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Saga - OT Wolf Brother | Rebels AU

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by Raissa Baiard, Jul 5, 2018.

  1. Raissa Baiard

    Raissa Baiard Force Ghost star 4

    Nov 22, 1999
    Title: Wolf Brother
    Author: Raissa Baiard
    Timeframe: Saga, 5 BBY, during Rebels Season 1
    Genre: AU
    Characters: the crew of the Ghost
    Synopsis: Following one of Kanan’s premonitions, the Ghost’s crew encounters a strange child on the plains of Lothal.

    Thanks to @Findswoman for beta reading @};-

    Wolf Brother

    Thunder rumbled across the prairie. The sky was a sullen greenish-gray and lightning flickered among the clouds, promising that a storm was on its way. The perfect night, Zeb thought, to have a nice, big mug of hot tarine tea and play a game of dejarik with Chopper while listening to the sound of the rain against the Ghost’s hull.

    At least it should have been, except that Kanan got one of his Jedi premonition things that there was something hugely important out here in the middle of nowhere—he’d been maddeningly vague on exactly what it was, as usual. And so, instead of spending a quiet evening snug aboard the ship, he was out here with Hera prowling through the grassland to the east of the Ghost, while the others took the west side, searching for this whatever-it-was—and, Zeb thought as another bolt of lightning cracked across the sky, probably going to get electrocuted in the process. He scrubbed a hand over the fur on his neck that was standing up from the electricity in the air. “D’ya ever wonder why the Force always picks times like this to send Kanan off on one o’ its wild bantha chases?”

    Next to him, Hera put down her macrobinoculars and frowned. “You can always go back to the Ghost with Chopper if you’re scared.”

    “I’m not scared!” Zeb bridled. Lasat, and particularly Honor Guards, did not get scared. He was, perhaps, a touch uneasy. “It’s just...the sky looks like it’s gonna pour mookas and tookas any minute and we’re all out here lookin’ for who knows what, who knows where, all because Kanan got some twitchy Jedi feeling…”

    “Shh!” Hera waved him quiet and pointed towards a rocky outcropping about fifteen meters from them. “There’s something over there!” The tall grass at the stone’s base rustled and Zeb saw what she’d been pointing at.

    There was a boy crouched in the tall grass.

    He was a scruffy-looking kid, maybe in his early teens, thin and wiry. He wore an oversized sleeveless tunic of indeterminate color belted at the waist with a piece of rope, and ragged pants that were cut off at the knees. His feet were bare. His long, dark hair had been pulled back into an untidy queue, straggling strands hanging down into his eyes, and his eyes—so blue they were almost lambent in the twilight—were the quick, bright eyes of a wary wild creature.

    Hera gasped and exchanged a startled look with Zeb. He knew what she was thinking; there were no towns for kilometers around, not even a farm, and no sign of ships or vehicles. So how had the kid gotten there? Where was he from? Who was he? And Hera being Hera, she didn’t wait to see if the kid had any weapons, but took a step towards him, calling out, “Hello? Are you all right?”

    The boy rose, standing on ungainly legs, and took half a step forward as he peered at them in the gloomy half-light. “Heh… loh…?” He pronounced the syllables carefully, as if their shape was unfamiliar to him, and wrinkled his nose at the sound of his own voice. “Hello?” he repeated, a bit less uncertainly. “Hello.”

    “Can we help you?” Hera took several more steps forward; Zeb recognized the mother avian look on her face and suspected she’d just found her newest project. He tagged along behind her just in case the kid was as wild as he looked. “Are you here alone?” she asked as she approached the boy.

    He considered this for a moment, then shook his head and gestured behind him. And suddenly, there were yellow eyes peering out of grass where there had been none before. A pair of shaggy creatures slowly emerged from the shadow of the standing stone—out of the rock itself, it seemed—giant canids, one gray and one white, taller than the boy, almost as tall as Zeb himself. They flanked the boy, looming over him, and their pointed muzzles were long enough that they could easily have snapped his head off. Zeb had never seen anything like the creatures—no one had seen them in hundreds of years—but he knew what they were: Loth-wolves.

