Beyond Measure of Merit - Diary of a Shadow Child - 2012 DD Challenge - updated 2/26

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by LexiLupin, Jan 1, 2012.

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  1. AzureAngel2 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 14, 2005
    star 6
    Wow, this is intriguing. Can you put me on your PM list?!? :D
  2. earlybird-obi-wan Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 21, 2006
    star 6
    Nice update and like Tags too
  3. Nyota's Heart Combos & Paragraphs Host

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    Aug 31, 2004
    star 6
    Soontir's tone is definitely regal and his points well thought out. It is good to get a glimpse of what lay behind his choice.
  4. LexiLupin Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 27, 2011
    star 4
    A/N: [:D] Hey, all! Good to see everyone on the other side of the Move, as it were, kinks in the system aside. Is anyone else having a hard time readjusting to the new style? I don't know why I am, after being reasonably familiar with the Temp boards- maybe just because there's so much more going on here, and with everything all consolidated it just feels more chaotic. *shrug* Anyway- onwards!



    Entry 9

    I suppose I ought not be surprised that the peace lasted less than a week from father’s return home. For once though- truly surprising as it is- I was not the instigator of discontent though I was, perhaps, the subject of it. The trouble was easily enough foreseen, and truly began less than a day after father returned home… and less than an hour from Davin’s arrival on Nirauan.

    My eldest brother made his obligatory report to Stent and Parck upon his arrival, and then preceded father in returning to our quarters, where he embraced mother and Cherith, and a nervous, shy Wynssa; and then after a brief and faint smile towards Jagged, he turned to stare at me blandly and asks, “So… still here, then?”

    All I can wonder is whether he would have said it had father been present, but my mouth worked automatically. “Where else should I be?” To my credit, I don’t believe I even sounded bitter. Davin shrugged and changed the topic of conversation before mother could catch what was going on, and it didn’t come up again until much later that night when my brothers and I retired to Jagged’s room.

    Davin could be a holostar. The first of my parent’s children, only he and Wynssa, the last, inherited mother’s blonde hair and blue eyes. The rest of us have the darker hair of our father. Chak and Cherith also took his dark eyes, Jagged’s are green; mine are in between, a hazel which mother says is evocative of her brother, Wedge. I think it makes her sad, sometimes.

    But Davin’s fair complexion gives him the appearance, I think, of something he is not, of something soft, spoiled, pampered. At times, even I forget that he fought for his right to fight alongside the chiss among whom he played, studied, and eventually trained, before they reached their advanced maturity and left the deficient humans behind. He fought for that right and won it, surpassed his superiors’ highest expectations, and earned the command and allegiance of those who once saw him as slow and inferior. Davin has refused to let circumstances beyond his control- that is, father bringing us here in the first place- to dictate his course in life. It is no wonder that Jagged aspires to follow in the footsteps of our oldest brother.

    And apparently Davin feels it is time that I do the same. Not to follow in his footsteps, per se, but to set my own path, with or without the blessing of father.

    My obvious question to him is how I might do that without father’s blessing; he seems to feel that it ought to be as simple as leaving. But for all of Davin’s intelligence, capabilities, drive… he doesn’t understand, couldn’t understand, what it is to be in my position.

    I do not exist.

    It can never be as simple as leaving for one who does not have proper clearance and identification to even be flying in Nirauan space. It can never be as simple as leaving for one who has known nothing else beyond the small world of his family, our quarters, the family yacht… I know the rest of this fortress like the back of my hand but have never actually seen it… It can never be as simple as leaving for a shadow child of humans inexplicably carrying on a chiss tradition.

    I am isolated and alone in a way that Davin, who grew up dealing with the low expectations and skepticism of the chiss, but dealing with them nevertheless, could never understand. It is not whining to say that, it is simple fact and reality, a reality even further out of Davin’s grasp now that he has seen more than Nirauan, now that he has moved beyond father’s shadow and proven his own worth beyond simply bearing the name Fel.

    How do you explain to someone… a brother, a confidante, a friend… who stares death in the face and emerges triumphant time and again… a warrior in whom others willingly place their lives and trust he will not spend them in vain… how do you explain the oppressive weight that accompanies my useless duty of remaining unheard, unseen, nonexistent? How do you explain the horrible confliction between desiring any life besides your own, yet not wishing to disappoint father, from whom we all derive our damnable sense of duty in the first place?

    I first thought it was just… a mood, the temperament born of a long journey and little sleep. When Davin got into a long and loud argument with father five days later though… I wonder what has happened to suddenly drive him in this sudden quest for, as he put it to father, my freedom.

    Normally, I would phrase it in such a way as well; but seeing my steady, stoic, serious older brother quarrel with our father in a way none of us have ever dared… not even me, at the height of my bouts of impudence… I could not even bring myself to add word to Davin’s arguments, and cowardly obeyed without a second thought when father gestured me out of his office. I practically fled.

    X---X

    Tags- @earlybird-obi-wan, @AzureAngel2, @Ceillean, @TrakNar, @TwinsinsThlee, @Mondra, @Jade_eyes

    p.s. I will say though- LOVE the ability to tag for updates in place of PMs. SOOO much simpler! Hope that works for everyone. [face_alien]
  5. TrakNar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 4, 2011
    star 5
    I should try tagging, if I could remember who all was on my PM list. Eh, I can remember three people. Good enough. :p

    Anywho, he should tell Davin what for. I mean, he doesn't exist, right? So, he would be exempt from discipline. Go ahead, be naughty! Be a rebel! No one can punish you if you don't exist. :p
  6. Nyota's Heart Combos & Paragraphs Host

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    Member Since:
    Aug 31, 2004
    star 6
    Oh, :( what a sad position - Cem is so stuck! [face_thinking] It's hard to imagine that kind of situation where you're practically trapped.

    ~~~~

    On a technical note, I too love tagging.

    So far, it seems like the way to edit is to go to the last edit on the page and fill it in and Save Changes. If you enter on more options, I believe you can edit the title bar with the date. I just started a brand spanking new fic over here yesterday in lieu of continuing prior ones, so we'll see with the next update LOL
  7. Ceillean Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 13, 2001
    star 5
    I feel sooo sorry for Cem. I doubt anyone can imagine what he's going through. I like Davin, though. And already knowing his future...man.
    Maybe Cem will break free of the chains holding him, who knows? Curiosity and plain humanity might get the better of him. If he can set aside his fear, that is. And I think he really is afraid.

    And the new boards -- it's pretty damned chaotic, if you ask me. I'm annoyed that we don't have the Favorite Board option and I keep having to click my way through the first page. But the tag system is great.
  8. Jedi_Lover Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 1, 2004
    star 5
    Nice update. I feel sorry for Cem. Can you tag me for updates also. Thanks!
  9. earlybird-obi-wan Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 21, 2006
    star 6
    Love your new update. Cem is nice. Thanks for the tag
  10. AzureAngel2 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 14, 2005
    star 6
    Well, pro´s and con´s around here at the new boards. At least we found each other again and can unite to lure MsLanna/ Etain back in here. Muhahaha! [face_devil]
  11. LexiLupin Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 27, 2011
    star 4
    A/N: Bear with me if updates come a good bit faster than they were before THE MOVE- a lot of story to squeeze into not enough time now. :p

    Entry 10

    Chak and Davin are gone- Davin, to begin a short-term scouting mission along the border between Ascendancy and Hand space, a respite for his wing after months harassing the Vagaari; Chak, to assume command of his own Imperial fighter wing, a promotion recommended by his Naval superiors and approved here by Admiral Parck. Jagged is due to leave us in less than a month as well.

    I never received a satisfactory answer from Davin regarding his argument with father, though I think he was mildly peeved that I did not join in his tirade. Part of his vendetta seems tied to father’s decision to let Jagged leave here at so young an age, but there must be something deeper beneath the surface. If father knows, he is remaining typically stoic about it.

    Periods of contention aside, my brothers and I managed to resurrect a bit of childhood nostalgia during their visit. Chak unearthed some of our old starfighter models and Davin proceeded to disassemble two of them, use the parts to reconstruct one into the rough shape of a Chiss Clawcraft, and then explain the clear merits of said craft over the old Imperial and Rebel counterparts.

    And then he spent the rest of the night fiddling with the old X-wing model that was his favorite as a small boy- as ever, enthralled by the intrigue of heroic stories of the infamous Rogue Squadron.

    I caught father looking at our old children’s toys the next day, after Davin and Chak had departed. He grinned ruefully as he regarded Davin’s approximation of a Clawcraft fighter, but picked up the old TIE and X-wing models as he beckoned me into the room.

    “Another example of Imperial ruthlessness,” he handed them over to me. “The TIE- faster, more maneuverable…only a select few weighted down by hyperdrives and life-support systems, by shield generators. Do not doubt for an instant that some unscrupulous commanders were more eager to escape an engagement zone quickly, than ensure their surviving pilots made it back aboard. TIE craft and pilots were considered expendable to the utmost.”

    “Then it’s a wonder any would voluntarily pilot them in battle.”

    It was one of those comments which, after it escaped me, I wondered if father might find some offense in it. He seemed unfazed though. “The challenge is half the allure, for brash young men.” He sighed and looked away, staring into the past. “Stories are told of those who survive against the odds, to fight battle after battle. There are never legends about the vast majority of pilots who die by their third engagement.”

    “Did you prefer X-wings then? When you flew for the New Republic?”

    His returning grin was a bit impish. “Maybe, in the heat of the moment- but the thrill, the rush, is wholly different in a TIE. And in the years after the death of the emperor, the Empire did begin to show more consideration towards giving their doomed starfighter pilots the best shot of surviving. The modern models are generally shield-equipped.”

    I wonder if that’s something new he learned on his recent trip to Bastion. That he would so openly discuss his glory-days of piloting is an abrupt change from his normal refusal to humor discussion that might encourage his children to aspire to similar feats of heroism.

    Realistically though… he probably just feels bad about the recent household tension with me at the center, yet relatively uninvolved in the fight. Still- it was a novel feeling, that others might concern themselves with my fate… that father may not hold unilateral power over this family forever.

    The idea is as appealing as it is frightening.

    X---X

    Tags- @earlybird-obi-wan, @AzureAngel2, @Ceillean, @TrakNar, @TwinsinsThlee, @Mondra, @Jade_eyes, @Jedi_Lover
  12. earlybird-obi-wan Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 21, 2006
    star 6
    I like those fast updates. And her discussion about the fighters. Real nice.
  13. Nyota's Heart Combos & Paragraphs Host

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    Member Since:
    Aug 31, 2004
    star 6
    Enjoyed the wistful nostalgic tone both in the dialogue and tinkering with the fighter models. Soontir seems able to confide in Cem. [face_thinking] :) And quick updates are always something I enjoy. :D
    Last edited by Jade_eyes, Sep 16, 2012
  14. AzureAngel2 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 14, 2005
    star 6
    Realistically though… he probably just feels bad about the recent household tension with me at the center, yet relatively uninvolved in the fight. Still- it was a novel feeling, that others might concern themselves with my fate… that father may not hold unilateral power over this family forever.

    The idea is as appealing as it is frightening.

    You intrigue me more and more with your story. And you write him as a very interesting character.
  15. Jedi_Lover Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 1, 2004
    star 5
    I like the dialog. It is very interesting. Nice update.
  16. LexiLupin Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 27, 2011
    star 4
    Entry 11

    Davin is…







    I can’t even type it. Emotionless- some chiss I make.

    Wynssa is crying again.



    X---X






    A/N: If the Boards had an award for shortest chapter ever, would I win it? I feel ridiculous even doing tags for this one, LOL.
    tags- @earlybird-obi-wan, @AzureAngel2, @Ceillean, @TrakNar, @Jade_eyes, @Jedi_Lover. If @Mondra and @TwinsinsThlee have reappeared since THE MOVE, can you two just throw me a quick 'hey' so I know to keep tagging you?
  17. Nyota's Heart Combos & Paragraphs Host

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    Aug 31, 2004
    star 6
    Lexi: The shortness just underscores the inarticulate grief =D= =D=
  18. Jedi_Lover Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 1, 2004
    star 5
    I think that is the best way to show his grief.
  19. Ceillean Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 13, 2001
    star 5
    Even though it's a short chapter, I think it speaks volumes.
  20. LexiLupin Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 27, 2011
    star 4
    Entry 12

    Davin is dead.

    Three days later and it hasn’t sunk in. Perhaps writing about it will help bring it into perspective. Somehow I doubt it. It certainly won’t take the stunned grief out of my brother’s eyes, nor the uncensored sadness from my mother’s. Father has buried himself in his work; in some ways, I think the death of his oldest son has shaken him more than any of the rest of us. And I think I know why.

    Admiral Parck visited our quarters three nights ago. Cherith let him in. The admiral is a stern sort, but he usually spares a smile and greeting for any of us who cross his path on the rare occasion he has to see father here. Not that night. He nodded tersely to Cherith, asked whether father was in his office, and strode quickly from sight.

    She rejoined myself and Jagged, watching an old holofilm, and it wasn’t until ten minutes passed and father summoned mother to speak with the admiral as well that we gave it another thought. Regardless, we were very curious when half an hour passed by and still none of them emerged. Father rarely involves mother in matters of the military- and what else could Parck have wanted?

    It was nearly an hour before mother left the office. Her eyes were not red, but there was something behind them… she told the three of us that father wished to see us, and then went to find Wynssa in her room. We passed Parck on his way out, and he inclined his head deeply, an oddly formal gesture towards three teenagers, as we slipped past him to see father.

    “Close the door.”

    I don’t know why he said it; the intimacy of being enclosed, perhaps. But at the order, the first flicker of nervousness twisted my stomach.

    “There was an ambush near Thearterra.”

    And with those words- six simple words- we all knew. What else would Parck visit father for here, that mother would need to be present for?

    Jagged was utterly motionless. Cherith grabbed my arm but her wide eyes were locked on father as she asked whether the Vagaari were responsible. Father just shook his head and responded in stilted tones that the ones we know only as ‘Far Outsiders’ had sent out their own expeditionary party, one that, by tragic coincidence, was surveying Thearterra at the same time as Davin’s scouting party.

    A scouting party. It was his reprieve from conflict. A few months of dull work to let him rest after tireless efforts against the Vagaari.

    There was one survivor- one. A young chiss female, I cannot even remember her name. Her duty should have first been to report to Commander Stent, but she came to Parck- said it was the least she could do because Davin ran a suicidal cover run for her so she could get word of their advance to the necessary parties.

    He got to be a hero after all- but gone is the Fel invincibility.

    The three of us stood in total silence as father relayed all of this- evenly, quietly, voice never breaking, but with none of the usual fire in his eyes. And after he finished speaking, the faintest sound of Wynssa’s cry suggested that mother was telling her the same news father relayed to us. Jagged turned and left the room in a flash, with none of the usual formality and decorum. Father closed his eyes and nodded to me and Cherith. She left; I remained where I was. And when father looked up again, he started slightly to see me still standing there.

    “Did you approve the mission?”

    No ‘sir’; hard, demanding tone. Father just stared for a moment before nodding once, stiltedly.

    I don’t know why I said it; I already knew what the answer had to be. It was probably the first thing that went through his own mind once he had processed Parck’s words- save, perhaps, that his last visit with Davin had been fraught with argument.

    Vengeance, maybe? It couldn’t lessen my pain, but perhaps I thought I’d garner the slightest satisfaction at twisting the vibroblade in his gut.

    I didn’t, not really. But I do wonder whether father has even once second-guessed what we are all doing out here, isolated from the galaxy-proper. Especially now that it has finally cost him something.

    X---X


    :(tags- @earlybird-obi-wan, @AzureAngel2, @Ceillean, @Jade_eyes, @Jedi_Lover, @TrakNar
  21. Jedi_Lover Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 1, 2004
    star 5
    Beautifully written. It is very descriptive.
    Even the smallest gesture says a lot. I can imagine their stomach dropping when Parck did that. You know the news is not going to be good. Well, done.
  22. Nyota's Heart Combos & Paragraphs Host

    Game Host Game Winner
    Member Since:
    Aug 31, 2004
    star 6
    Vivid and real emotions =D= =D= And you absolutely know that Soontir is asking himself that self-same question: What are we doing here? Was it/is it fair to put Syal through this, and the other kids? And for the last encounter to be acrimonious with Davin -- :eek: just makes it worse!!!!!

    BTB, like your siggy :p

    ;)
  23. LexiLupin Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 27, 2011
    star 4
    Entry 13

    The reality, that the Fel family has gone from eight to seven- or seven to six, by official reckoning- has slowly sunk in. And strangely enough, it seems to be Wynssa who has most latched on to this fact.

    I call it strange only because she barely knew Davin. She has always known that she has an older brother out there, fighting for the House Phalanx- but until his visit (could it be only a matter of weeks since we were all here together, as a family?) that knowledge was very hypothetical. But both Davin and Chak made a point to spend some time with our youngest sister, who was but a babe when they last lived at home, and on some levels, I think she feels that she just gained a brother, only to have him taken away.

    She asks daily about Chak now, who was only able to make one, brief holocomm home a few days after he received word through his chain of command. He was distant and distracted… I wonder if he hasn’t funneled his grief into an intense focus on his new duties. Always eager to please, and in tune with others’ feelings, it seems that dealing with the rest of us may be too much for Chak right now.

    Most heartbreaking of all though, was when Wynssa, timid but determined, came into Jagged’s room one night after dinner and asked him quietly not to leave to go to the training academy. He looked nearly as stricken then as he had upon hearing about Davin. And I wonder if he had allowed himself to forget that he is due to report in only a few short weeks.

    What Wynssa is too young to understand though is that now, Jagged must go. Davin was his idol, his hero, and the two of them were incredibly close despite their difference in age- there is no question that Jagged honor his legacy and his sacrifice, and follow in his footsteps at Rhigar. In some ways, I think it is good that he is already approved for the next class- to wait another season would likely only foster feelings of frustration and resentment, Jagged is not the most patient of us.

    Usually quiet and thoughtful, Cherith has taken on more of a brooding attitude in the past week, and I wonder how the death of our oldest brother will come to define her, in the weeks and months ahead. Though young at the time, much of Jagged’s present motivation stems from Davin’s initial departure to the training academy- his death merely adds emphasis to Jagged’s determinations. For Cherith though, I wonder if this here will be her call to duty, will be the final stage in her transition from adolescence to the Chiss concept of adulthood.

    Regardless, it is only a matter of time- two years, three at the most- ‘ere she becomes established on whatever path will define her to the Chiss, who are concerned first and foremost with your position and what you’ve accomplished in it, before who you are and how you got there. While they may be xenophobic and superior, it is such an attitude that allowed Davin to earn such high standing among them- to an extent, Chak as well, though he has the advantage that comes with serving Imperial forces under Parck’s purview, rather than Stent’s Chiss forces.

    I do not see Cherith as a pilot though. She has a soft, analytical intelligence about her, contrasted with Davin’s brash yet keen ability to improvise above all else. Granted, I would have said much the same about Chak as Cherith, some years ago… but we Fels are driven to the cockpit. It is in our blood, and beyond even that, lies in some unspoken need to emulate and impress father.

    Perhaps that is unfair. To the best of my knowledge, none of my brothers were ever urged to adopt the same profession in which father gained his galactic renown. But when you live in a fortress that serves as a military outpost, far away from the rest of the galaxy, where everything around you is devoted to and dominated by the concept of militarism…

    In what other direction are any of them supposed to take their lives? What might Davin have chosen to do with himself, had he been raised on the estate on Corellia where he and Chak were born?

    Would he still be alive today?

    A morbid part of me wants to pose the question to father- perhaps not the question of whether Davin would be alive, but what fantasies he once entertained before the powers of the galaxy- the Empire under whom he loyally served, the New Republic to whom he defected, the Hand that gave him a purpose to it all- drove him to this exile. Did he envision that, with the blood of a Fel and an Antilles, his children’s futures were practically set in stone? Would it have much mattered, given the peace finally established between that Empire and the New Republic, a peace unknown to our forces out here in the unknown?

    Part of me wants to ask the question, but I’d never dare. It would be unfair- not to my parents, but to Davin who never once resented or regretted the direction in which his life took him; who, until the very end, believed in something more important than himself, and gave his all to it. It would be unfair to the pilots who died with him, and to the one he managed to save that she might forewarn others of the enemy advance. It would be a cheapening of his sacrifice, of his devotion to his duty.

    And it would cheapen Jagged’s determination to pursue a life that would have made Davin proud, as has ever been his goal.

    His attitude would inspire me, if only I had has much devotion to anything as my siblings do to serving the Hand with their every living- and dying- breath.

    X---X

    Tags- @earlybird-obi-wan, @AzureAngel2, @Ceillean, @Jedi_Lover, @Jade_eyes, @TrakNar
  24. Nyota's Heart Combos & Paragraphs Host

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    Member Since:
    Aug 31, 2004
    star 6
    =D= =D= Stunning introspective and reflective post. @};- @};- Probably to a certain degree, kids from families of doctors, lawyers, or policemen, etc., hae those same thoughts and pressures: to follow and to excel. [face_thinking] In the wake of such a loss, it is only natural to ask: Is it worth it? Would we make the same choices again?
  25. TrakNar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 4, 2011
    star 5
    I'm still waiting for the day when Cem comes home, sporting a pink-and-blue Mohawk, a pierced lip and nose, several tattoos, and telling his folks what he thinks of them. The life of a shadow child can't be conducive for healthy emotional development when the child is treated as though they don't even exist. If one has no goals and no aspirations, then when left to their own devices, they could become either complacent with a very sedentary lifestyle, or flat-out rebel. Personally, I'm hoping for the latter. Those hormones do more than cause angst and body hair to appear in weird places! :p
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