By the hands of the Gods, you have been plucked from your time and from your world, dropped into the box.
Only the box is a world of its own.
We are a mass crossover based on the concept of Pandora's Box. Characters from nearly any fandom can be played here. Because of the endless character possibilities, we are canon only here at Pandora. Take a peek at our rules and plot information before starting your new life in Pandora.
The sun was starting to sink below the horizon, staining the ocean in colours of pinks and oranges, as Jaesa arrived on the beach she used daily for meditation and training. She had lanterns cradled in her arms that she set down far enough from the surf, for when the light faded too much to see properly without them. At her belt was her saberstaff.
She felt oddly nervous as she stood, facing the ocean, waiting for Rey to arrive. This was to be her first session training someone else. For the first time, she, Jaesa Willsaam, padawan of Nomen Karr, was the teacher rather than the student. If her Master knew what she was doing she would have been in so much trouble, but she pushed that thought away. It would have been worth getting into trouble, wouldn't it, to help someone so new to the ways of the Force?
She hoped so.
Her hands were clasped at her front as her dark eyes gazed out calmly across the ocean. She felt Rey approaching through the Force rather than heard her, footsteps silent on the sand as they were.
"What have you been taught so far?" she asked, turning around to face Rey. The salty sea breeze brushed against her padawan braid, setting it to sway just slightly, the end tickling against her collarbone.
Rey had told Connor where she would be so that he wouldn't worry. She wouldn't have wanted him thinking the worst when she got home later than she had been expected to. She walked gently towards Jaesa, not wanting to startle the other woman by her just appearing too quickly. Rey suspected that this would be different from the last time she had done any kind of Force training, but she supposed that wasn't a bad thing.
"I've learned a lot of combat." She explained, "How to use the Force push and pull." She hummed, "A bit of meditation, though not a lot." She winced as she broke off, pretty sure that was about the sum of her training up until now. She was pointedly ignoring the fact Luke had used fishing to try to teach her the Force recently.
The sound of the surf was gentle around them as Rey approached. Jaesa listened to the other woman's explanation of her lessons thus far. "That's not much..." she said thoughtfully. It was spoken in no way as a criticism of Rey's ignorance, but rather as puzzlement for why she herself had not taught her more than that the last time. "So you only know the basics of using the Force to move objects? And... a little bit of meditation?" She hummed, trying to use that vague explanation as a way to try and figure out where to actually start.
She was not a teacher, after all. She longed for the day that she would finally be permitted to take the trials, to become a Jedi Knight and take a padawan of her own, but even though she thought she was ready, Master Karr had given no sign that he thought she could take the trials yet. And in Pandora she couldn't become a Knight at all. Her progression plan of becoming a Jedi Sentinel was halted. Rey was likely to be the closest thing to having a padawan as she would be able to get.
"Alright..." She let out a small huff, deciding where to start. From what Rey had mentioned, she had not had a good experience with meditation. It was a difficult thing, but worthwhile. "Let's start with meditation. There's little point to learning more with the Force if you can't properly open yourself to and connect with it." With that, she settled herself down on the sand, sitting with her legs crossed beneath her, and gestured for Rey to do the same.
Rey flushed deeply when Jaesa mentioned that it wasn't a lot of things for her to know about the Force when she had reeled off the few things she did know how to do. She knew she was greatly unprepared in terms of what a Force user her age might know, but she'd never had it put quite like that. She nodded, "I know." She said, tucking some hair behind her ear.
Meditation seemed as good a point to start at as any though and she agreed with a nod, "I don't know a lot about meditating, I have tried it a few times but I'm not really good at it." She found it difficult to clear her mind and really connect with the Force. She sat down too as Jaesa invited her.
She noticed the faint flush to Rey's face, but she made no attempt to retract her statement or make it softer. She didn't really know how to teach but she knew how Master Karr had taught her and he had never coddled her. He had always been stern. Master Yonlach, on the other hand, had been kinder and more accepting of mistakes, which had no doubt been why she'd formed a Force bond with him and not Master Karr. She didn't know which teaching method would work, so perhaps trying to achieve a balance between the two would work.
