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Before the Saga Epiphany--OC's

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by leiamoody, Jun 11, 2015.

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  1. leiamoody

    leiamoody Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 8, 2005
    This story is definitely getting into deeper territory…more than just family relations, although that will ultimately be covered in greater detail. I’m going for the “bigger things”, because that is what Zia ultimately sought out as a remedy against the malaise she has suffered from since leaving the Jedi Order. It’s a solution (for lack of a better term) that will ultimately influence the lives of Chevor, his master, and a whole bunch of other beings in the future.

    The surprise on Chevor’s part does indeed come from the assumption that Zia would be out of touch with the Force since she wasn’t an active Jedi. Of course he isn’t aware that anyone who is Force sensitive still retains the capacity to utilize their connection in whatever methods they know…in Zia’s case, she has very strong telepathic abilities, hence the reason why she can anticipate what his questions are. Given the life she has lead over the past couple decades, it makes sense
    her Force instincts are still keen. Living in the ordinary world is a difficult job by itself, and any advantages she might have that will help her survive (say, being able to detect when someone is about to attack her in a dark alley) can only help. So maybe it’s better to say she didn’t entirely cut herself off from the Force, just only answered its calls when necessary.

    When it comes to looking for answers, Zia has already found one half of an equation that will lead to more answers that eventually answers a fundamental question in life…Chevor will do that as well, but he hasn’t found that road yet.

    This is an element that became obvious during the Prequels in Obi-Wan and Anakin’s relationship. There was even a large disconnection between how Qui-Gon and Obi related to each other. So I imagined that this was modus operandi for the master/padawan relationship, because it would have been considered a violation of the “no attachments” rule in some fashion. Maybe this wasn’t so much the case during the final years of the Old Order, but since I’m writing around 500 years
    before that period, it would likely be more traditional and entrenched.

    Meeting each other has caused Zia and Chevor to accelerate each other’s relative personal developments. Call it the “will of the Force”, or something larger, that has caused this development to occur in their lives. Things need to be revealed, both about their personal histories and their personal destinies.

    Chevor is going to mature from meeting Zia, and in some peculiar fashion, she will also do some more growing up (because it’s never too late to grow just a little bit more while you’re still breathing).

    As I said above, Zia possess strong telepathic abilities, which enables her to know certain things about Chevor, including the fact he was interested in finding out the identities of his birth parents. Of course there is a more practical reason why she would know certain specifics, including Chevor’s relationship with his master, and how Aduman knows how to find things in the Archives…long story short, Zia was contacted by someone in the Temple prior to this story…that will be covered later. There’s a lot of people in this story who don’t know half of everything going in their lives or their heads…kind of like the author herself.

    But that’s something I really like to write about; not knowing everything, and not always realizing there is something more going on is a part of life in the real world, and would not be any different in the GFFA.



    Yes. It's the most appropriate way I could think of to tell both Zia and Chevor's stories.

    I was probably dimly aware of this fact about the name given that I took four years of French in school and can still understand some of the language...but it wasn't an obvious connection I thought about when I used the quote. The idea of a Snivvian named Pierrot was just one of those random images that popped into my head when I was thinking about how to use the quote. It works.
     
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  2. divapilot

    divapilot Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 30, 2005
    The relationship between ache or and Zia becomes closer and more intriguing. There is so much that is just out of reach for both of them: her lost future because she was denied as a Jedi and his lost past because he became one. I'm very curious about the woman in Chevor's dreams. Maybe a lost memory?

    Excellent update!
     
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  3. leiamoody

    leiamoody Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 8, 2005
    Thanks for reading. :D

    There is definitely a common thread of loss between Chevor and Zia which unites them throughout the story. When it comes to the woman in Chevor's dreams, there is the element of lost...and found, both in memory and in life.
     
