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

Saga - OT The Blind Chart the Stars (Mostly OCs | post-Endor | Romance, Politics, Showbiz) | Updated weekly

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by Ewok Poet, Nov 19, 2017.

  1. Raissa Baiard

    Raissa Baiard Chosen One star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 22, 1999
    Wow, those women from the other villages are something, aren’t they? Even if they disagree with Latara’s actions, they should at least have enough basic courtesy not to talk about her right in front of her! Making those sort of tacky comments behind her back would be bad enough, to say them when sh’e perfectly capable of hearing them? Guess they don’t teach manners in those other villages. And then to add injuries to insults, they poke and pinch and prod Latara beneath her fur in some very personal places! Just wow :mad:These women seem bent on making this the most unpleasant experience possible for her.

    It’s interesting that now that their marriage is inevitable, Latara’s father is being helpful and even a bit extravagant with building their hut. Good for him, I guess, even though I sense he’s still doing it more for appearances than for love of his daughter. But at least Logray is always supportive of the young couple.

    Also interesting are Teebo’s reflections on Mastalook, his powers and those metal non-creatures
    Well, yes and no... Luke certainly has powers beyond what the Ewoks have seen, and advanced technology must seem indistinguishable from magic to them, but as far as controlling those non-creatures? Only to a certain extent, especially in Artoo’s case!

    Here’s hoping things will improve for Teebo and Latara now that they have fulfilled the “proper rituals”!
     
  2. Mistress_Renata

    Mistress_Renata Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Sep 9, 2000
    I think I'm caught up, although I'm still a bit shaky on some of the background, but that's okay, I'm picking things up. Poor, brave Latara! I don't see how she held her tongue while those awful women talked right over her. "Hello, ladies, my ears work just fine, you know!" I'm glad she & Teebo are getting ready for their wedding, and preparing their new home. Although if Charon and Deena have their way, they may not get to enjoy it!

    I can see why Anjie's father is upset that he is ready to strike out again, especially since he'll be going back to his old life, which had so many of the temptations that nearly destroyed him. And yet, maybe he will be strong enough to resist them, to focus on his music and the joy of the beauty he can create? I liked his Grandad, although his father's concerns are also valid. It is very, very hard for addicts (to anything) to stay clear of their old demons. But we'll see!

    Love the mentions of Mastalook and the Golden One!
     
    Kahara, Findswoman and Ewok Poet like this.
  3. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    Ogosh. [face_blush] I won't lie, it wasn't the easiest for me to read that first section about Latara's purification ritual... just really, gals, really?! You're talking shavit about her hair, body, boyfriend, etc. while she's right there in front of you in the same body of water?! And of course the unsolicited touching is not in the least bit cool. [face_mad] I sense a lot of very morbid curiosity on the part of these women; some of them probably secretly consider Latara's "forbidden" behavior kinda cool, in a way, and maybe think they can experience it vicariously this way. At least one of them is right about one thing (and you know which one I mean). Also, this Keoulkeech fellow seems pretty incompetent and gullible... though I guess that latter thing isn't so bad, and our smart cookie of a flautist and hoodmaker certainly plays it to her advantage. :D

    In contrast, look at the way Latara's dad is even helping Teebo him build his and Latara's future hut, and going out of his way to make sure it is as nice and as comfortable as possible. Though there too, given the way he's been about Teebo and Latara's relationship so far, I kind of wonder if he doesn't have some kind of ulterior agenda. [face_thinking]

    Very interesting little dinner party with Logray. Like @Raissa Baiard, I'm glad that he is so supportive of our couple; of course, we always knew him to be one o' the simpatico ones in Bright Tree Village. [face_love] Though here, too, in a way, I get the feeling that Logray may be sort of trying to experience their love vicariously, especially given the "one that got away" story from his past (which I wonder if you will write sometime ;) ).

    I loved hearing Teebo's impressions of "Mastalook" and his powers, too; he's onto something, of course, though it probably will surprise him to learn that the means of controlling those non-creatures is very different from the nature-power way that he's probably imagining. I am guessing that Teebo and Luke will get together later in the story and compare notes on each others' abilities—perhaps join their abilities together—and that will be amazing to see. :cool:

    And of course, Teebo and Latara's alone time at the end is very sweet, especially the way they revel in each other's scents; you know I'm a sap for that kind of thing (and I'd be curious to hear how you imagine they smell to each other). Teebo definitely has turned into quite the little rebel, in some ways—but Latara's early flightiness has mellowed into faithful steadfastness too, and it is clear she has great respect for her fiancé's mystical abilities and knowledge. All about meeting each other halfway. [face_love]
     
  4. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014
    Writing the replies to comments in the breaks from the first night of the Sanremo Festival because I have this obsession to post while it's still Tuesday in my timezone... but before I get to that, I wanted to thank everybody who nominated this story at the 2018 Fan Fiction Awards.

    [​IMG]

    The Blind Chart the Stars was nominated in three categories:
    - Best story from 5 ABY to 33 ABY
    - Best New Canon/Legends mashup
    - Best original relationship (Doria Vorr and Anjie Mencuri)

    ...and I was nominated for the best author in Saga and most versatile author, both of which are relevant to this story.

    I'm incredibly grateful for this. :) @};-:chewie: Especially for the Doria/Anjie nomination. This OTP means a lot to me! [face_blush][face_blush][face_blush]

    ...

    Charon and Deeina are NOT a problem here...

    Some of Anjie's story was vaguely inspired by his (IMHO, obvious) faceclaim's - and I have to say it, just in case anybody thinks I am deliberately writing a Gary Stu with a traumatic backstory or trying to see just how far I can take the idea or a "crazy" character. The divorced parents, siblings on both sides, a womanizer dad and a playboy "friend", the basic premise or Nebula Fawkes' death, random musings on esoteric things, love for disgusting food and unusual instruments, the weird speech patterns, the permanent physical consequences of spice addiction - I could not have made that up. I would have had to be kind of "crazy" myself, or, well, a different flavour thereof.

    However, the Blobbo and the "Goddess" side-story, imprisonment in Theed, death row, living with dad for two years, the childhood with a very special nanny and such - that's obviously original. I started from a poster boy for drug abuse template and, hopefully, created something differrent. :)

    And yeah, he also LOOKS and dresses like his faceclaim, apart from not having body modifications, yet, LOL, having cybernetics. Because I am a sucker for handsome, saintly types. <3

    They were present in this one, too. :) It's a silly story, but maybe you'll find it fun. Just maybe. :p

     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2018
  5. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014
    10 Made of Stars

    The reception was bad.

    The reception was really, really bad.

    Sure, the first post-Imperial Song of the Year contest was a notable event, but on the flickering viewscreen, it was not enjoyable. The result sheet was hard to read, and it was popping up after every inhabited star system commed and declared whom their public and jury voted for.

    And the hosts were annoying. At least to Doria, who was watching in breaks from studying, next to extremely enthusiastic Branna, Larax, Maris and Ebe, whose childhood innocence was about to get tarnished with the sights of extremely dubious wardrobe choices, innuendos galore and the glorious strangeness of it all.

    The male Lannik steadied the repulsormic in the air. “We’re close to the jury’s final decision and, unlike the previous twenty-five years, we’re being watched everywhere! Right, Paneena?”

    “That’s right, Darglo! This time they’re watching us in the Outer Rim! In the Hutt Space! In the Kathol Sector! Maybe even on Hapes!” The Twi’lek show host’s lekku were in a position that looked almost impossible. Just what exact location was she excited about? “By the way, anybody know where Bakura is?”

    “You kriffin’ kriff of a useless-pretty-girl waste of space!” Doria mumbled through her teeth. “My best friends are there for their honeymoon! You could have just checked it on the HoloNet.”

    She wished she had a blaster to shoot the viewscreen. What would happen then? Would it explode? Do they make them laser-resistant? Or could some warped take on reality allow her to stun the lekku-waving starlet for the next couple of days? Make that months. Perhaps her mother could do this?

    Whoever wrote these prompts was clearly a former Imperial droid.

    In a stark contrast to this, Maris, Larax, Branna and Ebe were cheering on and on. Sacorria was out in the semifinals, but their new home, Vagran, was still there, represented by a group of Amphyplaxi in a hovering water-tank.

    “Is that Wynssa Starflare in the audience?” Larax pointed to what seemed to be nothing but a mere blondish dot. “I don’t like this gown of hers, not at all. Could’ve sewn it better back in the days myself.”

    “That dress should be swallowed by a supermassive black hole.” Maris shook her head. “Who the krill would combine shuura-yellow with Kamino-sky-grey?

    Branna nudged Ebe, who seemed terrified by the conversation. “How about we put it on a mannequin and send it straight to the Dorthus Tal prison?” The little Drall did not say anything, so she waved her hand in front of the girl’s face. “What do you think, Doria?”

    “A-ha.”

    The three women looked at one another. Maris was about to say something, but Branna put her little hand on her shoulder. Avoiding their glances at any cost, Doria absentmindedly picked up her datapad and headed over to the bigger bedroom. She tucked the overalls underneath the bunk beds and climbed up the top one. The flat Mungo Baobab had generously let Maris stay at was small, but at least she didn’t have to share the room with her family.

    Doria activated the light-blocking layer of transparisteel on windows, which – in turn – powered up the fake starfield display on the ceiling. This was a common fad on the bright side of Roon and nowhere like seeing real stars in the night sky, but she liked it. She disrobed and looked at her somewhat hunched shadow on the wall. The shadow-body was in the very corner of the room, between two walls and the ceiling. Just like her, it had no place to go right now. She sighed, and donned one of her father’s old shirts. There was something about the rough, chequered fabric that gave her an illusion of safety.

    It was not the time to sleep, she had turned in a couple of hours too early, but Roon was messing with her body chrono and, ever since she had started school, she would often go to sleep when she could not come up with a valid solution. This semi-depressed state was not going to take her anywhere. She knew it all already. She was going to fail the exams and ruin everything, be forced to remain in the Outer Rim forever, just after she had found the place she thought felt like home.

    And then, there was everything that happened on Naboo, lingering through the chaos of her thoughts. Even though she swore to herself that she would not do that again, she once again broke her own promise to herself.

    After one last gaze at the artificial starfield, she closed her eyes and thought of Anjie.

    Where was he? What was he doing right now?

    And then, the question that seemingly made no sense to her popped up – what was he, in the first place? Was he sent from wherever-he-actually-came-from to torture her and make her feel bad about herself?

    Or was he “the one”?

    She shivered. That last thing, it was not her own thought. It was like she was no longer alone, all of the sudden. A soft voice that she never heard before was whispering to her, asserting that yes, he, out of trillions and trillions Humans and near-Humans in the Galaxy, was the lover made for her in the stars.

    This voice, it had to be silenced, immediately. Anjie was singing about bad things. Death and stuff. Anjie was one of those wermos who kissed girls on the first date. Anjie was bad news. It had felt so good to punch him, after he outright told her that he did not want to stay in touch with her.

    And just like the stars on the ceiling, he was not really there. Just like her side of Roon would never see the darkness and the lights from the distant constellations, she would never see him again. He was very much like the dark side of this strange planet, living the kind of a life not meant for a mere mortal. Flying. Levitating in his own gravity field, tide-locked, never showing his reality and his true face to those like her. Their chance encounter existed solely to show her that she was not meant to fly and that she was destined to be ground-bound. If she had ever doubted that, by being Sacorrian, by being a plain girl and clearly not the overachiever like, say, Tendra Risant, she was now completely sure that she had been wing-clipped at birth.

    The whispering voice was there again, telling her that she was only afraid to fly. Asserting that her lack of academic achievement did not matter in this discourse. And right there, on the inner sides of her thick eyelids, she could see a whole holoflick develop. The kind of a story that would make her giggling, blushing girlfriends back in Saccorata cry. A bunch of strange clues, followed by another chance meeting with Anjie. In this inner holoprojection, he was slightly more determined, making just about enough sense in order to meet her halfway and, just like that, she found herself with her index finger tracing his lips. Was this a sign of weakness? Madness? Stress due to having only a couple of weeks to get a year’s worth of studying done? Was it, by any chance, longing?

    “No!” she screamed out loud. “No, no, no, no, no, no and for the trillionth time, NO! You’re not going to trick me again, you…you…cheap Naboo charmeur!”

    She opened her eyes.

    “Doria, are you all right?” the familiar screechy voice came from the bunk below. Seconds later, Ebe’s tiny head popped up on the ladder, Duchess Branna following him.

