Before Whispers (young Jocasta adventure; Dooku, OC's) -- Chapter 10: Gathering Dusk - up 8/13

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by Nienna_Narmolanya, Jul 8, 2006.

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  1. Nienna_Narmolanya Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 5, 2005
    star 4
    Title: Whispers
    Author: Nienna Narmolanya
    Characters: Jocasta Nu, Dooku, OC?s
    Genre: Drama, with a hint of spookiness [face_batting]
    Timeframe: 88 years B.B.Y. (Jocasta is 12, Dooku is 14)
    Summary: Before a Jedi master wielded her saber and a head Archives librarian ruled her chosen domain, there was a lonely girl uncertain of her future. As Jocasta struggles to find her place among the Jedi, she contends with malicious rivals, disconcerting events, and her own fears, unaware that the real threat has yet to make its presence known.
    Disclaimer: I own nothing, except an imagination too big for my own good. George Lucas is the designer of all ? except my OC?s, of course, and my angsty backstory for Jocasta. (The angst was a prerequisite, of course.) ;)
    Notes: This story was inspired by a line from my fic ?Ghost Stories.? It started out as a one-post viggie, but kept growing?and growing? It?s been a long and bumpy road to this point (punctuated by complete rewrites), and I must say, I?m thrilled to finally be posting. :D
    >> Much thanks goes to my beta, Stormqueen, for her hard work and patience, and to all the others who gently, if not subtly, prodded me to finish this. [:D]

    I will be updating bi-weekly on Sundays and Wednesdays (in order to get the whole thing posted before school starts up again), but if you'd like to receive a PM reminder, just let me know and I'll start a list. And I think it goes without saying that replies of all shapes and sizes are most welcome. :) I'm worried about this one, so I'd love to hear your thoughts.

    So without further to do...

    [image=http://i11.photobucket.com/albums/a157/woadraider21/Cover%20Art/Whispers2_jpeg.jpg]

    Prologue: Watching


    ?Jocasta, come look at this!?

    Holding out a furry Wookie doll, Jillian tried to put as much excitement into her voice as possible, in hopes that the little girl sitting on the floor would follow her back over to the other younglings. The girl only stared up in silent defiance before looking back out the large viewport. As a Crèche master, Jillian had many years of experience with young ones, but Jocasta was a problem all her own.

    Glancing around the playroom, Jillian made sure the other children were doing all right. They all seemed sufficiently entertained, playing with toys or watching the little Quilan birds as they flew around their cage in the corner. She didn?t understand what it was about the scene that Jocasta found so disagreeable. Suppressing a sigh, she ran a hand through her bushy hair. Jocasta had been looking out the viewport for quite a while now; it was time she came away. ?Jocasta,? she said again, dropping the doll as she reached down to pick the girl up.

    ?No!? Jocasta cried, flinching away, and Jillian drew back her hands. The girl?s short brown hair stuck out at odd angles and Jillian resisted the sudden urge to laugh, though she didn?t feel the slightest bit of mirth. Perhaps, after so many years of caring for the younglings, she was finally going insane.

    Another Crèche master, a stout, humanoid male named Dirn, entered the room at that moment and paused, assessing the situation. He raised a thin, white eyebrow as he approached the woman. ?Jocasta giving you trouble again??

    Stepping back from the child, who was again occupied with the Coruscanti skyline, Jillian laid her hands on her hips. ?Yes.? She turned to her companion, still watching Jocasta from the corner of her eye, and continued in a softer tone. ?She?s been here for nearly a month now and she still refuses to take part in any activity that involves the other younglings. I think being around people makes her uncomfortable.?

    Dirn nodded. ?I assumed as much,? he said. ?Her arrival at the Temple wasn?t exactly ideal and I expected some negative consequences. For now, we must do everything we can to encourage her to join the other younglings. I?m sure she?ll grow out of her reluctance as she matures.?

    The woman
  2. Magenta_Moonshadow Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 14, 2005
    star 3
    A great start, Master!:D

    I can't wait to read more!=D= =D=
  3. Mathom Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 24, 2006
    star 2
    This looks like a great beginning. :D I like the sense of forboding and the Yoda: Dark Rendezvous-esque young Dooku. He and Jocasta seem like a perfect match, lost souls in a sea of happy Jedi who don't understand.

    If you make a PM list, could you put me on it? Thanks. :)
  4. Kynstar Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 2, 2004
    star 5
    Oh! Sweet a young Jo tale! [face_dancing] With Dooku in it!! [face_batting] PM me when you update if you don't mind!

