“And where do you think you’re going?”
Arilyn Bullian went rigid, slowly turning her gaze toward the voice’s source. Karinlyyn Bridger Kel-Solan stood in the hatchway leading into the Firelance’s cockpit, dressed in the silver mesh armor of an Auyn, her honey-brown hair plaited into a braid. Ari swallowed bile as she looked her mentor up and down. The other woman was armed to the teeth.
Must be pretty serious Order business if the open Warmistress is on her way up. Continue reading
Dorrin stared at the mottled ball of blue, green, brown, and white below them, looming large after the microjump. He glanced at Molly, who was back at the Legacy’s controls. “Y’sure you can handle landing this thing?”
“It’s just like landing a shuttle, Dorrin. Except about ten times bigger.” She smirked at him. “We’ll be fine.”
Tag frowned a little, moving to the side and seating herself on the reed mat, cross-legged. She brushed a few stray hairs out of her face and stared at Les for a long moment, as if choosing her words carefully. “You’re Marcus Leslye Wyler, son of Marcus Wyler and Janet Skyy, the nephew of Trevvik Wyler and the brother of Asya Wyler. You’re Chase Kel-Solan’s best friend and your baby sister’s hero. You’re part of the second generation of the Aurora Force, part of the legacy we’ll leave behind when we’re gone.” She paused, then said more softly, “You’re the padawan Jinx Katarn failed and the second student I’ve taken on since Indiana Bridger herself—the only one I’m not related to, too.” She smiled wryly. “You’re still you, Les. You’ve just…seen more, felt more, experienced more. It’s part of growing up. Not easy by a long shot, but…it’s part of the deal.”
It was a question that haunted him. At those times when he thought he had a grasp on the answer, he felt as though he were hiding the real, rock-bottom truth from even himself. So he replied as best he knew how, even if it made sense to no one.
Tag touched Les’s shoulder gently. The grip of the small woman was warm, firm, and she squeezed his shoulder before just letting her hand rest there. He’s more lost than I thought he was. Deeper into that dark place. I shouldn’t have sent him home with his folks tonight. I should have made him come home with me. She silently drew a deep breath and exhaled it slowly, finding her own center as she felt a fleeting sense of guilt that came from her, not from him. Too late to change that now.
The question was not an easy one. Les, his eyes fixed on the featureless silver mask, knew the warrior behind it would accept nothing short of truth drawn from the deepest well of his soul. He took a long moment to reflect on those depths before forming his answer.
We are far, far more than the sum of our experiences. We are the sum total of the impact of the experiences of our teachers, our leaders, our parents and friends, of the trails we’ve lived through and the bottomless well of emotions we all feel.
— Karinlyyn Bridger Kel-Solan, Auyn Warmistress
“How do the feeds from Aten-Re look?”
That was it. No preamble. No good morning, no admiral on deck. Indy was suddenly there, in the dim of base ops’ night watch. Nylan was too tired to even feign surprise. He was getting too old, Jedi or not, for these thirty-six hour days.
Been boring since you left, really, except for Uncle Mike coming home, finally, and Davil having a meltdown that sent more than a couple ripples through the Force. I graduated last week-wish you hadn’t missed it. It’s okay, though. Mac wasn’t there, either. If my own brother can miss my graduation from med school, I guess it’s okay that my best friend wasn’t here, either. You had your reasons. Hope your folks are okay.
One thing that keeps you alive is the realization that nothing—nothing—is ever exactly as it appears to be. ~ Karinlyyn Bridger Kel-Solan, Auyn Warmistress
Her chest heaved as she moved through her blade forms, jumpsuit stripped to the waist with the sleeves tied there. Sweat streamed down her spine, her tank top sticking to the damp. She’d lost track hours ago of when she’d started. Her thoughts were tuned to her blade, to its movements.
Focus. Nothing but me, with this blade as an extension of my arm, of my will. She exhaled a breath, whipping the blade around, leading with it.