A warm dry air clung to the atmosphere of Ajan Kloss, leaving everyone and everything feeling as if it was baking along the scorched summer day. It hadn't rained in days, and Oren was starting to wonder if it ever would again. It still felt strange to be on the planet, after all the years of being away, but slowly the Jedi Master had begun to get used to returning and being around the familiar locations, but still he often felt estranged or detached.
Luckily for him, he had those who supported him along his journey, Nara was still there and was about to embark on her own journey of Knighthood, he had taken on the training of Fiach after Mila's disappearance from the order, and of course there was Nashyr--his sweet, sweet Nash. The two of them barely had time to see each other since Rishi and their journey to the Core Worlds, both of them separated by duties and missions. Oren had been hunting down the Sith Eternal while also looking into the strange occurrence of the dead that began to spread across the galaxy. He had met many new people and had a few old reunions that seemed to pull at old wounds and memories, but he did his best to forget about it.
He had found a small abandoned portion of a long vanished temple, which he preferred to spend his time, training his body and clearing his mind, and that is where he had been for the past several hours. He clung to an old stone post which hung twenty to thirty feet from the ground, his feet dangling as he worked on a series of pull ups--his bare abs on full display, as his sun-kissed body shined with a layer of sweat. There was still so much to do, and much that could be done, and he couldn't stop training, too many people depended on him.
By almost unspoken agreement, the pair of them mostly kept to themselves on Ajan Kloss, and it seemed any private moments granted were interrupted in some way or another. She was kept occupied, mostly with following Max if he needed her, or training her own Padawan Riz when the younger woman came along. But... Nash knew temple life wasn't for her. Eventually, she would have to make a change... but she wasn't certain yet how things stood with Oren. They were close, intimate, and there was something... a link of some sort, almost like a calling.
A link between them that rippled through the Force, strengthened by time together and sharing the same spaces. She had feelings for the fellow Jedi... but there always came the same questions of boundaries. When those emotions turned to passion, and if she was forgetting how to let go of her own personal fears, her own desires...
But in this heat, she hardly had the energy for such maudlin thoughts. Instead she felt drawn out into the jungle wilds... and couldn't quite figure out why. It was like a calling, and as she left she took care to bring a canteen of water and snag a couple fruits from the kitchens, taking a light jog that slowed to a walk on one familiar trail, lightsaber and blaster always armed just in case.
Nobody followed; Max was off training Ori on his latest round of combat and reaction, and Riz had been tasked with meditation within the cool temple walls. Besides, there was a feeling...
When she saw him, and how high up she was, she had to sigh, hand shading her eyes as she gazed up at the man that was at once the biggest idealist idiot she ever met... and the best she'd known. A simple thought, with the emotion following behind, was one of mild, chastising amusement towards him.
Ajan Kloss was... well, the same as it ever was. Hotter than it should be, mostly jungles and crumbling temples. Nara had been here... well, it felt like forever. Mixed in with missions and travels to different worlds, of course. She'd been to Coruscant and back again. She'd been to worlds filled with trash, worlds ridden with plague and despair. Worlds of sand, snow, heat and who knew what else. She'd trained with many different Jedi, constructed her own saber and... and....
Well, plenty more. But what was she going to do? Her trials would be very soon and that made her nervous. She was sure that they'd be okay in the end, but anticipation was always the worst part. She'd taken to wandering around the crumbling temples and thick plantlife, thinking about things. What she was going to do after she was knighted was a major part. Go hunting for dark-siders? Younger teen Nara would've been all over that, but the idea had lost a little of it's promise. Her head kept moving back to Nar Shaddaa. It was a scummy, crime-ridden hole of destitution and depravity... and there was probably something that could be done there.
Nara heard movements. Grunting. With a frown on her face, she stalked to the side of a doorway, quietly. Peering out from round the crumbling stonework, she saw... Oren. Standing there. Was he doing pull ups? Seriously? Without his shirt on? Nara snickered quietly as she rolled her eyes. She didn't even look to see if anyone was around. She knelt down and put her hands to her mouth.
"ORRRREEEEEEEEEEENNNNNN!" she yelled through the silence and serenity, sending several birds flying out from trees in the distance. "PUUUUUUUUUUT YOOOOOOOOOOOUUUUURRRRRR SHIIIIIIIIIIIIIRRRRRRRRRTTT OOOOOOOOOONNNNNNN!!"
