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Complete Help All Living Things

Discussion in 'Crystal Vales' started by Luke Skywalker, Aug 16, 2019.

  1. Luke Skywalker

    Luke Skywalker Star Wars

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    Tag: @Jaesa Willsaam.
    Date: 16th August, Year 108.

    [​IMG]

    It was not Luke's place to get involved in the conflict that had broken out along the Broken Alter Trail. His younger counterpart would have thrown himself into the chaos without a second thought, but Luke was old and wise now. Well… All right… Sometimes wisdom evaded him like a timid butterfly.

    He'd just stepped out of the cantina when the raiders had clattered into Drifter's Reprieve on their tall brown and gray dappled mounts. Luke had crept behind the crumbled ruins of a pillar to watch them, his conscience twinging whenever a raider had snatched a bag off a civilian or knocked them to the sandy earth.

    He had to help…

    But it was not his place to help...


    Luke shouldn't have stopped at the cantina to rest and fill his weary, hungry body. He should have ignored its complaints and continued on to the sprawling forests to track down the artefacts, saving him from facing this dilemma.

    Shrieks and screams pierced the Trail, along with the snarling shouts of the bandits. He winced at each sharp crack of an antiquated blaster or bellow of a floppy eared mount, the latter reverberating up from the guts. Help them.

    Luke breathed in the chalky smell of dust, mixed in with the acrid smoke of their old-fashioned weapons. There was no tang of blood… Not yet. And you could prevent it from being spilled if only you'd help them…

    He could no longer resist when he glimpsed one of the raiders riding his mount at a small child. A fair haired girl. She was trying to run from him, tears streaming down her plump little cheeks, the hem of her dress ragged and dirty. The raider rose his antiquated blaster as though to club her across the back of the head…

    "No!" Luke sprang from behind the weathered ruins. He made an enigmatic figure in his swirling cloak, the hood obscuring his face from view, save the gray bristles of his beard.

    Luke reached out with his gloved hand, pulling at the strings of the Force to heft up the broken pillar and slam it into the bandit. He crashed off his mount, which swerved around the cowering girl and gambolled off down the Trail.
     
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  2. Jaesa Willsaam

    Jaesa Willsaam Star Wars

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    After Jaesa’s escape from her former Master a few days ago, she’d remained in Rey and Connor’s home, huddled in her room and terrified of Sauron coming to find her. Grateful as she’d been to Rey and her boyfriend for giving her refuge, she didn’t like being there. She didn’t like staying in one place, risking the safety of her friend - friends, she supposed - just for the sake of her trying to find her own. But Rey wouldn’t hear anything about her leaving, insisting that she stay at least while her wounds were healing. The bullet wounds on her arms were still bandaged, but the bite marks on her throat that Sauron had left were at least scabbed over and healing. She just wished that she didn’t have to see them and remember what they had done together, and had taken to wearing a black scarf around her neck to conceal them.

    Yesterday, Jaesa had left the house, promising that she wasn’t fleeing and that she would be back in the next couple of days, to give Rey and Connor room to celebrate Connor's birthday. Truth be told, as much as she didn’t want to sit in one place in the quiant little house, she was afraid of leaving it, too, and had only done so once a scan with the Force had told her that the abyss of darkness and corruption that belonged to her old Master was far away and there was no danger of him appearing as he was wont to do.

    Taking her ship, Jaesa had taken advantage of the vessel’s magitech engines to take it across the Vales, still unable to believe it had taken her until just recently to test the Pandora-specific engines against the anti-tech aura of the region. She flew low, just in case systems did fail, but by the time that happened and she set Ceetoo to begin troubleshooting and repairing, they had got rather far from Rey’s little house, near a dusty-trail and some equally dusty ruins. There was a small village nearby, but she had no intention of going there. She wanted to be alone, not surrounded by other people.

    Besides, it didn’t take long before she sensed something through the Force. Not her old Master getting closer, but still some kind of danger nonetheless. A short venture through the ruins along the trail brought her close enough to hear screams, sense panic and fear and pain through the Force.

