Yup, Things are Different Now (a Horn story)

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  1. Opie Wan Cannoli Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 10, 1999
    star 3


    NEW REPUBLIC DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
    STANDARDIZED INDIVIDUALIZED EDUCATION PLAN FORM
    - It took me a moment's wonder at what kind of bureaucrat could put the words "standardized" and "individualized" right next to each other, without a trace of irony-
    _STUDENT NAME; Horn, Valin
    _AGE;11.9 yrs.
    _DATE OF EVALUATION; 14/17/25
    _SPECIES/GENDER;human/male
    _QUALIFYING CONDITION; Force sensitivity
    _LEVEL OF INVOLVEMENT; Student has significant ability to control others' thoughts; significant ability to communicate without use of physical means. Student has extremely limited telekinesis. N.B- Student's cognitive and physical skills and abilities are consistently within designated norms
    _GOALS; Student will maximize and refine his Force control and abilities; as these do not include telekinesis, emphasis must also be placed on student's academic and physical development.
    _PRIOR PLACEMENT(S); Age 5-9 (19-23 ABY) Fully mainstreamed in regular classroom settings (Finis Valorum Elementary School, Imperial City, Coruscant); additional home tutoring in control and manipulation of his condition (N.B.;During this period, student's primary tutor was his father)
    _CURRENT PLACEMENT; Residential, intensive special-education setting (Jedi Academy, Yavin 4)
    _RECOMMENDED PLACEMENT; We feel that this student can be served adequately in a fully-mainstreamed environment.
    *************************************

    There it was, my future in black-and-white. I was being sent home, at the earliest opportunity.
    I should explain that the Jedi Academy is officially classed (no pun intended, but if you like it I'll take the credit) as a "galactic special-education center", answering to the NR Dept. of Ed., which means that all students have to have IEPs (Tionne says that stands for Incredibly Exhausting Paperwork). This was done when Leia Organa Solo's administration was in it's lame-duck phase, to put a buffer between us and the Fey'lya group.
    The fact that they had sent an "outside expert" to do this year's, and that that "expert" was a Bothan says something, don't you think?
    Anyway, that left me with a lot of packing to do- mine, Jysella's, and the last of Dad's stuff. It took me almost two whole days!

    "Wow, Valin, you think the 'Errant Venture' is big enough for all that stuff? Have you been to Corellia before? Will you write me when you get there? I'd love to know about your school- I've never been to a regular one before- what's the matter? Bantha got your tongue?"
    That was Tahiri; she's a year older than me, and has been at the academy since she was nine. Rumor has it that she shuts up occasionally, but I'll believe that when I (don't?) hear it. She and I are both creche assistants; me so I can be with my sister, her because it's as close to being with a family she can get.
    In a month's time she'll be a Padawan (Lucky her; she has no place else for the Bothan to send her!), I'll be a Corellian schoolboy, and the Jedi Academy creche will be an abandoned closet.
    "Sure, I'll keep in touch," I said. Actually, it came out more as a mumble; that happens to me a lot lately.
    The growing shadow overhead meant that our goodbyes would be cut short (Thank the Force!) I looked up to see one of the Errant Venture's shuttles descending to meet me. As I felt the familiar pull of Jysella tugging on my shirt, I got a sense of going home.
    And I tried not to think of the fact that I'm going "home" to a world I've never seen before.
  2. RogueJai Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 14, 2000
    star 4
    Hey, I LIKE this Opie Wan Cannoli!! More?
  3. Liz Skywalker Ex-Mod

