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last and least

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After the old woman called Traya escapes, Master Atris tells her handmaidens to leave, and never come back – a banishment. Brianna's sisters burst into argument, raging against the unfair dismissal, but Brianna doesn't bother to argue. She walks away from the Room of Whispers, away from the empty Academy, and away from what remains of her family, such as it is. If her sisters notice her departure, Brianna never learns; they never come after her, not then, and not later. She will never see them again.

A part of Brianna will never forget. A part of her never wants to.

She makes her way to Citadel Station for the battle. At least here she can do some good. Her blade finds no end of enemies among the hidden Sith; her shields never falter. After the battle, the Mandalorians speak of nothing but the Exile’s battle against the Sith Lord on the Ravager. They say she needed no blade to defeat him, and Brianna remembers the combat masters on Eshan, who always spoke about the void from whence all come, and all return.

The Exile leaves; Briana stays, and sleeps that night on the floor of a kindly Duros merchant’s storeroom.

After that, Brianna learns new things. How to play Pazaak; how to choke down the swill those damn Mandalorians love; how to calibrate the environmental shields necessary for the reclamation of Telos, which continues apace, war or no war. The Ithorians tell her how grateful they are for her assistance, and Brianna eventually learns to accept their thanks gracefully.

One day, she travels to the surface for repairs. Grass is growing, and the wind carries the scent of rain. One day, all of Telos will look like this again, and Brianna will have helped restore it.

There are worse causes.