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Saga - OT The Blind Chart the Stars (Mostly OCs | post-Endor | Romance, Politics, Showbiz) | Updated weekly

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by Ewok Poet, Nov 19, 2017.

  1. Raissa Baiard

    Raissa Baiard Force Ghost star 4

    Nov 22, 1999
    This is the question that really matters, and sadly it seems that all Lumat could answer is “Huh?” Having old-fashioned values is well and good, however at some point his child’s happiness and well-being needs to take precedence over whatever ideas he has for a “good marriage” and “beautiful grandchildren.” A good marriage is one in which both partners love and respect one another; it has nothing to do with wealth or position. And really, wouldn’t any grandchildren be beautiful?

    Teebo is fortunate to have loving and supportive parents, who love Latara as well. Perhaps Teebo should have taken the initiative to ask for her hand before now, because it seems that the only way he can get the barest shred of respect from Lumat is to be, in some way, the assertive male. I hope that the Council will be reasonable, but knowing that several of them are cut from the same cloth as Lumat, and that Chief Chirpa is indisposed, I have my doubts that things will go smoothly.

    Poor Kneesaa, worried for her father, the village, and Wicket. [face_laugh] at the thought that Latara never realized Kneesaa is in love with Wicket. I guess she’s been focused so much on her own relationship she hasn’t paid much attention to what’s been going on around her.

    Looking forward to more of this story.
    Kahara, Ewok Poet and Findswoman like this.
  2. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 5

    Jul 31, 2014
    Thanks for the comments, everybody. I am about to crash, I simply cannot stay awake and I PROMISE I will make up for all the missing comments tomorrow - a family tradition has been cancelled, so I have the whole day to be lonely and not catch up with my second cousins, their wives and kids. :( Footnotes for the next chapter shall be added too, but basically - everything other than the food court existing and the tower leaning should be canon, from what I remember...


    BookExogorth likes this.
  3. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 5

    Jul 31, 2014
    05 Solleu Ashes

    This chapter is accompanied by an illustration! [face_dancing]

    Thanks to Findswoman for VERY specific help.

    Thanks to divapilot who read a super-early version of this chapter in...2015.

    A super-special thanks to the wonderful Thumper09 who drew this for me, followed some very specific guidelines, read an early version of the chapter to make sure she's getting it right, AND also snail-mailed the finished piece to me. I am forever grateful to you. [face_love] Aaand, if you're ever in the mood to do this again...I won't say no. ;)



    “Dress up nicely, they said. Is this ‘nicely’?”

    Doria looked at herself in the mirror. She didn't like any of the clothes that Auren had dropped for her to borrow. For one, she and Auren didn’t have the same build – the former Roon Games athlete didn’t have hips to speak of and her chest must have been completely flat, now that Doria thought of it. She was quite the opposite of that and her friend’s clothes looked too wide on the waist and too narrow on the torso and the hips. Long, shapeless dresses did not seem to be her friends, neither did anything that was too light and silky, which made up most of Auren’s ceremonial and diplomatic outfits. And she had read and heard so many stories about girls who would dress up differently for one evening and then never go back to baggy, supposedly childish or simple clothes. Those stories never buzzed true to her and now, when she was looking at herself wearing what society would have expected of her, they made no sense at all.

    "Kriff this!" She shook her head, then threw away everything in the corner of her Lake Resort room. "I am going to be me, whether that is 'nice enough' or not."

    One hour and twenty minutes later, she was waiting for Anjie in front of Club Deeja in Keren, wearing the same baggy overalls and red boots she wore at Charon and Deeina's wedding, this time paired with her old orange school shirt and black tie.

    She didn't have to wait for too long. Anjie arrived within three minutes. His long hair was in a ponytail again and he was wearing clothes that must have been one to two sizes too large again, but this time he was clean-shaven.

    "Prog, Anjie!"

    "Hi, Doria from Sacorria." He pointed to her overalls. "I'm relieved that you're wearing what you are wearing. We're going to wander through alleyways, hike over the hills, and climb historical buildings. And...and..." He stopped, went quiet for a while and then started giggling. She looked at him, smiling and he looked down. Then, after taking a deep breath, he continued. "And I hope you're into this sort of thing!" There was that sheepish grin.

    She nodded and they headed to the Keren-Theed repulsortrain station.


    After a long walk around the city's landmarks, feeding trantor pigeons on the Palace Plaza and climbing Guido's Tower, which they both swore was leaning slightly, Doria and Anjie stopped at the open market. Seemingly endless rows of booths with colourful fruits, vegetables, dairy and meat products from the whole Chommell sector were hiding the market's biggest attraction – a gourmet food court, located between two shrines. On each booth, Human and Gungan peasants were offering their specialties. A little further down, tiny side tables and sitting mats were placed on the stairs of a shrine and numerous beings were eating from the strangest foodboards Doria had ever seen, which seemed to have been made from some sort of flexible wood.

    "You hungry?" Anjie asked.

    "Yes, but it may take me a while to pick something!"

    They walked through three rows of booths, smelling the air. Some cooks were offering samples of their specialties, some were too busy with stirring, kneading and cutting.

    The final booth had its name clumsily written in symbols of all colours.

    "Bom...bad... Bombad Eats." Doria managed to read what was written on the banner. "Sounds good to me, what do you think?"

    "Mesa Ygorr, dis Bombad Eats! What yousa haven?" The moustached Gungan booth owner was juggling a large foodboard with his long hands. "My recommenden today's speshul..."

    "Red glie stew!" Anjie interrupted the waiter, grinned and clapped his hands.

    Doria shook her head and pointed at the menu. "I'll have Endorian chicken fillets with baked topatoes, spiced with ryoo."

    "Why not glie? It's the new hyperfood and it'll be at least three times as expensive on any other planet in the Galaxy. This species of algae cannot be cultivated outside of Naboo and produce the same effect. Use the opportunity while you're here. Your body will thank you."

    "What yousa drinken?"

    "I have my own keelekay and water mix here. I'm self-medicating."

    "Mesipax with lots of ice, please."

    "You are drinking that horrible, horrible thing? Waiter, please don't allow her to poison herself with those artificial drinks."

    Doria rolled her eyes and gestured to the Gungan who just winked. Ten minutes later, they sat down on the stairs with two flexible wood foodboards – one a glass of Mesipax with a slice of viita stuck to its edge and a centerpiece of six chicken fillets surrounded by a circle of topato slices and a stem with a couple of ryoo leaves stuck in the middle; and the other with a thick, almost jelly-like swarm of red algae pieces.

    Anjie shook his head at the sight of Mesipax and took a mouthful of red glie. He grimaced, added almost a teaspoon of salt and stirred it well.

    "Now it's much better. Except that they gave me bread, I don't eat bread. So...tell me more about Sacorria. I'm curious."

    "It's a nice place. You know...there is I miss that on Roon and I can't wait to go back to Vagran for my studies, so I could go home every now and then."

    "I don't like the night. I cannot see well in the dark, being half-Hapan and all.”

    Doria tilted her head. That was awkward.

    "Anyway, what else is there to know about Sacorria? We don't have oceans, just seas, there is population control in certain areas, because Their Leaderships think it would be harmful to arrive at a population of more than one billion. And you probably know that we're the Galaxy's leaders in production of most grains, especially dust corn."

    "The health benefits of grains are debatable. But...your moon. I always wanted to see it...the moon of the dead! What are the spiritual reasons behind that?"

    "Ah, Sarcophagus. My best friend used to say that there are none and that they just needed more arable land on the planet itself. It's a nice place otherwise. Trees grow around the mausoleums and graveyards."

    Anjie finished his plate of glie stew and leaned over to Doria. "You are so cynical. Is something bothering you? Is something crushing your soul?"

    "Not much, really. I have a year's worth of exams to catch up with and I don't want to tell them where I've been and what I have been doing during this period of time. I still have this last glimmer of hope that my best friend made it alive somehow, but it's been months. And I am not sure what I want to do with my life." She sighed and finally stuck a bunch of topato fries on her fork, then took a piece of meat between two of her fingers. "Having three homes at the same time is exhausting. Imagine needing, I don't know, a pair of socks, and realising it's thousands of light years away."

    Anjie observed Doria from all angles, with one eye closed. He still didn't think of asking her about any details on her situation. Instead, he just shook his head, finished his lunch in silence and only then gave his answer to the last thing she said. They exchanged a couple of awkward smiles, seemingly inappropriate for their conversation.

    "Imagine needing to find all of your soul and purpose in life again, as if they had never existed."

    Doria had nothing to say about this; she did not want to cause any arguments similar to one they had when they first met. Instead, she touched his hand, tried to wink but failed miserably and announced: "I have a surprise for you, too."

    "What is it?"

    "I searched the darkest corners of the HoloNet. I know where the grave of the woman who got married on that Lake Resort balcony is."


    The small mausoleum was silent. The single guard at the entrance paid no attention to the two visitors. There were no leaflets or any other information.

    Inside, it was dark, despite the sunlight coming through the stained glass window depicting a dark brown-haired, hooded young woman with large, sad eyes, a dazzling red gown and what looked like three little cracks in the material where the woman's cheek was supposed to be.

    "Why don't they fix this?" she asked.

    "It's how she looked, apparently. If you look around the city, you will see those three little dots in the exact same place in paintings, mosaics and even street art. And she is beautiful and sad. That is how my grandmother Sooja used to describe her whenever she would tell me the legend of lost love. I think each grandmother and mother on Naboo have a different version of the story."

    "What was the one your grandmother told?"

    "In her story, called Weeping Woman, the woman was rich and the man was poor. Just like her hair was dark, his hair was light and so were his eyes. They were like two different sides of the same story, like two weights on one of those ancient measurement instruments. And, just like any other kind of weight, they were capable of putting each other down. From what I remember, it was mostly her putting him down. And one day, he found her with another man and he killed her, not knowing that she was about to give birth to his baby. So, they buried the weeping woman, with the baby inside of her."

    Doria noticed that some of Anjie’s story was not consistent with what he had shared earlier.

    "I always wondered when that happens...if they were to open the grave, would they find the baby corpse inside of the mother's as well?"

    "You're a strange young woman, Doria from Sacorria. I like that."

    "Strange or not, your grandmother's stories were probably intended to scare children, little girls in particular. I have spent the whole day hyperspacing the HoloNet, trying to find more info on what you told me, and I have determined that the woman's name was Padmé Amidala and she was a politician..."

    Anjie suddenly raised his voice.

    "Don't tell me anything! I don't get involved with anything related to politics. I prefer to believe in the myth of the Weeping Woman instead."

    "Whoa, slow down...I've only known you for four days; I had no idea about this. I'm sorry!"

    She put her hand on his shoulder. She wasn't sure what to do, so she made a random suggestion.

    “No, I’m sorry. I’m so nervous.” He looked at her and took her hand. “The world as it is right now is frightening.”

    She smiled. "Would you take me to your favourite spot on the river? Somewhere unpopular, somewhere where you, maybe…sat while coming up with Solleu Ashes? I would like to know more about your transformation."

    Anjie’s face lit-up. "Sure."


    A large building with a metal dome on its roof was visible in the distance and, close to it, the river culminated in one of the numerous waterfalls. Numerous flowers dotted the nearby houses. But the place they were at seemed to be nothing special. Reasonably clean, it still didn't feature a single bench or pic-nic table, not even a trash compactor link.

    Anjie kicked off his shoes, rolled up his trousers and went on to cool his feet in the water.

    "I can't feel my toes, Doria. This has been quite a day, don't you think?"

    She sat on her side, calling a flock of quadducks swimming nearby in order to give them the leftover bread from lunch.

    "Yes. I have seen more of Theed than I would have with a tour guide. You know a lot about art."

    "I live and breathe art. It saved me from the brink of existence and brought me back to life."

    Anjie grabbed a pebble and tossed it into the water. Doria came closer, trying to repeat the same thing with a larger pebble, but she failed. After he tossed another, she did the same and her pebble seemed to collide with his in the air.

    "I've never been good with stone-skipping, sorry for ruining your game."

    "It's all right. I enjoyed watching our pebbles sink together."

    "So, blast it out. I'm curious. How did you end up writing and composing all those beautiful things I heard the other day?"

    "It's complicated. I had so many years of terrible...terrible – !" He broke down.

    She had never seen a grown man cry before. On Sacorria, men never cried. It had to be against progress. How was he going to calm down? The only think she could do was reach out and touch his hand. This time, he was more accepting of her touch than earlier that day.

    "I hope I am not hurting you again. You have such tiny, delicate hands."

    Anjie shed another tear. Was something wrong with Human males on her home planet, or was he just so emotional that he could not hold back his tears?

    "It's all right now. You are alive and in one piece!"

    "I paid a large price for that and there are a lot of times that I wish I hadn't." He seemed almost puzzled by the texture of Doria's hand. "I will try to explain. Do you drink alcohol?"

