The First Jedi 6:
by Fur and Fantasy
full contents and notes located at the bottom of the file
Master Kiernan looked out over the collection of students beginning their lightsaber training in his class. The green-skinned Twi'lek had taught this class many times before, but each time usually brought something new.
To judge by some of his students, this time wouldn't be an exception. RakiJedi-KurraConnor, Raki for short, the first Ka-Karur Initiate, had been there for about three months, and the Council had decided that it would be a good time to begin his lightsaber training. His glossy black adult plumage, razor sharp and deadly in it's own right, was only apparent along his back and tail, the rest of his body still displaying soft crystalline fluff in a range of dark hues. In a few months when his feathers made him a walking weapon, his kin would begin to train him to use his body in ways few could manage.
He had no doubts the timing of the Council's decision had something to do with that timing. A Jedi's first weapon should be their lightsaber, not their body. In watching the youth, only 9 months old, move and settle into the middle of the group, he also was sure that the choice had not been premature. Three months ago, the Ka-Karur had rarely made it though a day without some kind of coordination issue. Now, it was clear that he had adjusted to his long legged, hundred and some pound frame and learned to use his tail as the balancer it was meant to be.
"Everybody select a training lightsaber from the rack near the door," he informed them and watched each student carefully. A great deal could be determined by what they chose, and how they made that choice. "They are all equal in ability; simply choose one that feels right."
Raki did something new first time students did; he closed his eyes and relaxed, letting one of the weapons call to him and used a telekinetic pull to claim it without even looking at it.
It was a good choice; the hilt was one of the few long enough to accommodate the Ka-Karur's long, slender fingers with ease. Some of the other students did the same; others inspected and even picked up several before finally choosing one. Jorrdu, a Codru-Ji still in the armless, six-legged stage of development, took longest, looking for a light, well-balanced one that she could manipulate with the Force rather than with her forepaws or mouth. Before long, they had all chosen a blade and assembled themselves in the tight group that was normal for classes.
"Cysion, Burrupup, you are to select only one weapon." He addressed the two students whose instincts would be to claim several. The A'merian, one for each of her three set of hands and the floating Octgorian one for each of his ten tentacle arms. "When you are more advanced you will be allowed to use more.
"Yes, Master Kiernan." The 6 armed orange and red skinned girl with three faces around her head nodded in understanding.
"*Yes, Master Kiernan.*" Burrupup acquiesced and put two of his three selections down.
"Make sure you each have at least a solid pace between you and every student next to you," Master Kiernan warned them and watched the group, particularly the less standard body types like Raki, Jorrdu and Burrupup, spread out to give themselves and their neighbors plenty of room. "Tight quarters aren't the best ones to be learning how to do this in. You want plenty of room to move in, and the room's large enough for it."
He watched and waited while the students finished spreading out, giving him a clear line of sight to each of them as well as giving them room to move in.
"Find the activation switches on your lightsaber. If you can't be sure at a glance which end is the blade, hold it sideways when you ignite it," the Twi'lek explained. "If you eventually choose to learn dual-blade techniques, this will be particularly important, but for now all the available blades are of the typical sort for beginning trainees. A single blade, roughly half a meter long, taking its color from the primary crystal. Activate your lightsabers."
It only took a moment before the ten students had their weapons activated, some more sure of themselves than others but no one surprised by the energy blade that flared to life in their hands.
"The blades most of you are using are roughly half the size of a standard lightsaber," he explained, igniting his own green blade. "Those of you with smaller builds, or who choose to use a two-saber technique, will likely train with blades no larger than the ones you are using now for most of your careers. Take your lightsabers in two hands, if you are capable of doing so, and raise them into a ready stance." He demonstrated himself, raising his blade in front of his face, a position that could be used defensively or offensively. "Take note of how it feels, particularly moving the blade. What is the first thing you notice?"
"They are bright." Raki answered, almost surprised by it; one of the two Siamese twins in the back about to snicker at the comment before Master Kiernan silenced him with a mental warning.
"It has no perceptible weight, Masrer." Cysion, the female A'merian answered with her dominant, forward-facing face.
"Very good, Cysion," the Twi'lek agreed. "And you are right as well, Raki, though you see more than the rest do. The energy flows in a lightsaber, even a training model, are rather unique.
"As for the point Cysion raised, that is the primary reason the lightsaber is as dangerous, and effective, as it is. To the observer, it is the power of the blade to carve through blast-grade steel. To the trained wielder, it is the ability of the blade to be moved in any direction without concern for momentum. But in the hands of those without sufficient training, it is possible to harm yourself. Who can tell me how you would know where the blade is with your eyes closed?"
