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Saga - Legends Two Girls and a Man in Red (OCs, Fanon Roulette challenge)—author's (very belated) thanks

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by Findswoman, Apr 30, 2016.

  1. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    Author: Findswoman

    Title: Two Girls and a Man in Red

    Era: Saga (Legends)

    Characters: OCs

    Genre: Short multi-chapter (probably three or so); slice of life, a mix of the humorous and the serious.

    Rating: Pretty much G

    Summary: While staying with a friend on Kuat, a girl meets the telbun entrusted with her care.

    Notes: This is my entry in the Fanon Roulette challenge, in which I received the following two fanon elements: the Kuati system of telbuns by Pandora and food and beverages of Varanko and Moniron by earlybird-obi-wan.

    Contents: One (below) | Two | Three and Epilogue


    Two Girls and a Man in Red

    One

    An old-model SoroSuub light freighter was in the process of touching down in one of Kuat’s most affluent districts. On board, a Theelin woman with thick, frizzy purple hair was helping her daughter—whose hair was equally thick, frizzy, and purple—put on a light jacket and a heavy backpack.

    “Have a fun time with your friend, sweetie. Remember to take your nutrisupplements each morning, and don’t forget to comm.”

    “All righty, Mama. Love you.”

    “Love you too, Soozoo-sooz.”

    Mother and daughter exchanged a quick hug and kiss as the boarding ramp opened gradually onto a twinkling crepuscular panorama of city lights. Two figures stood waiting on the landing pad. One was a very tall adult in a capacious red cloak and high red cylindrical hat, who stood stock-still. The other was a richly hair-ribboned young Human girl, who broke into a run the moment her purple-haired peer became visible on the ramp.

    “SOOZOO!”

    “TALLOÏSE!”

    The two younglings came together in a hefty embrace that sent Soozoo’s backpack flying. The tall, red-cloaked figure shuffled silently over and picked it up.

    “Yippee! You’re here! We’re going to have so much fun! Come on, let’s go!”

    And with that, they shuffled off behind the red-cloaked figure—a man, it was now clear—to a sleek, luxury-model speeder awaiting them at the other end of the platform.

    * * *

    “So, yeah, tonight we’re going to dinner at the fancy new place and they set up two huuuuge canopy beds for us in the Pink Room and we can stay up as long as we want and tomorrow there’s the big Navigation Festival down at the Drive Yards and my mom said we can spend all the money we want on rides and—”

    This was only a fraction of what streamed from Talloïse’s mouth as she and Soozoo, reclining on the velvoid-upholstered back seat of the luxury speeder, sped together across the glistening skyline of Kuat City. Her enthusiastic monologue was occasionally punctuated by a “Wow!,” a “Cool!,” or an “All righty doo!” from her friend.

    “—and then on Centaxday there’s the Imperial Symphony Orchestra concert downtown and my mom got us mezzanine seats and then we can—OOOFF!”

    The speeder lurched suddenly to one side, avoiding a collision as a patrol swoop of some kind careered by with its horn blaring. The cylindrical hat slid from the head of the red-cloaked man, who was piloting. Unperturbed, he picked it up with one hand and repositioned it on his head, all the while keeping the other firmly on the steering column. Soozoo saw for the first time that he had neck-length golden-blond hair much the same color as Talloïse’s. It was hard to tell, but his ears seemed to be a different shape than most Humans’ ears, too.

    “Hey, Talloïse?” she asked her friend.

    “Yeah?”

    “Who’s the guy driving our speeder?”

    “Why’s it matter?” The Kuati girl crossed her arms.

    “Just . . . just wondered.”

    “He’s just my telbun, that’s all.”

    “Your tel-what?

    “He’s just like a servant. Don’t worry about him.”

    “You have servants?” Soozoo was agape.

    “Um, yeah, of course we do! My mom owns the biggest holocommunications company on Kuat! Like, duh!

    Soozoo couldn’t think of anything to say to this, so she turned and looked out the window, where the city lights were giving way to moonlit, gardened countryside. They rode on for some time before coming to a stop in front of a large, columned villa. The man in the red robes alighted, then helped the two girls out of the speeder.

    “Thanks,” said Soozoo.

    Shhh!” Talloïse hissed at her friend, then cocked her head and addressed the man. “Telbun, take Soozoo’s stuff up to the Pink Room.”

    “Yes, miss.” With these barely audible words the man took Soozoo’s large backpack from the luggage compartment and carried them through the tall, arched entryway. The girls followed him into a rich, statue-adorned entry hall that Soozoo surmised must be half again as large as the apartment she shared with her mother back on Nal Hutta.

    “Wait, did I say something wrong?” asked Soozoo as the servant disappeared up a vast staircase of white-gold Wayland marble.

    “Just . . . you don’t have talk to him, okay?

    “Okay, sorry, I didn’t know. . . . So is that his name?”

    “Is what his name?”

    “Telb-something.”

    “No, I already told you.” Talloïse’s voice was icy. “That’s just what he is. He’s a telbun.

    “So what is his name?”

    “He doesn’t have one, okay? Look, why do you want to know all this stuff?”

    “Sorry.” The Theelin girl shrugged. “I just wondered.”

    Presently the man in red reappeared, gestured to both girls to follow him back out to the speeder, and piloted them to a rich dinner at the fancy new place—a stylish bistro specializing in the cuisine of Moniron, Varanko, and other Dunai colonies. As they sat at their candlelit table gobbling down rich, buttery doughballs and plank-seared virfish, he stood off to one side, as motionless and silent as one of the statues in the entry hall. Once or twice, Soozoo happened to glance his way; once he was staring straight ahead, but the second time he seemed to be looking downward and a little to the side.

    Both times Talloïse kicked her friend in the shin, and she returned to her doughballs.

    To be continued . . .



    First and foremost, this story is indebted to Pandora’s fanon entries on Kuat and on its telbun system, and earlybird-obi-wan’s fanon entries on the Dunai and related species and on the the food of Varanko and Moniron (being a Dunai colony world and the Dunai homeworld, respectively). Thank you both for wonderful fanon contributions!

    The characters are all OCs. Soozoo (along with her mother, Diva Marquisha) has previously come up in “Of Mysterious Transmissions and Curious Dropped Objects” and “In Search of a Hutt’s Dinner Music”. Talloïse is named for Kay Thompson’s Eloise, following the same pattern that apparently got Tallisibeth from Elizabeth.

    The Navigation Festival is my own creation.

    Wookieepedia links:
    Imperial Symphony Orchestra: http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Imperial_Symphony_Orchestra
    Kuat: http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Kuat
    Kuat City: http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Kuat_City
    Kuat Drive Yards: http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Kuat_Drive_Yards
    Telbun: http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Telbun (much, much less detailed than Pandora’s fanon entry!)
    Wayland marble: http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Wayland_marble
     
  2. divapilot

    divapilot Force Ghost star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 30, 2005
    oooh, I like this already! The mysterious telbun (even though I have read Pandora's fascinating fanon on this subject). I love Soozoo and Talloïse - they are definitely teenage girls! The giddy chatter, the innocent self-absorbed behavior.

    It's interesting that Talloïse has finally noticed him; she might just be beginning to register that he is an actual person and not just a "servant." I'm looking forward to finding out what might happen next.
     
