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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. Findswoman

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

    Feb 27, 2014
    Author: Findswoman
    Title: Commence Orbital Bombardment!
    Characters: OCs borrowed from other writers: Admiral Jaye Tatsu and Captain Drexel from Shira A'dola, Admiral Kára Volshe from Admiral Volshe. Thank you both so much!
    Genre: Humorous vignette.
    Notes: This began as part of little get-well gift planned by Ewok Poet and me for Admiral Volshe, with best wishes for her continued improvement and eventual recovery. But the process of character borrowing and vetting has made this just as much a gift for Shira A'dola too, and a tribute to the friendship between her and Volshe. I am grateful for the feedback of both Shira and Ewok Poet on earlier drafts.
    EP's story for Volshe is "Two Sides to Every Story" and was posted at almost exactly the same time as this one.

    Commence Orbital Bombardment!

    Admiral Jaye Tatsu stood on the bridge of his flagship, the Imperial I-class star destroyer Victorious. Just outside the massive front window before him loomed the luminous, blue-gray northern hemisphere of the Outer Rim world of Mayno-Mayzee, looking like a gigantic azure jewel in need of a good dusting.

    And a good dusting from the Victorious’s quad turbolaser cannons was exactly what it was soon going to get. Recent intelligence reports had confirmed the presence of a significant Rebel cell on Mayno-Mayzee, centered (as indeed everything was on this backrocket, out-of-the-way world) in the capital city of Mayzopolis.

    Jaye grinned to himself. The assault he was about to launch was unprecedented in the entire history of the Rebel-Imperial conflict. Those Mayzopolitans (though he was only halfway sure of the correct demonym) would never know what hit them.


    Jaye spun around. Standing at attention behind him, his hand upraised in a crisp salute, was a dapper young officer with dark hair and mahogany skin.

    “Yes, Captain Drexel?”

    “We have established geosynchronous orbit directly above the Diplomatic District of Mayzopolis, per your command.”

    “Excellent, Captain. Are all weapons systems online and ready?”

    “Aye, sir. Commander Goldfliegg and the artillery division report that all is prepared and that they are standing by for further orders.”

    “Have all the . . . special instructions been carried out?”

    “Yes, sir. Laser generators have been taken offline and proton torpedo bays emptied. The forward quad turbolaser cannons have been loaded with the specially printed Stikk-Itt notes in black, gray, and red, just as you ordered. The ion cannon turrets have been loaded with jumbo-size Wite-A-Way strips. All remaining space in the main armaments has been filled with flimfetti.”

    “And I hope Commander Goldfliegg made sure to order the ColorBall Deluxe Holographic Flimfetti while it was still on sale at Klipps?”

    “Aye, sir. I saw the boxes myself.” The young officer paused and shuffled his feet a bit. “But, sir . . .”

    “Yes, Captain?”

    “Well, sir . . . Commander Goldfliegg kept asking what in the Galaxy this was all in aid of. And . . . well, sir, I didn’t know how to answer him. So . . . if I may presume to ask, sir . . .”

    “What is it all in aid of?” Jaye smiled. Of course such an unorthodox course of action would elicit a certain amount of curiosity from his crew. “Oh, it’s just a little surprise for a good friend and colleague.”

    “Ah.” Incredulous but not wanting to let on as much to his superior officer, Drexel shuffled his feet again. “I see, sir. Thank you, sir. But, sir . . .”

    Yes, Captain?”

    “What about the Rebel cell, sir? The intelligence report clearly stated that—”

    “Yes, I know what the intelligence report clearly stated, Captain,” Jaye rejoined, a hint of a chuckle in his voice. “Well, they’ll be surprised, too.”

    No sooner had Captain Drexel saluted and yes-sirred than a voice from the helm piped up. “All targets locked in, sir!”

    “Perfect! All bridge crew to battle stations!”

    For a few moments the bridge was filled with a nervous bustling of feet, including those of Captain Drexel. After it died down, Jaye cleared his throat, drew himself up to his full height, and announced, in booming tones:

    “Commence orbital bombardment!”

    * * *

    On the ground below, in one of the numerous duracrete buildings that made up Mayzopolis’s Diplomatic District, Admiral Kára Volshe sat in yet another meeting in yet another conference room with yet another group of Rebel leaders—all having to do with yet another one of those peace agreements that Imperial sector governors were occasionally signing with Rebel cells. It was just her rotten luck that Moff Flossbottom had assigned her to serve as the military liaison for this particular agreement—and on her birthday, too.

    Right now some Rebel bigwig—Somebody Someone Something Antilles, if memory served—had the floor and was droning on about the sovereign and inalienable rights of individual systems. Kára cast a furtive glance at the wall-chrono. With just five minutes before the scheduled caf break, her mind was beginning to wander to the little caf-counter in the lobby and its surprisingly decent mallow whip.

    Suddenly, something outside the window caught her eye. It looked like a small piece of gray flimsiplast was fluttering by, though she knew that couldn’t be right. She turned her attention back to the speaker, who was now blathering something about the right to peaceful assembly.

    But then another piece of flimsi flew past the window, this time, black . . . followed shortly by a red one, then a few more black and gray ones, then a sort of long white thing that she could have sworn was one of those white-out strips—and then a veritable cloudburst of sparkly, jewel-toned curls and shapes. It was not long before the sky was filled with falling flimsi.

    Just then, to Kára’s complete surprise, one of the square red flimsi pieces stuck to the window. It seemed to have words printed on the side facing away from her, which she could just barely make out from where she sat:


    Kára smiled. There was only one person in the whole Imperial military capable of something like this: her old friend Jaye Tatsu, whom she had known since their Academy days on Carida. Good old Jaye was always doing fun things to cheer up his friends, from sharing fantastical stories from his childhood to brewing chocolate for everyone during late-night exam study sessions. There were, of course, those who harassed him over his mixed Human and Pantoran ancestry—but, as far as Kára was concerned, they could go jump in the Maw. She, for one, was proud to have followed Jaye’s career from the start. Just a few Standard weeks ago she had had the privilege of seeing him promoted to Admiral and given command of his own star destroyer—the fulfillment of one of his dearest childhood dreams.

    And, indeed, when she gazed upward at the clouds, she was fairly certain she saw the triangular, silver-gray nose of an Imperial I-class star destroyer just barely poking through.

    The bell rang to adjourn the meeting. Members of both Rebel and Imperial delegations, noticing the unusual precipitation for the first time, either stared in bewilderment out the window, looked at each other in puzzlement, or placed worried comm calls to whomever they considered authorities. But Admiral Kára Volshe dashed out of the conference room, down the stairs, past the caf-counter, and out into the courtyard—where she spent the break period dancing for joy in a driving rain of Stikk-Itt notes, Wite-A-Way strips, and ColorBall Deluxe Holographic Flimfetti. ¶

    Admiral Jaye Tatsu, Captain Drexel, and the Victorious are all the creations of Shira A'dola and have been used with her kind permission. Jaye Tatsu’s life and career are chronicled in her stories “Mondo,” “Here’s How It Started,” and “I Rise.” Drexel appears in “I Rise.”

    Admiral Kára Volshe belongs, of course, to Admiral Volshe and has been used with her kind permission as well. She appears in Shira A'dola's "Tookas in a Box."

    Commander Goldfliegg and Moff Flossbottom (for what they’re worth) are characters of my own creation.

    The Rebel bigwig possibly named Antilles is not meant to be anyone in particular. I just figured there were a lot of Antilleses in the Rebellion.

    Mayno-Mayzee, Stikk-Itt notes, Wite-A-Way strips, ColorBall Deluxe Holographic Flimfetti, and Klipps (like Staples . . . get it?) are all my own creations. The first three of those things debuted in my story “A Lesson under the Arboray Trees?”

    Four-Mern (Mayno-Mayzee Materials and Manufacturing) is my own creation as well, and is the manufacturer of Stikk-Itt notes and Wite-A-Way strips. Three guesses which Earth company it’s based on.
  2. Admiral Volshe

    Admiral Volshe Chosen One star 10

    Sep 2, 2012
    Aw! What a great little vignette!! And yet another story for myself (and Shira! This is so great!! :D ). Most importantly...Kára! Woohoo! You wrote her so well!

