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Before - Legends Before the Saga Diary of a Very Sympathetic Padawan (Bant Eerin's diary for the 2020 DDC)

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by devilinthedetails, Jan 1, 2020.

  1. devilinthedetails

    devilinthedetails Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Jun 19, 2019
    Title: Diary of a Very Sympathetic Padawan

    Author: devilinthedetails

    Characters: Bant Eerin; Obi-Wan Kenobi; Qui-Gon Jinn; Tahl; Mace Windu; Kit Fisto

    Genre: General, Friendship

    Timeline: Before TPM. Written in the Legends continuity of the Jedi Apprentice books.

    Summary: Bant Eerin's diary is her constant companion as she wrestles with loneliness and loss.

    Author's Note: Written for the 2020 Dear Diary Challenge.

    Diary of a Very Sympathetic Padawan

    Dear Diary,

    Let’s start with polite introductions. My name is Bant Eerin. I’m a Jedi Padawan though you might not guess it by the frequency with which I’m abandoned at the Temple by my Master Tahl. You are my dear diary. I bought you just yesterday in the lower markets districts at a small shop selling dusty old holobooks between a massage parlor for humanoids and a droid spa (don’t ask me what that is. I don’t know). You’re an old-fashioned paper notebook with an image of a foaming sea on the front and a complimentary fountain pen included in the plastoid packaging.

    The foaming sea reminded me of Mon Cala, the watery world where I was born but barely remember since I was taken to Jedi Temple on Coruscant before I could talk or swim. That’s why I chose you instead of any other diary on that store shelf. It had nothing to do with your complimentary fountain pen and everything to do with your beautiful cover that reminded me of where I came from and who I am at my core.

    I bought you in the hopes that you will be my true friend, my constant companion, and my cure for loneliness when my other friends—Obi-Wan Kenobi, Garen Muln, and Reeft—are away from the Temple with their Masters, going on galaxy-spanning adventures and missions that help bring peace and security to the Republic’s myriad worlds. I too dream of bringing peace and justice to a turbulent galaxy, but most of my days are spent at the Temple, where I meditate to try to find an inner peace I may carry to the rest of the universe in the future.

    It’s the beginning of a new year on Coruscant. I went to see the fireworks burst in rainbow specks over Monument Plaza with Obi-Wan and approximately two million people representing a thousand different species. It was too crowded for Obi-Wan and I to find a seat on a bench, but we brought a blanket and spread it on the the permacrete so we had a comfortable spot to sit as we stared up at the fireworks. It was beautiful and filled me with hope for the promise and opportunity of a new year.

    I get that same sense of promise and opportunity when I look at you, dear diary. Your blank pages for me to fill remind me that new year is a blank page for me, and I can write a new story beginning today. That is my new year’s resolution, dear diary, to write in you regularly and to write a new story that fills me with the hope and peace I want to feel as a Jedi. You will be integral in helping me write this story, and, thus, central to my journey as a Jedi. I thank you in advance for the role you will play in shaping me throughout this year, and I hope when the fireworks announce the next new year over Monument Plaza, we will both be pleased with the story I have written for this one.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2020
    Kahara, AzureAngel2, Kit' and 2 others like this.
  2. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host Who Loves Fanfics & RPGs star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Excellent first entry with Bant's wistful musings. A very warm chatty tone. :)
     
  3. Kit'

    Kit' Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Oct 30, 1999
    Are you sure Bant? Not even a little tiny bit?;)
     
  4. CaraJinn

    CaraJinn Jedi Knight star 3

    Registered:
    Jan 8, 2018
    Hey, Bant, don't be too harsh with poor Master Tahl ;)
     
  5. Mira_Jade

    Mira_Jade The Fanfic Manager With The Cape star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Jun 29, 2004
    Ooh, I think it has everything to do with the fountain pen. :p But Bant has excellent tastes, to say the least!

    This is already off to an excellent beginning, and I am excited to see where you go from here! Bant was a favourite character of mine as a young reader with the JA series, and it made me smile such a smile to see a diary from her POV start this year! Bant certainly has much to be reflective over - in a way that is unique to her fellow Padawan learners - thanks to the relationship she has with Tahl. This, right here:

    - really summed it up perfectly. There's such a softness and sense of contemplation to this first entry that really drew me in. I already can't wait to see what this year holds in store for dear Bant. [face_love]

    Keep up the wonderful work! =D=
     
  6. devilinthedetails

    devilinthedetails Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Jun 19, 2019
    @WarmNyota_SweetAyesha As always, thank you so much for your kind comments! I'm so glad you found this to be an excellent first entry, and I hope that you'll enjoy each of the following entries just as much. I really enjoyed being able to give this entry a sort of wistful quality as Bant reflects on a new year (something I was doing as well as I wrote this piece) and it's awesome to know that Bant's warm tone shone through for you:D

    @Kit' Thanks so much for reading and commenting!Yes, Bant may have liked the fountain pen more than she wanted to admit to her diary[face_laugh]

    @CaraJinn Thanks so much for commentingNext entry should feature more of Master Tahl to look at more facets of their relationship, but really what is a diary for if not to be a little hard on others?;)

