In the center dueling ring of Fort Pernicar, stand two Jedi. The first one, a Miraluka male, in simple grey robes. The other, a tan skinned Zabrak, stood in slightly more elaborate grey robes. Both standing, focused on each other. Lightsabers drawn but not ignited.
“Padawan Talis, Form Zero is about controlling the urge to draw your lightsaber before you’ve exhausted more peaceful methods to resolve a conflict. Only when there is no other way out of a situation should a Jedi use his lightsaber.” The Zabrak spoke in a firm but calm voice. His word resonated in the mind of his Padawan who absorbed this lesson as he had many others.
Yes, Master Revak” Talis replied.
“Negotiations and bargaining have failed. The Chancellor you had been sent to strike a treaty with has turned against you. He has revealed himself to be a Dark Jedi and had drawn his lightsaber.” Revak tightened his grip on the curved hilt. “How do you respond?”
Talis griped his armory saber. He stands at the ready, both hands on the hilt, his feet wide apart and anchored to the ground. He raises his lightsaber to shoulder height and ignites the purple blade.
“Good,” Revak commends, “Now your first strike will be at chest height. You want to be accurate but strong.”
Driving off of his rear foot, Talis swings forcefully at his Master. Revak takes a slight step back so as not to be hit by the blade. Talis takes a step forward to absorb the momentum of the swing, anchors his feet once more and raises his lightsaber in line with his opposite shoulder.
“Very nice recovery, Talis. From that position you’ll be able to either attack again or defend yourself. The ability to control your movements will win or lose the battle.” Revak raises his lightsaber. “Now, let’s say he swings at your head…”
Revak swings forcefully for Talis’ head. Talis drives his lightsaber hard against the Revak’s green blade, pushing towards the ground as he counters. Revak, caught off guard by the additional show or force, stubbles slightly to remain balanced. His face flushed as a smirk appeared on his Padawan’s face.
Revak used the opportunity for another lesson. “Catching your opponent off guard is a fine way to get him to slip up, expose a flaw in technique or get inside his head and make him doubt himself. There is nothing wrong with a little dirty fighting when your life in on the line.”
Talis caught on to his Master’s message. “A flaw in technique? I’m in your head now, aren’t I?”
Revak laughed. “I underestimated you. That was my flaw, and something you should never do in battle.”
The expression on Talis’ face went blank. Through the Force he could see a dark aura approaching from the south. Nothing he’d ever seen before. It almost made him queasy. The aura came with a low rumbling. Almost like thunder but mechanical. “Feels like a fleet” Talis thought to himself, “but who would be coming to New Tython?” He tried to dismiss the idea, but the feeling of dread was overpowering. Something bad was about to happen.
The fort began exploding around them as red laser bolts appeared out of the sky. People began screaming and running in all directions. A man, covered in blood and dirt ran screaming past Revak and Talis, “It’s the Brotherhood! We’re under attack!”
Revak grabbed Talis by the arm, “Talis, I need you to find Master Nathan and Master Edgar and get them to the Proxia!”
“Where are you going?”
“I’m going to try and get as many of these people to safety as I can. Now go Talis, we don’t have much time.”
Talis turned and ran towards the fort’s main structure, the command center for House Hoth. Inside he was met by the Aedile, “What’s going on out there?” Edgar asked frantically.
Talis fought to catch his breath. “Master Edgar, we are under attack. I heard somebody saying it was the Brotherhood and given the number of ships, I think he’s right.”
“But why now? Why would they come this far out here?” The look of confusion quickly turned to anger on Edgar’s face. He grabbed his comlink, “All available manpower to defensive stations!”
Talis continued, “There are too many of them, we need to evacuate. I need to get you and Master Nathan to the Proxia.”
"Damn!” Edgar exclaimed. He never liked running from a fight, but even more so he hated admitting he had to. “OK, let’s get Nathan and get the hell out of here.”
