All Nonfiction Bullying Books Academic Author Interviews Celebrity interviews College Articles College Essays Educator of the Year Heroes Interviews Memoir Personal Experience Sports Travel & CultureAll Opinions Bullying Current Events / Politics Discrimination Drugs / Alcohol / Smoking Entertainment / Celebrities Environment Love / Relationships Movies / Music / TV Pop Culture / Trends School / College Social Issues / Civics Spirituality / Religion Sports / Hobbies
- Summer Guide
- College Guide
- Author Interviews
- Celebrity interviews
- College Articles
- College Essays
- Educator of the Year
- Personal Experience
- Travel & Culture
- Current Events / Politics
- Drugs / Alcohol / Smoking
- Entertainment / Celebrities
- Love / Relationships
- Movies / Music / TV
- Pop Culture / Trends
- School / College
- Social Issues / Civics
- Spirituality / Religion
- Sports / Hobbies
- Community Service
- Letters to the Editor
- Pride & Prejudice
- What Matters
Hearts of Betrayal, Chapter 1
“Ayushi. Begin your descent to landing platform 87. Master Atria Fallon will be there to greet you.”
“Affirmative. Preparing to land right now.”
Ayushi Faia began to lower her Jedi Fighter down onto the Coruscant landing platform, carefully maneuvering her ship to land perfectly. She hopped out and approached her droid,
“D4, put the ship on lockdown. Nobody gets in but me.”
“Dwoot,” the droid responded. Ayushi smiled and looked around her at the enormous city world. The air smelled of pollution and the skyscraper lights burned holes in the night sky above. Stars rarely came out to play on Coruscant, as opposed to Dantooine, where she had just come from. She preferred the Dantooine temple far more than she did the Coruscant it was far more peaceful. But, the council had requested that she come away from her training and see them. She suspected it had something to do with an incident she was involved with at the Dantooine temple, but she didn’t want to jump to conclusions. Her thick dark hair hung to the middle of her back in length, but was over her shoulders most of the time, she bunched it all into her hand and let it lay over one shoulder and then breathed deeply. Up ahead on the walkway she saw Master Atria coming to greet her.
“Young Ayushi,” said Atria as she came to a halt in front of the young Jedi. “How was your trip here?”
“Adequate. I must admit I’m at a loss as to why the council wishes to see me.”
Atria’s face was no longer as welcoming. Ayushi’s dark eyes searched Atria, hoping for an explanation.
“Well, you will find out in due time. Right now, let us walk to the temple and get you settled.”
Ayushi only nodded and joined Atria as she made her way back down the walkway.
“How are things on Dantooine?” inquired Atria without looking at Ayushi. Ayushi looked up at her and replied,
“Very well. Master Zenhar is pleased with the progress the young Padawan learners are making.”
“And your progress?”
“Master Zenhar has put me through the trials and dubbed me a Jedi Knight, he says I’m ready.”
“Well, you’re still young, only seventeen, the council will have to see about that.”
Ayushi stopped suddenly and said,
“Is that why I’m here?”
Atria stopped and turned sideways to look at Ayushi,
“Master Zenhar has frequently expressed to us what a good student you are, but we simply want to test you ourselves. It’s nothing serious I assure you, young one.”
“Nothing serious? What the council says to me will decide whether I am to remain a Padawan or become a Jedi Knight.”
“Control your emotions, Ayushi. Even if they decide against your becoming a Jedi Knight, you will become one in time. Patience.”
Ayushi did not reply but instead looked ahead and began to walk. Atria looked after her and shook her head; there was much defiance in Ayushi.
“The Jedi temple,” said Amaris Tarran to herself as she stared up at the beautiful structure before her. “I had forgotten how beautiful it was.”
She looked at the long set of steps ahead and began her descent upward. Even though night had fallen, Coruscant was never quiet. But, the Jedi temple had a certain peace about it, unlike the rest of the city world. Soon the entrance to the temple came into view and as she reached the top, she stopped before going in. Only staring at the entrance. Seeing the idle visitor dressed in black, a wandering Jedi approached her,
“Can I help you?” he asked. She only looked at him, her blue eyes piercing his dark brown ones. The Jedi then realized who it was,
She only nodded slowly, her eyes still cutting into him.
“What are you doing here?” he asked with confusion in his voice.
Amaris looked straight ahead and forced herself to speak, and her words came out heavier than she had anticipated,
“I wish to see the council.”
The Jedi looked at her,
Amaris looked at him again, “I need to speak with them.”
“Amaris, you left the order, you’re no longer welcome inside the temple.”
“Not even as a visitor?”
