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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
    Hoses, Masks and Canisters

    With everything else going on in your other stories, how and when the characters learn to use breathing equipment (like that seen in most of the canonical appearances of Gands) didn't even cross my mind as a mystery. So this came as a lovely surprise. All the side details that Volokoss throws in are just enough to infer that there's a whole rich, quirky history just out of sight here, the way there is with any real-world technology that has existed for a while. :) Repeating my earlier notes, the descriptions/details give it a steampunk feel. The tech sounds pretty, with the clear containers full of liquid in green/blue shades. And it's neat that the Findsmaster's tangent shows there are a few different variations and manufacturers, which seems realistic.

    Like others mentioned, the potentially lethal nature of the technology they're working with (well, maybe not quite -- I suppose it's like falling and it's the grounds/the unfiltered air that kills you [face_worried]) adds tension but also a whistling in the dark sort of humor to the proceedings. Think I mentioned in earlier notes that it was a bit reminiscent of learning to drive. Terrifying consequences, seemingly arcane rules, teachers who may have been doing this for years without incident but don't necessarily remember what it's like not to know how... :eek:
    [face_rofl] No pressure or anything! That said, I love how he reacts to the apprentice's query here. It's just a really fun moment. Since all is fixed and no one's losing any setae today.

    :D Aww! It's cute to see them so eager to head out on an Adventure here, [hl=black]as well as having some of the friendship/attraction that we've seen hinted with these characters in other works.[/hl]

    The parting benison for the silly younglings is another of my favorites here, since I think the Findsmaster means all parts of that phrase with complete sincerity. ;) Funny but it shows a real caring for his students too.@};-
     
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  2. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014
    Coming back for what I did not quite expect to do, my *second* comment on Just Ask Dad. Because I played KOTOR up to this part and now I feel more qualified to enjoy this - previously, my credentials included only "I went to Kotor back in 1997" and that was...not quite good. :p

    The very beginning. When Bastila utters that, unaware of how she was restrained in that cage and wearing that otherwise pretty corset that's kind of inappropriate for a Jedi on a mission (what the heck happened there?), I absolutely understand why would anybody need help from Stann da Man(n).

    And now I can see just how much Katts trusts Stann after all, allowing him to call him that...given some of Carth's not-so-appropriate flirting from earlier that day. Wow.

    What's super-interesting is the subtext of Stann's suggestion that Katts should "lightnining" Bastilla. Because, that means that he remembers something, given that [hl=black]Katts is not even a Jedi Padawan yet at this point[/hl].


    If only he knew how hard it was to get anything beside those panties at first...says the person who took a two-digit number of tries to open the first footlocker. Ohwell, at least the person who saw Katts in that state died for the greater good and can't tell Carth. Oops, did I really write this here? :D


    Carth is not present at that point at all - only swoop racers and their mechanics are allowed near the course, so I guess that, to quote Kneesaa from that one time when she teased Latara about Teebo: YOU HEAR CARTH EVEN IN YOUR DREAMS. :D

    That part was just nauseating and I kind of wanted to punch Bastila. No wonder she [hl=black]falls to the Dark Side at some point in the game[/hl]...those ego-waffles again. Ouch!

    That won't help much at first. :p

    And what's interesting now that I saw Bastila is that Stann could be boosting Katts' self-esteem the wrong way - Bastila is like THE BABE or something and having an "average" woman set her up almost always leads to blaming the person for being jealous. Behave, ol' man.

    So, yeah - playing the game makes this story even better. Not that it wasn't perfect to begin with. :)
     
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  3. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    You know, I just realized I never replied to these. OhwhatagooseIam! [face_blush] Time to remedy that right now:

    Thanks so much! It made sense that that kind of technology might be just involved enough that it would take some time to learn how to use, and that Findsmen in particular would have to spend some time with it, given all the dangerous terrain they have to traverse in the course of their work (you may remember Gorruss and the mine survivors in the mountains in the early BOG chapters, for example, so yes, even on their own homeworld this kind of thing becomes necessary). I hadn't thought about it quite those terms before, but I guess the steampunk vibe is consistent with most of my other descriptions of the Gand and their cultural environment, which also came out sort of that way. And it always made sense to me that there would be different types and manufacturers, since one does see some significant differences in the way the gear looks in different illustrations.

    Yes, that's pretty much exactly it!

    I know just what you mean, and I remember that feeling well! But as with driving, it will turn out to become second nature to them in no time. They're smart youngsters. :D

    Oh, indeed, no one is! That's not an allowable outcome. :p Both [hl=black]Zuckuss[/hl] and [hl=black]Volokoss[/hl] are meant to be a little chagrined here, the former because of being called out by the junior apprentice, the latter because he forgot to mention such an important point.

    I was going for one of those sudden teenage transitions here: yes, the junior apprentice is annoyed at having her tube yanked, but the annoyance dissipates pretty quickly on account of just being about to go out on this mission with "her" senior apprentice, whom she looks up to so much. And same on his side, of course.

    Absolutely. He is 100% sincere both in caring for them very much, but also in considering them a bit of a handful sometimes! Teen-herding, even with just a few very well-behaved and smart teens, can really take it out of one, no matter the species. :)

    Thanks, as always, for your wonderfully detailed and perceptive comments! :)

    Yep, the two Kotors are very different sorts of places! The RL one sounds quite nice, though. :)

    Yep, that is, as I recall, the very first thing (or one of them) that Bastila says to the player character. And I remember being all like, "what the...?" I mean, not even the simplest "thank you," after all that running around like a headless chicken that the player character does in order to rescue her? That whole exchange put me off Bastila for kind of a while for that very reason. As for the "circus-suit" outfit, my impression was that the Vulkars put her in that outfit when they took her prisoner—that, plus MUST APPEAL TO CERTAIN SPECIES O' FANBOYS. :p

    Oh yes. Stann at least has dad credentials on his side; he's been calling his daughter silly stuff for long enough that all she feels the need to do about it is roll her eyes a little.

    Bang on—that too is part of the point. Might he know more about her past identity(ies) than Katts does herself at this point? [face_thinking]

    Oops, you really did! :D Not like he even gave her so much as a second glance, anyway. :p

    Oops again! My mistake. I hadn't seen the walkthrough video in a while when I wrote "Just Ask Dad" and I probably should have checked it. But Carth was with you up to that point, and he was definitely fighting by your side in other places on Taris, so it's not TOTALLY wrong for her to still have him in mind as someone who's helped in her trials and tribulations.

    Yeah, that exchange too was another thing that soured me on the character at first—her sheer entitlement in thinking that she should be in charge just because she's the Jedi. And yes, one does see what led to that; it's perfectly consistent with her character. (One tip from the walkthrough I saw, if you return to playing the game: [hl=black]just before that point you'll want to de-equip her down to the most basic, least threatening weapons, clothing, etc., because you do have to fight her[/hl].)

    Of course. That whole business is all very fuzzy the first few times. But she does eventually do a bit of tsundere-like warming up. Eventually.

    Ah ha, an interesting interpretation; I hadn't quite thought of it that way before, but it makes sense. But Katts, as we know, will eventually learn that she has absolutely no reason to be jealous of Bastila. Bastila may have the perky hair and the frou-frou accent, but it's girl-next-door Katts who is going to become the Prodigal Knight and the savior of the Galaxy. :cool:

    Well, gosh, thanks. <3 That means I've done my job! And I'll be curious to hear your impressions of the rest of the game (which I myself have to sit down someday and actually play, too). :)

    Keep watching this space—more stories on the way very soon! :)
     
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  4. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    Author: Findswoman
    Title: Graceful as Water
    Era: Saga—PT or OT (though this could take place during any era on Tatooine)
    Characters: Tusken Raiders
    Genre: Vignette: romance (!), murder (see rating and content warning)
    Summary: A young Tusken warrior declares his love for the chieftain’s daughter in an unexpected and horrific way (again, see rating and content warning).
    Rating: PG-13 for violence. CONTENT WARNING: [hl=black]Assault, murder, blood. There is no sexual violence per se, but there is the implication that the man gets a certain amount of pleasure from the violence he’s perpetrating.[/hl]
    Notes: Written for the Celtic Song Challenge. I received the disconcertingly bouncy [hl=black]murder ballad[/hl] known variously as “The Oxford Girl,” “The Wexford Girl,” or “The Knoxville Girl”; see here for videos and lyrics. The rendition that particularly inspired this story was the one by Shirley and Dolly Collins (open spoiler for video):

    Many, many thanks to Kahara for her much appreciated beta-reading and feedback. @};-


    Graceful as Water

    Chieftain’s daughter!

    I saw her once in the double sunset, riding over the dune on her bantha heifer with the white-tipped fur. The jewels of her mask glinted in the twilight, and her skirts and wrappings fluttered behind her in the desert wind, as gracefully as water.

    I heard her cries of joy and success—for she had just come from gathering black melons in the Jundland Wastes. The basket of precious fruit was strapped on the saddle behind her. In a twirling motion she took herself and it down from the heifer’s back, then cradled it in her arms as she brought it to her mother and the women of the camp. Their happy shouts greeted her, and as she moved through the admiring crowd, she was like the desert wind herself, or like the rivulets of an oasis—graceful as water!

    Yes, I saw and I heard, and my heart was pierced and bludgeoned for the chieftain’s daughter, as graceful as water.

    I saw nothing but her, heard nothing but her, smelled nothing but her. My thoughts wandered to her on raids, on hunts, in the tribal council, around the storyteller’s evening fires. All my raiding, plundering, and killing was done for her. I longed to have her linked to me in the shamanic bond, to draw her close to myself, to unwrap her from her veils and shawls and skirts in the darkness of a tent . . .

    Would she have me? Without a doubt! I am a warrior of no small ability. I have slain two krayt dragons besides the one I hunted at fifteen suns, at my coming of age. I led the raid that subdued the tribes of the Northern Dune Sea. Of all the youths my age it is I who have brought my tribe the most plunder, the most water, and the most glory. Surely she (or any other maiden of the tribe) would be mad not to have me.

