Saga A Simple Twist of Fate - L/M AU vig - SJRS Wordless Romance Challenge - author's thanks 11/27/08

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by Gabri_Jade, May 20, 2008.

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  1. Gabri_Jade

    Gabri_Jade Fan Fiction Archive Editor Emeritus star 5 VIP

    Nov 9, 2002
    Title: A Simple Twist of Fate
    Author: Gabri_Jade
    Timeframe: OT; about the time of ANH
    Characters: Luke, Mara
    Genre: AU, vignette, romance
    Summary: Fate can work in unexpected ways.

    Notes: This is my second response to the SJRS Wordless Romance challenge. What can I say; ze bunnies, zey are biting. :p Challenge requirements are: 1) Begin your story with the sentence "There were fifteen minutes left." 2) Write a story that portrays "romance" without "mush". Luke and Mara may not touch. Find a way for one or both of them to express love without the use of the words "I love you". Be creative!

    The title and original inspiration for this came from Bob Dylan's [link=]song of the same name[/link]; the story wound up going in a very different direction from the lyrics, but inspiration is inspiration. If by any chance either George or Bob winds up reading this, please don't sue. I borrow out of love. :p

    Many thanks to my wonderful evil twin, LadyPadme, who always does a marvelous job of catching my mistakes and prodding my muse. [:D]

    ~ Best Response to a Challenge, 2008 Saga FanFic awards ~

    Thank you very much! :D

    There were fifteen minutes left.

    Luke strode swiftly through a hallway in the Imperial Palace's west wing, not bothering to glance at the wonders that had once held him spellbound. The high vaulted ceilings with their elaborately carved friezes, the transparisteel windows with decorative etching around their perimeters - he briefly remembered his initial awe at those windows; each was as wide as his home's entire courtyard back on Tatooine - that revealed Coruscant's endless cities beyond, the potted trees and flowers and plants more lush than he would once have believed possible: all this had rendered him nearly speechless the first time he'd set foot in the Palace. As a new graduate of the Academy and a prime candidate for the TIE pilot corps, he'd been so anxious to not look out of place - but his first glimpse of the Palace had made that an impossibility.

    Even now, he felt his face flush with residual anger as he recalled the other cadets' taunts of "rimkin" and other, even less civilized terms for those who hailed from the Outer Rim. He should be grateful to Fixer and Camie, he supposed; if not for the self-control their constant prodding had instilled in him, he might have punched the most obnoxious of his tormenters the way he'd wanted to, and getting written up for fighting within the ranks was no way to impress one's superiors.

    But all of that was only a memory now, and the main areas of the Palace had become nearly as familiar to him as Anchorhead had once been. It was easy to ignore the careless luxury when he wanted to, and today he had something far more important to think of.

    She hadn't answered her comm when he called. That could mean any number of things - she could be performing, or engrossed in research or training, or maybe on one of the missions she was always so reticent about. Few knew what Luke did, that her status as a Palace dancer was merely a front for her real job as a special agent. But not even Luke knew exactly what her true position was, or to whom she answered. He did know that she was very highly placed in the Imperial hierarchy, and that she easily outranked him.

    He squirmed inside over that at times. It wasn't that he was jealous, or that he was ashamed to be with a woman of higher rank the way so many of his fellow pilots would be. In truth, he was exceedingly proud of her, and wouldn't have traded places with her for anything. He'd achieved his dream of being an elite pilot, and until he'd met her, that was all he'd ever wanted. Aside from her, flying was his deepest joy in life. Still, her rank was like her innate elegance, her easy familiarity with Coruscant's intricate mix of cultures, her sharp intelligence, and her beauty that could still leave him breathless: all were reminders that she was far too goo>
  2. PonyTricks

    PonyTricks Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Jul 25, 2003
    :eek: :eek: :eek: - Wow. That viggie was a complete shocker! *and I got the first post on this evil, twisted short tale, too!* :D
  3. ViariSkywalker

    ViariSkywalker Force Ghost star 4

    Aug 9, 2002
    Okay, so you're basically amazing.

    No seriously. You are. :D

    Gabri, that was fantastic, and I completely understand why this type of plot bunny would tempt you to write a longer version. Which I am all for, if you ever get the time. ;)

    I love your portrayal of Mara in this vig. She has a femininity here that doesn't get played upon in a lot of fics (or if it does, it is done very poorly.) And I love when Mara basically tells Luke to stop drooling over her costume. That's our Mara. [face_laugh] There's a wonderful balance between a young girl in love (because she's only 17 or 18 at this point) and a highly-trained operative who doesn't waste time with silly endearments or the like. Mara is quite capable of showing her affection without getting all mushy, and the same is true here.

