A Few Years Later…
The young Zabrak was sat on a bridge over the small stream that flowed through the Tython training grounds. He was mindlessly fiddling with a few crystals he’d extracted during the last Artifice class while allowing his mind to phase out, mesmerised by the constant rippling and gurgling of the water. Jedi Padawans milled around him, passing him by, seeming to not notice him and he was totally at peace with that. He allowed his mind to wander back over the events of the last couple of years; nothing was heard from the Padawan he’d called ‘Sith’, various training exercises where he’d only been beaten once or twice, mostly by healers who had greater endurance than even he had and a few tellings-off by the Masters for not quite keeping to the Jedi Code.
Their revised version of the Jedi Code anyway, he inwardly grumbled.
The Force surrounded him and it felt like his only friend. He was grateful that his sensing of the Force had grown in his time on Tython, but he knew that his time on this world was drawing to a close. And Cor-Jhan wasn’t sure whether that was a good thing or not.
As the sun began to drop behind the Tythos Ridge, he sighed. Night time was such a comfort when it arrived – no obligations until morning, no more classes, and sleep meant he didn’t have to interact with the hyperactive, excitable Padawans.
Stand and Be Counted
He reached up and stretched, keeping the crystals tight in his fist. As he allowed his shoulders to relax he caught a movement out the corner of his eye. Masters Zav-Yun Ghiran and Jaric Kaedan were stepping out of the Temple and walking purposefully towards him.
Damn. Running now would be too obvious, he thought slightly bitterly.
More groups of Padawans, with their instructors filtered back into the Temple, walking right by him as the sky turned into a beautiful orange.
“It’s alright, you can show yourself now Cor-Jhan,” Zav-Yun said as he approached the bridge.
The Zabrak frowned.
“What do you mean?”, he replied.
The two Masters looked at each other and Master Kaedan waved a hand in front of Cor-Jhan’s face.
“There you go, no need to hide from us.”, he assured the Zabrak.
Seeing the bewildered look on the young Jedi’s face, Zav-Yun knelt down to make eye contact with him.
“You were hiding yourself in the Force. It’s something a small portion of your in-take can achieve. You’ll need to work on controlling that sometime.”, he smiled slightly.
“You’ve been using it to protect yourself, young one. Or to avoid talking to other people at any rate”, Master Kaedan explained.
“I’m guessing you’re not here to congratulate me on making myself invisible to other Padawans?”, Cor-Jhan asked, uncomfortable at the look on the two Master’s faces.
“That’s correct,” Zav-Yun began, “but before I say anything I want you to know I’m a friend, alright?”
The Zabrak nodded, a look of caution creeping into his expression.
“It’s time to grow up my Jedi Shadow. Your abilities with the Force have grown substantially. You are skilled in manipulating crystals you find and your combat with staves is impressive.”, Master Ghiran began, trying to start with the positives.
“But,” Master Kaedan cut in, “you’re rude, moody, immature and only look after your own interests. That’s not the Jedi way.”
Cor-Jhan blinked back in surprise. He had certainly not been expecting that. But, he noted with more than a twinge of guilt, they were correct in what they’re saying.
“It’s time to stand up and be counted. You have crystals to construct your Light Staff. But other Padawans who have other giftings do not have these. Tomorrow you will lead a group of Padawans through the Wilds of Tython to retrieve their crystals then you and they will construct your Lightsabers.”, Zav-Yun explained.
“There are all sorts of hostile creatures in that region,” Cor-Jhan tried to begin.
“And who better to protect them than the one who has only lost twice to fellow Padawans in the last three years?”, Zav-Yun encouraged.
The Zabrak let those thoughts sink in. Responsibility, caring for others more than himself and no Masters to watch him until they reached The Forge.
“CJ,” Master Kaedan continued, “Time to put your old Master’s death, the Sacking of Coruscant you witnessed and your childish ways behind you. You show unusual balance in the Force. It’s time you channelled that into more selfless ways. We’ll see you in the morning.”
And with that the Masters turned and made their way back to the Temple.
Left once more with his own thoughts, he couldn’t help but think if he’d been given that reprimand earlier, maybe Schlektani would still have been on Tython. He put the crystals into the pocket of his robe and swung his legs back towards the path.
Yes, it was time to grow up. He might even smile tomorrow. This was the moment to test whether he could become the Jedi his former Master would have been proud of.