[Art] ArtFight Week 3

Didn’t get too many done this week oops. As always, full images can be seen on my ArtFight profile: https://artfight.net/~DancingHare

 

[Art] Revenge of the Fifth

Omarran, the Sith Juggernaut, isn’t actually as evil as he looks. He just hasn’t had his coffee yet.

may5th_sith

[Art] May The Fourth Be With You

I remembered to draw something this year! These are my two Jedi from SWTOR, Xarlo the Guardian and Zamarra the Sage.

may4th_jedi

 

[Story] Character of the Week – Sorrox

[[ Sorrox is my Cathar Smuggler in SWTOR. My most recent alt, he’s cute and dashing, I really like playing him. I’m hoping he can get some story stuff going! ]]

Sorrox slid under the spaceport door as blaster bolts slammed into the metal, leaving trails of smoke behind. He punched the button to close it repeatedly, as if to urge it to move faster. How was he supposed to know the shipment of gemstones were fake? Sure, he’d bought them for a song, so he should have known. But that was no reason to try to shoot him, was it? A stray bolt careened into the port as the door hissed close, and Sorrox jumped to avoid it. He was safe — for now, but those gangsters would have the port doors opened in no time. Worse, they could try to keep him from leaving. He checked his vest pocket to ensure his credits were still there — they were — and jogged over to the Calamity.

A human crouched in the cover of the temporary stairs, his blaster aimed at Sorrox.

“What’re you doing here?” Sorrox growled, too surprised for diplomacy. Then, he thought to add: “Don’t shoot me.”

Sorrox had seen enough humans to know this one wasn’t very old. And he looked scared, maybe because he’d just been caught in someone else’s port. “I need out of here,” the human said, peering over the stairs toward the sealed door. Already, some smoking black scorches had appeared in it. “I’ll explain later.”

He didn’t have a habit of picking up hitchhikers, especially ones that had pointed weapons at him, but Sorrox could relate to his dilemma. “Yeah, all right,” Sorrox said, unlocking the boarding doors. The human scrambled to his feet and boarded, Sorrox following behind him. He’d expected a few missiles as they broke Nar Shaddaa’s orbit, but fortunately the planet didn’t have much in the way of anti-aircraft towers. Too many casinos and high-rise buildings for that.

Sorrox sat back in his captain’s chair with a sigh, switching the controls over to cruising speed. He looked over at the human, who sat with his back toward him, looking out onto the great expanse of the stars.

“So?” said Sorrox. “You said you’d explain. Explain.”

The human’s eyes roamed over the inside of the cockpit. “This your ship?”

Sorrox nodded. The light cargo ship Calamity had never been intended for long travel or combat, but he’d outfitted her with a new engine and some defensive plating. It had worked so far, but he planned to get some guns mounted next — when he could afford them, that is. He’d won her a few years back in a game of pazaak. Maybe he’d cheated a little, but the guy he was playing against was too drunk to notice. Besides, he probably had dozens of ships just like her, and he could afford to lose one. She wasn’t much, but Sorrox was proud of her.

“I’m Captain Sorrox.” That was another perk of having your own ship, you got to put ‘Captain’ in front of your name. Sorrox thought it sounded dashing.

“Nash,” said the human, looking out the window again.

“Nash what?”

“Just Nash.”

Sorrox shrugged, bringing up the navigation map. “Okay, Just Nash. Why were you in such a hurry to get off Nar Shaddaa?”

“Pissed off a hutt. I don’t really want to talk about it.”

The cathar eyed Nash skeptically. A hutt, really? He didn’t look like the kind of guy who was important enough to get a hutt’s attention, let alone send people after him. Maybe he was lying. Maybe he wasn’t, Sorrox couldn’t tell. Humans didn’t have whiskers or ears to give away when they weren’t being completely truthful. They were so weird and pale and hairless. “What hutt?”

Nash frowned. “Vinto.”

