Ares snapped his fingers, and the rifle's safety clicked on. "Not if you pass out first," he said. He wasn't too surprised - primitive races usually had trouble adapting to modern technology. Even when that 'modern' technology was likely older than their civilisation - blasters weren't new.
"You're holding it too much like a bow," he said. "Here, hold the rifle farther down the barrel." He used the butt of his lightsaber to nudge her hand down along the weapon's length. "Better. Relax your trigger arm. You don't need any force or tension - you only need a finger. Good. Now, rest the rifle against your shoulder." He put a hand on the rifle, and eased it backwards until the butt of the stock was resting firmly against Arie's shoulder. Let's try from the start." He reached over and flicked a small dial on the inner-side of the weapon, near Arie's thumb. "Now it'll only fire one shot at a time. When you can hit every target like this, then we'll see about moving up to an automatic firing rate. Relax, take a deep breath, hold it, aim, and fire. Again."
He waved a hand, and reactivated the targeting holograms.
At one blast per squeeze, Arie was able to slow down and focus between shots, something she hadn't been able to do when the gun fired fully. Though she'd never admit it, the full force of the gun's power scared her. She'd once held the trigger down to see just how fast it could fire. After a stern look from the range-master, she stopped but marveled at how many things it could hit were she just to hold the trigger and point. It would not be neat, nor efficient, nor clean, but it would be a kill and fast, too. She decided to let it simply be - there was no fighting without one - and appreciate the thing as she appreciated all the large, messy predators out there in the wild.
She was not a great shot. Far from it. But the blasters started to hit close to the target. First center mass, then closer to the heart/lung area.
Ares watched her sink a shot into a target's shoulder, mess, and then nail it in the waist before he decided he'd seen enough for now. "I expect you to log at least 2 hours per day in the range until you can hit the targets without fail," Ares stated. "We'll see if you've improved in a week's time. Remain here until for another hour. Return to your training room when you're done."
He left Arie to shoot.
((You may add a rank in Blaster Weapons to your bio. You may also add a level. Congratulations.))
There are five stages of grief, so the elders in the Valley say. The first is denial. Arie had heard Ares talk about the blaster, she had learned its component parts. He said point and shoot and looking at the other officers and infantry at the range, it was point and shoot. Arie simply could not believe that it was hard. She sunk bolts for the hour, perhaps one decent hit for every ten shots. She cursed, she seethed, and eventually she put the blaster down and gave it a hard stare. "You're not going to defeat me," she told it plainly. "I will not be driven into despair by an unruly tool." A nearby infantryman caught her eye and smiled sympathetically as she stomped in her foot-prisons back to her quarters. Sleep was immediate, and plagued with dreams of missed shots, ice-blue pain, and Ares' disapproving glare.
The next morning she rose, and set her features in a hard grimace. Power could be found in anger, a primal emotion that could sharpen the senses and focus the mind. Arie was plenty angry. She tore into breakfast, brutalizing the fruit, gulping the caff, and barely chewing the hard ration. Fuel for the fire, she headed for the range. She stormed to the stall, slammed a cartridge into the blaster, and single-mindedly held the thing steady as she pulled the trigger in quick, fluid motions. "Two out of ten, miss." announced the droid, who rapidly reset the target. Snarling, she pulled the trigger again. "Four out of ten, miss." She clenched her fists, she bounced back and forth on restless feet, she shook her montrals which made the bone beads clatter against each other. "I will do this!" She raised the weapon and fired. "A good try, miss." She counted the hits, and ungently dropped her head to the shelf in front of her. "Shall I reset?" asked the droid. Arie only answered with a low, frustrated moan.
She held up the rangemaster the next afternoon. "Maybe if I softened my grip? What about if I stood differently? If I prove I can hit the target with my sword, can I be excused from this? How about you shoot at me, and I'll just learn to dodge bolts?" Unfortunately for Arie, the rangemaster was unfazed. He firmly, but politely, gave Arie her nemesis and sent her to shoot. The sound of blaster fire filled Arie's ears, and she began to bargain with the weapon. "Don't throw the bolt to the left, and I'll clean you down to the base, okay?" A hit. "Do this well again, and I promise I'll never slam a cartridge in you again. Nice and gentle from here on out." A miss. "Really, I mean it. I might even take you to my quarters and give you my pillow." A hit. She left the range that day with a training blaster swaddled in her shirt, and it did indeed sleep on her pillow.
