Before Deep Sky (Qui-Gon, Dooku, others. Complete 1/11/06, re-edited June 2006)

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by sabarte, Dec 20, 2005.

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  1. sabarte Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 8, 2005
    star 4
    Title: Deep Sky.
    Author: sabarte
    Rating: PG
    Time Period: 75-74 BBY
    Characters: Dooku, Qui-Gon, Dooku?s scary OC relatives
    Genre: Drama/Political
    Summary: The deep air of Serenno hides many secrets. For Qui-Gon Jinn, it holds both mystery and terror. For his Master Dooku, old memories and a challenge he has to answer.

    This work is complete, and is posted below. It was edited and polished in June of 2006. Constructive criticism is always welcome.

    I: The Roses of Serenn (Qui-Gon PoV) posted 1/4
    II: Changeling (Dooku) posted 1/5
    III: Dreaming Deep (Qui-Gon) posted 1/8
    IV: Wildburn Cascade (Qui-Gon) posted 1/10
    Epilogue (Qui-Gon) posted 1/11
    illustration/banner, posted 1/6
  2. VaderLVR64 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Feb 5, 2004
    star 8
    I can't believe I beat Kynstar to a Dooku story! ;) Anyway, this is absolutely amazing. Your portrayal of Dooku is rich and complex and I love it!

    Those weren't tests. Those were real, and people had died because Qui-Gon had made the wrong choices. People had died because he had made the right ones too. 'Do not pretend that your actions have no consequences', Dooku had said, when the judiciary of Oggde had asked Qui-Gon to execute a traitor his investigations had uncovered. 'You may refuse, but they will kill him anyway. Take responsibility for your actions, and understand what they may lead to'. Qui-Gon remembered that day like it was yesterday, remembered how Dooku had gently corrected his grip on the saber's hilt and steadied his shaking hand before he had walked up to the kneeling man and ended his life.

    Dooku is right about one thing, their actions have consequences. I think that is an important lesson for any Jedi to learn and learn early.

    Beautifully done! =D=
  3. ithesock Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Mar 12, 2005
    star 2
    Lol, I can't believe I beat Kyn to the great Dook, myself.

    Oh, nice work. I love the fact that Dooku is so 3D, and that he instructs Qui-Gon about ending a traitor's life. Harsh lessons.

    I'm eager to see where this goes. :)
  4. Kynstar Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 2, 2004
    star 5
    Lucky ladies to have beaten me! ;)

    Yay another story to read of Dooku/Qui pairing! [face_dancing]

    Excellent start! I as well liked that part of letting Qui handle things. Consequences of an action can be horrible :( Poor Qui.

    Definitely see where the independency streak came from! ;) Great work! Can't wait for more! :D
  5. Healer_Leona Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jul 7, 2000
    star 9
    He'd worked up the nerve to ask once - Dooku had just smiled slightly and said 'It's all the same.' Which wasn't really helpful.


    Fascinating confession there. A very intriguing start sabarte.
  6. Layren Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2003
    star 5
    Oooh another Qui/Dooku fic! Always a pleasure to see those on the boards! Excellent, intriguing beginning sabarte!


  7. Aya-Na_Bashu Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 14, 2005
    star 2
    Oooo, very nice start, sabarte. Very intriguing. I like the way you've shown Dooku and his methods of training Qui-Gon.
  8. Mind_Tricked Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Dec 1, 2005
    star 1
    I really like the beginning, I'm captivated!

    I hope you will post the next part soon! [face_praying]
  9. sabarte Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 8, 2005
    star 4
    Thank you all!

