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Aldera City - Royal Courtyard
[member="Anais Auraeli"]

Cenric walked slowly down the small garden corridors of the Royal Courtyard, his gaze flicking between hedgerows as he tried to figure out where the hell he was actually going.

The young Padawan had been sent here to Alderaan by his Master. It was a pseudo scouting slash diplomatic mission, one that he was pretty sure he was going to screw up no matter how much he actually tried. Alderaan was a planet of great importance, rich, friendly, and generally liberal leaning Jedi from all over the galaxy attempted to court this world as much as they possibly could. With the fall of the Alliance, and the recent troubles on the world itself, gaining Alderaans support was more important than ever.

That was why, of course, Cenric hadn't been sent alone.

Another Knight from the Rebel Alliance had come as well, though in the confusion of their arrival Cenric had seemingly lost him. The Padawan had managed to make his way to the Palace, he was stuck wandering this damned garden.

The few people he had passed had been absolutely no help. One had been a grumpy janitor who had simply cursed at him, saying something about those 'damned force users', and the only other people he'd encountered had been a gaggle of giggling children who'd simply scurried off as soon as he tried to talk to them. It was a problem, mostly because he felt like he was going to miss the meeting that had been set for them.

Said meeting wasn't with the Queen or anything, just some nobles, but it was still important.

"Damn it." He said quietly, turning another corner and finally spotting another person. "Finally!"

His voice boomed out. "Hey! Excuse me! Can you help me?"

That probably wasn't how you were supposed to address someone here, but Cenric was just a farmboy from Lorrd. Couldn't blame him too much.

Mav Halo

Mean, mean stride.
[member="Cenric Marus"]

Anais bit her lip as she tightened the casing on L1-4R, knuckles turning white more from exertion of keeping the tremble from her hands than the effort it took to turn the servo wrench itself. Brushing a few stray locks away from her eyes as she continued to work, scarcely aware of her surroundings as she toiled away on the edges of the sunkissed gardens, having effectively commandeered and cordoned off a section as her own personal refuge-cum-workshop. If such a term could be applied to what essentially amounted to a hastily laid down, moth-eaten blanket and the largest box of tools she’d been able to liberate from one of the Palace’s technicians. The Royal Gardener would likely have a fit if he saw what she was doing to his immaculate lawn.

But she couldn’t take the sterile gloom of the mechanic stations inside right now.

Not after Coruscant. Not after…

She stifled a choice curse as her hand predictably trembled, causing the wrench to slip and score a light gouge in L1-4R’s paintwork. Another careless, sloppy mistake. The third in the last hour alone. Fortunately for her, this one was purely cosmetic and could easily be repaired before she had to face the diminutive little droid’s vindictive and scathing, monotone displeasure. At present, he was nothing more than an empty and lifeless husk on the blanket before her. A disassembled robotic jigsaw waiting to be solved; the inadvertent casualty of her constant need to keep herself busy in the wake of recent events.

She shook her head and tossed the servo wrench down, reaching for another tool.

After the fallen Galactic Alliance capital, the comparative silence of Aldera was almost deafening. Serving as both a welcome and yet dangerous prospect for the young Padawan. All too often leaving her alone with the dangerous, swirling miasma that was her own thoughts as of late. Or at least, she hoped they were her own. With the whispered echoes of that Man’s voice in her head, goading and laughing with sick and twisted amusement, it was hard to tell where her thoughts began and his compulsion ended.

It was why she had come here in the first place, seeking refuge and solace with her mother’s family. Hoping to clear her mind and distract herself from the failures and deaths that stained her hands just as she now stained the grass with oils, lubricants and pitch black grease. Find some semblance of herself in the familiar setting of the Great House of Metara. Thus far, however, all she’d really accomplished was making a fool and a nuisance of herself, jumping at shadows and all but breaking down at a moments notice.

Another reason why Anais had fled to the gardens. She couldn’t take the sympathetic glances and soft words. Having been on the receiving end of them from Ember was bad enough. She didn’t need it here, too.

"Hey! Excuse me! Can you help me?"

A loud, accented voice cut through the work filled monotony before it could descend into a pity parade. Snapping her amber eyed gaze up towards the source, narrowing slightly as they settled on a distinctive style of robes that marked him almost as clearly as the lightsaber on his hip. A Jedi? If so, not one she didn’t recognise from the Praxeum. Of course, that wasn’t too surprising, there were countless orders spread out across the Galaxy. It also wasn’t unusual to see offworlders mingled within the palace’s denizens.

