The Quest For Eternity [Restricted: Ace]

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Iaex Larek
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The Quest For Eternity [Restricted: Ace]

Post by Iaex Larek » 2011-04-05 04:21

A training room had been placed in the back of his quarters. In the room was a small alcove where he had placed the artifacts and devices given to him by Emperor Roscoe in their meeting some time ago, and the remainder of the room contained various other devices, weapons, armor, training droids, and a host of other equipment that he would no doubt end up using in the course of his intergalactic training.

Iaex had already used the room for some training, and had been practicing several meditation and breathing techniques that he had been taught by Crystala prior to moving in to his quarters on ICE, but the time had come for him to begin training in the ways of the Force itself.

Walking over to the display case in the alcove, Iaex placed his gold pendant in a specially made slot and turned it a quarter turn, revealing the next layer of an advanced security system he had designed to protect the gifts he had been given by the Emperor. As he punched in the code into the keypad that lit up on the wall, his fingerprints and irises were read by the advanced computer systems, linked directly into Jack, the ICE's Osiris AI.

A pleasant beep greeted his successful completion of the security measures, and he reached in with his hand to grab one of the two crystals sitting on one of the shelves. As his hand drew closer an internal glow lit up the Holocron, and as he grabbed it and picked it up off the shelf he could feel the power contained within it. Removing the gold pendant from the slot it was in, the security system reactivated as he hung it around his neck, heading back to the center of the room where he sat down and held the Holocron in front of him.

As his eyes traced the fine designs and patterns on its surface, as well as the intricate details of its internal structure, he concentrated on the Holocron and drew on the power of the Force as he had at the initiation ceremony, allowing it to fill his mind and body, and calling on the Holocron to activate.
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Re: The Quest For Eternity [Restricted: Ace]

Post by Kane » 2011-04-07 11:57

The ghostly appearance of a shimmering hologram lit up before Iaex. It looked like a miniature version of the Emperor, perhaps 30 centimetres high, except clad in full armour of unknown, archaic design.

"Greetings, Initiate Larek. You match the visual data I have had uploaded to me. No doubt you have questions, because that is why holocrons exist - to answer questions. First, I will tell you that I can sense the Force, just like you. That in order to percieve what a potential student does like a real live teacher could, as opposed to a mere tuition program. Right now I sense that you would like a practical lesson, rather than instructions regarding history, linguistics, archeology, or alchemy. Am I right?"

"Uh... yes, I suppose", Iaex replied, slightly perplexed. In truth, he had many questions, not the least of which was what the holocron actually was or could do. "Very well. I do not yet know your specialization, but we should begin with the basics at any rate. All living beings generate the Force, and are touched by it. By activating me, you have already demonstrated the ability to actively call upon the Force, which sets you apart from all those who cannot. It is energy, and you can learn to increase the energy you generate. Equally important, you can learn how to harness and utilize that energy, the main purpose for which I was given to you. Take a small object in your hand, call upon the Force while concentrating on the object. Imagine it floating upward as if lifted by an unseen force."

As Iaex began to consider his options and follow the holocron's instructions, the hologram continued to speak. "By now you already know the special feeling needed to call upon the Force. It is somewhat similar to breathing in that you do it all the time, unconsciously, and without it, you would not live. Yet, you can actively control your breath as well, should you choose to. With proper training, you can increase the time you can hold it, and expand your lung capacity. The Force, however, is much more complex to learn. Your base ability will expand with use and familiarity, but most effectively by also pushing your limits. This comes hand in hand with learning how to utilize it for practical purposes, but nonetheless, I will give you some exercises with which to improve your base ability first - that I call the Flow, which is the sum of your capacity to channel Force energy. It is composed of two parts, one that rests within yourself - as I mentioned before, all living creatures generate Force energy. The other part is excess energy coming from others, flowing into the great energy field we call The Force. Aboard ICE, there is over half a million living people, pets not included. Even deep within the unknown void, you should experience no shortage of Force energy."

The holocron didn't make allegories with breath control out of nowhere. It percieved that Iaex had already practiced such basics, which wasn't surprising. It was practically a requirement for starting the holocron.
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Re: The Quest For Eternity [Restricted: Ace]

Post by Iaex Larek » 2011-04-09 12:01

As the holocron activated, a miniature image of Emperor Roscoe appeared before him, clad in armor of a type Iaex had never before seen. "Greetings, Initiate Larek. You match the visual data I have had uploaded to me." the hologram spoke, interacting in such a way as to seemingly be the Emperor himself, "No doubt you have questions, because that is why holocrons exist - to answer questions. First, I will tell you that I can sense the Force, just like you. That in order to percieve what a potential student does like a real live teacher could, as opposed to a mere tuition program. Right now I sense that you would like a practical lesson, rather than instructions regarding history, linguistics, archeology, or alchemy. Am I right?"

Still caught somewhat off guard by the interesting device he had for the first time activated, all he could manage was a surprisingly inarticulate, "Uh... yes, I suppose." The vast number of possibilities and capabilities of this device were as yet unknown to him, and it would make a fascinating artifact to study for someone such as himself, an expert in sensors, or to other specializations such as anthropology or archaeology. That is not its purpose though, I will learn its inner workings and secrets in good time.

