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Saga - Legends "And death shall have no dominion", drama about Krennic´s daughter, a mix of canon & legends

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by AzureAngel2, Mar 24, 2018.

  1. AzureAngel2

    AzureAngel2 Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jun 14, 2005
    @Hopefulwriter, @Cowgirl Jedi 1701, @Kahara, @WarmNyota_SweetAyesha and @Neruh_Amidala encouraged me all to write on, each of them in their own special way.

    So here we go, @DarthUncle and @earlybird-obi-wan:


    "And death shall have no dominion", Chapter 2:

    When we reach our destination, my hands fly to my mouth. This is not the promised ice crème parlour. This is much, much better. We are outside a building that I have seen before on the HoloNet. It used to be the Library of the Republic.

    “Daddy!” I shriek in delight. “Oh thank you, daddy!”

    His laughter is warmer than the sunshine all around us. “Since you can manage to hold a data pad in your hands again, you have read all the novels in our house library. Your reading speed and comprehension is breathtaking, my dear. This is why I thought we would get you your own account with the local library.” He winks at me. “I'd rather have you using the official channels than uploading anything illegal from the net.”

    “Oh, daddy,” I whisper with happy tears in my eyes.

    He walks around the hover chair to face me. “Besides, now that my little bird is fledging, I need to let go of her much more.” Very slowly he sinks down on his heels until we are at eye level. “There is an old saying on Chandrila: If you love something set it free. If it comes back it's yours. If not, it was never meant to be.

    Not sure what to say, I open my arms and he places his head in my lap.

    “I am so proud of you, Cassie. Within one year you made so much progress. Miss Billilo and all your other therapists are amazed. So am I. You are a miracle. My miracle.”

    I want to tell him that I will always be his. There can be no better father in the entire universe than him, but he gets up suddenly.

    “You know what, I should do this as your father and not under the camouflage of Pete Rayburn. It is better to live freely than fear for your safety all the time. Alex is right. I can do better.” He gives me a haunted look that almost breaks my heart. “If you’ll excuse me, Cassie dear, I need a moment.”

    Puzzled, I watch him storm into a nearby public toilet.

    Uncle Alex once hinted that my father lost a woman very dear to him. That loss, and I guess it was Ina, would have made him rather paranoid.

    When I had asked the MV Nanny droid what 'paranoid' meant, Mary had the following answer, “Paranoia is an instinct or thought process believed to be heavily influenced by anxiety or fear, often to the point of delusion and irrationality.”

    All that I know is that my father is 'disillusioned'. He hardly ever gets any recognition for his 'achievements', as he refers to them. Instead he has a lot of enemies who begrudge him for the beautiful things he is able to build - his huge space station, the military complex on Scarif or the Emperor’s new palace here on Coruscant. It is a secret that he is the architect behind all those projects. Uncle Alex claims that certain individuals would hate him even more if his involvement ever got out. And so other engineers - such as Raith Sienar, Bevel Lemelisk and Umak Leth - get praised instead.

    I cannot help my poor father to get the fame and recognition that he deserves, but I can be the good daughter he needs me to be. His little sunshine. He seems so lost and heartbroken at times.

    Patiently, I wait for him to come out of the public toilet again. It has been two minutes now.

    “Are you lost, little girl?” asks a cool voice next to me. “Can I be of any assistance to you?”

    I gaze up at a man dressed in a white uniform like my father, minus the cape that is. His skin is midnight-blue while his intense eyes are a sea of crimson. By instinct I salute to him, “No, sir. But thanks for asking, sir. You can move along, sir.”

    A smile appears on his lips, while the red eyes twinkle. “At ease, soldier.” He takes me in like a person getting lost in a painting for he is scanning for details so hard. “With whom I might have the honour?”

    “Cassandra Morrígain Krennic,” I answer truthfully. “At your service.”

    I do not ask him who he is for I already have an idea who he might be. There is but one blue skinned alien in the Imperial navy.

    ********************************************************************

    Commodore Thrawn kneels down in front of me, surprise written all over his alien features. “Are you by any chance related to Director Krennic?”

    “Orson Callan Krennic is my father, sir” I beam. “And you must be the famous Chiss who serves our beloved Emperor.”

    “Chiss?” he considers, his eyes turn into slits. This way he reminds me of a tokken. Ready to devour a small rodent. “I could be a Pantoran.”

    “You could never be, sir,” I clip out. “Though it is a common mistake that most people would make.”

    “But you wouldn’t.”

    “My father sometimes speaks about your bravery in battle, sir, and this made me do some research,” I admit, blushing slightly for the opposite is the case. The name Thrawn is a swear word in our household. “You are from a planet in the Unknown Regions that is called Csilla.”

    “So young and a keen spy already?” The tall Chiss lifts an eyebrow and I wonder if he can see right through me and detect my white lie. “I do hope you did not find out about my call sign or tax number yet.”

    “No, sir.” I am shocked. “Uncle Alex, I mean Agent Kallus, is an ISB officer. He would know about such things. But I am only six years old.”

    “Which is hard to believe.” With no warning Commodore Thrawn nudges my nose. “You could be a jawa in disguise. Or a shaved Ewok girl.”

    “What are Ewoks, sir?” I wonder.

    “Small, furry creatures from a forest moon in the Outer Rim Territory. They look cute and harmless, but should not be underestimated as cunning warriors. I told the commander of the base, but this man is too daft to listen to reason.” He winks at me. “I hope he will at least remember my warning the day the Ewoks attack him with their spears and stone slings.”

    “Stormtrooper uniforms are not really made for such combat forms, are they, sir?” I suggest.

    “They are not.” The Chiss shakes his head. “Mistress Krennic, you have other wonderful talents and traits.” He ponders shortly. “May I ask you something personal? Even though I should not.”

    “Why, sir?”

    “In my culture it is greatly frowned upon to ask personal questions and to talk about oneself.”

    “Just go ahead, sir,” I assure him. “She'll be apples.”

    He frowns.

    “In the Chandrilan country side this means that something is okay, sir.”

    Now he looks even more confused.

    “My father grew up on a fruit farm, sir.”

    “That explains a lot,” the Chiss says more to himself than to me. Then his eyes zoom in on me. “Do you like art?”

    To that I nod eagerly and state, “I simply love Corellian flame miniatures, sir.”

    “Why?”

    “Those pink lights are pretty, sir. They keep the nightmares from me. Therefore daddy installed dozens of holographic images of them in my room. Right above my bed. They burn the entire night.”

    That seems to please Commodore Thrawn immensely. “What other art forms are to your liking, Mistress Krennic?”

    This I can answer straight away. “Paintings and statues in the classical Naboo style, sir. They make me feel like a fairy tale princess walking through her realm. I especially like effigies of Shiraya.” Quickly, I add. “She is the moon goddess.”

    “Ah, the winged, female humanoid brandishing a crescent moon-shaped symbol.” He crooks his head. “Are you very religious?”

    “No, sir, but my dad asks me to say grace in her name. And address the evening prayer to her. See, he lost somebody dear to him, a couple of years ago. Ina was a follower of Shiraya. This way he wants to honour her, I suppose.”

    Commodore Thrawn flashes me a grin. “Are there any more art movements or artworks that you like?” he asks after some anxious heartbeats of mine.

    “Alderaanian grass paintings, sir. They are so vibrant.” My voice drops. “I asked Uncle Alex, I mean Agent Kallus, to bring me some grass seeds from Lothal. But he keeps forgetting it.”

    “Why Lothal?”

    “Oh, he had some missions there of late, sir. I am not sure if you are familiar with the planet. It is in the Outer Rim like that moon you mentioned earlier on.”

    Instead of answering my question, Commodore Thrawn bows slightly. “You just made my day, Mistress Krennic. I hope you realize that.”

    Not sure what he means, I blink at him.

    “You are a wonderful and bright girl. It is a true honour to have made your acquaintance.” In one fluid movement, he kneels down and reaches out for my right hand. “From now on, you may call me Mitth'raw'nuruodo. Only family and close friends are allowed to use that name.”

    “I am Cassandra, Mitth'raw'nuruodo,” I pipe up as we exchange a firm handshake. His skin is cool and hot alike.

    “You pronounced it correctly,” he praises me. “That does not happen very often when humans try to speak Cheunh.”

