Why couldn't I have gone somewhere dry... I hear Tattooine is great this time of year, Maris thought to herself with a deep sigh as she stomped on through the muck. She tried using the Force to lighten her steps, but it was pointless. She'd gain a bit of levity before the instability of her power would take its toll, causing her to fall into the ubiquitous muck of Dagobah. The fact that she was barely able to keep up with the two-foot-tall, grunting, wheezing green miser was outright shameful.
“Much conflict within you, is there not?” Yoda said, glancing over his shoulder at the slime-covered zabrak. He was sitting up on the bough of one of those gnarled trees now, and Maris could barely hear his voice over the cacophanous hum of Dagobah's wildlife. If she still had the Force at her command, she'd be riding one of these swamp creatures even now... but both sides remained a stranger to her grasp.
“What's it to you, shorty?” The girl said with a deep sigh, relaxing her muscles and just standing for a moment, knee-deep in the muck. She'd have to give her sabers a thorough cleaning later on, if the contents of her pack weren't ruined by now. “Felucia's corruption... confused my connection with the Force. I'll get it back.”
“Blame a place for this conflict, you do?” Yoda said, tilting his head. “Is within yourself, the problem not? Look at me. Corrupted, am I?”
“It's not the same!” Maris shouted, dragging herself up onto the bank beneath the tree Yoda sat on. “This place – the energy here is pure, wild. Primal. Felucia was plagued by the Dark Side.”
“And lived only here, have I? Mmrrgh?” Yoda let out one of his demented little giggles. “Made the galaxy a haven of the Dark Side, the Emperor has. If corrupted you do not wish to be, then be pure, you must. Ooughrurhurhrur!”
The zabrak teen let out an exhausted sigh. She had a feeling, already, that she was going to hate Yoda... but it was better than being alone in this place. She could at least hang around for a while until she thought of a better place to go.
“Come, come, young one! Almost there we are!” the little green creature said in a chipper tone, hobbling off the branch and continuing to scurry through the swamp with Maris just behind.
The inside of Yoda's little clay hut was... well, cramped. Big enough for him, of course. Less so for Maris. The zabrak still wasn't sure why Yoda had invited her here, unless it was simply to keep lecturing her, but she was willing to endure it for the time being. Maybe his presence would help her gain a bit of focus, at least. She had acclimated to the overwhelming power of his aura but its sheer strength still amazed her, especially considering how utterly daft he seemed.
“Tell me, young one – who did you study with?” Yoda chirped softly, already busying himself around a tiny stove to prepare dinner. It was an amusing sight, but only vaguely.
“Most recently, Jedi Master Shaak Ti. I am trained in the Ataru and Soresu styles but also have an interest in Vapaad; not that I can find anyone to train me.”
“Is this, to you, being a Jedi? Lightsaber forms and special powers, mmrh?” Yoda tutted and set a tiny kettle onto the stove before glancing back at the zabrak. “Consider, did you, why this was why you were pulled to the Dark Side of the Force?”
Maris furrowed her brow, adopting an expression that was indisputably the bastard child of a scowl and a pout. “Yes, I get it, Master Ti told me all about that. Using the Force is about purity and justice, not fun or being cool or badass.”
“...Not always,” Yoda said, turning his eyes back to the stove.
“Don't copy my mistakes, Master Yoda,” came a soft voice that Maris did not hear, a voice meant for the wizened green Jedi and him alone. “We saw what happened when I went against your orders and trained a young boy who was vulnerable to the Dark Side's pull.”
“Copy them I will not,” Yoda whispered, his eyes drifting shut, his voice too low for the zabrak to hear – a mere murmur. “Teach her properly, I will. Find a balance, she can.”
“Master Yoda?” Maris said, her hands on her hips and head tilted to the side.
The green man looked up at her, raising his voice to an audible level. “Perhaps... train you, I will.”