Essence of the Distant Past
Posts: 43
  • Posted On: Nov 20 2013 3:05am
Tucked away far from the Jedi Temple was small storage installation where various containers were stacked in a large courtyard along with a complex of lockers ranging in size from very small to large enough to store a small spacecraft within it. Few, if anyone, went there often which made it the perfect place for Ember to hide away and get time to herself.
Ember’s locker was one of the mid-sized ones that looked like a repair shop for small fighters. She had two Eta-2 Actis-class light interceptors within it. The one in the middle that she was working on had yellow trim and was mostly covered by a tarp and up on supports so she could work all around it. The second was sitting on the floor towards the back and in pretty bad shape. It had a great deal of war wounds all over what was left of its shell and was also rather stripped down for parts salvaged by Ember to use on the one she was restoring. Hanging on the ceiling above it, as if hanging from a hangman’s noose, were the remains of an old buzz droid she pulled out of its hull.
Against the surrounding walls were piles of parts and the body of a destroyed and headless Astromech droid that was propped up right next to Ember’s work bench. Also hanging on the walls were several tools in addition to the ones that were scattered around throughout the room and all over the floor.
For Ember, it was one of the few places she felt completely comfortable being in even with her new companion R2 whom her father had given her several weeks earlier upon her return to Ossus. Though it seemed strange to have a small blue droid trailing after her all of the time, R2 had practically become Ember’s best friend in many ways in the short amount of time they had been together. He beeped when she wanted him to or kept quiet when she needed him to. He would chime in when Ember lost her temper and seemed to be the best person, if one could call him that, to tell her she was going too far or getting a bit out of control. R2 was also the only one she listened to when she was getting hot headed and would calm herself down shortly after he beeped his opinion on the matter. R2 also seemed to take a liking to Ember finding her to remind him of a younger Luke and perhaps a hint of a former female master he once had many, many years ago.
“R2, hand me that fusing pen please,” Ember said as her hand came out from beneath the interceptor. R2 beeped a few times and released the tool from his claw and it dropped into Ember’s outreached hand which then disappeared back beneath the craft. Ember, who was covered in grease smears, pulled down her goggles over her eyes and began working on the wiring dangling in front of her which controlled some of the interceptor’s navigational systems. It was a mess but Ember liked to tinker on it and was able to make it out with a little help from an out of date Kuat technical manual she downloaded a few weeks earlier. Plus she was utilizing holographic displays that R2 had in his memory banks being he had experience with the interceptor she was working on.
While Ember worked on the wiring, R2 had his welder inside the ship hull and was working on some structural cracks when Ember let out a yelp and hit her head when she jumped. “Watch the sparks, R2!” R2 replied with a negative but humored sound while Ember reached down and rubbed the spot on her leg that got mildly burnt. “I’m serious, R2…” R2 beeped and whistled and went back to welding while Ember laid back down and continued working on the wiring but moved her leg out of the way so it would not happen again.
A few minutes later, R2 began beeping when he noticed someone was coming their way and Ember reluctantly slid out from beneath the craft after sensing who it was. “Great,” she said under her breath knowing Master Amalia was approaching. She had come to appreciate her new master more but her stubborn side hated to have her personal time disturbed by anyone. Amalia had never been here before but even Ember knew her senses were far stronger than her own so she could find her hiding almost anywhere.
Ember sat up and then climbed up to her feet where she grabbed a rag and began wiping her hands when R2 hit some wiring that activated one of the foils where Ember was standing. When it opened up, it shoved Ember who flew back and hit the wall behind her and slid down to the floor where one of her tools fell and landed right on her head. “R2!!!!!!” For the next few seconds, Ember and R2 argued with each other about what had just happened as she got back up and rubbed her head. Then she suddenly started to laugh about it as she rehung the tool on the wall. “It still hurts , little guy, so try to be a bit more careful what wires you’re working around, okay,” Ember said with a smirk just as she caught Amalia peering inside the garage out of the corner of her eye.
Ember turned and put on her best fake smile and lowered her head just slightly. “Master,” she said before looking back up with a hint of annoyance in her expression and tone. “I, um, wasn’t expecting you,” Ember added as she picked up the old rag off the floor and then tossed back down on the tarp covering part of the ship before she brushed away her hair from her dirtied face while R2 beeped his greetings.  “I thought lessons were over for today so R2 and I came down to work on stuff for a bit.”
Posts: 211
  • Posted On: Nov 20 2013 11:31am
“What lesson? You told me you needed to use the refresher and never returned. I just assumed, that by an hour’s time, when you did not show up again, that you fell into the toilet.”

