Friday, June 22, 2012
From the holo-diary of Aran Liander: Jedi Apprentice
I tried doing some easy stretches before school and was horrified how out of shape I am. I could still go down all the way in the side splits but a sharp, burning pain laced through the insides of my legs as I did so; plus, I didn't go down with the same ease I once had. I had nearly wept; had I really lost that much of my Jedi self. Every time I look at myself in the mirror, I barely recognize myself; who is that strange boy looking back at me? Certainly he's not one of those fabled Jedi Knights who betrayed the galaxy? I'm so sick and tired of everything. A part of me wishes I had died on the dreadful day alongside my Master, the both of us in the Force and slightly at peace. But that would be selfish wouldn't it? If I must alone carry the Order's legacy, then I will.
I went to a party with the other kids at school, last night. I wouldn't have went but since Kayla invited me, I felt like I owed her my company. Especially since it was for that glam-child, Satana.
The air was cold as it slashed passed me as Kayla and I rode the open-topped air taxi. It was getting close to dusk and, unconsciously, my gaze traveled towards the crumbled towers and spires of my home. My heart hurt so much I feared I would burst into tears. Oh Master, why has all this happened? Why wasn't I able to stop it?
“What's wrong?” Kayla asked me and I realized that I been moaning quietly to myself as the Jedi Temple faded out of sight. Cursing myself I'd turned to her and forced a smile to my face.
“Nothing, Kayla. I'm fine, just a little tired is all.” I can tell she doesn't completely buy my explanation, but she does nod and puts her hand on my arm, leaving it there as we continued our way through space traffic. I felt a strong urge to move my arm away from her hand; it felt strange and strangely embarrassed. But that would have been rude, so I just bore with it, repeating the Jedi Code to myself over and over again. When we arrived at the large estate where the party was to take place, I nearly jumped out of my skin at the sight of the line of stormtroopers guarding it. 'Calm down, Aran,' I told myself as Kayla and I walked up to the doors. 'Just act natural. You look different than you did at the end of the war.' At this thought, a deep agony ripped into my chest and I nearly began crying all over again. I gave my head a shake and entered along with my friend through the huge, corusca gem-studded double doors. Inside I was met by a flash of ribbon-like streams of rapidly blinking light. A rough, bounding sound grated at my hearing as did a wailing voice. People everywhere were dancing in the sort of fashion I'd always associated with the Twi'lek slave dancers the despicable Hutt Crime Lords. For a moment I thought that's where I was but then I shook my head; the Hutt's on Coruscant didn't live this high up in the Coruscant sky scrapers. I shuddered, wishing my Master was here. I'd been inside seedy cantinas and Hutt Lord palaces, but never alone. Beside me, Kayla laughs and when I turn to her, she smiles up.
“You should see your face. I know, it's a little overwhelming at first isn't it?” I nodded, just about to dash from the room and back outside; running until I reached my room in the Temple where I would collapse into bed and wake up, everything just a nightmare.
Kayla took my hand and pulled me through the throng of half naked dancing teens to a table laden with tall, glass bottles of many different hues. I watch as Kayla grabs a cup and begins to fill it with a stench-ridden, golden liquid that I instantaneously recognize.
“Kayla, you can't drink that! It is dangerous for humans to drink, even in small amounts. Not even a Wookie should drink more than a glass.” Kayla gives me a pained look as she takes a sip.
“I know, Rune, but if I don't drink at least this much, Satana would think I was a baby and wouldn't want to be my friend anymore.” My felt my mouth open in shock. How could she do that? Kayla was one of the smartest people at the school that I'd met and she even succumbed to peer pressure.
“But-” Kayla reached forward, putting her cold finger to my mouth. I jerked backward at her touch, feeling my face burn. No, that wasn't right, not at all, didn't she know I was a Jedi? Aran, you idiot, of course not.
“I know you can't understand, Rune, but please, let me decide my own way.” I nodded again.
“Okay.” I wanted to get away, I wanted my Master, Kyla, Rune, and Lint back. I wanted my life back. I looked at Kayla as she took another sip, her cheeks reddening. I wanted to knock the cup from her hands, spill its content on the floor. What if one night she had too much and died- just because she didn't want to loose her fake friend? But that wouldn't have been right- Kayla was old enough to decide what she would do and there was no way I could stop her.
“Umm, Kayla, I'll be right back. I have to go to the bathroom.” She looked disappointed as I left but I ignored that, speeding through the clots of dancers. I wished I hadn't agreed to come.
