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Jedi Council Spire (High Council)


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Post Mon Jun 18, 2012 12:32 pm

Re: Jedi Temple

For nearly a minute, Luke simply breathed, his eyes closed, his face contorted in thought as he interrogated the mental image she had shared with him. He looked up at Mai eventually, sighing gently. "After the war with the Yuuzhan Vong, the Jedi had to face that the fact that the Force was more than just Light Side and Dark Side, and had to embrace a more Unifying view on it. With that acceptance of right, wrong, and the middle ground, we had to also accept the rights, wrongs and middle grounds within ourselves. So my answer for you would be [i]yes/[i], you cannot spend your life trying to purge everything you don't like from your identity. Master Durron killed thousands with the Sun Crusher when he destroyed the Imperial Training Center of Carida, and that is a darkness within himself that he has since had to come to terms with, and accept as a part of himself."
Luke looked pointedly at Mai, "That does not mean, however, that you need to give that darkness any power. And in fact, acceptance is the quickest way to silence it, and strip it of its power." Ander listened in silence, glancing at Mai now and again and keeping his Force signature open for her if she needed his contact for support. Luke's answers, as always, were clear, if not concise, in that they held meaning for the person asking the question. It was simply up for them to interpret it.
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Post Mon Jun 18, 2012 12:50 pm

Re: Jedi Temple

Mai glanced up at Luke, her face a mix of seriousness and sadness, but also of relief. Ander had said a similar thing, to control the darkness within her, rather than it controlling her. She looked over at Ander, not saying or doing anything. She just looked.

Slowly his eyes relaxed her, she found understanding in them, when they appeared to give nothing away. With a gentle sigh, she smiled, looked back at Luke and thanked him for his wisdom.


I'll take those words to heart.... She looked back at Ander, much more herself this time, and spoke to Ander rather than Luke Together, one step at a time...
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Post Mon Jun 18, 2012 1:01 pm

Re: Jedi Temple

Ander reached over and took Mai's hand. He caressed the back of her hand gently with his thumb, looking back at her much in the same way she looked at him, without thought, without reason. They simply looked to one another for several long moments, before Mai spoke to him, her voice almost a whisper, "Together, one step at a time├óÔé¼┬ª"
He nodded, lacing his fingers with hers. "I would like to be there, for every step you take."
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Post Mon Jun 18, 2012 1:13 pm

Re: Jedi Temple

Mai looked down at their hands, hers a perfect fit inside his. With a little work, some time and a whole bag full of patience, they could certainly be the identity Luke saw for them. "Partners, not leader and follower". One would not survive without the other, and she certainly felt she couldnt have talked about the two subjects without Ander being there.

As will I, for each of your steps too.

She let her mind touch on Anders, before turning to Luke, merely mouthing "Thank you", a single tear gently rolling over her cheek.
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Post Mon Jun 18, 2012 2:46 pm

