Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by Casper_Knightshade, Sep 15, 2003.
In the many months that had passed since his return to Coruscant Casper found he had an unhealthy amount of free time. With Knight status and special training in investigations and functioning legs he would have thought the Jedi Council would be giving him assignments; Yoda and the rest were handing them out to other Jedi as if clothing one week away from going out of style. He had thought to ask Plo Koon about his operational status, but after some thought Casper had decided that it was the Council? Will and eventually, when the time was right, they would call upon him. In the meantime he did keep himself busy, mostly in the Jedi regard.
The meeting with Senator Bly Coaxial was as one dimensional as it could get, but until Casper had gone through such a thing he had really no idea how bad it was going to be. The man was not just a partisan but a devout believer in ruining a single life. It got to a point, sometime in the middle of that presentation of how bad the Rapier Clan was to the Republic Senate, and Casper quietly repeated the Jedi Code to himself in his mind to keep himself from telling Coaxial off, if not do what Ros Ofcheck had done to the smarting off Republic Intelligence snoop they helped off of Hapes. The Jedi Order had gotten quite a few black eyes over their inability to help during the Shut Down crisis; giving a black eye to a senator wasn?t going to help.
By the time the meeting was over with Senator Coaxial Casper did reaffirm his vow in private to clear Naressa Rapier. With the free time given to him he did use some of it to go over everything he and Ros and so many others had collected, recorded, documented, speculated, and proved. He meditated over the evidence and clues -- Branch Lur, now alone in the Jedi Temple after his wife and child had just left him, considered such things as vigils of absurdity.
Casper and Branch had become good friends, and Branch needed friends because he was systematically alone. Branch had found his circumstance and Casper?s lack of work to be common, so he never really cared that Casper often brought the case files with him on visits. It was just that Branch gave up a month after his family had finally left him for good, which lead to his point about the absurd. It did not help that with such focus on the case both investigators discovered only new ways to hang the innocent woman; little indiscretions that piece by piece assembled Naressa as the only entity in the entire universe capable of the crimes. Again, her false confession was just too perfect to be true, and so it was considered the truth. But like the Learner he once was Casper, unlike Branch Lur, did not give up. Eventually Branch moved out of the Jedi Temple to an apartment and had begun exploring the possibility of gaining employment in law enforcement on Coruscant.
Whenever the drive to prove Naressa was innocent did not consume him Casper did leave the Jedi Temple, and like quite a few Jedi before him against better judgment he found danger and problems to solve. Coruscant from its most civilized level on down had has much adventure and excitement as anything else in the galaxy; Casper found looking for such trouble actually cleared his head, helped him think. He heard a few whispers of disagreement from his peers, mainly from those old enough to remember Nadja Moranna and her ?seek and annoy? years on Coruscant. Since Enothchild and Ros and Juna, Casper had a newly discovered respect for Nadja for she had greatly influenced his direct peers, mentors, and friends. Still, he was no where close to her ?bad behavior? or proliferation of problem solving success, so he did not quite see where he was the same as her.
Another riddle Casper obsessed over when he had the time was the uncomfortable disappearance of Alluetia Hailstorm; uncomfortable because it appeared only he alone was worried. It was one of those matters he had failed to probe the Council about; instead he just went about the outside channels and tried to formulate what she was doing, or had been doing. The Dock Mast
Hmmm...so now one wonders just why everyone's favourite junior Jedi is heading for the ultra-posh district on Coruscant...perhaps to either track down another lead, or Naressa herself.
Oh, and the absolute PERFECT tagline:
"If the 501st is Vader's Fist, then I must be his middle finger" - TD-0013
That dude cracks me up.
But toe nail? Ultra posh toe nail? That makes no sense. Still.... Ingrown toe nail software! LOL!
Whiskey: You know what they say: sandtroopers need to have a sense of humour, especially when you are assigned to a backwater post like the Dune Sea.
Hurrah for the Fighting 501st! Have you seen the pictures from the Rose Parade this year? 200 storm troopers.....!
I've seen a few pics of the parade, and I heard what Bob Eubanks had to say about those troopers...AAAAAAANNNNND I also caught what the Force-Cast had to say to Bob Eubanks about his comments.
I think it's also cool that TD-0013's gonna be doing the MS walk in full armour...IN ARIZONA! Hope that suit's got air conditioning.