Okay, so maybe he’d just picked the name of one hutt. He got lucky. Sorrox shook his head, and didn’t press the subject any further. It was just fine with him if Just Nash wanted to keep secrets. Didn’t he have plenty of his own? “So where should I drop you off?”

“Anywhere,” Nash muttered. “Not here.”

Sorrox looked at the map. Anywhere wasn’t exactly a destination he could put in. Truthfully, he wasn’t sure just where he was headed himself. He had a cargo hold full of stuff, but no buyers yet. Somewhere he could turn that junk into credits was ideal. He looked at the human again.

“You need a job?” Sorrox asked.

The human shrugged, looking at him warily. “Maybe. Why?”

“What can you do?”

“Slicing. Some forging. I’m good with a blaster.”

He’d been running alone for the last few years, he’d been burned by past partners before, and wasn’t eager to be stabbed in the back again. Nor did he know anything about this human, with one name and few words. Could he trust him? Sorrox didn’t know. But he was already here, and if Nash really was good at slicing and forging, he could prove useful indeed. “Want to work together? I have some stuff I need to offload. Nothing too illegal, don’t worry.”

The human’s eyes narrowed thoughtfully. “Why not.” He extended a hand, and Sorrox took it.

[Story] Character of the Week – Xarlo

[[ Xarlo is my cathar Jedi Knight! (No, he’s not named after Kylo, he was created years before TLJ came out 🙂 ) He is still learning, but eager to prove himself, especially because his mother is also a Jedi. The absence of his father has affected him greatly, and recently he has taken a more active role in trying to locate him. ]]

From the shuttle window, Taris looked serene and peaceful, revealing no hint of the turmoil it had endured. He had visited once, many years ago, when his mother had first taken the position with the reclamation effort. Xarlo was pleasantly surprised when they touched down on the landing pad, surrounded by buildings and a thriving settlement. Thankfully, the Eternal Empire had not considered Taris a worthy target, and had been spared more destruction. But the scars of the Imperial Empire still lay bare across the land, and the rakghouls festered there like a raging infection. Here in the settlement, he saw little trace of them, but they lurked in the wilds and dark places — the places his mother was often sent to.

Xarlo learned at the desk that his mother was stationed at one of the camps to the north, and as he walked along the road, the structures grew more ruined and forgotten the further away he got. Though they had been working at it for many years, it seemed an almost insurmountable task. Slow progress was progress, that was something Master Rusaa liked to say. Xarlo was sure that his mother would agree with that.

He found her helping to clear rocks from a massive slide that had buried an entire end of the village. There were likely buildings underneath, but it was impossible to tell for certain. In spite of the effort — Xarlo could see it in her hands and the set of her jaw — she looked as prim as he remembered, every hair in place, every line of her robe smooth. Xarlo watched as she lifted a jagged stone the size of a speeder and set it neatly beside the others. Her expression brightened immediately when she noticed him. “Xarlo.”

They walked to one of the tents to talk in the shade, an assortment of monitoring equipment humming and intermittently beeping behind them. “It’s been so long! How have you been.” She paused and looked him over critically. Xarlo’s robes were rumpled, and he tried to smooth them out as if she wouldn’t notice. “You’re not eating enough.”

Xarlo’s ears twitched sheepishly. “Well, I was busy. And I wrote to you before. About the outpost on Tattooine?”

His mother made a little rumble of assent. “Are you still there now?”

“Ehm, kind of. I mean, I don’t know. I’ve been doing other things.”

Xaliha frowned in the way Xarlo dreaded. It meant she didn’t approve of what he’d just said. “What is more important than your studies, Xarlo?”

He sighed, because they’d had this conversation before, more than once. She knew what he was going to say, and then she’d just say the same thing in response. “I want to find him. I think I deserve answers.”

A little droid rattled into the tent bearing two cups of tea. Xaliha sighed and took one of them. Xarlo didn’t, and it waited there for him until he waved it away. “You’re not going to get any answers, even if you are able to find him. You must know that.”

That was the part she always said, and Xarlo knew that it was at least partly true. Did curiosity truly drive him, or was there a small desire for revenge, as well? He told himself there wasn’t, but the idea frightened him.

