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Gaia Sunaris Cadera

It's a cat-astrophe!
Writer
Location: Concordia

Beth had woken up early - much earlier than she usually did. She ate a small breakfast, cleaned her dishes, took a shower - got herself ready for the day. A most likely long, intense day that would drain her energy. But, she was extremely excited. The girl was eager and ready to learn.

She sat outside, in the large forests of Concordia with her legs crossed. Her hands were on each leg as she took a deep breath. And exhaled. She enjoyed the view - seeing Manda'yaim shining so close, with the lush forests that grew on the moon. It wasn't as beautiful as Myrkr but it was still beautiful.

She had let herself slack on her meditation due to a break in her training with Gray. But today, she knew she was going to need to be as charged as she could be. Gray would be a tough but good instructor.

Meditation was supposed to clear your mind, enhance your connection with the Force - and all other things in the worlds. But, Beth liked to daydream. She got lost her in thoughts and had to frequently fight her way to seek some type of clarity. Escaping her own thoughts proved just as challenging as using the Force itself. Several hours of meditation was probably only a couple of real meditation for the poor girl.

Beth was only a few minutes walk from the grounds where she and Gray were supposed to meet each other. She checked the datapad that laid beside her. It was almost time - not quite, but close. As such, the stood up and began a light jog to their meeting place. She sat down on a bench, eagerly waiting for Gray to show up.

[member="Gray Raxis"]
 

Gray Raxis

Blind and Broken
Character
Mandalorians have no force tradition. This is very much a fact and one that has led into very bloody conflict not long ago. It lacked one though not because of some built in hatred or sense of inferiority to the culture but rather was missing because there was just no opinion from the original people. The Taung couldn't use the force after all so why should they have an opinion on it? It was with that in mind that Gray had worked on trying to build some semblance of a force tradition for his people. He wanted to give them something whole their own so they wouldn't need to deal with foreign doctrines like the Jedi and Sith to learn to use it.

The young [member="Beth Australis"] was in need of training and Gray had offered to teach her this new tradition he was making. It seemed like the best place and time to start moving forward. He had made sure they were doing this on Concordia as well so they wouldn't be breaking Mandalorian law. That would be a hard one to explain to his daughter about just why her dad wasn't following a law she put into place herself. Not to mention it might upset Baiko a bit that he was so thoughtless and then the lecture of how literally anywhere else would have been better.... Okay he was getting himself distracted thinking about how attractive his wife was when she was upset. Time for him to get back on task.

The place Beth was to meet Gray at was a little clearing in the trees with a small cabin and a little pond not far from it. He had made sure everything was set up and ready to go before she arrived, including a pair of large boulders with fairly flat tops between the cabin and pond. There was still some time before she got there, so he decided to get himself warmed up a bit. He got himself into his usual training attire of nothing but loose pants. He did make sure to include a breathable sleeveless shirt to go with them this time though. She was a teenage girl after all and he wasn't a creeper. So he stretched then took off barefoot for a jog into the surrounding trees.

Something told him it was time to return, so Gray did just that as he rounded a big rock. Arriving back into the camp after a few minutes, it seemed that his new trainee was waiting on the bench near the cabin. He jogged up to her with some sweat already sticking to his body. With a friendly smile and his gray scarf covered in Mandalorian symbols over his eyes, Gray said, " Take off everything but your shirt and pants then stretch really good. Also make sure you drink and relieve yourself if you need to. Find me when you have all of that done." With that he left her to go over to the pond. He bent down and drank from the cool water and splashed some water over himself. It was not he really needed to do as he had hardly broken a sweat. It was done more for the illusion that he was worn out a bit for her so that she wouldn't suspect what he was about to do to her. The girl was going to hate him when they were done with today.
 

