Ask Snoot, Doot, and Boogie

Caul

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So far, Caul’s favorite part of his current mission was the poncho he’d been given by the head rancher. The Banthaboy hat was absolutely a plus, but there was just something about the poncho that felt right. He leaned up against a wooden post and watched the herd of bantha grazing on the soft rolling grasses that covered this area of the ranch.

Sernpidal was a wild place in Caul’s mind. The fact that the planet was classified as an agri-world while the majority of the farms were underground was awesome. Even now as he looked up he could see the craggy porous undercrust of the planet's surface. That wasn’t the only thing he was stoked about, today was the day they were heading out to move this herd of Bantha to another ranch across the Durgazi ravine.

A small handful of Jedi Padawan were sent to the ranch as a training opportunity. What in the world they were gonna learn was beyond Caul, but he hoped it had something to do with the Banthas. Over the past few days he’d fallen in love with the herd and the eopie he’d been assigned. Speaking of, Snoot the Eopie, trotted over mewling an excited little call as it closed the distance.

A smile burst across Caul’s face like a firework, okay, he'd been wrong before the poncho wasn't his favorite it was: “Snoot!” he called jogging to meet the gangly animal. He wrapped his arms around it’s neck and nuzzled into it. “Good to see you, buddy!” Snoot, dooted, which is what Caul called the noise it made, in agreement. “You ready for the big ride?

Overhead a ship passed by. Both Caul and Snoot watched it pass, curiocity getting the best of both of them, Caul mounted up. “Let’s go check in, maybe that’s what we’ve been waiting on?!

@Sreeya
 

Prani Shalrazi

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While most padawans complained about being sent on missions like these, Prani was absolutely thrilled. She had been away from farms and nature for too long since leaving Genassa. The space station bases were outright depressing for her, so she was thankful for the temples on land. Prani signed up eagerly when she read the mission briefing.

Before long, she was making her way over to meet Caul. Prani gasped at the sight of the banthas and eopie, “Aww look at y’all!” She said cheerfully, absolutely ecstatic about them. She briefly forgot that she was there to meet Caul and quickly turned to him with a sheepish smile.

“Oh uh, golly, I’m such a spazz, sorry!” She blurted out, her thick farmer accent seeping through, “I’m Prani! And you’re Caul! My friend Shaw (@throwitintothefire ) won’t shut up about ya,” Prani said with a giggle, “Says yer a saber expert. I always bring a gift when I meet folks for the first time so um…” She extended a box to him, “I baked ya some saber shaped cookies,” Prani said with a smile, “Hope ya like ‘em.”

She looked towards the rest of the herd, “We got all our friends here? Ready to move?”

@Zay
 

Caul

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Caul slid off Snoot and took hold of the Eopie’s reins. To his surprise he came face to face with a friend of a friend. Prani introduced herself and couldn’t help but smile along with her. If she was any bubblier she’d be a bubble. It was awesome. She was a welcomed change from the slew of stuffy Jedi he’d been holed up with the past week.

It’s great to finally meet you, Shaw’s always bragging about the bracelet you made him and about how much you “Absolutely SLAY” the hallikset,” he glanced down at the cookies and his eyes widened, “Are those—” Prani confirmed his thought, Caul’s mouth hung open like a screen door blown open by the wind. “Wh– I mean, thank you.

Caul shook his head, “I thought Shaw was exaggerating when he said you were the sweetest person ever, but I gotta be real you are living up to it. Uh, I don’t have anything for you, so… you want the hat or the poncho?

Please not the poncho! he thought.

Prani mentioned getting to work, Caul did a little panic shuffle unsure and unprepared for the gift, forgetting he had a backpack on just long enough to look like an idiot, snagged two of the cookies, and put the rest in his bag.

Mind if we share the first two? Cookies are better with company,” he said with a chuckle as he took a bite of the cookie. He melted. It was the best cookie he’d ever tasted in his entire life. An angel had literally fallen from heaven and brought cookies. When she mentioned getting a move on he nodded in agreement still awe struck by the cookie.

You been assigned a partner yet?” he asked while giving Snoot a pat.

@Sreeya
 

Prani Shalrazi

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When Caul started talking about Shaw mentioning her bracelet and hallikset skills, Prani’s face turned beet red. She suddenly imagined herself melting into the grass, but kept it together for the most part. Her ears turned pink and she laughed nervously. Fortunately Caul was entirely distracted by the cookies.

“Oh I got my own hat!” Prani said as she drew it out and popped the wide brimmed brown hat on top of her head, “I like yer poncho,” She said with a smile. Prani nodded and helped herself to a cookie. They barely began to dig into them before Snoot reached out with his tongue and swiped hers right out of her hand. Prani stared in stunned silence for a moment before bursting into giggles, “Well, looks like I got a few fans o’ these cookies!” She said as she patted the eopie on the head.

