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Author Topic: Jessak Moments  (Read 423 times)

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Offline Imazi

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Jessak Moments
« on: 11/07/16, 10:55:58 PM »
Eee.... I did it. >.O I squeaked out another short story. So using NaNoWriMo to write my novel is a bust. That's not going to work but I'm not giving up on the whole 50k words thing, so I'm shifting gears. I will attempt to write a short story a day for the rest of the month. Hopefully, they will be entertaining and add up to the right word count by the end. Cheer me on. I can do this! :cheer:

@agentlyanna Now Zenchi isn't alone in thinking Jessak overreacts to bugs. However, F4 isn't laughing.

@Orell this is what happens when Effet isn't around to shoot things or talk sense into Jessak.


__________________________

The Other Bug Incident

Motes of light danced on the Roze Garden’s walls. As the busy evening traffic passed on its way towards the rest of the evening’s activities, new motes joined the dance. The spacious chambers of the Sky Palace were quiet save for the soft taps of jessak’s footfalls and the heavier steps of the various droid staff.

The heiress turned teahouse owner wandered aimlessly through the botanical garden. She ignored her surroundings in favor of the data on her datapad and was largely free to do so in the quiet of the after business hours.

As she worked and wandered, a sweet smell drew her attention from the words and figures on the screen. It piqued her curiosity as it brought her out of her business review. Where was it coming from? She looked around. Customers had long left the building. Thus, It wasn’t the smell of lingering perfume. The droids hadn’t cleaned with a new product, so it wasn’t that either. Yet, there was no mistaking the smell of a foreign perfume.

Jessak rose from the bench and wandered about the area. She looked for it around the concession stand and behind it. It hadn’t come from there. She looked in among the stands of trees, as deep as she dared. It wasn’t there either. Moving methodically around the room she also ruled out it being something on one of the tables.

Confusion rooted her in place as she tried to put the available information together in her head. She had checked all the obvious places, yet found nothing. However, as she stood thinking, her nose put her on the scent. A deep breath confirmed that the fragrance was stronger where she currently stood. On a lark, Jessak moved closer to a large planter of flowers.

The scent bloomed. That confirmed her suspicion that it was coming from the planter. Yet, what in the planter would smell like that? Why did it smell like that? Finding the source only raised more questions. Rather than resolve the matter, she was left her more confused.

However, Jessak came by her ignorance justifiably. She had grown up on Nar Shaddda. Even as an adult, she had spent most of her time on the great city world. In a place where almost anything that existed could be found and bought, plants were still more alien than most exotic species. The young heiress did know that plants had smells, but none of the ones she had encountered previously had had such a strong or distinct smell. The concept was as foreign to her as the flowers in the large planter.

Cautiously, the city born socialite leaned in slightly to get a better whiff. Jessak’s city world upbringing made plants suspect to her, and unfortunate previous incidents had made her even more distrustful. Her immediate wariness was heightening by the fact that these flowers had replaced others that Jessak had already taken a disliking to. They now had a negative association. Carefully and slowly, she leaned in as if she half expected the flowers to take a swipe at her.

Dubious origin aside, the smell was delightful. Jessak stared in wonder and astonishment at the flowers. These were definitely the source of the smell. She leaned in to smell them more. Though she loathed conceding an inch to any kind of plant, she begrudgingly admitted that the flowers were beautiful and appealing. The scent alone was intoxicating.

She took several more deep breaths, appreciating the flower’s spicy fragrance. In the corners of her mind, she wondered idly if someone had sprayed her flowers with perfume. This thought broke the peace induced by the smell and replaced it with indignation. How dare someone try to trick her into thinking the flowers actually smelled that way.

Jessak’s “better” judgement reminded her that plants did not smell so nice, and she chided herself for “almost falling for it”. In her outrage, she thought to call the seller to give them a piece of her mind, but the scent was pleasing enough to calm her ire. After a few more breaths, she decided instead that she would call to find out what the perfume was and buy it for herself… later.

Jessak was still entranced by the sweet, spicy scent of the flowers. She imagined the rooms she could use it in, and the outfits she would wear it with. She also imagined wearing it for Effet and was eager to see what her boyfriend thought of it. She completely lost herself in the smell. Several minutes passed before Jessak remembered that she still had work to do. Reluctantly, she opened her eyes.

