Saga Hajii's Children (Tusken POV post-slaughter in AOTC; OCs) It's Aliiive! - Nov. 30

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by Wilhelmina, Aug 22, 2003.

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  1. Wilhelmina

    Wilhelmina Jedi Master star 3

    Jul 4, 2002
    Hello, thanks for dropping by! :) I hope you decide to stick around.

    Timeframe: Begins during the Tusken slaughter scene in AOTC, concludes roughly 35 years later.

    Characters: Tusken Raider OCs, Anakin Skywalker, Luke Skywalker.

    Summary: Forced to flee by an intruder in the camp, a lone Tusken Raider on the brink of adulthood must survive alone in the desert--but this is only the beginning. His journey will test his strength, his faith, and his view of the universe.

    Notes: Ignores any and all EU. This story is not quite novel-length, but is the longest one I've written thus far. It's also the first OC piece I've done, and perhaps owing partly to that is also the strangest thing I've written for SW (so far). ;)

    Disclaimer: Star Wars is not mine. It was created by and belongs to George Lucas. Thank you, George. :)

    Feedback: Much appreciated. :D

    The prologue, while important to the story, is vastly different in style from the rest--so if the beginning throws you off, don't worry, it isn't permanent. ;)



    In the beginning the land was given over to the Giants. They trod on the hills and ground them to dust with feet of stone, and they tasted the trees with rough tongues and gnashed them to pieces with sharp teeth, and chased them down with the rivers and the lakes until all their rushing waters swished in cavernous bellies.

    And Hajii and Nejii, the Guardians, turned their faces on the land and were displeased.

    ?Why have you done this, O Giants?? asked Hajii, his red war-face ablaze. Beside him, Nejii his wife blazed white but was silent.

    ?It is ours!? cried the Giants. ?We care nothing for hills so we crush them. The trees and the waters we have found pleasant and so we have consumed them. It is ours, and we will do with it what we desire!?

    ?You have laid waste what was given you,? rumbled Hajii. ?The hills and the trees and the waters will be no more. Because you have treated abominably what was given you, I will make you an abomination.? And Hajii lifted up the Giants and brought them to a flat place. There he drove them deep into the earth, one by one, until all that saw the sky were the heads of the Giants.

    ?Abominable I name you,? said Hajii, ?and I take from you the land that was entrusted to you. Instead I will fill it with the little ones, and the land will be theirs, and they will be my children.?

    The Giants were enraged and shook the earth, but could not break free.

    ?Our own curse we cast,? said the Giants, who could see the future. ?This ground, in which we are imprisoned, will bear our curse. There will come a people who pass this ground whose feet walk in the air. These people will not be your people. Rather they will attack your children and cause them grievous pain.?

    And Hajii roared, because he knew the Giants? curse would come to bear. But Nejii his wife, who could see farther into the future than the Giants, rose from her place and spoke.

    ?The people you speak of will cause Hajii?s children pain,? she said, ?but from among these walkers-of-sky will rise some who are greater by far. They will rise from the earth and journey to the stars, and they will bring glory to Hajii?s land. They will not be the children of your curse, but the children of my blessing.

    ?And I will shut your mouths, that you may utter no more curses against this land. You will no longer be Giants, but Watchers.?

    So Nejii closed the mouths of the Giants and they became the Watchers. They watch to this day the ground they have cursed, and beneath the earth they tremble with rage.


    And Hajii?s children came, and prospered, and filled the land; but all too soon the Invaders came in their sky-walkers, flying under the very noses of the Watchers, and with them they brought sorrows.


    *nibbles fingernails* Comments? Questions? Rotten vegetables? More will be up soon! :)
  2. Jane Jinn

    Jane Jinn Jedi Knight star 5

    Jan 12, 2000
    Fascinating so far! If any ground was ever cursed, it was definitely Tatooine! I liked the prophecies, with the female alleviating the male's, and the part about the "walkers-of-sky".

    More soon?
  3. Handmaiden Yané

    Handmaiden Yané Manager Emeritus star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Jul 15, 2002
    Rotten vegetables? Pfft. *hands Mina a basket of fresh vegetables* Now, you can either eat them or you can wait till they get rotten and throw them at those who throw rotten veggies at you! :p

    I love the little legend! I'm used to Naboo legends, but Tatooine legends are something new for me! I like it! It also has a very Genesis feel to it! Very good! Can't wait for more!

