Author Topic: New Year, & New Friend? (12 ABA into 13 ABA New Year)  (Read 6254 times)

Offline Asellus Sunstalker

New Year, & New Friend? (12 ABA into 13 ABA New Year)
« on: October 15, 2017, 11:45:31 PM »
It was the New Year Fete Week on Coruscant, not only marking that world's new year, but that of the galaxy (or at least Tython Alliance) wide standard calendar as well. The entire city-planet was celebrating the 5 days between the old year and the new with all many of parties, fireworks, feasts, games, and parades.

At the Jedi Temple, Asellus Sunstalker had been recovering from injuries sustained during the Crisis on Hapes, but now that she was sufficiently well again, her master insisted that she go out and try to enjoy the festival while it lasted. Asellus had resisted at first, not being much of socializer, but had finally agreed, if only so Master Sing would stop trying to trick her into going via some pretend errand or other.

Her only condition was that she be allowed to take Spike, Master Sing's akk dog, out for a ride to give the pup some exercise. Although recovered from his own wound during a previous mission, Spike still need to be taken out regularly to strengthen his damaged lung and rebuild his stamina.

If she were completely honest with herself, however, Asellus simply wanted to be alone. Normally she hated this, but New Years was one of the very rare exceptions. It reminded her too much of home, and of another year of not seeing or speaking to her family. Another year in exile. Another year of shame, and failure to keep her promise to them...

As she rode Spike around the temple grounds and out into the larger city area, Asellus couldn't help but stare at the sight of her master at a drinking game, having just drunk yet a third opponent under the table. Seriously, where did the woman put all that alcohol?! She was starting to wonder if the Twi'lek was simply cleansing the toxins from her blood via the Force in between rounds, but thought it rude to ask and potentially accuse her of cheating. The night was still young, so maybe Master Sing was warming up for something else.

Shaking her head at yet another thing she didn't know about her master, for now, Asellus gently guided Spike through the crowded streets as twilight blanketed the vast cityscape, looking for a more secluded place to spend the night...
Hwin Breeze
« Last Edit: October 15, 2017, 11:51:13 PM by Asellus Sunstalker »

Offline Hwin Breeze

Re: New Year, & New Friend? (12 ABA into 13 ABA New Year)
« Reply #1 on: October 16, 2017, 05:38:41 AM »
Hwin Breeze leaned back in the co-pilot’s seat, staring out the cockpit window at the mesmerizing blue and white streaks of hyperspace. There was nothing else to do to keep herself entertained on the flight. After having spent the past eight months traveling from one remote system to another, bouncing from stinking swamplands to tangled jungles (for the most part), battling savage creatures and a few cannablistic cults in between – Hwin and her master, Samara Raben, were being recalled to the Jedi Temple on Coruscant. Reason why being a complete mystery. Master Raben didn’t press for answers, and had left without delay, taking along her padawan – who really had no choice, unless if she wanted to remain on the poisonous gas world they last set foot on. The two Jedi had taken a ship from the base, and were currently en route to Coruscant – mostly sitting beside each other in silence.

Deep down, Hwin was nervous. It had been a while since she had last been to one of the Core Worlds, in Tython Alliance territory, let alone Coruscant, which she – How long was it ago? – hadn’t been to in about two (three?) years. Hwin couldn’t remember. Although she looked forward to having a warm bed to sleep in at the Temple, she had a sinking feeling of anxiety that she was going to be out of her element, now that she was returning to … “normal” society. Everything about Coruscant seemed so distant and far-fetched. The cities. The people ...

Interrupting Hwin’s thoughts, Samara grabbed her padawan’s attention, displaying a holopad in her hands with a calender converter that had been set to Galactic Standard. The older woman pointed to the current date.

“Hey. It’s the New Year Fete Week on Coruscant,” Master Raben explained, showcasing a bit more excitement on her face than Hwin, who blinked at her master with a mixed look of confusion and surprise.

“New Year … Fete Week?” Hwin echoed. Not because she hadn’t heard of it before. But because personally, she wasn’t familiar with what the celebration really was. Only from what she was told. And perhaps from what she had experienced – if she could remember, vaguely – when she was a youngling at the Temple. But that was more than ten, maybe twelve years ago. Those childhood memories on Coruscant were pretty much gone now. Nothing more than a blur.

… … …

It was twilight on Coruscant by the time they descended through the atmosphere. Hwin had been upright in her seat, eyes glued to the cockpit window as Samara steered the ship into the city-planet, weaving it through the maze of skyscrapers, and arriving at the Jedi Temple.