It sat on the flower just inches from her face. It was a large, dark-greenish thing about the size of an eyeball. Jessak let loose a blood curdling scream!

“4LT-F4-E3C, It’s a Bug!”

Jessak flailed, arms everywhere, in reaction to the offending “bug”. However, rather than succeed in sending it away, her flailing caught one of the plant’s leaves instead. With the ballistic arc of a catapult, the offending green thing launched off the flower and flew right at Jessak. The sight of it coming through the air prompted a fresh high-pitched shriek.

Jessak attempted to run. Whatever this bug was, she intended to put as much space between her and it as possible. Despite a solid thought process, this too was to no avail. In her uncoordinated retreat, the terrified woman merely tripped over her own feet. Her normally cushioned behind connected solidly with the metal floor of the sky palace in a graceless fall. It wasn’t until after the fall that the heavy metallic clanks of F4’s footfalls approached the corner.

“Mistress Jessak, where is the bug?”

Though programed to deal with both plants and people, the droid could feel the impending trial that was set to come out of this incident. F4 was as well aware that there was little reason for a bug to be in the teahouse. Normal bugs were a part of the same group of natural features that had long been eradicated from Nar Shadda. The kinds of creatures left were things like mynocks, which would have no interest in the teahouse’s plants. Nevertheless, humoring his mistress’ hysterics was part of the job. He reminded himself that doing so kept him from being thrown away like he had already been ordered to do to several offending plants.

Jessak was still in a full melodramatic panic. Her mind was scattered with irrational fear, but she answered the question as soon as she could process it. Her answer was pointing in every which direction. While caught up in her initial reaction, she had lost the offending bug. Now she had a new reason for acting out as she didn’t see a bug instead of seeing it. The urge to flee struck again.

Jessak attempted to run once more. However, this time she had forgotten to factor in that she was still her bottom. Instead of getting up and running like a reasonable person, she wiggled and scooted away from the plant as best she could on her rear end. Butt walking was not a particularly efficient means of getting away, and she expended much effort but did not get very far.

F4 watched the entire scene and sighed. This is not what he had environed his droid life would be like. Ignoring Jessak for the moment, he ran a scan. It was inconclusive; he found no bugs. That and the ruckus that Jessak was raising while squirming and yelling meant two things. One, he would fine no bug. Two, his mistress would not shut up about the unfound bug. F4 felts a strong sense of being caught between a rock and a hard place. His programming was not designed to solve such a conundrum.

“I am not finding any bugs on my scans, Mistress,” was the best he could offer the frightened woman.

This was not enough.

“There is a bug, F4. Get it!”

Get what? There was nothing there to get, yet he had been given a direct command.

“What did it looks like, Mistress?”

Jessak struggled to remember.

“I don’t know... It was huuuge. And Green. And it attacked me! Get it! Get it! Get it!”

In recalling the incident, Jessak was sent into a fresh wave of panic complete with more flailing around and squealing. F4 sighed and looked around the planter again. He stopped momentarily to pick up stray leaves that had fallen in Jessak’s first wave of useless flailing.

“Mistress, I assure you there is nothing here.”

Jessak did not want to be told that nothing was wrong. As far as she was concerned, there was a crisis. If the bug was not found the whole teahouse could be abandoned. However, she did not want to lose a business just because of one bug. She became indignant and insistent.

“I know what I saw, F4!” she looked at him with all the smoldering rage of an angry gizka. “I was smelling the flower, and then a bug jumped out of it at me. Get. the. bug.”

Jessak’s tone was clear: He had better find a solution and fast. What could he do? There was no bug. Would there be no end to this foolishness? F4 sighed again. He opened his hand and showed its contents to Jessak.

“These are all that I found-“

F4’s statement was cut off by a shrill shriek from Jessak.

 Jessak pointed in wide eyed terror, “There! There! That’s it!”

The robotic gardener looked at the shrieking woman in front of him, then down at his hand. This woman had not gone to pieces because of a bug, which would have been trivial enough. No. She had been screaming bloody murder, for the last hour at least; tried to run a mile on her rear end; and made his day needlessly difficult because of a crumpled up, decaying leaf… Maker help him.

It was then that F4 began wishing that Jessak would stay out of the Teahouse or that he would be turned into trash compactor instead.

He attempted to offer an explanation on the off chance that such an incident could be prevented in the future.

“Mistress, this is not a bug. It is just a leaf.”

Jessak would have none of it.

“Eww. Eww. Eww. Eww. Ewwwww,” she whined in rapid succession. “That’s not a leaf F4! Get rid of it!”

F4 started to unfurl the soggy bit of leaf in an attempt to “prove” the point to Jessak, but he caught himself. When in all of Nar Shaddaa had such a thing ever worked? It was a waste of time, and he knew it was a waste of time. The best thing he could do now is obey, and end this absurdity as quickly as possible.

Calmly, he bowed his head, “Yes, Mistress,” then walked off to dispose of the leaf.

As he walked to the disposal bin, he thought self-pityingly to himself, “my mistress is an idiot.”

The crises resolved, Jessak finally rose from her place on the ground, though she still scanned the area in a bug induced paranoia. Her distrust of plants was once again deepened. Her distrust of all things “natural” was also deepened, and she once again considered her business idea to be a bad idea. Glaring accusingly at the flowers that had “started” this whole mess, she seriously considered throwing them out and writing an angry letter to the nursery. It was one thing to spray the plants with perfume to try to make them sell better, but bug-attracting perfume was simply too far!

Grumpily, she dusted herself off and headed to her office. It had been a rather traumatic day, and she just wanted to be done with it. Fortunately for her, no one was around to see the dirt streaks on her behind from where she had tried to “run” from the “bug.”
« Last Edit: 11/07/16, 11:00:32 PM by Imazi »
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Offline Imazi

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Jessak Moments - Meeting at 12
« Reply #1 on: 11/08/16, 06:37:23 PM »
Yaaa! I'm doing it! One more story down and I'm still at par for my word count. A story a day. A story a day. I can do this. A Story a day! :nuu: #NaNoWriMo2016

____________________

Meeting at 12

Jessak’s head bobbed abruptly. She narrowly caught it before it rolled completely off her hand. Each meeting was, supposedly, an important cog in the company machinery, but she struggled to focus on the meeting through the drowsy haze of boredom. It always amazed her. For all the serious matters that needed to be discussed, indisputably important things, somehow none of those things dominated the time wasted by the person presenting. 30 minutes into this “meeting” and not one of the truly important things had been a topic for more than two sentences… if it got a mention at all.

Jessak slowly ran her fingers over her idle datapad contemplating hurling it at the idiot currently holding the meeting. Though the urge was strong, she thought better of it. One idiot with their eye put out, and it’s lawsuits and yowling for the rest of the day... Hutts help her if she did anything that would drag this ridiculous waste of time out any longer.

In the background of Jessak’s thoughts, the meeting holder continue on.

“…If you look at the next slide, you’ll see…”

Jessak half looked at the slide then returned to tuning out the meeting. Chances were, she could ignore the whole thing and be exactly as well informed as she would have been had she listened. The stylish, engraved datapad stylus in front of her held her attention better. Giving up on the meeting, she started trying to twirl it between her fingers. There were a few difficulties as she tried to figure out how to actually do it. However, now was the time to figure it out. It wasn’t like she was doing anything useful or important at the moment.

“…the figures show that…” the meeting holder droned on.

Jessak was still unconcerned. Figures! Who cared about figures you could look up on your own without having to sit through stupid time wasting meetings?!

Plink. Jessak’s datapad stylus rolled around on the metal floor until Jessak stopped it with her foot. Yet another inconvenience to add to the growing list. She sighed and wiggled around trying to discreetly nudge the fleeing stylus back with her foot. No sooner had she succeeded in getting it back she began to twirl it again. It wasn’t as though she intended to start listening to the meeting now.

“…company policy…”

Every time the meeting holder quoted company policy, Jessak mimicked them behind their back. No one needed a verbatim review of the policies. If anything, what everyone needed was to be free to go back to their desks and actually work. At the rate things were going, their brains would be mush before they got a chance to use any of this wonderful “information”. Jessak huffed impatiently and checked to see if the meeting holder was any closer to wrapping up.

“…on this chart….”

