Title: An Unexpected Jawa Author: wicket1138 Timeframe: Book 1 - 8 BBY Characters: Glib Sabins, Elm'rin Genre: Fantasy & Adventure Summary: From the sands of Tatooine comes the most unlikely hero imaginable: a Jawa. Glib Sabins finds himself drawn from the safety of his junkyard and into a quest to liberate a far away world from the clutches of evil. Notes: This story is intended as an homage to the style and spirit of the Hobbit. As such, the initial chapters were written directly following a reading of similar passages from the original source. All similarities to the original source material are intended as an homage to that work. Chapter I An Unexpected Jawa I.I In a junkyard in the desert there lived a Jawa. Not a rusty, decrepit garbage pile, filled with decaying sandworms and a putrid smell, nor yet an ordinary waste dump with nothing in it but the mundane discards of everyday life: it was the Jawa’s scrap yard, and that means creativity. It had once served as a homestead for a moisture farmer, boasting the typical dome of cream pourstone and a courtyard that had long since become home to the Jawa’s many projects. A makeshift tunnel was carved through the assembled debris, an uncomfortable passageway carved through the flotsam and jetsam of the desert – the Jawa was not fond of visitors. The tunnel wound outward and upward into the overflow of the junk hill – The Mountain, as his very few acquaintances called it – and very few paths led to the Jawa’s living sanctuary. Every spare inch of space had been filled with whatever the Jawa could acquire, and he had no use for any space to accommodate a guest: the only denizens of Tatooine he needed to welcome were the odd customers here and there, who needn’t stay any longer than to make a purchasing request. This Jawa was a very intelligent Jawa, and his name was Glib Sabins. The Sabinses had wandered the dunes of Tatooine for generations, and people considered them swindlers and charlatans, even among Jawas, which led to them being fairly rich by Jawa standards. With a singular exception, they were by no means adventurers or heroes of the universe. Most Jawas did not venture beyond the sand dunes, much less into the unknown stars beyond their world. This is a story of how a Jawa had an adventure in the unknown, and found himself written into the legends of the galaxy. The Jawas wore tattered brown robes and were believed by most to be mutated rats or perhaps the results of warped experiments upon humans. Most were no more than a meter tall. They would shuffle from place to place with hushed whispers and the occasional cry of utinni, an exclamation of wonder or amazement. They would travel the world in search of lost treasures, scavenging the shifting sands. Occasionally a particularly eccentric Jawa might look to the kingdoms of civilization to change their fortune. Every few years a poetic soul would emerge from amongst them and would vanish, rarely to be seen again, although they were as likely to have been kidnapped by a band of tuskens as they were to have ventured toward the stars. Glib’s mother claimed to have seen the stars once, occasionally whispering to him in his infancy the legends of the great Jedi warriors, wizards with swords of blazing light, sworn as champions of their Kingdom, the Republic. Sometimes Glib would remember these tales and feel drawn to the stars, but he would quickly put aside such nonsense to return to his important junk. One morning, a long time ago in the last days of the Republic, Glib Sabins stood at the edges of The Mountain, admiring his scrap, when The Stranger came by. The stories of The Stranger number as many as the stars, and in his wake, heroes were born and adventures followed. In her stories, Glib’s mother had referred to him by the name Elm’rin, although that was most certainly not his true name. The Stranger had not visited Tatooine since the death of Gilb’s mother, but he remembered the junkyard well and had returned with deliberate purpose. He beamed as he strode towards the diminutive Glib. At that particular moment, The Stranger appeared much like the Jedi described in Glib’s stories, clad in brown robes that fluttered in the wind, a gray tunic wrapped beneath them. His hair, normally a collection of long dark brown locks had been lightened from his travel underneath Tatooine’s twin suns and his pale skin had darkened from the suns’ scorching rays. He stroked his beard as he considered Glib, who shifted awkwardly under the outsider’s gaze. “M’um m’aloo,” Glib greeted the stranger. “Yukusu kenza keena.” The suns were shining brightly and they were likely to burn even a well-covered Jawa like himself, so Glib hoped The Stranger wouldn’t delay him long