Saturday, October 22, 2005

And the winner to Challenge # 12...

“Fluke…Qui-Gon…that was an admirable try. You guys lasted four days out here in the hot dry sun, but as it turns out Yoda is the winner and as such wins immunity. Because it’s down to just the three of you, Qui-Gon’s vote for Fluke and Fluke’s vote for Qui-Gon cancels out each other. So Yoda’s vote is the only one we’re looking for. Remember…you’re not only voting off someone, you’re also determining who you’re gonna bring with you to the final two.

As a consolation for all of you we have some ice cold drinks over here. Oh, and some left over food from that challenge if you’re hungry.

I’ll see you all at tribal council tomorrow.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Yoda: Winning, Dolly, and Doofuses

Comfortable it is on this post. A hard time balancing Young Starbucker is having, but small I am. Plenty of room I have.

But boring it has gotten. Amusing for only so long, hearing Young Starbucker yell, "The snakes! The pink snakes on my head! Get them off! Get them off me!" is. Getting bored with watching him bat his arms at an imaginary psycho pony, I am.

Also, getting tired I am. Up on these posts for days with no sleep, we have been. Very heavy my eyelids feel. Keep them open no longer I.... zzzzzzzzzz

"Howdy there, Yoda!"

"Who that is!"

"I'm right over here, Sugar!"

"D-Dolly, you that is?!"

"But, where am I? In the middle of that stupid challenge I was, and..."

"Oh, Honey, that wasn't nothin' but a little ol' nightmare. Here..."

"...You just relax and tell me all about it, Sugar. I'm gonna make it all better for ya, ya hear?"

"Oh, Dolly, terrible it was. Trapped on this awful desert planet called Tatooine and surrounded by all these doofuses, I was. First, womprats we had to eat. Then, in a giant worm's skin we lived. Then, lick Jabba the Hutt's armpit I had to. Then, around all the time this big blind farting bantha was following me. Also, there Dooku was, but let me smite him down they would not! And... and... forced to eat disgusting things I was... and..."

"Shh, now don't you fret none, Sweetheart. Dolly's gonna make it all better. Why don't you give me a smooch?"

"K-k-kiss you, you mean?"

"Of course, Sugar! What d'ya expect I want a good-lookin fella like you to do? C'mon Darlin', kiss me."

Racing so fast my heart is. So nervous and excited I am. A wish come true this will be...

"Yoda, wake up! Hey, wake up!"


"Huh? What? Happening what is? Go where, Dolly did?"

"Yoda, it's me, JJ. You fell asleep...OUCH!"

"Doofus!" Young Starbucker's boot I threw at JJ. "Woke me up you should not have!"

"But you won the challenge, and Qui-Gon's trying to revive Fluke, and you're missing... what are you doing?"

"Look like what, does it? Smacking myself in the head with my cane I am. Maybe knock myself unconcious and go back to sleep I can."

Qui-Gon : Dramatic Title STAT!

