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Saga - Legends Chyntuck's ramblings | "Fermu Soldatu Tin" (OTP Fairy Tale Challenge) | Replies 03 Dec 2017

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by Chyntuck , Oct 2, 2014.

  1. Chyntuck

    Chyntuck Mods' Dare 2nd Place & Mods' Choice Dare Winner star 5 VIP - Game Winner

    Jul 11, 2014
    Thanks to everyone who stopped by to read Zane's zaniness! (See what I did there? ;) )

    A few quick replies to everyone's very kind reviews:

    Mistress_Renata Thank you! This is all your fault in the first place, so I'm glad you liked it! I loved how you had him turn up in one of your RPG posts; somehow I sense that this is going to be a ghost-like figure that appears at the most random times around Black Sheep squadron. Come to think of it, bringing his mother into the picture at an unexpected time could create an interesting conundrum for Bardan_Jusik [face_devil]

    BookExogorth Thanks!
    Ask and you shall receive :) (You're going to have to put a bit of effort to imagine it in Sy Snootles's voice though!)

    gizkaspice Thank you! My humorous muse has been comatose for a while, but this is a story that demanded to be written once Renata planted the idea in my head. Also, I thought that Zane should be somehow lucky in his misfortune – he isn't going to stay on Hoth too long given the timing of his arrival, so his experience with an ice world after a desert world is thankfully going to remain limited.

    pronker Thanks for reading, I'm glad I could cheer you up! I'm not sure I'd say that Zane "thought fast" though, or even that he's capable of thought at all :p But then, he probably did find the one place where he's safe from Jabba, his mum and the Empire... until the Empire turns up on Hoth, that is!

    Also, I had the same reaction as Cowgirl Jedi 1701 about "bringing home the bacon" applies to Gamorreans... although the idea that it could mean getting married didn't cross my mind! [face_laugh]

    leiamoody Thank you! I should have known that you, of all people, would spot the Cabaret reference. There's a snapshot of the TCW Gamorrean clown on the Wook, and yeah, tragicomic pretty much sums it up.

    As for the drink to accompany this reply, would you care for a Cosmic Rose Shooter?

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Thanks! Zane did escape from the Jabba/Empire/Mum mess, but it's a bit like falling out of the frying pan and into the fire, right? The good thing (for him) though is that he doesn't know it yet.

    Thanks again to everyone who took the time to review, or even just to read!
    pronker and BookExogorth like this.
  2. divapilot

    divapilot Force Ghost star 4

    Nov 30, 2005
    Late to the party, but I did enjoy this. I loved how fluidly you made the transitions here, from bungling a security assignment to becoming the court clown to running away and finally finding a useful outlet for Zane’s particular skill. Even with no dialogue from him, he’s a likeable fellow. Love how Jabba the Hutt, Darth Vader, and Mum are equally terrifying.
    I’m glad for him, to finally find his place amidst the rebels.
  3. Chyntuck

    Chyntuck Mods' Dare 2nd Place & Mods' Choice Dare Winner star 5 VIP - Game Winner

    Jul 11, 2014
    Title: Fermu Soldatu Tin
    Timeframe: 0 BBY (from the end of Rogue One to the beginning of ANH)
    Continuity: Canon
    Characters: OCs
    Genre: Drama/tragedy
    Length: One-shot
    Summary:The Steadfast Tin Soldier in the GFFA.
    Notes: This story was written for the OTP Fairy Tale Challenge. My prompt was Hans Christian Andersen’s The Steadfast Tin Soldier; you may want to read the original tale here to see how closely I decided to follow it. (Hint: very, very closely. This is a pastiche rather than an adaptation.)

    Fermu Soldatu Tin

    There were once twenty-five stormtroopers. They were like brothers, having served in the same battalion for years, and they had all been injured together in a skirmish of the war. They were transferred to Scarif MedCentre, still in their white armour, and they were promptly ushered to the surgical ward.

    The first words they heard there was: “New patients!” A doctor came rushing forward to examine them, and he distributed them among his assistants to look after their wounds.

    All the troopers were soon deemed fit for duty except one. Fermu Soldatu Tin’s armour must have been faulty; it had failed to withstand the power of a blast. A piece of shrapnel had sliced through the flesh and bone and his leg would have to be amputated below the knee. His twenty-four brothers came to salute him as they left back to the battlefield. “You must have done this on purpose,” the commander said to lighten up the situation. “A whole week until they prepare your prosthetic? I wouldn’t mind a holiday by the coast.”

