This is fifteen random but chronological moments from the life of Shelanné Glenn, who is, quite literally, the fifth handmaiden in the second training class of potential handmaidens chosen from am...
01.) Bug: A rather nasty variant of a flu bug (evidently brought to Naboo by an ill frigate pilot) took her entire family from her when she was only two, and no one has ever been able to explain to her why her perfectly healthy parents, older sister, and only living (maternal) aunt’s entire family (including three nearly full grown and extremely physically robust boys and a girl old enough that she was evidently seriously thinking about accepting a proposal for a single-year trial handfasting) should have all been so much more susceptible to the sickness than she was, but she rather tends to suspect that it has something to do with her Force sensitivity.
02.) Family: Her mother’s family essentially (if unofficially) fostered/adopted a neighbor child during part of the girl’s youth, when her mother was ill and unable to care for her properly, and it is this all but sister to her mother, Atessia Nepascia, who takes her in, when her family is gone.
03.) Rowdy: Her “brothers” – Dilyne, Kieras, Shaunn, and Connla Nepascia – are a rowdy bunch, but she loves them dearly, and they teach her all kinds of interesting things that she might not have ever otherwise learned, which more than makes up for her foster mother’s occasional scoldings about the perpetually muddy and grass-stained state of her clothing and hoydenish behavior that would (supposedly) shock her poor mother incredibly.
04.) Bargain: When she’s a few months shy of her seventh natal day, Atessia finally promises that she will stop scolding Shelanné about her rough behavior and muddy clothes if she will learn how to behave properly around visitors and will promise to make an effort to always do so, when visitors actually do come calling, and so they eventually strike a bargain that satisfies everyone and preserves the family’s reputation without also making Shelanné miserable, in the process (which is a good thing, because otherwise she never would’ve kept up her end of said bargain).
05.) Tease: She does enjoy to be outside and to run about with her brothers, especially when there is riding to be done, but she also loves books and learning immensely (to the point where she will oftentimes postpone even a good long ride in fine weather in order to simply sit in a patch of sunshine somewhere and read for hours and hours on end), something for which her perpetually active brothers constantly tease her . . . right up until the moment when she actually manages to get them all hooked on the exquisite (all but poetic) prose and endlessly engaging storytelling abilities of her three favorite fictional authors, after which she gets to tease them mercilessly about how they’ve all become such rabid bookworms.
06.) Proper: In spite of everything, it isn’t quite considered proper for a young lady of good breeding to be in any part of the Nabooian Royal Security Forces (which is what she would like to do, given her proficiency with weapons and excellent marksmanship), and the Nabooian Diplomatic Corps and Royal Advisory Council (neither of which she would mind serving as a member of, given her interest in law) tend to be limited to certain current and former politicians and retired or semi-retired professors or professional artists, so she frankly considers it a blessing in disguise, when King Veruna is unceremoniously ousted and replaced with a Queen who is almost of an age with her and Amidala’s people almost immediately make it clear that the old tradition of handmaidens – chosen companions, guardians, and helpmeets of the monarch – is going to be reinstated.
07.) Help: It takes some doing, but her brothers all ban together to help her convince her foster parents that she should be allowed to apply for one of the handmaiden positions in the new Queen’s court, and, after her father, Corban, surprises her by approving of the notion fairly early on and both of the famous Cashillé sisters publicly declare that are going to allow their second daughters to become handmaidens, if they wish to do so, her mother finally gives in and agrees to let her submit an application for the training program, so long as she promises she will be careful and do her best not to endanger herself (or anyone else!) needlessly.
08.) Decoy: With her slight, slender build, brown hair, hazel-brown eyes, rather heart-shaped face, and fair complexion, she can make herself essentially look like and even sound like the young Queen, if she wants to (having long since mastered the art of cosmetics and having been an excellent mimic for many years), but she has no real interest in being a potential decoy for the Queen, for decoys, of course, cannot break cover by fighting back against assassination attempts or by attempting to cover the true Queen, during such an attack, and it is her intention to be a true guardian and helpmeet of her sworn lady and not just some up-jumped lady-in-waiting.
