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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. Mira_Jade

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

    Jun 29, 2004
    Oh, dear Shulma! It really does seem like things are coming to a head for her. We are so close to answers, and more than feeling for Shulma as she strains towards them as well!

    Oh, yikes! :( What an awful moment for Shulma, but of course Lua is sympathetic and understanding. She sees that her friend and employee is struggling, and she must be worried too! Again I say that Shulma is too hard on herself, but at the same time I more than understand her fretting. That would be all I'd be able to focus on too! :oops:

    So, so strange!! [face_thinking]

    I have to comment on the passage of time, as well. Years in the plural now! And the Ashla is definitely through sitting idle and trying to tell her something in bits and pieces. Hmm . . .

    But even though she's at a loss she's not giving up! She's going to get to the bottom of this. That's our Shulma. [face_love]

    I loved this instance! I had the same thought as mentioned too, wondering exactly what - or who - is bothering Zeb here. :p

    An interesting theory, too, she's developing as to how and why the Ashla is trying to speak to her. There's much she desires, and it's more than telling that she's stopped seeing Chava - who too is within her reach! It's just her lost love and these curious golden orbs!! Time and patience will grant her clarity, I suspect, but it's so frustrating in the meantime!

    Oooh, what a wonderful idea! I look forward to seeing how her ritual plays out, and what answers it may reveal. [face_thinking]

    As always, I remain riveted for more! Thank you for sharing this wonderful tale. :) [face_love] =D=
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2018
  2. Findswoman

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

    Feb 27, 2014
    Thanks as always for commenting, Mira—I always greatly enjoy your thoughts and insights! :)

    She’s coming closer to answers with every thought, every insight, every journal entry—it’s a process she’s used to already in her shamanic studies, in a way, and she’s finding that insight is indeed the reward of study and of plan old persistence. :)

    I’m that same way very often myself; it’s a bad habit and extremely hard to kick. :p A lot of it for me comes from feeling like I really, really don’t want to trespass on people’s good nature, and that’s on Shulma’s mind too. As for Lua, in turn, she is indeed a patient and caring sort, but I don’t blame her for feeling a little bit of frustration and confusion at seeing something like this happen to her assistant with pretty much no prior warning—a meter of fabric is a lot, as @Raissa Baiard notes. It’s a troublesome experience for her in a different way.

    Yes, indeed, indeed… [face_whistling]

    Ah, yes, I confess to playing a little DDC trick there with that “[similar entries fill many more pages in the journal]” bit in entry 12. :p The idea is that those short entries recording visions are her primary way of interacting with the journal over a period of multiple years, and that it takes that kind of time for her to notice the new pattern that’s showing itself. Because sometimes that kind of thing does take that kind of time, for all of us. @};-

    That is! Another aspect, incidentally, that she shares with Zeb, and that they love about each other. [face_love]

    Ah ha! Well, I’ve been loving all the conjectures about it. I think it’s all of those things, plus just a plain old hungry, slightly cranky husband whose wife really did eat all the mealgrain. (But see, darling, you’re noncorporeal, so… :p )

    As a scholar, this is how she approaches the problems life throws her way: by studying, researching, and developing theories—and just plain keeping at it. She knows that what’s happening isn’t happening for nothing, and she will get at least some answers (if not all of them quite yet) very soon now.

    See you shall, in the very next chapter! :D And you are, as always, very welcome—always glad to have you as a reader. :)
  3. Findswoman

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

    Feb 27, 2014
    NB: From today on, I will begin weekly updates, still on Sundays. There will likely be a total of around 25 chapters, and the story will run through February or March. Again, I thank @Raissa Baiard for beta reading. @};-


    I performed the Storm Solstice ceremony at dawn, at the arboreal park. Oh, how glorious it was, with the lambent mists floating in the sky, the dewdrops glinting on the grass, all the leaves of all the trees taking on the rosy-golden hue of the morning! I stationed myself in the center of the great lawn with my staff, holding it before me so that my stone could catch the sun’s fire, and began the incantation exactly as I remembered it, in full voice: “Rejoice, O Lasan, in the light of Ashla that now floods you! Exult in the sovereign radiance that courses through your crust to your very core,” and so forth. Yes, I was no longer on Lasan and likely never would be again—but is not Lasan within me wherever I go?

    And as I intoned the ancient words, I remembered the very first time I presided over the ceremony, years ago—the first time I saw my love as captain of the High Honor Guard, standing in full uniform and armor, bo-rifle unslung in full ancient mode, ready to receive the sacred light from my focusing stone—our stone—and how we saw each other, and stood there in awe, and how in that moment we were the light of Lasan. And for a moment, even there, all alone—with no procession, no palace, no parade ground, no focusing lens—I thought I could see his magnificent form before me, his weapon at the ready, his troops arrayed behind him—

    And then golden light burst forth all around me, and the sky itself seemed to open up—and everything around me became the ruddy-gold star-mists—and there, above me, shining with all the purity of the primordial light, were the twin orbs of Lira San and her star, just as all the seers describe them! The ancient homeworld herself, smiling at me, beckoning to me from beyond all the lights that are above the stars! Oh, to find the Child, Warrior, and Fool who will lead me to you! Oh, how I thrill with awe even to write of it!

    It all disappeared, of course, as I finally lowered my staff and brought the incantation to its close. I stood again on the lawn of the arboreal park. The mists had cleared, the sun was up, and a gentle breeze was blowing. All was back to normal, and yet I could still feel a glowing in the Ashla, as though the sacred rites were not quite over. I looked around, trying to make sense of that feeling—and noticed someone standing nearby: a small being with large, bright eyes, half hidden by one of the trees but looking toward me. I went closer to investigate; whoever it was shied away behind the tree, but I could sense traces of the being’s presence. I went closer still and called out gently, assuring my visitor I meant no harm.

    At last she (for so I sensed it was, now that she was closer) came cautiously forward, hands clasped, head slightly bowed, looking timidly up at me. She was very small, smaller even than Wise Chava; I wondered if she was a child. She wore long robes, thick gloves, and some kind of breath mask that covered most of her face. But what struck me most of all were her eyes: large, round, faceted, and bright gold. Were those the golden spheres of my years of visions, here in this diminutive stranger who had been watching my ritual? And if so, what could it mean? It had to mean something, particularly since she was also the source of the curious, continuing glow in the Ashla. I had felt no such thing from any other being since I left Lasan.

    I hardly knew what to say, or whether to say anything; I think I simply gasped and stood there looking at her for several moments. Perhaps she felt uncertain as well, and a little afraid; she seemed to be trembling slightly. But she finally spoke, in a soft, meek, high voice—and it was one of the simplest yet strangest utterances I have ever heard: “May Telfien speak with you for a moment?” I naturally asked who this Telfien person was. Her response was to tap her own chest and say, “Telfien is this Gand.”

    I was still somewhat baffled, but I told her my name as well, and we strolled together for the park for several minutes. Along the way she told me of how she had seen visions of a towering figure with a staff surrounded by golden lightning flashes—and she said that the Mists (this seemed to be how she refers to the Ashla, which, after all, has many names) had pointed that figure out to her as someone who would not only be able to help her find what she has lost, but also whom she herself would be able to help. And apparently that was me—just as my visions of the golden spherical eyes seem to have been her (she does seem to be an insectoid of some kind). I thought immediately of that ancient commentary on visions representing “that which may aid one in the search.” She was certain it was true of her vision; was it true of mine as well?

    So I told her of my visions of her golden eyes, and of how they had alternated with visions of G. She listened closely and sympathetically, asking me several questions: when and where they had occurred, what I had felt, even about the headaches. I found myself telling her all; with her clear strength in the Ashla I felt I could trust her. When I mentioned the commentary about aiding in the search—I knew somehow that she would understand—she said that it was true: “the Mists have led you and Telfien together, so that you may help each other find what you have lost.” I said I was not sure anyone could help find the one I had lost. Her response: “Perhaps, perhaps not. The Mists alone know.”

    By then it was time for her to return to the spaceport—she had shipmates that would be waiting for her, she said—but she invited me to come find her there later in the day. I agreed. I admit I am a little nervous, a little incredulous. Telfien is meek and gentle and clearly means well, but I still do not understand how she or anyone else can help me. Though maybe I shall at least learn more about her and what brings her to Svivren. She can’t be here only because of me, can she? Can she?