159..160.. He'd grunt as he pulled himself onto the slab with a heavy breath. He felt a disturbance and heard the familiar sound of a much older Nara peering towards him. It seemed even as she grew older, she always had something witty to say, and secretly Oren lived for it. He'd throw his tunic on as he made his way off the collapsed walkway of the crumbling temple. "Why the kriff are you looking?" He'd retort as he clasped a hand on her shoulder.
"Don't you have ships to crash or something?" He'd smirk before making his way down the winding stairs and towards the bottom floor. He hadn't admitted to Nara, but he was feeling no different than she had three years prior when she tried to run away from the life of the Jedi. No matter how much he felt, he couldn't shake the feeling that he had on Ifrane, his greatest failure that lead to even more problems for the Master.
He wasn't quite sure he was cut out for the life of the Jedi, and was close to calling it quits, but he couldn't admit it to the girl, knowing that it would break her. He had a star map that pointed towards the unknown regions of space, he thought about picking it up and heading off to find whatever the map lead to, he'd do it alone and find himself, but it seemed things weren't going to be that simple as he felt the signature of Nashyr lingering as they exited the building.
A small smile would form on the Master's face as the markings gently glowed with a soft pink, "Nashyr.." He'd peer back towards Nara, "Did you tell Nara I was leaving?"
She lightly jogged up to Nara and Oren, grinning to hear them heckling each other like a parent and child did. She allowed her gaze to pan over Oren, before remembering there was someone else with them. She slipped the canteen from around her neck, wordlessly handing it over to Oren before glancing at Nara. It had been some time since she saw the Padawan... but the smile turned warmer the moment she looked at Oren, and for a moment she almost forgot they had company.
At the mention of Nara, she suddenly remembered, then glanced back, shaking her head. "No, I didn't even know she was gonna be here. Hey kiddo, you're looking strong." She felt calm and clear-headed, prepared for what they had ahead.
"Why don't you brief us, while we have the time?" She plucked out a fruit from her carisak, wordlessly offering one each to the pair of them before grasping her own, and gesturing towards the map. "Truth be told, I didn't even know you wanted to see me about this yet... mind bringing everyone up to speed?" She glanced at him with one raised brow, eyes glittering with amusement. It wasn't necessarily time alone... but she knew he cared for the girl like a daughter.
She only hoped if Nara knew, that she would approve. But she wasn't all that familiar with the much younger woman or her thoughts.
"Crashed my ship here enough, thanks. It gets old if you keep choosing the same place to dump it," Nara fired back, slipping around the corner and leaning against the stone wall. She waved towards Nash, grinning as she took one of the offered fruits. Waste not, want not, they said. She was about halfway through it when she heard what Oren said. Her eyes snapped back to him, razor-sharp and focused. She pulled the fruit away from her mouth as she swallowed.
"You're LEAVING?" was all she said, glaring at him like it was a personal insult than a statement of intentions. "No no no, you can't just leave, you're like obsessed with this Temple. You're still weird like that, deep down," she said, bringing back the memories of their first, uneasy meeting.
She folded her arms around herself, shaking her head. "I don't know how you think that's gonna happen. I'm going to just follow you and drag you back. Willing or unwilling. And you know I'll find you," Nara told him plainly, tapping her half-eaten fruit with her finger. "You put me up to all this Force stuff, you can't ditch out now."
She was only half-serious. Though obviously she'd drag him back whatever happened. Truthfully, she was just a little bit worried about him. He wasn't the same as he'd once been. True, he'd been through an awful lot and there were still twinkles of her old, kind and strange master from when she was just starting out... but it was getting harder and harder to see.
Oren sighed as he turned back to the girl, he knew she wasn't going to take it well, he knew that, but he needed to get away from it all. After the wheel, he had been running around from place to place and he was just so tired. His lone eye would shift towards Nashyr with a soft smile--her being there seemed to calm his nerves.
"I'm just taking a small break, I'm going to go on a small break, and just take a look at some things and relax." He couldn't stand to look at Nara then, knowing all too well that it would betray the emotions he had been feeling. "I promise you I'll be back and so will Nashyr."
He went to turn towards the apprentice to give her a hug, when he felt a buzz from his communicator. He'd flip the device out, finding an encrypted message from the rangers. We've continued to process the information we have on Rowa, please head to Coruscant when you have the chance and we can discuss our most recent findings.
