[Master-Student] Let the Training Begin

This is a Master-Student run-on. Characters sheets linked below:
(Master) Aura Ta’var: https://www.darkjedibrotherhood.com/character_sheets/10400
(Student) Draxion Durk: https://www.darkjedibrotherhood.com/character_sheets/13077
Jedi Praxeum: https://wiki.darkjedibrotherhood.com/view/Jedi_Praxeum


Draxion Durk has recently arrived at Odan-Urr, putting aside his life as a bounty hunter for a new beginning on Kiast. Gifted with the Force, he travelled to the Jedi Praxeum to learn more about the Force. Pleased with his progress, Padawan Draxion has been placed with Master Aura Ta’var, who will continue his Jedi training. The Twi’lek waits outside the main spire for his new master and his next adventure.

Aura Ta’var sat in the South spire and looked down at the main spire, where her new apprentice awaited her. She was wearing her usual working Jedi robes. Leaning against the nearest window, she reached out to the Force, getting a flavor of just who she would have to work with. The blue Twi’lek looked just like any other student she would expect to find at the Praxeum, but she could tell their was more to the story.

It was in the way he carried himself and the imprint he left on the Force itself. She couldn’t help but think he reminded her of someone but who she couldn’t quite figure out yet. In any case, he seemed eager to learn and she always loved eager students.

Aura opened her datapad to review her schedule she had planned for him today.

10 am: Physical Fitness test
12: Lunch
2 pm: Force Exercises
and so on…

She checked her backpack of goods before she left. This included a number of remotes and other objects useful to train Force abilities, extra training sabers, and food/drink. Satisfied she slung her backpack over her shoulder and walked out of the south spire towards her new apprentice. As she got closer, Draxion jerked his head in her direction, silently wondering if she was his master. She didn’t leave him waiting.

“Hello There, I’m Aura Ta’var.”

Draxion smiled softly, his head tails moving in a way that would be obvious to anyone learned in the ways of the twi’lek he was curious, and eager all at once “So your my new master then?”

“Yes I am,” Aura responded, causing Drax to tilt his head slightly, awaiting his trials, he glanced over at the window, looking at one of the distant mountains, reveling in it’s beauty before looking back at Aura.

“I’m Draxion Durk, but people just call me Drax, and I’m eager to start,” very eager in fact, he wanted just to learn about his abilities, push them to the brink of where it was possible, maybe he could figure out a way to use it to make money, after all, he was in desperate need of credits.

“Good, ten AM today, physical fitness.”

“Sounds good to me.”

“Alright. We’ll start on a morning run. Are you familiar with the obstacle course we have along the trail that goes around here?” she asked.

“I’ve done it was the trainers at least once already.”

“Well let’s see how you do,” the Zeltron said. “Let’s go.”

Aura waved him onward and broke into a jog. Her apprentice followed behind her. After a minute they reached the start of a path, who had a sign that showed it looped around the campus. Draxion looked at it with trepidation. Running was not his strong suit at the moment.

“Master, are we going to run the full loop?” he asked in trepidation.

“Yup. Try your best and keep aware of your surroundings.”

Drax sighed, this wasn’t going to be easy, he was used to moving around from time to time, but bounty hunting was mostly just sitting still and waiting, so yeah, he was in shape, but he was not by any means a runner, this would be interesting. He started to run, getting out of breath after a solid minute or so and needing to slow down, he felt a rock being pelted at his head and another one, before the third one could strike he knocked it to the ground with the Force, he had some grasp of his abilities just not very much. He caught his breath and continued to run, his legs burning with every step that he took.

That was five minutes down, and it was grueling every minute pure agony, “I can’t run very well.”

“I can see that Padawan,” the Zeltron chastised him, just keep going.

“Ugh,” Drax complained, “If I had a jetpack I could just blow through this in 5 minutes…”

“That is rather the point, isn’t it?”

Drax kept running, it was another several minutes before he came to a sheer cliff, with a single rope hanging from a hook planted in a natural structure made from rock, “Oh lovely,” he muttered to himself, "A jump.

“Indeed. Catch your breath and we’ll continue in a minute,” Aura said as she stood under a tree for shade.

The sun was already out and it was going to be a wonderful day. After waiting for a minute or two, she pulled the rope towards her with the Force.

“Watch and repeat after me.”

She stepped back and launched herself across the gap, using the rope to get to the other side. Once she landed on the other side, she yelled out. “Catch” and swung back the rope to Drax.

