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Saga - OT Anything but Boring | OC feelings challenge

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by Raissa Baiard, Mar 9, 2020.

  1. Raissa Baiard

    Raissa Baiard Chosen One star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 22, 1999
    Title: Anything but Boring
    Author: Raissa Baiard
    Characters: Wren Ordo (OC), Kazuda Xiono, Sabine Wren, Bellona Ordo (OC)
    Genre: Humor, fluff, friendship
    Canonicity: AU
    Timeframe: OT, ca. 21 ABY
    Synopsis: Eight year old Wren Ordo thinks Coruscant is boring until she meets a new friend.

    Notes: This is written for the “Search Your Feelings” challenge; my emotion was ennui.

    So, this is kind of an AU of an AU :p This is how Wren originally popped into my head— as a spunky kid climbing trees in a Coruscant park. I was looking for ways to bring Kaz into the Marzra-verse although he’s younger than my next-gen Spectre kids. Wren showed up unexpectedly (Sabine and Maximus’s second child was supposed to have been a boy [face_laugh]) took a liking to Kaz and has been hanging out with him since. You don’t have to have read any of the other stories about them to understand this one, or know anything about Resistance to read it.

    Thanks to @Findswoman for beta-reading and encouragement.

    —————-

    The Coruscant Institute of Art was widely considered the finest art museum in the New Republic. It contained hundreds of thousands of masterpieces from the greatest artists in history—everything from traditional Tatooinian sand castings to rare Alderaanian moss paintings, from flickering Corellian flame sculptures to sturdy Wookiee totems, and from delicate Gektl painted eggs to massive Massassi carvings.

    Which made it, in eight-year-old Wren Ordo’s opinion, the most boring place in the entire Galaxy.

    Because her mother and sister seemed bent on seeing every single one of those artworks—and not just seeing them, but discussing them. Analyzing them. In great detail. Using words like “chiaroscuro” and “mezzotint” and “intaglio” that Wren was pretty sure weren’t real words at all, just a kind of bizarre artists’ code meant to confuse and frustrate everyone else. Mom and Bellona could easily stand in front of a painting for a quarter of a standard hour talking about line and color and symbolism and meaning. Really? What could you say about lines besides “it’s straight” or “it’s curved’? And what was there to say about color? “Yeah, that’s really pink.”

    And they’d been at it for hours now! All the paintings and sculptures and artistic thing-a-ma-bobs had started to blur together, and Wren was about ready to fall asleep out of absolute and utter boredom—she was sure that it was the deepest, murkiest murk of boredom that anyone had ever endured in the history of Clan Ordo, and that was like thousands of years.

    She slumped on an artistically uncomfortable wrought transparisteel bench while Bellona and Mom gazed reverently at a painting by some moof-milker named Jolloq Paxon, whispering about to each other about the expressionistic genius of it all. Wren really wished she understood what they saw in it, because to her, it looked like a couple of Kowakian lizard monkeys had thrown rotten fruit at the canvas. She could have painted something like that, for the love of the Mand’alor!

    In an effort to figure out what was so special about this ugly so-called piece of art, Wren squinted at it (which only transformed the splotches into blurry splattered fruit), tilted her head back and forth (sideways fruit splotches) and finally lay down on the bench, put her feet over the back and hung her head upside down over the edge of the seat. But even this new perspective failed to improve the painting. Wren sighed gustily, consigning herself to her miserable fate—there were a dozen more of Paxon’s paintings to look at and another whole wing of the museum left to go .

    Bellona turned her head sharply as a jai’galaar at the sound, and she gave her sister a shriek-hawk’s piercing look and a tsk of disgust at her undignified position. “Wren! You are such a besom!”

    “I am not!” There was nothing wrong with her hygiene; she’d taken a bath just last night.

    “You so are! This is a museum and you’re climbing on the benches like some kind of monong! You have no manners and no culture!” Bellona hissed. She was twelve now and such a drama gualama about things, especially where art was concerned. She’d started adding colored streaks to her hair, like Mom’s (today’s were fuschia and electric blue) and if Wren had to hear about Bellona’s plans for designing her beskar’gam next year one more time, she was going to scream.

    “And you sound like an eopie bleating. How cultured is that?” Wren asked, sticking out her tongue.

    Girls—“ Mom’s voice was low but stern, her expression So Not Amused.. “Bellona, I expect you at least to be able to keep your voice down. And Wren…” Wren squirmed underneath her mother’s scrutiny, and quickly scrambled back to a sitting position—back straight, head high, at attention, like a Mando should be. Mom’s expression softened slightly and she sighed, “There’s a park in the plaza. Why don’t you go explore it while we finish here?”

    Exploring the park sounded promising—until Wren got there and then she was right back in the depths of endless boredom. Because it wasn’t really a park, at least not the fun kind with climbing rocks and zip swings and twirl-a-rounds. It was just a big grassy area decorated with trees from around the Republic with bronzium plaques beneath them to tell the clueless city-dwellers what they were.

    There was nothing to explore here. Wide, smooth, clearly marked paths crisscrossed the flat plaza. No matter where you stood, you had a twenty-meter line of sight and no cover. Leave it to Coruscant to render the few bits of nature it had left sterile and uninteresting. Mind-numbing boredom was plainly Wren’s lot in life as long as she was on this giant chunk of duracrete and transparisteel.

    What in the name of the Mand’alor was she supposed to do now?

    Notes:

    All of the types of art listed are from the Wookieepedia Art category.

    Jolloq Paxon is, of course, artist Jackson Pollock in spaaaaaace!