Gaia Sunaris Cadera

It's a cat-astrophe!
Writer
Bethany thought herself as a good student. One who would work hard, learn hard, and excel at any given field she chose to involve herself in. On that same token, she knew she would not always succeed. Some things she wouldn't have a talent in - some other things, she would. She really hoped this was something that she would be able to learn and to succeed in. Sure, Mandalorian society as a whole wasn't the most accepting of Force users. But, times were changing - at least, in the sense that they knew Force users could be used to advance their own goals while not sacrificing their warrior culture. Her buir, [member="Kaine Australis"] saw the importance of cultivating her knowledge of the Force.

And the best fit? Mr. Raxis, aka [member="Gray Raxis"]. Baiko's husband. He seemed to want to teach from a different perspective than the other fields taught, like the Jedi or the Sith. Beth herself knew she wanted nothing to do with Sith, the so-called 'dark side.' In truth, it frightened her to know that she could become evil, heartless, and mean. But on that same note, the light also scared her. She read the history books, she heard the stories. Those who claim to follow the light often commit atrocities just as badly as the dark siders do. All in all, she knew it was a gift she had to use - for the Mandalorian Empire but also for her family and for herself.

Beth stayed seated on the bench as she waited for Gray to show up. She jumped up when she heard him approach, excited for the day to begin. "Hi!" She would give him a quick little hug before he'd give her instructions on what to do. Her ears were perked with excitement, with an eagerness to learn. If it wasn't for the friendly smile, Bethany might have thought he was more intimidating than he already was to her. She jogged to meet him half way. She nodded as he informed her to get down to the basics, drink, relieve herself (which made her turn red,) and then find him. "Yes, sir!" She nodded.

The girl was wearing a simple pair of pants and a t-shirt with a small sweater over it, a small backpack over her shoulder with some bottled water, snacks (primarily, cookies), and other such goodies. She stopped at the bench, taking it off along with the sweater. She pulled one bottle of water out and took several sips of it before beginning some basic stretches with the assistance of the bench. From the hamstring stretch, triceps, frog, butterfly, jumping jacks, side bend, and even the seated shoulder squeeze. She spent about 30-45 minute (she had lost track of time) before deciding she was outstretched and ready for the actual training to begin. With that, she quickly jogged over to Gray with a bright smile - little did she know what was in store for her.

"I'm ready!"
 

Gray Raxis

Blind and Broken
Character
After the water trick, Gray headed on over to the rocks between the pond and the cabin. He got himself sat on one of them and just focused on not focusing. What he was doing was allowing the force to move in and out and through him. It was water and air to his stone. He was connecting to it in the most natural way he could. This was not about bending it to his will or requesting its aid. This was just about allowing the force to do what the Manda willed it would. It was just allowed to flow. It was just allowed to be.

Eventually [member="Beth Australis"] came back to Gray. She said she was ready. She wasn't, but she didn't know that. This thought brought a grin to his face. For her it would look like his normal smile with an amused twist. For him it was a sign of his more playful and kind of cruel side. She was about to find that out soon enough. He got himself back onto his feet. As he stretched a bit, he said to her in a normal tone, " Now what we are about to do is take a little jog through the forest. While we do, I want you to concentrate on the force. Let it flow in and out of you as if you were breathing. Don't forget though to keep up while you do." He finished stretching. Time for the fun to begin. " Alright lets go." With that he took off at a jog into the trees.

The first thing Beth would notice about their jog was they seemed to be following a path. It was small but big enough for them to go down in single file. While the forest floor around the path had plenty of rocks and roots sticking out of the ground, the path was clear and flat. It was a good little jogging path. Gray was allowing the force to flow through him as he made sure his pace was easy enough for Beth to keep up with. What she would feel from him right now was what he wanted her to be doing. The problem was that he knew she couldn't. It took him years of daily training to be able to do this himself, and it was going to be no different for her.

