Beyond - Legends Our Situations Must Be Dire - Fic-Gift for Anedon (Jaina, Jacen/Tenel Ka; mild AU) - Part 3/3

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by Kahara, Jan 9, 2017.

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  1. Kahara Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 3, 2001
    star 4
    Title: Our Situations Must Be Dire

    Summary:
    Sometime after the YJK kids graduated from the Jedi Academy, Tenel Ka and Jaina visit Jacen at the site of his latest mission exploring the wonderful (if you like arthropods) continent of Koos on Yavin 4.

    Timeframe: Beyond the Saga (somewhere around 24/25 ABY); Legends
    Length: short (5623); 3 chapters
    Genre: adventure, romance, friendship, family, terrible efforts at humor (sorry! :p)
    Characters: Jaina Solo, Jacen Solo, Tenel Ka Djo reference to
    Skywalker/Solo family and OC’s

    Notes: Written for Anedon for the 10th Annual (2016) Winter Holiday Fic-Gift Exchange for with these prompts:

    Custom Closed
    I would like a story in Beyond Legends with:
    1. Jacen trying to make Tenel Ka laugh/ trying to impress her
    2. Jaina teasing them
    3. Tenel Ka and Jacen share a kiss
    I don’t want: a bad ending
    Characters: Jacen, Jaina, Tenel Ka


    This is set in a happy AU-verse that diverges from canon after the kids graduate from Jedi training. So we don’t have the Yuuzhan Vong, terminally ill Mara, everyone dying, and so forth.

    (Title from lyrics to the song “Over the Creek” by George Ezra.)




    Chapter One:

    Koos was a terrible continent full of piranha beetles and Jaina had learned to resent it deeply within the last day. It seemed like years since the tiny rattletrap skyhopper had deposited them at the edge of this section of jungle. (No regular shuttles were used, so as to avoid destabilizing the canopy.) She flicked her lightsaber hilt against the most recent scarab hitchhiker sharply. It startled away from her -- though not without flying back into her face for an instant with a noise that sounded suspiciously zoochberry-like.

    At least the bugs weren’t all as aggressive as the ones near the Academy, though that seemed like small comfort considering that they were also everywhere. Underfoot, overhead, inside any container that wasn’t properly sealed… also, in Jaina’s hair when she didn’t move fast enough. She imagined she would quickly become overgrown with moss and bugs if she stopped moving forward.

    Jacen, of course, had been thrilled to be offered the assignment of staying with the New Republic research team here; it afforded him the chance to see creatures unknown to science in their natural environment. Which was what eventually brought Jaina and Tenel Ka here to meet him, taking some of their days off to come and visit since he had been gone for weeks. Lowie, Em Teedee, and Zekk were away on a mission, so it was just the two of them this time.

    “Another crossing!” Tenel Ka called out from a few yards ahead. Jaina gritted her teeth and slogged towards the other Jedi, who was enjoying the great outdoors thoroughly.

    “Joy,” she muttered. Her foot stuck in something and she yanked it free.

    The forest floor was particularly clingy around here because of the unusual structure of it; she and Tenel Ka were actually walking miles above solid ground. This place was basically a collection of biomatter (or, as Jaina thought of it, gunk) that had settled in the upper stories of towering trees that grew roots down to the actual forest floor -- which currently was underwater and would be for months. It was also held up by globolooms, massive plants that were cousins of the flying kite plants near the Academy. Instead of normal leaves, the globolooms had bubble-like chambers that could expand, fill with gases, and lift the “land” upwards as needed to avoid falling. Moving around here was somewhat like traveling in the upper levels of Kashyyyk, only without the Wookiees’ high standards for engineering safety.

    Mostly, this miracle of nature was full of bugs. Bugs everywhere. Jaina didn’t normally have a problem with them, but this was just overkill. She’d seen orange and black multipedes the size of constrictor snakes here, ones that hissed territorial warnings from their burrows to the sides of the path and hung over tree limbs with a sort of lazy malice. Supposedly the wildlife of Koos was not mainly venomous, but Jaina was certain those things were an exception.

    There was a scuffling from near her feet as a small reptomammal covered in spines bobbled out of the way at Tenel Ka’s approach. The other girl had been moving ahead of Jaina at intervals, caught up by her enthusiasm for the challenging hike, though she did remember to turn around and locate her friend every so often. Jaina had a fair amount of wilderness training from her time at the Academy, but Tenel Ka was more acclimated to this kind of pathfinding than she was.

    That, and also Jaina thought the other Jedi was just in a little bit of a hurry to see Jacen. She’d noticed that Tenel Ka replaced the string on her gort egg pendant before they left, apparently wanting to bring Jacen’s gift of a few months ago along for the trip. When Jaina thought of it, she couldn’t recall having seen Tenel Ka without that necklace since their graduation. And the Dathomirian sensibilities of her friend meant that she was not much for ornamentation, so the present must have really meant a lot to her. This seemed like a good sign, and one that Jaina would have to heckle her twin brother about when she had the chance.

    Though there was a marked path, assisted with various beacon and force field technologies to resist the encroaching forest, they were further off the map than they had been in their usual wanderings near the school. The New Republic had just recently started to investigate Koos, a smallish continent off to the northwest of the major landmass where the Praxeum and most of the familiar landmarks of Yavin 4 were located. The rebuilt Great Temple and its environs were apparently part of the continent of Wetyin, though Jaina had never heard that until studying the other mini-continents before this trip.

    “Are you alright, Jaina?” Tenel Ka asked, looking as though she had just been for a brisk morning walk in her nondescript wilderness gear. She’d opted to leave the hide armor due to the weather conditions on this part of Yavin 4; the Praxeum was one thing but this place was a sauna and would do even the most durable leather no good. Jaina had needed to modify their comms and other devices to keep them working in the misty, waterlogged atmosphere.

    Jaina repeated the piranha beetle’s zoochberry noise but did gesture to the effect that she was fine. A bit out of breath, but fine.

    “Yes -- I’m just -- a bit -- slower -- than I was -- four hours -- ago.”

    “You and I both, friend. My climbing arm is feeling the effects of the journey.” Tenel Ka waved her right arm as demonstration, her face shifting subtly into the expression that Jaina had learned to interpret as good humor.

    “Well, at least the map says this is the last-- oh, you have got to be kidding me!”

    “It seems that the bridge has been damaged.” Tenel Ka wiped her forehead and surveyed the chasm they needed to cross, and what used to be the bridge. She raised her eyebrows, impressed with the… what was that?

    “Yeah,” Jaina said regretfully. “The bridge has been lunch.”

    “This is a fact.”

    They gazed at the cause of their current predicament. It ignored them, munching away at the bugs that swarmed out of the section of rope fiber and web-moss that it had broken off with one long-clawed hand.

