This story is dedicated to Markus who suggested the crossover and helped in the story's development. Enjoy!
"I really didn't know my family. See, most of my herd died of disease, or at least that was what I was told. I was so young, between hatchling and adult, so I struck out on my own. I managed to survive despite my inexperience. Luckily, just before the Fireball, I ran into Anakin, and I've been with him ever since. Then Kamura came along, and the three of us have been inseparable. We've been traveling here and there for many years but decided to search for the Nesting Grounds. That was Anakin's idea, not Kamura's. But judging by the way she's fitting in around here, she's glad she stuck out the long journey. See, she's already reconnected with Eema."
Xander and Yar, the latter riding on the former's back, strolled through the valley, and became much better acquainted. The lemur patriarch introduced Xander to the rest of the Herd, especially his daughter Plio, grandchild Suri, and Zini. Xander had never before seen lemurs; he fairly kept to his own kind until recently. Yar also explained what happened to Lemur Island in wake of the Fireball. If it wasn't for Aladar, none of them would have survived. Of course, being in the company of dinosaurs didn't set too well with Yar, but for survival's sake, and his family's welfare, he learned to get along. He and Eema became great friends despite the elderly ceratopsian's penchant for exchanging barbs with the "old monkey."
"I guess the Fireball changed things for everyone, in one way or another," said Xander, espying Kamura and Eema on the other side of the lake. The ladies seemed deep in conversation. Perhaps they had known each other long ago. During the journey to the valley, before meeting the Tasous, Kamura mentioned being part of the Herd so many years ago, but after losing her eggs she simply dropped out and wandered about on her own.
"Yes," said Yar with a smile, "I guess Eema's catching Kamura up on old times. So, you say she was with the Herd years ago. But why did she leave? Surely she didn't try to survive all that after the Fireball by herself! Come on, Xander, you can tell me."
So Xander obliged Yar and recounted Kamura's sad tale of a smashed nest and a vow never to have children again. He told Yar how Kamura met Anakin, and how the three of them became traveling companions.
"She was lonely, Yar, and the chances of surviving post-Fireball were pretty slim. Her first mate, the father of her unhatched children, died not long after the egg incident. So Anakin came along at the right time, saved her from a carnotaur attack."
"Well," replied Yar, "she's back with her old friends now. I heard Anakin tell Aladar they might stay with us forever. No more roaming around like vagabonds. It's not safe out there, you know, what with carnotaurs and raptors all over. Nice that Kamura found a good match in Anakin. Now, son, let's talk about your future here. There're plenty of unattached females, and one might make you a good wife."
On the other side of the lake, Eema and Kamura sat in deep conversation, away from prying eyes and ears. Eema knew of Kamura's special circumstances; she was there when that lady's nest was destroyed. She also knew Kamura didn't lose all her eggs that year; that fact she learned from Kit and Flit's mother years ago, long before Aladar was merely toddling on Lemur Island. All the mother lizard could tell Eema, after watching Kamura continue to slide into a deep depression, "She didn't lose all of them, for my children and I saw the whole thing. That lone egg was stolen then saved."
Stolen then saved...Hmm, the only egg we know that was "stolen then saved" was the one Glennis and Delsie's mother fished out of a river. She took it all the way from the mainland to the high cliffs on an island – Lemur Island. Only she got into a fight over the egg with some birds, then she dropped in. It fell into the forest miles below, and it hatched in Plio's arms. Aladar...It was Aladar.
And all that happened the same year that carnotaur charged into our valley, killing one of my best friends, and smashing Kamura's nest. It has to be Aladar who was in that egg, and said egg was the sole survivor of that monster's big clumsy feet. Now, to convince Kamura her son is alive and well, and to talk to a couple of little lizards. They have a lot of explaining to do.
Which was why Eema got Kamura alone, away from the Herd's eyes and ears, for a quiet heart-to-heart. The girl had to come clean and tell Aladar the truth. Then Kit and Flit will have to reveal their side of the story, put together any loose ends that would finally answer the question: How did the egg end up in the river in the first place?
Eema had to very careful as not to scare Kamura in any way. She could become apprehensive of Aladar's reaction and remain silent, perhaps convince Anakin to leave the valley for good, never to return. Eema couldn't take that chance, so she chose her words carefully. Just make small talk at first, catch up on old times, then bring up the subject off-handedly.
"Nice to see you again, Kamura. How long has it been? Almost twenty years, and we've all missed you so, honey."
That's right, just small talk, nothing heavy or serious to scare her off...
"Eema, I've been meaning to come back to the Herd ever so long, but things happened..."
