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Saga - Legends Color Commentary - 2023 Fanfic Summer Olympics pentathlon, OCs, GFFA sports

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by Thumper09, Jun 2, 2023.

  1. Thumper09

    Thumper09 Force Ghost star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 9, 2001
    Title: Color Commentary
    Author: Thumper09
    Characters: OCs
    Timeframe: General Saga era (Legends)
    Notes: This is my 2023 Fanfiction Summer Olympics Pentathlon focusing on various in-universe sports and the participating athletes. The name of each sport and a link to additional information about it will be available at the end of each entry.

    Constructive criticism is welcome. Star Wars is owned by Disney, etc. etc.

    ---------------------

    Links to specific event posts:

    1500 Word Dash

    Water Polo Poetry
    Tennis Match

    Judo
    Prime Time Coverage
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2023
  2. Thumper09

    Thumper09 Force Ghost star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 9, 2001
    1500 Word Dash: An exactly 1500 word story about your character, family, friendship or couple with any theme.
    (Word count: 1500)


    There was energy in the air. Hyperjump could sense it. Practically smell it. That meant she was going to run.

    The Cracian thumper paced restlessly around her stall, barely giving her bale of dried grasses any mind. She wasn’t particularly hungry, not with all the excitement around her in the stables. Her long tail lashed back and forth. As time dragged on and no one came to get her, Hyperjump gave her water bucket a couple shoves with her nose. The water sloshed around and some even spilled on her face, but she didn’t care. She was off on another lap around her stall before all of the drops even hit the ground. The energy in the air wasn’t lessening.

    At long last, Hyperjump heard familiar voices coming closer. She immediately went to the front of her stall and poked her head through the open partition window. Sure enough, there were her rider and her caretaker. She wuffed at them impatiently and lashed her tail some more.

    Her caretaker made some happy sounds at her and gathered up the items outside of her stall. Hyperjump recognized that sign and excitedly circled her stall once more. Her caretaker made more happy sounds, opened the stall door, and gently shooed Hyperjump far enough away so he could enter. He was nearly as tall as she was, making it easy for her to give his ear a quick nuzzle before she obeyed.

    Like most times when her caretaker carried the items, her rider hadn’t entered the stall. Instead, her small rider hovered in the air outside the stall’s open partition. Hyperjump briefly couldn’t decide which to interact with, but since she’d already greeted her caretaker and he was getting the items ready, Hyperjump turned and stuck her head through the partition again.

    Her rider’s wings made a soft humming sound as they flapped, though that sound was lost in the soft rumbling vocalizations she offered Hyperjump as her rider reached forward and rubbed Hyperjump’s forehead underneath her thick forelock. Hyperjump leaned into the contact, enjoying getting the itchy area scratched.

    With Hyperjump finally standing still, it took only a few minutes for her caretaker to brush her mousy brown fur, check her large hind feet, and put on the saddle and bridle. This meant she was going to run. Hyperjump pulled her head back and rubbed it affectionately against her caretaker, who made more happy noises, stroked her neck, and then readjusted the bridle’s positioning after the rubbing. Hyperjump loved it. She loved them. She would do absolutely anything for them, but all they ever asked her to do was run.

    So she would run.

    Her caretaker secured the saddle by carefully tightening the girth around her midsection and then buckling the front stabilizing straps around Hyperjump’s short forelimbs at her shoulder joints. Her caretaker made sure the saddle wouldn’t slip down the bipedal thumper’s back, and then he led her out of the stall with her rider accompanying them, flying next to her at shoulder height. Hyperjump danced beside them in anticipation.

    Once they were outside the stables, her caretaker walked them to a small fenced area close by that contained a small herd of other Cracian thumpers who also had caretakers and riders. He stopped in an empty spot among them and rechecked her saddle and bridle.

    Her rider flew around to be eye-level with Hyperjump, stroked her face again, and made some calm vocalizations. Hyperjump recognized her name, and her long ears pricked forward to catch the words better. Then her rider flew over and alighted softly on Hyperjump’s back in the saddle. Her rider was so light that Hyperjump could barely feel the weight, but she was instantly tuned in to her rider’s desires. Hyperjump pinned her ears in warning at another thumper who stepped too close. In turn, it pinned its ears at her and swung its own rider out of Hyperjump’s reach.

    Her rider gently gathered up the reins, and Hyperjump felt the soft pressure on the bit in her mouth. With that, her caretaker let go of the bridle and gave Hyperjump one final pat, then he backed up to give them room.

