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Before - Legends An Interlude for Revan

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by Oddly_Salacious, Jan 26, 2019.

  1. Oddly_Salacious

    Oddly_Salacious Jedi Master star 1

    Registered:
    Dec 5, 2005
    Title: An Interlude for Revan
    Author: Oddly_Salacious
    Timeframe: Old Republic
    Characters: Revan, OC
    Genre: AU
    Keywords: Before the Saga, KOTOR, Revan, one-shot
    Subject: Revan lives alongside an unexpected guest and works to find the meaning in the outcome of the Jedi Civil War.
    Beta Reader: gaarastar58
    Notes: Occurs between KOTOR and TSL.


    An Interlude for Revan
    By Oddly Salacious

    Brown water slipped between cattails and up under ferns. Grey rainclouds flashed and growled in their impatience, an attitude that was caught up by the wild tangles of mangrove. The dry season was ending.

    One boot clung in the spongy earth. Sock lifted from insole, but its owner resisted a rash tug. This was her last pair of boots.

    Her hair had grown out and grown wild. Brown locks, now lank and damp, ceased to frustrate her ears. Gone, too, were the heavy trappings that she had worn when her ship had touched down here. Simple pants, a loose shirt, and a camp vest were her ensemble. A shapeless yellow drybag hung by its strap off one shoulder to complete the kit.

    Despite the incessant animal noise, only small reptilians and otherworldly curiosities of arthropodan design accompanied her on excursions to the patch. Most bid their good wishes by a plop into the shallow lake that made the algae mats heave and sigh.

    The Taris destruction at the hands of the Sith had undulated like that. City landmarks lie beneath a thick skin of matchstick debris. Glinting scree slid into deep city trenches. Ground met sky in a smudge of white and brown. --Just another blip on the map in another war. Other miseries had been cast upon the civilized galaxy. But, Taris was different to her. Its ravage had been out of…

    …Revan's hands pushed aside the broad cabbage leaves to expose the base of the plant. Her knife scraped the corky bark to reveal a purplish pigment overtaking the yellow in the vascular structure. Satisfied, she folded the knife and returned it to a vest pocket. Then she jammed her fingers into the soft mud.

    The crenate leaf tasted peppery if steeped in warm water. The milk stalk was mildly toxic and produced more discomfort than distress --unless a latrine was not readily available. Then the opposite held true from a certain point of view. The starchy rhizomes proved edible once the plant ripened and Revan's fingers had worked several up through the peat bog in short time. She didn't mind the reek produced by the spiky inflorescences. The better part of her sense of smell had been robbed by a gas grenade years ago.

    A presence tingled on her mental periphery and Revan's hand sought her empty belt clip. The reflex was still there, but the stealth unit was in the spaceship along with the bits and bobs from her days as a warrior. She stood to be plainly visible.

    Two dots of orange floated through the greasy dusk. They disappeared and then reappeared. Revan imagined the creature choosing its way over and around roots: glancing up, glancing down with its glowing eyes; one furry hand using the fluted boles of swamp trees for guidance and support. A toe would timidly test a patch of bog as to reveal a trap of impassable quick sand.

    The haze reshaped and resolved into the diminutive form of a Jawa. Had Revan not pried open a crashed shuttle pod four weeks prior, meeting a Sith Lord swinging a saber in this swamp would have been less surprising (and begrudgingly less humorous) than this desert creature picking his way towards her. Emerging from the tree line, he held his short arms out for balance and wobbled over the last few meters.

    The Jawa greeted Revan in the cabbage patch. She turned and beckoned to the scattering of leaves she had cut. The Jawa, Utinni she had named him, hastened to comply. In short order, the drybag was nearly filled with moist leaves. Revan added her muddy clumps of rhizomes to the pack.

    They rarely spoke to one another although Utinni's nervous habit of squeaky chatter could be heard inside his hood. Revan knew the rudimentary Jawa trade language, but Utinni's own flavor came with a thick primitive dialect. She received many faceless stares from those strange glowing gems affixed to his face wrap. She didn't know his name, but found his frequent exclamations of Utinni to include some form of greeting as well as marked surprise. Revan now mumbled it to herself on occasion.

    Utinni finished straightening the area and then waited for Revan beside the stuffed pack. One brown parcel and one yellow parcel: nearly perfect in size and shape, Revan concluded. At least she knew what to do with the contents of the drybag.

    The Jawa's diffidence towards her suggested he considered Revan as a shaman or witching-woman. This was a common sentiment towards Force-wielders in charismatic communities, and Revan wouldn't correct the belief. But she couldn't guess what the Jawa expected from her. A religious icon? A prophetess? A savior?

