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Saga - PT Beginnings |Kanan/Hera AU |FanFic Olympics pentathlon

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by Raissa Baiard, Jul 7, 2021.

  1. Raissa Baiard

    Raissa Baiard Chosen One star 4

    Nov 22, 1999
    Title: Beginnings
    Author: Raissa Baiard
    Characters: Caleb Dume (Kanan Jarrus), Hera Syndulla, Cham Syndulla, Depa Billaba, Chopper
    Timeframe: PT, circa 19 BBY and 11 BBY
    Genre: AU, drama, friendship
    Synopsis: Padawan Caleb Dume meets young Hera Syndulla while on furlough on Ryloth after the Third Battle of Mygeeto. A chance encounter reunites them eight years later, after he has adopted a new identity to hide from the Empire.

    Notes: This is a series of linked stories written for the FanFic Summer Olympics. Currently, it's set to be a pentathlon, but it may wind up going beyond that.

    1. Prologue
    (110 word hurdle)
    2. Blocks and Beads (AU Archery)
    3. Close to Her Heart (200 word freestyle)
    4. An Old Friend (400 word cross-country)
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2021
  2. Raissa Baiard

    Raissa Baiard Chosen One star 4

    Nov 22, 1999
    Prologue (110 word hurdle)

    A long time ago in a Galaxy far, far away…

    After a narrow victory on the mesas of Mygeeto, Jedi Master Depa Billaba is given two weeks’ leave to recuperate and resupply on the planet Ryloth, along with her clone troops and her inquisitive young padawan.

    The leader of the Free Ryloth movement, Cham Syndulla, organizes a feast in his village to welcome his allies. While he discusses the war and local politics with the Jedi and her commander, his daughter, a spirited girl of ten, watches their guests from a distance.

    She is particularly intrigued by Billaba’s padawan--who can’t shake the feeling that something momentous is about to happen…
  3. Findswoman

    Findswoman Fanfic and Pancakes and Waffles Mod (in Pink) star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Feb 27, 2014
    Ooh, so glad to see this starting—I've really been looking forward to it! Promises to be a riveting tale in the early life of these two dears (great to see their parental figures too, in Depa and Cham!), and I know momentous things will happen. :kanan: :hera:
    Kahara and Raissa Baiard like this.
  4. JediMaster_Jen

    JediMaster_Jen Force Ghost star 4

    Jun 3, 2002
    Go with that feeling. I'm certain something momentous is about to happen.:) Looking forward to this series.
  5. earlybird-obi-wan

    earlybird-obi-wan Chosen One star 6

    Aug 21, 2006
    great first entry with Depa and her padawan
  6. Chyntuck

    Chyntuck Force Ghost star 5

    Jul 11, 2014
    Oh-ho! Are we getting the backstory to Kanera in the Raissa-verse? I'm officially curious now. I vaguely remember you saying sometime, somewhere, that in your universe Kanan and Hera didn't meet the way they did on canon, so I'm excited to see how you're planning to reunite them as adults. But first, the momentous thing? Pwease? Pwetty pwease?
  7. brodiew

    brodiew Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Oct 11, 2005
    Hook, line, and sinker, Raissa! Great introduction. I love seeing Caleb and Hera as youngsters. Can't wait for more!
  8. amidalachick

    amidalachick Force Ghost star 5

    Aug 3, 2003
    Momentous indeed. :D This is such a perfect introduction and I look forward to more when you're able to share! :)
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2021
  9. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Aug 31, 2004
    Super prologue =D= Very much on the brink of momentousness.
  10. Mira_Jade

    Mira_Jade The (FavoriteTM) Fanfic Mod With the Cape star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Jun 29, 2004
    This is off to such an awesome start! What was really fantastic was how I could hear the TCW announcer for the episode preambles through your prose. I don't know if that was intentional or not, but in either case you did such a great job of setting up your premise and making me eager for more. Honestly, you had me at the idea of Caleb and Hera meeting as youngsters. What a clever idea! I really, truly can't wait to see where you take this next! :D =D= [:D]
  11. Raissa Baiard

