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Saga - PT Saga - OT [DDC 2018] Shaman, Traveler, Oracle: Journal of an Exile of Lasan (OC; Lasan Series)

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by Findswoman , Jul 8, 2018.

  1. Findswoman

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

    Feb 27, 2014
    She’s more levelheaded under fire than she gives herself credit for, and as traumatic as her recent experiences have been, they’ve really brought that part of her out. And it doesn't mean she's become desensitized, or that she no longer wants to look for Zeb (quite the contrary); she just knows, realistically, that she can't afford too much dithering at this particular moment, especially with a big fat moff tied up in the cargo hold. :p And you'll get to see a bit of Moonflower Springs in future stories, if all goes well:
    their first trip there was their honeymoon. :zeb: @};-
    Thanks, as always, for sticking with this! @};- Entry 6 is on its way shortly...
  2. Findswoman

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

    Feb 27, 2014
    In this entry, text in purple previously appeared in the related story Three Strands. My thanks to the hosts of the @Diary_Challenge_Sock for allowing me to link the stories this way. @};-


    Well, there is no doubt about it: I am stuck here on the strange, dingy little world they call Svivren until further notice. It has been a little over a week since that horrid officer’s shuttle landed me here; my first move, of course, was to deposit his repulsive, unconscious bulk in some faraway dark alley where he could not find me again. (Did he really think he could subdue me? We are not wispy and fragile like Human women, who are likely to snap in half as soon a gentle breeze blows. Really, his whole attempt would have been almost amusing if it hadn’t been so horrible at the same time.)

    What a strange change! I always used to hear from Papa and my brothers about what a delicate little thing I was, but now that I see what Human and near-Human females look like… add to that the fact that I am taller even than many of the males I have seen here and have have hit my head on several lintels already…

    At least I’ve now “dealt with him” (as G. used to say), so now I can turn my full attention to finding my place in this sprawling city of Wrils. That is its name, I found out, though as expected most of the Humans and Near-Humans here pronounce much more of the wesk than the resh. It is the capital of this planet’s southern landmass, and I am of course in its spaceport district. Hence the sprawl, I suppose.

    At least there does not seem to be a significant Imperial presence here. There is an Imperial garrison on-planet, but it is located well outside the city, and it seems that Moff Belphagor does not actually reside on Svivren itself but in the neighboring Bront System. So why was his course laid in to this world? I frankly don’t care to speculate.

    There apparently is also some kind of planetwide restriction on the possession of weapons, though after all that has happened I do not want to be without a way to defend myself. I simply keep the pistol and its power cells stashed deep in my satchel. Beyond one final stun for the dear moff, I have thankfully not had to use it yet.

    It is odd to be so far away from the homeworld. Odd, and wrong. And yet: would it not be odd and wrong to be there again, now that those plasteel savages have ravaged it beyond recognition? Now that there is nothing and no one there? (Now that you, my dearest G., are forever gone…? For I am almost sure of that now… )

    And that is why I sold the shuttle after all—as much as it broke my heart to deprive myself of my only means of returning. There are several speeder and starship dealers in this part of Wrils; after visiting some and getting a few quotes, I finally offered the shuttle to a very friendly older Bimm couple with a dealership near the refueling depot. They gave me 9,000 for it—not bad, I suppose, though I lack the expertise to know. Naturally, I first made sure to clear all the repugnant personal effects out of the lockers, cabinets, and drawers and dispose of them (in a different faraway dark alley from the moff himself).

    Somehow I have managed to find a room to rent: small, drafty, but comfortable, and reasonably quiet. It is in one of the quieter commercial streets, above a row of shops: a stationer, a wigmaker, a greengrocer, a seamstress. All well and good—though by now I have run through almost all the funds on the credit stick from the ruffian’s pocket. And if I keep it too long, it will certainly be traced to me… I will need to find some kind of gainful work, and that right soon. The city’s public computer terminals seem to show some employment listings; I shall have to take a closer look at those.

    But one of the shops downstairs has given me an idea that I wish it had not. (Forgive me, my absent love!)
    “Imperial garrison on-planet,” “planetwide restriction on the possession of weapons”: Both established for Svivren in Legends lore; see

    Bront System (also in Svivren Sector):
    divapilot, Kahara, Vek Talis and 2 others like this.
  3. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Aug 31, 2004
    Super link to "Three Strands". Wrils seems as safe a place to stay as any other might be, at this point. There is such a deep note of sadness but acceptance about returning home again. [face_thinking]
  4. Raissa Baiard

    Raissa Baiard Chosen One star 4

    Nov 22, 1999
    Eep! I missed the last entry :eek: I apologize for falling behind! And now to catch up....

    Entry 5
    Shulma is so resourceful and resolute in this entry[face_love] Despite all she’s been through, she’s remarkably clear-headed as she takes stock of her situation and contemplates her course of action—of course, she’s never been a flighty or overly emotional type, another reason why she and Zeb are so perfect for each other.

    I have to say I enjoyed the subtle touches about the language differences betweeen Humans and Lasat, with those darn Humans never able to pronounce the resh properly, and Shulma’s remark about speaking in her own accent. It never really occurred to me until then that she might have an accent similar to Zeb’s—maybe even more so, since she would have less call to deal with non-Lasat than him! It’s probably best not to think too much about what she discovered in the Moff’s stateroom drawers[face_sick] Thank goodness that unseen space-traffic 1controller set “Diane” straight! (Yeah, Diane, what do you think you’re doing?!)

    Shulma’s list of her belongings is a peek into her personality. No surprise that it leans toward the scholarly: her journal, stylus, datapad, and books (one hopes they aren’t massive religious tomes!) She’s got some items there that will no doubt be useful in the future with her ritual chalk and focusing stone, the pistol and Zeb’s knife (also of great sentimental value!) —maybe even the hairpins (you never know!) And then there’s the wistful little comment about th pads and having her answer again, which must be bittersweet as much as it is a relief to her :( And I feel for her as she wrestles with the decision of whether or not to keep the shuttle and return to Lasan to continue her search for Zeb. On the one hand, she’s seen the carnage and destruction the Empire has wrought on her homeworld; she knows what she would be going back to and how unlikely it would be for her to find Zeb. And yet giving up the shuttle must feel to her like she is giving up hope and admitting that she believes Zeb is dead :_| in the end she makes the only choice she really can for her own safety. But I know that her faith and resolute character will sustain her through the hardships to come!

    Entry 6
    Shulma’s a stranger in a strange land here! Once again, you give us a new perspective on Shulma, as she describes how, even though she was considered a “delicate little thing” by her family, she is tall enough to hit her head on door frames and overtops most Human and near-Humans. Meanwhile, the women she encounters seem wispy enough to blow away in the wind. Thank goodness she’s dealt with the repulsive Moff and his equally repulsive belongings. I hope she found a suitably disgusting alley filled with rotting garbage to dump him in; it is no less than he deserves. And thank goodness that the Empire’s presence in the city is limited. She’s wise to hang onto that pistol anyway!

    The Bimms who bought the ship from her sound like good, beings...and I hope that they were indeed honest and gave her a fair sum for the slightly used shuttle.
    There’s so much sadness and resignation in her voice here, it’s heartbreaking. It’s equally sad to read about her small, drafty room above the shops, particularly since we know from Three Strands what the idea that occurs to her at the end of the story is. You’ve done a lovely job of integrating the the passages from that story into the diary in a way that seems natural.

