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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. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Feb 27, 2014
    Whoa. All kinds of psychedelic here, if that's the word I want.

    I had to read this a couple times through to see if I could identify all the personages; I think I can guess who some are, but not all. From Ayesha's own life, I can pick out Messiri and Rabarruk, and maybe Nazmat Koch, and Ayesha's birth mother, Thriyé Vos—iI've long wondered about here, and it's really cool to catch a glimpse of her here (and to speculate on what she might have been saying to her daughter). Even the Lifeform seems to be on hand, at least for a bit, as the small soul floating alongside Ayesha in the bacta. From the Saga, it looks like Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan are there, as well as Padmé, and I think Shmi too... and of course the three pairs of eyes need no explanation.

    It's interesting how many mother figures there are among the personages Ayesha sees in this chapter, both in th bacta and during her recovery in bed: from her own birth and adoptive mothers to the notable mothers of the Saga, to herself in connection with the small soul that might be the Lifeform. (Is this what you meant by the "but..." in your response to my previous review?) That seems to be a theme here: the conflict that she's witnessing (!) in the DS2 throne room, which has so much to do with paternal figures of one kind or another, is also bringing up reflections on maternal figures. Or some such. I konw I'm not very coherent right now, because really, I'm just bowled over by this chapter.

    And this is all taking place to the sound of Namajib's beautiful, soul-harrowing poetry—that is the soundtrack, and indeed more than the soundtrack, because no doubt some of these images she's seeing are related to the poems. The saga of the Child with No Name is mirroring The Saga, which is just a mastertouch, plain and simple. (brandishes protest sign) The people! Demand! You write down some of these poems for us! Now! :p

    And all this leads to [hl=black]the severing of both the Emperor's and Vader's hold on our heroine's mind.[/hl] Cause for unmitigated relief and rejoicing? Don't know yet—aftereffects will undoubtedly linger, recovery will still be necessary, adn this is only the first of probably thrty or forty or so part-three chapters, so Ayesha's troubles can't be over yet.

    Again, just plain amazing work here. =D=
    AzureAngel2, Gemma, Chyntuck and 3 others like this.
  2. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

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

    Aug 31, 2004
    Yes, Findswoman - Chyntuck and (on the NSW side) Mira_Jade render me quite, quite gushy with wow-ness. ^:)^ I have a feeling the poems will remind me of three favorites of mine: e.e. cummings, E. Barrett-Browning, & Nayyirah Waheed. [face_love] Yuppers, another thread LOL [face_batting]
  3. Csillan_girl

    Csillan_girl Jedi Master star 5

    May 6, 2003
    Woah. Just... woah. [face_hypnotized]

    Okay, I'm repeating myself. [face_blush]

    Findswoman, that was my thought, too: Ayesha's troubles can't be over yet.
    After all, old Palps manages to return six years later... and not long after Thrawn dies in TTT (nah, his clone dies. Of course. Silly mistake. :p).
    btw, where is Thrawn? Did he make it to Endor in time? Did he get his revenge, too?
    I'd LOVE some Thrawn POV now.
    Can't wait for that mystery to be solved...
  4. Gemma

    Gemma Jedi Master star 4

    Dec 25, 2013
    Part 3, Chapter 1 --- I really adore how much LaRone cares about her --- his tears on her hand really touched my heart.
  5. divapilot

    divapilot Force Ghost star 4

    Nov 30, 2005

    You have managed to skillfully merge canon and original characters so seamlessly that they now actually belong together. Ayesha's mother is just as legitimate and meaningful as Padme. I understand LaRone's perspective in Allegiance better because I know what he experienced with Ayesha. I can recognize the canon characters from the little wisps of description you give them. Masterful writing, this.

    She has witnessed the duel between the emperor and Vader, experienced his death, and walked into the vale with him. Imagine the artwork this will inspire.
  6. JadeLotus

    JadeLotus Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Mar 27, 2005
    Ayesha's visions were heartbreaking, and so very layered - especially this:

    What a brilliant description of Vader's thoughts in the Emperor's throne room and then Ayesha being freed as Anakin was redeemed. Just beautiful.
  7. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Jul 31, 2014
    Catching up...waited until today on purpose. =D=

    First of all, thank you so much for having posted the last chapter of part II before I got out of the country, as I got a 5 Euro charge for having downloaded a text file the next day for the purpose of writing while returning home. Not to mention that I could not possibly wait to get my hands on the wifi at the hostel, this had to be read. Ironically, the latter of the two chapters I'm catching up with provided to be even more interesting, but yeah. XD

    Second of all, kriff everybody and everything for having said it all before me, so now I have to improvise.

    Part II, chapter 33

    So, this is the chapter I was reading on the bus and my friend asked me what I was reading. I showed her and she pushed the tablet away saying "Uh, please no, this is morbid!" and then she asked if my stuff is "as freaky". I...I didn't know what to say; but in case anybody on here ever wondered what a random non-fan thinks of dramas, thrillers et cetera on here, now you know. o_O

    The said part was something I had on my mind ever since Ayesha came to the Admonitor, I just thought it would have been Force lightning or something more physical, as opposed to Force pikes. The projection makes it even more brutal. No wonder that Ayesha's condition worsens even before the events of the next chapter - living through things that are extremely traumatic and best forgotten. But somehow, I feel, she wanted to reveal everything to Thrawn at some point. Or maybe Vader did.