“Well, if you’re looking to visit, come back in the morning. But, if you’ve come,” his voice trailed off for a moment, “If you’ve come to cause trouble, you may as well turn around.”
The Jedi’s eyes traveled down to Amaris’ belt, where her hand was gently resting on one of her two lightsabers. He quickly looked up at her,
“I’m afraid you’ll have to come back tomorrow.”
Amaris looked up at the temple once again and said,
“All right,” she looked at him, “I’ll come back tomorrow.” She turned around and smirked slightly as she began walking back down the steps. The Jedi watched her leave, and then when she was out of sight ran into the temple.
The council sat together, in deep discussion, over a hostile act the Sith had recently made towards the Wookies on Kashyyyk. It was a very serious matter. The Sith were suddenly becoming more actively hostile then they had been before. The Jedi were concerned there would be a Sith uprising soon. But, their discussion was interrupted when Jedi Knight Vilas Norant walked respectfully into the council room. He bowed to the Masters and said,
“Ayushi Faia is here to see you.”
An eerie silence fell about the room, and finally Master Belkar Tayllin, a Bothan, responded and said,
“Send her in.”
Vilas nodded, bowed and quickly left the room. Soon, Ayushi walked into the room most surely and faced Master Belkar as she bowed.
“You requested my coming to see you, Masters. So here I am. What is it you require?”
“We thank you for traveling from Dantooine to come here, it must have been quite sudden.”
“I will not lie, Master Belkar, it was.” There was an edge of attitude in her tone, and the whole council noticed, as they looked at each other aware of the defiant nature. The Zabrak Master Gredowan Thamen studied her and said,
“We have called you here because of a certain reported incident.”
Ayushi wished with all her might she could roll her eyes, but knew it would surely strip her of her Jedi Knight rank. She had already heard an earful from Master Zenhar back on Dantooine about this subject.
“Yes?” was all she replied.
Master Gredowan looked at her warily and said, “Apparently you became violent with another student, over the subject of your homeland, Kashyyyk?”
Ayushi shut her eyes as she took a deep breath; there was no way around it,
“Yes,” she admitted.
“Because of the recent attacks on Kashyyyk by the Sith?”
“Yes,” she said again.
“What made you become violent?”
“My fellow peer began to talk nonsense,” she replied in short.
“Nonsense about what?”
Ayushi looked around at the council as they all eyed her with disapproving looks. She took another deep breath and said,
“He said it was only a matter of time before the Wookie barbarians got what was coming to them.”
“And, I became angry and pulled out my lightsaber.”
“What did you say to him after you had pulled out your lightsaber?” questioned Master Belkar.
“I yelled at him to take back his words and that he was wrong. He pulled out his lightsaber as well and we began to fight. I defeated him in the duel, but he didn’t get hurt.”
“And what of Master Zenhar? How did he handle the situation?”
“He kept my lightsaber for a while and charged me to stay in my quarters for personal meditation,” she replied.
Master Gredowan breathed deeply and leaned back in his council chair ponderously.
“Well,” he began, “Master Zenhar still believes you are deserving of the Jedi Knight rank,” a long pause ensued; this was the moment of truth. Ayushi’s heart stopped beating as she waited for him to continue, “But we don’t.” Her heart sank in her chest. Distress and disappointment shown on her face clearly and she started to become angry,
“Why?” she demanded.
All the Jedi were shocked at her tone and Master Belkar frowned as he said,
“Do not question the councils wishes, young one. Control your emotions. You have much to learn.”
“I’ve been learning, Master Belkar!” she pleaded, “I’ve been learning since I was seven years of age, and after ten years, I am still a Padawan learner!”
“This is the way of the Jedi,” said a beautiful Twi’lek Jedi named Natara Fortsin, “You must complete all of your training before you can become a Jedi Knight,” her voice flowed smoothly and calmly, “And that includes all the lessons of character building, as well.” Ayushi sighed,
“Masters, I’ve worked hard, and I slipped up. Please, instate me as a Jedi Knight. You won’t regret it, I swear.”
“We cannot do that, Ayushi. Even though your fellow student was wrong to say such things, you handled it wrongly. You are the one who became violent, not he.”
“Are you even doing anything about the attacks on Kashyyyk?”
“Is that your business?” questioned Master Gredowan.
“Yes, Master, it is. It’s my homeland.”
“You’re supposed to omit the feelings for your homeland and family. Yet, you’re still strongly attached. Ayushi, you may have learned the ways of the Jedi, but you know nothing at all,” concluded Gredowan. His words cut through Ayushi like a knife.
“Then I suppose that is all,” said Ayushi. She let the most fateful words of her life slip from her tongue without thought, “I shall be leaving the Jedi order.”
