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Welcome to the 122nd

Chapter Text

The squadron was in orbit around Talfaglio when Gavyn got the message from the Council, the Jedi team that had been sent to scout out the suspected location of Separatists had reported the status of the planet: empty of all hostiles. They found no evidence to support the assumption that Separatist forces were gathering strength there. The Jedi General was pleased to hear the news. If they had found anything, there would have been a military strike dangerously close to civilian populations. It was a controversial maneuver, and Gavyn was more than happy to avoid it.

The cancellation of the plans meant that the legion was reassigned to a mid-rim front. It would be some time before the cruiser would be able to reach the location, and after the recent events that left Tyro injured, he thought it would make a good opportunity for Tyro get some field training. They packed their things in the Jedi transport starship and set a course to Hapes, a planet that Gavyn knew to have a peaceful population, and a vast wilderness.

Night had fallen, but the light of the seven moons of Hapes cast bright, silvery glow through the leaves of the canopy. Gavyn was perched on a high branch, looking for movement on the speckled ground below. Tyro was nearby, looking for him. It was part of the exercises he was putting his new apprentice through before returning to the legion.

He had spent the past three days running Tyro through basic military training. How to construct and deconstruct a camp. How to use cover. Techniques on firing a blaster. It was a lot of information very fast, but they did not have time for anything else.

Gavyn just had a couple of ground rules: no tech and no force. It was apparent that Tyro relied too much on both, and it got in the way of using common sense. They were only to be used to augment ability, to get an edge when you needed it most. Tech wasn't always available in the field. And although the force was always with you, by the time one exhausted themselves to death using it, it would hardly have made a dent in a full-scale battle. Tyro would need to learn how to use his brain before turning to those crutches.

However, without a simulation room, Gavyn was finding it difficult to replicate the fury of large-scale battle with only himself and Tyro. They would just have to do the best they could. That afternoon, they had turned their blaster settings to stun, and Gavyn took off from the campsite to get a head start. As much as Tyro was hunting him down, Gavyn was hunting for Tyro. They had ran the exercise twice already, and both times, Gavyn had managed to tag Tyro before Tyro could tag him.

 


 

Tyro started down the path from the campsite in the direction he had seen Gavyn leave. He was going to get it right this time. He had to; he couldn't think of the last thing that had taken him three tries to get right. Everything usually came naturally, but this-this was entirely foreign. All the more reason to figure it out, to show Gavyn that he wasn't useless, he wasn't going to drag him down.

The battle on Loronar had been humbling to say the least, and had left him wounded in body and spirit. Thankfully much of his strength had returned, but he had pulled back from Gavyn, hardly saying a word outside of dutiful acknowledgements. He refused to screw this up too. Tyro pushed himself to follow everything Gavyn said, to figure out everything he was trying to teach him.

The footprints Gavyn had left were clear enough, except there were now three sets. Following them a bit further they disappeared into grass, which, he supposed was kind of trampled...or something? The moonlight reflected brightly across the haphazard arrangement of blades. He stopped, frowning. Would Gavyn really go the same way three times? It would make sense to double around, go back, end up in the other direction. Or…was he expecting Tyro to expect he would do that and had stayed in the direction from which he had left the camp? His mind wound itself in circles trying to find a shortcut to this but there were simply too many possibilities. Gavyn could be anywhere. Perhaps hard evidence and actual tracking skills really were the way to go on this.

The no tech rule was frustrating and would have made for a boring trip had he had a moment to even just sit down, but not using the force was proving to be a particular challenge. He had not realized before how very much he relied on it. Tyro sighed, pulling the ponytail he was now forced to keep his mohawk in tighter before any more could slip out and fall into his face. The things he could do if he had the force. Jump to the top of these trees, enhance his vision, or any other sense for that matter, never touch the ground to leave tracks... He could even sense Gavyn's exact location...though that was a two way street. Perhaps this was better then.