Ember and Natalya had been faithfully working through combat training consecutively for the past few weeks, leaving Amalia to feel encouraged enough to return the lightsabers she had taken from them not that long ago. With Natalya off elsewhere, occupying herself with some other personal matters, Amalia had approached Ember with learning how to use the force. She had assumed it would have been something the young woman would have been thrilled with, but she’d been wrong. Ember had a significant knack for avoiding things she had no interest in.

“If you’d rather not learn how to flip R2 upside down whenever you two get into a heated argument, that’s fine with me. I guess I’ll just be the only one that knows how to do it.”

The unit made a kind of soft mewing sound, in what could only be compared to fear, swiftly moving to roll off behind Ember, as to expose her as his protector.

“Not only that, maybe if you’d stuck around a little longer for your lesson, I might have been able to teach you how to speed off a bit faster with an introduction to Force Speed. Your loss.”

It was evident, that since their arrival to Ossus, that Amalia was making every effort to loosen up a bit. Of course, she hadn’t been counting on Ember’s astromech droid to play the part of lawyer as it offered off a string of beeps and whistles, meant to defend her.

“Proof that droids do not come with a sense of humor. Now if your lawyer is done trying to plead a case for you that he doesn’t need to make, can we finally begin your introductory lessons on how to use the force – or would you care to hide out some more? Really, I’m not busy in the least, and I have all the time in the world to just hang out and wait on you.”

The unit produced a kind of goofy noise, indicative of a Bronx cheer.

“Hmm… I see.. you can’t partake in a new force lesson.. but you can reprogram your droid to teach it to make raspberry like noises… spectacular.. would you care for your gold star now or later?”
Posts: 43
  • Posted On: Nov 21 2013 9:59pm
Ember scratched the back of her head anxiously before she ruffled her head and let out a long sigh. She may not have realized it, but her body language always gave her away and let everyone know when she was getting frustrated. “The refresher… you’re right, Master. I, um, forgot.”
Amalia seemed to know Ember very well in a short amount of time. Anything that bored her was often forgotten about and not always by mistake. When it came to her lessons using her saber, she showed up early and was eager to being training. When it came to her use of the force and making little stone hover, Ember grew impatient and bored which was why she failed so often. She still had yet to realize that her frame of mind had everything to do with controlling the force. When she was focused and confident, she wielded the force like a new limb but when she viewed something as useless she failed time and time again. Ember had no idea that she had to be one with the force to wield her saber as effectively as she did. It showed her masters that she could do it and do it well yet when the lessons began where the saber was put down; Ember never seemed to grasp the concept.
Ember’s inner struggles were clear. She saw the value in using a saber in combat but when she was told to concentrate and hold a rock in the air, she did not see the bigger picture. The rock was merely the lesson leading to bigger things. Lifting up a small spacecraft had never even entered her mind nor stopping a large object from crushing someone beneath it. All she saw was the little rock and a big waste of time.
“Not only that, maybe if you’d stuck around a little longer for your lesson, I might have been able to teach you how to speed off a bit faster with an introduction to Force Speed. Your loss.”
Ember lowered her head. “Yes, Master, I-I am sorry…”
When R2 came to her defense, Ember glanced over to him and waved her hand nervously in front of his little black eye as if telling him to shush.
“Hmm… I see.. you can’t partake in a new force lesson.. but you can reprogram your droid to teach it to make raspberry like noises… spectacular.. would you care for your gold star now or later?”
Ember rubbed the back of her neck. “That, well… um, you see… I…” Shaking her head, Ember just dropped her arms and sighed loudly. “I am sorry, Master. I will try to do better.” Her eyes looked up at Amalia showing a small sign of being embarrassed. “I will try harder. I just…” She stopped herself for a moment and looked away only to find her eyes slowly travel back and meet Amalia’s. “I just don’t get it sometimes. None of my former masters tried to explain it to me either. I get why using a saber is important and why we practice so much, but how is lifting some rock going to help me? Seriously, I can pick up a rock and throw it if I had to so why would I need to use the force for it?”
Ember ruffled her hair again and lifted her hand making a small nail file float over to her where she began picking out the grease from beneath her nails. She never even realized that she had done it so effortlessly and perhaps that was her problem. Ember thought too much about what she was doing all the time that she never let herself truly be one with the force.
After tossing down the file, Ember placed her hands upon her hips and sighed. “I’m sorry for my complaining. If you want me to focus on rocks today I will.” It was a big step for Ember because she wanted to do something she had not done previously. She wanted to put her faith in Amalia that she would train her properly and had to come to realize that perhaps the silly lessons were somehow useful.
Ember waved for R2 to follow her out of the garage and then activated the panel to close the door. “I’m ready, Master.”
Posts: 211
  • Posted On: Nov 27 2013 1:47am
There was a strict sense of silence that fell on Amalia’s end as Ember spoke, and Amalia attentively listened and watched her. She saw no sense of interrupting, but seemed to understand a bit more about Ember’s personal predicament more by watching her, rather than by listening to her. Her Apprentice’s actions seemed to unlock the door that had previously been locked for Amalia.