    [hl=thistle]~~Sillé Yané~~[/hl]
  4. ViariSkywalker

    ViariSkywalker Force Ghost star 4

    Aug 9, 2002
    Mina! Another legend and prophecy! *loves it already* I can't wait for the next post. I'm intrigued. You are such a gifted story teller! :D

  5. Wilhelmina

    Wilhelmina Jedi Master star 3

    Jul 4, 2002

    I have to admit, three readers is three more than I thought this story would get. Thank you! :)

    Jane: Yep, Nejii?s a peacemaker. And we will definitely be hearing more about walkers-of-sky. ;) More is below. :D

    Sillé Yané: Oooh, veggies. :D I?m glad you like the legend. It?s not specifically Genesis-based, though I can see the similarities. This story has its share of Biblical overtones, because SW has Biblical overtones, and this is my own little demented corner of SW. ;)

    Vi: **tackle hugs** I?m so glad you came! :) Yes, I like legends and prophecies?though this one goes in a decidedly different direction from ?Snow-Star?. ;)

    Now begins the story.


    Hajii?s Children

    Part I: In the Desert

    It was dead night and Maqel?s heart was beating too rapidly. He had woken from a dream of rushing waters?a sight he saw only in dreams?to the yelping of the massiffs. What had roused them?

    Then he heard it, the unfamiliar buzz in the camp, not fifteen meters from his isolated tent; he hearkened to the voices of his elders, one and then another, raising the alarm and being cut off, one, two, three. The source of the foreign noise dealt death; he felt it in the vibrations of his bones.

    Maqel forced himself up on trembling legs and poked his head outside the flap of his tent.

    There it was, on the far side of the camp: a sinister, shapeless figure wielding a hissing blue blade and slaying one waker after another.

    It swept nearer.

    Maqel?s decision was made in a ragged breath. Was not the first rule of Hajii?s children to survive? Pushing the flap all the way open, he sprinted away from the blue blade. He made for the bantha pen, praying as he ran that the wielder of the blade would not see.

    Time stretched to an eternity before he reached the herd, panting in the air that was saturated with the musky scent of bantha. Perhaps the scent would hide him, he thought fleetingly. One of these would have to be his mount, but none of the adults would take him. They would not betray their riders even in death. Already some of the larger ones were unsettled, lowing uneasily. Maqel knew that those who?d lost their masters would run mad before dawn. He needed to get away.

    He seized at a smaller beast that was snoring lightly, kicking at it as he grabbed handfuls of thick wool to hoist himself astride. The bantha came to its senses with the quickness of a boulder. Maqel moaned. A month later, and he might have been an adult with a bantha that followed his every demand. Why did this baby not respond to his desperation?

    But perhaps it did, for now the young bantha, fully awake, took off at a good trot to Maqel?s prodding. He let out a shout and pointed it away from camp, urging it on with heels and fists.

    He still heard the buzzing of the blue blade, though it drew no closer. He did not let up on the bantha, goading it while they trundled across the cold desert, until he had put a good hour?s travel between himself and the camp and could hear the buzzing no more. Hajii willing, it had not followed him.

    He slumped against the bantha, which slowed but continued walking at a steady pace without complaint. He could hear his breath coming with every drumming thump of the bantha?s feet, amplified more than usual inside his mask. After a great many footfalls, that sound, too, abated and he was left in the semisilence of the open desert under the watchful moons.

    He snuggled a little closer to the bantha, suddenly greedy for the warmth.

    ?You?re mine now,? he said, patting its broad neck. ?You need a name.? He considered the back of its shaggy, hornless head?the lack of horns meant that this bantha was a female. ?A girl?s name. You?re a good runner. Shall I call you Imu??

    The bantha rumbled a bit, sending tremors through Maqel?s aching body.

    ?Imu, then,? he said, nodding into her neck. ?Keep running, girl.?

    And as the moons began to fade into dawn, sleep finally overtook the litt
  6. Jane Jinn

    Jane Jinn Jedi Knight star 5

    Jan 12, 2000
    I like Biblical overtones!

    I'm fascinated by the rules of Sand People Society that you're showing here; the first rule is to survive, the fact that banthas seem to be bonded to particular riders, the fact that a youth is considered an adult after a certain age. Great job!

    Maqel knew that those who?d lost their masters would run mad before dawn. Hmm, that reminds me of the Dragonriders of Pern.

