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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. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014
    16 Strangers in the Night

    "Don't shoot! I am against the use of blasters!" A synthetic, metallic voice cried out in Galactic Basic. “The way you are behaving is disturbing to my circuits!”

    “Huh? KR-1FF? What are you talking about?” A male voice came from the dark. “Remind me, why did we get this one?”

    “Because you loved the name?”

    “Oh…yes…that’s right.”

    Latara was confused, but she didn’t back off.

    The silver protocol droid came out of his hiding place, followed by two Humans – a shortish man with spikey black hair and his taller female companion, with curls. The droid’s movements were somewhat stiff, while the organics seemed to be pretty bold, or at least it looked that way to the young Ewoks.

    The shiny stranger finally spoke in Ewokese. "Arandee, my Master would prefer you to put that down! Yehan!”

    Latara sighed and put the blaster back in the holster. These Humans were so weird and she had no idea what they were doing there, but the female had such wonderful head fur! And a really nice necklace!

    “Who are you?” she asked.

    The droid translated the Humans’ response. “And who are you?”

    “No, who are you? The droo-heed?”

    The silver non-organic was puzzled, but a response followed. “I am deeply ashamed that my name is KR-1FF, but you can call me Shiny. Nicknames are too childish, but I have no ch…”

    “Shut up!” the male Human raised his voice. “It’s about them, not about you. So, let’s cut this out. I’m Charon, and you?”

    “Latara.” The female Ewok pouted and crossed her arms. “Are you with the Skull Ones? The ones in grey?”

    “I think she’s talking about Stormtroopers and the Galactic Empire.” Deeina said to herself and then told Shiny what to translate. “But they’re no more, there is no fear, Mistress Latara!”

    “They are.” She pointed outside. “A tribe of them! Warriors! And Head Elder Kazak is with them!”

    Charon cocked his head and raised his eyebrows, lines appearing on his forehead. That name seemed very familiar. Wasn’t that one of the tribe leaders of…?

    “Kazak of the Bright Tree Village? The war hero?” Shiny then asked, before the Humans managed to come up with their next retort. “My goodness!”

    “Not all war heroes are the same.” She made a dismissive gesture. “But he’s never been a hero to begin with. So, you know of him. Are you with the Rebels?”

    “We were. We are. I don’t know. Been out of the loop for a while. Kriff this, we…”

    “Master, I am not transl…”

    “What is going on here?” Teebo finally emerged from the shadows. “Who’s what?” He was genuinely confused.

    Charon was about to say something, but instead he found himself staring at the large Ewok for a couple of moments. Then he clapped his hands.

    “It’s him! The probability of getting him wrong is minor.” He stopped for a moment and looked the droid’s way. “And no, Shiny, do not tell us exactly how low it is. Don’t you dare!”

    Teebo shrugged. If nothing else, there was no reason to use anything from his satchel, or the axe that somehow remained with him, despite Kazak’s goons having taken his spear and machete away.

    His girlfriend was much faster in terms of finding the common ground with strangers.

    “He’s a war hero, too. Not all war heroes are the same. We were betrayed. Kazak made friend with some Skull Ones. Perhaps some grey ones, too.”

    Deeina was quick to come up with a logical explanation. “This is not far-fetched at all. In fact, those who remained behind should have stayed with the tribe much longer. Mon Mothma, Leia Organa and their friends do not always make the best decisions, it appears. The Ewoks fought bravely, but there were losses on their side, those dozens would have meant thousands as per Galaxy-wide standards. In such situations, any spark can ignite the fire.” She let a deep sigh. “Any spark.”

    Charon looked down and shook his head. “You’re right. This was a cardinal mistake on the part of the…other Endor heroes’ behalf.”

    “Do you think that the other group could be nearby?” Deeina remembered something. “The Lake Sui cell?”

    “Let’s comm them.” Her husband rolled up his sleeve, revealing his old wrist comm.

    She put her hand on his. “No. If these opportunists are monitoring all internal transmissions, you might be intercepted! We’re calling the base. And hoping that these comms will make it through, with all of these disturbances that made us miss the…well, whatever may pass for a spaceport at this point.”

    Charon nodded.

    “Hand Three to Hand Two! Hand Three to Hand Two!”

    No response. He attempted again. And again.

    “Okay. Hand Two, copy! Where are you?”

    “The Forest Moon of Endor!”

    “I thought you said you were never going to go back there!”

    “But we did. Long story. You will know once we can come back to the Core Worlds. Can you contact the Lake Sui cell on our behalf and ask us if they had a distress call from that handful of soldiers and techs that remained at the Bright Tree Village?”

    “Okay, Hand Three. Hope they won’t mind, because Hand Five recently relayed one of his…usual requests to them.” The hologram of a fair-haired woman faded away.

    Minutes later, there she was again.

    “There indeed was a distress call, but it did not last longer than a minute. To quote Tifa Maymier of the Lake Sui bunch, whatever happened next cannot be un-heard.”

    “Please, spare us from details, Hand Two. What else did they say?”

    “Okay. There indeed is a minor Imperial uprising. The current opinion is that the defected troopers and whoever controls them have stayed behind long enough and they are not willing to accept Palpatine’s defeat and the ongoing formation of the New Republic…”

    “So they are trying to capture the Bright Tree Village, out of all places?” Charon interrupted her.

    Deeina put her hands on her hips. “That, and what we know is that they have a mole and they likely slaughtered the remaining Alliance members! We are here with a hero of the Battle of Endor and an unknown female Ewok.”

    “They have Skull Ones! And a Gorax Chicken! They brought it back to life!” The droid came to the sight of the woman on the other side of the connection, waving his metal arms. “…that’s what the Ewoks said. Mistress Okay, I have no idea what that means.”

    “Sounds like an AT-ST.” The woman’s monotonous voice persisted. “This is a delicate situation and the Lake Sui cell will have to intervene, possibly seeking an enforcement from Sullust.”

    “No more lost lives!” Charon raised his fist.

    “They’re well aware of that, Hand Three. They might need to rally the Lake Sui tribe and the nearby ones. Fortunately, there is some machinery and a control tower of sorts remaining at a deserted location nearby.”

    “Good!”

    “For your safety, Hand Three and Hand Four, it’s best that you leave Endor, for once. You’re still wanted by the fractions of the Empire, most likely…and whoever is behind this siege is stuck in the pre-battle mindset.”

    “We are heading back to Roon, Hand Two. And staying there until we can come back to the Cor Sec.”

    “Okay. Comm again when you’re there. Use the…”

    The flickering hologram disappeared, as something jumped on Charon’s back, sending his wrist comm crashing to the ground. A white creature, seemingly another Ewok, who jumped in through the window and knocked the Human down, now stood between Deeina and Shiny, a crudely made knife in her hand.

    “Dengar!” She yelled and waved the knife.

    “Kneesaa, they’re not the enemies!” Latara gasped. “They came here looking for us!”

    “Latara? Teebo!” She clapped her hands.

    “She is alive and escaped unscratched, thank the Soul Trees!” Teebo ran to hug his diminutive friend. The first thing he noticed was that there were thorns in her fur and dried blood near some of them. And she was dirty.

    “Let me clean those wounds for you!” he began, but Deeina already had a medpack nearby. What followed were some squeaks and some strange, adhesive substance that the three Ewoks could recall having seen after the Big Battle.

    “Bacta patches!” Shiny was quick to explain. “Some fur might be pulled off when the wounds are healed, but there won’t be any pus and the healing process shall be faster for Mistress Dengar!”

    “Mistress Okay? Mistress Dengar? Just where does he get these things?” Deeina nearly chuckled. “Maybe wipe and start over again…”

    …​

    Over the next hour or so, as it slowly dawned above the unknown grove and the two Suns of Ibleam were travelling to their places high in the Endor sky, the group of newfound battle comrades managed to compile the missing pieces of the puzzle into a story. The only thing that they could not determine was what could have led the Humans straight to the Ewoks they were looking for. And the latter were not going to tell them anything about Teebo’s nature powers, which Latara quietly delivered to her princess in Yuzzum trade language, that Shiny was, luckily, not familiar with.

    Kneesaa herself felt torn apart, stuck in the middle of the storm that seemed to have come out of nowhere, but made more and more sense with each sentence coming from her friends and the newcomers. What could have happened to her family and friends back home? Where was Wicket?

    But there was one thing she knew for sure.

    “Teebo, Latara…go with them. It will protect the…you know…”

    “But they’re sending help! We’ll be fine!” Teebo insisted.

    “Your head should remain on your shoulders, otherwise you won’t have a use for it!” She put her hand on his shoulder. “Besides, if we all perish, somebody has to be there to tell the story about the tribe that rallied everybody into the Big Battle!” She added something in the Yuzzum trade language. Teebo finally got the idea.

    “So, if I leave, perhaps that could help…my…mentor?”

    “Chak. That’s what I think. I am not…like you, but that’s what I think. Go with them! Come back once everything has settled! The Skull Ones are looking for you and this time, you have no Sunstar Shadowstone and a whole army to help you out!”

    Teebo was persistent in his own views, even angry. "This is ridiculous! K’vark, I don't want to leave home!"

    "Arandee, Teebo! They're out to get you!”

    “And what about you? Come with us!” Latara insisted.

    “Den! I will fight to restore my family honour, until my very last breath! Don’t worry about me. Go!”

    “Den, den and for the last time, den!” Teebo crossed his arms.

    He was surprised by Latara’s stance.

    “Chak, chak and chak. You will have the time to reflect on what has happened recently...” she nudged her mate “…and perhaps, clear your thoughts. As for me…ee-chaa, this is what I always wanted. And you always wanted it for me, right? To play to all the stars in the sky.”

    “You did so when the Grey Ones were defeated already!” The medicine man apprentice was stubborn.

    “Den. And it was you who said so, Teebo! You want to stay alive for me. Yourself. Our future woklings…don’t look at me like that, I never said that I did not want any! And our families at the Bright Tree Village.”

    “I can feel that they’re still aliv…” Teebo began, but Kneesaa subtly stepped on his foot. “I mean, I hope that they are. Chak! I…guess…I have no choice. Chak.”

    Latara was pleased. Finally. But Kneesaa did not hide her tears, so she started crying herself, grabbing her shorter friend by shoulders again. "I hope this sudden goodbye is not forever and that you will manage to seize power."

    "Chak, we know you can do it!”

    “And get some sense into Wicket, please, once you have found his cowardly little rear! Tell him that I am offended by his behaviour."

    "Latara!" Teebo gasped. “He’s our best friend!”

    "No, she is right.” Kneesaa wiped her tears. “His stance on this surprises me and hurts me. And he's been like this ever since he told me of that Human girl."

    “Somebody called Wicket is apparently missing, Master…” Shiny relayed the information to the Humans, but nobody listened. He shrugged, mumbled something about everybody’s etiquette being horrible in comparison to his and stood still until it was the time to head back to the ship.