"Very well. I do not yet know your specialization, but we should begin with the basics at any rate. All living beings generate the Force, and are touched by it. By activating me, you have already demonstrated the ability to actively call upon the Force, which sets you apart from all those who cannot. It is energy, and you can learn to increase the energy you generate. Equally important, you can learn how to harness and utilize that energy, the main purpose for which I was given to you. Take a small object in your hand, call upon the Force while concentrating on the object. Imagine it floating upward as if lifted by an unseen force."

The instructions it gave were simple enough, so having no other small objects handy, Iaex took the pendant and placed it in the palm of his hand. "By now you already know the special feeling needed to call upon the Force. It is somewhat similar to breathing in that you do it all the time, unconsciously, and without it, you would not live. Yet, you can actively control your breath as well, should you choose to. With proper training, you can increase the time you can hold it, and expand your lung capacity." As the holocron's image spoke, Iaex began to concentrate on using the Force, as he had done several times before including the activation of the holocron moments ago. Picturing its energy as a spring bubbling up through his body, into his arm, through his fingers, and collecting in the palm of his hand, he pictured the pendant - now fully soaked in the energy of the Force, rising out of the palm of his hand.

"The Force, however, is much more complex to learn. Your base ability will expand with use and familiarity, but most effectively by also pushing your limits. This comes hand in hand with learning how to utilize it for practical purposes, but nonetheless, I will give you some exercises with which to improve your base ability first - that I call the Flow, which is the sum of your capacity to channel Force energy. It is composed of two parts, one that rests within yourself - as I mentioned before, all living creatures generate Force energy. The other part is excess energy coming from others, flowing into the great energy field we call The Force. Aboard ICE, there is over half a million living people, pets not included. Even deep within the unknown void, you should experience no shortage of Force energy."

It was comforting to think that the Force would be present wherever he would travel, due to the population of the ICE. As he continued to concentrate, the pendant lifted gently up and began to float in the space above his palm, the energy of the Force holding it there as it coursed through Iaex. As he stared at it, a thought came to mind which he asked the holocron, "In the galaxies we travel to, will life there also be a part of the Force?"
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Re: The Quest For Eternity [Restricted: Ace]

Post by Kane » 2011-04-09 18:17

"In the galaxies we travel to, will life there also be a part of the Force?", Iaex asked. That was a novel question, one that no one had ever needed to ask before.

"You are doing well. Perhaps you have an affinity for Manipulation. Well, time will tell. I was not given the results of your water test, which you have likely performed during your Initiation. It would help to determine your Aspect if you can recall it, or if you have already been told the results. Now, do the same thing, but add another object. Once you have that stable, add one more. Continue until you start to feel difficulty levitating the objects. But to answer your question", the Holocron changed subject with a gesture of its right hand,

"as far as we know, yes. The Firefist satellite galaxy is home to two species known as the Nagai and the Tofs, which are interlocked in war. These beings are connected to the Force and some of them have shown a strong Force gift. All Force users who have travelled there and the other mapped satellite galaxy, the Rishi Maze, have retained their powers as well, and its inhabitants are within the Force. The Kwa species has an ancient history, which claims to have originated in another galaxy. They, supposedly, settled on Dathomir via Infinity Hypergates. The technology has since been lost to history, but the Gates remain, so there may be something to their story. A few scientists claim to have seen the Gates at work via ancient light caught in space, but the Republic never sponsored any research into the subject, and war has prevented any since. There is also the additional problem that this light is old enough to be leaving the confines of the galaxy. We do not know if the ancient Kwa knew the Force, but they do today. Unfortunately, they have also degenerated into little more than clever animals", the Holocron again gestured with his right hand as he spoke. It seemed that its claim to be able to hold a history lesson wasn't taken out of thin air.

"But it is possible that the inergalactic void will be weak in the Force, given that it has no living creatures to speak of, and its distances are tens or hundreds of times that of the entire galactic disc. The Force has focal points, weak places, currents. You can feel it within yourself as you travel to different places. Strong Force users, such as yourself, are obviously also nexuses, but they can exist on planets, territories, or even small objects such as myself. The origin has always been the same, however. Living creatures. No one has yet made a machine that can produce the Force. Perhaps no one has attempted it since the Force is everpresent anyway."
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Re: The Quest For Eternity [Restricted: Ace]

Post by Iaex Larek » 2011-04-14 10:00

Mulling over the idea of the sheer vastness of the Force that it could not only be so present in this galaxy, but to span the vast distance to other galaxies and be present there as well. Wherever they went, there was sure to be plenty for the scientists of all stripes to study, but this would likely become Iaex's personal task as he grew in the Force. To catalog and document its existence and differences from place to place, and in how it relates to the life around it.

It was possible that there existed some form of sensory equipment either on the ICE - or within its computer mainframes of possible sensor equipment that could be produced - that had the ability to measure the presence of the Force. It would be something to look into, but that was a project for later. As for his Aspect that the Holocron was now asking him for, Iaex thought back to the initiation ceremony he had gone through some time ago, and to the results of it.