    And I hate to use the word, but Luke is so cute here. Which is a little disconcerting given that he is an Imperial. But hey, the Imps are people too, and I like that you've shown that here. Luke is still, in some ways, the same kid from Tatooine who got picked on by Camie and Fixer. He didn't lose his aunt and uncle the way he did in ANH, and he didn't learn about the Force, so there's still this mixture of naiveté and youthful exuberance that is very endearing. Now if only he knew he was on the wrong side. :p

    By the way, the vivid descriptions in this story are incredible. I could see everything so perfectly. Loved the Arabian/desert feel to the dancers' area.

    If I quoted my favorite parts, I'd probably end up quoting the whole thing. Another excellent response to the challenge, Gabri! [:D]
  4. Jedi_Emeritus

    Jedi_Emeritus Jedi Knight star 1

    Dec 22, 2005
    Wow, I didn't catch it when I read the title, but it makes perfect sense. Great job!
  5. VaderLVR64

    VaderLVR64 Manager Emeritus star 8 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Feb 5, 2004
    That was AMAZING, and just BEGS to be continued! [face_batting]

    She sighed. "It never bothered me that TIEs don't have shields until I knew you."

    He grinned at her. "Shields are for Rebel cowards."

    Mara rolled her eyes again. "Pilot egos." She drew her hand back with tangible reluctance. "Get going. You aren't going to gain any points for being late."

    Luke looked at his chrono and swore again. He looked back at her. "Mara . . ."

    "I know," she whispered. "Contact me when you next get leave. I'll find a way for us to meet."

    "I will." He reached for her automatically; remembered the glitter and stopped. "Whatever you're doing besides dancing, Mara, be careful."

    She smiled. "Always."

    He smiled back and turned to leave, then paused. "And if you're dancing at the Naval Officers' Ball next week," he said over his shoulder, "watch out for Admiral Ophir. The man's a lecher."

    Mara laughed. "If he tries anything with me, that won't be a viable hobby for him any longer."

    Loved that exchange! :p =D=
  6. ccp

    ccp Jedi Master star 4

    Apr 29, 2005
    Intrigueing. You have me wishing this wasn't just a vig.
  7. Rigil_Kent

    Rigil_Kent Jedi Youngling star 1

    Jan 24, 2004
    Add me to those who are more than a bit intrigued by your take here. It raises almost as many questions as it answers. Mara is the Emperor's Hand, so does Palpatine know who Luke Lars is? Has he manipulated events so the two have met and become involved? What would Vader do if he finds out?

    And it looks bad for the Rebels. Without a Luke Skywalker to rescue Leia Organa-Solo or to destroy the Death Star, it'll be a dark time for the Alliance indeed...

    Well done, Gabri.
  8. Jade_Pilot

    Jade_Pilot Jedi Master star 5

    Dec 10, 2005
    OMIGOSH! You can't end it there. This so rocks, girl! I want more!!!!

    Pretty please??? [face_praying]
  9. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Aug 31, 2004
    I adore that.... Mara's costume... their roles and their relationship.... feels so right, as it always does and always will. Yuppers, this must continue. I have to have PMs too. :D

  10. Jedi-2B

    Jedi-2B Jedi Master star 4

    Nov 2, 2000
    Ah, you were right about the difficulty in deciding if this should be just a vignette, or a prelude to a longer story. It leaves so many unanswered questions, but I guess that was the point, right? :p Makes me want to root for the Empire.

    Great job, Gabri! Loved it.
  11. JadedSkycrawler

    JadedSkycrawler Jedi Youngling star 2

    Jul 10, 2002
    W0w!! That was fun :D [:D]
    The L/M interaction, Luke as an imperial pilot- and still very likeable & still Luke, it was all perfect. LOL, and I like how he had to walk out all casual & collected and then ran.
    ...Part 2? [face_batting]
  12. Jaina_and_Jag

    Jaina_and_Jag Jedi Master star 5

    Apr 19, 2003
    I loved it! :D :D Definitely a twist of fate.
  13. divapilot

    divapilot Force Ghost star 4

    Nov 30, 2005
    Gorgeous! I loved the description. I could completely see the way her costume glittered, I could hear the clicking of his boots on the tile. You really made this come to life.

    I love these "what if" stories. [:D] So ripe with possibility.

    =D= =D=
  14. Irish_Jedi_Jade

    Irish_Jedi_Jade Jedi Master star 4

    Jul 19, 2007
    Gabri, that was so amazing! Normally I don't like these kinds of stories because generally they're twisted and evil...but this was awesome. It fit so perfectly, you know? If Luke had gone to the Academy...and I can see them both being like that--utterly dedicated, even if unknowingly they were helping to advance evil, they did it with the most golden of beautiful. And I loved the bit about the glitter--nice out!