    …​

    It all happened quickly. Way too quickly.

    Kneesaa stood and watched as Black Mornings disappeared from sight, wiping another tear. The feeling of being alone in the world, of not knowing where Paploo, Bozzie and Asha were headed or if they were alive, was getting her down. But she was not the one to back down.

    She had to find the strength to go on, with everything she had – the gemwood tree sapling in her hand and the knife she got after the skirmish in the Wanderer’s lair.

    “I’m on my own.” She said to herself and, the knife holder in her mouth and Latara’s firestick now in its holster, made her way back to the grove.

    ...​

    Just when he was about to enter hyperspace, Charon looked behind him. There was something incoming on the ship’s holocomm. Soon, a hologram formed, one of a female Twi’lek that he had not seen before.

    “W…who are you?”

    “Tadiana Kemdan. Your new manager, as appointed by Ronto Exile label’s Antares Dain.”

    “Ummm…nice to know. Yeah. Real nice.”

    “Say, Valorum, where are you right now?” Tadiana demanded.

    “I was about to make the jump to sublight speed from the Endor system and get to Sullust, then continue our return to Roon. And where are you?”

    “Already there, in Nunurra. About to go to the spaceport and greet your wailer-mates.”

    “What?”

    “Our connections have been very convincing. Somebody called Gordi Gauree and Roko Porkley were, apparently, necessary to the Sacorrian officials and they agreed to set Master Anra Renek and Master Koobalt Nubes free. Getting them out of the Corellian Sector was apparently a hard task, since only the western planets have been liberated, but yes, they are going to be reunited with you in a couple of days!”

    “This is great news! Dede, come here! Anra and Koobs are free!

    “That’s right, Mistress Valorum. They will be fit to play at the Kiaa Island Festival.”

    “Wait, what?” Deeina’s open-mouthed smile morphed into a confused stare.

    “Really, what” Charon joined.

    “We did not want to bother you while you were on your wedding trip, and then it was impossible to reach you for a while – the error reported was, I quote, ‘an astronomical anomaly’. In the meantime, the event sponsors, Baobab Merchant Fleet, your sponsor, Nubia Star Drivers Inc., the event manager, Subastra Marbelara and the Estate of Dalyn R. Baobab have made a deal with me and Master Dain. You’d better set that ship on autopilot or have your wife take the controls. Grab your quetarra and do some vocal exercises.”

    Charon swallowed a lump and clenched his fists behind his back. This kind of a scenario was, in his opinion, not bond to turn out well.

    “How could you do this to me? Or, more importantly, how could you have done this to Anra and Koobs, after two years of imprisonment?”

    “You’re big again, Valorum. Thank me for that.” Tadiana’s hologram pointed to the young singer’s chest. “And one more thing: some local wailer-groups will be performing before you. Also, Steamy Wasaka Stew, the Coronet City monkey-lizard types with that interesting bassoon player and that strange singer.”

    Deeina, who was just heading for the cockpit, rushed to the Holocomm.

    “They have not performed ever since the Sacorrian debacle, either!”

    “They did a couple HoloNet interviews and low-key performances around this side of the Outer Rim. Their singer was told to write a freedom-related tune. Do you have a freedom tune, too? The sponsors want to know!”

    “As a matter of a fact I do.” Charon said and then added, sotto voce, “But I would have written one anyway, for reasons other than sales.”

    “I can’t hear you well, Valorum, sorry!”

    “I said that we will be there in two days! Please make sure that Anra and Koobs are actually able to rehearse for the event and that they’re introduced to friends we have made in the meantime. And we are bringing…”

    The hologram disappeared. Perhaps it was a disturbance, the kind of which was common in the Moddell Sector due to the numerous nebulae and pulsars? Perhaps Tadiana left deliberately, once the matters that do not interest her came to play?

    Deeina was about to say something, but Charon went on his own rant, pacing around the common room.

    “Well, isn’t she the most kriffin’ of all the kriffed-up kriffsliders?” He yelled. “She has not even supplied us with her credentials and she’s already booking us. I don’t think she would have worked on setting Anra and Koobs free if there was not something for her to win from it!”

    “Master Charon!” Shiny put his hands on his head. “Your choice of words is, if I may say, appalling and shocking!”

    “Shut up, you spray-can.” Charon turned to Deeina. “So, I don’t know. They need to play some beats. How will they know what to play? They have not touched their instruments since…”

    Deeina shook her head. “Aren’t you forgetting something else?”

    “What? No riddles, I beg you!”

    “Two words: Doria. Anjie.”

    “Oh, the kriffin’ kriff of all the kriffin’ kriffs, the poodoo is going to hit the sonic fan, so, so hard!”

    “Either that, or they get together. Have you considered that particular option, Sweetcorn?”

    Charon gazed at the pinkish gas giant through the viewport. A part of him had an impulse to fly into it, or into the binary starts a little further away. This was too much to handle at once. His best friends being free again, after Nubes knows what kind of things they had gone through. The pressure put on him by everybody involved, the pressure to compete. The idea of meeting Antonio Nokaarbe again. On top of it, anything that was to happen – or not – between Doria and her wayward crush. This gig was going to be a huge mess and he knew it. And all that he could do, with his hands proverbially tied, was to make sure that it would be nowhere near the one in Saccorata.

    “So?” Deeina asked once he walked back to her and Shiny. “We have been floating here for quite a while. Are we going to go?”

    “Yes. That’s the only thing we can do in this kriff-up, right?”

    “Right.” Charon headed back to the cockpit, followed by the silver droid. “Once we are on Sullust, I will comm Mungo and ask him to find the boys and give them a datacard with my quetarra demo. With a little bit of good luck, nobody will notice what we’re playing. And there’s got to be a xenosociologist somewhere – we need to leave Latara and Teebo with somebody who will understand their situation, somebody to keep them safe while we’re performing at the festival!”
     
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  2. NobodyIX

    NobodyIX Jedi Padawan star 1

    Registered:
    Feb 19, 2018
    Ch 7 Political intrigue! I don't trust Elder Kazak, I think he's behind Chirpa's sickness and also connected to Wicket's disappearance. That was horrible what Teebo and Latara had to go through, all in the name of what was 'right and proper.'

    I was kind of glad that Teebo used the dark art on Kazak to get him to agree, but I worry that it could do something to Teebo in the long run. If anything happens to Chripa I fear for Kneesa's life and all her allies. That group is not to be trusted. I hope Kneesa is able to figure out who is truly behind all this before something bad happens.

    Alright, getting into the busy season for my business, but I will be back to read more! :D
     
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  3. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    A momentous chapter for sure! Starting with the momentous meeting between the Valorums and Latara and Teebo (and of course Shiny too—mustn’t leave him out, he’s quite a character!). And finally some insight into this mysterious business with the Gorax Chickens, and the Ewoks (especially Mr. “War Hero” Kazak) who are aiding and abetting them. Yes, it definitely looks like Leia, Mothma, and co. left a few things out of their calculations, with potentially serious consequences. [face_nail_biting] And I think (think) I can follow Kneesaa’s thought process here in sending Teebo and Latara along with Deeina and Charon; emphasis on “I think,” and I’ll be very curious to see how that might help Logray too (if I'm understanding things aright); I almost get the feeling that it’s the very existence of nature powers that Kneesaa’s plan is intended to protect. I think Latara’s caught onto it too, and I’m not totally surprised to see that she’s the one who leads him to make up his mind and go through with this plan, as difficult as it is. (And now I know what “den” means—opposite of “chak.” ;))

    Poor Kneesaa, watching her friends disappear off into space like that, with no certainty about whether she’ll see them again! That plus Wicket’s mysterious disappearance still looming, still unsolved (but noted even by Shiny, of all people)… my heart is really going out to her. :( But this piece of information about “that Human girl” (I think I know the one…) is one I’ll file away in my head. [face_thinking]

    I feel for Charon too—so many things are happening at once to him and his friends that totally see where he’s experiencing somewhat of an emotional rollercoaster here. The good news is that Anra and Koobs are now free and safe. But for the worse news, no sooner does Charon have these two very crucial refugees (as I guess I can call them) on his hands, as well as this business of the remaining imperial fractions to deal with, he and his two newly rescued bandmates get booked without being consulted—probably in the interest some kind of disingenuous PR statement (which statements like “you’re big again, Valorum” tend to suggest). So yes, I too have a feeling that several things are going to hit the sonic fan, and that right soon. [face_worried] But Charon is a smart, perspicacious fellow, and I have every confidence that he’ll be able to navigate the situation with his usual panache.

    Another thing I’m storing away mentally: the prospect of the xenosociologist looking after Teebo and Latara. I hope to goodness that whoever it is will be understanding and sympathetic toward them and not, say, the xenosociologist equivalent of all those obnoxious concert booking agents!

    Very exciting to see the many strands coming together in such intriguing ways—as always, looking forward to more! =D=
     
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  4. Onderon1

    Onderon1 Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 18, 2008
    Ah ... leftover Imperials. [face_not_talking] Figures they'd try to turn the Ewoks against each other. Here's hoping Kneesa can handle things ... [face_thinking]

    And Teebo and Latara hanging out with the quetarra players ... let's hope nothing goes wrong. :p
     
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  5. NobodyIX

    NobodyIX Jedi Padawan star 1

    Registered:
    Feb 19, 2018
    Ch 8 Doria has such good support from her friends and family. Deinna's letter made me smile. Bantha Poodoo. And I was glad to see what was on the data card! The combining of two very different worlds! This is going to be interesting!

    I bet I know what's making Anjie's stomach turn in knots. : ) I think his father can read him like a book...the fact that a girl "reading quietly in the corner..." kicked sand in his face. Whether he is conscious of it or not, I think Doria has turned his world on end. I'm worried about him going off with Antonio. He just seems like bad news. I hope Anjie has enough stability that he can weather the upcoming storms.

    This is wonderful stuff EP!
     
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  6. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014
    I am going to do the stupid thing again. Easter weekend, cleaning pretty much every day while the work is being done on the building, the loan stuff...turbulent times.

    The next chapter is A BIG DEAL, so I hope to post it on FRIDAY, THE 13TH. The date has personal significance for me and I'm glad to be a couple of days off schedule, so I can make a statement or something.
     
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  7. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014
    17 Into the Great Unknown

    Once Black Mornings was in hyperspace, Teebo finally dared to take a look around. The spare cabin in the Nubian ship was already frightening enough to him, with all of its sterile décor, not single plant and not single piece of wood. He looked at Latara quietly playing her beloved flute in the corner, sitting on a small leopard-pattern pillow. Ironically, or not, that pillow was the only thing that looked somewhat natural to him.

    He finally broke the silence. "I never thought we would have to be smuggled off our own moon, in a…metal casket!"

    Latara opened her eyes. She always played the flute with her eyes closed, he thought. After stretching for a couple of seconds, she looked at her boyfriend’s worried expression.

