Topic: Fan Fic, The Test
Well I wrote this up and sent it to Aaron but I think I mistyped his email or my horrible internet connection here in Afghanistan dropped the email (that happens believe it or not). So I thought I would post it on here. I am horrible at spelling, typos, and grammar but I have been told I have some small tallent in this area. Kinda nervous to post this for all to see but here goes. Enjoy and let me know what you think.
It was hot on Myrkr. Ala stood on his hands with his back to a wall and a large stone balanced on each foot, while the sweat trickled down his body. He was uncomfortable and over heated, but was givin just enough water to stave off dehydration. Withstanding heat was just another test. Another measure of proving that he was the best. Heat baked him in waves but he maintained concentration and focused his entire being on keeping his entire body rigid, and under conntrol. The heat did not effect him because he did not allow it to.
The old withered Nohgri beside Ala was doing the exact same thing. They had began at the same time and Ala could tell this test was just as trying on his master as it was on him. The wrinkled shrivled form beside him trembled just perceptibly with the effort. His hissing breaths betrayed the weakness of age. His watery eyes showed signs of distress and fatigue, and yet the tiny grey humanoid supported two stones equal in size to those used by Ala.
Ala was not fooled by the old former commando. He bore the scars of having underestimated the old master while sparing. He knew the the masters wit was as keen and his frail appearing body was as honed as it ever was. He knew that his master had done this same exercise for hours while balancing on ONE hand. Years of training had forged the tiny body's muscles into durasteel.The little Nohgri might be old, but he was far from weak.
The little former commando turned and spoke to him, in a light whispy grating tone. "Tired?" was all he said. The master had a twinkle in his eye as he stared into the eyes of his pupal. Just as suspected the old Noghri was simply waiting for failure. He took it for granted as always. He spoke in the same calm controled voice he always did. Although he spoke with a slight tremor from age, there was no weakness in the voice of the master.
Every time they had done this excercise, or any excercise, they had done it as a pair. The master did not believe that anyone should teach what they could not learn, or command something they could not do. Every task, job, chore, fight, or lesson had been performed by both master and student. Every hardship endured had been the same for them equaly. For eight years the had done this and every task had ended in the same result.
The little Nohgri had done it better, longer and more precisely. Every time they had done this exercise, it had ended with Ala collapsing in a quivvering heap and moaning from the pain of the two stones falling on him. Every time this happened the little Nohgri had quietly and precisely lowered his stones to the ground and picked up his pupal and carried him back to their quarters. Every time the master had shown why he was chosen to train Nohgri commandos for 30 years before Ala was born.
Ala responded with a smile and shake of his head. When he had started training as an eight year old boy, he had had to restart the exercise after failing. Over the course of the years since however he had trained his mind to push his body to the point where the task was no longer physicaly possible for him. Now when he fell he would have drained every last vestige of energy from his body. He did not tremble nor did he waver. He was stone. He would not fall. His entire being focused on mainting the correct position and posture as long as his master required.
His master collapsed. It was such a shock to Ala that he had lowered his feet droping his stones safely away from himself and flipped to his feet before he realized it. He had not even contemplated the fact that he had finaly beaten his master at his own game as he leapt to the fallen quivvering Nohgri. "Dynast! Are you injured? What happened? Are you ill?" He pulled off the two stones from the crumpled form and lifted the shaking Nohgri by his upper arms.
"Perhaps I am too old," Said the master "or perhaps you have all of the training I can give you." Grated the Nohgri. "Our training today has finished. You are compleat." Ala did not take the time to contemplate the import of those words. He lifted the frail wizened body and dashed towards their quarters.
"Ba'buir! Ba'Buir! The Dynast is ill! Help!" Several heads of several different species thrust from the different buildings of the compound and most of the occupants hurried toward them. One was an older human like Ala. In fact he and the boy had a striking resemblance altered only by the myriad of scars on the older man. He strode forward as Ala dropped to his knees in the dirt and looked down at the little Nohgri with a wry chuckle.
"Finaly beat you did he?" Said the older man in a voice that sounded like a beskar saber being sharpened. The harsh, jagged, grinding baso of the mans voice sounded like death itself. The older man looked down unconcerned at the shaking form of the Nohgri on the ground for a moment before he spoke. "Go clean your self up Ala, we will take care of him. He will be fine." The boy hesitated for a moment a defiant and protective gleam in his eye, then nodded, rose, and turned away.
The old man turned and addressed the crowd. "Get the Nohgri whatever he needs then all of you meet me for a conference." With that he turned and strode away, while they attended the former commando.
Only a moment later there was a meeting in the dining hall of the little compound. The old man sat at the head of the table. He sat unadorned in nondescript clothing, but wore it as any predator wears his skin. His hair was mostly grey and his wrinkled skin was furrowed and crisscrossed with so many scars it was hard to be sure that he was even truly a human. He sat in a perfect picture of posture. He was obviously in command, and the posture of everyone at the table showed that they acnowledged that.
