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Cosplaying has fallen outside my comfort zone since I was a small child. Being an “other” never truly fascinated me. However, ideally, I want to be the better version of myself. The me who can finally do the things fictionally that I cannot do in the real world. This year, I have decided that I want to be myself – the better me – the Jedi and the Slayer me.

Everyone has a hero in them.

The Mind Behind the Jedi

As she looked around, she knew that she was not like the others. Her skills were less. Her heart, however, was strong. Her head inclined downward and her eyes gazed at the young boy next to her, the top of his head reaching just to her waist. She knew the look in her eyes gave her away. The New Order Jedi allowed this. Allowed these ties and emotions. He belonged, as did all of them, to the Order.  And yet…in some ways he was hers alone in this world of the Jedi. His father did not belong to this world, but to the one they created alone, the three of them, in their quarters. Her connection to the child was strong – stronger than to the other Jedi. Together, they trained. They would fight next to one another as he aged. They would feel one another within the Force. Yet, she remained distinctly herself. Her powers had grown after his birth, but they had always existed. Her true power was her desire to to succeed. To prevail. As she had aged, she had become stronger within the Force and within herself. She had learned the ways of the Jedi and had learned how to use her strengths to her advantage. Her strengths were not with the light sabers but with the mind. She had slowly, over time, found that her ability to encourage others to find their paths – always the paths that she had chosen for them. She had found her abilities only after that small youngling had entered her world. She had learned that her abilities came from connecting with the younglings and helping them to find their ways. She would never be a member of the Council, but the Council had recognized that her ability to encourage allowed her to train the younglings – always the younglings – in Force Persuasion. Although action was often prized above wisdom, she had learned that when she instilled the importance of wisdom within her younglings, they often chose better actions as they aged. She looked down at herself. Covered in the colors of the foliage and dirt, the greens and browns favored by the Old Order, she recognized them as the camouflage they were – the physical expression of what the Jedi requested of a personality. Calming, intended to blend into the fauna of most planets. She recognized that the length of her robe – a child’s robe for the ones of the adults overwhelmed her form – and the similarly shorter length of her tunics hinted at a childlike quality coupled with that of an adult woman possessing a desire to be seen. Her bright green lightsaber buzzed in her hand, illuminating the path ahead in much the way that her spirit shone with a humor and mischievousness often derided by the other Jedi,  as she looked out into the dark in front of her. The unknown would be known soon. All her planning and training would come to fruition and she would persevere. She always did. She always would. It was not her strength of body that defined her but her strength of mind, including her determination. As she stared into the dark, dully tinted bright green from the light of her saber, she knew, in her heart, that the direction to go was forward. Only forward.

Potential-Now-Slayer

The moment it hit her, she almost fell over from its power. She felt her body strengthen – stand taller, muscles tightening, shoulders straightening much against her normal stance and will. In that moment, she felt her mind flicker. It felt like the flicker that comes before a lightbulb dies out except that her mind, instead of burning out, became brighter, clearer. When the man came, she was unsurprised. She had felt the changes, and finally, finally, she had the explanation. Her body was suddenly reacting to information her brain had downloaded. Yet, she had no idea how the muscles had created the memories that they’d started practicing. The first time she held that piece of wood, since that was all it was, her mind and body reacted viscerally. Her hand gripped the stake – her feet flew into the v-take-a-step stance of a violinist – her mind sent messages to her hands telling them where to strike out to her feet telling them where to move to her eyes telling them where to shift. She had found the balance between her strategic self and her physical self. For the first time, her body reacted in equal measure to her mind. The man attacked her. His British accent nearly caught her off guard. He sounded convinced of his role in her life. He explained that the Power had been unleashed. She looked into those espresso colored eyes and saw, long before he realized she did, that hint of the red underneath. Her hand, fingers twitching, fought against reaching under the hem of her blood red tank top. Her body’s inclination fought with her mind’s inclination. She realized, suddenly, that this man was not man and simultaneously this monster was not monster. She had been sent a monster reformed to train her in the ways of the Slayer. Her hand relaxed around the wood that had warmed to mesh with the temperature of her body, had warmed to blend with her body. Her mind controlled her body more clearly than it had before the switch flipped her on. She looked up at him, slowly, registering his surprise at her actions, and she uttered, her one word statement not question, proof of her new role, “Ready.”

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