The Work of Your Hands ~*~ (pre-TPM Anakin, Shmi, Kitster, Watto) COMPLETE; Question June 16

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction Stories--Classic JC Board (Reply-Only)' started by Wilhelmina, Mar 3, 2003.

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  1. Wilhelmina Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 4, 2002
    star 3
    Hello! Thanks for dropping by! :)

    Timeframe: About one year pre-TPM.

    Characters: Anakin, Shmi, Kitster, Watto, and C-3PO (sort of).

    Summary: Anakin begins building a protocol droid for his mother, but runs into difficulties along the way.

    Notes: Ignores any and all EU. For those of you who've read my last story, The Wizard of the Jundland Wastes, this is not the story I said I was working on then. That story is still in the works, but the problem with lengthy pieces is they take an awfully long time to write. ;) In the meantime, this bunny jumped up and said, "I'm short! Write me!" so I did. It's just three posts long. I'll post the beginning tonight, the middle on Tuesday, and the end on Wednesday, so don't blink or you'll miss it. ;)

    Disclaimer: Star Wars is not mine. It was created by and belongs to George Lucas. Thank you, George. :)

    Feedback: Encouraged and much appreciated. :)

    First post will be up in a few minutes.
  2. Wilhelmina Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 4, 2002
    star 3
    The Work of Your Hands

    ~*~

    Most slaves on Tatooine did not celebrate birthdays. They had either been orphaned by their slavery and didn?t remember, or had been trodden down after many years of servitude to the point that they no longer cared. Anakin had found this out quite by accident one day when he had asked his friend Kitster when his birthday was.

    ?Birthday? Pah!? said Kitster in a don?t-you-know-anything voice. ?Slaves don?t have birthdays. Only masters have birthdays.?

    But Anakin had a birthday. He and his mother had celebrated it every year as long as he could remember, and they had celebrated hers too, ever since Anakin had been old enough to insist on it.

    Birthdays meant homemade decorations and special food--fruit for Anakin, sweet rolls for Mom. On birthdays you got up early, so you didn?t have to rush off to work, and sang the birthday song. The song was in another language?not Huttese or Basic, but the language Mom had spoken as a girl?and Anakin could tell by the lilt in her voice and the faraway shine in her eyes when she sang it that she had known better times than these.

    Not that these times were so very bad; for a slave, Anakin considered himself amazingly lucky. Things always seemed to go his way just when he needed them to, as if someone was looking out for him. And because he lived with the most perfect mother in the galaxy, he also enjoyed things that other slaves did not. Birthdays, for instance.

    Birthdays meant presents, too; on the last one, his eighth, his mother had surprised Anakin with a new multitool. For his mother?s birthday Anakin normally made something out of the mess of spare parts he kept in his room. One year it had been a better receptor for their little holoproj, another a food processor for the kitchen. This year was a puzzle, though. His mother?s birthday was less than a month away, and Anakin had no idea what to give her.

    He was pondering his problem in the dusty confines of Watto?s shop when his master?s rough voice startled him.

    ?Whaddya think you?re doing, staring into nothing like that?? asked Watto in Huttese. ?I thought I had a slave, not a daydreamer.?

    ?Sorry,? said Anakin.

    ?I don?t want your sorry, I want your little hands sorting parts like I told you.?

    ?Right away,? said Anakin, and set to work with a vengeance to prove his point.

    Watto grumbled something under his breath, but flew off to another part of the shop, mollified. Anakin had to admit that as masters went, Watto wasn?t so bad. He was grumpy sometimes, but he didn?t fly into rages like Gardulla had, and he was greedy enough to realize that well-fed, well-rested slaves worked harder than sickly, exhausted ones.

    Anakin poked through the pile of discarded parts that had arrived the day before, dropping bits of wiring, batteries, restraining bolts and more into their proper bins when they were good enough to sell. Watto?s junk came from everywhere. He?d seen things as strange as underwater propellers from Mon Calamari and broken droids the size of his thumb from Coruscant. They usually worked when he?d finished with them.

