Solan shook his head to dismiss the issue. "It's no trouble, Master. Even if I don't need to face someone to see them, it helps to let others know where my attention is. Most Miraluka I know try to do it, even amongst ourselves. It'll make it easier on everyone if I do it. I do have one question though." A small smile played across his lips. "How soon will my training start?"
Lod couldn't help but lightly chuckle at Solan's question.
"Eager are we? Here I would figure you would wish to get to know the other padawans and masters first. We can get started immediately if you wish, I need to understand any fighting styles and skills you have already anyway so that I may know where to begin. It is up to you."
Max noted the bow that Ozri gave him; formal and official. The student said something, but he couldn't make out what it was. Max didn't speak Togruti. "I'm sorry, Ozri, I didn't catch that," he said in response. "Would you mind repeating that in Basic, please?"
At that point his second student, Oriek approached him and snapped a salute. Though she probably couldn't see the action, Max raised his eyebrows slightly. Perhaps she disliked the formality of a bow. Another mental note was made, this one to ask her about her choice of greeting.
"And I in turn look forward to teaching you," he answered her statement. "Both of you will experience the ways of the Jedi Order through learning by doing, rather than rote-learning responses to certain situations. In answer to your second comment, I have seen great potential in you, Ozri and all the other students. Given training, time and patience you will all become great Jedi."
He paused briefly, then added, "And please, feel free to call me Max, Maximilian, or any other form of address. I don't mind."
He paused briefly, then added, "And please, feel free to call me Max, Maximilian, or any other form of address. I don't mind."
With Max saying that all pretext of stoicness dropped from Ozri's expression, he let his mouth curl into a small smile, the stripes on his montrals darkened, and his posture relaxed.
"Sorry about that," He said in basic, " I said that it would be a honor to learn with you." He had been able to become fluent in Basic after a relatively short time thanks to the fact that Basic and Togruti shared many elements, however Basic did have less montral shaking.
" Say Max, is it true that you were taught by Luke Skywalker himself?"
"Yes, I was, many years ago," Max answered. "Master Skywalker has since retired from life at the Academy. After he bestowed the responsibilities of leading the Academy on me, I believe he served as a Master on Coruscant's New Jedi Council for a number of years before moving to a secluded mountain retreat on Chandrila."
" So I guess that makes you the best Jedi here right?" Ozri remarked, his smile perking up a bit more at his fortune of having such a master.
" If you don't mind me asking, but what kind of training can we expect? I've never heard anything about how Jedi are trained, just that it has to do with building a connection to the Force, and I'm not exactly clear on how that's done." Ozri looked over at the other student Oriek, what's with that band, is she blind? How can a blind person be a Jedi?
Meet the other Padawans? I suppose I should get to know the people I'll be spending my training with.
"I think you're right, Master. I'll wait and meet the others."
From where he was standing, he could 'see' the other Padawans were busy talking with their own masters. He didn't want to interrupt them, so he decided to talk with Ourat some more.
"If you don't mind me asking, how did you become a jedi?"
"Sounds...intriguing," Oriek mutters in response to Max, "I shall do my best not to disappoint you then."
She turns her head towards Ozri upon feeling his eyes turn to her, "is there something you require help with? Or are you content with staring at me?" she asks, a tint of harshness in her voice.
"I don't mind at all, but I suggest you be careful since we Duros love to tell stories when asked and we will go into great detail of specific events because of our photographic memories. To answer your question though, my affinity for the force was discovered when I was 16 years old. Before that I had lived with my parents, both of whom lived in one of the cities above the planet Duro and held about the avg amount of shares held by any Duros that allow them to participate in our government. Once my affinity was discovered I was offered the chance to go to the academy, which most Duros will gladly accept being as adventurous as we are as a species. They made it an offer because they know the vast majority of Duros will jump at the chance to meet new people and explore the galaxy.
