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Beyond - Legends (completed for 2015) Notes for When You Are Older – Elena Shelvay; DDC; new 12-22

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by Kahara, Jan 4, 2015.

  1. earlybird-obi-wan

    earlybird-obi-wan Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Aug 21, 2006
    Love to see her going to a new home.
     
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  2. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014
    OMG, I am an Isk Trill. Literally, with IT being my initials. :D Never thought about this!

    There is enough going on there that I do not think the usual Outer Rim tawdriness has set in yet, and if things are managed well it may never do so.

    Can't tell if this one is an actual statement or xenophobia, Human centricism etc. So, I am hereby asking if I am reading too much into it.

    You, kidlet, you would not believe how many people must think you were their idea. Darth Vader himself probably thought you were his idea. He always did seem to have an odd preoccupation with his protégés’ personal lives.

    Given Elena's legends backstory, the duel between her brother and the man who eventually impregnated her and brainwashing that led her to COMPNOR, this is just...*shivers*

    Nice to see how things fall in place and how reading Shark Kibble (which I have prepared some notes for) will be even more enjoyable after this. Elena is going where Lydia will depart from and, the creepy brainwashing cyborg daddy is there, too.

    We’ve been hearing the strangest stories about Vader out here. Many don’t want to believe that he and the Emperor are truly dead, but I know that it is so. The Core would not be imploding the way it is if they were there to say anything about it.

    One can just feel the confusion here and, with Elena's tone being somewhat bland, there is text between the lines, full of panic.
     
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  3. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    You can really feel Elena's sense of relief! =D=
     
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  4. Raissa Baiard

    Raissa Baiard Chosen One star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 22, 1999
    Oh, yes, I definitely did this when the Youngling was a baby :D And like Lydia, she could sleep through anything, including a fireworks exhibition less than a mile from our house. There's a reason they talk about sleeping like a baby.

    I love Elena's candid style and I can see how she has influenced Lydia's conversational tone and dry sense of humor in "Shark Kibble." They're not clones, but they're recognizably family. Bravo! I look forward to Elena's future entries and learning more about her relationship with her daughter.
     
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  5. Kahara

    Kahara Force Ghost star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 3, 2001
    A/N: I'll have to post both entries in one week, so I'm going to leave off replying to comments on the most recent chapter until later. But thank you to everyone who did, and you will get your replies eventually. :)

    One other thing: I've used gray font here to indicate deleted sections of Elena's entries. Let me know if any of you find that unreadable. I can try switching to dark blue, or have it as plain black font and just indicated the deletion with the bracket notes.


    Five

    [Elena Shelvay – entry dated 23 AE: 5: 26 – 4 ABY by New Republic calendar]

    Lydia: We’re here. Home, for the time being. It was a fairly brief journey to reach Shullia. The shuttle from Neredda made it here in a matter of hours after we left the Imperishable and caught it at the spaceport. I’m relieved to have that finished. Navigation through even the outskirts of the Torch Nebula is not for the faint of heart.

    [deleted text]

    What possessed them to make the new hyperlane maintenance system so dependent on alien technology is beyond me. Some kind of upgrade was necessary after the nebula flare shorted out so many systems back in ‘22. Lucky me, being sent here at just the wrong time! I still remember the uncertainty of knowing that we were cut off from the outside galaxy. But this new hyperlane system is too strange for words. Do we even know how to make repairs? They’re beautiful ships, but where did they come from? How did Imperial design end up being involved in their creation?

    There’s something very peculiar about all of this. I've been before, and it still surprises me that sentients chose to settle these systems in recent memory. And that the Empire continued to support it. With the ancient colonization efforts in Kathol Sector, at least there was a reason for them to reach for the farthest flung places they could find. Out here, it baffles me. Why did we put all this infrastructure in at a time when the Empire was at its strongest and had much better options? Somebody’s in-laws must have made a fortune. But at least the systems have a range of resources and specializations between them; the region is nearly self-sufficient. The nebula issues are as much a shield as an inconvenience. That may well be vital now. In the past, such utility would have been inconceivable.

    [/end deleted text]

    You seem to be increasingly interested in everything. I am not sure if this is because we’ve passed some new little age threshold or because we’re in another new place. Whatever the case, you spend a lot of time looking at your feet – when you aren’t grabbing at Ahnjai’s tail. That gave me a fright the first time, but he’s shown himself to be amused by your habit and in fact seems to regard it as a game. I’d never thought of it before, but now I cannot help but wonder if he had some experience with younglings in his past. Siblings? Cousins? Children of his own?

    I’ve been getting us settled in and taking care of messes for the last couple of days.

    [deleted text]

    Only some of those messes were yours, dear – the state of the archive at the long-disused ISB location here is something far fouler than anything you’ve yet to produce. At first, I just meant to check in and start arranging things, but now I can see it won’t be that simple. The last agents in here were transferred ages ago, and apparently with not much notice. Everything from the end of their term is a disaster. I can chart with pinpoint accuracy the sordid timeline of the day when the previous occupants broke down, panicked like eopies startled by their own farts, and resorted to throwing all the archival discs into the main safe. Their “secure” lock was not. They have earned my contempt.

    In other news, there is a different governor here than on my last visit. Teag was one of Balfour's associates and did not impress me as having much more concern for his efficiency. I know little of this new replacement, Xacall. Something about him makes me uneasy. Still, it's all too easy to mistake an arbitrary dislike with a warning from the subconscious -- or vice versa. I will just have to keep an eye on him.

    The arrangements for my new occupation here seem to have been pushed through on the other side, and I've been a little surprised to see a familiar face. Not necessarily a friendly one, but the familiarity is a kind of comfort in itself now. It seems I’m not the only one who has been drawn back to this locality by some strange twist of fate. Lenox Dayja was here before when I visited as Balfour's aide. We started off rather poorly that time. He took a dislike to my way of handling the situation. And he was Imperial Intelligence, which made us natural enemies. It was a long three and a half weeks. Still, the problem was resolved and we managed not to kill each other in the process. I don't think he'll ever like me, but I'm not here to be liked. I'm here to do my job, and he seems to trust me as far as that. That's the best I can ask.

    [end deleted text]

    Our new apartment in Tulekahju is functional but not very restful. It could be decorated, of course, but with everything that is going on, I don't think I'll find the time any time soon. I've been searching the other housing in the range that I could get. There are places that look really tempting further out in the hinterlands. It would be a long commute, but there's still an appeal to the idea. Some of the places are as cheap as the city if one discounts the travel costs. Those would not be insubstantial expenses, but not really terrible.

    There's one area in particular that intrigues me. It's in the area between an agricultural zone and some undeveloped forested hills. To be honest, some place where we could be separated from neighbors by more than a few feet of wall would give me peace of mind.

    This apartment is very secure by any objective standards, probably moreso than an isolated house in the relative middle-of-nowhere. But I could design my own security systems and build the place to my specifications. I have been doodling possibilities on flimsy in quiet moments. It’s the sort of activity that I lately find myself drifting towards in minutes when I know that you, the Empire, or something will need something soon and I can’t quite turn my brain off enough to catnap. Maybe I just like the idea of picking the wallpaper myself.

    [end entry]

    [deleted text]

    It looks so much like Galtea out there, it’s downright unsettling. Some of those holopics make me wonder if I’m having one of those dreams where old familiar places show up in new permutations, and I’m going to wake up somewhere in my past. I have a terrible feeling that I'm going to end up making a questionable choice based on sentimental reasons.

    What is all of this? I didn't used to have these problems, not for a long time. I had other problems instead. They were simpler problems, at least for me. Perhaps not so much for the people I thought I was protecting. That experience on Sedri has changed something. I hesitate to even think how much. But there it is. After seeing myself that way, I've become different. There’s not much use in trying to deny it.