    [face_good_luck] Irish
  15. furrylittlebantha

    furrylittlebantha Jedi Master star 3

    Dec 2, 2005
    Okay, so, Wow. I was about to hit the sack and I clicked onto this site for the first time in a while (the TFN is blocked at work and I pretty much crash when I get home)

    The general concept has been done before. Most concepts have. The thing is, your execution hasn't. For me, the most stunning part was the description of the dancing chambers. I was *there*. I could even smell it, in a way--the sort of heavy, spicy musk you always sort of imagine must surround Arabic fairy tales. Don't get me wrong; the story and interaction between Luke and Mara was excellent, as per usual from you. But your imagery definitely raised the bar and caused me to leave my first comment in months. Huzzah!
  16. Jedimaster_JainaSolo

    Jedimaster_JainaSolo Jedi Youngling star 3

    Jun 25, 2003
    That was awesome! Now I'm thinking you're gonna have to go write a whole epic fic with this AU...Completely awesome!

    Very nicely done...and I marvel at your creativity. I am thoroughly impressed. Very nice! :D=D=

  17. Klimt_Of_Tornesdal

    Klimt_Of_Tornesdal Jedi Master star 3

    Dec 8, 1999
    Oh Gabri, you wicked individual. How you could you leave it there?! Count me as another one begging for this fic to be continued if you feel the urge to do so. After a start like that, how can there not be more?
  18. Gabri_Jade

    Gabri_Jade Fan Fiction Archive Editor Emeritus star 5 VIP

    Nov 9, 2002
    PonyTricks: Congratulations on first post! :D And thank you ever so. I do like writing shockers. [face_batting]

    Vi: Why, thank you. [face_blush] It is an awfully tempting bunny, darn it.

    Mara has such lovely intricacies to her character. She's a professional quality dancer, and I doubt very much she was doing mostly dances like tap. That definitely implies a good deal of femininity, and an awareness of it. But she's also very no-nonsense, practical, and supremely capable. It's lots of fun to try to balance those traits.

    Naiveté and youthful exuberance definitely sums up Luke here. I haven't fully worked out his backstory in my head, but it's safe to say that he didn't come home one day to the smoking remains of the only parents he'd ever known, then get thrust into a galactic conflict, be initiated as a fighter pilot responsible for taking many lives, and watch his best friend get blown up while covering for him, so yeah, he's a lot more innocent here. In some ways, anyway. O:)

    I'm glad you like the descriptions. :D I always have to consciously work at visualizing surroundings (it's much easier for me to slip inside a character's head than to get a feel for the room they're standing in :p ), so I'm very pleased it worked here.

    Thank you so much, Vi! [:D]

    Jedi_Emeritus: Thank you! :)

    VaderLVR: That was AMAZING, and just BEGS to be continued!

    Does it, now? [face_batting] I'm glad that exchange rang true to you. :) Thank you, Kim!

    ccp: Thank you! I really appreciate the compliment. :)

    Rigel_Kent: So many questions you have. :p Answers are slippery little things, sometimes. [face_batting] Thank you! Glad you liked it. :)

    Jade_Pilot: You never can tell how plot bunnies might develop in the future. [face_thinking] Thank you very much! I'm flattered that you'd want to see more. [face_blush]

    Jade_eyes: Thank you. :)

    Michele: Makes me want to root for the Empire.

    Really, now? Mara - and this Luke - would be pleased. [face_batting] And yes, this bunny was a troublesome one. It wants to be much longer. It and my muse are still duking that one out. [face_thinking] Thank you! I'm pleased you liked it. :D

    JadedSkycrawler: Making sure the characters are still recognizably themselves even in very different circumstances is a challenge of any AU. I'm glad you think it worked here. :)

    LOL, and I like how he had to walk out all casual & collected and then ran.

    *grins* I like your wording; it makes the scene even more vivid in my mind. He did have to keep up appearances for the stern matron, and I felt that the dancers' antechamber probably wasn't a place most self-respecting officers would go - at least not in uniform - so he was trying to fly under the radar, so to speak. But I doubt that tardiness is looked upon any more favorably in the Imperial military. Poor Luke. If only Mara weren't so enticing. :p

    ...Part 2?

