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Beyond - Legends Saga - Legends Ἀνάγκη – Necessity beyond Sway | Thrawn, OC, drama/tragedy, pre-ANH to TTT | Epic, e-book available

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by Chyntuck, Oct 6, 2014.

  1. Chyntuck

    Chyntuck Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 11, 2014
    Thank you all for reading and reviewing! [:D]

    Well, DRL is clobbering me again and he's in a nasty mood, so I'll revert to the old post-now-reply-later standby. You'll find chapter 5 below, then this story will go on hiatus until 23 March (but I'll be back in-between to answer your comments).

    Tags: AzureAngel2 Findswoman Gemma K'Tai qel Letta-Tanku Mando-Man Raissa Baiard
    Please let me know if you want to be added or removed from the tag list.

    And a mega-thanks to Nyota's Heart for beta-reading at the last minute because I forgot to send her the chapter earlier [face_love]

    -------------------------------------------------

    Chapter 5: Tangled

    On Benduday morning, Thrawn leaned over Ayesha and whispered ‘Qubshi be-khadeeb’ in her ear. She immediately snapped out of her death-like sleep and accepted the cup of water he was offering, but she seemed a little disoriented as she sat back against the headboard. “Can you please... tell me what happened?” she asked.

    “You had an episode,” Thrawn answered cautiously. “Your father was here for a few days, and then your uncle came...”

    She interrupted him. “Yes, I remember now. He put me in a healing trance. Did he leave?”

    Thrawn nodded. “Yes. So did your father. I got word from him last night, he is back on Kashyyyk. Your uncle is also back wherever it is he came from.”

    She studied his face for a moment. “Are you angry at me?”

    He cocked an eyebrow. “Do I have a reason to be angry?”

    “I lied to you. I lied about the healer and I lied about Uncle Quin.”

    Thrawn caressed her cheek. “You had very good reasons to do so, Ayoo’sha. I am not angry at all, I am actually impressed. My crisp admiralness is said to have no rival in manipulating people and events, but you played me like a child with the simplest of tricks. As for your uncle, you were under a life-oath not to reveal his existence, which, I may add, is entirely understandable given the circumstances. I must say that meeting him was an interesting moment. He is quite a character.”

    “He is,” she said with a weak smile. There was another silence as she studied his face again. “What now?”

    He pulled her to her feet. “Now we will take a shower, and then I shall make you breakfast.”

    She hesitated. “So you’re not going to leave too?” she asked uncertainly.

    Thrawn gave her a puzzled look. “Where would I go?”

    “I’m broken,” she said. “No one wants a broken person in their life.”

    His eyebrows went up a notch. “Our debate about most people is apparently not over, Ayoo’sha. I am not going anywhere. Now come with me.”

    He took her to the ‘fresher and steadied her with one arm to her waist while he bathed her, running the sponge over her body as delicately as if she were made of friable glass. She was fighting back tears when his eyes returned to her face. “You’re staying out of pity,” she muttered.

    Understanding flooded his features and he wrapped both arms around her to hold her to his chest. “I am staying out of love, Ayoo’sha. I am here because of pure, unadulterated love. Now please stop wasting yourself with pointless concerns and focus on shining again like you always did.”

    Her recovery was slow this time, as opposed to the aftermath of her visit to Darth Vader. She often woke up with a start in the middle of the night, and Thrawn had to entwine himself around her and murmur words of comfort in Cheunh until she went back to sleep. She had no appetite and she was losing weight. “You must eat, Ayoo’sha,” Thrawn told her after a couple of weeks when she pushed back her plate, leaving her dinner virtually untouched. “You have become tiny. I feel that I am holding a child, not a woman, every time I take you in my arms.” She gave him an anguished look and mumbled something about promising to get better, but he scooped her up before she could elaborate. “Enough of this foolishness,” he said firmly as he carried her to the bedroom. “I would very much like to see you regain the soft curves you had, but since you are not eating I might as well demonstrate how attractive I find you now.”

    Their lovemaking was slow and tender, but it lacked the passion they usually displayed for each other. Thrawn prompted her to bed as often as before, but he was cautious in his every move, brushing her skin so softly that she thought he feared that she might break under his touch. “You’re handling me like I’m a fragile doll,” she told him one night.

    “I will confess to that,” he admitted. “I can see that you are still in pain, and I do not know how to help you. As a matter of fact, I am not even certain what troubles you so much.”

    She sighed. “I ordered a sentient’s death, Thrawn. I’ve killed before when I had to... you know, to survive, but it’s the first time I decide to take a life in this cool, premeditated manner. I don’t like myself for it.”

    “You did what had to be done, Ayoo’sha. As you told me yourself, you showed that man far more mercy than he deserved. It is never an easy decision to take a life and I would worry if you did not find it deeply disturbing. But you took the right decision, and had you not, I would have taken it for you.”

    She inhaled deeply and closed her eyes. “He told you, didn’t he? Uncle Quin. He told you what Malki did to me. To us.”

    “He told me his assumptions, but I did not need his explanations to understand that it was a terrible thing.”

    She shuddered. “It was worse than terrible. It was worse than death.”

    “Hence the conclusion that you did the right thing. That monster could not be allowed to live. If nothing else, he would have hurt other innocents. Do not mourn his passing.”