    And yet . . . she was so young. The Great Moon had only made three of its circuits since she had undertaken her fifteen-sun krayt hunt. The mask and robes of adult womanhood—oh, that mask, those robes!—had only been on her those three moon-circuits. She was her father’s jewel. The question nagged at me: would he agree to my suit, or would I have to wait?

    No, I would not wait. I thought on it further—and made a plan.

    One evening, the twin suns were sinking to rest, the campfires were smoldering, and the storyteller had just finished singing and declaiming of our tribe’s past glories. I saw the graceful girl making her way back to her tent; I approached her and asked if she would stroll with me under the light of the three moons.

    She assented: “Yes, I shall go with you, but first I must return to my tent and retrieve my gaderffii. The night is dark, and there are dangers about.”

    “You will not need it,” I responded, simply.

    She stood for a moment, looking at me—and then we walked together away from the camp, up toward the great dunes.

    We walked together several minutes, saying little to each other except for scattered comments on the beauty of the evening and the moonlight. What was there to say? Speaking would only drown out the sweet swish of her skirts over the sand. Now and then they brushed against my feet, just as water splashes the sides of the drinking gourd. Here, by my side, at last, was the girl as graceful as water!

    At last we reached the summit of the highest dune. I stopped. She also stopped. We looked out together, over the sleepy sands, out at the shadowy night. And then—

    Then I drew my own gaderffii—the largest, the fiercest of any of those made by the youths—and I struck her.

    Yes, I struck her—on the back of her head. I struck her again, and again, piercing her sand-shroud and head-wrappings until—oh wonder—streams of dark blood coursed their way down her shoulders, as gracefully as water!

    How she shrieked, how she screamed! “Stop! Please, please stop!” But how could I? She was more beautiful than ever now in her bloody agony. I struck her again—and again—and again!—and her blood flowed, and her screams filled the air!—until at she collapsed motionless on the stained sand.

    I stood for a few moments in bliss, gazing upon the lovely, bloodied form stretched before me. Then, wiping and stowing my gaderffii, I dragged that precious burden to the edge of the rocky cliffs—and hurled it in! And the blood poured out as water now made a beautiful sunburst on the chasm floor.

    I turned and made my way back to the camp.

    * * *

    They found out, of course. Her bantha—the pretty heifer with the white-tipped fur—had followed the scent of her blood first to the dune, then to the edge of the cliff, where she was found sitting and pining three days later. It did not take them long to trace the deed to me. I was captured, bound, and hauled before the chieftain.

    He railed at me and condemned me, all the while shaking with rage and grief. I was sentenced to be exposed in the Laguna Caves, to become the prey of the krayt dragons I once hunted. Not that I cared. I had already had my pleasure, and how could any punishment ever take it from me?

    And there I am now. The night darkens and chills as I lie bound on the jagged stone, awaiting the crunch of the dragon’s jaws. It has surely smelt me by now, for its growls grow louder and closer every minute. But let it come! I am not afraid. My final throes will be brightened by the memory of that lovely evening—atop the dune with the chieftain’s daughter, whose blood flowed over the sands as graceful as water! ¶




    The Wookieepedia article on the Tusken Raiders (Sand People) is here. Just to summarize, here are a few points of particular importance to this story: (a) water is sacred to them, and they believe all water is rightfully theirs; (b) they do embark on a krayt dragon hunt at age fifteen as a coming-of-age ritual, after whose successful completion they may finally dress in a way that distinguishes their gender; (c) gaderffii sticks are handmade by each warrior, with each being different; and (d) each adult Tusken has a bantha mount of the same sex with whom he or she bonds closely.

    The Great Moon: Tatooine has three moons—Ghomrassen, Guermessa, and Chenini.
    I’m not sure if the Sand People would know the moons by these names, but they certainly would see that there are moons and that they are different in size (Ghomrassen is the biggest and is thus the “Great Moon” referenced here), and it would make sense that they would use one or more of the moons as an aid in timekeeping, just as we Earthers do.

    bantha: http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Bantha
    black melons: http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Black_melon
    gaderffii: http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Gaderffii_stick
    krayt dragon: http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Krayt_dragon
    Laguna Caves: http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Laguna_Caves
    Northern Dune Sea: http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Northern_Dune_Sea

    Finally, I hope all my readers will believe me when I say I do not in the least condone the protagonist’s course of action. This story was a bit of an experiment for me, since usually it’s very hard for me to relate to protagonists who have no redeeming qualities at all; that’s part of why I felt the need to have the man punished at the end, which of course does not happen in the song. The best I can say is that I hope it came off all right, and to thank Pandora for putting this challenge together and teaching me some new songs. @};-

     
  5. divapilot

    divapilot Force Ghost star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 30, 2005
    Holy guacamole. :eek: That is one twisty story, Finds! Yet it's graceful and lyrical and ALMOST makes sense.

    The narrator is someone for whom only the best will do - the best hunts, the best at leading the assaults, the most glory. Only the best maiden in the village will do for him - and only for him.

    This is a society that blends pain and aggresssion with mysticism and pleasure. The fact that he takes such extreme pleasure over destroying her isn't all that surprising. She is graceful and happy, well-loved; she must be possessed, and in such a way that nobody can possess her afterwards. The narrator isn't afraid of being caught- it isn't even a consideration. To do the act is all. What happens afterward is of no consequence.

    Excellent response and very true to the song lyrics. =D=
     
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  6. Raissa Baiard

    Raissa Baiard Chosen One star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 22, 1999
    Graceful as Water

    Wow...I have to say bravo for turning this brutal and disturbing song into a story that is lyrical and,in its own terrible way, beautiful…even as it remains brutal and disturbing.

    Your descriptions of the chieftain's daughter are so vivid, it's easy to picture her moving in the desert sunset with the harsh breeze making her heavy clothes flutter around her. It's quite an achievement that you make a member of a species known for violence and ferocity seem graceful and dainty, even beautiful and desirabledespite the fact that every inch of her is covered. I know you are fond of the Song of Songs, and I can see parallels between her and the Beloved of the Song: her grace and virtue, her industry in successful foraging, the way the women of the camp exult in her. And she is not just graceful, but graceful as water, something ineffably precious and sacred.

    Instead of the tender Lover of the Song, we have the brash warrior, who thinks a little well of himself. He has no false modesty about his accomplishments or the fact that "she (or any other maiden of the tribe) would be mad" not to want him. He covets the maiden as soon as he sees her, and becomes obsessed, thinking of nothing but her. But his desire turns to violence' when he persuades her to walk in the moonlight, this idyllic scene, which is described so beautifully, so romantically
    turns not into a lovers' tryst but murder. And chillingly, her bloody death is described just as lovingly
    We can only speculate to the Warrior's reasons. Was he unwilling to wait for her or afraid her father wouldn't give his permission? Did the Tusken penchant for violence run stronger in him? The desire to claim her completely as Tuskens claim all sacred water? Was it sheer madness that turned desire for her into a lust for her blood? The senselessness of it all is breathtaking and even worse is that, whatever his reason, the Warrior remains unrepentant even in the face of death.
    This is so chilling; even at the end he glories in his senseless violence, in the destruction of something good and precious, even sacred in its beauty.

    Once again, bravo! This is a dark gem of a story, lovely and chilling all at once.
     
  7. Mistress_Renata

    Mistress_Renata Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Sep 9, 2000
    Seriously creepy, so beautifully written, and so hard to understand that mindset which is, alas, all too common IRL... "If I can't have her, no one will!" And perhaps he could have had her; he didn't know that the chieftain would turn down his suit. But no, no one else could even admire her beauty, so only he could be the one to destroy it...ugh. Glad he was ended, but I hope it was slow and painful. Maybe they should've dumped into the Sarlacc pit...but it is a fitting end for him to be munched by the Krayt dragon. Not a happy song to end up with, Findswoman, but WHOABABY did you pull it off! You have such a gift for description...^:)^
     
  8. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014
    This is one creepy, creepy viggie...

    ...that matches the song you got in the roulette, perfectly! Not only that, but it reminds me of another famous murder ballad - Banks of the Ohio. Not sure if that comparison makes sense, though. And the symbolism of water is there in all three cases, used in three different ways, with the same outcome. *shivers*

    The unexpected lyricism of the Tusken narrator adds to the above, for sure. We don't expect them to be like that, at least not from how they are depicted in the films - blood-thirsty, aggressive and capable of beating an innocent being to death. Here, the paradox is something to think about - while the Tuskens are certainly not primitive when it comes to their thoughts and language, they are tribal and barbaric to the extent where something like this would happen. :( And the idea of the female being young just adds to their barbarism.

    This is just beautiful - some symbols here are typical for love poems and songs, some to Tuskens themselves and their surroundings on Tatooine.

    The scene where water mixes with water after the male Tusken takes pleasure in beating up the female to death is biblical, in a way. And he can do anything, but he could not have made her love him.



    ...and I am glad he got what he deserved, in a manner as barbaric as his own assault on the female.
     
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  9. Pandora

    Pandora Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Apr 13, 2005
    This is indeed a brutal story--but as others have pointed out, it was inspired by a brutal and disturbing song. After I read it, I listened to the Shirley and Dolly Collins version of "The Oxford Girl" for the first time since I posted it in the challenge thread--and just as the story of that song was told through the beautifully pure voice of the singer, you have used beautifully lyrical language (and I do feel the echo of the old, old stories like The Song of Songs in the lines) to tell a terrible brutal story in the voice of an irredeemable narrator.

    The Warrior is indeed an irredeemable kriffslider--and actually, it might be too kind to call him that. He thinks very well of himself, and does not hesitate to say as much. And naturally, he sets his sights, and his obsessive interest, on the best maiden of the tribe, the daughter of the cheiftain. He does describe her beautifully, and very sensually--particularly considering that, as Raissa Baiard has already pointed out, she is completely covered from head to toe. And their evening walk across the dunes is equally beautiful, almost innocently so--which makes the change to violence all the more jarring.

