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 Force 101 (Flashback)

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Keliso

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PostSubject: Force 101 (Flashback)   Tue Apr 05, 2016 2:37 pm

It was midday, around the time all the other padawans were eating together, but Keliso thought the time would be better spent practicing for her next sparring session. She stood in front of the training dummy with her vibrosword in hand, and whacked away at it half-halfheartedly. She was eight years old, and most of her classmates were at least two years younger, and yet, so much better at everything than her. She couldn't even manage to block a few shot from the training droid today, and yet all the other kids worked flawlessly. The master only had more force mumbo jumbo to offer as advice, which Keliso couldn't seem to understand in the first place. She felt so far behind.

She may have only been half the size of her training dummy, but the more she thought about her situation, the harder she started to hit the dummy, each blow landing more fiercely than the last. When she finally let out a cry on the last blow, she stopped and glanced around, seeing a few of the older jedi watching her. The other jedi and padawans never showed anger, or as Keliso saw it, no emotion at all. She was afraid of another lecture, so with an exasperated sigh, she sat down and looked up at the training dummy with her vibrosword discarded to the side of her.


Last edited by Keliso on Tue Apr 05, 2016 2:41 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Ellbert

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PostSubject: Re: Force 101 (Flashback)   Tue Apr 05, 2016 2:40 pm

Ellbert always ate his lunch outside. No matter the weather, no matter the time of year. It was much more peaceful under the shade of a tree than in a crowded cafeteria during a time when everyone believed it was okay for forget their goal of remaining calm. He would rather sit alone here than sit alone inside where he was reminded that no one wanted to eat with him. It was easier to accept that he had no one to call a friend when he wasn't surrounded by so many that did.

So he relaxed in his usual spot for sunny days, letting the light that played through the leaves above him wash over his small cloaked body. Some days he meditated instead of eating; it was fuel enough for him to feel the wisps of the Force he was learning to recognize swirl around him. Most times, though, he simply watched. Ellbert was good at watching – it was much easier than interacting. He liked to watch the older jedi train, hoping someday to be able to do what they did. He saw them test themselves, and trust in their abilities and the Force. He saw them congratulate each other and laugh together. He hoped someday to have that, too.

Today there was someone else that caught his attention. A girl, younger even than himself, had stomped into the training yard at the start of lunchtime and had set to attacking one of the training dummies. It took him a few moments of watching her move and strike before he got a good enough look at her to realize he knew who she was. Her name was Keliso, and she was a few years younger than him. They had met only briefly, and Ellbert recalled she had been kind to him and didn't even ask about his face.

She seemed upset now, maybe even mad. What was there to be mad about here, though? Especially for her. He had never seen anyone pick on her before, and although she was new she didn't look out of place to him. Maybe one of the masters had scolded her for something. Ellbert himself lived in fear of the disappointment of the masters; he bet he would be upset like Keliso was if they had scolded him.

He was content to watch her until she flung her weapon down and sat hard onto the ground. After a glance around Ellbert noticed none of the older jedi were going up to her, as they sometimes did to help their younger classmates. Maybe they were too busy with their own things today, or maybe Keliso was just too young for them to care about. She needed someone right now though, he could tell. He didn't know how he could tell, but he could.

So he stood and gathered his robe around him, his hood pulled up and shadowing his face despite the warmth of the spring sun. If she was nice to him once, it was possible she would be again. He tried to focus on that instead of the all mean things she could say to him as he made his way over to the training dummies.

He sat down next to her, not too close, but near enough that no one else would over hear them. His eyes strayed first to the discarded vibrosword, then to her face, and away again just as quickly. He ran his fingers over the soft grass beneath him, uncertain how to proceed.

With his head still bowed and eyes on the ground he spoke, his voice barely above a whisper. “Are you ok?
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Keliso

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PostSubject: Re: Force 101 (Flashback)   Tue Apr 05, 2016 2:41 pm

Keliso jolted a bit at the sudden sound of a voice beside her, and it was enough to pull her from her thoughts. She glanced over at the boy sitting next to her, and had to sort of angle her head to see his face better under that hood. Once she recognized him, she smiled, putting aside what had been bothering her so easily. "Oh it's you again, Ellbert right? It's hard to recognize you when you wear that thing all the time." Keliso had only met him once before, and only briefly, but he had been wearing the hood back then too. But he had helped her with her lesson before, so she didn't criticize him for hiding his face. He was yet another student who seemed to excel here.

"Oh, it's nothing... I'm not sure you would understand. It's just, everyone else is so much better than me. I'm not good at this stuff." She frowned much like the pouting child she was and crossed her legs and put her chin in her hands.

She just couldn't 'reach out with her feelings' or whatever that was supposed to mean. It's what her teacher told her time and time again. Force mumbo jumbo, that's what all of this was. After being recruited at such an old age (most kids were brought into the academy at far younger than Keliso had the least experience out of all her classmates, despite being placed into a group of younger kids. She was the oldest among her peers, and yet the least talented when it came to the force.