    Fermu Soldatu laughed, together with his comrades. He was known to be stoic in the face of adversity; everything he did, he did for the Empire. After his squad was gone, he pulled on his armour – except, of course, for the missing leg, but he was scrupulous about military protocol regardless of circumstances – and he gathered his crutches. He had been told to spend as much time as he could outdoors to facilitate his healing, and the sandy beach he could see from the window was too tempting to miss.

    There were a great many other patients on the medcentre grounds, strolling on the passages between the islands of the atoll. Fermu Soldatu could glimpse the fish and the seagulls, and even the coral reefs in the deep blue sea. He stayed outside for a long while, standing to attention as he stared at the horizon beyond which the Imperial Security Complex was too far to see. He then noticed a merry assembly in front of the main building, and he hobbled along to join in the revelry.

    A stage had been built beside the entrance, and on it a ballerina was standing on the tip of her foot. For a moment Fermu Soldatu thought that she was one of the injured, because her other leg was raised so far behind her that he couldn’t see it at all. But then she leapt up and received herself on both feet to bow to the applause of the crowd, showing that she was unhurt and whole. He suddenly recognised the belt around her waist. It was made of pure doonium like the most powerful starships, its thin, intricate mesh as supple as fabric under the sequins that sparkled in the sun. He knew that belt, the entire navy did – the Emperor had given it to the ballerina as a gesture of thanks for entertaining the troops. He had watched the ceremony on the HoloNet together with his brothers, but he didn’t remember the dancer’s face because he had been so far from the screen.

    Now that he could see her, he noticed that Vasla Nijinskaya was truly very pretty and he was instantly attracted to her. “It would be nice to make her acquaintance,” he thought, “but maybe she’s too grand for me. She’s a galactic celebrity, and I’m just a stormtrooper. Still, I can try to get to know her, now that we’re both here.”

    He straightened himself on his crutches in the hope that his posture would catch the ballerina’s attention as she came off the stage, but she was immediately surrounded by more prominent admirers. All he could do was remain among the assembly and marvel at her grace as she demonstrated again how she balanced herself on the tip of her toe.

    When night came and dinner was served and done, the medical staff went to bed. The patients, however, couldn’t find sleep, and most went outside to enjoy the evening breeze. An infantryman who had just been fitted with a cybernetic limb turned somersaults, and a pilot cracked jokes to the great delight of a mirthful crowd. They made such a noise that they woke up a nurse with a talent for poetry, who took to the stage and gave them a speech intimating that they return to bed, all in verse. The only two who remained silent were Fermu Soldatu Tin and Vasla Nijinskaya. She had chosen a quiet corner of the grounds to practice her dance moves, and he could see that she was glancing at him as she balanced herself on one foot while he stood to attention by his bedroom window. Not once did he take his eyes off her.

    Then the clock struck midnight, and – rasp! – someone tapped aggressively on Fermu Soldatu’s armoured shoulder. A nasty-looking officer had sprung on him like a jack-in-a-box.

    “Trooper,” he said. “Will you please keep your eyes to yourself?”

    Fermu Soldatu snapped to attention once more, but his gaze was drawn back to the ballerina as soon as his superior stepped away. The officer huffed. “Just you wait until tomorrow,” he said. The trooper ignored him this time; after all, even if the officer reported him, he had done nothing wrong.

    When morning came, Fermu Soldatu returned to his post by the window, hoping that Vasla Nijinskaya would show up. He could see plumes of dark smoke and TIE fighters in the skies of Scarif, and he understood that a battle was taking place beyond the horizon. He was wondering what could be happening to the Security Complex when a giant laser beam pierced the bright blue sky. Moments later, the building shook under his feet with such force that he staggered over the windowsill and pitched out headlong from the third floor. He plummeted with breathtaking speed; thankfully a garden bed somehow softened his vertiginous drop. The medics ran outside to assist their patients – the quake had caused many to crumple to the ground – and although they walked right past him, they didn’t notice him, hidden as he was behind a flowering bush. If he had called “Here I am!” they would surely have found him, but he thought it contemptible to raise an uproar when others, who hadn’t been wearing their armour, had suffered so much more from their fall.

    He was still struggling with his crutches, trying to scramble to his feet, when a whooshing, sloshing sound echoed over the ongoing tremor. The ocean receded brutally, then swelled in an unimaginable fashion – and soon it came crashing onto the medcentre grounds, carrying Fermu Soldatu in its flow.