    “It is a beautiful tongue,” I smile.

    “My people prefer to use Minnisiat and Sy Bisti when dealing with your race.”

    “They should not. Language is a piece of home.”

    “Rightly said.”

    “Pardon me for asking, but you do not seem confident with Basic, even though you speak it fluently.”

    He rises to his full height again. “You are an acute observer.”

    “Cassie?” somebody calls out in terror.

    “Ah, there comes your father,” Commodore Thrawn announces with some regret in his voice.

    ********************************************************************

    “It’s okay, daddy,” I call out immediately and put on an extra big smile. “The Commodore and I were just talking.”

    My father, not wearing his disguise any longer, looks awfully stricken. “Thrawn,” he speaks hoarsely as he saunters closer in his civvies.

    “Director Krennic,” Mitth'raw'nuruodo replies in return and gives him a curt military nod. “I had the honour to get acquainted with your lovely daughter Cassandra.”

    “Did you now. Ace!” My father’s composure is tense. His gaze could cut through Durasteel. “I hope you made none of your usual evaluations here. She is not an enemy of the state, but an innocent six year old. Nothing like the pirate scum you hunt.”

    The Chiss does not shrink back from the acid sarcasm, but even takes a step closer. Their noses almost touch for they have the same height.

    “I can assure you that I have treated Cassandra for what she is, Director Krennic. As the daughter of a high ranking Imperial officer and as a fellow art lover.”

    “Really? I am just taking a pi… erm, pee and in the meantime you are able to perform a full brain scan on my child.”

    My father gives me an apologetic look. Not because he almost said a bad word, but because we both know that he is lying to Mitth'raw'nuruodo. The skin under his nose, where the false moustache has been, is still slightly red.

    The Chiss tilts his head, looking directly at me. “Let me pay for Cassandra’s library pass to make up for my congenital curiosity.”

    “All children below twelve years of age are free of charges,” my father prompts somewhat triumphantly.

    “Then let me invite the two of you to an ice cream after visiting the Coruscant Intergalactic Art Gallery.”

    “Hey, when was this offer made?” my father protests.

    Mitth'raw'nuruodo smirks. “Just now, Director Krennic. For Lord Vader and Governor Tarkin will be visiting the library today.”

    My father cannot help paling.

    “They want to inaugurate the section of military books for school children and somehow I have the feeling that you do not want to run into them. Your daughter is home-schooled, I presume?”

    My father mumbles something inaudible.

    “Just as I thought, seeing her condition.”

    “It's not a condition,” my father bellows. “It’s myasthenia if you have to know.”

    “I do not,” Mitth'raw'nuruodo says aloof. “But the guests of honour are due in ten minutes sharp and I know for myself that the service desk is slow when it comes to register a new library user.”

    Just last night I have heard the name Tarkin for the very first time. Back then my father had referred to him as a 'crazy old monster'. I had imagined some ogre in a castle, feeding off children like me.

    This Lord Vader sounds interesting though. He seems to be a noble man from the Imperial court. A prince perhaps. He even might be a close friend of our beloved Emperor Palpatine.

    But I will never find out who Lord Vader is, because it seems that I will not be the proud owner of a library card. Not today anyway. My father already steers my wheel chair into a different direction.

    “Why would you bother with us, when you are obviously due to join Tarkin and Vader?” he hisses.

    “I am still not sure if talking about my recent battles is appropriate for such young ears.” Mitth'raw'nuruodo pauses. When he speaks on, there is longing in his voice. “Your daughter reminded me that there is much more to life than the art of war.”

    *******************************************************************

    (To be continued!)
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2018 at 12:24 PM
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  2. AzureAngel2

    AzureAngel2 Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jun 14, 2005
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2018
  3. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 7

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Cassie is indeed wonderfully endearing and tactful too. @};- And Thrawn is his inimitable self. [face_love]
    =D=
     
    DarthUncle and AzureAngel2 like this.
  4. AzureAngel2

    AzureAngel2 Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jun 14, 2005
    Thanks, @WarmNyota_SweetAyesha! It feels good to have one person who leaves such cheerful comments. I will tell you via PM why that is!

    For now I am taking my husband swimming, because drastic changes are upon us.

    This is why this story has to pause for a while. The 2nd May will be a very fateful day for us. I tell you about it via PM!
     
  5. AzureAngel2

    AzureAngel2 Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jun 14, 2005
    Due to my husband @DarthUncle being too tired and weak to go anywhere, I had time to write the following, @Kahara, @earlybird-obi-wan, @Cowgirl Jedi 1701, @Nehru_Amidala, @WarmNyota_SweetAyesha:


    (still Chapter 2)

    ********************************************************************

    The Coruscant Intergalactic Art Gallery is an exempt charity. Its collection belongs to the Imperial Academy of Fine Arts. The entry to the main collection is free of charge. It is among the most visited museums in the galaxy right after the Hanna Institute of Antiquities on Chandrila, the Parnelli Museum of Art on Naboo, the Corellian Science Museum and the Alderaan Museum of Fine Arts.

    I am thrilled that we start our journey in a chamber filled with objects in classical Naboo style. There are many portraits of ladies, fine jewellery, glass work and holographic displays of buildings.

    “Would you like me to comment?” inquires Mitth'raw'nuruodo as politely as ever.

    “Yes, please,” I reply, hoping to sound not too eager. “This is why I was against the audio tour guide just now. You can do so much better.”

    “Sure,” huffs my father. “I bet he also does audio books with dark fairy tales from the Unknown Regions. About the Hyperspace Anomaly, brain eating parasites and ancient Rakatan Empires.”

    If the Chiss is annoyed, he has enough grace not to show it openly. He goes on speaking, not even looking at my father. “Overall the Naboo approach to design is holistic,” he explains with an excessive hand gesture. “That means that any art object will look as if it has grown naturally. This is characterized by flowing, almost sinuous curves with smooth surfaces.”

    “Oh, look at the beautiful lady over there,” I shriek with delight.

    There is the sculpture of a woman, who is lying on a bed of flowers with her eyes closed. There are more flowers and little ribbons in her long hair.

    My father seems frozen to the spot. “This can’t be happening,” he mutters over and over again.

    “Is this a water fairy?” Without any help by the men, I move my wheel chair closer to the life-sized statue. “A Naiad?”

    “No, this is a former queen of Naboo.” Noiselessly, Mitth'raw'nuruodo has stepped behind me. “Her title was Amidala, though her real name was Padmé Naberrie. She got elected at fourteen and served her people two terms. Later on she was a member of the senate here on Coruscant.”

    “You said was.” My hand moves towards my fast pounding heart. “Is she dead?”

    “She got assassinated during the end of the Clone Wars,” verifies the commodore. “This is a copy of her gravestone.”

    Assassinated during the end of the Clone Wars.

    These words sound through me like a death toll.

    I swallow hard as tears start to fill my eyes.

    Sorrow spreads inside me and I cannot even explain why that is.

    “Can we stop right here?” pleas my father. There is an undertone in his voice that I can not classify. “I do not want my daughter to have nightmares.”

    “Nonsense. History can not lead to nightmares,” prompts Mitth'raw'nuruodo. “Neither can a lesson in politics.”

    “Amidala is no more,” my father bites out. “Because her political involvement always brought her into severe trouble. ”

    “The Emperor still talks very highly of her.”

    “Yeah, I am sure he does. She was his 'parade Kaadu'. The best mount in his stable really.”

    I frown.

    Sometimes my father says the strangest things. Padmé Naberrie does not look like a beast of burden at all.

    I try to distract the commodore. “Did our beloved Emperor order the stonemasons to make this sculpture in Padmé’s honour?”

    “No, but an unknown admirer did. The assignment was to make her look exactly like she did during her funeral.”

    I look at the white marble. “The dress was blue was it not?”

    “It was indeed, but how did you guess that, Cassandra?”

    “Naboo love the water. The Solleu River runs through the grassy plains of the planet like a life line. And then there is the Lake Country.” I run my fingers over the marble statue, even though one is not supposed to touch things in an art gallery. Then I exclaim, “She was expecting a baby.”

    “Who ever told you that?” gurgles my father, a hand at his throat.

