A/N: Previously part of Darkness in Man's Shape, but it didn't really fit in. So I put it out, on its own.

A strange plot bunny attacked me – not very leporine, except for ear size, it whacked me in the shin.

He is yoda, not Yoda, and, actually, he is more of a convention, too. It's an amusing misunderstanding, at first; and then, when the stranger from the stars, who was so excited when they first met, obtains Mother's permission to take the young yoda away with him, when his ship is repaired and he returns to the weird but wonderful world he's been telling such fascinating stories about, then it would have been too complicated to explain.

Most creatures, the young yoda learns, organize their lives along a strictly bipolar axis – male and female – which sounds terrifyingly fragile, at first, but over time he gets used to it. The tightly-knit community, he is made a member of, helps – with all the different individuals identifying as part of a greater whole, working towards a common goal, he can almost pretend he's still home, in the first few months.

It takes him years, though – decades, to be exact, half a lifetime to most of the shorter-lived species, like the ubiquitous human, for example – to realize that additionally to the weird gender issue, many species attach more importance to individuals than to the collective. More precisely, starting from an early age, they form attachments to certain individuals and value those attachments higher than the greater good.

The lesson is driven home by tragedy, and standing among the ruins of what could have been a prosperous community, he silently vows to rectify the situation cruel nature has created, with every ounce of the – not insubstantial – power at his disposal.

Oo oo oo oo oo oO

The solution is surprisingly simple. Compassion, a generalized, non-individual form of goodwill towards other lifeforms, is already part of the Order's creed. He has always been good with younglings, too – he has been born to care for the young until they can look after themselves; and, also, he suspects, his species' diminutive size, compared to the Galactic average, makes him more approachable for the little ones.

If reached early enough, the offspring of most species can be trained to forgo their unfortunate instincts and reach the true serenity of mind, attainable only by recognizing each individual as nothing more than a part of a greater whole. Careful observation – there is some trial and error involved, but he has many centuries still ahead of him, he has a generation or two to spare – reveals that to be fully successful, the training has to start while the youngling is still dependent on a caretaker. Infant screenings and subsequent admission to the Order at toddler age or below are easily established.

For nearly eight hundred years he teaches generation upon generation of Jedi the very foundation their subsequent life is based on, and by simple virtue of his longevity, the Order homogenizes and harmony is reached. There is the occasional outlier, of course, but working with the biological imperatives that form his starting material, the overall result is quite impressive, if he says so himself.

Not that he literally does say anything, most species simply fail to grasp the concepts ingrained so deeply into his very genes, his own master's incapability to understand has taught him that, long, long ago.

Oo oo oo oo oo oO

When one of those outliers brings along, what ancient – even by his own standards – prophecy might deem the Chosen One, he immediately balks. The boy is too old, so full of attachments – both fully formed and the potential of budding even more – so full of stubborn, passionate individuality, that no matter what else he might be, he will inevitably disrupt the carefully build harmony.

For the first time in centuries, Yoda, who was yoda – what a human might liken to a worker ant, perhaps, though it's vastly more complex than that – looks into the sky-blue eyes of a human child, and is afraid.

I blame Lucas for not providing a proper species for the little green gnome, so anything goes. And the way he interacts with various Skywalkers or misses out completely on the Sithlord gathering power right under his nose, I always got the impression that Yoda doesn't understand human behavior very well. Now remember that he taught the younglings, in their most formative years, for the better part of a millennium, and you get an entire order that has lost touch with the most ubiquitous species of the galaxy – and any other with similar social interactions – for quite some time. It's a miracle the whole thing didn't implode for as long as it did.