Chapter 5: Making Progress
Morning. Yeah. Need I say more?
I felt terrible, Skywalker had seen my weakness. I couldn’t let myself make that mistake again, from now on I would have to secure the door with something else because obviously he can open locked doors with the Force.
My dream life is no one else’s business, but mine and it seems my teacher doesn’t understand that. He doesn’t need to know what my life was like before I joined the Order, he just needs to worry about what happens after that, because I am never going back to the way things were. Never.
Sighing I dragged myself out of bed just in time to hear a knock on the door. I rolled my eyes before opening it to find other than my teacher standing there waiting for me.
‘Yes?’ I asked grumpily.
‘Good morning, nice to see you’re up.’ He smiled.
‘Whatever, let’s just get started.’
‘Alright, first we have breakfast.’
I nodded drowsily before walking out, having worn my cloak to bed last night I didn’t need to remember to put it on so we headed straight to the mess hall. Today is my second day being a padawan and while yesterday had been good, I am beginning to regret my decision to become one. I still have this nagging feeling that I really don’t belong here. All the same I got my food and sat down to eat it, my stomach growling wig impatience before I began shovelling breakfast into my mouth.
‘So what are we doing today?’ I asked.
‘I noticed how much you enjoyed learning how to use a training saber, so I thought that we’d do that.’ My face light up at the thought of more combat practise. ‘I knew you’d like that.’
‘I have an excessive to help you connect with the Force, that we’ll try after that.’
‘Ok.’ I nodded, noticing the smirk that lingered at the edges of his lips.
‘Also, Rex will be training with us too.’
‘A clone trooper?’ I asked confused.
‘Yes, you don’t have a problem with that do you?’
‘No Sir, but I’m just wondering how you intend to have him train with us.’
‘You’ll have to wait and see.’ The smirk was now blatant and there for all to see.
Once we were both finished we headed to the training room to get started, I grabbed to sabers from the supply room and passed one to my teacher who then ignited it.
‘Ok, so today I will teach you the Sai. It’s mostly an evasive move where you have to jump to avoid someone cutting your legs off, think you can do that?’ I nodded. So he swung the saber at me and I jumped high off the ground, pulling my legs up towards my body before landing perfectly.
‘How was that?’ I asked.
‘Great, now try this. Rex!’ The clone ran in shooting his blaster at us, I followed Skywalker’s lead as we wielded our sabers deflecting the shots in all directions and some back at Rex. ‘That’s enough Rex!’ He stopped shooting and we lowered our guard. ‘Nicely done my Padawan, you catch on fast.’
‘Rex, come over here.’
‘Yes Sir.’ He walked over.
‘Hold out your blaster as if you were going to shoot us.’ The Clone did as he was ordered. ‘Now Padawan Arnjard this is a disarming slash.’ He demonstrated. ‘Try to disarm Rex.’
‘Alright.’ I nodded before slashing straight through his blaster.
‘Well done, Commander.’ Rex agreed.
‘Yes you are the Commander under the 501st legion under General Skywalker.’ He clarified.
‘You never told me that.’ I looked to my teacher.
‘I was going to tell you when you got a bit more settled in, but it doesn’t matter. You won’t be fighting in the war for a while yet.’
We continued with the training for a while until my teacher decided that would be enough for today and we moved on to his next activity.
‘So what do we do now?’
‘You ever played hide and seek?’
‘Not since I was four.’
I watched his reaction, he was shocked, he had no idea what to say. It didn’t surprise me, I hadn’t “been a kid” for a long time, now I don’t know what I am. My age says that I’m still a child, yet my attitude and demeanour say otherwise. I know he’s realised this too and like everyone else, he has no idea what to do.
‘You know the rules then?’ He asked trying to move past the awkwardness, I nodded. ‘Alright, this is going to be like that, but you have to use the Force to help you find us.’ I stared in shock, this was not what I was expecting at all.
‘So who do I have to find?’
‘Just me, Rex and Obi Wan Kenobi, but we can hide anywhere in the Temple.’
‘Trust in the Force and it will not fail you Padawan.’ I turned to see the distinguished face of Teacher Kenobi as he walked in.
‘Of course.’ I nodded.
‘So Padawan, count to thirty. Now let the game begin!’ With that I closed my eyes and the men sprinted out.
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6..........
