Before Up To Our Neks (c. 487 BBY; OCs, Yoda; concluded 3/26)

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by Onderon1, Oct 28, 2009.

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  1. HelloKelly Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 12, 2009
    star 3
    Oh Wow! I missed a lot of posts. But this is really good!
  2. Thrawn McEwok Co-Author: Essential Guide to Warfare

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    O: :D This is absolutely awesome. :D

    It's fun, and poignant, and with some wonderful descriptive moments ("Dierna cocked an auburn eyebrow at him, her green eyes flaring with a mixture of annoyance, hauteur, and just ... hot." :D "He left the hut with his pack, smiling when he saw Grrollwor's wife, Arwooll, standing there, and she almost squished Donal in ... well, a bear hug." :cool:) and dialogue ("Al'rev ... why did it have to be Al'rev?" :p "Get on. I've sobered up." :oops:), and above all, it's absolutely brilliant in the way it manoeuvres between voices - Donal now, Donal then, and Tiegan... :D

    It's one of the best-balanced stories I've read here in a while, too, with the mix of so many varied characters, and the way that the mystery is somehow leading straight through the complex whirl of the backstory - the different settings, attitudes, and causes they represent... =D=

    :D :D

    - The Imperial Ewok
  3. Onderon1 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 18, 2008
    star 4
    Thanks, Thrawn. :D

    When I first started this, I wasn't sure how it was going to go. I definitely wanted that comedic, and above all, fun element - SW's as much an enjoyable ride as it is a mythic tale, IMHO.

    Previously, I described Donal as a bit of Qui-Gon, a bit of Han, and a bit of noir - but I'm not so sure, anymore. He's a LOT more Han than I'd thought ... not much noir at all ... and maybe more Obi-Wan, with a sizeable portion of Harry Dresden. :p

    Don knows his life to date has been both absurd and tragic, and yet, he's not lost faith in people. Aayhan is as sweet as it is bitter, after all, and Donal's friends stick by him (and vice-versa).

    (You never know when an Ortolan chef with a lightsaber might come in handy. [face_laugh])

    And Tiegan's fun to write, too. He's finding out that the galaxy IS bigger than he's been told, that the Force isn't all it's cracked up to be ... but that that's OK. :)

    I'm going to try to update this more often. [face_blush] I'm definitely having fun with it ... :D

    - Thanks again, [face_peace]
    Onderon1
  4. CelseteAntola TF.N Books Staff

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    Great update!!

    I just love how real Donal seems! He's certainly unconventional, but it's so refreshing to read about Jedi who have some real personality. :D

    The way you're weaving the backstory in with flashbacks is exceptionally well done, btw. It's fun and engaging without getting old. I really want to know what happened to Donal, just like Tiegan!

    I'm looking forward to the next update!


    ~Celeste


  5. Onderon1 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 18, 2008
    star 4
    Thanks, Celeste. :)

    I'm sorry I haven't updated more; RL and working on other 'fic have slowed work on this, and I'm still working on the next chapter. [face_blush]

    - Thanks again, :)
    Onderon1
  6. Onderon1 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 18, 2008
    star 4
    Author's Note: It's back. :D And thanks to Thrawn McEwok for help with the Mandalorian language. :D

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Chapter 11: 487 BBY, Coruscant:
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Never let it be said my Padawan isn't a quick study.

    Even with the craziness of the last four hours, Tiegan was remaining focused enough to listen closely to Donal's basic mechanics lessons. It probably helped that they'd managed to have a real meal and take a breather at Kel's apartment.

    Four hours? Shab, that's right - I hit Chaar's at 1600, Tiegan showed up about the same time, and we've been running around since. And my life's turned upside down again, Donal considered, watching Tiegan work on manipulating a standard door lock.

    Of course, Donal of all people knew how quickly life could change in the space of a short time. All four of his Jedi Masters had died in only seconds or minutes.

    OK, knock off the self-pity, Donal reminded himself - he'd have to go to the Hutuun's Bane sooner or later to talk to Chaar about Al'rev, and there would be NO drinking involved.

    Well, probably no drinking.

    A simple click came from the locking mechanism, and Donal gave Tiegan an approving nod as the kid beamed. "It worked! I didn't think I'd get it," Tiegan said, happy but not overly proud.

    "Have a little faith in yourself. Just don't let it become arrogance," Donal said, and Tiegan nodded respectfully, getting serious again.

    The boy's smile became a bit mischevious then, though, as he said, "Or I'll be scooping bantha dung?"