TUrns out he's got a Second Life site too...complete with an AT-ST and what's left of an Ewok underfoot...I think he's a little sore about Endor, IMHO...
I'll tell you what: you have to be a Fett to wear Stormtrooper armor in real life.
(Sigh) Ever since Bob Eubanks had been beaten by Dick Clark in arm wrestling in 1959 he hasn't been the same.
Nothing, I mean nothing though, prepares for the hilarity of a stuffed Ewok.
Delight: I'll tell you where my inspirations for that were from because they're kinda linked to this new post. Firstly the 'Empire Strikes Back' gave me idea to the fact that, with Luke's artificial hand being pain tested at the end, hardware and technology had come a long way since -- as we saw in Episode 2 and 3 -- the Clone Wars. However, I viewed that in both cases as 'bottom of the barrel'; the Republic and the Rebellion respectively being too cheap or just didn't have enough resources to provide an excellent artificial body part. Eventually it leads to the possibility that the wealthy actually do have the resources for better wares -- whether or not they're smart with them always remains to be seen.
Secondly, as we have seen with the Firefox browser from Mozilla, not only can someone make a highly functional, low RAM use Internet browser that's better than market share, they and the people that use it have gone WWWWWWWWWWWAAAAAAAAAAYYYYYYYYYY overboard with the open source code to create the most interesting, and most insignificant and often most unnecessary Add-Ons in the history of the World Wide Web. I kinda liked the quirky ones at first, like the life or death status of Abe Vigoda, but then it got boring and I just scratched my head and asked a lot of why questions.
So it does stand to reason that even in a galaxy far, far away quirky things pop up. Give droids emotional responses? CHECK! Cloned leather for furniture upholstery's? CHECK! Wookiees with clean butts? DOUBLE LATTE CHECK! Gungans with speech impediments! SURE!!!!!!
It all equals to market demand.
Once deep in the recesses of high streets too clean to get dirty Casper ordered the air taxi to cease. He got out, paid his fare, and proceeded to walk the rest of the way to his destination. As he did he noticed the beings in this district, some of the most wealthiest and most private of entities, eyeing him with contempt. Their reasons were obvious -- an outsider, so unkempt looking for their values, and a Jedi no less. He ignored them as he focused on the Idea he had about coming here; to be more precise, he head for Vue Leagles, a very high class open air eatery.
Entering, the head usher said very dryly, ?Reservation.?
Casper made a face only because?well, he just knew he had to come here, but he had no reservation. The usher?s face grew uglier. He said, ?I?don?t have a reservation.? The usher really twisted his face upon hearing Casper?s slight twang and drawl that was vindictive of his home world. ?I just?.know I have to be here, right now.?
The Human male raised an eyebrow and mewed, ?RRRRiiiiiiigggghhhhtttttt.? He looked more prepared to shoot Casper with a carbine rifle than chase him away.
?I?m meeting someone, I believe,? said Casper with some dawning realization. ?They have the reservation.?
?Name.? The man doubted him greatly.
He didn?t give it another thought. ?Juna Rapier.?
The usher stopped looking at the list. His face changed to one of such fake happiness Casper wonder when someone was going to run out, point at the man, and yell bantha poodoo. ?Of course, you may come in. She is at table eleven, the private southern outlook terrace. I can show you.?
?That?s quite all right I can find it, thank you.? Casper thought the man was going to pass out because he became so pale and sweaty -- whether it had to do with Juna?s name being dropped or Casper entering the clean, white place with his cleanest Jedi best was unknown. The place did make Casper actually feel dirty; in fact it was too damn clean even for Coruscant. There were more tables and space than people, but Casper had the feeling that was the point given the restaurant?s privat
Heh. Good plot progression. Is Juna going to.... ?
Casper: Add-ons. LOL! You do get inspiration anywhere! (and cool sig, btw).
Whiskey: A stormie and a biker scout from my outpost went for the Rose Parade... and created quite a stir in the fan community back here. I think it's incredibly nice for the LucasFilm people to offer to fly troopers in from all around the world for the event.... a really nice way to thank the fan base.
I thought that was pretty neato, but it begs the question: what about the officer's core? Will anyone be them! ;P
Although she was Naressa?s daughter, and she was telling him it was alright to give up, Casper sat up with resolution and said, ?You know you should have just came to me at the Temple. I could have showed you a lot of things that would change your mind.?