Drax attempted to pull the rope to himself and failed, “I can’t do it…”

“Yes you can Padawan, focus .”

“Focus,” he muttered to himself, closing his eyes, he could do that, that’s what he had done his entire life wasn’t it? This was just a different form of focusing after all, he cleared his mind, pretending that he was looking down the sights of his rifle, taking out a target, he reached out his hand and the rope flew into it, he opened his eyes and smiled softly, victorious as he pushed off and swung over the gap, whooping to himself, this was kind of… fun? Yeah it was definitely fun, “I wonder, what if I tried applying that same focus principle to my legs? Would I be able to run faster for longer?” He was thinking out loud at this point, of course like normal he found himself thinking back to his past, he remembered the job he botched, his best friend getting shot, no he cut off that intrusive thought there, not wanting to relive it.

Aura noticed the internal struggle going on inside her new padawans head and muttered to him, “It’s okay, your safe now,” though not quite sure what was going on, she could tell it wasn’t a good place for him, it was a dark place, one that he didn’t like to visit at all.

Drax was crying softly, the smell of burning wookie flesh, the blood, everything came rushing back to him.

Aura saw her apprentice turn away to try to hide his tears and she gave him a few heartbeats. The young man was clearly distraught. As to what she did not know yet but for now she would settle with calming him down. It would not do well to have him distracted this morning.

“There there,” said Aura as she patted his shoulder, speaking in a calming tone. The Jedi reached out to the Force and felt pain, anger, and shame. The last one stood out in particular. “What’s wrong?”

“It’s nothing,” said Drax unconvincingly as he wiped the tears off on his sleeve, already recovering.

“Hmm. Come join me over here,” asked Aura as she pointed to two large flat rocks off to the side. “Come sit with me.”

“Okay…”

The pair of Jedi, master and apprentice, sat cross-legged on the rock several feet apart and looked at each other.

“Now what? Can I stop running?” asked her apprentice, using snark to hide his pain.

“For the moment,” she smiled before continuing. “We are going to meditate together. Pair meditation. I’ll help guide you through it. Just close your eyes and follow my lead.”

“Yes, master,” said Drax.

“Now, take a deep breath and reach out to me in the Force. I’m already reaching out to you. Do you feel it?”

“No…” said her apprentice, quick to frustration in his emotional state.

“Focus solely on me, almost as if you wanted to touch my hand. Focus on my voice. Use your feelings,” said Aura.

The Zeltron radiated her own peaceful energies outward but felt all of her apprentices emotions in real-time. It was a quirk of her species physiology that came in handy. One could lie with the Force after all, if they were skilled enough. She enveloped herself and her apprentice is a bubble of positive energy and patiently waited for her apprentice to take the first step and reach out. After a minute, they made contact.

“Oh,” was all Drax could say. The Twi’lek took in the new feeling, not sure what to make of it. “what, what is this?”

“The Force. It connects us and binds all living things together. Feel it in everything around you. Feel the birds nearby and the mountain breeze. Feel our connection in the Force and breath. This is the here and now, where we need to be to help others. Do you understand?”

“I’m sorry I can’t say I do I’m lost, I don’t know why I even came here to be honest, I’m useless…” he sighed, “You wouldn’t understand, but my life, it’s hard, it’s not happy, it hasn’t been fun, I just, I’m here to learn I guess, but I don’t really know why if I’m being honest, this Force, I just see it as a tool, another way to make something of myself really, but that’s enough about that, it’s just, what the hell is the point of running? After all it isn’t like I’m not gonna have access to a speeder or anything ever, hell a jetpack, or something similar, running is rather pointless to me,” he added that last part using snark to hide his emotions, not wanting to feel the pain anymore, “Besides what is the point of the Force anyways?” He said all this without taking a breath, anyone could tell that he was done with the pain, the shame, all of it, he didn’t want to feel these things anymore, he just wanted to be happy, just wanted peace.

“The point of the Force? Who knows?” the Zeltron shrugged, “The point of using it? To bring peace and balance into this fucked up world.”

“Peace, must be nice to feel at peace,” the Twi’lek sighed, “I wouldn’t know,” he stood up, “I’m ready now,” the Zeltron hearing that got up as well and Drax started running again, the Zeltron lobbed a small dart at him and Drax, now opened up to the Force ignited his blade and cut it in half before continuing to run, coming to the second obstacle, a sparring droid whirred around in the air above him and he ignited his lightsaber deflecting it’s first bolt, sending it on a wild course towards a tree, he went on deflecting bolts for what seemed like hours but in reality was only mere minutes before finally hitting the bolt back towards the droid and smiling, satisfied with himself as the probe fell to the ground.