After they had been jogging for about thirty minutes, Gray said in a voice loud enough for Beth to hear him, " So there was something I didn't tell you earlier about our little jog." He paused to give her a chance to respond, or at least let it get her attention. Once that happened, he went on. " If you lose your connection to the force while we are jogging I'm going to hit you with a force push. It won't be gentle either. Also I'm not going to stop or slow down. If you get behind then you will stay behind. I'm not coming back for you. Better not get lost or you will need to find your way back to the cabin." With that the real training began. His pace picked up and suddenly he left the well worn trail down a rougher split off. It twisted and turned often and sharply as the Mandalorian moved down it.

Gray wasn't feeling the strain of activity right now. This was easy for him. The force flowing through him just replenished his energy and granted him vision of everything around him. His awareness was beyond what natural eyes could grant. He wasn't about to trip up or be caught off guard by a sudden rock or root. And if that wasn't enough it was impossible for him to get lost. His instinctive astrogation would always lead him to where he needed to go. This was something easy for Gray to do after all his years and experience with the force. He had the natural physic to back it up as well. Beth didn't though. It was hard to say how well she was going to be taking it, but it wouldn't be nearly as easily as Gray. For now he just lead the way while keeping a watch over his new ward, ready to deliver on his word about the consequences if she lost focus or got left behind.
 

Gaia Sunaris Cadera

It's a cat-astrophe!
Writer
[member="Gray Raxis"] gave her a smile as she told him she was ready to begin. She was excited to begin the training - after all, she wanted to learn as much as she could about the Force and how to best utilize it. She understood and knew how the Force was viewed by many Mandalorians - but, like her buir had said, the Force was a tool that could be used. Beth wanted to use it for good. Healing their soldiers, using it on the frontlines.

In either case, she gave a smile in return, unaware of the torment he was probably going to bring upon her. Shouldn't she have been used to this, by now? After all, Skosk training regiment was physically (and mentally) exhausting. Beth was a little too trusting, it seemed.

Beth nodded as Gray informed her of their plans, "Ooh, I love the forest!" She grinned, her ears perked as they began to jog through the very nicely laid path. This wasn't going to be too hard, it seemed. A calm paced jog through a beautiful forest on a clear path would be absolutely lovely. She was slightly confused by his instructions - did he want her to try to do a similar thing as meditation as they ran? Her ear turned slightly, a little confused, but mostly curious. "I'll try," she confirmed after thinking it through.

With that, she began to jog behind Gray, in some attempt of trying to meditate and feel the Force as she jogged behind him. She tried breathing in and out like she did during meditation - to feel that intensity of calm, the intense connection between her and the Force. But, she didn't really feel it too much.

After thirty minutes, she paused as Gray stopped, taking a moment to gain some of her breath. Despite the rather relaxed pace, she had worked up a small sweat. She perked a brow - what didn't he tell her? She nodded slowly as he spoke, nervousness slowly increasing as he mentioned that she would be on her own if she couldn't keep up. And the Force blast, if she didn't keep her connection. She didn't fully feel it during the previous jog - she doubted she'd be able to keep it up. Maybe he wouldn't sense it though?

She frowned as she watched him go off the path and down a very rugged, sharp path. The girl tried her best to keep her thoughts on the Force, but quickly felt her connection fading - there were too many other things, rocks, branches, roots that she had to avoid. Not to mention, she nervously continued to check for Gray to see where she was at in proximity to him. She eventually missed a root, her foot gets hung under it, throwing her down onto the dirt path. Her hands and pants became dirty as she cursed under her breath. If there was any connection even left, she'd have lost it. Oh no...
 

Gray Raxis

Blind and Broken
Character
The path continued and just kept getting rougher. It was becoming clear that Gray was dragging her through the woods by this point deeper than a responsible adult should. As they went, he kept watch on her. The connection she had was shaky, but she managed to keep it up as best as she could at her experience and skill level. He was actually a little proud of how well she was doing. The easy jog had turned into a difficult trek after all as well as advanced force training on top of it. If she could handle this then she would be able to handle battle pretty well with a 100% connection through it all.

