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Story: Sight of the Force

ErikModi's Avatar


ErikModi
01.08.2012 , 11:55 AM | #1
Playing my Miraluka Jedi on Lord Adrass, specifically in space missions, led to this short story. Hope you enjoy.

Anisa, Jedi Knight of the Republic, slipped into the captain’s chair of her Corellian Defender. The fast, agile ship boasted significant firepower and toughness, in true Corellian fashion, built to withstand anything the most psychotic owner could put it through. Kira Carsen, Anisa’s newly-assigned Padawan, followed into the ship’s surprisingly spacious bridge, and slumped into the navigator’s chair.

“So, uh. . . you sure you can fly this thing?” Kira asked.

Anisa smiled. “Kira, you saw my pilot how many airspeeders around Coruscant with absolutely no trouble?”

Kira nodded. “I know, but. . . I mean, this is way different. You sure you don’t want Teeseven to drive?”

Anisa smiled, understanding but amused by Kira’s reticence. After all, it wasn’t typical for one to entrust skills like piloting to a blind woman.

Anida was a Miraluka, one of those rare Near-Humans that was sufficiently diverged from baseline humans as to be considered almost a new species. Miraluka had lost the ability see physically, but had developed a connection with the Force that allowed them to perceive their environment through it.

The blindness of the Miraluka people presented itself in a myriad of ways. The vast majority of Miraluka simply had empty eye sockets, containing no eyes, eyelids, or the biological structures to support them. Typically, skin covered the inside of the eye sockets, protecting them.

A few Miraluka were born with actual eyes, to varying degrees. Some were born with blind, sightless eyes, and no muscular support for moving them or opening and closing eyelids. Such Miraluka often had their eyelids surgically sealed shut shortly after birth, to avoid a host of medical problems brought on by the inability to blink. Some had mobile eyes and eyelids, but were still blind. And a very rare few had eyes that could actually see, though their eyesight was so abysmal they were functionally blind. The sharpest-eyed Miraluka on record had actually been able to see how many fingers he was holding up with his hand a full ten centimeters away from his face.

On the other end of the spectrum, some Miraluka were born without even empty sockets. In some, ordinary skin tissue grew in to fill the holes, while some had skulls shaped to eliminate the useless sockets entirely. Speculation was this was the course of evolution the whole of the Miraluka race would take over the next several thousand years.

Because of this variance in physical appearance, Miraluka wore masks over their eyes, or where their eyes would be. Partly this was concession to the visual aesthetics of sighted races, who found the empty eye sockets discomfiting to look upon. But it was more a symbol of racial solidarity, as the Miraluka people were uncommonly close-knit, due in large part to their inherent connection to the Force.

The Force allowed all Miraluka to perceive their environment, in ways most sapients couldn’t imagine and most Miraluka couldn’t adequately describe. In much the same way that a human couldn’t explain color to the blind, a Miraluka’s Force Perception wasn’t sight, and could not always be explained visually. Because the Force was created by all living things, any life form “glowed” in the Miraluka’s sense, from the dim luminescence of plants and small animals to the bright light of sapient life to the radiance of Jedi and Sith.

Many were understandably confused that the Miraluka described the Sith as “radiant,” but it was one of those places where the translation of Force Perception to ordinary sight simply broke down. The Force simply wasn’t light, and so it was entirely possible for such seeming contradictions as “dark radiance” and “glowing blackly” to exist within a Miraluka’s perceptions.

Physical objects, on the other hand, were difficult to “see,” appearing to the Miraluka as transparent outlines. Non-Miraluka who learned their Force Perception took some time learn how to perceive physical objects properly, learning to tell of the “glow” of a life form was indeed on the other side of a wall or not.

Miraluka could almost “see” energy, though not as light. Looking at a computer screen, for instance, they could tell if it was powered up or down, being able to tell if it was displaying anything. Of course, they were still blind, and thus couldn’t actually see any of the information being displayed. Likewise, they could see that a holoemitter was active, even if the actual hologram remained invisible.

Their ability to “see” through the Force was only one half of a Miraluka’s total Force Perception ability, however. Linked to what Jedi often referred to as a “danger sense,” the Miraluka were warned away from hazards by the Force. It guided them away from walls and through doors, moved their feet away from dips, bulges, and ankle-turning rocks in rough terrain, and unerringly guided their hands away from damaging surfaces. Combined with the “light” shown by living beings, and a Miraluka could function just as well as any sighted organic in nearly any environment, and in some ways better. Their connection to the Force in perception had trained the race for an uncanny agility.

