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Jedi Vadis
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Young Jedi Master

Young Jedi Master
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Joined: 30 Jun 2010
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re: CRASH!

Part I

Bloodcurdling screams penetrate the night silence. Their owner, a pale man in his mid 30s, lay unconscious on the cold floor. Trapped in a dream thrashing back and forth he bled from his head, stomach and multiple limbs soaking his tunic and cloak with crimson. Always haunted in his dreams, sleep was never a refuge for this man...

"I HAD A LIFE!" The man yells out angrily between screams into the abyss.

Confined in his nightmare, familiar visions blurred across his mind:

"Where is my husband! Where have you taken him?!" shouted a beautiful yet distraught raven-haired young woman.
containment field
metallic cuffs
Two moons rose over the horizon.
an hourglass whose sand was suspended inside as if in zero gravity

Vadis screams again, waking himself with a start. Shivering from the chilled air, head throbbing from pain, slowly his eyes open to see...nothing. Staring into the pitch blackness, he has no idea where he is or what just transpired.

"Where am I?"
"When am I?"
"Am I dying?"
"Am I already dead?"

These are all too familiar thoughts for the Jedi, the most recent nightmare reminding him of this.

"Think man!" the Jedi thought to himself, fear starting to creep over him as he lay there in the darkness. Then he remembers: the uncharted moon, the inevatable ship crash, the bracing for impact. With knowledge of where and when he was came control. This created calm, which then eliminated fear.

Using small painful movements, he feels out his surroundings carefully with bruised, broken hands and surmizes that he is still in his crashed Defender ship. The floor he was laying on turns out to be the upside-down ship's ceiling. The Jedi stirs with the intent to stand, but is too woozy from multiple wounds, most notably the head wound. Slumping back down, Vadis channels Introspection. After which his head pounds only slightly less.

"It's times like this," Vadis said alloud in the dark, "that becomming a Consular would have made much more sense."

"What use would you have for me, then, Commander?" came a female voice just outside the cockpit door.

"Onora? You're alive!" Vadis exclaimed into the darkness. Onora d'Gan is Vadis' longest serving companion. A Miraluka, she knows him better than most.

"Of course I'm alive," said the Consular. "And if I was not, your screams would be enough to wake the dead."

"These nightmares," Vadis thought out loud, "they're getting worse. There must be a solution to---" the Jedi caught himself, "to my...condition."

"Well Boss, your immediate condition is that you are dying." said Onora, not one to mince words. "How about a heal?"

"Thought you'd never ask. I'm near the navi-computer just follow the sound of my voice." Vadis said still not able to see anything in the blackness.

"Your head must be more injured than I thought, Commander." Onora continued, "Or did you forget that I don't need the light you humans do to see things? I can see Force sensitives from a parsec away...especially y--."

"Sorry, I'm not myself at the moment." inturrupted Vadis. "The crash messed me up a bit I'm afraid. My head is killing me. How's that heal coming?"

"Patience, Jedi" Onora reminded him as she began to channel a heal. "Nice landing by the way, sir. Though I believe the landing gear is supposed to be toward the ground, not the sky. Are you sure you did not injure your head before we crashed on, well, where ever we are?"

Vadis was about to reply to this but felt the warming glow of Onora's heal and his retort faded away.

"Commander," Onora began with a softer tone. "Why did you not stow yourself in one of the protective pods for the crash? And where is your apprentice, Bertach?"

Vadis did not have any time to relate the account of his final moments on Ord Mantell during their brief escape.

"I thought I could try to glide the ship in for a landing better than the auto-pilot." Vadis replied. "It's good to know those pods work, though." he said, smiling, feeling much better post heal. "You're living proof, Onora."

"Happy to be of service, Commander." she said dryly.

Standing up, Vadis fumbled around the upside-down cockpit for the emergency interior lights and switched them on. "Yeesh!" he said, seeing his bloodstained robes for the first time. "I should just burn these."

"And your apprentice?" Onora persisted.

Vadis sighed. It had all happened so fast. "As for Bertach..." Vadis' voice suddenly broke off. He hadn't had time to fully process his apprentice's mis-deeds, and showed his companion a rare display of mixed emotions: anger, sadness, and the bitter sting of a close friend's treachery. Vadis hated traitors even more than he hated Sith. After taking a moment to collect his thoughts, he calmly tells Onora all that had happened regarding Bertach's betrayal.

