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Before - Legends Saga - PT Saga - OT Before the Saga Saga - Legends Findswoman's Fragments & Miscellanea (assorted short stories)

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by Findswoman, Sep 8, 2014.

  1. Kahara

    Kahara Force Ghost star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 3, 2001
    [:D] Loved this oneshot, and I’m pleased as punch to have played a part in its existence. Wow, I never would have thought that that comment would spark an extra gift-fic! That’s just incredible. :D

    The intro of the chronomaker and his situation is really cute, and I like how this has that old-fashioned storytelling tone right from the start. Definitely fits with the tale that you linked as an inspiration for this. (I’d never read The Tailor of Gloucester before as far as I remember, but it’s a quick read and so cute -- glad you linked it! :))


    One of my favorite descriptive bits; this is just so fairytale-like and Gand at the same time. And those two ideas go together like peanut butter and chocolate, as we see here. :)

    Also liked the little Book of Gand reference to Semfod Sylonn, whose unfortunate offspring we know all too well. :rolleyes: It kind of emphasizes the small world effect of living in this far-flung community.

    Aww, I really liked this too. There is a really nice aura about this old chronomaker -- the pride in his work, the way he keeps working and trying to figure out how to fix things, and his polite (if flustered and worried) words to the Findsman. His attempt at looking through the Mists may not have been the most logical way to go about things, but then I think most of us have done something or other that could be compared. It’s all just really endearing and by the end I’m struck by how this little interaction that Zuckuss probably instantly forgot meant the world to this chronomaker, because that chrono was so potentially important to his future. It’s one of those things where you peel back the layers and find that everyone has their own story that is just as real to them as any epic adventure that might be wandering through at the same time and place.

    And of course, I really enjoyed seeing more of the way that Zuckuss figures out how to find the pliers. Though he’s still probably a bit less than Findsman-like in manners with the sudden vanishing, this is some of his better side here; he’s willing to help with this seemingly silly task and goes about it with serious deliberation. Part of which is choosing the right tool for the job, which in this case wasn’t the Mists. ;)

    Anyway, it’s wonderful to see that moment expanded upon in such an entertaining way. Thanks so very much for this! [face_dancing]
     
  2. JadeLotus

    JadeLotus Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 27, 2005
    I loved the whimsical and almost fairy-tale tone of this - a small snapshot into the chronomaker's life, but so intriguing and beautifully written.

    The Book of Gand has been on my reading list for a while, I really need to catch up with it!
     
  3. Sith-I-5

    Sith-I-5 Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Aug 14, 2002
    Awesome. Simply awesome.

    Oh, re the OC Summer Challenge entry.

    From your frequent mentions around the place of A Book of Gand, I assume you have thrown yourself wholeheartedly into Gand culture, and boy does this piece show that.

    You have an Impossible Mission Force-level ability to relay watch-making research as though you learned this at the knee of a doting grandparent who fed you Werthers Originals in exchange for supplying the pliers.

    Great detail and attention to, well, everything.

    I did not think you could squint with compound eyes, and would not have gone there. Before. Nice touch with the blurring round the edges.

    Great stuff.

    All those expensive components; how is he still poor?
     
  4. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    Thank you all for the replies and comments, and thanks especially to those who voted for this story in the OC Revolution summer challenge—what an amazing surprise that was! You're a wonderful bunch. @};-

    If no one minds, I'm going to go piecemeal with the responses, starting with the first couple now and the latter three a little later. Don't worry, everyone will get responded to—that is always my policy!


    Thanks so much! I'm glad you enjoyed it. That same pride in one's handiwork, and that same cycle of anxiety dissolving into relief, is present in the Beatrix Potter story, too, and those aspects are part of what makes it so compelling: both the Tailor of Gloucester and the chronomaker are on super-strict deadlines to create career-making works, and both experience a career-making miracle along the way. And you will see "for fog's sake" crop up pretty much all throughout my Gand stories: if the Mists are what bring revelation and vision, fogs are what obscure and frustrate.

    What a compliment—thanks so much. @};- I love the concept of mixing the ordinary and the extraordinary, and I like trying to get both in equal measure, and if possible in harmony with each other, into my stories. The moments of creation is a big theme throughout The Tailor of Gloucester too, from his own ruminations about the beautiful coat he will craft for the mayor to his cat Simpkin's glimpses of [hl=black]the mice hard at work on that same coat and singing as they work[/hl].

    The Dickens vibe is a large part of The Tailor of Gloucester too, especially in the detailed, semi-gritty portrayal of the character's workplace, his living space (he rents only the kitchen) and his poverty in general. That vibe seemed to fit well with N'xid, since gritty and depressed was always how I imagined the place (I named it after Skid Row). The juxtaposition between dull, gray, colorlessness (associated with the secular, nameless world) and colorful brightness (associated with the mystical world of the Findsmen) is prominent in BOG, and I guess it made its way into this story too. The poor, nameless chronomaker already has a few aspects of that bright, mystical world right there beside him in his humble shop—indeed, as you say, watch cogs and components are already shiny by nature. (As a kid I had one of the all-clear Swatch watches where the entire mechanism was visible, with both gold-tone and chrome-tone cogs and a bright copper coil; that image was squarely in my mind while writing this.)

    Exactly how I picture his expression too! I wanted the Findsman's appearance to have the character of a wondrous vision, almost mystical; Findsmen aren't often seen in N'xid (a point that comes up in BOG chapters 9 and 10), and when they do show up there they seem almost to come from a different world. The chronomaker's words at that moment are based on similar words in the Song of Songs that seem to convey a similar idea of a wonderful vision: "Who is this that cometh up out of the wilderness like pillars of smoke, perfumed with myrrh and frankincense, with all powders of the merchant?" (3:6).

    And perhaps, just perhaps his attempt to emulate his cousin's rituals really did work, at least sort of? He will never know, of course, and neither will we, but that's OK. :cool:

    Thanks! They practically invented self-deprecating behavior, as I see it. :p

    Oh, I've done this many, many times. [face_blush] I've also lost my jeweler's pliers and gotten very frustrated about it and even went and bought a second pair before I eventually found the first pair. Thankfully they weren't in the garbage, though. [face_relieved]


    [face_laugh] A very good guess! No, he's not (I originally came up with just the name Sylonn first and the first name later), but wow, that's a cool similarity I hadn't noticed before! Well, now I know how to write this part if I ever turn BOG into an opera... :p

    More soon!
     
  5. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    And now continuing...

    Oh, well, shucks, thanks. [face_blush] It was the least I could do in appreciation for your betaing help and for being such a booster of the BOG from the start. @};- And it was one of those bunnies just raring to be born...

    The old-fashioned storytelling tone was precisely what I was aiming for in this story, and to a certain extent with Book of Gand too. I hadn't really thought about it this way before, and probably this will sound a bit clichéd, but I think some of that must be sticking around in my subconsciousness or partial consciousness from things I read as a child. Beatrix Potter stories definitely played a role in that, and there were certain ones that I read again and again as a kid—"Peter Rabbit," "Benjamin Bunny," "Miss Tiggy-Winkle," and a few others with mainly animal characters. I didn't get to know "The Tailor of Gloucester" till I became an adult, but it fascinated me as soon as I got to know it. For several reasons, but a big part of it is probably the juxtaposition of the rough-hewn, Dickensian vibe (as Ewok Poet pointed out) of the tailor and his poverty with the fairy-tale vibe of the sentient cat and mice—and then the incredibly beautiful, finely embroidered coat of cherry-colored silk in the middle of it all. (Something a very high-ranking Findsman or Findswoman might wear!)