“I was told to head on over this way so I s’ppose that makes you my partner,” Prani said, “I dunno ‘bout you but I’m lookin’ forward to an easy mission after that whole mess on Corellia..” She mumbled as she hoisted herself up on the back of another eopie. Prani was accustomed to riding on them or being around farm animals in general. With a clicking sound from her mouth, she started to move to flank the bantha herd and get them moving.

“Where are ya from, Caul?” Prani called out. She secretly hoped the answer wasn't Coruscant. Shaw and Macote were both from there and she felt guilty even asking the question. Thinking about home had brought them nothing but pain.

@Zay
 

Caul

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Caul admired Prani’s hat. It had a well worn quality to it that made it look awesome, his looked like the kind worn by country music singers. Then she said the one thing he hoped to never hear. ”I like yer poncho,” the words pierced Caul’s heart like a lightsaber through a blastdoor, so he sucked it up and slipped out of the poncho, because when someone gives you a gift, you give one back.

Here,” he said slipping out of the poncho, “-it’ll look better on you anyway,” he said with a smile, “Thanks for the cookies.

Snoot!” Caul chided the Eopie who responded indignantly, “Don’t you take that tone with me, sir!” Snoot dooted in response, Caul gasped, “Language,” he shot back with a warning point. Caul reached into his pack and pulled out two more cookies, he handed on to Prani and then gave once to Snoot, “We better eat these quick, I don’t know how long that’ll hold him over.

Caul blinked when Prani said they were partners, he looked back to Snoot, were they gonna ride on the same mount? A crimson hue starting at his ears spread across his face, “Oh, uh cool!” he said doing the worst job possible to hide his nerves at the prospect.

The mention of Corellia was a sobering line of thought. He chuckled, “Yeah, I’m right there with you. If I ever go back to Corellia in my life it’ll be too soon, which is a shame, I love Han Solo.

Relife flooded Caul as Prani gracefully slipped onto her own Eopie. Good, way less of a chance to look like a dumb ass, he thought. Caul followed her lead and mounted up. They mosied along for a few before Prani asked where he was from, “Technically, I was born on Onderon, but I grew up in the Order. Mostly on Yavin, then well, Yavin wasn’t safe so, I got moved to Ithor and then… Well, Ithor happened, so I was moved to Takodana. What about you?”

As they chatted, Caul would start prepping the bantha for the trek. The odd ranch worker would pop in here and there, but it was mostly left to him and Prani, which he was totally fine with. It wasn’t often he got to do something mildly interesting with someone who was turning out to be actually awesome.

@Sreeya
 

Prani Shalrazi

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“Oh gosh, you don’t have to-” But he was already handing the poncho over. A blush rose to her face, but she took it anyway, throwing it over her outfit. In truth, it did look pretty adorable with the hat. Prani giggled as she watched the exchange between Caul and Snoot, “Y’all are just best friends, ain’t ya?” She said cheerfully, reaching over to give Snoot a gentle pat on the head. The Eopie promptly stuck his tongue out to lick her face, which she welcomed with more laughter.

Prani helped herself onto her Eopie, pondering on a name, “This little lady looks like a Dot to me,” She said with a nod, patting Dot along the side of her neck. As they started the journey and Caul spoke, Prani eyed him curiously, “Who is Han Solo?” She asked. Coming from an agriworld and humble origins, she was largely unaccustomed to most popular names. She had heard of Darth Vader or Raze in recent years, but Han Solo was a name that eluded her.

The journey was largely peaceful, giving them a chance to talk. Prani was talkative by nature and Caul seemed nice, “One time back home, I was ridin’ one of these to herd some bantha. For some reason, my eopie just seemed real troubled and I kept wonderin’ what was wrong. Turns out he had a mighty itch in his bottom and he just wandered off the trail, and crossed past traffic, all while I’m screamin’ and panickin’. He went right up to a statue near a park and rubbed his tush on it to scratch that itch with them city folk just starin’,” Prani started giggling, “Lord, I was so embarrassed I wanted to disappear through the drain vent,” She laughed as she recalled the story, petting Dot again, “He was always a rascal - Boots.”

They continued for a while longer before several of the bantha called out ahead. Suddenly, the perfectly formed line broke as a few of them bolted to the side.

“Somethin’s spookin’ ‘em up ahead!”

@Zay
 

Caul

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Nope, I insist, besides how else am I gonna earn one of those cool bracelets?” he said with a smile. Any disappointment he felt about losing the poncho was squashed by the cute expression on Prani’s face as she accepted this gift. He was glad his head disappeared under the rough fabric when it did, because ya boy was crimson.

