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Responsibility (Sequel to Discoveries) - Complete

Mirdala Ad'Goran

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((If you haven’t, read Discoveries first.))


Name: Responsibility

Summary: The second half of how Mirdala came to be adopted by Jorbe and Cyare Ad'Goran.

Rating: PG-13 (mentioned violence, implicated abuse)

Additional Tags: RP Backstory

Critiques: Constructive criticism is welcome.




Kohlma, Bogdan System


"Ka-See Bes'ad!" the small child waved at the little droid that had "assigned" itself to cleaning up after her during the rest of her stay on the Tin Cred. The little droid burbled something that sounded like relief and scuttled back into the maintenance tunnels, glad to be rid of the mobile mess.


Jorbe marveled at how quickly the small child had been able to pick up on the various words and phrases he and the others had taught her. He was watching her out of the corner of his eye as she happily played with the little "distraction" droid that Belaile had been convinced to assemble for her from odds and ends from his scrap bench.


It hadn't taken much convincing once Erich had pointed out that it would keep her busy and out of his scrap pile that she seemed drawn to playing in while Jorbe attempted to help inventory a little of their haul. It was as though a small transformation had occurred in the child, who'd gone from frightened and clingy to vibrant and curious all in a matter of days. Her cheeks even seemed to have more color than they'd had when they'd found her.


From what Erich had told him, this was all normal so Jorbe didn't worry about it. Part of him wondered why he worried about her in the first place.


Arrangements had already been made for them to drop her off at the Port Authority on their way to the barracks where Jorbe would be staying until he was able to find passage back to Concord Dawn and his riddur. She wasn't going to be his responsibility for much longer. He'd convinced himself that she was clever enough and adorable enough that she'd likely be snatched right up for adoption, but he wasn't wholly convinced because of the uncertainty over her medical scans from the ship. Erich would waive him off anytime he tried to discuss the issue, telling him that it wasn't his worry once she was handed over to the Port Authority.


He still couldn't explain why it bothered him so much. He wasn't equipped to handle a child, that much he knew. He and Cyare had given up on wanting children of their own long ago. When the Manda hadn't blessed them with any, they figured it wasn't meant for them and had shifted their focus towards other things. Yes, this little child would be best left with the aruetiise that could better provide for her needs.


"Jorbe! Don't forget her bag!" Avren called as he tossed the small carry-all at the larger man. "It'll at least give the PA something to work with until someone can come collect the runt."


The other Mando'ad caught the small pack with one hand. Erich had left him with the duty to see her to the Port Authority.


Ke barjurir gar'ade, jagyc'ade kot'la a dalyc'ade kotla'shya. - "Train your sons to be strong but your daughters to be stronger."

“A Mandalorian woman's greatest talent is not her charm or beauty, but her strength of body and will.” - Mandalorian proverb

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He watched her coloring quietly with one of the other officers out of the corner of his eye, while he filled out the paperwork. She’s going to be fine, he kept repeating to himself over and over.


“Just sign here and you’re done,” the desk clerk said prodding him. Absentmindedly, Jorbe signed the papers. “That’s it, we’ll get her in the system."


Jorbe nodded, slipping on his buy’ce so he could keep his privacy as he walked past her and towards the door.


“Jo-bee?” He flinched as he turned to see her standing at the cubicle’s opening. “Where going?"


“Next mission, ad’ika.” He answered neutrally as her new handler moved to bring girl back to the table.


“I come.”


He paused, grateful she couldn’t see his face. What sort of life could he and Cyare give her on the frontier world of Concord Dawn? He wasn’t sure how many more of these excursions he’d have to make before he could afford to set out on his own with Cyare. It just wasn’t the right time to take on a child.


Somehow finding his resolve he turned back towards the door. I can’t. We can’t. A million excuses ran through his head as he put one foot in front of the other until he was outside. It was hard to ignore her frantic screaming “I be good! I be good!"


Her cries were still ringing in his helmet as he mounted the borrowed speeder and hesitated. After a few moments he slammed the controls off and dismounted. We’ll figure it out.