That depends on what you need.” She brought her hand up to shield her eyes from the glare of the sun, marking her brow with a thin smear of black in the process. “I’m assuming you’re here to meet one of the House representatives? If so, you’ve come completely in the wrong direction. You’ll need to check in at the main entrance and they’ll assign a chaperone to guide you. It's, um...

Ah, where was it again? Anais had always came through via the wing that the Metara maintained. The luxury of associated rank.

"...Back the way you came."
[member="Anais Auraeli"]

He frowned for a second, glancing back the way he had come from and considering for a moment. "Are you sure about that?"

Cenric sounded somewhat incredulous, but then there was good reason for that. It seemed like the Royal Gardens had been constructed as a maze, easy to get lost in and impossible to find your way out of unless you already knew where you were going. He frowned slightly, remembering something mentioned about a Guide when they had first entered the Palace complex. His hand went to the back of his head, scratching and threading slowly through his hair as he realized what he'd done.

When they'd first arrived they had in fact been given a guide, but in his foolishness he'd lost track of them. The Chaperone was now with the Jedi Knight that had accompanied Cenric, meaning that if he went back to the entrance he would have to explain that he had been wandering around the Palace un-escorted without anyone to watch him. The idea of that brought a slight frown to his place, his hand stopping as he wondered if they could arrest a Jedi Padawan.

He hadn't done anything illegal, but times were tense.

His hand slowly snaked around from the back of his neck and wiped across his face. A large audible sigh escaped him, one filled with dread. If Cedric found out about this he would kill him, especially if security decided to detain him. The young Padawan shook his head slightly, then peeked out over his hand at the girl. She was sitting in the middle of a small patch of grass, a tattered and worn blanket below her and some kind of droid at her fingertips.

An eyebrow perked slightly. Was she some sort of mechanic?

"I don't suppose..." He trailed off. "You could just tell me where House Panteer is could you?"

Cenric stood up straight and tried to do his best puppy dog eyes. "I'd be grateful."

Mav Halo

Mean, mean stride.
[member="Cenric Marus"]

[SIZE=9pt]“All the corridors lead back to the entrance.” Anais replied with a half-hearted sense of conviction, knowing that while her statement was true, it came with a heavy and unspoken disclaimer of ‘eventually’. This entire section of the Royal Grounds had been redesigned, reconstructed and renovated so many times over the last few centuries that it had become a nonsensical labyrinth that even the nobles that walked the halls on a daily basis did so with an abundance of care. [/SIZE]

Her droid, with its data banks full of the necessary layouts and schematics, could have given a more confident and accurate set of directions, but alas… He was in no condition to do much of anything at the moment.

House Panteer?” She placed her servodriver down beside her on the grass, wiping her hand absently on her thigh as she moved to regain her footing. Strange Jedi stalking the halls, of course it tied back to the infamous House of string-pullers. Her lips compressed to a thin line and her dark locks swayed as she shook her head; that was an uncharitable thought for one of her own House’s longest standing allies. She might not have agreed with the pragmatic approach they often took towards politics, but she was in no position to judge. She was scarcely even a Padawan.

You must be really turned around.” Anais added as she stood, amber eyes flickering around their surroundings as she sought to put together at least some semblance of her bearings before nodding to herself. This much she could manage. Probably. “You’re not even in the right section of the Gardens. You’ll mostly find House Cortess, Baliss and my own House, Metara, in this part. You’ll need to head back along that corridor over there, take two lefts, a right and then...

Her lips thinned again, almost vanishing before she pushed them into a apologetic approximation of a smile. It didn’t quite meet those dark and troubled eyes, but the attempt was made all the same. Which was far more than could be said for the last few days. “Or I could just take you, I guess. I need a few more parts for Liar here anyway. Do you know exactly where you were supposed to be meeting them?

The last part was called over her shoulder as she was already on the move, her pace brisk yet obviously slowed to allow him to catch up and fall in beside her.
[member="Anais Auraeli"]

Cenric looked down at his own feet, letting out a muted curse as she told him just how off target he was.

He'd been wandering for quite some time, so it made sense that he'd gotten that last. Briefly The Padawan wondered if it wouldn't be a good idea to put signs up in the garden, something that would let strangers find their way around the place. Of course he wasn't going to make that suggestion out loud, mostly because he figured that he would end up insulting someone. That was the last thing he wanted to do right now.