I was sent to Master Archer, who himself trained under Master Skywalker, and began to learn the ways of the force. I'm not going to tell you exactly how I became a Jedi since I think some things are best left a bit of a mystery, you need adventures to tell just as much as the rest of us. I will say this however, the road was long and often times dangerous, but very much worth the patience and risk required. Once I became a knight I took time to explore many planets and went on many missions for masters and other people who simply needed help around the galaxy. I achieved the rank of master and decided it was time to train the next generation of Jedi, since few were taking the call themselves to do so. I personally see it as not the end of my days of adventuring but instead a new undertaking with new people of a new generation to meet and to uptake the most important cause of all." Oulat responded, he didn't give out the amount of detail customary to the Duros because if he did he would have been reciting his entire life because of the question asked. There had never been one moment where he actually became a Jedi, everything had lead up to it and was a part of that story.
"It shall start when Master Archer wills it, I believe." The Jawa said, "It's a bit of a drag, if you ask me, as I personally would prefer beginning as soon as possible. But until then, please, tell me about yourself. It makes it easier for me to decide upon my training tactics if I know about the one I shall be using them with."
"Well... I was born on Naboo. I lived there for a few years before leaving my families home which was destroyed by the Empire. My older sister survived, but my parents were less fortunate, I fled to another remote village on Naboo, near the lake and I soon made friends with the native Gungans. Another Jedi I encountered noticed my Mediclian count, and brought me here. That's pretty much all there is to say about my life... I haven't seen my sister in nearly three years..." Jason said, hating the Empire for what they had done to his family.
"What about you Master? How did you end up here?" Jason asked curiously. He had obviously been born on Tatooine, but how did he end up a Jedi?
The half-Echani master observed her young student as he slowly ascended the steps. A glance at the breathing gear triggered Cyran's memory about how the Gand breathed a certain type of gas just as Humans breathed oxygen. The harness around the gear seemed a touch unstable but otherwise functional. She noted when the student reached the stage the he was almost as tall as she was. These observations were mere surface observations that had nothing to do with skill or ability. Those observations would come later.
When the boy knelt down Cyran found herself pleased by the gesture. 'This one...has potential. She thought to herself. He already demonstrated the respect that would be expected of him. It was a good sign. The speech convention used by young Pyson was rather unique but did not detract from the sincerity of his words.
"The honor is mine as well. Rise, young apprentice." Cyran instructed quietly.
Ozri coughed awkwardly with the realization that he had been caught, he quickly racked his brain for a way to excuse himself, " Don't flatter yourself, I was looking at the tapestries over there." He lied while motioning towards a tapestry on the wall beyond Orek. How does that help? Why did I lie? Why didn't I just tell her the truth, 'I was wondering if you were really blind'. Come to think of it, how the heck did she know I was looking at her? As the thoughts ran through his mind the black stripes on his montrals faded to a more grayish hue.
Max shot Ozri a look. "Lying will get you nowhere under my tutelage, Ozri," he said, a hint of sternness in his voice. "It's not hard for me to tell when someone is lying, even if they are speaking a language I don't understand. I suggest you break the habit as soon as possible. And to answer your question about my being the best Jedi in the Academy because I was taught by Master Skywalker, there is no real "best" one of us. Master Adgra has defeated me in a fair number of lightsaber duels, for one."
Turning to Oriek, he said, "Understandable. But I advise you not to take that too seriously. Being too rigid in your adherence to orders or requests can lead to overlooking important details."
Ozri almost denied the fact that he had lied, but thought better of it, realizing that if Archer could catch him lying once, he would do it again. Instead he turned to Archer and bow respectfully again, "I'm sorry Master, I'll try not to do it again."
This is rich, 10 seconds into my new life as a Jedi pupil and I'm already getting lectured.
The gand stood up and looked to his master, brushing down his clothes and then squeezing his hands together in front of him. Her demeanor and voice seemed very calm and reasonable, which calmed his nerves a bit, but not by much.
"What would you have Pyson do now, Master? And if he may ask, when does the training begin?"
Jossen looked at his new apprentice, the Kel Dor, without speaking. He studied the boy up and down trying to read him for strengths and weaknesses. He looked fit, perhaps trained in martial arts? Didn't matter, Jossen looked at him, no looked through him for fears, scars, studying a person was as easy at looking them in the eye...and by fighting them.
He drew a lightsaber for himself and tossed another training lightsaber to the apprentice without a word. He touched the button on his own saber to procure the two blades and motioned the other to turn on the blade. He could use it as a double or single, his own choice. He waited for his apprentice to realize what was going on.
