrooper. She knew that repeater's could only fire consecutively for a short space of time, so she had to time herself. Shoving worry for Juno out of her mind, she concentrated. A slight pause. That was all she needed. Diving back into the corridor, she fired three times. Two shots went wild, but the third connected with the trooper's chestplate. He dropped like a stone.

Hearing footsteps behind her, Ava rolled, raising her blaster before realizing that Juno and PROXY had caught up to her. Juno reached down and pulled her to her feet and, without a word, they continued on. Stepping over the stormtrooper, Juno punched a button on the computer console set into the wall next to the lift. The doors opened automatically. They stepped in. The doors closed. Ava slid down the wall onto the floor. Juno pushed another button before leaning heavily against the wall herself. None of them spoke as the lift ascended upward through the palace.

It seemed like moments later when Juno motioned for Ava to get up. She stayed at the back of the lift, gripping her blaster in both hands. All three expected the unexpected as the lift slowed to a halt and the doors opened. What greeted them, though, was much more unexpected than they'd been prepared for. Bodies, lots of them, littered the throne room. The Emperor's red-robed royal guards, Imperial enlisted men, stormtroopers; all laid out in various stages of death. Many of them looked like they had dropped where they stood, though there was evidence of some having been helped across the room.

Meric stepped into view, almost as if he'd been waiting near the lift. Beyond him, Ava saw Luke crouching next to Artoo at the Emperor's throne. He seemed to be having a quiet conversation with the little droid. Kota came into view briefly to one side of the room, only to drop back out oif sight. Almost simultaneously, the body of a red-robed guard toppled to the ground where he had just been standing, twitched once, then stilled. The older man moved toward the lift in steady steps.

"Wow," Ava said, following Juno from the lift and into the Throne Room. Artoo swivelled his domed head toward them and whistled a greeting. "And here I thought we were having all the fun."

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PostSubject: Re: Jedi Rising... (ATTN: Ava, but AW)   Fri Dec 12, 2008 6:24 pm

Meric smirked when he heard his apprentice lashing out with her Corellian wit. "Well, you did get to have more of it," he smiled, "When holonet communication went down all over the planet, we knew you'd been able to infiltrate the palace."

"An understatement if ever you made one..." Meric glanced back. The Katarn was sitting amid a pile of rubble created when Meric had used her cannons to blast a hole in the roof large enough to land.

Meric rolled his eyes. "Okay, so we knew you'd done a bit more than that," he said, "When we received your distress beacon, we made our way to the planet's surface via a direct lift from the safehouse. Katarn had apparently sensed our need because she was right there-"

"As usual!" Katarn interrupted, and if she had a human face one could have sworn she was smirking.

"Anyway," Meric went on, throwing a glare back toward his ship before returning his attention toward Ava, "When we got here, Artoo plugged into the throne's control panel and activated turrets all over the palace. It's unlikely anyone will be able to shut them off anytime soon, unless they somehow make it back here."

"That won't be a problem," Luke said, joining the two of them as Master Kota withdrew his emerald-colored saber from the final living red guard, "The controls to the lift were shut down as soon as the three of you arrived. No one's going to be using it anytime soon... at least not until the Alliance can take Coruscant. I haven't sensed any of the Emperor's dark side aura here, but the planet is too heavily guarded for a strike force."

"I concur," Kota said, "I suggest we make a strategic retreat back to Endor. There's no point in any of us hiding anymore, and I'm sure the intelligence we've gathered here will be of great use to the alliance." Punctuating his remark, he made his way back toward Katarn's lowered boarding ramp. Luke followed, as did Artoo, who twittered merrily all the way.

"See you onboard, Meric," Juno said. She leaned upward and kissed his cheek before making her way to join the others.

Meric hung back with Ava a moment. "I'm proud of you, Avadedra," he said, "You felt fear, but in the face of danger, you overcame it, and you may well have saved Juno and Proxy both... You are well on your way to becoming a great Jedi."

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PostSubject: Re: Jedi Rising... (ATTN: Ava, but AW)   Sat Dec 13, 2008 1:33 am

Ava dropped her gaze under Meric's praise, suddenly feeling every bump, scrape, and speck of dirt. She quietly followed him onto the ship, smiling softly to herself.

