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Saga - PT [DDC 2016] Letters Never Sent (OCs | ROTS) - COMPLETE, PARTIAL E-BOOK

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by Ewok Poet, Jan 2, 2016.

  1. Findswoman

    Findswoman Kessel Run Champion star 5 VIP - Game Winner

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    Whoof, my head is spinning too, just reading about this place! As someone with tendencies toward dizziness and nausea, 12 hours of rotation sounds absolutely... unbearable. Poor Lil! As as if the sheer, staggering, spinning physicality of the place weren't enough, it also happens to be yet another place that the Sacorrian education system insists is mythical. In a way I bet that just intensifies the discomfort for Lil, because he's experiencing its reality in a very specific, physical way. I just wouldn't want him to lose his lunch on that virtual red shirt he's earned! (OK, he didn't really, I know—but in my mind he's worthy!)

    My head's even spinning imagining the mini version of this station stuck right there between those two moons. From what I know of the laws of angular momentum, that would be an even dizzier place. But all the same, the image is a compelling one, and a very EP one, and if I thought about it some more I would probably come up with ways in which it's emblematic of Lil's own situation. :p But be that as it may, it clearly is a striking image for him, and I wonder if it will inspire some art at some point down the road.

    I'm glad at least that the place has some kind of infrastructure to help newcomers, though it was of course most uncool of those local nerf herders (literal ones! Golly, imagine farming and herding on a place like that...) to laugh at Lil in his plight. Thank goodness for the kindness and assistance of 2-1A. Lil needs all the friends he can get, organic or metallic. And one thing I've noticed about him in these accounts of his various travels is that he always seems to find some kind of friend wherever he goes—which ultimately says a lot for him and for the good heart lurking below all these trials and tribulations. <3

    I wonder if I should consider it significant that the Mysterious Listener hasn't said anything in response to this episode. I guess maybe he has less to say now that Lil has left [hl=black]the places and people he seems most familiar with[/hl]. But even if he is silent in this particular entry, I bet he's absorbing and paying attention and filing everything he hears away in his head, as I'm doing my best to do. ;)
     
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  2. Onderon1

    Onderon1 Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 18, 2008
    Another excellent chapter. :D

    Centerpoint's always seemed a bit odd to me; I suppose that's actually a success of writers to convey its alien-ness, since it was likely occupied first by the Killiks and whichever Celestial(s) were their boss(es).

    Given that the Corell system proper seems almost certainly Celestial-formed (for lack of a better term), it's interesting to see various species interact with the station ... [face_thinking]
     
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  3. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014
    Thanks for reading. :)

    Brace yourselves for the next entry - it contains many, many answers. One slightly changed spelling too, but many, many answers.

    P.S. I amended comments on Entry 44 and the footnotes on Entry 45.




    Bespin has 12-hour days, too. But Bespin is HUGE.

    He would really be flattered to know that he's a red shirt to you, you know? :)

    And that instinct seems to be surfacing in the oddest situations possible. It's a very old survival technique, one could say.

    And the Vagranites are probably aware of that and that's why they put the Aurah Space Station in a more suitable place. Of course, Lil is not a scientist and we're more than glad about that!

    Now, that's a better way to look at it. ;)

    The Centerpoint Station folk apparently have this underlying delusion that their home is a planet. :p Either that or they can't get away, I dunno. :p Maybe it was originally the GFFA's take on Noah's Ark?

    Wait, that would have been scary, to say the least!

    And yes - 2-1A might be a droid, but a friend in need is a friend in need.

    Of course. He will have something to say at some point. He didn't explicitly comment on every single entry.


    I have proposed...an odd theory above. But yes, the Shells could have easily been Killiks' dwellings at the very beginning!


    Yes. They are forced to interact in ways that are a product of cohabitation different from the one on Corellia or Sacorria, aka the planets where they otherwise live together for other reasons. And then, there's the Fed-Dub...
     
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  4. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014
    Entry 46

    <<<RECORDING STARTED>>
    <<LOCAL TIME: 00:00>>
    <<GALACTIC LOCATION DISABLED>>
    <<GALACTIC LOCATION MANUAL SEARCH INPUT: HOLLOW, CENTERPOINT STATION>>
    <<GALACTIC LOCATION: TWO POSSIBLE RESULTS FOR THIS LOCATION. PICK ONE OF THE FOLLOWING: HOLLOWPOINT, HOLLOWTOWN.>>
    <<GALACTIC LOCATION SET TO HOLLOWPOINT>>
    <<ADJUST TIME Y/N>>
    <<LOCAL TIME UNCHANGED. 00:00>>

    I had one of the best nights ever the other night, Ranni. You can guess who else was involved….Korgah!

    Just joking. I’m a good comrade, after all. It was you. We were in Yola’s spare room, the brat was at her school and Yola was at work. And then I woke up before we even got to the part where I usually wake up whenever I’m dreaming of you – the part when we discuss our future. I hate that part. But what I hate even more is ever waking up. Sometimes, I wonder if our life together, the things behind the closed doors and away from our careers were a dream that I stopped dreaming the moment I boarded that strange ship to Corellia. That said, I am only beginning to recall its shape now – it looked like a disc, but also like a beer bottle opener. An odd freighter type of a thing, but with a life-saving secret department. Sure, it was probably not intended for living creatures, but who knows?

    Now, where was I? Other than the fact that I’m still on the Centerpoint Station, that is. I was with both of my feet on the ground, because these beds are so low that I can actually reach the floor when I’m sitting and speaking into this device.

    And the floor does not bother me right now. The medication seems to be working, which is a good thing. The realisation that I am still one of those who sleep one day and then spend the next day fully awake is still a bit silly. 12 hours is too much to sleep, yet too little to do anything constructive. Still, I needed a break before deciding where exactly to go and what to do.

    Not to mention the amount of shopping for extreme weather clothes and supplies that I had to do in the Hollowtown. Glad that I have read up about the Fed-Dub conditions before I picked a planet to go to! That said, picking won’t be really useful and I’ll probably have to settle for a chance cube kind of a decision. Apart from that one extra letter, there is nothing that makes Talus and Tralus different from one another. Either way round, I am heading to a place with strong groundquakes, storms and tides, something that none of the worlds I have experienced so far is known for. Sure, Anaslinea-Hoc lies on top of a frightening fault that continues towards the exit of the gulf…and there are occasional sandstorms in the deserts on Drall and Aurea…but the way a couple of spacers I hung out with at the Pod Hotel lobby described me Tralus and Talus, I wondered if I should have gone along with that Mungo man. I could have helped him pick the droids he was looking for. I could have offered him to be his crewman or whatever.

    Oh, wait, now I know why I really have not gone - he described a planet that doesn’t really have day and night. Then again, he was not sure of that either, because some drunk Twi’lek spacer told him about it and Twi’leks themselves come from one such planet and dwell on its dark side. Which is better? Which is worse?

    Speaking of that, I had my first drunk night in years. 2-1A advised against drinking when she gave me an all-clear and another round of medicines, but one of my hotel comrades had a whole bottle of genuine Sacorrian whiskey. The real deal, Seven Rivers, not some random bantha poodoo. I did not disclose how much a Sacorrian can really drink and I was soon laughing when most of the others ended up rolling on the floor. Now, Ranni, you know me – had I had a piece of brightigum, I would have been rolling on the floor, too. This way, I just randomly burst into the Brave Banthas theme, out of all songs in the world! Looks like Humans regularly sing that when they’re drunk!

    Brave, brave, little banthas
    Brave, brave, little banthas
    Brave, brave, little banthas
    Serving the Empire, salutes!

    Kriff. I just realised that the lyrics have changed. Back when Anjie sung it every single moment of every single day, it was about serving the Republic. And for some reason, Obi the Brave Little Bantha in red is now called Kylo. And he’s wearing black. What kind of a name is Kylo, anyway? It’s horrible. Then again, what do I know? I’m still a bit drunk. I might go for a walk to one of the artificial parks with apex trees that they have one level up from where I am. That will remind me of Taliore, though…I don’t know. Should I go? I just want to smell them and determine if they smell the same way when enclosed onto this thing and heated up by the Glowpoint instead of Iasonné.

    <<***** HAS BEEN IDLE FOR FIFTEEN MINUTES:: TURN THE UNIT OFF? Y/N>>
    <<THE UNIT WILL BE TURNED OFF>>

    <<GALACTIC LOCATION MANUAL SEARCH INPUT: HOLLOW, CENTERPOINT STATION>>
    <<GALACTIC LOCATION: TWO POSSIBLE RESULTS FOR THIS LOCATION. PICK ONE OF THE FOLLOWING: HOLLOWPOINT, HOLLOWTOWN.>>
    <<GALACTIC LOCATION SET TO HOLLOWTOWN>>
    <<ADJUST TIME Y/N>>
    <<LOCAL TIME UNCHANGED. 00:00>>

    Kriff, Ranni. One drunk night and things became worse than they ever were. Worse than Corellia. Worse than Nubia! Kriff, kriff, kriff!

    After that walk, I returned to the lobby to see my comrades sleeping on the floor and a mouse droid cleaning around them as if that were the most common thing in this place. One of them was still humming the Brave Banthas tune. The moment I stepped in, I fell over one of my paintings of the Boiling Sea and nearly avoided breaking my jaw on the floating table next to the bed. My room was a mess, all my belongings were scattered around.

    Somebody was looking for me.

    And whoever it was, they knew what they were looking for. All my old identification documents are gone! How do I leave this place without them? So are my recommendations from the basic school “Ravyd Caraway” in Anaslinea-Hoc, which I had intended to use to find myself a new teaching job. The only paper I have is this medical report that 2-1A gave me, with a fake name. So, not only that I am no longer the one I was on my birth…but I’m no longer Lil, either! How do I even become used on introducing myself as Kaystanick? No, no, no, no, no!