    “I don’t mourn him,” she whispered. “I mourn part of myself.”

    She started spending her waking hours in the workshop. She was not in a creative phase and her preparations for the Plebeian Exhibition were lagging, but there wasn’t much she could do about it. She chose instead to train herself in the use of the Gree carving tool from Matta Thryne. She experimented with the various laser beams on different types of stone, but she was not actually producing anything. Thrawn took to bringing his datapad and sitting at the other end of the table instead of working in his study. She caught him a few times staring at her instead of focusing on whatever report he was reading. “You don’t have to be here all the time, you know,” she told him once. “I’m getting better and I know that you’re not going to vanish if you’re in the next room.”

    “I enjoy sitting with you, Ayoo’sha. Unless I am disturbing you, of course.”

    “You never disturb me, Qubshi be-khadeeb. I always feel better when you’re close, but you worry too much and I’m sure your work is suffering for it.”

    She insisted to return to the Centre as soon as she was fit to leave the apartment on her own, and Thrawn insisted in turn to accompany her. “Just this once, Ayoo’sha,” he argued when she protested. “Please be indulgent with one of your lifemate’s quirks. The mother avian in me needs to see that you are safe.”

    She finally agreed that he escort her on the way in and they took one of her convoluted itineraries to the Underlevels. Thrawn all but demanded that Simon give her a full check-up before she got to work, then locked himself with the doctor in his consultation room for a long conversation while she joined Dex in the ward. He did not hide his relief when the Besalisk knocked on the door to say that there was little to do that night and that he could take her home.

    Ayesha was positively cross. “You two stop acting as if I am a child,” she hissed. “I’m a grown woman.”

    “We’re just a bit worried, lil’ one,” Dex said. “Maybe we’re clumsy ‘bout it, but whaddya expect us to do?”

    “I expect you to do what Simon’s been doing with Uumana all these years,” she snapped. “He treats her with dignity and respect. You” – she pointed at the Besalisk – “don’t get to take decisions for me, and you” – she turned to Thrawn – “are my lifemate. Stop reminding me that we are not equals.”

    Thrawn stared at her, stunned. “Why are you saying this, Ayoo’sha? I never implied anything of the sort.”

    “You’re whole and I’m broken. We are not equals.” He went to speak but she raised her hand to silence him and sat near the blank-faced Twi’lek. “Go home. I’m staying with Uumana. She’s my friend, I haven’t seen her in weeks and I want to spend time with her.”
     
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  2. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host Who Loves Fanfics & RPGs star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    She hesitated. “So you’re not going to leave too?” she asked uncertainly.

    Thrawn gave her a puzzled look. “Where would I go?”

    “I’m broken,” she said. “No one wants a broken person in their life.”

    His eyebrows went up a notch. “Our debate about most people is apparently not over, Ayoo’sha. I am not going anywhere. Now come with me.”

    He took her to the ‘fresher and steadied her with one arm to her waist while he bathed her, running the sponge over her body as delicately as if she were made of friable glass. She was fighting back tears when his eyes returned to her face. “You’re staying out of pity,” she muttered.

    Understanding flooded his features and he wrapped both arms around her to hold her to his chest. “I am staying out of love, Ayoo’sha. I am here because of pure, unadulterated love. Now please stop wasting yourself with pointless concerns and focus on shining again like you always did.”


    This. One of the absolutely most touching things I've ever read. =D= =D=

    And his tenderness - ^:)^

    Ayesha's final statement about what she needs versus how others are treating her - they're walking on eggshells because they care so much and she herself isn't herself even, in the creative department, etc. [face_thinking] What she had to do to Malki is going to take time to assimilate into her self-perception but it doesn't change her value or worthiness to be loved.

    Simon's stance toward Uumana is a delicate balance I am quite sure, because underneath it all, he's very likely feeling a desperateness to get his lady back the way she was before, or close to. @};-
     
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  3. AzureAngel2

    AzureAngel2 Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jun 14, 2005
    “Please be indulgent with one of your lifemate’s quirks. The mother avian in me needs to see that you are safe.”

    I wish it was just a quirk. Anyway, things seem to be relaxed at present.
     
  4. K'Tai qel Letta-Tanku

    K'Tai qel Letta-Tanku Jedi Grand Master star 3

    Registered:
    Apr 18, 2000
    Very nicely done! Ayesha has a long road ahead of her accepting that Thrawn loves her for what she is now. He never knew her "unbroken." She is who she is and what she is because of all of her life's experiences. She would not be his Ayoo'sha without them. Until she can accept that, she will always feel like there is an imbalance. I hope she figures that out.
     
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  5. Gemma

    Gemma Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 25, 2013
    Yeeks -- the thing with the Anzanti feeding -- that creeps me out. And how you're incorporating all of the SW encyclopedia stuff with yours --- you are truly amazing. I was running over there to see if I could find the purple haired person - and that's all I will say - don't want to spoil anything for anybody.

    The conversation between Thrawn and Quin was most interesting on both their sides. I know that Thrawn would stop at doing nothing to keep Ayesha safe -- but he is in a most difficult place. Eggshells and broken --- there are terms my family are all too familiar with. You've created a beautiful and heart wrenching drama here. And sometimes the people that can help you the best are the ones that are where you are or have been - like Uumana.