He pierced the silence with his jarring voice so suddenly that any other group would have jumped.
"So...." He said as he looked around the table with his dark piercing eyes. "What is the decision you have reached?" The quivvering Nohgri was the first to speak, his voice a more quiet and age softened version of the old mans grate.
"He is without equal. He can kill any man in this room with his bare hands. He knows more about weapons and how to use them than the people who make them. He is undetectable when he wants to be and stronger in mind than any other human I have ever met." The import of his words did not miss the attention of anyone in the room. He was saying that the boy was the equal of any of them, including the old man. He was saying that the boy was ready.
The Verpine spoke next. His antennae shifted as he spoke, the left one tilted at an odd angle due to an injury incurred in a vibro-blade fight. "He is the most capable mechanic I have ever taught. He can improvise, repair and slice any system he can come across with minimal supplies. I do not think I could teach him any more unless he was verpine. I left him in orbit in an escape pod without any systems other than life support and an emergency beacon. As I was leaving he sliced my ships slave circuits useing the emergency becon and had my ship return and tractor beam him into the cargo bay. I do not believe there is anything more he can learn from me." His repetitive speach pattern was an unfortunate side effect of his dammaged antennae. Again everyone in the room realized the importance of what was said. The boy was ready.
One by one the members of this group told the old man the same thing. The Dug, that the boy could outpilot any being in any vehicle over any course. The Ithorian that the boy knew more about medicine and healing than most doctors. Each different individual was a master at his art, and each one admited the boy their equal. For all of these beings of a variety of different species to say this must have been difficult for them, but each one no matter how tough crusty hard or dangerous had a soft spot for the boy as they had watched him grow from a gangling dark haird child of eight, to hard strong smart resourceful adolescent.
He was the product of tireless teaching at the hands of the galactic underworlds best.
The last to rise and give testament was the most shocking. He was Yuuzhan Vong. The gnarled and disfigured warrior spoke of the boys ability to withstand any pain, and endure any hardship. He expounded on the youths prowess and cunning and spoke of his knowledge of combat. He admitted that the boy could have forced him to divulge any secret despit his ability to resist torture and drugs. Even this creature from another galaxy, one of the most hated and feared species ever to roam the spacelanes, could not honestly admit that he was the boys superior. He was ready.
As the grizzled warrior finished and sat the old man slowly looked around the table. He was a hard man. He still walked with a deadly grace even though his age had corrupted his body. He still looked imposing even without an entire arsenal strapped to his body. He was still the most revered fighting man in the galaxy, even though he hadn't fought anyone in more than a decade or so.
He was Boba Fett.
He turned to the Nohgri who seemed to have somewhat recovered from his experiance. "Bring Ala." was all he said in that chilling grating voice that had haunted the dreams of the most deadly beings in the galaxy. The Nohgri rose and left, returning shortly with the boy, though it seemed that he took longer than he usually would have. Age having finaly bested him it seemed.
Ala walked into the room straight backed, He wore simple fatigue trousers and boots but no shirt. Myrkr's oppressive humidity and heat in this region made him glisten with sweat. Small pock-mark scars stood out on his body, though not as many as were on Boba. He was a larger man than his great-grandfather was, and he had been sculpted into the perfect fighting man. He did not scowl or smile upon entering the room. He merely assessed the room and the threats there. One eyebrow arched when he realized that all of his teachers were there. He stood and waited to find out the reason for this meeting.
"Come here boy." Said his great-grandfather from the other side of the room. "I have been told you are ready. Apperently there is nothing more any one in this room can teach you. You are a master of every art, ability, trick or scheme that these men know of. Today you recieve what is yours." Ala paced across the room. His great grand father gestured to a large white trunk in front of him and Ala studied it.
I was a solid piece carved entirely from mythosaur bone. The hinges were not put togeather but carefully carved out so that the box had never been assembeled, but literally carved from one piece. Ala had never seen anything like it and could not estimate the value of it even though he could name dozens of people who could price it. The top of the trunk was carved with the ancient symbol of the Mandalorians, the skull of the mythosaur. It was easily large enough to hold a human body or maybe two, and did not appear to have a lock or latch. This to was a test.
Ala circumnavagated the box studying it intently and when he had returned to the front he leaned down to carefuly run his fingers over the carving. He had studied puzzle boxes and instantly recognized this as one for although there was no lock a box of this value would contain only something of greater value and so would be able to keep it safe.
There! he felt on of the eye socketts of the mythosaur shift ever so slightly under his studied touch. He felt the eye and when he could not make it move more than a micrometer he felt both eyes simultaneously. He pushed gently down on both eyes with his thumbs, untill they would retreat no farter then moved his thumbs experimentally and felt the eyes shift under the lip of the hole they had vacated. Both eyes moved away from each other towards opposite ends of the trunk. With a soft click the lid sprung open just a crack.
