The Republic Rallies

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The Republic Rallies

Post by TheRedChair on Sat Aug 06, 2011 3:27 pm

Deep in the forested highlands...

The hermit was naked save for a worn linen wrap that covered his legs and midriff. He crouched by the side of a stream, feet planted firmly on the smooth rocks that banked the flow, feeling his fingers below the glassy, white waters. He could see two tadpoles weaving through the waters like comets, dancing their way across the stream until they disappeared into a blanket of moss.

His hair was long, past his shoulders, dark and dirty. His face was bare not from grooming, but from lack of growth. His eyes reflected the tranquility of his surroundings. He was strong, lean-- dark and grizzled, and for a long time, this had been his life. But all was changing.

He had felt the change in the air, like a storm moving into the valley. This part of Alderaan was unoccupied, scarcely traversed, and more rarely visited. But he had known they were coming even before they stepped into their speeders in Crevasse City.

The hermit stood and turned around, walking back to his hovel, each step planted surely and soundly with firm confidence. There was a clunking as the men approached his hovel, far off to his right, still within the cover of the forested path. As they broke the small clearing towards the hermit's abode he sighed. War was coming, and with it all of its gifts of violence, and pain, and suffering-- plagues he thought he had abandoned a lifetime ago.

"You bring grave tidings," he said, addressing one of the visitors. He was bold and tall, but without true strength. Still, principal shaped this man, as it did all of his family. Aril Caligar, of the famous family. Many Caligars had gone on to become great politicians, and soldiers, and even jedi-- this one was a whelp and a youngling, barely into the second decade of his life, yet in his life force the hermit detected that drive that had led the family to such heights of greatness. The Caligars had helped bring Alderaan into the Republic nearly two centuries ago. Now, it would seem, they took it upon themselves to try and hold it together.

"You know why I have come, then?" he asked. He was flanked by three men-- two military officers, by the look of them, and another. The third wore no armor, no blaster. Only his austere and modest robes, and, at his belt, a small... lightsaber. A jedi, this one.

"Many have died. I sensed it." Aril said nothing but sighed ominously. He looked at the other three, then, turning back, came closer to the hermit and put his hands on his hips, leaning against a tree.

"Sith," the jedi said. "The entire planet of Mon Calamari has been put to the torch by the invaders. We know little, but we know enough to call their leader by his name, his title. Darth Galaticus."

"I have not heard of sith, or any Darth, in my life," the hermit answered. "But I know of Mon Calamari."

"They are foul things, and you are off much the better," the jedi replied.

"Galaticus employed some kind of heat ray. Boiled the planet's surface to skeletons and cinders." The hermit nodded.

"And now the Republic rallies-- is that it?" One of the officers, a grizzled man, stepped forward, his armor decorated only with the scars of many battles and the paint of a few ranks.

"The Republic summons those who would see her live. If you would prefer the galaxy to burn-- then I hear Darth Galaticus is very open-handed when it comes to treacheries." The jedi eased the soldier away, and turned back to face the hermit.

"Samur," Aril said, his tone hinting his beggary. "The Republic has need of you. Of your students. Of your swords." At this, Samur laughed loudly, and looked at the jedi.

"You have their swords, Aril. What you are asking me for is bodies, is it not?" Aril looked at him and stumbled for an answer. Samur held his hand up. "I have spent many years teaching, Caligar boy, in these woods. My students have spent many years in my tutelage, but may I tell you something? A secret? It is I who have been learning, Caligar. I have been the student all along. And nothing, in all the years of my life-- and they are not few-- has taught me more than these trees, these mountains and hills and this stream. I--" the soldier interrupted, and stepped forward.

"We are not your students, hermit. But as fellow citizens of the greatest institution in this galaxy, or any other, we ask you-- now that innocents burn on faraway planets, can we count on you?" Samur looked at him, his eyes a reflection of his state of tranquility.

"Tomorrow, I shall rally the students. Tell your leaders you have our swords."

TheRedChair

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