    @Mira_Jade Thank you so much for your supportive and detailed comments as usual! Fountain pens can be extremely tempting so Bant's choice may have been more influenced by the fountain pen than she is prepared to acknowledge in her diary, but I agree that Bant has marvelous taste in fountain pen and diary selection. I'm so happy to hear you think this is off to an excellent beginning, and I hope you enjoy all future entries as much. Bant was also a favorite character of mine from the Jedi Apprentice books, and I'm truly excited to devote a story to following her throughout the year, which should ideally do justice to her character and her experiences. I agree that Bant given her relationship with Tahl has much to reflect on that is different than the average Padawan, and that hopefully will come out even more in the next entry if all goes according to plan. The piece you quoted was one of my favorites from this first entry, so it makes me smile to know that it resonated with you as well. I definitely think of Bant as a soft person with a contemplative spirit so hopefully that can continue to be mirrored in her diary as it progresses. Thank you again for the kind comment, and I hope you continue to enjoy Bant's journey:D
     
  7. devilinthedetails

    devilinthedetails Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Jun 19, 2019
    Dear Diary,

    My fingers are still aching from a long day’s training as I write this even after a long, steaming hot shower meant to soothe my tired muscles. Master Tahl put me through my paces today for sure.

    We went to one of the Temple’s hundred training rooms. We had barely entered when Master Tahl turned to me, extending a blindfold and ordering me to put it on. I obeyed and found the lights of the room instantly drowned out by the black fabric. I felt the instinctual desire to fight the dark—to remove the blindfold and restore the light of my vision—that I’m certain is common to all the Jedi.

    I thought how terrible it must have been for my Master to go from being able to see so keenly with those stunning green-and-gold striped eyes to never being able to see again—to being trapped in a universe of darkness after spending years in the rich rainbow spectrum of colors the galaxy presented. She must have been a braver woman than me by far. I doubted I would have the strength to live in darkness as she did…

    “You have the strength to achieve anything you need to accomplish, Bant.” Master Tahl’s hand clasped my shoulder as if she sensed my thoughts, and perhaps she did. “And Jedi never live in darkness. We live in the light because the light lives within us.”

    “Yes, Master.” I nodded, feeling the light inside me begin to grow stronger as I stared into the dark.

    “When we’re deprived of one of our precious, relied upon senses, the others grow sharper to compensate,” Master Tahl continued, releasing my shoulder. “When we’re denied our vision, our sense of sound becomes more acute.”

    Sound. I opened my mind and body to the sounds of the training room. I heard the hiss of the air vent, keeping the room comfortably cool for the beings who exerted themselves in it. I heard my own lungs inhaling and exhaling. I heard Master Tahl’s breathing. I heard the whir of training droids activating and ignited my lightsaber in time to deflect a series of bolts that would sting if they landed on me back at my unseen but heard attackers.

    I heard the whisper of air that signaled the droid on my right shifting to fire at my flank. I spun where I predicted it would be, my weapon carving into its casing, disabling it.

    I had forgotten to listen for the droid on my left. It unleashed a volley of bolts. Before I could lift my lightsaber to protect myself from this barrage, two stinging bolts broke through the weaving guard of my blade, striking my chest and shoulder. I gasped but otherwise tried to maintain my focus.

    “Don’t just rely on your hearing,” Master Tahl suggested gently, the echo of her voice telling me that she had taken refuge in a corner. “Reach out with all your senses. Smell the droids.”

    Smell the droids? I thought in disbelief. At least, she hadn’t told me to try to lick the durasteel casings of the droids in the name of enhancing my sense of taste.

    Wondering what I was even supposed to smell over the saltiness of my own sweat and the smoking ruin of the droid I had destroyed, I breathed deeply, inhaling a metallic scent mingled with cleaning grease. Following this tell-tale smell, I swung out with my lightsaber, taking out the second droid as it whirled around, moving into another attack position.

    Both droids were down, but Master Tahl made me repeat that same exercise for hours until I thought I might never get to remove that blindfold—that I might spend the rest of my life, or at least the rest of my Padawan years, with my ears pricked for the sound of approaching training droids shifting into attack positions and my nose alert for metallic scents mingled with cleaning grease that warned of danger in the form of training droids.

    At last, Master Tahl declared we were done with this seemingly endless loop of a training exercise. Now I’m showered and ready for a well-deserved night’s rest. I’m going to dim the lights now and meditate before going to sleep. I look forward to shutting my eyes after a long, exhausting day. I’ll write again when my fingers are less sore. Good night, dear diary.
     
  8. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host Who Loves Fanfics & RPGs star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    I thought how terrible it must have been for my Master to go from being able to see so keenly with those stunning green-and-gold striped eyes to never being able to see again—to being trapped in a universe of darkness after spending years in the rich rainbow spectrum of colors the galaxy presented. She must have been a braver woman than me by far. I doubted I would have the strength to live in darkness as she did…

    “You have the strength to achieve anything you need to accomplish, Bant.” Master Tahl’s hand clasped my shoulder as if she sensed my thoughts, and perhaps she did. “And Jedi never live in darkness. We live in the light because the light lives within us.”


