Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by Chyntuck, Oct 6, 2014.
divapilot's review is a balm to the authorly soul.
This was my favorite --- smart man offering more than a cuddle. I loved the part with Tam. But my instincts at first when she was sitting near her art piece of the Twi'lek was that something had happened to her friend.
But then the Cliffie, OMG. You're writing is fantastic.
Thank you all for reading and reviewing, and for all your kind words! I first want to apologise for the unpleasantness earlier in this thread, and also to apologise in advance for the incoherence of the replies below. This is posted from under a pile of blankets while under the influence of the Krytos virus
Parck and Prashat will be back, as will Tam of course But that's going to take a while, because first we have to put Ayesha back together.
I can't really reply to that without being hyper-spoilerific, so I'll just give you a hint: check out the title of this fic again
Thrawn didn't realise either, if that's any consolation
I'm not sure how much she's really intending to try though -- and when I say "I don't know" I mean it, since I'm not done writing the end of this story yet Sometimes when it comes to people we love, we actually try as hard as we can not to see the sides of them we don't like.
I'm glad someone else than Thrawn remembered this too
I'm happy you liked that! It took me a long time to figure out an appropriate word to describe a couple's lifetime commitment for people who don't have a marriage ceremony like the Chiss, the Kiffar or the Wookiees (I remember that at some point in HoT, the Caamasi describes Han and Leia as "bondmates", which is also a nice word, but I felt that it implied a ceremony of sorts).
... which reminds me that I must update my OC Index entry asap, because I've been adding new characters since I posted it!
Plot bunny alert! You gave me an idea right there. Expect this to reappear later in this story
And now, on to chapter 1 of part II, a.k.a "Meet the parents"
Tags: AzureAngel2 Findswoman Gemma K'Tai qel Letta-Tanku Mando-Man Raissa Baiard
Please let me know if you would like to be added or removed from the tag list.
And thanks to Nyota's Heart for beta-reading!
Part II: Ἐρινύς (Vengeance) “The Night-Born Sisters, divinities implacable, doom-laden.”Ovid, Metamorphoses
Chapter 1: Broken
An exhausted-looking Thrawn opened the turbolift door for Yakooboo. “She woke up two hours ago,” he explained as he ushered the Wookiee to the bedroom. “I cannot sedate her anymore, I fear that I might poison her.” Ayesha was crouching naked on the floor with her back to the wall, staring blankly ahead as she hugged her knees to her chest and chewed angrily on the thick bandage Thrawn had wrapped around her wrist to keep her from biting herself. “She was screaming in her mother tongue most of the time,” he added. “She... went quiet as she is now perhaps half an hour ago, but she became hysterical again when I tried to lift her up. I thought it better to leave her there.”
Yakooboo patted him on the shoulder. Thrawn sank on the edge of the bed and watched haggardly as the Wookiee knelt near Ayesha. Pure terror washed over her face when her adoptive father came in her field of vision, and she started screaming and begging again in Old Kiffar. Yakooboo sat cross-legged a little distance from her and began growling softly in Shyriiwook. There was a musicality to his speech, an indefinable hypnotic quality that caught her attention, and little by little she calmed down and started rocking back and forth to the rhythm of his voice. He moved imperceptibly closer without breaking the spell, and, very slowly, step by tiny step he came to sit right in front of her as the sun sank under the horizon, leaving the room bathed in the dim glow of the neuro-lamp. She was still staring without seeing him until he held out a paw and gently removed her wrist from her mouth. Only then did her eyes somewhat focus and she whispered, “Ada’?”
The Wookiee gave a tentative grunt. “Ada’, what happened, something happened,” she mumbled confusedly. “Are we at home?” Her hand found a puddle of urine when she tried to push herself up. “Oh, Ada’, I wet myself again,” she whimpered in the voice of a shamed child. “I’m so sorry, Ada’.” Yakooboo grunted again, more firmly this time, and lifted her in his massive arms to carry her to the ‘fresher, shooting a look at Thrawn that clearly meant ‘make yourself useful’. When the Chiss brought clean towels and nightclothes, he found the Wookiee kneeling on the side of the tub, bathing Ayesha as if she were a toddler. He spread the biggest towel on the floor and laid his daughter on it to dry her, then slipped a nightdress over her head and scooped her up again to take her to the balcony. He sat on the wicker couch that creaked ominously under his weight, and held her on his lap, rocking her in his arms and rumbling something that sounded like a lullaby.
Thrawn activated the housekeeping droid to clean the mess in the bedroom and the ‘fresher, brought a blanket to cover Ayesha and vanished to the kitchen. “She has had no food or water since yesterday,” he said when he returned with a bowl and a cup. “This is chyntuck-and-topato mash, she told me about it once and I assumed it would be appropriate, but I could not get her to eat.”
Yakooboo let out an appreciative growl and spoon-fed the mash to Ayesha. Thrawn sank to the floor against the balcony railing and watched her fall asleep in her father’s embrace.
Neither of them had moved a millimetre when Ayesha stirred in the middle of the night. Yakooboo tightened his grip around her shoulders in case he needed to restrain her again. His other paw cradled her head and he grunted a question. She nodded vaguely. He kept caressing her hair until she was fully awake. Her small hand seemed tiny on his furry chest when she tried to sit up. “What happened?” she mumbled.
