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Kuzon Lu Ten

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Walking through the hallways alone was a certain young man of olive complexion. His attire clearly marked him as a newcomer to the Jedi Temple, consisting of a gray leather fabric jacket with a red shirt underneath completed with brown cargo pants. His shoes echoed with each step taken, taking a left turn at a corridor. Slinging a backpack over his shoulders, Kuzon Lu Ten entered what appeared to be some quarters for Jedi with doors lined up on two sides. Glancing at each section he scratched the back of his head and thought.

Which one is supposed to be my room again?

Suddenly he remembered the instructions were in one of his pockets. Shaking his head in mild embarrassment Kuzon put out the card which showed his room number. “421.” The nineteen year old whispered to himself. With a sigh he walked onward, thinking.

I'm a long way from Wild Space.

Of course he knew the answer but it still felt surreal for him. Weeks ago Kuzon had been a fugitive with no future other than an early grave. Yet here he was a newly christened member of an ancient and legendary order. Honestly Kuzon didn’t still know if he deserved such an opportunity. Closing his eyes briefly with a heavy heart the youth murmured.

“Can’t change the past but maybe the Jedi can help me find answers.”

Saying all that Kuzon proceeded to walk again, glancing at each door he passed for his room number.

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Altina wandered through the halls, in search for a particularly Jedi Knight. The librarian told her that Master Reidal might know where the missing copy of Skywalker: The Journey of Restoration was, given that he was seen with it, and additionally urged to find him since the Jedi master was expecting to leave Ajan Kloss soon. From the sound of it, Master Reidal traveled frequently and was often difficult to track down when not anchored to a semblance of civilization, which made the importance of finding him even more alarming. Without that holobook, Altina was going to fall behind on the studies that her master, Master Eridan, had laid out for her.

Despite her best efforts to hide it, Altina was a nervous wreck. Not being able to find Master Reidal before he left was not what terrified her. It's having to ask someone for help. Before being taken on as an apprentice, Altina would have spent her days bunkered in her room, without direction or purpose, alone. But yet not alone at the same time, thanks to her condition.

"I sensed it building in him. I'd seen it in moments during his training..." a whisper reminded her.

Altina paused in her step to block out the rest with a hand at her temple. To hear such things on a regular basis felt more like a curse than a blessing. Why is it that only she is tormented by the Voices on a regular basis? But she had to endure it. It was not as though she had a choice. It seemed like almost no one understood what she was going through. Even Master Eridan, despite his best efforts, admitted that he knew little of what she was going through. But he, at least, tailored his teachings to help her cope as he went about his promised research.

But back to the pressing matter of the moment, Altina reminded herself that she was told that Master Reidal always dressed for travel, thus he did not wear the typical Jedi robes. That was supposed to make it easy to pick him out from a crowd of Jedi, and so little else of his description seemed necessary. After a quick brush of her own robes, Altina continued on at a trot.

Down one hallway, she saw someone that seemed to match the description. A jacket, practical pants, well groomed. The figure seemed like he was looking down at something as he walked. It had to be the book!

Altina transitioned from a trot to a sprint as she hurried down the hall. The sound of her boots echoed as she raced down the glistening floor.

"Wait!" she called to him as she caught up.

The padawan pinched a fold in the man's sleeve to get his attention.

"Wait, Master Rei--" Altina was about to ask the question, but once "Master Reidal" turned to look at her, she could see that he was not a master at all.

She immediately looked flustered. Oh no. She's wasting his time. There's no way that this guy can help her find Master Reidal. It looked like he didn't even know where he was in the temple to begin with, holding that card with what seems to be a room number on it. Could the only consolation be that he doesn't know who she is? Probably, but that is going to change as quickly as morphing changeling. Altina knew she could have tried to sense his presence to know if he was trained before trying to bother him, but that would have required concentration when she had little to spare and little time to focus herself in the Force. She blamed herself anyways.

"I-I'm sorry! I thought you were someone else!" she blubbered out.

Altina took several steps away as she prepared to flee the scene. She was ready to take whatever answer not-Master Reidal will give her and run.

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Kuzon Lu Ten

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One moment Kuzon was looking for his room the next heard loud steps coming from behind. Before he can even turn around and see who it is, the islander suddenly felt his sleeve tugged. Alarmed Kuzon looked back and saw…

A small girl?

