Chapter 3: Padawan
Three hours later and I was once again standing outside Alexa’s door, wondering why I was crazy enough to believe that she might have calmed down since I left earlier. After taking a deep breath, not bothering to knock, I opened the door to reveal the young Togruta standing in the middle of the room with her eyes closed as the bed slowly lifted off the floor. My eyes widened as I watched her try and maintain her control over the object until she opened her eyes and the bed fell back down with a thump.
‘You didn’t see that!’ She said startled that I had been watching.
‘You’re Force Sensitive.’ I realised. ‘Why didn’t you tell me?’
‘Because I don’t belong here and I’m leaving tonight.’
‘What?’ I asked in disbelief. ‘No you’re not, you can’t! I’m taking you to the Council so they can see and test you.’
‘Test?’ ‘I don’t do tests so no. That’s not going to happen and you can’t make me.’
‘Yes I can.’ I called her forward with the Force, dragging her to the door. ‘See?’ I smirked, she just growled in response. ‘Now come on.’
‘No!’ She shouted, I stopped and let her say her piece. ‘I’m not an object that you can just force your will on me and expect me to agree and follow it! I do have my on free will! I’m not a slave!’ She spat the word with violence and venom it almost made me shrink back away from her! Her eyes grew dark and her face morphed into a malevolent scowl. ‘I am a person! I have control over my life now and I am not about to let someone take that away from me!’
‘You’re right. I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have tried that, I shouldn’t have even thought about doing that with out your approval.’ My gaze drifted down to the floor in shame. I hadn’t even asked if she wanted to be a Jedi, so what if she is Force sensitive? That doesn’t mean that she wants to become a Jedi! I looked up as I heard her sigh.
‘I’ve known I was different for a long time; I could always run faster, jump higher and punch harder than everyone else. I never knew why, or what it was called until you mentioned being able to move things without touching them, as you saw I can do that. Actually that’s the most control I’ve had with an object, I’m not very good with my powers in that way, I’m better with athletics.’
‘I never intended for anyone to know about any of this, but I guess it’s a bit late for that now....... Do you really think I could be a Jedi? So I can fight for something worthwhile.’
‘I honestly think you would make a great Jedi, probably better than me, but you need to be committed and while I get the feeling that you don’t like taking orders, you will have to listen to me if I am to train you.’ I explained, feeling her start to feel a little better as her anger began to disintegrate.
‘I think I can do that.’ She nodded.
‘So should we go tell the Council?’ I asked cautiously.
‘Let’s do it then.’ I nodded and I led her up to the High Council Chamber once again and without any introduction the two of us just walked in. Needless to say the Council weren’t impressed, but this was important.
‘What is the meaning of this Skywalker?’ Mace asked angrily.
‘Forgive me Masters, but I have only just discovered something and I thought you should know about it.’
‘What is it?’
‘Miss Arnjard is Force sensitive.’ Many of the Council members glanced at each other shocked, while Master Yoda gave me a small all-knowing smile.
‘Tested she will be then.’ Yoda nodded and they brought out the holo pad.
‘Now young one, tell us what shape comes up on here........ If you can.’ Mace explained. I sensed more than a little skepticism in his voice, but I kept quiet and said nothing. She would prove him wrong soon enough and we all watched as the test began.
‘Cup, ship, speeder, ship, speeder, cup.’ The answers rolled off her tongue as if the screen was facing her. I smiled, she did even better than my test when I first met the Council.
‘How feel you?’ Yoda asked.
‘Fine Sir.’ She replied.
‘I sense much anger in you.’
‘That maybe true Sir, but I can control my anger. I can control all of my emotions.’
‘There is no doubt that you are strong with the Force.’
‘So she will be trained?’ I asked, possibly a little too eagerly.
‘Why?’ I asked in disbelief.
‘She is far too old.’
My mind flashed back to when I was a child, standing in the very same place Alexa is now and I remember being told that I was to old and how Qui-Gon had fought for them to train me. I smiled inwardly realising that the events had gone round in a full circle.
‘Forgive me Masters, but did you not say that I was too old to be trained? Did you not say that I held too much fear? Too much anger? Yet here I am. A valid Jedi Knight of the Republic. Why deny Alexa the chance to be one as well? When I know that she has just as much to give as any of us.’