    I shall have a cup of tea and perform a brief trance meditation before I go. My currents are whirling already.

    Telfien: Yes, the very same! One of my first OCs on the JCF Fanfic boards, a Gand Findswoman, who has previously appeared in The Book of Gand, Of Urgent Transmissions and Curious Dropped Objects, “Dearest Delphine!”,
    Box of Visions,
    Between the Porch and the Altar, Hoses, Masks, and Canisters, In Search of a Hutt’s Dinner Music, and The Spacer’s Song, among others. I simply could not resist teaming her up with this newer mystic of mine. @};-

    “has many names”: Cf. Kanan’s comment “The Force has many names” in “Legends of the Lasat.”
  4. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Aug 31, 2004
    FASCINATING! =D= =D= I never thought that the golden orbs would be linked to the gentle Telfien! How awesome is that?! She and Shulma can be of mutual tangible aid to one another as well as an emotional support, since Lua (even though she is caring and empathetic to Shulma's plight) cannot share a knowing about the Ashla/Mists.

    The description of the ceremony was gorgeous! And how it linked to the memories of dear Zeb! :)
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2018
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  5. Vek Talis

    Vek Talis Jedi Master star 3

    Oct 12, 2018
    but is not Lasan within me wherever I go?


    I thought I could see his magnificent form before me, his weapon at the ready, his troops arrayed behind him—

    [face_mischief] I thought you were going for an analogy there... then all his troops appeared behind him. :eek: :p

    But what struck me most of all were her eyes: large, round, faceted, and bright gold.

    A-ha! Now her visions will start making sense... Uh, maybe. :confused:

    I admit I am a little nervous, a little incredulous.

    Understandable, but she needs to trust in the Ashla and go!

    She can’t be here only because of me, can she?

    She can. And maybe, she is. Where the Mists are concerned, who can say?

    Great update. Your descriptions of the rituals are well done. =D= Hopefully Telfien can help her find what she's lost.
  6. Mira_Jade

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

    Jun 29, 2004
    Oh how wonderful. After years of her visions and searching for their meaning, Shulma seems to be a step closer to finding some answers. Or, more questions at least, which is of course how these things go. But, progress is progress, and I am so happy for her. [face_love]

    The entire paragraph detailing the ritual was beautiful described, but this line in particular caught at me. She is always home, because her home is within her. [face_love]

    What beautiful imagery again! I loved her memories of performing the ceremony years ago interposing over her current ritual. Zeb really is wound up in everything she is, and it's telling that she's seeing a shadow of him here at this current time too. Especially with who's about to show up. [face_love] [face_thinking]

    Ah, the golden orbs were eyes then! Insectoid eyes! :D

    I still have not read your Gand epic, but I most certainly know who your Telfien is! What a dear soul, with her timidity and gentleness. But she's still bravely on her own quest from the Mists. And she's just the sort that Shulma can talk to about her own shamanic powers. Not only will she find a listening ear, but someone who can perhaps provide aid and counsel as well.

    Fascinating! I really appreciate how their visions have complimented and led them to each other, and I remained most intrigued to see if they can help each other find what they have lost, respectively.

    Fantastic update, once again! I remain, as always, in true anticipation of more. [face_love] =D=
  7. Raissa Baiard

    Raissa Baiard FFoF Artist Extraordinaire star 4 VIP - Game Host

    Nov 22, 1999
    Hooray! The mystery of the golden orbs has been revealed, and another hooray, for the owner of those “golden rockfly eyes” is none other than Telfien! Do you just love it when you can bring the members of your ocedarium together? :D (I know I love it when you do!)

    As always, your descriptions are so beautiful and rich with sensory details that I feel like I’m in the park at dawn with Shulma. It’s so lovely that even here on Svivren, she finds a way to honor her traditions and honor Lasan itself because as she says, Lasan is always within her wherever she is. And thoughts of Lasan inevitably lead to thoughts of Zeb, and memories of a time when they were united both by their love and their service to Lasan—which in a way are linked, because that honor and duty is part and parcel of who they are and why they love each other. Such a beautiful memory of seeing each other in the fullness of their service of shaman and captain, complementing each other so that:
    [face_love] And the vision of Zeb and Lasan, turns to a vision of Lira San, another stunning image! This is where I want to tell her that the Fool, Child and Warrior who will lead her there are all the same person, her dear Zeb in his many roles,

    After the ritual is done and she’s still blinking in the aftermath of her visions, Shulma senses she’s not alone. She has an observer who stirs the Ashla—a diminutive Gand with golden eyes! I can see why, after years of seeing these orbs in her visions, Shulma can hardly find words, and why she is a little nonplussed by the Gand’s unusual mode of speaking. (She’s lucky Telfien has a personal name! Otherwise it would be a scene out of KOTOR2 : “The Gand is the Gand.”) She’s even more dumbstruck by the fact that Telfien has been having visions of her!
    Of course she can! The Mists/Ashla/Force/whatever name you call it doesn’t do coincidences! :D

    With this mystery solved, it looks like our heroine is poised to embark on a new phase in her journey, and as always, I can’t wait to see what’s in store for her next!
  8. Findswoman

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

    Feb 27, 2014
    Thank you all, as always, and best New Year’s wishes all around! @};-

    Thanks as always—and yes, there’s my girl, here for my other girl! :D As you’ll see in chapters ahead, it will definitely make a world of difference to Shulma to have a friend and ally who also has a connection to the Force, by whatever name. It’s a kind of support and commonality she has not yet experienced since leaving Lasan.

    And of course you know me—I love a good ceremony scene. :D Incidentally, the scene with Zeb that she recalls is part of an as-yet-unposted story that I started a while ago and have about 5/6 finished; I’m actually thinking I may start posting it too in not too long, because why not? ;)

    Absolutely true!

    Yes, I’m afraid this time it’s just his regular old bo-rifle, not his beau-rifle. :p See above about the not-yet-posted story that tells of this scene.

    Making sense of these visions is a multistep process that will take some time. Shulma now knows what the golden orbs/eyes represent, but she still is not sure how the owner of those golden eyes will be able to help her. But at least the process has begun, and perhaps a friendship will begin too! :)

    Indeed she does! And she knows it. Of course, it can be hard to do that when one is the sort who gets easily plagued by self-doubt, as she is. It helps that this is clearly someone benevolent, someone she knows can do her no harm.

    She certainly can! To borrow an axiom from @Raissa Baiard’s characters, the Force (or Ashla or Mists) doesn’t do coincidences. [face_batting]

    Thank you! I have always enjoyed writing a good ritual, especially a good alien ritual, and they’re some of my favorite aspects of the official lore. You’ll see more of these two women working together very soon, starting down that path together.

    Yes, that is pretty much always how these things tend to go: questions get answered with more questions. There always seems to be at least one step back for every two or so steps forward. But Shulma won’t give up.

    It is within her, it is indeed! “We carry the ways of Lasan in our hearts,” as Chava the Wise says in “Legends of the Lasat.” Whatever the Empire may have done, they cannot fully destroy Shulma and Zeb’s homeworld as long as it is there within them.

    Thanks, as always! :) I see them both as part of each other, even if separated by years and light years, and I always thought scene like this would emphasize the immense reverence they have for each other's very different vocations. Again, the ritual scene she recalls here is a bit of a preview of another story, from their early, happy time together, that I hope I can wrap up and start posting soon.

    Yes, there’s my girl! :D As soon as I realized I had not one but two mystic female characters from Force traditions other than the Jedi or Sith, I couldn't resist bringing them together as friends and allies. They will be able to understand and empathize with each other as shamans too, not just as friends. This is the first person with such powers that Shulma meets away from her homeworld. (I think that may be true for Telfien too, incidentally.)

    More on that topic will be coming soon, and while the full story of it may need to be told over more stories than just this one (if that makes sense), I cansay that these two will definitely be of help to each other.