Lod stood up and moved over to his apprentice, he gently moved him aside so Jossen could spar his apprentice. He moved himself and Solan against a wall to the side before sitting in seiza and watching the two of them. He commented to his padawan offhandedly.
"Master Adgra has always been one to fight first and ask questions later. He will spar his padawans to learn their strengths and weaknesses, best to stay out of the way lest you be caught up in it yourself. If I know him well enough, he won't go easy on his padawan, he won't kill him, but he won't go easy either."
A reply was on the tip of Max's tongue when he heard a lightsaber activate. He turned to observe, and to no surprise saw Jossen holding his saberstaff extended in front of him, the two blades emitting a low humming.
"Both of you may want to observe this," he said quietly, moving to stand behind his apprentices. "Master Adgra is a highly skilled duelist, capable of defeating as many as four opponents at once, possibly more. However, I can assure you that Gnost will not receive any major injuries. While he may take a couple of light hits, Master Adgra will certainly not kill or maim him."
Cyran did not acknowledge Pyson's questions. The low hum of energy as it ignited into two blades was immediately recognizable, and that sound took precedence. She moved forward toward the steps and said quickly, "Follow me", indicating to her apprentice that he should follow. She descended the steps quickly and stepped down onto the ground level.
She moved off to the side of the raised platform so that they were far enough away to observe and to avoid unnecessary risks. With a sideways glance she inspected her apprentice's breathing rig again. Her gaze then focused on Jossen and his new student. "We can observe the duel from here." she explained quietly.
"Your training will begin after the observation of this duel. You should pay attention to Master Adgra and his apprentice once they start." Here the young master nodded her head toward the stage. "How secure is the harness for your breathing gear?" Cyran asked the young Gand.
Quickly following his Master to the floor, Pyson stood next to her and watched the zabrak master and his unfortunate apprentice.
How secure is that harness?
He adjusted the apparatus on his face and ran his finger down a bit of the primary hose. "It seems to be secure, but Pyson won't make assumptions. This is his first time off Gand, and the harness was simply assigned to him. Pyson still wants to be confident, though."
Solan settled into the same sitting postion as Oulat, placing his hands on his thighs. He focused his attention on the Zabrak Master and the Kel Dor who was almost certainly about to be defeated.
I'm glad it's not me over there. Being attacked by my Master is not the way I'd want to start my learning here.
A dual saber? Interesting... Oriek thinks to herself, turning her head towards the dueling pair, despite the fact she could watch it without her face in their direction.
This should be over fairly quickly, she notes, comparing the Master and Padawan.
'Ok then, interesting'
Gnost took a step back from his lightsaber wielding master, rotated his neck and turned on the lightsaber, the low hum increasing his excitement and anticipation even further. He held no illusions of victory, after all, he'd seen the Jedi fighting on his homeworld and they were unstoppable. However, he was not one to admit defeat before the duel even began and he was NOT going to loose to an unharmed opponent.
He held the lightsaber in a reverse grip, the 'blade' pointing to the ground infront of him as he took his stance. It was a classic, Bal Gro Tur stance and he knew it well, sword in the right and both hands extended forwards to protect the face, similar to a Human boxer.
"I am ready master"
"Make sure to pay close attention to Master Adgra, this will be a very valuable chance to study form and perhaps find uses for the force you have not thought of." Lod said as he sat, waiting for them to begin.
Jossen looked at his apprentice. He held his blade like he knew one, perhaps he knew the sword. That was a plus and a minus when learning the lightsaber. The sword fighters had to learn that instead of the blade having weight, the hilt had all the little weight that the lightsaber held. He then moved to his form. Bal Gro Tur style, so he did have training, very intriguing. He moved slowly, letting his Apprentice prepare himself, he gave them a minute to prepare, then he struck. He paced, walking slowly counting in his head. He wanted to laugh at the Apprentice as he looked at him with a touch of pride, perhaps confidence?
Finally the sixty seconds were up and Jossen sped up his initial attack spinning his lighsaber and bringing it down hard allowing his apprentice to parry it at the last moment. The Padawan slashed with precision, but with too much strength to make it a strong balanced blow and so Jossen parried it it easily and swung again, toying with his apprentice, seeing what the boy could come up with on his feet. Jossen practised the Style Six combat and as such was known as a 'Jack of all Trades' duellist, as such, he could use every style with extreme proficiency. So it was with great anticipation that he waited to see how well this boy could think on his feet and so as they battled he watched the boy.