    Beautifully compassionate and insightful musings.

    I am certain Bant is not the first, nor last, apprentice/Padawan to learn of the various ways one can get zapped by one of those pesky droids! [face_laugh] Learning to use a combination of perceptive avenues is something vital not just in this basic exercise but especially on crucial Jedi missions.
    [face_thinking]
     
  9. devilinthedetails

    devilinthedetails Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Jun 19, 2019
    @WarmNyota_SweetAyesha As always, thank you so much for your kind and supportive comments! I'm so glad you found that quoted portion beautifully compassionate and insightful since that's what I was trying to achieve there, and that was probably my favorite part of this entry. Hopefully there will be more opportunities for compassion and insight as this diary continues, but with Bant writing it, I'm sure there will be.

    I agree that Bant is not the first and not the last Jedi Padawan to learn in a painfully firsthand way the many ways to get zapped by those pesky droids[face_laugh]

    You're right that learning to use a combination of perceptive avenues is something crucial to Jedi missions and life in general, which I think is something that Tahl is really in a position to teach Bant.
     
  10. AzureAngel2

    AzureAngel2 Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jun 14, 2005
    My fingers are still aching from a long day’s training as I write this even after a long, steaming hot shower meant to soothe my tired muscles. Master Tahl put me through my paces today for sure.

    Not only does this diary follow a young Jedi padawan through Force training matters, words of wisdom and the daily temple business, but it also speaks of things that we all can relate to. The refreshment of a shower for example.

    Plus the sparkly character of the young, enthusiastic diary writer comes through with each word.
     
  11. devilinthedetails

    devilinthedetails Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Jun 19, 2019
    @AzureAngel2 As always, thank you so much for your kind and supportive comments!:D I'm really looking forward to the chance of continuing to delve into Force training, Jedi wisdom, and daily Temple life through Bant's diary. One of the exciting things about the diary format is it provides an opportunity o explore the little things and details there might not be the space for in other type of story structures, so I'm hoping to be able to include more of those little details and moments as Bant continues her diary. I always find showers refreshing, comforting, and sometimes downright invigorating, so I'm happy to hear that could resonate with you as well. Also I'm delighted that Bant's character is shining through with every word. Hopefully that will continue to be the case as her diary goes on...
     
  12. Mira_Jade

    Mira_Jade The Fanfic Manager With The Cape star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Jun 29, 2004
    Oh what a beautiful update this was! Tahl is certainly a master in an unique position to impart this particular lesson to her padawan. Bant's musings were sympathetic and compassionate, for her own part, but Tahl is too right! Bant has more strength than she realizes just yet, and a Jedi always walks in the light, even when the light itself may be gone in a literal sense. [face_love]

    Ha! I love how Bant is still a cheeky youngster here! But Tahl has an important lesson about adaptation to impart, which will be so, so important both now and as a Jedi Knight with the massive changes that are about to come to the galaxy in the future. Someday, she will cherish the memory of these lessons.

    But, for now, Bant has her well deserved hot shower and a good night's rest to recuperate and recharge from her training! I look forward to reading what tomorrow will bring next for her in this tale. [face_love]

    =D=
     
  13. devilinthedetails

    devilinthedetails Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Jun 19, 2019
    @Mira_Jade Thank you so much for your thoughtful comment! I'm so glad that you thought this was a beautiful update, and I agree that Tahl with her blindness is in a special position to teach her Padawan that Jedi always walk in the light even if the light has gone from their eyes in the literal sense. It is one of the ways that Tahl's blindness can make her an especially good Master for Bant in a way that she might not have been able to be without her blindness. Her blindness has allowed Tahl to reach an even higher level of transcendence in the Force and to in turn pass those lessons onto Bant.

    Tahl is also definitely right that Bant has more strength and courage than she gives herself credit for, but as she overcomes more challenges throughout the year, Bant should develop a greater appreciation for her own resiliency. It made my heart glow to be able to write a moment where Tahl can really encourage Bant's strength and resiliency.

    I couldn't resist giving Bant a little bit of that cheeky youngster side here (what is a Padawan without some cheekiness after all?;)) and I'm so happy you liked that touch of cheekiness, but, yes, Tahl totally has an important lesson on adaptation to impart that will only become more important as massive shakeups come to the galaxy in the future. Bant will definitely one day cherish these memories of lessons with Tahl, looking back on them with true fondness.

    In the meantime, she can enjoy her hot showers and well-earned recuperative sleep as you say!

    Hopefully you'll enjoy the next chapter as much:D
     
  14. devilinthedetails

    devilinthedetails Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Jun 19, 2019
    Dear Diary,

    To my relief, today’s training with Master Tahl was much less onerous. We went to the lake—one of my favorite spots at the Temple along with the Room of a Thousand Fountains even if I had been held captive there, unconscious underwater, until Obi-Wan saved me because I choose to cling to the memory of how he rescued me and how we will go on together as best friends forever just like we promised back in the creche as younglings—and walked along the cobble paths that wound like snakes around the water.

