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Saga - PT [DDC 2020] "In That There That Isn't Here: The Memories of Sintas Vel" | Song!verse, post-RoTS AU

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by Mira_Jade , Jan 6, 2020.

  1. Mira_Jade

    Mira_Jade The Fanfic Manager With The Cape star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Jun 29, 2004
    Title: “In That There That Isn’t Here: The Memories of Sintas Vel”
    Author: Mira_Jade

    Genre: General (expect everything!)
    Rating: PG
    Time Frame: Saga-PT, 4 years post-RoTS; Song!verse, AU
    Characters: Sintas Vel/Boba Fett; Original Characters, Canon Cameos

    Summary: It is an ancient Kiffar tradition to store one’s memories within a Heart of Fire – a gemstone capable of communing with a Keeper and holding their secrets safe. Here, Sintas Vel remembers her past and chronicles her present, making a home and finding a place to belong on Concord Dawn – all with her new husband by her side, Boba Fett.


    Notes: Hello, dear readers! Here I am with something a bit different from my normal fare. This is a pairing that fascinated me back in the heyday of the old Legends EU, and one that I’ve dabbled with in a few ficlets and drabbles since then. Originally, Sintas and Boba were supposed to have featured in my Song!verse story, “Her Still, Small Voice.” That WIP is currently on hiatus, but I am looking forward to telling a large part of that eventual ending through this story instead! So, you can call this a companion piece to my now sprawling AU. :p You don’t need to know much about my Song!verse to dive right into reading this, if you so desire. Simply put, it’s just a world where Anakin was not quite as dumb and Sithy, and thus circumvented the ending of RoTS and the events of the OT entirely. Now, I have the unique opportunity to imagine how not making his name as the most formidable bounty hunter in the galaxy by tracking down surviving Jedi from Order 66 would have changed Boba Fett’s future. For the better, even - from a certain point of view. Also, The Mandalorian has recently inspired my muse, and now I want to write something Mando flavored - with a whole heap of scattered Legends influences, of course. So! It’s going to be a blast! ;) [face_mischief]

    This is, as of right now, intended to be a half-diary. I have exactly twelve entries planned, but my outlines often have a pesky habit of taking on a life of their own . . . so we’ll see how that goes. :p

    If you’re still with me, I thank you for giving this story a try and hope that you enjoy. [:D]


    Disclaimer: Nothing is mine, but for the words. :)





    Stories of the Song ‘Verse

    “An Old Song, Re-Sung” | The original story; a RoTS AU.
    “Her Still, Small Voice” | The unfinished sequel; a Mara Jade origins story.
    "Even Without a Voice" | My WIP Ahsoka Tano diary, set pre-RoTS.
    "All That's Unsung" | A complete short story, set 3 years post-RoTS.
    "We Claim Our Own Landscape" | A WIP Han/Leia short story, set 20 years post-RoTS.
    “The Rest is Silence” | Ficlets set in this 'verse.

    And various odds and ends in my "Our Love of Constellations" ficlet collection.​





    Index of Chapters

    ~MJ @};-
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2020
  2. Mira_Jade

    Mira_Jade The Fanfic Manager With The Cape star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Jun 29, 2004
    “In That There That Isn’t Here: The Memories of Sintas Vel"
    by Mira_Jade​


    “For all the universes there are,
    this one was not enough,
    not for now, not for us.

    Somewhere in another, though.
    We are softer, we are kinder.
    To our skin, to each other.”


    - In that there that isn’t here, I allow myself to love you, by Phi Dean Vulpe​



    Entry I

    Hey there, I see you're waking up. You've been asleep for a long time now, waiting for me, I suppose you could say. It's an honor to properly meet you.

    You know, I haven't seen a Heart of Fire since I was very young . . . since adding memories to my mother's stone, if I am meant to tell you all then I must be completely honest to confide. It remains a cherished memory of mine: her guiding me through Seeking to Awareness and then on towards a true Keeping. It's a special thing, to be blessed with the Keeper's Gift – the innate ability of the Kiffar to glean memories from inanimate objects – even amongst my own people. My mother had been proud to show me the old ways, just the same as she once learned from her own mother. I can still remember her love for me as transmitted by the stone, how deep and vast her devotion was, even as I tried to grasp my own childish affection to share in return. My mother – Eritha Vel – once told me that the fire-stones were the gods' tears they shed after placing Kiffu and Kiffex side by side together in the cosmos. They wept over the beauty of their children, and in their tears was a possibility for the infinite. I don't know if I believe those stories – not now, not anymore – but it’s still a marvel, how these gems can connect and commune with those of the Gift. I can feel you, empty and wanting, like you were made to be filled. You glow like a tiny red sun in my hands, pulsing with a heartbeat all your own, just as your name would first suggest; I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything more beautiful. You are beautiful, my Heart; I'm honoured that you've accepted me for your own in return.

    You’re probably wondering why I’m not already bonded to a Heart of my own. Usually, fire-stones are passed down from parent to child through the clans, or shared between spouses. Many are filled with generations upon generations of old memories, going back hundreds, even thousands of years – like my mother’s stone, which was older than the Republic itself. New stones are sought out only through a Quest of Keeping to ensure a true bond between both Keeper and Heart. But, I . . . I wasn't able to claim my mother’s Heart of Fire after her death; no doubt it remains in Clan Kar's Hall of Memories to this day, as the victor has a right to their spoils. I haven’t been back to Kiffu since her death, and never considered trying to bond with a Heart of my own. I had once relied on her to guide me, through this and so much more, but I suppose that I will figure this out by myself – just the same as I have done with everything else since her death. I trust that you'll let me know if I'm doing anything wrong? I can already feel you, in a way that I never would’ve thought possible before. Even my mother’s Heart hadn’t felt as alive to my senses as you do! Maybe it’s simply my age and the development of my Gift? It's possible that I just wasn't capable of achieving this level of awareness as a girl. Or, perhaps, it's as simple as that Heart was my mother's stone, and you are mine.

    Either way, I suppose that I should start by introducing myself. My name is Sintas, of Clan Vel – even if there isn’t much left of Clan Vel to claim a relation to, and, like I said, I haven’t been back to Kiffu in eight years now. The wars of the sheyfs always take their toll. This time my clan was the one to fall; the next time it would have been – and yet still will be – another clan. The Kiffar have never been much inclined to peace; we rage between ourselves the same as our gods do amongst their siblings, my mother always used to say, for we were created in their image.

    I can feel your questions, even as I try my best to explain! Yes, I am not exactly the one who first disturbed your slumber. You could not bond with him, though it seems you tried, and yet I suppose you eventually will through me. Yes, he is important enough to me to have undertaken the Quest of Keeping on my behalf – I had no idea what he was doing until he gave you to me! He intended you as a surprise; a gift for my eighteenth lifeday. I still can't believe that he was paying close enough attention to my stories to know to try and find you in the first place . . . though, maybe I should know better than to be surprised. If there's one thing that Boba Fett is good at, it's paying close attention to the details.

    He left his mark on you though, didn't he? I can feel an echo of him even now, no matter that he himself is not Kiffu. I am fully aware of the enormity of his gift, how could I not be? I wonder if he even understands just how much this means to me – how much you mean to me? He . . . how do I describe what we are to each other? He is my partner, in every sense of the word; he has been for years now, so much so that I can't imagine my life without him. I can feel your confusion, dear Heart, but it really isn’t so surprising. You call me child, and in a way I suppose that's true. I am young – in body, at least, if not in spirit and mind. Like I mentioned, I only just turned eighteen standard years of age this Bendusday past, but I feel so much older than what that number can rightly claim. I have been making an adult's decisions and living an adult's life for so long that being judged by my age instead of what I’ve lived through and since endured is a bizarre thing to consider. I stopped being a child the day my mother was taken from me, back when I survived the massacre of my clan and fled Kiffu with nothing but the clothes on my back and my hands clenched into fists. It was much the same for Boba; he was orphaned when he was only ten years old, and thrust into the ugly underbelly of the galaxy to either live or die on his own. At our ages, most children were still at play and dreaming their young dreams underneath the watchful care of their guardians. Not us; no, we both had to learn how to survive, fending for ourselves throughout the highs and lows of the Clone Wars and then beyond. Only . . . with meeting him, I finally didn't have to fight alone any more; I had a partner to watch my back.