Several explosions rocked the building, causing several pieces to come crashing down around them. It was a strong stone structure, built by one of New Tython’s ancient tribes and able to withstand the pounding winds and salt water that bombarded it constantly. Modern weaponry was something the fort hadn’t seen in a long time. Frantically, Talis and Edgar went room by room. They could not find their Quester. Talis ran to the final room in the corridor. A dim aura pulsed out of it. The room was half collapsed. The ceiling and half the exterior wall had fallen in from what appeared to be a direct hit. Talis was careful as he entered the room. It looked like it was ready to collapse at any moment but he had to see who was inside. Towards the back, covered in rubble and dust, Nethan lay unconscious. Talis quickly yelled to Edgar, “Master, I found him!”
Edgar ran over, “He doesn’t have much life left. If we use our healing ability, we should be able to stabilize him for now.”
The two Jedi began channeling the Force. Drawing from the energy around them they used their healing ability to close his wounds and stabilize his vitals. Then his shallow breathing returned to normal. They quickly removed Nathan from the rubble and drug him into the corridor.
Talis looked at Edgar, “I’ll carry him, he’s light and it’ll be faster that way.”
Edgar helped to lift Nathan onto Talis’ back. “I’ll clear the way. Now, let’s get to that ship.”
Edgar and Talis made their way to the hanger that held a waiting T-4a Lambda class shuttle. Surprisingly it had remained unharmed during the attack and was waiting for orders to take off. The hanger bay door opened and a relieved Revak jumped out. “I’m glad to see you guys. Is Nathan OK?”
Edgar replied, “We’ve stabilized him for now. We need to get him to the Proxia’s med bay!”
Revak helped Talis carry Nathan inside the shuttle and secured him into one of the seats. Edgar yelled up to the cockpit, “Everyone’s on-board get this bird in the air!” With his command the shuttle lifted off the ground and rocketed into the sky.
Sometime later the shuttle made its approach to one of the few remaining ships the House had, the A/CRV Proxia Mustirion. Medical staff immediately boarded the shuttle to assess Nathan’s condition. They hurried him to the medical bay.
Edgar walked up to Talis and placed a hand on his shoulder. “What you did today goes above and beyond anything that we could have ever asked from a Padawan. I will tell the Summit of your bravery.”
Revak pat Talis on the back. “You did well today kid. Get washed up. Eat and rest. There is nothing more you can do today.”
Talis’ smile turned to concern. “Will Master Nathan make it?”
“Because of you, he will be.” Revak’s words calmed the mind of his Padawan.
“Padawan Talis. Report to the Hall.” A man’s voice over the com woke him from his deep sleep. Talis sat up and looked at the clock. “I’d been out for almost an entire day.” he thought to himself. A loud growl came from his stomach. After their arrival on the Proxia, Talis was too worked up to eat. All he wanted to do was meditate. He wanted to calm his mind from recounting the past day’s events. He had felt a deep sadness for all those who lost their lives at Fort Pernicar and wished he could have saved more, but as a Jedi, he had to not let those emotions overwhelm him. He splashing some water on his face then made his way down to the hall.
When he entered, what looked to be the entire crew of the Proxia lined up on either side. He walked up between them. Standing at the far end of the long, narrow room was both the Clan and House Summit’s, dressed in ceremonial attire. Talis stopped just before them. Revak came out from the crowd and stood by Talis’ side.
Consul A’lora was the first to speak. “Padawan Talis, this Summit had heard of your bravery at Fort Pernicar.”
Proconsul Turell followed. “You are the embodiment of everything that this Clan, your House and our Order values.”
Nathan cleared his throat. “Master Revak, do you agree with the Councils decision to elevate Padawan Talis to Jedi Knight?”
“I do Master Nathan. Talis is a fast learner who will no doubt best me. He had completed the trails and there is nothing more I can teach him.”
A’lora walked up to Talis. “Kneel Padawan,” She ignited half of her lightsaber and placed the green blade just above Talis’ right shoulder, “By the right of the Council.” She moved the blade over his left shoulder, “By the will of the Force.” Then once again over his right shoulder, “I dub you Jedi Knight of Clan Odan-Urr. Stand Jedi Knight Talis.”
The entire hall erupted in cheers and applause. Talis was suddenly flooded with emotions. This was a day he dreamt of since first joining the Order. The Summits bowed to honor their newly appointed Knigh. Talis turned to his former Master, who reached out to shake his hand, and leave him with his final lesson, “Your hard work will always pay off. Your determination will take you anywhere. Congratulations, Talis. Congratulations, Jedi Knight.”