returns to Almas, where the towers of the
stone academy of the Jedi reach up to the stars like the fingers of a grasping
hand. This analogy is not inappropriate. Against this backdrop, hundreds of
students from many species have struggled to find and break through their
limits, all of them reaching to better their grasp of the universe.
The Almas Academy has often fallen under scrutiny for its unorthodox
methods. It accepts Padawans as adults. It takes in those tainted by the dark
side and trusts them to overcome its shadow. It even allows its Jedi to seek
their own path in the Cularin system rather than insisting that they follow
the academy's mandates. These methods have drawn criticism and attack over the
years, but Master Lanius Qel-Bertuk has guided the institution with a steady
hand, secure in the belief that his way is the right one.
"Many are the flaws of the Jedi," say some of the Council on Coruscant.
"They are prideful and too sure of themselves." Master Qel-Bertuk might be one
of those they speak of, but his belief has guided the lives of many heroes. If
he works from pride, then perhaps pride, mixed with wisdom, can still lead to
With her many hands, E1-6RA set down two plates, a bowl, and a cup of
steaming dark liquid on the stone desk in front of her. The droid's head
swiveled silently, looking around the office for any sign of her master. Once
again, he was not present, as he should have been for meal time. Prepared for
this, E1 opened several collapsible plastic memory domes and set them over the
repast. Moving away gracefully, the droid chattered to herself, speculating
about what her master might have been doing. She didn't understand organics,