    And that was how she could be found a little while later perched easily on the very top of a narrow, crumbling pillar, crouched like a bird of prey, the ends of her dark scarf fluttering behind her. For a while, she only watched the bandits shoving along the group of villagers. She was more interested in the bearded man she could see, as weathered as the ruins themselves, her sense of him through the Force undeniably light, and familiar. As he finally went to the rescue of a child - Jaesa would have at least jumped in there, if he hadn’t - and slammed another, nearer pillar into the bandit, Jaesa thought back to what little Anakin had said. Luke was old now. She had never seen any old Force users in Pandora before except for Vader before he’d been de-aged again. Could this be--

    Tapping into the facet of the Force that was unique only to her, the former Jedi reached out for him, delving past his thoughts and emotions, diving into the pieces that came together to build him. His nature. Her breath caught, and as the bandit stirred on the ground, Jaesa straightened from her perch, leaping lightly from pillar to pillar, archway to crumbling wall, before she jumped down nearby, feet making barely any sound on the dusty ground.

    "Hello, Luke," she said, her voice mild, dark eyes scanning him. It was definitely Luke. Once she sensed someone’s nature she could always identify them no matter how old they became or how different they looked. Even when someone’s personality changed, she could still identify them. When Vader had bade her look into him, she had seen Anakin within him. This was, without a doubt, Luke. Her eyebrows quirked as she took in the sight of the man who had been the first person she’d met in Pandora, who had given her a roof in Horizon, had helped her train, and had then left her when she’d been kidnapped by Sauron. She’d hated him for a long, long time, but as she’d realised the time before this that Luke had come in, so much younger still, her hatred had cooled, hardening to indifference. "You’ve let yourself go." Would he have the memories of his previous selves?
     
    #2 Jaesa Willsaam, Aug 22, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2019
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  3. Luke Skywalker

    Luke Skywalker Star Wars

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    [​IMG]

    Eyeing up the cracked column, then their crumpled friend, the other bandits made a wise decision and clattered off down the Trail on their bellowing mounts. Thick plumes of dust rose up behind them, bringing with it a dry, chalky smell.

    Luke turned to regard the small girl, who was no longer crying and shivering as though cold, but gaping at him. He twitched his lips in a semblance of a smile and raised his normal hand. The gesture jolted her out of her trance and she ran from him, darting inside the cantina. Hooded figures that smashed pillars into men, no matter how bad, likely did not fill children with much trust.

    He’d spent so long agonizing over his decision to help, then fixating on the child’s safety, that he had neglected to pick up on the presence of a Force user looming overhead like a hawk, or Krayt dragon. His attention was drawn to them when he felt a beak or claw probing inside him, seeking out the choicest cuts.

    Beneath his dark hood, Luke scowled at the coy intrusion. Somebody was using the Force to peer inside him and… What? He was uncertain of their intent. Nobody had ever used the Force in such a manner around him.

    As the slim figure leapt down an erratic stairway of pillars and arches to join him, he reached out with his senses to learn more about them, but did not trespass inside their head. That was rude and beneath him, or so he liked to think. In his mind, he perceived a gray-purple light billowing around the outline of this person, this woman. She was not Light. Not Dark. Something in between?

    The situation grew still more confusing when she addressed him with familiarity, her less than flattering remark causing him to puff out his cheeks in affront. She knew him, perhaps very well, yet he failed to experience any feelings of familiarity. Inexplicably, it made him feel bad.

    He lowered the hood of his cloak with both hands, revealing his kinked gray hair and cautious frown. “Who are you? You should ask before you take such an intimate look at a person.” He instantly regretted his reproachful remark, because it made him sound like a cantankerous grandparent.
     
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  4. Jaesa Willsaam

    Jaesa Willsaam Star Wars

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    The bandits all fled, much to Jaesa's disappointment. She could have done with a good fight, in some vain attempt to combat just how hopeless she felt everything - her constant state of fear that her former Master would come down on her head, and how difficult it was getting through each day when the man she loved sat in their bond in her head with no memories of loving her in return - else was. But the bandits were suddenly gone, and when the little girl Luke had saved fled from him too, that left only the two Force users.

    For a moment, she ignored the obvious question to quirk an eyebrow at the following remark. Anakin was right. He was grumpy. Nothing like the Luke she'd known at all. Life had not been kind, it seemed.

    "I wanted to make sure it was you," she replied, not deigning to explain how she had found out. Even though Luke had been the first friend she'd made in Pandora years ago, he had never found himself on the very small list of people who knew about her unique powers in the Force. Anakin had, but never Luke. If things had continued as they had originally been, idyllic and simple, in Horizon, she probably would have told him. But then Sauron had come into the picture and Luke had not searched for her and then he must just have ignored the fact that Anakin had taken her captive in his father's ill-advised attempt to force her back to the Light. That had been when she'd hated him. For a long time. But not only had that hatred cooled some time ago, but once again Luke knew nothing of their history. "Normally, not even other Force users notice I'm doing anything."

