Our Mother of Wisdom
Bra'av lei-anika namei, mi leia. Namei.
A whisper in the dark, that was all her mother had left of her former life. In the dark desert night, beneath the howling of a sandstorm, Bvisa'ari wrapped her arms around her daughter and held her close, whispering in her ear the ancient words of her tribe, the wisdom of generations passed on. Now a mantra, a shared secret between mother and daughter.
We are reborn each day, my daughter. Each day.
Her mother was taken in early adulthood, and the flat tones of Basic did not come to her for many years. Likewise, her first master was simply unable to get his mouth around the musical inflections of her name, and so called her "Girl" until she understood enough to offer him a decent translation.
The name Skywalker befit her mother, Shmi always thought. She was free-born, and knew what it was to live without fear and shame. Bvisa'ari had shared that secret with her, even if she could never entirely understand it.
Bra'av lei-anika namei, mi leia. Namei.
This was a shared secret, to be passed on, even after her mother was gone, swallowed by the desert to begin life anew. And pass it on, Shmi would, even as her body seized with exhaustion and her eyelids drooped, begging to be put to rest. In the dark desert night, beneath the howling of a sandstorm, Shmi wrapped her arms around her newborn son and held him as he fussed at her breast, whispering in his ear the ancient words of her mother's tribe, the wisdom of generations passed on. Now a mantra, a shared secret between mother and son.
Bra'av lei-anika namei, mi ani. Namei.
Our Queen of Tombs
It was always going to be an uphill battle, even before she drew her weapon.
"Well, what have we here?" they say, and don't even bother to pretend they are not sweeping an appreciative glance from lekku to rear. Then they notice the hilt at her side, and Kit's deference to her under the circumstances. Now the game changes because they have realized that she is not his companion (well), and she is in fact in charge of the situation.
There is a reason Aayla's kind have always been popular entertainment amongst scum like this, and the idea of negotiating with a Twi'lek Jedi – a female Twi'lek Jedi – threatens them.
How dare she?
She dares to laugh humorlessly at their crude jokes and stare them in the eye. She dares to negotiate terms with them as her sisters massage their necks. She dares to wear a uniform that leaves nothing yet everything to the imagination, simply because it's comfortable. She dares to ignite her lightsaber and deflect the dart shot from across the room. She dares to threaten them, to be the untamed, unattainable, wild beauty that they thought was simply the stuff of nightmares.
Our Guardian of Nurture
Sometimes she wonders if perhaps she just feels more than a normal person. As a young girl she would accompany her father on his relief missions, and at times the pain of what she saw was too much for her to bear. They cried out to her, all the voices of the galaxy, and she couldn't say no. She accepted whatever suffering was offered, and often bore the pain for them.
In theory, the position of queen was ideal for her. Padmé knew before donning the whiteface that a Queen of Naboo was in essence the spiritual leader of her people, while most of the real governing was done by the esteemed members of her board of council. But her love for her people left her vulnerable, and when her sovereignty was attacked in her first year of rule, the cries of their suffering nearly killed her.
They cried out to her, all the voices of the galaxy, and she couldn't say no.
They cried out to her on Tatooine, when a golden little boy said the one word that changed everything. Sold.
They cried out to her in the senate, when a powerful man faltered and her idealism failed her.
They cried out to her every day passing for ten years, when sometimes she could help them, and sometimes she simply bore their pain.
They cried out to her again on Tatooine, when the same golden boy – man – committed the unthinkable and knew it.
They cried out to her now, literal cries of indignancy at being born, and she wanted to help them, she wanted so much, but the pain of so many years and so many lives and Ani, I should have been better was too much. Her love had left her vulnerable, and the cries of human suffering finally killed her.
Our Maiden of Storms
She didn't know why she came here. Ahsoka hadn't stepped foot on the planet in more than thirteen years, and yet somehow it seemed right. Shili wasn't home, of course. That was Coruscant and the Jedi Temple…
Gone. Destroyed. Purged. That was the word they were using. As though she and her family were something that the galaxy needed to be cleansed of. Master Secura, Master Kenobi, even Master Yoda… all of them, wiped out. Barriss. Master Plo. Master Anakin.
Ahsoka sunk to her knees and tried to sob. Her body hitched forward several times, but nothing followed. How many lives had she seen torn apart by the war, how many sobbing girls her own age? It should be easy. She lowered her body to the ground, willing the high turu-grass to simply swallow her into its hot embrace and end it.
Because this was the end, wasn't it? It was the end of all she knew. No temples, no clones, no war, no masters, no… no one to tell her what to do. She didn't know what to do. She didn't know this planet. She didn't know anything.
It came without warning. An animalistic cry tore itself from her throat and suddenly Ahsoka was aware that she was running. Where to didn't matter, it didn't even cross her mind, as long as she was going, going, going. It was a race against herself, a nonsensical thrill, a run for her life while being chased by a band of gundarks. Then Ahsoka was leaping over a bush and falling into a stream and then going. She snarled as she ran for another hour or perhaps a day or so until finally she collapsed on the outskirts of a dark forest.
