Under her helmet, Riet raised a brow.
She didn’t believe in the Force, as the Jedi and not-Jedi explained it, at least. Not that these dar’jetii
were particularly eager to explain anything about the Force to one such as her. It was undeniable that they had powers that ordinary people did not. She accepted that. She could even work her mind around the idea that there was some kind of energy comprised of the life forces of all living beings. What she did not accept that this “Force” had anything to do with what she did, or what happened to her as she lived her life. Nothing controlled her. She made her own choices. The rest was random, like the beginning of the universe.
Rain slicked down the faceplate of her helmet. Periodically, a static charge wiped it away, giving her a few seconds’ window of unobstructed vision.Dar’jetii
such as Taanoas were simply gifted individuals. They had powers beyond that of normal sentients. If they wanted to believe their power came from an energy field, that was their choice. But it seemed mildly delusional to her, perhaps a lie perpetuated by their order so that apprentices wouldn’t become even more conceited thinking that the power came from themselves.
Then again, what did she know.
She could feel the flush of energy from whatever it was that Taanoas had done. It felt sharp somehow; a whetting of her senses, like she could suddenly see in greater detail, hear more distant things. She felt more aware of the muddy ground under her feet, the distance between herself and her companions. She knew the exact motion it would take to raise her rifle with perfect efficiency, to key the controls of her jetpack in an instant. She felt like a better warrior than she had ever been.
It was power. It was undeniably real. It was unnerving to some extent as well. Maybe that was why there were tales of dar’jetii
falling into darkness, going mad. The power was a rush, like a drug. Its absence would feel like one was lacking, like one had become slow, senses dulled.
Taanoas had not asked if they wanted his gift; he had bestowed it without asking, assuming they did, assuming they would accept it because that was efficient and logical. She could not fault him for that. It was logical. She had been working alongside dar’jetii
for a few months now. She had felt their power before. The first time it happened, she had been disconcerted, almost afraid. She knew enough now to bear it more stoically, to weather the boost to her senses and reactions as she would weather its lack, knowing there was nothing she could do about either.
She spoke, her voice low, filtered by the speakers in her helmet.
“I am fine staying in such a grouping, rather than splitting up. I will continue to bring up the rear.”