On cue Juna looked towards the Jedi Temple in the distance. She could sense the power of it, and the life forms inside. It was such a great power of light that should have been no threat to her as she was, currently, no threat to the Jedi. There laid a fear in her heart; a fear she could never confront again. That fear was short, green, over nine hundred years old and at one time taught the very man sitting next to her Gessa. There was a need to twiddle with the wedding rings; she pulled out her necklace and played with her and Enothchild?s wedding bands in thought.
?There is nothing there for me at the Jedi Temple,? she said contemplatively. ?There is no reason to be there.?
Casper regarded her carefully, observed her.
She smiled and said, ?I?m weaker than I was but I can still feel any eyes of entrapment a light year away.? Juna looked at him. ?I may have been saved from darkness and not returned to it, I still possess that which makes me who I really am.?
?A Nubian?? questioned Casper.
Juna relaxed and said plainly, ?I am a Sith, Casper, that is what I am. Not just in name, or in dark spirit. I am that which many should fear if they knew.? She gestured her head towards the Jedi Temple. ?They know. The Council. I don?t wish to give them any reason to come after me. I don?t ever want to fight that war.?
?That?s good, because I know that. They know that.? Casper stayed the course. ?They won?t harm you, Juna. And I?m very certain?.I know Master Yoda would welcome you.?
To this Juna just shook her head and said, ?You don?t know, and I do not want to find out. There is? she smiled when she stopped talking and then continued in a less sober mood. ?There is a way.?
Confused Casper shook his head a little. ?I?m sorry.?
?There is a way,? she began again, ?to ensure no hard feelings, to secure both sides, and to lead us all down better paths in our collected lives. All it takes is one, simple sacrifice, and it will mean so much to us all.?
Casper didn?t quite like where it was going even though he didn?t quite get her. He held up a hand and said, ?Sacrifice? There?s no need for such a thing. Don?t use that word lightly, not here, not now.?
?I don?t use it lightly,? said Juna. She placed a hand on the hover buggy?s umbrella cover that shielded Bella?s head from unwanted sunlight. ?Not when it involves my precious Gessa.?
It took another moment for Casper to digest it, and then he understood what Juna was doing. As a Jedi, even as himself, he should have been filled with joy, that Juna was going to do was supposed to be good.
Instead he sputtered out, ?Wha-no. No.? He went through a series of thoughts that contradicted themselves, even made him wonder why he was against this. He still was, place a gentle hand on Juna?s left hand on the table. ?No, you don?t need to do this.?
?I do,? she said calmly, though there was a level of hurt in her voice that wasn?t missed. ?I?m submitting my child to the Jedi Order. I want her to become a Jedi.?
Yes, under the current circumstances that would be for the best decision Juna can make. And, with the heart of Enothschild and Juna, what a light-side Jedi Bella would become! A bright day indeed.
Good stuff! More soon!
Juna believes she had very little choice. BTW - The sig is in reference to the next story of the Gessa Saga if no one has figured it out yet....
And this is it for the Main Story of The Sith Maiden....
Just because she had said it didn?t make anything easier in Casper?s mind. He couldn?t believe how quick everything came to this. It occurred to him that Juna wasn?t just afraid of the Order; she was trying to run away from this decision as fast as she could. Still, he couldn?t believe his position; again, he began to do everything to dissuade her.
?Juna, you know this life will be very difficult,? he said, skipping the idea entirely of just saying it would be a hard life. Juna knew how hard it was to be a Jedi; patronizing her would help nothing. ?I feel this is not young Bella?s way, and it shouldn?t be.?
Juna tilted her head and asked pointedly, ?Why??
?Good question.? Casper then realized he had said his private thought, even though it was mumbled. Sighing, he looked into Juna?s brown eyes -- he was glad they were brown and not that terrible glowing yellow -- and began to do his best to explain his point. ?What I know?.of your relationship with your mother, a child could not ask for a better one. She would move the heavens for you and chase the stars out of the sky if they frightened you. You can pass this love onto Bella.?
?I?m afraid to,? admitted Juna for the first time. It was a nameless fear, love, one that she never revealed really to Dizzy and Muriel. ?I can show her so many ways, but like me she will be cursed by her heritage.?