    <<***** HAS BEEN IDLE FOR FIFTEEN MINUTES:: TURN THE UNIT OFF? Y/N>>
    <<THE UNIT WILL BE TURNED OFF>>

    <<GALACTIC LOCATION MANUAL SEARCH INPUT: HOLLOW, CENTERPOINT STATION>>
    <<GALACTIC LOCATION: TWO POSSIBLE RESULTS FOR THIS LOCATION. PICK ONE OF THE FOLLOWING: HOLLOWPOINT, HOLLOWTOWN.>>
    <<GALACTIC LOCATION SET TO HOLLOWTOWN>>
    <<ADJUST TIME Y/N>>
    <<LOCAL TIME UNCHANGED. 00:00>>

    Yes, things can get worse, Ranni. Once I stopped yelling into the poor ibbot feathers of my pillow, I realised there was something underneath it. A copy of the Sacorrian Book of Law.

    At first, this did not make sense. I could swear that I have given that one away back on Aurea…to that strange young woman who then left with that Imperial admiral. Damaé Hoove was her name, in case you didn’t find her memorable. The one who had a thing for the Separatists – I never told you about that, but she was obsessed with Nute Gunray when she was younger - then for Sacorria and then for the Galactic Empire? Ridiculous! I thought that she would have had to forget about me.

    But she didn’t.

    I opened the book and, on the page with the year of publishing, there was this message, in sloppy High Galactic I recognise from the bottom of this stupid bust of the Triad that I’m still carrying with me. Here is what it says…

    “I’m coming for you, traitor. This place is small enough for me to find you. Let’s see just close to the Glowpoint you can get before you really burn.”

    Holly kriff, Ranni. Holly kriff! And her last name is Hoove! When I was on my own with the Goddess on the Chiro Mountain, I lacked the fourth problem. “The Goddess is supposed to provide the visitor with four solutions to four problems, and she crushes each problem with one of her hooves.” But how do you crush a…hoove? It was there all along! I should have made the connection before!

    I want to scream until I can no longer talk. I am being chased by a maniac with dangerous connections. A being unhinged enough to have reported me for having betrayed a planet that still regards its own rulers higher than the Emperor? That does not even make sense!

    I think this may be the right time to get the kriff out of here. Talus, Tralus, Talus, Tralus…whichever of you…here I come!

    Unless somebody kills me before that. Be right back, Ranni…or never. I have to make a run to the very rock bottom – to the Null Town I go. I love you! Always will!

    <<LOCAL TIME: 00:00>>
    <<RECORDING STOPPED>>>

    At least I know he didn’t die. And the chrono shows that there is still quite a lot to go – about as much as I have listened to. But this is where it gets way too tough. I don’t think that it will end well! I’m going to need another night! And if I don’t end up screaming like my little friend just did myself….

    “Stop waking me up!”

    “Sorry, Dede. Please, go back to sleep.”

    “Seriously, Charon…we have been apart for so long, you were almost killed on Sacorria last night, but do you really have to talk to yourself when everybody is sleeping? Emy is going to lose it. I have never seen her lose it, but if she does…we’re all going to be in trouble.”

    “I’ll be quiet.”




    Footnotes
    If you think you can recognise the freighter, yes, you can. I made a passing reference in Entry 01, but I hope it's more obvious now.

    Fed-Dub, short for the Federation of the Double Worlds is the governing body of Talus, Tralus and the Centerpoint Station. It's independent of the central government on Corellia, but apparently pretty independent from the Galactic Empire in its own way. They make their own rules.

    The weather conditions described for Talus and Tralus are the way they were described in the Suns of Fortune sourcebook.

    Kylo the Brave Little Bantha is mentioned in divapilot's excellent short story, Dear Mr. and Mrs. Solo and it was through her story that I got the idea of a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles-like show in the first place.

    Glowpoint is the artificial Sun of the Centerpoint station, essentially a giant reactor-turned-pilot-light suspended in the exact center of the sphere in the middle of the station.

    And this is where this DDC becomes very, very relevant to The Black Star. It's up to you to figure out where exactly this reading takes place, but let's say that it will be very, very soon...
     
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  5. Findswoman

    Findswoman Kessel Run Champion star 5 VIP - Game Winner

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    Oh man, oh man. [face_worried] No sooner does Lil finally manage to get his "Centerpoint legs" and make progress toward finally adjusting to to this crazy spinning place in space than things start going quickly to Hades in a handbasket. And things are indeed all coming together... I knew that Damaé Hoove was bad news back when we first met her, and back then I had no idea that she would actually come back (wishful thinking, I know!)... but it all makes sense now, and particularly in light of Lil's realization about the Goddess of Chiro and her hooves. (Say, hmmmm... that makes me wonder if whoever first told Lil about the Goddess back on Vagran was actually trying to slip him a warning? Or was it just a coincidental wordplay that turned out to be significant after all? Is the answer to that question "yes"? :p )

    And yes, as problems go, this is a huuuuuge problem for our hero indeed, perhaps bigger than the other three he consigned to the Goddess's hooves! With all his papers and certifications and identification gone (and the last of those three is already is on such shaky ground, between one assumed name and another)—wow, that really is worse than what befell him on Corellia or Nubia. How in the Galaxy will he possibly be able to get out of this? I imagine that a direct confrontation with Damaé is not too far around the corner, and I have no doubt that our Lil will show at least as much steadfast pluck as another of his fellow Dralls who stood up to Imperial authority—Nen, of blessed memory. Though I hope too that his end won't be like hers! [face_nail_biting]

    Incidentally, I do remember the chapter with the [hl=black]unnamed female assistant to Wulf Yularen[/hl], which seemed pretty suspicious then, and you did give me the hint that that was significant. But of course I'm now kicking myself that I didn't realize that [hl=black]that was her[/hl]. :oops:

    Earlier in the chapter, Lil asks the question "Which is better? Which is worse?" as he recalls Mungo's offer to bring him along to Roon. That's before he returns to find his apartment ransacked and his papers all gone, of course—but I would say that he may now know the answer. At least on that planet with no real day and night he would likely still have those papers and might have escaped Damaé. But he couldn't have known, and I in no way fault him for making the decision he made.

    Going from the serious to the ridiculous here, And of course I recognized Kylo the Brave Little Bantha, and smiled when I did so—little does the Galaxy know at this juncture what that name will come to mean! :eek: And of course under the Empire even children's shows like that would get bowdledrized and whitewashed and changed. Typical! It is, of course, a HUGE and immensely effective juxtaposition with the absolute disaster that follows.

    BUT—we finally have some names for our Mysterious Listener and those around him—and indeed, at least one of those names is familiar from another oeuvre of yours... which could go a long way to explaining many things (especially remembering where we last left the main characters in that other oeuvre). Naturally I'll look forward to the relevant update! :D
     
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  6. Onderon1

    Onderon1 Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 18, 2008
    Oh, Lil. Null Town is not a good idea ... [face_worried]

    Of course, he doesn't have readers' perspective, either, and while running's been a mixed bag for him so far, he doesn't have much choice.

    A curious question - the Goddess reminds me of Chironians, whom we best know IU as Lusa's species. I wonder if they did any traveling and inspired settlers on other worlds ... [face_thinking]
     
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  7. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014
    Thanks for reading. :)

    That said...did he ever have anything remotely resembling a good idea?

    This is a partial coincidence. I skimmed through the Wook article on Lussa before, intrigued by Gamiel signature and I do remember that she was a centaur, but I had forgotten the species' name, so it didn't play any part in this.

    However...both the fact that the Goddess is implied to be some sort of a centaur and that the mountain she lives on is called Chiro have been inspired by the very same thing as the Chironian species - namely Chiron and his very real home of Pelion. I based my little corner of Vagran on Magnesia and all the landmarks in it other than Abatore proper - which simply had to be much bigger and far more urban than its real-life counterpart. The planets' names in Vagran System were mostly inspired by the related myths.

    The Sun itself is Iassoné - Jason + Sonne and Iassoné the mythical hero was implied to also have some relations to the city of Sublata - which figures heavily in this story and the inspiration for which is - bizarrely enough - connected to Jason for reasons I cannot quite fathom.

    tl;dr - I'm crazy. And I have not even touched the topic of The Church of the Blind in Kariyela and the whole fact that Kariyela and Taliore were both religious centres located in the same place where a plague hit new town millenia later.

    Also, you are on the track of something...but it might take a couple of years until you see what you got right.

    At this point, it could be one of those. But it could also be both.

    The kind of a problem to end the other three problems. Literally.

    I...can't say much about that right now. But yes, Mistress Hoove who also wanted to be Comradette Hoove and, before that...well, I don't even want to remind you of that...is breathing on his neck.

    Yes, that was her. And the blink-and-you-will-miss-it person on Talfaglio was her, too.

    I...guess Mungo Baobab was not authoritarian enough for her to bed him in the name of her mission. Not rigid enough, too liberal and all.

    Yeah, speaking of the wolf...Mungo. And Lil's logic is not really logic, because there he is, spending time on the Centerpoint Station - with artificial light, after having spent a couple of days on Talfaglio - with artificial light.

    Of course, a tide-locked planet is something different and whatever has made him hate such places has got to have left a lasting impression on him.

    Ever watched "Russian Winnie the Pooh"? No, it's not a matter of censorship, just a blunt copycat thing. Kinda ironic in the age where an episode of Masha and the Bear is the most watched non-music-video thing on YouTube that isn't a music video, but yeah.

