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Saga - PT Notes from the Field [exploring non-Human cultures for the 2021 Fanfiction Summer Olympics]

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by Seldes_Katne, Jul 2, 2021.

  1. AzureAngel2

    AzureAngel2 Chosen One star 6

    Jun 14, 2005
    I do feel very happy and honoured now. Thanks! =D=^:)^[:D]:*

    Wonderful concept of yours! And perfect addition for your Olympic Challenge ideas! [face_love]
    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha and Kahara like this.
  2. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Aug 31, 2004
    [face_rofl] What's chicken?! All the tourists with their cameras [face_rofl] =D=
    Kahara and Seldes_Katne like this.
  3. Seldes_Katne

    Seldes_Katne Jedi Grand Master star 2

    Mar 18, 2002
    Particularly the tourists with cameras. :D I really don't understand the whole "selfie" thing. I mean, everyone who knows me knows what I look like -- why would they need my face in a million photos? Won't they just take my word that I was there?

    Anyway, thank you! I'm glad you found it entertaining.

    Thank you! I'm pleased you enjoyed this last entry. After this decathlon, I think I'm ready for a vacation....

    Thank you for both reading and commenting. This decathlon was a blast, if exhausting. I actually started a list of more stories I could have added -- then common sense (and my self-preservation instinct) kicked in. I do, however, still have that list saved somewhere, just in case....

    Might be material for Ratatouille II. ;)

    I have not been to this section of Diss-Ney World yet (waiting until it's safe to travel again), but it's definitely on my "to-do list." Kinda miffed that adults aren't allowed to wear suitable costumes, though.... (And yes, I understand the reasoning. I'm just... miffed. Because I love costumes!)

    Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed my stories.

    Thank you! This was fun to write, and your art is an inspiration. I may have to start taking drawing lessons now...
  4. Findswoman

    Findswoman WIP Month Champion and Hostess Extraordinaire star 5

    Feb 27, 2014
    Whoa, this was one surreal crossover experience! And a hilarious one, too! [face_laugh] So, if I'm understanding aright, Vestri and Dex have both ended up at Disney World, and although I have actually no personal experience with Disney parks (what! what's wrong with you, Finds! :p ) I can completely imagine that such an experience would tax even Vestri's strongest ethnographic capabilities. Actually, in a way, just because she is so good at what she does within her own galaxy, it's interesting to see her a bit stymied here in this one (so many humans? What's "chicken"? Who's Ursula? Why don't they get an actual Ithorian?), and how she reacts to that puzzlement and overcomes it—something good to know how to do in her line of work! And REMY! What fun to see him make an appearance—I'm sure he did a mighty fine job taking over at Dex's Diner, though I too don't doubt Dex will be very glad to be back to his own kitchen! (He might give "chicken" a try sometime, however; it's good stuff! :p ) Waiting till the end to show us @AzureAngel2 's cool artwork that served as your prompt was a great touch that brought everything together and made for a great "oh, ah ha!" moment. Wonderful, fantastical, AU-ful wrapup to a wonderful series—thank you so much! =D=
  5. Seldes_Katne

    Seldes_Katne Jedi Grand Master star 2

    Mar 18, 2002
    Disney Parks can tax almost anyone, particularly their stamina. [face_laugh] I've been several times, although not to the Star Wars (or Harry Potter) areas -- those were both added after my last visit several years ago. Disney is worth at least one visit -- I recommend a trip once it's again safe to travel.

    Sometimes you just have to roll with it.... :cool:

    I suspect Remy might have enjoyed being in a place where no one reacted negatively to a rat in the kitchen. Because why would they? Half the clientele resembles some sort of Terrestrial animal, after all.

    No argument here.

    AzureAngel2's art was the inspiration for this whole thing -- the story wouldn't exist if not for that, so I'm grateful she posted it.

    And thank you, Findswoman, for reading and commenting!
  6. Seldes_Katne

    Seldes_Katne Jedi Grand Master star 2

    Mar 18, 2002
    Follow-Up Studies

    In cultural studies, there are times when the original visit, interview, or observation is not enough, and additional work is required. The following are additions to some of the events noted above:

    Follow-up to “Called to the Dance”

    “I’ve been thinking of adding a Communications Specialist to our group,” Vestri told Aonda as they sat outdoors at a table near one of the food vendors. The Aleena rarely ate in public, but they understood that many other species did, and honestly, the variety of food was one of the Festival’s best features. “You know, someone to keep track of reports and holo-calls and make sure we check in with the University.”

    “All right. We can advertise when we get back to Coruscant.”

    “Well, actually, I thought I’d just offer that job to Saphiro.”