    Member Since:
    Jun 13, 2000
    star 6
  4. Opie Wan Cannoli Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 10, 1999
    star 3
    Half an hour later, as the shuttle came into the Venture's landing bay, I went over some last-minute checks; it's been a while since I've seen Grandpa Booster, so I didn't want to look like a rancor's chew toy. I fixed my hair a bit since I had just pulled on a sweater; it's colder on board spacecraft than in the jungle; and pulled up a sagging sock (on plain view; it's still not cold enough to get me into long pants. Although Dad would say that Hoth isn't cold enough to get me voluntarily into long pants- this is a running gag in the family as Dad doesn't even like wearing shorts on the beach!) I also tucked in that bit of shirt-tail that Jysella pulled out. After getting up, I moved to neaten up Jysella too, but the shuttle ramp hissed open and she was off!
    "Grampy Booster!" she yelled as she ran down the ramp towards- well, you figure out who (hint; Not Borsk Fey'lya!)
    Grandpa Booster scooped her up in his arms and said, "Izzums you a widdle cutie, yes you are!" He noticed me and added, "Valin! You're getting more like your father every day! Please stop!", as he put his free arm around me. I couldn't help but notice that I'm now almost up to his shoulders.
    He did too; "Whoo-hoo! This is great- you're only a couple centimeters shorter than your dad, and your what, now, 13?"
    "Almost 12- hey, you know that!"
    "I'll have to get something extra-super-special for your birthday. And elevator shoes, too!"
    "I'll have to go meditate. I don't like how greedy the idea of something you consider 'extra-super-special' is making me!", I laughed.
    "Just be ready for dinner at six- I want to show off both my grandkids! I can take Jysella until then."
    "Okay"
    *******************************

    I managed to get in a solid hour's meditation; I can usually do better, but my quarters on the Errant Venture are jam-packed with distractions. Grampa Booster's ship is the one place where he can spoil Jysella and I absolutely rotten without Mom, Dad or Master Skywalker going nuts on him, so he...went nuts! My room has TWO video-game consoles (I guess he couldn't decide on one), for instance.
    The distraction that finally, um, distracted me, however, was very different. Corellia has full school choice, and it seems that Dad, Mom and both grandfathers have put considerable effort into a list of possibilities. Out of at least 100 middle schools in the Coronet area, they have a shortlist of four; those schools' pamphlets (there's a special name for them, on the tip of my tongue..) sat on my bed. Needless to say, Grandpa Booster's favorite remedy for not being able to decide on one wouldn't work on this.
    Option number one had been the local school in our new neighborhood, before school choice. Most (but not all) the kids there would be local, and a pencilled note on the prospectus (that's the word!) noted that it was less than one klick from our house. It looked okay- a good regular school, if that's what I want.
    Option number two was in the middle of Coronet, but made up for what promises to be a 40min. bus ride each way by having the best music program on Corellia! The cover showed a choir; I'm a passable boy-soprano but it's really too late for that. It would take me at least a year to train up to the galactic-class level of their choir, which would be just in time for my voice to break! But, if their instrumental programs are as good- ace of staves-
    That last came in a smaller, squeakier mental voice than mine- five of flasks- that, too! Jysella! Grandpa Booster was using her to cheat at sabacc. Again.
    I grabbed Jysella's favorite stuffed Ewok toy (which, I understand, has seen combat action with Wedge Antilles!) and ran towards the Diamond Level main casino.
    When I got there, I crouched outside the casino entrance and saw Grandpa Booster, Jysella on his lap and what had to be 100,000 credits in cash on the table, whose only other player was a Hutt. Jysella whispered something in Booster's ear -three of sabers- and, since she hasn't developed "shields" yet, I heard her through the Force. I straightened up and walke
  5. padawan lunetta Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 15, 1999
    star 6
    Hey great start Opie!! It's about time someone did Valin!! (And I love the Jysella parts.. *grin*) Looking forward to more!!!!!
  6. jodiwent Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 11, 2000
    star 4
  7. Liz Skywalker Ex-Mod

    Member Since:
    Jun 13, 2000
    star 6
  8. RogueJai Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 14, 2000
    star 4
    LOL. Sounds like just the thing Booster would do . . . . :)
  9. Senni_Arava Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Sep 22, 2000
    star 3
    is this after Corran and Mirax went into exile? and does that mean Corran might be in it? ooh....
    :)
    four of my favorite characters :)
    and characters who hardly ever have a story written about them, too!
  10. RogueJai Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 14, 2000
    star 4
  11. Jedi Master Nejaa Halcyon Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 16, 2000
    star 3
    Awesome, another Horn story!!! A great start can't wait for more!!! Just one ickle word of advice...? Um... put a line in-between line, to make it easier to read, or put lines in small paragraphs, with a space in-between them...m'kay?!!
  12. padawan3 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 20, 1999
    star 4
    That Ewok certainly gets around. I can't believe Booster using his grandaughterto cheat at cards. (Good idea though)
  13. Opie Wan Cannoli Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 10, 1999
    star 3
    (Author's note; I picked Valin because 1.I wanted to see if I was up th the challenge of writing as a 12-year-old, being about twice that age myself, and 2.Horn/Halcyon stories are the only ones I seem to be able to finish! The music's going to be a challenge; I have NO musical talent and couldn't carry a tune in the trunk of my car!
    Now, on with the show!)