    Raissa Baiard Chosen One star 4

    Nov 22, 1999
    Thank you! And thank you so much for your support and encouragement, without which the story wouldn’t be continuing [:D] Glad you enjoyed seeing Depa and Cham. Space parents (and parental figures) need more love in the GFFA!
    Yep, little does Caleb know how right that feeling will turn out to be :) Thanks!
    Thank you; glad you enjoyed it!
    Aww, thanks :) I enjoyed young Caleb so much in the comics; he’s such a lively, inquisitive kid. I still haven’t had a chance to see young Hera in Bad Batch yet, but it has been interesting to imagine her in her girlhood.
    Thanks so much! It’s taken me a while, with one thing and another, and I hope you’ll continue to enjoy the story.
    Thanks [:D] Hope you will enjoy the next chapter, too!
    Actually, this is a separate AU from the Marzra-verse. That ‘verse doesn’t deviate from canon until the end of S3 (and then it pretty much laughs in canon’s face :p). I think I mentioned in the Writers’ Desk that I didn’t plan to have them meet under the same circumstances as they did in A New Dawn. I love the book, but I have a few other ideas for them. Thanks so much for reading; some momentous stuff is coming right up!
    I wish I could say that had been my plan :D I’m not quite that clever (and I’m woefully behind on TCW, only halfway through S1 ) but it’s cool that it had that feeling for you! So glad that you enjoyed this little snippet and hope you continue to enjoy how the story unfolds.
  12. Raissa Baiard

    Raissa Baiard Chosen One star 4

    Nov 22, 1999
    Thank you to @Findswoman for beta-reading @};-

    Part One: Blocks and Beads (AU Archery)

    Caleb Dume rested his chin on his folded arms and stared at the wooden statuette on the desk in front of him, sighing glumly. This was the first day of his two-week leave, and somehow he’d already managed to earn a research project.

    Last night’s welcoming feast had been rather a nice change from the covert landings that he, Master Billaba and their clone troops usually made. The local Twi’lek villagers provided a generous array of food from roast gornt to munch-fungus loaf. Roving musicians enlivened the gathering, as did the presence of various libations that Caleb was not allowed to sample. He was, however, invited to sit at the table of honor along with Master Billaba and Commander Gray despite the fact that he was only a padawan, and that made Caleb, who at fourteen was often dismissed by the troops as “the kid”, feel more grown-up than trying the t’ssolok would have anyway.

    He sat at the head table, taking in all the sights and sounds, listening while Master Billaba and Cham Syndulla discussed the war and the state of the Republic. Their talk gradually turned to events there on Ryloth, and Syndulla sighed heavily over the news that a religious dissident faction had sprung up and was urging villagers to destroy some sort of cultural relic.

    “They say we need to ‘rid our culture of physical dependence on objects representing intangible values’,” Syndlla said, his lips pulling back from his pointed teeth in a grimace of distaste. “Have we freed Ryloth from the Separatists’ oppression just to lose it to these heretics who would deny us our own heritage?” His lieutenant, Gobi Glie, and the other Twi’lek leaders at the table frowned darkly and muttered their assent; one or two even pounded the table with a hearty “hear, hear!”

    Caleb had been puzzled by this vehemence. “I don’t understand,” he said to Master Billaba later, as they settled down in their camp. “Why do these kalikori matter so much to the Twi’leks? They’re just things.”

    “That’s an excellent question, Caleb,” she’d replied, which wasn’t exactly an answer. Not that it was all that unusual for Master Billaba not to answer his questions. “An excellent question” could mean she wanted him to find the answer on his own—or it could mean that his questions were piling up and she didn’t feel like answering anymore that night.

    He’d nearly forgotten about his idle inquiry by morning, but apparently Master Billaba hadn’t. “Master Syndulla has graciously agreed to let you study his family kalikori so that you can better understand their importance to Twi’lek culture,” she informed Caleb at breakfast.

    So, now here he was, stuck in Syndulla’s study when he could have been with Styles and Mixx learning to ride a blurrg. And the kalikori itself was underwhelming, really—just a T-shaped arrangement of wooden blocks and beads about half a meter high. The blocks were carved with various designs and symbols, and stained dark shades of red, blue and brown; they were spaced with spherical beads of turquoise blue or gray. Presumably the symbols and colors had some sort of meaning, but since no one was here to explain them, Caleb could only guess at their significance. Which made this a pretty futile project in cultural understanding. He sighed again and poked the lowest hanging bead, setting it swinging. “What,” he asked the empty room rhetorically, “am I even supposed to do with this thing?”