“Well done, apprentice.”

Aura waved him onward with a slight grin and ran around the corner.

“Master…whyyy?”

Regardless, her new padawan followed but to his delight the run was not that long or maybe it was simply because he was getting used to sucking in breath painfully. Regardless, it was getting easier. As the pair jogged, the critters nearby scurried about. A few squirrels poked their heads out from trees, wondering if they would get free food. The Jedi passed by them, sparing a glance.

“Master…are…there…any…other…animals…out…here?”

“Of course. Even wolves,” said Aura. “Want to meet one?”

“Yesss!”

“Alright, it’s on the way,” Aura hinted mysteriously.

After a few more minutes they came to an open stone square with a grid of circular raised platforms about half a meter long (1.5 feet). Nearby was a woven basket with the soft shells from discarded nuts, a sand-blasted helmet, and a wooden stick.

“Alright, Drax. Hop on up on any open platform and put on this helmet,” said Aura.

“Okay, do I use my lightsaber?” asked the Twi’lek

“No, you will use this wooden staff,” said the Zeltron, who put the stick in his hands.

“But I don’t know any forms for this weapon.”

“No worries. This is just if you can’t dodge it. Dodging it first so you don’t have to hit it away is the goal. Ready?”

“Uh…no.”

“You’ll do fine. Use the Force. It’s your friend. Take some deep breaths like we did before and let me know when you are ready. I’ll chuck these at you and you can dodge wherever you want but you can’t fall off the platforms.”

“What about the animals?”

“You’ll meet them later,” Aura chuckled softly, she couldn’t help it.

“Ugh fine, I’m ready,” Aura started to toss the shells at him now with the helmet on and they hit him for a solid fifteen minutes before he started to dodge them, swinging the staff gracefully to block the ones he couldn’t dodge, he was moving automatically now, cutting them out of the air, before they started hitting him again and he swore loudly.

“BLAST IT,” Drax threw the helmet on the ground, "I’m never gonna get it, what’s the point? This is a useless skill anyways, I’ll have a blaster on my side.

“Maybe you won’t, but that isn’t the point, this exercise is to learn control over the Force.”

“Why, so I can save the world? Be a peacekeeper?” Drax was being snarky, because honestly he hated failing, he didn’t like that feeling at all and it showed.

“Don’t you want to be something more than just a bounty hunter? You have the gift that can help others but its useless if you don’t learn how to control it. You already know just how hard a place the galaxy can be, so you should know that this exercise is but a pillow fight compared to what is out there,” said Aura, maintaining eye contact.

She paused for a moment before continuing.

"I don’t think you are the person to give up. I think you care a lot which is why you threw that helmet to the ground. So direct that energy somewhere useful like dodging. Because one day your life will depend on it. We won’t always be on cushy Kiast. We’ll be deep in the woods of Kashyyk or in the middle of a dangerous space fight or something much worse. In those moments, we can’t panic. I need to know before we go on missions together that you have my back and the Force to guide you.

I will train you to be able to do that. Do you trust me or not?"

“I don’t trust anyone ever, that’s who I am, the life of a bounty hunter, you can’t afford to trust anyone, especially those who give you a job,” Drax sighed, “Especially if they want you to take out a hutt, you get blacklisted from the cartel jobs, forced to sell your ship and take up bartending on Tatooine, I lost everything so excuse me if I have problems trusting anyone. Even you,” he retorted, “Because my life may depend on not trusting anyone.”

Aura sighed, “Look around you Padawan and listen, I’m trying to help you, if you don’t accept my help then nothing will help, you choose to come here after all, you had a choice and you came here, I don’t know your reasoning but maybe you should stick with it.”

"My reasoning? It’s rather simple to be honest, what I want out of this, I just want my livelihood back, I want my ship back, I want to be able to make money again, to travel, I miss it, I need it, that was my entire life, then one mission went and ruined it all, I was stranded, lost on a desert of a world with nowhere to go, when Gui found me, of course I accepted his offer, it was my ticket off that waste of a rock.

“Have you ever thought that maybe this was where you were supposed to end up? That you can make some friends here and enjoy your time here?” said Aura.

Drax was silent.