    Donal tried not to smirk back (he was glad that Tiegan felt comfortable enough to joke around, even a little), and said with mock-sternness, "Everyone has to make a living somehow, Padawan."

    Tiegan gulped, but Donal decided to let him off the hook, and gently elbowed Tiegan in the arm. "Relax, Tiegan. You're getting better with the jokes, and you're paying attention. Just stay focused when it matters, like you did with keeping Tierka'nas from getting away, and you'll do fine," he said.

    "Thanks, Master Donal. For everything. You're not - well, you're different than the stories," Tiegan said, with that mixture of respect and courage that Donal was starting to get used to.

    Donal snorted - mostly to keep up his facade of the "too-cool-for-the-Order" renegade, but also because Tiegan's statement reminded him of where those stories came from.

    And when, Donal admitted, returning Kelnam's knowing look when the Bothan peeked over the top of his computer screen.

    "Time, I think, to tell you about what happened to Master Vah'lis. And the ... business ... on Vorpa'ya," Donal said, nodding when Tiegan got serious and set the locking mechanism aside.

    "Let's roll the clock back a bit, to when Master Kle became my second Jedi Master."

    **************************************************************************
    499 BBY: Jedi High Council Chambers, Coruscant:
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Donal hadn't expected so many questions - what'd happened to Master Marnis, sure. But the Council had asked him about the Botori, about Grorrwwll's using the Force, about the snow banthas, everything about Donal's year on Kerensik.

    What else could they want to know? Donal wondered, standing with Master Kle while the Council Masters talked - the Force was thick with their Force-chatter, too.

    Donal tried to be patient and keep calm; the worst the Council would do would be to send him to the Agricorps or something. Maybe he could even go back to Kerensik ... but he still wanted to be a Jedi.


    Even if I'm not a good Jedi, Donal figured. He thought how silly, even dangerous, it was that Jedi didn't use blasters or other guns - the Gray Paladins had been chased out of the Order, almost. But a good blaster at his side had saved Donal a few times on Kerensik, against ice moles and other predators. And Donal had learned to lie, and to
  7. Onderon1 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 18, 2008
    star 4
    Author's Note: A quick, short update ... more to come, hopefully soon. [face_blush]

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Interlude: Hutuun's Bane, Mid-levels, Coruscant: 487 BBY:
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Chaar Varnas rarely kept his blaster above the bar - he usually didn't have to. As a clearly-armored Mando'ad, his reputation preceded him.

    That, and the sprinkling of Mando'ade, Clan Varnas or otherwise, in the cantina who served as informal bouncers.

    This was no Keldabe, to be sure, but the Bane was one of the most reliably Mando cantinas outside of the Mandalore sector, and the Mando'ade preferred to keep the aruetiise officials out of their little slice of home.

    Nevertheless, when she walked in, Chaar double-checked that his blaster was within reach.

    Never know how it'll play out with her, he thought, watching the beskar-armored human woman take off her helmet and walk to the bar like she owned the place.

    She was maybe 50 standard years old, brown hair starting to grey and cut short into spiky curls. A collection of lethal weapons hung on her belt - the twin blasters were just the tip of the iceberg.

    That, and her trophy lightsaber at her left hip, made the regulars give her a little room as she sat down and looked at the proprietor with a friendly enough smile.

    Her gold armor, on the other hand, was pure trouble - the color of vengeance in the code of beskar. Unlike Chaar's, the newcomer's armor wasn't broken up with black plates signifying justice.

    This lady meant business.

    Chaar nevertheless got out his best bottle of tihaar - the one for special occasions - and poured the woman a shot. The first one was always free for her.

    She tilted her head, grinned at him, and downed the shot before daring to ruffle Chaar's close-cropped grey hair; at least a few hands went to blasters around the room.

    But Chaar just shook his head and grinned back, before saying, "Redona. Welcome home."

    "Ah, ner vod'ika. You always treat me right. Decent quality stuff, too," Redona Varnas laughed, and the rest of the bar relaxed.

    Chaar leaned toward his big sister and asked, "So. You're in town for a specific reason?"

    Redona nodded, grim even for her, and Chaar felt a chill down his spine. When his vod got like this, she had an eerie resemblance to the painting of their ancestor hanging across the room.

    What makes it even scarier is that it's of our many-times great-grandfather.

    Chaar didn't say that aloud, of course - Redona was pretty, in the sort of way that a classic Mando woman was. She'd've settled down by now, a farmwife or industrialist's mate, a bunch of kids.

