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Awards 2017 Fan Fiction Awards | The Excerpts and Synopses Thread | NOW CLOSED (but you still may read!)

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction and Writing Resource' started by Findswoman, Mar 25, 2017.

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  1. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    Best Original Relationship


    Kes Dameron & Poe Dameron in Black Rapier by Aiel

    Kes and Poe are saying farewell after a joint mission.

    “...I'm Poe's father, Kes." The senior Dameron put an arm around his son's shoulders. "As you might have guessed, considering how Poe and I look practically like twins."

    Rolling his eyes, Poe playfully nudged his father away, "Maybe thirty years ago—"

    "Twenty." Kes corrected with a grin, nudging Poe's chin with his fist.

    (...)

    Kes pulled Poe into a hug, "Goodbye, only son and light of my life," he adjusted the backpack on his shoulders, and then rested his hands on Poe's shoulders. "I'm very proud of you, keep breaking those Academy records, without breaking your neck. Got it?"

    Poe laughed and pulled his father into another hug, "I got it, I got it." He affirmed, and Kes grasped his son's face in his hands.

    "Good," Kes dropped his hands and grasped the straps of his backpack. "I'll come around and see you in a few months at the Academy." He raised an eyebrow.

    “Just one more thing. Do you want to tell me why I heard from Wes Janson, that Luke Skywalker has requested a private conversation with you?"

    Poe cleared his throat and folded his arms over his orange jumpsuit clad chest. "I—I'm not really sure. I talked to Luke earlier today, and then there might have been something I overheard...and maybe something he said to me," Poe grimaced.

    "I don't know, Dad, after all that's happened here, I'm not sure."

    Kes frowned, "All right. If there is anything wrong, you get in contact with me right away," he furrowed his brow. "After what I've seen here, I don't know if I'm so keen on the idea of having the head of the Jedi wanting to speak alone with my son."



    Zuckuss Ng’xvi-Ta’al-Lhúd & Telfien Viurraanvi in The Book of Gand by Findswoman

    Zuckuss and Telfien (at this point both Findsman apprentices) are on an expedition together in the mountains, where the environment is reacting strangely to Telfien’s presence; Zuckuss offers to steady her while she meditates.

    A good quantity of gravel clattered ominously over the edge of the ridge. Telfien recoiled and gave a mandible-pop of horror, but all was calm again within moments. Zuckuss came over beside her.

    “Oh, Findsman Zuckuss, this Gand is so sorry—please forgive, please—”

    “Do not worry, Telfien, no harm has been done.” He spoke as calmly as he could, but it worried him to see Telfien’s problems with control returning again, especially after she had made so much improvement in that area over the past weeks. Or was it something else altogether, something about the place itself? He watched her a moment as she shifted on the stone, rummaged in her inside pocket for her datapad, and set it to record the temperature, air pressure, and wind speed. A few of the white wispy mists had begun to coil around her feet and legs—but she was busy with her measurements and did not notice them. Zuckuss glanced at his own feet; the mists occasionally brushed them but were not coiling around them in the same way. Of course, he was not was preparing to meditate, as Telfien was.

    “There, Telfien is ready now, Findsman Zuckuss. She wonders if you could—could stand beside and assist? Please, just in case?”

    “Yes, Zuckuss can assist your meditation. Shall he”—his voice became quieter—“place his hand—as usual—to steady you?"

    Telfien gave a tiny click. “You always ask that, Findsman Zuckuss.”

    “Zuckuss always asks it because he must,” he retorted, clacking in mild annoyance. “Findsmaster Volokoss has told him so. Matters would be different if you were also a male, Telfien. Now answer him, please.”

    “Yes, Findsman Zuckuss, you may place your hand.”

    “Good, then.” He moved to stand behind her and laid one hand very gently on her shoulder. “Please begin.”


    K'Tai qel Letta-Tanku & Obi-Wan Kenobi in Interludes by K'Tai qel Letta-Tanku

    K’Tai takes Obi-Wan to the Healing Garden for a healing trance by proxy after using an unconventional method to keep him from needing a real healing trance.

    “I’m sorry Obi-Wan. I shouldn’t have removed the pain block like I did. Please forgive me.” She looked down at the floor, her cheeks reddening in embarrassment.

    “It’s okay K’Tai.”

    She looked up. “No, it’s not. I took an oath to alleviate pain and suffering, not use it to make a point, even if it was the quickest way to keep you from hurting yourself again.”

    Obi-Wan reached for her hand. “Really, it’s okay. I should be apologizing to you. You have done nothing but try to help me, and I shouldn’t be making your job harder by trying to sneak out of here. And truth be told, I don’t think anything short of that stunt would have convinced me to behave. I didn’t hurt enough.” He stopped and studied her face. She had the look he knew all too well, the look of a trainee who has been on the receiving end of a stern correction but was trying to hide it. He gave her a self-deprecating smile. “I hope you didn’t get into any trouble because of it.”

    K’Tai shrugged her shoulders and tried to act nonchalant. “Not really. Do you still want to go to the healing garden? I got permission to show you a kata used by the House Guards.”

    “I would like that a lot.”
    -----
    “How about how the Force feels in this place since it’s a new experience for you? Do you feel comfortable meditating in corpse pose or would you like help into a different position?”

    “You mean laying on my back? Only a healer would call it corpse pose.” Obi-Wan grinned at her. “Yeah, I’m fine just lying here.”

    K’Tai rolled her eyes and moved to sit behind his head.


    Kess Antilles & Poe Dameron in Hobbie's Law by Mistress_Renata

    Kestrel Antilles is sent to Takodana on a secret mission for her father to pass information to the Resistance. But her Resistance contact turns out to be an old flame…

    Kess looked around. “We should go somewhere else.”

    “Fine, but we need to make it look less suspicious.” He reached across the table and took her hands. “Try to look as if you’re enjoying this. If we walk off as if we were a couple, it will seem a lot more natural.”

    Kess grimaced, then forced a smile. He was right. She laughed a little nervously. “So how long do we have to sit here until it seems plausible?”

    “I dunno. A few minutes? I should probably buy you a drink.”

    “Ah, the old ‘ply-her-with-booze-so-you-can-have-your-wicked-way-with-her’ trick?”

    He grinned. “It worked before, didn’t it?”

    This time her laugh was genuine. “I don’t know how to break it to you big guy, but *I* was the one playing that trick. And you fell right into my clutches.”

    “I threw myself into your clutches. Willingly and with gusto. And then you disappeared.”

    “Yeah, that’s the way it works.”

    He frowned. She sighed. “Why does anyone go to clubs?” she asked. “A dance, a few drinks, a little fun…it’s not meant to be anything else. Especially not during Fleet Week.” She caressed his fingers. “And it was fun.”

    “One of my favorite memories.”

    “Yeah, mine too.” This was getting uncomfortable, and the clock was ticking. Kess felt as if the brooch was burning through her jacket to her skin. Time to step it up a notch. “So,” she said, reaching up to run her fingers through his hair, “do you think we’ve talked long enough to make things look natural?” He leaned across the table, and his lips brushed her ear.

    “Yes,” he whispered, “let’s go.”



    Mara Jade Blayne & Ezra Bridger in Star Crossed by Raissa Baiard

    In this AU, Ezra Bridger meets a young Mara who was never discovered by the Empire. After finding out Ezra is being pursued by bounty hunters, Mara offers to help him return to the Ghost.

    “I can’t go back to the spaceport now; I’d lead them right to the Ghost!”

    Mara pursed her lips. “We could lose them in the bazaar and double back to your ship once we’ve lost them.”

    Oh, she was good! It was exactly what he would have suggested, and if the prospect of being chased by bounty hunters scared her, it didn't show on her face or in her presence. “I like the way you think, Ace.”

    She grinned back. “Good. Then it’s a date.”

    “So, our first date is pretending we’re regular kids while trying to ditch a couple bounty hunters? Sounds like fun to me.”

    “First date? You’re already counting on a second?” Mara crossed her arms and flipped her long braid over her shoulder with a quick toss of her head, but her tone was more bantering than indignant. “Are you that irresistible?”

    “You tell me,” Ezra said, raising an eyebrow

    “I think you’re incorrigible.”

    “I try.”

    Mara gave an exasperated laugh. “Come on. I’ll give you the one-credit tour of Merkesh City’s fabulous bazaar.”

    Ezra followed Mara back to the tidy, bustling part of the marketplace where he’d been that morning. The traffic had picked up since that morning, and the narrow streets were crowded with shoppers. A man leading a string of heavily laden eopies jostled Ezra aside. His shoulders bumped Mara’s; he gave her an apologetic glance and a nervous laugh, but after that, it seemed that she walked a little closer to him, even when there was enough room. When Ezra’s hand accidentally brushed hers, she didn’t pull away. Her fingers twined with his, and this time he couldn’t hide the crazy Loth-cat grin. The laughing smile Mara gave him in return lit the Force brighter than the sun.
     