    Besom: Mando’a insult; a person with poor hygiene and/or manners
     
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  2. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    [face_laugh] How very realistic - Wren's opinions on the museum and the oh-so-boring park, which is not really a park anyhow. ;)
     
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  3. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    Oh, this is off to such a fun start! :D Could there be a more perfect choice of character and scenario for the "ennui" prompt, given what we know from the Ronen diary and your other Wraz stories about Wren's complete lack of interest in the art her mama dearest became so famous for (which is just such a fun juxtaposition anyway)? :) Oh gosh, yes, when you're eight and stuck at a place with your family that you wouldn't have chosen to go to, it really is the kind of deep-seated, existential boredom that can be called "ennui." :p Not that Wren's not trying while she's still in the gallery —she's really giving the "certain point of view" approach the old college try with the head cocking, squinting, etc.! Though it's arguable that she's onto something..
    ...because honestly, that's a pretty good description of some similar artworks in this not-far-away galaxy! :p (Plus, Jolloq Paxon. JOLLOQ PAXON!!1! [face_rofl] [face_rofl] [face_rofl] I wonder if Wren might get more out of L'oi Riekhtenshteyn! ;))

    Even in this short chapter you've gotten a lot across about the family dynamic that's at work here. We've got Sabine and wonderful, beautiful, perfect Bellona, who seem like birds (!) of a feather, with their brightly colored hair and attire and their shared interest in all those HIGH ARTWORKS. And then there's Wren, who looks and feels like the galaxy's biggest third wheel. Having that feeling in a group of friends is bad enough; having it within your own family, where you can't get away so easily, has got to be extra rough. I have a feeling that this isn't the first bickering match these two sisters have had. But I'm glad that Sabine responds to her daughters' bickering in a way that's fair to both of them and doesn't immediately place blame on Wren; I think even though she outwardly seems to have more in common with Bellona, she's inwardly aware that she's got a lot in common with Wren, too. (Which she does!)

    Finally, I love how you made boredom/ennui a leitmotif of the whole chapter—it doesn't magically go away once Wren gets outside to the overmanicured, overurbanized excuse for a park (unfortunately totally in-character for Coruscant)! Instead, it gets not only worse but even "what in the name of the Mand'alor" cliffhanger worse! :p And again, that's totally what it can feel like at that age: the boredom just takes. over. everything. How indeed will Wren get out of this and get her groove back? Do let us know soon, and thanks so much for sharing this wonderful contribution to the Search Your Feelings challenge! =D=
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2020
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  4. Thumper09

    Thumper09 Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 9, 2001
    Great start! I can totally get how an art museum could be a Death Sentence for Fun to an eight-year-old. :p Wren lasted longer than I probably would have at that age, and I even like art. :p

    I loved the line about it being the deepest, murkiest murk of boredom ever for her clan. At least she's making history!

    I'm curious to see how she's going to cope with the sterile, unexciting park after her bout with the art museum. More straight lines for her to look at, it seems. Looking forward to more!
     
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  5. Raissa Baiard

    Raissa Baiard Chosen One star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 22, 1999
    Thanks! :) Yep, Wren has some very strong opinions--kind of like her mother in that respect, except that her opinions are the opposite of Sabine's on things that exist purely for aesthetic reasons.
    Wren was the first character who came to mind for this prompt. As I said, Wren has very strong opinions and she is not afraid to share them. I'm not sure Sabine knows exactly what to make of her young daughter's disinterest in art, especially given that Bellona is as enthusiastically interested as her sister is disinterested. (Though I bet Wren would enjoy something like the Hall of Armor at the Chicago Art Institute.) She really does try; she'd like to be in on this secret language that her mom and sister share, but it just doesn't make any sense to her. What's so great about paintings that could have been done by lizard-monkeys? :p
    She would at least e able to tell what his art work was, and that would be a huge plus for Wren :D (She shares a bit of my feelings on abstract expressionism. I can admire some of it on technical grounds, but it's not my thing)

    Oh, Sabine has a lot in common with Wren. I've been re-watching the first season of Rebels, which I haven't watched in some time, and it's amazing how much of S1 Sabine I channeled into Wren [face_laugh] (The episode where Sabine harangues Hera about not trusting her because she needs to know who Fulcrum is...) It's definitely not the first time her daughters have gotten into on this subject, and even if Sabine doesn't understand why Wren finds art so dull, she's not trying to force her into "enjoying" it. She's willing to give Wren an alternative rather than make her "suffer".

    The park seemed like such a good idea, didn't it? "Park" is kind of generous name for it; it's really more of a plaza stuck between Important Coruscant Buildings like the Senate and the Museum and it wasn't designed with younglings in mind. boredom can become such an all consuming thing, and not just for kids!
    Thank you so much! :D Yeah, I think even the most museum-loving child would be daunted by the tour of the Galaxy's Great Masterpieces, complete with running commentary from overbearing older sister. Wren's the kind of kid who'd rather be doing things than cooped up inside looking at paintings.

    [face_laugh] That's one way to look at it! She shall go down in history as the Most Bored Ever!

    She's a pretty resourceful kid and has the Mandalorian tenacity in spades, so she's not giving up yet!
     
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  6. Raissa Baiard

    Raissa Baiard Chosen One star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 22, 1999
    Thanks to @Findswoman for beta-reading @};-
    -------
    Chapter 2

    Wren wandered aimlessly down the park’s featureless paths, reading the bronzium plaques under each tree for lack of anything better to do, when she spotted a silver-leafed galek tree just like the ones she climbed back home on Ordo. Only not just like—this poor sad little specimen had been trimmed down and tamed into a meek-looking shadow of the spreading giant in whose branches she’d built the makeshift tree fort that was her refuge from bossy older sisters. Wren felt sorry for this lonely Mandalorian exile—so far away from home, just like her! Well, they could be bored together, and at least it could have some proper Mando company for a while.

    There was a stick about the length of Wren’s forearm beneath the galek—apparently the maintenance droid hadn’t done its rounds yet. She picked it up, tucked it into her belt, and swung herself up onto the lowest branch, which was just wide enough for her to sit astride. Once she’d settled herself comfortably, Wren took the stick, unsheathed her kal from where it was hanging on her belt, and started peeling the bark off the stick. It wasn’t the most exciting pastime, but it gave her hands something to do. And it beat the pants off having to stare at “art” that was nothing more than blobs of paint while listening to Mom and Bellona expand on how incredibly genius it was. Besides, it felt good to be out here instead of cooped up in the museum. She felt like she could breathe again, like she was herself again.

    Wren sat with her back against the galek’s trunk and her legs dangling on either side of the branch, and whittled diligently until the skittering sound of a stone bouncing down the duracrete path caught her attention. She stuck her kal in back her belt, and shimmied up to the next highest branch, still holding the stick in her left hand, so she could get a better look at who or what was coming. Wren held onto the trunk, pulled herself upright and leaned forward to peer out through the silvery leaves.

    A dark-haired boy about her own age was walking listlessly down the path, kicking the rock as he went. He was tall and gangly, all arms and legs, and he wore a green tunic that was too short in the sleeves even though it looked practically new. He gave the stone another half-hearted boot and heaved a sigh that was so dejected, so lethargic, so completely and utterly bored that Wren knew she’d just found a kindred spirit. She shouted down to him, “Hi!”