    BTW -- liked that phrase that was used as her wake up phrase from her healing trance. It always reminds me of the name Paul-Muad'Dib from Dune - the name Paul used as his Freman name. I know there's no connection but its sound slightly reminds me of it. I look forward to the reveal on that one. I know we will be waiting a while. I'm glad we had some lighter chapters in the past --- this part saddens me a bit. But I know with love it's not always easy.
     
  6. Csillan_girl

    Csillan_girl Jedi Master star 5

    Registered:
    May 6, 2003
    So, finally back from the world of sloooow internet.
    And I finally re-read the Quinlan Vos comics.
    On my mobile, no less.
    But you made me. :p
    And now I finally know why I had an exact picture of Ayesha in my mind from the beginning - it just clicked when I saw Asanté (the Guardian). I mean, I read those comics, what, 10 years ago? But somehow, that picture just stuck, and in my mind, Ayesha looks very similar to her. I guess that's just me, but I thought it was funny...

    Wonderful chapter - so much tenderness and at the same time, so sad.
    I hope there is a way to help Ayesha...
     
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  7. AzureAngel2

    AzureAngel2 Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jun 14, 2005
    Now that you mention it, Gemma, I would like to confess my déjà-vu, too. But it was a nice one, because it seems that a lot of folk who love SW also like the Dune novels. In my case I got a lot of inspiration from Frank Herbert. I am curious if he also kissed you a muse, Chyntuck. :)
     
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  8. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host Who Loves Fanfics & RPGs star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    This just. Fits. :D



    OK, I'll stop now. LOL [face_love]
     
  9. divapilot

    divapilot Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 30, 2005
    “Hence the conclusion that you did the right thing. That monster could not be allowed to live. If nothing else, he would have hurt other innocents. Do not mourn his passing.”

    “I don’t mourn him,” she whispered. “I mourn part of myself.”

    Complicated girl, this Ayesha. [face_thinking] She understands that there is evil in the world - she has seen and experienced it herself. But there is a difference between those who would do evil for their own cruel ends, such as Malki or Palpatine, and those who would do a bad thing to prevent a greater evil. There is a great spectrum between the monster and the saint.

    Vader has an idea of what she means, I suspect.
     
  10. Mira_Jade

    Mira_Jade The Fanfic Manager With The Cape star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Jun 29, 2004
    Aaaaaah!! :eek:[face_dancing][face_love]

    I cannot tell you what a wonderful experience catching up on this fic has been. Nyota's Heart was a an absolute gem in recommending this tale to me, and I am so, so glad that I listened to her!

    I have so many thoughts and feelings on this story, and a lot of this may be a convoluted mess of words, so bear with me while I get this off my chest:

    First off, I have to start by saying that Thrawn is a near and dear character to my heart. Along with Mara Jade, he was my favourite part about the EU when I first read Zahn's trilogy - and subsequent books - all of those years ago. So I am especially loving the way you've delved into his mind and so richly expanded and explored his history and character here. This could be canon for how wonderfully it's weaved with what we already know, and I am having a hard time believing that Ayesha is not a part of that canon, too. ;)

    Speaking of Ayesha: well done with her creation and development! There can be a fine line with having a character who is this talented and complicated without falling into 'Mary Sue'-esque tendencies, yet you have delivered a character with such a tragic, fantastically diverse backstory while still keeping her relatable and likeable. Not only is she likable, but you have us actively invested in her health and happiness. As heartbreaking as it is watching Ayesha deal with her still healing psyche, you also have to take a moment and commend her for just how far she has come - really, it's amazing how well she is healing and holding herself together, all things considered. I believe that an earlier comment mentioned that you need to find healing and solace on your own before you can find it in another person - but here her relationship is as 'grounding' as it is for her as it is 'keeping his perspectives in order' for Thrawn. They both compliment and bring out the best in each other, and while it's obvious how he does so for her, she is also such an asset for him - for there really is a fine line when it comes to playing the power-game Thrawn is playing - even for a noble, long-term goal such as his - especially in such a system as Palpatine's Empire. (Cersei Lannister's 'game of thrones' speech came to mind, more than once, while reading a few of these passages.) Really, your political and galaxy-wide ins and outs are just as fascinating to read as your more personal story-lines.

    To block out a few of my favourite things so far, rather than going chapter by chapter:

    * Ayesha the artist. Yes. Just yes. From chapter one I was going: this makes sense. Of course they met and bonded over art. Then, your details as to her artistic process; her using art as healing; and her reading insights into other artists just as Thrawn did - everything concerning her art really resounded with me on a personal level. Just . . . I love everything about this. Everything.

    * Also from that vein stems another one of my favourite moments: her using her art to bond with Darth Vader, out of all people. That was one of my favourite plotlines I have read in any story in a long time. Their shared histories, and her ability to touch Vader when he was at a very pivotal moment in his own life was just brilliant - and another nod to just how subtly you are weaving this story with the 'bigger picture'.

    * Oh, and Thrawn realizing that her gifted sculpture was a self-portrait was just perfect. I actually squeed out loud, and then I had to get up and pace while I processed what I read - which is always a sign of a good tale!