    The stones beneath our feet were dabbled alternating patches of black shadow from the shading branches and leaves that hung overhead in a thick canopy of mingled green-brown with spots of yellow sunlight shining in the blue sky above. Sunlight, I thought, that my Master couldn’t see and would never be able to see again.

    “I can’t see the sunlight.” Tahl tilted her chin up toward the sun, and I knew she must have sensed my thought because her words were too perfect a response for her not to have read what was in my mind. “But I still know it is there because I can still feel it.”

    An echo of yesterday’s lesson there, I decided. The light was still there even if we couldn’t see it because we could still feel it in the warm rays beating down on our faces.

    “It’s nice to feel the warm kiss on my cheeks even if I know it is a fake sun as artificial as the sky overhead because it feels like a natural sun—a real sun,” Tahl continued as she approached a very low-hanging branch that should have been clipped by a gardener.

    The branch would smack her across the face if someone didn’t move it, so I lifted it out of the path. I tried to make the motion as smooth and soundless as possible—Tahl was always sensitive to having anyone help her with anything, as her Padawan I knew that—but she must have heard the rustle of a leaf against my sleeve or the whisper of the shifting branch stirring the air by her cheek for her lips quirked. “Thank you for moving that errant branch out of my way, Bant.”

    “You weren’t supposed to know I did that, Master.” I could feel my cheeks turning pink as sunburn, and I was grateful that she couldn’t see that telltale sign of embarrassment and guilt though she could probably sense my feelings in the Force. A Padawan had few secrets from a Master in the Force, I was beginning to discover, sometimes to my comfort and sometimes to my chagrin. There is balance in the Force and its workings always even if its ways are beyond the understanding of a Padawan like me. All I can know is that the Force seeks balance in all and through all, and that knowledge must be enough for me.

    “No, I wasn’t, but Masters always know what their Padawans don’t want them to—it is the way of the universe.” Tahl’s lips lifted into a smile.

    “Yes, Master.” I answered her smile with a somewhat sheepish one of my own. As I did so, I could feel in the Force the jagged symmetry of our relationship: how we fit together like puzzles pieces in ways that nobody else could see or sense.

    We ambled along the path for a few more footsteps before Tahl paused to sniff at a flower with blushing pink petals and white-beaded pistils.

    “It’s a Mycosia flower, isn’t it?” she asked after a moment rifling through her mental horticultural datafiles.

    “I believe so, Master.” I would never claim to be a great authority on plants, but I thought the flower did have the distinctive white-bearded pistils the Mycosia flower was supposed to be renowned for from one spiral arm of the galaxy to the other.

    “I believe so too. It has a distinct aroma.” Her fingers stroked the soft petals, a tender and almost vulnerable cast to her usually sharp features. “It’s a gorgeous flower. I can smell that and feel that even if I can no longer see that. Blindness couldn’t take the beauty of flowers away from me.”

    “I’m glad, Master,” I said softly because I couldn’t think of how else to respond. Tahl was so rarely vulnerable, even with me, her Padawan.

    Her moment of reflection done, Tahl strode briskly along the path. I followed at her heels, moving swiftly to keep up with her as she moved with assurance, unafraid that an awry branch might slap her face before I could shove it out of her determined path.

    She stopped when the path opened onto a sunlit glade. Sitting on the blanket of grass, she motioned for me to do the same. I could feel the blades tickling my hands as I joined her.

    “Close your eyes,” she ordered once I had settled beside her. I obeyed, shutting my eyes, as she went on, “Tell me what you see.”

    My Master had obviously decided it was time for a classic Temple exercise: Attention to the Moment Gives Knowledge, I thought as I summoned images in my mind, images that my eyes had seen earlier but my brain had not truly processed until I focused on them now. The wisdom of Jedi teaching is that we take in my information than we realize and that we must pause and reflect to realize all that we do know. To rush from event to event and place to place without stopping to truly absorb any of it is a mistake Jedi are not supposed to make.

    “A bush of Alderaanian flame-roses blossoms two meters to my right.” I could see their red petals concealing their prickly thorns in my mind for an instant before a climbing plant—another native of Alderaan that would only bloom pale gold and orange at night—grew in the fertile soil of my brain. The tree it was climbing up had the blue foliage of the Inderrin tree indigenous to the planet Aruza. “A candlewick flower weaving around an Inderrin tree three meters to my left.” The tree with blue foliage faded into a flowerbed planted with deep red, pure white, and passionate purple blossoms. “A bed of rojos, everlilies, and purple passions growing in the shade of the Inderrin tree.”

    “Open your eyes and see if you were right,” my Master said, obviously satisfied with my rendition.

    I opened my eyes. I was right. That was pleasing, but not as pleasing as the plants in my mind had been. The real plants before my eyes couldn’t be as beautiful as the ones I remembered in images in my own brain.

    “You did well. I wouldn’t have done so well as you when I was your age.” Tahl’s chuckle was rich and nourishing as the soil from which the flowers grew. “My Master was always accusing me of lacking true Jedi discipline and focus because I was forever cheating on that exercise by opening my eyes to peek during it.”

