Note: Here is the next part of this story. This one contains parts from all three of us.
Han watched them start their training, but soon got bored and began to wander around the camp. He was still trying to get used to being free. He had his revenge on Ja'non, but Leia remained a servant of the darkside and he had to be ready for the fight ahead and so he began some training himself. He started with a good hard run, which left him almost breathless, then he did some push-ups followed by some pull ups, by the time he was done he was knackered.
He had been locked in a cell for a long time and his muscles were all crying out at been used full throttle, but he ignored the pain and as he sat down for lunch he just listened from the back as the others talked. Once he was finished he headed back out and just took in the view. He wondered how Lando and the others were and if he was honest with himself, he even missed Artoo and C-3PO. He ran a hand through his hair before he began a slow run this time. He soon got back and then went through some more exercises, before calling it quits for now. He would continue retraining his body for as long as they were here. He also decided to do some training to ensure his blaster skills were still up to scratch.
Lando watched as the shipyards continued to build new fighters and capital ships, as Yoda's force ghost had instructed them to do. It would take maybe five to seven months to complete the nine ships already under construction maybe less, but even with that, seven more had been started. Every soldier had begun training. New recruits were being pushed to their limits for what was to come and Ackbar was already training bridge crews for the new ships. The fighters were easier to build and already they had replaced many of those lost to the empire in the last year.
Artoo passed him by whistling and beeping a hello. He smiled and was pleased to see the little droid talking again. Ever since they had word from Luke, the little droid had become more and more like his old self. He turned and headed for his bunk, as he was tired and tomorrow would be another long day.
It was finally time the man thought, time to come out of hiding and finally finish what had begun during the clone wars. He picked up his lightsaber and clipped it on his belt before he headed out of what had been his home since Skywalker's betrayal. The betrayal that had cost him his hand and helped bring the Jedi Order down. He knew Anakin had redeemed himself thanks to his son. A new order had begun, but a tremor in the force had stopped him from revealing his survival. He had been right to stay hidden, the new order was crushed quickly and a new empire had risen, controlled by Leia Skywalker.
The New Rebellion was on the run and Luke Skywalker was in hiding, or he had been. The force had shown him that new allies had arrived to aid the struggle against the darkside and he knew he had to join them. He boarded his ship and set course for Gelgelar. He just hoped they would be enough to finally put the Sith to rest forever. He ran his remaining hand over the cybernetic one he had gotten to replace the one cut off by Skywalker. He had learnt a great lesson that night, never to fall so far into Vaapad that he did not take all shatter points into consideration. He was so focused on Palpatine's shatter point during their confrontation that he had failed to see Anakin's, a costly mistake, but not one he would make again.
He had only survived the fall by luck of the force. He had fallen onto a passing speeder and managed to hold on. From there he had escaped the planet using a combination of med packs and force healing to keep himself alive. He had found some of his contacts who had access to a bacta tank and he had spent a couple of days in that. Thankfully his contacts were trustworthy and not supportive of the new empire. He had spent the next year going from place to place until settling on Naboo. He had made sure his presence was never detected by Vader or the Emperor by constructing a powerful force shield that ensured nothing of his presence got past it.
Now he would return to the galaxy at large and aide in truly bringing the Republic back to life. He would ensure that the Jedi Order was restored properly or he would die trying. He closed his eyes and began to meditate, wondering what kind of man the son of Anakin Skywalker was, while his ship continued on course.
Next day, afternoon
Kyle watched as they were led to an open field where they would learn the Cadence. He was curious about that. Each time they mentioned it they had a tiny smile on them and often looked in his direction. He had a firm belief that the asshole that thought them the Cadence was his counterpart. What a fucking bastard.
He was surprised that lots of wax cylinders with small dots on top of them. The dots were so small that he could only see them using a force skill he had just been learning to enhance his senses. For a short time he could improve his long range vision. The tiny dots were steel ball bearings, really tiny once.
Xander stopped within a circle of 19 wax cylinders. Each cylinder was 4 inches high and 0.2 inches in diameter.
"This is the First Cadence and all in all it goes up to five levels. The purpose with the Cadence is to learn control and how to focus your lightsaber and control each attack more and better. To do it, you have to be calm inside, yet be fast and precise. This is a training exercise that no darksider has truly ever mastered," Xander said.