    “Karabast!” he swore, unslinging his bo-rifle from where it hung on his back. “Hera, look out! Get down, kid!”

    The boy’s eyes grew large as Zeb leveled his rifle at the white wolf. “No!” he shouted, leaping in front of it, his arms thrown wide. “No, not hurt! Not hurt!” He turned, reaching up and put his arms around the white wolf’s neck while the gray one laid its muzzle against the boy’s shoulder. He buried his face in the wolf’s ruff and looked up defiantly at Zeb. “My… family.”

    “Your family? The Loth-wolves are your family?” Hera looked as astonished as Zeb felt as the gray wolf nuzzled the boy’s face affectionately as a pet mooka. The white wolf stared balefully at Zeb until he lowered his weapon.

    The boy laid a hand on the gray wolf’s muzzle and leaned forward to press his forehead against it, smiling. “Yes. I…” He paused, considering carefully, as if he was searching for long forgotten words. “I wolf brother.” The boy shook his head and made a noise somewhere between a bark and a rueful laugh. “I not talk this way for…” Here, he spread his hands, gesturing expansively “… long time. Hard.” The gray wolf whined softly and nudged the boy’s shoulder with its nose. He sighed and rested his head on the wolf’s furry shoulder for a minute before turning to Hera imploringly. “You help? You...Jedi? I need find Jedi.”

    Karabast! Zeb jolted at hearing the word “Jedi” from this scruffy, feral child. On the one hand, Kanan’s freaky Jedi coincidences and not-coincidences had almost lost the power to surprise him by now. On the other hand… karabast!

    Hera’s lekku twitched as she glanced sidelong at Zeb, the same amazement he felt reflected in her eyes. “Yes,” she answered slowly. “Yes, I can help you find the Jedi.” She pulled her comlink from her coverall pocket and clicked it on. “Kanan, I think we’ve found what you’re looking for.”

    To be continued…
  2. brodiew

    brodiew Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Oct 11, 2005
    Nice start, Raissa! I enjoyed how you set a wonderful scene even through Zeb's cranky eyes. His back and forth with Hera was great as was the the Mowgli-esque arrival of Ezra and his Loth-wolf family.

    Now why would the 'wolf brother' be looking for a Jedi and visa versa. :D [face_thinking]
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2018
  3. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 7

    Aug 31, 2004
    You started another one... and it's wonderfully fascinating! I could picture the entire scene! =D= =D= LOL I am so with Zeb on what are we doing out here on a stormy night when we could be snugly inside? :rolleyes:

    This variation of Ezra will prove to be as entertaining as the original I see, as he needs to be acclimated to Jedi ways as well as just being around people again. @};-
  4. AzureAngel2

    AzureAngel2 Force Ghost star 6

    Jun 14, 2005
    Hm, Mogli meets SW and I am interested immediately. But this is perhaps also due to my love for the original "Elf Quest" comic series. The Wolf Rider tribe is my favourite.

    Expect me back when my holidays are over.
  5. CaraJinn

    CaraJinn Jedi Knight star 2

    Jan 8, 2018
    *following this one * The story is promising, I just didn't expect wolf brother to be Ezra.
  6. Raissa Baiard

    Raissa Baiard Force Ghost star 4

    Nov 22, 1999
    Thanks, Brodie! Glad you’re enjoying it so far. :) Pairing Zeb and Hera up here was kind of fun, because she’s the most trusting and nurturing of the group, the one who immediately sees wolf!Ezra as a child who needs taken care of, while Zeb is in a lot of ways the most practical, who immediately sees the wolves things that need blasted. As to why this wolf brother and a Jedi need to find each’s probably fair to say that the Force is behind their meeting.