    The animal nearly as large as a bantha, and Jaina realized that its grasping claws were a pretty good match for some of the holes she had seen punched through the ground during the trek. It was oddly built, with a long tail (one that seemed to be currently holding up most of the animal’s weight as it dangled from a meters-wide tree trunk), a roly-poly body, and a pointed snout that seemed to be all nose except for where its serpentine blue tongue protruded as it snacked on the swarming arthropods. The bridge-eater was also covered in short beige fur that had a pale cyan tint to it. Its bizarre snout-face looked a little confused and a lot sleepy, as though it had just woken up and was unsure that the waking had been a good idea.

    Jaina reached out to the creature through the Force -- she had never had her brother’s affinity for animals, but usually with larger creatures there was at least a sense for what their minds were doing. This one was -- happy. Really, really happy. About eating bugs. Apparently the bridge, which had been their link to Jacen and the New Republic team, and which was now becoming an ex-bridge, was at least a four-nova restaurant. If you liked the menu with an exoskeleton crunch, that was.

    She tried to send the idea that the animal might want to leave the bridge alone and move on to somewhere else. It turned its head around to face her across the divide, and blinked.

    Then it went right back to feeding, tearing another chunk off of the bridge. It roared -- well, actually it burped.

    “Excuse you!” said Tenel Ka.

    With perfect Hapan diction.

    Jaina doubled over, laughing so hard she could barely breathe. Tenel Ka did not join in, but Jaina could see something in her eyes that she could only describe as a mischievous glint. She wondered if Jacen was going to cause a Galactic-level diplomatic incident once Ta’a Chume figured out that her granddaughter had acquired a sense of humor from somewhere. The list of suspects was a short one.

    “Well, that’s it for that route.”

    “Agreed.” Tenel Ka eyed the gap between their side and the other with a speculative air.

    “I really don’t think so,” Jaina cautioned. They were both pretty good at Force-assisted jumps, but there was good and then there was ridiculous.

    “Probably not,” she said regretfully. “We’ll have to find another way around.”

    It was too bad, since Jaina was pretty sure Jacen was nearby somewhere; she could sense him but he seemed to be too distracted (likely by interesting bugs, if she knew her brother) to notice her in return.

    Neither of the young women wanted to wait around for long. It was hours past noon and twilight in the forest would bring out the nightlife. Probably bigger multipedes with their luck, Jaina thought. Why did it always have to be things with too many legs? It was probably Jacen’s fault in some way she hadn’t figured out yet. He liked terrible animals and so they flocked to both of the twins. Something like that.

    “There’s a waystation down the other branch of the path that we passed before the flessiar grove.” They shared a look of mutual resignation.

    “I suppose it would be the best option,” Tenel Ka said without enthusiasm.

    The flessiar flowers were some of the largest Jaina had ever seen outside of the syren plants on Lowie’s homeworld. While not prone to eating large prey, the flessiars were undeniably smelly to attract the smaller insects and creatures that the plants fed on.

    Still, the waystation near the grove would at least be a secure point to stay. Most large animals avoided the entire area because of the scent, and the shelter would hold against smaller ones. It might even have a comm unit more adapted to local conditions, one that would make a clear conversation with the New Republic exploration team possible.

    They had just reached the outer perimeter of what Jaina had nicknamed the Stench Zone when a sudden noise came from behind them and she saw the signs of a smoke flare drifting up from the direction they’d come from. Also, Jacen was much closer than he’d been when she’d last checked. She and Tenel Ka conferred and decided to head back -- again.

    It wasn’t too long before Jacen managed to meet them on the way, though Jaina nearly mistook him for a particularly strange example of the local wildlife at first -- thanks to the wings. They were the first thing she saw, heading towards them and crashing off the vegetation at shoulder height and above. Iridescent and divided at the edges into shapes that were somewhat like feathers, except not really like feathers at all, they moved in a way that was eerily like something alive.

    “Hi there travelers, I heard the path got away from you!” It was actually Jacen under all that wing-shaped debris, and Jaina now had a good enough look tell that it wasn’t some new pet of her twin’s. Each set of wings seemed to attach to a frame of some sort, and they had been bundled together for carrying in a way that was apparently effective if awkward. Jacen beamed and waved at them from the mess of contraptions, and set about untangling himself as Jaina rushed to hug him and mess up his hair in retaliation for the lame joke. Tenel Ka was close behind and also gave him a hug, the brief, shoulder-patting sort that Zekk referred to as her “Dathomirian bro hug” (a turn of phrase that had baffled Tenel Ka entirely).

    But Jaina noticed that she lingered close to Jacen after. She ducked away to give them room. And mimed smooching at her twin where Tenel Ka couldn’t see, because she’d lived with the goober forever and wasn’t going to miss out on a sibling-embarrassment opportunity just because it was juvenile.

    Juvenile was her entire life experience, honestly, with two Force-sensitive brothers. Fresher paper rolls that unravelled and fled under the door just when you needed them; tools exchanged for Force illusions; Lesser Yellow-eared Flatulent Salatooters taught to “sing” cantina music at 0400 in the morning: these things were also known as a regular day. The chance for sweet, sweet revenge was irresistible now and then.

    Jacen gave her a wary look, and she just smiled.



    Notes:

    Custom Closed
    Custom Closed
    Custom Closed


    http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Piranha_beetle/Legends
    http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Zoochberry
    http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Reptomammal - In this case, based on the echidna (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Echidna). Which is not a reptomammal, but does lay eggs and looks like it belongs in a Star Wars jungle.
    Globoloom - Fanon species, name derived from globo (Spanish for “balloon” or “globe”) and the English word “loom”.
    http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Kite_plant
    https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/multipede - another fanon thing, but the name is used for centipedes and millipedes in the real world
    The gort egg necklace mentioned in this chapter was given to Tenel Ka by Jacen near the end of Crisis at Crystal Reef.
    http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Gort
    http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Wetyin - I could not find whether this was actually the site of the Academy or not, so I just made a guess.
    As for Jacen’s winged gadgets, one can see their original models in ROTJ (http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Hang_glider) and I was recently reminded of them by Ewok Poet’s work.
    The large creature that destroyed the bridge is a fanon species based on the silky anteater (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silky_anteater), with elements of the sloth (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sloth) and pangolin (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pangolin).
    Flessiar - fanon plant based on this real species: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rafflesia_arnoldii
    Last edited by Kahara, Jan 11, 2017
  2. Anedon Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 11, 2016
    star 4
    Oh @Kahara this is beautifull. I don't even know were to start. YJK is still my favourite part of SW. You really got Jaina's character, I loved her comments on her relationship with Jacen. Guess it isn't easy to have a brother like him(or Anakin for that matter). I also liked Tenel Ka's attempts of humor, seems Jacen's influence is showing. ;)
    Also nice idea to use an AU. I know it naive but part of mine still wishes all the series after YJK had never happened.
    And all the callbacks to YJK, Jacen with that strange contraption, Jaina teasing him... It's just great and I can't wait for the other two chapters.
    Thank you so much for this. :)
    AzureAngel2, Findswoman and Kahara like this.
  3. Raissa Baiard Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 22, 1999
    star 4
    [face_rofl] Poor Jaina; this is the scouting trip from you-know-where! I love your descriptions of the local wildlife in all its flying, crawling, multi-legged and winged glory. I am not usually phased by insects, but I agree with Jaina--multipedes the size of boa constrictors is definitely overkill. At least the blue anteater/bridge-eater is cute, if no less annoying.
    The Queen Mother must be so proud!