    Thank you so much, as always, and more is coming right up! :D

    I do just love it, if I do say so myself, and I know I’ve loved seeing several authors here bring together various members of their ocedaria—so I was very glad of the chance to do so myself in this diary. (For some reason a diary seems to work well for that kind of thing! :) )

    Yes to all you said here. She, Zeb, Lasan, and their vocations of honor and duty are one. In a way, wherever any of them is, that is where they all are. And watch this space, for I do intend to start posting the story of that earlier encounter in not too long! ;)

    The Ashla is, in a way, beginning to tell her that here—and indeed, I can add Lira San to my list above of all the things that are one. They are each other’s Lira San. @};-

    The Gand definitely have that effect on people meeting them for the first time, don’t they, whether they have earned their names or not—though I agree that having earned a name does make things much more convenient! :p It’s all a pretty astonishing experience for Shulma, I agree; even if she had a guess the orbs might be eyes, she certainly couldn’t have guessed exactly who or what kind of being they would have belonged to—even less so that that being would be a fellow mystic.

    Preach it, Brother Doran! :D It sure doesn’t, as shall be seen soon...

    Yes, a new chapter is definitely beginning for her with this new acquaintance and ally, and in the next chapter you will see just how new... so don’t touch that dial! :D (To use a by now very anachronistic expression. :p )

    More inbound anon, and as always, thank you all! =D=
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  9. Findswoman

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

    Feb 27, 2014

    May the Ashla guide my hand as I attempt to write of all that has happened. I am in hyperspace again—with friends this time, at least, but with just as much uncertainty as before, if not more.

    In a way, it is my fault. I should have heeded the Ashla’s caution when I first felt it, when its warning pangs twinged behind my eyes during my walk to the spaceport to meet Telfien, the Gand, yesterday evening. It was clearly a premonition of danger, but it was so indeterminate at the time that I paid it no heed.

    It was in the late afternoon, and Telfien was waiting for me there as planned. She led me to a docking bay at the far corner of the complex that held a sleek scout craft, bronze-colored with accents of green and dark pink and a design of stylized roses in those colors forming a border around the canopy. A tall, gangly young Human woman with two bright red-orange braids was doing repairs to one of the engine pylons, and an astromech droid with a transparent, blue-green-tinted dome was helping her. They both turned as Telfien approached, and Telfien greeted them with a bow of her head and her hands clasped before her. I hung back as unobtrusively as I could, for I still felt the twinge in my head, but Telfien beckoned to me to come closer and introduced me: “Telfien believes she is the one Telfien has been seeing all those times.” The Human looked me over cautiously for a few moments—I still am not used to the way my tall stature intimidates others—then nodded and said, “well, if Delphine has seen you, then you’re probably all right.” She introduced herself as Glockel, the droid as R1-K4 (or Rika), and the ship, her ship, as the Rose Evergreen. I learned that they are semi-independent scouts who work throughout this part of the Outer Rim, and that they have recently secured a contract with a Hutt—a piece of information that gave me some pause (which I’m sure showed in my reaction), though Glockel was quick to reassure me that “Bonvika’s not like most other Hutts” (whatever that may mean). They were passing through this sector on their way back from some errands on Rugosa; originally their plan was to stop on Reuss VIII for supplies, but they detoured here to Svivren instead in response to Telfien’s visions of the giantess with the staff amid the lightnings. (“I guess that’s you,” Glockel laughed—she has a funny little tinkly Human laugh.)

    So yes: Telfien and her comrades were indeed there because of me. That knowledge brought an extra surge of pain to my head.

    Indeed, the pain had been growing the entire time they were speaking to me, despite my attempts both to hide it and ignore it. Presently Telfien asked Glockel of the happenings around the spaceport, and Glockel mentioned that she had seen an Imperial shuttle arrive at the spaceport an hour or so before—and just as she did my headache spiked so violently that I staggered backward. An image of Lua flashed before me: gripped and restrained against the wall of her shop by a large Human, her eyes clenched and her mouth open as if she were yelling for help—akh karabast’aka, it was horrible, and oh, how my currents whirled! Telfien came over to me and asked if I was all right; no doubt she could feel my currents too. I told her I could sense danger, that I needed to go back; she offered to come with me. I protested that I didn’t want to put her in danger as well. To which she replied, “But two are stronger than one.”

    So we ran back through town to Lua’s shop as quickly as we could. A strange scene greeted us there: a crowd of townsbeings was clustered outside Lua’s shop, some peering fearfully inside, some murmuring to each other. An Imperial Stormtrooper was guarding the door, rebuffing anyone who dared to try to enter or ask questions. I made my way partway through the crowd, Telfien following me, till I could see through the front window. I bristled at what I saw inside: none other than the repulsive Moff Belphagor—the same who had kidnapped me from Lasan and tried to force himself on me en route to Svivren—was restraining Lua against a wall while another stormtrooper was blasting her materials and machines and equipment to bits with his rifle. I started to push forward through the crowd, but Telfien held me gently back and began to take something from inside one of her sleeves. “Stand back, Shulma Trilasha Orrelios,” she said, then rolled a small, round object into the crowd. There was a loud CRACK, and the crowd scattered suddenly, coughing and screaming. The trooper that had been guarding the door began trying in his ineffectual Imperial way to quell the chaos, and when it didn’t work he beat on the shop door to summon the other trooper, who soon ran out to assist him. Though I could see no explosion from Telfien’s bomb or grenade or whatever it had been, I caught a whiff of some kind of toxic fumes. (Telfien told me later that it was ammonia: “poison to oxy-breathers but not to the Gand.”)

    Now that the door was unguarded, she and I rushed into the shop and locked the door behind us. The place had been all but destroyed: burnt, ruined clothing and material were strewn about everywhere, all of the sewing machines and embroiderers were scorched and melted, and even PR—poor little PR who had done no one any harm!—lay in a twisted, molten mess in one corner. The moff was in the process of cuffing a struggling Lua in binders and was sneering in her face something about forcing her to mend his sheets. Then he turned, noticed me, and jumped about a half a meter in the air, his eyes bugging in angry horror: “You again!,” followed by something obscene he thought I should do with a disruptor rifle. Ai rrhu’khu’ karabast’aka, how I seethed with rage! I simply could not restrain myself—I struck my foot to draw the lightning of the Ashla upward through me, then threw out my arms to send it full force at him, that Bogan-born scum! He lost his hold on Lua and fell to the floor unconscious with a screamed oath. Oh, how I yearned to char him to a withered crisp after all he had done! But I stopped myself, for that would be an abuse of the Ashla’s power and unworthy of a shaman of Lasan.

    Instead, I helped Lua to her apartment behind the shop, while Telfien gave the dear moff one more stun for good measure and secured him in the binders he had tried to use on Lua. By then some of the bystanders had begun to gather around the shop again, and the troopers were running back up, though I did not care. Once Telfien joined me and Lua, I locked the door of the apartment.

    Lua was unhurt but badly shaken. She told us everything that had happened: the moff had threatened to shut down her shop unless she gave him a cut of her profits. (According to her Ardennian friend with the knitting shop, he has been shaking down other non-Human shopkeepers this way, too.) Of course Lua had refused, upon which Belphagor had forced her to watch as his trooper rained blaster fire on everything in her shop, all her equipment, and all of the garments that her customers had brought in. We had arrived just as the moff was preparing to take her away as a slave—“I DIE ’fore I mend NO sheets o’ HIS!”

    Dearest Lua! Even now my heart aches to recall how shaken and near tears she was. And for good reason: this was now the second time the Empire had snatched her livelihood from her. At least she was safe, I tried to reassure her. “But you NOT safe!” I remember she said, pointing at me. “I don’ KNOW what you do to ol’ Belphagor, but they GONNA COME for you now!” She was right, of course: assaulting a high-ranking Imperial dignitary, especially in broad daylight with so many witnesses, was bound to attract the attention of the local Imperial authorities. Indeed, it already had, for I could hear shouting and pounding outside—the troopers were back and had almost certainly brought reinforcements.