I counted until I reached thirty then I set out to look for them. Realising that this was going to be hard I tried to slow my breathing and focus in on the Force, at first nothing happened then I had a small niggling feeling that I should head to the west wing. So that what I did. Determined to succeed and achieve my goal of finding all three my men.
As I got closer to the west wing I felt it right to go to the Jedi Archives and once in there I was drawn straight to none other than Obi Wan.
‘Hello Teacher Kenobi.’ I greeted.
‘Well done Padawan Arnjard.’ He smiled. ‘Now you just have to find Master Skywalker and Rex.’
This time I closed my eyes, controlling my breathing, calming my mind and soon I felt a pull so I followed it and left the Archives, now heading for...... The mess hall I realised and after picking up the pace I ran there. So I quickly found Rex, but the last person I had to find was my Teacher and somehow he seemed the hardest. Not because I couldn’t feel him, but because I could almost feel him with me everywhere I had just been and pinning down his location was tricky.
‘Where are you?’ I wondered aloud to myself. It was then that decided to...... Play it my own way....... ‘Found you Teacher.’ I called. Just I had planned he stepped out from his hiding place.
‘You didn’t actually know where I was, I could sense your annoyance and confusion, but well played my Padawan.’
‘Thank you, but how did you do that? I could feel you everywhere I went yet AI couldn’t find you.’
‘Ah, I used an old trick, I shrouded myself in the Force so that you could barely sense me so well done, not many padawans your age would feel that.’
‘So you were following me.’ I realised.
‘Yes.’ He nodded.
‘Still thank you for the compliment.’
‘You’re quite welcome.’ He smiled.
It was like this for the next few weeks, I slowly taught her things about sparring, the Jedi and the Force, managing to keep it at in impersonal teacher - student level. I could tell she was still uncomfortable around me and especially other people, wether they were her age, older or younger, it didn’t matter, she was always on edge. I wanted so badly to help her feel comfortable, but I had no idea how to and neither did any of the other Jedi I had talked to about it, meaning Obi Wan and Master Yoda. I had tried to build her confidence in me by respecting her privacy and obeying her boundaries, but even that still didn’t seem to make her trust me.
What am I supposed to do?
Ahsoka was never like this. Oh how I miss my little Snips. We were like brother and sister with our almost constant banter, but we were always there for each other........ Until I failed her. I should have tried harder to prove her innocence in the first place instead of chasing her and believing that the Council would do something to help. Trusting them had been a mistake and because of that she was gone....... I wouldn’t let that happen to Alexa. I wouldn’t fail her too.
I was dragged from my thoughts by a knock on the door, which was odd considering it was almost nightfall and everyone else was at dinner. Or almost everyone. I opened the door with the Force only to see my young padawan standing there looking at me, with a strange sadness in her eyes which were surprisingly revealed as she had pulled her head back. I once again had the opportunity to take in her young face that bore far too many scars of unknown origins, still I didn’t reveal my thoughts so as not to frighten her away.
‘Padawan Arnjard, what can I do for you?’ I asked unable to hide my surprise.
‘I...... Wanted to talk.’ She replied awkwardly. I was taken aback, but I tried not to show it as much as possible.
‘Come in.’ I beckoned her away from the door as it slid shut behind her.
‘Thank you.’ She nodded.
‘So what did you want to talk about?’ I asked gently.
‘I wanted to apologise for my wayward behaviour, I know I haven’t been a great padawan and I’m strange, but I don’t mean to be it’s just who I am.’
‘It’s alright my padawan, you don’t have to explain yourself. We’re all different in one way or another, it’s natural.’ I replied.
‘That’s true, but it doesn’t excuse my distrust of you. I just.........’ She trailed off sighing, I could sense her internal struggle of telling me more than she thought appropriate at this time.
‘It’s ok padawan-’
‘Pardon?’ I asked confused.
‘Call me Alexa.’
‘Alright then........... Alexa.’ We shared a brief smile. ‘So can I get used to seeing your beautiful face?’ I asked.
‘Probably not...... I just figured it wouldn’t hurt to be....... Normal for a bit. Wait, what did you say my face was?’
‘Beautiful.’ I replied smiling as she blushed, her orange cheeks turning a light shade of red.
‘Well....... Goodnight Teacher.’
‘Anakin.’ I corrected.
‘My name is Anakin.’
‘Oh. Goodnight then..... Anakin.’
‘Goodnight Alexa.’ I replied and she slipped back out through the door, no doubt heading back to her room.