“It’s not about your hands… This is why you fail.”


Her master’s  disappointment stung.  He was right of course, which is why being confronted with the truth of it made her so uncomfortable. It wasn’t about her hands. Decimâ sighed as she thumbed the controls on her gloves, the seal unlatching and opening with a hiss. She could feel the rush of air, at first cool against her skin, then burning as her damaged nerves struggled to process the sensations. She grimaced as she pulled the leatheris and mesh gauntlets off and set them on the small table next to her bed. She carefully removed her armor, slipping into the more comfortable robes she wore at home on Manaan. She tapped the console signaling for the cleaning droid to collect her armor. She kicked off her boots, reclaiming her dagger, Thorn, from it’s boot sheath and tucking it into her belt as she headed upstairs.


She passed Aschè in the library, pouring over scrolls, a dozen datapads neatly stacked around her. Decimâ continued on without disturbing her and exited to the upper terrace. She moved to an area partially hidden by the planters, filled with thriving, verdant plants Master Syzygya had brought from Rishi. She sat in meditation for some time, enjoying the feel of the sun warming her skin. She closed her eyes and took a deep breath, drawing in the force from all around her, concentrating on creating a reserve of force energy to draw on should she need it. She extended her connection further,feeling the familiar tug of dark side energy from the library. Decimâ let her connection to Aschè fuel her further, focusing on her frustration with having failed to heal Master Syzygya’s pet mewvorr, Puddle, and the sharp sting of Master N’kre’s words. Aschè of course learned to heal immediately, Decimâ recalled with a mirthless laugh. She let her thoughts dwell on her failure a few moments longer, on her frustration at having been so disadvantaged since birth, she let the resentment take root before removing Thorn from her belt sheath and pressing it’s sharp tip to the inside of her left wrist.


Decimâ hissed as the blade split her flesh, the deep crimson blood pooling as her arm blossomed open with each inch she slid the blade. She set the weapon on the stones next to her and concentrated on the wound. The pain helped focus her as she reached out to sense the edges of the gash, probing deeper into the torn meaty flesh of her arm. She used the force to command the cells to knit, to rejoin as they had been just moments ago. Slowly she felt her body start to respond.  As she watched the bleeding slow then stop as a wave of searing pain crawled up her forearm. Decimâ shuddered.


“Like melding the materials at the forge” she thought idly as she watched the last edge of the wound begin to close and leave behind a pink welt of remade flesh. She remained in meditation, breathing deeply, considering the information she’d learned about this ability. She hadn’t expected the pain in healing the wound would be much, much worse than the cut itself. Decimâ nodded at her wrist, understanding the multiple implications and uses for force healing there could be. She looked to the palms of her hands, with it’s angry, red and mottled flesh, the virgin skin no longer holding any semblance of who she used to be. “It’s not about the hands.” she repeated solemnly, the finality of the loss of her hands finally sinking in. They were forever changed, just as she was.


Looking down, Decimâ realized that the sleeve of her robe, along with a large splotch on her left thigh where her arm was resting was drenched in blood. “I really should have thought this through” she chided herself with a laugh. Decimâ re-sheathed her blade and headed back into the library, nearly colliding with Aschè in the doorway.  Aschè instinctively reached out to prevent a complete collision, her hand resting on Decimâ’s blood-drenched forearm. She looked down at the blood then back to Decimâ’s eyes with a quirked brow.

“Please don’t risk limb and life for study. You can always ask me to even just be nearby in case….”  Aschè’s words trailed off as she moved the bloodied sleeve to assess the damage.


“It’s alright Aschè, I healed it,”  Decimâ said with pride, a grin forming on her lips as she continued “and I have an idea.”