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Saga - OT [DDC 2018] (Not) The Ballad of Ronen Syndulla-Jarrus | (OCs)

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by Raissa Baiard, Jul 9, 2018.

  1. Raissa Baiard

    Raissa Baiard Chosen One star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 22, 1999
    Title: (Not) The Ballad of Ronen Syndulla-Jarrus (and Noemi Bridger)
    Author: Raissa Baiard
    Timeframe: Saga, approx 24 ABY
    Genre: Humor, mush, angst
    Canonicity: AU, in the Marzra-verse continuity
    Characters: Ronen Syndulla-Jarrus (OC). Noemi Bridger (OC), Mentions of Kanan Jarrus, Hera Syndulla, Ezra Bridger, Ben Solo, and various OCs
    Synopsis: The journals of Ronen Syndulla-Jarrus, the teenage son of Kanan Jarrus and Hera Syndulla, and Noemi Bridger, daughter of Ezra and Mara Bridger.

    Notes: This story is written for the 2018 Dear Diary Challenge Half Marathon. The first two entries were previous posted as "Freaking Out: From the Journal of Ronen Syndulla-Jarrus" and serve as a kind of prologue and introduction to the characters

    The Story So Far, or Wait, Why Is Kanan Still Alive?

    The short answer is that the Marzra-verse was created halfway through Rebels Season 3 and I’ve never ret-conned it to be compliant. :D So, for all intents and purposes, the events of Season 4 never occurred in this universe. Instead, the Spectres went to Yavin after the destruction of Chopper Base and stayed there to join in the larger fight. During this time, one of their missions brought them to the planet Merkesh to work with a Rebel cell called the Idiot’s Array. Ezra met and fell in love with his contact, Mara Jade Blayne (an AU Mara who had never been taken away from her family). Shortly after the Battle of Yavin, Mara formally joined the Alliance and went to Yavin, where she, Ezra and Kanan began training Luke Skywalker as a Jedi.

    Several months later, Hera discovered she was pregnant; Kanan proposed and the two were married just before the evacuation of Yavin.

    After the Battle of Endor, Mara and Ezra were married. They, along with Mara’s family and Kanan, Hera and their son Jacen, moved to Lothal to help restore the planet and establish a new Jedi Academy near the Jedi temple.

    Ronen Syndulla-Jarrus: Kanan and Hera’s youngest child, age 17
    Appearance: has unruly brown hair and short, blunt lekku, patterned with light orange stripes, green eyes

    Personality: As a child, Ronen was naturally inquisitive and exuberant, though over the years, that enthusiasm has been tempered by his self-consciousness over his mixed heritage and his self-doubt. Has a sense of humor though it runs to snark by his teens. Perceptive and intelligent, but he doesn’t see it in himself. Due to his experience as an outsider, he will take the side of the underdog or the outcast every time.

    Noemi Bridger: Ezra and Mara’s daughter, age 16
    Appearance: auburn hair, blue green eyes

    Personality: Intelligent, capable and fiercely loyal to those she cares about. A good student, well liked at school, but generally unconcerned with popularity or cliques. Inherited the beast-warden talent from Ezra, bonded with a Loth-cat named Spots.

    Ayelet Syndulla-Jarrus: Kanan and Hera’s daughter, age 19
    Appearance: Green skin, slightly lighter than Hera’s. Her lekku are similarly patterned but shorter than a baseline Twi’lek’s.

    Personality: Ayelet is creative and empathetic. She combines Hera’s nurturing side with Kanan’s meditative side. Very in tune with the living Force in nature (hears the Force whispering in the breeze). Would rather mediate to find a peaceful solution than use her lightsaber. Keeps in touch with her Aunt Sabine for artistic advice.

    Jacen Syndulla-Jarrus: Kanan and Hera’s oldest son, age 24
    Appearance: emerald green hair worn in a queue, green eyes, has a smattering of pale green spots across his nose and cheeks.

    Personality: “Born to fly, just like his mother”, he’s a gifted pilot and navigator and will soup up anything mechanical. He has Hera’s decisive leadership abilities, and is confident and courageous.

    Caleb Bridger: Ezra and Mara’s son, age 18.
    Appearance; blue-black hair, blue eyes

    Personality: humorous and easygoing—but has Mara’s temper if pushed too far. Feels more at home switching between the Jedi Academy and NLUPS than Ronen does. Caleb is the star grav-ball kicker for the NLUPS Loth-wolves as well as an exceptional lightsaber duelist. Plays quetarra for fun


    At Northern Lothal Unified Preparatory School

    Mistress Eupraxia: Composition and Galactic Literature teacher at NLUPS.Svivreni

    Master Feipel: Modern Galactic Civilization teacher. Human.

    Master Farn: Chemistry teacher. Bith

    Maatko Fridlos: Rodian math geek, captain of the dejarik team. Pale green, very thin. One of Ronen’s few friends at NLUPS.

    Zofi Sirar: An attractive Twi’lek in Ronen’s class.

    At the Jedi Academy

    Doran Blayne: Mara’s father. Escaped Order 66 as a padawan and sold his lightsaber crystals to buy a new identity. Formerly a cantina owner/Rebel cell leader, he now serves as joint headmaster of the Jedi Academy with Kanan.

    Raissa (Baiard) Blayne: Mara’s mother. A former Imperial prefect. Discovered she was Force-sensitive in her 20’s and chose to train as a Jedi with Doran while she used her position to work within the system. Now battlemaster at the Jedi Academy.

    Diary Journal of Ronen Syndulla-Jarrus
    Primeday, 04/07 3301 LY


    So...this is my journal. It’s an assignment, obviously. Mistress Eupraxia says it’s supposed to help us become “aware of ourselves and our feelings,” whatever that means. What is it with adults and feelings anyway? My teachers at NLUPS (that’s Northern Lothal Unified Prep School—Noemi says it sounds like a nerf slurping on a salt block :p) want me to “get in touch with my feelings”. My Jedi instructors tell me to “search my feelings”. Can I be less aware of my feelings, please?

    I feel fine, thanks for asking.

    So, yeah, about me… okay. My name is Ronen Syndulla-Jarrus. My mom is a general. My dad’s a Jedi Master. No pressure there, right? Me… I’m just kind of the family freak. Because Mom’s a Twi’lek and Dad’s a Human, and I lost the genetic crapshoot between the two species.

    My older brother, Jacen, looks Human except that he has green hair and these pale green spots on his face. Girls think he looks exotic. My sister, Ayelet, looks just like Mom, except her lekku are a little shorter, so guys think she’s gorgeous. I’m the youngest and I have this mop of brown hair that won’t do anything and these weird short, striped lekku that don’t do much except twitch a little when I’m annoyed or angry. I’d pull my hair back like Dad and Jacen do, but it doesn’t work so well with the lekku in the way. I’ve thought about shaving it off, but my head has kind of a weird shape…. Anyway, all of this means that no girl will give me the time of day.

    Well, except Noemi, and she doesn’t count, because she’s like my best friend and also my… niece? Cousin? Something? I don’t know; relationships are a little weird in my family. I guess technically Uncle Ezra isn’t related to me and so neither is Noemi, but we might as well be. We’re only year apart, but we’re in a lot of the same classes—only she’s good at everything, and I’m pretty much just the class freak.

    If I was going to get stuck with having both lekku and hair, why couldn’t my hair look like Ben Solo’s? Why do all the girls like him, anyway? It’s got to be the hair, right? The brooding? (I’m brooding! I’m angsty! Why doesn’t anyone like me?) Seriously, I’d vote him Most Likely to Join the Dark Side, except Dad and Master Blayne don’t allow that kind of stuff… When I told Noemi that, she just gave me the Look. I think she’s got a thing for him, too. (Really, Noemi? I thought you were smarter than that.)

    Mistress Eupraxia told us to pick a word that we think best describes us. I don’t know… maybe “half-and-half”? Since I’m half Twi’lek and half human? And I spend half my time at NLUPS and half at the Jedi Academy, because Dad and Master Blayne think the Jedi shouldn’t isolate themselves? Or does that count as three words? Whatever...it’s better than “freak”, which is what I really feel like most of the time. Noemi says to stop calling myself that, but how else am I supposed to describe myself when I look the way I do? When I don’t fit in anywhere? When I’m the weird Jedi kid in NLUPS, and not just that but the kid whose parents get talked about in history class? I guess that part’s true of Noemi and Caleb, too, but they handle it better than I do. I think it’s easy for Noemi, because she’s smart and beautiful (wait, can I say that about a girl I’m practically related to? See, I told you I was weird.)

    Anyway— this is me in a yubnut shell, Ronen Syndulla-Jarrus. Half human, half Twi’lek. Prep school student. Jedi padawan. Freak.

    Noemi’s Journal (All others stay out)
    04/07 3301


    Mistress Eupraxia assigned us to write a journal for three months—and I have no idea what I’m supposed to say in this thing. I’m so not the type of girl who keeps a diary. Dear diary—today I wore my fuchsia sequin glitterskirt to school and the cute boy who sits behind me in lab looked at me! Tee hee hee.. Ugh, no thanks! I will write the daily weather forecast for the Northern Plains before I will lower myself to writing that kind of poodoo. It was another beautiful sunny day with sixty percent humidity and light variable winds from the southwest….

    All right, since I have to, I guess I should tell you something about myself. My name is Noemi Jade Bridger, and before you ask, yes that Bridger. My dad is Ezra Bridger, the most famous person to come from Lothal in like...ever. I mean, I get why he’s the homeworld hero—he basically went from being a street kid to a commander in the Rebellion and then came back to help found the new Jedi Academy here—but to me, he’s just Dad, you know?

    Mistress Eupraxia told us to pick one word that best describes us (which is pretty limiting, really. Shouldn’t we be more than just one thing?) and I guess I’d have to say “invisible”, because all anyone sees when they look at me is the Hero of Lothal’s daughter. I feel like I have to be perfect at everything and still no one sees me. I wish someone would notice me for something besides my last name. (I wish Ben Solo would notice me for anything...oh good skies, did I just write that? No one’s reading this, right?)

    Anyway, there are really only two beings who understand me...and one of them is a Loth-cat, Spots. (Yes, I know it’s a lame name, but I didn’t give it to her, it’s what she calls herself. She’s very proud of her spots). Ever since I can remember, Loth-cats have liked me—I get that from Dad—but Spots and I just connect. Most people think she’s my pet, but she’s a lot more than that. It’s almost like...like she’s Force-sensitive or something, the way we can understand each other. But I don’t tell many people that or they’d think I’m crazy.

    The only one I can talk to about stuff like that is Ronen… he gets it. He’s a Jedi, too, and his parents are just about as famous as Dad. He’s my best friend—has been since we were little. We’re both the youngest in our families, so we always got stuck together. I don’t mind, though, he’s funny and smart, even if he is really hard on himself. He’s kind of hung up on the fact that he has hair and lekku, when most half-Twi’leks only have one or the other. I’ve tried to tell him that A) he doesn’t look bad, I mean, have you seen some of the strange species out there? and B) so what if the girls at NLUPS don’t pay attention to him, most of them aren’t worth it anyway. But he doesn’t listen to me. :(

    Oh hey, I managed to get more than 500 words written! Go me! I guess this means I’m done...at least until tomorrow. Sigh...stupid journal…
     
    Sith-I-5, Kahara, divapilot and 3 others like this.
  2. Raissa Baiard

    Raissa Baiard Chosen One star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 22, 1999
    Thanks to @Findswoman for beta-reading and helping me keep my angsty teen Jedi on track @};-

    Journal of Ronen Syndulla-Jarrus, the Galaxy’s lamest padawan
    Centaxday, 15/07 3301


    Okay, so I have literally nothing to put in this journal.

