Education of a new form.

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I’m completely awake and I can’t discern why. I’m restless, I feel like something is happening and I can’t figure it out. I kind of feel like there’s something that needs  to be said or done.

I have not seen Neirov in some time. The last time I did catch him around was only a few days ago and we went on a mission. We had to take out some radio towers and it took all our concentrated effort, including Dalkens.  We made it but not without some injuries.

I have no idea why I’m talking about any of this. It’s so pointless. It’s not important really. I want to talk about the friendships I seemed to have accumulated and that make me happy. Yes, Jedi can have friends, without them we would hardly be Jedi.

It’s strange. That these friendships I have forged have been from the oddest places.

First there’s Tomuraan. He’s a wonderful friend who I confess, I care about him. He’s wise, a good Master Jedi and we share the same views that many others argue or say we are wrong. Tom has this way about him that is charismatic. I have not met many Mirialans who are friendly and so open with their advice. Tom has been the one who has helped me make some decisions that I think I wouldn’t have made otherwise. He’s there to talk to me and be a shoulder and an ear when I need to sort out problems I feel that I can’t go to my brother to; and  certainly can’t go to anyone else with them.

Then there’s Niatara, she’s the fun sort of friend that lets me live vicariously through her. She can be the trouble making woman and I can observe and smile fondly. She has been there for us numerous times and I confess I sometimes find myself very un-jedi like being somewhat jealous of her lax and carefree nature. I know what my duty is, I need to be what I am so she can continue to be that carefree being. She makes me smile and laugh, always telling me how she’s going to corrupt me.

Then there’s others like Tlu. Such an odd Twi’lek girl. So unique and I find her knowledge of the galaxy, her ability to be so streetwise fascinating. I find it so …humbling that a girl- a young girl can have such a knowledge to keep her alive and capable that I do not possess. I often feel schooled by her and the others in how wise they are to the places and things I have not and likely will not ever experience.  She had a shock that I am hoping to help her through. She is strong and I hope she will make the right decisions. I admit, I was a bit confused by her gestures, but I accepted them as friendship.

These friends…humbling, educating and wonderful. I can wield a saber, fight and talk with diplomats and envoys and Council members. I can speak at length in peace with Sith who I would cut down in a field of battle, I am educated in so many things and yet, among all these beings? I feel so ignorant.

I want to learn more about these things. I know the Council will already frown on this, and at this point I feel that knowing my surroundings, comprehending the things I am to defend will bring a perspective I may be missing. I think Raiyden may approve, or at least I think he will.

In other news, I am slowly figuring out what I need to do with Rulan. She is, I think, slowly starting to relax around us and realize we’re not stiff and stuffy Jedi. I am hoping to break her out of her shell a bit. She did well on a recent outing with Raiyden and I, and it was nice to see her smile.

I just hope this progress continues.

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New Skin.

Caer gripped the railing, feeling it’s cold hard metallic surface, smooth and without blemish. The smell of freshly cut flowers that sat in vases  and spring greeted her nose and the wind that carried those scents carried only a hint of chill. The sun shone through the clear blue sky, warming her tanned skin, making it feel delightfully warm; a sensation she felt as if it had been long forgotten.

The balcony that overlooked Coruscants vast and endless city was hundreds of floors from the bottom. She could hear the traffic of the hover taxis shooting back and forth, the sound of private speeders revving their engines in impatience at the backed up traffic. She could almost feel the drivers frustration as they had to wait their turn.

Drawing back from the balcony, she slipped through the curtain that divided the room from the balcony and closed the door behind her with a wave of her hand, using the force to trigger the mechanism. Lazy? Yes. Cheating? Most certainly but she was tired and had a lot on her mind.

The Miralukan woman made her way through the opulent living room of the space she’d been given and stepped into the bedroom. The bed could easily fit her, Raiyden her brother, Neirov and possibly another person.

Caer winced slightly at the thought of Neirov being on the ship, while Caer sat in a well tended to hotel room and was given pretty much anything she desired. Not that she desired much, if anything she really disliked having to deal with all the pomp and circumstance of this formal meeting she’d been called to.  Stepping before the bed, she used her own form of vision- a vision all Miraluka people had to varying degrees- to look over her the box that sat on the bed.

Sighing heavily, she opened it up and ‘stared’ down at the outfit that would signify her ascendance from Knight to Master. The very thought chafed her and it had taken all of her self control to keep from telling the Council where to stuff their Master title.

She didn’t want it. She felt she hadn’t done anything to earn it and the thought of having it now made it feel like a hollow victory in how she got it.  Her brother said she’d fought just as hard as any Jedi Knight to get where she was, had trained just as hard if not sometimes harder and that she’d earned it. It still didn’t sit right with her, even as she pulled out the new uniform, shed the old one and dressed in the crisp new armor and cloak combination that was common among the Masters.