Re: Jedi Temple

Ander smiled gently as Mai brushed her presence against his once more, glad for the first time, in a long time, that he was taking the risk of opening himself up to someone. He had lived his life in such a guarded way, that he'd caused himself an others a lot of harm.
He was right in that everybody lied, and for a long time he'd been lying to himself, about his ability to hold his ground in a relationship with another person. It was a lie he was hoping to shed some truth on, a lie more easily disproven with Mai in his life. Still, it was a risk he would take cautiously, for his heart was still guarded in its innermost levels. But he believed that Mai deserved a glimpse of those layers, at least, and that one day, he might feel ready to open himself up to her.
But that day isn't this day, he told himself.
He reached back to her in the Force, conveying these thoughts and emotions to her, so that she might better understand the glimpse of his heart that he had allowed her to see. He believed that she wouldn't resent him for it, but still he worried. His insecurities were grounded in the simple fact that the future was unknown, and his irrefutable belief that no person could be completely known to another. Perhaps that's why maintaining this balance would be so important; Ander could never fully know who Mai was at her core, and neither could she know him in the same way. Each one of them would have to maintain their separate identities, while simultaneously becoming an integrated whole.
He looked back to Luke, missing the tear that dropped onto Mai's cheek, as it was on the far side of her face. But he could feel the flare of emotion that had caused it in her Force signature, and he attempted to bolster her resolve with a bit of his own. It would stick with this, with her, as long as he could manage. And this time, he hoped he could go the distance. If Ksandra hadn't deserved that, if Marla hadn't deserved that, maybe at least Mai did.
Ander finally spoke, his words soft and filled with gratitude.
"As always, Luke, you outdo your reputation for wisdom."
Luke smiled warmly, seemingly unperturbed by the tear Mai had shed for he could feel her connection with Ander in the Force, and knew she would be more than well supported by him.
"You were my student once, Ander. And then you became my colleague. But you have always been my friend. And you can both bet your rears that I'll do what I can for you."
Ander nodded solemnly, "It's a debt I hope to be able to repay."
Luke laughed, "How about in a pick up game of some kind? I could use the exercise. Our facilities aren't just for padawan learners, you know."
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Post Tue Jun 19, 2012 3:01 am

Re: Jedi Temple

Mai laughed. A training fight between the two men would be a sight to see

"I think that would be good, would be fun watching Ander get beaten..." For that she received a playful shove from Ander. At Luke's agreement, all three left the council room, Luke next to Ander, and Mai beside him, still with their hands linked.

Luke guided them to a training area, a large spacious room with small groups of younglings training. Some spotted them, giving polite bows as they entered, and the very young ones gaped until their tutor told them to mind their manners. Mai ducked instinctively as a wayward trainer bolt got deflected her way, an before long all the training equipment had been powered down. Some students left, but a few remained, mixed ages, sensing they were in for a treat.

Mai gathered the younger students together. She had always had a natural way with them, sitting them on benches at the edge of the room.

"watch closely little ones, you may learn something!"
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Post Tue Jun 19, 2012 4:08 am

Re: Jedi Temple

Ander followed Luke into the training room, carefully releasing Mai's hand, and greeting the young students with a gentle smile. They seemed dedicated and eager to learn, and it pained him to watch them train. I'm considering going to war with these people? He almost tried believing that these young students would never be participants in a conflict at their age and level of training, but the falsehood of his justification shone too strongly. In war, anyone and everyone can be a casualty├óÔé¼┬ªregardless of age, race, gender├óÔé¼┬ª He sighed mentally, shaking his head of such thoughts.
This was an opportunity to strengthen his connection with an old friend, a chance to focus his thoughts into something cohesive and singular in nature; a true change from the scattered mentality he'd been carrying for the past couple years.
Luke walked towards the center of the training room, a tan, slightly elevated platform that was made out of a hard, but absorbing plastic-like material.
Ander fidgeted slightly with one hand, remembering about his display in the Oyu'baat on Mandalore; there he had disassembled and left behind the components of his lightsaber in a show of dedication to his path as a Mando'ad. He'd left the pieces of the Jedi weapon on the bar, and they had been retrieved by Plu Or'diini, a man with whom Ander had caused great suffering by betraying and killing his comrade, Talon Darknight in battle over Csilla, in the Unknown Regions.
Since their reunion, Ander and Plu had come to a fragile peace agreement, one Ander didn't intend on breaking, though understood his credibility with Or'diini wasn't worth much more than a Hutt's.
He hadn't told Mai about that part of the altercation, or about leaving his lightsaber behind. Honestly, he'd almost forgotten about it; it had been years since he used the Jedi weapon, and didn't even carry it with him often. When he did, it was at the small of his back, out of sight, out of mind. Ander looked to Mai, who had chosen to sit with several of the young students on the benches along side the training field.
He frowned his embarrassment to Mai, who was looking at him expectantly. He glanced at Luke who cocked his head back at him.