    You can speak about it freely now. :)
     
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  8. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014
    Entry 47

    <<<RECORDING STARTED>>
    <<LOCAL TIME: 00:00>>
    <<GALACTIC LOCATION DISABLED>>
    <<GALACTIC LOCATION MANUAL SEARCH INPUT: DEARIC, TALUS>>
    <<GALACTIC LOCATION SUGGESTION: DEARIC, TALUS. ACCEPT Y/N>>
    <<GALACTIC LOCATION SET LOCALLY>>
    <<ADJUST TIME Y/N>>
    <<SELF-REPORTED LOCAL TIME: 13:22>>

    Ranni, I am alive. And I have hit the rock bottom for a moment. Literally speaking. And then my heart was somewhere in my feet. But I am alive and I can’t stress that enough!

    The Null Town, the “Little Socorro”, was crowded. Very crowded. And it’s the furthest from Corell, thus furthest from hope out of the whole of this place. Patched with cantinas, dancing Twi’lek bars…and nobody appears to mind the fact that the gravity here is significantly higher than elsewhere on the Centerpoint. Maybe because they have no idea what’s normal? Then again, according to one of those drunks back at the Pod Hotel, gravity is high when you’re intoxicated…which they were.

    I ended up in a cantina called Tesh’n Tesh. By day, some of this place’s patrons work up there in the restricted place, the TechSec proper. And they are rich! Isn’t the science…wonderfully corrupted? Imagine if the scientists at AARIS were doing things like that. Then again, Elesandre started working there the last thing I knew and he screams trouble.

    And, of course, there were pilots. You could recognise them for being sober. And some were about to depart to the Tralus and Talus shortly. I had to make a choice. I ended up going by the one-grain-fly-two-grain-fly game and picked Talus. You know, like Larax did that one time when she was picking her first job in Sublata. Sometimes I wonder if I’m as crazy as her or if I had been crazier than pretty much everybody all along.

    I really wanted to go back to Hollowtown, say goodbye to 2-1A and to thank her for giving me a new identity…though I don’t know how I would have done that, come to think of it. It’s not just about how illogical and revealing it would have been, it’s also that every single second here was important, so I boarded my ship within a couple of minutes after having found a ride I could afford.

    The next thing I knew…I am alive, Ranni. Somehow! I was riding with what could have been the craziest young pilot ever, but I am alive. Sure, the distance was as short as possible, but getting off the Centerpoint Station and setting the coordinates to one of the two small planets so frighteningly close to it is a challenge for the most skilled of them pilots, but this one was also blind. By birth! I have not seen one of these before, a Miraluka. He’s a Human without eyes. And he pilots in a way that caused all of us on board to scream.

    My throat is in a horrible condition from all this screaming and I hope that you can understand me if I whisper. This is not an overstatement, by any means.

    The moment I arrived in Dearic, the Centerpoint Station became just a strange shape visible in the sky, sometimes blocking the view of Tralus and sometimes not. But the city itself, I never expected it to be this beautiful. I felt strangely nostalgic about Corellia. This city had a lot in common with Coronet – wonderful green parks, amongst other things. And many, many shady cantinas disgusted as expensive restaurants. Sadly, with the prices matching the latter. You don’t want to know how much I paid for the Nashal Special, which is essentially styanax meat arranged on a nice plate.

    Then it turned out to be a handful of baby guf drolg tails disgusted to appear serpentine. I was scammed. It was tasty, but who cares? It should have cost less! The long-haired pronker who was sitting at the other table for one told me so. And that’s how I met a pink, cobalt-blue-haired near-Human named Krall. He smelled bad, bad, bad, but I noticed that both women and men were approaching him in swarms, for whatever reason. He was kindly rejecting them all, because he wanted to help me, but he stressed that his job was his pleasure otherwise.

    In his demeanour, Krall slightly reminded me of the strange feral boy that helped me escape from the Coronet City. At the first glance, at least. His mouth did not have the tendency to curl to the side when he was smiling. In fact, he had trouble pulling a grin even when it was obvious from the rest of his face that he was happy.

    And he was intrigued by my whispers. I did say that I had lost my voice, but he somehow knew that there was more to it. But I wanted to know more about him, first.

    “Live fast, die young and leave a beautiful corpse.” He said, despite not making an effort to be particularly charming, and added that, while this is a common Fed-Dub saying, he would have left a beautiful corpse at any age. Nice to know?

    So…more about him? Krall is a Zeltron male escort who is on equally good terms with everybody whom he can seduce and get some credits from. His clients are, among many of them, Imperial officers. And he told me that, whatever bothers me, he could help me. It was like…he was attracted to me somehow?! But not sexually. He said that he could see that I was suffering and that it was up to him to do something for me. He must be some sort of an empathy or something. Or maybe it’s the smell.

    And, until he could target “the right beings”, he had somebody I could stay with. So…we are heading to see that somebody, I guess?!

    <<LOCAL TIME: 00:00>>
    <<RECORDING STOPPED>>>

    Larax? I could swear that I read about some Larax at some point. Not that I read all that much. Not that most books nowadays aren’t propaganda.

    Knowing my luck, there must be thousands of women named Larax on Sacorria, just like thousands of men could be called Elesandre like this no-good-pronker he talks about. After all, the one who thought I adopted a Dralling is also called Larax.

    “No-good-pronker?” Wait a minute there, Charon, YOU are a pronker! It’s too late. Too early. Whatever. May the thing in the aquarium down there in the dining room crawl into my nose, get to my brain and kriff me blind!



    Footnotes
    Tesh ‘n Tesh is fanon. And it’s most certainly a shady place.

    Pod Hotel is fanon. And it’s most certainly an OK place.

    Null Town, as per Suns of Fortune, is the largest settlement on the Centerpoint Station, right above the South Pole. It's known for its high gravity and basically all the scum lives there and the tourists go there to get drinks, spice and the prostitutes. They also refer to it as "Little Socorro". This is where the South Docking Bay is as well.

    The Nashal special is a meal where pieces of styanax are arranged in a specific way, fine dining style and it's named after the city of Nashal. Fanon.

    “Live fast, die young and leave a beautiful corpse.” is a direct quote about FedDub underworld from Suns of Fortune.
     
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  9. Findswoman

    Findswoman Kessel Run Champion star 5 VIP - Game Winner

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    When your life and safety are in danger, as indeed Lil's are every moment he stays on Centerpoint within arm's reach of that Hoove dame, quick thinking is required—even if it (a) means (unfortuantely) having to leave before you can say a proper goodbey and thanks to your benefactor, and even if it (b) involves making choices using the "one grain fly, two grain fly" game. (Now you just have to tell us more about that game in your notes—and hey, that's still a better method for choosing which of two twin moons to go to than it is for choosing a job!) Sounds like Lil had quite the wild ride at the hands of that Miralukan pilot; given the way he (and that species) fit in so well with certain recurring leitmotifs in your stories, I almost wonder if we'll come across him again. [face_thinking]

    But yes, whew, he made it! :D And, as always, we see that at least some of the locals are drawn to him (which is understandable, given his approachability and good nature)... but wow, none of them have previously been this... faaabulous and flamboyant, not even the effusive Elamm. Clearly the characteristic Zeltron empathy is at work here in the way this fellow draws people to him and is able to guess things about people (such as the fact that there's more than meets the eye to Lil's laryngitis). I don't blame Lil for feeling a touch uneasy, but hey, at least hopefully he'll get some friendship and shelter out of it. It goes without saying, of course, that I am very curious about who Lil's newest host will be.

    Like Charon the Mysterious Listener, I recognize those few various names that get mentioned here, notably Elesandre and Larax. But unlike Charon the Mysterious Listener, I am pretty darn sure that the ones Lil is mentioning are indeed the same ones I have seen named in your other stories: [hl=black]Elesandre Vorr, dad of Doria, and Larax Antilless, great-aunt of Doria[/hl]. Though you may surprise us there, since you've done it before! :p (Aside from that, though "the thing in the aquarium" establishes pretty definitively that Charon is [hl=black]in the same guest house on Vagran that Lil was in not that long ago himself[/hl].) I imagine that the unnamed long-haired pronker may be someone I've read about before, too. And heck, at this point, I figure there's about a 50-50 chance that the new host will be in the same category! :D
     
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  10. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014
    Thanks for reading. :) Four entries and an epilogue to go!




    I see what you did there. :D HA!

    "One grain fly,
    Two grain fly,
    Three grain fly,
    Four,
    You are not
    In this
    Any-more."

    That good? :D

    And I'd pick a job that way. I never made pretense blablablabla...

    Oh, poodoo. You're giving me ideas. I just wanted something absolutely and totally absurd here. And it does not get any more absurd than that. But now, I have an idea. Quale idea?

    Glad that you noticed empathy in Krall. :) While, yes, he is attracted to everything under any given real or artificial Sun, what he's displaying here is empathy. And he means it. He's fab, yes, but he is also a total sweetheart.

    As far as pheromones go, looks like they're incompatible, so nothing for Lil to be worried about. And the gay-scare is another thing that's still very Sacorrian about him.

    The long-haired pronker was a metaphor. From reading too many Sacorrian things throughout the night, he suddenly expressed a very Sacorrian view. I thought it would be comical.

    As far as Larax is the Larax he knows...we'll see. That reminds me, I need to finally post the freakin' chapter where [hl=black]they all meet[/hl].
     