    She adjusted the scarf around her neck, long dark hair fluttering in the dry, dusty wind and drifted closer. Though she had not touched the long hilt of her saberstaff at her waist, there was an inherent rolling and dangerous grace to every step; the sign of someone who knew very well how to use it. Perhaps if Luke managed to get a close enough look he might have noticed that the hilt was identical down to the last marking to the saberstaff that Rey had used.

    "So I guess Anakin was right," she mused, cocking her head to the side as she regarded him. "Pandora brought him back in young, and it brought you back in old." She snorted. "That's a pretty messed up sense of humour even for this place."
     
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  5. Luke Skywalker

    Luke Skywalker Star Wars

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    [​IMG]

    Luke listened in silence to the lady, his scowl deepening when she pointed out that he was old. He’d kept his gloomy gaze on the hilt of her lightsaber ever since she’d prowled like a felid towards him. He recognized that design. Had glimpsed it only recently, in fact.

    “You’re Rey’s friend,” he said, his voice verging on wary. “Jaesa.”

    And presumably, his father’s friend, too.

    He puffed in his cheeks, not sure he approved of Rey and “Ani” being friends with somebody who he couldn’t clearly identify as Light. His father had failed to mention a Jaesa, which made Luke wonder if he was hiding something from him. Was this what his father did when he neglected his chores and wandered off the island? Saw strange girls?

    Luke could feel panic trying to claw its way out of him, but he managed to keep himself under rigid self-control. The prospect of losing his child father to the dark side of the Force chilled him. So did losing Rey. They were the future of the Jedi now.

    But the grievous mistake he’d made with his nephew had taught him not to jump to conclusions. He couldn’t fly into a rage and accuse Jaesa of leading Rey and “Ani” astray just because she didn’t shine with a bright, blinding light.

    “I was here before? I don’t remember anything,” he shook his head. “But I believe you all right. It’s hard not to when your father is a nine year old boy.” He thought fleetingly of Bastila Shan. A Jedi from an ancient civilization.

    “Do you mind if we walk? I’ve got to reach somewhere before nightfall.” Luke began to stride purposefully off down the dusty road, his boots crunching across the sandy stone and soil. He watched the pale ground, face thoughtful. “Did you used to know me very well?”

    A disturbing thought invaded his head, which had him glancing sharply at Jaesa. He was painfully aware that she was young and pretty, while he was gray and had a bit of a paunch heavily lined like an ancient oak. Heat crept up his neck. He experienced a trickle of awkwardness that he hadn’t felt since he’d been nothing more than a kid, crushing on his sister Nakari Kelen.

    “Did we have a... Close relationship?”
     
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  6. Jaesa Willsaam

    Jaesa Willsaam Star Wars

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    She noticed his gaze lingering on the hilt of her saberstaff, of course, and wondered why up until he spoke, of Rey, identifying her by name as Rey's friend. She quirked an eyebrow because she hadn't realised Rey and Luke had run into each other in Pandora, or that Luke had paid enough attention to the younger woman's lightsaber in order to realise that that one and the one at her own waist were identical.

    "Yes," she answered simply. Something about putting her name to her face and identifying her as Rey's friend put him on edge, his tone almost wary and panic beginning to well up inside him. She wondered vaguely if it was because of her rather ambiguous standing in the Force. He was like Rey; light enough to make Jaesa feel like she was cast further into shadow. Luke would be able to sense that darkness in her, no matter that things were more complicated than that.

    She moved to fall into step with him as he walked off, her gaze shifting around them as she cast out with her unique facet of the Force, checking to see where her former Master was. Far away, much too far to be any kind of threat, so she relaxed a little, returning her gaze to the dusty road ahead.

    While Jaesa expected the first question, the second came as a surprise. A close relationship, he asked, and she understood immediately what he was implying. He wondered if they had been lovers. She couldn't help the humourless chuckle. "Nothing like that," she answered. That role in her life was taken up by his nephew, a thought that only filled her with pain and sadness, because even though she could feel Kylo in the back of her head, he still didn't remember her. To him, she was just a woman he'd slept with once a few weeks ago. That was it. He knew nothing of the love they shared.

