Monday, February 10, 2014

Life Day (In More Ways Than One)

After the last of the dead from the Inheritor Revolt were given proper burials and all the damage had been repaired twenty years later, Orono called an end to all conflict during the annual Life Day celebration. Now was a time for healing and happiness...

In the streets of Dras Edoc’sil...

Fresh snowflakes and a brisk, cold breeze followed Orono during his walk back to his spacious home. He couldn’t help but grin at excited children running past him, grabbing snowflakes to show their parents, making angels, or just reveling in the winter weather. This was the reason for one of his moral principles: never mess with children. While Orono was ready to fight and kill grown men and women if necessary, children were precious, and their happiness was sacred, something to be preserved. But today was no place for such dark thoughts. He had to get home, and prepare the Zoiji holiday banquet. A short while later, he reached the front door, opened and closed it despite the frost in the hinges and went inside.

“Nadia, I’m home,” he said after brushing off the snow from his robes.

“In here, honey,” came a melodious voice from the kitchen.

“Give me a second to put on some covers and I’ll be right there to help.” Orono replied.

After changing into clothes befitting a cook at an upscale restaurant, Orono entered the kitchen to find his wife busy at work. Four bottles of homemade mulled wine sat on the table, Sarkhaian sweet cakes, golden brown with a chocolate-caramel glaze were steaming on a tray, fresh from the oven. Nestled by them were hefty oval spiced plums with Naboo-style calamari, filled with her signature nutmeg-ginger sauce. Taking in this delicious sight Orono said,

“This looks amazing.”

“Thanks. I know they’re your favorites.” Nadia said with a happy smile.

“Yes, all prepared by a fantastic chef,” Orono replied. “I just hope I can do the same for you and everyone else.”

“I don’t doubt it.” Nadia said reassuringly. “If you need me, I’ll be stoking the fire, putting up the tree and the ornaments all right?”

“Good luck.” Orono said after giving his wife a kiss on the cheek. Flashing another of her famous smiles, she was off, and he started cooking for the family. Thankfully the Force came in handy where that was concerned.

First was Celgo: a mug of Kashyykan ale, fried colo clawfish with red wine sauce, greens with tomatoes and finally stuffed clams.

Next was Novon: Hoth chocolate with Tauntaun milk and nutmeg, violet mashed potato, two helpings of stuffed Opee sea killer steak and Corellian fried ice cream.

Next was Vyrkana: Weequayan long noodle stir-fry with chives, rootleaf and red peppers, steamed purple cabbage with a dark chocolate mousse and honeyed milk for dessert, a childhood favorite.

For Xhulon and Korgo, spiced Kaminoan prawns with caprese salad and a glass of Kaasian Bloodshot, an old vintage wine from the Sith Empire Orono had been cultivating just for the occasion, and on and on and on...

Several meals later...

After finally finishing and exchanging his sweaty, flour caked chef’s clothing for a tuxedo, Orono gazed at the feast, and couldn’t help but feel his mouth water. The chime of his doorbell quickly snapped him back to attention. Smiling broadly, he welcomed in his family as they entered, but became quietly concerned when his granddaughter Viquina and her husband Zoken passed by. While she looked stunning in her red-black sleeveless dress, he couldn’t help but notice a significant bulge in her stomach, or the fact that Zoken was nearly cradling her as they walked to the table. With a subtle tap on his wrist communicator, he told the Zoiji medical team: Tharan Cedrax, Eckard Lokin, Talos Drellik, Archiban Kimble, and at least forty assistants to be ready when he gave the signal. It was in the middle of the family dinner that Viquina nearly fell off her chair, howling in pain. All she could say was,

“They’re coming!”

In a flash, a platoon of family doctors was one the scene. Tharan Cedrax was the head of this delicate operation.
“Contraction rate?”

“Every fifteen seconds, doctor,” his assistant answered.

“Oxygen level?”

“Stable for the moment, but we haven’t much time before it could hurt the babies,” Doctor Lokin said urgently.

“Babies?” Viquina managed in a soft whisper.

“Yes,” Talos Drellik said soothingly. “You’re carrying triplets.”

Much later...

“Alright, Viquina. One more time,” said Archiban Kimble.

She weakly nodded.


With one final effort, the last of the three scarlet-skinned babies was out.

“Congratulations,” Doctor Lokin said warmly. “Three beautiful children, all girls.”

One after the other each was given their name: Ixvya, Erys and Zeleste. Having regained enough strength, their mother held them close and washed away their cries with a soft whisper and a warm lullaby. Then, for Viquina’s sake, everyone else retired for the evening, leaving Orono to stand vigil over his great-grandchildren. Even though they were still infants, he could see the great deeds ahead of them and the remarkable women they would become...

Talos Drellik, medic to Xhulon Zoiji

Eckard Lokin medic to Vorgen Cyphon

Tharan Cedrax, medic to Orono Zoiji

Archiban Kimble, medic to Kozin Zoiji