    “I am more worried about Kneesaa, Wicket and our families than I am about us.” She said. “We are going someplace safe. These beings are not slavers, since they are with the Rebellion. Everybody will be looking at us, but it’s not like they were not looking at us back in the village. Our loved ones, however…I am not even sure how they will be able to get those horrible beings out of our home, now that there is nobody left to help us!” She stopped, shook her head and watched the golden lines pass them by. "But at least...I have you and you have me."

    They hugged each other tightly, terrified to look out again, as Black Mornings was travelling towards Sullust.

    Just then, their saviour entered the cabin, followed by his silver droo-hed.

    "Master Charon?" Teebo attempted to say something, in his sing-song Basic.

    Charon shook his head. "Please, don't call me that. You don't need a master."

    "Sorry, Charon. What now happen to we? My woman speak no Basic, I get very little, scary all..."

    "I can guarantee that nobody will hurt neither you nor...your woman while I am around. We're going to my temporary home, where you will meet some people who will secure your authorship of that song and you will get some credits to start anew, I will make sure you get a protocol droid to..."

    The Ewok found it hard to memorise all the words he was not aware of. "A what?"

    "A...god. Like the one who...ummm...helped your people in the big battle?! And by playing with me and my friends, you will get even more credits, enough to live comfortably for a while."

    "What is credits?"

    Charon was puzzled. These creatures were not understanding the concept of money.

    “How do you get supplies you, err, don’t make in your village?”

    “Mott the Trader.”

    “Hoo, booie…we are going to have to discuss many things.”

    “Also…droo-hed not god, right?”

    “Master Crooked Teeth, may I say that you are a fast learner!” Shiny put his hands on his chest. “It is against our programming to impersonate any kind of a religious figure!”

    Charon chuckled. “How ironic, now that you’re working for Deeply Religious. How ironic, Shiny!”

    …​

    Antares Dain, the Tetan producer in exile, had arrived on Roon solely to find an unfamiliar face at the makeshift office near the Dalyn R. Baobab recording studios in Nunurra. Tadiana Kemdan, his new business partner, was nowhere to be seen. Instead of that, there was an overenthusiastic promoter.

    He had been warned about this. But he refused to listen.

    “Master Antares Dain? Pleased to meet you, I’m Subastra Marbelara, the event organiser! We need to discuss the catering! The options are limited, given that this is a fairly backw…”

    He cut her short. “Mistress Marbelara, have you prepared everything for Charon San Valorum’s arrival?”

    “Who is Charon San Valorum?”

    “My client. A young revolutionary and a devout pronker.” Antares opened his datapad and projected a hologram of Charon for her.

    “A young revolutionary. Familiar…. Actually, that’s a Rogierre song title! Back from when he actually made songs.” Subastra looked up to the blurry hologram again, her eyes absently wandering around its translucent edges. She then mumbled a couple of words in an unknown language through her teeth. “So, Deeply Religious will have a freedom song, too? If he’s a revolutionary…”

    “That’s correct. Valorum sent me a demo datacard with a number titled ‘End of Darkness’. It’s still rough and the rest of the wailer-group has to come up with rhythm by tomorrow…but I have faith in them. I always had, even before they came up with ‘Emperor of Air and Darkness’.”

    “Emperor of…what?”

    “I think you might have to listen to their back catalogue, Mistress Marbelara. Just to get an idea of whom you’re going to work with. As far as catering goes, I am more than sure that Deeply Religious are not going to be the ones to cause you a headache worth a box of Perigen.”

    …​


    Doria stood by a beat-up speeder bike she found in the yard when she and Ebe woke up, one day prior to the Festival. Auren’s explanation so as to what it was doing there surprised her.

    “Mungo wants you to have this. My parents gave it to Nilz, but we don’t think that he’s old enough to use it just yet.”

    “But…I have only ridden a Saygo Lightspeeder before.” Doria was suspicious. “That’s technically not a real speeder bike, since you can use it in some warped, ancient, progressive mode, too….”

    “Dodo, that’s a weird way to thank you…” the little Drall was quick to say.

    Auren had another thought. “I know you are good with this, don’t worry. Moreover, you can take it with you once you depart for Vagran.”

    Ebe snickered. “She could also paint it orange.”

    “So, Charon got a spaceship and I all I get is a speeder bike?” The girl attempted to be witty. “And yes…thank you. I mean…I am so nervous right now. Sorry!”

    The Dralling was about to say something, but Doria quickly put her hand on his mouth. “Don’t you dare! Plus, it’s not like I am going to actually get anywhere close to that jerk of a swamp boy! Whatever…”

    “You’re doing it again.” The darker-skinned woman scolded her young friend. “And ignoring the fact that the three of us and Deeina can watch the event from wherever we want to and hang out with Deeply Religious. The next thing you’re going to tell me is that Deeina will suddenly act like she does not know you because she is married, or something similar to that.”

    Doria sighed. There was her next argument, a bubble burst before she even opened her mouth again.

    “Whatever.” She kicked a pebble. “But if you’re now going to make ME dress up again, don’t even try. I look like a log in your dresses, they look awkward on me and the last time I wore a dress, it ended up being a curtain for my room back in Saccorata!”

    “Nobody is forcing you to wear dresses.” Auren said. “There are things such as trousers that are not overalls, too.”

    “That is not going to happen, I’m afraid.”

    “But why?”

    “None of your business, Mistress Baobab!” Doria marched back into the apartment. It was only a couple of hours later that she realised how rude she had been to her friends. Her inner monologue was slightly, slightly more chaotic than usual.

    “So, now Auren is not going to allow me in tomorrow, because I was rude. I said that it was not going to happen and I was right. Today sucks more than a flock of mynocks! Deeina and Charon are supposed to drop by in the afternoon and they are supposed to reunite with Anra and Koobs in Nunurra before that, too. TELL ME ABOUT IT! Of course that they will end up doing only the latter and come up with some LAME EXCUSE. They don’t care about me anymore, because because because I DO NOT EVEN DARE SPIT THAT OUT, BUT EVERYBODY CAN SEE IT FROM MY FACE.”

    She was already sleeping when Maris and Branna came back, after having told poor Ebe off a couple of times and warned him not to sing as a part of preparations for the event.

    What she would have never admitted to herself was that she wanted the day to come sooner.

    …​

    The next surprise awaited Charon at the spaceport of Nunurra, Roon’s only large city. When he made his way out of the ship, following Deeina and Shiny, the first thing he spotted were a Duros in a pair of dark trousers and a black vest as well as an unusually hyperactive Ortolan. He ran to greet them, solely for them to pick him up in the air.

    “Charon! I can’t express how happy I had been to hear that you’re alive and well! And married to Dede Ferry!” Anra said, his facial expression not changing in any way.

    “Anra, the happiness is all mine! I missed you so much!” The singer looked the other way. “I did not miss you at all, Koobs…just kidding, of course!”

    The two aliens were quiet for a moment and then they opened the can of exogorths that their human friend was not keen on opening himself.

    “So, I know that you’re too nice to ask about it – but yes, we do have the beats for ‘End of Darkness’.”

    “We were allowed to practice and they even got us new instruments, as strange as that may sound!”

    “Yeah, I guess we were political prisoners or something? Saved for some important exchange?”

    “So, did anybody beat you? Torture you?”

    “Nobody. We even made friends with an older guard named Rocas. He said that he’d been working there for about fifty years. Funny enough, he went to Dorthus Tal prison when he was punished for something in his youth and he liked it so much that he remained there and got a proper job! He’s well-paid by Sacorrian standards, too!”

    All of that sounded very strange to Charon and Deeina, but they could only look at each other and shrug.

    “So, I assume that you know how you were set free.”

    “Yes, traded for the two most annoying beings I have seen in my entire life, apart from the three of us and your sister Hada, of course.” Koobs’ trunk moved in a dismissive gesture, much to Charon’s annoyance.

    “Not only that, but we have some sort of a beat.” Anra added. “So, you don’t have to actually stick it to Nokaarbe and use the one from that song about him. I know that you were tempted to…”

    “So I was.” Charon raised an eyebrow. “Problem?”

    “No!” the two said in unison.

    A female Sullustan approached the group.

    “Krokk Myree, I suppose?” Deeina shook her hand. “The xenosociologist?”

    “Yes, happy to meet you. I worked on the concept of Therapy Ewoks with Doctor Callista Bele, but from what I understood, these beings did not volunteer for such a task?”

    “No, they fled. It’s a long story. Either way, they seem to be scared. They talk about what I assume was some local band of looters, somebody who could perform mind control with some sort of necklaces, a space canoe and a bunch of other experience. I guess they did have some experience with the modern Galactic Community before the Empire set their foot on Endor.”

    “The Ewoks as a species are also lucky that they did not suffer the fate of Geonosians.”

    “Yes, very lucky!” Deeina could not but agree. “Either way, the male speaks some Basic, his accent is strange, and most of what he says is broken, somewhat out of context. Yet, he’s a quick learner. The female one seems to be curious about technology and she knows her way around an E-11.”

    “I hope that she does not have one.”

    “Not anymore, no. Either way, they will be needing help on many fronts.”

    Krokk thought a bit and then proposed her solution. “I suggest that I stay on the ship with them, here in Nunurra. I will arrange for some catering that is not going to be harmful to their digestive systems, just in case. And talk to them, as much as I can. I have a translator droid of my own, in case her help is necessary. She is very nice, I must say.”
    …​

    Liska Antre looked at the viewport of Sionnma as the ship exited hyperspace.

    “So, we’re making a quick refuel run on this space station in the orbit of Scarif, then taking a route to Manda, the world that was claimed by the Empire once they came to build their archive. It was their retribution.”

    “What for?” Dale Pavan was the only member of Steamy Wasaka Stew who was still listening to her.

    “A powerful family from Manda, the Baobabs, are the reason that the Roon System was never a part of the Galactic Empire. They managed to flee to the said free territory with most of the contents of their famous archives onboard, as well as the legendary wailer Dalyn R. Baobab himself.” She turned around and faced Dale. “Then they sabotaged the thread boosters on this otherwise very unstable route…that used to rely on some sort of a comet. Weird.”

    “Gulp!” The drummer was concerned. “But these thread boosters are operational again, right?”

    “Right.”

    Anjie, who had been gazing into void until that very point, approached the two.

    “What is this Scarif, anyway?”

    Dale sighed. “Holy navigation buoy, Gar-Jen….”

    His younger friend sure had some catching up to do. Or, a lot of it.
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2018
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  8. Raissa Baiard

    Raissa Baiard Chosen One star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 22, 1999
    And everything begins to come together! As one of my OCs likes to say, “The Force doesn’t do coincidences”, so it’s no coincidence that Charon and Deeina and Teebo and Latara find themselves taking shelter in the same cabin in the forest, along with the most unfortunately named droid in the Galaxy (i’d Take “Shiny”, too, if I were him!) It doesn’t surprise me that it’s Latara taking the lead here—love how it’s Deeina’s hair and necklace that first attract her!—telling their story and setting the record straight on Kazak. It sounds like the problem and the plot at Bright Tree Village is bigger than anyone realized! I hope that the Rebel cell at Lake Sui will be able to help put things right.