    If life hadn't taken her dreams away and given her reason for her gold armor.

    Not like she can ever finish that quest for revenge now ... Chaar worried.

    But he let it pass; Redona wasn't stupid. Far from it. The fact that she'd been smart enough not to collect more than one jetiise lightsaber proved that.

    Even a Mando woman with Redona's background couldn't take on the entire Jedi Order, although the manda knew Redona would try if she had a good enough excuse.

    Redona sighed and said, "Got a bounty. One you're not going to like."

    Chaar tried not to sigh back; he thought he knew where this was going, especially since the last time he'd spoken to Red'onika, she'd been terrorizing darjetii wanna-bes on Dromuund Kaas.

    Big sister's got a taste for killing dark-siders and their friends ...

    "Chor'dos? Di'kutla fool is being hunted by the jetiise for owning a tuk'ata, the rumors are," Chaar warned Redona, as she slid a credit chip across the bar and he poured her another glass - this time of Corusca ale, something that wouldn't get her drunk too quickly.

    Redona HATED being maudlin, and she got that way after a few too many glasses of tihaar.

    Just
  8. Thrawn McEwok Co-Author: Essential Guide to Warfare

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    star 6
    O: Curiouser and curiouser... excellent work, excellent characterization - am I right in thinking that Donal does have more than just the few words of Mandalorian that might be expected of the average padawan in that flashback, and that the Mandalorians (brilliant development, btw! :D) have a lot of secrets and unspoken context...?

    Why Marnis' lightsaber, though? o_O [face_thinking]

    Two great updates! :D [face_dancing] :D [face_dancing]

    - The Imperial Ewok
  9. CelseteAntola TF.N Books Staff

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    :eek: *gasp and then bites fingernails nervously*
  10. Onderon1 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 18, 2008
    star 4

    Thrawn: Thanks. :D

    Donal did learn Mando'a fairly quickly - more on this in the next chapter, as well as a full explanation of just why Redona has Marnis' 'saber ... [face_whistling]

    Celeste: There'll be a lot of talking - and probably yelling - next chapter, but no violence. :) At least not between Donal, Redona, and Tiegan, anyhow.

    There might be some serious Bothan v. Bothan melee combat, however ... [face_worried]

    - Thanks for reading, :D
    Onderon1
  11. Onderon1 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 18, 2008
    star 4
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Chapter 12: Coruscant, 487 BBY:
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Hmm. Strange flavor to the Force tonight all of a sudden ...

    Donal concentrated as the night deepened - or as much as it ever did on Coruscant - and opened himself more deeply to the great energy field. He'd always had a decidedly unique perspective on the Force, one that'd varied over the years and as he'd grown up.

    I used to blame it for taking my Jedi Masters. Then I learned about mortality and how we can make mistakes ... we're not perfect. Shab, we're not perfect, he thought, smiling his frequent half-smile.

    Then he picked up that flicker of unique Force energy - that particular knot tied together that he knew almost as well as he knew his own Force presence - and took a deep breath.

    "Oh. Oh, this is just what I need - Kel, keep your comlink open. I'm going to Chaar's, RIGHT now, and getting a damn explanation -" Donal groaned, looking around for his outer robe, his lightsaber -

    and my Padawan ...

    Kelnam looked over the top of his computer with a long-suffering expression and asked, "Let me guess. You're just now realizing Varnas hooked you on tihaar as a means to slowly drain the Jedi bank accounts and exact a long-term revenge for the Mandalorian Wars, so now you're going to mind-trick him into erasing your bar tab?"

    "Don't make with the funny, Kel. Not now. She's here - closing in - and I think, worse yet, she's looking for Al'rev," Donal snapped, not meaning to be so harsh.

    But there'll have to be explanations and other things I didn't want to tell Tiegan ...

    Kel's fur stood on end, and for once, real fear flickered in his eyes. "You can't mean - HER!? Kah'kakt'al'ar, Don, if she's looking for Al'rev -!" the Bothan yelped, leaping to his feet.

    "I know, I KNOW - look, just stay here. Please? If I can catch her before she finds Al'rev, maybe I can keep the collateral damage to a city block. Or something," Donal asked.

    Kel laughed despite himself, and Donal sighed, adding, "OK, that was bad Donal. Hypocrite, making funny when I asked you not to ... but seriously? Let me handle this first?"

    "Damn right you handle this first. Last time I got in her way, I almost ended up a rug," Kelnam said, sitting back down as Donal concentrated on Tiegan's Force-presence - the poor kid was still sound asleep.