I suppose it would make sense that the Holocron doesn't know the results of that since Emperor Roscoe presented it to me immediately afterward. "Lord Roscoe...he said I was to walk a different and difficult path." The ghostly image of Roscoe in front of Iaex now inclined its head as it listened to this, "In the water test, the leaf crumpled itself and sank to the bottom of the glass, where it flattened out again and stayed." Iaex finished, hoping that this information would help the Holocron to determine further in how best to train him.

Taking its suggestion, Iaex allowed the pendant to come back to rest in the palm of his hand, while he searched his pockets for any other convenient objects and, finding none more than a few datachips and a stylus, he walked over to the cabinet where he picked up several small objects while speaking to the Holocron.

"As for these other galaxies; you say Force users who have traveled to them have retained their powers, and that the beings there exist within the Force, but do they have their own traditions of Force users as well, or is that a component only of our own galaxy?"

Walking back towards it, he sat down once again on the floor as he had been before, placing the small assortment of objects in front of him and this time holding the pendant and a datachip in his hand while calling upon the Force, once again feeling its liquid power flowing through his veins and filling his whole being, eventually raising both the pendant and the datachip to float between his fingers where he allowed them to stay while awaiting the answer.
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Re: The Quest For Eternity [Restricted: Ace]

Post by Kane » 2011-04-14 12:47

"There are many traditions regarding the use of the Force", the Holocron answered the last question first rather than taking up the subject of Iaex' water test. "The Jedi of the Old Republic was simply the largest organization to use it, and the Sith comes next. Or first, depending on the era. Those have in turn their own philosophies and subsects. Then there are traditions outside of those organizations. The Dathomiri Witches, the Fallanasi, the Jensaarai, the Shadow Academy, the Dark Force, the Sorcerors of Tund just to name a few. In order to better understand the Force, we also study the history and philosophy of these sects. The Nagai and the Tofs have no particular tradition of Force users. The Faruun are artificial in nature, the Macabree are cyborgs. Neither of those groups have shown any known affinity for the Force. These are the only native races we know of in the Firefist galaxy. If you want my opinion about it, I would say that the Force is weak within Firefist, possibly because its inhabitants are few compared to the main galaxy. The Rishi Maze has a larger population, but it is mainly colonized. Its natives are few and while the Force certainly exists there, they have no traditions to speak of on their own", the Holocron answered with crossed arms.

The Holocron paused for a moment and seemed to consider something, then spoke again. "Ancient myths and legends has it that the Celestials held a vast civilization long before the Republic, Xim the Despot, or even the Rakata. The Kva and Gree's gates are based on leftovers of their lost civilization, as is the Rakata's Force-based technology. There is very little actual evidence for any of this, but it does suggest that the Celestials once held a nation crossing many galaxies and were using Force technology. The ancient Sith are also known to have used such, but whether they were inventions since lost or simply relics of an earlier, even more ancient civilization remains unanswered. Some say that the Great Hyperspace Disturbance that separates the wilderness of the Unknown Regions from the main galaxy is the result of a civil war which destroyed the Celestials."

"But to look ahead and into more personal matters, I will tell you what your water test means", the Holocron relaxed his stance and made an open, sweeping gesture with his left hand. "It is reliable, but by no means an exact science. The water and the leaf will respond to an active Force Aura, and it will react according to its influence. When the leaf moves, it suggests a primary Manipulation Aspect. However, the oddity of your complete result is undetermined. It may suggest that you are prone to a Specialization Aspect. Manipulation users are more likely to exhibit such. Specialization is difficult to describe, because it has no given bounds. The only thing I can say for certain about it is that it is something related to your Primary Aspect, and that it is personal for you. Obviously, this also makes it difficult to learn. It is also possible that the oddity is simply the chaotic result of an untrained talent", the Holocron finished, following Iaex' object levitation with his eyes.

"You do seem to be apt at telekinesis, which also suggests a Manipulation Aspect. The personality type associated with Manipulation is a logical being, a cautious thinker who do not rush things. Possibly stubborn with a tendency to lecture. Let's try something more complex, shall we? Move those objects you have in a pattern, like planets orbiting in a star system. Give them different inclination, speed, and orbits."
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Re: The Quest For Eternity [Restricted: Ace]

Post by Iaex Larek » 2011-04-19 06:37

As Iaex watched the two objects floating above the palm of his hand, he also listened to the explanations given by the Holocron to answer his questions. The fact that the Force was so prevalent as to exist in all the galaxies thus far encountered, and among the species that inhabited them was astounding. Yes, this is definitely a subject worth further study - and which will no doubt be of value to the Order. To study the presence of the force in extragalactic settings will be one thing, to find any sort of utilization of its power would be unprecedented.

Of course, Iaex also was able to grasp the enormity of the universe and the likelihood that even if another society somewhere had managed to harness the Force in any way, the chances that he would encounter it were astronomically slim. All this talk of faraway civilizations long ago was fascinating to the young Initiate, who resolved to study it further as the expedition continued through the dark blackness of the Void. The Holocron continued on to matters of the training at hand, with the interpretation of his water test.

The explanation of the method of the test - while abstract - made sense to Iaex based upon what he had learned so far about the Force from all of the materials he had studied up to this point, but the interpretation left room for significant vagueness. Of course, this was aided by the fact that there was the open possibility for him to exhibit an elusive 'Specialization' Aspect in addition to what the Holocron was identifying as a Manipulation Aspect.