    I loved this sentence: The bantha came to its senses with the quickness of a boulder. LOL!

    Can't wait to see what happens next! This is wonderfully original and fascinating.
  7. ViariSkywalker

    ViariSkywalker Force Ghost star 4

    Aug 9, 2002
    This scene is all the more chilling when you know exactly why Anakin was slaughtering the Tuskens and when you know exactly what he will become someday. Maqel doesn't know what we know. *shudders*

    Just as a side note, I was listening to some song yesterday and for some reason, (probably having to do with the fact that I love Star Wars,) it reminded me of the whirlwind of emotions Anakin must have been feeling when his mother died. And I pictured the scene from AOTC in my mind, when Anakin comes out and decapitates three sand people. But the scene didn't stop there. I kept imagining the rest of it, and it was really weird because in my mind it looked just like another scene from the movie. Anyway, it totally put me in the mood for this post, Mina. *is sorry she put everyone on this thread through that frightfully long and strange description* 8-}
  8. Wilhelmina

    Wilhelmina Jedi Master star 3

    Jul 4, 2002
    Jane: The stimulus to start this story came when I was browsing the OS's entries on Sand People and banthas--which were just detailed enough to fascinate me and just spare enough to make me want to fill in the holes. So some facets of the story--like the relationship between a bantha and its rider--were pre-established for me, while others, like the rule of survival, I had to invent. Glad you like. :)

    Vi: Heehee, I don't mind long and strange descriptions. I'm glad it put you in the mood for the post. Been listening to anything that puts you in the mood for nightmares lately? ;)

    Okay, the next three posts are interconnected (essentially three parts of a single thing), and so I'll be putting one up today, one Monday, and one Tuesday, because I don't like to leave them hanging--but after that the speed of posting for this story will slow down a bit. Hope this post pleases. :)


    Hajii sent him three dreams that day.

    In the first he found himself back home, beside a fire in the encampment. Across the fire from him sat Shumi and Zev, two comrades of his. Though they were of an age with Maqel, they were dressed in the garb of adult men, because they were participating in their trials of adulthood.

    Shumi leaned toward the fire, the orange light glinting off his eyesights like fresh sparks.

    ?Why?re you so slow, Maqel?? he asked. ?Why aren?t you grown yet??

    ?I?? his tongue was heavy, and he had to start again. ?I start my trial in five days,? said Maqel. ?I am in preparation.? He feared he would not be able to finish, but Shumi and Zev were silent and he was able to force his tongue to further action. ?I have isolated myself from the tribe. I should not even be here talking to you.?

    ?Hunh,? said Zev from his right, hunkering low towards the fire, his head nearly between his knees. ?Sure. By the time you start your trial it?ll be too late. When the elders see what we?ve done, they?ll never make you a man.?

    ?Why?? asked Maqel. ?What have you done??

    Shumi elbowed Zev?s bobbing head and snickered. ?Oh, ho. Want to know? We caught an Invader, that?s what we did. Caught her picking mushrooms, ho ho.?

    ?They came for her,? piped in Zev, who was now sitting on Shumi?s left. ?More Invaders. But we sent them away, didn?t we? Sent that sorry lot off bleeding.?

    Maqel knew that most of them had bled so profusely that they had perished in sight of the camp. He also knew that it was the dozen adult males of their tribe, not Shumi and Zev, who had driven off the Invader attack a month ago. Perhaps Shumi and Zev had been allowed to help as part of their trial. But he could not make his throat and lips and tongue say it.

    ?They couldn?t take her,? said Shumi. ?And they won?t. We?re keeping her in our tent.?

    Maqel leaned back in surprise.

    ?Do the elders know of this?? he asked.

    Shumi squirmed. ?They do not,? he answered, ?but they will see, when our time of trial is complete, what we have done.?

    ?It is not our way,? said Maqel, shaking his head. ?The less Invaders there are, the better. Why prolong her death??

    ?He told us to,? answered Shumi. He straightened defiantly. ?He said they?d make us men if we did. Ha, Maqel, you will never surpass this. They will never make you a man.?

    ?Who said?? asked Maqel. ?Who told you to keep the Invader alive??

    Shumi and Zev did not answer.

    ?By Hajii, who told you this?? repeated Maqel.

    ?They?ll make us men,? intoned Zev, straightening like his companion and tilting his head to the left. He tilted it further and further, further than it ought to have been able to go, till at last it dropped off his shoulders and rolled into the fire.