“Xarlo, he doesn’t define you. Nor does his absence.”

“I know, but I want–”

“It’s foolish,” Xaliha said flatly. “And dangerous. Please just leave it be.”

She was right, of course. She’d said it before. But he couldn’t just forget, as much as he’d tried. Maybe it was easier for her to put her emotions aside, but he couldn’t. He just needed to be focused and not let them get the better of him. Master Rusaa wouldn’t have approved either, and he’d probably have cuffed his ears, too.

“I’m sorry,” Xarlo said. “I have to know. You don’t know where he is?”

Xaliha shook her head and took a sip of her tea. Xarlo didn’t have to see her face to know what her expression looked like right now. “The last time we spoke was before you were born. I tried to contact him when you went to the academy, but I don’t know if he received it or not.”

Xarlo nodded, he was disappointed but not surprised. But it meant that his father probably did know that he existed. Wasn’t he curious as well? Or did he not care at all? Maybe he was dead, and that’s why he’d never contacted him. It would explain a lot, and Xarlo could let go of all the worry and anger he’d built up over the years — but it wouldn’t answer everything.

“Have you searched in the archives?” Xaliha asked quietly.

Xarlo nodded. “Yeah.” He’d spent hours poring over any records of cathar, with his name or not. It wasn’t unheard of that he’d used a fake name, and some records were incomplete or damaged. Xarlo knew that his father wasn’t force sensitive, so he wouldn’t be as closely monitored.

“Imperial records?”

Xarlo frowned. He didn’t want to entertain his idea that his father was enslaved by sith. But then, maybe he’d be grateful if his long-lost son appeared and defeated his cruel masters. That probably wouldn’t happen; Xarlo had never even seen a sith in person, other than the ones at the gatherings. That wasn’t really the same. And Imperial records of slaves were even more shoddy than Republic records. Still, it was a good suggestion — except that he had no way to access any.

“I don’t know how I’d get those,” Xarlo said. “I could hire someone to look, maybe… if I knew someone like that.” But he didn’t — or did he? Maybe one of the people at the outpost. He knew one of them was a skilled slicer, maybe he’d be able to access Imperial frequencies at well. It all seemed — as his mother had said — highly dangerous though. How exactly would he explain himself if they caught him snooping around their computers? Sith wouldn’t care about him trying to find his father.

Xaliha shook her head. “I don’t want you to do this. I don’t think it will go the way you want.”

But Xarlo wasn’t even sure what he wanted. Answers, yes, but what else? An apology, maybe, for abandoning him and for leaving Xaliha behind to face the council alone. They’d urged her to give him away, but she had refused. Any aspirations she might have once had were gone — because of him, and because of Tirzo. She said that she never regretted it, and Xarlo believed her, but he still felt it was unfair. How could Tirzo go on as if nothing had happened, as if he didn’t have a son somewhere? And for all those years, he didn’t bother to reach out to him. Xarlo wanted to know why. He wanted to know where his father had come from, and — perhaps most of all — to be certain that they weren’t alike. His fear was that he would learn they were, after all.

Xaliha sighed again, and in that moment she looked older than she ever had to Xarlo. “Give me your comm,” she said, and Xarlo handed it to her, puzzled. She put a code in and gave it back. Xarlo didn’t recognize the name, or the code. “He might know something, but Xarlo… I beg of you, please be careful.”

He gave her a quick hug. “I will, mom.”

[Story] Character of the Week – Tirzo

[[ Tirzo is my Bounty Hunter in SWTOR, and he’s the estranged father of Xarlo, my Jedi Knight. One day I suppose I should give them last names… currently they all just use my Legacy name. ]]

The airlock hissed, and the skinny twi’lek at the control panel gave Tirzo a thumbs-up. He didn’t want a partner; he preferred things to be quiet and his way only. But Tirzo wasn’t much of a slicer, and Cutter didn’t say much anyway, so overall it was a beneficial relationship. Best of all, the former slave didn’t ask for much in return — Tirzo’s old crew would have taken a much higher percentage. And he couldn’t deny that having an extra pair of eyes was useful, especially when venturing into unknown vessels carrying dangerous prey. Cutter wasn’t much good with a blaster, but he was a distraction, and that just might be enough if things went badly.

