• Published 3rd Dec 2017
  • 3,911 Views, 130 Comments

Heart of the Force - fluttershyfan17

In the midst of Order 66, Jedi Knight Kaleb Taymar is transported to Equestria. Starting a new life, he becomes friends with the Main 6. However, the Force has awakened in Equestra, and their lives will never be the same.

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Chapter 4: Difficult Memories

Kaleb eventually began to wake, sitting up in his bed as the light from the window poured in. Stretching his arms, he took a look at the alarm clock only to realize that he had slept through the alarm as it was 11:00 am. “Blast!”

Struggling to get his boots on, he eventually managed to figure out the lock on the inside handle and open the door. Kaleb rushed down the stairs into the library to find it was relatively quiet. Twilight was at the central table, writing down what appeared to be a list. She looked up, smiling as he breathed heavily. “Good morning, Kaleb! Did you sleep well?”

Running a hand through his messy hair, Kaleb replied after catching his breath. “Yeah, too well by the looks of it. My alarm was set for seven, but I must have been more tired than I anticipated. Sorry I kept you waiting on the interview.”

“No, it’s okay. We can just do it after a light breakfast,” Twilight stated, using her magic to bring a large package in front of him. “Rarity dropped your clothes off earlier. She said that you could leave your tunic here and she’ll pick it up this afternoon. Head upstairs and wash up and we can meet in the kitchen for breakfast.”

Kaleb nodded thankfully and taking the large package into his arms, walked back upstairs. The door was already open as he put the package on the bed, closing the door and opening it to find the clothes that Rarity had made for him. There were several sets of pants in beige, black, brown, gray, and navy blue, each having pockets and belt loops that fit the two belts that were in the package. The shirts had more of a variety of colors, with the long sleeves having a more trimmed feel than the tunic. Each one had a set of three buttons in the top center near the swooped neckline. The underclothes were all white, with the t-shirts, socks and underwear packaged together. Along with the clothing, Rarity had provided a razor, shaving cream, aftershave, deodorant, shampoo, and conditioner from the small market in town.

Dressing in the blue pants and the heavy white shirt, Kaleb looked in the mirror as he stood up. The clothing was based on what he wore when he was on undercover missions, but he pushed that thought out of his mind. Sighing, he hooked the lightsaber to the belt with a small clip he attached to it and went into the restroom. After washing up, Kaleb walked downstairs into the kitchen to find Twilight having a slice a toast with strawberry jam.

“There’s a few slices still left in the toaster if you want them. I wouldn’t touch Spike’s gem flakes though, he’s protective about those.”

Kaleb grabbed the remaining slices of toast along with an apple from the fridge and pouring himself a glass of orange juice sat down. “Thank you for making breakfast. I can do the dishes afterwards if you want.”

Twilight smiled as she replied. “That’s very considerate of you. Today is Spike’s day to wash the dishes, but he’s at the mayor’s office organizing the historical files. I’m trying to create a shared archive on Ponyville’s history similar to what Canterlot has. Speaking of history, I wanted to talk to you before the interview. I thought that if we could lay some ground rules, it could avoid any awkwardness.”

Kaleb nodded, thinking for a second before replying. “That’s a good idea. What were you thinking?”

Twilight responded almost immediately. “Well, I was thinking last night and Spike said just not to make it seem like an interrogation. So, I was thinking it would only be two hours per day, with five days so I have time to check my notes. You can guide where the interview goes and I’ll just adjust my notes accordingly. It will be just like a conversation. Anything you want to add?”

Finishing his first slice of toast, Kaleb wait a few seconds before he spoke. “Yes, actually. Upstairs, I have a pack of objects that I had when I crashed here that I can show you. Some of these objects are very delicate in nature, so I would say there’s a no touching rule. The other rule I have is complicated to explain. Simply put, while I’ll try to explain as much as I can, there is some knowledge that I cannot tell you. The Jedi Order has many secrets that were only for them, and I want to maintain that trust. Also, some of that information is personal.”

