Misconceptions

Just after arriving back from the aborted rescue mission and the wedding, Dee asked Taylor about what it was she wanted to talk to the Jawa about and Taylor answered that she had changed her mind. Dee’laan would ask if Taylor would be returning to Barab after the wedding. If so, she says, “Hope you have a good trip. Oh and in case you haven’t heard, Corbin and 2 others, one might be Kwi-Sung, are in the hands of Inquisitor Raddich. Enjoy yourself at your new home.” And Dee turns to go to her quarters.

Taylor stops dead staring at Dee. "What! Do you have something to say Dee? It sounds an awful lot like your accusing me of not doing anything. Or abandoning you? Or are you jealous cause you don't like Barab? Jealous that I have something that makes me happy? What's on your mind. I am not one for lying so let's have it."

Taylor puts her finger up, "But before you accuse me…. do you even know what I HAVE been doing? Ask yourself that? What was Taylor Castel up to. While your at it…. how did you get that intel on the location of Corbin. Was that a gift giving day present from the Empire. Or did some one risk their collective behinds to bring that to you.?" Taylor's face flashed in warning and anger as her eyes set on Dee's form. Taylor looked weary and worn,but now very sharp.
Taking a deep breath, Dee formulates her answer to the far too angry human force user. “You can be the most imperceptive being I have ever met,” Dee responds in a fairly unemotional voice through the translation unit built into a rebreather as she faintly shakes her head. “Did you ever get my comm. all those months ago? Because I needed a friend but I have a hard time asking for help. And you never replied. Plus in your original comm. you sounded like you were busy but I thought you couldn’t be so busy that you couldn’t comm. back. But you never did.”

“You say I should ask what Taylor is up to. I think I just did. I had to hunt you down to ask what you wanted to talk to me about, in person, and you just responded with “never mind, I’ve changed my mind”.” Dee’laan pauses, she shoulders slump and the look on her face is disappointment. “The first time I see you in months and all you greet me with is “you’re not going to like this but you can’t take your lightsaber with you.” It’s like we’re strangers; like you’ve forgotten everything you ever knew about me. And I know we were busy on the mission to Mindor, but…” Dee let the sentence trail off, unsure where to go, trying to not sound as selfish as Taylor was sounding. “If I hadn’t asked you that question, would you have even tried to find me to say, well, anything?”

“I won’t apologize for doing my job. Rebel command made a decision to not send me on the mission to see Ogus. There is constantly work to be done within the fleet; it’s not like I’ve been sitting around here twiddling my thumbs. I highly appreciate the sacrifices that team had to make to get the information they were able to acquire. Where in the outer rim is this anger coming from? What have I done to you?” Tears can be seen forming in the little beings eyes as she looks up at the woman she thought was once a friend but doubt is filling her mind.

Taylor softens her stance. "So telling me that 3 people are in jail and to enjoy a trip to Barab is not filled with acid and spite. Cause sure sounds that way to me. Dee I was on a need to know mission. I would have gone on your mission, but believe I was not sitting around either. I don't have any questions about how your spent your time, or how you enjoy those brief moments off either. The allaince is big. I trusted you, and Harold and ADR to get the job done. If it was too big, too complex and more help is needed - yes I will help. I can't be everywhere - I am one person."

The frustrations welling in Taylor she took a moment to control them. "I am being pulled in many directions Dee. Many. I am scared at times of the things I am doing and the people I might lose. It tears me up to know what those men are going through. But running and throwing ourselves on the pyre is not going to help. We have to do this smart and right. I will go with you into the belly of the beast. But this might not happen in an assault…. we will have to be smart and smooth as to how we operate. I will if possible always come to aid….. but I was helping in another way.'

Taylor looked down the hall. "Would I have tried to find you? I don't know Dee. You seem to like being alone. I contact you and you are out. Yes you contacted me, but I had decided that what I had to say was not something I wanted to say anymore. I was going to question why you use so many drugs. Why the emotional suppressants. Why you thought not having or acknowledging your heart was really the best choice for one in our work. If a force user doesn't care, or cuts them self off from caring and the pain….. I just don't understand that."

