His left hooks swing with great precision and power, but all other contact against the wooden training
dummy fall short. He winds up, extends, but exhausts himself before reaching his target.
“Jowkkata! Be mindful of your movement, do not reveal your intent to your opponent – your strikes are too
I could see the young Wookiee trying hard to conceal his frustration and disappointment. But he would not
give up easily, he was determined – that much was certain. He had tracked me down and arrived on the
station one day, after hearing tales of my adventures from Aurcha – whose family I once rescued from
Trandoshan slavers in exchange for NAN3 – who, by the way, we have still not seen since the attack on
the Eye a year ago.
A group of female Twi’leks are giggling behind us – must be lunch break for the staff. Madame Khorash
was kind enough to section off a small courtyard here inside the Octagon where I could train and reflect in
peace – perhaps out of empathy, as I told her about turning down Master Worgf’s offer to teach younglins
elsewhere. As it turns out the tranquillity also attracted employees looking for a quiet time-out – which I
did not mind. Everyone showed me great respect here, and I feel that they enjoy watching me train. And
ever since Jowkkata joined me, I have heard people light-heartedly call this place Arri’s Dojo.
Even friend Vrinko likes to laugh about it when we catch up, “How are your students?” he asks in jest,
knowing well I only have one pupil. “Hahaha – very funny joke Vrinko”. It is nice to brew some tea for my
old friend once in a while, he is not the same since the crew split up. I imagine it is no easy task managing
a capital ship, and not just any ship – the Leviathon – the Eye’s saviour. He cannot seem to manage
watering his plants however, and I am not even sure he notices that I do it whenever I am over.
“They laugh at me”, Jowkkata says looking over at the Twi’lek girls. I smile, patting him on the shoulder.
“You still have much to learn about Wrruushi, my young friend – and, it would seem, about girls. They
admire you Jowkkata, that is why they come and watch.”
The young Wookiee’s posture immediately changes, stiffens, chest out, and head up – he seems
confused for a moment.
“That is enough for today Jowkkata, have a good feed, and some rest.” We exchange bows.
The place is empty once again, tranquil. I begin tidying up the floor when I sense someone walking
towards me – I turn around.
It is a young Twi’lek, with very soft and light purple skin – there is a shyness in her approach, was she one
of the giggling girls? I offer a short bow, to which she pauses, almost taken off-guard, and quickly
attempts to redeem herself by bowing back in a sharp manner. She glances behind her, to where the
giggling bunch were seated a while ago, but no one is there. Her gaze returns to the ground in front of
her, and slowly back up to me.
“How can I help you, young one?” I ask, only realising too late that she probably does not understand
Wookiee. Her reaction however, tells me otherwise. Her cheeks puff up with a smile and her eyes light up.
Skipping passed me towards the training dummy she leaps into the air, twirls a complete circle, and lands
right in front of the wooden doll with her right elbow pressed against the left side of the target – a dozen
splinters projecting to the right.
I stare stunned. Feelings of marvel, fear, and surprise rush over me. She turns to me, obviously quite
content with herself, as her giddiness trumps over her shyness, and bows. I respectfully bow back.
“Can teach me?” she asks in broken common. I glance at the wooden dummy and back at her.
“Yes.” I say reassuringly.
I did not think it were possible, but her eyes and smile grow even bigger. She taps her hand lightly against
“Shakka.” referring to herself.
“Arribacca.” I respond with the same motion.
She shakes her head in disagreement, and corrects me.
“Master.” she bows deeply. She turns around, as if realising she needs to be else-where at that very
moment, and runs off – but not before scooping up as many wooden splinters off the floor as she could
Once more the place is empty, I look around to be sure – and again I am wrong. Up in a nearby balcony I
see Madame Khorash watching over, smiling, and clapping softly now that she has my attention. She
stops herself, regains that authoritative posture I see so often in front of special guests, and bows, before
disappearing back inside.
And just like that the number of students in my Dojo doubles. I cannot wait for friend Vrinko to try his ‘joke’
on me again!