"Something wrong, Ander?" The Jedi Grand Master asked. Ander chuckled nervously. "I├óÔé¼┬ªuh├óÔé¼┬ªno longer have my lightsaber. It's uh├óÔé¼┬ªit's a long story."
Concern washed over Luke's face, and he could sense it in Mai's Force presence. Skywalker stood quietly, with his hands clasped before him, his eyes closed. Ander could sense he was reaching out into the Force, but for what, Ander didn't know.
He looked back to his partner, walking over to her and squatting down in front of her. He could see the look of surprise on Mai's face now, she had seen his lightsaber before they left Oyo'baat, and as far as she knew, they had had a rather uneventful trip since. Not to mention they hadn't spent much time apart for him to go about losing such an important Jedi tool.
Ander reached forward and took both of Mai's hands in his. He leaned forward and kissed her gently, though her lips were still stiff with surprise. He pressed his smile against her lips, then pulled away.

"I'm sorry, I'll explain later├óÔé¼┬ªthere are things I haven't spoken to you about├óÔé¼┬ªmostly because I wasn't sure how it would affect you wanting to stay."

There were parts of Ander that worried Mai would leave if Ander showed he had truly left the path of the Jedi, at his core he suspected she had stayed in the hopes that he would return to the Jedi.
His reason fought against this notion, for Mai herself was struggling with her chosen path, but the emotions of a person are always much stronger than their reason. In this fear, Ander's emotions won out, and he had begun to fear losing Mai.
Logically, despite his feelings, there wasn't much to lose at this point. Mai had given Ander nothing but her company, her advice, and her mark on his lips. They had not made love or married, they did not have children├óÔé¼┬ªthere was almost no commitment.

What Ander feared, was not losing what he had with Mai, but what they could have together. The future could bring darkness, yes, but Ander new, rationally, it could also bring light. Even when the odds were stacked in favor of darkness, light still had the habit of finding a way to break through. The galaxy was, after all, controlled by chains of events that were comprised both of random and coordinated actions.
Ander took a deep breath, looking into Mai's eyes.

"I would like to borrow your lightsaber, M'ika."
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Post Tue Jun 19, 2012 7:29 am

Re: Jedi Temple

Her suprise lingered, and it was only the sound of one of the younglings gasping beside her thatbrought her back to her senses.

Ander She said quietly, placing a hand on his cheek softly you should have at least told me this... Mai put her hand into her satchel, and pulled out the hilt of a lightsaber. Only it wasn't the one he had seen her with.

The second hilt had been a secondary weapon to her, made by herself and Shace, the Durindfire crystal inside imbuned with the Force by a total of 5 Jedi - an Initiate, a Padawan, a Knight, a Master, and a Grand Master., giving it a rare quality of responding like their own weapon to anyone who is given it by one of the five. Mai placed it gently in Ander's hand. She wrapped his fingers around the hilt, and then hers over his. She looked up into his eyes, still seeing a sense of fear within them.


I give you this lightsaber, until such time you no longer have need of it The hilt gently warmed under their hands, as though responding to her voice. It will now serve you as well as your own would.

Mai released his hands, leaving the hilt resting beneath his grip. She kissed him gently on the forehead. Once, he had returned to Luke, one of the younglings beside her gently tapped her on the arm. Mai turned to look at him.

I thought you can only have your own saber? He questioned innocently. Mai smiled gently

Its true, a lightsaber you make yourself will work best for you because it is connected to you. She pointed to the weapon Ander now wielded This saber was made specially that should anyone be in real need of it, as long as it was given to them correctly, it would become like their own.

He definately needs it a lot if he's going to train against him... The youngling responded, looking back towards the two men before them. Mai chuckled lightly.