    Shumi did not comment on his friend?s decapitation nor the growing stench of burnt flesh but turned his masked face to Maqel.

    ?Why?re you so slow, Maqel?? he asked. ?Why aren?t you grown yet?? And he tilted his head to the left as Zev had done, until it too had fallen off and rolled into the fire.


    Note: Though I don't believe
  9. Jane Jinn

    Jane Jinn Jedi Knight star 5

    Jan 12, 2000
    I keep reading this post over and over again, trying to figure out what is dream stuff and what is reality. Did these two young men really keep Schmi in their tent without anybody knowing? I think I need more story, though, as I can't decide. Interesting, though, that the dream figures keep telling Maqel that he will never be made a man because he can't surpass 'this', and yet Maqel is sure that they are doing something that is not the way of the Sand People.

    I don't mind if you use the words man and woman. It makes the story easier to read. I agree that it would be too awkward to always write or read "adult male" or "adult female". Of course, if you wanted to introduce the language of the Sand People, you could make up terms for man and woman, and then use them.

    I wonder what the Sand People look like under their masks, and why they wear them. They don't sleep with them on, do they? That'd be really uncomfortable!
  10. Wilhelmina

    Wilhelmina Jedi Master star 3

    Jul 4, 2002
    Jane: Eventually, all will be made clear. :) (And if it isn?t, then I have some serious rewriting to do. :p ) I think Sand People wear masks for two reasons: To protect themselves from the elements (which must be harsher on whatever their species is than, say, humans), and to cover their faces from one another.

    Did I mention I love your commentary? :D

    Another dream, another character, another piece of Sand People culture, a little more what-is-real, what-is-imagery, what-is-vision and what-is-nightmare... ;)


    A moment of lucidity was granted him, and thoughts hastened to be heard. Who told you this? Who told you this? Who? No, no, it cannot be real, it must be a dream. How could they do such a thing under the noses of the elders? It cannot be. It must be a lie. But who is telling the lie?

    Then he was transported.

    He stood at the edge of a wide, open mesa in broad day. His first thought was that the sky was quite, quite blue. Below him were giant rock formations, shining red-gold in the light.

    Though he stood above them, some of the formations were nearly on a level with Maqel. They looked like giant mushrooms, or heads poking up out of the sand.

    And then, though he had never seen them from this angle nor so near?only as shadowy, foreboding figures in the background of camp?Maqel knew what they were.

    The Watchers.

    ?They aren?t so fearsome up close, are they?? asked a high voice behind him.

    Maqel turned to locate the speaker. She was shorter than he, dressed in a uniform child?s shroud and filter mask like his own, but he could tell by the particular way she folded her arms and tilted her head that it was Asi-na. No great surprise there, for she was the only female child of the tribe who even talked to him. She was scarcely a month his junior?no doubt she would be received into womanhood soon.

    ?This is cursed ground, Asi-na,? he said. ?We should not be here.?

    ?You are like a bantha,? she said, striding closer till the edge of her sleeve grazed his. ?The Watchers cursed the land beneath them. Down there.? She pointed. ?We?re perfectly safe up here. Silly Watchers!?

    Maqel drew away from her as though she were a krayt dragon.

    ?Foolish girl!? he hissed. ?They can hear you!? Though he had always liked Asi-na for her forwardness, unusual among females, he could see now that it had its drawbacks.

    ?They are powerless,? retorted Asi-na, sitting down on the mesa?s edge and dangling her legs over the cliff. ?Come watch for sky-walkers with me.?

    Orange light glinted off her mask and seemed to travel directly through the slit in Maqel?s own like a rifle bullet, hurting his eyes. Unwillingly he found himself sitting down beside Asi-na.

    ?There!? she cried, gesturing with a dainty gloved finger.

    Maqel followed her gaze and lurched to see that she was right. At the speed it traveled, the sky-walker was little more than a silver-blue blur, leaving dust and the scent of grease and metal in its wake, but he recognized it nonetheless. The Invaders had brought the sky-walkers with them, long ago. In their fight for survival, Hajii?s children struck down as many as they could.

    Maqel wished desperately that he had a rifle with him. His fingers twitched, curling and uncurling.

    ?I?d like a sky-walker,? said Asi-na. ?I?d like to fly like that.?