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  4. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

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

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    I got pulled in by the wonderfully evocative title "Epiphany" ... =D= =D= Chevor is grandly confident without being over the top with it. Zia - she has warmth and pluc! She has seen the Jedi life from both sides [face_thinking] Her nuggets of wisdom are doubtless going to be invaluable to Chevor. I'm not sure Zia would have made different choices than she did. I have a feeling she looks and moves strictly forward. :) I too love the one chapter in the present, the other in the past. :cool: I'm also watching the thread. @};-
     
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  5. leiamoody

    leiamoody Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 8, 2005
    Thanks for reading. :D

    The title is definitely meant to be evocative of something larger for both Chevor and Zia. When it comes to confidence, both of them have equal amounts of this quality, and in Zia's situation it has provided her with the impetus to always move forward (that is a correct observation about her).
     
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  6. Kahara

    Kahara Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 3, 2001
    Glad to see another conversation with these two -- I'd wondered if it was a one-time chance meeting never to be repeated. It's cool to see some of the implications of Chevor maybe learning more about his connection to Zia. She all but spelled it out (from the way she acts, I have no doubt she knows) and Chevor seems to be making a pretty good guess about it too. ;)

    Interesting thoughts on masters and apprentices not knowing each other; though I can see that being a cultivated and not-too-great tendency of the Jedi, maybe it's also partly just that there is always something that two sentient beings don't know about each other -- the mind and heart are tricky that way. [face_thinking]

    Also liked hearing more from Zia about her reconnecting with the Force. It's intriguing how she seems to be caught between acceptance (with regards to the Force) and still being angry at the Jedi Order themselves. She's got a lot of complex things locked up in her head and it's really neat to see the different facets come through in these stories. =D=

    Side note, but I like the scene-setting details of the diner with the GFFA-ish and yet "down to earth" feel that they conjure.

    Though I don't usually do the tag thing, in this case it makes a lot of sense due to the random/infrequent schedule. So go ahead and sign me up.
     
  7. leiamoody

    leiamoody Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 8, 2005
    Thanks for reading. :D

    Yes, it's a pretty blatantly obvious connection...at least I didn't name Zia "Jocasta" and Chevor "Oedipus" (that would be an entirely different story than I intend to tell [face_tee_hee]). But there is definitely that obvious connection...but also a less obvious one that ties into their shared heritage as Force sensitives/survivors of Jedi indoctrination. There's also the concept of "inheritance" which becomes important as the story goes on, and it has larger implications for not just Chevor and Zia but
    ultimately...drum roll...tumbleweeds and crickets...the Jedi as well. (Hint: How are Force ghosts created? ;)).

    The concept of the master/apprentice relationship and how they relate to each other has its precedent in the prequels with Obi and Anakin. My fanon theory: some of the limitations in ultimately knowing what the other is thinking lies within the locus of control over how each Jedi wants to be perceived, especially by another Force sensitive who also happens to be someone who is *supposed* to know more about them than any other being. So each Jedi controls how much access they allow other Jedi to have about the contents of their minds/psyches.

    Zia is...very intense. :p

    The setting for Yoma's restaurant is yet another of my realistic attempts to bring "real-life" into a fic because I ultimately wind up writing about things that are..well, not so real on the surface?
     
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  8. leiamoody

    leiamoody Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 8, 2005
    Just a brief thanks for nominating and voting on this story and Zia in the Fan Fic Awards! You guys are awesome!!^:)^=D=[:D]
     
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  9. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014
    It was a pleasure nominating you and voting for you in, well, any category where I might have done so. [face_whistling]
     
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  10. Annia Piet

    Annia Piet Jedi Knight star 2

    Registered:
    Feb 7, 2015
    Although I rarely read in the before section, this was one of my fave fics from last year and was very happy to nominate, vote and see it win :)
     
  11. leiamoody

    leiamoody Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 8, 2005
    500 BBY, Doun Yeepine