Oh for the love of… Plink. The stylus fell again. This time there was no discreetly retrieving the errant accessory, and Jessak was forced to lean down to get it.

The movement caught the attention of presenter who was irritated that she was taking attention away from the meeting. Jessak’s prolonged struggle to retrieve the stylus, which had already decided to leave the meeting, earned her an aggravated look from the front of the room. There was a brief pause before the person gave up waiting on her. The meeting then continued with the usual random assortment of “agenda topics.”

“…Our competitors are…”

Once she was situated in her seat again, Jessak looked around the room In abject boredom. For the first time, she noticed that there were no chronos in the room. Smart… She knew that it had already been an inordinately long amount of time, but now she had no way of discreetly confirming that. The meeting rules specifically didn’t allow employees to play with their datapads unless they were presenting. Idly, Jessak wondered if she could convince her father to change company policy to include alarm chronos in every meeting room and to put meetings on a timer.

“As we all know…”

Jessak got excited. The meeting holder started to sound as if they were winding up for the end. Now she was content to pay eager attention, so she wouldn’t leave a minute later than necessary. However, as she waited, the statements kept coming and the meeting kept dragging on. Sickeningly, she realized it had been a false stop, and the presenter wasn’t any closer to ending than they had been at the start.

A little bit disgusted, Jessak went back to tuning out the meeting and twirling the stylus.

As she did, she thought to herself, “What we all know is that you are stretching this out just so you can justify that paycheck you’re getting to hold meetings and tell other people what they should be doing instead of doing something useful yourself.”

Her patience was running out. Back at her desk, work was actively piling up and nothing about this meeting was going to do anything about that. She started to consider saying something out loud, but she was distracted as once again as her stylus hit the floor.

“Miss Roze…” came the snappish comment from the front. “Are you having trouble staying with us?”

Jessak was a little embarrassed at first and almost demurred. However, something in her wouldn’t let this moment slide without a smart comment.

“No, I’m not having trouble staying with you. I’m having trouble leaving. That’s the problem.”

Jessak smiled sweetly at the presenter as her remark earned a few quiet snickers around the holo table.

The irritation was apparent on the presenters face as jessak gave them a smug grin. Nevertheless, they attempted to return to the meeting as if nothing had happened.

“…If we just pull together as a team…”

Oh goodness, it was the opening salvo of the pep talk portion of the meeting. Jessak leaned her head on her hand again. This was undeniably the most useless phase of a meeting, yet it somehow took up largest portion without fail. They were nowhere near the end. Jessak resisted the urge to bang her head on the desk in frustration, but instead her lapse in attention allowed datapad stylus to drop once again.

“Miss Roze!” came the indignant demand from the front.

“Yes?” she asked with equal force.

“Do you mind not interrupting with useless distractions?”

The question was half question and half challenge, but Jessak was more than ready to meet it.

“No, I mind being interrupted for useless meetings, but please continue…”

A few more snickers from around the table echoed in the silence that followed Jessak’s statement. The presenter wanted to say something smart back to the young heiress, but the look on Jessak’s face said pushing her would be a bad idea. If nothing else, the presenter couldn’t lay claim to being the company owner’s daughter and was in a more delicate position. After the quickest soul searching of their life, they wisely carried on without further comment.

Eventually the pep talk gave way to the obligatory “blame everyone for the failures of a few people” talk. Jessak couldn’t take it anymore.

“You know whose fault it is we missed the quarterly targets?” she blurted out accusatorily. “It was Alys’ fault. You want to know why it was Alys’ fault? Because Alys is an idiot who steals other people’s ideas, but won’t listen when someone tells her why something works the way it does. ”

The meeting holder was stunned by the interruption and didn’t move to stop the incoming tirade. Jessak took hold of her inch ready to make a mile of it.

“You want to know what else? Half the time it doesn’t matter what Alys does. Why? Because Jem comes through and decides he’s going to do something different no matter what we all agreed on. So then all this time is wasted while we either figure out how to squeeze Jem’s latest goof up into the plan, or we try to fix it to what it should have been all along.”

Alys and Jem sat stiff at the table with those not called out snickered all around them. However, one of the people snickering caught Jessak’s attention and earned their own taste of her wrath.

“And you, Sybeg… don’t get me started. How many project plans have you stalled with your stupid comments? All you’re trying to do is showoff how much you know about obscure, useless facts. Here’s a novel idea for you, why don’t you try advancing the project instead?”

Jessak barely took a breath between statements as she let out a year’s worth of pent up frustrations.

“Or worse yet, you bottleneck all planning with your oversized ego. It’s amazing any of us can fit in the same room as it…. And the tantrums! Any time you don’t get your way everyone gets held hostage while you complain and refuse to cooperate with anybody.”

This time the stylus hit the table with almost enough force to break it as Jessak deliberately slammed the it down. Deciding she would take a higher path, Jessak climbed on the table and turned around, so she could yell at everyone equally.

“If this group had the leadership of a wedge of half rotten Sewer Fruit, none of this would be a problem. The problem people would have been put out instead of being indulged.”

Jessak glared angrily at certain people.

“Solutions from the people who were actually competent would be used. Useless solutions from the person who is liked better would get ignored. We’d actually be on target for once! …and we wouldn’t need this stupid meeting!!”

Jessak stomped her foot to make her point then leveled her ire directly at the meeting holder.

“Now we can pretend this little ‘meeting’ was worth the letters it was printed in on our calendars, but you know we are wasting our time. I’ve had it! I just want to go to my desk, do my job, then get on with the rest of my day. Are. We. Done. Now?!!?!”
_____________

Suddenly, Jessak snapped out of her fantasy. She began to hear the insistent questioning of the meeting holder. Since she obviously hadn’t listened to their earlier request, they repeated themselves.

“Now would be good time for your report, Miss Roze.”

Jessak looked around at the assembled people all staring at her, and she felt a little embarrassed. She weighed her options. She could walk up to the front and do her share of the presenting, or she could finally speak up about these stupid meetings. Part of her desperately wanted to hop on the table and rant, but the idea was quickly lost under the mountain of embarrassment.

As she rose to give her report, she silently promised herself that next time she would actually do all that stuff rather than daydream about it. Once fully standing, she heard a plink on the floor.

Jessak glared down at the datapad stylus and said, “Forget it…”
« Last Edit: 11/10/16, 08:27:17 PM by Imazi »
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Offline Imazi

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Jessak Moments - Fire Breathing Monsters
« Reply #2 on: 11/10/16, 08:26:58 PM »
Holy cow... ready or not this is it. It's as done as I'm going to get it. This story ended up going much longer than I had anticipated, and required a lot of braining. I am tired. However, I did it. Today's story was finished and posted on the right day. Thanks to @Sebrik for the story suggestion. Now I need to go take a nap.  :sleep:
___________________

Fire Breathing Monsters

The forgotten holodisplay control fell to the ground with a clatter as Jessak shifted in her seat. Stretched skin pulled tightly over her knuckles. She braced herself on the edge of her seat with a vice like grip. The holo scene in front of her reflected fully in her eyes widened in anticipation.

 “No, I can’t tell you…” said the woman on the holo while turning away from her male counterpart dramatically.

Jessak subconsciously scratched her arm as she watched the display raptly. In the scene, the look in the eyes of the male character was intense and searching.

“Why not, Tionne?”

Whatever the nature of the story, it was clear the two character were close, yet something drove a wedge between them.

“Because you’d never speak to me again, Parl. I couldn’t live like that.”

The camera focused in on the woman’s face and the special effects softened it to appear more dreamlike and dramatic. Then the music began to play to set the emotional mood. Jessak was deeply absorbed, lost in the scene. To the uninitiated, the whole thing would have reeked heavily of contrived drama and gratuitous plot points, but to Jessak, it was a work of deep impact.

However, as intent as she was on watching her show, an irritation vied for her attention. Even as she feel in step with the lead up, beginning to jump to conclusion of her own, the itching on her arm was getting harder and harder to ignore.

“Of course something like this would happen,” Jessak thought to herself, “right as it gets to the good part.”

Parl continued his impassioned plea with Tionne, “…and this is any way to live? How can you say that? You know I love you, Tionne… no matter what.”

“No…” Tionne broke into bitter sobs, “Not after this… No one could ever love me after this.”

Jessak’s impatience began to get the better of her, “Come on… what is it? Who’s baby is it? Or who killed Kavros? Was it Berud that betrayed Gryll? Ooooh…. What do you know, Tionne?!” Caught in the moment, the longtime loyal fan loudly demanded answers of the holodisplay. 

