The Sidori Gambit

Posted by Darth Krzysztof

Twenty-nine years before the Battle of Yavin

“There is no emotion, there is peace,” said Tulu. “What does that mean?”

Zeva had heard the words all of her life, but no one had ever asked her that before. “Emotion is a falsehood,” Zeva said tentatively, fidgeting with her Padawan braid. It sounded stupid, but it was the first answer that came to mind, and she’d been taught to trust her instincts.

“Look around you, Zeva.” Tulu waved her arm at the vast lavender Fields of Banir, stretching out in all directions around the ruins of the Jedi Temple. After Tulu’s business on Dantooine had concluded, master and student had climbed to the Temple’s summit for this lesson. “Isn’t this place beautiful? Doesn’t it make your heart sing to be here?”

“It does.” Leaping before you looked, however, was always frowned upon, for reasons like this.

“Then try again. And don’t guess, this time.”

Zeva pursed her lips. “Emotion… is part of life. It is life. But the Jedi must be able to set her feelings aside… to remain at peace. Because anger and fear lead to the dark side.”

Tulu nodded. “Better, but it’s not just anger and fear. Even feelings of love can turn against you.”

“Love?” Zeva laughed. “Isn’t that just in stories? Jedi falling in ‘love’ and coming to horrible, tragic ends because of it?”

“No, Zeva. It’s not just in stories.” The master got to her feet and walked toward the steps down the Temple, stopping just at the edge. She turned her face to one of Dantooine’s moons; from her position, Zeva could see Tulu’s vestigial eye sockets. In two years of apprenticeship, she had never seen them before. They weren’t hideous, just… different. “You’ve seen enough of the world beyond the Temple to know that, now.”

“Maybe so, but that doesn’t mean that it happens to Jedi.”

“Are you so sure?” Tulu smiled, faintly; as Zeva only ever saw her master’s nose and mouth, even the slightest hint of a smile was easy to detect. “Not everyone was raised by the Order from birth, you know.”

Zeva feared to ask, but she could sense the importance. “You were in love, Master?”

“Yes, I was. This was just before the Order found me, in the Outer Rim… her name was Gaeriel.”

Zeva blinked, and managed not to laugh again. “Her name? I thought girls were supposed to love boys."

“Not all of us do, no. I loved Gaeriel… I loved her so much. But when I lost her, I was… furious. Vengeful. I wanted to lash out at the world that had hurt me… and with the Force at my command, I did.”

“Master?” Zeva stood up and moved closer.

“But that’s how the Jedi came to find me, because of the… disturbance I created in the Force. Once they explained… how I did what I’d done… and how they could help me to control it, I went with them. And I never looked back.”

This was all news to the Padawan, who could only say, “Master, I’m sorry.”

“Don’t be,” Tulu said. “That’s the point of this lesson.You might do anything to ease the pain of losing love. You might fall into the grip of pride, or jealousy… You might bend a weak mind to love you, or strike a rival down – not in the name of of love, but for the need of it. Make a stone of your heart, Zeva. Enjoy the company of others as you will, but the moment you start falling for someone else… just remember what I’ve told you here, today.”

And that lesson remained with Zeva for the rest of her life…

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