Kaleb struggled on the last sentence as he tried not to remember. Twilight got up from the table and put her dishes in the sink. “It’s okay, anything that you could tell me should be good. I still need to get ready; how about we meet in the basement in half an hour? There’s a door near one the F bookcase that leads down there.”

“Sounds good. I’ll see you then.” As Twilight left the kitchen, Kaleb sighed and got up from the table. Quickly eating his last slice of toast, he began to busy himself with washing the dishes. After all of the dishes were washed, he grabbed the apple and, after grabbing the pack from upstairs, approached the door near the bookshelf, opening the cracked door and going down a set of spiraled stairs.

The basement was surprisingly well lit by a few well-placed candles that brought out natural grooves in the wood but also, unfortunately, the clutter as well. Various devices were placed among the wall, including projectors and a projection screen, book carts, folding chairs, and a phonograph whose large brass bell created an eerie shadow across the wall. There was an antique wooden table with various cushioned chairs around it, the fabric being a faded green. Twilight was sitting at the other side of the circular table, preparing a quill by dipping it in ink. She waved and he sat down, the chair creaking slightly to his weight.

“Sorry about the mess. It’s a nice basement but still very small; the previous owner was a bit of a collector, as you can tell. Some of the older equipment I’m thinking about bringing up into the library.”

Kaleb looked up at the ceiling, noticing the light cast on it. “It’s okay. At least I’m not bumping my head on the ceiling. I’m ready to begin.”

Twilight used her magic to bring a stack of papers onto the table and casting a quick spell on the quill, which jumped to life and stood near the first paper, ready to go. “I’ve cast a spell on the quill so that it records what you and I are saying so I don’t need to worry about keeping up. So, what was the world where you lived on like?”

Kaleb answered as he brought out a metallic sphere the size of his hand. “Well, my world wasn’t exactly the only one. We were able to travel between planets, moons, and various star systems with a push of a button.” With that, he pushed a small button on the sphere and light projected out of the top. Twilight gasped as what seemed to be thousands of different specks of light appeared in holographic form before her eyes. “Each of these specks of light represent a planet in my galaxy, each with its own climate, culture, and government. It would take forever to talk about them all, so I will focus on the planet where I lived.” With that, he turned off the device, leaving a noticeable emptiness inside the room.

Twilight was still looking in awe up in the air when she finally addressed him. “That’s incredible! What was your planet like?”

Kaleb brought up a flat, rectangular device with a clear glass in the middle that had buttons and joysticks on each side of the gray handles that spanned the entire sides. With a push of a button, he turned it on, the clear screen suddenly filled with various folders. Choosing the planetary index and entering a quick passcode, he selected the planet. The holograms that were projected included a planet with red-orange lines that created patterns and millions of specs of light on one side of the sphere and another which showed a massive skyline with millions of buildings going high into the sky.

“Coruscant is considered to be one of the Core Worlds, just meaning that it’s significant for its stature and wealth. Galactic City covers the entire planet, and it is home to the Galactic Republic, a government that covers various star systems from across the galaxy. Each system would send representatives to the Senate they would elect the Supreme Chancellor, who would lead and be limited to two terms depending on the circumstances. “

Twilight thought for a second and then asked a question. “Wait, so Coruscant is made up entirely of a city, right? So, there would be separate districts similar to any other city.?”

“Exactly. As well, Coruscant has separate levels based on both wealth and altitude. The highest levels go up to six thousand feet. It’s known as a major industrial center, and there are districts known as the Works and CoCo Town where a lot of hard-working laborers live and work. The underworld of Coruscant is deemed uninhabitable because of the toxic fumes, but many live down there and major crime families have their operations based there. Other than the government districts and the Jedi Temple, the only other major one that I could think of is the Uscru Entertainment District, which is where a lot of the nightlife in Coruscant is with gambling, opera, and nightclubs. All of the levels are assessable through massive ventilation shafts that serve as passageways for ships.”

The quill reequipped itself with ink as Twilight prepped a new set of pages and checked the time. “Wow! Time really flies when you’re learning, I guess. If you could talk about one more subject, I should have enough, actually, so we won’t need any more sessions. Perhaps you could tell me about the Jedi?”