    Great start! Poor dears :( both feeling 'out' of place with their fellow age mates.
  5. Kestrel_Kenobi Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 26, 2005
    star 4
    Oh Nienna I've been looking forward to this so much and I'm so happy you've posted it. You have no reason to be worried at all! What a wonderful beginning...very mysterious. I feel sad for Jocasta and Dooku...

    As she carried him away, the boy swiveled in her arms until he faced the doorway again and craned his head to see the girl. The woman said something about him being too big to carry, but he wasn?t paying attention.

    He was quietly waving goodbye.


    Awww... :(

    Please update soon and let me know when you do!

    Bravo =D=
  6. Katieelessar Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Aug 1, 2005
    star 2
    :) Oh Master I was so excited to see that you finally put this up! After all the terrible waiting you put me in *pouts* But I'm so happy you've started posting. I really like how you've depicted Jocasta and Dooku so far. Even as small children, their personalities are really taking shape. Please post again soon! [:D]
  7. bdenes Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 10, 2006
    Wow, definitely put me on your PM list. This is a great idea and I'm looking forward to see where you go with it. I enjoy reading more about the obscure characters from the films and putting Jocasta and Dooku together in story set early in their lives is such a promising story.
  8. Persephone_Kore Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 19, 2006
    star 4
  9. Nienna_Narmolanya Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 5, 2005
    star 4
    Oooh! Yummy replies! :D

    Magenta - Aww, thank you, dear padawan! More is on the way! :)

    Mathom - I haven't read Dark Rendezvous yet, though it's sitting on my shelf... (*gasp* I know!) :p My characterization of Dooku will be based solely on what I see in the movies and picked up on in the RotS novel. I hope it works! And thank you for reading! :D You've been added to the PM list.

    Kynstar - The Countess herself! :eek: :p Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy! :) This is my first attempt at Dooku, so we'll see how it goes...

    Kes - Aww, thanks! [:D] But I'm still a little worried. We have yet to launch into the meat of the story. That's today's mission.

    Katie - Padawan, you know waiting is an exercise in patience... :p Thank you, thank you! I'm glad Jo and Dooku are working out far.

    bdenes - I think writing about obscure characters is so fun because you can be as creative as you want, but you have certain guidelines that make it easier - including having the name already. I'm terrible at coming up with names. :oops: Thanks for reading! :) And you've been added to the PM list.

    Persephone_Kore - I'm glad you think so! :D


    -Current PM List-
    - Mathom
    - Kynstar
    - bdenes
    - Kestrel_Kenobi


    Here comes some more! Prologue out of the way - time to delve into the tale. ;)


    Chapter One: A Fear

    -Ten years later-

    The high ceiling and plain gray walls of the training salle swirled across Jocasta?s vision as she rolled away from the other youngling?s lightsaber blade. Panting as sweat trickled down her face, she tried to focus on her opponent?s blade and anticipate where it would be next. A group of younglings ? her clanmates ? stood off to one side, letting loose a few cheers for the girl she fought. It figured; they never cheered for her?

    Concentrate! she berated herself. Or you?ll get burned like usual!

    Powerful in the Force and quick on her feet, the girl she fought, Linna, represented the top of the twelve-year-olds lightsaber class, and Jocasta was no match for her. This was torture, that?s what it was.

    When Master Yoda sent word halfway through the class period that he wished to come and observe, their sparring instructor, the imposing Master Fitulan, decided to give him a demonstration of what the younglings had learned. It was no surprise that he chose Linna, but when searching for her opponent, his gaze roved over the younglings uncertainly. It eventually alighted on Jocasta and her heart dropped into her boots.

    As the other younglings whispered amongst themselves about the pairing, Jocasta?s eyes frantically searched the room for the assistant sparring instructor, Master Tyone. Finding the woman?s tall, athletic frame easily, Jocasta silently pleaded with her for rescue, but Tyone only offered at tight smile, though she usually tried to temper some of Fitulan?s more dangerous pair-ups. Although Jocasta didn?t know her well, she seemed to be a kind master, most often speaking in a soft, gentle voice, but she could be stern too, and Jocasta was under no illusion that her bad side was not the place to be.

    Master Tyone wore long, dark brown skirts instead of the traditional Jedi pants and tunic, possibly because she?d been off the field duty roster for years due to a horrific injury of some sort. Jocasta didn?t know much about it. That?s when she started helping with the youngling classes, and Jocasta had seen her working in the Archives too. Though she seemed mostly healed, she still carried the evidence of that injury, a thin, jagged scar that stretched from her right temple to where her jawbone met her neck. Jocasta winced just looking at it. It was even paler than the woman?s skin.