Tirzo checked his blaster and holstered it, stepping through the airlock doors onto the vessel. He could tell from the moment that his boot touched the plush carpeting that they were in the right place. Who else but a Sith would decorate like this? He moved silently forward, motioning for Cutter to cover his back. Tirzo didn’t like hunting Sith. All of his prey were dangerous in their own right, but Sith had a particularly nasty way of being dangerous, worming into your thoughts, ripping things unbidden out of your very soul. That, and the choking thing. There were always politics to be considered with Sith as well — taking a job for one might turn another dozen against you. He’d had to deal with furious relatives before, and the worst part about it was that he never got paid for those. Still, he couldn’t afford to be too picky about his marks right now. Work was work, and he was struggling. His ship needed extensive repairs, as well as upgrades, if he intended to keep chasing down bounties. But he had no crew, either, aside from the droid and Cutter, whom he’d found by pure luck. Tirzo didn’t know where the others had gone. He couldn’t blame them, really, but it sure did make his life more difficult to work without them.

This vessel, too, seemed unnaturally quiet. The panels hummed quietly, but otherwise there were no sounds of voices, no doors opening or alarms beeping. Tirzo frowned as he moved forward along the main passageway. This wasn’t a model he’d been on before, but the layout was simple enough, the rooms arranged along a central walkway that led to the bridge. The doorways were all closed, and Tirzo considered having Cutter slice them open, but it was likely a waste of time. If anyone was hiding behind those doors, they were crew or staff, not his mark. Sith weren’t known for cowering behind locked doors, at least in Tirzo’s experience. His ears perked up, detecting a sound from the bridge.

A droid stood at the controls, now and then pressing a button or adjusting a dial. It paid Tirzo and Cutter no mind at all, in fact it didn’t even seem to notice their presence. Tirzo uttered a curse beneath his breath. The mark had sensed his arrival and fled, leaving only the droid behind to keep the vessel on its path. No doubt they would meet up later, so maybe it would only be a matter of time — but the advantage of surprise was lost. Tirzo would be walking into a trap to pursue the Sith now, and he had no desire for his life to be finished just yet. Maybe there was a clue here, some recorded holocall or something in the navigation computer. He waved Cutter over and he had the files open in a few seconds. If something important was there, Tirzo couldn’t see it — not now at least. His mind raced, searching for a solution.

“Hey boss,” Cutter gestured to something on the monitor. “Think this is anything?”

Tirzo squinted at the glowing images. They were personal data files, complete with images, an odd thing for a Sith to have in their navigation system. But as he flipped through them, Tirzo realized they were all Jedi. The Sith he was hunting was a predator, as well.

“Yeah,” Tirzo grunted. “Make a copy.” The twi’lek took out a portable storage device and began to copy the files onto it. If Tirzo found one of the Sith’s targets first, he could regain the upper hand. And it couldn’t hurt to be on the Jedi’s good side, either. Cutter tapped his fingers on the control panel as the files copied over.

“That one’s a cathar,” he said, pointing to one of the personal data cards. “You know him?”

Not likely, Tirzo thought. A lot of cathar were among the ranks of the Jedi, their natural grace and agility lending itself well to the study of the Force. But he couldn’t help but look, curiosity or perhaps a desire to protect one of his own kind, even a stranger. Tirzo didn’t think he was a stranger, though. What was the name Xaliha had told him so many years ago? Had it been Xarlo? It was possible. And there was something in the pattern of his stripes, in the shape of his face, that seemed familiar.

Tirzo shook his head and scowled. “No. Let’s get out of here.”

Cutter slipped the storage device into his pocket and followed behind Tirzo obediently. Tirzo liked that he didn’t ask any more questions.

