Friday, March 27, 2009

Book 1: Dawn of the Jedi: Excerpt #2

Hey! Here is the second excerpt. Honestly, it's not as good as the first, but it gives a little background information so I figured it would be good to put out there. Thanks for reading!

Kovi opened the door to his comfortable apartment. It had been a long walk. He had just left the Temple from one of his students' induction ceremonies. As head of the Jedi Council on Coruscant, it was Kovi's duty to lead induction ceremonies for new council members. Draen, the young knight that had been member-shipped, had wanted Kovi to lead the ceremony anyway. The two had been good friends for almost 15,000 years.
Kovi was well-built and muscular at two meters tall. He commanded a dominating presence that shrunk anyone who dared to oppose him. His snow-white hair contrasted well with his dark skin, but what really made people uncomfortable were Kovi's eyes. They were a bright piercing blue. Looking into them could send you into an alternate reality or even stasis, some said, if you looked too long.
Despite all of Kovi's intimidating features, he never took advantage of them. He was a gentle giant that cared for and loved everyone he came in contact with. He loved people and offered words of advice to anyone that asked. He would take advice willingly and interestedly as well. the senators that comprised the Galactic Republic offered their greatest respect. A 15,000-year-old individual seemed to demand that kind of respect anyway.
Kovi loved his home in the senate district of the Galactic Capital of Coruscant. He resided mainly in the Jedi Temple, but maintained a small, comfortable home in the neighborhoods surrounding it as well, for sentimental and family reasons. He also held office in the Senate Rotunda. As part of the Senate itself for so many millennia, people respected his understanding of the inner-workings of a galaxy-wide democracy. He had even held the office of Chancellor for several thousand years. Now, he devoted all his time to the growth of the Jedi, and to the Force. He loved it there. He loved the people he worked and lived with. This really was his calling. His home. His life.
And now he had left. He had finished the induction ceremony for his long-time student, congratulated him, and immediately left the council chambers. No one stopped him. The doors to Kovi's quarters snapped open fifty meters before he stepped through. His walk was confident as he approached the open doorway.
No one knew where Kovi was headed, except that he was leaving the Order. Confusion had settled over the huge, architecturally magnificent building that day as the members of the Jedi Order heard. Kovi couldn't let anyone know where he was headed. He had another life to live. A mission. A place to start over. He had to do this for himself, and for his family.
Kovi walked through the heavy kargona doors and headed straight upstairs for the equipment closet in his bedroom. Grandmaster Aranaeus' quarters were rather conservative. Although very large, his rooms held a touch of simplicity and a taste of audacity, a perfect match for his personality. He was happy about that. He designed it.
Right then, however, Kovi wasn't thinking about the calming space, soft colors, and curving edges of the rooms he had occupied for 14,000 years. All he could think about was getting out.
Kovi took the stairs one at a time with a sure step. Before he turned the corner at the top of the stairs, he paused at the full-length, full-wall window.
Looking out over the layout of the upper courtyards of the Temple and beyond through the skylanes and many skyscrapers poking out of the lush forests of Coruscant, Kovi couldn't help but reminisce. So many memories came rushing back to him as he watched the younger children being ushered back to their quarters for dinner by Meeka, his mother.
Meeka was so calm, so loving. She was one of the greatest women in the galaxy, with quoted wisdom spread throughout. Many people looked up to her and wondered why she wasn't more involved with public affairs. She only responded that she loved the children and would fulfill her calling. So she continued to be their caretaker; their 'mother'.
Kovi would miss his regal, powerfully wise mother. He knew he would, but he couldn't stay. He had a job to do; a life to start.
Kovi jerked his head away from the window and resumed his rhythmic step through the ornate doors into his bedroom. As he chastised himself for losing focus, he felt a solitary tear forge a path down his left cheek.
The large, comfortable bed held no temptation for Kovi as he determinedly walked towards the equipment room's double doors. The kargona slid open smoothly as he gave a swift wave of his right hand.
Kargona metal was a resilient and sure-faced material. Kovi used it in everything he had ever designed, and would hope for nothing less from the rest. It provided for tough security, a light-weight economy, and a good dark color for a comfy, mind-altering clarity. Kargona was a native element to the planet Kiven, the birthplace of the Force. It was here that Kovi and six others found the Force and began the legacy now known as the 'peacemakers' or the 'guardians'. The word 'jedi' itself translated into 'guardian of peace' in the twi'lek's native tongue.
Any substance, organic or non-, being native to a force-infused planet provides for special attributes. Not only does the said substance maintain invisibility within the Force, but resistance against it. Kovi only used this material in its pure form when protecting something invaluable to him and the Jedi High Council. Kargona can also be programmed to react only to certain types of Force fluctuations. Like a combination wall-pad or a repulsor-locked speeder which both require a specific set of numbers to activate. These specific Kargona doors responded only to Kovi and his wife Alea. Through these, lied Kovi's goal.
He didn't slow his step as he opened the doors and proceeded to walk through. Directly in front of him, about five meters' distance from him sat two waist-high transparisteel cargo containers. One contained all Kovi's clothing, casual or formal, including any armour. The other container held any and all ranged weaponry he owned. The rest of the room had been emptied into the boxes save for a small black backpack leaning against the wall to the left of the doors. It contained all financial needs, small trinkets, and medical supplies he would be needing for his departure. The one thing he didn't have, was his lightsaber.
A regal weapon, and the lifeline of a Jedi Knight, Kovi's lightsaber was no exception. It sang of ancient power and millennia worth of knowledge and learning. The solid hilt proudly told of pre-history and rang with an understanding of the deepest waves and bindings of the Force itself. Besides the beautiful, artifact-worthy hilt, Kovi's lightsaber contained even more. The blade was of a pure blue-white energy when activated and hummed with quiet authority. It's light demanded respect, yet, somehow, offered mercy. One would feel powerless in its presence. Sadly, Kovi had left his lightsaber in the council chambers after the ceremony, as was tradition. He wouldn't bother to retrieve it. It's use would not be warranted in the near future.
So, with the small backpack shouldered, and the two containers in tow, levitated by the Force behind him, Kovi had only one thing left to grab.
The book.
Regardless of his leaving the Jedi Temple, he still had a legacy to keep and people to take care of. Alea, his wife, was pregnant. Kovi was going to be a father again. He picked the small two-hand, leather-bound book off the nightstand by his side of the bed, placed his hand on the cover, and made to leave.
So he had left. The apartment was cozy and very livable for a single individual. Large windows provided a wrap-around view of the district, including the Senate Rotunda and Jedi Temple in its spectrum of panoramic, natural beauty. The walls and ceilings were identical to that of his office and quarters back at the Temple. Even the subtle curving throughout the dwelling was reminiscent of home.
When Kovi arrived, he brought the two containers with all his gear to the hallway leading off of the great room, and set it down. He set the backpack down on top of the wardrobe container and before he planted himself in the comfy microsuede couch facing the Temple, he grabbed the book.
Three months earlier, Kovi had learned of the 100% confidence birth-prediction of his wife's pregnancy and his baby's gender. He had been excited to learn of his becoming a father again. A little boy was on his way to his family. He and Alea had decided together to name him Jason, after a good friend of Kovi's father back on Alderaan. That same day, Kovi learned of the tragic murder of his first two children. Kevin and Makell, the boy taking Kovi's father's name and the girl, his mother's middle name, had been killed.
Kovi sighed in pain as a tears fell. He remembered the recent loss of his eldest children, and replayed his reasons for leaving his family now. Thoughts of his pregnant wife ran through his head. He forced himself to remember what he had promised her, and she him.
"Why, Kovi, why?" Alea had cried when learning of Kovi's departure.
"Just promise me. I need you to trust what I'm doing, and promise me that you'll do as I ask. Please." Kovi held his wife's shaking body in his arms as she looked back up at him with big, beautiful tear-filled eyes.
"I promise," she sobbed as she pulled her heavy-hearted husband closer. After a soft, tear-filled embrace, Kovi took Alea's face in his big and strong, yet gentle, child-skinned hands.
"Baby, sunrise, don't worry. Just take care of him. I know you can. I will be there for him. He will find me. Make sure he finds me. But not until he's ready."
"How will I know that?"
"You'll know. Just follow your motherly heart, and everything will come together. You'll know." After a moment of emotional embrace, hard and firm, Kovi whispered, "I love you forever, I like you for always, forever and ever, my baby you'll be."
Alea sobbed. She couldn't take it. Why did the love of her life have to leave her? And how long? No matter how many times people comforted her with words of support and promises that she 'can do it', she knew she couldn't. Not completely, not fully, not without the wonderful, heart-stopping grandeur and completing temperament of the man she had loved for a thousand generations. He was her. She was him. How could that be separated? It couldn't. She knew that, and that was the only thing that told her she could do it. He wasn't leaving her. He couldn't. They were one.
"I love you." Alea whispered back as she held her prince's head and shoulders in her arms, "I'll miss you."
"And I you."

