Once they got back, Ani couldn’t stop chattering animatedly with her friends.
“I can’t believe we actually got to see the private museum,” gushed Scout, pushing back her long, red hair to put it into a towering bun that the Vorzyd V beings were so famous for.
“Yeah, well at least I was able to miss out on my Astromath test,” Julii said, looking extremely pleased.
“You hypocrite!” Ani exclaimed, pointing an accusing finger at her best friend. “You say how much you like Astromath, and yet you ditch it at the first opportune moment you get!” Julii shrugged her shoulders.
“Hey, everyone needs a break,” she defended, grinning. “We definitely don’t get enough these days!” The mood became somber as they nodded solemnly, having gone through so many classes, seminars, and training sessions regarding the war. The energy supplements Ani had slipped to her friends as well, which gave them a new burst of energy for the second half of the day. It was amazing how lack of proper sleep amplified everything a person thought and felt, when it wasn’t making them too drowsy to stand up straight.
“Come on,” Scout said, breaking into a run, thus breaking the contemplative silence. “We’ve got to get our books quick so we don’t miss out on 7th set.”
“Good point,” Julii confessed, running towards her room. “Hurry up, Ani. You have yet to do those five hours of practice requested by your master. You should start running so that you won’t be late.” Ani started and went in the opposite direction, towards her quarters.
“I’ll see you later, Julii!” she yelled out over her shoulder. A warm feeling had filled her heart, did every time she got together with her friends, regardless of what they had to do or wanted to do. She never wanted to let go of the brightest spot in her life.
“She’s good for her age,” Luminara said, watching as Ani battled an 18-year old kid with her twin lightsabers. “Some rough spots and techniques to work on, but she is not bad compared to the others.”
“Yes, do you know her name’s Ani?” Barriss asked carefully, “She’s one of the best kids in the lightsaber training class. Her master is Master Kaiya Pollo, who’s as tough as hell when it comes to her training. She’s great at almost all her classes, minus cartography, topography, and some of the math classes,” replied Barriss innocently. Luminara eyes still were focused on Ani when Julii ran up to Barriss.
“Master, Master!” she cried, “When will I get to move in with you?”
“Tomorrow, my Padawan,” Barriss replied calmly, gently replacing the windswept braid. She then turned to face Luminara, who faced her with reluctance. “I have recently informed the Council that I have chosen a Padawan,” Barriss declared proudly, draping one arm over Julii’s shoulder.
“I didn’t realize that it was so soon,” Luminara commented dryly.
“Well, I got tired of waiting to see if she’d get chosen yet, because then I’d have a right to fight over her, so I just up and chose her,” Barriss concluded, grinning. “Don’t worry, Julii; the Council has sanctioned my decision, so we are all set.”
“Cool!” exclaimed Julii, giving her master another hug before running off. “See ya, Master! Good night!”
“Good night, Julii,” Barriss chuckled as Julii ran with all she had, not wanting to get penalized for staying out too late. Then, turning to Luminara, she said, “Hey, we probably should head out also. They appear to have finished here, and we have no reason to be here.”
Luminara nodded, not wanting to take her eyes off of Ani, who had won, but curiously was going to the training room.
“I’ll come in a moment,” she said brusquely, before adding gently, “Thank you for prompting me to see this. I forget often just how important the young are to our future, and you refused to let me forget that. Thanks.” Ignoring Barriss’ funny looks, she went down the opposite set of stairs, heading towards the room where Ani was last seen entering. There was a certain young one whom she needed to talk to. She sensed all was not what it appeared to be, and the Fore wanted her to pay attention to her.
If the Force kept dropping lead coated hints like these, she would have to speed things up in order to give in (grudgingly) to the hint it had been dropping her way.