1. In Memory of LAJ_FETT: Please share your remembrances and condolences HERE

Before - Legends Family Is What You Make It (KOTOR | Mission Vao's observations of others | fic-gift for Findswoman)

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by Ewok Poet, Jan 16, 2017.

  1. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Jul 31, 2014
    Title: Family Is What You Make It
    Author: Ewok Poet
    Genre: Family, friendship, humour
    Rating: PG (one mild sexual reference, kinda cheesy)
    Characters: Mission Vao, Gadon Thek, Zaalbar, Carth Onasi, female Revan (Katts Rzewanczkowski), Bastila Shan, Lyn Sekla, Dia. Mentions of Griff Vao, Lena, Davik Kang, Brejik, Canderous Ordo and T3-M4.
    Timeframe: 3956 BBY
    Length: Single post
    Summary: Recalling her last party on Taris, Mission Vao realises that she has a lot in common with her mentors and friends and decides to embrace it.

    A/N: This is a fic-gift for Findswoman, as a part of the 10th Annual (2016) Winter Holiday Fic-Gift Exchange. I am fulfilling this request because the original assignee could not make it in time. :)

    Since Finds was the one who subconsciously got me to play KOTOR (seriously, before I met her, I went to Kotor, but I never played KOTOR), I thought I'd write a KOTOR story. I really enjoyed her two stories from this era - Just Ask Dad and The Prodigal Knight and the Tragic Cupcake, so I thought I'd - err - bravely stumble onto the zany trail that she paved. Mission Vao seemed a logical choice for the POV character, given that she's an alien. And I like that character a lot myself.

    Finds' requests are behind the spoiler.

    1. Three things you would like in your fic-gift:
    a. Live music.
    b. Some kind of ceremony or ritual.
    c. Interesting details/lore on alien culture(s), either fanon or canon (see also item 3 below).

    2. One thing you don’t want in you fic-gift: Gratuitous sex or violence.

    3. The main characters you want in your fic-gift (No more than three): Is it OK if I leave this up to the writer? Any characters, OC or not, are fine with me. My only stipulation here is that the main character is an alien (i.e., non-Human).

    4. A Character you don’t want in your story (New for this year!): N/A—truly anyone is OK!

    5. The era in which you fic-gift should take place: Saga or Before.

    I will always remember my last party on Taris.

    It was the evening when I had admitted to myself that I do have a family, sort of. Ignore the part where everything came up in flames soon after and the fact that we still don’t know if Gadon has made it, forget that escaping the planet must’ve been, like, one of the most traumatizing experiences of my life. I’m close to these folks and I never expected that to happen!

    It’s not like I forgot what was up and what was down long ago, but in a way, the arrival of Katts and her soldierboy companion kind of turned my and Z’s lives around. And I am not even talking about his life debt to Katts! Like, I would’ve joined her for funsies either way and talked him into it, I swear. After all, from the little I remember of our language back on Ryloth, there’s that expression, K’woma travlo stae, en k’woma grolo matae. "Listen to your hunches, and take your chances". Sure, Griff used that one as a blanket excuse for pretty much everything, but hey, I’m allowed to reclaim it and make it, like, deep and meaningful again.

    If memory serves, I actually repeated that out loud when I found Big Z. OK, when he found me and saved me from those Black Vulkars. It’s not like I had ever seen a Wookiee before, but I had a hunch that he didn’t see me and, I dunno, immediately thought “Lunch!”

    After Big Z, there was Gadon Thek. And his understanding for both my and Z’s resentment towards our families. You see, there was this one time Gadon told me that it was not a coincidence that my brother’s name rhymed with a swear word. He was absolutely furious that Griff could have abandoned me and, in the light of his own son betraying him, he was not as kind as he usually is. Then again, he’s not kind when I ask him about becoming a full member of Hidden Beks more than, say, twice per day, either. He’s never even hinted at which age I could become a member. Okay, I guess I’ll have it my way – in my own head, I’m a Hidden Bek already.

    I always had it my way. Because there was never any other option and there never will be. I tell everybody else to have it their way because it’s, like, the way I function; but right now, I think that it’s not always possible. Ironically enough, that would be one of the two other Twi’lek proverbs I know – K’woma yono-ge paa. It literally means “have it your way”. And yeah, I got that from Lena, out of all beings, but Lena is…well, Lena.