    Maqel?s fingers stopped twitching as he grasped the cliff?s edge to keep himself from shaking Asi-na till her brains were addled.

    How could she wish such a thing? Not to fly, of course; Maqel had often wished that himself. His dreams of flight, though, were filled with images of the insects that were ubiquitous in Hajii?s creation?of thin, gauzy, diaphanous wings, fragile, yet powerful enough to propel one off the ground and carry their owner wherever he wished to go.

    Given such an example, how could Asi-na wish for the mechanical flight of the Invaders? Sky-walkers were neither natural nor beautiful. In them the Invaders tore down everything in their paths, inanimate or living, Hajii
  11. Jane Jinn

    Jane Jinn Jedi Knight star 5

    Jan 12, 2000
    Hmm. You know, after reading this post, part of a poem from Rudyard Kipling (I think?) jumped into my mind and won't get out!

    "If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs ... then you'll be a man, my son."

    Sorry, couldn't resist, after all the heads that are falling off shoulders. :D

    No, you didn't mention how much you loved my commentary! I'm glad to hear it, although I'm a bit worried that I've scared your other readers away. Sometimes people write that I've already said everything they wanted to say, and there's nothing left for them to comment on. (Do we have a 'worried' face?)

    You think Sand People wear masks to cover their faces from one another? That's an interesting concept. It makes me think of not judging by appearances, but looking into the heart, or at the very least, judging by actions or words.

    I do wonder why Asi-na is the only female child who even talks to Maqel. Don't the others like him, or is there some kind of taboo between the sexes at that age?

    I liked the way Maqel also dreamed of flying, but with wings like those of insects. Wonderful imagery there!

    I wonder if the 'real' Asi-na is like that, too, having such opinions about the Watchers and the sky-walkers, or if the 'dream' Asi-na is actually just an aspect of Maqel's personality that's finally getting a chance to speak. Hmm. Can't wait for more so that I can find out what it all means.
  12. SpeldoriontheBlended

    SpeldoriontheBlended Jedi Padawan star 4

    Apr 12, 2002
    This is way cool. Tuskens rule. Could you try and put in a Tahiri cameo? Please? :)
  13. ViariSkywalker

    ViariSkywalker Force Ghost star 4

    Aug 9, 2002
    I'm still here! Unfortunately I don't have time at the moment for a long comment, but I must say I love the dreams, Mina. I love to write dreams and visions in SW fics, so of course I love to read them! 8-} :D You're doing fabulously, and I can't wait for the next post!
  14. Wilhelmina

    Wilhelmina Jedi Master star 3

    Jul 4, 2002
    Sorry for not posting yesterday--I was attacked by Darth Sleep. :p Maybe it's just as well, as I was planning to settle into a Wednesday-Saturday posting schedule anyway.

    Jane: Sorry, couldn't resist, after all the heads that are falling off shoulders.

    :p !

    Heehee, and here I was worried that it was my writing that was scaring readers away. ;)

    As for the relationship between Maqel and Asi-na--I think we're dealing with a sexes-divided, arranged-marriage sort of society here. But more will be revealed in due time. :)

    Blended: Hey, welcome to the story! :) Tahiri, hmm? *points upward* The reason I don't write EU is because I don't read EU. I use bits of information from the official site or the unofficial encyclopedia when it suits me, but beyond that... *shrug* Just a cameo? [face_devious] I'll see what I can do. ;)

    Vi: No worries! :) Posting will be slowing down as of now, so hopefully you'll be able to live with DRL and still keep up. Glad you like the visions! :D

    Part Three of Maqel's rolling-heads vision...


    When he opened them again, he was standing in the shade of a wholly unfamiliar rock.

    It was cool, and a damp patch of earth with tiny green scrubs sprouting from it promised more water further down. Above, Hajii and Nejii were still blazing, though their heat was less palpable.

    Maqel turned carefully about, looking for a landmark. He stopped halfway. Two adults, a male and a female, stood there. The woman stood slightly behind the man, head tilted downward in the traditional pose of a wife.

    Maqel dropped to his knees and made his obeisance.

    ?My father,? he said, ?my mother. I humbly await your will.? The words tumbled out with all the ease of a thousand times? practice.

    His father bade him rise with a small gesture of the hand, the broad palm covering the top of Maqel?s head, then lifting toward Hajii. He made no sound. Maqel too was silent; his oath of obedience spoken, he could not speak again until bid to do so.