[Story] SWTOR – Xarlo’s Meditations

Things have been peaceful around the homestead, that’s a relief. I know some were worried about another attack from the coalition, or even from the geonosians, but nothing has happened. Whether that’s a good sign, or just the calm before the storm, I can’t say for sure. The Major has been conducting her daily patrols, and she says she hasn’t seen anything out of the ordinary. The twi’lek has been fixing up the sandcrawler and I think it’s nearly ready to go — I haven’t been inside, but from what I can see, it looks operable. Of course I don’t know how different it is from a droid. Probably a lot.

I found a little one in the junk pile and I’ve been working on it in my spare time. My mother never really approved of it, she said messing with droids was for junkers and smugglers, not jedi. But I just find it so interesting that you can make something alive out of parts that someone has thrown away. I mean, maybe not alive in the usual sense, but it has thoughts and feelings and awareness. Mine’s not there yet, but hopefully soon. It will be nice to have a little pet around. It’s going to need some kind of casing to protect the inside parts from the sand, that’s the part I haven’t figured out yet.

There was another jedi lecture, from the same Master as before. He recognizes me now and asks how I am, it’s nice. I told him a little about the mission, but not too much. Partly because I’m not supposed to, and partly because I don’t know it myself. But I did tell him about Teosta and Master Serroz, and how we’ve been practicing. The lecture was about the different styles, which I already knew about but it’s always exciting to learn about lightsaber stuff. And it’s good to hear different perspectives, from Master Bron and from others there. There was a girl there who I am pretty sure was a pureblood sith, but she seemed shy and nervous, so maybe she wasn’t? Or maybe she’d given up on that path and decided to follow the light, I’ve heard of that happening, though it would make her hunted by other sith. So maybe that’s why she was nervous. Either way, she seemed nice and I would have liked to talk to her more, but she said she was needed in the village to tend to someone who was sick. She also said her skin was red because she used to live on Tatooine, and it got burned. But I think she was just joking about that.

I was excited to hear more about soresu, that’s the style I am in the process of learning. It’s a protective stance that repels attacks and relies on your enemy weakening, so it requires a great deal of patience and meditation. I don’t know if I’m there yet. Master Bron said it’s important to know more than one style, to adapt to different situations. I agree with him on that, I’m just trying to get the hang of one first. As we talked about last time, a jedi can be a lot of different things — a teacher, a defender, someone who maintains traditions. What we are and what we do can change throughout our lives. I’d like to help protect people from danger, but I think eventually I’d like to have my own students. I’ll just have to see what comes, and adapt to it.

[Story] Character of the Week – Omarran

[[ Omarran is my Sith Juggernaut, I made him a Cathar because I thought it would be funny, without any regard to lore. I ended up liking him a lot so I had to come up with some sort of background for him! ]]

Omarran could see the change in their strange hairless faces, the moment when they realized what he was. If they could not respect him, at least they could fear him. When they took him away for training, the others of his clan gathered around him hopefully. Don’t forget us, they said. Make them understand. Omarran vowed that he would, and he had never forgotten his promise.

He had clawed his way past his rivals and was now afford some regard among the Empire. It wasn’t so different from the jungles in a lot of ways. He had been sought out by name by a particular Darth, and had been granted use of a vessel for the time being. Omarran had also been given a gift, of sorts — a twi’lek slave. The sight of the device around her neck turned his stomach; he’d seen the same bring the fearsome warriors of his clan to heel. As soon as they were away from the monitors of  Dromund Kaas, he removed the wretched thing, hardly wanting to even touch it. The twi’lek rubbed her neck and looked at him warily. “Thanks,” she said, but she did not ask his reasons, and he didn’t feel like explaining them anyway.

The vessel was imposing, even on the inside. It felt far too large and empty with only them aboard, plus the steward droid. Everything was sleek and shiny, impersonal and sterile. Vette asked if she could move things around, and Omarran readily agreed. He couldn’t very well just leave her somewhere. It would be far more dangerous for her to travel alone in Imperial space, she would no doubt be seized the moment she stepped onto a planet. She must have realized that too, unpleasant though the situation might be, she never tried to escape or asked to be taken somewhere else. Partners, he’d told her. Not a master. He wasn’t like them, and he’d prove it.