Spin, slash..... Parried!
Turn, backwards stab.... Miss!
Full-turn, sla... Block!
Whatever he did, Gnost could not hit his opponent and he was barely avoiding being slashed himself. He knew that there had been several times that Adgra could have finished him by now, but he was simply choosing to let him continue un-scathed so that he could testing his mettle further. But as they 'danced', Gnost had an idea... Perhaps he could gain the upper hand after all, perhaps he could take Adgra out of his element, however slightly?
This was a test afterall and Gnost would make sure that he would not just pass, but he would also pass with distinction, he certainly didn't belive in 'half-measures'.
And so Gnost began to attempt to incorporate moves from the various Kel Dor martial arts he knew into his complicated and clumsy dance, but at the same time, hopefully increasing the pressure on his opponent.
While he was not used to fighting with a sword AND hand-to-hand, he knew that (on his homeworld at least) he was nigh-unmatched in an unarmed melee, having only stopped his participation in the Bal Gro Tur tournaments because of the discovery of his force abilities and accusations of using it to cheat.
Accusations that weren't entirely false....
Still, he had yet to meet the man that could parry a sword, overcome a 'strong wind' AND dodge a spinning back-elbow to the nose.
"Hmmm. The padawan is getting aggressive, but his form is not as advanced as Master Adgra. He obviously has experience but not in the way of the lightsaber. Strange that Master Adgra hasn't already ended this, but then again his padawan has only now started thinking he could win. Before he was testing and toying with him, if the padawan continues to attack or does anything to nearly injure the master, this will end quickly." Lod thought out loud as he watched them move.
"This isn't going to end well for the student is it?" Ozri commented to no-one as he watch the fight he was actually focusing more on Jossen, this was the first time ever seeing a saber-staff, it seemed like an un-wieldy weapon for the most part, but Jossen seemed to have no trouble handling it.
"Master, what kind of lightsabers are there?" He asked Archer, his curiosity suddenly piqued.
Not taking his eyes off the fight, Max answered, "Gnost is using a training saber, which you will use in practice duels with me during your training. Master Adgra favours a saberstaff; as you can see, the device produces a lightsaber blade from both ends of the weapon. Those two and the standard lightsaber are the three types you will see during your time at the Academy, although some of us - and some of you, if you so choose - can wield two lightsabers, like myself." He shifted his robes to reveal his leather belt and the dual lightsabers he carried.
Without turning his head, Solan spoke to Oulat, keeping his attention fixed on the duel. Watching Master Adgra use his double bladed lightsaber had raised questions in his mind. "Master, what are the advantages of using a lightsaber with two blades? Isn't it an unwieldy weapon?"
"Some think it is, I myself use the saber-staff as well as Master Adgra. I find it has more reach than a standard lightsaber and is useful when facing multiple enemies. It takes practice to use well but it provides many advantages. The staff is also more redundant than most lightsaber, should it be cut in half each blade maintains itself. Meaning it turns from a staff into two separate lightsabers. The staff also give the user more ways to strike, as we are not bound to one end of the saber." Lod explained, he watched them move around the room as he spoke, wondering how long it would be before Jossen ended this due to the padawan attempting to use the force to win the dual.
Jossen felt the Force attack blow over him and barely dodged the incoming elbow. The boy had done well, but he had broken the rules of their duel and as such it was time for it to end. He parried a close blow and blasted a strong Force blast that sent the young apprentice across the room. Jossen Force lept across the room and landed by the now in pain boy, "One does not cheat in a duel of honour and worth apprentice, that needs to be punished," lightning crackled and Jossen lifted his lightsaber, "Let this be a lesson to you early."
Lod immediately jumped up and activated his saber-staff, things were getting far too out of hand. He used a light level two force choke to move Jossen to the other side of the room before releasing it and force jumping in between Master Adgra and the Padawan. He spoke clearly and calmly.
"Calm yourself Master Adgra, or I shall be forced to protect the life of your padawan."