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((Popped into my head, needed to get it down on proverbial paper. This deals with a SWTOR alt of mine, Ceddrick.))

About seventeen years in and I was about done with the place.

There’s a thing about being the oldest. I didn’t think much of it and it wasn’t much of a family secret. Hard one to keep really — all the birthdays come just the same. But my Dad always made a point of me being the oldest, poking it in conversation where it never should. It didn’t really dig at me until I got old enough to start running the place. Then it really started to sink in, and all it meant.

Riley and me were set to wed pretty much the day she was born. It didn’t matter much to us at first, we got along just fine. We played pretty much any game we could together and finished the other’s sentences. It was hard to separate us more than half a day whether there was work or school to do. We didn’t even know our folks planned some kind of wedding until we were fifteen. She got excited. I didn’t.

It was around then I started feeling things. It was something I knew was there the first day I could remember, but it was around then I realized it wasn’t what other kids were thinking. The feeling came and went but even when it wasn’t there, I knew it wasn’t gone. Around then I could start bringing it up when I wanted to — that knowing when Mom said the next harvest would be the good one, she wasn’t telling the real truth. That my younger sister didn’t want this life any more than I wanted, but she wouldn’t tell anyone. That my baby sister wanted so bad to be a pilot. I could feel my father sometimes, though usually his convictions were the strongest. I couldn’t tell if it was because he really believed the farm wasn’t dying or maybe he was just better at convincing himself better than the rest.

There’s a thing about growing up on Ord Mantell. Once you run into off worlders, you realize there’s a whole galaxy of jokes just about you and your planet. It’s not bad at first, not if you don’t believe any of them. Hell, sometimes it makes a half-decent conversation starter. But after a while, it starts getting tiresome. Though for me, not in the way you’d think. The jokes didn’t bother me much. It was the bad ones. Sometimes all you could do was tell the jokester the better ones, hoping at least the next time you get ribbed for coming off Ord Mantell, you’ll get one with a decent punchline.

I was sixteen when I made the break. Riley had a hard time of it. I knew I wasn’t the one for her but I could feel that she believed the opposite of me. Hard part of it was we were capable as ever — still finishing each other’s sentences, and when neither our parents were looking, we tried a thing or two. But I guess a part of me wasn’t really born on Ord Mantell. I got closest to it when I stole some time alone, feeling out that part of me that knew about the things about my family or fiance they wouldn’t say aloud. So when I told Riley I didn’t think we were good for each other, I knew she felt it too. But I saw her face tell a different story. She was scared. I guess if the guy I imagined the rest of my life with told me it wasn’t meant to be, I’d be scared, too.

I ran off after that. Barely said a word to anyone but my sisters. My baby sister tried to come with me, but I begged her to stay put. She was only eleven then, but I knew the moment I turned my back she’d haul off Ord Mantell a few minutes after me. Maybe we could have run for it together, but I made her stay put more for me than her. I was sixteen — I didn’t know what the hell I was doing. I didn’t want to mix my baby sister into it.

Years later, she left, too. Maybe if she had been the oldest of us, she would’ve had it together enough to take me along. She was always that kind of kid.

Didn’t take me long to get passage to Tython. You can say they found me, really. Didn’t take them long. It wasn’t even to say I was talented, it’s more to say I was reaching out to them. Didn’t know it at the time. But later on, that’s what my Master told me.

It’s been quite a few years now. Now and then, I check on my sisters. The middle one decided to stay and help out my folks. The second-oldest and youngest took the galaxy by storm. Turns out my baby sister did get into the flying academy. I know it’s against all the oaths I took, keeping tabs on them. It’s not like I’m able to do anything without my Master knowing. For some reason, I guess she lets me. That’s the one thing I can’t feel about her. Then again, I don’t feel anything from my Master. 

Guess I find myself wandering again. Happens in those moments I’m alone and get a chance to think. I got off Ord Mantell, I found that part of myself that was never part of that planet. But I guess the only way to find the parts of you you miss is by looking for the pieces. Sometimes a big piece you thought was missing turns out to be a bunch of smaller ones. Guess that’s where I find myself. I filled in part of the spot that was missing. Now I’m looking for the missing parts that are still left.

I haven’t fooled myself into thinking my Master doesn’t know about this. But she hasn’t reined me in yet. So till she pulls me back to Tython, maybe it’s time for me to take the galaxy by storm just like my baby sister did.

Author Ari
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