    “Her belly. It is huge.” I point at the statue. “The father of the child was a very big man. Or she was even expecting twins.”

    “Twins. You really have a wild imagination,” my father tuts. Then he suddenly grins. “I wonder what you make out of the holo film sequence over there.”

    As fast as he can my father steers my wheel chair to a column that hosts a holo projector.

    An amphibious humanoid with long fin-like ears hops around on thin legs and waves his somewhat lanky arms around. His dance consists only of a few basic moves.

    “Meet the infamous Jar Jar Binks,” says my father triumphantly. “Military commander during the Invasion of Theed and later on representative in the senate. He also invented the 'Gungan Style' during a party. There was much Naboo blossom wine involved.”

    Fascinated, I stare at the orange skinned alien. “Can you also dance like this, daddy?”

    “If that was the case, I would already have blown a hole right through my skull. Binks is the most ridiculous creature that ever walked the senate halls and the Naboo swamps, I am sure.”

    I cross my arms, pouting on behalf of the poor politician who is not without grace. “Shame on you, Daddy. Not everybody can be a cool Loth-cat like you.”

    The commodore chuckles, before saying, “I take it that you are quite a dancer, Director Krennic?”

    “Believe it or not, Commodore Thrawn, I used to be a party animal. But that is history. These days I dance for my daughter’s eyes only.”

    My nose crinkles, as my memories of last weekend kick in. “You should tell him about the dance battle that Uncle Alex and you...”

    “This is classified information,” my father rebukes me softly. “The commodore already knows more about us then he needs to.”

    “There is no need to worry.” Mitth'raw'nuruodo looks somehow smug. “Every Imperial officer has the right to some privacy now and again.”

    ********************************************************************

    Within the next chamber incense swirls like mist. My father starts coughing automatically.

    “When have you given up smoking?” asks Mitth'raw'nuruodo.

    “Not soon enough,” comes the meek reply and I decide not to speak about the water pipe that my father hides in his bedroom cabinet.

    Strangely moved, I gaze at the burning candles. “Which world does this room represent?”

    “The desert moon of Jedha,” answers Mitth'raw'nuruodo without delay.

    “Jedha,” groans my father. “This gets from bad to worse. All my sins revisited.”

    “It is kyber crystal clear to me that you are distressed.” Some triumph shows up in the blue Chiss features. “Would you like to make a confession, Director?”

    “You wish,” hisses my father in return. “The Navy always assumes too much.”

    “Where is Jedha?” I say towards the commodore.

    Under the current light conditions Mitth'raw'nuruodo reminds me of a dark fairy. He is beautiful to look at.

    “It is within the Terrabe sector.” Then he smiles. “But your father knows it better than I do.”

    “Yeah right, you cheeky ass. Stop assuming too much.”

    Mitth'raw'nuruodo leaves the words of my father uncommented and points out to a huge carpet that is adorned with geometric patterns. “This is a mandala, Cassandra. At the most basic level of appearance a mandala stays true to its name: 'circle'. Mandalas are a common sight in the community of Jedha City.”

    Inside me something stirs. Words that make no sense.

    “Kor-ah, Mah-tah, Kor-ah, Rah-tah-mah.
    Kor-ah, Rah-tah-mah. Yood-hah, Kor-ah.
    Kor-ah, Syahd-ho. Rah-tah-mah, Daan-yah.
    Kor-ah, Kee-lah, Daan-yah.
    Nyo-hah, Kee-lah, Kor-ah, Rah-tah-mah.
    Syahd-ho, Kee-la, Kor-ah, Rah-tah-mah.
    Kor-ah, Daa-nyah. Kor-ah, Rah-tah-mah.
    Kor-ah, Daa-nyah. Kor-ah, Rah-tah-mah.
    Nyo-hah, Kee-lah, Kor-ah, Rah-tah-mah.
    Syahd-ho, Kee-la, Daan-yah, Rah-tah-mah. Kor-ah!”


    I try to be a brave little soldier and keep listening to the commodore without showing my confusion. The words translate to something like, “Under the tongue root a fight most dread, and another raging, behind, in the head.”

    Mitth'raw'nuruodo smiles at me. “Within the holy city a mandala can have an enormous size. They can be draped over an embroidered cloth or hung against temple walls.”

    “Wasn’t that interesting?” my father comments dryly. “Next please!”
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2018
  6. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 7

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Yay more Thrawn and a very discombobulated Krennic what with mentions of Amidala and Jedha :oops: =D= Thrawn is definitely the best artsy tour guide [face_love] And [face_rofl] Jar Jar Binks doing fancy dance moves! 8-} [:D]
     
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  7. DarthUncle

    DarthUncle Jedi Master star 5

    Registered:
    Mar 20, 2005
    Krennic really knows how to interact with his fellow imperial officers doesn't he! It's a nice two men and a little lady adventure. And Jar Jar going Gungan Style, great. I wonder what Thrawn thinks of little Cassie, she seems very very sharp and attentive.
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2018
  8. AzureAngel2

    AzureAngel2 Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jun 14, 2005
    @DarthUncle & @WarmNyota_SweetAyesha: I cannot let down a person who is bored to death in a hospital bed or the brave woman who beta-edits at short notice every time.



    "And death shall have no dominion", Chapter 3:

    We are already on our way out when my gaze wanders to a row of tall cylindrical wheels. Before my father can hinder me, I reach out for one of the metal surfaces. Mantras in the ancient Sanskrit language are written on them.

    Deep down inside me a gate opens and I can feel a tingling sensation pulsing through me.

    “Oṃ maṇi padme hūṃ,” I beam and start to spin the so-called 'life tree'. “Oṃ maṇi padme hūṃ.”

    “Would you stop that!” my father calls out, panic lacing his words.

    “But your daughter has just found out about the function of those wheels,” Mitth'raw'nuruodo praises. “Besides there a sign that specifically asks visitors like us to use the prayer mills.”

    “Somebody could get hurt,” whines my father.

    “Don’t be a fool!” admonishes the commodore. “This is but an interactive gallery installation. It was put here in order to make the visitors experience culture, religion and music.”

    “That is not music, laser brain! Jizz is music.”

    “You have a strange idea of entertainment, Director Krennic.”

    While the two men keep exchanging words like sword thrusts, I spin the wheel over and over again and sing my chant.

    With closed eyes, I can see jagged rock formations. There are also narrow spires and broad plateaus that stick out of the sand crust. Suddenly, a city full of miracle and wonder appears in front of me. The streets are narrow and pretty overcrowded with pedestrians. A triangular structure towers over everything. Inside it I feel a myriad of voices. Beautiful crystals and they sing just for me.

    With regret I part from the song and open my eyes.

    “It is but noise, Director Krennic,” Mitth'raw'nuruodo addresses my father. “A shadow of anger taints his otherwise velvety voice. “Nothing more. Stop insisting otherwise.”

    “Jizz is the essence of life. It can be fast and swingin' like a big band, but also wild and honkin'. Now and then it can be exotic or even slow and beautiful.”

    While my father waves his hands about, the commodore stands erect like a hero statue. “I would prefer endodontic treatment to a jizz gig at any time.”

    “What you fail to realize is that Jizz is perfect improvisation. Take Figrin D'an and the Modal Nodes for example. They start with structure, with a melody and chord that the band knows. But then something much greater happens. After that they trade ideas, delve into the harmony and change it.”

    “I would not connect Jizz with harmony. It is chaos.”

    Suddenly, somebody else is inside the chamber and it is not one of the gallery guards. At more than two metres high, adorned in battle armour, this person is an impressive sight.

    I squeal in my hover chair. “Oh!” I exclaim, while I see the long, wallowing cape.

    How much I love capes! This one is not white like my father´s though. It is black.

    Yin and Yang, the idea of a perfect balance of good and evil, shadow and light, the dark side and the light side. The Force swinging back and forth.

    The two men stop their quarrel.

    “L-lord Vader,” stutters my father.

    *******************************************************************

    Gleefully, I clap my hands together. “Oh it is you! The close confidant of our beloved Emperor.” I smile my brightest smile. “I hope His Excellency is well on this most beautiful day.”

    The Imperial prince saunters closer to me. “I detect no sarcasm here.”

    “No, my father usually is the sarcastic one, claims Uncle Alex,” I inform Lord Vader truthfully.