    It was midnight local time when Zia found her way to the bridge. Zia had spent the better part of three hours wandering around the southern half of Sector Nine in search of accommodation and food. The need for a medical professional wasn't quite as important, although she realized that labor could occur anytime. Hunger from the kidlet and swollen lower extremities pushed her into the nearest greasy diner which not only provided her with some cheap sustenance but also led her to a cheap room at the Green Monk Inn. It was a two-story affair with chartreuse brickwork that stood out like the proverbial sore appendage in the midst of the dun colored buildings that surrounded it. This section was even drearier than all the gray plastene and darkened transparisteel that comprised the majority of the section's buildings. The interior of her temporary abode wasn’t much to describe in a holocard; somehow the place managed to avoid peeling paint in favor of fragmenting wallpaper. She had a twenty-minute nap then decided it was better to escape from the confines of the room and go back on the streets.

    She needed to trade a few baubles picked up over her travels. Hopefully she could find a pawnshop to exchange for hard currency. Republic credits were accepted this far out near the Outer Rim, but it was easier to pick up necessities and make quick deals by having something universal like a precious metal or semiprecious gem.

    A life-sized walking Galdian sculpture would have difficulty moving in a quiet fashion, but Zia possessed some experience measuring her steps. Long dormant sneaking skills came in handy
    walking along the metal overpass that connected the armpit residential district with Mercantile Avenue, which housed banks and pop-up food vendors. It was practical to keep those places organized, and it also cut down on her chance of getting robbed. But she wasn't going to rely on the theoretical safety of the avenue. Rarely utilized skills combined with practiced instincts were her best protection. Zia wouldn't be able to pull off any fancy physical moves. Maybe she might still remember how to pull off a couple mental tricks.

    It never helped to disconnect oneself from the source that made it possible to manipulate the interior spaces of living beings. But that was a decision Zia made in the heart of a major emotional breakdown after failing her Trials. It wasn’t a sudden act of exile, but a gradual dissolution of the invisible cord that bound her with the Force. Every night she meditated during those hours when she could not sleep. She created a mental place where she could begin the spiritual divorce” a darkened room with an open golden door. Each night she pushed the door closed, until the final night when the portal was sealed.

    Closing the door took months, but the emptiness came within a moment. She couldn’t feel the heartbeat of the universe or hear the voices of life anymore. Severing her connection to the Force was more traumatic than leaving the Jedi Temple. The only metaphor she could imagine within those first minutes was the ancient image of a ship adrift on the ocean in the midst of the darkest night without the aid of celestial light to guide her toward the unseen horizon. She cut herself away from the source of disappointment and pain in order to find another path within life.

    Zia needed more than her physical senses to keep her and the kidlet safe. A concealed hold-out blaster underneath her black leather jacket was a basic level of defense, yet being able to sense hidden dangers within her surroundings would provide better protection. The valuables in her pawn stash wouldn’t amount to much once she traded them in, but the datachip holding ten thousand credits could easily fund a thief’s good time. But she needed that money to bring her kid into the universe.

    She stepped down off the final step onto the dirt path that led up a small hill to Mercantile Avenue when she heard the footsteps.

    The footsteps were light, yet detectable to Zia's highly attuned ears. A decade without her connection to the Force compelled her to intensify a concentrated focus upon birth-given senses. Her eyesight was not great, but her hearing was in optimal condition. The steps were familiar” the occasional limp followed a running shuffle from the right side. Her pursuer's right leg was shorter than its left side companion, so he wore lifts in his boots not only to make both legs equal but also to provide extra height.

    The pursuer was about ten meters away, at the halfway point on the bridge. Zia could either stand there or keep walking.

    A drag-scratch sound came from the shadows that surrounded the bridge.

    A slight turn of her head showed a two-meter tall gold-skinned alien emerging from the shadows.

    When Zia turned around she realized the source of the weird scratching sound was a curved broadsword held in the creature’s right hand; the polished durasteel blade dragged along the pavement.

