The doors to the Shadow Academy's training room slid open, allowing a Human dressed as an Arconan officer and a Mirialan wearing Novitiate robes to enter the training area. “Go get each of us a training lightsaber. We are going to work on Form Zero,” Cawthren ordered. He watched the apprentice slowly walk over to the weapons rack, seemingly distracted.
The Knight watched the younger Force user as he removed the top of his officer's uniform. “Are you okay?” he inquired. “You seem off today, as if something is on your mind.”
The Novitiate paused before grabbing the training weapons and turning back his instructor. “I've just been thinking a lot, Master. About the Collective.”
“Ahh. I see,” Cawthren acknowledged as he took the weapon from the apprentice. Activating the blue blade of the saber, the pair started to go through the motions of Form Zero in a slow, deliberate pattern. “So tell me. What is it about the Collective that is bothering you?”
The Mirialan shifted from one stance to the next as he thought carefully on how to word his response. “Well it bothers me how they hunt us down. Force users, I mean. There are even rumors that they will attack us here at the academy.” The Novitiate paused for brief second before finishing. “How do you deal with it, Master? I mean knowing that you and everyone you know are a wanted just because you command the Force?”
Cawthren increased the speed of the his strikes, forcing the trainee to react faster or be hit. “I train, every day. I read every report that is released, and I learn as much as I can about the enemy's capabilities.”
The Knight blocked a slow strike as the the flow of the training was reversed, putting him on defence. “That doesn't answer my question, Master. How do you deal with it mentally, the fact that an assassin could attack you at any moment?” the Mirialan responded
“I told you. I train.” Cawthren chuckled as he parried the a slash to his left side. “You never know when you will be targeted by an enemy, but if you train you will be more likely to survive the encounter,” the Officer informed as he reversed the flow of practice and started attacking again. “You must constantly work on improving yourself.”
Cawthren seemed to space out as he talked. The slow deliberate motions he was making for the training were now becoming faster and more frequent. “I train at least an hour a day. To not just maintain but improve my skills. I try to learn new techniques, new strategies, any trick that I can find to give me an advantage in battle!”
A scream brought the Knight's focus back to the task at hand. The Apprentice was holding his side. A red whelp had appeared across his ribs where Cawthren's training lightsaber had landed a blow.
“Are you okay?” he asked, showing concern for the Novitiate. As an Officer he tried not to make it a habit of actually injuring his subordinates during training.
“I'm okay, Master. It just stings a little.” The Apprentice winced.
“Well I truly am sorry,” Cawthren reassured. “Here, let me put up the training saber. You get to the Medbay and get that checked out.”
The Knight took the weapons from the Mirialan and helped him stand up straight. “Look, as far as the Collective goes. The stronger you are, the better you will be able to protect yourself and others around you. So, just focus on your training. Worry about the rest when the time comes.”
The Novitiate thanked him as he turned to leave the training room. Cawthren hoped that the advice he gave would work as well for the young Force user as it has for himself. But he may need to up his own training for the next time he spared with that one.