When it refused to work the next day, she sighed a heavy sigh. All she heard was blaster fire, all she saw were electric blue bolts. The targets swam in front of her vision like mocking thimiars in the trees of Corvala. She felt like biting the droid, she felt like throwing the weapon at the target and seeing how her aim fared then. This was the ultimate injustice. Her master, a man without eyes, could kill her with one of these things from 100 paces. You have eyes, Arie. You should at least be more competent than a man who lacks eyes. He was going to kick her out of the order. She was going to return to Shili a failure and a disgrace. She'd shamed her father, her clan, and her planet. She plugged away at the target dutifully, but left the range depressed.
The evening before Ares would come to test her progress, she faced the target again. The droid reset the target, and said nothing. It wanted to move the target closer, perhaps make it bigger, but the Sith had given strict instructions. She would shoot like infantry. "Thanks," the girl said, patting the droid. "I think I'll actually miss you." She couldn't shoot. The blaster was beyond her. It was a strange, loud, unruly thing with no give and no feel to it. It was all vision, and she just didn't work that way. She was a hunter, and preferred the blade, and she always would. At least she wouldn't have to use these things on Shili. Sure, she'd be the object of pity and derision, and probably spend the rest of her life picking berries and weaving baskets, but kark it. She can't be good at everything.
She lined up the target with the cross on the sight, let out a breath, and pulled the trigger. Five rapid shots, all decently within center mass. "Eight out of ten, miss." the droid reported, the heightened tone of his voice mimicking surprise. Arie, just as surprised, repeated the motions. "Eight out of ten, miss." repeated the droid. She looked at the two marks in red where the bolts had missed center mass, but hit an arm or the gut. "Those would kill a man, yes?" "With a 45% surety, miss." That was all she needed. She didn't need to be perfect. "I'll take 45%," she said, and fired again. "Eight out of ten, miss, and a 60% chance of fatality." chirped the range droid. Arie nodded, satisfied. She'd face Ares with a 60% chance.
((Okay, since I haven't heard back from you I'm going to just move on to the next instance of training.))
When they met again, Ares said nothing as Arie took her shots. Only when she had finished, and managed a 58% overall chance of a fatality, did he nod approvingly. "Very good, apprentice," he said. "Even if you don't kill them, you'll typically incapacitate them. I expect you to carry a blaster on you from now on."
When they met for training again, they were at war.
"It's time for you to learn to wield the Force," Ares said without preamble when Arie entered. "Unless you intend to return to New Bethrezen, we're going to be out here a long time. You're going to need the Force as your ally. Truthfully, you could have learned when we first met, but you needed a good foundation beforehand, both in how a Sith uses the Force, and what to do when you can't. Too many Sith use the Force as a crutch, and are helpless without it. The Force is a Sith's greatest weapon, but it should never be their only one. The less you need to use it for, the more effectively you can make use of it.
"With that in mind, we're going to start with something I think you'll find useful." He gestured to her slim blade. "That weapon is weak. If you come up against a Jedi, they'll cut it in two half a second before they cut you in two. We're going to change that. One of the most effective techniques the Adepts learn is what we call 'Force Weapon'. The process hardens weapons, allowing them to stand up to nearly anything - including a lightsaber. Darth Xaos himself taught me how to utilise it.
"It...requires a particular mindset, one not found in most other apprentices. For them, what the lightsaber can do, what it represents, acts as an insurmountable mental stopgap. Adepts tend to exist outside the conventional approaches to the Force - we come at the Force without formal training or paradigms, and we simply think differently to how they do. The Force, Arie Del, is as much a mental exercise as it is a spiritual one. In this case, that means your lack of a lightsaber isn't a big issue."
He produced a short blade, knelt, and laid it on the ground in front of them.
"We'll use this, so as not to damage yours. Start by visualising the structure of the metal," he instructed. "Lose yourself in the Force, but direct its currents towards the weapon. Feel the way the Force flows through it, the way it twists around its structure. Then, take hold of the Force and use it to armour the structure."
Head canted, she stared between Lord Ares and the training sword, trying to imagine beyond the metal. The sword wasn't hand-forged, likely made in a metal press somewhere on an industrial world. Most swords and knives were like that, she mused. She'd only ever seen one true smith and while functional and beautiful, his tools were cost-prohibitive and reserved for the privileged. So she imagined the press stamping a hot bar of steel into the blade before her. When the force of the stamp met the hot metal, it shaped the bar into a long, straight rectangle with a diamond point at one end. She imagined the pressure of the stamp and the malleable metal and found the moment where the two collided, and out of the energy of that making, found the Force within.
