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Private The Quill is Mightier Than the Sword

A Light Shining in Darkness
Character

The memories of Kintan were hard on the mind, and Wyatt had spent every waking moment of free time he had coming to terms with the back to back casualities caused by the Sith. It wasn’t easy - and the deaths wore heavy on him; as he could feel their pain imparted on him through the Force. Ten thousand screams, and only one soul to process it.​
He sighed as he lifted himself up from the dojo’s floor. More than that, he realized there was yet someone who had taken on more than he had - Jend-Ro Quill Jend-Ro Quill , a Jedi Master otherwise secluded to the harsh winters of Hoth was faced with the emotional strain of a dozen deaths; but he had gone a step farther, and taken the pain upon himself. A pacifist, Wyatt knew he wasn’t prepared for what had happened - but he had no choice in the moment.​
The blood that covered the elderly man, the blood that came after; even in his uncious state, he knew he would have felt some of what occurred. There was no doubting the Master would have his own troubles dealing with the situation - and the distance Quill had from most Jedi in the Order didn’t help the situation much either. So, Wyatt had devised a moment guised in ‘officiality’ to hopefully open a path for Jend-Ro.​
As the door opened, Wyatt smiled at the figure as he entered -​
Welcome, Jend-Ro. I know its short notice, but I thought you might enjoy a bit of training.”, Wyatt offered with a small bow.​
Something to get our minds off the galaxy at large. If you’re up for it, that is.”​
 
Hermit of Hoth
Writer
Wyatt Morga Wyatt Morga

"Wyatt, I'm fragile, but not too fragile for you to be up front with me. We both know why you asked me here."

Even now, after a couple of months getting his balance on the OPA Firefist expedition, the memory of Kintan threatened to overwhelm him. He'd been tired already, fighting heatstroke, when the Children of the New Order began butchering civilian survivors for no discernible reason. He remembered begging them to stop.

When they didn't, he'd killed them. All of them, the entire six-man band who'd started murdering people right in front of him without warning. He'd snapped the first man's neck with the Force, broken the second man's sword and killed him with it, and launched the third with a bone-shattering Force push. When the last three slit a girl's throat, he'd gone a step farther, crossed a bridge he'd specifically promised himself he would never cross. A while ago, he'd learned to take others' wounds upon himself, but also to do the reverse.

He'd taken that girl's cut throat on himself and then sent it out to the last three men with lethal effect. She'd lived - the only survivor. Her look of gratitude had felt like an accusation.

Off he'd gone to Firefist outside the galaxy. He'd broken bread with alien sages of traditions nobody on Peace had ever seen. He'd been forced to kill again, in circumstances almost as rough as Kintan, but he'd kept his balance and hadn't used the Dark Side this time.

Wyatt knew some of that, and could probably guess the rest.

"What do you suggest I should learn?"
 
A Light Shining in Darkness
Character
I…”, Wyatt began, but failed to hold up. He sighed after a moment and smiled, though embarresed as he did.​
You’re right. I’m more used to offering help to Padawans and Knights. I didn’t mean to insult, Quill.”​
Wyatt was truthful in that. His gentle ways were meant for the more emotional of the youth, Padawans and Knights turned dark, faced with a death, or something cruel. So many had the issues of the galaxy weighing on their shoulders, Wyatt couldn’t help but feel terrible for often forgetting that they were more than just Jedi - they were people, with lives of their own, emotions and tendencies he couldn’t dictate.​
It was a constant reminder than not all had sacrificed everything to be as he was. At peace with himself, and stricken from most attachments.​
Wyatt sighed as he glanced back to Jend-Ro Quill;​
I was hoping to see where you stood with lightsaber combat. As the Sith threat increases, I’d like to make sure everyone can defend themselves - Force forbid we face another vessel of the Emperor.”, he said with a quick glance of his eyes downward.​
... And I wanted to talk to you about Kintan. If you believe you’re ready for that.”​
 
Hermit of Hoth
Writer
Wyatt Morga Wyatt Morga

"I'm not offended, Wyatt - I expected a conversation like this. Let's start with Kintan on the premise that I'm accountable to myself and nobody else, but that I would appreciate your thoughts on how to avoid repeating a situation like that. Are those acceptable terms?"