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  11. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014
    Entry 48

    <<<RECORDING STARTED>>
    <<LOCAL TIME: 00:00>>
    <<GALACTIC LOCATION DISABLED>>
    <<GALACTIC LOCATION MANUAL SEARCH INPUT: DEARIC, TALUS>>
    <<GALACTIC LOCATION SUGGESTION: DEARIC, TALUS. ACCEPT Y/N>>
    <<GALACTIC LOCATION SET LOCALLY>>
    <<ADJUST TIME Y/N>>
    <<SELF-REPORTED LOCAL TIME: 23:26>>

    After our dinner – which he insisted on paying for in the end - we followed the Icormek River to the city outskirts. The high-rises that contributed to Dearic’s nickname of “Little Coronet” had slowly melted into slums. I stopped at the very last place resembling a suburb – the Shove-Off Point.

    It looked like everybody living there had been forgotten long ago. A couple of species that I swear were declared non-sentient by the Galactic Empire come a couple of months ago were freely roaming around this place, living a life that no decent being should be living. But their freedom was, apparently, enough to them.

    We stopped by a place called The Drall’s Shop, advertised as a grocery store. The proprietor was, guess what, one of us, and he looked very, very old. The moment he saw Krall and me, he rushed to greet us. I introduced myself as Lidgrain, then corrected myself, remembering that I was now Kastaynick. The old man shrugged and he introduced himself as The Drall Himself. When that clearly confused me, he said that his name was Vikigard.

    Krall had nothing but the words of praise for Vikigard. But none for his groceries. They were just a mask for what is, apparently, one of the best black market antique stores in the Sector. And he has to keep it a secret, because the Fed-Dub officials don’t like it and neither does the little of the Imperial presence here. He normally does not talk to anybody who seems suspicious and he said that I was lucky to have met somebody whom he trusted. And he offered me a mattress in the backroom of the store, next to some fruit crates, until Krall finds out what I was to do.

    I said that I was low on credits and Vikigard asked me if I had anything to sell. Well, I knew that I would have to be rid of the landscapes of Anaslinea-Hoc pretty soon. I only kept the one of the sunrise at the beach, and the rest, to my surprise, seemed interesting enough to be sold, because of the angleberry wine stains I had applied to them after that mistake with the Caraway-Kaeni family portrait.

    Vikigard looked at the other art I had in my largest bag, too. He was wondering how I came across by “some that looked as if they were made by dead painter from Sacorria”. I shrugged. I told him that I had always been the worst critic of Dyeke’s work, he called me jealous and said that his style was more complex than mine and that he sees this attitude in many art teachers. I was surprised to hear a mild-mannered, almost ancient man scold me like this, but then again…he’s pretty smart. One never knows what could have been on his mind.

    I implied that I did not think that the painter was dead. Vikigard could swear that he had read a posthumous biography some months ago, but Krall subtly nudged me when he said that. The old man was sometimes losing his mind, apparently.

    Krall had the task of offering his services to as many Imperials as he could have. I had no idea how and why this would be useful, but then, ten days later, he came back to the Shove-Off Point smelling stranger than ever, with a story that was equally strange. And worrying. I clipped it, just in case I ever needed proof, just in case I am ever lucky enough to testify against anybody involved.

    ▲CLIP:START snd.krall*Damaé▲

    <<Voice identified as belonging to a Human or near-Human man, age 23-27>>
    <<Add a name tag for this speaker? Y/N>>
    <<Name tag input detected. Speaker added to memory as krall>>

    <krall>“There was somebody who appeared to have known you. She told me what she was doing here and showed me a holo of you. She is a bit manic, she had a power fantasy and she paid extra credits to beat me with the end of her blaster rifle until I screamed, but she was a beautiful woman, nevertheless.”

    <Commcorder owner> “But you find all women beautiful. Anyway…Damaé Hoove paid you for sex?”

    <krall> “Yes, that’s what her name was. And she seemed slightly oblivious to Zeltron pheromones, so I got a lot of credits and a lot of information. I’m bruised, but who cares? You see, she is on a mission!”

    <Commcorder owner> “Say it already!”

    <krall> “Somebody called Roula is looking for you and she knows that you changed your name and that you’re no longer Lidgrain, Lil…but does not know to what exactly. A medical droid was fired over this mistake and will likely be decommissioned.”

    <Commcorder owner> “Oh, no! 2-1A!”

    <krall> “And that Roula being is obsessed with getting you. Since Blobbo Fasolia Toupé…what a stupid name that is, kriff me…failed and Latts Razzi – that one is blastin’ hot herself, if I may digress… is now working exclusively in the Outer Rim, the search was given to COMPNOR and their sub-agency, the ISB. These people had recently hired Damaé Hoove of Naboo, who was sent to Aurea to study arts and had a fling with a young Admiral, and she found the story familiar. She said that she knew a Sacorrian traitor, who gave her a copy of…some book you never give anybody a copy of.”

    <Commcorder owner> “Kriff this! I just realised that she was the one who got Wullf Yularen to search for me in the shuttle with Gillad Novo’s corpse back on Nubia.”

    <krall> “You saw Gillad Novo’s corpse? He was hot! Wait, that’s weird, sorry. Anyway, you’re right. A former Republic admiral, now a colonel in the ISB, Wullf Yularen – a very handsome older man dare I say so - was on the case. But he was quickly removed from it after you escaped. Hoove convinced her powerful spouse, Admiral Doge Rockblaster, to help her locate you. But there was no sign of you until Damae herself saw you on Talfaglio!”

    <Commcorder owner> “The hostess with a weird wig who liked Mungo a bit too much! Kriff it, kriff it, kriff it!”

    <krall> “Oh, wow, did they…you know?”

    <Commcorder owner> “Kriff, no! Oops. Sorry, do continue!”

    <krall> “And she almost got you on Centerpoint, but once again, there was that droid. She had the listings of all ships that departed from the station the next day. She narrowed her search to those that came here and she eventually found out that you landed in the Dearic area. And you never know whom she knows!”

    <Commcorder owner> “And does Roula want me alive?”

    <krall> “I don’t know that much. Sorry.”
    ▼Clip:end▼


    “You need to disappear” was what Krall and Vikigard said to me after all this, in unison. And by disappear, they really meant disappear. There is a way to the other side of the planet, to the shady Qaestar Town and the other, largest spaceport as well as connections to more remote locations on the planet itself, those that are harder to search through. But one has to go directly through a couple hundreds of kilometres of mud flats. Deadly mud flats.

    Yes, I said deadly. But off to mud flats I go. With only a single backpack of my most basic belongings. Okay, everything I could fit in. It’s almost bigger than me.

    And Krall can then say that I escaped him, get paid for giving Damaé some clues and assure her that I will most likely drown in the mud. That way, she could stop searching for me and go back to Roula and her COMPNOR bosses empty-handed.

    But I won’t die. I am determined to make it, Ranni.

    <<LOCAL TIME: 00:32>>
    <<RECORDING STOPPED>>>

    Damaé Hoove, whoever you are – go Force-choke yourself, you sith-faced daughter of the Bith and then cut of all your limbs so you could become the new Darth Vader, but make sure that you cut off your head as well. This stupid prostitute should have killed her! But he would kriff anything other than a Drall or a Hutt…of course that he does not think like a proper criminal!

    If only Wullf Yularen was still alive to confirm any of this! But kriff it, he was on the Death Star above Yavin IV.

    What I wonder is how much of this Blobbo thing holds water. If it could be used against him, then I think I have a plan. Now, do I know anybody who could confirm any of Lil’s claims? Kastaynick’s claims? Whatever I should call him. Is this Taide person still alive? Will have to check the first thing in the morning!




    Footnotes
    Dearic is the capital of Talus and is referred to as "Little Coronet".

    Shove-Off Point is a shady suburb of Dearic.

    Icormek River is in Suns of Fortune, too.

    Vikigard's age and name are fanon, The Drall's Shop and the fact that he's a Drall are not.
     
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  12. Findswoman

    Findswoman Kessel Run Champion star 5 VIP - Game Winner

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    Well, Krall (which was the name of one of my high school English literature teachers—I kid you not, Mrs. Beverly Krall!) is certainly... over-the-top in many respects, not the least of which is this crazy tendency of his to be besotted with the perceived attractiveness of pretty much every sentient being within a ten-foot-or-so radius. :p But he gives every indication of being a true ally to Lil and of being sincere in his desire to help him escape his pursuers, and that is to his credit indeed.

    That is true of the (mostly) mild-mannered Vikigard as well, notwithstanding his and Lil's brief disagreement about the artworks in Lil's bag. (And even that brief side episode reminds me of some things, because "that dead artist" Dyeke is known to me from Midday Darkness / The Light Is Me, I Am the Light—and is he dead or is he not? And what to make of both Vikigard's and Lil's [hl=black]impressions and comparisons of Lil's and Dyeke's styles[/hl]? Hmmmmm... [face_thinking])

    And as the pursuers go, to quote one of Chocolate Shoppe Ice Cream's most popular flavors, "this just got serious."* For it's not just that horrid, kinky, nasty Damaé who's after him, not just the Empire who's after him, but also Roula—a particularly baleful name that I recognize from your other oeuvres. She was poisonous enough working on her own in those other stories, but her plus Empire undoubtedly equals one very, very dangerous combination. [face_nail_biting]
    *And yes, that's how the actual ice cream shop clerks tend to refer to it out loud—minus one word. :p

    So now it's off to the mud flats for Lil, dangers notwithstanding—and I'm not sure that any danger he encounters out there will be more than the danger he's in as long as he's in a place where the likes of Damaé and Roula can easily get to him. Lil's uncertainty about his fate is understandable, and I'm not even going to try to guess what further perils await him—but, [hl=black]as I said of Anjie in the first chapter of Life, Death, and Other Goals, we know he'll make it in the end[/hl]. [face_peace]

    I of course am very curious to see what Charon's plan will be, and how Taide (the rather morbid museum curator, right?), of all people, fits into it. Chronology-wise, I'm guessing Charon postdates Lil by a good bit, and that [hl=black]Lil is likely dead by the time Charon is listening to his diary[/hl], but I think we can count him, too, as a staunch ally of our "little black Drall," and I get the feeling his efforts will lead to Lil's ultimate vindication. Or at least something close to it. So forza, Charon! :D
     
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  13. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014
    Thanks for reading and sorry for being one day late with the update. I get easily distracted, to say the least - even when things are pre-written. [face_cow]




    Krall is like a professional writer whose true calling is writing. That's...all I'm going to say.