    But I love the creativity of this, both on your and Jaye's part. It was so cute and made me laugh. An orbital bombardment of confetti and sticky notes? Hysterical. [face_laugh] I especially loved the names you chose. Flossbottom had me giggling uncontrollably. [face_rofl]

    I know how tough it is to be trapped somewhere on your birthday... and maybe this had some real life inspiration? :p
    I wish I had someone to rain confetti from the sky for me, haha.

    Thank you, very much. It was wonderful and really brightened my day even more!! [:D] :D
  3. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Aug 31, 2004
    [face_laugh] [face_laugh] [face_laugh] What a grand romp! Besides the intended recipients, us other readers get to partake of the mischief and frivolity! [face_party] :D
    Chyntuck, Findswoman and Ewok Poet like this.
  4. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Jul 31, 2014
    Those Mayzopolitans (though he was only halfway sure of the correct demonym) would never know what hit them, indeed. As somebody who once saw a bunch of colourful notes falling from fighter planes, I've got to say that I prefer that to actual bombs, which would...err...come slightly later. Throw office supplies not bombs, OK?

    That said, the Office Supplies Planet makes its second appearance! Jaye is really a practical man, to use props he has available on Mayno-Mayzee. And the planet, now that we can see it from his perspective, seems even cooler than I thought. You specified how its Northern hemisphere looks and, for whatever reason, I imagined a planet that has two roughly split and completely different hemispheres. Not sure if that's a crazy idea to begin with, it is, I'm throwing it out there.

    The way Jaye gives orders to Drexel...
    - one would think that Mayno-Mayzee is in to be another Alderaan and that makes the twist even funnier!
    - is a great payback for what Drexel was implied to have been doing to him in the past and therefore a great little nugget of awesome for Shira!
    - is super-nerdy in terms of how each step of the procedure has been written out and therefore a great little nugget of awesome for Volshe!

    The birthday note turned backwards is a perfect nod to the very beginning of A Neverending Story. Before Bastian Balthazar Bux enters the antique book store, its name is written in the mirror as well, because we have the store owner's POV.

    Overall, a wonderful tribute to friendship and caring about one's friends. Next thing on the list? Somebody Someone Something Antilles goes to the Southern hemisphere of Mayno-Mayzee. :p
    Admiral Volshe and Findswoman like this.
  5. Shira A'dola

    Shira A'dola Jedi Master star 6

    Sep 4, 2012
    This story had me giggling so hard! I love how the story turned from a situation that had me really worried to this outrageous (in the best way!) plan on the grandest scale! Unprecedented indeed [face_laugh]
  6. leiamoody

    leiamoody Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Nov 8, 2005
    A planet of office supplies...a shower of office supplies falling from the sky (what, no glitter pens? :p) [face_dancing]It certainly cuts the monotony of a boring meeting. ;) Awesome fic as usual.
  7. Chyntuck

    Chyntuck Force Ghost star 5

    Jul 11, 2014
    Catching up on reviews to your last two entries here. Needless to say that I loved both! ^:)^

    The Spacer's Song

    This one had me squeeing out loud. I wanted to know what happened in that cantina in Ord Mantell ever since I read In Search of a Hutt's Dinner Music, and here it was!

    Of course, I should have known that this would be a far more "densely populated tale" than what I could ever imagine (as leiamoody put it). It's always a pleasure to see Glockel and Telfien again and to catch a glimpse of their contrasting personalities, but I'm, as usual, amazed at your capacity to create an ad-hoc OC for a story and to make him three-dimensional. Plus, the little nods at his alien nature interspersed across the story are a real delight. An elderly Duros English gentleman? Only you could come up with that!

    Very atmospheric scene in the cantina too. I can perfectly imagine the way various beings get involved in the conversation with Glockel, and then in the song itself. It just all came alive :)

    I also loved what you did with the first sentence here. It's borrowed from a book I actually read, and I love how you ran away with it and made it into something completely different.

    And, lastly, this is (once again) a story that begs for a spin-off or a sequel. I saw in your notes the identity of the Collector, but I feel that there's a whole story behind that!

    "Commence Orbital Bombardment!"

    Squee again! I had no idea what I was getting into when I started reading this, but seeing all these OCs pulled together was a fantastic idea, and I'm glad Shira A'dola and Admiral Volshe let you borrow them for this fic.

    The twist of the plans for bombardment of a Rebel cell turning into an extravagant surprise birthday gift had me laughing out loud. Your stationery supplies deserve a Fanon post btw, I can't be the only one having a pun-based post! (ColorBall Deluxe Holographic Flimfetti? How in the Galaxy did you come up with that one?)

    I can perfectly imagine the scene again -- from Captain Drexel's puzzlement aboard the Star Destroyer, to the Rebel rep going on and on and on about human sentient rights, to Kára dancing in the rain of colourful bits and pieces falling from the sky while everyone else wonders what the blazes is going on... [face_laugh] If more Imperial admirals did this sort of thing, the peace treaty between the Empire and the New Republic might have gone differently!

    Oh, and I said it on PM already, but I'll add my get-well-soon wishes to Volshe here too [:D]
  8. Findswoman

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

    Feb 27, 2014
    You are very, very welcome, Adm'r'l. :) I know both Ewok Poet and I were pleased as punch to be able to do some small thing to cheer you up (and Shira A'dola too), since you really seemed to need it around that time. And it didn't take me too long to come up with it, either, since I had Mayno-Mayzee and the office supplies on the brain from "A Lesson under the Arboray Trees?"—might not be a bad place to send Kára Volshe on a pointless, boring mission, as well, and then send her some cheer in the form of an old friend and a surprise. :D I'm relieved to hear she came off all right—it's always bit nerve-wracking starting to write someone else's character, but also a fun adventure too!

    I know your birthday was actually a month or so before this was posted, but I wanted it to be a festive occasion, given the time of year it was being posted—and yet I didn't quite want it to be any of the Christmas-like holidays floating around the GFFA either, but rather something more personalized. People are more likely to be stuck in boring meetings on their birthdays (celebrated only by them) than on public holidays celebrated by everyone. There isn't a specific incident in my own history informing this story, but I have definitely spent birthdays in places I wished I hadn't been spending them in. Probably all of us have at some point.

    Anyone who's read even a few of my stories knows I like coming up with strange and interesting names. I went back and forth between Flossbottom and Glossbottom for the name of the moff. And the GFFA just has built-in perfection with all of its Antilleses of one kind and another.

    Finally, I just love office supplies. Maybe because the supply cabinet at work is right outside my office and those sticky notes come in so many colors... :p

    So glad you enjoyed this, and thank you. @};-

    Thanks! Glad you enjoyed. :) And that is precisely what I love about fic-gifts so much: they bring joy to their other readers, too, and the writer. It's a gift you give that you still get to keep yourself, in a way, and that others can enjoy too.

    Thank you, as always, EP. :) And that is a sentiment with which I definitely agree. It's kind of... harrowing in a way to hear that people did that kind of bombardment in real life, so soon before dropping the actual bombs! Maybe some of those worried delegates at the end of the story have a good reason for their worry. [face_thinking]

    I haven't come up with a lot of details about the geography and terrain of Mayno-Mayzee; I was just thinking that Jaye's ship was close enough that he could see, say, the top half of the planet out his large plate-glass bridge window, which is a vista we've seen in other GFFA works. But hey, it's something I can keep in mind for future fanon posts, etc.... [face_thinking]

    Thanks! That was precisely the whole idea: to make it look like Jaye was planning to do something perfectly horrible to Mayzopolis and its Rebel cell, and then reveal it to be, well, something totally opposite to that. Like any good Imperial commander, I imagine Jaye proceeding very methodically with any multi-step plan, and going about things just so, in an orderly manner. So the correct Stikk-Itts, Wite-A-Ways, and flimfetti are an absolute necessity (and yes, for purposes of economy, get the nice flimfetti when it's on sale at Klipps).