    “I’m all right. Did I fall asleep? Is it over? The contest?”

    “You’ve been sleeping for a couple of hours now.” Branna said, taking her place next to Doria and gesturing to the hovering tray with three mugs of hoth chocolate. “And yes, it’s over. Chandrila won. Vagran came in fifth after they counted the joint votes from the other areas of the Galaxy.” She rolled her eyes. “The latter is a new thing nobody told us about. That and the guest appearance of Moddell Sector set for next year, because…because Moddell Sector and all.”

    Ebe shook his head. “I didn’t like Chandrila! The singer had a voice worse than mine!” He demonstrated this by screeching, again. Doria was sure that he didn’t really have to explain how bad his voice was at this point in life.

    “Just cut that out!”

    Ebe took a sip from his mug, his eyes peeking from above its rim. “Doria, are you angry?”

    She nodded. “I am. But not with you!”

    “Bantha poodoo, Dodo. Nothing but pure bantha poodoo.” Branna leaned towards her and cupped her face. “Regardless of how angry you’re trying to appear, you seem dreamy…or at least, as I like to say, dreamish.” She tickled the girl on the chin, prompting her to hit her on the back of her palm.

    “Dreamish”? How could one use it to describe a person? You either dream, or you don’t, end of the story! Just what did Branna think she could get out of her by these awful, awful provocations?

    “No. I had a nightmare.” She tried to say with a straight face, but the ends of her lips were not listening. “It was horrible.”

    “My young girl, I have seen everything.” Branna crossed her arms. “I have met some incredible liars, and I saw through them. I regret to inform you that your talents are nowhere near that. You had a pleasant dream and that ‘Angelcure’ was in it.”

    “A what?” Doria was doing her best to avoid further conversation.

    “The Naboo man with plump, luscious lips.” The Drall winked, prompting another awkward smile from Doria. “The Reeeeeeeeeevan!”

    “Doria and Revan, Doria and Revan!” Ebe was clapping his hands and chanting.

    “Stop talking nonsense.” Doria pointed her finger at each of them. “Anjie is in the past. It’s about exams and, err, success right now. Nothing else. Kriff Anjie!”

    "No, you stop talking nonsense." Branna scolded her. She cocked her head and put her arms on her hips, kneeling on the bed. Doria was now in the corner where her shadow had been earlier that non-night.

    “Okay.” She looked down. “I am a bad student, I am not progressive at all and I think of him all the time. I am trying my best not to, but I do. I know you hate him, and once I fail the exams, I will hate him, too.”

    Branna was surprised.

    “I never said I hated him. I was trying to protect you from disappointment. Artists are a crazy bunch and you didn’t strike me as a type who could understand one…that is, until your drawings dropped on the floor.”

    Doria swallowed a lump. “They’re nonsensical. I make these holoflicks in my mind, I tell stories, but it’s fantasy. It’s not real, just like Anjie isn’t real.”

    "Doria, Doria, Doria…you’re worse than your mother sometimes. Those things are real and they represent what you really want to do. And Anjie…” She noticed that Doria’s face would lit up at the very mention of that name. “He is just a being like you and me. And like my lover."

    Doria nearly dropped her mug.

    "Your...err...lover?"

    "Yes, I did things. I am not an old maid. There were men in my life, but there was only one that I truly loved.” Branna licked the chocolate off her lips. “The more I think about it, I could even consider myself a widow.”

    "Tell me more, please!"

    Doria put her hand on her face. Branna was more approachable than her own mother, but when it came to matters of the heart, she was almost as distant and cold as Maris. And now, for the first time since she became aware of her elite next-door neighbour, she asked her something like this.

    "We were together for two decades, but we were never really together. He was a couple of months younger than me. Shortish. Like, too short for a Drall.” Branna’s voice was softer than usual. “With eyes like yours and your starboy's. Tan, with a black stripe masking his muzzle and going down his back. I was his first and, to my knowledge, only woman. I literally threw myself at him one night, instead of going to a boring New Year Fete cocktail hosted by the students' club!"

    "A..." Doria was about to say something, but Branna showed her to shush.

    "Over the time, he became dependent on me. And unfortunately, just like your starboy, he did a lot of spice. His reasons were not stardom woes, though – he had been destroyed by the system. On top of it, there is this book that claims he was married to another woman all along, but this is not true. His Duchess forbid him to marry me."

    This seemed strangely familiar to Doria, but maybe she was still half-asleep.

    "And what happened?"

    "He just didn't show up for our date one day. I think it was some five years before you were born. Maris was with me, and we waited for two hours. Then, your father – I am sorry, Dodo, but he was such a strange man – found us and put up a fight. He was sure that I was trying to get Maris a new boyfriend."

    “Hope he didn't hit mom! Or you!”

    “No, he didn’t, or I would have hit him. Anyway, my love…I can’t remember the last time I called him that…” Branna leaned on the wall. “His name was Dyeke. I did mean to tell you about this at some point, once you’re seriously into a man, or why not, a woman, yourself.”

    “Women can be into women?” Doria thought, but did not voice her confusion, as the name sounded extremely familiar. She remembered the book she was more or less obsessed with for a period of time after her breakup with Porky. The book with an artist not being afraid to be an artist and eventually having a family, just like everybody else. And then sacrificing himself for his political ideals, just like every Sacorrian should. The latter part had gotten lost in her mind never to be found again, once she’d meet Charon, Deeina and the other Rebels, but the story of Dyeke prior to his sacrifice for the Galactic Empire was still one of her favourite books.

    “Dyeke? Dyeke from ‘Middday Darkness’? The Curheg Sunset painter? But…he was married…”

    “I just told you that he wasn’t.” The Duchess crossed her arms again. “Now, whom do you believe, that book or your Branna?”

    Doria remained silent. Was one of her role models crazy all along?

    “I…I don’t know,” she finally said.

    “At least you’re sincere. So, among other things, ‘Midday Darkness’ is fake, because the Sacorrian Triad had somebody write it. The Curheg Sunset you know is fake, because I found the actual painting where I least expected to, right before I escaped Sacorria and reunited with you and the others on Vagran.”

    Branna then did the “baby burp” goal celebration dance. Doria opened her mouth wide enough to swallow a space station. The Drall gestured to her not to speak, once again.

    “Yes, him. Long story and I happen to trust him with it, so it will stay there until the time is right. While the only thing I’m not sure of is Dyeke joining the Imperial Army – he may have been forced into it – everything else in that kriffin’ book is fiction. Dyeke’s real life was nowhere near perfect, he was a spice addict and not many people liked him. There were the times I hated him myself, even right after riding him like a bantha.” She stopped for a moment. “Do not look at me like that, Doria, you’re a grown woman now. It was just meaningless sex in a challenging, disastrous relationship that survived so many hardships and could not survive the Sacorrian idiocy. I know what they taught you at school, but women are not meant to shut up and lie down.”

    “Oo…kay.” Doria said, to her own surprise. “But…”

    “But this is not why I told you about Dyeke. You see, Sacorrian Triad forged his entire life, but the lives of famous people are nowhere near what you read about on HoloNet, not the perfect picture on the viewscreen.”

    “But Anjie was really doing rokna! He told me so himself and I didn’t even ask him!”

    “Let’s forget Anjie for a moment and take your friend, Charon, for an example. You met him by chance and you know what he is like – this small, thin man with a big heart, who saved you and then his wife saved him, because he is not good at saving himself. Think about it. How does that match what you read when you look him up on the HoloNet? Would you even think that was the same individual?”

    Ebe recited what he read in Juicy Blabber. “Charon San Valorum, the singer and quetarra player of Deeply Religious. The incredibly cool, ruthless, wild pronk. The heart of every party. Rioting for the sake of rioting, personified!”

    “That’s right.” Branna patted the dralling on the back. “Now, Doria, is that the person you know?”

    “To a certain extent…from a certain point of view…he appeared like that before we ducked the Doloria missile. Ultimately…no.”

    “That’s the answer I expected from you. Despite all the routine brainwashing we got as Sacorrians, you’re an orange. You’re a smart wookie-ookie, after all! Now you just have to determine what, if anything, the Angelcure you met, the one you made out with…and I know that you did, young woman, and I don’t mind anything you ever do with that man, I would’ve only objected if you had gone to the bunk with that wermo Porkley…”

    “I didn’t. That is why he ended up running naked through a dust corn field…with his pimple-covered rear-end jiggling and all.” Doria’s face turned into a strange grimace.

    “Now, I see that you shook off the idea that you owed anything to Porkley, but let’s go back to what matters. The Angelcure…okay, the Anjie Mencuri you met on Naboo, the one who roamed the streets and ate together with you. Was he really the fallen quetarra hero, the redeemed Revan?”

    “Quetarra hero?” Doria scratched her nose. “In terms of his abilities, even though I know little about music in that aspect…yes. But in terms of what he was like with me…he was more like a scared roba running around, than some man who gets all the girls or whatever. He was quiet, somewhat awkward, advising me not to drink Mesipax and eating red glie stew, then talking about rokna as if he had been married to it or something. And when he kissed me, he knew how to do it, he didn’t drool on me like Porky did…I promise, this is the last time I mention that nerf-herder, but he is the only one I can compare Anjie to in terms of kissing…but he approached me timidly, it’s not like he ate my face or anything.”

    “Sounds like a very normal person to me.” Branna nodded. “Except for that rokna and red glie stuff. It’s like…his guilty conscience and shame over his past functions in a much different way than it did with Dyeke.”

    “He almost made me eat it. Like the way dad would sometimes make mom say what he wanted her to say?”

    “Sure, some men are like that. But as stupid as this may sound to you right now, I think he was really concerned. Spice addicts’ minds work like that. It’s like self-punishment and paranoia at once!”

    “But he is a former spice addict!”

    “Again, that is what he is portrayed like. And is there anything else from that encounter that does not quite match what they write about in, say, ‘Beat’? Not the silly wastes of flimsi like Juicy Blabber…”

    “We went to Padmé Amidala’s grave. And Anjie…he refused to accept that she was real and that she was the same person as this fictional character from his grandmother’s stories. It was like, he preferred her fictional than dead. And he was really angry about it, just like he was angry when I called rokna abusers out over taking something from a world populated by a handful of primitive species.”

    This time, Branna was the one ready to swallow a fully operational battle station.

    “May all the wise Drall buried on the Boiling Sea Cemetery forgive me for simplifying things…but this man is a lurdo, all right. That’s the last trendy bit of slang from our noble savage saviours going around, isn’t it?”

    “Yes.” Ebe confirmed and turned to Doria again. She showed Branna to continue.

    “A lurdo, but in love with this young woman right here. The awkward and timid ones like him are eternally stuck between their public persona and what they really are like.” She gestured to the tray again and left her hoth chocolate mug on it, only then noticing that the Human girl hadn’t taken one single sip of her beverage. “But in his case, it’s even stranger. He’s a timid lurdo playing that quetarra next to that Nokaarbe excuse for a sentient. A timid lurdo who exposed all of himself to prying eyes of teenagers and their moms in the past. And…you know what I think?”

    “What?” Doria had no objection against the things her mentor had said by then, but she wanted to hear it all.

    “You just have to allow yourself to see it. Feel it. Whatever seems more acceptable to you at the moment. And not end up jaded like me.” Branna looked at her friend finally take a sip of hoth chocolate and pant, forgetting it was still hot. “Say, what exactly did he tell you?”

    “That, if life wants him to find me again, he will.”

    “Oh, cry me a Priga with all of its tributaries! He should have played it on the Galaxy’s smallest mandoviol!" The Duchess mimicked what she’d just said. “He is scared. And playing a match against both himself and you. And he’ll be defeated.”

    “How?”

    “For now, the next time you dream of him, go with the flow. Do what you want to do, not what you were taught was right.” Branna paused for a second. “And I, I will take care of the rest. You should not be a Human version of me, now or ever.”

    Doria curled up, hugging her knees. The idea of what she wanted to do was something she first had to actually admit to herself. But it appears than Branna knew this.

    “I can…I can try.”

    “That’s the Doria Vorr I like.”

    Somebody knocked on the wall. All three moved away from it. Moments later, the knocking was followed by a familiar voice.

    “I don’t know what you are doing at this time of the night, but Larax and I are trying to sleep, so cut it out. Doria, you need to study in the morning! I have a meeting over those alleged Roonstones, too. Go to bed. Now!”

    “All right, mom.” Doria did her best impression of Maris.

    “And don’t think I don’t know that you’re making fun of me over there!”