The young lady in question appeared to be disappointed and embarrassed. The newcomer subsequently heard her apology, clearing up his own confusion as she started to step back. Briefly Kuzon didn’t know what to say but for some reason he managed to speak up.

“Wait please.”

Kuzon rubbed the back of his neck and then said

“Uhh I’m Kuzon Lu Ten new around here obviously. Heh.”

Lame joke dumbass. The dark haired nineteen thought to himself with an awkward grin.

Clearing his throat he added. “So miss who are you looking for exactly?”

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"Wait please."

Here it comes. Altina was ready to turn and sprint on her way, but was taken aback by the newcomer introducing himself. Hardly anyone ever does that with her: he must really be new to Ajan Kloss, as he said. His self-introduction left her at a loss for words, even a loss of flight to continue her search for Master Reidal, as Altina tried to process what Kuzon said.

"Um... Hi," she managed to say, completely unable to process why Kuzon had a grin plastered on his face.

"So miss who are you looking for exactly?"

Altina flinched at the question, reminded of why she is in this situation to begin with. The feeling of panic started rising again. The padawan wrung her hands as she tried to figure out an escape plan.

"Padawan!"

Her head jerked to the side, expecting someone to be standing there to tell her to run along to leave Kuzon alone. But no one was there. The voices again.

"Trust in the Force," the voices whispered.

Altina pressed her fingers to her forehead as she sought to filter them out. They might just be distractions but, at least, in this instance, perhaps there was a morsel of wisdom? Master Eridan had said that things happen for a reason, much like why he was chosen as his master. Perhaps Kuzon was chosen to help her?

"H-have you seen Master Reidal?" she sputtered.

Then it struck her that Kuzon probably had no idea who she was talking about. That flustered her even more than she already was.

"Uhh, dark hair, scruffy beard, leather jacket..." she tallied off. "Basically he looks like an offworlder, but he's a Jedi Master. I need to find him before he leaves, or else I'm in trouble!"

Altina stepped back towards Kuzon, clenching her fists to try to keep herself from lunging forward and grabbing his sleeves again. Kuzon was far taller than she was by a whole five feet, which forced her to look up to see his face.

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To be perfectly honest Kuzon didn’t know what to say. The girl was frightened of him. Why? As far as he knew only the Jedi leadership would know of his background and the young man doubted that kind of information would be shared so soon with others much less a student. No it had to be something else.

Kuzon raised an eyebrow in concern as the girl appeared on the verge of fleeing and seemed to act like she heard something. Her behavior reminded him of some prey that village hunters go after sometimes. Feeling a bit guilty for causing discomfort Kuzon was about to excuse himself when the girl spoke up.

Tilting his head, in puzzlement the Islander parroted. “Master Reidal?” He had never heard of that name. Must be some kind of teacher here. Kuzon silently concluded.

However, when Altina gave a description the young man from Wild Space paused. Subsequently his eyes widened in realization and he exclaimed.

“Yea I passed someone like that a few minutes ago. He seemed to be leaving for the entrance.”

Now knowing that Kuzon dropped his backpack and without thinking gestured with his left arm. “C'mon we can still catch him if we hurry.”

Kuzon then started to run back when he just came from.

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A part of her expected Kuzon to not have a clue, leaving her with nothing but wasted time. Another part of her thought that he would just point out the direction he saw someone matching her description. Neither part was prepared for him to drop his things and race off to help her find Master Reidal. Maybe this was fate, after all. Or rather, the Force's will, as Master Eridan would correct her.

Altina took off after Kuzon, but quickly realized that he was way more athletic than her. Height aside, the way he ran exuded experience that she had never seen before. Granted, that was not saying much coming from a girl who was secluded in a singular room for most of her life. Master Eridan had started drilling physical training into her, but even the Jedi training she had so far was no match with Kuzon's natural physique.

"Wait!" she huffed as she tried her best to keep Kuzon within sight. "Slow down, at least!"

Once they cleared the entrance, the two made their way towards the landing pads. The dock workers didn't mind their activity: seeing Jedi wandering around was banal at best, especially when it comes to the coming and goings of people. Despite this, Master Reidal was nowhere to be seen. That meant she had to bother people again.

"Um, excuse me," she spoke up, pulling aside a dock worker. Her lungs still felt heavy from the race out of the temple.