    “It’s not just a thing.”

    A small voice with a thick Rylothean accent came from behind him. Caleb turned, startled, to see a young Twi’lek girl standing in the doorway. Her lekku bore a pattern of concentric circles in a slightly lighter green than her skin, and she wore an embroidered leather cap with straps that crisscrossed down her lekku, rather like the ones Master Secura often wore. Her eyes were green as well, bright and inquisitive, and Caleb realized he’d seen her the night before peeking out at him from among the crowd.

    “Bwah!” A disreputable looking astromech with a flattened orange dome wheeled into the study after her, gesticulating forcefully his graspers. “Bwah bwaaah bwa’aah bwah BWOP!”

    “Chopper, of course he’s trustworthy; he’s a Jedi! And anyway, when did you start caring about getting into trouble?” She patted the droid’s head as she clambered onto the tall stool next to Caleb’s. The droid gave another sullen bwah and Caleb could have sworn it was glaring at him.

    “This is my family’s history,” the girl explained. “Everyone in my family has their own block on the kalikori—my father, my mother, my grandparents.” She indicated several of the blocks in turn.

    “Your family history? You’re Cham Syndulla’s daughter?” She didn’t much resemble the gaunt, stern-faced Twi’lek, with his pointed teeth and orange-striped lekku. Caleb hadn’t even known Syndulla had a family. Certainly, there’d been no Mistress Syndulla sitting with him at the table of honor last night.

    “Yes, of course I am! I’m Hera; this is me,” she replied, touching the horizontal rectangular block on the bottom of the string of blocks hanging from the right side of the T. It had a red rectangular border with a stripe of the same color on the front face, but the other faces were blank. “There isn’t much on my block yet, but there will be someday, once I become a pilot. I’m going to have my own ship and see the whole Republic!”

    Hera pointed to a block above hers, with a turquoise symbol on the front and intricate knotted patterns on the sides. “Every symbol stands for an important event. This is my mother’s block,” she explained, tapping each of its faces in turn. “This one shows when she married my father, this is when she had me and my brother, and this…” She sighed as she touched the last face, “…is when she died. She was killed in a Separatist bombing three years ago.”

    “Oh…I’m, umm, sorry,” Caleb said awkwardly. It was always a bit disconcerting to discuss death with non-Jedi. While the Jedi code proclaimed there was no death, only the Force, and that no one who died was ever truly gone, others had any number of beliefs about the afterlife depending on their culture. And they didn’t always accept or necessarily feel comforted by the idea of becoming one with the Force after death.

    Hera seemed to have achieved some sort of acceptance of her mother’s loss, though. While there was sadness in her words, the pain that Caleb sensed behind them was more of a dull ache than the sharp stabbing of grief. He pointed to a small, squarish block below Hera’s in a bid to change the subject. “Who’s this one?”

    Hera sighed again, more deeply this time. “My little brother, Jacey. He died, too. He was so little when he got sick…” She stroked the block gently with one finger and a fresh pain shuddered through her Force presence. Next to her, the orange astromech extended a grasper, taking her hand in an oddly tender gesture, and gave a quiet “bwah”. Hera squeezed his grasper and squared her shoulders with a sad smile. “But this way no one will ever forget him,” she told Caleb. “The kalikori will pass down to me when I’m grown up, and I’ll tell my children about Jacey. They’ll tell their children when it passes down to them, so he’ll always be remembered as part of our family.”

    “Oh…” Caleb was beginning to see what Hera meant when she said the kalikori wasn’t just a thing. The blocks weren’t just bits of wood painted with pretty colors; they were more like…memories given form. They stood for individual lives, but were part of a larger whole, a work of art that reflected a family’s history and heritage. And because the kalikori was a treasured family heirloom, it ensured that the stories of those lives continued to be told and that every life had a part in its legacy, no matter how briefly that spark had burned.

