Chapter 4: Long Handle
It was completely matte. There was no shine, no gleaming parts to it, nor was there any gloss. It appeared dark as midnight, or the cosmos itself, reflecting no light at all. This was a common material, matte-black fiberplast. It was used to design an incredibly strong casing for the lightsaber components she had put together. This long and hollow cylindrical casing was fitted with long sheets of rubbery handgrip material. The handgrip was covered with a grainy texture necessary to form traction between hand and hilt. It covered most of the hilt, except for areas where thumb switches were placed to interact with power activators.
Dya'Mondria held it with both hands. She placed her right hand in the front position, slightly below the center of this long hilt. She positioned her left hand much further down from her right hand, near the hilt's end. She left two hands width of space between her left hand and the end of the hilt. The hilt itself was quite long, longer than the length of a double-bladed lightsaber. Parts of this handle were exposed, having what appeared to be vents or grating where the handgrip material was not grafted on.
Upon inspecting this weapon she customized, she finally used her thumb to activate the blade. There came a snap sound that was barely audible, and as the blade emerged, there was virtually no sound at all. Blade ignition was muffled by sound dampeners she installed for the sake of added stealth. Normal lightsabers were often loud and bellowed their activation times. This one sounded more like a whisper.
The blade glowed, but it did not shine like that of normal lightsabers, appearing with a dark-blue core yet outlined with brilliant green. It was not the best for stealth, but it did shine less than that of other lightsabers. Also, that same dual-color effect could be seen within the long hilt through the vent grating. Dya'Mondria held the long hilt up horizontally with both palms facing the ceiling, raising it to her eye level so as to see the visual effect those vents provided. Because of the blade adjusters she installed, the blade was made to appear thin and long. There was an effect crystal installed that made this blade dense and strong. The blade emerged from deep within the hilt and passed through a long tunnel of technology used to reinforce and fortify the glowing blade before erupting out of the far end. This meant that the blade was extremely long, but shielded by the elongated hilt by nearly half its total length. There was a reason for this. It was meant to grant her a tactical advantage in combat for emergency situations. This tactical advantage also included the use of that oval Radiant Gem stone she installed, the brilliant white stone that the grandmaster gave her.
She held the hilt with one hand, leaving the blade activated. With her other hand she attached her mask and pulled her hood over her head. With a twist, she separated the hilt into two pieces. Her left hand now held the shorter part, a part that was the length of a regular lightsaber hilt, held in reverse-grip style by default. With the pressing of a thumb switch, a brilliant white blade emerged from underneath her fist. This blade, a pure white energy, was the result of the Radiant Gem, creating a blinding light that would hurt anyone's eyes. This was why she wore her mask. Her right hand held the longer part of the divided hilt, which was perhaps the length of a double-bladed lightsaber, but this part still had vents and shined with a green color with a dark-blue core. Overall, the part in her right hand was still a long-handle lightsaber and not double-bladed, which was what she intended this weapon to be as a whole.
Her design idea for this strange lightsaber was mainly for deception, to gain tactical advantage through trickery and surprises. The Radiant Gem created a special effect, something other than the color of the sparkling white blade, serving as a shield for the user to help win back a person from strong darkside influences. With this, she hoped to complete her mission successfully.
Korvon inspected the weapon, examining it closely and admiring its craftsmanship. "You did a fantastic job of putting this together. I'm impressed."
"Thank you master," she bowed.
"I'm sorry I can't currently provide you with the materials you needed to construct your dream weapon, but this fiberplast should work nicely."
"I've reconsidered my strategy. I don't think I will need it."
She stayed quiet.
"You do know that a lightsaber can still cut through this, right?"
She nodded. "I'm counting on it."
That made him ponder even more about this exotic and usual lightsaber she crafted. He continued to examine it, wondering why she said what she did. He saw the grating along the sides of the hilt length-wise. "Are these vents?"
"You know that lightsaber blades do produce heat. There's no need for vents, not unless this is for aesthetic reasons."
"Though I find it quite aesthetically pleasing, that's not why I installed the vents."
"Then tell me why."
She did not tell him, but rather approached him and took the long hilt into her hands. Holding it up at his eyes level, she used both hands to twist the hilt, and this vents were now closed.
Korvon grinned. "A distraction."