    When my parents were my age, Dad was on the run, hiding after Order 66. Mom was learning to be a pilot so she could fight the Empire. Me? I go to school. Yeah, really fascinating, I know. No one wants to read about my life. *I* don’t even want to read about my life. But if you really want to hear about a day in the life of the Galaxy’s lamest padawan, here goes…

    I overslept. Again. Which meant I was awakened by the melodious sound of Chopper’s emergency alert: BWOP BWOP BWOP! Turned up to eleven. In my ear. Thanks, Chop—I love you, too. Chopper—his real designation is C1-10P—is Mom’s astromech droid from way back during the Clone Wars. He’s like part of the family in a way, though...that annoying relative that always knows What’s Best for You, part nanny, part drill sergeant. Jacen tells me Chopper goes easy on me because I’m the baby. I can’t even imagine what he must have been like when Jacen was a little kid.

    I had just enough time to throw on my clothes and bolt down some caf and a ration bar. Dad and Ayelet were already at the Academy, which just left Mom to frown over my lack of a Proper Breakfast and how much caf I was drinking. (Okay, but if she wants me to stay awake for ModGalCiv, I need my caf. It’s either that or FizzyGlug TurboCharge, and she says that has too much sugar.)

    Dashed out the door and hopped on my jump speeder; the engine’s been making this weird noise like it’s going “topato topato topato” and today it started belching thick black smoke that smelled like the time Uncle Zeb made the caf for Life Day brunch. The bike used to be Jacen’s, and he’s got it modded four ways from Benduday. I, however, am doing good to get mechanical stuff to run under normal circumstances, so when one of his special mods comes loose, I have no idea how to fix it. He won’t be back from Capital City until Primeday, so unless I can get Mom to look at tonight, I’ll have to put up with it until then.

    Got to NLUPS just in time for the first bell. Centaxday is Chemistry, Comp and Lit, and ModGalCiv—Modern Galactic Civilization, my least favorite class. I know what you’re thinking—“But Ronen, ModGalCiv is practically the story of your family!” Yeah, exactly. Do you want to go to class everyday and have them talk about the awesome things your whole family did during the war, while everyone looks at you and thinks, “what happened to you then, freak?” So I sit as far in the back as possible and hope no one asks any questions about the Jedi Council or the Free Ryloth Movement or the Battle of Endor, because Master Feipel will ask what I think. He hasn’t figured out that A.) this is not what my family talks about at dinner time and B.) when the teacher asks you for answers, it makes you look like a boot-licking know-it-all.

    Chemistry is a little better, except that chemistry means labs and labs means lab partners—and that’s a problem when you’re the least popular guy in class. Usually, I can manage to get Noemi or Maatko (Maatko Fridlos, captain of the dejarik team, certified genius and second most unpopular guy in class. Also my best friend besides Noemi, because us losers have to stick together). But Master Farn likes to “shake things up” by using a random number generator to assign us partners—oh those wacky Bith!—and today the random fate generator paired me up with Zofi Sirar. Zofi is a Twi’lek and she is...how can I put this…hot. (Yeah, Noemi, I know you hate that word...but she is.) She has these incredible long blue lekku, and she wears these clingy tunics and has like perfect skin and a perfect smile and perfect makeup and just generally looks perfect all the time. Normally, she would not—and does not—give me a second glance. And I’m okay with that, but today I figured as long as we were working together, it couldn’t hurt to make some conversation, right? My clever opening gambit? “So, hey, Zofi, how are you?”

    Yeah, I could tell I had her interested when she answered with a noise that sounded like “meh.” I continued the witty banter: “It’s, uh, a nice day out there.”

    I didn’t think it was possible for anyone to roll their eyes as far as she did. “Ronen,” she said, clicking her tongue and signing something extremely rude with her lekku (hey, I may not be able to speak lekku, but I can still understand it!). “Just do the experiment.”

    “Yeah, okay.” So since conversation was not going to happen, I measured out the 12 grams of sulfur we needed…

    It was supposed to be 2 grams.

    Instead of producing a “mildly unpleasant odor” when it ignited like Master Farn said, it was an incredibly, horribly and unbelievably foul odor. The whole class was coughing, I started gagging, trying not to throw up on Zofi and my lekku were twitching like a couple of spastic flobber worms. We had to evacuate the classroom because, hey, sulfur vapors are caustic! Fun!

    I figure whatever infinitesimal chance I had with Zofi is dead now.

    The upside is that we got to go to lunch early. The downside is because I was running late, I left my lunch at home. The upside to that is I didn’t feel like eating anyway, because the smell of burning sulfur was permanently lodged in my nostrils. (And my hair. My jacket. My shirt. You get the idea.)

    After lunch was Composition and Galactic Literature with Mistress Eupraxia; we are studying the sonnets of the Rodian poet and playwright W’lem Jakspeeir. His love sonnets, to be specific...yes, seriously. A bunch of teens, most of whom think that Shaya Stari’s “Ma Swets Patogga” is a great love song (it’s not—she rhymes “patogga” with “dianoga”, and that’s just wrong) and she’s making us read love sonnets that are like a thousand years old. And even better, Mistress Eupraxia insists that to truly appreciate them, they must be read aloud. Guess who she picked today? If you said me—ding ding! You win the prize! Everyone was watching me, while I was trying not to look at any of them, especially not the girls, especially not Zofi, not after what happened in Chemistry. And I could just feel my lekku getting warm the whole time I was reciting: “‘Shall I compare thee to a thinnekk tree? Thou art greener and more nubby yet! Bark-gnawers mar the greenest tree, and in the swamp it turns to rot!’”

    Wanna know the worst part? Mistress Eupraxia applauded when I was done. Really. She told me I’d done an excellent job capturing the spirit of Jakspeeir’s words and she hoped I would try out for drama club. Yeah, because everyone wants to watch the school freak on stage. No thanks. I’ll pass.

    And that was just half my day...after school I had just enough time to take a sonic and get the smell of sulfur off, raid the conservator for leftovers, and get some homework done before I had more classes, this time at the Jedi Academy. You’d think that it would be easier for me there, wouldn’t you? I mean, half the teachers are related to me and the others have known me since I was born. But sometimes it almost feels harder there than it does at NLUPS. There’s just something a little weird about your teachers being family; like my dad is the one teaching the philosophy of the Force, shouldn’t I understand this stuff better than I do? And...I still don’t feel like I fit in anywhere. I may not be the freak here, but there’s nothing special about me. Jacen’s a mechanical genius and an ace pilot, Ayelet’s an artist, Caleb’s like crazy good with a lightsaber, and Noemi’s got the whole beast-warden thing going on. Me, I’m just there, just blah… pretty disappointing when you’re the headmaster’s son. Definitely disappointing when there are guys like Ben Solo around.

    Okay, I’m a Jedi, so I don’t hate Ben, but he annoys the snot out of me. It’s like he has to be the most Jedi Jedi ever, if you know what I mean. Like we don’t have to wear our robes unless we’re representing the Academy or the Temple (Master Blayne says he seriously doubts the Force cares what we’re wearing), but Ben is always in robes, probably even sleeps in them. And he can’t just wear them because he wants to, he has to look sideways at everyone else for wearing regular clothes instead. He would have to be part of my meditation group and my saber cohort and in my philosophy class—and that’s the worst part, because he always has an answer and he’s always so right. Like today...he was trying to convince Dad that our new Order shouldn’t accept adult trainees and should discourage attachment like the Old Order did. “Master Simikarty’s writings in the Teyan Apologia were accepted doctrine for thousands of years,” he argued. “Is it really wise of us to abandon them now?”

    The old non-attachment doctrine is one of those things that really fries my diodes. Saying Jedi must be unattached is like saying Dad, Master and Mistress Blayne, and Uncle Ezra and Aunt Mara are a bunch of heretics. It’s like saying Jacen and Ayelet and I shouldn’t even be here. So I was less than emotion-yet-peace when I shot back, “Yeah, but a lot of the stuff in them about non-attachment and training infants were political decisions because of the whole Pius Dea thing.” (See, Solo, you’re not the only one who knows stuff) “Isn't it more important that we seek the will of the Fork…”

    Yeah, I actually said “the will of the Fork”.

    I guess that’s what happens when you have more emotion than peace. Snickers erupted all over the classroom—fortunately Dad is really good at squashing That Kind of Nonsense—but Ben just tossed his perfectly coiffed hair and sneered at me. If Dad hadn’t been the instructor, I would have spent the rest of class making myself invisible in the Force, which is one technique I happen to be really good at. I’ve had lots of practice.

    Somehow I got through lightsaber katas without making a fool myself or cutting off my own foot or impaling myself, which would not actually have surprised me with the day I’ve been having.

    Well, there you go, a typical day for me—and I think it just goes to show why there will never be a “Ballad of Ronen Syndulla-Jarrus”.

    Notes:
    Shaya Stari and her hit song "Ma Swets Patogga" (Huttese for "My Sweet Patootie" :)) are fanon
    Master Simikarty and the Teyan Apologia are canon and do seem to be the source of the non-attachment doctrine.
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2018
    bango31, divapilot, Ewok Poet and 2 others like this.
  3. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    OW! That is one interesting, but I sure don't want to have another one like it kind of day! [face_laugh] Zofi's reactions certainly don't ramp up the self-esteem do they? :eek: She may not have an oversized ego, but if she is "used" to guys thinking she's "perfect" & gushy about it, she won't think anything of someone who's shy and not full of empty compliments. Then of course the lab mishap didn't help. And wow, it's a shame that the Jedi classes are a source of more awkwardness :( but you can understand why.

    Whew, these feelings are totally what one would encounter and feel during those churned up hormonal years [face_laugh] ... some of it you just have to slog through :p but at the same time, you wanna get to the other side and feel good about yourself, and also believe the ones who're telling you you're fine, ;) and that ordinary and normal folks is pretty much the majority of everyone, except for the ones at the bottom and top of the intellectual heap.

    [face_thinking]

    =D=
     
  4. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    [face_dancing] [face_dancing] [face_dancing] RONEN!! [face_dancing] [face_dancing] [face_dancing]

    Oh, I’m so glad to see this! What a wonderful idea to give the lovably snarky hero of “Freaking Out” and “A Freak Like Me” his own diary—I enjoyed Ronen (and Noemi too) so much in both of those, and I’ve been excited about this diary project every since you first mentioned it to me. (And I apologize for taking my dear time to comment on it too; that in no way means I wasn’t excited about it.) You have a real talent for capturing the teen voices of the GFFA, and you’re really

    I know you were uncertain at first how to structure this first entry, and I have to say I think the “terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad day” approach turned out to be an absolutely perfect choice. What better way could there be to introduce us at once to the character and to his everyday experience—an everyday experience that’s as hybrid as he is, in a way, with both regular high school and the Jedi Academy, and the feeling of not totally fitting in in either place, in either everyday. It’s a real treat to experience Ronen’s no-good day right along with him, alternately feeling for him and laughing (with him, not at him! But how can I not when the black smoke spewing from the speeder is described as smelling like “the time Uncle Zeb made the caf for Life Day brunch!” [face_laugh] [face_laugh] (Uncle Zeb probably thought the stuff smelled divine, too! :p ) Truly, there are so many hilarious moments in this that I would be here all day if I tried to list them all!