    And I guess Mrs. Beverly Krall was not like that? :p

    [face_whistling]

    Argh, now I truly want some ice cream. :D

    And that's an accurate description of Damaé. Roula, too, but that one's not kinky. We know that relationship exist for the sake of power and public image. :p

    I am not going to respond to this. You will see.

    Yes, Taide is the museum curator who has a thing for severed limbs displaying jewelry - a totally normal guy, right there.

    Charon is reading this [hl=black]in 3.5 ABY[/hl], therefore, Lil would be in his mid-sixties at that time. And also, I can't respond to the rest, once again. Darn. :(
     
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  14. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014
    Entry 49

    <<<22 DAYS HAVE PASSED SINCE LAST LOGIN. REAUTHENTICATION REQUIRED. ENTER NAMECODE!!!>>>
    <<<NAMECODE: *****>>>
    <<<NAMECODE CORRECT. WELCOME, *****>>>
    <<<RECORDING STARTED>>
    <<LOCAL TIME: 00:00>>
    <<GALACTIC LOCATION DISABLED>>
    <<GALACTIC LOCATION MANUAL SEARCH INPUT: MUD FLATS OF TALUS>>
    <<GALACTIC LOCATION SUGGESTION: NEAR QAESTAR TOWN, TALUS. ACCEPT Y/N>>
    <<GALACTIC LOCATION SET LOCALLY>>
    <<ADJUST TIME Y/N>>
    <<SELF-REPORTED LOCAL TIME: 11:20>>

    Could it be that the maps have nothing to do with reality?

    The mud flats looked really small before this trip, just like this entire planet and its twin. But after three weeks of running around – or at least I think it’s been that long – I no longer have an idea of where I am going. I have no idea how far from Qaestar Town I am, I am even setting the coordinates as close to it as possible in order to motivate myself.

    And the backpack feels heavier every day. I came up with a plan: each time I find any kind of an outpost, I leave one of the remaining pieces of art there. If somebody finds it, it could be useful to them. The first thing to go was Damaé’s stupid little statue of the Triad. Okay, that one won’t be useful to anybody!

    Running around the seemingly endless swamp has its good and its bad sides. Except that, by good sides, I mean "no quick-mud" and "no huge predators" and everything else falls under the second group.

    And then there are the things that are neither good nor bad and sit…right in the middle?! The mud flats of Talus are populated by more scum and villainy than an average cantina. There are smugglers, feral Selonian outcasts and some animals I would have been better off not knowing about. And the fauna is fun, too. I mean, it’s not Remember the guf drolgs? The thing I ate, that Krall ended up paying for? They are essentially dumb creatures that block your way and blow your cover for no reason. An average bantha is smart like an exceptional Drall scholar compared to them.

    On top of it, this place has no rules. If you’re caught roaming around on your own, you could as well be shot by the Fed-Dub police patrol, because loners are suspicious. And the chances of running into a Fed-Dub patrolling vehicle are high. Such vehicle is called Dalyrake and it was named after the large arachnid that otherwise inhabits only lakes and tidal waters of the Twin Worlds. The patrollers, they comb through a different area of the swamp every day in these spider-walkers and the only way to escape them is to dive deep into the mud, to the point where there is nothing but pure water.

    That’s below three metres for you. The technique required to dive in that deep requires simulating own drowning. I learned that on my first day here, because you either learn it, or you really drown. Needless to say that, when you have done this, you are dirtier than dirt.

    One time that I did this, the nearest floating outpost was probably ten kilometres away and I thought I would never get to it. I carried my full body weight in mud. Luckily enough, a spare guf drolg skin inside of the backpack provided to be a miracle – those things float and they are very warm. Did Krall sneak that in?

    Outposts are usually full of random smugglers and other ne’er do-wells. Most of them understand that only a fugitive whose life was threatened would end up here on his own and they swear by whatever thing they believe in that they would gladly help me hide somewhere…had I had more credits on me, of course. And I’m running low. Very, very low.

    So, yes, I cannot stay with these smugglers for more than a day or two. They provide me with whatever kind of food they have – hint, it’s usually guf drolg, guf drolg or maybe guf drolg; there is usually a place for me to sleep because I'm so small and a sonic, sometimes an actual thing, like on Drall, sometimes the water-powered one that I prefer. And it costs a fortune. I never thought that staying alive was this expensive. But, If I’m lucky, by now the COMPNOR should assume that I have drowned in the mud.

    I have a suggestion for those famous star-tour agencies from places such as Coruscant or Empress Teta: offer a realistic runaway tour! Come here, to the Double Worlds, go from one place to another and lead a very simple life. Depend on the kindness of the strangers. Go without anything but water to drink for a day or two, until you find the next group of strangers, who may or may not point a blaster at you, because they never know if you are some random passerby, or somebody from a rival gang.

    The slogan that should attract those rich fools? “24 hour rotation period, like back at home!” Knowing how shallow people can be and how easily they are led on, why not? I’m serious.

    That was crazy. But it’s not the craziest thing I will tell you today, Ranni. I have created an alternate take on my current reality in order to survive for as long as I can.

    So far, it seems to be working.

    What keeps me running, and running, and running some more is this fantasy, where you and I are on the run together. We're smugglers ourselves, we have our own small freighter and we are a battle couple. You're the smart and resourceful one, I am the one who makes up stories for the generations to come. Sometimes, they're cautionary stories. Sometimes, they’re tall tales. Sometimes, they are humorous anecdotes, but when you're on the run, there is always a story to tell, no matter what.

    Our freighter is old and one has got to wonder how it even gets in and out of sublight speed mode. But we like it that way. Nobody ever doubts us and we get away from every mess we end up in. I invented us a whole adventure in Unknown Regions, for example, and another one in the Hutt Space.

    One day, we discover a huge secret that may save the whole Galaxy from the plagues brought upon it and from that point on, we are on the run. We’re sentenced to death in countless star systems and some sectors have become off-limits. But it’s less frightening than reality, because our secret implies that there is hope, and because we are together. We are searching for the legendary ones who could help us with the secret and we are searching together.

    Sometimes, by chance, we end up on the worlds no sentient has ever stepped on before. And we keep such world a little secret, in case our mission goes down in flames and we have to retire to a place where nobody will ever find us. Our own place.

    On such worlds, we are truly, truly free. We don’t have to run, we don’t have to hide and we don’t have to pretend that we are not in love.

    Even when we run out of supplies, it’s easy. We get some random berries, find some grains, perhaps blast down something that looks edible and make these god-awful stews, but they taste like the best thing ever, because I am with you and you are with me. Sometimes, we make love under the stars. And it's like doing it for the first time, every time we do it. And it’s always different, because the stars influence the way you feel what the other being feels and each planet that we’re on has its own, distinctive night sky. Some of them are boring and almost starless. Some of them are like abstract paintings; as if a giant hand had dipped a brush in the sparkling white mixture and then just tossed it at the canvas. When the nights are starless, what we do is conservative. When there are many stars, it's a lot like that one time when I was completely sober and we were away from everybody else.

    Yes, I remember that to this day. And that is why I hope for the starriest of the starry nights.

    But all I get in reality is the fear of sludge panthers breathing behind my back and then I can’t even fantasize. All this life gives me is predators in places where any idea of freedom has been long eliminated from the heads of every single local I meet.

    The sludge panthers are real, by the way. It was not a metaphor. I got this floating protection fence from a smuggler and I can only sleep inside of it if outside. These things are like a non-sentient version of those who want my head.

    Just to make things even more fun, I am pretty sure that I have some kind of a chest infection, I am stocking up on dark hoth chocolate at any given outpost in order to calm down my troubled intestines. But I have this pain in my groin, too. No, not from my fantasies. Kriff that.

    <<LOCAL TIME: 12:45>>
    <<RECORDING STOPPED>>>




    Footnotes
    The Dalyrake is, ultimately, my own invention, because I got conflicting responses when I asked people all around the board about this one picture on the page describing the mud flats of Talus.

    The dalyrake, non-capitalised, is a huge aranchid found on both Twin Worlds. They look frightening, but they are easy to domesticate.

    Mud flats of Talus are of extensive size and they are dotted with small islands of swampy vegetation, as per Suns of Fortune.

    The sludge panther is the main predator in the mud flats. Its fur is water-resistant.

    The guf drolg is a stupid animal. Literally. It's described as a reptilian herbivore "rougly the size of a large speeder truck (and half as intelligent)". Their meat being delicious is established in the book. The idea of using their skin as a floating jacket type of a thing is fanon.
     
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  15. Onderon1

    Onderon1 Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 18, 2008
    Agh - poor Lil. :( No rest, less hope, and being chased by giant killer cats.

    And, possibly, COMPNOR ... [face_worried] Truthfully, I'm not quite sure which would be worse. I hope he finds some measure of peace soon.
     