    I based that on a specific passage at the beginning of the Potter story that I thought just so beautifully summed up the poor tailor's condition—

    —and then Gandified it, of course. :D

    This, absolutely! This is something I've believed ever since I first got to know the Gand sometime in late high school or so.

    Yes, indeed, that's...

    ...the same governor with the badly behaved offspring and whose investments go kaputt in the market crash foretold by a certain gardener-girl. And if you're following the chronology of BOG at all, note that Semfod Sylonn's janwuine-jika is happening after that market crash—because riches and achievements are different things. That may rub extra salt in certain wounds later on in the larger story...

    And it's of course also a parallel to the humble tailor of Gloucester's commission to sew a wedding coat for the mayor. Someone, somewhere has apparently recognized the considerable talents of even these humblest, poorest of craftsmen.

    Spot on! You and Ewok Poet both picked up on the idea that really pretty much everyone does silly things like this chronomaker has been doing, from dropping non-trash things in the trash to getting so taken over with wory that we resort to completely farfetched things in last-ditch attempts to solve our problems (if that makes sense). And he goes to those length precisely because this watch does mean the world to him—because of it he stands to earn a fortune and a name (or lose the chance at those things forever). Now Zuckuss of course doesn't know what's riding on this and there's no reason he would, because the chronomaker doesn't telling him. (And indeed Gand protocols of self-effacingness might specifically dictate that he doesn't—one shouldn't get one's hopes up about earning recognition, after all! [face_finger_wag]).

    Now, here's a little question for discussion: would Zuckuss's attitude toward the whole thing change at all if he did know what the chronomaker had riding on this one watch? Hmm... (I don't have an answer to this myself.)

    This is indeed meant to be one of those "rely on yourself first and magic second" situations. It's possible that those who are acquainted with "magic" (or Force disciplines or similar) day in and day out have, in certain ways (and emphasis on "in certain ways"), a better handle on that concept than their muggle counterparts, precisely because they know exactly how taxing and difficult magic can be to use when used right. Watching his cousin Vennlok Ssympk doing the chanting and arm-waving and incense-lamp-lighting might very well have given the chronomaker the impression that those things are all a Findsman does in order to find things; he has no idea of the mental and spiritual discipline behind those externals. But because Zuckuss does know how intense and time-consuming those rituals really are, he is especially motivated to try to find the pliers without them. Does that make any kind of sense? Being a Findsman involves knowing all about ways to find things, which I imagine includes non-mystical means as well.

    You're most welcome. :)


    Thank you so much—I greatly appreciate that coming from you, and I am glad you enjoyed it. @};-

    I would love to have you as a reader! [face_batting]

    Thank you so much, and thanks so much for reading! It's great to see you here, and it was so fun to participate in this challenge with you. @};-

    Thanks. :) The Book of Gand has its genesis in stuff I back in my high school years (almost twenty years ago now) that I've been developing on and off since then, so it feels by now pretty much second nature.

    Ah, Werther's Originals—the quintessential grandparents'-house candy! :D Unfortunately, I had to resort to sneaking mine from my grandmother's dining-room closet, where she kept stashes of candy for her bridge group. The watchmaking stuff in this story I gleaned mostly from a quick bit of internet research, as well as memories of clock-repair catalogs that my parents used to get long ago. I wanted to get at least a little bit of the technical terminology in there in homage to the way certain little technical tidbits about tailoring (names of fancy fabrics, "twist" to mean "thread," "cut on the cross," "cut bias," etc.) crop up in "The Tailor of Gloucester."

    But I do have two pairs of jewelers' pliers. They are extremely useful tools and a real bummer to lose because they're rather pricey and not the kind of thing you can just grab at the hardware store.

    Just as an aside, back when I lived in California, I knew someone who taught a watchmaking class at this place, and now I wish I had been able to take it! Unfortunately, (a) I don't live in California anymore, and (b) I don't think he's offering it right now, because I don't see it in their current catalog.

    Yes, I admit that was a bit pushing the envelope. But I imagine that, with compound eyes, maybe individual facets could "squint" to look closer at something one is working on very closely, and that in the case of someone who does such close, precision work all day long some of those facets might become overused. One might try to compensate by using other facets, perhaps those toward the middle of the eye, but that might lead to other problems and injuries of the ergonomic type. Just brainstorming a bit here. :D


    A valid question, and it's one that can be asked of the tailor in the Beatrix Potter story, who makes very fancy clothing but can only afford to rent a single room to live in. I guess both of them are willing to spend the bulk of the money they earn on materials and trade-related expenses, even if it means skimping on their own basic living expenses. If that makes sense?

    Thanks once again to all for reading and commenting! @};-
     
  6. Jedi_Perigrine

    Jedi_Perigrine Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Apr 22, 2008
    This is a great little story you've crafted here! While I'm not familiar with the literary style you were trying to emulate, I found this a charming read. We don't often read stories like this, of every-day problems and simple-ish solutions.

    I found your descriptions to be fantastic. I know very little about the Gand, but this story was on track for what I did know, and what I imagined. I found the description of 'purple chitoned' very cool. Very clever, and well written!
     
  7. Chyntuck

    Chyntuck Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 11, 2014
    I (finally [face_blush]) caught up with this story and I was so excited to find a mini BoG spinoff here! And of course with all the attention to detail and characterisation that one can expect of a Finds Gand story. There is something deeply endearing about your poor old chronomaker (who, if memory serves, isn't going to get the reward he was hoping for, given [hl=black]the market crash that takes place a few hours later[/hl]) and this was a most unusual (double) take on a character walking in someone else's shoes. Plus, we get to know the many reasons why Zuckuss was so annoyed by that chronomaker looking for his pliers [face_laugh]

    And now you made me curious and I need to get my hands on that Beatrix Potter story. I know the book is available somewhere in Chyntuckopolis, I just need to figure out where. Perhaps I should call the Mists to the rescue?
     
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  8. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    Good to meet you, Jedi_Perigrine, and thanks for stopping by to read! @};- This was indeed meant to be just a little tale of a very simple, everyday situation, albeit one that's taking place in an alien culture known for being extremely esoteric. But in some ways, I feel, that throws more mystical (and in some ways more familiar) elements of that culture into extra relief. If that makes sense. :p So glad you enjoyed!

    Awww, thanks as always, Chyn! :) You know, I never thought about that point you raised in the highlighting, but it does add an extra dimension of pathos. Now, technically, [hl=black]the crash happens in chapter nine, one chapter before the mention of the chronomaker, which is during Zuckuss's second trip to N'xid in chapter 10.[/hl] But even so, [hl=black]it's entirely possible to imagine that the tailor doesn't know about the market crash at all, and that when the governor's agent shows up he'll have some very bad news to break.[/hl] Hooray for perceptive readers who enhance even the author's understanding of her own story—one of my favorite things about posting here! =D=

    Like most regular Gand citizens probably do, the chronomaker has a very limited view of what it is that Findsmen do, one that he's gleaned only from occasional glimpses of this distant cousin of his. And that's definitely understandable (especially in a place like N'xid where there aren't a lot of Findsmen around), though it's also the sort of thing that could infuriate a young hothead of the sort that Zuckuss is at this point. One open question is, what, if anything, either of them learned from the other during this brief encounter.

