A/N: This is a character building exercise for my OC. I'm in a little slump with "Power Play" and was hoping this help get me out of it. My biggest flaw with storytelling is I bypass rewrites and later get better ideas that require me to rewrite certain chapters. Which probably explains my current rut.
Anyways, hope I can get some feedback whether it be positive or negative is welcomed. Did I get the characters and environment right, etc. Hope you enjoy.
Art (Human) and Margot (Twi'lek) walked into the marketplace which was as energetic as ever. People viciously bidding on every day goods like bread and water like they were selling stock. This is why Art packed a blaster with him, as did Margot, things get too...unpredictable here. It didn't help the Lianos weather fluctuated so randomly, the snow that covered the ground now melted into puddles of slush all within a few hours. Rain turned the grassy field into a mud path.
"It's always worse when the angered are also sweating mad." Art complained. The two made their way to the booth where Conner (Human) and Sadie (Ferroan) were already set up at the stand selling various knock off jewelry pieces.
Art brushed back his messy brown hair, already covered in sweat despite not doing anything more than walking.
"Glad you two finally made it." Sadie slow clapped to emphasize her sarcasm. Art made an annoyed face and went straight to the inventory duties. Margot handled the counter.
"How's business?" Art asked Conner, who was smoking a death stick and zoning out on his headphones, Art asked for a stick and lite one up.
"Made a whopping six bronze dollars." Conner lazily said. Art smiled and pushed Conner's head to the side. He began opening crates filled with cheap watches and "diamonds" rings.
"Just fifty-thousand more sales and we're on easy street." Art mockingly said. He helped Margot set up her counter, which was for watches and other jewelry. Sadie's side of the tent was fake scratch tickets (all of them losers) and designer knockoff handbags. Something caught Margot's eye, as her stare focused on something yards away.
"Hey, Art, in gonna need you to takeover for a bit, there's something I need to handle hear." Margot tells Art, who narrowed his eyes.
"Why?" Art asked, but Margot just left with no intentions of answering. Art shrugged and began to tend shop. Looking at all the pretty woman that passed his way. Echanis, Kiffars, Twi'leks. Art seen one or two Togruta's in his life. The facial features, coupled with their headdresses that would only increase in size as time went on interested him the most. He wondered to himself how a human/Togruta hybrid child would look, also wondering if those two species could crossbreed.
He seen a Togruta walk by, orange skin, white and blue montrals, great figure, fit into her dark red skirt perfectly. Art drooled on the merchandise this girl captured him so fast.
"That's the type of girl you defend in a murder case." Art said to himself, gawking at her talk to somebody dressed in grey pristine garbs, with a taller blonde haired human right next to her.
His left fist propping up his head, housing star struck eyes, Art silently hoped she would walk up here just so he could talk to her. She walked side by side with a human, might just be a friend. Art thought. Couples usually walk hands intertwined, an arm on the ladies backside, something to let the competitors know she's taken.
When Art didn't see that, he nearly leaped over the table. Sadie came over and dropped a black box in front of him, ending the happiest fantasy his mind conjured for himself.
"You ever been on a date before?" Sadie asked, noticing Art's lovey dovey eyes at the Togruta. "Girls don't like inexperience." Art wondered if Sadie was just messing with him, but then he seen the wedding ring on her finger and that instantly validated her statement.
"Your husband experienced?" Art asked, pointing to Sadie's golden ring. Opening the black box, Sadie took out three stacks of bronze dollars adding up to 450 credits.
"Oh, no, I was the experienced one in the whole relationship. I was his first and only girl." She said, making Art's brain scramble like an egg. "Anyways, this is what me and Will owe after what you did for us." Sadie pushed the stacks of money in front of Art.
Art shooed the credits away. "Don't worry about it." Art hated when he felt friends owed him something. He did favors for his friends not because of the return, but cause he knew they'd do the same for him.