    She didn't want to talk about that, so she didn't bother mentioning that the only close relationship she had was with Luke's nephew. "We were friends a few years ago," she continued. "You were about my age. Bit younger, maybe." She glanced at him, once again taking in his weathered face. "I was friends with both you and your father, though Anakin and I were closer."
     
    #6 Jaesa Willsaam, Sep 9, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2019
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  7. Luke Skywalker

    Luke Skywalker Star Wars

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    [​IMG]

    He let out a breath, relieved to hear that they hadn’t been involved in a romantic relationship. Not that she wasn’t an attractive young lady. He was sure her beauty would’ve left his younger self tongue-tied and gaping at her like she was a rare and exotic species of animal. Luke was simply relieved because it spared them any awkwardness his mature age might’ve brought them.

    His question had provoked a change in the currents of the Force that surrounded and passed through Jaesa. Pain. Melancholy. She loved somebody, but they were not within her reach. Somebody who was dead? Somebody who hadn't returned her affections? It wasn’t his place to ask.

    Luke wondered if his father was the object of her discomfort. Could Jaesa have been his mother? Time in this galaxy was so twisted and confused that it wouldn’t have surprised Luke if this young lady had given birth to him. He promptly dismissed the absurd idea, though, sure he would’ve felt something in the Force if they had been blood.

    A part of him was disappointed and affronted that she had liked his father better than him. Admittedly, she hadn’t put it in those particular words, but that was how his more prideful emotions had interpreted them. Hubris rearing its ugly head again. Was it because of his father that she had a significant vein of darkness running close to her heart?

    “How old was my father back then?” Luke asked, his voice taut with suspicion. He gave her a wary, appraising look, before shifting his attention back on the path.

    They turned a sharp bend in the dusty trail, coming across one of the bandits’ mounts. He presumed it belonged to the bandit that he'd knocked off its back, because it was on its own. The long, gnarled fingers of a bent and battered tree gripped its reins. It flattened its floppy ears at the sight of them, a guttural cry welling up from the depths of its throat. A predator would find it an easy meal.

    Luke detached his lightsaber from his belt, igniting it with his gloved hand. Green light spilled across his grizzled face and lengthened his shadow. Unleashing another deep bellow, the creature tried to stumble back from them on knobbly legs, but the skeletal branches held on tight to those reins.
     
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  8. Jaesa Willsaam

    Jaesa Willsaam Star Wars

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    She turned her head to gaze at him when he asked how old his father had been when she'd known him, wondering what the point of him asking was or why he was so suspicious. With retrospect available to her and no longer being naive and beholden to the Jedi Order's hypocrisy, he reminded her a little of Master Karr.

    "Depends on which period you're asking about," she answered with a shrug. "First time I knew him, the three of us were around the same age." Back then, she'd been a padawan and Luke had become a fast friend while Anakin had remained as suspicious of her as this old Luke seemed to be. It had taken some time for her to learn that Anakin had known her previous self.

    "Second time... I don't know. It was hard to tell. But definitely older." She shrugged carelessly again, not having ever cared how old he was. She was also heedless of the fact that she had probably just made Luke's suspicions worse by confirming that she had once known Anakin as Darth Vader. Never mind that it had been that version of Anakin she'd become close to. If Luke wanted to judge her for having become close to Vader, that was his choice and she didn't care less. Vader had been invaluable as a mentor for her for nearly two years and when he'd taken the name of Anakin back, well... He'd become invaluable as a friend, too. She missed him. A nine-year-old boy was no replacement for a close friend.

    When they turned a bend and came across one of the mounts trapped by thin, bare branches of a tree, Jaesa watched him as he deactivated his lightsaber. Green. Like her old Master's. Letting out a soft huff, the former padawan folded her arms, moving away from the panicked animal and leaning up against the trunk of another tree, waiting for the old man to be done saving the animal, or killing it to put it out of its misery. Either way, Jaesa couldn't care and just waited for him to be done. "Not sure I see why it matters how old he was last time anyway."
     
    #8 Jaesa Willsaam, Sep 18, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2019
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  9. Luke Skywalker

    Luke Skywalker Star Wars

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    [​IMG]

    Murmuring soothing words, he approached the snorting and thrashing animal, his gaze on that thick snarl of branches and reins. He raised his humming lightsaber, intending to slice through the tangled mass and free the beast of burden, but hesitated at Jaesa’s last offhand comment.

