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Raindrops

Verana

Junior Jedi Ranger
Character
“One foot forward, weight on your ankles and duck into the slash.” Vera quietly repeated to herself as she followed through on the motions. “Push up.” She said and stood back up on her feet with a stable posture. “Step up, and go back into defensive position.”

The saber thrummed by her ear as the superheated blade offered a kiss of blue upon the ground below her feet. Snaps and hisses echoed around the small courtyard as the rain slowly but steadily transitioned from a drizzle into a steady shower. Wet strands of hair licked against the corner of her eyes and the young padawan extinguished her saber with a frustrated sigh as her hands swept up at her face in an attempt to push the water out of her face to the best of her abilities before she grabbed at the soggy mess that was her hair and carefully tied it up behind her in a disorderly bun.

With both hands once more clutched around the hilt of her saber she let in a deep inhale before inevitably igniting it again. This time she followed through the motions with a quicker pace than before. Forward, down, slash, up, and finally back away. For a second attack she went low. One foot sweeping for the feet with a hand for support in case of retaliation. Hook yourself around their ankle and pull or push before getting back on your feet for an attack on their chest. Saber gripped firm between your hands, flip it around and bring it down with all the force you can muster…

“Most people try to stay out of the rain when they practice.” A voice echoed through the courtyard against the subtle melodies of saber hums and rain. “Get inside before you get a cold, Verana.”

“I am almost done.” The girl said and turned her lightsaber off to look at the man who spoke to her.

The sounds of sabers were taken over by the subtle din of raindrops crashing against the rooftops. Her muddied boots were in need of a serious cleaning and the armless robes that she wore were anything but dry, or clean for that matter. Vera had never been known for her cleanliness. She came from a family that had made their living from foraging, hunting and farming. She came from a simple lifestyle and had never seen the need for vanities and was more than used to the hardships of life. She liked to think it had only ended up making her all the more stronger for it. It certainly made the smaller things more enjoyable, which was its own reward.

“You might catch a cold.” The caring master jedi called from under the roof that kept him from experiencing the true joy of being alive.

“I really might really not.” Vera responded and looked up towards the sky to let the raindrops pat against her cheeks. It reminded her of home, made the reminders of her separation from her brothers and sisters easier to bear on days when their laughter seemed to resonate through the joy of the other padawans that surrounded her.

“They wouldn’t want you to get sick, you know.” The master said and tried once more to persuade Vera back under the warmth of the rainless roof.

Her attention slowly shifted from the rain, green eyes setting upon the aged master’s amused smile with a perked brow of her own. He had seen her thoughts then, knew that her family was on her mind again same as it had for the last few days despite four long years of separation.

“They wouldn’t want me to get too soft either.” She spoke with a laughter and stepped up before him with a bow. “But as you wish, Master Erran. I shall get out of the rain at your behest if that is what you wish of me.”

“Thank you, Verana.” He said and bowed back before taking his leave.

The girl threw a quick glance at the puddles and the tracks in the mud beyond the cover of the roof. She couldn’t drop the thoughts of home and the hardships they had endured. Some winters she had gone hungry and other times she had lived like a queen, but most of the time she had simply lived from day to day doing what was needed of her to ensure survival for herself and her family. Rain was a big part of the natural wonders that she had gotten used to as a child, and despite what people seemed to believe it didn’t actually make you anymore likely to catch colds if you knew how to temper yourself.

She stepped into the warmth of the dormitory building. For each step that she took there was a thick trail of water that followed in her wake as the water that had seeped into the very fabrics of her tunic had begun to let go. Some of the children turned to look, others simply looked confused, but Vera simply shrugged it all off. She knew what she was doing was going against some kind of unwritten rule of ‘civilization’ but these rules were just four years old on her. She hadn’t come to fully embrace all of it just yet.

Some of it was pretty obvious. Don’t chew with your mouth open, it’s disgusting. Or rather, they called it impolite around here instead of what they really wanted to say. Also, always be courteous was as simple as showing respect, and quite frankly that was the only way anyone could survive in this world. All in all for every year that passed Vera grew all the more certain of the fact that civilization was just as good and bad as the ‘savagery’ she came from except that ‘civilization’ had fancier words for exploiting the nature of the environment and people around you.

Her trail ended a few meters away from the door to her room. Her fingers tapped at the console by its side to unlock it and the metal barrier slid up to expose Vera to the shared room that she had been given the day she arrived. Out from under her bed strode a small, white and fluffy cloud of whiskers, ears and snouts.

“Vax!” Vera exclaimed with glee as the tiny furred creature pounced her with kisses. “I have missed you too.” She cooed at the tiny fox-like creature. “Who is a good boy? Yes, who is a good boy?”