He sensed it mere seconds before the fall. The young man known as Fluke Starbucker was in eminent danger and the Force pushed him to help.
Qui-Gon Jinn leapt up, mid-roll in the desert sands, and dashed to the hero's side. With enhanced reflexes, he caught the man using the Living Force as a net.
"Fluke!" he cried, slowly laying the fallen one to the sandy ground. Franticly, he checked his pulse. He found none (though he was unable to actually depress the skin in his spectral form).
JawaJuice had joined the two, watching with a questioning look on his face.
"No, Fluke, man..." Qui-Gon panted, checking his vitals. "You can't go like this. You can't DIE!"
"Die?" JJ said, leaning down and observing Fluke. "Um, Qui? He's breathing."
Qui-Gon held a translucent hand out in front of JJ, blocking his view. "Like, give us some room, man!" He knelt beside Fluke, desperately thinking, clenching his fist and teeth.
"Right! JJ, like, I need a BP, CBC, Chem 7, Lytes, and, like, a Tox screen. Type and cross match for, like, 2 litres and I want him on, like, Saline Solution IV Push, man. STAT!" Qui-Gon was near frantic.
JJ's eyes went wide. "What?"
"You heard me, man! Stat!"
"Qui," the Jawa said, putting a calm hand on his shoulder, "We don't have any of that stuff."
The ghost was at a loss. "What? You don't have any atropine? Or, like, a laryngoscope?"
JJ pointed to a small table with a sweating pitcher of iced drink. "I have some lemonade."
Qui-Gon clenched his fists, seething. "No! I've got to get his body temp down! Stat!"
JawaJuice motioned to his small foot tub. "There's my pool."
The ghost used the Force to gather up the young man and dragged him to the blue plastic basin, with a cartoon turtle design.
JJ frowned. "Qui, he peed his pants. If you dip him in there, it'll make the water all nasty."
"I'm trying to save his life! Stat!" the incorporeal one barked, dumping the unconscious young man in.
Fluke's right eye opened a sliver and he moaned softly.
High atop his perch, Master Yoda mimicked the sound of a flat-lining monitor.
"NOOOOO! Live!" Qui-Gon cried, pouring the remaining contents of JJ's pitcher over Fluke's head. "You have to live!! Live for your 47 children! Goober Mae! Little Bubby! Soppy Sue-Bob is going to Academy next year! And Cruddy Joe needs that new appendix!" Tears ran down the ghost's face, as the Jawa looked on in hushed shock. "Live for the New Jedi Order Wannabe Wannabe's! Live for the FOOF'ers!" He Force splashed the young man and sniffled, his voice breaking. "But mostly, man, ya' gotta live for ol' Quiggy..." Qui-Gon bowed his head, his shoulders shaking.
Fluke opened his eyes slowly. "Uh..."
The ghost looked on the sopping wet young man in a small tub of water, with his legs hanging over the sides. "Fluke?" he said, emotionally, tears and spectral snot running down his face.
"Why am I in a kiddie pool with Snotty the Friendly Ghost standing over me?" Fluke shook a lemon wedge off of his head.
"You're alive!" The ghost sobbed, giving Fluke a formless hug. He sniffled and wiped his nose on his soggy poncho sleeve. "I, I thought I'd lost you." His chin quaked.
"Uh," Fluke said, with a confused smile, "No. I'm good. Are you sure I'm what you thought you lost?"
JJ chimed in, "Thought?"
Fluke sat up in the several inch deep water. "Can I get up now? I can't feel my feet."
The ghost's eyes went wide. "No... In my, like, haste to save you, I've left you paralysed!" He stood dramatically and bit his clenched fist.
JJ held out his hand and helped Fluke to his feet. "Qui," Fluke said, "I'm all right. Really. Just, um, sitting like that in 3 inches of water in a plastic novelty pool made my feet go to sleep."
Qui-Gon turned around, shocked to see Fluke standing. "You're a real trooper, man. Wow. The healing power of the Living Force..." He shook his head, smiling, chin wobbling.
Fluke nodded and gave another confused smile.
"You're sure you're all right?"
Fluke gave a quick nod and started on his way to the cave. A few paces out, he stopped, and looked as though he remembered something. He turned back the ghost and the Jawa. "Thanks Qui," he said, in an over-acted sort of way, "Thanks for saving my life."
Qui-Gon and JJ shared a non-realistic sitcom smile.

Qui-Gon turned to JJ. "So, uh, do you think that was, like, dramatic enough, man?"
JJ nodded, getting himself a cold Ol' Mos Eisley from a crew cooler. "Oh yeah. That was pure Emmy material right there. It was so realistic, I wasn't sure what to think."
The spectre shook his head. "That was just, like, way out of character, though, man. Don't you think that the critics will, like, notice?"
JawaJuice took a long swig of beer. "Naw," he said, "It's Sweeps week. They only watch that one week a year anyway."
"Oh, right right. What about my fans?"
The two shared a laugh.