  3. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Findswoman - [face_laugh] [face_laugh] [face_laugh] Yuppers, you have the gee-whiz, wow, nonstop chatter of teens down pat! ;) Excellent interweaving of fanon elements. =D= I agree that Talloïse is about to realize the Telbun is not just another piece of the furniture :p - a valuable lesson indeed. And Soozoo's curiosity and questions are only natural. :)
     
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  4. earlybird-obi-wan

    earlybird-obi-wan Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Aug 21, 2006
    love those girls and their chatter about the tel-what
     
  5. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014
    It's interesting how Soozoo takes the existence of telbuns for granted and does not even bother to remember the word, even though they're not typical for wherever she could have come from! Of course, she is very young and therefore blissfully ignorant, but still. Also, hmmm, Talloïse, this guy might as well be...[hl=black]your dad[/hl]. Not cool!

    I also love it how both girls are so ridiculously girly and pink, to the point where it's exaggerated.

    And even with everything being an affectionate parody, there are details that make it so, so real. Something like Sweet Valley High...IN SPACE.

    My favourite such detail is this:
    The two younglings came together in a hefty embrace that sent Soozoo’s backpack flying.

    Eagerly awaiting more. PLEASE, DO SEND MY HOTPINK BACKPACK FLYING. ^:)^

    Pandora, sorry if you're reading this. And don't worry, I like pink with black. :p
     
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  6. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    Thanks for the comments, everyone! Hope you won't mind if I do the thing where I combine answers to similar points:


    Thank you all for the reviews! It's been kind of fun and nostalgic writing the tween banter between Soozoo and Talloïse, because yes, it is giddy and self-absorbed but it's also just so full of a certain kind of enthusiasm and exuberance that I sometimes still wish I could muster now that I'm... well... more than twenty years older than the age I imagine these two being. :p

    The next chapter will have more on Talloïse's view of the telbun and his personhood vs. "piece of furniture"-hood (good way of putting it, Ny!). At present I'd say she does notice him, but only insofar as he's useful to her. It might be the very fact that her friend (who's not from Kuat and not part of the same culture) is asking about him that begins to open her eyes to the fact that he may be an actual person... but then again it may not. See what's to come...

    Thanks so much for the review, as always! Soozoo has only just met the fellow and has a lot to learn about him and about what the whole telbun thing is all about—but notice that she's the one who thanks him for helping her out of the speeder, and that she's the one who pays attention to his facial expression while they're at the restaurant. Talloïse, in contrast, is the one who kicking Soozoo in the shins for things that many others in the Galaxy might consider just basic sentient decency.

    [face_whistling]

    Hah! [face_laugh] It's definitely an affectionate parody of certain kinds of depictions of preteen life, but there's going to be seriousness to it too (which you'll see in the next chapter).

    Thanks! Glad you liked that detail—tweens can hit eachother hard in the name of friendship sometimes! :p More is indeed coming soon. And I guarantee your backpack, of whichever color, will go flying. :D


    So do I! And you know, it turns out there was a "Pink and Black Ball" at the Plaza Hotel in New York in October 1999 in honor of the rerelease of the books featuring the character on which Talloïse is very, very loosely based (read about it here), so it's absolutely perfect. :D

    Thanks again, all! Next chapter arriving shortly...
     
  7. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    Read on for the next chapter, which is where the more serious part of the story will pick up.


    Two

    Talloïse and Soozoo spent much of the next day at the Navigation Festival that had been set up on the public grounds of the Kuat Drive Yards. Besides riding flitter-coasters, gravwheels, and gigglywhirls of all sizes and descriptions, they giggled their way through the Hall of Holos, shrieked their way through the Nightmare Express, and oohed and aahed at the exotic vistas that stretched out before them in the Anywhere Room. All the while the silent, red-cloaked telbun stood nearby, patiently waiting for them to finish whatever they were doing before escorting them to wherever they wanted to go next. Soozoo noticed that there were several others like him around the festival, all in the same red robes and hats, all standing and waiting for the children in their care.

    It would have been a perfect morning had not five minutes in the Zero-Gee-O-Tron left Soozoo with an intense case of nausea—an effect of the combination of her Theelin facial bone structure with the Human-type ear canals that she had probably inherited from a grandparent or great-grandparent. As Talloïse pretended not to notice and hopped eagerly back into the cylindrical chamber (roughly the size of the refresher back home, Soozoo estimated), Soozoo staggered out and hunkered down on a nearby bench in absolute misery, fearing the imminent loss of the lavishly spiced bang-corn in which she and her friend had indulged earlier.

    Immediately Talloïse’s telbun sat down beside her and leaned over. “Are you all right, miss?” he asked.

    “Well . . . I just feel kinda icky after all that spinning.”

    “Here, take one of these.” The man reached into an inner pocket of his cloak and took out a packet of small, brown-speckled pills, which he opened and offered to Soozoo. “It is a patented homeopathic blend from Moniron.”

    Soozoo glanced around, making sure Talloïse was still inside the Zero-Gee-O-Tron. Only then did she take one of the pills and chewed it. It had a grassy, herbal taste that was much nicer than the ginger pills her mother had given her on the trip from Nal Hutta to Kuat. The ginger pills always took at least an hour to work, but the telbun’s homeopathic pills had Soozoo feeling completely normal after mere minutes.

    “Hey, thanks,” she said to the telbun, smiling.

    “I have plenty more if you need them, miss.”

    At that very moment Talloïse emerged from the Zero-Gee-O-Tron. “Did you say something, telbun?” she snapped.

    “No, miss. Just a slight cough.”

    “Good.” Talloïse grabbed her friend by the sleeve. “Now come on, Soozoo! We’re off to Hyperspace Mountain!”

    * * *

    The next few days passed in a similar whirl of gaiety. Between shopping at the Plaza Kuhlvulta, lunches at the Nebula Orchid Diner, strolls through the Gardens of Tralala (“my mom has an executive membership,” boasted Talloïse), box seats at the Imperial symphony Orchestra concert (featuring the monumental Second Symphony of Borna), and several dips in the private swimming pool at Talloïse’s family villa (much bigger and nicer than the scruffy public one in Gebroila that Soozoo and her mother belonged to), every day seemed to open up new worlds of glamor and luxury to the young Theelin from Hutt Space.

    The telbun was always nearby, keeping his silent watch. There were a few exceptions: once Talloïse had him perform magic tricks with sabacc cards while they waited for their homemade, super-premium ice-on-a-stick at the Nebula Orchid. Another time she had him give her and Soozoo backrubs after an afternoon of swimming. (“He gives the best backrubs—they’re so relaxing,” she said, then proceeded to twitch and squeal ticklishly the whole time.) Soozoo often found her eyes wandering toward him, for she was getting more and more about this strange, quiet man with the funny hat, robe, and ears. But each time she did, she ended up with either an elbow in the ribs or a Sullust-leather shoe to the ankle from her Kuati friend.

    Soozoo was always on the lookout for a chance to ask Talloïse more about the mysterious man. That was no easy proposition amid the daily hustle and bustle, of course. But one night, as the two girls lay on their canopied featherbeds in the Pink Room regaling each other with ghost stories by flashlight, the chance came.

