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  1. The veteran Jedi finally succeeded in mastering her instincts and relaxed from her poorly-disguised fighting stance. “The former. Genesis is my Padawan. There are all manner of things that I can be counted on to disagree vociferously with the rest of the Order, but they consistently tolerate me. I intend to be perfectly honest with the Grandmaster. I’ll request a new assignment, ask for permission to put you through your trials,” Armiena smirked at her Padawan, imagining what his reaction to the nonchalant announcement of the end of his training could be. “And I’ll make a status report and politely request that she not assign any Jedi to your case. Very politely.” Draygo approached the dead nerf and plunged her right hand into the writhing mass of ants that was her gunbelt. At this point, any exposed edible matter had been devoured and the insects had formed a simple convoy system to and from the carcass of the nerf. Not even bothering to shake away the few insects that gave ineffectual bites at her prosthetic, she retrieved her lightsaber and ignited it with a snap-hiss that was startlingly crisp against the ambient buzz of the night. However, there was no malicious intent in the retrieval of her weapon, as she immediately turned the turquoise blade on the carcase of the nerf by dissecting away one of its ribs with four careful slashes. Extinguishing the blade, Armiena placed a foot on the carcass of the pack animal and ripped away the bone with a powerful tug. “Hopefully we’ll be assigned to a Core world, a place where you can try and put together your memories in peace. Certainly get a better prosthetic arm than something from a protocol droid. My ship doesn’t have a slave circuit, so we’ll wait until dawn before heading out. I’ll take the first watch.” The veteran Jedi sat by the fire and began to methodically cut away pieces of fur and hide and fat with a small vibroknife. It would only be a few hours until the first light of dawn, and Armiena would remain awake throughout the remainder of the night, slowly roasting the nerf rib over the flame. But she only occasionally nibbled at the rib, instead staring simultaneously at the lightsaber hilt in her lap and at a fixed point a lifetime away. She was concerned, but not for herself, nor the former Dark Lord of the Sith. Her concern was reserved for her apprentice.
  2. “So we are acquainted, then. I didn’t recognize you under the beard.” Draygo managed to keep her voice even, but there were a handful of indications that she was prepared to fight and kill. There was how she turned her face away from the newly-ignited flame to protect the night-vision of one of her eyes; how her eyes flickered between Ryu’s waist and shoulders for any sign of tension, any sign that he was about to attack. And the less subtle: there was an audible click as she abandoned the next swig of caf and shut the canteen; how her stance widened from an affected slouch in anticipation of a possible attack. How Draygo stepped forward to interpose herself between the former Dark Lord and her Padawan. Once the immediate jolt of adrenaline faded and her hand stopped shaking, she was able--finally--to probe this ruined creature that Ryu had become. She found… shame. That was difficult to believe. There were few sapient beings that had as much blood on their hands as the former Dark Lord. Perhaps the Arkanian was not quite as infamous as Faust or Ar-Pharazon, with their repugnant flare for the dramatic, but he had wrought as much devastation on the galaxy to sate his sadistic tastes. Instinct told her to kill, to not risk unleashing the former Dark Lord on the galaxy. The memory of a departed friend warned her to not become a murderer. “So you intend to leave and… just... live?” Draygo asked with a quiet snort. “My concern is the long-term. There have been several instances where Jedi believed that they could completely remake a sapient being--wipe their memory and start anew. I suppose that they believed it more compassionate than killing. New past, new memories, new personality. Tabula rasa, I think that’s the term.” A glance away from Ryu indicated exactly what Draygo thought of that line of logic. “They were all wrong, of course--without exception. At some point your memories will begin to assert themselves and you’ll need to learn to live with the person that was killed from you. You will probably be followed by the Jedi Order for the rest of your natural life. That will be harder time than I can imagine. Unless…” Draygo cut herself off. There was potentially a way that Ryu could walk away from this encounter with his life and the veteran Jedi with her conscience clear. But it was a ridiculous plan--absurd in its recklessness, likely to get her cashiered by the more conservative wing of the Jedi Order, if not killed outright when Ryu’s memories started to resurface. Still, as stupid of an idea as it might have been, Armiena could almost see Darex struggling to not burst out laughing at its audacity. “Unless you were to leave with us.”