    * Ayesha's work with the Center - all of this was brilliant, especially the moment with the escaped Wookiee child and his mother. You could see how much this resonated with Thrawn, and watching them embed themselves in their partner's deepest and darkest secrets has been an amazing journey so far. As a counterpoint to her covert work, Thrawn's explaining the Imperial court and the dangerous political game he's been playing was most excellent. Watching them grow together and learn to trust each other - to work all the better through each other - their tale has been excellently written so far. I do not know how else I can find the words for that!

    * Then: Ayesha's last emotional break over that scum-bag Malki was truly the highlight of this fic. Thrawn leaping into action and seeking help - my heart was in my throat through every word, and I was so grateful that I had everything to read in one chunk! I don't know how your readers bore through just waiting for those updates. ;)8-}[face_worried] Yabookoo was the best here - both with his more than apparent love for Ayesha, and his helping Thrawn through that hurdle. His 'threat' was one of my favourite parts of this story so far - as was for Ayesha so quickly looking for Thrawn and latching onto him as soon as she was aware of herself. Just . . . such fantastic writing, again! Afterward, her subsequent worrying about Thrawn's altered view of her, and his affirmation of his love, were beautiful to read.


    For this last update, I liked the tone of healing you were able to strike - with both the good and the bad and the ugly. This -

    “Hence the conclusion that you did the right thing. That monster could not be allowed to live. If nothing else, he would have hurt other innocents. Do not mourn his passing.”

    “I don’t mourn him,” she whispered. “I mourn part of myself.”

    - was especially touching! [face_love]

    No matter the reasons, a life taken is still a life taken, and her grief really humanized her. A reviewer earlier mentioned the 'fine line' in such a revenge motivated killing, no matter how just it was, and I loved this moment of self-awareness on her part.

    In short: elegant writing, rich characters, and a passionate love story make for great reading, and I have enjoyed every word of this tale thus far. You have me hooked and eager for the rest of the ride - even though it is painful to think what the end of that ride will be, canon in mind. [face_worried]

    . . . BUT, that is a concern for later. ;)

    That said, I thank you so much for sharing your hard work, and I look forward to your next offering. =D=[:D]


    EDIT: Could you add me to the tag list, please? [face_batting] I'm not on this side of fan fic as much as I should be. ;)
     
  11. Chyntuck

    Chyntuck Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 11, 2014
    I'm taking advantage of a slow Sunday morning at home to squeeze in a few replies. Thanks all for reading and reviewing! Also, thanks so, so, so much to everyone who gave four awards to this story. Gand is humbled and grateful [face_blush]
    Quinlan Vos actually survives Order 66 in canon -- he fakes his own death with the help of his "friend" Vilmarh Grahrk, who must be the biggest troll in the GFFA :p However, his last appearance is just a few months after Order 66 in the comics, so I had to extrapolate a bit on what he'd be like twenty years later. "Elderly biker dude" sums it up perfectly :)

    They don't like each other very much, do they? I think Quin and Thrawn have a lot more in common than they're willing to admit -- they're both arrogant and stubborn, for starters :rolleyes: When it comes to the Emperor, the question is indeed who will manipulate whom, but there's also the question of knowing if Thrawn will take what Vos told him at face value. Would you?

    I hope you enjoyed your holiday :cool: and thanks!

    [face_laugh] It's not really a failure of logic though. My assumption when I started writing this is that Thrawn doesn't know much about the Force, the Jedi and the Sith. After all, he came to the known Galaxy after the Jedi were exterminated, so other than his brief encounter with Jorus C'baoth during Outbound Flight (which wasn't very informative) and some second-hand info, he didn't get to learn much. Somehow I doubt that Palps, Vader and the Inquisitors were very forthcoming about what they were up to ;)
    Spoiler alert: you're actually going to see them close by in part III.
    You two know me far too well if you both went for a food-based translation :p You're going to have to wait until the very last chapter to find out, but I'm not sure I can do more climatic than Cursed Big Kebab [face_rofl]
    Yup! Khaleen is one of those minor characters I really like (she's a galactic pickpocket 8-} ) but I couldn't give her something to do in this story, so I thought she should have a cameo at least.
    Unfortunately the Fanon Thread has just been locked because of a technical glitch :( But hopefully that will be sorted out soon, and I have a vague idea for a one-shot about how the Anzati and the Sith came to work together (someday, maybe, when I have time...)
    This is where Ewok Poet had a valid point a few pages back when she said "relationships do not contribute to one's own stability". What Ayesha really needs to come to terms with is that, as happy as her relationship with Thrawn can be, it doesn't change who she is, and that relationship can continue to function positively even if it doesn't heal her.

    As for Uumana, I imagine that everyone now has a good guess about what happened to her... so yeah :_|
    You don't like mother avians either, do you? ;) But yes, it must be slightly annoying to have someone who is doting over you all the time -- especially when you've put so much effort in becoming an independent person.
    To my great shame, I'm going to confess here that I never read Dune *runs away and hides* but that sounds like a good recommendation, so I need to get it *wanders off to amazon.com* However, it makes perfect sense that one phrase reminds you of the other -- both are clearly borrowed from Arabic (Qubshi be-Khadeeb doesn't mean anything in Arabic, but the word structure is borrowed from there.)