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  16. Kurisan

    Kurisan Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Apr 26, 2016
    Hi Ep. I read... entry 08 (back on page 2!). I'm so behind, sorry, and this is getting so far ahead. I liked the anecdote with the kid's "specs" for a g/friend. That does actually sound pretty normal to me [face_laugh] until we grow up. The lecturing job sounds interesting, and an important plot point? [face_thinking] I wonder what will happen next...
     
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  17. Findswoman

    Findswoman Kessel Run Champion star 5 VIP - Game Winner

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    It's true—maps very often don't tell the whole truth, do they? And that's one thing when one's driving on a nice paved road, but quite another when one is navigating a vast wasteland of mudflats populated by seedy characters, unpleasant animals (I really would not want to meet one of those guf drolgs), and Fed-Dub patrollers (I REALLY wouldn't want to meet one of them). To say nothing of having to dive into the muddy water to escape, and having to do it just the right way or else you really will drown. (You asked back inyour comments to "Hoses, Masks, and Canisters" if I'd ever taken a diving class. I haven't, but I'm guessing you did, since it comes through in your description those dives and their proper technique!) And even the few outposts and places of refuge that there are in that vast expanse are that unhappy combination of seedy/skanky and overpriced. It says so much for Lil's bravery that he so readily agreed to Krall and Vikigard's advice to "disappear" to this, well, hell on Talus—though we always knew that he didn't lack for guts and pluck. :cool:

    (Yes, I bet it was Krall who put that guf drolg skin in Lil's pack. Just more confirmation that he really is sincere in his goodwill toward our hero, even amid all his flamboyant antics!)

    But even with all these trials and tribulations, he has by no means lost his humor or his hope. The "real runaway" vacation package is so snarkily hilarious—and the sad thing is, there probably are people out there in that wide galaxy who would go for it ("24-hour rotation period, like back home"—[face_laugh]). But naturally it's his thoughts of Ranni that are really keeping him going, and his description of what he calls his "alternate take on reality," with her, is the beautiful heart of this chapter. With her by his side, at least in his imagination, his arduous travels almost do metamorphose into the kind of romantic adventure that those rich, bored Coruscanters or Empress Tetans think they'd get if there were such thing as a "real runaway" tour.

    That whole sequence is just plain gorgeous, and I would be here all day if I quoted it all. I love the image of these two finding their own private uncharted worlds. OK, fine, this bit I will quote, because it better than I ever could:

    And of course, true to the EP ethos, each of those private, uncharted worlds has a different pattern of stars in its sky—stars that become emblematic of their love, their togetherness, and their hope. And hey, that puts me in mind of another EP opus in which the expression "seeing the stars"—and a similar scene of lovemaking and stargazing—has similar meaning. The characters in that scene were very much "meeting each other halfway" and overcoming differences—is Lil imagining an opportunity to do the same with his own lost beloved? [face_thinking] [hl=black]Alas, part of me doubts he will ever actually get that chance[/hl].

    I love too that they're not just cruising aimlessly around, but that they're on some kind of mission together, working together and each using their own particular talents to achieve a goal (also a form of "meeting halfway"). As to what that goal is... well, the notion of their knowing "secret that could save the galaxy" is immensely intriguing. I know Lil's not Force-sensitive, but is he having a prophetic moment here? There are a few different things in your future oeuvres that this could relate to, though I'll refrain from making too many specific guesses at this point. What you've come up with is probably way more interesting than anything I could guess. :p

    So this is the "elegant hope" by which Lil's "solitude is gladdened" (to quote Borges slightly out of order). And I definitely feel it has gone a long way toward helping him survive on the mud flats of Talus—after all, in a way, haven't his thoughts and love of Ranni sustained him on all his journeys thus far? At the same time, of course, I realize that elegant hopes alone don't go all that far in dealing with aches and pains and sludge panthers (!!!) to deal with, so I sure hope and pray that he makes it to Qaestar Town eftsoons and right speedily! [face_nail_biting]

    Applause and much kudos for a stunning chapter. =D=
     
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  18. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014
    Sorry for being slightly late, again - since I thought the previous entry was the best in the entire diary, next to maybe the one with Laoda and the wine ritual, I wanted to make sure my most faithful reader comments before we move on. The other reason is that the three remaining entries and the epilogue are VERY LONG, so having to go through two instead of one is not the best thing there is.




    I...never thought of comparing those. But each is disturbing in its own way.

    The kid does strange things when he plays, so we could even [hl=black]assume that he has a certain talent[/hl]...up to the reader to choose. ;)
    Don't be sorry! And, if you like, I will have an e-book of this soon after I've posted the epilogue on 31st.

    I never took a diving class either. I know people who did, and that comment you're referring to reminded me of some of the things they described. Funny how...each of us thought the other one had a diving class now. Ha! :D

    Drowning is, in a way, a symbol here. Or one of 'em. And the said muddy "road" is a replacement for those roads of thorns etc.

    And, unlike Vikigard who maaaay be getting old (I don't think Krall's comment about him being occasionally loopy was an ageist reference or anything, more likely assuming it was nonsense because a lot what Vikigard says could be nonsense), Krall is also reasonable. :)

    ...and he learned of this, despite the Sacorrian Triad likely telling everybody that all planets have a 23-hour-day like Sacorria does.

    They do, but his imaginary travel is raw, personal and rogue - not an all-inclusive package. ;)

    ...which would also imply that he never gets to patch those differences, right? And that it would require him and Ranni to truly be equal? The scary subtext of the beautiful scene...

    It does not take that much, for a smart person like him to assume that only some sort of a miracle can save the Galaxy. Of course, one would not know what kind of a miracle it is.

    Yes to all of this - much like it's the case with Rey's visions of water and seas.

    Thank you. :) I told you it was my favourite and I'm glad that it did not disappoint you. :)
     
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  19. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014
    Entry 50

    <<<45 DAYS HAVE PASSED SINCE LAST LOGIN. REAUTHENTICATION REQUIRED. ENTER NAMECODE!!!>>>
    <<<NAMECODE: *****>>>
    <<<NAMECODE CORRECT. WELCOME, *****>>>
    <<<RECORDING STARTED>>
    <<LOCAL TIME: 00:00>>
    <<GALACTIC LOCATION DISABLED>>
    <<GALACTIC LOCATION MANUAL SEARCH INPUT: STEPPE, TRALUS>>
    <<GALACTIC LOCATION SUGGESTION: NEAR RELLIDIR, TRALUS. ACCEPT Y/N>>
    <<GALACTIC LOCATION SET LOCALLY>>
    <<ADJUST TIME Y/N>>
    <<SELF-REPORTED LOCAL TIME: 21:10>>

    I left Talus a couple of weeks ago. An opportunity came out of nowhere and I wanted to make sure I evaded my chasers, so I went for it. Of course, this came after two more weeks in the mud flats, which makes it…about fifty days overall? I don’t know! Anyway, the mud just got harder at some point until I reached solid ground and, at that point, I reached Qaestar Town and then I decided to switch planets and now I’m on Tralus.

    Oddly enough, I actually have a place to stay. I found this abandoned log cabin at the edge of a farm in the steppe and it’s good enough for me. Rellidir is about two hundred kilometres away and the only folks living here are friendly herders with their families. And they are far enough! They did mention that there are gangs, but they won’t harm anybody, as long as we stay out of their business. And that’s good enough to me!

    Okay…that was the more appealing version of what really happened. If only everything was that easy…

    It was far worse than that.

    Now, how did I end up here? Each time I, err, switch planets, I think of you saying that this just cannot be possible, and that I chewed too much brightigum and am clearly making things up. But once again, I have a full story and it’s real, I promise!

    One thing about the beautified version of that story was true. I arrived to the end of the mud flats and ended up in Qaestar Town. The place is a stinkhole. Note the “T”, it’s not a sinkhole. Everybody here is suspicious and strange.

    I had just about enough credits to pay for a sonic shower and then a regular one, just to make sure that I was completely clean, but that was where I started bleeding heavily. Like you that one time when…we did what we should not have done. I had to risk it all and go to the hospital.

    I was lucky to meet the kind of a rich Drall doctor I have not met since the days of my first patron, sweet old naïve Duchess Pata. He never told me his name, or maybe I was too poorly to ask him about it. The news that he had for me was that he had treated me for acute degenerative malyrake prostatitis. In other words, my kidneys could have been affected had this spread further, so he had to remove the whole prostate gland. He asked me how much time I had spent at the mud flats. Not sure if the answer impressed him or shocked him. He said that malyrakes, the small mutation of the dalyrakes – the animals, not the vehicles, of course, tend to carry the infection if one dwells in the mud too much and that the illness is common in Drall males of the Fed-Dub if their hygiene is poor. He asked me about my other conditions, if any…and I only told him about recreational spice use. I wouldn’t have had the time necessary to tell him about everything else.

    At the end of the conversation, he looked at me as if he was to arrest me. I did get worried there for a moment, but instead of that, he patted me on the back and said that I most likely won’t be able to engage in an intercourse again. Like I care?

    Now that I was sure that he was not going to betray me, I told him that I was on the run. He urged me to come and stay at his estate, but I refused. That happened before the operation, by the way, so he just…repeated it afterwards. He them gave me a friendly reminder that this city was "a place that explorers end up when they are down to their last credit or have made one too many mistakes". I said that I knew that much – it was even in the tourist flyerflimsi. There wasn’t a mention of an Imperial operation there, though. At this point, I think that I would have been dead long ago hadn’t the search for me been some sort of a COMPNOR secret, so that doesn’t bother me as much as the martyr-like Fed-Dub fans do. This place is a mini-Sacorria in a way, no wonder I have started to make up lies!