"You can feel it in the Force, or by knowing how you are holding it, Master Kiernan." Raki offered up, delighted by a class that asked him questions and had him thinking.
"Both proper methods, Raki, very good," Kiernan nodded. "Particularly sensing it in the Force. Knowing how your are handling your blade is crucial, but in the heat of combat it isn't always easy. I don't think I need to tell anyone why losing track of the blade of your lightsaber in a fight is potentially disastrous.
"This is also the primary reason we train most Jedi to wield their blades two-handed," he continued, "the way you are learning now. Two hands gives you two points of control, and two points that can stop a potentially lethal mistake. For our first few lessons, you will simply be practicing how to move your lightsabers properly. Actual combat techniques will come later. Remain conscious of your actions, and draw a simple triangle in front of you," he told them, indicating the motions he wanted with his green blade, watching them for any difficulty.
Cysion, Raki and Burrupup, all three with a superior sense of space, had no difficulty. Jorrdu was very slow about it, but accurate. Her telekinetic control was good and with a little practice she would be fine.
"Close, but you need to extend the base, Chado." He told the tri-colored Wolf.
"Yes, Master." He nodded and tried again.
"A bit taller, Rys," he told the Siamese in the back, the male nodded and started over, replicating it this time. "Very good, all of you. Now, understand this. The lightsaber is a weapon, first and foremost. As such, save in training or a duel, you should never ignite your weapon unless you are prepared to use it in battle. Throughout your careers, you will see many Jedi do otherwise, but until you are aware of the situations in which this is the proper action, you should not follow their example."
"Understood, Master." The class nodded in acceptance of the rule.
"For the rest of the lesson, questions will be mixed with practice," he explained. "Mirror what I do with my lightsaber while you answer. Who can think of a non-combat situation where you'd want to use your lightsaber?" He asked them, drawing a simple circle in the air with his green blade.
"To cauterize a wound when you have no medical supplies or fire?" Burrupup offered, his fluidic stone and metallic skin glittering in the light as he moved his long tentacle arms.
"To cut through a barrier when other methods have failed." Tekika suggested, her focus mostly on what she was doing, rather than what she was saying.
"In a display of skill, Master Kiernan." Raki added, utterly fascinated by his lightsaber's blade and its movements as he duplicated what the Twi'lek did.
"When all other methods have failed, Tekika, you would be right. However, there are often a surprising number of ways to get around a barrier that don't involve going straight through it. Can anybody offer up other alternatives to a lightsaber for the other reasons that were given?"
He wasn't too surprised when nobody seemed to be coming up with an answer; it wasn't at all uncommon for fairly recent Initiates, most of who did not have a good understanding of the range of things the Force could do.
"While a lightsaber can be used to cauterize a wound, the Force is a better means of healing," he explained, signaling for a square once everybody had managed the circle. "With a lightsaber, it is possible to slip and inflict a more grievous wound; this is not possible with the Force. Raki, could you clarify your response? Why would you want to use a lightsaber in a display of skill?"
"A lightsaber is very important to a Jedi, and our primary weapon, Master Kiernan." He began very seriously while creating the more difficult square. "As such, wielding it is an important skill for a Jedi. Such skills are to be displayed when making your presentation to the breeding females so they can select the best sires for their eggs. As a strong sensitive and our first Jedi, I will be expected to attend several mating rites in my lifetime as missions allow."
Master Kiernan had trained several years worth of Initiates before, even seen some of his trainees go on to become leading duelists among the Padawans ... even the very young Knights. He had heard Raki's initial suggestion several times before, and honestly thought he'd heard every response an Initiate would make to his request for a reason.
The young Ka-Karur had just proven him quite wrong, and Kiernan was afraid that it showed as he stopped in the middle of repeating the square to make sure that they could match the size.
"That ... is a different reason than I usually hear," he admitted.
"I understand, Master Kiernan." Raki acknowledged simply, unperturbed by his teacher's surprise. "I have been told that our system is fairly unusual."
"It ... seems to be," Master Kiernan agreed, suspecting that Raki knew about it mostly on an academic level at this point. "However, a display of skill in a controlled situation, where the point is to display one's skill with a lightsaber, is another acceptable situation, and is similar to a duel. Beyond those situations, why would you want to display your skill? Anybody?"
Mys and Rys, the pairbonded twin Siamese Cats in back, glanced at each other before Mys spoke.
"To stop a fight before it starts?" She said a bit uncertainly.
"That is a more common reason," Kiernan nodded, making a mark of three intersecting lines. "Many young Jedi believe that flashing their lightsaber is a good way to make people listen to them, whether it be to stop a fight or get them to cooperate. Who can tell me the problem with this?"
