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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. Thumper09

    Thumper09 Force Ghost star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 9, 2001
    I'm re-caught up again. Great job! Kit has definitely had one heck of a day, as Leona summed up well. I'm glad to hear that Kit still has friends at the Temple who want to help her (aside from Kirsh and Leona, obviously), and I hope that Kit can really see that as well. It sounds like this is going to be one interesting homecoming for all of them. Looks like Quin isn't the only one who has the opportunity for some healing on Coruscant. :)

    Great work!
     
  2. Kit'

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

    Registered:
    Oct 30, 1999
    She is a definitely a darling!

    Yep, I think I havea soft spot for healers, all of mine turn out to be the best of the caring people!

    Thank you! It's been so long since I've last updated but I'm glad you're still reading :D

    I didn't mean that in a romantic sense! Just that two friends who haven't seen each other (well, one thought the other was dead) and as Tara can't see, that physical touch is all she has.

    Yep, the strong and steady presence in a rather tumultuous life!

    I'm biting my nails too because I don't know how :p

    Thank you so much! Glad you've caught up. I think Kit still having friends is going to surprise her a bit too, as she's tried to convince herself that she's rather friendless there but is already learning the opposite.
     
  3. Kit'

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

    Registered:
    Oct 30, 1999
    This is my response to the OTP challenge #22 which was Our Song + Plot Point Roulette! The Song is Mr Blue Sky and the plot point I got was Third Wheel. The scene below is of the love-birds F'kisi and Estra.

    *~*~*

    Leaping to Conclusions – 27 BBY – (10 years and fourteen days)

    *~*~*


    “Don’t they infuriate you?” Estra asked as she plucked blades of carefully mown grass. F’kisi looked up from where he was laying on the grass, propped on one elbow. He made a noise that told her he wasn’t really sure what she was talking about.

    “The Jedi,” she clarified, waving a hand around the large sprawling park. Kirsh’s padawan Heilan had pointed the way and suggested that it was a nice place for a picnic before disappearing into the rabbit warren that was the Temple. Estra had wanted to spend some time with just herself and F’kisi, but Rin had insisted that they keep Zallie with them.

    Estra had managed to convince her sister to hunt for wildlife in the foliage. Heilan had even produced a large glass jar, insisting that there were many insects in the grass around the largest pond. Even though Zallie was currently distracted, the irritation of being made into a baby-sitter gnawed at her. Not as much as the still, quiet acceptance of the Jedi that moved around the ground, like waterbugs Zallie was hunting in the pond, they seemed barely disturbed by the new people in their midst.

    “They seem nice,” F’kisi offered and Estra almost growled at him.

    “Nice? Nice? They’re beyond nice. They're not human.”

    F’kisi laughed and waved a hand towards where two twi-leks were meditating under a tree.

    “Some of them aren’t.”

    She pouted at him. “You know what I mean. They are just so damn calm all the time. So measured. Everything is just so...so...so…”

    “Steady?” F’kisi asked. He rolled onto his side, his eyebrow raising as he looked at her hand. Estra looked down, realising that in her frustration she’d pulled an entire clump of grass from the ground. She frowned and stuffed it back into the earth, resisting the urge to poke her tongue out at two meditating twi’leks who had opened their eyes to watch her.

    “Now I understand why Rin left,” Estra said with a scowl. “Everyone here is too..too…”

    There was a peal of laughter from somewhere nearby.

    “Happy?” F’kisi asked, his hand reached out and covered Estra’s. Estra’s shoulders slumped and she bit the inside of her lip. The same wash of familiar heat surged through her. The one that happened every time he touched her. She inched her hand out from underneath his, cursing herself for the loss of contact even as her brain screamed that she wasn’t ready for that yet.

    “Yes,” she spat out. “They’re just so calm and happy. Why are they happy? I mean they hardly own anything. They live their life according to some really stupid rules, and they risk death every time they go on a mission. Why are they so happy?”

    F’kisi shrugged. “Why aren’t you?”

    “What do you mean?” she hissed, the irritation grating into anger. She ignored the way the twi’lek’s were now openly staring. F’kisi shook his head and pushed himself upright.

    “Only that you have everything to be happy about Essie, but you keep waiting for things to go wrong.”

    Estra scowled, his words grating against the small part of her mind that told her that he was right. She hated that. He shouldn’t be right. There was a splash from the direction of the pond and she looked down to see Zallie now knee deep in the water, her hand extended towards a lily pad and a look of utter concentration on her face. Something inside Estra twisted. As if she knew she was being observed, Zallie cocked her head towards them.

    “There are frogs!” she shouted excitedly. “I saw them! Can I have one?”

    Estra nodded, absentmindedly.

    “Things did go wrong,” Estra said, turning back to F’kisi. “I almost lost you and Nicco.”

    The memory of that was still raw. Nicco was still in the Healer’s wing and every time she saw F’kisi’s fading bruises it was a reminder that she hadn’t been strong enough to save them.

    “But you didn’t,” F’kisi reminded her. “The Jedi saved us, remember?”

    “I remember,” Estra said and scowled again. She didn’t know why that should irritate her as much as it did. She should be happy about it, but somehow it was worse. None of the Jedi had said anything about it, but she still felt like she had been judged and found wanting.