  3. This was the first time that Draygo had gotten a clear look at the escapee. The man boasted nearly a third of a meter on her, but was emaciated--likely self-neglect after months or years in solitary confinement, which also explained the tangled mess of facial hair. It was the scars that concerned the veteran Jedi, however. If scars were script, then the man’s body was the equivalent of at least two volumes of Military History of Ryloth. His skin was a monument to warfare, with a violent past etched on every centimeter of skin that was exposed by the tattered coverall. That, or they were self-inflicted. Likely the former, as Draygo recognized the leads on his elbow that indicated that he had once made use of a prosthetic. Her eyes drifted towards her gunbelt, briefly making contact with Genesis’. Her expression was devoid of affect, carefully poised to not reveal her emotions. Similarly, her Force-presence had stilled in an attempt to not betray her nervousness. “For now, I’ll settle for your conversation,” Arrmiena responded breezily, returning to the deceased nerf in search of her discarded gunbelt. “Simple fact is that the Jedi believe that you’re dangerous. Dangerous enough that a power failure in your cell triggered a distress signal. They might have been correct, but what they did to you was torture. So… no, I’m not going to take the easy way out and just hand you back to them, and I’d really prefer to not kill someone tonight.” She knelt by the discarded belt, pawing over it for her canteen and a tiny air-tight canister. “Caf? ‘Fraid it’s instant, but this seems like that kind of moment--ah, frack.” An irritated hiss issued from her lips. Ants were crawling all over her gunbelt. By this point, they had succeeded in invading every pouch in search for something edible--which now included her left hand. Still, caf had priority over minor physical pain and she mixed in the canister of instant-mix grounds before inspecting the dozen-odd insects that were attached to her hand by their mandibles. She wiped her hand furiously on her black jumpsuit. She took a swig from the canteen. It was military-grade insta-caf, tasting of chemicals and mediocrity, but it was caffeinated and warm against the chill of the night. “Name is Armiena Draygo. Anyone?” The veteran Jedi offered, holding out the canteen to her Padawan and in the vague direction of the fugitive.
  4. Splat. There was still no indication of lethal intent when a small projectile crossed the light of Dantooine’s moons--panic, maybe, but no actual intent to cause harm. All that followed was the sound of a wet impact and the meaty thud of something hitting the tall grass. So Draygo just glanced and raised an eyebrow at the sight of blood dripping from her Padawan’s face. Surely it wasn’t--her eyes flickered towards the torn corpse of the nerf--it was a chunk of raw meat that he had just been pelted with. Some Unspeakable Abomination this demented jailbreaker was turning out to be. Perhaps it would be possible to end this stalemate without further violence--at least not to the living. The veteran Jedi returned to her labored pace through the tall grasses. Her hands played at her blaster pistol, removing the power cell and holstering the weapon. Upon reaching the corpse of the nerf, Draygo paused again. There was a vagueish shadow on the waving sea of grass under the moonlight--though fear radiated off of the wild man in such palpable waves that she could have stumbled upon him blindfolded. Trying to force him to return to the Jedi Order’s solitary confinement dungeon was almost certainly to result in violence. Her hands went to the clasp of her gunbelt and she removed and tossed it towards the nerf corpse without glancing. She didn’t look, but it landed on an ant mound with a spray of loose soil. Hundreds of tiny insects came swarming out and began crawling all over her belt in search for an intruder or something edible. Still unaware of having tossed her weapons onto the home of thousands of furious insects, Draygo looked towards the shadow in the grass. “I can’t blame you,” she began, allowing some venom to seep into her voice. “I saw the box that the Jedi put you in. It’s disgusting that they would do this--to anyone. So… yeah. I’m here to talk. I got all night.”