    Interesting, the more and more time passed by, Ayesha and LaRone are on the first-name basis. Given that he's a vigilant as much as he is not (not sure how else to say this), I am curious so as to what he will pick from her in the future and if they will stay in touch. Assuming that they both live, that is.

    Reis Azada should definitely be back at some point in part III.


    And I thought that the pearl was a MacGuffin, placebo or whatever, glad that I guessed it. :D

    Part III, chapter 1

    Dante's Inferno? A take on the Orpheus myth? Something else? A little bit of it all? It's beautifully, beautifully written. An U-turn in terms of style, but it works very well.

    I am glad that we finally got to the big moment where the answer has presented itself: Ayesha lives on after Vader's death! Major relief. But since the ending is a cliffie of sorts, albeit a subtle one, YOU WOULD BETTER STOP STARRING AT VOLDEMORT ON TV AND GIVE US MORE.

    [hl=black]Kidding, was looking for an excuse to use that joke.[/hl]

    The end of the second part of the chapter is interesting - when her mother and her adoptive family shift with what looks like [hl=black]Anakin and Padmé[/hl]. And the symbolism of eye colours throughout. Trippy, psychedelic,

    And then, [hl=black]Schmi, Padmé, Obi-Wan all appear with Vader's victims AND her mother[/hl]. Hmmm...once again, Ayesha knows too much.

    As off-the-wall as my prediction may be, I expect [hl=black]Luke[/hl] at some point. You never said when precisely it ends, but there has got to be a connection of sorts...hmmm.
  8. Rau_Fang

    Rau_Fang Jedi Master star 2

    Mar 28, 2005
    Srry if this all seems a little out of date and late everyone. After several summer vacations and much dilly dallying I'm finally getting around to writing my impressions from the first part of this wonderful series (b4 I eagerly dive into reading the next).

    I dont know if this is the best quote to represent this concept - but I wanted to say that I love every time the emperor makes an appearance. The pomp and ceremony around the emperor brings the Imperial City intrigue to a fever pitch. You really nailed this tone that reminds me of an Imperial court in 19th century Europe - some strange blend of corruption and romance. Not to mention he's so delightfully evil.

    Another great look at the political intrigue that you do v well!

    Ayesha is a true artist and I love how her pursuit of commissions and pay are a part of her daily grind. In fact your desc of elements and materials and techniques were always spot on for me, a non-artist. It is easy to see why Thrawn fell in love with her when you write so eloquently about art. I loved how you developed her relationship with Thrawn in context of her residency at the Palace. Essentially both Thrawn and Ayesha are working jobs to pay the bills and kinda suits them - but doesn't really fit their souls' passion. Only thing is that Ayesha can/did leave the Palace - Thrawn will always be tethered to it.

    On another note the blossoming relationship between Thrawn and Ayesha has been a treat. Romance isn't usually my thing - I prefer the seedier sides of the gffa - but your Thrawn and Ayesha are so perfectly matched. I trust Thrawn to carry through for her. I have not read part 2 yet so I have no idea whats in store that everyone else has already read.

    Part 2 here I come!
  9. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

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

    Aug 31, 2004
    Rau_Fang - there is none, none more soul-deep wonderful than this pairing. [face_love] Totally. The interweaving of political/personal/SW canon is sheer wow. :D
    Chyntuck, AzureAngel2 and Rau_Fang like this.
  10. AzureAngel2

    AzureAngel2 Force Ghost star 6

    Jun 14, 2005
    She opened her eyes to see a panicked Doctor Cottle who was patting her cheeks and a devastated LaRone who was crying like a child. His brow was resting on her arm and his tears were running on her hand, as if he were bidding her a last farewell. She was trembling violently and she was drenched in sweat, but her voice was clearer and more lucid than it had been for months when she finally managed to speak.

    “He’s gone,” she said. “The Emperor, Lord Vader... they’re both gone.”

    With Ayesha´s visions and her near-death experience you lead us through the horrors of Hades and over Islands of the Blessed. It is like being allowed to drink from pool of Mnemosyne.

    Vader is dead now and so is the Emperor. I am glad Anakin further redeemed himself here by helping our heroine back to the light.

    But, like in most Greek tragedies, we know that there will be no happy ending. I fear I know what will happen next... or any time soon.

    Chyntuck and Ewok Poet like this.
  11. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Jul 31, 2014

    I too have been pondering this for a long time now.
    AzureAngel2 and Chyntuck like this.
  12. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

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

    Aug 31, 2004
    I cannot will not contemplate. I will be one depressed and bummed puppy if we lose our darling Ayesha. :_| :_| So we can't. LOL
    AzureAngel2 and Chyntuck like this.
  13. Kahara

    Kahara Force Ghost star 4

    Mar 3, 2001
    Part II

    The New Alzoc chapters were excellent; I loved the world-building of the Talz culture and Reis Azada’s character in particular. :) There’s something really cool about these fierce-looking beings adapted to ice and snow being, for the most part, really warm-hearted and kind. And the tension of Ayesha’s growing inability to filter Vader from her psyche made for an interesting counterpoint to the serenity of New Alzoc. By this point in the story we always kind of worry about Ayesha, but still… yeah, I was worried. I’ll take the bait every time. ;)

    And the scene where Quiller stops here from escaping to nowhere in the shuttle is also a favorite, as strange of a choice as that might be.