"Keep the money, all I did was get your kid toys." Art said, half-confessing to stealing 40 bronze dollars worth of children's toys from the back of a truck. Sadie pleaded with him.
"Surely there must be some way I can pay you back?" Sadie inquired, then seen the Togruta, Art was still staring at from a far. A devilish smirk grew on her green face. Arturo was oblivious to what the Ferroan had in store for him. Sadie put the stacks of bronze back in the black box and locked it.
"Okay, I'll just find some other way to pay you back." She added a little twiddle of his fingers to the effect and walked off. Art didn't listen and resumed daydreaming.
He wondered what a girl like that was doing on a planet like his. She definitely wasn't from around here, Togruta's aren't that common on Lianos. Must be visiting a friend. Art thought.
Customers walked by, no one glancing at the fake designer watches made of rubber bands and rusted metal. This stand never brought in money, yet he and his friends did it every day. Art wanted to leave this place behind and he wouldn't mind taking the girl with him.
"Yo, Art, need your help back here!" Conner called over. Groaning loudly, Art reluctantly left his daydream once more. Walking to the other side of the stand, Art seen Conner still plugged in to his headphones and snagged them off his head.
"Hey!" He shouts in disbelief of his friends laziness. Art throws the set on the table and impatiently waits for his task.
"What you need me to do?" Art said, thinking of that Togruta's still gonna be there when he gets back, his stomach cratered at the idea she would be gone forever, all because of Conner. This is Art's life.
"Give me some of those watches, mines are busted." Art took a box of designer knockoff watches and plopped it on Conner's desk.
"Here." Art said in a deadpan tone. He rushed back to his seat hoping to get another glance at the orange Togruta. His eyes went down when all he seen was a bunch of people smushed together and not one Togruta in sight. Art sighed and leaned back in his chair, hoping to get his mind out of his self created funk.
"We got allot of great deals here." Art heard Sadie pitch some hopeful sucker on the street. Sadie worked the crowds better than anybody, she knew how certain people were wired, what could set them off by knowing each other for merely seconds.
Art played with the accessors, distracting himself with a broken watch with a busted up clock.
"Hey, Art." Sadie said to him, standing right by his part of the stand. He looked up and nearly toppled out his chair. It was the Togruta standing at 1.6 meters, Art was barley taller than her. Her montrals looked bigger up close, the gold chips on the bottom of it confused Art a tiny bit. What was it there for?
"Art, I'd like you to meet..." Sadie gestured to the Togruta to introduce herself. She kindly took the queue.
"Ashoka Tano." She said, extending her hand to the bewildered boy. Art lightly took her red gloved hand and moved it way up and down in a nervous haze. He couldn't control himself.
"Hi..names Arturo...-" He drew a blank on his last name. If you could see the inside of Art's brain it show his wit whopping on memory, simultaneously abandoning their posts.
"Arturo Carroll." Sadie introduced Art for him and walked up, much to his chagrin. He tried looking at the Togruta in the eyes. Oh, great. Big and blue. Just how he likes them. Art started associating this female with the term "Mary Sue".
"So, uh, your friend said you were staring at me." She said, breaking the ice with a pick right to his eyeball. Well, this is the day Art finally commits murder.
When she heard some boy was ogling her, Ashoka's first instinct was to punch the onlooker in the jaw, but after seeing Art, she knew he wasn't anything more than a shy guy. She still wanted to give him a piece of her mind.
"You know you can't do that." She starts. Wagging her finger in front of him. "Its disrespectful." She mocked him, but really felt insulted that she was objectified. People started turning their heads to watch the roasting, despite the quite tone Ashoka was striking.
Now Art was sinking in his chair. The teen never meant to hurt anybody, he wasn't even invading privacy. He seen her crack her fist and kept his guard up.
"Can you blame a guy for being taken in by someone as beautiful like you?" Art somehow manages to get out of his mouth clean. The Togruta blushed a little, sensing the compliment was genuine.