    No need ;)—I've got a link to the full text in various formats on Project Gutenberg right here. Enjoy! It's one of my personal favorite stories by Potter.

    Thank you both once again. @};- Next story incoming shortly...
     
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  9. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    Author: Findswoman

    Title: Just Ask Dad; or, Talking Things Through on Taris

    Era: Before (Old Republic era, during the early stages of KOTOR).

    Canonicity: AU by virtue of its characters.

    Characters: Female KOTOR player character, Bastila Shan, Carth Onasi, and an OC with a long and hard-to-pronounce name.

    Genre: Humor, crack!fic. No romance whatsoever.

    Summary: Here’s how my subconscious seems to have interpreted the KOTOR protagonist’s first meeting with Bastila, before the two of them have warmed up to each other. (In other words, this is based on a dream I had—see this post in YKYAFFWW.)
    This is also my very first foray into the Old Republic era and as such is a bit experimental in nature, so please be gentle.

    Notes and disclaimers: All text in dark blue is quoted from KOTOR itself and was thus written by Drew Karpyshyn, not me. This is another one of those “borrowing for fun” situations.

    Acknowledgments: Many thanks to Admiral Volshe and Ewok Poet for graciously offering feedback on earlier drafts. @};- Thanks also to the various folks who answered my various silly little KOTOR questions in the Writer’s Desk thread—you’ll see the results incorporated here.




    Save me? Is that what you were trying to accomplish by riding in that swoop race? Well, as far as rescues go, this is a pretty poor example. In case you hadn’t noticed, I managed to free myself from that neural restraint collar without your help. In fact, it’s more accurate to say that I saved you.

    So this,I thought, is the Bastila Shan. This woman in the ridiculous little circus-suit thing, standing there with her hand on her hip trying to tell me I didn’t really rescue her. The famous, illustrious Bastila Shan who had escaped to Taris from the wreckage of the Endar Spire. The one Carth and I had been busting our behinds to find and rescue for the last five days.

    And this is how she talked to me during our entire walk back through the Upper City of Taris. I walked as fast as I could, trying not to look at her and her bouncy little side-curls. All the while my twin swords swung dangerously close to my and the other passerby’s thighs. To this day I have no idea why we didn’t spring the extra fifty credits for proper scabbards. Even just the cheap leatherette ones.

    By the time we arrived back at our makeshift headquarters in apartment twenty-three-besh of the South Apartments, my eyes were in tears. Carth, bless his heart, naturally had to place a hand on my shoulder in that gentle, gingerly way of his and ask, “What’s the matter?”

    I came very close to saying something like, “Oh, nothing, except that this precious Bastila you’ve been maundering on about is the Galaxy’s premier snot and I want to slap that porcelain-doll face of hers from here to the Unknown Regions. That, and you should shave. The 1700-hours-shadow look doesn’t suit you.” But I lacked the presence of mind and blew my nose instead.

    Fortunately no one was in the back room. I went in, shut the door, locked it, and did what the younger version of me always used to do when the going got rough.

    I commed my dad.

    And what good would that do, you ask? Well, let me tell you a little about my dad. Stanislauff “Stann” Rzewanczkowski. Retired Aratech foreman, devoted husband and father, uncannily canny pazaak player, appreciator of fine Corellian ales, etc., etc. A bastion of no-nonsense practicality, always there with a helpful word of advice to his loved ones. Even if it was nothing more than “Just be yourself, darlin’.”

    I entered his frequency, and after a few moments the comm crackled to life with an image of his heavyset, coverall-clad form.

    “How ya doin’, princess?” (This is where I mention that my father is the only one in the entire Galaxy—and I mean the only one—who is authorized to call me that.)

    “All right, I guess, Dad. How about you?”

    “Can’t complain, can’t complain. Now I know you got something on your mind, don’tcha, doll, or you wouldn’t be callin’ me out of the blue like this, would ya?”

    “Well, yeah.” Taking a deep breath, I launched into the whole crazy story of how I’d escaped from the Endar Spire, ended up on Taris with Carth, braved not one but two angry swoop gangs, ran around the Undercity like a Coruscant game fowl with its head cut off to find that prototype swoop accelerator, and won that accursed swoop race just to save that Jedi prima donna’s implausibly perky rear end from the Vulkars. Only so she could lord it over Carth and me like some kind of mahvelous Hutt queen.

    “Hmmm.” Dad’s blocky, bestubbled face assumed the closest thing it could to a philosophical look. “Sounds a little like that bratty cheeka you went to school with back in the day. Flo-something-something, I think her name was.”

    “Florissa Spevverley-Antilles. What about her?”

    “One who used to tease ya durin’ swim class about yer—”

    “Yes, Dad, I know who you mean.” My rejoinder was icy. I did not, at this particular juncture, need to be reminded of the trials and tribulations of my puberty years. Especially not by my sexagenarian father.

    “Well, didn’t you just . . . lightning her or something?”

    “Dad.” I rolled my eyes and sighed. Of course he would suggest such a ridiculous thing. “Aurek, I don’t even know if I can do that anymore. Besh, even if I could, I don’t think it would really be a good idea with this Bastila woman.”

    “Well, why ever not?”

    “Because she’s got battle meditation.”

    “Battle medi-what?” The blue holographic face twisted quizzically. “What is she, like an army doc? Don’t the Republic already got enough o’ those?”

    “Battle meditation with a trill, not medication with a cresh.” I sighed again. “I have no idea what it is. But apparently we need it to defeat Malak and bring down the Sith and yadda yadda yadda. Or something. At least that’s what Carth says.”

    “Carth?” He drew himself up in that suspicious-father way that I remembered so well from my adolescence. “Who’s Carth?”

    “Carth Onasi. He’s a Republic soldier. The one I escaped from the Endar Spire with. I just told you.”

    “Now just you wait a minute, sweetheart. What have I told ya about takin’ up with the first man who—”

    “DAD!” Honestly, the man was starting to exasperate me. “It’s not like that at all! We were just stationed on board the same ship. Besides, he needs to shave. Can we get back on topic, pleeease?

    “All right, all right. I apologize, darlin’. Don’t getcher panties in a bunch. So this Basti-dame—”

    “Right, so, as I was saying, after the swoop race, she and Carth and I manage to fight off Brejik and his goons, and then we head back to the apartment, and now she thinks she can just waltz in here and—”

    I stopped short as I heard the sound of voices coming from the main room. Carth and Bastila were arguing. Such phrases as “your commander” and “my mission” and “a good leader” were being bandied about with unsettling fervor.

    “Oh Force, Dad, now she and Carth are arguing about who’s in charge of the mission and I just can’t take it anymore, I JUST CAN’T—”

    “Hey, hey, hey now, precious. It’s gonna be all right. Look, ya just gotta go in there and tell her who’s boss.”

    “Okay, but—but now she’s going on about how she’s a member of the Jedi Order! How do I know she’s not the boss?”

