Daniel clapped to stop the warm water from running, he had no idea how long he stood there in the shower, leaning against the tiled wall and staring blankly at the shower head as it drenched him from head to toe. For a moment he seemed to have lost all contact with the World, as his mind wandered to other venues, to his friends, to his old hang outs, country clubs and the like, the ones his Master disgustingly reffered to as "gilden slop pits". All those things were star years away, back on his home planet and for the first time he acctually missed it, for the first time he was having second thoughts about becoming a Jedi. He pulled the shower curtain to one side and came out in a cloud of steam, reaching for the nearest towel to wipe himself off.
Again he made his hair, evening it among three braided pony tails before placing his tunic and robe back on and emerging into his bunk or rather prison. Pensively he looked at the door, for it was tempting to his eye, usually he did not mind staying in his bunk, in fact, he rather enjoyed avoiding other's company, but now, now this was different, with the door closed, that hidden vista felt as it should feel....freedom denied and anything denied is always sought the most.
With a quivering hand, a voice telling him no, another screaming yes, he reached for the metal handle and opened the door to the corridor that felt so much newer than when he first saw it, so much more inviting. He wondered around the corridors for a few minutes, his eyes always expecting to gaze at the face of a very soured Master Graul as they darted in every corner. How he arrived at the cargo hold he could not say, perhaps it was the crowd, several Jedi Knight and Padawans, running down the hall, their faces, gestures and cheers screaming excitement. Many ran past him but the few that recognized him, gave him a quick pat on the back and announced.
"COME ON Dan, Master Gavriel and Renn are duking it out in the cargo hold, lightsaber style man, you can't miss it"
Before they ran off again. like them, Daniel couldn't help but smile at such an encounter, the tension between Gavriel and Renn was well known by now and such a fight appealed to his...let's call them...adventurous instincts, it promised to be quite a match to say the least.
Daniel was among and he wouldn't dare push himself past the small crowd that gathered in the cargo hold, still he caught small glimpses of it, mostly Renn flying around like madman and Gavriel swinging his saber as if it were a third arm, controlled and precise.
"Renn is a lot like you" That voice was not Daniel's but it brought within him images of a feral beast, growling menacingly over it's pray "He is impatient and forceful, he does not control his emotions, his emotions control him and that always leads to a path of defeat...and to lose to yourself is to lose all"
And indeed it was Master Graul, there, right next to Daniel, his head bowed and his hands knotted together and completely hidden by his robe, not much different from a mourner...but of what?, for many things, not excluding his pride.
"Master?" Daniel, questioned and apolgized all in one word but Graul let both meanings melt away fromhis stern face.
"I don't want to hear it Padawan, once again I find myself dissapointed by you, once again I question what I saw in you when I took you as my apprentice"
"Now hold on" Hope protested "You went out of line back there, you made me stay in my bunk which frankly doesn't surprise me at all, you've been treating me li..."
"A child" Graul was growing impatient of the boy's protests, of his little spark of rebbelion, which the Togorian summilarly judged as idleness "And how else should I treat you?" the taller, better built and more experienced leaned to his side to stare straight into his pupil's eyes "You are nothing but a child, your lack of dedication disturbs me to no end, your naive fantasies amuse me and the way you bend at my voice is simple priceless"
Graul waited and waited but the boy did not bend, he did not answer with his usual apologetic, pleaful "Yes Master" instead he continued staring into Graul's eyes and even smiled when he saw the frustration in them. Shamefully it was Graul who removed his gaze and returned to watching the fight, his voice a bit more humble but to Daniel's chagrin, still had the same tone.
"Understand this Daniel, you came here to see two Jedi fight and like these other small minds, to ammuse yourself from it but I.."
As if planned, Renn went to his knees at that moment and conceeded to Gavriel.
"I came here to watch an arrogant Knight put back in his place, he is proud and brave, a man of strong character, but without a strong will, a strong character is just an uncontrolled cruiser with a more powerful engine, remember this my apprentice...for you are walking a dark path"
By the time he spoke out the last word he dissapeared among the crowd, which was still waiting for the grand finalli. At first Daniel was speechless at what his Master told him, he could not believe how he once looked up to that man "Perhaps it is you who are walking a dark path Master" none were there to heed his warning but a few curious spectators.
The small beep of the alarm sounded in the background while Daniel was still staring to where his master had gone, unsure of what to do next, how to even act from that moment on, perhaps he should apologize to Master Graul but then he would only be confirming his insults....
...Perhaps he was but a child...
...Perhaps his dreams and new found confidence will lead him down a dark path...
"Looks like we're coming up on Rhen Var. Everybody go and get yourselves suited up. I'll take us in."
Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps..how is one to know?, one may thrust one's faight to the force and wait for it to reveal the pat but then...to whom does it stand to walk it? and where does that put him right now.
Taking a deep breath, Daniel merely followed the crowd back to their rooms and decided to think little of the future, except for the very next step.
And if he doesn't know what would come next, how would he fare if he were to stumble