The council all looked at each other, concealing their surprise,
“Why?” asked Master Belkar?
“You have not yet taken action to avenge my home world. And, you accuse me of knowing nothing about the Jedi. Obviously, my talents will be useful elsewhere. And you can be sure I won’t be joining the Sith, in fact, they’re the ones I’m going after.”
“The Jedi do not ‘avenge’ anyone or anything. We believe in trying to find every alternative to violence that could possibly be. You may leave the Jedi, but we cannot allow you to take your lightsaber. Please hand it to Master Belkar,” said Gredowan surely. Ayushi slowly reached for her lightsaber as she eyed Master Gredowan who stared at her with such intensity, he was obviously hiding his disdain. She took it in her hands and studied it for a moment then slowly walked over in front of Master Belkar.
“Here,” was all she said. Master Belkar took the lightsaber and said,
“You may go.”
Ayushi turned around and slowly began to walk toward the door, but as she did a young Jedi Knight ran in with haste. Ayushi turned around to look at him as he breathlessly bowed to the council,
“What is it, Melric?”
“Masters, Amaris Tarran is here,” the council immediately became unsettled. “She’s coming back in the morning to see you!”
“You’re quite sure she’s on Coruscant?”
“Yes, Masters. I talked to her myself. I was walking just outside the entrance of the temple, and she was just standing there. It wasn’t until I approached her that I realized who she was.”
“Do you know what she wants?”
“No, no I don’t.”
“Thank you, Melric. We’ll decide what needs to be done,” said Master Gredowan, then his eyes shot toward Ayushi, “Do you wish to speak to us further?” Melric looked at her, as Ayushi stood there unable to answer, it was as if something had been confirmed in her mind,
“No,” she replied with a hint of laughter, “Goodbye, Masters.”
And she turned around and left the council room.
“A Sith in the making,” said Gredowan. Melric surprised by the statement looked at Gredowan and then to the floor.
“I’m sorry, Master, who was that young girl?”
Master Gredowan looked at him curiously and said,
“Ayushi Faia, one of Master Zenhar’s prized students. And also a former member of the Jedi order,” replied Gredowan.
Melric only looked at the door curiously, what a strange girl.
Ayushi walked through the cavernous hallways of the Jedi temple, past the many rooms used for training and all the way to the main entrance of the temple. She quickly scurried down the steps, her brown cape billowing behind her. Once she reached the bottom she looked to her left and right, hoping to maybe catch a glimpse of Amaris. With the falling darkness, came the scumbags of Coruscant, drunk and laughing as they exited the nearby Cantina.
“Maybe she’s in there,” said Ayushi to herself. She took a deep breath and began heading for the Cantina. Before she could walk into the bustling bar, the bouncer stretched out his arm in front of her, warning her to halt,
“Aren’t you a little young to be coming to a Cantina?” he then looked at her clothes, “And you’re a Jedi, what do you want?”
“I’m looking for someone,” she said.
“Pretty nasty place for someone like you to have friends in,” he smirked and looked her up and down, “Especially for someone so pretty.”
Ayushi curled her upper lip in disgust,
“Please let me in.”
The bouncer thought for a moment, as his lusty eyes searched her,
“All right, I’ll let you in, but you have to do one thing for me.”
Ayushi was almost afraid to ask, but she gulped and said,
The bouncer laughed out loud and whispered in her ear,
“You, pig!” gasped Ayushi as she pushed the bouncer away from her. The bouncer frowned and said,
“You want me to make sure you never step into this Cantina?”
All of a sudden a strong and foreign voice came from the doorway of the Cantina,
“Leave her alone, she’s with me.”
Ayushi looked to see who it was and saw a very tall woman with piercing blue eyes and shoulder length dirty blonde hair.
“Wait,” said the bouncer as he looked at the tall lady. He looked back at Ayushi, “You’re with her?”
Ayushi only nodded in nervous agreement.
“Of course she is,” said the woman, “Now, step aside and let her in.”
The woman’s piercing eyes caused the bouncer to step to the side,
“Go ahead and enjoy yourselves,” he said nervously.
The woman only nodded with a glare and a gentle smirk, then signaled Ayushi to follow her inside the Cantina.
“Can I get you anything?” asked the woman.
“Uh, no,” stuttered Ayushi still surprised at what had just took place.
“What’s the matter? Tusk cat got your tongue?” laughed the woman as she sat down in a booth. The busy Cantina was full of strange things Ayushi wasn’t accustomed to. The Twi’lek dancers and the Bith band, the drunken humans and aliens on the barstools. The pazaak players in their heated games and the noise, it was absolutely deafening. Ayushi cautiously slid into the booth across the table from the woman.