  5. “Not yet, Genesis. Not yet. We’ll wait and see what The Thing That Should Not Be is up to. He hasn’t done anything threatening… so far.” It was only after she had fired two stun blasts into the night sky that Draygo supposed that she could have announced her presence with a less dramatic demonstration. True, the sound carried for hundreds of meters on a clear night like this and the bright blue rings were visible against the matte sky for an even greater distance, but the blaster fire--even a stun blast--could have been interpreted as a threat. That was especially more likely if the wild man was supposedly on the run from the Jedi Order. Her left hand drifted to her neck to reactivate her spot-luma. It flared to life, clearly illuminating her position to reveal that two Jedi were approaching. “I’m coming towards you! I’ll stop at one hundred meters!” Draygo shouted into the night. And so she approached, taking slow, labored steps through the tall grass. The veteran Jedi kept her senses fixed on the location of the wild man to gauge his responses--the man was uncertain, frightened, but there was no indication of malice or lethal intent. That was fine. That, Draygo could work with. As the distance closed to two hundred meters, Draygo paused. Even at this distance, the white light of the spot-luma would glint against her belt and make it clear that she was armed with a lightsaber.
  6. Grunting with effort--and occasionally pain when her knees bashed against the twisting walls of the kinrath hole--Draygo explained. “I have a bit of experience with sensory deprivation. No matter what those Jedi might--damn this robe, leave it, they’ll find it when they seal this hole back up--I mean, no matter what those Jedi might claim, sensory deprivation is torture. It’s psychologically devastating. You lose all sense of time, stress hormones and heart rate skyrocket. You begin hallucinating after a while, just so your brain has some data to play around with. If I were to interrogate that Cerean, he’d probably get defensive and claim that he was only following orders. Not pfasking acceptable. Not for anyone, especially not for a Jedi.” After the third occasion of the sleeves of her robe snagging on the walls of the tunnels, Draygo just let the oversized garment slip from her shoulders. Soon the dusty, claustrophobic confines of the tunnels opened up into a larger cavern complex. She sniffed as she lifted her spot-luma to reveal a rocky ceiling that was glistening with moisture. There was humidity in the air; the cloying reek of kinraths, moss, and...blood. She knew these caves, had even taken crystals from one of the lower chambers. But it was the kinraths that concerned her--the subspecies on Dantooine liked to cluster into hives… but the cause of their absence soon became clear when the two Jedi followed the blood trail into one of their hive chambers. Five of their bodies lay collapsed in the darkness, each stabbed through their primary neural cluster with a crude weapon. Draygo placed a boot on the poisoned limb of one of their corpses and jerked upwards, severing the appendage with a sickening crunch of cracking chitin and the reek of the congealed liquid of its guts. She turned it over, peering at the angles of the claw before tossing it back onto its corpse. This particular hive--depopulated very recently by a massively powerful individual wielding one of their one limbs--lay very close to the surface, and Draygo and Genesis soon found themselves under a moonlit night on the plains. The trail of kinrath gore had ended hundreds of meters ago, but it was a clear night and a faint wisp of smoke lingered against the pale light of Dantooine’s pair of moons. She thumbed the spot-luma on her neck to extinguish it and drew her blaster. She set off at a jog, following the direction of that faint wisp of smoke and the smell of cooked meat that began to waft over the wind. And there he was, a mess of filthy hair and skin that was perfectly silhouetted against the blackness of a stream. “He’s… he’s eating. Be ready, just in case,” the veteran Jedi muttered. A pale finger ran along the receiver of her blaster to confirm that it was set to stun. She paused to watch the wild man tear into a fire-seared leg of nerf, seeming to have no cares on his mind save ripping huge chunks of meat from the bone. Now came the difficult part--introducing herself to an unholy abomination of such power that the Jedi Order had determined that it was safest to leave him in a box for the rest of his existence. She fired two stun blasts directly into the air. The report of the blaster would carry for hundreds of meters on this quiet night and the azure rings couldn’t possibly be missed. Hopefully a warning blaster from nearly a hundred meters away wouldn’t be taken as an mortal threat.