"Such as finding Anakin, travelling with him. Then taking Xander under your wing, giving him a sense of family. He says his family was all wiped out by sickness. That's so sad, to lose your folks all the sudden like that. It happened to Baylene, or didn't you know that?"
Kamura shook her head, replying, "No, I didn't know about Baylene's family. I think we – that is my first mate and I – met her and her sisters some years ago. But that was before..."
Her eyes welled up, but no tears fell. In a way, she wished Eema didn't bring up sickness or death; it reminded her too much of the lost nest.
Eema still pressed on, continuing to catch Kamura up on Herd news. She decided to tell Kamura about Baylene's recent encounter with long-dead relatives, and an incredible account of prophecy on Sarama's part.
"Mother Adah, and I know you knew her family, foresaw the Great Sickness that took so many of the Herd, including Baylene's family. She also foretold the Fireball and a stranger who would come to our aid when we needed it most. That would be Aladar, and he sure came along at the right time. Who knows what could've happened if he didn't. Old Kron could've killed the whole Herd. We would've never seen our Nesting Grounds again."
Kamura sighed, saying, "I remember Adah. Her granddaughter, Sarama, had her hatchlings that same year I...Well, I do recall the Herd losing Mother Adah during our trek back to the southern lands. Of course, I left the Herd shortly afterwards, so I never knew what became of the Herd. Once I met Anakin, we pretty much wandered here and there since the Fireball."
Eema frowned. Kamura very deftly evaded the issues, namely the lost nest. Perhaps she has successfully put it all behind her, but the one feared gone was here. All Eema had to do was to coax Kamura to reveal herself to Aladar. What could possibly go wrong?
"Kamura, honey, let me tell you what happened to...Oh my goodness, that little thing sure has some timing."
Eema referred to R4-A9, Master Hox's droid, rolling along the lakeside. He wheeled where the ladies sat, beeping and whizzing merrily.
Kamura eyed it suspiciously. "Is it dangerous?"
Eema laughingly replied, "Oh no. He's perfectly harmless. In fact, he's been a real trouper, and he has...Well, I guess I could do what Artmo did and just ask the little guy to show the pictures."
"Yeah. Did you know those kids' daddy came here long ago? Sure, Ricar Tasou visited this planet back in the day. Stayed a while with the Great Valley folks. Kamura, they are real! Ricar got along just fine with the Longnecks and other folks. Come on, let little R4 show you Ricar's visit."
That said, Eema asked, "Okay, R4, show Kamura what we all saw a couple days ago."
"Sarama? I hate to bother you, but I need to unburden myself. I believe we share a common bond."
Marbe Tasou, while Kirel was off amusing the children with Force tricks, caught the parasaurolophus alone, hoping to confide in Sarama. The dinosaur had an astounding gift of prophecy, and her knowledge and wisdom could help piece together a recurring dream.
Once again, last night, Marbe dreamed of being in a strange place surrounded by war. In this latest dream, she saw herself giving shelter to displaced neighbors who had their homes destroyed. She felt herself fighting off feelings of fear, anger, and frustration – the dark side. The dream faded into another scene, this time in a wooded area where destitute Confederate soldiers and other southern sympathizers failing to cope with the war's aftermath. They didn't like how things turned out and decided to take matters into their own hands. Those men did something horrible the night before, and Marbe, in her anger and frustration, lurked in the woods, shrouded in her Jedi robe, the hood pulled over her head. She sneaked upon the men sitting around the campfire then lashed out with the lightsaber, killing everyone within seconds. She didn't feel very good about what she'd done, and she knew slaying men in cold blood wouldn't undo the havoc they wrought.
Such visions disturbed Marbe, and she wanted to share them with Kirel. However, she sought out Sarama, a sympathetic third party who, if truth be known, possessed a deep wisdom nearly on par with Master Yoda.
Sarama smiled and said, "I know you have questions about your future. Marbe, let us go to cave. In there are special crystals I use to help quiet my mind. Actually, I think we need to be alone to talk. And you are right: We do share a common bond in the Force. So, I shall tell you exactly what what I have seen for you, your brother, and the Herd. Do not be alarmed at what I tell you, for what the future holds for you could mean profound changes for the Herd – and one of your descendants. Then I will make a promise to you: You shall never know fear or hate again. Your dreams, and they seem quite disturbing at first, are really signs of one of your later descendants, a woman who shall bring balance and peace to a land of wonder and magic – a land that will be threatened with the same evil which will have already wrecked so many lives."
Copyright @2006 by P.R. Parker. All Rights Reserved.