    “Wha—?!” Startled by the sudden noise, the boy stumbled backwards, somehow managed to trip over his own feet and fell onto his backside, where he gaped up at Wren leaning out of the galek tree and waving her stick. “Whoa! How did you get way up there?”

    “I climbed.” She would have figured that was pretty obvious. Not like she had a jet-pack or anything. (Yet. Someday she would, but she wouldn’t use it for silly things like climbing trees.)

    “Really?!” The boy’s eyes grew wide, as amazed as if she had told him she’d flown up with a jetpack. “You can do that? They’re not just there to be pretty?”

    “I didn’t see anything that said I couldn't,” Wren answered, tossing her head dismissively. “And no one stopped me.” She decided not to mention that she hadn’t really checked to see if there was anything and that no grownups had been around to see her scramble up into the galek. Because odds were there was a list of rules ten klicks long posted somewhere. And the kind of people who made parks with no playground equipment probably had strong feelings about younglings doing anything that even remotely resembled fun.

    “Cool!” Even though Wren couldn’t imagine anything more ordinary, it seemed that climbing a tree was enough to get her some major cred in this kid’s eyes. “Can you show me how to do that?”

    “Um, okay…” Wren swung down to the lower branch and sprang down to the ground. “All you have to do is grab this branch, brace your foot against the trunk, and pull yourself up,” she explained, demonstrating, and hopped back down. “See? It’s easy. You try.”

    The boy squared his shoulders and sized up the tree as if he was preparing to scale the Manari Mountains. He grabbed the branch, planted his foot on the trunk, pushed himself up, slipped, scrabbled up, and slipped again. Finally, he hoisted himself up, but instead of putting one leg to straddle it, he threw himself across the branch, and wound up with his head and torso hanging on one side while his legs flailed on the other. “I’m all right!” he assured Wren, even as his face started to turn red from the blood rushing to his head. After a minute of struggling, he managed to pull himself into a seated position, holding onto the trunk like an ysalimir on an olbio tree. He grinned widely, even though he was red-faced and panting.

    “Wow! This is so awesome! I didn’t even think squirrels were allowed to climb these trees—like maybe there were electro-force fields around them or something because nobody touches them, ever!” the boy gushed as Wren swung herself onto the branch beside him. She felt a little sad for him in a way, because if climbing a tree—and not even a very big one at that—was this exciting to him, then life on Coruscant was even more boring than she thought. “Oh, um...” the boy paused and held out a hand (keeping a tight hold on the galek tree with the other). “Hi, I’m Kazuda.”

    She took the proffered hand with a proper Mando handshake that made him wince a little. “Wren.”

    “Wren? Like the bird?”

    “Like the clan. Clan Wren is my mother’s clan. I’m Mandalorian,” she explained at Kazuda’s quizzical glance.

    If a girl who climbed trees had been impressive to him, a tree-climbing Mandalorian girl was enough to make his head explode. “Really?!” Kazuda exclaimed, eyes big and round as bucklers. “Do you have all the armor and everything, too? Not here—I guess that would make it kind of hard to climb trees—but like at home or something?”

    "No, I don’t get to wear beskar’gam until I’m thirteen.” There was more to being a Mando than just wearing armor, but for some reason that was the only thing aruetii seemed to care about. At least he hadn’t asked about bounty hunting, because that was so lame and way overdone. “I have my kal, though,” she offered, unsheathing the short blade. “You want to see it?”

    Kazuda’s eyes got big again and he reached out before drawing his hand back with a gusty sigh. “I’d better not. My sister says I can’t be trusted with sharp objects,” he said, and Wren sighed, too. Sisters… Apparently they were bossy know-it-alls the Galaxy over.

    “So… now that we’re up here, what do we do?” Kazuda asked, assessing the tree, their relative position in it, and the distance to the ground.

    “I don’t know,” Wren admitted. “But whatever we do, it’s got to be more fun than the art museum.” She didn’t care what her mom and Bellona thought, half of those paintings were nothing more than ugly squiggles and splatters—and that was not real art. Not like Mom’s art, where you could tell what things were most of the time. What good was art if it wasn’t nice to look at?

    Kazuda looked crestfallen and he heaved another sigh. “We were supposed to go to the museum today—not the art museum, the Republic Museum of Spaceflight. But my father has too much Senator stuff to do.”

    “There’s a spaceflight museum?” Now that actually sounded interesting. Why couldn’t her family go to fun places like that instead of just boring, stupid art museums and more boring, stupid art museums? Maybe she could convince Dad to take her there the next time Bellona wanted to see another gallery.

    “Oh yeah!” Kazuda brightened. “They’ve got ships from all over and from way back during the wars—like the Old Republic Civil War, not just the Clone Wars and the Rebellion. There’s the hall of hyperspace explorers, and a bunch of flight simulators and you can pretend you’re flying during all kinds of situations: asteroid fields, the Kessel Run, even flying through the Death Star at the Battle of Endor! And—”

    “Kazuda Xiono! What do you think you’re doing?!”

    A strident voice like a screeching lorikeet interrupted his enthusiastic recitation and, in what seemed to be his default reaction to sudden noises, Kazuda jumped like a startled Loth-cat. And when he did, he let go of the tree trunk, slipped sideways and pitched backwards—right out of the tree.
    -------
     
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  7. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    RAISSA RAISSA RAISSA! I AM SO HAPPY you were able to post with the wacked out DRL stuff happening in these days! And what a fun chapter too! My goodness, I wouldn't mind going to that space museum [face_laugh] But :eek: that was one heckuva last line. [face_worried] Don't ever startle someone when they're up a tree! :eek:
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2020
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  8. Thumper09

    Thumper09 Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 9, 2001
    Boredom and overbearing sisters: the two universal constants.

    I really liked the detail about how not only did Kazuda not know how to climb trees, but the notion of doing it hadn't even occurred to him. It's things like that that really help to characterize someone who (presumably) has spent a lot of his childhood on a world like Coruscant. An activity that's second-nature to someone with more rural experience is unfathomable to someone who's only known trees as tightly-managed decorations, if they know them at all.

    Wren and Kazuda are hitting it off pretty well. :) Looks like they could learn a lot from each other if they're able to develop a friendship. Though the tumble from the tree might cause some issues-- hopefully he has a soft landing! [face_worried]

    Great update!

    ...I wanna go to the spaceflight museum....... :(
     
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  9. Mira_Jade

    Mira_Jade The Fanfic Manager With The Cape star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Jun 29, 2004
    Oh but this story is absolutely marvellous!!