“The force is as naturally a part of you as breathing is. The use of it, to control it, that may not always come easy, but nothing in life is easy, otherwise, life wouldn’t be worth living if it were.”

It was recognizable to Amalia that Ember had exceptional control over the force, it was her mindset that seemed to be lacking. Without that, it was almost as if missing a piece to the puzzle.

“It is a strong assumption on my part to suggest that you have no trouble controlling the force. I just watched you use it with relative ease. Perhaps it is your view that is hindering you. So I will simply say that I expect no more from you than I know you are capable of doing and giving of yourself. It is not enough for me to believe in you, you must believe in yourself as much, if you truly wish to succeed, Ember. Being a Jedi, it is not a profession, it is a way of life. We serve and protect, seek peace and justice for those who cannot obtain it simply for themselves. The force, it lives in you, in all living things. It is an energy that not only lives in all living things, but it penetrates and surrounds us, while binding the galaxy together.”

Without asking, mostly to startle and distract her young student, Amalia reached out with the force and extracted Ember’s saber from her own belt. She did so knowing that the young woman would never allow such an occurrence to happen ever again. The saber floated by way of Amalia’s use, to hover between them both, about eye length. Recklessly, or at least in what appeared to be a reckless manner, Amalia rapidly spun the saber in its hovering position.

“Now is your opportunity to realize that the way you wield your saber, is nothing to how you will wield it when you finally find your connection with the force. You use it with your saber when you wield it, but you don’t “feel” it. When you are one with this weapon, you will understand. In the weeks that follow, I will expect you to build your own saber, though you may of course continue to have and wield this one, it is yours. I want you to build your own because there is a significant purpose for doing so. You’re about to find out that purpose now.”

Amalia kept the saber rotating swiftly, used as both a distraction tactic, as well as a challenge in its own way.