    Poor Kneesaa! She is brave to send her friends to safety while she remains behind, but again, I’m not surprised that she does so. She is as courageous a leader as her father. Kazak and his cronies have clearly underestimated her. I, too, wonder where Wicket is during all this. Has he been captured? Is he so enamored of humans that he’s left his own village?

    The thought of the Ewoks, Deeply Religious, SWS and Doria all converging at the Roon music festival is :eek:. This could be glorious...or a glorious mess! Glad to see the remaining members of Deeply Religious have been freed from captivity; even if it was done for less than altruistic reasons, they are free, and that can only be a good thing. It’s also reassuring that they were treated well and are even ready to perform.

    Meanwhile, Doria seems to be handling her anxiety over seeing Anjie the only way she knows how—snapping at her well-meaning friends, putting herself down, and sabotaging herself by doing so (consciously? One has to wonder if she is trying to find a way out so she won’t have to face her anxiety...a way that will be someone else’s fault, of course.) I feel quite sorry for poor Ebe. And really, Doria, all those negative thoughts about your good friend? I know you’re nervous, but has Deeina ever given you cause to doubt her like that?

    Teebo and Anjie seem to share a certain narrow view of how the universe is, and while it’s quite understandable that the Ewok doesn’t understand things like credits, Anjie has less of an excuse for not knowing recent events. It looks like they’re both going to be faced with some startling new realities. Here’s hoping they can handle it!

    Looking forward to the next chapter!
     
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  9. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    Lots going on in this chapter, it’s hard to know where to begin! First, we have Teebo and Latara beginning their great “journey into the unknown.: Can’t blame Teebo for being scared and uncertain, especially once Charon starts blabbing on about completely unknown things like credits and securing authorship—and it makes sense that the sterile metal interior of a starship would be totally bizarre and incomprehensible to beings used to living among the trees. But I’m also not surprised to see Latara so resolute ad confident, even though she’s the one who’s arguably at the disadvantage for language-barrier reasons. In general she seems better able to “read” Charon and co.’s attitudes and motivations toward her and her mate than Teebo is—at least that’s how it looks right now.

    Looks like we get to make the acquaintance of yet another very enthusiastic concert-and-events-management type of person: Subastra! She’s got that naively bubbly thing going that’s such a contrast to the much more matter-of-fact Antares Dain. And hoo boy, she’s definitely got some studying up to do before this event. Given her naïveté, I’m almost a little worried of how things are likely to go once she meets SWS (I’m guessing they’re the ones that will cause her that multiple-Perigen-box headache rather than DR :p ).

    Yoicks, Doria’s in some kind of mood, isn’t she! :eek: I’m guessing it’s all coming out of her general nervousness about the upcoming show and the possibility of seeing Anjie again; the classic Doria denial is there for sure. And it's understandable, and of course I don't want to minimize the angst she's feeling, which I know is very real—but wow, the way she's taking in out on her friends, even on poor dear little Ebe! :( Good on Auren for putting the kybosh on that one remark in such a calm and collected way, though. That all said, Doria's little bit of internal monologue made me smile a bit, because it brought me back to Doaba ke’demii. :D

    I can’t express how happy I am to see Anra and Koobs free from their imprisonment—and, unlike Anra, I’ll change my expression to show it! :D :D :D It’s a relief that they were treated well and even got the chance to practice their music—and what’s more, enough so that they were able to come through with the rhythm for “End of Darkness.” Very good news for DR for sure. I suppose I should by now be able to guess the annoying beings they were traded for... should I think back, for example, to...

    Death, Life, and Other Goals? ;)

    And finally, we see SWS, too, en route to what is going to be one very momentous rendezvous point. As Anjie stares off into the void during Liska's running commentary (!), I wonder what is going through his mind. Is he mentally going over the music for the show? Is he thinking of the Sacorrian iris who got away, and which breadcrumbs to follow to find her again? And even though he's too out-of-it to know its significance in modern Galactic history, it seems notable that the mention of Scarif strikes his attention. You pointed out that Roon turns out to not be far from Scarif, and that certainly adds an element of symbolism here. [face_thinking]

    Looking forward to what will certainly be an unforgettable concert for all involved! :cool:
     
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  10. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha 2 Truths 1 Lie Host star 8 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    @Ewok Poet

    =D= [face_rofl] [face_rofl] and [face_mischief]

    Wonderful hilarity mixed with snark and character growth!

    Beautiful details on Naboo and Endoran/Ewok culture. :cool:

    I love how you have gotten everyone plot-wise to wind up together in the same place, whether they're on the same page remains to be seen.

    :p

    Doria and Latara -- you cannot come up with two MORE DIFFERENT "heroines." 8-}

    Anjie is quite a piece of work isn't he? But you really can tell he's trying to get his act together and you feel also that Doria is a great bit of that motivation.

    @};-
     
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  11. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014
    Folks, thankyouthankyouthank you! I promised Finds that I will be catching up with comments as they come from now on....so, I'm - err - trying that right now. I'm extremely tired because we're in the middle of the apartment building renovations that all of us living here were forced to accept, so 'scuse me if I've said anything nonsensical.

    BUT NOBODY CAUGHT THE FUNNY THING DALE SAYS NEAR THE END. :(

    8-}


    That is precisely what I had on my mind - there could have been a more complicated explanation for how they came across one another, but this is Star Wars. It happened, because the Force wanted it to happen, plus Endor has got to be a very specific kind of a Force nexus, as we have established earlier. :)


    I believe that it was @Cowgirl Jedi 1701 who came up with that absolutely godawful droid name when I asked and...gosh, I need to add all the missing footnotes, there have got to be more things I forgot like that.

    And Latara and Deeina can only but get along well. They're both these fearless, liberated, spunky gals. :)

    Kneesaa is in the position where she has to do whatever it takes and take all the possible risks. This has been the biggest test of leadership that she had so far.

    As for Wicket, you will see. :)

    There's gotta be a mess, all right...but we'll see how much and WHO will take part.

    It's horrible. But also real. One has to think in these extremely maladaptive patterns in order to be able to write them. Of course, I am not excusing Doria's behaviour by any means - she took it too far this time, absolutely.

    You are clearly onto SOMETHING here...[face_whistling] Or, well, A WHOLE LOT OF IT.

    [face_nail_biting][face_nail_biting][face_nail_biting]

    This is how they complete each other - Teebo is more likely to have a foreshadowing or whatever, Latara is the practical one. She can't do the "nature powers" type of stuff, but she's street-smart...or however you'd say that kind of a thing on Endor. Funny when you think about what kind of a disciplinarian raised her.

    [face_rofl][face_rofl][face_rofl]

    As I have said above - at this point, it's angst as she's technically still an adolescent, but it's something more, too. I just realised it had been there all along, so I ran away with it. And it's dead liberating, you know?

    Auren had to put with her husband's crazy dreams, she knows a thing or two about oddlings. :D

    That was the idea....:)

    AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHA at the expression reference. :D

    Pretty sure I stated it somewhere already...or maybe not?

    Nah, no slightly unhinged Republic Padawan in hiding was harmed during this. :p

    Both Roon and Scarif are located in the Abrion Sector. A supply whatever run goes from Manda to Scarif and there's the Manda-Roon Merchant Route that Mungo Baobab discovered himself. I put the two and two together, mixed up some Canon and some Legends and came up with a believable reason so as to why the Baobabs had to go into hiding on Roon and destabilize the route behind them.

    Since I have a plot bunny that @WarmNyota_SweetAyesha is supposed to beta (I know, I know, said that WEEKS ago) that also involves the Abrion Sector, I am going to show just HOW it was like during the no thread stabilisers era. [face_hypnotized]

    Anjie was just...being Anjie. He was in the middle of the events that led to Death, Life and Other Goals when Jedha, Scarif and Alderaan happened, so...clueless.

    [face_batting]


    OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG YOU CAUGHT UP WITH IT OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG

    And that's what I went with - a bit of nearly every single genre. Hard to pin-point it. Glad you enjoyed it, some of the Naboo fanon bits were inspired by what @divapilot created for True Blue and its sequels, the Endorian stuff is a mix of my fanon, Legends and Canon. Myyyy, I need to work on those gosh darned footnotes, for real.

    The bolded part pretty much describes the entire story, over the course of time. Like...DRL etc. :D

    Of course, I did not invent Latara, but thanks. :) She makes some huge mistakes in my first fic on this board, some quick judgements in the story that comes between that one on this one, but in this one, she's been pretty smart...so far.

    Doria's behaviour from that mashup Raissa and I did pretty much describes her as a teenager. It's partly her character, but most of it was growing on a super-weird planet, surrounded by some really, really strange folks and being educated in a bizarre system. [face_pumpkin]

    Each of them is a piece of work in a different way. Sure, Anjie's history is something to write a page-turner about and he needs to work on quite a lot of stuff. This is only the beginning. There's this difference between them: Doria is taking the same steps at the right age, he's forcing himself into much-needed changes as an adult who never had a chance to mature at the right time.

    [face_coffee]
     
  12. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014
    18 Stars Collide

    Charon, Anra, Koobs and Deeina made it back to the port of Nime just in time for the festival. Mungo Baobab was waiting for them, their ride to Kiaa Island ready. He was the complete opposite of his usually calm self.

    "What happened? Antares has been worried sick! Not to mention the event organiser, Subastra Marbelara...she went completely shamunaar over this!" He pointed to the woman next to him.

    “At least she admits it!” the pronker was quick to retort.

    Deeina looked at Charon and subtly gestured to him to drop it. He rolled his eyes.

    The newcomer’s comm beeped.

    “Marbelara, are you coming?”

    “Yes! We have only fifteen minutes to go until the Whirlpools get onstage, of course I am coming. Valorum and his wife are here and...”

    “Mencuri made an odd request. He needs a…!”

    “Find me one of those, I don’t even care what they are! Now!”

    The group boarded the speeder with Charon’s most beloved quetarra in tow and headed to Kiaa Island. They could see only a glimpse of the crowd that kept on arriving over a makeshift bridge made out of class four construction droids. It was nowhere near what they had expected – on the contrary. It looked like the island would end up being too small for every being that wanted to see Deeply Religious, Steamy Wasaka Stew and other wailers.

    Minutes later, the group was in the building used for the event’s production, otherwise a hotel for businessbeings from across the Galaxy and the only building on the island.

    “This place is strange!” Deeina looked at the still-paintings on the walls of the narrow corridor leading to the dressing rooms. “Looks haunted. I would not want to stay overnight…”

    “It is haunted! I felt a strange presence this very morning!” a timid voice spoke from behind her. She turned around and saw a familiar dopey smile. “I was at your wedding, right? You married…” – his gaze drifted to Charon – “Charal. Hello!”

