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“Apprentice, come over here,”

Lewwen’s voice cut through the silence that had been festering between them for weeks. The older man had never seemed angry or upset, but nonetheless he had spoken not a single word to Malthis since shortly after the two left the clinic after the young Miraluka had replaced his hand with the prosthetic.

As injuries went, losing a hand didn’t really even rank in the top ten. Cybernetic prosthetics were common, even among Jedi, both of the old and the new. Even so, the loss of his hand, his lightsaber, and his grandfather’s ring had hurt him beyond the physical. It was a blow to his pride and ego, perhaps one which he sorely needed. Malthis had spent much of the past weeks in meditation and contemplation. The last things Lewwen had said to his apprentice were as follows:

“Your next lightsaber will be one you build yourself. You will not take one from the Order, there are others who need one more who cannot craft their own. This will be the first of your Trials of Knighthood. I suggest you begin preparing for it.”

Malthis might have thought to voice his disagreement, but wisely chose to keep his fool mouth shut. The apprentice had never had any success arguing with his master, so why should this be any different? He silently acquiesced, giving a low bow of his head, and retreated to his chambers. And there he would stay for days studying, only emerging to eat, drink, and engage in the necessary functions of the body. Lewwen had enjoyed the silence.

And so it came as a surprise when the old man called Malthis to him at last. He was sitting in the lounge of his ship, the Faint Echo. Lewwen had acquired the nondescript Lantillian Short Hauler years ago, before Malthis had become the man’s apprentice. It had served Lewwen well, and the scrapes and bruises the ship had taken over the years had been well tended by its owner.

“When you came to the Jedi Order, what did you know about us?” The old man asked.

“Not a lot. Stories mostly, passed down from my mother. Her father was a Jedi, but she did not know him well. He died fighting for the Rebellion,” Malthis said quietly, sitting down on the chair opposite his master when signalled to do so.

“When was the last time you spoke to your mother?”

“It has been … a long time.”

“You should contact her more often, Malthis. She misses you. This is not the Jedi Order of old. We don’t discourage familial relationships. Don’t get bogged down in the old rules.” Lewwen smirked, and then shifted in his seat slightly, watching the younger man. “Before I agreed to take you on as my apprentice, I met your mother. I travelled to Alpheridies, and we had a nice lunch. Lovely woman, your mother. She’s had a hard life. She deserves to see and hear from her son more often,” he admonished. Malthis gave a sheepish nod; there could be no argument against it, Lewwen was, as usual, entirely correct.

“Before that happened,” Lewwen continued, motioning to Malthis’ prosthetic right hand, “I met with your mother again. She had contacted me a few months ago. I thought at first she was merely missing her son …” He trailed off, picking up the small leather-bound book sitting on the small table next to him. “She wanted me to give you this. I kept meaning to pass it along, but you seemed intent on giving me reasons not to,” he finished with another smirk. “I haven’t read it myself. It isn’t really my place, though I will admit that curiosity had almost gotten the better of me on more than one occasion. I hope you find it enlightening. Maybe even helpful.”

Malthis took the book from the man when he held it out, running his fingers over the tough leather covering. “Thank you,” he said quietly. Lewwen bowed his head in response, stood, and left the room without another word. Malthis held the book a moment longer, before opening it and casting his Force-based vision down to the first page.

<PERSONAL JOURNAL OF DASCHEL KELLERIS>

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