    Today there was not much of note, other than the fact that the pile smelled like bantha fodder, which was partly why his mind had wandered to his mother?s birthday.

    But what was this? His hand grasped a round metal object covered with small bumps and plugs. The profuse carbon scoring disguised any identification it might have had. It was an artificial brain for a droid, of that he was fairly certain?but not a kind he recognized. The design was too complicated. It must have belonged to one smart little droid.

    ?Watto,? he called, hopping up from his seat with the brain in hand, ?what is this??

    Watto hovered over and took the brain eagerly. ?Something unusual, eh? Let?s see if he?s worth anything.? He expertly popped open a half-hidden flap and poked around inside with one stubby blue finger. His brow creased and he began muttering to himself. Apparently unenlightened, he flew over to the analytical machine he kept in a corner?it was actu
  3. Jedi_Suzuran Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 22, 2002
    star 5
    What an excellent beginning!

    I loved the contrast between mentioning birthdays and Anakin's own situation.

    Look forward to the rest. :)
  4. Wilhelmina Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 4, 2002
    star 3
    Suzuran: Thanks! :D Yes, Anakin's situation is a little out of the ordinary, and he makes the best of it. ;) More up later tonight.
  5. Wilhelmina Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 4, 2002
    star 3
    Quiet around here...ah well. ;) Here's the next bit.

    ~*~

    Anakin tore into the house with a speed that caused his mother to cry, ?Careful, Ani! You?re not in hyperspace!?

    He reached his room and paused, panting, looking frantically for a hiding place.

    ?Ani?? His mother had gotten up and was coming to find him. In a swift move he shoved the brain under the blankets on his bed and sat on the lump. He?d have to find a better place later.

    ?What is the hurry?? Mom asked cheerfully, arriving in the doorway. ?No time for a hello??

    ?Hello,? said Anakin, a little too quickly.

    ?How was your day?? she asked.

    ?Fine,? said Anakin, squirming awkwardly on top of the brain.

    ?Are you all right?? asked Mom, noticing his discomfort.

    ?I?m okay. Really,? said Anakin, giving her a reassuring smile.

    ?Okay enough for dinner?? asked Mom with a slightly perplexed expression. ?I?ve got Watto?s accounts to finish up, but it will be ready soon.?

    He could already smell the vegetables bubbling in the kitchen. His stomach rumbled a little in response. ?Yeah, sure,? he replied. When she was safely out of sight he rolled off the brain and let out a sigh of relief. This might prove to be more difficult than he?d thought.

    ~*~

    Dinner was devoured quickly, as Anakin was itching to begin his new project.

    ?I?ll be in my room,? he told his mother. ?Don?t bother me.?

    ?Bother you?? Mom asked, raising her eyebrows. ?Do I bother you??

    ?No!? This was going all wrong. ?I just?it?s boy stuff. Nothing bad. Promise you won?t come in??

    ?All right, I promise,? said Mom.

    There were no doors or even curtains to speak of inside their dwelling, so Anakin had to rely on his mother?s word for privacy. Luckily she was the sort of person who always kept her promises.

    Anakin pushed his chair back and dashed to his room. The brain was lying where he?d left it under the blankets. He?d take it apart enough to see how it worked, then reassemble it and build a framework out of the parts he had on hand. It would need some way to get around?wheels, or legs??and some sort of arm mechanism and visual and aural enhancers, as well as some sort of vocoder or display screen. What were protocol droids supposed to look like, anyway?

    He frowned and reached for his multitool. Actually building the thing might be even harder than keeping it secret.

    ~*~

    For two weeks Anakin snipped and welded and pounded his creation into shape. He had finally caught sight of a finished protocol droid on the holoproj one day, on a comedy program. The droid didn?t seem to have a sense of humor. This struck Anakin as somewhat odd. He knew what his droid ought to look like, though, and had some idea of how the inner bits would have to work.