    Linna stood up, stretching her highly toned muscles, and Jocasta broke out of her reverie with what felt like a punch to the gut.

    She was doomed.

    She pulled h/>/>
  10. Kynstar Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 2, 2004
    star 5
    Poor Jo :( being paired up against one of the better blade wielders smarted. Glad the other girl got told about her attitude, but poor Jo! Yoda mentioning she has a fear didn't help matters.

    And I ponder to wonder who the 'shadow' could have been? [face_mischief] Somebody spying on her perhaps? ;)

    Great chapter! :D
  11. amidalachick Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 3, 2003
    star 5
    First, thanks for the PM! I'm sorry it's taken me so long to get here. [face_blush]

    Second, the story. It's off to a great start!

    The prologue, with Jocasta staring out the viewport and Dooku waving goodbye, was very poignant.

    And the first chapter...poor Jocasta! Yoda's comments were very interesting.

    Again, great start, and I'm looking forward to seeing where you take this! =D=

  12. Kestrel_Kenobi Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 26, 2005
    star 4
    Oooh, lovely Nienna...I'm hooked! I'm glad Jocasta has Yoda on her side...and that he has a plan!...

    Shifting marginally, Jocasta glanced beyond Master Yoda to the massive durasteel columns, half imbedded in the wall, which held up the training salle?s roof. A shadow stirred suddenly behind one of them. Startled, Jocasta looked again more closely, but saw nothing.

    Mmmm...[face_worried] [face_thinking]

    As always your writing is wonderful...=D=

    Looking forward to the next part!

  13. Charmisjess Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 31, 2003
    star 3
    A young Jocasta fic! :eek:

    I think that I love you.

    =D=

    Wow, Nienna! This is the first fic of yours I've read, and you're so very good! I'm so thrilled that you've taken Jo's POV! You're doing a really wonderful job with her, very well-rounded and sensible, but still a little girl. I'm really excited to see where you're taking the story!

    I shall be watching this fic with great interest. [face_mischief]
  14. Mathom Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 24, 2006
    star 2
    Poor Jocasta! She has such a miserable existance. At least Yoda sticks up for her--it seems like no one else does. All the kids in her clan seem like typical children; anyone who is different is someone they instinctively reject until adults tell them not to. But here the adults seem to be encouraging the behavior. That seems a little un-Jedi like, so I wonder what they have against her?

    I wonder if the shadow was Dooku? [face_thinking] He did seem to enjoy watching her from afar in the prologue.

    =D= Great post, Thanks for the PM!
  15. Nienna_Narmolanya Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 5, 2005
    star 4
    Kynstar - I picture Master Fitulan as having a kind of 'beat them down so they rise up stronger' kind of philosophy, if that makes any sense! 8-} And as for the shadow...all will be revealed in time. [face_mischief] Thank you for reading!

    amidalachick - Please, no apologies! I'm glad you made it and that you're enjoying the story so far. Thank you! :D

    Kes - Yoda always know what's really going on. :cool: ;) Thanks for the kind words!

    Charmisjess - Thank you, thank you! [face_blush] Something about the idea of a young Jocasta just bit me, so here we are. ;) I remember reading one of your Jo/Dooku fics once and I enjoyed it very much. It's great to have you aboard!

    Mathom - Thank you! :) And again, about that shadow... (see reply to Kynstar) [face_whistling]

    Thank you all! :D Replies are like licking the leftover powdered sugar off the plate! (Ignore my silly attempts at similies.) 8-} Next post: Sunday.
  16. bdenes Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 10, 2006
    More good stuff! I'm a bit disappointed that we flashed forward so quickly (I was looking forward to more Toddler Jocasta ;) ) but I love what you're doing with it. I can't wait to see what comes next!
  17. Katieelessar Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Aug 1, 2005
    star 2
    Hmm, I wonder what this 'shadow' could be? [face_mischief] Another Jedi or perhaps a figment of dear Jocasta's imagination...?

    I loved this chapter, Master. The spar with Jocasta was very, very well done. Very vivid. :)

    Yes, please, put me on your PM list. I wouldn't want to miss any of this tale. You're doing a great job! [face_dancing]
  18. Nienna_Narmolanya Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 5, 2005
    star 4
    bdenes - I liked toddler Jocasta too (EDIT: You'd think I'd be able to spell 'Jocasta' after all this time. :oops:), but alas! It took me forever to write this story...even without more toddler Jo! ;) Thank you! And the next installment is on the way.