Her breath was coming in shallow gasps. She closed her eyes and tried to breathe in slowly, still hunched over the baking earth. As the pacing of her breath slowed, she reached a tentative hand out to brush it against the prickly plantlife that surrounded her. The turu-grass wasn't as abundant here, patched of it ripped away. Which meant… Ahsoka lifted her suddenly wary head above the grassline.
She needn't have bothered. It was a jax that she found herself face-to-face with, sniffing its way inquisitively towards her. Ahsoka tentatively reached out to stroke it, and when it rubbed appreciatively against her hand she picked it up, exhausted, smiling for the first time in days as it cuddled into her embrace. An unusual peace settled over her as realization dawned.
Yes, she would do this. She would start anew. Life would continue.
Ahsoka slowly stood, and with utmost certainty strode into the deep cover of the trees, the small jax at her side.
Our Goddess of Life Energy
She is fourteen the first time she achieves true oneness with the Force, and she wonders if this means that she has died. But the netherworlds of the afterlife seem strangely similar to the world she left, and Bev Ulahara is still there, still shaking from the aftermath of the encounter.
Did he know what would happen? No. No, he couldn't have. He is not Force-sensitive. Not like her. But he felt it, too. He could reach out to the Force and feel it for the first time in his life, even if just for a moment. A deep, rumbling moment that stretched out on for eternity, because she served as the only bridge between her friend and his life force and if she stopped doing what she was doing, even if she didn't know exactly what she was doing, then it would all be lost. But then the moment had passed anyway, and Bev was falling off of her, his first encounter with the Force overwhelming him. And she had made it possible.
Shaak closes her eyes to meditate where she lies as this new prospect presents itself to her.
Our Mistress of Death
She has always followed the moon. Even as a child, after her parents were killed and before the Jedi found her, she had nowhere to go, nothing to do but follow the moon as it waxed and waned.
Her body is ruled by the moon, as with all other female life. Her body is ruled by the moon, but her heart is ruled by her anger. A deep, swelling hatred that lashes out and maims and kills and breaks until the only person it is maiming and killing and breaking is herself. She follows the moon when it tells her that it is time, and for the first time in her life, there is no anger left to counter it. The war is over for her. It is time to leave.
The planet the pirates take her to is far away from the Republic. It has only one moon. There are deserts and oases and mountains and slums and monuments. Humans claim dominion. They have no knowledge of other worlds. She can never leave.
She is content there. The locals fear her, especially now that she is old and horned, but it is a fear born of respect and deference. She is revered. Kali, they call her, the crone, the grandmother, the dark queen. Children run when they cross on the path down to the river, and the young women of the village seek secret council from her in the depths of night.
She tells them stories of a time long ago, in a place far away, and how she renounced the old ways of her youth. She shares her knowledge of the Force, and trains a young boy named Gurshan, and then a girl named Amrita when he passes on. She is ill-equipped to lecture on the duality of the Force, and instead teaches Amrita to follow the moon.
She has helped birth more children of the village than she can count, and watched them grow to begin their own families. Her lifespan extends far longer than that of a human's, until no one can remember a time when the terrible goddess did not live in the cave by the river.
Our Lady of Rebirth
It was not arrogance or some deluded sense of superiority that had made her keep her distance for nearly three years. The fact of the matter was that she had known Han Solo her whole life. The presumptuous, self-important figures with a healthy sense of entitlement simply because they were men in a galaxy that had no room for women anymore.
It had hardened her, because they were right. Leia had never known a time when she or Mon Mothma or Pooja Naberrie didn't have to fight to be heard, nor a time when a soft word held more sway than a blaster. The senate had taught her combat with words, and the rebellion had taught her combat of the physical kind.
She embraced aggression because the only other option was defense.
But she had her moments. Leia had never mothered anyone, but after escaping the Death Star, she couldn't help it. Luke looked so vulnerable, as if accepting the pain of Kenobi's death onto himself. So she did the best she could and wrapped a blanket around her new friend in a clumsy attempt at comfort.
Escaping from Hoth was another of those moments. She had always liked fixing things. It gave her control, continuity. It helped her clear her head. And then he showed up and was rubbing her hand and asking things and suddenly she was on the defensive. It was bizarre how quickly the situation had turned around, how quickly Leia had lost control.
But then there was that small voice in the back of her mind, the voice that was soft and high-pitched, though not unpleasant. The voice that said she did not mind so much, because there was no aggression in Han's eyes. Only longing, and trust, and a deep sense of understanding.
Then a new voice emerged, a strange, musical dialect, just as Han closed the gap and everything changed.
Bra'av lei-anika namei, mi leia. Namei.