He definately will, won't he!
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Post Tue Jun 19, 2012 8:13 am

Re: Jedi Temple

Ander looked down at the lightsaber in his hand, Mai kissing his forehead as he did. He smiled slightly, then looked back up to her and gently brushed a lock of hair away from her face.
"Thank you." He whispered, standing and turning back towards his former mentor. He hefted the lightsaber hilt for a moment, feeling that it was still slightly warm. He thumbed the weapon to life, the blade that sprang forth with a snap-hiss was silver in color, and glowed dully. It was a neutral color, the same as lightsabers utilized by young Jedi students in the days of the Old Republic.
Ander swung the blade back and forth in front of him, looking up towards Luke. He brought the weapon's blade into a shoulder-high guard, angled to one side in front of him.

"Be careful now, Luke, I haven't used one of these in a long time." A slight grin touched his lips. "I might accidentally cut us both ribbons."
Luke smiled gently, activating his own brilliant green blade. He held the weapon casually in one hand, the blade tip pointed downward and away from him.
"You really are out of practice, Ander, if you have to beat me by accident."
Ander laughed gruffly, then stepped to Luke's left, away from his blade. The Jedi Grand Master mirrored his steps.

To get himself back into practice more quickly, Ander remained closed off to the Force, for the most part, forcing his body to fall back on the years of physical training and practice he had under his belt. Luke had begun steeping himself into the energy of the Force, his eyes closed and his face calm.
Ander rushed forward several steps to close the distance between them, hoping to initiate the fight before Luke had the opportunity to center himself completely within the Force. He figured the attempt was futile, of course, Luke had more power and experience than any Jedi alive, and Ander had little hope of catching the Grand Master off guard.
Ander flicked the tip of his lightsaber downward and to the left, towards Luke's left shoulder, where he was the most exposed.
But as Ander swung, Luke was already moving, swinging his blade upward and to the left, batting Ander's away as he stepped forward with his right foot, leaving his left foot firmly planted. This brought Luke to Ander's left side, where he struck at Ander's kidney with his right fist.
Ander continued with his swing, bringing the blade of the lightsaber back towards his left, chasing Luke's left thigh with the tip of the sword. Luke ditched his punch, instead opening his hand and grabbing Ander's right wrist as it swung into his path.
Ander planted his feet and faced Luke, his blade angled outward and to the right, with Luke's sizzling softly in between them. Ander grabbed at Luke's sword hand with his free one, holding the blade in place between them.
For a moment, the two men struggled in a contest of strength, each gripping the other's sword arm.
Continuing to push, Ander began to tip Luke's blade back at him, and for a moment thought he might win the contest. But as he was still removed from the Force, he couldn't sense the danger in Luke's next move.
The older man swung his head forward, just over the blade of his own lightsaber, and butted Ander in the side of the face. Ander tipped his head in time to turn the blow into a glancing one, forced to release Luke's sword hand and step away.
Luke released Ander's own weapon hand, and stepped back slightly before launching an attack of his own.

