Academy Days

By Janice Mergenhagen & Ginna Wilcoxen

It had been almost a month since Braeden came to the Academy on Yavin; a 
month since she'd entrusted the holodiscs to Master Skywalker. Studying and 
protecting those holodiscs had been her life for so long, it was unsettling 
not to have the familair weight of the pouch hanging from her belt.

Port Lansing, though a space station, had reminded her in some ways of 
Zahr - but Yavin was unlike anything she'd ever seen, not even remotely like 
the temperate evergreen forests back home. The hot and humid climate was not 
to her liking, but she had eventually learned to tolerate it a bit.

But that was about all she had learned, it seemed. Most of the month had 
been spent just sitting in on classes and listening. She didn't mind that - 
that's how she'd learned for so many years - by herself, listening to the 
holodiscs over and over. It was hard being around so many other students, 
especially when they looked at her as one of the "Lost Jedi".

Master Skywalker had told her that she needed time to adjust to the 
Academy's routine. Soon, her "listening" would end and she'd be required to 
actively participate.

The Master's padawan had sensed an aptitiude for diplomacy and healing. 
The diplomacy she understood; both Adi Gallia and her former Master, Mace 
Windu, had been diplomats. But, healing? She'd never really thought about 
that, even though the townspeople on Zahr had come to her with their 
injuries and she'd tried to help. Well, if that's what they thought she'd be 
good at, she'd certainly explore it.

Then, one day she was called to Master Skywlaker's office right after the 
morning meal and, with only a few words of explanation, he gave her a new 
schedule to follow - meditation, lightsaber practice, the healing arts, and 
recent Jedi/Imperial history.

Leaving the Temple, she found herself aimlesly walking until she finally 
ended up into the gardens. It was beautiful, and quiet. She gazed around 
reflectively until... something...attracted her. A feeling, nothing more, 
that drew her toward someone else in the garden. It was another Jedi, 
apparently; a woman, sitting beneath a tree. Braeden couldn't help but stare.

The Jedi looked up at her. "Hello there."

Startled, Braeden apologized for disturbing her, but as she turned to 
leave, found herself asking, "Do I KNOW you?"

The Jedi smiled and said, "You didn't interrupt me. I think we may have 
passed each other at Port Lansing, but were not introduced. My name is 

"I don't recall formally meeting you there, but I met so many people and 
I'm really terrible with names. But, you seem so familiar. I'm Braeden 

Octavia rose to her feet. "Glad to meet you, Braeden. My full name is 
Octavia Syn Jinn. Are you here to train," she paused, "or to teach?"

"Jinn? That's it" she gasped. "You have his aura."

Octavia raised an eyebrow. "Whose aura?"

"Qui-Gon Jinn. That's the familiar feeling I'm getting from you."

Astonished, Octavia crossed her arms and studied Braeden. "You. . .you 
knew him . . . my grandfather?"

Braeden realized she had done it again. "Yes. I should explain. I 
guess I'm one of those Lost Jedi; I dislike that term. I believe most of us 
were hidden rather than actually 'lost'. Master Adi Gallia sent me to an 
outer rim world when I was very young with 6 holodiscs of Jedi wisdom. I had 
been at the Temple since I was 3 months old, at the same time as Master 
Qui-Gon and his Padawan, Obi-Wan Kenobi."

Sitting back down, Octavia let out a small breath, as she asked, "What 
was he like? I mean, do you remember?"

A smile lit up Braeden's face. " I can hear his deep, rich voice telling 
me stories. He would come to the nursery with Master Adi; they were very 
good friends. He was a very gentle and patient man, at least with the small 
children. He was one of the few who could get me to stop crying or pay 
attention when I didn't want to."

"He sounds like my father," Octavia said softly. "My father was very 
patient and gentle. He always found a way to get me to memorize things or to 
do lessons."

Still remembering, Braeden said, "He was there when I took my first 
steps and said my first word, "Master." He always believed that it was him I 
was referring to, not Adi Gallia. He holds a very special place in my heart. 
Have you seen his holodisc that I gave to Master Skywalker?"

Octavia shook her head. "No, I haven't. What holodiscs, may I ask?"

Braeden noticed that Octavia was more relaxed than when they had first 
met. "I was entrusted with 6 holodiscs containing Jedi wisdom and training 
exercises. Master Qui-Gon's was his interpretations of the Force and the 
duties of a Jedi Knight. It was clear from his words that he did not always 
see things as the Council did, yet he managed to accomplish their goals, but 
in his way."

"Sounds like he would fit in now," Octavia stated. "I will see if I can 
view this disc. I would be interested in what he has to say." Chuckling 
slightly, she continued, "I'm sorry. I don't mean to be so full of 
questions. I'm sure you are always met with them."

"Actually, very few students have even spoken to me since I came here 
from Port Lansing. I don't make friends easily, having been cautioned to 
keep to myself by Master Gallia. Old habits are hard to break."

"I don't make friends easily either. Mine was from spending 11 years on 
a ship in the engineering section." 

"You were on a starship?"

Octavia nodded. "I made a mistake when I was younger. It almost got me 
sold into slavery. Captain Roc of the Electria took me in and gave me a 
position on the ship. I worked there for 11 years. Then I suddenly started 
having dreams of my grandfather's death."

Braeden winced at the mention of Qui-Gon's death, but decided to say 
nothing. "So, you've only recently discovered that you were a Jedi?"

"Yes, last year at Port Lansing. The dreams were driving me crazy. At 
the time, I didn't know who I was dreaming about, or why I felt so out of 
place on the Electria." Octavia shook her head. "But, it seems I have not 
come very far."

"I don't know what I could do, but I'd like to help. I think Master 
Qui-Gon would have wanted me to do what I can for you. I just got my 
schedule of classes. Are you taking any of these? Wait till everyone sees 
my archaic lightsaber technique. Why do I need to learn about Jedi/Imperial 

Octavia smiled. "I think everyone thinks we need history. Let me see 
what schedule you have." Octavia looked over the list. "We have lightsaber 
practice together, so it looks like I'll get to see your technique after all."

"Well, your grandfather wouldn't have seen a need for the history. He 
always said that we needed to be mindful of the present - keep our focus on 
the here and now. I guess things have changed."

Octavia nodded in agreement. "I told that to a student the other day. 

She was asking me a lot of questions about the past and the future. I told 
her not to lose sight of the present." Octavia let out a breath. "As for 
changing, I don't know. Only you know what it was like before. I think you, 
and the other "Lost Jedi", will be able to teach a lot to all of us. You 
might get the history class dropped."

"I think I'll see what this history is like before I make up my mind. 
I've kept you from your meditation long enough. I probably should be 
somewhere right now. I have enjoyed talking to you. Perhaps we can get 
together again to talk."

"I'd like that. To be honest, I'm glad we had a chance to talk. Promise 
me one thing, though. Don't take my fingers off when we practice the saber."

"I'll try not to, but I have only practiced by myself. Maybe I'll tell 
the Master in charge of the class that." Chuckling, she said, "I think I 
might require some private lessons. Good-bye, Octavia."

"You will do fine. We will talk soon. Good-bye for now, Braeden."

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