Second Chances (Zain Kalan)

I made the master who still says I am not ready to be trained a saberstaff by way of apology for my being impudent before.

I really could use some guidance and training.

Walessa and I helped a colonist family that was in trouble and he said I did show some potential but then he told me all the angles I hadn’t perceived as alternatives where it could have gone much more badly and in hindsight I do see some ways I could have subdued their attacker more immediately and effectively. Then we wouldn’t have had to get the mother and child to the hospital.

How am I supposed to live by the code? He said… just do what’s right in your heart and keep practicing. That’s what I HAVE BEEN DOING!

Doctor H and Irad are mad at me for not being able to magically absorb their instructions and that I struggle to use the force. I don’t blame them. I’m just… not good at things. The only way to get better is to struggle I think but they get frustrated with my lack of progress and I am too.

I wish I hadn’t ended up coopting the lesson she had with her master. No, that wasn’t nice. It wasn’t exactly on purpose but the end effect was the same.

I get it. I’m untrained, rough around the edges and unrefined from being self-taught. I don’t have the benefit of a straightforward mentor either. He wants me to figure stuff out on my own but I kind of have no bloody idea what I am doing. I happened to get better at saber-craft. I kept working on it until I got better. The force is strange and I don’t get how to use it to lift things or manipulate objects.

I can push them in a direction… sort of. No sustained floating though.
And inanimate materials can call out to me. Crystals have their own “songs” when you listen for them. Metals too.

More practically, I have increased the maximum lifting capacity of cybernetic arms to 7000+ lbs.
I am worried about being left behind. I’m never going to be good enough. Everything is harder than it needs to be. Well, fine! I’ll just deal with it.

If I’m too impure to be a Jedi then I can live with just being a force sensitive who likes technology. I’ll watch the others progress forward while I’m held back. I agree I’m not ready yet but I have no real clue how to get ready.

Letting go of anger was the first step but now what?

Well, okay why did I want to become a Jedi? I wanted to prove that your background you start out with doesn’t matter. I wanted to show even if you aren’t a noble or a government official that you can still be that kind of symbol that gives hope to people in the Republic. Alright?

I get it. I’m doing it all wrong and I’ll probably never get where I am trying to go.

Finding peace… I am calm when I am at a work bench when it isn’t just me and the materials I have salvaged and I allow my thoughts to drift a bit… not too locked and not too free flowing, just there. Then I pour focus into constructing an object. It doesn’t always turn out right but I try again and again and gradually it gets better usually.

I can make up to tier III armor now and maximum lifting capacity is now 4 tons. I am no closer in understanding the ways of the force but a little princess I made friends with let me use her washroom when she realized I was homeless again; Rebels blew up the building Shade had loaned me the use of… again. They keep doing that. Captain Beli was going to let me have a cot in the crew section of her ship but she’s been offworld a bunch and that didn’t pan out. As for Irad… she and Dr. H need time away from me. I’m too frustrating to them.

So it is there will be a whole lot more self training. It is what I am used to anyway. The princess who is a Jedi… told me that she had learned though everybody has a connection to the force that not everyone feels and experiences it in the exact same way. She was scouted and taken in for training at 8 years of age. I came into things later and am trying to figure it all out at 30. It seems oftentimes masters prefer younger students as they are easier to shape and mold.

With an adult it is said to be harder both for the trainer and for their apprentices.

So by withholding… my master is hoping I will figure more things out on my own and it is a test of my resolve. It is hard mode, not having your hands held and being provided just the bare minimum amount of guidance.

This is both frustrating but also I guess rewarding in a way. Figuring bits and pieces out in spite of having extra obstacles put up in my way.
I can prove I too am a tough nut to crack. I just need to be dedicated and keep going rather than give in to despair. Let’s just see how things work out.

With young Princess Sandra’s bit of guidance I am seeing my master’s “noninterfering hands-off” method of teaching through “non-instruction” as instruction in its own odd special way.

I don’t know much about the force or how to use it. Therefore unlearning what I think I know might be a breakthrough past the barrier of what is holding me back!

I learned force pull under the guidance of the little princess… turns out we are both from Coruscant but obviously from different parts. Her family was from the sky towers and mine is from the Middle-Lower ultra-dense suburban arcologies.

Levitation still evades my grasp.

