Write a Review

Lessons on the Force


The various collected adventures of Jedi Master Te'Sha Norr and her orphan apprentice, Kos.

Scifi / Fantasy
M.S. Miller
Age Rating:

Lesson of Ach-To

The sun rarely shines on the islands. Days are often tempered by cold rain and rolling mists. Nights are dedicated to the cetas and their ocean songs, carried by the harsh winds to the rocky shores. There are simple lodgings here; huts made of quarried stone, painted with emerald moss; small hewn walls that contour each island to efface the strong, constant winds; manicured squares of needle-grass that emulate the order of lanai which caretake the land – it is seemingly a humble world of modest means. Away from the small pockets of civilization, however, are the highland tors, the sheer stone cliffs of the taller islands, and the small temples dedicated to the old ways, spread between islands like beacons or markers.

Out here amongst the hungry gulls and wind-shaved rocks, a youngling stands on the precipice of an island cliff, eyes closed and mind searching. His arms outstretch as if grasping something. He is soundless as he concentrates. He focuses deeply on his breathing. The syncopation, the simplicity of this act allows him to ignore the incessant gulls that flitter by or the razor cold mist that dews his robes.

The youngling imagines an empty, darkened room, and in this room there is a boulder. The only light that touches anything touches the boulder. Nothing else is present. His breathing is constant and it comes easy. There is no tension in his mind; there is only a singular purpose. Move.

Some hundred yards away on the opposite face of the island cliff, a large stone embedded into the earth shakes. The stone whines as it struggles against the cold, dry dirt, lifting ever so slightly, but ultimately resuming its shiftless posture. The youngling exhales sharply, clearly disheartened. He opens his eyes and looks at the boulder across the tor. He is not angry at it, nor upset, but he is at this moment unsure. He has done this before -- smaller things, yes -- but he thought he had understood the process, the shape of these actions. The youngling drops his arms and takes a deep breath, craning his chin to the sky and feeling the cold mist on his skin.

“Master”, the youngling sighs quietly, “I...can’t. I’ve tried, but I…I know your words, I know what I can do, but I don’t know how to do more.”

The youngling’s master, an auburn robed nagai, sits on a rounded stone beside him. At first, she says nothing, only stares at the youngling, almost through him, as if trying to locate the horizon. She is tall, lithe, gray skinned. Her braided black hair rolls over her thin shoulders like straps, her face half-hidden behind a billowy hood. When she stands, she is nearly three heads taller than her padawan, a human boy of only 17.

“You cannot have more of what you already understand, Kos. How can the ocean be more wet? It is, or it is not. The nature of this is inherent to its being.”

Her voice always reminded him of the ocean cetas that sang at night – ghostly and perpetually out of reach. There was always a quality of softness, of relief in her voice, like falling into a warm bed after a laborious day. A feeling of which the padawan was recently, and often, accustomed to. Although his master may have sounded benign or reticent like the lanai that attended the islands, she would just as easily issue criticism and rebuke, often leaving her padawan amiss in his own self-aspersion. To him, she was like the land they trained upon – green upon gray; cold soil that bore little sustenance or sway: Difficult to thrive on, but incubating life regardless.

“Okay”, the padawan says, nodding. “I will try again.”

The master nods at her padawan, still looking through him.

For the next few hours, the padawan struggles to move his boulder. The rain comes and goes, the wind lifts and surges and dies. For moments that seem to last much longer than they are, the sun daggers through holes in the sky and warms the padawan’s face. When this happens, he ceases his training and indulges in the good feeling: the warmth that rarely comes, and the respite of a strained hand that carries too much.

Just as the day begins to fade, and as the sky breaks from its singular form into more familiar shapes, as the wind calms ever so slightly, and as the stress of a new task, a new understanding is almost secured, the boulder that rests hundreds of yards away begins to drag through the dirt towards the padawan. Kos is sweating from brow to neck, arms outward and clutching. His muscles swell with blood, his heels digging into the earth. He feels the strength of it. He feels every inch of movement like a handsaw through wood. He feels the counter, the pull against, and then he denies it. What barely moved in hours suddenly lurches up from the cold dirt and thrusts itself only a few yards from the padawan’s feet, landing with a thunderous blow.

Kos pants, opening his eyes. He nearly collapses from the strain of it all, having to catch himself. A smile broadens his face and he whips his head towards his master who still gazes through him.

“There!” Kos says through bated breath, “I did—I-I did it! Master Te’sha! Look. Look! I can’t believe…it took so long, I didn’t think…”

Te’sha stands from her rounded rock, closes her eyes. Kos suddenly feels equal parts elation as apprehension. There is something he missed. He did it, but he knows he also did not. His excitement fades quickly, as if embarrassed by it. He catches his breath, wipes the sweat from his face. He re-adjusts his robes, left over right, cleaning his appearance. His head lowers, waiting for the oncoming moral.

“This world is covered in water. Ninety-four percent of it, in fact. There are an enumerable amount of these islands across this vast ocean, some no bigger than our hut back home. This is untenable for us, Kos. We could not thrive here; this world was never meant for our kind. We would say this world is too harsh, despite its muted beauty.”