    The Warrior, much like the narrators of "The Knoxville Girl" and other similar murder ballads, does not dwell on his motives. Though it is clear that he intended from the outside to kill her--he refers to making a plan, and tells her to leave her own gaderfii behind, thus leaving her defenseless--and that he doesn't want to wait on the cheiftain's permission, that is all one has to go on. And he is definitely excited by beating this woman to death, and even throwing her from the cliff--even as he awaits his own death, he remembers this in the same way, and in the same light, as a romantic encounter.

    But then he is caught, and receives his fate, which is fitting--while in the Collins' version, the narrator is neither caught nor punished, in many other murder ballads, they end with the narrator facing down either the gallows or life in prison. It is not surprising that in a culture like this Tusken Raider tribe, they have a more brutal judgment. (I do wonder if it would have been the same had the cheiftain's daughter not had such a high standing in the tribe, but there is no way to know).

    I won't say that I feel at all sorry for him as he waits for the krayt to come, but he is, if accidentally, right about one thing: his punishment won't change what happened. That beautiful, graceful girl will still be dead.

    Finally, thank you for writing this for the challenge!
     
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  10. Kahara

    Kahara Force Ghost star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 3, 2001
    This is one of those stories where there is just so much that it's hard to put it into words. Disturbing as it is, I like that it's so vivid and entrancing at the same time. I would almost expect the beginning to seem less beautiful after reading how horribly things go in the end, but it doesn't seem to work that way.

    My heart just hurts for the chieftain's daughter (who doesn't even get a name from the narrator, for all that he goes on describing her attractiveness as a prize in such glowing terms). She really does seem rather wonderful in the brief glimpse we have, happily bringing her hard-earned harvest to her friends and relatives. It's quite the challenge to manage that from the viewpoint of someone so utterly self-centered, but it works. Because he only really is fixated on the commodity of her gracefulness, on her being something to possess just as the water is something to be possessed. What she does, who she is to the ones who care about her, those seem to be side details in his mind -- remembered but not essential.

    The narrator of course, is another matter.



    While we have no way of knowing if any of these claims have a grain of truth, his own estimation of his importance seems to need a bantha-sized tent all to itself! :rolleyes: And it seems more monstrous, if he truly believed that the girl might have accepted him, that he just went ahead and killed her anyway. But then, as I think I already said during editing (in some sort of order and coherence), whatever reasons and justifications the narrator might have had ultimately seem like a distraction from the root of the whole thing. He just honestly believes he had a right to kill her because his obsession created a sense of ownership. Which seems right in keeping with the traditional song in its way-too-many forms.

    There is, of course, evidence that the murder is a manifestation of something that was already there in way the tribe lives; the narrator was raiding and killing (presumably settlers and/or other Sand People) for quite some time and this was a normal part of daily life. It's the shocking act of turning on one of their own -- and the chieftain's daughter, no less -- that makes him reprehensible even to a warlike society. But then, there is so much we don't know. The girl he murders may only seem so innocent because we only see her in certain contexts, or she may be what she seems. Her tribesmen and women may normally be more like her than they are like him. The narrator may not be the best gauge of these things... As with the characters' individual motivations, I rather like that we don't exactly know the details.

    The killing itself is all the more brutal and awful for how the narrator still sees it in such a poetic light. Never mind the awfulness of what he's doing, never mind her pleading for mercy, he's just completely fixated on how her death is as graceful as water. I can't say I'm sad to know he gets eaten by a krayt dragon, although it seems as though there is little that can really offer any balance to such horrors. It's awful to think of that poor bantha pining for her, and what the rest of her family and friends must have felt when they discovered the murder.

    A haunting story, sad and frightening but very well done!
     
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  11. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    Thank you all for reading and responding to this story, and for your insightful comments—I appreciate your taking a chance on this very different-from-my-usual type of story. @};-
    Thanks so much for commenting! "Twisty" pretty much sums it up—I'll take that as a compliment. :D But as you point out, pain and pleasure are kind of twisted up together in this story, either in this society or in the protagonist's mind. Happiness is possession, and whether it's violent possession almost doesn't matter because, yes, the act of possession is all that counts. (I hadn't really been able to put that quality into words before, but with the help of your review I managed to—so thanks so much!) @};-

    Thank you. :) That mix of brutal and beautiful was just what I was going for, and I'm glad you felt it came off effectively.


    Wow, I never thought of it that way before, but you're right—good comparison! She really is kind of like the Shulammite in the ways you mention, beautiful in a sacred way (because what's beautiful and what's sacred flow into each other in the Song of Songs). And then, yep, I guess the warrior is totally the opposite of the tender shepherd lover: the latter epitomizes selfless, loving devotion, while the latter is brash, full of himself, and unable to form connections with anyone except in a totally selfish "I want that one" kind of way.

    Because that bloody death, of course, is ultimately what he loves most about the girl and the moments he spent with her. The moment of killing and mutilating was for him what the Big Kiss would be for most young lovers on romantic trysts. And if she doesn't see it that way? Doesn't matter, because she's out of the picture anyway! (Ulp! [face_worried] )

    Any and all of those reasons would work; here, once again, following the lead of the song, I leave it totally up to you readers. (Apparently there are some versions of the song where it's implied that the girl had told her lover she was pregnant, though that definitely wasn't the case in the version I listened to—and plus, that's been done to death. :p )

    To him, that's precisely what the good and precious things of this universe are for: to be enjoyed through destruction. And yes, the Tuskens are known to us for being destructive, but even they have their limits—they're sentient beings, after all, who know the difference between what what's good and worthwhile and what's not and consider it depravity when that difference is not respected.

    Thank you once again. I appreciate your reading and sharing such insightful comments. @};-

    Thanks so much, Renata—the song itself is such a downer I wasn't sure I would manage to pull this off! :D For anyone with a modicum of civilized feeling, this kind of mindset really is a difficult one to wrap one's head around. I guess the fact that he didn't even bother to go to the chieftain to ask for her hand goes to show that he wasn't really ever after that to begin with—it was a front of sorts, or perhaps a nagging of the conscience that he quickly dismissed. I actually did consider the sarlacc pit as a punishment; I can't remember now why I ended up going with the krayt dragon instead, but I think I had a reason of some kind. :p

    I looked up "Banks of the Ohio," and definitely belongs to the same family of ballads as "The Knoxville Girl," so yes, it makes total sense. In both that and the version of "Knoxville" that I listened to, the murderer throws the girl's body into the river; of course on Tatooine one has to make do with rocky chasms, but I figured I could still make her blood flow like water (which would also have the bonus of tying into the importance of water to the Tuskens—her blood is as sacred to him, in a way, as water is to their people).

    That was pretty much the very balance I was trying to strike here—yes, they've got this reputation (in- and out-of-universe) for mindless barbarism, and yes, the nature of the society plays a big role in enabling the protagonist to do what he does. And yet they are sentient beings who live in some kind of organized society—which to me says there has to be some kind of notion of what's right and wrong, what's good and bad, and even what's beautiful and what isn't. Put another way, even in a culture that values violence and plunder, there is such a thing as perverting those values—taking them to improper extremes.

    I imagine love poetry and songs as being among those "galactic universals," and that certain elements of them would be near-universal—but that of course each world and culture would blend those universal elements with local, specific elements as well. Having said that, it was a big challenge to write those love-poetry-like sequences in a way that made sense on Tatooine—sand and wind and rock imagery only goes so far! Or does it? :p

    An apt observation, because the image of blood being poured out like water comes up in some ancient and medieval Hebrew poetry in connection with martyrdom, and of course it's an image in Christian tradition as well: the piercing of Jesus's side, from which both blood and water flowed. That was indeed the kind of thing I was thinking of here.

    Again, even though it's not part of the song, I just didn't feel right not having the protagonist get his just desserts in the end. We'll see how he feels about beautiful blood being spilled out on the rocks when IT'S HIS OWN! [face_devil]

    That was indeed the objective I had in mind here, and that's perhaps one of the reasons I found the Collins version of the song more relatable than some of the other versions that were posted, particularly the bouncier bluegrass versions. It didn't feel right at all to turn the story of such a horrible act into something happy—but for some reason turning it beautiful, though challenging, didn't seem beyond reach. After all, the Collinses had already done that, so why not me too, I thought? ;)

    He is unredeemable, indeed (which is a type that is usually very hard for me to write, read, or relate to, so again the experimental nature of the story), and he definitely takes the maxim "for the best, the best" to perverse extremes—and then some, because he regards violence as the natural next step in experiencing that "best." Beauty and violence go hand in hand for him; the latter is the natural, elemental response to the former.

    Again, just as with the song, I felt it most effective to leave the question of motives up to the readers—if indeed they matter at all, because the outcome would have been the same whatever they were, and I think outcome matters more than motive to this protagonist, too. Though the jollies he gets from indulging in the violence might be one answer to that question; maybe he's gotten similar jollies from past raids, etc., and wants to see if he can achieve The Ultimate Pleasure by way of killing the one dearest (!) to him.

    That's a good question; I hadn't really thought about that either way (this is another thing to be left up to the readers, I guess)—but I imagine her standing certainly didn't hurt in terms of getting justice executed sooner rather than later. It's reassuring to know that other murder ballads do end with the punishment of the murderer; that way I feel less like I took a liberty by punishing the murderer in this story!

    True, that. For him, that's a happy thing—for us, it's a profoundly sad thing.

    You're most welcome! I'm very glad to have been a part of it, and thank you for putting this all together. @};-

    Thanks so much for this fantastic comment, and I'm so glad that the story worked for you despite the disturbing elements (which were hard for me to get around, myself). Again, thanks as always for your valuable feedback. :)

    She doesn't get a name in his mind precisely because he doesn't see her as a person, just as a pretty prize or commodity. (But notice that I gave no indication of his name either—so fair's fair! :p ) And yes, he only notices her good qualities (of which she has several) insofar as they relate to his own lust to possess her. His love for her isn't really love for her—and likely not even love, even though love is something a wonderful gal like her definitely deserves.

