I think that I have never been so glad to see a day come and go. I kind of walked through it in a haze. What ever the medic gave me this morning it cleared up the headache but left me fuzzy headed and slow. Lord Vader’s messages were terse and annoyingly vague about wanting to set up a face to face meeting with the droid designer. It had taken me well over two hours to deal with it, the time delay not helping the situation any. The man simply did not want to speak with Lord Vader and he was not answering any of the comms sent to him. This was not a good thing and I did not want to be in the middle of it. I spent the latter half of the time explaining why he should get himself over here and stop messing about, or else life would get short and sweet. It got ugly and he got the message but I was not feeling so hot by the time lunch rolled around. When Vader stormed out of his office and left the building to go and do sarlacc knows what. I was more than relieved that he was gone. I could handle the anger and the yelling but when stuff started flying around the room it got a bit hairy.
Shortly after lunch Shiv sent a message.
>>hey, how are you doing today? Did you have fun?<< So I answered:
>>Never drinking Bhs again, what the heck is in them anyway, woke up with vicious headache and bad case of desert mouth didn’t realize they were that strong, won’t be doing that again!!! Had lots of fun dancing tho. Mood in office this am is Ugly.<<
A few seconds later:
>>BHs are low alcohol, we can’t dance properly if we get too drunk, you might be allergic to glow-spice, though, have heard that can be nasty. Next time we find something else. Antygra says hi, was nice to finally meet you. Sorry about ugly mood, think it’s palace wide tho, don’t sweat it!<<
I wrote back:
>>Great, now you tell me. Hi back. Guess it’s uglies-all-round day then, do we get danger pay?<<
I waited for Shiv’s answer while sipping my coffee.
>>No danger pay, not in contract. Didn’t u read the fine print? Big fuss here today, last minute jitters, usual boring stuff. Everyone in an uproar about last minute colour scheme change…happens every year you’d think they’d be expecting it by now, I was. All be over in 2 days, thank the maker… never mind the Uglies, they don’t last long. Gotta blaze, hugs.<<
I had not even known we could message through the system like that although I suspected Intel was logging it all and probably reading it as well, oh well, if they were they were probably bored to death.
It had been a nice interlude in my other wise fuzzy, somewhat angst filled day.
Later on during the after noon the Mail runner dropped by with a box for me. I signed the delivery form and as soon as he had vanished again I sat down and opened it. Inside, wrapped elegantly in beautiful Tanassi paper were a set of three books. Old school binding, antiques in pristine condition. I took them out gingerly almost afraid that just by touching the ancient leather they would fall apart. I didn’t recognize the title or the author and had no idea what world they had been bound on. I had never seen the style before. Once I had taken them all out of the box I found the note at the bottom, beautifully hand written on very expensive paper.
I hope that you will enjoy these as much as I have. I think you will find the story far more eloquent and enticing than the book by Padomex Ielse. At the very least they will keep you occupied and out of trouble for a while.
The note wasn’t signed but I know who had sent them. I was not sure how I felt about receiving gifts from him but books would win my heart every time. I carefully wrapped them back up in the paper and slid the box out of sight. I found it a little disturbing that the one person who seemed to be stirring up the Palace gossip rounds was the one person who seemed to have taken an interest in me. I shoved the thoughts out of my mind, it was sort of pointless to dwell on the why and how when there were no answers to any of the question.
Jyrki had once said that the Universe was elegant in its machinations and the plan and path were laid out, you just needed to follow them. I had asked him if that meant he though that destiny was a set thing, because I didn’t agree with that, I thought we had a choice in the matter.
He had shrugged. “What is choice?” he had asked.
“That a trick question?”I had asked.
“Nope, but yer gotta remember, if it is yer destiny then yer were bound to make that choice anyway so, was it really a choice to begin with?”
By the time we had finished the conversation I was even more confused about it all than before we had started. I still didn’t think he was one hundred percent right though. I felt you always had choice and you may have had a destiny but it was more of a guide line than a set path.
The Sand people have a saying about that sort of thing. “The desert knows where each grain of sand came from, but not where its journey will end.” It’s a poor translation because it is often really hard to put what they say in to basic, but that was the gist of it. The Sand People are nomads on Tatooine, desert dwellers who keep away from the townships and the settlers. They have a really bad reputation for being vicious and hating all other peoples on the planet, but unless they are provoked, they mostly leave folk alone. Once or twice, one maybe two would come into the city to barter something, especially if water was even more scarce than usual, then you would get to see one up close and not worry too, too much about being attacked. They were a strange folk, though, full of superstitions and sayings. Their love for the desert is only rivaled by their mistrust and dislike of settlers.
A scholar had once gone out and lived with a tribe for several years, written about their customs and life style. After he had returned to his home planet and his book had been published he vanished. The book was not a big best seller or anything and mainly made its way about the academic circles. I ended up with a copy because it had been left behind on one of the transports and one of the pilots had though t I might like it. He was certainly right about that.
The more I thought about it, the more I believed that the Scholar who had written the book had probably gone back to the tribe and had, as they say, turned native.
I think it is hard sometimes to go back to the world you left, even though you might yearn for it. I wondered about that as I answered my father’s letter. How much I missed him and my life on Tatooine. That I missed Tatooine would surprise most people, but it had been the only home I had even known. I wondered if given the chance. Could I actually go back to my old life? I didn’t think so, some things just change you forever and, unlike Jyrki, I didn’t believe that the path you walked was already laid out for you without deviations of chance. I believed that you walked it and chose the best route you could. It would be hard not to make some wrong turns along the way considering there was no map to follow. Maybe the end result was the same no matter what, but the journey was what really counted.
I was melancholy by the end of the work day, too many things running through my head and my headache had come back with a vengeance. I left work, taking the box of books home with me. I stopped off at the med-center and talked to the doctor on call. He did a few tests to see if I really was allergic to glow-spice. He told me that if I was indeed allergic to the spice I would have to be careful it was an accumulative thing and eventually could kill me. I sighed… in the end the Bounty Hunters get you, one way or the other, I had said and he had laughed. He gave me something to help with the headaches, telling me I’d have the results of the tests tomorrow. I went home and changed into comfy clothes, tucked the first book in the set Thrawn had sent me under my arm and went to my secret balcony hideout in the old wing. I sat and read in the quiet solitude undisturbed and uninterrupted.