    I like how we can see the understanding and friendship between them in spite of this emotionally fraught situation. And I love that Quiller is able to get through to Ayesha such that she decides to give up the dangerous plan more-or-less of her own free will instead of putting her under guard “for her own good” or anything like that. Friends having respect for each other is a pretty cool thing.

    Ayesha and Thrawn’s discussion and the revelations there were wrenching. But at least now Thrawn realizes how he was set up to take down Zaarin. It’s unfortunate for Ayesha though – she keeps ending up in the medcenter. Hopefully the end of the Emperor might mean fewer reoccurences of that, at least, even though it won’t solve everything.

    Loved that Thrawn thought of using Namajib’s poetry as a focus to help Ayesha. That shows a sensitivity and love that we know is there but have not gotten to see him express in quite a while. And beyond what it says about his character, it has this great sense of rightness. The words that her father wrote for her as a child are still there, still powerful, and still able to bring her a kind of lifeline even if they cannot protect her from the world. It’s a really beautiful example of that theme of art as a force (or Force) for good that runs right through this story from the beginning chapters up to the current ones.

    And I was going “wow” at the moment when Thrawn gets a rather important memo – and decides to totally and utterly disobey. =D= And does it in what seems to be a rather smart way that has a good chance of success, at least with regard to keeping his ships from aiding the Emperor. Although I do wonder what he plans to do alone at Endor. This being canon-ish, we know he survives…

    Part III

    Ooh, I really liked the quote that begins this section! Nifty! :D

    Yipes. I like how this gives us some insight into the mental bond, while at the same time it’s pretty much classic Cottle. Worried about your patient? Make a lot of noise and bluster!

    Ayesha’s visions are both fascinating and unsettling. The eyes that she cannot identify – I can just imagine that being a really dizzying and fearful thing. And so many images from the Saga, that we know are probably coming from Vader’s thoughts. All the fear/anger/misery he’s felt seems to dredge up her own awful memories too.

    Whoa. That’s something. :eek: Really well-done depiction of the chaos that might be Vader’s mind/soul at this point.

    Her mysterious guide who helps her out is interesting – I’m thinking it might be Anakin post-redemption, but it’s left ambiguous like much of the rest (and I like it that way, since she wouldn’t know everything).

    The crowd of loved ones Ayesha has known and those from Anakin’s life is another of those moments that I can’t come up with a proper description or reaction for, just amazement. We can guess who some of them are, while there is a bit of mystery (at least for me) with others. It’s interesting that not everyone there is dead yet – but with the Force being timeless, why not? Past and future may be irrelevant in the place where Ayesha has found herself.

    And yet another “wow” moment in a chapter full of them. It seems just right that she wakes up knowing at least part of what it all meant – that Vader and the Emperor are gone.
  14. Chyntuck

    Chyntuck Force Ghost star 5

    Jul 11, 2014
    *peeks into the thread and jumps* :eek: I said updates would be erratic for a couple of weeks and it's been a month and a half! [face_blush] Okay, everyone please be nice to me, it's the fault of DRL, Greek politics and all-around national collapse. [face_dunno]

    Anyway, I'm more or less back. I had to re-read everything I'd written so far, including my encyclopaedia of notes, to find my writing groove, so if no disaster happens you can count on an update on Monday. Disclaimer: lots of disasters happen in Greece these days.

    The good news is that, since I re-read everything, I did at last the final clean-up of Part I. You can download it here in pdf, epub and mobi. I just hope the conversion didn't screw up the formatting too badly. Part II is coming soon (the same disclaimer applies).

    And here's the cover art -- with special thanks to Ewok Poet for her advice [:D]


    And now some replies to my dear readers, whom I've neglected for far too long.
    What can I say but a big, fat THANK YOU! I imagine you got past your withdrawal syndrome by now, but I'll do my best to ayoo'shify you again in Part III :p
    I promise I wasn't high on anything when I wrote this. Not even caffeine ;)
    This chapter was actually a quiz to test how much you remember of what you've read [face_laugh] Okay, that was a lousy joke. Indeed, you guessed quite a few characters there; there's also Kal, Mira and Tam (the couple with the child), Eliskandro (the cheerful slug), and Ayesha's friends from the Hand of Judgement (the feeling of armour on her skin). There were also memories of Zygerria, the Underlevels and Kiffu in there (the mesas, the dank alleys, the fortress, etc.)

    My idea when writing this was that, since Ayesha's and Vader's memories have now more or less merged, some figures could be ambiguous -- for instance the small soul floating in the bacta could be both Ayesha's memory of her baby and Luke/Leia as they were sensed through the Force by Anakin when Padmé was pregnant. Similarly, I wanted the identity of the guide to remain open for interpretation -- as Kahara said it could be a redeemed Anakin, but also LaRone or Namajib Eskari himself (in fact when I wrote this I shifted from one identity to the other in the middle of the sentence, but I don't quite remember at which point).
    I thought that was perfectly coherent :) Between Palpatine who is downright evil, Anakin who looses it a bit too often and Obi-Wan who fails his apprentice big time, father figures in SW aren't the most positive, and I had plans for Yakooboo to have a skeleton in his closet too (I dropped that story line later, but it was part of my themes for this fic). On the other hand, mother figures are far more nurturing and selfless, be it Shmi, Padmé or Beru, and that's something Ayesha can, or would like to identify with.