    Charon, Deeina and Mungo looked at Anjie who appeared more or less out of nowhere, confused. In contrast to that, Subastra was awestruck.

    “Master Mencuri!” she nearly gasped. “I have been an appreciator of yours since my early days at the university!”

    Anjie just smiled, shrugged and allowed Subastra to carry on. He began twirling his ponytail as she continued to speak.

    “You can shape space as much as you want! I watched the interview made on Blabendreus and I understand the importance of props in your artistry. Please, never stop creating the divine sounds you’re known for again!”

    At this point, Charon snickered, excused himself and disappeared into the the area backstage allotted to Deeply Religious. He was about to laugh out loud, as Subastra had proven to be exactly what he thought she would be, but then he spotted Doria.

    “What is going on out there? Who’s yelling?” She nearly dropped her newly-acquired pet munyip gadget, the newest fad to have cashed in on the Ewoks’ role in the Battle of Endor.

    Charon just gestured to her to shush, took her by the hand and pushed her outside.

    “Now, Doria.” He whispered. “Now!”

    The girl looked at four beings engaged in the conversation. “Hi, Dede, missed you! Mungo, you look angry today, hope all is well. Who is this frenzied person?” She rehearsed what she was about to say.

    And then she forgot it all upon meeting a fellow pair of hazelwood eyes. Anjie!

    “Ummm…I…I…” he began.

    “Eh…whatever?!”

    Doria swallowed a lump and started coughing. Anjie could not hide how much her sudden arrival surprised him, but the expression he sent her way was more like disgust. His face seemed to be stuck in that strange grimace. Meanwhile, Subastra continued to babble and gesticulate. Mungo discreetly sighed. It seemed that he was destined to be the one who had to converse with her. Only Deeina gestured to Doria to say something.

    But she turned around and marched back to Deeply Religious’ backstage area. Anjie frowned and looked down and then, dragging his feet, he proceeded to the nearest refresher.

    The whole exchange didn’t escape the keen eye of Antonio Nokaarbe, who watched it from a safe distance, with two other SWS members next to him.

    "That was Anjie's little wicked witch, all right!" The singer mumbled through his teeth. "The one he just exchanged some....friendly fire with. I am sick of this! The moment he's off spice, he's onto something else!"

    "Not really attractive!"

    "Cute. His type, I think?"

    Wompy and Dale commented at the same time, blasting their opposing views at the singer. Then they shrugged, laughed at each other and withdrew backstage to rehearse one last time, while the music of the Whirlpools was blasting from the stage and through the building’s rather thin walls. Antonio joined them a minute later.

    “This is perturbing! Maybe Liska was right – Anjie is a liability! Remember how infatuated he used to be with Madelle Griasmaa? And then they both gave way to rokna and…well, you know what ensued, I don’t have to refresh your memory. I said it once, I said it so many times that I do not feel like repeating it – no girlfriends on tours!”

    Just then, Anjie returned, his hair no longer in a ponytail.

    "What were you talking about?" He flashed a mouthful of synthteeth at his wailer-mates.

    "Nothing. Let's go. I hope you can hit the high notes on 'Netherworld'..." Antonio flexed his muscles at the nearest mirror, as if he needed to make sure they were still there. "You know, the 'Will I ever, will I ever cease to...'" He began to cough.

    “Will I ever, will I ever cease to dance on a high wire between what’s right and temptation’s fire…” Anjie sung, effortlessly. Antonio patted him on the back, causing him to look down again.

    …​

    Doria observed her own face in the mirror, in the back of Deeply Religious' corner. A tin of theatrical foundation makeup was just there when she needed it. She took the puffy plastoid sponge and applied some. Then some more. And more. She didn't stop until her reflection in the mirror resembled a mask. No character wrinkles. No expressions. No light red lips. No eyelashes. Eyes without a face.

    She swore to herself that she hated the day she bumped into Anjie, and the smile he cracked when he saw her. She hated that day as much as she adored it – why did it have to be so complicated? Why was she unable to recognise affection after everything that had happened with her first boyfriend?

    Sure, she never needed Porky to begin with. He was her ticket to normalcy, her repulsortrain to validation. If nothing else, people stopped calling her Doloria while she was in that thing she called a relationship.

    Porky was the polar opposite of anything she liked in people – he lacked creativity, he did not want to listen to her and, after she had left him, she was pretty sure that much of his pseudo-encouraging talk was nothing but mere innuendo.

    In a striking contrast, Anjie was everything she dreamed of, from the day the thought of never wanting to date anybody even remotely similar to her father and schoolmates first popped into her head. Gentle, uninterested in typical guys’ antics, just like her fantasy during the last year at FAIS, the “prince-pateesa”. Sure, he was never going to be a royal, he would have probably fallen of a white light speeder, let alone a white equine, but she didn’t mind that.

    Now, why did he never say anything coherent? What was that face for? Did she smell, or what?

    “I hate you. I love you. I love you so much, but you’re so, so stupid! No, I am stupid! We are both stupid! There is no way I am going to…”

    A familiar tan-skinned woman stood behind her.

    “What have you done to yourself, Doria?” Auren was shocked. “Go remove that make-up! We are going to watch the performances of Kobajj D. Baobab and Solitary Men, Steamy Wasaka Stew and Deeply Religious from the corner of the stage! The two of us, plus Deeina and Ebe!”

    “Whatever.”

    The girl went to the nearest fresher. Getting rid of the white foundation was much harder than putting it on. She swore at herself for having done something as foolish as that.

    She could hear an unpleasant sound in the stall behind her back. Seconds later, there was a somewhat familiar voice.

    “I can’t believe that I spoke to him! I can’t believe it!”

    “Huh?” Doria scratched the back of her head.

    Subastra emerged from the stall and proceeded to wash her face. After frantically splashing her cheeks with cold water, she noticed that she was not alone.

    “And what are you doing here?” She pointed to Doria. “Fans should not be allowed to access…”

    “I videoed the wedding of Charon and Deeina Valorum.”

    Subastra was quick to judge. “You don’t look like an artist to me.”

    “Whatever. You don’t look like festival staff to me.” Doria quickly bit back.

    “Hmmmph!”

    Subastra turned around and left. Doria let out one last “whatever” and, despite not really wanting to do so, went to join her friends on the side of the stage.

    …​

    After the Whirlpools were done and an interval act – a strange-looking man with a bunch of Mudmen dancing to his music and some of them duplicating – finally left the stage, a spunky entertainment droid marched to the repulsormic. He waved to the audience of about 30 000 beings and began his address.

    “Hello-hello to all of the denizens of the Free World of Roon and everybody else who managed to join us this afternoon – by the way, you are not able to tell that it’s the afternoon, right, ha-ha – in celebration of the Galaxy’s liberation from the brutal rule of Emperor Palpatine! I am your host for the night, Lin-D. Isn’t that ran-dee?”

    The crowd clapped, some were screaming. Mungo observed them from the back of the stage. At this point, they were very likely to cheer for anything, or so he thought. If nothing else, getting the quirky droid to host the festival was one of the riskiest decisions ever – but his son was so delighted by the whole backstory of Lin-D that he had to give in.

    “Those were the Whirlpools, by the way! And for those of you who have travelled from numerous star systems to be here, the party is yet to begin! Straight from Coronet, the capital of scum and villainy of the Core Worlds…Steamy Wasaka Stew!”

    The group climbed the stairs and approached their instruments and repulsormics. Dale was juggling his drumstick, Antonio took a stroll to his spot in the centre and immediately ripped off his shirt, as Wompy stormed from practically nowhere stomping his feet. Anjie appeared last, flashing a timid smile to the audience before taking his spot in the corner. His face was nearly invisible for his hair.

    The audience in the front rows was perplexed.

    "Where is Sassvar Graba? The Zabrak hotcake? What is this pile of hair doing here?"

    "It's Mencuri! The rumours were true, he really is alive."

    "Is that a new quetarra?"

    "I don't know, but he stuck a flower to it. He’s never been much of a nerfcake, but..."

    "He is probably going to smoke it, thinking it's a cigarra! Spice addicts are desperate. I read that he did so much rokna that his teeth fell out!"

    "I think he is clean. And looks quite handsome, too. He's still got it, despite being close to thirty."

    "How can you see his face for all that hair?"

    "Play ‘Underlevels’! It's the song of my life! I listened to it when my boyfriend left me!"

    “What? ’Underlevels’ is a song about spice addiction, you wermo!”

    “Why is Mencuri wearing a long-sleeved fluhnell shirt, when Nokaarbe and Wompy are topless and Dale is wearing a worksuit?”

    “Who cares, let’s mosh!”

    Meanwhile, backstage, the four friends observed the concert.

    “Doria, look! There is a flower stuck to his quetarra!” Ebe pointed to Anjie.

    Deeina squinted. “And not just any flower! A Sacorrian Iris!”

    “But it’s not orange, so you’re all delusional!” Doria was quick to dismiss the obvious.


    SWS played one hit after another – ‘Take it With You’, ‘Above the Stars’, ‘Master Lover’. Near the end of the set, Antonio introduced the new song, Lost Girls. The audience danced quite aggressively as he sung the draft version of the lyrics, hoping that it would be liked enough so he could make it final.

    If you wanna have her – go get her!
    If you wanna groove her – move her!
    Show her what you got!

    If you wanna impress her – undress her!
    If you wanna shake her – take her!
    Squeeze her, tease her,
    Show her what you got!

    Lost girls are not lost forever,
    Lost girls make me lustful!
    Lost girls will put me back together,
    Lost girls, don’t be so cruel!


    “This is stupid.” Nilz shook his head in disbelief. Ebe, Auren, Doria and Deeina could only nod in return.

    “Whatever inspired Nokaarbe to write this crime against songwriting, I am sure that I don’t even want to know – now or ever!” Deeina commented and flipped her hair back.

    After he played the slap-bassoon outro to the song, Wormy left his instrument by the speakers, climbed the railing and shouted. "Lost girls, come and make yourselves known!"

    "Yeah, this was for all the lost girls out there." Antonio knelt, put his palm above his eyes and pretended to survey the audience. "I don't count those I lost myself, Wompy doesn't either – we’re okay with it. Dale is happily married. Anjie Mencuri, how about you?"

    The quetarra player blushed and turned his back to the repulsormicrophone, which kept on tracking him until the whole audience could hear him giggle.

    "I...met a girl on Naboo. She hit me. I f-feel like, like she must looking at me sideways from some d-d-dark corner."

    "Master Mencuri never says anything, you know?" Antonio winked to the audience and flexed his chest muscles. "He's too shy, plus nobody understands what he's saying most of the time. So, are we going to find him a new girl or send probe droids for the one that hit him?"

    The audience kept on chanting "Find a new girl! Find a new girl!" and a couple of prospects jumped on other spectators' shoulders. Antonio was quick to notice that one of the spectators removed her top and he sent her a kiss.

