main
side
curve

Saga - PT [DDC 2016] Letters Never Sent (OCs | ROTS) - COMPLETE, PARTIAL E-BOOK

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by Ewok Poet, Jan 2, 2016.

  1. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014
    I usually wait until the last day to respond to comments (WTK, almost wrote "comets" o_O), but given how many comments I am to catch with, both in this and other threads, I am doing it now. If anybody else would like to say anything, please, feel free to, at any given point in time. And thank you, thank you, thank you for giving a chance to this - I say this all the time, but I seriously can't thank you enough!




    Lil is some sort of an assistant to the overseer here, so you were close.

    Sayran is not really cold to what's going on - he simply does not want to end up in trouble. Aurea is still free to a certain extent.

    [face_whistling]

    What I had in my mind was the scene from My Girl 2 when Wada's mood ring is constantly black and I worked from that. But any comparison to anything leiamoody has ever done is a compliment. [face_blush]

    [face_whistling]

    This is where I say that Damae is...a very, very obsessive person [hl=black]and a protagonist of a short story from earlier this year![/hl] Types like her are...eeeeh.


    No, Briannakin set the foundation for the *other* religion in this story - this is going to be in one or more of the September entries. :) But I probably need to write a lot of stuff for the fanon thread, either way.

    As for Sayran, it can be anything. I didn't think of it...yet.

    Since I don't have a baby of my own and I just looked at other people's babies, that means a lot, thanks.

    As for Terrik, don't worry - chapter 5 will solve that...issue.


    The one who grabs the recorder in the end is not a baby. There's a baby, who is one certain Wedge Antilles, and there's the blonde woman and her toddler son - the latter is the one who grabbed the recorder. :)

    As for everything else, footnotes upon reveal where he's from should help. I hope!
     
    Kahara and Findswoman like this.
  2. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Entries 23-24 - wow, what a fascinating group of folks Lil has ended up with and a very unique and complicated culture too. You describe things so well in this format, hinting at depth and yet not bogging down in it. =D= Fascinating about the mythology and the thing with crystals and art etc. Having hundreds of persons with the same first and last name would at the very least be confusing. :eek:
     
    Ewok Poet and Findswoman like this.
  3. Kurisan

    Kurisan Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Apr 26, 2016
    Hello again. Read entry 05. Aha he's Booster not that other word. Well played, EP. well played.:cool: I liked the accidental recording method of changing characters/scene/POV. That was very clever and a neat way to move the story forward...
     
    Ewok Poet and Findswoman like this.
  4. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014
    Thank you! I was pleasantly surprised with how the format ended up suiting so many things I'm writing. Bogging down in death was a possible trap, certainly!


    I did tell you that there was nothing to worry about. Nobody gets crazier than poor Dale's parents. :p
     
  5. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014
    Entry 25

    <<<RECORDING STARTED>>
    <<LOCAL TIME: 11:11>>
    <<GALACTIC LOCATION: MARDRI SOULWORKS COLLECTIVE ARCOLOGY, AUREA>>

    We’re back in the Collective.

    The moment we stepped out of the large transporter and a bunch of droids hurried to get our speeder and the Emperor statue out, Coovo ran to us. Of course, she first gave a typical slobbery Human kiss to Sayran, but what she did next, I did not quite expect it. She took me in her arms, held me as if I were a small dralling and said that she was so worried that she even looked up Zizi to ask him if I have any relatives, just in case I died. She did not find him.

    The Advisory Council agreed that I fulfilled my task and that I can move into a bubble, right next to the Ferrys’. At first, I was really happy, but after my first night in the Arcology, I realised that we’ll be next to each other only when the bubbles land next to one another in the morning. Argh.

    You’re confused, Ranni? So was I!

    The bubbles in the residential part of the gigantic building, which is the triangle formed by the sides and the horizontal bar of the High Galactic letter Aurek, they…move at night! They are closed off automatically and equipped with just about enough air and then, the space fills with water otherwise travelling through the outside pipes on the edges of the arcology during the day, in order to power gardens and orchards. Once the water is inside, a wind-powered turbine moves the bubbles around the corridors and creates a stunning display of blue light visible all the way from Crysallia. This way, the whole building functions like a giant work of art and a miniature power plant that makes enough energy for 3-4 days. All energy that is not spent is accumulated in gigantic underground batteries, to be used in case there is an eclipse or some cataclysm. If the end of the life as we know it came upon us, the ten thousand residents of the Mardri Soulworks Collective arcology would live for ten more years.

    Know what? The Sacorrian Triad has nothing on the Mardri Soulworks Collective. Nothing.

    Or maybe they do – silence. The sound of the water kicking in the first night and the realisation that I’m probably tumbling over and spinning around, regardless of the very same gravity stabilisers used in spaceships keeping everything in my bubble normal…that was definitely a new experience. It reminded me of something, but I’m not quite sure what it is.

    In the morning, my bubble landed next to Damae's. I didn't understand what she did to prove her qualities, but she invited me for caf. Then she went on about this Imperial Admiral whom she just met. A true authority, she said. She met him around the time she came here, which was weeks before me. He had a task of shipping important cargo to the Eternal Furnace. I asked her if she had an idea what it was.

    Her response was a single word: livestock.

    Didn't take me long to realise that this was the way this new system calls most of the non-Humans. That man was sending the crustacean slaves to possible death. That kind of authority is far worse than anything I have ever seen...and I have seen a lot. I hate it. I despise it.

    But young comr... mistress Damae Hoove, she loves it. New comes with promises. New comes with propaganda. New is instantly better. New will kick the old in the rear. Oh, and she has this authority obsession. I'd even call it authority fetish. Ewww. She would probably propose to Roula of Pelayn instantly.

    I asked her what happened between her and the Admiral. They went on to exchange messages through HoloNet, using what was otherwise an internal communication tool of the Galactic Empire. He had a mission to a planet named Kashyyyk in the Mid Rim, but she had no idea why. She didn't care, either. In the end, she imagegrabbed a propaganda poster idea she created herself and sent the result to him. Selonians are fur-covered insects, it said. She would like to see them relegated to non-sentients, just like the crustaceans and the Kashyyyk species. I tried to tell her something. It didn't work. She had a whole theory about hive minds being a proof of lower intelligence. Her Admiral said so, too - and he knows things.

    In the end, she took a deep breath and said that she was in love. Like that was not already visible from the edge of the Galaxy. Drawing somebody propaganda posters about destroying species you don't like has been a sign of affection since the dawn of time.

    If nothing else, she didn't ask me about my trip with Sayran, she seems not to know about the injuries I sustained, either. Instead of that, she had these questions about the Triad and our school system.

    I ended up giving her my spare Book of Law. She squeaked worse than a newborn dralling. The Sacorrian anthem in the foreword, you see...she never knew the correct lyrics before and she was so happy to finally read them.

    I know. One never shows the Book to offworlders. I could be imprisoned and sent to Dorthus Tal Prison or some ambitious terraforming project on the far side of Noleria. But do I care? Take a rough guess.

    I hope my bubble never lands next to Damae's again.

    I went to one of the garden terraces and found Coovo having breakfast. She asked me how I felt about the bubbles. I didn’t want to admit that I had, well, that psychosomatic kind of dizziness, the dizziness that was only in my head, but she figured it out. Apparently, they call it “arcology sickness” and most of the new tenants have it. Zizi had it, too. The first morning he was here, he didn’t want to get out of the bubble and he just sat there, one pair of hands over his eyes and the other over his ears.