  7. A strangled growling sound emitted from somewhere in Armiena’s throat. The veteran Jedi lifted off with a tad more velocity than was safe, pressing the two Jedi into their seats. Draygo didn’t utter a words during their transit, only fidgeting with a tiny spot-luma at her neck and occasionally glancing for updated transmissions from the Jedi outpost. It was only a few minutes before the medium freighter settled at its landing pad, landing with enough velocity to strike sparks off of the armored surface. “When we put out the call for help, we weren’t expecting you.” A Cerean Jedi called as Master and Padawan descended from the boarding ramp. “Sorry about that,” Draygo snapped. “Now what in the hells is REVANCHIST?” The Cerean explained while guiding the two Jedi into the bowels of the Jedi Conclave, taking them down a turbolift and through two retinal- and voice-locked blast doors. Draygo soon lost all track of direction as they descended into the crust of Dantooine and into a section of the Jedi outpost that was infrequently used by living sapients--the glowpanels extinguished themselves as the Jedi passed and the atmospheric vents became less frequent. The tracks of wheels carved a path where maintenance droids passed through the dusty floor. Eventually, they passed a twisted hole in the wall of the subterranean corridor and the mutilated corpse of a carapaced kinrath spider. “None of us know who REVANCHIST is. All I know--all any of us know--is that we were delivered an armored sarcophagus with an ysalamir chassis. Orders were to keep its inhabitant sealed under ray shielding. Two days later, a team of Jedi came and--” “Size?” “About… two-point-five meters long, meter wide,” The Cerean guided the two Jedi to a room that was barely large enough to admit a container of that size. Large enough to house a large humanoid--we didn’t have anything more than lifesigns, and were told to keep its contents secured in our vault until--spast.” Only once the words were spoken did the Cerean realize that Armiena Draygo was precisely the worst possible woman to be made aware that the contingency plan for REVANCHIST was essentially to put it in a box for the rest of its mortal existence and wait for it to die. Her face darkened and her jaw clenched, and a hand went to the blaster on her hip. Her face twisted in a scowl at the sight of the subterranean chamber that was intended to be REVANCHIST’s final resting place--aside from a food synthesizer and a water dispenser, the only fixtures of the room were the ray shield emitter and single glowpanel. It had been kept there like a lab vrelt, leaving it to pace the walls of the room until it died. “There are closets on Coruscant bigger than this,” Armiena snarled. “We’ll take it from here. If you don’t receive a transmission from us in two hours, signal the fleet and evacuate.” To her half-Miraluka Padawan, she added, “That kinrath-hole we passed is almost certainly the escape path. It’ll be a squeeze, but we’ll fit. On my six.”
  8. "A moment..." Draygo muttered under her breath, for the moment looking very distracted. Frowning in concentration, she stared into the distance of the rolling prairie, searching for any sign of movement. There was nothing but the heat haze and a flock of songless birds that fluttered at random among the grasses. Continuing a slow rotation as she walked towards McShipface's oversized sensor dish, she sprang up on top of its edge with a minute application of The Force. Even perched standing on the vantage point, Armiena saw nothing of curiosity. The additional two meters of height extended her horizon to pick out the tips of a row of wind turbines that spun with the steady breeze, but there was no further sign of civilization. She and her Padawan were quite alone. And yet something had gone terribly wrong. It wasn't the horrible sense of emptiness to suggest that yet another person close to her had been lost to the war, nor the spike of urgency that warned of specific and immediate lethal intent. Armiena glanced upwards. No sign of capital ships in orbit--only the flickering of a single freighter traveling to or from Khoonda. Her eyes rolled in a deliberate set of semi-circles. Of course that wouldn't elicit any response--the implants that she had carried during the last war had been removed. “Genesis,” she called behind towards her Padawan. “We’ll continue later. We launch in ten minutes.” Draygo slid down the sensor dish and past the corridor, landing in the rolling grasses with a jolt of pain from her knees. That went ignored; she raced up the boarding ramp and towards the cockpit. When her Padawan found her, she would be hunched over the freighter’s communications console, poring over messages and communiques that had gone ignored over the last week. The majority of them were trivial, of course--there were even a few junk messages and a fraudulent attempt at collecting on a debt that certainly didn’t exist. She was about ninety-five percent certain that there was a seventy percent chance that it didn’t exist. Fleet movements. Urgent calls from Borleias and Mon Calamari. And… an automated message from a Jedi facility on Dantooine. A loss of power. Normally, Armiena would have simply bullied one of the Order’s army of technicians into addressing such a routine matter, but the message was so heavily redacted that it attracted her attention. The message would not even specify why this particular outpost was of any importance--it simply listed a set of planetary coordinates. She wasn’t even aware that the Jedi even maintained an outpost on Dantooine.