    And then, yeah, as I have said, Katts and Carth landed on Taris and somehow found their way to the Lower City, got Big Z out of trouble, saved Bastilla Shan – you should have seen what she was wearing while in that cage – and bought a droid in a fancy Upper City shop that I had never heard of before because of course that I had never been to the Upper City, until the point when we were fleeing the planet.

    But before we did, we had one last gathering at Javyar’s. It was Gadon’s idea. He wanted to honour the memory of what his son used to be before he turned on him. Apparently, that’s another of the Bek things that he never told me about, the Wake for the Fallen. As per their gang code, whoever betrays the Beks is an enemy, but we…okay, they…consider their debts paid upon their death. Ummm, I’m not sure if this is supposed to keep us…okay, them…in the gang forever or just scare the rhakgoul-proof underwear off our behinds.

    It seemed to me that Gadon was, at least, half-aware of our escape plan. After all, is there anybody who wouldn’t want Davik Kang to get a taste of his own medicine? Anybody sane, I mean. He invited us to gather around him and begun.

    “So, whatever you’re set off to do, I support you. And I will find my way off Taris somehow, or head to the sewers. Until then, the music is on me and the drinks are on me.”

    With those words, he snapped his fingers and Dia brought drinks. Of course, no Tarisian ale, just sweet stuff. Somebody will have to pilot that ship, after all! At least they’re not drinking for reasons other than my age. Ha!

    And then she brought something I have never seen before – topato flatcakes. She said that they’re supposed to bring good luck. Apparently, in the Promise Land, they eat those all the time, while – for mere mortals – they’re just a leftover holiday tradition that some Upper City families observe on the longest night of the year.

    Bastila Shan muttered something about those flatcakes containing 90% batter and 10% topato. Why does she have to tell me the odds? From the moment we met her, I kind of figured out that she was one of those “special” people. Then again, the chixa who saved her seems to be one, too. Why are they so concerned about their weight? Are those fancy suits they’re wearing really that tight?

    “It’s easy for you. You’re a kid, your metabolism is great!” said Katts R…R…I absolutely can’t and won’t remember the last name she’s going by. It’s not like she remembers more than that and her daddy’s comm code herself, so no biggie.

    She kind of stops eating when the 1700-chrono shadow man turns his head to her. At this point, I have to wonder if he’s ever seen her in her, err, undergarments. I don’t get it. I think they’re in love. I hope I’ll never fall in love…love sucks! And I hope I never get to call anybody “sad mooka pup” or “tragic cupcake”. I heard her say both of those things about him. P-a-t-h-e-t-i-c!

    I went ahead and offered Master Cupcake to dance. After all, he helped Lyn win her audition, right? That was where Katts got all territorial, one would think SHE is the mooka here. She warned me not to call him “cupcake”. Ummm, hello, like, she called him that seconds ago? Shouldn’t we all call him cupcake? Anyway, as I said earlier, love sucks. I actually have another proof for that – I initially thought that he was really happy to see her…but that was just a discount Bespin-class tube of BarbaShave in his pocket. Laughing out loud here…DID YOU HURT HER FACE WHEN YOU KISSED HER OR SOMETHING? Kisses are ewww, anyway.

    I am totally not dating at any single point in time. A date could make me, I dunno, wear a pink dress. Eww. Imagine if Big Z had a girlfriend who wasn’t appreciative of hair? How much BarbaShave would he need? Did anybody ever attempt to shave a Wookiee and escape alive? Iiii don’t think so.

    Aneeeway…Carth kept on looking at Katts all the while, that made for one uncomfortable dance. I lekku-punched him so he would stop stepping on my feet, but he told me to be careful. Yeah, right, will be when you are. At some point, he asked her what’s on her mind. I was this close to singing that annoying Bith tune “You’re Always On My Mind”, because I think he asked her that 7687841237 times already. Are your lines pre-recorded, Master Cupcake?

    OK, I am not calling him that.

    Lyn ended up dancing with Big Z. Now, that was awkward. He was tossing her in the air as if she had been a bag of topatoes, but she seemed to enjoy it. Afterwards, she called me to the side for what she said would be a quick chat. Turned out she spoke for a total of fifteen minutes. Hello, I have topato flatcakes to eat before my partner in crime eats them all and I’m not too keen on busty maidens of my own species because of She Who Should Not Be Mentioned. I tried to go and she pulled my hand.

