Creon woke from his blanket nest on the ground of his bedroom. He had no bed, having adapted to sleeping on the floor from his time spent in the field for the First Order.
“Dirk,” he called to his pet, “Food?” he asked with a positive tone in his voice. The canine understood a few keywords, especially the word “food” or “treat”, and would recognize the upward tone inflection in his voice as an offer.
Creon made a tsk sound, trying to get the young pup’s attention from the luls of a long sleep. He looked over to see the young Cythraul curled in a ball next to him. It’s stillness looked peaceful to Creon. It always rested next to him in contact, and during his sleep Creon could feel the warmth of the creature’s body heat. They connected in a sense, as body heat is the catalyst of one’s internal energy, and can transfer upon contact like two rivers joining into a lake.
Dirk’s body, however, felt cold and stiff against Creon’s abdomen. Instead of fixing breakfast, Creon’s morning would be spent digging a grave.
It was no funeral like the ones held for officers of high rank, or members of the aristocracy with large families. Creon was the only one who stood at the snow mound with a wooden symbol over the grave. After the depression of the existential doom that comes for all mortals, his mind flipped through the series of memories to see where he had gone wrong. It wasn’t the food, or lack of exercise. It wasn’t the conditions of the environment, or the creature’s emotions. Dirk’s life just ceased without warning.
“Class dismissed,” Gui Sol announced to the robed students in his lecture hall. A variety of young learners and old rose from their seats, collected their belongings and departed. Creon, however, approached the techweaver with a heavy heart.
“Master, may I ask you a question?”
“Certainly. Creon is it? The soldier. I sensed the weight on your shoulders when we first met. What is you question?”
“Why is there death?”
Gui Sol paused for a moment with a raised eyebrow, “You’re asking the wrong person. I’m afraid i’m no scholar in the areas of philosophy or nature, but of technology. Did something happen?”
“No,” Creon lied, “I was just asking to see what answers are there. If death is of nature, could technology defy it?”
Gui Sol leaned back in his chair in a disapproving posture and an expression of disappointment, “It’s best to accept mortality, Creon. Chasing to become immortal is folly, one that has caused the early deaths of those who tried in history.”
“Yes, master.” Creon bowed and turned to depart.
“Creon, wait,” Gui called out as the soldier was halfway out of the room.
“Speak with Jedi Master A’lora, she’s well attuned to the spiritual nature of the Force and may be able to help your mind come to terms with your struggle.”
“Thank you master.”
“I am glad you came to me with this issue,” the Togruta said with a gentle voice raising herself from her lotus pose. “It is written that the Force carries our spirits into a realm that aligns with our connection to it. Death is not absolute, there is no eternal oblivion but rather a unity with the universe and all living things.”
Creon sighed at her answer, and A’lora looked at his sorrow with a tender gaze of sympathy. “You’ve lost something dear to you, haven’t you.”
“You say the Force carries our spirits, but this is only grounded in faith.”
“And science,” she added, “Our sensitivity comes from our midichlorian count.”
Creon shook his head in dismissal, “Only that they produce energy, which is hardly any different than the mitochondria. How are we suppose to know that organelles can prolonge a soul. If so, what’s the purpose for material life? What’s the point of living if in death you are still alive?”
“I would meditate on this, and trust in the Force. There is a way for one to preserve their sense of self as an apparition in the Force. A way to return to the nether.”
Creon respectfully nodded, but there was doubt in his eyes. There was no evidence, so certainty. Nature designed life to die, and there was no coming back. For those who never got a chance to experience the life they were blessed with, like Dirk, existence was but a blink of an eye. He was glad however, that even though the pup’s life was shortly lived, it was one filled with a unique love that only man’s best friend could fill.
“We are going to die, and we are fortunate for that,” A’liya said, breaking the silence. “Most lifeforms will never get the potential to be born. Think about it, the potential people who could have been in our place, but who will never in fact see the light of day vastly outnumber every living thing in the galaxy. Your father could have mated with a different mother, and you would not be here. It’s that simple. We are privileged for this, so do not wine on the inevitable return to the prior state we had before our birth. For the vast majority have never stirred from non-existent possibility.”
“Thank you Master.”