Hitchhiker (Young Thrawn, Wynssa Starflare, Piett, Vader, Sebulba) AUTHOR'S NOTE 5/4 !,

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction Stories--Classic JC Board (Reply-Only)' started by Shezan, Jun 12, 2002.

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  1. Shezan Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 14, 2001
    star 3
    Title: Hitchhiker

    Author: Shezan

    Summary: Lieutenant Thrawn, the only alien in the Imperial Navy, recently brought back from an empty planet, has to make his way up the ranks and prove himself to the Empire, not to mention First Officer Piett and visiting HoloNet star Wynssa Starflare...

    Disclaimer: These characters belong to George Lucas, Tim Zahn and Mike Stackpole. George, don't sue me, I ain't got the money. And I'm spending whatever I have on SW toys anyway.

    Timeline: 12 years before ANH.

    Note: After premièring here, this story is posted chapter by chapter at FanFiction.net under the title Hitchhiker

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    "I don't like this."

    "Like they'll ask our opinion next time."

    "Look, she's a major holostar, she makes millions of credits. Why does she need to thumb a lift on a Star Destroyer?"

    "Because it's more fun, that's why."

    "Fun for who? We get all those spittle-and-polish extra troop reviews, and this is going to delay all leaves by at least two weeks."

    "Fun for Captain Corlag. He gets to show us off and to dine with her every night."

    "Every night? Fun for him, definitely not fun for her. Unless she's got lousy taste."

    "What do I know what Coruscant holostars like or don't like? Pass me that brush."

    "Hey! That's my clothesbrush. Get your shoe brushes from your locker."

    "You're such a wuss."

    "Give me that!"

    "Come get it--if you can!"

    "You Bantha dropp--"

    "Giving up already? Knew you couldn't knock out a Bith waitress in a jizz bar."

    "Sshhh! The freak's back."


    Lieutenant Per Theel hated the way the newest junior officer had of turning up in their dorm, or indeed anywhere else, without a sound. Suddenly, he was there with no more warning than--

    "I believe that's my bunk," the freak said, in his infuriatingly posh accent, as if anyone could believe he came from one the best Core families. What a joke.

    "Oh yeah? So what?"

    "And I need my dress uniform from the locker behind you."

    "So what's that to me?"

    "You may choose to be late for the bridge review. I don't intend to be."

    "Look, buddy--" Theel started, but his friend Rory Mikam was already up on his stockinged feet, grabbing his half-polished boots. "Prak it, Theel, we gotta be there in seven minutes!"

    "Six," the freak said, and there was no mistaking the cool satisfaction in his voice. One day, Theel thought, I'm going to punch that smug smile from your--

    But there indeed was no time. Theel shrugged himself into his well-brushed olive-green dress-jacket, hurriedly checking insignia, rank cylinder and regulation regimental pips; running a quick comb through his short chestnut hair. Out of the corner of his eye, he could see the new junior lieutenant take the extra few seconds to hang his undress jacket with precise gestures before pulling the other one out of his locker. Yet another dry twig onto the smouldering fire of his resentment -- the new man never seemed to look less than impeccable, the crease in his regulation trousers vibroblade-sharp, never one blue-black hair out of place...

    Freak.


    The three lieutenants piled out of the dorm and into the nearby turbolift. 34 levels to the bridge. Mikam's ears popped, and he swallowed reflexively, casting a glance at the rapidly changing digits. Their flicker backlit the new man's impassive profile: high brow, slightly aquiline nose, thin but well-defined lips, firm jaw. There were no lines on that smooth skin, but Mikam suddenly sensed that the other lieutenant was older than either of them. Although how anyone could tell--

    The lift doors swooshed open, and the three junior lieutenants sprang out and up the stairs to the main bridge. A small group of olive-garbed officers had already gathered on either side of the starboard crew pit. Captain Corlag, at the forward viewport, could be seen talkin
  2. Shezan Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 14, 2001
    star 3
    Hitchhiker #2