When he finally looked up Cenric realized the girl was already more than a dozen paces ahead of him. His face scrunched and he broke into a half run, half walk in order to quickly catch up to her. Before long he fell into step, thinking for a moment before answering. "House Panteer apparently has a greenhouse just outside their main Palace. That was where we were going."

A more pleasant environment than a throne room or meeting hall.

This diplomatic mission was supposed to have been informal, a way for the Rebel Alliance to talk with House Panteer without any official pressure. That was one of the reasons Cenric was here with a Knight instead of his own Master. They wanted things to be unofficial, and having the leader of the Rebels appear here on Alderaan wouldn't have been a good look for anyone. His padawan though? No one cared about that.

"I'm Cenric, by the way." He said in introduction.

Mav Halo

Mean, mean stride.
[member="Cenric Marus"]
"They actually prefer you call it an 'Artificial Biome'." Anais corrected as he joined her, lips quirking slightly with something a touch more genuine behind them at his inadvertent, if accurate description of the House Panteer's current pride and joy. They were putting on airs as far as she was concerned. A greenhouse was just a greenhouse, regardless of how you tried to dress it up. But then, the padawan had a mind more suited towards gears, wires and binary coding than flowers, plants and other such green thumbery. "They tend to get rather prickly about it. Might be why you were accidentally mislaid."

Snubs were the favored tactic of nobility after all, just as much here on Alderaan as say, the Tapani sector or Naboo. If the organisation Cenric represented was here to negotiate with House Panteer, it was far more likely that it was an intentional move to put them on the back foot and unbalance them ahead of the meeting, however. A timeless, petty strategy that was one of the reasons she had opted to walk a different path to her mother. She had no head for the countless games within games and tiring intrigues that went hand in hand with House politics.

"Anais Auraeli." She replied as they stepped on to the courtyard path, ushering him down one of the seemingly identical turns with a wave of her arm. Taking advantage of the moment to regard her 'travelling' companion a little more closely. As conflicted as her opinion was of the Panteer, they wouldn't be meeting just anyone in their gree-- Artificial Biome. Which meant Cenric was more than just some random padawan. It was bad form to interrogate someone else's guest, but perhaps she could coach out a little more information along the way. "I'm a Padawan affiliated the Jedi Praxeum of Eira Pechal. When I'm not, um, ruining the gardens with my droid that is."
[member="Anais Auraeli"]

"Oh." He said as she explained the difference between a Biome and a greenhouse. "Back home we never made much of a difference between the two..."

It was a good tip though.

A part of him thought that Cedric had made a massive mistake sending him here. He was so pad at politics and diplomacy that he was taking tips from a random garden girl whom he just met. It probably wasn't the best tactic, but she sounded like she knew what she was talking about. A breath filled his lungs and he tried to calm himself, hoping that he wasn't about to create a permanent blood feud between the Rebel Alliance and House Panteer. That was something he'd never hear the end of.

He perked up slightly when she mentioned she was also a force user.

Sensing others in the force, even allies, wasn't something Cenric was really good at. In fact he'd barely managed to feel the Sith he'd fought not so long ago. Had she not told him, this conversation very likely could have gone another way. "What's that like? The Praxeum? I've heard almost nothing about them."

Mav Halo

Mean, mean stride.
[member="Cenric Marus"]
"Truthfully, I'd be surprised if you had." She replied, her gait slowing slightly to allow more conversationally conducive pace. "The Praxeum is very... low key in comparison to the other Jedi Orders have come across. There's very little interest in political machinations, no desire to take a stand on the grand stage or leave our mark on the galaxy. We just go where we're needed and try to help people."


That was the operable word of that sentence. More often than not lately, Anais felt she had only done more harm than good. Coruscant being just the most recent example. Before that there was Nibelungen, where she had been more of a hanger on than an asset to the mission, and then there was Deneba... Where she failed to help anyone in the wake of Arenais' betrayal and the Dark Jedi assault on the Temple. As it stood, her score card seemed decidedly slanted and not in her favor.

She shook her head, turning the conversation back on her companion before she could slip back into the mental trap of her own making.

"And you? You don't seem like the Silver Jedi that I've met so far. Are you here on behalf of the Republic or the Alliance?"

