Beyond [ updated 7/21 ] - Cruel Honor - mystery/romance - (19yr post-NJO)

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by Arin_Atona, Oct 4, 2004.

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  1. Arin_Atona Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 10, 2004
    star 4
    CRUEL HONOR

    Slight title change on 11/23. This story is now simply titled "Cruel Honor". It will someday get a rewrite as it becomes Part 19 of To Still the Fates.

    Title: CRUEL HONOR
    Author: Arin_Atona
    Timeframe: 19 years post-NJO
    Characters: Ben Skywalker, Luke and Mara Skywalker, Galvin Tercion(OC), Kazim'ren "Kaz"(OC), Ri(OC), Nori da-Boda(OC)
    Genre: Mystery / Romance
    Summary: On his first major assignment, Ben Skywalker enters the GFFA underworld to find the sole remaining survivor of a race thought destroyed, and must resort to rather questionable means to liberate her from captivity. Meanwhile, another sinister plot takes shape.
    Notes: This is an experimental fic for me to explore in-depth character development and toy with a genre I haven't really explored before.

    * * *

    PROLOGUE

    Coruscant.

    Once a thriving planetary metropolis and the heart of galactic government for millennia, her now ragged soil-and-forest surface could testify little to the glory that once held her up as the crown jewel of worlds. To the naked eye, Coruscant had become little more than a settlement.

    Twisted forms of biotechnology contrived by the Yuuzhan Vong dominated the landscape that served as a mask for the rotting structures of decimated buildings and lower levels of the former city that now laid buried far below in a darkened world hidden from the eyes of most. People were slowly returning to the recovering planet, but most found it difficult to call Coruscant their home without the tall spikes of buildings that once outlined the cityscape, and reconstruction efforts were constantly hindered by the city's millennia-old underlevels finally crumbling beneath the very surface they tried to rebuild upon.

    The lower levels themselves, cut off from the light and buried underneath the Yuuzhan Vong terraforming served mostly as a tomb; a testament to her former greatness, and hiding many secrets of the past. Secrets that should remain buried for eternity... but would one day come to light.

    Such secrets were often trivial, describing the decadent lifestyles of the rich and powerful, many of whom no longer drew breath. Certainly they would shed new views and outlooks upon the past, but the most glorious of her secrets would not only revise history... but make it.

    The dripping, dank corridors underneath what was formerly Imperial City lay quiet in the stillness of night, leaving durasteel columns to rust and permacrete to be slowly eaten away by water and rock-eating insects. Not even the occasional explorer or passer-by ever cast their light through her decaying bowels anymore; too many stories of shadows moving in the dark and whispers on the stale winds that occasionally drafted through, all attributed to be the voices of the dead that were buried alive when the city was destroyed.

    Undaunted by the stories and legends, one solitary figure moved alone in the darkness, knowing full well what secrets lay buried in the broken chambers in the lowest levels of the city. The demons that haunted these halls provided security, ensuring that none would disturb the work of sifting through the old records and archives that lay hidden in the unplumbed depths.

    "Finally," a voice crooned in the dark.

    For the first time in years, a real source of light flickered to life, casting shadows through the rubble as the shape of a hooded figure resolved itself in the light, yellow eyes peering intently from a disfigured, pale face.

    "Personal Archives record four-four-two-eight," the face moaned. "The first phase of the Emperor's Hand project has concluded, and the second phase is ready to begin as soon as Lord Vader returns with young Skywalker."

    The face, and the light that projected it disappeared with a click, followed by a chuckle in the darkness.

    "Perfect."

    * * *

    This may not get updated for a while since I still have to work on finish
  2. DarthIshtar Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2001
    star 9
    I'll say it again to update this thread: DANG CREEPY!
  3. RebelMom Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 20, 2000
    star 6
  4. Mike-Sunrider Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 4, 2003
    star 4
    I wouldn't want to call it creepy, but it does give you a chill down your spine.

    Im interested in the rest. Awesome prologue :)
  5. Arin_Atona Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 10, 2004
    star 4
    Ishy: DANG CREEPY!

    You're too kind.

    RebelMom: Looks interesting.

    Let's hope it stays that way.

    Mike-Sunrider: I wouldn't want to call it creepy, but it does give you a chill down your spine.

    I was going for "Ooh", but hey, I'll take creeps or chills.

    Im interested in the rest. Awesome prologue

    Thanks!