    The gym was a vast Navy-grey cavern under glaring lighting. None of the frills of her smart Coruscant health club, but enough machinery and weights to keep Corlag's men in trim. As she'd hoped, it was empty at this late hour. In the changing-room, Wynssa quickly slipped into her leotard and legwarmers, tied up her hair, and snapped on her heart-rate monitor. Oh the bliss of it. Just a workout, no socializing, no endless dinners or dratted reviews. Back in the main room, she stretched for a few minutes, then, having eyed the track and stepper, picked the exercise tribike. She set the gravity on Corellian values, 5% heavier than the ship's standard, and set off for a warm-up at a brisk RPM. Twenty minutes later, she had worked up a nice sweat, a 110 pulse, and her spirits had shot up like a TIE Interceptor, Corlag a distant memory. Time to go hang from a bar or two. She climbed off the bike and made a beeline for the far wall, mopping her face and neck with her towel--

    --and almost collided with another late exerciser lifting weights. Blast. It was too much to hope that she could be alone. She mumbled an apology, tossing the towel around her neck, and stopped in her tracks when she identified the weight-lifter. "Lieutenant--Thrawn, yes? Now where had you vanished all this while?"

    He looked at her with enough cool deliberation to surprise her, then set down his weights into the notches of their cross-bar. "There are 37,000 of us on the 'Empire's Revenge', Miss Starflare. You may not have met all of us yet."

    Was he making fun of her? She flushed and returned his look steadily. He was wearing khaki shorts and a singlet, showing the long muscles of a runner. His pale-blue skin was smooth as a marble statue. Out of uniform he definitely looked more alien. "There's only one of you in the officer corps, lieutenant, and I have seen enough officers in the past five days to man a Golan space station, I can assure you," she said tartly.

    It was really no more than a twitch of his lips, but she caught it, and grinned. "Ah, that's better! For a moment I really thought you disliked me enough to avoid me."

    Now Thrawn did look taken aback for an instant. "You are very... direct, Miss Starflare," he said eventually.

    "Bantha by the horns, that's my motto." She couldn't believe she'd just said that. Now what in stars' name is the matter with me? Light-headed from the extra oxygen already? They were standing close to the fixed bar, and stepping back, she sprang up, on her toes, to grab it and hang straight, feeling her spine stretch blissfully, vertebra by vertebra. I must have been a hawkbat in a previous life. "So, lieutenant, were you? Avoiding me?"

    He was staring at her with interest now. "Yes."

    She nearly let go of the bar. In an instant, he was under her, ready to grab hold of her. That close, she could see the top of his short but thick blue-black hair, a few centimeters from her waist. "I'm all right," she said, swinging lightly to prove it. He took one step back and she let herself drop to the floor. "Nice technique. First startle the target, then pick her up."

    He did laugh at that, a short sound that didn't quite seem in character. "I would say you have the tactical advantage of me, Miss Starflare."

    "You're doing it again."

    "I beg your pardon?"

    "Lobbing the zoneball back at me."

    "Do I?"

    "I asked about your world and you got out of answering by guessing my accent. Now instead of telling me why you're avoiding me, you butter me up with some nonsense about tactical advantage."

    "Butter you up," he repeated unhurriedly, as if considering the words and their meaning literally, and she felt herself blush, blurting out: "It's an expression."

    "I gathered as much," he said with a slight smile of those thin, well-defined lips. "Very well, Miss Starflare: I was advised by one of my superiors to stay away from you."

    "To stay away from-- "

    "You are the Captain's guest. I was given to understand that he would not appreciat
  3. DarthCuppa Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 12, 2002
    star 1
    Hey, a Young Thrawn fic! Way to go for a Thrawnatic like me! I'd never read one anywhere else. This is after he's been found and brought into the Navy by Parck in "Mist Encounter", right?

    Is Wynssa Starflare Baron Fel's future wife? Do you think this is why the Fels will find refuge with the Chiss? Because she has a Past with Thrawn?

    Anyway, write more soon!

    MTFBWY
  4. Shezan Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 14, 2001
    star 3
    Good call, Darth Cuppa - yes, I imagined that Thrawn had to have started as a junior officer in the Imperial Navy. Even with private tuition and a fast track, there was no way he could have been made a vice-admiral straightaway, which is I think the first rank we meet him at, in Stackpole's short story "Command Decision".

    And yes, Wynssa Starflare is Wedge Antilles's elder sister Syal, who becomes a holodrama star, marries Baron Soontir Fel, and will eventually become Jag Fel's mother. So far I haven't decided yet how far this flirtation with the younger Thrawn will go, so talking of "a past" with Thrawn may be premature... :)

    Thanks for the good words!
  5. PROPHEToftheCOUNCIL Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 11, 2001
    star 4
    I like this very much, it is paced very well, and has an uncanny knack for nailing the characters.