“This saber may belong to you now, but before it became yours, it belonged to someone important to you – you know this – but you also have the option to feel this, through sensing it via the force. Force Sense is the most basic force skill to use, and the one I like to start with. With it, you can sense one’s aura, if someone is force sensitive or not, if they are of the light or the dark. The way you identify with the force is not the same way I identify with the force, latching onto it, it is personal. It is in you, thus it comes from you. Your aura, otherwise known as your force signature, there is no other like it. I want you to draw on what inspires you, makes you feel at peace, calm, and use it as your instrument for drawing on the force. Focus on the saber. No, it is not a living thing, but it does have something .. someone .. imbedded into it. The saber and that signature, when wielded, are as one, because the one who built it truly understood how to connect with the force and be one with it. That person may not be with you now, but if you are truly connected to the force, understand it, you will come to recognize when you wield that weapon, that they are always with you, wherever you go. To truly wield the force, you must feel it in order to connect with it.”
Posts: 43
  • Posted On: Dec 2 2013 4:59pm
Ember began to ponder on Amalia pointing out how, rather effortlessly; she had just used the force though it had never occurred while she was doing it. In her mind, Ember had convinced herself she was either unable to or just not good at using the force. While thinking on the topic, Ember jumped as her saber suddenly was pulled from her belt which immediately annoyed her. Of course, as the weapon twirled in front of her, there was a lesson to follow.
Force signatures were something a previous teacher had tried to explain to her. When she first received the weapon from her mother, she sensed several different sensations the moment her hand touched it. Ember reached out as the saber stopped twirling and grabbed it. Closing her eyes, she allowed those force signatures to come clearly to the surface.
Ember first sensed her grandfather and the moment the weapon was created. It was built by Anakin Skywalker to replace his first weapon lost in the Battle of Geonosis. She sensed his confidence in himself while also fighting an inner fear of loss deep inside. A sudden cold sensation overcame Ember as she felt the dark side of the force and the moment Anakin turned. She felt the deaths of countless Jedi, including younglings, that he killed during the purge on Coruscant. Next came an intense anger towards Obi Won Kenobi upon being defeated in their dual on Mustafar and then the detachment of the weapon as it was taken from him.
After a void, Ember felt the moment the weapon was given to her father, Luke Skywaker, who was about to begin his own journey in becoming a Jedi.  She sensed a similar reckless temperament in Luke which made her smirk knowing now where it had come from just as her mother had joked about. Her smirk was quickly wiped away when she felt the separation of the weapon from her father when Darth Vader painfully sliced Luke’s hand off in their confrontation on Bespin.
Ember then felt the weapon’s return to the dark side where it came into the hands of her father’s clone until her mother, Mara Jade, took the weapon and struck him down. Shortly afterwards, Luke presented the saber to Mara who would carry it until she constructed her own. Mara would then pass it on to Ember and she could sense the love her mother has for her hoping the weapon would protect and serve her well. It was emotional since she questioned her connection to either of her parents and it made a tear gently fall down Ember’s cheek feeling Mara so closely connected to her in that moment.
Opening her eyes, she looked back at Amalia in silence until she slowly nodded indicating her understanding. Before that moment, Ember saw her saber as nothing more than a weapon on her belt used for combat. Now she could feel its past and those who wielded it before her along with their connections to the weapon. It was in intense revelation for her and one that finally cracked some of Ember’s ignorance of the force.
“Thank you, Master,” Ember began to say as she wiped the tear from her face. “I understand this now and will work on constructing my own saber soon. If you will excuse me, I have something I need to take care of. I promise I will be on time tomorrow for my next lesson.”
Ember waved for R2 to follow along as they headed to where Luke and Mara lived. The door slid open where Mara offered ember a smile. Without so much as a word, Ember embraced her mother tightly. “Thank you,” she said softly as she clung to her sensing Mara already knew what Ember was talking about. Such a simple lesson opened up so much more to Ember than she could ever have realized.
Posts: 211
  • Posted On: Dec 14 2013 1:23pm
It was about the middle of the day when Amalia decided to take use of practice from the previous day’s lesson as she drew on the force to contact Ember.
Hopefully you were as mindful as I know you to be and practiced Force Sense during some of your free time yesterday and today. We’ll see. Find me, and you just might find that it will lead to a reward.
