Brin'tac's Decision

“I don’t believe it!” Brin’tac exclaimed. He looked at Geldar, Nyarchagga, and Tso in turn as they sat around his hospital bed in the medical area of the underground rebel complex on Naboo. “I cannot believe that Satchel could kill his own master. I have spent more time with Satchel then anyone else here, and I have seen the love he has for Jin Tai Lo. He could no more kill Master Lo then I could kill my family.”

“I pray you are right,” Geldar said. “It does make me feel better to hear you speak so confidently.”

Suddenly, the 21-B medical droid interrupted. “Excuse me, gentleman. The patient needs to rest.”

“Come, my friends,” Geldar said as he stood, “we have spent enough of Brin’tac’s time.”

Nyarchagga and Tso said brief good-byes and exited. Geldar turned to leave when Brin’tac stopped him. “Geldar, if Satchel is willing, I would like to speak to him.”

“Are you sure you’re up to it? He hasn’t been himself lately.”

“Yes, I’m sure. Thank you.”

Geldar turned once more and left the room, leaving Brin’tac deep in thought.

* * * * *

The door to the medical center opened and Satchel entered. His appearance was unkempt and disheveled, and he looked like he hadn’t been sleeping well. He entered and immediately began looking anywhere except at Brin’tac.

“Calm yourself, my friend,” Brin’tac said in a soft, low voice. “And please, sit down.”

“Do you believe it? Do you believe that I am Bher Nag Rugge?” Satchel looked nervously at the Bothan as he sat on the edge of the chair next to the bed.

“As I explained to the others, I don’t believe you are the party responsible for those vile acts.”

Satchel breathed a great sigh of relief and sat back in the chair. “Then you don’t believe I kidnapped your family?”

Brin’tac smiled reassuringly. “No, I don’t. I have known you for over a year and other than an occasional battle with anger and other common struggles, I have never seen you exhibit the behavior that you describe from your dreams. On the contrary, I have watched you grow more honest and noble, and I have watched you put into action the teachings you have learned from Master Lo.”

Satchel put his head in his hands. “But the dreams are so real! They are almost like memories. If I am not Bher Nag Rugge, then why am I having thsese…..dreams?”

“I do not know, my friend.” Brin’tac reached over and placed a hand on Satchle’s shoulder. “I am not very knowledgeable about the Force or it’s Dark Side. However, do you remember what Master Lo once said about the obvious? He said that the obvious solution may not always be the correct solution. Do not automatically assume that because you are having these vivid dreams that you are Bher Nag Rugge. There could be another explanation.”

Brin’tac paused and studied Satchel’s face. He still saw the confusion and frustration, but he also saw some of the tension and stress lift away. He sat back once again and sighed. “I have asked you here not only to tell you what I believe about your dreams, but also to ask you to fulfill a promise.”

Satchel suddenly sat up, curious. “A promise? What promise?”

“A promise that Master LO made to me,” Brin’tac continued. “Do you remember the time we rescued Nyarchagga from Zorba the Hutt’s pleasure palace on Nar Hekka? Do you remember that during our escape, I was shot and wounded? Afterwards, I felt much the same as I do now: useless and helpless. I then asked Master Lo if he would teach me to defend myself and to fight. He promised me that he would instruct me whenever I asked. Unfortunately, I never followed through. Now, it is too late.”

Brin’tac paused once more and looked Satchel in the eye. “As Jin Tai Lo’s apprentice, would you honor his promise to me?”

Satchel looked away. “I’m no Master Lo. I can’t possibly teach you as well as he could.”

“I understand that. However, as long as you continue to learn and develop your combat skills, you will always know more than I.”

“But why me?” Satchel asked. “Why not Tarrsk or Geldar? Or even Nyarchagga? You are much closer to him than you are to me. And Tarrsk knows more about hand-to-hand combat and blaster training then I do.”

“True. However, I want to learn combat from the moral perspective of the Jedi Code. And, I know you better then I know Geldar. Also, I feel that it is more natural for you to fulfill Master Lo’s promise.” Satchel sat for a moment, lost in his own thoughts. Finally, he stood and bowed to Brin’tac. “I would be honored to fulfill my Master’s promise to you.”

Brin’tac smiled and nodded. “Thank you, Satchel Paige. I promise you that I will be a hardworking student, even if I am not that skillful.”

Satchel gave a brief grin. “Don’t put yourself down. A good fighter needs confidence.”

“Thank you, ‘Master’. I will keep that in mind. I hope we can begin as soon as I am released, if that is acceptable to you?”

“That would be fine. In fact, I will be looking foreword to it.” Satchel suddenly became serious. “Thank you, Brin’tac. Thank you for believing in me.”

“You are most welcome, Satchel.”

Satchel bowed once again and then left the room.

“I only hope, my friend, that I can help you to believe in yourself,” Brin’tac said quietly. “I will not give up on you. I promise.”

The End

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