    Bravo on a pair of compelling entries that bring Shulma far from home into the larger Galaxy. May she continue to be her strong, resolute and faithful,self as her story continues, because I know it will not be easy for her [face_love]
  5. Findswoman

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

    Feb 27, 2014
    Very much appreciating your comments and readership, as always! @};-

    Thanks, as always; I’m glad you enjoyed the tie-in! (Which I knew I eventually wanted to do back when I was first writing “Three Strands.”) Yes, thanks to her smarts and resourcefulness, Shulma’s found a safe place to stay for now, which is something considering what she’s been through. As heartrending it is for her to face the prospect of never returning to her real home again, her reasonable side knows that it is safer this way.

    No worries at all, it happens to us all! @};-

    She certainly tries! In a way, clear-headedness is kind of a necessity for survival in the situation she’s in, given that she’s experienced things no one should have to (though we know that in the SW universe others will eventually suffer even worse :( ). And yes, her resoluteness is something Zeb always admired about her, even from the start when the storm was about to blow up back at the Warrior. If only he could see her now…!

    The resh business is based on the established lore that the Lasat language has a very strong rolled r sound, so from that it seemed possible in turn that they might not find other species’ rs strong enough. So far I only have sort of a half-baked idea of how Shulma’s voice sounds, but yes, I could certainly see her having a similar kind of accent to Zeb’s, sort of a slightly more refined version of that same kind of accent in a warm mezzo or alto register. And she certainly wouldn’t have rummaged through those drawers under any other circumstances—though I have b no means come up with details, I could see someone as sick and twisted Moff Belphagor being likely to have some pretty sick and twisted stuff lying about (and not just wrappers and cigarette butts). As to “Diane," I think I might have briefly had Twin Peaks or something on the brain. :p But yeah, it sure is a lucky thing for Shulma that that other controller showed up and put her in her place! [face_relieved]

    I knew from when I was first planning this diary that I wanted to have Shulma at some point take stock of the contents of her satchel—the only possessions left to her in the universe after her home is destroyed. She has several things that remind her of her scholarly life as a shaman back on Lasan, like her chalk, notebook, stone, books (and no, thankfully none of them are of a bigger trim size than about 5” x 8”, though they are hardcovers :p ), and they are also reminders to her that that vocation, and those abilities, are still with her even here. She has things that relate to her beauty, grace, and femininity, too, things that are not at all mutually exclusive with scholarly smarts and spirituality (and very good catch about the pads and what that implies—definitely a bittersweet moment of sorts). And she has the things she’s acquired since the disaster that testify to her courage and resoluteness. Everything in there is part of her and says something about her.

    I also have to admit that for this part of the entry I had on the brain a classroom exercise that one of my mom’s student teachers once did: she showed her students (like 2nd grade or so) various objects from her purse and had them draw inferences about her. (E.g., her car keys -> she owns a car and drives to work rather than taking the bus.) It was, as you can imagine, wildly successful! :D

    Exactly, especially the bolded sentence. Giving up hope about Zeb is something she really, really doesn’t want to do, but the fact remains that going back to investigate would simply be too dangerous. It’s necessary for her survival to let her more reasonable side win out on this one.

    The issue of scaling is definitely going to come up when you’re a member of a species that tends to run larger than most, and it was fun to play with that a little bit here, particularly in light of “tender, delicate thing”-type comments she’s gotten from other members of her species (see also the beginning of Romance among the Stones). It’s all a matter of perspective, I guess! I have no doubt that she dumped the moff in the nastiest, disgustingest, rottenest alley that she could find, and his icky belongings in, oh I don’t know, maybe the second nastiest, disgustingest, rottenest alley that she could find, though a few neighborhoods over. Couldn’t happen to a nicer fellow, could it! :p His pistol, though, will definitely be wise to hold on to, because one never knows what could happen.

    Thanks so much; I’m glad you felt it worked to integrate those parts of “Three Strands” here (and thanks again to the diary organizers for allowing me to do so), and again, it was something I wanted to at least try my hand at doing ever since I started "Three Strands.” She’s safe now, true enough—but perhaps it’s because she’s now safe that she has an extra opportunity to meditate on just how sad her situation is, and to finally resign herself that she’s not going to be able to go back to Lasan again. And of course her drafty, solitary little apartment is such a contrast to the cozy home she had on her homeworld, with a loving, warm, strong husband at her side. =((

    Well, thank you so much, as always, for all the support you’ve given Shulma and her story so far! @};- Her story will continue very soon, and there will be more trials ahead, but (if I do say so myself) her inner strength and sincerity will help see her through.
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2018
  6. Mira_Jade

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

    Jun 29, 2004
    First off, I have to apologize for being so remiss on my reviews - for this and your other pieces! [face_blush] DRL has unfortunately had other plans than spending time online for me as of late, which is regrettable, but I hope to fix that now! :p :oops:

    This was a brief update, but in just a few words you managed to capture and share so much about Shulma, once again. Such verve and tenacity of spirit, all the while still being so sweetly her. I've enjoyed this glimpse of where she's going next, and already can't wait for more. [face_love]

    For particulars -

    I have to echo Raissa's sentiment hoping that its the dirtiest, smelliest, most awful alley she could find. It's still less than he deserves. :mad:

    I really enjoyed this observation - especially after reading Romance Among the Stones and seeing what other misguided Lasan think of Shulma! Even if her 'delicateness' is more affectionately commented on by her fathers and brothers. [face_thinking] Yet compared to a Human she certainly has strength - and form! in spades. :p It's an interesting sort of culture shock.

    Good, smart girl! Pragmatic and in no way a wilting flower is our Shulma! [face_love]

    Ack, ack, ack - there you go, twisting at my heartstrings again. Knowing that the lovers will someday be reunited doesn't at all help now, and I hate seeing the kind of pain Shulma's in. :(

    A most interesting - if somewhat foreboding segue! [face_thinking] Yet I remain, as always, riveted for what's going to happen next, and wishing the best for our dear, brave warrioress. [face_love]

  7. Findswoman

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

    Feb 27, 2014
    Oh, no worries in the least! I completely understand the kind of number DRL can do on one, and your wonderful and insightful comments make my day whenever they arrive. Take whatever time you need. @};-

    Thanks, as always, for the love and support you’ve shown this character since the start! That is definitely the kind of combination I’m going for with her, so I’m glad it’s working. [face_love]

    Oh, I absolutely agree! He more than deserves it after the whole combination of everything that’s happened. :mad:

    Once again, that sort of “culture shock that’s also scale shock” is bound to be a thing for a member of a species that’s built a vastly different scale from all the other ones around it. (Those Bimm ship dealers might have been in a similar position, though on the opposite end of the spectrum, and perhaps that’s part of what drew her to accept their offer.) And of course comments like “you’re so tender and delicate” can have such different effects and implications depending on who says them. It meant a different thing coming from her dad and brothers than it did coming from that cantankerous Maranga, and now Shulma’s getting a perspective on the whole issue that she’s never gotten before.

    Very true, that! “The flower that blooms in adversity...”

    I hear you there; it hasn’t been easy for me at all to put her through this kind of thing. :(

    Ah ha! Well, she does have a little bit of a plan in mind, and one thing I can say is that Three Strands will give an idea of what the plan is, since the purple portions are quoted from there—there will be a bit more of that in the forthcoming entry too. Which is right around the corner! :D And again, many thanks for your comments and interest, as always. @};-
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2018
  8. Findswoman

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

    Feb 27, 2014
    This entry and the next will be structured as a series of several shorter "entries" written over a period of time, but for the purposes of the challenge they will still count as one entry each. Once again, text in purple previously appeared in Three Strands.


    I am not so sure about this idea of mine now. It seems too desperate; should I be going to such extremes? Besides, it would only be temporary. I would much prefer to find some kind of more stable situation for the long term.

