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Saga - OT Once a Pirate|Fic Gift for Seldes Katne| Hondo Ohnaka |humor, adventure

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by Raissa Baiard, Jan 3, 2023.

  1. Raissa Baiard

    Raissa Baiard Chosen One star 4

    Nov 22, 1999
    Title: Once a Pirate
    Author: Raissa Baiard
    Genre: Humor, adventure
    Characters: Hondo Ohnaka, Jacen Syndulla, Maz Kanata, Strono “Cookie” Tuggs, Z’Vk’Thkrkza (“Aunt Z”), Kragan Gorr
    Timeframe: OT, circa 8 ABY
    Synopsis: Fearing that his best exploits are behind him, Hondo Ohnaka takes his hold-son Jacen Syndulla on an adventure to prove that he is still a legendary pirate.

    Notes: This story was written for @Seldes_Katne as part of the 2022 Winter Holiday Fic Gift Exchange. Her wish was:
    As my stories have a way of doing, this turned into a larger project than I intended, but here is the first half. Happy holidays and happy new year, @Seldes_Katne ! I hope you'll enjoy this as much I've enjoyed writing your wish [:D]

    Part One

    “Uncle Hondo, my mom says you used to be a pirate.”

    Well, let me tell you, I nearly spat out the chilled meiloorun juice I was drinking when my young hold-son, Jacen Syndulla, said that! If anyone other than the small, adorably green-haired son of my dear friend Hera and her dearly departed Jedi, Kanan, had accused me of used to being a pirate, I would have had very strong words for them. As it was, all I could do was splutter, “Used to be?! Used to be?!?!? My dear boy, Hondo Ohnaka is a pirate! The greatest pirate in the history of piracy!”

    The boy did not have the good grace to look contrite—really, children these days! When I was young, children were expected to defer to their elders. Not me, mind you, but you know, children in general. Instead of being appropriately awed to be in the presence of the Galaxy’s greatest rogue, he simply wrinkled his nose at me, unconvinced. “Really? You seem pretty funny to be a pirate. Aren’t pirates supposed to be, like, mean?”

    I pondered this as I sipped my meiloorun juice—cold and refreshing, but sadly non-alcoholic. I prefer spicebrew for serious mulling purposes, but while Hera Syndulla is an impeccable hostess, matter how many subtle hints I have dropped in her ear-cones, she still does not keep it—or indeed anything harder than blue milk—on hand for my visits. Ah, well, even legendary space pirates must make do with what they have occasionally…

    As to the “funny” part, I had to admit that Jacen had somewhat of a point there. I am, of course, an exceptionally humorous being, possessed as I am of the keenest wit and able to turn a phrase upside down and backwards. But was I too funny to be a pirate? It was not as if I were some sort of slapstickish buffoon like that Gungan fellow, Jar Jar Something-or-Other, who used to turn up around Anakin Skywalker like a bad credit.

    And as for mean…I prefer to think of myself as a hard bargainer, driven, perhaps even ruthless or even implacable. (An excellent word, yes?) Surely my reputation preceded me in that regard. Had Jacen never heard of the time I’d imprisoned Obi-Wan Kenobi, Anakin Skywalker and Count Dooku and chained them all together? (That had been most amusing!) Did he not know about the time that I’d kidnapped Ahsoka Tano and her Jedi younglings? (Adorable, yes, but business was business.) Had he not heard of the time… no, come to think of it, he probably had not. I have great regard for Hera Syndulla, but she is not the type to regale her youngling with tales of piratical escapades—unlike my own dear (so to speak) mother, who taught me the finer points of ship-jacking and hostage taking before she booted me out of the nest for good.

    But as I continued to mull and sip, sip and mull, a rather uncomfortable thought struck me: none of those escapades were what one might term recent. They had all, in fact, occurred during the Clone Wars. Which that had been ten…no, twe—could it really be nearly thirty years ago? Impossible! Could it be that my finest exploits were behind me? Was I now no more than Jacen’s harmless crazy uncle?

    No! No—for was I not still Hondo Ohnaka? The Hondo Ohnaka! I was! I am! I set my empty tumbler down with a resolute thump and rose to my feet. “Hondo Ohnaka is still the greatest pirate in the Galaxy,” I exclaimed, in the ringing tones which I had once used to inspire Ohnaka’s Gang to greater and more glorious deeds of piracy. “And to prove it to you, young Jacen, your Uncle Hondo is going to take you on a piratical adventure the likes of which you have only dreamed of. Assuming you dream of pirate-y things.”