Though she could have taken any of the empty chambers, Vette claimed the one nearest the engine room. It must have been impossibly loud for sleeping, but perhaps she found the sound familiar. Or maybe it was to drown out the holos she played late at night. Either way, he tried to avoid that section of the ship — it was hers and he did not wish to intrude. Even so, she had been aboard for some time, and maybe they could talk. She was so much more genuine and immediate than most he’d encountered in the Empire, probably because — like him — she didn’t really belong there. Members of his own species were exceedingly rare, and some days the loneliness was almost too much to bear. He hadn’t been willing to admit that to himself before, but he found it easier now.

He peered around the corner into the engine room. Vette sat cross-legged on her bunk, an assortment of holos scattered around her. Omarran couldn’t tell from afar what they were, but the one currently playing was a band playing upbeat music at a rather loud volume. Her ear cones were covered, so he waved to try to get her attention.

Vette removed the ear covers, looking sheepish. “Oh, hey. I was just–” she gestured toward the monitor system. “Uh, waiting for the scan to complete.”

Omarran looked at the monitor. There was, in fact, a scan in progress. “It’s fine. You’re allowed to take a break.”

Her face scrunched up as she regarded him. “You’re the strangest Sith I’ve ever met.”

“I’m not a Sith.” And just how many had she met, anyway? She didn’t cower in fear of him, or anyone. It was unusual, but also refreshing.

“No? Could’ve fooled me.” Vette clapped the headphones back over her ear cones. “Got the lightsaber and everything.”

Omarran frowned faintly. She had a point. As much as he told himself he was just going along for his own goals, did it really matter if the perception was the same? Didn’t people cower before him, regardless? He didn’t like it, in fact he hated it. It had been something of a novelty at first, but now he could only imagine it was himself at the Sith’s mercy — or someone like Vette. It wasn’t right.

“I’m not–” he paused. “Like them.”

Vette bobbed her head along with the band playing on the holo. Even with her headphones on, he could hear it, the lower tones rumbling the metal grate beneath their feet. Had she even heard him? She gave a little shrug, and a half smile, but didn’t say anything else.

 

He would prove it, he vowed. Not just to her, but to the whole of the Empire.

[Story] SWTOR – Xarlo’s Meditations

I have been thinking a lot about something Master Rusaa used to say. He said that a planet is not just rock and earth, that you can feel its energy and life if you are patient enough. I’d tried often, but never was really able to for certain. I mean, sometimes I thought I had, but once I sensed it here I know those other times weren’t right. I think it’s because there isn’t much to distract me here — it’s just the wide open desert, and me. The sand underneath my feet is warm and shifts when I step on it, like a living thing. It flows and moves, covering the heart of the planet below it. I can’t really explain it to anyone, so I don’t. I still haven’t really talked to anyone else here. There are so many humans! At the academy it seemed like there was a variety of different kinds of people, there were even some other cathar. Now that I’m out in the galaxy though, I feel kind of like a novelty. I mean, Teosta isn’t a human, neither is the Major. And there are some twi’leks, but I kind of feel that most of their own uniqueness has been taken away from them by other people. I don’t know if they feel that themselves though.

I took a shuttle out to the Jedi lecture again. I went by myself, which was kind of weird. There were so many humans! They never want to sit near me. I don’t know if they are afraid or they think I’m going to get fur on them or what. I try not to let it bother me, but it’s hard not to feel left out when I’m the only one who is different. Though I guess if there were other cathar, I’d probably want to stay near them too. We cling to what we know, unless we’re forced to do otherwise. There were a couple of other padawans, but I didn’t get the chance to speak to them. Some of the humans were talking and making jokes during the lesson. I didn’t think that was a good thing. It’s not often I get the chance to listen to a Jedi master so I’m not going to waste it by making jokes! One was taking a call too. Who does that? He didn’t say anything, but I would think he probably didn’t like that.