    "No. Never been too big on the taste. But I know it's…powerful. Right?"

    "Yes. Glitterstim, rokna and alcohol at the same time are far more powerful. After a certain amount of time, they ruled my life. I was no longer able to compose and play music. I tried to paint, but that didn’t work, either. So, I ended up lying on my bed all day, shooting rokna, inhaling glitterstim and drinking more wine than the whole of Coruscant...that reminds me, where is the capital now that it has been destroyed by the Death Star?"

    "Coruscant was not destroyed, but there was a civil war recently. You are talking about Alderaan."

    He shrugged, and then continued.

    "I was not even aware of years passing by. Nor do I remember how exactly I got to be in the Imperial prison unit here, a couple of blocks away from this very place. They wanted to get rid of me the way they got rid of other spice addicts too far gone to serve as spies and be bribed with more spice...and perhaps they should have. The night before the scheduled mass execution, I was looking at the Livet Tower, that building over there, through the small cell window. There was smoke in the air, thick, black smoke; I figured out that a lot of people died the day before and were cremated that night. That was the first time in my life that I became aware of my own mortality. You see, I always...I always talked about death as if it was meant to be something painless, a relief. Once it was inevitable I was scared. In the very last moment, my father found out I was on Naboo, came from Keren to Theed and bailed me out. From that point on, I had to reset my own life."


    "It's a local tradition. My mom would probably think it's silly, but my dad's family suggested it. One simply starts anew. I burned nearly all of my clothes, I kept this green cardigan with a hole on the elbow. I got one of my old quetarras back by sheer luck. I quit rokna and saved up some credits from my loyalties."

    "Hope you didn't use the saved credits to buy more rokna, then."

    "I was tempted, but I would have betrayed the tradition. I just bought two more quetarras and replaced my endless rokna sessions with endless music sessions. That is how ‘Solleu Ashes’ came to be. Once my father explained that the ashes of the dead are thrown into this river, I was on a steady diet of water from this very river of the dead, for six standard months! I refused to drink anything else. Those people's past lives merged with the emptiness that was my life and their souls are now living in me!"

    "W-what do you mean?"

    "Each time I speak, the dead of Theed's past are moving through my veins and telling me what to say. They are my spiritual guides. And I could probably tell their stories if I wasn't so focused on myself."

    Doria just stared at Anjie. These things sounded odd, more morbid than her baby corpse comment from earlier. At the same time, she was doing her best not to be a classic case of a close-minded Sacorrian, as she had stopped counting the number of times she was criticised for that. She feared that she could not tell right from wrong, at least not in Galaxy-wide terms. Was it too early to judge her new acquaintance based on his somewhat impulsive and obsessive behaviour?

    "I am...not." Anjie said, after a long silence.


    "I mean, you know, I am not good with being this open. Today has been a huge step for my new attempt at life; I faced walking in the crowd with somebody I barely knew before that. I had fun that didn't involve spice, alcohol or my addiction to creativity for the sake of getting my mind off spice and alcohol. I feel…like a blank canvas in some way. And scared. But at the same time brave. Really brave. I told you too much."

    "I told you too much, too."

    "I guess...I guess it's t-time to stop talking." He gently touched his lips to hers. She swallowed a lump, but did not push him away. To his surprise, her mouth remained closed.

    "Is something wrong?" he asked. "Did I do this too soon?"

    "I don't know. I am not sure if this is supposed to be right or wrong. Kissing itself, not the fact that it came to it."

    "Didn't you have a boyfriend to fool around with?" Anjie seemed genuinely confused. "I had many girlfriends in my previous life, the one I no longer count."

    "You're kidding, right? I was an outsider and Sacorrian boys are not even nerf herders. They are nerfs. I didn't have a chance to meet somebody like you before."

    They kissed again. And again.

    "You have such soft lips." She whispered into his ear. "Is that a right way to give somebody a compliment for kissing?"

    "It is. And I lied to you earlier. I had one girlfriend this year, a holodrama star, but she claimed she had been in love with me since I first became famous. Some sort of wish fulfilment. She was showing me around, as if I had been her new protocol droid or something. Nothing much happened between us."

    "I lied to you, too. There was a boyfriend of sorts in my life, but I don't like to remember that. His name was Glaunder Porkley, Porky for short. Turned out it was a bet type of a thing all along – like, try to seduce the ice queen. He lost the bet...and...err...he had to streak through a dust corn field."

    Anjie remembered Antonio's comment about the "wicked witch of Dathomir" at the wedding. Holos of girls whom he had used in his earlier days in SWS, some of whom were as young as 16, were going through his mind. At that age, this girl wouldn't have been more than a bet for him, either. He and Antonio, together with their two less attractive band mates, used to rate women of desired species and throw chance cubes. There were parties that he could not remember the morning after, there were girls who claimed he had thrown them out of the room after a wild night. He even remembered responding to an interviewer's question with "not being a woman", when asked what was the best thing about being a man.

    And now, faced with the exact opposite of everything he was going for before his downfall and transformation, he wasn't sure what he wanted. Doria’s next words caught him off guard.

    “Anjie, it’s getting late. I need to catch a repulsortrain back to the Lake Country. We are leaving to Roon on the Caravel, the flagship of the Baobab Merchant Fleet. If we don't go now, there will be no other ride for about a week."

    "I still don't know where exactly Roon is."

    "Look up the Baobab Merchant Fleet, the Cloak of the Sith and Dha Werda Verda on HoloNet. Or, I don't know, here is my HyperYak handle." She handed him a piece of flimsi.

    "I don't own a commlink and I never used HoloNet!"


    "If this life wants me to find you again, I will find you. This was clearly some sort of a sign…I need to determine what it means."

    “What the...what the kriff do you mean by that?”

    “This is not the only Galaxy and the only space-time that exists. Perhaps I was meant to find you as somebody else, somewhere else, perhaps somebody who is not Anjie Mencuri needs to find somebody who is not Doria from Sacorria. I cannot be sure that it was precisely me who was meant to be with precisely you. I need more signs. More clues from the Universe.”

    “ don’t want to see me again?”

    There was nothing but silence.

    "Well, kriff you and your foolosophy!" Doria slapped Anjie upside his face, got up and walked away. Not for one single moment did she turn around. He remained there, with a confused look on his face.

    Finding a ride back turned out to be a problem, as Anjie knew more about Theed than she did. All streets looked the same to her, there were so many buildings with round domes, so many obelisks, and as the night started to fall, they all seemed to look alike. She eventually found the repulsortrain station, but there were no more trains to the Lake Country.

    Just then, her commlink buzzed.

    "Doria? It's Auren. We are on the outskirts of Theed and your mom just called and asked if you were with us. We were just about to head to the Lake Country ourselves, but this probably means you're still here…where exactly are you?"

    "I don't know…but come and get me out of here, please. And don’t ask me anything!”


  4. Findswoman

    Findswoman Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Feb 27, 2014
    What a day these two have spent together: touring around Theed, sampling local delicacies (market food stalls are the best!), then visiting the tomb of that Certain Other Lady who got married on the same terrace that Deeina and Charon did (which reminds me of another story of yours), then sitting beside the Solleu together, feeding the quadducks (always glad to see them!), skipping stones, talking about this and that—and even sharing their first few kisses. <3 And what a conversation: they both get to learn so much about each other, and we about them. Now the whole story of Anjie’s journey out of addiction is much clearer; I don’t blame him at all for breaking down in tears as he tells it, given the toll it’s taken on him—it came very close to taking his music away from him, and for a keenly artistic soul like his, that’s tantamount to taking his life. :( So it’s good that it ultimately worked out the other way around—that his suffering enabled him to create one of his best musical works ever! That spot beside the river, so unassuming and so beautiful, seems like the perfect spot for reflecting on where one has been and where one is going, for contemplating a new, fresh start. That he took Doria there was a beautiful gesture of trust on his part, just as it was for Doria to take him to Padmé’s tomb; it’s intriguing to see her sad story affecting them in very different ways. Also that both of them seem to have an interest in death, life, rebirth, etc.: besides his own story of rebirth and renewal, Anjie is immediately curious about the moon Sarcophagus, and both he and Doria are clearly drawn to the Weeping Woman story, for differing reasons.

    All this of course makes the sudden change at the end of the chapter hit even harder. :( Anjie’s just laid his heart bare to Doria, and she to him—they’ve shared a kiss—and suddenly he goes all noncommittal about seeing her again, perhaps even to the point of jeopardizing the chance? I kind of don’t blame her for blowing up at him and storming off, especially given that she asks him that question straight out and he doesn’t say so much as “maybe.” (As I said in the beta, I’m glad that you did have her ask that.) Thing is, of course, throughout their whole conversation he’s been occasionally popping out with random “woo-woo” things, like his sudden comment about “needing to find all of your soul and purpose in life again,” his “crushing your soul” question to Doria, and the post-kiss “I… am not” that seems to come from nowhere (which almost sounds as though we’re hearing one side of a telepathic conversation). There’s also the way he insisted on not hearing the “real” story of Padmé so as not to spoil the myth in his head, the drinking of the ash-dilled Solleu water (mor-bid! :p ) and even the semi-awkward “tiny, delicate hands” comment (which reminded me both of the similar comments Taide makes in your “Quite a Handful” and a quotation from E. E. Cummings: “nobody, not even the rain, has such small hands”). All those things, in their way, could be taken as warning signs of sorts, or at least as hints that getting to know this fellow further could lead in some very quirky directions.

    Not that I think Anjie is being malicious at all, and I definitely don’t think he doesn’t want to see Doria again—but he’s very unaware of the effect his more cryptic utterances have on her at this early stage. And he might have a bit of a tendency to self-sabotage too, just as the way we saw her almost sabotage her chance to see him again a couple chapters ago. Interesting and significant, indeed, that these two have that tendency in common, but it is one they both will need to watch! That said, I’m pre-ty darn sure the universe does want these two to meet again, and I’ll be very curious to see the way in which it will eventually bring them together again. (It’s not really a spoiler for me to say that, is it? ;) )
    Kahara, BookExogorth and Ewok Poet like this.
  5. Raissa Baiard

    Raissa Baiard Force Ghost star 4

    Nov 22, 1999
    Ah, the Big Date! It starts off so well. Good for Doria for wearing what makes her comfortable, what makes her her. And good for Anjie for appreciating it! Their date sounds like a great time, seeing the sights and enjoying some of the local color and flavor. The Gungan food court sounds yummy, though I have to say Doria’s choice is far more appetizing than Anjie (and really, Anjie, trying to change her beverage? Tacky on a first date! You’re lucky the waiter ignored you.) I almost wonder if Anjie is punishing himself for the years of indulgence by making himself eat the healthiest, but most disgusting, foods possibly. Like he can’t let himself enjoy anything, even food now.

    Despite some awkward moments, it seems like two of them are reaching an understanding. They open up to each other, if slowly and clumsily. And then... oh, Anjie, really?

    On the one hand, Anjie is quite fortunate to have broken free of his drug addiction. On the other hand, he’s almost replaced rokna with music as his drug of choice. He’s always been kind of awkward, but now he’s so sunk into his art that he seems unable to relate to anyone in ordinary human terms. Everything must be metaphysical and metaphorical and DEEP. He can’t listen to the real story of Padmé because oh noes, politics. Legends are so much realer! He drinks the ashes of the dead. He can’t take a simple comm-number because the universe will bring them back together if it’s meant to be. It’s kind of sad, really, that in his pursuit of Art with a capital A and Truth with a capital T, Anjie denies himself the connections and emotions that make life worthwhile.

    I can’t blame Doria for being hurt and confused at his seeming indifference after their day together, especially after Anjie kissed her, though perhaps slapping him was a bit of an overreaction.

    Wondering how this couple is going to get past this setback and looking forward to more.
  6. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 5

    Jul 31, 2014
    I apologise for being two days late with the new chapter + not being able to come up with the right words for comments, but since most of you were out celebrating that weeeeeeeird thing, the alleged "new calendarist Christmas", that us, adherents of the Julian calendar have certainly never heard's not like it was an issue, on the contrary. :) But well, NOW YOU HAVE MORE TO CATCH-UP WITH. BURRRRRN! :D

    Just kidding about the comments - I want to catch up with my pals' stories first. :)


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  7. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 5

    Jul 31, 2014
    06 Haunted by the Ghosts of Love

    The Sacorrians and the Baobab couple boarded Caravel at the Kwilaan Spaceport. Once the tranquillity of hyperspace set in, they sat down at the sabacc table-turned- dining table and began to reflect on their visit.

    Maris, as usual, complained about having an extra day with nothing to do, until Larax and Branna pointed out that she was really enjoying herself. Little Ebe was most busy unwrapping his newest set of toys, but he too talked about how the Lake Country was one of the most beautiful places he’d ever seen, something that he thought mom, dad and Gredda would have loved, too. In return, Auren and Mungo went to great lengths asking about Otoh Gunga and Gungan culture, which Branna was most ecstatic about. Of course, the highlights of the story were some of the antics of the Binks family, whom one certain former politician was keen on introducing to his friends.