    “Well, if she’s standin’ there bickerin’ with yer soldier friend instead o’ comin’ up with a proper plan to get you all off that Force-forsaken ball o’ rock, then she’s not showin’ much of what they call leadership ability, is she? Go right up to her an’ tell her that!”

    I took another deep breath and composed myself. “Okay, Dad. You’re right. I’m going to go in there and tell her exactly what you said. I shall say, ‘You aren’t showing much leadership ability right now, Bastila.’”

    “That’s my brave girl.” The image of the square, wizened face beamed. “Spoken like a true Rzewanczkowski.”

    “Thanks, Dad.” I smiled too, because for some reason that felt like a really big compliment coming from him.

    “And if that don’t work, then just choke her or somethin’.”

    Choke her?!” Force, this again? “Dad, what are you talking about?!”

    “Remember that time Phyleena McSpoons was talkin’ smack about your Winter Formal gown, and you—”

    “DAAAD!”

    “Sorry, darlin’, sorry. Now look, I gotta go, but you take care o’ yourself, y’hear?”

    “Okay, Dad. You too.”

    “Love ya.”

    “Love you too, Dad. Bye.”

    I hit END on the comm unit’s input interface. The bulky blue image crackled and faded. Exuding newfound confidence, I spun on my heel toward the main room of the apartment. I was going to tell that Basti-dame, as my dad had so aptly called her, exactly how little leadership ability she had.

    And then maybe, just maybe, if she were nice about it, I’d tell her about The Vision.™ You know, the one I had with Revan and the duel and all. But that’s a story for another time.

    * * *

    Some time later, as the group was preparing to set out from apartment twenty-three-besh in search of some way off Taris, Carth’s eyes happened to fall on the comm unit in the back room. Its display showed that one call had been made that afternoon, around the same time he and Bastila had been arguing about who was in charge of the mission.

    Intrigued, he punched MORE on the input interface. The log screen appeared, showing that a four-and-a-half-minute holocall had been made at 1734 hours to RZEWANCZKOWSKI STANISLAUFF.

    Carth’s first reaction was to puzzle over how the hey one even was supposed to pronounce that. He even tried to sound it out. “Errr-zeeww-anks . . . ? No, that can’t be right . . .”

    And then, with sudden alarm, he remembered that he himself had some relatives named Onasziszyszkiewicz.

    He wondered if he should warn Bastila. ¶


    Postscript 5/16/2016: In the 2016 Fanfic Awards, this story won Best Alternate Universe in Before and Best Relationship in Before. Click here to see the two main characters accept their awards.

    The events of this story take place around the “Rescue of Bastila Shan” portion of KOTOR (for a summary, see here: http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Rescue_of_Bastila_Shan).

    The apartment number is not specified in the game, so I just made one up. As for the four-and-a-half-minute figure for the comm call, I read the comm conversation out loud and timed it, allowing for the extra time the protagonist might take to tell her story in detail.

    The protagonist’s two former schoolmates are OCs. And I imagine that mahvelous Hutt queens might have existed in the Old Republic era just as in the Saga era. ;)

    According to my understanding of modern Polish pronunciation rules, Rzewanczkowski would be pronounced something like “zhehv-ahnch-KOHV-skee” and Onasziszyszkiewicz along the lines of “oh-nah-shee-SHISH-ke-vitch.” Imagine for a moment how an English speaker, say on prewar Ellis Island, might shorten or simplify those names…

    And finally, some Wookieepedia links:
    http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Aratech
    http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Pazaak
    http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Corellian_ale
    http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Coruscant_game_fowl

     
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  10. metophlus

    metophlus Jedi Padawan star 2

    Registered:
    Jun 30, 2015
    Mod edit: Vacation time.
     
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  11. metophlus

    metophlus Jedi Padawan star 2

    Registered:
    Jun 30, 2015
    Mod edit:see above
     
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  12. divapilot

    divapilot Force Ghost star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 30, 2005
    I don't know these characters much, but I really did enjoy this story! All the bickering and whining and complaining tells me there's a lot of affection and bonding here. If they didn't care they wouldn't complain.

    Your narrator is great! She sounds like an amazing, adventurous character with a great sense of humor.
     
  13. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    [face_laugh] [face_laugh] =D= Very much probably how more rescues than you'd want to admit turn out. No gratitude just a lot of blathering. 8-} So the narrator is thinking well if you don't like how I handled things, I'll just dump your whiny bratty butt back there! :p
     
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  14. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014

    Thanks so much! :) Here's a confession: I really barely know them or the "before" era myself, and this story is the result of my very first impressions of one brief trip through KOTOR. But you're right that, in true SW fashion, the characters of that game often do express their concern for each other by way of bickering, whining, and complaining (as pioneered by a Certain Princess and Her Scoundrel?), and they manage to grow to be very close-knit allies and friends all the same.

    The narrator here is the female version of the player character in KOTOR, and given all the crazy things that happen to her in the course of the game I feel she definitely has to combine an adventurous outlook with a keen sense of humor! :D


    Oh yes indeed. :D And you know, that's pretty much exactly how I felt when I first got to this point my first time through KOTOR! That first impression is what ultimately gave rise to this story. Because gosh, even if you are a legendary Jedi with the special ability of battle meditation, you should show a little gratitude and appreciation when someone comes along and rescues you from a neural restraint collar! :p

    Finally, metophlus, if you're out there somewhere, I want to thank you for reading and commenting, as well as answer a few of the questions and points you brought up. I did in fact make up both Rzewanczkowski and Onasziszyszkiewicz (at least neither has turned up as a real-life name in my Google searches), but in doing so I did try to stick to some real-life linguistic conventions. I hadn't heard of Pa Kent before, but I'm intrigued to know about him and the fact that he had similar dad-daughter chats with Supergirl—maybe that was a subconscious influence somehow!

    Thanks again, all! @};-
     
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  15. Raissa Baiard

    Raissa Baiard Chosen One star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 22, 1999
    [face_laugh] You have summed up exactly how I feel about Bastila! I find her slightly more tolerable when I play KOTOR with the sound off. :D

    I love Stann, his no-nonsense attitude, and his reminisces of the narrator's teenage years. Poor Florissa Spevverly-Antilles ;), getting "lightning"ed. (Though her name really speaks volumes about the kind of mean girl she is). I adore your [HL=black] female Revan [/HL]. The idea of her coming from a loving, blue-collar home and calling her dad when she's in trouble is more interesting to me than the canon version of the story. Will we see more of her? Pretty please? [face_batting]
     
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  16. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    Aww, thanks so much for stopping by and commenting, Raissa! :) Yep, even when Miss Shan finally mellows out toward the protagonist, there's just that haughtiness about her that never quite goes away—maybe it's partly to do with how the sprite is designed, I don't know. (Which is why I really enjoyed that little sequence between her and Mission Vao where Bastila boasts about how much self control she has but shows just the opposite by Force-pushing Mission when Mission ribs her about it. Would be fun to expand on in fic form sometime...)