Amalia had settled herself inside a rather large junkyard, which, judged on looks alone, looked precisely the opposite of any kind of reward. Junk, however, had its uses, especially for Ember. She had the feeling that the young woman had a fine appreciation for things that most individuals did not. That she could make use of what she saw. There were a great deal of many nifty treasures hidden way down deep in the humungous piles, including lightsaber parts, as well as ship parts. If Ember could imagine it, it was probably there. All it would take to get a constant flow of movement going was the interest in sensing it, finding it, and then wanting it bad enough that Ember could willingly levitate it up and out of the massive pile. Size mattered not, and with just a little bit of motivation, Amalia could prove it to her student. Ember was either going to do it, or she wasn’t. Do or do not, there is no try, as was said by Master Yoda, wise words to live by.
It would be a grueling experience in its own way, prying one piece of item in the yard from another, lifting piece after piece to get to the right object, but well worth it, allowing Ember to be inspired to completing a goal. There were too many things in the yard not to find something worth levitating.
Posts: 43
  • Posted On: Dec 20 2013 2:16pm
Ember quickly jumped up the moment she heard Amalia within her mind. None of her previous masters had communicated so much through the force to her since she seldom listened to them outwardly. Amalia was different and set expectations upon Ember which was not something she was used to. Perhaps it was because Ember began to share the same sentiment as those who trained her who viewed her as too reckless to be trained? Whatever the reason, Ember had taken a liking to Amalia and had some deep need to not fail her.
Ember grabbed her belt and clipped it on before she waved to her little blue friend to follow. “Come on, R2.”
Stepping outside, Ember paused and closed her eyes. Amalia gave no hint where she was which meant Ember would have to find her solely through the force. Ember normally ran around corners and into situations without even thinking about feeling what might be there. More often than not, it got her into trouble and this was precisely the type of lesson she needed though she would never admit it. With her eyes closed, ember felt a cool breeze4 as it blew by. It gently whipped her hair around as the rustling of leaves upon trees could be heard in the distance. She then heard the various species hidden in the fauna around her and, for a brief moment, she could feel those around her. It was a unique sensation as if a radar image was literally being felt within her mind. As she tried to focus more, she could just about tell who it was that was closest to her and who was farther. She began to feel who was familiar and who she did not know. Ember felt those who were stronger in the force than others and those who were not.
As a faint smirk came to Ember’s face over her force sense coming into shape, R2 beeped as his sensor popped up and began scanning for Amalia. Ember quickly opened her eyes and gave r2 a light swat on his dome. “No, R2! That’s cheating!” Ember turned away. “I can do this,” she added while closing her eyes again. “I can do this…”
Ember again reached out and now focused on those force sensitive around her. She then began to sort them out by those she was familiar with and those she was not. Focusing more deeply, there was a moment where Ember sensed her mother Mara who was in the temple. It was then Ember realized having so much attention on the temple itself was too obvious. Amalia had to be cleverer than that so Ember turned her attention to the grounds nearby where the beings around her were more scattered. Then, some distance away, she felt a familiar presence which made Ember smile as she glanced over at R2. “Let’s go.”
After making her way with R2 towards where she felt Amalia was, ember grew excited as mounds of junk came into view. Junkyards were practical toy stores to her where she could spend hours upon hours of her day searching for parts along with anything that caught her eye. Tinkering was therapeutic for Ember and it had been her only release for many years.
Walking by mounds of stacked up wreckage and junk with R2 right behind her, Ember finally reached where Amalia had been waiting. “Master,” Ember said while trying not to be overly excited she even found her. Most of the time she could not even find a tool let alone her own master randomly choosing a junkyard to meet her in. “I could not believe it, Master. I mean, there was so much around me that I suddenly felt. I knew where people were and even who some of them were. It was amazing!” Ember offered a curious glance at Amalia when she suddenly realized a point Amalia had made to her previously had been made clear. “Anyways,” Ember said softly while she ruffled her hair and attempted to evade admitting she was wrong about not needing such an ability in the force.
Ember’s eyes began to look around the piled of junk she saw as endless supplies of treasure. “Well, either you brought me here to let me dig through all this stuff for hours or you have something more in mind.” Ember turned and offered a smile. “Even I know you would not simply let me waste a few hours here for nothing so I am suspecting there is another point to be made.” Shaking her head, Ember took her jacket off and tossed it onto R2 who beeped profusely about having his eye covered up. “Let’s hear it.”
Posts: 211
  • Posted On: Jan 6 2014 8:55pm
Brown eyes sparkled at Ember’s assertive behavior, but Amalia did not chime in with given comment, preferring to keep to the task at hand.
“I’m sure there are a great many number of materials here that can be useful to you. I thought we might make further practice use of force sense, while adding to it, some force levitation. Sense will help you observe what it is you are looking at, and even the items you can’t see. Once you’ve identified something in the pile that is of interest to you, the levitation should be your anchor to help motivate you. Another words, if you want it, go and get it.”