But it seemed that [member="Beth Australis"] was finally at her breaking point. The young woman tripped and lost her connection with the force. Gray didn't like it, but he was going to have to be true to his word. A sent a burst of force energy right at her that would hit her as hard as if Gray had full body shoved her. Needless to say that while she was on her hands and knees after falling, she was about to find herself on her butt or back. With that little bit down, he kept going. He told her that he wasn't going to stop and he meant it. Further and further through the woods he went. He kept going and didn't stop until he found himself back at the clear with their cabin.

As Gray approached the pond, he was actually starting to feel the run and needed to cool off a bit. Beth's true trial and training was now upon her. Her job was to find her way back now. The only thing he was going to do to help her was keep his signature up a little higher than usual. He was not beacon or lighthouse for her to follow, but more of a campfire on a misty night. She would need to work to get back and use the lesson he was teaching her out in the woods to do it. He walked into the pond and laid back with his head on the bank. The cool water just washed over him as he began the wait for his young trainee to return.
 

Gaia Sunaris Cadera

It's a cat-astrophe!
Writer
The next couple of minutes happened so fast, she barely knew what had happened. She tried to scramble back onto her feet as quickly as possible. Alongside that, she also tried to reconnect her mind to the Force at the same time. She couldn't find the connection, though. It was lost, and in her panic and attempt to reassemble herself, she couldn't reconnect herself. She didn't even make it up before she felt the burst of Force slam into her, throwing her back on her back. The impact knocked the wind out of her breath. She took long, gasping breaths of air. She knew he was still running, she could hear his footsteps beat on the ground farther and farther in front of her.

Once she regained her breath, she quickly scrambled to her feet, wiping the dirt off her hands, knees, and backside. She could try to chase after [member="Gray Raxis"] but would it even be remotely worth wasting her energy? Gray informed her that he would leave her, make her find her way back without him. She frowned, the realization that he knew she wouldn't be able to keep up with him and that she would eventually break her connection to the Force. She bit her lip as she thought about her possibilities. The path was still, kind of noticeable, so she could kind of follow it. It was too messy, broken, to be sure though.

She took a few deep breaths to keep her panic down - after all, there was no point in panicking. He probably had some way to get her to if something happened or if she never showed up. She walked down the path for about 10 minutes before finding a fairly large rock. She climbed on top of it, crossing her legs as she began to meditate. "Clear your mind, Beth. Feel the Force," she whispered to herself as she let her mind go and allowed the Force to reconnect with her. It took a few minutes - she wasn't sure how long - but she felt it come back. She could feel it again, from all the life around her to her own body, to the air. She would be able to get out of this situation with it behind her back. Plus, she didn't have to run anymore. She could continue to feel the Force as she walked along. She wouldn't let her connection be disrupted again. She was determined to keep the connection tightly woven into her. Whatever kinda sorta path was here. There was a particularly strong presence in the Force far away - well, not strong, but more strong than the rest.

An undefined amount of time later, Beth appeared walking out of the forest and towards the cabin and pond. She was hot, sweaty, and had dirt and leaves all over her. Her body ached from the continuous physical activity. She was surprised, but she felt as though her connection to the Force had grown during the small training. She might not be able to run down a narrow path fully and keep it, but maybe she could keep it longer. Maybe she could use it to not trip and fall. In either case, did she really understand what Gray wanted her to learn? The tired young woman quietly walked over, finally sitting down on the bench where she started as she stared ahead.
 

Gray Raxis

Blind and Broken
Character
While Gray waited for [member="Beth Australis-Mantis"] to arrive, he just laid in the waters of the pond. It was cool and starting to become cold. With the cold however was coming numbness. That wouldn't be a good thing, but it was sort of why he was here. He kept his connection with the force up. He needed it to maintain his heat for him. This was his training right now. He needed to be able to stay connected no matter what might hit him. So while Beth was in the middle of her training, he was in the middle of his own. It might seem as if he was doing neither though and just did a horrible thing to the girl for no real reason.

