main
side
curve
  1. Welcome to the new boards! Details here!

Saga - PT Snips and Snails and Bantha's Tails - OC Revolution Pet Challenge - Family of Scoundrels fic

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by Kit', Jun 3, 2020.

  1. Kit'

    Kit' Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Oct 30, 1999
    Title: Snips and Snails and Bantha's Tails
    Author: Kit'
    Timeframe: Prequel Saga
    Characters: Family of Scoundrels - Kithera, Del, Zallie, Nicco, Estra and the twins
    Genre: OC Revolution Pet Challenge
    Summary: Everyone remembers their first pet, but what if you live on a starship and your pet dreams are bigger than what the ship can carry?
    Notes: This is the first official Family of Scoundrels fic that features the entire family. There is more of them in the Spoonful of Trouble Drabbles and Sister Thief. You don't need to have read USJS or any of the other stuff to hopefully get this as it's very much stand alone. It's also part of the OC Revolution Spring Pet Challenge.

    I realise I’ve topped my story and named it with the same nursery rhyme as I gave out in the mini challenge but I did this before I remembered that it was a nursery rhyme I'd provided for that challenge.

    Enjoy.

    ***​

    What are little boys made of?
    What are little boys made of?
    Snips and snails
    And bantha tails,
    That’s what little boys are made of.

    What are little girls made of?

    What are little girls made of?
    Marrafa and spice
    And everything nice,
    That’s what little girls are made of.

    Old Alderaan nursery rhyme


    *~*~*
    The asking – 35BBY (5 3/4 years old)


    “Mama?”

    Kithera rolled over and opened bleary eyes to see her daughter standing in the dim glow of her night torch.

    “Yes, Zallie?”

    “Mama, can we get a pet?”

    Kithera frowned and squinted. She touched the button of the chrono and then winced as the time slowly swam into view and was registered by her still sleeping brain.

    “Zallie, it’s four o’clock in the morning. Why do you want a pet now?”

    “All the children in the flimsies have pets, why can’t I have pet?”

    “It’s 4am Zallie, can we talk about this in the morning please?”

    “It is the morning.”

    “I know, but later in the morning. Much later. You need to go back to bed and mama needs to get sleep. We’ll talk about it in the morning.”

    “So, I can get a pet?”

    “We’ll have to talk about it. There would be lots of rules but we’ll talk about it later.”

    “Okay mama,” the little girl smiled and pattered from the room on bare feet. There was movement on the other side of the bed and Kit felt Del’s hand slide across her stomach as he pulled her closer.

    “You know,” he said quietly into the gloom, “that when you tell her you’ll talk about it she thinks you’re saying yes.”

    “I know, but it’s a flight of fancy at four am, she’ll forget about it by morning.”

    “I don’t know if we are talking about the same girl Rin. I think you thinking she’ll forget is rather hopeful.”

    “Look, given it is four o’clock I think I can be hopeful that the answer I gave will at least get us two more hours of sleep.”

    “True, true. I’m sure your right and she’ll forget.”

    “Uh hmmmm…sleeping now.”

    He kissed the side of her head as she snuggled deeper into his arms. The darkness surrounded them and there was peace and silence.

    *~*~*

    Pet 1 – The Jerba - Jojo - 34BBY - 6 and a bit


    “Uh, Da, you need to come and see this.”

    “What’s up sprout?” Del scooted the mechanics seat out from under the panel and looked at his son. Nicco was leaning against the edge of the door, a dirty rag in his hands and a rather bemused expression on his face.

    “You’ve got to come and see this, Zallie has gotten into a scrap and I can’t find Rin.”

    “I think she’s putting the twins down for a nap.” Del slowly got to his feet feeling his muscles protest at moving after lying prone for so long and the panel. “Is it a paying customer? Also, how did the six-year-old get a customer? Is Estra with her?”

    “It’s too hard to explain Da, you’ve really got to come and look.”

    Da watched his grinning son disappear down the corridor. He sighed. Somehow, he had a bad feeling about this. He followed his son, gathering stuff and hoping that whatever trouble Zallie had gotten herself into that Kit would be able to hand wave it away. Of all the abilities he missed from his formed life, that was the biggest. Hand waving away any potential danger would have saved him a lot of heartache.

    The smell his him first. The winds of Tatooine had blown small eddies of sand into the landing pad, but the smell wasn’t the usual dry, sucking smell of the desert. It was the richer, earthier and definitely more musky smell of an animal. Del rounded the corner on the bottom deck and came face-to-face with a long brown, hair covered snout. Two ridged horns extended above its head and it looked at him with the placid but wholly stupid eyes of a Jerba. A cheerful face, missing one tooth and with messy dark brown pigtails leant over the animal’s head and waved at him.

    “Can I keep it?”

    Del slowly dragged one hand down his face. From beside the animal and holding the lead came Estra.

    “Um…how…why do you have a Jerba? Weren’t you just getting supplies from town? Like basic necessities. Last time I checked neither Rin nor I specified that we needed a Jerba.”

    “Sorry Da,” Estra shrugged and had the grace to look rather abashed, “but Zallie saw them. Then she wanted to pet them. Then she did that hand thingy that Rin does occasionally and the guy just gave us one to keep.”

    “Wait. What hand thingy?” Del was suddenly on edge. He knew that Kit had been teaching Zallie the basics of Jedi training. They’d argued about it until Kit had pointed out that untrained the girl would be far more dangerous and that it might come in handy. But this worried Del, his adopted daughter wasn’t old enough or wise enough to understand just how much force to use when doing a mind trick.

    “You know, the hand thingy that she does when she needs to get her way with a rube. The one you two argue about all the time. That one.” Nicco said making the gesture from where he was perched up on the boxes watching the show with all the bemused wisdom that an eighteen-year-old boy can muster.

    Del sighed again.

    “No Zallie, you can’t keep him. You and Estra need to take him home.” There was a wail from the back of the Jerba who stamped its hooves. Del suddenly realised just how big the animal was and how bad things could get if the animal panicked. “You’ll need to take your mama too,” he said hoping that Zallie would calm and glad to be able to palm the job of consoling the six-year-old off onto his partner.

    “Isn’t she putting the twins to sleep for their nap?” Nicco asked, obviously still enjoying his time in the peanut gallery. Del glared at his son.

    “Alright Zallie, the Jerba can stay until Rin gets down, then he’s going home.”

    The girl slipped off the animals back and grinned up at him. She patted the animals huge flank and it flicked its tail gently. She reached up and grabbed the lead out of Estra’s unresisting hands.

    “Come on Jojo, I’ll show you around.” The girl smiled and lead the animal back outside the cargo bay and into the hot sun.

    “Jojo?”

    Del glanced at Estra who shrugged.

    “She named him.”

    From outside the ship there was a startled bellow. Estra’s eyes widened slightly.

    “Uh, I’ll go check on her.”

    “I’d check on Jojo,” Del said tamping down on the sudden desire for a stiff drink. “I imagine by now she's already covered him with rainbow clips and is half way through plaiting his tail.”