    Katieelessar - Shadow? Shadow? [face_mischief] I'm glad you liked the sparring match; I was a bit worried about it actually. If you liked that, you'll probably like a little something a few more chapters in... *seals lips* :p Thank you kindly! :D

    *CurrentPM List*
    - Mathom
    - Kynstar
    - bdenes
    - Kestrel_Kenobi
    - Katieelessar

    (If anyone wishes to be added or removed at any time, please let me know.)

    Now, to the good stuff... ;)

    Chapter Two: The Unforgivable

    The sooner I get out of here, the better.

    Keeping her eyes fixated on her feet, Jocasta plunged into the changing room. It wasn?t the room itself that bothered her so much. Though humid from the showers, it was well-lit and the tiled floor in between the storage compartments was scrubbed clean every night by the maintenance droids ? if an unfortunate padawan wasn?t sentenced to the task in their stead.

    No, it wasn?t the room that bothered her; it was the atmosphere.

    She squeezed her way through the narrow rows, past clusters of girls, who were discussing the latest Temple gossip and giggling as usual, toward the secluded corner where she?d left her bag with her fresh robes.

    Only it wasn?t there.

    ?Looking for something?? rang a familiar, smug voice.

    She whirled to find, with no surprise, Linna holding her standard issue duffel by one strap, a white tunic sleeve hanging out of the partially closed top. The other girls, obviously sensing an interesting confrontation, stopped their chatter and drifted over. Jocasta?s stomach churned. Not again?

    ?Give it back, Linna.? She kept her voice strong but calm, concealing her rising irritation with little effort. She?d had years of practice.

    Linna Tureni was a slender and attractive girl. Many youngling males stole second glances when she passed in the Temple corridors, flipping her thick, lavender hair. Though she dominated on the sparring floor, she did so even more off it due to her commanding personality, and nobody with sound mind would wish themselves out of her good graces.

    But Linna needed prey, and that was where Jocasta unfortunately came in.

    ?What?s the hurry?? Linna?s deep blue eyes danced.

    The other girls pressed in, eager smiles lighting their faces. ?Well?? she asked again, folding her arms and not even trying to hide her glee at having cornered her victim. ?Don?t wanna talk? Or are you too good for us??

    Struggling to keep her tossing emotions hidden, Jocasta fastened her eyes to the silver bracelet that encircled Linna?s wrist. Linna claimed her parents sent her the piece of jewelry on her tenth naming day and that it was extremely valuable. Technically, younglings weren?t allowed possessions, but when it came to Linna, the rules didn?t apply. Jocasta figured she hid it under her tunic sleeve whenever a master passed by.

    ?Ah, I see,? Linna continued, ?you think your skills are above us, don?t you? Well, don?t worry, my friend. I?m sure some master will come pluck you up someday and make you a great padawan.? She took a step closer.

    Jocasta kept her eyes on the bracelet. The laughter of the other girls quieted as they waited for Linna?s next words.

    ?However?I?m pretty sure the masters aren?t interested in recruiting pathetic Jedi failures.?

    The stinging barb tore through Jocasta?s careful façade and anger bubbled in the pit of her stomach, fueled by the scathing laughter of the other girls and Linna?s triumphant smirk. She snapped her eyes to Linna?s face?her flawless face?and imagined herself ripping it to shreds?

    ?Shut up.? Though her voice remained soft, Jocasta made no more attempt to hide her loathing.

    Linna almost snorted. ?Touched a nerve, have I? You know as well as/>/>
  19. Kestrel_Kenobi Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 26, 2005
    star 4
    Ok, I officially hate Linna (good job I'm not a Jedi ;) )...I really feel sad for Jocasta...and the other girl who tried to talk to her [face_thinking] ... I love the pacing of this story Nienna...lovely work.

    Wonderful :D
  20. Mathom Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 24, 2006
    star 2
    Poor Jocasta! At least the council should be able to see the truth of things, since Yoda figured it out within five seconds last post. Linna ([face_devil]) needs to be punished, not Jocasta. And the masters only seem to make the problem worse for her, it's like they're blind to what's going on right under their noses (and I think the bracelet is a good symbol for the whole situation). I do feel a little bad about the quiet girl who approached Jocasta; she didn't really deserve getting yelled, Jocasta was just projecting her anger in a very non-Jedi way.

    =D= Great post! The plot is beginning to pick up. :D
  21. Kynstar Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 2, 2004
    star 5
    Excellent chapter! Not much of a fan of that bully girlie either... Hopefully she'll get hers in the end!!

    Poor Jo :( I feel for her!

