Sometimes the things we want most hurt. That was my thought for the day as I struggled to recall most of the last month. I knew it involved a lot to do with my lost home world having left at a very young age. “I mean, who am I? Where did I come from? What does it look like?” were the thoughts that crossed my mind. I decided at this point to retire to sleep resting assured that at some point all would become clear to me.
I was woken early from a call from my brother Zelada`ani “sup?” I asked rubbing my eyes. It seems he had been allowed some time from work and wanted to take in some of the galaxy culture. To be perfectly honest I wondered what he meant.. but wait… Ryloth. “what the…?” I queried. I racked my brains to try and remember anything but gave him a few pointers. “Be sure to give me progress reports” I said with a chuckle “Would be interesting to hear” and with that ended the call.
I waited anxiously for the first report and recorded the logs as they appeared. It didn't take long. Kala`uun City...The holocam pans to view locations such as a cantina and a spaceport "Nice place, a little run down, but I can handle it, " he said before the camera turns back to reveal Zel without his armour. The image of a young, tall Corellian male with spiky dark brown hair is revealed standing next to black and white YT-1300.
"Now about those floating rocks. I can't seem to find what city they're in. Any ideas?"
An attractive green female Twi`lek walked by, "Oooh, hello...", he is heard to say as the holocam shuts off. “Typical of him” I laugh “Anything for a good time”
The next day the holocam flicked on again to reveal a magnificent sight of massive floating rocks. "There they are, elusive much?". The camera returns back to Zel. "Not sure how, but it took me a whole standard day to find this place."
An astromech droid beeps and whistles off screen and Zel looks down "Yeah, well if you had told me that sooner..." he said before returning his attention to the camera. "Any other places I should visit? Give me a call when you think of anything" he commented just before the holocam flicked off. I start to think at this point, “I know this, I’m sure I do”
It didn’t take long before I received an update from Zel, which was a little more than I expected. The screen flicked to life again. "Ah Ryloth, the bi-polar planet" Zel mused to himself, stepping down the ramp of his YT1300, his R3 unit letting out a low whistle.
Zel made his way through the crowded streets, R3 in tow. "This looks like as good a place as any to get some food..." he mumbled, walking into a cantina. Zel slipped into the nearest booth as R3 beeped agitatedly. "Ok, ok, cool your circuits"
He stood up and lifted R3 W6 into the booth opposite him. "Quirky little dude..." Zel mumbled. He pulled out his datapad and started looking through wanted lists. "Still not famous..." I heard him say bitterly
Zel ,appearing lost in his thoughts and distracted by the holonet, did not notice an older Twi'lek woman approach him. R3 beeped and Zel looked up from his datapad and over at the woman. "Oh, uh, I'll have a bantha burger and a caf." R3 beeped again. "And engine fluid for Rust Bucket over there"
"You are mistaken." The Twi woman said. "I'm not a waitress."
"Oh." Zel felt awkward now. "Sorry."
I did laugh at that, typical of him to assume that a Twi`lek would be a waitress, but it goes with the territory. Countless times I have had to explain that just because most of the galaxy thinks we are nothing more than slaves, we are not. I am proof of that.
I watched with interest over the coming reports. Zel seemed to enjoy finding the places rather than visiting, but took his way to The Lonely Five Range. I heard him mutter something on the holovid about some recluse but the signal was weak and the sound somewhat distorted. However I did find it pertinent to direct him to The Enclave. “Slavery, Zel” I explained “It’s where they homed them when they gained their freedom”. “But”, I continued “Don’t hang around there too long. I found more places to visit”
I decided to send him a list and was a little more than curious to know if the Sith Academy still stood but shuddered at the thought of Zel returning to Kala`uun and seeing Hunvar’s Spire. “I want to see that for myself” I spoke out loud. No one was around to hear me, but it needed saying or it would hurt my head.
I waited for Zel’s return and once he boarded my ship we sat down to speak. “I need you to take me there Zel, we can take the swoops and make it a site seeing tour. I know I have to err on the side of caution, but you know the way now..I only know the places”.
He put a comforting arm around me and I winked at him. We knew each other so well sometimes not a word needed to be spoken.
We made our way to Ryloth and landing in what seemed a good location away from Kala`uun and Lessu. The capitals didn’t seem like a good place to venture at the point of our tour, so we chose a location around the forests and undocked the swoops.
I knew for a fact I would struggle to keep up with Zel, he had way more practice than me but I was determined to keep up. We spent the better part of our first day racing each other before I finally said, “Ok, these Rocks then….which way?” I was looking forward to seeing them and hoping that being so close to The Bright Lands wouldn’t be too harsh. But still, I wore the storm trooper armour that someone had stolen for me once and prayed that it would be protection enough.
Zel smirked at me “Follow me and keep up Sis, don’t want to be losing you”. I laughed when acted as my protector “Cute” I called back to him.
We finally arrived after much fun trying to outdo each other. It felt more like a pod racing circuit than a sightseeing trip. We disembarked and I looked around, “Huh , nothing." Zel grabbed my head and tilted it upwards “Silly Twi`lek, Why do you think it’s called a Floating Rock Garden?”