Kos remains silent, searching his master’s eyes for a mooring.

“And yet, the order sought fit to establish itself here, the first temple. Not Tython, or Jedha, or Ossus, or Hulo. Here. Do you know why?”

“N-No, master.”

“It is the same reason why assuming this world is harsh or unlivable. You hear them at night, every night. I know you do. The cetas bleat their songs across the winds and those songs are carried miles over miles, all over the world. No island on this planet is away from them. Not one. Beasts as large as starships; larger even. So large in fact, the death of one will create a reef of unimaginable beauty – because life will come to collect its offering, its flesh, and hundreds of different species will flourish because of it. This world has more life in it than most worlds touched by the Republic. Under the roaring seas, right here under this cold earth.”

“I—I’m not sure I understand, Master Te’Sha.”

Kos suddenly realizes he is soaking and cold. His stomach yearns and stretches. He hopes his master cannot hear it as he can. He remains stoic.

“Perspective, padawan. Perspective is the reason the Jedi came here. Perspective is the reason why one is wrong when they assume this world as harsh or unlivable. Perspective is why you struggled today.”

“The boulder?” Kos asks, pointing at the hundreds of pounds of stone only feet away from him.

“To one’s perspective, padawan, the moon is but a point in the sky, inexorable, dwarfing, a distance as vast as the ocean of this world.”

Te’Sha points to the hazy view of a brown moon, peeking out from a hole in the clouds. The distance is easily understood to Kos. He nods, asking her to continue.

Te’Sha begins to walk towards the boulder; gliding, really. Her movement is precise and graceful and haunting, much like her wisdom. As much as it makes Kos uneasy, it also begs his attention and curiosity.

“The Force connects all things and all things flow from the Force. The death that pays for life; the weight of something; the things that we think impossible; these all flow from the Force.”

“Yes, Master.”

“You struggled with lifting that stone, yes?” Te’Sha asks, already knowing the answer. Kos feels his cheeks fluster. “The truth is that boulder is a lie. It is not a solid thing. It is not a heavy thing. It is comprised of mostly space. And potential. It is empty. It is a vessel for the Force. You strive and struggle to move the weight of it, as you perceive it as having weight, but to the Force, it is simply an aspect of itself made manifest. Like an idea from your head as easily expressed. It is a shade of color among all colors. Everything is connected through the Force, thus everything is the Force. To move a boulder, or a man, or a moon, is to pluck a blade of grass from the earth. The Force is parity incarnate – this is my lesson to you. Perspective, young padawan, is why we are here.”

Te’Sha stares at Kos, at her padawan, and places her palms up at her waist. There is silence for a few moments and then a terrible whooshing is heard, waves crashing violently against the island. A deep rumble is felt in Kos’s chest like the pounding of a murderous war-drum. He has to keep himself from falling over, even though Te’Sha remains unfazed and stoic.

Kos looks around as a lothcat would search for a predator, until he feels the presence behind him. He is almost too scared to look, but as he senses it above him now, he has no choice but to crane his neck up and take in the magnificence of female ceta hovering a hundred feet above him.

Te’Sha guides the half-mile long beast effortlessly towards the other end of the island. Kos is stunned speechless, mouth agape. This island being one of the larger islands, there was just enough room to set the great beast down comfortably. All the while, Te’Sha never straying from her gaze at her padawan.

The hulking begins to howl in song soon after touching the earth. Kos can sense its unease. Not quite pain, but fear, yes. A fear like understanding something you were never meant to know. A horrifying perspective never once dreamed of. The great beast mews loudly, its belly undulating in song. However, even in its fear, it sings with beauty. Kos cannot stop his heart from racing, his ears from aching. He looks at his master, but she does not reciprocate. Even though she is looking right at him, he knows she is not. It is a feeling of being alone, even though he knows he is not.

“M-Master? I—what should I do?”

“This poor creature cannot live long on this tor. It will die if not moved.”

“I—-b-but I-I don’t…”, Kos stammers. He looks at his master, then the beast, then his master again. She gives him no respite, no quarter, no help. He breathes quickly, unsure. He looks at the dying beast, feeling its fear wash over him like the cold winds of the island. Then he steps forward, calms himself as best he can. He closes his eyes and exhales deeply. He stretches his arms out, palms open. He concentrates.

The padawan can barely move the ceta. It feels as if trying to lift the island itself. Minutes pass and the ceta’s wailing intensifies. Its song is so bleak and so loud it begins to break the padawan’s concentration, his ears feeling as if they’ll shatter. He calls out to his master.

“Master Te’Sha! Please! I-I can’t stop it…I can’t move it! I can’t do it!”

“It will die if you do not”, Te’Sha says coldly.

“M-Master! Please…”

In a last bid effort, Kos puts all of his might into it, but can only move the beast a few inches. He collapses and mews along with the ceta, panting and clutching his chest. Te’Sha moves to her padawan, looms over him. He looks up at her and she reciprocates for the first time that day.

“Know this, padawan: Perspective is why you failed, and perspective is why failure exists at all.”