Starbucker: day 4, uh-bubbubbbubbuuub

The suns continue to beat down upon the two remaining contestants, who have now gone for four days with no food, water, sleep, shelter, coffee or donuts...

The wind has a name in the desert, but it's barely known... and hasn't been seen for some time... all is still... quiet... dry...

Fluke continues to stand... he wobbles occasionally... he glances upward only rarely.

He's hurting. He's breaking down both mentally and physically. Over the last 24 hours, the Darth Pony has nudged him, kicked him, swished his face with it's tail and brayed loudly in his ear, yet he will not give.

When he's able to muster a clear thought, it's about emerging from the show as the victor... it's about setting the plastic bust of JJ that he might win upon the shelf at his home alongside such other reminders and mementos of notable accomplishments, such as the 9-pin no tap championship trophy, the trampoline championship trophy, and the pan flute participant ribbon.

But, oh, how he aches... and the troopers that dismounted from the Darth Pony, they help not... they beckon him down...

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It all seems so realistic... but nerds that dress like troopers don't really score babes like those, do they?

Occasionally, he wastes his energy - a LOT of energy - taking mad swings at the pony, or hollering rubbish at the troopers, or gnawing on the shield of his blaster helmet. Then he will realize what he's doing, and then look around to see if others saw him... and invariably, there is Yoda... taunting him... pointing at him... laughing at him...

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"No, no! Laughing with you, I am, Young Starbucker"

How does Yoda do it? What kind of madness is this, that a creature that would be at home in the swamp could possibly survive... even seem to thrive in the desert heat?

He hears babbly-wabbling to his left, and quickly glances over...

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Metinks yousa bouta loosa, yousa bouta loosa, yousa bouta loosa, etc

He tries to reply, but is interrupted by beeping to his right, so he quickly glances over there...

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I say, Master Starbucker, your odds are diminishing rapidly

He begins to reply, but is distracted by a commotion behind him, his spins around...

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great goblins of Gondor

He tries to jump down to help, but his feet are too heavy for jumping... Instead of jumping, his body begins to lean forward... his attention goes to the ground beneath his platform...

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a sarlacc is drawing him in...

...he leans toward it, further and further, he cannot help it... and he falls, and falls, and falls, for what seems an eternity, as he hears a distant forlorn piece reminiscent of dear old grampy's playing that used to spook him silly when he was younger...

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Thursday, October 20, 2005

Qui-Gon : The Stench of Failure

Qui-Gon Jinn sat in Lotus-Position atop his pillar standing high above the sands of Tatooine. His spectral eyes were closed and a gentle look of peace blanketed his translucent face. He was deep in meditation, as he had been for several days.
The harsh sun shone through him, reflecting on his brightness making him glow more so. The brutal heat of the desert did nothing to effect him. His soft, worn poncho fluttered with the occasional breeze, but other than that, he was totally still.
The talking of the others on the poles, as well as the diminutive Jawa host, went completely unnoticed.
When starting into the meditation, Qui-Gon used the standard breathing techniques he had been taught many years before. Though there was no breath in him, as he lacked a living form, he allowed his spectral body to follow the motions of the breath. In and out. Inhale and exhale. Rhythmic. Gentle and soft. Simple motions that drew him into a state of peace.
While in the state, his mind cleared. The mundane thoughts of the day were chased away by light, like the rays of the sun through the leaves of the trees. Peace covered him and he was one with all. The tiny beetles skittering on the ground. The desert cacti drinking in the sun. The herds of massive Bantha roaming wild through the scorched countryside.
The peace was still there, but after several days, Qui-Gon's mind began to wander. He recalled the Bantha he bathed during one challenge, Jim. His natty fur became soft as silk. His horrid smell was gone. The ghost knew that the Bantha was out there, roaming with the herd.
He suddenly wondered why his mind when astray. He knew that meditative peace was lasting unless one were to break free or to be roused by some powerful outside force.
His first reaction was a rather violent retch. As he had no physical form, he was not physically sick. He threw his hand, draped in his poncho over his nose. His eyes darted open to see a large mangy Bantha back-end right at his face.