Boba looked up and locked eyes with the master burgler he had hired to train his great grand son who returned his gaze with an "I told you so" smirk. Boba only raised an eyebrow in appreciation and returned to watching the boy.
Ala opened the trunk slowly examining inside the lid for hidden wires or booby traps then as the thick lid slowly swung open examined the locking mechanism of the trunk. It to had all been carefully carved from a solid piece so craftily that it could not be dissassembled, nor fooled by someone who did not know how to open the box. The inside of the lid was made with the intention that someone could add the booby traps Ala had been wary of if they so chose. In fact it was made to host a very wide variety of booby traps. One could set things to destroy the box and its contents, or just the contents or destroy whoever opened it, or even a city block on coruscant if one had the correct ordnance.
Finaly the boy looked down into the box. It held a wide assortment of lethal and nonlethal weapons, some quite expensive and/or illegal. It held a calling beacon for a ship and a vast myriad of different kinds of explosives. The box contained everything from toxins to hold out blasters arranged around the sides carefully placed and assorted some mounted to the walls of the box and some in perfectly fitted cubbyholes. In the center in a large upraised portion segragated from all of the rest of the equipment was a carefully arranged set of Beskar'gam. It was a compleate set of Mandalorian armor, made of the hardest metal in the known galaxy.
The boy stared down in awe for a moment in total silence. Then upon realizing that some areas of the box were left empty he felt a tap at his shoulder and turned to see his mentors and teachers standing in a line to come before him one by one. The grizzly Yuuzhan Vong stood first in line and he passed the boy something and clasped him on the arm the turned and walked from the door, and out of Ala's life. He looked down in his hand and realized that he held an amphistaff. The main weapon of a full Yuuzhan Vong warrior. He commanded the creature into the box almost by reflex and it went as it was commanded.
Teacher after teacher came to him and profered a gift that was reverntly placed in the box. Each gift was a tool in the craft the master had taught of the highest quality. As they moved past Ala he realized that some looked sad as though they would never see him again. Some looked happy for him, as though he were their own off spring. All of them looked on him with pride, knowing that they had taught him well. As the gangly verpine gave him a vast set of tools also made of Beskar and walked away he looked down at the last of the teachers to bid him farewell. The Nohgri.
As the tiny wizend figure walked up to him and held out his gift, Ala almost began to chok up. Almost... Everything is a test. He accepted the gift, and examined it. It was a pair of bracers that could mount either with or without armor. The bracers themselves were constructed entirely of Beskar and had rods and springs situated so as to propel weapons into the hands of the wearer upon command. A small loop fit over his thumbs as he put on the bracers and strapped them down. if he moved his thumbs in one direction a pair of small blasters shot forward into his hands, good for at least 15 rounds apiece. They looked similar to the pistols issued to storm troopers in the old Imperial days. Another movement shot forward replacement power packs and held them so that the user could eject the old ones and ram home the new with a flick of th wrist. There were four spare power packs per blaster and one already in the blasters made five each. He was puzzled however by a pair of small cylinders nestled between the power packs and the blasters. he put everything back to its origional position with a certain motion of his wrists and thumbs, and the small cylinders shot forward into his hands with a distinctive snap-hiss.
Lightsabers? Though they were extemely like them in every way they were much shorter and the blade only reached about a foot and a half. The dark ruby red blades meant they were of sith origin, and the symbols carved into the handles dated them back to the days of the Old Sith Wars. Shotos, they were called. Each shoto being mounted in a different grieve meant that the user could wield two shotos, or two blasters, or one shoto and one blaster. The advantage was obvious and Ala immediatly realized the importance of the gift. "Thank you Dynast" He said.
The small figure smiled grimly and said "I am not your Dynast any more, as you are now of your own clan and must be your own Dynast. From now on you call me either Treghfelar clan Ushkae, or you call me friend." Ala smiled and bowed to his old master and recieved a return bow. Then the old Nohgri turned and shuffeled out of the room leaving Ala with the only other occupant in the room.
He faced his great grand father and bowed to him to. As he recieved a defined nod that was as close to a bow as he had ever seen from the man he felt a swelling of pride at the compliment. He had just recieved the same measure of defference as Darth Vader once had. He laid the grieves in the chest and stood for a moment, then Boba spoke. " Your ready and now your equipped. Your ship is ready for you. From now on your no longer little Ala the clever boy Mirta asked me to train. You are Dha'kal Fett."
Dha'kal reached down into the chest and lifted out the helmet. Looking down into the visor. The armor was painted black and green. Sometimes the two colors were mixed in a striped pattern as a type of camoflage.
How fitting that my mother would name me "Dark-Knife" and Ba'buir would give me armor painted dark colors.
P.S. Ala's thoughts were supposed to be italicised but that somehow got lost in translation sorry.