    If I got you to re-read the Q.V. comics on your mobile phone, I think that I can wrap up and go home. Success! [face_party]

    Asanté is a nice catch. I hadn't thought of her, not consciously at least, but now that I went back and cheked, yes, that's the general idea.
    I think that your second comment answered the first :) And that's a very good point about Vader. He's definitely the canon character Ayesha has the most in common with, even though he doesn't appear very often in this story.

    Welcome to this story [:D] and thank you so much for the comprehensive review. Ny, should I transfer the funds to your Swiss bank account or do you prefer the one in the Cayman Islands? :p
    We are now officially friends [face_love] Of all the great characters that were created for the EU, Thrawn is at the top of my list. I really wish they would re-canonize him and make some sort of spin-off about him, but I'm not holding my breath *grumbles*
    Thanks again! I know that you host the NSWFF Writers' Support thread so I'd be curious to hear your thoughts on the Mary Sue Litmus Test. Making Ayesha too Mary Sue-ish was a concern of mine when I started working on this, but when I looked at that test (or similar ones) I really felt that there's no SW character that can meet that threshold -- or any protagonist, when you think of it, unless you go for an ugly, overweight, 60-year-old man who doesn't have any issues, but how do you built a plot with that?

    I'm skipping the middle part of your review here, because I'm beet red by now and all I can answer to each bullet is thanks, thanks, thanks, thanks and more thanks for your kind words [face_blush]
    "Later" is still some 80 chapters away ;) I hope you still enjoy the ride until then.
    Will do!

    Thanks again, everyone! I'm putting the final touches to the next chapter now, and given how efficient Nyota's Heart can be at beta-reading, it should be online tomorrow morning.
     
  12. Csillan_girl

    Csillan_girl Jedi Master star 5

    Registered:
    May 6, 2003
    80 chapters??

    Omg, that just made my day!!
     
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  13. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014
    THERE WILL BE VONG? OMG. JUST TELL ME THERE WILL BE DSII AND I CAN THROW MYSELF OUT OF ONE OF THESE HAWT BRIDGES. CAPS LOCK CAPS LOCK CAPS LOCK.
     
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  14. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host Who Loves Fanfics & RPGs star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    80 Chapters? As in 80 more? Blisses! My cup overflows! [face_love]
     
  15. AzureAngel2

    AzureAngel2 Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jun 14, 2005
    Hurray! 2015 is saved! [face_dancing]

    Unlimited Chyntuck fanfic fun! [face_party]
     
  16. Gemma

    Gemma Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 25, 2013
    80 Chapters, really...really. OMG this is great --no FANTASTIC news!!! Okay, I'm pausing a moment for a happy dance. [Pauses] Okay, I'm back. This is truly wonderful news. I will be shopping all day tomorrow; but now I know I have some Chyntuck to look forward to and it's not even a Thursday ---WooHoo!^:)^=D=@};-

    The title of the story not translated (Avaykn) --- I've been meaning to tell you this and I keep forgetting so here it is. The title or writing on the sign of the Cantina in ATOC the font and/or markings reminds me of this.
     
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  17. Csillan_girl

    Csillan_girl Jedi Master star 5

    Registered:
    May 6, 2003
    Oooh, why did I overlook that?
    There will be Vong?

    *CG does a happy dance* [face_party]
    Could it be... Nom Anor??

    Yes, 2015 is saved, indeed!
    And hey, there are always sequels... :p;)
     
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  18. Chyntuck

    Chyntuck Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 11, 2014
    Good morning all!

    Yes, yes, more or less 80 more chapters -- each part of this story has approx. 40 chapters and we're just at the beginning of part II :) This will be the longest thing I've ever written when I'm done.
    Please don't throw yourself out of anything, we need you in a single piece ;) But yes, there's Unknown Regions, so there will be Vong.


    Not telling [face_shhh]
    Is that Dex's Diner you're talking about? I never noticed, I need to check it out!
     
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  19. Chyntuck

    Chyntuck Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 11, 2014
    Aaaand... Nyota's Heart [face_love] worked her magic yesterday, so the next chapter is up!

    Tags: AzureAngel2 Findswoman Gemma K'Tai qel Letta-Tanku Mando-Man Mira_Jade Raissa Baiard
    Please let me know if you would like to be added to or removed from the tag list.

    -------------------------------------------------------

    Chapter 6: The singing stone

    Thrawn came out of his study as fast as he could without appearing to run when Ayesha returned to their apartment the next evening. She was several hours late. She pulled him in the shower without saying a word, then took him to bed, but he was all kindness and self-control once more. She sighed in frustration as she finally lay back against the pillows. “You’ll never think of me as a person again, will you? You’ll always see me as the broken piece of decoration I really am.”

    Thrawn lifted himself on his elbow. He seemed more than a little alarmed. “Ayoo’sha, how am I not to worry when this is how you speak of yourself?”

