This is my second shot at full-lengths, and I will finish it this time, I swear, but I might not post regularly, since it's still in the works. Basically, it's an origins-y story that should explain most of my OCs from current and future chapters of "After the Order", as well as those I tried (and failed) to introduce in "Small Steps". You can all thank sachariah for encouraging me to try full-lengths again, and Captain Kale, too, since they both are helping me on technical issues.

And yes, B'arin Apma and Vhonte Tervho are cannon characters. They were part of the Cuy'val Dar and trained clones on Kamino, I only expanded them a little (or a lot) because they seemed to fit this story.


Hey Zach,

Sorry it took so long to write back. It's been crazy over here. They're trying to churn out some of these boys before they're all grown. Some of them are just a few months shy of standard deployment age, and I can understand that even if I don't agree, but some people think it's a good idea to send out some of the older Eights. Screwed up, right? Like they're ready yet. I didn't complete teaching you and yours counterintelligence until you guys were Nines. What di'kut would consider letting them go out without knowing how to handle that sort of ossik? And you told me about that group of Fives who came to see how a "real" cruiser is run a few months back—that wasn't smart either. I tried to tell them it was a bad idea, but they didn't listen, and those boys are lucky to not have emphysema by now.

(By the way, I checked on them like you asked. They're doing fine, even the kid with the synthetic leg. It's working well, and he's grown into it—now he's just gotta hold on until he grows out of it enough for the longnecks to agree to a replacement. I had to cash in a lot of chips to keep him around, but it was worth it for a kid with such a Mandokarla.)

Anyways, I'm doing my best to tell the "powers-that-be" that they really shouldn't be shipping out boys that young. If you ask me, those aiwha-baits should be chopped up into tatsushi—Kal's offered to loan me his recipes more than once. It's ossik like that that's been eating away most of my time, sadly, and I'm lucky to have found enough to send this. But I figured you wouldn't mind too much, it's a worthy cause and all.

You mentioned in your last letter some discipline problems you had with a pilot of yours. I know you want my help, and I'm always glad to give it; I'm just not sure how much advice I can give in this area that will really help. You might not know the whole story, but Kal told me exactlywhat happened between him and the kaminiise concerning the Nulls. He said Ordo pulled a gun on Ko Sai, and he was actually considering finishing her himself, and if it had been me and you boys instead, I admit I'd do the same (wait, I already have…), so I doubt I'll be the best source of solid knowledge concerning discipline. But you said something about him having a sweet spot for a certain bounty hunter, right? Let him run around a little, and if things get too out of hand, threaten to forbid him from seeing her. If he doesn't believe you, the next time she comes, slam his shebs with so much work he doesn't have time to think. Trust me when I say, it'll work.

I'm glad you like that knife so much. In all honesty, I never used it much because I preferred my own, but it's good to see someone's still using it. It's been in my family for a couple generations, and I think my dad would've been pretty pissed if it hadn't gone to my son. (And don't go on that you don't deserve the honor, because you do, believe me. You boys all deserve a father.)

I have a favor to ask you. You remember that one group of less-than-traditional vode the Kaminoans were threatening with reconditioning? This was around eight years ago, so you might not recall it all that well. It was the Vhonte Tervho incident, actually, or rather the first one you were alive for, if that rings any bells. Point is, I made the kaminiise agree to let the kids live on a few conditions, and now they're being deployed.

Well, I noticed that one of them has been assigned to your command. You'll know the guy on sight, believe me. I'd appreciate it if you'd keep an eye on this one. This vod is very special to Tervho.

Thanks.

Stay safe, ad'ike.

B'arin