  2. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    Other

    Most Headsplode Moment


    Bail reading the succession laws to Breha in So Much More Than Fairytales: The Courtship of Prince Bail by Briannakin

    When all seems lost, Alderaan’s (oddly progressive) ascendancy laws save a relationship, and perhaps the galaxy.

    Bail looked deep into her eyes as he pleaded with her. “I want you to listen to what I have to say before you give me your answer, and you are allowed to say no at the end of this all. [...] Screw the planet. Screw my duty. We can make this work. We can try to have a baby, or we can adopt.” He interrupted his speech by hurriedly digging through the brown cloth bag and producing a piece of flimsy. On it was what looked like a replication of a page from an old flimsy book.

    “I knew this was on the records somewhere,” he continued, handing her the flimsy. She could tell he was a bit excited. “So I went to the parliamentary library. This is the succession laws written by my ancestor, the original Queen Organa."

    Breha took a moment to read:

    It is declared that the succession order for the head of the Royal House of the Organas of Alderaan shall be, first and foremost, the queen’s eldest living daughter. This daughter can be of natural birth, or adopted into and raised by the Royal House before her first birthday. If no daughter is living, the wife of a son may be selected as heir. In the case of…

    The document continued to dictate the succession order, but Bail interrupted[...]

    "...I am going to ask you to give me the chance to make you fall in love with me. Breha, will you give me that chance? Will you fall in love with me?” He then reached into the bag, pulled out a black box and opened it. Inside was a pearlescent white metallic necklace. Then pendant was two hoops, interconnected.

    Breha wiped away tears, this time, from happiness. She nodded. “I already have.”


    Chewbacca playing secretary for Han using Holoogle Translate in "Dear Mr. and Mrs. Solo" by divapilot

    Ben Solo’s elementary school teacher, Aline Stoa, desperately attempts to contact Ben’s parents to get them to deal with his erratic behaviors.

    To: General Leia Organa Solo; Han Solo
    From: Aline Stoa @Happy Friends Elementary School

    I will be happy to speak with you at any time. You may contact me directly or through the school. Please also know that you may always speak with Dr. Honalt, our school administrator, should you have further questions or concerns or if you would like to schedule a parent-teacher conference to discuss Ben’s progress.

    Sincerely,
    Aline Stoa


    ***

    Hello This Chewbacca Wookey. As he is fighting off busy the band of pirates angry, Han Solo can not talk now. Please later try more and more. (Translated from Shyriirook to Basic using Holoogle Translate)

    ***
    To: General Leia Organa Solo; Han Solo
    From: Aline Stoa @Happy Friends Elementary School

    Dear Mr. and Mrs. Solo:

    Good morning. This is Mrs. Stoa, your son’s teacher. I have been unable to contact you to discuss my concerns about Ben, so I have decided to proceed with a behavioural intervention contract. Ben’s inability to control his temper causes numerous interruptions to his own learning and the learning of others, and it is my hope that this contract will allow him to learn the necessary self-monitoring skills which will give him the ability to better regulate his emotions. I am attaching the plan below.

    ***

    Hello This Chewbacca Wookey. Han Solo busy busy in rancor cave. Most sorrow but the Han Solo can not talk now. Please later try more and more. (Translated from Shyriirook to Basic using Holoogle Translate)


    Luke meeting the man who plays him on TV (and who is now engaged to an ex of his) in A Year in the Life: The Deepest Note is the Cobalt Sky by JadeLotus


    The idea of Jawas with the hots for each other! Their mating call is "hey!" followed by the seductive yap of a sexy (!?) Jawa male in The Grey Book: Getting It On by Pandora

    Sora was there.

    He moved in, looking around at the females, who twittered. Aura paused to glare at Mun, who was about to enter her maturity. She was young and fresh, unlike Aura, who had been mature for two seasons, and had nothing to show for it. Mun rested for a minute, since there were no female elders to jump on her and beat her for it. Outside, someone shrieked. Possibly just to be annoying, Aura thought.

    "Hey!" said Sora.

    "Hey!" said Aura.

    "Hey!" That was the other female.

    They all stared at him, their eyes glowing, in the particular mating call way. Well, Sora was the most eligable male that season. He had already fathered two babies in the tribe. He was strong, and healthy, and had several scars from a fight, or rather a shrieking, punching fit, with an old male. He had even fathered a new daughter on one of the old females. His sperm was magic. He was ready to prove it again.

    But not now.

    With a seductive yap, he turned, and went back to Wikka, who actually did most of the running of the transport. Aura sighed. But she watched his sturdy back, and the dust on his robes, as he walked away.


    Mara Jade turning up in a bikini on Skellig Island in Island Surprise by Sith-I-5

    "Who-who the hell are you?!" A barefoot Mara Skywalker panted angrily as she came up behind Rey, a flight jacket pulled over her two-piece white bikini, lightsabre hilt slapping against muscled wet thighs as she stopped before them, hands on knees as she caught her breath.

    From her angle, Mara could see that the girl's entire ensemble was a grey that spoke of too many detergent-free washings, comprising tight over-the-knee leggings, cloth wrapped around both arms, and a length of hardy gauze criss-crossed over shoulders and secured at her waist with a tool belt. The trails under the belt whipped out to the right on the strong wind. There was almost a monastic quality to the outfit.

    "Mara, it's not what it looks like." Luke knew it was a clichéd response, like whenever a femme in his aunt's holo-soaps blundered in on their innocent boyfriend, fiancé, bond-partner when a beautiful femme was in close proximity, but it was all he could think of.

    "Y-you are d-damn right its n-not what it looks like." Mara's torso heaved as she drew in ragged breaths. She looked stressed from bounding up the long paved walkway from the waterline where the Millennium Falcon was parked, and stabbed a finger back down the pathway. "Chewie said Han had had extensive rejuv' treatment and a sex-change, but, but you cannot be Han. You are shorter and a lot slighter for a start."
     
  3. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    Author Categories

    Best Author in Before


    ardavenport


    Ewok Poet, excerpt from Forever Away from Home: The Way I Want to Remember Her

    A Jumusian named Ravyd Caraway - school teacher turned resistance leader turned mayor – delivers a speech at the founding ceremony his and his people’s new town, of Anaslinea-Hoc on a different planet, Vagran, after swamp fever killed nearly two thousand people, among them his toddler daughter, Karmenee.

    Nymph of the Jumus Sea by day, a glistening jewel of the very edge of the Sector in the night. The muse to many artists from the sector. Mardri Soulworks Collective from Aurea, wandering Corellian poets, pseudo-bohemians of Sacorrian liberal sanctuary of Sublata…they all rushed to see her. And welcome them she did. She would take them in her arms and rock them to their sleep. They would wake up the next morning and feel inspired. Recharged and rejuvenated, they would flock to the Black Sands Beach at the very top of the cape and take holos of the Jumus Ocean, paint or find a place to sit in the shade of her old trees. That is how many works of art were made. That is how many friendships started.

    That is the way I want to remember her.

    The fingerprints of a turbulent history that could have been read by generations, in relief, on the many landmarks that our ancestors had built. You could have read it with your fingers, your mind or your heart. Each deep line a big change, each shallow line a small one. All of which she would always emerge from as the winner. All the way, until that very day.

    That is the way I want to remember her.

    Our ancestors built her with their own bare hands, over the course of centuries, as the first settlement on Jumus. Their souls, their minds and their personal history were woven into each single wall and each single floor of our former warm homes. Their beliefs, their secrets and their love was in each single brick of our temple.

    So she was, my Anaslinea. And yours.

    This is the way we should remember her.

    I do not want to remember the burnt ground, the speckled mosaic of ashes and salt. I do not want to remember the subsequent rain, the flimsi we were bombarded by long before the attack dissolving on the bodies of my former neighbours and friends. I do not want to remember leaving. As far as I am concerned, we never left. Our souls are still on Jumus, even though our feet are walking on the black sands of the Ka’zaan Gulf here on Vagran. The souls of those we buried under the ruins have hopefully travelled with us to Vagran, or will be there in a couple of years’ time, depending on what you believe.



    gaarastar58, excerpt from Tales from the Lars Homestead

    In this excerpt Owen comes across his father outside the Lars Homestead, and forms part of an introduction to a story about Cliegg's brother, who died in their childhood.