    The other thumpers with riders started walking in a line, and her rider guided Hyperjump with them. Hyperjump tossed her head, unhappy at being in the middle. She pinned her ears at the thumper in front of her and lashed her tail at the one behind, threatening a kick if it got any closer. Her rider soothingly stroked Hyperjump’s scraggly mane.

    The line of thumpers walked to the track’s entrance, where the noise from a small crowd greeted them.

    This was it. It was almost time to run.

    When the thumpers stepped onto the track, their riders took a few minutes to jog them and warm up. Finally Hyperjump’s rider steered her with the others toward the starting rope that stretched across the track. All of the thumpers with riders lined up side-by-side behind the taut rope, facing down the empty track. Hyperjump’s muscles tensed with anticipation, and everything went quiet.

    Suddenly the rope fell to the ground, and it was time to run.

    Hyperjump immediately leapt forward, finally having an outlet for all the excitement and energy that had been building in her all day. Her rider’s hands were steady on the reins, and Hyperjump felt her rider sitting close to Hyperjump’s neck, trying to find the best balance point for the thumper to run with.

    Hyperjump’s powerful hind legs propelled her quietly across the soft grass track, and her sharp, thick, digging claws dug into the soil with each step for better traction and speed. But most of the other thumpers were running right alongside her as well, near noiselessly except for their breathing. Out in the pasture, this kind of herd run would be enjoyable, but things changed when her rider was involved. Hyperjump had learned her rider and her caretaker were happiest when she reached that striped pole at the far end of the track without any other thumpers around, and so that was what she tried to do every time she ran.

    Some of the other thumpers were moving, jostling for a better position or trying to skirt around one another. A couple started running faster than her. They were going to reach the striped pole before she did.

    Hyperjump pinned her ears and made herself run faster. On her back, she could feel her rider gently coaxing, softly encouraging and rewarding the effort. That made Hyperjump try all the harder.

    Every bit of energy she possessed went into moving her hind legs faster. Even her tail stilled except when it was needed for balance. She flared her nostrils, gulping in lungfuls of air as she began to tire. Still she pressed on. Sweat matted her soft fur. One by one, she began to outpace the thumpers next to her.

    Of the two ahead of her, one of them was obviously tiring, and in five more strides Hyperjump had pulled alongside that thumper. In another two strides, she had passed it. But she was still behind one, and the striped pole was fast coming closer and closer–

    Hyperjump tried, but she didn’t know how to run any faster. The striped pole flashed past them, and the other thumper was in front of her when it did. Immediately she felt her rider ask her to slow down.

    She didn’t want to. She wanted to get ahead of that other thumper, who was also slowing now, and show her rider and caretaker that she still wanted to do what they asked, that she still wanted to run for them. They would be sad she hadn’t reached the striped pole first. She couldn’t let them be sad because of her.

    Her rider asked more firmly for her to slow down, and Hyperjump reluctantly obeyed. She wanted to be good. She wanted to do what they wanted. She eventually slowed to a walk, breathing hard, and tossed her head in frustration. Her rider guided her over to the side of the track.

    Her caretaker was there with a bucket of water and a sponge, and he immediately walked up to Hyperjump. He stroked her neck and made happy noises at her.

    Her rider dismounted, flew around to Hyperjump’s head, and rumbled more reassuring noises at her while she rubbed Hyperjump’s forehead again.

    They still loved her. They weren’t sad. They weren’t as happy as other times after she ran, but they were still happy.

    Her caretaker took the wet sponge and began quickly wiping down her sweaty fur, and the cold water felt wonderful. After the first few strokes of the sopping sponge had thoroughly drenched her head, neck, and shoulders, Hyperjump shook the excess water off, sending it spraying everywhere, in particular on her caretaker and rider.

    Her caretaker and rider made happy sounds.

    Hyperjump rubbed her wet head against them both. If they were happy, then she was happy too.

    *****

    Sport info:
    Cracian thumper racing

    Referenced on the Heatherdowns Hotel and Track Wookieepedia page
     
  3. study888

    study888 Force Ghost star 4

    Registered:
    Jul 16, 1999
    That was totally excellent and utterly flawless narrative! I loved it!
     