It felt good to be home, as any other Jedi would say – as Hwin and Samara stepped onto the Temple grounds. But for Hwin, after being away from the Temple for so long – Barely setting foot into the Temple at all, except for a handful of times per year between missions (if she was lucky), it felt somewhat … awkward, to be back. Truthfully, Hwin couldn’t help but feel more at home in the wild forests with animals than in a crowded city of people. At the same time – Hwin whipped her head around to see the colorful burst of fireworks exploding in the distance. Part of her was curious to learn more of what was taking place outside during this rare occasion. Exporing was in her blood. Being cooped up indoors inside the Temple didn’t seem too appealing, as of the moment ...

Observing Hwin’s distraction with a smile, Samara placed a warm hand on the smaller padawan’s shoulder, coaching Hwin to “Go on ahead”, “Don’t get lost”, and “Have a blast”, bestowing a handful of credits and a reminder that she would notify Hwin on further news from the Council.

At the foot of the stairs at the main Temple entrance, the master and apprentice parted ways …

… … …

Hwin had been more interested in the festival food than anything else as she waltzed from vender to vender on the sideways of the congested streets, drooling in front of the confections’ stands. Attempting to spend her allowance wisely while cramming her mouth full with a giant doughnut, Hwin couldn’t recall the last time she had dessert on one of her expeditions.

The young padawan roamed and observed the parades from the sidelines, not very interested in partaking in any games or talking with anyone in particular. With her padawan braid and lightsaber openly displayed on her belt, anyone could tell she was a member of the Jedi Order, although her attire was very minimal – without the tunic and outer robes. Hwin wore plain tan pants, a tucked-in shirt, and brown knee-high boots. But her most striking feature was her bright sky-blue hair and eyes that distinguished her from others of the Human race, by all "natural" outward appearances …

Munching on a sweet chocolate-covered whatever-it-was-called on a stick, Hwin sat on a ledge of a wall, overlooking the crowds, when she did a double take and saw a large, scaly red creature weaving its way down the street.

An akk dog!

Her interest in the animal shifted towards the female Togruta riding on the akk dog’s back. Studying the Togruta intently, something in Hwin’s memories rang a bell, rousing her curiosity as her mind swept through countless faces that she might have seen or spoken to at the Temple over the years, when she was actually there. The Togruta looked familiar, but she couldn’t think of name. Had they met before?

Taking a bite of her treat, Hwin continued to watch the akk dog and its rider, trying not to stare directly as she sat on the ledge, flicking her sky-blue eyes over the crowd. At this height, she could probably meet the Togruta’s gaze, if they passed next to her. Perhaps the stranger would have a better memory at recognizing her than she did.

Asellus Sunstalker
« Last Edit: October 16, 2017, 10:12:27 PM by Hwin Breeze »

Offline Asellus Sunstalker

Re: New Year, & New Friend? (12 ABA into 13 ABA New Year)
« Reply #2 on: October 16, 2017, 01:45:17 PM »
Asellus was startled as Spike suddenly stopped, sniffing eagerly. She also had that unnerving feeling of being watched. As the akk began wondering towards the source of whatever had caught his nose, the Togruta noticed her observer. It was a human female, or so she thought, about her own age and sitting on a wall, eating a chocolate treat on a stick. She spotted the lightsaber hilt, and tell-tale braid. A fellow padawan than, though the outfit was unusual.

Spike stopped at the base of the wall, whimpering up at the blue-haired padawan and doing his best to beg and look cute. He reached out to the human's mind with the Force, his aura hot and stinging. She smelled different from other Jedi, and he was interested. Mostly though he wanted that food and petting. None of the other two-legs would feed him. Maybe this one would? She had the Force too, after all!

Asellus couldn't help but smile at the silly beast's antics, but she quickly warned the other, "Be careful or he'll steal that. Don't let him get it. Chocolate isn't good for him." Looking at the other woman again, she asked, "Do I know you? You seem familiar, but I know we haven't met recently. I would have remembered that hair! That's a pretty color, did you dye it or does it grow like that?"
Hwin Breeze
« Last Edit: October 16, 2017, 01:52:51 PM by Asellus Sunstalker »

Offline Asellus Sunstalker

Re: New Year, & New Friend? (12 ABA into 13 ABA New Year)
« Reply #3 on: October 16, 2017, 05:09:41 PM »
If Hwin was paying attention, she would notice that the Togruta looked differently from how she remembered. There was a ring of burn scar tissue around one eye, and she kept fidgeting, absently bringing her hands up towards her chest, but quickly putting them back down on the akk dog's scales, clenched into fists.
Hwin Breeze

Offline Hwin Breeze

Re: New Year, & New Friend? (12 ABA into 13 ABA New Year)
« Reply #4 on: October 16, 2017, 08:45:43 PM »
Hwin had been watching the akk dog increase its pace, as the scaly red beast and its rider approached the wall. She passed a friendly smile at the Togruta, trying her best to look pleasant and approachable as they neared, despite her long stares, but before Hwin could say “hello”, the akk dog’s head had stopped directly below her, and Hwin felt the aura of what his eyes were aiming for …

“Whoa!” said Hwin, reeling back with a small yelp as she lifted her treat a little higher above the akk dog’s head, withdrawing it closer to herself, out of range. She was pretty confident that akk dogs were carnivores, and weren’t supposed to eat this kind of – whatever she was holding. And she certainly wasn’t planning on sharing any – Hwin lightly scolded the creature through the Force, in return.

