Date: Saturday, December 29, 2001 7:44 PM This is the cont of training on tatoonine (Emperor used with permission from Debbie Casselbury) Octavia watched as Luke went to an old chest and began to rummage through it. "Have you ever seen these type of parts before, Octavia?" Luke asked. Her eyes narrowed as she ran a speculative eye over them. A part of her seemed to recall them, but not in this fashion. "They seem vaguely familiar. Before we moved, father had something that looked a little bit like them, but I can't be sure." Luke's lips formed a smile. "They are parts for a Jedi Training droid, and we are going to put it together, you and I." "I'm used to something a big larger," Octavia answered with a grin. "Are you sure all the pieces are here?" Unconsciously, she began to sort out which pieces would fit together. Sifting through the parts as well, Luke answered, "Well, it looks like it. There are a few that need to be repaired first, but that we can do. Here," he said, playfully tossing her one of the broken pieces. "Let's get started. Then we can have this thing assembled and running before lunch." Catching the little piece, Octavia began to fit some of them together. After their meal, Luke and Octavia rested for a while, talking and testing the droid to make sure it was functioning properly. The full heat of the day kept them inside where it was cool. "We'll start you with getting used to the droid. Draw your saber and deflect the bolts; you don't want them to get through your defenses." Luke watched as she was able to deflect some of the blows and felt sorry for her whenever it did get through and stung her. Watching her brought back memories of his own experience, but like Kirienne Solo, Luke noticed that Octavia caught on a little faster than he had. Very soon she was blocking each bolt as if she was anticipating the droid's movements. Even when he blindfolded her she was still able to dodge and to block. He was glad that he had decided to have Octavia work in the confines of the room; it would help her to work in similar areas in other situations. It was rare that a Jedi had the room they needed to move around. In Han's ship he'd had a lot of space. "Talk to me, Octavia, while you are working with the droid." Luke watched as the droid zipped around behind her. "I can sense its movements," Octavia stated as she barely parried in time to block the stinging bolt from the training droid. "This was the first thing that Obi-Wan had me do as a trainee. It is relatively easy." "It is becoming easy to anticipate the movement, to know when it's going to attack." "Give me the computations and the modifications to the engines that the Electra used," Luke asked. Octavia answered his questions, dividing her concentration. It was difficult to keep track of the droid and some of the bolts got through. **Concentration is important, Octavia; the time can come that you will have to think on different levels.** Octavia nodded to the memory of her father and let the Force flow through her, allowing her do as Luke requested without thought or hesitation. "That's enough for now." Luke answered pulling the training droid to him. "That was ... easy after a while." Octavia smiled. "It was part of me, I knew what I felt was the Force." "I'm glad to hear it. Now we can concentrate on something new." It was getting toward dusk and they could hear the wind starting to pick up a bit. "What did you have in mind?" Luke walked a few paces away from her, leading her just outside the door and drawing his light saber. "Let's spar." He activated his light saber and faced her. Octavia looked at him, hesitant at first, then she swung her saber, aiming for Luke's legs. Luke easily parried, then motioned for her to wait. "Let me go before you. Be a Jedi to the fullest and just defend my attacks for right now." Octavia nodded and waited. She felt unusually calm. Luke lunged and then feinted left, aiming for her shoulder, but he held back, taking it somewhat easy on her. Realizing the feint at the last minute Octavia moved to block before the blade could touch her. Immediately her Jedi Master swung around and attacked her directly. The sabers clashed as the student parried. Forcing herself to relax, Octavia allowed the Force to direct her senses and her movements, just like she had with the droid. She pushed all her doubts and fear away. There was no place for them here. Luke backed off and watched her for a few moments and then whipped around in a circle. He flipped toward her with his light saber extended across his body. Octavia dropped and rolled off to the side coming up on knee