    Of course along we also learn as much about Ronen as much as we do about his everyday experiences. In some ways it was really a pretty OK day—Mistress Eupraxia’s compliment, for example, and the fact that saber class went pretty much aiight—so I wonder if some of the “terrible, horrible” feeling comes ultimately out of Ronen’s own self-consciousness. (Not a bad thing, and completely natural for his age.) Heck, even Ronen’s reply to Ben (and I love how you’ve transformed him into Mr. Annoying Emo!Jedi here) in Jedi history class was pretty much spot on except for the “fork” bit (which I take to mean he was just hungry at the time :p ); Ronen clearly knows his stuff here about the Pius Dea business, and if all he got was a flick of that Perfectly Coiffed Head in return—well, things could have gone a bunch worse. So on the whole, things are not totally terrible and horrible.

    Which leads me to my next big observation about Ronen. He claims again and again that he’s just a cipher—the “school freak,” a “nobody,” and similar—but some really distinctive qualities come through in this entry, and I don’t mean the unusual lekku/hair combination that has him so self-conscious. First, despite his protestations about how he has LITERALLY NOTHING TO WRITE (and that was a masterful way to start this entry), Ronen clearly has a way with words and an understanding of what makes for good verbal expression, as we see in his aside about the “patogga”/“dianoga” rhyme in one of the pop songs of his era (very clever touch there). Mistress Eupraxia’s compliment on his recitation of the Jakspeeir sonnet (another extremely clever touch that made me smile like a Cheshire Loth-cat) suggests that those verbal abilities apply in the realm of delivery too—I too think he wouldn’t be half bad in drama club, and I wonder if he eventually will go that route, despite his feelings on it now. (Which are very understandable; getting up in front of a class to recite centuries-old love poetry to everyone is by no means the easiest thing to do when one is an awkward teen.) And then, on the Jedi Academy side of things, he describes all the special abilities of his siblings and of his Bridger “cousins,” while insisting that he’s got Nothing Special Going On—but then later mentions offhand that he’s especially adept at making himself invisible in the Force, which of course is a very distinct ability that’s different from any of those others he mentioned. And that makes me think...
    ...that this young fellow could be Jedi Shadow material. Indeed, I wonder too whether he might be one of those rare few who have the ability of finta sempli, the ability to pass oneself off as a non-Force-sensitive... [face_thinking]
    On top of all that, of course, he is clearly a loyal friend and a loving family member—characteristics not at all surprising for a Spectre descendant. [face_love] Of course, there are struggles there, too: we see from Ronen’s experiences in both Master Feipel’s ModGalCiv class and the Jedi Academy that it can be hard being the descendant of Great People who have Done Great Things, and that there’s a lot of misunderstanding around it too. (E.g., gosh, no, of course the S-Js don’t chat about the Free Ryloth Movement or the Battle of Endor at dinnertime!) But it’s loyalty and caring and love that are the greatest legacy Ronen’s parents have passed on to him—and although it may be hard for him to see now, those things will count for a lot, even on days when the Galaxy seems to be full of nothing but Ben Solos and Zofi Sirars. I know you have wonderful things planned for this bright and awesome young fellow, and I can’t wait to see how he’ll grow over the course of this diary—i know he will! :)
     
  5. Raissa Baiard

    Raissa Baiard Chosen One star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 22, 1999
    Ronen thinks every day is like that, whether it really is or not :p He's not exactly shy, but he's awkward--partly because he's just at that age and partly because he's convinced himself that he's the school freak. Though he could probably shower Zofi with compliments and she would still turn up her perfect nose at him; that's the kind of girl she is.

    Yep, getting through those years can be a long process of figuring out who you are and what you stand for. Figuring that out can be really hard and uncomfortable at times; fortunately for Ronen, he has more people on his side than he realizes--his whole extended family and of course, his best friend, Noemi :) He's not nearly as ordinary or uninteresting as he thinks he is!

    Aww, well thank you so much! [face_love] And thank you so much for this fantastic comment. Your enthusiastic support really means a lot to me...and Ronen!

    Of course, I need to thank you for sparking the "Terrible, Horrible, No-good, Very Bad Day" idea. In a way, it's kind been a challenge to write a character who has a fairly ordinary day-to-day existence. I'm used to his parents and extended family and their Galaxy spanning adventures; it's a contrast to have the action be the kind of school day that could more or less happen in in our own galaxy--and it's a contrast that Ronen himself feels keenly. But all the little mishaps with wonky speeders, botched experiments, and annoyingly perfect schoolmates are of course the Worst Thing Ever to him. (Glad you enjoyed the bit about Uncle Zeb; it's fun to think how these characters look through the eyes of the next generation!)

    Yup, other than the sulfur experiment gone awry and his gaffe about the "will of the Fork", it really wasn't such an awful day. I think you've hit it on the head when you say most of the awfulness comes from his own feelings of of inadequacy--which as you say is pretty typical of the age. Emo!Ben Solo is my take on what Ben might have been like before he went all Knights of Ren. This is kind of a "Star Peace" AU; the Jedi have stronger leadership here, because it hasn't all fallen on Luke. I think that with the guidance of Kanan et al., it would have been harder for Ben to go full Sith...but he's as insecure in his own way as Ronen is.
    For a guy with literally nothing to write, he manages to say quite a bit. :) Ronen doesn’t really give himself enough credit for “knowing stuff” , either about Jedi history and philosophy or Galactic Literature, or his own abilities in the Force. To him, that talent at making himself invisible is just something he does, nowhere near as cool as his siblings and cousins’ talents, when as you note, it’s actually pretty rare and potentially useful. I’m glad you like my little bits of fanon culture; I really enjoy rounding out the Galaxy a bit. W’lem Jakspeeir's poetry appeared in Teenage Rebellion as one of Threepio’s suggestions of appropriate love poetry for a very smitten Luke; who knows, maybe Brrrruuns’ “My Love Is Like a Dead, Dead Wookiee” is on the syllabus, too! “My Swets Patogga” was my attempt to come up with an annoyingly lame pop song.
    He really does have a good heart underneath the awkwardness and uncertainty. As you say, what else would you expect of Kanan and Hera’s son? He’s still trying to find his place in the S-J legacy, but he’s got a great family to help him along the way—both his loving parents and siblings and the extended family of “aunts, “uncles”, and “cousins”, on Lothal and around the Galaxy—especially his best friend, Noemi, who gets to have her say next.
     
  6. Raissa Baiard

    Raissa Baiard Chosen One star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 22, 1999
    Thanks to Ronen’s biggest cheeerleader @Findswoman for beta reading [face_love]

    Noemi’s Journal (I will know if you read this, Caleb Ephraim Bridger!)
    15/07 3301


    Dear diary—today I wore my fuchsia sequin glitterskirt to school and the cute boy who sits behind me in lab looked at me! Tee hee hee..

    No, seriously…

    First of all, those glitterskirts look hideously uncomfortable. I read on the holonet that the reason they glitter is because they’ve got polynoreltin filaments in them—and you know prolonged exposure to that stuff causes seizures in laboratory Loth-rats. No thanks! I’ll stick with my usual leggings; they’re comfortable and a lot more practical. A Jedi cares not about fashion. (Except maybe Aunt Annina, but she’d never wear something that tacky.)

    Secondly, who cares if some guy looks at me? Today was further proof, like I needed any, that most of the guys at NLUPS are a bunch of nerf-headed moof-milkers anyway.

    It started with Dack Vinolo, of course. Any discussion of nerf-headed moof-milkers at school has to start with him—he has to be the moofiest milker to ever milk a moof. He plays fullback for the Loth-wolves; I don’t know how Caleb puts up with him. I guess he is good at grav-ball, because he’s built like a bantha and likes to trample people like a bantha. But even though the bantha is smarter and smells better half the time, Dack still thinks he’s the Force’s gift to females. Today, when Ronen, Maatko and I were headed to our usual table in the cafeteria, Dack was hitting on Kaia K’dari. Kaia’s a first year who just moved here from Jothal. She’s cute but painfully shy—like pocket hare in a Loth-wolf’s den shy—and some of the upper class guys like Dack think it’s fun to make her blush. She was sitting at table reading, or at least trying to, and Dack kept scooting closer and closer to her and she’d turn redder and redder and scoot away until she had like five millimeters left of bench before she fell off of it.

    I knew what Ronen was going to do—maybe even before he did. Ronen hates to see anyone being picked on; if there’s anything that can make him drop his “OMF I’m such a freak don’t look at me” line, it’s a bully. He handed Maatko his tray and tapped Dack on the shoulder. “Hey, Dack, I think you should find another seat.” He didn’t raise his voice or scowl at Dack; if you didn’t know him, you’d think he was perfectly calm. But I’ve known Ro forever, and I could see the tip of his left lek twitching slowly, exactly the way Spots’s tail twitches when she’s ready to swat someone.

    Dack looked up at him with a smirk. “Nah, I like it here. Kaia likes me here, don’t you, swets patogga?” He put one meaty, slab-like hand on Kaia’s shoulder; she squeaked and her eyes went as big and round as credits.

    Ronen’s lek started twitching faster; just like with Spots’s tail, the slow, lazy twitch means “you’re bothering me,” but that rapid twitch means “I warned you, look out’! His expression hardened, his eyebrows drawing together as he frowned. “Doesn't look to me like she does. Looks to me like she’d like to finish her book in peace. So maybe you should go someplace else. Now.”

    “What’re you gonna do about it, Jedi boy?” Dack’s smirk got even smirkier. Like I said, he loves to trample people, and if he can’t really be running over them on the grav-ball field, he’ll trample them metaphorically (though he probably doesn’t know what a metaphor is). Ronen’s always been one of his favorite targets. “Your daddy doesn’t let you bring your lightsaber to school.”

    Except that Ronen’s tougher and braver than he seems. He may be perfectly happy to sit in the back of the room and disappear most of the time, but he’s not about to let anyone else get hurt. He just shrugged at Dack. “Lightsabers are messy and there’s too much paperwork to fill out when I chop someone’s arm off. Besides…” And now he smirked, waving a hand in the “Jedi mind-trick” gesture. “Who needs a lightsaber when I can just give you dysentery instead?”

    “Huh?!”

    “Hey, I’ve got an idea, why don’t you go look it up?” Ronen leaned towards Dack, wiggling his fingers. “Or I could just demonstrate….”

    Maatko made the squealing snort—heeEEE HUNH HUNH HUNH!—that is Rodian laughter, or at least Rodian math geek laughter, I’m not quite sure which. Kaia clapped her hand over her mouth to hide a nervous giggle. Like all bullies Dack loves to laugh at you, but hates to think you’re laughing at him, especially for reasons he doesn’t understand. His face scrunched up like a kinrath pup’s. “Fine, I’m going.” Of course, he wasn’t going to let Ronen have the last word. He elbowed Maatko as he got up, nearly making him spill both trays of synthsteak and mashed topatoes. Then he turned to me with what was probably supposed to be a suave smile but looked more like he had indigestion and a twitch in his left eye. “Hey, Noemi, why don’t you ditch the freak and the loser and come sit with a real man instead?”

    Ooh, what a tempting offer…. But I wasn’t going to let him have the last word, either. “Sure, Dack. Find me one and I’ll consider it.” Dack‘s suave-or-whatever smile collapsed into a scowl and he stomped off, muttering under his breath that we were all clearly a bunch of losers.

    “You okay?” Ronen asked Kaia.