Although she was distracted by the akk dog’s keen interest on her, Hwin couldn’t ignore the Togruta that had – to Hwin’s surprise – actually spoken up to her first.

“Thanks — All natural, believe it or not.” Hwin rolled her eyes with a smile at the compliment. If only she had a credit for her hair every time someone brought up that question.

"I wanted to ask you the same." Her voice hesitated with caution, not wanting to get details wrong. “I’m pretty sure I’ve seen you before, at the Temple.” Struggling, Hwin couldn’t remember any conversation she had with this particular Togruta before. But she knew she had at least had a glimpse of this Togruta’s face, somewhere in the Temple … Was it the halls? Library? Gardens?… But that would’ve had to have been two or three years ago. Hwin’s memories weren’t snapping together, after having been through so many missions and planets abroad. But if someone said the word, she’d probably remember her encounter with the Togruta instantly …

Feeling the heat of embarrassment, Hwin ducked her head with a shrug. “Sorry, it’s just that...I’ve seen a lot of people and faces at the Temple, and I haven’t been around much to really get to know any of them...Or remember them, to be honest. My memory’s a little fuzzy.”

Oh, well. Hwin straightened her posture, brightening up. Might as well make introductions.

“My name’s Hwin, by the way – As in ‘I win!’, ‘win-win situation’," she emphasized, making sure that the Togruta wouldn’t mispronounce her name or overhear it wrong.

She wasn’t going to ask about the burned scar around the Togruta’s eye. Or her offbeat fidgeting. Hwin kept these observations to herself, but then quickly dismissed them, not wanting to bother. None of it was her business to know. It wouldn’t seem right to be nosy or impolite on their first meeting. Besides, it was a celebration! The drowning noise of the crowds and the evening displays were enough to distract Hwin from focusing too much on the Togruta.

Quite frankly, the akk dog had captured most of Hwin’s attention, who still seemed to be interested in sniffing out her treat. Hwin’s eyes softened at the hound’s face, feeling pity for the animal.

“Aww...Poor guy,” she cooed. “You hungry?” After speaking to the akk dog, Hwin turned to the Togruta. “What’s his name?”

Asellus Sunstalker
« Last Edit: January 08, 2019, 07:39:55 AM by Hwin Breeze »

Offline Asellus Sunstalker

Re: New Year, & New Friend? (12 ABA into 13 ABA New Year)
« Reply #5 on: October 17, 2017, 12:10:42 AM »
Asellus actually laughed at Hwin's reaction, and it sounded strange to her own ears. She had not expected anything to make her laugh tonight, much less smile. "First time feeling an akk dog inside your mind, huh? It takes some getting used to," she said with a grin. Maybe... maybe tonight wouldn't be so bad after all?

Spike, for his part, sat down and gave the dog version of a pout, nearly dismounting Asellus in the process. She quickly slid off him, unable to hide a wince of pain as her front brushed against his scales.

"Natural huh? That's pretty cool, I didn't think humans could grow blue hair," she said, regaining her balance. At the human's embarrassment on not knowing her, the Togruta gave her own shrug. "It's alright, I don't get out much anyway so that's to be expected. I'm usually studying in the library."

She didn't comment on the fuzzy memory, not wanting to seem rude, and in her turn was equally grateful that Hwin didn't comment on her scarred eye or fidgeting, which she knew must look pretty weird. She had already gotten several stares since being released from the Temple's medical wing. As much of a miracle substance as kolto was, what she had forgotten from her healing lessons was that newly regrown skin tended to be sensitive once out of the tank. This could last for up to several days depending on how much had to be regrown. Unfortunately for the Asellus, this meant that it itched terribly, despite wearing her softest clothing, and she had to make a conscious effort not to scratch at it. Needless to say, she made a mental note to avoid being struck in the chest by vibroweapons from now on.

Hearing Hwin's name, she said, "Nice to meet you, I'm Asellus." At the comment to Spike, she chuckled, adding, "And this goofball is Spike, my master's pet. He ate before we left, but if you have something that's not chocolate, I guess a little treat wouldn't hurt." She gave the pup an affectionate slap on his broad neck, "You big glutton, you just want a belly rub, don't you?"