    "Hey, you were bad-mouthing Chaar - Tiegan? Wake up, OK? Sorry to do this, but we've got to move - things just got complicated with the hunt for Al'rev," Donal said, knocking on the door to the guest bedroom.

    It slid open, revealing an embarrassed Tiegan standing there in his tunic and pants, his outer robe tossed on the bed. "Master Donal - I'm sorry - I should've remembered my lessons about being attentive -" Tiegan blurted, rubbing his eyes.

    "No, it's OK. You need your rest, but I need you to watch my back. We're going to have to move quickly, and things could get ... complicated," Donal said as the boy put his robe and kept pace with him, trying to focus,while they left Kel's apartment.

    "Complicated, Master?" Tiegan asked, nervous but also curious, and most of all, eager to help.

    I owe him the truth. Especially if she's really involved, Donal thought, telekinetically pressing the "down" button to summon the turbolift.

    "I haven't been entirely open with you about my past," Donal said, knowing he was going to have to field a LOT of questions from Tiegan - but the kid hadn't been obnoxious or rude, and Donal wanted to be as good a Master to his Padawan as he could.

    Tiegan got a funny look on his face - hesitation mixed with respect, and some nervousness, Donal sensed through the Force - before he said, "Well, Masters can tell their Padawans what they think they need to know - I guess. I mean, there's things about the Force you won't tell me yet, and I shouldn't expect you to, because it m
  12. CelseteAntola TF.N Books Staff

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    star 3
    :eek: You can't leave it there!!!! That is an evil, awful cliffie!!!

    =D= All the same, terrific update! You're weaving the threads of this story quite masterfully. I am very eager to see what comes next... :D

    ~Celeste
  13. Onderon1 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 18, 2008
    star 4

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Chapter 13: 487 BBY: Coruscant:
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Kelnam shook his head clear as he dug himself free of the dumpster he and his attacker had landed in - how the akh'lat motherkriffer had managed to sneak into his apartment, the Bothan Jedi wasn't sure.

    Still rude. Ruder still was blowing me up, Kelnam thought, Force-shoving the attacker off of him and leaping out, igniting his green lightsaber in the process.

    The illumination clashed with the attacker's orange armor - but the snouted helmet could only belong to one being (that, and the T-visor more or less sealed the ident).

    "Should've kept your nose where it belonged, jetiise brat. Your aunt was an accident. You had to go and make things personal, though," Chor'dos Al'rev chuckled, speaking accented Basic with a splash of Mandalorian.

    Remember the Code ... Kelnam reminded himself, sensing Don calling for him in the Force, making sure he was OK ...

    but Aunt Kle's pain-filled eyes flashed in Kelnam's memory, also.

    Kriff the Code.

    "Surrender, Al'rev. The warrant for my aunt's murder is still good, and animal smuggling doesn't go over well in the Coruscanti media. Turn yourself in and you might live," Kelnam said, trying not to snarl.

    Al'rev removed his helmet, and any doubt that it was him vanished - same sneer, same cream-colored fur, same cold glint in his eyes.

    "The Jedi really beat the Bothu'ad out of you, didn't they? There was a time when ar'krai meant something," Al'rev taunted.

    Kelnam DID snarl, this time, but let Al'rev think he was stupid enough to lose his temper - and sure enough, the Mando-Bothan pulled some kind of retracted weapon from his belt.

    A press of a button, and the object lengthened into a quarterstaff, as Al'rev sneered. "C'mon, false Bothu'ad. Show me what you got," he snorted.

    Kelnam just smiled.

    That was when the first garbage can slammed into Al'rev, and he managed to stand his ground.

    The second one made him shake; the third, dented his armor.

    "You asked. Just remember that," Kelnam said, nodding as Al'rev's eyes lit up with realization.

    What I got is the Force, murglak, Kelnam taunted back, silently.

    The wind in the alley whistled into a miniature tornado, centering around the Mando-Bothan, and the debris started to spin around him.

    That was when Al'rev barked something in a harsh-sounding language, and something leapt from the shadowed rooftop of one of the nearby buildings - something with spines and yellow eyes.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    "KEL!" Donal yelled, managing to telekinetically shove the tuk'ata off-course before it could land on his foster brother.

    The Korribanese beast rolled, snarling and shaking its head, before it lunged at Donal; his Force shield managed to keep its claws scrabbling, but he didn't have too many more Force-tricks to pull, given the tuk'ata's innate resistance.

