Chapter Seven

"Jax!" 14 year old Jaxon Selizard looked up from his holonovel to see Nita and Chase coming down the isle towards his hiding place in the temple archives.

"Dude, I can't believe you missed it!" Chase said, "the Senate building is HUGE," he paused. "I mean, the temple is pretty big, but the room of a thousand fountains has nothing on the room where all the senators meet to talk about stuff. Chancelor Kalpana took our clan to see his office, and where the podium rises up into the big senate room. Me and Nita got to go up in it."

"Nita and I," Nita corrected, but she grinned, then got serious again. "I'm sorry you couldn't go, Jaxon." 

Jaxon just shrugged, "It's been five years since the incident, I wish they'd just let it go." He joked, but was unable to hold the smile for long. 

"Oh!" Nita exclaimed, remembering something. "You took your initiate trials today, how did that go?"

Jaxon put the holonovel down slowly, looking up at his friends seriously for several seconds, before saying, "Nailed it!" And pumping his fist in the air. 

Someone nearby shushed him loudly, and he looked around, cowed for a second, before grinning at his friends. "Lets get out of here," he said, putting his arms around their shoulders. "I'll tell you all about it. First, I was simply instructed to recite the Jedi Code, since we say it every day before Lightsaber Training, that was simple enough, but the Second test was a bit trickier..."

"...so, after telling me that I had to hold my breath for several minutes, I just couldn't stop laughing until they gave me something else to do to prove my connection with the Force." Jaxon finished his story as they reached the great hall. 

"Wait, is that actually true?" Nita asked, "Or did you just make that up?"

Jaxon didn't answer, he was staring at the notice board, at a large poster than had just been put up. The Apprentice Tournament. It was the annual tournament for initiates who had passed their trials to try and get a master through combat.

"Chase, you want to do this with me?"

“Definitely.” Chase agreed enthusiastically.

“What about you, Nita? You in?” Jaxon turned to see Nita tugging on her initiate braid, like she always did when she was nervous. 

“Actually,” She began slowly. “I’m not going to go on with you two.” 

“What?” Chase was shocked, Jaxon was too, and he looked at Nita in confusion. 

“I’ve decided to leave the order.” 

“What!?” Chase said again. 

“I’ve never been as good with the Force as you both. I’m better with people, and I’ve already spoken to Master Gillian, and she’s agreed to help me get into an apprenticeship somewhere else.” 

“Wha—“ Chase began, before Jaxon elbowed him hard in the ribs. 

“We support you all the way,” Jaxon said. “When are you going?”

“Not until you both get your own apprenticeships,” Nita said, linking an arm through both Jaxon’s and Chase’s. “I want to make sure you guys go on to be the great Jedi Knights I know you’re going to be before I leave you behind.”

Jaxon grabbed the pen hanging from the poster, and quickly signed his and Chase’s names on two of the 32 lines that contrived the sign-up sheet for the tournament, and threaded his arm through Nita's again. 

"You guys want to go do a quick practice duel before class starts up again?" 

"Well, Chase should really study for his trials," Nita said.

"I'll get there," Chase said confidently. "Come on, let's go duel." So the turned together, still linked up, and headed for the lift. 

"We're off to see the--" Chase began, skipping a couple steps, but Jaxon and Nita just looked at him, and he stopped, detaching himself. 

"What was that from?" Nita asked.m

"No idea, but let's not do that anymore." Chase said, embarrassed. Jaxon laughed and linked arms with his friend again. 

"Once more with feeling!”

So, chanting their little song, the trio skipped down to the lift, until they fell apart, laughing too hard to keep it up. 

The End

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