But how to alter what has already been made? Once the sword is made, it remains a sword. A stone remains a stone, a Torgruta remains a Torgruta. She thought to reforge the weapon in the fires of the Force like a smith, but realized she had no practical knowledge of how. Arie couldn't remake a sword any more than she could turn her montrals into Twilek lekku. A shadow passed over her face. This was turning into the blaster range.
She couldn't make, but she could mend! So many things needed to be repaired and mended in the Valley and she'd hand to sharpen knives, reattach hilts, and straighten dings. So, picking up the sword, she appraised it with a crafter's eye and saw where it could be mended - she wrapped the hilt with imagined leather, and secured the blade to the hilt with durabond made with the Force. She took a phantasmal sharpening stone and ran it across the blade until the edge gleamed, and straightened the sword with a few good knocks with a mallet. It would serve any hunter in Corvala.
Arie shook her head clear of the reverie and looked up at Ares, holding the sword out horizontally between them. "Shall we test it?"
Arie let out a surprised gasp which quickly turned to a stone silence as she brought the sword up in a standard block. In the speed of thought between the half-second of being alive and the next half-second of utter uncertainty, she wondered if the droid on the range had been moving the target. The little mechanical bastard.
Arie's sword came up just in time to deflect Ares' lightsaber over her head, and it took her a moment to conclude she had reinforced the weapon successfully after she realised her head wasn't in two pieces.
"That concludes Force Weapon," Ares stated, deactivating his lightsaber. He ignored his own grumbling at the fact that it had taken him several attempts to get it right. Consoling himself with the conclusion that they potentially made him a better teacher than Darth Xaos, he moved on.
"Let's move on to some more overt applications of the Force. There are three broad categories of Force Powers - these Sense, which affects your perceptions, Control, which affects you, and Alter, which affects the world around you. Every use of the Force that isn't Sorcery or Magic falls into these three types, and I don't understand Sorcery or Magic enough to teach you about them. Alter is generally the hardest to get a grip on - it comes more easily to those with an aggressive mind-set. But Control and Sense, these should come quite easily to you - in fact it's quite likely you've been tapping into basic applications of them without realising it your entire life.
"So, instead, I'm going to teach you something I know you won't have tapped into - Telepathy. This is an example of a more complex Sense power. Later, we'll cover using the Force to leap great heights and distances - an equally complex Control power."
"The Jedi would have you believe Telepathy is impossible." This is brought on by a lack of understanding on their part, he continued on Arie's mind. She couldn't hear his voice per se, and yet there was an undeniable understanding that the thoughts belonged to him. The unnecessarily verbosity of his mental voice stood out to her as well. Telepathy, as you may know, is the act of 'speaking' into another's mind. The same techniques can be used to read the thoughts of others. The Jedi are capable of this much, reading surface thoughts - the most basic application of telepathy. Their unwillingness to risk damaging the mind prevents them from utilising it further. This is laughable, as the only damage a properly-trained Sith does to another's mind is that which they intend to.
This is where we will start.To help you understand the fundamentals, I have established a link between our minds. What Ares didn't share was his awareness of how frustrated Arie could get when she couldn't do something, and with a delicate matter like Telepathy he wanted to make sure she had an easier time grasping the fundamentals before he left it to her own power. Focus on the my thoughts within your mind, then use the Force to perceive this link and follow it back to my mind.Tell me what my surface thoughts are.
Rather than pick anything especially difficult, he began thinking about lightsabers, running through the forms of lightsaber combat in his head.
Darth Ares: Don't forget to watch the original Clone Wars by Genndy Tartakovsky though, it's incredible and it's also the only Star Wars media where Grievous isn't a punk bitch
Mar 26, 2018 0:33:31 GMT
Darth Ares: It's good isn't it? Season 1 is a slog until Ryloth and then it gets crazy good crazy fast.
Mar 26, 2018 0:28:30 GMT
Chi-Ki-Meyee: Finally started the Star Wars animated series and I've somehow almost finished the Clone Wars in just a few days.
Mar 25, 2018 23:07:45 GMT
Darth Xaos: I'm well. And have just replied in PM.
Mar 21, 2018 2:50:12 GMT