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 The Gray Paladin (Dustin's shade training)

Discussion in 'Independent Factions Archives' started by D.C., May 8, 2011.

  1. D.C.

    D.C. Shaman

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    The Gray Paladin
    Dustin’s Shade Training



    A stranger arrived in the enclave on Thyferra, through the front gates. He walked onto the courtyard. Some Shades looked at him in surprise, wondering who he was and what he was doing here. The gunslinger tipped his hat and smiled to them, but they didn’t smile back. The Shades seemed to be a little bit suspicious about him. That would hopefully change soon, though.

    So he wore a hat. The upper part of his face, from his nose, was hidden under the hat’s rim. He also wore a plain white t-shirt and grey pants, along with black leather boots. He carried his dark long coat over his left shoulder, because it was too hot to wear a long coat that day. Because of this, the two revolvers at his sides could be seen by anyone as they shimmered in the sunlight. He wore a red scarf too, one that would keep the dust out of his mouth when he’s on a dusty planet, but also added to his ‘wildwest look’.

    His pack hung on his right shoulder, on its strap. What he carried inside the pack wasn’t important; just a few supplies and some food.

    So this is it then, Dustin thought. This is that temple Kalen told me about… Sure looks pretty. He looked at the enormous building. He was amazed; his blue eyes were wide open.

    He was told to meet a certain Shade Master here, a Council Member. Julius was her name… Astraia… That’s right, Astraia Julius. He glanced at the datapad he was holding in his left hand. “Daughter of a former Grandmaster,” he read, “Aleyn Julius.”

    He looked up to the temple again and sighed. For the first time, he was a little nervous. For the first time, he wasn’t sure of what he was getting himself in to.

    Right… he thought. Here goes…
     
  2. Emma Lou

    Emma Lou Active Member

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    Astraia knew she was expecting a new apprentice and it annoyed her a bit. She was not the people person that her mother had been. She had said over and over that she would prefer administration and missions to training, but when there were not many masters...she had no choice.

    She looked down at the chromo that rested on her bare pale arm and then up again. He was late. Figures. Kalen had specifically wanted her to train him and perhaps it was a test on her patience. She could feel the wind whipping through her hair and was quite pleased she had worn the black mane down today. She loved that feeling. As for dress, she wore a a pair of black pants and a dark blue shirt with her utility belt slug across her slender waist. She looked exactly like her mother had at this age.

    Okay, she thought, he better get here soon. As the thoughts floated around her head she saw someone. A tall man who looked like he had just stepped out of a western holodrama. No, she thought again, please don't let it be him.
     
  3. D.C.

    D.C. Shaman

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    But it was him. Whether she likes it or not; that bloke from the western holodrama was Dustin Crowe.

    At first he couldn't find her. He looked at his datapad again and saw a picture of what Astraia Julius looked like; so he'd be able to find her in the enclave. He looked up again, searching the courtyard, wondering if she was already here... wondering what she'd be like. Maybe the masters of the Shades were all stern peeps, but maybe they were like Kalen... Kalen seemed to be nice.

    And then he saw her. Black hair, a pretty face, slender... Just... stunning. He raised his eyebrows and looked at the picture on the datapad again. He looked back to Astraia.

    Ok... he thought. So that's really her...

    He tucked the datapad back into his pack and walked over to her. He took off his hat with his right hand and held it against his chest, showing his respect, revealing his face, blue eyes and black hair. So Astraia could see who she was dealing with.

    'Shade Master Astraia Julius,' he said with a slight smile, 'pleased to meet you, ma'am. I am Dustin Crowe. I was sent here by Kalen Navarr to begin my Shade Training.'
     
  4. Emma Lou

    Emma Lou Active Member

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    Astraia was a little unpleased, but as soon as he lifted his hat and introduced herself it all dissipated. It took her few moments to speak.

    "Of course, Kalen told me about you. You're late"

    She had no idea where that tone had come from and she mentally chatised herself for letting it out after he had been so polite.

    "And you can call me Astraia. No ma'am, please. It makes me feel like a old maid"

    She smiled at him, turned, and started walking.

    "Tell me, why us?"
     
  5. D.C.

    D.C. Shaman

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    'Uhm...' he began. He blinked a couple of times. He ran his left hand through his hair and then put up his hat again. 'Why us?' he said, he began to walk alongside her.

    Yes, why them? To be honest: Dustin didn't know. He really didn't. Kalen recommended Astraia, and Dustin just said yes. That's probably why.