    [end deleted text]

    Notes:

    Nebula flares are a real thing; here is an article about one observed in the Crab Nebula.
    http://www.wired.com/2011/05/crab-nebula-flares/

    Kathol sector (http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Kathol_sector) – location of the planet Galtea. The Kathol region is both isolated and one of the lesser-known Natural Weirdness Magnets of the GFFA. Which is why I picked it for Elena and Corwin’s unspecified-in-canon homeworld. It seemed like a pretty good place for the Empire to bypass a couple of untrained Force-sensitives.

    Dayja appeared in Timothy Zahn’s Scoundrels. (http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Dayja)

    Galtea (http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Galtea)

    Sedri (http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Sedri)

    Regarding the mysterious hyperlane system: based on the information about Byss and the very existence of Interdictors, I've assumed that it is indeed possible to alter or create a hyperspace route and that keeping things functioning smoothly may sometimes involve some kind of large-scale technology to maintain.
     
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  6. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014
    The dark comedy of this whole series, at least so far, is so clever. I need to stop and think every now and then, in order to remember that Elena's life is ultimately beyond tragic and that, as I said in the messages, there is this "what if...?" parallel with Padmé, to the point where I believe that, had Padmé lived, she would have been in similar state - brainwashed and finding a cyborg hawt.

    far fouler than anything you’ve yet to produce

    Eww, LOL. DON'T CLICK HERE.

    What possessed them to make the new hyperlane maintenance system so dependent on alien technology is beyond me.

    Once again, can't tell if this one is...refer to my previous comment.

    Somebody’s in-laws must have made a fortune.

    Not sure if this is a non-sequitur, a reference of corruption, a logical consequence of Elena's stream-of-consciousness narrative or an actual reference to somebody I should be familiar with.

    I cannot help but wonder if he had some experience with younglings in his past. Siblings? Cousins? Children of his own?

    I dashed to Wook hoping to find details on this, but Anjai's biography provided none; so I guess this is either some twisted hint at how Tremayne treated him...or maybe I have to look him up in the sourcebook, too.

    There's one area in particular that intrigues me. It's in the area between an agricultural zone and some undeveloped forested hills. To be honest, some place where we could be separated from neighbors by more than a few feet of wall would give me peace of mind.

    Now I wonder if and why this place will be important; or if it's just a nod to Lydia's first entry.

    Some of those holopics make me wonder if I’m having one of those dreams where old familiar places show up in new permutations, and I’m going to wake up somewhere in my past.

    This is...heavy stuff.

    Regarding the mysterious hyperlane system: based on the information about Byss and the very existence of Interdictors, I've assumed that it is indeed possible to alter or create a hyperspace route and that keeping things functioning smoothly may sometimes involve some kind of large-scale technology to maintain.

    Had similar thoughts recently, just the other way round - as in, WHY is the Moddell sector so hard to navigate. Nice to see I'm not the only person thinking of such details.

    Eagerly awaiting the other March entry, that I KNOW you have to post. :D

    P.S. The deleted text tags do the work for me, the colour change being completely useless. The fancy schmancy rotating desktop monitor can see the difference, but Tapatalk on my tablet ignores all formatting as usual and there is no visible difference on the laptop.
     
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  7. JadeLotus

    JadeLotus Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 27, 2005
    Excellent entry, I am enjoying Elena's musings and I'm intrigued by the deleted sections - was this self-censorship or something more sinister?
     
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  8. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    =D= I like the contrast between what is delted and not. The former is full of musings that could be "classified" or "sensitive" politically. The stuff left in is of everyday innocuous matters. Things where Elena is are tense but not chaotic, urgently dangerous.
     
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  9. Kahara

    Kahara Force Ghost star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 3, 2001
    Replies – for Posts 4 and 5



    Thank you all for reading and commenting! :) The plan from here is to take the characters through a few more weeks of settling in, and then begin the time jumps. Basically, I’m making this a selection of the entries that would have been made in the diary over the years rather than a complete rendering of every single one. The new post should be up tomorrow.



    Post 4



    earlybird-obi-wan





    Thanks! We’ll see more of the new place in upcoming chapters.





    Ewok Poet



    Most of my replies to this post will be under spoiler-cut for length and obscure-stuff reasons. ;) Thank you for taking such a detailed interest in this! :)





    Actually, I was thinking more of a prevalence of sloppy Imperial administrators/gangster-controlled areas/lack of economic opportunities sucking the life out of areas (which might happen with or without the Empire – but of course, she thinks they are the one true cure for it! :p)



    It’s a little funny, since she’s actually from the Rim and hates being looked down on for it – but at the same time, she knows that there are a lot of Outer Rim planets that are not great places to live for the most part (ex:Tatooine.)



    However, Elena does have some xenophobic issues as we’ll see in upcoming chapters. She was trained by and dependent on COMPNOR for years, and this is the group that was responsible for promoting a lot of the Empire’s anti-alien attitudes. (As for her earlier background, there may be some mention of how that fits in later.) I’ve gone with the road of assuming that the prejudices she learned are a bit idiosyncratic – IE, she has much more discomfort with species that were on the Emperor’s naughty list (Mon Calamari, Bothans, etc.) than with others.



    It’s something she rarely had to think about – until she rather suddenly found herself befriending Ahnjai in the middle of a strange and complicated mission. She owes him a lot and knows it, and he’s pretty much her new best friend. And is much closer to acting as Space Parent # 2 to her daughter than Tremayne or even Elena’s other Imperial buddies. And an alien. :eek: What would her mentors think? So yes. There’s a bit of internal conflict going on over that, which she’s mostly trying to deal with by ignoring it. And complaining to dear diary when things are confusing. :p





    That section was a bit inspired by the rather unsettling background story of Roganda Ismaren (http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Roganda#Early_life) – though it’s ambiguous exactly what was going on with Irek’s conception, one gets the feeling that it was all arranged by the Emperor somehow.



    Though with the existing background I’ve created for Elena and Tremayne, I don’t think they were thrown together by some creeptastic Imperial breeding program, I do think that someone in Elena’s position would probably be under high pressure to terminate any unplanned pregnancy – after all, she’s pretty much regarded as the Empire’s property as long as she’s in the ISB. So if she found she wanted to be a mother to this kid, she’d have to scramble for a way.



    Elena had very likely been around the Imperial palace, and probably knew a lot of the rumor mill stuff. She might look to the memory of occurences like Roganda’s child and start making little almost-subliminal hints to just the right people, arranging events, maybe mess with a few relevant computer files... because if it was someone else’s idea, invented by someone more powerful, then she just might get away with it. The Empire being that screwed up and all.



    It’s one of the contradictions of her character that have kept me coming back to her story – she’s constantly manipulating the Imperial system to protect herself (and later, her friends and loved ones), and yet still believes herself to be a true believer in the New Order.





    Great! I have tried to work in some of that circularity that crops up in the Saga – the old places, people, and stories that are always coming back to bite the next generation. ;) So it’s nice to see that mirror effect being noticeable. Also, the phrase "creepy brainwashing cyborg daddy" made me laugh out loud. [face_laugh]





    Elena’s very concerned about what is going on outside her current bolt-hole. I already mentioned in PM how I think you and Ny both picked up on the opposite sides of the coin regarding her mood. She’s at the calm that is just at the eye of the storm, and wondering what/when/whether it’s going to hit. But the regular things have to get done, anyway.