---

A few months later, Ava rolled over in her bunk aboard Katarn, yawning. Peeling her eyes open, her gaze fell first on the blueleaf shrub standing in a pot in the corner opposite her bed. She smiled, remembering how small and shriveled it had been when she'd found it on Yavin IV. With Meric's assistance, she'd brought it back to health and now it was almost as tall as she was. Sitting up, she stretched. Doing a quick mental count, she broke into a smile. Today was a special day.

Leaping to her feet, she straightened up and dressed. She pushed her fingers through her hair and left her quarters, tying the small red pendant she'd picked up in a market on Tatooine around her neck. She moved slowly, keeping herself in check as much as possible.

The past few months had been hard, but she'd learned so much from Meric. Of course, when they'd parted company with Luke, Juno, and Kota not long after leaving Coruscant, she'd been unhappy for a time. Still, the promise of learning to feel and use the Force had been enough to draw her out. Meric had been patient, teaching her the finer points of things. She absorbed all that she could. Soon, she thought that maybe Meric would think she was ready to carry a light saber.

She entered the cockpit and slipped into the co-pilot's seat. "Good morning, Katarn," she thought-spoke. Smiling when she heard Katarn's response, she checked all the readings. Katarn was self-capable, but it gave Ava something to set her mind to. She fidgeted over the read outs, twisting a strand of hair between her fingers. She knew that Meric was sitting in his quarters meditating, an act she had begun to take up, though slowly, but she knew that she'd never be able to concentrate this time. It was hard enough on a normal day. Instead, she settled into the seat, waiting for Meric to complete his tasks. He'd show up eventually. He always did.

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PostSubject: Re: Jedi Rising... (ATTN: Ava, but AW)   Sat Dec 13, 2008 2:04 am

Indeed, Meric was that morning in his quarters. As usual, the flora and fauna of his native homeworld crept forward, their growth spurred by his apparent concentration, wrapping themselves delicately upon his limbs. He sighed deeply, concentrating on the life inside them, the primitive sense of self-preservation. It was peaceful... devoid of the tumultuous emotions so prevalent in thinking organic life. It was here he found his center: in their simplicity.

Visions crossed his mind's eye... visions of the past, and the present... He saw Hoth, a white jewel suspended in space, its surface covered with snow and ice... He saw the blizzards that seemed to hit every night, and then, his mind crossed Echo Base and its remains... He saw no bodies, for all had been either scavenged by Wampas at this point... or buried forever beneath the icy surface of the planet. Only a few scant ruins remained to mark where it had once been.

He slowly opened his eyes, pulling himself away from that scene. The plants around him withdrew to their normal states. Taking a deep breath yet again, he stood and journeyed to the cockpit, taking note that Ava had gotten up and readied herself. "Sleep well, my apprentice?" he asked, taking the pilot's chair.

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PostSubject: Re: Jedi Rising... (ATTN: Ava, but AW)   Sat Dec 13, 2008 2:30 am

Ava only jumped slightly this time. She was only just getting used to her Master showing up out of nowhere. She smiled over at him.

"I slept well enough," she returned. "I think I'm finally getting used to sleeping on a ship. I think my shrub will need some trimming today, though. It's lopsided." She stopped, looking away. "Master, today is sort of important to me. See, Master, it's my birthday. I probably should have told you sooner, but we were so busy and everything. But Master... I'm seventeen now. And, well, I was hoping..."

She trailed off, not wanting to give voice to her desires. Instead, she turned her attention to the rest of the fleet that they'd been following for some time now. Hop-scotching across the galaxy trying to re-establish the Republic was almost boring and tedious to her. Politics was confusing. Ava was used to moving around, seeing different things at each turn. But still, she was reluctant to express such things to her Master. She wasn't sure what he'd say or do, and that alone was enough to sway her.

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PostSubject: Re: Jedi Rising... (ATTN: Ava, but AW)   Sat Dec 13, 2008 2:42 am

Meric leaned back and closed his eyes, letting his thoughts stretch out to touch his apprentice's mind, ever so lightly. He knew she did not want to voice her concerns, but concerns they were, and he wished to know of them. He smiled a little when he saw what she wanted.

His consciousness withdrew, and he opened his eyes. "You wish to know if the time has come to have your own lightsaber," he said, "I suppose that is really up to you, Avadedra. Luke was granted his first lightsaber before he even began to truly learn the ways of the Force, but Obi-Wan Kenobi deemed him ready... If you feel you are, Padawan, then my question is this... Why do you desire to carry such a thing?"