    To be continued...
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2020
    Tarsier, Kahara and Findswoman like this.
  2. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host Who Loves Fanfics & RPGs star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    [face_rofl] Oh, this is going to be a FUN FAMILY romp!
     
    Kahara and Kit' like this.
  3. Kit'

    Kit' Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Oct 30, 1999
    Thanks @WarmNyota_SweetAyesha! @};- Hopefully it's a romp for everyone! I mean how much trouble can you get into when you've got a kid who brings home everything as 'pet' [face_laugh]

    **

    *~*~*


    Pet 5 – The Spine Spider – Fluffy - 33BBY (7 1/2 years old)


    “Uh, Zallie? What is that?” Estra tried to stop her voice from rising as panic gripped her. Over Zallie’s shoulder two long, spindly legs waved briefly in the air before finding purchase. The creature hauled itself over the girl’s shoulder and Estra clamped two hands over her mouth as she squealed. The creature regarded her through its four beady eyes, its fangs dripping long yellow strings of liquid. Zallie frowned at her sister and reached up. The beady eyed creature scuttled onto her hand, its eight legs moving quickly and effortlessly. Zallie looked down at creature and smiled at it, reaching up a hand to softly brush its hairy body with one tiny finger.

    “This is Fluffy,” she thrust her hand forward and Estra found herself scrambling backwards to try and find higher ground. Part of the darkest reaches of her brain reminded her that the spider could obviously climb but she tried to ignore it.

    “Fluffy?” Her voice cracked as she said the name. The spider waved its front legs again as one drop of the thick yellow saliva dropped from its fang to land on Zallie’s dress.

    “Do you want to pat it?” The girl asked oblivious to Estra’s growing distress.

    “Uh…I’m okay. Rin?” The last word was a wail. The next second Kithera was at the door, pushing damp blonde hair out her eyes. She took one look at Zallie’s latest acquisition and paused.

    “Sweetheart, where did you get that?” Kit’s voice was calm in a way that Estra couldn’t quite understand. How could you possibly be calm in the face of such evil?

    “I caught him.” Zallie said cheerfully. “Would you like to hold fluffy? We could keep him. You said I could get a pet.”

    “I said I would think about you getting a pet my sweet, but I think if we take fluffy he’ll miss his friends. He would be sad.”

    “Oh. I don’t want him to be sad.” The girl’s smile dropped and she looked at the spider who waved its legs again.

    “How about we take Fluffy back to his friends,” Kit said encouragingly, “and then you can come and help me bake a cake.

    “Okay.” The voice was a tiny noise of disappointment.

    Kithera patted her daughter on the shoulder and lead her quietly and gently out of the room. As the door closed behind them Estra let out the breath she didn’t even realise that she’d been holding as her knees gave way beneath her.



    *~*~*​


    Pet 8 – The Gurrcat - Puss - 32BBY - (8 1/4 years old)


    “Before you say anything Zallie we are not getting one of those as a pet.”

    “But Estra, she’s so cute.”

    “Nothing with big claws and sharp teeth is cute.”

    “We could call her Puss.”

    “We could call her a problem.”

    “Uh, look girls as much as I love both of you, I don’t want to see Del’s face if I can only bring half of you home.”

    There was a long pause as the three sized up the Gurrcat snarling at the end of the thick metal chain.

    “Can’t you do your handwavy thing Zallie?” Estra asked taking a step towards the animal. It snarled and lunged at her and she hopped back out of the way.

    “Mama has told me I’m not allowed to do that until I’m older.”

    “Look kiddo, I’m sure that it’ll be fine this one time. We need to hit this place before the owners get home.”

    “Yeah, well the Gurrcat is kind of putting paid to that.” Estra again glaring at her brother, “so we’re pretty stuffed. Great for our first solo job.”

    “Well, in my plan we scaled the wall, I just wasn’t planning on the kiddo tagging along.”

    Zallie looked offended, “Mama and Papa said I could go with you.”

    “No, they said to keep out of their way.” Nicco was facing off with Zallie who was pouting at her older brother.

    “Well, this is out of their way.” Zallie’s pout grew

    “Stop both of you. The Gurrcat problem needs to be solved and quickly.”

    “Fine, I’ll do the handwavy thing, but you can’t tell Da or Mama.”

    “I’m not going to tell them.”

    “Me neither.”

    “Pinkie swear?”

    “Zallie,” both voices raised in exasperation.

    “Fine. Come here puss.” The fingers wiggled and the animal instantly calmed. Zallie took a step forward and Nicco put a hand on her shoulder terrified she was about to be shredded. At the gesture the Gurrcat was immediately on its feet again snarling and angry.

    “Why did you do that?” Zallie turned on her brother, “we were friends and now I have to do it again.”

    The hand waved this time and Gurrcat calmed and started purring. Zallie took two steps forward and wrapped her hands around the big cat’s neck. It purred and rubbed its head against her. The two other siblings looked at each other.

    “I hate how she does that.”

    “I love it if it gets us where we need to be.”

    They walked past both taking a wide berth around the still purring animal which Zallie was scratching between the ears.

    “May we…” the little girl started.

    “No. We can’t. We’re going to get into enough trouble as it is. You cannot have it as a pet.”

    “But it’s not fair that it’s on a chain. I would feed it and look after it. I promise.”

    “Nope. Not for all the pinkie promises in the world.”

    “It could be useful.” Estra’s face was thoughtful.

    “I’m not explaining to Da and Rin where we got it from or how we got it.” Nicco’s voice was stern, “Zallie you stay out with here with the thing and we’ll do what we came here to do.”

    The two older siblings headed towards the house. As they walked away they could hear Zallie’s voice in the background as she rubbed the Gurrcat’s belly.

    “I know, he’s a big meanie. No, you can’t eat him. Not even if you ask nicely.”


    To be continued...
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2020
  4. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host Who Loves Fanfics & RPGs star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    :eek: on the spider and that Gurrcat -- neither one sounds like a cuddly, lovable pet :p Of the 3 kids though, looks like Zallie is the one up to the least mischief .
     
    Kahara, Findswoman and Kit' like this.
  5. Kit'

    Kit' Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Oct 30, 1999
    Just one story tonight. This is based on the time that my Dad bought me a Guinea Pig and in the journey between the pet shop and home that number mysteriously grew to 6. Then it happened again with the Mouse they bought me when I was about eight. Then again with the Rat at about 12. Apparently one could not purchase a single rodent in our family without expecting an unexpected delivery the next day!~
    [/INDENT]
    *~*~*[/INDENT]
    Pet 9 – The Gizka – m’Oli, Mr Big mouth, Chirpy, B’xter, Grumpy, Cheeky et.al. 31 BBY – (9 and 6 months)



    “Zallie!”

    The girl froze where she sat on her bed. She could hear her mother’s hurried footsteps coming down durasteel floor outside her room. She shoved Chirpy back under the covers of the bed and hoped that the little animal wouldn’t squirm.