The Masters then mumbled amongst themselves, I watched as Obi Wan gave me a proud smile, however Yoda snapped me out of my thoughts as he spoke.
‘A fair point, General Skywalker has, but willing are you to take her as your apprentice?’ I nodded.
‘Then General Skywalker, we allow you to take Alexa Arnjard as your Padawan.’ Mace agreed.
‘Thank you, Masters.’ I smiled, I was prepared to leave then however it seemed as if they had more to say.
‘Have you checked her midi-chlorian count?’ Shaak Ti asked.
‘No, Master Ti. I was going to do that after this meeting.’
‘A good idea that is General Skywalker, go now and check you should.’
‘Thank you Masters.’ I bowed. Then I left with my new padawan.
‘What does this mean?’ I asked as we took the elevator back down.
‘It means that you are my student and I will teach you the ways of the Force so you can become a Jedi.’ He asked, I felt waves of both happiness and proudness rolling off him.
‘What if I’m not good enough to become a Jedi?’ He looked down at me, his eyes seemed to soften at my seeming lack of self confidence.
‘I know you’ll make it, you’re a strong person and I’m sure that you’ll be a wise and powerful Jedi.’
‘Thanks Skywalker.’ I flashed him a small smile, but it was so quick I’m not sure that he actually saw it.
‘That brings me to your first lesson, the Jedi code unfortunately says you’re not allowed to call me Skywalker.’
‘Then what do I call you?’ I asked curious.
‘No.’ I said, my expression darkening.
‘What do you mean “no”?’ A hint of surprise in his voice
‘I won’t call you that.’
‘I have my reasons, but don’t push me Skywalker.’
‘And we are not on a first name basis, call me Arnjard, Padawan Arnjard or just Padawan.’
‘Fine then Padawan, but the Jedi Code states that you must call me and all Jedi above you Master.’
‘I will call you teacher, end of discussion.’ I snapped. He seemed to accept that....... For now.
‘Very well then.’
‘Um....... What are midi-chlorians?’
‘They are microscopic life forms that live inside the cells of all living things. When present in large numbers, they allow their host to detect the pervasive energy field known as the Force.’ He explained.
‘So how does one test how many they have?’ I asked, suspicious of where this was going.
He led me through the temple until we came to this part named the Halls of Healing, basically it was the infirmary. We walked past several Clones who must have been sick and wounded as they were lying in beds. I was soon told sit in a chair and a medi droid took a sample of my blood, Skywalker and I watched as the machine beeped and buzzed and a reading came up on the monitor. My teachers eyes widened as he saw it.
‘What is it? Did I do something wrong?’ I asked, becoming self conscious.
‘No, but your reading is off the chart.........Even higher than Master Yoda’s........It’s almost as high as mine.........’
‘Is that bad?’
‘No, no! That’s good! That’s really, really good!’
‘Phew.’ I sighed internally.
‘Droid, send that to the Council.’ He instructed. ‘Now seeing as how you don’t know your way around, why don’t we start with a tour of the Temple.’ He suggested, I nodded mutely and we began.
‘This place is huge!’ I said as we finished the tour.
‘It is rather.’ My teacher laughed at my awe of the place.
‘Pinch me, I must be dreaming; there is no way that today actually happened.’
‘It did, trust me and it isn’t over yet. I still have someone I need to introduce you to.’ He opened the door and led me into his room. I looked around and noticed just how nice it was, I was about to comment when my eyes landed on something I hadn’t seen in quite a while.
‘Oh my gosh! An astromech droid!’ I squealed and rushed over to it, kneeling down on the floor beside it. ‘What’s his name?’
‘Padawan Arnjard, meet R2-D2.’ He introduced us.
‘Nice to meet you R2.’ I smiled. ‘Boy I haven’t seen an astromech since..............’ I trailed off remembering what had happened. ‘Never mind.’ I murmured upon seeing Skywalker looking at me concerned.
‘Hmm....... So are you into building things?’
‘Not really, I’ve never done much of it, but I do love droids. Well some.’
‘Let me guess, you like astromechs.’