ready to block. Luke flew past and landed on his feet in the sand. "Good," he said. Without any warning he suddenly swept his light saber at her legs in a wide swing. Instinctively Octavia moved her hand and used the Force to push Luke's saber in a different direction. Not taken off guard, Luke swung back around in the opposite direction. Octavia's saber lowered and blocked Luke's. Their sabers stayed locked, sparking and squealing for a few seconds. Luke pushed her saber aside and swung it up and forward, causing it to fly out of her hands. Hesitating briefly, Octavia called her saber back to her. Before she was able to get it back into her hands and activate it, Luke's saber was at her throat. Stopping, Luke nodded. "Good, very good. I see that fancy flourishes do not distract you, and that for the most part brute strength aimed at you is deflected by use of the Light." "I still ended up with a saber at my throat," Octavia observed evenly. "Where did I fail?" "I'm not convinced you can call that a failure. But if I were you I would activate the saber before it reaches your hands. Then you can save precious milliseconds." Octavia nodded, thinking on Luke's advice. "True, a learning experience then," Octavia answered slowly. "A way to improve one's ability." "Another tactic would be to roll off in the direction of your saber." "Go closer to the saber and out of harms way; make the opponent come to you." "Yes," Luke answered, "Excellent. I was hoping to stretch you a bit." Smiling, Octavia looked at Luke then to the sky. "You did; I had to remain calm yet alert." "And that you did," Luke added. "One other thing you did was not to waste undo energy with fancy acrobatics unless you needed to." "The arena taught me that much, fancy moves open you to your opponent, only this time it was different. I felt in control and not just following suggestions from a disembodied voice." Luke pressed his lips into a firm line. "Yes ... that's good. It is easier in practice, but remember you survived the Arena." He smiled at her and then looked upward. "Come with me, to the top of this dune. The sunsets here are spectacular." Octavia followed him in silence. She watched as the twin suns set. She had to admit they were beautiful. She noticed that Luke stood there quietly, just staring out at the suns. Even when the light began to dim, he still stared in the direction where the suns had just been. After a while, Luke turned toward her. "Well, are you prepared for another meal of the wonderful soup you made us?" To her surprise there was no hint of sarcasm in his voice. "Certainly, soup does seem fitting right now. You used to watch these sunsets when you were younger didn't you?" she asked as she followed him back to Ben's home. Luke was quiet for a moment, almost seeming shy to talk about it. "I ... dreamed, longed to get off Tatooine while watching those sunsets. I wanted to be in the Imperial Academy." As they reached the door, Luke did not go in. Octavia watched him puzzled. "Is something wrong?" "No. I was just thinking about the Arena. I'm glad for whatever reason the Force had in mind that you survived." He simply walked inside, not saying another word. Octavia watched him, puzzled. Was there a hidden message in that simple statement? She looked back in the direction of where the sunset had happened. "You aren't the only one." She then turned and followed him inside. ~*~ Octavia lay on the cot thinking about the day's exercise. She knew she was progressing, yet she kept thinking about Psylocke and everything she had been told by not only her grandfather's ghost, but Psylocke's mother as well. She would not be party to outright murder. There had to be a way to save Psylocke, a way to turn her toward the Light. Closing her eyes, Octavia pushed the thoughts of Psylocke and the Emperor out of her mind. She would wait and see what the Force willed. Until then she needed to get some rest. Luke had promised more training in the morning. Octavia found herself standing in fog, another dream ... it had to be a dream ... there was no fog on Tatooine. "Yes my dear, fog ... there seems to be one in every Jedi mind; you are no exception." "Not all. My grandfather thought clearly. It was your apprentice that killed him," Octavia countered as the image of the Emperor cleared. "Like I said ... fog on the brain. Qui-Gon was a supreme example - one little distraction will kill you, won't it?" The emperor studied Octavia and her facial expressions. "Ah, do I sense the little Jedi wannabe is feeling anger?" the Emperor taunted. "Tisk, tisk .." Octavia calmed herself; this was a dream