  6. Arin_Atona Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 10, 2004
    star 4
    Slight change in title since there is already another active fic by the name "Best Intentions". This part will henceforth be named "Noble Intent".
  7. Mike-Sunrider Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 4, 2003
    star 4
    Don't get me wrong. It got an Ooh. But it isn't creepy as in Resident Evil creepy.
  8. VaderLVR64 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Feb 5, 2004
    star 8
  9. Jags_Scoundrel Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 12, 2003
    star 4
    ** shudders **

    Wow.

    Great start! :D
  10. Arin_Atona Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 10, 2004
    star 4
    Mike-Sunrider: it isn't creepy as in Resident Evil creepy.

    Heh. I'm trying to create intrigue... not scare my readers :D

    VaderLVR64: Shiver! Loved it!

    Mmm... a shiver from a woman that spends far too much time in Vader's head. I'm honored!

    Jags_Scoundrel: ** shudders **

    And shudders, to boot!

    Great start!

    We've got creeps, chills, shivers, and shudders -- definitely great! I'm half tempted to call it completed and quit while I'm ahead [face_devil]
  11. DarthIshtar Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2001
    star 9
    Okay, hon, it's eerie. You satisfied now?
  12. Arin_Atona Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 10, 2004
    star 4
    I told you so you don't count! [ewok]Grr.[/ewok]
  13. DarthIshtar Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2001
    star 9
    Okay, okay, i can't do anything right!
  14. Arin_Atona Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 10, 2004
    star 4
    *pats Ishy on the head and gives her a cookie*

    It'll be okay. I know who to call on if I want to make my readers swear at me ;)
  15. Agent_Jaid Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 21, 2003
    star 5



    *stares* O.O

    Woah!! :D

    That little guy at the end?? For some reason, it reminded me of myself when I was seven/eight and reading with a flashlight under my blanket. :p

    How cute this is!! [face_love]


    *claps hands*

    More More More Arin!! It's a lovely story!! Lovely!! :D


  16. Agent_Jaid Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 21, 2003
    star 5
  17. Arin_Atona Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 10, 2004
    star 4
    Agent_Jaid: For some reason, it reminded me of myself when I was seven/eight and reading with a flashlight under my blanket.

    That's a new one on me, but sounds like a good thing!

    How cute this is!!

    I'm not sure how cute it will stay, but we'll see.

    More More More Arin!! It's a lovely story!! Lovely!!

    I shall try! I have to finish my other fic, then I'll devote myself to this one.
  18. Arin_Atona Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 10, 2004
    star 4
    As I did with SoG, I'll number these in parts. The previous post, being Prologue, will be designated Part 0.1. This section is the second part of the Prologue.

    SPOILER WARNING:
    This section contains a very, very small, but potential spoiler for the ending of On the Shoulders of Giants by virtue of the existence of two characters introduced here that carry over from that story (hence the reason they don't appear in the story summary above). If you don't want any hints as to who carries over before I get the conclusion of On the Shoulders of Giants posted, then you might want to wait for the end of that story before reading this section.

    If you haven't read that story, you won't need to in order to understand these characters, as their background and character will come out over the course of this fic.


    Confused? Good. SoG has been giving me fits, so I worked on this fic a little bit tonight.

    Part 0.2:

    * * *

    Even though he had been able to contain the tears during the long three-day journey from Asmeru to Caluula, those tears now began welling in pools along the eyelids that rimmed his blue eyes. He didn't dare blink while he watched the MedCorps volunteer slowly unseal one of the thousands of carelessly strewn body-bags that lay throughout the training facility, then pull back the sides to reveal the naked husk of the lifeless woman within. Only when the overhead lighting revealed her gentle face and the shiny brown hair that matched his own did he allow the tears to escape, slowly sinking to his knees and his eyes clenching shut.

    "It's her," he said, voice scraping through the painful knot in his throat. "It's her."

    "I..." the volunteer stammered, taking a step back. "I'm sorry, Chief Tercion."

    "There's no need to apologize, Cadet," he replied. "You had no part in this."

    "Galvin..." The soft voice from behind him was accompanied by a gentle hand that settled on his shoulder.

    "Where did they find her?" he asked, opening his eyes to look upon the dead woman.

    The volunteer hesitated for a moment, then checked his datapad. "Ord Nalax Station. She was among the war refugees there. It says here she was killed in..." The volunteer's shaky hand lowered the datapad slowly.

    "What does it say, Cadet?"

    "It says she was killed... for a ration bar."

    He winced at the senselessness of it, eyes clenching shut yet again and warm tears streamed down his cheeks.