    For this one I can only say that I believe you, since if I have seen A Neverending Story it was a very long time ago. But it is of course the direction Kára would see the note as it fluttered by outside. I considered bringing in various special characters to get EVERYTHING perfectly backward (e.g., Russian letter ya for the Rs, etc.), but there was the issue of making everything forums- and Tapatalk-friendly, and I didn't want to run the risk of that important part of the story being illegible to half the readers.

    Why thank you. @};- It became not just a gift to cheer up Volshe but also a tribute to her friendship with Shira by way of the friendship I figured must exist between their respective characters. And the further exploits of S. S. S. Antilles? Not a bad bunny to consider for later... :cool:

    Thanks, Shira, and I'm so glad (and relieved!) this ended up being all right with you, because for a bit I was worried too about how to make it less worrying for you, if that makes sense! Jaye and Drexel were both such joys to write (and, in a certain totally amicable way, pit against each other), and I really can't thank you enough for allowing me to borrow him. @};-

    Thanks so much, and thanks for reading! Like I said, I just love office supplies—because gosh knows I come into contact with them often enough. With glitter pens, or indeed anything heavier than a paper clip being dropped from such a height, I would mainly be concerned about people getting beaned, of course, but I love the idea of glitter pens existing in the GFFA. Though if one really wanted to attack the Rebel cell, hey, that might not be a bad way! If some of them break on the way down, you will have some very colorful, sparkly, bewildered Rebels! :p

    Aw, thank you, and thanks as always for reading! :)

    THanks, and so did I—it was basically plaguing me ever since I wrote that sentence! :p

    It was just so much fun creating Noadd, partly because I (a) had the opportunity to dip into The Ancient Mariner again, and (b) got to learn more about the Duros and the importance of spacers to their culture than I had before. And it was fun to try my hand at transferring the "old sea-dog" type to the GFFA. Now that Noadd is older he's more subdued and less rashly adventurous, perhaps, but like all old sea-dogs he still has that spark in him that comes out at the right moments. And there are several of those moments here: the mention of the name of the Collector, the opportunity to help out some younger adventurers, and of course the music-making session.

    Music is notorious for the way it can bring beings together, even strangers. And it does so by touching deep, deep down inside each person who hears it. It's always been first and foremost a social activity—that's why I was keen to emphasize things like the eye contact between Glockel and Noadd, the breath taken at the same moment, and of course the Arcona's harmony in the chorus. Those things forge not only musical ensemble but also general sentient togetherness.

    Thanks, and I'm glad it came off well! I racked my brains a lot at first: I knew the speaker/main character would need to be old, and I also knew the use of the first person ruled out most of my Gands (who would also likely not use "man" to refer to another of their kind). But then I remembered that I had a brief mention of an elderly Duros, and... the rest, as they say, is history. :p Thank you for setting up that challenge, which was a very fun and thought-provoking one and which I'm glad to have contributed to.

    Ah ha! Well, that story is expanded on muchly in Star Wars: Underworld: The Yavin Vassilika (which I very much recommend even if it does depict Zuckuss with five fingers), and I kind of see "The Spacer's Song" as perhaps one of the very early stages of the hunt described there.

    I'm glad they let me borrow their characters too—that was the first time I had written someone else's OCs as the main speaking characters in a story of mine (though I of course also have Namajib Eskari in "Opus 66," and there are some other borrowed characters in unposted stories from a while back), and it was really fun to get to know them.

    Someday I shall indeed do a fanon post on GFFA office supplies—that's been on my mind ever since "A Lesson under the Arboray Trees." How I came up with it all? Well, like I said, the supply cabinet is right there outside my door, so tantalizing... [face_batting]

    I definitely agree—there would have been a wholly different shape to the entire Galactic Civil War if stickies, not bombs, had been dropped on all sides. :p

    And mine are ongoing, of course, too! :)

    Again, many thanks to all for the comments and insights! @};-
  9. Findswoman

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

    Feb 27, 2014
    Author: Findswoman
    Title: A Blaze of Blasé
    Era: Saga (Legends)
    Characters: Logray, Teebo, mentions of Latara and a few others from the Ewoks cartoon
    Genre: Humorous vignette
    Summary: The blasé tree goats around Bright Tree Village have fallen ill, and Logray and Teebo concoct a tonic to heal them—or at least they try to.
    Notes: A birthday fic-gift for my good pal Ewok Poet, with much heartfelt baaaah and all best wishes. Many thanks to Admiral Volshe for beta-reading on short notice. @};-

    A Blaze of Blasé

    There was a definite spring in Logray’s step that morning as he pottered about his hut, collecting motley assortment of phials, bundles, and herbs from shelves and cupboards in his hut. Those passing by would even have heard him humming a happy tune as he retrieved his ingredients and organized them on a cloth on his low wooden kitchen table, to be wrapped into a satchel. It was not every day that the dignified and venerable shaman of Bright Tree Village was quite this animated, but today he had very good reason to be.

    For that tireless trader Mooth—may the Light Spirit shine blessings upon him always!—had finally come through with his shipment of Maknaa-Miin-Tii.

    This precious mineral, found only in hidden quarries near the tropical village of Sunken Lake, was rich in medicinal qualities. It took its name from the Gondula shaman who had first discovered it centuries before, Maknaa of Sunken Lake, and ever since her time the quarries that yielded it had been guarded fiercely by the shamans of that same village. That Mooth had been able to procure such a goodly quantity of Maknaa-Miin-Tii was a scintillating tribute to his skills of salesmanship and negotiation—and, of course, to the efficacy of the unlocking-spell stones that Logray had made sure to send along with the long-snouted trader.

    And it was the last ingredient Logray needed for the blasé tree goat tonic at which he had been laboring frantically for the last few months. It had been just after the last snow, at the beginning of the growing season, that a strange malady had struck all the tree goats around Bright Tree Village. They had been simply lying around doing nothing—which in itself was nothing unusual for them, except that they were also no longer giving milk, and their usually soft, smooth coats had become matted and greasy. Several had died in the last month alone; Roik, the old herdsman out on the banks of the Yarlubb, had already lost close to half his flock. Only after countless sleepless nights of leafing through ancient tomes and conferring with neighboring shamans via image spinner was Logray finally able to devise a recipe for a suitable tonic—and it had taken Mooth several weeks more to recover that one crucial ingredient.

    Once all the other ingredients were organized on the table, Logray took the tightly wrapped package of Maknaa-Miin-Tii down from his topmost cupboard and placed it carefully at one edge of the satchel-cloth next to a few bundles of dried herbs. It must not be placed next to certain ingredients, for it was extremely volatile and could react violently with them if not mixed properly and in the right proportions. But Logray was not too worried: handling ingredients carefully was simply part of being a good shaman. He hoped to instill the same values in that apprentice of his, young Teebo, who (thank the Light Spirit) was already a levelheaded young fellow by nature.

    Still humming gaily, Logray wrapped up his satchel of ingredients, slung it over his shoulder, and began his hike out to the banks of the Yarlubb, where his young apprentice was due to meet him at high noon.

    * * *

    Tana blazed high in the vault of the sky as Logray arrived at riverside, just a short walk from the herdsman’s cottage. He set down his bundle and looked around.

    There were blasé tree goats all around, looking even more blasé than usual. They hung listlessly from their branches, bleating and squirming weakly as though in pain, and a sickly grayish hue tinged their eyes and muzzles. Young Teebo was already there, shouldering a bundle of his own; he was standing beside the head of one of the hapless goats, stroking it between the ears while whispering comforting words. As he saw his teacher approach, he stood at attention and inclined his head respectfully.

    Goopa, Master Logray.”

    Goopa, young Teebo!” Logray nodded to his student in response. “I see you’ve brought the brazier and the large cookpot as I asked you to?”

    “Yes, Master Logray. And Mother lent me some of her extra wooden spoons just in case.”

    “Excellent! Then let us get right to work.”

