The day had been long, and being completely honest with himself Kyle could freely admit that last thing he wanted to do was give an undisciplined kid a lesson about why it’s not nice to try an kill your mentor.
He sighed, lowering his head and calming his emotions. No, it wasn’t entirely Les’ fault…Kyle knew the corrupting nature of the dark side of the Force and how it threw you common sense out the window. Seeing that side of him and knowing it intimately now made it nearly impossible for Kyle to give in the seduction of power, though he was far from invulnerable as well. And now here he was, standing next to Les and not sure where to go. It was one of the very rare times where he would seek Skywalker out for his advice.
“You know what you’ve done here, don’t you?” Kyle asked.
Les sat motionless for a long time, words swimming in his throat and none of them willing to jump out of the water. Half of him expected his elder to simply pull out a green blade of justice and cut him in half right there and then. His heavy set brow certainly spoke of that desire earlier when Les first saw him. “Yes.”
“I don’t think you have, kid,” Kyle replied after pausing for effect. “You know what you’ve done, but I don’t think you have any idea what the results of this actions will be now.”
“I think I got a pretty good idea this evening, Master Katarn,” Les said. The title he gave to Kyle, far superior a Jedi than he, rang painfully in his ears. He hadn’t really thought about the face he’d address them both the same way, Jinx and Kyle.
“No, you saw what has ended,” Kyle explained. “Jinx has become one with the Force now, and Kal’or cremated along with him as his armor is passed along to my Niece. These are things that are finished, done…there won’t be another funeral, there won’t be another celebration of their life.
“You see, Les, your journey is just now going to begin. And as a consequence of your actions, your path to becoming a Jedi–which you have no business carrying the title of right now–just got a whole lot harder. The dark side was little more than a curiosity or bedtime story to you up until this point…now you’re going to have it’s voice in your ear. Always. Every single damned day of your existence, the sweet and seductive voice offering you an easier, more powerful path is going to be whispering over your shoulder. You will never, ever get rid of it or learn how to tune it out. Never.”
There was a long silence as Kyle gave Les the appropriate time to let the words sink in to his head. Unlike a regular reprimand, this lesson was going to be hard for Les to ignore–he knew everything Kyle said was right. It was as much a fact as the air they were breathing.
“And I tell you what, boy…it’s going to cause you physical and emotional pain to tell that voice no for a long, long time. Maybe not as hard for some, given the lesson you’ve learned here today being so…unique. You’ve taken the easy path now, and you’re going to know that every single time you struggle to learn something that the easier path is right there waiting. Not even waiting, it knows your name now and it’s actively soliciting your business.
“I’ll tell you this, though” Kyle said. He walked across the hull of the freighter closer to Les, about as close as he dared. “The dark side isn’t more powerful, not by a long shot. You ask me, the real power lies in a blending of the two that favors the light side of the Force.”
“Why do you say that?” Les asked, surprised. Most Jedi were cryptic in answering or said the two sides were equal, it was odd to here something new.
“The dark side has no discipline,” Kyle said. “They desire power, and that desire rules them…you become a slave to it. You have no real control, as you saw tonight…I’m sure your conscience was telling you to stop, but the rage and lust for power overwhelmed that. I can’t see any one way a person could think that complete and total lack of control offers one great powers.
“I’m not going to preach to you to follow the light and that’s it. It’s your own path to choose from now on, and a lot of people gave up a lot and lost a lot in order to give you this last chance. Trust me kid, you need to think long and hard about it because you won’t get another one.
“Your Master lost his life for you. Your Mother killed one of her oldest friends for you. I lost a brother for you, and spared your life as a bonus. There’s a pack of Mandalorians over there just itching for my Niece to give them the word to get vengeance for Kal’ors death, and I can gurantee you they’d mop the floor with your sorry hide.
“Now it is up to you, to choose your own path. Decide what kind of man you want to be when you decide to grow up…there’s a great war starting throughout the galaxy with these Vong invaders and we’re going to need all the Jedi we can get. But there’s no room for Sith-wanna-be kids wearing their daddy’s boots, Les.”
“I understand,” Les said.
Kyle went to leave, walking up tot he edge of the freighter’s hull and pausing to look back one last time at Les. “If you pick the wrong path, kid…I’m going to come find you. You know that, right?”
“Yes, Master,” Les said.
“Then let’s hope we not see each other again, shall we?”
Les sighed, nodding. He hoped we wouldn’t see Kyle ever again, he knew that much.