    Thanks! This was supposed to be a vignette in a series of featuring AU versions of Ezra, but it kind of grew past vignette and into a two part short story...and looks like it may grow past that! I’ve found this version of Ezra really intriguing (ok, yes, I find all versions of him intriguing—but this one has wolves AND Ezra! [face_love] :ezra:)
    You and Brodie have hit the nail on the head comparing this Ezra to Mowgli. When @Ewok Poet and @Findswoman and I were discussing the Loth-wolves the idea of a sort Star Wars meets The Jungle Book occurred to me. It’s one of my favorite books and I love the Disney movie (though it bears only passing resemblance to the book) and the recent “live action” version added some interesting bits with the wolves
    Thanks, CaraJinn! Glad to see you here and hope you’ll continue to enjoy it.
  7. Raissa Baiard

    Raissa Baiard Force Ghost star 4

    Nov 22, 1999
    Sometimes Kanan hated it when the Force’s vague promptings that something important was going to happen turned out to be right. Looking at the boy Hera and Zeb had discovered and the Loth-wolves that sat on either side of him, he had a feeling this was going to be one of those times.

    Hera had given Kanan a brief account of her encounter with the strange child while he and Sabine made their way across the grassland to where she and Zeb were waiting, but he still hadn’t been prepared for what he found. The boy sat on the ground between the wolves, leaning against the gray one and reaching up to scratch its ears with an easy familiarity. His mouth was open in a lupine grin, and the wild gleam in his blue eyes made him seem more than half wolf.

    And the wolves… There was something profoundly unsettling about the way they looked at Kanan, something strange about the way they felt in the Force. They were connected to its currents in a way he’d never experienced with any other creature, a connection that bound them to the energy of Lothal… and somehow to the boy.

    The boy looked up as Kanan and Sabine approached, his nostrils flaring and his keen eyes darting over them. Sabine held his attention for a moment, but his face lit up when he saw Kanan. He scrambled to his feet. “Jedi! You Jedi, yes?”

    This then was what the Force wanted him to find: a feral boy who could hardly speak and yet knew the word “Jedi”. A boy with a strong connection to the Force, to the Loth-wolves, and seemingly to Lothal itself. “Yes, I’m a Jedi. My name’s Kanan Jarrus. Who are you?”

    “I…” His words faltered, his forehead wrinkled in thought, and he gave a whine of frustration. He regarded Kanan with a frown and cocked his head to one side *You can talk this way, too?*

    *I....yes. How…?* The boy’s voice was strong and clear within Kanan’s mind— how had he learned the trick of Jedi mind speech?—and he felt that this, rather than his halting, limited words, was the boy’s true voice.

    The boy smiled and gestured towards the wolves beside him. *It’s how I talk to my family. They call me Little Brother.*

    The wolves could speak? The white wolf’s expression was inscrutable as it returned Kanan’s stare, but he could have sworn the gray wolf’s eyes twinkled with mirth. *You say they’re your family. How did that happen?*

    Instead of words, an image unfolded in Kanan’s mind, a memory seen through the boy’s eyes, the eyes of the small child he’d once been—

    He was running, a blue-purple fruit clutched in his hand. He knew that stealing the fruit was wrong, but he was hungry, so hungry and so alone. Always so alone. The ones in the hard white shells, the same ones who’d taken his parents, were chasing him, their shouts loud behind him—Stop! Thief! Get back here!—-but he was never going to stop as long as they were there. Never ever. He ran out of the city, onto the plains and before he knew it, he’d been swallowed up by prairie grass almost as tall as he was. He doubled over, ragged and panting, in the middle of nowhere—hungry, alone and lost.

    The boy collapsed onto the ground, too tired to even eat the squashed fruit he was still holding, and closed his eyes against the tears that overwhelmed him. When he finally opened them, a pair of huge yellow eyes was staring down into them. Huge yellow eyes belonging to an enormous hairy beast as big as a mountain, a monster straight out of a thousand nursery tales. He scrambled away as fast as he could, or at least he tried to. His arms and legs had lost the ability to move. All he could do was scream as the Loth-wolf leaned forward to devour him.

