Of Jedi and Men
Chapter Five: Make the Choice
Axlyn was astonished at the ship’s beauty. This place seemed so distance from The Force, yet this ship lived and breathed it. It was like the temple back on Coruscant, yet something seemed so strange about it. What was she sensing? Was that…life…?
“I do not wish to alarm you both,” Azula said suddenly, knocking the Jedi out of her train of thought, “I’m sure you’re exhausted from your travels. It may take a long while to fix your ship and Goddess knows you need your rest, however for security measures we’ll be keeping your sleeping chambers locked-”
“Excuse me?” Axlyn stopped in her tracks and blocked Kohl from walking any further, “You’re going to put us in a kriffing prison cell?”
Kyle scoffed and glared back at them, “Well see princess, we all get the same rooms, we’re all equals here. Besides, you don’t really have a choice. You’re stranded here after all.”
Azula rolled her eyes, catching Kyle’s attention, “Tell me Miss, if you had two strangers on your ship, would you not protect yourself?” she stopped abruptly in the hall. After what seemed like an extremely long walk the group met the bedchambers of the ship. There was seemed to be eight different rooms, two of which belonged to people, which were opened. Then other four were closed, all seeming to be sealed from a distance at an oblong door, turning back to the Jedi. “The two of you will have to share a room tonight, I’m sure that will be alright?” Kyle glared over as if hoping they’d argue.
“It’ll be alright, won’t it?” he bared a slime-eating grin, “Jedi?”
Axlyn gripped tight on her fellow padawan’s shoulder, nearly causing him to yelp in pain. “Why wouldn’t it be?” she shoved past the man, “we’ll be out of your hair by tomorrow. Kohl, how about you thank them?”
Kohl leapt in surprise and turned toward Azula. He quickly bowed at the waist, “Thank you ma’am.” He swallowed hard, looking back up at Axlyn. The older padawan grinned in approval and led him into the room. She kept him close by his side until the blue woman closed the door.
All at once the two of the deeply sighed and without a second thought Kohl dropped to his knees. “Woah!” Axlyn gasped, pulling him back up by his sleeves, “Calm yourself padawan!”
“What are we to do, Master? How did we even get here to begin with?” Kohl looked as though he was about to burst into tears. While Ozhan always seemed to be far different from his padawan, when it came compassion, he and Axlyn were one and the same.
In a quick swipe she pulled Kohl up into her arms and carried him over to a dusty bed. “Now, now, Oryn, a Jedi does not worry. He thinks and plans before he takes any action. He does not panic,” she took of her robe and covered him, “at least not openly.” Axlyn chucked, “do you understand?” Kohl let out a heavy breath and nodded, burying his face in the other padawan’s robe. “Plan – then act.”
“Exactly.” She smiled wide and stood up from the bed, spotting another – dusty, but another – bed across the room.
“Master!” A sharp tug threw Axlyn back onto the mattress. Kohl looked horrified, realizing he had missed the other padawan’s sleeve and – “Damn,” She laughed under her breath, “no wonder the council left you in my care! That was pretty good if you ask me. Not even my own Master could drag me away like that.”
“I’m sorry…” he swallowed hard, looking ashamed at what he had done.
“Sorry? Why?” Axlyn sighed, looking over her shoulder, “You’re afraid, I get that, Kohl, more than most.”
“But fear is not the Jedi way, Master Yoda said that fear leads to the dark side of the Force...”
She had nearly forgotten how many questions a child could possibly ask. How her Master could do it was… difficult to believe. “You will soon learn that just because it is easy to use your emotions to unlock your abilities, does not mean it is right. The dark side is known by civilians for being stronger, for having unbelievable power; but that is far from true. Anger, fear, these things are used to ‘control’ the Force by the Sith. We need to understand the dark side to become a Jedi. Recognize that your ability does not need emotion to be used. Do you understand?”
“Don’t use the dark side of the Force to unlock a power you already have within, simply because it’s easier.”
Axlyn grinned proudly, giving the padawan a quiet applause, “No one could ever make sense of my words as a kid, maybe the only issue was I should’ve spoken to someone younger than me. Now, why’d you use the Force of all things to drag me back here, what’s wrong?”
Kohl’s smile faded and a shy expression turned upon his face. “I don’t want to be alone, Master.”
It’d been nearly a decade since Axlyn had been away from Master Ozhan and she had nearly forgotten what is was like to be with the other initiates. They’d all clump together in the center of the sleeping chamber and tell each other stories from the archives. Being yanked away from all that and shoved into an unknown ship like this but have been horrifying for Kohl. At least when Axlyn became a padawan she was still at the temple.
“Alright then, but I do have a strict rule: don’t steal my blasted blanket, kid!”