Certainly, she wouldn't be the quiet, uncertain young woman unaccustomed to how friendships worked here.
Jaesa waited for Rey to settle herself on the sand as well. "It can be a difficult thing to get used to," she admitted. "I still struggle sometimes and I've been doing it several times a day every day for over eight years." She took a deep breath, setting her hands lightly on her knees. "Meditation is why I suggested we train here, and why I like to spend my time here." She turned her head, gazing out at the ocean. "If you need a point with which to begin clearing your mind, the sound of the waves is a good one to use. Close your eyes, focus on the ocean, and reach out with your mind to the Force all around us. Around you, around me, around the birds in the sky, even between every grain of sand below us."
Rey had not meditated in some time. She took her time in getting comfortable before listening to Jaesa and her instruction, "Sitting still is usually the thing I find hardest." She explained with a small smile before putting her hands on her knees.
Rey shifted when Jaesa finished speaking, "But then...what?" She asked, feeling a little silly, "How long should I do that for?" It was something she had never understood when she had been asked to meditate in the past. She knew that meditation was something that all Jedi seemed to do to connect with the Force, but Luke had never explained what the benefit of being closer to the Force was or why she had to do it at all.
"Once you attain the proper level of relaxation, it won't really occur to you that you've just been sitting still for a long time." Jaesa smiled. "Not until you pull yourself out of that state and realise your legs are a bit stiff, anyway." It was almost a joke. Sort of. Being raised through adolescence by a pair of old men didn't lend itself to much of a sense of humour.
Jaesa fell silent at Rey's questions and it occurred to her that she clearly didn't know anything about why Force users meditated. Given that it was something she herself still struggled with sometimes, she wasn't entirely sure of how to explain it properly, but she had to at least try.
"There's not really any set duration," she said slowly. "Sometimes, attaining a deep state of awareness in the Force will take longer than other times. It all depends on your emotional state." She frowned, plainly feeling a little out of her depth with trying to explain in a way that Rey would understand. "Gaining a deeper connection to the Force through meditation will allow you an easier time bringing it to do what you want, due to a stronger connection between you and it. It also helps clear your mind of things that would... otherwise distract." For a moment, her thoughts went to Tamar. She had meditated almost the entire night after he had kissed her. Her cheeks flushed a little. "It will take time to learn. A long time. But there can be no achieving mastery over the Force without meditation."
Rey listened to the instructions given to her. It made sense, she supposed, that it would help her to master the Force. It would just be difficult; she was someone who felt like she had to be doing something all the time, working or otherwise, and meditating was an act of being completely still both in mind and body.
She remembered the first lesson she'd had with Luke. It wasn't all about lifting rocks, she understood a lot more now. Rey sat quietly and tried to reach out with the Force to the surrounding area. It took a while for her to clear her mind of the day and of thinking about Connor, their life here and other worries she might have. Instead, she just focused on the life around her, even down to the crashing water on the waves.
It took her a while to be able to sense the life forms around her and the way that the Force was moving around them all but she did after a while, doing exactly what Jaesa had told her to.
Jaesa sat opposite Rey, watching the other begin. She kept her breathing quiet and steady, trying to figure out how to move from here, how to encourage Rey further, how to better teach her this thing that she seemed to struggle so much with. She knew she would have had a much easier time teaching the woman how to "push and pull" things with the Force. Maybe that was why the other Jaesa apparently had not taught her this first. Irresponsible.
She lost track of how long they sat there. Without meditating herself, Jaesa got a little restless sitting there watching the other woman doing it, her feet twitching beneath her. But she focused on what she could sense through Rey of the Force, of how the other woman's perception of it was changing.
"Good," she said softly, her voice carrying just above the rush of the surf. "Open yourself to the Force. Let yourself be carried into it."