    The door of her room slid open to reveal a very angry looking Kit, glaring down at her daughter. In her hands sat B’xter, it’s big and rather adorable eyes fixed on Zallie, it took half a leap forward but Kit caught it before it could make it to freedom.

    “Do you know what this is?” She asked her daughter accusingly. Zallie decided that now was the time for her most smile.

    “No mama,” she tried with the biggest and most innocent smile she could muster.

    “Don’t lie to me Zallie,” Kit warned her own smile tight, “The Force tells me when you lie. We don’t lie to each other in this family.”

    Zallie’s smile turned to a frown. It wasn’t fair. She couldn’t pull one over on her mother like she could with Da.

    “That’s B’xter,” she said grumpily.

    “That’s better. Do you know what B’xter is?”

    Zallie shook her head.

    “It’s a Gizka Zallie. Do you have any others?” The question was pointed, “and don’t lie.” Her mother added as she went to shake her head. The doona cover behind her moved and Kit pointed.

    “What’s that?”

    Zallie pulled the covers back and scooped up Chirpy protectively.

    “This is Chirpy.”

    “Uh huh? How many do you have Zallie?” Her mother was using that soft and even tone that Zallie knew meant trouble. She decided that maybe truth was the best avenue.

    “Well, I have m’Oli, Big Mouth, Mr Grumpy, Cheeky and then Chirpy and B’xter.”

    Her mother nodded.

    “and where have you been keeping them?”

    “In a container under my bed. I made it myself, want to see?” Her enthusiasm to show her mum what she’d made overtook the warning being screamed by what her mother referred to as The Force. She tossed Chirpy onto the bed where the animal squeaked and nattered at her in annoyance. Then she wriggled under her bed to pull out the rough box that served as their pen. It was, her heart dropped at the realisation, empty. She looked up at her mother and tried to smile again but Kit’s face was stony.

    “They aren’t there?” she asked softly.

    “Uh no.” Zallie said examine the hole in the back of the box.

    “Hmmm. Do you know what Gizka eat Zallie?”

    “Uh no. I’ve been feeding them scraps and they seemed happy with that.”

    “Gizka’s eat electrical wiring,” the voice stayed soft, calm and even. Zallie had the feeling that she was in terrible, terrible trouble.

    “Okay?”

    “What keeps The Lady in the sky Zallie?”

    Her eyes widened and her mouth made a little ‘o’ of surprise as the realisation hit her. Kithera nodded.

    “We have to find the Gizka now Zallie. They breed easily and often. I bet you started out with only one.”

    “Uh, yeah. Mr Grumpy.”

    “Excellent. Although I feared you’ve misnamed him.”

    “Oh?”

    “Yeah, it should have been Mrs Grumpy. Chirpy and B’xter here as Mrs Grumpy’s children.”

    “Oh.”

    “Yep. So kiddo. Del is going to land this ship so that we can make repairs. You and I are going to practice our mediation skills. I might even get the twins involved too. We are going to practice using the living force to find them all and get them somewhere safe.”

    “You won’t kill them will you?” Zallie was suddenly filled with panic. Kithera frowned.

    “No. Why would we do that? We’ll find them and contain them and then look for somewhere new for them to live.”

    “Oh,” Zallie’s frowned and her eyes filled with tears. The next second her mother was beside her, an arm around her shoulders holding her tight.

    “We will find you a pet precious girl, but it won’t be a Gizka. You just have to be patient. But for now we’re going to practice our Force skills. Then, once this is all done, you are going to spend some time meditating about the benefits of not lying to your mama.”
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2020
    Kahara, Tarsier and Findswoman like this.
  6. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host Who Loves Fanfics & RPGs star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    [face_laugh] The GFFA version of a tribble [face_mischief]
     
  7. Kit'

    Kit' Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Oct 30, 1999
    Yeah but they are like the literal definition of cute - ugly but interesting...
     
  8. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    Oh, this is so much fun! I'm so glad I caught up with this—just such a fun romp, and these characters are wonderful. :) Especially that Zallie is... really something, isn't she! [face_laugh] [face_laugh] [face_laugh] Not only is she obviously quite precocious with "that hand thingy," but I get the feeling she's got some beastwarden / animal affinity talent, too—can't everyone understand it's not entirely her fault that all these beasties keep flocking to her! Love how they run the entire range of cute and fluffy from spiny and many-eyed to big and snuffly—and how even the cutest and fluffiest are still menacing in their way (I remember what an annoyance the gizkas were in KOTOR—very much like tribbles, as @WarmNyota_SweetAyesha points out!). Thanks so much for sharing this fun little series of stories with the OC pets challenge, and you've got me raring to see more of this Family of Scoundrels! :D
     
  9. Kit'

    Kit' Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Oct 30, 1999
    I realised I didn't reply to this comment! =(( I must admit I love spiders. The other half hates them though, so when there is a spider in the house (which happens a lot because we like breeding insane creatures in Australia) I get to take them outside. I don't know if I could have one as a pet, but they are kind of adorable in their own eight-legged way. Agree with you about the Gurrcat though - no-one needs to accidentally lose a leg because Puss gets annoyed with you one day.

    Yeah, Zallie's kind of taken on a life of her own. :D Glad you like the Family and all the pets that Zallie is bringing home. Definitely agree that as time goes on there seems to be more and more of a beastwarden take which wasn't initially intended but I kind of like it. I think Zallie would have made a fearsome Jedi but given her mother and father's affinity for not following Council rules I'm pretty sure she would have run into just as much trouble - if not more! [face_devil]
     
  10. Kit'

    Kit' Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Oct 30, 1999
    *~*~*
    Pet 10 – Bergruffta – The Herd – 31 BBY – (9 and 6 months and a bit)



    “What’s up sprout?” Nicco looked up from where he had been trying to fix one of the control panels. Zallie was standing at the door looking pensive. They’d been trapped on the planet for several days now, The Lady had crashed deep into one of the forests and even though they’d gotten most of her back together, they still had no way of getting her out of the forest and into a clearing where she could take off. The Gizka’s had made rather short work of The Lady’s very old wiring system and the ship had come to a rather long but spluttered stop. Nicco and Estra had often teased Del that he would save The Lady first and them second, but when it came down to it Del had ditched his love into the forest to save them all. Now he was snapping at everyone but Nicco knew the anger was just a façade. He had seen his Father cry only twice, but then last night he’d gone to Lady’s mess for a glass of water and seen his father sobbing quietly by himself. He’d been wondering whether to go in when a heavily pregnant Rin had wandering past him. She had given his arm a comforting pat and then headed into the kitchen. Nicco had stayed long enough to see Rin put her arms around his father and him relax into her shoulder before heading back to his bunk.

    Nicco shook his head to clear the memory and smiled at his younger sister. Zallie too had been withdrawn since the crash, helping out more than she normally would and staying well out of everyone’s way when she couldn’t. She spent large amounts of time out in the forest, and Del had snapped at her about it being too dangerous until she started bringing home huge quantities of fruit. Now that Nicco thought about it, there should have been more questions as to where she’d gotten the fruit from, but the conservator had been taken out by the Gizka and they’d been down to their last rations, so any food had been a blessing.

