Author: Findswoman Title: Spectres’ Aubade Era: Saga—OT; somewhere during Rebels season 3 Characters: Crew of the Ghost, General Crix Madine, borrowed OCs: Raissa, Doran, Mara, Domnic, and Annina Blayne, the family that in stories by @Raissa Baiard makes up the Rebel cell known as the Idiot’s Array Genre: Humor, fluff, music; short multichapter Summary: The crew of the Ghost is called on to pay a very special tribute to a fellow Rebel cell. Contents: One (below) | Two | Three Content warning: Copious music geekery, particularly of the choral kind! I shall do my best to define potentially unfamiliar terms in the notes at the end of each chapter; please don’t hesitate to ask about anything. Some Additional Notes: It occurred to me in an idle moment (and yes, this is the sort of thing that occurs to me in idle moments, so please don’t judge ) that the crew of the Ghost have a suitable mix of voices for choral singing: Sabine on first soprano, Hera on second soprano (though in this story she’ll be conducting), Ezra with a boyish alto, Kanan on tenor (though I’m guessing from his speaking voice that he’s technically more of a baritenor, but hey, it’s close), and Zeb as the deep, rich bass. So, naturally, I felt the urge to write a story about them singing together, and this is the result. But—this story is also a bit of a gift for @Raissa Baiard, in gratitude for her friendship, her support, her talent in art and writing, and for introducing me to Rebels to start with. In addition to the borrowed characters listed above (and again I thank Raissa for agreeing to let me borrow them), there will be occasional meta references and in-jokes related to her stories, so please feel free to ask about those, too. She also beta-read this story and made invaluable suggestions, so I thank her for that, too. Spectres’ Aubade One The crew of the Ghost was assembled around the dejarik table in the ship’s common area, waiting on tenterhooks for a Very Important Transmission from Alliance headquarters. “So what is this all about, anyway?” asked Zeb. “No idea,” returned Sabine. “Hera just said headquarters was going to contact us.” “Well, I hope they do it soon,” sulked Ezra, crossing his arms. Kanan sighed. “It behooves us all to be patient. Especially”—he poked Ezra—“those of us who are Jedi.” “Bwop,” remarked Chopper. “Bwop bwop bwop—” He was interrupted by strident beeping from the comm. “Shh! That’ll be it now!” Hera hit the control to open the channel, then cleared her throat before announcing, “Phoenix Leader here.” The luminous blue-white image of a high-ranking Alliance officer materialized above the center of the dejarik table. “Greetings, Phoenix Leader. This is General Crix Madine. I trust you have successfully finished your supply run to Mayno-Mayzee?” “Ten-four, General. We even finished in time to spend a few down-time days at the Festival of Love and Light on Khorassan.” “Ah, the Festival of Love and Light! I was there back in ’76—the Veiled Queen was roughly the size of an ITT, and—” “With all due respect, General,” Hera interposed with a chuckle, “you didn’t comm us just to tell us about your visit to the Festival of Love and Light in ’76, did you?” General Madine chuckled, too. “Ah, of course not, Phoenix Leader, of course not. In point of fact, I have a mission for you.” Murmurs of anticipation arose from the group, including a “See, I knew it!” from Ezra that was promptly silenced by admonitory gestures from both Hera and Kanan. “What kind of mission, General?” Hera asked. “Well…” The general backtracked. “‘Mission’ may be… a bit of a stretch. Perhaps I should call it an assignment.” Hera wasn’t quite sure why her brow furrowed in consternation at the general’s change of terminology, but it did. “What kind of… assignment?” “Well… do you see this?” General Madine’s image disappeared and was replaced by a glowing, slowly rotating page of sheet music. A flashing orange arrow in one bottom corner invited the use of the comm unit’s forward/back controls to scroll through multiple pages. Hera did so, frowning in perplexity. Most of the others looked over her shoulder as best they could, equally perplexed as they squinted to make out the details. Finally Sabine ventured a conjecture. “It looks like… an arrangement of ‘The Sequential Passage of Chronological Intervals’ for mixed chorus with clavi-pian accompaniment.” “Precisely,” replied the general. Zeb scowled. “And just what are we expected to do with this… arrangement of ‘The Pestilential Sassage of…’ whatever it’s called… for mixed chorus with clavi-pian accompaniment?” he demanded. “Does it contain some kind of coded message? Do you want us make contact with this, um”—he squinted at the composer’s name at the upper right-hand corner of the first page—“this ‘Jai-Alt H’aah-Uus, GaSCAP’ being? Karabast, these Human names are impossible to pronounce…” Madine chuckled a little as his image reappeared. “No, no, I’m afraid it’s nothing like that this time. I believe you are familiar with the Alliance cell on Merkesh known as the Idiot’s Array?” At this Ezra’s eyes widened like those of a youngling in an ice-on-a-stick shop. “The Idiot’s Array? Yeah, of course we know the Idiot’s Array! They’re, like, our best fr—” “Yes, we are familiar with the Idiot’s Array,” Kanan cut in, scowling in the direction of his padawan. “Good. So you know, without doubt, of their fondness for this song?” “Yes, certainly, but—” “The leaders of the cell, the Mistress of Staves and the Master of Flasks, will be celebrating their nineteenth wedding anniversary on the first Taungsday of next month.” “That’s wonderful news,” said Kanan. “We naturally wish them all the very best. But could you please tell us—” “On that date, at or around 0800,” continued the general, “all the members of your cell are to position yourself outside their headquarters and perform this piece.” Gasps and exclamations ranging from surprise to horror went up from the assembled Spectres. “WHAT?!!” squawked Hera, her goggles almost flying off. “General, did you just ask us to perform this piece?!” “Indeed, I did.” “But General—” “General Syndulla, Alliance Central Command has determined that your cell, out of all those currently active in this region of the Outer Rim, is the best positioned, socially as well as logistically, to pay proper tribute to these indispensable pillars of the Alliance. In addition, you are the only cell in this sector with the required configuration of voice parts.” “Bwop bwop bwop?” queried Chopper. “Yes, I did think to contact them,” the general answered. “And I found an admirable arrangement for male trio on HoloMusicPlus.gal. But unfortunately Gregor has developed a bad case of nodules and is on complete vocal rest. So, Spectres, I’m afraid it is all up to you.” There were a few minutes of nonplussed silence as the members of the crew looked at each other, then the holographic sheet music, then back at each other. At last Ezra piped up. “But General… um…” “Yes, Spectre Six?” “Well… um… what about… what about Kanan?” All eyes turned for a moment to the masked Jedi, who cocked his head and pursed his lips. “Yes, General, what about me?” “Oh, I have already arranged to have a Lairbbe copy of the score delivered to you at your next rendezvous point on M’nonk. A courier droid will be awaiting you at the spaceport. The code phrase is ‘You played it for her, you can play it for me.’” Kanan nodded in acknowledgment. “In addition, I have appended datafiles of several recordings to this transmission, which General Syndulla will be able to distribute individually. I particularly recommend the rendition by the CoCoTown Senior Citizens’ Jizzwail Choir.” “All well and good,” put in Zeb, “but there’s one other problem that no one’s mentioned. We don’t have a clavi-pian on board the Ghost.” Even in the hologram, lines of worry became visible on Madine’s forehead. “You… you don’t?” “We used to.” Sabine shrugged. “It was a really nice Nidwalb concert grand. We kept it in the nose of the ship.. But we… um… dropped it on the Seventh Sister’s head back on Garel.” “I see. Hmm.” The general thought for a moment, then perked up. “Ah! I know just the thing! I shall have my staff program the accompaniment onto a music chip, which then can be played back by… your droid.” “BWOP! BWOP BWOP BWOP BWOP!!” protested Chopper, gesticulating wildly with his graspers. Hera put out a reassuring hand. “Calm down, Chop. It’s all right.” “Bwaaaah.” “I know, I know quenk jazz is more your thing. But just this once, okay?” With a whine of resignation Chopper retracted his graspers. General Madine cleared his throat and spoke again. “So, Spectres, may I count on you to accept this… assignment?” The crew members looked around at each other once again, no one wanting to speak up first. At last Hera did. “We… we accept, General.” “Good! Then I shall patch the scores and the recordings through to you now, and the music chip with the accompaniment shall be dispatched to the courier on M’nonk along with the Lairbbe score. Contact me once you receive them. Oh, and General Syndulla? “Yes, General Madine?” “This is intermediate to advanced chamber-chorus repertoire. You may want to begin rehearsing sooner rather than later.” “Um… noted, General.” “Thank you so much. I have every confidence that you and your operatives will be able to execute this assignment with the utmost artistry and panache. Madine out.” “Phoenix Leader out.” Hera hit the END control, causing Madine’s hologram to flicker and disappear. She turned again to her crew. “Well, everyone, you heard the good general. Tomorrow morning we dock on M’nonk and collect the materials. And then”—she let out a long sigh—“we rehearse.” To be continued… Notes (Move your mouse to reveal the content) Notes (open) Notes (close) clavi-pian: A GFFA piano. Fanon. First introduced in my story Opus Sixty-Six. CoCoTown Senior Citizens’ Jizzwail Choir: Fanon, thank goodness. Garel: http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Garel Gregor: http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/CC-5576-39 (the three singers making up the hypothetical male trio are Rex, Wolffe, and Gregor, the three aging clone troopers that the Spectres encounter in the episode “The Lost Commanders”) HoloMusicPlus.gal: The GFFA equivalent of www.SheetMusicPlus.com. Fanon. The .gal suffix was coined by @Ewok Poet. Ice-on-a-stick: http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Ice-on-a-stick ITT (Imperial Troop Transport): http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Imperial_Troop_Transport Jai-Alt H’aah-Uus, GaSCAP: Fanon. Based on the fact that there really does exist a choral arrangement of “As Time Goes By” by someone named Jay Althouse. GaSCAP would be the GFFA equivalent of ASCAP (the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers). Khorassan, Mayno-Mayzee, the Festival of Love and Light, and that festival’s Veiled Queen are fanon, all introduced in my story The Jewels of . . . WHAT?! (which does indeed mention a year when the Queen was roughly circus-tent-sized). Lairbbe: The GFFA equivalent of braille. Fanon. mixed chorus: This means simply, a choral group consisting of both male and female voices, usually featuring soprano, alto, tenor, and bass voices (abbreviated SATB). See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Choir#Types. M’nonk: A totally random fanon planet, named after this Illinois town. quenk jazz: http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Quenk_jazz (a genre established as being particularly liked by Sabine, but why not Chopper too?) “The Sequential Passage of Chronological Intervals”: http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/The_Sequential_Passage_of_Chronological_Intervals (though I first learned about it from @Raissa Baiard’s story Everyone Comes to Doran’s Place ) Seventh Sister: http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Seventh_Sister Vocal nodules: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vocal_fold_nodule Vocal rest: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vocal_rest “We kept it in the nose of the ship”: A reference to a remark made by Dave Filoni at his “Animated Origins and Unexpected Fates” talk at the 2017 Celebration in Orlando. When one of the model designers for Rogue One told him the Ghost wouldn’t be able to land because it was too back-heavy, he quipped, “that’s all right, they keep a grand piano in the nose.” I wasn’t at the Orlando Celebration myself, but @Raissa Baiard was, and I thank her for passing this tidbit on to me, because it’s absolutely perfect for this story. “You played it for her, you can play it for me”: The famous line from Casablanca in which Rick insists that Sam plays “As Time Goes By” for him.