The answer might have been as simple as it being another step in her training, but very simply did Meric ask such simple questions. He wanted Ava to think, to examine herself and her motivations and become aware of them at all times, so that she could always guard against the passions and the extremes of emotion that could cause her to fall.

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PostSubject: Re: Jedi Rising... (ATTN: Ava, but AW)   Sat Dec 13, 2008 3:10 am

Ava sighed. She should have known this was coming. Still, she considered herself carefully. True, the thought of a light saber still scared her. Terrified her, to be brutally honest. It was harnessed energy, contained and used at the owner's whim, but there were still so many risks. And she knew, deep inside, that she was still a risk.

Master Meric was always trying to teach her to control her anger. Each time she failed a task, she became frustrated and upset with herself. After a while, she'd have to stop what she was doing, otherwise that frustration got the best of her. She seemed to see each failure as a stumbling block and it took days for her to get around them. Each time, though, her Master would calm and sooth her, explaining the wrong to her and trying to make her see that failure wasn't the end of it. No Jedi ever started out perfectly.

She stared out the viewport into the distance of space, her eyes focused on a place only she could see. Honestly, she didn't know why she wanted a light saber. Maybe she wanted to prove to herself that she could do something. After all of her attempts to start a task, it would feel good to actually finish it for once. She felt that it was time to make something of herself. If not for herself or Master Meric, than for the people that she'd lost.

"For my mother, Master Meric," she said finally, still not looking at him. "I lost her and I lost faith in myself. But, because of you and your teachings, I'm starting to find that faith again. I want to try, Master. I think that's all I can really do. Isn't that enough sometimes?"

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PostSubject: Re: Jedi Rising... (ATTN: Ava, but AW)   Sun Dec 14, 2008 2:25 am

Meric slowly leaned back in his chair and closed his eyes, considering his apprentice's words. He felt Katarn's psychic probing against his consciousness, questioning what he had blocked off from her and from Ava, but he didn't answer.

At last, he sat up again and opened his eyes. "To be successful, you need to determine to do just that," he said, "I know you will try your best, but understand that a lightsaber is as big a responsibility as it is a privilege. It is the mark of a Jedi, and with it comes a certain measure of authority, and respect, but also in equal measures will come fear and resentment. Do not abuse the power, and do not return the hatred... Your place is to mediate peace in the Galaxy and to defend her from darkness... It is not a test to be undertaken lightly." That said, he turned around and began to punch a few controls on his conn panel. "That said," he continued, "I do believe you are ready to carry your own... I have most of the parts here onboard the Katarn, but there is one thing you lack... a crystal. You will need to seek a crystal to power your saber, free of impurities. It will focus the beam. And I think I know just the place to find it... We're going to Hoth."

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PostSubject: Re: Jedi Rising... (ATTN: Ava, but AW)   Sun Dec 14, 2008 2:36 am

Ava didn't respond. She sat back in the co-pilot's seat and turned Meric's words over and over in her head. She understood these things, she really did, but she knew that she'd always question herself and those around her. She wanted a saber about as much as she wanted to deny it. It was all very confusing.

At the mention of Hoth, Ava cast a sharp look at Meric. The familiar pain stirred in her heart as she thought of Echo Base and those last hours within it. She dropped her head slightly, hiding behind the veil of her hair. It was another stumbling block, a pack of ghosts and a lot of pain. Yet, she understood that Meric wouldn't take her there if he didn't think she was ready to face it. It was another test, both of her skills and of herself.

"Excuse me, Master," she said, getting to her feet. "I have to..." Instead of finishing, she fled the cockpit.

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PostSubject: Re: Jedi Rising... (ATTN: Ava, but AW)   Sun Dec 14, 2008 2:53 am

Meric gave her some time alone, knowing that Hoth held bitter memories. It was for that reason, however, he'd chosen to go there. Hoth was a place of many sides, of great courage, and sacrifice, of great good and great evil... If she was to ever be a successful Jedi, Ava would need to see what the Dark Side represented in its entirety, and overcome it. Only then would he truly see her as ready.

He stood up and followed her back to her quarters.