"Oh, WOW! What a stench!" he exclaimed, rising to his feet.
There was the sound of very familiar giggling.
Qui-Gon's eyes went wide.
"oh, like, no..." He knew to whom the giant Bantha bottom belonged to.
"Bob, this is. Know him you do," the small green Jedi, on the pillar nearest the ghost, said. Master Yoda was busy rubbing under the Bantha's chin. Bob moaned deeply, rocking the pillars. His long, slimy pink tongue jutted from the corner of his mouth. His glossy blind eyes fluttered behind their crusty lids. He was in a Bantha state of bliss.
The spectre knew this Bantha by reputation only. He had heard the hours and hours of horror stories from the diminutive Jedi master. This was Bob, the blind Bantha with a certain gastrointestinal issue brought on by the utterance of a single word. The power of his wind was legendary.
The ghost stood, quaking, on his post.
"Please, like, Master Yoda, man... Don't..."
"Don't what?" the grinning green one interrupted.
Holding his nose, Qui-Gon waved a hand out.
"Don't, like, say, that word..."
"What word of which you speak?" Yoda's eyes twinkled and his grin grew ever wider. "Pickles?"
There was a mighty rumble that drown out the sound of Qui-Gon's yell. Bob, unceremoniously and with a mighty moan of "Wuaaaaarh!," broke wind. Phlpppt!
Suddenly, the green glowing form and tan poncho of the ghost was a blur, flying at high speed far out into the desert. It rolled a few times and went totally still.

JawaJuice jumped at the massive sound, his bare feet splashed in his wading pool.
"Sweet Aunt Mee'be, what the hell was that?!"
He looked around to see Yoda holding his sides laughing and a massive Bantha standing beside his perch.
The Jedi master wiped the tears from his eyes and looked down to JJ.
"A bit of gas Bob had. Not to worry." He began to chuckle again.
JJ looked over his trendy light-shades and noticed the vacancy at Qui-Gon's pillar.
"Where is Qui-Gon?"
Yoda simply pointed out into the desert where a faint green light flickered.
JawaJuice's jaw dropped and he blinked for a moment before breaking into a run to the light.
The sand warmed the soles of his feet as he ran and the wind from his speed blew at his robe. The form came into view. And it was rolling comically.

"Qui?" JJ asked tentatively.
The shifting green and tan figure stopped and looked up.
"Oh, wow, JJ, man."
The Jawa stepped nearer, but halted suddenly and flung his hand up to cover his nose. "Stinks..."
Qui-Gon heaved a small sigh. "Yeah, like, I know. Bob, like, ripped this massive fart, man. Blew me off my, like, perch. Bummer."
With nose tightly pinched, JJ nodded.
"So, like, I lost."
Again, JawaJuice nodded.
"Yeah, so, like, if you need me, I'll be out here. Rolling in the sand. Trying to get the rank Bantha poot smell off my poncho. For, like, the next four hours."
JJ looked as if he were to say something important, but he merely shook his head. "Good luck with that, man. See ya' in four hours then." He made sure to walk out of earshot before breaking into fits of laughter.

Starbucker: day 3 - the Darth Pony attack

Fluke is standing incredibly still... slightly waving to and fro very gently in the still air... his eyes are sunk in... his shoulders are slouch... his toes are unfisted... his mouth is open partially and parched.

Every so often, his left arm twitches.

He looks up to see a few native flying predators circling overhead as the twin suns of Tattooine beat down upon him in the excruciating heat of this, the third day.

He looks down and mumbles something incoherent.

He looks over toward JJ, who is standing nearby.

He opens his mouth to speak... but only a whisper escapes...

FLUKE: "JJ... how long..."

He notices JJ doesn't hear

FLUKE: *ahem* "JJ... How long..."

JJ's head continues to stay down





Fluke removes his left boot and chunks it.


The figure comes to life

YODA: "OW! Doofus!"