    Yep, exactly—one can speculate on the question of his motives till the banthas come home, but they ultimately don't matter—all that matters to a person like this is outcome. The end justifies the means, because he got SO MUCH pleasure from it, and it was the ultimate way for her to be HIS AND NONE OTHER'S. Which is of course part and parcel of his own inflated self-important—being So Immensely Important he has to have his pleasure and lust for possession satisfied AT ALL COSTS. (And you were perfectly coherent on that point during the edit—no worries! :) )

    Yep—again, I'd say that the nature of the society this character has grown up in definitely must have played some role in leading the protagonist to this point. Though ultimately there are limits—there have to be—and he's manifestly passed those limits. And I agree that those kind of details are often best left to the imagination of the readers; there is a big and complex mixture of motives and factors at work here. (I personally do see the girl as completely innocent; she's very young at this point and just

    Oh, he's beyond reprehensible, for sure, and his bizarre attempt to turn this act of violence into something beautiful and poetic does indeed make him (and the deed) even more so. It of course stems from the fact that the act of violence is almost more something he's doing for himself than to her—she doesn't even factor in, in his mind, only his own appetite for destruction. Contrast that, of course, with the grief of the bantha heifer—a nonsentient beast cares more for the graceful girl than a sentient of her own tribe. And of course we see that her death has greatly affected her father, too, and likely the same will be true of her mother and all those women who were so happy to see her come riding back with those melons. Yes, for the loss he's wrought, that warrior is going to deserve every gruesome moment of his death—but of course even that can't right the main wrong that's come out of all this: the loss of the graceful girl.

    Thank you so much! And thank you once again for feedback and your role in its genesis. @};-

    And now, do keep watching this space, because a new story is on its way shortly! (Which is also about about odd happenings on Tatooine—go figure... :p )
     
  12. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    Once again, I thank Kahara for beta-reading, and Ewok Poet and Raissa Baiard for pre-posting feedback. @};-


    Author: Findswoman
    Title: Beautiful, Inexactly
    Era: Before the Saga
    Characters: Shmi Skywalker and… ??? (brief appearances by Watto and Borvo the Hutt)
    Genre: Vignette; romance of sorts
    Summary: A young Shmi Skywalker is called beautiful by… who or what?
    Notes: Written for the Romance Quotes Challenge in the OTP and Pairing Thread. The two quotes I received via dice throw are shown below the spoiler tag:
    23. “You are not beautiful, exactly.
    You are beautiful, inexactly.”
    (Marvin Bell, To Dorothy)

    4. “Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it; if a man would give all the substance of his house for love, he would utterly be contemned.” (Song of Songs 8:7)


    Beautiful, Inexactly

    “So, why me?” the brown-haired Tatooine slave-girl finally got up the courage to ask one evening as the gentle breeze once again rippled through her cell. Thus it had done each of the last several evenings, after she had bolted the day’s last bolt, riveted the day’s last rivet, and retired to her cell.

    “How do you mean, why me?” When it (he? she never could quite be sure) spoke, it spoke in not in words but in thoughts.

    “Well… why am I the one you visit like this?” She, however, spoke in words, not knowing any other way.

    “Who says you’re the only one I visit like this?” came the reply. “But you’re right, this time you are.”

    The girl pondered for a moment. Suddenly a surge of childlike romanticism rose in her heart.

    “Is it because”—and here she rose from her chair and twirled her homespun skirt—”is it because you think I’m beautiful?”

    “Beautiful? Oh, no. Not exactly.”

    “Oh, I see.” She slumped back into her chair, disappointed. Perhaps it figured. Here on Tatooine the cantinas and Hutt-palaces held numerous dancers, entertainers, and nightladies in beautiful, colorful jewel-studded clothes; they were no doubt much more pleasing to the eye than a droid-fixing drudge in burlap. Especially those Twi’leks and Zeltrons—everyone knew they were the best of the best. How could she possibly compare?

    And yet—it (he?) was here, with her, and not with some jewel-studded Twi’lek...

    “Now don’t misunderstand me,” it said again, quickly, as if sensing her chagrin (it was uncanny that way). “I said you’re not exactly beautiful. But one could say…” There was a pause; she felt the breeze closer now, rippling the loose strands of hair that trailed down onto her neck. “One could say you are inexactly beautiful. Think of how the sands drift and swirl in the wastelands.” She thought about it. “Think of how the wind carves the rock of the cliffs.” She thought about that, too. “The beauty you have is like theirs.”

    She ran her work-roughened hands over each other, over her prematurely lined face, over the mole on the back of her neck, and over the wispy hairs unraveling from her braid. Yes, drifting sands, rocky cliffs... that seemed about right. Tatooine didn’t have things like flowers or trees, after all—the things considered beautiful in storybooks and holofilms.

    “You are silent,” it said at last. “Have I offended?”

    “No… not at all…” What she did not say is that no being had ever called her beautiful before and that she really had no idea how to react to it. Repair-slaves, male or female, tended not to be discussed in those terms.

    “Good.”

    The breeze rustled closer still, caressing her face and neck. She closed her eyes.

    * * *

    It came again the next evening, and the next, and the next, and the next. Again the voice (of sorts) spoke in her mind; again the breeze rustled against her skin. It was cool, gentle, refreshing—so unlike the harsh siroccos that blew daily through the desert.

    She wondered if it would bring up beauty again. It didn’t.

    * * *

    There was a hubbub the next morning. Watto stormed through the shop like one of those desert siroccos, now stuffing stray parts and scraps into whichever storage lockers happened to be open, now barking to the slaves and droids to tidy the place up. The girl obeyed as best she could. She knew what it meant, of course: that some kind of Very Important Visitor was expected.

    “And you!” Watto squawked at her as she was suction-cleaning metal shavings from one of the workbenches, wagging a clawed, blue finger. “Whatever you do, keep a low profile, eh? I don’t want him getting any ideas about any pretty female slaves of mine, no, no!”

    “Yes, of course,” was all she could reply, and found herself a nice, shadowy corner and a power-droid brain to rewire.

    Not long afterward, he arrived. A Hutt, obese and mucilaginous just like all of them were, leaving a trail of grit-laced slime wherever he dragged himself. After a series of effusively obsequious bows and greetings, Watto led him on the usual tour of the shop, during which muted, heated discussion could be heard. Through it all the girl kept to her corner and pretended to tinker with the power-droid brain, though her thoughts were really with the sands drifting and swirling in the wastelands, the wind carving the rock of the cliffs…

    “And who might this be?” The booming voice of the Hutt scattered those thoughts to the wind. She looked up to see him peering down at her through slitted yellow-brown eyes.

    Watto fluttered over, interposing himself. “Oh, heh heh, don’t you pay that one no heed, Great Borvo! Just one of my slaveys doin’ her thing with an old GNK processor, mmhmm!”

    “No heed? How do you expect me to pay no heed to such a fine specimen, Toydarian?” Borvo squelched closer to her. “Listen, girl—”

    “Oh ho ho, but Great Borvo, Your Vastness!” Watto interrupted again. “Surely a little fix-it slave is not worth the notice of such a grandiose personality as you, eh, hmmm?

    The Hutt ignored Watto and continued addressing the girl. “And why should a pretty thing like you waste away as ‘little fix-it slave’? Come with me, girl!”

    “Wh-what?” She almost dropped the tool she was holding.

    “Come with me, I said! I will give you beautiful dresses and jewels to set off that lovely face! And you will not be a slave! You will earn pay that would make a holofilm actress jealous! You will live in your own beautiful villa in the green hills of Nal Hutta! What do you say, pretty one? Does that not sound glorious?”

    Watto gnashed his crooked teeth. “She is not for sale.”

    “I wasn’t asking you, Toydarian,” Borvo retorted. “But your apprehension is… understandable. Rest assured you shall be amply compensated.”

    “GAAAHH! All right, girl, you heard him,” growled Watto. “Don’t keep His Vastness waiting all day, hmm?”

    She thought for a few moments. Freedom, nice clothing, pay—hadn’t she been longing for those things ever since the day Gardulla had first lost her to Watto in that sabacc game? And the prospect of finally leaving this this no-account Outer-Rim sandball was certainly a tempting one.

    And yet…

    At that moment a tiny, fleeting gust of air brushed her face. And in that moment her skin was like the sand drifted by the desert breeze, like the rock face being limned with beautiful inexactitude into intricate striated patterns…

    And she said, at last, softly but boldly: “I am not for sale.”

    The Hutt cursed and growled, the Toydarian snickered and gloated. They returned to their negotiations, she to her tinkering. And that evening, after she had bolted the day’s last bolt, riveted the day’s last rivet, the gentle breeze filled her cell and ruffled her hair, her face, her whole being in beatific currents. ¶



     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2018
  13. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014
    The way this is written, it reminds me of some Fabrizio de André songs. He wrote a lot about poor people, prostitutes and gamblers and I am pretty sure that, had he not lived in the XX century, slaves would've been up his alley, too. The way the divine makes Schmi self-confident, makes her listen and acts like protection cast upon her - that's the kind of lyricism only a good, modern bard would be capable of. So, say, are you becoming one now?

    I am not sure if I am meant to read it like this, but my first reaction upon completing it is "Wow, Schmi is one smart cookie - she can make a perfect difference between a divine entity or the Force, personified calling her beautiful and a Hutt crime lord wanting to lure her into a far worse life. The Force does want something from her, but it does not want to buy her, and there's a huge difference between those two things.

    And that divine entity is powerful - it can see every little detail on its protegee's body and therefore flow through her, it can make her feel empowered in a way, despite the fact that she's a slave, it can assure her that her beauty has other uses than eye candy and perhaps, perhaps that precise thing is what saved Schmi from a life of far worse slavery.

    I know you have been worried about the title for a bit, but the title is fine.

    P.S. For once, Watto proved useful. Or perhaps twice. He first won Schmi from a Hutt and then he didn't give her away to another Hutt, though there was an option to do so.
     