"This Specialization Aspect," Iaex began, "how is it possible then to determine what it is? And furthermore, how would I be able to access and utilize it when it is determined?"

Also not losing sight of the Force training he was receiving while discovering more about his potential and propensities within the Force, Iaex looked from the Holocron back down to his hand where the pendant and the datachip were floating in a serene image of antigravity. "If the Manipulation Aspect is tied with a logical personality, then it offers a decent description of myself," Iaex stated simply, while picking up another datachip from the floor next to him and placing it in his palm, bringing it to the same status as the others, "but the connection between the two must run both ways. Therefore, it would make sense that logical and intellectual control is how I best access the Force, correct?"

Imagining in his mind a scenario with the three floating objects, he pictured the pendant rotating along an invisible axis, while the two datachips orbited around it in much the same way as planets or moons orbited their primary celestial body. Though not quite as quickly as the levitation of each of the objects had been achieved, Iaex placed each into the motions he had imagined, speeding up one of the datachips and slowing the rotation of the pendant as they continued their celestial simulation.
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Re: The Quest For Eternity [Restricted: Ace]

Post by Kane » 2011-04-19 13:12

"The answer to both of your questions lie with careful experimentation. Specialization is a manifestation of the Force uniquely developed for you. For instance, Grand Admiral Matt developed an unusually strong affinity for Force Absorption and Tutaminis, beacuse the Nemesis was lost in the emtpty void for nine years, with limited Force energy available. The Emperor did not develop this talent to the same degree, because his ability was still developing and the Force was sufficient for him until they reached the galaxy proper. The same thing could happen to you, especially since you have just started to develop your talents. A strong interest in adventure and exploration, curiosity, may take the shape of a sensing ability. You are quite right in that your approach to learning goes both ways. This is fortunate, because my affinity is that of the Emperor's, which also happen to be Manipulation. There is much I can teach you regardless, but we should match each other very well."

The Holocron paused briefly. "You have a logical puzzle among your tools which can only be solved by the use of psychokinesis. It, and chance cubes for instance, are suitable for practicing precision manipulation, which require small but exact and quick movements. You also need to practice raw power, such as lifting and moving great masses, that will also allow you to extend your Flow. I'm sure you can find something suitable around, but start with smaller objects and work your way up, we don't want you to exert yourself and drop it. Later, we are going to delve into the second discipline of Manipulation which is mind control, but this will suffice for now. I'm going to set up a schedule for your training regime, in fact several different ones depending on how much time you need to dedicate to other duties. Now, let us try something else", the Holocron said as it followed Iaex's efforts with his tiny custom star system. "Leave those objects aside and concentrate the Force into your eyes. Slowly, we don't want any feedback shock. Don't try to purpose it for now, just fill them up with Force energy. There... now you should be able to actually see Force sources within a short distance, such as a living being or myself, even through walls. Practice will allow you to extend the distance and precision. Now, what number is this?"

The Holocron lifted his tiny hand and projected Force energy in the shape of a '2', then reshaped it to '1', followed by '7', and then '5'.
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Re: The Quest For Eternity [Restricted: Ace]

Post by Iaex Larek » 2011-04-26 12:47

Well, if nothing else it certainly is fortunate that this Holocron matches the Emperor's attributes, which apparently line up with my own to some degree or another. As it explained the link between the personality and Force aspect did indeed go both ways, Iaex continued to complexify the mini planetary system floating in his hand, changing the orbits of the pieces. It wasn't the most graceful of changes, as they could go faster and slower but not made to go to any particular speed.

As for a training regimen, it would appear that his first lesson was shortly to delve into that, with the prescription of logic puzzles and chance cubes to improve his fine control, and the lifting of heavier and larger objects to increase his Flow and overall power.

"For much of the journey through the void there will hopefully be very little for me to do because there will be nothing requiring my expertise in the sensor systems, so I should be able to practice and train regularly and frequently." The idea of building further on the ability to manipulate the objects in the world around him was attractive. Just the sort of parlor tricks that con artists always claim to be able to perform. Or are they actually performances? Even more interesting however, was the opportunity to use Manipulation to influence the minds of others.

Listening to yet again a new set of instructions from the Holocron, Iaex prepared to do what it requested. Channeling the Force into my eyes? That should be interesting... he thought as he stopped his concentration on the objects floating in his hand and they drifted down to land in his palm once again, which was still filled with the energy of the Force.

In roughly the same illustration as before, Iaex could picture and feel the energy of the Force seeping back into and through him, traveling into all parts of his body and pooling in his eyes this time. Normally a well-sighted individual, as it built up more and more Iaex began to sense more and more around him. From the Holocron emanated a faint aura beyond the already ghostly image it projected. Looking around his training room, Iaex found himself and several other objects to be radiating similar auras of differing strengths and...composition? Is that what you would call it? They are distinctly different, but I am not yet sure how. Or why.

The Holocron extended a hand out, palm facing upwards as it asked him, "what number is this?" and its fundamental aura changed somewhat.

