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06.12.2012 , 12:58 AM | #43
23. In which Broonmark marks the occasion and Vette wonders why

Tradition’s a difficult thing;
Too often it clips a man’s wing.
But at times it’s excuse
To draw sword and cut loose
And enjoy a cathartic ol’ fling.

When Nalenne headed out to the reading nook, she found Broonmark already there, replacing a metal contact in his vibrosword. Vette was seated across from him. Both of them looked up when Nalenne arrived.

“Sith clan songbird torments us,” gurgled Broonmark.

“Uh…songbird?” said Nalenne.

“What songbird?” said Vette, suddenly suspicious. “There’s a songbird?”

“I think he means you.”

“But I don’t sing.”

“We hear singing from refresher,” said Broonmark. “Sith clan songbird tends to go flat between verses, but otherwise very good.”

“He says he agrees, Vette, you definitely don’t sing.”

Vette seemed to relax a few degrees. “That’s what I thought.”

“So what’s with the torment?” Nalenne kept her speech in Basic.

“Clan songbird asks us our purpose. Over and over.” Broonmark ran a claw down the vibroblade spine’s edge, making it shriek at a tooth-rattling pitch. “And over.”

“So she’s curious. Is there a reason you can’t talk about what you’re up to?”

“Yeah,” added Vette, giving Broonmark an accusing look. “Is there a reason?”

Broonmark examined the sword and swept to his feet, swinging it wide beside him. “This news is for Sith clan. Tomorrow it is one year since we joined.”

Nalenne reflected. “So it is.”

“So what is?” said Vette.

“Clans would hunt and feast for this occasion. On Alzoc, we hunt torsk. On Hoth, we hunt ice cats. Here, we never know what to order for Sith clan.”

“I like tacos.”

“Now you’re just making stuff up,” said Vette.

Broonmark hesitated. “Ice cat tacos, maybe?”

“If you like.”

“Must we eat the shell?”

“Not if you don’t want to.”

“Sith clan is the greatest clan.”

“Ice cat, then. Happy anniversary, Broonmark. We’ll hunt tomorrow.”

The Talz activated his vibrosword and buzzed with excitement. “Tomorrow we hunt, Sith clan.”

“This entire conversation turned out to be about killing things, didn’t it,” said Vette.

“What did you expect when you asked him why he was doing maintenance on the sword?”

“Definitely not songbirds and tacos, I can tell you that much.”

“You should learn Talz. The not-killing stuff can surprise you.”

“But in some ways,” said Vette, “the mystery makes it that much more enjoyable.”

“No taco shells, just meat,” sang Broonmark, and happily beatboxed his way out of the room, keeping time with the swing of the vibrosword.
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