    Owen Lars ducked beneath the low hanging door to the Lars homestead and looked out across the vast expanse of desert. The Jundland Wastes stretched away from him like a brown sea, complete with rippling waves were the wind had swept the sand into furrows. The first of Tatooine’s twin suns was rising, casting its light across the plain to where his father sat in front of a row of grave markers near the homestead. The chill of the desert night hung in the air and Owen blew into his hands to warm them as he walked up to stand beside his father. Cliegg’s head was bowed, staring down at the plain headstone which marked the place of Shmi Skywalker’s final resting place. It had been nearly a year since she had been taken from them but Cliegg’s grief still showed no signs of abating, and Owen doubted he would be able to move on until he stopped blaming himself for her death.

    ‘The desert takes everything from us,’ said Cliegg without looking up, and Owen now saw that he was staring not at Shmi’s grave but at a smaller headstone, the one belonging to Cliegg’s fourteen-year-old brother. The stone bore a simple inscription:

    Edern Lars​
    Beloved Son and Brother​

    Cliegg had never spoken of his brother to Owen. If not for the marker, he would not have known he had existed. Grief hung around his father’s shoulders like a thick outback cloak, tangling him with the weight of memory and loss. Owen wished that he could turn away from it but he stayed by his father’s side while the dawn rays spread across the plain, turning everything they touched into gold. The shadows of the grave markers stretched like long black fingers behind them.

    ‘I should have taken better care of you,’ said Cliegg, staring down at his brother’s headstone and Owen saw that he had tears in his eyes. They streamed down his face and melted into his coarse beard. Owen turned and walked back to the house. There was nothing he could do to reach his father when he was like this. He paused in the doorway and looked back at the man who for most of his life had been indomitable. He looked small now, a hunched figure staring into his own past, burdened by guilt.



    Jedi_Perigrine
    (voluntarily withdrawn from competition)


    K'Tai qel Letta-Tanku, excerpt from Interludes

    Obi-Wan and K’Tai are both mature for their age and yet still teenagers as the adults around them are reminded when Obi-Wan attempts an escape from the ward.

    Obi-Wan watched her, his mind wandering in the currents of the Force when he saw the tattoo on the back of her neck. The design matched the edging of her tunic. The scene shifted. Two sets of hands, grasping each other…dark green sleeves with the same design edging the them and the sleeves of a Jedi dress tunic…he had the impression of something important taking place, a ceremony of some sort.

    As K’Tai tucked the last of her hair up she felt a burst of surprise from Obi-Wan. She turned to look at him. “You’ve traveled the galaxy. Haven’t you ever seen a girl put her hair up before?”

    The vision fled with K’Tai’s voice. “Uh…” Obi-Wan took a moment to process what she asked as he shook off the effects of the vision. “Of course. There are girls at the Temple. That isn’t what caught my eye. What is the tattoo on the back of your neck?”

    “That? It’s my clan mark. The tradition is left over from a time when our world was more frequently the target of pirate raids.” She looked at him carefully. “Are you sure you are up to this?”

    Obi-Wan nodded. “Go ahead. I’ll do my best to pay attention.”
    -------
    “K’Tai took him to the garden in an attempt to dissuade any further ill-advised schemes to get out of the ward. I was just on my way to check in on them.”

    Qui-Gon sighed. “It was bound to happen sooner or later. I take it he tried something?”

    Jen’sai looked at the man beside her. “Nothing I wouldn’t expect from any 16 year old boy who has been confined to bed for over a week. I’m glad K’Tai was on the ward this morning. She only caught him because she can feel his emotions. It came as a surprise to the rest of the staff. While I don’t approve of how she stopped him, if she hadn’t, he’d be back in a healing trance for sure.”

    “How did she stop him from hurting himself?”

    “Removing his pain block.”

    “Ah,” Qui-Gon said, looking thoughtful. “Resourceful. That must not have been a pleasant experience for either one of them.”

    Jen’sai stopped in her tracks. “You condone that type of behavior?”

    Seeing there was a serious misunderstanding brewing, he turned to her solemnly. “On the contrary. The use of pain as a tool of persuasion is something I am whole-heartedly against. However, if Obi-Wan has reached the stage of healing where he’s trying to sneak out of the ward, nothing short of removing his pain block would convince him to listen to the healing staff. Trust me. That boy can outlast a rock wall with stubbornness when he gets his mind set on something. And if he was convinced that he had healed enough to get up and move, only experience would change his mind. Even if she didn’t say it, I would bet she felt that. She does not strike me as one who would inflict pain if she can avoid it, especially since she is keenly aware of it on multiple levels.”

    Jen’sai pondered Qui-Gon’s words. “Perhaps. I would like to think that K’Tai would try other methods first before resorting to experiential learning in that case.”

    “The one thing about Obi-Wan is he learns quickly. I’m sure he will listen to her now. Speaking of which, where are they?”

    “I suggested that K’Tai find a place near the granite focusing stones in the west garden. The currents of Unity that Jedi refer to as the Unifying Force are particularly strong there.”
     
  4. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    Best Author in Saga


    Briannakin, excerpts from Smother, Harsh Silhouette, and Slumber

    While my personal favourite fic of mine in Saga completed in 2016 was So Much More Than Fairytales (links and excerpts can be found in other categories), I’ve also felt some of my best writing has been in “The Boy in the Mask”: a collection of Vader vignettes.

    (From Smother)
    Occasionally, at night, or when Darth Vader otherwise retired to his meditation sphere, Anakin Skywalker breathed again.

    Vader’s meditation spheres were the only place he was freed from the crude cybernetics, life-support systems, claustrophobic helmet and that damed incessant breathing. That damned rasp; a constant reminder of his choices, of what he had become.

    Vader refused to acknowledge it, but he had become who he was. Vader had not been born out of the black vacuum of space. If he had been born, it would mean that Anakin Skywalker’s death had been on Coruscant, at the Twilight of the Clone Wars.

    But Anakin had not died. Not entirely. Anakin lived in Vader, suppressed, for most of the time, under layers of hatred, machinery, and blackness.

    Darth Vader’s meditation spheres, the white light, warm air on his skin, and the silence, allowed Anakin to float, just below the surface, taunting Vader.

    Anakin taunted Vader because neither could get rid of the other. Vader saw Anakin’s existence as his greatest weakness; what would ultimately be his downfall. Vader had a feeling Anakin would be the death of them both.

    Anakin counted on it.

    In his fleeting moments just below the surface, and when he was occasionally allowed a gasp of air, he thought of Padmé, of Ahsoka, of his mother, and of Obi-Wan. It did not hurt Anakin to think of them, for he knew it tortured Vader.

    But in Anakin’s weakness, Vader grew stronger and shattered all memories of that life. Vader would then place his helmet back onto his head. The rasp returned.

    And Anakin would be smothered once again.

    ***

    (from Harsh Silhouette)
    Who did he have to blame? Who had painted the harsh silhouette he saw in every reflective viewport panel? Who had created the monster more menacing than the shadows? Who created Darth Vader?

    [...]

    Darth Vader turned away from the viewport, knowing full well the silhouette would follow him wordlessly. Endlessly.

    He blamed all these people, but he knew exactly who had truly created Darth Vader. It had been Anakin Skywalker. The man was now a stranger; his echoes in the galaxy were long dead. Anakin had been young, fearless, and ignorant of the fact that he turned his back to the sun long before Darth Vader had been born. Skywalker had dived into the flames for glory and love. Those flames had forged Vader; cold, unfeeling,

    A harsh silhouette.

    ***

    (from Slumber)
    Floating in the silent whiteness of bacta ebbed away all of Vader’s pain and thoughts. In his most inner sanctum, without constant physical or mental annoyances, Vader did not exist. Neither did Anakin. Memories of hatred associated Mustafar ensured this. It was a prick of a balancing point above the entirety of the galaxy.

    Moments seemed like an eternity in this state of nothingness. It would only be a short time until incompetence meant he would be needed in the galaxy again, but until then, he drew power from this state so close to peace and the chaos of death. It was only here that he could reach the rare moments of true rest: sleep.

    May the Emperor seek favour with any moron who interrupted Vader’s slumber.



    divapilot, excerpt from The Last Time

    Each thought they understood what was best for their boy. Leia, with her nascent powers in the Force, could feel the cold, oily tendrils that reached out toward this new bright star that shown in Ben. She recognized the evil that searched for him and coveted his prodigious promise. She tried to explain it to Han, that son was being probed by something that wanted his undeveloped power for itself. She tried to convince Han that their laughing, happy boy was becoming angry and sullen as a result of the evil that coiled around him. Han was alarmed by her warnings, but Han didn’t have a reference point for this type of evil so he didn’t understand how insidious it could be.

    Leia knew. She had seen it firsthand. She remembered Tarkin’s arrogant disdain for her and the gleeful look his eyes took on when he watched Alderaan explode into ruins. She remembered Darth Vader’s detached demeanor as she gasped in searing pain not once but twice as he supervised her torture. She remembered Jabba’s salacious insults and humiliations as she sat chained to his dais, staring across the dark room at the slab of carbonite that held Han’s life in its steady blink. Evil was a familiar form to her. She recognized its foul stench. She felt it again as it brushed past her and reached for her own son.