    'I'm sorry, ma'am... Astraia... ... Sorry again.' He bit his lip. 'Kalen Navarr told me that you are a talented and good Shade Master,' he went on, in his thick southern Corellian accent, 'he also said that you needed to train some more ... uhm, what did he call them? Ah, damn, I'm still new to this.'

    But then he remembered.

    'O, right, Padawans. Yes. He said that you needed to train some more Padawans. You see, ma--errr--Astraia, I really don't know the first thing about the Force... and I don't know that much about the Order yet. Only what Kalen told me. That you find balance between the Dark Side and the Light Side. O, yea, and lightsword styles. Shii-cha-cho, right?'

    Right after he said that he thought that just sounded stupid. He felt like an idiot and looked down to the floor, as they continued to walk. He hoped his hat would hide that he was blushing.

    'Sorry... Astraia. Forget I said anything. I'm not an idiot... I just sound like one... So, I guess I'll just shut up for now because I'm quite sure what I say doesn't make sense, does it? Could you tell me where we are going, missy?'

    Missy... Damn it...

    'Astraia, I mean. Sorry... again...'

    Right... brilliant start, Dust, just kriffin' brilliant...
     
  6. Emma Lou

    Emma Lou Active Member

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    Astraia couldn't help but let out a small giggle. He was cute and stammering and getting embarrassed. She decided to not give him such a hard time anymore even if it was a little fun to see his reaction.

    "Well, that is interesting, but I meant why you chose the Shade Order"

    She smiled at him, holding back another giggle or two.

    "You really know nothing about the Force? Nothing. Why did Kalen pick you to come here then?"


    She had spoken briefly to him, but not in depth or anything about this man, Dustin Crowe. She was going to have them leave on a mission, but now she was having second thoughts about that. He would get himself killed in two seconds if she gave him a 'lightsword' right now. This was going to be a long and interesting training.
     
  7. D.C.

    D.C. Shaman

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    He could've slapped himself in the face, he really felt stupid at the moment. So, ok... why the Shade Order? Why?

    'Sorry... do I apologize too much? I'm just a little distracted, that's all...' He glanced at her, and was embarassed when he heard her giggle, though he liked the sound of her voice...

    'The Shade Order... because... If it was a Jedi who'd approach me, instead of Kalen Navarr, I probably would've declined the offer. If it was a... what do you call 'em? Bogan... then I would've drawn my revolvers and opened fire on him. From what I've heard about the Jedi is that they are too 'strict', and the Bogan are scary blokes. I'll never embrace the Dark Side, I won't let it destroy me. Kalen Navarr said that the Shade Order uses both the Dark and the Light Side, and Kalen Navarr promised me that the Shades would guide me...'

    Dustin was aware that the other Shades stared at him, surprised by the way he dressed and talked, and surprised to see the shimmering slugthrower revolvers at his sides, instead of a lightsaber. He ignored the stares, but it did make him feel a little uncomfortable. It was as if he didn't belong here, but he figured that'd change soon enough once he'd actually begin training.

    'You see ma--' he smiled, though it was kind of a shy smile. 'Astraia. I mean, I do know something about the Force. Sometimes, in a fight, I suddenly see a vision of what could happen. As if I see a possible future, and then I know how to avoid attacks, and when to move, or when to shoot.

    Sometimes it's like I can... sense other people. Like now... it's kind of weird, but I think I can 'sense' you, if that's the right word for it.

    I can also draw my guns amazingly fast, like no man can and I hardly ever miss when I shoot. Kalen Navarr told me this is the Force. I've always thought of it as some kind of instinct, it's still hard to believe that I'm actually Force Sensitive... That I could become a Force User. I'll admit, Astraia, it's a little scary. Anyhow, this is what I meant when I mentioned guidance. Kalen Navarr promised me the Shades could teach me the ways of the Force, so I can control these ... powers.'

    He wasn't sure how to behave around Astraia. She was a Council Member, and to him, that sounded like she was some sort of High Priestess... or maybe it was like a high commanding officer in the military. Anyway; he couldn't help but respect her. Council Member, that just sounded so impressive; so important. And on top of that; she was beautiful.

    'Astraia... I... I really hope you don't mind that you gotta train me. I realize this ain't gonna be easy, because this all is just... overwhelming, yes it is.'
     
  8. Emma Lou

    Emma Lou Active Member

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    He was so cute as he stood there and stammered on in front of him. She nodded a few times as he spoke, it was really all she could do to keep from giggling.

    "I don't mind"

    By the time she had said that they had come into a huge room that held a beautiful view of the surroundings outside. She wanted to comfort him and tell him that people did not shun him, but the truth was...they did. He was different. She had never seen a Force affinity with guns before. She was going to have to take him out of his comfort zone though and retrain his brain.