    “—and down there . . . in the tomb of Naga Sadow, the greatest Dark Side sorcerer who ever lived . . . there, lying right across the gravestone . . . what do you think he found?”

    Soozoo gasped. “What?”

    “HIS CREDIT CARD!”

    “OH MY FORCE! THAT’S SOOO SCARYYY!”

    “Yup!”

    For a few moments no one spoke, and nothing moved except for two lurid, tremulous magenta circles cast by the flashlights on the wall. Then Soozoo cleared her throat.

    “Hey, uh, Talloïse?”

    “Yeah?”

    “So, about that telbut of yours . . .”

    “It’s tel-bun. How many times do I have to tell you?”

    “Sorry. Tel-bun.

    “Yeah? What’s up?” Talloïse sneered. “Do you liiike him?”

    “Well, I just wondered—”

    “Soozoo ’n’ Telbun sittin’ on the deck, krill-isk-senth-senth-isk-nern-grek—”

    “Hey, stop it!”

    “So whaddaya wanna know about him, hmmmm?”

    “Well, I just wondered what he does when he’s . . . like, done working at the end of the day. That’s all.”

    “How should I know?” Talloïse’s down comforter rustled querulously as she shrugged.

    “Well, like, my mom sometimes reads, sometimes watches the holovid, sometimes comms her friends . . . that kind of thing.”

    Talloïse paused a moment. “I guess I’ve seen him go hang out with my mom sometimes . . . when she’s around . . . she’s out that Byblos summit thing right now . . .”

    “So when she’s not around, what’s he do?”

    “He just goes back to his little flat over the kitchen, okay?! THAT’S ALL I KNOW! Now will you shut up about my telbun, please?!”

    “Okay.” Soozoo couldn’t help choking up at this brusque reply. “Just . . . j-just was curious.”

    It was not too long afterward that Talloïse drifted off to sleep, but Soozoo remained wide awake. Her feelings were hurt. How could her friend be so mean to her just for wanting to know more about a servant, for Force’s sake? It wasn’t like she knew anything about having servants, having grown up in the middle classes of Hutt Space with nothing but an off-brand housekeeping droid to occasionally give the apartment a quick dusting. Besides, if this if this telbut—telbun—whatever he was—really was so unimportant, what harm could it possibly do to talk about him?

    But Soozoo remembered that she had gotten a full tour of the villa when she had arrived, and she was reasonably sure she knew where “over the kitchen” was . . .

    After glancing over to make sure the Kuati girl really and truly was asleep, Soozoo turned on her flashlight, shuffled out of bed, and tiptoed out of the room. It took her several minutes and a few wrong turns, but she finally arrived at a narrow spiral staircase behind the entrance to the kitchen. A faint light was shining down; Soozoo climbed the stairs and knocked on the door she found there.

    “’Myes?” came a muffled male voice from within. “Please come in.”

    Soozoo did, and found herself in a small, dimly lit kitchenette not too unlike the one she had back home. The telbun was sitting at a small table, reading the flimsiplast edition of the Coruscanti Review as he sipped a cup of caf and occasionally nibbled at what looked like one of those mujaberry tartes from the Varanko-Moniron bistro. He still wore his distinctive red robes, though this time his blond head was bare; his tall hat sat on a counter nearby. The moment he saw Soozoo he put down the magazine and sprung to his feet.

    “Is there something I can do for miss?” he asked.

    “Well . . .” Soozoo shuffled her feet. “Not really. I just wanted to . . . say hi.”

    “Hi.”

    No one said anything for a few moments. The telbun, his eyes fixed on his young visitor, picked up his caf cup and took a sip. Soozoo shuffled her feet again.

    “Hey, um . . .” she began at last. “So I just wanted to say . . . thanks for helping me out the other day when I was sick.”

    “You do not have to thank me.” His tone was almost harsh.

    “W-what do you mean?”

    “You must not thank me. It was only my duty. I am telbun.”

    “Well, yeah, but—”

    “One does not speak to a telbun. One does not even acknowledge the presence of a telbun. Naturally, as an outworlder, you would not be expected know that.”

    “Oh . . . sorry, I guess.”

    “There is no need to apologize, miss. The fact is . . .” He sighed. “You are the first being who has thanked me for anything since my days in the training house.”

    Really?” Soozoo’s eyes goggled.

    “Really, miss. And if I may be permitted to say so—”

    “Hey, why are you still standing up?”

    “Because you are, miss.”

    “Um . . . okay . . .” Soozoo sat gingerly at one of the rickety chairs surrounding the table; only then did the telbun follow suit. “So . . . um . . . you were saying . . .”

    “Well, if I may be permitted to say so, miss . . .” He glanced quickly at the door, then lowered his voice to a whisper. “It is odd to speak of it—but your kindness means a great deal to me right now.”

    “Well, gee, thanks—I mean—but what’s going on?”

    “Excuse me a moment, miss.” With this the telbun rose from the table, closed and bolted the door, and seated himself again. “The Mistress has ordered that I be . . . relocated.”

    “Relocated? Where?”

    “To the Mistress’s country house on Chandrila, to serve as . . . a slave. On Benduday next I must leave this house for good. I must leave Miss Talloïse for good.”

    “For good?!”

    “Yes. It is a prospect which gives me much sorrow.”

    “But . . . but why? You’re so . . . so . . .” Soozoo shrugged. “I don’t know, you seem to be good at your job, or whatever.”

    The telbun gritted his teeth. “If you were of Kuat, you would know the reason, and it would be evident that I am in no wise ‘good at my job,’ as you say. But you are not of Kuat, so I shall tell you. I cannot give the Mistress a second child.”

    “A second child? Why, who . . . who was your . . . first child?” Soozoo asked the question even as the realization dawned on her. After all, she had just seen the same blond hair, cradled on those plush pillows in the Pink Room . . .

    “Miss Talloïse.” His voice faltered, and he buried his face in his hands.

    To be continued . . .



    Mujaberries are borrowed from @earlybird-obi-wan’s fanon post on food and beverages of Varanko and Moniron. Berries are used for tartes here on earth, so why not in the GFFA, too?

    On telbun training houses, and on the use of telbuns as breeders, see Pandora ’s fanon post on telbuns.

    Plaza Kuhlvulta is my own creation and is named for the established aristocratic Kuati family of Kuhlvult (http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/House_Kuhlvult).

    The reasoning behind Soozoo’s tendency toward nausea is fanon, though Theelins do sport horn-like growths on their temples that would seem to indicate a fairly idiosyncratic bone structure in the face. Also, it is established that many Theelins are, to some extent, hybrids, and that they are prone to a variety of genetic mutations (see http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Theelin/Legends).

    Yes, ginger does seem to exist in the GFFA: see http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Ginger_noodles. Ditto credit cards: http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Credit_card.

    Wook links:
    Anywhere Room: http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Anywhere_Room (It’s part of the Hologram Fun World in the Zabian system, but I imagine that other theme parks and carnivals in the GFFA might feature similar things.)
    Bang-corn: http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Bang-corn
    Borna’s Second Symphony: http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Borna's_second_symphony
    Byblos: http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Byblos (home of Byblos Drive Yards and several other technological and munitions firms)
    Gardens of Tralala: http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Gardens_of_Tralala (yes, they really are on Kuat)
    Gebroila: http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Gebroila (the site of Great Bonvika’s palace in some of my other stories)
    Ice-on-a-stick: http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Ice-on-a-stick
    Naga Sadow’s tomb: http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Tomb_of_Naga_Sadow
    Nebula Orchid diner: http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Nebula_Orchid
    Sullust leather: http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Sullust_leather (It’s what Asajj Ventress’s outfit is made of—so why not use it for fancy shoes, too?)