The Jedi Temple glittered in the fading sunlight. Kovi gripped the book tighter. It was his only connection to his family for the next eighteen years. Right now, the book was his lifeline, his protection, his connection to his old life. It was the only way to find his family again, when he was ready.
When Kovi had seen his children's mutilated bodies, he had made a decision. His next child wouldn't grow up in this constant war for balance. It had been peaceful for millennia, but times change. Jason, his third child, not even born yet, would have the kind of upbringing he had. A normal life on a normal planet, without discrimination.
Alea knew what Kovi wanted, and she loved him. She would do it, he knew that. He trusted her completely. That's what made his departure so hard. She would have the baby on Alderaan. She would put him through school and raise him like any normal child, while subtly hinting of his affinity for the Force. Because Kevin and Makell had been extremely Force-sensitive, and because both Kovi and Alea were strong in the Force, it was only fitting that their third child, Jason, be sensitive as well.
Alea's role would be as a mother, and her job would consist of being involved with the struggling democracy in Alderaan's capital city, Aldera.
No one knew where Kovi was going, or why he was letting his son be raised without a father. Only Kovi knew the answer, and there was no deviation in his resolve.
Kovi was a Jedi. The head of the Council on Coruscant. Kovi wanted Jason to have the option of choosing the life of the Jedi, but only when he was ready. Alea would subtly push him in the general direction of the Force, but Kovi was adamant that Jason figure it out on his own, with one source of direct instruction.
The book was only known to Kovi so far. He started writing it the day of his family tragedy. Kovi had devised a plan to write this book and have it be given to his son when he was ready for it. He just didn't know how to get it to him. He couldn't come back for the next twenty or so years and was at an impasse at how to complete his mission. He was figuring it out as he went.
A quick knock came at the door.
It was a short, crisp, atmosphere-changing knock. Kovi could feel anyone's approach from kilometers away through the Force. He had sensed people traversing the hallways headed to their various daily obligations, but, for some reason he hadn't detected this presence, until it was literally knocking at his door.
Kovi stood up cautiously, probing the Force further and further until he reached the door. As soon as his probe touched the being standing impatiently outside his door, a strong wall of recognizance slammed him from through the door. He couldn't believe it. How did they know he was here? No one knew where he was, except him.
He walked quickly to the door and opened it. A confident individual stood at the threshold. Eye contact was made briefly with bright green eyes before the visitor had instantaneously pushed past him and stood with folded arms next to the island in the kitchen.
The man exuded an aura of confidence and undeniable power through the Force. Kovi knew that this man was never afraid of who he was, and never hid his identity from anyone. It was his best friend. A friend who had always been there when he was troubled. Kovi laughed to himself. He should have known. It was Byunn. Byunn Jlbss.
Byunn stood as tall as Kovi and faced himself just as proudly. With bright green eyes and dirty-blonde hair, he was basically Kovi's opposite. But those that knew the two, knew that they were nearly identical.
Byunn and Kovi had met just a few years into Kovi's career as a Jedi. Byunn was inexperienced at the time, but grew fast and rivaled Kovi within three years of joining the ranks of the Jedi. Only eight people actually knew of Byunn's existence. The seven Jedi of the Grand Council (the first seven Jedi ever), and the Chancellor of the Galactic Republic. To everyone else, he was a legend. He was the shadow in the leaves, the leaf in the wind. Always present, but invisible.
No one ever knew where he was. Yet, here he stood, exactly when and where Kovi needed him.
Byunn's tall, muscular build copied Kovi's as Kovi closed the door and turned around. Kovi grinned broadly. Byunn responded with a small turn of his lips.
"Well, I guess it's good you found me," Kovi stated simply.
Byunn locked eyes with Kovi, "What do you need? I'm here to help." He smiled and let his arms fall.
The eye-contact guilted Kovi into answering. Byunn and Alea were the only two people who could make Kovi feel guilty. Excluding Kovi's mother, Meeka, of course. She was a given.
"I don't need any help. I'm on my own now, you know that." Kovi frowned, contemplating.
Byunn smiled, "Yes, I do know that. But it's also customary for someone who's radically changing their lifestyle and leaving their family, to tell his best friend, for 15,000 years, what's going on." Byunn followed Kovi into the great room.
Kovi winced. When Byunn talked this way, he wasn't happy.
"I have to go. And I am NOT leaving my family. I have no choice," Kovi broke eye-contact and walked slowly towards the couch.
"I know. I'm sorry, brother. But I know I can help. You know it, just as well as the Force exists, you know it."
"What could you possibly help with?" Kovi snapped. He turned around in the blink of an eye on the ball of his right foot.
"Your son. Yes I know," Byunn stated it simply. Simply enough that Kovi's resolve faltered, "Kovi, you're a mess," Byunn added.
Kovi took a deep breath, and sighed, "I know." He turned towards the great room window and clasped his hands behind his back, "Obviously I don't want to leave, but, again, I have no choice." Kovi said the last four words with a tone of finality and eternal sadness.