    Han didn’t seem to understand the depth of her fear. He insisted that Ben was the most protected child in the galaxy, with a mother who led an army and an uncle who was an actual Jedi. Han meant well, she knew, but Han had only seen evil from the corner of his eye; he had never been face to face with seething hate and sadistic ruthlessness. Han knew Jabba’s cruelty but he had thought he could buy his way out of it. Then, when that failed, Han had been confined to his private oubliette, blind and deaf to what went on around him while Leia had forced herself to endure Jabba’s revolting attentions out of fear that his displeasure with her would result in harm to Han. Han had been tortured by Vader on Cloud City too, but he had never felt the Dark Lord’s evil wrap inside his mind, seeking to rip away secrets that might be hidden from view. Han didn’t watch his world obliterated simply because it was possible to do so.

    She had lost the ones she loved most: her biological mother, her childhood home, her adopted mother to illness and father to violence, her entire people and culture. She had lost her ability to see the good in people when she learned that the man who had subjected her to terror and torture was her own biological father. She had lost her trust in others when that familial relationship became public knowledge and those allies she once believed in abandoned her. She had lost her passion for justice and democracy as she watched political bickering drag down the fledgling New Republic into a squabbling collection of grubby opportunists. Eventually even her beloved twin had vanished from her life. She had lost so much in her life. She would not lose her son, her child.

    Even if it meant sacrificing her marriage to the one man who had ever made her truly happy.


    Ewok Poet, excerpt from The Other Moon

    Teebo, Latara, Kneesaa and Paploo are stuck in the Twin Lakes Village below the Skaadra Mountain and the villagers are about to induce them into their tribe and their Starmen sect.

    Votrep, now wearing a different mask and a longer hood, walked in the middle of the circle. Jaratt stepped out and walked to the group of guardians who were now holding Feda. The guardians pushed the woman ahead and she clumsily crawled to him.

    “Blood of the unfaithful?” Votrep demanded.

    “Blood of the unfaithful!” Jaratt pulled Feda to himself and cut her across her thigh. Blood sprinkled from her leg.

    “What are they doing, honeydrop?” Latara discretely looked up for a moment. “Why is she bleeding?”

    Jaratt was now pushing Feda. She took a whole lap around them, barely managing it, bleeding a new, red circle in the rut where the Elder had previously dragged it.

    Kneesaa tried to stick her had deeper into Paar’s lap. She could not bear to watch this. But, the young heir hit her on the chin.

    She nodded and her eyes met Votrep’s. He pulled her up.

    “Fur of the pure?” He asked.

    “Fur of the pure.” He answered himself and pulled a couple of hairs from Kneesaa’s muzzle, stuffing them into Paar’s mouth. The young warrior chewed them and spat them out.

    “Pure.” He nodded in agreement. “I claim this woman to be the future wife of the Chief of the Twin Lakes Village, the Brave Paar.”

    Votrep put a hand to his nose. This did not escape Paploo’s keen eye. The fact that Kneesaa was not even asked to confirm this didn’t, either.

    “This woman is now the future wife of the Brave Paar. Nobody else may claim her, or they will be sacrificed to the Starmen.”

    Following this, all villagers began to chant, repeating the lines Votrep would speak, in a singsong voice.

    “Aaaaaeeeyeuh.”

    “We, the humble servants of the Starmen, seedlings of the stars led by Great Votrep...”

    “…ask for the mercy of the Greatest of Them All, for we are accepting the four sinners, heretics into our tribe, without his consent…”

    -As if that word mattered here at all, Paploo thought to himself. –

    “…and hope that he will prove that our decision to show them mercy was right.”

    -Mercy? Paploo looked to Feda, who was now lying on the ground, not giving any signs of life. -

    “We want to show them the way of the Starmen, the only right way to be. The only right way for an Ewok to lead his life and command his woman to do the same.”

    “May He show us forgiveness or, if we are wrong, may he come along and take away these four foundlings.”

    “Hail to the Starmen! Hail to the Starmen! Hail to the Starmen!”

    “The trace they leave is the dried blood of our enemies!”

    The masked choir went silent. They rubbed their torches in the sand, putting them out. Votrep got out of the circle. The first step he had made, he left a trace of blood in the sand. He turned his back to the Bright Tree Village Ewoks and, with his hands up in the air, he addressed his people.

    “You may show them your faces.”

    The group was still reluctant. The first Ewok to take the mask off was a young female, wearing a green hood with two dark-pink wooden stars on the left and right. She cast a nervous glance at the unfaithful woman, who was doing her best to appear more exhausted than she really was. The mask now hanging around her neck by a small string of leather rope, she bowed to the village leader and managed an awkward grin.



    Pandora, excerpt from Something is shining like gold, but better

    The dusk-blurred hallway has been quiet for hours, but not everyone is asleep: there was a flushedglow of light on the floor outside the Bantha Kid’s door, and I can hear the thudded echoes from his footsteps as he paces the floor of his room.

    It doesn’t bother me—and actually, sometimes (and last night would have been one of those time) I fall asleep as I listen to him wander back and forth. I can only image where his thoughts are roaming. I should mention, though, that he can hold still well enough when he needs to.

    I haven’t written about that first modeling session I had with him, though I have intended to. We didn’t hold it in the courtyard after all—when we arrived, Brother Mercy was meditating in his preferred place near the juniper tree. The Bantha Kid didn’t think it necessary to leave, but I thought, and I still think, it was the only respectful thing to do. We wound up, after I considered the options, in this room, my room: it gets a certain fragile melancholy light during the evenings.

    I wanted him, as I made quite clear, to look natural. Of course, as I have written before, I do understand that is rather difficult to manage when you have to remain posed that way. But finally, he took his place on the velvetfurred settee I recently acquired from Jax Plath, Joelle’s father, and I sat on the edge of my (rigidly made up) bed, with my sketchbook balanced against my knees. While I drew, I experimented with several different styles, mostly things that I thought of there on the spot--I knew that my usual style, the one that I am somewhat known for, wouldn’t do to depict him. I haven’t any idea if any of it worked. When I looked back over the results, days later, after I had the time to forget what I had done, I didn’t even know how to see them.

    But this is the part I still remember, though I would rather not: it seems the Bantha Kid really is interested in my work as an artist. And he asked me this: Do you ever draw yourself?

    I had been telling him about some of my work from the last year or so, including “Dressed in grey/dressed in rain,” that triptych I withdrew from the Glasshouse, the one the Girl posed for--and though I can see now how it related, it seemed rather sudden. No, I said, once I had turned over to the empty wall of the next page in my book. Never. It’s not something I’m interested in exploring.

    All right then, he said, and he almost arched his shoulder into a shrug before he remembered he wasn’t to move that much. Then he left the subject, but I could tell he was confused. I wanted to apologize, but I don’t think it would have helped the matter.

    Of course, I am aware--I should write--that I am considered attractive. I can recognize that when I look back at my image inside a mirror. It was the reason I was popular as a model with my studio classmates--Rané would never have asked me to pose for that one subversive thing she did for her honors exhibition otherwise. But I did nothing to deserve that, and it is not something I can take any pride in. Actually, it has to be the reverse.


    Raissa Baiard, excerpts from Break Free and Under a Dark Sky

    In the first excerpt, from "Break Free", Mara Jade returns to the Imperial Palace with Luke to face the Emperor. In the second, from "Under a Dark Sky," Luke, the Young Lord Vader, confronts his father for the truth about his mother.

    (from Break Free)
    "I. Will. Never. Bow. Again," Mara ground out through clenched teeth, resisting with every ounce of strength she had. She anchored herself in the Force as firmly as she could, but she felt her knees begin buckle....until she felt another Force bearing her up. From the corner of her eye, she could see that Luke had stepped forward to stand next to her. *Not because you're weak* came his voice, *but because we're stronger together.*. Slowly, Mara straightened. "You made me? You took everything from me-- my home, my family, my life! You trained me just enough to make me useful and then you leashed me to you so I'd be a good little hound." She raised her head and took another defiant step towards the dais as the Emperor stared down at her incredulously. "But I am stronger than you think--we are stronger than you think."

    "Bah!" he spat. Anger and hate burned in him like a conflagration now, "If you will not submit, then you are useless." Palpatine cackled, and a thin smile stretched his haggard face. "And you know what happens to useless servants. You should remember this part, Emperor's Hand. This is is the part where I crush those who are stupid enough to oppose me. This is is the part where you die."

    "No." She might die here tonight, but it didn't matter. She'd already won the greater battle. Mara ignited her lightsaber and smiled into the face of evil. "This is the part where I break free."