The Jedi have been banned from Viscara by Czerka security… which probably hurts padawans like Irad more considering they have masters who actually train them, unlike mine, who refused to explain much of anything and keeps saying “not good enough, try harder!”
Quite a blow for padawans.

Well like Sandra said, my grasp over the force as an untrained sensitive is about equal to that of a youngling…

In a way my master refusing to formally accept me as an apprentice is to my own benefit the way this shaped out. Since Jedi are a persona non-grata on this planet my being “not one” will help with keeping my cover.

It must be quite a blow to those who did get accepted as padawans though.

Speaking of grasp…
Current lifting capacity with recent modifications totals an excess of 8200 lbs. crazy.

My Chiss friends want to give me some discipline. They don’t like the force but they are onto something. I’ve never been a soldier and so I don’t know a whole lot about how to rapidly obey and resist distractions too well. They do. Their entire society is pretty danged efficient.
Bring on the boot camp!

I am studying Cheunh and my Shyriiwook has gotten noticeably better!
To do: Continue honing sabercraft and lightsaber swordsmanship. My master isn’t going to train me or teach me anything at all so I need to teach myself. He by his own admission stated I was not ready yet.

Others advance ahead of me. Fine! Since the ability with the force I have is very different from the other Jedi I have encountered both light and dark and I guess many force sensitives in general this may be an uncharted territory I am attempting to navigate.

So, I am having to figure out how to be a Jedi without much in the way of guidance.

These are the things I have been thinking about to myself while working out:
Okay Zain, what does being a Jedi mean to you? You aren’t one yet and may never get to be one but let’s examine it a moment, setting those doubts and ugly realities of struggles and frustrations, shortcomings aside.

You do what you can to preserve life.
I screwed up the mission but I did keep both the mother and her child protected and alive. Although if I had done a better job subduing their attacker they would not have gotten wounded in the process and we wouldn’t have had to take them to the hospital. I should have held onto that droid memory core too to review the holo footage rather than immediately forking it over to the authorities. Ugh. Rookie mistakes. I sought putting the safety of the mother and child above solving the mystery… and will just have to live with it, knowing we may never know the whole reason why her husband who was possibly into weapons making or some sort of unsavory wetwork had made such an irate enemy.

The attacker said the man (who had fled and was hiding but I at the time of this entry assume to be still alive, hopefully reunited with his family) had killed his family and so he was going to kill the woman and child of his enemy in retribution. I didn’t let him and when negotiations broke down and he insisted on trying to kill them anyway we came to blows. That family’s broken droid was a domestic model which on observation I believed to have had some blaster mounts placed on it as a custom modification… which is odd but they live out in the wilderness pretty far away from Veles colony so it’s plausible that might have been for defense against predators and burglars.

I guess the attacker trashed it when it performed its duty trying to protect the woman and child. When Walessa and I arrived on the scene it was already totaled and he was menacing them.

Maybe it would have been better if instead of using the force to slam their assailant into the wall, at which point he totally lost it and started flailing and firing wildly… I’d shot him in the leg with a blaster instead. That would have perhaps incapacitated him better. More rookie mistakes.

I have to already be proficient and have some expertise before the master is willing to teach me anything. This is very hard.

Letting go of anger and jealousy is a good start.
Okay yes, I acknowledged being jealous of Irad having it easier in that she has a better relationship with her instructor and generally more facility with the force than I do.

I acknowledged that my master is frustrating me.
I acknowledged that a lot of the time it feels like I don’t know what I am doing since I am mostly having to train myself…
And I don’t hate them for it. This is simply the way of things.
My path is different from hers.

Do I want to become a Jedi?
They are a symbol of hope and safety to the Republic.
Why did I pick the path of the Sentinel instead of a Guardian?
The Jedi consular and guardian felt too much like extremes and sentinel seemed a good middle ground. It also appealed to me as a non traditionalist.
What is the path of the Jedi Sentinel though?
I don’t fully know and can’t answer that truly but from what I have gathered about it thus far. Sentinels investigate things, I guess for the Jedi Council and some of them ferret out and eliminate dark side users, quickly, like a finely honed vibroblade. They also somewhat more embrace use of technology and espionage than guardians and consulars do.

A Jedi’s life is said to be one frought with personal sacrifice and you have to enjoy some things but in moderation and forgo the excesses of other ones.
Okay so you can drink sometimes or use certain recreational substances on occasion as long as you don’t overdo it.

You can’t get married or have children.
I don’t lay with women very often anyway so I don’t think that is going to be much of a problem.