    “Uncle Alex?” he repeats.

    “Oh, I am sorry, you would not know him under that name. I mean Agent Kallus, of course.”

    My father groans loudly.

    Even though it seems to hurt him a big deal, the Imperial prince crouches down in front of me. “Who are you?”

    This I can answer. I salute like my father has taught me. “Cassandra Morrígain Krennic. At your service.”

    Shaking his head, my father face-palms.

    I blush and remember the command I just disregarded. If I am ever to fall into the hands of the enemy, I am to keep my identity secret. But this Imperial Prince is not the enemy. He is on our side. This is all very confusing.

    It is Mitth'raw'nuruodo who steps up behind me and not my father. “Are you not expected at the library, Lord Vader?”

    “I am not Tarkin’s lap dog. Nor do I do autograph sessions.”

    “That is a pity,” I voice full of regret. “Somebody like you must be a true hero of the Empire. A mighty warrior who gives his best to bring peace and order back to this galaxy. I bet there are even advertising posters of you. You really owe the children.”

    Lord Vader seems to sway a bit. “I do not owe anyone.”

    “Your signature would make my day,” I insist and look up hopefully into the masked face. “You could write something on the frame of my hover chair.”

    “I do not even own a pen,” comes the bleak answer.

    “The feather is more powerful than the sword,” I clip out, wanting to make a point about the importance of writing and reading.

    “I doubt that very much.”

    Suddenly, there is a flash of red light.

    “Whee!” I cheer and stare straight into a flame sword. It is so hauntingly beautiful. And Lord Vader swings it with such expertise. I do not even flinch.

    *******************************************************************

    The sprinkler system is still on, while flustered gallery staff asks us into the Naboo chamber and closes off the Jedha exhibition.

    With his flame sword, the Imperial prince has cut right through the prayer wheels, all of them. I am strangely at peace with myself, even though I am dripping with water.

    “Was it really necessary to destroy those valuable artefacts, Lord Vader?” complains Mitth'raw'nuruodo.

    “Education is one of the highest costs of the current state budget, Commodore Thrawn. And I just gave Mistress Krennic a lesson. The sword always wins in the end.”

    My father says nothing, his cheekbones working though.

    “Why are you not afraid?” the Imperial prince wants to know from me.

    “You are a champion of our beloved Emperor,” I reason. “No harm could ever come from you.”

    Lord Vader places a trembling hand on my right shoulder. “Director Krennic, your daughter has a severe genetic defect.”

    “Yeah,” my father replies hoarsely.

    “Oh, I fear all the time.” My cheeks colour. “Sometimes my own shadow scares me. But I see no reason to fear you.”

    “I can prove you otherwise,” he challenges me, but I am aware that he is just following his strange codex of honour. “What would it take to get you into a state of blind panic?”

    “You are not a very gallant knight,” I sniff at him.

    “What makes you believe that I am a knight?” prompts the Imperial prince.

    “Your flame sword.”

    “I could have stolen it from a true knight.”

    To this I only shake my head defiantly.

    His next question comes unexpected. “How old are you?”

    “Six.” Quickly I add, “And you?”

    There is silence for a while.

    I think that I can make out human eyes behind the red lenses, but that might be a trick of the light.

    Finally, Lord Vader replies, “That is for me to know and for you to ponder about, little girl.”

    “You move like a new-born baby,” I give back, not sure where the words come from. “I bet you are a Clone Wars veteran who has lost a lot. Perhaps even legs and arms by the look of it.”

    “Don’t push it, Cassie!” warns my father.

    “My father can give you the contact of my physiotherapist. Normally, she only helps children. But for you she might make an exception.” I proudly wiggle my legs. “See, last week I could not do that. Now I can even walk small distances. Baby steps, but still. You look like you could use some support.”

    There is still no palpable annoyance from Lord Vader. Just a huge wave of curiosity. “Earlier on, when you were busy with the cylinders, what exactly did you say to them?”

    I gaze up into the masked face.“Oṃ maṇi padme hūṃ,” I offer and translate straight away, “The jewel is in the lotus. See, it’s the bodhisattva of compassion. All living beings possess this seed.”

    His artificial breath is like cold wind.

    I point at the gravestone of Padmé Naberrie. “This woman is named after the lotus flower and compassion for others was her goal in life.”

    Lord Vader suddenly turns and marches out.

    Mitth'raw'nuruodo waits until the Imperial prince really is gone. Only then he bends down to me and gives me a small hug. “Cassandra, without even knowing it you helped me to solve a riddle today. This calls for a piece of cake and a hot chocolate, don’t you think?”

    *******************************************************************

    Wrapped in blankets, while our clothing is at a nearby dry cleaner, we sit in the cafeteria of the museum. I am having a slice of air cake, while the my father and the commodore enjoy a mug of black coffee with no sugar in it.

    “We should go here more often,” I suggest, swinging my pastry fork like a flame sword.

    With his eye brows raised in alarm, my father takes the fork out of my hand. “Definitely not, Cassandra!”

    I hate it when he says my name like this. It means that he is very, very mad with me. “But we have not seen the rest of the gallery. And it is still open until 6am, Daddy.”

    With a smirk my father takes my napkin and starts cleaning my mouth. “I had enough excitement for one day, believe me.”

    “If I might intervene here,” Mitth'raw'nuruodo cuts in. “The dry cleaning saloon will bring our clothing back in 30 minutes sharp. They know who we are and will do their utmost not to disappoint two high ranking Imperial officers.”

    “And your point is?” probes my father, a sour crinkle in his cheeks.

    “We have all the time in the universe to make this a wonderful excursion for Cassandra.”

    My father inhales sharply. “You do not get it, Commodore Thrawn, do you? Lord Vader met my daughter today. This never should have happened.” His fist comes down on the table. Our tableware chinks. “Blasted Alex. He insists that Cassie should take more part in social and cultural life.”

    “Way spoken.” Mitth'raw'nuruodo is his usual composed self, even there is a slight frown. “Lord Vader will also see it this way.”

    “He could have killed her!”

    “But he did not. Which means that he is interested in her well-being. You focus too much on the negative here.”

    “Do you have children?” my father clips out.

    The commodore shakes his head.

    “Then stop telling me what is right for my only child.” My father crumples his own napkin. “She already has a godfather in Alexsandr.”

    “Normally, I do not put myself in the centre, Director Krennic, but I would like to be a stand-in for Agent Kallus.”

    My father makes an ugly face. “Let us get Boba Fett in and some musical instruments. Then we can form a band already.”

    Mitth'raw'nuruodo lays his head a little crooked. “Strange, that you would add a notorious bounty hunter like him into our triumvirate.”

    “Oh, there is an old life debt. He is very persistent about that.” My father stares at his hands. “To be honest, I expect him to show up on my door step sooner or later. About Cassandra.”

    “He does not seem a family type of person to me,” the commodore muses.

    “Since you do your art thingy all the time, do them for Mandalorians,” slurs my father. “It will be worthwhile your precious time.”

    “I might consider that.”

    *******************************************************************

    (To be continued!)
     
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  9. AzureAngel2

    AzureAngel2 Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jun 14, 2005
    @Kahara, @Cowgirl Jedi 1701 & @earlybird-obi-wan should also pointed out to Lord Vader´s cameo, before I go to bed and spend the next week in & out of the hospital plus fighting German authorities on behalf of my husband. O:)
     
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  10. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 7

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    =D= Excellent and I love the exchange over the snack ;) Forming a band [face_laugh]

    Cassie is definitely unfazed by everyone who intimidates everyone else: Thrawn and Vader. :p
     
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  11. Cowgirl Jedi 1701

    Cowgirl Jedi 1701 Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 21, 2016
    I too looked the crack about forming a band.

    And Cassandra's interaction with Vader. That was, like....I just....how do I even? Where do I even start? Dear, sweet, innocent Cassandra is so wise, and she probably doesn't even know it. And Vader. The storm of emotions he must be feeling right now. This little girl just hit basically every soft spot he has. But she's not trying to provoke him. She has no idea how she's metaphorically stabbing him in the gut and twisting the knife. On the contrary, she sincerely admires him, sees him as a hero, even. She notices that he's hurting physically, and just wants to help. And he just can't even. I can't even.
     
  12. AzureAngel2

    AzureAngel2 Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jun 14, 2005
    @WarmNyota_SweetAyesha & @Cowgirl Jedi 1701: It was a rather busy week for me because my husband @DarthUncle was released out of hospital on Monday morning at short notice. Right now there are many things he cannot do in the household.

    Then we had a friend coming over on Monday and we even went to meet the family of a former kindergarten child of mine. We got spoiled by them with good Japanese food and Matcha tea.

    But there were also moments of rest for me, where I was able to paint, read and write.

    Here is what I did after our return from the kidney specialist yesterday. Something that @Nehru_Amidala, @Kahara and @earlybird-obi-wan might like too because it contains a lot of Thrawn again:


    (Still Chapter 3)

    *******************************************************************


    Not much later, we have all our clothes back on and stand inside a huge chamber. I start shivering a bit, because the room temperature is rather cool. It hosts several ice sculptures, being kept in special glass containers. I also spot three large steles that Mitth'raw'nuruodo identifies as Rakatan.

    “That means that this planet was part of the Infinite Empire,” I state and smile up at my father.

    “An Empire is always a much better idea than a republic run by a senate.” He pats my head. “One leader, one clear vision.”

    Our new Chiss friend remains silent, but there is a ripple on his lips. He gives his best to suppress a smile. “You really raise Cassandra up as a loyal citizen.”

    “What else should she be? A rebel against the system?” My father frowns. “Listen, you popped in straight after the Clone Wars, right? This galaxy was in chaos for many years. Sheev Palpatine was the only one who had the guts and the brains to end the suffering. All the senate ever did was going 'blah, blah, blah' and being mind-tricked by those Jedi wizards.”

    “Sculpting ice must be difficult,” I throw in because we should not get political again.

    Mitth'raw'nuruodo bows lightly. “It indeed presents a number of difficulties due to the variability and volatility of the material.”

    “You sound like you tried it out before.”

    “I am afraid that my home world has not much in common with Lexrul, where your dad was born.”

    My father rolls his eyes. “Don’t remind me of that dull place.”

    “Yet you were lucky to have much greenery around you,” disagrees the commodore.

    “That’s what you think. Apart from the music both planets sucked profoundly.”

    Mitth'raw'nuruodo focuses his attention on me again. “Csilla is mostly a place of glaciers and snowy wastes. Very much like Hoth here. With ice in abundance and winter as the main season, I tried out ice sculpting when I was around your age.”

    “Did you like it?” I ask eagerly.

    “Very much.” The commodore touches one of the glass cylinders in an almost tender way. “Generally, sculptures like this are carved from blocks of ice. What you need to do, my dear Cassandra, is to carefully select an ice block. One that is suitable for your purposes. It should be free of undesired impurities.”

    “I thought ice is always pure,” I blurt out, remembering the ice cubes inside the Corellian whiskey that daddy drinks from time to time.

    In denial Mitth'raw'nuruodo shakes his head. “Clear, transparent ice is but a result of the freezing process. It is not necessarily related to the purity of the water.”

    *******************************************************************

    For more than half an hour the commodore shares his experiences as an ice artist with us.

    We also learn about the ice carnival. It is annually held in the capital of Csilla. There are not only ice sculptures, but giant ice mazes, ice slides with various levels of difficulties and countless ice games, too.

    Ice climbing, figure skating, ice yachting, curling, ice hockey, sledding, ice bowling, and many more.

    I long to see all those things myself, but the Chiss lead a very isolated life in the Unknown Territories and usually keep to themselves. The Chiss Ascendency will not let me in as a guest so easily.

    Hiding my distress as much as possible I ask, “What colour do the glaciers on Csilla have?”

    “They are actually blue like the skin of my people.” There is a happy spark in the commodore’s red eyes. “Our scientists recently have found out that this was caused by a mineral found in the Csillan hydrosphere.”

    “So you were humans once,” my father suspects.

    “I hope not. That would turn us into descendants of mere rodents.” Mitth'raw'nuruodo winks at me. “Imagine all the amount of cheese I would need to eat then. Mould cheese, long riped hard cheese, cream cheese...”

    Giggling, I look at the AT-AT – an All Terrain Armoured Transport vehicle – in front of me. “Will the Empire ever come to Hoth?”

    “Nay,” my father denies. “There is nothing of interest there, Cassie. Unless one loves frostbite, snow-blindness and frozen limbs.”

    “But look,” I point out at a huge mount called Tauntaun. “Those could be useful.”

    “I bet they smell worse than banthas.” My father gives me one of his lopsided smiles that make him look much, much younger. “Once I talked to a sandtrooper on Scarif who claimed that they have a stench worse than… ah forget about it, Cassie dear. It is a nasty word.”

    I grin for my father knows many nasty words. Some are even funny.

    The commodore takes a step closer to my father. “Oh you had business on Scarif?”

    “Don’t act too surprised, bluestocking! I am the bloody architect of the Citadel tower.”

    “The tower that got destroyed five years ago?”

    There is some nervous sweat on my father’s brow. “I am not to blame for that. Saw Gerrera did it. And he just blew off the top. Some medical chamber got destroyed, true. But the data files were never in danger. All this semi-knowledge and the half-truths that are around. Bollocks! Navy members can be worse than old fish wives when putting their heads together.”

    While the men discuss the bomb attack, I slip away with my hover chair. This is an art gallery and I want to explore more art. The art of war is boring. It never creates. There is only destruction and in the end people cry bitterly.

    I flatten my nose against the next tank.

    Somebody has done the Emperor, who is much smaller than I thought. He has a friendly face though and many laugh lines.

    I hope so much that I will get invited to the Imperial court one fine day. To be personally introduced to Sheev Palpatine would be an absolute highlight. Instead of making a courtesy, I would rather kiss his hand. This man has done so much for us, his citizens. He deserves all our love and loyalty.

    It makes me sad to know that there are people out there who do not like the Emperor at all. Who tell lies about him and blame him for all the misery in their lives.

    It must be hard to sit on a throne, always detached from the rest of society and being forced to make all the hard decisions. Like a loving parent really. I can see how tough it is for my own father to do me justice all the time.

    I move on.

    Right next to his sculpture is that of Lord Vader. Once more I am impressed. The height, the armour, the grandeur. He is like one of the knights in my fairy tale books.

    Wiggling my legs, I start to wonder if he is romantically in love with a princess or even a queen.

    There was something like courtly love on Naboo once upon a time. Daddy read about it to me recently. Embroidered handkerchiefs and other pledges of love were granted before a knights tournament.

    But to be honest, I would rather have Mitth'raw'nuruodo as my sweetheart than Lord Vader. The latter would be a cool body guard though. Somebody I could always rely on, no matter what. Around him I have felt so safe, so whole.

    Next in line is a cold assault stormtrooper, also known more simply as snowtrooper. He wears something like a white, rugged body glove. That type of armour does not only provide camouflage, but also thermal insulation from the cold.

    There is a podium next to the glass cylinder.

    “Snow globes,” I shriek.

    There are replicas of the galaxy's most beautiful palaces.

    I pick them up one by one, investigating the sceneries before I give them a good shake.

    The Aldera Royal Palace on Alderaan.

    An unspecified palace on Serenno.

    The Theed Royal Palace on Naboo.

    The Governor's Palace on Eriadu.

    The Fountain Palace on Hapes.

    The Weeta Palace on Nal Hutta.

    Prince Xizor's Palace here on Coruscant.

    “Daddy,” I call out, “Do we know a Xizor?”

    My father rushes towards me. “Hopefully, we don't, Cassie dear, and never will. He is a notorious Falleen criminal.”

    The word 'criminal' makes it perfectly clear to me that no further investigation into the subject is allowed.

    Sulking, I look around, searching for Mitth'raw'nuruodo. He sits on a gallery bench and puts on a pair of ice skates.

    The museum pedagogues have erected a 375 square meters area where gallery visitors are able to make their own art. Body art.

    “Oh, daddy, can we go on the ice, too?”