Onora stood in silence for a moment taking in the account and then asked, "Why would he want to betray the Saints?"

"I didn't have the luxury of learning that." Vadis said. "But you can be sure of this: where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice."

The Miraluka didn't need eyes to see Bertach's betrayal greatly pained the Jedi.

With nothing else to say, the ever-focused Onora said, "Well that's that, Boss. We need to get to Tython and regroup with the Saints. They need to know about your apprentice."

"Exactly right, Onora." agreed Vadis. "We just need some fuel and this ship may fly again."

Feeling much better physically now, Vadis switched on the exterior lights and made his way to an exit. "Since we still have power, climbing out the top through the bottom hatch shouldn't be an issue. I'm going to check out our surroundings." Onora followed him.

"Commander, I have two questions." Onora said once they were both on the ground outside. "First, I'd like to be your next apprentice."

Vadis laughed and replied, "Onora, you are a full fledged combat savvy Jedi Consular; you don't need any Master. And that wasn't a question."

"I'm not looking for just 'any master', Commander. There is much I can learn from you. For as much as you teach others, there are things you've kept hidden. Surely with all the those holocrons you ingest there must be decades of training you could give to an apt pupil." Onora was astute as she was talented.

Trying to dissuade her, Vadis said, "You do know that all my apprenticeships end up horribly, right?"

"Thus far, yes. But I am willing to take the risk. Take a chance on me." said the Consular.

Onora was a skilled Jedi and sensing the turbulent times ahead Vadis reasoned it would be wise to have as solid companion as possible, equipped with a greater knowledge of The Force near by. He sensed her hunger--not for power--but to excel and to assist the Rupublic in any she could. She was loyal to him and the cause, he had no doubt of that.

"Request denied, Onora." Vadis decided. "It will be a long time before I take another apprentice. However, if you are vigilant, there may be some things I can pass along from time to time if you pay attention. Nothing official, mind you."

"I can not ask for more. Thank you, 'Master'" Onora said.

Sometimes the best personnel moves are the ones you don't make, Vadis reasoned. "And your other question?" he asked her as they walked around the ship, noting Defender's condition.

"Back in the ship, in your nightmare you called out the name of a woman---"Zadee" I think it was?"

Vadis stopped. He cringed discovering that pieces of his personal private history could leak out from his nightly hauntings.

"Another time, Onora." Vadis replied as he resumed walking around the ship.

Onora knew this was going to be a tough topic for him, but as usual this did not stop her from asking it anyway.

"Who is she?" Onora prompted.

"I think I liked your first question better, Onora." Vadis said, deflecting, hoping she'd take the hint.

"How can I heal this condition of yours without knowing all the facts?" the Consular offered.

"This isn't something a Consular can heal, even a good one like you. Not even time can heal this wound. In fact," Vadis said, "I'm quite positive that in this case time makes things worse!"

Onora didn't understand. Most humans made sense to her, but Vadis was an enigma. He clearly did not want to discuss the painful moments of his past, nor their lasting effects.

He continued, "The Saints Base is destroyed, we've been infiltrated by traitors, my apprentice nearly killed me, as did my ship upon our 'landing', and we're stuck in the middle of nowhere. We have a lot of work to do, so perhaps we can postpone the interrogation of my past and family to a later date."

"Family?" Onora said. "Was she your wife?"

" 'Nora, that's enough!"

She conceeded...for now.

* * *

A sun rose over the horizon, better illuminating the ship as well as the landscape. The upside-down Defender's communications had been smashed in the crash since they were top side.

"What do we do now, Boss?" Onora asked.

"We search this moon for some form of life. We need either communications or fuel, then we can get off this rock." Vadis replied.

They walked for a few minutes in silence. Onora couldn't stop thinking about how Vadis reacted when she asked if this "Zadee" was his wife. Convinced that this was the truth, she tried a different approach.

"Master Vadis," she began, appealing to his teaching side, "if she is your wife, how could this be? Jedi Marriage is not allowed, and until recently you followed every jot and tittle of the Jedi Code."

Vadis was about to again change the subject, but maybe it was time for the wall he had built up over so many years to start coming down. Maybe if she knew, the answer to what he was looking for could be found twice as fast. He had to try. He had to trust.

"Well, it's like this," Vadis said as he began a long story. "Jedi marriage wasn't always forbidden by the Order..."

Comments welcome

"Or those eighteen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them—do you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem? I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish." Luke 13:4-5
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