The next morning, I awoke early, sliding carefully out of the bed and hoping not to wake Scrapper. I looked at him for a moment, curled in peaceful slumber and donning my usual attire, quietly slipped out of the room. It was barely daybreak; only a few droids scuttled down the corridors. I made my way down the hallway and out into the main garden. The sun was just rising as I made my way over to one of the benches, near a trickling fountain. So many things were on my mind as I took in the scenery and yet I felt a strange sort of calmness overtake me as I sat. I could easily understand why the Jedi loved their meditation gardens; they somehow made everything seem better with their quiet beauty.
I closed my eyes and leaned back against the low wall surrounding the area. I let out a long sigh, wondering what was going to happen next. Were the Jedi going to help us in our mission? Were they going to allow Aiden to train me in the ways of the Force? Did I even want him to? What about Scrapper, was he going to be alright when I leave this planet? So many questions and yet there were no discernible answers.
“Forgive me, Padawan, I do not mean to intrude, but I sense great distress within you. Would you like to talk about it?”
I opened my eyes to find a beautiful Togruta standing a couple of feet away from me, a worried expression spread across her lovely features.
“I am not a padawan and I am not sure that talking will help me.”
I felt such power and peace from her; it flowed from every fiber of her being, giving her a commanding presence that added to her immeasurable beauty. Her montrals rose and slightly curved above her head; her long striped lekku fell across her shoulders and down to her waist. The Togruta moved to sit beside me, tucking her robes about her and smoothing her head-tails as she did so, arranging them artfully in her lap.
“Forgive me. I felt the force in you and merely assumed you were here to train. I am Master Syndraa Kaah.”
“I am Na’sha Tal-i.”
“Ahh. You must be the visitor that I have heard some of the other Jedi talking about.”
I sat up a little bit straighter. “Talking? What did they say?”
“I do not make it my business to spread gossip. It was nothing of a terrible nature, merely that you were here seeking the help of the council against a possible Sith threat. Is this mission what has made you so worried?”
“That, among other things.”
“I am here if you wish to talk.”
“I am just worried about Scrapper.”
“Yes. His true name is Gallen. He is a small boy I met while making the trek to the crystal caves. He is an orphan and he has grown attached to me.” I rubbed a hand over my face. “Oh, who am I kidding? I am just as attached to him. He is smart and funny and brave. He is the perfect little boy, but he wants to go with me and he can’t. It would be too dangerous out there. I would always be worried about him.”
“He has no guardian?”
“Not really. I brought him back here with me. Aiden thinks that someone here would train him.”
“I see. He has the Force then?”
Master Syndraa looked thoughtful. “It seems that the Force has brought the two of you together for a purpose. Perhaps, he is meant to train here. Perhaps, if you had not arrived here to find him, his talents would have never been discovered. Sometimes the Force leads us to others. At first, we may not see the reason behind it; it sometimes takes another person to put it into perspective for us. This child was surely meant for you to bring to be trained.”
“Do you really think that the Force brought us to each other?’
“I do. The Force’s ways are mysterious ones and though we study it for a lifetime, we may never know all of its secrets; yet about this, I feel very strongly.” She leaned over and placed a delicate, red hand against my shoulder. “You are still very distrustful of our ways, maybe of us, as Jedi in general. Do not be. We are your family. We share a bond greater than any other; the Force. It chose each of us for a different reason and it will serve us well and allow us to help others if we will only open ourselves up to it. I sense so much frustration, worry and impatience within you. Those things will only hinder your journey in the Force. “
I listened to her in silence, her voice a soothing melody in my head. She smiled at me and gracefully rose from her seat.
“I want to meet this boy of yours. Have him sent to my chambers later this morning, if you will. I have duties to attend to at the moment, but I do hope that my words have given you a measure of peace.”
I smiled and nodded, rising to stand at her side. “They have, Master. If the Force wants him here, the Council will say yes to his training and I will have less to worry about.”
Master Syndraa looked pleased. “As for the rest of your worries, all will play out as the Force wills it to be. There is no need for distress. “
We bowed to one another as she started to walk away. She stopped for a moment and turned to me once more. “A word of wisdom if you will accept it; the smallest drop of peace and understanding can calm a sea of chaos and distrust.”
With that, she walked away, leaving me to finish my musings and prepare myself for whatever the day would have in store.