    You've really done your research on Yavin, and it pays off in the details of your fascinating setting. I didn't even know that Yavin had multiple continents, much less one with a forest built in the canopy of another forest! It's really a cool concept and I love how richly you've realized it. You bring the sights and sounds (love your GFFA equivalent of the raspberry :p) to life. I can see why Jacen would be thrilled to be there to explore the diversity of life, even if his twin is less than-excited.

    The girls' interaction shows their friendship and humor, and Jaina's sisterly affection for Jacen shine through, too. Love how she "mimes smooching" at him and the list of ways her brothers annoy her ( [face_rofl] Lesser Yellow-ear Flatulent Salatooters [face_rofl])

    This is such a great, fun story, and I, too, am glad you gave us a happy AU. I always enjoy your sense of humor, and this was another brilliant example! =D=
    Last edited by Raissa Baiard, Jan 10, 2017
  4. Kahara Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 3, 2001
    star 4
    (Chapter 2 is after these replies.)

    @Anedon: Thank you very much! :D

    I was really surprised to get a YJK characters prompt when I'd just basically said "any era"; those books were one of the things that really got me into the Star Wars universe as a youngling. So it was great to be able to revisit them, though it's actually been so long since reading anything from that era that I wasn't sure how close the characterization would be. You can probably thank snowduchess and SiouxFan for a lot of anything I did get right; I have read their YJK-inspired fanfics more recently than the books themselves. :p Though I did page through Crisis at Crystal Reef a bit before writing to refresh my memory for where the series ended.

    And of course while Jaina sees herself as the beleagured sister, I think the reality is probably that she and Jacen gang up to pester Anakin more often than her brothers prank her! (I'm a younger sibling myself, so I remember how these things work! :p)

    The happy little AU is kind of what I wish happened too; the books got so grim that I'm actually glad they restarted for the new films. The tone seems a lot more hopeful in New Canon than it was in the old by the end. (Which is pretty impressive, considering all that goes wrong before TFA!)

    @Raissa Baiard: Glad you liked the jungle and its critters! :) It's one of those tradeoffs that the most verdant and life-filled places on Earth tend to also be a bit challenging -- often due to all that life. Koos ended up being a bit of a tribute to some of the amazing (and also sometimes annoying or scary) environments found in places like the Amazon river basin, Madagascar, Costa Rica, and many others. (Regarding the anteater, look up silky anteater videos. SO CUTE IT KILLS ME.) Though Koos is canon, the floating forest bit is an exaggeration of the way the Amazon floods during the rainy season -- that seemed really neat to me.

    I'm happy you liked the girls' friendship and the sibling silliness. :p And the Salatooters. (A noble beast!)



    Chapter Two:

    Koos was quite possibly the most perfect place in the Galaxy. Jacen had never seen the appeal of the whole Jedi hermit thing. But if he ever did need to hide from a Sith emperor, the law, or perhaps his siblings, he now knew where he would go.

    However, it was probably too late to hide from Jaina in this instance. She hadn’t bothered him much about his feelings for Tenel Ka for a long time; the lightsaber accident and then the rest of their series of crises had made it all a rather sore subject, and his sister was a pest but not a cruel one. But now that they had finished their training (and the latest round of trouble), Jaina seemed to have seized on the opportunity to give him grief again. He recognized the impish tone in her Force presence. Having a Jedi twin was mostly great but occasionally the worst.

    “Jacen, I have missed you. It is good to see you again.” Tenel Ka looked at him in the earnest way that was what she did instead of smiling -- usually, anyway. It wasn’t actually that Tenel Ka never smiled, just that she did so very rarely. He’d begun to suspect soon after they met that smiles for her were much like what Luke had always told him about swear words (“Don’t be like your mother, Jacen”, he’d say with a smirk in Leia’s direction as she gave him a blistering death glare), that they were saved up for when she had a really good reason. Jacen had decided to make sure that Tenel Ka had lots of really good reasons.

    “Glad you could make it,” he told her, which was something of an understatement. He’d been happy working with the xenobiologists and other researchers who made up the team, and the jungle was enough to keep anyone preoccupied. The sheer amount of life packed into every corner of the floating forest was astonishing. Though there were many variations on familiar creatures (there was even a relative of woolamanders that ate water plants and was fully aquatic), much of it was entirely different from that found in the jungle near the Praxeum. This was pretty much his dream assignment as far as Jedi duties went. But he’d also been missing Tenel Ka even more than he realized at the time.

    Jacen turned to point to the pile of gliders he’d left on the ground nearby. “We’ve got transportation to the camp. Jaina’s going to love flying these things.” Little velanie-blue mothdrakes had alighted on one already and he shooed the stinging creatures away with a branch before they could start to consume the glider.

    “This reminds me of something used by a few of the tribes on Dathomir, but I’ve never seen one up close. The knowledge of how to make and use them is guarded by those clans.”

    “Wow, I had no idea,” said Jacen, who felt a little surprised but not at the same time not surprised that the Witches of Dathomir could, well, fly. Some of them, anyway.

    Tenel Ka looked almost embarrassed. “I actually made an attempt at building one once. Unfortunately, there were flaws in the design that were revealed when I tested it.” She sighed.

    Jacen winced in sympathy. “Any fractures?”

    “Ten.”

    “Ouch.”

    “Yes.” She poked at a wing thoughtfully. “My parents wouldn’t let my guards let me near the right building supplies…” Jacen could just imagine.

    “These were made by Tangara, one of the scientists. She’s studying biomimicry along with a bunch of other things -- made these based on an insect with avian-like wings that they found on another expedition, and also used some kind of glider design that she saw when she was working in the Moddell Sector.”

    “Pre-industrial? The frame seems to be made of some sort of lightweight wood,” she observed.

    Jacen nodded in agreement. “It looks primitive, but it’s really efficient, or something like that. Anyway, we’ve been using them to get around where climbing gear isn’t enough. Niin hates it of course, because he hates fun.”

    Tenel Ka examined one glider curiously, running her fingers over the support structure and controls before picking it up one-handed by the frame. She let out a breath in surprise when the wings unfurled with the change in position, and Jacen grinned at her look of wonderment.

