The Droid and the Little Tusken Raider
Rating: G
Kidan

Tahiri stuck her head out of her quarters — the quiet of the Yavin night hanging heavily around her. She smiled mischievously as she heard the slight rolling noise. The sound of plasteel wheels being run across the stone of the Great Temple. She frowned, her eyes narrowing in anger and disgust as the metallic being rolled towards her door.

Father had warned her of these unholy machines. These mockeries of life and existence. Right before she had went away with Tionne, Silvan had laid his large hands on her slim shoulders, and knelt down in front of her.

"When you are in the outlands," he had began. "You will see many wondrous things. Amazing things. Do not let them fool you. Do not let them take away who you are inside. You are a Tusken. You are my daughter."

She had nodded her head and said, "I understand, Father."

But at the time she hadn't trully understood. Only after she had arrived on Yavin, and been introduced to the short, barrel trunked mockery of a sapient creature, had she understood her father's words. She knew what a droid was — she recognized it. And as a Tusken Raider, she knew it was her holy duty to destroy those machines which pretended life.

She darted back into her room, and dove under her sleeping mat, pulling out the gaderffii which she had fashioned from a fallen branch. It was not as strong as the metal one that Tionne had taken away when she arrived, but it should work for her purposes.

Then she stuck her head back out, looking to the right and the left. She focused on the corner, just as Artoo turned the down a secondary hallway, heading towards the cafeteria and the boys' dormitory.

She slipped out of the room, running through the halls, her feet a steady slap against the stone. She grinned — there was something exhilarating about the hunt. The movement of her legs pumping up and down. The coolness of the stone in the night air. She skidded around a corner, her bare feet slipping slightly due to condensation on the stone. It was one of those little things that she still did not understand about this strange, mysterious place. How the cold stones could pull water from the warm, humid air.

Then she spied her prey and she shook those concerns away. She launched herself through the air, a Tusken war cry ripping from her throat, and slammed her gaderffii on to the curved dome of Artoo's head.

The droid squealed in shock and surprise at the attack, and Tahiri yelped in surprise as the wood staff splintered.

Tahiri landed and slipped, falling hard onto her rump. She looked down at the remains of her weapon, a few hand-spans of wood, ending in a ragged, broken mess. She flung it at the droid, hoping it would do something. The wooden remains bounced harmlessly off the metal body. Gulping, she looked up at the droid and started skittering backwards. Pushing herself away from Artoo with her hands and feet. The droid followed, rolling forward, towering over her. It emitted a mournful dirge as it drew ever closer.

Suddenly a panel on the cylindrical body popped open and a thin shaft of metal, with two prongs at the end shot out. Tahiri focused on it as blue energy arced between the two prongs.

She swallowed hard. "Uhm ... sorry?"

Artoo sang an series of melancholic notes, as if to say, "I know."

Then electrical fire shot out of the shaft of metal, striking Tahiri's legs.

She yelped in shock and pain and scooted backwards faster.

Then she rolled over and gained her feet, and starting running down the hall, back towards her room. Behind her, she could hear the droid's wheels as they rolled over the ground and the musical trilling it whistled after her.

Two noises which were growing ever closer.

Then fire raced across her rump, aggravating the bruise from where she had fell earlier.

Yelping in pain, tears flared in her eyes, and she slipped once more on the moist stone floor. She crashed onto the ground, skidding a half meter before inertia stopped her, giving herself a friction burn across her right cheek.

The droid towered over her, electrical energy racing over his arc-welder.

A calm voice, comprised of the clear, concise tones of a Tatooine accent, interrupted the scene. "What is this?"

Tahiri looked up to find Jedi Master Luke Skywalker standing behind his droid, looking down at her. Artoo's head whirled around to focus its optic sensor on its master and began singing a song filled with chirps and whistles.

Luke's eyes flickered between the young girl and Artoo. "Now, I'm sure she really didn't mean to hurt you Artoo. Isn't that right, Tahiri?"

Tahiri mutely nodded her head, as Luke patted the droid on the dome.

"Why don't you go finish your rounds, while I talk with young Tahiri."

The droid whistle acceptance and rolled off, the metal shaft retracting back into its body as it did so.

Luke knelt down in front of her, smiling at her happily. "I understand that the Tusken Raiders do not like droids, but that's not a reason to attack Artoo. If you truly wish to be a Jedi, you need to grow beyond the preconceptions that you were raised with."

Tahiri hunched her legs up together, wrapping her arms around. "But father told me that I need to hold to what he taught me. To not let the wonders of the outlands change who I am."

Luke nodded his head. "And I can understand that. But did he tell you to attack every droid that you saw?"

She slowly shook her head.

"Being friends with a droid won't change who you are inside. That is what your father wanted — for you to remain who you are — in spite of learning about the outlands. In spite of befriending people and things that are not part of the tribe. Do you understand?"

Her face screwed up in thought, as she considered his words. Finally, she nodded her head once decisively.

He smiled at her and stood up, holding his hand out towards her. "Good. Now it's past your bedtime."

She took the proffered hand, and allowed him to help her up. Then she returned to her room. As she closed the door behind her, she glanced around, a frown on her face.

"I understand," she whispered to herself.

Then she clambered beneath her bed again, pulling out another long branch and a knife. She then settled herself onto the floor, and began carving away at the wood, sharpening one end into the wicked looking spike of a gaderffii.


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