  4. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Fabulous. I loved the descriptions and details. I felt like I was one of the spectators and I totally rooted for Hyperjump. @};-
     
  5. UltramassiveUbersue

    UltramassiveUbersue Jedi Knight star 3

    Registered:
    Nov 7, 2022
    First off, I love the GFFA sports theme... and secondly, I adore Hyperjump! She's just the sweetest creature. And the Toydarian jockey was a nice touch. :D
     
  6. whiskers

    whiskers Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    May 19, 2005
    A very great work. Loved the descriptions through Hyperjump's eyes.
     
  7. earlybird-obi-wan

    earlybird-obi-wan Chosen One star 6

    Registered:
    Aug 21, 2006
    A great race. Love the scenes seen through Hyperjump's eyes. Sports, a great theme for the Olympics
     
  8. pronker

    pronker Force Ghost star 4

    Registered:
    Jan 28, 2007
    Excellent detail, the synergy between runner and rider ...

    ... aw, she's so endearing a creation! I thought at the beginning that the runner was a kybuck, but then 'bipedal' turned up so the visualization was complete by the end of the tale - an astonishingly appealing Hyperjump! :D
     
  9. Chyntuck

    Chyntuck Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 11, 2014
    This was absolutely spectacular. It's a brave choice to write a story from the POV of a non-sentient being, and you delivered in spades here: how Hyperjump can sense that there will be a race, the 'happy sounds' of her caretaker and rider, the moment when she recognises her name and tries to make sense of the rest of the sentence, her self-awareness as she runs, when she digs her claws into the soil to go faster, the fact that she doesn't really understand it's over after the 'striped pole', and this:
    Like Sue said above, she's just the sweetest creature, and she doesn't quite understand that her primary function in this context isn't love, but running. To her, it's just one and the same [face_love]
     
  10. Seldes_Katne

    Seldes_Katne Force Ghost star 3

    Registered:
    Mar 18, 2002
    Now this is the kind of sports writing I can get behind. :)

    Plenty of detail on the race preparation: brushing, harnessing, physical check, etc. Hyperjump (excellent name choice!) is certainly ready to go, and she seems to genuinely love her caretaker and ride, which suggests that take good care of her. And she does love to run!

    I could easily follow the action from start to finish, even though I know very little about racing.

    Excellent piece! Looking forward to more. I may be an actual sports fan by end of this thread. ;)
     
  11. Thumper09

    Thumper09 Force Ghost star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 9, 2001
    Thank you to everyone for the comments!

    Thanks, I'm glad you enjoyed it! Thanks for reading and replying!

    Thank you! I'm glad the descriptions were easy to follow. Hopefully Hyperjump will win her next race. :) Thanks for reading and commenting!

    Thanks! I'm really glad to hear you recognized the jockey as a Toydarian. :D I wanted that detail in there but then I got stuck because Hyperjump doesn't know what a Toydarian or any other species is, and I ran into some descriptive limitations with the POV so I didn't know if it made any sense at all, LOL. Thank you for reading and replying!

    Thanks! I'm happy to hear you enjoyed the descriptions. Thank you for reading and commenting!

    Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed Hyperjump's viewpoint. Hopefully the rest of the sports entries will do justice to the Olympics theme. :) Thanks for reading and replying!

    Thanks! A kybuck is pretty close. In general terms, thumpers look kind of like a taun-taun without horns. They're a somewhat obscure Legends-era riding animal. And anytime a rider is able to find that synergy with their mount, it's a great thing. :) Thank you for reading and commenting!

    Thank you! Heh, I love doing odd POV stories. This isn't even my first animal POV story, LOL. I'm glad to hear it made sense and was follow-able, since my interpretation of Hyperjump's interpretation got a little strange sometimes and I'm never quite sure how well it translates in cases like that. Yup, to her, "running" and "love" are interchangeable. Thanks for reading and replying!

    Thanks! At first I thought 1500 words was a lot longer so I started getting into a lot of the prep work, but then 1500 came quicker than expected and I had to edit things out to actually fit the race in, heh. The names of (Earth) racehorses are fun to look through-- they can get pretty creative with some of them. There's an old video on YouTube of a horse race between the horses "The Wife Doesn't Know" and "My Wife Knows Everything," and it's funny listening to the announcer call that race. :p I'm happy to hear that the action was easy to follow!

    When putting together this pentathlon, I tried to vary things a bit and not just do "sportsball sportsball sportsball!", so hopefully the stories will be accessible for all audiences. Though the next post will have the most sportsball entry of them all, so I dunno. :p Thank you for reading and commenting!

    -------

    The next two entries are shorter and are both gravity-related. They'll be up shortly.
     