    Glad you liked Stann—he was so much fun to write. He was partially inspired by Slats Grobnik, a fictional character created by the longtime Chicago Tribune humor columnist Mike Royko (or at least by that general urban-blue-collar type of which Slats Grobnik is a sendup). At one point I even considered naming the dad character Slatts, but I wanted his name to have a long form too and wasn't sure what Slat(t)s would be short for. And sure, I'd be glad to write more sometime about [hl=black]Katts Rzewanczkowski (to give the birth name she has in this universe of mine)[/hl] sometime, perhaps some more about her [hl=black]"Sith!Carrie" teenage years[/hl]. She turned out to be great fun to write too. I'm ashamed to say that I know nothing about the official version of the character's origins (I'm very new to this era), but I'm awfully curious now! [face_batting]

    Thanks so much once again! @};-
     
  17. Chyntuck

    Chyntuck Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 11, 2014
    [face_rofl] [face_rofl] [face_rofl]

    I'm someone who tried -- and failed ABYSMALLY -- to get into KotOR about a million times, but I might have found a true source of motivation now.

    This fic is going on my 'list of things to read again when I feel down' -- if nothing else for the description of the Basti-dame with her "ridiculous little circus-suit thing" and her "bouncy little side-curls". Seriously. This is a character that I know almost exclusively from her description in the Wook, where she goes through all sorts of drama and tragedy, and seeing her described to Stanislauff Rzewanczkowski was priceless.

    Another reason I'll be returning regularly will be to practice pronouncing Rzewanczkowski and Onasziszyszkiewicz, because if I can manage that I'll start learning Polish.

    I don't know how you ever came up with the idea that your narrator/player character's father would be a working-class man who gets all upset about his daughter getting involved with strange men, I find it makes perfect sense in the KotOR universe. And battle medication [face_laugh]

    =D=
     
  18. leiamoody

    leiamoody Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 8, 2005
    Like @Chyntuck, I'm not terribly familiar with the KOTOR corner of the GFFA, but through your writing I was still able to understand the context of the story and the characters. (I read the Wook entries afterward to understand Bastila on a secondary level. Thanks for providing them at the end of the story. :)).

    "1700 hours shadow look"...:D [face_laugh]

    Given the origin you provided for the OC's father's background, I'm imagining this guy who sits in a Barcolounger on the GFFA's version of weekends watching sports on the holovid and yelling at the vid whenever someone gets a play wrong. :p
     
  19. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014
    Hehe, leiamoody just put "understand" and "Bastila" in a single sentence. Good luck with that. :D

    So, I've been trying to leave this comment for...err, weeks. Had it written a couple of times and then, each time, something would happen that would result in its loss. I've been a bad commenter to one of my favourite writers and my favourite people LYK EVAR and I'm so sorry. [face_blush]

    *ahem*

    Ol' Stann and his daughter are some of the best examples of giving a twist to common stereotypes, while still making them more than fresh, new and GFFA-ish.

    It's hard to write a believable "calm down, girl" daddy and a believable young woman who is trying to find her place in the world and who just had about enough of somebody who may be an exaggeration of what she is or was. In most cases, these two characters would end up as corny and über-offensive to any person born after a certain period of time. But they didn't - they're likeable and realistic!

    Their relationship is great and dysfunctional at the same time. Stann's advice is outdated and spot-on at the same time. The protagonist is more mature than Bastila and as bratty as Bastila at the same time. She may be failing to see that her growing pains may be shared by Bastila, despite the age difference. And why would she have them at her age? Around her dad (probably her mom, too), she is still a kid. People who can completely close off to their parents and appear completely secure around them are probably some rare breed that is capable of more than just Jedi mind tricks droids.

    The embarrassing moments from Katts' past are spot-on, too. They don't seem sitcom-y or Disney, they're perfectly real. And, of course, while she buried those deep in the past, the combination of Bastila and her father make her re-live them. And then...yeah, shame transfer. Mooooolta awkwardness. :D

    In that way, Katts' humour sort of serves as self-encouragement. Just as she abandoned the awkward years, here comes Bastila as a walking-talking reminder of how confusing youth is, especially when one is living it through the extraordinary adventures of a GFFA Force-sensitive.

    And Stann's crescendo from typical daddy advice to "just choke her" was priceless. I totally didn't see that coming and it's still funny, no matter how many times I read the fic.

    And then, when the awkwardness galore is over with, Carth finds out about her actual last name. [hl=black]Knowing that they're supposed to end up together, this is an extra-funny moment. So, do you, miss R...r...umm...err?[/hl]

    [face_laugh] up to eleven, all the way!
     
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  20. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    Thank you all for reading and commenting, and please forgive me for taking so long to respond properly.

    Thank you both for taking a chance on this story. :) The KOTOR era and characters are still pretty new to me, too; here's where I confess that I haven't actually played the game (time and energy are lacking and DRL is constantly threatening), but I have watched the whole thing in a delightful series of walkthrough videos on YouTube, and I can recommend them to anyone who would like a quick-and-easy-and-cost-free way of enjoying KOTOR. It's a fun story with numerous points of interest, and I must say its bunny-breeding properties are prodigious! :D
    Awww, glad to hear! The "circus-suit thing" is meant to represent the sort of slave attire that she's wearing when you first meet her in the game; later on she's more decently and conventionally dressed. But the side-curls and the immaculate coiffure ("Ultimate Braids Bastila!") are characteristic of her throughout the game, and it somehow seems the perfect hairstyle for someone with a stuck-up streak like hers. Indeed, as Ewok Poet points out, she herself is not too far removed from the infamous Florissa Spevverley-Antilles and Phyleena McSpoons, when it comes right down to it.

    Hah! That was mostly just me playing around with some RL conventions and riffing on the Ellis-Island-style name transformation that happened to a lot of American Jews. My own knowledge of Polish is pretty paltry, but thanks to the help of my sister-in-law and her Polish husband I've picked up at least a few of the pronunciation rules and spelling conventions. All those Z's with their different functions always seemed especially cool. :cool:

    Honestly, I don't know either! It was part of a dream, so I guess it was all the result a fevered, offbeat mind working overtime. But yes, I too feel that juxtaposition fits. I'm glad the "battle medication" came off all right, too, because I was kind of afraid it would be too corny! But corniness and Stann R. go together like, as Kahara would say, peanut butter and chocolate. :D


    Sorry, I just couldn't resist! It's a pet peeve I have not only with Carth but with male models in several of the clothing catalogs that come to our house. Is that one-and-a-half-days-of-beard-growth stage some kind of male-beauty sweet spot nowadays, or some such? (Nothing against those who do like facial hair on men—just my own half-baked, unsolicited opinion here.)

    Most certainly! With a bottle of Corellian ale in hand, of course. :p

    Not to worry at all. As you can see, I've taken my dear time in replying. These things happen, and they in no wise diminish my appreciation of your continued friendship and readership. <3

    This is so reassuring to hear, because one of my main fears during the writing of this was that Katts, Stann, their relationship, or all of the above might come off as stereotyped or offensive. I knew I wanted it to be a story specifically and intrinsically about the female version of the KOTOR protagonist—as in, written in such a way that one couldn't just change the characters' genders, if that makes an sense. But I also wanted to tread carefully around the all too many unfortunate tropes and stereotypes about young women growing up, and I wanted Katts not just to come off as a laughingstock. Of course, the fact that that worry came into my mind already says something. :(

    I have to say, in this review you say a TON of things that I never thought of myself, but now that I read them, I see that they're pretty much completely spot-on. The bolded portions above are in that class, as are these:

    It's true—she calls her dad because being around the young, callow Bastila brings her right back to her own young, callow days surrounded by Florissas and Phyleenas. And the Force-sensitive factor just magnifies things like a lens lighting a fire. Most non-Force-sensitive teens might, under the circumstances, either run off crying, or else slap the offender in the face. But Katts "lightnings" and "chokes," perhaps not entirely consciously. It's meant to be a bit dark as well as funny.