"Hm? Something wrong?" the dock worker asked.

"Have you seen Master Reidal?" she asked.

"Master Reidal? Didn't even know he's back today. Guessing you're trying to catch him?" the dock worker replied.

"Yes, in a sense," Altina answered. "Do you know where we might find him?"

"Maybe you can ask the droid," the dock worker pointed to the tall protocol droid with a thumb."Seevee keeps records of ship manifests. He should be able to know Master Reidal's popular haunts on the planet."

"T-thank you," Altina stuttered as she thanked the dock worker, realizing at that moment that she neglected to thank Kuzon for his offer of help. Or even introduce herself, for that matter.

She looked to Kuzon, who was not too far away.

"Do you know how to deal with droids?" she asked him.

Altina rarely saw any in her secluded life either. Even when she lived on Naboo with her rich family, she was tended to by servant instead of droid. All she really knew was that many of them used droidspeak, which she definitely would not be able to understand.

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So focused on the goal that Kuzon almost forgot about Altina as he continued to sprint through the hallway. It was only when she called out to slow down did he look back and realize what the issue is. Slowing down slightly Kuzon couldn’t help but wonder.

Don’t all Jedi do physical training as well? Come to think of it, this one doesn’t seem like she has spent much time outdoors.

Very curious but Kuzon saved the question for another time just as he and Altina finally passed the entrance and headed for the landing pads. Finally stopping and catching a breath, the Islander glanced around for Reidal but saw only dock workers and some droids occupied with their various jobs.

Did he take off already?

Subsequently he watched his new aquippence nervously ask one of the workers about the Master. Wincing a little at the sight Kuzon didn’t know what to make of her. She obviously is not used to interacting with others. His confusion mounted when Altina turned and asked him to speak with the nearby protocol droid.

Don’t see the big deal, it's just a machine.

Of course Kuzon didn’t say that outloud instead he politely nodded in reply and walked over to the protocol unit. A few feet away Kuzon asked. “Pardon me Seevee we students are looking for Master Reidal. Do you know where he is or going?”

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Seevee turned his head as Kuzon got his attention, peering at the newcomers as he processed the question. It took a second-long pause for the droid to answer, perhaps from worn out components in his verbobrain. "Master Reidal? He has been taking trips into the Unknown Regions fairly regularly as of late. Seems unlikely that he can be contacted when he goes out there."

That was not what Altina wanted to hear. "Where would he be right now?!"

The nearby crates shuddered and it seemed like almost every bolt in the droid's body wasn't pleased with the tremor either. "In the forest out back! There is a hidden lake that he liked to visit before setting off! Over there!"

The droid gestured past the landing pads to where the forest seemed to swallow all light. It seemed like it would be thick enough forestry to hide a lake.

Altina pressed her fingers to her forehead as she took deep breaths, trying to regain control of herself. She still had a long way to go before she could control her powers. The primal display was just another example of what she was like back before she was taken to Ajan Kloss. It was not for training: it was for help.

Once she settled down, Altina looked at Kuzon sheepishly. She was supposed to be better at this than him, having received more training, but it is only flaw after flaw that she has been showing him. A terrible example of a padawan. Altina is still so fresh in her training that she did not even have her own lightsaber yet. Kuzon probably would surpass her in no time at the rate that she was trudging through training.

"Sorry," Altina mumbled, to both Seevee and Kuzon. "I didn't mean it like that."

"Let's just go," she hastily added. It would be better for everyone to move on.

The fledgling padawan started off in the direction of the forest, expecting Kuzon to come with her.

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Guess I should’ve been more specific. Kuzon realized when answered by the droid. He was about to do just that when Altina beat him to it. In that moment everything shook, surprising the newcomer and nearly lost his footing. Despite his lack of training Kuzon sensed the padawan's panic through the force and made him swear under his breath.

Seevee quickly explained and pointed where Reidal could be. However, Kuzon was more focused on what just happened. He turned to the other padawan, embarrassed at losing control. She had great power and did something he had not done before.

By the look of her however, it wasn’t something the girl took pleasure in. After apologizing and stating they need to go, Kuzon watched her walked for the jungle before following behind.

Catching up, Kuzon advanced beside the other Jedi on the left. Honestly at the moment he didn’t know what to say. Asking if she feels okay would feel hollow because the girl obviously did not. How can anyone be after an outburst like that? Within a few minutes of navigating the foliage Kuzon managed to ask in an awkward tone.