Well there goes any chance on a vacation, but maybe I can make the best of it. He'd turn towards Nara, "We'll have this conversation when I get back, alright?" His eyes showed that he was serious about what he had said. "Nashyr and I have something important to take care of for the Council, we should only be gone for a day or two at most." He'd smile as he bid his apprentice farewell--if only he had known then.
A heavy rumble shook through the atmosphere of the planet, as a dark set of clouds cascaded the dark green canopy of the jungle. It had been pouring that day, and it seemed that even the planet was weeping over their loss. The temple was in mourning and remembrance of their loss of both Saul and Nashyr, and the Rangers were there in solidarity of their new found bond that had been forged over destruction and blood.
But, Oren had stayed away from it all, he blamed himself for letting the Jedi die that day, while he had been so weak, that the others had stepped in to assist. He had spent most of his day away at the memorial shrine for previous fallen Jedi, paying respects to his two training partners from his childhood, and his master. He had been there since dawn, and when the funeral session had begun he would sulk away in his black funeral robes, his left arm was wrapped in a layer of bandages as his abdomen sported a set of bandages wrapped around his tunic.
He made his way towards one of the only spots he felt any happiness for, the little swamp and cove he had shared so many memories with his Nara. He stood watching over the murky water of the swamp, as the rainfall poured against his face, as his hands rested in his pockets. The Jedi of old were sworn never to show emotion, our lives are one of self sacrifice, yet we know that is not true--we're merely mortal flesh..I'm sorry that you became another one of the faces that I couldn't save, and the burden of your sacrifice is mine to carry--the mistakes I hold inside of myself. His eyes seemed heavy, though he didn't cry--he was tired and felt numb about the situation.
The whole Temple was in a somber, melancholy mood. Mainly, it was just shock. Two Jedi that they'd all known, all respected, just gone in one onslaught. One attack on Coruscant. Defending everyone they could, until the end. She'd worked with Saul before. Saul had practically saved her life from those thugs on Yavin 4. Even now she could still feel a little roughness on her chest where the blaster had hit her.
But Nash was the one that hit her hard. Not because they were best friends, Nara hadn't interacted all that much with her, which was a real shame. No, because of who she was to Oren and how much he cared about her. Loved her. All the suffering that he'd gone through and now... this.
She didn't see him at the service but she just knew, inside, where he'd be. She cut out early, slipping away from the temple in the pouring rain, trudging through the jungle path. She'd been down to that swamp so much in the last few years that her bootprints were practically carved into the ground.
Of course, he was there. Nara didn't approach him for a little bit, just watched him staring out at the swamps. It seemed wrong to interrupt his thoughts, his space. That felt like a convenient excuse though, because for the first time in her whole life, Nara Allam could not think of anything to say. There was nothing she could think of that'd suit. Nothing for this situation. It was just blank.
Slowly, she stepped over to his side without saying anything. Her Master looked tired, numb and still badly hurt. A far cry from the strong, measured and centered man with the kind eyes she'd first met in the Temple hall, just a couple of years before. She reached over and slipped her hand down, finding his pocket, her slender fingers locking with his for a second.
"Hi," was all she said, after a couple of minutes of rain-patter and heavy silence.
He wasn't sure how long he had been watching the swamp, but he figured it had been a while, part of him wished to go back to that day when the Condor had crashed into muck and grime, he was much younger then, the darkside hadn't shown its face to the galaxy yet, and things seemed to have a much more carefree weight to it. But, he knew that it would never be the same, he had been naive then, pushing his thoughts away from actually training, his hubris about the light had been his downfall and now two Jedi were dead because of it.
But, as he stood there, he felt a light or a familiar presence approach. It was the one person he needed, the one person he would let comfort him. He felt her slowly slide beside him, her fingers sliding into his pocket to rest along his own. He closed his eyes as he leaned slightly into her small frame. "I'm sorry I haven't been around much kiddo..." He'd feel his breathing heavy, "I should have made it more of a priority to be with you after the prison, but I ran around playing protector of the galaxy.." He'd peer towards the girl taking in her face, "And there is something I want..I want to tell you," he wasn't sure how she was going to take it, but he needed to say it. "You're one of the people I am closest to in this galaxy, and you're the only one I really have left. Since the day I met you, I've slowly grown to love you as my own daughter...and I see you as one. I..well, I love you Nara..more than I probably ever showed."