The Grand Master brought his hilt into both hands, tucking them towards his side, then thrust the blade of his saber towards Ander's gut while he was still regaining his footing. Ander barely had the foresight to flick the tip of his blade back inward, forcing Luke's down toward the floor.
The green blade cut into the training room floor, sparks shooting upward as it connected. Ander kept his left foot planted and kicked out with his right, hoping to catch Luke in his side.
But the Jedi was far too fast, pulling his blade out from under Ander's with his right hand, while wrapping his left around Ander's ankle with the other.
Instead of trying to pull himself free, Ander bent his knee back, pulling Luke a step closer to him, then stabbed forward with his lightsaber as he allowed himself to fall forward, onto Luke.
The Grand Master released Ander's ankle, throwing his shoulders and torso back as Ander's blade cut through the air just above his head. Luke dropped to a knee, swinging his own blade back to the left and upwards, as if to cut Ander in half at the waist.
Already falling back on his right leg, Ander turned his thrust into a slice, and brought the silver lightsaber down and to his left, intercepting Luke's and burying into the floor once more.
Ander leaned forward, pushing his blade down against Luke's, and bringing their shoulders closer together while their blades remained connected off to their side.
It was Ander's turn to head butt this time, catching Luke in the cheek with his forehead.
Luke grunted but absorbed the blow, using his shoulders and neck to throw his head back at Ander's face, slamming it against his left eye socket and forcing him away.
Ander sucked at his teeth, pain exploding in his face, as he stepped away, readying his guard once more. Luke was already up on both feet, leaping over Ander in a somersault and slicing downward as he passed.
Ander cut upwards, deflecting Luke's lightsaber, turning his legs and body as Luke landed on his feet behind Ander. He was forced to bring his lightsaber quickly down in front of him, as Luke's was already slicing towards his middle for a second time.
He succeeded in the block, pushing Luke's lightsaber away, then went back on the offensive, opening himself to the Force for the first time in years.
The energy filled him, flowed through him, in every bit the same way as he remembered during his days as a Padawan learner. It wasn't the same familiar immersion as it had been during his years as a Knight or a Master, but more like the discovery he had felt when Luke had first begun to show Ander his potential.
Ander slashed downward, stepping forward and twisting his blade late in order to dodge Luke's block. His blade came down over the Grand Master's, who had to throw his body to the side to avoid his shoulder being cut.
Luke rolled his torso out of harm's way, lowering his blade and spinning his entire body around in a full circle, bringing his green blade up again as he came around.
The slash was again at Ander's side, coming from knee to shoulder; he twisted his torso and thrusted the tip of his blade from its high position downward, intercepting Luke's yet again.
Keeping his right foot planted firmly, Ander let the energy of the Force fuel his muscles as he kicked out with his left foot this time, catching Luke in the hip and twisting him away.
Luke followed the force of the blow and spun again, in the same way, but flipped his body sideways completely after he landed on his feet.
Luke completed the flip as Ander was bringing his saber to bear on his old mentor after lowering his kicking foot, and lashed out at Ander from the right with his blade.
Ander brought his hands across his chest, pushing forward with his clasped hands, a powerful Force Push shooting forth from him with the motion, slamming into Luke and carrying him across the room.
The Jedi Grand Master skidded to a halt on his back, his blade deactivated. Instantly, Luke kicked his legs up and over his head, pushing off with his hands and back flipping onto his feet.
He didn't reactivate the lightsaber, however, his eyes wide with surprise.


"I didn't feel that coming." He commented plainly. Ander stood before him, his blade still humming, and his arms shaking noticeably. Ander looked down at his hands, his mind locked with shock. The Force was ebbing out of his grasp again, like disappearing sun beams through a window when the blinds are drawn slowly.
He released the energy, but remained open to the Force, feeling Mai behind him, her compassion and determination. He felt Luke before him, emanating nothing but wisdom, understanding, and strength, of the heart, mind, and body.
Ander took a deep breath, then deactivated the weapon.


"I didn't feel it either."
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Post Tue Jun 19, 2012 8:38 am

Re: Jedi Temple

Mai couldnt help but watch the fight with wide eyes and open mouth. The speed between the blades left curls of light behind them they moved so fast. The younglings were a great audience to them, gasping and "ooo"-ing in all the right places. The training always looked much worse from the sidelines, as each punch and headbutt landed Mai winced or frowned painfully. However as the fight continued, she began to automatically analyse both of their movements, her own mind creating its own plan for each move given.

Mai's smile grew as Ander opened himself up to the Force, and for a briefest of moments, their signatures connected.
Blow by blow, she watched closely, and after a short while, a cheer went up from the youngest few as Luke went skidding across the room. It wasn't often they got to see such a prominent person flattened like that, so Mai could understand their excitement. Mai however frowned, Ander was shaking, and Luke was looking too suprised.