    I especially liked Piett's little cameo. Expanded on the character a bit (I always like that).
  6. Darth_Tim Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 26, 2002
    star 4
    Thrawn fic...wohoo!!!!!

    Great job so far, Shezan. I'll be reading

    -Tim
  7. Shezan Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 14, 2001
    star 3
    Thankee! :D I do like Piett. He's always struck me as a good example of competent grace under pressure. Hmmm... let's try & see if he can't show up a little more along the way...
  8. Shezan Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 14, 2001
    star 3
    Okay, a very short post this time...


    Hitchhiker #3

    She looked at him wordlessly. The intensity of his answers was almost disturbing -- as if half the words were booby-trapped. A change from my usual conversations in the holo business, surely. Still, it upped the stakes unexpectedly. She now had a choice -- diffuse the tension with another, lighter pleasantry, or let open the floodgates of his reminiscences. She had enough experience to know that he was ready to confide in her. And to realize that, in what seemed to be his current self-flagellating mood, he might afterwards regret it.

    Better tone this down a bit. At least for now.

    "Lieutenant, I don't--"

    "Thrawn."

    "Thrawn, I don't know--what--you did to set yourself against your people. But somehow, I have a feeling you'd do it again today, if you found yourself in the same situation."

    He stood silent for an instant, absently folding the towel. "You're taking issue with the word 'reckless'."

    She nodded, and smiled. "Yes. Yes, I suppose I do. I'm guessing you tend to be hard on yourself."

    "No more than others," he said quietly. "And certainly no more than necessary. Do you do stage work, Wynssa?"

    She stared at him in surprise at the sudden change of subject. "Do I--"

    "Theater. You're precise. You pay attention to words."

    He was quick, she had to give him that. "Yes, I do. Or did -- holos seem to take more and more of my time these days." She grinned. "And they pay a lot more."

    "In that case, I hope you won't be too disappointed by the technicians' mess I was hoping to take you to."

    She had meant to steer the conversation back to a safer pitch, she reflected, so why did she now feel disappointed?
  9. DarthCuppa Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 12, 2002
    star 1
    Thrawn likes the theatre? Do you think it's another artistic area he uses to predict people's reactions?

    DC
  10. Shezan Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 14, 2001
    star 3
    Hadn't thought of that, Cuppa! :D But he does like language, that's for sure. (Not being an English-mather tongue native myself, I know how enjoyable it is to slip in another language--it changes the way you reason, the way you think.)

    And thanks, Darth Tim - I've just been reading "Unforgiven" - terrific stuff!
  11. Darth_Tim Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 26, 2002
    star 4
    No prob, Shezan.

    Thanks for the compliments on my story *blushes*.

    Great job at pointing out Thrawn's well known powers of observation...you write him well.

    -Tim

  12. Shezan Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 14, 2001
    star 3
    There will be another post after the week-end.
  13. DarthCuppa Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 12, 2002
    star 1
    Waiting for my Thrawn fix... isn't he going to create major trouble for himself if he takes her out to dinner?

    Post! Post! Post!
  14. Inari_Icewalker Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 23, 2001
    star 2
    OK, I'm here. I read. I want...MORE. More Thrawn, more Piett, MORE IMPERIALS!

    *wipes drool and regains composure*

    Please...do continue! ;-)
  15. Shezan Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 14, 2001
    star 3
    Inari! You made it here too! Yayyyy! :D

    (You want Imperials? There's LOTS around here. Hog heaven.)

    Darth Real Life is acting up (so's my computer... had to do a compleat reinstall, download all my software patches, AARRGGHHHH!) but I'll post soon. Promise.
  16. greywolf Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jan 27, 2001
    star 1
    Computers seem to like to destroy themselves once in a while... evil creatures!

    I just hope the PC and Real Life will let you post the next part soon because I really enjoy your story, Shezan! Since Thrawn is my favourite character I am more than interested in a story about his earlier years - especially if it's written as well as yours!

    Greywolf
  17. Shezan Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 14, 2001
    star 3
    Thanks, Greywolf! I'm a Thrawn fan - he's brilliant, stoical, brave, resourceful... and cunning if necessary. Oh, and he's handsome. Très cute. Heh, heh.