    A brief poke into his mind had shown Revan more hardship and hard living than what a larger species might endure. Stripped naked and repeatedly tortured by the Sand People of Tatooine. Rescued and nurtured by a rival clan of Sand People until turned loose in the Jundland Wastes. Wandering in thirst and hunger for days under the planet's twin suns as his delicate skin peeled away and his unprotected vision burned. And that was only a thumbnail to the Jawa's seventy years of life. The revelation had tempered her tolerance if not grown a quiet respect for the little alien. She let him have his privacy, come what may.

    A grey finger touched her leg. Revan sighed, turned and nodded her thanks to the patch for bestowing its bounty of such-n-such. Utinni bowed deeply. She suspected he did this out of gratitude to a god of provision. Utinni's spiritual faith was admirable, but he had gone silent when she complimented him for it. He spoke a few hesitant words, which translated, meant it wasn't something to be complimented for. But he thanked her for her generosity. Revan was again at a loss.

    On days when Revan found the Jawa trailing her, they might explore deep into the swamp. The Jedi Archives included nothing more about this world than an incidental entry by a Jedi whose legacy was a collection of biogeographical lectures by galactic sector. Revan, however, was intrigued by the chaotic throb of Force around her.

    She tried describing the feeling to Utinni like she was standing on an electromagnetic the size of a planet. She imagined Force energy, like magnetic field lines, churning up and through all matter ceaselessly, binding the universe together in infinite swirling patterns. And suddenly, it is felt. Suddenly, all those lines and patterns become visible, audible -yes, even beyond the normal senses. There are connections between this tree and that rock. Between sky and cloud.

    Revan was standing with the rain falling on her upturned face.

    Utinni produced a boxy device from inside his tattered robe, activated a switch on the side, and held a hand over a nub of brass on the top. He was silent for about a minute.

    Revan tried following the Jawa's excited and winding narratives. --About the intricacies of the bargain with an Abregado-rae shipwright that won Utinni the transponder codes to Revan's spaceship. And about how he had mapped hyperwave transceivers. And how Holonet overlays could trace ship transponder codes using transceiver mapping. And how often an Orphene 10BX\17 navicomputer would need to drop out of hyperspace to recalibrate, and thereby triggering a sly little Holonet search engine.

    Revan also gathered that her radical exit from the Rimma Trade Route had terrified the little Jawa, but he faithfully trailed her out into this uncharted system.

    #

    Revan took advantage of a gap in the rain and rested outside against the hut. Utinni's innate desert skills of burrowing had improved the old hollow beneath the leggy roots of an immense swamp tree. The floor was drained and flattened, and the loamy walls were cobbed with sticks and grasses. The roof still remained low for her, but Utinni was quick to bring to Revan whatever was out of reach. Yet it was good to get outside and stretch. She tapped a stylus on her chin.

    At its most basic, matter is defined by relationships. Reorder the atoms in ordinary granite and it can form Adegan crystal when introduced to heat energy and pressure. As electromagnetic force energies influence these minute interactions, so too do Living Force energies. Changing this influence alters how defined the Living Force is as an attractor in dynamical systems. Chaos is given structure. Over time, this creates a discernable pattern in the…

    …bomb craters. The Sith had launched bombers to maximize the effectivity of their assault on Taris. The firing solution had been complex; she had not foreseen it. Revan had not felt the disturbance in the Force.

    No. Not Revan. Her mind had been erased and replaced with a false identity and false memories. This new unRevan was conceived and calculated by a group of presupposing Jedi Masters to serve as their weapon. Coercion replaced seduction. Revan at her innermost had been violated by the seed of their motive.

    Revan threw her journal aside and hugged her arms around her. What is the truth of victory when it is bought by such sacrifice? The Cross of Glory was bestowed on her as the Prodigal Jedi. Meaningless. The Sith still existed. The Jedi taught truth depends greatly on a point of view. But where was the "good" when all Revan had done was destroy?

    Revan squeezed her hands into fists and then unclenched them slowly. Bits of dirt had stuck in the creases of her fingers. Her fingernails had muck under them. And she had chewed them.

    The notion of Utinni bowing in the cabbage patch came to Revan: his stuffing leaves into the dry bag; his intentional being with her on this moody world.

    Perhaps the truth wasn't in winning a victory. Truth was revealed by the sacrifice and it could be good.

    Crosshatched emotions clouded Revan's features and she glanced to the heavens grey and formless above her. If there were a separate mediator keeping the standard, would not then any other idea of Good and Bad become a deceit? Had her preconceived ideas of right and wrong been… misguided? Unbidden, her mind called out across the stars:

    Kreia.