    The tuk'ata yelped as blaster bolts landed near it, and Donal frowned over his shoulder - his mother was charging down the alley, Tiegan peeking around a building's edge (at least the kid had sense enough to stay out of the fight, Donal noted).

    Kel stopped the whirlwind and ran after Al'rev, who blocked the lightsaber blows (Phrik? Not cortosis, the lightsaber's not shorting out Donal figured) with his staff, while Donal and his mother kept the tuk'ata at bay.

    "Do we really want to think about how Al'rev tamed a tuk'ata?" Mom asked from inside her buy'ce - say what he wanted to about his mother's tactics, Donal had to admit she was smart enough to come prepared.

    "What are you suggesting? He was stupid enough to visit Korriban?" Donal asked back, ducking the tuk'ata as it leapt - straight at Kel -

    - and a blazing light swept the alley, making Donal wince, the tuk'ata scream, and Al'rev stumble back, groan
  14. CelseteAntola TF.N Books Staff

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    star 3
    *laughs* Now this, I like. :D

    Keep up the splendid work!!

    ~Celeste
  15. Onderon1 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 18, 2008
    star 4

    Thanks, Celeste. :)

    The next chapter should have a fair amount of mush between Donal and Dierna. [face_love]

    While Tiegan does some investigating, and learns what happened to Donal's third Jedi Master, the unfortunate Qorvis Fooz - Quermian master of Force-visions. :eek:

    Thanks again, [face_peace]
    Onderon1
  16. Onderon1 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 18, 2008
    star 4

    Author's Note: [face_blush] FINALLY getting back to this ... [face_peace]


    Note: Mods, if this is OTT or otherwise objectionable, let me know, and I'll be happy to edit. [face_peace]

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Chapter 14: 487 BBY, Ambassadorial District, Coruscant:
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Dierna D'arsan-Milthiad (she used the hyphenated name only among her innermost circle, mostly out of sensitivity to her fellow Desevrars who detested being reminded of Jedi in any way) drummed her fingers on the windowsill of her downstairs bedroom.

    She'd been raised like most eldest scions of the Thirty-Seven Families of Maslovar, Desevro's capital. In her sphere of influence - D'arsanCorp, a repulsor and other tech firm, as well as her family plantation - her word was law, her whims accepted without question, her moods a warning to her servants.

    And not for the first time, Dierna was frustrated. With her own heart.

    I could easily be excused for taking a lover - some lower-ranking son of another noble family, a positionless, noble-born but non-threatening young man. Someone to make these long absences bearable, she thought, crossing her arms.

    But I never do. Because Donal is just ...

    He was utterly frustrating - long business excursions for the Jedi whom Dierna's fellow Desevran nobles still blamed for the fall of the Tionese realms millennia before, hard-drinking, shockingly opinionated, fiercely loyal to alien friends he even called his brothers, and born to an ancient, scandalous Mandalorian bloodline with pretentions of nobility.

    But he loves me. Treats me right, has never cheated on me, even with that heinous Force-witch Hiiril who still lusts for him ... and the way he and I ... Dierna remembered, blushing and smiling ridiculously.

    She caught herself curling auburn hair around one of her fingers before she caught herself and tsked; she wasn't a teenager anymore.

    So why do I behave like one where my husband is concerned? Dierna thought, blushing again.

    She knew the answer, and despite her years of finishing school, her heart raced as she heard a familiar speeder bike's growl draw closer - racing with her heart.

    The tension roared within her, in time with the bike's pulse, as the vehicle came to a stop outside the embassy - then the silence was deafening.

    "M'Lady! I believe -" Hasna, Dierna's lady-in-waiting, gasped, poking her head in the door before curtseying as custom demanded, despite the fact that Hasna was the same age as Dierna and one of her most trusted retainers.

    Dierna nodded in customary reply, then shared a girlish smile with her dear friend and asked, "Get Jernar, please, Has?"

    Hasna's respectful expression flickered with conspiratorial glee, just for a moment, before she composed herself and curtseyed again. "At once, M'Lady. Shall I prepare the -?" she asked, a smile playing around her lips.

    Dierna grinned back and nodded, and she and Hasna laughed like they had growing up - back before social demands had forced them into roles they could, at least in private, skirt around. "Oh yes, please prepare it," Dierna snickered.

    Hasna giggled, then closed the door and called for Jernar, the head of the household servants. After a moment, the grey-haired, black-suit-clad man - middle-aged, of pure human stock from Maslovar's middle class - appeared at the door, and bowed. "M'Lady," he said, impeccably professional and respectful.