    And you now have me wondering about what her mom might be like. More bunnies...!

    Anyway, I know I've said it before, but I just love it when readers point things out like that, and indeed it's one of my favorite things to find in reviews. Grazie mille.

    I'm relieved that this part, too, worked out all right, because sitcom-y and Disneyish was exactly what I was worried about with these exact parts. It's easy for us adults to find those teenage struggles silly and trivial, now that we're past them—but thinking back to my own teenage days, things like that really meant the world. And I do firmly believe that such things can and should be represented in ways that are not sitcom-y and Disney-ish.

    You know me and my style so well by now that I feel very, very proud of myself when I manage to surprise you. :D When I was first drafting this, I remember not being quite sure how to fit that in, even though I knew I wanted it in. In the end, I just sort of went "damn the torpedoes" and had it pop out of nowhere, so I'm glad it worked. Of course, given that Katts is both a typical and atypical daughter at the same time, it stands to reason that Stann would be both a typical and atypical dad at the same time. The apple, as they say, doesn't fall far from the tree!

    Hah! Just goes to show that [hl=black]the awkwardness isn't going to stop here—imagine how squirrely this sort of thing could get at the "meet the parents" stage![/hl]

    Aww, thanks! And, as always, thanks for enriching the story with all your insights. Because you really did! :)
     
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  21. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    Author: Findswoman
    Title: The Spacer’s Song
    Characters: OCs
    Genre: Short story, drama-ish
    Summary: An old spacer’s impromptu musical experience leads to an epiphany.
    Notes: This story is a response to two challenges at once:
    1. The Autumn 2015 OC Revolution challenge, which states:
    2. The First Sentence Challenge: French Literature Edition, in which I received the sentence “One day, I was already old, in the entrance of a public place a man came up to me” (Marguerite Duras, The Lover).

    Many thanks to Ewok Poet and Admiral Volshe for encouraging me and keeping me on task! @};-



    The Spacer’s Song

    One day, I was already old, in the entrance of a public place a man came up to me. It was on Ord Mantell somewhere—I can’t remember where, possibly the docking control office in Worlport—but I remember perfectly the man himself.

    A Wroonian, he was, and very young. I had never met him before, and I couldn’t tell anything about him except that he appeared highly agitated about something or other.

    “Oh, sir!” he called out, breathless as he came running up.

    I turned and looked at him. “’Myes?”

    “Are you by any chance Noadd Klorj?”

    “Noadd Kolrj,” I corrected him. “Why yes, I am.”

    “At last. Thank the Force.” He let out a long sigh of relief. “I feel like I’ve talked to every Duros in this Force-forsaken neighborhood. And there are a lot of you.”

    “Well, you know how the old adage goes: ‘as numerous as Duros in a spaceport.’” At this point I think I chuckled a little. “All right then, young man, what can I do for you?”

    “Well, it’s not really for me . . .” He shuffled his feet, as I’ve noticed many of the more mammalian humanoids tend to do when they’re nervous. “There are some . . . some treasure hunters or something back at the cantina. They say they’re looking for the Maiden of Mimban.”

    “The Maiden of Mimban, you say?” If I had had those over-eye patches of hair that some humanoid species have, I would have raised one of them. The Maiden of Mimban was a semi-well-known artifact in certain circles: a sort of statue of a kneeling female Mimbanite holding a sort of blue crystal egg. I’d heard a thing or two about it in my time. They used to say the crystal egg glowed from within if you looked at it from certain angle, though no one really knew if that was true.

    “Yes.” The man shuffled his feet again. “They just said they were looking for it, and no one knew anything, but then someone said, ‘Oh, Noadd Klorj, I mean Kolrj! He’ll know!’ And I was the lucky sentient who was sent to find you. So if you could spare a minute or two to, maybe, talk to them or something, I’m sure they would—”

    “Now just hold on there, young fellow.” I held up a hand. “You haven’t told me anything about these ‘two treasure hunters or something back at the cantina.’ Or why in the Galaxy they’re looking for the Maiden of Mimban to begin with. Or who”—I leaned in close to him—“in the Galaxy you are.”

    “Oh, uh, sorry. Name’s Eekins. Manniss Eekins. How do you do.” He extended a gaunt, blue-tinged hand, which I shook. “And the treasure hunters . . . one’s a Human with some kind of funny ’Rim accent . . . red hair, kinda pretty, really . . . I’m not sure what the other one is. And they wouldn’t say why they were after the Maiden of Mimban. But between you and me”—he leaned in close to me—“I wonder if it’s the Collector.”

    The Collector! Now that was a name I hadn’t heard in a long time . . . a long time. I wondered to myself if it was the same Collector who had sent me to Korriban to find that lost Massassi holocron the year before. I couldn’t help but feel it might be.

    “All right, young fellow. I’m in.”

    * * *

    He led me to the cantina. I no longer remember which cantina it was, only that it was one of the smaller and dingier ones. Spaceport neighborhoods always have too many cantinas and too few medshops, if you ask me. But enough about that for now.

    It occurred to me, as I tried desperately to keep up with the sprightly young Master Eekins, that it had really been quite a while since I had last heard of the whereabouts of the Maiden of Mimban. As I said, I was no longer a young Duros, and my memory for these details wasn’t what it used to be. I began to wonder if an old wheezer like me could really be of any help to these two hunters. But I didn’t want to say so to young Eekins. He seemed tense enough already.

    We entered the place. It was populated by the usual crowd of spacers, drifters, probably smugglers, that sort of thing. I scanned the room for the two treasure hunters described by Master Eekins. Finally I spotted the red-haired Human female, who was engaged in a lively conversation with the Bith barmaid. I wasn’t sure which of the other patrons could have been her partner, except for maybe the Gand who was sitting by himself or herself in a shadowy alcove. But then almost every time I’d seen Gands in cantinas they’d been sitting by themselves in shadowy alcoves, so who really knew?

    I ordered an ale from a waitdroid and sat down. The red-haired Human was a talkative type, and the way her chat with the barmaid was going, it looked like it might be a while before my own chance to talk to her. But that was all right with me, because I needed to think for a bit. Where had I last heard news of that pesky Maiden of Mimban? From the Smugglers’ Alliance holobulletin? From Cynabar’s InfoNet? My aging brain simply couldn’t remember.

    Time passed. As slowly as possible I sipped my ale, occasionally glancing over at the garrulous young woman. A few other cantina patrons—another Human, an Elomin, and a pair of Arcona, had now gathered around to listen to her, occasionally interjecting with brief questions or expressions of amazement. She must have been telling quite a story—never have I seen a non-Duros hold a cantina audience so captive. And as far as I was concerned, she could keep right on telling it, because I still couldn’t remember anything about the Maiden of Mimban.

    Then the Elomin uttered the words that changed the course of the entire afternoon. “Why don’t you play it for us?”