    I brought up the issue of the colours of my spirits before Coovo even mentioned it. And then I said that those were the colours of the Curheg Sunset, the Dyeke original, not the Saride forgery. You would probably call me crazy, Ranni. But…she had the right to know this. She’s a person worth confiding in. Someday, she may be able to tell the world about it, someday when a technique for fooling CESA is found.

    I told her that I knew Dyeke and that we worked together in Curheg. She asked me if he was a Nar’cees and I said that he was a Pelayn. I could guess the next sentence – CESA had told her that he was a Nar’cees and a born Curhegite. I didn’t know if I should laugh or cry. Apparently, the colours Saride used when he created a Triad-acceptable copy of Curheg Sunset were green, red and orange. Doesn’t sound like the Curheg I saw. It’s just too natural, with only one of the actual colours thrown in, for the good measure…bad measure. Whatever.

    But then again, one’s perception of Curheg depends on just how much Sacorrian Irises they snorted. That was another thing Coovo was surprised about. She saw the flowers so many times, Galley had a little garden in their first apartment in Kammas and they were not spice – they would not be allowed on Aurea if they were.

    I went on and on about this special hybrid created for Curheg only. I explained how I would bring a bunch to Mariklare Trindello, because she wanted to give them a try. And how Zizi took a whiff, but nothing happened, because those flowers of evil work only on Humans, Drall and Selonians.

    To a person raised with actual values, this was clearly a shock. She could not determine what was worse – the fact that I brought somebody spice or that I sounded disappointed when I told her that I didn’t work on Zizi. That was where I admitted to my former addiction and that one time I slipped on Corellia. I told her that I tried more or less everything and that I saw it the way somebody buying cosmetics would see trying everything in the range. I was never dianoga fodder, I could go for days, weeks without anything, even months, but I never saw any other way to deal with my pains and fears.

    She shook her head. Then she became concerned for my health and asked if I’m feeling well on a planet with nothing to satiate me. I said that I was feeling better than ever. She hugged me and we chewed on those pieces of dust corn bread for quite a while, looking at the particularly strange hue the glass rooftops of Crysallia had this morning.

    And I felt…proud of Coovo for not being like me. She is not young enough to be my daughter, she’s only twenty-five…but look at the things she achieved at that age! A skilled artisan, in charge of testing and approving candidates from other worlds, a bright woman overall. That is what an artist can become in the right place.

    Not Sacorria.

    <<LOCAL TIME: 12:12>>
    <<RECORDING STOPPED>>>




    Footnotes
    The structure of the Mardri Soulworks Collective Arcology is fanon, but the building itself isn’t. It's mentioned in Edge of the Empire: Suns of Fortune.

    The artist Dyeke that Lil is talking about is the protagonist of two of my other stories, Midday Darkness and The Light is Me, I Am The Light.

    Roula of Pelayn is the narrator of one of the two said stories and one of the protagonists of Nolevorution, Of Course!

    This is where I say that a younger Damae Hoove is the narrator of my Valentine's Day fic, In My Dreams.

    Dianoga fodder would be an expression equivalent to Earth’s “junkie”. Fanon.

    Book of Law is one of the most important documents in Sacorria, containing all the ridiculous rules used all over the planet. Its name is a parody of the central sacred text of Thelema, The Book of the Law.
     
    Kahara and leiamoody like this.
  6. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Ooh, cool about the residence-bubbles moving at night, serving as dwellings and also as power plants. Great contrast between Coovo and Damae's personalities.
     
    Ewok Poet and Findswoman like this.
  7. Findswoman

    Findswoman Kessel Run Champion star 5 VIP - Game Winner

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    The famous bubbles of Aurea! You'd told me they would be in this installment, but I hadn't been sure quite what to expect—and they're even cooler than I expected! Floating residence bubbles as combined power source AND artwork visible from space... now that's something only a combination of Aurea and EP could come up with! :D I'm so glad they have those gravity stabilizers inside each of the bubbles; I was worried there for a bit. And I wonder what it is that the sound of the water at night and the strange, psychosomatic feeling of "arcology sickness" reminded Lil of. Filing that away in my head. [face_thinking]

    I know I've said it before, but this Damae person is baaad news. Not just because of her "authority fetish" (!!), but also for subtler reasons: she doesn't ask Lil anything about him, about his own recent experiences in the Eternal Furnace, about his injuries (she can't not know that he was incapacitated for a quite a while). She's clearly interested in him only as a conduit to learning more about Sacorria and all their ultra-progressive ways of doing Rule and Order and Authority—not as a person, not as a friend. And finding out what we find out about her in your "Notes" spoiler... well, I'll just say it gives that other story of yours a much darker cast! :eek: (But in turn, that story makes me now wonder how serious her love for this admiral person really is—sounds more like infatuation than love.)

    Like Ny says, Coovo is a HUGE and welcome contrast to Damae. The fact that the first thing she asks him about is his first experience with the bubble motion shows that she's genuinely concerned about Lil as a person. It's a very good sign that Lil, who up to now has had to be very careful about whom he tells what and whom he confides in, trusts enough to tell her about the crystal colors he saw, about Dyeke's real Curheg Sunset and its censorship, and about the drug habit he's struggling with. Oh Lil, bless your heart, trying yet again to rationalize your drug (or what's left of it)... he's definitely come along way since his time on Sacorria, but boy, this is one area where he still has a lot to work on. But even so, Coovo responds caringly and compassionately to all of it. A real friend. I'd be proud to know her, too! :)
     
  8. leiamoody

    leiamoody Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 8, 2005
  9. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014
    Missing replies added July 05th, 2016 - I apologise for the short delay. Thank you so much for reading, always & forever! <3




    First, the business of 'em bubbles...

    I am glad that they turned out good. I never tried anything like this in my worldbuilding before, so I had to look up some sources to see if something like it would actually be possible


    I didn't even notice the contrast before you pointed out, because I sort of...don't think when I'm writing. [face_blush] Makes perfect sense!

    It's one of those tiny wee details that...TOPSECRETOK? :p

    Why would she? It's all about her, her, her. She's obviously so great and she absolutely & totally "gets it". :p Whatever "it" may be. [face_monkey]

    It may or may not be a result of something annoying I have been observing. Sure this one is a Human, but does that mean it's sane?

    Did you miss the word "habit" there somewhere? Or am I being stupid again?
    Coovo is a sweetheart. There are these super-nice people Lil meets in each place he winds up in, but she may as well be the nicest of them all. :)
    OMG. I didn't even think of...propaganda spanking as a part of a fetish. That was great, absolutely great and I...well, I am defeated and you're a genius! Plus, you made me snort my Pepsi Max - not that it's not my drug of choice, anyway. :p

    Somebody should absolutely draw that! HA! XD

    I saw that she had one around in the vignette where you showed us her side of the story with Zizi and I thought that my little addict had to be the one to give your little addict something because they are both hopeless in their own little ways. Then I reasoned that Zizi would take some convincing, but that he's a new kid on the block, he'd think "OK, whatever" and then shrug with both pairs of arms when nothing happens.

    I'm turning some pretty dark stuff into moments for a four-armed character to do things with four arms. Oops.

    [​IMG]
    I can always mix up The Book of the Law with one of the Tito-flavoured brand of communism things and...
    ...wait, we're supposed not to scare people here...
    ...I think.
    And I don't think anything, ever, except maybe the things you say when I post bizarre short stories about nothing that could make any sense will top this comment.
     
