HERE YOU GO @Morningmist! I hope you like it!!!
OH!! AND !WARNING! THIS SHORT STORY CONTAINS SOME SPOILERS PERTAINING TO A HUGE REVEAL IN THE STAR WARS MOVIESSSSS!!! (Although...if you DON'T know this spoiler, WOAH! Good job!! You stay away from spoilers better than I did, XDDDDDD)
A young girl sat on a mat in a large room, a bunch of other children doing the same around her. In front of her sat a long silver cylinder, and, if you listened, it hummed slightly. At the head of the room stood a tall, slightly older, man, pacing through the room, inspecting the young ones.
“Those lightsabers…” He droned, indicating to the cylinders in front of each of the children, “Are your lives, now more than ever. You must NOT lose them, no matter what.” He stopped, looking at the young girl with black hair, her padawan braid hanging at the side of her face, “PLEASE, don’t lose them.” He said again, moving on down the line.
The girl sighed, picking up her lightsaber, inspecting every inch of it. Ever since she returned from The Gathering on Ilum, and returned to the Temple with her newly constructed lightsaber. Her Master, and the Masters of the Jedi Order, had drilled it into her that she must not lose her saber. In a battle during The Clone Wars, her lightsaber could be the only thing between victory…and death. She was so lost in her thoughts, that she barely heard the old Jedi dismissing the students, and only realized she could leave the stifling classroom with the other students when one practically walked right over her, a young togruta male.
“Oh, sorry!” He muttered under his breath, shuffling out of the room. Nova rolled her eyes, getting to her feet. Walking out of the room and down the hallway, she ran into her master, a tall, brown haired, human woman named Torni.
“Nova.” She greeted with a smile.
“Master…” The young padawan replied simply, nodding in greeting.
“Walk with me.” She said, indicating for the young padawan to follow. Walking down the corridors, she looked at her padawan slightly, “Something is troubling you, my young Apprentice…mind sharing?” She asked.
Nova looked at her Master for a few moments before looking back to where she was going, “It’s just that…” She stopped trying to find her words, “This war has done so much…has TAKEN so much.” She looked at her Master, “Why can’t I be on the battlefield? Helping to end this war?”
Torni sighed, “Because, Nova.” She murmured, “You’re not…ready yet…to be on the battlefield.”
Nova’s eyes flashed in what felt like anger, “I’m as ready as any Padawan!” She retorted, “Even SELENE is on Kashyyyk fighting the Separatists!”
“Selene is skilled with her sabers…” Torni muttered, “You are a little…impulsive.”
Nova rolled her eyes, “I’m just as skilled as Selene, if not more.” She muttered, looking away.
Torni looked at her Padawan, raising an eyebrow, “Did you not hear me say you were impulsive?” She asked, tilting her head curiously.
The young Padawan sighed, “Yeah, yeah…” She muttered.
Her Master chuckled, “You will be ready in time, Nova. For now, you must be patient, young Padawan.” She looked her over, “It is not only the lives of your clones that must be taken into consideration…but your own life….”
Nova nodded, her eyes drawn to the setting sun above the city. The lights of Coruscant were now starting to blink on, and the world was now settling down for a restful night’s sleep.
“You should go spend some time with the other Padawans here at the Temple.” Torni said, “Take your mind off of this war for a while.”
The young padawan considered this proposition for a moment and nodded, agreeing with her Master that a night with some friends would be fun. “I’ll see you tomorrow for training?” She asked.
Torni nodded, “See you tomorrow…and I expect you to be on your best behavior.” She said, her eyes narrowed.
Nova nodded, rolling her eyes, “You shouldn’t expect any less, Master!” She beamed, turning and racing down the hallway, hoping to find her friends who were stationed within the Temple.
Later that night she was sitting inside the library within the Temple, her friends settled around her, all had holobooks in hand.
“UGH!” Groaned a dark purple Twi-Lek Padawan named Niri, dropping her book on the table. Her forehead followed the book, and it hit the tabletop with a dull thud, her silka bead strand streaming behind her, coming to rest between her two lekku, “I’ll NEVER remember all of this!” She hissed, her voice muffled by the tabletop.