Alderaan had history with both, so it seemed the most likely candidates, but then there were countless other Jedi Orders scattered across the Galaxy. A fact that was both heartening and perhaps a disheartening in the same measure. Especially when their obvious enemies, the Sith, seemed so unified in comparison.
[member="Anais Auraeli"]

"The Rebel Alliance." Cenric felt like he had to make the distinction. Though they weren't exactly an Order, there were many Jedi that had joined with Cedric on his crusade against the Sith. Of course the name was a bit confusing since the Galactic Alliance had been one of the largest governments in the galaxy but...there was no avoiding that.

He didn't get to pick the name.

"I first joined the New Jedi Order though." The Padawan wasn't much for keeping secrets, and his own personal history even less so. She had asked and thus he considered her to be genuinely curious, especially given their shared nature as Jedi, even if it was from different orders. "The Rebels are different."

To say the least. "Open, fewer Jedi and more...freedom fighters."

That was a good way to put it. The Rebel Alliance had plenty of Jedi, but it had far more soldiers, engineers, and regular men and women who were looking to make a difference. That meant the whole thing was more chaotic and less organized than Cenric would have liked, but it also meant they got more things done. At least he liked to think so anyway.

Mav Halo

Mean, mean stride.
[member="Cenric Marus"]
Her brows raised and she almost missed her step. The Rebel Alliance? Anais was familiar with the name of course. It was hard not to these days, with the tales of their exploits spreading out like wildfire from the reaches of the Tingel Arm. Scoring victories against the formerly and seemingly undefeatable Sith Empire. She hadn’t expected to find any of them here, on Alderaan, however. Even with the planet’s lengthy history (both before and after its reconstruction) of supporting such causes.

I was with Deneba Jedi Order before the Praxeum.” She confessed quietly, her expression tightening to the verge it almost shut down completely before she fell back on the lessons her mother had instilled during her youth. She might not have been as gifted as her in the political arena, but she could certainly force a smile worthy of any diplomat’s daughter. “Believe me, I understand how different the Galaxy can be once you step beyond the walls of the Temple. I’ve found that things are a lot less… clear.

Or perhaps that was just her.

The Rebel Alliance brand of Jedi were likely far more confident and focused than she felt most days. They had an obvious enemy before them, an injustice in which to right, and clear sense of purpose and cause in which to serve. By contrast, trying to protect and serve without directly interfering seemed to cause the proverbial waters that the Praxeum swam in to become cloudy and muddied down with other considerations. Their own sense of ethics and dogma binding their hands.

I’m not sure I envy you the battlefield, however. I don’t think I’m cut out to be a warrior. I thought I could be on once, but now the thought of using my lightsaber... I guess we're cut out to walk different paths.
[member="Anais Auraeli"]

He frowned for a second, half wanting to ask her for more details but knowing it would be foolish. He hardly knew this girl, and going into those sorts of details wasn't exactly something you did with a stranger. "Well, that's not all bad."

It was true, The Rebel Alliance and it's Jedi were far more militant than others. They took their cue from the New Jedi Order that had cropped up with the Galactic Alliance. They fought Sith, that was what they did, but that didn't preclude other types of Jedi. For Cenric it wasn't really much of a choice really, his own aptitudes within the force were meager and fighting was really the only thing that he could do.

"Plenty of Jedi through the ages have become famous never even entering a battlefield." He shrugged. "Healers, Archivists, Archaeologist."

He flashed her a smile. "You'll probably contributed more to the Galaxy than I ever will."

It was not an empty complement either. Cenric had no illusions about who or what he was. The padawan was gifted with a lightsaber, but his strength in the force was so weak that it might not have been there at all. Even with concentration he could barely lift a small pebble off the ground. He was sure that Anais could manage much more than that.

Most could.

Mav Halo

Mean, mean stride.
[member="Cenric Marus"]

I wouldn’t be so sure.” Anais disagreed with a small shake of her head, “We can heal, we can rebuild, we can try to educate people about our past mistakes, but we can’t change the fact that this Galaxy is shaped and determined on the battlefield.

A difficult truth for the Padawan to swallow even as she lent it voice now, but one she had been forced to accept in light of recent events all the same. If standing alone on the edge of that rooftop on Coruscant had taught her anything, looking down into the abyss she had created by her own hand, it was that good intentions could ultimately only achieve so much. For all the good she could potentially accomplish over the course of her lifetime, for all the good the Praxeum could accomplish, all it took was a single, well-timed moment to erase it all. A blink of an eye, a single well-timed sweep of a lightsaber… A whispered command.