Her nose rubbed against the creature’s own nose before she settled it in a position within her arms for optimal fur stroking.

“Did you just step out of the refresher or something?” One of her roommates asked with a deeply amused look on their face.

“Something like that.” Vera said and put Vax down before she began to change out of her damp robes.

“Master Erran give you the talk about colds again?” The other roommate looked as amused as before.

“It wasn’t as long as he usually makes them.” The redhead girl grunted as she pushed her way into a new tunic. “I guess because I actually came inside when he asked me to for once.”

“Verana Quizan, following orders?” The friend said with a sarcastic gasp. “Who are you and what have you done to our friend?”

“Very funny, Irma.” Vera said and gave the slightly younger apprentice a deadpan stare. “Look, have you seen [member="Charlie"]? We were supposed to meet after I was done with practice. Or, well, you know… If I had actually finished practice.”

“Uh, no. I haven’t seen her.” Irma said and looked over at the door. “I haven’t left the room yet.”

“Great.” Vera groaned and put on a new set of boots to wrap up. “I’ll have to go find her then.”

“Don’t catch a cold.” Irma called out as Vera stepped through the door.

Vera stopped dead in her tracks to look at her friend.

“It was a joke!” Irma exclaimed. “Now go! I have to read, shortfuse.”

Verana sighed and shook her head to the amusement of her friend. With a few more steps she was off to find her friend, not even aware of the greater adventure that had just started to take shape by these very actions.
 
"Little Soldier's Boot"
Character
[SIZE=9pt]Charlie’s master had given her strict orders for the day. It was filled with reading and some physical activity, but mostly reading. Jyoti wanted to make sure the little Podunk padawan had some ability to read and write with logical thought. To her surprise though, Charlie was a proficient reader and writer -so most of the lessons were done quickly. Looking down at her comm, she saw she still had some time from when she was supposed to meet [member="Verana"] – this meant there was time to wander into the cafeteria and obtain second dinner…or first dinner…maybe third lunch. Charlie didn’t care what it was called, it just meant that she was able to get a hold of it. [/SIZE]

[SIZE=9pt]Making her way towards the cafeteria, she sighed. It was fuller than she had expected. Did everyone get hungry at the same time? Charlie shrugged and grabbed a tray when it was her turn. Wandering down the lines, she gathered her food and finished off with a couple of Rice Krispy treats. They were always her favorite, so when they were available she would try and get as much as she could. [/SIZE]

[SIZE=9pt]Once the food was paid for, she left the kitchen and entered the crowded dining room. The padawan dipped and wove through the crowds till she found a small empty table to herself. A happy little smile spread across her face as she sat down and quickly began to devour the pasta she had gathered for herself. It didn’t take her too long to finish most of her meal when she wanted the treats more than anything. [/SIZE]

[SIZE=9pt]Hands gingerly opened the plastic wrap, when it was free she brought the treat too her mouth. A tender bite and the young padawan was sent into a euphoric state. “Mmm…” [/SIZE]
 

Verana

Junior Jedi Ranger
Character
[member="Charlie"]

Right, there was always a the one safe bet when it came to where you could find Charlie. The sound of boots echoed around the hallways as student after student passed her by and she gave them each a probring glance to see if they were Charlie. Yet none of them seemed to be her. To the cafeteria it was then. Vera herself wasn’t all that hungry. The benefits of having grown up with a meager diet and luck. The sensation of propping herself until full was still something that caused her to feel a pang of guilt whenever it happened. It meant that she had eaten someone else’s portion and that she had forfeited part of her own future portion to that person.

Of course, that was not how it worked here, but fourteen years of habit and upbringing was hard to just drop. They expected her to eat here, and get full, but she just couldn’t and her somewhat short-grown stature was proof of that.

Stepping into the cafeteria she was surprised to see how many people there were here. A quick glance at the chronometer on the wall made it all the more obvious that dinner had begun and Vera felt her hand pat at her stomach as if to try and awaken it’s appetite. She frowned and approached the line while more glances was thrown around the room trying to find Charlie.

And there she was, on her own and eating some kind of treat. Vear smiled and ordered the food she needed and grabbed her plate to go over to where her friend was.

“Mind if I sit down?” She said and took a seat anyway. “It’s good to see you, Charlie.”

As was probably evident by the way her hair was still a soggy mess and the new clothes were getting damp from the wetness of her skin from where the old set of robes had once been. All things considered, out of all the people in the mess hall, Vera stood out with her unkempt looks.

“The rain made the masters throw another hissy fit. I swear they’re afraid of it or something.” She chuckled and tried to dig into the pasta dish on her plate with a forced gulp. “Anyway, uh, I hope it’s okay that I came around a bit earlier.”

“What are you up to?”
 
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