    “We’re going to sleep now, Mar. It’s fine. Honestly.” Branna assured the angry woman on the other side of the wall.

    But it was hard for her, Doria and Ebe not to burst into laughter.
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2018
    Kahara, divapilot, Findswoman and 2 others like this.
  6. Onderon1

    Onderon1 Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 18, 2008
    EP - Quick reply, here ...

    Latara has the patience of a saint. Had I been in her position, you can bet there'd've been some very sharp words - and possibly worse - exchanged with those harpies. :mad: And that "shaman" - creepy idiot. [face_not_talking]

    Glad to see Teebo's appreciating what he's found, though. And Logray's encouragement is =D=

    Likewise, good to see Branna supporting Doria, and giving her a good example to follow. Hopefully, Anjie will stumble back into her life. :)
     
    Kahara, Findswoman and Ewok Poet like this.
  7. Mistress_Renata

    Mistress_Renata Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Sep 9, 2000
    Ah, is Doria beginning to throw off the shackles that her upbringing have placed on her mind? Is she beginning to kindamaybesorta consider the possibility that sharing herself with someone --not just physically, but also mentally and emotionally--might be something worth risking? Good for you, Branna, helping her interpret the mysteries of the male mind, especially when he still has a lot of growing to do. They are both in the process of healing, so the road ahead still has a lot of rough spots. But we'll still root for the happily ever after.
     
    Kahara, Findswoman and Ewok Poet like this.
  8. Raissa Baiard

    Raissa Baiard Chosen One star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 22, 1999
    Lots going on in this chapter! First of all, I love the description of the Song of the Year contest; from talking with you this weekend, I know what the RL inspiration was, though it could be any awards show, complete with celebrity sightings, bizarre contestants an innocence tarnishing wardrobe choices and innuendo galore. The women’s critique of the dresses and the bubbly, bouncy hostess with unnaturally perky lekku (lekku enhancements? :eek:) is perfectly snarky and catty. The fact that Vagran is represented by a tank full of Amphyplaxi is the icing on the cake for this competition!

    Doria’s room, with its artificial star field sounds super-cool—I’d love to have one of those! That and the light-blocking windows are nice details to show how the people of Roon cope with their planet’s unusual tide-locked situation.

    Doria’s fighting herself so hard. MUST NOT THINK OF ANJIE—even though she wants to and her heart is telling her he’s the one. Nope, she insists to herself she hates him, he’s bad news, a jerk, an addict, a (fill in insult here). Even though she dreams of him and having the kind of romance her friends would swoon over, she can’t let go or admit it even to herself. I wonder if she’s afraid of losing control, in a way. The men in her life have not been exactly the models of reciprocal love—Doria mentions her dad making her mom say what he wanted her to, Porky was in their “relationship” for one thing and one thing only, and even Anjie tried to change her order at the restaurant (done with good intentions, but still...) Falling in love can be a little scary under normal circumstances, when you add in the Doria’s background, it’s understandable she’s a little skittish. But she needs to learn that one can’t be totally in control at all times when it comes to matters of the heart, and it’s okay to let go a little and let yourself feel those feelings.

    Branna tries to tell her all of this, with the story of her relationship with Dyeke, and gives Doria lots to think about—not just about love, but about Branna herself, Dyeke, the public vs. private identities of celebrities and even what she accepts as truth. Hopefully, Doria can process all this food for thought and realize Branna has a point...she’ll surely regret it if she keeps denying her feelings.
     
    Kahara, Ewok Poet and Findswoman like this.
  9. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    There are some really striking images in this chapter. First of all, the projected starfield on Doria's ceiling is not only a very clever little bit of fanon (I'm guessing) in terms of how residents of Roon deal with the planet's tidelocked nature, but it also of course immediately calls to mind what Anjie said about "breadcrumbs in the starfield." It's as though part of her reason for turning on the artificial stars is not just to get herself ready for sleep but to begin, or re-begin, the search for those crumbs.

    I love too the way Anjie, and Doria's relationship with him so far, is compared to the planet of Roon itself. Just as Roon is either all light or all dark depending on which side you happen to be on, Anjie too has that all-or-nothing aspect to him. He's wrapped up in his own version of star-studded darkness—so much so that he comes very close to missing out on the bright light of Doria's affection. Similarly, Doria is pretty all-or-nothing herself, as we can see in the way she so fiercely dismissest hat lingering inner voice that is telling her not to give up hope. It's always "either-or" for these two, right now, with no "both-and" in sight—unless one perchance makes it to that elusive transition zone (that we determined is not called the "event horizon," whatever some guidebooks might say :p ). And indeed, the notion of "meeting halfway" does occur to Doria for one brief moment. I know that is one of your signature motifs when it comes to writing about romantic relationships; I've seen the way it's shaped Teebo and Latara's romance, and I'll be curious to see the way it shapes this one.

    Meanwhile, the Song of the Year contest, with all its vapid commentary and ridiculous outfits, makes for a striking contrast to all the turbulent, complex emotions filling Doria's head and heart right now. It's rather adorable, though, how complaining about one thing or another (the outfits, the announcer's near-brag about never having heard of Bakura, the Chandrila singer's voice) seems to be a favorite part of those watching Just like Oscars parties here on Earth! :D Li'l Ebe does seem a bit nonplussed about it all, and understandably so, but true to his cheerful nature he does his best to join in and be part of things. I too love the fact that Amphyplaxi are representing Vagran too, and I am wondering what their contribution to the song contest was like. Wish we could have heard them sing/perform—maybe at some other point in the story? :D [face_batting]

    Branna is A1, as always, and she gives Doria one whizbang ta'sharr here, if I may call it that. :cool: This is the invaluable advice she needs at this particular moment: just go with the flow in love, don't get hung up on others' expectations, and definitely don't mistake public image for reality (two other things that are also in a tidelocked relationship). Her own relationship with Dyeke is a perfect object lesson in all of those things—and that, of course, is a familiar name from not only Midday Darkness // The Light Is Me, I Am the Light and Letters Never Sent but also from Doaba Ke'demii, where we learn that the "official" version of his autobiography is one of Doria's favorite books. So she is getting a completely new look at not only one but two of her favorite people, in a manner of speaking—as well as a chance to apply their example to her own life (or not, as the case may be). She'll try—and that's the Doria I know and love too. :) And of course, it's just plain cool to see your oeuvres come together in this very organic way, just as we know that Doria's story will eventually come together with those of your Ewoks. Keep it up! =D=
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2018
    Kahara, Ewok Poet and Raissa Baiard like this.
  10. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014
    (Still high on caffeine, but planning to FINALLY write these comments this weekend...)

    Done! [face_dancing]

    Okay, not done.


     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2018
  11. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014
    11 The Broken Breadcrumb Trail

    NOTE: This chapter was previously posted as a short story named Breadcrumbs in the Starfield. There were almost no alterations here, so if you read and commented on that, you saw it all. Of course, you're welcome to remind yourself of what happens here.

    “She’s got a very powerful tooka, my comrade.” An unpleasant, quasi-seductive baritone echoed through a small space. “If she can lift a couple of tons like this. Get it?”

    Anjie sighed and shook his head. He wasn’t sure what was more disgusting – his wailer-mate’s newest comparison of a machine to a female body part, or the ironic tone in the word “comrade”.

    “Wait, isn’t this ship called Tooka, too?”

    “It’s Whisperkit, my dear comrade. Whisperkit.”

    Less than two hours after they took off from Keren, Whisperkit – if that was really its name – was captured in the tractor beam of the Sionnma on the edge of the Chromell sector. The stay on the quetarra player’s home planet was cut short, much to his dismay. He had planned a couple of more visits to his place by the Solleu River and some more tests of the will. He was not quite himself, the one he had imagined he should have been, not yet.

    But Steamy Wasaka Stew’s producer, Shaban Sapphyra, would not have had any of that. Younger than he looked, more ambitious than some of the feared upon military leaders, he wanted the newly-reformed group to join him at his decommissioned Clone Wars starship-turned-music-production-studio.

    Anjie remembered his first experience at this place eight years earlier very well. He was still a fresh face in the wailer-group, only twenty-one years old, looking no older than fifteen. There had been dancers hired to entertain them, likely bought straight from the slave drivers of the faraway sectors, and they would leave them on whatever planet when they would get bored with them, then pick some new ones. There was a time when he was spending the whole night in nothing but a tesh-tunic after such encounters, crafting the kind of melodies that seemed to be fitting enough for Antonio’s debauchery-charged outpourings.

    Sure, there were some actual gems, such as the deeply sincere “Underlevels” dealing with the singer’s occasional deathstick spells while the band lived on the Imperial Centre in-between the albums, as well as the almost anti-establishment protest chant titled “Stand Up”, but most of it was coming from a place that he himself could not identify with unless he was being it. This time, he felt, it was going to be different. He was a recovering spice addict and he did not want to cross the line.

    Once they were in the docking bay and the doors had closed behind the runabout as if the starfield was no more, Dale Pavan and Wompy ran to greet them.

    "So, how was Naboo?" Wompy asked, winking at the men. Anjie just shrugged, his two-day beard barely hiding a dissatisfied pout and let his companion speak instead.

    "Sexy, as usual" Antonio, who piloted the small vehicle, winked back to his childhood best friend. "Is Shaban here?" He threw the pilot jacket to the jet black protocol droid, who appeared to be of female programming. “You’re looking golden today…”

    "Yes, Master Nokaarbe!” The droid responded, ignoring what might as well have been advances. “Master Sapphyra is here and ready to start. He has some work to do on Bespin later, so he opted to record with us in space, on our way there."

    Shaban Sapphyra was waiting on a large couch with gigantic horns used as arm rests in an improvised control room, in the middle of the circular ship, with a protocol droid by his side. His face lit up upon seeing whom Antonio brought with him.

    "Little Goldmine, is that you? I cannot believe it!” He clapped his hands. “When Wompy told me that you had somebody to replace Sassvar, the last person I could think of was you! And wow, you look…different. What did you do to your hair?"

    “Master Sapphyra?” The protocol droid asked.

    No answer. Anjie looked down and made a step closer to Wompy and Dale, away from Shaban and Antonio.

    “Master Sapphyra?” The protocol droid asked again.

    "How about you don't call him like that, Shabs?" The grey bear of a man pointed at the holorecord producer and then hugged the scrawny one. “He’s our little brother, our Anjie!”

    "Relax, Pavan. He brought the three of you - as well as me - where you are and that's my way of telling him thank you. I remember you calling him Sprout back in the good old days, but he's golden. So, where have you been since I last saw you around the time of the Battle of Yavin, young Mencuri?"

    Anjie was bemused. He did not remember when he last saw Shaban Sapphyra, but the producer seemed to be blissfully unaware of what was happening in the meantime, hence calling him "young". Even if his near-death experiences had never happened, he would have been twenty-nine. And Shabs himself was not much older than his wailer-mates.

    “I was in another life, Sapphyra.” A sour grin flashed upon the freckled face. “Did you find anything for me? I only have one quetarra and it’s not a sonic one.”

    “True.” Antonio said. “He played some of his own songs in Keren on that particular fascinating instrument. I heard it was quite a memorable experience.”

    “I thought you had gone to see him?” Wompy was surprised.

    Shaban gestured to the protocol droid again. She brought a large quetarra case and presented it to Anjie. The black glove-clad hands were shaking. Once he managed to open the case, his smile changed to a genuine, broad one. The producer patted him on the shoulder.

    "See how we can easily improve your mood? Had I realised it was for you, I would have searched even harder. But yes, this is a genuine arboray wood quetarra from the days of the Ruusan reformation! When Antonio relayed the request to me, I sort of...sort of wondered if you were alive. But I thought it was just wishful thinking on my part. Now, what do you need it for? What are we going to record?"

    Anjie’s facial expression changed from a sourpuss one to a broad smile.

    “Antonio w-w-worked on something while visiting me on Naboo. He’s got some new lyrics about how much he likes Coronet. And I had an idea for the melody and I need it to sound more ethereal. As if was bouncing against clouds!" Anjie waved his arms in the air, making movements that the other four didn’t know how to interpret. “You know, like this! Like you’re not quite born yet and you are floating in the wastelands of intergalactic space.”

    Shaban Sapphyra's starship was a bordello-turned-recording studio and he would not work with just any band. And it was SexySpiceStarSinners, SWS’ breakthrough album that somehow managed not to be banned by the Imperial Board of Culture, that brought him fame and fortune. Suddenly, everybody wanted to work with him and he eventually made it big in the cruel word of mass-consumption of art.