    So I have been combing the employment listings on the city computer terminals, though so far it has been somewhat of a disappointment. Almost all the positions advertised seem to be at the Imperial garrison outside town—which I suppose should not surprise me. That, of course, is one recourse I shall never take no matter how indigent I become; this “animal woman” has her pride! Clothing shop sales assistant? Perhaps, though I wonder if the clothing shop (it is not too far from here, just under five kilometers or so) would want a sales assistant who could not fit into anything they sell. Bookkeeper’s assistant? Now, that one gave me a wistful smile: that had been Mama’s first job at the mining ministry long ago. But I never inherited her flair for figures… I’ll have to think that one over.

    I shall keep looking. What else can I do?

    * * *​

    Even here, I shall take Wise Chava’s advice and record all the times the Ashla brings me visions. This morning, I dreamed G. was lying beside me. He reached over to pull me close, as he always used to do, and his warm green eyes smiled as he leaned down to kiss me…

    And then I awoke and found myself cold and alone, and now my head is filled with piercing pain. Perhaps it is time to try a few of those pharma tablets from the apothecary shop on Cresh Street.

    * * *​

    The pharma tablets did nothing. Indeed, they only made me dizzy and disoriented as well. I should have known nothing sold here would be formulated for a Lasat. So now I am down to two of Shaman Rachtilios’s pastilles. May the Four Protecting Cloaks be upon me!

    I wish I could recall what she used to put in them; perhaps I could try my hand at making some more. But the healing arts were always more Yhazi’s area than mine. (Ah, Yhazi, what I wouldn’t give to hear your laughter again…)

    * * *​

    I looked again at the employment listings on the city terminal. There is a new opening for a server at a diner on the east side of town—a place on Herf Street called the Old-School. I shall enquire there tomorrow.

    * * *
    I went to the Old-School this morning. It is a small, no-nonsense place, but full of warm, delicious smells, and it is a popular lunch spot with the workers at the factories nearby. My interview with the manager proceeded smoothly until she saw my feet. No, I am not being facetious: I was told in no uncertain terms that all employees are required to wear shoes or some other kind of foot covering while on the job. Where does she think I am going to find shoes that fit? And even if I did—rrhu’karabast’aka, the very thought of covering my feet! A Lasat’s feet are her pride, and pride is all I have left these days.

    I bristled inside, but I thanked the manager for her time and left. At least I did not leave empty-handed: they were kind enough to offer all their job applicants a free meal, so I came home with a fragrant takeout bag of bantha kidney pie. It was really quite good.

    Well, back to the terminal, then. I recall that it gave the address and comm number of an employment agency that might have more offerings; perhaps they can be of help.

    * * *​

    Arrived at the agency this morning. It was a fairly quick procedure: I had to fill out one of their dataforms, and they promise a reply within two business rotations. (I did manage to replace my datapad’s network identification chip, and I rented one of those communications boxes at the spaceport complex—just the smallest-sized one.) A bit humbling too, however: their list of areas of training makes me realize just how little vocational experience I really have. (“Ashla talent” and “expert knowledge of ancient Lasat spiritual and prophetic literature” are not exactly marketable skills in this part of the Outer Rim.)

    I left “species” blank, just to be safe.

    * * *​

    It has been four days now with no word from the agency. My funds are beginning to run low. The headaches have been returning. If I can, I’d like to conserve my two remaining pastilles; the spikemint tea I found in the pantry seems all right so far, though it is nothing like the queen’s heart-blumfruit tea G. used to make me.

    Maybe I should reconsider my earlier idea, at least as a stopgap...

    * * *
    Success! I found a nice, sharp pair of shears in one of the kitchen drawers. They should do the trick. May the Ashla guide my hands! G., my hotheaded love, would you be angry with me for what I am about to do?

    Cresh Street, Herf Street: The names of these streets are Aurebesh letters, à la the lettered streets in Washington, D.C.

    The Old-School is a nod to the Old Fashioned in downtown Madison, Wisconsin.

    Yhazi: An OC, one of Shulma’s friends and fellow shamans, who previously appeared in Calm after the Storm. She and Shaman Rachtilios are not the same person, incidentally.

    Pharma (the most boring possible name for a GFFA analgesic, I know):
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2018
    Kahara, Vek Talis and Raissa Baiard like this.
  9. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Aug 31, 2004
    Oh what a mix of looking for suitable employment: one that matches her skills and temperament & wistfulness over lost friends, none more than dear wonderful :zeb: -- made all the more poignant by that dream. [:D] [:D]
  10. Raissa Baiard

    Raissa Baiard Chosen One star 4

    Nov 22, 1999
    Shulma’s trials continue, though now she’s past the initial shock and horror of the Seige and “just” dealing with the day-to-day realities of living on her own. Of course, even the most basic of considerations—finding employment—proves to be a challenge. Unfortunately, as Shulma notes with characteristic dry humor “Ashla talent” and “expert knowledge of ancient Lasat spiritual and prophetic literature” are not exactly marketable skills in this part of the Outer Rim,” so she is compelled to seek more mundane employment. However, the pickings seem to be rather slim. I completely do not blame her for refusing to work for the Empire no matter how dire her straits become, but the other jobs all are unsuitable or have unreasonable restrictions—shoes, indeed! (One wonders if a Wookiee or Ithorian wouldn’t feel the same). And that points out another huge difficulty for Shulma—nothing on this planet is scaled for a Lasat, not the clothing and footwear, and worse, not the medications. The painkillers she takes for her vision headaches do nothing for her; I really like how you’ve brought in little details like this that make you think about the realities of life in the GFFA for someone who’s not a Human or near-Human. Small wonder that under such circumstances she is longing for her friends and especially her dear Zeb :( And small wonder that she is desperate enough to follow through with that idea of hers and take the course of action we see in Three Strands.

    As always, many hugs to our resolute heroine; may things improve for her. And many thanks to you for bringing us this wonderful story!
  11. Mira_Jade

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

    Jun 29, 2004
    Another wonderful chapter in Shulma's story! =D= It's bad enough recovering from her trauma, and experiencing the culture shock and pains of trying to - quite literally - fit herself into a world that's designed around Humans and their like, but now there are practical, mundane things to consider. Like employment. [face_plain] :oops:

    As she should. :mad: And there's a thought to consider - what would happen if the Empire were to find a Lasat Shaman who survived the massacre? . . . [face_worried] It's an intimidating, unforgiving galaxy out there, but Shulma is doing her best to make the most of what she can. Dear, brave girl!

    Oh, what a bittersweet vision! :( Though I hope that - when she can - she considers just why the Ashla is sending her visions of her lost love. Something tells me it's not just drawn from her memories, but a message more than that. [face_mischief][face_thinking]

    And those headaches, as always, are worrying . . .

    Ouch! Another thing to consider for poor Shulma - just how Human oriented the galaxy is, even in the Outer Rim where's there's theoretically more diversity at this time due to the Empire's anti non-Human policies. (But of course not here, on second thought - there's a garrison and Imperial presence. [face_sigh])

    The last line was sobering - it's not just her husband and her family she's lost, but everyone and everything she's known. I can only imagine how many small things like this would bring back memories of those she's mourning. I can't even wrap my mind around what a shock this must be for her, in so many ways. I'm amazed by how stalwartly she's holding herself together!

    Oi! Really? :mad: [face_phbbbbt] :rolleyes: Covering her feet . . . seriously? How??? Does the manager even have eyes?! I love how that even brings pious Shulma to creatively swearing. :p Zeb would be proud. (Also, as a side point, I'm thoroughly enjoying this day to day look at life in the GFFA, too - that you have to know.)

    And the thing is that Shulma never intended to have to look beyond those vocational skills - she had a niche on Lasan that she filled, and filled well. Now, to be dropped out of the blue and expected to change everything after everything has already changed - it's a lot to take in.