    “His wife is pretty much a female version of him.” Branna shook his head. “I cannot think of a better match in the entire Galaxy.” She looked at Mungo, who then hugged Auren. “Except maybe…”

    Doria, who had previously kept quiet, her eyes glued to the viewport and the white-gold lines that had replaced space and time, sulked as she heard the others talking about good matches and gestured to Ebe to come with her. They sat down on the heated, padded playground block originally built for Nilz Baobab when he was younger.

    But this didn’t escape the former athlete’s keen eye. Just as her husband got into another argument with Maris over “Naboo architecture being too random” and “Gungan stuff being too ‘glassy’ for her taste”, Auren followed the two and knelt on the heated pad.

    “Doria…” she began.

    No response.

    "You haven’t said anything about yesterday at all. How was the day with Anjie? Are you going to see him again?"

    No response.

    "Doria…what happened?" Auren put her hands on her friend's shoulders. "Did he use you? Is he the same kind of scum as Nokaarbe?"

    "Not at all. Not-at-all.” She said, absent-mindedly and then she added, in a louder tone. "You know what? Kriff men…that swamp boy that he is in particular! He makes no sense at all and he should drown in the mud…or something. Or choke on Solleu ashes, since he likes them so much!”

    "What are you plotting here?" Larax sat down between Doria and Auren. "Discussing handsome men at the wedding? There were so many of them, like that Antonio zherry-pie." She winked.

    "Do not listen to my aunt, please." Maris said flatly. "I saw only one handsome man, once or twice. He seemed to be quite uninterested in everybody and, I don't know, everything. And he looked kind of smelly. Almost like a back alley slythmonger."

    "What was he like, Mar?" Larax nudged her niece. "How come I didn't see him?"

    "You didn't see him because you kept on staring at Anomaly Nokaarbe. This one was with him for a while. He sort of looked like Revan. The one from the Revan and Bastila opera."

    Larax put her finger in front of her mouth.

    "I saw that one, but I thought he was some sort of a hologram. A shadow. He didn't join the toast for the newlyweds, he wiped his hands on a tablecloth at some point and they were covered with…well, it looked like mud. I sure hope it wasn't…something else. Branna, what do you think?"

    Branna joined the conversation. "The only person who matched Maris' description – but definitely not yours, Larax – had long, wavy hair, was stick-thin, as pale as a kriffin’ Kaminoan and…I have no idea about his age. His eyes were older than mine, but he walked around like a child lost at a fair. Doria did you s...? Where did she go?"

    Doria had gone somewhere, perhaps to sleep. And Branna could have sworn that she was with them seconds ago. Strange!


    Three days later, the group arrived on Roon. According to Maris’ chrono, it was late at night, though, of course, there was no such thing as night on the light side of the tidally locked world. Once the shuttle from the Baobab Spaceport transported them to their temporary dwelling, Doria went on to check her mail. There was a large envelope with the stamp of the University of Vagran – mail from the Core was arriving, at last.

    Inside of the envelope there was a set of small square-shaped gadgets and a letter that read:

    "Greetings, Sister Doria Vorr,

    Here are your datacards. Please holocomm Professor Soodar Merek once you are ready to take the exams.

    The University of Vagran, Abatore, hopes to see you around for the next semestre. We expect that the Corellian Sector will be safe for you within a couple of standard months.


    Brothers Soodar Merek and Rogierre on behalf of UOVA”

    She attempted to smile, but she could not. Everything that had happened on Naboo had worn her down and, on top of that, the name “Rogierre” had a familiar ring to it. But where from?

    “Any good news?” Maris asked, on the way to her and Larax’s bedroom.

    Doria fumed. “I have to study.” She retrieved to the other bedroom. Branna followed her.

    "Doria, I know what's going on.” The Drall watched her friend toss the smaller luggage case in the corner and open her datapad. “Mar and Lar may be too self-absorbed, but I am not. You and the Revan lookalike had a fling, right?"

    "No! Where did you get such an idea?" Doria put her hands on her mouth, as if she had been surprised, but she was well aware that her act wasn’t convincing.

    "Where? Ha! You were absent the evening he gave a critically acclaimed performance in Keren. Then you went to Theed with Auren and Mungo, but you didn’t share a single impression of it. As if, you know…as if Theed hadn’t been the most important thing about, well, Theed.”


    “So, it’s him? What’s his name again…Angel something?”

    “Yes, it’s him.” Doria angrily slammed the datapad that she’d just opened. “I found him attractive and he eventually sort of asked me out, but nothing much happened. Happy?”

    Branna chuckled, then coughed and stroke a pose.

    "He is a recovering addict. Not for you.”

    "Why would that make him any less beautiful?” Doria’s tone changed. “You are mean."

    "Mean? I lost half of my clan and you are among rare friends whom the Empire did not sweep away. I do not want your heart to be broken over a piece of scum! Artists are scum, scum, scum!"

    "He is not scum.” Doria waved her index finger to left and right. “He is very polite, just...confused."

    "I don't want his filthy fingers on my girl."

    "He only held my hand. And kissed me."

    Branna shook her head. The young Human seemed to be as slushy as the core of Naboo, but also hard as the core of Vo at the same time.

    "Let's take another approach to this, shall we?” She put her hands on her hips. “Why would somebody like Angel be into you? He is famous, he has seen beauty, grace and all...those things."

    "His name is Anjie. And…maybe he is sick of all that. He told me that he performed a traditional ritual to reset his life, start anew."

    "Your father would have not allowed you to marry somebody like that. Do not dare bypass our Homeworld's customs just because you feel like you should rebel against Maris!"

    "Who ever said that I wanted to marry him?" Doria stomped her feet. "My only boyfriend was a horrible person! Sure it meant something to hang out with an intelligent, handsome man who knows a lot about art! Not to mention that I no longer have a father and therefore, if I wanted to, say, marry a tree, I would marry it!"

    Branna was finding it hard not to laugh by now. "Handsome? We couldn’t see his face at the wedding, from all the facial hair. And he is twenty-nine, if the birth date listed on HoloPedia is correct. You are nineteen. Do you want him to be an old man while you’re still first class?"

    "Branna, Branna, Branna! You are not letting me finish. We did not stay in touch! He does not use HoloNet, he is absorbed by some pretty strange beliefs related to destiny."

    Now, that was strange. And the Duchess could not admit it to herself, but she wanted to hear more about it. But an artist? An artist?

    "Better for you, then.” She leaned over the datapad that Doria had opened for the second time. “One of these days, you will see him smooch a Twi'lek dancer or an actress and you will thank the Force that he did not dishonour you."

    Branna then went out. Doria was alone, with her courses.

    The list was not particularly inspiring. Galactic Basic – Corellian Dialects, History of Mechanics I, Droid Binary I, Starship Schemes and Bocce as the required minor language. The first and the last were vaguely interesting, the latter could come in handy while on Roon and in case Mungo found her a job once she had graduated. But the whole programme was missing something, just like the course at the FAIS back at home.

    As Branna and Ebe were getting ready to go to sleep, she grabbed the History of Mechanics I datacard and allowed the datapad’s datacard processing utility to scan it.

    “The history of mechanics prior to the Hyperspace Age is complex and not everything has been documented correctly. To this day, archaeologists all over the Galaxy are working on uncovering various appliances dating from as long as 200 000 years ago and the discoveries of the Columi species, such as the mental hoverpod – predecessor of today’s speeders. Some of the inventions from this period of time are also attributed to the mysterious Celestials. This long-gone species was rumoured to have come from another Galaxy and created the centrifugally powered Centerpoint Station in the Corellian System.”

    “Come oooon!” Doria shook her head.

    “There have been numerous theories on what the Centerpoint Station’s purpose is: from the idea that all of the Five Brothers require it in order to stay in their current orbits and sustain life, to an unproven hypothesis brought forward by certain Drall scholars, according to whom it could as well be a portal, a passage to another world.”

    A passage to another world…yeah, right. And I’m a Theelin dancer!”

    After about twenty minutes of attempting to grasp a single word of what she had just read, Doria grabbed a piece of flimsi and started doodling with one of Ebe’s crayons. Just like the reasons behind the existence of the Centerpoint Station, the reasons for her sudden inspiration, she thought, would have been best left unproven. Anything resembling a theory would have either been too embarrassing and hard to admit, or incredibly outlandish and therefore stupid. She found herself writing a story for her doodled characters, the words expressing far more than the simple stick figures ever could. After a while, she felt that she no longer had control of either – the lines were going wherever they would please and the words were starting to form sentences that she wasn’t keen of saying out loud.

    At some point, the thoughts were getting overwhelming and she slammed the datapad again, leaving the sheets of flimsi inside. As careful as she could, she climbed on the top bunk of the bunk beds and fell asleep fully clothed, with one of her synthleather Brave Little Banthas slippers still on.

    In the morning, it was not possible to wake her up.

    “Doria, the Sun’s up!” Ebe said.

    “It’s up all the time, so what’s your kriffin’ point?” She turned around.

    While the little Drall was not fazed by rudeness, he wasn’t keen on trying anything further. Maris was out working on the edge of the caldera and she didn’t really have to know that her daughter had, likely, stayed up too late and disrupted the perceived schedule.

    “We’ll let her sleep.” He shrugged and made his way to his aunt. “If you want to work at the desk, we need to move her stuff away from there.”

    Branna nodded and picked up the datapad to put it away. She was surprised when the drawings dropped out of it and gestured to Ebe to come and see them. He tiptoed back to her, careful not to wake Doria up.

    “It’s beautiful!” He clapped his hands. “The drawings are simple, but the story…it reads like a book! Where did Doria get this?”

    “Nowhere. It’s her own work. She laid it out and wrote it.”

    “Wow!” Ebe made a small pirouette on the room floor.

    The story featured a very dystopian far future and a woman trying to find her own place in a world ruled by the Columi species that would have risen again once after the Humans had managed to destroy the Galaxy. Half of the resident beings that had survived a devastating war were now more machines than living creatures and, unlike droids, were controlled through the remaining beings’ minds, much in the style of the common Columi inventions, such as the mental hoverpods.

    “So, she read about the history of mechanics in the Galaxy, thought it was boring and came up with this instead. Yeah, Dodo, I get you.” Branna shrugged and grabbed her monocle in order to take a closer look at the crude drawings on the next pages. “I totally get you…”

    The next scenes involved a young woman who had no control of the semi-beings because her mind was too anxious and she was therefore not capable of directing them, as her mental instability would cause every single move they made to physically hurt them. But then, she fell in love with a semi-man who possessed prosthetic limbs. This was where things got tough – the woman had to learn how to control her mind in order not to hurt her beloved. The realisation that he depended on her was both frightening and fascinating to her. And that was where the story had stopped abruptly, where a huge KRIFF THIS was inscribed on the scribbles on the last page.

    “Aunt Branna, I’m scared.” Ebe looked at the picture where the poor man appeared to have punched himself in the face because of his free-limbed mental commander’s anxiety. “Does Doria want to kill somebody?”

    “Kriff. She truly loves him.” Branna hung her head. “And she does not know how to love. She has never seen a healthy expression of love.”

    “What is a healthy exp…expression of love?” Ebe asked. “Is it how Their Leaderships love all of us back at home? By the way, when will we go home?”

    “Never.” Branna said in a flat voice, somewhat resembling Maris’ and Doria’s and then hung her head again. “By Sacor, what am I doing…sorry, Ebe, I did not mean to break it to you like that. We cannot go back. It’s complicated. There is somebody who is not going to like the fact that you and I are alive.”

    Ebe shrugged. “It’s not like we have anybody there, anyway. But I want to honour mom and dad, and everybody else, someday.”

    “You will, my boy. Anyway, a healthy expression of love. A healthy expression of love. I don’t know if I am good with that, but your parents had it. Another reason that they deserve to be honoured. They just met at AARIS, fell in love, asked for old Tekme to give them permission to get married, and so she did. Then they had Gredda and Tessar, and, many years later, you. I think you know what love is.”

    Ebe nodded.

    “Consider this your ta’sharr for today.” Branna opened her gem repair kit and replaced the monocle with utility spectacles. “There won’t be one in the evening, and I certainly won’t be baking mudcakes.”

    “Aunt Braaaaaaaannah!” Ebe was whining at this point. “Why no mudcakes?”

    He stormed out of the room and came back ten minutes later, his comm in hand.

    “I just called Nilz over tonight, so we could study together!” He pointed to the comm. “It’s not like I can understand Dha Werda Verda without his help. Like, the Taung lived on this planet…and all. And yeah, I told him that there will be mudcake.” He came over to whisper in his aunt’s ear. “And if he does not get it, I warn you, we will awaken the shamunaar in him.”