    Next part - well. What I have written of this fic is about 20 times as long as what I have posted, and it's nearly done. However, I need to get out of the habit of self-betaing, so I'm having the other parts beta-read. There will be a delay. But - most of the 'hard work' for this fic is done :)
  10. sabarte Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 8, 2005
    star 4
    "I believe it's common enough for people who are not entirely content with the disposition of their parents to dream that they themselves were changelings."
    -Christopher Lee, Lord of Misrule

    I - The Roses of Serenn
    Qui-Gon

    >>75-74 BBY<<

    Republic fast courier Thornwing was a small ship. It wasn't crowded, exactly, but there was no privacy. Qui-Gon Jinn was mostly comfortable with that - privacy was pretty much an illusion where his Master Dooku was concerned anyway. Dooku considered it his duty to know what was going on in his apprentice's life. Besides, Qui-Gon had enough to occupy him. Tactics exercises, the overview of the politics of the Mid-Rim Senate caucus he had to write, two hundred pages of philosophy readings....

    To think other Padawans sometimes had free time. Qui-Gon had thought that their long circuit of the Tingel Arm was over, but Dooku had unexpectedly diverted them off the Hydian Way to a planet called Serenno. While Qui-Gon wasn't all that fond of Coruscant, they'd been a long time away. Even if he would have to cut his hair and toe the line, it would be nice to be back.

    Strolling from the sleeping quarters in the back to the cockpit, Dooku paused to watch his Padawan from the hatchway. Qui-Gon noted the change in his manner - a swift shift from 'Jedi Master' to 'Formal Social'. Dooku had many such faces - in the past year or so Qui-Gon had really started to notice the subtle differences and how other people reacted very differently depending on which face his Master was using. It was both fascinating and slightly scary. Scary because Qui-Gon was not sure which face, if any, portrayed the truth of the man.

    He'd worked up the nerve to ask once - Dooku had just smiled slightly and said, 'It's all the same.' Which wasn't really helpful. He'd told Dooku that too, and Dooku's smile had faded. 'It's not my place to be helpful anymore.' he had said. 'I've given you the foundations. What you build of yourself on that has to be your doing.'

    Now, Dooku apparently considered it his place to make Qui-Gon's existence a living hell. The basics of Dooku's training philosophy had been apparent since Qui-Gon had first been apprenticed. Dooku placed an emphasis on independence and personal responsibility. In the rare cases where Dooku was sent out on missions with other Jedi, Qui-Gon was generally trusted with more important tasks than they.

    These days Qui-Gon worked without immediate supervision on their missions, for the most part. Sometimes Dooku set him an urgent task to accomplish, though that was rare. Sometimes Qui-Gon did research, or social duties. The worst missions, though, were when Dooku pointed him at a situation and told him to find out what was going on, and do what he thought necessary.

    Those weren't tests. Those were real, and people had died because Qui-Gon had made the wrong choices. People had died because he had made the right ones too. 'Do not pretend that your actions have no consequences,' Dooku had said, when the judiciary of Oggde had asked Qui-Gon to execute a traitor that his investigations had uncovered and helped to convict. 'You may refuse, but they will kill him anyway. Take responsibility for your actions, and understand what they may lead to.' Qui-Gon remembered that day like it was yesterday, remembered how Dooku had gently corrected his grip on the saber's hilt and steadied his shaking hand before Qui-Gon had walked up to the kneeling man and ended his life. The man had had four children. One of them - Qui-Gon's age - had watched.

    Qui-Gon hadn't received a mission briefing for this side trip. That in itself was enough to make him very, very nervous.

    "I'm adjusting the atmospheric controls." Dooku finally said. "Pressure will go up to one-point-six Coruscant standard over the next ten minutes. We've handled pressurization, you know what to do."

    "Is this Serenno then?" Qui-Gon abandoned his work and scrambled to the cockpit to look down on the world. Hazy, greenish-gold, very small oceans, weird continents. Seemed like the pla
  11. Kynstar Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 2, 2004
    star 5
    Oh wow! [face_love] You're bringing life to Serenno. Sweet! [face_dancing]

    Loooove what ya doing here! :D

    LOL! Poor girl didn't have a chance when Dooku says out! [face_laugh] Poor Qui...one has to feel for the guy in this one! Being surrounded by women who bare resemblance somewhat of his Master!