Spike woofed happily, nearly tripping her and several passersby as his long tail wagged vigorously. As if on cue, the big hound rolled over, wriggling and panting to await the said belly rubs. At her current angle, Hwin would be able to spot a lightsaber scar on the akk dog's chest, over one of his lungs.
Hwin Breeze
« Last Edit: October 17, 2017, 12:16:55 AM by Asellus Sunstalker »

Offline Hwin Breeze

Re: New Year, & New Friend? (12 ABA into 13 ABA New Year)
« Reply #6 on: October 17, 2017, 04:57:23 AM »
“I’ll say. He’s a big pup!” Hwin had said, while pulling back her treat out of reach. She couldn’t help but make another sympathetic face as the akk dog sat down on its haunches with a pout, and watched as the Togruta dismounted. As for her blue hair... Hwin thought about whether she should disclose the fact that she was half Zeltron, but waved it aside. She could reveal that later.

Hwin hopped down from the low ledge, landing on her feet next to Asellus.

“Wait …” Hwin’s flashbacks clicked, after the Togruta had mentioned her usual study place. “The library!” She spouted out with glee. “That’s where I saw you! Wow, I can’t believe I remember,” she said aloud, as if she were amazed by her own recollection. “I don’t think we ever talked before, but I remember seeing you a lot at the library whenever I – had to stop by.” Hwin wouldn’t call herself a booklover; more of a hands-on, experiential learner. But for research purposes and class assignments between missions, Hwin had been to the Library a spotted amount of times – although, she hadn’t been to the Temple at all within these past two years.

After exchanging names with each other, Hwin replied cordially, “Asellus. Nice to meet you, too – fellow Sister.” Out of nowhere, her mouth decided to slip out the last part in reference to her newly-made Jedi friend.

Hwin couldn’t resist lavishing Spike with a brief petting session as the akk dog rolled over, exposing his underbelly as the girl scratched along his side, chest, and neck areas, trying to feel for any “tickle” spots – which wasn’t as easy to achieve with one hand, as Hwin continued to hold onto the remnant of her treat with the other, outstretching the stick behind her back as she leaned over to rub the hound.

“Ahhg–You’re so cuuute!” Hwin squealed in delight with a rough-play tone, unable to contain her excitement as she fondled over the animal. She had an impulse of trying to befriend various wild beasts on her missions to other planets (not all of them reciprocative) – when there was no other company around besides Samara. Noticing a strange scar on Spike’s chest, Hwin’s eyes flickered with concern, but didn't raise any comment after her thoughts were mostly sidetracked by Asellus mentioning the idea of food. Wrapping up her short petting session with Spike, Hwin pulled away, facing Asellus, and eagerly went on.

“Well, hey – I still got a few credits that need spending.” She gestured to Spike. “I think this guy could use a little bite of something special, if you don’t mind. After all, it’s New Year Fete Week,” Hwin said breezily, as though she had been a regular participant in the celebration all her life.

Surely, there would be other venders that sold more – meat-friendly items that could be fed to an akk dog. Hwin’s sights were set on a lit plaza down the street, filled with stalls. Sightseeing through the city while bonding over food would be a great way to get to know her new friend – or rather, friends – a little bit better …

Asellus Sunstalker
« Last Edit: January 08, 2019, 07:40:44 AM by Hwin Breeze »

Offline Asellus Sunstalker

Re: New Year, & New Friend? (12 ABA into 13 ABA New Year)
« Reply #7 on: October 17, 2017, 06:53:03 PM »
Asellus was surprised by Hwin's reaction about her own memory. Was it really that bad? But she decided not to comment. She froze, however, on being called "sister". It was something from her village, and a term she had used on others--often without even thinking about it--during times of stress or combat. "Pack-sister", "Pack-brother", for the Jedi Order had become her pack, her tribe, after leaving home, but this was the first time anyone had ever said it back to her. It felt... Well, she wasn't sure how it felt, to be honest. An unreadable expression crossed her face as she thought on that.

She was quickly distracted from this when Hwin started petting Spike. The silly akk pup groaned and whined with pleasure, kicking a back leg as Hwin managed to find a "tickle" spot along his ribs. Several children stopped to point and laugh at the sight, before being shooed along by their parents.

At Hwin's obvious invitation to go get some food, the Togruta looked uneasy, remembering why she was out here in the first place and that the whole idea was to get away from people. She opened her mouth to say, 'no', but Spike rolled back to his feet and gave her a gentle shove with his nose--which was still nearly enough to knock her flat. Startled into silence as she regained her footing, she looked at Hwin's face, sensed her emotions though the Force, and her face softened into the ghost of a smile. Maybe... maybe a little sightseeing together wouldn't hurt? After all, it wasn't every day that she could make a new friend.

"Sure," she said, then climbed on Spike's back again. Getting an idea, she asked, "Hey, do you want a ride? Spike can carry us both."
Hwin Breeze
« Last Edit: October 17, 2017, 06:55:54 PM by Asellus Sunstalker »

Offline Hwin Breeze

Re: New Year, & New Friend? (12 ABA into 13 ABA New Year)
« Reply #8 on: October 29, 2017, 08:11:40 PM »
Hwin’s bright blue eyes immediately lit up when Asellus offered the ride. “Really?” She glanced over at Spike, as if she were asking him it was okay for her to do the same. When Asellus didn’t turn down the question, Hwin replied “Sure!”, and quickly climbed onto the akk dog’s back, behind Asellus.