09.) Prepared: Her adoptive family is quite wealthy and belongs to the unofficial aristocracy of Naboo, and so she has, of course, met Yané Cashillé before, and even Dané Cashillé, once, quite briefly, at a ball held at the Theed Royal Palace, but nothing has quite prepared her for the reality of someone like Amidala, and it doesn’t help at all that some of the young Queen’s handmaidens (Sabé, for example) possess presences almost as overwhelmingly powerful and charismatic as that of Amidala . . . or that Dané has matured into a beautiful young lady who is like a woman made of living flame, towards whom she feels as helplessly drawn as a flitter-moth.
10.) Rethink: This business with the Trade Federation is bad enough that she’s seriously beginning to wonder if the Nabooians as a people don’t need to rethink the planet-wide policy of essential pacifism, because she’s fairly certain that the Trade Federation wouldn’t dare try this kind of bullying behavior with a planet that had any kind of standing militia, and she honestly doesn’t think that they’re in any kind of mood to back down from anything short of a military action brought against them.
11.) Love: The Queen has ordered them to go to ground and start a resistance, and so that is what they do . . . and somewhere, in between the fear and worry for both the people of Naboo and their Queen (as well as each other), the missions with their danger and uncertainty, and the endless grief from a perpetual shortage of supplies, she and Dané tumble headlong into a love affair that they are both fairly certain will last the rest of their lifetimes.
12.) Faith: She has faith in Amidala, of course, but she’s still frankly amazed that she’s managed to pull this crazy scheme of hers for regaining the planet off with so relatively few casualties, and even more surprised that she and Dané have both made it through the adventure (storming of the Palace and all) entirely unscathed.
13.) Nature: The other handmaidens and handmaiden trainees can often be heard to comment on her gentle, open personality, her honesty, her intelligence and wit, the luminous sense of inner peace that often seems to surround her, the way she appears as an epitome of goodness – like an idealized priestess, kindly and self-sacrificing, all sincerity, goodness and sweetness comprising her most basic nature, the place where she lives, in her heart and spirit, so that she finds it easier to be open and truthful and is capable of shading this only to prevent pain for others, her true manner being outgoing, sensitive, and wholly sweet, with little sense of manipulative calculation in her, instead appearing immediately responsive and receptive and wholesomely good, not to mention excellent at listening and extremely empathic as well as sympathetic – often comparing her to the Queen’s beloved friend and first chosen decoy, Sabé, a fact that at once makes her want to laugh hysterically at the absurdity of the comparison (for how little it reveals of what these other girls know of her, after all! True enough, she has steadied some and even become more gentle and understanding, since becoming a handmaiden and Dané’s lover – one of them has to be sensible and calm, after all, and it surely won’t ever be Dané! – but she does not think she has changed nearly so much as all of /that/!) and yet feel profoundly humble, to think that they some could truly believe her worthy of the honor of such a comparison.
14.) Care: She has this odd feeling she cannot quite shake, like she’s rapidly running out of time, and so, in the aftermath of the battle to regain their world, she makes sure that Sabé and the other principal handmaidens know about her idea to see to it that some of the handmaidens are trained as Healers or at least as competent medics, so that they will hopefully never again be in the position of having wounded girls with no one immediately on hand to really help care for them.
15.) Retaliate: They are, of course, expecting the Trade Federation (not to mention the probable second Sith who’s still out there somewhere and quite possibly still in league with the Viceroy and his people, not to mention indubitably furious over the ruination of his plans, regarding Naboo, whatever those plans may have once been) to attempt to retaliate against the Queen for her part in defeating the Trade Federation and reclaiming Naboo, but unfortunately they don’t expect those attempts to start quite as soon as they do, and so perhaps that’s why (in spite of a looming feeling of impending doom that’s been plaguing off and on for most of the past week) she’s so surprised when the first hired assassins open fire on the “Queen” (actually, Dané in her role as Queen’s decoy) during the first live address to the citizens of Naboo (human, Gungan, and otherwise) as to the state of things, since the successful reclamation of their fair world from the Trade Federation, though that surprise does not keep her from springing forward to Dané’s side to order to catch her as she falls, shielding her with her slender body and so perishing with her, as the unforgiving blaster fire rapidly continues to pound away at them.