    Anjie finally managed to catch the microphone. He cupped it in his hands and blurted out "No!", then sat down on the edge of the stage and started playing the intro to "Underlevels".

    The audience just adored that song, everywhere in the Galaxy. Roon was no exception.

    Backstage, a trio of partners in crime was observing everything, confused.

    "What the kriffin' kriff was that?" Deeina asked.

    Doria looked at Charon, who excused himself. After a lengthy jam, SWS were done with their set and the Twi'lek host was talking to a couple of people pulled from the audience, asking them about how they got to Roon and if their homeworlds were completely ruined by the war. A couple of minutes later, SWS passed by them, heading to their dressing rooms.

    This time, Anjie was stubbornly looking away.

    …​


    “Just what the kriff do you think you’re doing?” Charon scolded Doria the moment he walked into the room.

    “You’re all crazy. He does not like me. The Sacorrian iris was yellow and not orange. Yellow is not my colour!”

    The singer laughed. “Your denial is more powerful than a base delta zero, young comradette.”

    “Yes, and I’m sick of this.” Deeina put her arms on her hips, raising her voice.

    “You are all complete wermos sometimes. Heard that? All of you! I am going to spend the evening watching 'Bith Marriage' with Larax. Grer’lin and Diddomel are better than all of you! Forget this! Just forget this ever happened and forget that I exist for a while!”

    "Don't you want to see our first show since the Saccorata debacle? The first show after these two friends of ours spent two years in prison on your homeworld?" Charon pointed to Anra and Koobs. The latter gestured to Doria to go back to the sidestage area, his trunk movement followed by whatever was the closest thing to a smile in Ortolans.

    “I don't kriffin’ care about anybody or anything right now. Kriff off! Especially you, trunk-head! I don’t care if your parents are rich, hear me? You useless pile of fat. Stop looking at me like that and go put Z-size brassiere on your pink rear-end, but watch out not to stain it! Because…because you smell bad!”

    “Doria, stop!” The Duros bassoon player attempted to calm the girl down.

    Charon shook his head. “Don’t even try, Anra…you don’t know her yet, she is pretty much unstoppable!”

    Minutes later, an angry Doria was on her way to the speeder bike, when a large arm blocked her way. Before she knew it, Dale Pavan grabbed her by the wrist.

    "Are you, by any chance, that D..."

    “Doria from Sacorria? No! I have a kriffin' last name and you are all disrespectful wermos!”

    “I wanted to make sure Doria...Vorr does not get away. So, you are wrong!”

    "You are balding!" She hesitated to look at lace, but her eyes were shifting in that direction. "And you're not going to take me to him, unless you..." She paused. "Yeah, you're already carrying me."

    Dale was running to the back rooms, carrying Doria like a dead animal or a log.

    "He did not ask me to do anything! I just cannot stand the idea of your ruining him and his ruining you, when you can give this a go. If I had found him running away, I would've carried him over. But you know, Anjie never drove a speeder, he is not good with people in general and he has no idea what happened where in the past couple of years...so, you have a certain advantage, no matter what you do. Remember that!"

    “If he cared about me, he would do something himself!”

    “The more time passes, the more awkward it is!” Dale asserted. “At this point, it’s awkward even to us who are not directly involved.”

    The drummer was determined to ignore every next thing that Doria would say. Back at the building, he made sure she entered one of the SWS dressing rooms.

    Anjie was sitting on the colourful couch when the sight of familiar red boots caught him by surprise and he dropped the mug on the floor. He mumbled a couple of kriffs and reached for a plastoid bottle with his keelekay tea remedy, this time free of mud. Having gulped it down, he looked at the boots again. The girl was tapping her feet.

    "Doria!" He looked up and grinned, hoping that he was not blushing. "I was hoping that you might like my little surprise. But it went wrong. And I sounded so stupid."

    He said what he had to say in a heartbeat, with no giggling, slurring and stutter involved. Then he sighed. She said nothing and he had no idea what to do.

    “S-s-Sacorrian irises are intoxicating and, err, Sacorrian, just like you. And I did not ask Antonio to stage that thing after 'Lost Girls'. It was meant to be just a single flower!” He was stuttering again.”

    “We have been there before.” Doria swallowed a lump and sat down next to him. “An affectionate gesture in front of a large number of people, like in Keren… to a seemingly nonexistent person. But I exist. I’m right here, next to you.”

    Anjie was now playing with his feet. A behaviour not commonly seen in adults, she thought.

    “T-there were many, many more people around this time. But if it annoyed you, if it made you feel threatened, I'm s-s-sorry.”

    They avoided each other's eyes for a little while. Doria shrugged. She was by now pretty sure that Anjie wouldn't break the silence. The training remote was within her range.

    "Imagine if I disappeared without an explanation, or shut you out for no apparent reason!" She came closer and pointed her finger at him. "Like this swamp boy here just did!"

    Swamp boy? He was raised on Corellia, and was thus surprised each time somebody would genuinely use a slur against the Naboo. But he found it funny, not offensive. Not to mention that all she said made him feel a bit bolder than usual. Or maybe bolder than ever.

    "Don't." He slowly took her hands in his. "I have made up my mind. I want to be with you."

    Doria was initially terrified. Then she started coughing, out of sheer shock. There was no phlegm in her throat, or anything in the air. Anjie's declaration of love took her by surprise.

    "What?"

    "D-don't make me repeat it."

    "Why not?" Her hand was starting to get sweaty. "I am not sure if this is real, or just my imagination."

    "Comradette Doria Vorr, I want to be with you. I didn't know how to approach this any other way...I still don't know. It’s hard for me to be frank. But I said what I intended to!"

    Doria crossed her arms. "You want to be with me, huh? Then why didn't you just get my comm code three months ago on Naboo, or ask for my email address?"

    "I told you, I don't use those things. It was about breadcrumbs in the starfield and they did lead me back to you!"

    "How can I guarantee that you will be around, then? How can I guarantee that you are not going to disappear because of breadcrumbs to something else?”

    "I won't disappear. I promise." He managed a small smile, still not letting her hand go. "But I want to take things one day at time." He carefully proceeded to put his other arm around her waist. “Just stay here with me.”

    She put her head on his shoulder and then on his chest. He had not showered yet, but he had a sweet natural scent, which may have been common in Hapans, for all she knew. And his heart must have been racing from the moment Dale came back with her.

    Was this wrong? Was anything ever right to begin with?

    “This may lead me to more trouble than it's worth, but I think...no, I know...I want to be with you, too," she whispered, timidly. "I don't know how to deal with it. You are...so fragile. Somebody as aggressive as I am could break you. I don't know how to deal with fragile people.”

    “I am. And you, aggressive? You are more delicate than you think. A blossom, almost.” He finally kissed her forehead and then moved back, as if he was afraid that she would hit him again. “I...I thought I would lose you, forever. And I lost everything once already.”

    “You have really weird ways of showing people you like them. I was scared. I felt trapped. I thought you hated me.”

    “I just...never know what I want or why I want it.”

    “I know what I want right now. You.”

    “In that case, how about if I said the same about you?”

    “Works for me. Consider me defeated.” She propped herself on the arm rest and kissed him on the lips, then got back into her previous position and closed her eyes. “I...may need some time to process what I just did.”

    “M-me too. It feels so different the second time round.” He nodded and proceeded to kiss her some more, gently rubbing his lips against her cheeks, forehead and temples.

    They lay there for a good while, holding hands, not speaking; her head on his chest, him playing with her long, straight hair. Time stood still. As if they had fallen through a wormhole on Naboo and ended somewhere where time had not passed, where nobody rejected anybody, where there had been no slaps on the face. As if.


    Footnotes
    Shamunaar is a dinosaur-like predator found on Roon.

    Curiously enough, Anjie calls Charon "Charal", which is the name of the Nightsister from "Battle for Endor" film and "Shadows of Endor" graphic novel.

    Pet munyip gadget would be - yes - a GFFA Tamagotchi. Munyips are woodland creatures native to Endor.

    Doloria is not a nice nickname for anybody - they're an assassin cult.

    Mudmen are indeed replicating out of blue. I'm not that mad. :p

    Lin-D the droid is an EC.

    Base delta zero is total extremination of a planet's population.

    The training remote was within her range - i.e. The ball was in her court

     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2018
    Kahara, Raissa Baiard and Findswoman like this.
  13. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha 2 Truths 1 Lie Host star 8 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    SQUEEEEEEEE!

    That was honest and vulnerable from them both. :) =D=
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2018
  14. Cowgirl Jedi 1701

    Cowgirl Jedi 1701 Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Dec 21, 2016
    You know, I think you're right. I'd almost forgotten that was me.

    And Doria & Anjie finally got some actual sense pounded through their thick skulls! Finally, finally, finally! Thank you!
     
  15. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    Well, well, well! The moment is here at last—the moment we've been waiting for! =D= [face_love] It's not easy and it takes some effort, but Doria finally manages to overcome her combination of self-consciousness, nerves, and denial. I love the way her friends are there to support her, keeping a close eye on her and making sure she keeps her eye on the ball and gently stopping her from doing anything too irrational. (Like the business of smearing the makeup all over her face; gosh, I'm not even sure I know what she was thinking with that—trying to make herself indistinct and unrecognizable to Anjie?) I especially love that the biggest push of encouragement comes from an unexpected source: the matter-of-fact, no-nonsense Dale Pavan! From him we learn that it's not just Doria's friends and loved ones who are affected by her roller coaster of feelings about Anjie: Anjie's friends and colleagues are affected by his feelings about her, too, and are just as eager for him to get out of his emotional funk as Doria's friends are for her to get out of hers (whew—hope that all made sense).

    I imagine there's a certain symbolic import to the side-of-the-stage area where Doria and her friends are sitting as they watch the concert. They're probably closer to the performers than anyone there (indeed, from here she can see the exact color of the flower tied to Anjie's quetarra), and they probably can hear the music and understand the words of the songs better than most other people out in the audience. And yet they cannot see the performers straight on; they're not eye-to-eye with the band, and of course even in the scene where Doria and Anjie meet and admit their feelings they're arguably not quite eye-to-eye yet either. Anjie's "looking at me sideways from some d-d-dark corner" comment, post-"Lost Girls," suggests that he somehow knows, or can somehow sense, that Doria is there in that spot; I wonder if that's his very idiosyncratic brand of Force-sensitivity at work. In a way, he's the one to whom that song title most applies, because he's really the only one of his bandmates with a legitimate "one that got away" story. (And I'm just talking about the title here; the rest of the lyrics are another matter. :p )

    Also on the topic of songs, it seems significant that he starts "Underlevels" right after that (which of course we heard some audience members discussing earlier in that trademark know-it-all, concert-audience sort of way). It's as though he regards it as "their song" even at this early stage. [face_love] (Even if it's "about spice-addiction"—which after all is a legit part of his own story, and Doria's part of the process of overcoming it.)