    But she only touched her nose to his forehead, her warm breath whuff-ing gently against his face, and he was overcome with a sense of peace, something he hadn’t felt since his parents had been gone. A voice that came from nowhere and everywhere filled his mind: [Be not afraid, Little Brother. We will help you,]

    *And they did,* the boy’s voice returned to Kanan’s thoughts. *They gave me a place to live, taught me how to find food. And most of all, they loved me. They became my family, my brothers and sisters. But now…* The boy whined again; if he had truly been a wolf his ears would have drooped and his tail would have been low. *Now they say it’s time for me to go back. To learn things they can’t teach me. They said you could help me, Jedi.*

    “Kanan?” Hera’s voice cut into his thoughts, reminding him that the others hadn’t seen or heard any of what he had.

    He turned back to the rest of crew, who had been watching this silent interplay. “He’s an orphan; his parents were taken by the Empire when he was little.The wolves… they’re more than just animals; they’re tied to the living Force and the life of this planet in some way I don’t understand. They adopted the boy because he’s strong in the Force, too, and…” His twisted into a grimace. “They want me to train him.”

    It was a mark of how well Hera knew him, how much she’d come to trust and believe in his abilities that she didn’t question how he knew any of this, but got straight to the point. “But you don’t want to?”

    Kanan threw up his hands.“I… How can I?!” No, he needed to be calm. He was supposed to be leader of this little group, the confident one, the one who made the best decisions for them. There was no emotion, there was peace...even though Hera’s question cut to his heart. He drew her to the side, lowering his voice. “Hera, I’m no Master; I can’t take on a padawan!” He wasn’t even, technically speaking, a Jedi. His training was woefully incomplete; he’d been no older than this boy when the Clones had turned on him and his master. The years spent running and hiding, doing whatever he had to to survive had dulled his connection to Force. Only in the last few years had he begun to renew and rebuild it. He was no one who ought to be teaching the ways of the Force to anyone. “Besides, how could I even begin to teach him, when he’s more like a wild creature than a boy?”

    Hera’s lips pressed into a flat line, and he thought he saw a trace of disappointment in her eyes. “Well, we can’t just leave him here alone. Whatever kind of life he’s had with his… wolf family, he needs to be with people.”

    There was a growl behind him; when he turned, the wolves were standing. The white wolf’s eyes found his, gazing into them as if it could see all the way to his soul. [It is not our will, Caleb Dume, but that of the Force.] Its voice—his voice—resonated through Kanan’s thoughts like the thunder that rumbled across the prairie.[Our brother needs you need him. Do not let your eyes deceive you.]

    Kanan shook his head with a wordless cry of frustration. Hera, the wolves, the Force—they were asking too much of him. He wasn’t ready for this kind of responsibility, he doubted he was capable of it. And the boy—

    The boy was watching him, listening, though much of what Kanan said was foreign to him. He stood absolutely still, the way only a cautious animal could be still, but Kanan felt the currents of his emotions swirling in the Force: sadness, longing and fear. He’d lost his family once and now he was going to have to leave the ones he’d come to love as much as his long lost mother and father. But underneath it all, there was a fierce determination to be brave as wolves were brave, to meet this strange new fate head on. The Jedi would guide him.

    Kanan looked away, abruptly ashamed that this feral wolf-child, with no training and no knowledge, who had lost so much and was being asked to give up the little he had, found it easier to trust in the will of the Force than he did. “I’ll do what I can for you.” It was all he could promise.

    The boy took a step towards Kanan and faltered, looking back at the Loth-wolves uncertainly. The gray wolf lowered its head—no, her head and nudged him gently forward. At the same time, Hera reached a hand out to him. “You had a Human family once. Do you remember your name?”