    Anjie stroked the neck of his new quetarra. At this point, it had been about two years since he last received a royalty cheque from Corellia, as all transactions from the Core Worlds were blocked after the Battle of Yavin. It was one of those desperate measures that the Galactic Empire had taken against the Rebels and he was not aware of it until he was transported to Naboo with other addicts captured during the raid on Abatore’s spice-addled underground.

    Yes, this beautiful instrument was going to bring him joy. But it also had to bring him credits. He was sure not going to live in Antonio’s pantry once they return to Corellia, or something like that! Therefore, this had to be a rough trade, the one where he had to learn that he could not always have it his way. Could beautiful music ever be created when one has to be motivated by those, well, existential questions?


    Five days into the recording process, still getting used to how his fingers were working now and tasked with layering a couple of quetarra tracks over Dale and Wompy’s deliciously Duros-like beats, Anjie stopped worrying about the finances and let himself go. His preoccupation, however, switched to romantic matters again. Before he knew it, he was beating the living kriff out of his precious instrument and dancing around the chamber the three instrumentalists were playing in, clearly not following the beat, complete with strange vocalisations.

    "What's wrong, pal?" Bulky Dale asked his fellow wailer and smiled.

    "Everything is fine. Don't you like this solo?"

    "I remember you saying that you were not going to solo on the comeback album at all, because you're currently not into that thing. You said that the other day. And you have just beaten the poodoo out of that poor antique quetarra!"

    The musician stubbornly kicked the sonic-amp. "I like to change. Constantly. I get bored with things."

    "Can't fool me, Sprout.” Dale shook his head and winked, as Wompy reached out to his friend’s boney shoulders to hug him. “Something happened when you and Antonio were on Naboo."

    "W-w-what did he tell you?" Anjie almost dropped his quetarra.

    “You can imagine.” Wompy pouted and hugged Anjie tighter. The Tralusian loved his, as he often said, “wayward little brother”.

    "The usual thing – his Human partner, his Gungan partner, his sentient tree partner and what they were like in bed, or wherever." Dale stopped to look at Anjie's terrified expression. "Okay, I'm messing with you, they were all Human. Nine of them, two per day, apart on the wedding day, when, he said, there were no single women in sight left, apart from a 'wicked witch'. One just has to thank the Force for every female that rejects him; otherwise there would be a lot of children looking suspiciously like him, on multiple planets. He also said she was ugly."

    Anjie raised his voice and turned away from the two. "Ugly? That shameless, bitter kriffslider…demonizing women just because they reject him! She…she was incredibly beautiful."

    Dale clapped his hands.

    "So, that is what happened? You too got some at that wedding!"

    "No. I got a slap upside my face at the end of our date."

    "What? Did you touch her...stormie helmets or something?" Wompy cocked his head.

    "No. I told her that life will point me to her if it wants to. It's the will of the universe, Con."

    The bassoonist was puzzled.

    "Am I really talking to the same man who bedded Galah Jaywine, the woman whom even heterosexual women seemed to want?"

    "The man did not bed Galah. She attempted to bed him and it didn’t work. The man you see right now, however..."

    "...is stupid, Sprout. How do you think that woman will find you among trillions of beings?" Dale was shuffling his batons behind his back. Sometimes, he could not understand Anjie, though he grew fond of him over the years.

    "Breadcrumbs in the starfield."

    "What?"

    "Never mind. Can you promise me something, Dandelion?"

    "Sure…I think?!"

    "Do not call me 'Sprout' ever again! Sprout was a silly boy who almost paid with his life."

    "But you called me D..."

    "And that is your birth name, right?"

    “Right.” Dale said and went back to his drum kit. He changed the beat to fit the melody and soon, the song was starting to take shape. The musicians knew that they had a hit long before they even showed the instrumental to Antonio, who then came up with the lyrics, naming it “Lost Girls”, much to Anjie’s horror.

    But it was impossible to keep a secret on Sionnma and he knew that.

    …​

    The planned stop in the Anoat Sector was welcome. Shaban Sapphyra had some unfinished business to do with a group of bar performers in Cloud City on Bespin and he invited the wailer-group to join him for a weekend of gambling and partying.

    Anjie initially refused to get out of his room, where he had been thinking of ideas on how to improve his “Solleu Ashes” further. Of course, that was not entirely possible with his wailer-mates checking on him nearly every hour.

    “You’ve got to forget this girl, whoever she is.” Antonio told him. “We’re heading to a party and I’m sure that you can find yourself a new bedwarmer.”

    That is how they used to call women back then. And it used to be normal. But right now, it sounded like the noise of a particularly old speeder prior to taking off. There was something wrong about it.

    But a party? Why not?

    A couple of hours later, the foursome was at a sabacc table, surrounded by slythmongers, gamblers and beautiful women. Most of the latter seemed to be interested in Antonio, but there was one up-and-coming actress, Ranya Adma, who seemed to have taken a liking for Anjie. And the two of them were the only people at the table who were not interested in the game, each for a different reason.

    At some point, Ranya subtly stepped on Anjie’s foot underneath the table. He smiled.

    “Let’s get out of here.” She said. “My speeder is outside.”

    How was he doing this in the past? Did he ever say no? Perhaps this was the time to determine if he was still capable of functioning like a proper man in the first place. He shrugged and followed Ranya, with Antonio glancing at him from behind his two new mistress’ facades and a pair of cards, vaguely pleased. Dale and Wompy were too busy with the game to see what was going on.

    Ranya’s speeder was docked in a secluded area and soon, the two were alone, with the seats down. The young actress raised her leg on the cockpit and slowly moved towards Anjie. After a couple of smiles, they started making out.

    "My most recent kiss turned out weird. By the Force, you can kiss, Ranya."

    "You are, like…really beautiful." She continued slowly teasing the wailer. "Nothing like that friend of yours who kept on trying, and was trying too hard. He's sexy, but you seem so innocent in a weird way. As if you had been given the soul of a youngling again. And there is a reason the two of you used to be known as Lady Poison back in the days...the no-nonsense one and the Naboo charmeur one." She breathed in-between kisses on his neck.

    "Tee-hee, thank you. But…wait.” He remembered something. Aren’t-aren't you Galah's friend? You were at that holofilm premiere two months ago!"

    "I am…she told me you broke up and that I can have you, if I want to. And that maybe, just maybe, you are now ready for a woman.”

    She proceeded to undo the buttons on his shirt.

    "Nice build...for a spice recoveree. Thin and somewhat muscular."

    "I need to put on some more weight."

    "I bet you got the meat where it counts…but before it, there is nothing that makes me go nova more than a nice pair of arms to hold me."

    "I have change my mind, sorry." Anjie pushed her away.

    Galah had warned Ranya about this particular issue. But she didn't listen.

    "Look, Mencuri, I heard certain rumours about your cybernetics. I just got carried away. You can keep all of your clothes on, if that's a problem. I will gladly take mine off, you are in absolute need for some stormie helmet therapy." She removed her tunic. "Galah's were nothing but youngling hall role-play helmets. Or wait, do you prefer nice legs?"

    Anjie just sat there, looking at the actress reaching for her skirt. He may have wanted to spend the night. But not with her. Not with Galah, either. The need for human touch was slowly coming back, but there was a point it transcended far beyond the shallow waters of carnal pleasures.

    "Maybe I need to be in love, after all." He turned away, hoping that she would get dressed. "My body is betraying my mind. My mind is betraying my body."

    "Did you subscribe to some freaky cult or something?" A bare-breasted Ranya grabbed him by the cheeks and turned his head around. “Doesn’t this excite you?”

    "No. I just changed my mind. I am sorry if I led you on."

    She finally tied her tunic again. "Just…just what kind of a man are you?"

    "Broken." He said, quietly.

    Ranya looked on, as Anjie buttoned up his shirt, got up and jumped off her speeder. She was bitter. He was an ideal combination of two of her fantasies. She knew that she had to look for another chance to experience a man with cybernetics or a famous wailer between the sheets.

    Preferably one that was not broken.

    "Know that there is an ice planet nearby? Well, it's warmer than your alleged Star Destroyer!" She yelled behind him. Seconds later, she undocked the speeder and drove away.

    It was only when she was gone that Anjie felt calm. He sat down and looked in the direction of Tibannopolis. He didn't know much about Bespin, but the idea of an abandoned town populated solely by oddlings feeding on pure gas was strangely beautiful to him. Perhaps there were hermits, like the kind that he sometimes fantasized about being.

    His eyes were fixed to the strange clouds in the sky, above and below him. They would collide and then they would move further and further from one another. And not go back until it was too late. At that point, the pinkish, sugary hues were turning into black, translucent ones.

    “Night already?” he said to himself.

    Was the day too short or were his dilemmas multiplying beyond the edge or what was possible? He shrugged, took one last glance at Tibannopolis, got up and walked back to Amici’s to find his mates. They were waiting for him and his facial expression did not seem to be what they were expecting.

    “Was she good?” Antonio nudged the thin quetarra player with the elbow. As usual, the initial answer was a sheepish smile. “Baychihuahua, as the Ewoks would say!”

    “I think they say ee-chaa wa maa!” Anjie’s eyes suddenly grew solemn.

    “Whatever, I can make my shtick more unique than theirs. So, blast it out, Naboo Charmeur, did your superlaser hit anything?”

    “No.” Anjie turned his head away. “I told her that I didn’t want to kriff her and I left.”

    Antonio raised one of his hands high up in the air, his head, resembling a very deranged letter Cresh. “What? I had respect for that exquisite pair of stormies. I did not even break her in for you, like we used to do back in the good old times. And you just…didn’t kriff her?” He then crossed his arms. “Perhaps the rumours really are true and you’re not Anjie Mencuri, but some random male handmaiden who looks like him.”

    “Those good old times, they were not good for me.” A muffled interruption came.

    “And they are not old enough yet, either.”

    “So, you’re going to go for the Wicked Witch?” Wompy scratched his head.

    “Yes. And she is not a ‘wicked witch’.” Anjie felt like his heart had just skipped a beat.

    Dale, who had kept quiet until then, joined in. “But how?”

    “I told you already. Breadcrumbs in the starfield. She’s on Roon and we’re all over the Outer Rim, anyway.”

    “Roon, the never-Imperial independent system controlled by the Baobab Merchant Fleet?” Wompy asked again, forgetting that Anjie usually had no idea about such things.

    “If there’s no other Roon, then yes.”

    Antonio was slightly upset. “That is ridiculous. We have contractual obligations all over the Outer and Mid Rim and you can’t possibly make a kriffstop in the Abrion Sector. You were doing this sort of stuff with Mady. You were the slave to that woman. Stick to our deal."

    There was no “deal” to speak of. Moreover, Anjie wanted to protest upon hearing the word "kriffstop", but he stopped himself. He was so close to one such encounter the night before. And it seemed so unnatural. Should he just forget it? Yes, what happens on Bespin stays on Bespin, but how about the things that don’t happen in the first place? This planet was so strange, yet everybody had been raving about it, all the time. And he was sure – such gas giants of this size were nothing but failed stars, after all.

    Once back in his quarters on the Sionmma, he took out a stylus and a piece of paper he clumsily made himself in the occupational therapy weeks before the wedding of whatshisname and whatshername. He attempted to draw the abandoned city in the distance, but the lines were taking him elsewhere, taking the shapes of something else. A face not quite resembling his own, staring at an abstract shape, resembling a starfield. And then came the words.

    "Lost are the stars that never became
    Doomed are the cities looming, that never really died.
    I had no strength, I had too much will,
    Was I scared? Or did I just lie?


    Where is the light?
    What is the night?
    Did I really begin?"


    He wanted to write about his breadcrumbs in the starfield. About the Sacorrian girl whose name he begged himself to forget and which he would likely avoid in an actual conversation; and her innocent eyes, perhaps too innocent for what used to be his taste. But what he got was something else, she was the Corporate Sector to his Wild Space, or so it seemed. Even then, the usual happened. Again. Each time he tried to write a song about somebody else, it became a song about him.

    Perhaps this was his biggest failure. Not being able to see the others as what they were. He was going to ponder on it. At some point. But first, the melody he had on his mind for this mess of words, was going to materialise in the space below his nimble fingers.

    And everything else was secondary to that.




    Footnotes

    Tesh-tunic - T-shirt equivalent. Fanon.

    A sonic-amp would be an equivalent of a real amplifier. Fanon.