    Branna pulled her utility spectacles up and hung her head for the third time that morning. But this time, at least it was not because of the things she could not stop from happening to her young protégé. Dealing with Ebe’s mischievous streak and gluttony was much easier. All she had to do is make that kriffin’ mudcake at some point and endure two little boys’ shenanigans. All she had to do.


    Anjie jumped in his makeshift bed with a squeal-scream that was light years removed from the manliness of Steamy Wasaka Stew. He clapped to turn on the light, and then he remembered that the sensors did not respond to his claps. Nothing happened. He then clumsily reached for his night-vision spectacles.

    That was better. Anything that could slowly bring him back to his father’s spare room in Keren from wherever he had just been to was a good thing; for wherever that may have been, it was worse than everything he had witnessed not so long ago. In this nightmare, his limbs were completely void of nerves, artificial and he could not move them. He was moved around by some sort of slave drivers, who were controlling him with their minds, his movements were nothing but their brain waves. And he was at their mercy for any and every possible task of the day – from feeding and relieving himself to gesturing to passerby upon seeing them on the street.

    And he woke up the moment when he saw that face. The hand that bites. The one that punched him. The Sacorrian Iris that sprayed her poison straight into his lungs the moment he was sure that he would have been able to resist her. There was his plan, going down in flames, the plan to forget her before he was ready to face the world as the version two of the Anjie Mencuri that the Galaxy once knew, the new and better self that he was enthusiastic about.

    Had he been trying to escape what had to have been meant for him after all, given the fact that Antonio contacted his father out of the blue, which then prompted Aldo to seek for his son and find him on the death row? Sure, he was not meant to be involved in ordinary things, where feelings would come before fantasies. Sure, that kind of nature was impossible to nurture in the world oriented towards those who look before they leap and plan the very angle, velocity and length of their leaps. The fantasies were controlling the feelings, and not the other way round, it was a rough trade, but one that he thought he could deal with.

    And surely he owed something to Antonio, Wompy and even Dale, after all? They had made him famous. Without them, he would have been doing the kind of jobs usually reserved for droids. Sure, without them, he would have never progressed beyond cigarras and tons of caf in the first place and that’s one thing Cad Skagor knew when he told him to ditch his dream of playing with Zap Farr and make the bold leap of reinventing himself and willingly accept the wild hyperspace ride that was Steamy Wasaka Stew.

    Just like then, he knew that he would have to reinvent himself one more time.

    Was there any place for an escape fantasy in his grand reinvention plan? Was the feeling of wanting something more with a clueless agriworld girl wrong?

    She had probably found out everything about him, whether it had been true or not, the evening after they met. There was that point where she had said something in the lines of him being from Naboo, she must have read that somewhere, too. And all of it was shame, shame, pure shame. She was bound to see the worst holovids from a couple of years ago sooner than later, if she hadn’t seen them already.

    Was that what the punch in the face had been about? Rejection? Or was it, simply, mirroring what had happened in reality?

    Then again, what was the reality? It did not look very appealing right now. And he had to travel in the morning. And be stable, whatever was that supposed to mean.

    He sighed, lay down again and fell asleep with the night vision spectacles on.


    Last edited: Feb 7, 2018
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  8. divapilot

    divapilot Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Nov 30, 2005
    Chapter 2.

    Teebo and Latara are adorable together. They are so sweet to each other, he a bit awkward, she going for what she wants.
    You bring up so many interesting little points here:

    Holy macaroni - even the Ewoks understand consent. Sheesh. Not that hard, peoples.’

    That is such a lovely way to put it! They want the joy of being fully with each other, of having their love become a part of everything they do. So tender and loving!

    The last scene with Latara’s dad catching her sneaking back and smelling of love-oil - priceless. That girl gets what she wants, even from her dad. She calls him out on his double standard and then tells him it’s all good - she and Teebo are getting married, so yeah.

    Chapter 3.

    Everything is a rough trade, isn’t it? Charron gets the amazing ship, but with the caveat that the shipbuilder may want to sponsor his next tour, which means he has to write another album. Love the name Black Mornings. And I didn’t even mind Jar Jar in this chapter - after all, it is his homeworld!

    (That villa has seen a honeymoon or too, huh…)

    I love the poetry/lyrics of Anjie’s concert interspersed with the description and dialogue.

    And here we have the thread: The title, “The Blind Chart the Stars,” Anjie’s earlier reference in another story to Breadcrumbs in the Star Field, and Teebo’s drawing up star charts. It’s all connected.

    Like Latara, Doria challenges the conventions that apply to young people (particularly young women) when it comes to finding someone to be with. Don’t let Maris keep you down, Doria - chart your own course in the star field!

    I remember you and I having a conversation about substance use with our characters and how you said that your character uses spice because he feels it allows him to be creative - that his spice use opens his mind to the artistic, and he sees it as being necessary to him as an artist. But that negates the fact that he IS artistic, and the spice is inconsequential to that. These two people don’t seem to get it; in fact, they don’t like a sober Anjie. They use his addiction as an excuse to feed their own. Even now, others are trying to run Anjie the way they want to see him, regardless of whether it is in Anjie’s best interest or not. Those selfish people who would use him to advance their own goals - will Anjie ever be rid of them?

    Chapter 4.

    The argument was classic. The two dads yelling about why their respective kids aren’t good enough for the other! Seriously, get a grip. Of course, Latara makes an excellent point:

    You tell’em, Latara!!

    I love how these two stories parallel each other.

    I’m sorry I haven’t been good about keeping up, but I really do like your story.
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  9. Raissa Baiard

    Raissa Baiard Force Ghost star 4

    Nov 22, 1999
    Interesting how the women all have different perceptions of Anjie. It’s like each of them see only an aspect of him—the shadow of himself, the lost child, the vagabond. And especially interesting that Maris considers him the only handsome man there, even though she thinks he looks like a smelly slythmonger (and yet simultaneously like a romanticized Revan. Hmmm...). Maris is more perceptive than she seems, and I love her name for Antonio— Anomaly. He certainly is that. (Naughty Larax, calling him zherry-pie :eek:)

    I wonder if Branna would think anyone is good enough for Doria. While I understand that she’s had her share of bad experiences with the artistic type, her arguments seem to go all over the place. He’s an addict, an artist. Your dad would never approve; don’t go against custom! He’s old; he’s unattractive. He’s this, he’s that. Branna, she doesn’t need your permission and telling Doria “he’s seen beauty and grace, why would he be into you?” Ouch. Just ouch. Surely there was a kinder way to phrase that. Or possibly not say it at all. Doria counters all those arguments, even though sometimes they’re the same things that annoyed her about Anjie. No one seems to make much sense when it comes to Anjie. And it’s really kind of annoying that all the adults instantly assume that Doria has “had a fling” and “been dishonored.” Okay, it was one date, people. There are people out there for whom one date means one date. Do they really believe Doria’s the kind who would do more? If so, they must not know her as well as they think.

    Is Doria writing Anjie’s dream or is Anjie dreaming Doria’s story? Hmm... He’s clearly not as over Doria as he thought. I’d say this is a pretty good sign that the Universe did want you to see her again, Anjie, or perhaps just your own heart. His reflection that he owes everything, both his rise to,stardom and his substance abuse, to SWS is ironic. Anjie wonders if there’s room in his newly reinvented self for escape with a “clueless Ag-world girl”—well, you see, Anjie, that’s the great thing about reinventing yourself: you get to define yourself. Don’t let SWS or your dad or even some strange notions of destiny decide what there’s room for in your life. Art is satisfying, but it can’t love you or even be a friend. Relying on breadcrumbs in the starfield is romantic, but sometimes you have to take action instead of passively waiting for some grand Destiny to happen to you.

    I’m certain these two will get together again, and I hope their experience thus far will help them figure out what they really want.
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2017
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  10. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 5

    Jul 31, 2014
    Since I cannot update the title because of the forum bug, I'll say it here - no update today. I am super-tired from cooking and cleaning and I cannot brain. I shall use this week and the next week to add the missing footnotes, respond to comments and allow the readers who have been MIA (or potential new ones) to catch up...but also catch up on fic-gifts and awards I owe. :)

    Happy New Year, from the person who'll fall asleep and slam the keyboard with her helčyjkesšpqwrwec.
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2018
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  11. Findswoman

    Findswoman Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Feb 27, 2014
    Very interesting to see how Doria’s adult parental and mentor figures react to Anjie and to Doria’s new relationship with him, from the gentle, down-to-earth Auren to that wacky Great Aunt Larax to the ever matter-of-fact Maris to the no-nonsense Branna. Maris, Larax, and Branna’s recollections of Anjie at the Ferry-Valorum wedding are a very interesting example of how differently three different people can see the same person; it fits right with the title of this epic, somehow, and with the recurring theme of seeing and being seen that comes up in so many of your stories. (In a way, Branna's comment that his face couldn’t be seen for his facial hair seems thematically related, too: it’s as though he doesn’t have a face to them yet. Perhaps he doesn’t even yet have a face to Doria.)

    I’m not totally surprised for some reason to see that Mr. Anomaly Nokaarbe (good one, Maris!) caught Larax’s eye, though it did surprise me that Anjie did catch Maris’s eye—shows she has a certain ability to see beyond appearances, perhaps. ;) The comparison to Revan made me smile, and not just because it was specifically an operatic!Revan (Heldentenor, for sure! :D ), but also because Anjie has more than a few things in common with that Prodigal Knight. [face_thinking]

    Branna, tsk, tsk… I generally like this character (and all your Dralls, really—well, except for the really mean one, but she’s a fab villain :p ), but I have to agree with Raissa that she’s more than a little off base here, with all these conclusions she’s jumping to about how Doria must have had A FLING! and how this scummy, artistic, spice-addicted type is going to break her heart and how SHOCKING it is that she’s interested in someone her dad would disapprove of! (Who says he would?) And I agree, that “he’s seen beauty and grace” comment was just uncalled for. Ouch. If people have been talking like that to Doria all her life, then no wonder her self-confidence gets so shaken sometimes. :( I kind of expected more understanding and sympathy from this usually very levelheaded character—but knowing a bit of her own history, and particular her own experience being in love with an artistic type, I do at least kind of see where it’s coming from. Her better, more reasonable self comes through chat with Ebe, though. That was one wonderful ta’sharr, and from those examples—and his Aunt Branna’s example—I too have no doubt that Ebe knows what love is. Maybe, in his way, he’ll even be a model for Doria as she learns. @};-

    Now, what to make of these more than incidental correspondences between the graphic-novel story penned by Doria and Anjie’s dream? Trippy stuff, for sure! :eek: Is this one of those “breadcrumbs in the starfield” that Anjie was babbling about a couple chapters ago? It almost looks like it, since he immediately identifies the face of the slave driver in the dream with “that Sacorrian iris that sprayed her poison straight into his lungs (just LOVE that image)—the same Sacorrian beauty (and yes, I’ll call her that!) that he took on a tour of Theed and the Lake Country. In a way, I’m reminded of the dream-related twist in another recent Anjie story of yours, “A Stranger in Someone Else’s Dream”—though in that case the dream was most emphatically not real, and this time it’s realer than either of our protagonists know. Still, whether it’s Anjie that’s dreaming Doria’s story or Doria that’s writing Anjie’s dream, one thing is clear: whatever self-reinvention Anjie is going to embark on now is going to be even more drastic than the nice, new-agey, ritualistic one he has originally planned for himself. Dream and reality get mixed up in a very EP way here.

    I love the final image of Anjie falling asleep with his night-vison specs still on: the darkness of sleep is the one darkness they can’t help his half-Hapan eyes see through, and that’s such an apt metaphor for the way he’s trying to make sense of all these new, unaccustomed feelings in a two-steps-forward, one-step-back kind of way. Plus, it hearkens back in such a cool way to the chapter’s opening themes of seeing but not really seeing. It’s a long-term process, for both these characters! :cool:

    And just as a final note, I would be very curious to see your endnotes for this one whenever they’re ready. :)
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  12. Kahara

    Kahara Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Mar 3, 2001
    Finally made it here! Only been following along for what, at least a month? :p At any rate, my time management aside it has been a delight to see this story take off and bring so many of your story threads together in one. [face_dancing]

    Glad to see that Latara and Teebo are still very happy together and becoming more assured of each other's devotion. Even if there's some trouble from Lumat (who I don't trust for one minute with his mutterings), Teebo's parents are great and caring and they're in a much better place than they were only a year or so ago! Also they're really sweet and adorable, so there's that too. [face_love]

    Meanwhile, poor Anjie and Doria are at the walking the wrong way up the escalator in roller skates stage. :p But that's to be expected; they'd hardly be themselves if they reacted any other way. I'd be as annoyed as Doria at Anjie's "leaving it up to fate" attitude -- isn't meeting someone you like in the first place lucky enough? o_O But then she's also got troubles of her own that don't help any, the main being that she seems to doubt she's really his "type" or that they could have any meaningful connection.