    I remember how the three of us all looked at each other, knowing in that moment exactly what needed to be done. It was unwise to stay, or to wait any longer. Lua sprang from the couch and began puttering about, packing her personal effects. I headed up to my apartment by the back maintenance stairs to pack my own effects; it wouldn’t take long, for I hadn’t much I could call my own besides my clothing, my notebooks, and the few things that had come with me from Lasan. As I went I heard Telfien sending a comm message: “Pickup needed. Coordinates inbound.” Only minutes later we were all rushing up the maintenance steps to the roof of the building, Lua and I weighed down by our luggage, Telfien ahead of us with her blaster drawn. We reached the roof just as the sleek bronze craft with the rose design angled down toward us from the clouds, its boarding ramp extended. We helped Lua jump on board first, then followed her. And just in time, too, for reinforcements had indeed arrived down on the street and had spotted us. Ashla’ka rrhava, those few moments were some of the most terrifying I have ever experienced—although the troopers’ blasters couldn’t reach us, they could certainly have called for starfighters. Thanks be to the Sacred Light that Glockel (who of course was piloting) jumped to hyperspace as quickly as she did.

    So here we are. Lua is getting some much-needed rest in Glockel’s cabin, Telfien is meditating in her own cabin, Glockel and Rika are in the cockpit, and I am sitting here with my journal in the small common area. Writing has helped calm my nerves somewhat after all that has happened, though I too am feeling ready for a rest (Glockel has offered me the use of the spare storage cabin in the back). I do not know where we are bound, or where I or Lua or any of us will find ourselves next, but I am infinitely thankful that I can at least lie down and rest in peace, among friends. (Once I move those storage crates off the bunk, that is.)

    Glockel, Bonvika: more OCs of mine from earlier stories. Glockel Sternenkranz is a Human female spacer from the fanon planet of Nydringia, and Bonvika Deseradii Feolla is a female-personality Hutt patron of the arts who is known for her mahvelous artistic and aesthetic tastes. For previous appearances and mentions of both characters, see Of Urgent Transmissions and Curious Dropped Objects, “Dearest Delphine!”,
    Box of Visions, “There is no death!” (mentioned only), In Search of a Hutt’s Dinner Music, and The Spacer’s Song. Glockel’s astromech droid, Rika (R1-K4), is a new OC as of this story.

    “But two are stronger than one”: An homage to one of Chang Chong-Chen’s lines in The Blue Lotus (1935) by Hergé. Tintin has just rescued Chang from a flooded river, and Chang asks to come with him. Tintin warns that he “may be going into great danger,” but Chang responds by saying, “But two would be far stronger.”

    Telfien’s “small, round object” is an ammonia bomb:
    Reuss VIII: (and yes, in my mind that is indeed pronounced “Royce”)
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2019
  10. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Aug 31, 2004
    Whew! =D= =D= That was some riveting action! Yeah, that unmentionable bleeping Moff showed up again. I'm glad Shulma and then Telfien scrambled his brains there for a good few minutes, enough to get away. [face_relieved] Eager to see what and where they will go now. I am very happy Lua is safe, but I know she's devastated, losing her livelihood and likely a circle of friends on Svivren. @};-
  11. divapilot

    divapilot Force Ghost star 4

    Nov 30, 2005
    OK, catch up time. :p

    Post 14.

    Gorgeous setting. I like the "lambent mists," foreshadowing the visitor that comes later in the chapter. The same mists that Telfien encounters? And the "rosy-golden hue of the morning" brings me back to Odysseus and his "rosy-fingered dawn." Like Odysseus, Shulma must travel through so many years of tribulation to come home to her beloved!

    Beautiful. You've captured the essence of a spiritual rapture so eloquently. There he is, Zeb, the focus of her thoughts for so long. And they were "the light of Lasan" - the warrior and the mystic, so tuned to each other that she could see him clearly. I love how you use the structure of the language: the dashes, the long-running sentences that show the breathlessness of her experience.

    And then, the little visitor appears! After all those years, Shulma finally sees the golden orbs that have followed her for so long.
    So they have been having reciprocal visions. INTERESTING! [face_thinking] And neither knew what they were seeing until this moment!

    Post 15.

    uh oh. [face_worried]

    :eek: That monster! It figures, though- where there is no real Imperial discipline, I can imagine these little moffs get a whiff of power and it goes to their heads. They are nothing more than thugs in uniforms. Of course, it's the non-humans who get the worst of it.

    And away they go! I'm glad Lua was able to escape with them. And Telfien! With her blaster! Little toughie, that one is!:cool:

    I'm pretty sure I've read Glockel's name before in your stories, but I confess I can't place her. I'm sure it will come out in the next post.

    Wow, things have gone from years of routine to a sudden and violent turnaround in just a few hours for our girl! Let's hope that she and her friends (all women, I note) can find a safe place to land, literally and figuratively. =D=
  12. Vek Talis

    Vek Talis Jedi Master star 3

    Oct 12, 2018
    with friends this time, at least, but with just as much uncertainty as before, if not more.

    Yay... uh, worried. I'm so confused as to what I need to be feeling. :p

    It was clearly a premonition of danger

    :eek: That Findswoman is in actuality a Fiendswoman?! :eek:

    “Bonvika’s not like most other Hutts”

    Of course not, dahling!

    Indeed, the pain had been growing the entire time they were speaking to me

    Huh, that doesn't sound so good.

    An image of Lua flashed before me: gripped and restrained against the wall of her shop by a large Human

    Uh-oh. Revenge of the Moff, eh?

    none other than the repulsive Moff Belphagor

    Crap on a stick! Moff Phlegmanator! [face_nail_biting]

    I caught a whiff of some kind of toxic fumes.

    I had some toxic fumes. *burp* But then I felt better. :p I think Telfien bottled them up to use against the Imps. o_O

    Ai rrhu’khu’ karabast’aka, how I seethed with rage!

    Tear his weasly arms off, Shulma!

    Oh, how I yearned to char him to a withered crisp after all he had done!

    Yes, do it!! *crackle, crackle*

    But I stopped myself, for that would be an abuse of the Ashla’s power and unworthy of a shaman of Lasan.

    But it would feel SO good. :D

    I can at least lie down and rest in peace, among friends.

    You hope they stay friends long enough, anyway. ;)

    Excellent update! The action was well done and brought a tightness to my chest like good action is supposed to do. :) I wonder what will happen next? Will Shulma become part of the Rebel Alliance now? Shulma is awesome. :)
  13. Raissa Baiard

    Raissa Baiard FFoF Artist Extraordinaire star 4 VIP - Game Host

    Nov 22, 1999
    And hooray again as more members of the @Findswoman ocedarium join the cast!

    I love the descriptions of Glockel—Space!Pippi Longstocking—her droid, and her ship. Rika sounds like a very attractive little astromech with that transparent dome and the Rose Evergreen sounds like quote a striking starship! I picture it as being sort of an Art Nouveau design (Sabine would approve, I’m sure. No reason starships can’t be Art, too!) What else would one expect for someone who works for the Bonvika, who is most definitely not like other Hutts! (Don’t worry, Shulma, you’ll like her!) And Shulma discovers that truly the Ashla doesn’t do coincidences; they really are here just for her! I can see why that thought makes her already twingeing head throb!

    It only intensifies with the vision of Lua in danger! Poor, brave Lua—she does her best to resist, but she’s no match for the reprehensible Moff Belphagor and his troopers. Fortunately, they didn’t reckon on a resourceful Gand with ammonia cannisters and a resolute Lasat! Ihave no doubt Shulma could have bashed a couple bucket-heads, Zeb-style, if she chose to, but she’s got other weapons at her disposal! I can just bet the Not-So-good Moff turned eleventy shades of purple when he saw her (And such language, even for a depraved Imperial!) Who can blame Shulma for wanting to make him sizzle like bantha bacon after what he did to her and her whole planet? But she chooses the path of honor, even as Zeb will do with Agent Kallus later, and I know that he would be proud of her for showing forbearance and mercy.

    Lua’s got so much spirit here! She’s not just a mother avian, she’s a mother bear, and her defiance in the face of danger is really amazing! She knows what men like Belphagor can do, but she stands up to him no matter what the cost. And it does cost her dearly, in her ruined livelihood and the way she’s now forced to flee another world—and so is Shulma, just when she’s settled into a new life. Fortunately, the Ashla doesn’t do coincidences and it’s provided them with allies who rescue them in the nick of time—and wow! Action Shulma! I could see Hera’s she and Lua scrambled to gather their meager belongs and sprint to their narrow escape! Whew!