    Excellent job! =D=
  12. Healer_Leona Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jul 7, 2000
    star 9
    OOOh, nicely done. I got chilled at Dooku's "Out!". LIke Kystart, I must also feel bad for poor sweet Qui-Gon. :D :D
  13. Mind_Tricked Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Dec 1, 2005
    star 1
    Oh, sabarte that was incredible!

    I loved the description of flowers.
    Poor Qui-Gon, I wouldn't like to find myself in a room with 4 Dooku-ish girls! [face_worried]

    "Then he's a part of this too."
    Part of what? I really can't wait to find out!
  14. sabarte Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 8, 2005
    star 4
    II: Changeling
    Dooku, just prior.

    The first thought that struck Dooku's mind was how much smaller the house was than he remembered it as being. He recalled a cavernous place where a small boy could easily get lost, or lose himself, if he wished. The jaded eyes of an older Dooku now saw merely a house. A nice house - elegant, but not as large or luxurious as some of the galactic palaces he'd been in. Fortunately, not as tacky either.

    "I see you know where you're going." Indrea said, after Dooku outpaced him. Dooku paused, looked down the stairs they were climbing, and nodded slightly at him. He should probably slow down, but he was having a hard time integrating past and present and getting the residual emotions this place brought out in him under control.

    The great double doors to the Executor's office stood before them. He'd shed everybody in the group following him but Indrea, who opened the door for him and followed after. The room was softly lit, and panelled in brown wood. Dooku walked to the center of the room and regarded the man in front of him.

    Indagren looked awful. His skin looked like splotched paper, and he could barely lift his head. Beside Dooku, Indrea bowed his head in deep respect. Dooku almost did the same, but remembered he was a Jedi now. Indagren had to acknowledge that.

    "Scion mine," the ruler of Serenno finally whispered, when it became clear that Dooku would not yield to him. "I wondered if you would come."

    "I am here." Dooku said, moving closer so that he would not miss a word.

    He heard nothing but labored breathing for a few seconds, and then the Executor spoke again. "I wondered, sometimes, if you were lost to us. My sister came back. The others all came back. It is a rare, rare thing to be taken by the Jedi, rarer still to be chosen to become one. You would be a great asset to our world. Yet we heard no word. We sent your share of earnings to the Temple - yet still we heard no word. And then you sent it back. What did you mean by this?"

    Dooku sighed. "The Jedi thought it wise to remove the memories of my life here. I was old when I was taken, and my memories were clear. I did not discover the payments made in my name until a few years ago. I then thought to search for such mental tampering and found it."

    "So your dividends did not go to you."

    "Of course not. Jedi do not have personal wealth."

    "Then where did they go?"

    "The Council is the collective caretaker of the wealth of the Jedi. They were...spent."

    "Wisely?"

    "No."

    "Ah. So you defied your Council and donated your portion back to the Corporation. An interesting act. It brought you back to my attention." Indagren's head lolled back, and the hoverchair adjusted to support it, so that their eyes met again. "You trust me more than your masters. That is also interesting."

    Dooku inclined his head slightly, unsure of what to say. He wasn't certain if Indagren's observation was truth, and that disturbed him..

    "I am dying, child." Indagren continued, his speech slurring slightly. "Indrea has been doing most of my work for years. Yet he does not have the...spark... to rule the decision cascade. I have made my will clear that he is to be my successor, but that will not be enough. The Contessa is about to make her move. "

    The other man in the room turned to Dooku. "Her cult of personality is strong enough that I will have to step aside when the time comes. We've known this for years now. She is clever, and ruthless in her desire to claim what she thinks is her birthright. Our firmest supporters, long members of our cohort, are wavering. Everyone knows Indagren is fading."

    "She, too, is an asset to the world." Indagren said. "But she cannot be allowed to become Executor. Not merely for our sake, but for hers."

    "I am a Jedi." Dooku said, sensing where the conversation was going and deciding now was the time to voice his objection. "I am a man not of your cohort, to add my voice to yours. I am not of any cohort. In fact - and you know this very well as you both were there - I am not ev
  15. Kynstar Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 2, 2004
    star 5
    Oh well done once more!!