    As for my 'yes, but' answer to your question about the Lifeform earlier, you'll have to wait until the middle of part III to find out [face_devil]
    [face_blush] I promise I'll try. I have vague plans for a mini-sequel to this, for which I could use some actual poems, but I never wrote poetry in English before and it's kind of daunting.
    Part III will be thirty-two chapters if all goes according to plan, so yes, Ayesha's troubles will go on for a while.
    Thank you! [:D]

    Thanks! :)
    Well, I don't really do Thrawn POV, but you'll have your answer on Monday (disclaimer, etc, etc.)

    Thanks! LaRone is a true good friend. She's really lucky to have him, because Thrawn somehow managed (again!) not to be around when it mattered :mad:

    Thank you! As you probably all guessed by now, this was not an easy chapter to write, so I'm happy to see that it worked out.

    Thanks all for reading and reviewing! I'm being called off to dinner now, but I'll be back in a couple of days for more replies and a downloadable version of Part II, and hopefully on Monday with a new chapter.
    Gemma, AzureAngel2, Kahara and 3 others like this.
  15. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

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

    Aug 31, 2004
    All I can say is - praise Jah with me!!! LOL [face_dancing] Nope, Chyntuck - the only thing that's happened is I have 4 OTPs now. [face_love] Blue/Bree is part of the quartet whereas before it was a triumvirate. [face_batting] :^:)^
    Gemma, AzureAngel2, Kahara and 2 others like this.
  16. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Jul 31, 2014
    I have downloaded the epub to my Calibre and I can see that grampa Vos now has a name. The first thing I spotted. :D And than you for the credits, I am glad to have helped. :)

    I hope Lamtee and Dacco make an appearance in part three, they were so cute. [face_love] Also, Onion, Valeria and Matt (though I like her more than him), Tashi, the Stamings, Simon...wondering if their lives will treat them at least a bit better. But most importantly, Yakooboo and two favourites. Sure, it's your story, but one has to wonder if these characters will be revisited before the end.
    AzureAngel2, Kahara and Chyntuck like this.
  17. Chyntuck

    Chyntuck Force Ghost star 5

    Jul 11, 2014
    Replies and downloadable formats, season 1, episode 2 :)

    Ooookay, I finished cleaning up part II of this story, so it's also available for download in pdf, epub and mobi here (cc Rau_Fang and Viridian-Maiden, since you'd already asked for a downloadable format of part I). And here's the cover art, again with thanks to Ewok Poet (I had no idea what a difference it makes to properly calibrate the colours on my monitor!)


    And now the last of the replies
    You're most welcome. I fully empathise, we also have rip-off mobile internet providers in the southern Balkans :p
    I can empathise on that one as well!
    Honestly, having re-read it... it actually *is* morbid, so your friend might have a point ;)
    It's the sheevy sheever we're talking about, so of course whatever he did would have to be pretty nasty [face_skull] As for who wanted to reveal everything to Thrawn, to be honest I haven't quite made up my mind myself, so the answer would be 'probably a little bit of both' -- but the truth is that Ayesha would need to get this off her chest at some point, and Reis Azada's advice might have played a role too.
    Spoiler: [hl=black]yes, they both live, but keeping in touch is... complicated[/hl] [face_whistling]
    Thank you [face_blush]
    As you can imagine, I'm desperate by now for the moment Voldemort won't be on TV anymore, but that's not likely to happen anytime soon :(
    The good news though is that the two people who could really hurt Ayesha for knowing too much are gone. That's gotta count for something [face_relieved] but of course she's not out of the woods yet, 31 chapters to go ;)
    I'm not quite there yet. Maybe, maybe not. I'd love to squeeze him in, but I'm not sure I'll manage.
    Welcome back (she said one month late). You've got part II in downloadable format too now, and I need to go and check on your fic, I saw you posted today [:D]
    Thank you [face_blush] This fic allows me to write the sort of thing I don't usually do -- there's a lot of political intrigue in the original novel I'm (supposed to be) working on right now, but that involves mostly sleazy Greek politicians, so Imperial pomp is a nice change from that. I'm happy you like this aspect, because there's more of that in part II.
    Ayesha's character underwent quite a transformation in my head once I decided that the Imperial side of things would be represented by Thrawn in this story -- I mean, he wouldn't fall for just about anyone, would he? He's a difficult customer [face_laugh]
    I hope you enjoy [face_party]

    Thanks! They actually helped each other in a sense -- like having a little voice whispering in the back of their head (okay, in Ayesha's case, a rather loud voice!)
    To all three: [face_whistling]
    Thanks! Writing the Talz was a blast. I seem to have a thing for big, furry monsters with a heart of gold [face_love] We'll definitely be revisiting them at some point in part III.
    The five guys of the HoJ are definitely *good* guys. I wish I had "space" in this fic to develop more their individual personalities, because other than LaRone they don't get much airtime. I think I can add more about Quiller though in part III. After all, he's a Galaxy Watch reader, so there's got to be something I can come up with :p
    And Thrawn is really pissed that he was manipulated, right? The question is however, does he realise that a Force user with the gift of foresight is better placed than him to manipulate everyone else?