A little clunky, maybe a little confrontational in its phrasing, but nobody had ever accused Jend-Ro Quill of being...verbally nuanced. Wyatt would sense some apprehension. Avoiding conversations like this was a major reason Quill lived alone on the ice planet Hoth.
 
A Light Shining in Darkness
Character
I didn’t come to berate you about it.”, he offered, quietly, but slowly nodded regardless.​
But, those are acceptable terms.”, Wyatt said a bit awkwardly as he walked to one end of the dojo.​
The room was an offshoot of a hallway meant for viewing; only recently embodying the once immaculate architecture it once had. A hundred generations of Jedi had once stood here, each teaching the next until inevitably - it came to Jend-Ro and Wyatt, and all those onboard Peace they worked with now. It was a vaguely comforting thought to the Jedi Master - but it was temporary.​
Wyatt could feel Jend-Ro’s apprehension, knew that it was just the way the man was. He’d work through it, if he could, as he hoped.​
I’d like to discuss how you felt during it. How you feel about it now.”, he offered as he picked up two training lightsabers, and tossed one through the air to Jend-Ro.​
 
Hermit of Hoth
Writer
Wyatt Morga Wyatt Morga

"Then you're already in the top ten percent of Jedi Masters as far as I'm concerned. We Jedi do like to berate. I've even indulged in a little berating myself."

Quill snagged the training saber out of the air but didn't activate it.

"I felt...bewildered. I was begging them to stop. There was no reason for them to kill those people - except, maybe, to draw out and destabliize people like me. In which case, point Carnifex. In the moment, though, it made no sense how they could drag survivors out of the rubble just to cut them up. When they didn't stop, it was like everything went clear. The straightest line from A to B, the simplest way to stop them, was to just kill them all, so I snapped the first one's neck and got started. Maybe I was angry, I don't know. My body felt angry, my mind felt empty. My emotions - nothing at all.

"I've wrestled with my conscience a lot since that day. I feel a compulsion to apologize, but to who? I shouldn't apologize to the girl I saved. If I hadn't frozen, maybe I could have saved more, so that could be part of it. I don't really feel it would make sense to apologize to the terrorists if they'd lived. I've tried apologizing to the Force but that's just shouting into the void. In the end I apologized to myself for not being ready, for losing my balance, for freezing, and for losing control."

He took up a stance, saber off, Trakata style.
 
A Light Shining in Darkness
Character
Wyatt let his own training lightsaber light up - an azure light washing over his area of the Dojo. His breath came slow, careful as he centered himself; though not nearly as much as he would if he expected to truly fight. His gaze fell back on Jend-Ro, but it was gentle and understanding, a few nods interspaced through his words.​
It took me… a long time to not feel emotion in combat. In body or mind - but I know the sensation well.”, he offered back with a quiet sigh.​
Apologies if this is an overstep, but I assume you don’t fight often, Jend-Ro. See people, the effects of war in the moment, et cetera.”, Wyatt offered with a twist of his expression.​
Wyatts guard lowered to something more akin to a balanced, Niman form. A hand came to the side and he left the blade out infront of him, leaving plenty of space for the Trakata to be stopped - and worst case, he always had his free hand to help drive off the blade. His footwork sent him forward with grace, and he moved to poke the saber directly at Jend-Ro’s chest.​
Adrenaline is a terrible thing, and more often than not we… don’t ‘rise to the occasion’ like so many of us think we will.”, he offered Quill with a slight sadness.​
We often fall to training. What we know in the moment.”​
 
Hermit of Hoth
Writer
"The assumption's not an overstep, Wyatt. It's just not..." Quill slid his back foot behind him, turned his core sideways, and watched the stab slip past his chest. He activated his training saber; the blade snapped up past his own face and shoved Wyatt's blade away. He didn't strike back.

"...contextualized. I fought the One Sith."

He stepped back and made some distance. The sabre hissed off again. "Ten years the Republic fought'em, and lost every single time. I was still new to being a Jedi Knight when it started - I was older when I got my training." Wyatt would probably remember his admission that he'd been a ship thief in younger days. "There was a time I had faith in the average Jedi Master's ability to make a difference. The helplessness of it all just makes me feel sick. So when the Mandalorians crushed the Republic, instead of signing on with the...militant young believers in the Galactic Alliance, I put down my saber and went to Hoth to be alone with my demons. Never looked back until you called me here."