    For several eternal seconds the creature and woman did not move.

    Zia realized…no, felt…the rise of something familiar creep up her spine, then flood into her brain. She stepped forward with right hand outstretched. “You will leave me alone.”

    The creature with the broadsword laughed, a strange hiss combined with a guttural choke. “Not likely.” He stepped closer. “You’ve got that little burden makin’ ye top heavy.” He tapped the
    sword against the pavement. “But ye can do yer best.” The creature grinned, showing four rows of heavily yellowed teeth.

    Zia took four steps back, and the creature matched her retreat by coming forward into the half golden light provided by the floating security light. She needed more time to gather her strength and rediscover that connection to the mystical energy field once again. Closing herself from the influence of the Force took months…yet it somehow found some way to come back into her within seconds.

    Zia hadn’t opened that metaphorical door which separated her from the Great Power. Yet maybe this door had a keyhole through which the Force managed to find its way into her. The sensation was small, not overwhelming like it used to feel, but it still vibrated with incandescent life.

    What happened next occurred so fast Zia could only remember the incident in a series of images…

    The creature lunged forward, sword raised upward with the curve turned in her direction.

    The midichlorians in her blood sang when reunited with the source of all Light…then her energy
    was joined by another Force presence” small, yet strong, pure and burning with fiery Light which radiated upward from her womb.

    Zia pushed the attacker into the lower durasteel pylon of the bridge with her right hand still outstretched.

    The creature slumped to the pavement. His grip upon the sword loosened. Her attacker was temporarily unconscious, but would soon awake.

    She needed to leave.

    Zia turned away from the bridge. She looked up the hill that separated her from the avenue. It wasn’t a very large hill, just a rounded grassy hump with a gradual incline. But it was like a mountain to a woman that happened to be nine months pregnant and nearly out of breath after the sudden burst of energy. It was already wearing off, and there was a definite ache in her bones and joints. The kidlet would soon come off the Force high and would fuss without mercy.

    She just couldn’t get up that hill, even if she could pull the flow of Light back into her. But the door was shut once again. She was not connected to the Force.

    The original set of footsteps with the familiar half-step limp came down the steps behind her.

    Zia sighed. This pursuer, unlike her second and still unconscious attacker, never took any sort of negative response as a final answer. She couldn’t imagine why he’d left the Rose of Shara and wandered around the city-spaceport looking for her.

    She didn’t turn around to face him. Instead she called backward, “What do you want, Pierrot?”
     
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  12. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    Goodness, who is this gold-skinned ruffian who has the gall to sneak up on a heavily expectant mother? Just some brand-X underworld thug, or someone we'll see again? I am guessing the latter is at least a possibility. But Pierrot's reappearance really did surprise me—he apparently really wants Zia to come back to work at the Rose of Shara, but like Zia herself I wonder why he took the time to wander around town looking for her.

    I like that you made the process of "closing the door" on the Force a very gradual and even difficult process, which in a way makes sense for an ability that is both spiritual and physical at the same time. I like too that you drew a distinction between that and just leaving the Temple and Jedi studies in particular; they are indeed very different things, and Zia is in the process of realizing that herself if she acknowledges that she needs more than just her "birth-given senses" in the situation she's in. Perhaps she'll be able to find a compromise somehow. Or maybe compromise isn't the right word—an alternative, a different way of using her connection to the Source of All Light. We see a bit of that in the sudden flash of Force energy from her kiddo at the decisive moment—though you are careful to point out that she is still the one who ultimately initiates that moment: "The midichlorians in her blood sang when reunited with the source of all Light..."

    And thanks so much for not making Zia a total wimp just because she happens to be pregnant! I love that she's determined and unafraid and categorically does not see her condition as a hindrance. Quite the opposite, given the result she got with the gold-skinned pursuer, though she's aware too that "Force high" moments like that might or might not come again.