  9. Draygo sprang back a step the moment that inspiration took her Padawan and consigned herself to the role of watchful instructor. Resting on her haunches and allowing the hilt of her lightsaber to dangle lightly from the tips of her fingers, she watched the motions of Genesis’ feet, hips, and back. Seeming to never blink, she occasionally frowned--more than any other Form, Makashi demanded exquisite control of the blade more than kinetic power. Only a critical observer could catch those minute shifts in balance. “That spin is a moment of peril. If a skilled opponent sees that coming, there’ll be two of you on the floor. And even if they don’t, you’ll be off-balance once they block. I’ll guide you through it.” Rising to her full height, Draygo placed one hand on his shoulder and the other above his pelvis. “Execute.” She guided him through the same spin he had earlier attempted, this time exerting constant pressure on his waist and shoulders to keep the young man’s center-of-gravity stable. Nothing about the motion would feel natural to Genesis and muscles that he didn’t know he possessed would be in agony after a few sets of repetitions, practice would make for a slightly faster motion, and more importantly, wouldn’t leave him off-balance if the finishing stroke was anticipated and blocked. “And for your defense,” Armiena drew her own weapon and ignited the blade. “The danger of those spins is that, obviously, there is a half-second in which you’re blind and your opponent could potentially do whatever he pleases with you.What you can do is transition into a hanging guard to cover your back until just before you come out of that spin--and even swap into your off-hand for that backhand slash. It is a bit tricky…” Draygo demonstrated a few times, the motion growing faster with each repetition. The flourish that swept across her back to pick off a potential counterattack to her back looked like something out of a swashbuckling flick, but it would prevent her from being bisected by an experienced duelist. After six repetitions, Armiena extinguished her blade and turned to face her Padawan. “Now, execute.”
  10. "At least thirteen that I can think of," Armiena answered. Her right knee, not quite up to the prolonged physical exertion, was beginning to tremble from overuse. But she kept her voice steady, despite the fact that the color had flushed from her face. “And a few weird contingencies and one that most sapients are anatomically incapable of using. But you might as well ask a programmer what language is best. A good oneinevitably learns multiple over the course of their career and adapts as necessary.” The veteran Jedi paused to take a deep breath and straighten from her crouch. With a sharp tug, she wrenched the two halves of her lightstaff apart and returned the offhand to her belt. “The answer is Makashi. The Jedi developed the form in a time when they expected to be fighting--and fighting people armed with lightsabers or other blades. You see a number of techniques that a curved hilt is better suited for--range control, using the tip of the blade for parries and disabling strikes. It’s very economical of motion, relies more on precise bladework and maneuvering than physical power.” “And I’m lousy at it.” But Armiena soldiered on, determined to at least demonstrate the basics of the form to her Padawan. She took care to demonstrate the subtle difference in grip that Makashi demanded--slightly higher on the hilt, with the thumb facing upwards rather than cradling the hilt. That grip wasn’t quite as secure as her preferred Djem So, but it allowed for more nuanced control of the blade. And then the sparring lesson continued, Armiena struggling to demonstrate how, with even subtle variations of blade angle right leverage, a duelist could wildly deflect a blow or even outright disarm an opponent by winding their blade around a poorly-aimed thrust. This time, however, the supposed Master clearly uneasy with a fighting style that wasn’t merely unfamiliar, but outright unpalatable--so much so that after trying to place her left hand on the hilt for a second time, she forced her hand to her hip and gripped the belt.