    As for Ayesha ending up in the medcentre... at least we know that it won't happen because of the Emperor again [face_whistling]
    :p It's also borrowed from a beautiful tragedy that I definitely recommend you read. Prepare a box of tissues though.
    [face_laugh] Also, be as irreverent as you can towards authority, because it might make you feel better that you can't do anything, and then realise it didn't work.
    As I mentioned in the first batch of replies, a lot of this was left intentionally ambiguous and open for interpretation, since it's supposed to be a mishmash of Ayesha's and Vader's memories but also their aspirations and elements from the past as well as the future, and all this happens at a time when she isn't able to differentiate between these various thoughts. As opposed to your next comment...
    ... where now her mind his clear (or as clear as it gets) and she can understand, or at least try to interpret, what she saw in her vision/delirium.
    I caught up with Bree/Blue and yes, they're [face_love]. Get ready for some express beta-ing, there's an inbound chapter later today!
    Yes, several characters that were unnamed or partially named have full names now -- which reminds me that I must update my OC Index entry. Please let me know if you spot any major formatting issues with the epub and I'll fix them asap.
    I don't want to get into too much detail here for reasons of spoilericity, but yes, pretty much everyone will be back in part III -- although you may not expect or even like what they'll be up to [face_whistling]

    And I'm finally caught up! Thanks again for the reviews, everyone [:D] Now it's siesta o'clock, and then the next chapter lands in Ny's inbox!
  18. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Jul 31, 2014
    I woke up, read this and as I got to the very end, the first rain shower in two months started. Now I have determined that you have to keep on updating, so it would rain here. :eek: #idiotlogic

    I will go through both epubs quickly and let you know if I have seen anything weird, in private (because this is not a thread about making an e-book). Thanks for replies, too....really intrigued towards which characters may turn out to be pr1cks and how and even more intrigued about the stuff in spoilers. :)
    AzureAngel2 and Findswoman like this.
  19. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Feb 27, 2014
    Besides repeating yet again how happy I am to see you back, [:D] I'll say that your natty new PDFs and epubs with their gorgeous covers are inspiring me to maybe sometime try something similar with my own epic! Though I'll need expert advice from both you and Ewok Poet when that time comes.

    Looking forward to the next chapter! :)
    AzureAngel2, Kahara and Ewok Poet like this.
  20. Chyntuck

    Chyntuck Force Ghost star 5

    Jul 11, 2014
    Thanks EP, I'll be replying to your PM in the next ten minutes [:D]

    And thank you too, Findswoman! Mr Chyntuckopoulos put a lot of effort into teaching me how to use Calibre. I think that it's actually fairly easy to use for people who aren't as technologically challenged as me :p

    And now (drumroll) here is chapter 2, only a month and a half late [face_blush] I'm not sure what board etiquette is for the tag list after such a long hiatus, so I'll keep the same, but as usual let me know if you would like to be added or removed.

    Also, for the foreseeable future, updates will be on Monday and Thursday afternoon rather than in the morning, because my working hours are still a bit hectic, but I hope to be able to stick to the schedule.

    Tags: AzureAngel2 Findswoman Gemma K'Tai qel Letta-Tanku Mando-Man Mira_Jade Raissa Baiard


    Chapter 2: Confusion

    Ayesha was awoken by the murmur of voices, and she opened her eyes to see Captain Niriz standing by her bed and giving her a kind smile. “Welcome back to the land of the living, Miss Eskari. Doctor Cottle tells me that you gave us quite a scare last night.”

    She did her best to smile back and lifted herself on her pillows while LaRone adjusted her headrest. She noticed that a cot had been set up in a corner of her room and that Voss Parck was standing in the doorway, as if hesitating to walk in. The Doctor checked her vitals and verified the brain scan monitor, and he finally gave an approving nod to LaRone, who handed her a cup of caf.

    Niriz looked at her carefully. There were deep, dark circles under her eyes, and her eyelids were puffed, as if she had been crying in her sleep, but she seemed perfectly clearheaded and aware of her surroundings and she was staring at him questioningly. “I apologise for disturbing you so early in your recovery,” he said finally. “Unfortunately, given the gravity of the situation, this cannot wait, but it will not last long.” He took a deep breath. “I have just received a message on the emergency relay informing me that His Majesty the Emperor and Lord Vader are dead.”

    Ayesha nodded. “Yes. They are.”

    The Captain’s gaze went to Doctor Cottle before returning to her. “Doctor Cottle says that you somehow... witnessed the scene and you saw them both be killed by the Rebellion, is that correct?”

    “They weren’t killed by the Rebellion,” she protested. “It was Anakin who killed the Emperor. Then he died from his injuries.”

    Niriz and Parck exchanged a puzzled glance. “Our information says nothing of someone named Anakin. It mentions a Rebel named Luke Skywalker who –”

    “You don’t understand. Luke Skywalker was there, but he’s Anakin’s – Lord Vader’s – son. Anakin Skywalker. That was his real name. His only name. He took it back.”

    There was a long silence. “Anakin Skywalker,” Parck muttered. “I remember him from the Clone Wars. They called him the Hero With No Fear.”

    Ayesha’s lips curved into a wistful smile. She seemed lost in memory. “It’s true. He had no fear.”