    “Yeah, thanks.” She gave him the tiniest bit of a smile, her face almost back to its normal color.

    Ronen grinned. “Any time.”

    “Could you really have given him dysentery?” Maatko asked as we sat down at our table. “I would not expect that would constitute a proper application of your abilities within the Force.”

    “I don’t know. I mean, theoretically, it should be possible. We can heal by putting things in the body back in balance, so if we unbalanced things…” Ronen stirred his topatoes thoughtfully and looked over to where Dack had joined some of the other senior guys. “Maybe I should try it and find out?”

    “Ronen!” I was pretty certain Maatko was right, and Uncle Kanan would consider that a Very Improper Use of the Force. Grandpa, on the other hand, might have thought it was kind of clever and even Acceptable Under Certain Circumstances. But both of them had agreed on how we padawans were supposed to behave outside the Academy, and one of the first rules… “We’re not supposed to use—or threaten to use—our Force abilities on other students…”

    “Yeah, but we’re supposed to protect people who need help, too, and Kaia definitely needed the help. I wouldn’t really have done it, but Dack thought I could and that’s what was important.” Ronen jabbed his spongy synthsteak viciously with his fork and started slicing it to bits. Like I said, he can’t stand to see anyone being picked on, and really, I can’t blame him. If I could go back and put the fear of the Force into those barves who teased him when he started school, I would. Since that’s not possible, I’ll just have to help him keep barves like Dack in line—even if it does mean fudging the rules a bit. He looked up from the tiny cubes of meat-ish substance that were left on his plate with a shrug. “Anyway, I think Dad would be pleased that I settled things without resorting to physical means.”

    “Indeed! Dack easily outweighs you by a factor of 1.5.” Maatko’s antennae swiveled like miniature satellite dishes as he ran the calculations in his mind. “I would estimate you would last a mere 3.15 minutes in an altercation with him.”

    “Hey!” Ronen protested. “We Jedi do have mad Force body skills, did you factor that into your equation? Anyway…” He looked aside with a sly grin, the same one he used to get when he’d sneak the last of the Life Day Wookiee Cookies and hide them for the two of us where the older cousins couldn’t find them. “Dack was wrong. I do have my lightsaber with me.”

    “What?!” Maatko and I yelped at the same time.

    “Yeah.” His grin spread to Loth-catlike proportions. “I designed it in two pieces, just like Dad’s. Easier to fit in my satchel that way, plus it doesn’t register as a weapon when it’s detached. I figure if I could add a functioning blaster like your dad’s first saber, it’d be just about perfect.” He shrugged at the dumbfounded looks on our faces. “Hey, no matter what Dad says, you never know where you might need your lightsaber!”

    Some days I can’t decide if Ronen is insane or completely brilliant.

    Anyway, guys like Dack make me think I’m better off sticking with Jedi guys. They’re just more mature—or at least less immature. Not that they’re all bad at NLUPS, but there’s definitely no one there like Ben…

    Okay, there, I said it… This is the part where, if I was that kind of girl, I’d be writing Dear Diary, I am in love with Ben Solo… Maybe “love” isn’t exactly the right word, but there’s no one at NLUPS who makes me feel this way, that’s for sure! I know that half the girls at the Academy have crushes on him, but they’re all about his dark, wavy hair and his smoldering eyes— Well, yes, his hair is really (really, really, really...) nice, and his eyes...if I said they smolder sometimes when he’s thinking, would I sound like the kind of girl who writes about glitterskirts and cute boys in her diary? Because they do, kind of…. And while those things are great and all, what I really like about Ben is that he’s just so focused. So intense. So devoted to the Jedi Order. So different from the guys at NLUPS who don’t think of anything besides grav-ball, pod racing and hot girls. (And, ugh, I hate that! We’re in the 34th century now, and females are still being judged by the way we look?!) :p

    If only I could get him to notice me, I know Ben would look at me as more than just a pretty (I guess? Pretty-ish anyway?) face. And I know he’d see me as more than just my last name…
     
  7. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Dack is so obnoxious, and so I ADORED every single way Ronen put him in his place [face_laugh] =D= [face_laugh] =D= I know Kaia is grateful! :eek:

    Noemi's insights and musings were so wonderfully snarky and on-point. I like that she crushes on Ben not just for his "hot looks" but for his "grown up" demeanor as well. Naturally she wants to be noticed for all her qualities, looks and personality, both. She has standards though. She's not going to pretend to be something she's not just to get him to notice. [face_thinking]

    You can see already that Ronen's experiences with bullies has made him more compassionate and proactive when someone is being picked on. [face_love] So of course the point of comparison came to my mind: if Ben had seen Kaia being harassed, would he have stepped in or been oblivious, maybe not heartless but self-absorbed?
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2018
    Findswoman and Raissa Baiard like this.
  8. Raissa Baiard

    Raissa Baiard Chosen One star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 22, 1999
    Isn’t he, though? Sadly there are people, usually guys but not always, who see that kind of harassment as a game, and even view their victims’ attempts not to engage as further encouragement. Luckily for Kaia, Ronen is on hand and neither his training as a Jedi nor his experience being bullied will let him stand idly by.
    Thanks:) Like her mother before her, Noemi has inherited a double dose of snark ( the snark is strong in this one...), and just like Mara, she wants to be seen as a whole person, not just a pretty face, and likewise (and again, very similar to her mom :) ) nice hair and gorgeous eyes might be a plus, but she’s looking for someone who has character and honor, too. And I’d say she gets the unpretentiousness from both her parents!
    Oh, definitely! And this where his character gets to shine; it would be easy for him to take the “don’t notice me” attitude to extremes, but he’s willing to take on the bully who’s picked on him for Kaia’s sake. I know his parents would be proud—this exactly the “standing up for the oppressed” values Kanan and Hera have always shown. It may be on a smaller scale, but to Kaia, it makes just as big a difference. And that’s a really good question about Ben [face_thinking] My thoughts are that he would not have noticed her in the first place, because he is so concerned with the Big Issues and the Right Forms of being a Jedi that he doesn’t always see the places where he could put the Jedi Code into action.
     
  9. Raissa Baiard

    Raissa Baiard Chosen One star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 22, 1999
    Thanks to @Findswoman for beta-reading [:D]

    Noemi’s Journal (home of the Ronen Syndulla-Jarrus Visibility Project!)
    21/07 3301


    Sometimes I think being a Jedi has to be the coolest thing in the Galaxy.

    Not because we have lightsabers or we can do mind tricks or levitate objects or any of those flashy things people think of when they think of Jedi, but because sometimes you get these feelings in the Force and you know you’re doing exactly what you’re supposed to be. It doesn’t happen very often, but when it does, it’s pretty amazing.

    It happened to me today.

    I know it’s going to sound silly when I say what happened, because, well, it’s kind of a tiny thing in the Galactic scheme of things. I mean, it’s not like the Force told me to leave home and join the Rebellion and start training more Jedi (Mom) or join a Rebel cell, find the Jedi temple, restore a planet and start a new order (Dad), but every Force leading can’t be like that, right? And the Jedi are supposed to help people and that doesn’t always have to be some huge thing, does it? Maybe what seems like a tiny thing could turn into something big and Galactic down the line? Or maybe it just matters because we all matter to the Force. I don’t know, but I do know that I had one of those awesome Jedi moments at lunch.

    Somehow you never think of Jedi moments happening over sack lunches in a noisy cafeteria, but I guess the Force is everywhere and in everything, so why not? It all started when we were discussing our journals; Ronen was complaining that he never knows what to write in his. I could relate. I haven’t had to resort to writing the forecast for the Northern Plains yet, but sometimes it’s been close. Sometimes my life just feels so ho-hum...and I know everyone thinks being a Jedi is Always! Really! Exciting! But it isn’t all lightsaber duels and chasing bad guys. It’s a lot of practice and meditation and focus. And, wow, how boring does that stuff sound when you write it down?

    Not to Maatko, though; he’s all about order and precision and routine. His snout wrinkled up in confusion as Ronen and I commiserated over the lack of excitement in our journals. “But think, these chronicles will leave a fascinating glimpse of our daily lives for our progeny!”

    “Progeny?!” Ronen nearly choked on his schroomchips. “Maatko, in case you haven’t noticed, girls find me completely resistible. So unless I decide to clone myself, I’m not gonna have any ‘progeny’!”

    Ronen’s my best friend, and I love him, but he’s so down on himself. Honestly, I get kind of tired of his pessimism sometimes. I was half tempted to throw one of Maatko’s Protein Puffs at him. “Oh, stop it, Ro. Just because Zofi and her stuck-up friends are too nerf-headed to see that you’re a good guy doesn’t mean no one ever will.”

    “Really? Have you looked at me lately!?” He waved a hand at himself—his face, his hair, his lekku. “It would take an act of the Force for me to get a date!”

    “I bet I could do it.”

    And there it was: my Jedi moment. I don’t know exactly why I said it, but as soon as I did, I knew—Yes! I could do it! I should do it! I needed to!

    Ronen frowned at me. “What?”

    “I bet I could help you get a date.”

    “Yeah, right.” He snorted. “I bet not.”

    “Ooh, a wager has been proposed!” Maatko’s silver-black eyes lit up and his antennae wriggled. “Very intriguing! What are you terms, Noemi?”

    “Um, okay.” I hadn’t meant it literally as a bet, but Maatko is such a concrete thinker. He would pick up on the idea, because wagers meant odds and odds meant calculations and glorious, glorious numbers. And, hey, maybe I could make it work for me. Maybe if it was a challenge, Ronen would take some action, instead of sitting in the back of the room, pretending to be invisible, like always. “I bet I can get you a date for the Life Day fete—but you have to take my advice. No half-shebsing it just so you can win the bet.”

    “Wait...what? I didn’t….I’m not….” Ronen glanced wildly between me and Maatko, his lekku twitching out of rhythm with each other. He made a noise of exasperation and I swear he looked just like Uncle Kanan at that moment, with the same “this is so not funny” expression. “Fine. Whatever; it’s not going to help. So if I don’t have a date for Life Day, what do I get?”

    I stifled a smile, knowing I had him now. What is it with guys, that if you make it a dare or a bet, they’ll do anything? It’s like if you tell a guy “I bet you can’t pet that rancor,” he’ll be all “Oh,yeah? Hold my blue milk…” I thought about it for a minute. Not like I was going to have to come up with it, not with the Force on my side, but it needed to look good. “I’ll make you an entire batch of Wookiee cookies from Grandma’s recipe. And when I get you a date, you have to get me a box of D’ogiva chocolates from Garel City. Deal?”

    He shook his head, still looking So Not Amused, but he held out his hand. “Sure...deal.”

    Maatko clapped gleefully. “And the wager is on! Hmm…” His antennae practically spun all the way around in his enthusiasm to run the probability. “I estimate the odds as 4 to 3 in Noemi’s favor.”

    “You’re betting against me, Maaty?” Ronen scowled. “Some friend you are!”

    And now I did throw a Protein Puff at Ronen. It bonked him in the middle of the forehead and bounced off. “You moof-milker! That means he thinks I will find you a date! Isn’t that what you want?”

