Dawn of Defiance: Buffalo NY

Reflections from Tor part 46

Tor moved around the Defiance, helping to secure things for their departure from Exovar’s. He heard thumping sounds and turned to meet Tull as he boarded the ship. A smile spread over Tor’s face as he took in one of his padawans, massive Jedi robes swathing the barabel. Tor said nothing, but clapped a hand on the lizard’s shoulder as they helped secure the remaining supplies.

Once the ship was safely in hyperspace, Tull asked Tor to his quarters, a puzzled look on his face. “Wizard, do visions always come true?”

Tor paused, curious about what prompted this line of questioning. “The Force can bring powerful insights, Tull,” the camaasi began slowly. “It can show people or events worlds away. It can show the past, the present, or the future.” Tull’s face at the mention of the future, and Tor knew that’s where his concerns lied. “But our actions, or anyone’s for that matter, can change those visions Tull. It’s our decisions, how we choose to react to the events in our lives, that shapes things to come.”

Tull’s face was full of concentration. “Why are you interested in this, Tull?”

“There was a wi…seer on Tull’s world. She had visions involving Tull and Tull just wanted to know…if his destiny, and the destinies of others, are their own.”

Tor thought for some time before responding. “They are, Tull. But who was this woman to you?”

“No one, Wizard. She was no one.”

The Defiance and the Spelljammer came out of hyperspace to the sight of a minefield and massive orbital shield generator over their destination of Felucia.

Things have changed, Tor thought as the ships approached the barricade.

Khalic slid into his seat and his expert fingers flew over the keyboard as the ship’s communications crackled to life. Tor stood behind his young padawan as the Imperials demanded passcodes for passage to the planet. Tor watched as Khalic pulled up a detailed readout of the space ahead of them. Mines, a treacherous and unlikely path smaller than their ships, or the orbital station ahead of them. Tor nodded at Khalic and spoke into the com.

“We’re here representing the Moff of sector 2814, inspecting the area for hunting purposes. He’s been told there is plenty of game down there. Deactivate the shield.”

The Imperials requested documentation but Tor’s younger apprentice was already on it, fingers tapping expertly across the keys as he pulled information from the holonet and beginning to put together a forgery. He stopped after a moment. “It won’t be good enough,” the zabrak said, looking up at Tor.

Tor stretched out to the Force and pulled it closer around them. He put his hand on Khalic’s shoulder. “Focus,” he said gently. “Let your feelings guide you.” Khalic nodded and turned back to the screen, his eyes closing as he made alterations and added to the documents. He tapped the send key and they waited.

“Everything checks out. Deactivating shield.”

Tor smiled at his padawan as Khalic guided the ship to the surface, the Spelljammer close behind.

The ships landed and were ensnared by the local plant life just as they had before. Tor had to smile. The Force was strong on this planet, every plant and animal teeming with it. It was a good place to learn. He looked at Khalic. A good place to grow.

The group took the swoops through the jungle, stopping when they were attacked by a pack of nexu. The fight was short lived, and once it was over, a rustling in the jungle had all on edge except for Tor who smiled and moved towards the sound, their old ally Mandrake emerging from the greenery.

As Mandrake led them back to the Felucian camp, he filled them in on what was happening. The blockade, while looking ominous, had proved beneficial to the Felucians, who wanted nothing more than to be left alone. However, their own raids on the Imperials had prompted further action, and they had been driven into hiding.

By then they had reached the cave where the Felucians were. Tor recognized several of the faces, tousling the heads of children as they passed, nodding and smiling at some of the adults. At the end of the cave, the chief stood and Tor grasped his arm as they approached. The Felucian spoke to Tor, their minds connecting through the Force.

Tor asked about Khalic’s mother, and the chief told him that he would help, if Tor would help the tribe. The camaasi nodded and the chief showed him images of Imperials coming towards them.

The group quickly prepared themselves for a fight and left to where the Imperials were coming, many of the tribes warriors, including the chief’s son once more, going with them.

In the distance Tor could see near a hundred troopers coming over the uneven terrain, approaching a dried riverbed. Behind them an AT-AT burst from the treeline, a smaller AT-ST next to it. Tor studied the situation and turned to the group. “We’ll go for the walkers.”

He looked to Tull. “Let’s take care of those metal monsters.” They jumped onto one of the swoops and took off, Jedi robes flapping wildly in the wind, the others mounting swoops or running on foot towards the troopers.

Blaster fire erupted around them, filling the air with fire and smoke as Tor pulled the swoop higher, swerving and angling toward the AT-ST. As they approached, Tor looked back and gave Tull a quick nod. The barabel rolled off the side of the swoop and landed on the AT-STs roof, the decrease in weight bouncing the swoop and Tor out of the AT-ATs fire. Tor pulled the Force to him, felt its strength all around him and reached a hand toward the behemoth. The walker groaned, metal straining as it rose into the air. Tor turned his hand and the machine crashed to the ground with an impact that shook the trees. Spinning the swoop, Tor kept his concentration and rose the AT-AT again, crashing it once more, its legs crumpled as it lay on its side.

Tor landed the swoop and moved closer to the downed machine, entering near the neck where a large tear had split the durasteel. He picked his way through snapping wires and sparking consoles as he peered inside the cockpit. A scarred man in a captains uniform glared at him from the consoles. He slammed a red button that started an alarm. “Self-Destruct activated.”

Tor’s eyes widened as he backed away quickly, using the Force to speed his movements as he leaped back onto the swoop and kicked it into the air. As he raced towards the AT-ST, Tor yelled, both aloud and through the Force.

TULL! JUMP!

Tull’s head appeared from the two legged walker as he clambered out of the cockpit. He paused for barely a second before launching himself into the air. Tull hung suspended for a tense moment before Tor’s outstretched hand caught him and the barabel flipped onto the back of the swoop. They raced away just as the AT-AT erupted into a massive explosion, the heat and the shockwave washing over them.

“Do you think people will believe that Tull is a Jedi now, Wizard?” Tull called over the wind and fire.

“You’ve always been a Jedi, Tull. Even before you got your lightsaber. It’s a fool who sees only what something is, and not what it might become.”

They flew down towards the others, facing off against the troopers. Tor could feel a strong sense of purpose and satisfaction from Tull, his padawan finally realizing his larger role in the galaxy.

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