    High heavens! How the waves splashed and slopped, and how they dragged him out towards the open sea. It was as if the planet itself were protesting the blast it had sustained. Fermu Soldatu was thrown and pitched and tossed around by the irresistible currents, and sometimes he whirled so rapidly that it made his head spin. But he didn’t surrender to what others would have viewed as an inevitable fate; he was an Imperial stormtrooper, after all. He kept his wits about him and fought back against the roaring water, and when he saw a large plank floating among the debris, he swam towards it despite his missing leg and hauled himself on top.

    “What could have happened?” he asked himself over and over during the next few days when he was stranded at sea, surviving on the protein cubes stored in his utility belt. “To think that I was worried about that nasty officer’s report! I hope that Vasla Nijinskaya found her way to safety. Although, if she were here with me, I could spend another week on this plank, for all that I would care.”

    On the fourth day, as he began to lose hope that he would ever be rescued, an amphibious craft popped out of the water.

    “Have you identification?” the crew asked. “Hand it over!”

    Fermu Soldatu has lost his ID in the tsunami, and he was trussed up and shackled until they ferried him back to the shore. “We halted him, we stopped him, sir!” the pilot said proudly. “He didn’t show his identification, he must be a spy!”

    The trooper looked up to find himself facing the nasty officer who had told him off. The man was wearing the uniform of an ISB commander now, and the angry gleam of his eyes would frighten the best of us. Throughout his interrogation, Fermu Soldatu wondered if his insistence at accusing him of being a spy or a Rebel agent was vindictiveness for ignoring the order to stop looking at Vasla Nijinskaya – but he stood as staunch as he could while Commander Wolf questioned him and no one can say that he so much as blinked an eye. He thought of the pretty ballerina whom he’d never see again and of the glory of the Empire, and in his ears rang an old, old song:

    “Farewell, farewell, O warrior brave,
    Nobody can from Death thee save.”

    But after three days of brutal interrogation, Commander Wolf decided that Fermu Soldatu wasn’t a spy after all. Before he knew it he was loaded on a transport and shipped off to another planet. My! How dark it was inside that transport, as if it were the cavernous belly of a fish. The ship had been badly damaged during the Battle of Scarif and the lumapanels were shorted out. It was crowded too, with many other survivors and evacuees, but Fermu Soldatu Tin was still staunch. He stood with his back ramrod-straight, in true stormtrooper fashion, for the entire duration of the journey, and he thus made space for those who were so badly injured that they would need a long period of recovery before they could serve the Empire once more.

    The transport finally landed on a planet whose name no one thought to mention. The boarding ramp came down and Fermu Soldatu saw daylight again, with majestic, snow-capped mountains towering behind the buildings. He didn’t even have time to ask where he was, because the same doctor who had examined him on Scarif shouted, “Fermu Soldatu! Welcome back!”

    The surgeon lifted him bodily in his embrace from joy, and after he put him down he gave him new crutches and led him upstairs. Everyone in the new medcentre wanted to see this remarkable trooper who had survived for several days alone at sea, but Fermu Soldatu took no pride in it. He arrived in a vast lounge and – lo and behold, what curious things can happen in this galaxy – there he was, back with the same people as before. He saw the same nurses; the same patients were sitting around; and Vasla Nijinskaya was there too, a little scratched and bruised but otherwise safe and healthy, the sequined doonium belt around her waist sending sparkles around the room as she danced again to entertain the wounded. She was too steadfast. That touched Fermu Soldatu so deeply that he would have cried actual tears, only stormtroopers never cry. He looked at her, and she looked at him, and never a word was said.

    Just as things were going so nicely for them, the horizon outside shifted from blue to red and another giant laser beam pierced the clear sky. Why this curse had to follow him, Fermu Soldatu couldn’t understand; truly there was no reason at all. He wondered if Commander Wolf knew that this would happen, and if this was his revenge.

    Fermu Soldatu Tin stood there dressed in flames. He felt a terrible heat, but whether it came from the fire that grew around them or from his love for Vasla Nijinskaya he didn’t know. His armour lost its polish, maybe from his misadventures, maybe from grief, nobody can say.

    He looked at the ballerina, and she looked at him, and he felt himself melting. But still he stood steadfast, with his back straight as he rested on his crutches, a soldier of the Empire to the very end.

    Then the flames surged around them, as if the atmosphere itself were burning. The earthquake threw the dancer off her feet and jolted her into the air. She flew like a sylph, higher and higher into the fire, together with the trooper and entire chunks of the planet. She blazed up in a flash, and then she was gone.

