Friday, March 6, 2009

Star Wars: Book 1: Dawn of the Jedi: EXCERPT

Just remember, this is nowhere near perfect... ;)

"Jason, where are we?"
"In some kind of cave," Jason answered, focused on the task at hand. After all, it was a design set aside by his father eighteen years ago. Jason felt inclined to stay his focus, considering he never knew his father.
"I know that but what's at the end that's got you so determined to keep going?"
Jason pondered the answer to this question. It was enough to halt his progress for a slight second, before he caught himself and followed through on his unfinished step.
"Well, whatever it is, it's large, and old."
Truthfully, Jason had no idea what he was trying to find. All he knew was to follow the book.
"How do you know?"
"I don't. But, logically, the only reason these caves keep going on like this is the answer to your question. Have you noticed how easy it is to traverse?"
"So, you're saying that somebody carved this out?" It was more of a statement from Amber, Jason's girlfriend, than a question.
"Most likely. It's not a natural curve, at least, it wasn't originally."
"So you're saying that there's going to be some kind of ancient building or something? We've been at this for hours. Are you sure it's not just a dead end?"
"We've been over this, Amber. I discovered this a couple weeks ago, and I cross-referenced the carved entrance design to the ancient historical texts at the Aldera Library. It's genuine. It matches perfectly with the paths in the book. Can't you feel the difference in the air?"
Jason and Amber were eighteen- and seventeen-year-old adolescent students. About two weeks ago, Jason stumbled on the entrance to this tunnel of a cave while looking for other archaeological artifacts. School classes in Aldera City were hard on both of the young adults, but Amber's unwavering will and Jason's unaltered determination never stopped them from excelling in every way.
Eighteen years ago Jason's mother, Alea, received a book from a good friend of Jason's father. It had no cover title, and she was instructed to give it to her eldest son when the time was right. For Jason's first twelve years he showed no remarkably diverse intellectual capability and behaved as a normal child would. But when Jason's twelfth birthday came along, things changed. Alea would say that it 'was like he jumped from eleven to thirty-two, all in one day'.
Jason exuded extreme confidence everywhere he went, contrary to his personality prior to birthday number twelve. His common sense increased, he jumped to the top of his class, and started taking on more responsibility than a baby narin just out of the nest with no mother to direct his growth into survival and adulthood. Luckily Jason still had his mother to keep him in check.
Since the twelfth anniversary of his birth, Jason had started taking extra measures to spend time outdoors. It was this event, when Jason was three hours past curfew one night, that told Alea to fulfill her promise. That night, Jason had gone out of the house like he normally would, to take a run through the lower streets of the Capital Shadows neighborhood. He had a whim, as he passed the mountain trail, to follow it. So, being the new kid he was, he followed his impression. He was so enthralled by the historic vibrations occupying the compressed air of Aldera City's South Canyon, that he couldn't leave until he had found the source. Jason searched and searched, and found nothing. He knew there was significance, but he couldn't place the origin.
Finally after six straight hours of nonstop searching, he checked his chrono for the first time. He was late. By two-and-a-half hours! His mom was going to kill him. Reluctantly he had gathered his things, and ran for home.
When Jason finally returned, he found his mother waiting for him on the front breezeway bench. She was not too happy about his disappearance, but could not find the means or the will to be frustrated and scolding to her eldest. Something told her he had changed dramatically that day.
Jason came, without hesitation, and sat next to his beautiful, regal mother. Usually a very intimidating presence. Alea was not only stunningly beautiful, but commanded an aura of untold history and power. People respected her. That's why she was in government. Alea always said that the politician's world was temporary for her, but everybody seemed to think she had been there forever, and Jason knew just how good she was at 'discussing' and 'finding the solution'.
So, here he was. He expected his mother to scold him softly and set him with a list of chores for the next day, but he did not feel any kind of motherly instruction striving to exit the delicate lips of his mother's mouth. She was disappointed, yes, but something told him that there was something else.
The book.
That night, Jason received what was left to him by the father he never knew he had.
The book was not given lightly, but not a word was spoken except by his mother as she handed him the small journal sized, leather-bound, classic page-book.
"Respect, and honor. To the letter." Alea annunciated the last sentence with a meaningful glance at the cover of the small book.
Jason took it. Alea left him to wonder about his gift. A short note inside the front cover told him who it was from and who it was intended for.

To my Eldest Son. Follow with utmost discretion and unaltered determination. Let no mind wander, let not a
foot fall in excess to the guidelines directed in this book.
Your Father

The handwriting was loopy, and unlike any of the most elegant script Jason had seen in his education so far. He
had no idea what he was to do with this, and wished he could ask his mother more, but this event obviously troubled her,
and he decided not to bother her with her memories.
This book would prove to be the start of Jason's future. In it, was designed many paths and instructions regarding
a certain goal. Jason flipped to the end of the introductory statements to where it simply stated,

Find me.

So that's what he did.

