Chapter 40: On Our Way
The second that my eyes snapped open I was fully awake, today was the day that I went on the Gathering! I leapt out of bed and, after changing into fresh clothes, ran straight for the mess hall for an early breakfast. I needed to eat quickly so that I could go back to my room and grab my gear so that I would be less affected by the cold when we got to Illum.
Fortunately, since I was up early, there weren’t many people in the mess hall so I could just get my food then sit an eating it without having to stand in a cue for half an hour. The food wasn’t bad in my opinion, but hey anything’s better than scraps from the street, right? So I ate my food in a rush, almost scoffing it as I went, before putting the tray in the pile to be washed then I ran back to my room. I knew I still had plenty of time but I was determined not to be late.
My heart beat hard in my chest as I ran into my room and went over to my closet, I pulled out the jacket and warm pants that we were meant to wear and slipped on the pants and boots. I knew I’d be hot on the way there but I didn’t want to have to get changed on the way, in front of whoever else would be there with me. That would be too embarrassing, not to mention humiliating and shameful.
The kids will probably be scared of me anyway, not that I care, but I don’t want to make it worse. If I do then I might get into trouble from the Council when we return, I’m not afraid of them mind you, it’s just that I don’t need any more hassles right now. But I’m over complicating things again.
Back to what I’m doing, I am currently racing towards the docking bay where the ship was that would take us to Ilum, wherever that may be. A few Jedi who were walking through the halls gave me strange looks as I passed, however I ignored them.
I could feel the addrenaline running through my veins and the sound of my light footsteps on the marble floor could just be heard alongside the echoe of my heart beating in my chest. This was my one chance to prove that I could be a Jedi, I wanted to do everything I could to make sure that I succeeded.
When I got to the ship I discovered that I was the first one there, even Rendal hadn’t come yet which I found a little surprising. He had seemed as excited as I was yesterday and yet he hadn’t made the effort to get here early. Odd. Oh well I imagined that he might have slept in or perhaps he had been held up.
An hour went by and I was still standing there. No one had come.
Sighing, I finished my push-ups and returned to standing next to the ship. This was soooo boring. Already I had done twenty sit-ups and twenty push-ups, and I was incredibly bored. I had been about to go and try to find my friend when I spotted him walking towards me. Finally! I honestly thought he had forgotten about this whole thing.
‘What took you so long?’ I asked.
‘Sorry, Master Kenobi wanted to give me a briefing on the assignment.’ He replied as he came and stood next to me. ‘How long have you been here?’
‘An hour.’ I replied, feeling a little bitter about how long I’d been left standing here, even though I now knew it wasn’t Rendal’s fault.
‘That long? I’m sorry, I tried to get here quicker but Master wouldn’t let me.’ He apologised.
‘It’s fine, it gave me some time to think about everything. Who else is coming with us to Ilum?’
‘A group of younglings who’s names have slipped my memory.’ He smiled sheepishly.
I rolled my eyes and laughed. ‘I thought you were supposed to remember things like that.’
‘Well apparently they all know that they’re supposed to meet here and they should be here soon.’
‘Mhm. Well let’s hope so or this is going to be very awkward for you.’ I smirked at him. He just gave me a half hearted smile and I just knew he was silently praying to the Force that this would all go smoothly and to tell the truth that’s what I was doing too.
I waited with Alexa for the rest of the group to arrive and it wasn’t long before two younglings ran over and bowed to me. ‘Padawan Brask, we are here for the Gathering.’ A young Tholothian said as she bent from the waist.
‘Are we late?’ The Rodian boy who was with her asked. I shook my head and smiled at them.
‘No, as a matter of fact you’re early.’
‘Phew.’ They both believed a sigh of relief and Alexa and I chuckled.
‘So what are your names?’ The Togruta asked.
‘My name is Youngling Oblo Zoyai and this is Youngling Ayara Blout.’ The Rodian replied.
‘It’s nice to meet the both of you.’ I smiled. ‘As you are probably aware I am Padawan Rendal Brask and this is my friend Alexa Arnjard. She will also be attending the Gathering to get her crystal and create her lightsaber.’
‘It’s nice to meet you Padawan Brask, Padawan Arnjard.’ Ayara smiled.
Alexa just smiled politely and I could tell she was feeling awkward, but I wasn’t sure what to do to make her feel more comfortable. Before I had the chance to do anything though two more younglings arrived, both male this time, one was a Wookie, then standing on his left was a Korrun.
‘Hello boys.’ I greeted them as they bowed to us. ‘I’m assuming you’re here for the Gathering?’ They nodded. ‘What are your names?’
‘Youngling Callor Taner.’ The Korrun boy replied. ‘And this is Gyakkk.’
‘A pleasure to meet you both, I’m Padawan Brask and I will be going with you on your trip to Ilum.’ I explained. ‘Now I think that is everyone so let’s board the ship.’ They all followed my instructions and walked up the ramp and into the ship, I went last to make sure that no one else was still coming. Once I was satisfied no one was running late I piloted our little ship out of the atmosphere, setting our corse for Ilum. We were on our way now.