"Listen, I'm sorry, how about you take a watch or handbag from me for free?" Art offered. Ashoka laughed, knowing the crummy quality.
"Yeah, what's holding this bad boy up? Sticks and tape?" She asked, holding a wonky black handle to a blue handbag. It fell instantly to the floor.
"I'm sorry." She held in a chuckle. The teen couldn't believe the crap Art was selling.
Being only 15, Art had many chances with women. Well, that's not entirely true. He did sneak into bars a couple times to hit on some floozies that almost took him home. Didn't happen for him.
"It's alright, uh, this stuff isn't high end, you know?" Art said. He picked up the handbag, only to see the wind take it away to oblivion. "It may not be much, but a pretty girl like you should at least get one on the house...or tent." He tried to tell a joke, but the stone cold look on her face was all he needed to see to know he failed.
"What kind of woman do you think I am?" Ashoka asked, crossing her arms and giving Art a cold stare. He flashed a cheesy nervous smile as his brain tried to find an answer.
"A girl that doesn't worry about makeup, but takes pride in her appearance. Someone that can take care of oneself, but wouldn't mind emotional support. A woman's who's ambition well exceeds what her peers have planned for her." Art deconstructed Ashoka as best he could, given they just met. She was surprised that he almost pegged completely her.
"I don't need emotional support." She said. Ashoka placed her two hands on the table and looked right at Arturo's eyes like a laser. "But, yes, I can handle myself." She said proudly.
"Ah, but, everybody needs emotional support from their friends and family. It's great to believe that you can do something extraordinary, it's even better when someone else believes in your abilities to do so." Art's eyes got bigger when he said that, his mind going off into its own world again. A world where he wasn't held down by home constraints and could chase his dreams.
She smirked at him. "Trust me, I'm a Jedi and we can do extraordinary things." She said, not noticing Art's bigger point. Art was taken back at her being a Jedi. He's always wanted to be one of them, swing a laser sword around and cut various things and people, it be so wizard.
Art seen her lightsaber, but was still skeptical. "Prove you're a Jedi." Art sat down in his chair waiting impatiently. Ashoka formed a mischievous grin on her face and with three raised fingers threw Art off his chair and on the ground. The marketplace erupted with giggles and face hiding.
"Okay, I deserve that, Master Jedi." Art said, dusting himself off. He knew the Jedi's weren't allowed to love, yet he did not care. He wasn't a Jedi and felt that restricting emotions lead to more dangerous, erratic behavior than love. Eh, but then again, the universe didn't really need that noun.
"Wait, the Jedi's frown upon emotions and since meeting me you've been outraged, insulted, annoyed, sarcastic and mischievous." Art pointed out to the laws Ashoka just broke in the Jedi Code.
"First: I am not a Master, I am the apprentice of Anakin Skywalker. Second: You're taking that text far too literal." Art took out a holojournal on the Jedi he's been reading and spoke just one passage of the Jedi Code to Ashoka.
"There is no emotion, there is peace." Was all he had to say to win the argument. "I don't know why Jedi's are so worried about teenagers expressing emotions or falling it love. The latter is the only thing that makes life on desolate planets like this bearable." Art let his true feelings towards the Jedi be known.
"Desolate?" Ashoka said, confused. "Look at this place." She gestured to all the people trampling one another for various accessories, none of them were even looking in the directions of Art's stand. Good. He didn't want anybody ruining his conversation.
"No, I mean, it's empty. Everyday I get up and I hear the same bell sounds echo through my ears." Art pointed Ashoka towards the abandoned Lianos library, a place that used to be of higher learning, now is nothing. Only the winds activate the big bell that has yet to be taken down. "And everyday I get out of bed knowing my life is just more repetition. I can't stand this planet. There is no meaning here." Art looked down at his feet. In his mind, living wasn't about constraints and obligations, but to exploring vast lands and taking in knowledge, the wisdom of the people who traversed the galaxy before him.