    He rubbed his head with a sheepish grin. “Oh. Yeah…”

    Okay, I can’t tell you how excited I am, because this is going to be amazing, I just know it! At first, I was thinking of who I could try to set Ro up with—one of the girls at the Academy? Nadiya or Alia, maybe? Someone at NLUPS? Kaia seemed to think he was nice, even if she’s a little young and a lot shy...but they could be good for each other—but then I thought, no, the best thing I could do is just get him to open up a little, to realize that not everyone is staring at him or judging him, to always be the Ronen he is with me and Maatko. I think he’d be so much happier if he did. Because whatever he thinks, he’s not a loser and he’s not a freak. He’s smart and he’s funny and sweet, and he deserves to find someone. Even if, for some reason, I can’t get him a date for the fete, if I could just get him to see the Ronen I see… the one who stands up for the underdog, the one who isn’t afraid to tell the truth, the one who’s been my best friend forever...that would make me happier than anything.
     
  10. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    [face_laugh] [face_laugh] I love the idea of boosting Ro's confidence in himself and helping him be relaxed and funny like he is with Noemi and Maatko -- but :oops: ... I know Noemi would never match him up with a yucko type, but [face_shhh] I want her to realize she wants to be his date. [face_mischief]
     
    Findswoman and Raissa Baiard like this.
  11. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    Caught up at last! Wonderful to see that you’re chronicling Noemi, too—the best and most caring friend a freak an angsty-snarky Jedi teen could ask for! :D <3

    15/07 3301: So, first of all, I just now noticed that this entry dates from the same day as Ronen’s above, and it’s really neat how the two of them have completely different impressions of the exact same day. He recalls all the little moments where things went not-quite-right and he wished he could become invisible as a result. She, in contrast, remembers and records a specific incident that made her ver proud of her best friend, and which has the added bonus of showing us another way Ronen’s much more than just a “freak.” Wow, he really hits it out of the park here—I love every moment, from his fearless confrontation of Dack (what creepy, pathetic excuse for a man! “Swets patooga”?! Really?), to his witty “too much paperwork” comment ( :p ), to the dysentery bluff… I don’t doubt that he really and truly had Dack worried for a moment there, and I bet Dack was more than a little nonplussed to hear such confident words from the “freak.” (Heck, Ronen probably could have pulled the dysentery business, too—or something similar, like intestinal cramps at very least. :p ) Noemi’s “real man” comeback was spot-on too—news flash, lady, you were sitting with a real man! ;)

    Very cool added bonus here as we get yet another hint at Ronen’s stealth abilities, with the Kanan-like bipartite lightsaber (though designed that way for a very different purpose in a truly different era: Kanan had to, but Ronen wanted to). If he were able to pull off adding an Uncle Ezra-style blaster to it, too, that would really and truly be awesome—I wonder if he will, now! [face_thinking]

    And then comes The Kicker. I love how Noemi starts out this entry with an emphatic "who cares if some guy looks at me?” and ends it by pondering the Handsome, Flowing-Haired, Smoldering-Eyed :kylo: BEN SOLO :kylo: and how she might get him to notice her. ;) And I don’t mean that as a criticism of her by any means; it is rather cute in its way, and it simply goes to show that she, too, is ultimately a teen. <3 Her anxiety about sounding like That Kind of Girl is very understandable and very sensitively portrayed; it reminds me of similar conflicted feelings we saw in her mom in parts of “Star Crossed” and in “Ever After.” Now I only hope that this won’t be a “careful what you wish for, you might get it” type of situation—do we know he really would see her as more than just pretty and more than just a famous last name…? I’ll be curious to see how that may or may not pan out, though I’m a bit nervous about it too… [face_worried]

    21/07 3301: Something very intriguing is being set in motion in this chapter, on a few different levels! All thanks to that little teeny tiny prompting Noemi gets from the Force… and over a bag lunch in the NLUPS cafeteria, no less! :D I have the feeling that, once again, the Force might be
    shipping its creations once again
    or at least starting to. It’s not just the Force that’s the catalyst, though, but also the calculation-happy Maatko, in way, since he’s the one who brings the possibility of an actual Bet and actual Odds into the picture. And it absolutely works: Ronen’s in immediately, in true “hold my blue milk” manner, with So Not Amused facial expressions and all. (Familiar from somewhere—:kanan:—and indeed, I’m guessing Ronen has the most Kanan-like facial expressions of all the S-J sibs.) Anyway, how could anyone resist stakes like these—whether the end result is Grandma Raissa’s Wookiee cookies or real Garel City D’ogiva Chocolates (squee!), that seems like a win-win for sure. :D

    True to her decisive, go-gettive nature, Noemi gets right on the case, but we see immediately that it’s not just about her getting the chance to play matchmaker; the Life Day Fete date is not the most important end result here. She really and truly does want to help her best pal Ro come out of his shell so that everyone around him—not just potential girlfriends—see him for the smart, witty, awesome fellow he really is. That’s the most important outcome here, ball or no ball, and it shows what a caring heart she really has. I can’t wait to see how she’ll put her plan in action and where it will lead; I have a guess or two… [face_batting]
     
  12. Raissa Baiard

    Raissa Baiard Chosen One star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 22, 1999
    Noemi sees that Ronen is by no means the loser he makes himself out to be, and if he could break out of his shell of self-doubt and self-protection, he’d be happier overall. As for the other part....[face_batting][face_whistling]

    Aw, thanks :) I guess I’m just bad at staying within the DDC parameters. But I can’t imagine telling the story without her.

    Yes, Ronen sees all the things that went wrong, but Noemi sees the thing he did very right. Sadly, I’ve known guys like Dack, who think it’s funny to “get a rise out of” people, especially girls. Ronen proves a Jedi doesn’t need a lightsaber to fight his battles; he has his wits—and his snark!—and Dack’s no match for them. I agree Ronen could have pulled off something to make good on his threat, but since Dack buys it (or at least isn’t willing to to test the “Jedi-boy’s” creepy Force powers too far) he manages to resolve the conflict without resorting to physical means ...and I think even Kanan would agree that helping Kaia was worth fudging the rules a bit. And yes, Noemi was definitely in the company of a real man...and I think she knew it, too, even if she didn’t put it into those words. She sees his values and his honor and that’s part of why he’s her best friend [face_love]

    Hey, Ronen's smart enough to know a cool idea when he sees it! He's an out-of-the-box thinker, just like Kanan was as a boy and like his Uncle Ezra. I wouldn't put it past him to find a way to incorporate that blaster!

    She's very much her mother's daughter in this respect :) I think there is a real tension for girls between wanting to be Strong, Independent Women and wanting to have a relationship, because so often it's sold as an either-or proposition. Strong women don't need relationships; they don't get all mushy, don't'cha know? When of course, those things aren't mutually exclusive--as her mother, grandmother and Aunt Hera could tell her! At Noemi's age though, she's still figuring those things out.

    As Noemi points out, the Force is everywhere and sometimes these little moments wind up having a huge impact. As for the spoiler, it's kind of a family tradition :D Noemi's got her friend's number, and between her and Maatko, they have Ronen hooked. And, yes, I think Ronen is the most Kanan-like of the sibs, in a lot of ways, both in looks and a certain Very Seriousness that currently manifests itself as teenage angst. (Kanan may be serious, but he's by no means without a sense of humor or sly wit at times!)

    Noemi's got a double dose of go-getting from her parents, but in a way, she's also like her Aunt Annina, who likes to see everyone happily matched up and will do what she can to make it happen. :D But even more than just matching him up, Noemi wants Ronen to be happy and confident, to know that he's more than just the freak he believes he is.
     
  13. Raissa Baiard

    Raissa Baiard Chosen One star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 22, 1999
    Thanks to @Findswoman for beta-reading [:D] @};-


    Journal of Ronen Syndulla-Jarrus, who’s never going to get a date, no matter what Noemi says
    Zhellday 25/07 3301


    How did I get myself into this?

    I didn’t think Noemi was really serious; I mean, who really means it’s a bet when they say “I bet I can do that”? But I should have known better—she’s part Corellian on her mom’s side, after all, and trying to beat the odds is like their planetary pastime or something. Master Blayne taught her how to play sabacc when she was five, and she played it the way most other kids played giju snap. By the time she was ten, we were playing for fizzy-sweets—the red ones were worth the most, then green and orange, and last the white ones no one liked. She can beat the pants off any of us now, even when all the cousins are here for Life Day. (Figuratively speaking. Duh, we don’t play that kind of sabacc, especially not at family holidays!)

    And then there’s the whole Corellian stubborn thing; Noemi never gives up on a project once she’s decided on it—there was the year she spent all summer having speeder washes to raise credits for Clone War veterans even though it rained for like three months straight; the time she decided we all needed to pitch in with Mistress Skywalker’s youngling class (disaster; just because a three year can levitate something the size of—oh, a fourteen year old padawan, does not mean they should); and of course, the time the Academy complex was overrun with Loth-kittens and she held an adoption drive to find them all homes. The crazy thing was, she did—even that one kitten with only half a tail who bit people.

    Guess I’m that Loth-kitten, and Noemi thinks she can find someone who will want me. Yeah. May the Force be with her on that one…

    She has a plan, like an actual plan with bullet points and numbered steps and everything, on her datapad. Really. She calls it “The Ronen Syndulla-Jarrus Visibility Project”. Honestly, I’m okay being invisible, because when people look at me, they just see what a freak I am. I tried telling Noemi that when she came over to work on our reports on the Trade Federation’s role in the Clone Wars for ModGalCiv. She just gave me the Look and tapped at her datapad—objection noted but overruled. “The first thing you need to do is actually talk to some girls.”

    “Oh, right. Because it’s really that easy. I’ll just walk right up to Zofi and say hey…”

    “It doesn’t have to be Zofi! There are a lot of girls who are actually decent beings, you know. Nadiya…”

    Nadiya Kell? Really? Not that there’s anything wrong with her; she’s pretty much okay overall. She’s the best student in Jedi Pypey’s healer class and she might be the only girl at the Academy who isn’t swooning over Ben Solo, but…”Nadiya is eighteen…”

    “So?”

    “And has a thing for Caleb.”

    “What?” Noemi’s mouth fell open. “She does not!”

    “Oh yeah, big time…” How did she not know that? Caleb is like NLUPS’s answer to Ben Solo, minus the broody, angsty part. All the girls at school like him—because what’s not to like? He’s the star kicker on the grav-ball team and on the headmaster’s list. And just like Ben, he’s got the whole hair and eyes thing going on, but unlike Ben, he’s got a sense of humor. He always has a joke, and instead of moping around the Academy pontificating on the meaning of the Force and reciting the Teyan Apologia, he plays really loud proto-Core Drive-Quenk jazz fusion stuff on his quetarra when he’s got something on his mind. So, yeah, I’d probably hate him if he wasn’t Caleb, because girls love him and he doesn’t even seem to notice half the time. I guess Noemi doesn’t either.

    She shook her head. ”Whatever. How about Rosmyn…?”

    Rosmyn Kre’frey is Bothan and nearly as smart as Maatko; she’s the only girl on the dejarik team. Again, not bad per se… “Um, okay, you know I’m not one of those guys who’s all ‘stick with your own species’…” (because really what is my own species, anyway?) “...but fur just doesn’t do it for me.”

    “I’m not asking you to marry her, just talk to her!” Noemi threw up her hands. I was glad we’d already finished our schroomchips; I really did not need to have her keep pelting me with snack food. “Just to get yourself out there, get your confidence up.” She looked me over with a sigh.. “Maybe you should practice in the mirror or something first.”

    Have you ever tried watch yourself try to be charming in the mirror? OMF next time someone just blast me first… You never know exactly how much of an absolute moof-milker you are until you give yourself your best smile and winning “hey!” and realize that you look just like that moofy Gungan comedian, you know, the one who used to be a senator or something. Oh yeah, no wonder girls run the other way if that’s the best I’ve got. But Noemi told me no half-shebsing this, so I kept trying. If that was the best *I* could do, maybe I needed to be someone else, someone who could get girls.