In the hazy glow of the aura around the Holocron and the projection of Ace Roscoe that came from it, several digits began to coalesce, at first forming into a jagged line, then forming into what appeared to be a Z, and softening into the shape of a 2.

"Two." Iaex replied, and as soon as he had done so the shape began to change once again to another number. Without adding or subtracting any of the aura, it reshuffled itself into another number, which he spoke out as "One," considering that very few symbols in any language, especially Galactic Basic, have it counted as meaning anything else. Once again however, as soon as he called out a number it began to grow into a new shape, adding a tail of sorts and finally simplifying down to "seven," and once again through a process that led through the number "five" and a handful of others.

"In being able to see the Force source of things around me, what utility does this hold for me? Will some objects stand out or will it become a blur the more I see since the Force is present in all living things?"
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Re: The Quest For Eternity [Restricted: Ace]

Post by Kane » 2011-04-26 14:32

"You counted the numbers, but what colour were they?", the Holocron let a faint smile slip before answering Iaex' question. "And how fast can you do it?", it asked and a blur of numbers passed over its fingers until it suddenly let go and lowered its hand.

"Improving your sensing ability will also improve your clarity", it stated. "It will allow you to separate the living from the ambient, sentients from animals, even droids and machinery. Not unlike a warship, sensing is about passive and active mode. What you did just now was to use the Force actively, to see what you otherwise could not. But even without doing so, you can sense it, in passive mode. Sensing well is critical to perform tasks which require utmost detail. But to let go and allow the Force Flow into you passively have other benefits. That is how you pick up small movements in the Force around you. To learn it's will and let it use you to use it well, to paraphrase the Jedi Order. Not everyone agrees with the theory of the Living Force, of course. Those with a preference for the Dark Side uses action instead of reaction, of course."

The Holocron looked at Iaex with its head slightly tilted, as if he was considering something. "In order to react quicky to an attack, you need to learn how to listen to the Force well. Listening is what we call passive sensing, it is a good analogue. Most Sith are much more interested in learning how to use the Force offensively, which leaves their defensive capabilities somewhat fragile. But I am not like the stereotypical Sith."

Suddenly, the Holocron lifted its tiny hand and sent a spark from its palm which hit Iaex' leg.

"Ow!"

"As proven. There are many different ways to protect yourself, but what suits a Manipulation user - a Controller - best is a psychokinetic shield. You draw the Force into yourself - opening the Flow - and channel it to your skin, imagine the energy to harden like a coating. See it in your mind. That is a basic kinetic shield which covers your body. To truly defend yourself against powerful attacks, you must learn how work it like a deflector shield. Angle it, concentrate it over the attacked body part, or even place or wield it. But in order to do that, you must know where the attack comes from, and where it will hit. Precognition."

The Holocron joined its hands and formed a triangle with its thumbs. "I'm giving you many different things to work with, much more than the typical apprentice. Most would like their student to learn to use one thing well before moving on to the next. But I have a feeling that a little knowledge of many things will serve you better than a lot of knowledge of one thing. If nothing else, it will allow us to determine your true abilities better."
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Re: The Quest For Eternity [Restricted: Ace]

Post by Iaex Larek » 2011-05-20 07:26

The Holocron was certainly sly, that was something that Iaex would surely encounter again and again through his time training with it. The first numbers he had seen had been...yellow? Yes. That was it. They had been yellow. Just before he was going to answer, the Holocron asked its next question, before a blur of numbers sped through the space over its fingers for several seconds.

"Those numbers were almost faster than I could have perceived with just my eyes normally, am I to expect I will be able to eventually slow down their passage so I can see what they all are?" He had picked out a few...but the majority of the last grouping had been simply a blur to him. A blur changing colors as it cycled through, naturally. The projection from the Holocron nodded in response to his question, while explaining that use of the Force could be divided into active and passive uses, much like the sensors of a ship. Now it's speaking my language... Iaex thought, as the analogy to ship sensors went directly to his area of specialty in the Navy.

At the end of its speech about the importance of active uses of the force, which could be offensive, it went straight into a demonstration by somehow shooting a spark through the Force to hit Iaex in the leg. The resulting explanation of how to avoid and defend against attacks went similarly to the Naval analogy that Iaex was accustomed to - sensors detect where enemy vessels are and with the combination of complicated computer systems, the sensor operators, and shield operators, a ship is able to defend itself against enemy fire. Of course, what the Holocron was proposing was that the Force would operate as the sensors passively and shields actively, and he only had to interpret the data and deploy it to his uses.

"I trust that I will have much time to work on improving these skills while we travel through the void and before I find an imminent need for them on the other side once we reach our target galaxy." Iaex said, leaning back a bit while looking at the projection floating above the Holocron. "In determining my abilities and aptitudes I trust that you can hone my training to best prepare me for the unknown, in much the same way as a toolbox would be packed with tools that will be most useful to their user. How shall I practice some of these skills though without another Force user on the ship?"
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Re: The Quest For Eternity [Restricted: Ace]

Post by Kane » 2011-05-20 10:24

"Technically, I am another Force user aboard this ship. But much can be done on your own. Once, ages ago, people must have learned to use the Force by themselves, by trial and mistakes. That is however a long and ardous journey to undertake. The most important thing a teacher can do is not so much to show you how something can be done, but what can and can't be done, and what risks doing so pertains. For the latter, the most dangerous thing you can do is overexcert yourself. To draw in more energy than you can handle. It could result in anything from turning yourself into a small pile of ashes to losing control over what you were trying to do."