    "Shoot me"

    Yes, she knew this would result in more stammering, but it was the only way to show him that he wouldn't last a day against any Force users with those things. She had to show him rather than tell him.
     
  9. D.C.

    D.C. Shaman

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    'Shoot you? Wait, are you serious? I can't... just...'

    He glanced down and saw that the revolvers were already in his hands. He'd even surprised himself with his superhuman speed. The one moment the guns were in the holsters, the next they were in his hands. Instantly.

    He took a deep breath and looked at Astraia again. His coat and pack had both fallen to the floor.

    'I could've pulled the trigger already...' he whispered. He lowered his hands. 'I saw them again... visions. I could've shot you a hundred times... I don't want to do this.'

    He tucked the revolvers back in the holster. 'I can't do this.'

    He didn't ask, but he did wonder why he had to shoot her. Maybe she wanted to show to him that she could avoid bullets, or maybe even block the bullets. It didn't matter to him; he didn't want to shoot. He'd already drawn his revolvers absent mindedly and that kind of scared him. That meant that he could indeed shoot her, and that he could kill her, because when he drew his guns, it would be faster than the eye could see, and in that very instance he could kill. Especially from such a close range.

    Then again... She was a Council Member. What if she really possessed some kind of awesome speed-abilities and could really avoid his slugs?

    Still... it wasn't right. He just couldn't do this. He frowned, and looked at her anxiously.

    He didn't even realize how beautiful the view was.
     
  10. Emma Lou

    Emma Lou Active Member

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    Astraia narrowed her eyes. Morals were good, but now was not the time. The speed in which they had unholstered themselves was impressive. She called her lightsaber to her hand and the purple blade sprang to life with a hiss. She took two steps and was millimeters in front of him in a blink of the eye.

    "You guns will do nothing for you when we fight the Bogan"

    The lightsaber was down to her right side. She had no intention of hurting him.

    "You would be dead right now if I wanted it. Lightsabers can disintegrate your bullets in seconds. You will be dead in seconds...no matter how fast you are"

    She was hoping this would push him to fire them, but she was not sure with his politeness and good thoughts.
     
  11. D.C.

    D.C. Shaman

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    'Astraia!'

    He didn't move away when she suddenly stood before him, but he was impressed. Her lightsaber hummed and he listened to her words, but he really didn't like this.

    'We both would be dead...' he whispered. He looked down and both guns were right in front of her chest. To his shock, he'd even pulled the triggers, yet nothing had happened. Then he remembered his guns had not been loaded, because he didn't want to risk anything inside the Shade Enclave.

    'I'm sorry about this... I failed.' He tucked the revolvers back into the holsters and looked straight into Astraia's eyes. 'It's just that... I just didn't expect this. But I trust you know what you're doing...' He didn't sound that confident when he said that last sentence.

    'Ok, I can try. If you really want me to shoot. Then I'll shoot. Will you give me another chance?'
     
  12. Emma Lou

    Emma Lou Active Member

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    Her lightsaber turned off as her spoke and she let out an audible sigh.

    "You just walked into a new place with no protection? You are incredibly stupid"

    She turned and walked back towards where she was standing before. This was going to be difficult.

    "What did Kalen tell you about the Shade Order?"

    She took a seat on the floor and crossed her legs to sit Indian style. She motioned for him to join her on the floor.
     
  13. D.C.

    D.C. Shaman

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    Stupid? Did she call him stupid? He looked at the revolvers at his sides and sighed. He'd wanted to come across as respectful and he thought it'd be a sign of friendship that he wasn't really armed. But perhaps Astraia was right, it was stupid. Especially after the many years he'd spent traveling through the galaxy. Everywhere he went, those revolvers were loaded...

    He took off his hat and held it loosely in his right hand. 'I know it's stupid,' he said.

    He looked out the window. His blue eyes seemed to glow in the sunlight. His heart was pounding. He couldn't believe what had just happened. First of all, he made himself look like a stupid bloke who doesn't belong here, and then he made it even worse. He looked like an utter idiot, and he knew it.

    'Kalen and I mainly talked about my affinity to the Force and how the Shade Order could help me. He told me that the Order finds balance in the Force, practicing both Light Side and Dark Side techniques. He told me that I would learn how to wield a lightsaber. He told me a man called Cain Ray founded the Order, years ago. I know the names of former Grandmasters. Cain Ray; Belyael Oderyn; Aleyn Julius, your mother; Quentell Xall... That's all, I think.'
     