    Well done! :D
  22. Nienna_Narmolanya Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 5, 2005
    star 4
    Kes - Thank you, thank you! :D Linna isn't meant to be liked, so this is good... ;)

    Mathom - Thank you! :) The plot will be picking up even more shortly... [face_mischief] And the bracelet a symbol -- I didn't really think about it like that. I guess that just proves the fact that the most effective symbols are usually the unintentional ones. ;)

    Kynstar - Thanks for reading! :D And stick around for the introduction of a new character today... [face_mischief]

    [:D] to everyone. I live for replies. :D I apologize if my rapid posting schedule is inconveniencing anyone, but I really need to get this up before school starts up again. How about some more [:D] for good measure?

    *CurrentPM List*
    - Mathom
    - Kynstar
    - bdenes
    - Kestrel_Kenobi
    - Katieelessar

    (If anyone wishes to be added or removed at any time, please let me know.)


    Chapter Three: Strange Encounters

    Jocasta paused before the imposing, chrome-colored double doors of the Temple Archives, as she realized for the first time just how tall they were. She knew how expansive the hall beyond was as well, holding more holos than imaginable.

    She didn?t have much use for the Archives system though. As a mere youngling, the extent of her lifetime research covered only the occasionally insane project ideas of her aging history instructor. For all of its wealth of knowledge, the Archives contained only the dry, mundane information of centuries past, and she had no doubt that her assignment would stretch the meaning of the word ?tedious.?

    I?d rather scrub the ?freshers, she thought with a sigh. This is all Linna?s fault, that traitor, and someday she?ll pay.

    Taking a hesitant step forward, she flinched when the doors parted without warning. Then she gasped as bright beams of light, streaming through the large viewports on the southern wall, assaulted her eyes. Squinting, she moved slowly into the immense space, tiptoeing so as not to disturb the seemingly ageless silence.

    Her eyes traveled over the endless rows of holos and across the Alderaanian marble floor, following it down the central corridor, which was lined with oblong data consoles, only a few of which were in use. She tilted her head back to take in the columns of smooth, rich-toned wood that reached skyward, interrupted only by the carved railings of the second floor. At the end of the hall, light poured through three triangular windows that pointed to the impossibly high, vaulted ceiling.

    Wrenching her eyes from the room beyond, she extended her arms to allow the sun?s warmth to soak into her cool skin. Dust particles glinted in the light and swirled around her as she moved and breathed in their musty odor. The particles seemed almost life-like in a way the more she watched them?like tiny insects fleeing her presence.

    Her spine tingled and she dropped her hands to her side.

    ?Enjoying the light??

    She spun around at the voice and found Master Tyone standing about a meter away, her hands folded serenely under her sleeves and the light silhouetting her slim figure. The question?s gentle delivery seemed awfully out of place, given her stern expression.

    Jocasta stumbled for words. What had she been doing?

    Master Tyone moved closer; the way her floor-length skirt hid her feet, it almost seemed like she was gliding on the smooth marble. ?Thank you for coming.? Then all traces of kindness left her voice and her dark eyes flashed. ?Follow me and I?ll show you your tasks.?

    She turned toward the central corridor and Jocasta fell in step behind her, accepting the woman?s curtness by rooting her eyes to the floor.

    At a steady pace, they made their way further and further down the central corridor, and when Jocasta finally looked up from the floor, she realized she had never been this far inside the Archives. Every holo she?d ever checked out could be found on the initiates? shelves near the main entrance. Curious, sh/>/>
  23. Kynstar Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 2, 2004
    star 5
    Loved how you described the Archives! :D Well done!

    Great meeting! [face_laugh] Already riding on each other's nerves! [face_mischief]
    Jo you got something coming! Juz hope she's prepared!

    Can't wait to see how their first 'training' session goes!
  24. Mathom Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 24, 2006
    star 2
    Uh oh. Hearing voices cannot be a good thing, especially hearing the voice of a former Jedi who left the Order untold centuries before you were born. But at least now she has an ally now who's not 800 years old in Dooku.

    Speaking of Dooku, I wonder what he wants? [face_thinking] He's not the type to do a favor unless he gets something in return. That first session should be very interesting. :D

    The mystery is deepening. I can't wait until the next post.

    =D= Great job!
  25. stormqueen874 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 7, 2005
    star 4
    *pokes head in*

    Finally, eh, Nienna? *hefts her SW themed pompoms* Great job with this; you know how much I love this story, and how much it grabbed me emotionally! Gah, I hate bullies, and yours is one I love to hate. :p I'm excited to see the subtle changes you've worked into the fic- it gives me something new to look forward to.

    Keep me posted on this, yeah? I'm gonna try my hardest to get back into this place, if only for fic purposes. :D

    Stormqueen
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