"How would I know what my limit is?"

"Careful testing. Your ability to handle Force energy will constantly grow with practice and exercise. Since this means your limit is not fixed, you will need to carefully prod the limits of your capacity from time to time. Even the most experienced of Force users pushes the limits sometimes. Including myself, that being, Darth Kane. Now, to answer your previous question, that if you will be able to see all the numbers? Heightened senses means that you can percieve things before they actually happen. It happens subconsciously, but it can also be triggered by an act of will. Farseeing, the ability to look further into possible futures than a few seconds, is both a subconscious and conscious act. If you are in this state, things will seem to slow down around you. The Jedi calls this submitting yourself up to the will of the Force. Sith, on the other hand, never submit. They rely on the conscious act to force the Force, so to speak, but even they pick up things subconsciously anyway. I recognize that sensing has two modes, passive and active. I don't need to tell you that you should pursue both."

"Do you have any other practical advice for the tools I have?"

"I've told you about weight lifting and the telekinetic puzzle, and we've been over the basics of sensing. First let me tell you that many Force users seek solitude when they try to sense the Force. The less distractions around, the better. Some Jedi also like to surround themselves with living creatures and plants from time to time, but I think that's something more for philosophers of the living force. Still, it could be a good practice to try to find a single living thing amongst many. There is, of course, thousands of other things I haven't told you yet. Master what I've given you, and you will be ready for new tasks. But even so, those basic exercises will remain useful to you forever, if you let them. Some are too impatient for that, but this does not seem to be the case with you. I'll tell you one more thing for now. It's actually very basic, but even the grandest of masters usually overlook this detail."

So far, Iaex had been attentive since he found the topics the holocron discussed very interesting, but this last bit peaked his interest a little extra.

"What is it?"

"You can achieve greater power by denying yourself part of it. Yes, I know, that sounds totally contradictory. Let me give you an example. Let's say that you promise yourself that you cannot use the Force actively on the fifth weekday, Benduday. You try your hardest to fulfill that promise, even though it limits what you can do on that day. What is the result? The other four days of the week, your power shall be greater than it otherwise would have, essentially five days of power packed into four. It reflects directly on your commitment to your cause. I know this sounds strange, but the source of your power is you. The stronger you feel, the more obligated, the more secure, the more power you can handle. I know this one Sith who cut off his own arm in a battle with a Jedi to give himself more power than ever before, from the pain and strength of his conviction. It worked, although I don't recommend going about cutting yourself to pieces, regardless of the strength of your faith. I have myself practiced denial technique for years, but almost no one besides myself have done it by conscious choice, and certainly not in order to strengthen themselves. This is an advanced technique I'm giving you. You're one of few students I've had who has even listened this far. Do note, however, that this is a method for increasing your Flow. Improving your skills only comes with active practice."
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Re: The Quest For Eternity [Restricted: Ace]

Post by Iaex Larek » 2011-06-17 00:36

Looking at the projection floating above the Holocron, it all did make sense to Iaex somewhat that in fact, the Holocron represented yet another Force user on the ship with whom he could interact. All the better for the fact that not only was it another Force user, but one who possessed all the knowledge of the Emperor - at least up until the point at which the Holocron had been given to Iaex. It amounted to years of knowledge and study, as well as the copy of the archives of the Omega Order which he had been given.

As he fielded his next questions, its answers proved comprehensive and informational. Of course, it was all beginning to fit together for Iaex that every Force user was different, and that just the same as millennia of research had gone into creating the vast repositories of knowledge and techniques, the limits were placed only by how far Force users were willing to explore and probe the limits of what could be done. Theoretically. The difficulty was in expanding capacity to such a point that new frontiers and limits could even be reached.

The last detail was, of course, the most interesting to the young apprentice. Having grown up on the frontiers of society, he was no stranger to the many challenges which could be thrown at him, relishing the ability to explore new frontiers and do new things. In no small part, that was exactly the personality trait that had led him to serve in the Federation's Navy in the first place, and to eventually end up as the resident Dark Jedi on the ICE. As the Holocron pointed out, what initially seems counter-intuitive was in fact extremely practical.

"Let me see if I understand correctly," He asked the Holocron, to clarify the point. It inclined its head slightly more to stare directly into his eyes as he spoke, "the limits of ability make sense, the more I practice the greater my control and ability in utilizing power will be. When you speak of the limits of the Flow, it seems to me that the only limit there is mental, in what my mind is willing to accept - what it believes it is capable of, and can control. So forcing it to stretch, to think of new ways to operate - to learn, is what unlocks its ability to grow in capacity, correct?"
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Re: The Quest For Eternity [Restricted: Ace]

Post by Kane » 2011-06-18 09:57

"Well described", the Holocron replied. "But there is a couple more things to it. The first is that while what you believe you can do sets the upper limit for what you can handle, the Force does not automatically grant you power corresponding to your faith. It grants improvement of your Flow in portions you can handle, in accordance with your use of it. Taking in and controlling much more Force energy than you have ever done before can have disastrous results, as previous mentioned. Instead, aim for more modest improvements and do them more often. If you can do more, you will know... just don't let your ambitions run away with you", the Holocron paused to let Iaex take it in, because it had much yet to say on the sbuject, and still it was a bare-bones explanation.