    He thought about his friend Stance, who had been killed on Mygeeto, giving his life to protect Caleb. The only place his life was recorded was in the clone batch records on Kamino and the Republic's casualty lists, and he wasn’t even given his name in those documents. They said nothing about him—his openness, his determination and heroism—so who would remember him and tell his story? And it wasn’t just Stance, so many other clones had given their short lives for the Republic; for all that they matured faster than regular Humans, most of them hadn’t been much older than Caleb himself. In death, they’d been reduced to numbers on a tally sheet.

    So maybe it wasn’t the kalikori itself that Syndulla and the other Twi’leks were afraid to lose, but the reminders that their loved ones had existed and mattered and the promise that someday they’d be remembered in the same way. Caleb nodded slowly. “I think I understand now. Thank you.”

    Hera nodded and then cocked her head. “Why did you want to know about kalikori anyway? All the other men are out riding blurrgs right now.”

    “Master Billaba gave me a research project after I asked her about them.” That was true, but it made Master Billaba sound like some boring archivist who thought younglings should study all the time and never do anything fun, and she wasn’t, really. “I guess…Your dad and the others sounded so upset about losing them, and, well, Jedi are supposed to be peacekeepers and help people, so it’s important for us to understand.” Caleb smiled a little wryly. “I’m glad I do…though blurrg riding would have been fun.”

    “I can take you!” Hera offered, brightening. “I have my own blurrg; his name is Bril and he’s the fastest one in our herd. I think he’ll like you—“ She grabbed his hand and jumped down from her stool, pulling Caleb along with her. The astromech gave a testy bwop and she let go of Caleb’s hand, looking abashed. “If you want to come, of course.”

    “Yeah,” Caleb answered, grinning. Her smile and enthusiasm were infectious. “Yeah, that sounds like fun.”


    Riding blurrgs with Hera was indeed fun, and so was hunting for munch-fungus, a surprisingly tasty mushroom that grew in the forests beyond the Twi’lek village. After their impromptu lunch, Hera showed Caleb her workshop, where she repaired various devices, notably the orange astromech, Chopper, who she had pulled from the wreckage of a Y-wing several years earlier.

    “I knew he was worth saving,” she said, and patted his dome fondly. “All he needed was a chance, and now he’s my best friend.” Caleb was impressed; salvaging a droid was no small feat, even if Chopper did still seem to have a few glitches left in his personality matrix.

    They spent a long time in the workshop, just talking. Hera asked Caleb about the places he’d been, the things he’d seen and the people that he’d met, rather than the battles he’d been in and their outcomes—and it was a distinct relief not to be asked about them for once. And she, in turn, shared her dreams of becoming a pilot and visiting all those places and more in her own spaceship.

    Caleb got so caught up in swapping stories with Hera that he lost track of time, and it was nearly dinner time when he skidded back into their camp, out of breath. He apologized profusely to Master Billaba for being gone so long, but she only smiled a bit indulgently when he explained that he really did understand the importance of kalikoris now thanks to Hera. And she just smiled the next day when Hera showed up in camp to ask Caleb if he’d like to come riding again.

    He and Hera went riding often over the next two weeks and explored the woods around the village, tinkered in her workshop and shared their ambitions for the future. Styles and Mixx smirked and teased Caleb about having a “girlfriend”, which was ridiculous, of course. He was a Jedi, or at least a padawan, and they didn’t have those kinds of relationships, and, anyway, Hera was only a little girl. But despite her youth, she was clever and fun, and offered Caleb her enthusiastic and uncomplicated friendship. After everything that had transpired on Mygeeto—Master Billaba’s injuries and Stance’s death—the simplicity of the days he spent with Hera were like a balm to his soul.

    But two weeks passed too quickly, slipping away like golden beads sliding off a string, and all too soon, it was time for Caleb to say goodbye. Hera came to the spaceport with her father and Chopper. While Syndulla exchanged farewells with Master Billaba and Commander Gray, she stood there with her hands bunched at her sides, her mouth set as if to keep her lower lip from quivering. At last, she threw her arms around a startled Caleb.

    “I’ll miss you,” she told him. “It was nice having you here—like having a real friend besides Chopper.”

    Caleb heard Styles and Mixx’s chuckles and whistles behind him; he ignored them as he slowly folded his arms around Hera and returned her embrace. Because, he realized with some surprise, he was going to miss her, too. Jedi weren’t supposed to form attachments, but they could make friends, and she had become one. It was different from the kind of friendship he had with Styles, Mixx and the other troopers, special somehow for being born of choice and not necessity.