    ****************************

    I was playing on the floor with Jysella when Uncle Booster came in.
    "I hope you're happy. You just cost me 80,000 credits."
    "Would you rather I waited? Dad, guess what? Uncle Booster's using Jysella to cheat at sabacc- yeah, I'm sure Grandpa Rostek would like to know too!"
    "Youuu...... "
    I admit, I was on a roll. "Shuda. Wanga Booster Terrik cha skrunnee sabacc wanba peedunkle Jedi."
    "You wouldn't dare."
    "Wanna bet?"
    "Kid, I don't know what's worse. That just you did that,or that you're right!" He smiled- *he's never able to stay mad at family for long. Not even Dad, even though he won't admit THAT*

    "Just remember who it was who got you those Huttese language tapes!" he yelled, more for the sake of loudness than any anger- I didn't need the Force to tell he wasn't mad anymore, if he was even mad at me in the first place. "Let's have dinner up here; I took that Hutt for twenty large anyway, but I don't really want to explain why I was shutting him out 'till the little girl left, then barely scraped by!"

    I might as well tell you what an informal family dinner in Booster Terrik's private dining area is like. The food- Corellian, of course- doesn't taste like ordinary space chow. It's made from the same stuff as the Diamond Level restaurants, all fresh ingredients, but different recipes. Like I said, homestyle Corellian; almost as good as Mom makes (I do notice, none of Dad's specialties ever seem to come up!)

    "I know they probably only fed you twigs and berries at Jedi school, but where do you put it all, kid? That's your third helping!"
    "Hey, I'm still growing, Grandpa. What's your excuse?"
    "I don't need an excuse," he laughed. So did Jysella, "She's my excuse. If she laughs, I'm doing something right!"
    I turned to Jysella. She was wearing as much food as Grandpa Booster and I had eaten. Combined.
    There was ice cream for dessert, too; as usual I wound up eating mine and wearing the half of Jysella's that she didn't have room for on herself.

    ******************************************

    The rest of the trip went pretty much the same way. I spent a lot of time holed up in my room, looking at school info- the third school option was actually a boarding school, on a working farm in mid-continent. The only interesting thing about it was that it claimed Wedge as a graduate; as I considered being with family to be THE advantage of leaving Yavin, I would have pretty much rejected it out of hand, even if I hadn't grown up listening to Wedge's school stories. Besides, such schools are primarily for spacers' kids, and I do have a dirtside home, even if it's not on the same planet as before.

    Speaking of different planets, I started putting conscious effort into trying to change my accent, since I can't help being the only Jedi kid at my new school, at least I can try not to be the only one with a Coruscant accent!
    I thought it would be easy; after all, I've been surrounded by Corellians my entire life, plus a couple Tatooinans (and it's even difficult for natives of those two planets to tell the accents apart), but I just cahn't seem to shake my Coruscant accent, and I've really bean trying hahd. But, there is no try, only do, so
    (ahem) "I can't seem to shake my Coruscant accent; I've really been trying hard." Hey! I did it!

    And on the subject of do, my sister needs a change so I'll leave you now.
  14. Jedi Master Nejaa Halcyon Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 16, 2000
    star 3
  15. Senni_Arava Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Sep 22, 2000
    star 3
    isn't Jysella about four, though? maybe she's three...
    up!
  16. padawan3 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 20, 1999
    star 4
    Maybe he means change of clothes.
  17. Corell Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 5, 2000
    star 4
    This is great! Please continue.
  18. Darth McClain Arena Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Feb 5, 2000
    star 6
  19. jodiwent Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 11, 2000
    star 4
    I love the way Valin can handle Booster! I can never get enough Horn in my reading diet.