    (This update reminded me a lot of working on Even Without a Voice, too - so I am having twice the sympathy pangs, here. :p)

    :mad::( [face_plain]

    Ack, I see where this is going and it just breaks my heart! :( Shulma has been described more than once by her long, beautiful hair. It'll grow back, of course, but the symbolism that's more devastating here. This was something Zeb loved about her - this was something that she herself was proud of, and it's another piece of herself she's giving up to adapt to her new situation. It's a sad, terrible thought, and I'm sending all of the encouraging vibes of strength and fortitude Shulma's way! Though it seems she has her own in spades. [face_love]

    Another wonderful update! I can't wait to see where you take our heroine next. =D=
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2018
  12. Findswoman

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

    Feb 27, 2014
    Thanks as always to all who have been keeping up with this! :)

    Thank you, as always! Searching for employment is difficult and stressful enough when (a) when you're not also still reeling from the shock of losing everyone and everything you've ever known and loved and (b) when you're the same species as everyone around you! It's kind of a "never rains but pours" situation for Shulma. And those dreams and visions: are they a comfort? Are they the opposite? It's hard to know from day to day—though read on below...

    Yep, scare quotes around "just" sounds about right—it's whole new ordeal in itself, given the challenges of being all alone and the only one of her species anywhere near. And it can just plain hurt to feel that the specialized skills and knowledge one has cultivated for years, nay, for much of one's life, are just not needed or wanted by so many out there. I've been there myself. =((

    Oh, I'm sure a Wookiee or Ithorian would feel similarly—the way I see it, insisting that a Lasat wear shoes is like insisting that a Wookiee wear clothing! Just as the Wookiees' thick, rich fur is one of the characteristics they take the most pride in, the Lasats' strong, prehensile feet are one of theirs. And it just seemed logical that "regular" Human and Near-Human medicine would simply not work in such a different species, particularly one that is built on a larger scale than Humans and Near-Humans; I'm guessing the whole body chemistry is different all around, too. That in turn becomes a reminder to Shulma of just how much she's lost, as she has to use one of the very few pills from her own planet that she has left—pretty much the last of their kind, just as she feels she must be one of the last of hers. Desperate measures à la Three Strands are, unfortunately, the natural next step. =((

    You are very welcome, as always, and thank you again for our invaluable betaing and feedback, and for sticking with Shulma through all her trials! @};-

    Yep, the fact that she has to job-hunt on top of all the other things that have happened to her is almost adding insult to injury! :oops: Again, it's a real case of "when it rains, it pours."

    Oh definitely, and Shulma would never, never want to give them that kind of opportunity or satisfaction—she'd sooner die. And yet she most definitely won't give up on this search until she does find something that works.

    Yes, yes, a very good point, and definitely something for her to consider, as she will... [face_thinking]

    They are, yes, but they're also part and parcel of the way she experiences the Ashla—she's kind of like those RL mystics and saints who were known to experience headaches and other kinds of pain as part of their visions, like Hildegard of Bingen and Teresa of Avila. My idea is that there were mystics earlier in Lasan’s history who suffered from the same thing, and that Shulma is one of continuing in the same tradition. Of course, that doesn’t make it any more pleasant for her!

    Yes, that's absolutely right,even out here in the Rim; thankfully they're outside town, rather than right there in town, but it's still good to be maximally careful.

    That’s right: even the littlest things are serving to remind her of how much she and her whole culture have lost. There are almost no more of these pills; the people and expertise that could make more of them are all gone, and all that will be left is pain, pain, pain. :( And yes, I’m kind of amazed at how levelheaded she is, too—if anyone out there feels she’s too much so for the situation, or that it seems unrealistic, feel free to let me know! <3

    Yes, that manager really doesn't get it at all, does she? :p Again, one might as well ask a Wookiee to put on clothes! Shulma's creative krabasting is definitely one of the many things Zeb adores in her—of course, when she utters something like that, it takes on the full force of a shamanic invocation, and not just an frustrated interjection. [face_pumpkin]

    And thanks so much—I have to say, exploring the more everyday side of the GFFA is one of my favorite things in this fanfic hobby of ours, and it is one of things I very much enjoyed in your earlier Even Without a Voice chapters, too, with Ahsoka's hunt for employment—that was a big inspiration for me in writing this.

    Exactly—it's wrenchingly difficult (and would be so even if there weren't the whole destruction-of-homeworld thing involved). Once again, I have totally been there myself in my own searches for employment, and I feel very fortunate that I finally did end up finding something that fits my niche.

    And again, your diary was a huge inspiration to this part of mine, given the similar situations in which Ahsoka and Shulma find themselves

    Yes, pretty much. But after all that's happened, she has to. =((

    You got it—she's about to do a Jo March / Gift of the Magi type thing here, and the full story of it is told in Three Strands. It is definitely an immense wrench for her, given what it meant and still does mean to her and Zeb, but given how desperate her situation is, she doesn't have many other choices. (But it will grow back, and will be the same stuff as before—just like the thousand-year-old rosebush in Hildesheim, Germany.)

    Thank you so much, yet again! And keep watching this space—you'll soon see. :cool:
  13. Findswoman

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

    Feb 27, 2014
    Once again, purple text previously appeared in Three Strands. I thank @Raissa Baiard for beta reading. @};-


    It’s done. My head feels strangely light now. And I have 4500 more credits than I did before. That is something, at least, until the agency decides to come through with something (but I am not holding my breath about that). I have a credit stick of my own now; the old one lies in tiny shreds at the bottom of this city’s trash compaction system. Should I feel relieved, contented, at peace?

    I ask because I do not.

    I still hear the snick of the shears carrying out their inexorable duty. Not just my hair has been cut: have not the blades of the Ashla sliced me loose from all I have ever loved and lived for? Without homeworld and kin, aren’t I too nothing but a dead bundle of filaments and wisps, to be bought and sold and perhaps remade? Ai rrhu’karabast’aka, what has become of me, what will become of me?!

    But even now, on the floor of my cold room, your worn, dog-eared holoimage lies before me: you, my warrior, in all your military glory, hefting the ancient weapon of honor. And my tears fall, hot and caustic, on the image of your eyes.

    * * *​

    I took a long walk today, both to run a few errands at the market and to get to know this part of town better. It was overcast all day, with rain looming though never quite breaking, and by the time I made my way home a most magnificent petrichor hung in the air. It reminded me of the air on Mount Straga before the summer storms—and yes, I used to complain about the headaches that so often plagued me under those conditions, but today I simply stood in the middle of the square and inhaled it deeply: the smell of my home, far away from home.

    (One thing now missing, of course, is the feeling of the stormbreeze blowing through my hair. I am still not fully used to being having it so short.)

    And then the sun peeked through the cloud cover, and the sublime scent was gone. Just as well, perhaps; a public square is not the best place for a level-three vision trance. But as soon as I got back, I took out Chava’s edition of Osthi and reread her sixth contemplation: “O ether of the storm, O attar of the holy mountain, let all other scents be subsumed in you!” What a miracle that even here in exile I have this holy seer’s lovely words beside me.

    * * *​

    I finally heard from the agency. They commed me yesterday—with the very same bookkeeper’s assistant listing I saw last week on the city terminal! Well, fine, then. I have set up an appointment for a placement test on Centaxday after next, but I do not fancy my chances.

    Rereading Osthi the other day gave me a thought. Those words that I wrote in this journal are here beside me in Chava’s volume, but so much of my people’s ancient writings are now lost, and I don’t know where I would be able to find them short of the ancient homeworld itself. All that is left of them, at least here, is the bits and pieces of them I have in my memory. But if I wrote down those bits and pieces, just as I wrote down that sentence from Osthi, then perhaps at least some of the ancient lore would be preserved, which is better by far than none of it at all. I shall need to plan this out further, but it seems worth a try.