Byunn walked over and put a hand on Kovi's drooping shoulders. Through the Force, he passed some of his calm demeanor through to Kovi.
"Don't worry. Just do what you need to, and come back. We'll welcome you with open arms." Byunn referred to the Jedi Council.
Kovi smiled slightly, "Byunn, my friend, I will--," Kovi hesitated, "I promise."
Byunn smiled back, "I have an idea." He took his hand from Kovi's shoulder.
"What?" Kovi sat down on the couch with a flourish. Byunn stayed standing.
"Your plan, about your son? He needs some sort of father figure. I was thinking about it and wondered if I could help with that in anyway." Byunn's face twitched with a hidden smile. Kovi chuckled.
"Nice try, Byunn. You'll still never steal her away from me." He shook his head and they laughed together for a moment. The last time for either of them for a long while.
With a smile, and a rolling of his eyes, Byunn responded, "You know what I mean."
Kovi looked at Byunn, an idea sparked somewhere in the back of his head, " He'll have a father figure. And a mentor." Kovi gave Byunn a knowing look.
"How? The government? The neighbors? That's not...good...enough...." Byunn's last word was dragged out as he understood Kovi's expression.
"He'll have me," Kovi grinned. He started to stand, but Byunn pushed him back down with a twitch of his finger.
"No, he won't..." Byunn said slowly, "But what-I mean how would it be you at all?"
"With this." Kovi held up the book.
"A book? Like instructions? Kovi, come on. That's not good enough!" Though Byunn was incredulous, he could see where Kovi was headed with this. Kovi waited for him to work it out.
"Maybe--yeah, that could work..." Byunn put his right hand on his chin, resting his elbow over the wrist of his crossed left arm.
"I just can't get it to him." Kovi stated, breaking his look toward Byunn.
"So you do need me." Byunn was back in his place. That was so like Byunn. No real questions, just a calm simple statement. Kovi hesitated before responding.
"I--I--yes," Kovi finished, "I need you to give this to my son. When you think he's ready. Alea will cooperate."
"Ok." Byunn said carefully, but confidently. Kovi was his best friend. He didn't know what Kovi was up to, but he knew that Kovi would only be and give the best for his family. Kovi had saved his life hundreds of times. Byunn had no problem doing him a favor.
Kovi smiled. He opened the book and flipped a few pages in. He took a pen from the end-table and wrote two words on the paper. He looked up at Byunn, replaced the pen, and stood up. He walked slowly over to Byunn, closed the book, held it for a second, and, finally, without hesitation, handed it to Byunn.
"Take care of him," Kovi whispered as Byunn eased the book out of Kovi's hands. Two tears made their way down the contented face of Byunn's best friend and mentor.
"Instruction. A puzzle," Byunn whispered as he tore his eyes away from Kovi's and looked at the small leather book in his hands. He understood.
"As current Head of the Jedi Council on Coruscant, I ask you to accept this mission as your first and only priority for the next eighteen years. I don't know when I'll be back, but it won't be too long." Kovi let his hands fall to his sides as he passes on the responsibility. Byunn took a deep breath.
"Where will you go?" Byunn asked simply.
"I don't know, I'll--" Byunn finished the last words with Kovi.
"Let the Force guide you, of course."
Kovi led Byunn to the door, "See you soon, bro." Kovi's smile faded into sadness as he spoke. He didn't know exactly where he was headed. He just knew he had a new life to start. It scared him to have to do it without his family. For the first time, Kovi felt alone.
"Be safe, and come back." Byunn emphasized the last two words.
"Just take care of my family and the Order for me, ok?"
"Of course," Byunn solemnly bowed his head.
"Goodpbye, friend," Kovi quietly said. They gave a brother's embrace, looked each other in the eye, and Byunn walked out the door. He stopped before crossing the threshold, turned his head and nodded it at Kovi. Finishing the step, Byunn felt the door slide shut behind him with a woosh of air and a sense of finality.
The last thing Byunn saw of Kovi was a sad smile. He had made a promise. he had a mission. With that, he left. The next time he'd see is friend would be a life-altering experience. He knew it.
When Byunn reached the Temple, the sun had fallen below the horizon. An orange glow filled the council chambers as Byunn knelt in the center of the room. The atmosphere in the room was solemn as Byunn viewed the city-scape. The combination of the power of the Force, the sunset, and the life teeming through the city seemed ominous. Like something big was going to happen soon. Whether good or bad, Byunn didn't know.
He looked down and realized he was still carrying the book Kovi had entrusted to him. Curious, he brought it up to chest-height and opened it. The tender leaves of paper turned in his hand as his he gently found the place where Kovi had opened up to before he had given the book to him. Two words were neatly written about two-thirds of the way down the right page. Obviously meant for Jason, Kovi's future son. Byunn looked up silently and sobbed. He would miss Kovi. Now, he knew what Kovi was doing. He just hoped that Jason would follow.
There was nothing more Byunn could do except prepare for his trip to Alderaan. He closed the book, gripped it tightly, and walked out of the room. The Force emanated a strong sense of prophecy as Byunn left. He had a mission. He would not fail.