I searched a long time for an unoccupied bathroom and when I finally found one, I washed my mouth and hands vigorously. I looked up at myself in the mirror and sighed, wiping my sleeve across the damp lower part of my face . I think Kayla might have a crush on me of some sorts and I curse myself for what I might have done to lead her on. I like Kayla, but not in that way- I'm a Jedi, I'm not supposed to feel that way about anyone. I hear muffled giggling coming my way and with a grunt of annoyance I leave the bathroom before whoever was coming down the hallway reached it. I wasn't in the mood for moon-eyed, half-drunk weirdos. I slipped down the passage and out onto a balcony that I found, turning my face upward towards the stars. I remember a time when my Master and I stood outside on the Temple's roof, how he'd told me the names of the stars and which systems they belonged to. Life had been so good back then, I can't believe I was ever unhappy.
“Master...oh Master...what am I supposed to do without you?” I leaned onto the railing, looking down at the unfathomable depths of the Coruscant, imagining the members of the underworld going about their own lives. I wish I was with them instead of up here with all the rich and posh things. What I've give for a quiet place, a quiet moment alone with the Force. A moment where I didn't have to worry about being discovered my the Empire for who I truly was or about being taken into the Imperial Academy, forced to serve my enemy.
I had been so lost in thought that I nearly missed the sound of arguing. I lifted my face from the pit below and turned. It sounded like a girl and a guy, their voices sharp and slicing. I recognized both the voices instantly and was about to turn away when I heard a shrill fear come into the girl's voice.
I silently ran to the doorway and peered as carefully as I could, into the corridor. I could see Satana arguing with the leader of those bullies who belonged to the Imperial Youth Instructors and I could see that she looked worried. They must have been the ones I heard giggling earlier. The big thug-like guy stormed towards her, backing up till her back was against the wall. His voice sounded gravely and threatening, just like the corrupt rulers my Master and I had dealt with in the past. Suddenly, the guy slammed his hands against the wall around her head and she gave a shriek. That was it, I had to do something.
“Hey, what's going on here?!” I demanded, storming forward. The bully looked up at me, mouth stretched into an angry sneer.
“You again? Stay out of this, filth-bucket.” I lightly strode towards him, preparing for a fight encase he decided to attack.
“Filth-bucket? Seriously, is that the best you can come up with?” I asked, smiling. The bully growled, flexing his muscles at me as if it would intimidate me.
“Oooo, you have big muscles don't you. What did you do, take steroids?” The bully howled in rage and launched himself at me. I turned and when he passed, I slammed my heel down onto his head in an ax-kick, sending him into unconsciousness. I turned to Satana who whimpering against the wall, the thick layer of makeup on her face smeared and her glossy hair all rumpled.
“Come on. You should get out of here before he wakes up.” I motioned for her to walk and I followed her, glancing back to make sure that Imperial Bully McFreak hadn't woke up. We'd been walking for a little ways when Satana turned around, a strange smile painted on her face.
“So, thank you so much for helping me back there.” I came to a stop, not liking the look that had sprung into her eyes. She walked closer to me and I felt sick. What in the galaxy...?
“I seem to be short on a boyfriend this week. Want to go out with me?” She asked, coming even closer. I nearly screamed and dashed from the room. Romance was out of the question for me, but even if it wasn't, Satana wasn't one I'd choose in a million years. Only my years of finding my calm center kept me from panicking. She took my hand and tried to pull me towards the bathroom. I promptly jerked my hand away.
“No.” She turned to me, an incredulous look in her eye.
“What?” I shook my head.
“I'm sorry, but I said no. I'm-” What was I supposed to say? I couldn't tell her that since I was a Jedi, it wasn't against the rules for me to have any relationship other than platonic.
“I'm...um..not allowed to date,” I said lamely in a rush, kicking myself mentally for the stupid excuse. Satana rolled her eyes and made a disgusted noise.
“Aw, oh, come on. I don't believe you care for a second. No boy follows that rule, no matter how much it is pounded into our brains.” I clenched my jaw in fury. 'The Jedi did' I wanted to shout in her face. What did she know about me? I hadn't been a perfect Jedi, but I had always followed that rule. She came forward and tried to drag me again but I batted her hands away.
“No.” She glared at me, her face darkening with rage.
“Nobody says no to me. Do you know how many boyfriends I've had? I'll get you eventually.”
“Don't want to know, and don't care. Plus, I just did. No,” I said, sliding past her as fast as I possibly could and running down the hall. I hated it here. I hated it.
“You'll regret this!!” she screamed shrilly after me and, after telling Kayla that I was sick and was heading home, I caught the nearest air-taxi that I could find, and told them the directions to Natalie and Ben's house.
When I got home, I threw myself onto my cot, not even caring to change into sleep-ware. I missed the people in the Jedi Temple. Yes there were some mean kids there, but at least everyone had the same goal and the same ideals. There wasn't any of this seduction and vengeance. I rolled over onto my side and cried into my pillow, wishing my Master was here. Wishing I could just go home.
Yet, I'm glad that even though my body may be loosing the edge it once had, my adherence to the Jedi Code is as strong as ever. I will not fail you, Master; someday I'll become the Knight you wanted me to be.
I just don't know what I'm going to do at school today.
May the Force be with you