  14. Emma Lou

    Emma Lou Active Member

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    "And now Kalen"

    She was still waiting for him to sit down so she patted the ground again.

    "Yes, Cain started the Shade Order because he did not agree with the practices of the Jedi. That is the belief we still hold today. We are considered light side, because we are not evil"


    She held her hand up and a practice lightsaber flew to her palm. She held it out to him once he had taken a seat across from her.

    "I know you love your guns, but this is a weapon that you must learn"
     
  15. D.C.

    D.C. Shaman

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    'And now Kalen,' he said after her. He smiled slightly, and then sat down on the floor. He listened to what she said about Cain Ray, and how the Shade Order is consider to be a Light Side faction.

    Then he saw her telekinetically pulling a saber to her hand. His eyes widened when he saw that; he'd only seen a few persons do it and it still amazed him when people used the Force. At the same time he wondered where the weapon came from.

    He looked at the saber in her hand. The training saber. Then he looked up to her face again and nodded.

    'Yes, you're right. Thank you, Astraia.' He reached out with his hand and took the saber. He examined it carefully. It was a standard silver hilt, with a tiny red emitter button on it. That was the first time in his life he'd held a lightsaber. He looked at Astraia again. He placed his hat on the floor and held the lightsaber carefully in both his hands.
     
  16. Emma Lou

    Emma Lou Active Member

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    "They are extremely deadly! They can slice through pretty much anything, including durasteel and bone. Lightsabers are the weapons of Force users. They can deflect blaster bolts and they melt bullets. You understand the importance?"

    She looked at him with a very serious face. This was not something to be taken lightly.

    "Push the button and turn it on"
     
  17. D.C.

    D.C. Shaman

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    Dustin carefully held the hilt in front of him. He looked at the weapon for a while, but then finally pressed the button. With a hiss, the sapphire blade ignited. Dustin stared at the plasma blade.

    The weapon possessed a certain beauty. As it hummed and glowed it did not look like it could truly cut through almost anything. And that was what made the weapon so beautiful. It looked so simple, yet impossible in a way.

    He remembered Kalen wielding his own lightsaber, back on Tatooine, when they first met. And of course Misha, with her doublebladed saber. Those weapons looked so special, and so did this one. He thought about Astraia's weapon, which he'd seen only moments ago.

    He looked at Astraia, and then nodded to her.

    'I will try my best. I will hold the lightsaber, this one and the one I... craft... at the end of the training, with honor.'

    But in the back of his mind he knew he'd never give up his revolvers. For now, however, he wouldn't need the guns, and, he figured, Astraia knew exactly what she was doing. He would listen to her. Do what she said. He'd prove to her that he was worthy of this.
     
  18. Emma Lou

    Emma Lou Active Member

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    She watched him as he looked at the lightsaber in amazement. It was a beautiful thing when someone held their first lightsaber. She was about to make it not so beautiful though. It was unorthodox, but it was how her mother had taught her.

    "Touch the blade"

    She watched the shock register on his face with a smile before she explained.

    "This is a practice saber, it will not kill you or cut off your hand. It will sting and that is less than a tenth of what it feels like to be hit with a real lightsaber. You want to avoid feeling this ever again"

    It was like when police and military were tased during their training. You had to know what it felt like before you could understand it's power. She remembered the pain when she touched her first practice saber at the age of three. Now, it was nothing, but then...it hurt bad!
     
  19. D.C.

    D.C. Shaman

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    Dustin didn't say anything. He raised his hand and slowly moved it towards the blade, but not like he was afraid, more like someone who just didn't know what to expect but yet was curious and wanted to find out. Then he touched the blade and he could feel the sting searing through his fingers, through his hand and through his arm. He bit his lip and closed his eyes, suppressing a scream. He pulled his hand back.

    He looked back to Astraia. He grimaced. It looked like he was about to say something about it, as if he would begin to argue with her now, but he didn't say anything.

    It hurt, that's for sure. It hurt a lot. But he immediately believed her when she said this wasn't even a tenth of what a real saber feels like.

    He nodded to her, and there was no need for words. The look in his bright blue eyes was enough: I understand.
     
  20. Emma Lou

    Emma Lou Active Member

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    Astraia was surprised he did it without question. She had expected him to stammer an argument. At least they were making progress now. She smiled when his eyes met hers. Yes, he understood.

    "The new goal in life is to never feel that again or get hit with a real one. If you do get something cut off the good news is that the would cauterizes. So you may lose a hand, but you won't bleed to death"

    She smiled again. Her sense of humor could sometimes be a little dry.

    "Have you ever fought with a sword before?"