A few hours walk upstream from Little Elysium-on-the-Planet, Mark Skyspotter sat cross-legged before his teacher.
"What I have I to learn today, master? You said that you would tell me about the Source, yet it has been a year now and still you have not explained it."
"Walk before run must you. Crawl before you walk. Everything in its time. Many are those who a fast route to the Source would have. Disaster that way lies. War, corruption, slavery, all the evil things of the galaxy come from those who would rush to the Source, would have its power without understanding."
The little man allowed a quiet, thoughtful and respectful hush to descend before continuing.
"But, patient you have been. Tell you I will of a young man like yourself. A dutiful citizen of the old Galactic Union he was. Diligent and reliable. A great man he would have been, for clever he was, quick and sharp. But ambitious he was. Power he sought, more power than he could control. Control himself now his lust for power does. Helpless like a stick in a stream he is. His own life controls he no longer. Yet great is he. Many are they who look to him for example, would be like him, not understanding that he no longer controls himself."
"Who is this man, master?"
"Name him I will not, but great in the Empire he is."
"Is he... is he the Lord Bader?!"
"No. Powerful I said he was. Fully understanding yet, you do not. Teach you more I must. Tell me, young Mark, of the Credit Masters have you heard?"
"The Credit Masters? Yes, but I do not know who they were. They disappeared long ago, I heard."
"Yes, long ago. Controlled the galaxy's financial affairs they did. Long before the Empire. Ran the Co-op Mutual Building Society they did, and at peace was the galaxy. But learnt the secret of the Source they did, without fully understanding, and turned did they to the dark side. Ambition kindled in the hearts of some the cause of de-regulation."
"Mm. Loans no longer tied to deposits were permitted. Credit created out of nothing was there. Loans made out to irresponsible borrowers the norm became. Debts mounted, and stalked the galaxy did fear and envy. Began did the Drone Wars, as poorer planets over resources fought. Quick and easy was the power for those Credit Masters who abandoned the Co-op Mutual Building Society and to the dark side of the Source turned."
"Was my father a Credit Master?"
The little man thought deeply.
"Trained with me did he. Knowledgeable he was, but... betrayed he was by a powerful Credit Master. Nathan West was he."
"Of Western Credit. Great finance house is that."
"But you, Master, you stayed true to the enlightened side of the Source?"
"And now you live in this grotty little hut in the woods."
"Pure am I."
"Learn from this, I hope you will."
"Oh yes, master."