What can I actually give, what is my contribution that would be of value to the Order?
I guess I’m not immediately useful, no.
I can use my innate ability to intuitively figure out devices somehow productively though, I just know it. Maybe with enough practice since there isn’t that structural support for how to train it…

I could write and record some instructional materials for other initiates who come after me, so that they don’t have all the same frustrations during training which I do, as well!
Well… Except, I’m not a Jedi. I’m not even a padawan.
Okay who cares though? The Jedi have so much bigger and more important things going on that probably unless I do it either nobody else will or some dark side user is gonna get the jump and take the opportunity to do it first.

I don’t feel qualified to instruct others when I am still figuring a lot of it out for myself, though.

Leave your old life behind. Living as a Jedi is different and this is a lifelong commitment towards a set of ideals.
Well, my thinking is it is and it isn’t. Yes. I understand it is not to be undertaken lightly.
Who is to say though that if skills you had under previous civilian or criminal vocations prior to joining the Order may be useful during a mission you cannot or should not employ those though?
I get it, I get it. Some behaviors are risky and if it is an activity that might make the Order look bad to the Republic you aren’t just representing yourself as yourself on worlds but may color an entire population’s opinion of the Jedi as a whole. Also there is that whole slippery slope downward into the dark side — thing.

My force attunement Is peculiar.
I have an affinity toward electronics and other inanimate materials.


It is innate and there are times where it allows me to intuitively visualize the inner workings of complex machinery. I can use the force to “see” the insides of devices. That is, their internal structural elements.


By concentrating and going into a state of sort of a focused unfocus… centered… I can also “hear” kybur crystals and certain metals.

I wonder… the force is said to be a living energy but there has to be some sort of interaction with it and these nonliving things too… How is it that I can detect and sense these vibrations of the pieces in a material?

Crystalline objects and metals have rigid bonds that form repeating structural patterns that oscillate as energy is put into, let out of and passed through them.

Well, solids and fluids have behavior in the physical sense. Creatures and people have behavior that way but also in an emotional sense.
The repeating sub-unit parts of the structure within a material… could reality be a fractal?

Okay so the last line of the written Jedi Order Code, which states that there is no death, there is the force, I think I understand this a bit better now. At least, I believe I do conceptually.

Hohenfel’s conjecture that when it comes to sentient but not truly alive things such as droids the builders and programmers may unintentionally imbue them with a thumbprint or residue of their emotional investment since it takes much work and effort to fashion a complex machine or any sort of artificial life… is brought into a new light for me.

Likewise what Princess Sandra suggested… that the primary owner or user of an item leaving behind some of his or her strong feelings on the object which is or was theirs…

Well, if the force is in all living things and a bond tying the universe together then it would be these traces left on things that are what I am experiencing.

I wonder… this would allow a person more adept to probably detect, manipulate and control inanimate things, in a way.
Me I have only used my ability thus far to scan materials with and occasionally fashion tools that have exceptional properties.

It makes sense that a ghostly echo of the feelings the primary wielder of a weapon or driver of a vehicle had could be left there on or in the object.

That could well be of use to The Order!
At least, it would be if trained properly.

Right now I have raw ability but not much discipline. Having potential doesn’t equal the same thing as harnessing it, to put it forward in applications.
With more skill I would perhaps be able to use it to glean things about the former owner or user of a device or the person who last used it.

Right now I can’t glean very much. The song of the materials does tell me some things though. You just have to listen to it.
A whole secret world…
Hidden, but not. As in most of the time our processing of the stimuli around us with our senses is too cluttered to even notice it.
Yet it is still there, within our world. Coexisting.

That would mean there can possibly be a different way of using that very same ability to visualize external things also associated with an object. Ghostly remnants of ennui, force echoes, emotional residue, “psychic resonance” or whatever you may wish to call that. I wonder HOW.

Even when Doc and the Private say I am progressing it doesn’t always feel like it. I know I’m not good enough yet.
I’m not EVEN a stinkin’ padawan. I’m just barely an inconsequential force sensitive. Hearing Sandra and Irad go on and on like The Jedi Order is so magnanimous… I try not to say anything bad about the Jedi to either of them but I’m not getting any sort of real guidance from those guys. The master I was assigned wants me to get this stuff all on my own before he even might be arsed to consent to begin teaching me.