    Our paths first crossed four years ago now, on Nar Shaddaa, a moon of Nal Hutta in the Y’Toub system. I know: classy, right? But Nar Shaddaa is a place where the fewer questions asked, the better, and the Hutts don't have any scruples about how old those who're hired to do their dirty work are – they're equal opportunity employers in the truest sense of the word. One can make a name and a reputation working for the Hutts, just as quickly as that favor can fall out from underneath you with a job gone wrong.

    I wasn't necessarily out of favor then so much as someone else had simply beaten me to the prize of a bounty. Hutts are practical creatures, after all, and they usually contract more than one agent for any given task. The competition that practice inspires helps keep their costs low and ensures a high level of success in their endeavors. See? They’re shrewd businessmen, as I said. I was frustrated at the time, and tired and hungry. I’d spent my last few credits paying off an informant and didn’t even have a meal cube available to my name or a place to sleep for the night. Though I wasn’t yet at the point where my stomach was gnawing away at my insides – I never wanted to sink that low again, and long ago swore that I never would – I knew what I had to do.

    I found my mark with relative ease: some Kuati nobleman had been stupid enough to come to the Smuggler's Moon for some illicit reason or another in all of the pomp and splendor he was no doubt used to receiving back on his home-planet. All that I cared was that he'd left his gleaming silver plated speeder parked outside one of the Twi'lek bath houses in the Neon Wonderland – which was another reason I was going to enjoy stealing from him – and right within my reach. The two armored thugs he left behind to guard his property would be a piece of cake; I’d already handled worse than them in my time. The Inner Core had made them soft, I could already guess from their polished armor and shiny new weapons; Little Coruscant was going to eat them alive.

    I was just planning a distraction to divert their attention when one of the speeders parked further down the street started squawking with a tripped alarm. Another and another shrill siren joined the first, and, drawn by the disturbance, both men left at once to investigate. I didn't even pause to question my good luck, instead, I darted out from my hiding place and rushed to the speeder to seize my unforseen opportunity. I skid around the front, the soles of my boots slipping on the ever present film over the permacrete, and, still keeping a wary eye on the Kuati guards, I turned to see -

    “Find your own speeder to steal,” came a clipped voice, “this one is mine.”

    - apparently, I was so distracted with looking down the street that I hadn’t even noticed that someone else had already ducked inside one of the open forward access panels and was clearly hard at work disabling the speeder's security system. Ah, that must have been where the distraction came from; it was his diversion. If he’d decided to go with a more violent warning – as most of the denizens of Nar Shaddaa wouldn’t have hesitated to do – I would have been dead right then and there. I could've kicked myself for my stupidity. I was tired and hungry, but that was no excuse to be sloppy. Tired and hungry was still an important step up from dead, and I wanted to keep it that way.

    Still, I may have had a bit more temper than sense when I noticed that while my fellow thief sounded male, it wasn't a man's voice who spoke to me. After I got over my initial surprise I saw that, sure enough, he was definitely on the boyish side – unless he was just an unusually slight and short sort of humanoid, which was also entirely possible. With his back turned to me and his head still half hidden behind the panel door – he didn’t even consider me a threat enough to face me head on – I couldn’t tell for sure. Yet, being a child didn’t mean a thing; I knew that better than most.

    . . . but, well, we discussed the whole tired and hungry thing – right, dear Heart? The temper too? Yeah, well, if I hadn’t already mentioned as much . . .

    Instead of counting my blessings, I oh so smartly hissed back: “Uh, think again,” with as much venom as I could muster. “I've been tailing this piece of bantha crap for hours now and I'm not wasting a day's hard work because some slimy little vrelt weaseled his way in here first. This mark's mine.”

    He may have decided to lead with a verbal warning – hoping that I’d just back down and leave him be, not wanting a confrontation like most of the spineless thieves on the moon, but I'd long since learned that the only voice that people ever truly listened to was that of force. I pulled out my own blaster – a well-worn BlasTech A-130 light pistol that was my pride and the result of many saved credits – and leveled it at his back.

    “Don’t make me say please,” I added sweetly, thumbing on the power cell with an audible whrr I knew he heard.

    While he may have thought he could safely ignore me, the blaster was a different story entirely. I watched, and though the line of his shoulders turned stiff with tension, he clearly let out a deep breath in what could’ve been a frustrated sigh. When he did finally turn around, I saw that I was right – he couldn’t have been older than me, he may have been younger, even. He was Human, with tan skin and brown eyes and black hair that was cut close to his scalp on the sides but left slightly longer to curl on top. He had freckles, I couldn’t help but notice next, and one stray curl hung down over his brow. On closer inspection, the color of his eyes was warm, even though his expression was cold and his annoyed scowl was in no way encouraging. He looked like he hadn’t smiled in years, no matter how old – or not so very old – he may have been.

    Still . . . I felt a flush of warmth heat my face, one that I resolutely squelched with a furious force of will. If I had so far lived a life that didn’t allow me to admit that I thought a boy my age was cute, then I most certainly hated that I looked in his eyes and felt a sudden, intense stab of sympathy . . . of recognition and kinship and even empathy. Resolutely, I tightened my hand over the grip of my weapon, and steeled my gaze.

    “Look, kid,” he scoffed, “that’s really not how you want to go about this.”

    Kid? my temper spiked again at his easy dismissal. Had he looked in the mirror recently? My ire was only compounded by the fleeting moment of self-conscious uncertainty that followed. My cobbled together attire was in no way feminine or flattering; it was what I could afford, and, better yet, it was sturdy and practical. I knew that my braid was sloppy and coming undone, and my face was no doubt smudged with some sort of mire that I didn’t want to think about too closely on a moon like Nar Shaddaa. I hardly looked like a girl, I knew – which was a protection in of itself and something I usually actively encouraged. So, none of that should have mattered; it never had before now.

    “Isn’t it?” I took a menacing step forward, annoyance pooling hot in my belly. “Because it just sounds like you’re talking from the wrong end of a blaster to me.”

    He definitely sighed that time. “Look, it’s been a lousy day,” he still tried to dismiss me. “I got beat to a score that I was counting on, and I just want to fence the speeder and use the credits to find somewhere to crash for the night. Believe me when I say that you won’t be able to pull that trigger if you tried, and, even if you could make your shot count the noise will have those two musclebound idiots back here quicker than you can blink. Then, neither of us will win. Is that what you want?”

    He was right, the gods below take it all. I couldn’t shoot him, not if I still wanted to make off with the speeder. There was no way I'd have enough time to slice the security system and hijack the controls before the Kuati guards returned – even now we were wasting valuable time. My aim was good and I trusted my skills in a firefight, but I knew that I was dangerously fatigued and off my game with hunger. In this particular instance, I didn’t like my odds against two full-grown, armed and dangerous men – little though I wanted to admit as much. But, I hadn’t stayed alive for so long by having delusions of grandeur; I knew how to be honest about my limitations as well as my strengths.

    Still, I wasn’t about to tell him that. All I could do was hope that my threat would pay off.

    Turn around, and get lost,” I hissed through clenched teeth, hating how my voice sounded – like I was one second away from falling over dead on my feet. That wasn’t too far from the truth, really; I felt so tired then. I just wanted him to leave so that I could fly off with my speeder. Was I really asking the universe for too much? “I’m not going to repeat myself.”

    But, whatever his next move would have been was lost to the tell-tale click and whirl of an approaching security droid – and, not just any security droid. Red and blue lights flashed over the street in a clear indicator of Nar Shaddaa’s limited police division. While the very idea of law enforcement may seem like a laughable concept in a place like the Smuggler's Moon, the Hutts made sure that their own rule was enforced in whatever way they best saw fit. They approved of crime, but only on their orders and to their profit within their own space. The Kuati nobleman . . . best guess was that he was there on Nar Shaddaa making some Hutt rich. Two kids trying to steal his speeder definitely would've gone against the local standards of law and order, no matter how many blind eyes to mischief and mayhem were usually turned otherwise.

    We didn’t have time to break into the speeder – we could only hope that the officer's sweep was quick and that he'd move on. Hopefully, he was there to investigate the distraction further down the way, and he’d soon be as preoccupied as the Kuati guards. Otherwise, the both of us were going to leave here empty-handed.

    My new companion obviously thought something similar. Ignoring the blaster I still had pointed at him, he grabbed my wrist and pulled me forward. I didn’t fight him; instead, I holstered my pistol and was quick to follow behind. We darted down the closest alleyway we could find, still keeping the speeder in sight. All the while I watched the reflection of the dull green dusk and the flashing advertisements above in the slimy puddles marring the permacrete. My heart skipped, looking for a telling glow of red and blue. We'd be found and scanned for sure, unless we wanted to abandon the speeder outright and give up on the entire endeavor. We could either run, or try our best to trick the droid.