The Wookiee growled in a tone that meant, ‘there, there, child, everything will be all right’. Her eyes went from his face to the open sky above them, then to the duracrete wall behind the couch. “Did I have an episode?” she asked. Yakooboo rumbled a cautious reply. She sighed and slouched again to rest her head on his shoulder. “Yes, I remember now. I was hoping it wouldn’t happen anymore.”
Yakooboo rumbled again and caressed her hair. She suddenly pulled herself to a sitting position. “Where is he?” she asked with anguish in her voice. “Did he leave?”
The Wookiee tightened his hug and gave a series of reassuring grunts. “No, not Paraseel Malki, Thrawn,” she said plaintively. “I need Thrawn, I can’t be without him, I can’t, I...” She was panicking now, tears were rolling down her cheeks and her hands were trembling as she struggled to free herself from her father’s grip.
Thrawn came to stand near the couch. “I am here, Ayoo’sha. I am here. Please calm yourself, I am here and I am not going anywhere.” Before Yakooboo could react, she had staggered to her feet and would have crumpled to the floor if Thrawn hadn’t caught her. He wrapped his arms around her shoulders and held her in a bone-crushing embrace without saying a word.
The silence was finally broken by a deep grumble. “Ada’ is right,” she breathed. “We should go to bed, you need to rest too.” Thrawn gave Yakooboo a questioning look. The Wookiee grumbled again. “Ada’ will take care of himself, he knows the house. Please help me inside, I don’t think I can walk on my own.” She lurched violently when he let go of her for a fraction of a second. He lifted her in his arms, and, after a grateful nod to her father, he carried her to their room and laid her carefully on the bed.
She was tugging nervously at the fabric of her nightdress as he lay at her side. He pulled it over her head, stripped off the jumpsuit he was wearing and entwined himself protectively around her, sheltering her in the warmth of his skin. Her breath was ragged in his neck and he soon realized that she was crying. “I’m so sorry, Qubshi be-khadeeb,” she hiccupped in a hoarse whisper. “I’m so sorry. I wanted to be better for you, but I’m broken. I’m just broken and I can’t be fixed.”
Oh the feels! There are not enough! enough!!!! huggles on the planet for my two boos! Just. Not.
Oh my... this is heartbreaking!
But so, so good.
Hope you get rid of the Krytos virus soon...
Bravisimo! I don't have to wait for part two. Very nicely done. I'm looking forward to Thrawn's reaction to Ayesha's declaration that she is beyond repair.
My most common nightmare is peeing in public and not being able to stop. Funny enough, a friend who is also somewhat sensitive, but generally sane has that going on as well, and we often have that dream on the same nights. While I was a bit suspicious about previous depictions of panic attacks and similar conditions in this fic, as opposed to the aspects of it that I found perfectly written; THIS HAS COMPLETELY CHANGED THAT. Very realistic, brutal, just bloody genius! The combo of the said nightmare common in anxious folk coming true and the thing I have seen mad cats do (wrist biting), bondage but not in the 50 Shades Way and no single glimmer of hope...that is like all the possible demons coming together in one single person's body.
Spoilered for the pink glasses types, because it's kinda gross.
"I can't really reply to that without being hyper-spoilerific, so I'll just give you a hint: check out the title of this fic again"
I wish I could get something out of this, but the word sway only gets that oldie song in my head and nothing more. But yeah, it's pretty obvious that a certain sixth sense is the wanted meaning of the first word in the title.
WOW what an emotional declaration. I think I know how she feels...I hope Thrawn can be there for her -- if she will let him guide her all of this 'hurt'.
under the influence of the Krytos virus
I liked your diplomacy in your thread earlier on.
And I simply love the bond the wookie and our heroine have. So much tenderness! Therefore I think all will be well in the end once the self-healing kicks in.
Simon's warning about the fragility of her mental state has come around. I'm glad her father has come back to take care of his cub. He seems so loving.
Even Ayesha recognizes the brittle cracks in her psyche. That must be heartbreaking- to recognize such damage in yourself but be unable to fully repair it, despite your very best efforts.
This fic is going to make me cry, isn't it.
Ada’ Dearest! What a lifesaver in so many ways—he knows exactly what to do for his little girl, and it brought her back to herself. At least for now: there are stil so many mysteries floating around her, her "episodes," the name of P. Malki, how "broken" she really is... In any case, here's hooing this will be as first step on a longer journey to recovery. I love the poignancy and tenderness of this chapter—one of your many writerly gifts.
I admit I too am a bit confused about the hint in the title. Ewok Poet 's suggestion that
the first word has to do with a sixth sense, possibly Ayesha's psychometric sixth sense
seems plausible, but part of me is also wondering whether it's not something simpler like
An = Anakin; the second A = Ayesha; ke = last two letters of Luke
Ok, just being silly with that one! But I really am curious and looking forward to having more revealed as things go along.
Thank you all for reading and reviewing
Thanks! I'm a lot better now. I'm still a spitting pile of mucus but I don't have fever anymore, so I guess that qualifies as progress
You won't have to wait for that either, it starts today Thank you!