Wyatt Morga Wyatt Morga
 
A Light Shining in Darkness
Character
Wyatt remembered those times - though he wasn’t involved with the Republic at the time. Somehow, he wished he was; that his help might’ve made some tangible difference, but it wasn’t meant to be. The Force had other plans for him, and he had a feeling that were he the same Jedi at the time - he’d likely only be dead now. Sighing, Wyatt took the blade black closer before changing his form.​
You’re not alone in that sentiment, Quill.”​
His free hand formed a fist, and tightly wound itself to the small of his back. A foot in front, and his balance was well set to spring forward, to deftly angle the blade where it needed to be; and he moved towards Jend-Ro once more - though this time it was to manipulate the blade that wasn’t there, by goading him into another block. A stab came towards the man once more, with a flick ready to follow; and the hopeful interlocking of his trakatan stylized blade to follow, in the hopes of twisting his guard back and away.​
I’ve often considered if we can make a difference alone - but I’ve rarely come to an answer I can take security in.”, he sighed as their blades danced.​
The most I’ve found is together we are strong. It’s what separates us from the Sith - who split themselves in bids for power, when they aren’t involved in the upscaled Panathan God King worship of Carnifex; but that doesn’t always mean its easier for us, just because we have friends, emotions, and something to fight for beyond ourselves.”, he said quietly.​
For what its worth, Quill…. What you did on Kintan -”, Wyatt said as he took a step back.​
- It was the right thing to do.”​
Another pause.​
... And I appreciate you came to Peace.”​
 
Hermit of Hoth
Writer
Quill reactivated his saber and defended himself with noncommittal Niman. The mixed form shifted subtly between Makashi parries, twisting Ataru, and deft Soresu. The Soresu aspects of Niman were by far the most comfortable parts of his bladework, which had approximately zero killer instinct involved. When Wyatt drew back, Quill held his position.

"The right thing to do - maybe. I think back and, if I'd been more prepared, faster on my feet, I could have stopped them another way. Right now they could be locked up in the deprogramming ward on Bespin or getting brain-healed by an expert. In the moment I had no other choice if I was going to save even one of their targets. But I simply wasn't ready, and that's why I snapped. That's why I did the right thing in the wrong way."

He cracked his neck and moved in aggressively. Niman offered many options, everything from delicate feints to two-handed chops. He slid between them fluidly, shaking off the rust.

Wyatt Morga Wyatt Morga
 
A Light Shining in Darkness
Character
With a small smile, Wyatt quietly appreciated the rate at which Jend-Ro seemed to fall into his style. Wyatt did much in the same, gracefully switching himself to another form as he increased his speed at the rate he assumed would best suit Quill. This time, he brought himself to a solid Shii-Cho, wide swings that seemed sporadic - but with purpose. Left, right, right, left - with faints and dips throughout.​
So is the greatest paradox we face.”, Wyatt sighed amidst their dueling.​
Often, we hope for the best outcome - and just as often, I hear Jedi rationalize it as a ‘means to an end’. Cedric Grayson’s Imperium was just one of these - that a Jedi Army would be the thing that saved us from the Dark Side.”​
Wyatt paused for a moment, and scoffed after a moment - though with a faint smile on his face. A shake of his head and he went back, as though he made a small realization in his head;​
Yet, you’ve concern for your method.”, Wyatt acknowledged, “And that alone ensures your actions were not so dark as you might think. The Sith don’t regret, don’t think of a better way to accomplish whatever goal they had in mind - even if the goal was made with good intent.”​
Wyatt twisted the blade over the back of his hand, letting the tip of the blade swiftly swing for Quill’s thigh while he spoke;​
What do you think would have made you prepared for that situation?”, Wyatt asked suddenly.​
How would you have accomplished the ‘right thing’ in the ‘right way’?”​
 
Hermit of Hoth
Writer
Wyatt Morga Wyatt Morga 's blade grazed Quill's leg. Quill grimaced at the scorch and shifted back as Wyatt talked.