    The Twi’lek lowered her fork and peered at her companion. “How would Saphiro even manage that? He’s a rock.”

    “But he has such eloquent silences!” Vestri exclaimed, grinning.

    Follow-up to “Misunderstood”

    “Do you have any questions for us?” Vestri asked.

    The female Gamorrean glanced from Vestri to her two companions and back. “I –I’m supposed to ask questions?”

    “Well, you don’t have to,” Aonda assured her. “But it gives you a chance to get clarification for anything we discussed during the interview, or to find out about things we might not have mentioned that you want to know.”

    “Oh.” Trognue Guuleem sat blinking. “I’m not sure what to ask. I’ve … never had a job interview before.”

    Puzzled, Vestri glanced down at Trognue’s application. “It says here that you previously worked for Mugwaar’s Gambling Palace on Ord Mantell, providing security. How did you get that job, if you didn’t interview?”

    “Oh, that.” Trognue shrugged. “Mugwaar’s needed a couple of extra guards, so my uncle E told me to dress up like a male and go to work with him. Nobody questioned it. After a couple of weeks, I was just added to the payroll.”

    “Well, that’s certainly a … relaxed hiring policy,” Vestri remarked.

    “How is your uncle?” Aonda asked.

    Trognue grinned. “He’s fine. He said to say ‘hello’ for him.”

    Vestri smiled. “Good to hear he’s doing all right. Well, I know you’ve applied for an accountant’s job, but we’d like to offer you a security position.”

    “Oh. Well, okay. I mean, I kind of figured – “

    “Because the security position pays better,” Vestri continued. “However, we don’t tend to need a lot of security on our trips –”

    Daggeri had pulled a knife from her belt and was casually polishing it. “That’s for certain.”

    “ – so we thought you could spend the hours doing the accounting for our expedition. Just as long as you’re available for security measures if needed.”

    “Oh!” Trognue perked up. “I – I think I could manage that.”

    "Out of curiosity, how did you earn your accountant's certificate?" Aonda asked.

    "Took a correspondence course. Didn't have to see the instructor or sit in a class, so nobody knew I was Gamorrean. As long as I paid for the course, nobody cared I was Gamorrean." Trognue spread her hands. "I saw what my da and uncle went through, trying to get educated. I figured this might work better."

    "Smart," Daggeri remarked.

    “Getting back to the job in question; at the end of six months, we will review the situation and see if everyone wants to continue,” Aonda said. “When the contract expires, at the very least you will have a year’s certified experience as an accountant, plus a letter of reference for your next job.”

    The Gamorrean’s gaze flicked from one to another of them. “Really? You’d do that for me?”

    Vestri smiled. “It’s pretty standard for an employer to serve as a reference for a former employee. Plus, we understand what it’s like for someone who doesn’t fit, umm, how do I want to put this –”

    “—The racial stereotypes,” Aonda finished for her. “None of the rest of us really fit the expectations people have of our species.”

    “But you all seem normal to me.”

    “Normal is a relative term,” Vestri told her.

    “Really, really relative, in some cases,” Daggeri added.

    “So, if you accept the job –”

    Trognue nodded once. “I’ll take it!”

    “—then welcome to our expedition team!” Vestri finished.

    “Oh, and the next time you talk to your father,” Aonda added, “tell him we think we’ve found a publisher for the family poet.”

    Follow-Up to “Library Rescue”

    Vestri Dain had met Kethuthasing at the Theed Spaceport on Naboo. Public transport and private speeder had carried them to the edge of Gungan territory. From there, they had hiked a short distance through the trees and down hills. The path wound along the landscape, remaining well above the waterline. At last, Vestri stopped at what appeared to be a series of low-hanging tree branches, but as she pushed them aside, Kethuthasing could see they were leafy vines covering an opening that led to an overhang of stone. Inside, a globe of plasma lit the interior, revealing a series of wooden poles set in the ground. From each pole hung several objects; the poles bore carved letters in both Aurebesh and another language that Vestri confirmed was High Gungan.

    “About a stone’s throw that way –” she indicated a direction further down the trail “—is the beginning of the local Sacred Place. Only the Gungans are allowed to enter, but they’ve set up this Shrine for anyone who wishes to pay homage to the Jedi.”

    Some of the poles, she explained, bore the name of a Jedi known to be dead; others had no inscriptions, and would be engraved in the future with new names, or would remain unmarked as a tribute to those whose date of death was unknown.

    The Otollo Gungan who served as the Shrine Attendant indicated an undecorated pole, beckoning Kethuthasing and Vestri forward.