    Before I begin, I have to take a moment to applaud just how absolutely ace you are at portraying young characters who are still realistically children! From your tried and true teenage voices that we already know and love, to the eight year old and bored out of their mind variety now, you really have a gift, and it's always a pleasure reading your work! :oops:

    Then: Kaz and Wren!! I read your absolutely delightful MMM story for them - another review I owe you that I absolutely promise that I'm getting to - and it was wonderful reading their origins thus far! You've taken a few strong mental images - the family outing at the museum and the two children climbing trees - and really managed to include a heap of characterization into a relatively simple couple of scenes. I was just all smiles reading, and enjoyed every word!

    In particular:

    [face_laugh] [face_laugh]

    Oh Wren! Yep, I couldn't even blame her her POV here in the slightest - and that's from someone who enjoys walking through galleries looking at art. For poor Wren who is very much the opposite of her mom and sister in this regard, her feelings of being the third wheel had to have played into how just how devastatingly hopeless her boredom seems to feel. It really is the end of the world at that age!

    (Also - thanks for the delightful bit of dialogue there that I got to snag for the April Fools Challenge! You really gave me such a fun and perfect springboard to work with, which I am ever so grateful for!)

    [face_rofl]

    A common reaction looking at an, erm, Jolloq Paxon piece. [face_mischief] [face_whistling] (Which was just a brilliant inclusion, by the way!) Or at least I should say so personally. Most abstract work like that really isn't my cup of tea. :p

    Oh you just gotta love sisters, don't you?! Again, you have the childish sass portrayed here so spot on accurately. I loved the family dynamics as a whole, from the sisters with the opposite personalities clashing to mama!Sabine just so deftly parenting both of her girls! A park seems like just just the retreat for cooped up Wren until, you know, it isn't! :oops:

    Wren has a bit of a dramatic streak that I just adore. :p I'm glad that she's found this poor other Mandalorian exile to commiserate with, even if she is still bored.

    Oh, what a great introduction for Kaz! :D

    Gah! What cute youngsters! You can definitely tell the city mouse from the country mouse here, can't you? But it's delightful just how honestly delighted Kaz is to meet Wren! And I loved her thoughts about the jet pack threaded throughout. [face_love]

    [face_love] [face_rofl]

    Ha! Wonderful tongue in cheek addition! ;)

    This part had me chortling - it seems like Kaz knows himself. His sister may be onto something! I loved Wren's inner commentary, though! Yep: some things about sisters never change!

    Then: ouch! :oops: It seems like Kaz's tumble may be just a little bit more excitement than Wren was looking for! I'm excited to read the next part, and see where our young pair of erstwhile thrill seekers goes next! :D

    Really wonderful job with the challenge, and with expanding your AU! =D=
     
  10. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    Wonderful continuation! :) These two are such adorable foils and counterparts for each other, as much at this first-meeting stage as in The Word for Kiss is “Mureysha.” As always, your youthful voices are spot on—as has been said, both these characters really do think and feel and read like kids, and two very differnet kids, at that! You’ve set up a really neat country/city mouse dynamic between them (quoting @Mira_Jade), with the wealthy and polished but clumsy Coreworld senator’s son juxtaposed with the plucky, athletic Mando girl. (And the way Wren quashes familiar Mando stereotypes is a really neat touch! I agree that the bounty hunter thing is WAY, WAY overdone. :p ) But the two kids have an important commonality in that they’re both bored together! Kaz’s klutziness is adorable, as usual, though once he finally makes it to the top of the tree one can see the future pilot coming through as he very carefully assess his position and distance! And I have to say, that Republic Museum of Spaceflight sounds very, very cool indeed (reminding me of how the Smithsonian’s Air and Space Museum was one of my favorites as a kid)... I feel sad for Kaz that no one in his family thought to make the time to take him there.

    And just as they’re having such a pleasant chat up at the top of the tree, that SHRIEKING VOICE out of nowhere causes poor Kaz to start and catapult right out of the tree in another cliffhanger! :eek: Who did that?!
    (I think I have an idea... bossy know-it all sister, anyone? :p )
    Things have gone very quickly from deathly boring to immensely interesting for both kiddos—I can’t wait to see more and I hope Kaz will be OK after that pretty substantial fall! Great work once again, and keep this fun tale coming! =D=
     
  11. divapilot

    divapilot Force Ghost star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 30, 2005
    Great little story! You always have such a great way with dialogue and characterization.

    Welp, that gene skipped little Wren for sure. But altogether very realistic!

    I like this so much. Wren can't stand to be where she doesn't feel wanted or feel like she belongs, so outside she goes. She has her own skills and talents, and here, outside, in this tree, she's in her element. She's free.

    Aha! A shared interest! I love how quickly these two kids clicked. They are both explorers, not artists. Of course, then the parent yell interrupts them, and Kaz takes a tumble, and we will have to find out next what happens.

    Very nice little story!
     
  12. Anedon

    Anedon Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    May 11, 2016
    Intresting story, can defenetly understand the utter boredom Wren feels in the art museum, especially at such a young age. But it´s also defenetly a place Sabine would stay hours and hours. Also guess it makes sense kids from all over the galaxy would be amazed to meet Mandalorians, these ledgendary warrior´s of stories, just like Kaz does. Great work. :)
     
  13. Kahara

    Kahara Force Ghost star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 3, 2001
    Wren is so believably boooooored here -- I remember that age, when anything you're not fascinated with is like physical pain. :p And the too-neat and trimmed gardens are not much of an improvement on the museum, but things are looking up with the arrival of Kaz. :D I loved their conversation about Mandalorians, and all the misconceptions Wren is used to. And the quest to climb a tree was starting off well... until! :eek:
     
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  14. Raissa Baiard

    Raissa Baiard Chosen One star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 22, 1999
    Wow--I was not expecting this much response to my little story! Thank you very much to everyone who took the time to reply [:D]

    Thanks! It's been a very hectic few weeks since all the virus stuff hit, but I've managed to sneak bits of writing in whenever I can. I'm glad you enjoyed the chapter. The Spaceflight Museum is based on one on Corellia that I found on the Wook, as well as various science museums that we've taken the Youngling to. I wouldn't mind going there either!

    You said it! Not my sister, course! If you're reading this Amira, I love and you totally did not inspire either of the big sisters IN ANY WAY. (that was convincing, right?)