    You never can tell. My muse is a very slow-moving creature, but I'm more tempted to expand upon this story than I have been any of my previous work. Maybe it'll wind up being a longer story at some point after all. [face_thinking]

    Jaina_and_Jag: Thank you! Glad you liked it. :)

    diva: Thank you so much! Description is always something of a conscious endeavor for me, so I'm very pleased that you think it turned out well here. :D And yes, many possibilities with this one. Dratted plot bunnies. [face_hypnotized]

    Irish: That's an intrinsic part of both Luke and Mara, I think: If they believe they're doing the right thing, they'll throw their whole hearts and souls into it. It tends to make them sympathetic characters no matter what they're doing. [face_thinking] Except in the very twisted and evil fics, of course, which I personally adore. [face_devil] [face_batting]

    Thank you; glad you liked! :)

    furry: Hey! I'm so glad to see you! [:D] And thank you so much for your very kind comments. I really appreciate them. [face_blush] As I said above, visualizing surroundings is perhaps my biggest challenge in writing. I had to ac
  19. Knight_Aragorn

    Knight_Aragorn Jedi Master star 4

    Jun 15, 2003
    *is late* :p I love the AU premise in this story - it's kind of intriguing to think about how much longer Luke could, erm, fly under the radar so to speak, moving in circles so close to the Terrible Two, aka Vader and Palps. And what that might mean for his life there, and his relationship with Mara. [face_thinking]

    Anyway, love the potential here, exercised so beautifully, love the characterisations and the clear regard Luke and Mara have for one another. Also love the detail in your writing as always. :D

    Brilliant work. =D=

  20. YodaKenobi

    YodaKenobi VIP star 6 VIP

    May 27, 2003
    Another awesome twist, Gabri =D= :D Great job!
  21. LadyPadme

    LadyPadme Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Sep 26, 2002
    Hmmm...somehow I thought I'd commented on this... * huggles and apologises for not doing so * [:D]

    In any case, I loved this vignette. It satisfied the terms of the challenge beautifully, and still managed to convey a sense of sensuality, of heat, of romance that IMO very few fics achieve even when they're all over each other. And then there are the little AU bits, "Captain Lars", an Imperial officer, the romance before the Death Star...

    ...this clearly begs for a longer story to tell the story, Mei.

    Great job!

  22. Gabri_Jade

    Gabri_Jade Fan Fiction Archive Editor Emeritus star 5 VIP

    Nov 9, 2002
    K_A: You know I'm always happy to see you, late or not. ;) It is an intriguing AU premise, isn't it? It certainly fascinates me. [face_thinking] Thank you so much for the compliments! [:D]

    YK: SW and Dylan combine to create very interesting ideas, I find. :p Thank you! Glad you liked it. :D

    Jieh: You beta read it, silly girl! And polished it wonderfully, too. No apologies needed. [:D] That was tricky, balancing the challenge requirement with the sensuality that I felt this Luke and Mara really needed. I'm so pleased that you think it worked. :D And yes, I know. It wants to be much longer. Troublesome plot bunny. :oops: Thank you, Jieh! [:D]
  23. Jedi Trace

    Jedi Trace SouthEast RSA star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Dec 15, 1999
    *is also very late to the party* Okay, so, I just realized that you'd written two fics for this challenge. :oops: [face_blush]

    Intriguing, to say the least! =D= "Captain Lars" makes me think that Owen and Beru had a good deal more sense than the movie implied, in that they wouldn't have sent Luke off into the galaxy with the name Skywalker, lol.

    LOVED the convo about the TIE shields and that, even when flying for the other side, Luke still has the fighter pilot ego. [face_laugh]

    Wonderful viggie! Is this the one you want to expand? I'd love to read more! :D

  24. Gabri_Jade

    Gabri_Jade Fan Fiction Archive Editor Emeritus star 5 VIP

    Nov 9, 2002
    Trace: Hi! :D (And thank you. [face_blush] :p ) Re: the Skywalker name: exactly! I love the Skywalker name and it helps move the plot along, but from a safety perspective, I cannot figure out why Owen and Beru wouldn't have renamed him Lars. [face_thinking] And I have always, always loved Luke best when he's displaying that pilot ego. My favorite Luke parts in the whole OT are the first third or so of ESB where he's neither farmboy Luke nor Jedi Luke, he's Rogue Commander Luke. No matter what ship you put him in, I suspect the ego would go with him. :p And a quiet comment on the TIE's lack of shields seemed to be, for Emperor's Hand Mara, almost an all-out declaration of love. She can be understated. :p

    Yup, this is the one. I'll see what I can do. Believe me, I'd like to see more of this story, too. :p Thank you so much! [:D]
  25. ViariSkywalker

    ViariSkywalker Force Ghost star 4

    Aug 9, 2002
    Methinks the Saga folks are going to wonder where the heck this thread came from all of a sudden. :p

    Still so much love for this fic. And I'm anxiously awaiting the expansion, as soon as you wrestle the plot into submission. ;)
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