“Oh, come on, Niri!” Said Colar, a young mikkian padawan, his bright yellow skin contrasting against the bright blue hues of the holobooks surrounding them, “The Core Worlds of the Galaxy are EASY to memorize! I’m on to the Outer Rim!” He said brightly, looking back at his holobook, his head-tendrils waving around in the air as if on an unseen gentle breeze.
Nova rolled her eyes, “Come ON, Colar, we all know you’re a genius! No need to rub it in.” She smirked playfully.
Colar looked at Nova in mock shock, “But…if I don’t say it, how WOULD you know!?” He asked wide eyed.
“Oh, I don’t know, maybe because you seem to pass EVERY test our Masters throw at us.” She snickered, raising a playful eyebrow.
Colar rolled his eyes, opening his mouth for a witty retort.
“Guys, GUYS!” Called a young Mirialan Padawan, “Come look!” She beckoned to the group wildly, running to the window on the higher level of the library. Nova followed, wondering what had interested the young padawan so much. Getting to the window, she looked outside, her eyes widening in shock. Marching up the Temple steps were HUNDREDS of Troopers…all lead by a cloaked figure. She turned to the Padawan.
“What’s going on!?” She asked her.
“I don’t know!” Replied the mirialan, “Maybe the 501st was deployed to protect us? You know, after the recent Separatist Attack on Coruscant…as well as Chancellor Palpatine’s capture…maybe the Senate believed we needed extra protection?”
Nova shook her head, something didn’t seem right, “I’m not sure that’s it…go find your Master. See if she knows what’s going on.” She said, turning to her friends. “We need to make sure the Younglings are safe…” She murmured, her eyes darkening, “I sense something amiss…”
Niri nodded, “I sense the same thing…” She replied, her hand resting on the hilt of her saber.
“Then what are we waiting for!?” Colar questioned, “Let’s go!” He called out, leaping over the railing to the lower levels, racing out of the library, Nova and Niri at his heels. Racing down the hallway, the three padawans burst into a room where the younglings of the Jedi Order were having a lesson with Master Jocasta Nu, the Head Librarian.
“Master Nu!” Called Colar, his eyes narrowed in determination.
“Yes, Padawan Lo?” She asked with a tilt of her head.
“We need to get the Younglings to safety…” Huffed Niri, “Something’s going on…something bad.” She murmured. “Can’t you…” Suddenly the sounds of screams split the air as blaster fire rang through the still night at the Temple. Jocasta Nu’s eyes darkened in horror, “Padawans, take the younglings to the Council Chamber…they’ll be safe there while we deal with this threat.” She said, racing out of the door, lightsaber in hand.
Nova looked at her friends, nodding in determination, “Colar, run ahead, make sure the way ahead is safe. Niri, lead the Younglings to the Council Chamber, I’ll take up the rear, defending our backs.” She said, pointing to both in turn. Her two friends nodded, taking up their positions as they left the room.
“I’ll keep us safe!” Colar called, racing ahead, the sounds of screams and blasters still slicing through the air. Nova’s apprehension grew with every step, as well as her curiosity, WHAT was going on!? A young boy with sandy blonde hair fell back, walking next to Nova, his eyes wide in fear and apprehension.
“Nova? What’s going on?” He asked quietly.
Nova looked at the boy, her heart swelling in pain for him, he was so scared, “I don’t know…” She murmured, looking behind her every few moments. As they approached the Council Chambers, Colar and Niri ushered the younglings inside while Nova stood outside the room, keeping watch while her friends got the younglings situated. A few moments later, the two reappeared.
“Let’s go.” Niri said, igniting her blade.
“Go?! Go WHERE?!” Questioned Colar, his eyes wide.
“Help the other Jedi!” She replied.
“We don’t even know WHAT we’re facing!” Colar replied, his voice angry and low, “We could be walking to our deaths! The Jedi Masters and Knights probably already dealt with the problem already any…” He froze as screams ripped through the air again.
“They haven’t yet…” Nova murmured; her eyes narrowed in determination. “We NEED to help.”
“There’s a very low chance we’ll survive this…” Colar muttered. “Our odds are about…”
“Don’t tell me the odds!” Niri hissed, “NEVER tell me the odds! You’ll talk me out of it!”