    With a sudden inspiration, Caleb reached back and pulled a bead off the end of his padawan braid, the yellow one that indicated he was studying lightsaber forms. “Here,” he said, handing it to Hera. “It’s not a kalikori bead or anything, but maybe it’ll help you remember me until the next time I see you.”

    She smiled sadly. “It’s all right, Caleb. You don’t have to say we’ll meet again. I’m used to people leaving by now…”

    “No! That’s not…” Caleb didn’t know exactly why he’d said it, but he didn’t want Hera to think it was just some meaningless bit of comfort. “We will!”

    “Really?” Hera asked, wrinkling her nose. “Is that some sort of Force…thing?” She waved the hand that wasn’t holding his bead in a vague gesture, as if the Force was something floating in the air around them.

    Well…maybe. Nothing was impossible when the Force was with you, right? The war would be over soon, and then he and Master Billaba would be able to travel freely. And Ryloth was an important planet on the Outer Rim…“Y-es?” he answered.

    She threw her arms around Caleb again and gave him another rib-crushing embrace, and whispered fiercely, “Make it soon, okay?”

    He was still thinking about Hera and the promise he’d somehow just made as he strapped in for takeoff.

    It was going to be a long flight to Kaller.



    The timing of Hera’s mother’s death was canon-compliant until a few weeks ago, but this is already labelled an AU, so.... I’m sure I’ve also compressed the timeline between the Battle of Mygeeto and the campaign on Kaller.

    Thank you to @pronker for the idea that Caleb and Hera bond over a discussion of the kalikori’s significance, and for the wording of Cham’s complaint about the dissidents’ position.

    Hera’s little brother being nicknamed Jacey (for Jacen, of course) is borrowed from @Findswoman . Headcanon accepted!
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2021
  13. earlybird-obi-wan

    earlybird-obi-wan Chosen One star 6

    Aug 21, 2006
    AU, legends or canon. I like it all. Caleb and Hera nice friends
  14. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Aug 31, 2004
    Delightfully natural friendship between Hera and Caleb; her uncomplicated friendship and warm enthusiasm, her ability at droid salvaging, dreams of being a pilot... It's no wonder Caleb felt an instant ease with her.

    I like that the kalikori are a blend of family heirloom and repository of memories/legacies you don't want to lose. =D=
  15. JediMaster_Jen

    JediMaster_Jen Force Ghost star 4

    Jun 3, 2002
    I'll read about Caleb and Hera anytime. Terrific entry!=D=
  16. Findswoman

    Findswoman Fanfic and Pancakes and Waffles Mod (in Pink) star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Feb 27, 2014
    Yay Caleb and Hera! :kanan: [face_dancing] :hera: I really like your version of the story—in fact, the more I read it, the more it becomes my own How They Met headcanon. :) As a kid who showed off my family's cultural and religious objects to others, I can totally believe Hera being super enthusiastic to explain her family's kalikori to Kanan, even if it does bring to mind some difficult memories of loss—but as you show, I think the custom of the kalikori and its "memories given form" (great way to put it!) played no small role in helping the pain decrease from a sharp stab to a dull ache. (But you borrowed Jacey, yay! <3 ) And Caleb clearly gets that as he thinks of his own losses—Stance and the other clones who are now just "numbers on a tally sheet," who have no one to hang a bead up for them. I love how we see him showing the compassion that will be such a shining quality for him as an adult—even with how deeply he's internalized the Jedi way of looking at loss, he's able to see and understand how non-Jedi have a different way of approaching these matters. From that to all their chats and their blurrg ride, I totally see why Hera is so enthused to have a new friend in him, and how emotional that final hug and goodbye was on both sides. But this is only story two of the pentathlon, so I'm pretty certain they'll meet again, and when they do, what a splendid moment that will be! As always, great job with these two dears—you really have got them down like no one else—and I can't wait to see what you have got for us in the next installment! =D=
  17. Raissa Baiard