    I did not expect what she said next. Like, not at all. She told me that I was lucky and that I needed to realise that. I asked her how on Taris could I be lucky having never known my parents, having Griff the Kriff abandon me the way I did and Vulkars almost killing me on multiple occasions.

    From what I know about Jedi, Bastila was taken away from her family as a child. Carth lost his wife and he is unaware if his son is dead or alive. Katts, err, lost her mind. Big Z was proclaimed a Madclaw. Griff the Kriff left me by myself, completely ignorant of rhakgouls and criminals. Essentially, neither of us had anybody. I don’t know if there’s anything that could explain the fact that Katts somehow picked all of us up, if there’s anything that could make me believe that it’s not a coincidence.

    I learned not to believe in miracles.

    But…dare I say that this is a miracle?

    The Bith band continued playing for good two more hours and we danced until the curfew. As expected, Bastila was the only being not keen on this impromptu celebration. She said that we had to hurry, to get hold of one certain Cantankerous Ordo and flee the planet and that our calculation that we have about one day to do so and just about enough time for me and Big Z to pack up cannot be right. I…I don’t think that her alleged “battle meditation” provides this kind of knowledge. So, yeah, I went ahead and stuffed a huge piece of the topato flatcake in her mouth. I don’t care if a Jedi craves not these things, everybody likes topato flatcakes...even though this was the first time I had them, okay?

    Plus, it was a nice way to make her finally shut up.

    Then again, I could have sliced the fire alarm, too. Right above her head. :D :D :D Teethree would’ve helped me, wouldn’t he?


    Topato-flatcake is my own invention, based on Hanukkah delicacy known as potato latkes.

    The "Longest Night of the Year" is the closest I could think that could be a similar occasion to eat one such meal.

    Twi'lek proverbs that Mission cites are fanon, too. I did my best to make the grammar understandable and - well - that was fun!

    The idea of betrayers of the Hidden Beks being redeemed upon death is fanon.

    Katts Rzewanczkowski is the female Revan in Finds' own stories. Her hilarious father, Stann Rzewanczkowski does not make an appearance here, BECAUSE HE WOULD STEAL THE SHOW.

    BarbaShave is also Finds' creation.
  2. Kahara

    Kahara FFoF Hostess Extraordinaire star 4 VIP - Game Host

    Mar 3, 2001
    The icing on the topato flatcakes; getting Bastila to stop Jedi lecturing for half a minute. :p Really liked the teenager-voice for Mission here, that sounds a lot like what I would imagine from the little I know of her character. Interesting background on the Hidden Beks here too; really emphasizes how much they are a little mini-culture with their own world in the middle of the rest of Taris.
    Ewok Poet and Findswoman like this.
  3. Findswoman

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

    Feb 27, 2014
    OH WOWZERS! What a fantastic gift, EP—where even to start... <3

    First of all, I have to say that you've got Mission's voice and characterization spot on here—I could hear her voice in my head the entire way through this. This girl who gets all squicked out by dating and kissing and potential pink dresses and epithets like "cupcake" is indeed the same one who yells, "hey, get a room!" when Carth and Revan declare their love on that Lehon beach. And the lightheartedly snarky remarks about Bastila's contrary behavior are clearly coming from the same place as Mission's ribbing about "using the Force for fun" (and in that conversation I've always felt that Mission ends up with the upper hand, even if Bastila does knock her down—preceisely because Bastila does knock her down). I am very partial to Mission myself and feel like in a way she doesn't get enough respect within the saga of KOTOR, so I'm thrilled to see her as the narrator and viewpoint here.

    Second, what fun it is to see your take on this little KOTOR AU of mine! Of course, you know it well, probably better than most by now, and it shows. :cool: Even just the first-person narration of this story seems to tie into that, because both of my own KOTOR stories are in first person (and not many of my other stories are). But what's especially a treat for me here is getting to see my version of Katts through her companions' eyes, because it's a viewpoint I know I would find hard to achieve myself. It doesn't surprise me at all that Miss Awesome Cat is looking askance at Mission even just for dancing with Master Cupcake—oops, I mean Carth. As we well know, she does not at all like being Number Two, not even in the harmless setting of social dance. How could poor Carthy Cupcake not get all nervous and start stepping on feet under such circumstances?