from his work. “What do you mean?” The Stranger smiled with what Glib assumed was ignorance. He must truly be from far away not to know the basics of the Jawa Trade Language. With a chatter of frustration, he reached into his robes for a basic datapad he had repurposed to translate his words to Basic. “Good morning,” he offered. “M’um m’aloo,” The Stranger offered in surprisingly adept Jawaese. “Etee uwanna waa.” Glib was suddenly a bit perkier, now that he had entered into the business side of the conversation. Though he would deny it if pressed, the truth was that Glib was in desperate need of sales at the moment, as the junkyard had begun to flow beyond what he could manage by himself. “Utto nye usabia atoonyoba?” he offered eagerly, failing to offer as coolly as he might’ve hoped. The Stranger waved his hand dismissively. “I have no use for a droid at this juncture,” he said, returning to basic. “What I have to trade is an adventure.” The old man, or at least he seemed old to Glib’s eyes, was both incredibly cryptic and wasting his time. “I have as much need of an adventure as you do for a droid.” He wondered at The Stranger. What kind of fellow walked through the desert to offer adventures out to barter. He wasn’t sure what the old man was on about but he certainly hoped that he would be on his merry way with great expediency. But the human did nothing of the sort. In fact, it appeared that his posture was relaxing a great deal, as if he had decided to stay. “If you’re looking to hire someone on, you can find a great deal of disreputable sorts like that over at the Vriichon brothers’ spice den in Mos Eisley.” But even this redirection did not cause The Stranger to depart. “Ra’ti,” he muttered under his breath. “Ubanya!” he said somewhat rudely, although he had lost any patience for manners by this point. The Stranger guffawed. “Ubanya indeed! Whatever would your mother think if she were to know you were so eager to dismiss one she named as Gomjam Eyeta!” “Omu sata!” Glib said with sudden shock. “You cannot possibly be the Elm’rin of my mother’s legends.” As he examined The Stranger’s face, he was hit with a sudden wave of recognition. It was indeed the man from those stories, whose face he had only seen in a glitchy holo his mother had treasured, and their incredibly brief interaction at her funeral. “Elm’rin! Elm’rin who did battle against the great Tusken Shaman O’Grr? Elm’rin who faced a Krayt with only a rusted blade?” A memory burst in Glib’s mind, one long hidden as fantasy in a dream. “At mother’s funeral, you crafted her image in glass from the very sands beneath your feet!” he exclaimed. “Utinni,” he whispered. “I thought you were a dream.” This time The Stranger did not laugh but rather nodded knowingly. “I may well be. I am glad to see you thriving here. You are in so many ways your mother’s child. I am here in her memory, and to finally accept the offer of trade you proposed. You and I shall begin our great adventure!” What was a joyous moment of recollection quickly soured. “I told you, I’m not in the market for an adventure! Besides, who goes around offering adventures, how utterly absurd.” He kicked the sand beneath his feet defiantly, conjuring a small storm, though The Stranger seemed entirely unphased. “I speak only of the promise made two thousand suns ago, when last we saw each other.” A sickening memory bloomed in Glib’s mind. “You offered me the sacred promise of the Oath Trade. You begged me to allow your company on a great adventure in exchange for a favor, any favor of my choosing.” “You’ve come to call for a favor?” Glib asked with building confusion. “No, the favor I require yet waits in the future. I am here to offer my side of the bargain, for you to finally begin your great adventure.” The Stranger was clearly mad. “It will be very good for you indeed,” he chuckled. “Sorry! I don’t wish to join you for any adventure, great or small. Not today, not tomorrow nor in any day to come. Now I must be about my important business,” he babbled, immediately rushing into the sanctuary of his junkyard, no matter how rude it might seem. The Stranger waited patiently for the little Jawa to scurry away. As soon as the Jawa was well and thoroughly out of sight, The Stranger reached to his belt and drew forth the hilt of his weapon. With a snap-hiss of power, the blade reached out, glowing even in the light of two suns. With an artistic flourish of his hand, The Stranger carved a strange symbol into nearby plate of metal. As soon as he was finished, he laughed heartily and then vanished into a wave of sand. By the time night fell, Glib had already dismissed the memory of The Stranger once again, as if he was nothing more than a dream.