    “Hey!” I did my best and brightest impression of Caleb’s grin. I don’t know how he does it—it’s like one eyebrow and one corner of his mouth go up at the same time. It works for him; he looks roguish or something. Me? I resembled Noemi’s Loth-cat when she has a hairball. I don’t think I’m the “fun” type… Okay, so I can be pretty brooding, right? Maybe I could pull off the Ben Solo Dark and Mysterious look. I pushed my hair out of my face and tried to get it to lie as much like Ben’s as I could (not much). “Hey.” No, Solo would never say “hey”...he’d go with “hello” or even “greetings”. I gave my reflection a Smoldering Solo Scowl.

    There was a noise behind me, a tiny little “pffft” of stifled laughter, and when I turned around, Jacen and Ayelet were standing in my doorway. Ayelet had one hand over her mouth to hide her smile; Jacen was leaning against the doorframe with a grin like Uncle Zeb’s right before he’s about to give you a noogie. “Don’t mind us, killer. Practicing for the laaaadies, are we?”

    “Please tell me you didn’t see that….” Oh dear Force...could the ground please just swallow me up and make me disappear like the Temple used to? Sometimes I would give anything to have normal siblings, you know, the kind I could use Jedi mind tricks on and make forget all the stupid things I do. But no, I have to have Jedi siblings with an unerring sense of when their little brother’s at his most moof-milkeraceous. I covered my face with one hand to hide the blush that was creeping up from the back of my neck, but it couldn’t disguise fact that my lekku had turned the same orange-red color as a meiloorun. “Noemi’s got this crazy idea that she needs to get me a date by the Life Day fete.”

    Noemi’s trying to get you a date?” Ayelet raised an eyebrow, and then glanced over at Jacen.

    He looked back at her like “uh-huh”. Another annoying thing about Jedi sibs: they can *talk* about you while you’re standing right there. “Why don’t you just go out with Noemi?”

    “What?!?!” Okay, what the actual what, Jacen? Me? Date Noemi? Noemi Bridger? Was he even listening to himself? “I couldn’t… I mean that would be… I mean, first of all, she’s like my cousin or something!”

    Another “can you believe this kid” glance passed between Jacen and Ayelet. “She’s not, really,” Jacen explained, like I was five and not especially bright. “Dad isn’t related to Uncle Ezra any more than he is to Uncle Zeb, you know.”

    I knew all that, thanks. “Yeah, but… Noemi?” Why did I have to spell this out to him? Jacen’s 24, and he’s never had any trouble getting girls to notice him. You’d think he’d have this kind of stuff figured out by now. “She’s been my best friend forever… that’s just…”

    “A good thing.” Ayelet assured me, settling herself on my bed. Oh please, Aya...come on in and make yourself at home while you give me embarrassing romantic advice. “It means you get along, you have plenty in common, you like each other…”

    “Yeah. Not to mention she’s a pretty cute kid. Oh, stop looking at me like that!” Jacen shook his head as I gaped at him like a giju on dry land. Noemi, cute? I mean, not that I hadn’t noticed that before, but see above about Jacen being 24... he’s not supposed to notice things like that. “I said she’s a cute kid. I remember when she was born. She’s way too young for me to think of that way!”

    “Besides, Jacen likes girls with lekku…” Ayelet grinned and tossed her head, making her own lekku swing back and forth (wish mine would do that instead of just kind of being stuck uselessly on the back of my head).

    “What?!” That “thunk” noise you just heard was the bottom falling out of my brain and my jaw hitting the floor at the same time. Oh, man… did not need to know this sort of stuff about my brother. And how did Ayelet know? Is this the kind of stuff she and Jacen talk about when I’m not around?

    Jacen’s teasing big-brother grin morphed into the seriously irked big-brother scowl. “Once again, stop looking at me like that. Why shouldn’t I? I’m half Twi’lek, too, even if I don’t have lekku. Not like I’m some sort of tail-chaser.”

    I winced. A “tail-chaser” is...well, it’s a really crude term for Human guys who go after Twi'lek girls, usually the kind of guys who think that all Twi’lek women are sleazy, sexy slave dancer types. I kind of couldn’t believe Jacen would actually say that in front of Ayelet, though she didn’t seem particularly offended or surprised. I held up a hand before he could say anything else. “This is getting seriously weird. If you two want to stay here and discuss your love lives, fine. I’m gonna go meditate or something, and pretend this conversation never happened.”

    But I couldn’t meditate; I couldn’t stop thinking about what Jacen and Ayelet had said. Me and Noemi? No way. I mean sure, she’s smart and funny… and yeah, even beautiful, but she’s my best friend, and that right there is enough to tell you it’s never going to happen. No matter what Ayelet thinks, girls don’t go for guys who’ve been their friends since they were born. Hasn’t she ever heard of the friend zone? Pretty sure that’s where I am, have always been and will always be with Noemi.

    And besides, she’s never going to look at her old buddy Ro that way while Dark and Mysterious Master Ben “Smoldering” Solo is around…

    Me and Noemi?

    Yeah, so not gonna happen.

    Notes:

    Jedi Pypey-- the Force-sensitive Ithorian baby who Ezra and Kanan rescue in “Future of the Force”, all grown up. To me, it made sense that he and Alora would be among the first students at the Academy, and my headcanon is that he was Ezra’s padawan.

    Nadiya Kell--(fanon) daughter of Jai Kell, the Force-sensitive Imperial cadet Ezra (and Zare Leonis) help escape from the Academy in “Breaking Ranks”. He becomes part of the Rebellion, and again, it made sense to me that Jai would later join Ezra and Kanan at their new Academy.

    “That moofy Gungan comedian”--You guessed it, JarJar. (Though unlike in Aftermath, I imagine him as being pretty popular, just dated by this time)
     
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  14. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    [face_laugh] Loved the sibling talk and teasing! Yes, they definitely gave Ronen something to think about with regards to Noemi. [face_mischief]

    Caleb has a great sounding personality, but Ronen can't put on a Caleb act ... he needs to be himself, although he has the gigantic hurdle of thinking he's not interesting or attractive. [face_thinking]

    Ayelet's words about being best friends forever is very much on point. :)
     
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  15. Raissa Baiard

    Raissa Baiard Chosen One star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 22, 1999
    Haven’t they, though? Those older sibs think they know everything, just because they’re, y’know, older or something! Sometimes older siblings do have a point...just don’t tell them that, or you’ll never hear the end of it ;)

    Caleb is how I imagine Ezra would have been if he had grown up under normal circumstances, with his parents. He’s outgoing, active and a lot of fun, though he does have his serious Jedi side, as witnessed by the fact that he’s “crazy good with a lightsaber”. And yes, Ronen needs to cut himself some slack and realize he’s got his own unique style and strengths.

    Friendship is always a good foundation to build on! As Ayelet notes, it means they have a lot in common, shared interests and experiences, and know they get along, all of which is a huge plus in a relationship :D
     
  16. Raissa Baiard

    Raissa Baiard Chosen One star 4

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

    Journal of Ronen Syndulla-Jarrus, who might be in love with his best friend...
    Zhellday, 01/08 3301


    Oh dear Force, what is wrong with me?

    Ever since Jacen and Ayelet told me I ought to date Noemi, I can’t stop thinking of her, like as a girl.

    Okay, yes, I was fully aware before now that Noemi’s female, thanks. I’m not that unobservant or stupid. But now it’s like suddenly, she’s not just Noemi, my best friend who just happens to be a girl, but she’s this girl with hair the color of the sunset and eyes like the sky—the kind of girl who turns guys like me into bad poets writing about their hair and eyes. The kind of girl who will never notice a guy like me. And I don’t know how that happened or how to stop thinking this way.

    All I know is that on Benduday, when we were sitting together in the conversation circle, finishing our ModGalCiv reports, I kept thinking about what Jacen said about her being pretty cute. And I started looking at her...like really looking at her and I kind of started noticing things about her that I never really had before. Like the way her hair is red-gold like the sunset over the plains, and it has all these soft, wavy curls...and all of a sudden I kind of wanted to touch them… And Noemi looked up from her datapad at me with this “what’s going on?” look.

    I left “to get some more snacks”, but really to get my emotions in order and put my shields up, because I could just imagine what Noemi would say if she knew I was thinking about what it would be like to run my fingers through her hair...her beautiful, sunset-colored, wavy hair… OMF what is wrong with me?

    Somehow I managed to get my report done without her noticing the fact that I was noticing her. All that night I told myself what a champion moof-milking idiot I was being. I mean, yeah, I’d always thought Noemi was pretty, but she was still Noemi, my best friend. And then I started thinking about what Ayelet said—maybe being best friends was a good thing? Maybe it was good that we both like watching Jedi Action holos and listening to old Max Rebo music instead of Shaya Stari like most of the kids at NLUPS? Maybe it’s good that she laughs at my jokes and I laugh at hers? That I’d rather spend time with her than anyone else I know? Maybe...maybe somehow we could be more than best friends?

    But Primeday at school, Noemi had her datapad out, with the “Ronen Syndulla-Jarrus Visibility Project” on it. “Okay,” she said, tapping the screen. “Now that you’ve had a couple days to think about it, our goal this week is to get you to talk to at least one girl every day.” And I knew then there was no chance we’d ever be more than friends, because if there was, she wouldn’t be so set on getting me to talk to someone else.

    In chemistry, Rosmyn was my lab partner, and Noemi mouthed “talk to her” when I looked over in her direction. And I thought, well, maybe I should just go along with Noemi’s plan. I mean, since there’s no chance I’m ever going to get out of the friend zone, I might as well try my luck with some other girls. Maybe one of them will make me forget this stupid idea about me and Noemi. So I summoned up my best Caleb smile and said, “So you’re on the dejarik team with Maatko, right?”

    Rosmyn blinked at me and her fur did this kind of ripply thing. “Yeah,” she said, like she was surprised someone had noticed that. “Why? Do you play dejarik?”

    “Sort of. I’m not that great. Chopper—our astromech droid—almost always beats me.”

    Her fur rippled again, faster this time, and stood up in some strange directions. “You play against an astromech...and you win sometimes?!”

    So we got talking about dejarik and Chopper, and well...it wasn’t too bad. Rosmyn helped me figure out all the equations for the experiment, and I started to think maybe the Visibility Project could work after all.

    And then I looked over at Noemi, who smiled and gave me a thumbs up.

    How did I never notice before what an amazing smile she has? How did I not notice the way one corner of her mouth quirks up or the way her eyes sparkle when she smiles?

    So yeah, I tried to go along with Noemi’s plan, I really did. Centaxday, I talked to Nadiya about Jedi healing theory and whether it would be possible to unbalance someone’s digestive system (and she actually didn’t laugh at me). Today, I talked to Tierné Eshe about our ModGalCiv assignment profiling an important figure during the Clone Wars (hers is Senator Padmé Amidala; mine is—big surprise—Grandpa Cham). And, yeah, it was okay talking to them, better than I thought. They were all okay and actually pretty nice to me, but…

    They’re not Noemi.

    The Force has a really crummy sense of humor. Noemi’s all set on finding me someone to date; she’s got me talking to every girl at school...but the only one I want is her.
     