    Each began unpacking his bundle. Teebo set out the carved stone brazier and the cookpot, then laid the wooden spoons beside them. Logray set out his ingredients one by one in careful order, removing the parcel of Maknaa-Miin-Tii last and setting off by itself, far from the other parcels, phials, and herbs.

    “Now listen carefully, young one,” began Logray. “It is not every day that an apprentice such as yourself has the opportunity to make livestock tonic with Maknaa-Miin-Tii. If we succeed, we shall be rendering a tremendous service not only to Herdsman Roik but also to all of Bright Tree Village.”

    “I certainly hope we can, Master Logray! The poor things!” Teebo stroked the head of the goat near him, who let out a wistful me-e-e-eh.

    “But we must proceed with great care,” continued the shaman. “There are fewer minerals rarer or more volatile than Maknaa-Miin-Tii. I know you well for a perspicacious young lad, and I have the utmost confidence that you will listen carefully to my instructions and follow them precisely.”

    “Yes, absolutely, Master Logray.”

    “Good. Let us begin. I shall light the brazier, and you measure out two pawfuls of nerooloo powder into the pot.”

    Teebo obeyed, filling his hands with a bright yellow powder from one the parcels and emptied them into the pot. Once orange flames began to dance in the brazier, Logray placed the pot atop it, added a few sprigs of dried herbs, and shook in some inky blue liquid from one of his phials. Teebo took the longest of the spoons and began to stir the mixture, which soon released a pungent, herbal odor; that was Logray’s cue to extend his hands over the pot and began to chant mystical words half under his breath. Teebo continued to stir, and Logray continued to sprinkle in ingredients from his packets and phials at precisely spaced intervals. All the while he kept up his low, arcane chant, with Teebo’s youthful alto occasionally joining in on the prescribed responses.

    At last Logray, still chanting, unwrapped the precious parcel of Maknaa-Miin-Tii. The crumbly, almost pearly white-green mineral powder glinted as he raised the unwrapped parcel above his head, his voice swelling with mystical anticipation. Finally, in one swift motion, he hurled the lump of minerals into the bubbling mixture below. A sparkling burst of silver-green mist flared up from the cookpot, engulfing the two Ewoks and filling the air around them with a sweet, heady perfume. After a moment or two it began dissipate, and once the air was clear again, Logray spoke.

    “Now you, young Teebo, keep stirring this while it simmers. And do not stop stirring until I say so.”

    “Yes, Master Logray.” Teebo obeyed. The mixture was close to liquid now, and its scent still wafted tantalizing upward. Logray waved one hand over the pot and began another chant. Minutes passed, and more minutes passed, and more, and still Teebo kept stirring and Logray kept chanting. After several minutes the old shaman stopped and peered into the pot.

    “Time to add the shabuya butter, I think,” he murmured, picking up one of his parcels and examining it. “Oh, k’vark!

    This sudden and uncharacteristic exclamation startled Teebo, who almost dropped his spoon. “No, no, don’t stop stirring!” his teacher barked, almost harshly.

    “Is everything all right, Master Logray?”

    “Silly old fool that I am, I packed the kabuya butter instead of the shabuya butter,” answered the shaman. “It seems I shall have to head back to my hut for a moment. Now you, young one, keep stirring, and don’t stop for anything!”

    “Yes, Master Logray.” And as the hunched shaman lumbered back to the village, muttering under his breath, Teebo kept stirring, and stirring, and stirring. As he stirred, he gazed at the sickly tree goats, then at the clear, purling Yarlubb as it coursed by, then upward to feel the warmth of Tana on his face. And kept stirring.

    Then he heard it. A distant musical sound—the sound of a flute.

    And was pretty sure he knew whose flute, for he knew from the position of Tana that the hoodmaker’s shop back in the village had closed for the afternoon.

    It was a time of day he knew well . . . a time of sweet nothings in the grove of white flowers just above the cliff, a time when all the trees and shrubs and the sky itself took on the iridescent pink-blue aura of love and beauty . . . when Tana itself dimmed before the light of two gemlike black eyes . . .

    He thought he could see that same pink-blue aura now, enfolding him, the cookpot, the parcels and phials, the languid tree goats, the trees themselves. With each wistful, distant flute tone it glowed brighter. The scent of the white flowers of the grove flowed through it, commingling with the aroma of the tonic.

    And words, verses were flowing through it—verses he had written himself, for her, the distant girl with the flute:

    Lady of the bright braids,
    Awake, arise, and bloom!
    Tremble, moons and stars,
    As the two black suns shine forth!
    Ring out, valleys and groves,
    At the song of her perfume—


    “Master Logray? Wha—” Teebo opened his eyes to find himself sprawled on the ground, the wooden spoon beside him. His teacher stood over him, gesticulating frantically toward a grayish-green cloud that was rising from the simmering tonic—and growing by the moment.


    Teebo sprang to his feet, grabbed his spoon, and began stirring frantically. But the cloud only grew and grew, and as it did the tonic mixture bubbled more and more fiercely. Logray took another spoon and followed suit, jabbering hasty incantations, but it was no use. The entire surrounding area was now engulfed in the fragrant, gray-green miasma rising from the pot, whose contents were now shining with a silver glow.

    “Master Logray! I can’t—”


    “But I can’t even see my own—”


    Just then the silver glow flared upward out of the pot, igniting the greenish cloud in a tremendous, dazzling explosion of silver-green light. Screams and bleats filled the air as Logray, Teebo, and several of the tree goats were lifted into the turbid air . . .

    The universe went white—then silver-green—then white—then both . . .

    * * *


    “’Mwhat?” Teebo blinked and sat up. One of the tree-goats, a female, was standing beside him, nuzzling her head against his.


    “What did you say? What—” He gazed at his woolly interlocutor and almost jumped out of his fur at what he saw. The goat’s coat was now a healthy, soft, shiny white, and its yellow-green eyes were bright again, with no sickly gray cast surrounding them.

    “Now what if . . . just what if . . .”

    Carefully he cupped one hand below the goat’s udder, then squeezed it gently with the other. A stream of warm white milk spurted out onto his palm. He held it to his mouth and licked it up. It was as rich and creamy as good tree goat milk should be.

    “By the Light Spirit . . . you’re . . . you’re all better!”

    Teebo got up and looked around. He saw the brazier, now extinguished, and the cookpot, and the half used packages of ingredients. He saw the wrappings that had once held the precious Maknaa-Miin-Tii, of which nothing now remained except a few whitish crumbs. A little ways off he saw Logray sitting up and repositioning his churi-bird skull headdress on his head, muttering something about being “too old for this.”

    But what mainly struck his eyes were the tree goats. All of them, Roik’s entire herd—not just the one who stood beside him—were now as healthy and energetic-looking as ever. Some munched happily on leaves as they hung from their branches; others gamboled and played among the foliage, baahing happily. Their coats, white and gray and golden and everything in between, shone in the light of Tana.

    “Master Logray!” Teebo ran over to his teacher and helped him to his feet. “Look! The tree goats! They’re better!”

    “Oh? That’s nice to hear,” Logray grumbled, avoiding his apprentice’s gaze as he smoothed out his robes. “Next time I’m going to make them plain old grimp-root syrup. May the Night Spirit take me if I use that accursed Maknaa-Miin-Tii rubbish for anything ever again.”

    “But Master Logray, they really are better! They’re not sick anymore! Their fur looks . . . nice again, like it should! And they’re giving milk!”

    The shaman glanced around, noticing for the first time the happy, healthy quadrupeds disporting themselves in the treetops. He too tested and tasted the milk of another nearby female.

    “Well, well! So they are, by the Great Tree! Not so bad, for forgetting to stir the pot.” He wagged a finger at his apprentice, his dark eyes gleaming almost mischievously. “Now, what exactly was it that happened to you there, young one? I have seen the spirits of nature overcome you before, but I’ve never seen them do anything quite like that.”

    “Oh, uh . . .” Teebo fidgeted with his hands. The pink-blue aura seemed again to be before his eyes, the far-off song of the flute in his ears, the scent of the white flowers in his nostrils. How could he possibly explain to his crotchety old Master the way sight and sound and smell had melded into a single overwhelming and indescribable sensation—the sensation of that lovely grove above the cliff, of the white flowers and the black eyes?