    Fermu Soldatu Tin was incinerated and his armour melted, all in a lump. Many years later, when astronomers came to map the shards of Alderaan, they found a chunk of plastoid in the shape of a heart. But of Vasla Nijinskaya nothing was left except her doonium belt, and it was burnt as black as a coal.


    Notes and Wookieepedia links

    Fermu Soldatu Tin is butchered Corsican for ‘steadfast tin soldier’.
    Vasla Nijinskaya is a transparent reference to Vaslav Nijinsky.
  4. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Aug 31, 2004
    Super and vivid response to the challenge. =D= The staunchness of Fermu definitely comes through. I like how he and Vasla communicated even without exchanging a word.
  5. Mistress_Renata

    Mistress_Renata Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Sep 9, 2000
    Oh, wow, too fabulous! So true the original fairy tale (jeez, did HCA write anything that wasn't a downer?), and if Fermu had a chance, perhaps he and his ballerina could have found happiness. But they were in the wrong place at the wrong time.

    Good one, Chyntuck... again!
  6. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Jul 31, 2014
    I still need to read Appointment from Beyond and Life is a Tapcaf, I don't even dare look at what other stories of yours are on my list...but yeah - this is a priority, I'm being a nice sock and I came to create havoc.

    The title had me confused at first, when I woke up and saw a notification pop up on Tapatalk. I thought it was Romanian at first...never thought that Romanian and Corsican would have that many similarities. The reference to Nijinsky is brill, too! #languagegeekhere

    Now, that's a creepy joke if I've ever seen one! Looks like something Briannakin would come up with. :D

    Makes me think of Finn in TFA, for some reason. Poor, indoctrinated beings, those Stormtroopers. :(

    I'm a sucker for SPACE! and this one is precisely what I've expected it to be. There was a moment where I thought that there was a difference and that what happened after Scariff was just afterlife, but then, the same thing that made me cry happened. Funny enough, that also made me realise that I had this fairy-tale in the back of my mind when I wrote a far-future retelling of Anakin and Padmé's love. It's funny, how everything is connected.

    And, to the very end, I didn't make my mind about Wolf. Knowing the nihilism that pervades your stories, it probably WAS a revenge, but still...hmmm. [face_thinking]

    A true tearjerker and a fantastic response to the challenge! =D=
    Findswoman likes this.
  7. Sith-I-5

    Sith-I-5 Force Ghost star 6

    Aug 14, 2002
    Re. Tin Soldier thing

    I can see why you suggested reading the original tale, but that didn't work for me - reading two almost identical stories on the trot, meant that I spent more time skimming and noting the plot points that you met, rather than enjoying the story.

    Very good idea of using the Scarif battle and Death Star strike to replicate the tin soldier's gutter voyage; a perhaps unintentional throwback to the Boxing Day Tsunami disaster, as before documentaries and reports on that, I didn't know the significance of the sea retreating.

    Good replication of the falling out of window thing; ballerina entertaining troops, and so on.

    10/10 for matching the plot points.
    Findswoman and Chyntuck like this.
  8. Cowgirl Jedi 1701

    Cowgirl Jedi 1701 Force Ghost star 5

    Dec 21, 2016
    Legit crying right now.
    Findswoman and Chyntuck like this.
  9. Chyntuck

    Chyntuck Mods' Dare 2nd Place & Mods' Choice Dare Winner star 5 VIP - Game Winner

    Jul 11, 2014
    Thank you all for reading and reviewing! A few replies, including one to divapilot whose comment on my previous story went unanswered because I'm operating on half a brain [face_blush]

    Life is a Tapcafé
    Thank you! This was just a piece of humorous fluff, really, but now that I ventured into the RPF I had this overwhelming urge to populate the game with at least one crazy background character. Zane is a real Greek man in a way – Mum is way up there on the list of people who could chastise him to tears :p As for whether he found his place amidst the Rebels... he has, or is it the Rebels who need to find their place around him? [face_laugh]

    Fermu Soldatu Tin

    Thanks! I immediately thought of an Imperial stormtrooper when I read the original tale, the faithful, loyal true believer type who gets his life stolen from him because the higher-ups really don't care about the cannon-fodder. I might bring back Vasla in another story; I mean, I do have a couple of dancers and artists whom she could have met at one point or another of her career...

    Thank you! In the wrong place at the wrong time... twice! A downer indeed (and to answer your question, no, I don't think HCA ever wrote any happy end stories). I spent several days looking for a concise GFFA equivalent of "out of the frying pan and into the fire" as a title for this story before I settled on the soldier's name.