    Estra waved a hand around the gardens again, trying to dissipate the moment of fear by deflecting the conversation. “Don’t know why you think I should be okay with this. The Jedi have everything. They are fed and watered, and given shelter. They get an education and health care. They have access to whatever they need, or want and then say they don’t want or need anything. The only reason they don’t is because they already have it all.”

    “Why does that annoy you?” F’kisi asked, crossing his legs and then leaning forward to rest his elbows on his knees as he watched her.

    “Because if they have what they need, then why are they so interested in my family?”

    “Because Del used to be a Jedi?” F’kisi offered, “because Rin was one too.”

    “Rin doesn’t seem to be happy to be here,” Essie interjected.

    F’kisi gave a half smile and sighed. “I think she’s worried about the same thing you are.”

    “And what’s that?” Estra asked, her eyes narrowing as she almost spat the words. F’kisi rarely talked, it was something that she liked.

    “That you will lose Zallie,” F’kisi said softly. The twist in her stomach came again, sharper this time. She looked down, realising that she’d gone back to unconsciously pulling at the grass. Part of her wanted to tell him he was wrong, but he wasn’t. Her sister annoyed her greatly most of the time, but that didn’t mean she wanted to lose her to the Temple.

    “I didn’t realise you’d been watching me. When did you become the expert on all things Estra,” she spat, desperate to avoid the subject. A fight was easier. A fight was always easier than dealing with her own feelings.

    F’kisi shook his head, his shoulders suddenly high and tight. He twisted his mouth to the side as he watched her and then he sighed, his shoulders dropping as he did so. “I’m not going to fight with you Essie.”

    She scowled and he laughed. He reached out and grabbed her before she could move away, pulling her into a hug and pressing his body against her own. For a moment she resisted and then let herself relax against him. Her head pressed up against his broad chest and she could hear the steady beat of his heart.

    “Why do you never get angry?” she asked.

    “Why do you always avoid the question?” he replied.

    She head butted his chest gently. “Says the person who just ignored my question.”

    F’kisi’s throaty chuckle rumbled through her ear. There was a few seconds of silence and Estra watched Zallie wade further out, the water gently wicking up her clothes. Estra frowned slightly, she didn’t know how well Zallie could swim. None of them really could. It wasn’t like you needed to swim when you lived in a spaceship.

    “I used to get angry. I used to get angry lots.” F’kisi said eventually. “Then when I was sent away, I figured it wasn’t worth it. I mean it’s a lot of energy on something that’s not really going to matter.”

    Estra bit her lip and stayed silent. She wondered if that was why she was so drawn to him. He seemed to compliment her in ways she couldn’t quite fathom, a blue sky to her dark rain cloud. She watched Zallie walk slowly further out into the pond, pushing lily pads aside as she chased something through them.

    “Why do you think you’d lose Zallie?” F’kisi asked quietly. “Has someone even asked her if she’d want to live here? You need to stop trying to guess the outcome of an argument that hasn’t even happened yet.”

    Estra frowned and opened her mouth to reply. There was a soft plop and then Zallie disappeared under the water and anything that Estra was about to say evaporated. . Estra’s heart stopped. She leapt to her feet, knocking F’kisi flat into the grass and bolted towards the water.

    The image of Zallie’s pale, waterlogged face flashed through her mind. In an instant she was in the water, her feet struggling through the thick mud, her hands pushing against the water as if that could make her walk faster.

    She could dimly hear yelling behind her, but she didn’t care. All she could focus on was where Zallie’s head had disappeared under the water.

    She wasn’t going to lose her sister. Not the Jedi. Not to the water and certainly not because she was chasing another stupid animal.

    A soft heat surrounded her. She yelped as she was lifted bodily into the air. In front of her a drenched but exuberant looking Zallie was also being pulled from the water’s edge.

    For a second Estra struggled and whatever invisible bands that were holding her dropped her sharply into the water. For a second the world was dark and she breathed in a lungful of water. The next second she was rising again, coughing and spluttering. Her clothes clung to her as she was softly deposited back onto the grass.

    Zallie was deposited beside her and Estra threw herself at her sister, wrapping her arms around her as they both coughed up water. Torn between laughing in relief and crying, Estra pushed the loose strands of hair off Zallie’s face. F’kisi was wrapping himself around them both, whispering soft reassurances in her ear.

    She looked up at the two Jedi twi’leks who were hovering nearby and nodded her thanks. The two bowed slightly and moved away. There was another rush of heat and she noticed one of them was watching them all, while the other talked into a small comms unit.

    “Getting help.” F’kisi said quietly, obviously seeing where her attention lay.

    “Hopefully they’re getting towels too.”

    “I’m sure they are. They seem to not be all that bad,” he said, raising an eyebrow.

    “Not all bad,” she muttered to F’kisi who gave her a half-smile.

    “You alright sprout?” Estra asked as Zallie sat in her arms, staring at cupped, closed hands.

    Zallie looked up, grinning. “Yes,” she said, opening her hands to show a tiny, green frog. “I caught one.”
     