    I joined her laughter, my sounds of amusement merging into the delighted shouts and squeals of the splashing younglings of all species the Mon Calamari Master Meeno was teaching how to swim in the lake. Looking at them, I was reminded of how as a youngling I had loved to splash and kick in the water with my classmates. I had been the best at holding my breath underwater among my friends, but that was no surprise. I was a Mon Calamari, born for swimming. Water was in my blood, in my veins.

    It seemed so long ago that I was a youngling—as if it had been a different Bant who had done those things—but I knew what seemed a long time to me would have only been as an eyeblink to Master Yoda. My whole life, I was sure, would be as an eyeblink to Master Yoda. The idea should have been disturbing, but it was impossible to be disturbed when the air was filled with the sweet perfume of purple passions and everlilies and when the the lake rang with youthful laughter. It was impossible not to feel at peace even with death when so much life thrived around me, shining in my eyes and echoing in my ears.

    “An invasion of younglings intruding on our solitude.” Tahl noticed the arrival of the excitable, energetic children at the lake. She rose with a rustle of robes. “I flee before it.”

    Standing as well, I grinned as I asked, “Do younglings frighten you, Master?”

    “Certainly they do as they should all sane beings.” Tahl’s sightless eyes twinkled bright and keen at me. “If you don’t believe me, Padawan, you can volunteer with the younglings in the creche and very soon you’ll be persuaded to my point of view.”

    Thinking back on that conversation now before I go to sleep, I know that she meant it as a joke, but I believe I might just give it a try the next time she leaves me alone at the Temple when she goes off on a mission among the stars. Volunteering with the younglings in the creche would fill some of the empty hours while I wait for my Master to return to me, and I know it is inevitable that she will leave me alone at the Temple again no matter how much she promises to take me with her the next time she goes. That inevitability hovers like a gray cloud between us, impossible to dismiss even when we try to ignore it. Neither one of us can be blind to it. If we see the light, we also see the shadows, and that is the balance of the Force and the wisdom of the Jedi: that we cannot be blind even if we want to be when it comes to some painful truths.

    The painful truth is that my Master will leave me alone again some day. I don’t know when.I just know that it will happen, and there is nothing I can do to prevent it. That means all I can do is try to prepare myself for it, and that starts with being honest with myself. There is no better place to be honest with myself than between your pages, dear diary, and so that is what I will do, confiding and discovering my truths in you.

    Now I must get some rest because my mind is exhausted from all this truth-searching. Sleep well beside me on my nightstand, dear diary. Knowing you are there next to me in the darkness is a comfort to me. You assure me that I am not alone in the night.
     
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  15. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host Who Loves Fanfics & RPGs star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    You give such a vivid, rich detailing of the scenery! It makes me feel surrounded by lovely flowers and sunlit glades just through your words.
    The warmth and rapport between Bant and Tahl is wonderful to read.

    Bant is honest in realizing that Tahl will leave her someday but does not take it as a sign of rejection or with resentment; this shows a maturity on her part.
     
  16. devilinthedetails

    devilinthedetails Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Jun 19, 2019
    @WarmNyota_SweetAyesha As always, thank you so much for commenting so faithfully![:D]

    The beautiful scenery of the Temple lake area was definitely at the heart of this chapter for me, so I'm so glad you felt surrounded by lovely flowers and sunlit glades. I admit that it is the middle of a gray winter where I live, so it was nice to be able to imagine all the beautiful flowers and sunlight. Artificial sunlight has its perks in that it isn't seasonal...

    I'm so happy to hear that you found the warmth and rapport between Bant and Tahl wonderful to read. It brought a smile to my face to write some of their dialogue.

    I agree with you that Bant is very honest to realize that Tahl will leave her someday. I think it is a sign of her maturity and growing wisdom that she doesn't take it as a sign of rejection or really feel resentment over it. It's hard for her when Tahl leaves her but also a chance for growth.
     
  17. Mira_Jade

    Mira_Jade The Fanfic Manager With The Cape star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Jun 29, 2004
    I too agree that the Temple scenery was beyond lovely to read through your words here! I could feel the sunlight on my face and smell the same flowers as Bant and Tahl could too! Beyond that, it was beautiful to glimpse such a serene moment between Master and Padawan, even when shadowed by the knowledge that Bant will be left behind again the next time Tahl is called away from the Temple. It's a sad dynamic to watch as it unfolds, and yet it's heartening to read Bant's reflections. She really is such a dear heart, with great internal strength and fortitude! [face_love]

    Then, I particularly enjoyed -

    Ha! I loved Bant moving the branch out of the way for Tahl - trying to support her Master even if Tahl doesn't quite need the assistance. Which sounds familiar, doesn't it? The line about Masters always knowling that which their Padawans would rather them not had me chuckling. It rang so close to home for all of our favourite duos!

    [face_laugh]!! I think that Tahl may be onto something there, even as Bant finds a suggestion to fill her time with purpose while Tahl is away on missions. I look forward to reading more along those lines.