    Shulma and Lua are safe now, but embarking on a whole new journey (which must make them think “oh, not again” sometimes), with these new allies—who may become friends, but at the moment are largely unknown. It’s got to be a little strange for all involved. Here’s hoping our brave heroine will settle into this new situation with few complications and that her allies will be prove to as good of friends as Lua has been!
  14. Findswoman

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

    Feb 27, 2014
    Happy New Year to you all, and thanks as always for reading and commenting! :)

    Yep, they made it, just in the nick of... everything! [face_relieved] And a good scrambling with Force lightning and blaster fire is no more than the old son of a whatnot deserves, I say. It definitely is a big and devastating change for Lua; this is now the second time the Empire has done this to her. At least she won’t be facing the future alone, and stay to see what is next for these ladies...

    Thanks so much, and good comparison there! :cool: Yes, she really does have a good bit in common with Odysseus, with all these exiles and trials and tribulations spanning years. And the mists are certainly not there by accident—they, in their way, are a portent too, confirming the portent of the golden eyes.

    Thank you so much, and I’m glad this entry came off effectively to you! :) I sometimes am not always sure how much is too much with rapturous scenes like this one. For the style of Shulma’s description, I was partly influenced by some early Earth female mystics like Hildegard of Bingen and Mechthild of Magdeburg, with a dash :)D) of Emily Dickinson thrown in.

    Yep, and in a way they’re not entirely what she was expecting—not that she quite knew what to expect! :p

    Yes! Which definitely wasn’t something Shulma had expected when pondering the meaning of her visions; Telfien may or may not have either, even if she did have an inkling that the giantess of her visions would be someone she could help. It all comes together now! :D

    Yes, a very big rruh-rroh here! [face_worried]

    Yes, this kind of thing is exactly what all too often is going to happen when a moff is placed in charge of a distant sector with no real responsibility or discipline. And in a way the higher Imperial authorities are perfectly fine with them not having any responsibility or discipline—not like those subsentient Outer Rim scum deserve luxuries like fair governance, anyway!

    She’s definitely a real case of “judge me by my size”! :D She may be little (and she’s little even for a Gand; in BOG I implied that her growth was somewhat stunted), but she’s part of a venerable tradition of fearless hunters, and she’s learned from some of the best. :cool:

    The spoilered note attached to this entry links to some of her previous appearances, if it helps, and most of them are quite short. She hasn’t played a huge role in any of my stories yet beyond being identified as a sort of spacer/scout/etc. type and an occasional foil to Telfien.

    Isn’t it something how quickly everything can change? Shulma’s had experience with that before with the devastation of her homeworld, but that doesn’t mean that this very different sudden change is going to by any easier to process for her or for Lua. But at least they won’t be going it alone, because they are now part of a group of brave, resolute women who stick with each other (and yep, good observation there—this is a sisterhood in the works).

    An understandable feeling for someone who’s gone through so much change in such a short time—see my response to divapilot just above. :)

    Close—but it had to do with the return of a different fiend, as you saw.

    Ah, I see you’ve done a bit of background reading on her! Good, good! :D

    Not at all. And pain of that sort is itself a premonition with her.

    Yes, you guessed it, as you saw! :D

    Also would have been a good name for him! :D @Raissa Baiard was actually the one who came up with this character’s name; I believe it is the name of some sort of fiend or demon in Earth lore.

    She comes from a planet where the atmosphere is made of ammonia—that is what she breathes, just as naturally as you and I breathe oxygen. So what’s bottled up in there are just the gases she normally breathes, which are indeed “poisonous to oxy-breathers but not to the Gand.” (Ammonia bombs are documented elsewhere in the established lore—see my spoilered notes.)

    Oh, indeed she wanted to! And worse!

    And it would have been no more than he deserved, the old reprobate!

    Yes, but in a way that scummy old moff isn’t worth it. Shulma has much more worthwhile things to be spending her mystical energy on. :p

    Oh, with this bunch, I’m not too worried. :D

    Thank you so much! I always feel a little shaky with action sequences, doubly so when writing them within a highly introspective, very first-person context like that of a diary, so I am glad (and relieved!) to know that this came off all right. And I am so glad you’re enjoying this character of mine; it means a lot to know that! More coming right up, so you won’t be in the dark about what’s next for too much longer...

    Why thank you—always glad to oblige! :D

    No reason indeed, and I agree that Sabine would dig the Rose Evergreen’s design, too! :sabine: @};- Yes, that’s pretty much spot on for Glockel; I’ve always imagined her as a sort of adult, SW-universe-spacer version of Pippi Longstocking, with some aspects of Princess Anna thrown in as well. When I was dong research on how Rika would look, I did come across at least one other transparent-domed astromech on the Wook; I can’t remember now which one it was, but the look sounded so cool that I resolved to adopt it for Rika, along with a little tinting for extra coolness.

    Oh yes, it’s a lot to realize and process, especially in a tense moment like that when she’s also got a premonition of danger to deal with...

    One of the many reasons the Force/Ashla/Mists brought these ladies together! They make a pretty darn good team, if I do say so myself. And I have to say, I loved giving Shulma a chance to put her powers to good use here! :cool:

    I certainly don’t blame her in the least, and it would be no more than he richly deserves—but her sense of honor is strong, just like her husband’s, as is her reverence for the Ashla and for her vocation. I agree that he would be proud of her. And let’s face it, a scumbag like Belphagor isn’t ultimately worth that kind of energy from her anyway! :p

    Lua’s definitely strong in the Sa’Kalla spirit—she’s got some wonderful sources of inspiration in that regard, both in her son Pao and her assistant Shulma. Alas, she knows she’s pretty much powerless against Belphagor; she probably anticipated what he’d do to her shop and equipment. But she doesn’t let that stop her from registering resistance to the end; she knows every little bit counts. Which Shulma of course knows too, and understands and admires in her employer to no end.

    It was a close shave for them, for sure, but they made it! [face_relieved] It was truly a team effort, with Glockel and Rika getting the ship to the right place in just the nick of time. And one again, even amid the losses and destruction and exile—again—this is yet more evidence that the Force brought them all together for a reason.

    “Oh no, not again” is pretty much right. This kind of loss and exile are becoming par for the course for both Shulma and Lua—but good gosh, what a thing to be “used to.” =(( They’re safe now, but a lot of uncertainty still looms ahead, and none of these four women (plus droid) really know what will await them in this new situation in which they find themselves. But we, and they, will find out at least a little more of that in the next chapter, so keep watching this space! :cool: Thanks so much, as always, for the great comment and for all the essential support and feedback you have given to this story since its beginning. @};-

    More anon... :D
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2019
  15. Findswoman

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

    Feb 27, 2014

    I have now been on board the Rose Evergreen for a week. It is a Mesens Corporation SCT scout craft with three primary and two secondary sublight engines, one dual turbolaser turret, two dual laser cannon turrets, and an advanced sensor package for long-range reconnaissance—or so Glockel tells me, and I take her word for it. But the main thing is that it really is a bit too small. I don’t only mean that the spectre of low ceilings has returned to haunt me—but also that this ship seems not to be quite large enough for the four of us who are now on board. (Or five, rather, if I count Rika, the astromech—and she would insist on being counted.) Just sorting out accommodations has been no easy matter. Lua spent her first night on board sleeping in Glockel’s cabin, but of course that was never meant to be a permanent arrangement. Telfien immediately offered up her own cabin to us newcomers, insisting that her species needs very little sleep and that she can do her meditating quite happily in engineering or in the cargo bay. It was extremely gracious of her, and I came very close to taking her up on it (the back storage cabin is rather cramped, to say the least). But even with the airlock set to fill the room with oxygen, there is such a strong residual smell of ammonia as to be unbearable. Besides, since that room is the only one on the ship that can fill with ammonia, it would not be right to take it away from the only ammonia breather on board.

    So for the time being I am sharing the storage cabin with Lua and a variety of crates and containers. It is far from ideal, but again, at least I am safe and among friends—and far from Moff Belphagor.