“Awesome!” Hwin bounced excitedly. She didn’t expect to be seeing any animals in the middle of the city, much less riding one. Now that both padawans (she recognized the braid of beads around Asellus’ montrals) were seated on the big akk dog, they would be able to nose their way through the congested streets with a lot more ease than walking on foot. Overlooking the heads of the crowds, the view on top wasn’t bad either. “Let’s go check out that plaza.” Hwin pointed. “We’ll look around.”

As the akk dog started to move through the busy streets, Hwin asked Asellus, “Is he yours, by the way?”

She then held out the remnant of her pastry towards Asellus – two chocolate-covered fried dough balls skewered on a stick. “You want some?” Hwin offered, her eyes zoning in on an entire row of confections’ stands as the akk dog walked past. Her mouth watered irresistibly as she was momentarily sidetracked by the sights and smells, but Hwin had to shake her temptation and remind herself not to spend another credit before finding a morsel for Spike to eat.

Asellus Sunstalker
« Last Edit: October 30, 2017, 02:47:20 AM by Hwin Breeze »

Offline Asellus Sunstalker

Re: New Year, & New Friend? (12 ABA into 13 ABA New Year)
« Reply #9 on: October 29, 2017, 08:35:58 PM »
Asellus couldn't help but giggle as Hwin climbed up behind her. The blue haired woman's excitement reminded her of a hyper youngling, and the Togruta was finding it to be contagious. At her fellow padawan's urging, she directed Spike towards the plaza.

The akk, meanwhile, didn't mind the extra passenger, and even picked up speed as they moved towards the place where he could smell and see lots of food. He hoped they would give him some, and yipped happily, ignoring the other passersby who quickly scrambled out of his way.

As they rode along, Asellus answered, "Huh? Oh, no he's not mine. He's my master's. Master Cerento Sing rescued him from some smugglers when he was a few weeks old. She raised and trained him."

She gladly took the food, enjoying those particular chocolate covered treats. It wasn't long after that when they found a vender who sold meats, and it was all Asellus could do to hold back the overeager akk pup while she got off his back and payed for the food.

Laughing, she tossed Spike the meat, and he nearly unseated Hwin as he reared back on his hind legs and caught it. Spike inhaled the treat and wagged his tail hard enough to send his whole body shaking.
Hwin Breeze
« Last Edit: October 29, 2017, 09:35:31 PM by Asellus Sunstalker »

Offline Hwin Breeze

Re: New Year, & New Friend? (12 ABA into 13 ABA New Year)
« Reply #10 on: October 30, 2017, 04:16:25 AM »
“Master Sing.” Hwin thought hard for a moment, while sitting behind Asellus as Spike walked along the streets, towards the plaza. “Is she … blue? Uh, I mean – Is she a Twi’lek? I think I remember a ‘Master Sing’ when I was at the Temple – about … five years ago, I think. She was there when I, uh – had to do my Gathering. But anyways—” Hwin switched the subject back to the akk dog. “That’s so cool,” she expressed in admiration, with a short wistful sigh. “Lucky. I’ve always wanted to have my own pet …” She trailed off and cut herself short. Bringing up the ‘reasons why’ she couldn’t own an animal in her field of work would be too long to explain, right now. But maybe later.

Shortly after handing the rest of her skewer to Asellus, they spotted the meat vender. While Asellus dismounted, Hwin scooted forward in the saddle, holding Spike’s eager appetite in check to prevent him from rushing to access the meat stand.

“Here, my treat,” said Hwin, tossing Asellus a few credits, and watched as the Togruta selected and paid for a cut of meat from the vender. When Asellus tossed the juicy piece to Spike, Hwin sensed the akk dog’s timed reaction before he reared up to catch the meat. Nevertheless, the abrupt movement was still unbalancing for Hwin, who gave a little yelp of surprise as Spike rose on his hind legs. Leaning forward, the padawan grabbed onto the saddle to prevent herself from sliding off, and regained her seating as the akk dog dropped back down to all fours with the meat clamped in his mouth.

“Whoa, there!” Hwin chuckled, patting Spike on the neck. “Good boy.” She motioned to the meat. “You like that?”

When the akk dog gave an affirmative tail wag in response, vigorously shaking the entire length of his body, Hwin hopped down to let Spike finish his snack without interruption, joining Asellus on the ground.

“Anything I can get for you?” Hwin gestured to the plaza full of stands.