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PostSubject: Re: Jedi Rising... (ATTN: Ava, but AW)   Sun Dec 14, 2008 3:02 am

Ava reached her quarters and fell heavily onto her bed. She forced herself not to cry. She'd cry later, she knew, when she stood at the ruins. She'd let herself cry then. But not now.

She stood and looked around. She'd collected so many small trinkets in their travels. Bits of stone from the river banks of Yavin IV, pieces of jewelry from Tatooine's markets, and other sorts of small items. Anything to make the small room aboard the ship her own. Everything had its place, too. Finding that she suddenly had no drive to do anything, she sat back down.

She sensed Meric before she saw him in her doorway. With a sigh she looked up and met his gaze.

"Forgive me, Master."

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PostSubject: Re: Jedi Rising... (ATTN: Ava, but AW)   Sun Dec 14, 2008 3:10 am

Meric moved close and placed a hand on Ava's shoulder. He said nothing for the moment, but his eyes assured there was nothing to forgive. He knew what it was to have such great pain of loss.

"Do you want to talk about her?" he asked after a short time had passed, "Your mother? You've spoken fondly of her, and I can only assume her to be a great woman to have raised a daughter as good and courageous as you have shown yourself to be."

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PostSubject: Re: Jedi Rising... (ATTN: Ava, but AW)   Sun Dec 14, 2008 3:40 am

Ava gave a short, barking laugh. "Courageous? Me? Sure, you'd say that." She looked away. "But yes, she was a great woman. She could have been so much better if... if she hadn't quit."

She stood and paced her quarters, tugging on her hair lightly.

"She and my dad met on Corellia. She never told me how, she just said that they did. They both knew that what they were doing was wrong, especially since he was... well... you know. And her being trained like she was. They didn't care, though, and they got married and then they had me. She was always happy, always smiling, but I could see the sadness and pain in her eyes. And even when I was little, I heard and understood their fights. He wanted her to stop her training and go into hiding. He wanted to protect her, but Mom was adamant. She wanted to be taught, so maybe she could teach me. And that, oh wow, you wouldn't believe how angry that made my dad. He kept telling her that if she kept on with her Jedi training, the Emperor would have her hunted down, just like he was having all the other Jedi killed. But Mom wasn't easy to scare. I was four when he left us for good. He loved us, Mom swore that he did, but in the end, duty won out over family."

"After that, Mom stopped using the Force. By then her teacher was dead, and she wasn't sure enough of herself to continue on her own. So, we left Corellia and started moving around. Part of her was afraid that my father would end up reporting her. For once, Mom was scared. And when she got scared, I got scared. We planet hopped for years until, finally, when I was eleven, we came across a Rebel base on Dantooine. We felt at home for the first time in a long time. I made a few friends and Mom made herself a place as a tactician. We carved out a place for ourselves. Or, more like, Mom did. I was just baggage. The more engrossed she became in the Rebellion, the more I felt that I was losing her, and the more I wanted to hate her."

"She kept denying herself, and in that, forced me to do the same. She was scared of everything that had to do with the Force, still afraid that her husband would send someone after her. So instead of facing her fear, she tailed after the Alliance, dragging me along with her, until Hoth."

Ava stopped and dropped back onto the bed. Her voice was flat, but her body betrayed the emotion brewing in her heart and mind.

"The day she died, we'd had a fight. I was a few months past fourteen then, and I was so tired of the life we were living. I was always losing friends when we had to suddenly leave where we were. I'd watched people I cared about die in space battles. I wanted to find a place where we could stop, just stop and start living. I didn't think it was too much to ask. She told me that the Empire could find us anywhere we went if it was allowed to last. I called her a coward, telling her that she'd bought into the Rebellion's scheme. All this and more, and she just stood there, taking it from me, her fourteen year old daughter. When I was done, she left. Just turned around and left. The next time I saw her, we were running for our lives. I never got the chance to tell her how sorry I was."

Wiping her eyes with the back of her hand, Ava sniffed back her tears. Now wasn't the time. But later... later she'd have no choice. Blinking, she looked at Meric.

"My mother was only doing what she could to survive. And I let her down when I stopped believing in her." She laughed a little. "I have her eyes. Anyone who knew my mother can come up to me and say, 'Hey, aren't you Atdana's girl?' It's humurous at best."

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