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  14. Kahara

    Kahara Force Ghost star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 3, 2001
    Shmi's early life is something that I've rarely seen in fanfic. Perhaps that is because it's bound to have been harsh and we know she doesn't get the Hollywood happy ending (though certainly she had some happier moments with Anakin, and some of her later years were at least better). But she must have had a life before, and this is a lovely portrait of what she may have been like as a young woman. She's less wise, though already a little world-weary, and still growing into the Shmi that we see in the films. I love how we get to see both the everyday and the ethereal aspects of her life here. She lives in a very constricted and hardscrabble world as a slave in the junk shop, while at the same time she's also in love with... well, someone, in a mystical way that defies easy explanation. And that other aspect to her life is just as real as the day-to-day routine of fixing machines and eking out basic survival.


    Love this description, and how it ties into the prompt. And it's a wonderful way of looking at the more-than-skin-deep beauty of the Shmi we saw in TPM and AOTC. @};-

    The way that the mysterious presence is characterized is really well done. It would be easy for them to seem creepily inhuman or like some ghost of a regular person. But we see enough of their conversation with Shmi to know that there is a genuine fondness there and that there is a kind of language barrier. (For lack of a better term; it's more like a gap in understanding of each other.) But the important part is that they both try to understand and communicate, which is endearing in an odd but sweet sort of way.

    Nifty word choice! The desert theme throughout is really well done.


    This definitely shows the practical streak that I remember from the films. Nice clothing and such might seem like a luxury at first glance, but considering the conditions she lives in on Tatooine it's probably a real concern from day to day -- just taking care of basic needs. And it's hard to imagine any young woman not seeing the appeal of freedom, even if the offer is as sketchy as this Hutt's.


    Still my favorite line/part from this story; I love that this version of Shmi has, in some way, a part in deciding her destiny. (Though I can see why people are fascinated with the whole "Plagueis and/or Sidious is Anakin's father by means of Sith sorcery" theory, it's nice to see a version where that isn't the case.) As Ewok Poet mentioned above, the fact that her relationship with the Force/midi-chlorian being (or whatever?) helps give her the confidence to know one thing for certain -- that she is not for sale -- is a powerful thing. The momentary nudge/support of the breeze that only she notices reminds me a bit of that scene early in ANH where Luke is looking out over the desert at the Tatooine sunset, and there is indeed a bit of wind ruffling his hair.



    (Okay, that's a strange tangent perhaps. But the idea that whoever/whatever is still looking out for the Skywalker descendants over the years is kind of neat.)

    Like how this is repeated from the beginning; it gives the feeling of how her days in the junk shop run in an endless cycle. Yet something has changed and will change.
     
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  15. Mira_Jade

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

    Registered:
    Jun 29, 2004
    Oh . . . wow. [face_love]

    Shmi's early life is something I too have read but little of, yet you touched on something I have only wondered before in passing: did she have any idea of what exactly was going on when she conceived Anakin without a father? The idea of the Force being an entity with the ability to convey speech, along with thoughts and emotions, is a fascinating concept, perfectly portrayed through your prose. I loved how it tried to explain how it saw Shmi to herself. This:

    - was particularly lovely. Your imagery and word choice was spot on through this entire vignette!

    It's rather fitting using the cliff imagery for Shmi, as a whole; there's such a quiet fortitude to her. Even with her position in life, she conveys such a strength of character and sense of self. When she turns the Hutt down, declaring that she is not for sale, thus knowing the difference between empty beauty and true beauty - that was so fittingly characterized and wonderfully expressed through your words. The Force certainly chose well. [face_love] I can't tell you how much I enjoyed this, and I thank you for sharing! [face_love]=D=
     
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  16. earlybird-obi-wan

    earlybird-obi-wan Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Aug 21, 2006
    I love to see Shmi in this turning a Hutt down
     
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  17. Raissa Baiard

    Raissa Baiard Chosen One star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 22, 1999
    Oh, this is lovely[face_love] A love story with a non-corporeal entity could easily have been kind of strange or off-putting, but you've imbued Shmi's beloved with such warmth and genuine affection for her that is sweet and tender instead. He (it? He...like Shmi, I'll go with he) is surprisingly down to earth for an embodiment of the Force. When he speaks to her, it's not high-flown poetry, but simple, honest language...even as he is describing her beauty. He could not have chosen a better metaphor for her and her inexact beauty. Like the sand dunes and wind, hers is a natural beauty. Unlike those jeweled dancers, she has a loveliness that simply is, a beauty that comes from the inside, and surely the Force knows that she is beautiful inside as well.

    It's significant that he manifests in the form of a gentle, cool breeze, the opposite of the harshness of Tatooine. He brings to Shmi so many things that have been missing from her life--respite from her difficult life, words of kindness, a gentle touch. Someone who sees her for who she is instead of what she is. And love, even if it is not exactly the conventional kind. No wonder she turns down Borvo's offer. She give up the love she has found for promises of jewels and dresses, proving she has not only true beauty but true strength of character...no wonder the Force has chosen her.

     
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  18. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    Thank you all so much, once again, for reading and commenting. :)

    Perhaps so, perhaps so! Writing can be a form of singing, just as singing is of writing. @};- You've mentioned de André before, and now I'm especially curious to hear his work—even the poor, dejected, and hopeless can experience moments of divine beauty (and sometimes all the more so). Any particular songs of his that you would recommend to a first-timer? :)

    Oh yes—she has a rough early life, but by no means is she dumb! She can see right away that the life offered her by the Hutt—even with actual pay—really is no more than a gilded cage and in the long run would really just be an even worse form of slavery than she already has.

    I'm glad to hear this came off this way, because at first I was concerned that the noncorporeal being was negging her with its "inexactly beautiful" remark, complimenting her in only a backhanded way, and that her choice between it and the life offered by the Hutt would be between a rock and a hard place. But when you put it the way you do, of course the choice is clear, even when the Force did begin its compliment in a slightly awkward manner. And yes, she did manage to escape from something much, much worse, thank the Force!

    Thanks! I thought about something like "The Gentle Breeze" too, though the imagery of the prompt poem turned out to be just too compelling not to use.

    Ironically enough, it was that other Hutt who offered her the chance to answer for herself, even when Watto was on the point of answering for her! But he ultimately consented to let her speak for herself, and that made all the difference.

    Thanks so much. @};- I always was partial to Shmi—and the very fact that her conception of Anakin was so miraculous alwas suggested to me that there was something ethereal and metaphysical at work in her life even amid the hardship and the harshness of slavery, and this story was a way to expand on that in my own fanonical little way, I guess.

    I always thought she was beautiful—she has such a sweet, sympathetic face that was at the same time so worn with care, just like those rockfaces and their striations.

    Thanks, and again, I'm glad this came off well and felt genuine and loving, rather than creepy. When it comes to corporeal beings communicating with noncorporeal ones, there have got to be some communication issues—and the important thing, as in any relationship, is just to listen and learn.

    Thanks! I figured you, of all people, would appreciate that particular word. ;)

    Indeed, and I would totally not blame her for considering taking the Hutt up on his offer—it's not at all wrong to want to take chances you can to make things better for yourself. And yet, given her previous history—she's associated with Hutts before and no doubt knows what might be in store for her, even in a situation where she would be nominally "free." (How would she be earning that money, for starters...? :eek: ) Part of why the breeze shows back up at that point might be to remind her.

    WOW! :eek: That's... really quite awesome, and I totally had never thought about that—but there it is! Oh yes, I like that idea very much—if this is a caring, loving being, why wouldn't it really want to support and nudge those it loves—and I am pretty sure I'll never look at that "twin suns" scene the same way now. :D

    I never really got into the Plagueis and/or Sidious theories myself; my own feeling is that the story is much more compelling if it is brought about by something ethereal and noncorporeal, because the emphasis that way is indeed on Shmi's own agency. It was just a matter of fleshing out the nature of that noncorporeal being just a little tiny bit. :)

    Oh yes, and that something—originating from this inexactly beautiful young woman in the junk shop—will send ripples through the whole Galaxy!

    And of course thanks once again, for beta-reading too—much appreciated, as always. @};-

    Thanks so much! I have wondered about the same thing, too (obviously, I guess :) ), and again, it seemed to me like the whole thing would be so much nicer, more interesting, and more compelling if there were some actual, personal tenderness behind it. Even if Shmi is later not sure of what exactly it was that happened or how the events fit together, (as she seems to be when she's talking to Qui-Gon in Episode 1), there's no way that kind of love and tenderness would not make a lasting difference to her—heck, she exemplifies them every day in her love and concern for her son. [face_love]

    Thanks so much! I really appreciate that coming from you, since you're such an ace with word choice and description. @};- The communication barrier mentioned above by Kahara is at work in this scene—the being is trying to express its love in the way its corporeal beloved can understand, but is understandably having a tiny bit of awkwardness about it and has to backtrack a bit. But she listens and understands all the same, and the message gets across—and that's the main thing. (The fact that the breeze uses its normal mode of communication at the same time—blowing gently over her—helps, of course.)

    Thanks, and I thought the same thing about the imagery of cliffs and wind-worn rocks—they stand strong in the face of the weather, but they also get gently, intricately shaped by it at the same time, in a way that makes them more beautiful and complex than when they started out. The Force couldn't have chosen better—and again, thanks so much for those wonderful compliments! @};-

    Thank you, and thanks so much for reading. :) Shmi has had her experience with Hutts; she knows that the advancement being offered is no more than empty glitz. And it doesn't hurt at all that she has an invisible ally helping boost her confidence in that moment of choice.

    Thanks so much! @};- Again, I'm so glad that this turned out not to be creepy and offputting. The beloved really is trying his hardest here to express his love for Shmi in both her human terms and his noncorporeal ones at the same time—and even though he struggles a bit with the former and has to backtrack, she knows he's totally sincere precisely because he is trying so hard. And of course see above about the complex beauty of the wind-carved cliffs...they don't look like much at first, but such beautiful patterns you can see when you look up close! (Which now makes me wonder what, if any, the breeze being's own role has been in beautifying Shmi...! [face_thinking] )

    Shmi's had such a rough life so far, being sold from one slave owner to another and forced to do such tedious drudge work from sunrise to sunset, that I just felt she deserved some gentleness and tenderness in her life—and oddly enough the established lore about her miraculous pregnancy provided an in for that. As someone who's had so many hardships, she's uniquely positioned to realize the value of that kind of gentleness when she sees it—to recognize it as love and not take it for granted. And that's where the Song of Songs quote comes in: she's been offered the entire substance of a Hutt's house, but utterly contemns it, because she's already got a love that many floods cannot quench.