    “Can you come with me? Please?”

    He frowned. Zallie was so normally upbeat and chirpy and definitely trying to get something out of him that her worried and anxious demeanour threw him momentarily.

    “I’ve got to fix this first sprout.”

    “I know, but they said they would help and I want you to come with me just in case.”

    Nicco nodded and climbed to his feet. He didn’t quite understand why he always ended up helping Zallie in whatever silly plan she had thought up. He was twelve years older than her and Del always told him that the age gap meant he should know better, but it seemed that when Zallie asked him to do something he always obeyed. It wasn’t as even she even had to use the ‘hand thingy’ as it had become known, to get him to do it either because there was no point. Her and Rin’s powers simply didn’t work on him or Del or Estra for that matter. Nicco had often wondered if it had something to do with growing up around Him but he was never game to ask either Rin or his Father about his theory. Talking about Him was strictly forbidden. She didn't even have to flutter her eyelashes for him to jump to help her every time, even when it was dangerous – especially when it was dangerous. It was just that even though Zallie wasn’t his blood sibling like Estra or the twins, she was his sister and that was all that mattered. He loved her in the same way he loved Estra and he had done so ever since she'd come screaming and pink into the world.

    Zallie reached out and took his hand and lead him out through the hanger bay doors and into the forest beyond. It was noisier out here. Birds called and fought in the torn canopy above the ship, somewhere an animal shrieked and there was a chorus of answers. The air was hot and humid and stick to the inside of his lungs making it hard to breathe. None of this seemed to affect his sister though. She led him down a tiny goat track deeper into the jungle.

    “Uh, Zallie, does Rin know where you go?”

    “No.”

    “Does Del?”

    “No.”

    “What about Estra and F-kisi?”

    “No? Why would I tell them? I told the twins.”

    Del thought about his four-year-old brothers and blinked at the concept of Zallie telling the twins anything. Unless it was about speeders and dirt and food then they wouldn’t have cared. He suddenly realised he hadn’t seen the twins at all that morning. He’d just figured that they’d been with one of the others.

    “Do you know where the twins are?” he asked gently.

    “Yeah, we’ll see them when we get there.”

    “When we get where?” Nicco stopped suddenly, almost jolting his sister off her feet. “You left the twins by themselves out here?”

    “They’re safe,” Zallie said frowning at him, “the herd will look after them.”

    Nicco tried to use any of the tricks that Rin and Del had taught him about being calm but none of them worked. The idea that Zallie had casually left her brothers out in the jungle to be eaten by Tivali knows what was beyond comprehension.

    “Come on. They won’t wait around forever.”

    She turned and pulled him further into the jungle. Nicco felt like the jungle was suddenly closing in around him. He’d heard of stories of Jedi turning to the darkside and the terrors that could bring and even though his sister wasn’t a Jedi by any stretch of the imagination, she could use the force. Maybe she could also turn to the darkside?

    They rounded the corner and the densely-packed trees of the jungle gave way to a clearing. On one side, perched on a fallen tree whose trunk was taller than he was, the twins sat waving cheerfully. Nicco felt like his heart restarted in his chest as he looked at their mops of blonde hair and grubby faces.

    “See?” Zallie said pointing at them, “I told you they were alright. It’s not like I was going to leave them out here for something to eat.”

    A bubble of hysterical, angry laughter rose up inside him. All the worry and fear for nothing. Part of him wanted to shake her for being so silly while the other part of him wanted to hug her for thinking such a terrible thing. He turned to look at Zallie who was regarding him seriously, her head tilted to one side.

    “So why are we here?” He asked trying to forget the last few minutes.

    “For them.” Zallie waved a hand past the fallen tree and Nicco looked up to see a huge herd of Bergruufta grazing peacefully. He knew about Bergruufta. They had been a desert animal, but their immense size and strength meant they’d been transported to nearly every corner of the galaxy. They were used for farming and travel and basically anything else that needed gigantic, strong and intelligent creatures. It wasn't often though that you saw them without a handler to make sure that they were using their immersive size and strength for something good. Nicco had once seen a village flattened by a herd of angry Bergruutfas and the memory still haunted him.

    “They’re wild.” Zallie said softly almost pre-empting his question, “and I was going to ask them if they could help us.”

    “You were going to ask them?” Nicco asked sizing up the huge animals who were watching the new comers with interest. He shouldn’t have been surprised though. Zallie brought home animals like it was a competition. Each of them named and their whole histories explained to anyone who would listen. Considering that she could make the occasional rube they encountered bend to her will whenever the parents weren’t watching, it shouldn’t have surprised him that she could do it to animals too.

    “Yeah, I need you here because I don’t know how to hook up The Lady to make sure we can pull her out of the jungle without doing more damage. I didn’t want to ask Da, he’s still too angry because of Mrs Grumpy.” She looked down at the ground and scuffed the toe of her shoe into the dirt. He dropped down into the trampled leaf litter and forest grass and took her gently by the shoulders.

    “Ask.” Nicco said softly, “I think it’s a great idea. We’ll work out how we can slide The Lady through the forest if they’ll help us.”

    Zallie gave him a soft, sad smile.

    “Do you think Da will still be angry with me if we get The Lady out?”

    Nicco shook his head. His Father had many problems but staying angry at his children had never been one of them.

    “No sprout. I think he’ll be really proud. I am. You thought of a really good way of getting us out of here”

    Her face lit up at the compliment. She skipped forward through the huge legs of the beasts who stood silently and still until she reached what Del assumed was the Matriarch of the herd. Zallie smiled up at it without saying anything and the big beast lowered its head until it was almost touching hers. A moment later Zallie turned and smiled at Del.

    “They said they’d help!” She yelled. Nicco gave her a thumbs up, not sure about what else he could really say. He couldn’t wait to see the rest of the family’s expression when Zallie brought home her latest pet.
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2020
  11. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host Who Loves Fanfics & RPGs star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Awesomeness! Zallie's animal affinity is put to a practical purpose and she approaches the amazing creatures with no fear and a lot of respect. :)
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2020
    Kahara, Findswoman and Kit' like this.
  12. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    Oh ho, looks like Zallie really does have a beastwarden talent! And it looks like that talent may end up saving her family's ship, just as it got it into the scrape it's in in the first place... will look forward to seeing what the Bergruufta (who seem like they may even be sentient!) will be able to do to help. :)
     
    Kahara and WarmNyota_SweetAyesha like this.
  13. Kit'

    Kit' Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Oct 30, 1999
    Yep. It's got to be useful eventually! Although it will get her into more trouble before this story ends (and it's much bigger now then I'd ever originally planned!)

    Actually I'd planned to leave that snippet there and more forward in time, but you actually inspired me to go back and revisit this snapshot. So thank you. I have been relying heavily on Wookieepedia for animal information and they said that the Bergruufta are sentient so I really tried to run with the fact that if they were like elephants then they would be intelligent and run in matriarchal families. I've also taken your advice with the beastwarden talent (I've learnt a lot writing this story!) and it's working really well so far.