    So many fun meta touches and Easter eggs in this... I'll be here till the mookas come home if I go through them all. I agree with Mission that Carth's constant "What's on your mind?" (as if he's her therapist, for crying out loud!) definitely deserves an equally earwormish response. "Are your lines pre-recorded, Master Cupcake?" Alas, if only he knew... [face_laugh] And yes, Mission, I hate to say it, but I think he has seen Katts briefly in underwear, in those opening Endar Spire scenes. :eek: But fear not, there was not time for spooning and canoodling at that point—just getting the heck out of there. (A fitting parallel, in a way, to the situation they're in now on Taris—because they're soon going to have to escape from there PDQ.)

    In its way that BarbaShave (and I love that you love that product so much :D ) can does mean he's happy to see her—he picked it up so he can shave off that shadow and not scratch so much, after all. I see he didn't wait till shaving soap at the Tatooine market—but after all, we know from a Very Reliable Source that she doesn't fancy fancy pudu like that, riiiiight? :D

    I really liked your added fanon elements here, both the Twi'lek proverbs and the whole notion of the Hidden Beks' Wake for the Fallen—not holding grudges is very important to me in RL (or, well, I try, anyway—best anyone can say), and it's just utterly cool to see that as one of the central tenets even of this band of "toughs" (who are pretty nice toughs, all things considered). And then topato flatcakes on top of that...! [face_love] What a fun little nod to my own tradition's winter holiday. Those Beks do have good taste. And what a fitting comeuppance for Miss Shan-Quite-Contrary to get one stuffed in her mouth. Hey, Mission gets some peace and quiet, she gets a tasty holiday treat... everyone wins! :p

    That's not the only way in which everyone wins here, though. They're all winning a sense of belonging, a sense of family—and what a treasure that is for a girl abandoned by her ne'er-do-well big brother... for a chieftain's son outcast by his tribe for taking a stand... for a soldier betrayed by his mentor and commander and bereaved of his wife and possibly his son... for a Jedi Knight taken from her family early... and for a warlord-turned-soldier whose memories have all been taken away. Sure, none of them are perfect, and none of them are exempt from Mission's ribbing and wisecracks—but isn't the fact that she's making those cracks a sure sign that she feels secure with them? Definitely qualifies as a miracle, if you ask me—and look, another Hanukkah tie-in! :D

    And it can't be more fitting that that it all takes place at a ceremony celebrating the loosing of grudges. A form of universal love, really!

    This was an absolutely incredible gift... thank you so much, EP, and thanks as always for your ongoing friendship and support! <3
    Ewok Poet and Kahara like this.
  4. Onderon1

    Onderon1 Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Mar 18, 2008
    :D Fun read, here, Ewok Poet - Mission definitely sounds in character, and this is a nice little look before Malak decided to perform urban redevelopment ... :(
    Ewok Poet, Kahara and Findswoman like this.
  5. Raissa Baiard

    Raissa Baiard FFoF Artist Extraordinaire star 4 VIP - Game Host

    Nov 22, 1999
    [face_laugh]This is such a fun story with so many cool aspects I don't know where to start…

    I guess the best place to start is Mission herself :) Hooray for awesome Twi'leks (who are not dancers) and sassy teens! You have really captured Mission's personality from KOTOR, snarky but loyal and eager to help, and her relationship with the Big Z. Love her utter disdain for all things girly and romantic like yucky kisses even as she's tossing of one-liners about Carth being really happy to see Katts :D

    And of course, I love how you've tied this story in with "Tragic Cupcake," a story of which, I am of course extremely fond [face_love] The reference to Carth's tube of BarbaShave is priceless, as are Mission's reflections on Katts' use of the terms "sad mooka" and "cupcake" to describe him. No, Mission, you should not call him Cupcake, too. You're still in the "love sucks" phase, but there is a BIG difference between you calling him that and Katts.

    The meta references to Mission and Carth's pre-recorded lines are great, as are all the appearances by the minor characters like Gadon and Lyn.

    Finally, the theme of "family is where you find it," that family are those who love and accept you, no matter who they are is lovely and such a recurring theme throughout the SW universe, from the mismatched band of Rebels who become the heroes of the Galaxy to the crew of the Ghost.

