Lightsabers met in a flash of sparks and shuddering electrical charge. Blue met red, and the elegant weapons struck each other again, more forcefully this time. She danced out of the way of the training droid, parrying its blow, and struck again, only to be thwarted by the robotic skills of the preprogrammed droid. She twisted backwards to avoid a strike to the small of her back but it was no use. The lightsaber, set to a low setting - or medium rare, as the Padawan learners in the 'fresher called it - kissed her back and left a sizzling stripe on her tanned skin. She gave a little yelp and jerked left, burying her blue lightsaber to the hilt in the droid's metal armor. There were more sparks, but these ones were dying embers of the droid's circuitry. She stood there, feeling a moment of grim satisfaction as the droid sputtered in death. Her dark green eyes were once more soaked with tears, but she refused to allow them to spill onto her cheeks. Anger spiked her chest again and she gave a guttural roar of primal hatred and stabbed the droid once more with her lightsaber, impaling the electronic weapon in the hard-packed dirt of the arena floor. She knelt there for a moment, both hands on the hilt of her blade, her chest heaving.

She got up and clicked her lightsaber off. It had been the only illumination in the dark arena, and now the ghostly shadows seemed larger and more frightening. A bead of sweat rolled down her temple and she wiped it off with her damp wrist. A fine sheen of sweat was coating her taut body, and she ignored the drafty breeze that chilled her wet skin. Her thick black hair clung in cords to her beaded temple, and she looked with a morbid kind of pleasure at the ruined bot. It would take several hours to fix it, and she told herself that she was being cruel, but she buzzed her lightsaber back on and began slashing wildly at the bot. When the training droid was nothing more than slivers of metal shards, she allowed a heaving dry sob to rattle around the empty arena. Dropping to her knees, she clicked off her lightsaber and stared at the shattered droid. Her green eyes were dark with suppressed tears and wet with moisture, but she refused to allow the tears to spill onto her cheeks which were flushed from her training.

She was so deep within herself that she didn't hear the door to the arena opening, nor did she hear the telltale shuffling step of Master Yoda, accompanied by the muted thump of his cane. "Up late, you are," Yoda croaked as he watched the young girl. She shot to her feet and spun around, scuffing nervously at her dark eyes before fully facing him. She would not let him see her cry. Never. She bowed slightly to the small alien and he accepted this gesture with a regal nod. He could feel her anger, grief, self-hatred, and thwarted fatherly love being bottled up inside her. He grimaced to himself. Sooner or later she would have to let all of that emotion out, and if it was held inside any longer the results would undoubtedly be fatal.

"Forgive me, Master Yoda. I couldn't sleep and I thought I'd practice a little before I went to bed." she said lamely. Decapitating a harmless training droid and then carving it into tiny pieces was not practicing. That was cruelly making some poor metal smith work an extra two hours trying to put it back together. She slipped her lightsaber back into the loop of her belt and turned her dark green eyes to the floor. He surveyed her silently, watching her carefully.

"Elusive, sleep is, when one is fighting, no?" Yoda asked, beginning to slowly circle her. She tensed and felt the back of her neck prickle. She hated being approached from behind but she forced herself to remain calm. The hairs on the back of her neck rose involuntarily and her fingers snapped into fists. Her sensibly short nails dug into the palms of her hands, cutting dark half-moons into the flesh.

"It's the only way I can sleep," she admitted softly, relaxing her ferocious grip on her hands when Yoda was once more in front of her. "I…" she trailed off. What was she going to do? Was she actually going to open herself up to the small green alien in front of her and admit she had been having nightmares? She mentally snorted at herself. You're going soft, girl, she told herself.

"Yes?" Yoda asked. She cursed herself thrice for a fool. She shook her head and took a step backwards, pushing the shards of metal into a little pile with her foot. She clasped her hands behind her back and gave a little dismissive bow, and turned away from him. She ought to be giving him more respect, she knew that, but she didn't care. In fact, she didn't care about much, right now. Behind her, she heard Yoda sigh deeply, then leave. The door to the arena boomed shut softly. She waited until she heard the sound of his cane tap-tap-tapping down the hallway, and then viciously sent the droid pieces scattering across the floor with a sweep of her foot. She then picked up the pieces, hurling them against the walls until the crashes were satisfactorily loud and the jaggedly sharp edges cut into her palms. When this was done, she collapsed to her knees and began to cry, silently, to herself.

Yoda sighed as he watched her sob to herself, watched her sides quake, and shut the door without a sound. Shuffling slowly back up to his room, he grasped a digital pen in his gnarled fist and began composing a holo-message to Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn.