Zatt and a Pfifltrigg


It was a very interesting process to watch.

Zatt, a Nautolan Jedi joungling, and his companions had gone on an adventure to a strange world they were unfamiliar with, and they were having the time of their lives exploring it. But while Byph and Gungi interacted with a furry seal-like man called a hross, and Katooni, Petro, and Ganodi conversed with a very tall, naked alien called a sorn, he had taken an interest in the pfifltriggi, a race of people who built houses and gadgets for the other races of this planet. And right now, he was posing for a sculpture being carved by a pfifltrigg named Kalakaperi, and his lightsaber was ignited in his pose.

"Yes, yes," the pfifltrigg said, examining his work, "We are almost finished here. Just a little more on the head, and… finished! Not very good, considering I have never seen your kind before, but good enough for a first effort. Come and see yourself."

Zatt walked over and looked at the sculpture and saw what he thought was a near-perfect rendition of himself in stone. The lightsaber in the stone was overlaid with shiny metal to represent the plasma blade. Even the head-tentacles and the webbed feet were down almost to a T, and he said so to Kalakaperi.

"Yes," the pfifltrigg said, "I expect you might like it, seeing as you come from a different world than Malacandra. Nevertheless, it is still very interesting to look at. Now tell me a few details about your species… Nautolans, you call them?"

"Yes, that's it," confirmed Zatt, "Basically, we're an amphibious race that can live and breathe both in air and in water. We live in a mostly peaceful society, although our home world, Glee Anselm, has many tropical storms. It's an ocean world, with many small islands and archipelagos and a few landmasses, and it all has a beautiful, warm, humid environment. The Nautolans ourselves can simultaneously read and feel the emotions of others with sensory organs in our head-tentacles, but usually, we're happy and enjoy life, and like to flash broad smiles. We usually swim topless, men and women and all but the youngest boys and girls, who wear life-vests. Nature means a lot to us, too, though I usually like technology better, myself."

"Fascinating," mused Kalakaperi, "As for my own people, we are the miners and the builders for the other races on this planet; we provide sun's blood and star's milk for all inhabitants. Our bodies are shaped like that of a frog, but our heads are like tapirs, our movements can be very fast, and we wear protective clothing and goggles when we work. We construct simple huts and simple gadgets for the betterment of the planet, though we do not design them, the séroni take care of that."

"Well," said Zatt, "maybe you'd like to see this." He pulled out his ever-present datapad. "It's a little something I fiddle around with a bit when I have the chance. It tells you everything you want to know about anything. At least, anything where I come from."

Kalakaperi took the datapad and examined it. With his quick, insect-like movements that Zatt was still getting used to, he typed some keys and started to learn things about other planets in the galaxy, like Kashyyyk, Coruscant, Alderaan, Utapau, and Mustafar. He also read, in brief, about the history of the Jedi and the Sith, as well as the history of the Galactic Republic and its conflict with the Confederacy of Independent Systems.

"Hmm," he said, "A very ingenious device. Although I must say, this Coruscant sounds like it is becoming very bent, itself, but Alderaan looks like the sort of world I would like to see, for it looks purer than any other planet in this datapad. It's interesting to note that there is a war between good and evil where you come from, as well, like on Thulcandra, the silent planet. Sad, and somewhat tragic, but interesting nevertheless."

"Yeah, I agree," said Zatt, taking back the datapad, "Though my friends and I still have some hope for it. What kind of tech do you have here?"

"Why, these tools, of course," Kalakaperi said, "The finest tools for crafting the art of Malacandra, simple and yet so effective. But we also have pads like yours that record how much sun's gold and star's milk we dig up on every excursion. And our art is not all in grey stone. Much of our art is colored, also, like this smaller sculpture I made of you while you were watching me making the bigger one."

He passed over a small sculpture of Zatt in full color, right down to his lightsaber blade. Zatt was impressed again.

"How did you get your inspiration to do all of these things?" he asked.

"From Maleldil, of course, and from Oyarsa, and from myself," Kalakaperi responded, "I trust in all those people, rather than in the technology by itself. Technology is useful, but without trust in yourself and in Maleldil, and the right direction to take your journey in fulfilling your destiny, technology is nothing. That is why we are interdependent with the séroni and the hrossa, whom we need to complete our roles in Malacandrian society. Trust is very important to us all."

"That sounds smart," agreed Zatt, "I had to learn to trust myself instead of relying only on my datapad when I was looking for my lightsaber crystal, and it solved my problem like a charm. Don't get me wrong; I still enjoy tech stuff a lot, but now I know that it isn't everything, and that there's more to life than just fiddling with machines."

"That sounds very wise to me," said Kalakaperi. "One must know when to use machinery, and when to use the mind and the heart."

"How long will your people keep doing all this good stuff, Kalakaperi?" Zatt asked the pfifltrigg.

"Until the time that the Maleldil calls us all for the Judgment Day, of course," he replied. "We must keep working on our art and technology as well as our mining in order to give praise to him, or we will be in danger of becoming bent ourselves."

"Hey," said Zatt, "That sounds a little like what the Jedi do; we meditate on the Force daily, or whenever we can, and work for the greater good, to serve the Force. Maybe you and I have that one thing in common."

"Perhaps, young Zatt," said Kalakaperi, "Perhaps. Would you like to see more of my work? I have an imperfect but nevertheless fine sculpture of a man named Ransom from the silent planet somewhere in here, my cousin Kanakaberaka made it, and there are more gadgets, also."

"Hey, sounds great," said Zatt, "Check out some other stuff in my datapad, too. It's filled with info on galactic history before the Republic as well as during the Republic."

As Kalakaperi stated, the sculpture of Ransom was next, and then the pre-Republic history on the datapad, and later, Zatt's lightsaber…