As she all but jumped into the scene with the characters, Jessak wiggled on the edge of her seat, but it was only partially due to eagerly awaiting the big reveal. The itching had spread beyond her arm, and now she found herself scratching all over. The more she tried to ignore it to watch the show, the more she scratched. Eventually, she became too preoccupied to notice that even her breathing was becoming more difficult.

On the holo, Parl grabbed Tionne’s arm and brought her up close to him, “I will always love you, Tionne. What is it?”

Tionne looked up at Parl with glistening eyes and said to swelling music, “I…. I…”

Jessak slid onto the floor in front of her seat and called urgently for one of the butler droids. Each breath felt like a Hutt sat on her chest, her arm felt like it was on fire, but through the haze of confusion, she had to hold on long enough to get help. The alarmed droid realized that something was seriously wrong and quickly ran off to find one of the medical droids.

As the mechanical doctor approached, it started its customary greeting, “Please state the nature of the medical…” It stopped short once it saw Jessak. She was heaving just to breath and scratching all over as if she had lain down in a Nar Shaddaa back alley. The afflicted heiress made a pitiful sight as she curled up next to her seat.

The droid, bypassed the usual inquiries to skip directly to a full body scan. “Allergic reaction. Please hold still, Mistress, while I administer medication.”

The droid carefully grabbed Jessak’s arm, much to her distress. It anesthetized the target area, prepared a stim and, stuck her with it to calm the reaction. Not one to appreciate getting a shot of any sort, Jessak made a fuss over the stim, but she piped down a bit and thanked the droid once she started to again breathe normally.

This droid had been caring for Jessak for long enough to be accustomed to her theatrics. Even in the face of a real problem, the droid did not flinch. One method of damage control it had developed were tricks to cut down on her drama. The droid could have written a book on the subject that would have been highly desirable to many and impressive to others.

One problem down, it now ran a second scan to ensure that the stim was in fact working and to see if there were any other problems. There was, in fact, one more.

“Please push back the sleeve on your other arm Mistress. It appears you have a rash.”

Jessak nervously complied and tenderly pushed the sleeve up her arm. She realized that something must have been wrong with the arm; it’s where the whole incident had started. However, when she looked at her arm the terror of what she saw cause her to shriek in horror. Desperately she waved her arm back and forth.

“Do something. Do something. Do something…” she wailed. Tears streaked down her cheeks in fear.

From around the base of her thumb to halfway up Jessak’s forearm, there was an ugly red rash with many bumps, much to Jessak’s horror. To the pampered heiress, it wouldn’t have been any worse or more horrific if a whole face had begun to form on her arm.

Now the droid had make a decision. One way or another it would have to do something about this mess. However, in a previous life it had been a Hutt gambling machine. Even in its new incarnation as a medical droid, it still retained a weakness for gambling. Well aware of the exact chance of failure for its next action, and it was high, the droid proceeded.

“If you can tell me what caused the rash, I should be able to apply a daily cream for you. It should resolve itself over the next several days.”

Taking care of Jessak’s long term health was more difficult than keeping ones finger while stealing food from a Hutt. Yet, he was obligated to try. However, accustomed to having everything done immediately, the chances of getting the rich woman to allow time for the rash to heal naturally were low.

Jessak listened pitifully from her spot on the floor. She had long since given up on waving her arm about, and had let it drop limply to the ground as if it were broken. The dejected look on her face combined with her limp arm and general aura of self-pity made the spoiled young woman a rather pathetic sight.

“Nuuu….” She whined softly, “Fix it. Do something. Look at it…” She leaned over to the side as she begged the droid to do something. As she stretch over,  her arm limp just sort of rolled over pitiably. In well-practiced efforts, she made sad puppy faces at the droid. In well-exercised reactions, it was unmoved. Even aside from being a droid, it was well accustomed this particular act and was not inclined to give in.

Mentally noting that the gamble failed, the droid sighed.

“Mistress, you really should let your immune system work normally one day.”

However, the best course of action at that point became getting the matter resolved. Trying to change her mind would have just made matters worse.

“First, I will need to establish the cause of the rash,” it continued, “Please answer my questions as specifically as possible.”

