The lush groove shimmered in the red afternoon sun, as its rays bathed the small group sitting in the stone circle near the middle.
Jedi Sentinel Rarity smiled to herself. It truly weren’t better ways to spend the evening, than with the younglings.
The ten colts and fillies sitting there, trying their best to meditate over her words with expressions of concentration was the future, this she knew well.
And knowing she was a vital part in their education added to the unicorn’s good mood.
“…There is no death, there is only the Force.” She opened her eyes, and smiled warmly at the hopefuls.
“It may seem like just words, just a mantra. But if you bear this in mind, you will find clarity and guidance in the darkest of times.”
“Now, it appears that we got some time on our hands before you all are to return for the evening meal. Does anyone of you have some questions you haven’t dared asking the Masters? I promise I won’t call them silly.” The Purple maned jedi winked at her onlookers.
The younglings looked around at each other, a bit uncomfortable. After a little, a pink pegasus raised a hoof.
“Um... I just wondered... What are the difference between the Force and magic? I’ve seen unicorns lifting things just like the jedi does, but without any training.”
Rarity smiled to herself. “It is actually a good question, dear. It is a bit complicated, but I’ll try to explain it simply. The best way to put it is that it is two different sources.
They look similar, but where magic is ‘just’ spells useable by unicorns, the Force is an all compassing, well, force that is in everyone, that jedi can utilize. Not all jedi are unicorns, and not all unicorns are jedi. And they both have advantages over each other, and limits.
And even for unicorns, it does not need to be a connection between it. It can happen though, but it is most rare.
In my own chase, I am, well, decent, in both the Force and magic. But I got no connection between it.
Is it a bit clearer now, dear?”
The youngling wore an expression of slight confusion and comprehension. “I think it is, master. Thanks.”
The time had run out, as the sun crept away from the stone circle.
“Well then, my little ponies, I think it is time to return to the temple. I presume you are getting hungry as well?”
This was rewarded with a low chorus of nodding and quiet agreement, as the foals rose and started following her through the lush woods of Tython, towards at the large temple. There, the younglings bid her good day, and scurried towards the mess hall.
Rarity used her free moment to lean towards one of the boulders signifying the rim of the temple grounds, stretching her forelegs, a water canteen floating nearby in her magic grasp.
When she opened her eyes, she saw a young cream colored pegasus standing in front of her, bowing slightly in respect.
“Greetings, Master. I am to deliver a message: you are summoned to the council as quickly as you can manage.”
“Thanks, dear. I’ll go now then.” She nodded, and bade the mare a farewell as she rose and headed towards the temple doors, the canteen slowly drifting behind her.
Rarity straightened out her robes as she stood in front of the council doors, and entered into the large room. She was immediately met by chatter; it was evident that the meeting had been going on for a while. The voice quickly died when she walked up and bowed.
“Ah, miss Rarity. Good you could arrive on such short notice. I am afraid we got quite a situation on our hands.”
The grand master of the order, Master Celestria, appeared composed, but still couldn’t hide the slight concern in her eyes.
The rest of the council also directed their attention at her, eight masters of various ages.
“That’s an understatement, Grand master.” One of the elder councilmembers, a pegasus stallion with grey streaks in his blue mane, spoke out. “But why do we add even more to this chaos by involving one of the philosophy teachers?”
“I agree,” continued one of the younger masters, a blue stallion with straw yellow mane. “Nevertheless, I trust the Grand master. Let us proceed, apologies for the interruption.”
“Very well. Blue Print, would you explain the situation?”
At this, the other earth pony stallion present, a white maned master with several scars surrounding a bionic left eye and a prosthetic left front leg, rose up from the chair. He started speaking, voice gruff and slow.
“The situation at hand is quite uncomfortable for us, Miss Rarity. And we do not quite see a simple solution for it.
A couple of weeks ago, as a part of the graduation for Master Applejack’s padawan, we sent her on what was supposed to be a simple diplomatic mission working with one of the lower gangs at Nar Shadda.
The goal was to improve our influence on the poor in the area. She was supposed to travel incognito, and not blow her cover unless necessary.
Unfortunately, somewhere this went wrong. Some days ago, we lost contact with the padawan. Our contacts on the planet, however, has revealed that one of the gangs, a new and quickly growing one called ‘the Ursa Major’ has gotten involved.
They have apparently captured her, and the rumors is that the gang is supported by a sith lord, and their underlings.”
“I presume it is more to this?” Rarity inquired, brows furrowed.
“Unfortunately, yes.” One of the mares, a brown unicorn named Spellbound, took up the word. “The problem lies in the padawan in question. The very idea that a sith manages to get one of our own towards their side is horrible, but this is maybe even worse.