What happened? She called out, the excited chatter beside her dying down slightly. She stood up, taking a few steps forward, reaching for Ander through the Force.
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Post Tue Jun 19, 2012 8:56 am

Re: Jedi Temple

Ander heard Mai speak and turned to look at her cautiously. He kept his Force signature guarded, his presence closed off, looking down at the lightsaber in his hand. The hilt was warm from his grip.
"I don't know." He whispered, standing still.
What scared him wasn't that he may have caused any harm to Luke, the Grand Master was far too experienced and powerful to be injured by something as simple as a Force Push.
It wasn't the ability itself, either, that scared him, it was a power he'd exercised a million times during his career as a Jedi, in a hundred battles across almost as many worlds.
What scared him was the fact that he hadn't consciously called upon the ability, and the lack of control he was feeling as a result. His darkest qualities were a danger to himself and everyone around him when they ran unchecked, and maintaining control of himself had been his greatest focus in the years since leaving Yavin 4.
If he couldn't maintain control of himself when open to the Force, he knew he was vulnerable to fall into old behaviors. This scared him most knowing how closely Mai wished to remain to him, physically and emotionally. Any slip he made was likely to leave her in danger of being hurt, in more ways than he wanted to think about.
Her selflessness when it came to him, or to anyone, left her vulnerable to harm.

Ander didn't want to harm her, ever.

He closed himself off from the Force completely, shutting his presence down and withdrawing once more. His breath came in shallow, quiet gasps, and his heart was racing.

If I can't control power as simple as this, how can I control anything? How can I prevent myself from once more becoming the man I used to be, hurting whoever gets too close?
Again, his first thoughts were of Mai, for she was closer to him at this point in his life than anyone. His Force Bond with Tebana had been shrinking for years, and remained now as only a finite thread between the two of them. He had already begun to feel the bonding between him and Mai, and the possible future of that bond with him unable to control himself scared him on an instinctual level. He would end up hurting her, in some way, and she would have no defense or warning against it when it happened.

Ander found himself wanting to leave, leave the Temple, leave Coruscant, and return to his life of solitude, drifting wantonly across the galaxy in search of a personal identity he didn't have to fear. Could he really follow the advice he had given Mai and learn to accept this instability within himself, regardless of how destructive it could be?
Ander wasn't sure if he'd ever know the answer to that question.

Luke stepped forward, resting a hand on his shoulder, turning Ander to face him.

"Don't fear yourself, don't fight yourself. Accept yourself. Fear leads to anger, and your anger will only be focused at yourself. Self loathing is one of the quickest paths to the Dark Side."
Ander nodded and turned back to Mai, fear deep set in his eyes.
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Post Tue Jun 19, 2012 9:11 am

Re: Jedi Temple

Mai could sense Ander fading from the Force, his fear however lingered. The children's chatter had hushed, they knew something was wrong now. She glanced at Luke with a small nod of her head to the younglings, and he took her idea instantly. He gathered the children up, ushering them from the room with moans and pleads from them to stay. Only once they were gone did Mai look back at Ander, a hand raised to his cheek. Slowly she let a calming wave go through her and into him, and slowly guided him towards the door. She slung her satchel over her shoulder, her mind quietly telling him to walk.
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Post Tue Jun 19, 2012 10:40 am

Re: Open Terrain

Ander was angry and had left Mai outside the Jedi temple. Or so he'd thought.

She had gotten up and followed him, a short distance behind, rubbing her wrist gently, bruises already forming where Ander had gripped her so tightly. Silent tears had started to fall over her cheeks. Ander's words about Shace had hurt her, she couldn't save him, and probably a part of her was trying to help Ander beacuse she couldn't help Shace. However, Her resolve to find out the root of his sudden anger drove her on. She could easily have run in the other direction, but not this time. She had to find a way to get him to talk.

Mai broke into a run, her satchel swinging at her side, darting through the crowds of people. Suddenly the lightsaber hilt Ander had been holding came flying through the air at him, cracking loudly on his shoulder and bouncing to the floor in front of him. Instantly she created a Force push and directed it at the back of his knees, making them buckle and collapsing him to the floor. People scattered from either side of them. Mai ran in front of Ander, sinking to her knees so she was level with him. She wrapped her hands onto both his cheeks, forcing him to look up, to see the tears, to see her.


