He was bored. Plain and simple. The blue and green robe had been switched for some loose civilian garb. Space travel was supposed to be cold, but the sheer numbers of people aboard the Sanctuary made it hot and stuffy. An Astromech came by and whistled at him. The young Jedi reached out and grabbed what felt like the billionth fresh drink.
“Thanks, R9. Starting to feel like you’re my best friend on this tin can”
The droid whined curiously at him.
“Never mind. Thanks for being so faithful”.
The Droid spun around, maintaining its drinks tray perfectly horizontal to the ground, and whirled away to its next organic life form.
Cor-Jhan cupped the glass, which was filled with a viscous, dark liquid. It felt refreshingly cold in his hands. He started around at his fellow travellers. Many tired, some slumped over tables, or cuddled with family on the floor. The deafening panic since fleeing Coruscant had been replaced with the next natural reaction – sleep. Most seemed to have their companions and friends, whether Wookiee, Twi’lek or human. In an enormous crowd, the Zabrak felt suddenly alone.
He held the glass up to the lights.
“Strange. The Light goes around the glass, but none of it seems to go through the liquid. How odd.”
He relaxed his eyes. The glass became blurry and the crowd came into focus. It was then he noticed a strange-looking girl leaning up the doorframe. Her eyes seemed to be be lazily scanning the inhabitants. Cor-Jhan lowered the glass, a curious half frown. She was wearing a worn, leather jacket and a blaster hung at her side. The Padawan was about to think that she looked young to be brandishing an adult blaster, but in the corner of his eyes he acknowledged his Master’s Lightsaber clipped to his trousers.
“Fair play.” he muttered out loud.
She seemed restless and from his untrained senses, he felt she was unsettled.
“That makes two of us, girl. That makes two of us.”
He closed his eyes and took a deep breath. He had been people watching for too long and his attempts to read people’s feelings was draining. How little the Force seemed to comfort him these days.
“Why are your eyes shut, but you’re not trying to sleep?”, her inquisitive voice questioned.
The young Zabrak opened his eyes, convinced he had just lost a few minutes. He took a sip from the glass and looked up at her.
“I’m trying to find some peace.”
“Seems a bit weird to me. We’ve run away from a planet being attacked. There’s no peace here.”, her arms folded in a matter-of-a-fact stance.
“Yeah, you’re probably right. How’d you end up here?”, he asked
“I probably shouldn’t say.”, she shook her head.
“No, but you’re going to anyway, right?”
“Yeah, how’d you know?”, she frowned at him
“I just did”
She flung herself down with her back against the screen opposite him. She told how her mother had a job from a guy on Nar Shadaa to deliver stuff to. How it was secret and that’s why her Mum was getting paid good credits. How they had been trying to leave Coruscant when everything exploded and were about to hit light speed when they got captured by this ship.
“Yeah, not much difference between capture and rescue on this ship is there?”, the Padawan moaned
A comfortable silence fell between the two.
“You need a drink?”, Cor-Jhan asked offering his glass.
“Yeah, I keep missing the droids. Not sat still since Mum let me out her sight.”, she took the glass and drank deeply., “Thanks, thanks… uhm, I dunno your name?”
“I noticed you kept yours to yourself as well?”
“Mum says people shouldn’t know who we are.”
“Sounds lonely to me,” Cor-Jhan observed.
“You know too much when I don’t tell you stuff.”, the girl tilted her head quizzically.
“I just connect with some people.”
The girl’s gaze fell to the Lightsaber hilt at Cor-Jhan’s side.
“What’s with the sword?”
“I could ask the same about your blaster, but it matters to you.”, he pointed out.
“Need it for taking care of myself when I’m attacked.” she pouted in offence.
“That’s why I have the sword.”
A slight pause while she took in what he had just said.
“But why would someone attack you?”
“I’m part of the reason you’re running away from Coruscant.”
Their conversation was interrupted when her comm bleeped loudly. Her shoulder’s dropped in disappointment.
“That’ll be Mum checking up on me.”
Cor-Jhan gestured with his hands.
“Answer it, you still have a parent. She has a right to care.”
She contemplated him for a few seconds and then flicked the switch on the device.
“What is it Mum?”
The holographic projection of a rather formidable looking woman appeared, hands on her hips.
“We have our warning, we’re getting free of this within the hour. Come back to the hanger straight away. Where are you?”
“Just sat having a drink in the Cantina area.”, she stated
“On your own?”, the figure demanded.
The girl looked over at Cor-Jhan for a second. He nodded to her. Sensing his meaning she returned to the projection of her mother.
“Yeah, on my own.”
“Fair enough, can you get back here?”
She flicked off the comm and stood up.
“Nice talking to you… what was your name again?”, she played
“Not that I ever gave it”, Cor-Jhan allowed himself a half smile, “Cor-Jhan”
The girl turned to leave and made as if to leave the conversation hanging. She paused, her mother’s warnings playing in her head. She turned her head and glanced over at her shoulder.
“Nice to meet you Jedi. I’m Sjani.”
“Stay safe, Sjani”.
She considered that for a moment.
“That would be nice.”, she whispered
And with that she ran off to rejoin her ship, leaving Cor-Jhan to his thoughts.
More From Cor-Jhan Arcturus
- Cor-Jhan Arcturus: Time to Grow Up
- Testing Times on Tython: Cor-Jhan Arcturus
- A New Dawn for the Jedi
- Intersecting Vectors
- Part 2: Sanctuary