War!

Pre Trial

Five jedi were gathered to review the pending Padawan applications for knighthoods.  They would not be the final approval, that burden lay with the jedi council.  Instead they were the first hurdle a prospective padawan’s resume must overcome.  

“We’ve had a few minutes to look over the files, what are everyone’s initial thoughts.”  Bastion said.  As a human male of average dimensions and proportions he was mostly unremarkable.  Save his accent which marked him as a native of a backwater colony that hadn't been important since the last great galactic war.  Or maybe the war before the last war.  His light saber was a stunning yellow.  Literally stunning.  It was specifically constructed so it couldn’t hurt anyone.  Paired with his lackluster physical strength it was actually more useful as a glow stick than a practical weapon.  As a trainer of younglings he felt it only proper to take the lead of the process.  Actually he was mostly just afraid to let one of his peers take the reigns.

“I don’t really have an opinion.” Mumbled the largest of the present Jedi.  Well, it was probably intended as a mumble, but when a Hutt mumbled it had a booming effect somewhat similar to smaller creatures raising their voice.  Ner was a friendly and laid back jedi, and it surprised no one that his lightsaber was a vibrant green.  He had a policy of avoiding confrontation and getting decisions out of him was something of a feat.  Like all of his kind he was of incredible size though his most noticeable feature was his beard.  A wig made of wookie fur it was a monstrosity that lined his entire face parts of it sticking out wildly, other parts matted down by the natural slime hutts produced and errant drool.

“You never have an opinion.” Petra Tsarina said with narrowed eyes, “would it kill you to make a decision even once?”  Blunt to the point of rudeness was an apt description of the only female jedi present.  A human female from a tropical paradise planet called Havaran that was more famous than it probably deserved to be.  Her short hair was bundled up behind her omnipresent hat and wore a scowl that appeared whenever there was work to talk about.  Her lightsaber was the dark blue of a can of space pepsi… which was particularly noticeable given that she’d designed the hilt to act as a fridge for several of the beverages.    

“Maybe we could take a bathroom break to think it over?”  Came the voice of Whore-Hay, a … actually nobody at the table knew what species he was, though human was the majority wager in the betting pool.  A Jedi out of the North Correlian Temple they’d never seen him in person.  Instead they had a small holopad that had been permanently set to audio only.  It was publicly known that he didn’t have a lightsaber.  He was an outspoken critic of the current era and believed most things of this period of history were lame.  From starships to lightsabers, to the republic and even the jedi order.  He yearned back to humanity’s pre-space flight days and had even built himself a pair of slug throwers from Coruscant’s early 3rd millennium and practiced a bizarre style of fighting with a hard striking wooden stick.      

“Moclans only urinate once a year.” Declared the largest of the humanoids present.  Tall, yet stocky, with tough, leathery, orange skin and ridges along his head.  “I am loathe to use time better suited to our current task.”  Like many Moclans he was quite solemn and serious.  His lightsaber was violet and it contained a special communications device that contacted him to his home AI unit D.A.N.I. (Disturbingly Accurate Nanny Interface).  

“What if we look at them one at a time?  Bastion suggested mildly.

“Go ahead.  I gotta take a doo.  I’ll jump in when I get back.” Whore-hay said before his com line clicked dead.  

“Who should we start with?”  Ner the hutt asked, his bowling ball sized eyes rolling from person to person.

“How about Tal’soc Noj’Sar?” Bastion politely asked the table.  

“I think-” Alker began before his lightsaber started ringing.  “Excuse me.  I have to take this.”  The Moclan didn’t leave the table.  Everyone paused a moment, on the off chance it was a quick call, then immediately resumed when it became clear it would take a while.

“He’s the best of a bad bunch.”  Petra grumbled.  Well, half grumbled half shouted as she tried to speak over the Moclan.  

“He’s educated,” Bastion said, “ has some experience dealing with the republic’s monster of a bureaucracy, incredibly powerful with movement of mind, some training with a lightsaber.  I think he’s clearly ready for knighthood.  What’s not to like?”

“He can’t drive.”  Petra pointed out.  “Not can’t pilot a star ship.  The man doesn’t know how to drive a scooter.  He’s entirely dependent on a taxi service in an emergency.  He doesn’t know how to use a computer.  He can barely check his messages let alone actually use anything more advanced than space google.  The worst part though is that I agree with you.  He is the best of the lot.  We should take the whole bunch behind the chemical wing and save ourselves the trouble.”

Both Bastion and Peetra turned to Ner, who hemmed and hawed a moment before breaking and having an opinion.  “Does he need to drive to pass his trials?”  The Hutt reasoned.

“No,”  Bastion said.  “No he does not.”

“He doesn’t technically have to be literate either.”  Petra complained.

“Can he read?”  Ner asked.

“Barely.”

“I vote pass then.”  Ner said.  