    Revan flinched.

    Utinni scuffled out with a bowl of hot cabbage stew for her. He settled down on the damp earth next to Revan carefully steadying his own bowl and spoon in his other hand. Comfortable, he sighed a little sigh and passed a mouthful of soup underneath his deep hood. There was a long slurp.

    #

    Revan cocked an ear to the swamp. Squalls, squeaks, and shrill whistles soared in the soft air. The mud sucking on the soles of her boots was ignored and the warm drizzle tapping her shoulders and face went unfelt. Revan tucked a loose strand of hair behind her ear.

    She thought she heard it again: a thin wail, distant and faltering in the end. Seconds passed. The clamor of the swamp crushed in until it pulsed in Revan's ears. Then came the rolling retort of blaster fire. One shot followed quickly by a second cracking shot. She leapt forwards and raced to the shelter.

    She ducked her head inside the doorway and called out for Utinni, but there was no chirpy greeting from the Jawa. Revan swiveled and surveyed the area with a critical eye. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary. There no signs of struggle or… A third sharp blang! of a blaster rippled across the swamp.

    Utinni.

    Revan took a few jogging steps, but came to an abrupt halt. Lacey moss hung from brown trees. Those trees stood on low shores with their roots uncoiling into the steamy waters. Those waters.

    Fear gripped Revan's throat. Utinni was a desert person. Water and the potential dangers lurking in that water were alien to him. His foot wouldn't be as naturally guided by that primal survival instinct.

    Revan sent her full perception into the Force and the swamp swayed under her power. The sensations that rushed back to meet her jockeyed for undivided attention. Revan scowled and cut the deluge with the razor of her own will. Utinni's presence tingled at her mental periphery.

    The force-creature that was Revan sped through the jungle growth. Mud splattered up her lower legs and rain plastered her bangs to her forehead. Twiggy fingers ripped the wet sleeves of her shirt. Thorns scratched flesh. But the Force was her guide. A rotted tree trunk burst asunder with a wordless command; the wooden shards batted away with the next. Streaks of the Jawa's pain seared into Revan with each step, but they made for an unmistakable compass.

    Blood. Agony. Torn. I am torn. -Danger …help

    Revan sent waves of assurance back to the Jawa.

    I am coming.

    There was a narrow trail in the undergrowth. Revan and Utinni had once or twice tested its meanderings and wondered aloud about where it went and where it was going. Revan joined the trail; but where it took a hard right, Revan jumped forwards and came crashing down on a shallow slope. She allowed her feet to slide in the gooey muck until the ground leveled out and became the sandy reed-filled bottom of a gully. Up the other side, Revan came out on the trail again having had just cut off a long loop of it. Her way forward would be straight and clear for many paces.

    #

    Utinni had crawled into a bed of fern on the banks of a small pond where he collapsed. Nearby, a pale slug-like thing wrinkled and smoothed in death constrictions. Even so, the mortally wounded wormfish kept shoving its finned tail into the mud and scooting towards to the stricken Jawa. A round wet mouth split open to expose crude fangs rooted in flexible gums.

    Revan willed the odious thing to be flung far out into the pond and thought no more of its fate. She touched the Jawa's arm laid across his chest. The little alien gave a muffled cry, but remained still. The wrist turned an odd angle and Utinni's arm wrap was damp with crimson. As carefully as she could, Revan slid a hand under the Jawa. Her fingers came back red with blood.

    The wormfish's teeth had lacerated an artery and cut into the right lung. Revan found another seeping puncture on Utinni's left side.

    Snuffling back beaded tears, Revan began recalling and reordering her Force energies. Force Healing had never been a strength and her real medical training came from the immediate needs of battle. This was grim business. Wounds such as these meant death.

    Utinni must have sensed what Revan was about to try. The orange gems deep in the shadow of his hood brightened and he motioned to have the all-concealing black face wrap pulled from over his mouth.

    The little Jawa had no words for her. Revan saw the pressed line of his sharp mouth. Revan turned her focus back to locating the two retracted ends of the severed artery. Utinni's light touch on her arm drew her back. He pulled her hand over his fading heart.

    After a little while, the sounds of life around her returned, but it would not be so for Utinni. Daylight had faded to dusk when Revan pulled her hand out from under Utinni's.

    Darkness was rising. It was time to leave.

    #

    She buried Utinni's body in the cabbage patch under round stones what she could find. The stench from the plants should keep larger predators from disturbing his grave. A small arrangement of cabbage flowers lay on top of the stones.