“What’s your name by the way?”

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My name? Altina mentally smacked herself for forgetting when she had already reminded herself to find a time for proper introductions.

"Altina," she said as they ducked into the foliage. Then she remembered she forgot her family name. "Altina Tiramara."

A snap of a vision occluded her sight, making her pause in her step as she blinked back into reality. It always seemed that the forest was more likely to trigger the visions and voices. Master Eridan thought it might had to do with the concentration of the Force's life energies being denser in the forestry around the temple, but it was impossible to know for sure at this point.

She winced as the roar of an engine invaded her senses. Except, something seemed off about it. As though the ship itself was breaking apart. The metal screamed as it buckled, sheared, and snapped. The intensity of the moment was so severe that it brought Altina to her knees.

Her hands covered her ears as Altina struggled fruitlessly to block out the unholy sounds and her teeth gritted in concentration. With closed eyes, Altina tried to focus. It was rare for her to feel something this intense in the Force. Her untrained self would struggle for hours to regain control, but even with her training, it isn't quite enough.

She reached out with a hand, trying to grasp something around her. Something to focus on. Her hand rested on something warm. Altina opened one eye to see what it was. In hand was Kuzon's arm. Altina never tried using someone else as her focus: it was always an object. She had no idea what would happen if she tried focusing on Kuzon, but it felt like she had no other option.

Altina wanted to warn him as she looked into his eyes, but she didn't know what to say before another wave of intense feelings struck her. The same sounds and experiences would course into Kuzon as long as Altina held his arm, but she would have no way of realizing that.

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Kuzon had grown up near a jungle but this place had a different feel than his homeworld. Feels more alive to be honest. I don't know a lot about the force but I have to admit it can be quite amazing. Hearing the young girl’s brief answer the Islander nodded thoughtfully as he tried to look in the distance.

“That’s a good name. I imagine it has special meaning like all true names do.”

Of course Kuzon would receive no reply to that comment as Altina suddenly halted in mid-wall. It took a few seconds before he noticed out of the corner of his eye the other Jedi dropping to knee level and covering her ears with both hands. Confused and sensing the fear from his companion the nineteen year old thought. Something is wrong.

Before he could say or do anything, Altina without looking desperately reached out and grasped Kuzon’s hand. In that instant he howled in pain as his hearing and mind were overrun by the vision from Altina. A ship he had never seen before shattering and all the chaos surrounding it.

Forced to his knees with eyes closed Kuzon grunted and cursed all of the vision played out in every detail. Finally it stopped. Breaking out in a cold sweat and panting heavily he looked back at Altina, completely shaken by what he just felt and saw.

“What was that?” He asked in a hoarse voice.

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She didn't know how to answer that question: there were too many ways to think about it. Did he mean what was in the vision? Or what was a vision? Or even what happened when she grabbed his hand? The third, she had no answer to whatsoever.

"I don't know," she answered, wiping the sweat from her brow.

There were too many questions about the vision itself as well. Whose ship was it? Was anyone on board? Is a vision of her own future or someone else's history? They had too little information to reason with any of them, so Altina pushed those thoughts aside and turned her attention to Kuzon, encumbered from the experience.

"Are you hurt?" she asked.

He didn't seem injured, but at the very least he seemed shaken by the experience. Altina couldn't blame him: she imagined that she looked a lot like that when she first had these kinds of experiences back home. Even now, she still had no answer other than just to endure them as they come. But she had never done what she had just did with Kuzon before: based on how he reacted, it seemed like the two were seeing the same moments of the vision together. Did she do that? Or was that just a side-effect from the Force? The questions never end.

"Can you walk?" Altina asked further.

She doubted she was strong enough to carry Kuzon. Even just supporting his weight seemed daunting to attempt just because of how much bigger he was compared to her. But Altina knew that she dragged him into this and she had to help him cope with the consequences.

On top of that, Master Reidal isn't waiting for them.

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She doesn't know, you kidding me!? Kuzon thought, his body continuing to shake uncontrollably. Grimacing to himself the new arrival gripped both his arms tightly. Never had he experienced such a vision and a mysterious one at that.