Kaleb seemed to be caught off guard. “The Jedi? Right. So, their main responsibility was to serve as guardians and peacekeepers to the Republic as we have for over a thousand generations, only using violence when there are no other options. While not a part of the government, we worked closely with the Republic on diplomatic missions and with local police on cases. Younglings, or foals as you might say, are raised and trained to become padawans, or apprentices. After their trails, they become Jedi Knights, and they can eventually become Masters with padawans of their own.”

“Fascinating. You know, the Jedi remind me of an ancient group of Equestrian monks, except without the peacekeeping. They kept many levels of knowledge that is still being discovered to this day,” Twilight added, shifting her position in the chair.

Kaleb looked slightly amused at the last statement. “You know, Princess Celestia made the exact same observation. Like student, like teacher, I suppose,” Kaleb said, seeing Twilight chuckle slightly. “The main philosophy is the Jedi Code, which focus on peace, harmony, knowledge, and serenity. At the center of all of this is the Force, which connects every living thing in an energy field that surrounds us. Those who are Force-sensitive have the key to open up many abilities, one of which you witnessed in Sugarcube Corner. The Living Force, which is what connects all living things feeds into the Cosmic Force, binds the entire galaxy together.”

Taking his lightsaber from his belt, he placed it onto the table and replaced a device on the table with a twelve -sided polyhedron made of crystal and metallic materials. Indicating to the lightsaber, Kaleb coughed before continuing. “The lightsabers are the weapon of the Jedi, which produces a plasma blade that can be used for offensive and defensive purposes. The blade can come in a variety of colors, but this one is blue. It is a weapon that takes great skill and training to master, especially when paired with the Force. The other object is a Jedi Holocron, which contains information relating to the Jedi and the Force. This one is my own, but very few Jedi are allowed to keep them even though I was. Only someone who is Force sensitive is able to open it. ”

Twilight looked at the objects on the table with great concentration before double checking the notes before deactivating the spell. “Excellent! This one interview has enough information to keep it at one. Thank you, Kaleb, for all of this information. I can’t wait to tell Princess Celestia in my next letter to her.”

Kaleb nodded, looking at the clock to notice it was 2:00 pm. “You’re welcome, Twilight. I think I’m going to go for a walk around town to explore a little. I should be back in a few hours.” Twilight asked if he could help her organize some books when he got back, which he said yes to. Standing up carefully as to not hit the low ceiling, he put away the lightsaber and Holocron before heading back upstairs.

It had only been a short time since Kaleb left the library on his walk and yet he felt like there was nowhere left to explore. Remembering the market yesterday, he had tried several free samples and promised the vendors that he would buy their product as soon as he had any bits, which he discovered was Equestria’s currency. As he walked around the outskirts of Ponyville, he felt the Force calling out to him, though it was very faint. Turning toward the call, he found a large forest, balancing between the daylight and the wild untamed nature. Following the sounds of the birds, Kaleb walked into the forest, finding that it was not as intimidating as it appeared.

The echoes of a stream could be heard, along with the various chirping of birds, whose nests rested on the branches of the giant trees. Sunlight poured in, making every detail of the woods as crisp as the leaves of late summer rustling in the trees. A slight breeze was present, making every plant and flower flow as if they were alive. After a few minutes of walking Kaleb stumbled upon a clearing, with moss-covered rocks populating the point near the small stream which flowed through.

“Well, this is as good a place as any to meditate,” Kaleb thought, sitting down on the soft grass. “If anything, this is more relaxing than the library.”

Reaching out to the Force, Kaleb began to meditate, beginning at first to use a mantra to calm himself, and then listening to the sounds of nature around him. He could feel the Living Force in every plant, flower, bird, and any other creature wash over him, observing every move, thought, and feeling they took. Many of these creatures were new, yet their presence was as strong, almost as if they were in the clearing at this very moment. It was at this very moment he heard scurrying near him and he opened his eyes.

A family of chipmunks had gathered around him in a semi-circle, looking up at him eagerly as he broke the meditation to look around. Kaleb looked half amazed, half amused as he gazed at them. Master Johanna had always teased him about his ability to communicate with animals through the Force, but it had been useful in several situations.