    Glad to see this back in action—do keep it coming! :)

    EDIT: It just occurred to me to ask... is this [hl=black]an entry for the OC challenge, with Zia's long absence from the Force as the long period of "doing nothing"?[/hl] [face_batting]
     
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  13. divapilot

    divapilot Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 30, 2005
    What a stressful situation - a terrifying attacker who feels that a pregnant woman is easy prey! The idea of her wandering around with such a physical and emotional burden; she could go into labor at any moment and she has no truly safe place to be.

    Loved, loved this part:
    The idea of the Force as "the heartbeat of the universe" is gorgeous.
     
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  14. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

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

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Exquisite action and metaphorical details about closing oneself off, reconnecting, and then disconnecting again. Fascinating that the re-immersion happend so naturally and swiftly yet dissipated as soon as the threat was over.

    A mental divorce, quite an emotive phrase that. [face_thinking] One that Zia continues to adhere to. =D=
     
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  15. leiamoody

    leiamoody Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 8, 2005
    480.3 BBY, Coruscant

    Chevor’s third visit to Zia was delayed by two weeks.

    Aduman had been caught up within some dark grief since the assassination of his paramour, the Aeitheran senator Naima Kairos. It was seven months since her death at the hands of the Abyss Society guerrillas on Knosce, and Aduman had become consumed with uncovering the truth about some form of existence beyond death. Chevor’s master began leaving the Temple after lights out three months ago. His destination remained unknown to significant parties in charge of matters around the Jedi Temple. So it was decided by Yoda that Chevor would become Aduman’s shadow.

    The young apprentice donned black clothing every night after the main gates were locked and slipped out the Deep Level exit to follow his master. He quickly discovered his master’s excursions took him away from respectable Coruscant to the Underworld, where merchants of ill repute sold exotic wares. Aduman headed to certain occult shops on Century Row and Midnight Street, searching for artifacts that might allow him to contact the dead.

    Aduman knew he was being followed. It was slightly awkward to be confronted by his master in the middle of a dead-end street, but Chevor was quickly included in the pursuit of afterlife ephemera.

    The Jedi Council had differing opinions on how to deal with Aduman and his obsession. Master Aldaris was the lone member who wanted him quickly dismissed from the Order, fearing that the Dark Side somehow influenced his pursuit of life after death. More rational members, including Master Livada (who was Aduman’s former teacher), instead recommended that Aduman's quest be allowed to continue. The final decision came from Master Yoda, who decreed all knowledge discovered by Master Nical would become part of the Jedi Archives to be kept under the strictest protection. Everything he found, whether it was some arcane written tome or holographic record, had to be surrendered into the custody of the Jedi Order.

    Aduman protested against the interference of the Council into his "research". But it didn’t change the fact he was being watched, and that his padawan was supposed to make sure he didn’t go into dangerous territory. So Chevor was surprised when Aduman told him shortly before they left the Temple to go back to Yoma’s instead of coming along on yet another late night trek. The matter of disobedience worried Chevor, in particular the vexing matter of facing Master Yoda’s disappointed countenance.

    But he decided it was more important to remain loyal to Aduman. The older man disappeared down the back alley leading toward Melora Avenue. The younger man found his way back to the newfound familiarity of the establishment called Yoma’s.

    Once inside the eatery Chevor was seated in a booth by Zia and quickly served him an extra large mug of Esselian kahve with double heaps of sugar and cream. Then she slid into the empty seat across the table from him so they could have another conversation. It soon took a strange turn when Zia pulled out a black velvet fringed bag from her waistband. “You might find this little object interesting.”

    Chevor watched her pull out a gold necklace from the bag. “I’m not well versed in jewelry.”

    “There’s a better purpose for this necklace than simple decoration.” She unfolded the long circular strand to reveal a golden rose attached to its center. “This little trinket is your key to comprehending the universe.”