“Oh Wow, impressive” I exclaimed
“Well you can move them about if you want”
I pondered the idea for a moment and I watched the rocks of varying shapes and sizes slowly drift around. I became somewhat mesmerised by them, before finally snapping out of it. “Nah, I don’t feel I should. It seems the way they move naturally is like a form of communication of nature. It is actually pretty spectacular”. We stood a while longer until a rustling sound came from behind us. Zel automatically placed his hand on his weapon but stopped when he saw it was a Jawa wearing the usual get up but also sporting and uniform style tabard. “M’um m’aloo….., Toineepa ” it spoke.
Zel looked at me “What the……?” he said
My lekku twitched as I tried to remember the little Jawaese I knew “It appears we have to pay to look at them”. Turning back to the tiny person I replied in very broken speech “Mob un loo?” The Jawa pointed at us both “Kisewa." I turned back to Zel “Hmmmm , he said ten for both of us.”
Zel looked at me in complete surprise and turned to the Jawa “No Way little man, I ain’t paying..catch me if you can “ he said nudging me “Run Thali`a, we seen everything we came to see.” With that we hopped back on our swoops and sped off quickly, stopping a short time later to take stock and plan the next stage of the trip. “Well “ I said “As it’s quite close to where we are at the Bright Lands, why not go to The Enclave”
“Huh?”, he questioned
“The Enclave, twas a home for liberated slaves” I reminded him.
“Oh Ok, suits me”
With that we took off at high speed, racing each other again. Things were going well until I stopped concentrating. Trying to overtake Zel in an area of forest, I looked over at him to stick out my tongue and poke fun at him. But on returning my gaze forward saw nothing except a huge tree. Trying to deviate my course I clipped the side of the tree and went hurtling to the ground, cracking my head on a rock. Or so I was told. It seems Zel had stopped immediately and come to my rescue applying medication and letting me rest up a while, until I was recovered enough to be considered stable enough to ride my swoop.
We set off on our way again, a little more slowly this time. Zel would not race me for fear I would have another accident and I knew he was keeping a close eye on me. My lekku could sense it.
We finally arrived at “The Enclave” and cautiously got off our Swoops and looked about. I felt a weird send go through my lekku, across between happy and sad. I turned to Zel. “Bro this is odd, many Twi`leks were captured which is the sad bit, but freed to this place so I get happy too, although I feel it still wasn’t the best times” Zel sensed my feelings and poked me in my aching ribs, “Nothing to see here Sis” he joked, “Let’s move on.” I looked at him and smirked knowing he was right, so we boarded our swoops to head for somewhere where I didn’t feel so distressed to work out our next plan.
We parked up by a tree a little away, Zel checking was feeling OK querying where to head to next. “Well” I sighed” Night Lands, Sith Academy…sounds pretty much the same to me”
Zel laughed at me “Sith Academy it is”. We scanned our datapads for the quickest route and as I got on my swoop I winked at him “Race?”
I shot off only to hear him shout out “No“,and laughed at my protective brother
We were soon to arrive at what we were sure was The Sith Academy, we parked up a little way away and sneaked around some buildings “Is it still active do you think?, established by The Brotherhood of Darkness..sound eerie”. Zel muttered back to me “No idea, and I don’t think much of it Sis, c’mon” he said dragging me away by the arm, “I’m hungry”, he muttered. So we hopped back on our swoops and ventured until we found a small tavern
“Doesn’t look like we can get into much mischief here” he smirked at me as we went inside. I decided to order some Mynock Coronet City, my favourite dish. “What exactly is in that?” he asked
“Err well Mynock, lum sauce…alcoholic” I winked at him, “Wveilu nuts, them’s the same as in Corellian Whiskey and Chale I think…adding Chale is Ithorian”
“Dam Sis you gonna be drunk …what shall I have?”
“Gruuvan Shaal, it’s pretty tasty”
I looked over to a what I hoped was a waitress, she was Twi`lek after all and I hoped that I didn’t make the same mistake as he had on his holovids. But my lekku were pretty much in tune and before I knew it she had sensed my request.
“Mynock Coronet City, Gruuvan Shaal , a Whiskey for him and an Ale for yourself”, she stated. I nodded as Zel looked shocked. “I hate it when you do that” and then burst into a fit of laughter, “It’s a girl thing” I giggled.
We ate our food with no drama for a change. I loved spending time with him. “So where next?, we gotta head back soon….Lonely Five Range?” It was agreed and we headed back to our swoops. We flew alongside each other until we saw them but as usual he was unimpressed and insisted we head back to the ship.
As we sat on our journey back I looked at my brother and recalled the thought I had, had.
“Sometimes the things we want most hurt”.
I laughed as I had wanted to revisit so much and indeed things had hurt. Feelings of sadness over the slave trade, the fact that they charge to see a natural occurrence. Not forgetting my incident on the swoop. But mostly I thought on the time spent with my brother, on my beautiful home world.
I smiled happily and leaned against his shoulder….my little brother, my protector, my friend.