    “That Maknaa-Miin-Tii is strong stuff, Master Logray,” he said at last. It wasn’t completely a lie. Who knew what role the potent white-green powder may have played in what he had seen and felt? Such powerful minerals and herbs were known to have intense effects on spirit-sensitive minds—and not all of those effects were yet known.

    “I’ll keep that in mind,” remarked the shaman as he began to repack his satchel. “Now pack up your gear and let’s head back to the village. That old pot of yours”—he gestured to the cookpot, whose inside was now thoroughly coated with cooked-on gray-green sediment—“is going to need a good scouring.”

    “Yes, Master Logray.”

    Teebo collected the brazier, pot, and spoons and wrapped them back up as best he could. As he walked with his teacher back to the village, he turned to give the tree goats one last friendly nod, and he was certain he received at least a few cheerful me-e-e-ehs in response. After several minutes, the familiar huts and walkways of Bright Tree Village loomed before them, and Teebo thought he could once again hear the sound of the beloved flute far off through the rustle of the leaves . . .

    Perhaps the cookpot could wait. ¶

    Maknaa-Miin-Tii is fanon and is named for a mint- and mineral-based face mask called Mask of Magnaminty and made by Lush. EP once told me she hoped to get the word “Magnaminty” into a fic sometime, and, well, I thought I would try rising to the challenge. All names other names of ingredients are my creation as well.

    Teebo is, of course, the original Ewok Poet, and of course I couldn’t resist trying my hand at a bit of actual poetry for him—though I’m pretty sure it’s nowhere near as cool as what EP herself has come up with for him.

    The girl with the flute is, of course, Latara. The grove near the cliff with the white flowers is a location that figures in the last chapter of EP’s Snowed In, and it is one of Teebo and Latara’s favorite wooing spots.

    Sunken Lake is my own fanon location on the Forest Moon of Endor. Tana is the Ewoks’ name for the gas giant Endor, the planet the Forest Moon orbits. Roik is an OC.

    Blasé tree goats:
    Churi bird:
    Gondula Ewoks:
    Yarlubb River:
    achanes, Sith-I-5, Kahara and 4 others like this.
  10. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Jul 31, 2014

    Послато са SM-J500FN уз помоћ Тапатока
  11. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Jul 31, 2014
    A couple of days later, here I am, after even more sugar and caffeine that I should technically be allowed to have and a sudden bout of head cold. :D

    I won't lie - there was a point when I was 100% sure that you were cooking something up - when you asked me way too many specific questions about the Ewok lore. I had to mention goats, because what's a Goatday without goats, and more goats? Goatgoatgoat!

    This is one of the best things I've got for my birthday - both this year and, well, ever. On top of it, unlike the very bizarre thing that arrived to me in March of 2011, at least I clearly know who orchestrated this and where I stand with that person.

    What impressed me most on my first read was how you got these tiny little bits of dialogue right - the way Logray speaks to Teebo, the way Teebo speaks to Logray. And with Teebo's voice being referred to as an "alto" (I really, really don't know how Eric Peterson did that in the first season of Ewoks, but it definitely was an instance of a 39-year-old man talking like a prepubescent boy!) and all these crazy, crazy colours throughout the story, one can see that you watched the cartoon series and enjoyed it. I pity the poor souls who can't, but you know it.

    Another thing I'm amazingly excited about is the fact that there is now an Ewoks story on this board and it's not one of mine! Sure, there was a drabble Admiral Volshe wrote when she aced the drabble-a-thron at the Olympics, but this is the first...err...story-story?! :D

    Now, going through the story...

    Maknaa-Miin-Tii is awesome! And the Sunken Lake village makes me think of the original Bright Tree Village concept from the early draft of ROTJ, before the inventions such as Endor being in the Outer Rim, before Paploo was introduced as a character and so on. I can totally visualise how this place would look life.

    Never thought about an actual need for somebody to herd blasé tree goats, but it absolutely makes sense. Go Roik!

    Great to see Mooth in this. I have a role for him in the one of my current fics where he's the least expected character to appear and he's cool!

    Hey, not that there is a mineral inspired by Mask of Magnaminty, but there's nerooloo, which I get is Endorian neroli. :) The little tiny wee lemon of happiness. Wowzers!

    It's funny how harmless the start of the story is - Teebo is there before Logray, tending to poor sick goats in his typical animal empath manner, being polite, obedient...

    ...and then, one single thought of his girlfriend makes him screw it all up, bigtime. :D Not that he wasn't getting lost beforehand, in his typical fashion, but I knew that, once he does, it would have had to be related to Latara in some way. [face_love]

    I'm still standing by what I originally thought - that love is universal and that it was the secret ingredient of this tonic. While it was not the same type of love, it implies a connection with other beings, caring about their well-being and it transcends the boundaries of magical formulas. Now, if I was to look at that from a chemistry-only POV, there is probably a different explanation, involving overheating and not stiring...but I prefer the less rational, cosmic one. :D

    And looks like Teebo and Latara are in for some quality time together in the end, either way. ;)

    I may edit this if I get more thoughts...
    achanes, Sith-I-5, Kahara and 3 others like this.
  12. Findswoman

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

    Feb 27, 2014
    Hope you are now feeling better. <3

    I figured you suspected something, because I wasn't very good at concealing it and dissimulation is not one of my strong points. :p (But hey, I want to say that I've gotten questions from you now and again that evoked similar suspicions. ;) ) And that time in our conversation when you mentioned that you wanted goats for your birthday made me smile—because I had already written some! :D

    Well, that is definitely one of the best compliments a birthday story can get. I'm blushing now. @};- It was really the least I could do to thank your for your support and friendship over the past year and a half or so, and to pay tribute to one of the most inventive authors to grace these forums of ours. :cool:

    I did indeed enjoy it, very much, and I have you to thank for introducing it to me! Logray and Teebo stood out to me a lot when I watched—I knew your particular fondness for Teebo, and of course I agree that there's just something about those mystical, scholarly types. [face_love] But there was the fabulous added bonus that both those characters have similarities to characters I'm writing right now! So writing Teebo and Logray was mainly just a matter of writing those other two characters, with a few adjustments.

    And of course pretty colors and musical tones are one of my weaknesses and have always been among my favorite things to write about.

    I am pleased as punch about that too, if I do say so myself, and I'm glad I could be the one to make that so. I'm sure it will not be the last one, either! ;)

    I just had to get Mask of Magnaminty in there somehow, as stated in my notes—and what better way than to have it as one of Teebo and Logray's own shamanic ingredients! I visualized Sunken Lake Village as kind of a slightly brighter, cheerier version of the Gondula village you wrote in the prologue to The Other Moon, and figured a lake like that would be rich in potent, healthful minerals that could have wonderful effects in the hand of an expert shaman.

    Thanks! They do seem to be herd animals, or at least they're hanging out in a herd when we see them in the first Jinda episode. It makes sense that there would be people who are skilled in taking care of them and harvesting their their milk and wool. I'll make sure Roik comes back sometime!

    He is! I liked him from the start, and he seemed like the logical person to provide Logray with rare ingredients from afar, seeing as he deals in rare everything from afar.

    Just had to get that in there, too! :D

    All those things are equally true to his character, without any contradictions, or at least that is how I've always seen him. He is a model apprentice shaman; he is a model animal empath; he is a model of patience, compassion, politeness. But he's also a head-in-the-clouds teenager in love.

    But that's the thing—and you observe this below—the thought of Latara turns out not to screw everything up after all! Indeed, as you say, it was arguably what made the tonic work, albeit unexpectedly. It certainly got the job done a lot faster than going through the whole prescribed process of making the tonic would have (more stirring, a long cooling period, more ingredients, etc.). More on the matter below...