    I have to give my awesome beta reader @Findswoman credit for that detail. She's the one who suggested Kaz could regard trees basically as things that were there to look pretty and it made a lot of sense. Kaz has spent his formative years on Coruscant and Hosnian Prime, so nature is something to be looked at in parks and gardens for him.
    It's always amazing how quickly kids can find their new bestest friends. Wren and Kaz are both outgoing children and in this situation where they're both So Very Bored, they're thrilled to find someone to talk to, someone who understands how they feel

    I'll organize a field trip for everyone.... :D
    Oh thank you so much! [face_blush][face_blush][face_blush] It's funny, I didn't set out to write about teens and kids, but they are so much fun to write. They have SO MANY FEELINGS and aren't afraid to express them. I'm so glad that they read as children; I've read both really good and not so good children and YA literature as a librarian and mom, and too often kids do sound like little adults.

    Once again, thank you! I have a real soft spot for these two, and I guess it shows!

    Wren has turned out to have a lot of me in her, although in my case it's my older sister and my father who share common interests and I languished in boredom at historical sites while they read every. Single. Plaque. I probably would enjoy them now, but at eight, Civil War battlefields were Not My Thing.

    (And I'm glad I could contribute to your sweet story@};- I'm so behind on all my comments these days, but I thought it was really cute and fun!)

    Oh yes! And once again, none of experiences with my own sister inspired this[face_whistling] (We weren't quite opposites, but my sister studied computer science like our dad, while I studied art, so ...yeah) Sabine has her daughters' numbers--Bellona, for all talk of culture and manners is the one who disrupts the quiet museum to chastise her sister. She comes up with what seems to be the ideal compromise in letting Wren go to the park...except...

    I love Wren's flair for the dramatic, too! :D Like a true Mando, she is absolutely not afraid to say what she thinks and she takes that trait up to eleven. Everything is the best, worst, most ever in the history of ever for her--and a fair bit of that sticks with her even when she's older.

    That's one thing I love about Kaz--he is just such a sweet, open-hearted young man on Resistance and he throws himself into everything. He's a little goofy and a bit of a klutz, but he's the best friend you could have.

    Can you tell he's a little smitten already? :D

    You know Mandos had to get tired of hearing that. There's got to be Mando accountants out there, too (though they probably can use their styli as lethal weapons if needs be).

    Yes, his sister has a point; like I said Kaz is a klutz—I’m sure there’s a montage of all his pratfalls somewhere. Handling Mando daggers is probably not the best idea for him :p (But like Wren, I was known to climb trees with an open pocket knife in hand. How I survived childhood, I don’t know :p) Thanks so much and hope you’ll enjoy the final chapter.
    Thank you and thanks for your support and encouragement for all the Wraz stories [:D] Wren and Kaz are so different in the places they come from, but at heart so much the same—not just in their boredom, but in the fact that they’re both adventurers and the way they throw themselves wholeheartedly into every new adventure. There’s no halfway for either of them! And I just had to throw that in about Wren being so totally over the stereotypes, because the more I learn about Mando culture, the more the bounty hunter angle is the least interesting thing about them.

    As for the spoiler [face_whistling] and you know I couldn’t seriously hurt a cute little guy like kid!Kaz.
    Aww, well, thank you! That means a lot coming from an author who is top notch at both characterization and dialogue! ;hugs:

    Oh, yes...Wren is more her father’s girl in terms of talents and interests. Art is just foreign to her.

    Wren tries, bless her heart. She would like to be part of this artistic inner circle, but it just doesn’t click with her. She’s someone who likes to move and to be in the open.

    They are definitely both explorers and they’re both outgoing, curious kids. They’re excited to find someone fun, something to allay that boredom. Thanks so much:)
    It’s always interesting to see how different kids can be from their parents (I’ve experienced that with my own Youngling!) Wren May not have her mother’s artistic flair, but they’re a lot alike in other ways—especially how seriously they take their Mando honor. I figured that there would be a lot of exaggerated stories of Mandalorians, especially of the Boba Fett variety. Kids in the GFFA probably play Mandalorians on the playground :D Thanks for commenting; glad you enjoyed it.

    Wren was the first character who came to mind when I got the “ennui” prompt. She is soooo dramatic; she can’t just be bored—she must be the most bored person ever in her Clan’s history! At least in the park she feels more at ease and in her element. And then Kaz shows up, and things that seem ordinary to her are fascinating to him. That kind of enthusiasm is contagious, until they’re rudely interrupted... Thanks for your comment!
     
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  15. Raissa Baiard

    Raissa Baiard Chosen One star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 22, 1999
    Thanks to @Findswoman for beta-reading and support @};-
    ————
    Chapter 3
    “Kaz!” Wren sprang down from her perch to where he was sprawled on the ground. “Are you all right?”

    He sat up slowly, looking a little dazed. “Yeah, I’m...ow…” He put a hand to the left side of his hand and rubbed it, wincing. He drew his hand back, looking confused., and his eyes grew round, when he saw that it was smeared with red.

    “I’m...I’m bleeding,” Kaz whimpered, swaying. He looked like he might be sick. “Did I...did I crack my skull? Are my brains leaking out? Am I going to die?

    “You’re not dying,” Wren assured him. At least she didn’t think so. There didn’t seem to be any leaking brains, anyway, just a line of blood dripping from a diagonal cut above his ear. There was also a smear of blood on the edge of the bronzium plaque stating that this galek tree had been a gift of friendship from Duchess Satine Kryze to represent Mandalore here in the Plaza of Unity, and Wren guessed that he’d hit his head against it. “Head wounds just bleed a lot, that’s all.” That was what Dad had told her last year when she’d slipped climbing on the rocks in their yard and gashed her chin open. “Let me take a look.” She leaned closer, wrinkling her nose and screwing her features into a look of determination. Mandos weren’t squeamish; they didn’t let a little blood stop them…. Still… Eww….No one had ever told her how unpleasantly warm and sticky it felt to touch someone else’s blood.

    Suddenly, a squeal that took ear-splitting into a whole new register and could probably only be properly heard by species with ultrasonic sensory organs pierced the air, and this time even Wren jumped. “What are you doing!” cried the shrill voice. “Get away from my brother, you, you… pedunkee!”

    Hands tugged roughly at her shoulders and Wren turned to see a tallish girl with long, dark hair. She seemed to be about the same age as Bellona and she was glaring death at Wren—or at least trying to. She looked more peevish than threatening and it was hard to believe that someone dressed in a hideously pink dress tied with a sash in a pattern of multi-colored pittins could muster the necessary fierceness to frighten a Mando.