    “You are still learning to walk. One thing at a time,” he admonishes me. “But we can certainly watch while our blue man is artistic.”
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2018
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  13. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 7

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Enjoyed the discussion about the sports and ice sculpting on Csilla :cool:
     
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  14. Nehru_Amidala

    Nehru_Amidala Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Registered:
    Oct 3, 2016
    I read in NatGeo about the big ice festival they have in China every February. Great chapter! :)
     
  15. Cowgirl Jedi 1701

    Cowgirl Jedi 1701 Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 21, 2016
    Dear me, it seems that our sweet Cassie is quickly becoming fast friends with Thrawn, much to her father's dismay. Poor Krennic. He can never catch a break can he?

    But I can't let myself feel too sorry for him, because after all, although he's not completely evil, he's still one of the baddies. And kind of a butthead sometimes.
     
  16. DarthUncle

    DarthUncle Jedi Master star 5

    Registered:
    Mar 20, 2005
    Very interesting update. It strikes me though, that
    this might be good advice for a beginner, but for a more advanced sculptor I'd expect the challenge of not quite 'perfect'-boring bits of ice to be greater, and very rewarding to work with those imperfections to create perfection. Is thrawn being blinded by his drive for perfection here, not realising that this goes for real life too - otherwise you'd have to discard a lot of ice to get to your perfect material [face_thinking]
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2018
  17. AzureAngel2

    AzureAngel2 Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jun 14, 2005
    @WarmNyota_SweetAyesha: That part was indeed fun to ride and inspired by a certain pair of Disney sisters called Elsa & Ana.


    @Nehru_Amidala: I actually checked ice festivals all over the world before writing this scene.


    @Cowgirl Jedi 1701: Well, writing Krennic always makes fun. In one way or another.


    @DarthUncle: Let´s find out, okay? If not within the next chapter than over the entire story.


    Since I have a busy off-line weekend coming up, I better please you with a longer update now and a shorter next week. This also counts for @Kahara & @earlybird-obi-wan:



    "And death shall have no dominion", Chapter 4:

    While we are watching Mitth'raw'nuruodo together, my father puts both hands on my shoulders. Then he squeezes them lightly. I can tell he is in deep awe. Which is understandable. For I feel the same.

    “Chiss culture is often looked upon by the rest of the universe with a heady mixture of intrigue and respect. He covers the ice with the precision of a stylus.” He cackles. “Mind you, Cassie, a blue stylus.”

    His joke leads me to the following question. “Why do you hate him so much? Because the Emperor favours him a lot at present?”

    “Hate is too strong a word.” My father pauses. Concentration makes his fingers stiff. “I am more careful around him than you are. That is all.”

    “But you don't know much about his people,” I suggest. “Nobody really does. It is all rumours and legends from space travellers.”

    “The more reason to be careful. So much precision is suspicious, don't you think? I bet even his desk is nice and clean.”

    My father usually makes a mess when he is brainstorming. But when he has finished his task he always cleans up his working place.

    In silence we continue to watch the commodore making his rounds on the ice, including difficult jumps that make my heart stand still each time.

    “Hey, sweetie!” My father laughs his irresistible laugh. “Stop looking so worried. He knows exactly what he is doing.”

    When Mitth'raw'nuruodo comes back he does not even look sweaty. His uniform is in a flawless state, too. He bows to me before he addresses my father. “The philosophy of my people is simple, Director Krennic. Aim to be better in all that you do – and who knows, you might achieve perfection.”

    “I like myself as I am,” my father lies.

    “Your earlier building projects and your daughter show that you are capable of great things.”

    Now the frustration breaks out of my father like a huge flood wave. “Since I am with the Tarkin Initiative I cannot live up to my own expectations even. I am surrounded by incompetent people all the time. This is why my latest project goes utterly wrong. Delivery problems, material shortage, computer errors, accidents at work...”

    The commodore raises a brow. “This points more to sabotage, if you ask me. You should have it investigated.”

    “I already do,” complains my father. “To no avail. The Emperor blames me, does not want to see me personally any more. It is not fair.”

    *******************************************************************

    On our way to the next chamber, the Jakku exhibition, the link between my father and Mitth'raw'nuruodo deepens. I can feel the respect and acceptance the two have won for each other over the past hours.

    Sometimes talking to an enemy is a good option. That person might turn into a friend.

    I smile to myself.

    While the men continue to speak about work related things as modified star fighters and building sites, I look at sand mandalas, carpets and stone sculptures. All of them come from a little village called Tuanul. It does not look much on the Holo projections, but I can tell it is thriving with spirituality and creativity.

    Deserts seem to be places that bring out the best in people. The vastness, the emptiness, this must be all very humbling.

    There is a sand pit and a sign inviting me to use it.

    Laboriously, I leave my hover chair and crawl onto the edge of the pit. With a soft puff, I land in the sand. It feels good in my hands.

    “Ah, a kinaesthetic experience!” With a facial expression that comes close to glee the Commodore comes to sit next to me. “Won't you join us, Director Krennic?”

    “No thanks. Sand is not my type of building material. You two go ahead.”

    “Daddy!” I whine.

    He sighs. “Very well then.”

    Soon the three of us build a sand castle. My father makes sure that there are strategically placed canons. In case somebody sneaks into the castle.

    When we get up, I stumble.

    Mitth'raw'nuruodo catches me just on time and lifts me up. While he carries me to my hover chair, I notice that I have destroyed most of our castle by accident.

    “Oh no!” I call out.

    “Dust in the wind, Cassie.” My father clicks his tongue. “All we are is dust in the wind.”

    Even though he is right about it, it makes me sad that he has to point it out so brutally.

    The commodore cups my face. “Death comes to all of us.” His fingers are unbelievingly warm. “A warrior like me can only hope to die in battle, being brave and strong. That is the essence of true honour.”

    “But death is the end of all things,” I say, almost at the brink of a panic attack.

    “Take a good look around,” Mitth'raw'nuruodo suggests. “The good people of Tuanul seem to think differently. All their art points to the glory of life. Even in the after-life.”

    “No,” corrects my father non-nonchalantly. “This is all about the Unifying Force, an aspect of the Force.”

    “How would you know?” inquires the commodore.

    “Both of my parents were members of the same sect, too. It's called the Church of the Force. Why the Emperor does not root them out is a miracle to me. They are a threat to children. This is why…” he gives me a sorrowful look. “I have not introduced you to your own grandfather yet.”

    That is quite a revelation for my father. It must not be easy for him saying this. I am so proud of him.

    “I begin to understand what ails you, Director Krennic,” answers the commodore thoughtfully.

    My father lifts a hand. “You never will. Only somebody who has been through this sort of brain washing really can. All those gatherings, prayers and meditation sessions.” He turns away from us. “One day I even believed that the Force was with me and that if I only tried hard enough I could lift a stone with the power of my will. I sat down and stared and stared. Hour after hour. It would not work. The Force is only with Jedi knights. And we know how they abused their abilities in the end, right? Tried to murder our Palpatine.”

    I feel for my father. He almost breaks my heart. No wonder he is so bitter at times. Perhaps I should explain to him that the Force is with each of us, Force-sensitives and non-Force users alike. But it is better when I keep my mouth closed for now. This is not the right moment.

    Swiftly, my father turns around, his features hard and implacable. “It would be better if places like Jakku, Lexrul, Jedha, Chandrila, Naboo and Alderaan got extinct from the star charts. Religion can be like a poison.”

    “What about cultural diversity?” wonders Mitth'raw'nuruodo.

    “The freedom of diversity can lead to catastrophes like the Clone Wars. Disagreement, secession and power abuse. Don't give me that look, Commodore Thrawn! Your people also like to keep to themselves.”

    “I have to admit that foreigners are a constant micro-disturbance in the harmony-optimized Csillan social ether.” There is regret in Mitth'raw'nuruodo's voice. “But it is not their fault. Our standards are just too high.”

    “Is this why you have come all the way from the Unknown Territories? To learn more how we function?”

    “The Chiss Ascendency hopes for an alliance with the Emperor.” The commodore bows formally. “I have the honour to be a humble diplomat.”

    “I rather would say somebody dislikes you so much that he has sent you on a suicide mission,” replies my father.

    *******************************************************************

    The next room is full of plants and pretty flowers. Above the entrance door a sign says 'Ithor chamber'.

    “The art of mother nature never fails to impress,” the commodore prompts straight away. “It has inspired artists since the dawn of time.”