    And the chemical vs. cosmic explanations don't have to be mutually exclusive, either. Whatever Teebo may have forgotten to do with the spoon and the brazier was more than made up for by his absent-minded thoughts of love. Neither Logray nor Teebo knew that the resulting blaze would heal the goats anyway—but both Maknaa-Miin-Tii and love have a lot of unknown properties and powers. :cool: And hey, maybe it takes a particularly sensitive and empathic presence like Teebo for the full powers of Maknaa-Miin-Tii to be unleashed! Hmm, now, this is making me wonder about how to craft the character of Maknaa herself... [face_thinking]

    Natch! ;) There will be much flute playing, much weaving of verses, many sweet nothings, and a lot of beautiful fragrance. I loved the white flower grove at the end of Snowed In and just couldn't resist bringing it back in.

    I won't say no to that! ;)

    Thanks again, for everything! @};-
  13. Sith-I-5

    Sith-I-5 Force Ghost star 6

    Aug 14, 2002
    Just Ask Dad; or, Talking Things Through on Taris

    Great story, very enjoyable.

    I have never played the game, but I found the comm call so engaging, and loved the idea that within the Star Wars universe, someone sat on the bed and called their Dad.


    And the old fella, completely non-plussed about the swoop gangs and stuff, till she mentioned the name of some bloke she had been travelling with.
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  14. Findswoman

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

    Feb 27, 2014

    Thanks so much for stopping by and reading, I-5! Glad you enjoyed this rather silly piece, which I basically wrote on a whim based on an odd dream I had. I guess that was my mind's subconscious way of saying that I love that same idea! Given all the hectic rigamarole that the KOTOR player character has to go through at just that moment of the game, some sympathetic encouragement from a loved one seems like just the thing she (or he) would need.

    But you know how things can be with loved ones... they give encouragement, but they're equally likely to latch onto the darndest little irrelevant details... and then bellyache about them. Like what people of the male persuasion may be in regular close contact with their daughter (shocking!). Stann is a combination of both of those aspects, just as he's a combination of sensible advice (don't let her get you down, tell her who's boss) and totally preposterous advice ("lightning" her, choke her). :p

    Many thanks once again! @};-
    Kahara and Ewok Poet like this.
  15. Findswoman

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

    Feb 27, 2014
    By the way—and I do apologize for the double post, but—I wanted to take a moment to thank all of you who nominated two of the stories in this thread for the 2016 Fanfic Awards: "Just Ask Dad; or, Talking Things Through on Taris" (Best AU, Best Character, and Best Relationship in Before) and "Opus Sixty-Six" (Best Short Story in Saga). This means so much to me coming from such a mighty fine community of readers, and I just can't thank you enough! @};-
    divapilot, Kahara, Ewok Poet and 2 others like this.
  16. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Jul 31, 2014
    It's well-deserved. <3
  17. Sith-I-5

    Sith-I-5 Force Ghost star 6

    Aug 14, 2002
    A Blaze of Blasé

    @Findswoman - what a great birthday present you present here.
    You knitted the tapestry of this tale together like the native that Ewok Poet already is, starting with familiar looking territory: Logray's hut interior seeming very reminiscent of where your Gand watchmaker worked.

    I was suspicious of the origins of the "Maknaa-Miin-Tii" as soon as I clapped eyes on the word, and I liked the various blessings of the Light Spirit; I could feel Logray's gratitude to the trader.

    The situation at hand was fed to us at an appropriate pace, and there was an incredible amount of detail put into something that apparently is not your own area of interest.
    Good geographical layout in the wider sense, though difficult to tell how far the goat spot was from the village, which only matters when the shaman has to head back because of the butter confusion.

    Great grasp of ingredients, chants, the mixing process, and the care taken around Maknaa-Miin-Tii to keep it clear of other items. Good interactions between the two Ewoks, and I liked the bit about the older Ewok adjusting his hood/helmet after the explosion.

    I kept expecting Teebo to **** up somehow, to stop stirring through tiredness or whatever, but I did like that it was not his fault.

    Overall, a very pleasant tale. Well done.
    Ewok Poet and Findswoman like this.
  18. Findswoman

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

    Feb 27, 2014
    Sith-I-5, thank you so much for taking a chance on my first attempt at an Ewok story—I'm so glad you enjoyed it!

    Yep, I fully admit that the Maknaa-Miin-Tii (aka Magnaminty) is a bit corny. :p But it's by way of an inside joke between me and Ewok Poet, since she and I are both fans of Lush, the company that makes the real Mask of Magnaminty (and she even used to work for them when they had a shop in her city). Similar deal with the "nerooloo powder": neroli is featured in several of Lush's products, and it's a favorite ingredient of EP's.

    I'm glad the details came off well and seemed for the most part convincing; I sometimes have a habit of too much detail in stories. :p You're right that the Ewoks are a new area for me in fanfic writing, and I did have do a bunch of research. Fortunately, thanks to the influence of Ewok Poet, I had a good deal of it under my belt from viewings of some of the animated episodes from the 80s, which are all available on YouTube. (And many of them are really quite fun and interesting.) And I guess some aspects of my previous stories spilled into this one a little: the Logray of the Ewoks cartoons turned out to be very similar to a senior Gand Findsman that features in my Book of Gand, and of course you noted with the similarity of Logray's interior to that of the Gand watchmaker. But isn't that what happens when one writes? :D

    Teebo both is and isn't at fault with the stirring mishap—but then there's the whole question of whether to call it a mishap to begin with, since it turned out to have a better effect than even the correctly completed tonic might have had. Naturally some unknown properties of the powerful Maknaa-Miin-Tii were at work, but so were other, less tangible factors... see what EP says about that in her review above. ;)

    Once again, thank you so much for reading and commenting! :)
    Sith-I-5 and Ewok Poet like this.
  19. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Jul 31, 2014
    This needs to be pointed out, so, so, so many times!

    Now for awards...

    Stann 4 prez! Stann 4 prez! Stann 4 prez! Stann 4 prez! Stann 4 prez! Stann 4 prez! Stann 4 prez! Stann 4 prez! Stann 4 prez! Stann 4 prez! Stann 4 prez! Stann 4 prez!

    Who would say that a story based on a dream could turn out to be so, so effective? Awesome things happen and awards that Just Ask Dad got are totally deserved! Plus, yeah, STANN! The coolest dad-dad kind of a dad ever!
    Findswoman likes this.
  20. Sith-I-5

    Sith-I-5 Force Ghost star 6

    Aug 14, 2002
    Commence Orbital Bombardment was...odd.

    For me, handicapped by things having to make sense, commencing the operation from where the SD was at the end, just above the clouds, would have worked better than the ship being high enough above the planet to see it as a jewel, because I don't see how that payload is going to get delivered.

    Also, not seen this Imperial Governor, Rebel Cell arrangment before.

    I assume that the friendly relationship is why no-one bothered to alert the Rebels that a Star Destroyer had nosed into orbit; I would have thought it would be the sort of thing they would like to know about.

    The backward writing of the flimsi sticking to the window was a nice touch, as were the switching of SW brand names for Post-Its, etc.

    Admiral Volshe was suitably entertained, so it did its job. Top marks for that.
    Findswoman likes this.
  21. Findswoman

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

    Feb 27, 2014
    Thanks for reading and reviewing, Sith-I-5.

    I freely admit that it was never a priority for me in this story for everything to make perfect, logical, empirical sense—in some of my stories it is, in others (especially the more humorous ones, like this one) less so. I guess one could say that the operation started from the higher-up point and that Admiral Tatsu then moved in closer as things progressed? :D Remember, too, that this payload doesn't need to be "delivered" per se—they're just making the sticky notes and such rain down on the planet in celebration of Kára Volshe's birthday.