    I asked him if I had a different option. I did. What followed was a couple of months of trying to live on the Kystes’ Spine, at a research station. I knew I would find our kind there, but they did not seem to be interested in talking to me all that much. One of them, Elieh, who experiments on all kinds of animals in order to create antidotes for common poisons and who seemed almost fond of malyrakes, as if they were his spiritual children, hired me to clean his chemical laboratory. I almost gave up before I even started –the carcasses were frightening me. And I could swear that I saw a limb that could still move on its own after he sedated a dalyrake to extract its soporific venom and then…randomly decided to get rid of it instead of sending it back to nature. He reminded me of that strange child back on Corellia…Aryan…what was his last name again?

    On top of it, there was nothing even resembling a store at this place. And, while I had an entry card for the researches’ cantina and a small room next to the droid quarters, that was not enough. I needed something very specific. And I was desperate to get it.

    No, not spices or alcohol. I needed dye. That’s what kept me alive all these years. Pitch black due. Now you know why I wasn’t murdered the moment I stepped my foot pretty much…anywhere.

    I made the mistake of getting close to the access to the Selonian tunnels and see if they were trading. Nobody told me that Kystes’ Spine was the home of the worst Selonian den in the sector. You see, ours was dishonoured for having fought with this one and one was exiled to Fed-Dub, while the other was sent to Sacorria! Understandably…enough…the moment I said I was Sacorrian, I heard a low-frequency chant. And you know what that means, Ranni.

    They were about to drag me into their dens and, if I understood that well, carry a sacrifice on behalf of their long lost ancestors when, out of nowhere, a speeder approached us. A Human man with an exceptionally ugly hat jumped off it and asked about me. At that point, I was about to be carried on a stake. Upon being told what I was in for, he asked them if he could buy a slave. Apparently, these Selonians are so primitive that they don't even know that Dralls are a privileged species in the CorSec. So, he traded some crops for me and winked to me behind their backs. I shrugged and went for it.

    Once we were on a shuttle back to Qaestar Town, he told me that I was lucky that he came around. His name is Dingo. And he was from Tralus. I told him that I had no single credit left other than the symbolic tips from Elieh, and he offered to take me home with him.

    Passing by the Centerpoint Station in Dingo’s runabout reminded me of that Miraluka pilot again. Thankfully, Dingo is baseline Human, he can see and he was not into those kinds of stunts. Once on Tralus, I had the choice to stay in Rellidir or to follow Dingo to his farm in the steppe. Having seen just how unremarkable the city is…Ranni, you were right to describe it as the blandest place in the sector once and say that Yvar Trindello would like it…I opted for the steppe.

    Dingo’s farm a strange place, seemingly in the middle of nowhere. He lives with a stray Selonian youngling named Kaleo and three women, all of whom he calls his wives! What a disgrace!

    Oh, wait, I’m too Sacorrian again. At the point when I cannot stomach Sacorria.

    Dayka, one of these alleged wives was checking on me for the first couple of weeks of my being here. Then she started filling the herder cottage closest to my log cabin with food. I’m not sure if she’s into some interspecies type of a thing. But perhaps I should trust her. And Dingo.

    What was strange is that I feel at ease with him and I didn’t feel at ease with the doctor that operated me. Once again, why didn’t he tell me his name himself? Dayka said that he was “ambivalent”, perhaps. She doesn’t quite know what that word means, she believes that it refers to those who help the unfortunate ones.

    Would that make my doctor the Force? Heh.

    Am I a farmer now?

    And many, many more unresolved questions. And plenty of drinks to get that out of me. I have not had anything since the Centerpoint…

    But before that, I had to hang my last piece of art on the wall, the only one that remained with me at this point. And yes, it’s the Anaslinea-Hoc sunrise.

    <<LOCAL TIME: 00:00>>
    <<RECORDING STOPPED>>>




    Footnotes

    Qaestar Town's people were indeed described as paranoid and suspicious. Shame that Lil couldn't stay there, since such traits just reek of Sacorrian mentality.

    Malyrakes are fanon.

    "A place that explorers end up when they are down to their last credit or have made one too many mistakes" is a direct quote from Suns of Fortune.

    The Kystes’ Spine is a mountain range that is indeed on top of lairs and tunnels populated by some extremely xenophobic Selonians.

    The idea of a Selonian hive mind low-frequency chant was previously explored in chapter 9 of The Black Star and is fanon.

    Čombe, a character in the Bosnian comedy series "Lud, zbunjen, normalan" (Crazy, Confused, Normal) uses the word "ambivalent" in odd contexts. I thought that was funny, so I implemented it here.

    Rellidir is the capital of Tralus.
     
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  20. Onderon1

    Onderon1 Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 18, 2008
    Well, he's out of the mud, at least. Lucky to have had that illness diagnosed when he did. [face_relieved]

    Here's hoping Lil will finally find some calm ... but things are never quite what they seem here, either. [face_thinking]
     
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  21. Findswoman

    Findswoman Kessel Run Champion star 5 VIP - Game Winner

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    Well, it's certainly a relief that Lil made it through the mud flats of Talus and successfully escaped to Tralus via Qaestar Town. Though now that he’s there, things have taken this unexpected turn for the worse. Am I right to understand that Lil had…

    …penile bleeding? And that it was similar to something he had after a sexual encounter at some point in the past with Ranni? Also, his “like I care” reaction to the news that he may never be able to have intercourse again seems to be a hint that he really doesn’t think at this point that he’ll ever see Ranni again. :( I somehow doubt that he will too, the way the story is going, though I wonder what her reaction would be if she actually heard him say that. Though maybe she’d be all right with it too.

    In any case, I’m certainly glad he got that diagnosed and treated before it got all the way to his kidneys. Sounds like one heck of a gruesome condition! :eek:

    The Drall doctor is piquing my curiosity here. First of all, there’s the fact that Lil never gets his name—and I know that in this universe that often (yes, I know often isn’t always) means that this is someone whom we may now already from a different oeuvre, or else at least that he too has some kind of really good reason for hiding his real name (as indeed we know Lil does). Then there’s his offer to take Lil in, which Lil refuses—but why exactly does he refuse? Does he see something suspicious in this doctor that we don’t? Or is it just one of the sudden decisions he sometimes makes? Or both?

    Yep, that Elieh does sound like bad news, and it’s good that Lil didn’t stay long in that job. I totally recognized the Selonian low-frequency chant from The Black Star even before opening your “Notes” spoiler! And yes, given what happened in that story not too long after that chant started, Lil is immensely lucky Dingo showed up when he did. As quirky as he and Dayka seem to be, they clearly do seem to mean well by Lil (and hey, sometimes piling up food is just piling up food!). Kaleo is a familiar name, too, also from TBS… I am guessing Lil will interact with him further in the next chapter, which will be interesting to see.

    And interestingly enough, Dingo’s place is where his “trail of artworks” ends—and the one he leaves there is one that seems to mean an especial lot to him, possibly one of his most treasured pieces. I have a feeling that we’re going to see some of these artworks crop up in future EP stories. Indeed, I am at least halfway sure we may already have seen a few in previous stories and chapters. Will someone in the future follow that trail? I have a guess about who that might be, and I have a feeling that that person may find there's more to these works than just pretty paint (and pencils, and pastels, and whatever else). [face_thinking]
     
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  22. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014
    Sorry for being late (again) - getting adjusted to some things. If all goes well, the last entry will be posted on Tuesday and the epilogue on Sunday next week.




    This is one of those situations where I tell you that you more or less answered your own questions - but I won't tell you more than that.

    Nah, not that. More like some variant of bacterial prostatitis.

    And whatever he remembers has got to be completely unrelated to this. But his "like I care" statement is a big deal here - he's of the physical kind and if he has shed that side of himself, in a way...yes, he's slowly giving up.

    I'd say both. Lil's never been a particularly intuitive character or capable of understanding consequences of things, but this time, he maybe did. Maybe.

    What if I tell you that Elieh could have helped him, had he stayed longer?

    Dingo might be into polyamory - a slight contrast for Lil who just exclaimed that he's not into relationships of any kind anymore - but he's a good guy.

    Nah, that's Soleo. Kaleo is that adorable mynah bird from YouTube.

    You'll see...you'll see.
     
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  23. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014
    Entry 51

    <<<212 DAYS HAVE PASSED SINCE LAST LOGIN. REAUTHENTICATION REQUIRED. ENTER NAMECODE!!!>>>
    <<<NAMECODE: *****>>>
    <<<NAMECODE CORRECT. WELCOME, *****>>>
    <<<RECORDING STARTED>>
    <<LOCAL TIME: 00:00>>
    <<GALACTIC LOCATION DISABLED>>
    <<GALACTIC LOCATION MANUAL SEARCH INPUT: STEPPE, TRALUS>>
    <<GALACTIC LOCATION SUGGESTION: NEAR RELLIDIR, TRALUS. ACCEPT Y/N>>
    <<GALACTIC LOCATION SET LOCALLY>>
    <<ADJUST TIME Y/N>>
    <<SELF-REPORTED LOCAL TIME: 23:26>>

    It’s so cold out here, Ranni. I miss you. But over the past months, I’ve kind of…forgot how to live. I don’t even know if Damaé ever figured out that I did not drown in the mud flats on Talus, but at this point, it does not interest me. Nothing does. I have attempted to make natural paint from plants in the steppe, but there’s nothing I am willing to paint. This place is abundant of beautiful sunsets and sunrises, but at this point, nothing is beautiful anymore to me. I just cannot see myself growing old here.