I don’t feel like I’m ever going to be worthy, maybe. I just try to do the right thing anyway. Okay, and maybe it’s not good enough. Maybe I’m not good enough. Maybe I’m trying to force something that isn’t meant to be.

And yet slowly but surely, as I continue physically and mentally training… I am maturing and I adapt.

I haven’t earned the privilege of being taught by a master yet. That’s the truth to it that stings a little.

I would really like to have a master to train me and help me develop my abilities. I’d like it if we could laugh about things sometimes. I want to build some kind of a mentor-pupil relationship.

Okay letting go of the past: I’m not a smuggler or a racer anymore. I’m still a salvager but I am definitely a force sensitive. I am pretty much dead to my parents back on Coruscant and there’s nothing really tying me down to go home because that’s not my home anymore.

This is fine. Those chapters of my life are closed. I write the present and future ones in the now.

I do want to be a Jedi.
Why? Most of my life I have felt like a screw up.
I only recently got out of crime and racing.
That calmness and the helping people, that’s an asset to the Republic. I was born in the Republic’s center seat… Coruscant. Granted, not up in the sky towers as a rich person or down in the industrial waste runoff filled and occasionally radioactive sewer slum complexes where the abject poorest lived, but in the very dense suburban apartment arcologies in the middle. The lower middle.

The Jedi are a shining beacon. Maybe not always and maybe not so much since the Mandalorian Wars but they still mean something in much of the Galaxy on many worlds. Usually something good. Even when it’s something bad… they still have that mark, that air about them of fairness tempered by patience. At least that is in their ideals.

Perhaps the reality falls short.

I’m scared. Doctor H and Seela and somebody named Rathi are gonna need to remove my spine, but Althea says probably just to clean it or replace some of the rusted bits and then put it back in?! Something about the way the cybersurgeons and their medical droids on Taris augmented my spine apparently very much horrified the both of them when they were analyzing my body mods.

I don’t feel too great. Sandra doesn’t care about me. Sylia thinks all men are slime but that isn’t my fault. Irad is really sick and tired of my not being able to pretend every sucky thing is wonderful…

I don’t understand my force abilities very well either. They stopped working for a couple days and it was rather scary. All of a sudden my advanced and intuitive grasp over electronics and machinery was nothing and I could barely satisfactorily assemble anything.

It came back today when I started to feel a bit better about things and like I was helping Irad and Sandra and when I was with Dr. H. Also after Andro and I had the stupid fight and then we made up in Phyl’s workshop. That ex-Mandalorian was enjoying that I made many saber components from salvaged Mandal Motors parts. I gave him several of my best emitters to date and that’s part of when I realized I didn’t lose my gift because I tested it and made some more emitters and they were still good.

I added more furniture to my apartment, plus a fabrication terminal and an engineering bench! It feels less desolate, and I added an extra chair for when I am having over more than one guest, too.

It feels bad to me how detached from each other everybody is… then I get hit pretty hard by how close-knit groups are but I’m not. There are days it comes at you from both sides.
Example: Those twilek girls all hugging each other being super best-friends and me huddled up out in the cold alone, giving myself a hug.

Example 2: Jedi going on and on about great, fantastic and horrible Jedi centric things that they got to do, witness, experience on other worlds when getting missions from the council or their masters.

Example 3: Jedi getting instruction and guidance from their masters. Meanwhile, mine wasn’t even convinced that I am serious about it and I’m not sure how I can convince him.

All these other people are getting to do this awesome stuff and I’m pretty solidly stuck here grinding through chores… grumble.

I guess after Dr. H and Seela told me they would likely have to have Rathi (is this an anagram for Lanari?) take out my spine and wanted to replace out a lot of my custom cybernetics and implants I broke down and cried in front of Seela and Irad.
It was kind of a lot for me to bear.
I work my butt off, and try to do the right thing but it’s never really good enough. I’m literally working with parts and upgrades that had been assembled from old aftermarket used components or salvaged from junk… and people don’t get it.

You know? They get so damned annoyed with me and think it’ll all be sunshine and sparkly flowers because they have things nice and their friends and everything and I’m just supposed to be happy with nothing and no one.

I came to later still in her ship. I guess I passed out on some of the cushions she has in the main passenger area. It’s been a day or two. I stepped outside the ship and… found out she had gone to Mon Cala.
Great job Zain, once again, people forgot you existed because you were so not a blip on their radar and blended into the background.