    Ah, all excellent questions, and ones I continue to ponder too—possibly for future stories! ;) When I was first planning this story out, I thought about ending with the beginning of Shmi's pregnancy, at which point [hl=black]the breeze-being would no longer visit her[/hl]. But after what Kahara has brought up about [hl=black]the way the breeze might watch over Shmi's future scions[/hl], it's hard for me to [hl=black]see it abandoning her completely[/hl]. As to Cliegg... that always seemed to me to be a fraught situation, because what kind of thoughts and opinions would he be likely to have about this, well, early encounter on his wife's part? Obviously it didn't stop him from marrying her (which is to his credit), but things like this can definitely add a certain dynamic to the already complicated dynamics at marriage. At the same time, though, I could imagine the breeze-being playing a role similar to that of Hans Christian Andersen's little mermaid, when she becomes a spirit of the air and watches over her prince and his new bride.

    Thank you so much—as always your comments and readership mean a lot to me! @};-
     
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  19. divapilot

    divapilot Force Ghost star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 30, 2005
    This story, to me, reads like a parable. Here is the young woman, the lowliest of the low, the "little fix-it slave" who is the one selected by the Divine to become the mother of the chosen one. She has the qualities of a madonna - patience, trust, and above all, a willingness to believe. Perhaps that's why she was selected amongst all the other candidates:
    When Shmi questions the Divine, she doesn't do it in a demanding way but in a way that is honest and simply curious. There is no fear there. I get the feeling that she sees so little kindness in her life, so little in the way of attention that is pure and without motive, she doesn't resist. Her willing acceptance to just be there, to accept and to be present, is significant. To be still and know that I Am.

    When the Divine explains that her harsh existance has formed her beauty, that hers is the beauty of the wind-carved towers, the gracefully swirling sands, it gives her two things: first, she finds beauty in herself. That allows her to see value in herself. The Divine thinks she is beautiful, therefore she is beautiful, and she holds herself to a higher standard now. Secondly, it gives her a frame of reference. The Twi'lek and Zeltron women in the pleasure palaces are beautiful but their beauty comes from artificiality. It is not bestowed, it is painted on. This allows her to see the difference in the kind of woman she is and the kind of women they are.

    Side note: I think Shmi is at first tempted (the temptation in the desert ...;) ) by the palace courtier life that is dangled in front of her by the Hutt. The idea of pretty dresses and jewels, a lovely villa, actual pay - but then she quickly realizes that these are things that are applied to women to make them appear pretty to others. They are beautiful exactly: their beauty has been purchased and processed, designed to make them attractive to others but never to themselves.Theirs is not, in the end, a happy life. It has the appearance of one, but it's illusion. These women are essentially concubines on a good day, slaves like herself on a bad one, and they are no better off than she is. It is simply trading one chain of metal for another chain of silk. It's still a chain at the end of the day.

    The moment of self-agency - Shmi's epiphany - comes when she feels the soft, gentle breeze and declares herself not for sale. She may be a slave, but her mind and her spirit is free, and her will has far more freedom than either Watto or Borvo can even begin to imagine. She is not for sale. She cannot be purchased. She is her own woman, and she will decide her future.

    The end, as Kahara so insightfully points out, brings us full circle to Shmi back in her cell, "after she had bolted the day’s last bolt, riveted the day’s last rivet." This time the "beautific currents" don't simply "[ripple] through her cell." They (it?) "filled her cell and ruffled her hair, her face, her whole being" in what I assume is the moment of divine conception. And I don't know if it was intentional, but I like the dual meaning of the word "cell" here - both the sparse room in which she lives, and the cells of her body - where the Force in the shape of a cool, gentle breeze in a hot, arid, harsh world moves through her room and through her very elemental cells of her body.

    It's as if the pregnancy is the reward given to her for being the strong, clear-minded woman that the Divine knew she was capable of being. An individual worthy of, like him (it?) creating life.

    Excellent story!
     
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  20. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    Thanks so much for this absolutely fantastic comment, diva! @};-

    Shmi always seemed to epitomize those very qualities—qualities not always emphasized in one's average space opera (as much as I enjoy space operas)—and that's part of why I was always kind of partial to her. I figured there has to be some reason for her, of all people, to be the one chosen to be the mother of the Force's Chosen One—something like that can't be just random, just idle fancy on the part of the Divine (and indeed it makes for a much nicer story that way). It's possible that the Force auditioned others previously, but found them wanting for one reason or another. I think it made an excellent choice in the end, though!

    That's kind of similar to Mary, too: "how shall this be, seeing as I do not know a man?" And even in more conventional, corporeal relationships, that willingness to accept, to just be there, to just listen, is such an important thing to be able to do. Perhaps that capacity in Shmi is another reason she's been chosen for this responsibility.

    With the rough life she's lead, Shmi has probably not had a lot of people commenting on her beauty, and "prettifying" herself is something she's certainly never had the opportunity to do. So it is definitely more than a bit of a surprise to hear that from this breeze-being—but it also, as you rightly say, puts the whole issue into a totally different perspective for Shmi from the outset. The Divine's standard for beauty immediately becomes her standard too, and isn't in competition with any earthly standards because, well, those standards were never a thing for her anyway.

    Certainly, and why wouldn't she be? She's a slave, owned by someone else; she has to scrape by from day to day for a living and for basic necessities. At the Hutt's palace all those would be provided for—so who could blame her for at least considering it? But the breeze-being blows by to remind her that her standard is different now, and that in a way a much more fulfilling and beautiful life is already right at her fingertips, if she only notices it.

    And she does, because she's had the best guidance possible in such matters: from the Force itself. [face_love]

    Yes, that was kind of my thinking with the "beatific currents"—I had considered a brief epilogue in which she discovers the pregnancy, but I figured all of us here know how the story continues, and thus that it would be more interesting (and tasteful) to leave it implied rather than directly stated. She's just given the ultimate proof of her worthiness, and her reward is both the love of the breeze-being and Chosen One himself. Although I did toy with the idea of having the breeze-being leave her after the pregnancy, after further thought I prefer the idea that it/he will continue to look out for her and her son (and see Kahara 's observation above about the breeze in Luke's hair in the "twin suns" scene). @};-

    Thank you so much, and thanks for such a wonderfully thoughtful comment! :)

    Next story (in a completely different vein) inbound shortly...
     
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  21. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    Author: Findswoman
    Title: Insert Tab A into Slot B: A Story about Kanan’s Lightsaber
    Era: Saga—OT; Rebels season 2 (on Garel)
    Characters: Kanan and other Spectres
    Genre: Humor, fluff; one-shot
    Summary: In which Kanan has trouble getting his lightsaber together.
    Note: Many thanks to Raissa Baiard for keen-eyed beta-reading and invaluable advice on Rebels characterization. @};- This story dovetails with her story Date Night: it takes place just before that story’s part two, and you’ll see the events of this story briefly referenced there.



    Insert Tab A into Slot B
    A Story about Kanan’s Lightsaber

    Ezra had never been so excited about Jedi practice before. Today was the day Kanan was supposed to begin teaching him lightsaber dueling techniques. He was bouncing like a caffeinated tumble bunny as he descended the Ghost’s boarding ramp into the abandoned landing pad shortly after breakfast, lightsaber in hand. Those in the immediate vicinity would have heard him singing a happy song. Unfortunately, at this hour, those in the immediate vicinity consisted solely of Chopper, who was busy scrubbing some ion scoring off the hull and kept sending bwops of annoyance in the padawan’s direction.

    It was not long, however, before Kanan came down and practice began in earnest. Kanan led his student through the usual sequence of meditative warm-ups, then watched him as he reviewed his lightsaber basics.

    “And now the moment I know you’ve been waiting for,” Kanan said as his student paused and took a sip from his canteen. “We’re going to start form III today.”

    “WOOHOOOOO!!” cheered Ezra, bouncing some more.

    “I’m glad you’re so enthusiastic about it, though remember that a Jedi does not let even his positive emotions run away with him.”

    “Sorry,” Ezra sniffed. Why was his teacher always such a party poodooer?

    “First,” continued Kanan, “we’ll go through the traditional series of two-person drills for form III, and then we’ll get out the sparring armor and put those techniques to use in a few practice duels. Are you ready?”

    “Most definitely.”

    “Now, ready position, saber out.”

    Standing straight with his shoulders back and feet shoulder-width apart, Ezra unhooked his lightsaber from his belt and ignited it. Kanan took the two pieces of his own lightsaber from their two different places on his belt and began to put them together. As usual, he inserted the upper emitter-shroud piece into the lower hilt piece and twisted them to lock them into place.

    But they did not lock into place. Instead, the emitter section fell out of the hilt and onto the ground with a thud.

    “I guess I didn’t get it to click,” mused Kanan as he picked up the piece and tried again. Again the emitter fell to the ground. Sighing, Kanan picked it up again and fumbled with it some more. “Maybe—like this—”

    He tried different angles and different directions, occasionally grunting with effort, but nothing seemed to work. Meanwhile, Ezra had deactivated his own saber and was craning his head in Kanan’s direction.

    “Uh, Kanan? What are you… doing?”

    “JUST A MINUTE, EZRA—All right, maybe this way—UNNHHH, no, that’s too tight—”

    “Maybe if you… um… just jiggle it a little?”

    “All right—UMPHH—” Kanan jiggled it more than a little. “THERE! Whheew.

    But once again the emitter tumbled straight to the ground. Kanan picked it up and squinted at it for several moments.