    To me, Tralus is dark. Sure it has day, night and all, just like Talus did, but I feel like I am looking at everything through extremely dark glareshades. I get out at night only and keep myself shut in the cabin during the day. There was this time that I had light in me and was the light myself, in a way, but I can no longer see it and feel it running through my veins. It may be the result of the rain season that the steppe is notorious for, because I can almost feel the pain in my bones from all the moist, or maybe I feel cornered. Maybe there is something awful waiting for me.

    If you would see me again, would you be able to recognise me? I hope so. At this point, even the ombre on my fur is gone. That’s right. I don’t even bother using my black dye, not even after this most recent pack nearly cost me life. I am more or less my old self - a plain tan Drall with a thick black stripe down his spine. And yes, elsewhere, if you must know. I never said this, but it was the reason I was not with any girls before you. One of the reasons, at least, I was probably traumatised by everything and everybody around me even before I came to this world.

    The more the real peeks from underneath the assumed black Drall spacer identity, the more I hate it. And the way I look speaks for the way I am inside, and I look unkempt and dirty, just like the steppe around me. Just like the place I live in. Of course that I got it for free. This cabin is not even properly isolated! There is so much humidity, that it gets underneath the clothes. It penetrates through one’s bones. It gets right into your heart. And then you’re drowning in a toxic mixture of whatever is falling from the atmosphere and your conflicting emotions. I don’t even need a flood to drown. Sadness and alcohol are enough. And I have more of them that at any given point in my life.

    Sometimes I wish I had known better. Sometimes I think everything is your fault. You know, I should have run away the first time you smiled to me and I should have told them that I cannot do this. Or I could have ignored my urges and your kindness and make the best out of this instead. Kriff it. I could have been the next Lylek. Had I obeyed and worked in my interest only, I would have been a progressive artist minding his own business, living in an arranged marriage, with Duchess Kasha’s blessings.

    Sometimes, I wish I had told the friends I made in exile who I was and that I had not told tell Zizi that he must, under all circumstances, never tell anybody. Perhaps they would have traced me down somehow and saved me? No. There is no chance they would have taken the responsibility of helping me hide if they knew. Nobody would. They would have been blinded by the light.

    Why do I talk about the light so much? At this point in my life, and I think it's the last grasp of sanity before the end of it all, I no longer see any kind of light. I’m going through something. Even Dingo called it depression, and…he does not look like the kind of a being who could be using words with…so many syllables. That is not even a joke, his wives are so simple that they are…similar to my mother’s family. They find it normal that Dingo provides for them. I don’t think they have had any credits in the last couple of years. Yet, even they know the word “depression”.

    Sometimes I think that there is such a thing as a universal language of sadness. And when you speak it, countless other sad voices speak together with you. Whoever is the most miserable individual in a specific place, he or she carries the weight of others’ sadness on own spine, or whatever other structure keeps them together. At this point in time, it’s got to be me.

    I’m barely holding by, Ranni. And I don’t even know why. Maybe it’s because this is the first life day I celebrated on my own. 45 and feeling half-dead.

    Dingo things I should have gone to Vasar and not here. Apparently, Vasar is a lot like Talus and therefore better than Tralus?! Is he longing for something he never had or is his sense of humour so twisted that he thinks my misadventures on this planet’s sister world are something I would like to repeat elsewhere? I am not sure if I should tell him to kriff off, laugh or wonder if there is any sort of danger looming over us.

    He doesn’t like it here much, either. The steppe is lonely, he says. But if nothing else, the soil is good. But he would like to go to west, he says. We are not that far from the Sea of Jarad, as I hinted, it’s a little further to the west than Rellidir is to the south.

    In my drunken stupor, I told him that I would gladly go there, but that it would remind me of my hiding place on Vagran, but he disagrees. He can’t quite make up if it’s good or bad.

    That place sounds like a heaven of dropouts. Except that it’s also hell. Selonians and Humans live in small fishermen’s towns, in harmony, but they get killed fishing, more than average spacers does in typical smuggling misadventures. And yes, that’s official statistics. Wait, no, half of them die in something called the Jarad Run. Low-altitude airspeeder racing for the kriff of it. But they all have nothing to lose, they’re all rejects.

    More hell than heaven, if you ask me.

    But Dingo has a love/hate thing with this place.

    His friend, Zaray Brochet, lived in one such town with his wife and two children and made enough to eventually move to Corellia.

    I asked him if Zaray was happy. Of course that he wasn't, he was beating up the children regularly and the son, Con, was neurotic the last time they all bothered to come for a reunion in Rellidir. And he apparently brought an annoying nerf-herder type along. The non-literate kind. But why do I care about all this?

    I must say that I don’t get Dingo all that much.

    What’s funny is that his name rhymes with Mungo and he only talks about adventures, solely to remain on his stupid little farm and spend the nights getting away from the family and drinking with me. And Mungo is a rich brat who pursues his dreams just because he can.

    That was somewhat…ironic. Because I should have gone with Mungo. I would’ve ended up on that Roon planet and nobody would care to look for me there. Why, oh why did I not believe him?

    Ranni, Ranni, Ranni…I just realised I was repeating names. And the first time I recorded a message for you, I started it with your name. And you are the only real thing I am still holding on to. Ranni, Ranni, Ranni…I told Mungo, I mean Dingo, how much I loved you. He’s confused. And whenever I say that, I have another one, for you.

    Have I already told you that we drink a lot?

    We drink until we're close to blacking out. Then we go out and attempt to chart the stars and that is the closest that I'll ever get to that dream I had during my mud flats experience, the one where you and I are doing that and doing those other things that I would never do with Dingo. Or anybody ever again, with permanent lack of you in my life and this defective set of organs marked with a black stripe and now formally crossed out, too.

    Elamm once told me about watchers of stars. I think he meant something divine, not something like this. And then I wondered how blind we all are to watch

    Am I blind watching the stars if I'm drunk? And why do I only recognise Sacor, and why do I feel like it's preying on me? It's a small blue dot, for...well, its own sake!

    This exhausts me. I think I’ll skip Kaleo’s birthday dinner tomorrow and just numb myself at the log cabin.

    <<LOCAL TIME: 00:00>>
    <<RECORDING STOPPED>>>

    Mungo would get a kick out of the whole idea that somebody saw him in a more negative way than his family did. I...am dying to tell him about it. Dying. Kriffin' dying right here, right now!

    I...don't know. Also, a thought just crossed my mind. What if this Ranni is…no way? That’s impossible.




    Footnotes

    Vasar in the Vasar System is similar to Talus and therefore very hospitable to Talusians. The said fact is referenced only in the Suns of Fortune sourcebook.

    Sea of Jarad is a body of water on Tralus, known for horrible weather and dangerous waters. This causes various economic problems.

    The Jarad Run is a dangerous race across the Sea of Jarad in high-performance low-altitude airspeeders, as per Suns of Fortune.
     
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  24. Onderon1

    Onderon1 Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 18, 2008
    Oh, Lil ... yes, he's stopped running, but it seems pretty clear he wasn't ready to face what he was really running from. :(

    Let's hope he finds a good psychologist or therapist or someone ...
     
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  25. Findswoman

    Findswoman Kessel Run Champion star 5 VIP - Game Winner

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    Such a sad entry. ( Yes, per what you said in your most recent set of responses, EP, Lil definitely seems to be approaching the point of giving up. The fact that he's no longer finding artistic inspiration anymore is a huge red flag, and of course we saw that coming as he unloaded his artworks one by one along his journey. It's as though he's gradually trying to dissociate from that part of himself, which is an immensely sad thing, because we know what an integral part of him his art was. :(

    But here's what's more worrying to me: in the course of dissociating from that wonderful, artistic, positive part of himself, he seems to be regaining a different, much more negative part of himself: his addictive tendencies. The way he's drowning all his feelings in alcohol in the company of Dingo (who, besides this and his general unlettered, uncultured nature, seems basically OK otherwise) is disconcertingly reminiscent of those times very early in this story when he did the same sort of thing with spice (and I remember that in at least one early chapter he did seem pretty... strung out). What makes it all the more heartbreaking is that he did at one point kick his addiction, and it was something he was very proud of and that made him happier than he ever had been before—he said so again and again back on Aurea, and I wager he felt the same way on Vagran too (those two worlds being where he was at his best). If I were Ranni listening to this, my heart would be broken to hear of all the "another ones" this old flame of mine keeps having on my account—of course, that's if she ever does, which is looking less and less likely. =((

    In general, Lil seems to feel some important aspects of himself and his personality slipping away—Ranni, his love for her, his art, his true identity as told to Zizi, his confidence in the decisions he's made along the way about where to go (and I think going to Roon might have helped him if he'd taken the chance). But ironically, at the same time, this is happening at the time when he is finally giving up the black fur dye and going back to looking like "more or less my old self," with his tan fur and his black stripe. (And hmm, [hl=black]that is a very familiar-sounding black stripe[/hl]... and look, now this comment even has its own "black stripe"! :D )

    Love how you incorporate a sadder, darker take on the star-watching leitmotif here (well-known and well-loved from your Ewok oeuvres too ;) ). Trying to do so while drunk definitely seems like diametrically different activity than the more divine type of star-watching engaged in by Elamm (and yes, he may have been a little "woo-woo," but he was onto a thing or two) and by Teebo and Latara. Where those three see hope, brightness, and love gleaming out of the sky, Lil is probably seeing indistinct blurs of light that make him doubt his own sightedness and wonder if he has himself become blind. (And in a way, by giving up, he is letting a kind of blindness take him over. :( )

    Meanwhile, though, a flash of insight seems to have occurred to the faithful Listener named Charon. Well, when one light goes out, another one is kindled, I guess! ;)
     
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