    *~*~*

    Pet 11 – Yowler – The Troupe – 31 BBY – (9 and 6 months and a bit more)


    Kit sat backwards on the back of the swaying Bergruufta. Behind her the rest of the herd swayed together almost like a dance as they pulled The Lady behind them. Del had been worried that there was no track or trail but the Bergruufta had made one as they walked, stripping the trees of their branches and vegetation and shouldering the larger ones out of the way. The constant streams of drool that seemed to pool and pour from their mouths had also turned out to be a perfect, if disgusting lubricant that kept The Lady moving over the wet, forest floor. Kit was enjoying this, out here she could use The Force freely to get Del’s beloved ship where it needed to be and to assist in making the vehicle as light as possible to ease the struggle of her daughter’s new giant friends.

    Kit frowned to herself as she watched Del yell instructions to F’kisi and Nicco about keeping The Lady straight and which lines needed tensioning. She would have to talk to him later about Zallie. She could hear her daughter’s song humming through The Force, a trilling melody of happy strings and tinkling keys. A sound that she’d learnt only came when Zallie was around animals. A sound that, she shook her head in self-recrimination, should have alerted her to the Gizka. It would have alerted her if it hadn’t been for… Kithera stopped the thought before it came and rubbed her swollen and stretched belly with the palm of her hand, feeling the baby kick in response. Her daughter worried her in ways that she couldn’t quite put into words. Her affinity with animals and her growing ability with manipulating The Force could go in one of two directions. Kit had never seen a Beastwarden but Master Zahalin had told her tales of them when Kithera had been just apprenticed, but she’d never pursued it or tried to look into it further. Animals and study had never interested her in the way that dance and music had. Maybe if she’d stayed at the temple then Zallie’s ability would have been recognised and fostered but…Kit shook her head. There was never any good in looking back and wondering how life could have been different. She’d lost years of her life doing exactly that after her Master had died and the façade she had built herself in doing so had almost destroyed her. She and Del would have to protect Zallie and even though her partner had been stripped away from The Force, he was a far better teacher than she. They would surround Zallie with the love of the Family, just as they would for all their other children. That would keep her from going off the path and into the darkness, that would keep her daughter safe.

    There was a hoot of noise from up ahead and Kit felt a warning clash through The Force. Nicco and Estra paused below her in the gloom of the undergrowth their head’s whipping around to the exact point where the noise was coming from. Kit’s brow furrowed again, it was strange. For two teens, one teen and one young adult, she corrected herself, who couldn’t use The Force they seemed, at times, remarkably too perceptive of the world around them. The hoot sounded again and was joined by a chorus of screams and yells.

    “Rin?” Del’s voice floated up to her, “what can you see?”

    Kit shifted, as much as her pregnant body would allow and saw a flash of brown and green fur through the canopy. She winced.

    “Yowlers.” She called down. She wasn’t sure that was exactly what the little simians were called. The twins had called them that after their first raid on The Lady. They had done no damage just hollered and shrieked and pelted the ship with everything they could lay their tiny, dirty little hands on. Del had gone out after them to chase them away but they'd merely shrieked louder and used him as a moveable target for their pelting.

    “You need to get down from there.” Del’s voice had an edge, “I don’t want you up there if they attack.”

    Kit threw her hands in the air. For someone who was intelligent Del could also be immensely dense. How he expected her to heave her six-month pregnant belly over the side of Bergruufta and land gracefully on the forest floor was incomprehensible.

    “Sure…how would you like me to do that?” She called back. Below her Del scowled and threw his own hands in the air.

    “You got up there. Now you get down.”

    Kit was about to reply when the music changed. She’d gotten better at listening to the music. It no longer filled all of her making it almost impossible to think about anything else, like it had when she was younger. It was still there and sometimes it still overwhelmed her, but she had gotten better at letting it slide past her and over her, bending to the noise rather than standing still in its path. She twisted to stare over her shoulder. Behind her Zallie was standing on the back of the Matriarch, her hands outstretched her face concentrating. She wiggled her hand in a way that made Kit scowl. She thought she’d banned Zallie from doing ‘the hand thingy’ without her present to guide her. She thought about calling out but Zallie’s head titled on one side and she made a noise and the next thing a Yowler leapt from the trees. Kithera shrieked in terror as the tiny, brown green monkey flew at her daughter, its long canines exposed its mouth opened in noise. Then her daughter caught it and patted it soothingly. It looked at her and touched her face gently with the back of one paw and then snuggled against her. Around Kit the forest came alive with tiny, flying bodies all heading towards the Bergruufa who snorted and tossed their heads but didn’t move.

    “Rin, I’m coming up there. Push them off with The Force if you have to.”

    Her heart slowed as the tiny Yowlers regarded her warily. She opened her hand up and slowly extended it palm up. The tiny simian’s mouth twitched in what she assumed was a smile and it leapt at her, swinging around to land on her shoulder and natter into her ear.

    “Rin?” Del’s voice sounded desperate and worried.

    “We’re okay.” Kit called down to him as three other yowlers joined their troupe mate on the back of the giant beast. “I think Zallie’s just managed to find another pet.”


    Behind her, her daughter’s music sang again. Loud and imploring and full of happiness and love.
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2020
    Kahara, Tarsier and Findswoman like this.
  14. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host Who Loves Fanfics & RPGs star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Oooh, another pet indeed! Love Kit's musings.
     
    Kahara and Findswoman like this.
  15. devilinthedetails

    devilinthedetails Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Jun 19, 2019
    I love that you took the time to focus on pets and family in the galaxy far, far away, especially since pets can become like family.

    A highlight for me is the richly detailed descriptions that engage all my senses like this snippet:

    The smell hit him first. The winds of Tatooine had blown small eddies of sand into the landing pad, but the smell wasn’t the usual dry, sucking smell of the desert. It was the richer, earthier and definitely more musky smell of an animal. Del rounded the corner on the bottom deck and came face-to-face with a long brown, hair covered snout. Two ridged horns extended above its head and it looked at him with the placid but wholly stupid eyes of a Jerba. A cheerful face, missing one tooth and with messy dark brown pigtails leant over the animal’s head and waved at him.

    In this passage, my nose is engaged by the smell of animal, but I also get the feeling of the wind, and, of course, the appearance of the animal. So many details for me to sink my teeth into as my mind paints an image of the scene and the animal. Nice job:)
     
  16. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    Oh yes, Zallie's a real, true-blue beastwarden, no doubt about that! The beautiful music the Force makes whenever she uses that talent is a dead giveaway—and no doubt clues her mother in to the fact that this talent is a deep, fundamental part of who Zallie is. @};- Once again Zallie uses her talents to help her family—and I love that she didn't even need to be told, she just naturally stood up on the back of that Bergruufta and did what needed to be done. (Still looked like a bit of a close call with that one yowler, though! :p ) No wonder her Force-music sings out with extra beauty and clarity at the end. Very nice work once again—I'm so glad I got to know this! :)
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2020
  17. Kit'

    Kit' Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Oct 30, 1999
    Aww, thank you. I figured that I'd try and get around to each member of the family as we go, particularly as Zallie grows in power and age. There are going to be some worrying moment for her mum in future as she grapples with whether taking Zallie with her rather than giving her to the temple was the best idea.