She is immensely powerful in both the Force, and in unicorn magic, maybe the strongest the academy has ever trained. And, she even got a complete connection between them. Her training as a sage has proven her strength, but she has suffered from a lack of self-esteem. This may make her a simple victim for the dark side, and she could become a major threat given her raw powers.”
Spellbound suppressed a shudder. “But, fortunately, our contacts managed to find out where she is kept. Her master is quite interested in going after her, but we think she should have some support.”
“But the main problem,” An grey unicorn with an wrinkled, frail outlook, started. “Is that the sith refuses anything to do with it at all. And then we can’t take any larger actions, we simply can’t afford breaking the Treaty of Coruscant!”
Now the other pegasus in the room, an auburn mare spoke up, her voice filled with enthusiasm. “So, by support, we mean you! Hopefully you will be able to give Master Applejack the edge needed to fulfill the mission without any larger problems.”
Rarity prepared herself to speak when a drawl carried through the room.
“Well, that’s all good and so, but Ah simply can’t understan’ how a teacher will help me?”
The speaker, an orange earth pony which had spent the meeting standing towards the wall behind Rarity, started walk up to the council table.
“I understand this is a bit confusing, Master Applejack. But it will soon be clear.” The grand master smirked slightly. “Miss Rarity here is mainly a teacher at the temple, yes. But she is also one of our Jedi shadows, and one quite well trained one at that.”
The disbelief on the orange jedi was dripping. “What? She’s a shadow?”
“Why yes, dear. Just because I prefer to educate the younglings does not mean I can’t be skilled in the field.” Rarity realized she likely failed to hide her annoyance, but decided to let it flow.
“Do I look so harmless?”
“Well, yes, ya do. Yer just teachin’, Ah’ve never even seen ya leave Tython, and not even carrying yer lightsaber.” Applejacks disbelief had been replaced by slight skepticism.
“Disbelief aside, Master Applejack, she is a jedi shadow, an agent of the council. A well hidden, and well trained one. I assure you she will be a valuable asset for you.”
Celestria had rose from the chair and walked around the table. The other councilmembers followed through.
“We are going to send you both to the smugglers’ moon, in order to save our lost member. The shuttle is ready for departure in about two hours, so you should go prepare yourself for the trip.
We wish you the best of luck. May the Force be with you.”
Rarity followed them out of the council room, and headed towards her room.
It’s been quite a while since my last mission, she mused absentmindedly, shredding her traditional robes.
She opened the lockbox and started strapping on her combat gear, a form fitting white suit consisting of long briefs, a purple utility belt, theater gloves and a tank top with a short hooded tunic, rimmed with purple accents. The whole suit was clearly crafted for elegance, without sacrificing a single bit of mobility or practically, showing off the wearer as a force to be reckoned with.
Before she left, she opened a small box containing her lightsaber. It was a double bladed weapon, looking every bit as elegant and deadly as its wielder. The handle was of polished wood, surrounded by silver inlaid metal. The two triangular blade emitters had a small diamond fixed to each side, pointing towards the endpieces.
Rarity held the work of art in her hooves for a slight moment, before she twirled it around her with skilled precision, and ended her graceful dance strapping the weapon to her belt in a fluid motion.
Pleased, she left for the landing pad.
Waiting impatiently, Master Applejack where striding back and forth in front of the small ship. The last days had been a chore, and now she was filled to her neck in worry for her padawan, annoyance with the slow council, and irritation at this teacher the council had forced her to work with.
The small voice in the back of her conscious constantly reminding her that such kind of emotions is not the way of the jedi, did not help.
“Argh!” she cried out to the empty landing pad. “Why does this have to be so difficult?”
Years of training and faithful adherence to the jedi code ought to be of more use, she mused.
The sound of light steps behind her snapped her out of her thoughts, and she turned around. Surprise painted her face, since what stood in front of her was a far cry from the teacher she was used to dealing with.
“Not what you expected?” Rarity couldn’t help being a little smug, as the speechless guardian tried to work out her befuddlement.
“Not quite, to be honest.”
Rarity eyed her companion. She was still wearing the robes of the order, but had donned armored boots and gloves, as well as some additional plates strapped to her pants. She also noticed a chestguard beneath her tunic. A thick branch of a lightsaber hung from the utility belt.
Rarity gestured to the backpack near a crate with a hoof. I presume you are ready to go now?
Applejack picked it up as they walked up the ramp of the ship, a standard issue corellian Corvette commonly used by the order for intergalactic travel.
As they sat in the pilot seats, preparing the navicomputer for the travel, Rarity glanced over at her traveling companion. The ship jumped into lightspeed.
“Well then, dear. The big adventure begins now!”