She didn’t know how far light pleasantries would continue, but sooner or later, as the two padawans strolled through the streets, adjusting to the company of each other’s presence, they might delve into some deeper conversations … Or explore some other sights that this celebration had to offer. Thus far, Hwin had only stuck close by to where the Temple was within her view, but now that she was in the company of Asellus – assuming that this fellow padawan had a better sense of direction and knowledge of the city layout than she did – As long as she had a guide, Hwin figured that she couldn't possibly lose her way.

Asellus Sunstalker
« Last Edit: October 30, 2017, 11:03:01 AM by Hwin Breeze »

Offline Asellus Sunstalker

Re: New Year, & New Friend? (12 ABA into 13 ABA New Year)
« Reply #11 on: October 30, 2017, 04:50:06 PM »
"Yes, that's her", Asellus said, answering Hwin's question about Master Sing. "Five years ago, huh? That's... interesting..." she trailed off into thought, Back when I first joined the Order...

Hwin's comment about wanting her own pet brought Asellus back to the present, and she noticed the other padawan also trail off in her speech. It seemed they both had things each was reluctant to talk about right now.

Once Spike had been fed and they were both back on the ground, she looked around the plaza at Hwin's offer of food. She thought for a bit, absently stroking one of her lekku, then said, "Um... I'm not sure. I honestly don't get out much..." She gave a dry chuckle. "Heh, not much of a party person... Hm..." Then she perked up with a grin, "Oh, you know what? You seem to know your way around food pretty well. Surprise me!"

As Hwin picked out their treats, Asellus quickly bought Spike another cut of meat, then lead him over to a parking spot and tied him to a secure bar with the reins attached to his collar. That way he could still eat in peace, but she also didn't have to worry about him running off after a stray tooka or something.

As she was readjusting his saddle, a strong smell caught her attention, and she froze. The feeling of homesickness washed over her again, and despite herself, she turned to find out the source. One of the food stalls nearby was selling roasted thimiars, and was staffed by a male Togruta

He noticed her glance, and she quickly turned away, hoping he would ignore her. She knew, of course, that she was being foolish and paranoid. Most likely he was a complete stranger. She knew that it was impossible that all Togruta knew each other and that any outside of her own village would know of her situation. Even more so, the odds of actually meeting anyone from her pack were slim.

Still, at this point avoiding her own kind had become a force of habit, despite the stab of longing in her heart every time she did it...


She felt her gut turn to ice as he spoke her name, although his voice held nothing but surprise and curiosity. She knew that voice from somewhere... She kept her head down, fiddling with Spike's already straight saddle. Maybe if she just ignored him...

"Asellus Sunstalker?"

Hwin Breeze

Offline Hwin Breeze

Re: New Year, & New Friend? (12 ABA into 13 ABA New Year)
« Reply #12 on: October 30, 2017, 08:06:25 PM »
Seeing her friend’s modest reaction made Hwin grin sheepishly at the same thing they might have in common. In terms of being around large crowds of unfamiliar people, and the noise that came with it, Hwin wouldn’t consider herself a socializer or a party person either. The only difference was …

“Ha. You got it." At Asellus’ request, Hwin wheeled around on her heels with a purposeful sense of duty. “Let’s go get some fooood! Woo-hoo! That’s the only reason I’m here anyway!!” Hwin cheered, waving her arms in the air as she spurted towards a section of food stalls. Perhaps a little too energetic, spurred on from the latest sugar rush from the celebration that she had acquired. Normally, Hwin wouldn’t be as loud or spontaneous in a crowded city such as this.

Marching from stall to stall, carefully planning out her decision, Hwin bunched together several food items, basing her choices on an inkling suspicion of what the Togruta might like. With a share-sizeable bucket of meat kababs and various samples in her arms, Hwin strode over towards the parking spot where Asellus was tending to Spike. Nearing closer, she became curious when she noticed a male Togruta standing beside them, apparently trying to initiate conversation with Asellus.

Hmm. Hwin scrutinized the scene, as she increased her pace. Friend? Or foe?

She could sense a wave of uneasiness coming from Asellus. Approaching the middle, Hwin hesitated slightly, not wanting to interrupt any conversation between the two Togrutas. Once there was an opening, however, the blue-haired padawan made herself known.

“Hey, there,” Hwin piped up, shifting glances between Asellus and the male Togruta. “You two know each other?”

Asellus Sunstalker
« Last Edit: October 30, 2017, 09:59:44 PM by Hwin Breeze »

Offline Asellus Sunstalker

Re: New Year, & New Friend? (12 ABA into 13 ABA New Year)
« Reply #13 on: October 30, 2017, 09:54:18 PM »
"Well I should hope so!" the man said, with a smile to Hwin, "It would be pretty embarrassing to mistake someone else for my childhood friend."

Asellus finally turned and looked at him, letting him see her face properly. She did know him after all, but struggled for a moment to place his name. "Don...? Don Almant?"

"Hey! There she is!" Don said with a laugh, stepping back to get a better look at her, "Wow, you look good. How've you been? What have you been up to? It's been, what? 10 years?"