    Thanks :) Sometimes I have to remember to actually put description in because I can see it in my head so vividly I think I assume other people can too. I read other people's stuff on here and the descriptions of settings are so wonderful that It reminds me that I actually have to put stuff in too!

    Definitely! I'm so glad you mentioned the Beastwarden thing as it's just ended up fitting so perfectly. I'm extra glad you are reading too!
     
  18. Kit'

    Kit' Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Oct 30, 1999
    *~*~*
    Pet 32 – Guarlara – Laluna – 27 BBY – (9 and 364 days exactly)


    “Isn’t she gorgeous?” Zallie was grinning from ear to ear. Estra nodded absent mindedly.

    “Sure, the Naboo Queens are always beautiful.”

    “No, not her. The Guarlara.”

    Estra looked up at the giant ungulate bearing the beautifully dressed young girl down the streets of Naboo. The streets around them were filled with people for the festival and parade. They'd already watched what felt like fifty Guarlara come down the street, a rich array of Naboo nobility on their backs. Estra was a little tired of so many animals but it was almost her sister's birthing day and she figured it was a neat way for Zallie to indulge her love of animals without the fear that she'd bring one home.

    “Sure, they’re nice too. Look sprout, we’ve got to focus on the people. No focusing on the Guara…”

    “Guarlara.”

    “Yep, that thing with the big mane and even bigger hooves. Try to find some sort of reasonable target. A bipedal, sentient and fabulously wealthy target. The crowd is going to make this both easy and hard sprout but you’ve had practice and you’ve got this. I’ll meet you by that light post in 30 minutes. If there are any problems or you think you’ve been made scarper and lay low for a while. Got it?”

    “Uh huh.”

    “Sprout.”

    “Got it. Got it.”

    Estra sighed and rubbed the bridge of her nose. She had a bad feeling about this.

    Half an hour later Estra was standing at the light post and there was no sign of Zallie. She sighed. It was going to take a lot of explaining to both Del and Rin about how she’d managed to lose her kid sister in the middle of a parade. Even more explanation if Zallie had been caught with her hands in someone elses’ pockets.

    “Hey you,” Estra almost jumped at the sound of the voice. She turned to see F’kisi regarding her. She gave him a smile and a nod trying to get her heart to stop hammering so hard in her chest.

    “Sprout is missing,” she said softly, “I told her if she was made to lay low but I didn’t think she’d actually need to. I don’t know what to tell Rin or Del.

    “We’ve got a bigger problem,” the young man gestured off to one side. Estra turned slightly to see a flash of tan in the crowd. Estra groaned. A young Jedi padawan was meandering through the crowd, all long arms and legs and oddly dreadlocked hair for a Zabrak. If there was a padawan around that meant a Master somewhere too and that meant trouble for The Family. She leant against the light post almost willing Zallie to appear.

    “Come on Sprout,” she whispered under the breath. Another flash of tan in coming down the road. The young Zabrak padawan waved and started towards his master. Estra tamped down on the sudden desire to run. Rin had done her best to teach them how to block a Jedi’s mental probing and it helped that she and Nicco seemed to be immune any Force powers, but she didn’t want to have to test that theory on a pair of Jedi.

    She watched the bigger Jedi warily as he came down to meet his padawan and her heart sunk when she saw that he was leading a happily, skipping Zallie by the hand.

    “Great.” She motioned up the hill towards the approaching Jedi and this time it was F’kisi’s turn to groan.

    “How do you want to play this?” He asked quietly. Estra shook her head quietly, her brain scrambling for a plan. F’kisi was Eena’s nephew, foisted, as her father had initially put it, on them because he’d screwed up something so badly on his home world that the elderly women of the tribe had wanted him gone until 'he grew up'. Unwilling to see her nephew cast out, Eena had contacted Rin for a favour and the next minute F’kisi had been onboard The Lady much to Da's disgruntlement. That had been four years ago and now he was part of the family and the one that everyone, particularly her Da, relied on. He touched her shoulder and she shrugged, trying to hold back the panic, anger and tears that threatened to overwhelm her. How could Sprout be so stupid as to get herself mixed up with a Jedi?

    “How about I take your stuff and meet you back at The Lady,” F’kisi said quietly and Estra could have hugged him and slapped him simultaneously for being so calm in the face of what had happened. “I’ll give the rest of The Family a heads up and we’ll make a plan.”

    “What do I do?” Estra asked, really that she sounded lost and panicked and hating herself for it.

    “Act like the terrified sister, you’re doing a bang up job of it at the moment.”

    She punched him on the shoulder frowning as the panic was replaced by anger. He laughed.

    “That’s better. There’s the Estra I know.” He leant forward and hugged her, throwing his cloak around her as he kissed her forehead in a manoeuvre they’d practiced so many times before as the best way to pass merchandise without being seen. Today it felt different, her heart jumped as his arm encircled her but she couldn't tell whether it was from panic or something else. She transferred the contents of her pockets to him under the protection of the cloak and then leant her head against his chest. He gave a tiny start of surprise and then she felt him relax.

    “You’ve got this,” he said quietly, “Tiviali will watch over you.”

    “You know I don’t believe in your Godess,” her voice was less convinced than usual even to her own ears.

    “You don’t have to believe in her,” F’kisi’s voice was the infuriating quietness of conviction, “she just has to believe in you.”

    He kissed her head again and she felt her heart flutter and her face grow warm. Then he was away. Leaving her to face the Jedi and her sister alone.

    To be continued...
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2020
    Kahara and Findswoman like this.
  19. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host Who Loves Fanfics & RPGs star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Oooh, Zallie got tangled up in something more worrying than a potential pet [face_worried] Estra and F'kisi ... more than just "teamwork" vibes there I think. ;)
     
    Kahara, Kit' and Findswoman like this.
  20. Kit'

    Kit' Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Oct 30, 1999
    Definitely! Estra's a bit more prickly then the rest of the Family but I think (well we know) that those edges will slowly wear down. And yeah...Zallie has bitten off way more than she can chew!
     
    Kahara and WarmNyota_SweetAyesha like this.
  21. Kit'

    Kit' Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Oct 30, 1999
    Got this almost done and then word shut down taking about 500 words with it. Almost cried but manage to salvage it. Hopefully the quick re-write still makes the story make sense.

    *~*~*
    Pet 32 – Guarlara – Laluna – 27 BBY – (9 and 364 days exactly) - Part 2


    Kirsh watched the parade and the festivities with a smile. He was glad that he had decided to take Heilan here on their way home. It was nice for the boy to see some of the more populous areas of the galaxy rather than the dusty, forgotten, outer rim planets that they always were sent to for healing and mission work. Kirsh paused at one of the stalls that was selling Jogan fruit. He picked up one of the over-ripe fruits letting the sweet smell fill his senses as he closed his eyes. There was a flicker of colour through the force and Kirsh opened his eyes to see the stall holder giving him a quizzical look.