    Nyota's Heart




    Thanks! Elena has to grab these moments of quiet in the middle of what she knows is an ongoing disaster. I think she’s doing her best to slow down and concentrate on the reassuring things. Sometimes the smaller, more everyday stuff is all you can do anything about. :)



    Raissa Baiard





    Thanks! I’m running on third-hand anecdotes and research for a lot of this, so I’m really glad if there are parts that ring true. [face_dancing]



    That’s a relief. I did set out to make them distinguishable, but was a little worried they would seem too similar. Lydia gets a lot of her basic habits and mannerisms from her mother – although, as you say, they’re far from identical.



    Glad to see you’re enjoying this set of tales! I do still mean to make up the post-per-month on Kibble by the end of the year. :)





    Post 5



    Ewok Poet



    The strangeness of Elena’s life was definitely part of what made me want to write this diary. I’d set up Lydia’s family in Kibble, and over time began to wonder just what was going on with Elena, anyway? Why would she make the decisions she did? The more thought I gave to her, the more complicated of a person she seemed to become. Much of what Lydia does in Shark Kibble has everything to do with her processing about Elena – this ambiguous figure who up-and-died right around the time when teens are usually trying to figure out who they are in contrast to their parents.



    I had thought of the Padmé parallels as well. She’s a very different person and I think any attempt to brainwash Padmé would have ended in a dead/catatonic Padmé, because she had a really strongly formed personality and convictions (and wasn’t an impressionable teenager.) She’d pretty much have to be a mindless shell of herself before she’d ever join the Empire. But there is, as you noticed, a disturbing echo there. o_O


    Spamusement! [face_laugh] I’m especially fond of the one about “the body you’ve always wanted” – and then it turns out to be this giraffe-centaur. :D


    See the comment on your reply for Part 4, re: Elena’s feelings on alien technology.



    It’s not a specific reference. The Empire seemed to use a lot of different contractors and companies for their work, and given how much of the galaxy’s economy probably was involved in that… yes, I suspect there would be enough corruption that Elena would notice. Not the Emperor’s fault, of course. Just incompetent people doing things they shouldn’t. :p



    There’s nothing one way or the other about Ahnjai’s family, just as you found. I wasn’t thinking of Tremayne in that particular instance, although that’s an interesting note. It’s more that Elena is starting to take stock and realize that Ahnjai has a past of his own that she knows virtually nothing about. One that probably parallels her own in some ways, which she really doesn’t want to think of all that closely. She also was taken away from an obscure little world, separated from everyone she knew, and given into the Empire’s service. Only she’s human and a little bit Force-sensitive. So she gets to be somewhat of an authority figure as reward for completing her training. Ahnjai… got to take a bunch of crap from Tremayne and was only freed by unusual circumstances.



    The answer is “both of the above.” ;)





    I’ve often had dreams about strange versions of familiar places. It seemed like something Elena might be especially likely to dream about, given her history. She has a lot of lost geography to work from.



    It’s a great way to make hyperspace travel move at the speed of plot convenience, too. ;) And, of course, it helps explain why the Nebula systems can be this little Imperial island. The nebula makes it necessary to control the hyper-routes with technology, which is in the hands of the mini-Empire. It’s really hard to get in or out of there without their permission.



    So you say. :p Actually, I do have the next part for tomorrow. Thanks for commenting, as always! :)

    As long as the gray text doesn’t bother anyone, I’ll keep it. It helps me keep track of what’s what!



    JadeLotus





    Thanks! I’m going with self-censorship – this is how she shows when she’s uncomfortable talking about something. Either it’s too personal, potentially controversial, or just something she figures she probably doesn’t need to be telling her daughter at any point. She doesn’t want to set a bad example for Lydia by comparing her fellow agents to eopies – not in the permanent record, anyway. ;)



    Nyota’s Heart





    Yes, exactly. Elena is used to thinking she needs to manage her image and reactions 24/7. Even this level of self-disclosure to a series of notes for her daughter is something strange to her. So she edits a lot, especially with the uncertainty of her environment in mind.
     
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  10. Kahara

    Kahara Force Ghost star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 3, 2001
    Six

    [Elena Shelvay – entry dated 23 AE: 5: 31 – 4 ABY by New Republic calendar]

    Lydia: I have been making plans. Ahnjai looks a little perturbed. The lava moat wasn't meant in earnest. It would foul up the air quality. Also, there are no geological features nearby that would provide a source. Pity about that.

    In an effort to improve my knowledge base on the subject, I have been reading some parenting guides. Now I am as unnerved by them as Ahnjai is by my architectural ambitions.

    Have discarded the portion of texts that seem to believe you are a gundark pup in need of being carried about constantly for the next ten years. However, I'm considering the usefulness of the recommended sling pack device for outings where it would be nice to have my hands free. There was something of the kind used on my homeworld, but I never paid attention because I had no younger siblings and thought babies to be rather boring.

    Have also discarded the ones that are focused entirely upon creating soldiers, geniuses, or high-priced marriage partners from the cradle. The stars know I’ve worked with enough people who were raised that way. No.

    That only leaves a hip deep pile of contradictory poodoo to shuffle through. I may just end up tossing it all.

    [deleted text] I swear, Lydia, the ISB were better parents to me than some of these jokers are at giving other people advice. [end deleted text]

    [end entry]



    [fragment – from message sent to Iella Wessiri (New Republic Intelligence, Intelligence Operations Command) by Corwin Shelvay (New Republic Intelligence, Special Threats Division) – 22 ABY]

    --had no luck retrieving anything of significance through meditation. I wish I could shed some further light on the issue, but I'm afraid that my information has only served to confuse them further. Cracken was aware of the correspondent and had me compile the messages for Talia Reede to examine, but none of us were absolutely certain that it was Elena.

    There was no contact between us in the middle years between her kidnapping and the war, and again a gap of several years before the ciphered messages started coming. The messages did contain information that no one but Elena had known -- but it's entirely possible that she could have revealed those things to others intentionally or under interrogation. I can say that I had some intuition that it was her, but my perception has always been most useful at at a narrow-range focus. I can give no absolute guarantee that it was not wishful thinking on my part.

    Regarding the daughter referenced in these new documents, she was never mentioned. But then, she would not have been. Elena was very definite in her mistrust throughout all of our meetings in the three years before her second disappearance. If I had known about Lydia before, I would have asked Gharr to open another missing persons case until we could ensure her safety. As it was, Colmar’s unit in the Judicial Service had the report of my sensing Elena's death and given the circumstances, they had classified it as a potential murder investigation. Although I do not think Tremayne was directly involved, I have nothing other than a gut impression to that effect. Usually, I can tell when his fingerprints are on something and this time it doesn’t fit.

    I just don't know, Iella. I don't like the situation at all. However, I have nothing additional to give that would bump this case up to a higher priority than it already is. It actually would help if you went through the evidence, if you have the time – well, as much as any of us do. I suppose I’m banking on the fact that Elena was before your time with the New Republic and you have fewer memories to bias you one way or the other. It seems to me that many of us are missing pieces from staring at the puzzle for too long. You might be able to see it with new eyes.

    [end message fragment]



    Notes:

    Airen Cracken (http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Airen_Cracken)

    Davaire Colmar (http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Davaire_Colmar)

    Judicial Service (http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Judicial_Service)
     
  11. leiamoody

    leiamoody Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 8, 2005
    I'm going to reply for both entries five and six because I'm trying to combine two angels on the head of one pin...

    (The deleted text areas show up on fine on my browser FTR).