    "Thank you, Cadet," he managed to croak, reopening his bloodshot eyes. "That will be all."

    The MedCorps Cadet proffered a slow salute and then turned away and left them. Ordinarily, Galvin would have chided the Cadet for saluting a retired soldier out of uniform, but on this occasion he understood the gesture was one of respect.

    The hand on his shoulder withdrew and its owner kneeled beside him, a tall woman with black hair, gazing at him through colorless eyes.

    "Galvin," she said, turning to look at the body of the woman before them. "This is your mother?"

    "I can hardly recognize her... Her face is so emaciated."

    "She is a lovely woman."

    Galvin smiled slightly. "You should have seen her when I was younger. She was courted by two Counts and a Prince. My father practically had to beat them off with a stick."

    "I'm sure he did."

    Galvin returned to a silent vigil, staring at the body of his mother for a few moments before his composure broke down completely and he fell into the arms of his companion.

    "This hurts so much, Master" he sobbed, clutching at her cloak. "I've lost her twice."

    "Come, dear Galvin," she replied, placing a kiss on the top of his head. "Let us not let her tarry here. We'll take her back to the refugee settlement on Asmeru. They will gladly give her a proper memorial."

    "She doesn't need a proper memorial, Master da-Boda. She needs proper justice."

    "Careful, young one," she replied, pulling away from him to look him in the eye. "Be mindful of your feelings."

    "The Yuuzhan Vong killed my father a
  19. DarthIshtar Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2001
    star 9
    Oh, I loved seeing Nori as a Master, have I told you that? Such a change from SoG, but it fits. I shuddered when it said she was killed for a ration bar, reminds me of a line from "I never saw another butterfly", where a child says "Children steal bread here/and ask/and all would wish to sleep/and the cannons don't scream/and the guns don't bark/and you don't see blood here/only silent hunger."
  20. Agent_Jaid Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 21, 2003
    star 5


    :_| That... That's SAD Arin!! :_|

    *sniffles*

    For a sithspawned RATIONBAR?! Rationbar's aren't even tasty!! How could she?!?! How could THEY!?

    :(

    That is totally 100% barbaric.

    She sounded pretty... :(

    *sniffles*

    Nori sounded cool. :D I suppose this means that I shall have to read SoG. :p

    But no.

    Colorless eyes? :eek: Is she human? Or not? And and and, does that mean that she has not iris? Or what? Soap bubble colored eyes? Or simple no-color-which-is-really-white? Is there a ring around the outside of the iris or no? Is it just the pupil in a sea of white? *is curious*


    :D

  21. Mike-Sunrider Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 4, 2003
    star 4
    Another great job :D.

    Kinda sad though...
  22. DarthIshtar Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2001
    star 9
    AJ, this is Nori. The colorless eyes thing is from On the Shoulders of Giants, go read it.
  23. Agent_Jaid Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 21, 2003
    star 5


    Sis, I art working on it... Are you sure it's all explained over there? :confused:

    *scampers off*


  24. DarthIshtar Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2001
    star 9
    I can't remember if it is or if Arin just tells me everything ever planned for this universe.
  25. Arin_Atona Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 10, 2004
    star 4
    Ihsy: I loved seeing Nori as a Master, have I told you that? Such a change from SoG, but it fits.

    She's really back in her element there, much like the opening of part two of SoG.

    Agent_Jaid: For a sithspawned RATIONBAR?!

    Amazing what hunger will drive people to do.

    Colorless eyes? Is she human? Or not? And and and, does that mean that she has not iris? Or what? Soap bubble colored eyes? Or simple no-color-which-is-really-white? Is there a ring around the outside of the iris or no? Is it just the pupil in a sea of white? *is curious*

    Nori is human, yes. And very old. To find out how they got that way, you'll have to read SoG, but here is part of her intro:

    The same lovely woman, with her disheveled raven-black hair, turned her head to regard Kali with cold, hard eyes without color. Her eyes were bloodshot, and the irises that had been blue in the holocron image of Nori da-Boda, were now a sickly pale white with black flecks, almost as if someone had tapped into her eyes and drained the color out of them.


    Mike-Sunrider: Another great job.

    Thanks!

    Kinda sad though...

    It is, but necessary to understand some of Tercion's reactions later in the story. There's still another sad section left to introduce one of the minor characters, but that will begin moving the plot forward.

    Ihsy: Arin just tells me everything ever planned for this universe.

    You love being spoiled and you know it.
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