    I say “among friends,” though I am not sure Glockel is exactly overjoyed to have two new beings joining her on her ship for an indefinite period of time. It is not that she has been unkind to me or to Lua, but whenever she speaks to us she always seems flustered and a bit abrupt, as if she has to run off to do something elsewhere on the ship at that moment. I have tried to make myself as useful as possible, because I really am grateful to her for taking Lua and me in, and I don’t want to be dead weight. At least she did seem to appreciate it when I moved all the crates off the bunks in the storage cabin. Also, she came up to me while I was cleaning the ’fresher yesterday, gave me a cordial slap on the upper arm (a little like G.’s older sisters used to do), and said, with one of her little laughs, “You don’t really need to do that, you know!” So I suppose that is progress.

    Telfien treats me very graciously, but it is hard to make sense of her. I still have difficulty understanding her strange third-person manner of speech: Telfien apologizes for X, please allow Telfien to Y. On one hand, she is very solitary, spending most of her time meditating in her quarters—the only place she can breathe without her mask, of course, but it makes it hard to socialize with her. On the other hand, she seems to have a strange sort of shy curiosity about me. I have noticed her watching me from the doorway several times when I’ve sat in the galley to work on the ancient writings (the fold-out table in the storage cabin is simply too small), though each time she apologizes profusely and withdraws. That always gives me a pang, because I certainly don’t mean to frighten her off. Indeed, I am curious about her, too: her bond with the Ashla is so tranquil, so calmly luminous, much like Wise Chava’s was. I would welcome the chance to talk to her further about her visions, and even to hear her own story, but she is so shy, so secretive…

    As for Lua, she seems to be in much better spirits. She stayed in bed for most of our first day in hyperspace, and when she did get up she had only a little boiled mealgrain to eat—I think she might have had some space sickness—but she has rebounded considerably since then. She spent the day before yesterday reorganizing her sewing kit, which had become somewhat discombobulated during our escape from Svivren, and yesterday she sewed a button back on Glockel’s jacket when it fell off. She brought her galactic tiles set with her, too; she and I had a game yesterday (I lost, of course—no surprise there), during which she announced her eventual intention of teaching the others how to play as well.

    And here she is now, tile pouch in hand, ready to make good on her promise. May the Ashla protect us all!

    “Mesens Corporation SCT scout craft...long range reconnaissance”: All cribbed borrowed from
  16. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Aug 31, 2004
    Let me start with Telfien. Of course she's curious about Shulma, as much as Shulma is about her. But Telfien is so shy, which is her personality mixed with the Gand cultural reticence, but I agree that if they could "compare notes" on their experiences of the Mists/Ashla, it would be of mutual benefit, not just pragmatically but emotionally.

    Lua: I am so happy that she seems to be adjusting. She is AMAZING! Her hard experiences don't make her closed off and hard-edged. She continues to be warm and helpful, as in sewing on buttons and playing tiles. ;)

    Glockel: I can imagine having strangers on board is off-putting and especially if you don't know what's going to happen next literally. You need to keep your guard up I would imagine she feels.

    Shulma: I love her insights and sense of quiet waiting, not despondent resignation. She really is "waiting and seeing" and continuing with her Shaman-records.

    LOL on the ship being too small, literally, for someone of Shulma's size. I know Zeb had a similar reaction on the Ghost.

  17. Vek Talis

    Vek Talis Jedi Master star 3

    Oct 12, 2018
    with three primary and two secondary sublight engines, one dual turbolaser turret, two dual laser cannon turrets, and an advanced sensor package for long-range reconnaissance

    Sounds like a car I once had. [face_thinking]

    there is such a strong residual smell of ammonia as to be unbearable.

    But... the Lasan are cat-like people, right? Don't their litter boxes smell of ammonia anyway? [face_dunno] :p

    Moff Belphagor

    Achoo. Sorry, got some Moff Phlegmanator in my handkerchief. :p

    “You don’t really need to do that, you know!”

    [face_talk_hand] Gee, I wonder what Glockel's ship smelled like before Shulma came aboard? :D

    but she is so shy, so secretive…

    You gotta bust her outta that shell, like you busted Moff Phlegmanator's chops. ;)

    And here she is now, tile pouch in hand, ready to make good on her promise. May the Ashla protect us all!

    :eek: [face_nail_biting] [face_worried] [face_rofl]

    Another excellent day in the life of Shulma.
  18. Raissa Baiard

    Raissa Baiard FFoF Artist Extraordinaire star 4 VIP - Game Host

    Nov 22, 1999
    Once again, Shulma finds herself settling into a new life and a new routine. I like how she says she will take Glockel’s word on the Rose Evergreen’s technical specs—I am much the same when it comes to vehicles—and her reflections about it’s size. Although I have the opposite problem as Shulma, I do relate to the feeling of everything being the wrong size for comfort. And with four women and a droid (and yes, we must count the droid, just ask Chopper!) I can see where it could be very close quarters at times It’s got to be quite an adjustment for Glockel to suddenly have her her crew size doubled, and though she seems naturally good-hearted, no wonder she’s a bit flustered trying to figure out all the new logistics. It’s interesting that she reminds Shulma of Zeb’s older sisters. I know that it took them a little while to adjust to Shulma and the differences between their personalities,but they came to love her and I’m sure Glockel will too—the shoulder slap is a good sign:D

    Telfien is on the other end of the personality spectrum, so to speak, with her quiet fascination with Shulma.i can see where it would be difficult for her to approach Shulma, given the Gand’s cultural reticence, as @WarmNyota_SweetAyesha says. You can tell that she really does want to speak with Shulma, as much as Shulma would like to speak with her, but can’t quite find the way to do it. It must be quite frustrating for both of them. Even though Shulma is a kind person, her stature can make her appear imposing, especially to the diminutive Gand. I’m sure that Shulma will be able to gently get past those barriers, though. She and Telfien have so much in common —no to mention that the Ashla/Mists have brought them together to help one another. No coincidences!

    Lua seems to be doing well, under the circumstances. After a rough start, it sounds like she is settling in and taking comfort in the familiar little things like arranging her sewing kit and mending buttons. Even her galactic tile playing, though it may not be Shulma’s favorite pastime, is a way for her to keep a part of her orderly little life in tact. Hopefully—since Lua seems bent on playing it at every opportunity:p-— Shulma will learn it well enough that she enjoys playing it with her (somehow, I bet the meek Telfien doesn’t know what to make of the game either, but I like to imagine that once the four of them get to know each other better, they can have the sort of convivial group that Lua used to have, and play rousing games of tiles over tea and biscuits:D)

    Wishing all our brave ladies good fortune on the next leg of their adventure!
  19. Mira_Jade

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

    Jun 29, 2004
    Whew! So much has happened for our brave heroine - heroines! now [face_love] - in two updates that I almost don't know where to begin. So, to dive right in and catch up . . .

    I loved the discription of the Rose Evergreen and her crew! What a beautiful ship! What a diverse pair of ladies! And another droid with quite the personality to add to the cast. I already can't wait to see where this unlikely group will go together!

    But for this quoted line in particular, I really appreciated the thought you put into your non-Human characters, once again, and how they perceive and are perceived by others. It really makes the characterizations rich!

    Such a powerful moment, made all the more so by how soft Telfien's determination is. She may be naturally shy and introspective - especially in connection to the meditive nature of her gifts and the natural reticence of her species - but she certainly has courage in spades when it counts!

    I'm just glad that Shulma's pangs of foreboding turned into outright premonitions through her visions! The Ashla is not to be ignored on this, and Lua certainly needs their help! There wasn't a moment to lose!

    Eugh. What a exceedingly repulsive piece of scum, even for an Imperial!! His manner and his crude words just had me seeing red, even in a fictional setting. :mad:

    Oh, you go, Telfien!! A most fortuitously made friend, indeed!! :D

    I'm not going to lie - a part of me wanted her to burn the moff to a sizzling pile of ash. There would have been a sort of justice in that, after the horrors the Empire has visited upon her people. But no matter what the Empire has taken from her, it cannot take her pride, or her honor. And she is most certainly honoring the values of her vocation and the teachings of her people in using her powers respectfully. And the Force/Ashla works in its own way. Who knows what's in store for this grotesque moff down the line. [face_bleh]

    There are much larger wheels in motion in the galaxy, and it's sad in a fascinating way to watch them impact even this little world in the Outer Rim. But this makes me appreciate Lua and her courage even more. She no doubt knew what the moff was there for before he even said a word, and could likely guess what would happen next to her shop. But she boldly stood her ground and refused to be intimidated. She has her pride as much as Shulma has hers. The Empire can't take that from her. [face_love]

    You go, sweetie!!!