And it wasn't as though Keliso wanted to give up; she feared that her lack of skill would get her sent back to Tattooine, where she would have to fend for herself again. She didn't want to go back there. She pulled some grass out of the ground in agitation, "I mean, I think I'm okay with sparring, but when we fight with the training droids blindfolded, I get blasted. And some of the other kids in my class can even lift stuff already."
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Ellbert

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PostSubject: Re: Force 101 (Flashback)   Tue Apr 05, 2016 2:42 pm

Ellbert didn't notice Keliso turn to him and try to see beneath his hood. He was still staring at the ground, studying the grass for no reason other than it was easier to look at than someone else's eyes. He did listen when she started to talk, though, and she even remembered his name. He bowed his head lower when she mentioned his hood; it didn't take people long to notice that he hardly ever took it off. He didn't mind that it turned him from 'the weird kid with the burned face' into 'the weird kid who always hide his face.' Well, it did bother him, but he tried his best not to think about it.

“I'm sorry,” he mumbled. “I don't like to take it off.”

Ellbert chanced a longer look over at Keliso as she began to speak again. Her hair was matted and slightly damp from the workout she had just had with her vibrosword and it curled around her chin in clumps. It was shorter than most of the other girls here, and much less cared for. Ellbert thought it looked nice, like she wasn't trying so hard to impress anyone. Like she wouldn't care that his hair was a bit of a mess, too. There was also something odd about her face that he hadn't noted the first time that met, likely because he hadn't really looked at her then.

On her left cheek there was a small metal...something. It was attached to her skin, maybe even fused somehow. Ellbert knew better than to stare – a lifetime of being on the receiving end of long looks had taught him that. So he looked away again, back to the grass that Keliso was now ripping up. He couldn't think of why she would have metal on her face, but he wasn't about to ask.

What Keliso said he did understand. Not in the way she meant, but he understood feeling like he didn't belong, like the other's were always laughing at him or excluding him. He didn't know this girl at all, but the hurt and frustration in her voice pained him, too.

“You're probably better than you think.” Ellbert knew all about doubting himself. He regurgitated the words Master Rezdati said to him, in hopes it helped Keliso. He wanted to believe them too, so it was as much for himself as it was for her. “You shouldn't compare yourself to the others, you know. Everyone's different.”

A moment passed in silence and Ellbert found himself looking again at her vibrosword. He was alright with his, not nearly as enthusiastic as she was, but he very rarely got blasted when they trained blindfolded. Fighting a visible target may be easy for Keliso, but using his bond with the Force to fight an invisible one was easy for him. What was it the masters always said? It was his responsibility to help others. Maybe this was one of those times.

“Um. Maybe...if you want, though, I can help? I do okay with that stuff.” Ellbert wasn't trying to be modest, he just didn't want Keliso to think he was trying to make himself look better than her. He didn't knw how exactly he could help, but he wanted to try anyway.
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Keliso

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PostSubject: Re: Force 101 (Flashback)   Tue Apr 05, 2016 2:45 pm

Young Keliso frowned at his comment. He seemed awful set on hiding his face, though she could understand why. She'd only caught a glimpse, but she could tell his face was scarred. Perhaps he had his own troubles with his own classmates. Her fingers grazed the smooth metal on her face. She wasn't normal either, but she didn't let it bother her. Maybe she just didn't understand.

But then he offered words of comfort, and she couldn't help but smile. She wasn't used to such kindness. "Thank you. I guess I just need to practice more than them." She'd only just gotten here of course. And most of the other kids had practically been raised here on Tython, so they had far more experience than she did. Then again, they probably hadn't had it as hard as Keliso did, growing up. She had to fend for herself, and spend most of her childhood as a slave working for her next meal. These kids probably came from rich families, straight off Coruscant. But perhaps not Ellbert though, Keliso rethought as she glanced at him again. He didn't seem to fit in here either.

Then Ellbert offered to help her with her training, which caught her off guard. "You wanna help me?" A grin spread across her face, from one metal plate on her face to the other, "Would you really? Thank you so much Ellbert! Can we start right now? Please please pleasssssse?" She positioned herself criss crossed directly in front of Ellbert, eager to begin now, rather than wait till later. "We still have some time before lunch is over!"
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PostSubject: Re: Force 101 (Flashback)   Tue Apr 05, 2016 2:47 pm

Ellbert instinctively scooted backwards when Keliso shifted to sit right in front of him. He didn't mind when people were close, or at at least he didn't think he minded, it was just that it happened so infrequently he still wasn't used to it. He was thrown off as well by the way she brightened up in the blink of an eye. One moment she was doubtful and frustrated and the next she was nearly quivering with anticipation.

She was so excited about training together that he couldn't suppress a grin. “Sure, I want to help.” He looked around to make sure the others weren't headed back to classes yet and verify that they did have some time before lunch was over. A few of the older kids were watching them, likely curious about Keliso's energetic pleas. “Let's, uh, be quiet though.”