“I vote yes.” Bastion agreed.

“Nae.” Peetra spitefully snapped, “You know the worst part, how utterly pointless this is?  He just recieved two abstentions, two passes, and a fail.  Yet, thanks to this god damn system Master Yoda’s given us it takes 3 fails to stop someone from being allowed to undergo the trails.  3 fails.”    

There was a sudden onrush of quiet as the Moclan closed his phone.  

“Sorry did I miss anything?” The alien asked.  

“Naw, we were just about to start the second one.”  Ner said comfortingly to his fellow non-human.  “Charlotte Noveria.”

“Well this is a decent record.”  Bastion oozed optimism.  “Seven years chasing pirates and serving with the Jedi Fleet.  Expert pilot ratings, and she’s a practitioner of form X, you don’t see that every day.  Oh, you’ll like this Peetra, she can drive and read.”

“I think – hold on I have to take this call.”  Everyone ignored the Moclan.

“Yay she has basic life skills.”  Peetra oozed sarcasm.  “She’s more or less failed every one of her combat exams and according to her file her instructor has noted multiple instances of severe anti-social behavior and believes she may have a mild case of sociopathy.  Lets face it she a glorified pilot, not a jedi.”

“Has she been diagnosed with anything?”  Ner the Hutt asked.

“No, but she’s probably smart enough to trick the test droid.”  Petra grumbed.

“I vote pass.”  Bastion said mildly.

“Fail!”  Peetra declared.

“Fail.”  Ner agreed.  Both his peers looked up in surprise.  “Didn’t you read the notice from the council?  Our new all species affirmative action means we’re supposed to fail qualified humans to make room for others.”

“Thats not what that means.”  Bastion groaned as Petra laughed bitterly.

“I skimmed the highlights,”  Ner insisted, “thats what it seemed like to me.”                

“Just… fine,”  Bastion sighed.  “Two abstentions, two fails, and a pass.  Charlotte Noveria gets to undertake the trials.”

“Sorry everyone, but I must go.  The temperature in my apartment is 1 degrees below standard and my AI is emotionally distraught.”  The Moclan quickly departed.

“Right, number 3, Shan-Yang Roux.  Well shit, he’s basically a blade-master already.  He can read.  He…can’t drive.”

 “Wow.  He can’t drive, and his only skill is the ability to whack things with a lightsaber.”
 

“Lightsabers are an important part of our jedi heritage.”  Bastion said.

“when’s the last time you used for anything other than an emergency bathroom light.”  Petra asked.

“Uh… well, never, but I mean I’m a linguistics teacher so…”

“Never.  But I want to sometimes.” Ner said thoughtfully.  “They’ve got me making mission pickup packages for everyone.  You know, ‘oh I’m going to Tatooine better pick up a sand filter’, they call me and I get all the stuff ready for them. Sometimes though I just want to whack them when they get all insistent about how important their stuff is.  I prep dozens of mission things a day, sometimes it takes a little time.”

“I’ve never used mine either.  See, he’s mastered a nearly useless skill set.  They’ll pull him out once a year to do the lightsaber twirly thing at the Space Macy’s day parade.”

“Still on the rubric we’ve been given lightsaber skills are important, so… pass.”  Bastion said.

“Fail.”  Petra said.

“Pass.”  Ner said, checking the coin he’d flipped.

“Two abstentions, two passes, and a fail.  Shan-Yang Roux gets to take his trials.”  Bastion noted.  “Now, last but not least, Kawant Xendos.”

“Can I fail him for his name?” Petra grumbled pulling a can of space pepsi from her lightsaber hilt.

“No.”  Bastion deadpanned.  “Now, Xendos is a capable swordsmen, and unlike Shan-Yang Roux he has a very balanced Jarkai wich gives him presence and auspex so he can eventually branch out of his combat focus.  A capable pilot… though he can’t drive.  But he is incredibly literate, and his studies into the force show a concern for things beyond the material world.”

“He can barely work the flashlight function of his omnitool, and he’s a textbook narcissist. He has no friends and only opens his mouth to talk about himself and his half baked living force idea.”

“Pass.”  Bastion said.

“Fail.” Petra said.

“Fail.  Kit Fisto made fun of my beard the other day.  I really don’t want to vote for his student.”  Ner gave the kind of self satisfied smile only a hutt could give.  “Hey,  You guys want some Space Golden Corral?  They have one on temple grounds now.”

“Sure,” Bastion said  picking up his things, “We’re done here.”

“Can we get something closer to my apartment?” Petra grumbled.

“No way, you live halfway across town and up stairs Petra.  STAIRS.”  The Hutt intoned, cursing his races most ancient and terrible of foes as the three departed.


Hours later a lonely holopad beeped on.  “Okay guys, I’m back.  Lets get started.  Guys?  Are you there?”

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