"Uh..." Asellus gave a nervous chuckle, absently playing with one of her lekku, "11 now, but, who's counting, right? Um, I've been... good. I joined the Jedi, been on some missions, helped people. I nearly got my eye shot out by a pirate... so there's that."

He winced in sympathy, "Ouch, that explains the burn scar. Jedi, huh? Can't say I saw that coming, but then again--" he shrugged, pointing to his food stall, "--I never expected to be working as a food vender after my parents moved us off Shili. Have you heard from back home lately? I've been hearing some crazy rumors..."

Asellus' lekku stripes paled at this last piece of news, while her hands tried to knot the end of the long headtail they were fiddling with. "O-oh? Really? I... Um, I haven't heard anything... Been busy... Really busy... You know, training and all that..."

"Heh, yeah I'll bet," said Don, giving her a kind smile, "Your parents must be very proud." Turning towards Hwin, he said, "You know she was our best upcoming huntress when I left?"

Her eyes widened, and she made a sound like a strangled shaak, before blurting out, "You don't have to tell her about that!"

"Oh don't be so modest, it's true!" he said, oblivious to her discomfort as he gave her an affectionate slap across the shoulders. "First the pack's best huntress and now a Jedi? They must singing your praises back home." He laughed, then said to Hwin, "You know, people say we Togruta are quiet and tranquil, but don't you believe it! Why some of the folks from back home are the worst gossips you'll ever meet."

He winked, then continued, half to her and half to Asellus, "I'm telling you, some of the things I've heard are just plain crazy. Things must be pretty slow if they have make up stories. For example, I heard that you'd gotten yourself banished, Asellus. Can you believe that?! HA! Like that could ever happen! Am I right, Asel...? Hey are you alright?"

Asellus' stripes had gone so pale now as to be almost white, and her were eyes were wide and round. She was swaying and shaking, looking as if she might faint.

Don's expression was one of concern boarding on alarm as he walked her back to his stall and sat her down on a bench. "Has she eaten any fruit pies?" he asked Hwin urgently, pulling a first aid kit from behind the counter, "I told Frank to put up warning signs for that jubi fruit..." He pulled out a syringe, readying it in case she answered yes.

Asellus seemed to come back to herself on seeing the large emergency anti-allergen needle he planned to stick her with. "No!" she yelped, leaning away, "I'm alright! I'm not dying, I swear!"

"You're sure?" he asked seriously, watching her closely, "I already had one close call with another customer tonight."

She nodded, calming down a little, "Yes, thank you. But, I'm not sick. Don't worry."

Setting the needle down, he picked up a tiny flashlight and went over to her. After shining the light in her eyes, checking her pulse, and feeling her head for any abnormal temperature, he nodded with a sigh of relief. "Alright, but if you start coughing up blood..."

"I'm good, I'm good," she insisted.

"Good," he said with a smile, going back to his usual cheerful self, "Oh hey, since you guys are here, want to try my food?" He gestured to the skewered, cooked rodents available. "I've got classic rotisserie and some new flavors." Looking to Hwin, he said, "I know humans don't normally eat them, but you seem like someone who tries new things. Care for a bite? I've got free samples."

"Sure," Asellus said, grateful for the change in subject, abrupt though it had been. Don smiled, and offered her a sample of his newest flavor, which was breaded and deep fried.

Trying a bite, her eyes widen again, but this time in pleasure, "This is delicious! Even better than deepfried nuna."
Hwin Breeze

Offline Hwin Breeze

Re: New Year, & New Friend? (12 ABA into 13 ABA New Year)
« Reply #14 on: October 31, 2017, 11:49:22 PM »
Hwin was pleasantly surprised to learn that the male Togruta, Don, was actually a childhood friend of Asellus. During the entire scene at the parking spot, she had stood passively to the side, watching the conversation between Don and Asellus unfold. She relaxed in the third member of their company. From what she could tell by first impressions, at least, Don was friendly. Hwin thought it was somewhat odd, in the beginning, that Asellus didn’t seem to be as eager and excited towards Don as he was. Hwin took the opportunity to listen attentively as Don carried on, enlightening her on some new information about Asellus that she hadn’t even tried to ask, yet. Overall, Don’s presence was quite a convenient strategy. By opening up and sharing some of Asellus’ history, Hwin hoped that Don could help break some more ice between the two padawans, so they could get to know each other a little better.

Hearing Asellus’ remark about a “pirate” that caused her eye scar, Hwin’s eyes widened in surprise. “Whoa,” she said, in astonishment. What in the worlds had her new friend been up to? At that moment, Hwin wanted to know everything about Asellus and her adventures. She compiled that to her mental list of notes to bring up to Asellus, when timing was right.

