Ashti moistened his lips and rubbed his brow before answering.
"Understand, that the Force works in mysterious ways. She is the bearer of all life, and whatever one's past may be, she can cleanse it, making you whole. True Sovereignty does not need a perfect soul but, one that is willing to follow. You have been tasked with a mandate to end corruption within the galaxy, and your presence here is the foundation of that mandate".
Taking a breath the Grans Master continued.
"You may not be aware of it but, I was once in service to the Sith and their philosophies. It was revealed to me from a young age that corruption within the Force ran deep, and it was then that I began to Follow".
The Anzati stood still awaiting Kelmoon's response.
''Oh erm, sorry about that.'' *In Gamorrese* ''Little whelp. Get out my way!''
A strong, green arm thundered down in Kelmoon's direction, the beast's natural sweat glistening as it did so. Kelmoon raised his arms to counter the blow, simultainiously kicking the legs away and smiling. A large thud ringed through the cantina, nearly causing Tav to drop her latest order.
''Wha-what? Who did that? I think I need my circuits re-wiring...''
Kelmoon gazed down at his felled foe. He couldn't pinpoint what he was feeling? Was it....victory? Emotions only just marking their entrance into Kelmoon's life. It was wonderous. Booming clapping sounded behind him. Glancing back, a beaming Kyandas stepped forward.
''Superb Kelmoon! Really, superb. Gib is the Jin Tar arm wrestling champion. Or was, as of now.'' ''Shall I...clean it up?'' ''No, not at all. Tav will manage that. She is stronger than she looks.''
Almost on cue, the scrapping of a body along a metal floor and the grumbling of a droid faded away into the dark corners of the Jin Tar. It was to be an uncomfortable awakening for the Gamorrean. Kelmoon made his way back to the Grand Master's table and plopped onto one of it's cushioned chairs. He noticed Kyandas's gaze fall upon him.
The focus was on him? Surely not. For too long had Kelmoon felt outplaced.
''I can try my best to answer your questions Master. But....I also have my own questions.''
''Understandably. Let's start with you.''
The afternoon seemed to melt away as Kelmoon recited his past to the Grand Master of the Followers of Palawa. Patrons whizzed by unnoticed, cantina brawls unfolded in flails of blood and dust. It was the first time Kelmoon looked back upon these events in such clarity, and some questions were born from this, some he was unable to understand, nor did he think the answers were within reach.
''...and there you have it. 10 years I spent on Hoth, waiting for the Jedi and the Republic to find me. 10 years!''
Kelmoon slammed his fist onto the steel table, the pain emulsified by the anger burning in his heart. He rubbed his eyes, remenants of the long day that had passed. The Grand Master sat idle, although his eyes and mind appeared elsewhere.
''May I ask you something Grand Master?''
The Grand Master snapped into reality, nodding and waved his hand in acknowledgement.
''Well, for the entire trip here, I've been wondering...why I am here, in your presence. Of all people, why was I chosen? I am just a Jedi with a troubled past. Surely that's more of a reason to chose someone else?''
The Grand Master leaned back, searching for the answer his young student sought...
''Nice to see you Dal. I spoke to you a little when I arrived. And what do you mean by 'drink'? You mean water?''
''Erm, I'm afraid not. I was enquiring to an alcoholic beverage''.
''Well then, ill have one of these 'alcoholic beverages'''
''Sure. Tav, one Reactor Core please.''
Dalthiel glanced towards Kyandas who sensed his confusion. Kyandas's look revealed he had the answers. Tav wandered over to the table and placed a large glass in front of Kelmoon. He took an anxious swig.
''Will you excuse us one moment Kelmoon?''
Kyandas rose from his seat and led Dalthiel to one side.
''What's the deal with Kelmoon? He has never heard of a Reactor Core? Or a drink for that matter?''
''Dalthiel, he spent his entire childhood alone on Hoth.''
''He refuses to say. And id ratjer not probe his mind for the answers. The boy has had a rough time.''
''Ok. I understand. Ill see you later.'
Dalthiel turned to the exit, giving a quick nod to Tav on his way out. Kyandas turned to Kelmoon who had all but downed his Reactor Core.
''Aren't these 'alcoholic drinks' supposed to make you tipsy?''
''Im afraid that's one disadvantage to being force sensitive, your strong will prevents the in toxication from kicking in'' chuckled Kyandas as he sat in his familiar spot.''
Kelmoon walked through a large metal door which above it lay a glimmering Jin Tar sign. The air in the cantina was warm and buzzing. Kelmoon felt safe for the first time in his life. A shining silver droid greeted Kelmoon as he lowared his hood to face the lights.
''Hello sir. I am Tav. Welcome to the Jin Tar. Can I get you anything?''
''Erm, no thanks.''
Tav walked off to a corner of the cantina.
''Kelmoon! So good you could make it.''
A shadowy figure emerged from a table to Kelmoon's right. He reached out a hand with sharpness and boldness. Kelmoon obliged the call.
''Hello Grand Master.''
''Come. Sit with me.''
Kyandas stook out a hand to his table. Kelmoon sat down, embracing the comfort of his surroundings.
Coruscant is a distant memory Master Kyandas. You and Aden are the only ones who truly know what I left behind buried in the under city. The Force moves in all of us, but you Jedi are tangled in over your heads. I want to keep any memory of the Force behind me. I’m going to start living like the smarter half of the galaxy—blind and deaf to the Force. There’s just something strangely appealing about the common citizen’s ability to be so respectably ill-mannered—besides, the Force is trouble. The less I know about it, the fewer strings there are attached.
Dalthiel took another swing of his Reactor Core and looked over at Tav as if wanting to change the subject.
My gut has never steered me wrong before. I know this is the right thing to do. The Black Sun may have put a death mark on my head for stealing that XS Freighter, but that ship is going to be my ticket to breaking the new Imperial blockade. I just need an impressive name for my ship when it makes all the galactic headlines.
Dalthiel grinned to one side and winked at Master Kyandas with the kind of charm the old Master appreciated of his followers.
Upon listening to what the smuggler had to say Master Kyandas had felt relieved to a certain extent. Many had left Bunduki to begin a new life. It was understandable, for one to witness the death of entire planet was heartbreaking.
Tav returned with a special cup and handed it to Ashti. It was a silver goblet that showed intricate markings. Taking a swig of his "Luck" the Grand Master returened his gaze on Dalthiel.
"Tell me friend, what really happened on Coruscant. I heard you were not yourself".
Actually Master Kyandas...I've been doing a lot of thinking. I'm grateful for all your help. I mean...if it wasn't for you and the other followers, I'd be a dead man. You're training has really helped me to clear my mind from that incendent with the Black Sun. But...
Dalthiel could feel the pause grow ackward. He wasn't used to spilling his guts in his line of work. But Master Kyandas had shown him hospitality. He was a man of his word, and Dalthiel owed him as much.
"...I'm sorry Master Kyandas, something has come up...A business proposal."
Dalthiel's eyes shifted to Tav who had already returned carrying his liquor. He handed over a credit chip as he took the Reactor Core with his other hand. Tav scanned the chip and handed it over. Dalthiel took a refreshing swing of his Reactor Core.
"...I just thought I should let you know before I lift off tomorrow. I'm a follower to the end--you know that right? I have your back."
Dalthiel paused. Smuggling runs never got easier--even the simple ones. He just wanted to know if someone would miss him when he failed to return one day. In either case, as crazy as it sounded, he missed his life of adventure. Things on Bunduki were becoming a little too familiar for his taste.
"I'll be back soon Master Kyandas...nothing to worry about."