    Stormie helmets - Slang for women's breasts. Fanon.

    Tibannopolis is a former city on Bespin, a bunch of floating junk by the time of the Revenge of the Sith.

    The "oddlings feeding on pure gas" are the Tibannucks.

    Amici's is an entertainment venue in Cloud City.
     
    Kahara, divapilot and Findswoman like this.
  12. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014
    Moving some comments and comment replies from the other thread - plZ, don't laugh. :p

    IMAGINE HOW MUCH IT SHOCKED ANTONIO, THE ARCHETYPAL FRONTBEING OF A WAILER-GROUP!11!!

    He's definitely not a prude. Can't turn into one overnight, but yeah, he just realised how much he had changed, through this particular experience. No more quick kriffs, no more one-night-stands. Just doesn't work anymore.

    Self-consciousness definitely IS a thing here, the moment he realises that she's fetishizing him, more or less.

    And yup - she'd do ANYTHING at this point.

    The spooning moment, I'm pretty sure that I saw it in some famous film, where a man out of jail pays a prostitute only so she could lie next to him.

    And that bolded thing is precisely why A Stranger in Someone Else's Dream is, well, [hl='black']not real[/hl]. That said, boy, am I glad that I'm six months late with comment replies here - it's deeper with that new short being, well, a thing now. :D

    I can do nothing but [face_whistling]...but... [hl='black']YES[/hl]! :)

    I wrote the chapter before I saw Rogue One, so it's a coincidence. But a good one! :)

    And thank YOU for reading!

    ...​

    He tries, if nothing else. But nope, can't.

    But those nicknames...ugh. Ugh.

    I see those "rough trades" all around the Galaxy Far, Far Away...

    The whole idea of using music to actually return to an acceptable standard of living is probably repugnant to Anjie, but there's no other way of doing it at this point.


    She might even be negging him. I liked the idea of a woman using the seduction tactic common for male pick-up artists.

    Nothing else to add here.


    Nothing to add - perfect! :D

    Once again - it's all about rough trades. And whichever way he goes, he will have to redefine himself, at least a little bit.

    As for Naboo - glad you pointed that out. He was still recovering and his recovery is ongoing at this point in time. But basically, there comes a point where the person is able to function at 100%, which was likely not the case on Naboo and is the case now.

    Ha...little did I know that I would be speaking from my own experience once I've gotten around to replying to these comments. Still, funny that I had a vague idea of the process when I actually wrote the story. o_O

    Does he even know what he's looking for? He might not know it even if it slapped him upside his face [hl='black'](which actually happened!)[/hl]. He needs to figure out all of the things you just figured out for him. Not saying that he's dense, by any means - he just had so much disappointment in everybody and everything in the past, that he simply doesn't know how to.

    Awww, you're flattering me. *mega-blush* Thanks for reading. :)
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2018
    Kahara, divapilot and Findswoman like this.
  13. Raissa Baiard

    Raissa Baiard Chosen One star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 22, 1999
    It's good to see that Anjie is recognizing how empty and meaningless his former life was. It takes him some hard lessons, but he's finally getting it. He's finally accepted that spice was destructive and ultimately an empty pleasure, though getting to that point nearly killed him several times over. Now he's got to learn the same lesson about those casual hook-ups with nameless girls on every world in the Galaxy. Ironically, Anjie know this intellectually when Antonio invites him to a party to find a new "bedwarmer" and yet he goes along and sooner rather than later, he's out in his speeder making out with a woman he barely knows, a woman who only sees him as a body and a way to fulfill her fantasies. Not going to lie, at that point, I would have liked to slap Anjie (and, to be fair, Miss What's-her-name who can really kiss). He knows this is as empty as using spice, but there he is. Really, Anjie, really? That he stops short of actually doing anything is the only upside to this mess.

    Does he see them at all? Sometimes I wonder. He's so focused on himself, his art, that even when he realizes this:
    Because Art first.
    He really believes that the Universe will bring Doria back to him if they're "meant to be" and he's still following "breadcrumbs". Sorry, but I would still like to tell him to get his head out of his metaphysical shebs. If you want to have a relationship with a real, actual person, you have to make room for them in your life, you have to make an effort and you have to be willing to really see them as more than just your dream. I hope for Doria's sake that Anjie can learn to do this.
     
    Kahara, Ewok Poet and Findswoman like this.
  14. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    I enjoyed “Breadcrumbs in the Starfield” when I first saw it in its standalone form, so it’s especially cool to revisit it again in the context of the longer epic. In conjunction with the previous Anjie chapters, this chapter really drives home for us how far Anjie has come and how far he has to go—and in both cases the answer is a long way.

    His bandmates are sure certainly a classy bunch of characters, with all their talk of bedwarmers, stormie helmets, superlasers, star destroyers, and other such. [face_sick] But I appreciate the way Anjie stands his ground with them, in his quirky Anjie way; it goes to show that his confidence in his new self is growing. And his moment of assertiveness with Dale, né Dandelion, is just super. :D Anjie can really dig his heels in when he wants to, and that’s a quality that will stand him in good stead as he continues his journey of transformation.

    Of course, the operative phrase here is “when he wants to,” and in his encounter with Ranya he seems considerably less confident than when he was telling his bandmates exactly where they got off, or at least at first. Some of the old “Sprout”-era confusion about what he really wants is still there, and it’s what leads him to start spooning with her to begin with. But, as I said in the standalone comment you quoted above, he’s no dummy, and it doesn’t take him long to pick up on the fact that Ranya sees him as a curiosity more than as a person: an "OMG I get to bed a quetarra god who also has WICKED COOL ARM CYBERNETICS!1!” type situation rather than a person with emotions and vulnerabilities, in need of love. Indeed, it’s precisely when she starts talking about being held in his arms that he changes his mind.

    Here’s where the previous chapters with him and Doria add so much to our understanding of this situation. Ranya, with her very fake and contrived attempt to throw herself at Anjie, stands in huge contrast to everything Doria has done with and for Anjie. Whether it was the riverside kiss that “turned out weird” or her slap to his face, it was at least 100% sincere—and even with all his woo-woo talk about breadcrumbs in the starfield (and I kind of can’t blame his bandmates for looking at him funny whenever he brings that phrase up :p ), how could Anjie not notice and be impressed by that sincerity? Her determination is the polar opposite of the Sproutlike wishy-washiness that still plagues him now and then—the wishy-washiness that (a) engendered his “breadcrumbs in the starfield” comment and then (b) led him to try picking up Ranya. He may be following stardusty breadcrumbs (and that is indeed one fab coincidence in this post-Rogue One world), but Doria will be his the steady pole star, the unflickering beacon for him to follow. (And I mean not just to follow in terms of searching for her—to follow as a guide toward bettering himself.)

    And I think he is starting on his way there when he sits down to compose that song—the song about her that is really more about him. I’ve noticed in other stories of yours that both Anjie and other artistic characters in your ocedarium have the tendency to turn immediately to their art in moments of strong emotion:

    Anjie immediately striking up a tune on the bawoonka after making love to Mady in “Not Just Talking Body," Dyeke sketching Branna after his first night with her in The Light Is Me...

    I think something like that is happening here, in a way, though it’s leading in a different direction than the other two examples I mentioned. Anjie definitely has a long way to go when it comes to finding Doria again, and he knows it. But his music is an area where he knows he can forge ahead with confidence. And if he can mobilize that confidence in one area, that certainly could lead to confidence in other areas, too. Let’s hope so! [face_good_luck]
     
    Kahara, divapilot and Ewok Poet like this.
  15. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014
    Wow, wow, wow! These replies are like dissertations. Not that I have ever written more than one academic paper. Or wait, maybe it was two?! One was on Alessandro Barico's Silk and the other...well, I wish I could remember. O_O

    Hope that this chapter didn't scare the rest of the bunch - @Onderon1, @Mistress_Renata and the others - please, tell me when something's squicky. I can handle it. :p Same goes for those who comment in bulk. :D

    New chapter coming as soon as my awesome beta gets to it - it appears that we were both distracted yesterday. LOL.





     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2018
    Kahara and Findswoman like this.
  16. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014
    12 Risks are All About Changes

    “Sister Vorr?”

    Just like in every transmission with the Core, the holographic projection was flickering. Soodar Merek, the grey-moustached Human professor in charge of the first year students of Advanced Mechanics, and Rogierre, the bespectacled, eccentric Drall – who turned out not to be as scary as everybody told Doria they would be – came and went every couple of seconds.

    Rogierre, a former choreographer and musician who was now vice-dean of the University of Abatore was quiet, and that was exactly what worried the Sacorrian girl. In the meantime, she had read about his efforts as a young pronker, she had heard of his flawless choreography and his work with the former dancer, and now renowned actor Garko Garelbi – the naturalised Corellian entertainer whom Branna could not stomach for some reason. Rogierre was a living legend and she was worried that she could never live up to his expectations.

    Moreover, her mother should have not been there! Maris did not like Branna’s suggestion of Doria switching to the arts once she was done with her first year exams.The change had come out of nowhere, and she was wondering what the Arcadia had gotten into the silly old Duchess to ever suggest such a thing. She blamed Deeina, who was already in the arts programme, as well. But her anger was futile. Therefore, since she could not influence her daughter’s decision, Maris was destined to at least make her feel bad about it.

    Professor Merek appeared to have been adjusting the holocomm and, at some point he shrugged and placed a stylus case next to himself. Oddly enough, the picture stopped flickering. He mumbled something in the line of such solutions always working and then, he turned to Doria.

    “Sister Vorr, I have good news for you.”

    Doria was hopeful. “Y-yes?”

    “Your exam results are flawless, though I didn’t quite understand your footnotes in the essay on the History of Mechanics. Then again, I must admit that you were quite creative as well. Did you do it because it’s my specialty, or…well, I guess I shouldn’t ask!”

    Doria grinned. That was much better than what she had expected!

    “With that in mind, the board of professors has accepted your request to switch you from the Advanced Mechanics programme to the Arts Programme, but…we encountered a small problem!”

    “What is it?” Maris asked and then subtly hit her daughter on the back. “Stand upright, Doria, you’ll get scoliosis!”

    The Drall rolled his eyes behind the spectacles, as the Human continued. “Our Minister of Education, Sorimana Aedemii, had originally set up an arbitrage because of the administrative error in your case.”

    “Please, no more administrative errors!” Doria nearly yelled, solely to be met with another of her mother’s angry stares. “Please, not again! I went through so, so much bureaucracy back on Sacorria!”

    “No worries.” Rogierre’s small hand reached out to the very edge of the flickering projection, as he finally took the word. “We had to prove that you were alive, because the record on Sacorria indicated that you had died some time ago and that was what they fed to our database. However, this was solved in the last minute. Assistant Professor Kypari Kaeni assured us that you are alive and she is our guarantee for that.” He stopped for a moment to take his tooka-like spectacles off. “Therefore, we welcome you to the second year of studies at the University of Abatore on Vagran and we welcome you to the Arts Programme! We are really proud to have you aboard, Sister Vorr!”

    She just stood there, with her mouth wide open. Then she jumped and screamed.

    “Doria, you look stupid!” Maris shook her head. “Stop that! Stop that right now!”

    “Stupid? Ever thought that you might still be listed as an assassin in a couple of star systems, mom?”

    Rogierre’s projection coughed loudly, the image flickering to the point where it looked like his fuzzy head was about to walk away from his stocky trunk and stubby little legs.

    “We’re sorry!” The mother and the daughter said at the same time. “Do continue.”

    “You’re welcome to take your first, second and third semester via HoloNet again and join us in the fourth, for practical assignments across Chiro Mountain and the surrounding areas on the coastline of the Solvo Sea. We expect that the Sector will be safe by then. After you have completed the fourth, you can pick what kind of art you would like to focus on.”

    Maris managed a small smile, but seeing that her daughter gave her a quizzical look, she switched back to her angry mother face again. Doria shrugged. She almost had the evidence for what she had doubted for a while, but it was only a couple of seconds!

    After a quick “goodbye, Sisters”, the projection faded away. Maris was quiet for a bit and then she decided that she still had something to say.

    “This Sorimana Aedemii used to be the Prime Minister of Vagran when I was studying at the university. She must be old now. She’s of Branna’s age...or close.” She crossed her arms and added, in a space-cold voice, “Why don’t they leave jobs to younger people?”

    “Because the generations after hers have been indoctrinated by the Empire? Why do you complain? We’re going back to Vagran soon and you will get to work with Salyx Kaeni and Taide Lambrin!”