    My teeth grit together for the thought. No, no; I was too tired and hungry to start over, and, above all else, I was stubborn and determined enough to still try and make this work. So.

    “Can you trust me?” I yanked free from my unwitting accomplice’s grip and instead took his hand to pull him beneath the awning of a stoop, ignoring the trash compactors on both sides of us. There was ever a unique smell to Nar Shadaa, even in what the city-moon called its gardens, and that odor was all the more more pungent here. Eugh, gross.

    The boy seemed confused by me asking. He tilted his head, his brow furrowing in a way that I surely thought would precede a strong no, and yet, after a moment, he slowly nodded in the affirmative. I had yet to lie to him, after all; to the contrary, I had been very vocal and even bald with my actions. And . . .

    . . . strangely, I recalled the flash of connection I had felt earlier, that sense of shared empathy and knowing. Did he feel it too? We were both hungry, I thought, in more ways than one. I felt something deep inside me stir, and my stomach filled as if with a hundred winged flutter-flies.

    “Yeah,” he spoke before too long. He blinked, as if surprised to find that he meant his answer true. “Yeah . . . I suppose I could.”

    “Good,” I exhaled, and then, just as the red and blue lights washed over us I tugged him down and kissed him.

    He obviously more than knew what to do when staring down the barrel of a blaster, but he was clueless when faced with a girl stealing a kiss, was my first amused thought - not that I much knew what I was doing myself. He was incredibly stiff and awkward underneath my touch, even when I wrapped my arms around his neck and pressed my lips more insistently against his. He could at least pretend to play along, I thought, frustrated. I would have swatted him if it wouldn’t have messed with the ruse I was trying to enact. As it was, I sank my hands into his hair and gave a tug in warning.

    He had only just hesitantly raised his hands so that his fingertips just barely brushed the qukuuf markings on my face – a ghosting touch that made me shiver for its softness, allowing me to admit for a heartbeat of normalcy that he was a cute boy with freckles and I was a girl who couldn’t even remember the last time someone had touched me with kindness – and started to return my kiss when the police droid turned down the alleyway and beeped a warning at us. The flutter of binary was inquisitive, at first, but then sounded in a manner that I would call annoyed if it wasn’t, you know, a droid who was programmed against such emotions.

    “Juvenile sentients,” the droid waved his arms and flashed his optical sensors, first red and then blue, “this area has had report of a crime in progress, and is now off-limits by order of the Hutts’ justice. Disperse, and return to your homes.”

    I pulled away and recovered more quickly than my companion – who still looked noticeably stunned. His eyes were wide, and for a moment he could only gape at me. For some reason, the sight pleased me. I couldn’t help but smile; a wide smile that I could feel from my fingertips down to my toes. I still held his hand in my own, I realized then, yet I didn’t at all feel inclined to let him go.

    “So sorry, officer,” I bobbed my head without really feeling sorry at all. “We’ll move on.”

    And, just like that, the droid beeped one more wordless tone before continuing on with his sweep of the alley.

    “Whew, that was close! Come on,” as soon as the droid was out of sight, I tugged on the boy’s hand. “We don’t have much time now, so let's go!”

    “We?” he seemed to recover his voice for the first. No matter his bemusement, he still followed me, out of the alley and then back onto the street.

    “Yeah: we,” somewhere in the past few seconds, it had become only natural to say. “Why don’t we do this together?" I offered, the idea catching and then refusing to let go. "We can sell the speeder and divide the profits right down the middle.” Maybe, I thought but did not say, we could stop and split a bizzo pie after that; I knew a great Corellian bizzeria right outside of the Neon Wonderland. The very idea had my stomach grumbling almost loud enough to hear.

    Still, the boy seemed able to only gawk at me. I felt a moment of self-conscious awareness twist through me again as he stared. I didn’t usually go around kissing random boys, after all, and I was reminded again of my smudged face and bulky, utilitarian clothes. There was no way I was ever going to admit that was my first real kiss, and so I deflected with a confidence I didn’t wholly feel: “What?” I rolled my eyes to scoff. “Why do you look so stunned? Haven’t you ever kissed a girl before? Seriously, it didn’t mean anything, so there’s no need to act so weirded out.”

    Even in the low lighting and the ever lingering smog of Nar Shaddaa, I could see the blush that darkened his cheeks. I watched as he ducked his face in a motion that would have been shy on anyone else, fascinated by his reaction even as my heart seemed to skip a curious beat in my chest. I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t find him adorable in that moment, but, again, that was something I would never admit aloud.

    Of course he didn’t answer my teasing outright, but, then, I never expected him to. Instead, he held out the hand that I wasn’t currently holding. “My name is Boba,” he introduced himself, ignoring my question entirely to say. “Boba Fett.”

    I couldn’t help but smile as I took his hand. “And I’m Sintas Vel. Pleasure to meet you,” I returned his greeting, and tugged him on to follow me. “Come on then, Bo – we have a speeder that’s not going to steal itself!”

    That, my Heart, is where we first started. We’ve carried on ever since then from there.


    TBC



    Sintas and Boba: According to the old Legends canon, Boba Fett and the Kiffar bounty hunter Sintas Vel met around the time of RoTS and were married a few years later. As teenagers trying to leave behind their violent childhoods, they tried to live a normal life together as Mandalorian Protectors on Concord Dawn – Jango Fett's old home-world. Eventually, they had a daughter together named Ailyn. After only three years, their marriage fell apart when Boba killed a superior officer who had sexually assaulted Sintas. He was exiled from Concord Dawn for his crime. He left Sintas and Ailyn behind and instead dove into his career as a bounty hunter and rose to infamy. It would take decades for Boba to resolve his failings as a husband, father, and a Mandalorian, too. But, he always held to the belief that he'd loved Sintas, he just had no idea how to be a part of a family. I, personally, feel like Boba can do better than that, so I am going to give him and Sintas a second chance here in my Song!verse. And! We're going to skip that entire sexual assault plotline, for anyone who may have been worried. It was badly handled, unnecessary and cheap writing for such a triggering subject, and I'm just going to say that yucky old Lenovar died when Ahsoka got her second chance against Darth Maul on Mandalore with the whole pesky business of Order 66 out of the way. :p

    Kiffar: A species of near-Human, some of whom have the gift of psychometry - the ability to read memories from inanimate objects. Sintas was one such Kiffar, whom I am calling a Keeper - so, some fanon is creeping in here amongst the canon! Kiffar can be identified by their qukuuf facial tattoos - which are unique to each clans, as bloodlines and inner-clan warfare is a big part of Kiffar society. Sintas has three dark blue parallel lines on each side of her jaw that stretch up over her cheek, for anyone who may be wondering.

    Heart of Fire: This is Legends canon now too, but such a beautiful piece of lore that I couldn't let it go! These Kiffar gems can be used to store memories that other Kiffar can read. The two examples we had in the EU were the gem Quinlan Vos gave his Padawan, Aayla Secura, and the heart-stone that Boba gave Sintas. In FoTJ, a much older Boba used the Heart to find an amnesiac Sintas, and the stone later helped return her memories. Using her ability to commune with the stone was an idea that really grabbed my muse in place of a more traditional diary, and now here I am!