"With the vents open, my enemies will look at the long-handle and not the blade's extension from the emitter end. The dual-color of the blade itself is appealing enough to allow this distraction."
The grandmaster nodded, listening.
"Also, for those that understand lightsabers, my enemy will perceive this as a weak and cumbersome weapon. Since it appears hollow, it will invite the enemy to attempt at breaking the hilt."
"So as to render you weaponless."
"Then what would you do when the hilt is shattered?"
"It won't be. Sure, the handle will be damaged, but the blade will still be intact. I could still use it to make the killing blow."
Korvon laughed. "Clever."
"Thank you master."
"I see one flaw in this though."
She deactivated her blade and held the long-handle with one hand, but the length of it was now under tucked her forearm. "I'm listening."
"Should you actually lose this weapon or it becomes completely damaged, which is still possible, how would you defend yourself? I mean against a lightsaber wielder."
"I never travel with just one lightsaber." She detached the end where a hidden lightsaber existed, holding it in the reverse-styled grip as how it was specially designed to held. When the blade activated, it had the length of a shoto. Then she activated the long-handle, causing its blade to emerge from behind her elbow and up along the length of her arm and beyond. The shoto-length blade, which was shorter than any lightsaber, was like a long knife, and because of the Radiant Gem, the blade had a blinding effect in addition to its bright-white color.
Korvon nodded, seeing the two separate blades. "You always were a lover of Jar'Kai."
"And unarmed combat," she added.
"I'm impressed. I think you will do well on your mission."
"That remains to be seen."
A starship roared, hurling up into the sky after levitating up out of a spaceport. The Jedi Stronghold was far behind now, appearing more and more tiny the farther this ship traveled. It was not long before it reached outer space. Then hyperspace. Speeding out into a starry oblivion as a streak of light, the ship was gone, on its way to Coruscant.
Dya'Mondria climbed out of the pilot seat, heading toward the back to leave this cockpit through a short corridor. She made her way to the central control room, which was a circular place with a gigantic ring-like console board. In the center was a large scaled holoprojector. In this room was a silvery astromech unit, quietly and busily micromanaging ship systems through a manual link-up with computer stations.
She paid the droid no mind, expecting that it knew what it was doing, and she headed for a seat at the ring-like console board. After sitting down, she began to access databanks concerning the Old Jedi Temple that existed on Coruscant. There was something she specifically looked for, and when she found a file concerning it, she caused it to be displayed holographically. A large lifeless and motionless figure of Jedi Master Mace Windu manifested before her. This file had general information about the ancient man; nothing too specific or detailed. However, it did provide enough information to eliminate myths and legends that simply were not true or too far exaggerated.
Looking up at the visual data, she smirked and thought, "Not much exaggerated here. Most of what I heard is actually true. This man was not a Jedi master anyone would be stupid enough to mess with."
That was when she engaged a file concerning his lightsaber. A visual of his lightsaber manifested, showing its craftsmanship in great detail.
"Never seen a lightsaber quite like this one."
While she sat here, reading information about this legendary Jedi, she began to ponder things about herself and her career as a Jedi. Sometime before Grandmaster Korvon Hikarikasai decided to train her to become a Jedi Shadow, he approached her one day with what she thought was a very odd question.
"Among all the Jedi you know and have learned about, of all the ones that ever lived, which one do you admire most?"
At that moment, she did not give him an answer. This was not because she did not want to answer him or even because did not have an answer. She hesitated because she found it odd for him to ask her that. She thought that maybe he was just testing her pride, to see if there was any. Perhaps he suspected that she had a hidden desire to learn the shaded side of Juyo, an extremely dangerous and high forbidden Form VII variant called Vaapad. She had mastered all the other Forms, so why not master this one too? No Jedi master would allow that.
"You don't have to tell me why. Just tell me the name of the person."
She nodded, feeling more comfortable about this. Her answer was, "Mace Windu."
Korvon smiled at her. It was always strange to see him smile because of that strange cybernetic eyewear he had on. He was just too hard to read. "Okay," he said. "Thank you for your honesty."
That was all. He simply walked away after that, going about his business like that moment never happened. It was awkward and made her somewhat paranoid around him ever since. Of course that paranoia had been a thorn in her side, all the way up until he came to her with an offer of advanced and specialized training. She could not say no.