    If I’m missing any, please let me know!

     
  8. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Oh, Findswoman - I should not be surprised when you fascinate and surprise - but this revelation takes the entire cake! =D= =D= Fantabulous and wow!

    Loved the fun the girls had and the sweetness and gratefulness that Soozoo displays. I hope she never loses those grand qualities.

    @};-
     
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  9. earlybird-obi-wan

    earlybird-obi-wan Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Aug 21, 2006
    A revealing chapter. I love Soozoo talking to the telbun. The Kuati are cruel using men as slaves
     
  10. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    Thank you both for the replies! :)

    Thanks so much! Yep, Soozoo may have humble origins in Hutt Space, but her mama didn't raise no fool (and her mama, of course, is no fool herself or she wouldn't have become [hl=black]majordomo to Great Bonvika[/hl]). Underneath that bubbly exterior there's much worth saving from the fire.


    Thank you! There will be more details about the telbun's plight in the next chapter, but yes indeed, his lot is by no means a happy one (ditto or most Kuati telbuns, I would guess). But even just finding a sympathetic ear in this outworld visitor will mean a lot to him.
     
  11. Kurisan

    Kurisan Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Apr 26, 2016
    Findswoman aha. The men are slaves! Nicely done, vivid descriptions and spot-on characterization of the two girls. I have a friend who is constantly worried about how droids are treated as slaves (even by morally unimpeachable princesses) and no-one seems to care. I keep trying to explain they are not true AI, but they sure do act like it. haha.
     
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  12. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    Kurisan, thanks so much for stopping by and reading! Yep, on Kuat (at least in Legends lore), this particular class of men are effectively slaves—mainly to the grown women who own them (see Pandora's fanon post linked above), but I would guess also by the children to whom they act as nannies—technically their own children, as is seen here, but children with whom they're forced in a very different relationship than that that exists between most other parents and children in the Galaxy. And it's not without heavy emotional consequences, of course! :(

    Thanks again—great to have you here, @};-
     
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  13. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014
    Well, that went wacky pretty fast! And...for some reason, it was a very emotional experience for me. Like I rode all those attractions at the same time.

    Before the conversation Sooozoo has with the telbun, to a mere observer, the story might look silly, one would simply think that Talloïse is being a mean girl, an immature clown or whatever. But to me, there is something deeper here. The rich and the poor. The Core Worlds and the depths of far edges of the Galaxy. Perhaps I see this sort of stuff because I, like Soozoo, tend to get stereotyped in the eyes of the "first worlders" being a, what, "second worlder" and because the full does not trust the hungry etc etc etc.

    The class differences between Soozoo and Talloïse are creeping up, and up, and up - the tempo is 100% right. My assumption is that they met through HoloNet or whatever and that everything was so much more simple before they ended up in the same place at the same time and where all the things they otherwise would not notice will become visible sooner than later. As I assume your POV is closer to Soozoo, it's interesting to see when she asserts what is better and what is worse, when she plays along and when she cannot help but be the mere mortal she is, the one who will, like in Lorde's 2013 hit, never be a royal!

    Talloïse, shame on you for apparently not caring how your friend is feeling like. The poor girl almost passed out. And yeah, all these things about your dad. :( :(

    The end literally got me crying. The conversation telbun and Soozoo have...one can see his guard dropping slowly. I guess that he was so not used to compassion that he could not hold it anymore, regardless of what they taught him at that school.

    Really powerful, can't wait to see what happens next. Wondering if this will break Soozoo's possible, underlying envy and fantasy of any kind of riches, if she will see this as a deal-breaker in her and Talloïse's friendship...or something completely different.

    Now, when it comes to fun and funny stuff...

    I love the amusement park attractions you picked and where you placed them. Kuat Drive Yards, out of all possible places. HA! Is that a part of some ploy to get the youth interested in joining the Imperial Army? Would not be surprised.

    And then, OMG, K-I-S-S-I-N-G in Aurebesh!


    P.S. I apologise for being slightly late here. If anybody knows what's my life been like lately, you do. [face_blush]

    P.P.S. Chrome insisted that I correct Talloïse to Stallone. Ahahahahahaaha!
     
    Findswoman likes this.
  14. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    Yep, that divide, and the "princess and the pauper" vibe it brings along with it, is certainly intended to be at work here. It seems to me the GFFA offers particularly striking ways to express those things, seeing as it magnifies them all to galactic proportions, with both extremes and everything in between present: high Coruscant down to scruffy Nar Shaddaa. But they don't often get to come together, and that perhaps is where fanfic can come in!

    I'm embarrassed to say I haven't yet established anything concrete on how Soozoo and Talloïse met, but the holonet definitely would make sense—like Earth internet, it can function as a very welcome leveler, but it can also erase a lot of differences that perhaps shouldn't be erased. Part of the inspiration for this cross-class friendship comes from some of P. G. Wodehouse's Bertie Wooster stories. Bertie is a well-to-do, upper-class young man who doesn't need to work and can spend his days goofing around at his club, and while he of course has many friends in that same class, he also seems to regularly make them in other, less well-to-do classes as well, and it's never always made quite clear how that happens, and of course this is in a pre-internet era. (One particularly notable example is Rocky Todd in the story "The Aunt and the Sluggard," who's a near-penniless poet who lives on Long Island, who hates coming into New York unless he has to, and who is appalled at the thought of dressing for dinner because he's accustomed to just throwing on an old sweater at 4:00 in the afternoon—very much Bertie's polar opposite. Hey, that "mismatched friends" leitmotif again! :D )

    Soozoo will certainly "never be a royal," but at least she's a nonroyal who says "thank you." My own background and hers have some similarities: I'd say my family was right in the middle of middle class, and I too spent much of my younger years in an apartment with mostly just my mom, and I too got easily dazzled by the lives of those friends of mine who lived in fancy highrises with elevators and doormen and swimming pools and the like. But I would come home and notice that we had more books than they did.

    The tendency toward nausea is another thing Soozoo has in common with me, and I too was saddened by how little people around me seemed to care about it and by how I seemed to be the only one struggling with such a thing. I wrote this part with a very specific incident from my high-school years in mind: my high school physics class was at an amusement park for some physics project, and I had to go into one of those accursed spinning room things in order to make some sort of angular momentum measurement, and I really and truly spent the next half hour afterward sitting on a bench feeling miserable.

    One thing about the telbun system, at least from what I read, was that although the telbun technically is the kid's dad in most cases, the relationship that's fostered between them is not what we think of as a parent-child relationship: it's more of a servant relationship. And yet it seems to me that telbuns wouldn't totally be able to quash the parental affection and attachment they would have toward their child, just because parenthood—of whatever type—is like that. So there's a disconnect there, and a rather serious one.