    Zahn never wrote from his point of view, so he remains a tantalizing mystery; but I was amused to see that in the short stories, he's far less of a baddie than in the first three novels (he's positively a Good Guy (tm) in "Side Trip", for instance -- I just love his interaction with Corran in that.)

    I've always wondered what it was like to be the lone alien in the Imperial Navy, and how everyone else reacted to him. In some ways the young Thrawn must have been a lithmus test -- you could tell the bright types because they could see his point.

    Lessee what Darth Real Life comes up with in ther next few days & I'll try to write some more... ;)
  18. Shezan Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 14, 2001
    star 3
  19. DarthCuppa Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 12, 2002
    star 1
  20. Darth_Tim Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 26, 2002
    star 4
    Shezan,

    I always pictured Thrawn as a professional soldier, rather than "good" or "evil." Much like Erwin Rommel, who served in Hitler's army but refused to allow his son to join the SS, for example.

    -Tim
  21. Shezan Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 14, 2001
    star 3
    Darth Tim wrote
    >I always pictured Thrawn as a professional soldier, rather than "good" or "evil." Much like Erwin Rommel, who served in Hitler's army but refused to allow his son to join the SS, for example.<

    Didn't know Rommel hadn't let his son join the SS, but it's in character. (It that son the Manfred Rommel who was I think Frankfurt's Mayor in the 70s?)

    You've got to look at the evidence, though. Kidnapping (well, attempting to kidnap) Leia's children to give them to C 'Baoth is fairly nasty. The treatment of Honoghr is also a problem (although we don't know if Thrawn initiated it, and I've always wondered why the Noghri would eventually resent him but never reproach Vader, and welcome Leia as "Lady Vader".) Executing the first ensign on the bridge is good story establishment at the beginning of "Heir to the Empire" (it recalls Vader's famous stranglings and ups the stakes) but again, it's a tad beyond the acceptable. I know Thrawn subsequently promotes Mithel; which makes for a nice plot point; but he still has used Rukh as his personal assassin before, and more than once if we read Zahn properly.

    There's also the story of the planetary bombardment in the Thrawn Trilogy Sourcebook - the planet that's entirely destroyed except for a radius of 70km around its art museum. Zahn doesn't say if it's the world Thrawn remembers having destroyed because he never understood its species, but it could well be.

    I guess what I'm saying is that Zahn got this new writing assignment around 1990 and racked his brain productively to come up with a new, convincing Star Wars villain. And his villain got so convincing that he took a life of his own, not to mention that the fans loved him. So when commissioned to write stories for thr SW Adventure Journal later on, Zahn warmed to Thrawn enough to write him nicer and nicer (while keeping all the things we liked in the first place - the cunning, the courage, the resourcefulness.)

    Needless to say, I like Mark Two Thrawn a lot more - and the amusing bit is, in the Hand of Thrawn Duology, Zahn, who hates cliché enough to refuse to revive the clone, writes Pellaeon a bit like Thrawn, with new perceptiveness that we're supposed to infer he learned at Thrawn's side, and all sorts of chivalrous attitudes such as the time when Pelly gets his officer back from the prison cellblock. But when does Pelly's sea-change occur? After Thrawn dies? Possible, but without Thrawn's presence, unlikely.

    Go back to HTTE: Thrawn is often bordering on power-mad and Pellaeon is written as the blockhead, by-the-book Imperial officer foil to the GA. Normally that kind of personality wouldn't necessarily be capable of such character growth.

    Nice how even featured authors get sucked in by the Character Side, huh? ;)
  22. Darth_Tim Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 26, 2002
    star 4
    Didn't know Rommel hadn't let his son join the SS, but it's in character. (It that son the Manfred Rommel who was I think Frankfurt's Mayor in the 70s?)

    You've got to look at the evidence, though. Kidnapping (well, attempting to kidnap) Leia's children to give them to C 'Baoth is fairly nasty. The treatment of Honoghr is also a problem (although we don't know if Thrawn initiated it, and I've always wondered why the Noghri would eventually resent him but never reproach Vader, and welcome Leia as "Lady Vader".) Executing the first ensign on the bridge is good story establishment at the beginning of "Heir to the Empire" (it recalls Vader's famous stranglings and ups the stakes) but again, it's a tad beyond the acceptable. I know Thrawn subsequently promotes Mithel; which makes for a nice plot point; but he still has used Rukh as his personal assassin before, and more than once if we read Zahn properly. >>

    True. But regarding C'Boath, as far as Thrawn was concerned, was a necessary evil.