  12. Thumper09

    Thumper09 Force Ghost star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 9, 2001
    Water Polo Poetry: Water Polo Poetry has no word limit. The rules are that it must be a piece of poetry written about your character, couple, family, friendship, etc. The piece of poetry does not have to be in any set style, either. It can be a haiku, a limerick, a sonnet, or something written in free verse. As long as it is poetry, it counts. Remember poetry is a celebration of sound and imagery and sometimes but not always rhyme, so those are the kinds of things expected in Water Polo Poetry.

    Note: This poem is written in the style of a dizain. A dizain is made up of one ten-line stanza, with each line having ten syllables (total of one hundred). The rhyme scheme for a dizain is ABABBCCDCD.


    The beautiful music swirled all around
    As Deeq stood at the floor’s edge and waited.
    When his beat sounded, he launched off the ground
    Away from the heaviness he hated.
    In low-g, the Ortolan was sated.
    Rhythm and poise, control and precision.
    Ev’ry small movement was his decision.
    A tumble and twist, a leap and a spin,
    His body incarnated the vision
    Outwardly showing the grace found within.

    *****

    Sport info:
    Low-g gymnastics. From Wookieepedia: "Low-g gymnastics was a form of gymnastics where the athlete performed in an environment with less gravity, allowing them to jump higher and farther."


    ---------------------------


    Tennis Match: Write a story of 100 or more words that is dialogue-only to create a true volley of words.
    (Word count: 576)


    “I’m not sure I agree with that call, Len. Did that look like Striking to you?”

    “I can’t say that it did, Drey. Some of the Nightshrikes’ players have been hitting with their batons with considerably more force than that throughout this game, and the officials have yet to call Striking on any of them. It’s an unfortunate turn of events for the Supernovas with only two minutes left in the game and now down a player due to the penalty.”

    “Unfortunate indeed. This season, the Supernovas are 0 and 4 when tied with less than two minutes remaining. This team does not perform well under pressure. If that trend holds, it looks like this will be yet another year without a playoff berth.”

    “Which is really too bad when you think about it. With as rough a year as this city has had with everything happening, having a team in the playoffs would have been a good boost for everyone.”

    “I agree, Len. Nothing like a good grav-ball game to 'lighten' the mood, as they say. Things aren’t looking good for the Supernovas, but let’s see what happens in what could be their final two minutes of the season. As the teams are setting up to resume play after the penalty, it looks like they’re sending Guild and Hoyes in to replace Fren’lyk and Prezz. Interesting move by the Supernovas’ coach.”

    “I’m not sure what Coach Krijjin is thinking. Guild has been lackluster in this game. 0 for 5 on shots, 13% TRA.”

    “And the players are gathering for the official’s toss. Supernovas’ Hoyes facing off against Rolluk for the Nightshrikes. The ball is in the air, and both centers launch after it! Hoyes grabs it midair with his baton, pushes off against Rolluk, passes off the wall to Ottun. Ottun snags it, heading down the court. Giller and Breeth try to block, but-- oh! Did you see that!”

    “Ottun made a spectacular pass off the ceiling through the Nightshrikes’ defenders’ arms! The ball bounces-- who will recover it?! It’s heading for--”

    “Guild! Guild somehow shot through between two Nightshrike players. Can’t believe he timed that jump so perfectly! He definitely surprised them-- they weren’t expecting that move!”

    “Can’t say I was, either!”

    “Guild has the ball, flips in midair to reposition himself, then pushes off the wall to the floor. He ducks under an attempted tackle by Rolluk, then makes one last jump from the floor to the goal with time running out! He aims-- throws-- it’s good! Goal!”

    “The Supernovas have won and secured a spot in the playoffs! I hope our listeners at home can hear this crowd! They’re going wild!”

    “Amazing shorthanded play at the end by Guild to make this win possible!”

    “Drey, tomorrow’s headlines will be emblazoned with words like 'inspirational' and 'comeback' after that display. What an astounding turn of events for a city that badly needed a pick-me-up!”

    “There will be parties in the streets tonight, no doubt about it. Strong game by the Nightshrikes, but the Supernovas edge out a win with a total score of 7-6, securing a playoff berth in the process for the first time in six years. We’ll find out who they’ll play in Round One after the conclusion of tomorrow’s Thornsnipers/Gravitons game.”

    “Just listen to this crowd. It’s amazing. You’d think the Supernovas just won the entire SecBowl.”

    “Len, for these fans here tonight, they might as well have done just that.”