    That's a fascinating detail about the navigation hazards around the Torch Nebula. Amazing that such a well-traveled galaxy can still experience the hazards of the equivalent of the first paved road out of a small town. Plus the fact that Elena doesn't understand the reasons for Imperial colonization...always about the expansion of one's power base, dahlink. ;)

    "panicked eopies startled by their own farts"...wow. [face_clown]

    Those dreams about old places in new permutations...yeah, that's definitely a weird feeling. Deja vu all over again.

    Now for six:

    Lava moat? Is that available at the GFFA equivalent of Lowe's? :p

    That's the problem with advice: everyone has an opinion (even more so when you have offspring).

    Elena disappears and reappears just like a ghost, doesn't she? I understand to a certain extent why she does this, but at some point she has to stop running for the proverbial cave, right? Or probably not...

    Anyway, most excellent updates. :)
     
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  12. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Ah, so the mystery deepens for the Intelligence department. And Elena is still self-censoring. @};-
     
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  13. Kahara

    Kahara Force Ghost star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 3, 2001
    Replies - for Post 6

    Thank you for the replies. :)

    I've been trying to get a stronger plot sewn together for this story and it's an intimidating project. [face_nail_biting] So it's great to have some feedback! Encourages me to keep working instead of hiding from it.

    leiamoody



    Just what I was going for! :) It is a strange place, but it was an interesting project to design a place that would make sense as an Imperial holdout – especially since I didn’t want the main Remnant, which I don’t think would have any association with the Second Imperium and their hijinks.



    ;) That too! Though she does have some concept of the Empire holding planets for strategic reasons, this one is so out of the way that it hardly seems useful. Except that now she’s beginning to see why the place is a potential benefit. Just not how anyone could have been sneaky enough to think so before…


    For some reason, I’ve always had a lot of those dreams. Interesting to find out that others remember the weirdness of them too.


    Depends on where you are, I think. On Mustafar, probably. ;)


    Yes, one of the things that has kind of amused and disturbed me in trying to begin research for this story is – where do you go for factual information on parenting? Most stuff out there seems to be pushing one thing or another. I figured that parents in the GFFA probably run into the same information overload problem.


    She is a bit of a phantom from the New Republic’s perspective. Elena has so much bad history with them that her fear of being found out isn’t entirely unfounded. And she’s extra cautious because of Lydia, who she doesn’t want to lose if she ends up in the system there somehow.

    But she can’t really trust the Empire, either. Even though she would believe that she does.

    Nyota’s Heart



    Yes, it’s got to be baffling from their point of view. All these mysteries, but there are just bits and pieces left to find. The self-censoring is second nature to her, or so I think it would be. She’s used to not trusting others – or herself – with everything.
     
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  14. JadeLotus

    JadeLotus Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 27, 2005
    Hmmm, I seem to have missed the last post.

    Elena's tone and her reactions to motherhood continue to amuse and interest - particularly her very rational decision to toss out those parenting guides trying to raise superstars!

    Very interesting coda as well with the mysteries surrounding Elena - hopefully Iella can investigate and start making sense of things.
     
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  15. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    OK, I think I may be caught up now. Wow, this is incredible stuff, especially how you've woven this complete, multidimensional story around a character who's otherwise just a brief footnote in official SW lore—but of course I expected nothing less than that from you.

    Some assorted impressions so far:

    The "found documents" framing device is very effective, both in rounding out the atmosphere and in presenting a parallel story. It's cool how it's not there on every single entry, but rather deployed very judiciously, at juuuust the right moments.

    The whole concept of birthing amd raising a baby on a star destroyer boggles the mind, but it seems from Elena's mixed-up, troubled life so far, that's about the least unusual thing she's been through. :p I'm glad she was able to find a new situation and an apartment, though I totally sympathize about wanting to be more than one wall away from the neighbors. I'll be interested to see how things go with her "architectural ambitions." (And leiamoody, I love the idea of a GFFA equivalent of Lowe's! :D)

    Ahnjai is turning out to be very interesting, and I too am curious to learn more about him. I get the feeling he's in a sort of "nanny" position to Lydia at this point, and it's clear that she and he are getting on swimmingly. Elena's ruminations on his possible past are fascinating—certainly there must be something there.

    Naturally I'm stoked to see the out-of-the-way, semi-mysterious Kathol sector playing a role in this story. ;)

    The deleted text, like the framing documents, is also a fascinating and effective touch. Says almost more about the writer than what she left in. Since you asked about the format: I have to say that on my screen the gray text doesn't look that different from the regular black text, but the "deleted text" tags are fine, and I think strikethrough font would work handsomely too. (Is the idea that she's struck through the text by hand? Or marked it "deleted" using some kind of tracking function? Or that she actually did delete it with the equivalent of a "delete" key but it's somehow recoverable if you do the right slicing?)

    Good on Elena for tossing out all those books. I approve heartily, as I barely cracked a single parenting book after the Findsboy was born and I still prefer to give that kind of thing a miss. The kid him- or herself is ultimately the parent's best teacher in such things. (And you're right: there simply is nowhere to go for factual information on parenting. Except to the kid you're parenting.)

    On "new baby smell": I still sniff Findsboy's hair (he's 5), and I still consider that he has very much his own smell. :D

    Love it and looking forward to more! And please do tag me on future updates. :) (Just a tip: if you find that tags pasted in from a story document aren't working, try typing them by hand into the default boards font first thing, before pasting any text from the story document.)
     
  16. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014
    Chapter 6:

    I somehow forgot that this chapter existed, so do accept my apology for not having commented earlier once again.

    My first thought upon reading it was "Wow, I like Corwin Shelvay!" So far, his approach to investigation of his sister's kidnapping, life and eventual passing does not have a single trace of regret, hate towards what she was groomed into or anything like that. This man is a true Jedi.

    At the same time...

    I just don't know, Iella. I don't like the situation at all. However, I have nothing additional to give that would bump this case up to a higher priority than it already is. It actually would help if you went through the evidence, if you have the time – well, as much as any of us do. I suppose I’m banking on the fact that Elena was before your time with the New Republic and you have fewer memories to bias you one way or the other. It seems to me that many of us are missing pieces from staring at the puzzle for too long. You might be able to see it with new eyes.

    ...one can see that he is looking for a way to, at least from a moral point of a view, redeem his sister and that, deep inside, he does worry, does feel strange.

    Although I do not think Tremayne was directly involved, I have nothing other than a gut impression to that effect. Usually, I can tell when his fingerprints are on something and this time it doesn’t fit.

    This makes me wonder if these two bitter rivals ever had a Force connection of sorts.

    I too love the idea of Elena trying to learn stuff on bringing up children from books and then giving up on it. Sometimes, sucking up the knowledge won't help you IRL and she's aware of that. And her humorous approach to having a child always makes me smile. I assume it won't always be so rosey, though.


    This is one thing I have been wondering myself - if it's just that you, Kahara , are the omnipresent writer who knows that Elena deleted portions of her writing, or if the New Republic intelligence folks and Corwin can somehow recover it: either through slicing or, who knows, Corwin's Force powers?

    Another stupid question, from somebody who's slow with Kibble because of so many details that need to be read multiple times...did Lydia actually get a hold on this, as it was intended for her, or was it merely confiscated by the New Republic upon gaining control of Elena's adopted homeworld?

    Sorry if I'm being annoying with so many questions. I hope I got everything right!
     
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  17. Kahara

    Kahara Force Ghost star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 3, 2001
    JadeLotus



    Glad the parent-stuff comes through well so far. The library is kind of scary on these topics. :eek: (Well, some of it’s actually quite interesting. And some is interesting, in the way that it makes you wonder who buys into this stuff. But I can only imagine trying to cobble together anything practical from all that mess of opinions!)