  11. "Humanoid physiology hasn’t changed very much over the last ten thousand years.” Draygo waited for… something other than hesitation, but that turquoise blade just remained still, wavering perceptibly in the grip of uncertain hands. Freezing up wasn’t unusual for a trainee who had just been ordered to turn their weapon on a living creature--even on one who was entirely capable of defending herself. That was the entire point of drill: to supplement a panicky mind with useful instincts until the mind had the time to catch up and execute a conscious plan. The veteran Jedi took the first steps, advancing a meter with her own blade angled towards the young man’s carotid. Genesis would have two courses of action: to bat away the advancing tip of her blade or to simply step out of its line. The novice choice was typically the latter and Armiena deftly brought her blade back to an offensive guard, the point of the incandescent blade only centimeters away from probing his own guard. What followed was a classical exchange of blows that could be reproduced in any duelist’s manual: stroke and counterstroke matched by circular sidesteps that could have been performed to music. The only complication was the uneven hull of McShipface and the many protruding ribs of its cargo hold. “Shii-Cho is a useful foundation for swordplay. Even the masters need practice in the fundamentals. But most Jedi find it insufficient and focus on the more offensive Makashi, or defensive Soresu--or the acrobatic Ataru.” With that last comment, Draygo performed a spinning leap over her opponent, swiping his guard away with a strike from her forward flip. Upon landing on the hull plating, the veteran Jedi took a half-step back and tapped her apprentice just under the armpit with the unignited end of her lightstaff. “That…” Armiena said, wincing just a little at the overexertion. “Was not Shii-Cho.”
  12. “The butt-kicking continues. Ignite and guard, dominant side forward.” Draygo was exhausted from days of over-exertion, but she was in high spirits and twirled her doused lightsaber hilt in her fingers in spite of herself. “Light on the feet. Squat down a little. If your fingers hate you by the end of this cycle, it means you’ve done a good job. Follow as best as you can.” With that, the veteran Jedi ignited her turquoise blade and brought it into a guard that protected her body from knee to neck. The lightsaber katas that she was about to demonstrate to her Padawan were thoroughly practical, if unimaginative--emblematic of the entire form on which they were based. She began the evolutions with exaggerated steps to clearly demonstrate the shifts in her balance and guards to defend against equally exaggerated attacks. Over the next hour, Draygo led Genesis through repetitions of the classic Shii-Cho evolutions demonstrating the myriad ways to defend against slashes and thrusts. “Shii-Cho is... “ Draygo took the interval as she led her Padawan through rhythmic slashes to the knees, midsection, then finally the armpit to think of kind words to describe this obsolete form. “Useful for the fundamentals. Balance, leverage, coverage. But it was developed for the transition from metal blades to lightsabers and it carries baggage.” To demonstrate, Draygo mimed shoving away her opponent’s guard with the strong of her blade and brought it crashing down onto her opponent’s clavicle. “Lethal, and completely unnecessary for a massless blade.” She brought her blade around in a half-spin and picked off a pair of imaginary blaster bolts with miniscule twitches of her wrists that were derived more from Shien. Keeping her center of gravity fixed with light, quick steps, the veteran Jedi approached the her Padawan and centered her guard. She flashed a quick smile. “Attack me.”
  13. Still waiting for her Padawan, Draygo gave the new lightsaber a few test swings. As a double-blade, the longer hilt would theoretically give her several centimeters of advantage if wielded one-handed, but a few test slashes hinted at a weight balance that promised to exhaust her in a lengthy duel. The longer hilt itself posed a potential target. No, the double-blade was better suited for Armiena’s favored Djem So, where a two-handed grip offered additional leverage. But on the defensive… Draygo shifted her left hand to the reverse blade emitter and loosed her grip. From that guard, slight shifts of her wrist would send the blade dancing into unexpected directions. These attacks would have almost no force behind them, but muscle power accounted for very little with a lightsaber… She came out of her defensive squat upon hearing Genesis’ voice. Weary muscles cried out with relief. She should have realized: her Padawan had never performed a Force-powered leap, and this was after running the Half-Miraluka boy ragged over several kilometers. Taking a half-step over the side of her freighter, Draygo landed lightly with only a touch of telekinesis to absorb the initial impact. The only injury she suffered from falling nearly twenty meters was the yelping of her legs at the sudden exertion. “I have spent many years learning from anyone who could teach me.” Armiena murmured to her groundbound apprentice “From Jedi, my fellow soldiers, birds, beetles, many other insects. Spiders especially had much to teach me.” Armiena let that hang in the air for a few seconds. “That was a joke. Sorry. “The principles are identical: Bolstering your own abilities through the Force. An acute application of that same power that sustained you over that sprint, into your legs and ankles can drive you to leap many times higher than you might expect… with a slight touch of telekinesis for fine control. Please don’t hurt yourself.” Without any delay save to take another deep breath, Draygo’s Force-presence drew around herself. Her next half-step sank into the slightest of kneels, and she casually sprang back onto the dorsal surface of her freighter, nearly twenty meters above them. Even though the veteran Jedi deliberately undersold the preparatory kneel to drive home the point that muscle power mattered little when it was the Force that was propelling her upwards, it was still physical exertion. And by now, her quadriceps and calves were demanding to know why Armiena was insisting on this physical punishment after years of being out of practice.