    *****

    Sport info:
    Grav-ball. From Wookieepedia: "Grav-ball, also known as Zoneball or Lacrosse, was a popular sport. It originated on Nubia and was played in small indoor courts. Teams of six equipped with remotely powered hover boots bounced around in a three-dimensional court in an attempt to score goals. Players pushed off walls and floors—and sometimes each other—for movement. The ball was held at the end of a repulsor baton and could be passed from player to player."
     
  13. earlybird-obi-wan

    earlybird-obi-wan Chosen One star 6

    Registered:
    Aug 21, 2006
    A bealutiful poem and exciting comments on the competitors by the two spectators. You can follow the play through their comments
     
    Kahara likes this.
  14. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Beautiful graceful descriptions of the agile athlete in the poem.

    I got more than a rueful chuckle at the conversation in the tennis match. Plays in crunch time coupled with frustratingly obtuse officiating, that translates to all sports it appears. :p =D=
     
    Kahara and earlybird-obi-wan like this.
  15. Seldes_Katne

    Seldes_Katne Force Ghost star 3

    Registered:
    Mar 18, 2002
    Two contrasting writing styles, but each suits the game being played. The poem celebrates the movements by the Ortolon, who may look clumsy in regular gravity, but can move gracefully in zero-g. "The grace found within" indeed. Literal poetry in motion.

    Your tennis match commentary on the grav-ball semifinals was appropriately tense and exciting, perfectly capturing the movements on the field and the emotions of the audience. Remarks are delivered in a quick, snappy style with just enough detail and background to inform those of us who are not familiar with the game while following the plays on the field. I think the "sportsball" approach really worked here.

    I'm very much enjoying this pentathlon, as well as learning a great deal. Thank you!
     
  16. Chyntuck

    Chyntuck Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 11, 2014
    Awww, I just loved the mental image of a chubby Ortolan bouncing around in low gravity! And that final line "Outwardly showing the grace found within" summed up the entire scene so well. Yes, Ortolans are obsessed with food, but they're also talented musicians and artists, and we don't focus enough on that aspect of the species.

    And the grav-ball game! I've known the word forever without really bothering to find out what it referred to precisely, and it's a testament to the quality of the dialogue you wrote that I could picture the scene in my head before reading the Wook excerpt. Like Seldes_Katne, I'm learning a great deal in this thread and having the time of my life. Keep 'em coming!
     
  17. Mira_Jade

    Mira_Jade The (FavoriteTM) Fanfic Mod With the Cape star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Jun 29, 2004
    This has been such an interesting thread! I never thought I would enjoy a collection of stories about sports so much before embarking upon this collection, but I really, truly am! [face_love] =D=


    As That Girl who went through quite the Horse Phase (and never really left it :p) this piece made me all sorts of giddy to read! First, Hyperjump is the best name for a race thumper, hands down, and you did such a good job at writing from a non-sentient POV. Seriously, I cannot praise this piece enough! =D=

    I too thought Toydarian - so your writing vividly conveyed just what you intended to! And yay for a female jockey, too! Hyperjump's bond with her rider and her caretaker made my heart twist in the best of ways. [face_love]

    [face_love] [face_love] [face_love]!!!

    I loved the details here, highlighting the difference between a herd run and a race, and how Hyperjump knows the difference.

    MY HEART!!!

    Every word of this was just too precious. [face_love]

    Oooh, I love it when I learn new things! :D

    *chef's kiss* Such a great line to conclude a great poem!

    This was an awesome answer to the prompt! It really sounded like true sport's commentary, and I could follow the game clearly in my minds eye - which is quite the feat from a technical standpoint!

    I was so rooting for Guild here! [face_dancing]

    I really appreciate, too, how you highlighted one of the special things about sports - how wins/losses and underdog stories can inspire and move others as they mirror our own struggles and victories and defeats in our day-to-day lives. It really is a singular aspect of our human society, and where better than to explore such a phenomenon than in an Olympics thread? :D


    Keep up the wonderful work! I will definitely be back to read more. :cool: =D=
     
  18. Thumper09

    Thumper09 Force Ghost star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 9, 2001
    Thanks! I'm glad you liked the poem, and that you were able to follow the play through the dialogue. Thank you for reading and replying!


    Thank you! Heh, I imagine it's a universal constant that people will be irritated about officiating in sports, especially when it doesn't go their team's way. :p Crunch time amplifies it, of course. I bet the collective reactions in GFFA sports bars are quite similar to ours, too. Thanks for reading and commenting!