You aren’t important to anyone. Irad hates you because you are negative and can’t just get over it that the master you were assigned doesn’t want to teach you. She’s got it great with the Jedi Order and whoever that Keyan guy is was the protector the Jedi Council gave her so let’s face it, I’m obsolete and irrelevant to her. No wonder that’s annoying. I guess I’d be annoyed too at some walking force sensitive insecure junk pile who wasn’t good enough to be a padawan being grumpy all up in this.

Yeah, no one needs you, you big jerk! It’s all my fault I got stranded on deadly Mon Cala.

There are no emotions, there is peace.

NO, that’s not true about the others. At least… I hope it isn’t. Okay Seela had Lanari sent to extract me from Mon Cala safely, I guess maybe I’m not so garbage that I was left out and forgotten then.

There are no passions, there is serenity. Yeah.

If I was trained properly instead of largely self taught I’d say remember your training to myself. The one thing my master has taught me is that above all else you have to fend for yourself and only those deemed favored are worthy of receiving instruction… I don’t think that was necessarily the point of his tests and “lesson” though.

I wonder if it is like this for Sith apprentices too maybe.
I have to shrug off this negativity, these self doubts and the anxieties.

I talked to Irad. She told me she does care about me a lot and understand that yeah, having to go under the knife and table again for more invasive cyber-surgery was scary to me… and how my master refusing to teach me was pretty frustrating.

She said if I still couldn’t get him to train me by the time she is a master Jedi then she would totally take me under her wing as a padawan.

I felt like a jerk right then for those times when I was jealous of her and her seemingly rapid advancement through The Order and her training.
I remembered why we were friends.

The relationship between a master or knight and his or her padawan apprentice is very close and important. …That’s why so many people were so upset at Verrac’s demise and death. Now it makes more sense to me. He must have been perceived as very much like a mentor figure to them.
That not having it (and possibly never getting the experience) still stings me.

The Chiss are pretty neat people.
Private Adush and Dr. H are gonna make sure that my upgrades to replace the old cybernetics are good and Seela the Twilek too because she knows her stuff about cybersurgery. People also insist this Rathi is probably the best surgeon on the planet too, so I guess that’s why they want to call on her for assistance during the more critical of the operations.

They’re more advanced than us humans in a number of ways and if I had to guess probably, like the Duros, have been spacefaring for a pretty long time.

I don’t always pronounce things correctly in my Cheunh and it still makes Chiss people wince often. They are too stiff and polite to say it is horrible mangling of their people’s tongue but their facial expressions betray it. There is something for me to continue to work on; it would be nice to be able to use their proper standard grammar when speaking it rather than a broken form of the language!

Apparently the Jedi master - Padawan apprentice relationship in its proper form, does involve some direct instruction and tutelage. The master knight goes on missions given by the council and his or her apprentice does a “ride along”, accompanying their trainer to the troubled worlds where he or she observes and learns from their mentor during these.
That is the way it is supposed to work.

I don’t feel like I am progressing very well.
It’s a struggle but so are most things in life that are worth it.
As soon as I started feeling those old pangs of jealousy at the others having much further progress in their Jedi training and direct guidance from their masters in much way shorter time in contrast to mine I set those petty feelings aside though.
I realized… okay, it’s going to take me much longer than them to get where I am supposed to go. That’s just the way of things. Part of it is because I don’t have a roadmap that’s clearly marked out; instead I am piecing it together from evidence and having to go back and revisit things multiple times.

I also think I may have partly deduced the identity of the master I was assigned. Who and what he is beneath his mask and hood is beginning to make a bit more sense, though with so little concrete to go from, and mostly just suggestions, hints and half-informations I cannot be truly certain.

Irad, bless her, gave me a hint. I didn’t tackle the problem the right way before. I was beating myself up for not being able to correctly guess what hidden things my master wanted from me. I still do but she got me thinking about things a different way.

Maybe my master did not mean the Jedi Code itself was what I lack in but since I am untrained in the ways of a Jedi-sentinel, he meant I am not following that class of Jedi’s protocols correctly.

Things would be a whole lot easier if he would just sit down with me and teach me a straightforward, formal lesson, without all the essential pieces hidden beneath layers and cloaked in nebulous shadow. That is not his way, however.

I need some structured guidance to flourish. Expecting me to learn the entirety of how things are done on my own without any helping supports… is much, much harder “training” than my peers are receiving. They advance so rapidly with but only bits of direct guidance.