    Raissa Baiard Chosen One star 4

    Nov 22, 1999
    Thanks! They’re definitely my favorite couple in the GFFA, whatever the genre, too!
    Thank you! I think Hera must have had a lot of big dreams as a girl, but I have always envisioned her as a little isolated because she lost her mother andd younger brother, and her father had thrown himself so much into the war effort. And at this time in Caleb’s life, amid the war and all loss he’s experienced, the simple pleasures of friendship were exactly what he needed too. As far as the kalikori, I’ve done a bit of genealogy and I really like the idea of an heirloom like this that would keep those family stories alive in a tangible way. I can see why it would be so important to Hera, even as a little girl.
    Thank you so much! Glad you’re enjoying it :)
    Thank you, and thank you for your help and encouragement while I was writing [:D] Given how important the kalikori is to Hera in Canon, I can very well see it being significant to her even as a youngster, and I think it doesn’t hurt that it’s the intriguing young Jedi who’s curious about it (I don’t necessarily think Hera has a crush on Caleb, but he intrigues her because he’s a kid and yet a Jedi at the same time). And I think you’re right that Caleb’s recent losses help him understand, and he’s always trying to understand, given his inquisitive nature. Their friendship is a chance for them both a respite from their losses in a way—a chance to live in the moment and just be kids among all the uncertainty around them.It’s all the more precious for this simplicity, and for it’s brevity. But, as you note, this is only the second story—the Force has more in store for these two, which Caleb may be picking up the edge of here with his “Force…thing.”
  18. Raissa Baiard

    Raissa Baiard Chosen One star 4

    Nov 22, 1999
    Thanks to @Findswoman for beta-reading
    Part 3: Close to Her Heart (200 word freestyle)

    While the rest of the Galaxy celebrated the end of the Clone Wars, Hera wept. It was wrong for it all to end this way. Whatever the newly proclaimed Emperor said, the Jedi weren’t all traitors! How could they be when they’d done so much for the Republic—so much to free Ryloth! How could Palpatine have ordered their execution, even the children?

    Even Caleb.

    She clutched the yellow bead he’d given her and wept harder. He’d promised her that they’d see each other again, but now he was gone. Like Mama. Like Jacey… But she wouldn’t forget Caleb, either.

    Hera wiped her eyes and sat up with a new resolve. Caleb’s bead was too small to go on the kalikori, and he wasn’t family, exactly, but she had an idea. She rummaged through her repair kit until she found a length of twine and slipped Caleb’s bead onto it, then looped the string around her neck and tied the ends. The makeshift necklace was just long enough for the bead to nestle in the hollow of her throat.

    Perhaps she couldn’t add the small bead to the family’s kalikori, but she would always carry Caleb’s memory close to her heart.
  19. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Aug 31, 2004
    Excellent =D= I share Hera's mingled outrage and disbelief. No it shouldn't and couldn't end like that. Most people are probably glad the war is over and aren't able or willing to probe deeper. They likely see Palpatine as a benevolent dictator - an oxymoron if ever there was one. :p Sweetly touching that she put Caleb's bead on a makeshift/homemade necklace.
  20. earlybird-obi-wan

    earlybird-obi-wan Chosen One star 6

    Aug 21, 2006
    a great way to remember Caleb
    an end to the clone wars but what are they getting? A disaster dictator
  21. Findswoman

    Findswoman Fanfic and Pancakes and Waffles Mod (in Pink) star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Feb 27, 2014
    Oh, this is lovely, and I love the way it continues the motifs of “Blocks and Beads,” this time from Hera’s viewpoint. Caleb’s humble but lovely gift becomes a token of memory that is both similar to and different from the blocks and beads of the kalikori, and I love that Hera’s first instinct is that it could maybe even go on there. But the necklace idea is just as fitting, and that way it really is close to her heart and with her always. And boy, during a time like this, a token like that is all the more important to have—a little reminder that friendship and love still make themselves felt in the Galaxy, even amid tragedy. Another awesome addition to your pentathlon—thanks so much for sharing, and I am really loving this version of Caleb and Hera’s story! =D=
    Kahara and Raissa Baiard like this.
  22. Kahara

    Kahara Chosen One star 4

    Mar 3, 2001
    This was so adorable, I really liked how you handled the unlikely friendship between wee!Hera and Padawan!Caleb. Their conversation about the kalikori was such wonderful worldbuilding and just the right amount of heartbreaking but sweet. @};- And the last bit, poor Hera! Hopefully they will find their way to each other in this world too (knowing your AU's I'm pretty sure there's a high likelihood of that, someday ;) ).
  23. JediMaster_Jen

