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10.25.2012 , 08:08 AM |
is perfect for the vague direction I had for Colran Niral. 850 words, no spoilers.
Colran woke up and crept out of his dark little room to find breakfast. The temple's small cafeteria was already busy with a somewhat alarming number of aliens and a few humans. Many gave him curious looks; some smiled and greeted him. He nodded cautiously in return while he gathered food. When a slim green-skinned youth approached him with the evident intention of talking, Colran fled to find someplace quiet to eat.
He settled in a stairwell that wasn't seeing any use and ate quickly, then set about seeking Master Zauvien. He ran into the Togruta back by the cafeteria.
"Good morning," she said. "Have you eaten?"
"Then we should get started." She smiled and ushered him into a small room down the hall.
He had to ask something. "Master, how will I be paying for this training?"
"You won't," said Zauvien. "When you have attained some skill, you will be able to go out into the world and serve as a Jedi. But for now the Order will provide for your needs."
That was unexpected, bordering on nonsensical. "Why?"
"It is our way. We understand that by giving a little now – food, shelter, learning – we enrich the galaxy for many years to come."
"Don't your students just go their own way once they have what they want?"
"Sometimes," said Zauvien. "It is rare. Now come. There will be time for general questions later. For now we should attend to your first lesson." She smiled encouragingly. "There are simple exercises a Jedi does to attain centering and peace. Meditation is a way of returning to tranquility, no matter one's circumstances. I'm…going to guess you never practiced that."
"We did. Sort of." Sith were encouraged to spent time turning their own grievances and hate over in their minds.
"Please, sit." She settled cross-legged on the floor, skillfully arranging her robes around her legs.
He scanned the room. One door. He faced it squarely. No windows; that was something comforting about the metal enclosures of Nar Shaddaa. Enemies without tech would have trouble observing anything. It was no excuse to let down his guard, but it was something.
Master Zauvien guessed his hesitation and smiled encouragingly. "Nothing's coming to harm you."
He glowered at her. He wasn't scared, not that he would let her see. "Of course not, master."
"Be at peace, Colran."
She kept saying that. He sighed and tried to do as she commanded. "Yes, master."
"You can call me Master Zauvien. Jedi prefer to acknowledge the individual."
"Why? A lord's a lord."
"'Master' is a title of respect, but it goes with the person, not the rank. I'm not just a thing that gives orders." She said it gently.
"Very well. Master Zauvien." He sat down facing her. Time to work.
"To meditate," she said in her flutelike voice, "is to open oneself to the Force, to move in harmony with it. To be aware with it."
He stirred up his own fear and basic anger. The Force was there, a dark stain, the power he relied on. At least he could count on that.
Zauvien's blue eyes widened. "Calm yourself, Colran. Let go of your fear. Let the Force come to you."
"But if you don't grab it you can't use it."
"Don't use. Feel. Don't act. Be."
He closed his eyes and tried not to do anything. It was difficult, but he wanted to get it right. He felt along the dark lines of his awareness; there was a comfort in it.
"Don't reach," Zauvien insisted. "Just breathe."
"How is that going to help, Master Zauvien?"
"The Light Side is harmony. It will welcome you if you open yourself to it."
Colran sat still and tried to concentrate his energies in himself. Let it all come to him. Gather it, trap it. Prepare it for whatever purpose he might need it to serve.
"Calm yourself," she insisted.
He opened his eyes again, his anger flaring. "What does that even mean? I don't understand what you want! How does calming anything serve you?" Frustration and bewilderment together overcame his caution. "All of it. How can you think no one's going to take advantage when you're this open? It doesn't make any sense! How do you people survive like this?"
"We survive by living in a civilized world."
"A civilized world looks like a weak one, master."
Zauvien's voice took on a hard edge. "It's a better one to live in. You'll note we as a people have managed to get this far."
Colran didn't want to know what happened when a Jedi got pushed too far. "I'm sorry. It's just…hard to understand how this doesn't all fall apart. The charity, the carelessness, the…the not-using the power you have. My whole point coming was to see what could work that isn't Sith, but I didn't expect this."
Her demeanor calmed. "Perhaps it's time to let go of your expectations," she said gently.
"Let go? Nobody ever got anywhere by giving up what's theirs."
"You're wrong. The Jedi have."
Colran has a gentle spirit. By Sith standards, anyway. He's got some adjusting to do according to the Jedi.
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