J̘̗̪̣͍͙̄ͣ͌̅̓ͭ Ù̝̬̜͖͎́̿ͨ͌ M̪̆ P̲̞̰͖̬̭

She flinched at the memory. Her hand reflexively coming up to the side of her head, grease stained fingers tracing black lines across her temple as her head suddenly throbbed and ached. Still struggling with the after effects of the Sith compulsion that had quite literally driven her over the edge only days before. Even now, here on Alderaan, that man's voice continued to haunt her still.

“Sorry, I…” Anais swallowed, her expression becoming even more brittle. Suddenly embarrassed and ashamed in equal measure. This is why she had almost exiled herself to the gardens in the first place, seeking out the solitary it afforded while still giving her the illusion of being in public. It was far easier to burying her head there than having to deal with people at the moment. “I must’ve been sitting under the sun longer than I thought. What was I saying?

She blinked.

Um, yes. Battlefield. I, uh…I wouldn’t be so quick to discount yourself or your contributions. Your victories have inspired and given hope to more people than you realise. And the Sith are something… Something you can’t leave unopposed.”
[member="Anais Auraeli"]

Cenric frowned for a moment, glancing at Anais with concern.

Was there something wrong? She had been sitting in the sun, but generally one didn't exactly just suddenly feel the effects of that. Cenric had enough experience with sun sickness back home from working the fields. He lingered for a moment. "Do you need a medic?"

He supposed that there would probably be actual doctors here instead of medics, but that thought didn't really occur to him. The Rebel Alliance had a few medical droids and the like, but generally actual doctors were somewhat more scarce among his organization.

"I can take you to one." He paused for a second. "Or you can take yourself and I can just help you get there."

That seemed more likely than the former statement.

Mav Halo

Mean, mean stride.
[member="Cenric Marus"]

"No!" The word tumbled past her lips much harsher and louder than she had intended, coming out as a whip crack that resounded around the richly adorned, stone-clad courtyard. Catching her just as much off guard as the nobles that milled around the gardens, causing a sea of worried faces to glance in their direction and spark a flurry of whispers and remarks that would no doubt filter back to her House within the hour. The last thing she needed right now. Anais flushed a reddish shade of pink, cheeks burning as she dipped her head, trying to avoid their attention and the man beside her in equal measure as she tried to regain a measure of composure. "No, I am fine. I am just a little... tired after Coruscant. It was a long journey here."

The padawan hesitated, tugging on the edges of her sleeves.

"I'll be fine, honest." Anais lied a little too smoothly to be completely comfortable with, still struggling to meet his gaze while trying to usher him onwards anew. She didn't want to deal with his concern - not when she didn't deserve it. "You don't want to be any later to your meeting with Panteer than you are already. I'm sure your master is looking everywhere for you."
[member="Anais Auraeli"]

Cenric had to stop himself from jumping back as the girl practically screamed at him. He blinked a few times, staring at her in shock. Briefly he couldn't help but wonder if he had somehow said the wrong thing, though upon reflection it was clear that there was something else wrong. A brief frown touched the lips of the Padawan, and for the first time he actually looked at Anais.

He had been born on Lorrd, raised there too in fact. Though his people didn't look much different than the standard humanoids, they were rather unique in their own sort of way. Speech wasn't the only way that they spoke to one another, and millenia ago his people had developed something called Kinetic Communication. From a young age they were taught to read body-language and micro-expressions, capable of seeing the truth behind someone's actions and posture rather than their words.

Cenric studied Anais for a moment, and then concluded that something was indeed very wrong. Though it was something she was unwilling to share.

He frowned briefly, attempting to decide what to do. The better part of him wanted to intervene, to poke and prod, but it was clear the girl was in no mood to talk about what was bothering her. Mariya's words rang in his head for a moment, and then slowly he spoke up. "Oh I doubt that, he's back on the Fleet."

The Alliance didn't really have a 'homeworld', they lived on a fleet.

"The man I'm with here is just a Knight, and if I'm honest he's probably happy I'm not there." Cenric wasn't much of an ambassador. "We can take our time, really."

The Padawan tried to urge her subtly, knowing that he couldn't just outright press.

