It's a slow day at the Jedi temple on Coruscant. Well, as slow as any day can be when your faction is caught up in a long-running war against two others and the galaxy is on the brink of extinction due to it, but...y'know.
Master Valhoun has sequestered himself to one of the classrooms. A dueling room to be more specific, and his green-bladed saber is shining brightly as he whips the emerald weapon around slowly. It would seem that, at least at this point in his exercise, he's simply going through the motions.
The Selkath padawan is on a mission. She is laden down with a large bag that swings against her back with each step. The mostly aquatic alien scoots into the room while already tugging out the smooth metallic cylinder of her weapon before she stops short. The bag swings a little as she stares with her wide, large eyes. This classroom isn't empty, as she thought, and Koga Jytal appears to be at a loss as to what to do now. She just stares, the green light of Valhoun's saber bouncing off her smooth, always slightly wet looking skin.
A small smile appears on the lips of the aged human master as he senses another presence in the room. He turns to spy the Selkath. "Padawan," he offers in that harsh, yet oddly musical voice. "Am I in your way?" With a flick of a switch, the blade slides protestingly back into the hilt. "Jytal, right?" he asks.
The light vanishes with a burst on Koga's skin that causes the mottled patterning to look dull for a few moments. Her eyes squeeze up awkwardly, and she bobs a short bow to the master. "No, master," she assures as she straightens up. "Yes sir. I was just going to...." She shifts her bag to her front and reveals a rudimental training droid held within. "Practice, that's all."
"Against a remote?" he asks, his grey brows raising. "That's no way to train with a saber." He rests his hands on his stomach as he moves to one side of the floor. "Maybe...it would help you against soldiers, but we face something far more...sinister." He turns back around to regard her and asks, "On missions with your master...have you-have you ever engaged in lightsaber combat?"
Koga Jytal 's flat, wide mouth peels into a reluctant smile as she picks up the little sphere and considers it. She rotates it around and nods. "Yes, it is a bit rudimentary," she allows as her mouth flattens somehow even more. Koga looks up, her aqua eyes wide at the Master. "My Master was Valla Genn," she explains as she deposits the droid back into the satchel. "She has been missing for a long while now, presumed dead." The bag's flap is laid over and buttoned. "So I am a ward of the temple. I train whenever I can. Even if it is with remotes."
"Master Genn was a valuable asset to the Order, and those of us who knew her feel her loss daily," Master Valhoun says, taking a moment to slide out of the heavy, grayish robes. It falls to the floor and he kicks it softly out of the way of his feet. "I wasn't intimately familiar with Master Genn's teachings. Where are you with your blade?"
Koga Jytal tilts her head thoughtfully at the question. "We focused heavily on defense with our weapons. Shields and deflects were likely my best tools in my kit, so Master Genn liked to say." She considers the lifeless hilt of her saber as she shifts the strap of her bag over her head and let's it slump to the floor gently, also shooing it to the side. "Defend yourself and others first, attack when an opening presents itself," Koga recites in a decent imitation of Genn's speech inflection. The Selkath smiles at the memory.
"Soresu. The Way of the Mynock," Hart says, nodding and smiling. "A form that was developed after those silly old Jedi remembered that they'd be fighting more than a single, saber-wielding opponent at a time." He smirks to himself and says, "Funny how long it took for them to realize that. Forethought wasn't their greatest asset, was it?" His hand moves to unclip the saber from his belt and he gestures for the Selkath to do the same. "Would you care to demonstrate?"
Koga Jytal takes her in her large, three-digit hand and holds it to the side as she lifts her free fingers. Her eyes blink slowly before she closes them for a second or two. It's just long enough that she can summon up a weak, yet effective shield around her. The shield flickers and shimmers around her. Almost visible, but not quite. There is a distinct hum of energy in the room. Koga's eyes open and she eyes Valhoun for his reaction. "Shields were very important in our lessons, yes."
Hart Valhoun raises his brows and watches as the young Selkath goes to work. Then he smiles, nodding his head, "Very impressive, Padawan Jytal. That is not a skill easily learned. In fact, there are few Jedi Knights who can manage it. The Force must be strong with you, indeed."
Koga Jytal swishes her hand and the humming fades with small, haunting melodious pops to the energy in the room. She almost smiles, thinks better of it, and bows her head. "Thank you, Master. I work on them daily. If it comes down to it, I would rather shield my friends than attack my enemies." It sounds reminiscent of Genn's words. Her fingers squirm and adjust on her hilt. "What style do you teach, if I may ask?"
"Oh...several kinds," Hart says, ruminating for a moment. "Though, I've mastered only one. Makashi. The Way of the Ysalamiri. I remain a student in all of them, however. There's always more to learn, young Padawan." He adjusts his grip on his blade and asks, "Would you care to spar?"
Koga Jytal bobs her head in acknowledgement as she considers the mastered form. "It will be next to impossible to disarm you, then," she says with a slightly jovial tone. To answer his question, however, Koga falls into a stance. "I would be honored, Master." Her blade bursts forth as she manipulates the toggle. It's blue glow leans almost aqua, or at least the reflection of the light on her wet looking hide lends to the visual effect.
"Nonsense. I'm but an old man, after all," Hart says, igniting the blade of his lightsaber once more. A true student of Form II, the master raises his blade in front of him in a salute to his young opponent before whipping it down to his side, the blade pointed at the ground. "Take your time," he instructs.