Wow. Errr... thanks
Spoiler alert: she will, eventually -- in a way. She can't expect him to call her father every time she needs him, can she?
Thanks I already wrote some of their backstory in a short ficlet on how Yakooboo came to adopt Ayesha, and I'm planning to write a bit more about that. I enjoy writing parent-child relationships but it's not an easy process because it's the sort of thing I "take personally."
From the (limited) experience I have of people with mental health issues, this is the one aspect I perceive as most nightmarish -- not to be able to control what's going on in your own head (I say "I perceive" because I honestly have no idea what the people concerned perceive as most nightmarish themselves). But no, please don't cry
You forgot N = Nexcore Mining Corporation
Okay, I'll be serious for a second. Every question and comment I received about the title just proves that I tried to be too smart by half when I chose it and that it simply doesn't make sense at all, so here's the explanation. In Greek mythology Ἀνάγκη (Anankê) is the goddess of fate, necessity and destiny, to which even the other gods must submit, so when an event is pre-ordained by Ἀνάγκη it will end up happening even if this entails tweaking the circumstances so that it happens. The best-known myth where an event is described as ἀναγκαίον (necessary) is the story of Oedipus, about whom there was a prophecy that he would kill his father and marry his mother. In order to prevent the prophecy from fulfilling itself, his parents decide to abandon him on a mountain to die, but from there on events conspire to make the prophecy come true: 1. he is rescued from the mountain and adopted by another family, 2. he finds out about the prophecy and, believing it refers to his adoptive parents, he runs away so as not to fulfil it, 3. during his travels he gets into an argument with a stranger and kills him -- the stranger is his birth father but he doesn't know it, 4. he saves the city of Thebes from the Sphinx and gets to marry the queen as a reward -- the queen is his birth mother. Bottom line, despite everyone's best efforts to escape the prophecy, events re-arrange themselves for it to happen anyway. (This is a terrible summary. The proper, poetic version is in Oedipus Rex by Sophocles.)
To bring all this back to Star Wars, Ἀνάγκη is a concept that I find fits quite well with the SW story, with Anakin taking a detour through the Dark Side to end up restoring balance to the Force as was originally prophesied. And to bring all this back to this fanfic, my idea when I started writing was that events in canon/Legends should be treated as necessary (ἀναγκαίον) and that whatever happens in this fic should contribute to the canon storyline's outcome -- which is why the title can give a hint as to this comment:
However, I realise that the title was pretty obscure before and that it's hardly less obscure now, so I'm considering to change it, but I kinda got used to it and I'm not sure I can come up with something better.
Anyhow. That was the Ancient Greek morning ramblings. On to the next chapter, which is something of an information dump (again!)
Tags: AzureAngel2 Findswoman Gemma K'Tai qel Letta-Tanku Mando-Man Raissa Baiard
Please let me know if you would like to be added or removed from the tag list.
And the usual big fat thanks to Nyota's Heart for beta-reading!
Chapter 2: The father
Ayesha woke up with a start, her face contorting in terror until she recognized Thrawn, who was sitting on the edge of the bed and rubbing his palm on her heart. The glow of his eyes was unusually dull. “Do not be afraid, Ayoo’sha,” he murmured. “It is only me. You are at home and you are safe.” He pressed his lips to her forehead. “Your father prepared breakfast. Shall I bring it here for you?”
“It’s okay,” she mumbled. “I’ll get up.” She swung her legs to the floor, but she failed to pull herself to her feet and fell again on the bed. Thrawn helped her up, slipped her nightdress over her head and half-carried her to the dining area. The table was covered in the usual assortment of jars and buns, with the addition of a large, wooden plate of spiced raw meat for Yakooboo and a small bowl of chyntuck-and-topato mash for her. The Wookiee gave a hearty growl and huffed. “Yes,” she said with a weak smile. “Thrawn doesn’t have as much experience cooking chyntuck as we do.”
They ate in silence. Ayesha pushed back the bowl of mash after a few mouthfuls and sipped slowly her wroshyr sap syrup. “I... I don’t feel too good,” she finally said as Thrawn began clearing the dishes. “I’ll go back to bed, but I need to take a shower first.” She looked at Yakooboo expectantly, but the Wookiee tapped Thrawn’s shoulder and pointed his chin towards the hallway. “One more thing, Ada’,” she added. She steadied herself on Thrawn’s arm and looked at her father straight in the eyes. “Thrawn is my lifemate. He’s an admiral in the Imperial Navy but I don’t hide anything from him.”
When Thrawn returned to the atrium well over an hour later – Ayesha had started crying and apologizing again in the shower, and he’d stayed with her in bed, whispering in Cheunh until she was fast asleep – he found Yakooboo waiting patiently on the conversation circle sofa. “Could you please come with me?” he told the Wookiee. “I would like to talk to you. To my great shame, I have not taken the time to learn Shyriiwook, but the comm in my study has a translation feature.”
They sat on either side of the desk and he popped the carved lid of the comm device open while Yakooboo’s eyes wandered around the room. Thrawn visibly didn’t know where to start. “I have no words to thank you,” he said finally. “I was at a complete loss what to do. You must think me a poor lifemate if I cannot help Ayesha when she needs me.”