    He?d found a communication module, too, a TranLang III, probably from the same droid as the brain. After a bit of fancy talking on Anakin?s part, Watto had let him keep it. Theoretically, he now had everything he needed.

    It was slow going, though. After these two weeks his accomplishments consisted of a torso, two arms that ended at the wrist, and a head-like appendage without a face, as well as several burnt fingers. Mom?s birthday was just five days away.

    ?Ouch!? Anakin dropped his macrofuser and sucked on a newly burnt finger, glowering at the half-droid on his workbench. At this rate he?d never finish.

    ?Ani?? called his mother from the kitchen. ?Are you all right??

    ?I?m fine, Mom,? he called back. It was getting to be a familiar exchange, which was the other problem. His mother was becoming suspicious of his late nights and injured fingers, though he did his best to conceal both. As far as he could tell, she hadn?t broken her promise yet, but it might not matter if he let the secret slip through his own carelessness.

    Anakin felt his eyelids begin to droop and let out a little grumble. He reached for the blanket he kept to cover up the droid when he was not working on it. He?d get no more work done tonight. He was too tired. What he needed was help.

    That?s it! he thought. I know ju
  6. Jedi_Suzuran Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 22, 2002
    star 5
    Excellent post there.

    Poor Anakin, trying to keep this all secret. :)
  7. Wilhelmina Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 4, 2002
    star 3
    Thanks, Su. :)

    Anakin's always struck me as a secret-keeper. The pod, his marriage, why not a birthday present? ;)

    Here's the end:

    ~*~

    Anakin lay wide awake on his bed that night. The room was too big, too dark, and too quiet. All the machines in the house had been powered down for the night, and not a single chirp or click from night insects reached his ears. He had turned off the glowtube at the head of his bed so he could not see a thing. Emptiness stretched around him; he felt that if he got out of bed to walk over to his workbench, he would keep walking and walking and never reach it.

    He hadn?t changed into his pajamas, but that didn?t matter because he couldn?t sleep. Strange, perhaps, because he should have been exhausted after all those late nights followed by that long cry, but he had too much to think about.

    He had felt better after the cry, but his mother had not pressed him for details and so he had not told her why he and Kitster had been fighting, nor had he told her about the protocol droid. Somehow he doubted that she had recognized the hunk of metal on his workbench for what it was supposed to be. He could hardly recognize it himself.

    ?Who needs you, anyway?? he muttered in the direction of the half-droid. Fumbling around in his pocket for the pebbles he?d put there earlier, he drew one out and threw it across the dark chasm. It struck metal with a satisfying *tink*.

    He threw a second pebble at the droid, and a third, but paused when his fingers touched the fourth. It felt different?smooth, not jagged, with a definite shape to it. He flicked on the glowtube and brought the pebble nearer to the dim light to get a better look.

    The pebble was just slightly bigger than his thumbnail, of a pale blue-green like a clear sky, with a soft shine as though it had been polished again and again. The oddest thing, though, was that it was shaped like a heart. A little lopsided, perhaps, but a heart nonetheless.

    Anakin closed his hand protectively around the pebble and smiled a little smile. He had an idea, and he had four days. It just might work.

    ~*~

    On the morning of Mom?s birthday, Anakin was up before the suns busying himself in the kitchen. Just before dawn he pulled the fruit of his labor, a piping-hot sweet roll, from the oven. With care he placed it on a tray and drizzled frill syrup over it. Next on the tray went a mug of hot taike tea and then, stood carefully upright, a glowrod. In the corner of the tray he set a little bundle wrapped in cloth?his present. It was done.

    He had already begun humming the birthday song as he picked up the tray and headed for his mother?s room.