    Anedon, Kahara , RX_Sith and 4 others like this.
  4. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha WIP Month Champion star 8 VIP - Game Winner

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    [face_laugh] Let me deal with the lighthearted thing first, Zallie hunting another pet! A frong. [face_mischief]

    I love F'kisi's wise insights and patient attitude toward Estra. He sees what is really behind her resentment and what others might see as ingratitude or envy, but which he knows is fear of loss, and perhaps her own sense of failure. [face_thinking]

    They really are so good for each other. He helps her see things in a fair and balanced light.
     
    Kahara , Kit' and Findswoman like this.
  5. Findswoman

    Findswoman The Tol Fanfic Mod (in Pink) star 5 Staff Member Moderator

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    First of all, so happy to see this story back in action! :)

    As someone who tends to get similar to Estra when I’m annoyed at a loved one about something, I can relate completely to her and F’Kisi’s exchange here. (Especially that bit about avoiding the question! Why do boyfriends and husbands have such trouble with that! :p ) But even apart from that, it was really just so nice to get to see the these two together as a couple. They really are such wonderful complements to each other—the even-tempered, “gentle giant” F’Kisi is just what Estra’s sharp temper needs, and he manages to soothe her (at least somewhat!) without at any point minimizing her very real, very justified concerns about the Jedi and their potential interest in her sister. And meanwhile Zallie is just off looking for frogs and other critters—love it! So in character! :D When Estra drops everything to rescue her, that’s where we see what one might call the big upside to her fiery temperament—she won’t let that water take her sister away, nohow. And the fact that it also ends up showing her that the Jedi are “not so bad after all” is, perhaps, a helpful bonus! So glad Zallie is OK and that sisters and bro-almost-in-law all got to have a nice, waterlogged cuddle together in the end. Thanks so much for sharing this with the challenge—you know I always love seeing Estra in the spotlight, and she and F’Kisi are such a wonderful pair! [face_love] =D=
     
  6. earlybird-obi-wan

    earlybird-obi-wan WIP Month Champion star 6 VIP - Game Winner

    Registered:
    Aug 21, 2006
    love the couple and their discussion about the Jedi.
    Zallie getting another pet and her sister to the rescue with the Jedi having to help them.
    Great response to the challenge
     
  7. Mira_Jade

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

    Registered:
    Jun 29, 2004
    Ooh, more Snips and Snails fic! It's been far too long since I've had the pleasure of reading about your wonderful cast of OCs, and for that I have to apologize. I've been terribly remiss, but this was a great spot to jump back in with. :D


    Aw! What an adorable third wheel Zallie is, though. Hunting for waterbugs, of course. :p

    I really appreciated the setting you built, too, the peace and serenity in the beauty of the day and that still quietness of the Jedi. I can more than understand why that ambiance would rub at Estra the wrong way, though. She definitely has more than a few complicated emotions on this score.

    Hee. :p

    Fair. :p

    Aw! It's always lovely to watch a couple in this phase, slowly but surely figuring everything out. [face_love]

    Good for F'kisi. And, it says something that Estra is that aware of what she's doing and why. I really appreciate how they compliment each other; theirs is such a wonderful dynamic. [face_love]

    Exactly, just like that! :D And, what a beautiful way to work in the inspiration from your song! [face_love]

    This was a very visceral passage in the midst of a very powerful scene. What a terrifying moment for Estra!

    [face_love] [face_laugh] This was an excellent way to bring everything full circle. =D=

    ZALLIE! Never change, Zallie dear, never change. [face_love]



    This was a fantastic response to the challenge, and yet another wonderful moment for your Family of Scoundrels. Thanks so much for sharing this with the rest of us! =D= [:D]
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2021
  8. RX_Sith

    RX_Sith C&G Game Host star 6 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Mar 13, 2006
    Some amazing interactions between F'Kisi and Estra who may be polar opposites of each other but there is a calmness that F'Kisi uses towards Estra that melts that course exterior away. It's very interesting that each of them gives and takes a little both compromise and compliment their relationship.
     
  9. ViariSkywalker

    ViariSkywalker WIP Month Champion star 4 VIP - Game Winner

    Registered:
    Aug 9, 2002
    I do enjoy the opposites attract quality to Estra and F'kisi's relationship, and nicely done with your handling of the "third wheel" element of your prompt!

    I like F'kisi, he just seems so steady and good. And it's pretty obvious that Estra appreciates that even when she's frustrated by everything that's going on.

    It can be hard to escape that feeling, that the whole world is about to crumble around you, especially when you've lived the lives these characters have. I'm glad F'kisi is able to point that out and help Estra work through her complicated feelings about their situation with Zallie and their family and the Jedi.

    Aw, this is adorable. [face_love]

    This is good, that he recognizes her attempt to start an argument for what it is: a defense mechanism. And the fact that he does recognize it as such and reacts in kind is why I suspect they complement each other so well.

    [face_laugh] Thank goodness!

    Thank you for sharing this vignette; I enjoyed seeing more of F'kisi and Estra! :D
     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2021
  10. Anedon

    Anedon Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    May 11, 2016
    Funny little story, as usual with your OCs. ;)
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2021
    Kahara and Kit' like this.
  11. Kit'

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

    Registered:
    Oct 30, 1999
    You've got it in one. Essie is one fearful young woman, too scared of losing everything or anyone that she finds it easier to push them away before they get too close.