Dee’laan stood listening to everything Taylor had to say but then something welled up in the former Jawa as Taylor finished her comments. “You think I like being alone. I hate it! And that I don’t acknowledge the feelings in my heart.” Tears start to stream down the little Jedi’s face with her next words, “My heart broke on Tatooine. It was like someone had pierced my chest with a hot knife. After the shock of the news of my parents wore off and the grief set in, I realized I had lost everything; my parents, my clan, my language, my identity as a Jawa. I cried, I spilled water on Tatooine. That made it even worse. The emotion suppressors were a gift from a mutual friend. He thought I needed help reigning in my emotions because, you seem to not see this, but I care too much about a lot of things.” Falling to her knees, openly sobbing, she continues, “They didn’t work that day, I was close to blowing them out. Maybe that’s why it was so easy to learn to detoxify. That day, it was the sight of my dead parents speaking to our Shaman, finding out that they also did not truly understand what my path really was and we all needed to have our final goodbyes. And then I knew what I really was, what I always have been, a Jedi.”

With a heavy inhale and exhale, Dee sits down with her legs crossed, “That’s what I have needed to share with someone, what I wanted to share with you but you weren’t there. I was finally able to sit down with Fen; somehow he’s always there for me. His first words were that he thought I had been spending far too much time alone. He always gets me.”

After a pause, Dee speaks quietly, “It kills me that we couldn’t come up with a viable plan to rescue Corbin, Kwi-Sung and…,” her voice trailing off. “We just weren’t prepared for the magnitude of resources that the Empire has in place to contain Force users. Were they being held at a ground based prison, we could have come up with something quickly. But that prison ship,” shaking her head, “they have everything covered. We’re still planning and preparing.”

Taylor softens her stance more. She walks over and sits down next to Dee. "Dee, rescuing Mercicon from Vader was no easy trick either. We arent going to go in there and fight it out easily." Taylor looked a moment and realization came over her face. "How many people have you reddened from the darkside?"

Remembering each instance, Dee replies, “I’ve gone to bring back four but only three were successful,” as painful images of the Bothan M’rath scrolled in her mind, “though you and ADR had more to do with bringing back Darrik than I did. But Fen…” Dee paused as she remembered how he told her afterward that he was a nano-second from killing her as she took that leap of faith and hugged him. “Everyone was shouting at him and he was shouting back and no one was listening to anyone. He had always protected me and I knew words weren’t working. So I let my actions speak for me and I hugged him. It shocked everyone and I felt that I may have put myself in harms way but it opened the door for listening and understanding.”

“The third, let’s just say it’s a scary thing to have a lightsaber held up to ones neck and even more frightening to have to suck up two strikes from one. And then there was M’rath…” A visible shiver runs through the small female at the memory of what the Empire had done to the Bothan.

Yellow eyes look up at Taylor. “I’ve already considered the possibility that any one of them may have been turned.”

Taylor turned toward to jawa. Resting her pressing her the finger tips of her hands together in thought. "And what was the common thing amoung those you saved? What mattered??

Extremely quiet, Dee whispers one word, “Family.” Again she feels the spike of heartache spear her chest as she is once again reminded of just how alone she is in the galaxy. Slumping almost into a ball, she fights off the tears of pain without success.

Taylor moved to sit next to the jawa's small form. She kept the jawa within reach. Dee could easily feel Taylor's leg and warmth near her. Taylor rested her head on the ship speaking to the ceiling in question. "Family. Other than the families we are born in, how do we make them. Out here on the rim, few are related by blood, so how little one can we make the families that will keep us safe? How can we keep our hearts safe?"

Slowly, Dee’laan regained her composure and sat up, fighting the urge to move closer to Taylor, to “cuddle” like she used to with her mother and sisters, something she had not done in 20 years. Instead she pulled her knees up to her chin, wrapping her arms around them unconsciously closing herself off to another yet again. Reaching out as she did when mediating and thinking of the events on Mindor, Dee felt her heart lift as the emptiness was replaced with the familiar warmth of the Force.

Finally the tears dried as she thought of how to respond. Past conversations with those who did not trust her enough to consider her a friend, those who did not feel she could control her emotions enough to make her part of their family flooded her mind. These same beings were friends with Taylor, family with Taylor. One word came to mind; trust. Then thoughts of the painful part of her childhood resurfaced and all the times she had to deal with racial stereotyping and why she found it hard to trust and why others did not trust her. Dee would have to trust and share this all with Taylor.
“Trust,” Dee spoke this one word. “Taylor, things have happened in my past that makes it difficult for me to trust and to ask for help.” Dee’laan pulls out a data pad with some selected portions of her first diary (entry #s 17, 22, 23, 27 & all parts of 28) and hands this to Taylor. I want to share this with you but I can’t speak about these events, not now.” The small being waits, still hugging herself, for Taylor to read her diary selections.