After several hours had past and the day was over half over, Beth finally returned to their clearing. Feeling her approach, Gray finally stirred. He got himself out of the cold water and walked towards her. He could feel that her connection had grown stronger if only a bit. Good. Seemed she picked up the reason for this training then. He could also tell she was exhausted after what had happened. Also good. She needed to push herself to her breaking point constantly if she wanted to improve. Seemed like with this, she was ready for the next lesson.

Gray walked over to the big rock from before, and sat on top of it. He said as he did, " Jump in the pond for a bit and wash yourself off. After that come join me by sitting on this rock here." He pointed to the empty rock across from him. This next part of the training was going to be as important as the first, even if she wouldn't realize it at first. There was something his dad had always taught him about this sort of thing. He was always told that the more use to getting tossed around randomly you get the easier and simpler life seemed to be. It was something he had taken to heart with everything else and it was something he was going to pass on to Beth as well.
 

Gaia Sunaris Cadera

It's a cat-astrophe!
Writer
Beth stared ahead for a few moments. She was lost inside her strengthened connection to the Force and, in a way, her own thoughts. She hoped to be an excellent Force user, one who could use her abilities to bring good into the world. She felt confident in her connection to the Force, even if she had struggled during the lesson. That was the point of training, right? To push you over your breaking point so you could truly know how far you could go. She could feel the dirt that was on her face and body. She particularly didn't like the feeling of sweat that she felt drenched in, even if that was a bit of an exaggeration. She hoped that these trainings
were worth it.

If anyone could teach her, it would be [member="Gray Raxis"]. She had the utmost confidence that he would be an excellent instructor.

She watched Gray as he came out of the water and informed her to wash off and then join him by sitting on the rock that was across from him. After the previous training, it made her a bit nervous but she did as she was told. It wasn't like she could back out now. No, she would excel this next challenge! She knew she could do it, even if it was rough on her. She just had to keep her connection, keep her focus, and she could do it. With her small pep talk down, Beth slowly dipped into the pond with her dirty outfit. She carefully washed the dirt, grime, and sweat off her body and the clothes she continued to wear.

She almost didn't want to leave - feeling the cold water over her skin felt amazing, particularly on the bruises that now covered her body from her exploration in the woods. She knew she had to leave, though, and finally crawled out. She dried herself off. From there, she walked to the rock and crawled up on it. She took a deep breath, "Okay... Ready, I think. Probably not, but as ready as I'll ever be." At least that dip in the pond refreshed her. She felt tremendously better than what she had prior.
 

Gray Raxis

Blind and Broken
Character
While Beth washed herself off Gray just sat on the rock. His focus was on maintaining his connection to the force as he waited on her. How long had he held the connect now? He couldn't remember. Most just did it to build up a well of power to burst out with a single or handful of uses. Not him. The point for him was just being connected. It was how he kept using force sight and instinctive astrogation endlessly. He didn't need to worry about how much power he had behind them either since they required none. It was also how he maintained force body for long periods of time. He didn't build up power to fuel it so much as let the power replace itself naturally. It was more passive a way of using the force, but no less useful or powerful.

After more time than required to get washed off, couldn't blame the girl for it, Beth finally came over to the rock. Gray just sat there silently as she did. She said she was ready. She didn't have the level of confidence she had before the forest walk, but she said she was ready. Good. Time to see if she really was ready or not for this next lesson. Gray just continued to be silent. He didn't move or speak. He just remained how he was before she showed up. And that was how he was going to remain. No matter what she said or did he planned to keep doing that. All she could do was wait. And if she got tired of waiting and tried to do something else well he planned on making her regret it. She was going to learn how to push through and stay focused. Before was while active and now while passive. Lesson two was fully under way.

[member="Beth Australis-Mantis"]
 
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