Determined, he set his sights back to the grass, picking the most freshly broken pieces as what were likely the most recent set of footprints Gavyn had left. He managed to follow them for a while, but the deeper into the forest he went the thicker the trees grew until he had all but lost the light of the moons. Tossing his pack off his shoulder and onto the ground he dug around in it until he found a red glow rod, something that would not mess up his night vision. Activating it, he set back to his search.

A few meters more however and the and the tracks just…disappeared. Had Gavyn just flown away or something? Realistically he could have climbed a tree... Tyro let out a short laugh at the idea of giant Gavyn cowering up in one of these trees. Yeah right. Wasn't a bad idea though. Focusing on not using any of the force to help him he jumped up to grab a claw-like low hanging branch above his head. Just barely he managed to wrap his hands around it.

With a grunt he started to pull himself up then...snap! The rotted wood broke free of the tree. Time stretched with the fall, long enough for him to remind himself that he was not allowed to use the force to ease his landing. Tyro focused the momentum and ducked into a forward roll. He hit the ground left shoulder first, flopping awkwardly over himself, just barely clearing the branch as it slammed into the ground behind him.

He bit back the pain, trying not to make a sound as it lanced through his recently healed arm, exhaling with it, as evenly as he could, suddenly aware that he had just made a lot of noise. It was time to move, now.

He stood up quickly, testing his shoulder as he did so. Bruised, maybe slightly sprained with a slight nick from the splintered wood...he would live. He got far worse from just sparring back at the Academy.

Satisfied with that he ran, keeping as light on his feet as he could. Having reached a fair distance he doubled back across some boulders, hopping between them like he would rooftops in the undercity. Now if only he could find a good hiding place like he could there...The light from his glowrod skirted around a darker patch between the boulders. Looked like a cave or a burrow or something. Either way it was good enough for now.

He jumped down into it, only realizing after he had done so that that was where he would have used the force to check to make sure there was nothing living inside...and that it had a bottom. Whether or not he called on it however he still had it to thank for his luck as his boots landed in soft soil only a few feet below. A quick check with his glow rod revealed nothing more than a few small bugs. He leaned back against the wall, catching his breath. With nothing better to do he began to dig the splinters out of his arm, tucking the glowrod back into his tunic turning his attention to the sounds of the forest.

 


 

Gavyn heard movement in the distance, the sound of snapping branches. It was large enough that it was likely Tyro, although he wasn't sure why he was making so much noise. The first thing Gavyn noticed when he turned in the direction of the sound was a red glow, lighting up the trees in the distance. He shifted, and watched closely, until he saw the silhouette of Tyro running, carrying a red glow rod. Hapes famously had one of the lightest nights of any system, and the Padawan was still using a glow rod just to see in the shade of the canopy. Gavyn frowned deeply. It was a great way to broadcast your position. He could clearly see his apprentice crawl inside a cave about 40 meters away by the light of the glowrod, before he finally extinguished it.

Gavyn heaved a sigh. He dropped from branch to branch until he reached the ground. He moved slowly, a man of his stature had difficulty being light on his feet. When Gavyn was close enough, he pulled a smoke grenade from his survival pack, and lobbed it into the cave. There was a dull thump, and smoke billowed out, twisting away into the night sky. He used the distraction to run up to the cave opening, and point his rifle inside.

As the smoke cleared, it revealed a fearsome outline. "It wouldn't be a smoke bomb if a Separatist threw it." Gavyn warned, sternly. "And if you were lucky enough not to get blown up, then you would end up captured."

Gavyn lowered his weapon. He made his point, and now he offered Tyro a hand to help him out of the cave. "You gave away your position. You must have patience, wait for your enemy to show you their hand first." It seemed that every new exercise, they went over something else that Gavyn had taken for granted for the past five years. The clones were sheltered, but if they knew one thing, they knew war.

"Let's head back to camp." Gavyn said, knowing full well that Tyro had a long day- not that it was going to be any excuse in a real battlefield. On second thought, maybe it was best to make this another lesson in tactics then call it a night. "I'll let you get there first and fortify yourself. If I breach the camp, the mission fails. You sleep when the camp is secure." Gavyn looked at his Padawan, challenge in his eyes.