    “In memory of Jocasta Nu, Jedi and Archivist,” Kethuthasing intoned solemnly. One of his prehensile leaf “arms” held up a pentagonal glass ornament and hung it on one of the pole’s abbreviated branches. A data rod hung from four of the five corners; the fifth bore a hole for the hanger. The center pentagon held a swirl of colors, like stained glass. “I did not know her well, but I know that she was dedicated to the pursuit and preservation of knowledge and wielded the Force to that end. May her hidden archive remain safe until it is needed again.”

    The Shrine attendant carefully carved Nu’s name in both Aurebesh and High Gungan symbols on the pole, nodded respectfully to both Human and Revwien, and then withdrew. Vestri and Kethuthasing spent the next two hours wandered among the posts -- Vestri pointed out the remembrances honoring Qui-Gon Jinn, killed during the Battle for Naboo; Obi-Wan Kenobi, missing after the fall of the Republic and presumed dead; and Kit Fisto, whom Vestri had actually met and for whose marker she had brought a shell from his homeworld of Glee Anselm. With the Battle of Yavin won two years past, it was now safe to publicly acknowledge the Jedi again, and both beings took advantage of that freedom.

    Follow-Up to “What We Do for Our Friends”

    Vestri’s note to self: Survived the concert. Discovered major advantages to the Ithorian lack of external ear openings. Aonda has given me meds for my headache and says my hearing will fully return within a week.

    Finally understand why Querth is working with us instead of on an Ithorian herdship. Or maybe they all like this kind of music. More research is certainly indicated….

    Follow-up to “Relegated to the Children’s Table”

    “Guess who sent you a message.” Aonda handed Vestri a data tablet.

    “Hm. Some wealthy aristocrat who wants to leave me a ship-load of credits?”

    “No. Do you even know any wealthy aristocrats?”

    “Not unless they were cleverly disguised as a commoner when I met them.” Vestri suddenly looked wary. “My mother?”

    “No, you’re safe on that one.”

    “Maybe it’s Adrick,” Vestri mused, taking the tablet.

    Aonda smirked. “Not unless he’s sprouted tentacles since we last saw him.”

    “Tentacles?” Vestri opened the message. “Ah. Dr. Eliss!” She began reading. “’Dr. Dain’.” Vestri shook her head and glanced up at Aonda. “That’s just weird. I feel as though I should be performing surgery somewhere….” She looked back at the tablet. “’Congratulations on finishing your doctoral work. A colleague of mine at Coruscant University has told me about your adventures while working on your research…’.”


    Vestri Dain looked around the restaurant table at her colleagues. “I know we’ve spent the last few months galivanting around the galaxy, researching and experiencing different cultures. Two of us have gotten university degrees out of it, one is now certified to practice medicine on a variety of lifeforms, one has earned a Master Gardener title, and I think we can all consider this time in our lives as a success.

    “However, I also think we’ve reached a point where we may or may not choose to continue on as a group. Each of us has individual goals and desires in our lives, and we may not all be able to realize those in the same way or the same place. So, I thought it might be time to talk about our futures.”

    She took a deep breath. “I’ve been offered a professorship at Sanbra University in the Anthropology Department. I will be teaching as well as continuing original research into various cultures around the galaxy. Sanbra is a shuttle ride away from Naboo, so I would finally be close to home. The pay is decent and the work sounds interesting – this is what I’ve been studying, after all. I plan to accept this job, although I have a couple of months before the semester starts. But I wanted to ask what everyone else wants to do going forward.”

    Daggeri and Neshu exchanged glances. “So, no more adventures?” Neshu asked finally.

    “Like this relationship isn’t an adventure?” Daggeri teased, grinning.

    “That’s an adventure I don’t mind,” Neshu assured her, smiling. “But I for one would be happy to do less traveling for the time being. I want to begin publishing articles on certain aspects of galactic history, and perhaps even write a book or two. I can, however, do that almost anywhere. So, the location would be mostly up to Daggeri.”

    The Togruta shrugged. “I can go into any of several fields, I guess. Teach courses about historical weaponry, with hands-on lab experience. Teach self-defense techniques. Appraise antique weapons. If we go to Sanbra, I can look around at what jobs are available, and go from there.”

    Aonda nodded. “I can practice medicine almost anywhere, at this point. Either hospital or private practice. At the very least, Sanbra would be a starting point.”

    Zeta hovered in the space between Vestri and Querth. “I have enjoyed our travels,” the droid said, “but I would also be fine with fewer adventures. I wish to remain near my friends and colleagues for now. I will look for communications work, possibly with the University, or possibly in news reporting or documentary recordings. I see no reason I could not find work on Sanbra.”

