1Every Padawan had a tenant of the Jedi Code they wrestled with. For most, it is simply the passion and emotion that biology and society had conspired to instill in their teenaged minds and bodies. For others, particularly latecomers, it is ignorance: prejudices and religions that have planted falsehoods in their minds which are difficult to dislodge even with the mountains of evidence at their fingertips.
For her, however, it has always been chaos.
There is no chaos; there is harmony.
The fundamental line of the Code, the cornerstone for the entire philosophy of the Order, and time and again understanding of it eluded her grasp. One had only to look at her to see it.
She lacked the measured grace that every other Jedi had mastered with the Sii-Cho form, jumping over and spinning around obstacles rather than neatly sidestepping them like her counterparts. She was tall and gangly, is even now, long after she had stopped growing and no longer in even her late teens, and she swaggered, sauntered, and sashayed, rather than running, jogging, or walking.
Her fighting style had the similar excessiveness about it. It was unpredictable, wild, and she never had two feet on the ground; either she was in the air, flipping, spiraling or somersaulting upon her opponent, or crouched with a knee and a foot on the ground, defending her improbable position with the same unorthodoxy she had with everything else. The element of surprise had won her more than a few battles in the dueling circle, but ultimately, much like the double-bladed weapon she favored, it came at the expensive of precision.
Her grasp of the Force was also erratic. She had a tenuous command of it, struggled to levitate objects and found it difficult to grasp the meaning of meditation. She was the only Consular past the age of five to have difficulty staying still for more than three minutes; her lack of concentration and preparation was painfully obvious every time she attempted to use any power- except her specialties, mind trick and mind control. She had no compunctions about getting into other people's minds, and said as much; this impressive skill was offset by the fact that she had often remark that talent with 'other people's heads is there because my own head is too scary for even me'.
Her speech was no better. Random, often going along tangents that had very little if any connection to the topic at hand, and there are times where you swear you've talked about three different things with her all at the same time. She moved her hands in unique patterns as she spoke, and would often interrupt herself, with 'take-backs', and shouted remarks to other people in the vicinity.
She generated disquiet. She was never openly rude, but knew just the right things to say to irritate people and keep them away. The only other members of the Order she got along with were the small exclusive group she belonged to that consisted of Kavar, Malak, and Revan, the blonde apprentice that used to follow her around the Enclave, and her own Master, Nemo.
And you yourself, of course.
Not that either of you were particularly good at showing it. She had this habit of dropping by your lessons, even after her Knightship was attained, annoying you with her flagrant lack of respect and her tendency to call you 'old man' rather than your name and rank, and attempting to co-opt your class. Every so often, you would let her, much to the class' delight, and your amusement as she proved that she was, in fact, capable of getting along with people very well when she chose to. You also called her a 'chaotic ticking time-bomb' and accused her of generating rebellion with her very presence (accusations which were not entirely unfounded) and she pretended to be deeply offended.
She was the closest thing you had to a daughter, and no matter how much you tried to discourage the bond from forming, you know that she came to regard you as a surrogate father.
And then came that day when the Council announced its judgment concerning the Mandalorian Wars. Revan stood up in the silence that followed and announced her intention to disobey the Council and fight anyway. Malak followed her immediately, saying that he could not stand by and do nothing while the Republic was destroyed. More followed; Knights, Padawans, even a few Masters defied the Council and left the Enclave en mass. And then she sidestepped retreating figures and said in a voice more clam then any she had ever used before:
"I've always believed the Council had greater wisdom than my own. And I still do. But being wise doesn't mean always being right, and I believe this is one of those times when you are wrong. I will fight."
And then, softly, but just as calmly "I am sorry for disappointing you, Master Vrook."
That was seven years ago.
She stands before you again today, unnaturally, forcibly still. There is the rigid calm in her voice as she speaks as there was the day she had declared her intentions.
"I came because I chose to come, not because you called."
And again, she speaks, as though the Council's words have no weight, no consequence.
"The truth is that if I had not done what I did, many more would have died."
And stabs her viridian lightsaber into the central obelisk with all the accuracy her technique has always lacked.
And then Eshe Jivala leaves the Order forever, an Exile without the Force to hide in, a blade to defend herself with, or, you fear, a soul to be redeemed.
Two quick, quick notes before I sign off.
1) My Exile is an experiment at storytelling with a truly reluctant hero- one who drags her feet to every planet and would just sit in a cantina and drink if the galaxy would just leave her the bloody hell alone. Even after she (eventually) resigns herself to saving the galaxy, it's less for the galaxies sake and more for her own. As such, I combined elements from a couple of characters you might recognize: Dr. Rodney McKay ( of Stargate: Atlantis), Dr. Gregory House (of House, M.D.), Vala MalDoran (of Stargate: SG-1), Hester Prynn (of The Scarlet Letter), and Bridget (my almost-Goth friend). Consider yourself warned.
2) Part Eight of Family Is More Than Blood, is going to take awhile. My next Exile piece mutated from a five page monologue into a fourteen page monster, still isn't anywhere near finished, and I haven't even looked at poor Hanuu in weeks. My apologies.