FLUKE: "Oh! Sorry, Master Yoda! I thought you were JJ! Where is he?"

YODA: "Know, I do not! But on my post, he never has been! Your mind, are you losing?"

FLUKE: "I'm very sorry Master Yoda! It's just that... I.. well, you and him are about the same hei... I'm hot and kinda confused."

YODA: "If not bound by these contest rules I were, give you a force wedgie I would. Thought of looking for JJ over there where he has been this entire time, have you? Think that creature, who looking through a Jawuggs Magazine is, while on a lemonade sips, and into a wading pool his toes he dips, in the area under which the influence of the AC droid you helped build is, might him be? Hmmm?"

Fluke rereads that last sentence several times

FLUKE: "Uh... ok, I guess?" ???

YODA: "Good. Now, alone leave me."

Fluke turns in JJ's direction, but as he speaks, something in the distance catches his eye...

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Is that an Imperial trooper?

Fluke shrugs the sighting off as a possible hallucination, and continues to get JJ's attention>

FLUKE: "Hey, JJ, I'm thirsty. I'm... hey, can I get a sip of that?"

JJ: "Sure, c'mon down here, I got plenty to spare. I got a few gallons altogether just sitting here on ice."

JJ opens a cooler filled with refreshing goodness. Fluke begins to step off the post. Yoda hollers...

YODA: "AAAUGHHH! Bad Starbucker! Broken my dixie cup with your boot, you have! Pay for this later, you will!"

Yoda's chastizing remind him of where he is, and what he's doing... he stops, and turns turns back towards Yoda and begins jumping... and flailing... and screaming...

FLUKE: "Get away! Evil Pony! Have at you! Don't kick me off of here! Get away!"

...he flails his arms about as if attacking something... or being attacked by something... JJ and Yoda and QGJ all watch as Fluke flails and kicks and screams for what seems like a unusually long time...

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This is what he sees...

Finally he if his video game were over.

FLUKE: "I can't believe this! JJ, Did you send those troopers to knock me off of here? Why didn't they attack QGJ, or Yoda? HM?"

JJ: "Man, you're losing it. Why dont you give up?"

FLUKE: "NEVER!!!!! My resolve has never been stronger than it is right now!"

Starbucker Out

Yoda: Dignity

The manners of a baboon, Young Starbucker has. To raise their hand and ask to be excused to the restroom, so that wet their pants they do not, even the Younglings I teach know. Well, most of them, anyway. A puddle under little Harvey's desk I still find from time to time.

But digress I do. An adult Young Starbucker is supposed to be! OK, so to win he wants, but no pride he has? Worth giving up all your dignity is it? The only one here who is concerned about decency, am I?

A good thing it is that this Dixie cup I stashed in my robe. Of course, a challenge, emptying it unnoticed when full it gets is. Sometimes, unfortunate enough to be walking below an unsuspecting producer is while emptying the cup I am. But if up at me she looks, all I say is, "Hmm, birds." Think fast on my feet I can.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Oh, woah!

This is crazy!

I can't stand it any longer!

Have you ever held a whiz for almost 24 hours?!?!

While listening to a Jedi Master sing "Splash-Splish, a bath I was taking"???

It's no fun lemme tell ya.

I had to let loose, but there was no WAY I was gonna step off that poduim... post... pole... whatEVER!!

I didn't care who was around...

ah, yeah.... hey! This could be fun!

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my name


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Oh, man, there's a MAJOR release! Ahhh...

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Oh, This is the best feeling I can ever remember having!

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Ohhhh, yeaaaaahhhhhhhh...

Wow! I never knew my bladder was so huge!

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Hey, lookit that! I'm making pretty patterns in the sand! Hey, that looks like w...

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Oh, man, I'm like, losing serious weight right now!

(reading) Is Yoda cheating? Hmmm..... (thinking) Could it be true?...and if so, how? How is he holding it all in?

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This is some kinda sign! I gotta tell JJ!