    See directly above—yes, he's pretty much stunned by Soozoo's compassion for him, which in turn brings out his own deep affection for the only child of his own he's ever had. Here's a person who's the same age and maturity level as his child, who nevertheless is treating him with more kindness than she ever did. I could see where being struck with that realization would be much like riding all those carnival rides at the same time. [face_crying]

    You shall see, very soon. :D

    Hah! I hadn't thought of it that way, but it certainly could be! [face_thinking] The attractions are a mix of established and original creations, but I knew I had to include an equivalent of that horrid spinning room thing that once caused me so much misery. :p

    Striking the balance between the funny stuff and the serious stuff has been a real tightrope walk for me in this story, so I'm glad it seems to be coming off all right!

    This was just plain ol' "couldn't resist" on my part—goodness knows I heard that silly chant enough times growing up! :p

    Absolutely—no worries at all. @};-


    There must be a hidden significance to that that I'll need to ponder further. :p :D

    Thanks, as always, for reading and sharing your insights, and for noticing all the cool things you notice! @};-
     
    Ewok Poet likes this.
  15. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    And here is the final installment. Note that both the third chapter and a brief epilogue are included here, separated by a hard rule.


    Three

    Soozoo said nothing to the telbun for several moments. She hardly knew what she could possibly say or do. It was so strange—so awkward—to see this grown man, this most dignified of grown men, weeping into his hands like a lost child. But how could he help it when he was days away from losing his own daughter?

    Tentatively she placed a comforting hand on his shoulder. The moment she did so he snapped back to his usual calm demeanor.

    “Please forgive that undignified display of emotion. It really was most inexcusable of me. But where Miss Talloïse is concerned—”

    “Oh no, it’s totally okay, don’t worry about it,” came Soozoo’s hurried response. “But I don’t understand . . . I didn’t know Talloïse was . . . well . . .”

    “There is no reason you would have known. I realize I owe you a full explanation. But first . . .” The telbun went to the conservator, opened it, and took out another mujaberry tarte, which he handed to Soozoo. “You’ll probably want one of these, because this will take some time.

    “I do not know where I came from or who my original family may have been. I do not even know my name. All I know about my childhood is that I was found as an orphan on a space station by a middle-class Kuati family, who then sent me to the largest telbun training house in Kuat City. I am told it was because they were struck by my exotic appearance.

    “Apparently my instructors at the training house thought the same, for I was constantly being told how handsome and exotic I looked, and what a pretty gift I would make for some aristocratic young lady someday. At the same time, though it was becoming clear to me that I was different somehow from the other young men at the training house—different, as in not a baseline Human. I found I could sense the emotions of those around me, though I usually kept this knowledge to myself. Some of my schoolmates gave me the nickname ‘Petal-Ears.’”

    “‘Petal-Ears’?” Soozoo almost spat out a mouthful of chewed-up mujaberry filling.

    “Yes, ‘Petal-Ears.’ It is the only thing remotely resembling a name that I remember having, and yet I would just as well forget it.” He cleared his throat and continued. “In any event, I was reasonably sure I was not fully Human. Sometimes I asked about it at the quarterly physical examinations, but the doctors never said much. So I did some research of my own, and with the help of the holonet and an old flimsi copy of the University of Sanbra Guide to Intelligent Life hidden in the back corner of the training-house library, I found out that I was a Dunai.”

    “Oh, I’ve heard of them!” Soozoo exclaimed. “From the Moniron System. They’re mixed, just like most of us Theelin are!”

    “Precisely. The Dunai-Elder of the Moniron System mixed with Humans over the centuries, and the Dunai are their descendants. As a result of this mixing, my people can live much longer than Humans do, but we also are only able to have children during a few years of our life.”

    He took a small bite of his mujaberry tarte before continuing. “Of course, I thought nothing of that at the time, and the instructors and doctors knew nothing of it either. In those days I was more interested in trying out all the traditional foods of my people’s home system”—he held up the tarte—“than in such things as having children. But it caught up with me later.

    “Once I completed the training-house program, I was given to my Mistress as a coming-of-age gift when she ascended to the leadership of her family’s corporation. Miss Talloïse was born not long after. For several years the Mistress seemed to take no interest in having a second child, since she already had an heiress in Miss Talloïse. But in recent years she expressed the desire to give Miss Talloïse a younger sibling, and as the chief telbun it was my responsibility to help her . . . realize that goal.”

    He paused and swallowed. “I dared not tell her that I had lost that ability years ago, back when Talloïse was around six. But she found out, all the same, when two years of . . . trying resulted in nothing. That was when I received notice that I would be relocated. Which undoubtedly means”—his voice began to waver again—“that a new telbun will replace me as the Mistress’s chief telbun, and as the guardian of Miss Talloïse.”

    “Oh no, that’s terrible! Isn’t there . . . anywhere else you can go?”

    “No, there is not.” The telbun shrugged. “I am telbun. I understand these things, and I understand that I must comply with them.”

    “But—I can ask my mom if there are any job openings at the court of Great Bonvika on Nal Hutta—she’s her majordomo, you see, and—”

    “No. Absolutely not.” The telbun’s voice became icy. “You would have someone of my education and breeding abandon the Core Worlds to work for a Hutt?

    “Great Bonvika isn’t just any Hutt, you know,” Soozoo retorted, drawing herself up. “She gets the Coruscanti Review, too! Holoedition, though.”

    “That is to her credit. But my answer is still no. I have been trained my entire life for one vocation, and one vocation only. To abandon that vocation would be a gross insult to those who trained me and to those who have been kind enough to allow me to serve them.”

    “I see.” Soozoo nibbled at the remains of her tarte, unsure of what to say next. Were they really being all that kind to him if they never even said “thank you”? Great Bonvika might be a Hutt, but at least she was kind and polite—it was always, “Oh Diva Marquisha dahling, will you please open a comm channel to the Bounty Hunters’ Guild?” and “Oh, thank you so much, Diva Marquisha dahling—that munitions shipment for Embra looks simply mahvelous.” But the telbun had already made it clear he didn’t want to talk about Hutts.

    “Well,” she said at last, “I guess at least maybe you’ll still be able to see Talloïse sometimes, won’t you? Like if she goes out to the country house with her mom?”

    “Not likely. The country house is the Mistress’s private retreat. She has never taken Miss Talloïse there.” He gave a long sigh and seemed almost on the verge of breaking down again, but he checked himself. “You know, Miss, you should go back to sleep if you want to be rested up for our tour of the Kuat Leisure factory tomorrow.”

    “Yeah, I guess,” replied Soozoo. She got up from the table, and telbun did the same. “Good night . . . and thanks.”

    “Good night, Miss. Sleep well.”

    With those words he showed Soozoo politely out of the kitchenette, and she made her way on tiptoe back to the Pink Room. For several moments she stood there looking at the fey, blond Talloïse, fast asleep amid her plush cushions.

    Then she climbed into her own bed, pulled the comforter over her, and dozed off.