Words scrolled on the monitor as the Wookiee growled an answer. [Do not blame yourself, Admiral. There is not much you could have done. It took us several years after we adopted Ayesha to figure out how to soothe her when she has these episodes. As I understand it, you have never seen her in this state before.]
Thrawn described the few times when Ayesha had seemed to go in a trance, starting from the evening when they’d met Kchak Pr’ollerg in the Emperor’s private auditorium and ending with their dinner conversation with Jorj Car’das. At Yakooboo’s request, he then explained in great detail how he had dealt with the aftermath of her visit to Darth Vader’s palace. “But it was nothing like this,” he finally sighed. “There was a moment yesterday before you arrived when I thought she had lost her mind forever.”
[She might have. She is constantly at risk of snapping. References to Dark Side Force users, or worse being in their presence, are a real threat to her stability. As you know, her childhood was one trauma after the other, and no one has caused her more harm than Paraseel Malki.] He spat the name in a bark of pure hatred and the muscles of his paws contracted reflexively, revealing sharp, wicked claws before he sheathed them again.
“Is this Paraseel Malki a Dark Jedi?”
[I have reasons to believe so, if nothing else, the fact that Quinlan Vos would not allow anyone to accompany him when he went to take her back.] Thrawn arched a puzzled eyebrow. [She did not tell you about it. This is unsurprising. I will explain it to you now.] He paused and collected his thoughts. [The first thing you need to understand is that Ayesha’s birth parents, Namajib Eskari and Thriyé Vos, were on the run when they were captured by the Zygerrians. They were being hunted by the Kiffu Guardians because Thriyé deserted her Guardian commission to elope with an outsider. Not only that, she taught him everything there was to know about the Guardians, including their language. As you know, the Guardians are a highly secretive organization, and what she did was punishable by death. The fact that the Vos were the ruling clan of Kiffu at the time only made the Guardians more intent on achieving their goal.]
“Why did they not go to the Corellian sector?” Thrawn asked. “CorSec would have been able to protect them.”
The Wookiee huffed contemptuously. [CorSec is no match for the Guardians. But in any case, that would not have been possible. The Eskari family are Ensterites. They shunned Namajib the moment he married a non-Corellian and would have made sure that he was denied assistance had he come to request it. This is why Ayesha has never been to Corellia and it would still not be safe for her to go there now.]
Thrawn arched an eyebrow. “And taking her to Kiffu was safe, when the Guardians had been hunting her parents?”
[Kiffar clans work in complex ways,] Yakooboo rumbled. [The blood-debt was considered settled the moment both Namajib and Thriyé died. Ayesha is still a Kiffar, and her clan had a duty to take her in and protect her. Quinlan expected them to honour this obligation, and this is why he had her sent to Kiffu. But this happened at a time when the Galaxy was changing, and it turned out he was sorely mistaken.] He looked at Thrawn carefully. [How much do you know about the Separatist Crisis and the Clone Wars?]
“Only what is in the official records,” Thrawn answered. “I was not in the known Galaxy at the time.”
[The Confederacy of Independent Systems was led by the Sith Lord Darth Tyranus, who is better known by his worldly name, Count Dooku.] He paused for a moment to gauge Thrawn’s reaction, but there was none. [Dooku was a renegade Jedi who turned to the Dark Side. One important, yet little-known aspect of his work was to recruit Force users to the Separatist cause. He had a network of Dark Acolytes stirring up trouble and dissent on worlds that had not solidly placed themselves on his side. Kiffu was one of these worlds, and this is where Paraseel Malki comes in.]
“You believe Paraseel Malki to be one of these Dark Acolytes,” Thrawn prompted when Yakooboo paused again.
[Yes. I do. At the very least, I am certain that he was one of Dooku’s agents. The clans of Kiffu were deeply divided at the time. The sheyf, Tinté Vos, was in negotiations to join the Confederacy at the beginning of the Clone Wars, but she was killed soon thereafter, and chaos erupted between those who wanted to re-join the Old Republic and those who supported Dooku. The Separatists, led by Paraseel Malki, were arguing that the Republic would exploit Kiffu and Kiffex, and that this would result in adulterating Kiffar identity. The planetwide debate turned to determining who was a true and loyal Kiffar. It was a perfect divide-and-conquer strategy for such a clan-based society, and Ayesha found herself in the middle of it.]
“Ayesha was a child,” Thrawn countered. “Surely people could understand that she had nothing to do with this situation.”
[Ayesha was a child but she became a symbol. All Kiffu knew who she was when her grandfather brought her there because of what Thriyé Vos had done. You need to understand that a Guardian deserting his or her commission is unheard of. But that was not all. She arrived on Kiffu in the middle of this debate on Kiffar identity, and, instead of keeping a low profile because of her family ties, but without really meaning to make herself noticed either, she soon had the whole planet under her spell. You know exactly what I am talking about, it is there in your eyes when you look at her. She is special. There is this glow about her that captivates people. Quinlan told me that her presence in the Force sets her apart.]
“I heard His Majesty say that she is not Force-sensitive,” Thrawn interjected.