Do all Jedi deal with this? It was another question among many Kuzon had about the Order. He rocked back and forth while his heart speeded away like a pod racer. Asked if he was hurt, the Islander closed his eyes unable to answer.

That felt like hell.

Physically he wasn’t injured but the experience was overwhelming and not easily shaken off. Kuzon bit his lips, slowly calming himself now and repeated these words three times. “I am one with the force and the force is with me.” The young man breathed in and out.

“Pathetic, that's what I am pathetic.” He whispered with great shame, briefly forgetting Altina was beside him. Tensing up at the next question Kuzon slowly glanced back at the other Jedi.

Embarrassed at the sight he was now presenting, Kuzon forced himself to stand up. “I can walk, let’s keep moving.”


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She didn't make out everything that Kuzon whispered, but one word stood out. Pathetic. Who? What? The thoughts scared her perhaps more than the visions themselves.

"Sorry," she said, just in case.

It was better if they moved on. At least Kuzon seemed like he didn't need her help. The two continued on. Altina didn't want to say anything that might irritate him, or else she might face a more direct expression of anger or frustration.

The forest eventually gave way to the hidden lake, just as Seevee said. The sun could not penetrate the canopy of the forest, but the plethora of lightbugs and luminescent flora at the lake's depths provided more than enough illumination to see. A lone figure sat cross-legged at the waterfront of the incredible scene, facing towards the water.

"Master Reidal?" she dared break the silence.

The man didn't turn around, but patted the ground on other side of him. "Come, sit."

Altina complied without questioning it. She looked over at the man and saw it was indeed Master Reidal. The way he dressed was exactly as she had been told: dark hair, scruffy beard, and leather jacket.

"I have a feeling that the two of you saw something on the way here. Is that true?" Master Reidal asked.

"I-I don't think we saw anything," Altina quickly answered, not really picking up his meaning.

"I'm certain you did," Reidal answered. He turned to Kuzon. "You saw it, didn't you? Perhaps the first time you ever experienced it. What did you see?"

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Kuzon said nothing on the rest of the journey. His mind was so focused on the violent vision that he didn’t hear Altina’s apology. It caused him to twitch every few seconds. Grimacing he thought bitterly. First day with the Order I’m already falling apart. Some student I am.

The only thing keeping him going right now was his desire to help a person. But right now it seemed like he needed the assistance as well and shattered his confidence. It wasn’t too long before he and Altina came upon the hidden lake. Kuzon’s normal self would enjoy the beauty of the scene but his eyes were downcast to the ground as if on the way to prison.

The Jedi Master was there but Kuzon felt no relief, just anxiousness, ashamed of his state. Again the Islander said nothing while Altina and Reidal spoke with one another. When they were told to sit Kuzon emotionlessly complied. He dropped to the ground and sat cross legged while trying not to look at the other Jedi, in an vain attempt not to let them see his haunted state.

He was staring absently at the light bugs hovering the water when he and Altina were asked about what they saw on the way. Kuzon tense up, and squeezed his knuckles hoping to avoid the conversation but the Master subsequently directed the question directly at him.

Reluctantly he looked the man in the eyes with sweat falling on his face. Struggling to speak without breaking down completely, Kuzon mustered enough nerve to reply.

“I saw...a ship whose design I never seen before. It was falling, breaking and shredding to pieces so loudly that I thought my head was going to explode.”

He looked down at the ground once more and confessed. “I have sensed some things like feelings before…but never seen a vision before until now.”

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Master Reidal nodded. "Thank you. What you have seen, I suspect may be in my future."

He held up a hand to silence Altina's gaping mouth. "It may not be me on that falling ship, but the two of you must understand why Jedi have visions. To have a vision of something is to see something that holds importance. Perhaps to show them the future. Or to reveal the truth in history. Or perhaps even as a teaching moment."

"Don't let a singular moment end your journey before it has even begun, young man," Master Reidal told Kuzon sternly. "There is much that you must learn before you can question yourself."

"And to you, miss: yours is still close to its beginning. There will be hardship, but you will find your destination in the end," he said to Altina.

Altina blushed a little, entirely unsure of how to respond to Master Reidal's advice. But the Jedi Master was already brushing himself off, getting ready to leave.

"Don't spread the word about this place. Some places are best left untouched," Master Reidal added as he got to his feet.

Altina's heart skipped a beat. She almost forgot the reason for why they came here.