“I am offering to be your friend, to help you. I can’t get back your old life but I can help you make sure something like that doesn’t happen again. To do that, you need control though. You need friends. What do you say?” asked Aura as she handed Drax the helmet back.

“Well maybe I don’t want friends, the last friend I had,” he started crying, “I- I refuse to talk about it, it’s too much… friends are just a liability, they make you soft,” he took the helmet, “Unable to focus on what you need to do,” he put it on, “So I hate to break it to you but you will likely never be my friend, at most you’ll be an ally, that’s all,” he said, trying to push her away, needing to push her away he couldn’t bear it if he lost someone else, he didn’t want to get close to people.

“Drax everyone needs friends…”

“No I don’t believe me it’s better if I don’t have them,” Drax shifted into focus, sweeping the staff into position and nodding to show he was ready, this time as Aura threw the shells he intercepted and dodged every last one, though there was something off about it, he was drawing on the Dark Side, letting his emotions take over.

Aura abruptly stopped what she was doing and simply said “Stop.”

Concern lined her face as she took in her apprentice’s emotional state. He keep it going for an few frenzied heartbeats.

“Come on. Keep throwing them!”

“No. This is not the way. Hand over the stick and helmet. We are done with exercises today.”

“No! I’ve got this. Come on!” said Drax.

The Jedi Master simply shook her head. “No, you don’t. I’ve been here before. I’ve felt this way before. You are just harming yourself now.” Aura let those words sink in for a moment. “Please hand over the stick and helmet,” she asked with a finality.

The Twi’lek stared at her defiantly for a moment, the swirl of pain and anger still swelling within. Aura simply stared back at it, unflinching and unwilling to back down. After a tense moment, Drax deflated back into a self-defensive snark, but handed both over without chucking them on the ground. The thought was certainly there though.

While Aura put the gear away, the Twi’lek slumped to the ground and said in a self-defeated voice, “So I guess that means I failed being a Jedi. What happens now? I don’t have credits. No where to go. I guess I can beg for money on Kiast or do some odd jobs,” he said moodily.

The Jedi said nothing for a moment, sampling his energy through both her own inate gifts as a Zeltron and the Force. He came from a different walk of life but they were once very similar. For a moment, Aura was forced to view an older version of herself that she had long conquered.

She took a deep breath and knelt down next to him arms length away. Reaching out her arm she extended her calm energy around her like a protective bubble and nudged Drax to look her in the eyes.

“You have fallen down but you have not failed. I was once where you are now and my master showed me the way. She even became my friend. I will not give up on you, Drax, even if you have already given up. My master helped me when I was at my lowest point and I promised I would do the same to my own apprentices.”

Drax was silent but mollified, almost as if the gears in his head were pondering what she meant.

“And I’ll tell you how I did it. All you need to do is take my hand and let’s stand up. We’ll face it together. What do you say?”

“I don’t know if that’s even possible, I’m tired of waiting for it to get better, I’m sick of the pain, of not knowing what to do,” he sighed and took her hand anyways, standing with her, “But I can try I suppose…” he smiled at Aura, “Though your going to have to be patient with me.”

“Rest assured padawan, I can be patient,” Aura smiled back at him, “It’s something we all have to go through at one point or another, all Jedi face the darkness, it’s how we deal with it that separates us from the Sith, but that’s a lesson for another day.”

Aura and Drax continued their exercises for the day, the former allowing her Padawan a few more breaks along the way. Before they knew it the sun was fully up and it was almost time for lunch. Master and student had already gone through the basic agility exercises but for some time had been hiking through a trail that lead off the main thoroughfare. It’s twists and turns through the mountainous landscape and the forest that dotted it weren’t quite a hike but it was good exercise. The breeze was pretty good too. The pair was just about to reach their destination.

“Master, are we there yet?” asked Drax tiredly, not enough energy for snark anymore.

Aura made a mental note that exercise was good for her apprentice and replied “Just around this bend. Why don’t you take a look?”

“Okay,” said Drax, unable to keep his excitement out.

The Twi’lek turned the corner to find himself on a natural veranda of sorts, a strip of mostly level rock abutted by the forest on all sides. Past that, was a steep drop into the depths of the mountain range. In the far distance he could see a building he recognized. This was the Velastari temple but had never been there yet. He skipped field trip day on accident.

“Is that the old Jedi temple?” he asked?

“Yes it is. We’ll go visit one day. For now, it’s lunch time,” she said with a smile as she pointed to a cluster of rocks nearby that looked deliberately placed. One in particular was a bit higher than the others.