Yakooboo bared his fangs at the mention of the Emperor but quickly stifled this reaction. [She is not. But she appears to have a way of shining in the Force that is nothing short of exceptional. Quinlan described her as a beacon of light. And you can imagine how she would have been at the time. A beautiful eight-year-old child who, for the first time in her life, had a family of sorts and lived in freedom. A smile from her must have illuminated the entire planet, and the Republicans constantly brought her up as an example of the benefits of opening up to other races of the Galaxy. Paraseel Malki became obsessed with her. He wanted to destroy her – not to kill her, to destroy her – and he finally managed to take her hostage in order to keep the Republicans in line.]
Thrawn’s lips twitched in disgust. “How long did he hold her?”
The Wookiee sighed. [More than two years, until after the end of the Clone Wars. But this is not the worst of what he did. He is a vile man who resorted to despicable tactics. He took several more hostages, all of them the children of leaders of the pro-Republic faction. When he started releasing them one by one, their minds were broken. It was as if everything that made each one of them a unique person had been siphoned out. For all practical purposes, these children were empty shells when they returned to their families. The only one who survived was Ayesha, but you can see the extent of the damage he caused.]
Thrawn’s eyes were now swirling with molten lava. “What did he do to them?” he rasped. “What did he do to her?”
Yakooboo sighed again. [No one but Ayesha knows. She has never told anyone. What I could infer from the bits and pieces that escaped her is that Malki was somehow sucking their life energy until they were empty. I do not know if this is truly the case or if it is merely a fantasy of her deranged mind. I also do not know why she didn’t break. Perhaps she was stronger than the other children.]
Thrawn rubbed his forehead with his palm. He was visibly struggling to keep his temper in check. “You said Quinlan Vos went to rescue her. Why did it take him two years to do so?”
[Quinlan’s story is not mine to tell. What I can say is that he stayed far away from his homeworld for most of the war. Ayesha’s grandfather was trying to organize the Republicans on Kiffu to lead an assault on Malki’s fortress. When that failed, he came to Kashyyyk asking for help. Quinlan was leading a battalion of Republic forces in the Battle of Kachirho. After the battle was over and the Clone Wars ended, he went to Kiffu, took Ayesha back and brought her to us.]
“Quinlan Vos was a hunted man after the Clone Wars,” Thrawn objected. “He was a Jedi. It was the time of the Great Purge.”
[Yes,] Yakooboo grunted. [He went looking for Ayesha anyway.]
There was a long silence. “What happened to this Paraseel Malki afterwards?”
[Clan Vos had him sent to the prison planet, Kiffex, after Quinlan defeated him. The years passed and he somehow talked himself out of it. He returned to Kiffu and he never left the planet until now.]
There was another silence. “I cannot allow this man to stay on Coruscant,” Thrawn said. “I will be rid of him.” There was cold murder in his voice.
[You will do nothing of the sort,] Yakooboo barked. [You will go to that reception in the Palace on your own and you will pack your best manners for it. If asked, you will say that Ayesha went down with Balmorra flu and could not make it. You will make sure that she is never in contact with that foul man in the future and you will keep her safe.] Thrawn cocked an eyebrow in puzzlement. [I cannot take her back to Rwookrrorro. The custom of the People of the Trees does not recognize her as an adult but I know that she has outgrown Kashyyyk. She needs a wider horizon. And she has chosen her lifemate. She will want to stay with you. Keeping her safe, making her happy and giving her a family is your responsibility now. You will go to that reception and you will play the game of the Imperial Court. That is how you will keep her safe.] Thrawn went to object. [Admiral, listen to me...]
Thrawn interrupted him. “Please do not call me ‘admiral’. I am not an admiral now, I am merely a distraught man who cannot gather his wits.” He hesitated. “As a matter of fact, I am not sure how to address you either.”
The Wookiee stared at him with his beady eyes. [You are my daughter’s lifemate. You may call me Kker-Ada’.]
“Thank you,” Thrawn said. “I am humbled.”
There was a silence. Yakooboo stood up. [I will add one more thing before I let you go and check on Ayesha. You are an Imperial officer. I have no love for the Empire. The Empire killed my lifemate, it is destroying my homeworld and my elder son Rabarruk is probably labouring as a slave in some military shipyard, together with a great many of my people. Were it not for the obligations I have to Ayesha, to her young brother Rumpacharet and to my community, I would have joined the Rebel Alliance and you and I would be enemies. However, the Cycle of Life brought instead what we have now. My daughter has chosen you. You are my Kker-Lamar and I accept you as such. But bear in mind that she is still my child. If you fail her, if you hurt her in any possible way, I will disembowel you with my bare hands, at the risk of being labelled a madclaw.]
Thrawn bowed his head. “I understand, Kker-Ada’. I will not disappoint you.”
Yakooboo went to the khraashyr with Thrawn’s personal insignia hanging from the wall. He lifted the heavy wooden disk with a single paw and set it on the floor. [Go and see if your lifemate needs anything now,] he barked. [I have work to do.]
A/N: The stuff about the secrecy of the Kiffu Guardians etc is all Chyntuck fanon and has already been posted about in the Fanon Thread. The story of the civil war on Kiffu is also something I made up since canon material is pretty vague about what happens there after the death of Sheyf Tinté Vos (about which there will be more in a couple of chapters.)