    His eyes lingered on the gray wolf for a moment longer, the gleam of tears shining in them, but he took a deep breath and squared his shoulders. “Yes.” he answered, reaching back to Hera. “My name…is Ezra.”
    AzureAngel2 and Findswoman like this.
  8. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 7

    Aug 31, 2004
    Superb characterization of Kanan's doubts and Ezra's resolve. =D=
    AzureAngel2 and Findswoman like this.
  9. AzureAngel2

    AzureAngel2 Force Ghost star 6

    Jun 14, 2005
    Wonderful! This story goes very, very deep. I wish I could put a picture that I have drawn in here, but there seems something wrong with my DA account. Here is a link.
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2018 at 2:00 AM
  10. CaraJinn

    CaraJinn Jedi Knight star 2

    Jan 8, 2018
    ...and this is exactly what the Force is all about, I think. =D=
  11. Findswoman

    Findswoman Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Feb 27, 2014
    Ezra as Mowgli, or at least as a Mowgli-like figure! What a very compelling premise you have here, and one that, in its way, is perfect for this character, taking his beastwarden talent to a completely new place. I’ve been intrigued by this idea ever since you first mentioned it, and it’s wonderful to see it executed at last. =D=

    Wonderful setting of the scene, with the “dark and stormy night” on the steppes of Lothal and the Spectres’ expedition in search of... something from one of Kanan’s inconvenient Jedi premonition Kanan’s. Gotta agree with Zeb (as indeed I so often do ;) ): Kanan’s premonitions never come at the right time, do they! (And interrupting the chance for Zeb to enjoy a nice hot beverage at that—tsk, tsk! :p ) Also wonderful is your description of the feral Ezra, his raggedy looks, his beastlike body language, his halting speech that very, very gradually becomes just a touch more articulate over the story’s course. I particularly love the way you describe the “shape” of his words as being unfamiliar to him, which has such a cool synesthetic ring to it. He is clearly recognizable in some ways, and yet also very clearly different in others—little surprise that an author who knows this character so well would get that mix right. :ezra:

    The reactions of the other Spectres are perfect too. Naturally Zeb’s first impulse is to pull out his bo-rifle and try to Protect Everyone once The Wolves appear on the scene, and Hera’s “mother avian” side is definitely coming through at the sight of this feral, bedraggled youngling. And of course I am as curious as they are about how it is that this wild boy knows from Jedi! [face_thinking] Very intriguing, indeed... but if anyone can get to the bottom of it, it’ll be Kanan. :kanan:

    And he does, of course! These scenes between him and Ezra have a real tenderness to them, even if he doesn’t know quite what to make of this feral youngling. One gets the sense that he (Kanan) is letting himself being led by his heart, his own sense of compassion and awe, in listening to Ezra and learning his story. That story, told in images rather than words, is the centerpiece of this one: a lost orphan on the run from the authorities, tired and desperate, and rescued by gigantic, majestic creatures of legend—creatures who are not only deeply connected to the Force but who can also sense the poor lost boy’s connection to it as well. And creatures who know Kanan by name! :eek: Now that is a very intriguing detail, for sure, and I am guessing there’s some kind of Season 4 connection at work here, though I won’t inquire further just yet, in the interest of avoiding spoilers. :p

    Kanan’s uncertainty at the prospect of teaching this kid reminds me of all those biblical figures who say “b-but I c-can’t” and then go on to say and do amazing things—Moses, Jeremiah, Isaiah, Elijah, etc. It’s totally understandable, given his own history and the incompleteness of his own training. But here too he ultimately lets himself be led by his heart and by his sense of compassion: the pure courage he senses from the boy encourages him in turn (and hey, that’s a trademark of the canon Ezra-Kanan dynamic too). He humbly offers to “do what I can”—but we all know that that “what I can” will make a universe of difference to Ezra, in any universe. <3

    Wonderful work here, and so full of heart in true Raissa fashion; thank you for this all-new view of the Boy from Lothal. =D=