    “Now you look like a Naboo peko-peko trainer. Careful or it will fly away!” Jaina gave him a dubious look from where she too was investigating the flying machines. She seemed to be trying to figure out how the not-feathers worked. “Okay, not really. But sometimes there are air currents when you wouldn’t expect and those wings are tuned to catch them.”

    Jaina seemed fascinated with this idea and began lifting and tilting a glider to see what it would do, prodding at it with the Force and trying to figure out the mechanism that made the pieces of the wings work together.

    “I think we had probably better try to get airborne before Jaina disassembles the transportation.” Tenel Ka recognized her friend’s shift into tinkering mode. Jacen had to admit that she had a point. Usually, Lowie and Jaina were the level-headed ones in their group of friends. But when it came to things mechanical -- well, that was another story.

    “Alright, we should find a place to practice before we try to cross the rift,” he said. “The gliders are pretty reliable, but it’s still a long way down.” The pilot and warrior both looked a bit unimpressed at this risk assessment, but agreed with his suggestion that they try gliding around the flessiar grove (unfortunately a great place for it thanks to the soft earth and lack of spiky trees) first.

    Jacen demonstrated how to use the gliders, showing how the controls worked and how to take off, maintain flight, turn in the air, and land.

    He ignored the orchid-pink carnivorous butterflies that Jaina sent to hang in the air in a heart formation while he was showing Tenel Ka how to fasten the cords on the glider that had been modified for her. (There were some minor changes to counterbalance for her missing arm and make sure that the connections were secure.) It was pretty easy to avoid outside distractions since this involved standing close to Tenel Ka, and Tenel Ka’s braid brushing against his arm, and incidentally touching Tenel Ka’s shoulder while helping her with the cords. Most of Jacen’s actual thought processes at this point were consumed with trying to 1) get the task right, and 2) not loudly broadcast too many overly gooey feelings through the Force.

    It wasn’t that he didn’t want Tenel Ka to know he liked her -- that was, well, kind of obvious to anyone who knew them. And she’d made it pretty clear that she liked him too, as more than just a friend. However, he still wasn’t entirely clear on what kind of more than just a friend she liked him as. That they had had a series of separate duties after graduation didn’t help. Tenel Ka was now expected to begin not only going on Jedi missions but also assuming more duties in the Hapes Consortium. Jacen had mission assignments too, though this was the first independent one to last more than a day or two.

    So there was a little bit of mild (not really) awkwardness about being close enough to feel her body heat.

    Also, his sister was spawned by the Sith themselves, but that was nothing new. He couldn’t prove that it was a Force-assisted breeze that made Tenel Ka’s glider move suddenly, causing both of them to have to perform the moderately scandalous dance of making sure the other did not fall over. He was certain it was Jaina, though. It was always Jaina, when it wasn’t Anakin or Jacen himself. Or Han. Or Leia. Or Uncle Luke. Or Aunt Mara. Or Artoo. Or -- actually, Chewie and Threepio were pretty much the only innocents to be found in the Skywalker-Solo Home for Incorrigible Nincompoops. And Jacen wasn’t entirely sure about Chewie.

    The gliders took a little while to learn, but soon Jaina and Tenel Ka felt adept enough to risk the major crossing. They all agreed that they would rather go now than stay at the waystation and wait for morning. Jacen knew firsthand that the waystation had its problems, and it would be cramped quarters for three Humans.



    There was nothing quite like this kind of flight, Jacen thought as they took off from a convenient point on the edge of the chasm. He’d never been in love with ships and speeders the way his father and siblings were, but being this close to the elements was different altogether.

    The rainforest seemed infinite from this vantage, with the deep blues and greens of each canopy layer seen from a distance and the immense dark shapes of river creatures moving through the muddy water far below. He and his companions weren’t the only things in the air, though most of the flying creatures and kite plants gave the gliders a wide berth. Brief flashes of crimson, gold, violet, and other hues at the corner of his field of vision hinted at the presence of the jungle wildlife.

    He checked on Tenel Ka and Jaina, who both seemed to be maintaining a good trajectory. Jaina took to gliding like a krakana to water, which Jacen had expected. He also sensed something from Tenel Ka. He could only rarely feel her emotions directly, but she seemed to be sending her happiness at the flight and at managing the task of navigating. Jacen tried to send back the image of the animal that had passed him a few seconds ago -- an emerald green reptavian creature that seemed to be all tail -- hoping she might spot it as well.

    One nice thing about being out in the open air was that there was enough room to maneuver without being in the other gliders’ way. Over the last few weeks, Jacen had had more than enough practice time to be confident in some fancier flying. And to be honest, he hoped Tenel Ka would be a little impressed. He managed a neat looping spin, which caused Jaina to laugh.

    “All we need is another flyboy in this family,” she yelled, or he thought so. It was hard to hear at this distance.

    Then he noticed that Tenel Ka had moved nearer -- and scared the living poodoo out of him when she pulled off a dive that he was pretty sure she’d copied from watching X-wings fly. He felt Jaina’s mind flare with alarm, but there was no catastrophe. Tenel Ka returned to the point she’d started from and he stared at her.

    “Please tell me you’ve practiced that before!”

    “-- Practiced -- before,” he thought she said. “Lessons. --- wouldn’t -- build one. Had -- expert -- Chandrila -- teach --- .”

    Made sense, really. Tenel Ka was nothing if not persistent and her parents had probably seen the danger in having only a little knowledge.

    As the three Jedi neared the other side of the gap, Jacen noticed the sloogolin that had demolished the bridge. He’d seen the creature before; it seemed to be a local character as far as the New Republic personnel were concerned. They had even named it Fuzzy, which Jacen couldn’t judge them too much for since it was rather fuzzy-looking. Sloogolins were peaceful creatures, but they were usually to be avoided because of their tendency to damage the forest floor.

    “We can fly by the sloogolin before we head for the landing point,” he called, and was glad when the others agreed.

    The sloogolin looked at the three Humans quizzically as they hovered in the air nearby, occasionally assisting air currents with the Force to maintain altitude. Jacen could sense the cottony edges of its mind, which felt calm and quiet and mildly curious about them.

    “Okay -- have -- admit -- one’s -- dorable,” Jaina said. (More or less.)

    Tenel Ka said nothing, but he thought he saw the faintest of smiles just barely visible at the corners of her mouth.

    There was a current in the Force that Jacen barely had time to anticipate. He just saw the animal’s face crinkle oddly in an expression that seemed almost horrified, and its head tilted back a little, and then --

    AH-CHOO!

    All three of the gliders were thrown into disarray by the creature’s sneeze, veering and plunging out of control.

    Jacen’s had gotten one of its wings locked through one of Jaina’s, and they couldn’t get them to separate. Focusing to push aside the panic, Jacen joined his sister in manipulating the air currents to catch their fall. It helped, but they were still on a downward path and couldn’t rise. Tenel Ka’s glider seemed to have taken damage too; Jacen could see a tree branch and splintered pieces sticking out of the glider frame and she appeared to have trouble steering it.