    “I don’t think Mom will let me go.” My stirring words and dramatic pose should have had the boy clambering for action, but somehow he remained unmoved. Children these days. (Yes, I realize that I already said that, but it bears repeating. Children these days.) Clearly he needed the finer points of piracy explained to him; it was very good that he had me there to enlighten him!

    “Well, no, not if we simply walk up to her and tell her we’re going out pirating. If you’re going to be a pirate, my boy, you have to learn to finesse.”

    “You’re going to lie to my Mom?” I could not tell if Jacen was impressed or horrified by that prospect. Possibly some mix of the two.

    “Yes! No! Well, not lie as such.” One did not lie outright to a woman; it is a well known fact that they can smell lies a klick away, like a firaxan shark smelling blood. “We will be truthful-ish…about some things. For example, I shall tell her that I would enjoy spending some time with you—true!—because you remind me so much of our dear, long-lost Ezra—also true!” I patted Jacen’s head and he gave a small, happy wriggle, like a mooka pup. “Then once I have tugged at the strings of her heart sufficiently, I shall propose that it would be most diverting for you to take a small jaunt with your favorite Uncle Hondo. And if she is still distrustful, I shall give her the sad Weequay eyes, like so, and clap my hand over my heart aggrievedly, like so, and remind her that I am a certified hero of the Rebellion for my part in the liberation of this very planet and so of course I will let nothing befall even the smallest green hair on you head! You see, all very truthful-ish! We shall simply omit the part about it being a pirate adventure!”

    Jacen crinkled his nose again. “You think that will work?” Ah, such cynicism at such a tender young age!

    “Trust me, dear boy!” Was I not Hondo Ohnaka—the Hondo Ohnaka!—and had I not pulled off countless daring escapades? “Trust me!”

    It took a bit of doing, but Hera was no match for my persuasional skills—along with a bit of sad-eyed pleading on Jacen’s part. It pains me to admit, but his mooka-eyed “Pleeease, Mom!” was more effective than all of my sad Weequay eyes and dramatic poses. (I must consider adding a small child to my crew to help with negotiations…)

    Soon, we were on our way in the Katooni, with Jacen next to me in the co-pilot’s seat. Of course, Hera had no idea of our true destination. I had merely told her that we were going to visit an old friend of mine, a collector of rare antiquities who had ears in every little crevice of the Galaxy and who would undoubtedly know any rumors of stray young Jedi or a certain puffed-up blue admiral. All of this was true but only truthful-ish, for the friend in question was Maz Kanata, the Pirate Queen herself. And Maz’s castle on Takodana was certain to be full of smugglers, thieves and other assorted scum and villainy, of the kind which Hera would most definitely Not Approve Of.

    But whatever objections Hera would have had, had she but known where we were going, I was certain that no harm would come to young Jacen. For was he not in the company of the infamous pirate Hondo Ohnaka? Who would dare to trifle with someone of my glorious reputation? No one, that was who! Oh, and also because Maz enforced a strict “no fighting” policy in her castle. Anyone who broke that rule was banned from the castle permanently, and the very prospect was sufficient to keep the riffety-raff in line.

    When we arrived at Maz’s castle, I was pleased to note that the banner with the Ohnaka Gang’s insignia still hung in Maz’s courtyard, even though we had disbanded many years earlier. (Ah, such a pirate crew there never was before, nor ever will be again!) Jacen’s eyes grew as round as credit-coins as we took a seat at one of the many tables in the grand hall. And who could blame the boy? It was still rather impressive even after all the years that I had been coming there. There were beings of every conceivable species, some gathered around gaming tables playing sabacc and chance cubes, others in knots of twos and threes, heads close together in hush-hush conservation, and some alone, hunched over vile-looking drinks. The house musicians, Sudswater Dillifay Glon and his Shag Kava band, were playing “Nama Heh” on the bandstand—and let me tell you, that Zenezian can really rock a halikset! Servers and wait-droids wove between tables with drink laden trays, but before I could even flag one down to order a spicebrew (for myself) and a meiloorun juice (for Jacen), a familiar voice rang out: “Hondooo Oooooohnaaaaka!”