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  17. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE it happened quicker than I thought! Him noticing Noemi as an actual girl he wants to be with [face_dancing] I am happy he's feeling comfortable chatting casually with other girls in the meanwhile. :) Now the only thing left to do is to get Noemi to notice him back [face_laugh] [face_love]
     
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  18. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    Always a treat to catch up with our man Ro! Momentous things are being set in motion with these two entries—I sense a turning point in the works for our hero... :D

    25/07: Ronen’s teenage pessimism in this is so adorable, and even more so in conjunction with Noemi’s go-gettiveness! Of course she has bullet points mapped out—and given her previous success in carrying her projects through (and I love all those projects, especially finding homes for all those Loth-cats—a perfect one for her beastwarden sensibilities), Ro might want to rethink his skepticism! ;) But I really admire Ro for not wallowing in his skepticism; it says a lot for his character that he actually gives her advice about practicing in the mirror a go and is resolved not do any half-shebsing. And then, just as though things couldn’t get any more awkward, who should catch him in the act of making all those cat-with-hairball and Solo-smouldery faces than his big brother and sister! How wonderful to meet Jacen and Ayelet here, and I just love seeing the three siblings all bantering together here—I hope we’ll have more opportunities to see them all together over the course of this diary. Jacen is such a fun foil to the self-conscious Ronen with his flyboy-big-brotherism, and Ayelet actually has a really good point about being best friends. Now if Ronen can get over the (admitted) awkwardness of the situation—and yes, I could see where finding out about his big bro’s romantic preferences might be just a leetle bit TMI for him :p—and takes his sister’s advice to heart, I think he might go places with this... [face_thinking] Under all the teasing, etc., these three all clearly care about each other very much, and I know (and hope Ronen knows) that Jacen and “Aya” do support him in this, however it all may turn out. <3

    01/08: Oh, oh, oh! A squeeaceous chapter for so many reasons! [face_love] I do suspect our hero might be just a little tiny bit in love, and I love how his poetic side (which he absolutely has—even Mistress Eupraxia saw it) shows in his little rhapsodizations about Noemi's beautiful hair, sparkling smile, etc. I think in a way Noemi's "visibility project" is having the effect of making Ronen's own feelings more visible to himself, so to speak. But even beyond these first inklings of something potentially more than best-friendship, I love seeing Ronen come out of his shell a bit and finding out that people do enjoy talking to him, that he does have things in common with other people, and that they don't consider him as much of a freak as he thinks they do. Of course, I'm sure he winced a bit when Noemi first gave him the assignment of Talking to One Girl a Day; that reminded me of how I winced when my mother suggested something similar to me when I was in high school (it was "get together outside school with one classmate a week"). Not an easy thing for a more introverted sort to do, especially with teen self-consciousness factored in—but once again, Ronen steps up and gives it the old college try. And it's getting results, it really is—though different ones than either Ronen or Noemi anticipated! But hey, making new friends along the way isn't a bad thing. Even if these friendships don't turn into romances, I think other people really are beginning to see the fun, smart, caring Ronen that Noemi sees, and that's no small thing.

    So, forward the Ronen Syndulla-Jarrus Visibility Project, I say! Not only is it achieving the goal of helping Ronen see that he's not such a freak, but it's also opening both our protagonists' eyes to their own feelings for each other. Sending all possible hugs and vibes of self-confidence their way! @};-
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2018
  19. Raissa Baiard

    Raissa Baiard Chosen One star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 22, 1999
    Jacen and Ayelet certainly gave him plenty to think about...and he has! Wow, his best buddy is actually a girl, and a beautiful one at that! :D Noemi’s project is working on more than one level; Ronen’s discovering that it’s not so bad talking with girls in general, and being able to put himself out there like that is a skill that will help him in many situations. Perhaps even with the girl he’s begun to notice...
    Aw, yeah...a whole new set of possibilities are opening up for him...

    Thanks! I’m glad you liked all of Noemi’s projects; it was fun to come up with the sort of “good works” a Jedi teen might undertake. Noemi may not be ready to save the Galaxy with lightsaber blazing just yet, but she’s going to improve her little corner of it, bit by bit (and if that calls for super organized charts and bullet points, well, then...) The Loth-kitten adoption drive was inspired by similar ones they have around here in the summers, when we (sadly) get a bumper crop of stray kitties. I have a feeling that the presence of a couple of beast-wardens who are catnip to Loth-cats was responsible for an uptick in the feline population around the Academy :D

    Older siblings, even those who aren’t Jedi, seem to have a way of catching their little sibs’ embarrassing moments and making the most of them. But yes, beneath all the teasing Jacen and Ayelet love Ronen and want the best for him. Jacen, at the very grownup age of 24, has gotten past the teen awkwardness and angst that still plagues Ronen. He and Ayelet have the advantage of being able to see the situation from the outside. Now if Ronen will pay attention to all that Older Sibling Wisdom....

    I think you might be right....Ronen just might have feelings for Noemi! ;) I like what you said about the visibility project making Ronen’s own feelings more visible to him...a bit ironic since he started his journal asking if he could be less in touch with his feelings, please... I think it’s also helping make the girls at school more visible to him, too, not as strange, scary, judgy girls but as people who he can talk to more or less painlessly. And for him to see that not everyone is just waiting to put him down is a very big step indeed!

    Ronen is, of course, too self-conscious too acknowledge hugs, but Noemi thanks you...she knows her best bud needs all confidence and good vibes he can get :D
     
  20. Raissa Baiard

    Raissa Baiard Chosen One star 4

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

    Noemi’s Journal (RSJVP now in Phase One!)
    04/08 3301


    The RSJVP is working!

    All right, so Ronen hasn’t gotten a date yet, but that’s okay. Coruscant wasn’t built in a day. The important thing is that he’s actually talking to girls at NLUPS and the Academy now—and they’re talking to him. I knew he could do it! I knew if he just gave it a try he’d see that most girls aren’t like Zofi. They’re not out to judge him and they don’t think he’s a freak. They’re just regular beings, and they like to talk about regular things like school and music and holovids. Ronen doesn’t have to make some Big Impressive Move on them; all he has to do is be himself. Most girls will think you’re a pretty good guy if you just treat them with respect and show a little interest in what they say!

    As excited as I am that Ronen is taking the challenge seriously, I think Maatko is even more enthusiastic—just in a much, much geekier way. He showed me a datasheet that he’s been working on, rating all the girls that Ronen’s talked to so far on their compatibility with him. He had like fifteen different criteria—yes, fifteen, really.—everything from sense of humor and intelligence to “romantic style,” whatever that means. (And I’m not sure I want to know how Maatko comes up with that rating!)

    “It’s modelled after the one employed by the Holo-Harmony dating site to gauge the suitability of prospective matches,” he told me, his ears and antennae twitching in excitement. “However, my calculations are not as accurate as I would like them to be. Holo-Harmony has the benefit of having interested females complete a questionnaire, while I must operate based on a great many assumptions. I’m hoping to refine my algorithm as more data becomes available.”

    “Hmm.” I looked over his ratings. Nadiya got high marks for “shared beliefs”, while Tierné scored high on “conflict resolution” and “emotional status”, and Kaia got good ratings in kindness and character. Maatko’s scores seemed pretty accurate, from what I knew about the girls, but none of them had such great ratings that it made me go “oh, yes, she’s The One!” And then I noticed a row at the bottom simply marked N that had high marks in all those categories, plus intellect, humor, curiosity and goals. “Wait, who’s this?!”

    Maatko snatched his datapad back, and his normally pale snout flushed a bright yellowish-green. “Oh, that.” He stuffed the datapad back in his satchel, burying it under a layer of flimsis covered in handwritten equations. “That is nothing. Merely my baseline for further research.”

    Leave it to Maatko to make finding a date for Ronen into some boring statistical exercise! This girl, whoever she was, was more than just a baseline, a point of comparison. She was practically perfect for Ro! “According to your chart, she’s more compatible with Ronen than anyone else! That’s the girl he needs to to be going after!”

    Maatko rustled the flimsis in his satchel, covering the datapad more thoroughly, like that would make me forget about it. The yellow flush on his snout now covered the rest of his face and was creeping towards his antennae. Yes, well...heh heh heeee HUUUNH….” He snort-whistled uneasily. “It is you.”

    Me?!? Okay, why was Maatko running these calculations on me?! And how… no, I did not even want to think about how he come up with a rating for my “romantic style” or decided that it had a greater than 75% correlation with Ronen’s. No. No, no, no… “But… Ronen’s my best friend!”

    He blinked at me, his silver-gray eyes round and innocent as a convor chick’s. “That implies a high degree of compatibility, does it not?”

    “Well, yes,” I stammered, “but…” There’s compatibility and then there’s was compatibility. What Ronen and I have...well, we grew up together. Of course we have a lot of the same beliefs and interests and sense of humor, but that doesn’t mean we’re compatible compatible.

    Maatko gave a whistling sigh and his antennae drooped, the flush fading from them. “And this is why I fear there is some vital factor missing in my calculations, because if these criteria were the only variables, you and Ronen would certainly be together already.”

    “Er, yeah… So anyway, how’s your essay on Jakspeeir’s sonnets coming along?” I changed the subject as quickly as I could, because, oh good skies, I did not want Maatko trying to figure out what variable could make me get together with Ro.

    This is not what I had in mind when I started this project! I’m not supposed to be part of it—not that way, at least! Maatko may be a genius when it comes to math and science, things that can be figured out logically and quantified in a lab, but love’s not like that. There’s just more to it than a set of numbers and percentages. There has to be an...oh, I don’t know, a spark, I guess. Something that makes you go “wow” when you look at that person. Maybe it’s even something in the Force—Mom says the Force hummed when she met Dad, and still does whenever the kiss (yes, my parents are strange; they’ve been married how long and they still act like a couple of smoochy teenagers sometimes?) and Aunt Annina says the Force glows around people who are really in love. I don’t know that that’s something that you can figure into any equation. That’s what I hope Ronen can find...

    And at least with the RSJVP, there’s a chance for him to discover those shared interests or find that spark or whatever it is that brings two people together. Because i know it can’t happen with a girl he’s never talked to.

    Which makes me wonder...do I need to start a visibility project for myself? The Noemi Bridger Visibility Project? Of course, my project would have a target of one… How can I be so invisible to Ben?

    I wonder if he’s one of those guys who takes the non-attachment doctrine a little too seriously—and it’s always the guys, for some reason, usually after they’ve been turned down some girl or broken up with their girlfriend. Suddenly, the Old Order had it right all along, and Jedi need to stuff their feelings and focus on THE WILL OF THE FORCE. Which really kind of irks me, because if you look back, some of the greatest Jedi in our history have been married—Jolee Bindo, Nomi Sunrider, Revan and Bastila. Or if you want more recent examples, Neeja Halcyon, Ki-Adi Mundi... and not to be immodest or anything, but Grandpa and Grandma. Uncle Kanan. Mom and Dad. Pretty much my whole family on Mom’s side! Those kind of guys always go on about “there is no emotion”, but the oldest form of the Jedi Code doesn’t say “There is no emotion”. It says “emotion, yet peace”, which implies you could have emotions and still be at peace through the Force, right?

    And if Ben is one of those “no emotion”, attachment=BAD kind of guys, is there any way to make him see that it’s not all bad? (The Force wouldn’t glow or hum if it was!) Is there any way I can get him to see me?
     
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  21. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Yay! Maatko's baseline is indeed perfect ;) Noemi ranks highest on all things, except for the spark, which she's right about, that's essential!

    [face_frustrated] She's still pining after Ben, though.