    Thank you. They kinda are the perfect couple. Probably far more than any of the relationships of their parent's generation too.

    Uh...thanks...*Looks at the date when this was last posted. Looks at current date* ...sorry.

    Yep, which is going to be something she may well have to grapple with in a couple of chapters time too.

    Yep! Not the first character I've had who has ended up with a frog pet from the Temple gardens either.

    Thanks :D [face_blush]

    And then longer again until it's time to update. Sorry.

    Thank you, I mean the whole thing is strange for Estra. There's grass to start with.

    Aww, thank you. @};-@};-@};-

    I don't think she ever does to be honest. Maybe a little more cynical and less naïve, but always with the pets.

    Aww, thanks. Have to say it's kinda based on my partner and me. He's all calmness and I'm all fiery anger and judgement :p

    He is which means one day I have to go back and write the story of exactly why F'kisi was asked to leave his homeward and foisted onto Kit and Del. It had to be a big deal - right?

    Thanks [face_blush][face_blush]

    Thanks Anedon, I do love them and there is turning out to be quite a few!~
     
  12. Kit'

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

    Registered:
    Oct 30, 1999
    After a five (!) month haitus, I've finally gotten back to this! This is my response to the OC Spring Music Challenge which was to pick a song that linked to your OCs! The song was TMRW by Milk and Bones for our very angsty Kithera.

    *~*~*

    Leaping to Conclusions (Part 2) – 27 BBY –

    *~*~*



    Kithera headed down the long, darkened corridor towards the lower levels. She’d found herself at a loss as to what to do on what had promised to be a beautiful day.

    The twins had been taken that morning by the creche masters, as had become habit over the course of their stay. Quin was still in the healing halls, sleeping peacefully after a morning feed. Leona had more tests to run, ensuring that Quin’s tiny heart was healing correctly. Nicco was still there too, being run through a last set of tests by Kirsh before he was given a clean bill of health. The other two teens, Estra and F’kisi, had escaped the Temple, accompanied by a number of older padawans to explore Coruscant properly. Estra had been resistant to going anywhere with the Jedi, until one of the apprentice Consulars, Quijia, said she knew where the fabric store was. They’d gone off together, a big group of teenagers and Kithera had watched, torn between happiness and bittersweet jealousy that even the prickly Estra was finding her place in the Temple.

    That had left her and Zallie until Heilan had turned up, obviously at Kirsh’s request, to show her how to use the Force to manipulate plants and then take her to the archives to find some books on how to keep the frog she’d captured yesterday in the garden. Zallie had skipped off happily which had left Kit by herself.

    She didn’t know where Del was. Her partner of many years had seemingly disappeared since they’d moved to the Temple, leaving early in the morning and returning late at night. The only words they’d exchanged had been terse and rather perfunctory.

    Kithera’s hands clenched at the thought. That terseness had been entirely on her half, leaving Del looking confused but she couldn’t help it. The idea that he was abandoning her beat in the back of her head like a song stuck on repeat. It added to the increasingly loud anxiety that the Temple would take the younger children, or hold them as hostages. In amongst this ran a terrifying refrain that the Jedi’s lawfulness would also mean that they would turn Rin and the rest of the Family in to the authorities to pay for their misdeeds.

    It was that anxiety that had meant that she was unable to relax and had forced her from the rooms and down towards the lower levels where the older, and therefore less frequently used, training rooms were.

    The smell hit her long before she arrived. The musky scent of dried sweat, ageing training mats and droid oil seemed to linger in the air. She paused outside of the door, checking to see if anyone was in there and if there were any bookings on the door - there was neither.

    Kithera let herself in, a long, slow breath escaping as she dropped her shoulders relaxing as the familiarity washed over her. The training rooms had been her escape when she’d been a padawan, the only place she’d ever really felt that she could be herself and the only place that she could excel.

    Pulling the borrowed lightsaber from her belt, Kithera gave it an experimental twirl, her lip twitching at its odd sizing. Zallie had been leant an initiate’s saber, and Kithera had taken it after her daughter had left with Heilan. It felt clumsy in her hands. Initiates eventually went on their own quest to create their lightsabers, one that suited their users but the Temple always had a set of hastily made spares in case of accident or loss. Her own lightsaber was safely stashed on The Lady. She had briefly thought to ask Kirsh if she could borrow a different one, but the possibility of questions or worse, offers of a sparring partner, had stopped her. This was something that she wanted to do by herself. She had too much to work out about where the Family stood, and her own place within it to also mask her uncertainty in the company of her best friend. It had been the same reason that she had just watched Kirsh and Heilan do practise drills on the Lady, she knew she was out of practice and part of her didn’t want the embarrassment of how obvious that had become.