    * * *​

    I interviewed for the bookkeeping position today, and it went essentially as expected. Well, better, in a way: I scored just below the cutoff point on the placement test rather than all the way in the lowest bracket, which is what I had actually expected. But it still was enough to eliminate me. No surprise, really.

    And then, just as I was returning to the apartment, I saw the Drabatan lady who owns the seamstress shop putting up a sign in her window. I watched for a moment to see what it said: it was “Help Wanted—Willing to Train—Inquire Within.” I thought on it for a few moments: I am by no means an expert at sewing, but long ago Mama showed me a few things about mending my dresses and cloaks, and I used to help Shaman Movshati with the shrine hangings from time to time, so I figured perhaps I had a chance.

    As I was standing there thinking, the Drabatan lady noticed me and waved at me (as she sometimes does when we see each other near the building close to opening time or closing time), and I waved back. Just then I thought I could feel a faint spark or ping within me—the same feeling Wise Chava once told me was the spark of the Ashla when it looks with favor upon one and urges one toward a course of action. It was the same feeling I used to get after an exam or ritual well done, and I realized just then that I had not felt it or anything like it since I left Lasan, let alone in any of my other attempts at finding employment.

    So I went in. Her first words as I entered and lowered my hood (I almost always wear my hood when going out): “Oh! You Lasat!” My heart jumped into my throat for a moment as she quickly lowered the window shades, but I calmed when she said she had heard of what the Empire had done to Lasan and marveled that I had managed to survive. I choked back tears; it was the first time since I came to Wrils that anyone had recognized my origins and expressed sympathy for what had happened to my homeworld. But this was a job interview, after all, so I swallowed my emotion and answered her questions about my experience with sewing, what kind of sewing machines I had used before, whether I had ever worked with a tailor droid, and so forth. Even with her sympathetic manner, I tried to be as vague as possible about my (very meager) past experience on Lasan, simply because one never knows. Fortunately she seemed to understand.

    She then took me to one of the sewing machines at the back of the shop, gave me a large piece of drapery fabric, and asked me to hem it for curtains. The machine took some getting used to—it was much lighter than Mama’s old treadle-operated NaNiBer and I feared I would pull it over at any moment; it didn’t help that the fabric was heavy and unwieldy as well. But as I worked I noticed that little twinkling spark again—the Ashla is truly everywhere and in all things! All the while the seamstress was right beside me with aid and encouragement: “little that WAY, now other WAY, STEADY now, you doing fine.” (Occasionally she would say some words much louder than others; a Drabatan speech pattern, perhaps? Or just her own?)

    And I think I must have done fine in the end, because I start first thing tomorrow.

    petrichor: An honest-to-goodness RL word for the smell of rain. See, for example, this article on what causes it.

    Chava’s edition of Osthi: First mentioned in Shulma's inventory in entry 5.

    Drabatan: This is the species to which Pao of Rogue One belongs. Incidentally, hold that thought…

    “A Drabatan speech pattern, perhaps?”: Yes, or at least that’s my interpretation based on the Wook article on the Drabatese language; it seems that volume might have semantic import in Drabatese the way tones do in tone languages like Thai and Chinese.

    NaNiBer: A not very creative takeoff on Bernina.
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  14. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Aug 31, 2004
    The sorrowful mood of the post-hair cutting followed by that lovely wistful moment with the "smell of rain." =D= Then she meets a sympathetic seamstress who is (not coincidentally) looking to hire and willing to train. What a wonderful turn of events. :)

    Shulma's idea of preserving the Lasan't lore and wisdom is a superb one! =D= It will preserve their legacy literally and emotionally.
  15. Mira_Jade

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

    Jun 29, 2004
    Oh don't you worry! Shulma is just showing how much steel she has in her spine; she's incredibly stalwart and courageous. And, with how the story reads - to me at least, she's so thoroughly living in the moment! Right now, the majority of her focus is on surviving. She doesn't have the time or luxary of falling apart. Her grief is already excruciating, but I can only imagine that things have yet to fully hit her, even so! :(

    What a beautiful paragraph of writing! I love how you mixed together the imagery of the sheers and the shorn hair and the gathering the strands together to make something new to mirror Shulma's current situation. And the karabast as an invocation and lament I'm not going to get over soon, again!

    Petrichor!!! I absolutely love that word, yet I can't think of a single time I've ever seen it worked into a piece of prose so effortlessly! Bravo!

    I also love that Shulma was able to have this moment for herself. Just beautiful. [face_love]

    The ancient homeworld might be closer than she thinks in the future, too. [face_whistling] [face_mischief]

    But with how much her people have lost, it must be heartening - even if the task may also seem duanting for just how immense it is - to know that she can go about preserving her people's lore and shamanic knowledge. She has a purpose yet to fulfill. [face_love]

    Oh! Bingo!!

    It really is fascinating to see how the Force is perceived by other cultures than the Jedi! The Ashla truly is everywhere and is in everything. Shulma will never be alone in that sense. [face_love]

    Oh! What a beautiful moment of fellowship and shared empathy. Shulma could use with a friendly face right about now - not only is she dealing with such an immense grief, but she's doing so alone. I can only imagine how much lighter her shoulders must have felt, even if for a moment. [face_love]

    What a dear lady! And what an interesting Drabatan quirk, too. Again, I am really enjoying all the little bits of world building and attention to detail in every regard.

    Shulma has found the next bend in her path, it seems! I remain, as always, eager to see where she goes from here. =D=
  16. Raissa Baiard

    Raissa Baiard Chosen One star 4

    Nov 22, 1999
    Dear Shulma! Her straits are dire enough that she proceeds with her plan to sell her magnificent hair to the wig maker =((. And as it did when I first read Three Strands, my heart breaks for her here, maybe even more so now that we can fully appreciate everything she’s been through and everything she’s lost. It reminds me a bit of the “Hair” drabble I wrote, where Sabine says “it’s just hair, and yet it’s not just hair”, because Shulma’s beautiful locks are part of her identity as much as Sabine’s multi-colored tresses are of hers. And having lost home, family, husband—everything!—for Shulma to lose another piece of who she is, no matter that it’s “just hair”, is one more blow. I wish I could tell her that, like a certain fairytale princess, her true love is still out there!

    On a more positive note, little things like the smell of the coming storm still keep the memory of home alive in her heart, bittersweet though that is, it’s good that she can hold onto those precious memories and that they stir her faith instead of bringing her despair. Writing down the holy texts will surely be a project that sustains her, as far away from home as she is. @};-

    Her job search continues, and I love the way she sums up her experience with the bookkeeping exam with her characteristic dry humor:
    Er, that’s the spirit... But then, wonder of wonders, the Drabatan seamstress advertises a position—something that Shulma has some slight experience with—and the Ashla sparks within her! And no wonder, with a wonderfully sympathetic employer like this woman, someone who is kind, but more than that offers Shulma the first bit of sympathy and understanding she’s had since leaving Lasan. She recognizes Shulma as a Lasat and knows the real story of what happened on Lasan, and she can truly relate, since something very similar happened to her homeworld to. I have no doubt she would have helped Shulma in any case, but I think knowing what Shulma’s been through makes up her mind completely. She seems a very mother avian type, which is something Shulma could use at this moment. [face_love] I look forward to seeing more of our new friend and space!mom and getting to know her better; she seems like a very sympathetic character who’ll be a good friend for Shulma.

    Glad that things are looking up for our heroine; she certainly deserves a ray of sunshine, and she seems to have found one with her new employer!
  17. Findswoman

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

    Feb 27, 2014
    Thank you all, as always! :)

    Yep, this is a time of a lot of emotional ups and downs for Shulma as she adjusts to life in this strange new place. Even far away out here, she's finding some things that remind her of home, which goes a long way to sweeten her exile. And both this new job prospect and her plan to preserve her people's lore bring an additional note of hope. She is playing a role both in making things better for herself and in preserving her heritage against all odds.