    Bravo for this fun and funny celebration=D=
    Kahara, Ewok Poet and Findswoman like this.
  6. divapilot

    divapilot Force Ghost star 4

    Nov 30, 2005
    I don't know these characters but this story makes me want to. Your voice for this young chatty bird is really wonderful. I love that you can go right into the character and make her real.

    She's quite the observer of her surroundings and the people she hangs with. The details like the comments on love, the proverbs, even the food and drinks - those things make it seem like we're eavesdropping on a vivid, real world.

    Great work here, as usual, EP!
  7. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Jul 31, 2014
    Thanks for your comments, everybody! :)

    ...which is otherwise a HARD thing to do, isn't it?

    I will elaborate on the Beks later, but the idea of them having their own culture would be partly an excuse for some of the things they apparently consider acceptable - Gadon giving the blessings for his own son to be killed, and an explanation for why a teenager like Mission cannot be a full member of the gang yet.

    And Mission is kind of hyper on the inside, which I like, so I'm glad that I got her right.

    Try the beginning? :D LOL, JK.

    Of course. Love is related to attachments and everybody Mission was attached to, until this very story, failed her. No wonder she doesn't like love. Especially romantic love, because OMG LENA!!!!11!1!!!

    That was so mean of Bastila! I did not arrive to that point yet, but she is so, so, so smug!

    I didn't even think of that, but now that I did, I am glad that I have given you that experience.

    Of course. :D

    Yes. LOL. [face_party]

    Yes to this, too.

    I'm dying here. :D

    Check what I said to Kahara. :)

    Got that from latkes and I am not sorry. Mmmm, latkes. L-A-T-K-E-S.

    And they come in handy. Nobody said that these space!latkes were not huge enough to shut somebody up, hey. ;)

    Didn't even think of that tie-in. It makes perfect sense. Plus, friendship and family are a thing of LIGHT, too. Aren't they?

    You know me, I'm a space!hippie or something, and a sucker for that. :D

    You're welcome, it was a pleasure. <3

    Yes, that particular detail is like a pair of angry eyes looking at these folks. The dark side of a light story.

    I so hope Gadon and his pals survived, by the way.

    EWWWW, GIRLS ARE SO GIRLY!111!!1!111!1!!!!

    And those one-liners were, err, my best homage to the funny stuff she says in the game proper.

    Glad those ties work properly.

    Mission is...clueless, to say the least.

    They're all important to the overall story, there would've been butterfly effect without somebody like Lyn, so why not?

    I did have Rebels on my mind at some point and now that I finally watched some of it, it makes even more sense.


    But we knew that, r-right? :D

    Thank you. Mission is kind of the coolest character in KOTOR, at least from my own point of view and it was a pleasure to expand on her. Some of her replies in the story proper are so, so, so fun. Snarky, but emotional.
    Kahara and Findswoman like this.
  8. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Jul 31, 2014
    So, since this story contains the proper comment replies, unlike the other two I won awards for, I thought I'd immediately thank you all for nominating my portrayal of Mission Vao and voting for her as the best interpreted game character at the 2018 awards. This story took some thirty minutes to write, I did everything on the fly because @Findswoman had not gotten her fic-gift yet and I'm surprised that it got the appreciation it did. :)

    Thank you so much, and I promise that Mission will thank you all in her own, unique way later, in the party thread. @};-@};-[face_clown]

    Last edited: Apr 4, 2018
  9. Oddly_Salacious

    Oddly_Salacious Jedi Grand Master star 1

    Dec 5, 2005
    Fun! You captured Mission's attitude and mannerisms quite well, and I like the atmosphere you built in telling the story. All the tie-ins with the works by @Findswoman were carried off seamlessly, too. Mission is one of my favorite KOTOR characters - given that I mod the game and give her some of the biggest, heaviest guns to run around with.
    Ewok Poet and Findswoman like this.
  10. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Jul 31, 2014
    I was absent from the board, bar an occasional post in the social thread, from mid-2018 until a couple of days ago, so I am really, really sorry that I am responding to this only now. Thanks for your kind words.

    And the thrill and excitement upon having somebody write about the less popular characters you love IS a thing! You search for them, then wow, there are actual results and it makes you all giddy. :D

    Would be interested in modding the game, once I have the time to play it again. I lack patience and appreciate the story as opposed to combat a bit too much, so I only give myself a ridiculous number of medpacks when I do play.