Rey listened to Jaesa's instructions as she tried to open herself up to the Force. She had come a long way since she had thought that she had to physically reach out to the Force on Ahch-To rather than in her mind. She tried to open up herself as much as she could, make sure that she could reach out.
"I'm trying." She said softly as she tried to identify the different life forms around her. It was hard to simply sit there and let her mind just focus on the Force rather than the thousands of other things which she could think about during the day. As she opened herself up to the Force, she could sense the life and death of the small area around her, of the fish rushing through the waves and the birds high up in the trees. She settled somewhat and lost herself in moving with wherever it took her.
Jaesa was getting bored. She had her own struggles with meditation and relaxing, but sitting here for all this time watching someone else do it without doing it herself was dull. But she wasn't going to drag the other woman out of her state of deepening awareness just because she was feeling bored and twitchy. So she just sat there, one hand drifting down to the ground beside her, fingers drawing lines through the sand.
"You're doing well," she encouraged as Rey spoke. Not great, but meditation took years to master. Jaesa hardly expected perfect results in their first-- Well. Her first lesson with Rey.
"Keep going for now," she continued softly. "I want yourself to clear your mind completely, open yourself wholly to the Force. When you think you've achieved this, bring yourself back to the here and now and tell me how you feel, and if you think you begin to understand the necessity for meditation."
Rey sat as still as she could, trying to let herself open up to the Force and from that, let it flow through her. She had never been good at this connection, or being able to forge it but she was trying. If it was going to make her relationship stronger with the Force then she would try it. She did not know how much time had passed before she had lost sense of her trying to open up to the Force and just being able to feel everything around her. There were no more worries about her everyday troubles, just simply her relationship with the Force and the life around her and there was so much of it. She could sense something darker too, lurking, but she moved away from that, back to the balance and the bubbling life which surrounded her.
All at once, she came back to herself, like she'd just been shocked with electricity and she blinked a couple of times as though she wasn't sure where she was until her eyes settled on Jaesa and she remembered what she had to do. She tried to sort through her feelings, "I feel...better?" She started, unsure of her feelings herself as she looked genuinely puzzled, "I felt all the life around us." She remembered as she looked down at her hands, realising what was pushing over most of the other feelings, "I think I feel more peaceful."
While Jaesa continued to wait for Rey to get deeper into her meditation, time ticked slowly past, the sun sinking below the horizon and the beach around them darkening until Jaesa eventually got to her feet. She moved, quickly and quietly so as not to disturb her informal student, and began to light each lantern using the Force. Driving the stakes deep into the sand, she created a wide circle of lanterns around them, illuminating their area of the beach.
Eventually, Rey returned to herself, and Jaesa listened to what the other woman had to say. "Good," she said, nodding, pleased with Rey's answer, and smiled. "Really good." Master Karr had always been sparing with outright praise, but Master Yonlach had offered it easier, and she had always preferred Yonlach's methods, if not the location in which he trained her. "Getting into the routine of this will help your mindfulness, keep yourself clear of distractions and most importantly of all, strengthen your connection to the Force so that it will work with you easier."
Gesturing for Rey to rise to her feet, she continued. "Of course, meditation isn't going to do anything if you barely ever use it, so I want you to get into a habit of doing it every day, whenever you can find the time. When I first started out I had to do it five times a day, but obviously our circumstances are different." Rey had to work for a living, for one thing. "But at the very least I want you to do it before you go to sleep every night." She hoped Rey wouldn't take offense at Jaesa giving her tasks and orders. She had wanted Jaesa to train her after all.
Rey liked the sound of being able to work much more closely with the Force. She had never got into a habit with meditation; instead it had always been incredibly haphazard and just when she could remember rather than being something which she had built into a routine and paid real attention to. She paid attention to training in terms of combat but really she had not done in any other ways.
She stood as Jaesa bid her and look at the area around them, realising night had set in, "I didn't realise how long it had been." She said with a small smile, "I will meditate more, it's a good idea." She appreciated the advice. "Is that all for tonight, or is there more?" Rey asked tentatively, as she did not mind either way.