"What level are you on?" Luke said.
"Jaina and I are currently struggling with level four," Xander replied.
"Remember that using two lightsabers makes the cadence much harder to complete and if you believe you can just do it again and again until you have learnt it, forget it. Between each attempt the location of the cylinders are changed," Jaina told them.
Xander nodded. "Level four is the level Jedi Masters that are masters on Lightsabers should be on. Level five is the level a Jedi Master and a blade master should spend his life trying to master. Level 1 uses 19 cylinders and 19 ball bearings. What you do is burn away the steel ball bearings with the tip of you lightsaber, without damaging the wax cylinder."
Jaina continued to explain. "And it has to be done in a single move. You have to spin jump rush inside the circle never stopping. So use the force to sense where the ball bearings are and the force to guide your lightsaber and then constantly move on from one cylinder to the next without stopping."
"The second cadence is 72 Cylinders and 2701 ball bearings. This is a full 360 degree circle and many of the ball bearings are on the ground next to a cylinder." He could see that they had understood how difficult the increased levels where. "Third Cadence is 180 cylinders and 16290 ball bearings. Forth cadence is 360 cylinders, by now the student should be so skilled that no ball bearings are needed. Instead he just strikes the correct position and knows if he fails or not. The Fifth cadence now uses no cylinders or ball bearings instead a deadly dance of precision has to be done. One that's almost impossible."
"We'll bring it on," Kyle said. "What good is this besides giving us precision?"
"Well it increases your precision and also teaches you to combine your force sense with your physical moves and you lightsaber attacks. That not only makes it easier to cut a precise target, it also helps you increase the lightsabers damage. A true master of a lightsaber can cut anything by combining his own power of the force and the lightsabers own cutting ability. This helps you to learn how to combine the force with your blade and it improves your balance," Xander explained and he knew from experience that balance was often the difference between life and death.
Luke nodded. "Ben said the same thing, but it's difficult to do."
Xander grinned. "Yeah it is. The last thing the Cadence does is help you to master and learn any of the battle forms. If you truly have mastered a cadence master a battle form and skill becomes easier. Any skill that uses the lightsaber becomes easier to learn." He looked at them. "Kyle, your D-twin taught us this and Luke your D-twin is trying to master the Fifth," Xander said. Luke was actually on the forth, but this Luke didn't need to know that and after all Luke is trying to master the fifth, but is stuck on the fourth for now, so technically it wasn't a lie.
"D-twin?" Jade asked.
Jaina replied, "Dimensional double or in his case dimensional trouble."
Jade snorted. "Of course."
"Right, some people use wax candles instead of ball bearing, they work just as well. If you use candles the purpose is using the lightsaber to light them up. From the instructions I read, some say it's easier to do and others say it's harder using candles. We never could detect any difference between them," Xander said.
"This is so going to suck," Dawn said, while moving over to her circle. She was still struggling with those, *Censured due to extreme foul language*, Dawn blinked, ‘Did she just censure her own mind, because she didn't like the angry word she may have used? Na she must have imagined it.'
She struggled over to the half circle of nineteen wax cylinders. So far she always got stuck on the last cylinder. That bastard was always in her way.
Taking a deep breath to calm herself, focusing on the force and being one with her weapon and the universe around her. Sensing, not seeing, where the ball bearing was. Dawn started to spin around.
Jade, Kyle and Luke applauded in awe as she stopped. Around her the smell of burned steel was rising.
Dawn did not look that happy. "No. 19 again," she said. A tiny cut was seen on the last wax cylinder. "I have to start from the beginning."
R5R1 her own droid rolled over and changed the position of the cylinders. The droid beeped depressed at the boring work it was forced to endure. Like many R5's it suffered from depression due to a faulty personally matrix. Having a master who always was happy just depressed the poor droid even more, especially when she tried to cheer him up. 'One day, one day he would permanently destroy himself, just to escape Dawn,' the depressed droid thought.
"Oh don't be so gloomy, it's a wonderful day, right?" Dawn said, after all life was so fun and glorious.
R5 beep depressed that it had rained in the morning and unlike Dawn he could rust, life sucks.
Luke on the other hand frowned. "Dawn, do the movement again," he said.