    Neon Wonderland: The canon Red Light District of Nar Shaddaa, which really is a terrifying thing to imagine. :p

    And I think that's all! Let me know if you have any questions about anything I may have missed. I am always happy to chat! [:D]



    ~MJ @};-
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2020
  3. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host Who Loves Fanfics & RPGs star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Oh, I have a very very soft spot for female Kiffar. They have a tendency to be loving, lovable, and courageous, and this one is turning out to be no exception! :D :D Boba Fett in your imagining is so SWEET! A mirror image of the adorbs Ronen Syndulla-Jarris in Raissa's Marzra-verse, as well as like canon Ezra Bridger--a mixture of pragmatic survival smarts with vulnerable shyness.
    =D=
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2020
    Mira_Jade likes this.
  4. Mira_Jade

    Mira_Jade The Fanfic Manager With The Cape star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Jun 29, 2004
    Aw, thank-you! It's true, the Kiffar are a fascinating species and it's been all too interesting exploring more about their culture and abilities so far. I look forward to sharing more about Sintas with you, too! She's already quite endeared herself to me as an author, and I just adore her. [face_love]

    And Boba! This is such an interesting time for his character - he's really is like Ezra before he stumbled upon the Ghost crew, though maybe with a few rougher edges, you're too right! I'm drawing from both Disney canon and the Legends EU for his backstory, but in each continuity it's interesting how there's the common theme of him having to try to squash what compassion and softer emotions he had in order to achieve the ruthless notoriety he's famous for later in life. (I mean, he's only twelve for most of his adventures in TCW, which is kinda mind boggling when you think about it. :p) Right now he's in a crucible, so to speak, there's no doubt about it! [face_thinking] But Jango certainly had his own set of morals, and a sense of honor such as it was - especially in his Legends incarnation, and of course we know what his clones are capable of. [face_love] There is a sense of sweetness to Boba's character that I couldn't pass up writing about! After all, no matter what else, he's still just a boy who just got his first kiss from a pretty girl. Of course he's going to be all blushes and stammering. :p How he grows from here is up to him, now, and on that note . . . here we are with more. :D [face_mischief]

    I thank you so much for reading, my friend. I always appreciate the time you take to leave your comments! Your encouragement means everything to me, as always! [:D]







    Entry II

    Everyone on Nar Shaddaa knows that if you want to turn an item of potential value over for fast credits, then you go to Uncle Crook’s Honest Garage.

    Yes, my dear Heart, don’t dwell on the name for overly long; it simply is what it is. Watuncrookuunto – or Uncle Crook for short, as he both insisted on and was freely called by his friends – is a Toydarian mechanic with a shop right outside of the Neon Wonderland, just before the Scarlet Tower gambling district. Half of his claim is true: if you need anything from a swoop bike to a star yacht repaired, then he's your man. He guarantees top of the line service for a competitive price, no ifs, ands, or buts. Yet, if you had, say . . . a Kuati speeder of questionable origins that needed to be moved discreetly, well then, he was also the local thieves’ middle-man of choice. His local benefactor was a high-ranking Hutt in the Besadii kajidic, and since the Hutts received a cut of his garage’s profits he was mostly ignored by the law to operate his business as he best saw fit. He bought merchandise, no questions asked, and then sold untraceable parts and entire vessels in his turn, all the while providing work by commission to many who were in need of credits on the moon. There was a time or two when he’d even let me sleep on an instamattress by the generators when I was really down and out, and his senior mechanic, Tonobby Ogt, often suspiciously had extra in their lunch pail that they shared with me whenever I stopped by. This wouldn’t be my first time visiting Uncle Crook’s garage on business, and I doubted it would be the last.

    Sure enough, the green skinned Toydarian was working late that night. His wings were flapping faster than my eye could follow, holding him suspended above what looked like a deconstructed engine for some Corellian starship or another – I’d guess a light freighter by its size. Further back in the garage, an entire Rulaarian pleasure yacht was in the process of being scrubbed down and reassembled with fresh credentials, while a trio of speeder bikes were being painted in matching colours in the furthest sealed off bay, no doubt commissioned for some local gang or jockey club. Fast paced music with deep bass and a heavy percussive rhythm played over the garage speakers, and more than one of the shop workers sang along in Huttese with the rough vocals. Closest to the entrance, tapping their feet in time to the music, it wasn’t Uncle Crook but Tonobby who noticed us first.

    “Why if it isn’t my darling little felinx!” The master mechanic came from an agender, near-human species called the Atharay; as such, they had a lilting voice that was neither male or female, but rather just musical and bright to my ears. Spindly of limb and unusually tall for a humanoid, Tonobby was pale near to the point of translucency, from their white skin to their feathery white hair and silvery-grey eyes. They reminded me of a beam of light, especially in the perpetual dusk and gloom of Nar Shaddaa. Somehow, their blue coveralls didn’t have a speck of grease or grime to speak of, and their hands were clean even as they tinkered with a pair of hydraulic cylinders on their workbench. I darted forward to step into their embrace, turning my face up out of habit to receive their kiss first on one cheek and then the other.

    “Have you brought us something fabulous, darling?” Tonobby drew away to ask, and I couldn’t help the twinkle in my eye to answer.

    “Oh, nothing much,” I pretended to look thoughtful, “just a Kuati Affluence-class pleasure speeder, the most recent model off the line, by my guess. And, as a bonus: it comes in silver chrome, just for you.”

    “Really, dear, you shouldn’t have,” Tonobby drawled, their eyes crinkling in a look that was both sharp and pleased all at once, holding a four fingered hand up to cover their hearts. When they smiled, I could see the jagged line of their teeth. “You know just what makes me weak.”

    “I may have thought of you, it’s true,” I said, just as Tonobby whistled to get the attention of their boss. “Look what our little Sin-cat brought us today, Uncle,” they beckoned, and Crook flew over to us with a beaming grim on his wide, tusked mouth. He too wore a blue work vest, though his was liberally smeared with engine grease and proudly embroidered with Uncle over the right pocket of his chest. His molted amber-green eyes were bright with affection and good cheer, just the same as they usually were.

    “Sintas!” he was loud to be heard over the pounding music and the whirl of the hydrospanners. “It's been much too long! I was hoping that you’d finally fled this dung-heap! I'm sad, and yet greedily happy to be proven wrong.”

    “Nope, not yet,” I shook my head in the negative, “but soon.” That, I was firm to add; by my mother's gods above, I wouldn’t be stuck here indefinitely; I refused. “I’ll be a step closer after tonight, of course.” I gave Crook a significant look for that, crossing my arms to punctuate my words.

    The Toydarian loosed a throaty laugh, but his eyes turned considering as he rubbed his whiskered chin. With a gesture he snapped, and two of his shop-hands jumped to open the next available bay for the speeder. “There’s no need to worry!" he assured me. "You know that I will pay for quality, just the same as I always do. I trust your eye – especially when you’re working with the likes of the great Boba Fett!”

    Crook looked past me, and I blinked, surprised and yet not that he already knew my companion. Crook saw my look, and his grin only widened to challenge: “What? You didn't think that you were the only scamp who’s ever slept by the generators, did you, Sin-cat? Nar Shaddaa is full of strays, all looking for a place to belong.” But his voice sobered to say – to Boba and not to me, his attention shifted, “That said, I have not yet heard word on your ship, though you know I’ve kept my ear to the ground. If she comes my way, you'll be the first to know.”

    “Thank you,” was Boba's short reply; just barely, he inclined his head to the Toydarian in a respectful gesture. Yet, if I'd learned anything on our short ride over to the garage, it was that Boba was economical with his words. That was fine by me, I'd been quick to conclude; I could chatter on well enough for the both of us.

    “You need not thank me,” Crook waved a hand in dismissal. “I still owe Jango for the thing with the thing on Ord Mantell – you know the one I'm talking about, of course. Helping his boy is the least I can do. And, in the meantime, I will rest better to know that you have the likes of Sintas Vel by your side! It is a handy thing, is it not? To have a Kiffar of the Gift as a partner is quite the boon, especially where expensive Kuati pleasure-speeders are concerned!”

    Crook gave a guffawing laugh, and I ducked my head to hide the way my cheeks flushed, fighting a churning surge of mingled pride and shame. We are not thieves, my mother had once hissed with such disgust. We do not ever Seek where we are not invited to Keep. I still remember her lessons, my Heart – how could I not? After all, what made Kiffar of the Gift such excellent detectives and artists and guardians also, unfortunately, made us optimal thieves. I had seen the way Boba’s eyes had widened when all I had to do was brush the code-pad of the speeder with my fingertips to figure out the combination – the appreciation and the instant, wary respect. There were many in the galaxy who had ample reason to distrust Kiffar on principle alone. Yet, I was simply doing what I had to in order to survive; I could live by my mother’s morals once I was steady on my feet again.

    For the time being, however, I could only steel my jaw and look Crook in the eye to say: “I’m glad you appreciate my talents. Now, I want to just know how much?”

    “Cheeky little felinx – after all I’ve done for you over the years, this is the thanks I receive?” yet, no matter his words, Crook remained fond to tease. “But an honest wage for honest work, that you know I am happy to pay, little Sin-cat!”

    I didn’t have to haggle overly much for a price both Boba and I were happy splitting – Uncle Crook meant what he said, and he was ever prepared to pay for quality. With our business then concluded, Tonobby pressed another, smaller credit-chip into my hands on our way out and told me to make sure I bought dinner for myself; I was much too skinny for their peace of mind. I tried to hand it back – I never quite felt right accepting charity, after all, but the Atharay drew their hands away before I could.