Caul looked from Snoot to Prani and a bashful smile flitted across his face, “Honestly, until this mission, I’ve never had the chance to really hang out with an animal like I have with Snoot,” as he spoke he affectionately stroked the Eopie’s neck. “It’s weird, it feels like we’ve known each other forever, ya know?” he said, hoping he didn’t sound like a crazy person. It was about that time Snoot decided to lick Prani and Caul couldn’t help but burst out laughing, “Easy buddy, you gotta ask first!

Caul watched as Prani slid on to her eopie with practiced grace. “Oh you’ve done this before, for sure.” Once named Prani’s mount gave a little doot of approval and Caul agreed, Dot felt right. Caul nearly fell off Snoot when Prani asked who Han Solo was. “Stop. For real?” Caul gasped, “For Real?!

One overtly over the top explanation on the guy who did the Kessel run under twelve parsecs later…

And they were off with the herd. Nothing record breaking, but not a total catastrophe either, so Caul considered that a win. He and Prani found themselves next to one another again, which he was excited about, most jedi were kinda prudish, but Prani was anything but, so when she dove into a story he was happy to listen.

Caul burst out laughing, he couldn’t remember the last time he’d actually, like, really belly laughed. He just kept picturing an Eopie hurriedly shuffling through masses of pedestrians to get it’s butt scratched while Prani begged for help. “Tell you what, if that starts to happen on this trip I promise to scratch Dot’s butt if you’ll scratch Snoot’s!” he said with a laugh. Snoot’s head perked up and it swung around to look at Prani, if Caul wasn’t mistaken it kinda looked like the eopie was giving Prani “eyes.”

Before he had time to return the story something caught their attention. The herd had stopped and was starting to disorganize, “I’ll run up this flank,” he said gesturing toward the left, “You to take the other side, we might be able to maintain the column as we make way to the problem!

Caul clicked his tongue twice and gently nudged Snoot into a canter. He wasn’t confident enough of a rider to move full out while also keeping an eye on the herd. As he closed in on the main cluster he could see a waving tendril just over the tops of the bantha backs. He called over to Prani, “Careful, looks like we got a local stirring up trouble!

The ravine had been getting narrower for a little while, and now as he got to the front of the herd, Caul could see the cluster of Bantha blocking the narrowed path into the next portion of the ravine. In the center of the massive jostling beasts were lashing sentient tentacles. They struck like whips causing confusion among the herd and halting their progress to a stand still.

Any idea how to get rid of that thing?” he asked.

 

Prani Shalrazi

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Prani nodded and darted to the opposite flank of Caul, herding the bantha and corralling them. However, it proved futile as it only caused a big jam, all of them starting to pile together. She saw the tentacles and her eyes widened, “What in tarnation?!” She exclaimed, utterly baffled.

“Okay well..they’re alive so maybe…we can try talkin’ to it?” Prani asked skeptically, the words sounding stupid even as she said them aloud. She tried to touch the tentacles through the Force to see if she could connect with the sentience. This promptly backfired and further riled them up, one of them extending out to smack her right off Dot.

Prani landed with a painful thud, the bantha all bleating and struggling.

“I’ll calm the bantha! You look for another way around!” She shouted to Caul. Prani used the Force to gently touch the beasts in their minds, relaxing and calming them. After a bit of a struggle, they stopped acting out. She was still sore from the fall, but she took a moment to glance at the tentacles. Something was clearly agitating them and it wasn’t clear what.

@Zay
 

Caul

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Caul slid off Snoot and eased his way toward the tentacle thing. He held his hand out in front of him like an animal tamer in a circus. The creature let off a lash, Caul managed to sidestep it, but the first attack was followed up by a second that clipped his shoulder and spun him around into the nearby wall.

The padawan started to reach out to Snoot but he lost his concentration as another tendril came crashing into the wall, Caul retreated a few steps and suddenly the attack stopped. He frowned. He took a step forward, the thing attacked, he slipped out of the way and it eased up. He reached out to the force and as he did he felt a consciousness he hadn’t noticed earlier. It wasn’t just one… it was, “Eight?” he blurted out loud.

Caul counted the tentacles, then took a deep breath and reached out to the animal, he projected peace and attempted to apologize for their intrusion. The tendrils began to slide out of the vessel elongating and nearly reaching the floor. He swallowed. His hand slowly began to drift for the hilt of his lightsaber, then a mental image slammed into him. Crimson translucent sphere’s all clustered together sprang into his mind’s eye. He knew what they were immediately, along with the image, an immense desire to protect permeated from the eight consciousnesses.

It’s protecting it’s eggs!” he called over to Prani. “Any chance we can get the Banta to walk single file past it. I think I can keep it calm long enough for us to get by.

@Sreeya
 
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