    There was another silence, until Captain Niriz cleared his throat. “At any rate, you can confirm that they are dead.” She nodded. “Both of them.” She nodded again. “You are confident that this... vision you had was that very scene.”

    “It’s a little more complicated than that, but yes,” she said impatiently. “Is there something in particular you want to know?”

    Niriz took another deep breath. “Was the Grand Admiral in your vision?”

    She thought back to the man who was cradling an infant, half-hidden behind Nazmat Koch. “Yes. He was there.”

    At this the Captain was utterly dismayed. “Are you certain? The Grand Admiral was on the Death Star when it blew up?”

    Ayesha gave him a perplexed look. “What Death Star? I just saw him in my mind.”

    LaRone intervened. “Ayesha, the Captain isn’t asking you for every detail of your vision, he understands that you might have seen... private things. But you said that you saw the Emperor and Lord Vader – Anakin Skywalker – die, and we know that the space station they were on exploded. What he wants to know is if Thrawn was there with them.”

    She scrunched her face in concentration. “No. I saw him, but I don’t think he was with them.” She suddenly sat up, looking very distressed. “Thrawn went back to the Emperor?”

    “That’s the thing, Miss Eskari. We don’t know where he is.”

    Tears welled up in her eyes. “Thrawn went back to the Emperor,” she repeated.

    “Miss Eskari, please, calm yourself,” Niriz spluttered. “We don’t know where the Grand Admiral is. He left the ship on the very day he arrived, saying that he had to go to the Forest Moon of Endor. But the shuttle that was prepared for him only has a class-two hyperdrive – for some reason, he preferred an older model to the faster craft we can provide. Given the scarcity of navigable hyperlanes in this part of space, it is unlikely he could have reached his destination in such a short time.”

    She shook her head. “He went back to the Emperor.”

    LaRone took a step towards her. “Ayesha, listen to me. Listen to me,” he repeated when she didn’t pay attention. “We don’t know where Thrawn is, we don’t really know where he went, and, in truth, all we know is that his behaviour was a little strange before he left.”

    “He chose a shuttle without a transponder,” Niriz explained. “It’s therefore impossible for us to track it down. And he didn’t leave behind the receiver of the private communication device he is supposed to activate in the case of events that threaten the stability of the Empire.”

    “The orders he gave us was for the Star Destroyers to explore the edge of the Galaxy, while the rest of the task force patrolled the systems we control in the Unknown Regions,” Parck interjected. “And then he left, alone.”

    “Not alone,” LaRone corrected. “He took his orderly with him. That’s all we know.”

    “And we wanted to check with you if you had any clue where he could be,” Niriz added. “Because all that... it’s just very unlike him, and, well, it’s kind of worrying. We are hesitating to contact Coruscant and ask for further instructions.”

    There was a silence. “I don’t know,” Ayesha said finally, pulling herself together. “I saw him. But I saw other people too, and they weren’t on a space station. The only thing I know for a fact is that Anakin came back to the Light and killed the Emperor. The rest... I’m not sure how much of it happened, or if it will happen, or... I don’t know. I don’t think it was real.”

    Niriz nodded. “I understand, Miss Eskari,” he said in a tone that clearly meant he didn’t. “You had a difficult night. We will let you rest now. I wish you a prompt recovery.”

    He turned on his heel and went to leave. “Captain,” she called behind him. “Now that the Emperor is dead, does it mean that I can go back to my father?”

    Niriz gave her a sad smile. “I’m afraid not, Miss Eskari. As far as I know, the Empire still exists, with or without the Emperor. But I promise you that I will look into this issue as soon as I figure out whom I am taking orders from.”

    * * *​

    The following weeks went by in a contest of wills between Ayesha and Doctor Cottle. She was adamant that she was just fine and demanded to be discharged and return to her quarters, but the Doctor would have none of it. “You nearly died on my watch, again,” he countered every morning when she asked if she could finally get along with her daily life. “I’m not letting you out of here until I’m satisfied that you’re back to normal, and your brain scans are anything but normal.”

    He pointed at the monitor and explained to her that, by all indications, her subconscious mind was working overtime once more. She objected that, given her personal history, this was normal for her, but she refused to go into details of her childhood when Cottle questioned her about it. “It’s not that I don’t want to tell you about it, it’s that I can’t think about it,” she told him stubbornly. “I spoke about some of those things to Thrawn and you saw where that got me.” Cottle objected that her seizure after talking to Thrawn might have been linked to Vader’s presence in her mind. “No,” she said firmly. “I’ve been dealing with this for years. I know what talking does to me, and I won’t discuss it.” The dialogue always ended in a stalemate and she lay back against her pillows with a sigh of frustration.

    Meanwhile, the Admonitor was slowly making her way towards Matta Thryne. “Niriz and Parck decided to establish another emergency relay there, and it will take some time,” LaRone explained to Ayesha. “As things are right now, we’d be completely out of touch with the Core if we went a few parsecs further towards the edge of the Galaxy. They want to be able to receive whatever news there is without revealing the full extent of this task force to whomever is in charge. So we’ll sit there and wait until we know what’s going on.”

    “How can the people in the Core not know about this task force if they’re sending messages to us?” she asked.