He lifted his head up enough so he could see into Keliso's eager face. Now that he had said he would help he needed to figure out what to help with. After a moment of consideration he deicded on the thing he was best at. “Ok, so, maybe we should meditate? It's my favorite thing and....well, I guess it being my favorite doesn't matter but it is really important. Master Rezdati says that it's the most important thing to practice, other than kindness. I, uh, am not sure how to practice that though.”

He was rambling. He finally had someone to talk to and he was rambling. With a quick clearing of his throat he moved on. “Anyway, we should shut our eyes.”

It felt better with his eyes closed. He could already feel himself start to relax. He began to take deep breaths, focusing on the way the fresh air filled his lungs. “Now breathe, but do it in a way that you think about, not like normal. You have to do it so you can hear it, and feel it. Then you can't hear or feel anything else.”

With his eyes shut and his breathing even, Ellbert nearly forgot about Keliso sitting in front of him. They sat there, silent and still, for a few moments before he chanced speaking again. “Do you feel that, now? Not your breathing, but the...uh, well I guess the Force. When you get real calm you start to feel it, like a, uh, like when someone it watching you, but you don't know.”

It was hard to describe what the Force felt like, and maybe it felt different to different people. But Ellbert knew it was real, and it was there. It was everywhere, tickling and touching his skin and his thoughts. The more he focused on it, the stronger the sensation got. “When you get like that, the feeling's stronger, its almost like a shape. Well, it is a shape, but you can't see it. You have to let yourself feel it. That's that hard part. You have to let go of whatever's inside you that wants to act and just...feel instead.”

Ellbert let one of his eyes open slightly to peak at Keliso and see if she was still there. He didn't really think she'd leave, but he had to make sure. Most kids didn't stick around to talk to him this long. When he saw she was still there he continued.

“That's what the masters say, at least. They say it like you have to stretch your feelings like hands or legs or something, but that's not how I see it. It's more like...like being happy and sad and hurt and pushing those things outside of you, so they're not you anymore. Then you have room for the Force to come in, and you can feel it instead of all those other things.”

This was the most Ellbert had spoken to another kid at once in as long as he could remember. It was making him shaky, now, his voice losing its strength. What if he ran out of things to say? Or what he said wasn't helpful? What if she didn't understand what he meant when he said to push away the feelings? It was easy for him – he wanted to forget them anyway. Maybe she wanted to keep hers close though. That would explain why she was having a hard time.
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Keliso

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PostSubject: Re: Force 101 (Flashback)   Tue Apr 05, 2016 10:53 pm

Meditation... it was not her strong suit. Her face fell a bit, but she did as Ellbert requested and closed her eyes. Relaxing herself and breathing steadily was simple enough, as was all previous attempts, but the next part was the hardest. He asked, just as her masters if she could feel the force. Well, unless the light breeze in the air was the Force, than no, she certainly didn't feel it. And all this nonsense about stretching out with your feelings, how was anyone to do that?

But as Ellbert continued with his explanation, her eyebrows furrowed, "But why wouldn't I want to feel happy? And how can I just push away my pain?" She opened her eyes to look at him, "Is this what I must do to become a Jedi?" She frowned. She couldn't see how that was possible.

Before that Jedi Master found her on Tattooine, Keliso never would have imagined herself a life away from that dusty planet and away from her slave master. And though she went from one Master to many more here on Tython, the people here were kinder, and she had always heard stories about Jedi saving innocent lives. She wanted to be like that; to stop others from hurting as she had. Pushing away that feeling- it felt, wrong. How could she be a hero for people like her if her pain was not her anymore?
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PostSubject: Re: Force 101 (Flashback)   Thu May 05, 2016 7:52 pm

Keliso was still there when he peeked his eye open. It came as a relief as much as a surprise. He watched her brow furrow, her lips grow tight. Was he not explaining well enough? Or had he said something wrong?

“I...don't know. It might be.” He answered Keliso's question as best he could. He still wasn't certain just what made a jedi a true jedi. It felt like a lot of things all at once. He hoped one day he would understand better. If he was to become a jedi he had to.

Bert's eyes were fully open now, looking anywhere but the girl in front of him. He saw the older students chatting and laughing; birds and small creatures rushing through the trees and bushes. Tython was a peaceful place. It was hard to imagine any pain sprouting here, any disaster striking. In the back of his mind, though, Bert knew it could happen. Any place seemed perfect until it wasn't.    

He smoothed the grass down with his palms, doing anything to distract himself from what he was thinking. In the end his question spurted out of him, and immediately he felt wrong to have asked it. “Why don't you want to get rid of your pain? Doesn't it hurt?”

It was better to feel nothing than to feel pain, and it was easier to feel nothing than to feel happy. He knew it wasn't like that for the other kids, though. Maybe that was the reason he was better at meditation and sensing the Force than they were. Maybe he needed it more than they did; maybe he was broken.

He couldn't tell Keliso that though. He didn't know her well, and even if he did she might not understand. He didn't understand himself. It was probably better that she was having a difficult time. She had happiness to hold on to.
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