Casper shook his head vehemently. The waiter was going to come up to them but suddenly, under Juna?s gaze, he changed his mind and walked away. That momentary break let Casper gain some words to use. ?You have confronted your demons that had darkened you. You?ve faced them, and you?ve defeated them. Lesser would have died. You can?t be afraid of them anymore, and you can?t be afraid of yourself.?
?I wish I could agree with you on all of it.? Juna shook her head. ?But I needed so much help, and I relied so heavily on Enothchild to rescue me. I couldn?t find salvation on my own.?
?People do need help sometimes,? assured Casper.
?But I?m not like other people, and I will never be like them. During my darkest hours I failed on my own to save myself. Others would come and lift me from my defeats.?
Casper offered, ?That is what good friends do.?
To that Juna retorted, ?At the expense of their lives?? She leaned in and spoke in a whisper, as if she didn?t want Bella to hear. Even then, Juna had a bad feeling Bella all ready knew. ?To save me from evil Enothchild, my friend, my mentor, my Husband, and the father of my only child, let me kill him. Such an act of selfless good has been tainted by my selfishness, by my unquestioning love for my Gessa.?
Juna sat higher and said, ?That love has consumed me. It has to the point of obsession. It darkens me, and it will darken Bella.?
?T-That?s not obsession,? stressed Casper. ?That?s being a mother who?s deeply in love with the child she bore.?
?I don?t think what I am doing is not wrong; it?s to prevent wrong. It?s?.correcting a problem before it happens. Rune resides in Bella just as much as I do.? She reached over and caressed Bella?s head affectionately. ?I know me and I know of all that I have done to learn what my Mother did not want me to. I can?t show her the way, for all I know is black. That would be a terrible crime, worse than anything my Mother had ever done to me.?
Running his hands through his hair, Casper implored, ?I don?t feel this is right.? He mumbled his thought aloud again, ?Why am I saying that but don?t believe it??
Juna reached out for his hands and collected them in her hands. She got his attention when she asked, ?Do you think your parents were wrong to give you to Yoda??
That was quite a bit of reflection for Casper to accept let alone expect. He never had expected the conversation to include him so directly. For so many yea
Bittersweet smile. This is quite calm and beautiful... like the last echo of a faint summer breeze. Well done!
Thanks, Delight: that was the response I was looking for. Ending the story like that was to put the whole thing in the context of what it was: an ending. That way the Epilogue would be, in a small way, a new beginning, but at the same time reflect back to something in the past as it will relate in the future.
In the meantime hopefully you won't have to wait too long for the Epilogue. I got bad weather all around me and a broken shovel to clear it.
But for your entertainment....(Sigh) this is perhaps why the media gets no respect: [link=http://www.greenbaypressgazette.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070227/GPG03/702270508/1978] Actual Headline: Long-time fishing buddies get down to business with S&M Tool[/link]
So it seems the sun has set (or risen) on the Sith for now. Fading back into the shadows of the galaxy, they wait patiently until opportunity exposes her soft underbelly.
It ended the way a movie would, with the camera panning out, John Williams' music reaching that magical crescendo before...
Blackout...Hit the theme...roll the credits.
I'm anxious to see the epilogue, but I'm also sad, for when it's over it'll be over...and I'll have to go searching for more stuff to read
Still, it was a great ending, and a great new beginning for Casper and Bella. Awesome work.
I know, Whiskey, but I had to end it sometime you know!
There was quite a bit I still could have written about here, but instead I kept a few things out for sake of continuity but also for giving me something to write about if and when I continue the Gessa Saga (DRL will determined that prospect because I would really, really hate to start things up again and because of DRL it abruptly ends it).
As endings go, I felt such a similar ending to The Dark Hope was in order because, realistically, the Fading Light really didn't end in the final chapter; it did in the epilogue but that was more of a cliffhanger that easily could have started The Sith Maiden as Chapter One.
But as in TDH and TFL I did leave a lot on the 'cutting room floor' if you will. Some of that stuff may suddenly appear on this very thread.
Nonetheless I'm glad you and Delight and everyone else liked how the Main Story ended.
I still might do a short (honest, really! SHORT, as in a few posts) story here on the boards. Nothing fancy, nothing on Word: just from the heart, like in the old days. If so I'll PM all that is interested.
I still have my non-SW/sci-fi/furry-anime-like project on hold waiting to be posted somewhere....I just want to post that first part and based on response I'll see if anyone's interested in more.
As it stands now for me:
The Gessa Saga's forth story, known as TSH, is past character and characterization phase and still in premise development. However you will be happy to know I have a beginning and an end.....