  10. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014
    Entry 26

    <<<RECORDING STARTED>>
    <<LOCAL TIME: 00:12>>
    <<GALACTIC LOCATION: MARDRI SOULWORKS COLLECTIVE ARCOLOGY, AUREA>>

    I’m recording while the bubbles are moving, for the first time! I could be next to whomever right now. They could be anything. Not sure if that’s frightening, beautiful or frighteningly beautiful. But these days, almost everything is frightening. Starting with the atmosphere in the Arcology and the Camp.

    Damae left with the Admiral. There was no seal of approval, usually required when somebody leaves the Collective. She thinks her future is in drawing propaganda posters for the Empire. What she left behind was, sadly, that horrible little Triad Mountain sculpture. And a note indicating that I should take it. Ugh. That was about the last thing I ever needed.

    What was also strange is how she got out of her bubble during the night. Is there a way a being can swim while the bubbles are moving really fast and colliding? Did she have a death wish or something? Something strange is at works here and nobody appears to be able to determine what it is.

    The Mardri Soulworks Collective Advisory Council called a meeting over Damae’s departure. They wanted the Ferrys and me to be present. I swallowed a lump at first, but Coovo told me that they’re not looking for scapebanthas, rather witnesses. I guess they have no idea what such meetings would look like on Sacorria. Had I remained for the one scheduled for me, I would have spent the rest of my life in prison, or I would’ve been on the next cargo shuttle to Sarcophagus.

    We took a turbolift down to the end of the other side of the arcology – the opposite from the reception area. I asked why the Council is not residing on very top and Sayran remarked that it’s where the kitchen, laundry and similar facilities are. It’s not like the utility droids deserve a lovely view per sé, it’s that the Council feels they should not be above anybody. Not sure if that’s progressive or not. Is the way I see authorities going to change forever?

    The blast doors opened and we were in a room full of tiny crystals, very similar to the soul chamber in the Dome of Crystal Fire. Sitting on cushions on the jagged floor were four current heads of the Council – Humans Vaylo Rongis and his wife Ciaramida Larga, a Drall who insisted that we refer to her as “Nen” and Finta Kree, Lorrdian who was just gesturing to us – this is the time of the year she takes a vow of silence in memory of all the people of Kanz Sector who perished millenia ago. Luckily, Nen was translating for her. One would have expected a Drall to be the first to learn kinetic communication. Heh. Correction: a female Drall with the thickest glasses I have ever seen, without one single piece of jewellery. Not that I have any myself, but still…

    While his wife was mostly crying over how “nothing is the way it used to be” Vaylo Rongis…he just sat there and looked wise. Not that I know what’s wise, but I don’t know, he had a long white beard. He was interested in all the aspects of my friendship with Damae, but until Nen jumped in, he was not asking any questions. Then he wanted to know if I ever had anything a Sacorrian was expected to have. I told him that I gave Damae my copy of the Book of Law.

    This was where Nen hit herself in the face. Literally. That’s got to have hurt. She called me a stupid korrak and then put her long-clawed hand over her mouth. Finta gestured something to her and she apologised and gave me strange excuse. The hearing continued. I was asked about some of the details in the book and Ciaramida was hyperspacing the HoloNet, looking for Imperial manifestos.

    Before we arrived, Vaylo concluded that this was not a love affair. One does not leave the Collective just like that, especially not after only having spent a couple of weeks as a part of it. As far as he’s concerned, Damae was a spy.

    This was where Nen disagreed with him. She took the floor and went on and on about levels of fanaticism in some groups. She was talking at sublight speed, almost, but I could swear that she mentioned the Doloria at some point. Sayran gave me a questioning look. I just shrugged. Something was going on, but I could not quite put my claw on it. Nen said that it was possible to have a love affair and be somebody's spy. She also called the rest of her peers in the Council too naïve.

    Coovo whispered that this is why she sometimes thinks that meritocracy is a bad thing. This was the first time we disagreed. There is nothing wrong with the system I am witnessing here – something is eating it from the outside.

    The meeting ended with all of us agreeing to disagree. Nen and I were on one side, the rest on the other. There was a certain amount of awkwardness in the air. Or maybe it was just me. I'm not used to disagreeing with the authorities and it felt incredibly strange.

    I tried to avoid the Ferrys the next couple of days. I minded my business. I hung out with Tarasbulba. He's learning how to blow glass. He was always interested in pottery, but he came here to try something new. He talked about how his species is usually seen by others and why he's not happy about it. There were stereotypes associated with Dugs centuries ago, but these days, it's common to be mocked by offworlders on Malastare, as if it was a sanctuary planet and not the world populated by two sentient species. These people are led to believe that Gran are semi-sentient and that the Dug are their pets.

    Now I heard it all.

    And none of this ever happened to me.

    The idea of being more important just because I'm Drall confuses me. I guess we're still considered smart and that the Empire needs us for something? No other thing comes to my mind.

    And this is why I cannot sleep. Whatever this Galaxy is in for, I cannot think of any concept that would justify it. No "greater good" of any kind.

    <<LOCAL TIME: 01:23>>
    <<RECORDING STOPPED>>>




    Footnotes
    Scapebantha is a take on the Earth term “scapegoat”

    Lorrdians are a canon species. They’re different from baseline Humans because of their kinetic communication. The “vow of silence” that Finta Kree took is, however, fanon.
     
    Kahara, leiamoody and Findswoman like this.
  11. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Nicely detailed and realistic situation with a volatile and touchy event like what what Damae stirred up. Lots of histrionics with Nen though. :p Cool about the glass-blowing into artwork.
     
    Ewok Poet likes this.
  12. Findswoman

    Findswoman Kessel Run Champion star 5 VIP - Game Winner

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    Oh, oh, oh. :( From the moment you introduced Damae I had a bad feeling about her, and I see my suspicions have been realized to an even greater extent than I'd expected. She's not just an admirer or aficionado of the Empire—she clearly buys into them, completely, and she's clearly a spy or something like it. And I really hope to goodness Lil didn't unwittingly set something very dire in motion by giving her that Book of Law. Nen seems to think he may have, and I wonder what she may know that we don't. [face_nail_biting] But she's absolutely right to point out that being a spy and being in love are not mutually exclusive, and if the other council members don't recognize that, they really are kind of naïve. (But in a way that kind of naïveté is not entirely surprising to see in a rather insulated place like Aurea, and it's a in a way it's a natural side effect of the whole place's ethos.)

    Now about Nen. It's a bit difficult at this point to get a read on whether she's supposed to be sympathetic or not. Even if some of the points she's making are reasonable, she does seem like a bit of a loose cannon personality-wise, and it seems significant that she's not got the stolid, stoical bearing most of the others have. The fact that she and Lil are the dissenters here almost makes me worry that a rift may be starting to form in the tranquil unanimity of Aurea, and that is worrisome! [face_nail_biting] But I think they're not wrong to smell a serious rat here.

    But all that said... what, I wonder, is up with this business about "insist[ing] that we refer to her as 'Nen'"? That, to me, highly suggests that she is hiding her real name (and the glasses and lack of jewelry seem to partly suggest that too—as if she feels her eyes might be particularly recognizable, or that she might be even more recognizable wearing the characteristic Drall adornments). I have a guess or two about her, but they may or may not be right... [face_thinking]

    And yes, between this story and your related oeuvres, the whole business about "being more important just because I'm Drall" is indeed very puzzling. As appalling as the treatment of the Dug as pets is, this "more importance" strikes me (as it does Lil) as not a good thing at all. (That part for some reason puts me in mind of [hl=black]what happens to Gredda in The Black Star[/hl], and I am going to guess that there is a connection, or at least a relation.) Deep waters here, which I suspect are only going to get deeper. [face_thinking]
     
    Ewok Poet and leiamoody like this.
  13. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014
    Thanks for comments and reading, everybody. Scroll down for responses and entry 27. :)




    We'll soon see if her histrionics really is just that or something more. She could be like Damae, but she could not. ;)

    At this point, she is not a spy. She first has to prove herself to them, especially when they see her history of worshiping the Separatist leader and wanting to marry him and then having this Sacorrian Triad obsession.