"Master Reidal, we actually came for the copy of Skywalker: The Journey of Restoration you were borrowing," Altina interjected.

"Oh! Thank you for reminding me. I wanted to give you a break from Master Eridan. He seemed like a real slave driver of a teacher," Master Reidal said with a laugh.

He pulled the holobook from his pocket, offering it to Altina. She took it without hesitation and stared at the cover. All that effort just for this book. Altina looked at Kuzon as Master Reidal stepped away from the shore.

"Well... Shall we head back?" Altina asked Kuzon.

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Kuzon’s eyes flew back in surprise at Reidal’s revelation. He could say nothing as the Jedi Master went on to explain what visions mean in various ways for Jedi. Such a gift with great burden. Can I actually bear it? Then the master perhaps sensing his thoughts or so rebuked him not let a moment stop his path.

The Islander tensed up but begrudgingly nodded, accepting the advice though he didn’t fully understand it. A singular moment? Is he referring to what happened on the way here...or something else?

Not wanting to dwell on the other possibility, Kuzon was about to turn around when Altina finally asked for the book she had been looking for. The new arrival looked with curiosity on as Redial handed it to the young girl. Despite everything that happened Kuzon found himself grinning with mild amusement at the exchange.

Once Altina turned her attention to him and asked if they should get going. Clearing his throat Kuzon answered. “Oh yea we better do that.” Twisting around heading back for where they came from.

As they walked on Kuzon’s curiosity grew and asked Altina.

“So what is this book about anyway? I recognize the name Skywalker from the legends but not much else.”

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Altina initially hoped that the trip back the temple would be quiet, but it was clear that would not be the case the moment Kuzon opened his mouth. She had to think for a moment about how to answer, given her memory leading up to the book was starting to get muddled with everything that happened since.

"Master Eridan said that I needed to study Luke Skywalker and the librarian recommended I start with this one in particular," Altina explained.

There was nothing more to it. The librarian added at the same time that Master Reidal had the last copy and that was what led her on her race through the temple grounds in search for him. She had heard from the Voices before that events don't happen by chance; that her meeting with Kuzon was ordained by the Force. Altina didn't know how to feel about that, given that the same logic would apply to her condition, but it did feel like there was something behind the scenes that brought the two of them together.

"Do you want to borrow it after I'm finished?" she asked.

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Kuzon Lu Ten

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Luke Skywalker… He recognized the last name but the first wasn’t one something Kuzon had heard before. The Islander did know that one who bore the name Skywalker long ago fought great evil and changed the galaxy forever. Sometimes the tales were of one man or a woman but some claimed it were others.

Recovering more from the earlier incident Kuzon was slowly becoming his old self even as an avian flock flew by them heading for the north. His thoughts returned to Altina. For all of her nervous disposition she seemed to be very intelligent and determined.

I certainly wasn’t running around looking for a book at her age. It must be quite the read. His interest in the Skywalker book peaked as a result.

When asked if he wanted to read she was done Kuzon glanced at her trying to see if the offer was genuine. It felt so. Slowly a grateful smile surfaced on his features.

“Thank you but only after you’re done with it Altina so please take your time. To learn more about the great Skywalker is an honor.”

As if on cue they came out of the foliage returning to the landing pads. Subsequently he looked at Altina again and said.

“Altina I’m glad that you got what you needed. Hope that book helps with your studies.”

With that Kuzon took his leave, intending to return back to the temple's quarter inside. Feeling the sweat on his brow and neck Kuzon grinned to himself as he passed the entrance and thought.

What an eventual first day. For some reason I feel there is more to come.

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Altina Tiramara

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She watched as Kuzon headed back. Throughout all of it, Altina did not stop to ask why he chose to help her. He had no reason to and Altina would not have given him a second thought if he simply brushed her off at the dormitories.

"For over a thousand generations, the Jedi Knights were the guardians of peace and justice in the Old Republic," a voice whispered, as though they were listening in on her thoughts.

Altina closed her eyes and focused herself in the Force, as Master Eridan had taught her, to keep any further voices under control. Yes, they were right. Kuzon helped her because he is a Jedi. Perhaps that was the only answer she needed.

The young padawan headed in a different direction, to head back to the temple library where she could get some peace and quiet to read the holobook that they had collected.

// END THREAD

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