    “A poet has been lost on you,” my father comments, each of his words drenched in sarcasm. “I bet you write a lot of poetry in your spare time.”

    “Actually I do.” Mitth'raw'nuruodo stays polite. “But you would not be able to read them.”

    “Why the freck not?”

    “My mother tongue consists of three different scripts. There are a lot of ideograms. Each character has its own meaning and corresponds to a word. By combining characters, more words can be created.”

    “Sounds easy to learn.”

    The eyes of the commodore narrow a bit, making him look like a slightly annoyed tokken. “There are several ten thousands of characters, of which 2000 to 3000 are required to understand the daily news.”

    “Sounds very inefficient,” my father concludes.

    “There is a never-ending winter on my home world. Calligraphy is just one form of amusement for us.”

    “You forgot to mention your obsession with perfection.”

    For the first time the commodore smiles so widely that his dazzling teeth show. “Snow crystals are perfect. I am not, yet my culture encourages me to give my utmost every day. Life-long learning is important for everybody.”

    “Well, snow flake, you are certainly interesting to look at from every angle.”

    “You make me feel like engaging in a vendetta with you, Director Krennic.”

    While they have another discussion, this time more lively, I plunge my nose into a fat pink blossom and take a deep breath. The sweetness of the scent almost makes me dizzy.

    I sneeze.

    With the speed of a fathier the commodore is at my side and gives me his handkerchief. It is snow white, unused and smells of his discreet aftershave.

    “This is the second time that you come to my daughter's rescue. Do I need to send out the engagement invitations soon?”

    For this aspersion my father gets a dark look that he laughs away immediately.

    Embarrassed, I hide my face in another calyx.

    Not much later I gaze at several flower arrangements in vases, transient art.

    There are also holo images of plant parts, thousand times enlarged.

    I move on to a large table that encourages me to fold my own paper blossoms. With a serious face I reach out for the colourful material that is as thin as rose buds.

    When my father and Mitth'raw'nuruodo join me, I have three blossoms ready. I give the commodore one and he carefully tucks it away in his uniform. “I can teach you more forms if you want me to,” he suggests. “A tie fighter, an Imperial shuttle and stormtroopers.”

    “I would like that very much,” I say softly.

    A part of me hopes that he also has folding instructions for unicorns, a Krayt dragon, Twi'leks and angels. Gungans, Hutts and Ewoks would also be nice.

    My fine motor skills need practice anyway.

    *******************************************************************

    Next door is the 'Alderaanian chamber'. What pleases me immensely are four huge flower beds filled with literal grass paintings. I clap my hands together and start cheering.

    “It's just grass, sweetie,” my father laughs. “The stuff that nerfs and grazers stuff themselves full with.”

    “The planet of Alderaan is the home of over eight thousand species of grass,” Director Krennic,” the commodore reminds him.

    “When you grow up on a planet like Chandrila you give no further thought to grass. But I bet your people can distinguish between at least a dozen forms of ice and snow.”

    “Fifty-two.” Mitth'raw'nuruodo sounds triumphantly.

    “Why am I not surprised?”

    This time their quarrel is more friendly. Which relieves me.

    There is a small flower bed that has a sign saying, “Please touch me!”

    And I do, leaning out of my hover chair a bit.

    The leaves of grass feel soft under my hands. They tickle nicely.

    Soon my movements become more rhythmic.

    I close my eyes, but I am still seeing the grass. It glows under my fingers.

    But there is more, much more.

    I see the red-haired man from earlier on. His eyes are as blue as the sky above.

    He holds something.

    A baby. It smiles at him full of trust and hope. Through time and space it also smiles at me.

    I gasp and open my eyes again.

    My father and the commodore still bend their heads together.

    Wary, I stare at the little grass painting, not much larger than the sand pit from earlier on.

    I start asking myself if seeing things – far away places, unknown persons – is really appropriate. Normally, Mary tells me what is appropriate and what not. My father programmed her that way. But in the end it is all about etiquette and human behaviour. And not about mystical stuff.

    There is something inside me. Today, provoked from all my impressions in this gallery, it has awoken.

    The words come flooding into my head and my lips speak them. They are strange and familiar at the same time.

    Om
    Prāṇāyāma
    bhur bhuvah svaha
    tat savitur varenyam
    bhargo devasya dhimahi
    dhiyo yo nah prachodayat”


    I have to cry without knowing why.

    Om
    Life force
    Giver of all life, remover of all pain and suffering, giver of all happiness.
    That being of light, I come to you.
    Remove my sins the light of all that is good and let us focus on this.
    Guide my soul on the path of light.


    There is a movement next to me.

    “Why are you crying, little girl?” a male voice asks.

    *******************************************************************

    I look up into the face of a human man. With his messy beard and long unruly mane he stands for all that my father despises: anarchy and no deference to authority.

    “Normally my art does not provoke such a strong reaction,” he smiles.

    I crook my head and read the name tag next to the grass painting.

    “You are Ob Kaddor?” I guess.

    “Indeed,” he says and wants to shake hands with me.

    “Back away from my daughter!” my father calls out, his modified DT-29 heavy blaster pistol at the ready.

    The artist raises his arms in the air, shock in his face. “Woah!”

    “Daddy!” I complain. “Did you really have to bring your weapon with you?”

    He takes that damned thing everywhere. Even to the loo.

    “If you want the gallery security personnel to kick us out, then go ahead!” suggests Mitth'raw'nuruodo icily.

    “Vader can unleash destruction and chaos in here with a blasted light sabre and I cannot even point a blaster at the pervert advancing on my child?”

    I rise from my hover chair. “But daddy, this is Ob Kaddor.”

    My father releases his weapon from stun to deadly attitude. “The trouble maker.”

    Laughing, the artist sinks on a nearby bench. “You sound exactly like my old man.”

    “Vice versa.”

    “Cool, dude.”

    The commodore glares at my father. “Orson, gun down!” he barks.

    That they are already at a first name basis does not really surprise me. It is more astonishing that my father obeys without delay.

    “I longed to meet you ever since I lay eyes on one of your grass paintings,” says Mitth'raw'nuruodo.

    “An admirer, finally!” grins Ob Kaddor.

    “I happen to recognize true art when I see it.”

    “Please tell this to the head of the art department! My latest grass art pieces have provoked quite a controversy at the University of Alderaan!”

    While the commodore and the artist begin a civilized conversation, no guns included, my father squats down in front of my hover chair.

    “Why are you so prickly today?” I inquire softly and begin to stroke his right cheek. “Is it about the latest supply shortages for your project? Or has your friend Galen acted stupid again?”

    My father secures his weapon and puts it in my lap. “You better take this, Cassie. I really don't want to know what I am capable of.”

    “This man just talked to me, daddy,” I stress.

    He hangs his head. “Alex warned me about this.”

    “Just relax and all will be fine,” I say with utter conviction and smile brightly.
    “Mitth'raw'nuruodo is a nice person. Lord Vader was kind, too.”

    His head jerks up again and he presses my hands so hard that it hurts. “Kind? There is no kindness in that monster. He could have cut you apart like those prayer wheels. How the freck can you stay so calm?”

    Something tugs at the strings of my heart and I hear me say, “All is as the Force wills it.”

    With wide open eyes he stares at me. “Be careful what you say, Cassandra! You are not some Jedi huger or Force fanatic like my parents. This is not how I raised you!”

    I wish I could explain to him how much peace filled my chest when we entered the Naboo exhibition chamber. How nice it was to make the acquaintance of the Imperial prince. Something tells me that I should feel fear, terror even, but I can't. I am just happy. Even when his flame sword moved through the air, I was sure that he just wanted to teach me a lesson. There is good in him and I know it.

    Like my father, Lord Vader believes in his mission to bring order and peace to this galaxy. He is loyal to all that the Empire stands for. This should be common ground and not a reason for distrust, leave alone blind panic.

    “You are killing me,” my father swallows.

    I lean forward to kiss one of his cheeks. “Learn to trust others. Even yourself, Daddy!”

    *******************************************************************

    (To be continued!)
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2018
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  18. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 7

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Excellent exhibits and insights. Terrific back and forth between Orson and Thrawn. :)
     
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  19. DarthUncle

    DarthUncle Jedi Master star 5

    Registered:
    Mar 20, 2005
    You really manage to keep Krennic almost polite, but not quite, and even Thrawn isn't entirely his calm self, while still being himself, but you let them both also be themselves, great stuff.
     