    The others seconded him with eager sounds and gestures. The Human female laughed, a sound like jingling crystal.

    “Oh, well, if you absolutely must insist! But only if it’s all right with our gracious host. Tisibel, may I?”

    “Go right ahead, hon,” the Bith replied. “Always nice to have a bit of music in the place.”

    The red-haired Human rummaged for a moment in a small spacer’s chest under her table and pulled out a musical instrument I had never seen before. It looked like a common Coreworld sackpipe, only much smaller. She shook a bit of dust from it, checked that none of the pipes were loose, and raised it to her mouth with a deep breath.

    A reedy drone note issued forth, a plaintive contralto hum. The Human fingered the chanter; a lilting tune began to dance above the drone, in pure, clear tones that sounded more flutelike than sackpipe-like. It was a pleasant melody, jaunty but lyrical, in a sort of moderate Bynarrian jig rhythm. As I sat there listening, nodding my head half-involuntarily in time with the music, it seemed to sing to me of carefree excursions to far-off systems, of youthful adventure in the stars, of races across the void of space for hidden treasure . . .

    . . . and it must have been a good ten or so bars in that I realized it was an old spacers’ shanty that I knew, and that I was singing along:

    “Far over across the starry void . . . Course laid in! O way and away!”

    Hearing me joining her, the Human moved closer to me. It suddenly hit me how completely different we sounded—my low crooning against her high, hooty notes. But even so we made eye contact, took a breath together.

    “To a system unknown to sentient or droid . . . Course laid in! O way and away!”

    Another shared look, another shared breath. A glance around the room: all eyes were fixed on us, even those of the Gand lurking in the corner. Eekins’s mouth, Force bless him, was hanging open.

    “’Tis there we must journey, my shipmates all . . .”

    With each phrase long-dormant memories welled up, of old missions, old alliances, old treasures . . .

    “Before the shadows of nothingness fall . . .”

    . . . of old guardians of those old treasures in an old shop on a tumbledown planet . . .

    “For youngling and ancient must heed the call . . . Course laid in! O way and away!”

    And then came the chorus in a sudden explosion of harmony—for the two Arcona had lent their voices, too!

    “So come all ye spacers so bold and so free,
    And live hard and drink hard together with me,
    And sing as you traverse the wide Ga-lax-ee,
    Course laid in! O way and away!”

    And in that harmony it all came rushing back to me, just as the blue tunnel of hyperspace rushes over a ship at lightspeed. The dank shadowport, the pawn shop, the elderly lady who ran the place, the shelves crowded with precious gems . . . and the kneeling, crystal-bearing Maiden reigning over them.

    The jewel shop at Darlyn Boda spaceport. That’s where it was, of course. How could I have forgotten?

    We finished the song. A clatter of applause and cheers filled the cantina, but I barely registered it; my mind was far off in the Anoat Sector, among the jewels. Once things quieted down a little, and once the red-headed Human had replaced her sackpipe in its case, I approached her.

    “Excuse me, miss.” I inclined my head and offered my hand, which she shook. “Noadd Kolrj is my name. I understand you’re in search of the Maiden of Mimban.”

    “Why, yes! Oh, you must be the one they told us about! Oh, Delphine!” I could have sworn she gestured toward the Gand at this point. “Comm the Collector! He’ll be so pleased!”

    And I have to say, those words were the sweetest music I had heard that whole afternoon. ¶



    This story expands on an incident alluded to briefly in “In Search of a Hutt’s Dinner Music”: [hl=black]“It was at the cantina on Ord Mantell. That elderly Duros spacer began singing along. Then those two Arcona joined in harmony on the chorus.”[/hl]

    Noadd Kolrj and Manniss Eekins are OCs. Kolrj’s surname is an homage to Samuel Taylor Coleridge and The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, because isn’t an ancient mariner pretty much what he is?

    The treasure hunters are OCs, and if you’ve read some of my other short stories you can probably identify them.

    The Collector is someone you might recognize if you’ve read Star Wars: Underworld: The Yavin Vassilika. In that comic, he [hl=black]turns out to be none other than General Jan Dodonna[/hl].

    The Maiden of Mimban is based on one of the MacGuffins in Gamiel ’s list of MacGuffins, Artefacts, Thingimagigs and Whatsits: “A half meter tall statue from Mimban, holding an egg-sized crystal in its hands. The crystal seems to glow with an inner light.”

    The sackpipe is my own creation, based on the real-life bagpipe (with which the terms “drone” and “chanter” are associated as well—see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bagpipes).

    “Live hard” and “drink hard” in the chorus of the spacers’ shanty are nods to the toast quoted at the beginning of the Wook Legends entry on spacers: “Drink it down, boys, for the black of space is cold. Drink it down, boys, for it’s always better to live hard and die young than live not and die old.”

    “Way” and “away” and similar are common in the refrains of several Earth sea shanties (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sea_shanty).

    Wookieepedia links:
    http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Arcona/Legends
    http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Bynarrian_jig
    http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Cynabar's_InfoNet
    http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Darlyn_Boda/Legends (which is in the Anoat Sector)
    http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Darlyn_Boda_jewel_shop (first encountered, incidentally, in “Of Possible Futures: The Tale of Zuckuss and 4-LOM”)
    http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Elomin
    http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Hyperspace (includes an illustration of the “blue tunnel”)
    http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Massassi/Legends (note that Korriban is their planet of origin)
    http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Mimbanite
    http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Ord_Mantell
    http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Service_droid (also called a “waitdroid”)
    http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Smugglers'_Alliance
    http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Spacer's_chest
    http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Worlport
    http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Wroonian
     
  22. leiamoody

    leiamoody Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 8, 2005
    Well, here you go again, creating yet another densely populated story. You create a rich. three-dimensional environment that feels like you're right there watching it unfold, or more like you are traveling along with the character on their shoulder. You are freaking awesome. :D

    Okay, specifics...Love how you integrated the Mimban figure into your story. It gives the story a little Indiana Jones vibe. :) Also like the offscreen adventure suggested by the search for the Massassi holocron; the reader doesn't know the details, but the suggestion of some epic quest is right there in that one sentence.

    And your seeker of lost relics is based upon the Ancient Mariner. Seriously, that is a very cool and interesting twist on a classical literary figure that I never would have suspected. (I never saw one sign of an albatross ;)). It's a good career for a spacer with a case of wandering, although I suspect that unlike the Ancient Mariner Noadd's career path was chosen. The fact he's a Duros just proves you definitely have this amazing grasp of alien cultures in that you make them feel readily accessible, yet the cultures don't feel overtly human.

    Smugglers get their news from a holobulletin? Nice detail. :)

    As usual, you've managed to incorporate music into the story in a natural way. You even included lyrics! The shanty definitely has the authentic feel of similar songs on Earth. It's nice to see how everyone in the cantina are united by the shanty. The fact the song triggers Noadd's memory about the location of the Maiden is a very clever touch.

    The ending has a neat cliffhanger. Is there more to this story? :D
     
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  23. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Wonderful details and I love Noadd and the chatty tone he has. The Maiden of Mimban sounds gorgeous! The sing-along sounds like everyone was comfortable and easy together and was having a relaxed good time.
     