“What if that’s the point?” Muttered Colar.
“What was that?!” Niri questioned.
“Nothing!” He replied, raising his hands in defeat, “Let’s go see what we can do to…help.” He muttered, unclipping his saber hilt from his belt, but he did not ignite it YET.
“What’s your problem, Colar?” Niri questioned angrily, “Only moments ago you were EAGER to help!” She hissed, her eyes narrowed.
“Let’s just say…I realized we may be in more danger than I originally thought…” He muttered.
“STILL! Our Masters could need our help!” Niri hissed.
Nova nodded racing down the hallway, igniting her blade. Reaching a doorway, two clone troopers appeared, guns in hand. They froze once they spotted the padawans. “Troopers!” Called Nova, stopping and facing the two soldiers, “What’s going on?”
The two troopers exchanged a helmeted glance…and raised their blasters…pointing them at the Padawans.
Nova froze, her eyes darkening with a realization she never would have believed if she were not seeing it for herself at that very moment…the Clones had turned on them. The very army they had served beside for YEARS was turning on the Jedi! “Trooper…” She said calmly, yet darkly, not intending to back down without a fight.
“I’m sorry, Commander.” Said the trooper on the right, “But Orders…are Orders…” He said as both he and his companion shot blaster bolts at the padawans.
Quick as lightning, Nova and Niri blocked the blaster bolts, covering their escape as they ran back the way they had come, “We need to lead them AWAY from the younglings!” Huffed Niri, her eyes dark and sorrowful.
Nova nodded, pointing down a passageway, “Let’s go this way…” She whispered, looking over her shoulder, “Hey! TROOPERS! Over here!” She called, racing down the darkened hallway. Nova was scared out of her skin, but she knew she had to fight for her Order…her family. Racing past doors and corridors, Nova was acutely away of the screams and blaster fire…she was nearing the main hall of the temple. Racing out onto one of the higher walkways, she gasped in horror at what she saw, “No…” She murmured, watching as the Clones shot down Jedi…after Jedi…after Jedi. She searched for her Master, horror and apprehension gripping her heart when she couldn’t see her. Was she dead!? Shot down by her own men?! Her heart lifted when she saw her Master fighting desperately to hold off a barrage from a group of troopers that had surrounded her, her eyes dark and her skin dirty with soot. “Master!” She called out, her eyes wide and her tone fearful.
That had done it…Torni looked at her Padawan, fear in her gaze, and in that split second…the troopers used that distraction to shoot down her Master.
“NO!!” Nova screamed, the sounds of the battle waging around her dulling to a faint whisper in the background as horror and sorrow overwhelmed her. The troopers turned their attention…and their blasters…on her. Nova felt a firm hand on her shoulder, and turned to see Niri standing there, her eyes dark and determined.
“We NEED to get out of here…” Niri growled, looking at Nova.
“That’s what I’ve been TRYING to tell you!” Colar growled as he deflected a bolt or two from the troopers below.
Niri glared at him, “No need to rub it in!” She hissed, tugging on Nova’s shoulder, “Let’s go…” She said soothingly.
Nova nodded, allowing herself to be tugged away. Running down the hallway, the trio attempted to evade the detection of the Clones…but of course…that didn’t last long.
“Down here!” Called a Clone racing into the hallway behind them, the sounds of their armored boots clanging down the hallway, echoing ominously.
“We won’t make it!” Niri growled quietly, her eyes flashing in anger and fear.
“We have to keep trying…” Nova muttered, shock still coursing through her.
Calor looked behind him for a second before closing his eyes, stopping, and turning and igniting his saber. Niri froze, looking behind her in shock.
“Calor!? WHAT are you DOING!?” She called back in fear and surprise.
“Buying you some time…” Calor muttered, his jaw set in determination.
“Calor, NO! You’ll die!” Niri called, her voice breaking in sorrow.
“Maybe…” Calor said, his voice shaking, “But I NEED to do this…” He looked at his friends, the Clones coming ever closer, “If my sacrifice means you get to safety…then it will be a worthy sacrifice…” He murmured, turning back to face the approaching Clones.
Niri froze, opening her mouth to say something, but no words came out.