Nara felt him lean a little against her. She wasn't expecting it, but she held firm. He needed it. Besides, it'd be terrible form to just let her grieving master slip into the ground because she was a... well, a skinny runt. She listened to him apologise and she shook her head.
"What? That's what you do. I get it. I would have loved to sit around and talk all day but you're a Jedi Master and there's a Galaxy out there. I'm just one girl," she said to him, with a little shrug. There had been a tiny, little bit of that feeling, once. But Nara had grown out of it. She tried not to let things like that worry away at her, because hey... she knew that Oren cared deeply about her. "People out there need helping and... not many others are standing up to do it, are they?"
The statement came and Nara stood, looking up into Oren's eyes. She blinked gently, fists curling up into balls because I'm not going to cry, it's just allergies from the swamp, shut up, I wouldn't, you don't see anything,even as her eyes shimmered. She threw her arms around him and buried herself against him, just like she had when he'd returned from prison, in near enough the same spot.
From his chest, beneath the bundle of thick, dark hair, her voice slipped out over the sound of a sniffle.
"Love you too, Oren. You're the only parent I've ever had. Or needed. Or wanted." She pulled back a looked up, cheeks red and shining with tear tracks. "And you showed it plenty. I wouldn't be anywhere near the kind of person I am without you. And I'm proud to be your... kinda-daughter?" she confessed, cutting through the thick layer of bluster, snark and self-protective anger that Nara still wrapped herself in.
Oren's heart would skip a beat as he felt her wrap her slender arms around his rough square frame. His mechanical hand would move to rest against the back of her head as he took a deep breath, listening to each word that she said. They were family, even if they weren't blood, he knew that his training of her had slowly shifted away from that of a teacher and to that of a father. He was proud of her as a Jedi and as young woman.
His voice would crack as she looked up towards him with tears running down her rosy cheeks. His flesh hand would move to wipe away some of the tears. "I wouldn't be the man I was without you, you showed me that I can train an apprentice, that the order can believe in me..you opened me up, and without it..I don't know if I would have ever had the opportunity to ever meet my Nashyr." His own tears began to roll.
"I'm so proud of you nearly achieving Knighthood..I've been listening to your trials, and you're doing so well. Soon you will have your own student and I will be here for the both of you." His burnt palm would rest against the side of her cheek. "I miss her so much..we were supposed to unlock this puzzle together, we were going to go away, but then it all just fell apart..and now she's gone," his voice would shake slightly as he let the pain out.
Nara sniffled a little more as he wiped her tears away. Smiling at his honesty, his sincerity and the emotion he was feeling. The pride, the sadness, everything. She watched him start to cry too and couldn't really take it. Not because it was bad, not because it was surprising, but she'd always seen him strong. In some kind of zen command, in touch with the Force, always ready to take control of a situation. Composed and ready.
Nara wasn't sure what to say. There was nothing she could say that'd make it better... and she'd never been very good with emotional stuff. Too much of her own in play, though she'd never known that kind of pain in her life. Hopefully, she never would.
"I know. I know. I'm so sorry, Master," she said sadly, her voice quiet against the pitter-patter of the rain. "There was so much you should've been able to do together. So much more you coulda had with your lives together. So much more you both... you both deserved."
"I didn't know Nash all that well... but she wouldn't want you to... she wouldn't ever want you to give up on anything because of what happened. She'd want you to be the man she loved. And to keep being that, no matter what." Various platitudes ran through her head, like she'd have wanted you to be happy or it'll get easier but they felt wrong. Too soon, too raw... and maybe it'd always be that way.
Standing on her tip-toes, she reached up and ran her fingers over his burnt, scarred face. Wiping away the tears on his cheeks for him. Fussing with him as he might've done with her. "Let it out, Master," she whispered gently, giving him an understanding smile.
Oren's face tingled as he felt Nara's pale hands stretch up to run across the markings on his burnt side. He would melt into her touch as he got down a bit, letting himself rest against her shoulder. He knew there were countless others at the funeral, but he couldn't do it in front of them, not this--he was happy that Nara was here for him.
