Anelis arranged with Lord Cheska to have Melora tested in all of the various skills the Sith Academy required. Nathaniel was nothing if not thorough. When his reports were complete, he presented them to her for study. Then she sent for Melora. "You may enter, Colonel Lexor" Melora bowed. "Mistress. I await your orders." Anelis waved her to a chair. "Sit, Please" She flash-read through several files on her desk display. "I have here your test scores. Some of them are quite---impressive." Melora sat. "This pleases you?" Leaning back against the chair, she continues. "May I know what impressed you, Mistress?" "Your telekinesis skills are highly developed, for someone with no training. I am less impressed with your mind probing skills, but then, you have had very little practice. We will remedy that." "As you wish. I've had little cause to use mind probing my other skills were sufficient." Anelis dismissed her words. "You have studied martial arts of various sorts, Melora. It is an extension of meditation skills. I will work with you on this, since an independent prober is always useful " she smiled. "Especially when it is one no one suspects." Melora let a slow smile cross her face. She let her thoughts go to her martial arts training. She could easily use that for her training. However, she liked the idea of no one expecting her to be able to do it. Anelis watched the progression of expressions on Melora's face. "I thought you might like to be a covert--- operative. The candle exercises are especially good for this." Melora took the list that Anelis had handed her of mental exercises. "Covert ---operative?" "Would you prefer the term 'snoop'?" A soft snicker crossed Melora lips. "No, My Lady. I am yours to command." Anelis sniffed. "You will work on these exercises for a week, then I will test you. You must be proof against a mental assault of any strength." "Yes Mistress." "Tell me about your telekinesis skills, Melora. When did you first notice them? How did they developed?" "I was three or four, when I just wanted something from a shelf I couldn't reach. It just seemed to float down to my hands." Melora leaned forward in her chair. "It just seemed to get easier from there." "So it came naturally to you? Without any training at all?" "Yes Mistress" "You are gifted." "I never thought of it as gift. It just seemed natural to use." "Have you ever thought to test what your telekinesis limits are? How much you can move, and how far, and what distance?" "No, it just never seemed to be an issue. If you wish to test it I'm willing." "We will do that. It will be useful information to know. For now, I want you to work on those mediation exercises. Do not neglect your other work---" "Yes Mistress. I will endeavor to improve to your standards." "You are dismissed. I will see you in five days, to test how you are coming along with those exercises." Melora stood, and bowed. "As you wish, Mistress." # # # Several days later, Anelis again summoned Melora. "How have you progresses on your exercises, Melora? "With Effort, I think my mistress will be pleased" Anelis stepped away from the plain table behind her to reveal the single candle standing in its holder. "Show me." Melora stared at the flame; it flickered as if a breeze touched it. Then it went out quickly. Anelis followed her apprentices' actions. "I thought perhaps you would move the air to blow the flame out," she said. "But you have been paying attention. Good." She fingered the flame back to life. "Again." Melora glanced back at the flame, this time the flame didn't flicker but slowly died. "Well done. You improve with practice. Watch your actions while you do it, and feel how it works." Anelis felt her confusion and said, "In a similar way, feel against my mental shields." Melora glanced at Anelis, she reached out to the candle, she touched it felt its coldness, then touched the wick felt the warmth it still held. With a thought it lit. "Initiative," Anelis observed. "Initiative is good." She pressed forward on Melora's mental shields. "Do you feel the similarity?" Melora pushed back against the force she felt mentally. She felt the similarity of Anelis power. "You see?" Anelis pointed out. "Test my shields." Melora reached out testing Anelis's shields, she felt her strengthen them. Anelis shields seem stronger than before the test. "You must always be prepared for resistance," Anelis said. "Yes Mistress, I will practice more." The submissive tone set off her temper. Anelis advanced mentally on Melora, pressing, probing, pushing. "Resistance can be active," she said slowly. "Resistance can be subtle." Mentally, she chipped at the outer fringes of Melora's shields, knowing her discomfort. "But," she said, pushing through Melora's hasty defenses like a bull through a fence, "It is always there. And it fights back." She glanced down at Melora. "Don't you get submissive with me. You will be Sith. Fight, damn you!" Melora had dropped to her knees, taking a deep breath as she closed her eyes. She didn't like the intrusion into her mind or the pain it caused. She began to slowly push back. The more she pushed the harder Anelis pushed back. She slowly stood back up pushing, forcing her mind forward. She wasn't about to be a submissive. "Then fight!" Anelis snarled at her thought. Melora pushed harder just touching the edge of a darkness, she couldn't get past. She decided she would push there and try another area that seems less protected; she pushed fighting her way into the recesses of Anelis's mind. Melora pushed harder, into both areas again. Then the candle flew at Anelis. She pushed past a shield. The candle flicked over Anelis's head without drawing her attention. She drew back, egging Melora into coming after her. Melora pushed even farther, she slowly lifted Anelis off the floor, and her anger grew. She wanted her out of her mind. Anelis suspended herself in Melora's lifting, preventing herself from being moved. "There you go," Anelis said. "Anger. Rage, feel it. Feel its power---" Melora only wanted to strangle Anelis, anything to get her to release her mind. She felt the rage grow. She tried to lift Anelis higher, if she couldn't lift she would throw her against the wall. Anelis suspended herself in Melora's lifting, preventing herself from being moved. "There you go," Anelis said. "Anger. Rage, feel it. Feel its power---" Anelis laughed, and shielded herself from Melora's power. She fluttered to the floor, still pushing at Melora's mind. Melora released her hold on Anelis's mind, what little she held. Then stepped back from her, placing her hand out in front of her, she used force shield wall to push Anelis back against the wall of the room. Anelis looked startled, and apparently scrambled to gather a defense. She reached out tentatively, trying to push Melora back. Melora put her shields up, and pushed with her force wall. She wanted Anelis away from her mind; she wanted to kill her. Anelis gasped, and sagged against the wall. "You haven't the guts to try," she said. Melora pushed harder with the force wall and pushed with her mind. She felt the darkness envelope her. She tossed the table at Anelis all the while moving closer. She slowly pulled the oxygen from around Anelis. Anelis flicked the table aside. She felt the light-headedness of oxygen deprivation. With a surge of Dark energy she broke Melora's force wall and clouded her mind, driving the woman to her knees. "You'll do, Melora Lexor," she said. "But this is why I am your master." She withdrew from her mind, making sure Melora knew it was only because Anelis desired to be gone. Melora looked up at Anelis, taking deep breaths. "As you desire, Mistress." She remained on her knees, trying to remove the cloud from her mind. Anelis touched her shoulder lightly. "Stand up. You have great potential. Only practice will refine you." Melora stood, "I will endeavor to practice harder, I don't wish to displease you." Thinking --- I don't want her in my mind I will resist. I must. Melora admonished herself.
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