    “I’m trying to help him,” Wren explained, while Kaz protested, “Hana! Wren’s not a pedunkee! She’s my friend!”

    “She’s got a shiv! Get away from meeeee!” Hana—apparently the killjoy older sister Kaz had mentioned—pranced back like a panicky fathier..

    “What?!” Wren followed Hana’s wild-eyed gaze to where she’d dropped her short dagger on the ground next to Kaz. “This?” she asked, picking it up. “This is a kal, not a shiv.” A kal was an honorable warrior’s weapon; shivs were for criminals and smugglers and other lowlifes. No Mando worth their beskar’gam would ever dream of carrying a shiv.

    “Whatever! You sliced up my brother with it!” It seemed that Hana’s sole method of communication was that lorikeet squawking. Wren had never encountered anyone in any clan, on any planet, who liked to shout half as much or a quarter as loudly as this girl.

    “I did not! He fell and hit his head because you were shrieking like a jai’galaar being plucked!” she shot back. ”And I was trying to help Kaz when you started shrieking at me—so shut up and let me finish!”

    Hana’s mouth snapped shut, and her death glare intensified, as if she thought that Wren telling her to shut up was a far worse offense than supposedly trying to murder her brother with a shiv. Wren had the feeling that no one ever told Hana to be quiet, but someone really needed to. A regular dose of hushing could only improve her, in Wren’s opinion.

    She took advantage of Hana’s shocked silence to take a closer look at Kaz’s wound. He winced when she touched it and bit back a yelp, but didn’t yell like his sister, though he had far more cause. “We need, like, a bandage or something to stop the bleeding.” That was what Dad had done when she’d cut her chin; she remembered him holding a washcloth over the cut until they got to the med center to have it checked out. But where was she going to find something like that out here? If only she had a bigger belt satchel, she could be like her cousin Ronen, who was hyper-prepared for emergencies and always kept a mini-glowrod, self-stick bandages and antibacterial ointment. Not that that would help her now. She just needed a piece of cloth....any kind. Wren looked around to see if whoever had designed this boring park had included and of those silly, floofy decorative banners some people insisted on sticking in their gardens.

    And her eye fell on Hana and her silly, floofy dress. “We could wrap Kaz’s head up with your sash!”

    The other girl looked appalled. “No! You’d ruin it! Blood stains don’t come out of vine silk! What are you doing?!”

    Wren hardly paused as she undid her belt and pulled off her overtunic, because a stupid question like that didn’t really deserve an answer. “I told you, we need to put something on the cut.” She hastily refastened her belt around her waist, tugging her pale yellow tunic (a hand-me-down from Bellona, of course) back into place, and thrust the overtunic at Hana. It was a nice brown one with gold trim, and she hated the thought of it getting all bloody, but sometimes a Mando had to make tough choices. “Here. Hold this against Kaz’s head…”

    Hana stared at her as if she was holding out a dead giju and then looked at the bleeding Kaz as if he was a pile of moldy, week-dead giju. “Ewwww! No!”

    Wren sighed and yanked the tunic back. Seriously? It wasn’t like she was asking Hana to hold his guts in or something (she’d heard stories about stuff like that happening during the Clone Wars). “Fine! I’ll do it. You can go get help.”

    “I’m not leaving Kazuda here with you!”

    Wren stamped her foot. “Are you always this useless?” What in the name of all the Mand’alors was wrong with this girl? She felt sorry for Kaz, because as sisters went, this girl had to be the worst. All she could do was screech and complain. At least Bellona could be kind of fun when she wasn’t doing her art stuff (which was most of the time, but still…). Wren knelt down next to Kaz, who’d been watching the two girls silently, blood still dribbling down his face. Wren folded her overtunic in fourths and laid it over his wound. “Here,” she said. She picked up his right hand and set it against the tunic so that he was holding it in place ”Keep this right here. I’ll go get my mom and be right back.”

    She dashed back to the museum as fast as her legs would carry her, wondering exactly how she was going to find Mom once she got there. The museum had two wings and four floors and a bajillion paintings. How was Wren supposed to know which one Mom and Bellona were swooning over at the moment? But she must have had the Mand’alor’s own luck, because just as she reached the museum’s plaza, she spotted a figure with blue-violet hair wearing magenta beskar’gam admiring the larger-than-life-size statue of a man who appeared to be thinking really hard—probably about what had happened to his clothes, because he was completely naked.

    “Mom! Mom!” Wren shouted as she charged across the plaza, waving madly. “Bellona!” she added, for good measure, because her sister was there too, of course. And at least she wasn’t as useless as Hana.

    Mom looked up at her shout and sprinted towards her,”Wren!” What happened to you?!” She knelt down, put her hands on Wren’s shoulders and started inspecting her with the keen Mom eye that meant she was looking for broken bones and lacerations.

    “Huh?” Wren looked down at herself, because she wasn’t the one who needed help, obviously. Then she remembered that she’d left her overtunic with Kaz, and her tunic was rumpled, hastily belted and had a smudge of blood on the hem from when she’d pulled off her overtunic. And—oh yeah—her hands were kind of bloody, too. “Oh...it’s not my blood, but Kaz fell out of the galek tree and hurt his head, but his sister is a real di’kut who won’t do anything, so come on!” Wren tugged Mom’s hand, pulling her behind her as she ran towards the park, Bellona trailing them both. Along the way, she fielded their questions—What are you talking about? Who got hurt? What tree? Why is there blood all over you?—which she had clearly already answered.

    When they reached the galek tree, Kaz was sitting hunched at its base, knees drawn up to his chin. Hana was nowhere to be seen, and Kaz looked uncertain and more than little uneasy until he spotted Wren. “You came back!” he exclaimed, clambering awkwardly to his feet while still trying to keep Wren’s overtunic in place against his head. “I was starting to think no one was going to come back for me and I was just going to have to sit here all night or, you know, at least ‘til the patrol droids came around and kicked me out!”

    “Of course I came back!” A Mando always kept her word; to do otherwise was to shame her clan. And anyway, she liked Kaz, even if she’d only just met him, and she wasn’t about to leave him here hurt and alone. “This is my mom”—and here Kaz’s eyes grew round at the sight of a real Mando in actual armor (and a blue-haired one in multi-colored armor, at that)—“oh, and my sister, Bellona. What happened to your sister?” Because didn’t it just figure that Hana would scurry off like a scared kneeb the first chance she got.