    I’m fond of Iella, though it’s been a long time since I’ve read her actual significant appearances. Time to re-read the X-wing series, I think.:) But I think she’d be a good choice for this job, for multiple reasons. She started out in CorSec under the Empire, so she may have a better insight into how Elena thinks than most – and, as Corwin mentions, she joined the New Republic late enough that she doesn’t have the same personal grudges as some of her colleagues.


    Findswoman:




    Thanks very much! [face_dancing] Footnote characters invariably seem to become my very favorites once I have twenty miles of headcanon about them. [face_laugh] It’s just so much fun to flesh them out and theorize about their lives “behind the scenes” of whatever tiny canon appearances they have.


    :) It’s good to hear that it’s working. I’ve adopted the style after seeing it used in others’ works (I think TrakNar and a few others have used it here) and I feel like it suits Elena’s story – as well as providing something of a bridge to Shark Kibble for those who are reading that as well.


    The Star Destroyer thing was definitely a weird accident of history; I’m sure it would normally have never happened before Endor. In the chaos after, I think Elena and the rest were having to scramble to keep things together. But I think she’s somewhat glad to have that over with – very awkward all around, having a baby on a Star Destroyer. [face_laugh] Between the high-pressure environment she’s used to in the Empire and the fact that she grew up in a rural area, I think having really close neighbors is not her favorite thing. But yes, there must be some sort of GFFA Lowe’s that can be of use… and now you’re both giving me plot bunnies. ;)

    [​IMG]




    Ahnjai and his rather strange and fraught new friendship with Elena are among the things that have really captured my imagination for this story, so I’m glad to hear that you find him interesting. :D His canon bio sounds really intriguing and I too can’t help but wonder who he was before Tremayne screwed up his life. (Of course, I now have theories enough to start another story... ;)) Lydia, being a baby, has no qualms about this giant lion-man being one of her caretakers, while Elena is both grateful and utterly confused at how good he is with kids. Hard for her to imagine where he could have picked that up.


    The Kathol sector is fun and I like having Elena be from there originally. I have this headcanon that Kathol is one of the popularly known Outer Nowheres of the Empire and if you get sent there you’ve screwed up beyond repair – so other Imperials are often a bit gobsmacked to learn that she was born there. [face_laugh] And I was thrilled to see a Kathol location in your stories about Glockel and Wym! It’s such a strange, strange place. Though I don’t think we’ll see the sector “in person” in Notes, it’s a definite possibility that an older Lydia might seek out her roots there someday.


    Exactly what I was hoping for, that it shows something about her character in what she chooses to delete. Though I’ve taken the view that this isn’t necessarily one specific collection of messages and things, I do think it’s possible that someone managed to slice and recover some deleted text. Elena would have been very careful about destroying the evidence as best she could, but (and someone correct me if I’m wrong) I believe you have to drop computerized data into the fires of Mordor before it’s ever completely dead. :p And even then I wouldn’t be totally sure. There’s always a better slicer.


    If I were trying in earnest to learn how to be a parent from books, I think some books would be going crashing through the wall. :p Elena really isn’t sure how to go about it all, so a nice handy guide would be nice – it’s just that it’s difficult bordering on impossible to sort the nonsense from sense. And as you said, each kid is kind of a unique case anyway. :)




    Neat! I’m kind of fascinated by all the different ways research shows that humans might actually be a bit more aware of the scents of others around us than we realize. Makes sense, but it’s something that people never talk about except in a joking “eww, smell” kind of way.
    Thanks for the info on tags. I have had problems in the past even when I was pretty sure I was doing it the “right” way, but I’ll try and do tags this next time.

    Ewok Poet:




    :D Yay! I have a particular soft spot for Corwin – I think it’s the way that his early life is set up like a traditional “important main Jedi character” arc with an antagonist and Dark Side struggles, a fierce battle – and then, he drops off the edge of the map only to reappear later as an obscure behind-the-scenes character working with the Rebellion. And he’s not really extremely powerful, has permanent repercussions from the torture he went through (the guy looks at least thirty years older than he is by even the most conservative estimate), and kind of has to live on the fringes even among the Rebels lest the Inquisitors start chasing after him again.

    Normally, I’d expect a former chosen one/wunderkind type to be just a touch bitter about that situation. But by all appearances, his Rebellion era self is a genuinely kind person who acts as a steadfast emotional support system and brings out the best in others. It makes him a really interesting foil to Tremayne, who has not taken to his advancing age and lost promises nearly so gracefully. :p And then Corwin also has the sneaky side that he shares with his sister Elena; they’re both prone to operating in the shadows to get things done. So that’s fun to explore as well.

    When it comes to the situation with Elena, I’m sure he has gone through anger, worry, and grieving about it – but in a way the part about the kidnapping and their estrangement is old news. As mentioned, he even had some discussions with Elena in later years. So he’s well aware that she was an adult who made her own decisions – even if they were influenced by her earlier conditioning. It’s her mysterious death and the uncertainty over what is going on with her daughter that needs investigation, and he’s already shown an ability to focus on the current needs over old issues. At least that’s my reasoning about it.




    Yes, and I hope he doesn’t come across as overly uninvolved so I’m glad you noted that! I think by this time in his life he wouldn’t be one to rail against fate or make a big dramatic deal, but that doesn’t mean that he doesn’t have concerns about Elena. He just knows that she was a complicated person who had a lot of difficulty treading the line between good and evil.



    Interesting thought! I do think that both of them have believed at various times that their fates were linked in some way. Corwin apparently had persistent visions of himself becoming a mirror image to Tremayne if he ever fell to the Dark Side, and there is that sense of unfinished business with them.

    I do actually have some headcanon about them having met before Corwin’s capture by the Empire, although details on that would be in a future entry here or a separate story. But yes, I can see Tremayne having been a mentor or friend of sorts to Corwin at some point before he realized that he was an Inquisitor – possibly during the time when he was at university and met his history tutor who happened to be a Jedi in hiding. Thus setting up how Corwin and Arkanian ended up on the run after that all came to light.




    Yes, it’s hard to cram for the test otherwise known as real life! ;) Not everything is rosy, no – although she does put a positive spin on things for her saved notes to Lydia, there are a lot of things that are overwhelming for her. Not only is parenthood new and unfamiliar, but she’s had enough of an eye-opening experience to regret a lot of how she’s behaved. Not the Imperial part, since I think that is too ingrained to so easily overturn – but the almost-sociopathic behavior that went along with her particular role was a weaker link, and it now bothers her a lot. Probably it always did on some level. So Elena is pretty scared she’s going to screw up this kid. She’s always going to have to second-guess her reactions thanks to the rather potent combination of her PTSD (or so I’m interpreting the emotionally out of phase behavior described in her bio), the violent tactics she learned from the ISB, and the Dark Side tendencies that her minor Force training instilled.



    See the reply to Findswoman for more info (re: data and the fires of Mordor), but I think it’s entirely plausible that someone recovered the information. Though I’m sure she did her best to bury it! I do like the idea of Corwin using his abilities for slicing – that actually sounds exactly like the kind of thing he might specialize in, since a lot of his described talents seem to be geared towards really fine-tuned sensing and manipulation. [face_thinking]

    Nothing wrong with questions! How can I blather on about my favorite obscurities if nobody asks about them? ;) As for Lydia, we haven’t seen yet whether or not she gets the information. I could tell you, but I won’t. [face_devil] And the New Republic doesn’t have control over the Nebula at the time when most of their messages are written in 22 ABY. That’s as much as I’ll reveal right now. Hope that’s not too cryptic, but I’m trying to preserve some suspense. ;)
     
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  18. Kahara

    Kahara Force Ghost star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 3, 2001
    Raissa Baiard, Findswoman (let me know if your tags do/don't work, please!)