    The whole world, indeed, seemed to have gone silent in anticipation. No insects buzzed; no winds blew; no stones shifted from their places.

    His father?s hand came to rest on his shoulder and guided Maqel about to face the east and the fiery Guardians. He could not look directly at them for their brightness, so he dropped his gaze to the earth.

    Immediately the sand fascinated him. That in itself was not unusual. Maqel had loved the sand since before he could put a name to the emotion. There could not be more colors in the universe, he thought, than there were in just a handful of sand. In the old stories, the stories of the land before the Giants, he had heard of hills and mountains and pictured them as giant mounds of sand, baked to glassy iridescence by the Guardians? heat.

    Unusual now was the way each grain became distinct, growing sharper edges and deeper pits of color, though Maqel focused on none of them; each was a miniscule mountain unto itself.

    Then, as he watched, the damp patch at his feet shuddered and spread, until the water was bubbling up and flowing past him.

    A river, he thought. And while he was still watching the miraculous water, the scrubby plants drank it up by their roots and sprouted. They tripled in size every moment until they towered over Maqel and even over the rock that had once shaded them.

    Maqel struggled to remember the word for this massive round plant, this thing of legend.

    Trees, he thought at last. They are trees. Trees and flowing water. He gazed up at the tree nearest him, trying to gauge its height, and was distracted again by something yet higher in the distance.

    It rose to an impossible point, razor-sharp; it shimmered in the noon heat, tan and tree-green, silver-black, noon-blue, rose and orange and gold of evening sky. It?no, they, for it had brothers, like and yet unlike, climbing to dizzying heights, forming points and swirls and a hundred fantastic sha
  15. Shaindl

    Shaindl Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Jun 18, 2002
    The imagery you create is just incredible, Mina. The place you described almost sounds like Naboo. I can't wait to find out what the dreams signify.

    Sigh. I was always terrible at dream interpretation in my psych courses. Apparently, I'm no better at it when it's fictional characters having the dreams! :D

    Can't wait for more!

  16. Jane Jinn

    Jane Jinn Jedi Knight star 5

    Jan 12, 2000
    No offense, but doesn't this take place at least forty years before Tahiri is even born? I'm not well up on the NJO either, though.

    I agree, the imagery here is incredible! I liked the contemplation of sand with all its colours, and the way that Maqel thought that hills and mountains must be huge mounds of sand. He's not so wrong, from a certain point of view.

    Good touch, having Maqel have to struggle to remember what the word for those things of legend was: trees.

    I'll bet that must seem like a paradise indeed, especially the part about the flowing water. But now I'm concerned about the black figure that Maqel saw behind his parents. A threat, of course, but what? Interesting that Maqel thought he had to reach the paradise in order to save his parents.

    Well, I can't wait to see where all this is heading. Wednesdays and Saturdays? I'll be looking.
  17. Sock_of_Darth_Vader

    Sock_of_Darth_Vader Jedi Padawan star 4

    Dec 24, 2002
    Wow, Mina, this is an unusual idea for a fic. I like the promise of Luke as a character ;) You know me.
  18. SpeldoriontheBlended

    SpeldoriontheBlended Jedi Padawan star 4

    Apr 12, 2002
    Cool post.

    Has this got anything to do with the Tusken Anakin saved?
  19. Wilhelmina

    Wilhelmina Jedi Master star 3

    Jul 4, 2002
    Shaindl: Thanks! :D I like writing dreams, though in this case, the dreams did a little writing of their own?they revealed a part of the story to me that I hadn?t originally envisioned.

    Jane: Your guess is better than mine, as my entire knowledge of the NJO is drawn from fanfic. ;)

    Black figures are a bit all-purpose as villains. ;) This one will get a more definite shape?eventually. :D

    Cat: Yay! You came! :) Our beloved Luke plays an important role in the second half of the story?I hope you can bear with Maqel till then. ;)

    Blended: Thank you! :) No, I didn?t have that in mind when I wrote this. Hope you like the next post.

    Here ?tis, as promised!


    He ran until he awoke.

    His thrashing had not disturbed his bantha in the least. Imu rested in the shade between blankets of sand and stars, her concentration devoted to chewing her cud. Wisps of red sky signaled the end of Hajii and Nejii?s circuit.