He'd sniffle into her shoulder as he pulled himself up, with a deep breath. "We..found this starmap..a puzzle of sorts," he'd say with a heavy sigh, "We were going to solve it together, but now she's gone.." His lone brow eye would focus on her two orbs, as he bit down on his lip. "Would you like to help me Nara? I want to find out the secrets, for Nash's memory, and to clear myself of the pain and emotions..to let go."
Nara smiled as Oren lifted his head, looking up at him as he laid his heart out like that, explaining what he wanted to do. She'd heard about the star-map before, something that Oren had recovered in one of his many missions and travels across the Galaxy. She hadn't realised that it meant so much for him though.
"Like you had to ask. Yeah, course I'll help," she said simply, nodding. There was never any doubt. Whatever Oren wanted, Nara would help with. "Yeah. I'll do it. But um... just so you know.." she said quickly, not sure how to say this. "You don't... have to do this. You don't have to feel like you're proving yourself. You don't have to go out there and... push everything out of your head like that."
Nara knew the conflict that the Jedi had with emotion, even now. The rush to push past it, to center yourself and not let it dwell on you... she understood. She'd never been particularly good at putting it into practice, but she understood the theory. But Oren? Oren had been through an utterly devastating time.
"I don't want you to just push it down, Master. It's not good for you."
The Jedi Master felt better at the sound of Nara deciding to help him out with this, it meant a lot to him--this wasn't just about Nashyr, but it was about Saul's injuries, Xander's and Izel's. He had failed those students on Ifrane all those years ago, and now he promised to find whatever they found, not only as a promise to his lost love, but to the legacy of Saul as well.
"I don't, but Nashyr wouldn't want me to sit here in pain and sorrow.." His words would drift away for a moment as he thought about the Cathar and everything they had been through, "I miss her and I know that I'm going to have to face it, face the fact that she's gone, and I hope that by traveling and finding whatever waits at the end can give me the closure I need to move on from this all." He'd place a hand on her shoulder, pulling her in for one last hug.
"I wouldn't mind going back to my office now, and getting started." He'd say with a weak smile, he wanted to get his mind on something constructive.
Nara nodded. She didn't push it any further. Oren had a lot to work through and he was always best when faced with a problem. Faced with a challenge or a quest to help the Jedi. He'd find it, too. She'd never met anyone so quietly, resolutely determined.
She hugged him back and nodded eagerly, hands on her hips. "Yep. Your office. We should get started. We've got a.... wait, what exactly are we doing? Following a map or something?" she asked, realising she'd agreed to this without really thinking through what it'd involve. Surely just a fun adventure with my Jedi dad, nothing troubling at all, which is why some people got hurt when he was last investigating this.
She walked with him for a little bit before stopping, something else hitting her mind. "Wait. When did you get an office?" she asked, pulling her face.
Oren would lead the Jedi quietly, past the main central areas of the temples and towards the set of homes hidden far in the backside. With the funeral still going on, the Jedi Master felt it would be for the best if they stayed away, to allow others to morn and to give Oren his own peace of mind. He thought about Nashyr, and he thought about Saul for a moment and took a deep breath.
"It's a map or so I believe...though it has a ward of some sort, puzzles hidden to test the viewer to make sure they're worthy of opening it." He'd say quietly as they stepped into the dormitories, "I don't live on Ajan Kloss anymore, I converted my room into an office or a study, you can use it if you'd like." He'd say with a gentle smile as he stepped into the room.
They would find a set of books displayed across the room, a workbench with various saber parts and different holograms flickering with different planets, notes were scribbled about, and it was clear he had poured himself into the work that he was doing. He'd quickly move to the table, picking up a large cube like device. He felt it radiating and a tingling sensation coming from it. "I believe this holds the secret location to some Jedi mystery.."
He'd hold the surface, rubbing it softly as he felt the words radiating throughout the room. A reflection of light is what takes to permeate through the core of the galaxy. Oren contemplated the words, raising a brow towards his former apprentice. "Do you hear those words..." He contemplated it for a moment, "I believe this requires us to meditate and display that we are one in the light.."
He would sit down in the center of the room, using the force to levitate the object in front of the two of them. He would close his eyes as he took a deep breath, focusing in on the tenants of the code. He felt the light radiating from his position, slowly rising his lungs and the bottom of his stomach. But, he found it hard to focus.