Before he had time to second-guess himself again, his helmet was off and he was back inside. “Don’t bother filing that paperwork.” He cried gruffly as he kneeled down to catch her up in his arms as she wriggled past the other officer. “Ni kar'tayl gai sa'ad.” He bent his forehead against hers and rose. "I’ll see to her."


He didn’t give the clerk a chance to reply before he scooped up the bag that was still on the counter and was out the door with the child.


Ke barjurir gar'ade, jagyc'ade kot'la a dalyc'ade kotla'shya. - "Train your sons to be strong but your daughters to be stronger."

“A Mandalorian woman's greatest talent is not her charm or beauty, but her strength of body and will.” - Mandalorian proverb

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Erich was sitting on a bench going over the raiding bill with Zabrak pilot Essil Nar when Jorbe walked into the commons area with the girl.


The sergeant’s mouth pulled back into a humorless thin line. "Don't tell me. After bunking with Avren Gailaar for the last several months, both on ship and here, you've decided to emulate him as a ‘Career father’, and after each mission, you'll have a new waif from the first dirtside doxy you can buy a drink for?"


“Shove it."


"How did I know this was going to happen?" Erich asked rhetorically, as Jorbe headed back towards the bunking center.


Ke barjurir gar'ade, jagyc'ade kot'la a dalyc'ade kotla'shya. - "Train your sons to be strong but your daughters to be stronger."

“A Mandalorian woman's greatest talent is not her charm or beauty, but her strength of body and will.” - Mandalorian proverb

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Erich walked into the suite he rated as a hired Sergeant, currently being shared with Jorbe and his new daughter.


"I think I've about got the travel arrangements locked in. But I might have something else for you, too," he remarked to Jorbe as he looked over the datapad in his hands.


At the new father's curious look, Erich amended. "You said you took a merc contract trying to make enough fast money to buy your own shop, right? You were tired of being stuck basically being a permanent apprentice?" At the other man's nod, he went on. "Well, my riduur tells me that Tikkael, a town near our ranch, is in need of a new blacksmith. Apparently, the old one got tired of spending his days fixing farm tools, and took a contract off planet trying to make enough cash to retire and get fat. Instead, he earned himself a grave plot in someone else's fight."


Jorbe could tell Erich was enjoying relating the similarities between himself and the man in the story. "You think I could afford to buy his shop? Is that what you're trying to say," he asked.


"I'd say this excursion has helped you finish sorting out what kind of life you'd like to make for yourself and family." He playfully ruffled the little girl's hair, returning her grin. "What I'm saying is go talk to the village council, and see if you can impress them. If you do, then you'll have yourself a plot of land, a homestead and a shop. Ready-made deal for a man with a new family."


Jorbe's brow furrowed as he glanced at the child who was peering curiously at Erich's pet strill who was in its usual spot under the sargent’s bed. Adding a child to his and Cyare's lives and a planetary move were two pretty big changes to throw at his wife. It would mean she'd have to change her entire life, but perhaps it was time to take a risk.


When he could see Jorbe hesitating, Erich made an encouraging gesture. "At least talk it over with your wife. A farm town could always use another medic in the area, too."


Jorbe sighed, running his hands through his hair as he watched their little stowaway (no, his new daughter) chatting to the stuffed toy he'd gotten her. "I do need to talk to to her. I haven't worked out how to break it to her about the girl. Adoption wasn't something that we'd really ever discussed. Maybe it's better to break two big changes as one...Shogun, huh? Do you think I should talk to the council first, or Cyare?"


"Talk to your partner, first. If she doesn't want to break camp and move, you'd just be wasting the village's time with a meeting."


Jorbe nodded, sighing. "Then I guess I'm going to have to settle on something more imaginative than 'Ad'ika' for her then. It'd be nicer to introduce them by name..."


"Hey," Erich raised his hands in a halting motion, "That's between you and your riddur, but you should think of something to call h-GET DOWN FROM THERE!" He cried out because the curious little child had abandoned toy and strill to climb up several shelves to reach the top of his locker where she had turned his buy'ce on the side and was trying to fiddle with the controls. The child froze just long enough for Erich to grab her and bring her back to safety. She squirmed and reached out for Jorbe to come to her rescue. "Can't let her out of your sight for a minute! I figured you'd put that one together when she was on the ship with you."