    He frantically tried to find her in the Force, even though he didn’t think he could capture the glider. Not at this distance, and not when he was trying his best to slow his and Jaina’s descent. It was just reflex to try to hold on mentally; he found Tenel Ka but knew it wouldn’t help. Then he sensed her reaching back, and that steadied him.

    Okay, they weren’t dead yet. He and Jaina had their flight under control -- well, not really under control. Close enough that they would probably survive landing, he hoped. He couldn’t drop into a fully meditative state in the middle of falling out of the sky, but he was able to concentrate and better help Jaina with the trapped gliders. They were slowing, little by little.

    Jacen was worried about Tenel Ka, though, since he couldn’t exactly get a clear reading on her situation. He concentrated on her presence in the Force and this time when she returned the query he was able to try to hold the link. Tenel Ka grasped the idea quickly. Within seconds he could see a picture in his mind of a climbing rope connecting all three of them, and sensed Jaina’s surprise at the turn of events. His sister recognized Tenel Ka and was able to understand the mechanics of her problem with the glider -- something that was hard for him to parse but that Jaina was apparently able to help the other girl correct with a bit of on-the-go repair work and Force lifting. The twins tried to direct her to a safe landing spot higher up (a goal more reasonable with her technical difficulties than theirs), but Tenel Ka insisted on staying close.

    Somehow they all finally landed, none too gently but not crashing, on a leaf so large and full of rainwater that it was also a pond. The Jedi scrambled out of the water as quickly as possible. (The pond was home to small mammals that had a sleek, otta-like shape, and unfortunately they bit.) Jacen hugged Tenel Ka and Jaina, though he couldn’t remember afterwards who had actually started a group hug. They were all pretty shaken up.

    “Well, they say that any landing you walk away from is a good one.” Jaina looked a bit dazed.

    “Only people who are related to us say that, because they crash everything.”

    “We. We crash everything.” Jaina sighed. Jacen couldn’t exactly argue with that under current conditions.

    Tenel Ka set about unpacking water and other gear that had been in her glider. “I hate to bring unlucky news, but we are still on the wrong side.”

    The Solo twins stared at each other in dismay.

    “No!”

    “Not this side, that means we have to reach the waystation,” Jacen complained. The waystation was actually not that much worse than the main camp in many ways, except for the ways that it was really dreadful. He hadn’t mentioned the psittacosaurian creature that always destroyed the electrical wiring, nor the woolamanders that thought the shower was theirs (and would make themselves right at home when the water was on, regardless of any other occupants), nor the feral mouse droid that liked to shock visitors in the feet. Koos was really a lovely continent, but the waystation was not the best introduction.

    “The climbing ropes are intact,” Tenel Ka announced with relief.

    Jaina gave him a look that was not relieved. Jacen was going to hear about this one for years. Centuries. Aeons in the timelessness of the Force after they were all gone.

    “Well, look on the bright side. We can only go up from here.”



    Notes:

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    Couldn’t resist indirectly referencing the name of this article (http://abelgpena.blogspot.com/2014/01/star-wars-mouth-like-intergalactic.html) ;)
    http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Xenobiologist
    http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Velanie_flower - No idea if they actually were ever blue, but I was thinking of a periwinkle color. :)
    Mothdrake - Fanon species (also seen in other stories I’ve written); poisonous reptiles that resemble a scarier-looking version of large moths like this one: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyalophora_cecropia
    As far as I know, the Dathomirian Witches never used hang gliders in canon, but it seemed plausible enough to me. :p
    Tangara - Named for this genus of birds: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tangara_(genus).
    http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Peko-peko - Naboo reptavians domesticated by both Gungans and Naboo Humans.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biomimetics
    The emerald green reptavian is loosely based on the quetzal (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quetzal), a tropical bird with some interesting dragon-like associations (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feathered_Serpent).
    Sloogolin - Yes, I did mash the words for “sloth” and “pangolin.” :p
    The Amazon rainforest has giant otters (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giant_otter); Koos gets the much less impressive pond nibblers.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psittacosaurus
    http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Woolamander/Legends
    Both the psittacosaurian with a grudge against technology and the woolamanders’ mischief are based on travel stories I’ve heard from relatives of mine (though the real-world equivalents were parrots and monkeys in Brazil).
    Last edited by Kahara, Jan 11, 2017
  5. Anedon Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 11, 2016
    star 4
    @Kahara I love this story. :)
    I really became a SW fan throzgh YJK and Jacen, Jaina and Tenel Ka are for me what Luke, Han and Leia are for most SW fans. You really got Jacen's character here. I loved his awkwardness around Tenel Ka, they're such acute couple in their own way. Also Jaina's force wind was nice.
    For the flight I kinda expected the whole time that Jacen would do somethimg silly. It really felt like something YJK Jacen would do.
    Also a great compliment for all the research you did for this, it really makes the story feel better.
    I'm curious how this is going to end.
    AzureAngel2 and Kahara like this.
  6. Kahara Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 3, 2001
    star 4
    (Chapter 3 is posted after this reply.)

    @Anedon: Really glad to hear that you’re enjoying the story! :D I had no idea if it’d be what you envisioned for that prompt or not.

    Always liked the Jacen/Tenel Ka relationship in the YJK series, so I’m happy that you liked the depiction of them here. They’re really an interesting case of opposites attracting, where they’re very different in some ways but like and respect each other anyway. And I had to find something impressive and Skywalker-ish for Jaina to do! ;)

    I did try to make Jacen a little more careful than in his earlier teenage years, since he’s had a few high-stakes falling experiences at this point. There was no way I didn’t think he would find some way to show off a bit with the flying, though. Runs too strongly in both sides of the family. :p

    Thanks regarding the research; it almost felt like cheating because the weird animals of Star Wars are one of my favorite things. [face_dancing]



    Chapter Three:

    Koos was starting to grow on her, Tenel Ka had to admit.

    Actually, some sort of fungus was growing on her. More specifically, it was growing under her fingernails. Jacen had given her an antibiotic ointment from the waystation’s medical supply kit. Evidently this nail fungus was a common problem and not one to be worried about.

    They had finally arrived at the waystation, after a climb that seemed long even to her. In a way, though, she was almost glad that they had ended up so close to the river level of the forest. There were some fierce-looking creatures in the water, but also some strangely beautiful ones. Jacen had pointed out the lumpy, slow-moving woolamanatees, bioluminescent jellyfish-like river sirens, and so many bizarre fish that Tenel Ka would probably forget most of them. There was an abundance of life near the Praxeum, but here there was more than she had imagined. She wondered if all of Yavin 4 had been like this before the cataclysmic events thousands of years ago. Perhaps the main continent was still recovering from Exar Kun’s reign.