    Querth stood blinking thoughtfully. “I wish to rejoin a herdship and spend time among my own people again. However, herdships follow the hyperspace lanes to many planets, and I expect that one will eventually stop at Sanbra. I have many specimens from different worlds, and now would be a good time to catalog them. Like Neshu, I can do that on any planet that has the proper facilities. I might even be able to get a job with the university in the botany department, or with a private greenhouse.”

    Vestri again gazed around the table. Then she glanced at the Ithorian. “Querth, would you say that we’re all ready to put down roots?”

    Querth squeezed his eyes closed in amusement and bobbed his head. “It sounds very much like that to me. We have all soaked up water and sunshine – now it is time to find good soil and bloom.”


    Author’s note: When I first began writing the stories of The Mythologist, I had no clear plan or idea of where my character would go. Now we seem to have a “found family” to travel with us on our journey – wherever that may take us. If nothing else, Tem Eliss and Sanbra University are known for publishing their Guide to Intelligent Life, which details and catalogues many of the non-Human cultures of the GFFA. So, there is plenty more exploring to do.

    There is an old (Earth) story of a man who made a deal with the Devil – his soul in exchange for a magical pocket watch that could stop time. The man planned to live until he experienced the happiest day of his life, and then activate the watch, to enjoy that experience forever. The day he married, he was tempted to use the watch – but then considered that there might be an even better day. The day his first child was born, he was again tempted, but again thought that there might be an even better day. And so he continued through his life, always postponing the use of the watch, until his life was nearly over. The Devil came to collect him, escorting him into a train car for the ride to his final reward. On that car the man saw everyone he had ever loved, everyone who had shared his life’s journey.

    And that’s when he used the watch. Because it was the journey, not a single moment, that had made his life worth living.

    Thank you to everyone who has been reading and taking this journey.
  7. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Aug 31, 2004
    Wonderful follow-ups ;) I especially like the interview sequel =D= and I love that everyone is "putting down roots" near one another, pursuing individual goals in close proximity. @};-
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  8. Thumper09

    Thumper09 Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Dec 9, 2001
    I really enjoyed the follow-ups! I think my favorite part of all of them was the casual mention that the team might have found a publisher for the poet in Trognue's family. It's such a subtle line, but that sentence shows that the group goes out of their way to help beings they don't know, even when it doesn't directly impact their team or their field studies. They didn't have to do it, but they did it anyway, and the galaxy will be better for it.

    If Vestri does more research into the types of music other Ithorians like, I hope she's prepared if it turns out their tastes run along the same lines as Querth's. :p

    It sounds like Sanbra is going to be the start of lots of new careers and new adventures. :)

    Thanks very much for sharing your stories here! Lots of food for thought while being very enjoyable. =D=
  9. Seldes_Katne

    Seldes_Katne Jedi Grand Master star 2

    Mar 18, 2002
    Goodness, how did it get to be Friday already? I feel as though I should be posting a new story here tomorrow....

    Thank you. Trognue really is a fun character -- she seems like Meena, the elephant from Sing -- really wants something better, but not quite ready to take that scary first step.

    At this point, Vestri and company may have an in with a university press or small publisher, but hey, it's a start. I think most of their group knows how it feels to be told "no, you can't do that" based on race. Why not do something nice for someone else? It doesn't cost much, or take a great deal of effort.

    I hope I'm on the pre-publication list for that poetry volume, because now I'm curious!

    Yes. Especially since almost the entire Ithorian species is pacifistic and soft-spoken. Hidden depths, and all that.

    We'll see what happens on Sanbra. I have a couple more stories I'd like to write for The Mythologist, and then I think I can move forward.

    Thank you for reading and commenting!
  10. Kahara

    Kahara Force Ghost star 4

    Mar 3, 2001
    Loved all of these so much, I don't think I can even pick a favorite. This is just so fun, and very insightful at the same time. It was wonderful to get to know Vestri's fellow scholars + crew better, and I'm happy to see that they'll be keeping in touch even though they're splitting up to take on new adventures!
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2021
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  11. Findswoman

    Findswoman WIP Month Champion and Hostess Extraordinaire star 5

    Feb 27, 2014
    OOH, HOW COOL, YOU DID THE FOLLOW-UPS! What a wonderful bonus and wrap-up to each of the main stories! Very hard to choose a favorite here. I am of course delighted to see Trognue end up in a good situation as both accountant and security guard to Vestri and co., ditto that Vestri got through the loud concert with no ill effects. Beautiful memorial to Jocasta Nu, too; I always love your Gungan worldbuikding, of course. And I for one am thrilled to see such a cool and unique ensemble cast emerge out of this series—always love a good OC ensemble cast! Bravissima on bringing another fantastic series to completion, and more! =D=
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2021
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