    “Ah, that would do it, of course,” he grumbled. “The flux-torque casing got stripped and now it won’t interlock with the emitter column.” With a sigh he reattached the two lightsaber pieces to his belt. “I guess this means I have to head into town and get a new one.”

    “But—but what about form III?”

    “I’m really sorry, Ezra. We’ll just have to wait on it till tomorrow.

    “All right, fine.” Ezra hung his head like a dejected mooka pup.

    “For now just practice your kata, and when you’re done you can ask Chopper to—ah, there he is.” He noticed the droid. “Chopper, could you please go get that crate of tennis balls out of the cargo hold?”

    “Bwop bwop bwop,” replied the droid and rolled off to do so. Kanan came closer to his student and placed a comforting hand on his shoulder.

    “I’ll be back, okay?”

    “Okay.”

    And with those words Kanan hurried off into the steely, vaporous hustle and bustle of Garel City.

    * * *

    After some minutes of searching, Kanan found the hardware store where Zeb and Ezra said they sometimes went for spare parts. At least he thought this was the place; he wasn’t usually the one who got sent on such errands, after all. It occupied two storefronts of a dilapidated brick building and sported a flickering old-fashioned lighted sign reading GRUG’AG’PYG’NAQ’S SUPER VALUE HARDWARE. Another sign flashed OPEN in large bright-red letters. Kanan wasn’t sure why he found himself fingering his blaster pistol as he approached the front door.

    The shop was one of the messiest, most cluttered establishments Kanan had been insince the Capital City Curiosity Shoppe back on Lothal. Tall shelving units teetered dangerously under the weight of various indeterminate machine parts and hardware implements, some of which—at least from where Kanan was—seemed frighteningly outdated and dusty. The shopkeeper, a coveralled Ugnaught who undoubtedly was the eponymous Grug’ag’pyg’naq, waddled up to Kanan and greeted him profusely.

    “Why, good morning to you, good sir! What can I do for ya?”

    “Good morning,” replied Kanan. “I am looking for a flux-torque casing to replace this one.” He took it from a pocket and handed it to the shopkeeper. “I think it’s either a size zero or a size double-zero, but I’m not sure.”

    The Ugnaught eyed the part for a moment, squinting. “Yessirree, that’s a size double-zero, and hoo boy if I ever seen one so badly stripped. What in the Galaxy didja do to that thing?”

    “I… don’t know.”

    “Well, you might want to size up to a zero. It doesn’t take much for double-zeros to get stripped, especially under heavy torque. What’s this from, anyway?”

    “Oh, uh, hmm…” Kanan had feared it would come to this. He didn’t dare tell the truth; there was no guarantee that this shopkeeper wasn’t some Imperial agent who would comm the Inquisitorius the minute he heard the word “lightsaber.” In moments like these he envied his padawan’s talent for weaving clever tall tales. “Well, um, you see…”

    There was an ear-shattering crash as a box full of something clattered to the floor from the upper levels of a shelving unit. Kanan spun around. He wasn’t sure, but he thought he had glimpsed a tuft of unruly blue-black hair disappearing behind a nearby display of Mynock-B-Gon spray.

    Grug’ag’pyg’naq, however, did not seem to notice, and merely sighed.

    “There goes aisle six-aurek again. I really gotta get that shelf bolted down properly. Aw, never mind, I’ll get it later.” He turned and began to shuffle very slowly toward a dark closet doorway at the back of the shop, stroking his short, goatlike beard. “Y’know, I don’t get many people asking for flux-torque casings these days.”

    “Is that so?” A Jedi shall not know impatience…

    “Back around the Clone Wars people used to ask for ’em all the time, but since then, no sirree.”

    “Interesting. I wonder why.” …nor exasperation…

    The Ugnaught shrugged. “Couldn’t tell ya. Everyone used to ask for the ones from Lemerd, but they went out of business just after the Empire came to power… now, we may have some Sh’chob ones in the back… some folks say they ain’t as good as the ones by Lemerd, but if you ask me they’re pretty much just about the same.”

    “Ah.” …nor the desire to whack excessively chatty service employees upside the head with a rolled-up newsflimsi. Fortunately the shopkeeper had just reached the closet door…

    …but then stopped suddenly. “Oh, an’ say… I see yours is titanium, but Sh’chob makes ’em in zirconium… if you think that’d be okay, because sometimes you can get corrosion an’ whatnot if you don’t—”

    That does it. Kanan lifted one hand and waved it subtly. “You shall go back there and find the thing already.”

    “I better go back there and find the thing already,” agreed Grug’ag’pyg’naq, then toddled off into the back room. No sooner had he disappeared from sight, however, than Kanan heard a loud—and familiar—“PSSSST!” behind him. He spun around to find himself face to face with none other than Ezra, who greeted him with a nonchalant “Hey, Kanan, what’s up?”

    “Ezra, what in the name of the Force are you doing here?!” Kanan hissed. “You’re supposed to be back at the Ghost practicing with Chopper!”

    “We ran out of tennis balls.”

    “Then do your kata or something! Or ask Hera if she has something for you to do! There’s no need to go following me all over town!” Kanan heaved a deep sigh. “How did you even know I was coming here?”

    “Where else would you go besides Grug’s?”

    “You don’t even know what I was coming here for.

    “Oh, yes I do,” Ezra smirked. “You’re having some trouble with your lightsaber, aren’t you?”

    “SHHH! EZRA! NOT SO LOUD!”

    “Sorry, I just saw you fiddling with it during practice, and—”

    He stopped as the Ugnaught emerged from the back closet, carrying two small flimsiboard boxes. He laid them on the counter for Kanan to see. “Awright, here’s the size zero, and here’s the size double-zero.”

    Kanan looked from one to the other, then said, “I’ll take them both, just in case.”

    “Good thinkin’, good thinkin’. Anything else I can getcha?”

    “Well, um…” Kanan looked around. “Maybe also… a container of those BlasterKleen polishing wipes?”

    Grug’ag’pyg’naq pulled a large, brightly colored plastoid jar down from a shelf behind him and placed it beside the two flux-torque casings. “Awrighty then, let me get you rung up here...” At that point he noticed Ezra. “I’ll be with you in just a moment, young man.”

    “Oh, he’s with me,” interposed Kanan as he took out a few credit slips and handed them over.

    As he rang up the payment, the shopkeeper glanced from Kanan to Ezra and back again. “This your son?”

    “Um—well—”

    “Master Meiloorunbaum is my voice teacher,” Ezra piped up, ignoring the look of horror on Kanan’s face.

    “Your… voice teacher?

    “Yeah. My voice teacher. He’s getting me ready to play Captain Korkorun in ISD Pinn’afor, and we, um, need the flux-torque casing to fix my, um, tooka-o’-nine-tails.”

    “Is that so?”

    “Um, yes,” Kanan joined in. “He’s… he’s doing a great job. Yes. You should hear him on ‘When I was a youngling.’”

    “Mmmph.” Grug’ag’pyg’naq grunted incredulously as he bagged up the two flux-torque casings and the BlasterKleen wipes and handed them to Kanan. “Well, as we used to say back home on Cloud City, break an appendage.”

    “Thanks.”

    “And you have a good day, now.”

    “You too,” said Kanan, pulling Ezra with him out the door. Then, as soon as it swung shut: “You do know that Captain Korkorun is a bass-baritone, don’t you?”

    “Yeah, and you know that he doesn’t sing ‘When I was a youngling,’ don’t you?” came the rejoinder. “That would be Grand Admiral Porr-Trr, thank you very much.”

    Kanan cracked a sheepish smile despite himself. “You’re absolutely ridiculous, Ezra. Did you know that?”

    “You only just noticed?”

    * * *

    Kanan spent the rest of the day fixing his lightsaber.

    While the others busied themselves with the usual errands and mission preparations, he holed up in one of his favorite meditation spots—the control room attached to the Ghost’s abandoned landing pad—with the pieces of his lightsaber, the two new flux-torque casings, the container of BlasterKleen wipes, and the “Caring for Your Lightsaber” instruction sheet from his padawan years, all of which were spread out on the floor in front of him.

    “Let’s see here… ‘using a 3/16-inch arc wrench remove the projection tube from the emitter chassis’… all right…” Clinkety-clinkety-clink. “URGHH, UNNNHHH… what the… oh blast, this is a 1/4-inch, not a 3/16... oh well… UNNNNHHHH… there, got it… ‘position the conductance gasket between the projection tube and the replacement flux-torque casing, lining up the alpha and omega contacts as shown in figure 1… figure 1, where’s figure 1... Force, who draws these things? I can’t even see where the alpha contact…” Fwhup, snick-click. “All right, fine… now, ‘slide flux-torque casing through conductance gasket so that it interfaces with the holomagnetic contact at the base of the projection tube’… GNNN… GNNNNHHHH… Force, this is hard… UGHHHHHNNNGHHHH—” Fwhip! ZZZIIIING! CLANK! “Oh for Force’s sake, now it’s all greasy…” Rub, rub, rubrubrub. Sigh. “Ah, much better. Okay, gonna try again… UNNHHH… UNNNGNHHHH… ” Fwhip! Click. “Perfect. Still gotta give it a proper polishing after dinner, though…”

    He reattached the two pieces of his saber to his belt, collected his equipment and the instruction sheet, and opened the door of the control room—only to find several of his crewmates standing there, eyes fixed on him. Ezra and Sabine were blushing profusely and struggling to stifle nervous giggles, Zeb wore the expression of a pygmy roba caught stealing from the Wookiee-ookiee jar, and Chopper was hanging back, trying to hide behind the legs of as many organic beings as possible. Hera was the only one not present.

    “Um, hi, Kanan,” began Ezra.

    “Yes, hello, Kanan,” echoed Zeb.

    “Bwoop,” said Chopper, then went back to hiding behind Zeb.

    “Hi, everyone. What’s up? Why’s everyone look so worried?”

    Sabine gritted her teeth. “We… just… wanted… to… check on you, that’s all.”

    “Yeah,” added Ezra again. “We won’t… um… tell Hera if you, um… don’t want us to.”

    “Bwup.”