    Loved the part with Ebe and Branna -- I'd forgotten that he was such a little scamp! [face_laugh] It's interesting (to say the least) how Branna reacts to Doria's new non-relationship. Some very ambivalent feelings there, no doubt connected to her own history with a different tortured artist. I can see where that reaction comes from, but it's probably very strange to Doria. [face_thinking]

    This has been fantastic so far, and I'm looking forward to seeing where it goes! =D=
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  13. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 5

    Jul 31, 2014

    Anyway, I know I'm notorious with comments and footnotes on this one, but I'm about to dedicate as much time as I can to it this week (with the emphasis on "as I can", because THINGS ARE FINALLY HAPPENING) and get it done. Expect me to ramble a lot. But I'm also actually working on something, well, work-related. Umm, yay...?! [face_chicken]

    Until then - thanks to everybody who's commented so far and whom I owe comments in this thread - @Findswoman, @divapilot, @Raissa Baiard, @Kahara (so glad to see you here at last!) @BookExogorth, @Onderon1 and @Kurisan. If I forgot anybody, yell at me. If there's anybody else reading, come out of the bushes, from under the rocks...I want to know that you're there. :D Means a lot!


    The obligatory comment space.
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2018
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  14. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 5

    Jul 31, 2014
    07 Rights versus Rites

    The Royal Hut had never looked anywhere as strange as this. There was an air of extreme worry that had not been there before and the select few who had been allowed in after the night of triumph were well-aware of it. Never before did the most spacious Bright Tree Village domicile feel full of stale air, omnipresent hopelessness and fears. Not even the night before the Great Battle.

    Kneesaa and Logray were sitting at Chief Chirpa's bedside. The great leader had been feeling poorly recently. The medicine man was puzzled, for whatever disease his friend caught had not previously been seen on Endor. He had ruled out the possibility of poisoning and, at this point, he feared that wasn’t much he could do for him other than pray to the Light Spirit.

    "Father, there is another thing I did not tell you. Lumat demanded a hearing for Teebo and Latara and Head Elder Kazak approved it, in your absence."

    Chirpa's facial fur almost went up. "What did those two do that demands more attention than the growing tensions after the Big Battle? Did they kill somebody?"

    "No, they just...errr…” Kneesaa started stuttering.

    "I get it. Is Latara pregnant?"

    "No." Logray said. "Teebo found some old scrolls and made the Blue Fire juice from the dangleberry seeds before the last summer's mission. Funny enough, it happened because Bozzie wanted it made for Paploo..."

    "Then why does Kazak want the two of them to testify? We had four or five cases of pre-marital mating that did result in pregnancy and therefore warranted a public hearing. I am pretty sure that Asha doesn't tell us about these things, yet that they take place between her and Tak and I don't mind. This, however...sounds like something I have...been worried about for a long time."

    “And what is it, Father?”

    "I think it's a trap.”

    “Chak, me too. I am just not sure what kind of a trap yet." The old medicine man was clearly worried, too.

    "There is a traitor somewhere in the Council of Elders. Somebody knows what has been going on and they think that I am not going to make it. And they want to stick to what Kazak once said when I appointed my daughter as the next of kin and got her a ruling staff made of a genuine gemwood tree branch: that they won't allow it. They are not going to allow a woman to rule our village."

    "I remember that!" Kneesaa jumped into the conversation.

    Logray shook his head. “Who wouldn’t?”

    "Now I feel guilty about testifying about all we witnessed on the mission! It may have inspired them." She held her father's hand, worried, but he smiled and reassured her that things were not as bleak as she thought – though definitely bleak. “But this is not going to happen anytime soon, either way. You’re going to recover and they will stop thinking about me as a potential ruler again. And…err…by the time I get to rule the village, they will be dead.”

    Chirpa was not sure if he was getting weaker, or if Kneesaa’s grip was as tight as it was out of sheer fear, but she was almost hurting him. Suddenly, her three fingers and an exceptionally small palm half-covered in bright white fur felt like the weight of thousands of stones, a maw of a vicious beast.

    "Don't worry. I wouldn't take it that far. I don't think they would kill or poison anybody. Including me. However, the public humiliation of anybody I honoured in the recent couple of snows may as well be intentional. That way, they can convince more people that my rule is bad and turn them against the idea of you as the Chieftess."

    "So, it's because Teebo and Latara are my friends, right?" Kneesaa put her hands on her hips.

    "Chak. And with Teebo being my apprentice, I sense that I am on their humiliation list, too." Logray shook his head. He could swear he heard the princess let out an audible snarl, but when he looked at her, she was sporting one of her innocent, awkward smiles once again.

    They almost had a staring contest. And then, eventually, she figured it out and decided to share the other unpleasant story with her father.

    "The Council...they also claim that they don't know where Wicket is. It's been half of a moon now. And he left no message behind, he didn't take many things with him, he just left like that. I don’t think they are looking for him at all, Father."

    "My warriors? Impossible!" Chirpa finally managed to clench his fist.

    "I'm afraid Kneesaa is right this time." Logray looked down. "They don't seem to be devoting enough time to the issue. The next thing we know, one of us will be accused of having done something to him."

    "And where do you think he could be?" Kneesaa asked.

    "Once we're done with this ridiculous, humiliating matter concerning Teebo and Latara, we will send out our own search party."

    "But Kazak..."

    "...has no absolute power in this village, no matter how much he may think he does. That said, I know exactly what is going to happen tomorrow and I am not going to let him get away with it."

    Logray winked and hugged the princess. Chirpa nodded to the two – he had nothing but absolute trust in both of them.


    Two young Ewoks were sitting in what was otherwise the village's main square fire pit, their backs against each other. Neither of them would have imagined a moment where closeness would mean nothing. The hearing process of such kind had not taken place for about twenty snows and more than a handful of onlookers were present.

    "Louder." Head Elder Kazak banged his hammer.

    Teebo did not like this fire pit. It reminded him of some bad, bad decisions on the eve of the Great Battle. Both his and his Master’s. He barely managed to utter a single sentence.

    "We have been mating for nearly one snow. Chak…"

    "Louder!” Kazak banged his hammer again. “Why are you doing it?"

    "The first time, I"

    Teebo broke down and started crying. Angry, Latara stepped out before it was her turn.

    "Can't you see that he is upset? You knew he would be uncomfortable to talk about it and that is the only reason you asked him and not me."

    "Not to mention that these details should not interest anybody." Kneesaa added.

    "Did I ask you anything? I was talking to what I thought was the man in this relationship. But he is clearly a munyip with a small beetroot!"

    "That munyip tailored our battle strategy in less than two clouds' run across the sky!" Deej Warrick was quick to protest. "I should know! He did it together with my son, who has now been missing for a couple of moons, which you have not addressed at all! Why are we wasting our precious time with…young love?"

    "And that is why we would have lost the battle…if the roaring creature had not stepped in and instructed me what to do!" Wunka said, with pride in his voice. "Because two woklings were in charge of everything – your precious Wicket and this munyip over there!"

    "That is a lie!" Widdle Warrick pointed a finger at his AT-ST co-pilot. "Chewbacca...he did not instruct us on anything, he took over and ran the giant evil chicken on his own! And you, you don't even know his name!"

    Kazak banged the hammer for the third time. The argument was cut short.

    "So, since you cried when I asked you what you did, tell us why you were doing it. We are intrigued as to why would a young, respectable male would not resist the known female curse of seduction."

    "The...what?" Kneesaa was surprised at Kazak's rhetoric, especially since only one snow ago her father had guaranteed women that they would be allowed weapons. She then looked at Teebo, who was swallowing a lump. Eventually, he spoke.

    "Love. I love her."

    "Chak, we love each other and we love seeing the stars with each other." Latara turned around and put her arms around her boyfriend. “Now, how about Wicket missing?”

    "Come see them with me, then!" Somebody heckled Latara from the audience.

    "Thanks, I can do it on my own."

    A couple of older women gasped.

    "Not acceptable, for a woman." Wunka spoke again. "Then again, she is with this one. He is an oddling. Reads scrolls at night and won't blow out the candle in the lantern, repeats words in Bay-sick out loud when we talk about eligible females..."

    "Wait a moment." Latara cut him short. "So, the same thing that makes me immoral would have made my boyfriend more acceptable?"

    Rabin nodded. "Chak, that is what Wunka is trying to explain."

    "This isn't even consistent anymore...I'm worried!" Kneesaa grabbed Logray's hand.

    "Let's see how far, or how low they can go. At this point, they are on the forest floor, below the thickest of the fern, licking bugs and smearing animal droppings on their cheeks! The next thing you know, they will be in the Fleebogs' tunnels."

    The princess took the advice, but what was going on was unlike anything she had seen before. Kazak was insulting every single Ewok who had jumped to Latara and Teebo's defence and about half of the crowd seemed to be agreeing with him.



    And Lumat just kept quiet, all along, until he raised his finger, obviously having remembered something. This prompted Kazak’s next question.

    "And neither of you have completed your apprenticeships. Fashkaa?"

    "Chak, Head Elder Kazak?"

    "How much does this girl work?"

    "When I need her. She is...she is the most talented apprentice I have ever had."

    "Good. Thank you. Logray? How far along is this young man in his apprenticeship?"

    "He gives his best. He is capable of about one third of what I can do at this point, great at drawing maps and charting the stars. As a healer, he still has a lot to learn, but it's understandable. Learning the ways or a medicine man takes years of strictest dedication and a lot of sacrifice."

    "Would either of you say that their fooling around impacts the quality of their work?"

    Fashkaa and Logray looked at each other, confused by the question.

    "No. All the hoods for the upcoming hood festival are ready."

    "No. I have never had such star charts done for nearly half of the days in the year, not to mention Teebo’s help getting ingredients for remedies and healing the sick. His powers are very strong with the forest and its creatures."

    Kazak smirked and stuck up his nose.

    "Lumat, I understand that you feel like your daughter could have been a link to the Green Haze Village, had she chosen to accept to marry Prince Jierhook. Right?"

    "Chak. He is handsome and they could help us get started on your idea of a Council of all Villages."

    "That was Father's idea!" Kneesaa got up and pointed to the Royal Hut. "Besides, prince Jierhook is already betrothed to a woman named Kii-sha. Paploo and Weechee went to the Green Haze village for that supply exchange and they were invited to the wedding meal." The two warriors nodded.

    Teebo looked at Kazak, as the Head Elder approached him. He could not believe himself. He had vowed never to use the deception curse, the unholiest of his nature powers on a fellow Ewok. But this was the second time within a couple of the days that he decided to go ahead and do it. Again.

    "So, Kazak, you are letting us marry each other? Can we marry?"

    “What on Endor…?”

    “Head Elder Kazak, I was asking you if we would be granted your permission to get married after this year’s Hood Festival.”

    To the surprise of those supporting him, Kazak nodded.

    "We hereby grant you the permission to get married after this year's Hood Festival.”

    The group of Ewoks next to the Head Elder seemed lost at first, but Rabin was the quickest to continue. “In the meantime, the groom is expected to build a hut and the bride is to take a ritual bath of purification at the nearby hot springs."

    The latter caught everybody by surprise.

    "But that has not been practiced for hundred snows or so." Kneesaa turned to Kazak, nearly taking away his hammer. "She is not the first bride who –"

    "Silence!" Kazak grabbed the hammer at the last possible moment, nearly hitting the princess on the hand with it. "Paploo and Weechee can go to the Green Haze Village again, as well as the Marsh Lily Village, the closest to the hot springs, and find some women who are willing to take part in the ritual."

    Both warriors seemed very bemused.

    “And what if I say no?” Paploo stepped out. “As a member of this village’s royal family, I do not want to take part in this ridiculous ritual. I’m sure that Weechee is with me!”

    The oldest of the Warrick siblings took Paploo’s side. “Me neither. I would rather go deep in the woods with Paploo and search for my little brother.”

    Kazak rolled his eyes. “Arandee, these two are refusing to oblige! K’vark, does anybody want to volunteer and help me with this?”

    Wunka, Rabin and a couple of others raised three fingers in the air, just as he had expected.

    “Great that there are responsible warriors who will help the village in these difficult times!” the Head Elder said, with pride in his voice, not noticing that quite a handful of villagers seemed confused by his response. “Besides, we could use woklings conceived according to all the right rituals. Everybody is dismissed now – including the offending couple.”

    “Just what are the ‘right rituals’?” Kneesaa poked Logray again.

    The medicine man stroke his long facial fur. “I…don’t know. Somebody seems to have been looking at scrolls older than those you have been studying, princess.”

    They both looked on nervously, as everybody was leaving the main square. Just then, Kazak stopped Weechee, Widdle and Deej.