Some of those names of stories I have mentioned in the previous chapter, such as 'The Eight Pillages of Critis', are actual ideas. Yes, even 'The Lost Collection of Pan Ten at the Battle of Orchids: One Thousand Stories, All With the Very Same, Shared Ending' was an idea: a reflection of Greek storytelling. Will I do the latter? What, are you crazy?
The other story titles in that previous chapter were just passing thoughts, or just a pun way to say something else entirely. I blame the Vhinech.
The before mentioned non-Star Wars fiction is known in long title as 'Stoned Pussy Cat': trust me, the title is not what you think it implies.....
And no, I'm not happy with the Todd Bertuzzi trade!
FORWARD! More very soon, I really do hope (looks at weather, gulps!)
Humph...Bertuzzi should be traded to one of those prisons where the term 'HE SCORES!' has a totally different meaning.
It's good to hear that you're still gonna be cranking out stories, as I'm obviously a big fan of it all. I can only hope that the insanity level with either remain the same or increase somewhat...can't have too much craziness, after all.
Y'know, I had an odd thought about your non SW story. It might be a long shot, but you might want to check out a podcast show called [link=http://www.escapepod.org/]'Escape Pod'[/link]. If it's sci-fi enough, it might make it on the podcast and be read by someone.
As far as a place to merely post it, I'll keep looking around to see if there's a furry-based story place that doesn't require their stories to be chock-full of scenes that would make even Jenna Jameson go EEEEWWWWWWW!
Wow, what a finish, Casper. I'm happy to hear we might be reading some other things in the future from you as well.
Whiskey: When my Red Wings pulled the trigger on that trade, I'm like "okay, I could have lived with a first round defeat now, integrity be sent to hell". There's the need for goons in hockey, but you and I both know that pure thuggery the likes of Todd Bertuzzi has no place. I just gotta know what Gordie Howe's thinking about it right now?
I've mentioned it before that Stoned Pussy Cat wasn't one of those 'bad furry' sex stories; I know, as soon as anyone applies the tag Furry it's pretty much etched in folks' minds that all Furry fiction is just sex fiction. I know that not to be the case. This is just a little different, and it is science fiction in the sense of what it all involves. I might just do the Escape Pod: thanks for the tip, Whiskey. You mentioned another site before, too, but I lost the link.
Sara: Thanks, Sara. I just need a little break.
After the Epilogue, I begin the next day afterwards; how's that for a little break!
EDIT ONE: btw, my friendly Canadian friends.......you possess UFO Technology that can save the world?
Oh Force, here we go [link=http://220.127.116.11/search?q=cache:TOdzhsC_WzsJ:www.websurdity.com/2007/02/28/uncomfortable-questions-was-the-death-star-attack-an-inside-job/+%22Unc]again[/link]!
Good find, Casper. You smell Coruscant Daily investigations prior to the newdata agency being shut down once and for all?
Looking forward to the epilogue.
TD-0013 has been informed of this new development. Rant forthcoming (I Hope)
EDIT: That would be the Antrho Archives at www.anthroarchives.org
Yet another EDIT: Vader's middle finger has weighed in on the whole Death Star thing. Check out adpov.net for the full story.
Delight: LOL! Yeah, well I canceled my subscription once I found the Jawa Report!
Whiskey: Boy, I didn't think 'the Middle Finger' would pick that up, and that Websurdity article was actually a Google Cache. But it's funny! It's so easy to take dynomite and swear after detonating it to bring down a mountain that all one wanted to do was blow up a stump.
I really wanted to get the epilogue rolling here, but a few things just popped up in Darth Real Life: one on a weather radar, the other a personal one. Both have really cut into my mojo and it just absolutely sucks in the timing. 2007 so far has been absolute crap for me!
Can the year end tomorrow?
Anyways, I hope to have something worth while very soon. Bare with me: yeah, I know, when you start the race there SHOULD be a finish line. Poor Marathon.