Very illuminating back-story. Enjoying the dynamic here with Yakooboo. Totally understand Thrawn's instinctive desire and impulse to take out Malki in no uncertain terms.
I love the meaning /impetus behind the fic title. I thought it specifically also referred to the pairing of Thrawn/Ayesha. Like no matter what forces might pull them apart, or try to, they're destined. SQUEE!
Loved learning all the back story. Fascinating!
But she appears to have a way of shining in the Force that is nothing short of exceptional. Quinlan described her as a beacon of light. And you can imagine how she would have been at the time. A beautiful eight-year-old child who, for the first time in her life, had a family of sorts and lived in freedom. A smile from her must have illuminated the entire planet.
She seems like a prism - she doesn't create the light but she reflects it in the most beautiful and radiant way. I wonder if this is connected to her unique vision as an artist. She literally sees the world differently.
My daughter has chosen you. You are my Kker-Lamar and I accept you as such. But bear in mind that she is still my child. If you fail her, if you hurt her in any possible way, I will disembowel you with my bare hands, at the risk of being labelled a madclaw.
Okay, dad. Gotcha.
I'm sorry I've fallen so far behind in reviewing....but, wow, what an emotional roller coaster! Poor Ayesha it's a terrible feeling to believe that you are broken and beyond repair. Relationships may not be able to 'fix' a person, but they can give you the strength to start healing. I hope that Ayesha will realize she's got many people in her life who see past the brokenness and will lend her their strength. The fact that I want to hug her and tell her all this is a testament to your skill in creating believable, multi-dimensional characters. You richly deserve the Best OC nomination for her!
I love seeing Yakooboo and hope we'll get to see more of Ayesha's Wookiee family. I've wanted to find out more about them since you mentioned them.
Yakooboo threatening to disembowel Thrawn if he ever hurts Ayesha reminds me of when my best (male) friend since age six met Mr. Baiard for the first time at our wedding rehearsal. He shook Mr. B's hand and said "Hi, nice to meet you, and if you ever hurt Raissa I will kick your ***."
W. O. W. Absolutely. Incredible. Backstory. We begin to understand so many things more about Ayesha's childhood, her family history on both Kiffar and Corellian sides, her early traumas at the hands of the Zygerrians and Paraseel Malki, and even her unique way of shining in the Force.
And the way you've so seamlessly integrated all these Chyntuck Original elements about the Guardians, the Kiffar war, the Wookiee "in-law" kinship terminology*... just incredible. Fanfic stories that are able to do that smoothy are some of my favorite fanfic stories. This chapter even had me looking up Paraseel Malki on Wookieepedia just to check whether he wasn't in the official lore somewhere—because he really seemed as though he could be.
I just love Yakooboo. It's great to hear from him more fully and to establish a relationship between him and his Kker-Lamar. He could go up for best OC of 2015 as far as I'm concerned. Although as Ny says Thrawn's desire for erinýs against Malki is understandable, Thrawn would do well to follow the advice of his Kker-Ada’ as far as this palace reception is concerned.
Some details that caught my eye:
1. I love how the comm has a "carved lid." No doubt done by none other than A. E. herself. The union of art and technology!
2. Now we know Rumpy's full name. And it's a good thing we do, given the connotations its short form has in Basic/English!
3. It must mean something when Yakooboo takes Thrawn's khraashyr down off the wall, though I'm not sure what. Does he just want to get a closer look at it? Is he going to do something with it ("I have work to do")? Or is he taking it down because it's somehow not a kosher khraashyr? (Yes, objects can be kosher, too.)
Wonderful chapter—probably one of my favorites so far.
*So, now that we've established Wookiee "in-law" terminology... I wonder whether the Wookiees have a term for the relationship between one lifemate's parents and the other lifemate's parents (like makhatunim in Yiddish)?
I totally missed this point of a view when I said what I said, but yes, I agree - even the worst ones can do it, if a person pulls themselves out at the right time...as for good ones, I guess somebody else can help us see the good sides of everything. I stand corrected und danke.
I wondered the same about what Yakooboo did. It was an interesting scene to say the least.
Also, Rumpy's name was in the manual all along.
And darn, there goes our theory about "force" being referenced in the title. Argh.
Yakooboo is my favourite character in this, next to Onion who is just too interesting not to be a favourite..Yakooboo, because he's so good and all about unconditional love with no acting, no annoying human-only aspects attached. He's just built of love, plain and simple. #teamjacob #teamyakooboo
I also loved the dynamics in the translated conversation; to the point where I can imagine it as a high-suspense scene.
Forces - no pun intended - beyond my control mean I dip in and out of this forum so I apologize for not reviewing and commenting earlier.
This is truly amazing work, layered and poignant and oh so smart. I'm still savoring, and digesting, and will no doubt have much more to say later. But I just wanted to say thank you so much for sharing your story.