    Luke gave her a surly, suspicious squint, blowing out his cheeks. He could see why she was friends with Rey. He’d heard a saying on this planet… Like two peas in a pod.

    “It matters all right,” he murmured gloomily, still holding his lightsaber as though to strike something. Or someone. “I can’t tell where you side, Jaesa. Light? Dark?

    “I know why I was brought to this place,” he said, casting his eye to the rich blue sky, the rich brown earth. “My father and I. We’ve made mistakes in our lifetimes. We’ve failed people. We’ve been weak. Unwise. It’s my purpose to help him... Help us both be better people. I can’t let the dark side of the Force seduce him again."

    He paused a moment, grimacing at the potential affront his next words might cause Jaesa: “Do I need to worry about you... Influencing him?”
     
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  10. Jaesa Willsaam

    Jaesa Willsaam Star Wars

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    Jaesa said nothing as he spoke, merely watching and listening, though she couldn't help but raise her eyebrows at the accusatory way that he pointed out how he couldn't tell where she fell when it came to the Force. He had no idea just how complicated that matter was.

    Then she laughed as he continued, talking of knowing why he'd been brought here, how he'd been brought here for a purpose. "That's a load of bullshit," she replied sharply. "Whatever powers that be that bring people here just do it at random because they're sadistic fucking bastards. To stand there and believe that you got singled out for a purpose is just egotism. And that's not very becoming of a Jedi Master." She snorted again, the contempt in her tone clear.

    She couldn't believe there was actual order and purpose behind people being brought here, because if that were the case, what had been the purpose for her? She'd still been a padawan when she'd arrived in this world, and Pandora had stripped that away from her. Pandora had made her suffer again, and again, and again. What kind of purpose was there in that? No. It was all random.

    "Maybe you ought to stop thinking you can let anything happen or not happen to Anakin," she continued shortly, leaning her head back against the tree. The stupid animal stuck to the tree continued trumpeting in fear but she ignored it. "He already seems a little tired of you, and he's already contacted me to confide in things to because he doesn't feel like he can with you." She shrugged her shoulders. "Maybe you ought to start thinking of working with him instead of assume you can force his path just because he's younger. As for whether I might corrupt him..." She settled her gaze on him, dark eyes on cold blue, and cocked her head to the side. "Not everyone who isn't light wants to corrupt." Take Rey, for example. She and Rey had been friends for over a year, and she hadn't twisted her to the dark side.
     
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  11. Luke Skywalker

    Luke Skywalker Star Wars

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    [​IMG]

    Luke was deathly silent, listening to her scathing words. He averted his gaze to the ground, pouting thoughtfully. Not three months ago, he would’ve snarled back that Jedi Masters were egotistical, so wrapped up had he been in his grief and disillusionment. Did he feel the same way now? No. Not after the Force had brought him Rey. Not after Master Yoda’s visit.

    Though Jaesa had criticized him, he sensed pain beneath those barbed words, an anger and bitterness that wasn’t entirely directed at him. She’d suffered in this world. Under the hardened layers of his own grief and pain, he ached in sympathy, wishing that he could help.

    “I didn’t mean to imply that I was singled out by a power… An energy…” he began. “I meant that we’re all put here to find our own purpose. If you really don’t mean to corrupt, I could help you find yours one day?” He raised his head, giving her an earnest look that took years off his age.

    Luke reflected on what she’d said about his father, he already seems a little tired of you, which had him frowning and putting those years back on his face. It’d stung… It continued to sting, knowing that little “Ani” had confided in her rather than his own flesh and blood. Maybe Luke had been too strict with him? Too much like a teacher instead of family?

    He should’ve thanked Jaesa, then assured her that he would act on her advice and insight, but his hurt feelings got the better of him. Luke uttered a little grunt, turning his back on her to slice through branches with his lightsaber and free the keening animal. Its cold, wavering fear spiked along the Force like a surge in electricity. He expected it to plunge off down the earthen path.

    Luke didn’t expect it to slam its big, blocky head into his torso, throwing him to the ground on his back. Aching dully, he hefted himself up on to his side in time to see the creature rearing at Jaesa, its huge front hooves descending and threatening to split open her skull.
     