    She didn’t look at him. “I’m trying, you know. I’m trying to be a person, a real person, not just damaged goods. I was always going out and doing things to remind myself how much I have. Then I met you and I tried even harder, and somehow I convinced myself that I could be whole again. But I can’t. Part of me was ripped away and replaced by something alien to me, something ugly and dark. That’s going to be with me forever and Malki’s death isn’t going to change it.” She sighed. “I should have known that I can’t be fixed before I called the death mark. It’s as if I gave in to the darkness he put in my head.” Thrawn went to speak but she continued. “And I should have known before I pulled you in my life. I may not be like Uumana, but I can’t expect you to clean up after me when I wet myself and then demand that you see me as a normal adult.”

    “You are so much more than a normal adult, Ayoo’sha. Only you do not seem to know it.”

    She shook her head. “You know the little recess between the buildings near the Centre? You must have noticed it, the alcove-like corner in the alley on the left before you reach the platform. When I left the Centre today, I sat there for two hours I think, maybe more, I lost track of time. It was my hideout when I was living in the Underlevels. That’s where Khaleen found me. And that’s who I want to be. I want to be that little girl when she grew up. Maybe I’d have become a thief like Khaleen, but I’d be a person, not some semi-lunatic trapped in her own head.”

    Thrawn moved her head to face him with a finger under her chin. “Listen to me, Ayoo’sha. You are a person. Yes, you have been through unspeakable pain, and yes, it has marked you forever. But you are a person with a shining, a luminous, a beautiful soul. You may be the only person who could ever break through Lord Vader’s armour. You are one of the few who helped bring your uncle back to the Light. Your father adores you in a way that cannot be described in words. You are surrounded by people who love, trust and respect you, and who look to you for guidance. Kal and Mira’s son Tam has a connection to you that I did not think possible in a child. You give Doctor Simon hope and, when your friend Uumana finally recovers, it will be in no small part for your care and attention. As for me” – he sighed – “you took a man who was aloof and cold-hearted, a man who viewed everything in terms of manipulation and strategy, a man who could never deserve your grace, and you gave me everything that is good and bright in my life.” He paused. “I am not able to heal the evil that has befallen you, but at the risk of sounding selfish, I will tell you that I need my lifemate at my side. Please do not surrender to these dark thoughts that are overcoming you. Please do not seek to be someone who may have been. Please come back to me as you were before this man from your past reappeared in your life, and I will love you and care for you and, to the extent that I can, I will make you happy. I am aware that this is very little. However, it is all I have.” He looked at her carefully and sighed again. “But it is not enough, is it?”

    There was a long pause. Ayesha finally turned on her side and huddled against him to bury her face in his neck. She didn’t move until morning, but he could feel her stifle sobs as she pretended to sleep.

    They resumed their routine of spending their days in her workshop, Thrawn reading reports on his datapad while she experimented with the Gree carving tool, but she had soon exhausted all possible options and ended up simply twirling the miniature lightsaber between her fingers, as if looking for something to do. After a few days, Thrawn suggested that she create more toys for the street youngling shelter instead. “No,” she said. “Toys I can create at any time. It’s this I need to learn.” He arched an eyebrow in question, but she ignored him and went back to examining the tool.

    The following week went by. On one morning, Ayesha brought the Gree stone out of the storage area to set it up on her potter’s wheel, and Thrawn felt a glimmer of hope, but she merely laid the tool beside the stone and sat back on her stool to stare at the two objects. She was replying in monosyllables to his questions and seemed to have become just as obsessed with this indefinable project as she had been with Anakin Skywalker. By nightfall, Thrawn tried to broach the subject again. “Don’t ask,” she said stubbornly. I just know it. This is the key.”

    “The key to what?” Thrawn asked.

    She sighed. “That’s what I don’t know yet.”

    The next afternoon, Thrawn returned from the Palace to find her sitting in front of the holoterminal, staring once more at the Gree tool as if expecting it to speak. This time however, when she turned around, there was a spark in her eyes that had been missing since the name of Paraseel Malki had been uttered in their home. “How did you get hold of this?” she asked point blank. He arched an eyebrow. “This tool. I did some research about the Gree and it says here” – she pointed at the monitor – “that they don’t share their technology with other species.”

    Thrawn smiled. “Indeed. The Gree believe that each civilization should be able to develop tools and techniques for themselves. It was only your talent that could convince the Grandmaster Crafter of Matta Thryne to surrender this to me.” She gave him a curious look. “During my visit to Matta Thryne, the Grandmaster Crafter took me around the artists’ workshops and galleries. I made a selection of pieces for the Imperial collection, but then my eyes fell on the sculpt I brought back for you and I knew that it should be yours. I had it packed separately, as well as a piece of raw stone, but my request for a carving tool was denied. The Grandmaster later came aboard the Admonitor to see what we had already collected from other worlds of the Unknown Regions and requested to be shown art from Imperial space. I took him to my quarters and activated the hologallery, but he ignored it and went to your Fijisi wood self-portrait on my desk. He studied it for a long while, then had me escort him back to his shuttle. He was halfway up the boarding ramp when he pulled the carving tool from a pocket in his robes. ‘This is not for your Empire, this is for you,’ he said. ‘Someday the female who created that piece for you will need again to tell you something that cannot be spoken and I will be honoured if this can help her in such an endeavour.’”

    At these words, she gave him her most radiant smile. “I should have known that all I had to do is ask and you would show me the way, Qubshi be-khadeeb. Now I need to get to work.” And she went to her workshop and closed the door.