My Master has chosen instead of lighting my path for me to place me in a shadow world where very little will make sense and you should constantly scan, always second guess and double check everything.

I know there are details which are overlooked during an initial investigation.

Okay, I don’t have the ability to acutely read people which Irad has and developed. I can’t home in with laser like precision to quickly pick out a dark side user the way my master can, nor can I have the force tell me an enemy’s weak spots. What I have is the ability to sometimes “feel” electronics and materials.

I am untrained. My ability is raw and unrefined and no one is going to mentor me in how to use it better.
I cannot prove myself as worthy to my master. I do not know how to. He seems to think I can or he wouldn’t have told me to try again or to keep going.
There are very few certainties. Therefore, I have to believe in myself and my “talents” though they are unpolished and quite often lacking. It gets very frustrating.

I know this hardening of challenges is a type of conditioning and needs to be intentional. I know that my not instantly and passing as if through magic my tests is cause for concern.

I would very much benefit from a trainer but the others in The Order want me to struggle through trying to grasp all the fundamentals and basics on my own. Somehow.

Either this is an unwinnable trap I have set myself up into or my master wants me to somehow triumph through this particular adversity.

Yeah, triumph with no training and no teaching. That’s messed up.
There is a part of me that thinks he doesn’t want me to succeed and with having extremely high standards and astronomical expectations he would prefer me maybe to fail and not become a Jedi.

The machine song I hear does not judge me as unworthy. It brings perhaps the only distinct clarity within this swirling maelstrom of thoughts, feelings, lies and fragments of half-truths I am made to work with all around me instead of actual facts and information to be able to nail down.

I think I was too swept up in frustrations at my master’s directives feeling clear as mud and the advice others in The Order were giving me coming across as extremely obtuse… and that caused me to misunderstand his pride and very high standards before.

Oh great, one teasing offhand remark to Irad and now she’s afraid to touch or talk to me. What a huge leap backwards that was. I just said sometimes when you hug me your Lekku tickle and then Seela explained that when it’s intentional that is very intimate and now…

And she doesn’t get the culture of us Borgs.
There is the fight for do you want to be more man or more machine and worrying about losing your ability to feel.
You wouldn’t just clone the cyborg new natural body parts and strip them of their cybernetics…

When I said quietly, I like you too under my breath, I meant as a friend!
We already covered that we can’t be more than just friends a long time ago because it would mess her up in trying to be a Jedi. Double ugh.

Also it turns out that Keyan person is one of the masters so I was feeling inappropriately jealous and insecure again.

Talked to Irad.

Told her I only liked her as a friend and that she was like a sister to me.
Said to her I got why she told me to take better care of myself and got cross with me when I didn’t was because I was like a brother to her.
Brushed off the occasional accidental lekku tickles during a hug as being we were like siblings. This calmed her down.

Althea and Seela insisting it was sensual between lovers had her agitated.

Mood swings from drug addiction withdrawal combined with frustrations about The Jedi Order and my difficult master gave me an unprecedented glimpse at my own dark side. It was an ugly beast at that.

I told Irad that it’s the man or woman under the machine bits that makes a cyborg and she seemed to like this.

Did some drills with Now Captain Adush.
He gets that the mood swings from drug addiction withdrawal aren’t a joke and that it comes from my having faulty spine implants.

I have to go clean for a period of time before the cybersurgeons can work on my body to where possible remove and if not then replace the old worn out implants.

They will see what can done about the spinal structural and nervous system augmentation (SSNA) already in place too.
I suspect trying to remove it all would be probably not a good idea since this is what’s left of my spine we are talking about and a category of cybernetics that is integrated into my nervous system. The implants should be swappable though.

Being forbidden from even doing basic maintenance on myself is emasculating. If anybody understood the culture of us ‘borgs… they’d know routine calibration is a thing we all do. Well, Terrini explained to Irad it was which is good because she thought it was just something I made up.

I get it, I get it, they think I did the bad job of the spine implants to myself. What I want on the new arms is a compartment for my light saber and a quick draw mod for my blaster firing arm. That’s just two customizations above a general purpose set of arms.

Well there’s some good news… with newer tech and higher quality stuff that’s stable I should require much less frequent recalibration.
Right now on the junk set I currently have I have to retune it once every 6-8 hours.

Elbows are a bit more worn than they should be. I’m finding stray loops of wire sticking out and loose screw panels that need tightening.