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  12. Jaesa Willsaam

    Jaesa Willsaam Star Wars

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    She was about to snap back a reply when he raised his eyes to her again, suddenly seeming less the cantankerous old man and more the kind young one she had once been friends with those years ago. Far from putting her at ease, though, the sudden change in his expression and his offer just made her lips twist. "I don't need your help," she said, a bite to her tone. "There's only one Jedi whose help I'll accept and that is not you."

    Obi-Wan Kenobi had been that Jedi, here in Pandora, the only one from that Order she had been able to trust since she had defected. Even though she'd been new to the dark side, even though he'd found her standing over the corpse of a man she'd accidentally murdered in a rage she hadn't been able to control, Obi-Wan hadn't judged. He hadn't fought her, hadn't sought to restrain her. He'd just offered help, and he had not given her old, tired platitudes about the Jedi or tried to push her back to the light side, either. He'd just... helped her learn how to control the baser impulses that had been released when she'd been pushed to the dark side. His help, along with that of Darth Vader at the same time, had been invaluable, and had cemented her place as probably the only Force user to be trained by Jedi and Sith at the same time.

    She couldn't have accepted Luke's help though. Even if this wasn't the same Luke, she still blamed him in some small way for what had befallen her in the past three years. If Luke had searched for her when she'd gone missing, had tracked her down and helped her escape Sauron in those early days... Maybe everything that had happened since could have been avoided. Maybe she wouldn't be the broken mess she was today.

    When Luke freed the beast from the clutches of the tree, Jaesa also expected it to flee to safety, and was startled when it instead butted its head into Luke's chest, tossing him back like an antique doll. Jaesa didn't really care what happened to him, but she did care about the fact that the beast had wheeled on her, rearing with a terrified scream, hooves flashing in the sunlight filtering through the trees.

    As suddenly as it had all happened, Jaesa was faster. She thanked her years of training Form III, and the ridiculously fast reflexes that form had given her. Her hilt was in her hand and in a flash there were twin golden blades, transforming the long metal rod into a saberstaff of unusual yellow. All she needed was a quick jabbing motion, thrusting the far blade deep into the beast's chest with the hiss of cauterising flesh. As it fell, she leaped to the side, pulling the golden blade free and deactivating it as the animal died screaming on the ground, plainly unconcerned by its fate.
     
    #12 Jaesa Willsaam, Sep 29, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2019
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  13. Luke Skywalker

    Luke Skywalker Star Wars

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    Her bitter response had him pouting at the ground, hurt, confusion and outrage all fighting to dominate him. He sensed that her surly, smoking resentment hadn’t entirely been provoked by his words, his accusations, but something his younger counterpart had done or said. Perhaps he had failed Jaesa, as he had failed his nephew, pushing her into the waiting arms of the Dark?

    His stomach churned uneasily. He felt sick. If he was right, he could not avoid making that terrible mistake even here. He must not allow it to happen a third time. Father...

    And which Jedi did she mean? It was too late to ask questions. He’d released the terrified animal, unwisely, and it was bearing down upon Jaesa with a strangled scream.

    He sensed her intention, which had him leaping to his feet. “Jaesa! No!”

    Luke threw out a hand, intending to slam a burst of Force into the beast, but she’d already dealt with the situation. He wrinkled his nose at the acrid stench of cooked hair and meat, the creature smelling like a bantha carcass left three days out under the twin glares of the Tatooine suns.

    Due to its great bulk, the animal took an awful minute or two to die from its fatal wound, its shrill bellows and shrieks falling away to muffled silence, while its thrashing simultaneously grew weak, grew still. He felt the cold electricity of its fear and pain and desperation, its very life, pour out of its silent, still body, leaving behind nothing but an empty husk.

    Luke closed his eyes briefly at that sickening feeling of nothingness, his mind numbing shock giving away to regret: He should’ve taken more care releasing it from the branches. To a welling sense of pity towards the animal, which then shifted to concern: Had it struck Jaesa? Was she okay? Before he finally settled on dismay and disappointment.

    “How could you?” he said, his tone one of softly spoken affront. It wasn’t dissimilar to the voice he’d used on Rey when she'd gone straight to the Dark. You didn’t even try to stop yourself. “It was scared, Jaesa! There were other ways to defend yourself!”
     
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  14. Jaesa Willsaam

    Jaesa Willsaam Star Wars

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    Jaesa heard him call her name. She heard him try and get her to stop, and she just ignored him, plunging one of the twin golden blades into its body anyway. Quite why she did it sh wasn't even sure. She could have done all manner of other things to stop it from splitting her skull open with its hooves. There was a time when she wouldn't have even dreamed of bringing out the lightsaber to deal with a frightened animal.