    Seven


    A/N: The next entry is already partially written and should be posted within the week. :)



    [Elena Shelvay – entry dated 23 AE: 7:11 – 4 ABY by New Republic calendar]

    Lydia: It’s a perfect night. Shullia’s seasonal cycle is right in the middle of the transition from summer to autumn now, and the breeze feels wonderful. You’ll probably be fussing again in a minute, but right now you seem happy enough just to watch me and bat at the datapad from time to tAoeiwirtewpi-pti0-wpkiojtgqfka’pgojawegjigjpjgaehrgio]d9bu9gjr;ojytiqo[hgue’ijgyie’wytpi5uyuhjiela

    Error: command cannot be completed

    weopriaw43er0owewag;khnwogbnkew

    bmjoew[bkjwrg



    eprgokjeaophgkje[rgkihy[eark



    [comments from evidence analysis by Gaxifizt Ceirphad (New Republic Judicial Service, Outer Rim, Data Forensic Specialist) – 22 ABY]

    The holovid footage shows a Human infant, age of about three months based on comparison to the usual rate of growth. Although the shaky motion and poor quality of the vid prevents concrete identification, the retinal pattern appears to be at least a 79% match for the individual who is listed as Lydia Antinina Shelvay in other holos discovered with this collection of information. The motion of the viewer indicates that the datapad’s camera is being moved by the contact of the youngling’s hands and face with the touchscreen, but an adult is holding the device steady.

    An adult Human female is shown, beginning at 2:18 in the recording where she is seen holding the infant and looking into the holo briefly. This female’s retinal prints match those for Elena Ceren Shelvay by at least 82%. Althought the child’s clothing bears no identifying marks, magnification shows that the female is wearing a long-sleeved shirt with the logo of the Frumious Bandersnatch Bar and Grill (see description of the business, which had a location in the city of Tulekahju, Shullia by 2 ABY.) Stains on the shoulder are unidentifiable, although Lieutenant Ivalch tells me that “yep, that’s definitely spit-up.” The design of the female’s gloves is consistent with that used by the ISB in 4 ABY, although the holster of the weapon (unidentified) at her hip is non-standard and appears to have been modified with child-proofing measures.

    For some reason, the Human female makes a number of untranslatable sounds at the infant. These, to my ear, resemble the sounds of the species’ flatulence. She also utters a number of what the protocol droid tells me are non-word noises and contorts her face in ways that I have rarely observed in my interactions with Humans. I have been assured by humanoid consultants that this is normal parental interaction for Humans with younglings of this age. It is not indicative of a chemically altered state of consciousness, nor of any sort of trauma or illness. So they tell me. The infant makes the expression known as smiling, although Lieutenant Ivalch tells me that this could also signify the passing of air through the digestive system. The Human female turns off the vid recorder at 3:35.

    [end comments from evidence analysis]



    Eaor[ghesjrie[arojhgepwa]gaeriubhgeraol[hbjiae] ersherahj5etk8u9;’90’/



    Well, I’ve seen worse-looking documents written by much taller people. You’ll do, kidlet. All in good time.

    [end entry]



    Notes:

    Gaxifizt Ceirphad and Ivalch are OC’s who work with Davaire Colmar in the Judicial Service for the Outer Rim. Gaxifizt is a larval Ruurian (http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Ruurian), so the Human life cycle and all the odd behavior that goes with it are a source of bafflement for her. ;)

    I have assumed here that Elena’s datapad has a holographic/touch interface that would be responsive to a youngling’s undirected flailing.
    The Frumious Bandersnatch is probably familiar, but just in case anyone missed out on a really strange poem: http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/jabberwocky/
     
  19. earlybird-obi-wan

    earlybird-obi-wan Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Aug 21, 2006
    funny entry with the comments on mom and baby sounds
     
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  20. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    [face_laugh] Oh, this is just plain priceless, from the youngling-induced gobbledygook and "Error: command could not be completed" (sound familiar to anyone raising babies or tots in this touchscreen era?) to Gaxifizt's "analysis" of this typical, quotidian mom-'n'-baby tableau. :D And it's so cool that the latter happens in a way that isn't just baffled-alien fluff—it actually advances the "found documents" side of the story by confirming the identity of both Shelvays. Now, as for what exactly that means to these agents... I'm not sure yet, but count my curiosity piqued. :cool:

    You know, I'm not sure why I didn't notice this before, but it just hit me that little Lydia's middle name is clearly based on that of her creepy cyborg inquisitor father. And that fact, as weird as it may sound, is making me ever more curious about the relationship between her parents: could it have been all bad if Elena's partly naming her child after Antinnis? Yet one never knows... [face_thinking] Of course, it could be that this is explained more thoroughly in either your other Shelvay story or in the RPG guide from which Elena originally comes, and if so, just tell me to zip it. :p

    And yes, the tag worked perfectly—thanks for asking! :)
     
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  21. JadeLotus

    JadeLotus Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 27, 2005
    Love that Elena has a childproof weapon! And the analyst's interpretation of the two are hilariously precious.

    My niece is three months old now so I can sympathise with the constant flailing!
     
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  22. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Kahara [face_rofl] [face_rofl] that is all. [:D] Hilarious and very real. IPads and all tablets must be kept out of the reach of kidlets. [face_mischief] 8-}
     
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  23. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014
    These, to my ear, resemble the sounds of the species’ flatulence.

    HAHAHAHA, YOU SAID FLATULENCE. That Ruuran seems to be clueless. I totally want to know what is endearing, beautiful or even arousing to a a giant cockroach. I want a vignette where two of these make sweet love and then another, where they care for a baby. I want to know what's normal in their world. This seriously is crazy!

    And I bet you tried to open a video file using a lister or something like that at least once, since what's written over there DOES look like what would happen if a video in a multimedia document got completely kriffed up.

    From a human POV, the scene is precious. [face_love]
    _______________________________________

    The comment to the comment to my comment

    It's fun how Findswoman and I both thought of slicing and then, the curious option of Corwin having an interesting ability comes up. I totally can't wait to see where this may lead. :D

    [...]and then, he drops off the edge of the map only to reappear later as an obscure behind-the-scenes character working with the Rebellion.

    So, Ahsoka before Ahsoka?

    And he’s not really extremely powerful, has permanent repercussions from the torture he went through (the guy looks at least thirty years older than he is by even the most conservative estimate)

    To me, this is perfectly normal, as I am about to SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER myself.

    So many ideas, each time we discuss this. OMG.
     
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  24. Kahara

    Kahara Force Ghost star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 3, 2001
    Replies -- for Post 7

    Thank you, as always, for commenting! :)

    earlybird-obi-wan: Glad it was funny! Things are a bit strained there, but they have some humorous moments as well. :p

    Findswoman: Yay, it worked! [face_dancing] Anyway. [face_blush] The ones analyzing the video are definitely trying to confirm just who this is -- it's one strange situation, so anything that puts a name to a face is a possible help. The touchscreen thing occurred to me because of all the odd things I've managed to do while trying to use a touchscreen -- and I'm an adult, if an inept one with new things. [face_laugh]

    Yes, Lydia's middle name is given after the creepy cyborg. ;) It's rather complicated with Elena and Tremayne, and this story discusses it more than I think Kibble has so far. Canon has nearly nothing -- the only relationship between them there is that he killed her family and had her sent to the ISB. All the rest is my speculation. (What do you call it when you invent a pairing that you DO NOT SHIP, anyway? Though they are interesting -- or so I hope -- it's not what I'd call an ideal or healthy relationship. But it's rather complex and emotionally messy, because I like to write complex and messy I suppose. ;)) I've got a pretty clear idea of how their relationship works in this particular 'verse, and we'll certainly see more of what's going on there in the future.