    Well, that may be, that may be. @};- But yes, that is what I am going for here: she soldiers on through all these trials and tribulations as resolutely as she does simply because she has to, and I am glad you feel that is coming across.

    Thanks! I'm glad you liked this, though I admittedly cribbed it from myself, from Three Strands. :p I just felt it fit so well both with her current situation and with what her hair means and has meant to her. And one of these days I'm going to have to get all of these karabast variations written down in one place, preferably our fanon post! :p

    Thanks so much! I figured she deserved a little moment for herself—once again, finding those things that remind one of home, be they ever so little, can really make a difference when one is far away. And yes, isn't that an awesome word? It wasn't all that long ago that I learned it (and learned how the "smell of rain" really works), and once I did, it was quite a bingo moment—yes, this really cool amazing thing actually does have its very own precise word. (And its literal meaning is beautiful too: "ichor of the rock," which also seemed very Lasat in its way and was the basis for "attar of the holy mountain," etc.)

    Yes, true that. ;)

    She definitely does, and once again, it is an endeavor that will bring her hope too: her people's knowledge will not die, and she will be the reason why it doesn't. @};-

    Yep, pretty much! :D

    That's true, too! Through all that's happened to Shulma and her homeworld, the Ashla has never left her and never will.

    It's quite a moment for her—perhaps the first time during her sojourn in Wrils that she hasn't felt completely and utterly alone. And it's so different from all her experiences since the siege, so much so that it takes her by surprise! There really is nothing like finding a friend in a strange and faraway place (and I speak from at least a little of my own experiences when I traveled to Germany for my graduate school research).

    Thanks! That's basically just my interpretation of what the Wook says about the Drabatese language, "with context, tense and other grammatical concepts being determined by volume"—so how loud a word is spoken is tied in with its meaning. (In Thai or Chinese, for example, the same group of sounds spoken with different tones makes it different words; ditto with volume levels in Drabatese.)

    And yes, things are finally looking up for Shulma a bit—and you shall see what's next for her very soon! :)

    Yes! I know which drabble you mean, and went back and read it just now—it's definitely just as true for Shulma as for Sabine, even though the two women have very different ways of doing their hair. I guess in a way Shulma is so used to loss by now that she can put up with "just" one more (though what a thing for anyone to be used to), but that doesn't mean it doesn't hurt. And the fact that her husband loved her hair so much adds to it, because losing her hair reminds her of how she's lost him. =(( (And believe me, sometimes I wish I too could go into the story and just hug her and tell her—he's still out there! @};- )

    Those little moments of hope mean a lot to her at this juncture, and the larger project of writing down the holy texts will make that hope all the more real. And they'll keep her alive: one does not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the Ashla. :cool:

    Yeah, pretty much! :p At least she gave it a try, I guess, and she's secure enough in the abilities she does have to be able to see this situation with some humor.

    You'll see more of the Drabatan seamstress in the chapters ahead; she is definitely acting here out of empathy for what Shulma and Lasan have experienced (thank goodness for that Dawn of Rebellion sourcebook!), as well as from her own caring disposition. Yes, someone like that is exactly what Shulma needs right about now—and that she is able to offer her gainful employment, too, is an added bonus!

    Many thanks, as always, for the readership and comments—next chapter is right around the corner!
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  18. Findswoman

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

    Feb 27, 2014

    I have been working at the seamstress’s shop for three Standard weeks now. Lua is her name, or in full, Lualani’Draba’Takiil (I am sure of that spelling only from her business chip). She is a kindly sort, and has been very patient in answering my foolish questions about how to do certain alterations, how to operate the machines, which settings and needle sizes to use for which fabric types, and so forth. Thanks to her help, I feel much more secure with the machines, and I have even had the help of her old tailoring droid, PR-L4, for the more difficult alterations. I still sometimes feel the ping of the Ashla inside me as I sit at my work, even when I am shaky—especially when I am shaky.

    We get a good stream of work, regular but not overwhelming. Most of it is basic alterations: cuffs to be hemmed, buttons to be reattached, waistlines to be let out or taken in (usually the former). Very occasionally a custom clothing order will come in—a dress or a suit for some special occasion like a ceremony or ball—though it is mainly Lua who handles those.

    Lua paid me my first wage a week ago. She said she was very pleased with my work so far, and she even made a pleasantly surprising proposal: that she pay me from time to time in clothing made to fit me. (“Because I bet it NO EASY find dresses your SIZE”—well, yes, I know I am a little larger than most other beings in this city…) Of course I accepted. She said she would measure me when I came in to work on Primeday, and she promised to have a dress and coat ready for me by the end of the month. It is a rather luxurious prospect, really—the only other custom-made clothing I have ever owned was my wedding gown and cloak.

    Meanwhile, I have been devoting time each evening to writing down everything I can remember of the writings of the ancients. These last weeks I have been concentrating on the first two Tractates of Prophecy. So far I have almost filled two standard-sized business notebooks from the stationer’s shop, but it has been difficult and tiring work, and I fear I have forgotten much. I suppose I should have gone out of order and started with the fourth through sixth Tractates, since those are the subject of the one Maimonios volume I still have. But of course Osthi’s Stronghold is replete with references and citations from all the Tractates (all thoroughly explained in Chava’s detailed notes), so I at least can turn there if I need my memory refreshed. All in all, it is a little like studying for the First Degree exam all over again, only with many fewer books at my disposal, and no study meetings in the Academy reading room with Rishla and Yhazi. Sometimes I see them sitting across from me at my rickety little table, with books open in front of them, just as in the olden days, and I almost expect one of them to start quizzing me…

    And then it all disappears, of course, and I’m left to go about my work all alone in my drafty room—sometimes with a dull headache. The texts feel very long then, very long and very tedious. But then suddenly my memory will spark with some sublime passage that makes all the tedium worthwhile: last night it was that lovely section in 2–36, I think it was, about the cliff thrush that sings its most beautiful song before its fallen nest and broken eggs. (A favorite text of Osthi’s too, expanded upon in her seventh contemplation.) Perhaps I too can be like that thrush, and sing even though all that is mine has been destroyed… at any rate, I always try to make it to the end of a chapter, or of a major section at the very least, before I turn in.

    Which I think I shall do now, after a cup of the spikemint tea. It has been a long three weeks—good, but long. Darkness, sweet darkness, soother of the weary…

    Lualani’Draba’Takiil: An OC. Her name is a combination of the Haitian Creole word lwa or loa (the word for the principal spirits or deities in Haitian Vodou), and Hawaiian lani (flower).

    PR-L4: Named after Perla, the female mouse in pink/purple from Disney’s Cinderella (1950), one of the mice who helps sew Cinderella’s dress.

    Osthi, Maimonios: Authors of two of the books mentioned above in entry 5, when Shulma inventories what she still has left in her satchel. Maimonios is of course a not very creative takeoff on Maimonides, a prominent Jewish theologian and exegete of the 12th century. (Maybe the -ios suffix in Lasat means the same thing as the -ides suffix in Greek.)

    Rishla, Yhazi: OCs; Shulma’s friends and fellow shamans who appeared previously in Calm After the Storm.