  20. AzureAngel2

    AzureAngel2 Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jun 14, 2005
    @WarmNyota_SweetAyesha: You always give me encouragement as my beta and a reader who comments.

    Thanks for proving me that this new story really works because so very few people comment on it.

    See, at work things are not always easy at present. I lost two co-workers whom I really miss and the amount of staff members is still very low. It does not help that the management puts extra pressure on all kindergarten teachers. To be given out at for very small & mostly unreasonable things is not helpful. We all are asking us if we are still good teachers when we, for example, fail to paint the cloak room because the children always come first. The uncertainty that most of us have developed by now is ridiculous. But it is there...

    And in private so many deaths of dear persons happened and chronic illnesses throw large shadows that I am too keen to escape into fanfic at the end of a long day. Perhaps too keen.

    I also have noticed that the constant lack of appreciation in my profession makes me seek for it in unhealthy ways in private. There was a time when I was more immune against not getting comments for a fic straight away. Now it has become devastating, even though I know that users like @Kahara & @earlybird-obi-wan have their own stuff to deal with at present.

    Once again, thank you, that you always make reason and help me to believe! @};-



    @DarthUncle: Without your "inzet en sterkte" there would be no stories any more. They would have dried up like water drops in the sand months ago. So if you AND Ny tell me that Krennic´s adventures in an art gallery are still working and are still wanted, than I will continue. @};-
     
  21. AzureAngel2

    AzureAngel2 Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jun 14, 2005
    Because I will be busy off-line this weekend again, actually from tonight on, I am updating this today, hoping it is still wanted & welcome as a fan fic, @DarthUncle, @Kahara, @earlybird-obi-wan, @WarmNyota_SweetAyesha, @Cowgirl Jedi 1701 and @Nehru_Amidala.

    Now I need to hurry up with important paper work for my husband, that might gain us some financial relief in our complicated life. [face_plain]


    (still Chapter 4)

    *******************************************************************

    Even though Ob Kaddor is visibly uncomfortable around my father, he shares a sneak preview of his latest commission with us. It comes from the Royal House of Alderaan.

    “Killik Twilight?” my father sneers. “What a stupid name? How much weed did you smoke until you came up with that name?”

    “I am not into drugs at all.”

    Before this goes out of hand once more, I ask, “This is not grass you are working with this time, is it?”

    The artist switches off his portable holo projector. “Well spotted, girl. It is moss."

    “Could as well be mould fungus,” my father mutters loud enough for everybody to hear him.

    Mitth'raw'nuruodo displays a lot of diplomacy once more. “That means that the painting needs to be watered constantly or else the moss will dry up.”

    “That is correct. All in all moss is much harder to work with than grass.”

    “Why 'the Kind'?” I pipe up.

    All three men look at me in surprise.

    “The Killiks, I mean. They were the slaves of the Celestials. Your people are against slavery.”

    Baffled, Ob Kaddor answers, “Queen Breha told me that Lelila loves grasshoppers a lot. Because they are not epic enough for a princess' bed chamber, I made some research on the Killik race instead. The entire Castle Lands are full of their hives.”

    The commodore bathes me in his thoughtful gaze. It is like lying under a microscope. I start feeling slightly uncomfortable for the first time he is with us. My father's earlier warnings echo through my head.

    “What else is Alderaan famous for?” I say and start looking around.

    The chamber walls are covered with huge landscape paintings, mostly done with oil colours.

    I am glad you are asking.” The commodore takes hold on my hover chair and stirs it towards the art pieces. “As one of the oldest and most popular forms of painting, the history of Landscape Painting is fascinating and inspiring.”

    My father and Ob Kaddor trail along while Mitth'raw'nuruodo explains the formula of sorts for determining the subtle atmospheric progression of colours and colour values.

    “There’s a light average value and a shadow average value.”

    Even though the commodore is not talking about the light side or the Force or its counterpart, his words provoke me to think about it anyway.

    “When you add the half-tone between the two, or the middle value of the palette, you have form.”

    Deep within me, I see the island from my dreams. There is a stone floor and set straight into it is a mosaic. It shows an alien whose body is basically split by the ancient Ying and Yang form. He holds up some kind of staff or a sword.

    “Whatever you do, Cassandra, you can’t create the illusion of light. It is also impossible to bring your canvas to life without form.”

    I nod, but I am not fully with Mitth'raw'nuruodo. All I can see is the mosaic.

    The light.

    The dark.

    All the spaces in between.

    I run a hand over my burning eyes.

    “Are you not well?” my father asks anxiously. “Should be go home? You look feverish.”

    “No, daddy. I am fine,” I insist and try to look as convincing as possible.
     
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  22. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 7

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Another fascinating exhibit! You blend personalities and nuances of SW lore so seamlessly. =D= Best of luck with the paperwork! :eek: @};-
     
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  23. DarthUncle

    DarthUncle Jedi Master star 5

    Registered:
    Mar 20, 2005
    Well done, it's great to have something like a prequel (in the character) to Nagina, without being tied to events that are still to happen (well, maybe there are in your plan for this story, but not in our so-far-published near canon); and great to have the different reactions to the moss - Orson not wanting to admit the artist is more straight than he is (he did do drugs, alcohol and wild music didn't he?) but not wanting to go too far, because of Cassie; Cassie focussing on the most interesting bit of inspiration for the moss, and Thrawn immediately laser focussing on what that means about her, and about the artist and his surrounings. I bet if he had to fight Leia sometime, he'd find a way to use the grashopper interest against her! And Cassie quick to move, and manages to distract him by luring him into exposition of his knowledge :)

    That vision is a bit disturbing, but ties back to my first sentence about Nagina/Cassie - we have now seen several times that her intuition of (connection to?) the force goes pretty deep, but with Nagina we never saw the early years where she had to make sense of her self in relation to the Forceable universe.
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2018
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  24. AzureAngel2

    AzureAngel2 Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jun 14, 2005
    @WarmNyota_SweetAyesha: Thanks for the praise and your brave beta-editing at the strangest times with tons of text at times.


    @DarthUncle: You should check the 2nd vignette of "Tyrian purple" about the sweet child Nagina used to be. Here an extract:

    Ever since Mommy is gone your uncle takes care of you. Which is not an easy task for him. He is not married, does not trust any one with your well-being. You are one of his secrets, his special treasure.

    From the fairy tales that Sheev has read to you, you know that treasures are bound to be hidden. In strong chests, in secret locations. So you try not to mind.

    Together you checked this place for night spiders and their cousin, the Poison Spitter. It is safe here.

    Then, your uncle told you that this was a big adventure and that you need to be brave for him. You love him very much and want him to be proud of you. So you will not be a cry baby. You can handle it. The loneliness, the silence and, most of all, the darkness at night.

    Sheev always proclaims that darkness is patient, but you have found out by now that the light comes back every morning. And even at night time, there are the stars and the moons of Naboo.

    “I am one with the Force and the Force is with me,” you whisper into the big, crowded space around you.

    You never raise your voice when it is not safe. Mommy was the first to teach you that. Walls have ears here at Convergence, the House Palpatine family estate. The same goes for the boat house and the hunting lodge.

    Before your stay in this attic your uncle went through a little list of rules with you. Rules which you will follow without questioning. You remember what Mommy looked like after Grandfather Cosinga had crushed her head with a fireplace poker. Just for displeasing him.

    There are more stories about Nagina as a child. See vignette 3 and vignette 5 about that, too. Throughout her existence she lives with the Force, enjoying its presence. But she does not actively use it. It gives her strength to face the hardships of life and to work with children in her profession as a kindergarten teacher/ educator.

    This is one of the reasons why she and Lor San Tekka fall in love with one another. They share a lot of values and beliefs, especially about the Force.
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2018
  25. DarthUncle

    DarthUncle Jedi Master star 5

    Registered:
    Mar 20, 2005
    Thanks for the reminder @AzureAngel2, great to have a little index; true, there are quite a few nice vignettes around, and thanks for the added insight into Nagina, even if she's gone now in the GFFA, she's still in our memories, and of course, her spirit lives on in Cassie.
     
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