    As to the governor-cell arrangement, that was mostly just for convenience; it's mainly a way to get Kára some kind of good reason for being stuck on this planet doing something boring. Notice, though, that I wrote that sector governors only occasionally sign these things with Rebel cells, so it's by no means meant to be presented as some kind of regular, routine thing. [/loophole]

    Could be, certainly could be, but who's to say they don't know about it? :p The Imperial contingent, Kára included, almost certainly knows about it—it's just the celebratory orbital bombardment of Stikk-Itt notes, Wite-A-Way strips, and ColorBall Deluxe Holographic Flimfetti that would have caught them unawares! :D

    Glad you enjoyed those. :) They were a lot of fun to write, and the Stilkk-It notes were particularly topical for me because not only have I loved Post-Its pretty much from my youth up, I also use them a ton at work, and the office supply cabinet is right outside my office. (Also I kind of had them on my brain at the time I was writing this, since I had just recently used them in "A Lesson under the Arboray Trees?"—whoo-hoo for intertextuality! :p )

    Why thank you! I do appreciate your coming by and giving it a read. :)

    Oh, and I just noticed that I totally forgot to acknowledge this:

    Thanks. :) The Hokey Pokey may or may not be what it's really all about, but intertextuality (both iwithin one's own work and with other people's) really is what it's all about in this wild and wonderful realm we call fanfic. :D

    Thanks so much, Ewok Poet! I'm just thrilled to the Forest Moon and back that that story and its characters got all the love it did. Thanks and kudos to a bunch of really swell readers. @};-
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  22. Findswoman

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

    Feb 27, 2014
    Author: Findswoman
    Title: Hoses, Masks, and Canisters
    Era: Saga—Legends
    Characters: A Gand Findsmaster and his two apprentices
    Genre: Vignette
    Summary: Two apprentice Gand Findsmen are briefed on how to use their respirator equipment for the first time.
    Notes: This story serves a twofold purpose. First, it is my entry for the Poetry Inspiration Challenge. The poem I received was no. 16, “Naming of Parts,” by Henry Reed:

    To-day we have naming of parts. Yesterday,
    We had daily cleaning. And to-morrow morning,
    We shall have what to do after firing. But to-day,
    To-day we have naming of parts. Japonica
    Glistens like coral in all of the neighboring gardens,
    And to-day we have naming of parts.

    This is the lower sling swivel. And this
    Is the upper sling swivel, whose use you will see,
    When you are given your slings. And this is the piling swivel,
    Which in your case you have not got. The branches
    Hold in the gardens their silent, eloquent gestures,
    Which in our case we have not got.

    This is the safety-catch, which is always released
    With an easy flick of the thumb. And please do not let me
    See anyone using his finger. You can do it quite easy
    If you have any strength in your thumb. The blossoms
    Are fragile and motionless, never letting anyone see
    Any of them using their finger.

    And this you can see is the bolt. The purpose of this
    Is to open the breech, as you see. We can slide it
    Rapidly backwards and forwards: we call this
    Easing the spring. And rapidly backwards and forwards
    The early bees are assaulting and fumbling the flowers:
    They call it easing the Spring.

    They call it easing the Spring: it is perfectly easy
    If you have any strength in your thumb: like the bolt,
    And the breech, and the cocking-piece, and the point of balance,
    Which in our case we have not got; and the almond-blossom
    Silent in all of the gardens and the bees going backwards and forwards,
    For to-day we have naming of parts.
    Second, this is by way of my own little fanon study of the nuts and bolts of the Gand respirator apparatus, expanding on the little that is laid out in the Wookieepedia “breath mask” entry (“gas processing unit” comes from there). If anything here seems mechanically improbable, please let me know, because technological details are not my strong point.

    As usual, I thank Kahara for her invaluable beta-reading and feedback. @};-

    Hoses, Masks, and Canisters

    “Now, your respirators, please, and turn this way, if you will.”

    The two apprentices began to unbundle their respirator gear from its storage pouches. Then they swiveled their seats to face their Findsmaster, who already held his own gear. He continued.

    “Now, the first thing to do is to double check the tightness of the hose connectors. Intake hose . . . upper, lower . . . there. Outtake hose . . . upper, lower . . . there. Ammonia canister . . . perhaps a little tighter . . . there. All secure and in order. No risks can be taken here, since even the tiniest opening will expose your lungs to toxic oxygen.

    “Next, check the canister. It should be full, and the liquid inside should be anywhere from light green to light blue, and bubbling slightly, like this . . . There was a Findsmaster once who described it as looking like Madman’s Tears, though his was a Flyssruk, which use the hexa-aqua-cupric process, as you may know, which gives them a bluish tinge, and yours are from Grenn-Aulun, which uses the penta-chloro-phosphic process. Then there are the Grenn-Mygra heavy-duty models, which one must hold up to one’s earhole in order to listen for the effervescence . . . But in any case. If the liquid in your canister is at all yellow, or if it is not bubbling, or if there is excessive mineral buildup at the bottom, dispose of it immediately in the hazardous materials receptacle. There is a crate of spare canisters in the cargo hold.”

    “There seems to be . . . something on this one.” The senior apprentice, male, scraped with a curved brown claw at a gray-white mineral crust that encircled the intake connector of his canister.

    “Oh yes, that is normal. Simply scrape it off.” The apprentice did so. “That is a normal result of reactivity in certain atmospheres. Whoever wore that last probably was in the vapor-crystal mines below R’gnnath, the Mists only know why . . . At any rate, buildup on the outside is of no concern. It is only when the buildup is inside the canister, where it can impede the chemical process and . . . well, you certainly can guess the rest.

    “At any rate. The next step is to secure the gas processing unit to your person. It seems as though you”—he looked again at the senior apprentice—“have already affixed yours to the back of your harness. Good. And as for you”—he turned to the junior apprentice, female—“simply keep yours in its storage pouch and place it over your shoulders on your back—you’ll need to tighten the straps a bit more so it doesn’t slip off—there, good. Oh yes, and it is vitally important that the gas processing unit not be activated until you enter the airlock.

    “Now, secure the canister. In your case”—he spoke again to the older apprentice—“you will use the securement straps on your harness . . . yes, that should be tight enough . . . and as for yours, perhaps”—to the younger apprentice—“well, it may be best simply to place it at the top of the storage pouch. Could you assist her with that, please?”

    The senior apprentice obeyed, unzipping the pouch on his younger companion’s back and carefully placing her canister inside. She glanced back toward him as he did so, only to turn away again the moment his eyes caught hers.

    “And next,” continued the Findsmaster, “take the collar assembly—it should already be attached to the intake and outtake hoses—take the collar assembly in both hands. Place it over your head”—he demonstrated with his own—“and adjust it so that it fits snugly around your neck and fully covers both neck and jawline . . . good . . . oh dear, that is very slightly too large on you, isn’t it?” He looked at the junior apprentice. “No matter, simply pull up the collar of your robe to pad it underneath . . . there, that should suffice.

    “Now, at last, the mask. This is the final stage and in some ways the most difficult, as each Gand’s mandibles are shaped slightly differently and not all masks fit equally well with all mandible shapes. Grenn-Aulun masks generally fit a fairly wide range, though some Southern Non-Breathers—

    “But no matter, since neither of you is a Southern Non-Breather. First of course, you must attach it to the collar unit, making sure the intake and outtake connectors are aligned properly—no, no, young one”—to the junior apprentice—“that’s the intake connector and that’s the outtake connector—there, there you are, good. Now, fold it upward into position over your mandibles, and then—and this is the part that can be slightly . . . uncomfortable . . . at first—interlock it with your upper labrum, like this.

    There was a loud, unsettling organic snap as he demonstrated, and two slightly less loud but equally unsettling organic snaps as the apprentices followed suit. The Findsmaster spoke again.

    “Thd y’bsst fft th’ntdduh grrd—Sscrd Vzhnry Mssts!” Quickly he pulled off his mask and repositioned it with another snap. “There, better. Humblest apologies. That is what happens when the mask is incorrectly positioned. Now, to continue. Fit the antenna guard into place so that your antennae and nostrils are fully covered”—there were three slight snicks as the three of them did so—“and ensure that its bottommost tab is securely seated in the mask unit . . . like this . . . there. And now, if everything fits correctly, you should be able to—”

    “Apologies for interrupting, but—” It was the junior apprentice who spoke.

    “Yes, young one?”

    “One of your palps . . .” Her voice softened almost to a whisper as she turned to the senior apprentice and gestured with a small claw toward his mask.