Jorbe reached out for her, grabbing his own bucket with his free hand. "She's just curious Erich. I don't think she's ever seen armor like ours before we found her. She wants to know what makes it 'go'." He handed her the bucket as she sat in his lap.


"Jorbe, you'll find that most healthy kids at her age are curious. That's why you have to watch them constantly," he paused for a moment to regard the toddler for a moment before adding, "It's actually reassuring for her to be that daring considering what her records indicate."


"Which you still haven't told me."


"It wasn't your business before. Call Cyare first and get that sorted, then we'll discuss it."


Jorbe shifted the child's weight to his other knee and activated the comm as he balanced both child and bu'yce with his other hand. A few moments later and his wife's image was facing him.


Jorbe, what's going on? She asked, a curious and surprised expression crossed her face as her greeting died in her throat upon seeing the image projected back to her on Concord Dawn.


"Cyar'ika...I know we never really discussed this...but...I know how much you've missed not having children of our own..."


What have you done? Where did she come from? Her reaction wasn't quite what he'd been expecting, but, then again, he didn't know what to have anticipated from his wife. Adoption had never made it into their discussions about children.


"I found her stowed away on some supplies we liberated on a recent job."


So she's someone's kid then, Jorbe. Can't you send her back to her parents? Surely someone is missing her deeply. A pause. Are you certain there is no one else to claim her?


Jorbe looked off screen to Erich, knowing what was going through his wife's mind. Considering how he would feel if he was in her present situation. "Not without compromising our prior operation and I have claimed her, Cyar'ika."


That's not what I asked, Jor'ika. I know you've adopted her, or we wouldn't be having this discussion. What I'm asking is was there no indirect way to return her to her own people? She looks like she's been well cared for and I can only imagine what her own mother must be going through now.


Erich laid a data chip on the desk in front of Jorbe. "Send her this."


Jorbe looked at the other man, "What good will that do?"


"Just do it."


Jorbe did as he was ordered, somewhat hurt that his wife suspected that he'd have gone out and simply "found" a child for them. He transmitted the files and his wife's image disappeared for a bit as she downloaded the data to her pad. He disliked the grim look on her face even more than he'd disliked it when Erich's brow had furrowed in a similar manner back on the ship.


He looked down to the little girl who smiled back at him before leaning against his chest. "Sha'way?" she asked, clearly having been paying attention to his and Erich's discussions the last few days.


That's right sweetie, but you can call me buir. The woman responded, finally setting down the pad having skimmed the medical droid's scan.


"Booeer," the child echoed thoughtfully.


Cyare's face visibly brightened. And what am I to call you little one?


"Deeka!" she jubilantly replied, having liked that term from having heard it over and over the last few days after having picked up that it had meant it was her.


The woman raised an eyebrow at her husband, who laughed. "We were just about to sort that out actually."


I'm sure you'll find something to suit her. I take it, then, that her adoption wasn't something that you'd originally intended.


"I couldn't bring myself to entrust her to the Bogden adoption venues."


"In other words," Erich interjected, "she already has him wrapped. Tell her about the other news, vod."


Cyare laughed and smiled at the girl, seeming to warm instantly to her new young charge. What other news? Surely you aren't going to take on another job and leave our child behind.


"Erich tells me of a blacksmithing slot that needs filling on Shogun. We'd be close to the town his ranch is located in. I just have to talk to the village council to see if they'd be willing to have my services. I wanted to check that you'd be okay with a planetary move before I scheduled something with them."


The young woman looked toward Erich, I suppose they have need for a doctor out there as well then?


"What frontier community doesn't, Cyar'ika?" He responded. "We'd be lucky to have you, especially for your midwifery skills."


So a new start for a new family on a new world. Sounds like an adventure to me. How soon will you be home?


Jorbe looked at Erich who answered for him.