“Well, looks like I’ve gained a small class with me today. Hello there, I’m Kaleb and you must live around these woods. It’s wonderful to meet you.”

The chipmunk in the center of the group squealed quietly, signaling the others to move towards him, crawling onto his legs and allowing themselves to be petted. The center chipmunk then squealed to Kaleb, pointing towards the stream and then to his left hind leg, which had been injured.

“Yes, of course I can help you, crawl onto my hands,” Kaleb said, kneeling down and opened his palm to the injured creature. Slightly hesitant, the chipmunk slowly crawled onto his hands. Carefully standing up, he walked slowly towards the stream while the other members of his family rode on Kaleb’s shoulders, who explained that his leg was recovering well, it was just a day longer before he could scurry to the stream. Kneeling down, Kaleb set his hands at the stream, allowing the chipmunk to drink the water while being careful not to let him fall in. After receiving the chipmunk’s signal, Kaleb moved away from the stream and following the family’s directions, set him down near a burrow farther away from the stream. The injured chipmunk issued a sound of thanks.

“It was my pleasure to help you. I’m glad to hear your leg's almost healed.”

As the chipmunks disappeared into the burrow, Kaleb sighed and stood up, noticing the small wildflowers the surrounded the burrow. His fascination with these was only broken by a familiar voice. “Thank you for helping Mr. Chipmunk. I was just coming to check up on him.”

Kaleb jumped, looking startled and turned around to find Fluttershy standing behind him, looking at him with relief. “Hi, Fluttershy, it’s no problem, I was just passing through. Out of curiosity, how much of that did you see?"

Fluttershy blushed slightly. “Well, I kind of saw all of it. What were you doing all the way out here?”

Kaleb rustled his right hand through his hair as he answered. “I was looking for a place to meditate, actually. It seemed quiet and peaceful out here, so when I found the clearing I knew it was the right place. I never expected that chipmunks would ride on my shoulders today, but it seemed that they were glad.”

“They would have a nice view of the area,” Fluttershy replied, looking over at the clearing as she stood by him.

Kaleb looked in the same direction. “I guess they would. You could call me Kaleb, chipmunk whisperer and observation tour gui-AHH!”

The pain in Kaleb’s seared as he was moving his neck to face her. His hand reached up to support his neck. Fluttershy moved towards him with alarm and concern. “Kaleb! Are you alright!?”

Kaleb’s voice was filled with pain as he spoke. “Whiplash. Got it from my crash here. I must have forgotten to stretch this morning…”

“I have ice packs back at my cottage. It’s not a far walk. Try not to move your neck.” Fluttershy grabbed his hand and slowly led him out of the forest and within two minutes they were at her cottage.

From what Kaleb could make out, Fluttershy’s cottage was built into the landscape, with the roof being made of a heavy grass. Various birdhouses surrounded the cottage as well as the house itself, including a tree near a small bridge crossing over the stream. There were small burrows everywhere, probably for the animals the she took care of, and they all came out as they stared at Kaleb. Moving into the cottage, Fluttershy guided Kaleb to a comfortable green couch. “My first aid supplies are in the kitchen. I’ll be right back.” She moved out of the living room.

Kaleb took this opportunity to look around the cottage, or at least glanced with his eyes. The wooden walls were cleaner than the library, with the built-in shelves and birdhouses that housed books and birds looking more ornate with small wooden designs. A large turquoise carpet decorated the floor, which had several beds and burrows for the animals that lived with her. There were several pictures of butterflies on the wall, including a painting of a type of butterfly that Kaleb had never seen before.

Fluttershy came back, carrying a flexible icepack that could easily wrap around his neck. “Please hold it on your neck for a few minutes; hopefully the swelling should go down. I’m making some tea; would you like some?”

“Tea would be lovely, thank you.” Kaleb said with relief, holding the icepack to his neck. It was at this moment when he was able to slightly move his neck that he saw a rabbit sitting in a miniature chair on a side table facing him. The rabbit was giving him the most intimidating stare that Kaleb had ever seen and he couldn’t escape it due to the limited range of motion in his neck. It was at the end of the most uncomfortable three and a half minutes in his life so far that Fluttershy came in with a teapot and two teacups.