‘Yes.’ I blushed, patted R2′s dome “head.”
‘Well I’m sure you and R2 will get along together, after all he bonded fairly well with Ahsoka........’ It was then that I saw something more in his firefly eyes; for a moment they almost seemed haunted. There was something more than I could tell behind them. Still it’s not my place to wonder about his personal life. Bringing himself back to reality he cleared his throat and continued talking. ‘So you two should get along fine, he’s a good droid.’
‘I see.’ I nodded, feeling more than slightly awkward.
‘So........ What do you say we go get some lunch then we can start sparring practice.’
My eyes grew wider and a grin spread across my face, two meals in one day! I could get used to that! Not to mention I get fight!
The two of us walked back to the “mess hall” as my teacher so fondly called it, however on the way we stopped as Skywalker addressed a clone whom he introduced as Captain Rex.
‘Rex, this is my new Padawan Alexa Arnjard.’
‘Nice to meet you.’ He bent forward slightly in a shallow bow.
‘You as well.’ I nodded.
‘Padawan, why don’t you go on ahead. I have a few things I need to talk over with the Captain.’ Skywalker suggested.
‘Yes teacher.’ I then began to walk away, but not without trying to hear what they were saying.
‘Rex, I want you to look out for her while I’m not around, but don’t let her know that I have asked you to do this. Understand?’
I rolled my eyes and kept walking, I don’t need anyone to look out for me. Admittedly the whole thing this morning wasn’t good and he did have to come and help me, but I should be fine now as long as no one calls me a.........Whatever it was that they called me.......... Then things will be good. I hope.
Trying to shake the thoughts from my head I lined up to get to food before finding a vacant table. I sat down and started eating when I was interrupted as someone else came sat at the table with me, she was human and looked to be a similar age to me. She had brown hair that she kept tied back in a plait and a pair of chocolate brown eyes to match. Unfortunately she seemed eager to talk, so I quickly returned to my food and decided to ignore her.
‘Um....... Hi. I’m Lorryn Dan’lie.’ Her voice was sweet, but kinda loud. I still decided against engaging in conversation and remained silent. However she didn’t seem to get that I didn’t want to talk because she well.........Wouldn’t shut up. ‘I might be getting a Master today!’ I flinched at the word, luckily she didn’t notice and just plowed on. ‘I really hope I do! I’ll be the youngest Padawan ever! Even younger that Ahsoka Tano!’ There was that name again........
‘How old are you?’ I asked finally speaking.
‘Thirteen.’ She replied proudly. I smirked. ‘What?’ She asked confused. Before I could answer Skywalker came and sat down with us, the other girl gasped and stared at him. ‘Master Skywalker!’
‘Hello youngling.’ He smiled before turning to me. ‘It’s nice to see you have found a friend, Padawan.’ Both the girl and I stared at each other shocked for a moment, then glanced back at him as if for confirmation. I growled as he smirked.
‘You’re Master Skywalker’s Padawan? Why didn’t you say anything?’ She asked in disbelief.
‘We aren’t...........’ I shook my head as my teacher watched amused. ‘Where’s the bathroom?’ I asked suddenly.
‘Down the hall a bit, then turn left.’ He instructed, I nodded then left.
Surprisingly that hadn’t just been an excuse to get away from the two people that I had been sitting with; I actually needed to use the bathroom, but that didn’t mean that I was quick about it. After all I may or may not have taken a little longer than needed as time to get some space. I definitely made the right decision in that as when I came back, that girl was still sitting with Skywalker and was going on about something.
How annoying can one girl be? I wondered.
Skywalker must have sensed that I wasn’t happy and he flashed me a look of “have some manners” I rolled my eyes and he stood up to leave. I bit my lip to stop myself from laughing at the girl’s crestfallen expression as we told her that we were going to do training. I let Skywalker walk in front now, just so that I could say something to the girl who had disturbed my lunch.
‘By the way, I’m twelve.’ I smirked then turned on my heel and left, happy when I felt a tidal wave of shock, confusion and disappointment flow off her.
‘Be nice, my young Padawan.’ Skywalker warned.
‘Still if you want to release your anger, I believe sparring may be your best friend.’ He gave me a slight smile.