    She left the medical supplies and wandered outside to find the others. Jaina had apparently claimed the shower facilities, she guessed by the sound of running water. She probably would have missed Jacen if she hadn’t been looking for him; she had to search for several minutes before she found him leaning against a karulene tree. There was something subdued about his manner that made him almost disappear in the dusk light. It seemed wrong on him and Tenel Ka didn’t like it.

    “Jacen -- are you alright?” She wasn’t usually attuned to emotions, but he was just so something that it worried her.

    He started in surprise. Something frog-like and glowing leaped out of his hand, scurrying up the tree to peer at her suspiciously. “Yeah, I’m okay.” There was a downward twist to his mouth that didn’t look especially like he was okay. “I just, kind of. Almost got us all killed today.” He tapped his fingers against the tree bark uncomfortably, as though he wanted to be somewhere else.

    “It would be more accurate to say that the three of us almost got us all killed today. Jaina and I were there too, you know!” She took his hand in hers. “Besides, you also were part of the reason we all survived. At the very least, we are all much less injured than we would be if you had not helped coordinate our efforts.”

    “Maybe,” he said, but looked more like himself. Tenel Ka would accept that as at least a step towards victory.

    “Definitely.” She tried to show him her confidence, though she knew that her expression could be hard to read. Warriors and princesses weren’t meant to show their true emotions, and she’d never had reason to try before she’d begun her Academy training. (Her mother and father knew her feelings, of course, but that was different. They were family and just... knew.) Jacen usually managed to understand the important things, though, and he always tried.

    “I guess I wanted this to be an amazing vacation with us and no disasters,” he admitted after pausing to think it over.

    “What sort of amazing vacation has us and no disasters?”

    “Did you just --” Jacen burst into laughter; she had actually surprised him and felt a bit giddy at that. Which undoubtedly led to what happened next.

    Tenel Ka wrapped her arms around Jacen’s shoulders, leaned in, and kissed him. She had apparently not misread his cues over the last few months (years) because he kissed her back enthusiastically, and looked like he had just discovered something wonderful (probably a bug; Tenel Ka knew Jacen rather well) and all was wonderful in the Galaxy.

    There was a sharp clattering noise, a bang like a door slamming, and a yowl that sounded distinctly animal in origin. Jacen shot Tenel Ka an appalled glance.

    “The woolamanders. I forgot to tell Jaina! This is going to be ugly.”

    “And what did you forget to tell her this time?”

    “That it’s the woolamanders’ shower and they don’t share well with people.”

    “Ah.” She kissed him again, on the cheek this time, and they went back to the waystation to do battle with woolamanders -- and probably fungus or beetles too.



    Notes:

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    Woolamanatee - Yes, I couldn’t resist the mashup of http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Woolamander/Legends and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manatee.
    River sirens - Another fanon invention, vaguely inspired by mythical Greek sirens and the name of the medusa life stage in some jellyfish (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medusa_(biology)). Different mythological monsters, of course.
    The mention of Exar Kun refers to these events: http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Yavin_4/Legends#Sith_stronghold, http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Yavin_4/Legends#Jedi_Cleansing. Though Yavin 4’s jungle seems to have been restored over the centuries, I’d imagine that the areas furthest from the Sith Force-draining and Jedi attacks might still be the most habitable.
    Karulene - Another fanon species, based on the word “cerulean”.
    It’s not specified in the story, but I imagine the “frog” creature being something like a mudskipper (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mudskipper).
    Last edited by Kahara, Jan 11, 2017
  7. Anedon Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 11, 2016
    star 4
    Oh @Kahara what shall I say? :)
    Its just beatifull. It kinda feels like the unreleased 15th YJK story. As it had everything I loved about this series, humor, drama and friendship. I really liked that you gave all three of them a PoV chapter, that's cool. My favourite is probably Jaina's. It was also nice to see that Jacen has, somewhat, matured at the end but is still very much the fun loving boy he was in the series. As I said I sometimes wish SW had continued this way.
    Thanks for this story it was a great callback to when I was younger and read the books for the first time. I really laughedat over some of the jokes and I think you did a great job. As I already mentioned the effort you put into the wildlife alone is impressive.
    Its a really great story and I think I will read it again from time to time.
    Thank you so much. :)
    AzureAngel2 and Kahara like this.
  8. -Tenel-Ka- Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 16, 2002
    star 4
    I haven't logged in here/posted in years but I stumbled across this fic thanks to Google alerts (for Jacen & TK ;D) and reset my password and all that jazz so I could log in to say how much I absolutely adore this story! <3 I love your characterizations and I completely agree with Anedon about this feeling like an unreleased YJK book. Also, the descriptions of the creatures and surroundings are gorgeous. Ahh, I love everything about this story~ [face_love]
  9. Ewok Poet Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 31, 2014
    star 5
    Love how three chapters of the story have three different POVs and how each chapter starts with an antithesis of the previous one's beginning. Clever, clever, clever!

    And why am I not surprised that @Raissa Baiard is the first person to catch your connections between GFFA and our flora and fauna? :p

    You know about my only-partial-familiarity-with-Legends, so I'm sorry if I get something wrong.

    Chapter 1

    She's straight to the point, isn't she? :D

    I can't see how not having a problem with bugs could ever be an issue in the future. Not at all. [face_whistling]

    Of course, after somebody writes you a story with blind jokes, you go ahead and write one with amputee jokes. :D That was funny.

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    LMAO.

    And that "diplomatic level incident"...crazy stuff here. I'm glad that they did manage to get to Jacen in the end. And, funny stuff and zany worldbuilding aside, I really liked the part about the tomboy-ish Tenel Ka replacing the string on her necklace. I can imagine her being worried if she was becoming - Force forbid - high maintenance.

    Chapter 2

    HA. And good reference to that article. Loved it.

    Awww, teenage love. <3 I love the connection these two have, despite her clear-cut-no-nonsense and his jester personality. :)

    Also love the whole set of techbabble regarding the gliders and glider stunts. As somebody who has read about glider stunts back when she was seven, I approve!

    Yeah, that's almost the same. :D

    Chapter 3

    The only thing better than woolamanatees and river sirens would have been IF the woolamanatee was also the river siren, annoyed by gliders. :p

    The kiss scene was lovely and the very ending sort of makes it in tune with the POV in this chapter - as in, yeah, I kissed him, no big deal, we have a mission here!

    Lovely little story, overall. :)
    Findswoman, Anedon and Kahara like this.
  10. Chyntuck Fanfic Awards Overseer

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    Jul 11, 2014
    star 4
    =D= This story is a piece of classic Kahara brilliance. I love how you used the multiple POVs to show the personalities of your characters and the relationship between them, but also the flora and fauna of Koos. I loved all the little details of Jaina being tempted to tinker with the gliders because mechanics, Tenel Ka being so at ease in this environment, Jacen wanting to see animals, bugs and more bugs, but what really shone for me in this fic was the world-building. Amazing crowd of creatures and critters here! I also really liked the explanation about the jungle floor/biomass/gunk in the first chapter -- it made the alien-ness of the Yavin jungle so real before fancy animals started turning up. This isn't just any jungle full of bugs, it's a jungle in a galaxy far, far away :)
    AzureAngel2, Kahara and Anedon like this.
  11. Kahara Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 3, 2001
    star 4
    Okay, the bad news is I'm home sick today. (Bleh.) The good news is, I can reply to reviews! :)

    Thanks to Ewok Poet for beta reading this after I posted it in a hurry yesterday!