    Kaz exhaled gustily and sank back down against the tree trunk. “She told me to stay here while she went to Father’s office to tell him what happened. I tried to count birds while I waited, but there were only, like, three. So I read the plaque about the galek tree twelve times and then I started to get kind of worried, but I kept this on my head, just like you said to.” He gestured up at the wad of crimson-streaked brown fabric that was Wren’s overtunic.

    Mom knelt beside him, and pulled off her gauntlets. “May I take a look at it?” .

    Kaz, suddenly mute, nodded. He winced a little, stifling a yelp, as she peeled back the makeshift bandage and surveyed Kaz’s blood-matted hair with a practiced eye. “Looks like the bleeding has mostly stopped. I don’t think the cut is very deep, but we should probably get you to a medcenter to have it cleaned and sealed. Good job with your field dressing, verd’ika,” she said, ruffling Wren’s hair affectionately.

    Wren’s heart swelled with pride at being called verd’ika—little soldier—and that Mom considered her lumpy, wadded up tunic a field dressing, just like she was a real soldier, a combat medic, even!

    The rosy glow of satisfaction lasted for about thirty seconds, when it was suddenly and rudely pierced by a familiar shrill lorikeet voice. “There he is, Father! And that’s the girl that pushed him out of the tree, the one with the shiv!” Hana—insufferably floofy, terminally useless Hana—was marching towards them pointing an accusing finger and wearing an expression of righteous indignation. Behind her was a tall, dark-haired man in a heavy, brocaded tunic and gold cummerbund. His expression was Totally Unamused, but Wren thought he looked like the kind of person who was almost never amused. Was this fyrnock-face really Kaz’s father?

    “I did not! Kaz fell!” Wren retorted as Hana stopped in front of her and gave her a now-you’re-in-trouble kind of smirk. She would have liked to have smacked the smirk right off of her, but she doubted Mom would think much of her doing that, even if Wren had been totally provoked by the floofy di’kut. And anyway, she wouldn’t want to embarass Kaz. Hana was his sister and maybe he liked her despite her general uselessness and shrieky voice. You just never knew. But that didn’t mean she was going to stand here and be insulted by Mistress Floofy Pittins. ““And I told you, it’s a kal, not a shiv!”

    Kaz’s father scanned the whole scene—Wren and Hana facing off, Kaz sitting on the ground holding a bloody tunic, and Mom and Bellona next to him—with a look like he’d found a huge pile of canid poodoo in the middle of one of the park’s neat and tidy paths. His eyes raked over Wren and came to rest on his hapless son. “Kazuda! What were you doing scrambling around in trees like some kind of...Outer Rim urchin?!”

    Wren wanted to kick him. She was not an urchin! She didn’t know exactly what an urchin was, but from the guy’s snotty tone, it couldn’t be anything good. And there was nothing wrong with the Outer Rim!

    Whatever it was, Mom apparently didn’t like it either. She stood and slowly pulled her gloves on while she fixed him with a cool look. And Mom wasn’t just an artist; she was also the Marchioness Ordo, so her cool looks could be quite chilly indeed, almost as good as Grandma Ursa’s. ”Younglings on Coruscant never climb trees?”

    Kaz’s dad returned the look, eyes sweeping over her from blue-violet hair to paint-splattered boots and dismissing her with a sneer. “And you are….?”

    Mom raised an eyebrow, but extended a hand, as if he’d actually been polite or something. “Sabine Wren Ordo, and these are my daughters, Wren and Bellona.”

    The man’s haughty expression turned into gape-mouthed surprise, but he quickly rearranged his features into an ingratiating smile. Wren fought the impulse to stick her tongue out at him. She’d seen that sort of rapid change of demeanor before and knew it meant he recognized Mom’s name. Now she was Famous Artist Sabine Wren Ordo to him instead of just Some Random Weird Mando Chick in the park. Wren hated that kind of fakey-fake behavior. Mom wasn’t any different than she’d been ten seconds earlier. You shouldn’t be nice to someone just because they were famous, not if you couldn’t be bothered to be nice to them otherwise. She was beginning to see where Hana got her attitude, and she wondered how Kaz had turned out so nice.

    “Are you okay?” she whispered to him while the adults had their fake-polite conversation.

    “Yeah. I have kind of a headache now, but at least I’m not bleeding anymore thanks to you. You’re really smart!”

    Modesty was not a Mandalorian virtue; while bragging wasn’t considered good manners, Mandos saw no reason to deny or downplay one’s skills or accomplishments. But before Wren could reply that yes, thank you, she was rather clever for remembering how to deal with gushing head wounds, Kaz’s father laid a heavy hand on his shoulder.

    “Come along, Kazuda,” he said. “We have to go to the medcenter immediately. Who knows what kind of diseases could have been on that plaque.”

    Kaz sighed. “Bye, Wren. It was nice to meet you. Thanks for teaching me how to climb a tree.” He held out his hand.

    “It was fun to meet you, too.” Impulsively, Wren threw her arms around Kaz and hugged him emphatically. Kaz’s face lit up and he gave her a funny, wobbly smile that made her wonder just how hard he’d hit his head. He seemed about to say something, but his dad steered him away before he had the chance.

    “Ret’urcye mhi!” Wren called after him, because Mandalorians didn’t say “good-bye”. “Ret’urcye mhi” meant “maybe we’ll meet again,” and she really hoped that they could, somehow. Meeting Kaz had been the only good thing that had happened to her since her family had come to Coruscant for Mom’s art exhibition, a fleeting moment of fun amidst all the mind-numbing boredom. It was just too bad it had ended so quickly—and with such a thud.

    --------

    Epilogue

    Wren stared out her bedroom window at the endless Coruscant cityscape and sighed. It was already promising to be another deathly dull day. Bellona had discovered a listing of all the art museums within a five-klick radius and had been lobbying hard to visit something called the Museum of Primitive Art, which sounded absolutely dreadful, if you asked Wren—not that anyone ever did. And Dad had another boring grown-up meeting with some guy about exporting Clan Ordo’s netra gal or something like that, so Wren was going to get dragged along to look at whatever sort of horrible art was considered “primitive”. She sighed again; life was so not fair,

    The door chime rang, and Wren perked up slightly, because at least it was something different, even if it was just some boring person from the museum with more questions about setting up Mom’s exhibition.

    But then something well and truly unexpected happened: Mom tapped on her door and said, “Wren, there’s someone here to see you.”

