JEDI HoloNet

Raskta Vuhei


Homeworld: Eshan

Species: Echani


It was a cold morning, she thought to herself as she dragged her tired and weary body out of her cot and made her way to the main hall. She could hear the distant voices of her brothers and sisters, echoing through the halls, already wide awake. She knew she was late, and therefore, in deep trouble.

Yebshk did not take kindly to tardiness. This is something she understood too well. Walking into the main hall quickly, she saw that they had already begun training. It was customary for children in the Vuhei clan to spend the early morning in practice. Her eyes darted from one member of the group to another almost frantically, searching for someone who’d help cover for her when she took notice of a familiar figure motioning her to take the position by his side. Looking more closely, she realized it was her older brother, Eeshan- gladdened by this; she rushed to take her position and proceeded to follow the class’ movements.

Right, left, side step, upper-cut… Step backwards, round-house kick… she muttered to herself as she struggled to move in tandem with the class’ movements; her muscles aching in protest with every kick, jab and block. As the morning went on, however, her technique slowly improved, her muscles awakening from slumber, allowing the form to flow far more smoothly. But all wasn’t well- she was tardy, and Yebshk, an aged retainer of the clan and longtime teacher of this lot of this group (Raskta in particular), wasn’t going to let that slide.

As she moved along with her technique, the sudden appearance of the old man next to her left her startled. Without saying a word to the little girl, his stern features were enough to prompt her to regain her composure, returning to her application of the technique. He observed her for a time, before letting out a soft sigh. Raskta knew what was coming. She had expected that she wasn’t going to get away easily with her tardiness let alone her sloppy application of the technique. The entire group paused, awaiting the old man’s verdict- an undertone of dread and fear filled the air. Even Neeshan, a giant by all accounts, seemed to fear the old man; fear that was drilled into him from an early age.

“You call that a stance? Move those legs further apart. Shoulder-width! How many times do I have to tell you?!” He continued, “You’re either kind or just foolish- move that leg to the margin when you move forwards! If this were a real fight, you’d have been on the mat from the start!” He then let out a long drawn exhale, just before delivering the final (verbal) blow, “It is most unfortunate that you dishonor your own name.” He then quietly moved to his post, the class returning to their exercises. Neeshan spending a few moments looking over at Raskta before resuming- knowing all too well the penalty for falling behind. Raskta, not batting an eyelash, took to her training quietly.

She did not feel angry at Yebshk; he was doing his job. It was her who had shirked her duties and so her punishment was fitting. This wasn’t the first time she had been late to class, nor was it the first time she had lost her focus during fighting. In fact, her mind was never quite as clear as the minds of her brothers and sisters. This was reflected in her combat skills- making her come off as aloof and unbalanced. Fact of the matter is, Raskta, although named after an ancient revered Echani warrior, seemed to lack the necessary focus and determination to match her namesake. She often wondered, at times like these, if she was really meant to become an Echani Warrior.

A few cycles passed, and the young girl had her answer. While practicing with the morning class, she felt a sudden presence approaching. Although losing focus for a split second, she quickly returned to her senses- focusing her energies towards the task at hand. A few minutes later a hooded figure along with several high ranking members of the Echani family went into the room. The students, Raskta included, continued to practice their technique as instructed, while the Echani officials and the Jedi spoke in a hushed and hurried manner, before departing the room.

A few hours later, after the morning training had been completed, Raskta was in the company of Neeshan, having what the Echani would call a conversation. It is a well-known fact that for an Echani combat is a form of communication. Although some have given this a more philosophical context, in practicality, it is a need in Echani society. You see most Echani look strikingly alike- those who share the same parents are impossible to be distinguished by any outsider. This left the Echani reliant on body language to identify one another. So, whereas an outsider may seek discuss a matter with his close friend, an Echani would engage in a private sparring session with this friend. It is quite amusing.

But we’ve digressed enough as is. In the course of the spar, Neeshan could tell Raskta’s movements were more unfocused than usual. This left her open to his attacks. After a prolonged engagement, taking his time in gauging her ability, he took advantage of an opening she had left on her right, knocking her off balance. Raskta fell back a few steps, but managed to regain her footing. His eyes settled on her for a few moments before nodding and returning to his stance. He didn’t need to ask to know what was wrong with his sister. He knew what troubled her. She took a few steps forward, wiped the sweat off her forehead with a towel she had grabbed off the mat and, discarding the towel to the side, and dived into the engagement.

After some time, the presence emerged again and began looming in the very back of her perception. She refused to let it get the better of her focus and she pressed forwards- dodging, kicking, punching and blocking. Neeshan noticed his little sister getting the better of him. He was surprised. Her reflexes seemed heightened and one kick caught him off-guard. He fell back onto the mat, stunned; though not quite as stunned as Raskta was. She leaned forwards, panting, having exhausted herself in this final engagement. Neeshan looking up, he noticed the hooded figure that had come earlier. He removed his hood, and took a few steps forwards.

Neeshan scrambled to his feet, while Raskta turned, facing the figure. Even though Neeshan moved to pull Raskta away, the man stated that he meant no harm. He bowed politely and identified himself as Jedi Master Kosig Drak’lar, head watchman of the Five Sisters (a set of planets ruled by the Echani). He said that he wished to speak with Raskta privately. Although Neeshan protested, Raskta agreed. With only a glance, Neeshan nodded to his sister and gently tugged on her shoulder before he made his way out of the room.

The Jedi sat himself down beside the mat. Raskta followed suit, sitting facing the Jedi, eyeing him curiously. The Jedi broke the silence by asking, “You felt my presence, didn’t you?” Raskta nodded softly. “Do you know what that means?” She shook her head, “I’m not sure. But it sure feels weird.” The Jedi’s lips curled up into a faint grin. Stroking his beard, he nodded, “I suppose it is a little weird.” He continued, “Your brother is a very good fighter, but you were able to beat him back there. Did that feel weird too?” She nodded several times affirmatively, “Yeah. It sure did. And not just cause I beat Neeshan.” The Jedi let out a faint exhale before speaking, “What’s your name, little one?” “My name is Raskta”, she replied.

“Ah, that’s a fine name.” He replied with a smile. She nodded, frowning weakly before speaking, “I think I should’ve gotten another one.” He let out a grunt in amusement, “And why’s that, little one?” She shrugged her shoulders, “I’m not cut out for this sort of thing.” He tilted his head to one side, letting her continue. “I keep messing up all the time. I don’t know why. It’s not that I can’t focus, or can’t do the moves or anything like that- I practice a whole lot! I just… can’t shake this feeling. It’s like this weird noise in the back of my head. I think I’m sick or something!” He shook his head, smiling softly, “What you have, little one, isn’t an illness, it’s a gift. In the Jedi Order, there are a lot of other people who have that same gift.” She looked up, her eyes widened. She then looked away for a brief moment, noticing Neeshan waiting outside, their eyes met for a few moments, saying more in silence than they could have ever possibly said in words. She then returned her gaze to the Jedi, her eyes filled with a sense of purpose, “Can you take me there?”