    “Warrick, by the way…Wicket has got to be either many stars away from here or strangled by boar-wolves. Your search is going to be futile, I’m afraid…”

    Fire lit up in the oldest of the four siblings’ eyes. “With all due respect, Head Elder Kazak, you do not know the meaning of the word ‘futile’. Dad, Willy, let’s go!”


    Kneesaa sat down, with the remaining third of the bottle of sunberry wine that she had shared with the Rebel pathfinder Kes Dameron after the Big Battle. She nervously batted her fingers against the rickety wooden table in her chamber, then shrugged and reached for a small plastoid jar of whatever ‘Perigen’ was – another thing that Dameron had given to her and told her to use it ‘when her head would echo with sounds’.

    Just then, somebody put their hand on hers. She looked up and saw Asha.

    “You’re not going to need this,” the red-furred warrior princess said, and then took a huge sip from the bottle, drinking up everything left. “You have your own means of dealing with this. And I am going to give you all the help that I can.” She wiped her mouth, sending a couple of drops of the reddish-pink liquid to the wooden floor.

    Kneesaa looked down. “I…didn’t really mean to take the wine. Just this little white…candy...thing. Chak, the little white candy thing!”

    Asha put her hands on her hips.

    “Arandee…Tak and I have a vague idea of what has been going on here, the Warricks do, too. But there are also a couple of younger hunters and warriors that would otherwise appear neutral to Kazak and his chak-herd. So, we’re going to have somebody infiltrate their little group and tell us who else is working against you and everybody and everything you hold dear.” The red-furred warrior clenched her fist. She was not the slightest bit tipsy from the wine she had downed.

    “That’s a perfect idea! You have been reading about the Three Lessons, haven’t you?”

    “Chak.” Asha hugged her younger sister. “Nobody hurts anybody close to Asha Fahn and remains unscratched. Just ask all those Duloks from back then.”

    Kneesaa shook her head. She wondered where the remaining Duloks have gone to after the destruction of the Sunstar Shadowstone. They could not have been dead, for sure. Now that the Empire-beings had mostly left the Forest Moon, there was nothing left to be running away from.

    Just then Asha spoke again.

    “Make sure you keep the gemwood sceptre close to you, all the time. You might need to bash somebody’s skull with it.”

    The young princess swallowed a lump.


    Before the footnotes are in - yes, the Kneesaa and Kes Dameron thing is CANON! [face_dancing]
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2018
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  15. Raissa Baiard

    Raissa Baiard Force Ghost star 4

    Nov 22, 1999
    Looks like there’s trouble in Bright Tree Village! Poor Chief Chirpa—I wonder what is ailing him? Logray doesn’t recognize it as a disease or a poison. Could their new human allies have inadvertently exposed them to something? I’m inclined to think there’s something more sinister afoot. [face_thinking] And I wonder who could be behind it, because as vicious as Kazak is, I don’t think he’s smart enough to hatch this kind of plot. Someone’s whispering into his spiteful little ears! (Should I know where Wicket is at this point, or is this another part of the plot?)

    Kneesaa’s got her hands full dealing with it all—her father’s illness, Wicket, Kazak, Latara And Teebo... it’s enough to make the Princess’s head spin. Good thing she’s got some clever advisors. Asha’s particularly devious; she’s come up with a good plan to infiltrate Kazak’s little cabal. And she makes a good point about the potential for head-bashing!

    The hearing for Teebo and Latara is ludicrous, full of double standards and non sequitirs. There are no children to make sure are acknowledged or provided for. Their “extracurricular activities” don’t impact their work and they want to get married, so there should be no problem, right? Or at least there wouldn’t be if someone wasn’t out to shame them. The why, how, where, what questions they press on Teebo are cruel; no one should be subjected to that and as, Kneesaa Notes, no one should be interested either. And it seems that the only reason for invoking the old rituals is to shame Latara and make her admit “wrongdoing” as the price of her marriage.:mad:I hope that Kneesaa and Asha will be able to ferret out who’s behind this.

    Another intriguing chapter as the mystery deepens! Looking forward to seeing more!
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  16. Findswoman

    Findswoman Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Feb 27, 2014
    Yep, I too have to agree with Kneesaa, her dad, and their friends and colleagues that there are, to all appearances, some fishy things at work here in Bright Tree, and I think Admiral Ackbar would agree with their overall suspicions too. ;) Chirpa's illness is very concerning; I almost suspect some sort of foul play on the part of some of those other Council of Elders members who feel that he's been too "soft" a ruler and who are against Kneesaa inheriting his position. It's good, though, to see that the illness hasn't completely crushed his spirit, and I hope he'll make it through, the dear old fellow! But I know Logray is doing his best to treat him, and undoubtedly Teebo is helping out on that end.

    The whole annoying, humiliating business with the premarital mating hearing definitely smacks of an attempt at diversion from some other, bigger thing, whatever it may be. The trumped-up, old-fashioned atonement ritual seems particularly so—and seems like it, too, is going to be a humiliating experience for Latara. What is the role of those other women whom they're going to try to recruit for the ritual, I wonder? And the heck with this "woklings conceived according to the right rituals" business? I'm worried now. [face_nail_biting]

    But it's good to see that Teebo nad Logray aren't going it alone here. I enjoyed seeing Fashkaa and Logray testify on behalf of their respective apprentices. And it's notable indeed that Paploo—the very one for whom that blue potion was made to begin with—speaks out against participating in the mysterious, indeterminate ritual, though we have seen his chivalrous streak before in The Other Moon, in his defense of his cousin Kneesaa.

    Of course Paploo and Weechee bring up the other Phlog in the room: the fact that Wicket has gone missing and no one in positions of authority seems to care. But those Warricks (plus Paploo) are not going to be stopped by any feeble naysaying by lurdoish elders—good on them, I say! Much success to them in their search, though I hope they take good care, too, with the many dangers now afoot.

    And finally... Asha! [face_danding] I always love seeing her, and I'm so glad that she and Kneesaa get a moment to confer about matters. She's a tough cookie, and she clearly has a plan in mind—though given how Kazak and co. can get, I also fear that she'll be playing a very dangerous game with this infiltration idea. Very cool indeed that Kneesaa is now established as having met Kes Dameron, and I hope that Perigen "white candy" will help clear her head a bit with all the confusion and stress going on around her. And I think her sister's advice about the scepter is probably pretty apt, given the way things are going, though I totally understand why the usually very diplomatic Kneesaa has misgivings about it. All of our heroes and heroines need to watch themselves during these uncertain times, that's for sure—but they'll make it through, I know they shall! :)
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  17. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 5

    Jul 31, 2014
    Thanks for reading! :) And, of course, once I have things to get done, I'm actually replying to comments on time.


    You're clearly onto something here - I shall say no more. But yup, Kazak is not THAT smart.

    Whenever in doubt: always bash on the head. In this one issue of Asterix, the Romans call bashing on the head "psychological war". :D

    And all of that happens despite the earlier advancement in that field...

    Ask and you shall receive. ;)

    Sadly, Ackbar already left, otherwise he would totally be on this. :p

    I cannot say anything at this point, so... #soon.

    The last thing is super-outdated, who knows what scroll they found it on. So, how come they have access to the scrolls and whatnot?

    You're right about the humiliation thing.

    Fashkaa and Logray would always defend their great apprentices - they're worth it.

    Paploo has gone through a lot and though he might still be a character of the LEEEEEEEEEEROY JEEEEEEEEEEENKINS type, after his experience on that speeder, he's basically fearless. YOLO.

    Loved the phrase "another Phlog in the room". :D

    Asha is no-nonsense and she means every word she said, the wine did not affect her at all, that's the way it is.

    The game is indeed dangerous...we'll see.
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  18. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 5

    Jul 31, 2014
    08 Life is All About Taking Risks

    Salis D’aar, Bakura

    Dear Dodo,

    What a piece of bantha poodoo he is! I hope he falls through a garbage chute. Nothing else to say, other than hold on, you have more important things to worry about!



    “Aaaargh, that kriffslider!” Deeina closed her datapad with a loud bang. “It’s times like this that make me miss my jetpack….because I would so find him, wherever he may be hiding and kick his skinny little bottom!” She shook her fist in the air.

    Having heard her mumble, Charon came back from observing the lush cityscape of Salis D’aar from the balcony. He cocked his head and seemed to be slightly puzzled at his wife’s sudden anger.

    “Who was that? The poor soul who is responsible for delivering our ceremony bill or something?” He nudged Deeina and winked. “Why are we checking our emails during our wedding trip, anyway? Didn’t we agree that not even the new manager is more important than…”

    Deeina rolled her eyes. Charon’s humour was still not back to its usual. But he was getting closer and closer. Maybe. She did not dare ask about how and if the recent events inspired him.

    “So, what’s up, Dede? Answer me, please. Please.”

    She got up from the conversation circle. "Do you remember the strangest guest at our wedding?"

    "The violet dress sludgeflimsi woman who came out of nowhere?” Charon raised his eyebrow and went to grab something from the fruit bowl. “Or Antonio Nokaarbe? Maybe both?”

    "Neither of them, the guy who wandered away before the toast. Anjie Mencuri."

    "The...the great Mencuri was at our wedding and I didn't see him?” Charon’s hands were almost shaking. “The great Mencuri himself? How on Nubia did I miss his Pumaroo bird haircut?"

    "Maybe because he had long hair, a scruffy beard and looked nothing like he did back in the days?" Deeina was now laughing. "Not a Coronet City banthacake anymore, for sure, more like a Kaminoan diplomat drugged up with Zelosian zherry bombs in a state of hyperglycaemia. And he sort of…blended into the background, unlike Nokaarbe.” She stopped for a moment to snicker at her own avalanche of wit. “Either way, Doria had a date with him."

    Charon spit a mouthful of namana fruit in his wife’s face. "What? How did that happen? Doria Vorr and Anjie Mencuri, out of all beings in the Galaxy? They’re going to kill each other!” He seemed genuinely concerned.

    "I…don’t know. I don’t even remember them talking at the wedding. Anyway, they had a great day, she says she had almost fallen in love with him. And then he sort of rejected her despite the fact that it was him making advances all along…"


    “She hit him!” Deeina shook her head. “And then she walked off. He didn’t do anything.”

    "Now, that sounds more like it. More like Dodo and more like what I've seen of him."

    "Charon! The poor man deserves another chance at life, after whatever those rumours hint had happened. And our friend always seemed like somebody who would never fall in love for real. That Porky wermo story and all…"

    "Oh, kriff." He shook his head. “Then again, I did expect my wife, who sees the best in everybody, to say something like that.”

    “Well, yeah. Mencuri seems to be a follower of his own make-believe religion or whatever, but he appears to be harmless otherwise. Speaking of Dodo, you promised that you would take a look at the datacard from the holocam, right?”

    Charon did not want to confess that he had absolutely forgotten about it. Reluctant to relieve anything, he popped the datacard in the viewscreen’s smallest back slot. Nothing happened at first.

    “Ummm, maybe these things don’t work right here on Bakura? The edge of Wild Space and all…” He attempted a sheepish smile, uncharacteristic at best. But he couldn’t fool his wife.

    “They do.” Deeina put her hands on her hips. “And Doria told us to skip everything up to the ceremony, so you won’t get to see anything that you don’t want to.”

    She pressed the button again. On the screen, there was now a female Ewok, playing a woodwind instrument with her eyes closed. Moments later, the camera zoomed out to show the whole scene. There were other beings playing drums.

    “The flute player…is incredible. She’s a natural Why is she in the shade?”

    “No idea.”

    “The drummers with the trooper helmets are pretty bad, what a shame. The one with the real drum… and some really, really strange headgear - that one knows his drumming. Shame we cannot see who’s leading the choir. Their voices are all good, especially the loudest among them. Doria was right, this is sick! This song is a big deal.”


    "I want these two on our next album, whatever it may take. Our sponsors will pay for a trip to Endor if we ask them to, plus now with the maps of the system known to general public, there is no danger, whatsoever.”

    “I agree that they are likeable…for Ewoks. She is cute and a master on whatever type of a flute that and he looks cool and aggressive. But how are we going to find them?"

    "Now that I know how to land without destroying my ship and now that their village is famous, we will find them in a matter of hours!" Charon paused for a couple of minutes and then added. “This is not just hopping on the repulsortrain wagon. This is important, for us who lost our families in this horrible war. For everybody who does not want another war. For this fragile peace to set. Just think about it.”

    Deeina seemed to finally be convinced. She rewinded the holovid to look at these creatures again. Then another wave of doubt popped up.

    “Don’t you think that it’s a bit cruel to take these beings away from their homeworld? The news bulletins stated that their culture is so backwards that they haven’t even found a way to process metal! They could end up feeling like gizkas in the headlights, no matter where we take them to! Not to mention their families…”

    Charon had an answer ready. “They’re sentient beings. We should be able to communicate with them if we get a hold of a good protocol droid. The one mentioned in the big news was from the 3PO series, right? We can get one of those, they all have the same programming, just different personalities. I want ours to be…spunky. A true pronker.”