    One of my fave parts was this:

    Dooku's hand slammed down on Indagren's desk without warning, with a sharp retort that both of the other men flinched at. "The Force is not a gift. Not for one such as I. It is a responsibility, and one so enormous that I sometimes think I am not equal to it. I have to live up to that. I have to find what purpose I am meant for. The greatest Jedi, Executor, understand they are only instruments. I could arrange to be the appointed Guardian of this system, yes. It would be well within my powers - but it would not challenge me. I am called to more. The Force gave of itself to me, and I have to prove myself worthy of that. I am the most powerful Jedi that has been born to the Republic in twenty generations. To waste my talents here would be to condemn everyone my talents could have saved in the greater galaxy to death, every injustice I could have righted to cruelty. I do not allow avoidance of a Jedi's responsibilities in my apprentice, and I will never, never allow it in myself."


    And this one brought a chuckle to me! I can so see the image of this!! [face_laugh]

    The feel of actual pages under his fingers was pleasant. Sometimes Dooku had thought he might want to start a book collection, but it was a useless and whimsical desire and he knew it. He was stronger than his desires, and the image of himself reduced to hovering protectively over a Hutt's collection of baubles was...repulsive.

    Poor Dooku :( having the 'one' person in your life that can get to you still can get to you after sooooo many years... it has to suck. I've got an inlaw (well ex-inlaw now) that could do that and still does... I feel for the guy.

    And Qui finding out that the woman is 3 times his age! [face_laugh] That had to be one heckuva an awkward moment! [face_laugh]

    Excellent job once again! [face_dancing]
  16. emporergerner Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 6, 2005
    star 4
    Very Nice, I think it really portrays Dooku's Character. Well can't wait for more.




    Emporer Gerner Dark Lord of the Sith
  17. sabarte Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 8, 2005
    star 4
  18. sabarte Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 8, 2005
    star 4
    III: Dreaming Deep
    Qui-Gon


    The atmospheric pressure became brutal as Thornwing dropped off the continental shelf. As they lost altitude over a small sea, Dooku constantly adjusted the environmental controls, frowning in thought. Eventually, Qui-Gon saw lowlands rising out of the water through the haze, a great forest sloping gently up to low hills. In the distance, Qui-Gon could sort of see a possible settlement, but the air was so thick and clouded that it was hard to make anything out. He felt like his mind wasn't working quite right either, and he had to take shallow, panting breaths.

    The green-and-gold foliage of the lowland forest was blackened in a huge area. They were low enough now that Qui-Gon could see charred pillars that were once trees. Near the edges of the enormous forest fire scar there was less damage, and some of the trees were still alive and growing new leaves. Dooku brought their courier down in that area, hovering since there was no unobstructed surface to land on. He made a few last adjustments to the autopilot before he headed to the ramp and let himself drop to the ground many meters below. Qui-Gon followed and then looked up in startlement as Thornwing closed its hatch and flew off by itself.

    "We may be a while." Dooku said softly, the deep thrum of his voice heavily distorted in the deep air. He turned and walked a hundred meters or so before coming to a scorched clearing that he examined and seemed to find satisfactory. Qui-Gon trailed him, before stopping dead as his intuition began to prickle.

    Dooku turned and then his lightsaber suddenly jumped from his belt to his hand. The hum of the saber as it ignited was like a dull roar in Qui-Gon's head. The pale blue glow of the blade provided more light than the cloud-obscured sun and the feeling that Qui-Gon was underwater intensified. Dooku's arm pointed straight out and perpendicular from his body, but he was not anywhere near as vulnerable in his Makashi guard as an unexperienced combatant might assume. The point of his blade was the center of an invisible circle; to leave that circle was to leave the fight.

    "It is a necessity, sometimes, to understand your physical limitations. Draw your sword. Now."

    Qui-Gon obeyed. He'd nearly finished growing, and several months ago Dooku had finally allowed him to build his own lightsaber. It felt heavy now in his hand, though it sat more comfortably there than the training sabers he had used before. It seemed like a weird time for combat training, but Dooku was in a mood.