It was difficult for her to sort out her feelings on the subject. She’d been bushwhacked by the council not once but twice! Caer inhaled sharply and forced herself to focus as she adjusted the belt around her waist and clipped her saber to her side.

First they had sent her a Padawan, poor Rulan. The girl had no idea what she was getting into when it came to Caer being a teacher of anything. But then they’d made Caer a Master to boot. Both ideas had caused Caer to lose her temper and she’d growled for a while at Raiyden until he finally got her to calm down.

She was more angry at how she’d received Rulan than the actual fact she now had an eighteen year old girl to train to become a Jedi. She’d received the letter stating she had a parcel. A parcel! The girl was not a parcel. Sending Ithorian celery through the mail was considered a parcel. A young, very obviously confused girl who Caer assumed had never been off Tython in her life, was NOT a parcel.

It was a test, it had to be. Even as she paced in front of the mirror, back and forth, back and forth, she didn’t realize how commanding she looked, or how serious. How much every inch of the Master she had truly become. Her hand poised over her chin, her arm tucked under the elbow that propped up the arm so the hand could touch her chin; how her expression was serious and mature looking.

She would teach this girl. She would teach Padawan Rulan how to become an expert fighter, that was her niche. Caer was an expert fighter. She wouldn’t have gotten this far without being one and she knew what she was capable of.  Now, now she had to find it within her to teach this girl to survive a universe that was bent on breaking her in any way possible. The galaxy would throw everything at this girl and she would have to face it with the fierce determination of  a Jedi.  Raiy could teach the girl the softer things of being a Jedi. Caer didn’t really care for history lessons- either being on the receiving end or the giving end of them. Raiyden lived for that stuff and she’d be happy to let the girl learn history and such from her brother.

Neirov… she’d have to warn the girl about the Mirialan. While Caer liked and trusted Neirov to a degree, she knew that the man still harbored darkness and it was something that weighed heavily on Caers conscience. She was starting to get through to Neirov and it made her glad to know that he was not as bad as everyone (namely Raiyden) claimed him to be. She had hoped to work through to Neirov, to get him to come out of that darkness, get to know him better and perhaps even come to trust him fully.

Stopping, she turned to the door, it was almost time for the meeting she’d been summoned here for. Making sure everything was in its proper place and her hair was back and away from her face the way she liked it, she headed for the door.

She was a Master Jedi now, time to start acting like one.  Pausing only briefly to ‘glance’ back, turning her head to face the bed where the discarded outfit she had cast aside like an old skin, she nodded to herself.

Perhaps, in time, she would feel more comfortable in this new skin.

Don’t lose your faith, it’s not so cold, it’s not too late.

When you came back I knew you’d have a story.
You need someone to ease the pain of living life.
You’re like a soldier in the fray, seeking shelter
from all the madness that you’ve seen raining down now.

I know things change, your world has slipped away.
I know things change, but you’re living like a soldier
who’s caught in the fray.
Don’t lose your faith,
it’s not so cold,
it’s not too late.

 

Caer sat inside the thermal tent and listened to the wind howl around her like an angry goddess wailing her promises of retribution for all the wrongs done to her. It was such a violent and mournful sound, as if the weather carried emotions. Perhaps it did, perhaps it carried all the sorrow and pain of this planet, this cold ball of ice that at the very heart of things was nothing more than an eternal winter.

Shivering she huddled in her thermal bag that kept her warm in this frozen hell. She heard the sound of Taun Tauns in the distance making their gargling braying sounds as they tried to huddle together, protect each other from the predators of the planet of Hoth.It had been an exhausting day, past few days really. The Imperials kept pushing forward, the cold was draining and the soldiers moods were very dispiriting. Most were convinced they were going to die and all were pretty convinced that they were going to freeze.It made her heart ache to hear young men talk about never getting married, never having families or seeing the families they did have again. She did her best to cheer them, to give them words of encouragement without giving promises that she knew she could not keep. Many were cheered, but she knew she couldn’t cheer them all. Her thoughts turned to a rather dour man who had died in the last firefight. She had tried to cheer him, console him after he’d lost his friend the day before, and part of her had wondered if he had chosen to end his life there in the snow today instead of choosing to fight on.

No, she couldn’t think about things like that. He had died fighting and that was what she wanted to remember.

Caer couldn’t blame her restlessness and sour mood on the death of one man. It wasn’t his fault and her mood had been somewhat on the bad side for a couple days.Her brother, Raiyden had tried cheering her up and it had worked for a while, but now she was brooding and she knew it. Not very Jedi like, but it was something that she had to deal with. The howling snow, the soul draining cold, she could understand why everyone was so grumpy.

No, her mood was because of Neirov. She couldn’t help it really, but Caer was upset at him, disappointed. It seemed each day that this war dragged on, it was an eternal battle to understand him. Caer felt as if she were fighting two wars- the Republics and her own personal war.