    My heart was in my throat reading them! Excellent, excellent action and resolution. It was quite the edge of our seat-ness for the reader, too! =D=

    Oh, poor Shulma! :( I really again appreciate how you're taking into consideration the effects of a human-designed galaxy on so many non-Humans. (It makes you wonder for poor Chewie on the Falcon, even. :oops:)

    But these ladies are certainly making the most of their circumstances, even with the personal discomfort of their cramped spaces accompanying the usual stress and awkwardness of getting to know someone and entertaining long-term company. But everyone is adjusting as best they can, and I look forward to seeing their bonds deepening and growing. Especially Shulma and Telfien! There's so much they can learn and benefit from each other through!

    I enjoyed Lua and her tiles too! It's a little bit of familiarity after all that has happened. This is twice she's lost everything to the Empire - and the same goes for Shulma, too. But they have found a haven, of sorts, and are not alone as they make their way forward together, at the very least.

    Here's to hoping for the best for all of these dear ladies! I can't wait to see what comes next. [face_love] =D=
  20. Findswoman

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

    Feb 27, 2014
    Once again, thank you all for your comments and insights. :)

    Yes, it's not easy to get to know the Gand right away—their cultural reticence (good thing to call it) really often does get in the way of their interactions with other species. But if you're a patient, compassionate type, then that helps. :)

    Indeed so, and just keep reading...
    because that is pretty much what's coming in the next entry! :D

    She's had a hard row to hoe in life, for certain, but she's learned too that life's too short to let its hardships take her heart away. And both those things, sewing and tiles, are things she loves and is passionate about—and really, what better way is there to rebound in a difficult situation than to go to things that you love and are passionate about! Especially when those things bring joy to others around you, too. :)

    Oh yes, I don't blame her for not being completely gung-ho about these new shipmates, especially with the practical consideration of space and not knowing at all how long they'll be there. She's doing the best she can, but feeling a bit harried and impatient under the circumstances is only human (sentient?).

    Yes, that kind of "wait and see" approach is something she's become very adept at during her time in exile, by necessity. Fortunately she too is blessed to have something she loves passionately to help her make it through! [face_love]

    Yes, it's not easy being big in a galaxy were most folks are a good bit smaller, is it? :D And it's both horizontal and vertical space this time—this is a mid-sized scout ship that's designed for a much smaller crew complement. Some "musical chairs" will probably be necessary for this bunch in terms of space management.

    Thanks, as always, for the insightful comments and for continuing to read and follow! :)

    Yes, my 2003 Honda Element is a little bit like this, too. :p

    Oh, I don't know—being (a) humanoid and (b) sentient, I think they can probably manage all right with a regular old 'fresher. :p

    Gesundheit. :p

    Probably about the same—and perhaps there was even less of a scent then, because at that point there weren't two extra people on board, each of a different species! :p

    Oh, all in good time. A gentle touch is needed with this sort of thing. :)

    Aaaaghh! Run! Oh wait, we're on board a (relatively) little bitty scout ship—engineering is probably as far as we can get, and it's all full of crates... :p

    Thanks so much! And thank you, too, for sticking with her through all these vicissitudes. :)

    Yes, scaling makes a huge difference, and it it's an issue Shulma's bound to encounter pretty much wherever she goes! (Telfien might indeed be experiencing that opposite issue, too, on a ship like the Rose Evergreen.) I'm completely helpless with technical specs, too—those ones were pretty much cribbed wholesale. :p

    Definitely a tight squeeze for all involved, no matter their size. Almost ironically, the person it may affect the most is the Human-sized Glockel, since it's her ship that has to house all these extra beings now, and as the one who knows the ship best it's in a way up to her, first and foremost, to get things settled to everyone's comfort. And she does truly appreciate having Shulma's help—the shoulder slap definitely is a good sign (and someday I do hope to be able to write the story about Shulma's interactions with Zeb's sisters—as someone who's struggled in getting to know my own sisters-in-law, it's a topic near to my heart).

    Definitely no coincidences here—it probably doesn't spoil anything for me to say that their commonalities will win out over their uncertainties and shynesses, and we'll begin seeing some of that even in the next chapter.

    She's pretty resilient—she's had to be, with what's happened to her in her life, and that's why, when she fled Svivren, she made sure to bring with her the things that gave her life meaning and joy. She too wants to be of use on board the ship and not be dead weight—certainly Glockel will notice and appreciate that from her, too, just as from Shulma. And hey, if one bonus effect of that happens to be a sort of transformed revival of the Galactic Tiles Ladies, that ain't too shabby! :D

    Thank you, as always, and thank you for sticking with them through it all! @};- :)

    Thanks so much, as always! I have had in mind for Glockel and Telfien to travel together for a number of years now, and always figured that I'd write some actual adventures for them somewhere along the line (well, I guess I've written a few, but just a few)—but this diary gave me the chance to really get that off the ground, so to speak, and I am hoping I can do some further stories with the whole ensemble of them.

    Well, thank you, I try. :) Glockel and Telfien seeing Shulma as a "giantess," Shulma in contrast as hearing an adult Human's laughter as "little" and "tinkly"—the various alien races of SW are just so ripe for exploring all those fun little dynamics of interspecies interaction (though in a way the established lore doesn't do as much with it as it could).

    She definitely is a case of "still waters run deep," and it definitely makes a huge impression on Shulma in this tense moment. And, as we see, Shulma by no means regrets having his new ally alongside her!

    Thanks to those premonitions, they made it in just the nick of time!

    Isn't he, though?! :mad: He really adds depraved and sick as well as the usual Imperial dose of evil, and I wanted to bring that out (even though it wasn't always easy for me to write him saying such nasty things to our heroines!).

    Still waters do run deep—this diminutive character has a lot (quite literally) up her sleeve! The ammonia grenades are one of the items Zuckuss is described as carrying, so I figure they might be a pretty common weapon among Gand Findsfolk traveling on "oxy-breathers'" planets.

    Oh, a part of me—more than a part of me—wanted her to do that too, and I really came pretty close to writing her zapping him again and again, if not quite bringing him to the sizzling pile of ash stage (though I agree that that's no less than he deserves). But a scumbag like him is also not worth her sacrificing her honor and integrity for, and at the end of the day holding onto that is what will bring her to victory down the line.

    And now you've got me brainstorming Belphagor's eventual fate... hey, I know! Let's sic Saw Gerrera's Lasat mercenary on him! :p

    She most definitely does—she'd much rather lose her livelihood altogether and see her shop in ashes and tatters than knuckle under to the Empire and have her livelihood coopted by them, because she has seen what that means. It's the Sa'Kalla spirit! [face_dancing]

    She's a toughie, that one! There's a lot of gumption hiding under that little-old-lady affect.

    Oh, thank you! I always feel a bit wobbly with writing action scenes, and folding them into the diary format always seems to take some extra doing (this is the one I was talking about in our convo that time). So I'm so glad it read all right and was enjoyed! :D

    Thanks once again, and that's a very good point about Chewie—he must have experienced the same sort of thing in the early days of his association with Han! :oops: (And again, this is something the official sources don't always emphasize as much as they could.) Cramped quarters do have a way of seeming even more cramped when one occupant is on the big side, though I guess in a way her tall stature and Telfien's small stature might sort of kind of cancel each other out! :p (But then you have the ammonia business to add to the mix as well, so maybe not quite. :p )

    All of them are good-natured sorts, all in their various ways, and just that fact will help make the adjustment process easier, even in cramped conditions. And the fact that Telfien and Shulma share a bond to the Force is definitely huge, and will mean huge things for their future association and friendship—look for more on that in the next installment!