At the mention of “rumors” Don had heard concerning Asellus. Hwin raised an eyebrow, and began to take note that Asellus was growing more uncomfortable by the second. At another mention of her fellow padawan once being a “huntress”, Hwin looked over at Asellus in amazement. “Really?” Judging from Don’s praising perspective, Hwin didn’t think that there would be any problem for Asellus to want to expand on her tale about being a huntress, so when Asellus interrupted – a little too hastily – to cut the topic short, Hwin was confused. She wouldn’t consider herself to be a nosy individual, but there was something about Asellus’ nerves and awkward behavior that made Hwin suspicious, and she began to develop the feeling that there was something going on that Asellus didn’t want her to know about.

At the mention of Togrutas being “gossips”, Hwin stifled a chuckle at Don. Keeping the gossip part in mind, his next words concerning the "banished" bit didn't unsettle Hwin and pretty much slid off her shoulders. Although the blue-haired padawan gave the impression that she was standing idly by, not paying too much attention to Don’s conversation, secretly, Hwin kept her ears tuned in, hoping that Don would continue to spill more. What could be so bad or embarrassing that Asellus wouldn’t want her to hear about? Even if it was, Hwin was pretty sure she could keep a secret. Unless if was murder or something …

She startled when she felt a sudden flood of panic, coming from Asellus – a split second before Don cut off his words abruptly. “Asellus?” Hwin echoed after Don, noticing how pale and shaky her friend had become.

Assisting Don on the other side, the two quickly escorted Asellus away from the parking spot, and sat the Togruta padawan down on the bench. As much as Hwin wanted to intervene and help her friend, she scooted over to give Don room as he leaned over to examine Asellus, and was slightly taken aback by Don’s query of “fruit pies” as the culprit of Asellus’ reaction.

“Uh – No, I don’t think so,” Hwin wavered. “Unless if I wasn’t looking. I just met her!” Not knowing what else Asellus might’ve eaten before their encounter, wondering if fruit was somehow toxic or allergenic to Togrutas – It alarmed Hwin how serious Don was about the issue, once he took out the syringe and needle. Part of her thought Don might’ve been overreacting a tad bit with his concern, but on the other hand, Hwin wasn’t a Togruta. If something truly wrong was happening with Asellus, Don probably knew more about the ins and outs of Togruta body chemistry than she did.

But as soon as the needle was brought into view, Hwin wasn’t too surprised when Asellus seemed to snap out of her paralyzed state and Don’s theory about the fruit pies was disproved. Hwin breathed a short sigh of relief, once her friend started coming around to her senses, but all the more, she was curious about what had triggered Asellus’ alarming reaction in the first place.

After Don stepped away from finishing his medical examination with Asellus, and the situation seemed to be under control, Hwin was about to ask Asellus about what had happened earlier at the parking spot, when Don’s cheery food offer sidetracked her from bringing up the question.

The thought of chowing down on a rodent didn’t phase her. Hwin had been forced to eat much slimier and gooier things out of starvation, on some of her more worse expeditions. Even though rodents weren’t her ideal first choice, something cooked was better than raw, and she was open to trying it. After Asellus received and ate her sample, expressing her positive feedback, Hwin felt Don’s eyes switch over to her, waiting for a response.

Hwin shrugged in good spirit. “Sure. Why not?” The glazed roast actually looked pretty delicious. “I’ve eaten worse.” She caught herself once it slipped out. Realizing that probably wasn’t the best compliment, Hwin quickly added, “Uh – I mean, not like that – This looks much more appetizing than some of the stuff I’ve eaten on other planets. I’m just glad it’s dead!” She half-joked, pointing her eyes at the skewered rodents.

Taking the piece of meat in her mouth, Hwin’s eyes lit up with delight, finding herself savoring the flavor with much more enjoyment than she thought she would. Hwin mirrored her nod after Asellus. Still chewing, she gave a muffled “Mm-hmm. It’s good. Really good!” Swallowing her bite, Hwin glanced down with a tinge of regret at the small bucket of foodstuff she held in one arm. “I actually would go for more,” she said to Don, sincerely, “But I still have all these to finish up with.” She held out her bucket of meat kababs and other savory tidbits. “You want some?” She perked up, tilting the contents of the bucket towards Don. 

Hwin then tilted the bucket towards Asellus. “Didn’t know which one you’d like specifically, so I bought one of everything.”

Oh, well. If there were any leftovers, she could always feed the meat ones to Spike. While in the process of offering both Togruta her food, Hwin remembered that she hadn’t even introduced herself to Don yet. “Oh! My name’s Hwin, by the way.” She motioned to Asellus beside her. “We just met. I’m a Jedi, too. In case you haven’t noticed.” Hinting at the lightsaber on her belt and the padawan braid in her hair, which were openly displayed, Hwin smiled politely at the vender. “Nice to meet you, Don.”

Asellus Sunstalker
« Last Edit: November 01, 2017, 05:21:34 AM by Hwin Breeze »


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