    “But darling, it came in chrome,” they winked to evade me. “Take care of yourself, little felinx,” their voice dropped to whisper into my ear as they kissed me goodbye again, and I tried to stop the way my heart twisted in response to their affection. Since losing my mother I could count on one hand how many people I had in the galaxy who cared whether or not I lived or died, and I would be lying if I said that I didn’t crave these rare moments of simple, sentient connection and sought them out whenever I could. My eyes were stupidly burning as I pulled away, and I turned to dart out of the garage before I could let them see. I hated that I still had such weakness within me; I should've grown out of it by then.

    To my surprise, and yet not, Boba followed just a step behind me. I had no idea if he noticed the angry way I wiped at my eyes; I found myself hoping that he didn’t even as I didn’t really mind if he did . . . not really, anyway. It was a strange combination of emotions that I didn't have the energy to untangle just then, so I plastered on what a cheerful expression I could and instead turned to offer: “Do you want to split a bizzo to celebrate?”

    I hoped that he would say yes, even as I assumed he would say no. When Boba nodded – the stray curl over his brow bouncing in a way that made my fingers itch to reach up and brush it aside – I felt a now familiar swirl of flutter-flies rise in my stomach again; my heart felt full and even silly in my chest. I couldn’t help but grin as I grabbed his hand again and pulled him down the street. “I know a great place,” I promised, and I did. “You’re going to love it!”

    Bizzo Nostra was a bizzeria ran by a retired Corellian smuggler, just a few levels down from Uncle Crook’s garage near the surface of the moon. You couldn’t beat a Corellian bizzo made by an honest to goodness Corellian; everything else was just a poor imitation, or at least Sal, the head bizziolo, liked to say. Soon enough, Boba and I had a flimsiboard box full of a saucy, cheesy pie topped with crisp roba bacon and juicy okeronni. We took our bizzo and bottles of meiloorun fizzpop to one of the pedestrian bridges stretched out over the canals on the lowest levels, and sat with our legs dangling over the edge, looking out at the lights from the tallscrapers shining down over the murky water as we gorged on our spoils.

    Boba didn’t say much about the bizzo, but around his third slice, I guessed that he liked it well enough. As for myself, I kept on talking about anything and everything that came to mind. For the most part, I kept to neutral subjects, until:

    “I’ve been on my own for about four years now,” I said before I could stop myself. Usually, I knew to better guard my secrets from others – even those secrets that weren’t really all that secret. I’d already learned more than one painful lesson about trusting too easily, and I was wary of repeating my mistakes. Still, the words bubbled out before I could take them back: “Ever since my mother died, it’s been just me.”

    I felt the weight of his stare turn heavy, and knew that he was doing the math. I fought the urge I had to fidget underneath his frank evaluation, and took a long swig of my fizzpop to hide my sudden restlessness. At first, I didn’t think he would comment – just the same as he hadn’t responded to most of my steady conversation – until: “It’s the same for me,” he said on a whisper, so softly that I wondered if I’d really heard him in the first place.

    Yet, I knew that I had.

    Uncle Crook had mentioned a man named Jango . . . Boba’s father? I looked down at the swirling eddies in the water, peeling my crust apart and throwing pieces to the pelikki birds who were bobbing in the current. I figured that my bizzo couldn’t be any worse for them then whatever they were already scavenging on, and watched as they happily darted to catch the bread before it sank.

    “So, what brings you to Nar Shaddaa?” I couldn’t tell if Boba really wanted to know, or if he was just trying to change the subject. I suspected it may have been both.

    I shrugged. “It was the best choice of a few limited options,” I answered, which was a sad fact, but nonetheless true. To be a Kiffar of the Gift who could not only Keep, but also . . . but I bit my lip before I could complete that thought, even within the safety of my own mind. My mother’s lessons had kept, even after all this time; I still remembered what she’d died for, after all. “I’m trying to save up to buy a ship of my own so I can get offworld," I muttered. "I can be more selective with my clients then, with the freedom to come and go and live as I please.” I didn’t add that the only future I saw for myself was one on the wrong side of the law. I had no citizenship beyond that which bound me to Kiffu, and no formal education or connections to recommend me; my skills laid in my Gift and my aim with my blaster. The math, in this equation, was simple.

    “The saving part is going a little slower than I would like,” I acknowledged ruefully. After all, only an hour or so ago I didn’t even have the credits to afford a slice of bizzo, let alone an entire ship. “How about for yourself?” I asked, throwing the rest of my crust into the canal and watching as the birds squawked and squabbled over their prize.

    “I have a ship,” Boba said after a moment, confirming what I'd heard from Uncle Crook. “Or I had one, anyway. It was stolen from me.”

    This, I wanted to know more about.

    “Do you have any leads?” I asked, curious. We worked well together with the speeder; if he wanted, maybe I could help him get his ship back? Somehow, I felt drawn towards him like a binary star to its mate, I knew without really knowing; I still didn't understood exactly why, but I truly wanted to help him, however I could. “Do you know who or where or why?”

    “I know who,” Boba answered after a long pause. “And I know why,” his voice darkened to continue. “I do not know where or how I am going to get it back, though.”

    I waited, but didn’t press him for more. This was his business, after all. I wouldn’t want a relative stranger prying into mine if our places were reversed.

    So, I picked another slice of bizzo from the box and contented myself with the silence until: “I’m following a bounty hunter named Aurra Sing,” Boba finally chose to confide. “She has my ship . . . or, she does for now. I’m going to get it back.”

    I stopped with the slice of bizzo halfway to my mouth, my eyes boggling. Aurra Sing . . . the Aurra Sing?! There were only a few bounty hunters in the galaxy with as much notoriety as her, and I was amazed that he was not only entangled with such a dangerous foe but determined to reclaim what was his, heedless of that selfsame danger. Aurra Sing was always the hunter in the stories; she was never the prey. But . . . Boba, I was dumbfounded to understand, was serious about hunting the huntress.

    Lost in his own thoughts even as mine spun, Boba stared out over the canal, his eyes as hard as durasteel. “It’s not just the ship, though that’s one of the few things I have left of my father and I do want it back,” he continued. “There’s something aboard that’s more valuable to me – something that's relatively worthless to her. If I can just get that back, even . . . I'd . . . ”

    But his hands curled into fists where he had them resting in his lap. I watched as his fingers clenched and unclenched, all the while fighting the sudden, intense urge I had to reach over and cover his hands with my own. The flutter-flies in my stomach were flapping their wings again, and I swallowed, uncertain. It was on the tip of my tongue to offer up my help. I tried to hold back the words; I knew that I should just turn around and walk away if I had any sense – this was Aurra Sing, after all, and tangling with her was to tangle with a death wish – and, yet . . .

    “Okay, then; where do we start?”

    I could have smacked myself – and probably would have if Boba didn’t finally turn to look my way, his head tilted as if he was trying to figure out just what to make of me. I knew, then, that I'd surprised him. Still, he hesitated; and it was that moment’s hesitation that had the flutter-flies soaring up from my stomach to seemingly fill my chest. For a moment I stupidly remembered kissing him . . . how tentatively he'd touched the markings on my face, and I couldn’t help but hope . . .

    “Thanks for the offer.” Even still, I felt a thanks but no thanks coming. “But I work better alone.”

    We worked well enough together with the speeder, I wanted to counter – still unsure as to why this was something I felt so strongly was the right course. He shook his head, and haltingly went on to add, “It’s really nothing personal, but I've already had my fill of partnerships gone wrong. Tonight was useful, but I think it’s best we go our own ways now.”

    His words were stolen seemingly straight from the tip of my own tongue; they were what I should have said, they were what I knew was best to say. I understood his reasoning so much more than I could properly express aloud, and, yet . . .

    I'd never fallen low enough to beg, not since fleeing Kiffu, and I wouldn’t start then. I still had my mother’s pride, after all.

    So, I squared my shoulders and nodded. “I understand,” I said around the lump in my throat. “I wish you all the best.”

    “Yeah,” Boba said after an awkward pause. “You too.”