    "Jernar, check the front, please. I believe Lord D'arsan-Milthiad has returned," Dierna said, and Jernar bowed again. No other reply was needed, given his professionalism.

    It was less than a minute - and several sharp CLANGs of the front door gong - later when Jernar commed, "The lord of the house has returned, M'Lady, with his squire - ahem, pardon, Padawan - and one prisoner."

    "Show them in, please, Jernar, and su
  17. Thrawn McEwok Co-Author: Essential Guide to Warfare

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    O: Superb, superb, superb! :D Brilliant characterization on all sides, tied together by revelations and relationships, all of it building the story forward in a very satisfying way! :D

    And... "BYOB. Bring Your Own Bothan? Donal, how thoughtful of you to pick up the evening's workload," - [face_laugh]!!

    This story is just getting better as more is discovered, the resolution of all the questions turning into the springboard for the next part! :D

    - The Imperial Ewok
  18. Onderon1 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 18, 2008
    star 4
    Thanks, Thrawn. :D

    The look at Dierna's semi-private life was challenging; I wanted to be sure she wasn't too nice or too naughty. She is a blackmailer, after all ... and more on that will be revealed soon, as the action shifts to the Tion Hegemony ... [face_mischief]

    Thanks again, :D

    - Onderon1
  19. HelloKelly Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 12, 2009
    star 3
    I'm not all of the way caught up again but what I have read is really good so far!

    Keep it up!
  20. Onderon1 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 18, 2008
    star 4
    Author's Note: A quick update ... and a flashback ... [face_peace]

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Interlude the Second: 487 BBY: Fargraf's Tapcaf, Temple District, Coruscant:
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Well, never let it be said the aruetyc accountants don't pay promptly ...

    Redona finished checking the account reading on her helmet's HUD, whispering, "Thanks, Don'ika," as she saw the Desevran fund transfer complete.

    She took off her helmet and thanked the nervous-looking waiter, making a note to leave a nice tip - the Coruscanti weren't used to Mando'ade dining in full armor and broad daylight, much less exhibiting anything approaching manners.

    Idiots. We're not savages, Redona thought, ignoring the glares, frowns, and occasional nervous glances while she sipped her water.

    She'd spent the night in Chaar's guest room, after helping Kelnam and Taeryn recover what they could from the Bothan slicer's apartment. Not all jetiise were detestable baby-snatchers, in Redona's opinion, and Don'ika thought of Kelnam and Taeryn like his own flesh and blood. Redona had a soft spot for any Jedi who treated her son like the human being he was.

    And given the early hour - as well as Redona's own wish to be prepared for whatever might come her way - she wasn't going to take breakfast at her brother's bar. Drinking and being a drunk were two different things, and while Chaar could make a mean mixed drink, his cooking skills were typically male.

    Slice of bread, slice of meat, slice of filler, slice of meat, slice of bread. Or milk splashed over cereal. Mama would be embarrassed, Redona thought shaking her head while she started on the nerf-steak and nuna eggs she'd ordered with her blue milk.

    She laughed a bit, aay'han filling her as she remembered - this was the meal she'd brought to ...

    Oya, Torman, you pain in the shebs. I've never gotten over you, have I?

    The truth was, Redona hadn't gotten over her husband's death - at least he'd been her husband in the Mandalorian sense.

    But it wasn't Torman Marnis' senseless, there-one-moment-then-gone-the-next death that drove Redona to hunt and sometimes kill dark-side jetiise - of which, despite the Order's propaganda and Republic reassurances, there were still quite a few.

    Almost 25,000 years worth of Force-idiocy, and you mir'shebs don't think there's WORLDS full of looked-over Force artifacts, dark side nexii, and other traps for the unwary or greedy or stupid? I've probably done more for the Jedi, indirectly, by bounty-hunting dark-siders than even that hutuun Elender has as a Jedi Sentinel, Redona thought, shaking her head as she dug into her meal.

    The dirty secret of Redona's life was that she was killing dark-siders because she couldn't bring herself to kill Jedi.

    Even IF the osik'la jetiise had taken her baby.

    Or maybe I just don't want to admit that raising Don'ika would've been ... difficult, Redona recognized, the taste of the nerf-steak souring as she struggled with her admission.

    Force-users weren't demonized by Mando'ade, despite the bloody history between the Order and the Mandalorians. But Redona knew the danger that untrained Force-sensitives posed.