only a dream. *You bring out my worst,* Octavia thought to herself. "You were saying, young one? What do I bring out ... please do continue." Octavia shot the Emperor a look. He'd picked up on her thoughts. "No, I refuse to give you any more. Anger can be controlled, as any emotion." "I will wait until I have the chance to see you supress your delicate sense of holding back your anger when you face my Sith apprentice to a match to the death." "Light is the power that drives Darkness away. Your apprentice is only misguided," Octavia stared at the Emperor. "I'm undoing your daughter's programming of confusion. As for your dream taunts, I have to work on my shields -- that is all." "Which daughter do you speak of, pray tell?" The Emperor questioned. The Emperor burst out in laughter. "You certainly have your work cut out for you, young one. Haven't you been taught appearances are not always what they seem? Beware, Raven is, was and will always deceive. Don't say I didn't warn you." "I would expect nothing less from one of your line. Deceptions seem to be your way of life." "True, but it happens to be a prominent trait for many a good Sith - a handy survival tool. Raven, by the way, is a clone of Samantha Connelly. She is my adopted daughter and carries no gene of mine. And that is a relief, considering that she has decided to rub shoulders with Jedi types like yourself." A small smile was visible from under his hood. "Do you not wonder why I'm here?" "My shields weren't strong enough to keep you out." "Not at all my young Jedi apprentice. YOU sought me out; you came looking for me." "Ridiculous. I would never seek you out." "But you did. You know you can't learn what you need from Skywalker. I can teach you all you need." Octavia opened her eyes and looked around the small area of Ben's hut. She was surprised to see Luke sitting across from her. "It takes more than skill to defeat a foe. Do you agree, young Octavia?" "Yes." Octavia was surprised at the strength of her voice. "Fighting skill alone isn't all one needs ...one needs their wits as well." "And?" Luke questioned. "Common sense." "And?" "Something more?" Octavia questioned coming to full alertness. "I'm afraid I've missed it, Master." "Calm and level-headedness." Luke answered slowly. "The power of the Light filling and surrounding you at all times." "To keep the Darkness at bay, and away from us." "You do that by allowing the Light to seep into your every atomic particle." "Allowing it to consume you?" Octavia questioned. "To fill you ... not 'consume'," Luke corrected. "Of course, Master. Sorry." "Nothing to apologize for," Luke stated. "The Dark consumes, the Light will pervade and fill you." "I understand, I think," Octavia replied. "The Light will give you assistance and guidance to ward off the Dark." "And even physical power deep in your being. Your mind, body and essence." Luke gazed at her carefully. "To give you the ability to push on when it seems you will tire?" Octavia questioned. "Among other things, yes. When your wits are weary, and so forth." Luke watched as Octavia took in his words. "It will give you the power to withstand the wiles and raw powers of the Dark. The power of the Dark is easy and quick, but the power of the Light is stronger." "The Dark is quick, and the cost is high." "Yes." Luke agreed. "I refuse to go that way, regardless of the ease." "Self-preservation should be equally high on your list. Being willing to die rather than accept the Dark without finding another recourse is not the way of a Jedi's will. There is always a way out if you surrender to the Light fully." "Access all your options." "And then some," Luke answered. "Be very cautious about how you listen to the Emperor. His words can entwine you before you realize what has happened. He is very subtle." "To confuse," Octavia answered. "He said I sought him out, that's why my shields didn't work." "Did you seek him out?" Luke questioned. He knew that she needed to answer that question for herself, but it was one that had to be asked. "No, I was thinking about Psylocke and our destinies. I let my shields down and allowed him to enter." "Then we need to work on your shields. Everyone has doubts and re-thinks certain situations. You need to be careful how you broadcast them." Luke turned. "And since you're up, we can begin our next set of lessons." Octavia nodded and rose, stopping to look in the direction where Luke had gone. There was someone else standing there, a faint image of her grandfather ... he nodded in Luke's direction and gave her a soft smile.
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