    (from Under a Dark Sky)
    “Enough!'' Father roared, rounding on him. He stabbed a finger at Luke. ''I will not speak of this!"

    ''Will not speak of this?'' His anger was a red haze now, and he felt his power surging through him, crackling at his fingertips and in his words. ''Will not speak of my mother? I have a right to know! Who was she? Was it Beru? Why did you kill her? Tell me! "

    ''Enough!" Father's hand slashed the air, and Luke was swept aside like a leaf in a storm. He crashed into the wall with a grunt. Father loomed over him, his right hand clenched into a fist. ''I. Will. Not. Speak of this." His hand tightened, and Luke realized too late what was happening. He scrabbled uselessly against the incorporeal hand that choked him. As his vision began to darken at the edges, he saw his distorted image reflected in the curved eyes of Father's mask. ''Father!" he gasped. "Please!"

    Suddenly, his vision changed and Luke saw himself not in his father's eyes, but through them-- struggling, gasping, pleading-- and another face replaced his. It was a woman's face, her dark brown hair pulled back from her pale face, her brown eyes wide in fear. So like Leia, yet so unlike. It was a face that haunted his father's memories and his nightmares. Shame and self-loathing, Father's emotions, flooded him. The crushing grip on his neck disappeared, and Luke slid to the floor.

    And Darth Vader turned and fled his own chambers.

    Luke slumped against the wall, panting, and closed his eyes. A bitter laugh rasped up in his aching throat and turned into a wracking cough. That had certainly not gone well. But though he'd gotten no answers, Father had revealed something to him, after all--his first glimpse of his mother's face...struggling, gasping, pleading as the man she loved choked the life out of her.
     
  5. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    Best Author in Beyond


    Annia Piet


    Briannakin, excerpts from Abating Hope, Together Again, and Thoughts from Orphans

    My best story in Beyond in 2016 was “The Lonely Goddess”, but since that has been ‘excerpted’ in its entirety in other categories, I have chosen small snippets from “Abating Hope”, “Together Again”, and “Thoughts from Orphans.”

    (from Abating Hope)
    Tycho gripped the controls tighter. “You are not the only one who lost that boy. I loved him just as much as you did.” He referred to the fact that he and Winter had practically considered Han and Leia’s youngest son a nephew. “We all lost so much. Not only to the ‘Vong. Ever since Alderaan. I thought that’s why we got married - why we tried so hard for kids. So we could gain for once instead of losing.”

    By now, the buildings of Coronet City had disappeared. They were parked in the private hanger outside their apartment. Winter looked at him with cold, dead eyes. “I married you because I loved you.”

    (from Together Again)
    Then she was alone in the galaxy.

    She leaned her head against one of the trees and let the tears fall down her face. She was now the last Jedi, probably the last human left alive in a galaxy invaded and taken over by Yuuzhan Vong.

    After a moment, Mara began to weigh her options.

    “Ever the clinical one, Jade,” she murmured to the wind.

    She could continue to fight the ‘Vong, be a thorn in their side, as she and Luke had been, until they eventually killed her too. She could go into hiding in some nice cave on outer rim plant, but without Luke, or any other civil being, what was the point? What was the point in anything now? She could die here, and by the amount of blood coming out of the gash on her leg, that may not take that long.

    She then found herself playing with the device Luke had given her. They had called it the Reality Transporter Thingyamjig. It was a really dumb name, but apt. In theory it would permanently transport her to another reality. They had built it off of some experimental plans they had found ten years ago. They had never used it, even when everything went to chaos.[...]

    But now, there was nothing left here but death, or loneliness followed by death.

    (from Thoughts From Orphans)
    I’m not sure why I am writing this. I guess I just wanted to talk to you. But you have been dead how many years? Fourteen? Yeah. It will be fourteen after the warm season.

    You have been dead so long that I actually have to stop to think about the number. I have to do the math to figure out how many years it has been. And yet, the fact that you are dead sometimes strikes me as a sudden gut-punch. It will knock the life from me. It will still make me want to curl up and cry, as I just did.

    I’ll be driving home from playing holo games with my friends, having a great time and laughing, then I will realize it has been so long since I’ve heard you laugh, so long since you have beaten me at some dumb game, so long since we just sat on grassy hillsides and talked.

    I’ll remember that you were never at my knighting ceremony, and when I become a Master, you won’t be there to tell me how proud you are of me.

    You’ll never see the newest episode of Healer Who, or even know they are making new Star Saga episodes (oh, you would have loved to mock this Ren guy). I’m pretty psyched that they are making a movie about how the original Death Star plans were stolen, and I think you would be too. I’ll make sure to see it twice, for you.



    Dantana Skywalker


    Irish_Jedi_Jade



    Onderon1, excerpt from Ignis in Tenebris

    ********************************
    Late 35 ABY: Myrkr System
    Inner Rim:
    ********************************

    It had been a long, terrible, and ugly year.

    If it'd been corporeal, Mara would've really stabbed it.

    A lot.

    With fervent, nasty, overly-enjoyed non-Jedi enthusiasm.

    But years aren't alive, and vibroblades make noise, she thought, looking out at the ugly world below.

    Oh, it wasn't Myrkr's fault, she admitted. Or even the ysalamiri; events and history haunted this place.

    But it was easy for Force-sensitives to hide here, and Karrde had gladly taken her in after The Decision.

    He hadn't named a price - Mara couldn't repay him, couldn't begin to repay him - but he'd insisted that there be no cost.

    "Any chance to metaphorically slap the First Order in the face? Please, Mara - let me savor this," he'd said, with that Karrde smile that Mara hadn't been unable to resist echoing.

    The smile slipped from her face as she reclined on the couch, sampling some of the fruit. The cruiser was a luxury model, one of Karrde's personal transports - more stripped-down than its original purpose, with more weapons and fewer fancy suites, but comfortable in a practical way.

    That, Mara supposed, was part of how the galaxy was going. Softness was at a premium.

    She closed her eyes, ruthlessly, steel-sharp, pushing down her pain at The Decision.
     
  6. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    Best New Author


    Anedon, excerpt from Hope for the Future

    Corusant 18 BBY
    Bail Organa was tired.

    It had been a long day in the imperial senate, again. It had been a year since Chancellor Palpatine had proclaimed himself as the emperor, a year since the Jedi had been massacred, a year since Padme Amidala had died, a year since he had adopted her daughter.

    Bail couldn´t believe how much the galaxy had changed in this time. The power of the senators had been reduced to little to nothing, non human politicians had been arrested or forced to give up their positions, the holonet was full of imperial propaganda and the agents of the new order spied on everyone. Some other Senators including Bail´s friend Mon Mothma had fled Coruscant and went into hiding. Sometimes the viceroy wished he could do the same, but Alderaan was a core world with peaceful inhabitants and they wouldn´t have a chance against the empire. So he had to play the role of the loyal Senator while supporting the rebellious worlds in the shadows.

    But there was little he could do, most of the galaxy was still exhausted from the Clone Wars and many worlds openly supported the Empire. Palpatine had brought back peace and stability they said, the Jedi were traitors they said. It frustrated Bail how effective the Empires propaganda was, how many beings in the whole galaxy believed the Emperors lies.

    He stood up and left the speech he was writing for a moment. He had worked the entire evening on it but hadn´t achieved much. During the time of the Republic he had been one of the most respected public speakers in the senate and writing his speeches had always been easy, but now? A week ago imperial soldiers had located a surviving Jedi on Alderaan and the Senate demanded an official statement from its Senator. But what should he say? Bail hadn´t known about the whole affair until the Jedi had been captured and executed by the imperials. He wished they had learned about it before, he wished they could have sent the man to a safe place. But now it was too late and the Senator of Alderaan had to defend himself against accusations in the imperial senate.

    Bail knew how risky the situation was: only a few months ago the imperial army had attack the planet of Naboo and murdered its queen for hiding a handful Jedi padawans. Bail feared it could happen to Alderaan too, that star destroyers would fill the orbit and soldiers would swarm through its cities killing and arresting his people. Bail didn´t wanted to think about what would than happen to Breha and his daughter Leia.

    The senator thought of her every day. She was the light in the darkness that had filled the galaxy. But could he protect her? The Empire was searching for Jedi and a single traitor or a single decoded message could expose them. What if his speech failed to convince the Emperor? Bail stepped to one of the panorama windows and looked down into the night. The lights down there were the same as they always had been but it felt different, cold and distant. He thought of all the people down there who believed Palpatine to be a hero, to all the armies and fleets under the Empires control.

    "How can we ever hope to destroy the empire?" he muttered to nobody but himself.

    "You can always hope."

    Bail turned around and reached for the blaster on his hip. Nobody should be here. But there was someone, standing behind him.


    Glor, excerpt from And Then There Were None

    The Starkiller super weapon is ready for firing. Lil and a legion of Stormtroopers watch from the surface.