    “It is . . . sticking out . . . just a little . . .”

    “Oh yes! Very, very important!” exclaimed the Findsmaster as the senior apprentice turned to one side and began to fumble feverishly with his mask. “For the love and mercy of the Sacred Visionary Mists, make sure that the mask is covering your palps completely. Otherwise your sensory setae will be singed clean off by the oxygen fumes. If memory serves, that very thing happened to one of your ancestors once.”

    So saying, he tapped the senior apprentice on the shoulder. The younger Gand turned to face him, gave a desultory grunt of acknowledgment, then returned to his negotiations with his mask. The junior apprentice, whose mask was positioned perfectly, lowered her eyes as if in embarrassment.

    “There,” said the senior apprentice at last, turning to face the others. “All is done.”

    The Findsmaster craned his head close to his student’s face, scrutinizing his mask and antenna guard. “Good, good,” he said at last. “Much better. That should be all, then. To the airlock.”

    Waddling slightly under the unaccustomed weight of their gear, the two apprentices rose and followed their teacher into the airlock hatch. The door closed behind them.

    “And now you may activate your gas processing units. Oh dear . . .” The Findsmaster leaned close to the senior apprentice, who had just adjusted the controls on the back of his harness. “It looks as though she may need your help again.”

    The senior apprentice hurried to the assistance of the junior apprentice, who was struggling to open the carrying pouch on her back. As he unzipped it and began rummaging in search of the processing unit controls, the Findsmaster continued.

    “Now remember, young ones. These respirator units are your life as long as you are on this mission. Even the slightest damage to them can cause grave injury at best, death at worst, so it is absolutely imperative that you not remove or readjust any part of them for any reason, or allow anyone or anything else to do so. Fortunately the Grenn-Aulun units tend to be well made, with high-quality materials, but one must always consider the possibility that—”

    He was cut short by a yelp of discomfort from the junior apprentice and a flurry of apologies from the senior apprentice, whose hands were still fumbling deep within the carrying pouch.

    “Is everything in order, you two?”

    “He almost pulled off her intake hose,” came the junior apprentice’s barely audible reply.

    “It was unintentional,” rasped the senior apprentice hissed as his master shot him a stern glare. “One needs an Advanced Mist Query to find anything in this befoggèd—ah, there it is.”

    There was a slight click from within the depths of the pouch. The senior apprentice withdrew his hands and zipped it closed.

    “Thank you graciously,” she said.

    “It is nothing,” he said.

    The Findsmaster took this as his cue to activate the airlock controls. He stood in thought as the Gandlike ammoniac atmosphere hissed slowly out of the small room. Certainly there was something else he had planned to say to the two apprentices before they all set out on their mission, but fog take him if he could remember any of it now.

    Instead he looked at them: they were now looking at each other. Two pairs of orblike compound eyes—one blazing silver, one burnished gold—were locked onto each other with luminous steadiness. And that tiny, faint clinking sound—was that the sound of mandibles clicking cheerfully behind metal?

    The airlock switched off; the outer hatch opened. The Findsmaster waved one hand over his students’ heads in a gesture of blessing. There really and truly was nothing more for him to say now except the customary parting benison:

    “May the Mists show you two silly younglings the way.” ¶

    If you are familiar with The Book of Gand through the beginning of part three, you may recognize the three characters in this story. ;)

    Findsmaster: My fanon term for a senior Gand Findsman who trains apprentices in the Findsman way and trade. See my Gand fanon post.

    The three firms mentioned in this story—Flyssruk, Grenn-Aulun, and Grenn-Mygra—are all fanon. Grenn-Mygra is mentioned in chapters 9 and 10 of The Book of Gand.

    The “hexa-aqua-cupric process” and “penta-chloro-phosphic process” are pretty much just technobabble, though the former is loosely inspired by the aqueous copper ions in this chemical reaction. (Of course, since all of you reading this are perspicacious folks, I don’t have to remind you not to duplicate that demo at home unless you’re an experienced chemist. :p )

    Non-Breathers are one of the established Gand subspecies, though my own fanon is that there is still quite a bit of variation even within subspecies—hence the Findsmaster’s comment about “Southern Non-Breathers.”

    Advanced Mist Query: One of the Findsman techniques referred to in chapter 15 of The Book of Gand. And yes, I know I should add it to a fanon post at some point.

    “May the Mists . . . show you the way”: This greeting is based on one of the characteristic quotes assigned to Zuckuss in one of the early West End Games RPG publications: “The Mists will show you the way.” In my fanon understanding, it’s a customary greeting or blessing among Findsmen the way “May the Force be with you” is among Jedi.
  23. divapilot

    divapilot Force Ghost star 4

    Nov 30, 2005
    This was really cool. I liked the paternal way the Findsmaster cared for his apprentices. They sound very brave, seeing that the slightest maladjustment or inaccuracy could be lethal. The poem is beautiful and applies so perfectly here.

    It's your attention to detail that marks your stories. The depth of the story, the confident knowledge you have about this species. makes them (dare I say it) even more "human."
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  24. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Jul 31, 2014
    I too am impressed with the level of detail here. Some of us are not capable of this by any means, yet you pull it off effortlessly. And, since I asked you and you answered - the fact that you never took a diving class makes this even more impressive, at least to me.

    First of all - of course that I recognise the characters! And I can see a level of affection at the very end that was not there before. Why are they secretly cracking their mandibles at each other like that? Hmmm... ;)

    The Findsmaster may be describing things in a very frightening manner - after all, one mistake and they will suffocate - but the point where Telfien just schools him and he confesses to a potentially lethal error was funny. :p
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  25. Findswoman

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

    Feb 27, 2014
    Thank you both so much for reading and commenting! :)

    Thank you so much, and I'm so glad you took a chance on this, given the esoteric subject matter and all! Yes, this Findsmaster is a caring, paternal sort who has deservedly and genuinely won the trust of these two students—they do know that the slightest maladjustment could mean instant death, but they know that they can be confident in the instructions he gives. (Except, of course, when he forgets important things like not to let your palps stick out! But perhaps the fact that his students are so perspicacious about that is ultimately a result of their deep trust in their teacher. So he really can take a lot of credit after all.)

    It's a fantastic poem and one I've always found fascinating, especially for the stark contrast of the two... well, worlds, almost, that appear in it—the nuts-'n'-bolts mechanical world of the very strict gun instructions (there too the slightest mess-up could equal disaster) and the beautiful, dreamlike descriptions of the spring landscape and flowers. I tried in some small way to present some version of that contrast in this story. 'Twas hard, though—it's a difficult poem to work with in a writing exercise of this sort, and I guess that's why it took me upward of a year and a half to finally come up with this story!

    Well, thank you so much. :) From a writer as keyed in to detail and nuance as you are, that's quite a compliment. I have always loved how deeply developed the GFFA species were, and one of my favorite things about writing them is precisely the challenge of making them accessible and "human" in a way that doesn't efface their distinctness. It's a challenging balance, but so rewarding!

    Thank you, I appreciate that very much from you, because I always consider your stories some of the detail-richer ones these boards have to offer. :cool: I almost wish now that I had taken a diving class, because I bet there would be no better way to experience the whole "Be extra super duper careful and do all this stuff exactly right or you'll DIE A HORRENDOUS DEATH!1!1!" dynamic first-hand. Though I remember when you first asked that, I misread it as "driving," and yes, some drivers'-ed classes out there tend in that same direction, too!

    I figured you would! :D

    Well, mandible-clicking is just (at least in my fanon understanding) the equivalent of a smile. :p But you may indeed be on to something... ;)

    Ah ha—but whom is she really schooling there? Well, both of them at once, I guess: it's the senior apprentice gets all mortified and has to fumble around with his mask, but it's the Findsmaster who realizes that he left out an important part of his instructions. But being a good, proper Gand Findswoman apprentice, this junior apprentice at least goes about the schooling in an appropriately self-deprecating manner. And perhaps, just perhaps, that adds to the funniness. :p

    Thank you both once again! @};-
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