    Kithera stood in the starting position tutting at herself as she realised her feet weren’t quite in the right spot. Her arms felt stiff and clumsy, and she chided herself for not keeping up with the drills. Closing her eyes, she let the melody of the Force wash over her, the deep beat of all the life-forces within the Temple joining her own heartbeat to create the bass. She swayed slightly as other melodies joined it, wrapping themselves around her and guiding her movements. Her left foot swept back as her hands came up in the counter arc. Then a step forward and a lunge towards the invisible opponent as she flowed into the next move. The melody soothed away the anxiety, filling her with nothing but the Force. She shifted slightly, letting long disused muscle memory and the Force to guide her.

    “You needed to bring your hands up slightly on that last one.”

    Kithera took a step backwards in alarm, her feet tangling as she did so. For a moment she thought she could right herself, but then she overbalanced and tumbled to the ground, the training saber skittering out of her grip. Picking herself up, Kithera glanced over to where the voice had come from to see an older Miraluka leaning against the door, regarding her with a bemused smile.

    “Sorry, I didn’t realise the training room was booked,” Kithera said, picking up and holstering the lightsaber before brushing herself down.

    “It isn’t,” the Miraluka replied. Kithera frowned in annoyance and regarded the woman carefully. She wasn’t wearing the usual white and tan of the Jedi, or the warm green and blues of the healers. Instead her robes were darker, almost grey and definitely didn’t look like the standard issue ones. She’d seen robes like that before, on the night she’d met her old friend T’lor at the Drunken Nerf, and only just escaped with her freedom.

    “You’re a shadow,” Kithera said accusingly. Her frown deepened. Shadows were dangerous normally, and especially to the Family considering the lines of work that Kithera and Del pursued. She wondered, briefly, how much Del had spilt about their current state of affairs.

    “Guilty as charged,” the woman said with a chuckle. “Not many people get that so quickly.”

    “I know-” Kithera started and then corrected herself. “I used to know someone who was a shadow.”

    “T’lor,” the woman said with a half smile. “She’s a very good shadow.”

    “She was a very good friend.”

    “Was?”

    Kithera shrugged. “Is. I don’t know and I wouldn’t want to hedge my bets.”

    “Have you asked her?”

    “Haven’t seen her,” Kithera said, letting the irritation she felt creep into her voice. “Figure she’s doing whatever it is that Shadows spend their time doing.”

    There was a long pause and then the woman gestured. “May I come in?”

    “I suppose. I don’t make the rules here, I’m not a Jedi and thus it’s not my Temple.”

    She laughed. “I suppose not. You’ll have to tell me why that is.”

    Kithera scowled. “You’re a Shadow, fairly sure you’ve already read my file. It’ll be in there along with the report of a failing padawan who killed her Master.” She let the bitterness creep into her words. “If it’s not, then you can ask T’lor, she was there for all of it.”

    Another laugh. “I’m Saelyra.” The woman bowed slightly. When Kithera didn’t introduce herself in return. The woman smiled. “And you are, if the file is correct, Kithera Rinani,”

    “It’s Rin.”

    “Ah, a new name for a new life. Something I understand well.”

    There was a long moment of silence and then something that the woman said tugged at her memory. Her Master, Namia, had once told her that Master Tarindae was briefly trained by a Shadow called Saelyra. Apparently no-one was supposed to know, but Namia had been drunk and talkative. In the morning Kithera had curiously asked questions, but Namia had denied she’d ever said anything of the sort.

    “You trained Master Tarindae,” Kithera said. The woman’s face twitched imperceivably and Kithera suppressed her own grin. Living on the edge of the galaxy for the last ten years had meant that some skills, like observing others, had been honed while others, like her lightsaber skills, rusted from disuse. The woman took a seat on a pile of old training mats and settled, looking like she was completely at ease. “I did. It was necessary.”

    “What do you want?” Kithera’s fingertips gently brushed the training saber. It was a useless gesture. A Shadow, particularly a well-trained one, would beat her in an instant. Saelyra probably wouldn’t even break a sweat.

    “I think I could ask the same question,” Saelyra said, pulling a datapad from her robes and placing it down next to her. “A Jedi who made her intention very clear that she would never come back, arrives bringing her children with her and a long-lost padawan now full grown. That padawan-”

    Kithera gritted her teeth. “Don’t play games, please. I’m not in the mood, just tell me what you want.”

    Saelyra grinned and gave a tiny snort. “Fine. Turns out you knew who Del was long before you left the Temple. You knew he was Taeyn D’levosh and that he’d gone missing long ago from the Temple. You also knew that he was intimately involved in the death of Namia Zahalin, your Master. You knew all this and yet you did never informed the Council-”

    Kithera shook her head as her heart pounded in her chest, as memories flooded back of that time in her life. “I told the Council what happened to my Master. I told them of what happened in that mission and who was involved. I told them of Del’s involvement.”

    “After he had left the planet.”

    “It wasn’t any of their business.”

    “A Jedi died. I would say that was definitely the business of the Council. You could have saved everyone a lot of grief if you had been honest from the start.”

    Kithera snorted. “Honesty. Something the Jedi are so good at practising. If people had been honest then Namia would never have died in the first place.” She paused and breathed out, letting her feelings go to the Force. “I was honest. Taeyn was dead and Del asked me to keep his secret and so I did. ”

    “Del enslaved you,” Saelyra said and Kithera’s eyes narrowed. How did you explain that it was far more complicated than that? “As you can understand, the idea of a wayward Jedi not only leaving the Temple but going back to the one who had helped kill their master and enslaved them is something the Council would like explained and that I, personally, find difficult to imagine being a route that any true Jed would take.”