  20. padawan3 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 20, 1999
    star 4
  21. Opie Wan Cannoli Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 10, 1999
    star 3
    (Author's note; MAS stated in an interview (can't remember which one) that Jys is two, so that's how I'm writing her. And once again, I miss formatting!)

    The rest of the trip was pretty ....I was about to say boring, but travel aboard the Venture never is. Remember the game consoles?
    I also explored the ship, as usual; the Diamond Level is a little too glitzy for my taste, but Blue's pretty interesting. The Black Level, um, I'm not allowed into. It's one of the coolest places in the galaxy, but you didn't hear that from me, OK?
    After three days, we landed on Corellia. Grandpa Booster took us down himself; he muttered something about being "a skull, a ribcage and two funnybones short of a skeleton crew", but I'm pretty sure he just wanted to see Mom.
    After all, who else would pick us up at the spaceport?
    Grandpa Booster let me "copilot" the shuttle but he's so used to handling them alone that I was actually just riding in the front seat, like in a landspeeder. Not that I'm complaining; I got to take in the approach to Corellia, pretty much undisturbed and with a great view.
    "What a beautiful planet!"
    "I think that every time I see it, kid. There are city worlds, farming worlds, forest worlds, ocean worlds; but Corellia... Corellia has it all."
    "Pwetty geen!"
    Yes, Jysella, it is a pretty green.
    "I thought you wanted to practice your accent."
    That was Grandpa Booster; I know he's not Force-sensitive, but sometimes he seems to know THAT Jys and I are telepathing, even though he doesn't know WHAT we're saying. Mom does that, too.
    "Vawin talk wike Daddy, Mommy an'Gwampas now! Inside too!"
    Thanks, sis.

    Coronet was just into midmorning when we landed; we had left first thing after waking up (Errant Venture -and Pulsar Skate- ship's time is set to Coronet local time. Corellian spacers don't go by Coruscant's clock, even when it's their home port).
    There was a surprise waiting for us. As soon as we touched down and dropped the ramp, police speeders started pouring onto the landing pad, lights ablaze and sirens blaring; there must've been 15 or 20 of them!
    "Geez, one tangle with a Hutt and they send half of Corsec after you!"
    "I'm sure it's not that, Grandpa."

    They ordered Jys and I out first; I carried her past a police speeder and was pulled down between two crouched officers. I immediately knew what was going on; Jysella stopped crying.

    "BOOSTER TERRIK!" the lead officer called through his megaphone,
    "COME OUT WITH YOUR HANDS UP!", he said, when Grandpa Booster was visible.

    The two officers I was between revealed themselves. Dad and Grandpa Rostek.
    "GOTCHA!" the megaphone man yelled. All the cops whose name wasnt "Horn" got into their speeders and left, laughing, because Grandpa Booster was cycling through the entire range of human emotion- relief, anger, wanting to laugh himself- several times a second.
    You have to realize, I have only a partial memory of what my dad and grandfathers were up to just then. I, myself, was literally doubled over, pounding my fists on the duracrete, I was laughing
    so hard.

    ********************************

    Half an hour later, we were at Grandpa Ross's house. "House" doesn't cut it, actually. "Palatial spread" is more like it. It's the sort of house a cop who won the lottery would build- or would be built for a cop who had many very powerful people scared they'd be sent to jail for a very long time.
    Since his return to running Corsec after the whole planetary-repulsor thing, a whole new generation of Corellian politicians were being kept honest by the arrival of flowers on their doorstep. (I just wondered; Grandpa Ross has his garden, I have my music; what does Dad have?) Still, he wasn't above using police resources for a good laugh! Oh, and their conversation went something like;

    RH;"Just trying to keep a ******** old recidivist in line! Call it ***** crime prevention."
    BT; "***! Call it ***** giving me a ***** heart attack!"
    My grandfathers. Why did I want to talk like them, anyway?
  22. Jedi Master Nejaa Halcyon Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 16, 2000
    star 3
    Why indeed, although I expect that most of the above was Booster!! What's Corran got? Pilot skills!!
  23. RogueJai Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 14, 2000
    star 4
  24. Jedi Master Nejaa Halcyon Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 16, 2000
    star 3
  25. RogueJai Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 14, 2000
    star 4
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