    Thank you! The poetry format and gymnastics seemed to go well together, and I'm glad to hear they worked. Though I confused myself more than once with writing gymnastics for Water Polo and not Rhythmic Gymnastics, heh. :p

    I'm also happy that the grav-ball entry came across well, and it helps that it was able to focus more on the emotions and the reactions rather than the details of the game and the players' movements, which is tricky when there's not a thorough accounting of the particular sport's rules out there to begin with. (C'mon, Disney Plus, where's the TV series about a grav-ball team? That would rock.) I'm glad it was follow-able despite being sportsball, and it's very cool to hear this thread is able to be a learning experience. It was for me too-- I hadn't heard about several of these sports before doing research for this pentathlon. One of those is in the next entry. Thank you for reading and replying!


    Thanks! I enjoy musing about how different species would approach different sports, and the low-g gymnastics seemed to have a lot of potential options for allowing expression from various species.

    I'm happy you were able to picture the grav-ball game through the dialogue alone. :) Grav-ball is probably the most-referenced sport (in Legends, anyway) in this pentathlon, and it's not surprising to hear you already knew the name. It was the first EU sport I ever came across. It helped that my intro to it was in the comic books, so it was a multi-page visual to help me understand the general idea and mechanics of the sport rather than just text. It's a fascinating concept for a sport, IMO. I'm glad you're enjoying the stories, and thanks for reading and commenting!


    Thank you! I'm glad you're enjoying it!

    Hello, kindred spirit! I'm also one of Those Horse Girls, and have been my whole life. :D I grew up on Black Beauty and the Marguerite Henry books, and I channeled quite a bit of the horses I've worked with over the years into Hyperjump's mannerisms. I'm happy to hear you liked it, and I'm always happy to talk horses. :)

    Yay, I'm glad the Toydarian implication came through! Hyperjump hearts her people.

    Thanks! I was trying to work the rest of the poem toward that line, but it's harder to do with short poems like that.

    Thanks, I'm happy the commentary sounded authentic and that it was clear enough to follow. :)

    Thank you! When I first signed up to write a pentathlon about sports, I was thinking, "Oh, it'll be simple to write about sports! It's all action! It writes itself!" Then....... when I began doing research, I started seeing the trouble in my line of thinking. It's easy to write about sports, but it's not as easy to write a story about sports with an actual plot and a point to it. So I had to shift my mindset quite a bit and explore things more deeply. So much for my simple expectations, LOL. But I'm glad that exploration is coming through in the thread. :) The Olympics theme helped quite a bit with it. Thanks very much for reading and replying!

    --------

    The next entry will be up shortly.
     
  19. Thumper09

    Thumper09 Force Ghost star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 9, 2001
    Judo: In Japanese the word "ju-do" means "the way of suppleness", referring to the story of the tree branch "bending" under the weight of the snow and not breaking. Write a story of 100 or more words where your character shows "the way of suppleness."
    (Word count: 1176)


    Herris’s hands were still shaking with fury and frustration as he stalked across campus toward his dorm. He deeply regretted going to see his advisor, though at the time it had seemed like the perfectly logical, reasonable thing to do for such a problem. Now he was twice as mad as he’d been before stepping in his advisor’s office, however. He hadn’t expected Dr. Lehrun to listen to the issue and then give a half-hearted shrug and say there was nothing to be done.

    Like everyone else around here seemed to do as well.

    What the hell was wrong with them?!

    He couldn’t take it anymore, and he wasn’t even the one directly affected.

    Herris reached his dorm at last and barged into his room. Luckily his roommate wasn’t around; Herris wasn’t in the mood to deal with him. He flung his backpack and datapads onto his disheveled bed and then plopped himself down right next to them. He resisted the urge to dig out the datacard with the message he’d gone to Dr. Lehrun about. Reading it a tenth time wouldn’t change the words.

    The Imperials had changed some law and tax code and done some other bureaucratic nonsense on this world. Again. Herris didn’t understand it, just like he hadn’t understood the other dozen or so changes in the last year. He understood the results, though. Every time it happened there was a little more money taken out of his paycheck, or there were additional, seemingly trivial things people got arrested for, or there were fewer of his non-human classmates who could afford to stay enrolled and come to class. He missed them. This time, though, it was a bit more personal.