    And before Wren could even think of a single being on this planet who would want to see her, the door slid open and a tall, gangly, dark-haired boy exclaimed, “Hi, Wren!”

    “Kaz!” Wren sprang off her bed and across the room to envelop him in a fierce hug, as if it had been years since last saw him instead of just two days. When she let go, she noticed that Kaz was wearing that same funny, lopsided smile he’d given her the other day, and that his thick, dark hair had been buzzed short from a line just above his ears down. “You got your hair cut!”

    Kaz shrugged and rubbed the fuzzy stubble by his left ear. “Yeah, the medic had to shave my hair off this side so he could glue the skin back together, and Mother said it wouldn’t look as weird if I got it shaved all the way around. She says it makes me look more grown up. I guess it’s okay, but feels kind of strange.” He traced the puffy red line that ran diagonally above his ear. “The medic says I’m probably going to have a scar here.”

    “That’s cool!” Scars were badges of honor. They meant that you’d done something interesting and dangerous and lived to tell about it. “I have one, too—see?” She tipped up her chin to show off the pale line of her own scar. “It’s from when I fell on the rocks last year.”

    Kaz inspected it with a look that was simultaneously impressed and a bit weirded out. “Um, yeah….so, Mother is taking me to the Spaceflight Museum today, and we wondered if you wanted to come with us…”

    “Really?! Yes!” She threw her arms around Kaz again, because he’d just saved her from another day of boredom and art. And while she probably would have said yes to anything that got her out of having to hear her sister drone on about the awesomeness of primitive art, going somewhere super-cool with a new friend was like getting two helpings of uj-cake with extra syrup.

    Thanks to Kaz, today was going to be anything but boring!

    ++++
    Notes:

    The statue Sabine and Bellona are admiring is the Space!Thinker by Rodin (Rodian? ;) )

    While Kaz’s father is based on what little we see of Hamato Xiono on Resistance (and he really is a pill), Hana is my OC.

    And Kaz actually does have a scar above his left ear, visible in the buzzed-short part of his hair. No explanation has been given for it in Canon, so it was fun to attribute it to this childhood mishap.
     
  16. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    [face_laugh] I enjoyed Wren's indignation at Hana's screeching and complaining :rolleyes: Sabine's commendation does not come lightly and is well deserved; and yay! she gets to enjoy the space flight museum with Kaz and his Mom ... who doesn't seem to be as irritatingly obnoxious as his Dad is. :p

    =D=
     
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  17. Thumper09

    Thumper09 Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 9, 2001
    Great update! I really enjoyed reading Wren's internal commentary about "insufferably floofy, terminally useless Hana." :p Maybe it'll even help Wren a bit by realizing that Bellona might not have been the worst pick in the older sister lottery. But yowzers, Wren's eardrums probably needed a day to heal from all that screeching.

    I hope Wren keeps her sharp eye for the "fakey-fake discussions" as she gets older-- that would be a good skill to have. I like that she's already learned from other people's interactions with Sabine that people are people, regardless of if they're famous or not, and they should be treated that way.

    I'm glad Wren and Kaz are finally going to have a fun day at the Spaceflight Museum! :) I really liked the wrap-up at the end and bringing everything back around to the title of this story.

    Great job! =D=
     
  18. divapilot

    divapilot Force Ghost star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 30, 2005
    You always have such a talent for vivid characters!
    Holy cow. What. A. Dress. I can imagine Wren's eyes popped out at that gaudy outfit!

    I liked this moment between Wren and Sabine.
    Wren's already showing she is one to be counted on. I like her so much! She's also wise:
    I like how Kaz switches up his hair style to include the shaved sides because of the cut on his head. It's a clever, clever way to explain the scar that he has in the show (which, admittedly, I have not seen much of..) He's learning to be brave from her. To borrow a line from your expansive Maraverse, theirs is the beginning of a beautiful friendship!
     
  19. Kahara

    Kahara Force Ghost star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 3, 2001
    I concur with Wren and the rest of the commenters -- Hana, UGH. :p Her overreactions and flailing are so fun for the reader, while poor Wren is just trying to hold her temper. It's a good thing she was there (even if she did instigate the tree climbing :p ). And the ending was perfect; this one time, Wren gets to go somewhere NOT ART with this boy who is definitely not so boring. :D
     
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  20. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    Wonderful wrap-up, very satisfying and not in the least bit boring! :D Wow, like others have said, Hana is definitely a lorikeet of a very different feather not only from Wren but also from her easygoing brother, who really took his fall surprisingly calmly and took steps to stay calm even while he was waiting for help--no small task, because falling from a tree plus gashing your head on the corner of a metal plaque has got to hurt! :eek: ) I love how Hana's shrieking uselessness is totally self-contradictory: she won't help bind Kaz's wound because she doesn't want to dirty her pretty vinesilk outfit, but then again she insists she won't "leave Kazuda alone with you." In contrast to Wren, who is a true quick-thinking verd'ika who immediately takes the necessary steps, even if it means getting her own shirt a little bloody--and who already knows that the content of one's character matters far more than wealth, glitz, and fame! I can see why her mom's super proud of her. And of course the contrast between Sabine's true artistry and class, and Hamato's posturing, couldn't be greater either--and yet we can see even from her brief mention in the epilogue that his mom seems like one o' the good ones! Once again, I just love how your characterization comes through in the details of characters' actions and interactions: we see that Kaz isn't just a klutzy rich kid but stoical, good-hearted, and a good friend (who remembers Wren!), and Wren is not just a dramatic, spunky kid but also a Mando of true honor.

    While we're on details: Hana's cringeworthily hyper-chibi dress! THE SPACE!THINKER! [face_laugh] The mention of Ro and his always-super-preparedness! Even the contrast of Bellona and Hana and the way meeting Hana helps Wren appreciate how lucky she really is to have the sister she does! And what a neat touch that you made this story the explanation for both Kaz's distinctive haircut and his scar--headcanon totally accepted on both counts. These details are what bring a story to life--love 'em! :D

    And could there be a more perfect ending than giving them their own totally-non-boring day out together? At the SPACEFLIGHT MUSEUM! Perfect for both our future ace pilot and our young Mando warrior (and even though I'm neither an ace pilot nor a warrior myself, the National Air and Space Museum was always my favorite of the Smithsonian museums). Truly an auspicious beginning to a beautiful friendship-plus! [face_love] Thank you for a wonderfully fun addition to the challenge and for continuing the story of these wonderful characters--I'm always here for them! =D=

    goodhearted
    and
     
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