‹ Prequel: The Hidden Truth
Sequel: A Last Good Bye

Reaching Through Darkness

Highs and Lows


In my travels I had visited cites, the big important ones. I thought of them were far too huge, and overwhelming, not a place I would want to live in, yet I knew nothing about what big really meant until I had stepped off our small ship.

There was so much to see and all of it seemed to go by so fast, I wanted to chase after each ship and person to discover who they were and where they were going, even if it was impossible. I hardly noticed myself drifting away from Mirmo when he went to a map to figure out where we were going. Admittedly, I should have been with him, studying the map, but maps have never interested me despite my father’s best efforts and I doubt I could understand how to read the map when I knew absolutely nothing about reading a holographic one.

Master Mirmo’s talk about keeping close to him in a crowded station brought me back into a mode I hadn’t been in for years. When my father would take me to these so called big cities, it was understood that I was to stay near him at all times and not wander off. As Mirmo turned around and started walking towards some unknown point, I shook my head at myself and followed his feet. The trip mode that I had developed over years was one of serious alertness, taking in everything, but letting nothing dominate my attention for more than a second or two, unless it was interesting enough to point out to my father. If my father agreed, then we would stop and watch if we had the time. Usually if I knew we didn’t have time, I wouldn’t let myself get interested in anything for too long, even on the first day.

My master weaved through the crowd to a huge exit area and across this walkway where there was some sort of car like vehicles, floating above the steel duracrate floor next to what looked like a cab driver. My master approached one of the cab drivers told a short, fat human guy with greasy hair who looked bored and poor, where we needed to go. It was strange to comment he was human, but after a nasty shock of seeing millions of different aliens in a few seconds, I felt myself cling to the relief and need to associate with my kind.

“Ya, I ca take ya there, but th’ gal thare will be a’ extra twenty.”

The driver’s accent was so thick and clearly lower class compared to what I overheard from the hundreds of people walking by us, I was surprised and strained to understand him. Mirmo had gone back to his quieter, conserved mood that I first met him and agreed to the addition in price.

“Ca I take ‘yur bag Missy?”

I caught the words “take” and “bag” and held my backpack even tighter as a first reaction. I glared at the man, threatening in a non verbal way he would loose a tooth if he thought of doing such again, not to mention even try.

“It is ok Karen. Let him have it. See, he has mine and is going to put in the back. Sorry Sir. I am taking my niece to visit a real city and she does not know how things are done here.”

Mirmo’s assured voice cut through my defensive move and calmed my fears. I shrugged the bag off my shoulders and handed it to the man, who gave half a nod with a grunt. When the bags were locked and we were seated, the driver slide in the front and took off.

I had no idea what the thing we were riding was called but I knew it wasn’t a car and it flew through air, but wasn’t an airplane. An airplane was the size of a ship twice as big as the one we flew to get to this planet and you couldn’t feel too much of the small movements it made. Furthermore, an airplane didn’t make small movements. This did and my stomach regretted each one. I felt extremely uneasy about having nothing under us and each rise or fall made me swear we were about to crash to our death. I could not help the whiteness in my face or the racing blood of my pulse. I didn’t want Mirmo, who was busy staring out the window of the covered taxi, to notice my nervousness, so I followed his example and looked out my window. That was the second mistake I had made in less than an hour. No one had said “don’t look down” but they might as well because I had to wonder how far away we were from the ground. I pressed nose to the glass and tried to sit up as much as my back would allow in order to peer as far down as I could from the angle I sat in. If there was a ground, I never saw it. Instead, I saw layers and layers of traffic, buildings, and air. The thought of no ground scared me so bad that I scooted away from the side of the taxi and brushed my master. He turned away, with a slightly bored look on his face like someone who had seen this and wasn’t impressed, and looked at me, searching for something that was wrong.

“What is the matter?”

I stared at him speechless, unable to think of how to explain to him there was no ground.

“Somethin’ wrong Missy?”

I wanted to groan and melt into the seat. Now I had attracted the attention of the driver, who I wished would pay more attention to his steering as my stomach knotted and flipped with the worst dive yet. I told both of them in an embarrassed mumble that everything was ok.

“Neve bin n’ one of these cloud cars eh?”

Mirmo’s eyebrow rose slightly and an amused smile was sketched on his calm face. I cursed him silently and told the driver I hadn’t. The driver laughed, the car rocketed, and I nearly threw up.

“Ah, sir, could you be so kind to refrain from such rocky moves. I believe my apprentice’s stomach and my wallet would appreciate it.”

I took back the curses and made a mental note to thank Mirmo when we got off, should we survive. The rest of the trip was not long, though the quality of the driving hadn’t improved much. We landed at a busy, but small outcrop of duracrete. The driver got out of the car, opened the back where our packs were stored and handed them to us as Mirmo opened the door. I took mine, set it on the ground and knelt, pretending to look for something in the back of my pack. What I really was doing was trying to center my stomach and nerves. Mirmo paid the driver and gave me hand to pull myself from my crouch.

“Not all drivers are that bad, if that helps your stomach.”

I nodded, but was silent. Wearily, I glanced over the side of the railing of the sidewalk and felt my nerves rise again.

“You will also be happy to note we will walk from here and there will not be any more shocking transportation to take. The only thing you will have to deal with is stairs. Can you handle that?”

I had to grin and cheerfully say yes. He nodded again in approval and started our trek. Coruscant was a city of nearly all air or building and if you were on a building, you used the walkways that connected all buildings to get around. Mirmo had proven to tell the truth when he said I only had to deal with stairs. Our walk was a fast long one, but there was so much to see, I hardly minded the exercise. There was no one thing that caught my eye, but everything and everyone. I could have easily spent a month studying the people and their clothing in one hall, but Mirmo didn’t allow that. There were signs flickering and popping up in your face, demanding that you read them and did whatever they wanted, which of course was to spend all your money. Species all of sorts used whatever they had to get your attention and buy whatever they had for sale, but my past traveling with my father taught me never to make eye contact with these sale persons, but to observe their merchandise out of the corner of your eye or to look when they weren’t looking at you.

Finally, Mirmo stopped at this one door, pressed a button, and received a small oval ball attached to a metal stick that peered at both of us.

“I am Mirmo, Jedi Knight and friend of Walne. I request that I be allowed to visit him.”

The strange droid made whizzing and beeping sounds for a full minute before withdrawing and the door slide sideways. Mirmo turned to me and gestured me into the home of Walne, whoever he was.