    “Then you need to imagine harder,” Kithera said, her hands clenching. “Not all slaves wear chains.”

    Her heart leapt and she winced at the words. The last time she’d heard that phrase was when she’d been on that ill-fated mission, the one that had ended in the field of butterflies with her Master dying in her arms. The one where-

    She shuddered to a stop as tears of anger and frustration pricked at the corner of her eyes. “Something a Jedi should know. As for the Council, I owe them no explanation. I left this life a long time ago.”

    “I see,” Saelyra chuckled, but this time there was no joy to it. “And yet, for someone who despises the Jedi, here you stand.”

    Kithera shook her head, the irritation of the last few weeks growing steadily.

    “I don’t despise you.” She waved a hand around the space as if to take in the whole Temple, even though she knew that Saelyra couldn’t see it. “Coming here was not on purpose. It was because Kirsh’of, Healer Aleski, offered to help us as a friend. I don’t want to be here any more than the Jedi want me to be. The moment Nicco and Quin are well, we will all be out of your hair.”

    “All of you?” Saelyra asked quietly, “are you sure?”

    Kithera’s hands clenched, hard enough that her fingernails cut into her palm. The words were a threat left hanging in the air.

    The music of the Force thrummed around her, discordant and loud with her own growing anger. Kithera found herself unconsciously seeking out the melodies of her children, as if to reassure herself that they were all there.

    “All of us,” she repeated, this time making no effort to hide her anger. “Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m sure you have some other poor sucker to apply the thumb screws to and I have a baby to feed.” She turned towards the door.

    “Your daughter Zallie,” Saelyra’s voice called from behind her. Everything in her screamed to just keep walking, but Kithera turned to see Saelyra still regarding her with an infuriating calm. “Does she know who her father is?”

    Kithera clenched her hands again and scowled. “Del is her father in every way that matters.”

    “But he isn’t her actual father though, is he?” Saelyra said softly. “What if she finds out who her real father is?”

    Kithera opened her mouth to say something but there was a jangle of noise in the Force. The sounds of flutes, Zallie’s music, shrilled loudly; two tin whistles of anger and grief in the symphony. Kithera clutched at the door frame, her anger turning to terror. Without another word she turned and sprinted from the room, desperate to find Zallie and soothe the wailing distress that filled the song.

    In the silence that was left, Saelyra sighed and reached into her pocket to find a spare comms unit. She fished it out and waited for it to crackle into life. “T’lor,’ she said softly, her voice edged in concern. “You were correct, except the girl found out sooner than you thought. I’d find her before she does something stupid.”

    There was the sound of a question on the other end and Saelyra sighed. “Either one. Although now I think about it, go after the girl. I imagine wherever she goes the rest of the family will follow.”
     
  13. earlybird-obi-wan

    earlybird-obi-wan WIP Month Champion star 6 VIP - Game Winner

    Registered:
    Aug 21, 2006
    Kithera is in trouble. Will she get away with her family?
     
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  14. Thumper09

    Thumper09 Force Ghost star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 9, 2001
    Catching up on a couple!

    I liked this insight into F'kisi. Maybe since he used to be angry so often too, it helps him understand Estra better, and what she's dealing with and how to help.

    I enjoyed seeing their bit of downtime together, and Zallie was so happy to catch that frog, LOL.

    For your latest update, the instrumentals and mood of the song matched and enhanced Kit's mindset very well. It's especially fitting since she senses the Force as music, so it's like the song you chose was representing the Force here in this story. It was a deep, dark conversation between Kit and Saelyra in a deep, dark place. Poor Kit, she's been so on edge there and now it sounds like Zallie found out the news about her biological father.

    Great job! =D=
     
  15. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha WIP Month Champion star 8 VIP - Game Winner

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Superb standoff of words between Kithera and Saelyra. =D= A tumult of emotions and hard choices. [face_thinking]
     
  16. Findswoman

    Findswoman The Tol Fanfic Mod (in Pink) star 5 Staff Member Moderator

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    Caught up at last! (Boy, I'm saying that a lot recently, aren't I—sorry about that! [face_blush]) What a turn things have taken for Kithera, especially just after Quin's surgery (which I'm so glad went well). No idea what this will mean for the Family; Saelyra doesn't seem outright hostile to them or to the idea of their existence, but she's by no means all hearts and flowers either—quite the opposite. But I also think she might be onto something about Kithera's own revised attitude toward the Jedi, because I don't think Kithera is really as down on the Jedi as she once thought she was. I know of course that that's an ongoing thing for her, and it can't have been comfortable to have this sort-of-stranger-sort-of-from-her-past point that out to her.

    Now, as to Zallie finding out about her paternity... I could see the pudu really hitting the fan with that, and from the sounds Kit hears in the Force at that moment (wonderful job with those, as always!) it sounds as though that has already happened. What will that mean for the Family? I don't know, but I suppose I had better stay tuned! Keep up the amazing work, as you always do! =D=
     
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  17. Kit'

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

    Registered:
    Oct 30, 1999
    You'll have to wait (a very long time apparently!) to find out!