“Calor…you CAN’T do this…” Nova said, her eyes brimming with tears.
Calor looked at Nova, a slight smile on his face, “Oh, Nova…you should know by now that you can’t tell me what to do…” He said softly, a playful edge to his tone.
Niri let out a painful sob, gripping Calor’s hand between her two, “We’ll see each other again…ALIVE…I promise…” She murmured.
Calor looked at her, “Don’t make promises you’re not sure you can keep, Niri…” He said softly. Niri pressed her forehead against his.
“Who says I won’t keep this promise?” She asked, pulling away, “Stay safe…” She murmured, gripping Nova’s shoulder gently and steering her down the hallway…the sound of blaster fire echoing down the hall. Nova let out a muffled sob, trying to hold back tears. She doubted she’d see Calor again…but she hoped that Niri was right…and that they would see each other again…alive. Coming to the library, Niri looked at Nova, “We need to go out the window. It’s the only safe way out.” She said, climbing the steps, Nova on her heels. Reaching the window, Niri placed her hand on the window, igniting her blade in her other hand. Stabbing it into the glass, she attempted to make a circle in the glass.
“HEY! STOP!” Called a voice behind them. Nova turned to see four Clones racing into the Library…obviously having spotted them.
“Niri…” Nova muttered in fear. Niri stopped what she was doing and turned to look behind her, shock and fear flashing across her face.
“HURRY!” Niri screamed, turning back to work on the window.
Nova helped this time, igniting her blade and stabbing it into the glass. Sweat dripped down her brow as she worked on the window for the next few moments. She was painfully aware of the Clones approaching behind her. She froze, however, when she heard the unmistakable beeping…of detonators. Turning, she saw the detonators fall towards them, and had only a few moments to use the force to defend herself and Niri before they exploded, sending her flying out the window. As she fell, Nova was aware of her consciousness slipping away, and only had just enough time to use the force to slow her fall…hoping it would make it non-lethal…before she blacked out.
After an unknown amount of time, Nova awoke. Her head pounded in pain, and she pressed her hand to her forehead to try and ease the pain. Pulling her hand away, she saw blood on her hand. Looking up, she saw the library window…smoke billowing out. For a few moments, she was confused, why was the Temple burning? And why was she down here? Didn’t they catch the Temple Bomber months ago? Then the memory crashed over her like a wave, The Clones! Her Master! Her FRIENDS! Looking around in fear, she looked for Niri, where WAS she!? She…she couldn’t be DEAD! Could she? She looked around.
“Niri!” She called out, unafraid of any Clones that could be in the area, “Niri, PLEASE! Answer me!”
All was silent…the only sounds being a faint breeze over the cityscape and the hum of hovervehicles as the residents of Coruscant went about their daily duties. Getting shakily to her feet, Nova gazed at the Temple, her Jedi robes dirty and torn. She’d need to get that fixed…or…she’d need to find a change of clothes. Her eyes brimmed with tears as she gazed at the place she once called her home.
“Goodbye, Calor…Niri…Se…” She froze, SELENE! Where was she!? Was she even still alive?! Nova knew her friend was on Kashyyyk with her Master and Grand Master Yoda…attempting to push back the Separatist Attack on the Wookies. Was her friend dead? Or was she alive somewhere? And on second thought, were Niri and Calor TRULY dead? Or were they alive somewhere? Alive? Looking at the sky, her gaze took on a new intensity. Like a fire was set ablaze within her. She was determined, and now she had a purpose again. “Selene, Niri, Calor…” She called to the sky, “If you are still alive, I WILL find you! We’ll be together again, I PROMISE!” She called out. She could practically hear Calor’s voice in her head.
“Don’t make promises you can’t keep…”
“But I CAN keep this promise, Calor…” She retorted quietly, “And I WILL. I WILL find you…you’re NOT dead…you can’t be…” She murmured looking away. Walking away from the Temple, she walked away from the only life she ever knew as a Jedi…and into a new, more dangerous life, as a fugitive of the new Galactic Government that Nova was not yet aware had risen…the Galactic Empre…the Dark Empire under the tyrannical rule of Emperor Palpatine…and his apprentice…Darth Vader…the fallen Hero of the Republic…Anakin Skywalker.