    For one, she knows that the Book of Law exists, which does not seem to be common knowledge...

    Makes perfect sense. Their super-hippiesque all-inclusive policy should have still employed *some* kind of control.

    They're both Dralls who don't behave the way most Dralls would - not the proud, dignified bookworms described in pretty much every encyclopedia and guide. I'll let that sink before you read the next entry. :)

    Not at all!

    The glasses are there because she's an older lady. The rest could imply many things...

    I can just nod, because the next entry will explain...stuff.
     
    Findswoman likes this.
  14. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014
    Entry 27

    <<<RECORDING STARTED>>
    <<LOCAL TIME: 16:20>>
    <<GALACTIC LOCATION: MARDRI SOULWORKS COLLECTIVE ARCOLOGY, AUREA>>

    Know that thing when you’re not sure if you’ve met somebody absolutely brilliant or somebody absolutely kriffin’ crazy?

    Ummm…now…I guess that’s what you were feeling like when you met me. And I may have met somebody crazier than I have ever been.

    This morning, as I was on my way to the hanging gardens, breakfast in my hovertray, Nen blocked my way. I stepped to the left, she stepped to the left. I stepped to the right, she followed. I got the message. I could not get away and she wanted to talk. We headed to a garden different from the one where the Ferry were waiting for me, but there were too many people, so I suggested that we go to my bubble.

    Once we were sealed inside, Nen asked me to put some music on. I suggested Kriff Blasters. She then made a joke how many beings play loud music for different reasons. The embarrassment! Once again, I thought about our days at, well, various places and the music often being stuff I never wanted to hear, whatever the owner of the 'pit we would end up at liked. Your sister had some particularly awful music in her library. As if she wasn't a Drall at all. We’re supposed to be connoisseurs of music, after all. Right?

    Nen noticed that I wandered away for a second and she nudged me. She wondered if her joke was tasteless, I shrugged. If nothing else, it was an actual joke and she wanted to talk. Not the other thing. I would have not admitted to her that I was worried for a moment there, not after Korgah!

    She wanted to know if I was on the run. How does one even respond to that? I swallowed a lump. She said that she could see my pupils dilate, because I happen not to have plain black eyes. I could've gone on and on about what kind of genetic mishaps that may have caused, but she looked like somebody who would have known had I changed the topic.

    And I actually told her so.

    She liked that. She says that she "knows one where she sees one", but that in these days, she is not likely to trust anybody before a proper test. My test were these strange questions. The answer was meant to surprise me, which it most certainly did.

    Turns out, she is Sacorrian!

    She's from the Grotlo clan branch. She does not trust me enough to tell me her actual name, she says. I can relate to that as I'm close to forgetting my own name. But I did not trust her enough to tell her my real name, either. Not yet.

    Unlike me, she's really good at hiding – she has been on the run for three decades now. And yes, unlike me, she was wise and came to Aurea immediately – just like me, she knew somebody. She’s been here since. I clapped my hands at her story and she responded by showing me to be quiet. She thinks that everybody whom the Triad ever chased meets their match in the end. At some point, they will get both of us, but until then, it matters that we leave a legacy, she says. I am not sure if that was supposed to make me feel better or worse. Or…both?

    I told her about my unusual itinerary. She was surprised that I made friends with so many beings, because she would have been paranoid about that on planets such as Corellia. I also told her that I could not connect with anybody on Drall and I told her about Elamm and the strange things he was saying. She scolded me over it, but then added that there’s a lot of Sacorria still in me and that I need to be rid of it, the sooner the better.

    Funny how we agreed about what was going on at the Council meeting, but we did not and could not agree about this! I could have pointed out her angry outburst, but I decided not to.

    I said that I obviously never wanted to be a typical Sacorrian interested in consumer art, shallow nonsense, and scantily-clad singers…and submit myself to eternal apathy. But I don’t want to be an Elamm type either. I need to keep my feet on the ground to a certain extent.

    The next thing that came to my mind was if she helped Coovo with the book and she nodded. While she had no idea about the current artists and doesn’t care about what she thinks is a lame attempt at subversive art – kriff, Ranni, THAT was hard to swallow – she knows everything about Davoreen Lylek and the greats from the early hyperspace era. She doesn’t even want to know what’s popular on our homeworld now, she did not want to touch that part of the book. I tried to imply something, but she yelled at me and tried to kick me out of my own bubble. Then she apologised, but solely for the latter. Eventually, she got out, looking down and told me that we’ll meet for supper, or that we’ll go check on Tarasbulba and the other apprentices together.

    I passed on that offer, at least for today.

    I went to find Coovo and Sayran after all, but they were not at the usual hanging garden. I guess I missed them. I was frustrated at this point, so I returned to my room with ten flatcakes on my tray, the filling almost spilling out of them. Funny how food can be as effective as spice sometimes. I also got lots of angleberry juice. I’m going to regret this, most likely, but at least the juice is sugar-free, because this is Aurea.

    I am not sure if I would call Nen extreme. But she’s close. I understand that things happened to her too, that she is hurt. But how are you going to get over it if you don’t know your enemy? How are you going to make sure they don’t find you if you’re unaware of what they could be using to lure you into whatever traps they may be setting for us, the dissidents?

    If you’re not listening to the others, you are missing on a lot. They may know something that will just fall into place in your bigger picture. You may be missing something that was meant for you to discover. You could make a friend for life. You could learn a lesson. There are so many possibilities that this stubborn woman isn’t thinking of.

    Rannni, don’t get me wrong about the word “woman” here – she could’ve been a stubborn man or a stubborn being with a different concept of sex and gender, too – but she would still be stubborn, kriff that…stupid at the end of the day.

    And it’s a short day around here. Squeezing stupidity into it is an effort.

    And we’re too close to the sun, so close that we could be burning.

    Isn’t it ironic that somebody who claims she’s very spiritual doesn’t understand this?

    Isn’t it ironic? Don’t you think?

    For some reason, that seems familiar, but I have no idea where from. I’m starting to hear things that nobody ever uttered around me, for no apparent reason. And it happens only when somebody of Nen or Elamm’s kind gets me into thinking about things that usually don’t interest me.

    There is not too much Sacorrian in me left. But I feel like it will never go away, so…I guess I need to balance it with what is not Sacorrian.

    <<LOCAL TIME: 17:12>>
    <<RECORDING STOPPED>>>
     
  15. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Super stuff here with further revelations and details about Nen.
     