    Yep, F'kisi used to be the always angry young man which is how pissed off the grandmothers on his homeworld enough that Eena found him a way off before it got too much. He found his own calm and is trying to get Estra to find the same, but it's a bit harder than he was expecting...

    Thank you! I love that song and it fit so well with Kithera. I sometimes feel a little bit spoilt (or a bit like I've cheated) with her feeling the Force as Music because it makes a lot of description stuff so easy.

    Definitely and it's only going to get harder from here (for a while at least).

    Saelyra is never outright hostile...she just knows exactly which buttons to push and when which means that she will get to the heart of the issue eventually, or at least get someone to maybe, eventually, realise that they need to ask for help.

    It's definitely about to hit the fan...
     
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  18. Kit'

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

    Registered:
    Oct 30, 1999

    Leaping to Conclusions - Part 3


    Zallie ran her fingers over the cool marble of the colonnade as she waited for Heilan to return. The archive stretched before her, an almost overwhelming expanse of books and datapads lined up neatly on the shelves. Part of her was desperate to walk along the length of them, to take each one down and read it carefully. She had been in libraries before, tiny little ones on the outpost of the galaxies filled with old ladies whose coats were covered with lothcat fur and who always called her ‘sweet’ and offered her lollies that had been in the jar so long that they’d fused into each other. She’d also been to the Bower, where Gazz’a had taken her down into the depths of the ancient lair stacked with bric-a-brac and ancient treasures. That was sort of a library, although things that went into the bower tended to stay there.

    The outer rim library and the Bryer had been chaotic and overwhelming,but the Jedi Library was all smooth lines and ordered thinking. It made her feel calm and strangely at peace. Part of her longed to do nothing for the rest of her life except bury herself in the knowledge these books contained.

    “It’s beautiful isn’t it,” a voice said behind her and Zallie started.

    “I guess,” she said, turning slightly to find herself looking up into the dark blue eyes of a very tall young man, who looked almost Nicco’s age. He wore the same tan and white robes as the rest of the Jedi, and seemed entirely at ease in the giant library. He smiled at her and Zallie’s face flushed, even though she wasn’t entirely sure why. “Could be bigger though,” she added without thinking.

    He laughed slightly. “You and Master Nu would get along fabulously,” he said, running his hand through his thick black hair. He paused and then bowed slightly. “I’m Caelum Du’Crion,” he said, still smiling. “Heilan said you would be out here. He said to look for the girl who likes frogs and the Force led me to you.”

    Zallie felt her face heat further. “I caught one yesterday in the Temple pond.”

    “So I heard,” Caelum said, “Heilan was quite impressed. Not many people manage to actually get one.”

    “Oh,” Zallie’s face burned and she wanted the ground to open up and swallow her.

    “Heilan suggested that I come and talk to you,” Caelum said, seemingly unaware of how badly Zallie was dying of embarrassment. “Said you needed some books about frogs.”

    Zallie frowned at the mention of the padawan healer, her embarrassment temporarily forgotten. “Where is Heilan?”

    “He got caught by Master Sa,” Caelum said, raising an eyebrow. “The only other Jedi in the Temple with a passion for plants that rivals Heilan’s. Apparently he got some new exotic cuttings on his last mission and so Heilan had to look at them.”

    “Oh,” Zallie said, trying to hide her puzzlement. She didn’t understand Heilan’s obsession with plants.

    “So he asked if I could look after you,” Caelum said, cheerfully. “See what we can find you in the way of information about how to look after your new friend.” There was a chirp and Caelum’s nose scrunched. “Yes, Monty, you can come out now.”

    Zallie starred in delight as a dark blue head peered over Caelum’s shoulder, the large frog regarding her silently with great big orange eyes. The young man lifted a hand to move his braid out of the way. The unbraided end flicked as it moved and a long, pink tongue shot out, catching it and pulling it into its mouth. Caelum sighed and tugged on his braid.

    “Come on Monty, we’ve discussed this. It’s not food,” he chided as he pulled the end out of the frog’s mouth. He reached a hand up and the large, contented frog clambered on. He brought it down towards Zallie, but the frog obviously had other plans, and leapt towards her landing heavily on her chest. Zallie gasped in delight as it clambered up to perch on her shoulder.

    “He likes you,” Caelum said with a smile, “and I’ve always found him a good judge of character.”

    “Where did you get him?” Zallie asked breathlessly.

    “Here,” Caelum said, “same place as you actually; in the lake in the main Temple gardens. Normally they don’t grow so big, but Monty is spoiled.” He grinned at her and Zallie grinned back, watching out the weave of the Force threaded around them. “Anyway,” Caelum said after a moment, “I’ve got to work. You can come with me if you like.” He grinned at her and headed towards the stacks. Zallie stood still for a moment and then Monty chirruped in her ear. She took half a step forward, debating whether she should stay where Heilan had left her, or follow the young man further into the library.