    Doria and Anjie's meeting is very sweet. <3 Of course it's not surprising to see a little bit of angry bluster from Doria at the start (because I still totally feel her on the "breadcrumbs" business), but her more reasonable side wins out once she notices that Anjie, for a change, is being frank and honest about his feelings—no longer beating about the bush in woo-woo terms. (Well, there's always going to be a little bit of woo-woo, because he's Anjie, but at least he's not using it as a means of beating about the bush.)I absolutely echo @WarmNyota_SweetAyesha and @Cowgirl Jedi 1701 that it's so, so refreshing to see Doria and Anjie being honest to each other about their feelings for each other. As a result, they can enjoy a tender moment without reservations or caveats—no wonder that the kiss feels so different the second time. I love the kairos-like, "time stands still" feeling of their final cuddle together. Perhaps that moment really can negate all the pain and difficulties that came before—it's a hope, an "as if." @};-

    And as usual with your chapters, there are so many fun and amazing details: Lin-D (er, I don't think "ran-dee" means quite what he thinks it means :p ), Doria's munyip game (and of course the whole notion of post-Endor fads), the dancing Mudmen (some local Roon color!), all the details of the setting and venue on Kiaa Island, Subastra's startstruck remarks, and of course the audience's running commentary. Things like that make reading your stories a truly immersive experience! :cool:
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2018
  16. Kahara

    Kahara Force Ghost star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 3, 2001
    Reading past midnight, but I just had to say:

    AAAWWWWWWWW! [face_love]

    Brought to you by tired + caffeine brain! :D
     
  17. Raissa Baiard

    Raissa Baiard Chosen One star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 22, 1999
    At last those breadcrumbs lead Anjie and Doria together, but even all the stars aligning can't make things go smoothly for them. Their initial meeting is complicated by Subastra's starstruck gushing (a coincidence that her name can be translated as "below the stars"?) Perhaps if she hadn't been there it might have been easier for them to get past or laugh off the awkwardness and weird expressions, but with the "frenzied" manager there, Doria storms off and Anjie retreats. Their friends witness it all, with varying opinions on the participants. (And Antonio can go stuff himself; his womanizing is perfectly fine, but having and/or wanting a relationship makes Anjie a liability? Ok, then...:mad: )

    It's telling that when Doria retreats backstage, she finds the make up and proceeds to put a false face on her own, to the point of tranforming herself into "eyes without a face"--an observer who isn't really present, who sees but is unseen. This theme is repeated by the fact that she, Deeina and Charon watch from backstage, seeing but unseen by the performers. Anjie, too, make himself unrecognizable, letting his ponytail down and hidding himself behind his hair. though he can't see Doria, he says he feels as though she's "looking at me sideways from some d-d-dark corner.".

    Sadly, Antonio's poodoo about finding Anjie a new girl ruins any chance he had of his Sacorrian iris being a touching gesture. But it's the WRONG COLOR so it's totes not meant for Doria! Sigh... she sinks back into denial, and worse into lashing out at and insulting her friends as a defense mechanism, including poor Koobs and Anra, who she insults quite badly. It's perhaps fortunate that Dale choose this moment to intercede; hi seems to have figured out the one foolproof way to get Doria to talk to Anjie...pick her up bodily and deposit her in front of him. (Sometimes you have to take extreme measures :p)

    And so they finally, finally face each other and talk to each other, not without some awkwardness and misunderstandings but honestly.
    This is so important-- Anjie has been acting as if Doria is just someone who's out there somewhere, but she's not someone, she's Doria and if they're going to be together, he needs to treat her as a real person not some ideal flower. But they're able to admit what they have wanted all along. This time their kisses only lead to a tender embrace, a hopeful quiet moment together that promises to lead to a new beginning for them [face_love] May they continue in their newfound honesty and tenderness.
     
  18. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014
    Thank you, thank you, thank you. ^:)^^:)^^:)^

    Spot on. Both of them attempted to be "strong" for a long time, or whatever that may have meant in their minds and at some point, they had to either give up, OR drop the guard.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you. ^:)^^:)^^:)^

    Spot on. Both of them attempted to be "strong" for a long time, or whatever that may have meant in their minds and at some point, they had to either give up, OR drop the guard.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you. ^:)^^:)^^:)^

    Spot on. Both of them attempted to be "strong" for a long time, or whatever that may have meant in their minds and at some point, they had to either give up, OR drop the guard.

     
    Kahara likes this.
  19. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014
    Thank you, thank you, thank you. ^:)^^:)^^:)^

    Spot on. Both of them attempted to be "strong" for a long time, or whatever that may have meant in their minds and at some point, they had to either give up, OR drop the guard.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you. ^:)^^:)^^:)^

    Spot on. Both of them attempted to be "strong" for a long time, or whatever that may have meant in their minds and at some point, they had to either give up, OR drop the guard.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you. ^:)^^:)^^:)^

    Spot on. Both of them attempted to be "strong" for a long time, or whatever that may have meant in their minds and at some point, they had to either give up, OR drop the guard.

     
  20. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014
    19 Swamp Boy and Wicked Witch

    Two days after the benefit, the city of Nime was back to its usual semi-asleep state. The boats were quietly swaying in the port and the Roon Sea looked as calm as ever. After more excitement than its residents could handle, the settlement, too large for Roon and too small by Galactic standards, had returned to its usual pace.

    Charon San Valorum and Koobalt Nubes paced nervously around the common area of Black Mornings. There was more at stake than there had ever been. Antares Dain, free of Tadiana Kemdan and Subastra Marbelara’s presence – but not for long – was trying to stay calm and not show any signs of excitement and anticipation. Shiny was his usual twitchy self.

    The four were anxiously waiting for Anra Renek to return from his visit to the elusive and reclusive Dalyn R. Baobab. It was Deeina’s idea to send him to negotiate with the legendary wailer: Charon was too sure of himself and Koobs was, well, Koobs. The Duros was level-headed, his facial expressions were hard to read and he was the most patient of the three. Plus, he had a story to tell after two years on the Dorthus Tal Island and, unlike the Elespad, he was a straightforward storyteller.

    And once the bassoon player appeared, as serious as ever, they were caught off-guard.

    “What happened?” Koobs was the first to ask. “What did Baobab say about…?”

    “He rejected Steamy Wasaka Stew – which was to be expected…I mean, really – but my negotiations with him were successful. He wants us to record ‘End of Darkness’ at his studio…but only if your Ewoks are on it.”

    Three men and the droid clapped and then one of them remembered something.

    “Does it mean Nokaarbe will finally get off our case?” Koobs’ trunk went up.

    “No.” Anra delivered the rest of the news much to the Elespad’s dismay. “Shaban Sapphyra decided to keep Sionmma here until he’s done done with post-production and mastering. That should take about two weeks overall. Nokaarbe and his gang are not willing to depart to the Core without him, or perform any of their other new songs without him to join them for the interviews…”

    “And that basically means that we need to warn the women of this system of the inevitable anomaly coming their way.” Charon finished the sentence for his friend. All four organics laughed.

    “How inappropriate!” Shiny gasped, as much as a droid could gasp. “Master, your rude attitude is a thing to frown upon!”

    The singer responded with a dismissive gesture. He had more important things to worry about.

    …​

    Later that morning, Doria sneaked out moments after Maris’ rented speeder disappeared from sight. Branna was busy analysing various samples of ore a local adventurer had brought her from the Bantha Graveyard and Ebe was nowhere to be seen – he must have gone fishing with Nilz again. All was clear!

    She proceeded down the narrow street of Nime’s old town, where everything was an anachronism compared to her homeworld. Taking a quick look at her chrono, she quickened her pace. Before she knew, she bumped into her date. Or maybe he bumped into her?

    “Sorry!” they both went at the same time and then, realising whom they bumped into, laughed loudly.

    “Just like back on Naboo.” Doria put her hand on Anjie’s shoulder. “Just like back on Naboo.”

    He hugged her back. “And the guys think I’ve gone to practice scales.”

    “And mom thinks I’m studying for the exam I already passed.” Doria snickered.

    “So, what are we going to do?”

    Doria took a deep breath and spoke first. “I don’t know. Something…meaningful. I mean, this is an official date. A …date-date.”

    “Yes. I’m not ignoring that word this time. Nope!” Anjie blushed. “And…you look tired.”

    “I spent the so-called night going through, like, ten Bocce lessons. I will have so many questions for Mungo!”

    “Bocce? That language always seemed interesting!”

    “I can teach you some. You can teach me some other in return!”

    “I…don’t know any languages other than Basic.”

    “Not even Drallish and Mandaba?” Doria raised both of her eyebrows, causing her forehead to wrinkle.

    “No. Those were not mandatory on Corellia for my generation. The Empire must have discontinued them. And my mother never taught me Hapan.”

    “On Sacorria, knowing all three official languages is a norm. My Drallish is decent. My Mandaba is…korso-korso.” She stopped and saw him shrug and grin. “That means so and so. I always had this impression that there was more than just one frequency to it and that it never sounds the same when spoken by non-Selonians.”

    He sighed. “I guess there is time to learn everything. I will definitely take you up on this offer. Perhaps I could teach you something else?”

    Doria burst into laughter. Anjie just shrugged. Was it something he said?

    The next thing he knew, she pulled a small box out of her front pocket.

    “For you.” She presented him with the box.

    Anjie proceeded to open it and was surprised to find a bunch of chocolate candies in it. How was he to tell Doria that he did not eat chocolate anymore?

    She was excited.

    “In some cultures, women bring gifts to men. I thought that was beautiful and these are my favourites. They import them from Abrion Major, from the largest chocolate factory in the Outer Rim, minus the Corporate Sector. I want to go there!”

    “Thank you.” He blushed. “I didn’t bring you anything. But I can give you something and just…just hope that it will be sweet enough. Close your eyes.”

    “And you’ll kiss me.”

    “Yes.”

    “I might as well keep them closed forever.” She could not believe her own words and the sweet tone of her voice.

    Then again, why bother with that sudden change? Letting herself go and just standing on her tiptoes while Anjie was kissing her was so much better. These kisses were getting better and better, each time. It must have been progressive to be constantly improving like that!

    “Get a room!” an angry Kobok merchant pushed the two away, interrupting them. “Preferably nowhere near me, go to some place like, I don’t know, Tyne’s Horky.” He shook his fist as he walked away. “Young beings these days…”

    “What does that mean?” Doria cocked her head. “What kind of a room?”

    No answer.

    “Anyway, there is a wonderful park nearby.” She pulled her mouth into an unconvincing grin, which he didn’t seem to mind. “No grumpy old Kobok males there, perhaps just an occasional Mudman hopping around.”

    Anjie’s hand in hers, she headed that way. He just smiled and went along, not letting her go.

    The park was quite a mess in comparison to the famous ones of the Core Worlds. In Corellian terms, that noun would not have been quite a way to describe it. Trees were growing in all directions and they were a strange mix of species from all around the Galaxy. Roon’s biomes were hard to grasp even to natives of Roon, let alone anybody else.