    Maybe she'd done it because Luke had offered her help... because he must have looked at her and seen something in her eyes that suggested she could be won fully back to the Light by an old and bitter excuse for a Jedi who was a poor excuse for a Master of the Order. She would never be Jedi again. Maybe that was why she had jumped straight to killing the beast - to underline that fact, undeniably.

    Dark eyes turned to Luke as he berated her, sounding so soft and horrified as though she'd just murdered a child instead of a beast that had attacked her first. For a long moment, her expression was as cool and collected as any Jedi's. For a long moment, it could have been padawan Jaesa Willsaam gazing at him, until she finally spoke.

    "And now it isn't." She returned her saberstaff to its place at her belt. She looked down at the dead animal, and for a moment, she felt guilt, but she smothered it. This was what she was, after all, wasn't it? A monster? Just a few days earlier, before her memories had come back and returned to reality, she had assisted Sauron in all manner of tortures and torments against his prisoners. The very elf she'd helped escape when her memories had shifted back to normal, she'd inflicted so much hurt and suffering on him. That was what she did, because of her former Master. There was so much blood on her hands, what was another life on top of it all?

    She looked back to Luke, a heavy and hot breeze rippling through the area, making the dry branches whisper and ruffling her long dark hair and the end of the scarf that hid the marks Sauron had left at her throat. "Don't bother with your platitudes. I was in the Order long enough to have heard it all before." If he didn't remember his past times here, that would be the first he'd have known of her once being Jedi herself, but she didn't care what he may think of such a revelation. "I have no interest in bringing anyone else down the path I was dragged down, but when it comes to me... You can't help me."
     
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  15. Luke Skywalker

    Luke Skywalker Star Wars

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    [​IMG]

    That revelation surprised him. He stared at her a long moment, lips parted a fraction. Jedi... Order... One formed in this place? Or like Bastila Shan, was she from a different era? An era where he had not been the last Jedi. The latter was the most likely, given how this place was fond of twisting and contorting the timelines of its inhabitants.

    At the insistence that he could not help, he pressed his lips into a firm line, his eyes narrowed and thoughtful. Not three months ago, he would’ve scowled and shaken his head, then stormed off down the path, sullenly content to let her go. Not three months ago, he wouldn’t have offered her help in the first place!

    The wrinkles deepened in his forehead. Had his younger self been friends with this woman before or after she’d left the Order? What had provoked her to leave? Even now, he could sense the bitterness and pain billowing off Jaesa, like smoke rising from glowing coals. It even had a smell, a taste, to him. Acrid ashes and bitter carbon. If this was his fault, then he had to help.

    Luke suddenly felt much older than fifty-three, more like a hundred and three, a weight threatening to break his back. He had so many people to help. So many mistakes to correct. He had to nurture the light inside his father. He had to build bridges with Rey. He could not lose either of them! Then there was his nephew… He had no idea where to start with him. And of course he had to restore balance to the sacred island on Saint Sacul.

    Now, he had Jaesa. A former Jedi who did not want his help. Who insisted he couldn’t help.

    He found himself nodding grimly, his voice quiet: “Maybe not today.”

    There was a promise in those words. He needed time to meditate and dwell on this problem, but he wasn’t giving up on Jaesa… Not on anybody.

    He slipped the hood of his cloak over his head, then started to stride purposefully off down the path.
     
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  16. Jaesa Willsaam

    Jaesa Willsaam Star Wars

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    There was something like grim amusement touching her expression at the surprise in his at her revelation. He had not expected her to be a former Jedi. Maybe he had assumed her to be Sith, or perhaps a neutral Force user who had never been formally trained, like Rey.

    Instead, most of what Rey knew had come from her, before she'd deemed herself an unsuitable teacher due to her connection to the dark.

    When he nodded, at first she was satisfied, hoping that he was just going to leave it and her alone. But instead his words just reminded her of one of the reasons why she hated Jedi. They never kept their self-righteous noses out of other people's fucking business.

    The darkening of her expression, the twisting of her lips, gave away every bit of how much she would not ever want his help, but she saw no point in arguing. If he tried to find and approach her in the future, she would send him packing, and if he refused then she would make him leave her be. With that thought in her mind, she turned, scarf whipping behind her in the wind, and walked away in the opposite direction

    --THE END
     
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