    * * *

    The tour of the Kuat Leisure factory proceeded without incident. Talloïse spent the entire time either bombarding the guide (no less than the chief financial officer’s personal assistant) with questions, chattering to her friend about various luxury liners she and her mother had traveled on in the past, or offering unsolicited opinions (mainly negative) about the upholstery and décor of each of the seven luxury-model spacecraft they got to walk through. Her words—and, most of the time, those of the guide as well—swept right over Soozoo’s head. Although the young Theelin tried her best to keep up with both of them, both her thoughts and her gaze kept wandering back to the telbun, who followed them at a respectful distance. When they finally shunted him off to Chandrila next Benduday, would it be on a Kuat Leisure 121-B with velvoid upholstery, a full spa suite, and a zero-g sauna? Somehow Soozoo didn’t think so.

    The next thing she knew, Talloïse was elbowing her in the ribs and snapping at her to stop staring and hurry up so that they wouldn’t be late for their lunch reservation at the Varanko-Moniron bistro. At which point Soozoo immediately started wondering if they had such things as virfish, mujaberries, and Dunai doughballs on Chandrila. Probably not, was her guess. Well, maybe the mujaberries—but she wasn’t so sure about the doughballs.

    But then again, they didn’t have them on Nal Hutta, either—so maybe, she thought, she should just stop worrying and enjoy herself.

    * * *

    It was a glum, cloudy evening in Gebroila, Nal Hutta. A single light shone from the window of an unassuming two-bedroom apartment outside the grounds of the villa of Great Bonvika the Hutt. Here Diva Marquisha, majordomo to Great Bonvika, sat in her cramped, cluttered study finishing up the day’s datawork with a mug of instant caf by her side.

    She had just reached the signature page of a 237-page trade agreement with the Illip kajidic when a succession of beeps from her mobile comlink informed her that a new message had come in. Digging the device out from the flimisheets that littered her desk, she picked it up and read the brief message that shone on its screen:

    HEY MAMA

    Marquisha smiled as she tapped out a reply. HEY SOOZOO SOOZ HOW ARE YOU DOING

    Two dots flashed on the screen of the comlink, indicating that her daughter was busy typing. Then the following message appeared: GOOD HAVING A REALLY GREAT TIME WITH TALLOÏSE LAST ZHELLDAY WE WENT TO THE NAVIGATION FESTIVAL & THEN THERE WAS THE ISO CONCERT & THEN SWIMMING & THEN KUAT LEISURE FACTORY TOUR OH & THE OTHER DAY I GOT TO TALK TO HER TELBUN WE HAD A REALLY GOOD CHAT HES A REALLY NICE GUY

    Telbun. The term was familiar to Diva Marquisha. It reminded her of something one of her Coreworld contacts had mentioned once, in connection with some kind of underground . . . resistance organization, was it? Pals, Palace, something like that . . . ?

    TELBUN YOU SAY she typed.

    YEAH

    Quickly Marquisha stashed the comlink aside. Flimsisheets rustled and fluttered as she wheeled her office chair over to the computer terminal at the other end of the desk. After several frantic moments of searching and researching in Bonvika’s copious contact databases, the following appeared on the screen:

    PALLAS
    Cell 23-1: Greater Kuat City Area
    XB-3: 43 7826 125
    aradus@hyperyak.gal

    Marquisha opened a messaging window on the computer terminal and began typing. After only a few words she stopped partway through, wheeled back to part of the desk where she had set down the comlink. A new message from Soozoo flashed on the screen.

    MAMA YOU THERE

    YES SORRY SOOZ DARLING Marquisha responded. CAN YOU PLEASE COMM ME YOUR COORDINATES THERE AGAIN

    SURE MAMA WHY

    Marquisha hesitated a few moments before typing JUST THOUGHT OF SOMETHING THATS ALL

    OKAY MAMA came the reply. The two dots blinked for several seconds before two sets of coordinates—one galactic, one intrasystem—appeared on the screen.

    With the device in hand Marquisha returned to the computer, and after a few taps on the interfaces of both devices the coordinates appeared in the messaging window.

    THANKS SWEETIE

    YOURE WELCOME MAMA

    NOW YOU GET TO BED OKAY Marquisha tapped hurriedly. ITS LATE THERE

    OKAY MAMA

    LOVE YOU & CANT WAIT TO SEE YOU IN A FEW DAYS

    LOVE YOU TOO MAMA

    Marquisha switched the comlink to Dormant mode, typed a few more sentences into the message she had begun, and hit SEND with a flourish. Then, taking another sip of caf, she stamped Bonvika’s official seal onto the trade agreement, which she tossed into a document tray labeled OUT before proceeding to a bill of lading from the Intergalactic Freight Corporation.



    Epilogue

    Warning: [hl=black]mention of a bombing and its casualties; nothing graphic, though[/hl]

    A little over a year later, the same old-model SoroSuub light freighter touched down on the same landing pad in the same district of Kuat City. Again the boarding ramp descended, and again the purple-haired Soozoo dashed out to embrace the blond, hair-ribboned Talloïse. But this time a different man in red had accompanied the young Kuati heiress to her rendezvous: a suntanned man with a closely trimmed black beard, who carried in his arms an infant only a few months old.

    There were no homeopathic pills on that visit, nor meals at the Varanko-Moniron bistro, nor late-night mujaberry tartes.

    And it was a few days after Soozoo arrived back home on Nal Hutta that she and her mother saw a holobulletin about the bombing of a summer villa on Chandrila. Much of building’s west wing was reduced to rubble, two housekeeping droids had been destroyed, and the mistress of the house—a Kuati holocommunications magnate—was in stable condition at the local medcenter. It was suspected (as it often was in cases like this) that the Kuati terrorist group known as Pallas had a hand in the attack, but there were very few concrete leads. One of the security cameras, however, had captured footage of a potential culprit.

    The screen changed to show a side view of an indistinct figure in some kind of long, concealing clothing, fumbling around in what appeared to be an empty barrel or cask in a wine cellar. As the camera zoomed in, it became clear that the figure was wearing the long red cloak and tall red hat of a telbun. Closer still—and wisps of blond hair became visible below the tall hat, framing a prominent but gracefully pointed ear.

    Soozoo’s reaction was to gasp and clap her hand over her mouth. Diva Marquisha’s was to wrinkle her brow in thought for a few moments, then to nod slowly, as if remembering something—

    —and then, hurriedly, to suggest that she and Soozoo check whether The Bounty Is Right was on.

    “All righty,” came Soozoo’s response. And the channel was changed.

    The End

    earlybird-obi-wan is the creator of the Dunai (an original species) and the Moniron System (an original system), which are described in this fanon post; their limited years of fertility are specifically mentioned. I figured since I’m bringing the food and beverages of the Dunai worlds of Varanko and Moniron into the story (mujaberries, virfish, etc.—see earlybird’s post on that here, I might as well bring the whole species in. Also, the fertility issue made for a good contrast with the telbuns’ function as breeders.

    The underground organization Pallas is mentioned in Pandora ’s fanon post on telbuns. In the email address, “aradus” is Sudara backward—their Punjammies pants are all sewn in India by women who have escaped human trafficking, so that’s the connection. The domain name hyperyak.gal was coined by Ewok Poet and appears in her stories The Black Star and A Rough Trade.

    The group of eight numbers in the Pallas contact’s comm frequency is a Hammond organ registration (representing the settings of a series of drawbars) that I pulled off a piece of sheet music in my collection. I have zero experience playing Hammond organs, but I needed a longish, reasonably impressive-looking sequence of numbers, and that one fit the bill. :p XB-3 is the name of one of Hammond’s best-known models, and I tacked it on just to make the sequence of numbers even longer and more impressive-looking.