Axlyn patiently waited until the padawan was dead asleep before she even dared to move. She went to the door, checking to see if it was locked – it was… “Blast it.” She hissed. She gripped her fists tight, knowing if she let her anger get the best of her Kohl would be awoken within a split second.
“Hard to unlock a living ship, isn’t it, Jedi?” a thump hit the other side of door.
Kyle, she thought, what the hell was he doing here?
‘Having fun in there? Want me to let you out?” Kyle laughed, “Maybe you can fix your ship.”
“That would be great.” Axlyn growled, trying to swallow her pride. Suddenly with a shwoop the door slid open. Kyle cocked his brows, looking over at Kohl, “Leaving the kid here? You aren’t concerned for his well being?” Axlyn grit her teeth glaring over, “He can handle himself just fine. There shouldn’t be anything to harm him anyways, right?”
“Of course not. Now, if you could come this way – we’ve moved your ship to a more convenient area.” He turned around, now facing the Jedi as he blindly led her down the hall. “Speaking of your ship, you wouldn’t mind if I asked you a few questions, would you?”
“Sure, I didn’t think you would mind if I asked you a few questions myself, would you?”
“Ask all the questions you like.” Axlyn sighed, but that doesn’t mean you’ll get an answer.
“Good,” said Kyle, turning another corner, “then tell me, Jedi, where exactly do you come from?”
She had recited this more than a thousand times, “My name is Axlyn Crichton, a Jedi padawan of the Galactic Republic.” Kyle stopped mid-step, growling a curse beneath his breath, “That was no help at all, what even is a Jedi?”
“I thought I’ve gave enough information to you before, but we’re peacekeepers. We serve to protect and defend the Galactic Republic and it’s people.”
“So you’re soldiers?”
That was a loaded question – especially now. “We are whatever our people need us to be.”
He rolled his eyes, raising his brows in distaste. “So you’re magical soldiers that use glow sticks and lift things up with your mind?”
Axlyn bit her lip, trying not to laugh. She had heard some strange titles for Jedi, but this had to be one of the best. “Not exactly,” she said, “we use the Force, like I said before. It’s a life force that surrounds us all-”
“Sounds like a load of dren to me. Or some religious cult.” He turned back away from her, “I don’t care anyways, whatever you have is an asset, real useful during a war.”
“That’s the point… at least to Supreme Chancellor Palpatine.”
“Eh, I knew a Palpatine once, total dick, huge junkie. Gotta say though, he had the best dunko you’ve ever seen.”
Axlyn cleared her throat, trying not to show her confusion. She couldn’t help but think of how odd this man was. His character is so screwed up…
“Hey Jedi, this way.” She glanced up to see Kyle looking around a nearby corner. Snapping out of her train of thought she quietly apologized and went to catch up. “Hey, when can I ask you a question?”
“When you can follow me without nearly running into a wall.”
Axlyn grit her teeth, trying not to argue. She straightened her uniform and with a final scoff she turned the corner to meet up with her new shipmate. However, before she could even look up from her feet something gripped onto her Padawan braid and threw her against the wall.
“Damn, I thought you were done trying to kill me!” Axlyn barked, trying to breathe against Kyle’s heavy hand pressing against her chest. “Never said I was trying to kill you,” her growled, that slime-eating grin returning to his face, “Now, time to ask the real questions. Where the frell did you get the name Crichton at, hm?”
Axlyn had no idea what to say. What was going through this man’s mind? “…It’s my family’s name…?” Seriously? She thought.
His brows furrowed in thought. A brief, awkward silence made the air feel thick as Kyle twisted Axlyn’s braid through his fingers. “Sure, then who are your parents?”
“Great question. I have no idea,” she scoffed, “I was given to the Jedi Temple when I was born.”
“So you were kidnaped?”
All she wanted to do was spend the next hour groaning out of frustration. “No, I was given to the Jedi. I don’t know much about my birth, Master Obi Wan Kenobi found me. I was born to drug addicts who barely knew she was pregnant. End of story, mother died in childbirth and I don’t give a damn where the father is.”
The was a long pause once more and then at last, with a curse under his breath, Kyle let go of the Jedi, giving her a final slam before turning away from her. “Frell!”
“Listen, I have no idea what’s going on—“
“Of course you don’t!” He scoffed, burring his head in his hands, “You don’t know a damn thing.” Axlyn wasn’t going to argue with her education.
“Tell me, do you even know who John Crichton is?”
“…I can’t say that I do.”
Kyle grit his teeth, barely able to look at her. “Galaxies were in turmoil, the universe was at its breaking point due to a war.” He muttered Crichton saved us — all of us… but now he’s not here when we need him the most and he descendants just don’t have what it takes. I thought — for a split second perhaps someone with the same name like you could help us fight the Scarrans. I was wrong, once more.”