    Ewok Poet likes this.
  16. Findswoman

    Findswoman Kessel Run Champion star 5 VIP - Game Winner

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    The mysterious Nen is back! I had a feeling we'd see her again. It definitely seems significant that she, like Lil, is (a) a Sacorrian Drall who is (b) on the run and (c) operating under and assumed name. (Though knowing what I now know about her clan, etc. kills some of my guesses about her. Oh well! :p ) The way she insists on putting on music to mask their voices makes me wonder if she knows of someone or something that might potentially want to listen in. On one hand, it's hard to imagine such a thing happening on lovely, utopian Aurea, but on the other hand perhaps that's the perfect place for such things precisely because no one would suspect. A scary thought! [face_nail_biting]

    Here, as in the previous chapter, it's still hard for me to get a read on her, as well as on how reasonable Lil's unease with her really is (beyond the awkward way she started their conversation, which perhaps is a legit red flag). Perhaps she is a bit extreme (though by no means Elamm-level), and after Lil's interactions with that rather off-puttingly head-in-the-clouds Wingrider I totally understand his reticence about losing his own grounding. And of course achieving a good balance between the spiritual and the material is a good, sensible policy in any case, whoever one is. Yet I can't help but wonder whether some of Lil's unease stems from his own difficulties in totally throwing off Sacorrian ways, of which we've already seen several instances throughout these letters; he hints as much himself at the end of this one. [face_thinking] Also, is there a hint of naïveté in the "know thine enemy" approach he seem to be advocating? He's an idealistic, get-along type and I have no doubt that he means that in earnest, but that sort of approach works better when both sides are, well, equally idealistic and get-along, and the Triad's neither of those things. [face_worried]

    All this could, of course, be both-and rather than either-or. ;)

    Another possibility about Nen that came to mind: given that it's specifically what Lil said about his interactions with Elamm that got Nen all riled up at him to begin with, I wonder if Nen has some connection to Elamm? We did meet [hl=black]Elamm's mother[/hl] already, though [hl=black]the description of her is very different[/hl].

    So many mysteries—but I know you won't disappoint when it comes to revealing everything in due course! :cool:
     
    Ewok Poet likes this.
  17. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014
    Thanks for comments, reading...basically, everything. :)




    Thank you. <3

    There is more to be revealed about her!

    All of this could also be just the plain ol' Sacorrian paranoia - their best export overall.

    She is far anywhere between 60 and 80, so that kind of a "joke" may have made more sense in her time. In the next chapter, she hints being considerably more poor than Lil, so I guess that she could have witnessed something like the first wedding night scene in Snow Falling on Cedars.

    It's hard to out-Elamm Elamm!

    I thiiink it's both. But I didn't tell you this.

    Nope. Halin is 10-20 years younger and, well, HUGE.

    ;)

    I hope I will manage to fulfill your expectations!
     
  18. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014
    Entry 28

    <<<43 DAYS HAVE PASSED SINCE LAST LOGIN. REAUTHENTICATION REQUIRED. ENTER NAMECODE!!!>>>
    <<<NAMECODE: *****>>>
    <<<NAMECODE CORRECT. WELCOME, *****>>>
    <<<RECORDING STARTED>>
    <<LOCAL TIME: 03:20>>
    <<GALACTIC LOCATION: MARDRI SOULWORKS COLLECTIVE ARCOLOGY, AUREA>>

    I was so angry that last time around, wasn’t I? Sure, I had a good reason, but still. I prefer not to be angry. I spent a good portion of my previous life being angry, now I’m more inclined to use the word “portion” when it comes to these delicious meals at the Arcology.

    I was appointed to show the aspiring glassworkers how to draw what they’re about to create. Nobody noticed that I skipped the apprentice stage and that I still don’t know how to make anything using glass. Perhaps they just excused me from it after that incident at the Eternal Furnace. Reminds me of the chemistry classes back at school, when the lab-droid just did not want me around anything that I could possibly blow up. Heh. Figures.

    Unlike those wermos two years ago on Corellia, these apprentices are listening to me. And I’m surprised, because they’re the same age as the group that mocked me. I can see why it takes recommendations and tests to get into the Mardri Soulworks Collective. One needs to have an open mind and that means far more than what people think being an artist is ever would. You’re not to be a fake artist, you’re not to be a granno. The idea of a starving artist or a repulsortrainwreck who drinks, takes spice and lives a promiscuous life solely for the sake of showing somebody the artist pass code…that is discouraged here! Sure, one can have a drink or be promiscuous if that really floats their boat, but anything done for the purpose of creating this or that image is not the Soulworks way.

    For somebody who struggled with his identity and who was raised on a planet where it was almost impossible to develop a healthy sense of self, I like this. I like the idea of there not being spice. Now, if I only knew about the promiscuity thing before I met Korgah. I have faith that she could be a great artist or art historian someday, but she didn’t really need to do what she did in order to prove her artistry. I could be wrong, she could have been genuinely into it, but…yes, Ranni, you would give me a lecture over this. And mention that one friend of mine. But you know I see it as a strange thing, regardless of what they have down there? And yeah, then I went and did it. I’m making myself sound stupid here. Yes.

    <<***** HAS BEEN IDLE FOR FIFTEEN MINUTES:: TURN THE UNIT OFF? Y/N>>
    <<THE UNIT WILL NOT BE TURNED OFF>>

    Spending time with all the friends I made here is becoming increasingly difficult, with the above duties mentioned. And they are busy themselves, too. But we cherish the moments we have together – our breakfast gatherings, the conversations at our bubbles. Never knew that life would get so busy that I would think of eating with somebody as a big bang kind of a thing.

    Tarasbulba is teaching me how to use my legs for pottery. That looked funny at first. I sat on the little hovering seat and he sat behind me, using his feet to shape the pot in front of us, the way they would do it back on Malastare. A couple of other apprentices snickered and asked us if we were in love, because, apparently, it looked very romantic. Since when is that romantic? Sounds like a wacky holofilm scenario to me! And I’m beginning to understand how the world feels to somebody who’s walking on his hands. I even attempted to do what he’s doing and that only got me into signing up for a vev-tesh class. I guess I need to keep in shape if I don’t want to give up on my flatcakes. Then again, a male Drall will never look good, but at least I don’t have to add “I am also pregnant” after my usual “yes, unlike our women, we barely have a neck and we look like side tables” disclaimer.

    Nen and I are reminiscing old days. She grew up around the southern polar cap, close to a snowgrape farm. I did not even know that the Grotlo clan had a business there and that the Triad hasn’t taken it over, given that snowgrapes aren’t the most popular thing in the Galaxy. She just snickered and showed me her handwritten recipe book. She knows how to make the kind of meals with that strange fruit that would rival anything you have tried and I know you have tried the gourmet food I could never think of.

    If I ever see Zizi again, he should get hold of these. The things he could cook back then…if I think of them now, I’ll almost cry!

    Unlike me, Nen was a white shirt. She did poorly at school and was expelled at some point. She then fought with another droid controller at the vineyard, wounded them with a blaster she obtained illegally. She was incarcerated and, to her own surprise, not taken to the Dorthus Tal prison or the penal colony on Noleria…I…didn't know she existed…but neither did she. She was just told they were "taking her somewhere" and she ended up working on the secret power plant project on Arcadia.

    A power plant project on Arcadia. I have to repeat this in order to even be able to grasp the Triad’s megalomania. A power plant project on Arcadia! Apparently, they heard of Mustafar, close to the edge of the Galaxy from somebody and they thought that any volcanic planet could be the source of endless power. So, they tried it with a gigantic repulsorlift platform housing five thousand workers and three times as many droids intended to work on creation of the geothermal power plant.

    The engineers from the University of Coruscant have warned the Triad that this was not a good idea, because the Dorthus Tal volcano is far less active and it’s a single one, as opposed to a planet of volcanos. An expert in charge of Centerpoint Station maintenance pointed out that the platform was not solid enough to house magma and another expert from Bespin, responsible for tibanna gas mining projects refused to give an opinion, because gas was – I would have never guess this – light. Even somebody at the Saccorata Tech dared to point out that one should not hire convicts for this project, because it required topic-specific knowledge.