    @Anedon: Thank you! :D I'm really happy that you liked how this story turned out. Like I said earlier, the YJK books were a big deal for me way back when and it's been great to have a reason to return to these characters again. They've always been somewhere on the list of "stuff I want to write -- someday", but that's a long, long list.

    It was an interesting project to write the same storyline in sequence from three POV's, and I'm glad you thought it worked well. Writing Jaina was fun since she's much more snarky in my mind than the other two, and is adventurous but not really outdoorsy the way her friends are.

    Aww, thanks so much! [face_dancing] Those were aspects that I was hoping would work and it's great to hear that you thought they did. And I'm honored to be on your re-reading list, that's high praise indeed!


    @-Tenel Ka-: Wow, I'm really flattered that you'd go find your old logins and stuff just to comment on this. That's really awesome! [face_dancing] I really wanted to do justice to my old favorites and this (sort of) new setting, so I'm delighted to hear that others liked those elements. :D Thank you very much!


    @Ewok Poet: Thanks! The three POV's was something that developed early on and I thought it would be an interesting way to expand each of the prompted characters a little.

    Writing in variations of real creatures was fun; Earth is a really strange little planet. :p

    Re: Legends, I was writing this based mostly on half-memories and skimming parts of one book when it comes to the Legends-canon stuff. And I wouldn't care about that anyway; I get things wrong/inaccurate/mixed-up in reviews all the time. ;)

    Yup. :p

    See, you remember more Legends than me! [face_laugh] I'm just gonna pretend I did that one on purpose.

    It seemed like something she might say, from what I remember of her personality. Though I wonder if serious Jedi Master Luke Skywalker may have been a bad influence in that regard. ;)

    Thanks! :p

    [face_laugh] For a Dathomirian, that may be high maintenance. Though I suspect the new string is extra strength rancor hide or something.

    Thanks, I really love the title of that article. Leia does have kind of a potty mouth sometimes!

    That's pretty much what I liked about them in the original series, so I'm glad that it showed here. :) It'd be so easy for that dynamic to seem romcom-ish and annoying, but I didn't get that feeling about them and I think it's because they had this sense of genuine respect, friendship, and caring for each other. So if that translates here, I'm really happy!

    :) Thanks! When thinking about how to get around in a jungle with unreliable ground, this was what came to mind. (Vines and branches must be an issue, though.)

    [face_laugh] Well, supposedly they did used to mistake manatees for mermaids so...

    Yeah, Tenel Ka is a very task-oriented sort. Feelings are important, but so is going to help when your friend is squabbling with the local wildlife. ;)

    Thanks again, for the review and for beta reading this! @};-


    @Chyntuck: Thank you! :D

    The multiple viewpoints were an idea that I wasn't sure would pan out, but I'm really glad that I stuck with it because it does let you look at the relationships from different views. :) Which is really fun to do! And I'm happy that you found the personalities interesting; I really think Jaina was one of those kids who take apart all the household appliances if left alone for a minute. :p

    Exactly what I was trying to accomplish, so that's wonderful to hear. [face_dancing] I'd been considering Felucia or somewhere like that until I looked at Yavin 4 on the Wook and discovered that it had more than one continent -- what about all the ones that aren't near the Jedi? And I think Findswoman's lovely description of Gand (with there being a bunch of colonies on higher ground that she described as being like tepui - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tepui) inspired me to try something unusual with the geography. It also probably comes from watching way too many documentaries on the Amazon rainforest as a kid. There's some influence from Miyazaki's Castle in the Sky (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Castle_in_the_Sky) too, with the floating islands.
  12. AzureAngel2 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 14, 2005
    star 6
    Dear @Kahara, please get better soon! @};-

    I just regret that I really want to give all my NJO books away in order to create more space in the living-room and the SW cupboard that I share with my husband @DarthUncle.

    (It is better not to tag the person who gave them to us a couple of years ago, a JC member who is not that active any more but was present with her boy-friend at our Dutch Sinterklaas party. [face_whistling] )

    Your Jaina is fun and so is your Tenel K. Jacen is as unnerving as I remember him. (I happen to have a twin in my kindergarten group and witness similar behaviour towards another on a daily basis.)

    What a wonderful (fan fic) present to give to someone!
  13. Mira_Jade The NSWFF Manager With The Cape

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2004
    star 5
    Oh, I absolutely loved this! This is post-YJK writing at its finest; those books are still near and dear to my heart, and this brought back quite a few fond memories. [face_love] The characterizations in this were perfectly spot-on, and your prose was wonderfully light-hearted and up-beat to read. Really, I just have a grin on my face that I can't quite get rid of now. :)

    Some particular parts that stood out to me:

    She’d noticed that Tenel Ka replaced the string on her gort egg pendant before they left, apparently wanting to bring Jacen’s gift of a few months ago along for the trip. When Jaina thought of it, she couldn’t recall having seen Tenel Ka without that necklace since their graduation. And the Dathomirian sensibilities of her friend meant that she was not much for ornamentation, so the present must have really meant a lot to her.

    Aw. [face_love] So much of Jacen/Tenel Ka is unspoken, and this was a great insight into Tenel Ka's state of mind. I love how perceptive Jaina is, and how much she wants her twin and friend to be happy. Well, with some good natured teasing along the way, of course. ;)


    “You and I both, friend. My climbing arm is feeling the effects of the journey.” Tenel Ka waved her right arm as demonstration, her face shifting subtly into the expression that Jaina had learned to interpret as good humor.

    [face_laugh] Oh, Tenel Ka's unique sense of humor never fails to amuse me.


    Juvenile was her entire life experience, honestly, with two Force-sensitive brothers. Fresher paper rolls that unravelled and fled under the door just when you needed them; tools exchanged for Force illusions; Lesser Yellow-eared Flatulent Salatooters taught to “sing” cantina music at 0400 in the morning: these things were also known as a regular day. The chance for sweet, sweet revenge was irresistible now and then.

    Looks like siblings are universal there, the Force or no Force. I wholly applaud Jaina being able to draw a little even with her brother. [face_mischief]


    He’d begun to suspect soon after they met that smiles for her were much like what Luke had always told him about swear words (“Don’t be like your mother, Jacen”, he’d say with a smirk in Leia’s direction as she gave him a blistering death glare), that they were saved up for when she had a really good reason. Jacen had decided to make sure that Tenel Ka had lots of really good reasons.