"We should be aboard ship in a day or shortly after. There's a gunship pilot who finished his hitch and doesn't mind some taxi money - and some company - on his way back to Yaim Sector. He just has to finish his admin stuff and collect his pay. I'll have him drop your family off on Dawn, then just ride with him on to Manda'yaim. Jorbe can try talking him into playing moving company during the two day transit between here and your place." The sargent paused. "After he gets the job, of course."


Of course. Give Ciria and the boys my best. Hopefully we can all get together again soon. She gave a little wave at the girl who buried her face in Jorbe's shirt shyly. Dawn out.


As soon as the link went dead, Jorbe turned to Erich, his face grim. "I want to know what that report said. You've been evading me since she was scanned. I want to know what changed my wife's mind so abruptly." The child squirmed in his lap until he sat her down where she happily sat on the floor playing with his helmet systems, her head and shoulders easily fitting inside the whole buy'ce, as she pulled it on her head. "Now, vod."


The child burbled happily in a mixture of basic and attempted Mando'a based on words she'd heard during her stay with Jorbe.


Erich watched her for a moment in amazement. "She's going to end up sounding like she's from Null or Drall if she keeps on like that, mirdala ad'ika. Instant camouflage for her roots."


He looked at Jorbe steadily for a moment. "Other room if you please, …Vod." He allowed a bit of irritation to creep into his voice. He whistled for his strill to do it's best to keep the child from getting into too much trouble.


Jorbe nodded and followed his long-time friend and commander through the opening that divided the main living area to the bunk area of his quarters. He'd taken on responsibility for this little girl without quite knowing what he was getting into, and as fond of her as he was growing, it wasn't something he liked. He crossed his arms at Erich, waiting.


"I'm saying she needed to not go back to Cestus," Erich began. At Jorbe's impatient nod, he finished the thought. "It looks like they were doing all kinds of tests on her. Tests that the doc-in-a-box couldn't find a reason for doing."


Jorbe's brow furrowed as he glanced back towards the main area then back to Erich. "She was being experimented on? What kind of parent would allow that? Do you think the Bothan was a bodyguard then? Why torture a perfectly healthy child? There wasn't some sort of outbreak or something detected by the biofilters when we landed, was there?" He was grasping at straws, trying to comprehend the actions of the people that had ushered her into the galaxy for such treatment.


Erich threw up his hands. "I don't have a clue. You asked me what the chip said, and I'm telling you the gist of it. Enough for you to understand, anyway."


"Forgive me, vod. The more I see of this life, the better it is to take that blacksmithing job, if they'll have me." Jorbe sighed, running a hand through his hair. "I guess all I can do is be grateful the Manda brought her to me so I can protect her from further harm."


Erich clasped him on the shoulder, glad that the man had finally put the matter to rest. "I've been trying to tell you all along that this wasn't the best fit for you, vod." He glanced out of the door to see the girl passed out on the floor, her head resting inside the helmet, Erich's strill, Besuliik, wrapped protectively at her feet. "Speaking of fits, you need figure out a name for this little vivhen you've taken on. Can't keep calling her Ad'ika for the rest of her life."


Jorbe shrugged. "I have no ideas, I'd always figured that I'd worry with it later."


"Family names?" Erich suggested.


Jorbe shook his head, "None come to mind from my family or Cyare's that really suit her."


"Okay then, so go with that. Think on it while you call the council. I've got paperwork." Erich shooed him from the bunk space. "She's yours to name vod."


"Thanks for the help," Jorbe retorted thanklessly. He was met with a short wave from his commander who shut the door behind him.


As Jorbe walked back into the front room, he heard Erich's voice. "The comm code is on the table!"


Jorbe shook his head and glanced down at the sleeping child, pondering what to call her as he thumbed the comm code to contact the village council on Shogun.


((Here's the link back to the RP post. Three guesses as to what Jorbe named her... ))


Ke barjurir gar'ade, jagyc'ade kot'la a dalyc'ade kotla'shya. - "Train your sons to be strong but your daughters to be stronger."

“A Mandalorian woman's greatest talent is not her charm or beauty, but her strength of body and will.” - Mandalorian proverb

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