"Sometimes I wonder what would have happened if Master Plo Koon never found me on Shilli." Ashoka said, relating to Art's frustration. "Maybe I wouldn't be alive." Ashoka reflected on how lucky she is.
"Aren't you being a little overdramatic?" Art asked. He didn't know who Master Plo was, but wasn't asking. Ashoka shook her head.
"No. My parents abandoned me when I was four and didn't really have a place to stay." She confessed her backstory. "Master Plo took me to the Jedi Temple; and that's where I belong." She says, feeling a rush of assurance flow through her.
Art looked at her with envy. "I'd give anything just to feel accepted." Art thought out loud, much to his embarrassment. His cheeks turned red, which only made matters worse for him. Well, it was good talking to this girl while it lasted. Now commences the endless laughter and finger pointing.
Instead, the Togruta nodded, understanding where the boy was coming from. "Don't be embarrassed. It happens." She reasoned with him; sensing his inner emotional dread. Curiously, Art never even thought Ashoka was doing that to him, despite knowing of her abilities.
"I just feel like I've been swindled." Art said in a very bitter tone, now feeling anger. Ashoka looked at him like he should have known better.
"The galaxy doesn't owe you a living." She chides him for his sour grapes attitude.
"No." He agrees. "It owes me a chance." All Art was asking for is a chance to escape this rock. Ashoka was still not convinced.
"Then make your own." She said, grabbing Art by his shirt collar so he could stare deeply into her eyes to tell she is serious. "Don't wait around for a chance, cause it'll never come." Art knew she was right and thought about him at an old age still waiting for that chance. It wasn't something he'd like to think about.
Ashoka sensed the worries Art processed everyday. Him just barley scraping along, stealing goods from the rich in effort to give to the poor (his family). Art needed help.
"Snips! Time to go!" Anakin called her over. Ashoka looked at a crestfallen Art, knowing their chat was coming to a close.
"Coming, Master!" She said right back. Ashoka picked up Art's chin so he'd look at her big blue eyes a third and final time. "Don't give up. I've been down so many times and that's only made me stronger." Ashoka smiled and slide a three bronze dollars, snagging a tacky watch. "For memories sake." She said, then began to walk away.
"Adversity does more to reveal character than build it." Art retorts to the Togruta that was about to leave his life forever.
Ashoka just smiled and turned her body towards Art. "Then ask who are you?" She waived goodbye and her image faded away, as if it was all a dream.
Art slumped back into his chair and tended shop. A good portion of time must have flown by talking to this girl. The best time of his life.
Sadie came up to Art, who was holding his head in his hands and slapped him on the back. "So did I come through for ya or did I come through!" Sadie said, letting the obvious be known that she lead the Togruta here.
She seen Art's crushed expression, he looked so happy talking to her and now it was back to dealing with chumps that couldn't care less about what he had to say.
"Hey, you may think you're alone, but you're not." Sadie comforted him. "My husband has been saving to take me to exotic places for years, only now just making 5,000 credits. I asked him, why are you breaking your back for something we don't need and all our friends make fun of us for? And you know what he said to me?" Sadie asked. Art shook his head. "What good is a friend if you don't go to so far to please them." She said.
"Life isn't just pleasing others; you could go your whole life doing all the things somebody else told you to do and still be unhappy." Sadie said and then left Art alone, but let him know he can takeoff work early if he pleases.
Art stared right up to the cloudy sky. Rain began to drizzle, soon it would worsen into a storm, people in the marketplace would scatter to their speeders and back to their lives. Art would slowly walk back to his home, clothes soaking wet. His family will be asleep on the couch, as they always are after a long days work. He'll go to bed and the day will just repeat itself tomorrow until Art does something about it.
He didn't shout to the sky "No more!" or proclaim that he had changed that day. But change is slow and sometimes goes unnoticed.
It was up to Art whether or not he wanted to change.
A/N: Did I get the character right? Is this a direction you'd like me to take my OC? Be honest in the reviews. Thanks for reading.