    Ayesha spent the next three days in her workshop. She did not allow Thrawn to sit with her – “I’m trying to talk to you,” she said, pushing him out of the room when he turned up with his datapad, “I need to concentrate” – but she sprang to her feet every time he came to check on her. Sometimes she kissed him deeply, other times, she simply smiled at him and caressed the Japor snippet he always wore around his neck. She didn’t take her meals with him – as a matter of fact, she hardly ate at all – and she did not join him in bed until the early hours of the morning on the first night. On the second night, she did not sleep at all, and Thrawn found the door to the workshop closed when he woke up in the morning. Concern was written all over his face when he knocked, but when Ayesha opened for him, she would have appeared as her normal self had it not been for the deep, dark circles under her eyes. “I found her, Qubshi be-khadeeb,” she said cheerfully. “I found your lifemate again.” She went and took the wave-shaped Gree sculpt Thrawn had brought for her from the Unknown Regions and locked herself in the workshop once more.

    Thrawn worked in his study all morning, then went to the Palace for a series of endless strategy and planning meetings. The door to the workshop was still closed when he came home in the evening, and he hesitated to knock again. He finally decided against it when he heard Ayesha humming a happy tune inside. He went to the kitchen to grab a bite – it was well past dinnertime – and prepare a plate of food for her, and he was just finishing his meal when she appeared in the atrium. “Come and have a look,” she called. “I’m done.”

    She put the Gree sculpt back on the table near the entrance and handed him the piece she had created from the raw chunk of the mysterious musical stone he had offered her. It was now carved in the shape of what appeared to be bulging streams of water that came to crash on the bank of a creek. The sculpture softened under Thrawn’s fingers and emitted a few of the faint notes of music the stone produced when touched. “There is something oddly familiar about this piece,” he said. “Intimate, even.”

    She took the carving from his hands and placed it on the table next to the Gree sculpt. The two pieces seemed to belong side by side, as if they were a single entity. She stroked both with her fingertips and the music became louder and more coherent, as if they were answering each other. “Do you recognize it now?” she asked.

    Thrawn’s hand went to the sinewy muscles of his shoulder and the protuberant vein on his upper arm, then traced the line of Ayesha’s neck. “You completed the Gree sculpt, Ayoo’sha. You made me part of it.”

    “You were always part of it, Qubshi be-khadeeb. It took me far too long to understand that this sculpt was incomplete unless I added your shoulder next to mine.” Thrawn gave her a perplexed look. She shrugged. “Whatever. It mattered. Can we go to bed now?”

    Thrawn was still a little puzzled but smiled nevertheless. “I believe you might want to stop by the kitchen and eat some of the food you neglected over the past three days.”

    “No,” she said firmly, pulling him close by the fabric of his undershirt. “Food can wait. Now you’re going to make love to me like a man to a woman, not like a doctor to a patient for medicinal purposes.” Her kiss was languid and demanding, and Thrawn didn’t even take her to the bedroom before he obliged.
     
  20. Csillan_girl

    Csillan_girl Jedi Master star 5

    Registered:
    May 6, 2003
    Oh, thank the Force, she is recovering!
    SO wonderfully written, as always! [face_love]

    More later, here's a Sithly pile of work waiting for me... [face_tired]
     
  21. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host Who Loves Fanfics & RPGs star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Gorgeous! What he said to her, about what she brings to others... the blended sculpt, and her passionate insistence and initiative at the end. SQUEE! A dozen times! =D= [face_dancing] I will reign in my markups and emotes ... for now. LOL
     
  22. JadeLotus

    JadeLotus Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 27, 2005
    So I had intended to get this fic read during your hiatus, but the best laid plans...

    I did manage to read the first few chapters and am very much enjoying it - Ayesha's unusual history and her initial interaction with Thrawn, already showing a different side than the one we saw in Legends while still being very much in character. Rather ingenious to have them bond over art!

    I'll try to catch up as soon as I can. And congrats on your awards!
     
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  23. Mira_Jade

    Mira_Jade The Fanfic Manager With The Cape star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Jun 29, 2004
    Ahhh, eighty more chapters, and the Vong?? You are spoiling us. [face_love]

    We are now officially friends [face_love] Of all the great characters that were created for the EU, Thrawn is at the top of my list. I really wish they would re-canonize him and make some sort of spin-off about him, but I'm not holding my breath *grumbles*

    I think I have a friendship bracelet laying around somewhere ;) . . . And back in the day it was so hard to find good Thrawn fanfic while we were waiting for profic to pick up the slack! A Clash of Fates comes to mind, detailing Thrawn's encountering the Vong, as well as Politics of Exile - a Thrawn/OC tale centered around his exile, but it was still a story so old that we did not then know that Csilla was a planet held in an Ice Age. Oh! And Hitchhiker - a brilliant Thrawn/Wynssa Starflare fic that sadly never finished, and that is pretty much it. :( Your story holds my favourite Thrawn out of all of those, though! [face_love]


    Thanks again! I know that you host the NSWFF Writers' Support thread so I'd be curious to hear your thoughts on the Mary Sue Litmus Test. Making Ayesha too Mary Sue-ish was a concern of mine when I started working on this, but when I looked at that test (or similar ones) I really felt that there's no SW character that can meet that threshold -- or any protagonist, when you think of it, unless you go for an ugly, overweight, 60-year-old man who doesn't have any issues, but how do you built a plot with that?