    An excellent update, once again! :D =D=
     
  18. devilinthedetails

    devilinthedetails Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Jun 19, 2019
    @Mira_Jade, thank you so much for commenting! I'm glad that you found the Temple scenery so lovely to read about. I must admit it was a pleasure to write about it on a dreary winter day. One of my favorite parts of strolling through gardens and nature is that smell of flowers and feel of sunlight on the face and I really wanted to try to capture that in this diary entry, so I'm so happy that you could get those feelings through reading about the Temple scenery.

    I really did enjoy the chance to show a peaceful moment in beautiful surroundings between this Master and Padawan pair. I know that more sorrow will come for this pair when Tahl leaves Bant, but for now it is nice to have an opportunity to bask in some of their sweeter moments together.

    Bant really did seem like such a special soul in the Jedi Apprentice books. She was a gentle, sympathetic spirit with a wisdom beyond her years and a certain resilience about her, all traits I really admired. I hope I can do her amazing spirit justice in this diary.

    It makes me so happy that you found that line of Tahl's about Master always knowing the things their Padawans don't want them to know so amusing. I must admit that I was thinking of some other Master and Padawan pairings as well as I wrote it. [face_laugh]

    I definitely think that Bant would want to find small ways to help Tahl, who doesn't really want assistance, because good-hearted Bant always wants to help others, and that she would try to hide it to keep from embarrassing Tahl. But Tahl is too sharp to miss any of it.

    I think you may be clairvoyant because Bant may just find herself venturing into the creche to help with the younglings while her Master is away. Not that I want to give anything away. [face_whistling]
     
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  19. Mechalich

    Mechalich Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Feb 2, 2010
    This is very cute. The lighthearted, gentle tone suits a Padawan growing up during peace time, especially one who has yet to join her master on off-world missions.
     
  20. Briannakin

    Briannakin Grand Moff Darth Fanfic & Costuming/Props Manager star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Feb 25, 2010
    This is such a wonderful diary. The conversational tone with the imagery made the above few entires such a treat to read! Admittedly, I never read the JA novels, but I have come across Bant before and I do love reading from her prospective.

    This bit about the diary cover reminding her of 'home' and who she is is so beautiful, yet I found it so sad. Since she's a Jedi, she only really only knows it as the place she is from.

    Master Tahl is such a great teacher. I laughed at the "smell the droids" line because it reminded me so much of my father (who was blind). And I loved Bant's thoughts in reply.

    I loved this interaction between them. Of course Bant wants to help, but knows Tahl values her independence.
    Again, I just love their interactions. Tahl is so wise.
    I adore these brief retrospectives into her life as a youngling, they really bring her to life.
    [face_laugh] I gotta agree with Tahl here. Younglings frighten me too! BUT I think Bant should take up her Master's suggestion! I think Bant would do wonderfully with the younglings!

    I really had a great time reading this! Usually I'm a bit iffy about reading and reviewing diaries of characters I don't really know, but you made her seem so familiar so quickly =D=
     
  21. BookExogorth

    BookExogorth Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    May 4, 2017
    I like the start! You give a good voice to Bant and I think you're picking up on a plot thread from one of your earlier fics, about Tahl leaving Bant behind. Excited to see what Bant does this year!

    An interesting training sequence and an enjoyable lesson, though more so for me than for poor sore Bant! I always love exploring any kind of jedi instruction, and seeing what each individual master tends towards. The smell/taste was funny.

    Chapter three was good, and had some interesting contrasts between Bant and Tahl.

    I love this fic! Can't wait for the next chapter!
     
  22. devilinthedetails

    devilinthedetails Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Jun 19, 2019
    Dear Diary,

    Obi-Wan, my best friend in the galaxy (apart from you, of course, dear diary) will be leaving the Temple again. I spent this afternoon in his room helping him pack. He’s not leaving on a mission but a training exercise. It should be a fun bonding experience with his Master, but you wouldn’t know it by the worried expression he wore on his face when I stepped into his room after knocking and receiving an absent-minded response to enter. My dear friend Obi-Wan is forever worried about something, and it is always my job to soothe him.

    “Do you think I should bring an extra cable launcher?” he asked, glancing up from the checklist he was consulting as he packed. Obi-Wan was constitutionally incapable of packing without consulting a checklist.

    “That depends,” I replied, folding some clothes he had piled on the floor that were obviously awaiting transfer to his bag.

    “On what?” Obi-Wan lifted an eyebrow even as his gaze returned to his checklist.

    “Where you’re going and how lucky you’re feeling.” My lips quirked, anticipating his answer to the second half of my comment.

    “I’m always feeling like the least lucky person in the galaxy.” Obi-Wan didn’t disappoint. “I’m going to Ragoon-6 on a training exercise with my Master.”

    “It’ll be hard to feel like the least lucky person in the galaxy on Ragoon-6.” My lips rose into a soft smile. Ragoon-6 was, after all, a beautiful blue gem of a planet, one of the few remaining Core Worlds untouched by large scale civilization and therefore untainted by pollution. To ward against the dual invasive forces of civilization and pollution, the indigenous people of Ragoon-6 had yielded administration of the planet to the Galactic Senate. As a result, access to the planet was tightly controlled, and Jedi were among the few offworlders permitted on the planet for training exercises. “They say the mountains and meadows of Ragoon-6 are breathtakingly gorgeous. A million species of flowers grow there.”