Jessak nodded pitifully ready to answer if it would get that hideous thing off her arm.

“When did your symptoms begin?” the medical droid asked.

“I dunno…” Jessak looked around helplessly as she tried to remember.

“…at the beginning of the show I guess.”

She leaned her head in the direction of the holodisplay which had long moved passed the big reveal. By this point, the uselessness had spread throughout her body, and she moved little more than her head in response. However, she tried to give the droid the big eye in a bid to garner sympathy.

The droid looked at the holodisplay. Judging by the the progress of the now forgotten holo-soap, it calculated a start time.

“Close enough,” the droid was still unfazed by the sympathy routine and kept moving. “Have you had any other rashes lately or have you come in contact with anything that has caused a previous allergic reaction?”

“Noo…” Jessak whined some more. At first, she could not think of anything that fit, but slowly a memory peeked from around the shadowy corners of the forgotten past in her mind. “Well… There might be one thing.”

“Yes?” the droid asked patiently.

“I was invited by one of the nurseries to come see their plants. They had a lot of them. I mean there were plants everywhere. But they had heard about the Teahouse and were trying to make some sales…”

Jessak started weaving a story much more extensive than was needed to answer the question, but the droid made no move to stop her. This was one of its tricks to control her drama. If she was talking about something only barely related to the problem then she probably wasn’t thinking about the thing that upset her in the first place.


As Jessak spoke, the useless drained out of her body. With each layer of story, she moved around a bit more animatedly. Eventually she made it to more relevant parts of the story, “Anyway, I was wandering around while they were going on like a used speeder salesmen, and I tripped. I didn’t fall or anything, but I bumped into one of the plants...”

One look at her arm returned it to its imaginary broken state. As the pitiful grew, she continued relaying the rest of the incident.

“At first I didn’t think it mattered, but then it dripped this disgusting icky plant stuff on me. They said was oil, but this was liquid plant fire. My arm felt like it was burning. I’m not even exaggerating. It felt like my arm was a Soovada torch in the middle of the ending ceremony fireworks…”

Jessak thought about the past incident then made the connection to the current one, “…right in the same place that this icky rash is.”

Now she began to get upset as she told more of the story.

“I freaked out because this stupid plant thing is oozing plant fire on me, and the sales woman can’t get it off fast enough. Then I see that this thing is covered in plant fire. The other plants were shiny too, I bet they all were covered in it-“

“Mistress…” the droid finally interrupted. Its patience was significant, but the fact remained that Jessak had gotten far enough off topic to where she would never get back on it again. “I need to know which specific plant dripped oil on you, so I can treat your rash.” True, her storytelling was better than her “freaking out”, but none of this was going to help treat the rash.

Once reminded of the rash, Jessak again became all-over pitiful and languid. She quickly reeled in her asides as she returned to useless mode.

“That scuzz mucking Nerf herder tried to tell me that it was ‘no big deal. Most people don’t have any bad reactions to Demora Plant oil…’ but that ‘I should still check with a doctor just in case.’”

Jessak grumbled, “scuzz mucking Nerf herder” again under her breath.

The medical droid looked back in its logs. Oh yes… that had been the Plant Fire drama several weeks ago. For a whole week, Jessak had gone into one of her plant panics. Surely, the droid had had to run more scans on Jessak then than it had the previous several years. It shook its head. Even though its mistress had sworn off dealing with nurseries directly and buying new plants, her relationship with the natural world was stressful, even for a droid. Yet, progress had been made. The plant had a name… though it wasn’t the ideal name.

A common name…  Hmm. The scientific name would have been better, but this one would have do. “Excuse me, Mistress. Allow me to look for treatment options. “

As the droid searched the holonet for a treatment that wouldn’t make matters worse, Jessak continued on with her story in the background. With each aside, the plants became larger, more dangerous, more fiery, and more monstrous.

Most of the story was lost on the droid as it filed the whole incident under the usual drama associated with a Jessak plant panic or illness. Once it had found a recipe for an effective treatment, it began to internally mix the medicines that would remove the visible parts of the rash.

“Mistress,” the long-suffering droid pleaded as it approached to treat the rash, “If I may make a suggestion. Just avoid plants in the future…”
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