    “Tell Hera? Whaddaya mean?” Kanan threw his hands up in exasperation. “I was just fixing my lightsaber, for crying out loud!” ¶



    Except for the emitter, the emitter shroud, and the arc wrench, all of the tools and lightsaber components mentioned in this story are fanon and pure technobabble.

    Capital City Curiosity Shoppe, Lemerd (based on Dremel), Sh’chob (based on Bosch), Mynock-B-Gon Spray, BlasterKleen polishing wipes, and the “Caring for Your Lightsaber” instruction sheet are all fanon.

    Grug’ag’pyg’naq is an OC.

    ISD Pinn’afor is a fanon GFFAification of the Gilbert and Sullivan operetta H.M.S Pinafore, one of whose main characters is a Captain Corcoran who does, at one point, threaten to use a cat o’ nine tails. One of the numbers in Pinafore is “When I was a lad,” sung by the character Sir Joseph Porter, KCB, rather than Captain Corcoran.

    Yes, there are indeed inches in the GFFA: http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Inch. There is also tennis, but only in my fanon: see my story Therapy Time with Zarney Kylo and Friends.

    Wookieepedia links
    form III lightsaber combat: http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Form_III
    Garel City: http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Garel_City
    mooka: http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Mooka
    roba: http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Roba
    Wookiee-ookiees: http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Wookiee-ookiee
    and of course
    Kanan’s lightsaber: http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Kanan's_lightsaber
     
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  22. Raissa Baiard

    Raissa Baiard Chosen One star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 22, 1999
    [face_rofl] BWAHAHAHA! [face_rofl] Oh, this is priceless! Poor Kanan, subjected to the indignities of lightsaber trouble, nosy padawns, excessively chatty clerks, and more nosy crew members who seem to think that his "lightsaber trouble" is of the metaphorical kind...

    Love the overly enthusiastic Ezra annoying Chopper with his singing and the metaphor of a "caffeinated tumble bunny." (Though Ezra will deny he's ever mooka-like, even when disappointed ;) ) And then when the moment comes for him to finally learn the elusive Form III, his master's lightsaber falls apart. D'oh.... Maybe if he just jiggles it a bit? [face_laugh] Good thing there's that crate of tennis balls for Ezra to practice on while Kanan runs into town; doesn't everyone keep a crate or two in their cargo hold?

    Kanan's quest for the elusive double-zero (*snicker* size matters not!) flux-torque casing is an exercise in frustration for our intrepid Space!Dad. Grug joins the ranks of your memorable sales-beings, Gleebaloola and Mlek, and like them he has such a distinctive voice I could almost hear it as I was reading. Hardware stores do tend to be staffed by these types of chatty old gents, don't they? Kanan's just lucky that there isn't the usual half-dozen other chatty duffers discussing their projects at the counter.
    Nice going, Master A-Jedi-Shall-Not-Know-Exasperation :D It's a good thing Ezra does show up to provide a (wildly improbable) cover story for him. "Master Meiloorunbaum" is such a fun Rebels touch, and it's also cool that you've worked in a bit of your love of music here. I wonder what other Gilbert and Sullivan (Ghil'burrt and Zulli-Van?) operas have made the trip to the GFFA?

    I recognize some of your fanon hardware from Mr. Baiard' s workshop, but Mynock-B-Gon spray and BlasterKleen wipes are the best!

    And then...and then...oh, dear...I laughed myself silly over Kanan's very expressive lightsaber repairs [face_laugh] Love that he still has his standard issue "Caring for Your Lightsaber" pamphlet, and I feel for him because this
    is pretty much what I ask myself whenever I have to do something similar.

    I can't quite blame the rest of the crew for their simultaneous concern and embarrassment after listening in on that performance, and I love that Chopper, of all of them, seems the most embarrassed.
    Another great metaphor and I know someone who resembles this remark. :)

    Oh, Hera has her ways of finding out, especially since he can't actually wait until after dinner to polish his greasy lightsaber. Honestly, men.... After a long, hard day of repairs, it's a good thing Kanan will be able to kick back and enjoy some quiet time with her. :kanan: :hera:

    Thanks for this comedic gem! What a fun and decidedly different look at our favorite Very Serious Jedi...and his lightsaber!
     
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  23. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014
    From the very beginning, this story is a gem - a caffeinated tumble bunny? I certainly wouldn't want to experience that. BWOP, indeed. Ezra's enthusiasm was an exciting sight, even though Kanan was constantly trying to downplay it and then, boom - I mean BWOP - there won't be proper, adult people, Jedi 4 realz practice until later.

    GRUG’AG’PYG’NAQ is surely a lovely name. But if he holds things such as Mynock B-Gon spray in his store, then he's got to know what he's doing. Well, does he. Does he?

    And then, when Ezra appears out of nowhere, the stories TIE IN. I love this moment, I really do. And the name he comes up with for Kanan is amazing, too. And the whole story. With all these little details for music nerds. Really, really cool.

    "Break an appendange" - excellent fanon. :D

    That was cute and in-character for both of them. :)

    Now, I won't go through the URGHHH UNHHH scene, because I am sure that there are more innuendos than beings on Coruscant and the more techbabble that I could concentrate on, but ooohmy, the very ending!

    But but but the look on those three's face when they see Kanan is PRICELESS. Especially Zeb's. He's too sophisticated for this kind of stuff, isn't he?

    Lovely story and thank you for taking back Kanan Jarrus! ;)
     
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  24. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    Some responses at last—thank you so much for reading and commenting! @};-

    Thanks so much! He simply can't catch a break, can he? [face_laugh]

    Ah, now, the bit about"jiggl[ing] it a bit" was your suggestion, and what a wonderful one it was, if I do say so myself. :D Ezra definitely has always had something of a mooka streak inside lurking inside that streetwise, Aladdin-like exterior, and what teen wouldn't be excited to finally get the chance to learn lightsaber techniques?? As for the tennis ball crate, it's one of those things that may have had a little help falling off an Imperial transport... ;)

    Thanks! I had a lot of fun writing Grug, because I've had my share of overly chatty salespeople in various types of shops before, and after a point one really wishes onecould apply a nice Jedi mind trick to shut them up. (Kanan was luckier than most in that regard!) And yep, I guess I have indeed amassed a little group of salesbeing OCs now... what if I had them all working at a market or something

    Oh yes—though neither of them totally know it, Ezra may have seriously saved his teacher's shebs here. That ability to spin crazy tall tales certainly does come in handy sometimes! Kanan may be the teacher and Ezra the student, but he could definitely learn a thing or two from this talkatkive Loth-hepcat in this department. And I admit to once again shamelessly working in semi-obscure tidbits from my music background. But hey, write about what you know, right? :D I could definitely see the phenomenon of Ghil'burrt and Zulli-Van being a thing I return to, bunny-wise... (Also, HMS Pinafore is close to my heart because we performed it in my 8th-grade class.)

    Thanks! That was a pure and simple case of "couldn't resist" on my part. They just seemed like they'd be useful things to have in the GFFA! (Bet Han wished he'd had some of that spray in ESB!)

    Yep, I have to say I often feel the same way about those little diagrams and drawings in any kind of assembly instructions. And anyone who (a) has a husband and (b) has been within earshot while that husband was repairing something will know that what Kanan's doing here is not really all thaaaaaat far removed from real life. :D

    Whuff! I figured you would appreciate that touch. :D I can't help but feel a little sorry for the other Spectres at this pointm just on account of that painful feeling that comes when you fear you might be interrupting something Very Intensely Personal. And poor Chopper, as the sole non-meatbag of the bunch, is likely more bewildered than anything else.

    It will be a well deserved moment of calm for both of them. [face_love] Of course I've told you before, but I really love the way you got Date Night to dovetail with this one—the in-story shout-out to the events of this one was just priceless. (Intertextualiteeeeeeeeeee!!!1!)

    You're very welcome, and I'm so glad you enjoyed! And thanks once again for your help in beta-reading this and providing feedback. The Rebels cast is really turning out to be fun to write, and it was a cool challenge to try to "comedicize" (if that's a word) this Very Serious Cowboy Jedi a bit—and his rather funny lightsaber, too!

    Yes, this is one of the ways Ezra is going to have to learn proper Jedi patience! I figured he would be excited at the opportunity to finally learn to do some actual swordfighting techniques with lightsabers and not just deflect rocks (or tennis balls).And indeed see above about Ezra's mooka-like eagrness—it's there, and it's a large part of what makes him such an appealing character.

    Oh, for sure! There's no one who knows better! :D For his name (which I figured you'd appreciate :D ) I combined a little Ugnaught influence, a little Inuit influence (or at least a very few Inuit names I've come across that end in "-naq"), the word "pig" (reflecting the Ugnaughts' porcine features), and, in true SW fashion, several apostrophes. :p

    Once again, I do admit to having gratuitously thrown in a bunch of tidbits from my background, perhaps in a bit of a random way, but I'm glad you felt it worked well. :)The ability to spin tall tales is a talent, if a dubious one, and again, it may have saved both of their shebses (?) in this case.

    Thanks! Hey, this got me thinking: in Space!Italy—namely, Naboo—do you think they might have a related expression akin to "into the mouth of the rancor"? ;)

    Thanks. :) It's a thought that I'm sure has crossed Kanan's mind many times where Ezra is concerned, so I figured, why not let him give voice to that thought? ;)

    The technobabble is pretty much all utter nonsense, so don't worry at all about trying to understand it—I barely do myself. There are some innuendos, it's true, but it's really only the same ones repeated again and again. :p

    And who can blame them? :p I'd be pretty sheepish if I came across one of my bosses in even what only looked like a position that compromising. Absolutely agreed on Zeb's sophistication; there's so much more to him than meets the eye.

    Well, thank you as always for reading and weighing in! @};- It was great fun to get to know this character—and his lightsaber—a little better. :D
     
    Kahara, Ewok Poet and Raissa Baiard like this.
  25. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    The Shmi piece was gorgeous and then to follow up with the Insert Tab into B [face_rofl] =D= Super talented range there. :D