    She'd seen innocent ad'ikas struggling with their own sanity as they were bombarded by Force-sensations, feelings not their own, and seeing things that made superstitious fools call the children "demon-possessed."

    But the jetiise are a CULT. There's no disguising it, Redona thought, scowling into her eggs before she took a long drink of blue milk.

    She didn't blame Torman. He'd never have stayed with the Mando'ade in any case, although he'd offered to take Redona with him and leave the Order - but it would've killed his spirit, slowly, settling down.

    Torman Marnis was never me
  21. HelloKelly Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 12, 2009
    star 3
    Ok now I'm all caught up! and axiously awaiting a new post! Hint hint hint

    Lol. Good job!
  22. Onderon1 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 18, 2008
    star 4
    Author's Note: I'd meant to get back to this much sooner ... [face_blush]

    Anyhow. A very short update, with more planned for the near future. [face_peace]

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Chapter 15: 487 BBY: Maslovar, Desevro, Tion Hegemony, Outer Rim:
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The henchman gasped, thrown against the wall by a mere gesture of his employer.

    "FOOLS," the angry, curly-red-brown-haired young man pacing the burgundy-velvet-draped audience chamber snarled, glaring at the hired help. The man wore some kind of black gauntlets, while he was dressed in a plus burgundy suit and riding boots.

    "Watch your mouth, punk - AAK -" one of the other henchmen tried to snarl, choking when his employer gestured.

    The younger man released the ringleader, opening his fingers as the gauntlet stopped glowing, and the tuk'atas sitting at the throne in the room' back corner rumbled a little. If any of the other hirelings were going to speak up, the urge to do so passed.

    The young man nodded, then, a flicker of disdain and boredom in his green eyes as he sat on the throne and sighed. "My apologies, Urdlan - Vestar. I've let my temper get the best of me. For the money I'm paying you, I expected better, but I shouldn't take it out on you," the man said, shrugging.

    "My brother-in-law and his accursed mother are very good at what they do, which is cause trouble. For now, you'd better all stay under cover, suspend the shipments while I deal with the likely oncoming menace."

    "Y ... yessir," Urdlan Restok grunted, still rubbing his throat as his brother Vestar helped him up, and they left with their fellow gang members. One of the servant droids closed the large doors behind them, and the young man melodramatically sighed as he stroked one of the tuk'atas' heads.

    The creature purred, uncharacteristically empathetic, as its owner mumbled, "My dears. Whatever am I going to do about this ghastly upcoming family reunion? Dierna's sure to want to smack me down for daring to make a profit, and Donal ... oh, Donal. I've got to make sure that this time, I teach big sister a proper lesson for marrying an outlander."

    Istlan D'arsan leaned forward, one hand on his chin as he rested its elbow on his knee, and shook his head. The problem was that there was just no accounting for Republic arrogance. There hadn't been a proper Desevran response to outlander outrages for millennia, and Istlan was no Sith Lord.

    Not that I'd want to be a Sith Lord. Ecch. Advanced aging, madness ... no, what little Force sensitivity I have is best left worked on at a nice, slow pace, Istlan recognized.

    As the younger child, Istlan had been essentially passed over by his parents as anything like a real heir. It was galling, especially given Dierna's horrendous choice in husbands. Istlan was Desevran enough to be able to accept a brother-in-law who was native-born, but Milthiad?

    A Jedi. A friend to Hutts. A savage born of Mandalorians. I was born to purge such taint from the galaxy ... Istlan thought, a feral smile playing around the corners of his mouth until he realized he was overreacting. Again.

    Dangerous games, Istlan, he reminded himself, removing his gauntlets. Allegedly "Sith artifacts," they actually contained a micronized, prototype repulsor matrix that could be used to remotely move objects - or simulate the dreaded Force choke. It was a nice ploy to scare the rougher hired help into compliance.

    Truth is, I'm no Jedi, either. Which is just fine, Istlan thought, shaking his head. He had the occasional flash of insight, true, and sensing others' emotions came in handy in his ... sideline work when he wasn't playing the well-behaved D'arsan-Corp junior board member.

    But he knew if it came to a head-to-head Force power fight with his brother-in-law, he'd have to cheat.

    Istlan stood, poured himself some wine, and admired a painting of
  23. CelseteAntola TF.N Books Staff

    VIP
    Member Since:
    May 18, 2002
    star 3
    Oh, wow! This is getting twistier by the minute!! Great job handling such a complex storyline!! I'm interested in leaning more about Donal's brother-in-law... [face_thinking]

    ~Celeste
  24. Onderon1 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 18, 2008
    star 4
    Thanks - and I'm sorry I've not updated this more frequently. [face_blush] I was playing catchup with some other 'fics, and this fell by the wayside.