    Revan wiped her hands on her pant legs and slung the drybag strap over a shoulder. She had found the bag not far from Utinni's body. Inside were more parts scavenged from his shuttle pod planned for the final preparation of Revan's starship. He had even cleaned the cockpit and polished the buckles of their flight harnesses. The damn fool had meant to surprise her.

    Revan gave the lonely grave one final look. The strap slid off and she dropped to her knees. Slowly, halting words came out of her and drifted away into the swamp.

    ##

    Sands will shift, Revan. The path you take is your choice make. Rocky and dry places may come when home is far away. But rest in the hope you have. It is the fire carried within. Strength will rise to see you through.

    Utin'ni, Revan.
    (end)
     
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  2. Cowgirl Jedi 1701

    Cowgirl Jedi 1701 Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 21, 2016
    I have mixed feelings about this. It pleases me to see a swamp Jawa, but he has such a sad ending.
     
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  3. Oddly_Salacious

    Oddly_Salacious Jedi Master star 1

    Registered:
    Dec 5, 2005
    Thank you for your response! It was my hope that such a short story would/ could have a dynamic impact. As for Utinni, he wrote himself. The original side character was intended to be much different, but as the story took shape, Utinni just appeared and plopped himself down to stay.
     
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  4. Cowgirl Jedi 1701

    Cowgirl Jedi 1701 Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 21, 2016
    If you want to see some examples of much story in few words, go back a few pages and check out any stable thread you may stumble across.
     
  5. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    Very compelling vignette/character study, and definitely a new take on Revan—this is her (and I like writing her as female, too) as something more ordinary, something more down-to-earth than the Prodigal Knight and Savior of the Galaxy, because this time it’s just a matter of her own survival. Yet it never becomes truly “every being for themself,” thanks to the unlikely (or maybe not?) friendship Revan forges with the Jawa she dubs Utinni. He seems keyed into the Force in some small way himself, even to the point of sensing the savior quality lurking inside Revan—which makes it all the more poignant and heartbreaking later on when Revan isn’t able to save him. :_| And then Revan is all alone again, facing those shifting sands on her own—back to square one.

    And you do such a great job with the setting and atmosphere throughout the story—it really immerses all the senses, right down to the squish of the swampy ground, the smell of the cabbage plants (I’m imagining something like Earth skunk cabbage), the distant blaster fire, the wormfish’s fangs, the mud under Revan’s fingernails. I could go on and on...!

    Bravo on some fine work here—thanks so much for sharing, and I’m looking forward to seeing more from you! =D=
     
  6. Oddly_Salacious

    Oddly_Salacious Jedi Master star 1

    Registered:
    Dec 5, 2005
    @Findswoman - Skunk cabbage! You nailed it! I'm an avid trail runner and I got the idea when I passed through a boggy swamp reeking of skunk cabbage. Now, because I'm pleased with this story, it is a pleasant encounter.

    Interlude was my first steps back into fan fiction after many years away. In some way, Revan embracing her newly merged identity brings to light some of this experience for me: This is the creature who I am. I like to write. Boom! There goes a tree trunk. For the nerds: my Revan is P_FEM_B_MED_02.

    Interlude was also a challenge-write (as were Talay and Conventions in each their own way). I wanted a story that did not have one spoken word, yet convey a budding intimacy between two very different characters.

    My lasting image from this story is when Utinni brings Revan stew. To me it says, "Utinni will always be with you."
     
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  7. gizkaspice

    gizkaspice Jedi Master star 3

    Registered:
    Nov 27, 2013
    I agree with @Findswoman here--this is an interesting down-to-earth take on Revan I really like (and definitely fem!Revan FTW and of course, we all have our own versions of Revan as well...mine remains on the Unknown World and is a professional gizka photographer because the Galaxy can just go save itself and all that :p).

    Poor swamp Jawa! This story hits right in the feels. It's amazing how there wasn't really that much 'dialogue' yet the reader gets a very in-depth study of the characters and we get a great sense of who they are. Well done!
     
  8. Oddly_Salacious

    Oddly_Salacious Jedi Master star 1

    Registered:
    Dec 5, 2005
    Gizka photographer- very nice. [face_laugh] And... I might slip "in the feels" into my vernacular.

    Unfortunately, I labeled the canon Revan as "Jethro Revan" when I saw him, and so I cannot buy into that thread and keep a straight face.

    I'm glad you enjoyed this story! Each story holds a personal challenge. This one was to use limited 3rd person with no overt dialogue to tell the story. That you got thisis a reassurance to me. w00t!

    Many thanks for commenting!
    -O
     
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