    POSSIBLE SPOILERS:

    Trying to rebuild your life My Name Is Earl style gets a little dicey when you're in a relationship with an Inquisitor, even one who is deliberately giving you a lot of space. I see Tremayne as being actually very attached to Elena in his way. It's just that he's kind of a terrible person and has the moral backbone of a blenderized sea slug. And he can be relied on to (almost) always look out for himself first.

    JadeLotus: D'aww at the flailing niece. Too cute. :D And I'm happy to hear that it sounds a bit credible for her age. The childproof weapon is probably not Elena's first choice, but it's a compromise since she feels she can't go unarmed into the world (and she certainly isn't going to trust this youngling not to flail at things!)

    Nyota's Heart: [:D] Funny and realistic is what I was going for there, so that's excellent to hear. I would not be surprised if kidlets were quite fascinated with such interesting things -- and able to produce total gobbledygook thanks to the screens not needing much pressure to activate. :p

    Ewok Poet: HAHAHAHA back at you. :p

    Regarding the Ruurians, from what I can tell their species doesn't court or have babies until they metamorphose into the Chroma-Winged Flier stage -- which is described as nearly mindless and butterfly-like. Apparently their young must have to care for each other. My headcanon is that they're born with a fair amount of priming for language and reasoning, and become a lot like ten-year olds within a very short time. Older larvae probably take charge of raising the newly hatched ones. So while they have childhood of a sort, Human babies seem like ridiculously helpless things and all the babbling and such is just weird to them. (Also, somewhere you described them as a "cucaracha", I believe. Possibly in a PM, but somewhere. Anyway. [face_rofl] That was great!)

    Glad the technical difficulties looked believable. I figured it might do that if receiving input that didn't make sense.

    And thanks, I'm happy that you and others found it cute. :D

    Re: Corwin being Ahsoka before Ahsoka: Kind of! Except I think Ahsoka is probably more emotionally than physically scarred (though it's hard to match "Vader was my Jedi Master" for angst and woe... :() And I suspect she's at least three times as powerful and a lot less chronically in pain than Corwin. Also, Corwin started training quite late because a Purge survivor found him, so he's not quite the same as a Temple-raised Jedi.

    Spoilers, huh? I'll be interested to see what the parallel is. [face_thinking]
     
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  25. Kahara

    Kahara Force Ghost star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 3, 2001
    @Raissa Baiard, Findswoman

    A/N: It has occurred to me, seeing the debates over various published romance books in recent years, that an announcement of this kind may be in order since we are beginning to delve into Elena’s relationship with Tremayne a bit more. I don’t think anyone commenting has misread my intentions in this department (not by a long shot – you all seem to get that it’s not exactly a recommended sort of relationship.) But it probably bears saying anyway.

    Public service announcement:

    Please do not date people who kidnapped you when you were 14. It's a bad idea. Also, please do not date people you kidnapped when they were 14. It's a bad idea and in a just universe you will go to prison for that. (Also, don’t use the Dark Side and/or join creepy fascist ideological police organizations, kids.) Just so we’re clear on that!


    Eight

    [Elena Shelvay – entry dated 23 AE: 7:11 – 4 ABY by New Republic calendar]

    I just woke up to notice that we’ve both been sleeping soundly for the last two hours. It’s a welcome respite. This has been a miserable day. I don’t blame it on you. In fact, I think your fidgeting and complaining may have been a response to my being on edge. I’m not sure how much you understand from tone of voice and such, but you seem more responsive and alert by the day. I wouldn’t put it past you to know when people are upset, even if there’s nothing unusual about your intuition.

    It’s been difficult to separate from you for part of the day, so that was less than ideal to start with. You’re still so new that I feel twitchy leaving you behind, but it’s a necessary thing for now. Though I had intended to look into getting you a nanny droid (not realizing how prohibitively expensive it is to get one that is in decent working order) or to find a child-minding center, Ahnjai has offered to care for you for part of the day while I begin to work again. I’ve accepted this with some relief. I feel more comfortable leaving you with him than with strangers, qualified or not.



    [deleted text]

    Though I have not forgotten Zain’s concerns regarding the psychology of the Srrors’tok species, I do not think that they hold weight in Ahnjai’s case. He has had many chances to harm either of us for vengeance on Antinnis, and never has. I trust very few people, but Ahnjai is one that I have seen as he behaves when no one could possibly censure him for it. He had no need to drag me out of that derelict Republic base; if he’d left me to drown no one would ever have found out.

    Even the code of honor he holds so dear would not have condemned him for it. I did some research on that recently. Because I am Antinnis’s mate (under the Srrors’tok way of thinking), it would not have been considered honorable to attack me. But he didn’t have to save me. The danger I was in was not of his making, and among his species rescuing a female is not socially idealized the same way that it is among most Human cultures. Most Srror’stok females are part of a rather separate hunter/warrior caste from the tribal cohort of dominant males that Ahnjai must have belonged to (or so I believe, given his combat skills in comparison to the pacifistic and monastic role of most of the males.) Generally speaking, females are expected to be the ones doing the guarding.

    He didn’t have to vow his protection to you and I after I saved him, either. He could have considered his debts paid and canceled, and even gone after Antinnis if he were inclined to be reckless. It’s not like it is with the little reptavians, who in reality only aid me as an adjunct to their protection of the Golden Sun.

    [end deleted text]



    At any rate, today’s woes began with my hoverbus pass not working. It was fine yesterday, but today the scanner insisted it was expired and I had to exit in embarrassment and catch a more expensive taxi.



    [deleted text]

    With our apartment right here in the middle of town, it seems excessive to purchase an individual transport for my personal use. There is a collection of fairly good vehicles at the old ISB center, but they haven’t been maintained and I don’t want to use them to travel to and from home – even though it wouldn’t be against the regulations that I checked.

    The reason for my making this all harder on myself is the disapproving looks that I keep getting from everyone else in the building. Because the ISB headquarters were small, they were located inside the Security and Police Administration Center. The main office there is a gauntlet that I get to run on my way to the place where I’m working on cleaning out the last tenants’ disasters. The staff and officers who work in the rest of the building know just enough about me to believe that I am a wealthy Inquisitor’s kept mistress who has been alotted a small domain in exchange for my favors.

    This is laughable. For one thing, I don’t think the Inquisitors are paid that much more than the higher levels of the ISB – it’s a respectable but hardly unimaginable level of wealth. For another, Antinnis knows better than to offer a credit of it to me. I’ve seen far too many otherwise promising careers overshadowed by the acceptance of such gifts. They may think that of me at Admin, but if I do as well then I haven’t a chance of proving them wrong. And I will.

    They need me here, even if they don’t know it yet. Most of them never will know, but there are a few specific individuals that will need to be won over. And most of them will need to learn to at least bypass my presence. They haven’t had a permanent ISB presence in the last seven years. Nothing has blown up or fallen from the sky, so it is assumed that that presence was, of course, a bureaucratic trifle and unnecessary. This is exactly the kind of careless attitude towards preventative maintenance that ends in massive plumbing bills – which is something that I should also check into while I’m at it. There’s a worrisome noise whenever I run the sink in that office’s kitchen area.

    So I am stuck attempting to prove to an unreceptive audience that my salary is the profoundly average amount that it is. Or at least not to play into their delusions of what I am.

    [end deleted text]



    On top of being late, I feel as though I worked all those hours and got absolutely nothing done.