WOW --- your fanon is so beautifully detailed and written - I feel like I am reading canon. Yeah, I like where Yakooboo tells Thrawn how he will be treated if he hurts his little girl. I think most fathers feel this way; but it's way kinda different coming from a Wookiee. I too am wondering about Thrawn's Insignia being sat on the floor. I get the sense that a Wookiee foot is coming down on it next. Maybe a blending of the couple's family symbols would be better.
I feel deeply about Ayesha's emotional state. I really understand that there are triggers for these types of episodes in real life. This part is sad; but well written.
Oh, I like Yakooboo a lot!
It takes things to a completely new level when your fiercely protective dad is a Wookiee...
That, too, but, erm, it's complicated
Ooh, this is another wonderful divapilot comparison that I may use at some point, with your permission
Thanks And yes, there will be more about the Wookiee family, both in this fic and on my "Ramblings" thread. I'm working on a new short story about them for the new OC challenge -- I thought I'd write about Ayesha's birth parents, but the Wookiees insisted I should write about them
You didn't tell us the most important thing about your wedding rehearsal: what did Mr B answer? I imagine that your childhood friend isn't a two-metre-tall shaggy primate with nasty claws, so there must have been an answer
Wow, thanks for both compliments I'll update my OC Index post today to add Malki and I also need to update my Wookiee post on the Fanon Thread. Greek has a very convenient word, koumparoi, which applies to all non-blood family links (e.g. the relationship between two families of in-laws, the relationship between a godparent's family and the godchild's family, the relationship between a marriage's witnesses and the groom's/bride's families, etc) but there are far too many vowels in there to adapt that to Shyriiwook, so I'll come up with something based on "kker" instead
Check out the next chapter. Thrawn is in for a big surprise
There's something in my notes about that nickname. I don't remember the details, but other than the parallel with "Chewie" there was also the idea that Rumpy was one of those chubby cubs whose butt is bigger than their head
Thanks! I'd like to write more about Onion outside of this fic as well. But with all the plot bunnies bouncing around my head, I need to figure out the time. Still looking for the magic button that makes days last 24 48 hours...
Thank you so much and welcome to this story
Oh, the khraashyr is perfectly Wookiee-kosher and Yakooboo is certainly not about to destroy it! He just accepted Thrawn as a member of his family, so he needs to make an addition to it (I wrote about the khraashyr rules here.)
You don't say That's a father-in-law you don't want to contradict!
Does this imply you're living on Bespin, where the day lasts 12 hours? YOU HAVE BEEN LYING TO US FOR MONTHS.
Tags: AzureAngel2 Findswoman Gemma K'Tai qel Letta-Tanku Mando-Man Raissa Baiard
Please let me know if you would like to be added or removed from the tag list.
And thanks to Nyota's Heart for beta-reading!
Chapter 3: The death mark
Yakooboo stayed on Coruscant for a week as Ayesha started making a slow recovery. She was very weak and needed assistance for the smallest things, despite her reluctance to ask. Thrawn avoided the Imperial Palace as much as possible, spending instead his days in his study or with Ayesha when she was awake. He returned home from a meeting on Centaxday afternoon to find the door to the landing pad wide open, but the apartment seemed deserted. He went from one room to another until he stepped on the balcony, and felt a pang of concern when he saw Ayesha huddled on her father’s lap. “Is there something wrong?” he asked.
She looked up and gave him a small smile. “No, everything’s okay. We were just having a father and daughter moment. Come and have a seat.” Thrawn sat at Yakooboo’s side on the wicker couch and took her feet on his knees. “Ada’ will take my shift in the Centre today. He’ll come back tomorrow evening and we want to go and visit this young Wookiee healer who recently came to Coruscant. They say she does amazing things and maybe she can help me.” Thrawn nodded. “Is it okay if you leave the speeder for us while you’re in the ambassadors’ reception? The healer lives in the Industrial Sector and I don’t want to take public transportation for such a long trip.”
“Of course,” Thrawn said. “Corporal Prashat will fly me.”
“I thought the Admonitor wasn’t coming back for another month,” she objected.
Thrawn smiled and tickled her foot. “The Admonitor is still in the Unknown Regions, but Corporal Prashat is my orderly. He goes where I go. My admiralness, as you like to call it, does come with perks, Ayoo’sha’nek.” Ayesha chuckled and Yakooboo huffed. “I could also order Prashat to fly you to the healer’s and back, if you prefer that,” Thrawn added.
The Wookiee let out an ironic grumble and she chuckled again. “I don’t think that’s a good idea. Your task force already knows everything about the admiral’s wife, but I don’t think you want the whole Fleet to hear about his father-in-law.”
* * *
Ayesha was comfortably tucked under a warm blanket in the conversation circle’s armchair, waiting for her father to return from the Centre, when Corporal Prashat came to pick up Thrawn and fly him to the Palace. She waved at the young man as he escorted Thrawn to the Navy speeder. Prashat blushed crimson and Thrawn, who was all crisp and military in his dress uniform, had to work hard to suppress a smile.
Thrawn sat patiently through the lengthy ceremony where the new ambassadors presented their credentials to the Emperor and the subsequent show of traditional music and dances from the various worlds. He mingled politely with the crowd in the reception that followed and was about to leave when he suddenly found himself in the Emperor’s presence.