    “Not convinced, knowing how your plans usually end up.” The curly-haired Aurean shook her head. “At the same time, yes, somebody needs to make a statement, somebody known for making statements. Sounds like a job for you, Sweetcorn, indeed.”

    “Told ya so!” The Nubian pulled his wife in a tight embrace.

    Deeina giggled. “That’s my line!”

    “No, it’s not. Your line is ‘come hither’.”

    “Poodoo, you’re right. Come hither…we’ll think about this once this trip has passed.” She beckoned him over. Soon, they were engaged in a pillow fight and one thing led to another.


    Marina District, Keren, Naboo

    Attorney Aldo Mencuri was surprised to see his eldest son packing his belongings into crates in the messy room that had been his home for the past two years or so. This happened just one day after he announced that he would remain inside “forever and ever”. Anjie was an enigma sometimes. Or often.

    “Son? Is there something you want to tell me?” he asked.

    The young man took a deep breath and looked down. “I’m leaving Naboo, dad. Antonio managed to convince me at last. I did not believe myself at the performance in Club Deeja when I blurted out that we’re working on something new, but apparently, everybody else knew it before me. So…w-we are working on something new!”

    “Where are you going to go?” Aldo was clearly annoyed. “You have no credits to get you out of the Chommell Sector, let alone back to Corellia once it has been liberated!” He stopped. “You only have the credits you got for that performance at Club Deeja and that’s...”

    Anjie shook his head and continued packing. “I don’t. I told Kiki Sanaka to give it all to the missionaries at the nearest refugee settlement on the banks of Lake Varum. Nobody was supposed to know this, but…”

    Aldo was clearly angry. “So, I got you out of the death row in the last minute. Grandma and I nursed you back to health, you could have died. I paid for your reconstructive surgery, you could have ended up without teeth and with both of your arms being one hundred percent cybernetic! And now you want to go back to a life of debauchery and spice!?”

    Anjie frowned. But he knew all of that already – it was repeated all over and over, each and every single day. He let his father continue.

    “You have been living with Toora, the kids, grandparents and me for nearly two standard years now. We didn’t even force you to find a job, not that you’re qualified for anything, anyway! We allow you to mess with your strange outdated garbage of machinery all day, drink that strange stuff with mud in it and the only thing you ever listened to me about since you got here was quitting cigarras.” Aldo stopped to take a deep breath. “You did not leave after the siege and that awful hurricane after the Battle of Endor, why would you leave now?”

    “Dad, the only thing I could ever do is being a secretary at your office and t-that’s a droid job, you know…”

    “And that’s better than nothing! I already lost you once, when your mother took you to Corellia. Each time you would visit for fetes, you had these odd nicknames for me, such as ‘daddy scum’. I didn’t even know you had become famous until somebody at work mentioned you and asked me if that was my son, or some other Anjie Mencuri…like, there’s this comedian now…”

    Sooja Brie Mencuri came into the room. “You ignored my call to dinner…wait, what is going on here? Aldo, why are you yelling at Anjie? Anjie, what are those crates for?”

    “You’d better sit down, mother dear…”

    Encouraged by his grandmother’s presence, Anjie finally managed to tell her and his father of the upcoming plans. The members of the “classic” line-up of Steamy Wasaka Stew would be travelling around the Outer Rim for a while, rehearsing and recording the new album. Shaban Sapphyra was eager to work with them again.

    “Where are you going to live?” Aldo put his arms on his hips.

    “On the ship. The living quarters are quite nice. At some point, when it’s possible, we will go back to Corellia and I’m going to get an advance to rent myself an apartment. Mom will be glad to see me, too!”

    “Let him go, Aldo.” Sooja put her hand on her son’s shoulder.

    “No!” Aldo crossed his arms. “He owes me more than this house would have been sold for!”

    “He will earn an amount equal to ten such houses, if not more, if that’s all that matters to you!” There was an anger in Sooja’s eyes that was not there before. “He is twenty-nine years old and allowed to make his own decisions. The doctor in the occupation therapy unit called him fit enough to do so. How well do you know your son? Where have you been when he was dianoga fodder on Vagran?"

    Aldo was looking for the last resort. “My father should be asked for his opinion, too!”

    “Son, you painted yourself in the corner – Agne will agree with me. We love Anjie, but he is more than ready to face the world again. We need to let him go. He learned his lesson, he has the scars to remind him of it every single day.”

    The attorney marched out and headed to the living room, with Sooja and Anjie following him after they exchanged a couple of shrugs. Agne Mencuri was watching “Bith Marriage”.


    “I would normally tell you not to interrupt me, Aldo…but this romdram keeps on getting more and more stupid every week! At this point, Diddomel’s olfactory organ needs surgery and Grer’lin is forced to…

    Anjie pushed his father and grandmother away and stepped in front of his grandfather, blocking the viewscreen.

    “It’s ab-about me, not him, grandpa. I am finally ready to flee the quadduck-nest.”

    “I fully agree, but our blockhead of a son doesn’t. I’m just waiting for him to find some loophole in the planetary laws to keep the boy here.”

    Agne shook his head, turned off the viewscreen and reached for his electro-pipe. Aldo swallowed a lump and let him continue.

    “As a mandoviol player and a son of another mandoviol player, my late father and your grandfather, Arvel, I know that the talent runs in this family. After all, you used to play clavi-pian and you married a singer. Anjie is the most talented of us so far and the only one who has achieved anything more than playing at random gatherings, cantinas and restaurants. He’s got another chance at life, and another chance to hone his own art further than these self-made albums on datacards, while improving the sound of that funny wailer-group. They’re clearly nothing without him.”

    Aldo took a seat next to his father and invited Anjie and Sooja to join him.

    “There is no doubt about any of what you said. But Antonio and the other two are a bad influence. Anjie is impressionable!” He banged his fist on the small caf-table next to him. “Once Toora and the younglings are home, they can attest to…”

    Agne snickered and put his hand over Aldo’s mouth. “Anjie was impressionable when he was ten years younger. He’s much smarter now. Right?” His brown eyes travelled to the hazelwood ones of his eldest grandson.

    “I hope that I am. I can’t see myself falling back into my old ways again. I still, err, like the smell of deathsticks, but I can hang around beings using them, without wanting one myself.”

    “And women?” Agne adjusted his spectacles. “You had that artist girlfriend, Marea…but before her, you couldn’t keep, err, little Anjie in your gravball-shorts.”

    “Madelle. She ruined him!” Aldo was quick to judge.

    “No, dad. I ruined her. She started taking rokna blue to, as she had said, understand me better. And then we were a couple of complete repulsortrainwrecks before her family found us. Her brother broke my nose, her mother spat on me and they took her away with them. I have not heard from her since, but she deserved better.” Anjie blushed. “As far as, well, ‘little Anjie’ is concerned…that one is useful for the ‘fresher and nothing else. I’m happy to leave all the beautiful women to Antonio and lit-little Antonio. I don’t care.”

    “That’s not what somebody from a long line of the alleged Naboo charmeurs would say,” Agne snickered again. “But, well, as you wish, Anjie…as you wish. You’re blushing like a youngling hall kidlet who was pushed into the sand by a cute little girl. Not one of those aurek-cheeka types, but one of those quietly drawing in the corner.” He couldn’t see Anjie nervously shifting weight from one foot to the other, but he was close to laughing at his own wit. “And then you ate some sand, since you drink mud, anyway.”

    “Grandpa, what on Naboo are you t-trying t-to tell me?”

    Agne continued. “My point being…I believe you. At some point, you’ll change your mind and be in a committed relationship with some romdram star or a socialite in Coronet City. You’ll marry, divorce and remarry – that stuff goes ’round in circles, right?”

    Anjie sighed. “I don’t know…”

    “Either way, Aldo…”

    “Yes, father?” Aldo put on his best no-I-did-not-lose-a-case expression.

    “Let him go. Life is all about taking risks. When does he leave, anyway?”

    “Antonio has some business in Theed to finish tomorrow.” Anjie gazed across the room, avoiding everybody’s eyes besides Sooja’s. “We would ideally leave the next day. I have enough time to say goodbye to Toora and the younglings, too. And yeah, the doctor.”

    With those words, he went to the kitchen and took another bottle of the keleekay/mud mixture from the conservator, then dragged his feet back to his room and continued packing. He couldn’t quite put his long quetarra-player finger on it, but there was something about Agne’s speech that made his stomach tie in a knot. But what was it?


    Last edited: Jan 23, 2018
  19. Mistress_Renata

    Mistress_Renata Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Sep 9, 2000
    I'm slowly working through this. I don't know all of these characters that well, but I've seen mentions of them here and there. So, I have to say, FINALLY! LATARA AND TEEBO, deciding to make it official! Yes! And you totally teased me with little mentions of the battle, without telling the whole story?! You won't get off that easily!

    It will probably take me a while to get fully caught up, especially since I think I have to read some of the backstories to understand what's going on. But your characters are all intriguing; can't wait to see how you bring them all together!
  20. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 5

    Jul 31, 2014
    You won't like the direction the first rough draft went into in 2015 - here, have a looksie:


    Just tell me if you need further clarification regarding anything, I'm here...and honoured that you dipped a foot into this. Honestly, you made my day. @};-
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  21. Findswoman

    Findswoman Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Feb 27, 2014
    Very sweet opening scene with Charon and Deeina. Not only is it nice to see them interacting as a couple on their own (for the first time in your stories, I think), but it's also interesting to read their impressions of Anjie and Doria's first date. And of course, Deeina's colorful description of how Anjie looks, both at the wedding and in general—"a Kaminoan diplomat drugged up with Zelosian zherry bombs in a state of hyperglycaemia"—is interesting to consider alongside the impressions of Doria's mom and great aunt a few chapters.

    Also, we finally get to see the contents of the mysterious datacard—and it goes without saying that I immediately recognize that flute player and that one drummer with the strange headgear! :D Of course I am not surprised that they have made such an impression on Charon; I remember reading earlier about Latara's solo performance in memory of the fallen, and no doubt at least part of that is on this recording. So yes, this looks like it may be where all these characters' stories are going to start coming together. And once they meet, I can imagine some major culture clash ensuing, and I think both Deeina and Charon have valid points: yes, there's the question of showcasing these Ewok musicians as a "curiosity" or sorts, but they are sentient, after all, and can be reasoned with—especially with the help of a good interpreter droid. And now I'm very curious to see what Charon has in mind in terms of 3PO droids, and whether that means this story will get an interesting new character soon! ;)

    Very cool to meet some of Anjie's family members here, too. We've come across his charmeur-lawyer dad in some of the earlier Anjie stories, as well as a bit in Letters Never Sent, but I think this is the first time we've heard of Aldo's second wife and younglings (sounds like a very fraught family situation for Anjie), and it's definitely the first time I've seen his grandparents. I'm glad they're still alive and still there for him. I especially like Sooja so far; I love the way she stands up for Anjie when Aldo starts complaining about how much money Anjie owes him. Yes, if you don't go out and find your own way, even if there are some risks involved, you ultimately will never make things better for yourself—and that's an especially essential lesson for someone in recovery, like Anjie, whose substance abuse put him in such a rut for so long. And yes, as wonderful it is that his grandparents are supporting him, the very thing here is that he himself is deciding to take this step

    Agne is very intriguing too. First of all, this is the first time I'm learning that he was a musician too, and one of the sources of Anjie's own talent, so he's a pretty important person in Anjie's development, ultimately. Also, he's the one who brings up the romantic aspect of Anjie's self-exploration; yes, I noticed what you did with Marea vs. Madelle thing there. ;) I'm guessing it was from Anjie himself that Agne learned about that relationship; if Anjie is telling his grandparents about things like that, he must trust them a great deal. Finally, there's this way he insists, in that granddad sort of way, that Anjie will eventually change his mind about romance and take up with some flashy starlet or Coruscant socialite whom he'll marry and then divorce (following Aldo's lead). And that, very understandably, seems to spook Anjie even more than the idea of leaving home and touring the galaxy. Little does Agne realize that "pushed into the sand by a cute little girl" of the sort who likes to "quietly draw in the corner" is a pretty good description of Anjie's recent experience with Doria; she fits that description pretty well, if I do say so myself! I am pretty sure the fear of losing her is at least part of what is making Anjie's stomach in knots here. Just take heart, Anjie, and follow those breadcrumbs, and things will be more or less all right. ;)
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2018
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  22. Onderon1

    Onderon1 Jedi Master star 4

    Mar 18, 2008
    EP - Sorry I've not kept up with this as I should've ... :(

    As you note, Kazak is not that smart, but the idealists don't always have to be brilliant to be dangerous. Sometimes, they cause more damage through blunders and slavish adherence to tradition than through actual malignance.

    And Anjie - well, he's trying, at least. Aldo needs to get over himself and be grateful his son's working to actually build a new life.