    [deleted text]

    I honestly feel like the situation there is so questionable from a data security standpoint that I’m uncomfortable mentioning it here. It was almost satisfying before when I was just cleaning up the physical messes. But now I’m starting to get into updating the database and networks, and it’s been a discouraging task. Technology changes too quickly to remain secure forever as it is. What it actually needs is new equipment and the expertise of a real specialist.

    Good luck acquiring that in the current environment. All I can get out of the woman responsible for ordering said supplies is a startled look and some vague mumbling. Sadly, she strikes me as the kind of person who only becomes more incoherent when pressed. So I shall have to figure something out.

    That sanctimonious barve Dayja was passing through – just passing through, of course – while I was there. He looked concerned, like I might be a peril to the world around me. I remember him watching me during our previous meetings. I also remember what he said before, about minimizing damage when possible. He was right, but that doesn’t mean that I can stand him watching me as though I’m an unpredictable creature for the next however many years.

    Though I chose this course of action for practical reasons, I had really hoped to leave the audience behind – all the people at ISB Central who thought I was disturbed and they needed to keep an eye on “Crazy Ells.” Nice of them to adopt the Rebels’ nickname for me. And they were so furtive about it, as though I didn’t know what they thought. As though I were not going to hear what they said about me.

    It’s not even Dayja’s stanged business. He’s Intelligence and I’m Security. Not his job. I hope he gets called back to the Core where he can be self-important and correct at someone else. Kriff him.

    Besides, I don’t like him being there in light of recent events with the ISB.

    It has occurred to me that it was usually on days like this that I ended up in the position of needing to shoot some malefactor in the face. There are times when I would really like to burn something.

    [end deleted text]



    When I got home, it was to find out from Ahnjai that the Imperishable’s last known battle group is missing. I hate knowing that something could happen to Amery and Zain out there, and so soon. I hope they will be okay. I hope you know them, Lydia. They’ve become like brothers to me these last months, and that’s something that I have not had in a long time. Better still, they’ve been wrapped around your tiny fingers from the minute you came squalling into the world. (And believe me, that’s quite a feat, considering. You were a strange-looking little thing, and I say this as your mother. It took weeks before I was entirely sure that you had not been swapped with a Dressellian infant. The resemblance was remarkable.)

    Zain, Amery, and Ahnjai are the closest thing you have to a real family outside of me. I have designated Zain as your hold-parent in the case of my death, with Amery as the second option. Legally, I cannot make such arrangements for you to stay with Ahnjai due to his species’ classification. Anyway, I should probably tell you a little about how we all met, but I don’t know where to begin. Maybe another day, then.



    [deleted text]

    Stars, but I was a terrible mess this afternoon. I kept handing you over to Ahnjai and locking myself in the bathroom to cry.

    Having Amery and Zain in possible trouble was bad enough, but there seems to be no end to it all. The messages come slowly out here, but when they do arrive it’s like a swarm of death and disaster.

    Vandron has had an accident. So have Lyrab, Drosmiti, Niles, Sveren, Rouz, Kedrik, and the list goes on from there. A fair number of Imperial Intelligence officials have died as well. Not nearly so many. Others in the ISB, less protected by rank and privilege, have been found in mass to be guilty of treason and collusion with the Rebellion. It doesn’t quite compute to my mind, but it’s very likely that most of those people who I hated so much for their whispers and stares – the ones that I resented and would have given anything to never see again – have been executed at Isard’s command in the last week. It feels like I wished them dead, and it is not the pleasant feeling that I would have imagined.

    The Rebels killed Teshik after Endor. I just found that out today, too. They called it some kind of trial, a death sentence. I don’t know how many times a man has to be shot before they just call it slaughter. I met him once. He was distant and prone to nervous tics, but still just a person. I thought he seemed sad. His subordinates hated him. Always went on about how he was terrible even though he didn’t do anything worse than Vader or the rest that I could see. I guess the Rebels agreed.

    Something happened to Darth Vader and no one can deliver a story without strange inconsistencies. Possibly he met the same sort of end as Teshik. I don’t know.

    I wish I knew where Antinnis is right now.

    People think that there must be some malfunction in me, that I don’t realize what they see when they look at him. But I do. It’s why I am so afraid for him.

    [end deleted text]



    Heading up to the roof was an impulse decision, but it’s one that I’m glad for because everything feels much better here. I had not realized that it would be easier to face things here.

    The sky helps a lot. It looks somewhat like the usual illuminated night sky over a city with cloud cover, but the hue is different and more pleasant. Tulekahju does not have enough lights to make much of a reflection; what I’m actually seeing is the faint echo of the Torch Nebula. It’s brighter and more colorful from a distance, but there’s something very soothing about the way it looks here. The light it sheds has an almost turquoise sheen to it, and it transforms the world into something softer than it was. It’s not the same as the light from the moon of Naalini on Galtea, but it brings the same feelings of peace. The Galaxy doesn’t seem so vicious, even though I know it is and always will be.

    Being here is not really as safe as staying in our room, but Ahnjai is keeping watch and so if Isard has sent someone here they will be quite unfortunate. He seems to like finding high ledges to curl up on – a habit that reminds me a great deal of the guardian-beast statuary on the old temples in Ilma. Heights suit him well and I suspect he would just as happily live up here.

    You seem to like it here too, though that may be as much because I am more relaxed as anything else. I think we may do this again in the future. Perhaps I should scratch the lava moat and start looking for a nice eyrie where we can all nest.

    [end entry]



    Notes:

    Some of these references may be repetitive, but better that than confusing is the theory. ;)

    Zain (no last name) and Amery Tancred are both OC’s who have been mentioned in this story and Shark Kibble.

    Much of the Srrors’tok social structure mentioned here is my own fanon, based on the idea that they may have a leonine nature – but they modify that baseline in their society, just as Humans do. Yet another possible future fanon post. :p

    This aspect of Ahnjai’s species was something that I had already been planning before I began beta reading for AzureAngel2’s Serpent Spawn, but I wanted to give that tale a name-drop here too --- for a fascinatingly intricate fictional culture where Human (at least, I think they are Human – I need to read further ;)) characters are described as living in a pride. :) (Seriously, if you like the darker psychological aspects of my stories, Azure’s fics may be right up your alley.)

    The reptavians mentioned may be familiar, both from the Fanon thread and from Chyntuck's recent excellent gift-fic. ;)

    The Golden Sun (http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Golden_Sun) keeps coming back.

    Dayja (http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Dayja) again. I rather enjoyed his character in Scoundrels; he’s no angel but has some slivers of conscience, and a sense of humor to boot.

    Dressellian (http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Dressellian) – there are an awful lot of babies that start out looking a bit like this species… :p

    Crueya Vandron’s death (http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Crueya_Vandron) and the rest of the ISB deaths are based on the rather vague information on how the ISB disappeared and Imperial Intelligence ascended after Endor. Given the outcome, I’ve portrayed it as a somewhat uneven battle. See the end of the history section here: http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Imperial_Security_Bureau#History

    Ysanne Isard (http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Ysanne_Isard) – a common cause of death in the Empire, both before and after Endor.

    Osvald Teshik (http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Osvald_Teshik) – an Imperial Grand Admiral with extensive cybernetics who was captured and executed after Endor.

    Torch Nebula (http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Torch_Nebula)

    After reading this very interesting discussion on what the sky might look like from a planet inside a nebula, I pretty much made it up. ;) But the discussion may be of interest. http://worldbuilding.stackexchange....ould-skies-look-like-on-worlds-inside-nebulae

    Galtea (http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Galtea) – Elena’s homeworld. Ilma is a fanon city on the planet that I invented; it's the nearest urban area to where she was raised.
     
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