    “Oh, they know about us all right. But they believe that all there is to us is the Admonitor. They aren’t aware of the task force that we recruited here, they aren’t aware of all the territory we opened up – that’s a hundred and fifty sectors by Imperial standards – and I’m not even sure they know about the Grey Wolf. I doubt anyone kept track of that ship between the end of Zaarin’s insurrection and the Emperor’s death. So they think that there’s a lone Star Destroyer with a bunch of exiles mapping the Unknown Regions, and Captain Niriz decided to keep it that way until he figures out what he should do next.”

    Ayesha sighed. “What about me? I have to stay here until he figures it out?”

    “Trust me, you’re better off this way,” LaRone answered. “We don’t know who’s boss now on Coruscant. You’ve been here for a year already, wait a bit longer. Better safe than sorry.”

    “Yes, I’ve been here,” she whispered. “There’s so much more I could have been doing for the people who needed me.” The stormtrooper looked at her curiously, but she didn’t elaborate. “I have a headache,” she said when she felt tears shining in her eyes. “I’ll try to sleep again, okay?”

    News of the known Galaxy reaching the task force was fragmented and sporadic – the Imperial authorities were visibly trying to limit the amount of information that was being broadcasted on the HoloNet – and all Captain Niriz knew was that the Imperial Fleet, under the orders of one Captain Gilad Pellaeon, had retreated to the Annaj system to regroup, until Major Vermel, who had been in the Core on one of his routine liaison missions, caught up with the Admonitor and the Grey Wolf as they entered the Thryne system. “The news is not good,” Niriz told Ayesha when he came to visit Ayesha a few days later. “The Imperial throne is now occupied by Grand Vizier Sate Pestage, who has the support of Director of Intelligence Ysanne Isard. Both are extremely hostile to the Grand Admiral. Furthermore, your homeworld of Kashyyyk has declared its allegiance to the Rebellion. I could file a request for the arrest warrant against you to be rescinded if you ask me to, but I doubt that it would produce any positive results. As a matter of fact, I do not believe that to remind them of your existence would be a good idea at this stage.”

    Ayesha nodded mournfully. “So what should we do?”

    “I suggest we wait until we hear from the Grand Admiral. All indications are that he was not present at Endor. Vermel didn’t receive any communications from him, but I expect he will be in touch sooner rather than later.”

    “What Niriz didn’t tell you is that the situation out there is a bloody mess,” LaRone whispered in hushed tones as soon as the Captain had walked out the door. “With Vader and the Emperor gone, some military commanders are abandoning the Fleet to carve up a territory of their own. There were also uprisings on various worlds when news of the defeat at Endor spread. There was even one on Coruscant, and Isard put it down. Vermel said he never saw such a bloodbath.”

    Ayesha gave him a worried look. “Did he say anything about Kashyyyk?”

    “Not that I know,” the stormtrooper said soothingly. “Hey, calm down,” he added when he saw her eyes welling up again. “Don’t get yourself in a tizzy. I’m sure your family are perfectly safe. Now do those meditation exercises Reis Azada practised with you. I need you to get better so that you can start teaching me Cheunh again.”

    By the time the two Star Destroyers had settled in orbit above the Gree colony of Matta Thryne, Doctor Cottle had given up on keeping Ayesha in the med lab all the time. “You can go to the library and resume your language classes,” he told her. “But you are not, repeat not, to overly exert yourself. I want you here every night and I want you to promise that you’ll come back whenever you feel the slightest malaise. Did you get that?” She couldn’t quite suppress the smile that was twitching at the corner of her mouth as she nodded in agreement. “Don’t you laugh at me, young lady. I have every reason to be worried about you, even now. I need you to stop ruminating those dark thoughts, do you understand?”

    “Ruminating thoughts is the story of my life,” Ayesha retorted acidly. “I can’t eliminate them, so I’m doing everything I can to put them away in a corner of my mind. That’s what my Ata’ taught me to do. That’s what my uncle told me to do, and he’s a Jedi. Unless you have a miracle cure for it, that’s what I’ll keep doing, because I don’t know how to do anything else.” She raised her chin defiantly when he didn’t answer. “Well? Do you have a miracle cure?”

    The Doctor’s shoulders sagged in defeat. “No, I don’t. But I am certain that there are bits and pieces in there” – he tapped a finger to her forehead – “that you can process instead of... of storing them for the next disaster. I don’t need your brain scans to see that you are regularly crying in your sleep. Those are not thoughts you seek to suppress, they’re thoughts that you want to let out. Fine, you don’t want me to help you. But you need to find a way to let them out, do you hear me? Now get dressed and enjoy your first day out of the lab.”

    He left Ayesha alone to slip on her jumpsuit and boots. She sat on the edge of her hospital bed for a moment, then sprang to her feet, but instead of heading for the ready room where she was due to meet Stent and his posse of Chiss pilots, she went straight to her quarters and locked the door.

    When Doctor Cottle and LaRone came for her half an hour later – the Chiss pilots had, predictably, warned them that she didn’t turn up for their language class – they had to key the override code to let themselves in, and they found her kneeling by the lounge table, breathing the aromatic smoke emanating from a plasteel cup with her two Troukree blades disposed on either side of it, as she had done on Life Day a few months earlier to commemorate the passing of her adoptive mother. Her eyelids were puffed again and it was obvious that she had been crying.

    “What in the blue blazes are you doing?” Cottle blurted before LaRone could speak.

    “I tried to listen to you,” she said contritely. “I tried to let it out.”