    As for Doria ... hmm. Branna means well, but whom in their circle can be a good model for healthy expressions of love? [face_thinking]
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  23. Raissa Baiard

    Raissa Baiard Force Ghost star 4

    Nov 22, 1999
    Ah ha, we finally get to find out what was on Doria’s mysterious datacard! And what a discovery it is! Yes, I certainly recognize these two musicians and I, too, begin to see how these stories will intersect. Interesting to see Deeina and Charon’s thoughts about Doria and “the great Mencuri” :p Deeina’s description of how much Anjie has changed from “Coronet City banthacake” to drugged up Kaminoan ambassador is kind of funny, kind of sad. Charon’s reflection that they’re going to kill each other is truer than he knows, given how things have gone between Anjie and Doria so far...then again there’s sometimes a fine line between “I love you” and “I want to strangle you.” Because no one can push your buttons the way someone you really care about can.

    Good for Deeina for considering how the Ewoks will react to Charon including them on his album, because there is always the possibility for exploitation. When the musicians in question look like children’s plush toys, in addition to being centuries behind on technology, the temptation to treat them like children—or like toys—is going to be particularly strong. I can’t wait to see what kind of “spunky” protocol droid they find to facilitate communication! (I’m picturing a spunky 3PO and the image...does not compute.)

    Then we get a look at Anjie’s family and what a cast of characters they are! I know that Aldo was not the most caring of fathers, but I can kind of see his point. Anjie’s behavior is kind of erratic; he bounces from one extreme to another in a matter of minutes. I think in some way, he really does care about his son, the way he talks of “losing” his son, and the way Anjie would call him “daddy scum” (ow! that’s got to be a knife in the heart for any parent)—he just expresses his concern horribly. And it’s really too bad that he does, because some honest concern and caring would do Anjie a world of good in his recovery.

    Sooja, at least, shows him some. She realizes that Anjie has to get out on his own and has to be free to make his own mistakes, though she trusts that he’s not going to make the same mistakes in regard to spice and alcohol and other substances. Agne—he’s one of those “I’m old, dammit and I can say whatever I want” duffers, with all his talk of “Little Anjie” isn’t he? But he, too, trusts that Anjie has learned from his experiences, and he’s right that life is about taking risks. It’s good that Anjie has them on his side.
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  24. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 5

    Jul 31, 2014
    Can't brain and I'm, well, three days late. Commentspacemyspace. :(

    Last edited: Feb 28, 2018
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  25. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 5

    Jul 31, 2014
    09 The Relativity of Purity

    At dawn, a handful of Ewok women and one man met at the hot springs hidden at the edge of the Happy Grove. The steam rising above the largest bodies of water were clouding the whole area. Despite this, the man leading the group proceeded to it and showed the others to follow him.

    “Now disrobe!” He pointed to the first woman in the line. “I hope that you were not painting your lips and nails, which has always been strange in the first place…”

    Latara mumbled a “k’vark” between her teeth, then left her hood, knife harness and the wooden flute on the nearest rock. All the steam looked like it was sure to come in handy. This did not look like it was going to be an experience to talk about later.

    "The necklace, too." Keoulkeech demanded. To the surprise of almost everybody in the Bright Tree Village, the former Red Bush Grove medicine man had accepted Kazak's suggestion to perform the ritual and exorcise the "demons of seduction" from the young woman's body. Not even Leektar, his brother, wanted to talk to him about this.

    This caught Latara off guard. She had never taken her precious gemstone necklace off before!

    The present young women, none of them from her own village, started to scrub her fur. Some of them were rough, almost scratching her skin through the fur. Every now and then, they would touch one of the places where she didn't really appreciate being touched. And even though the sound of the gurgling water was loud, she could still hear what they were whispering among themselves.

    “K’vark! Just who would wear her head fur like this? Did she cut it all off in a fit of rage or something?”

    "Her body does not look any different."

    "Silly you. The change happens after you've given birth!”

    "Does anybody know why that famed Logray refused to perform this ritual?"

    "Apparently he has a lot of respect for her. No wonder, with her lover being his apprentice and all. Corrupted old fool!"

    "Her lover is Logray's apprentice?"

    "Chak! By the way, remember how ugly she was as a wokling? And what a snitch she was, too! I was so glad when her family left for the Bright Tree Village!"

    “Quiet, over there!” Keoulkeech put the staff on the ground. In his former village, this ritual was a normal thing for every bride. He remembered Leektar swearing that he would not allow him do that to his daughter once she was old enough to marry. That brother of his was always jealous of him, even now that everybody else at their former home had perished!”

    “Now, come here.” He pointed his gnarly index finger at Latara. “Hurry up, I need to read the prayer to the Tree of Light. Don’t look at me like that!”

    “Pfft, I look at everybody like that.” The young Ewok waved her hand. “You clearly don’t know me…” She clenched her teeth and continued the sentence. “…then again, you clearly don’t know anything.”

    “Did you say something?”

    Latara grinned. “Who, me? No.”

    Keoulkeech shook his head and proceeded to draw imaginary lines around Latara with his staff which looked nothing like Logray’s. This bizarre ‘prayer’ was accompanied by his nearly-unintelligible chant in a raspy voice. The women who were there stood behind him, silent. After quite a while, he stopped and coughed.

    “So, is this it? Can we go home now?” Latara asked.

    “Chak, that would be all for today. Now you are pure again and you need to, well, take good care of yourself until the branches from your and your betrothed’s Soul Trees have burnt down to the very ashes. We can go home. Say goodbye to the other women and come along with me.”

    Latara nodded and crossed her fingers behind her back. “No, you go on your own, Keoulkeech. I want to…pick some flowers for my mother.”

    “As you wish…”

    She started laughing the moment the stand-in medicine man was far enough away. Did he really, really think that she was going to accompany him, after all that?


    When Latara returned to what was going to be their new home, Teebo was still thatching the wall of the hut from the inside, trying to make the surface look somewhat even. Once he saw her shadow in front of him, making it look as if he was sculpting it, he turned around and smiled.

    "Latara, you are back! How was it?"

    "I survived it. Did my dad come to give you a hand at any point?"

    "He did. I was surprised!" Teebo raised his head and looked around, then he shrugged. "I wanted everything to be simple here, but he is making this hut look good enough for royals."

    She lay on the hay-stuffed mattress. He smiled and lay next to her, leaning his head on her shoulder. Above their heads, the sky full of stars was still visible through the wooden construction of the hut, only sparsely covered with hay.

    "Want me to make something for your evening meal?"

    "You lurdo..." Latara put her head on Teebo's shoulder. "You spent the morning in the forest with the Humans, the afternoon working here, you have to watch the stars tonight and you still want to cook. How about if I..?"

    "Please, don't! We can go and eat at my Master's. Pretty sure he'll have enough food for all three of us."


    Logray pulled the curtains, lit a large, four-candle lantern and brought a steaming pot of glock to the table. His dining space was small in comparison to the rest of his spacious, one-chamber hut and there was barely room for two. Realising that, Latara was about to climb onto Teebo's lap, but she stopped and looked at Logray, as if she wanted to apologise.

    "No, no, it's all right." The medicine man reassured her. "You can even kiss around me if you please. The only thing I was worried about was that your love would grow into a boiling stew of lust and jealousy. Such things can threaten lives. But I have not seen one single warning sign ever since you have returned from Skaadra."

    "I know, my Master. From the very first moment, I was afraid that lust and jealousy would burn me. And the only thing that needs to burn here are the branches from our Soul Trees." Teebo let out a dreamy sigh and took a spoonful of glock.

    Logray clapped his hands. "You are excited! A stark contrast to most grooms who are only excited at the prospect of finally sticking their beetroot into somebody. I can remember Kazak being like that, when we both were young warriors. Those who did not care about 'disgracing' the bride before the wedding were usually bored. You are different. You want the trees to bless your and Latara’s love. Right?"

    "Master, you said beetroot! We are such a bad influence on you!" Latara nearly fell off Teebo's knee, laughing. Then her boyfriend spoke.

    "Yes, I am excited. Not just because our love is no longer going to be seen as a sin, but also because someday, I will be burning those branches for my woklings and my friends' woklings.” Teebo suddenly put both of his hands over his mouth. “Oh, no...I just realised that it will be bittersweet..."

    "Because I will be gone? Don't feel bad about it. Once my time has come, my spirit will be watching you with nothing but pride. You are the only one who believed me during the time everybody thought I was an old fool."

    "Thank you, my Master."

    "Also, you mentioned woklings. Do I sense that you won't be needing Blue Fire anymore?" Logray pointed to Teebo’s satchel.

    "No, I still need it. We want to just enjoy being together for now. At least before we complete our apprenticeships. And...I may sound like a lurdo, a dreamer and whatever else, but I always wanted Latara to play her flute for the whole of Endor and the stars in the sky...her music is only one step short of pure magic!"

    Latara kissed her lover on the cheek and joined the conversation.

    "I've been thinking: once we do end up having woklings of our own, will they have Teebo's nature powers?"

    "Probably. I am still not sure how both he and I were born from parents with no powers, or why Malani only has minor traces of them, but once the two of you decide to have woklings, it is very likely that their power will too be strong among the forest creatures!"

    "Mastalook has powers, right?" Teebo asked. “The Human with the fair fur on the top of his head.”

    "How come?"

    "I figured out what happened before the battle. And I think he was aware of my powers, but not yours."

    "Teebo, my apprentice, what are you talking about?"

    "That golden starman is not the Golden One. He and Artoo, the one who, err, burned my behind, are not creatures. That Peedee whom we met when we went up in the black skies, he is not a creature, either. Those are all products of magic and made of metal, just like the cold moon in the sky had been! And Mastalook can control these non-creatures the same way I can control animals! Perhaps he can do much, much more than that! I felt that in him, when he stood next to me at the Council Meeting…and when he saved me from Genersolo shooting me with a firestick!”

    Logray wasn’t convinced, or at least he didn’t appear to be so.

    “If that was the case, I would have felt it, too. Perhaps you thought that in the heat of the moment?”

    Teebo was about to add something more, but Latara subtly stepped on his foot under the table.

    "Chak, let’s talk about something else, something that worries me more. Master Logray, do you think I am weak for wanting to marry Latara? Did I betray magic?"

    "Teebo, don't be silly. You were young and shy and I never talked to you about this, but I had my own share of girlfriends as a young warrior. They adored me, for some reason."

    "Do we know them?" Latara opened her eyes wide. This sounded exciting!

    "No. One was a comrade lost in the battle long before the one where I confronted Morag, the Asha of the days long gone. And my true love, she thought that Morag had killed me. When I returned to the village with the Sunstar Shadowstone, she already had a wokling with somebody else. I couldn't find happiness in love and there is nothing in the world that would make me deny that to somebody who can!"

    Latara frowned. “That is so romantic! But so, so, so sad at the same time!”

    “You don’t want to compose a song about it, don’t you?” The old man poked her with his wrist.

    “N-no! But we could, perhaps, play a game, now that we’re done eating. Throwing colourful pebbles and all…”

    "A game? Why are you wasting your time with an old man? Go. I know you want to spend some time on your own."

    "We don't want to..." She knew that she wasn’t very convincing.

    "Chak, you want to. Because it's now implied that you shouldn't."


    Once in the observatory's back room, Latara and Teebo were both sure that Master Logray was right. Kneeling in the corner, by the lantern, facing each other, they were not even sure who started it first.

    "They said I cannot keep my ‘wimpy paws’ off you. I can. But I cannot stop myself from kissing you."

    "Chak, kiss me everywhere, my honeydrop! Don't miss one single little nook. Please. Their cleansing made me filthy. K’vark, I can only be properly clean when I smell of you and you smell of me."

    Teebo stopped for a moment. "Is there something you didn't tell me about that purification ritual?"

    "Ummm…some of those girls from other villages were unpleasant. Once they have rubbed me with soap, they were staring at me. They wanted to know what makes a 'disgraced' woman different, I guess. One or two reached deep below my fur and one pinched me!" She pointed to the left side of her chest.

    "A kiss for where they had hurt you.” He gently pressed his lips against her chest. "They should not have subjected you to humiliation in that pond."

    "If they only knew what we did in the pond next to it, the one with lily pads, two days ago." She followed his tenderness with a mischievous grin. "Bet their well-behaved, manly husbands never do that kind of a thing. It’s is our religion."

    "If they knew, they would not understand. I bet Kazak was not even facing his wife when they conceived their sons. Those like him and his ‘friends’, they don't know that love is a bird that must be set free in all possible ways, or it will suffer." Teebo stroked the fur on Latara's back. "Accept all boundaries until there are absolutely none."

    "I have turned you into such a rebel." Latara was gently teasing him at this point. "You, the shyest young Ewok in the Bright Tree Village.”

    He nodded, pressed his forehead to hers and closed his eyes.
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