    Only one person in the Galaxy could say my name like that, all stretched out like warm tepasi taffy, and indeed there she was, peering at me through her magnifying goggles as if I were something the tooka had left on her doorstep. I stood up, arms flung wide, and gave her my most charming smile. “Maz, old thing! It’s been too long! You don’t look a day over 950!”

    She sat down in one of the empty chairs at our table and crossed her arms over her chest. “Hmph, you always were a flatterer, Ohnaka. What do you want now?”

    “You wound me, Maz!” I clapped a hand over my heart aggrievedly, a pose which had not had much effect on Hera's disposition towards me—and did not look like it was going to have one on Maz, either. “When have I ever asked you for anything?”

    “Every time you’ve come here.”

    “Well, yes,” I sighed. “I might need the teeniest of teeny-tiny favors. But before we get to that, allow me to introduce to you my very excellent young hold-son, Jacen Syndulla!”

    “Your hold-son?” Maz leaned towards Jacen, twiddling her goggles back and forth until her eyes were as big and credit-coin round as his. “Oh, child, I’m sorry…”

    I nodded, puffing my chest out with understandable pride. Why be modest when you are as great as the great Hondo Ohnaka? “Yes, yes,…you’re right, he’s truly fortunate that…wait! What do you mean sorry?!?”

    “If the boy’s parents picked you to care for him in their absence, there must have been a serious lack of responsible adults for them to choose from.”

    “Well, Hera did not exactly select me,” I admitted. “A mere oversight on her part, I’m sure, so I appointed myself. Anywho…Jacen, meet Maz Kanata, Pirate Queen, and mistress of this very impressive castle.”

    Now it was Jacen’s turn to peer into Maz’s face and stare at her as if she was some strange specimen, which, let’s be honest, she rather is. “Really?” He looked between us. “Wait…so, if she’s the Pirate Queen and you're the Pirate King, does that mean you guys are…”

    “No!” Maz and I exclaimed at the same time. (Perhaps a bit more forcefully than was truly necessary in Maz’s case; Hondo Ohnaka is an excellent catch. Just ask Aurra…no, don’t ask her…or…no, nor her…or…just take my word on it, yes?) “And this is why I have brought Jacen here to your marvelous abode, dear Maz, to learn the finer points of piracy! Tell me, my boy, what is the most important thing to a pirate?”

    He thought for a moment, crinkling his nose in that most adorable fashion he has. “Corellian rum?” he suggested brightly.

    “A good guess, but no, there is one thing that we like even more—I speak,of course, of treasure! And that, dearest Maz, is where you come in!”

    “Me?” Maz wrinkled her nose, what she has of one. It was considerably less adorable than when Jacen had done it, suggesting that perhaps I had a dead giju hidden somewhere on my person.

    “Naturally…for does not the Pirate Queen have eye and ear feelers all through the Republic? Who knows more than you what elusive treasures may be out there just waiting to be claimed by an intrepid young pirate? Preferably one that will not be too difficult to claim,” I added in a very sotto voce. “Normally Hondo Ohnaka laughs at danger, but facing Hera Syndulla if I bring her son home in less than ideal condition is too much for even this pirate.”

    “You want a child-friendly pirate adventure?”

    I clapped my hands together. “Yes, you understand exactly!”

    Maz gave me a pained look, then looked at Jacen, back at me, and at Jacen again, and I could see the moment that all her protests died on her lips. It was the adorableness that did it, of course. It gets them every time, for who could resist such a face? (I must seriously see about adding a child to my crew. Or possibly a very cute Ugnaught…) She sighed heavily and rubbed her temples. “I must be going soft, but wait here, I’ll see what I can do.”

    She returned a short time later, as I was regaling an awestruck Jacen with tales of my glorious exploits as we sipped our respective beverages. She was accompanied by a burly Artiodac wearing a heavy leather apron that was nearly the same color and texture as his skin. Artiodacs, in general, are not the most conventionally attractive of species, what with their blocky heads, stooped posture and bulging muscles, and this particular Artiodac—well, I am sure that his mother loved him, at any rate. His features were misaligned, one of his eyes was milky white and one leg was shorter than the other. He grunted as he sank down into the chair across from me.

    “Boys, this is my good friend, Strono Tuggs,” Maz said. “He has a small errand I think you can help him with.