That memory faded as she recalled another one, but this one was quite recent. Before she left from the Jedi Stronghold back on planet Osscillon, the grandmaster approached her in the Shadow Sector. This time he had a thin rectangular box in his hand. She remembered him saying not a single word. He simply took her hand and put the box in it, and then he walked away. Again, this was awkward, just like many other encounters. Even that time when she used gold lightning to unlock the Sith holocron while secret within the Jedi Vault, he had vanished, though she though he was with her the entire time. Odd.
That rectangular box though, once opened, revealed what appeared to be a broken lightsaber. White and gold. This was a mystery to her because she knew that this was an old and used lightsaber, but she did not recognize it until doing some research. Then that was when it clicked in her mind. Mace Windu's lightsaber!
She wanted to ask the grandmaster how he obtained it, but he was long gone. Deciding not to bother him about it, she kept it and took it with her onboard this starship before leaving Osscillon. Now here she was, sitting at this computer with that same legendary lightsaber in her hand. She had just taken it out of the box to examine it again.
Suddenly an incoming communication signal reached this ship, causing the computer to beep for her attention. This was brought to her attention in detail by the astromech unit sitting nearby. "Put it through."
The holographic projection changed, displaying the full figure of Grandmaster Hikarikasai. "Shadowflower," he greeted.
"I'm sure you are wondering why I gave that lightsaber to you."
"I'm also sure you know what it is and who it once belonged to."
"That artifact has been with us for quite some time. It was acquired from a senator with a reputation for wickedness, someone that existed back during the Clone Wars. He acquired it from some Duros scavengers that claimed to have found it somewhere in the lower levels of Coruscant. Since then, he kept it on display in his office."
"May I ask why you are telling me this, master?"
"If you are on your way to Coruscant right now, I can only guess why."
"You're welcome to try, master."
"You seek information, specifically knowledge on mastering Form Seven."
"I must warn you not to do this and turn your ship around as soon as possible."
"Soon as possible could be an entire year from now."
"This is no joking matter, Vexx."
"I wasn't joking."
"You don't know what you are doing."
"Funny. All this time, up until this very moment, I thought you had enough faith in me and trusted that I know what I'm doing."
He sighed. "You know what I mean."
"You told me something valuable a couple of months ago."
"You said it was not me or what I might become that provoked your fear. You said that it was what happened to you in the past with your experience in the darkside, and that I reminded you of that. You said that I was a shadow of your experiences. At least, that was what I understood from that conversation."
"You aren't wrong."
"Then please, with all due respect, do not project your fears unto me as if they were my own. You granted me the courage and confidence I needed to move past the first step to beginning this mission. Why are you backing out on me now?"
"I believe you are on your way to making a grave mistake."
"I don't think so, but if that were true, it is mine to make."
That made him swallow nervously.
"All in same, I could very well question your ability to lead the entire Jedi Order as grandmaster. Well, since you have a history of falling to the darkside, and it happened more than once."
"That's a low blow, Vexx."
"So it is," she retorted. "This is the kind of hypocrisy and self-righteousness that tends to plague the Jedi Order, and it has happened periodically throughout history." She pointed at him with a gloved hand and said, "You are the one that commanded me to have a year long history lesson about both the Sith and the Jedi, so don't deny that what I just said isn't true."
He shook his head. "I won't argue with that."
"It just so happens that when the Jedi Order becomes this arrogant, this hypocritical, and this self-righteous, the Sith suddenly appear out of nowhere and exterminate Jedi with bloody massacres too disgusting to describe. Anyone with enough intellect must stop to look at this and ask him or her self... why?"
"That is usually a signal of imbalance in the Force."
"If that were true, then what is creating that imbalance? The Sith?"
He did not answer.
"I'll tell you, since you obviously do not have an answer." She paused, waiting to see his reaction, but he showed none. "Jedi," she said. "The Jedi cause this. Sadly, this is the very thing that brings forth destruction, when people of light become complacent and forgetful of the crucial things that lead up to this very moment."
"History repeating itself."
The grandmaster suddenly smiled.
Her face went blank, now lost in bewilderment. The man was being odd once again.
"Then I guess you are on the right path after all," he smirked. "May the Force be with you."
Just like that, the conversation was over. His holographic image vanished. The communication signal ceased.
"Darn it!" Dya'Mondria sat back in her seat, folded her arms, and shook her head with a deep sigh. "He did it again."