    Maris just stormed out of the room, mumbling something to herself. Doria shrugged and sat down to download her new coursework. The datacards sent from the Core were overrated, anyway. This was so much better, there were more possibilities.

    The list of the subjects was much, much better than the one she had in the unwanted course. Galactic Basic – Corellian Dialects and Bocce as the required minor language were still a part of it, but everything else was actually inspiring: History of Art I, Creative Writing, Free Drawing, and Theory of Holofilm.

    For the first time in many years, she was ready to study for fun, not to please somebody else, or fulfill somebody else’s expectations.

    …​

    The recording of the new album, tentatively titled The Coronet Way, was almost done and the members of Steamy Wasaka Stew were ready a warm-up tour, playing remote corners of the liberated Galaxy. Slowly, the news broke that Mencuri, yes, that Anjie Mencuri, was alive and returning to Steamy Wasaka Stew, after a descent to spice hell had almost claimed his young life. Most of the wailer-group’s fans were, however, unable to recognise him in holos. The scrawny, long-haired man with sunken eyes and a crooked nose, with fluhnell and k’hcyi shirts buttoned all the way up to his neck, was, to them, a mere shadow of the former sneering youngster sporting all kinds of hair colours and styles.

    And not just that – but whatever this one talked about in interviews did not make sense to most. Space. Infinity. Parallel universes. Some believed that he had been like that all along, some others that the spice had caused permanent damage to his brain.

    That evening on Blabendreus, the sector’s correspondent of Beat! was scheduled to talk with foursome, over huttza. Antonio refused the meal because of the amount of simple carbs in it, Dale and Wompy dug into theirs almost immediately and Anjie shrugged, soaked the first slice in his drink mix and then started sucking on it. This got the journalist puzzled.

    “Master Manicure…Man Cure…sorry, Mencuri… how are you feeling right now? We have heard that you had some surgery done recently. Are you still able to play the quetarra the way you used to?”

    Wompy was about to protest, but Anjie calmly put his hand on his mate’s shoulder and took a deep breath.

    “Y-yes. They said that my arms had started to fall apart from gangrene. I got to the point where I woke up with cybernetic fillings. I… I remember looking at this strange pair of limbs that were no longer completely mine and weeping, weeping, until I no longer had tears in me."

    The reporter shrugged. “I…don’t understand the way you are speaking, master.”

    Antonio gestured to Goldie, who came from behind the scenes and started translating from, as strange as it might have been, Basic to Basic.

    "And...I assume that was your wakeup call?" The next question finally came.

    Anjie ignored him and continued. "I just...I just couldn't see the purpose anymore; I was not sure why I was still alive. There were the times I wished I had a blaster, to fry my brains, once and for all."

    "But your playing…?”

    He ignored the question and continued. “My arms, the way they are now, are a part of what I had gone through and who I am today. The Anjie Mencuri of the days past is not the being sitting next to you right now. That was a long, lingering drone that needed to go silent at some point. Forever.”

    “Do you regret your experience with spice?” The man gave up on asking the same question all over again.

    “No. Not at all. The spice helped me get to where I am today. There are other forms of life that we are not aware of, but things were revealed to me. I have proof!”

    The woman operating the holocam droid snickered, but not loud enough for the wailers to hear it. Goldie mumbled something about short-circuiting, but then she continued “translating” for Anjie.

    “As far as my playing goes, I’m going for a more simplistic style this time. Colour and tone, rather than huge quetarra solos. They’re not what interests me right now.”

    Antonio jumped in. “Also, Anjie’s singing voice is better than ever. He helped me come up with the melody for the chorus of the best song on our upcoming album, ‘The Coronet Way’. I’m proud to be working with the man with the most beautiful voice in the Galaxy.”

    Anjie grinned and blushed, then took a large bite off his mud-covered slice of huttza. The reporter looked the other way.

    “He’s f-f-f-f-flattering me. Either way, I found a way to focus. A unique way. Imagine something that you have fond memories of, then try to visualise it. Then, once you can see it properly, colour your music with its hues. That-that is how I came up with the melody for ‘Lost Girls’, the song Antonio does not have the lyrics for y-yet. I visualised a bright orange Sacorrian Iris, immaculate, yet intoxicating and I coloured the melody with it. It was like…shaping space!”

    The other three wailers looked at each other, confused.

    “Any particular reason behind this, Master Mencuri?”

    “It’s the kind of a flower I would not, would not like to see fade.” Anjie took another large helping of food. “And yes, that’s it, you know?”

    The reporter signalled to the director to play the datacard with the ‘Take It with You’ holovid. The four men on the viewscreen behind the group were dancing in the desert of Tatooine. There they were: hyperactive Wompy, seductive Antonio, bulky Dale…and the adolescent who, unlike them, danced in a very, graceful manner, uncommon for the genre and content of the song.

    The only thing he had in common with the wavy-haired man with stubble was his smile.

    …​

    A couple of hours later, the wailer-group members sat at a huge balcony overlooking Blabendreus-Prism,Blabendreus’ ocean. They were waiting for Shaban Sapphyra and their new manager, a Bothan female named Liska An’tre who had just been assigned to them by the Corellian Sector branch of IdleChord. Liska had travelled over from the Corporate Sector to inquire about the remaining three songs that lacked vocals, as well as a proper promotional tour. At first, she spoke with Sapphyra only, her back to everybody else. There appeared to be some disagreements but neither of them was yelling.

    “There has to be at least one festival.” Liska turned on the viewscreen, showing footage from the first such events that occurred on the planets liberated from the Galactic Empire’s rule. “At this point, what we’re actually selling is secondary to whom we’re selling it to. One of these three songs could be in a distant, subtle relation to the political spacescape of now, while you, Nokaarbe, are free to do whatever you want with those other two, including ‘Lost Girls.”

    “This is a big deal of business.” Shaban added, finally turning around to at the group. “Mooie credits are involved. We have to give the masses what they want.” His eyes wandered from one musician to the other. He stopped short of looking at Anjie, who yawned.

    “Credits?” Antonio raised his eyebrow. “I could invest into…”

    Dale, who already took a bunch of notes earlier, interrupted him. “We will have to deal with very ambitious promoters. It’s hard to get into anything big at the moment. Everybody wants the same thing and I don’t think it’s a good idea to…”

    Liska shook her head and took a nervous stroll to the railing.

    “At this point, everything and anything is fair game.” She turned to Shaban who nodded. “So, I want you, Nokaarbe, to write something uplifting, something that empowers people!”

    “Just like that thing about cheekas and speeders on SexySpiceStarSinners? But that didn’t quite work…”

    “Trust me, this will.” Shaban was sure of his and the Bothan’s plan. “Dale, Wompy, do you agree?”

    The rhythm section of the band agreed.

    “How about you, Little Goldmine? Wait, what? He’s fallen asleep and…mumbling something! Not that he doesn’t mumble otherwise…” Liska leaned closer to hear.

    Wompy shook his wailer-mate. Anjie woke up with a squeak, to see the two hit makers as well as his wailer-matesstanding next to him.

    “Little G…Anjie? Who is Doria and why do you want to kiss her until your mouth is dry and you’re both out of breath?” Shaban said, in his most judgemental tone.

    Antonio, Wompy and Dale burst into laughter.

    Liska was confused, but she quickly put on her best angry face. “Why are you sleeping in an important meeting?”

    “I…was…tired…from the int-interview.” Anjie attempted, but was quickly rebuffed by Liska.

    “I have heard that you’re somewhat of a liability. I was warned about that. So, if possible, could you please not sleep in meetings anymore? And talk in your sleep?”

    Anjie didn’t know how to respond, he just grinned, shrugged and started blushing.

    Antonio was pleased. There was more teasing material for him.

    …​

    Branna was looking up Steamy Wasaka Stew and Anjie on Doria’s datapad. The search results were pretty much what she expected them to be. A bunch of nude holo sessions with barely-there oven mitts. Wompy froz-naked. Endless lists of women rumoured or confirmed to have been Antonio’s girlfriends or one-night-stands. Wompy froz-naked. Sassvar Graba’s statement on leaving the wailer-group. Wompy froz-naked. An interview where Antonio, Dale and Wompy attacked the presenter and bared one of her breasts, with Anjie apparently massaging her temples from the back. Wompy froz-naked. Wompy froz-naked. Wompy froz-naked.

    “Wait, here’s an alert for something new. A…Anjie Mencuri makes confusing statements about his return to the wailer-group. That’s him, all right…” She tapped on the link. The man on the screen was too scruffy, even for a Human. And what he spoke about could have used subtitles, because he had a strange lisp and it was hard to make out actual words.

    And then, suddenly, what he spoke about became clear to her.

    “…I visualised a bright orange Sacorrian Iris, immaculate, yet intoxicating and I coloured the melody with it. It was like…shaping space!”

    “Any particular reason behind this, Master Mencuri?”

    “It’s the kind of a flower I would not, would not like to see fade. And yes, that’s it, you know?”


    If she had doubted anything at any single point before this, there was no doubt anymore. She rushed to the kitchen where Doria, Ebe and Nilz were having breakfast after the latter two’s sleepover.

    “Come here. Come here, now!” she pointed her finger at the trio.

    “But we still haven’t finished the leftover mudcake!” Ebe protested, crumbles dropping out of his mouth. Nilz shrugged and pulled his younger friend’s hand. He was the first to see the holovid.

    “It’s Reeeeeeevan! Bastila, why aren’t you looking?”

    Doria just stood there, giggling like a youngling five standard years old. Branna rolled her eyes and played the part she wanted her young friend to hear.

    “…I visualised a bright orange Sacorrian Iris, immaculate, yet intoxicating and I coloured the melody with it. It was like…shaping space!”

    “Any particular reason behind this, Master Mencuri?”

    “It’s the kind of a flower I would not, would not like to see fade. And yes, that’s it, you know?”


    The giggling stopped, abruptly. Doria’s face turned the whitest shade of pale possible. Seconds later, she dropped the plate with her slice of day-old mudcake and ran to the fresher. Branna shook her head, went after her and knocked on the door.

    “Let me in, Doria.”

    “I…am insane! This is the ultimate proof! I’m seeing things that are not there!”

    “No, you’re not. We all saw and heard the same thing. There’s no use denying it.”

    “It doesn’t have to mean anything.” Doria curled up on top of the bowl, her hands over her ears. “Many Sacorrian irises are orange!”

    “Yes, but only one of them is you. Do you think that a man talking like that would even remember what he had for lunch yesterday?”

    “He remembers! It was red glie, because he only eats poodoo nobody else would ever eat!”

    Branna facepalmed. She hugged the two boys and led them back to the kitchen.
     
  17. Onderon1

    Onderon1 Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 18, 2008
    :p Doria, Doria, Doria ...

    Just [face_talk_hand] already with the denials. Please. The boy has it bad for you, and you for him, etc. Here's hoping they make it work. :)

    (And Maris ... :rolleyes: Passive-aggressive parents are almost as bad as the actually stupid/fanatic ones. But the thought of her still being listed as an assassin did bring a :D to my face, if only for the absurdity of it. :p)

    Although I certainly hope Branna wasn't traumatized by seeing so much of Steamy Wasaka Stew (and attacking an interviewer? :mad:).
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2018
    Kahara, Findswoman and Ewok Poet like this.
  18. Raissa Baiard

    Raissa Baiard Chosen One star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 22, 1999
    Hooray for Doria! At last she gets to follow her dreams and study art and writing!
    To me, this was really the best part of college-- getting to study what you wanted to and what you had a passion for, instead of having to check boxes (so many math, science, history classes-- there's something to be said for a well-rounded education, but I will never, ever, ever use anything I learned in trigonometry :p) I don't blame her for shouting with excitement, though of course her mother is right there to tell her she looks stupid.
    This is so totally Maris (though I have to wonder if she isn't flustered in her own unique way by the prospect of going to Vagran and working with Taide Lambrin, a very familiar name!)

    And as if it hadn't been enough of a red-letter day for her, Branna discovers a certain interview with a certain scruffy jizz-wailer! :D I love Ebe's not so subtle teasing: Bastila, it's your Reeeeevan (probably followed by some obnoxious smooching noises, no doubt). Oh Master Mencuri is visualizing a beautiful orange Sacorrian orchid, is he? No, Doria, there's TOTALLY NO MEANING THERE AT ALL. Branna knows what Doria won't let herself believe. I second @Onderon1 's "Doria, Doria, Doria..." Let yourself have some hope; let your heart believe for once, because you know that Branna is right.