Amalia had to hope that whatever Ember went to hunting for, to search for, and actually came to find, would be settled somewhere deep within the pile. Granted, she didn’t want to strain her Padawan, just leave her to work for what she wanted, while earning it at the same time.
“Honoring the same consistent theme of reaching out with the force, just as you did with force sense, you’ll do the same with levitation. Only you will be adding one more step by imagining an invisible hand reaching out, taking up each item, piece by piece. If not a hand, then whatever tool you feel will work for you.  Do not so much focus on the entire pile, but one item at a time, remember, your concentration when working on learning your new abilities must be on that task at hand, in order to truly learn it. Yesterday, I taught you to identify life within the force, today, you will go even further by learning to observe each element found in these items. This will take time, perhaps testing your patience, but it will no doubt be well worth it for you. If you have no questions or concerns, please proceed when you’re ready.”
The exercise was meant to help Ember broaden her scope of the force in greater detail, as well as to pick up levitation along the way. Such two skills were only just the beginning of Ember’s training, however.
Posts: 43
  • Posted On: Jan 20 2014 7:34pm
Ember had been perched in the center of the massive junkyard for several hours and was beginning to feel mentally drained from the extensive concentration it was taking to find what little she had so far. Only a mere small pile of parts were stacked in front of her ranging in thing she needed to work on her interceptor to a few pieces she could use to fabricate her first light saber. Beads of sweat were trickling down her temples and Ember was ruffling her hair more frequently than normal which was often a sign that she was getting frustrated.
The task at hand was taking far longer than she expected but Ember was determined to see it through even now that it had reached the point of boredom. She managed to move both large and small objects with greater ease each time. When she had begun, things were tossed around rather carelessly to get to what was beneath them. Now Ember was able to levitate objects in the air longer and set them down more slowly.
As she struggled to maintain focus, Ember did manage to see Amalia having a lengthy discussion with another Jedi Master who had showed up a half hour ago. At first Ember thought he had come to watch how much progress Amalia had made with her but she soon realized it was another matter that had brought him over. Ember, thanks to Amalia’s teachings, was able to reach out and sense the emotion being conveyed. It was one of concern whether or not Ember was ready for something.
“Has to be a mission,” Ember muttered to herself as she set down the barrel and took a break. R2 immediately began beeping. “Shut up, R2! I just need a little break! Is that okay with you?” R2 buzzed his disagreement while Ember began ruffling her hair. R2’s arm then came out and gave Ember a mild shock in the arm. “HEY! WHAT WAS THAT FOR?” R2 beeped and whistled and soon Ember was arguing with her little blue companion who was trying to get Ember to stop that nervous habit.
After Ember and R2 carried on for a while, Ember saw that Amalia was alone with her eyes fixed upon her. “Okay, R2! Enough,” Ember said as she got up and brushed her pants off before she slowly walked over to Amalia with R2 trailing behind her. “I guess it would be pompous of me to think that was just all about me and I was…” Ember began ruffling her hair for a moment and only stopped when R2 bumped into her. “Okay, R2,” Ember said sternly as she waved her hand in front of his eye.
Turning her attention back to Amalia, Ember’s face grew more serious. “I was able to sense the serious nature of the visit. Is there something I can help with or could they be sending us on a mission perhaps?”
Posts: 211
  • Posted On: Jan 28 2014 8:37pm
The exchange of words from one Master to another was not something of confidentiality, though Amalia was hesitant, just the same, in sharing the outcome with her Padawn. The brunette’s arms were crossed over her chest, a usual sign that she was struggling with one particular matter or another.
“While I admire your enthusiasm for the tasks that you have been working on today, taking breaks is a necessity. Practicing, or working on a force ability for use, it is done best with a relaxed and focused mind. You were clearly able to focus on the task given to you, with little to no distraction, but I could not help but to see that the exercise became taxing on you. It is better to conserve your energy, take more breaks, but otherwise, job well done ...”
Brown eyes could plainly observe that training was the last thing on Ember’s mind. Looking at Ember, even as composed as she was, felt more like looking at someone who seemed to be on the edge of their seat.  The Jedi was clinging to Amalia’s words, which truthfully, was not something Amalia so much longed for.
“The council has sent Mara off to find Lexus…”
The light blue robed Jedi lifted an abrupt hand, an encouraging hand signal that attempt to try and stop Ember from possibly overreacting with any sudden movements. Amalia has more to say on the matter, even while sensing that Ember was not fond of the mission goal.
“She was not gone alone and has been sent with a team of fellow Jedi. I was also told that we are to proceed with tremendous caution while on Ossus. Hostile transmission have been exposed, to encourage the wide spread of Reaver attacks. If we so choose to proceed off world, we will, and should continue to, proceed with caution. It is not safe for you to travel alone at this time.”