    “The beauty of the landscape can only be rivaled by the ferocity of the malia,” Obi-Wan said wryly, referring to a species of vicious predatory beasts that inhabited Ragoon-6.

    “Well, you have to face some challenge or else it wouldn’t be a real training exercise, would it?” Determined to lighten his mood, I nudged him gently.

    “I suppose it wouldn’t.” Obi-Wan still looked glum, his forehead furrowing. “I just can’t help but wonder why Qui-Gon would want to go on this training exercise with me.”

    “Because he wants to have fun with you.” I nudged Obi-Wan gently again. Sometimes he could be oddly obtuse when it came to matters of emotional intelligence or the Living Force. “Because he wants to bond with you.”

    “Yes.” The knots in Obi-Wan’s forehead only tightened at my words. “But why does he want to bond with me? Does he not trust me? Does he not feel like we’re close?”

    That was the legacy of Melida-Daan, I thought. Obi-Wan was perpetually paranoid that Qui-Gon didn’t trust him—didn’t feel close to him. He sometimes failed to see what was under his nose, staring him in the face: that Qui-Gon trusted and relied on him.

    “Of course he trusts you. Of course he feels close to you,” I assured him in my most gentle and patient tone as if he were a timid creature that might startle if I spoke too loudly or impatiently. “He wants to spend more time with you because he likes spending time with you.”

    “Oh.” The clouds in Obi-Wan’s face finally dissipated into a wry grin. “I suppose he wants to keep me busy because he knows I worry too much.”

    “Exactly.” I tossed a teasing sock at him. “You worry too much, so just relax and enjoy Ragoon-6 for Qui-Gon and for me, all right?”

    His grin growing into a smile, Obi-Wan deflected the sock and promised me that he would do his best to enjoy his time on Ragoon-6.

    It was almost dinnertime when I finished helping Obi-Wan pack. I joined my Master in the refectory for a bite to eat. As we joined the line of Jedi waiting to select their meals from the buffet-style serving table, Tahl asked, “How did you fill the free afternoon I gave you, Padawan?”

    “I helped Obi-Wan pack,” I answered as the line moved forward. I was silent for a moment as we reached the trays, plates, and cutlery. I grabbed my tray, utensils, and platter in an instant, and then had to watch in what felt like agonizing slow-motion as Tahl felt around the table, finding each object that she needed. I wanted to help her—to direct her to each item—but I knew she would not appreciate the aid, so I bit my tongue until she had collected everything she needed to eat. Then I went on as if there had been no interruption to our conversation, “He’s going on a training exercise to Ragoon-6 with Master Qui-Gon.”

    “Yes, Qui-Gon mentioned that.” Tahl nodded as the line took another step forward, bringing us to the first hot dish. Sniffing the air, she added, “Smells like nerf casserole.”

    “It is nerf casserole,” I confirmed, glancing down at the rather uninspired dish of ground nerf hidden beneath a bed of a root vegetable that was supposed to be white but had turned charcoal black in the oven.

    “Smells like burned nerf casserole.” Tahl must not have missed the slightly singed quality to the air, but that was no surprise. Tahl’s sharp nose never missed anything olfactory.

    “That’s because it’s been burned to a crisp, Master,” I told her even though she had probably guessed that. It never did any harm to have one’s suppositions confirmed, after all.

    “I think I’ll pass then.” Tahl wrinkled her nose.

    “Me too,” I agreed as the line inched forward again. Returning the discussion to a topic of more importance to me, I asked with as much courage as I could—probably still sounding tentative and shy as a scolded initiate—“Isn’t it nice that they’re going on a training exercise together?”

    I wanted to believe that I wasn’t hinting at anything—that I wasn’t expecting anything from my Master that she couldn’t give—but that might not have been entirely true, and maybe Tahl sensed that as well for her lips curved into an expression that seemed like a sad one trying to disguise itself as upbeat. “Yes, it’s very nice. Perhaps we’ll go on a training exercise like that one day.”

    “Perhaps we will,” I murmured, even though I sensed that these words were somehow a lie—that a training exercise to Ragoon-6 would be yet another item on a long list of things Tahl and I would never do together, things that I would have to accept Tahl and I would never do together any time before entropy overtook the universe, transforming it all into a cold and barren wasteland.

    Tonight as I tuck myself into bed, I still think it would be nice if my Master and I could go on a training exercise to Ragoon-6 as Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon are, but I know that it will never happen anywhere outside my dreams. I can only hope that it will happen in my dreams tonight so that at least I can take comfort in the notion that it happened on one plane of reality. Good night, dear diary. May your dreams if you have them be sweet as mine.

    @Mechalich Thank you so much for commenting! I'm so glad that you found this cute and thought that the light tone perfectly suited a Padawan coming of age during peacetime. Some of Bant's innocence might fade as she begins to go on missions, but she'll still retain that gentle soul as she grows, and I hope that will show in her diary:)

    @Briannakin Thank you so much for your kind and detailed comment! I'm so flattered that you found this to be a wonderful diary. [face_blush] I am really enjoying the chance to take a more conversational tone in this diary, and to explore some of the Temple setting, so I'm so glad that you're enjoying those elements as a reader. I hope you'll continue to be able to enjoy Bant's diary despite not having read the JA books.