FLUKE: "JJ!!!!.... Oh, JJ!"

JJ waddles over

FLUKE: "JJ, look in the sand."

JJ looks

FLUKE: "DO you see it?"

JJ: "What?"

FLUKE: "THe writing!"

JJ: "THe writing? The writing in the sand?"

FLUKE: "Yeah, do you see what it says?"

JJ: " I don't see no writing in no sand, Fluke."

FLUKE: "Well, it's not like, ink writing... I whizzed it. I whizzed it all....and it told me Yoda might be cheating! It is spelled out in the sand... the yellow sand!"

JJ: "..."

FLUKE: "IT'S RIGHT THERE! Look! Can't you see it!"

JJ: "Fluke, I don't see nothing.... when did you whiz this prophecy?"

FLUKE: "Just then."

JJ: "..."

Fluke nods his head quickly

JJ: "Uh, dude... you didn't even unzip your fly. That whiz never hit no sand."

Fluke looks down... at his pants... and is shocked at what he sees...

FLUKE: "Uh... well Yoda is cheating anyway. You should check into it."

JJ waddles off. Fluke thinks, Geeze, it seemed so real... YOU saw it, didn't you?

Starbucker out

Yoda: Whizzing the Day Away

So on my post I was when over at Young Starbucker I looked. Very antsy he was acting. Also his legs he kept crossing. Strong with the Spores he is, but learned the Jedi Bladder Control Trick yet he has not. Incomplete his training is.

Some words of encouragement I thought I would give him. "Hey, Young Starbucker! Know what I am thinking about right now, do you? Thinking about the waterfalls on Naboo, I am. Yes, picture the water flowing down I can."

"No, Yoda!" Young Starbucker pleaded, "Stop! I can't..."

"Mm... gushing, yes. Hear the splashing I can. Splish, splash. Hear it can you? Of course, sometimes just a trickle it is. Trickle, trickle. Tinkle, tinkle. Picture the tinkling of the waterfalls, can you?"

All wrinkled up from the strain, his face was getting now. Hee hee hee hee!

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Starbucker: This is easier than squeezin' cheese

FLUKE: "So... we just stand there?"

JJ nods

FLUKE: "That's it?"

JJ nods

FLUKE: "Up there?" He points

JJ nods

FLUKE: "...and that's it."

JJ nods

FLUKE: "Is there a challenge?"

JJ nods

FLUKE: "...but it's just standing there?"

JJ nods

FLUKE: "..."

JJ nods

FLUKE: "np"

The Young FotNJOw shuffles up his post as Yoda and QGJ do the same. There they stand...

about two minutes pass...

FLUKE: "Uh, JJ?"

JJ: "Yes?"

FLUKE: "When do we get a bathroom break?"

JJ: "You don't. There are no breaks."

FLUKE: "Say again? I think the heat might already be messing with me..."

JJ: "I said, 'No breaks'."

FLUKE: "Oh, good for a minute there, I thought you said 'no breaks', *whew*"

JJ: "Uh, Fluke... That is what I said."

FLUKE: "What? No you didn't... that was just my mind messing with me a little."

JJ: "Isn't it a tad early in the challenge post for this?"

FLUKE: "For what?"

JJ: "This goofy rambling."

FLUKE: "p'shaw. My posts are never too early for goofy ramb... uh, I mean, look little Jawa, my back teeth are floating. My eyes are turning yellow. I'm about to bust. I needed to go earlier, but I was excited about meeting the week's challenge and just didn't follow up on it, and now I'm stuck up here and the challenge is already started. What am I supposed to do?"

JJ: "You can always get down and go."

FLUKE: "Really?"

JJ: "Yep, but of course, that would be forfeiting and you don't win the challenge."

FLUKE: "Oh, but I gotta win the challenge."

JJ: "Well, then, you still have two options: Hold it, or just let it go."

Fluke looks at his opponents... and grumbles... "I can hold it as long as these guys can..."

...hours pass...