"There!! Do you hear that?" Jason exclaimed in excitement. A low rumble echoed through the air. The rough,
brown, Alderaanian rock vibrated with the echo. Jason took a step down the makeshift stairway he had stumbled upon
while inspecting the ceiling for patterns. His glowrod briefly illuminated the decline in front of him.
"What? I don't hear anything," Amber stated impatiently.
"It's an echo. It's low, too." Jason turned around and looked towards his friend.
"What does that mean? Come on, Jason, there's nothing here."
Jason sighed, "Skeptical, as always." Amber knew what a 'low rumbly echo' meant as far underground as they were.
It meant that there was a very large something up ahead. She just felt like it was a bottomless pit leading to nowhere.
Jason winked at her and said, "I promise. You'll see. We've found it."
Amber took Jason's offered hand and said shyly, "Why can't we just end here, and finish up the search tomorrow?"
There was a familiar glint in her eye.
"Look, I know we've been crawling down here for who knows how many hours--"
"Six," piped in Amber. She couldn't resist.
"Thank you," Jason sighed,"Anyway, we've been down here for--a long time," he grimaced towards her,"and I know
it's tiring--"
"You can say that again," Amber slapped a hand over her mouth. Man, she really needed to shut up for a minute.
"Will you let me talk?" Jason asked politely, patiently waiting for a response. Amber nodded.
"I just know we're within a hundred meters of our goal. It's not much longer, and I can't stop here. Please?"
Amber had turned to go. She stopped and gave Jason a glare. The glowrod lighting made it all the more intimidating.
"Ten minutes, then we go home." She was firm.
"Alright, alright." Jason sighed and waited for Amber to meet up with him. he pecked her on the cheek, took her
face in his left hand and whispered, "Thank you."
He put his hand down and smiled at her. She sighed and smiled back, chuckling,"You're impossible, you know that?"
Jason grinned, "I know."
They kept walking in silence, Jason leading his girlfriend down the steps ever so carefully. The glowrod lit the way
as cavern after cavern, the air kept feeling denser and bigger.
Jason and Amber had been friends since either of them could remember. They both remembered their mothers, and
especially Jason's uncle Byunn. He was always the one who told them that they would be married and always teased
about kissing, and holding hands, and hugging, and anything else the old fart could get his silver tongue on. It seemed,
however, against all determination to prove him wrong, that they just couldn't resist. Finally, in their sixth year at the
Aldera Academy, they started dating. Of course, Byunn came around after one of his big trips, and guffawed when he saw
the couple's interlaced fingers. All joking aside, both Jason and Amber could swear that there was more than just a sparkle
of entertainment in Byunn Jlbss's eye. It seemed like he knew all along that this was going to happen.
So, giving up on the struggle to prove him wrong, Jason and Amber submitted to his constant pounding and humiliation.
He had quieted down, as of late, considering he was gone touring the galaxy again, and the couple had spent a lot more time
together than they normally have.
Jason grabbed Amber's hand as they rounded one last cavern wall, ten minutes after they had their little confrontation.
The glowrod's light suddenly became inherently useless. The air felt fresher, bigger, denser, and the light from the glowrod
did not reflect off of any surface besides the suddenly flat and smooth stone ground. It was pitch black. Not a sound besides
the two hearts and respiratory systems echoing off the tunnel walls behind them.
As Jason swung the glowrod around, looking for where to go next, Amber came up next to him.
"Is this what you meant? 'Cause I can't see a thing."
"Hold on. There's got to be something out here. I can feel it."
It was true, in a weird way. The two could actually feel the presence of something in the room. The air literally vibrated,
and they could feel the vibrations reflect off of various outcroppings in the spacious cavern in front of them. No one knew
how they did it, but Jason and Amber seemed to have an extremely developed sixth sense. They could feel when someone
was sneaking up on them, no matter how quiet the perpetrators were.
"Careful," Amber warned. Jason smiled and winked at her.
"Always," he smiled as he dropped her hand and felt his way forward. He turned and shined the glowrod down by
his feet to find secure footing, not that he needed to, the floor was perfectly smooth. 
About ten meters later he stopped and beckoned to Amber.
"Come here, Look at this." Jason's face glowed with boyish glee. Amber approached slowly, anxious about what
she was about to see.
There was a huge staircase cut perfectly out of stone extending from before their feet and fading into the darkness.
"I told you there was something down here." Jason grinned in triumph.
"Well, there's got to be some kind of light source if anything could live down here with staircase. Unless some animal
from the deep sea found its way here." Amber referred to the only known creature on Alderaan that could see in the dark.
This one just happened to breath underwater, rendering it irrelevant to her point.
Jason was already headed across the top step for the banister of the staircase barely in view from the light of the glowrod.
Amber hurried to catch up, so as not to be left in the dark.
"Jason, wait for me next time."
"Sorry."
It was all very mysterious. The feeling Amber and Jason were having, told them that what they had found was extremely
important. They had no idea what was ahead of them, and they not one inclination to go back.
Jason approached the banister. It was remarkably similar to modern design. Modern design for Alderaan was, of course,
full of curves and twists, where as Galactic Modern was more straight and cornered. It surprised both Jason and Amber to
find such architecture and design down this far from the surface. The design continued from the top of the banister down
along the railing out of the range of sight provided by the glowrod.
On the banister, Jason found imbedded in the top, a hand-sized square of differing material. He swept one
finger across it finding a very fine layer of dust. He dusted the square off and saw something very interesting. The pad
wasn't made of wood, but a soft kind of material, lighter than metal, yet harder than wood. He set his glowrod in his
belt.
"Plastic." Jason gaped in wonder,"This can't be real."
"What is it?" Amber asked watching Jason's face carefully. It held an expression of wonder and delight.
It reminded her of what Jason looked like every time he laid eyes on her. She smiled.
"This wood is perfectly preserved. Like it was built last year. Amazing. And the plastic! I've never seen anything like
this in such an obviously ancient find. That means this must have been built in the last millennium. But I've never seen
this kind of material. And it feels so much older than a thousand years."
Jason's face now exuded confusion as he tried to understand where he was.
"It must be some kind of military base. Those kind of "high tech" materials are usually used by the Alderaanian
Protection Force." Amber's suggestion seemed to spark an idea in Jason's mind.
"Wait." Jason froze. An idea forming quickly.
"What is it?"
Jason traced the edges of the square with two of his fingers.
"I've seen this before."
"Where?" Inquired Amber. She's never seen or heard of something like this, except maybe in the APF, and no one
sees that stuff.
Jason pulled out a small leather-bound book from his back pocket. Taking the glowrod off his belt, he 
opened it to the second to last page. He seemed to be comparing some kind of diagram in the book to the 
banister in front of him. Jason's brow furrowed.
"Yeah. In this book my father left me." Jason showed Amber the diagram. It matched perfectly.
"What is it? Some kind of activation pad?"
"If it's what I think it is, then--"
Jason stopped tracing and his eyes widened. He took a step back. His footfall echoed throughout the cavern.
"It's-it's impossible. No. It can't be."
Amber just watched in wonder as Jason re-approached the post. He put one hand on the edge of the post for support
and his left hand hovered above the square.
Jason looked at Amber and gave her a confused, yet reassured and confident smile.
Amber smiled back, with a questioning brow.
"It's ok, go ahead, we've got plenty of time," Amber nulled her ten-minute time period which was long past anyway, to
fuel hers and Jason's curiosity. Though Jason now seemed to know what was happening. Amber had no clue.
Jason smiled wider, then his smile disappeared as he refocused on the task at hand. He closed his eyes, took a deep
breath, and softly,gently set his hand on the square with his fingers spread out.
Nothing happened for a painful two or three seconds. Then, suddenly, the square lit up a bright neon blue, engulfing
Jason's hand in light. Despite the blinding light, Jason kept his hand firmly on the pad. He looked quickly at Amber's
shocked but determined face. She made eye contact and smiled with the corners of her mouth. Jason looked back to the
light with a look of unaltered patience and waited.
The light increased to illuminate the staircase and the ground behind them, then it dimmed to a low royal blue light.
A low, quiet hum interrupted the silence and the entire room lit up from the staircase to the opposite wall. Jason lifted his
hand. He and Amber stared in wonder.
"Impossible," Jason mouthed.
"Yeah," came a weak agreement from Amber.
Jason broke his stare, smiled, took Amber's hand and took the first step down. The regal staircase beckoned them
to go forward to where Jason only hoped to learn who his Father really was and what the universe held in store for him.
Wonder enveloped his senses as he descended the staircase with Amber by his side. Across the room, adjacent to another
large stone archway, someone was waiting.