    I wanted to make sure Istlan wasn't the generic "dark Force-user of the week." He's smart enough not to be Sith, even if he's playing with fire, so he uses his own tech to get around the dangers of excessive Force use (the gauntlets, for example - they're made with tech from his family's company).

    But Istlan is also young, and ambitious, and just ruthless enough to get himself in real trouble. He's smart enough to know, intellectually, that Korriban just isn't a place to visit ...

    but, well, he's arrogant and feeling backed into a corner. Not a good combination. :oops:

    That said, there are still a few more change-ups in the batting order, so to speak. [face_whistling]

    - Thanks, and later, [face_peace]
    Onderon1
  25. Onderon1 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 18, 2008
    star 4
    Author's Note: Another quick update ... [face_blush]

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Chapter 16: 487 BBY: Senate Ambassadorial District Starport, Coruscant:
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Tiegan watched Master Donal complete the pre-flight checklist, wishing he'd learned more about piloting before now. As it was, Tiegan had barely enough mechanical training to be of much help, or at least he thought so.

    But Master Donal says I'm getting better. Maybe I should ask him if he or Knight Vah'lis will teach me more about computers ... Tiegan wondered, checking his seat as Master Donal started the launch sequence.

    The shuttle was a pretty nice one, Tiegan had noticed - two bedrooms, with plush everything. Lady Dierna had said it was an ambassadorial shuttle, and she'd teased Master Donal, asking him to make sure "not to break THIS one, all right?"

    There was still a lot Tiegan didn't know about his Master, but what he did know made Tiegan glad he'd gotten Master Donal as his Jedi teacher. Master Donal was kind, and he wanted to help Tiegan become a good Jedi, not just tell him "follow the Code."

    He's had so much happen to him, though ... and he's not really that old, for a Knight. If he started as a Padawan when he was my age, but he lost Master Marnis when he was 12, and Master Kle Vah'lis when he was 16 ... and he spent a year on Kerensik between that ... Tiegan thought, looking at Master Donal.

    Master Donal commed the tower and said, "CorBOSS, this is Xim's Gambit, requesting departure clearance, over."

    "Clearance granted, Xim's Gambit. Safe flying," the tower droid said, and Master Donal eased the ship out while Tiegan sat back and closed his eyes; this part of spaceflight didn't make him very comfortable.

    I haven't even flown that much - just some flights in basic training with my clanmates. I gotta stop being so scared, Tiegan thought. After a few moments, the feeling of being thrown far and distant faded, and Tiegan opened his eyes to see stars in a black sky.

    "Coruscant's behind us. Take-off bugs you, too?" Master Donal said, nicely, and Tiegan nodded, trying not to blush.

    "It's silly, I know, Master. But it's like I can feel the G-forces, even with the repulsor field and the inertial dampeners," Tiegan said, watching Master Donal start the navicomputer.

    "The mind is a powerful force - no pun intended - Tiegan. If you believe you're feeling something, then convincing yourself that you do feel it isn't impossible. Likewise, Jedi can use their belief to do amazing things - see places and things, long gone or that haven't happened yet," Master Donal said.

    Tiegan nodded, listening when Master Donal sighed and said, "Master Qorvis tried to teach me that. I didn't get the knack of it until after he was gone."

    "Master Qorvis Fooz - I think I remember Master Gilt talking about him. He was a Quermian, right? And an expert farseer?" Tiegan asked.

    His stomach tightened when the stars lengthened, and they jumped to hyperspace before Master Donal nodded, smiling a little sadly.

    "He was my third Jedi Master. And although I can't prove it, I still think his death was caused by my punk brother-in-law, Istlan D'arsan - Dierna's brat brother," Master Donal grumbled.

    "Istlan didn't like the fact that Dierna and I got married. Of course, almost nobody did except the two of us, but Master Qorvis always said I'd be an unconventional Jedi ..."

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Donal sighed; Qorvis had been one of his Masters who had genuinely liked him, and whom he'd respected and liked as well.

    Donal smiled at Tiegan and said, "We've got at least a day out to Desevro. By then, you'll probably have heard more about Master Qorvis than you wanted to know. But before then, I need to fill you in on how I learned about my mother - and how I learned more about my fat
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