Master Serroz hasn’t told me about what the council has said yet. I hope I’m not in trouble for not reporting in to them, he said that we should have. I know he’s right, but we were worried that the Empire might still be looking for us, and everything was kind of confusing for a while there. Jedi aren’t supposed to be afraid, but it’s hard not to when you see bad things happen right in front of your eyes. A lot of people died. I’d never seen anyone die before that, only heard about it in lectures from the academy. It didn’t seem peaceful or calm, but maybe they felt it. I have to hope that they did. A little while after Teosta and I arrived, some shuttles full of armored people attacked the homestead. Some were Imperial I think, but others looked different. Master Serroz told us to stay inside and make sure the workers and slaves were safe. I wanted to be up top to help, but I knew that our job was important too. The next day, I could still see the spots of dark sand where some of the Imperials had died. Master Serroz was injured, too. I didn’t expect to see fighting so soon again, and I don’t know if I was ready for it. Next time, I want to be. I’ve been training every day with Teosta. I hope Master Serroz will let me practice with him soon.

[Story] SWTOR – A Letter Home

Mother Xaliha,

I send you this message from the desert planet of Tatooine. I know it has been some time since we spoke, so I wanted to tell you what has happened. As you know, I was staying on Coruscant with some other students, I don’t suppose we can call ourselves padawans since none of us have masters at present. But it was a good and safe place to study and to practice, and I think I will miss seeing them there. The exciting part is that the Republic army major, whose house it is, put me in touch with a Master here that she’s working with. It is always rewarding to see how the Force can enact its will even through those who cannot sense its presence. I am thankful that she thought to do so. Though she insisted that it was a secret, she allowed me to tell one other person — the mirialan that I’d met before at the library, and at the gatherings.  She would also be in need of training, and then at least I’d have someone here that I already know. I mean, I kind of know the major, but not very well. Not enough that we have conversations or anything.

I don’t know exactly the purpose of their being here, but I can tell you there are quite a lot of people. We are staying inside a large structure with a few different buildings, set beneath the sand to cut down on the wind. Of course that means a lot of sand is always blowing in. There are droids working to move it out day and night. It’s very hot here too, I expected that but I didn’t expect it to be quite so hot. Master Serroz says I should not allow such trivial things to distract from my training, and he is right about that. Still, I think he should have to wear a fur coat all over when we practice, just so he can see what it’s like! Master Serroz is the Jedi that the major spoke of. I like him already, and he’s promised to speak to the council about finding a Master for each of us. Wouldn’t that be something! I am certain that this will be the nudge that sets the future into motion. He already has a padawan, further trained than either Teosta or myself. I’ve seen him around the compound, but haven’t had a chance to talk to him yet. Well I did, but I’ve been afraid to. Master Serroz says that Jedi should be fearless, and he is right about that, but it’s sometimes difficult. Teosta and I are going to meditate in the mornings before it gets too hot, and then practice sparring. She’s quite good so I am going to have to work hard to beat her!

The rest of the people seem a little strange. There are some who I believe have sensitivity to the Force, but they rarely talk with Master Serroz or practice. Then there was one man who wanted to poke me with a metal stick! I thought it was some kind of medic thing, but I’m pretty certain that man is not a medic. There’s a twi’lek lady, and she seems nice, but busy. I am just trying to stay out of the way of whatever it is they’re doing here. I sense too that they are upset about something, but no one has told me what it is. I am certain I will learn in time.

I miss Master Rusaa a great deal. Often I can hear his voice in my mind, giving me advice. Other times, something Master Serroz said reminds me of him, which makes sense considering that they are both Jedi Masters. But I know he wouldn’t want me to pass up this chance, and he’d want to see me grow and succeed. I am doing this for him, and for you.

Your son,
Xarlo

PS – Have you heard from my father? I am certain I know the answer, but as Master Rusaa always used to say: “You cannot know the answer to a question that you do not ask.”