This excerpt jumps ahead in years to the point where most of the major characters of the story are coming together. This marks the first time that Graydon openly admits to anyone other than his family about what he is.
Of Blood and Honor: These TruthsEdit
The tension was thick in the crew lounge of the Star Saber as it hurled through Hyperspace, enroute to it's next destination. What had started off as a concerned discussion had quickly heated, turning Graydon "Blade" Strykia against his captain, CJ Morgan. This was a disagreement he wasn't backing down from.
“Let me voice this concern, Blade.” CJ said as she wheeled around to face Graydon. “This little girl has no place among the crew. She’s a commodity that puts us all in danger.” Even though she was nearly a head shorter than Graydon, CJ met his stare with her own intensity, standing right in front of him. Her statement was concerning the young blonde girl, Anna, whom the crew had recently rescued from a derelict prison ship.
“Then let me put it to you this way, Cassandra. This little girl is far more valuable than you or any other member of the crew.” Graydon’s eyes flashed with a brilliant blue glow as he spoke, staring down at CJ with a fiery gaze. CJ had seen that flash in his eyes before. Even if Graydon had only been with the crew for a few months, she knew that meant his emotions were on the rise.
“No she’s not! And no, she’s not going to be on my ship!” CJ growled back as she poked Graydon right in the center of the chest.
Off to the side, Bri and Jev watched the exchange with new found interest. Both were glued to the sight in front of them, waiting for the next move either Blade or CJ would make. Arfee, next to Bri, made a slight worried bleep. None of the crew was going to get in between these two to break it up though. They sensed a battle of wills that none wanted to be a part of.
“CJ… I have met some stubborn spacers in my day and have traded blows with the dregs of the galaxy. But at this time, you have topped the list. You are a selfish and greedy pirate.” Graydon said through gritted teeth. “You have no idea what we’re dealing with.”
“Oh sure. What is she, Blade?”
At that point in time, you could have heard a pin drop. Not one of the crew made a move and pretty much everyone but Graydon was as still as a granite statue. Graydon continued on, his inner fire stoked to an intense state by CJ’s actions.
“Do you have any idea what it’s like to be the target of the most evil man in the whole galaxy?” Graydon took a step towards CJ, causing her to retreat two. “Do you know what it’s like to have your family hunted because of what you are? Do you?”
CJ shook her head slowly.
“I watched the Empire swarm over my homeworld, all on the orders of a man who said he wanted to be our ally. I watched his agents twist my brother into something else, something evil and dark. I watched my father die because of the man that hunts Anna. If you abandon her, you might as well turn me in too. Because if I’m on the ship, the risk is still the same as if Anna stays here too.”
CJ took another step back before stopping and staring at Graydon. Acknowledgement started to set in as she absorbed his words. His words settled in quickly, making her realize what he said was probably true. She broke her stare and looked down towards the deckplates.
“I’m… I’m sorry Blade.” With that, CJ turned and quickly trotted off towards the cockpit.
“Holy smokes! This is better than any holo-drama!” Bri suddenly blurted out.
“Bri, please check on Anna and make sure she’s sleeping.” Graydon said, without looking in her direction, before starting after CJ.
In the cockpit, Graydon found CJ sitting in the pilot’s chair, staring out the viewport with a tear running down her cheek.
“If you came up here to chew on me some more, go ahead.” CJ said softly. “But I surrender. You win.”
“I didn’t come to chew on you.” Graydon slid quietly into the chair next to CJ. “I came to apologize.”
“No… You were right and I had no idea what I was talking about. You don't have to apologize.”
“Yes I do. You didn’t know, Cassandra.” Graydon reached up to tilt CJ’s head up so he could see her eyes. “How could you know?”
“You didn’t tell me. That’s how.” CJ looked truly hurt as she spoke. “I grew up on stories about the Jedi and how noble and great they were. It all makes sense now.”
“What makes sense?”
“You. I figured you had a price on your head, but I could never figure out why.” CJ wiped the tear from her cheek as she continued. “Now it fits. You aren’t the typical spacer out looking for work. You don’t just kill people when they make you angry. You protect people, regardless if you know them. And you are always looking to do the right thing. To help the innocent.” CJ paused before going on. “Plus the fact that they had a whole Imperial dungeon ship for one little girl. She’s too important to be a nobody, just like you.”
“It’s because of my Jinsai training…”
“That’s a lie.” CJ said with a smile as she looked into Graydon’s eyes.
“I can’t lie.” Graydon said with a smirk.
“Ok then. It’s a half truth.” CJ gave a small smile back. “You’re a Jedi, or at least you were going to be.”
“You've got me there. I was going to be one before the Jedi Purge.”
“Why didn't you tell me?”
Graydon leaned back against the chair, looking away from CJ’s gaze for a moment. Taking a deep breath, he turned back to meet her eyes.
“My family has a strong history on being able to sense and touch the Force. My abilities were discovered when I was very young. I was supposed to train with some of the best Jedi ever before the Jedi were wiped out. I'd be the first of my kind to train as both a Jinsai and a Jedi. My family was on Antrixies when the Emperor ordered the Clone troopers to kill the Jedi. The Jinsai that could use the Force were included with them. My own brother killed my father and would have killed my mother if he’d been better trained.”
“I thought Vader killed them all?”
“No. Vader had a lot of help from white armor that were supposed to be our friends. There were others too. Pawns of the Emperor, my aunt use to say. They helped murder hundreds of people, all because they might pose a threat to the power-hungry man that tries to rule us now.”
“Both your mother and father were Jedi?” CJ ask.
“No. Both were Jinsai, but only my mother could be called Jedi, even though she wasn’t part of the Order. She was Gai'din, the same as my sister and I.” Graydon said with quiet reserve. “Because of what we are, I think Palpatine has wanted us either dead or turned to his side since the first time we met him.”
“You met the Emperor?”
“Only once. That was enough.” Graydon took CJ’s hand in both of his. “I’ll understand if you want Anna and me to find passage elsewhere, to leave the crew.”
CJ was quiet for a moment. “No. You don’t get to leave.”
"There will be danger..."
"My grandmother use to tell me stories about how great and heroic the Jedi were. We'll be fine."
“The risk is great…”
“Yup. And I’m all about risks.” CJ whispered quickly as she leaned in and kissed Graydon squarely on the lips. “I like you here.”
As soon as she finished, she moved out of her seat and quickly stepped out of the cockpit, dodging around Jev as he walked through the door.
“So, what’d I miss?” He ask as Graydon started to blush.
First of all, understand that CJ and Graydon have been my PC characters in Star Wars RPG for a long time. I'd have to say they're my main characters. The stats and background for CJ and Blade are fresh and new, but the backgrounds are just a refinement of everything that's been fleshed out for them in a 13+ year period.
Blade and CJ have always had a sexual/romantic chemistry as their backgrounds and with writing Of Blood and Honor for the current campaign, I don't want to leave that out. Rikky, our Gamemaster for the current campaign, and I have discussed a lot of details concerning the route the PCs (Player Characters) will travel down, and I think Blade has a destiny to end up with someone else. I want to play off the tension that this relationship will create, but at the same time write it as a very dramatic undercurrent for these two to deal with.
I'll be including some of the material and a rundown on the previous story concerning Blade and CJ in an upcoming article, under the Events Category. Stay tuned!
Crazy Danny, Jinsai Grand Master 05:22, October 21, 2011 (UTC)