    “Sorry,” Kirsh dug around in a pocket for some credits, “it’s just been a long time since I’ve had fresh Jogan fruit.”

    He passed the credits to the man trying not to look as awkward as he felt and made his way back into the crowd. He was supposed to meet Heilan soon, he’d given his padawan the mission of finding out the news from the townspeople. It was a silly and almost pointless exercise seeing as this had just been a cursory stop on their way back to the temple. Kirsh wasn’t expecting Heilan to find out anything other than gossip but it would be good for his normally shy and reticent padawan to extend his comfort zone and talk and listen to strangers. Kirsh leant against one of the brightly coloured light posts at the top of the hill, munching his fruit and watching the Guarlara come back to their stables, the nobility dismounting on the way. It was nice, he mused nodding to several members of the Naboo nobility who glanced in his direction, to be a Jedi without a mission for once.

    There was a flicker of colour in the force and Kirsh frowned slight.

    //Idiot. That’s your fault for thinking you could get through a day without a problem presenting itself.//

    He turned his head slowly and regretfully to where the flicker had come from and almost sighed in relief. It was only a little girl, about eleven or twelve dressed in a pretty dress and a short red jacket making her way through the crowds. She, too, was happily munching on a jogan fruit. Kirsh was about to turn away when there was another flicker. He watched as the girl slid past one of the members of the nobility, her hand flicked out and the next second there was a wallet sliding out of the owner’s pocket and into hers. Kirsh straightened, wondering if he should call out but also intrigued that no-one seemed to notice the small thief in their midst. He watched her do it two more times, the seemingly innocent, wandering child would cross paths with a noble and the next second she would be holding something of value. Every time the same flash of colours as she, he presumed unconciously, used The Force. Curious, Kirsh followed her as she made her way towards where the Guarlara were being stabled. She slipped inside without any of the stable hands noticing. Kirsh paused at the doorway, reaching out with The Force but his tentative probing was rebuffed. Kirsh’s frown deepened, it was unusual to find a child who could so competently and easily use The Force outside of the temple, let alone one who had what seemed like the simple but effective mental shields that was taught to padawans. Kirsh briefly wondered if she was a padawan, but the long brown hair and penchant for thievery would suggest otherwise.

    “Master Aleski!” Kirsh heard the call and turned to see Queen Amidala striding towards him. He bowed low and she nodded regally in return. “We did not expect the Jedi to be here at our commemoration day, although I would say you are very welcome.”

    “Thank you, your majesty,” Kirsh smiled at the young Queen. He’d only met her once before at some boring Senate function but he remembered how passionately and intelligently she’d spoken. “Our arrival on the commemoration day was purely by happy chance your majesty. I felt my padawan was lacking the more cultured way of life and so thought this would be an interesting diversion and experience on our way back to the Temple.”

    “I don’t believe I’ve met your padawan,” Queen Amidala smiled at him again motioning him to walk with her into the stables.

    “I believe not your Majesty, I do believe he had some sort of stomach flu last time we met. Heilan is a healer like myself, a quiet and shy padawan, despite my best efforts to make him otherwise.”

    He gave a small chuckle and her smile broadened,

    “I’m sure he’ll be wise just like his Master.”

    “I hope he’ll be wiser than his Master, your Majesty.”

    They rounded the corner and Kirsh held his hand up as The Force flared warning colours of teal and scarlet again. The Queen stiffened. Of course she trusted the Jedi, Kirsh reminded himself, she’d had to when the Naboo blockade had happened only a few years before. There was the bark of a small hound and a child’s voice raised in annoyance.

    “No. I said you go over there.”

    Kirsh slipped his arm from her Majesty’s and shuffled quietly up to the corner. Looking around the stall he could see the tiny girl thief talking to a small yapping hound, her other hand outstretched palm flat so that the giant Gurlana could eat the fruit she was holding.

    “No. Stop barking.” The girl waved her fingers and the hound immediately quieted. “I know what you want and I don’t have it.” Kirsh frowned as The Force swirled with the familiar orange gold of a mind trick. The Queen stepped forward behind him and straw crunched beneath her feet. The girl looked up at where he was standing and watching her and gave him a wary smile.

    “Who are you?” She asked quietly, warily. Kirsh turned slightly and motioned to the Queen.

    "It is safe your majesty.” He turned back to the girl. “I am Master Aleski, and this is Queen Amidala. What’s your name?”

    “How did you get in here?” Amidala asked obviously concerned at the security breach.

    “I’m Zallie.” The girl looked back at the giant animal and then at the Queen and shrugged, “I just walked in.”

    Kirsh nodded and sighed. “She did just walk in your majesty, I was watching her.”

    “What’s her name?” The child asked patting the Guarlana’s nose.

    “Laluna,” the Queen said walking forward to stand next to her. The beast snorted and shook its head before nuzzling the Queen’s shoulder.

    “She likes you,” Zallie said smiling.

    “She should. She’s my favourite Guarlana,” the Queen smiled and stroked the girl’s curls, “I’m more impressed she likes you so much. Normally she doesn’t like strangers.”

    The girl shrugged, “All animals like me. Can I ride her?”

    The Queen laughed, “Not today. Maybe tomorrow? I’ll talk to the stablehands and perhaps if you come back tomorrow with your parents you can ride her.”

    The girl’s face was wreathed in smiles. She leapt forward to hug Amidala, Kirsh went to block the move but the Queen waved him away and put her arms around the girl in return. There was another, quieter splash of lighter colours but Kirsh couldn’t grasp what they meant.

    “Perhaps,” he said after a moment, “we should go and find your parents.”

    The girl straightened and suddenly looked alarmed.

    “I think I was supposed to meet my sister a little while ago,” she said quietly. “I should go before she gets mad.” She turned and smiled at the Queen again, “Thank you for letting me talk with LaLuna.”

    Amidala gave a bemused grin at the odd turn of phrase and turned back to Kirsh.

    “Perhaps you should go with her Master Jedi, so she doesn’t get in trouble.”

    “No, I’ll be right. I can get there myself.” The fingers wiggled again and Kirsh felt the suggestion bounce off his own shield. The girl looked slightly alarmed but quickly tried to hide it behind another smile.

    “No,” Kirsh said quietly and firmly, “I would like to make sure you get back to your sister safely.”

    Zallie gave a quick nervous nod and then turned back and clumsily curtseyed at the Queen.

    “Thank you again. See you tomorrow?” Without waiting for an answer she began skipping her way to the door. Amidala turned to Kirsh.

    “You’ll let me know what you find out about her family, won’t you?” She said quietly. Kirsh twisted his mouth in a wry smile. So it was true what Obi-Wan had said, the Queen was more perceptive then she let on.

    “I’ll keep you informed your Majesty,” He said with a tiny bow and then ducked quickly after the girl.

    “Let’s find your sister,” he said meeting her at the door. The girl looked him up and down obviously deciding whether or not she’d bolt. “I move fast,” Kirsh said answering her unasked question, “and I can use The Force too. I think it’s better if I meet your sister.”