    ?O ra du leve, ra du leve, ra du leve uti huate ahre,? he sang softly. ?O viska du leve, viska du leve, viska du leve uti huate ahre.? He smiled as he remembered what his mother had taught him the words meant. ?Oh may you live, may you live, may you live a hundred years. Oh yes you?ll live, yes you?ll live, yes you?ll live a hundred years.?

    He reached his mother?s room. She was sitting up in bed, blinking sleepily.

    ?Is it my birthday?? she asked. ?I had forgotten!?

    Had he been younger, Anakin would have embarked on a long discourse with his mother to convince her that it was, indeed, her birthday. Today, the twinkle in her eyes told all that needed to be told.

    She beamed in the light of the glowrod, and commented on the flavor of the tea and complimented the sweet roll. When at last she came to the present, her fingers lingered over each fold of the cloth, till at last the treasure was revealed. She lifted it from the tray with a small breath of delight.

    The heart-shaped stone, already shiny, had been polished till it gleamed. Its edges were encased in a frame of lightweight silver metal, and it was suspended from a length of leather cord that could be tied around the neck. On the front of the stone, carved with the smallest tool Anakin could find, were three characters that spelled out ?Mom?.

    ?Why, Ani,? said his mother, ?it is the most beautiful thing you have ever made for me.
  8. Jedi_Suzuran Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 22, 2002
    star 5
    Aw, what a lovely story. [face_love]

    The ending was just wonderful, Mina. :)
  9. Wilhelmina Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 4, 2002
    star 3
    *hugs* Thanks for reading and enjoying, Su. :)

    I'll give this an "up" for up's sake. ;)
  10. Sock_of_Darth_Vader Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 24, 2002
    star 4
    This is excellent, Wendy! It's so sweet of Ani to make Shmi the droid. And you're right about him being a secret-keeper, he always struck me that way too.
  11. Wilhelmina Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 4, 2002
    star 3
    Thanks, Cat! :) It is sweet of Anakin, but I remember seeing TPM for the first time and thinking, "A protocol droid to help Mom? What kind of logic is that?" Hence the story... ;) Glad you enjoyed. :)
  12. Wilhelmina Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 4, 2002
    star 3
    *furtive glance around thread*

    Uppity!

    *goes back to work*
  13. darla101 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Feb 11, 2003
    star 3
    I just finished reading this - iTs very very sweet!
  14. Wilhelmina Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 4, 2002
    star 3
    darla: Thank you very much for reading. :) I'm glad you enjoyed it.
  15. jodiwent Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 11, 2000
    star 4
    What a cute story!

    I really liked the pendent and the song.

    I'm sorry I missed it before, but glad it was upped so I could see it.
  16. Wilhelmina Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 4, 2002
    star 3
    jodiwent: Wow, there's a name I haven't seen in a while! Good to hear from you again. :)

    I'm glad you like the pendant--the image of that was all mine--but I can't take credit for the song. When I was trying to develop a little background for Shmi, I remembered a paragraph from a book or an article about Episode One (can't remember which) where Pernilla August was relating her worry about her Swedish accent. George Lucas told her something to the effect of 'just imagine Shmi's from a Swedish planet'. The song is very nearly a word-for-word translation of a traditional Swedish birthday song I found online. I'm glad it worked for the story. :)

    Thanks for replying!
  17. Wilhelmina Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 4, 2002
    star 3
    Bummm ba bum bum

    Bummm ba bum bum

    BUMP.

    ;)

    I've been considering giving this a serious rewrite and reposting it on the new board. Just for kicks: would anybody out there be remotely interested in reading a rewrite?
  18. Wilhelmina Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 4, 2002
    star 3
    I'll take the dead silence as a 'no'. ;) Ah well. I have enough plot bunnies racing around to keep me busy for a while without worrying about rewrites.

    On the bright side, this story has garnered one, count it, ONE nomination in the Summer 2003 Fan Fiction Awards, which is very unexpected (considering the dead silence in the thread) and very cool, despite the fact that that's probably all it'll get. :)

    Okay, last up. Really. I mean it this time.
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