    Yes, and again, Lua's finding solace in the small, familiar things that bring her joy and a sense of purpose, which is as much as anyone can do under the circumstances. But she is among friends, and she knows it—they all are, and they all do! @};-

    Thanks for reading, following, and commenting, as always, and you shall see what's next very soon! :D
  21. Findswoman

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

    Feb 27, 2014
    Thanks, as always, to @Raissa Baiard for beta-reading. @};-


    I had a most intriguing conversation with Telfien yesterday. I was sitting at the table in the galley, as usual, working on the Seventh Tractate, and once again I noticed her watching me from the doorway. She shied away, as before, but this time I set down my stylus and followed her. I caught up with her just as she was about to activate the airlock leading into her quarters, and asked her—as gently as possible, for I could tell I had startled her—if there was anything I could do for her. She answered a nervous yes, apologizing again for having interrupted my work; I reassured her that I didn’t mind at all. She then led me down one deck to the lower gun turret, where she said we could speak to each other more comfortably. I had never been down there before, but it was nice to find a quiet, comfortable nook on board the ship (since there is no space in the galley and the common area is not quiet at all).

    Telfien told me that ever since our departure from Svivren she has been thinking about what I had told her about my losses, my exile, and my visions, and of what she might be able to do to help me. She said she had spent the last few days meditating on that question, but her meditations were giving her no further insight: “all is still shrouded in fog,” were her words. It touched me deeply that she was devoting so much time and thought to helping me when our acquaintance was still so new, and I immediately offered to explain or elaborate on anything else she might need me to, and to answer any questions she might have. But that wasn’t it, she said; she thought it might instead have to do—and this is how she put it—with the way the Mists stormed so turbulently through me and I through them.

    I smiled wistfully at that, for Wise Chava used to say the same thing about my Ashla currents; she even used to call me her “storm-dreamer” (as if I were worthy to be classed with the true storm-dreamers of old, like Osthi and Berura). But what struck me even more was the fact that Telfien claimed to be meditating with a specific objective in mind, in order to answer specific questions—which seemed quite different from everything I learned about meditation. What the Revered Masters taught me was this: the purpose of meditation is to center oneself in the Ashla, to align one’s own currents with its currents, and only then to open oneself to whatever mystical message it might choose to send (and it is the Ashla that chooses that message, not us mortals). I said as much to Telfien, and I asked if she could tell me more about these meditations of hers. First she apologized for having confused me (karabast’aka, why does she apologize so much?), and went on to explain that this is the type of meditation practiced by all Gand Findsmen and Findswomen. The process she described to me was fascinating. I won’t go into great detail here (not least because I fear I still don’t understand it all correctly), but it is essentially a way of directly querying the Ashla—of receiving prophecy on demand, one might say, though on a much smaller scale than prophecy proper. It is something I am curious to discuss with her further.

    In any case, she asked me if I had any more of my visions, whether of G. or anyone or anything else. I realized I hadn’t had any since we had left Svivren, and for a moment that filled me with worry: does that mean that something within me has forgotten my home and my love? Though perhaps it is all for the best that my currents have had some time to rest after the shock they endured during our last day in Wrils. (I can almost hear Chava’s voice saying that to me. May the spirits watch over her, wherever she is!)

    Telfien did not seem worried about that either (in fact, she said nothing about it at all). Instead she invited me to perform a joint meditation with her, in case it would increase both our chances of gaining insight. I accepted—why wouldn’t I?—and we arranged to meet in the lower turret at 1800 today, which the chrono tells me is in just under an hour. She told me to bring a “focusing object” with me; naturally that will be my stone.

    So we shall see what good, if any, this will do. I admit I am still not quite sure. But it will be a learning experience, if nothing else. And perhaps—just perhaps—it will allow me to help Telfien, too, after all she has done for me.
    Vek Talis, TheRynJedi, Kahara and 2 others like this.
  22. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Aug 31, 2004
    Great start in working together, and intriguing comparison/contrast in perspectives on approaching the Mists/Ashla -- the "opening oneself" versus "focused and directed". [face_thinking] I have a feeling that putting the two approaches in combination will be enlightening for Telfien and Shulma. :)
    I was struck by the fact that Shulma hasn't had any visions of G. or anything else since leaving Svivren.

    LOL on Shulma's "Why does she have to apologize so much?" [face_laugh]
  23. divapilot

    divapilot Force Ghost star 4

    Nov 30, 2005
    uh oh. Behind again. :oops:

    Chapter 16.
    The thing I love about Shulma is her ability to adapt to whatever foreign environment she finds herself in. Since every environment is going to be foreign to her now, she doesn't complain or try to force the surroundings to her will; instead she tries to find solace and contentment in the place she is. She is very much a creature of the now. That's not to say she doesn't think of her past or of her future, but she trusts the Ashla to provide the path for her, and she has the patience to wait for the Ashla to unfold on its own time. She seems to be a stabilizing force wherever she goes.

    It's interesting that Glockel reminds Shulma of G's older sister. Here we have Glockel, puttering around in space, minding her own business. Then she acquires little Telfien, a child of sorts - Golckel's little sister. Shulma becomes her sister closer in age to her, and Lua is the old auntie. Suddenly Glockel has a family on board with her!

    Chapter 17.
    Oh, this should be interesting! Who knows what kind of portals into the Force these two will open, with their joint ability to reach into the vision-realm. There are possibilities here that Shulma had not even thought of. This voyage with Telfien will expand Shulma's abilities in many ways - maybe beyond what her education in the Ashla had ever intended to prepare her for. But it is a new world for her, and new worlds will require new and unconventional skills.
  24. Vek Talis

    Vek Talis Jedi Master star 3

    Oct 12, 2018
    I set down my stylus and followed her.

    With her long legs, it shouldn't be much of a contest. :p

    as gently as possible, for I could tell I had startled her

    Bugs startle easily. :p

    she even used to call me her “storm-dreamer”

    It's good to have a talent. :D

    does that mean that something within me has forgotten my home and my love?

    That would be frightening, but it's doubtful. I reckon she was having all those troubles before because Svivren was a lousy place, full of Imperial Phlegmanators and now she's more centered, being away from it.

    So we shall see what good, if any, this will do.

    Sounds like it will do something. Two shamans together are better than one. :D

    Good update. Interested in hearing about the outcome of two heads getting together for a ritual.
  25. Raissa Baiard

    Raissa Baiard FFoF Artist Extraordinaire star 4 VIP - Game Host

    Nov 22, 1999
    It’s good to see that Telfien and Shulma are finally starting to talk to one another! I knew that Shulma’s gentle persistence would pay off, especially since Telfien was just as curious to speak with her as she was to Telfien. Speaking as someone who has a natural reluctance to “impose” on others, it might even have been a relief to Telfien that Shulma finally pursued her. It might have taken the burden of “I want to talk to her, but I shouldn’t, should I?” off her. Shulma’s plight and their shared destiny have obviously been on Telfien’s mind, since she has been meditating ever since they left Svivren.

    Telfien’s explanation of the Findsmen’s Force tradition represents a real paradigm shift for Shulma. The idea of going to the Ashla with a question in mind is a revelation to her after a lifetime of being taught that mere mortals should not Question the Ashla, because it Chooses the Message. It’s a more utilitarian approach to meditation than the mystical, poetic prophecy that Shulma is used to, and though she’s clearly intrigued by it, I wonder if on some level it strikes her as wrong or at least somewhat crass to try to direct the Force this way. (And it made me chuckle a bit that Shulma’s annoyance with Telfien’s profuse apologies has gone beyond mere karabasts and into a new level of karabasticalness).

    Shulma’s lack of visions since leaving Svivren is an interesting development; I’m not quite sure what it portends, but I do know that it doesn’t mean she’s forgotten anything about her home, her family or especially Zeb. She never could forget them; they are too much a part of her heart. Interesting, too, that Telfien offers no opinion on this lack of visions, though I get the feeling that Telfien keeps her thoughts to herself and spends her words carefully. Shulma seems a teeny bit defensive about taking the opportunity to perform a joint meditation—“why wouldn’t I?”—almost as if she has to justify stepping outside of her traditions as a Lasat shaman— “it will be a learning experience, if nothing else.” But certainly if they are both serving the same power, just called by different names, there can be no harm in trying. The worst that happens is that nothing happens—but somehow I doubt that will be the case!

    Looking forward to seeing what their joint meditation will reveal, because I’m certain the results will be enlightening for both of them.