FLUKE: "Say JJ, can you wheel that cooling droid out here? It's getting a little warm."

JJ: "Oh, good thinking!"

JJ disappears into the cave, and soon comes out with the cooling droid. He sets it up next to his lawn chair and turns it on for minimum coverage

JJ: "Much better!

FLUKE: *grumblepout*

Starbucker out

Challenge #12 Sweating to the oldies

Good morning Survivors. It’s been a very long time since we started this game; nearly three months of braving the elements and each other. But today is the last challenge you three will have to endure. In fact endurance is what it’s all about.

As you can see, were out here in the dune sea just before dawn. To my left are three small posts sticking out of the sand just large enough to stand on. It is on each of those posts that you will get on and stand there for how ever long it takes. Remember, the suns will be up any minute and as the day grows so will the temperature to nearly 130 degrees. You will have no food or water unless some is offered to you. You may even hallucinate due to the heat, who knows. But if you fall off the post, you’re out. Simply put, the last person standing wins immunity. And as such that person in a sense decides who to take with him to the final two.

Is everyone ready? Alright. Get up on your posts and we’ll begin.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Tribal Council #11

Welcome survivors. You all did very well with the three rings of fear. I know that was a particularly hard challenge to confront. As you know, Qui-Gon came out of the rings first and as such has immunity towards tonight’s vote. So with that said…let’s begin counting the votes.

First vote……………………Fluke



…………………………….Han. Yet another tie. So once again I will randomly pick between the two names and be verified by my lovely assistant, Elsa.

……………………….the thirteenth person off Survivor: Tatooine….

Han Solo.

Han….the tribe has spoken.

The three of you head back to camp. Tomorrow will bring the last challenge. Good night.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Qui-Gon : Revealed in the Dusk