"I don't know. It's not an answer I have. I don't know of a silver bullet for this, or some perfect missing piece. All I have is the memory of what I did, and my choice not to do it again. And yes, I know the Dark Side is addictive and mind-altering and so forth - habit-forming, really - so I suppose I need to make new habits. Which means more...fighting. Getting it right over and over until I'm back to what I used to be."

He raised an eyebrow and put the saber away.

"Yes?"
 
A Light Shining in Darkness
Character
Wyatt smiled softly as he stood to full height once more, and deactivated his own lightsaber. With a nod, Wyatt spoke once more - though his voice was kinder than it was before, not that it ever carried much harshness;​
I think… you might be right. With the times we live in, we have to prepare ourselves for war - to protect what we love.”, the Jedi offered.​
He almost scoffed as he took a few steps to the corner of the mat and sit the training saber down, lifting his own to clip it back on his belt;​
Its an odd thing… I’ve found that Jedi and Sith have something in common - and it isn’t the Force.”, he seemed to jest back as he turned around.​
Sacrifice. Sith sacrifice their mortality, morality, and those closest to them. Jedi sacrifice…”, he paused, as a touch of sadness came over his all to youthful features.​
... we sacrifice ourselves. What we want - be it something major like a life with a family, or something seemingly as minor as being alone.", he motioned to Quill as he said it, "A cruel fate, I suppose.”​
 
Hermit of Hoth
Writer
"Being alone's not a minor thing for me, Wyatt. I won't walk you through all the relevant diagnoses, except one. Two thousand years ago there was a Sith Lord named Odion who ruled a chunk of the Grumani Sector. Other beings' presence was intolerable to him, overwhelming and painful. Eventually he found the solution to his oversensitization: just kill everyone. I have the same Force...issue...as Odion did. I need space. Attending these meetings is oppressive for me. I do what I can, but I have my limits. So I go out to battle and I show up to the conclave of the week, and then I go to be alone because I need it more than anyone you've ever met. I'm making my gorram sacrifices, Wyatt, and I don't seem to be doing much good regardless."

Wyatt Morga Wyatt Morga
 
A Light Shining in Darkness
Character
I apologize, Quill.”, he offered quietly.​
My Master was introverted himself - and I simply assumed it was… that. I had no knowledge of this ‘Odion’, nor that the Force vexes your senses so.”​
Wyatt brushed a few of his hairs from his face as he glanced to the floor. As good as Wyatt was at talking to many of the Order - Quill seemed oddly at odds with his approaches so far, sensitive to his words. Wyatt was sensitive to such things, but he’d hide it for the sake of later; where he would relive the conversation, over and over to find another way to have spoken - but for now, he had to press on in the only way he knew how.​
By offering help.​
I think you’re going great, Jend-Ro. I’ve had many of the Jedi come forward to tell me such - even if you haven’t seen what I have.”, Wyatt tried to reassure, with a soft tenderness to his tone.​
Is there something the Jedi can do, or that I can? You’re important to the Order, Jend-Ro, and I appreciate you being around. There aren’t many Master’s left - and having another to help around is… appreciated.”, he repeated, as though it was as simple as it could get.​
If there is anything you need, I’m here.”​
 
Hermit of Hoth
Writer
"Forgive me, Wyatt - I'm clumsy with words. Well, not words, but the people behind them, let's say. I appreciate what you're trying to do, all of it. I know it's a good deal of work, and it's progress, it's real progress."

He rubbed his eyes, a gesture of fatigue.

"So here's the big question that troubles me. I've been to...many meetings. Two steps forward, one step back has always been the way of it, yes? And that one step back is always between the Silvers and everyone else. I like Master Elise, she's doing a wonderful job of rehabilitating their order. But there's always the...not exactly sneer, but the better-than-you, doing-more-than-you thing. Sometimes it's others saying that or-" He tapped his temple. "-feeling that about the Silvers, sometimes it's jaded old Silvers saying it about everyone else. And that's not new, but it does make me have my doubts about the feasibility of real unity beyond the coalition of everyone-elses you've welded together. Do you see what I see? I'd like you to tell me I'm wrong or that it's fixable, and that being a Jedi will...."

He looked for the words to finish out the sentence and couldn't find them.

"I suppose you could say I've been struggling with disillusion."