    The Bounty Is Right is my own impulsive creation. Three guesses as to the real-life inspiration. :p

    Links to assorted wikis:
    Bill of lading: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_of_lading (a real-life term)
    Bounty Hunters’ Guild: http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Bounty_Hunters'_Guild/Legends
    Embra: http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Embra
    Kajidic: http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Kajidic
    Kuat Leisure: http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Kuat_Leisure
    Kuat Leisure 121-B yacht: http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/121-B
    Illip kajidic: http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Illip
    Intergalactic Freight: http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Intergalactic_Freight
    majordomo: http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Majordomo
    University of Sanbra Guide to Intelligent Life: http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/The_University_of_Sanbra_Guide_to_Intelligent_Life

     
  16. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Excellent and very compelling conclusion! =D= So much implied and inferred. You have a feeling that the social conditions on Kuat are about to become very chaotic and drastically change. [face_thinking]
     
  17. divapilot

    divapilot Force Ghost star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 30, 2005
    The channel was changed, indeed.

    Very interesting twist there, Finds! I didn't expect that. Although, honestly, the blond telbun really has nothing much to look forward to in his sad life, does he? The only thing that brought him joy was taken from him and he's been discarded as useless and obsolete for his function as a father.

    This was an excellent story, and the fanon elements flowed seamlessly.
     
  18. earlybird-obi-wan

    earlybird-obi-wan Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Aug 21, 2006
    Love how you portrayed the Telbun and the scheming behind all of it.

    Great story
     
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  19. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    Thank you all for reading and commenting! I'm so glad you enjoyed this little experiment. @};-

    Thanks! :) I wouldn't hold my breath that just one incident like this is going to have a huge effect on Kuat's social conditions right away (Pandora's fanon post makes it pretty clear that Pallas is not a huge force on Kuat just yet), but it definitely was unmistakable as the blond telbun's own personal statement about his experience. If even just that much comes across to some people watching (and it did, at least somewhat, to Soozoo and her mother), then he did his job, in a way. Of course, at what cost!



    Thanks so much. :) You're right: he's run clean out of anything that would make his life worthwhile, and he's powerless to do anything about it. On one hand, that may be what makes it possible for him to take the course of action he does at the end. On the other hand, though, that course of action only makes things worse: the woman in stable condition at the hospital is, after all, Talloïse's mom, and such a traumatic event isn't going to be without an effect on her, even if she never actually got to go out to the country house. (He, or his confederates, would never knowingly launch that kind of attack on a place where she was likely to be.)

    And yes, Talloïse did bring him joy even if she did often treat him like dirt. Parental affection is like that.


    Thank you, earlybird—I'm glad you enjoyed it. I really enjoyed putting your fanon elements on the Dunai and their food to work in crafting this character and his story, so thank you once again for that! I've got a real soft spot for them now. :)
     
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  20. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014
    Oh, wow! Soozoo is Diva Marquisha's daughter and they're all related to the dahling Great Bonvika. Was not sure if I should have expected this or not, but it ties together so nicely! Not to mention that I know that, while chaotic, everybody from that court is good at heart, so nothing here came as a surprise. I also love the foreshadowing and how her first association when it comes to telbums is Pallas.

    EDIT: I'm an idiot because the only thing of yours I never read was the wedding gift and it's been more than a year since I have read your edited entries. I should have known this immediately.

    For the rest, I know this goes well with Pandora 's fanon, but I don't know which is more disturbing: the poor telbun's eventual despair and the act of violence/terrorism, or the fact that nobody other than Soozoo learned anything from this. Now, what I would be interested in seeing is how this shapes her personality etc. She is not going to forget this encounter, is she?

    On the brighter side of things, that mujaberry tarte sounds DELICIOUS. I'll have some, please! :)
     
  21. Chyntuck

    Chyntuck Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 11, 2014
    This was terribly sad -- lovely, but sad. You integrated the fanon elements flawlessly, and the repeated occurrence of Varanko-Moniron food (they're eating all. the. time!) was like a recurring joke that added some much-needed levity to the darker telbun business.
     
  22. Kurisan

    Kurisan Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Apr 26, 2016
    Findswoman Ooh there's more! :) Read chapter three (and its following bits). Hmmm, I think there's always something uncomfortable about slave characters that are "content with their station", and you got that squirmy feeling in my stomach going. Nicely done!

    Then the revelation that there's some sort of "resistance". Curioser and curioser!

    Then the conclusion: Wow. You knocked this one out the park - especially with the distant learned-through-the-holonet method. And then the channel was changed. =D=

    I liked the text messaging in the GFFA complete with @hyperyakgal address [face_laugh]. Nice touch.

    Couple of questions, which may be a bit dim to an obvious uber-nerd as yourself (I was instantly impressed with your username, btw, in case I haven't said that yet): Is this telbun business on Kuat your own creation or from some EU source? I've never heard of it before. Secondly, considering the telbun's biggest problem is leaving his daughter, why did Soozoo ask if there was "anywhere else he could go" (and then go on to suggest the Hutt)?

    Thanks for sharing. :cool:

    K
     
  23. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    Thanks to all of you for reading and commenting! :)

    No worries at all! Yes, Soozoo has always been the daughter of Diva Marquisha, Bonvika's majordomo (these are OCs of mine, in case anyone is wondering). And even if Bonvika is "not just any Hutt" and a mostly good-hearted being with a mostly good-hearted entourage, she and her court still do nevertheless have plenty of the typical Hutt-type underworld connections. Thus if Kuat or telbuns happen to come up in conversation there (and they're not really all that likely to), it would almost always be in connection with an underground organization like Pallas.

    There are kind of a lot of disturbing things piled up here. There's the telbun's despair and the deed it led him to commit ([hl=black]I'm going for the implication that he did eventually join Pallas, maybe even by way of whomever Marquisha put in touch with him[/hl]). There's Marquisha's ambiguous reaction to the news: is she or is she not recalling that message she sent the previous year? But look too at who the victim of the violence was—that holocommunications magnate "in stable condition at the local medcenter" is Talloïse's mom. Even if her mom was kind of absentee (also a partial nod to the Eloise books), there's no way something like that would be without huge emotional effects on her daughter. And if at any point in the future Talloïse ever happens to find out who really did it, that the person who did it was someone once very close to her... well, the pudu would hit the psychological fan in a big way, methinks. [face_nail_biting] But I'm leaving all that up to the reader to speculate on for now. :D

    And of course Soozoo will never forget this encounter, and it isn't without an effect on her. Of all the characters in the story she's perhaps the most open to learning. Though she doesn't have the whole story in front of her either, and it may be a while before that happens.

    Plenty more in the conservator for all! :) See below for more on the food.