    You know what, that's really an excellent way to put it. And that's so much of what I like about Jacen and Tenel Ka's early interaction. His earnest attempt to make her smile, and her appreciating just how different - and later necessary - he is to her life is something that's so endearing about this couple, and you captured their opposites attract dynamic in spades.


    Tenel Ka looked almost embarrassed. “I actually made an attempt at building one once. Unfortunately, there were flaws in the design that were revealed when I tested it.” She sighed.

    Jacen winced in sympathy. “Any fractures?”

    “Ten.”

    I adore Tenel Ka's youthful reckless streak, honestly, and this was a great glimpse of it here. That had me stifling a chuckle. :p Of course her parents later made sure that she had the proper instruction if she was going to be stubborn. Of course.

    The entire scene with the gliders was so well-written. Your imagery, and way of writing about the environment and natural world around them really made the entire story come alive, at that. Really, really well done!


    “Well, they say that any landing you walk away from is a good one.” Jaina looked a bit dazed.

    “Only people who are related to us say that, because they crash everything.”

    How very Skywalker of them to say! Well, it's very Solo of them, too - they're just doomed all over their genetics. ;)


    She tried to show him her confidence, though she knew that her expression could be hard to read. Warriors and princesses weren’t meant to show their true emotions, and she’d never had reason to try before she’d begun her Academy training. (Her mother and father knew her feelings, of course, but that was different. They were family and just... knew.) Jacen usually managed to understand the important things, though, and he always tried.

    More spot on Tenel Ka characterization! I particularly liked that little bit of introspection.


    “I guess I wanted this to be an amazing vacation with us and no disasters,” he admitted after pausing to think it over.

    “What sort of amazing vacation has us and no disasters?”

    “Did you just --” Jacen burst into laughter; she had actually surprised him and felt a bit giddy at that. Which undoubtedly led to what happened next.

    Aww! Teenage love at its finest - I liked the bright, almost giddy feeling you gave to this moment. It was perfect for a first kiss. [face_love][face_love]


    “And what did you forget to tell her this time?”

    “That it’s the woolamanders’ shower and they don’t share well with people.”

    Oh, poor Jaina! [face_laugh] :oops: What a wonderful way to wrap the story up, though! I couldn't think of a better final line than that. :D


    This was a fun, enjoyable short story, and I thank you for sharing! =D=
  14. Findswoman Fanfic Awards Host

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    Feb 27, 2014
    star 4
    Hooray, hooray! A new @Kahara story! [face_dancing] So glad to see one of my favorite writers of these boards back in action, and I hope this means more will be forthcoming. :)

    1: Hah! [face_laugh] Poor Jaina... I can totally sympathize with her plight here, as someone who was dragged along on myriad hikes in various degrees of "the wild" during my childhood by people who were inordinately thrilled at the prospect of tramping through mud and bugs in the service of Nature. :p As always, I just adore your wonderful descriptions of nature and flora and fauna—so detailed, so colorful, so thoroughly alien and GFFAish. Some of these creatures—like the piranha beetle that blows the "zoochberry"—seem like they may be more sentient than they let on. [face_thinking] The pontoon-like "landfill" terrain of the forest is a very cool touch. (I speak as someone who grew up in a neighborhood of Chicago built on man-made landfill—less picturesque by far, but the concept is similar at least.) No one does GFFA nature writing like you. <3

    Another dynamic that you've got down just right in this is the sibling-and-sibling's-sweetheart dynamic between Jaina, Tenel Ka, and Jacen. Jaina can sense, of course, that something is in the air between her brother and the pretty, nature-loving Dathomirian redhead; being a good friend to the latter, she is willing to be supportive, in her way, but being a good sister to the former, she won't let him through without at least a little good-natured ribbing. :p Well done, though I am of course by no means surprised. :)

    2: Yes, these gliders do look familiar from somewhere… and I smiled and nodded as soon as the Moddell Sector, home of Endor, was mentioned. Not at all surprised that Jaina, the mechanically minded “flygirl” of the bunch, is so immediately fascinated by its mechanics and takes so rapidly to the business of piloting the thing. But it doesn’t preoccupy her so much that she leaves off with the gentle teasing—from the heart made of carnivorous butterflies (awww) to the strategically choreographed Force breezes that bring about impromptu airborne pas de deux. And of course I love Jacen’s own amorous fidgetiness… just reacting internally to those magical braid brushes and those shoulder taps are already enough of a challenge without there also a Force connection in the mix over which to broadcast those overly gooey feelings. A definite and very real peril when dealing with anyone from the Skywalker-Solo Home for Incorrigible Nincompoops! (Love that! [face_laugh])

    And then the situation really does turn dire once that sloogolin ([face_laugh]) with upper respiratory distress comes on the scene. :eek: Definitely some harrowing moments there—but I love that they are all able to help each other to a safe place. Looks like they’ll be stuck at that waystation after all, though; I’ll be very curious to see how they get on in those cramped quarters with those pesky psittacosaurians and woolamanders thinking they run the place. (You mentioned that those are based on family members’ travel stories, and they did indeed remind me of… things… occasionally encountered at my grandmother’s rural cabin.)

    3: They made it—whew! Even if it has gotten to the point where the planet is quite literally growing on at least one of them, and even with woolamanders lurking in the shower, things are at least a lot less life-threatening, and that’s a major relief (gotta keep things in perspective! :p ). So many more beautiful fauna descriptions here—the woolamanatees and river sirens sound absolutely gorgeous (and you know, I bet I’m not the first to suggest you do a fanon post of these wonderful GFFA animals of yours… ;) ). Echoing the others, the chat between Jacen and Tenel Ka is beautiful, with that characteristic Kahara mixture of tenderness and humor: indeed, what sort of amazing vacation can have both this bunch and no disasters? [face_laugh] Love, too, that that wonderful line is the catalyst for The Kiss—it shows what an integral part the humor is of their love. [face_love] And of course the ending really is just perfect. I can just imagine Jaina on the warpath, both at the shower-hogging beasties and later potentially at her brother for his… omission—but once again, they’re all going to help fix it together. That’s real love—it shines outward, too, as generosity and goodwill. <3

    Loved this, love your writerly voice, as always—and, again, so glad to see you back at it! @};-
    Ewok Poet, Kahara and Anedon like this.
  15. SiouxFan Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Mar 6, 2012
    star 3
    Kahara:

    OMG, this story is fantastically awesome! I had to read it twice just to fanboy for a while I loved the depth you've brought to this story with all of the backstories, asides, weird animals, home of incorrigible nincompoops, and a Tenel Ka joke!!!

    Everyone else has already said what I was hoping to comment on, so I'll just leave it there. I really like that you made TK's parents seem normal! Thanks for writing this!
    Last edited by SiouxFan, Jan 31, 2017
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