    The Artiodac grunted again. “I need ya t’get a data cube from my old apprentice, Z’Vk’Thkrkza,” he said in a deep, rumbly voice that a bull bantha would have envied. “She has a place on Castilon…”

    “Ah, the old apprentice absconding with a data cube story, eh? What is it…treasure map? Ancient manuscripts? Database of people who owe you money?”

    “What?” Tuggs’s brow furrowed. It was quite a brow, even before furrowing. “No, it’s just…”

    “It doesn’t matter!” I stood dramatically and banged the table, just for emphasis, you know? “Whatever it is, we shall recover your treasure from this Zik-va-thirkav… Zivka-thrikaza…Zivik-thirvikzzz…from your wayward apprentice! Come, Jacen! Adventure awaits!”

    To be continued...
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2023
  2. Cowgirl Jedi 1701

    Cowgirl Jedi 1701 Force Ghost star 5

    Dec 21, 2016
    Hondo! He is such a delightfully amusing scoundrel who secretly has a heart of gold, and that's why I love him. Also, shenanigans.
  3. UltramassiveUbersue

    UltramassiveUbersue Jedi Knight star 3

    Nov 7, 2022
    This was so entertaining-- Hondo's a riot, and I love his narrative voice. I'm excited to read more about his child-friendly pirating adventure! :D
  4. Nehru_Amidala

    Nehru_Amidala Force Ghost star 7

    Oct 3, 2016
    This was hilarious- I laughed out loud many times as I read this. I can hear Jim’s voice in my head as Hondo as I read this, it’s scary how in character you have him in this. I thought this was an excellent first part, and I eagerly await part dos!
  5. Seldes_Katne

    Seldes_Katne Force Ghost star 3

    Mar 18, 2002
    This story is delightful -- the voices are authentic, there is plenty of humor, and I feel as though I got a bonus gift here, since it features both Hondo and Maz! :D I'm happy to see Maz's castle on Takodana again (I'd love to explore that place for a couple of weeks!) and I even recognize Strono Tuggs (I think I have one of his books somewhere around here).

    Some of my favorite lines:
    For some reason, the O.Henry story "The Ransom of Red Chief" popped into my head.

    Yeah, I can see where that second bit would help.

    I know this is canon, but it still should be the name of someone's garage band. Or a guest act on The Muppet Show. Either one.

    Oh, ouch. [face_laugh] Accurate, mind you, but ... ouch.

    I think this might be my favorite line of the story up to this point. Although I must confess, when I read that I immediately responded, "Oh, yes, please!" But of course that's exactly what I'm getting here, and I couldn't be happier about it.

    Thank you, Raissa Baiard. I'm enjoying this immensely, and like everyone else, I'm looking forward to Part Two.
  6. Kahara

    Kahara Chosen One star 4

    Mar 3, 2001
    I don't know how you and @Seldes_Katne both wound up writing Hondo Ohnaka stories for each other, but what a fortuitous coincidence it is! [face_dancing]

    [face_laugh] I can just hear him saying exactly that. And I love how you immediately get a sense of where Hondo is in his life and how much his role as eccentric uncle means while at the same time he doesn't want to allow the idea that he's not a pirate anymore. (The scandal! THE UTTER SCANDAL! :eek:)


    Leave it to a small child to ask the most ego-busting possible questions. [face_laugh]

    Hera! :hera: Just from the little bit that he mentions, I'm so delighted with the idea of Hera and Hondo being friends (not that I know if either of them would put it in those terms but still).

    :p The dismay here is endearing -- though I do sympathize!

    [face_laugh] Love Hondo's laundry list of questionable achievements here -- I do have to say that some of them didn't quite turn out for him the way that he thought they would...

    :eek: Perish the thought!

    :p More likely, disbelieving that anyone could get away with it -- fair!

    Aww! So cute, the both of them! [face_love] Though I think Jacen's got the tooka-eyes down to a science a bit more. [face_laugh]

    There is just no way this can go wrong. :D

    :) It's great to see that Hondo is actually doing a pretty decent job of searching out leads to where those two might be.

    MAZ KANATA! [face_dancing] There are few things in the universe that cannot be improved by the addition of a Maz Kanata cameo.

    :p Actually very practical of him, but of course they are going to have an Adventure!