He saw the faces on Ifrane, the terrible wounds that Saul faced, the crushed legs of Xander and his greatest failure. He tried to push the thoughts away, contemplating on it, but it seemed to hold. He saw Nashyr's face, her soft eyes and then the sound of the saber and her head rolling before his feet. He'd open his eyes, with a gulp as he clenched against his knees--clearly in pain. You need to let go... The box would drop, slowly opening, but with reluctance. A permeating feeling could be felt.
You are one with the light, but your own failures and feelings of inadequacies eat at your soul and slowly you will lose yourself if you don't process and learn to accept... The words would fall silent, leaving the Jedi Master to think on them, his teeth clenching. A Jedi's life is one of a sacrifice..Only the key to your heart could open the second layer..
"Key to your heart...." Oren contemplated these words for a moment, thinking about it for a second, "Any idea what that could mean?"
Nara stepped into his 'office' and looked around, mainly just vaguely jealous that he had a whole office where she just had a dorm. And a ship, don't forget about that. A ship that he gave you, so stop being ungrateful, her brain said, making her feel vaguely guilty. Nara watched her Master hold the cube, heard the words echo around her. Without sound, without speech, but they were there.
She leaned against the wall and watched quietly, seeing Oren just meditate and work out what the cube was talking about. Just the thought of it made her head hurt. Nara struggled to get through basic human conversation without causing a fuss, mess or argument. Trying to communicate with some Force-filled cube would either go amazingly well or utterly disastrously.
"The key to your heart?" she repeated, thinking it through. "The key to your heart... I mean, that's always food for me, but I think it might mean something a little more philosophical than a bowl of noodles," she suggested, running her fingers through her hair as she thought. Heart... well, the key to Oren's heart would be Nash... hm.She was hesitant to speak about that, for obvious reasons. What about me? The key to my heart?
"Mind if I try?" she asked, taking a look at the cube. She moved towards it, sitting and crossing her legs. Feeling stupid, like she was just copying her Master, like a child imitating their parent. She wasn't suffused with confidence in doing this, but whatever. She needed to have a try. Nara picked up the box and tried. She closed her eyes, breathing in softly as she channeled the Force within herself into the object. As she did, she met a little resistance. Okay... the key to your heart. The key to your heart. Her mind filled with thoughts now. Rynn vowing to help her. His face revealed from the helmet. The smile when she'd taken him to her ship. The look on his face in a video message. The laughter of a sunny day together somewhere distant, away from diseases and death and wars...
The room disappeared. Nara winced, feeling a chill. Her arm twitched involuntarily as it lashed out at her mind. A wave of images flashed through her brain, overwhelming her processes and thoughts, searing into everything. Explosions at a neon-drenched building on a dirty, scummy city-planet far away, drenching rains and waves a thousand feet tall over a temple, a chorus-buzz of red lightsabers slashing before countless others, pyres of bodies and spikes and blood, blood so clear and fresh and in my nose and over me, the burning fire crawling up my arm, a thousand corpses of everyone I've known butchered and ended and gone, Rynn and Oren and Riz and Hannibal and Brienna and Fiach and Izel and Max.... black eyes and empty mouths and and and and and and...
Nara screamed as the pain shot up her arm. She opened her eyes again, forcing the heavy lids apart. Her hand still clutched the cube and she dropped it, like she was holding a searing hot bar of metal. It landed on the floor with a loud, sturdy thud. She clutched at her hand, the skin red and sore. She gasped for air desperately, her head completely full of after-images and pain.
There was no snappy remark. No clever comeback. No attempt at saving face. Nara looked at the box with the same glare that people gave to dangerous predators or dangerous criminals. "I'm not touching that thing again," she hissed. The cube didn't seem to disagree.
Oren watched his former apprentice with some interest, as she took control of the cube, she was strong, but he knew there were still things that she would have to work on once she achieved knighthood, struggles that he faced around a similar age. He had once been overly emotional and brooding, but had come to learn in some ways to let go. This cube would prove to be the first test for her, to see if the things he had taught her were still sticking--or if he would have to confront the past that lived inside of her.
He watched her as she took a deep breath and began to meditate, her thoughts becoming clear so much so that the Jedi Master could feel it radiating through the force. Her thoughts focused on Rynn, causing the Jedi Master to frown slightly--there was nothing wrong with having love, but it would be dangerous. Nashyr and himself had both agreed and understood the complications of their relationship and their position as Jedi, and it seemed that the young Nara still had much to learn. The Fear of Loss...leads to the darkside...