    The worst possible scenario was the platform collapsing into – symbolic or not – a triad of volcanos.

    And this is what happened.

    Only a handful of workers survived, hanging by on their remaining droids and they sent a distress signal to Sacorria, which travelled for more than two hours because only ancient radiophonic devices could stand the heat from the triple eruption.

    And once the help arrived…it was ramships heading straight to the survivors. Nen caught the signal that ordered bombardment of everybody who made it alive in order to hide the traces of what could have been one of the largest peacetime disasters ever to occur in the system.

    <<***** HAS BEEN IDLE FOR FIFTEEN MINUTES:: TURN THE UNIT OFF? Y/N>>
    <<THE UNIT WILL NOT BE TURNED OFF>>

    Ranni, I am not feeling well right now.

    <<PRE-DEFINED STOPTRIGGER DETECTED: CRYING :: TURN THE UNIT OFF? Y/N>>
    <<THE UNIT WILL NOT BE TURNED OFF>>

    What is more important? The perfect picture of progress and unity or telling people the truth? Killing the survivors of a disaster nobody other than the Triad themselves are responsible for! I…I can’t believe it. I know they’re not above disposing of an individual, but this was a mass-murder!

    So, how did Nen survive? She headed to the only remaining spaceship, a lame Corellian runabout and dashed to hyperspace seconds before they hit her. She never rode a spaceship before and it was only when she got to the Aurah space station in the Vagran System that she realised she could have helped one of the other convicts. At the same time, she told me that they were beating her up, harassing her and that there was a rape attempt on behalf of a Selonian male. She had some satisfaction seeing him fall off the platform into the lava, she said.

    Once on the space station, she realised nobody else made it alive. The Grannos had no knowledge of the incident, neither did the owner of the Granno Exile cantina, but he had something for her – a crystalline glass necklace. He – to remind you, his name is Aurumm Ferry and he has nothing to do with my Ferrys – said she could sell it for a nice amount of credits.

    What he didn’t know was what we Drall are like when it comes to shiny objects. She headed to Vagran proper and took the necklace to a jeweller in Vagran City. Of course, that one was a Drall, too. This woman, whose name Nen can no longer recall, recognised the artistry of the Mardri Soulworks Collective told her that what she had likely had a master mould. Just like me back in the days when Zizi told me about this, I did not understand how anything created by blowing glass could have a “mould”, but she believed it and got into the collective by mentioning the Granno Exile owner’s name.

    I was never this smart and…err…I went to school?! I studied at the university! I taught others. She’s making me ashamed of myself in some way. I need to become more independent.

    It took me a while to recover from Nen’s story. I asked her about her age, she said she was seventy. She has no idea if she will live to be eighty, ninety, or hundred years old, but she would like me to carry her legacy and tell the whole Galaxy what happened once the time comes.

    “Once the time comes?”

    Apparently, that will happen once the Galactic Empire is no more. I cannot see that happening, given how they’re going and how they’re slowly taking everything and everybody over. But she believes there is somebody who will beat them. She thinks that people will raise at some point.

    I guess I was wrong to think she was not an optimist. I just don’t understand her blend of optimism. I always wanted things to happen immediately. She has tact. As if she were not Sacorrian.

    It’s about time that I threw away the idea of what is and what is not Sacorrian. That’s what got us into the progress and unity clusterkriff in the end.

    It’s about time I went to sleep, too. They only serve breakfast from seven to nine, so I have about…two and half hours of sleep left at most.

    At least I won’t be working with fire. I don’t think I even want to see fire after all Nen told me today. I mean, yesterday.

    Oh, and her actual name is Karihna, she was named after Karihn. But she does not want to be associated to it ever again. Karihna is dead in her mind.

    <<LOCAL TIME: 05:50>>
    <<RECORDING STOPPED>>>

    I did think that they were capable of mass murders, for obvious reasons…but-but this is beyond everything I expected. Sure, you can excuse the death of a couple of dozens if you’re the bantha excrement that most politicians are…but this?



    Footnotes
    Repulsortrainwreck is a take on the Earth term “trainwreck”.

    Vev-tesh is a made-up martial arts kind of a thing. Think tai-chi.

    The idea of a Dug using feet for pottery is fanon, but it seemed logical.

    Can you guess which comedy film I referenced in the pottery scene?

    The Grotlo clan and the snowgrapes are a recent addition to my fanon entry on Sacorria.

    Arcadia is the volcanic planet in the Sacorrian system and everything about Nen’s story is fanon.
     
    Kahara and Findswoman like this.
  19. Findswoman

    Findswoman Kessel Run Champion star 5 VIP - Game Winner

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    Wow. You warned me that this would be one of the longest entries yet, and it's not only that, it's also one of the densest. It took me some time to process this one, which is why it's also taken me time to comment on it. Kind of like the time Lil needed to recover, in a way!

    With Nen's story we have, in a way, a whole new look at Sacorria and its government—even for Lil it seems to be revealing things about his homeworld that he never realized before (ditto the Mysterious Listener). It's kind of easy to write off all the Sacorrian "progress and unity" business and "buy Saygo" business and colored-shirt business as just sort of buffoonish (especially, perhaps, for those of us readers who didn't grow up in a real-world place like that). But Nen's experience shows that there is a much, much darker undercurrent to all those things—one that thought nothing of committing a whole crowd of sentient beings to the fire (!) just in the interest of covering up its very baaad judgment. What in the Galaxy were they thinking, with all those huge red flags about safety, specialized knowledge, the differences that actually exist between on volcanic planet and another, etc.?

    And now I know just why Nen's views are as "extreme" as they are, and I can't say I totally blame her. Though there's now this added bit of crypticness in the way she says she wants Lil to reveal her story "once the time comes." I get the distinct feeling that there's more to that than just the end of the Empire, and indeed, it's not clear to me that the end of the Empire will mean the end of Sacorria being Sacorria (though granted, with the Empire in power, Sacorria has a huge incentive to turn its usual Sacorrianness up to eleven or twelve—gotta show they're model Imperial citizens, after all). We who have seen the original trilogy know, of course, that Nen's right about someone—some people—who will eventually topple the Empire, but naturally that would seem totally impossible at this point in time.

    I wonder, too, why Nen has tapped Lil as the one to carry on her legacy. Of course, there's the obvious fact that he's another Sacorrian Drall who's left his homeworld and having second thoughts about said homeworld, and that may be most of it—but I wonder if there's more to it than that, because I bet she's come across other Dralls of that description in her time. But then, as we've seen, Lil seems to be the type that people find easy to share their stories with!

    This is the biggest revelation in the chapter, of course, but I don't want to minimize the other things either. I am glad that Lil has a new job in the collective that doesn't involve fire; it definitely seems a better fit for him than his previous job in the Eternal Furnace (as I said before, he seems more of a 2-D medium type). And it would indeed make sense for Tarasbulba to work with his pottery with his feet and legs, since I'm pretty sure it's established that Dugs use their feet for all kinds of fine manipulation type things. Dralls aren't designed the same way, of course, but it's a tribute to Lil's own optimism (which he was never without) that he sees it at least as a way to help him get a bit of exercise!