I haven’t been altering my cybernetics any further but with tests I measured my upper strength limit at 1045 lbs. I don’t want to freak Dr. H and Irad out any more than they already are so I’ll just keep that to myself for now. Earlier it was 9333 lbs before.

The truth is my parents hated me. I was abused quite a bit and ended up running away from home.
Captain Adush told me to erase the past to move forward. I am to forge a new present. Okay… I am Zain —Percival— Kalan,- No, strike that. I never liked my middle name. Let’s just go with Zain Kalan.
I am no longer from Lower Coruscant. I am a colonist on Viscara.

Am I a screwup and too impure to ever become a Jedi? Probably.
No such thing as trying and you either do or don’t? What is this -nonsense-?
Figuring stuff out is hard.
Why would I want to be one if they are so… blargh! I guess to prove them wrong that I can? That’s probably the wrong reason.

Okay let’s frame things in a more positive way: I see things in ways the Jedi cannot. In the same way I am blinded to their secrets they are disconnected from the average person. What good is that hyper-awareness when you cannot understand the plight of the working sentient in the galaxy and if you forget we all live in the same universe?
Supposedly everything is connected but they sure seem to enjoy the isolation… ugh.

You have to know yourself and know the else, the other. The limits of these things. Their barriers and extents. People love their barriers and illusion of privacy to the point that when you pierce through it with an uncomfortable truth they typically become hostile.

In the same way lies are weapons truth is an arrow.

I am not out of touch with what regular people have to deal with. That is a good thing and aides me in helping them.

I have immense physical strength too.
Redoing the math though it seems for the maximum carrying capacity I was off by a magnitude ten times higher than what it actually was… this whole time.
I did make a mistake in my math earlier!

Hey, maybe self control is power.
Okay, so then on that part The Order is right.
How do you demonstrate it though without knowing the techniques to maintain it to a high enough steady degree?

Well, you find out. They say: “There is no ignorance, there is knowledge.”
What that means is the truth is out there as solutions to the problems you encounter… just we don’t always know the right ways to seek it.

I fight my own addiction… during the withdrawals… and win, though it takes a lot out of me and every day is a struggle.

The code is helping me. Using it as a mantra when I crave the chemicals… through the body shock and the temporary psychotic breaks at not having that dose my systems are used to.
It keeps me from going over past the edge.

Have faith they say. That is difficult when there are no real concrete signs one way or the other you are going in the right direction.
That’s how life is though.

The force isn’t gonna tell you everything. It is just going to hint at stuff: your destiny isn’t going to all be laid bare in front of you. Some stuff is unwritten and has not yet been set.

Inward I saw in myself a few potential selves. There was the miserable addict, the future Jedi, and the failed apprentice all fighting with each other. The Jedi version fought calmly though. It was unclear who came out from it on top.

Other people in The Order who are ranked padawan or higher say that your master is supposed to be there to help you and give you advice.
Mine… has not been.
I am unsure how I would convince him to want to take me under his wing as an apprentice. I can’t even curse his name because I do not know it. Maybe he was trying to show me how to be more mysterious?!
How does that even work?

I do not hate him what I hate is the whirling vortex of uncertainty. I want tools to cut through it. Since I don’t really know too much what I am doing with the force yet I can work on my reasoning abilities.
There must be techniques to better calm this maelstrom of chaos.

If I could just find something similar for during analyzing and observation to that calm and quick reflexive flow state which can be achieved in instinctive combat… perhaps.

So I guess what I still have to learn is how to look at seemingly impossible to solve problems as a rewarding challenge with which to push past old limits rather than something insurmountable designed to punish.

At least now I understand my own negativity from self-doubts holds me back. That’s what my friends were trying to tell me before and it was hard for me to hear them over it. It’ll always be there in the background deep inside the back of my heart and mind I suspect but the difference is now I have tools to combat and keep it in check.
Hey mom and dad,
So here’s the thing… I couldn’t be the postmaster you wanted so desperately for me to be. I know you guys tried given your limited toolbox of parenting techniques to have me turn out what to you guys was your version of okay.
You saw working for the government as a ticket out of the tiny arcology we were in and into a slightly bigger or roomier set of ultra dense urban housing project boxes.
So it dismayed you guys when I was more of a tinkerer, hot-modder and into vehicles and machines.
I am and will always be a gearhead at heart.
That’s why I had to run away.
I finally got my life turned around now as a cyborg seeking to become a Jedi. I know it’s not what you wanted but I don’t bear you guys any more malice because what’s done is done and it’s in the past so it should stay there.
One thing you guys were right about… there’s no escaping high impact testing. Even if it isn’t written tests… the master I’ve been assigned gives really mind-bending character tests. You guys would like him. He’s got incredibly high standards and pushes me to be a better person even if I don’t always like it. Kind of like you guys always tried to.
I kept our family name anyway, hoping I don’t know that eventually I can do something good enough that maybe we’ll one day be known in the galaxy as something more than just postmen.
I’m gonna take the good parts and leave behind the not so good. You guys were always very dedicated to your professions. I know that it meant the Galaxy to you, even if our paths are different.

