More arrivals, this time a contingency from a faraway galaxy. Maddie's
godfather, Charlie, said these folks hailed from the same star system that was
Maddie's great-great-great grandmother's home. I had heard much about the Tasous –
Marbe and Kirel – who had to flee their home planet in wake of Emperor Palpatine's
ongoing Jedi purge. Marbe and Kirel, two young Jedi, escaped their galaxy, only to
end up on Earth, in its distant past. They met up with Aladar and the Nesting
Grounds herd, and what was more amazing, the kids' father had visited the Great
Valley years before, making many lasting friendships among Littlefoot and the gang.
Even more strange was the family connection between Maddie and the Longnecks; she
turned out to be Bron's sister. Very strange tale indeed, and I still can't believe
how Glinda and the Wizard pulled it off, and how Maddie, facing down Sharpteeth and
other dangers, finally reunited with her Jurassic family.
Well, there's an unusual looking fellow in the Skywalker group. He is made of metal like me, but much different. Before Grandpa Longneck and his group hit the stage, I want to meet this Threepio and his friend R2D2. I wonder what Tik-Tok, the mechanical man, will make of the protocol droid. Oh well, once the kids return with Jack's new head, and Maddie arrives, we'll have a nice concert. Besides, two of the orchestra's best percussionists, Ducky and Suri, are with Littlefoot. Can't go on without them...
"Oh, hello there! You must be Nick Chopper, the tin woodman and Emperor of the Winkies. I must say, you are the first man of metal I've met not to have circuitry. How do you manage to move about and function without as much as a wire or computer chip?"
That was the protocol droid C3PO who greeted me just as Littlefoot and friends returned with a fresh pumpkin for Jack. Nice fellow, Threepio, but so much in need of a brief history lesson of everything Oz. I suppose he'll find my personal history highly interesting, and how I 'function' without circuitry. Afterwards, I will definitely introduce Threepio to Tik-Tok, the mechanical man.
His little friend, R2D2, as I've learned, is an astromech droid, and has served Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia for many years, although I suspect R2 has been around much longer and has connections to Luke's birth parents. At least, that is what I've heard from the Wizard who told me R2 was originally part of a team of astromechs then became Padmé Amidala's personal droid. Padmé, as I later learned, was Leia and Luke's mother. Also, according to the Wizard, C3PO was originally fashioned by Anakin Skywalker, Luke and Leia's father, and the protocol droid was in service to Padmé during the Clone Wars. Sadly, both birth parents are long dead, though no one has yet to elaborate on how they died. Oh well, this is a happy day, so perhaps now is not the time to delve into the sorrow of others.
Anyway, as C3PO and I conversed, the kids had returned with a fresh pumpkin, and R2D2 immediately sped off to Jack. Threepio said out loud, "R2! Where are you going? Oh dear, we haven't been here long and already you've decided to go exploring."
He turned to me, saying, "I am so sorry, Nick, for R2's rudeness. You see, he often senses trouble and tries to play heroic. Although I myself suspect an air of tension. Is there anything wrong, and may I be of assistance?"
Since he asked, I explained the situation: How Spike inadvertently took a chomp of Jack's new pumpkin head, and how the kids had to go to the pumpkin patch to fetch another. Jack was in a state, and the start of the concert would be delayed until Jack carved the pumpkin and fitted it onto his body. Grandpa Longneck and his friends kindly lent their services to perform for the audience...Oh my, Princess Ozma had yet to arrive, as did our star performer.
"That would be," said Threepio, "Madeline Newbury, the celebrated cellist and composer, but she goes by 'Tasou' now. She took on her forebears' surname."
"That is correct," I replied, ever aware of my squeaking joints. "But she took the name 'Tasou' long before coming to Oz, just before her mother died."
"So sad," said the droid who frantically looked for his astromech friend. "You know, Miss Maddie is descended from an illustrious family of Jedi. If I am not mistaken, your prehistoric residents made contact with both Ricar Tasou and his children long ago. Yet, the dinosaurs are here. How did they accomplish the journey from their respective homes to Oz? Your land is quite hidden from the rest of the world, very hard to access without destroying oneself crossing the Deadly Desert. So, how did they manage to come here?"
"That, my friend, is a long, drawn out story. So, may I begin with how Miss Madeline found her way to our Land of Oz. She, of course, was a key player in persuading the dinosaurs to relocate. It was not easy, at least for the Great Valley residents, but easier for Aladar's Herd. See, according to Maddie, it all began shortly after her mother died. Charlie Lavigne, who I know you've met during Marbe and Kirel's adventure on Cretaceous Earth, had just wrapped a conference with Ozma, the Wizard of Oz, and another imminent wizard. Maddie had to be persuaded to come to Oz, so Charlie and company had to devise a way to make her think a vacation was in order. When she arrived..."
Threepio nodded, saying, "Nick, if memory serves me right, didn't Miss Madeline receive a visitor shortly before her meeting with her godfather? Master Luke explained that visitation, and Maddie was quite shaken from what that man said."
I replied, "Yes, Threepio, yet Maddie still had no idea that vacation destination was Oz. In fact, she nearly fainted the moment she found out. Here, my friend, I will tell you exactly what happened, as related to me from Madeline herself. It all began a rainy February day. Madeline was visiting her mother's grave, putting out fresh flowers, and generally feeling sorry for herself. Then the stranger came, told her a few truths, based on his own experiences, and offered many words of wisdom..."
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