    With a hissing sound, Qui-Gon's saber ignited in green fire. Pacing around Dooku, he tried to clear his head. He trusted the Force to give him the moment to attack. Dooku stood still, and his apparently unprotected back was tempting, but Qui-Gon knew better than to be lured in. His circle was nearly complete before he took a sudden step inwards. His first attack was to test Dooku's defenses, as he knew Dooku's riposte was the real danger. As soon as Dooku committed to deflecting the blow, Qui-Gon put all of his physical strength and no small amount of his strength in the Force into winning that critical lock.

    Qui-Gon had trained many years against Dooku . He knew better than to watch the man's face. Any betrayal of Dooku's intent would materialize in his grip, in the movement of his blade, or in his footwork. For now, Dooku was still effortlessly keeping him at bay. Qui-Gon had to get close. When he tried to step in once more, Dooku locked their blades in an awkward position. Qui-Gon was pushed back, until he had to drop his weapon or break his wrist. Even as he let go and stepped hurriedly back, his wrist ached sharply, though the pain was fleeting. Dooku did not push his advantage, instead lowering his own blue blade until it touched the ground. Qui-Gon called his lightsaber back to his hand in that reprieve.

    "Again." Dooku said. He still held his blade low, so Qui-Gon struck high. In the space of a heartbeat, Dooku flicked his wrist to bring his blade up to guard and deflect. T
  19. Mind_Tricked Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Dec 1, 2005
    star 1
    Sabarte, your story is simply fantastic! I'm sorry I didn't catch up to comment on the previous part, it was amazing, too!

    The description of the lightsaber duel left me speechless... :eek: It was beyond perfect!

    Poor Qui-Gon! :_|
    Thank Force he met Isk! The plot is getting complicated and very, very intriguing!

    My favorite phrase form this part (there were quite a few but I finally decided!):
    This was important. More precisely, this was 'how dead am I going to be when I catch up to Dooku?' important.

    -brilliant.

    =D= =D= =D= =D= =D=
  20. ardavenport Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 16, 2004
    star 4
    This just has the most amazing horror film feel to it. Excellent. Surely Christopher Lee was a bit of an inspiration. I don't think Isk or anyone on this planet can be trusted.
  21. sabarte Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 8, 2005
    star 4
    IV: Wildburn Cascade
    Qui-Gon

    Isk walked faster without his pack, and Qui-Gon also helped him out a little with the Force so they made better time. The land was flatter here, but there was less shade to walk under. The sun wasn't exactly visible through the haze cover, but it was still very bright, much brighter than it had been the day before. Qui-Gon got a better grasp on how his vision and hearing were being affected by the environment as they walked and took some time to examine the planet. The horizon was strangely bent, and the sky was a different color here than it was even up at the great house. There it had been deep turquoise, while here it was blueish-green-white. There was some wind, but it was very slow. Hard to walk against, though, since the they were deep under the absent ocean and the air seemed like a filmy insubstantial liquid.

    They passed the first group of people an hour after lunch. Two girls and a boy were resting in the grass and stared openly at Qui-Gon, but didn't say anything. After that, they started catching up to people walking along. All seemed about Qui-Gon's age or slightly younger and were carrying packs that were similar to the one Isk had had. Questions like "Who's he?" were common, and Isk handled them as gracefully as he could. Qui-Gon was aware he looked a mess and remembered Dooku's lessons about presentation guiltily. He felt like a sweaty, smelly Coruscanti aberration. Maybe they'd put him in an exhibit. The fact that the local accent was nearly impenetrable down here when people were talking at the same time just made him a little more paranoid since Qui-Gon could only pick out about half the curious questions and Isk's answers.