    What an interesting interview, what with the droid having to translate "Basic to Basic". Love that turn of phrase. Anjie might as well be speaking his own language though, as incomprehensible as his answers are to anyone but him (and apparently Branna!) I can't blame the hapless reporter a certain amount of frustration trying to get a straight answer from Anjie--all his answers are circular or serpentine--never, ever straight!
     
    Kahara, Findswoman and Ewok Poet like this.
  19. Sith-I-5

    Sith-I-5 Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Aug 14, 2002
    Just as I was about to give up and ask where the first chapter started, I found it.

    Mm, very good world building, and introduction of wedding guests

    Interesting portrayal of Anjie, and I liked the hairy touches such as his curls slipping into his glass, and him not noticing a Drall youngling playing with his beard.

    Good idea having Doria present in a working capacity, but still vital to the proceedings, and on named terms with the guests.

    Was that nagging mother based on anyone you know?

    I like that you had Jar Jar in a positive role, and it was interesting that you both had the wedding at the Attack of the Clones venue, but that this also was not made clear until the mystery balcony folklore got revealed.

    I was drawn back to you trying to correct me on the fungus' spelling once.
    Two totally different views of the thing; Anjie with fond memories of having been off his face on the stuff, whilst Doria cut herself on the actual plant.

    Bravissimo.

    Great work.
     
  20. Flyboy240

    Flyboy240 Jedi Padawan star 1

    Registered:
    Sep 6, 2017
    I really like the dialogue, and all the worldbuilding. I love your take on Ewok society.
     
    Kahara, Ewok Poet and Findswoman like this.
  21. Raissa Baiard

    Raissa Baiard Chosen One star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 22, 1999
    [​IMG]
    This is @Ewok Poet ’s long, long delayed prize drawing from (ulp) last year’s Fan Fic Awards. Very belated congratulations to a fantastic author! =D=
     
    Kahara, Findswoman and Ewok Poet like this.
  22. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014
    Thank you all, for putting up with my erratic approach to comments on this story. I'm not sure what causes it, probably because the amount of time I'd spent making this one happen has been ridiculous...and so will be its eventual word count. Not that the latter isn't ridiculous already. :p

    Also, huge, mad props to @Findswoman who couldn't have commented this time due to a busy work schedule, but she still did the beta. <3 <3 <3





    Doria's only way to cope with stuff is denial. The next thing we know, she might deny that they ever met.

    Now...

    The answer to whether this is correct is in the story that begins the afternoon after Doria's diary ends:
    http://boards.theforce.net/threads/...comedy-author-thanks-for-nomination.50027415/

    Branna is a Drall. She likely thinks that Humans are silly. :p

    The latter was, however, based on a RL event, almost word for word. :/

    I wish, I wish we had such a system here. The subjects we got to choose ourselves were few, and it was insignificant stuff - e.g. whether you want basic linguistics or the history of literature. Some things were obligatory for no apparent reason.

    ;) ;) ;)

    [face_whistling]

    You are clearly onto something here!

    OF COURSE that there is no meaning to it. SHE'S SEEING THINGS!111!!! SHE'S CRAZY!111!!!!

    Those smooching noises are a fun idea to consider. Might shoehorn them into the next week's chapter, where Ebe teases again. [face_devil]

    All that, PLUS he's slurring.

    Didn't even notice the second meaning of "Basic to Basic". You...you're a genius. [face_praying]

    Le d'oh. Soz. [face_blush]

    At this point, Anjie is a "space cadet"...IN SPACE!!!

    Believe it or not...yes! This is the world's most dramatic region for a bunch of reasons, and parents with bizarre ideas have got to be a cultural anomaly. My mom has her moments, so do all other mothers I know. And, to most of them, their children are children even when they turn fifty. [face_rofl]

    I wanted that place to be subverted as a symbol - in this context, it could mean one thing, but it actually is the other... [face_whistling]

    As for Jar Jar, he's a natural-born entertainer.

    Creepy...isn't it?

    Thank you so much!

    Glad to see you here! [face_dancing]

    Thank you. Hope you stick around. <3

    SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE! [face_love][face_love][face_love]

    Thank you so, so, so much!
     
    Kahara and Raissa Baiard like this.
  23. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014
    13 The Gorax Never Sleeps

    On the eve of the long-awaited Festival of Hoods, Little Nippet spent the day sitting with Gwig at his guard duty, after Zephee had encouraged her to go and do something to pass the time. For once in many moons, Malani was not hanging around the young go-to Ewok and she could actually talk to him.

    “So, what’s it like when you receive your hood?” she asked the blue-hooded scout. “Do you feel any…bigger? Better?”

    “Why didn’t you ask your sister? Or her boyfriend? Or my alleged girlfriend?”

    “My sister wants everything her way. Her boyfriend is not sharing the story of his ceremony, for whatever reason. And they’re only thinking about how they’re going to get married, anyway.”

    “I don’t think so.” Gwig said. “I deliver items for Fashkaa and Latara every now and then and it was more than once that I heard your sister talk about how proud she is of you and how she wants you to have the best party of your life...at least until you’re old enough to attend the Shadownight Festival. That said, two more snows for me…two more snows. And then I can ask Malani to be my date.” He stopped for a moment there. “And you never heard this, Nippet!”

    The bordok-tailed girl shrugged. “So, what’s it like?”

    “Arandee…it’s everything. And nothing, at the same time. When I received my hood, I was the only boy, next to Malani and Mookiee. I had a belt of honour with a couple of nonsensical items on it. I thought I was going to be a warrior. And here I am, four snows later, nothing new on the said belt and I’m stuck doing the worst kind of chores in this village.” He kicked a pinecone. “It doesn’t have to go that way for you, of course. Or Wiley. He’s getting his hood one snow after you, right?”

    Nippet looked across the railing. “Chak. And then we’re all old enough not to listen to dad that much…I think. Our dad is giving Latara such a hard time. Not that Wiley and I are spared from it. And recently, he’s been gone way too much!”

    “That’s strange. Is he doing anybody else’s guard duties at the supply hut?”

    “No. In fact, Chubbray filled in for him a couple of times, so did Lakotup. I have not seen him there for about half of a moon.”

    Gwig scratched his chin. “That’s even stranger, Nippet.”

    “What are you trying to say?”

    “I don’t think you’re old enough to understand.” The scout shook his blue-hooded head.

    Nippet stomped her foot and walked away and down the stairs to the main square, mumbling to herself.

    “Not old enough to do this, not old enough to do that, not old enough to…k’vark, I’m eight snows old! I am old enough! I would’ve had my hood one snow ago, if it had not been for the Big Battle delaying everything! K’vark, k’vark, k’vark! I don’t care if dad forbids me to use that word, I’m going to be like my sister and use it as much as I like. Doesn’t it sound good? K’VARK!”

    Somebody put a hand on Nippet’s shoulder.

    “I…I didn’t know you appreciated me that much.” A husky female voice sounded from behind her.

    She turned around and saw Latara.

    “I always have. I want to be like you. And say no to dad. And wear a firestick and a knife!”

    Latara was impressed. “You will. But for now, we have to try your hood on for one last time before the big night.”

    A couple of minutes later, they were in the hoodmaker’s hut. Nippet sat on a stump in the middle of the larger room, close to the looms. Her eyes were wandering around for a while, until she noticed that Latara was carrying a pair of stone-bladed scissors.

    “You’re going to trim my head fur, right?” the wokling rolled her eyes.

    “Just a little bit.” Latara pointed to her own bordok-tail. “You have the same lovely, silky kind that I do, perhaps you’ll be able to grow a braid as long as mine used to be. But in order to have you try your hood on, we have to pull it down and trim the ends.”

    “I don’t like growing up, Latara.” Nippet sat down, cupping her head. “What if I get stuck doing something stupid, just like Gwig?”

    “Daaah, you little barf-eater!” Latara tickled her sister on the chin and they tumbled over, pulling each other’s head fur. They both laughed.

    …​

    Finally, the big night arrived. Nearly all Ewoks of the Bright Tree Village gathered near the bonfire in the clearing before the Soul Trees. At the sound of drummers drumming, led by Teebo’s Sacred Horn, five bare-headed woklings, including Latara’s little sister, took their places in front of the mysterious stone structure, barely reaching its top with their fuzzy heads.

    Once the music was over, Teebo quickly surveyed the crowd. Two snows ago, there had been so many more Ewoks. Just how many of the tribesmen and tribeswomen had perished in the Big Battle or succumbed to wounds before he and his master could find them, scattered around the Grove? That said, was the Happy Grove still happy, or should it be renamed?

    One of those strange “spiders” piloted by Paploo arrived at the site of the ceremony. Two more beings jumped off it and headed to the clearing. The crowd seemed puzzled and there was rustling among the Soul Trees, as well.

    “Just Logray?”

    “And Princess Kneesaa? What is going on?”

    Kneesaa swallowed a lump and waved her gemwood sceptre at the audience. To the members of the Council of Elders, this was a sign that she was to act as the leader of the tribe that night. But she did not seem to be willing to explain why so.

    Logray hesitated to begin the speech. Unlike Chirpa, he didn’t know it by heart, and it felt strange to be the one delivering it to the woklings.

    "Tonight we gather here, in the shadows of our sacred Soul Trees, to honour these young Ewoks. Like the trees planted for each of you on your birthday, you have grown strong and tall. Always have the Ewoks and the trees lived together, each protecting the other in times of danger. And this bond will grow, as you now take now your first steps toward your great life with the tribe!"

    A couple of Ewoks in the front row shrugged and began clapping. The rest more or less followed. Kneesaa took a hood from the medicine man and approached Nippet.

    “This one is for you.” she said, immediately met by the little beige wokling’s proud smile.

    The other four woklings were equally happy with their hoods, but the fact that one of them was orphaned in the Big Battle and that another lost her father to the Skull Ones made it bittersweet. Even so, these three brave souls were honoured and the young ones were now in care of the Mistress Kaink, who had come back from her secluded retreat for this purpose.

    Suddenly, a tremor under Kneesaa’s feet prompted her to turn around. She had an impression that the fern-covered ground on the edge of the clearing was shaking. She could feel the fur on the back of her head go up underneath the pink hood. Sniffing the air did not yield any results, the scent was…sterile.

    “A quake?” Logray was confused. Then he looked up and saw a shadow above him and the woklings. Before he even knew, he was in its way.

    Old Needoo made his way through the crowd, elbowing everybody on his way. “It’s a Gorax! The Gorax never sleeps!”

    “No, it’s the metal Gorax!” A running Gwig pointed to the approaching machine. He extended his warrior apprentice spear towards it, before Needoo pulled him to safety.

    Indeed, an AT-ST was making its way to the bonfire in the middle of the field, stepping on the musical instruments that the orchestra had left behind and firing at random. This caused the Ewoks to scatter. Only the two healers remained behind what was once a large crowd. Everybody else ran around, in sheer panic, apart from the five woklings who hid behind the stone formation.

    “Katoosha!” Logray closed his eyes and reached out to the shadow, but nothing happened. Teebo was the next to spot what was happening. He repeated his Master’s move, reaching out to the Light Spirit. But their pull was not strong enough.

    “Forgive me, beloved Soul Trees…please, forgive me!” the young apprentice murmured to himself and reached out deep within his blood and flesh, to the energy of the Shadowstone. That very moment, he could no longer hear the voices of the gigantic conifers behind him. There was silence in his head, interspersed by voices of those long ago slain – Morag the Tulgah witch, Logray’s first apprentice Zarrak and the Wanderer, the mysterious Yuzzum who had disfigured him beyond healing.

    But he had to resist them and use the dark forces of nature that dwelled beyond the known realm for good, despite what he thought about it. He allowed the former violet stone’s energy to circle through his bloodstream and he reached out with both of his little grey hands.

    The giant metal beast’s legs were no longer listening to whomever was inside. It almost looked like the cold piece of offworld warfare machinery was possessed…or drunk. A bat of an eye later, it managed to trip itself. Shaking from side to side, it came dangerously close to the stone where the frightened woklings were still standing.

    "Nippet!" Latara screamed.

    Teebo opened his eyes upon hearing Latara’s voice. His Master was unable to stop the beast from falling. He reached out even further to the violent, violet shades of the Shadowstone. There was no other way.

    And the beast stood there, one head away from crushing the woklings. Holding onto their dear lives, they ran, seconds before it hit the stone and exploded into the tiniest of pieces. The orphaned wokling was catapulted into the air and hit the nearest tree.