    The General stood before them, back straight and eyes to the horizon. "Today is the end of the Republic," he began, filling every canyon and valley with his voice. "The end of a regime that acquiesces to disorder. At this very moment, in a system far from here, the New Republic lies to the galaxy while secretly supporting the treachery of the loathsome Resistance. This fierce machine which you have built, upon which we stand, will bring an end to the Senate – to their cherished fleet! All remaining systems will bow to the First Order and will remember this as the last day of the Republic!"

    Their fists thrust skyward and her voice joined the thunderous roar that answered him. As one, they about-faced and the planet rumbled, reverberating with the jittering anticipation felt by its soldiers. A chill ran over her as the General's words faded off the duracrete and mountain rock. This was the day the Captain had promised them. The moment she had been born for.

    The General screamed the command to fire, and Lil nearly gasped as a blazing pillar of light speared into the sky, reaching into the heavens. But this was not the power of dead gods or some unseen force wielded by ignorant monks. This was the power of human kind – this was the power of their Empire.

    Her neck ached as she watched, her heart shaking with pride as the first planet blossomed into a bright, fiery speck in the night.

    This was the heat of a hundred lost worlds, the scream of a million Stormtroopers, of their fathers, mothers, brothers and sisters. The fruit borne of their Decimation.

    This was their vengeance, and it burned bright still.



    Hopefulwriter

    Excerpts from Han Solo's Taste of Fatherhood, Impatient Patient, The Wishing Well, and Remembrances

    Several excerpts from stories I've posted.

    (from Han Solo's Taste of Fatherhood)
    He was stopped cold; hit in the face by a piece of exotic fruit. Through the juice that burned his eyes, he could see the pandemonium that was taking place. The youngsters had shed their diplomatic robes, and now wore various colored jumpsuits. They were engaged in a furious battle of food throwing; stuff they had either brought with them or confiscated from the ship's galley. Bits and clumps were stuck to the walls, the instrumentation, lights and the children.

    "Hey….. HEY! You kids stop that!" Han wiped the juice from his face and started across the room, an ill-fated motion from the start. He promptly slipped on a mashed piece of avick fruit and promptly fell to the floor. The clatter caught the children's attention and they laughed in delight at the spectacle of their Captain sliding across the decks, banging to a stop against a ducting outlet.

    (from Impatient Patient)
    Turza was arranging things on her cart and said, “Time for our bath, Captain Solo.”

    Sheer terror gripped the Corellian. ‘BATH!! You’ve got to be kidding!” He yanked the covers up to his neck with an iron fisted grip. Nurse Turza wasn’t impressed.

    “Uh…’bye Han.” Luke said as he and Leia quickly exited.

    “No…no…..NO!!!” Luke and Leia could hear Solo’s protests as they walked down the hallway. Luke grinned broadly, but his imagination was conjuring up all sorts of things going on in that sick bay room.

    (from The Wishing Well)
    Han slid from his seat on the well and reached down to the ground. “Don’t you think you’d better get back to the meeting?”

    “I suppose so.” She sighed. “There is so much to be done.” She looked around at the beauty of their surroundings, then her eyes came to rest once more on the old stone well. “If only things could be answered with wishes.”

    “Hey, Princess.” Han held out his hand to her, a little smile playing at the corner of his mouth. She looked down to see a small, smooth, white stone resting in the palm of his hand. “Give it a try.” He smiled and nodded at the well.

    Leia took the pebble, closed her eyes, kissed the cool rock and tossed it into the well.

    “Now.” Han said as they slipped their arms around each other’s waist. “Let’s go back to the meeting and see if we can help some of those wishes come true.”

    (from Remembrances)
    Han began rummaging around a ‘junk’ cubby-hold in the side of the ship. Searching around, a few things dropped to the floor, nudged by his elbow; a claw hammer, a few platinum nails, a roll of insulation padding; “Where’s that laser tape.” He muttered to himself, rummaging further back in the area…by feeling, he grabbed a small cylinder.. “There it is.” With a last pull, he freed the item he was looking for ,…and small metal box fell, the lid flinging open and five shiny objects rolled from it onto the floor.

    The unexpected noise caused Han to look down…..and see the five objects scattered on the floor. A frown wrinkled his brow.. then recognition dawned in his eyes.

    He knelt down on one knee, reaching for one of the pieces.. “My medals.” He said to himself as he picked up one…a copper colored, crescent shape, the attached red and yellow ribbon faded with age. “My Survival Medal.” He smiled to himself at the thought of how he’d earned that medal at the Military Academy…

    The memory began to run through his mind……


    Kurisan, excerpts from The Secrets of Sewosta, The Clones of Kamino, and The Dragon of Dagobah

    Each tale in the Maya Qwan series is a separate read-alone short story. Together they follow the path of a young Padawan as she grows and faces the realities of a galaxy torn apart by the Clone Wars.

    (From The Secrets of Sewosta)
    As the agile Jedi vessel jetted down to the surface Maya spotted the site they were headed for: From the height it looked like an ancient city that was gradually being reclaimed by the jungles. She set the Delta-7 down in a clearing just outside the complex and popped the cockpit canopy.

    Soupy humidity and the fragrances of jungle orchids washed over her senses. A chorus of birds and amphibians chirped all around. Maya clambered down and checked her equipment again. The moist heat caressed her bare arms and legs. Closer to the buildings she saw they were in fact modern tech; squat cubes built of beige plasteel and covered with piping. The vines and mosses of the forest were slowly climbing and obscuring them, giving the effect of ancient edifices. There, a solar-power collector, there an information processor. Maya glanced back at the Delta-7.

    “Tio, take off and find somewhere safe and out of sight to park.”

    The droid burbled an enquiry.

    “I don’t know. Not too far away, and look out for underground monsters!”

    Tio hooted doubtfully.

    “No, I’m sure it’s perfectly safe for droids here. Keep your comlink open.”

    (From The Clones of Kamino)
    Flint hugged the passage side, returning fire from the hip. Maya strode onwards, batting back blaster bolts with her lightsaber. The exchange of screaming blasts intensified with every step they closed. One android fell, caught by a deflected bolt from Maya’s sapphire blade. At twenty metres Flint dropped into a crouch then hurled a grenade along the passage. The ion-burst explosion disabled the remaining humanoids, which jerked then fell, lifeless.

    They reached the closed portal to the laboratory.

    “Locked, from the inside,” grunted Flint.

    “Not for a Jedi,” said Maya, brandishing her blade.

    More clanking footsteps approached. Maya saw the shadows of another phalanx of androids before they emerged from around the curved corridoor. She exchanged a glance with Flint.

    “Mandalore’s inside,” she said. “We’re running out of time.”

    The gladiator nodded. “You go in. I’ll cover your back.”

    “Flint… there’re too many…”

    “Not for an ARC.”

    (From The Dragon of Dagobah)
    “How? How were you ever friends with such a… beast? He’s so different to you.”

    Chodo peered at Maya with his wise eyes. “Our diversity is what makes the Jedi strong, my young Padawan."

    “But he is so violent.

    “Is he? Are his ways so different from Master Windu, who is amongst the greatest Jedi of us all? They both believe that when violence is inevitable, one must not fear to do one’s duty, or worse evils will prevail. I can follow that logic.”

    “How can you say that, Master? How can you then justify being a pacifist?”

    “To understand another’s opinion is not the same thing as agreeing with it, Maya. I begin from a very different philosophy – that violence is never inevitable.”

    “Even when the slavers of the Confederacy make war?”

    “War is always fought, at its core, about power and resources. Perhaps, the Republic is not so perfect as to command a monopoly on these things.”

    Maya gasped at this admission of fault.

    “I keep meeting people who say that there is something wrong at the heart of the Republic. Master Krell said that, too.”

    “What does your heart tell you, my young Padawan?”

    “That we are fighting a war for the side of right.

    “Hmmm.”

    “You don’t agree, Master?”

    “It is my belief, Maya, that the side of right should never necessitate fighting a war.”




    Suzannah.Pearce, excerpt from Lightforce

    Han, Leia and Chewbacca find themselves in trouble after Leia's headstrong actions unwittingly set of an Imperial fire-fight. Frustrated that he has wanted time with Leia but a series of events have prevented it, Han now worries that it may be too late for them both.

    He was angry now, partly at her stubbornness, and partly at being in such a seemingly unwinnable position. He always liked an exit strategy, even if it was talking his way out of trouble and, right now, there didn't seem to be one. He flung his arms up in defeat.

    “What's the point? You're always right. You don't need me. I could be sitting in the trading station cantina on Coriva right now negotiating a sweet deal to make Chewie and I some serious cash”. He spread his arms to emphasise his point. Chewbacca had worked his way round to the next narrow alley down and now let off a violent volley of bolts from his crossbow, making a run for the alley opposite. He growled loudly that he would cover them while they did the same but neither of them was listening.