Wyatt Morga Wyatt Morga
 
A Light Shining in Darkness
Character
There was a moment of silence between them as Wyatt looked to the ground, sighing as his arms crossed. He wasn’t entirely sure himself how to answer;​
The Silver’s split from the Order years ago over their own disagreements with its restrictive ways - and I think that sentiment has persisted.”, he offered with a tired glance back to Quill.​
Though now its more about retaining their ‘sovereignty’, I imagine. They’ve asked much of our Order - but haven’t given much. As much as I want to tell you ‘this will work itself out’, I find it difficult to believe now. Elise is a good woman, but…”, Wyatt sighed as he closed his eyes for a moment.​
I need to speak to her about it, more formally. I believe we have a chance here to unify our Order once again, even still - but the divide the Silver’s have with many of the other Jedi, and many of the other Jedi have with the Silver’s needs to be mended; so they don’t think we so separate. How, exactly, we do that is still unknown to me…”​
Not that he had helped it thus far.​
 
Hermit of Hoth
Writer
Quill chewed on that as he fiddled with frayed threads on the cuffs of his robes.

"Did you ever encounter a species called Sneetches? About this tall - fuzzy flightless avians? They had quite a bit of internecine strife years ago because one tribe had a birthmark and the other didn't. Then to make matters worse, an offworld corporation marketed a cosmetic surgery method that could remove, add, or modify the mark. You can imagine how quickly the tribalist rivalries mutated. It took seven of us to help them sort it out, right on the brink of civil war. Heh." He smiled faintly, remembering. "And none of us got along either. Je'gan Olra'en was Grandmaster then, before he fell. Jorus Merrill had just become a Jedi, and he thought Olra'en was a fascist and Olra'en thought he was a-" Quill chuckled and shook his head. "And they were both right about each other but we made it work anyway. The Sneetches didn't go to war over star-shaped splotches on their belly feathers.

"See, Wyatt, I left Hoth because I hoped for a 'we,' no an 'us-and-them.' That kind of knee-jerk, pride-based tribalism is ingrained in plenty of Jedi on both sides of the fence, even though the fence is meaningless now: the Silvers aren't what they were a decade ago. People like Elise and Coci Heavenshield Coci Heavenshield saw to that, even though it took a long time and a lot of effort that - forgive me - your core group hasn't fully understood. The differences were always largely imaginary, and the bad apples are long gone. The Silvers have no more exploitative Jedi billionaires dripping with crystal talismans, no more war criminals either. Their order's leadership and member base has gone through a complete turnover. But the name they retained is still a damaged brand, in part because those old excesses and atrocities were so striking, and mostly because many Jedi don't care to actually look over the fence, let alone connect."
 
A Light Shining in Darkness
Character
Were it only so simple.”, Wyatt seemed to shake his head at, offering a gentle smile.​
I call them the Silver Jedi, because they have been upset when the distinction was not made before. They value their identity as Silvers, over their identity as Jedi - at least from what I’ve understood.”, he followed up with a sigh.​
I don’t harbor bad feelings for the Silvers for what happened once - though I will not deny the reality that many do. Were I able, I’d strike them from the board entirely; but that isn’t what vexes us now, Quill.”​
Wyatt found his way to a small bench and lowered himself with a quiet groan to sit. He wasn’t physically old, but the strain of mental age certainly made him feel like he had the right to make such elderly noises. He rested his hands on his knees for support, and looked back to the Jedi before him;​
How did you sort out the Sneetches? Bringing the Orders together, to being willing to work beneath a single banner, and of one mind; how would you propose we do that? As of right now, I’m at my wit’s end - and the Force offers little guidance… Just a flurry of movement and light that gives no discerning direction.”, he said with a sigh.​
 
Hermit of Hoth
Writer
Wyatt Morga Wyatt Morga

"The Sneetches had their agency - I couldn't make them see things my way. I had to pick the right moment, when circumstances humbled them enough to open their eyes to their prejudices and each other's needs. That's when they began to see each other as equals worth the benefit of the doubt.

"I don't have a comprehensive answer, but I do have one insight that might help. Every time a variation of this conversation comes up, the first thing out of anyone's mouth is 'but they.' The onus is on the other side of the fence to bow first, take the first steps, make concessions or even apologies. You've done that, oh, three times in this conversation alone, when talking about the Silvers. I don't mean to single you out, either - I hear it from almost everyone."
 
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