    I wiped the grease from the bizzo off on my pant leg and then offered my hand in farewell. For a heartbeat he just looked at me, tilting his head in that bemused way he had again, and then reached out to accept. As soon as his fingers touched mine I unwittingly found Awareness crashing over me even without my consciously Seeking, and I saw -

    - churning, endless ocean waves and lashing sheets of rain and millions upon millions of identical faces hidden behind bone-white masks and matching bone-white armor, all with the same warm brown eyes that were as familiar as looking in a mirror, as familiar as the man he/I alone called Father. There was the rage of a storm-locked planet’s endless fury and the grit of hot red sand underneath his/my fingertips and emptinesslongingfearpain as he/I pressed his/my forehead to the dome of a silver helmet and wondered howcouldyouleaveme, Iwantyouback, whatdoIdonow, Iamnotreadytoletyougo, pleasethiscannotbereal before -

    - I knew better than to Keep that which Awareness had shown me. With a dizzying force of will I exhaled, and let Boba go, fighting not to snatch my hand back as if burned. I knew that I was flushing red from my cheeks to the tips of my ears, but I couldn’t stop myself any more than I could properly explain my seemingly bizarre reaction. I was not . . . I was not supposed to – no one was supposed to be able to plunder and then Keep the memories from another sentient being. Only the Unnatural could do that – and, no matter what else, I could not be one of the Unnatural. After all, my mother . . .

    . . . but I couldn't think about that, not then, especially not while his memories were still coursing through me like a live current, sparking at my fingertips and burning though my mind. You can see them even now, can't you, my Heart? His pain felt like an inverted reflection of my own grief, and I thought to instinctively know – even while not wholly understanding – why my Gift had drawn from him as if to sate an unquenchable thirst. In this way, we were kindred; my Gift recognized him; I recognized him.

    Yet Boba, of course, had no idea what was going through my mind. He only drew his hand back, and slowly curled his fingers in on themselves. I had to fight to exhale.

    "Alright then," he got to his feet, and turned to look down at me. "I guess I'll see you around."

    "Yeah," I echoed in answer. "I guess."

    He hesitated for only a moment longer before turning to leave. I watched him walk away until he was swallowed by the thick gloom of the Nar Shaddaa night, and then sat alone for a long while after, lost in thought.



    TBC


    ~ MJ @};-
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2020
    Findswoman likes this.
  5. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host Who Loves Fanfics & RPGs star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    "Uncle Crook's Honest Garage" [face_laugh] [face_mischief] ... Sintas does seem to have people there who care for her. The bizzo sounds delicious.

    The rapport/attraction she shares with Boba draws them together but they're each used to going it alone. Looking forward to their next encounter.

    (Given the vision of an actual/possible future, it won't be long.)
     
    Mira_Jade likes this.
  6. Cowgirl Jedi 1701

    Cowgirl Jedi 1701 Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 21, 2016
    *wonders if "Uncle Crook" is any reason to Watto*
     
  7. Mechalich

    Mechalich Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Feb 2, 2010
    The structural approach here is very interesting and really quite unique. Sintas' voice perfectly fits someone who is speaking, or perhaps communing would be a better descriptor, with something that isn't properly conscious or aware, but is also somehow considerably more than an inanimate object or even a pet. I imagine the process of crafting a holocron would unfold in a similar, though doubtless much more formalized, Jedi being Jedi, fashion. Notably it allows this particular method of storytelling to work in a way that wouldn't work if this were supposed to be a traditional diary someone was actually writing.
     
  8. Mira_Jade

    Mira_Jade The Fanfic Manager With The Cape star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Jun 29, 2004
    I thank you all so very much for your kind words! I have another update for you, but first . . .


    Ha! I just could not resist when it came to that name - it was so much fun thinking up underworld characters here, and once the idea struck it refused to leave! This is a completely new part of George's sandbox to play in for me, and I'm having a blast. :D [face_dancing]

    These two kids are such a mess, it's true, but honestly them figuring things out and growing up together is half of the appeal of their dynamic! They'll learn, and a lot sooner than they think!

    [face_mischief] [face_tee_hee] [face_whistling]

    Thank you so much for reading, my friend! I hope that you continue to enjoy! [:D]


    Ha! Uncle Crook's just another simple Toydarian trying to make a living in the universe. [face_mischief]

    Thanks for reading!


    Hello, and thanks for reading! I appreciate the very kind feedback. :D Half of the fun of writing this diary is the format, truth be told! I've enjoyed participating in this challenge a few times over the years, so it was great to challenge myself with something different - and Sintas communing with a Heart of Fire certainly fit that bill. It's a project I'm excited to continue!

    Thank you so much, again, for taking the time to read and leave your thoughts! I hope you continue to enjoy. :)



    [:D]


    ~MJ @};-
     
  9. Mira_Jade

    Mira_Jade The Fanfic Manager With The Cape star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Jun 29, 2004
    Entry III

    Isn't it strange, dear Heart, how vivid some memories remain, no matter the passing of time?

    I still remember that first night after Boba left. It didn't matter that I'd been on my own for years, I felt my solitude all the more so then, as if gravity was pressing me down in an attempt to stamp me into the ground. It was difficult to go my own way. Left alone again, the shadows between the tallscrapers seemed that much darker, the dome of the sky above that much further away. It started raining, that I remember clearly. Rain storms on Nar Shaddaa are aggravating at best and dangerous at worst. A sharp, pungent scent filled the air as the stinging little droplets fell. The grating of the walkways turned slick underfoot, and the buildings took on a shimmering ghostliness as the perpetual grey-green dusk seemingly melted down from the atmosphere to soak the moon below. My hair turned slick and my coat stuck to my body; my eyes burned from where the water ran down my face, no matter how carefully I tried to wipe my skin clean while picking up my pace. I didn't want to be out in the foul weather any longer than was necessary.

    As the intensity of the rain increased I couldn't help but recall memories that were not my own: of a churning expanse of unending ocean waves and infinite storms, of roiling greys and turbulent blues cut by lines of bright, gleaming white. Away from the storms, however, there was ever peace sanctuary home to be found, there with -

    - but no . . . no, I tightened my jaw in stubborn determination. This, I knew that I could not Keep. I should never have been able to unconsciously Seek and achieve Awareness in the first place; I had to let his memories go.

    But, no matter my determination, the sound of thunder rumbled in my ears even as the skies of Nar Shaddaa remained quiet overhead.

    Eventually, I reached a waystation that I trusted enough to crash for the night, now that I had credits enough to rent a room. Well . . . trust is a relative word, of course, but there was a bed to be had and a communal 'fresher that was cleaner than most in the district . . . with clean being a relative concept, again. I was exhausted enough that the tiny alcove, with its low, slanted ceiling and just enough room carved out for its single bed, seemed like a palace to my eyes. The sleeping cells at this particular establishment had actual deadbolts along with the traditional electronic locks on the door, but I still didn't feel entirely secure as I laid down and closed my eyes. I kept on waking up, startled to awareness at the slightest of sounds. Somewhere on the floor above me I heard a crash, then a scream; glass shattered not long after; more than once I heard laughter, and then someone bellowing in a language I couldn't understand when my chrono read a depressing 0320. I squeezed my eyes shut as best I could and hummed one of my mother's old songs to drown out the noise until exhaustion overtook me and I managed to fall into a restless sleep.

    The next morning I made my way to the palace of Gorga the Hutt. The Besadii crime lord was a distant cousin of Lord Aruk, the new family head, trying to make her name and quickly establishing a reputation for herself on Nar Shaddaa. Her shrewd business sense now had her overseeing most of the Red Towers gambling district, a lucrative and prestigious claim, even for a Hutt. That she had forced out the rival Desilijic clan to do so had put her in high favor with old Lord Darog before he abdicated to his son, and she was currently the benefactor of choice for many who were looking for work in this hemisphere of the moon.

    I didn't yet have prestige or favor enough to claim a place in the Hutt's line of sight. Instead, I hung back around the perimeters of her court with the gaggle of other thieves and miscreants, all awaiting Gorga's orders like scavenger birds eager to pick clean the bones left behind by the larger predators. I could feel my mother's memory like a tangible presence by my side even more so than usual then, watching, waiting, as I made my choices and carved out my path in life. I did not have to close my eyes to remember the exact shape her disappointment could take, the way her eyes would fix on me as she frowned; this was not the path she would have wanted for me, I knew. Yet, I merely tilted my head up in stubborn pride and kept my ears open for an opportunity for credits. I was simply doing what I had to do to survive, and no more. I would leave Nar Shaddaa and the Hutts behind as soon as I could. Someday I would be able to make my own choices and live by my own rules, my own code. But not yet.

    The day stretched on, and as the lunar noon came and went I still had yet to receive orders from Gorga; everything she currently required was yet past my ability if not quite my skill-set. Feeling more drained than discouraged, I was just standing from where I'd won a handful of credits from playing dejarik with Urgg, a Gamorrean guard, when I caught a flash of loud, vivid red from the corner of my eye.