    For some reason—and I guess it's because the Korgah business hit me as a reader pretty hard, too—it seems a bit odd to me that Lil would, well, spend so much time remembering her when he keeps saying he'd rather not, how miserable the experience was, etc. Her name has been coming up now and then in passing in the last several entries, and here he ruminates on that relationship for a whole paragraph! (In the context of comparison to the Aurean ethos, of course, but it still stands out somehow.) So I have to wonder: is he not being totally disingenuous about that, perhaps? Is there a hint of the brag in some of this? That whole experience apparently has had more of an effect on him than he would perhaps care to admit, for better or for worse. (And now I wonder who "that one friend of mine" might be. [face_thinking] )

    All right, I finally made it through—whoo-hoo! It's good to see Lil gaining a potential new ally in Nen, though one almost has to ask, is that allyship worth what he learns about his homeworld's heinous deeds? I guess we'll find out, "once the time is right"! :D
     
    Ewok Poet likes this.
  20. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014
    Well, that entry may have been too much to digest. I'm sorry. Like, totally sorry. I can understand why people would run away and...err...it only gets worse. Still, thanks to whoever is crazy enough to stick with me. <3




    As I said above...whoops! [face_blush]

    Wait...why do we assume that they are capable of good judgement, at any given time, ever? :p

    And yes - while Lil obviously had a very good reason to run away from Sacorria, what happened to Nen/Karihna is far, far worse. The combination of survival AND having to shed the traces of every single little thing one believed in, overnight, is just...just...:(

    The Sacorrian Triad has been managing for longer than the Galactic Republic, swinging all possible ways, remaining either loyal to the winners or carefully holding the neutral ground. So, while it's probably impossible to completely overthrow the system, perhaps using Nen's story in a blackmail for some much-needed changes would help. Just saying that, of course. [face_whistling]

    Eleven or twelve? Make that THIRTEEN.

    That's right - he is an absorber. You did compare him to Forest Gump in the past, but in this regard, he's a ...reverse Forest Gump! All possible beings tell him stories.

    His "would try anything once" attitude is good in this case. In some other cases (see below), however...NOPENOPENOPENOPE - SO MUCH NOPE.

    We'll see...

    LALALALALALALALALALALALA.
    http://spamusement.com/index.php/comics/view/37

    Yes, "once the time is right"...

    [hl=black]...I am not saying that you will wait for a long time, buuut...[/hl]
     
    Kahara likes this.
  21. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014
    WARNING: Deaths ahead.

    Entry 29

    <<<RECORDING STARTED>>
    <<LOCAL TIME: 01:40>>
    <<GALACTIC LOCATION: MARDRI SOULWORKS COLLECTIVE ARCOLOGY, AUREA>>

    Aurea’s autonomy just crashed to thousands of little pieces. Literally.

    Last night, a Star Destroyer landed in Crysallia and broke an ancient dome on one of the tallest of its high-rises. The explosion could be heard all the way to Kammas, or so they said on HoloNet. Aurean crystalline glass does not just break. It explodes. Apparently, there were causalities and some of the Star Destroyer itself was damaged. I would have found the latter to be slightly funny, hadn’t all of this been a tragedy. This marked the definite occupation of Aurea and its annexation to the Empire. The Council had no choice but to say yes, as otherwise, the whole of Crysallia would have suffered the same fate. The message was broadcasted from the Arcology throughout the Aurus System.

    <<PRE-DEFINED STOPTRIGGER DETECTED: CRYING :: TURN THE UNIT OFF? Y/N>>
    <<THE UNIT WILL NOT BE TURNED OFF>>

    But to Emperor Palpatine, this wasn’t enough. He wanted a proof of the Council’s absolute and total submission to him.

    We were placed on our seats at the hanging gardens and told to cheer on, to appear as happy as possible. The Galactic Emperor’s most trusted man was to visit us. I had no idea who that could have been until we got a full list of orders and were warned not to annoy this person.

    What arrived to the Arcology did not quite look like a person. The strange being that we saw on the viewscreens, because we were not allowed to leave the hanging gardens at first and get a closer look…he looked like death, personified. Apparently, he was cybernetically enhanced and that is why, err, he does not even have a face, but a mask. He spoke in a synthetic voice and somebody from his entourage introduced him as Darth Vader. I would have thought that this was a silly name, because “Darth” just sounds like “barf” spoken through, err, barfing…hadn’t it been for the absolute silence that occurred once he stepped out. To me, he looked like an ugly protocol droid.

    He headed straight to a meeting with the Mardri Soulworks Collective Advisory Council. Once he was in the lower right wing of the Arcology, we were allowed to go about our business of the day, provided that we do not move from wherever we end up once it’s announced that he’s going out.

    That was where I lost the Ferrys. A protocol droid approached us and called them out as witnesses of Damae Hoove’s disappearance. Sayran swallowed a lump and followed the droid, while Coovo stayed behind for a couple more seconds to give me a bone-crushing hug.

    <<PRE-DEFINED STOPTRIGGER DETECTED: CRYING :: TURN THE UNIT OFF? Y/N>>
    <<THE UNIT WILL NOT BE TURNED OFF>>

    I had no idea what was going on. She was always affectionate, but she almost hurt me this time. I shrugged and went by my business, ordering a couple of my favourite flatcakes, then heading to where my bubble was that day. I was trying to draw the scene with beings in hanging gardens waiting for this Darth Vader man, but I could not concentrate, so it turned out quite strange. And I was full and hungry at the same. There was something wrong and I couldn’t quite put my claw on it.

    He came just like he left. I didn’t get out of my bubble to salute him, though we were all expected to do so once he would have left the Arcology, I had fallen asleep from all that food. I woke up close to the curfew and tried to comm the Ferrys, but they were not responding.

    This was the point where my heart started beating in my throat. I have not feared for my life to this extent when I ran away from Corellia, it was just me. But once I realised that Coovo and Sayran may be in danger, it was different.

    I got out of my bubble and ran to the right wing of the Arcology. I came to the crystal room without anybody asking me where I was going and why – this is one thing I like about Aurea.

    And what I saw there had me shatter to thousands of pieces, on the inside. Just like what happened to the dome in Crysallia, but more silent.

    Coovo, Sayran and Vaylo Rongis were in shock and barely able to utter a single word. Ciaramida Larga was clutching two corpses to her body, crying.

    Finta Kree and Nen were dead.

    And Darth Vader killed them.

    <<PRE-DEFINED STOPTRIGGER DETECTED: CRYING :: TURN THE UNIT OFF? Y/N>>
    <<THE UNIT WILL NOT BE TURNED OFF>>

    Coovo came up to me and tried to explain what was going on. At first, the words didn’t make much sense. She would stop in the middle of a sentence and shiver, shiver, shiver. But what I managed to understand was that Finta’s kinetic communication was annoying the dark lord – that is how they had to refer to him – and that he just extended his hand towards the Lorrdian. Seconds later, she was blue in the face and gasping for air. Ciaramida was crying for Vader to spare her soul, he muttered something about the concept of a soul being something he was not informed of and clutched his fingers. Finta collapsed.

    This was where Nen lost it. The Sacorrian temperament in her beat her progressive values and she screamed and ran towards Vader.

    Her last words were “Not my friend, you Sithspawn!”

    And then, two of Vader’s men just blasted her.

    <<PRE-DEFINED STOPTRIGGER DETECTED: CRYING :: TURN THE UNIT OFF? Y/N>>
    <<THE UNIT WILL NOT BE TURNED OFF>>

    My friend is dead. She could have died peacefully in her sleep as her time would have come soon either way, but she was murdered by a machine of a Human. And apparently, the “protocol” would have been to stun her, but the dark lord was annoyed by the word she used. Sithspawn. I never knew what that one meant.