Miralukese written language was a series of bumps and dashes, raised above the surface being written on, which they could read through touch, based on similar systems developed for blind humans in the centuries before cybernetic implants. Most conventional screens in the galaxy were incapable of displaying this language, though the Miraluka had developed memory metal tablets that could shift their surface into the raised patterns that a Miraluka could read.

Bearing all this in mind, Anisa had requested a few modifications made to the bridge of her ship. All the readouts and displays for sighted people she’d left intact, out of consideration to her crew, currently consisting of the astromech T7 and padawan Kira Carsen. Other panels had been added which would light up under certain conditions. While Anisa couldn’t actually see the light, she could detect the power flowing into the light, and thereby be warned of certain conditions throughout her ship. Audio tones had been added to alert her to other conditions. The ship’s missile launchers had been cued to one tone, which turned on when the weapons were armed. Changes in the pitch and frequency of the tone alerted her to how many missiles remained in the ship’s magazine, as well as the arming status of the four-tube launcher system. Another tone informed her if the ship’s shields were up or down, and altered its pitch and tone as the shields were drained by and recovered from damage. The hyperspace control levers were wired into the navicomputer in a unique way. When the calculations had completed, the levers would be powered up, essentially “lighting up” in a way that would tell Anisa it was safe to make the jump to lightspeed.

Anisa was confident the Force would guide her ship through space, in much the same way it guided her body through a building. It would warn her of any impending obstacles, and she would steer away from them. Long study had given her familiarity with ship design and construction, allowing her to pick out vulnerable spots such as turrets, engines, and shield generators. Even if they were too distant for her to see, she could still sense the presence of a ship’s pilot or crew, and their hostile intent would glow like a beacon, guiding her attacks towards enemy vessels and preventing her from firing on allies.

Anisa firmly took hold of the pilot’s controls. “Shall we see what she’s got?” she asked Kira, as she ran up the engines and began plotting a jump toward a Republic combat zone.

“Uh, yeah. I’ll be in the escape pod,” Kira replied.

***

“I don’t believe it,” Kira said, slumping into the navigator’s seat. “You did it. You actually did it. And with minimal hull damage, too.”

Again, Anisa smiled. “The Force is a powerful ally, Kira.”

“I knew that, but I didn’t think it could turn a blind woman into an ace combat pilot!” Anisa couldn’t see the red flush creeping up the young woman’s cheeks, but her aura in the Force was a sure indicator of her sudden embarrassment. “I’m sorry, I didn’t-“

“It’s okay,” Anisa replied. “Powers of observation lie with the mind, Kira, not the eyes. I may not be able to see as you do, but I can perceive a far wider world.”

“The way you targeted that Hutt listening station’s turrets. . . how did you know?”

“I’ve studied ship construction and design. Through the Force, I can perceive the energy flowing into the turrets, and know that this energy signature is what a turret looks like. After that, it’s the simple mater of pointing the ship at it and pulling the trigger.”

Kira smiled. “You have got to teach me how to do that!”

Anisa nodded. “We don’t seem to be doing anything else right now.” She stood, and motioned for her padawan to follow her to the ship’s meditation room.

“Thank you, Master.”

“Please, call me Anisa.”

Deshiel's Avatar


Deshiel
01.08.2012 , 01:33 PM | #2
It's nice, but there is a thread for fan fiction.

ErikModi's Avatar


ErikModi
01.08.2012 , 02:02 PM | #3
I did not see that. Thanks.

kaoticdrake's Avatar


kaoticdrake
01.08.2012 , 10:49 PM | #4
I loved this, absolutely loved it. I may give it a more expansive critique later where I talk about exactly what I loved and why I loved it, but for now I'm just going to say welcome to the Fan Fiction sub forum and PLEASE keep writing for us... and for yourself of course...
To be one with the Force you must understand yourself and how your power reflects your nature.

ErikModi's Avatar


ErikModi
01.09.2012 , 10:11 AM | #5
Wow, thank you! An artist is always pleased to know his work is appreciated.

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ScwortzForce
01.09.2012 , 12:28 PM | #6
Welcome to the forums. Don't forget to submite your story to the story and author index at the top.
"What a fine mess you've gotten us into."
-C3P0