    He reached out and laced the rose between his right thumb and index finger. The charm was carved with five equal sized petals folding inward to a star in the middle. “Am I supposed to learn about the significance of roses?”

    Zia pursed her lips, then pulled the rose from between his fingers. “This necklace is proof of something bigger than me.” She placed the necklace back into the bag. “It’s bigger than you. It’s even more exalted than the Jedi.” She folded the bag in half and tucked it into a hidden pocket under her belt. "Can you entertain the possibility you might be wrong about everything?" Zia shook her head. "You're getting caught up in the wrong stuff. Just like your master, although it’s not your fault. The Council simply cannot handle any signs of independent thought which challenges their dogma."

    "You know I'm supposed to keep an eye on Aduman?"

    "He understands you're being used to make sure he isn’t going crazy."

    "So you're the reason he recommended I come here a few weeks ago."

    Zia shrugged. "The owner of Five Destinies Curiosities sent Aduman down here so I could put him in touch with a cultural anthropologist on Aeithera. We compared our respective explorations in matters of mortality—"

    "Explorations about something after death."

    Zia nodded. "Along with the ultimate truth about reality. Instead of believing that what's in front of my eyes is the only thing that exists, I decided to find out what else might be true."

    “What truth have you discovered?”

    “There’s more to us than the physical body. There’s an inner body.”

    “You sound just like Aduman. He’s been talking about—”

    “A soul.” Zia poked his arm with her right index finger. “We’re definitely more than flesh. The Whills call us ‘luminous beings’.”

    “What are the Whills?”

    “A bunch of religious nomads who found the universe’s ultimate secret.”

    “Which is--?”

    “Something really does await us after death.”

    “You and Aduman are going blind down the same road.”

    Zia frowned. “We have parallel roads and we both have clear vision. But only I know the ultimate destination. Right now he’s got a big journey ahead of him that eventually leads to his own version of the ultimate destination. You will be joining him on that journey.”

    “I have no reason to be concerned about what comes after death. I will join The Oneness after I’ve given up my flesh.”

    She choked back a laugh. “You need to meet someone. She’ll be at the Retrolux in three days.”

    Chveor pushed the cup of kahve over to the farthest corner of the table. “I’m supposed to meet someone at the holocinema?”

    “She’s very interesting and has a lot to tell you about life and death.” Zia patted his shoulder. “Plus your master could use her guidance.”

    “But why am I supposed to meet this woman at the Retrolux?”

    “Nellith doesn’t get away from Vouroso that often and likes movies, so why not?”

    Chevor stared at the immaculate tan sleeve of his tunic. “Should I bring Aduman with me?”

    “Nellith only wants to speak with you.”

    “Why?”

    Zia shrugged. “That’s what she requested. I don’t know the reason.”

    “But I’m not the one obsessed with spooky things.” Yet Chevor realized this declaration was not entirely true. Originally he started down the road toward immortality as the unwilling companion of Aduman. In the past month the padawan had become drawn to the esoterica that fascinated his master. It wasn’t morbid curiosity but a simple desire to comprehend the unknown.

    He sighed, then looked up at Zia.

    Zia smiled. “I’ll tell her to expect you at the midnight showing.” She patted Chevor’s shoulder. “I’ll get us some food. You need to understand the importance of that gold necklace.”
     
  16. Chyntuck

    Chyntuck Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 11, 2014
    It's great to see that this story is continuing!

    I'll be back in a few days to leave a more detailed review (your fics do this to me: I read the update, digest it, read it again and come back to comment later :)) but I wanted to drop a line and say that I read the last two chapters.

    Just one quick thing. This:
    ... was absolutely beautiful.

    And a question: is Nellith someone we've met in another fic under a different name?
     
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  17. leiamoody

    leiamoody Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 8, 2005
  18. leiamoody

    leiamoody Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 8, 2005
  19. leiamoody

    leiamoody Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 8, 2005
    Accidental post.
     
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