    “I had another life before I met you, you know. One where I could make sure I didn't follow some crazy woman into the middle of an impossible fight.” Thoughts of his life before his involvement with the Alliance filled his head and he delivered his last sentence with more conviction than he had meant. Leia looked furious and genuinely hurt. Her lips pressed together into a thin line as if she were fighting to stop her emotions from boiling over. She looked at him for a brief moment then leant out into the street and fired several shots, hitting two stormtroopers who flew backwards into one of the cannons.

    “Why don't you go back to it then?” she challenged. “If I'm so crazy, just leave! I can manage by myself. I might even get more done.” Another explosion went off far too close to them and part of the front wall of the house disintegrated causing them both to duck back into the alley covering their heads. The troopers took a few seconds to recharge the cannons, and Han took the opportunity to run and skid to a stop on the ground behind a stone water trough in the middle of the street, firing madly as he went.

    He shouted back at her.

    “Is that all you can say? After years of me putting my life on the line for you?” He waved his gun angrily.

    “Stop waving that thing around and fire it!” Leia scolded. She fired towards the troopers and so did Han, hitting three more before their shots were returned ten fold, and they both shielded themselves. “Now I know how you really feel, how much you resent me, why would I make you stay?” She shook her head in annoyed astonishment. “All this time, all you've ever wanted to do is leave! Great! That's just great! Why I ever let you get to me I have no idea!” She was pacing and waving her arms at him. A sure sign she was really cross.

    He stared disbelieving at her for a moment then held his blaster above the water trough and fired off several shots. She was an infuriating woman. So wrapped up in her cause that was about to kill them both that she couldn't see he was afraid he would never have a life with her. She'd completely misunderstood what he meant.

    “Leave?” he yelled incredulously, spreading his arms wide in amazement. “Leave? I don't want to leave you!”

    Leia paused her pacing to fire up the street then looked over at him, her eyes still flashing with anger. Ducking to avoid another bolt that hit the trough, he stared at her intensely.

    “Leia, I want to marry you!”
     
  7. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    Most Versatile Author


    Briannakin, excerpts from Through the Darkness, Abating Hope, My Dearest Mara, and The Land of Ice

    Let’s be honest, I was nominated for this for my ability to crush your soul, flood your heart with love, give you hope in the darkest of moments, and my inability to take ANYTHING seriously; so I picked some excerpts from a number fics that shows this range of “tones”.

    (from Through the Darkness)
    She was tired. The darkness was suffocating her. She turned and pressed her back against the wall. Ahsoka tried to remain standing, but now her legs failed her and she was sent to the floor...

    She stared into the blackness. Vader should have just drove his lightsaber through her. It would have been better than this.

    Anakin had truly been destroyed. He would not have let her suffer this cruel fate.

    [...]

    But Anakin always came through on his promises. One upon a time, a lifetime ago, he had said that he would not let her fate up to others. And she guessed Vader held that promise as well.

    Then you will die.

    Yet, this was a new day. There was hope on the horizon.

    But for her, this is where the journey ended.

    She found herself.

    The sound of her beating heart ceased and she did not fear closing her eyes.

    (from Abating Hope)
    Tycho entered the apartment to a figure sleeping on the couch. She had fallen asleep watching the holo-news.... Carefully, he picked up a blue throw blanket, settled next to her and covered both of their bodies in the warm blanket.

    Winter grunted in her sleep, but resettled her head on his chest. She always did say she slept better with him. He held her gently.

    After a long while, she stirred again. “Tych?”

    “Yeah,” he said, softly rubbing her arm. “Can I say a few things before you get up?”

    “No,” she said, her voice cracking. “I just want to enjoy being held by you.”

    “Okay.” So, he simply held her as she cried. He was unsure why she was crying, but he didn’t pry. In that moment he decided he only wanted one thing: for Winter not to cry.

    (from My Dearest Mara)
    But, how can I hate you when I got to hug a beautiful, headstrong woman today?

    Yes. Our daughter grew and found me. She came to my place of exile and offered me my old lightsaber, but I never saw it, only her.

    Rey.

    I only knew her name from your letter.

    I knew you were watching the exchange: me, whispering her name out-loud, her looking at me confused and slightly weirded out. She asked me how I knew her name. I then said those words because nothing else would come to my shocked brain: “because I’m your father.”

    Her reply reminded me so much of Leia: “I know. Somehow, I’ve always known.”

    I don’t know what the future holds, but I now have hope. I have our Rey.

    (from The Land of Ice)
    As soon as the air hit her face, Sabine froze. “The air hurts my face. You said it was summer! Why does the air HURT MY FACE?”

    “Let’s just hurry up and make sure there’s nothing here that will eat us if we decide we need this place as a base.” Kanan stepped out into the wind.

    “If we ever need this place as a base, I’m quitting this gig.” She stepped out and had to squint her eyes. The distant sun was high in the sky, reflecting off the white snow. “Oh stars!” she exclaimed. “The light; it’s blinding.”

    He turned to her. “Oh. What a horrible problem,” he deadpanned.

    [...]

    “Imagine what I could do with a low-flying ship and some cans of bio-organic paint.”

    “I can only imagine, even if you actually get your hands on said materials and do it.”

    “I see you have stooped to blind jokes now.”

    “Well, it’s good you can see that, because I can’t see anything.”


    divapilot, excerpts from Seasons of Migration to the North, Night, and The Last Time

    (from Seasons of Migration to the North)
    The door lock buzzed. Mara tried her code again. Again, the door buzzed and refused to open. “Let me try,” Luke said. He reached over and entered his code and the door slid obligingly open.

    “Trying to keep me out?” Mara said, smirking. “I’ll have to call maintenance and have them reset my code tomorrow morning.”

    “Let me tuck this little guy in, you meet me in our bedroom, and I’ll reset your code tonight.”

    Mara shook her head and rolled her eyes. “Skywalker, you make promises you can’t keep.”

    (from Night)
    The girl left the security of the little space she called home and stepped outside. Her feet sank into the soft drifts of sand that gathered against the exterior, and little shards of irritating grit slipped inside her loosely tied boots to chafe her skin. But it was worth the price. She stood still, her hand resting on the cool metal of the abandoned vehicle she lived in.

    Around her she heard night sounds- some predatory animal howling far in the distance, the whispering shift of sands as gravity and the wind reshaped the topography. The breeze was a gentle caress, not the scouring assault that it became when the day’s heat kindles it. She lifted up her face to let the breeze blow across it, and she smiled.

    A panoply of stars looked down at her. They burned with white hot heat into the dark sky; glittering, fantastic points of light against a void-black background. No other light competed with this. Well, only the moon, but it was at its lowest point and small enough that its light was negligible. No, the night belonged to the stars.

    (from The Last Time)
    Leia sat down slowly, oblivious to the frantic battle that scurried around her. She reached out to her son.

    What have you done?

    Instead of answering, Ben shut his emotions from his mother and retreated back to the impenetrable fortress within his own warring soul. And still, even though Ben couldn’t possibly know it, even though she had been dealt the cruelest blow of all, she forgave him. He was her son. Love demanded it.

    Leia’s breath came out in a long, slow exhale, her last breath from a time when Han was there. She breathed in her first breath without him. Her heart tumbled into the darkness, fell into the abyss.

    They had come so close, Han and she. She could still smell the leather of his new jacket. She could still feel his fingers against the braids of her hair. They might have had a chance, if there had been more time. There should have been more time.


    Ewok Poet, excerpts from Life, Death and Other Goals and EP's Neck of the Woods: Procrastinating His Hair

    (From Life, Death and Other Goals)
    Nebula Fawkes, Anjie Mencuri’s friend dies of a spice overdose and Anjie wishes it was him instead.

    The crowd was gathered around the sabacc table. On the green surface of the table top lay his friend and partner in crime, Nebula Fawkes – unconscious, with his eyes and mouth wide open. Paler than pale, he resembled a fallen statue, one of those that Anjie had seen in his youth, watching the Empire change the monuments around the Coronet City. It did not take him long to realise that Nebula was dead.

    “Neb! Neb! No!”

    A brief spark of wit reminded him of how once upon a time, his former friend Antonio Nokaarbe told him of zherry-bombs and how they’re the specialty of certain crime lords. He hated Antonio, his gregariousness and eagerness to be in the spotlight, with his numerous mistresses and credits galore, and the way he seemed to have had control of it all - but that was one of the things that he should have remembered. The thing that could have saved Nebula and sent him to death instead.