And Just because I live in the Dead Stream Swamp doesn't mean I don't pay attention to things, such as:
[link=http://www.earvolution.com/2007/03/top-10-corporate-moments-in-rock.asp]Why does Sony suck totally now? It's reason number 9, for starters[/link]
[link=http://corner.nationalreview.com/post/?q=YzJmOTNmYmNlYjNmMDIyZjNmMWRjOGExOGNjYzBjMzU=]Right side pundit Victor David Hanson gives perhaps the only non-political, non-payola review of Frank Miller's '300' which really isn't a movie review but has no spoilers[/link]
I know: it's like we know the Titanic sinks in 'Titanic', but a billion dollars of box office suggests we loved that tragedy and saw it again and again and again nonetheless....
I really, really, really do understand what Bono was trying to do, but put it in perspective: [link=http://adage.com/article?article_id=115287&rf=23m]If I spend a 100 bucks on lottery tickets and only get 18 dollars in return, I would be a moron.[/link]
Which.......I.....almost did my example last night......
At least charity is tax deductible. And so are losses. Right Bono?
(AHEM!) I got the Nintendo Wii, by luck, and it's fun if you don't mind being more active (i.e. not sitting on your butt) in playing the games. You can create your own working out with Wii Sports if you wanted to.
And finally, we had our own little Scott Peterson recently: in fact, they caught Stephan Grant about seventy miles north of my house. Read [link=http://www.detnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070306/METRO/703060388/1003]Here[/link] if you haven't heard about it. But not to make even a little light out of such a tragedy, but.......who's wardrobe did they raid to get the Keystone Cops Bad Guys Garb? Seriously!
[link=http://www.theforce.net/latestnews/story/R2D2_Mailboxes_Confirm_Rumors_104142.asp]OH! FORCE! NO![/link]
Y'know, there comes a time when enough is enough. I mean what's next...Threepio as a Wal-Mart greeter? Shall we dress up our police forces to look like Stormtroopers?
Oh, how about get Dubya to dress up as Vader, Cheney as Boba Fett (after a strict regimen of the Master Cleanser diet, lipo, and gastric bypass), and Papa Bush as the Emperor?
Maybe it's just that my coffee's only half done, but this whole 30th anniversary maina is starting to veer perilously close into Trekkie territory.
(Looks at the giant Ultrasaurus known as Lucas LTD......sees the mouth of the best; looks years in the past for at least the head....)
It's your coffee, Drunken Gungan: I think Lucas passed that mark, once he created it for the Trekkies to borrow, a 'long time ago, in a California valley far, far away from Los Angeles....'
George Lucas: "AhhhhhhHA! I now own all the world's flannel shirts! Bow to my flannel supremacy, Canada!"
It bugs me -- it really, really bugs me -- to think that what I need to see is an R2-D2 postal mail drop box. In the end, my taxes somehow paid for that. I hate bureaucrats with Left Coast connections: I really do.
So now that I know why the price for postage may be going up soon.....
Another week, another bout of hell to get over.
My 12 year old black lab, Holly, had to be put down last Thursday. That was rather tough to do, considering that I almost had to take poor Holly in to the vet to be put down just after my Dad had passed away; she had went through some weird sick spell for a week and a half. Then, beginning in February, a growth appeared on Holly's chest and just kept getting bigger; a tumor more than likely. Given her age and her arthritic condition, it was the humane thing to do. Needless to say that past few days just absolutely sucked and cut right into my writing time.
BUT I have enough to get this thing going again. So here it goes.....
EDIT ONE - BTW, Whiskey, I have submitted 'Stoned Pussy Cat' to [link=http://www.escapepod.org/]Escape Pod[/link]. Cross the fingers. Hopefully the news is good.
EPILOGUE - The Unifying Threat
Time Frame: This takes place shortly after Chapter 120, when Casper returns to Coruscant from Lone Star.
In the months that had passed since Bealas Nowen?s spring return and his ascension to Order of Guardian?s Headmaster, the four townships that made the Vhinech colony had went through many changes. Some of the changes were the same as Vhinech moved from the other three townships of River Delta, Flat Rock, and Valleys United to Little Mountain out of spiritual fear. Other changes were or were not as expected, dependent how someone who lived in the colony viewed it all. Whether it was for the better or for the worst was just as dependent.