“Angel Bunny, do you mind moving out of the miniature chair please? I’m worried that you might fall off the table.” Angel pointed at Kaleb and then back to himself. “It’s okay, this is Kaleb, he’s a friend. How about if I give you a slice of carrot cake for dessert tonight?”

Angel thought for a second then nodded. Moving off the table, he pointed a paw to Kaleb and then to his eyes. Throwing the chair with so much force over his shoulder that Kaleb nearly ducked to avoid the projectile, Angel hopped up the stairs and was out of sight.”

“Sorry about that, he isn’t normally this irritable. I wasn’t sure if you took anything in your tea, I have sugar and honey on the coffee table.”

“Sugar is fine, thank you,” Kaleb said graciously, extending his hand to grab to teacup with sugar as Fluttershy sat down in the armchair opposite of him. Sipping his tea in one hand and holding the icepack with the other, Kaleb took in the silence for a few moments before speaking.

“This is a very nice cottage, Fluttershy, especially with all of the paintings of butterflies. So, you’re the caretaker for all of these animals?”

Fluttershy stirred the honey into her tea as she answered. “I help care for them when they’re sick or injured, but I always try to look after them. This cottage is a safe refuge for them, no matter the circumstance. They have always...uh...been.”

“Comforting. Like when no one else understands,” Kaleb added, shifting the ice pack slightly. Fluttershy nodded. “They’re always there to listen and to help, even if the circumstances are dire.”

Fluttershy paused and continued. “Uh, yes…I guess so,” Looking slightly surprised at his insight, she continued, indicating to her cutie mark. “They changed my life in a single moment…it was when I was a filly, when I lived in Cloudsdale.” She handed a photo of the city from the side table next to her to Kaleb.

Kaleb looked stunned. "A city made entirely up of clouds. That’s amazing… Sorry, but how are you able to live up there if it’s clouds?”

“Only pegasus ponies can walk on the clouds without falling through. I never saw any unicorns or earth ponies, but I’m sure there are ways. The other pegasi made fun of me because I never could fly as fast or as strong as them.”

Setting down his tea onto the table, Kaleb looked at her with sympathy. “I’m sorry.”

Fluttershy continued. “Thank you. Rainbow Dash also was from there, and she was the one who came to my defense and challenged them to a race. One of them knocked me accidentally off of the clouds and I fell but was saved by a group of butterflies that brought me down to the ground. I had never been down there before, so I didn’t know what to expect.” She paused, remembering the moment with an expression of nostalgia. “I was so struck by the beauty of the forest and all of the animals that I began to sing. There were just so many wonders that I saw for the first time. When Rainbow Dash did her Sonic Rainboom, they were scared so I comforted and told them that everything’s okay. I found that I could communicate to animals at a different level, and my cutie mark appeared.”

Kaleb leaned forward, looking at her. “That’s a very touching story, Fluttershy. Well, I suppose that I should tell mine.” Collecting his thoughts, he pushed through the anxiety to remember. “I grew up in place similar to a monastery, in a giant city. Even though the Jedi Temple was in the middle of it, there were still small, quiet gardens used for meditation and thought. One day, when I was a youngling, I was out by myself, meditating in the garden when found a bird resting in the tree. In that moment, I climbed the tree, resting on one of the branches nearby, yet it didn’t fly away. As I reached out to the Force, I could feel every feeling and thought it had. There was almost…a mutual trust we had, and it climbed onto my hand. For a few moments, we communicated before it flew away, sensing danger. I could not sense that danger, at least before the branch snapped and I broke several of my fingers. Because of my discovery and not knowing better, Master Yoda just told me not to climb unstable trees.”

Fluttershy looked with fascination then confusion. “It looks like both of us falling made us discover. What is this Force, exactly?”

Chuckling, Kaleb cast a hand over the table, setting the scene. “Imagine a river, always flowing no matter what the season is. Every stone and pebble are touched by it and is connected by the flow of the water, moving downstream. The water is the Force, an energy field that connects all living things, each pebble and stone. No matter where you are in the forest, that river is always flowing and can sometimes be heard. I’m sure you sensed something yesterday in the bakery.”

