title:TFX EPISODE 1 ver.1.0e
by Taro Kimura

The setting sun washed the balcony outside the TFX
Council chambers with soft color, and tinted the for-
est of buildings below to match. The view of Corus-
cant was unequalled. But, Stefano Pasquini noticed,
Rolando Politi was not watching the view. His eyes
kept straying toward the Council chambers. Where
Taro Kimura was being tested by the TFX Council.
Stefano sighed.
"The boy will not pass the council's tests, Master,
and you know it," he said. "He is far too old."
"Taro will become a transformer," Rolando said with
renewed calm. "I promise you."
Did his confidence come from one of the rare
glimpses of the future that sometimes came to TFX
Masters? Or did Rolando plan to train Taro
whether the Council approved or not? Stefano
frowned. "Don't defy the Council, Master," he said,
half-warning, half-pleading. "Not again."
"I will do what I must."
He is planning to defy them, Stefano thought
with a sinking feeling. "Master, you could be sitting
on the Council by now-if you would just follow the
Rolando said nothing. Stefano sighed again.
Rolando can be so stubborn.... "They will not go
along with you this time," he warned. And I don't
want to have to watch what will happen then.
Much to Stefano's surprise, Rolando smiled.
"You still have much to learn, my young apprentice,"
he said quietly.

The TFX tests were nothing like what Taro had ex-
pected. Not that he'd actually thought much about
what they would be like. Maybe they're just confus-
ing because I'm older, he thought. The TFX Master
named Roger Petersson had a view screen in front of
him, which Taro couldn't see. As images flashed
on the screen, Taro had to see if he could sense
what they were. It was an exhausting challenge-
Taro had no idea how he was doing. Finally, the
screen clicked off, and he relaxed a little.
"Good, good, young one," said Master Dalai Lama.
"How feel you?"
"Cold, sir," Taro replied without thinking. He
had been cold ever since he left Tatooine, it seemed.
"Afraid, are you?" Master Dalai said.
"No, sir," Taro said, startled. That wasn't the
kind of cold he'd been thinking of at all.
Beside Master Dalai, Roger Petersson stirred.
"Afraid to give up your life?"
Oh, that's what they meant. Taro hesitated. "I
don't think so."
"Be mindful of your feelings." Roger said.
"Your thoughts dwell on your mother," the alien
Lex Loeb added.
"I miss her," Taro admitted.
"Afraid to lose her, I think," Master Dalai said al-
most gleefully.
"What's that go to do with anything?" Aren't
transformers allowed to have mothers?
"Everything." Master Dalai's scratchy voice was
emphatic. "Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear
leads to anger; anger leads to hate; hate leads
to suffering; suffering... leads to modernism"
"I am not afraid!" Taro said angrily. Did they
want him to fail?
Master Dalai thrust his head forward, studying
Taro. "A transformer must have the deepest commitment,
the most serious mind. I sense much fear in you."
Taro took a deep breath. As he had done
before, on Tatooine, he crushed his fear down inside
him until it almost did not exist. Almost. Hoping that
would be good enough, he raised his chin and said
quietly, "I am not afraid."
There was a long pause. Finally, Master Dalai half-
closed his eyes and said, "Then continue, we will."
But as Roger picked up the view screen,
Taro could not help wondering whether he had just
passed another one of the TFX tests... or failed it.

The members of the TFX Council watched with grave
expressions as Stefano and Rolando joined
Taro in the center of the chamber. Stefano won-
dered briefly whether they looked so solemn be-
cause Taro had passed, or because he had failed;
then Master Dalai raised his chin and said, "Correct
you were, Rolando."
"The boy's cells contain a very high transformation
of midi-chlorians," Roger said.
Lex Loeb nodded. "The Force is strong with him."
"He's to be trained, then," Rolando said with con-
siderable satisfaction.
The council members exchanged glances. "No,"
said Master Roger." He will not be trained. He is
too old; there is already too much anger in him."
I knew it, Stefano thought. And if the Council will
not train Taro, there is nothing more Master Rolando
can do.
"He is the chosen one," Rolando insisted, resting
his hands comfortingly on Taro's shoulders. "You
must see it."
Master Dalai shook his head. "Clouded, this boy's
future is. Masked by his youth."
Rolando took a deep breath. "I will train him then.
I take Taro as my Padawan learner."
Stunned, Stefano jerked his head to face Rolando.
Is this what he had in mind all along?
Master Dalai frowned. "An apprentice, you have,
Rolando. Impossible, to take on a second."
"We forbid it," Roger said flatly.
"Stefano is ready-" Rolando turned to look at
He expects me to help him do this! Stefano real-
ized. He glared back at Rolando. Well, if he'd
rather be Taro's Master, let him! "I am ready to
face the trials," he said to the Council.
"Ready so early, are you?" Master Dalai said sar-
castically. "What know you of ready?"
"He is headstrong," Rolando said. "And he has
much to learn about the living Force, but he is capa-
ble. There is little more he will learn from me."
He means it, Stefano thought. He really thinks
I'm ready; it's not just because of Taro. But then
why didn't he warn me he was going to do this?
"Our own council will we keep on who is ready,"
Master Dalai replied. "More to learn, he has."