    <<There's also the story of the planetary bombardment in the Thrawn Trilogy Sourcebook - the planet that's entirely destroyed except for a radius of 70km around its art museum. Zahn doesn't say if it's the world Thrawn remembers having destroyed because he never understood its species, but it could well be. >>

    Ahh...well, I never read the sourcebook.

    I gues what I'm saying is that Zahn got this new writing assignment around 1990 and racked his brain productively to come up with a new, convincing Star Wars villain. And his villain got so convincing that he took a life of his own, not to mention that the fans loved him. So when commissioned to write stories for thr SW Adventure Journal later on, Zahn warmed to Thrawn enough to write him nicer and nicer (while keeping all the things we liked in the first place - the cunning, the courage, the resourcefulness.)

    Needless to say, I like Mark Two Thrawn a lot more - and the amusing bit is, in the Hand of Thrawn Duology, Zahn, who hates cliché enough to refuse to revive the clone, writes Pellaeon a bit like Thrawn, with new perceptiveness that we're supposed to infer he learned at Thrawn's side, and all sorts of chivalrous attitudes such as the time when Pelly gets his officer from the prison cellblock. But when does Pelly's sea-change occur? After Thrawn dies? Possible, but without Thrawn's presence, unlikely. >>

    I like the latter Thrawn as well...nice to have an enemy with some good qualities, for a change. One thing I always wondered about HTTE: What was the bit with Pellaeon saying "if Thrawn, not Vader, was in command at Endor"...Vader wasn't even on Executor during the battle and preoccupied with Luke/Palpy, while Palpatine had given the fleet explicit orders NOT to attack, merely to hold position. Furthermore, I don't see any film evidence that Vader was in any way a poor tactical commander (he recognized that the Rebel fighters posed a legitimate threat to the DS in ANH, and wanted to surprise the Rebels on Hoth, but Ozzel bungled it)

    <<Go back to HTTE: Thrawn is often bordering on power-mad and Pellaeon is written as the blockhead, by-the-book Imperial officer foil to the GA. Normally that kind of personality wouldn't necessairy be capable of such character growth. >>

    True, though I liked Pelly in the HoT books.

    Nice how even featured authors get sucked in by the Character Side, huh? >>

    LOL.

    -Tim
  23. greywolf Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jan 27, 2001
    star 1
    >Furthermore, I don't see any film evidence that Vader was in any way a poor tactical commander (he recognized that the Rebel fighters posed a legitimate threat to the DS in ANH, and wanted to surprise the Rebels on Hoth, but Ozzel bungled it)>

    You're right. However, we as the viewers are given the complete picture - which Pallaeon doesn't get. He only knows the Executor is the flagship and Vader its commander which makes Vader the battle's commander.
    At least in Pellaeon's point of view.

    Also, he doesn't actually say that Vader was a poor tactitcal commander, rather that Thrawn was diffrent and that it would have been interesting to see him react to the rebel threat.

    However if the Emperor had been at least a mediocre tactical commander Pellaeon wouldn't have needed to wonder what Thrawn might have done.
    Why, just why did Palpy have to be so arrogant? His fleet could have ended the rebellion at once but nooooo, he had to play his little scheme, which, of course, failed.

    Ok, before I start rambling I rather stop.

    Good luck with Real Life, Shezan!

    Greywolf
  24. Shezan Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 14, 2001
    star 3
    Greywolf: Oh, it's pretty obvious Pellaeon thinks Thrawn is the better commander. Plus, he's had experience serving under Vader, he can't have good memories of all this strangling about... [face_devil]
  25. Inari_Icewalker Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 23, 2001
    star 2
    Shezan,

    Oh yes, I made it here :)

    Unfortunately, Darth Black Widow Spider decided to bite me some time on Sunday/Monday and I have been sick and pretty out of it for the last few days. Just logging in a little here and there to distract myself from the pain and the boredom of laying in bed, trying to rest and bereft of energy. Aaack.

    But on with the Imperials, I need something to rest my tired eyes and spirit on. Hmm...rest my body on, too, but I won't get into that here... *smirk*

    Cheers,

    Inari
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