    No, not red, I corrected myself . . . scarlet, scarlet . . . and white.

    I have to admit that I stared, dear Heart; my gaze fixed on the bounty hunter who strode into Gorga's throneroom as if she was the one being attended rather than the opulent Hutt lounging like a Deep Core queen on her upraised dais. Aurra Sing, her name rippled through the crowd in mostly grudging respect but in snide loathing, too, from a brave few of those gathered. A Devaronian in front of me gave a raspy chuckle to wondered aloud for the unfortunate soul who'd gotten on Gorga's bad side enough to require hiring such an elite huntress. Hutts, after all, while tight with their finances as only Hutts can be, were willing to pay a shiny credit for vengeance - if only to keep others from crossing them as much as for personal gratification, of course. See? Again, they're shrewd businessmen, all.

    I hung back in the shadow of the Devaronian, simply watching as Gorga welcomed Aurra Sing in her deep, booming voice. The pageantry was typical of the Hutts, and the bounty hunter accepted Gorga's hospitality, such as it was, with a stiff nod and a few clipped words of her own in acknowledgment. More so than what she said aloud, however, I watched the way her dark eyes flickered to take in her surroundings, missing nothing around her. Her skin was pale as ash over a body tightly honed with muscle. Striking against her deathly pallor, the fiery plume of her hair was a loud statement - a boast, on a woman of her fame. Such a distinctive marker made her easily recognizable, cutting into her ability for stealth as if to say that she had no need for discretion. She was like a jeweled snap-viper, warning others not to tread on her for the venom her fangs held. I felt a shiver run up and down my spine, an old prey-sense rousing deep in my belly before I clamped down on my unease with a stubborn grit of my teeth.

    I had nothing to fear from Aurra Sing, I told myself, because I wasn't going to get in her way. I was going to mind my own business, and she would go about hers. This, my merely glimpsing a predator from afar, was all that there would ever be between us. That was it; end of story.

    . . . which was why I found myself standing outside of the room Aurra Sing had been given by Gorga not even an hour later, a debate warring between my higher logic and the inexplicable impetus that urged me on, insisting that this was the course I had to take, for better or worse.

    I was only going to take a peak, I told myself; I'd come and go without anyone ever knowing I was there. Even so, a little voice deep inside of me was shrieking with anxiety; my better sense couldn't understand just why I was doing something so incredibly stupid and risking everything for a complete stranger. I didn't know Boba Fett; he meant nothing to me, just as surely as I would probably never see him again. Why was I here, then, putting myself so squarely in a quarrel that was not my own? This was none of my business, the old gods below take it all, and Boba's own time was numbered for him having made Aurra Sing an enemy. I knew better; I wasn't foolish enough to share his fate.

    . . . or, apparently, I was. Because I could still remember what Awareness had allowed me to Keep. I remembered that haven in the rain, the brown eyes that softened to look on him/me, and the man that he/I called Father . . .

    It's the same for me, he'd said so, so softly, and it was that which was first and foremost in my mind as I brushed my hand over the keypad of the door and Sought the code . . .

    A moment later I was inside of Aurra Sing's quarters and committed to my path.

    The room was typical of a Hutt's taste. The walls were rough, mud colored plaster and the floor dull grey synthstone, but the furniture was carved out of dark chuuka wood from Nal Hutta and inlaid with colored glass and motifs of tangled vines where gaj cats hid and swamp-parrots made their nests. A single tapestry on the furthest wall depicted a matching jungle-like landscape; even the sunset the artist wove was tinged with green. The bed was framed by the massive tusks of some poor creature I couldn't identify, and hung with dusky purple curtains over a matching such comforter and pillows; all were untouched. The only sign I had that this room was Aurra Sing's was the single heavy durasteel case - a munitions cask, I could well guess - and a well worn canvas bag resting on top. If I was going to find anything to Keep, it would be there.

    My heart was in my throat as I stole across the room, wincing as my dirty boots touched the striped fur rug dominating the floor - which was no doubt a match for the tusks framing the bed. I didn't want to leave any sign that I had disturbed this space; I couldn't be caught. After all, I didn't want to think of how Aurra Sing would react if I was discovered, let alone Gorga my employer if I broke her promise of hospitality to such an honored guest . . .

    Well then, I squared my jaw, I would simply have to be careful. I could do this.

    A curious sort of calm fall over me then, with my fear not quite diminishing so much as simply fading into the background, sharpening my senses and lending me focus. I opened the pack with steady hands, they did not shake. I just had to find a clue, I told myself, and then I would leave. I had checked with Urgg, the Gamorrean guard, and he confirmed that Aurra Sing hadn't used any of Gorga's hangars when she arrived. Clearly, I thought darkly, she knew that the true owner of her stolen wares was not giving up so easily, child or not. She was being canny, and cautious. I just had to figure out where she was keeping Boba's ship, and then I could plan my next move from there.

    Thinking about what I would do for anything tangible of my mother's gave me strength, dear Heart. Strength, and determination. It's the same for me reverberated in my head, echoing in time with the pulse of my heart. It's the same for me.

    Yet, no matter my determination, I didn't find anything useful in the pack - just toiletries and another loud orange body-suit and various odds and ends. All were typical traveling supplies for any sentient being. Alright then, I steeled myself; the munitions case it was.

    This lock took a little bit more concentration than the one on the door, but the end result was the same. I Sought, and with Awareness I knew how to work the code and fool the bioscanner into thinking I was the cask's true mistress. As I Kept I could feel a brush of what made Aurra Sing Aurra Sing, of her cool brutality and lethally honed skills as a huntress and something underneath it all that was so desperately angry that it made my head spin. I sucked in a breath, and let those memories go. I refused to Keep them for my own.

    The first level was typically stocked with spare blaster packs and a few flash grenades and thermal detonators. All were handheld weapons with maximum capacity for destruction that traveled light and inconspicuously, but ultimately useless to me.

    The next level down had another lock, but that went the same as the first; it was nothing I couldn't handle. Within, I was curious to find, were several cylindrical shaped items laid out in a tidy row. I couldn't immediately figure out their use, even with my already checkered history and knowledge of various ordnance the galaxy wide. I picked one up weapon at random, and as I turned the metal over in my hand Awareness showed me -

    - a wide open space, a room with hushed lighting and a feel of serenityknowledgehistory that wrapped around me like an embrace. She/I was offering the strange weapon to a middle-aged Human male garbed in dark brown and tan robes. “Well done, my apprentice,” the man warmly praised. “You have taken another step closer to achieving your Knighthood; I am honored to act as a guide you on your journey.”

    A battlefield stretched before me next, on some alien world I couldn't recognize. Here, the weapon, now blazing with an ignited brilliant blue blade, was heavy in her/my hand as she/I fought at the side of her/my Master, leading hundreds of white armored soldiers in battle against a tidal wave of enemy droids. “Commander, what are your orders?” she/I heard, and the memory jumped forward to a scene in a command tent. She/I looked, and there was one of the armored soldiers, with such a familiar pair of warm, warm,
    warm brown eyes, and -

    - startled, I couldn't follow the scene to its conclusion. Instead, there was something even deeper than the sudden myriad of memories that rushed over me, of training and missions and battlefields, of joy and resolve and despair and hope and duty, all. There was something that when I Sought, looked back. I was not the only one possessing Awareness then. Something at the weapon's heart was alive, it took me a dumb moment to understand, burning with a near sentience that almost reminds me of you now, dear Heart - in a way, at least.

    But, then, I nearly dropped the cylinder in my amazement - no, the hilt of the lightsaber, I was holding the lightsaber of a Jedi Knight! I was quick to return the weapon to its place following my epiphany, blinking to realize that these were . . . these were trophies. I didn't have to stretch my imagination to guess what had happened to the original owners. My stomach churned for the realization, understanding the danger I was putting myself in then all the more so even as I felt a pang of grief for the girl my Gift had shown me. She was dead now, I understood. She hadn't felt much older than I was in my vision, no matter that I had no idea of the age of that particular memory. Aurra Sing . . . rumor said that she had once trained as a Jedi Knight herself, and that she hated their Order and their kind with a savage sort of loathing, and, yet . . .

    I looked down at the row of lightsabers, and my sense of sorrow only grew. It didn't feel right to Seek from any of the other hilts, and I left them alone to their slumber.

    The next and last level was the largest in mass, with it being the main bulk of the case. I was admittedly leery after the lightsabers, but I had already come this far. I couldn't stop now with nothing to show for the risk I had taken.