    She nodded the smile disappearing. Kirsh filed away that she hadn’t asked what The Force was or even seemed slightly confused by his mention of it. He reached out and she took it.

    “So where is your sister?” Kirsh asked.

    The girl pointed down the hill to where Kirsh could make out a young couple down at the light. “There’s Estra, she’s my sister.” Kirsh watched as the young man threw his red trimmed cloak around the woman and held her close.

    “Who’s that with her?” Kirsh asked looking at the tall, broad shouldered, brown skinned, young man as he made his way off through the crowds.

    “That’s F’kisi.” Zallie shrugged, “he’s not my brother. He just lives with us.”

    “Where do you live?” Kirsh asked quietly.

    “Who’s that?” Zallie asked ignoring this question and pointing to where Heilan was making his way up the hill towards them waving.

    “That’s my padawan Heilan.” Kirsh said watching his padawan try to carefully pick his way through the crowds. It didn’t matter than Heilan was sixteen and therefore, as a Zabrak theoretically, long past the awkward teenage stage where their limbs didn’t quite fit. The young man moved like his feet and hands were too big for his body to properly control. If he hadn’t turned out to be such a gentle and tender healer, Kirsh would have despaired as Heilan still looked like a newborn nerf calf finding its legs when faced with an opponent on the training mat.

    “Master,” the young man was smiling, “I found out quite a bit.”

    “That’s good,” Kirsh said glancing down at Zallie’s curious face, “how about you tell me later. First we need to give the little miss here back to her sister.”

    Zallie scowled.

    “I’m not a little Miss. I’m Zallie.” She did the wobbly curtsey again and Kirsh frowned. He’d watched her move. The girl was anything but clumsy and the wobbles in the curtsey seemed to be affectation rather than lack of practice. Kirsh sighed internally, so much for the holiday. Apart from his promise to Queen Amidala, now even he wanted to find out who Zallie really was and why she could do what she did. They reached the light post and Zallie’s ‘sister’ who was trying, and failing, not to look abjectly miserable, angry and terrified at the same time.

    “Where have you been?” The girl rounded on Zallie before anyone could get a word out.

    “I was feeding the Guarlara,” Zallie was pouting now, scuffing the toe of her boot against the ground.

    “You were supposed to meet me here ten minutes ago.” The girls’ voice had softened but Kirsh could still hear the anger and worry behind the words. He sent out a mental probe again but found that the young girl had almost no Force signature at all. The young woman give him an annoyed sideways glance as the probe touched what should have there but wasn’t and Kirsh tried to keep his expression as neutral as possible as his mind raced.

    “Thank you for finding her,” the young lady said, turning to face both Jedi and bobbing, “but now I need to take her home.”

    “It was my pleasure mistress…” Kirsh paused waiting for the girl to fill in the blanks.

    “Estra.”

    “Estra...?”

    “Uh…” there was a confused second or two of silence as if she was scrambling for an answer and then “Estra D’La-dame.”

    //Of the Lady?// Heilan sent quizzically, //Why does that sound made-up Master?”

    “It was lovely to meet you Miss D’La-dame.” Kirsh said aloud, “Miss Zallie.”

    “Nice to meet you too. Come on Zallie, let’s get home.” The young woman turned and took Zallie by the hand almost dragging her through the crowd. Kirsh watched them go, thankful, for once in his life, that his height gave him the advantage when it came to looking over a crowd.

    “What was that about Master?” Heilan asked as they moved off together quietly and surreptitiously following the path of the two girls. “And why are we following them?”

    “I need to get answers to a mystery padawan and then we have tea with the Queen.” He saw Heilan’s customary blue-purple play of confusion through the bond, he waved a hand to signify that he would discuss it later. “What was your news padawan?”

    “Uh, um… most people were just grateful for the commemoration day, but there are whispers that Akari is here. Things going missing, a couple of break and enters that sort of thing. Nothing huge, just the normal rumour mill.”

    Kirsh nodded concentrating on following where the two were in the crowd. The older one seemed more nervous than she should as she pushed and harried her sister. They stopped once or twice at a stall and Kirsh got the feeling that to most people they would seem normal but for him the illusion had been shattered. The girl with her strange abilities, the overly nervous sister, whose dark olive skin was at odds with her sisters paleness, and fact that Akari was here, had made Kirsh warily curious.

    “What are we doing Master?” Heilan asked once more.

    “Let’s call this an exercise in following those who don’t wish to be followed,” Kirsh said quietly pointing at the pair ahead, “whatever happens we need to find where they live. We need to do so without letting them know we are following them. Got it?”

    “Yes Master.”

    “Good.”

    “Oh and Master?”

    “Yes, Heilan.”

    “You’ve got to think up better exercise names.”


    To be continued...
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2020
    Kahara, Tarsier and Findswoman like this.
  22. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host Who Loves Fanfics & RPGs star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    KIRSH! [face_love] So happy to read this from his point of view and a cameo from Queen Amidala, whose warmth and keen observation are very much in character.

    Nice to meet Heilan as well and to find that Kirsh has a healer apprentice :cool:

    Zallie and Estra are totally discombobulated looks like [face_tee_hee]
     
    Kahara, Kit' and Findswoman like this.
  23. Thumper09

    Thumper09 Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 9, 2001
    I'm catching up on this now. Great job! I know it's different universes and all, but I bet Zallie would get along great with Hagrid. Like him, she's able to see the beauty of each animal no matter what its body looks like. It's good that she's able to keep that perspective and her sense of wonder and respect as she's grown older.

    It looks like things are about to get a bit more complicated for the group now that they've unfortunately crossed paths with Master Kirsh and Heilan. At least they'll have a bit of time to prepare and plan when F’kisi warns them.

    I like how you describe some ways of how different people perceive the Force, from music to color. It's a neat detail that adds depth and nuance to how a Jedi communicates with the Force.

    Great work! =D=
     
  24. Cowgirl Jedi 1701

    Cowgirl Jedi 1701 Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 21, 2016
  25. TheRynJedi

    TheRynJedi Jedi Knight star 2

    Registered:
    Jun 20, 2018
    Finally taking the time to catch up on stories for challenges, and continuing my realization that I really don’t spend as much time reading other people’s stories as I should. I don’t usually have a lot of time to devote to FanFic, and when I do, I have to choose between writing my own stories that are whining to be let out of my head, or sitting and reading and responding to other peoples’ (you can guess which one I usually end up choosing).

    I am glad I took the time to read this one. It’s a bit tough sometimes to be a new reader trying to get to know characters. Writers of big collections of stories using the same group of characters don’t usually give complete descriptions of their characters in every story, because it’s assumed their readers have seen them before (I’m very guilty of this myself). But I’m starting to figure them out.

    Anyway, just wanted to say that as fun as all these characters are, I absolutely had to comment on how much I love this Kirsh guy already. I definitely need to dig around and find more with him, but then I’m a bit biased towards Jedi Healers, and the colors as Force perception thing is awesome :)