So what if I sacrifice my happiness for someone who doesn't think they need help? So what if I can't heal or fix everyone in the galaxy? So what...A gentle sob wracked through her, making her words catch in her throat. She leant her forehead against Ander's, letting her mind open to him. Mai closed her eyes, tears leaking from them.

So what if the person I care for hurts me because theyre not themselves? She sobbed quietly I continue because I care, because I have to... because -we- have to...
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Post Tue Jun 19, 2012 11:17 am

Re: Open Terrain

Ander had stormed off in anger, putting Mai out of his thoughts for the moment so he could collect himself. Instantly he had regretted walking away from her, from grabbing her like he had, and for the things he had said to her about Shace. Anger could take over a person more powerfully than almost any emotion, even love and compassion. For Anger lives only in the moment, and doesn't care about your future.
But Ander cared about his own future, and Mai must also, or she wouldn't have agreed to suffer with him, she wouldn't have tracked him down on Mandalore, risked exposing herself on that dangerous world, and she sure as all hell wouldn't be chasing him.
He had opened his mind to the Force cautiously, as he had walked away; through his anger he saw he needed guidance, and if he couldn't bring himself to listen to Mai at the moment, perhaps he could listen to the wisdom of the Force.
But he was doubtful, and when he reached outwards, he heard no answers, and felt no response. The Force was a quiet garden pool, and Ander was looking in on it through a pane of glass, he couldn't reach it.
His pace slowed, but he didn't allow himself to feel regretful yet. He still needed to feel angry. He needed to get this steam out before he returned to Mai and hurt her again, worse this time.
He needed to calm down.

Something heavy and made of metal struck his shoulder, causing pain to erupt where it had hit his scapula. Ander groaned in pain, and began to turn and catch the culprit when a powerful wave of invisible energy was thrust at him, causing him to stumble forward, and throwing him to the metal grate of the catwalk. Civilians cried out in surprise, most of them taking off toward their destinations as quickly as their legs, pods, or appendages would carry them, the rest moved cautiously away, as if Ander was an injured animal that might strike at anyone who looked like they were running.
He pushed himself onto his hands and knees, and then up onto one leg. He began pushing himself back onto his feet when Mai came scuttling in front of him, sliding down on to her knees before him and grabbing his face with her hands.

Her soft fingers clasped either side of his face, and she forced him to look at her. Her eyes were wet with tears and desperately wild, he could feel her pulse pounding in the palms of her hands. Her nails dug slightly into his skin, scratching his facial hair and leaving small marks, pinpricks of red, almost.
She began yelling at him, her voice more strained to a high pitch in desperate sadness and need than in anger. Her face was red and wet with tears, and the skin of her hands was hot on his face.
After a moment she quieted down, and he could feel her presence focusing on his within the Force, opening herself to him, hoping to envelop all his negativity and swallow it whole.

I can't let her do that. Ander told himself as he reached up gently and took her hands from his face. He pressed his thumbs into her palms, rubbing them firmly, his face blank, but his mind in turmoil, boiling underneath. What she so desperately wanted to help him with he couldn't let her, for it was his burden to bear and his changes to make. He was responsible for himself, she couldn't be responsible for him also.

Could she? he thought. And could be responsible for her? He asked himself. He wondered if this was what the Force had told Luke, if this was to be part of the balance of their relationship. He expelled negativity and she absorbed it like a sponge. In return, he cared for her and ensured she was always happy.
He almost laughed at the idea, it sounded absurd in his mind. He couldn't see that making either of them happy.
But he continued to think on his former Master's words. Luke had told them that the balance of their relationship would be of the utmost importance.
Ander had long believed that balance was a necessary part of life, even in that war was balanced by peace, and one could not exist solely alone. Conflict plagued the galaxy at times, and peace permeated it at others. That in itself was a balance of sorts.
Perhaps this give and take between him and Mai would be their balance point.
Ander doubted many things, but suddenly, subtly, the Force seemed to speak to him. He looked Mai in the eyes, hoping to thaw them with his own, as she leaned her forward against his.

