Despite the turbulent rush of water corralling Jace through the inner workings of the crashed cruiser, the young man managed to keep somewhat oriented and braced at just the right places to avoid being seriously injured. All things considered, the ride was actually quite a rush and gave him the same thrill that came with piloting an agile starfighter. He even would have whooped in excitement, but the preservation of his own life trumped any desire to express his excitement. So he took in precious air when given the chance and just rode it out.
Right out of the engine nacelle into the lake dozens of meters below.
Jace let a long expletive as he tried swimming in midair to futilely slow his descent. When he hit bottom all, he saw was black.
“Get up boy! I didn’t hit you that hard” the gravelly tone said.
A 13 year old Jace Corrender wanted to just ignore the voice and return to blackness, but something in the back of his consciousness reminded him that such a course of action would only guarantee more pain in the future.
His eyes opened to reveal the orange sky of Praexon III and if it wasn’t for the fact that he laid in a crumpled heap with the taste of copper in his mouth, it would have been a pleasant view. Unfortunately, such wasn’t the case so Jace blindly reached for the staff that he had been knocked out of his hands.
“Yeah, but you got me in the right spot.” He finally replied as he returned to his feet.
“That’s right! You’re depending too much on your muscles. I’ve lost count of how many times you’ve simply tried to overpower me, but do know how many times it has succeeded.”
The aged Duros that Jace had only known as Mr. Wanteal paused for a moment before continuing.
“That would be zero if your brain hasn’t turned back on.”
Jace sighed and lowered his head in resignation after disappointing him for what seemed the thousandth time.
With a softer voice, Mr. Wanteal continued.
“There’s always going to be somebody who will be bigger than you, so you need to learn how to adapt kid. Overwhelming force is for the Empire and Hutts. Remember that.”
Jace’s eyes shot open and he was a boy no more.
He lay on his side on the shores of the lake and also realized he was in the midst of a serious coughing fit. Once he was able to taste that oh so sweet jungle air without emptying his stomach and lungs of fluid, he looked to his side to realize that the only reason he had survived was because he didn’t try to fight the flow of the water.
“Thanks Mr. Wanteal” he whispered before getting to his feet and setting off to track his companions.