    Qylic, one of his best friends from the next dorm over, had said that his family’s business was being shut down due to this latest Imperial law change targeting non-humans, and he was heading home to try to sort things out and help. Qylic expected to have to drop out of the university to deal with this and get a job to keep his parents financially afloat during this time, and he said he would talk to Herris about it more as soon as he could.

    The unfairness of it all incensed Herris. Qylic and his family were Caamasi. Hadn’t they already been through enough? Did the Empire have to keep grinding them under its heel?

    Herris was sick of it. Sick of the Empire. Sick of how no one here seemed to care. He felt so blasted helpless, and he knew if he stewed on it any more and got any angrier, he was going to punch something or break something. Probably his roommate’s so-called musical instrument.

    He couldn’t sit on his bed any longer, either. He had to do something sweaty and mindless before he exploded. So he got up, grabbed his bag of ringer gear, and headed to the campus’s athletic complex.

    ***

    After reaching the indoor ringer ranges, changing his shoes and putting on his protective gloves, Herris took his set of metallic disks from his bag and let the empty bag fall at his feet. He gave himself a bit of room and positioned himself on the near side of the tosser’s throwing line, then looked ahead to the throwing area.

    Ahead of him, the various vertical rings were spaced out in a different pattern than they had been yesterday. Whoever had set this pattern up was trying for a technically challenging one: small moving rings were positioned so that larger rings blocked them during part of their movement arc. Some medium-sized rings were set at a slight angle, requiring a throw with a bit of curve to get the disks through. Yesterday, Herris would have thoroughly enjoyed the challenge and the skill it would require to accomplish.

    Today, he took one look at the setup, ignored all of its intricacies, and started flinging his disks in the general direction of the rings as hard as he could.

    It didn’t take him long to throw his entire set of disks. He hit the nearby button to summon the ringer range’s modified mouse droid, and as soon as he did, the small droid wheeled out of its maintenance compartment, gathered all of his thrown disks, and returned them to Herris at the throwing line.

    By the time he’d repeated this process three more times, Herris was indeed getting sweaty and his arm was starting to get tired. He’d also expended the worst of his anger.

    Herris took a few deep breaths, collected his disks from the droid, and began paying some attention to the rings’ setup. He started actually aiming and controlling his throws to get the disks through the larger rings. That was a simple matter for him, so next he focused on the smaller moving rings. Getting his disks through those took a lot longer, both due to the smaller target area and to the tricky timing when the moving ring was unobstructed.

    At last Herris tried some of the curving throws for the offset rings. He had less luck with those as he’d known he would; he was still trying to get the knack of putting a good curve on a throw. After numerous attempts, he managed to throw one disk through an offset ring, and since his arm was starting to ache he decided it was a good stopping point.

    Exhausted, Herris collected his disks one final time from the mouse droid, then he put them in his gear bag and hauled it over to one of the benches along the wall. He set his bag down and sat heavily on the bench.

    Focusing on the disk throwing had been a welcome mental break that had, for a short time at least, gotten him out of the worst of his rumination and impotent anger at Qylic’s situation. And now that Herris wasn’t bogged so far down in the hot emotions, he could actually think.

    Was there something he could do to help Qylic? Something constructive?

    He wasn’t exactly flush with credits, so financial help was probably out, and Qylic’s family probably wouldn’t accept it anyway. But what about legal assistance? Could there be a way to fight against the law change? Herris’s uncle was a lawyer. Even if this was the wrong type of legal case for him or he wouldn’t take the case himself, Herris could at least ask him for his input or any ideas that might help. Maybe even some recommendations for other lawyers who Qylic’s family could hire.

    What else?

    Maybe Herris could start talking to some reporters or something and see if he could get some of these apathetic people around here to start caring about all the changes the Imperials were imposing. Or maybe he could offer to come help Qylic’s family in person during their next semester break.

    Herris pulled out one of his ringer disks and absently spun it between his fingers as he spent the next half hour brainstorming ways he could help his best friend.

    *****

    Sport info:
    Ringer. From Wookieepedia: "Ringer was a game in which the players, or "tossers", threw metallic disks into an area from a line. In the area were rings, which players tossed the disks through. The rings varied in style and movement. The game was especially played during the Imperial Occupation on Stassia."
     