    Thanks once again to @Raissa Baiard for beta-reading. @};-
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  19. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Aug 31, 2004
    Bittersweet indeed as she recalls her friends but there is more pleasure in LUa's kind offer to make customized to fit clothing & as Shulma scribes the texts. It indeed seems to have a boosting effect. She feels like she is doing something worthwhile. [face_thinking]
  20. Raissa Baiard

    Raissa Baiard Chosen One star 4

    Nov 22, 1999
    What a difference these three weeks have made! It's such a wonderful change to see Shulma content here [face_love] She has gainful, worthwhile employment now and is developing a friendship with Lua, and, awww, Lua is such a dear! Kind, patient, willing to take the time to instruct Shulma, and even if she does phrase things a trifle bluntly ("Because I bet it NO EASY find dresses your SIZE"), it's clear she's looking out for Shulma's needs, beyond just wages. I am sure that Shulma will be more than pleased to have the clothing, since she left Lasan with only the clothes on her back :eek:. The Ahla itself seems to approve, pinging inside her as she works
    Another awww moment there, because of course that's when she needs it most and the fact that she can still find its comfort and reassurance shows that she hasn't been defeated, no matter what she has gone through.

    It's also encouraging to see that her project to record the sacred writings is going so well, too Despite the bittersweet memories of lost friends, the headaches,and the occasional frustrations of memory and tedious passages, Shulma seems to a have a hopeful outlook overall. She's still moved by the beauty of scripture (and she truly is like that cliff thrush, singing beautifully though her home lies in ruins and everything seems lost )

    So good to see our heroine moving forward, able to take pleasure in the small blessings, even if it's just a cup of tea and a good night's sleep. [face_love]
  21. Vek Talis

    Vek Talis Jedi Master star 3

    Oct 12, 2018
    All right. I've read the first 5. Wonderful writing, full of emotion, heart-pounding moments and excitement. =D=

    and my voice quavered just as my heart did.

    That was an exceptionally descriptive moment. :)

    oh, how I kissed that dear blade and pressed it to my heart!

    Uh-oh. This isn't gonna end like Romeo & Juliet, is it? :p

    The barrel of a blaster jabbed me in the small of my back…

    Hopefully some Wookiee will show up to tear some arms off some jerks!

    oh look the animal woman has gotten loose feisty aren’t you I bet you’re insatiable.

    Grrr. Some jerks need their arms ripped off. :mad:

    But I am Lasat, and all of us have some of the Warrior in us.

    Good for her! [face_love]

    “Diane, what are you doing?! THAT’S THE MOFF’S SHUTTLE!”

    Lol! It's good to have a useless jerk of a Moff stuffed in a closet. ;)

    Time for another stun, methinks…

    Heh heh. Or two. Or three. :D

    Great so far. I'll catch up to the rest of it ASAP. =D=
  22. Vek Talis

    Vek Talis Jedi Master star 3

    Oct 12, 2018
    All caught up.


    We are not wispy and fragile like Human women, who are likely to snap in half as soon a gentle breeze blows.

    I've known some women like that. I've also known some human females who are damned tough. [face_love]

    For I am almost sure of that now… )

    Don't be so sure of everything. [face_shame_on_you]


    would you be angry with me for what I am about to do?

    What in the worlds is she about to do? [face_thinking] And looking for a job is tough. Good luck, Shulma.


    My head feels strangely light now.

    She cut her hair. Like Samson will all her strength be gone now? :p

    Without homeworld and kin, aren’t I too nothing but a dead bundle of filaments and wisps, to be bought and sold and perhaps remade?

    No, you still have yourself. All your kith and kin still live, so long as you remember them. :)

    a public square is not the best place for a level-three vision trance.

    Idk, it might get you some attention. Moff attention, that is. [face_devil]

    And I think I must have done fine in the end, because I start first thing tomorrow.

    Excellent. Glad she found a position. That spark helped out, too. A bit of the Force, prodding her, perhaps, though they call it Ashla. [face_thinking]


    I am sure of that spelling only from her business chip

    And how often to they get THOSE wrong, lol.

    I think it was, about the cliff thrush that sings its most beautiful song before its fallen nest and broken eggs.

    A beautiful song for the fallen. Sounds nature-like to me.

    Wonderful journal so far. =D= The highs, the lows, the squishy middles. =P~ Mmm. Uh, anyway, keep up the great work. I wonder what her next obstacle will be? I wonder when that jerk of a Moff is going to track her down? [face_skull]
  23. Mira_Jade

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

    Jun 29, 2004
    It's so good to see Shulma finding a niche of her own, all the while continuing on to persevere as best she may. There seems a bit of peace to be found in purpose and learning a new skill, and I'm glad for Shulma and the progress in her endeavors. [face_love]

    Beautiful! Especially when she's shaky - the Ashla/Force is never far from her, and knows when she needs it the most. I adored this passage. :)

    Oh Lua! She's a fabulous mentor, and just the kind of caring presence Shulma needs in her life right now! What a thoughtful, practical gift.

    And I can only imagine that those are a whole host of memories being touched on here! I'm glad she's focusing on the positive of her situation, as best she can.

    What a bittersweet draught, her visions! And a bittersweet task, restoring the shaman's lore in full. But it seems like the Ashla is helping her even here by aiding her memory. Already her progress is heartening to see, and I'm glad it's bringing Shulma what comfort it can, too.

    Oh! That was another beautiful bit of lyrical prose. Dear Shulma! As much as I adore her bravery in picking up the pieces of her life and stalwartly carrying on in what way she can here, I look forward to the day when a little bit of her broken nest is returned to her. [face_love] ;)

    Another fantastic update! As always, I eagerly look forward to more. [face_love] =D=
  24. Findswoman

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

    Feb 27, 2014
    Thank you all for reading, as always! :)

    Yes, there’s nothing as therapeutic as keeping oneself busy doing something worthwhile. Shulma’s project of writing down all the texts she can remember has the effect not only of preserving what she can of her culture but also of keeping her, personally, from sinking into despair, and that’s just as worthy a goal given all that has happened to her! @};-

    Her searching has paid off! She’s finally found a situation that will keep her occupied, help her pay the rent and her basic living expenses, and (again) keep her from falling into despair. But more than that, because that same situation also gives her the first real friend she’s had since arriving on Svivren—a friend who not only can see what she needs but also has the wherewithal and skills to help in providing those needs. It is indeed not just about pay.

    The Ashla is part of her and always with her, and nothing will ever be able to take it away from her, no matter how bad things get. When her confidence is at its lowest, it pings inside her to remind her of that. @};-

    She’s doing her very best not to give up hope—again, that’s as much part of her project of writing down the texts as the goal of preserving them. That project, and those moments of awe in the sheer beauty of the texts, is preserving her as well through all the little frustrations and sadnesses that are bound to hit her every now and then (more than now and then). And that thrush is definitely a big inspiration for her right now—more than just a favorite literary image, it’s an image of her, at this moment.

    (Incidentally, I wrote that with an image from my own front yard in mind: one evening my own clumsiness had caused a robin’s nest that had been built on the light beside my front door to fall, breaking all the eggs, and in the morning the mother robin was standing there in front of the mess, chirping in a way that was almost screeching—I felt terrible! =(( )

    And yes, those little blessings mean so much at a time when one has lost all—Shulma knows she has to take them where she finds them, and fortunately they’re often no farther than a teapot away. [face_coffee]

    Thank you so much, and wonderful to have you here! I’m so glad you’re enjoying it. :)

    Thanks, I try! ;) Her emotion can’t help but seep into her chanting at a moment like this.

    No, not to worry (and it doesn’t really spoil anything for me to say that :p ).

    Well, that isn’t what quite happened, as you saw, but yes, this charming fellow is definitely deserving. :p

    Indeed so, though as you see he managed to get his after all—a sound thrashing from a Lasat is at least as effective as a Wookiee arm-rip! :p

    She’s no wimp, and even though she is not a warrior herself by vocation, the fact that she’s from a warrior race makes a world of difference here.