    Thanks so much. This whole story kind of turned into an exercise in trying to balance lighter, more humorous elements with darker, more serious ones, and I'm relieved to hear that mix came off all right. That's one of the cool things that can come out of the double-roulette format like this, I guess. :)

    In my original plan, the Varanko-Moniron food was just going to come up in that first restaurant visit only as just a passing mention, but I eventually decided to try to connect it some way to the telbun as a character, since after all people can form very strong emotional connections with food. Whether it's the planked virfish at the bistro or the mujaberry tartes in his conservator, this cuisine is one of the only connections this telbun has to what, under different circumstances, might have been a world and a culture to call his own. Plus, all the things in earlybird-obi-wan 's fanon post just sounded so darn tasty! :D

    Thanks for coming back! :) Yep, the telbun's sort of hopeless-cum-complacent attitude toward his condition is definitely one of the things I can add to that list of disturbing things mentioned above under Ewok Poet 's comment. :( But he's partly not to blame: he knows close to nothing about life outside the system he's part of, and from what I gathered from Pandora 's lore on the subject, it's not likely he'd really be able to function much outside that system.

    That I pretty much just pulled from Pandora's post. Part of it is just that I wanted to make sure to pack in as much of her very cool lore as possible; another part of it was that the resistance aspect added yet another dimension to the already complex situation of the telbuns. Are they content in their position, or aren't they? Who really knows? :D

    Thank you. :) I'm glad it came off all right; I was a bit worried, because I didn't want to make too light of the telbun's final fate (even if the characters in-universe were, in a way, if that makes sense). And, again, it's perhaps the character who's farthest away, both astrographically and socioeconomically, on whom the incident ultimately has the biggest effect. (Well, perhaps besides Talloïse.)

    Aw, thanks! Now, the hyperyak address was Ewok Poet 's brainchild, and it first appeared in the two stories of hers linked above under the "Notes" spoiler tag after chapter 3. There was a point at which she and I and a few others were all writing chapters or stories involving text messages and emails at the same time, and all of us did it differently—which made it really fun to compare the results. :D

    The telbun lore, again, is pretty much all from what Pandora 's post on telbuns in the Fanon Thread, which in turn expands on the very little there is about them in the official lore (see the Wookieepedia article here: http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Telbun). The way the challenge worked is that each writer blind-picked two Fanon Thread posts and then had to write a story incoprorating the elements from both—and Pandora's was one of the ones I happened to get by the luck of the draw. (See post where the challenge was introduced, here.)

    A fair question. :) Well, he's made it pretty clear that he has to leave his service to Talloïse and go elsewhere, so perhaps Soozoo figures maybe he could at least try to go somewhere where he won't be treated like dirt? As compassionate as she is toward the unfortunate fellow, she's also not really at the stage where she would fully understand the meaning of parental attachment. Hope all that makes sense.

    Also, part of it comes from the history I've established for this character in a few other stories before now, and it was kind of a way for me to tie this story in with those previous ones. Children tend to be proud of their parents no matter what their parents do (see, for example, this joke), and that goes no less for Soozoo and her Hutt-majordomo mother. (And Bonvika really is a pretty different kind of Hutt from most—you'll see if you take a look at the stories by me, and also by Chyntuck, that feature her. :D )

    My pleasure! And thank you all once again. @};-
     
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  24. Kurisan

    Kurisan Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Apr 26, 2016
    Yes, I understand. And I would say, in fact, that cold or stoic reactions from people in-story (as you did here) does actually enhance reader sympathy for characters to whom cruel things happen. If they are always laughing at their own jokes or crying at their own problems, it becomes a sort of false emotifying - leaving no room for the reader to decide upon their own reactions.

    Stiff upper lip, and all that! :D
     
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  25. Pandora

    Pandora Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Apr 13, 2005
    This story does start off very bright-pink and fluffy--but it has a darker side that soon reveals itself. I would say that it shows as early as the first post, when Talloïse responds in such a harsh, yet bratty, way to Soozoo's quite reasonable questions about the man who is always waiting on them. (Of course, if she wanted Soozoo to dismiss him as beneath her notice, as she obviously does, she went about it in exactly the wrong way.) And it remains there even through the whirlwind of having fun and seeing the sights. I gathered that the girls are pre-teens, perhaps twelve at the oldest, so at the prime age for slumber parties and such things.

    Soozoo has many fine qualities, and she is the perfect outsider to see the invisible things in the messed-up world of Kuat, but Talloïse doesn't much seem worth "saving from the fire." She and Mumsy Dearest--who may not appear in the story in person, but does show up in her influence reflected in her daughter--may have heaps of money, but they lack class. It is generally considered to show good breeding to always be polite with one's social inferiors, or people in service positions--while this might be more than a bit patronizing, it is still better than this. They can't even bother with the basic, civilized gesture of thanking their telbun. And she really does treat this man, who is her primary caretaker, like dirt. Since I believe many children in those sorts of situations have much closer relationships with servant-caretakers, I would imagine she has learned this by example.

    I have to admit that I wasn't certain that Soozoo's friendship with Talloïse would still be intact at story's end. I also wondered how they might have met; I assumed, like Ewok Poet, that it probably would have happened over the electrons of the holonet/internet. They must have bonded over some shared interests. Once they meet in person, Soozoo sees those things that Talloïse wouldn't have even thought to mention to her, and the differences that didn't matter before. But despite all of that, the next year, they remain friends.

    I wonder if through getting to know the telbun, Soozoo also gained some understanding of Talloïse --because (again referencing Ewok Poet) Talloïse doesn't appear to have learned one single thing. It's unfortunate, but probably more realistic: She never learned to see her telbun as an actual human being. She never knew he was sharing his (and that would make it, if only in a way, hers as well) culture with her in the only way he could. And I would bet my credit card that she treats this new telbun just as poorly.

    The telbun hasn't had a good life, or much of a life at all--it would have been better for him if that middle-class family (and I could just see the dollar/credit signs beaming from their eyes in that scenario) had never found him. He has done the only duty he has known, and now he is being shipped out to pasture. I hadn't expected that pasture would be off-world, and on a place like Chandrila--I would suspect they don't approve of any sort of slavery there. But of course, they would probably ignore that, and much else, under the excuse of "cultural sensitivity."

    I should admit that I found myself thinking, as I read, that he sounded like a good case for Pallas to take on. But I was surprised when that turned out to be exactly what happened. I should admit here that Pallas (which I suppose I should write up a bit of fanon on now) is so far from being canon that it is basically anti-canon. The only relevant rebellions in the official Star Wars take place on the galactic level.

    It has only just--and maybe finally--occurred to me that the telbun did not survive the explosion, and that he didn't intend to. And that Diva Marquisha guessed at just that, and that is why she switched over to The Bounty is Right. I must have been indulging in a bit of denial; after all, Pallas has more than a few (to quote myself) "rogue telbun agents" who could get another life for him. But I am sure that he planned it for a time when Mistress Dearest was in residence, and that he may have been all right with the possibility that she wouldn't survive it. But she did survive, and I wonder what version of that story Talloïse received. She thought her telbun was "hanging out" with her mother (which made me laugh--well, that is one way of putting it), so she is obviously kept shielded from the baser parts of life.

    I should also mention that I thought you fit the telbun fanon with the Moniron food one quite well--it begins as just a night out at a fun, different restaurant, but it turns out to be much more than that.

    Anyway, this review has turned into an essay, so I should probably end here. Thanks for writing this story, and playing around with my rogue "anti-canon" fanon.

    (Oh, and: I have issues with the color pink, but I did wear a lavender and black getup recently that might have met with the girls' approval. I could even be their fashion mentor.)
     
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