Hmm.... well. It underwent some changes as I copied it on here, so I hope it is somewhat ok to read.
Obviously it needs some revising, but I hope it was entertaining! Thanks for reading.

7 comments:

Quelly said...

Wow... I used to think it was 'cute' that would tell us you were writing a book. That was really good --

Because I am the cool Aunt, can I read the rest before you post it? You got my attention - I need to know the rest of the story.

kendall said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Master Kasee Kuntu said...

As a good friend, you can guess my name, I'm wondering can you email me a hard copy, some of the words got cut off. And can you hang out tomorrow? Give me a call you know my number. Pretty good for a ruff draft, I have some ideas that we need to discus. Any way give me a call. And once again it was good for a ruff draft.

Kevin said...

Very nice. You did a great job of building excitement and anticipation. I can't wait to read more and find out about this mysterious room that is now lit up and find out whoever it is waiting for them.
Hurry up!

embeesea said...

Awesome, I especially love the part about the beautifully regal mom...

Dressman said...

Was this the comment that I read that one time at the pep band game? It looks very familiar to me...hmm...but as it is I really like it. By the way, this is Dressman. Speaking of which...KEVIN THE BUTT!!!! Anyway...thought you might also like my blog. http://michaeldressman.blogspot.com

Dressman said...

Oops...switch "comment" to "excerpt" in the last post.