    Indeed so! Though in this case the fact that it was his shuttle saved her from getting boarded and searched. [face_relieved]

    Oh, she has no compunction at this point about stunning him as often as she needs to, if only to cut down on all the thumping noise. :p

    Thank so much once again! :)

    Oh yes, I know plenty like that too. She’s just speaking from her relative position as basically a giantess. :p

    Well, she did say “almost sure.” ;) More will be revealed to her later on, as you shall see...

    Ah ha! Well, I know you know now, because you read on. And yes, job searches are definitely tough enough when you’re a Human being on Earth and not on the run form an evil Empire. :oops:

    Well, not all her strength, but it basically amounts to her selling part of herself in order to survive—kind of along the lines of Jo March in Louisa May Alcott's Little Women or the heroine of O. Henry’s “Gift of the Magi.” (Incidentally—shameless plug time—her selling of her hair is expanded on in Three Strands, in which one also meets the wigmaker to whom she sells it.)

    Amen, brother! And she will remember that. @};-

    Definitely not the kind of attention she needs or wants at this moment, I’d say! :p

    It did help her, and it’s always been with her throughout this entire series of ordeals. And yes, the Ashla is indeed established as another name of the light side of the Force, and as the name that the Lasat use for the Force. “The Force has many names.” :D

    True that—I’ve been there! :p

    See my response to Raissa above about the RL inspiration for that image. In this moment she realizes that she can be like that cliff thrush. [face_bird]

    Thanks once again—it’s such a pleasure to have you on board as a reader! :cool: And as to what’s next for her, you shall soon see. ;)

    As torn as she is by her loss, she's not one to sit idle and wallow in it, either, and she knows that the way to rise from her grief is to keep herself occupied at something worthwhile. Already it's had a positive effect!

    Aw, thanks! :) That just goes to show how strong her connection to the Ashla is: it's there for her all the time, not just when she's happy or confident.

    She is the first person Shulma has met on this planet who understands what she has been through, and she acts on that understanding. (And in the coming entry you'll learn more soon about where she's coming from herself, which will put all of that in perspective. @};- )

    That first experience with custom-made clothing was at a big, joyous turning point in her life, and this one is also part of a turning point for her of a different, more bittersweet kind. The connection is not lost on her, and she'll cherish these new clothes as much as she treasured her wedding attire. [face_love]

    Yes, once again, this is one of those instances where the Ashla is there for her especially when she feels the most hopeless and the most alone. And the Ashla is also there for her when she's on a roll remembering the ancient lore—because I think it's proud of her, in a way! :D

    Oh, thanks so much once again! That is a compliment I really treasure from someone who is such an ace at lyrical prose herself. @};- And that day will come, it will, all in the fullness of time. [face_love]

    Thanks again—I know I'm a broken record by now, but I really mean it! :) More coming very soon.
  25. Findswoman

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

    Feb 27, 2014
    Just a quick heads-up about this story's future posting schedule: I am going to do three updates each this month (November) and next (December), and this month those three updates will be today (the 11th), the 18th, and the 25th. I still need to decide when exactly they are going to happen in December. It's also looking likely that this diary will continue into early 2019, probably through January or February. Thanks as always for bearing with me! @};-


    This evening, after closing time, Lua surprised me with an invitation to tea with her in her apartment (which is directly behind her shop and directly below my apartment, though a good deal larger). I accepted with pleasure, of course. As soon as our tea was poured and we were seated on the sofa, she asked me how it was that I escaped from Lasan and ended up on Svivren. The question took me somewhat by surprise—though I suppose it shouldn’t have. In any case, Lua noticed my hesitancy: “That okay,” she said, “I understand, I SHARE first, then see how you FEEL.”

    Then she told me of the seizure of her own homeworld, Pipada, by the Empire: how her people had revolted, forming a resistance movement spearheaded by the celebrated singer Sa’Kalla. There had been a few victories, but too few: the Empire finally established martial law on Pipada, and Lua was one of many who had been forced to close her business and flee as a result. I felt tears rising as I listened; here beside me on this faraway world was someone else who had been displaced from her home by the Empire’s evil actions, and someone who trusted me enough to confide in me. Here too Lua must have noticed my emotion, for she laid her leathery, gray-green hand on mine and said, “You no CRY, child. See, you not alone. YOU NOT ALONE.” Child, just as Wise Chava used to call me! I had to take a hasty swallow of tea to keep myself from really dissolving in tears.

    Lua took me over to a nearby shelf where a holoimage was sitting. It showed another Drabatan, younger, whose complexion was dark gray rather than gray-green. “That my boy,” she said, then something lengthy and chattery that must have been his name but sounded to me like “Padakrabatakah.” He was still on Pipada, she told me, still working for the Sa’Kalla resistance movement, but she said he often wished there were more he could do to combat the Empire and keep it from doing to other worlds what it had done to his own. Silently I prayed for the Ashla’s protection upon him and the others in his movement, and thought to myself: how different things might have been if a resistance movement like that had been able to form on Lasan! It might have—no, I am certain it would have, if everything hadn’t been so swiftly and so utterly destroyed…

    After that, I held nothing back from her. I told her everything—from my experiences after the Empire’s takeover, to my abduction, to my journey to Svivren. She listened intently and with sympathy, and was patient with me whenever my emotion got the better of me. When I told her how I had incapacitated the moff and thrown him in the alley, she gasped in awe—“Oh! You do that! Brave Lasat!”—and even clasped my hand and thanked me. Apparently it had been quite a sensation on the local holonet news: the moff had awakened in an alleyway with numerous bruises, a cracked rib, and severe amnesia, and had to be rushed back to the medcenter on Bront. I had had no idea about this before and asked Lua if there was any chance the investigations might lead back to me; she reassured me that I probably didn’t need to worry, given how incompetent the local Imperial government is. That was a relief to hear, and it gladdens me that that depraved ruffian won’t be making any more trouble for me, or for anyone else in Wrils, anytime soon. (“We NO like him here,” Lua says. “He SICK.”)

    I am still thinking about our conversation as I sit here with the notebook in front of me, preparing to take my first notes on the Third Tractate. Lua’s son must be such a brave soul, doing so much to fight the Empire and win his people’s freedom—oh, how proud G. would be of him!—and yet Lua says he wishes he could do more. Lir’Ashla’ka, he is already giving his all! What more could he possibly do?

    And here I am, in contrast, sitting at a table with a notebook, straining to remember old, forgotten words from centuries ago—when planets are being conquered and ravaged! What would G. think of me? O Lasan, O lovely homeworld now dead, have I failed you...?

    No, Shulma, you have not—and I am not dead. My wisdom and honor live on in each old, forgotten word you write in that notebook, and my heart beats within yours as long as you live to tell my story. You need not be a warrior to fight. You are fighting for me, and you are resisting—resisting those who would want all memory of me, of us, eradicated from the Galaxy. So: keep writing, dear shaman, keep chanting, keep remembering. Thanks to you, my story is not over.

    It is true. We are not all the Warrior: we are sometimes Fools, sometimes Children—sometimes Seers. And the Ashla calls upon us all, at different times and in different ways.

    Time to get to work on that Third Tractate, then!

    Pipada is the homeworld of the Drabatan species ( The Empire’s seizure of Pipada, and the Sa’Kalla resistance movement that rose in response, are established in the Dawn of Rebellion RPG sourcebook (Fantasy Flight Games, 2018). “Sa’Kalla!” is also Pao’s battle cry in Rogue One.

    Bront System (again, also in Svivren Sector):

    “Padakrabatakah”: None other than Paodok’Draba’Takat (Pao) of Rogue One. Lua is his mother (though, again, she is an OC).
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2018
    divapilot, Kahara, Vek Talis and 2 others like this.