    The cover of the diary reminding Bant of home was one of my favorite details from the first entry so I'm so pleased that it resonated with you. I agree that there is something poignant and sad about that since Bant has spent her life at the Temple and wouldn't really know her home planet beyond the fact that it is the place where she was born.

    I agree that Master Tahl is a great teacher. I always get a bit nervous writing about someone blind not being blind myself, so it is reassuring to know you were reminded of your blind father in reading that passage.

    One of my most moving passages as I wrote was the part about Bant wanting to help but Tahl obviously valuing her independence, and it's nice to hear that you also were touched by that part. I am overall just so glad you love the interactions between Bant and Tahl as well as Bant's reflections on her time as a youngling. I can understand Tahl's feelings of being afraid of younglings, but I do think that Bant might very well shine working with younglings and she may indeed find herself helping out with them as the story progresses.

    @BookExogorth Thank you so much for commenting! :D I'm so happy to hear you think I'm giving Bant a good voice, and, yes, I'm kind of picking up a plot thread from my earlier story about Bant often being left behind when Tahl goes on missions. This story will also cover some events in the JA books, not that I want to spoiler anything. The training exercise was interesting for me to write, though my heart did go out to poor, sore Bant by the end of it for sure. So glad you like the interactions between Bant and Tahl. I hope you enjoyed this next chapter as much as the previous three!
     
  23. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host Who Loves Fanfics & RPGs star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Bant is wonderful as she mentions the high points of a lovely world and that it wouldn't be a true training exercise without a challenge. ;)

    THIS:

    “I suppose it wouldn’t.” Obi-Wan still looked glum, his forehead furrowing. “I just can’t help but wonder why Qui-Gon would want to go on this training exercise with me.”

    “Because he wants to have fun with you.” I nudged Obi-Wan gently again. Sometimes he could be oddly obtuse when it came to matters of emotional intelligence or the Living Force. “Because he wants to bond with you.”

    “Yes.” The knots in Obi-Wan’s forehead only tightened at my words. “But why does he want to bond with me? Does he not trust me? Does he not feel like we’re close?”

    “Of course he trusts you. Of course he feels close to you,” I assured him in my most gentle and patient tone as if he were a timid creature that might startle if I spoke too loudly or impatiently. “He wants to spend more time with you because he likes spending time with you.”

    That was wonderful and affirming, definitely a caring and compassionate and sincere exchange!

    Which becomes all the more poignant when Bant, to herself and to the diary, confides that she feels like she and Tahl will never share such a thing, until entropy takes over the universe?! :_| [:D] [:D]

    I wish I could assure her her worries are unfounded. @};-

    On a totally real-to-life note, Bant's reactions to wantint to help Tahl but holding back is definitely a hard balance. =D=
     
  24. Mira_Jade

    Mira_Jade The Fanfic Manager With The Cape star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Jun 29, 2004
    This was another lovely update!

    [face_laugh] Oh but this was just so quintessentially Obi-Wan! I love how much Bant is his Very Best Friend here. This really summed up their bond in one wonderful scene! [face_love]

    Oh sweetie, you want to deepen your bond only with someone you love and trust! You were able to pack quite a bit of characterization into a few short words. Melida/Daan is hanging over them both - and always will, sadly, in a way - but Obi-Wan's fears are unfounded in their entirety. Bant's ability to alleviate her friend's emotional burdens was touching here. [face_love]

    [face_laugh] I loved this exchange!

    Oh but this hurt - mostly because Bant is sadly right. She really is in a tough place while Tahl grapples with her own demons, but they'll get there!

    It made me quirk a smile at the end there too for how very teenager-esque Bant's little bit of exaggerated griping was. :p Because isn't that exactly what a diary is for, let's be honest? [face_mischief]


    Great work, once again! =D=
     
  25. AzureAngel2

    AzureAngel2 Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jun 14, 2005
    I did hurry to catch up again.

    Being a kindergarten teacher, I liked this chunk of text from the penultimate update:

    “An invasion of younglings intruding on our solitude.” Tahl noticed the arrival of the excitable, energetic children at the lake. She rose with a rustle of robes. “I flee before it.”

    Standing as well, I grinned as I asked, “Do younglings frighten you, Master?”


    “Certainly they do as they should all sane beings.” Tahl’s sightless eyes twinkled bright and keen at me. “If you don’t believe me, Padawan, you can volunteer with the younglings in the creche and very soon you’ll be persuaded to my point of view.”

    A lot of my friends could not do what I do. Because they dislike children or feel helpless around them. I must say, that I have a lot of respiratory diseases and diseases of the digestive tract since I started working at the creché in summer 2017. You do not have that with older kids. I must therefore warn our young Calamari padawan to go down that path. (At least she would run no danger catching head lice.)

    As for longing to have training exercise to Ragoon-6 or going places with her master, there is a famous quote from one of the books of J.R.R. Tolkien:

    “It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.”


    Staying at the Corsucant temple seems a less dangerous option.