Drax gratefully took a seat, resting his feet finally. Aura put out all the food she had brought with her. It included a pile of sandwiches, rich tasty snacks, and bottles of water. Lastly, she took out a foldable makeshift dog bowl and poured some water into it. She placed a special canister of food next to it that was definitely for carnivores. She gave the surrounding forest a sharp whistle and dug into her own food.

“Eat up, padawan. We have a long day ahead of us.”

Drax ate for a while until otherwise startled by a large wolf cautiously coming out into the clearing. The Twi’lek jumped to his feet in surprise and reflexively went for his training saber. The wolf growled in response.

“Oh, play nice will you? I haven’t even finished lunch yet. Sasha meet Drax. Drax meet Sasha,” she said as she waved around her sandwich.

The two of them stared at them for a few moments in silence until Aura interrupted once more. She put her hand on Drax’s saber hand and gestured him back to the table. She then called Sasha over to her, the wolf sauntering next to her and laying down to eat its meal. The silence for some reason amused her and she laughed.

“Drax, this is my daughter’s pet Sasha. He is good company once you get to know him. I think you’ll get along. Be warned though. You have to earn his trust,” she said as she fondly scratched behind his ears, the wolf leaning into it willing before laying down by her feet protectively.

Drax smiled, “He’s beautiful,” he sighed softly taking a bite out of his sandwich, “You know something, I really hate running, I’m not used to it after all.”

Aura laughed, “Is that so young padawan?”

“Yeah it is,” Drax sighed, “as a bounty hunter you get used to long periods of standing still, it isn’t anything like the holodramas make it out to be trust me.”

“Really. That’s good to know,” said Aura as she took a bite of her sandwich. “But you know. Everyone is out to get a Jedi. You have to be prepared for anything, including a good long run. The Force will help you but only so much. That’s why we will run together all the time. Feel free to bring along a friend if it helps, but either way I’m going to make sure you don’t get eaten first.”

“I mean, I have my blaster,” countered Drax between bits of his lunch.

“I like to be overly prepared. It might save your life one day.”

Drax grumbled and the pair finished their lunch, admiring the excellent view in front of them and occasionally pass the wolf under the table a few scraps. Before they knew it, it was time to get up again. Durk sighed but didn’t bother to ask what came next. He already knew what.

“You see that temple far off?”

“Yeah?”

“Between now and and your next trials, I will be making sure you are ready to get their by foot. It will be dangerous and you will need both the Force, your mind, and your physical strengths.” Aura paused for the moment.

“Yes, master. You know speeders exist right?” he couldn’t stop himself from asking.

“Yes,” smiled Aura. “For the rest of today we will continue the rest of our circuit. We will run from station to station, and each station will train your combat, force abilities, and mental abilities. We will do this most days of the week. I’d get some nice comfortable boots to run in,” said Aura with a smile.

“Greeat. Let’s just get this day over with.”

“Don’t worry. You’ll sleep well tonight,” said the Zeltron as she put away her belongings back in her backpack and let Sasha go his own way again. Aura then took out a necklace with an inert small crystal in it and handed it to him. “Wear that everyday. It will come in handy when we start going on missions together.”

“Uh okay. Kinda cool I guess,” said Drax as he put it on and stuck it into his robes. “hey wait up-”

The Jedi Master waved him onward and the pair continued the rest of their circuit. Master and student did this over and over again for a few months. Some days they didn’t run, where Aura would focus on specific lessons in the Force, combat, and just as importantly survival skills. After all, the Jedi Praxeum was on a harsh mountainous environment. This circuit and his lesson became a staple of Drax’s education and preparation for the challenges to come. Until one day, his Master felt he was ready to take on the challenge of making his way to the Old Jedi temple seemingly alone.

“You want me to what?”

“Meet me up at the Old Jedi Temple. You have to get their by foot. Did you pack all the things you’ll need for the long journey? Have enough food?”

“Yes, yes. And how are you getting there?”

“Same way you are. But I’ll be making my own path there. Hand me the necklace I gave you long ago.”

“What?”

“I can track people through the Force. I’ll use it to track you down should you need or request help.”

“That’s probably a good idea,” he said, handing it over. It felt odd not wearing it. “Do I get it back?”

“Yup, just borrowing it for this mission. May the Force be with you Apprentice,” she said with a smile.

“And also with you, Master. Here goes,” the padawan said as he checked his compass and set off into the mountainous forest.