Jaesa nodded as Rey agreed to start getting into a routine with meditation. "In the long run you'll notice the benefits," she continued to encourage. For as long as Rey wanted to continue these sessions, meditation would be a major part and Jaesa would reiterate each time to use it whenever she had the time, at home and at work. Even ten minutes here and there was better than none. And if Rey ended up having a bad day, having learned to meditate would help a lot.
"We can stay out, if you don't need to get back," she answered to Rey's question. "In truth, I... like the company, so I'm in no hurry to get back." She wondered if Tamar might have knocked on her door again that evening. It was one of the reasons she'd wanted to come out here, so she wouldn't have to sit quietly on her bed pretending she was not there. An immature way of dealing with the situation, but she didn't know what else to do.
"What exactly have you learned with the Force?" she asked. "Do you only know the basics of pushing and pulling objects?"
Rey smiled at Jaesa as the light flickered off the pair of them. "I don't need to rush back." She had not specified a time to Connor so there was no reason to suddenly need to hurry back like she had a curfew. She had only mentioned to Connor where she would be so he would not worry; there had been once where she had said she was only stepping out and she had been taken by Semirhage. So, it was natural to be concerned about each other.
When put like that, it sounded like she didn't know that much, "I can try to sense things around me, or Force signatures as well." She hesitated, "I'm keen to learn more though; most I know was so I could fight and protect myself."
She returned Rey's smile, pleased to have the company for longer. It wasn't just a selfish desire for company either, really; she did genuinely want to help Rey get better with the Force, and that wasn't going to be accomplished in any kind of short sessions. If they were doing this properly, if Jaesa had been a Jedi Knight then she would have preferred to take Rey formally as a padawan if she wanted to be trained, and they would have spent much of their time together so that Rey could learn as much as possible through each day.
But Jaesa was not a Knight, was not allowed a padawan, and didn't think she could have comfortably taken one anyway, not when she missed her own Masters so much. She was struggling without guidance herself, let alone with trying to guide a padawan of her own.
She nodded along to Rey's words. "Good reasons to learn," she said. Master Karr had been relentless in teaching her to fight even though he was just as relentless in keeping her away from situations that called for it. "Have you never been shown how to use the Force to deflect and block attacks? It's a very simple application that can save your life."
Rey nodded; she had learned those aspects of the Force for a purpose and it was mainly to make sure she could actually protect herself and her family if she needed to. It had been the main thing she had needed to learn and had been the most important thing for her. Then again, she didn't really know a lot about what she could actually do with the Force. She just knew what she had been taught and what she had seen Kylo or Jaesa do on occasion.
"No, I think I was going to at some point." She frowned, unable to remember if it would have been Kylo or Jaesa who had offered to teach her. Either way, she had not learned. "But I never did."
Jaesa couldn't help the way she shook her head in slight disbelief over how strangely the other Jaesa had prioritised training Rey. Teaching Force Pull and Push without getting Rey to understand the fundamentals of meditation first? Training Rey to fight and protect without including one of the simplest defensive applications of the Force? What had that woman been thinking?
"Alright," she said slowly. She began to walk away, feet padding silently across the sand, towards where the beach gave way to rocks that had been worn smooth by the waves. "Have you seen Force Barrier in action?" she asked, looking back at Rey before she looked down again, eyes scanning what she could see of the rocks in the darkness. Picking one that was of a decent size, not too large to cause any damage but big enough to present a threat more than a simple pebble, she picked it up and hefted it in her hands, carrying it back to the large circle of lanterns.
Rey's eyes lit up when she mentioned a Force barrier. That sounded useful. She remembered the other Jaesa telling her once that the trick was getting the Force to work for her, but she just guessed that she didn't know just how much she could do that until she was told the full extent to Force abilities.
She frowned, unsure if she had seen it before. "No, I don't think so." She might have seen Jaesa or Kylo use one once but she couldn't recall; Luke certainly hadn't. "How does it work?"