"More than trust, though that is important." Taylor crossed her legs and sat in front of Dee. her elbows resting on each knee, open and confident of the truth inside her. Taylor had searched for this truth it rang to her core.

"I trust people to get me out of prison. I trust people not to kill me - though my trust has been tested lately." Taylor face looked a little sickened as memories of blood and pain washed over her. She refocused her eyes on the jawa. "I trust that some one will apply a medpack, that any rebel would likely place themselves in harms way to pull me from the battlefield. Indeed trust has been easier. Because I was small once, maybe not your form, but my body is designed to be that of an engineer. My hands small on purpose, to fit into gearing. I trusted people with my life, but now I find people to trust with my heart. That trust - love has made all the difference in everything."

"Tell me small one, what are Jedi?"

Still hugging her legs, Dee thinks over what Taylor is asking. “On an individual level, Jedi is something hard to describe, to put into words, they are something of an intangible. It’s something deep inside here,” pointing to her chest, “and here,” pointing to her head. Even without the connection to the Force, it’s that something that still makes that being a Jedi. It’s the same thing that motivated a 7 year old girl to comfort a mother who just lost her only child and to help her prepare him for burial, to help her through her period of mourning, doing something beyond her years that most adults would not even undertake. It’s the same thing that led a tech/pilot, inexperienced in fighting, to stand with a fellow force user because he stood by us even though everyone else said I should run.

It’s having a deep seated selflessness and compassion, not wanting or needing power, glory, fame, recognition or money. Serving the light. Even without the titles or the formal organization, a Jedi is still a Jedi, it’s in their base nature.

“You mentioned keeping our hearts safe. That is a universal problem, not at all unique to just Force users. It’s just that as Force users, light side Force users, we need to be wary of the insidious way the dark side can creep in. We need to not give in to anger or hate because these feelings come along with loss and grief. I know, I experienced this first hand.”

“Taylor, you speak of love,” and Dee closes her eyes and breaths in deeply. “This is something I have resigned myself to knowing I may never experience again and not because I am a Jedi. I may only ever have the love of my childhood, the love between a child and parent. You are a human. The odds are much greater as there are more compatible beings available that you will find a special someone. Cherish this.”
“I’ve been researching various Jedi traditions and where things went wrong, then Fen brought up the Corellian tradition. Even you might not be adverse to this one. They believe in love, marriage and family. I intend to call the group,” as sadness passes over Dee’s face, “what remains of the group along with Daryn for a meeting. I want to propose using this template as a basis for a support group. We need it. And not to sound selfish but I need it.”

Taylor looked stunned at Dee. Her features softened, a lot. "I know. I am going to go find them. How?….. It doesn't matter." Taylor shook her head. " Dee you have pulled away from those you said were friends. You wear emotional suppressants. What happens when those don't work? I know people look down on me for letting my emotions guide me - but they don't control me. Because I allow them, drink them in like good wine - I am not ruled by them as much as one might think. When needed I can control them better than starchiest of jedi. I choose to allow myself to have a heart becuase it gives me guidance and compassion to connect. To empathize with people - too see them and be humbled by the amazing. "

Taylor turned, "I am going to be a friend. I am going to tell you the truth because lying is not something I am fond of, or good at. People wonder Dee. They wonder what you really stand for. They wonder what you care or IF you care. You say you do, but then push people away. You choose to be alone when in pain and slap people in the face with your pain. I know that hurts, but lying to you doesn't serve. I am telling you this because you may want to know. You may never have known. I am sorry if it hurts…. I don't mean to hurt you. But cutting yourself off - you are starting to remind me of the people I have redeemedm, they felt cut off, like no one cared."

“The emotion suppressors are not chemical, they work in a bio-feedback way. And they were a gift from a friend of yours, Xakon. I know what happens when they don’t work.” To herself she thought, “Tatooine. You learned a lot from that day.” To Taylor, the introspective being replies, “I don’t rely on them, but carrying them with me is just a bit of insurance. I certainly did not use them this last visit to Mindor.” Again she sees in her mind and feels in her heart the wonder, beauty and balance of those moments.