    The medicine man apprentice opened his eyes for a second, only to see the chaos that ensued.

    And then everything stopped.

    …​

    “He’s coming to!”

    Teebo heard Logray’s voice and opened his eyes. He was still in the field, with Latara holding a terrified Nippet beside him, as well as Kneesaa, Paploo and his Master. The smoke from the destroyed possessed Gorax had, by now, raised far above the tallest of the treetops. A handful of villagers was still running around hysterically, while the braver ones among them approached the metal carcass and poked it with their spears.

    “What happened?”

    “You saved the little barf-eaters, but I think this party has been ruined.” Paploo nudged him.

    “Arandee, this is not the right time for jokes!” Kneesaa scolded her cousin. “Once that vessel of the Night Spirit has burnt down completely, we have to examine what’s left. “Whoever was inside clearly knew what they were doing!”

    “Master Logray…why weren’t you able to use your nature powers together with me? I saw you struggle there for a moment and then I just resorted to the only thing that could help.”

    “Think about it, young one. Think about it. When was the last time you have seen me attempt anything and succeed?”

    Teebo attempted to recall a recent event. No success. Before the Big Battle, Wicket had briefly told him about Logray helping out the Humans marooned on the forest moon. Looks like that must have been it? Nothing much and clearly nothing since the Sunstar Shadowstone had been destroyed in the battle with Griagh. But that could not have been it!

    “It’s not the gem, isn’t it? I saw you handle Morag single-handed, while the Sunstar was in her possession! You’re capable of nature powers without it.”

    “No, it’s not the gem. I don’t know what it is. It’s like somebody…broke the chains. That was why I had resorted to some questionable decisions before the Big Battle. And why I was scared of the ‘droheed’ – I thought that the deities had punished us for a moment there.” He stopped for a moment. “And it’s not just me. When was the last time your sister could hear the trees? Or talk to munyips?”

    The Master was right. Malani had long stopped doing any of those things.

    “And the raven woman Wicket talked about?”

    Paploo joined the conversation. “When you were away on that ill-fated mission to the Griagh’s lair, your Master and I reached out to her for help. It was frightening – she made those Dulok skeletons come alive. And she only wanted the Sunstar. She was never good. But yes, she was capable of everything she knew, all along.”

    “Now that I remember…the Gupins could not transform when we had visited them in their hideout!”

    Logray nodded and looked down.

    “So, Teebo, answer me honestly. Can you reach out to the Sunstar proper, at all?”

    “No.” Teebo put both of his hands over his face. “And I am only realising that now, as we speak. Just like you, I was not able to do anything before the Battle, the only spark of nature powers that I had in me were the trees, telling me to stay close to Mastalook. And there was that thing when I was drumming. But after he left, I have been able to do pretty much anything. Let’s see…”

    “You tricked my father. Then Head Elder Kazak. And now this.” Latara interrupted him. “But I don’t remember seeing anything like…summoning the birds, changing the colours of the flowers like you once did. Nothing of that kind. Not anymore.”

    Kneesaa, who was quiet for a while, stepped out.

    “I can barely understand nature powers, all I know about them came from seeing the two of you and some others use them. But if there’s one thing I’m certain about right now.” She let out a barely audible sigh. “Whatever the Starmen brought with them from the cold metal moon is the culprit here. And now it seems to have opened the curtains wide for the Light Spirit to go away and the Night Spirit to reign!”

    The other four stood there quiet, for a while. And then Logray took a deep breath.

    “You’re wise, Princess, and you will be a great leader to all of us someday. This explains why Teebo can summon the powers of Shadowstone, but not the Sunstar – though he absorbed most of the gem’s energy back when I had used it to revive him after his battle with the Wanderer.”

    “But this saved us tonight, right?”

    “As much as it has made us vulnerable, Paploo.”

    Just then, the group was interrupted by a blue-hooded youngster.

    “Princess Kneesaa! Princess Kneesaa!”

    “Why aren’t you at your post, young scout?”

    “I saw the sleeping metal Gorax come to life again and I ran here to warn you!” Gwig sighed and shook his head. “Looks like I was too late.”

    “So you were…” Paploo said, ironically. “Now go back to your post, why don’t you?”

    Gwig swallowed a lump. “I c-c-can’t! Something is burning at the main square fire pit and I have not set it on fire myself! Come with me, now!”

    Paploo ran to the speeder, dragging Kneesaa and Gwig by hand. “We must be quick! I have a bad feeling about this!”

    As he began another crazy ride, Latara, Teebo and Logray could only watch him with their mouths wide open. He ignored them, as well as his two co-passengers’ screams. This time he had to ride like he did during the Big Battle – like one crazy Teek!

    The three arrived at the Bright Tree Village in a matter of minutes. There was indeed a fire rising from high above the main square, and the fumes had the sharp, heavy scent of aromatic wood.

    “The Gemwood tree!” Kneesaa put her hands on her cheeks.

    “Run!” Paploo pushed her off the speeder. “Be quick!” He and Gwig followed her after he docked.

    The Gemwood tree was indeed burning on a small pyre.

    “Water! Bring me water!” The Princess demanded. “Now!”

    Gwig rushed to the water tank nearby and extended the hose. Paploo removed the blockage. To their surprise, the water started dripping through a couple of places on the hose. They attempted to patch them up with their hands, but there were more than they could ever handle. They were defeated.

    Kneesaa could only watch her tribe’s legacy burn to a crisp.

    All she managed to save was a single, tiny branch.

    Now she was sure – whoever was behind that vicious metal Gorax attack had created a diversion in order to accomplish this, knowing that the faithful young Gwig would rush to warn the tribe about what he had seen.

    But who was inside? And who was acting on their behalf in the village, stealing the tree and sabotaging the water tank’s hose?

    She could not admit that to herself, but she had a couple of guesses…
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2018
    Kahara, Raissa Baiard and Findswoman like this.
  24. Raissa Baiard

    Raissa Baiard Chosen One star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 22, 1999
    Back to Endor! And we start off with some cute reflections on growing up by Gwig and Nippet
    Gwig sums it up eloquently here. Being a "grown-up" is something you look forward to and strive for and rush along and when you get there, you find out it really doesn't feel that different at all. You're still stuck doing the same boring chores as before, maybe even more and worse ones, because now you have greater responsibility.
    Soon enough, though, the shadows that having been lurking over Bright Tree Village make themselves known again. The population has been diminished by the war and Chief Chirpa is too ill to attend the Festival of Hoods. Though Logray does his best to deliver the speech, the mood is strained and subdued. And then everything goes to pieces with the arrival of the AT-ST walker.

    If I understand this right, none of the Ewoks can call on their nature powers any longer; it's as if they've been cut off from the Light Side of the Force. Hmm...has the death of the Emperor above the planet created a kind of permanent shadow over it? Because it reminds me a bit of Mara's experience at Endor, where she could hear the Emperor's voice clearly at a certain point in its orbit. The power of the Dark Side/Shadowstone save the woklings, but at what greater cost? The AT-ST is only a diversion to keep Teebo, Kneesaa and Logray occupied while some unknown culprit tries to destroy the Village's greatest legacy. Kneesaa saves one branch, enough, I hope, to keep that legacy alive, but realizes there's a traitor or traitors at work with in the village. She has a few guesses, and so do I. I'm sure that there are several member of the Elders who would love to see her discredited (Looking at you, Kazaak :p) though I would have thought that they wouldn't stoop to destroying the Gemwood Tree (perhaps whatever puppet master is pulling the strings didn't tell them his end goal?) But what really worries me is this:
    Hmm and double hmmm.... Again, i wouldn't think Latara's father would go that far, but...?

    Hoping that clever Kneesaa and her friends will get to the bottom of it before things get worse!
     
    Kahara and Findswoman like this.
  25. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    Yes, I do indeed have a bit of catching up to do on this fascinating story, and today being the author’s birthday and all would seem to be a good day to do it. :D Thanks for being patient, EP, and again happy birthday! [face_party]

    12: This is very, very good news for Doria. I am so happy that she now will get the opportunity to study what she wants and not just what she’s told to—and the arts curriculum is of course much more in line with her interests. Though that very interesting footnote in that History of Mechanics essay does indeed ring a bell; anything to do perhaps with that very interesting little bit of info that she came across when she was researching Centerpoint Station, I think it was, back in Doaba ke’demii? ;) I recall too her utter dejection in Doaba when she was turned down from SUPAS (on silly, trumped-up, Sacorrian reasons, of course), and that makes this part of the chapter especially gratifying to see. Doria’s mom may naysay all she wants, but Doria’s in for real now, and a new phase of her career is beginning. :cool:

    I am glad to see Rogierre again, and indeed to meet him officially, since this is the first time we actually hear from him. Seems like a simpatico type, on the whole (if a touch aloof, but just a touch), and I’ll be curious to see the role he plays in Doria’s future education.

    And this interview, tho’! :p Yep, Anjie’s definitely very... Anjie here with all his woo-woo talk about the death of his old self, the colors of his music, and of course orange Sacorrian irises, or rather, a certain orange Sacorrian iris who is the inspiration for some of his latest musical triumph. (I know you’ve expressed ambivalence about using the word “orange” in the GFFA, but it doesn’t feel out-of-world to me at all.) You better believe it, Doria—you’re not mad, and this isn’t just a case of ke’dem! :D It’s certainly in character for her to be incredulous (and probably genuinely confused, because, well, it’s Anjie speaking, after all), but there too the intensity of her reaction comes ultimately from her own very sincere feelings about him. @};- (Pretend that rose is orange! :D )

    I also have to say, I really appreciate that Antonio shows his better side here and gives Anjie such an incredible compliment about his singing. It did seem to bolster Anjie’s confidence, even if just for that one moment.

    13: Oh wow, this Ewok chapter is quite a bit different from the ones we’ve had so far, and the action and suspense are really ramping up. It starts so calmly, too, with good old Gwig, Bright Tree’s favorite harried errand boy, beginning a perfectly normal conversation with Latara’s little sister Nippet about hooding and growing up. When Latara shows up, she gets to play a role we don’t often see her play—that of the supportive both assuaging Nippet’s fears about growing up in true Latara fashion) and trimming her sister’s hair to help her with the hood fitting (a combination of her sisterly love with her professional expertise as a hoodmaker). I love that Nippet too has aspirations toward her sister’s Annie Oakley-like characteristics, and I hope those aspirations will someday be able to come true!

    But there’s an ominous shadow pervading everything. We even get a sense of it back in Nippet and Gwig’s conversation when we here of Lumat's mysetrious AWOLness; I don’t blame his kids for feeling apprehensive. And the ominous atmosphere is even more so during the hooding ceremony: Teebo’s observation of the thinned numbers after the Big Battle, the fact that two of the honorees have lost parents. And of course, where in the name of Father Tree is Chirpa? Part of me smiled at seeing Kneesaa in the role of Chieftess, but part of me knows that she’s only doing so because something’s very wrong, and she is clearly very worried herself.

    Then all chaos breaks loose with the arrival of this rogue AT-ST! :eek: Which Teebo is only just barely able to thwart, and only by resorting to the most desperate of means—calling on the Shadowstone, or what we would call the dark side. And that, perhaps is the most worrying thing of all here: that he can’t use his nature powers and the power of the Sunstar anymore (ditto for Logray and Malani). There will most certainly be repercussions from his use of the Shadowstone’s powers, even if he did save lives by doing so. I think Kneesaa is on the right track in surmising that the Starmen are connected to this, though I’m just as in the dark as everyone else as to exactly how.

    And the Gemwood Tree… oh my, oh my, there are just no words. :( :_| I can’t imagine how Kneesaa must have felt watching that beautiful symbol of chieftainship and sovereignty burning to cinders, though I know she’ll cherish that one tiny branch she was able to save (and I will keep my eyes on that, Chekhov’s-gun-style). Again I think she’s guessing right: someone inside the village definitely must have aided and abetted this. I asked during the beta whether…

    …the Twin Lakers of The Other Moon might be back at large again somehow...

    …though a few other guesses are coming to mind as well. I won’t throw out a lot of speculations here, but I too look forward to seeing what Kneesaa and her friends will do to investigate this dire turn of events (and I know she will prove herself a wise and capable leader in the course of doing so). So don’t keep us waiting too long for the resolution of this almost-cliffhanger, pretty please! :D
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2018
    Kahara, Raissa Baiard and Ewok Poet like this.