Caer was determined to bring him back. To bring Neirov back from that dark place he seemed to be living in. It made her heart ache to know that she could possibly lose him to the dark side, to possibly have to face him down. It made her stomach churn at the thought of possibly killing him for his own good. Or worse, he killing her or Raiyden. It was the last thing she wanted to do.

She had dreamed about it, had seen in her mind the whipping snow, heard the snap of cloth being tugged violently in the wind, the hungry hums of the light sabers they held. She had dreamed that bodies were battered, bones were broken, hearts beat rapidly in chests, breath came in ragged and pained gasps. She had seen his expression of pure rage, hatred and betrayal on his face. Each line on his face etched in darkness, hatred emanating off his green skin like blasts of force fueled heat. She felt her own fear, her own determination and her own resolve waver as she used her own gifts to stare into his face.

The dream had ended with them both falling. Metaphorically and physically, tumbling through a chasm of jagged ice and rock. She hadn’t told her brother about the dream, nor would she. She sensed her brothers dislike for their companion, and she didn’t want to further fuel that dislike. It wasn’t something she was comfortable sharing with her brother, something she felt that would cause more problems than solve.

Perhaps…there was some benefit in going separate ways. Caer did not want to see Neirov go, they had been through much as a trio, they had been placed as a group to work through things because when they had begun, the council had felt their group dynamic was best suited for front line work. Caer’s ability with a saber was nothing to be scoffed at, Raiydens ability for diplomacy and his talents to heal injuries was one of the reasons why Caer and Raiy worked so well together; Neirov had been placed with them because of his zealousness and ability with a light saber. They were the ones that were called in for last resort work when negotiations had failed and fighting was necessary. They had started out well, Caer could remember meeting Neirov at the temple and being taken by his smile and polite demeanor. She could recall their earlier missions where they would do their work with little to no arguing.

Now… now it seemed that’s all they did. Question his dedication, question each others attitudes. That was not the Jedi way. It was not the peaceful well oiled machine they had once been. Now gears grinded, tempers flared, arguments happened in the middle of fights. If another Jedi had seen them, they’d have been admonished for their behavior.

Caer privately admonished their behavior. It was not like them and it upset her to fight with them. Upset her to see her brother rankled by Neirov, Neirov flouting his dislike of their choices. Caer did not like how Neirov would go out of his way to push people verbally, physically.

Sighing heavily she put her face in her hands, feeling the soft contours of her face, her cheeks, nose and lips. She had put aside the eye wraps that she wore to keep from shocking or upsetting those who were not used to seeing her species without them. The skin that was normally wrapped felt soft and smooth as opposed to the rest of her face that felt chapped, sore and rough.

Much like her heart right now. It felt rough, dry and chapped.

Shaking off her ill feelings, the feelings of foreboding and the emotions, she crawled deeper into her sleeping bag and lay down. Perhaps tomorrow, perhaps things would be better, things would look brighter. Perhaps tomorrow they would realize that things were not as dark as they seemed and they could continue on.

Hope, that’s all anyone needed.

Robbed Blind. Even that’s bad for a Miralukan.

Caer was annoyed and rightfully so. She’d been robbed blind- no pun intended- by the girl and it chafed her something fierce that she had fallen for the innocent girl act. Maybe she had been wrong in telling Raiyden that she didn’t need looked after. Ashla knew that tonight was living proof that she couldn’t even keep the meager stipend that the Council allowed all Jedi on her persons.

Sighing heavily, she tapped her finger on the table and propped her jaw in the cup of her hand.How was she going to explain this to Raiyden or Neirov? Or even Dalken if he were to find out? She’d be so laughed at. Her cheeks burned with embarrassment as she grumbled to herself and recounted the nights events.

It was her own damn fault for letting the girl get so close, she thought and then shook her head. No, it was simply a girl who was needy. Caer fit that need. She had credits. The girl did not. The girl even admitted that she was stuck up on the station and if Caer had thought things through, she’d have realized the girl had probably already marked her as a target.

Well, live and learn, she supposed.

Thinking back on the evening, it could have been worse. The girl could have tried to do more than pick pocket her. Which might have ended badly for either of them. Caer would not have wanted to hurt the girl and she really felt no ill will towards her; she was more embarrassed and angry at herself for falling for such a simple ruse. She just hoped that the girl would spend those credits wisely and used them to either find a way off the station or use it for food and supplies she’d need. Caer hoped it wouldn’t go towards spice or other illicit items.

Sighing she got to her feet and headed towards her ship. At lest she had a place to sleep, food on her ship as well as her stuff. Heading off she used the force to ‘see’ her way towards the pad where it was being kept.Thankfully nobody was around and she made it to her ship quietly and without harassment. Heading to her room she knelt on her meditation pillow and slipped into the flow of the force around her to relax before bed.

Wherever this girl now was, Caer wished her the best of luck and hoped that someday she’d meet her again.