He felt the emotion and turmoil swell through the room, causing a series of self doubt and a hint of darkness. "Push away from it, recognize the pain you feel, the fear of the future and accept it..." He would say with a stern voice, but it seemed she did the opposite of that.
He watched as a pain shot up against her arm, and she dropped the box, which slowly began to shift and contract. It was clear that the darkness that touched it had begun to slowly destroy itself if it was tampered with further. His brow raised as he crossed his arms, "You saw the darkness and were drawn right to it Nara...you didn't resist, you gave right into it.."
He needed to think on the situation at hand, contemplating about what he had just witnessed. "Your emotions and your fear of loss and being alone again..the things you buried away when I was locked away and you were scolded." His words were intense, and it was meant to force her to actively think about her life, "You never got rid of them...you feel that distant cold feeling? It's the influence of the darkside, it's something you, me, and everyone faces..."
He'd pick up the device, peering towards it, "It felt the darkness that is dwelling inside of you and has rejected you," He'd move towards the table placing it down as he picked up his damaged and broken lightsaber, "Love does take part of our heart, but we can't be afraid of losing the ones we love..death is not the end." His mind lingered on Nashyr and the funeral that was taking a place, "I lost Nashyr..and I blame myself for not being strong enough, but..I know that she and I will be reunited..But, more importantly..I understand that she would want me to move on and continue to prosper and care for you and all the Jedi, for the galaxy..If Rynn died would your heart be gone?"
He removed his Kyber crystal holding it in his hand as he peered towards the box, "Key to our Heart...Key to a Jedi.. It's .Kyber," he would slowly take his own crystal, placing it into the object. His hand gently placing down against it. If it wasn't so restrictive and close to breaking, it could have probably sparred the kyber, but it seemed that it took all the lightside energy that the Master could use to lock it into place and slowly the crystal would begin to glow and buzz and within a moment the crystal would slowly begin to fade.
"A Jedi must always be willing to give up the things they care for most," he'd say as he thought about the damaged saber and the journey his own crystal had been through. "This is the way of the Jedi..." Slowly a whirl would begin to form around the room, and the words would only be visible for the Jedi Master to hear. A Jedi must be able to carry the burden of their own failures, but lift the pain from others...
He turned towards Nara with soft eyes, "I will be with you, no matter what, always..the problems you're facing, the emotions, we're in this together...Just like you were there for me at the swamp."
Nara nursed her hand, flexing the fingers, feeling the burn on it. The redness faded slowly, leaving no permanent mark but still twitching, tensing with a pain that she'd never really felt before. Something torn between blazing, fiery heat and icy, fierce cold. She kept breathing, focusing on her hand, trying to will the Force down into her digits. It was a struggle. She just couldn't will it in the way she wanted.
Her eyes flashed over to Oren as he crossed his arms, feeling put off that he'd criticised her. Darkness? Seriously?There'd been something there, something she'd not been familiar with. Something preying on her fears, for sure, but to say that she gave into it? She'd been assaulted by visions of everyone she cared about dying, but she'd been the weak link? Nara gave the cube a nasty glare. As far as she was concerned, it was tainted. At best, it was a nasty trickster, hiding it's secrets with visions. At worst, actively malevolent.
He should just crush the thing into dust she thought, before sighing. Taking the lecture like she knew she should. It made her think... what would she do if Rynn died? She blushed slightly, feeling the sickening rush of emotion. He wouldn't dare die. I wouldn't let him rest in peace, he'd never hear the end of it,she thought to herself, but it felt hollow. What if Oren died? What if it'd been Oren instead of Nash, or with Nash? Maybe that's what he wanted. What he wished for, really.
"I can't lie to you Master, if Rynn died, or you, I don't know what I'd do. I don't.... I don't think I'd be as calm as you are. I don't think I'm capable." Maybe that was her major failing. What would stop her from being a good Jedi, in the end. Nara's emotional state wasn't exactly a secret amongst the other Jedi. It wasn't even particularly subtle either. Assume anger. What kind of anger would she have if the most important people in her life died? She remembered how she felt when she'd heard Oren had been arrested. How she'd shouted and spat, yelled and screamed, when nobody would listen but the other padawans.
"It's a kyber crystal. There'll be another," she said, hollowly, watching it fade with him as she sat, clutching and dwelling in her own failures.