"In theory, every living being has capacity for unlimited power. In practice, there's an unlimited amount of small details that will hamper you. But they all come from you. Learning to overcome those, one by one, will... unlock more of your full potential. Many a Sith has believed themselves to be perfect and all-powerful... and while that helps you in so far that you don't automatically reduce yourself due to weak self-confidence, over-confidence has lead many to take on obstacles they were not yet ready for, with death as a result. It didn't help matters that many of those were comparatively inexperienced. But there is a danger inherent with greater experience, too. You tend to get locked in with your thinking of what you can achieve and how, so you will have an easier time to perform what you normally do, but you will also find it more difficult to push the limit. That's why it's critical to seek out entirely new experiences and try new things, to constantly exercise your capacity to find new ways. It's a way to train your mind", the Holocron explained and paused briefly again.

"Secondly, your mind and body needs to work in unison for full effect. This is why most Force users use gestures and words to match their direction of the Force. It simply makes it easier to work if you put all of yourself into an effort. All of this will come into place as you work the Force more", the Holocron finished with a left hand open palm gesture to illustrate. "Since your strength is also dependent on your morale, enemies may strive to lower it in battle. The Sith had techniques for this while the Jedi focused on strengthening your resolve. Both will serve you well."
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Re: The Quest For Eternity [Restricted: Ace]

Post by Iaex Larek » 2011-06-21 10:54

Affirmed in his assumption of the method, Iaex then knew that any feat was possible through the Force, if not immediately feasible. "This then, I believe shall serve as a good foundation for my future practice." He stated, as much to himself as to the Holocron in front of him, "I shall practice and work to improve my control every day through the puzzles and tools which I have here, and through denying myself the leisure of the Force. And," he added, seeing the problem as two halves which must be balanced in order for either to be truly effective, "to also regularly stretch my limits by small amounts to increase my Flow while learning to control it."

Having spoken the statement aloud, he thought over the things which had been demonstrated thus far in this very first of Holocron sessions and the amounts of learning which had taken place so far. On the theory of Jedi and Sith, he had been able to read in the archives. On the theories of the Force and its practitioners he had learned much, but in this short time he had learned how to feel, and use the Force as one might learn how to use a tool. An enormous, vastly overcomplicated tool that stretches beyond the range of analogy, but nonetheless it is true in principle...

"I have read of several techniques for controlling my morale in the materials which have been given to me. How best is there to practice such techniques when far away from any true conflict during the trip between galaxies?"
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Re: The Quest For Eternity [Restricted: Ace]

Post by Kane » 2011-06-21 14:47

"That is a pretty good summary, and a good question as well", the Holocron acknowledged with a slight gesture. "You have perhaps heard the expression, 'you are what you eat'?. Well, it's also basically true to mental states. You are what you believe you are, and you believe what you feel capable of. Exactly how it is best achieved varies with the individual, of course. Many practice meditation to center their thoughts, sometimes while performing alchaka or levitation. Others are less internally focused and derives their support from friends, family, loved ones. One good, simple exercise to practice is to tell yourself out loud the things you want to be, preferrably in front of a mirror. The Jedi practiced the litany against fear and the litany of serenity for example. We often use the Sith Code. It should be in your databank, but I will recite it for you. It has existed for milennia, but the current version was shaped by Darth Bane a thousand years ago. Peace is a lie, there is only passion. Through passion, I gain strength. Through strength, I gain power. Through power, I gain victory. Through victory, my chains are broken. The Force shall free me."

The holocron paused briefly, it almost seemed like it expressed a respect for the words it had just spoken.

"Regular people often confuse these with prayers, should they hear them. In truth, they are primarily mantras used for self-improvement. But don't go aboard with it. If you tell your own reflection every day that you are invincible, eventually a time will come when you believe it... possibly with disastrous results. None of us are truly invincible, no matter how powerful one may get. The reason this is so is the chaotic nature of the universe, with a myriad of variables that can go wrong. What you can achieve one day is perhaps not there the next, and what you once couldn't do is suddenly available to you. This ties strongly together with the state of your mind. It can be summed up as 'The Force helps the one who helps themselves' and 'If you believe in yourself, the Force will too'."
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Re: The Quest For Eternity [Restricted: Ace]

Post by Iaex Larek » 2011-06-24 07:00

Taking in everything he had learned in just this one first session with the Holocron was amazing, and Iaex ran through it all in his mind. Already laid out were the basics of his Force Aspect, and the basics of several powers, in addition to significant amounts of theory and philosophy regarding the practice and study of the Force.

The Holocron was a very strange device indeed, along with the lessons it taught. Even in telling him ways in which to achieve unthinkable levels of power, it never ceased to remind him of the failures of self image - that putting oneself on too high a pedestal could be just as fatal as failing to use one's potential to the fullest extent.