Dusk painted waves of red and violet on the windswept sands. Twin suns inched lower into the darkening sky. A lone rocky outcrop glowed with life. From outside, a muffled shout could be heard, then another. Repeated violent cracking sounds followed, punctuated by more shouting. There was another, slightly nearer voice calling, and a glowing form left the mouth of the cave.
The green haze of Qui-Gon Jinn wafted into view.
"Qui!" JawaJuice met him a few steps out.
The ghost hung his head. "I swear, man, like, there won't need to be a vote with, like, those guys. It's like, a fight to the death in there now, man." He heaved a sigh.
"Well," JJ said, "You can hang with me. Have, um, a talk." He flashed a quick wink to the camera.
"Uh, like, JJ, man?" Qui-Gon asked, pointing a translucent finger out toward the direction of the camera. "There's like, a camera there."
JawaJuice feigned surprise. "There is? Golly!" He stepped toward it. "It looks off."
Qui-Gon looked confused for a moment. "It does? Well, like, there's that little red light on and that high-pitched buzz that cameras make."
"Would I lie to you?"
The ghost smiled. "You're right, man. Sorry, for, like, doubting you."
JJ sat on a nearby rock and Qui-Gon followed suit.
"We're not going to sing Kumbayah, are we, man? I just, like, don't do the campfire classics. I do have an image to uphold."
JJ simply smiled and shook his head. "No, Qui. None of that. I just wanted to know how things are going. You know, down to the nitty-gritty."
"Isn't that, like, cat litter?"
"No," JJ said with a short sigh. "That's Gritty-Kitty. Nitty-Gritty. The Final Three contestants? Last three weeks of the show?"
"Oh!" the spectre exclaimed, raising his index finger. "Like, yeah! Big finale."
"Well, what do you think?"
Qui-Gon went blank. "About what?"
JJ shook his head. "The ending? Are you ready? Excited? Um, bummed?"
"Oh. About, like, that." He drew in a sigh and looked deep in thought for a brief moment. "I'm, like, bummed, JJ. I don't think I want to leave, you know? Like, these guys, right? They're not the greatest roomies, but out here, I don't know, it's almost like I'm alive again. Like I'm worth something."
"What are you worth out here? Do you think you'll win?"
The ghost drew his eyes away, staring at the sand. "You want me to be honest?"
JJ nodded and said, "Well, yeah."
Qui-Gon's reply was nearly silent. "I don't want to win."
The Jawa sat back and looked perplexed. "You don't want to win? A million credits?"
Qui-Gon looked up, a serious look hard on his face. "Let's face it, mate. I'm dead. I don't need a new ship. Or, like, things for a moisture farm. Or even a trip to Dolly-Wood, man. I got no need for the bread, man. I don't need it. I mean, like, I could spend it, sure. Have a far-out shin-dig. Bring every one of the people who, like, got voted off back. Have a hell of a time. But I don't need it."
JawaJuice shook his head slightly. "What are you here for?"
"For me." His statement was firm, but given with a proud smile. "Right, when I got here, I was all down because the Jedi couldn't see me. It's a fact that I had to, like, face. Then I went in and just, like, went for it. You know? Full throttle. Even called the Ooteeni's 'Pig-Dogs,' man. Then, like, during that Swoop Race, I learned something. It's not the destination, but, like, the journey. Your focus determines your reality. So, like, in the end, I may lose. Totally last place, man. But if I had fun getting there and I felt like I won, then I did."
JJ nodded. "That's deep, man."
"Well," Qui-Gon began. "When you're without a physical form, then physical stuff doesn't matter. Like, I will admit, I'm still attached to my poncho," he said with a smile, "But, seriously, I'm here for the experience."
"What was your favourite part?" The Jawa absently scratched his chin.
Qui-Gon's smile widened, running his hand over his ethereal beard. "That moment in the Swoop Race. When Dooks caught my channel. It was like the bond between us was still there, right? Like there was no bad blood. It was all about the moment. And that moment was, like, far-out."
JJ asked, "What was the worst part?"
The ghost answered immediately. "That last challenge. The last bit. Facing my greatest fear. I faced it, but it could still happen. I've accepted it. But that was just rough, man."
JJ changed the subject. "Who is your friend on the show?"
The deceased man mulled over his words for a moment. "Fluke," he answered with a smile. "Fluke's true blue. He's, like, the all-around good-guy. He's driven to win, don't get me wrong. But I think if he had to do something, like, uncool and heavy, he'd feel really bad about it. I don't think he'd take a dive for me, but I think he'd be a gracious winner."
"What about Master Yoda?" JJ asked.
Qui-Gon shook his head and smiled. "He's just..." He inhaled a sigh. "Yoda. He can be infuriating at times. 'Get me another blanket, you will.' 'A goober, you are. Put up with your Padawan in my Force-Induced hallucinations, I will not.' It's just... I don't know. Yoda."
JJ was smiling. "Han?"
Again, Qui-Gon thought hard on his answer. "Okay. Like, don't get me wrong, Han's a heck of a guy. But, he's not team player. Like, he killed Herb! It was his week to, like, feed him and poor little Herb starved to, like, death. Bummer, man." Qui-Gon took a moment to settle himself and ran his spectral hand through his translucent hair. "He's, like, the classic case of Narcissistic Personality Disorder."
JJ leaned in looking awed. "He whaty what?"
"Oh," Qui-Gon started, "He's, like, vain. It's all about him. It's not, like, a bad thing, man. Unless it kills hamsters..." The last part he mumbled under his breath. "It's who he is, sure, but, like, he's so in it for the win. He'd throw us all down for it."
"Do you think he's the one to win it?"
The ghost pondered for a long moment. "I can't say. We're all great candidates. We are all trying our hardest. It's up to the Will of the Force, man."
JawaJuice smiled and nodded, stretching his arms and legs out with a yawn. "Sounds good. What do ya' say we hit the hay, Qui? We've got a busy day tomorrow."
Qui-Gon stood and smiled. "Yeah." He looked at the standing Jawa. "Hey, JJ?"
JJ glanced over at the camera and hurriedly back at his ghostly companion. "Yeah."
"Nice talk, man. 'Night."