  14. To use the words of a long-dead Socorran pugilist, Draygo floated like a butterfly and stung like a bee. She bobbed and slipped under imaginary blows to her head, pounced backward twice to evade a vicious slash to her midsection, then leaped forward and drove her elbow into the wrist of her imagined assailant. In the event that that blow wasn’t enough to disarm her opponent, the veteran Jedi pressed her advantage, carrying her momentum into a spin that penetrated deep into their guard. That spin ended with a blow from the hilt of her lightsaber into the temple of her opponent. The next sound that she heard was her unknown assailant tumbling to the ground in a pile of robes and the rustle of trampled grass. If a mild brain injury wasn’t sufficient to end the fight, seeing the blade emitter aimed squarely at their heart would have made a stronger argument to cease the struggle. But the shadow that she was boxing only existed in her mind, and the rustle of trampled grasses and muffled grunt of pain came from her apprentice. Armiena strolled over and offered her hand. “Control will come with experience. Until then, bruises,” was the Alderaanian’s only comment as she helped her Padawan to his feet. At this point, the rising sun was nearing its zenith and the plains would soon be baking under the summer heat. Heat stroke would serve neither of them, Draygo decided, not when she intended to subject the boy to a training regimen that would have satisfied many a Rebel Drill Sergeant. “Back to the ship.” With only those words, Armiena sped off again and abandoned both her cloak and her apprentice until the latter could catch up. Holding a Force-assisted sprint over the distance of kilometers was significantly more challenging than a momentary boost of speed, and the veteran Jedi found herself sinking into a tunnel vision to avoid focusing on the physical exhaustion. Draygo cut her Force-assisted sprint at the last moment and channeled the power into a leap that carried the veteran Jedi onto the top of the Barloz-class freighter. Under the afternoon sun, the dorsal hull of McShipface was scorching to the touch and the surface gleamed with a glare that was almost blinding when caught at an unfortunate angle. Armiena drew her lightsaber. Her legs burning from the exertion, Armiena just breathed and waited for her Padawan to return.
  15. The sun rose and cast the grassland ocean in golden light. The dew evaporated with the sunrise, and meager moisture along with the lingering pools from the recent storm gave rise to an intensely warm and humid morning. Somewhere in the galaxy, there was an obscure sect of Force Users known as the Matukai. During the days of the ancient Republic, they coexisted peacefully with the Jedi Order, though the nomadic Matukai never developed the hierarchical structure and organized headquarters that the Jedi did. Unusually for a Force sect, the Matukai developed a philosophy that encouraged meditative martial arts and physical training to develop a weak connection to the Force into something stronger. Draygo had never trained under one of their masters; she had never even come closer than one light-year to meeting any of their followers, but she found their teachings and their techniques intriguing nonetheless. What this meant for Genesis, at this moment, was that the half-Miraluka boy was going to get his ass kicked. And then Armiena would help build his body back up, only to break it back down. Repeat as necessary. Over the next two hours, Draygo led him away from the shelter of McShipface. She scarcely gave him more than a few seconds to breathe at a time--any moment not spent running from the ship was used pushing Dantooine and other calisthenics. In between her panting as they traversed another kilometer, she breathed out her instructions. “You’ve seen what the Force can do for someone barely alive. You have rebuilt them. Now, see what it can do for something healthy. The Force can make you better than you are. Better… stronger… faster.” With that, Draygo drew the Force into her muscles. The effect was that she appeared to blast off across the plains, leaving a trail of pulverized grass and scattered wildflowers in her wake. The Jedi Master had just spanned the distance of more than a kilometer in seconds. Armiena would not rest while waiting for her Padawan to join her. When he finally joined her, he would find his master had discarded her cloak and was shadowboxing under the sun. With a shit-eating grin on her face, she bobbed and danced around an imaginary opponent while breaking their ribs and reducing their kidneys to mash.
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