    ?Have I slept all day?? Maqel asked, shaking his head to clear it of the dreams. ?Then we must move again or freeze. I have nothing to make fire.? He coughed and realized that he had not had water for nearly a day either. He groped about his person and closed his fingers about the flask he wore on a cord around his neck.

    He shook it as he took a gulp. There was enough there to last a day, perhaps, but no longer.

    ?We must find water,? he told Imu. ?Where are we??

    Imu did not answer. Maqel sat up straight and cast about for his bearings. If Imu had not changed direction while he slept, then home was behind him, to the south, hidden by the horizon. To the west was more flat land, punctuated here and there with the slight roll of a dune. The east and the north he could spy, distantly, the faint outlines of rock formations. They were not the Watchers.

    He recalled the rock formations in his vision that had brought forth water and trees. Could these be one and the same?

    At any rate, they were nothing he had seen before anywhere near his home, and home was the one place he could not risk returning to, lest the monster were still there. The rocks held the promise of shade, and were a point he could fix his eyes on without losing his way.

    He aimed a swift kick at Imu?s ribs to get her on her feet and pointed her northeast. To the rocks they would go; beyond that he could not fathom. It looked as if his future might be a very short one.

    ?Hajii help me,? he said to the last fingers of red as they slipped away in the west.


    The moons, the Sentinels, were too bright, and the night too empty. It ought to have been full of the howls of nocturnal creatures and the scent of moon-loving flowers. It was all dead, like all the tribe.

    He was certain they were all dead, Shumi and Zev and Asi-na and Father and Mother and the rest. His visions had said as much. Perhaps the monster had killed everything but Maqel and Imu. Perhaps they were all alone in the world, and perhaps the monster would hunt them down too.

    His friends would have laughed and called him a dreamer if they could hear his thoughts. They could not laugh at him now. Maqel let out a laugh for them. It was hesitant, and slightly hysterical.

    Imu rumbled a bit as though she could read his mood, and Maqel calmed slightly. Of course the monster had not killed everything in the world. They were simply traveling through a very dry patch of desert where not even flies deigned to buzz; this made it all the more imperative to move. They must find water.

    He sat a little straighter and dug in his heels a little deeper, focusing on the silhouette of the rocks.

    Something hovered at the edge of Maqel's vision. He froze, his teeth clamping together, then inched his head to the left to get a better view. It was a shadow, nothing more, but blacker than the sky and wholly inexplicable. It drew all of Maqel's attention as saliva pooled in his mouth, his neck and throat too tense even to swallow.

    It must only
  20. Jane Jinn

    Jane Jinn Jedi Knight star 5

    Jan 12, 2000
    So Hajii and Nejii are the twin suns? I should have realized that earlier. I liked the idea of the moons being the Sentinels, but I wonder why they never spoke in any of the old legends. Why are they silent? If they are Hajii's servants, don't they report to him occasionally? Or do they communicate in other ways? Fascinating ideas abound in this story, I must admit.

    I can't imagine that Maqel will find trees in the rock formation, but maybe there will be a bit of water there and a plant or two. I mean, the Sand People have to get moisture from somewhere.

    I liked the mood of the scene, with everything too quiet, so that it seems as dead as the tribe, and then the chill as the dark shadow appears. I can remember that same feeling from when I was a girl -- the fear of the dark, and not being able to look away from the light. I can't help wonder what that shadow is, or what's causing it.
  21. idarii

    idarii Jedi Padawan star 4

    Jun 25, 2002
    this is my first forray into the fan fiction board ... on a whim, i wondered tonight, "has anyone written anything from the point of view of a tusken raider?" and here i find this - beautifully crafted, compelling, spellbinding, an enchanting little shard of what i'm sure is a rich culture. and here you've presented the necessary elements, and then some (e.g. adding in religion - and how i loved your delay of reveling the deities as the twin suns). the desertscape is bare and uninviting, but you've painted this splendid picture where the colors of the sand are myriad and the horizon is not flat. excellent job! i cannot wait to read more!
  22. Shaindl

    Shaindl Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Jun 18, 2002
    Jane said it best - intriguing ideas abound in this story. To take such a maligned race in the GFFA, and to give them such an incredible culture takes an immense amount of talent. This is just wonderful and every post is such a pleasure to read. The way you've combined different myths and religious elements is fascinating.

    Can't wait for more!