“Jedi?” she questioned as she studied Ayushi’s clothes.
Ayushi looked down at her clothes and nodded hesitantly.
“Then what are you doing here?” asked the woman.
“I’m looking for someone,” replied Ayushi.
“Who?” asked the woman?
Before Ayushi could answer a young Rodian waitress came up to their table,
“Can I get you anything, ladies?”
The woman looked up at the waitress,
“A small juma juice, please,” she stated.
“All right,” she turned to Ayushi, “And for you?”
“Oh, I don’t want anything, thank you.”
“All right. I’ll be right back.”
The woman nodded as the Rodian left. She looked at Ayushi and said,
“Are you sure you don’t want anything? I’ll buy.”
“No, really, I’m fine, thank you.”
The woman shrugged and leaned back,
“Now, who is it you’re looking for?”
“A former Jedi,” replied Ayushi.
“By the name of?”
The woman smiled broadly, but before she replied the Rodian waitress approached with her juma juice.
“Here you are, just let me know if you need anything else.”
“Thank you,” said the woman. The Rodian left once again, and the woman smiled at Ayushi,
“I’m Amaris Tarran,” she said as she sipped her juma juice.
Amaris nodded surely, “I absolutely am.”
“You’re the fallen Jedi? The one who left the order nine years ago?”
Amaris nodded once again. “Why’d you leave?”
“Whoa! Wait a second. I don’t even know who you are, or why you needed to find me.”
“Oh, I’m sorry. My name is Ayushi Faia. I am, I was, a Padawan of the Jedi.”
“I left the order only a few minutes ago.”
“So, why were you looking for me?”
“I need to know some things.”
“What it’s like outside of the order, where I should go next, and,” she stopped, “Whether or not I should join the Sith,” the words almost tasted bitter. Amaris leaned forward with a serious look,
“Don’t join those scumbags,” she said sincerely, “I just spent eight and a half years in the presence of those lying rats.”
“So, it’s true, you joined the Sith?”
“I thought you knew, considering you came to me wondering whether you should do the same?”
“I had only heard rumors.”
“Well, those rumors are, sadly, true. But, before we get into this, why did you leave the order?”
Ayushi tried to think of an explanation, but finally said,
“Apparently I’m far too emotional to become a Jedi Knight, so I left.”
“Well, there was more to it.”
Amaris studied her, “All right,” she concluded, “I’ll take your word for it. I don’t blame you. I left the order because they refused to take action and they held back my potential. But, don’t believe for once second that the Sith have anything more to offer. I was as miserable with them as I was with the Jedi. They’re both worthless.”
“So, what are you now?”
Amaris smirked, “I’m a rogue.”
“A rogue… what?”
“A rogue Jedi.”
“What exactly does that mean?” asked Ayushi curiously.
“It means if you have the credits I have the time.”
“So, you’re a bounty hunter?”
“Not technically, no. Let’s put it this way, I won’t kill an innocent civilian, even for the highest price, but, if a scumbag wants me to take out another scumbag, or a Sith wants me to take out a Jedi, or even a Jedi wants me to take out a Sith, I’ll do it. For a price.”
“So, you basically deal in criminals, Sith and Jedi?”
“Because, kid, when you’ve got this much power, you don’t waste it.”
“Hmm,” expressed Ayushi, “That makes sense. I’d like to be like that. Strong and independent, without having to worry about your superiors coming down on you, but I wouldn’t even know where to start.”
Amaris searched Ayushi’s young face; she was a pretty girl, and quite young. It would be dangerous for her to be on the streets of Coruscant by herself. Amaris searched for the right wording before she said,
“Would you like to join me?”
Ayushi looked up at her, surprised by the question,
“I could train you, to be a rogue. To be free from the rules and restrictions of the Jedi and the dishonest ways of the Sith.”
Ayushi began to smile, “You would train me? Where would we go?”
“All over the galaxy. It would be hard, and you’d have to listen to me. But, I like you, kid. You’ve got determination and spunk. And I’m willing to train you. Plus, it would be nice to have a companion.”
Ayushi was thrilled to have such an offer; she smiled broadly and said,
“Absolutely, yes! Thank you so much!” Ayushi suddenly frowned, “They took my lightsaber. I wouldn’t be able to train.”
“Well, first of all, being a rogue Jedi isn’t all about your lightsaber, there’s far more involved. Like the force, what do you know about it?”
“Whatever a seventeen year old should know about the force at this point, but a little more, I was a prized student.”
“Good, good,” nodded Amaris, “But, I have a few lightsabers, you can have one.”
Ayushi smiled and nodded. She was to be the apprentice of Amaris Tarran, one of the most powerful Jedi in history.