    Just before the natural terrain turned into something decidedly unnatural, Isk found his third plant sample. Qui-Gon helped him root around in the dirt, and tried to convince him to take a whole seedling instead. Isk just rolled his eyes, and Qui-Gon felt a like a stupid foreigner. That didn't stop him from taking a plant of that species for himself, though. He had several already transplanted into a cannabalized rations tray. He wasn't sure if he could keep them alive in the hostile environment of his room back home, but he tried to have a living memento of every mission growing in there. His Temple room was more like a garden or a greenhouse, with enormous lights and planters covering every available surface. It was heavily automated, so the plants would live even if he was a long time away. Dooku had helped him set it up, mostly as a lesson in dealing with Customs. Coruscant Biological Control hated him now.

    Qui-Gon stored the samples in one of the packs before walking up to the boundary and stopping. The small rise he was on was cut away at a forty-five degree angle down to farmland of some sort, a perfectly flat orchard that stretched from horizon to horizon. The green foliage there contrasted with the more golden hue of most of the plants he had seen. He stared out at the rows of perfectly groomed trees, blinking as he noticed pale, white balloon-like creatures with trailing tendrils floating purposefully over the rows. In the distance, the rows parted around a spiky pyramidal structure that didn't look anything like the colonial building he had been staying in earlier. It wasn't city-sized, but it was pretty big. There were stone steps in leading down to the orchard, and the spacing between trees widened into a great avenue between them and the pyramid.

    "Is that where we're going?" he asked.

    "Yes." Isk said. Qui-Gon reached out in the Force for Dooku, but his Master's shielding was back to its usual impenetrable state. Dooku was alive and probably on the same planet, and that was about all he could tell.

    "Huh." he said, and headed down the stairs.

    It was a road more than a path, though there were no vehicles on it, only people walking in the same direction. This road was well paved in jagged-patterned stone. Glancing from side to side, Qui-Gon watched the lines of trees, only faintly curving in the far di
  22. Kynstar Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 2, 2004
    star 5
    Sweeeeeeeeeet! Loved how that turned around rather quickly! [face_dancing]

    Well done!! =D= Dooku all the way! :D

    "Will you be returning?" Indrea said after a short pause.

    "Perhaps. Someday." Dooku said. "Not soon. There are too many things I need to accomplish - to learn. About being and becoming." He looked at Qui-Gon. "And also things I need to teach."


    Ahhh yeppers, in the future indeed, though it'd be nearly 50 yrs worth ;) [face_laugh]

    Excellent job! :D Mum got put in her place!
  23. Mind_Tricked Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Dec 1, 2005
    star 1
    Perfect ending! [face_love]

    =D= =D= =D=
    Beautiful story, I really enjoyed the last part!

    And I can't wait to read the epilogue!

  24. ardavenport Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 16, 2004
    star 4
    This is nicely. Love the planet and the high pressure atmosphere details. The whole mood and Dooku, while still having a touch of sinister-ness to him is still a Jedi. And poor, young Qui-Gon. A difficult mission for him, but at least his master finally gave him a thumbs up. Hmmm, and a thing for plants. I look forward to any epilogues.

    =D=
  25. sabarte Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 8, 2005
    star 4
    For those interested in my Dooku&Qui work, I've also written Family Games, set a couple years prior to this, and The Way the World Ends, set nearly 60 years later. Any future fics will likely slot neatly into this "private canon".

    If anyone has any questions (like "Why does Qui-Gon have long hair as a Padawan?", I'll be happy to answer them. The epilogue should be posted tomorrow morning.

    In case anyone's interested. here's an incomplete family tree.

    -Indagren di Serenn, Executor of the Planetary Corporation of Serenno. Aged 86.
    --- Anare di Serenn. his daughter, also known as 'the Contessa', a genetic engineer of note. Aged 54.
    ----- Amlur di Serenn, her daughter. Aged 29.
    ----- Dooku, once Idis di Serenn, her son. Aged 27
    -Andem Samer, younger sister of the Executor and Singer. Jedi-trained. Aged 80.
    ----- Astel di Serenn, her granddaughter. Aged 21.

    --- Indrea di Serenn, the Executor's first cousin once removed and favored successor. Aged 58.
    ----- Arde di Serenn, his youngest daughter. Aged 14.

    ----- Iskan Tera, known as 'Isk', a young man of the Serenni. Aged 19.



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