Steeling herself for the next, the lone knight hugged herself tighter. “Which people? Oh does it really matter. Every time I meet and go on a mission with new recruits, I go through the same thing. They see me and they see the stereotype; the dirty, smelly, thieving, swindling, shoddy workmanship Jawa. Some don’t even view my species as fully sentient and worth listening to. Then if I’m ranking officer, they question my every action which due to being a Jedi confuses them even more. And I can’t come out and tell them that.”

“I don’t mean to push people away but old habits die hard. When new beings behavior toward me is similar to…” Dee’laan visibly shudders as a chill runs through her body and she starts to shiver. “I had love once and tons of family and friends and the warmth of the Force. And one chance meeting with a newly hidden Jedi and I lost it all. The Force was stripped away and I was torn from my family. Sent away to live a lie, a lie I couldn’t share with anyone. Any time I tried to make friends, I was hurt both physically and mentally. Not until I ran away and learned to fix starships did I find a friend, a friend who got me off of Tatooine.”

‘You say again that I choose to be alone and in pain. I called out to you but you missed it. I commed Xakon but he missed it. There are so few that I can open up to about this, so few who know my secret and that I feel close enough to to bare my soul to. Some things I used to be able to talk to Jyxie about. But since the events on Leranda… We have only spoken once over the comm. system and that did not go well. I haven’t seen her since. I don’t know if she wants to talk to me, ever. I don’t want to interfere where I am not welcome. Plus there’s ChiChi. Our last conversation was an exercise in futility. He doesn’t even believe there is a Dark Side.” Again a chill runs through the normally ultra warm desert being. “And I keep getting assigned to missions with new bloodthirsty recruits or simply acquaintances. Mindor was the first mission in a really long time where I was with those who know.”

In a resigned voice, Dee goes on, “I know this is my life. But Fen has made me a part of his family and his parents have accepted me. I’ve heard that Chimara is back to staying on board “Discovery” I plan to ask them to help me, to keep me from spending too much time alone. And even though Corbin has always treated me like an inferior being, used me as betting fodder, treated me similar to the children of my past, I’ll go after him.

"We are broken. All of us, all the time. You may be a jawa, and I just a small tech…… but we feel the connection. Do what the force would have of you. It is the only thing I know in the noise, in the yelling and between the blackouts, do what the force would have of me and listen to that above all else. Emotional suppressants dull the voice of the force, I bet you feel lost, confused. The force is life and life comes with emotions, love to balance hate, joy to balance pain, cut one, avoid one and the other will elude you."

“My body may be that of a Jawa but my heart, mind and soul are that of a Jedi. My cover to the rest of the galaxy is of a lowly Jawa tech, pilot, and medic. I answered the Force the first time when a child; now I answer it again as an adult. A finally whole adult ever since my buried, forgotten past rudely screamed out. We are all flawed, we can’t help that. But finally I understand the basis of a few of mine, the basis for a phobia, so I can work on those to find my balance once more.”

Turning to look at Taylor, Dee seems calmer and more centered. “I hope to be able to call together the remainder of the original group for a second meeting. Jezlyn should be told and I believe Daryn is now available to join us. I want to propose using the Corellian Jedi tradition as a basis for a support group. Will you be available or are you heading back to your home?”

"No I am here for the duration. I got pulled back, there was trouble." Taylor stood up her glance downward. She let it pass quickly and composed herself.

"Corellian Jedi huh?" Raising her voice in pitch, "Ya know Corellian Jedi protected Corellia. Family meant staying with family…. not gallivanting around the galaxy. " Taylor's voice returned to normal pitch," I am Corellian. Mostly the order is dead, I understand they were all killed together some time ago."

"You don't have to be mated to be Corellian Jedi. But you have to accept that people are whole. Not as the traditional Jedi would have us cut out our hearts to ignore them." Taylor smirked, "seems like people are starting to think I make some kind of sense around here. Can't spend our lives living in fear of losing love, to lose love altogether. Fear has too much power over us right now, especially you little one. Fear is not conquered with drugs and suppressants. It is conquered by acceptance, to know that pain is part of our lives and everything is one foot in front of the other. To know that you can find some one and share the pain. They will care for you when weak. This isn't the lesson of a force user - this is the lesson of everyone. We aren't so special Dee. We think ourselves so much more dangerous - but in truth, what will Jynx, hat could Jynx do if something happened to ChiChi. She could wreak more damage than I can, but yet we do not tell her not to love. Connections, family, that keeps fear in check. I will go to this meeting."

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