Jethlaya was too angry to care she was breaking all rules. She wanted to go to that Imperial school, and she cared very little that her backward parents were against it. Her things were already packed – jammed, more accurately – in her small backpack. All she needed was documents of identification. She knew she had such; it was a requirement in the Empire, and while her parents and the whole community didn’t care for the Empire, they still followed the regulations.
Rummaging through the drawer, she finally found a locked case. It seemed logical to assume they’d keep important things under key. She grabbed it, and sneaked out of the parents’ room to try to open it in her own. The last thing she needed was to be caught when she was so close to her goal.
The box had a simple mechanical key lock, so picking it wasn’t that difficult. She wanted to leave no signs of breaking in, though, so she had to opt for a method less destructive than simple tearing in.
After a while of tinkering, she heard a click, and the locking flap popped off. She pulled at it, slightly surprised by the resistance it offered. It looked like it hadn’t been open for years, and she knew for certain that a box of Imperial papers would not be locked for that long.
There were Imperial documents inside the box all right, but not what she’d expected. A birth certificate of a girl dated 13 years before Jethlaya was born. A small hand print, presumably of a toddler. Most likely of that girl.
Jethlaya stared at the certificate, not believing her eyes. Clearly, she had a sister. Had she died? Why no one ever spoke of her? Why no one ever told her?
The need of secrecy forgotten, Jethlaya ran to the main room, where her parents were preparing for the evening meal.
“I had a sister?” she shouted.
They both froze, exchanged a look, then father said in a tone of voice that allowed no defiance, “No.”
“Then what is this?” the girl extended her hand with the certificate in it. “Who was she?”
“An abomination!” her mother said with a disgust.
Jethlaya silenced, shocked by the hatred in those couple of words, but it didn’t last long. “A what? How can you say that? She was just a little girl! What did you do to her? Did she die? Did you kill her?!”
Her mother snorted, and left the room. “We don’t murder children, even so vile,” her father said.
“Then what happened?”
He watched her for a while, then decided she probably wouldn’t give up until told the truth, so he yielded.
“Yes, you had a sister,” he began, gesturing toward the settee. They sat down; Jethlaya as far from him as she could. “When she was six years old we discovered she had… those… powers.” He didn’t even try to hide contempt in his voice.
“The unnatural powers. She was an abomination, and we do not allow such in our community. She couldn’t stay here.”
“What did you do with her?” Jethlaya couldn’t believe her own ears.
“There is an Imperial law that requires all children with these powers to be sent to a place called Korriban. That’s what we did. Fortunately for us, this convenient law let us get rid of this monstrosity, and make our Imperial overlords happy.”
“ ‘Monstrosity’? What did she do?”
“She could move things with her thoughts. She could make wind. She played with it as if it was toys, but… it’s unnatural. It’s not how people should be.”
“So she had ‘magical’ powers, and that was enough for you to abandon and reject your own daughter?” Tears shone in Jethlaya’s eyes. “And you never even told me about her!”
“She must stay forgotten. She’s a shame for our family. You didn’t need this burden. She’s a curse you need not carry with you.”
“If I was born like her, with that special gift of playing with wind, you’d abandon me too!”
Not that she expected her father to deny it by now, but his silence still stung deeply.
“I always knew we were a backward bunch of idiots,” she said angrily, “but I never thought we were so cruel.” She rose. “Where are my identification documents?” she demanded.
“You are not going to that school. I will never allow it!” Her father rose too, and so did his voice.
“I do not care! You abandoned my… my… sister!” The word tasted sweet. “You can also forget me!”
The dream Imperial school seemed unimportant now. All she wanted to do was to find her big sister, and she was ready to leave for her search even without identification paperwork.
Note: As stated in her bio, Attira was abandoned by her parents when she was six years old. This is why.
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