    And I asked about it. I always ask the worst possible questions at the worst possible time.

    Ciaramida stopped crying and told me everything she knew about the Sith. They were everything the Jedi were not and yes, they were real. They were not a legend. And she thinks they set the Jedi up. She thinks the Emperor is one of them. In a situation like this, one could easily dismiss it due to shock, but I believe her. I really do!

    Once we recovered to the point we could function, we got out. Vaylo commed a couple of his best people and ordered them to come here. I have never seen him order anything to anybody before. He tasked somebody with finding Finta’s relatives and somebody else with preparing two fresh slots in the graveyard chamber.

    The Ferrys and I headed to Nen’s bubble and managed to find her handwritten journal, detailing everything that happened on Arcadia. I felt awful searching through her belongings. We were looking for the first crystal figurine she made, to put it in her hands. The Soulists believe that the first thing you make represents what you truly yearn for.

    And they could not been any more right.

    We found the figurine. It was a great ibbot.

    An ibbot, Ranni! Like in Karihn’s “Freedom”! She lived up to her name and to what any enlightened Sacorrian Drall truly yearned for.

    <<PRE-DEFINED STOPTRIGGER DETECTED: CRYING :: TURN THE UNIT OFF? Y/N>>
    <<THE UNIT WILL NOT BE TURNED OFF>>

    I broke down. Coovo was crying with me. But we had to go to the graveyard chamber.

    Surprisingly – or maybe not – the graveyard chamber looked a lot like the crystal room and the Dome of Crystal Fire. There was one major difference – tiny crystal mosaics above the crypts, made to resemble the faces of the Collective protegees who passed away on Aurea. The mosaics are made of what otherwise is byproduct and random pieces found in the Shakamm Crater itself.

    So, that’s what the facial scan we all underwent once residents of the Arcology was for. Who would have ever thought?

    Of course, there was the name of the deceased under the mosaic. An Aurek-shaped crystal next to their name would indicate if they were followers of the Soulism or not. Finta was. Nen could never make up her mind on this topic – she was a believer one day and a non-believer the next.

    We placed the bodies in the crypts and I drew temporary sketches of both Nen and Finta, so there could be a picture until the mosaics have been completed. Ciaramida read the excerpt from the last will of Coovo Mardri and soon she was crying again.

    Following this, I got to spend some time at my bubble. Tonight, the bubbles were not running. It’s like every single thing stopped.

    And now I have to run, we’re to meet again – the remaining Council members, the Ferrys and I. Apparently, something has happened at the Camp, too! I don’t even dare think what it could have been, but the protocol droid that came to pick us up told me that I may want to mentally prepare for it.

    <<LOCAL TIME: 03:20>>
    <<RECORDING STOPPED>>>

    Some things were meant to be. Long before they actually happened. People like me don’t have the Force. The Force has us. And every next story on this thingamajig is getting harder and harder to digest. Another reason for me not to ever end up in front of Darth Vader – not like they would pick him to deal with clowns like me, but one never knows! He should choke himself, the Sith-faced son of a Bith!

    - Keep quiet!

    - No, YOU keep quiet! You probably can’t keep quiet no matter what!

    - Master, I may have to ask you to pay the bill after all. For everybody. Including the beings who are not here with you.

    - Okay, okay!

    Of course she is still here. Nobody would like to deal with her. I think we may have unintentionally brought her a friend, another one with a resting Duros face.



    Footnotes
    The funeral rites for adherents of Soulism and residents of the Mardri Soulworks Collective are fanon. So are all the events described here.

    The "sith-faced son of a Bith" is a phrase once uttered by TK-421 Is vader and I promised to credit once the time comes, so here it is. :)
     
  22. TK-421 Is vader

    TK-421 Is vader Jedi Master star 3

    Registered:
    Jan 5, 2015
    I...I did something useful? I have a purpose? Bwahahaha! You snobby elitists in your ivory towers with all the books never thought I had a purpose but look now! Swears I invented months ago are still in circulation!
     
    Kahara and Ewok Poet like this.
  23. Findswoman

    Findswoman Kessel Run Champion star 5 VIP - Game Winner

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    Oh yoicks, and I—just like the Mysterious Listener at the very end—thought the chapter before this one was a lot to digest! :eek: In this particularly fraught period of galactic history I guess it's no surprise that Aurea would get taken over by the Empire, but man, that doesn't make this turn of events feel any better. :( And given Aurea's utopian nature and ethos, this is doubly devastating—a real loss of innocence for this very unique world and community (because it's both at the same time). It didn't just break, it just exploded—much the way way the actual glass itself did.


    Things like Lil's first impressions of the feared and infamous Lord Vader (with his "barf" observation, which no doubt says a thing or two about his own idiolect) would almost come off as cute and even kinda humorous if it weren't for the immense gravity of the situation. (But he's right, Vader does look like death itself, to us humans, too—which was a large part of the whole point of his design!)

    But then... Finta and Nen! :_| And especially Nen—we, like Lil himself, only just barely got to know her and admire her, and now... this! Oh, I can't help but type another :_| . But at least she went down fighting, with the true Saccorrian Drall pluck showing itself in spades all the way up to her very final moments. What a beautiful funeral and sendoff both of them got. And both will be immortalized in those beautiful crystals in the mosaics. But their sacrifice won't be in vain as long as it is remembered and can inspire others to fight back, too—that's the real way it will be immortalized.

    And the passage about the Soulist belief about one's first artwork, and the fact that Nen's/Karihna's was the great ibbot her namesake had used to embody freedom... wow, that's just... beautiful, gorgeous, poignant, all of it. Again, :_| !

    I wonder what this meeting with the Ferrys for which Lil has to mentally prepare will be like. It's almost hard to imagine that anything more can be said, can be planned, etc.! Or that anything can get any more ominous. But that seems a distinct possibility. [face_nail_biting]

    Finally, yoicks, the Mysterious Listener has TWO interlocutors now? One of whom seems to be a waiter/waitress or some such? Golly, those bits are getting just about as complex and layered and mysterious as the main story! :D
     
    Ewok Poet likes this.
  24. Kurisan

    Kurisan Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Apr 26, 2016
    Ewok Poet Hi it's me again. I read entry 6 and 7. So sorry I've been away so long - been busy on nonswff. Anyway this story is developing nicely with the little subterfuge. I had to go look up drall and hadan and have a much clearer picture of lil now lol. I like the little details that you keep slipping in. Very skillful.

    I'm commenting from mobile device while traveling now so sorry for brevity.
     
    Kahara, Ewok Poet and Findswoman like this.
  25. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014
    PURPOSE, YOU HAVE. YES. :D

    I mean, thanks. And I told you I would credit you. ;) Thanks for dropping in!

    And when your society is based on peace, like Aurean is, they're a perfect target for a vulgar display of power. Vagran is protected by being an eco-world, Sacorria by being the sector's agriworld, so...of course they will suffer. :( Loss of innocence at its worst.

    Lil's probably scared poodooless, but he's trying to be calm. :(

    She went down fighting. Her whole life was a fight and while her temper costed her her life, she was close to venerable and she left a huge legacy.

    Thank you. <3 I totally did not mean to make you cry, but I cried myself when writing it, so I guess that was inevitable.

    Nah. He's anxious about it.

    You're close. "The blonde" is not a waiter, but it's close.
    No need to apologise - I'm just not sure what Hadan is?! Maybe your device corrected it.

    And I owe you a proper response, too. And a look at those NSWFFs.