"As I already know," He stated in a level tone, "the entire databases of the Order are contained in this Holocron and all of the other materials which I have. As the expedition will be spending long periods of time traveling, I will be spending much time practicing what I learn. As you have already taught me more in this short time than most learn in much longer, I feel that I should put time into honing the tools I have been given so I may move on to new things."

"Put simply, is there anything else which I must know before I go to practice what I have learned?"
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Re: The Quest For Eternity [Restricted: Ace]

Post by Kane » 2011-06-24 11:05

"No. If you apply what I have told you, you will reach the next rank in the Order in no time. But I will tell you this in addition to what you already know. With no Master to guide you, I have been granted authority to temporarily note your rank in our databank. It will be sent to NIF main along with other data pods and either confirmed or rejected. Increased rank means access to higher levels of information which is considered dangerous to the unlearned and unskilled. May the Dark Side give you what you deserve", the Holocron finished with a slight bow, crossing his arms on his chest. Then the projection vanished from sight, presumably to be awoken the next time Iaex activated it.
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Re: The Quest For Eternity [Restricted: Ace]

Post by Iaex Larek » 2011-07-24 08:59

It had been several weeks. Several weeks of darkness, as the expedition traveled through the depths of the void. As he expanded his awareness in the Force beyond the ICE, Iaex could feel the vast nothingness that dominated in the void. It was a complete absence…a void in the Force just as much as it was in the physical world through which the Intergalactic Campaign Expedition traveled.

In some ways, the void was a comforting thing as it enabled him to focus without distraction, without the hustle and bustle of life teeming all around him, and for lightyears farther still. He had risen early this morning, as he did every morning to practice and train, reserving the afternoons for study of the Omega Order’s archives. His study so far had largely been focused on the history of the Sith Order and some of the greatest Lords in it, Exar Kun, Darth Bane, Naga Sadow, Marka Ragnos. Even some of the more recent practitioners of the Dark Side had fallen under his studies. Of particular interest to him was Darth Sidious, or Emperor Palpatine, I suppose, and his apprentices on the path to the creation of the Galactic Empire and its New Order that would eventually spawn the New Imperial Federation.

The New Order which had forced his family into hiding, during the Jedi Purge. Perhaps he should have joined the New Republic, and been initiated into the Jedi Order to follow the tradition of his family and yet…his parents had been unconcerned to know he had joined the New Imperial Federation, nor that he would be trained in the ways of the Force by the Omega Order. ”All things have their purpose, and it will all work out in the end” his father had used to say. As he grabbed the gold pendant from around his neck that had been around his neck, he thought he could feel the presence of the man there with him.

Removing the pendant, he rose easily to his feet and walked across his quarters to the storage area where he kept the gifts and resources of the Omega Order that had been entrusted to him. The pendant served a special purpose, as the key that unlocked the storage, releasing the treasures within. Near infinite knowledge… he thought as he placed the pendant into the specially designed slot, turning it a quarter turn, …combined with the experience I will gain in practicing and using it… On the wall, a previously indistinguishable section lit up to reveal a keypad which had originally displayed Basic, but he had switched it to the Sith language in his attempts to learn and practice it. All the better to ensure the security of the treasures within. …will lead to wisdom, which I can use. As he punched the code into the keypad, a series of advanced sensors read his fingerprints and irises, confirming his identity before the pleasant ‘beep’ sounded, indicating he had successfully unlocked the case.

He had not yet taken to carrying the lightsaber around with him, and it remained locked away in the storage case when not in use for him to practice and train with it, but the day would come when it would become a part of his daily use equipment. Glancing briefly at the bizarre polychron crystal that had been given to him by the Emperor he once again wondered, as he often did, what exactly its purpose and function were. All good things come in time to those who wait, he reminded himself as he reached past the bizarre object to grab the now-illuminated Holocron that rested within the case.

The Holocron was the most valuable possession Iaex owned. In his life before joining the Omega Order, he had been listed on the title of the starship he flew for his family’s shipping business, so arguably that could have been said to be the most valuable thing otherwise which he had owned. True value however, was not calculated in credits but in the worth placed by the owner, and anyone who wanted to acquire something. The Holocron was irreplaceable, and contained the wisdom and knowledge of the Order. To someone such as Iaex, that put its value much higher than a ship – no matter how valuable such a ship might be. Even through the odd riddles and oblique lessons, the Holocron tested him, stretched him, and pushed him to new things; all qualities which he valued, and sought to stimulate his mind.

Walking over to where he had been sitting on the floor before to meditate, he set the Holocron down in front of himself, drawing the Force up within him as it came to life and the image of Ace Roscoe appeared once again to offer its next lesson.
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Re: The Quest For Eternity [Restricted: Ace]

Post by Kane » 2011-07-24 18:47

"Greetings, Dark Jedi", the Holocron said without making any gesture of greeting along with it, just clasping its small hands in a peculiar triangle form.

"You have grown since last we spoke. If I were to guess, you only need a little more practical knowledge before reaching the next rank, which will also unlock stronger techniques. We use this pyramid scheme because knowledge can be dangerous when jumping ahead of things you have yet to master. What can I assist you with today?"
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