  23. Wilhelmina

    Wilhelmina Jedi Master star 3

    Jul 4, 2002
    Jane: Yep, Hajii and Nejii are the red sun and the white sun, respectively. :)

    I can remember that same feeling from when I was a girl -- the fear of the dark, and not being able to look away from the light.

    Me too. ;)

    idarii: Hello! You are very welcome here. :) I hope you decide to stay. Thank you for all the kind words!

    you've painted this splendid picture where the colors of the sand are myriad and the horizon is not flat.

    Yes, and that?s mostly Maqel?s doing?this is a child (almost-man) who loves the desert, despite its hardships. :)

    Shaindl: Thank you. [face_blush] I find it interesting that Sand People are so often written off as subhuman or even animal?their ways may be utterly foreign to those with whom they come in contact, but they?ve probably got a reason for living the way they do. I?m not trying to justify all their actions, just explore them as a people. :)

    Today?s post, unfortunately, is on the short side (okay, the very short side), but next Saturday?s post is quite long, and there wasn?t any other good way to divide them. So stick around. ;)


    He reached the outcropping of rock just as Nejii joined Hajii and tumbled off Imu, rocking unsteadily some half dozen steps before he thudded down in the shade. His eyes and nose and fingers probed for the telltale damp spot that would indicate water in the earth, but found none. All his search unearthed were the faded skeletons of a once-green plant and an unidentifiable rodent, perhaps a womprat. Any viable part of the rodent?s carcass had long since been picked away by scavengers, and the frail, dead plant crumbled at his touch.

    ?Chaiyin! Nothing!? Maqel pounded the ground until his fists throbbed, then tucked them against his sides and howled.

    Why? he wanted to ask Hajii. Why did you promise me water where there was none? Did you bring me out here to kill me? Why not then let me die with the rest of my tribe? But he could not say it, not aloud. Hajii did not suffer opposition.

    Hajii with his war-face seemed to have heard Maqel?s thoughts, though, because as he climbed he beat down mercilessly. He seemed in Maqel?s fevered sight to grow larger and redder, his light overcoming Nejii his wife until only redness was above. His heat filled the air and thrummed with his voice. It bounced off the ground, the rock, everything, and Maqel?s ringing ears could not but hear it; it was the voice of condemnation.

    Maqel bowed his head in penitence. The heat abated but little, and Maqel began to shake. He had no sacrifice to offer; he did not know what else he could do to appease Hajii. He kept his face toward the ground until a prickly heat sprang up over the length of his back and neck and arms. Then he got up, still shaking, and led Imu into the shade to lie down. She curled herself into a half-circle, and Maqel stretched against her side to take his sleep. It did not come easily.

    Hajii did not gift him with any dreams that day.

  24. Sache8

    Sache8 Jedi Master star 4

    Mar 19, 2000
    Well, Mina, as your now self-declared biggest fan, I finally swung my way over here. :p

    This fic is amazing. I absolutely adore the prologue. As it was with the Snow Star, you have an incredible gift for this kind of folktale/mythology type stuff. The 'voice' of it is right, and I should know, I've been inundating myself in the Silmarillion for tha past two weeks. :p

    There are too many things I would like to comment on, and many of them already have, so I'll just keep myself to a minimum. ;)

    My first thought is of the first dream, and the mysterious "who" that said he'd make the Tusken boys men. This triggers an old memory, just after we went to see AotC, where my mom (of all people) said she wouldn't be surprised if Palpatine were somehow responsible for using Shmi as a means to encite Anakin. I thought it was a bit farfetched at the time, and still do, actually, but the scenario in this dream reminded me of it.

    Quick question- Have we seen the Watchers in any of the films?

    This place where the story has left off reminds me of Elijah in the Bible, during the famine, when God fed him by having the birds bring him bread for... 40 days? Can't remember the length of time offhand.

    I'll be sticking around, girlie. This story is far to rich and crafted to miss. :D
  25. Jane Jinn

    Jane Jinn Jedi Knight star 5

    Jan 12, 2000
    Sorry I'm late. Real life caught up to me with a vengeance this week.

    Hajii did not suffer opposition. So Hajii has a well-known personality? I can see why, on a place like Tatooine. Is he ever swayed by Tusken actions? Would Maqel's penance have any effect on him, I mean? Hmmm.

    Sounds like there was water there once ... to judge by the plant and the animal. Just as there was once life back in the camp, but now everything seems to be dead.

    I'm looking forward to the next part. :)
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