“It’s a pleasure to see you, as always, my friend,” the Emperor said as Thrawn stood to attention. “Is your lovely companion not with you tonight?”
“Miss Eskari thanks you for your kind invitation and apologizes for her absence, Your Majesty,” Thrawn replied with his cool, calculating expression. “She has been ill these last few days and greatly regrets not to have been able to attend this ceremony.”
“It’s such a shame that this young lady’s health is so fragile,” the Emperor said. “I expect you to take better care of her in the future, Admiral.” He waved at a red-haired man with three vertical black lines tattooed on his forehead. “I was hoping to introduce Miss Eskari to one of her own,” the Emperor continued. “This is the new ambassador of Kiffu, His Excellency Paraseel Malki.” He paused to gauge Thrawn’s reaction. Thrawn remained impassive, merely giving the Kiffar a curt nod. “Well, this encounter will have to wait for another opportunity,” the Emperor added casually. “I am certain young Miss Eskari will have fully recovered for the inauguration of the new premises of the Embassy of Kiffu and Kiffex next month, and His Excellency will be delighted to invite you both.”
Thrawn bowed. “It will be an honour, Your Majesty, Your Excellency.”
Both the Emperor’s and Malki’s yellow eyes locked onto his for a moment. He looked back unwaveringly. “Very well,” the Emperor said with a hint of disappointment. “It will be my pleasure to see you there. You should go now, Admiral. Miss Eskari is waiting impatiently for your return.”
Thrawn bowed again and made his way to the door, stopping a few times along the way to chat indifferently with junior officers. Prashat was standing by the Navy speeder on the landing platform. Thrawn paused and took a careful look around. He thought he glimpsed a shadow moving against the darkness of the wall, then spun around when he heard a sound behind him, but there was no one to be seen. He shrugged off the impression of being watched and motioned for Prashat to fly him home.
His personal speeder was on the apartment’s landing pad and Ayesha was sitting in the exact same place and position where he’d left her. She waved again at the young corporal and gestured to Thrawn to come and sit near her. “Was your appointment with the healer cancelled?” he asked as he lowered himself on the sofa.
“There was no appointment,” she answered. “There is no healer.”
Thrawn cocked an eyebrow in question. She said nothing. “Where is your father?”
“He’s on a transport back to Kashyyyk.”
The second eyebrow joined the first. “Did something happen, Ayoo’sha? Did you have an argument?”
“No. He just needed to be registered and seen on a transport offworld tonight, for the same reason you needed to be seen in the reception and then coming back here from the Palace.”
Both eyebrows travelled higher. “And that reason would be...?”
“The reason is that Paraseel Malki won’t return to his embassy tonight. Or ever.”
Her tone was a mingle of scorn and loathing. Thrawn looked at her carefully. “Would you mind explaining to me what is going on, Ayoo’sha?”
“There’s been a death mark against Malki ever since the end of the Clone Wars,” she said coolly. “Between clan Vos and the Anzati, it’s a toss-up as to who will get to him first.”
Thrawn was struggling to contain his astonishment. He finally went for the less intrusive question he could think of. “Why did they not kill him earlier, if this dates back to the Clone Wars?”
She looked at him straight in the eyes. “Because the death mark was mine to call, and I called it last night.” She was speaking in an uncharacteristically hard voice. Thrawn opened his mouth. She held up her hand to silence him. “He was shown more mercy than he deserved, and certainly more than he ever showed to others. I didn’t call the death mark when I came of age because he was imprisoned on Kiffex at the time. Then he talked his way back into Kiffar society and I just let him be as long as he didn’t leave the planet. But now he believes that the Emperor can protect him and that he can destroy my life again. Well, no!” she shouted in fury. “The Emperor can’t protect him and he’s already taken too much from me. I called the death mark and I don’t regret it. He’ll never be seen or heard from again, and that’s that.”
There was a long pause. “Your father expected that this would be your intention,” Thrawn said. “Why did he tell me off when I said I would find a way to be rid of Malki? I would have dispatched him the same way I dispatched Kchak Pr’ollerg.”
She gave him a startled look. “It was you? You killed Pr’ollerg? You forgot to mention this. We really make a right pair, you know.” She sat back in her armchair. “Ada’ Yakooboo and you may be suspects for Malki’s disappearance. But he’s on a transport off-planet and Corporal Prashat saw you here with me. And if the Emperor read your mind during the reception tonight, he’ll know that you had nothing to do with it. This way, no one will ever find out who dealt with Malki, and if the Anzati get him first, it won’t even matter if they leave his body to be found. He was a Force user. Everyone knows that’s a feast for the Anzati.”
Thrawn shook his head in disbelief. “And your father told me that it is for me to protect you, Ayoo’sha. I believe that you have reversed our roles.” He paused. “Am I pushing my luck if I ask why the Anzati have a... grudge against Malki?”
She took a deep breath. “Yes. You are. That’s not something I’m ready to talk about.”
She had gone a little pale and her hands were trembling slightly on the blanket. Thrawn reached to caress her face. “Calm yourself, Ayoo’sha. I will never ask this question again, I promise.” He waited until colour returned to her cheeks. “What now?”
“Now we wait,” she said firmly. “They’ll come and tell us when it’s done.”