He finished her sentence for her.
"├óÔé¼┬ªBecause we have to fill the gaps in one another. To the greatest extreme will the one follow the other. Our balance must be maintained, or we will both succumb to our own personal darkness."
They weren't his words, they weren't any one's words, that he could tell. They simply, came out of his mouth, not stumbling, but stepping out smartly, as if the words themselves knew they were the truth.
It was a rare happening, a true inspiration drawn from the Force, and it frightened Ander. It was another symbol of his lack of control, and after the feeling began to ebb away, he closed himself off from the Force once again, shutting Mai out of his mind.
He reached forward and wrapped his arms around her waist, feeling his fingers grab at the fabric of her clothes as he pulled her to him. Her waist was small, as was most of her, but she wasn't by any means fragile. Being able to chase him down and face him as she had after what he had said and done to her certainly proved that. Over the coming months, Ander would begin to suspect Mai was much more powerful than he was.

He ran a hand up along her back, sliding his fingers through her hair and holding her head. He looked down at her, concern and fear etched in his face, but his anger was fading fast. It had run out of steam, and seeing Mai run to him, so sad and so hurt, but at the same time so desperate to help him, had sucked the frustration out of him faster than he thought possible.
She really was a counter point to him, it seemed. Every quality she exemplified made up for his short comings, and her weaknesses seemed augmented by his strengths. It was an odd feeling; Marla hadn't been Force sensitive, she had lived an entirely different life from his, one that had proven too different for either of them. Ksandra had been wiser and more powerful than most Jedi he'd ever met, her days with the Old Republic had given her experience he could not hope to match. But in the end, they had proven too similar, and this had led Ander to fail her in ways she would likely never forgive him for.
Perhaps he was wrong in his thoughts about Mai. Perhaps they would find things about one another that they simply couldn't over come. But Ander was beginning to believe her when she said she could handle it, the woman was strong, in many ways.

Ander breathed in a sigh, then released it, remaining closed off from the Force, and through it, to her. Instead, he opened up to her a little bit as a man would, should, and told her he was sorry.

"We don't need to cement our connection in the Force, Mai. I can live without that. I want to know you on a human level, with no more advantages than any other man might have with the woman he cares for. I want to know you like my parents must have known each other, one with and one without this talent. They could never achieve that sort of connection, and that's what I want. I want to know you as a man before I know you through such a bond. Can you forgive me for that?"
It wasn't the reason he had been so angry, he didn't honestly believe she could never understand. He was being selfish, pushing Mai away in order to help her was denying Mai the chance to get what she needed, which was to help. Ander laughed mentally at the idea. In his attempt to help her, he would have been hurting her, because he couldn't bring himself to trust the fact that she might know better than him. Silently, Ander what else about his nature hadn't changed in the last several years.
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Post Tue Jun 19, 2012 11:40 am

Re: Open Terrain

Mai's eyes still stung with tears, her breathing heavy from the run and the frustration, but as Ander calmed, so did she. She looked up at him as he spoke, hearing the words, yet not hearing the man speaking them. In that instant, the Force spoke to them both, through the one that had the strength to say it.

A deep sob took over Mai, she trembled slightly before Ander, She could feel him slipping from her, but not in the way she could before. Ander dissapeared from the Force, like a door slamming shut in her face. She closed her eyes, dipping her head, letting the tears splash down her front. At that moment, she had thought she had failed Luke, failed Ander, failed them.

Then Ander apologised.

Mai looked up with a gasp. She looked at his hazel eyes, and found the apology had come from deep within him. He -was- sorry. It then took a moment to realise that he had gotten to know her without the Force bond between them. He had only opened to the Force within the Temple, yet they had developed their connection before then...

Mai turned a sob into a sigh, a small sad smile pushing past the tears. She reached a hand back to his cheek, gently this time, her thumb tracing a line over his cheekbone.


You don't need forgiveness Ander. She said though the tears, giving a half chuckle - half sob You just need someone to give you a smack on the shoulder occasionally...
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