    Just everything with Maz and Hondo here is fantastic; I really enjoyed their teasing and Maz's skepticism about Hondo as hold-parent material. :p


    Wise man, sometimes at least.

    [face_laugh] This is all just too cute!

    Oh, is that a complication I see? Nah, couldn't be.

    :p I'm sure that will all go to plan.

    Looking forward to seeing more of the adventures of this... sort of dastardly... okay mostly just adorable... duo. :)
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2023
  7. Findswoman

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

    Feb 27, 2014
    Aw, yeah, hooray for a Hondo adventure! And even better than that, a Hondo-and-Jacen adventure that combines elements of Rebels, Galaxy’s Edge, and Resistance—and Maz—who else but you could do that kind of combination with this kind of panache! (And yes, it is really and truly fantastic that both you and Seldes wrote Hondo stories for each other this year; says a lot about the appeal of the character!) Like so many of the other commenters have said, you really have Hondo's / Cummings’s voice down perfectly; I know you weren’t sure whether to do this story in first or third person, but I think first was the right choice, and an inspired one! Poos Hondo in some ways, though; he really is more or less a Harmless Weird Old Uncle at this point and is in absolutely priceless denial about it, but then again I have a feeling that the pirating impulse really isn’t totally gone from him, either. Great banter with Maz and avuncular interactions with Jacen, and with Aunt Z and Cookie in the mix you have put together a wonderful mostly-alien cast. Like @Kahara, I’m sure the ensuing adventure will go completely according to plan and will be everything Hondo expected it to be! Or not! :p Thanks so much for being part of this challenge, and I am eagerly awaiting part deux! =D=
  8. Gabri_Jade

    Gabri_Jade Fanfic Archive Editor Emeritus star 5 VIP

    Nov 9, 2002
    I'm really impressed with how well you capture Hondo's voice throughout; however much I love Hondo, I don't think I could write him convincingly for more than a paragraph or two, but he's just perfectly in character here from beginning to end :cool:

    Honestly, I had been wondering about that. This makes much more sense :p

    Disney's really missing a trick if they don't establish exactly something like this in Galaxy's Edge. I would happily pay for a child-friendly pirate adventure with Hondo :p

    Very nicely done; I look forward to seeing how this adventure plays out - and maybe even more so, Hera's eventual reaction to it :p
  9. Chyntuck

    Chyntuck Force Ghost star 5

    Jul 11, 2014
    I'm not sure I still have something to say after all the awesome reviews that this awesome story has so far, but I'm still going to give it a shot [face_nail_biting]

    First of all, your voice for Hondo is pitch-perfect, and that's the case from the get-go. I mean, of course he would be scandalised at the idea that anyone could accuse him of "used to being a pirate", and all his asides are simply hilarious (I think my favourite was the bit about lying to women :p ) But then, there's also the fact that Jacen is the perfect foil for him, asking all the blunt questions in that perfect, childlike way of his, but also putting up a great act himself to obtain what he wants. If Hondo is going to teach his (self-proclaimed, which was priceless) hold-son how to "finesse", he may need to realise that sad Weequay eyes just don't cut it!

    And Maz! Of course she and Hondo would be buddies of sorts, and of course she would greet him with a resounding “Hondooo Oooooohnaaaaka!” as soon as he sets foot into her castle. And everything there – the description of the castle, the denizens, the band [face_rofl] and Maz herself – was, once again, perfect.
    [face_laugh] [face_laugh] [face_laugh]

    I laughed so hard with all this, and I suspect that there's much more laughter in store for us when you continue this story, because as a child-friendly pirate adventure McGuffin, that datacube is bound to not be what Hondo expects!

  10. JediMaster_Jen

    JediMaster_Jen Force Ghost star 4

    Jun 3, 2002
    Oh, a Hondo adventure!! Definitely my favorite pirate and scoundrel. I loved Jacen's "used to be a pirate" comment. :D And Hondo's reaction. He's a bit offended but its super hard to be upset with Jacen. Great story!
  11. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Aug 31, 2004
    [face_laugh] I found this through a mention in the Favorites of Fanfiction. And what a treat! Hondo's voice is too inimitable [face_laugh] Maz is always fun to encounter.

    I wonder what the treasure really is and hope for his sake Jacen isn't the worst for the adventure.

    Findswoman and Kahara like this.