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  24. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014
    So, so, so many details in such a short story - which is the only reason my reply is late. I don't like it when I forget something. :p And it's already neat at its very beginning, because I recognised the story from an earlier vignette, then scrolled down to the spoilers and clapped my hands because it was not just my imagination.

    I love it how you can switch from style to style. This is similar to your longfic in a way that it has this epic approach that has a mystical vibe to it, yet it's not *completely* going into the Tokinesque territory.

    Elderly characters in general are underrepresented in the world of beautiful women and buff men, so a salute for doing this for the second time, after mr. Stanislauff Rzewanckzowski in Just Ask Dad. :) A Duros protagonist would have some additional charm here...if a regular one looks so bleak, how do they look like when they're old? It's got to be hard to guess what they're thinking and so on. In this case, at some points, it appears that Noadd is forgetting things and I keep on wondering about his exact age...hmm. [face_thinking]

    I turned and looked at him. “’Myes?”

    Hehe, "myes"...you are writing in first person and putting a bit of yourself in it...or some such. ;)

    as numerous as Duros in a spaceport

    Love this saying!

    Finally I spotted the red-haired Human female, who was engaged in a lively conversation with the Bith barmaid. I wasn’t sure which of the other patrons could have been her partner, except for maybe the Gand who was sitting by himself or herself in a shadowy alcove.

    Like, I totally don't know these two. Who are they? :p

    Scherzi a parte, it's lovely to see them again and the idea of our protagonist not knowing to tell a female Gand from a male is interesting. Took him a while!

    Glockel's instrument is interesting, too. I can imagine it working like Camile's Le Fil album, with the drone note being Glockel's signature note - there's a hint of melancholy in that idea, yet the music played over it can be whatever she wants it to be. It's just that she always carries one very dark note in her very core.

    And then, music kicks in. The structure of the story's end is similar, in a way, to Opus 66, but while that one was going down, down, down, this one is going up. Noadd is lightening up to Glockel's music, but his mind is brightening, too. Music has lead to an idea and to the solution.

    Eeeek. That just reminded me of...you know, the structure of a certain twelve-line piece written for a friend of yours many years ago. Does this even make sense? You will know what I'm talking about. Shivers, but good shivers.


    P.S. [hl=black]I have to wonder how is this leading up to the comic you mentioned...gosh, now I'm curious![/hl]
     
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  25. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    (I too am going to reserve space for responses to the above comments. Don't worry, it will all make sense in the end! :D )
    Proper responses to the preceding comments at long last—thank you all for reading! :)

    From you, that's a tremendous compliment, since it's the same feeling I get from your stories. So thank you muchly! @};-

    Thanks! That list of MacGuffins that Gamiel made is a real treasure trove, isn't it—and quite literally, too! And as for the search for the Massassi holocron: if you are familiar with [hl=black]the Collector as he appears in the official comic referenced in the notes[/hl], you may see [hl=black]how the Massassi motif fits in[/hl].

    You're right, there is no albatross here, at least not at this time of Noadd's life, though who knows but there might have been one earlier? But yes, his life of wandering was definitely chosen rather than imposed. He's kind of a happy, positive version to the Ancient Mariner. And the Duros, given their long spacefaring history, seemed the perfect choice. (Plus just the mental image of an older Duros crooning a shanty or ballad was somehow irresistible.)

    Well, Cynabar's InfoNet is already part of the established universe, so I figured it's only a hop, skip, and a jump from there to a holobulletin. :D

    Thanks so much! The story went for a while with just "[insert song text here]" in those spots; it was literally the last part of the story I wrote, and I just sort of loosely followed what I knew about Earth sea shanty conventions. And both those things you mention are important properties of music in general that I wanted to highlight here: (a) music is a social activity with great potential to unify people, and (b) music is one of the best aids to memory that there is, as well as a great exercise for the brain (and an older brain like Noadd's needs a bit of exercise). I'll have more to say about the song and its text later.

    I wasn't originally planning on it, but now that you say so, perhaps there will be, perhaps! :D


    Thanks! The Maiden of Mimban, again, was based on one something from Gamiel 's MacGuffins list in the Fanon Thread, and yes, there's nothing like group singing to get everyone in a room comfortable and happy together—it's a proven effect! :)


    Not to worry at all, because I'm the same way about detailed stories—I really want to sit down and make sure I've gotten the max out of them before I try to come up with a comment. You are of course absolutely right about the connection of this piece to that earlier story, namely "In Search of a Hutt's Dinner Music"—when I wrote in that story about this incident, I did so with the express intention of eventually giving it its own story. (YKYAFFWW...!)

    Thanks so much, that's a big compliment. In the longfic I'm definitely going for an almost-but-not-quite-Tolkienesque feel; naturally it's hard to escape Tolkien's influence completely, but I want it to be recognizably different too. It's encouraging to hear from such a fine stylist as you that it's working!

    Thanks! I too like the idea of giving elderly characters their due, and that's part of why I found the idea of an older Duros spacer so compelling—they already look kind of oldish, so when they're old they probably look extra-oldish! :D Somewhere I have a chart from one of the RPG guides about the various ages at which different species are considered adults, elderly, venerable, etc.; I'm not sure where it is now, but for Noadd I imagine him being wrinkled, of course, with his blue skin color fading into something more grayish and perhaps his eyes yellower. And he is definitely at an age where his memory is starting to go; Humans likely aren't the only species in which that happens.

    Hah! I see what you did there. :D Just by way of confession, I've waited for a llooooong time to be able to get "'Myes?" into a SW fanfic. (I first came across it in a P. G. Wodehouse book, though I can't remember which one.)

    Thanks. It just seemed to fit. And the idea of an older person coming out with a nice little familiar adage just seemed to fit, too—I'm not sure why, maybe because the older people I know have a little repertory of adages that they always have recourse to. :D

    :p , indeed! (For those who don't know them—check through other stories in this thread, and they may start to become familiar. ;) )

    Aw, thanks! Thing is, I bet lots of people in the GFFA—even those who are accomplished spacefarers and who have come across many different kinds of beings—wouldn't know. My understanding from the official material is that the Gand don't really have a lot of overtly recognizable secondary sex characteristics, and of course not being mammalian they lack some of the ones that would be more familiar to us Human readers. When Beedo and I were first coming up with fanon on the Gand many moons ago, he suggested that they might be able to tell males and females apart by smell, as indeed many Earth species can.

    Well, the drone is characteristic of all RL bagpipes, or at least all the ones I've ever heard of. But that certainly could have been what drew Glockel to that instrument to begin with. (No doubt you are thinking of [hl=black]what we learn about her background in "There is no death!"[/hl], oder?)

    Again, music has that effect—it is well known to both lighten people up and brighten their minds. And you're right that this story did sort of work out to being the anti-"Opus Sixty-Six," in that it features characters performing a song that builds up and up to some kind of climactic reaction. (I'm getting predictable, aren't I? :p )

    Oh yes, I see what you mean now! Very good shivers, and as I recall some of the same themes are even covered there.



    See my response to leiamoody above. :) I can't say much more about it without giving the comic away (and it's one that I do very much recommend), but I guess I can say that...

    ...both Noadd's quest for the Massassi holocron and Glockel and Telfien's quest for the Maiden of Mimban can be regarded as earlier attempts of the quest undertaken in the comic.

    Again, many thanks to you all! @};-
     
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