“Focus Ezra, you can do this.” Kanan reassured. He placed a comforting hand on the boy’s shoulder and smiled.
The effect was completely lost on Ezra. The visor that covered the scared pits where his eyes once sat didn’t have any optical capabilities and the teen’s optic nerves were damaged to a point where cybernetic eyes couldn’t be grafted in.
The grey visor wrapped around behind his ears and kept a constant layer of bacta over the damaged nerves. It was the only way to keep Ezra out of constant agony.
“Kanan, I can’t.” Ezra whispered in a voice that was just audible.
“You can Ezra, I know you can. You just have to focus.” Kanan reiterated.
There were three barrels, one had a meiloorun seated on top, the next a replica X-wing, and the next had a clump of coral from one of the Atollon mesas.
“Okay, now which one has the fighter on it?” Kanan asked, beginning the third test in the last ten minutes.
Ezra raised his right arm, his hand extended and his palm up, fingers spread.
Ezra stood there for a moment. He grimaced as he concentrated on the three barrels.“The, um the… The first one.”
Kanan shook his head before replying. “No Ezra, that’s not the right one.”“Son of a motherless sleemo!” Ezra shouted angrily. The boys face turned red with frustration and he turned away from the barrels.
“Ezra. Ezra this trying session isn’t over until I say it is. Ezra!” Kanan shouted after the kid.
Kanan started after him.
Ezra took frustrated, angry strides towards the direction he assumed the Ghost was in. Unfortunately there was a cluster of crates in the way.
“Ezra look-!” Kanan couldn’t complete the sentence before Ezra slammed his shins into one, flipping over it and landing on his face.‘Oh damn.’ Kanan thought as he rushed over.
“Ezra!” Kanan said worriedly as he reached the boy.
“I’m fine!” Ezra growled angrily. His visor was knocked slightly askew but he quickly fixed it.
Kanan put a hand on Ezra’s shoulder. “Ezra.” He said in a comforting tone.“I said I’m fine!”
Kanan took his hand away as Ezra shook him off.
He watched as the kid carefully made his way to the hexagon shape of the Ghost.‘No you’re not.’ Kanan thought with a shake of his head.
Ezra hated black. He’d found the color oppressive before he was blind and his distaste of the color grew with the inquisitors’ uniforms.
Now it was all he could see and it was a constant reminder of everything he could no longer be.
No longer a padawan.
No longer a rebel.
He felt his way around the cargo hold with a hand. It was degrading to have to do that, he should’ve memorized the hold’s layout by now.
“Ey, ya need help there kid?” It was Zeb’s voice and it sounded more condescending than helpful.
“No.” Ezra said simply as his hand finally closed around the first ladder rung.
“Ya sure? You look kind of-”
“I said I don’t need help Zeb.” Ezra growled at the Lasat as he climbed up the ladder.
“Jeez okay, ’s just trying to help.” Zeb said defensively.
Ezra ignored the Lasat as he felt his way down the corridor. He was doing fine until about half way down.
He didn’t know if he misstep or what but Ezra suddenly found himself face first on the floor with his visor knocked off.
His eye sockets immediately felt like red hot coals were being poured into them.“AAAAH!” Ezra screamed, holding one hand to his face and using the other to search for his visor.
He couldn’t find it and the burning became worse. It was like someone was jamming a supernova into his face.
He still couldn’t find the visor.
Hera was just in the corridor when she heard, what sounded like Ezra, screaming in pain.
That sent her into a immediate panic mode. Did he run into something? Is he hurt? She’d have her answers soon enough.
She rounded the corner and was greeted with a miserable sight.
Ezra was on the floor whimpering with one hand clamped over where his eyes used to be and the other searching fruitlessly for his visor, which was just out of reach.
Hera quickly picked up the visor and kneeled down beside him.
“Ezra, hold still.” She ordered calmly, gently pulling his hand away from his ruined eyes.
She settled the visor back over his eyes and made sure it was sitting snugly behind his ears. She took an extra moment to move a stand of blue hair out from in front of it.
Ezra let out a choked breath and settled against the side wall of the corridor. He was breathing heavily from the agony he’d been forced to endure again.
Hera could only imagine what it had felt like.
She moved to sit next to the boy and put a gentle hand on his shoulder. “Ezra are you okay?” She asked in a tone that conveyed nothing but concern.
“I’m fine.” He replied weakly.
Hera lekku slumped at his tone, it was defeated, tired, depressed. It sounded broken.
“Ezra…” She pressed.
“I’m fine Hera.”
“No you’re not. You don’t sound anywhere close to fine, talk to me Ez. You know that you can.” Hera’s tone was just a tad bit harder to emphasize her point
Ezra shook his head ‘no’ and stayed quiet.
The hand on Ezra’s shoulder became an arm around his back that pulled him close. He made a small noise of annoyance but didn’t try to break the contact.
“Ezra, I just want to help you. Talk to me, tell me what’s wrong so I can help.” Hera pleaded quietly.
Ezra sighed. “I’m blind Hera. I can’t see, I-I can’t focus on my training, I can’t do anything by myself! I’m useless!” His voice rose as he continued.
“When I joined you guys I thought things would be better! I thought I could do something useful! But all that’s happened is us almost losing Kanan! Me finding out my parents are dead! And this!” Ezra motioned towards his visor.
“Maybe I should’ve just stayed on Lothal.” He added sullenly.
Hera was silent for a moment before speaking.
“That’s not true Ezra.” She said slowly, cupping the side of his face with her free hand.
“You’re not useless, and you are never going to be useless. You are a valuable member of this crew and the Rebellion and that won’t change because you can’t see. We can replace a lot of things Ezra, but you’re not one of them.”
“But how? How can I be useful?” Ezra asked.
Hera pulled him into her chest before answering. “We’ll figure it out sweetheart, we will.” She promised.
“I miss my parents.” He said miserably
“I know, I know.”
Emotionally exhausted and tired from the pain, Ezra fell asleep a few minutes later. A feat that had become increasingly difficult ever since his blinding.
Hera carried the surprisingly light child to the couch in the common room and left him there.
She had promised that he could be useful and she kept her promises, but she needed to find out if there was a position in the Rebellion that didn’t require sight first.