Xander looked at Luke. Had he discovered Dawn's mistake already? A mistake he had just discovered himself. "Do it Dawn," he said.
Dawn nodded and moved, danced, swung and was cutting.
Luke looked thoughtful for a moment and then said, "You use too much movement. It's... ahh I don't know."
Xander continued. "Like she is missing a blade in her off-hand, Dawn' mistake, something I discover only a short time ago, is that she tried to fight like me, but I use two blades and Dawn uses only one. That makes it impossible for her to master the cadence."
Luke filled in. "Unless she starts to move correctly."
Xander nodded. "Dawn, Luke the two of you are now study buddies. Dawn, you will help Luke with the cadence and he helps you to move with the correct balance."
And there he had the teacher inside Luke taking a peak outside.
Luke was silent for a moment and then he nodded "Sure. Come on Dawn." He smiled. How could he not, with seeing the young girl smile, with her whole face filled up with joy?
R5 beeped depressed. Why did he have the worst owner in the universe and why was he even built? And why did R3 and R6 keep him from running away to the scrap yard?
Much later in the day
Kyle had to ask. "Why do we eat differently then Danni, Buffy and Rona do?"
"You noticed, good," Xander said while he took a bite from his snacks. "We eat high energy food and they eat normal food. After all we work out harder and more than they do." He grinned.
Luke looked at the snacks they were offered "So that's why our food tastes so bad."
Jade on the other hand asked, "What happened in your dimension. I mean from the talk I understand you are further down the time line then we are?"
Xander nodded. "In our time line Luke started to train his Jedi to late and they rebuilt the Republic to fast. The order of the Jedi had always been the glue that helped keep the Republic working. They made millions of alien beings and societies work together by mediating and helping them to understand each other."
He took a deep breath and then continued. "Without millions of Jedi guarding the peace it all fell down like a card house and now our galaxy is split up in mini empires, federations and republics. War, both hot wars and cold wars, are everywhere."
Luke, Kyle and Jade blinked at the word cold war. It was something that they never heard before. "What the Sith is a cold war?" Kyle finally asked.
Jaina replied, "The worst war, instead of sending out fleets of ships both parts threaten each other with fleets and use spies, sabotage, hired terrorist, trading embargo's and hire pirates to strike against each others." She shivered. "Meanwhile fear and paranoia is spreading among the leaders and the civilians. What if they attack? What if it becomes a hot-war again?"
Xander continued. "A cold-war can last hundred times longer than a real war and it creates fear and paranoia and worst, it creates hate that can be so in grated in a society that it can take twice the time for it to vanish. So far our federation managed to win all hot-war it has been in, but it's involved with a cold war against other star nations. The cold war was going well for now and with luck it would be over in a decade or so."
Luke nodded it was time to go to sleep. He could see Jade wave her hand at him, calling him over to her sleeping place. For a moment he hesitated, just a moment, and then with a tired smile he joined her.
Kyle snorted at seeing that as he leaned down pulling a heat blanket around him and he curled up inside it, having decided to sleep outside. The blanket would keep him warm and he liked the stars anyway. Somewhere out there she was hopefully flying around in the Moldy Crow looking for him, if she was alive. Maybe he should try to send a message over one off their old and hidden ways.
Sleep came far too soon in his opinion and once again he had to face his dreams, his nightmares. He dreamed of friends who died in battle or were murdered by enemies. He heard that as a Jedi becomes more powerful he stopped dreaming. Kyle hoped that was true. So many friends of his had died and he had seen far too many die.
Leia pushed herself hard as she fought against the training droids. She knew Luke and the others would come for her in time. Even if her forces managed to find and attack them first, they would come. Kaira moved beside her in perfect sync, they would be an unbeatable team, she just knew it. In the next training room Jenna was putting the other dark Jedi through their paces, preparing them for the oncoming attack.
Kyle woke up out of one of his nightmares and after trying for a while to fall asleep again he gave up and stood up. He went to Xander's R3 unit and said, "Hello R3, could you record a small Holo message for me and encode it with those codes?"
R3 took the datapad Kyle hold out to him, checked it and then beeped an affirmative to Kyle.
Kyle knelt down in front of him and the two quickly recorded the message. "Could you send it over the Holonet for me?" he asked the droid who just beeped again.