Te’Sha repeats her movements when she placed the ceta upon the island. The gargantuan beast mews and sings so loudly, it shakes the very air and ground like the engine wash of a starship, but it tapers off as Te’Sha lifts it and it slowly ascends, passes above the master and apprentice, and then back into the bosom of the great ocean.

The wind dies down. The cold is not felt. The bitterness of the air and of the day seems to dissipate as the beast is returned to its rightful world. Even the ocean calms, its hazardous waves now at a low tumble. The sky is cleaner, brighter, even as the sun diminishes. Kos props himself up, dusts his umber hued robes off, and tries to control his racing heart. He bows his head at his looming master.

“I—I’m sorry, master. I will…take your words into consideration. I think – I was unfocused, I’m sorry. I will be better.”

“Listen to me well, young apprentice: This is not a matter of power, but of nature. This is the perspective the Jedi of old sought here. All things are one of another, from the genesis of life, to its apex, to its dissolution – it is the will of the Force and all things are bound to its will.”

Te’Sha raises an arm towards the sky as if plucking a fruit from a tree. Her eyes burn with truth and it uneases Kos. There is no undue emotion from her, however. She isn’t trying to convince or manipulate her padawan – for what use is swaying an argument with words when you can simply show someone the truth of things?

“To move a boulder, or a beast, or a moon, is to pluck a blade of grass from the earth. The Force is parity incarnate – this is my lesson to you, padawan. Perspective is all that stands between you and me. Accept this, and you will know.”

Te’sha exhales and closes her eyes. Her hand reaches for the brown moon hanging in the Ach-To sky. Surely she can’t be doing what he thinks she’s doing? Right? That would be impossible…

Master Te’Sha endures in her pose, slowly pinching her fingers together. Then her arm drops a few inches, plucking that fruit from that tree. She opens her eyes and smiles at her padawan. She sees the incredulity in her apprentice’s eyes. This fortifies her smirk.

“Well, I think that is enough for today. Let’s head back home.”

“O-okay. I mean, yes, master.”

“I think…I will make you that pottage you enjoy, tonight.”

“With the lemons?” Kos says a little too excitedly. “I, uh, I mean, I would like that. Very much.”

“Lemon porg pottage it is, then. It has been a long day, no?”

Kos nods.

“Okay. Come then, I will need help with the potatoes. And the herbs will need a heavy mincing. I will not endure stems like last time.”

Te’Sha begins to walk down the precipice of the rocky island, back towards their stone hut. Kos smiles and ignores the absolute fatigue his body suffers from, following his master down the rocky tor to the shoreline and to a hot meal.

Kos glances at the moon before it fades behind a wall of clouds. He stops for a moment and stares at it, wondering if it’s moved. Surely it couldn’t’ve, he thinks. Is such a thing even possible? He watches the moon until he hears his name called out. He snaps to and answers his master.


No, it must have been a lesson, or part of the lesson. There’s no master of any kind who could do such a thing. Still, the ocean was never more aggressive than the next few weeks before they left Ach-To. It may have been a coincidence, or it may have been something else, he could not know.

These things are always a matter of perspective, in the end.

Continue Reading Next Chapter
Further Recommendations

CELENE G🖤: La chica tiene visión eso no se puede negar y por supuesto que su primera vez la quiere con ternura y amor y solo nuestro Jimin puede hacerlo tiene un punto la Darinka ni que discutir veamos cómo lo desenvuelves mie amada escritora 😘 besos en la cola jajajajajajaja

Temitope: The story is compelling as it is captivating. Looking forward to how it unfolds. Interesting dynamics with the intergalactic twist.

karene911: A sweet little vampire story , a bit of a different take on Vamps, I enjoyed reading it very much, not as much blood and gore as I expected so that was a giant plus for me. Set in old times so I kinda had a black and white movie in my head while reading. Felt like it needed more closure but she ...

judithsmitherman: I love this book please I need more chapters. 

nanacinda58: It was very well written. Story kept your interest up. Strong woman character.

Lisa: I really like the story and characters.

Leanna: I like the 4 kinghts. I would recommend it to my friends.

Carolyn Russell: Loved this sweet short romance story. It was filled with life's drama, humor and love.

Doris: Great story...good imagination and creative writing.. enjoyed it..

More Recommendations

honeygirlphx: I haven’t been able to put this down! Great writing love the details and makes your mind see the fantasy

honeygirlphx: Absolutely loved this book! Can’t wait to read the next one

honeygirlphx: I was hoping Tate would have a fated mate! Love this book

honeygirlphx: Can’t get enough of your writing! Thanks for sharing spicy and exciting

Natalee Lindo: I love these books. Just going from one book to another.

Tenley: I've read both of the books in the series and I love the story lines in both.Thank you for writing an amazing series.I'm still gonna need the rest of the next book tho.

About Us

Inkitt is the world’s first reader-powered publisher, providing a platform to discover hidden talents and turn them into globally successful authors. Write captivating stories, read enchanting novels, and we’ll publish the books our readers love most on our sister app, GALATEA and other formats.