    That is such a great idea for a discussion; I think that I know what April's topic is going to be. [face_thinking] But, you do make a great point! Most of the time, it isn't adhering to a checklist of dos and don'ts, but rather, how the author handles any character they come up with - and you most certainly deliver on Ayesha! [face_love]

    Now, for this chapter . . .


    In the beginning, my heart just broke for Thrawn and Ayesha. Her doubts, her insecurities, and his trying to help her hold herself together . . . And this:

    “Listen to me, Ayoo’sha. You are a person. Yes, you have been through unspeakable pain, and yes, it has marked you forever. But you are a person with a shining, a luminous, a beautiful soul. You may be the only person who could ever break through Lord Vader’s armour. You are one of the few who helped bring your uncle back to the Light. Your father adores you in a way that cannot be described in words. You are surrounded by people who love, trust and respect you, and who look to you for guidance. Kal and Mira’s son Tam has a connection to you that I did not think possible in a child. You give Doctor Simon hope and, when your friend Uumana finally recovers, it will be in no small part for your care and attention. As for me” – he sighed – “you took a man who was aloof and cold-hearted, a man who viewed everything in terms of manipulation and strategy, a man who could never deserve your grace, and you gave me everything that is good and bright in my life.” He paused. “I am not able to heal the evil that has befallen you, but at the risk of sounding selfish, I will tell you that I need my lifemate at my side. Please do not surrender to these dark thoughts that are overcoming you. Please do not seek to be someone who may have been. Please come back to me as you were before this man from your past reappeared in your life, and I will love you and care for you and, to the extent that I can, I will make you happy. I am aware that this is very little. However, it is all I have.”

    Ack! Forgive me for melting a bit - but that was such a beautifully worded moment, and a testament to just how wounded mentally Ayesha is that it took her time to respond and reply in kind. But, knowing that she had a shoulder waiting for her - and still wanting her in her entirety - had to have helped her find her own feet once more.[face_love]

    This time however, when she turned around, there was a spark in her eyes that had been missing since the name of Paraseel Malki had been uttered in their home.

    Thrawn thought their home. Maybe he did so before and I didn't notice it in my whirlwind reading, but that's a testament to just how deeply he feels in of itself. [face_love]

    And the sculpture! Once again, I love how integral art is to this story. I am so glad that she was able to find herself, and her voice, through her art - and, more importantly, with adding him to her art. That was an incredibly beautiful, pivotal moment, and I enjoyed every word of it.

    This was beautifully done, once again. Now I am eager to see where you take our two from here. =D=
     
    Ewok Poet, Gemma, Kahara and 4 others like this.
  24. AzureAngel2

    AzureAngel2 Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jun 14, 2005
    Dang, Mira_Jade was quicker to reply to this piece of text than I was.

    Thrawn moved her head to face him with a finger under her chin. “Listen to me, Ayoo’sha. You are a person. Yes, you have been through unspeakable pain, and yes, it has marked you forever. But you are a person with a shining, a luminous, a beautiful soul. You may be the only person who could ever break through Lord Vader’s armour. You are one of the few who helped bring your uncle back to the Light. Your father adores you in a way that cannot be described in words. You are surrounded by people who love, trust and respect you, and who look to you for guidance. Kal and Mira’s son Tam has a connection to you that I did not think possible in a child. You give Doctor Simon hope and, when your friend Uumana finally recovers, it will be in no small part for your care and attention. As for me” – he sighed – “you took a man who was aloof and cold-hearted, a man who viewed everything in terms of manipulation and strategy, a man who could never deserve your grace, and you gave me everything that is good and bright in my life.” He paused. “I am not able to heal the evil that has befallen you, but at the risk of sounding selfish, I will tell you that I need my lifemate at my side. Please do not surrender to these dark thoughts that are overcoming you. Please do not seek to be someone who may have been. Please come back to me as you were before this man from your past reappeared in your life, and I will love you and care for you and, to the extent that I can, I will make you happy. I am aware that this is very little. However, it is all I have.” He looked at her carefully and sighed again. “But it is not enough, is it?”

    But what I still can do is going after my husband who stood behind me while I read your fic and said very smugly: "Oh, Grand-Admiral Darcy is on-board. This is a bit sappy." Grrr! I am going to hit DarthUncle with his most favourite Jane Austen volume now!

    Before I roam the flat for my husband, let me tell you that I am glad about the big role art and music play in this fic. They are outlets for the soul, troubled or not. They give healing & comfort. Athena & Euterpe should be very proud of you. @};-
     
    Ewok Poet, DarthUncle, Gemma and 4 others like this.
  25. divapilot

    divapilot Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 30, 2005
    Someday the female who created that piece for you will need again to tell you something that cannot be spoken and I will be honoured if this can help her in such an endeavour.

    Smart man. Ayesha needs art as an extension of herself. She would not survive without it. And the message - that they belong together, that they are two halves of the same whole, is beautiful. It's not something to be said, it is something to be felt. [:D]
     
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