"Because we should only ignite our lightsaber when we expect to use it in battle." Raki repeated the instructor's instructions, taking a lesson from his earlier classes and choosing his own words for it.
"A weapon is a poor choice of methods to bring peace." Wiliran piped up, the Von's peaceful racial heritage showing strong even at her young age. "Once it is drawn, the stakes go up and violence is more likely, not less likely."
"Very good, both of you," Master Kiernan nodded. "Wiliran is particularly correct. Further, the people of the Republic respect the Jedi as forces for justice and the Republic's law. If we resort to violence, or threats of it, to solve all our problems, we will lose the respect of the people."
The class nodded and made a general indication of acceptance and at least partial understanding.
"That will be enough for today," Master Kiernan decided. "From now on, when you are igniting or extinguishing your lightsaber outside of battle, you should hold it off to the side of your dominant limb, the right if you have more than one," he said, demonstrating by bringing his own down to the begin/cease stance for a duel. "However, if you have a practice opponent or teacher with you, wait to actually extinguish it until you are told. Find the stance," he instructed them, keeping an eye on Jorrdu, Cysion, Burrupup, and Raki to see if their non-standard humanoid bodies would give them any trouble and was pleased that they all had enough orientation to follow the instructions.
"Good. Extinguish your lightsabers." He ordered and did so himself. They followed suit, and he holstered his hilt.
"For now, return your 'sabers to the storage racks," he told them. "Once we have progressed a bit further, you will be allowed to keep a personal trainer, but that's a few days off."
"Understood, Master Kiernan." The group bowed to him and went to put their weapons where they had found them.
"You may leave. Mys, Rys, please stay for a moment."
The two Siamese looked at each other, but nodded as the rest of the class filed out.
"I think you surprised Master Kiernan," Wilira giggled to Raki once they were out.
"Yeah, he actually froze." Tekika added with a chirping snicker. "Bet that doesn't happen often."
"I just told the truth." Raki objected.
"We know," Wilira whistled. "But people don't expect things like that around here, and they haven't had a few months to get to know you yet."
"I think I'd like to though." T'andar piped up, encouraged by the much larger predator's demure reaction.
"Join us for a meal?" Raki was happy for the change of topic.
"Sure," the Chadra-Fan whistled cheerfully. "Main cafeteria?" He asked.
"Sounds good to me." Raki nodded and the group shifted their direction to head for the cafeteria. "You are a Chadra-Fan?"
"Yes," T'andar nodded easily. "Not many of us here, but that's part of the fun, isn't it?" He said with a grin.
"It's certainly different." Raki nodded, not completely sure what to say about the idea that being away from his kind was 'fun'.
"So, how do you like it here?" T'andar asked as got on the lift, starting for the cafeteria.
"I like it. There is a lot to do, a lot to see and experience and the flock on Coruscant comes to visit often. Class was a rush." Raki perked up seriously, his full and fluff feathers glittering as he fluffed them up.
"Wasn't it?" T'andar grinned, his broad ears flicking about. "It'll be incredible when we start really training. I just hope I can keep up with everybody else."
"You seem to have the agility and focus to do fine." Raki pointed out. "I did get to watch you in class."
"Yeah, but when you guys upgrade to regular sized 'sabers, T'andar and I will be sticking with the shorter models," Wilira pointed out. "Definitely need two hands just now."
"But you should be able to keep up with us for now at least," Tekika pointed out.
"Yeah," T'andar agreed. "Just a little worried about what'll happen when I have to duel somebody with one of the bigger ones."
"Do you really think you won't be trained to do just that?" Raki looked between the two of them in near-disbelief. "Vor and Chadra-Fan are both known races. You are not the only smaller races here either."
"When you're looking up at everybody else, knowing that what they'll be swinging at you is taller than you are is a little intimidating," T'andar pointed out.
"Don't worry about it too much," Wilira said easily. "We'll keep up - besides, it's easier to duck from our level."
"And you can hit in ways that are much harder to block." Raki added. "You could run right between the legs of an adult Ka-Karur."
"True," T'andar said, shrugging slightly. "Doesn't matter too much now; we'll see what develops. For now, there's dinner, and time to talk about things that have happened, instead of will."
"Yeah, they're serving eboyachie today." Tekika clapped her hands excitedly as Raki clicked indulgently at her excitement over the roasted insect dish. "What a day this is."
"Yeah; lightsaber lessons, good food, and meeting new friends," T'andar agreed cheerfully. "Definitely one of the better ones!"
As the Initiates walked into the cafeteria, going to select their meals, they didn't go unnoticed.