    Thank you! I actually looked up the title of the story in various languages, but the result in Romanian isn't so good (it's Soldățelul de plumb which doesn't make a SW name for me) so I called Google Translate to the rescue. I'm sure the result I got is butchered Corsican, but it worked for me :) The idea that it would begin on Scarif was among the first things I thought of, and Alderaan followed "logically" from there. I never thought that my stories are nihilistic, I'll need to look into that :p

    Thank you! I can see the problem with having just read the tale before reading this fic, but on the other hand I wasn't sure the fic would make sense to someone who hasn't read the tale. I hope I didn't spoil your reading too badly :(

    The throwback to the Boxing Day tsunami was completely intentional, I had no idea about the sea retreating before that and the idea stuck with me because I find it terrifying. Other than that, writing this story was just about "translating" the original tale to SW events, so it certainly isn't as unusual as yours (which I'm going to review as soon as I'm done typing up my replies!)

    Awwww, nooooo! It's just a silly little fairy tale... in space! Okay, seeing as it's based off an Andersen story, it's, well a downer... Thanks for reading!

    Thanks again for your comments and thanks to everyone who stopped by to read!
    Findswoman likes this.
  10. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Jul 31, 2014
    Thanks for the reply. I have all your stuff on my reading list apart from the newest Before story, I enjoy it all greatly.

    Reviewing the two stories I didn't and catching up with Noora & Seyf whenever possible. :) [face_love]
  11. Findswoman

    Findswoman Fanfic and Pancakes and Waffles Mod (in Pink) star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Feb 27, 2014
    Catching up on these two mighty fine short stories—you’ve been on a real writing roll lately, which is great to see. :)

    “Life Is a Tapcafé”: This was so much fun. A Gamorrean guard-with-juggling-skills-turned-majorette as protagonist—that is just the kind of fun GFFA juxtaposition that makes me smile. And you bring in Zane’s culture and background in a very cool way, too, with his no-nonsense Clan Matron mom lurking in the offing; that adds a dimension of urgency to his predicament that I’d say may be even more urgent in its way than the Imperial dimension! “Life is a tapcafé” really is such an apt motto for Zane, the way he strives to maintain a positive attitude no matter what he goes through and gives his 100% to everything—whether it’s learning all those new majorette moves, rushing madly to freedom, or his new gig as a wand waver for... we know which faction. ;) “Life is a tapcafé” really is the perfect motto for him: life is the stage upon he will perform to his utmost, always.

    And I have to say, the reaction of the other Rebels to finding him (is that woman Leia, or Toryn Farr, or someone else entirely?) says so much about the kind of organization they are and the kind of ethos they have. They find a stowaway in one of the freighters, and what do they do? They don’t treat him as an intruder They welcome him and quickly find a way for him to help out and use his talents in their service. That welcoming attitude, in combination with his own positivity, has got to be part of why he adapts so quickly to this very new and unaccustomed situation (and on a very different, distant world, too). Of course, having a song in his heart doesn’t hurt, either! ;)

    “Fermu Soldatu Tin”: Wow. Awesome and gutpunching rendering of this already gutpunching tale. In a way, the setting at the battle of Scarif, and then later in the last days of Alderaan, makes it even more so, and I love the way you bring the tin soldier’s trials in the original story into those settings: the trial by water in Scarif’s raging ways, then by fire on Alderaan, where the heat of the Death Star’s blast seems to merge with the heat of Fermu’s own feelings for Vasla. That final scene was wrenching, and yet, as in HCA’s original tale, it almost feels like an apotheosis of sorts for both of them. (The way Vasla is thrown up into the air almost reminds me of the apotheosis scene at the end of Chaikovsky’s Sleeping Beauty ballet, and that motion is such a contrast to Fermu Soldatu's continuously steadfast, bolt-upright bearing.) Up to that point, any connection Fermu Soldatu and Vasla have had to each other has been conducted solely in looks and glances at a distance—which, as @WarNyota_SweetAyesha says, already speak volumes the way they’re written. But it’s only in that final moment of fiery destruction that they actually make contact and become one. (Kind of like Jyn and Cassian’s hug at the end of Rogue One in a way.) Just beautiful, and a spot-on contribution to the fairy tale challenge. @};-
  12. mavjade

    mavjade Former Manager star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Sep 10, 2005
    Fermu Soldatu Tin -

    Woah. So sad, that he survived so much, and so did the dancer, only to be torn apart on Alderaan. This truly was the telling of a fairy tale! Beautiful and heart breaking. That ending:

    So sad! :( He loved her so that his armor formed a heart!

    Beautiful job, Chyn! @};-