I learned my master’s name. It’s… [REDACTED].
And I finally passed one of his tests.
People are telling me because I had issues with my temper when going through drug withdrawals they think I’m unfit to be a padawan but he didn’t say so. He said I would take some more tests.
We were practice dueling and I let him beat me to within an inch of my life. When asked why I told him it was because I refused to strike him in anger. I get that if you strike somebody in anger even if it helps you to “win” then it makes you automatically lose. He liked that answer.

Maybe I actually am worthy and people are wrong.
I can be wrong. I can recognize now some of the times where I was wrong about myself. You can surpass your old limits by learning to look at problems a different way and trying different approaches.

The only real thing I concretely am going to need from the Chiss tech cyberspine is for it to structurally be able to withstand how my arms are capable of lifting 10,450 lbs. Also having the broken pain inhibitor chip removed is going to help probably. It isn’t supposed to be making you feel consistently like garbage most of the time. That isn’t its job.

My anger and fear were holding me back. I sort of have those under control now though. They aren’t gone and I don’t think ever will be from me but I have the tools now to cope better.

It still pains me to hear padawans and other Jedi go on and on about how the relationship between an apprentice and master is close and they really bond with each other. I get it is supposed to be important.
Mine… isn’t like theirs.

I think he might be from Iridonia. I will learn what I can about the culture of the Zabrak and Iridonians even though it will not likely get me any closer to becoming his padawan in itself.

I did pass his last test and he did tell me I would be given more trials to determine my character, so that’s not a fail. I remind myself that.

How the hell can you feel a connection and bond to somebody when you until very recently didn’t even know his name? I still don’t know what he looks like under that face obscuring helmet but I kind of have deduced some of it from how he moves and the way he fights plus how he acts. For example I know he is a male biped and probably near human humanoid because he’s got two arms and legs and one head. Anatomically he seems to have the same number of fingers as me so we will assume it is the same for toes and that he doesn’t have hooves since he wears boots.

I know he has to come from a martial culture and that he is capable of speaking galactic basic.
It’s one that is very likely proud of its warrior traditions and also built from a harsh world.

Jedi and this master in particular are big about discipline and self-control. Who in the galaxy is both okay with the idea of there being the force and also think giving in to losing control is a bad thing?

He didn’t strike me as being from some place strongly matriarchal so that rules out Echani and also would I guess mean possibly not a person from Dathomir either?

Captain Adush and I have saved each ofher’s Bantha bacon more times than I care to admit.

The right thing is not going to always be the easiest thing.
I know that.
Even when it seems like the right path is doing your damnedest to scale an insurmountable mountain… you have to just remind yourself it is the right thing.
You don’t do it for praise or recognition.
You do it because if you don’t someone else is going to have to and in the interim more people are gonna needlessly suffer just so that a few power player elites can keep feeling good about themselves.

The Order very much needs more “men on the street” to be eyes and ears for what’s going on in places. People to infiltrate the underbelly too.

I don’t know that they don’t already have those and they do, I think that is Sandra’s job for example but until I am distinctly told otherwise I am my own ill-informed solo splinter cell trying to Sentinel watchman or guardian peacekeeper as best I can, ridiculously absurd as it might feel at times.

I have been assigned a task by Irad and her Master and I will succeed at it.

I know about being seduced by the dark side. That little voice telling you to give into your negative feelings that it will feel good is not unlike when you are resisting relapse while recovering from drug addiction. I also know in my gut that like with spice, stims, and alcohol, it’s a lie. The lie that you will become more powerful surrendering control of yourself to some external thing is just that. Once the ride is over you will have hurt yourself and people you cared about. That to me isn’t worth it.