    “Anakin’s pain. I tried to let it out.” She burst into sobs. “He’s gone, you know. He’s gone, but his pain is still here.” She tapped her fingers on her heart. “It’s still here and I tried to let it out, but I can’t. I tried to mourn him, because someone has to mourn him. It didn’t work.”


    Note: Pellaeon's role in the battle of Endor is described in the Essential Guide to Warfare.
  21. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

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

    Aug 31, 2004
    Superb, superb! I love the facets of things sorta kinda back to normal but not. On the outside, the chaos and petty bickering has replaced the oppressive tyranny. But for Ayesha, her mind is her own again, for the first time in ever?! But you really get the sense she's at a total loss as to how to find her niche and her voice, metaphorically. [face_thinking] Larone is as ever a bulwark and Cottle is fantastic! A blast of tell it like it is. What is needed and quite refreshing. :)
    AzureAngel2 and Chyntuck like this.
  22. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Jul 31, 2014
    This is still pretty grim, but I couldn't help LOLing at Niriz in the first half of this chapter. He doesn't get it. He does not even bother to get it. And it's pure pathos. :D Near the end, it's kind of offensive, but still pathos.

    On the other hand, obviously, it's not entertaining to Ayesha, who has got to at least fear being seem as a madwoman. While Parck is definitely getting some things, it looks like he does not believe her realisations, still.

    Knowing Thrawn's biography, however, [hl=black]I am pretty sure everybody will assume he's dead now, other than Ayesha herself[/hl]. Now I wonder when [hl=black]his men realise he's alive[/hl] and if somebody could [hl=black]falsely accuse Ayesha of misleading them[/hl]. And "acting a little strange"...that can mean so many things, even...I'll keep silent until further clue, but I have an idea, sort of.

    Another thing I am wondering about is if Cottle is on to figuring out how this connection happened and what kind of a trigger Thrawn himself was here, likely unwillingly.

    Way too messed up to figure it out. Should've been like "excuse me, my soul is going to live in you, I apologise for the inconvinience". This way I am going to get a headache. This chapter just made me doubt everything I said in the comments to previous 4-5 chapters. O_O

    Nice to see the "fog covered globe" that appears not to have made an appearance in the new canon yet. Then again, those bird people...not sure if I want them back. :p Ewoks rule Moddell, OK?
    AzureAngel2, Chyntuck and Findswoman like this.
  23. divapilot

    divapilot Force Ghost star 4

    Nov 30, 2005
    Love the mix/synthesis of the Legends and the New Canon - the celebration we see on Coruscant ending in a bloodbath, the appearance of our familiar characters like Pellaon and LaRone, the battle for the power void winding up with another imperial on the throne.

    Ayesha must feel like she is mentally fractured - she doesn't own parts of her own mind anymore. The idea of her carrying Anakin's pain inside her for the rest of her life is heartbreaking. Her tears every night have been his tears, manifested in her body. [face_hypnotized]

    The disappearance of Thrawn is puzzling. He went to Endor - but why? What is still there for him? What did he intend to accomplish? And where is he now?[face_thinking] It's been a year already since Ayesha came aboard, and yet they seem as if very limited progress has been made in restoring their relationship.
  24. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

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

    Aug 31, 2004
    Such articulateness! @};-

    The disappearance of Thrawn is puzzling. He went to Endor - but why? What is still there for him? What did he intend to accomplish? And where is he now? It's been a year already since Ayesha came aboard, and yet they seem as if very limited progress has been made in restoring their relationship.

    I was pondering these very things earlier, after the actual post. It feels very much like now we have two divergent paths, not one that is seeking to come together again. [face_thinking] And if we are keeping strictly to Legends timeline,we do not have a lot of literal time. :eek: :(
    AzureAngel2 likes this.
  25. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Feb 27, 2014
    Hooray, Anánke is back! =D= So many tantalizing unanswered questions here. What to make of Thrawn's mysterious disappearance in an old-model shuttle? Who is this orderly of his? (Trying to think if it's someone who has come up in the story before.) What does it mean that Thrawn appeared holding a baby—presumably his and Ayesha's baby—in Ayesha's big cast-of-thousands vision? (Is there hope for that Lifeform after all? Cool reminder, by the way.) When indeed will A.'s confinement on the Admonitor come to an end? What a long time she's been there, just waiting and waiting to the point that neither she nor anyone else almost know what there still is to wait for. And in these last several chapters you've captured the hopelessness and emptiness of that situation fantastically—in the same wonderful way Tolkien captures the endless drudgery of Frodo and Sam's looooooooong trek to Mordor, and I mean that as a compliment.

    But—most baffling—what in the Galaxy does...

    ...mean? Those few words are what jumped out at me the most in this chapter, and they seem full of portent, to say the very least. Is there another mind inside Ayesha's yet again, carrying on a conversation with her of which we can only hear one side? I'm not even going to try to speculate on what they might refer to, because nothing I think of is going to be anywhere near as interesting as what you've come up with. :cool:

    Wonderful ending here, too, with a reprise of the Wookiee memorial ritual, this time for... I guess Anakin, based on what she says. I commend her for mourning him and for realizing that he needs to be mourned. I wonder if she will learn at some point about that single black-clad figure standing before the funeral pyre on the Forest Moon...? [face_thinking]