    SQUEE on the "Force hum" [face_love] ... Ezra/Mara still got it going on! [face_laugh]
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2018
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  22. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    :D :D :D This chapter is such a wonderful complement to the one before last—and by that I mean in both of them we see first Ronen, then Noemi, receive pretty much the same advice from a sibling or sibling like figure: yes, being best friends is a good thing when it comes to romantic compatibility. Except that Ronen, in the last entry, was starting to see that there is something to that… whereas Noemi doesn’t quite yet. It’s so much fun to see Maatko throwing himself into the RSJVP too, and with such geeky, mathematical gusto and a CHART and NUMBERS!—though I too am not sure how he gauges things like “romantic style.” :p Once again, I think he has the potential to be quite the catalyst in this story. ;)

    Of course, when Noemi so quickly changes the subject to the Jakspeeir report, and so suddenly comes up with a lengthy rationalization—you can’t QUANTIFY love in NUMBERS and CHARTS!—that speaks volumes in its way, too. I don’t think that would hit her so hard if she wasn’t in some small way concerned that he might be right. [face_thinking] At the same time, she’s quite right about this:
    Little does she know that he already has found it, of course. <3 (And I too am not surprised that Ezra and Mara still, after all these years, regularly enter smoochy teen mode! SQUEEE! :D )

    And now, this Ben thing… Noemi, honey-bun, good luck with this—I betcha any number of credits you choose that no one is visible to Ben except Ben. :p But I love how it leads Noemi to reflect on the nature of attachment and on the existence of all those Jedi down through the years who were attached, her own family included—especially because we saw Ronen do the exact same thing in the very first entry of this diary:

    “High degree of compatibility”? Yes, please! :D :D :D One of these days these two will start to notice these little parallels they have, and I think some important revelations will be made on that day. For the time being, though, let us see just where this second visibility project of Noemi’s might or might not lead—will there be bullet points? [face_thinking]

    As always, you’ve got such a wonderful voice for both your teen protagonists and a real sensitivity to the issues and challenges that go with that age. Keep up the great work! =D=
     
  23. Raissa Baiard

    Raissa Baiard Chosen One star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 22, 1999
    Maatko’s an observant math geek; he may know more about numbers and algorithms than romantic relationships but he knows his friends, their personalities and the things they have in common. Noemi does have a point about the spark, though it isn’t always something that happens instantly when you meet someone. Sometimes it sneaks up on you and one day you look at someone and go “hmmm”...which is of course what’s happened to Ronen! ;) If Noemi stopped focusing on Ben, she might find that spark sneaks up on her, too. And of course the Force still hums for Mara and Ezra; they’re still in love after all these years!
    Yes, good old Maatko’s given Noemi something to think about, just the way Ayelet and Jacen did for Ronen. He takes a different tactic, with all his data and percentages, but he’s got a good point: Ronen and Noemi have a lot in common. They’re extremely compatible—and that can lead to compatibility compatibility! I’m not exactly sure how Maatko derives all his ratings, but he does seem to be observant—hey, a scientist has to be, right? —and good at making informed assumptions. All he needs is more data to perfect his formula!

    Noemi doth protest a little too much... though she is right that even matches that look good on paper can fail to connect without that intangible something. But again, I think she’s convinced that it has to happen immediately and instantaneously instead of bein something that can grow over a period of time. And yes, Ronen found that spark when he started looking at Noemi with new eyes and saw that she was just his old pal, she was an interesting and beautiful woman as well! (Mara and Ezra...yep, still have that spark. I don’t think they’ll ever lose that playful,streak they have with each other, and laughter definitely helps keep the spark alive[face_love] )

    I think you’ve got Ben figured out, even if Noemi doesn’t. He’s very focused, all right, but it’s an inward focus, about him being the best and knowing the most. Other people? They’re out there, somewhere, but he only notices them in context to himself. And that’s really the opposite of the kind of attachment that Noemi describes—real love that puts others’ needs before ones’ own—and, as you note, the same kind of loving attachment that Ronen reflected on earlier.

    You know, it’s one thing to draw up a detailed plan of attack for someone else to get a date, it’s another to do it for yourself... Then again, Noemi is nothing if not a go-getter, so there may very well be a full-blown NBVP complete with bullet-pointed lists!

    Thank you so much; it means a lot to me, coming from someone who,has a talent for creating characters with distinctive and recognizable voices [face_love]
     
  24. Raissa Baiard

    Raissa Baiard Chosen One star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 22, 1999
    Thanks as always to @Findswoman for beta-reading[:D] @};-

    Journal of Ronen Syndulla-Jarrus, whose mom is way more awesome than he’ll ever be
    Centaxday, 10/08 3301


    Every time I think my life couldn’t possibly get more complicated, it sets out to prove me wrong.

    Because now not only do I have to worry about juggling a report about Grandpa Cham for ModGalCiv; an essay on Jakspeeir’s sonnets for Lit and Comp; chemistry and Advanced Mathematics homework; lightsaber katas, meditation; philosophy, healing, and practical applications of the Force classes at the Academy plus talking to a different girl everyday for the RSJVP, all while trying not to let on to Noemi that I’m secretly in love with her….on top of all that Master Feipel invited Mom to speak to my ModGalCiv class about her experiences in the Free Ryloth Movement and the Rebellion.

    She accepted, of course.

    And I found out when Master Feipel told me in front the entire class to please thank my mother and tell her he was so thrilled to have her come share her first! Hand! View! Of history! Next Taungsday! (Yeah, Master F really talks like that. He’s always Just! So! Excited! About! History! I guess it’s good that he likes his subject, but half the time he wanders off on these weird tangents about the importance of scalefish in Naboo art and the dumplings they serve on Castell. Hello? When are we ever going to need to know this? I can only imagine what kind of stuff he’s going to ask Mom!)

    Mom was in her study when I got home, working on her latest project. Even though everyone still calls her General Syndulla, she’s been retired from the military for a while. She does a lot of work for the Outer Rim division of the New Republic’s Galactic Restoration Council now, trying to fix all the stuff the Empire messed up. One of her interests is tracking down art and artifacts that Imperial “collectors” stole, mostly from non-Human species. It sounds like kind of a strange hobby unless you know that Grand Admiral Thrawn, the schutta, stole our family kalikori on Ryloth and then had the nerve to use it to try to psychoanalyze Mom with his whole “know your enemy by understanding their art” poodoo. So yeah, she’s a little sensitive about grabby Imperials who thought they could take whatever they wanted. Right now, Mom and Aunt Sabine are trying to track down one of the last Alderaanian moss paintings (which sounds like kind of a weird thing to paint with, but Ayelet will tell you I know nothing about art).

    She looked up when I came in….okay, maybe “barged in” is more like it, because I didn’t exactly knock first. “Mom! Why didn’t you tell me you were coming to NLUPS?!”

    “Master Feipel just asked me today.” Mom slid her datapad and the sheaf of flimsi next to it across her desk and swiveled her chair around to face me. “Why, is there a problem?”

    “Yeah! You can’t come talk to my class!”

    “I can’t?” One of her eyebrows edged up a bit. I should have paid attention to that, but being the complete moof-milker that I am, I kept going.

    “Well, okay you can, as long as you don’t mind me dying of embarrassment!”

    The raised eyebrow twitched and her lips flattened. “Embarrassment? You think that I would embarrass you?”

    Like I said, Mom’s been retired for a long time, but when she has that expression Uncle Ezra will salute her and say “Yes, General!” (Which usually does not improve things.) So when she gave that look to me, I knew I’d really stepped in it. “No, that’s not… That’s not what I meant! It’s just…” I stammered uselessly for a minute and then everything came rushing out. “You just don’t know what it’s like having your parents be like the most famous people on Lothal! Everyone knows about you and Dad and everything you did during the war. You don’t understand what it’s like when everyone thinks your parents are the greatest heroes ever! You don’t understand how it feels to have to try to measure up to that!”

    Her expression softened a little, but her voice still had a touch of the General in it when she answered, “Oh, I don’t? I suppose you’ve forgotten about ‘The Ballad of Cham Syndulla’ then.”

    Oh, yeah… Yeah, I kind of had forgotten about it. I guess when you grow up hearing about all the battles your mother fought in in the war, it’s hard to imagine a time when she wasn’t out there kicking the Empire’s shebs. As shebs-kicking as she is, it’s like impossible to imagine her ever feeling about Grandpa Cham the way I feel about her and Dad sometimes. But at least they never made an epic poem about her like they did about Grandpa...that’s got to be tough to live with.

    “I’m sorry, Mom, it’s just…it’s really hard sometimes. You and Dad did so many great things, and my life is just so boring and ordinary.” I sighed and shook my head. “I’m never going to be as awesome as you guys. I’m never going to do anything even a hundredth as interesting as you did.”

    She tilted her head, lips pursing a little. “You realize this ‘boring’, ‘ordinary’ life is what your father and I were fighting for, don’t you?”

    “I…” Ouch. Talk about feeling like an ungrateful nerf’s backside… I mean, I know Mom and Dad fought for peace and freedom for the whole Galaxy, and it’s not like I wish we were still fighting a war or anything, but I want to do something important, something that makes a difference. “I just wish I could be like you; when you were my age, you were already learning to be a pilot so you could fight the Empire…”

    “That’s right,” Mom cut in, but her voice was gentle.. “I was learning, just like you’re learning to be a Jedi. That’s not a vocation most people consider boring, you know.” She stood and laid a hand on my shoulder, smiling as her eyes met mine. “Ronen, you’ll have your chance to do your share of interesting and awesome things, too. It just takes some time.”

    “That is such a mom answer.”

    Her smile widened as she leaned forward to kiss my forehead like she did when I was little, except now she actually had to stretch up a little bit to do it. “I can’t give you any other kind.” Mom hugged me (yes, my mom still kisses my forehead and hugs me. I don’t have a problem with it, do you?) and said, “If it means that much to you, I’ll comm Master Feipel and tell him I can’t make it.”

    Wow. Okay, I have to admit, I almost said yes; it would have made my life a little easier, not having Master Feipel gush over her in front of everyone, not having another opportunity for everyone to see how lame I am compared to my famous Mom, who’s still changing the Galaxy a little bit at a time. Except I realized that I was being a total drama gualama and Mom was being, well, Mom, putting everyone else first. And as much as she’d gone through so I could be a boring prep-school student, I could at least suffer a little embarrassment so she could tell her story. I hugged her back. “No. No, you should go. I mean, your story’s pretty awesome...you’re pretty awesome….and people should hear it.”

    So, Mom is proud of me now, and that’s what’s important, right? Because I can handle this; I’m a Jedi and there’s ‘emotion, yet peace’, and ‘chaos, yet harmony’ and all that. I can do this. For Mom…

    And I guess if worse comes to worse, I can always practice my Jedi tricks for a few days… Ronen? Nope, he’s not the freak you’re looking for….

    Notes:
    http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Ballad_of_Cham_Syndulla:
    yes, there really is an epic poem about Hera’s father and his efforts to free Ryloth during the Clone Wars
     
  25. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Ronen is MILES AHEAD of those big-headed, full of themselves classmates of his and even those 2 lunkheads Zeb had to cart around on his Honor Guard missions. [face_laugh] :p

    Because Ronen's parents' selfless example is rubbing off ^:)^ and not just in the big flashy hero way but in the everyday small gestures way. [face_dancing] His mom is awesome and yes, he will be able to "make a difference" but it doesn't always have to be world-shattering to count. [face_thinking] =D= =D=
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2018
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