Mav Halo

Mean, mean stride.
[member="Cenric Marus"]
"Ember, my master, is like that." Anais replied softly, her tone still a little awkward and stilted after that outburst. Trying to latch on to a topic that was easier for her to control and manage. One that could distract her from the dark clouds that seemed to linger on the horizon, threatening to roll back in at a moments notice. She made a feeble attempt at a smile, more for his sake than her own, but couldn't quite get it to stick longer than a few seconds before she abandoned it entirely. "He often sends me out on tasks alone. I'm sure its part of the process so that I become more independent and less reliant on him, but sometimes I wonder if it is just to get me out from under foot. "

That and the Master/Student relationship was still new to the pair of them. They had yet to strike a balance that worked. It had been his suggestion that she take some downtime that had brought her here now, although it had been the unspoken guilt in his eyes that had made her accept. In many ways, watching him blame himself for her failings, her weaknesses, was infinitely worse than any sort of recrimination could ever have been.

"But I'm used to the travelling aspect of it. My parents were always on the move when I was a child, so staying in one place for any length of time feels strange." She slowed their pace to a gradual stop as they came to another intersection in the garden, "I actually almost envy you for living a fleet. There was always a certain, easier quality about living on board a ship. Everything seems more contained, more controlled. Like a tiny world in of itself."
[member="Anais Auraeli"]

It was obvious what she was doing, but Cenric wasn't about to point it out. "Not sure I like it If I'm honest."

There had been a certain excitement to it at first, that much he could admit to himself, but the more time he spent on the fleet the more he grew to dislike it. There wasn't any one reason for it, not really anyway. It was just the environment in it of itself.

"I grew up on a farm." The Padawan explained. "Running around and going where I pleased. Living on a's pretty discomforting after a little while. Everything is tight and confined, you have to share showers, no rivers to swim in."

He sounded almost loathsome about it. "I'm not sure how people do it all the time really. I think half the reason I'm here is because my Master knew that I was going a little crazy just sitting on those ships doing nothing."

Cenric found it odd how the two of them were so opposite in that. Anais seemed to almost hope for something like living on a ship. Perhaps a few months ago he would have agreed with her, but now he much rather would have run around in the gardens here. He shrugged after a second. "There is something to it though. Before I joined the Jedi I'd only ever seen Lorrd, now it seems like we're going to a new planet every other day."

Mav Halo

Mean, mean stride.
[member="Cenric Marus"]
Anais almost sagged with relief when Cenric latched on to her feeble attempt to shift the topic. Thankful that he was willing to afford her the continued illusion that she was holding it together, feigned as it might have been.

"A farm boy?" He didn't seem like any of the farm boys she had met on her journey so far, but then the galaxy was a much wider place than she had ever envisioned. Her experience in the field, pun partially intended, was limited at best. "I've always wondered what it would be like to have that sort of childhood. Maybe not growing up on the farm exactly, but to have that sort of long standing connection with a place. An actual home."

She made a wistful sound, "I was born in a city much like this one, maybe an hour or so to the south of here, but Alderaan has always seemed more like a placeholder by comparison. Somewhere I can return if I need to, but it has never been a real home. Just a place where I can keep my possessions."

The Padawan tugged on her sleeve again and resumed their passage, taking them off the grounds and into a heavily domed section of the palace. One of the more older, ancient and storied areas if the architecture was anything to go by, but then the whole of Alderaan had been almost exclusively designed to give that appearance. As if, like her, it was trying to selectively ignore parts of its own history. "I suppose we differ in more than just our Orders and roles on the battlefield in that regard."
[member="Anais Auraeli"]

Cenric didn't respond for a moment, too caught up in looking at the things around him. The Padawna had been to precious few planets in his lifetime, and the splendor of Alderaan wasn't exactly something he was use to. The high facades and decorated domes were something to stare at, and even if there was a certain amount of lie to them Cenric couldn't help but be taken aback.

It was only after a long few seconds of awkward silence that the young man managed to speak again. "Lorrd is home."

He said quietly, almost in affirmation of himself rather than what she had said. Cenric didn't quite understand what she meant when she had said Alderaan wasn't home to her, the idea seemed almost foreign in fact. Where you were born was home, where you were raised was home. He looked at her inquisitively for a moment, wondering if maybe she hadn't grown up here after all. A moment more passed and then finally he spoke again.

"My father was a Soldier in the Republic." The young Padawan began quietly. "Before they collapsed. Fought in the war for years."

He cleared his throat. "He always told me that he never got homesick during it all, that his platoon became his family."

There was a point that he was trying to make, but Cenric had never been called eloquent. "I think the Jedi, whatever Order you're in, are supposed to become that in a way."