"Well, it seems the new Initiates are settling in nicely," Master Bral observed, the Gecko taking a bite of his lunch as he sat with one of his colleagues.
"Indeed," the Panther next to him nodded, her eyes wandering from the foursome that had just come in to the slightly older Panther tom. "Good looking group too."
"Agreed," he nodded. "Strong, capable ... I suspect the Ka-Karur student will prove to be quite adept, from what I've heard already."
"It will be interesting to hear what Master Kiernan says about him." Master Nattika nodded. "Do you think the Council has plans for his Master already?"
"They may," He admitted. "But I doubt they do this young... it would be exceedingly unusual if they did, at any rate."
"He is the first of his race," she reminded him. "They tend to be a little more careful with those, especially with his people are paying such close attention. Mess this one up, and we may never get another Ka-Karur Initiate."
"That is a concern, but do you ever remember the Council planning on a Master for a student as young as he is?" The Gecko pointed out. "Either way, I must admit to being intrigued. He is unique, after all, at least for the time being."
"And with it taking eighty years for him to arrive, he may be for some time." She smiled faintly at her friend. "You always did have a soft spot for the unusual."
"Like attracts like," the Gecko chuckled, blinking his bulbous eyes. "There aren't exactly many of my kind here either. Though from what I remember of Master B'lyn's reports, it may be that we'll see another in far less time than it took for the first to arrive."
"That would be good." Master Nattika nodded. "I recall them being very social from the reports. However the ages work out, I expect it would be good for him to have another Jedi of his kind."
"Yes. Even with the Ka-Karur on Coruscant, it won't be easy for him," Master Bral mused. "Of course, if another does arrive while he's still in training, it would only make sense to search for partnered Masters for the both of them."
"And expect them to be partnered when they're knighted." She chuckled to herself. "Good thing you work well with others. He'll be a Padawan before another comes in, most likely."
"Quite possibly," Master Bral agreed with a chuckle. "And also a good thing that I'm not addicted to field work, like some of us are."
"I think that would take you out of the running right there. So what's your take on that Panther?" She nodded towards the youth she'd been looking at before.
He paused, considering him, cocking his head slightly as he weighed what he could see.
"It isn't my place to predict what will come, but I don't think he's going to work out," the Gecko said softly, making sure that he couldn't be heard beyond the table he was at. "I could be wrong though; Force knows it's happened often enough before."
Nattika nodded in acceptance and cast her gaze about again, but found little as interesting to her in the room. Five decades had taught her well to trust his reading of the Force, and especially of people, regardless of his disclaimer.
"I think he's looking at you." She nudged Bral's mind towards Raki.
The Gecko looked back at Raki, smiled and nodded his head towards the Ka-Karur, who went back to eating after a moment.
"I know that look," he chuckled. "He's 'looking' at us looking at him. He sees, but doesn't understand what he's seeing."
"Not yet anyway," Nattika added. "Hard to believe he's only nine months old."
"Moreso for a mammal, but his people do mature quickly," Master Bral chuckled. "I suspect he'll surprise many of his teachers over the next few years."
"Most interesting ones do." She smiled slightly and took a bite of her steak. "Especially with that eidetic memory, though with the gap in his age compared to his physical maturity, it's probably what is allowing him to catch up on academics so well."
"I don't doubt it," he agreed. "A good amount of rote learning he'll have to pick up faster than normal."
"You know you are going to be in the spotlight of everybody if he's your Padawan."
"I think I could handle it," Bral chuckled. "Though it's a fairly moot point for some time yet. Even as fast as he ages, it won't be less than five or six years before he's ready."
"About the same time as his roommates," Nattika mused. "I doubt by chance, either."
"Easier to keep them together. And it doesn't hurt that they won't get so curious as to cut themselves, as his feathers get harder."
"Quite true." Nattika nodded.
"Ready to see some of the older Initiates?" Bral suggested.
"I believe so," she nodded easily and stood with her tray. "Not that you haven't already chosen."
"It never hurts to have backup plans," the Gecko chuckled as they left the cafeteria.
The First Jedi 6: Fight Fights
22 KB, Story is Complete, Series is in Progress
Written November 5, 2005 by Rauhnee Ranshanka and Karl Wolfemann
Setting: Star Wars (Furry)
Primary Races: Archaeopterix, Ka-Karur (Night Raptor), Tiss'shar, Vor
Contents: Furry. Gen.
Blurb: Raki has his first lightsaber lesson.
Disclaimer: All things taken directly from the sources listed under 'Fandoms' belong to the owners of those shows. No harm is intended and we're definitely not making any money. Now, the things we created are ours, and if you see 'Non-FanFic' up there, it's probably all ours.
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