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  20. Kit'

    Kit' Manager Emeritus & Kessel Run Champion! star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA VIP - Game Winner

    Registered:
    Oct 30, 1999
    I love this one so much. I'll admit that it took me a minute to get whose perspective it was from (what can I say, I'm reading too early in the morning for my own good) which made it confusing (why are they in a stall? Why is there waterbucket) - but I can also suggest that this is because your writing is so good and vivid that I automatically bonded with the character and wanted to know what was going to happen next. I loved the description of the race and the emotional elements of Hyperjump wanting desperately to win to please her trainer and the rider. Amazing.

    Wow. Short, but perfectly executed. Can see the image of the sports presenters in my head and hear that particular tone that American sportscasters present with.

    I like Herris, and the very real anger --> thoughtfulness --> planning that flowed so seamlessly in this fic with the events and character's development. This was just great and I lack the words (see early morning reasoning) to do it justice.
     
  21. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Superb entry! I immediately empathized with Herris' sense of outrage over the imperials' restrictions in general and also his anger at the apathy of everyone he chooses to talk to about it. He cares in particular about the plight of a friend, which makes the whole thing more personal.

    Only after a good workout can he think clearly enough to come up with possible solutions, which is often the result of such physical activity. [face_thinking]
     
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  22. pronker

    pronker Force Ghost star 4

    Registered:
    Jan 28, 2007
    Interesting and a format new to me - I liked how the Ortolan displayed his soul.
    Sports rejuvenate body, mind and even spirit for a city or individual, which is why I love them. [face_love]

    So grim, and the way you depicted the sly nature of the oppression, excellent.

    Yeah, sometimes you just want to slam stuff around.[face_beatup]
     
  23. Seldes_Katne

    Seldes_Katne Force Ghost star 3

    Registered:
    Mar 18, 2002
    Loved it. Great method of anger management, which eventually leads to a calm mind and some good ideas. Here's hoping Herris' involvement makes a difference. (And thank you for the introduction to the Caamasi -- another non-human species to research.)

    I've really enjoyed this pentathlon. I'm curious as to how you chose these sports? Are they mentioned in the novels somewhere, or were they in the movies in some form and I just missed it? You had an excellent range of types, from team sports to individual athletics, as well as a range of needed equipment, and a variety of athletes (Human, animal and alien).

    These peeks into GFFA sports were wonderful and imaginative! :)
     
  24. earlybird-obi-wan

    earlybird-obi-wan Chosen One star 6

    Registered:
    Aug 21, 2006
    Love how Herris could deal with his anger at the imperials and their ridiculous laws and think about ways to help
     
    Kahara and WarmNyota_SweetAyesha like this.
  25. Thumper09

    Thumper09 Force Ghost star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 9, 2001
    Thank you! I see how the first story would be confusing-- I doubt many people start reading a Star Wars fic expecting it to be from an animal's POV. :) I'm glad it got clearer, though, and that you enjoyed it! Hyperjump is a good thumper-- she tries very hard.

    Thanks! Glad to hear the sportscaster-ness for that one came through, heh. And yeah, Herris needed to work off some boiling-over energy to get his mind engaged properly. Thanks very much for reading and commenting!

    Thanks! Outrage is hard to deal with when it's about something that one feels helpless to change, especially when it's connected to something personal. I agree, physical activity is good to burn through the sharpest part of some of those emotions and adjust the brain chemistry in a more positive direction. Thank you for reading and commenting!

    Thanks! Slamming stuff around can be very cathartic (as long as no one gets hurt, of course </disclaimer>). I agree, sports can be very therapeutic for many aspects of a person's or group's well-being, no matter their age, and I'm sure that's a huge factor in how and why so many have stood the test of time. I wanted to do a story about children playing a disorganized sport for pure fun during some free time as part of this pentathlon, but it didn't quite work out. Thank you for reading and commenting!

    Thank you! Hopefully Herris will be able to help his friend somehow. His ringer disks will probably get a few more dents and scratches along the way too. The Caamasi are fascinating, IMHO. They're found in some of the Legends EU.

    Thanks! All of these sports are taken from Legends sources-- novels, Adventure Journals, comics, and even a kid's book. I don't think any of them have been in the movies. I knew I wanted to do grav-ball, which I'd known about previously from a comic, and thumper racing, which I'd known about from previous research. For the others, I went through Wookieepedia's Sports category and picked ones I thought I could work with and had some variety to them. I'm glad you've enjoyed it, and thanks for reading and commenting!

    Thanks! Herris thankfully was able to come up with some ideas for how to help. Hopefully some of them will work and start to make a difference. Thank you for reading and commenting!

    --------

    The final entry will be posted shortly. Thanks to everyone who's followed along with this pentathlon!