    So, I worked the lock again and opened the final compartment. I didn't bother guessing what I would find, and was instead more curious than surprised when the level opened to reveal an armored helmet resting in a cradle of black shockfoam. At first I could only see the top of a dull silver dome, but when I reached in to pick it up -

    - I almost dropped the helmet when I realized what I held, startled by the dark, eerie sight of the T shaped visor that locked onto my gaze with an imposing stare of its own. This was a Mandalorian helmet, and I . . . I didn't think it was a replication or a fake. No . . . no; I knew that I was holding true forged beskar in my hands. I could feel the way the metal sang at my touch, even without my consciously Seeking, much like the heart of the lightsaber had. The helmet was strangely light for its size, which must have been a characteristic of the beskar. There were stories waiting to be told in the various nicks and scratches, in the slash of blue framing the transparisteel visor, and I itched to replace my ignorance with understanding. I . . . I'd heard tales of the Mandalorians, of their skill and their tenacity and their warrior's code. In that sense, if in that sense alone, they were much the same as the Jedi to my mind: more myth and legend than an actual living people and persons with identities beyond their collective whole. If holding the lightsaber hadn't felt quite real then that was equally true for the helmet.

    I felt a shiver dance up and down my spine as I opened my senses. Without conscious thought, I found myself instinctively Seeking, and through Awareness I found . . .

    A whirl of memories rushed upon me, so many memories. The same as a Heart of Fire, the helmet held generations upon generations of memories within itself. The beskar was old, much older than merely the last person who'd stared through its fathomless eyes. All at once their lives and lifetimes rushed through me, threatening to drown my sense of self as I fought to hold the oldest memories at bay and let through those closer to the present. I wanted to know about the last being who'd worn the helmet; I didn't have time to dive into its history otherwise, no matter how much my curiosity was piqued.

    And I saw: a planet with wide blue skies stretching over a sea of golden grain. The last of the sun's light was warm on his/my face as he/I sat outside cleaning the helmet with a well worn rag. He/I was watching as a woman with dark hair and eyes, wearing yellow-gold and green armor but no helmet, put a yearling fathier through its paces in a nearby paddock. Even the glimpse of memory revealed an old, deep devotion between the two; I could feel a love so encompassing that it was simply a part of everything he/I was, just like the matching yellow and green armor he/I wore. Beyond the paddock, two children, a boy and a girl, played a game of tag in the twilight, and their young laughter, their contentmentpeacefuture, meant everything to him/me. They were first and foremost in his/my heart as another Mandalorian came up the path, this one with his helmet donned, ready for battle. He was flanked by a company of matching red and grey armored warriors. “Ruuso,” he greeted and without preamble reported, “Vizla and his Kyr'tsad have touched down at Jaon'rusur.” He spoke in an unfamiliar language that Awareness nonetheless translated as the memory drew me in. “The Guard is moving the Mand'alor to Moonus Mandel.” This news was troubling, but expected; he/I - Ruuso, Awarenss inferred - was ready. “The Protectors of Concord Dawn will serve the Mand'alor now as we ever have,” he/I vowed, even as he/I found the woman's gaze across the yard. “We will cover Mereel's retreat; leave Vizla and his thugs to us.”

    Yet, no matter his/my words, I could see what happened next: the scourge of a people that Awareness whispered was Kyr'tsad - the Death Watch. Blaster fire flew by while the fields went up in flames; livestock brayed in panic as shouts in that unfamiliar language sounded faster than Awareness could translate. The battle took its casualties . . . so many casualties, and as he/I breathed his/my last, he/I could only spare one last thought for her . . . and hope that his/my children remained safe, far from the fray. They were the last thing on his/my mind, and the beskar nearly screamed to hold his love, his championshipsteadinessdevotion deep within its memory.

    There was a child, then - a little boy, the same one who'd been playing in the fields, Awareness showed me next - pressing his/my brow to the dome of the scorched helmet. Behind him/me, there was another Mandalorian, this one in charcoal blue-grey armor with a scarlet visor. This warrior, Awareness whispered, was the one they called Mand'alor: Jaster Mereel. “For your clan's sacrifice . . . and for the debt I owe your parents, I would take you in as my foundling, as the Way demands. That is, if you'd have me in return?” When he/I looked up, Awareness showed me a reflection in the helmet, and I saw . . .

    Boba? Startled, I recognized a younger version of the face that I better knew. But no . . . that wasn't quite right, wasn't it? Yet, if not Boba, I puzzled, then who . . .

    “You know, Jango, when I heard of the price you demanded of the long-necks I almost didn't believe it. First working for the Count, and now this?” another Mandalorian - this one with a scarred face, wearing pale, sandy gold armor set into a russet colored bodysuit - crossed his arms and drawled. He/I tolerated the other man, Awareness revealed; he/I appreciated his loyalty and skill if not his rougher edges, yet he/I would have him nowhere near his/my son as he grew. “In the end, we are nothing more than what we leave behind,” he/I muttered, and, bellying the lack of inflection in his/my voice, such a warmth filled his/my heart for the baby boy who batted curious hands up at his/my visor; that too the beskar seized, and held close to cherish. There was such love here already, I felt as it warmed and filled me in its turn; such devotion. “The Count is just a useful means to that end, Skirata.” And in his/my words there was a dark sort of vow that Awareness hinted at. “We are all here for Mereel's legacy, and Boba will carry on that fight long after we are gone.”

    Boba . . . Boba! I was lost for Skirata's reply as I instead focused on the swaddled baby that Awareness showed me. I couldn't help my wide, stupid grin as I Sought for more. How endearingly cute, I couldn't help but Keep this memory for myself, even as I sobered to understand: this was Jango Fett's helmet, then, just as it had belonged to Ruuso Fett before him. This helmet was a part of Boba's legacy, just as his ship was.

    With that knowledge, a part of me wanted to take the helmet and run. This was not Aurra Sing's to be had; she had no business laying claim to a history that was not her own. She was an interloper, a thief of the worst degree. Indignation burned through me like hydrogen at the heart of a star, scourging away all of my earlier doubts and reservations. I was no longer hesitant for fear, instead, I was determined; I knew what course I needed to take; I knew what I was going to do.

    Gently placing the helmet back in its case, tampering down on my Awareness in a hushed farewell to the memories the beskar held, I made sure that everything was exactly how I'd found it. I had to leave the helmet behind for the time being, but I'd be back.

    In the meantime, I was going hunting.



    TBC


    ~MJ @};-
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2020
    Findswoman likes this.
  10. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host Who Loves Fanfics & RPGs star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Fascinating progression of visions/memories and Sintas' resolve to make her own path remains. [face_thinking]
     
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  11. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    Caught up on this, and I am so glad I did! I put it off a bit at first because I don’t know this group of characters very well, and the Legends storyline not at all—but I’m kicking myself for doing so, because shouldn’t I know by now that of course I’ll get to know and love any character written by you! [face_love]

    Sintas is such an intriguing mixture. In part of her we see a hardboiled-beyond-her-years street ragamuffin, but in another part there’s a conscientious young woman who deeply values her heritage and talents and will protect them at all costs. What you’re doing with her psychometric talent is really cool—probably one of the most compelling depictions of this talent that I’ve come across! I get the feeling you’re expanding a lot on the Legends lore of the Heart of Fire, and I say keep at it; all these gradations of Seeking, Awareness, Keeping, etc. just make sense, and I can tell the Heart of Fire is a truly amazing sentient object, on the order of those singing, living crystals that live inside lightsabers.
    (Love that Sintas even notes that parallel herself when she finds the lightsaber!) I love, too, that there is an ethical dimension to how one uses or even whether one retains the memories one comes across while using that talent, and that makes total sense, because it acknowledges that memories have a sacredness and sentience all their own—the sacredness and sentience of the person who had them (and that’s why it’s always “she/I,” “he/I”). It’s very much its own Force tradition, in a way.

    And I’m stoked to see what will happen next now that she’s uncovered these extremely important artifacts in Aurra Sing’s trophy chest! The amazing memories they’ve shown her hint that past and present are soon going to be coming together in some very striking ways—and gives her confirmation that there’s more to this happy-go-lucky boy!Boba than meets the eye! Can’t wait to see where this will lead, and I am thrilled at the idea of Boba getting his dad’s helmet back—but I’m a bit nervous, too... Sintas clearly has a plan, but if Aurra and/or Gorga gets wind of it there could be Seven Hells to pay! [face_nail_biting] Keep it coming, ma’am; I’m loving it! =D=