    The weave shimmered and stretched and for a second it looked like there were different paths to follow. Monty chirruped again and the sensation was gone. Zallie shook her head to get rid of the feeling and saw that Caelum was disappearing down an aisle, his arms full of books. Zallie bounced on her toes and then followed Caelum, who half-turned as she caught up with him.

    “How did you catch him?” Zallie asked, half concentrating on the young man and half enthralled with the seemingly never-ending rows of neat books.

    “Same way I heard you caught yours, but with less swimming,” Caelum said, running one finger along the datapads that were stored above the bound tomes. “I was about your age too.”

    Caleum reached up and pulled a number of datapads from the shelves. He stashed them into his robes and then smiled at her again. “That means Monty is, as far as I can tell, about seven years old.”

    “Frogs can live that long?”

    Caelum snorted in amusement. “Not generally no, but like I said, Monty is spoiled. Aren't you big guy.” Caelum held out a hand and the frog leapt across, barely making it. Caelum’s face creased in consternation of a moment, and he brought his free hand up to stroke Monty’s back. “Except we both forget that you are getting old.”

    He nestled the frog into a free pocket before glancing down at Zallie. “I’ve found all the data files on frogs for you. I’ll copy them onto a free datapad so you can take it with you, then I’ve got some work to do for the archives, but you’re welcome to stay until Heilan stops looking at plants.”

    He brushed his black hair out of his eyes again and smiled at her. “Not often I meet someone who likes frogs.”

    Zallie beamed.

    Caelum led her deeper into the stacks until they came out into what Zallie could only describe as a clearing. Here multiple terminals were arrayed in neat rows. Caelum slid into a seat in front of one.

    “I think we can find some more information about our amphibian friend on the terminals,” Caelum said, flicking through to what looked like a search engine. “If you want to search, I’ll make you a datapad with all this info.”

    He slid out of the seat and motioned her to sit down. Zallie slid in and stared at the screen, suddenly overwhelmed by the sheer amount of information.

    “You try,” he said cheerfully. Zallie frowned, and carefully typed the word ‘frog’ into the search bar. The screen paused for a second and then presented her with a cluttered screen.

    “Maybe a bit more specific,” Caelum said. “Here I’ll show you.”

    He leaned over and quickly typed a phrase into the bar.

    “Can you look up anything on this?” Zallie asked suddenly, wondering if she could convince Heilan to just let her stay in the archives indefinitely.

    “Sure,” Caelum said, brushing his fringe out of his eyes. “Places, animals, plants, ways to use the Force, Jedi history, philosophy, planet information. Anything really.”

    “People?” Zallie asked, strangely curious. Around her the weave was twisting again.

    “Sure. Jedi past or present,” Caelum said with a grin. “I could look up Master Yoda, or one of the Ancient Masters. Everyone’s information is here.” He paused and then frowned. “Your mum was a Jedi, wasn’t she?”

    Zallie nodded, biting her bottom lip as the weave rippled again a strange myriad of colours.

    “We can look her up,” Caelum said. He pushed the keyboard towards Zallie. “Type her name up and her file should show.”

    Somewhere close by a comms unit rang. Caelum straightened and looked towards the noise. “I’ve got to get this,” he said cheerily. “See what you can find. Maybe your mum got up to some rather epic adventures she’s never told you about.”

    Then he was gone, striding away down the archive. Zallie took a deep breath, frowned slightly and clicked on the file marked - Rinani, Kithera - Knight - Left - and started reading.
     
  19. earlybird-obi-wan

    earlybird-obi-wan WIP Month Champion star 6 VIP - Game Winner

    Registered:
    Aug 21, 2006
    Love the interaction between Zallie and Caelum with his frog
     
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  20. Findswoman

    Findswoman The Tol Fanfic Mod (in Pink) star 5 Staff Member Moderator

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    Now, that’s really interesting—how Zallie’s love of animals (and especially frogs), and also her love of libraries, have become the gateway to her finding out more about her mom and those untold, er, “epic adventures” of hers! Not only that, but in CLIFFHANGER form! Please don’t keep us waiting for this important moment too long! :p But I too really liked Caelum (and Monty); looks like he could end up being a true pal to Zallie, and gosh knows she needs one. (I bet Heilan understands her interest in animals as little as she understands his interest in plants! :p ) Great work again, and keep it coming! :)
     
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  21. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha WIP Month Champion star 8 VIP - Game Winner

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    I love Caelum and the 'spoiled rotten' Monty [face_laugh] Oops! When Zallie sensed that things could diverge based on her choice, I thought uh-oh. [face_worried] and then with her looking up her Mom's history... :eek:
     
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  22. Cowgirl Jedi 1701

    Cowgirl Jedi 1701 Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Dec 21, 2016
    Caelum is exactly what Qui-Gon wished Xanatos had turned out like. (Yes, I noticed his last name.)
     
  23. Thumper09

    Thumper09 Force Ghost star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 9, 2001
    Great job! Zallie may have found a kindred spirit in Caelum. With the types of heavy-hitting information it seems she's close to discovering, maybe it'll help her to have a somewhat impartial friend to sort through things with. Especially since I'm figuring this is the cause of the strong reaction Kithera felt from Zallie during the discussion with Saelyra.

    Great work! Looking forward to more! =D=
     
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