    He had considered Neb the more innocent of the two of them – the son of true Grannos, inconveniently named and raised on a remote Outer Rim planet away from the hyperspace age, the young man had no idea of the evils of Coronet City and the whole business of performance arts as whole. He was hungry after having been deprived of nearly everything, he had a lust for life, embracing every single thing in waves: fame, women, spice. He did not go to a traditional school, he was not playing with other younglings in the streets of the Orange Sector like Anjie did. Neb was just thrown into the face of the world that other shooting stars everywhere from CoCo to Lacace had been groomed for since day one, the world they considered a natural part of their lives.

    Neb should not have been the one to go. It should have been him, Anjiee. And that’s what he literally screamed to Blobbo, after he stumbled down the stairs and ended up right before the Hutt, again. He asked for another zherry-bomb. He asked to be blasted in the face, claiming that, at the end of the day, he had no face to speak of. And his determination was stronger than his will to be present next to the body of his dead friend, to stop the other caf-club patrons from robbing him off his remaining belongings and the little credits they had remaining.

    (from EP's Neck of the Woods: Procrastinating His Hair)
    In a twisted, silly AU, Jar Jar Binks talks about how he blew up the Death Star twenty years before it happens in canon.

    "Professionals? That is what we were, yes, until that wermo over there-" Tarkin pointed to captain Binks "-blew up the Death Star in early stages of its build. He also managed to get rid of the Sith lords. So, now we’re fighting a very strange war.”

    "Mesa mooie mooie sorry, boie!" Binks shrugged and grinned, in a manner otherwise seen only in minor government officials on Sacorria. "My wanten sticken tongue into conservator...of course! There besa scalefish! Doo, ree, mee…"

    "That was NOT a conservator! It was the most vulnerable part of the system. Have you ever heard of exhaust ports?" Tarkin removed the thin slices of Endorian cucumber from underneath his eyes, rolled them and placed them inside of his ears, clearly irritated by Binks’ squealing. “Ouch, my ear drum! Binks, I will deal with you soon enough, I swear!”

    "Yesa! Mesa always exhausten when spaken to yousa, at the port!" Binks sighed. “And then, this time, mesa been mooie exhausted and Vader went asplode…likey…kablamo! Boopjak!” He sat down, cradling his head in his long ears. “Mesa meanen…Death Star besa nova, mesa captain of new bongo!”


    Findswoman, excerpts from Commence Orbital Bombardment!, A Blaze of Blasé, and Between the Porch and the Altar

    This sampling from my stories features (a) Imperial officers planning an unprecedented orbital bombardment, (b) an Ewok apprentice healer who drifts off into the spirit world while concocting a tonic, and (c) a Gand Findswoman pushed to the end of her powers by the invasion of her homeworld.

    (from Findswoman’s Fragments & Miscellanea: Commence Orbital Bombardment!)
    “Sir!”

    Jaye spun around. Standing at attention behind him, his hand upraised in a crisp salute, was a dapper young officer with dark hair and mahogany skin.

    “Yes, Captain Drexel?”

    “We have established geosynchronous orbit directly above the Diplomatic District of Mayzopolis, per your command.”

    “Excellent, Captain. Are all weapons systems online and ready?”

    “Aye, sir. Commander Goldfliegg and the artillery division report that all is prepared and that they are standing by for further orders.”

    “Have all the… special instructions been carried out?”

    “Yes, sir. Laser generators have been taken offline and proton torpedo bays emptied. The forward quad turbolaser cannons have been loaded with the specially printed Stikk-Itt notes in black, gray, and red, just as you ordered. The ion cannon turrets have been loaded with jumbo-size Wite-A-Way strips. All remaining space in the main armaments has been filled with flimfetti.”

    “And I hope Commander Goldfliegg made sure to order the ColorBall Deluxe Holographic Flimfetti while it was still on sale at Klipps?”

    “Aye, sir. I saw the boxes myself.”

    (from Findswoman's Fragments & Miscellanea: A Blase of Blasé)
    It was a time of day he knew well... a time of sweet nothings in the grove of white flowers just above the cliff, a time when all the trees and shrubs and the sky itself took on the iridescent pink-blue aura of love and beauty... when Tana itself dimmed before the light of two gemlike black eyes...

    He thought he could see that same pink-blue aura now, enfolding him, the cookpot, the parcels and phials, the languid tree goats, the trees themselves. With each wistful, distant flute tone it glowed brighter. The scent of the white flowers of the grove flowed through it, commingling with the aroma of the tonic.

    And words, verses were flowing through it—verses he had written himself, for her, the distant girl with the flute:

    Lady of the bright braids,
    Awake, arise, and bloom!
    Tremble, moons and stars,
    As the two black suns shine forth!
    Ring out, valleys and groves,
    At the song of her perfume—

    “TEEBO! WHAT IN THE NAME OF THE NIGHT SPIRIT DO YOU THINK YOU’RE YOU DOING?! DON’T YOU SEE WHAT’S HAPPENING?!”

    (from Between the Porch and the Altar)
    Traitorous—upstart—suffer—treachery—reject—rejected—YOU SHALL SEE!

    Their relentless ring seemed to freeze her blood in its very path and to strangle her internal organs, constricting the motion of her blood and breath till they stopped altogether. The nictitating membranes of her eyes flickered and closed; her limbs and head flopped limply to the side.

    And Telfien recognized the feeling and abandoned herself to it: Mortal Stillness had come at last.

    ***

    Some time later, two Imperial stormtroopers happened upon what looked like a body lying on the Temple portico.

    “Hey, this isn’t the same one!” expostulated the first, prodding the immobile, robed form with a plasteel boot.

    “You’re right, it’s not.” His comrade seemed equally bewildered.

    “Where’d the other one go?”

    “No idea. But who cares? Look at that.” He prodded with his boot at the green brocaded sash that encircled the presumed corpse’s waist. “Wouldn’t that make a nice gift for Moff Waddsley?”

    “Oh yeah! She can wear it with her green Deyor gown!” He dropped to his knees and began clumsily to unwrap the sash, which he then stuffed into one of his supply pouches.

    “Just make sure you give it to a laundry droid when we get back shipboard. Get the ammonia smell out, y’know.”

    “Yeah, sure.”

    Giving the body one last kick, they walked off.


    gaarastar58, excerpt from Snippets: Homecoming

    This is one story from my collection of flash fiction, which features stories about Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan, Jango and Boba, Shmi, Owen and Beru, Luke and Mara and many other characters.

    Rain hissed and spat, leaping up from the deck of Tipoca City into Boba’s eyes. He dragged a sleeve across his face. His curly mop of hair was plastered to his forehead, droplets of water running down his cheeks like cold tears. Looming behind him in the darkness, the bulky shape of Slave 1 steamed in the downpour.

    He dragged his booted feet across the deck towards the light spilling from and open hatch. He carried a sack in his arms, clutched tightly to his chest. With each step the bundle seemed to grow heavier. Standing in the open hatch, the figure of Taun We materialised through the driving rain. Her enormous eyes blinked with surprise as she watched the small boy approach.

    ‘Come in out of the rain Boba,’ she said in her musical voice.

    The boy stood for a moment staring up at her, water still cascading down his face. His blue uniform was soaked, sticking to his small frame. The sleeves were torn and muddy from digging in the dry dirt of Geonosis and his hands were scratched and bloody. Two of his nails were cracked. The Kaminoan held out a three-fingered and drew him inside. He offered no resistance. He simply stood in a pool of water, blinking in the bright corridor lights.

    ‘Are you hurt?’

    The concern in her voice stung him, although he wasn’t sure why. ‘No.’

    ‘Where’s…’ Taun We’s voice trailed off. She looked past the boy to the hulking presence of Slave 1.

    Boba sniffed and held out the bundle he’d been carrying. Taun We took it and he could tell from the expression of shocked disbelief on her normally passive face that she knew what was inside. Boba had never had a mother. He had never needed one. But the graceful Kaminoan had been the closest thing he had to family. Some of his earliest memories were of Taun We taking care of him while his father was away, swaddling him up in blankets and giving him cups of hot tea on cold nights.

    ‘I didn’t know where else to go.’

    He looked up at her, his normally stubborn expression scrunching up as the tears he had held back prickled at the back of his eyes. He hadn’t cried yet, not as he watched his father die or when he dragged his body into the wastes of Geonosis to bury him. His legs buckled beneath him as the enormity of what had happened surged up and swept over him like one of the great waves crashing against Tipoca City’s support pylons.

    Taun We caught him before he hit the ground, displaying remarkable strength for such an elegant creature. He hung in her arms, unable to summon the energy to stand on his own feet. His father would be so ashamed to see him now, bawling his eyes out like a little baby. Taun We held him close and Boba wrapped his arms around her. Huge sobs shook his whole body. He heard, as if from far away, her voice in his ear and she stroked a three-fingered hand through his sopping hair.

    ‘It’s alright Boba. You’re home now. Come one inside and get dry.’
     
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