    Anjie sat down and leaned against a tree. Doria was puzzled, as he apparently gestured to her to sit on his lap. She shrugged. What she did not want to say out loud was that sitting on another being’s lap was not strange and certainly not progressive, but then she snickered, remembering that one time her mother had to sit on Charon’s.

    “W-what is so funny?” He seemed puzzled.

    “If I told you, you would not believe me. It’s just too ‘out there’.” She sighed and finally sat down.

    “Nah. Nothing is ‘out there’ to me, y’know?”

    “Trust me, my mother is one of a kind.” She thought to herself and cupped his face to kiss him. The light peeking through the dense treetop caused them both to squint.

    “So, are we a thing now? Like, official?” Doria was hopeful. “I mean, are you my boyfriend?”

    Anjie remembered that time when he had hesitated to call Madelle Griasmaa his girlfriend, after they had already been together for a while. Sure, that might have happened a decade ago, but there was a burning sensation in his stomach, reminiscent of the moment when, in rokna blue stupor, Madelle admitted that she felt hurt by that and, later on, screamed it in his face while he lay on the floor, his nose broken, minutes before her brother saved her from falling further down with him.

    He smiled broadly. “Yes, of course!”

    A silent “kriff, yes!” echoed in Doria’s mind. If nothing else, it was a good reason to kiss again. And Branna was right saying that this particular Revan lookalike had really luscious, plump lips. He seemed to like her hair, too. Funny that! Mom always said that she should have done something with it, instead of just keeping it long and straight, yet there was his man who seemed to like it exactly the way it was. And she liked his, too.

    “You’re freckled.” She stopped to catch her breath. “And I can see it only from up close.”

    “That’s because my mom’s blond. I was blond and straight-haired as a child, then my hair got dark and wavy.”

    “Funny that. My mom’s red-haired, dad’s hair was light brown and I went from blond to dark, just like you. Dark hair is not popular with Sacorrians.”

    “Dark hair is popular with me.” He said and, hesitating at first, kissed her below her ear.

    She protested. “That tickles!”

    “You’re ticklish. Wait, noooo!” He felt a soft touch of an avian feather on his neck.

    “So are you. SO ARE YOU! Swamp boy!”

    “You wicked witch.” He grabbed the feather from her hand and tickled her inner wrist.

    “Wait, what?”

    “Ooops. Antonio calls you that.”

    “Whatever. I’m going to own that name!”

    They both laughed. The two weeks ahead of them, the secret meetings she insisted on, not wanting to admit to herself that it was more romantic that way, they were going to be wonderful!

    …​

    Charon boarded Black Mornings and proceeded to the secluded rooms in the back of the ship. In the largest of the rooms, Krokk Myree sat with the two Ewoks, who seemed amused by her datapad.

    “You were right, Valorum. This one is a fast learner in terms of languages and the other is better at technology than expected. Compared to yesterday, when I had to stop them from drinking water from the ’fresher bowl at the terminal, they’re much better. And they are not scared of anything.”

    “No?!”

    “No. They kind of want to attack some appliances, but I, err, explained to them that not all the metal things are like, I quote, ‘the cold metal moon’. What else? Hmmm, they’re also mates.”

    “Is there anybody here who’s not in a relationship?” The frontbeing was now laughing. “I bring love wherever I go, what can I say? This truly is the end of darkness. Or maybe not. Let’s see how much our eccentric headgear friend has learned…”

    “Me?” The thin voice spoke from behind Krokk.

    “Yes, you, Teebo.” Shiny took the liberty to speak. “Master Charon wants to tell you something. I am here to make this conversation easier for you and your partner.”

    “I listen.” The Ewok nodded affirmatively.

    “We want your words in our song.”

    “My words? Your song?”

    “Yes…I mean…chak. Your spoken words, and your horn at the very beginning.” Charon paused. “You’re some sort of an Ewok Poet, aren’t you?”

    What followed was a long ramble in in Ewokese, something that sounded like gibberish to the Nubian. He cocked his head and gestured to Krokk to translate.

    “He says yes, but only if you allow him to play the instrument he’s carrying.”

    “Ged…what?”

    “That’s what it’s called in their language. ‘Geda rua ta Hokka Naa’ means ‘Sacred Horn of the Soul Trees’.” Krokk explained. “He also insists on Anra playing an instrument he will create once we’ve found him a suitable piece of wood. Apparently, it uses some sort of strings as well.”

    “I’m pretty sure that Master Renek will be delighted to try something new. Anything else?”

    Latara pulled Charon’s hand. “Paint?” She smiled broadly.

    “She want song picture.” Teebo drew a square in the air before him with his hands.

    “Oh, that is such a great idea!” The singer said, in a mock-voice resembling Tadiana’s, then continued in his normal tone. “Seriously, I had no clue what we could have on the cover. And that youngling of Mungo and Auren’s, he can draw!”
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2018
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  21. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha 2 Truths 1 Lie Host star 8 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Delightful and playful. They are totally comfy and warm, teasing each other and just basking. :)
     
  22. Raissa Baiard

    Raissa Baiard Chosen One star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 22, 1999
    What a difference a few days makes! And what a difference there is in these two now that they have finally admitted their feelings to themselves and each other. [face_love] Now that they’ve finally been open and vulnerable with each other, things have turned around completely. It’s so sweet to see how comfortable they are now, not just physically with all the hugs and kisses that cause the grouchy Kobok to tell them to get a room (on Tyne’s Horky! Snerk!). but also conversing with each other about little things like what languages they can speak and what they were like as kids. And it’s so, so wonderful that despite the momentary qualms he has, Anjie is able to straight out answer Doria’s question: yes, they are official! (So stop sneaking around and tell your mom now! ;) )

    Good news for Deeply Religious that they can record their album at the Baobab studios—and he wants the Ewoks to be featured! I can’t say I blame Baobab for being reluctant to allow SWS to use his facilities, nor can I blame Charon for wanting to issue a Nokaarbe warning for the planet of Roon!

    Love how Teebo and Latara are reacting to their new environment! Hey, why is that bowl of water there anyway , if not to drink from? :p Technology may be outside their understanding, but they’re more curious than frightened. (And I’m totally picturing Latara attacking some inoffensive toaster or caf maker [face_laugh]) I didn’t miss that Charon gives Teebo a new(and familiar) appellation: Ewok Poet. He truly is! Not only is he going to provide words for the song, he’s shaping the music, too, making sure that the traditional Ewok instruments are used.

    So lovely to see all our friends having some good times for a change!
     
  23. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    Woohoo! Congrats to Deeply Religious for securing the recording agreement with the Baobab studios! I bet that's a load off their mind, in a way, though I do note the stipulation about the Ewoks (more on that below). Not surprised to see the calm, levelheaded, stoical Anra as the group's emissary, of course. I always liked him! :)

    I agree with @WarmNyota_SweetAyesha and @Raissa Baiard that it's such a refreshment and a relief to see Anjie and Doria mellowing out as a couple—they are so much more at ease with each other now, even able to joke and be playful with each other. I love how Doria owns that "wicked witch" epithet, the way Anjie kind of unwittingly owns the "swamp boy" one; they are secure enough in each other's company that they can make fun of themselves a little now, and that's no small thing given how long it took them to get to this point. And they're learning about each other too, opening up to each other about what they learned as kids.. this is definitely a good sign. (At least for now, because I know that "two steps forward, one step back" is a pretty common M.O. for this couple.)

    I'm glad that things are going a little better for Teebo and Latara too. They seem to be doing quite well for being suddenly thrown into an environment completely unlike any they've ever known—if the worst that's happening is drinking from the 'fresher bowl and occasionally attacking metal appliances, then things seem to be doing pretty good! It's very exciting too to see the musical negotiations starting between Charon and the two Ewoks; I applaud Teebo for insisting on the proper and traditional use of his instrument (and Charon for being respectful and understanding about it), and I will be curious to see what he has in mind for Anra to play (and Anra seems easygoing enough that I bet he won't raise any major objections). And "paint" and the "song picture"... I can't wait to see what Latara will come up with in the way of album art! (I may actually have a guess or two, even... ;) )
     
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  24. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014
    SUDDENLY...PINEAPPLES!

    I am sorry that this abruptly stopped the day it was supposed to be updated. I am sorry for so many other things, but I have been overusing that sentence in 2018 so much that it became a catchphrase.

    In a brainstorming with a friend who is a new fan of my micro-verse and otherwise a massive A/P shipper who never read anything else before, I got to the point where I managed to add some plot points that the latter parts/books of this story needed. It appears that my abrupt ignorance of fanfic and refusal to do anything for a long time did not happen because of a single chapter of that story, but because I was extremely confused and I needed room to breathe. The story started out as a combination of "a life that you never had" and later got a flavour of "be careful what you wish for", but not enough of it. I looked at the ending I have written back in '15 or something and I'm like, "Okay, this can be done in a much better way!"

    That and...brace yourselves.

    I have to agree with folks I never thought I would agree with - sometimes you need to get rid of characters and not be sentimental about them, plain and simple. I had no way to write the second and third part without some characters becoming too perfect and getting away with everything, one never even did anything even remotely wrong or failed and that was getting annoying.

    One of my secondary characters never served any purpose except to annoy everybody and act like a complete loose cannon and confuse the hell out of everybody. It helped to realise that BOTH that one and the protagonist were author avatars to a certain extent, author avatars taking different routes in life. Like crossroads, geddit? :p So, that one needed a lot more "screen time" and I needed to find them an antagonist. Real life writes the plot, so that was pretty easy. But that automatically dragged a handful of secondary characters in.

    There were many requests for more...

    dr. Taide Lambrin and Code:Blue aka Joak Bluestar Shykrill Glisse

    ...and those were planned to play a significant part all along, so don't worry.

    In case anybody thinks that...

    Anjie and Doria are not happening anymore

    ...don't worry about that, either. ;) It's always been a thing and it will remain a thing.

    No rewriting will be done in the first part, which is pretty much complete, minus a couple of Endor chapters that need to be sorted out, especially the "Where the heck is Wicket W. Warrick?" bit. :p But I could not proceed without sorting these things out. Additional pressure didn't help, I have problems with passive resistance that I still need to solve and it made things horrible to the point where even thinking of it gives me somatoform-ish headaches and mild panic.

    Yeah, this is a "please, understand me" scenario. Sorry. Darn, I said that again, the catchphrase of 2018.

    So, what else can I do than encourage you to re-read what I have written so far? :p I will get back to everyone, there are so many DRL and JRL things on my plate that I need a balance in the Force, literally! While I cannot promise a chapter in 2018, I will do my best. But just that one, seriously. I have driven myself nuts with it as well, until I realised what the underlying issue was.
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2018
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  25. Cowgirl Jedi 1701

    Cowgirl Jedi 1701 Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Dec 21, 2016
    DRL can be a pain in the butt. Take your time. We'll be here.