Find me.

Jason smiled as he read the last page of the book Alea had given him six years ago. He was finally ready.
He could feel it. His father was waiting. Jason wasn't.
"Amber! Let's go!"

Haha.. well, I did change a bunch of it, so it's probably better than it was when
I started tonight. Obviously a lot of problems with conventions, but that can be fixed.
I hope you enjoyed it and another excerpt will be coming soon!
Thanks for your support!

3 comments:

Dressman said...

So, a couple comments. I really like the reference to the "I Love You" book...or whatever that book is called. The "I like forever, I love you for always...etc." part. When you were talking about Alea, there was one time you called her "impregnated"-I wouldn't use that word, at least not on a person. That's more of something you would say about an animal, not a person. Also, this last one is more of a question. Byunn (I think that's the name) =Eric Seamons? Yes, no? Regardless, I really like it. You have a talent. It makes me want to write more on my book.

Master Kasee Kuntu said...

Hey! it was pretty good, and no Byuun isn't Eric Seamons(trust me I know Dressman). But back to the book, you need to watch for typos like "goodpbye" that made me laugh. Anyway good job, worked out how I imagined it and we need to get together to talk about the next excerpt.

Kevin said...

Very nice. It is drawing me in.
One suggestion. You don't need to make each of these posts so long. You could split it into smaller chunks and post more often etc. Maybe it wouldn't be such a huge task that way. And, a nice side benefit is that your readers would get something to read more often maybe. Just a thought.