“I did…there was something powerful that I couldn’t see…”

Kaleb nodded. “But it was there. The Living Force is a tributary that flows into the Cosmic Force, which binds the world together.”

Fluttershy nodded. Kaleb set down his tea cup and sighed. “To be honest, I’ve never told anyone else that story before. Twilight interviewed me this morning on my world, and it wasn’t the most comfortable experience. I don’t know…it's…”

“Difficult, when you are adjusting to this new world to talk about your own,” Fluttershy finished, looking at him with sympathy.

He brought his hands to his knees, trying to steady himself. “There are these moments I get panicked when I try to remember. Some things are easy, but others are clouded in this mist that I can’t break through. Brief moments, but still impactful. Being out in the forest today calmed me, bringing me back to that bird in the tree.”

Fluttershy went over to the couch and sat next to him. “The forest helps to calm me as well, along with the animals. You can go into that forest anytime you want, and if you need someone to talk to, I’m always here, Kaleb.”

Kaleb reached back over for his tea and turned his head slightly towards her. “Thank you. Meditation there is going to be a lot calmer there than in the library.” The small clock on the wall struck its bells as it said it was 5:00. “I should probably be going. Twilight wanted me to help her sort out some books before dinner.”

The two got up from the couch, with Kaleb handing Fluttershy the icepack and she went back into the kitchen. Stretching, Kaleb finished his tea and looked outside where he saw the animals basking in the late afternoon sun. Fluttershy came back and they went outside.

“Thank you for everything. It was very kind of you, Fluttershy,” Kaleb said as she smiled slightly.

“Well, I am the element of kindness after all. You’re welcome and remember what I said. Also, I could always use some help with the animals if you need something to do.”

Kaleb smiled back and spoke. “I’ll take that into consideration. Have a nice rest of the day.”

The two waved as Kaleb began to walk back towards town. Looking around, he saw two baby otters playing in the stream, now noticing the small alcove that had been dug underneath the bridge for their burrow. Smiling, he paused for a second watching them before heading back towards the general direction of the library.

It was about twenty minutes later when Kaleb got back and closed the door behind him. Twilight was at a small desk, reading when she looked up at Kaleb.

“Hey, Kaleb. How was your walk?”

Kaleb sat down on a chair and smiled. “It was good. I explored a little bit more of the town. How was your afternoon?”

“It was quiet but good. Spike’s upstairs taking a nap; he was so exhausted from today but I’m proud of him. Also, Applejack came by looking for you. She should still be…”

“I’m around Twilight, don’t fret.” Applejack came out of the kitchen, looking around till she found Kaleb. “Howdy, Kaleb! I was just looking for you. Sweet Apple Acres always needs help this time of year with the harvest and I was wondering if I could offer you a job.”

Kaleb looked surprised. “A job? What exactly would I be doing?”

“Mainly helping out with the apples. There are a lot that need to come down, and now that my dear sister Apple Bloom is starting school again, I need your help. Also, there’s a bunch of apple products we make that need to be produced. It’s only early September, but things are going fast. You would be paid, of course, seven bits an hour and you don’t have to work on the weekends except when we really need you.”

Kaleb thought about it for a few seconds and replied. “I accept your offer and I look forward to working with you and your family. I can start tomorrow if possible.”

Applejack nodded. “Sounds good. You can come by around ten and I’ll give you a tour before feeding you lunch and then putting you to work for a few hours.”

The two shook on it, and Kaleb waved as she left the library. “Well, looks like I have a job now. Where are the books that need organizing?”

Twilight pointed him towards a stack on the corner desk and he quickly got to work.

Author's Note:

The inspiration behind Mr. Chipmunk is an interesting one. Particularly in the fall, there are always chipmunks coming through my yard and a few years ago a there was one whose leg was broken when it fell from the birdfeeder. I stayed with it for a while I contacted the local wildlife rehabilitator who picked it up. As always, may the Force be with you!

Edited by Menace of the Mines