Koga Jytal takes the half bow of a pre-duel ritual and loosens herself up with a few light steps before finding that stance again. Her arms move, flipping the saber around to get the feel and weight right in her palms. "Yes, master," she says, flipping once... twice more. Okay. The center of balance with her blade seems perfect and she flicks out a small, testing hit at the Jedi Master.
Hart Valhoun tucks his off-hand behind his back as he slowly rotates the hilt of his weapon, the accompanying dull hum of the blade almost hypontizing. Then the Selkath is coming at him. The old master smacks her blade out of the way and steps back, jabbing the tip of his saber toward her.
Koga Jytal manages to counter the testing jab, just barely. The lightsabers croon their wail of electricity as they clash and Koga barely dances to the side in time. She dances back and forth, loosening the thick, meant for paddling water, feet underneath her. The Selkath eyes Hart, waiting for the Master's next turn.
"Well done, Koga," Hart says with a grin as she bats his attack away. He skillfully steps to the side of her jab, spinning slowly as he does so. A moment's evaluation, and he strikes out at her once more.
"Thank you, Master," Koga replies with the firmness of concentration in her voice. The Selkath dances back, flipping the blade of her saber to the side to block the thrust. She grunts with the effort, leaning back and scooting away to give a throw of her weight to the left while thrusting to the right.
Hart Valhoun smiles warmly as he continues training with the padawan. Once again, he bats her strike out of the way before swinging his weapon around and bringing it down quickly towards her big fish head.
Koga Jytal pushes her blade upwards as the arc of light comes down at her head. Valhoun's slash is deflected away from her head and she ducks to the side, sending an attack that misses the Master by at least a foot wide as the Selkath moves away to regain her footing.
"You must always keep your blade moving, Padawan," Hart says, stepping out of the way of her slash before closing in quickly, his off-hand serving to help him keep his balance as he aims his next swing toward the padawan's hilt, just above her hand.
Koga Jytal is at a disadvantage now, her foot scooting back to plant her weight on it. "Yes sir," the Selkath says tightly as she is forced to attempt a deflect at the awkward angle she has found herself in. The slash connects, causing the Padawan to leap back with a bubbly yelp. Her saber switches hands and she shakes the hit one out with a groan that causes her face tendrils to quiver.
"Are you alright, Koga?" he asks, circling around her, his saber blade still moving in the same mesmerizing pattern. He doesn't seize any sort of opportunity just yet, waiting for the student to steady her resolve once more. "You must feel the fight. Feel where I've been, where I am, and where I will be. Clear your mind of anything else."
"Yes, Master. I am fine." Koga assures him as she shakes her hand to prove it. The lightsaber is swapped back. She tests her hand, swishing the blade back and forth as she moves easily with the movement. Her eyes close for a moment, taking the needed breath to clear her mind. Then Koga bursts forward with a thrust, aiming it well at the Master.
Hart Valhoun smiles warmly and dips his head to her, saying, "Good. You are doing well. Do not fret." As she lunges at him, Hart once again smacks her blade away before spinning around quickly and lunging in return, his body bending further than it ought to for a sixty-seven year old human.
"Thank you," Koga Jytal hums in the voice that always slightly sounds like it's underwater. The padawan manages to just barely parry the thrust sent her way, swooping to the side and throwing her own quick arc of an attack at Hart. Her mouth opens to suck down air, the flat grinder-looking teeth showing as she pants.
Hart Valhoun raises his blade to protect against Koga's incoming attack, before pushing it down and away and bringing his own up and swinging once again at her lightsaber. Disarming is the final goal of any Form II user, after all. Or dis...handing.
Koga Jytal is forced back as Hart pushes down and then attacks from above. The Padawan knows she can't deflect from the angle she's at so instead her left hand peels from the saber motion upwards in a fast jerking motion. Hart's slash hits her, bouncing off the shield. However, it's hard enough that while one-handed she drops the saber. The hilt sucks in the blade as it flies away, the cyan blue color vanished with a 'swinnp' of a noise. It clatters on the ground and rolls a few feet. Koga sucks in a deep breath and bows to Hart. "You are certainly a master of the form," she graciously accepts.
Hart Valhoun is taken be surprise as Koga draws on the Force and wreathes herself in protective energy. Enough so that, he backpedals a couple of steps. Seeing that the duel is over, the man smiles warmly before saluting the Padawan once again with his saber and deactivating it. "Perhaps. But you are a fine swordsman, in your own right, Koga Jytal," he says, bowing to her in return. He slides the saber back onto his belt and says, "You understand the need to rely on more than just your knowledge of lightsaber forms to secure victory. Sink yourself into the Force, young Padawan, and you will see a long life."
"I try to remember that. Sometimes I get too wrapped up in form and stances, however," the Selkath admits with a frown. She bows again. "Thank you for the lesson, Master. It is good to properly practice again." Koga's eyes float down to the satchel with the training droid within. "I will take your words and let them grow, Master." The Padawan ducks down, scooping up her blade and clipping it back to her robe belt.
Hart Valhoun smiles again at the young Selkath and leans down to pick up his robe, draping it over his forearm. "In time, you should seek out my former Padawan; Davis Bandarra. He's a Knight, now, and...albeit reckless, he is likely to become an even finer swordsman than myself. I believe you could learn a lot from him."
"I will seek him out," Koga assures as she picks up her bag and bobs her wide, sting-ray like head at the Jedi Master. The strap is slung back over and she makes sure her saber hilt is secure. "Thank you again, Master. And I apologize for interrupting."
Hart Valhoun dips his head to the departing Padawan, "I very much enjoyed it. May the Force be with you."