    JediMaster_Jen Force Ghost star 4

    Jun 3, 2002
    Perfect way to remember Caleb. :)
    Findswoman likes this.
  24. Raissa Baiard

    Raissa Baiard Chosen One star 4

    Nov 22, 1999
    Thank you! Unlike most people, Hera's been lucky enough to meet Jedi and have first hand knowledge of what the Jedi have done for the Republic. She can't square that with the official line on them being traitors--and that unwillingness to take the Imperial position at face value is something that will stay with her as she matures and becomes part of the Rebellion.
    Thank you. I think most people were so glad to have the war end that they didn’t think too much about the way Palpatine ended it, even though that should have been a big tip off about the way he meant to govern.
    Thanks, I was definitely going with that motif in the choice of token that Caleb gives her, and I think he was, too. As you note, it’s both similar to and different than the the beads on the kalikori. It’s much smaller and I’m not sure what Cham would have said about putting it on the kalikori, given how briefly Hera knew him, but it serves the same purpose as one of the kalikori blocks as a tangible reminder to Hera of Caleb’s life and his importance to her. So true that in times like that, every little reminder that goodness and love exist is precious.
    Thank you so much! I think that having seen so much and already lost so much, Hera’s wiser than her ten years would suggest, and likewise Caleb is wise beyond his years, and not just because of his Jedi training. But despite that, finding someone with whom they can enjoy simple, childlike pastimes is just so sweet and meaningful to them. Hera is still a little girl, and she really believes in good and right, and believes Caleb’s promise, and it hits her hard to think that he’s been executed. It’s a betrayal of good and right and promises—everything she so wholeheartedly believes in. But yes, I’d say there is a strong likelihood that these two will meet again. :D
  25. Raissa Baiard

    Raissa Baiard Chosen One star 4

    Nov 22, 1999
    Thanks to @Findswoman for beta reading @};-

    Part 4: An Old Friend (400 word cross-country)

    “Caleb?! Caleb Dume?”

    Kanan turned towards the voice calling his name—his real name, the one he hadn’t used in nearly eight years—before he realized what he’d done. When he did, a chill that rivaled the winds of Ilum washed over him at how easily he’d just betrayed himself. Who could possibly know him on this backrocket agricultural world? Who in the Galaxy could have recognized Kanan Jarrus, itinerant farm worker, as Caleb Dume, formerJedi padawan? He eased a hand towards his DL-44, prepared to do whatever it took to get out of this situation.

    However, the voice didn’t belong to a blaster-wielding bounty hunter or black-clad Inquisitor, but to a young, green-skinned Twi’lek woman dressed in pilot’s coveralls, flight cap and goggles. A young, attractive Twi’lek with eyes as green and sparkling as a kyber crystal and a smile that made Kanan wish very much that he knew who she was and how she knew him. Surely he’d remember those eyes…

    “N-no. I…my name’s Kanan. Kanan Jarrus.” Kanan faltered beneath that dazzling smile, and wished he could kick himself. If this was some sort of trap, he’d just given her his alias. And if it wasn’t, he looked like a stammering idiot.

    Her smile vanished. “Oh…. No, of course not. I’m sorry.” She reached up, touching something at her collar, and her expression became sad and distant. “You reminded me of an old friend, but…he was killed at the end of the Clone Wars.”

    She turned to go, making her way back through the crowded marketplace. Kanan watched her go, her lekku swinging gracefully behind her and frowned. That pattern of concentric circles… he knew it. He’d seen it somewhere before… but where?

    He reminded her of an old friend, she’d said.

    And then the memory hit him like a stun blast—a Twi’lek girl throwing her arms around him and hugging him fiercely. It’s been like having a real friend…

    An irate Shistavenen growled and shouldered his way past Kanan as he stood dumbstruck in the middle of the market path, staring after the Twi’lek’s retreating form. He had seen her before. She’d been just a child then, but the circular markings on her lekku were unmistakably the same. Her smile was as sweet as it had been during that all-too-brief interlude on Ryloth, when they’d shared a last few days of carefree friendship before his life fell apart,

    Hera Syndulla.