Nowen knew of the challenges that he had to face as the new Headmaster of the Order of Guardians; still, it did not make the challenges any easier; he still had to face them, and unlike the remaining one hundred and eighty-one Guardians he had to make the peace time end decisions. Though his return to New Paradasia painted a picture of harmony it was anything but that; the tension was only beginning to ratchet up. Since the uprising at Flat Rock there had only been minor skirmishes between unruly Vhinech and Guardians, and only because the Guardians were breaking up the personal brawls between Vhinech; most of those fights centering on Vhinech that had given birth to Vhinphycs, be it between neighbors or worse yet between spouses and children. Such fighting caused some to migrate from the other three townships to Little Mountain, where the few there did not bother with matters that were so trivial when the citizenry there did care more about their troubled souls. The stubborn remained in their homes, and the stubborn opposing them from time to time caused predictably stubborn-created problems.
In this what amounted to the end of the second year of operations Nowen was faced with the expected challenge that appeared with Ogwa Newhausen?s death of deployment fatigue. His fellow Guardians were trained tough and believed in honor and upholding the standards of duty, and to a man and woman they knew they were fugitives for helping the Vhinech escape Republic apprehension despite the circumstances, but a few began to mumble to him in private their dislike for the mission. The escalating situation brewing with Vhinphyc-born advan
BTW - You must see '300'! It's no Oscar contender, which that's A GOOD THING! Probably the best thing about it!
The day continued and so did the Vhinech and Guardians sworn to watch them, be it out in the field or within Fort Angelleia. Ever since the last winter when the Nubians had housed their charges for safety they had been more open; very few Vhinech took advantage of such opportunities now. Inside one of them did so, at the behest of her mate.
?There?s the head,? remarked Nowen, pointing out the spherical anomaly on the screen, generated by the fort?s medical software that translated the old but trustworthy sonic energy used to map the interior of Nandia?s noticeable tummy. She had taken time today away from the school; it was a reading day anyways.
Nandia looked at the screen from her laying down position. She looked?.squinted?.eyed?. and shook her head and said, ?Are you sure you know how to operate the equipment??
The couple was alone, and Nowen stressed, ?Yes, I do know. Look, that?s the baby?s head.?
?That?s my kidney.?
Nowen looked carefully and moved the scanning diode over her belly again, leaving a trail of produced slime to localize the frequency energy. Given the limited nature of their nature in the long term the Guardian Headmaster allocated the more advanced and power robbing technologies to be used in emergencies.
He stressed, ?No, that?s a head.? Nowen then really got his wife?s attention by pinching her forearm, even though she was paying attention. ?Ha! See! Little hands!?
Nandia finally noted the features and just smiled. And then she slugged him in the shoulder. It was rather simple to hurt him since he was wearing what the Guardians called ?Vhinech casuals?. Nowen had been wearing the clothing style lately, even outside the confines of Fort Angelleia as he also got used to the house that had once been Oggie?s home. Of course the other Guardians objected because of concerns, and Nowen admitted only to himself he would have the same reservations if it had been Oggie wearing such feeble cloth. On the other hand, as Nandia once explained to him without being asked, the Vhinech that would most hate him would actually fear him in clothing of their type instead of the practically indestructible body armor of his Guardian fellows. To the Vhinech it was a sign of confidence, the ability to take their best shot, and in unspoken terms it addressed doomed to those who miss.
?Hey now,? he admonished, ?no unnecessary stress. You?re pregnant.?
?I feel so alien,? whined Nandia somewhat out-of-character.
?It?s the hormones,? assured Nowen, who knew very well what her complications were going to be.
She gave her belly a two handed slap, gripped it, and jiggled it. ?You call this ?hormones???
Half laughing, Nowen settled her down. ?Easy now, you?re screwing up the scanner. That?s our baby there, inside of you.?
She crossed her arms in defiance as he put the equipment away. ?I never felt this vulnerable in all my life; even being incarcerated by the Jedi never made me feel this way!?
?A few more months and you can go back to being bottled up,? he cracked. He took note of random hemobolgian scanner, where he had deposited some placenta samples in an hour ago. Sighing, he said to her, ?Well?.shall we??
?Lets,? she said, but she did not hide her apprehension well at all. Although Nandia and Nowen embraced the Vhinphyc babies being born from Vhinech wombs, though they had told each other they would have never minded such a baby, there was an unspoken dread they shared. This was nothing like the doubts they had about marriage. Both were such proud and stubborn students of history, and both knew just from being around the other Vhinech that Vhinphyc babies from Vhinech Gardens of Life were frowned upon by some with great, and even threatening, loathing.
But in the case of Nowen and Nandia such a thing would be unquestionably magnified a thousand fold. Be it in the greater galaxy or in the microcosm that was New Paradasia f