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Before - Legends Dido and Aeneas: A Star Wars Story (English Restoration Theater)

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by GregMcP, Sep 25, 2018.

  1. GregMcP

    GregMcP Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 7, 2015
    Dido and Aeneas

    Written for dear @Findswoman's English Restoration Theater challenge.

    Songs of the English Restoration Theater (1660–1715): A No-Deadline Fanfic Challenge!

    Timeframe: A long time ago. Hundreds of years BBY.
    Definitely not Canon or Legends. Assorted pieces of Star Wars appropriated without care for correctness.

    Major thanks for @Findswoman for making me listen to an entire Opera, several times over. Dido's Lament is playing inside my head in a continuous loop now. It's worse than the Crazy Frog.

    I meant to stop writing for a bit. I've posted too much. But this obsessed me over the weekend, so it is here and written, for better or worse.

    I could post this in one piece. Get it's madness away from me. But it's just a tad too long.
    I'll chop it up.

    keywords: Kings Queens Mandalore Coruscant Love War Doom Death
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2018
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  2. GregMcP

    GregMcP Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 7, 2015
    Dido and Aeneas: A Star Wars Story

    When I am laid,
    am laid in earth,
    may my wrongs create
    No trouble,
    no trouble in,
    in thy breast

    Remember me,
    remember me,
    but ah
    Forget my fate


    Dido's Lament.


    High above the common folk who scurried about the city full of the unimportant worries of unimportant lives, Queen Dido of Carthia stood upon her royal balcony with a heart of sorrow.

    He was leaving.
    He said that he would stay by her side forever, but he was leaving.

    She dressed in black for this moment. In a long flowing gown that spread across the balcony. Hunched servants, who must never stand higher than Her Majesty, continually rearranged its edges for a suitably dramatic effect whenever she walked. Her improbably high head-dress, covered in jewels and complex embroidery, was kept in balance by hidden anti-gravity projectors, and an astonishingly expensive necklace, made from the blue-purple-silver eggs of creatures from the bottom of the bottomless seas of Kamino, lay across her breast. And of course a simple black gauze veil fell before her face to hide her tears from her lessers.

    This was a funeral. This was death.
    He was leaving. Her love, her life, was leaving.

    “A drink! Give me something bitter for my sorrow.”

    Her servants scrambled and sent messages to kitchen staff, activating vast palace resources. Within about two minutes, a gold goblet of rare Acacia fruit wine was handed though the huge double doors to a servant. The servant’s name was Raja, though of course no-one needs a servants name. He walked, head bent, to the balcony and handed the goblet to the handmaiden of the moment, whose name was Mina, though of course that is also unimportant. These two insignificant servants lightly touched fingers as the goblet was handed over. Mina gave Raja an almost subliminal smile and Raja’s heart beat a little faster.

    The handmaiden performed a small curtsy and, head down, offered the goblet to her Queen. Queen Dido took a sip and made a sour face. It was indeed bitter. She threw the goblet over the edge, tumbling, tumbling.

    The sunset burned orange and red through the clouds, as Queen Dido watched the fleet of Mandalorian Warcruisers lift from distant fields. Hard, angular, grey machines, some splashed with the red tusked skull insignia of their people. A thousand ships each carrying ten thousand men. They had harboured on Carthia for these past months, as the grand romance of the Mandalorian King and the Carthian Queen had blossomed, but their time here was done. The Prophecy of the Jedhai promised them glorious war and victory over Coruscant. This wasted time of weakness by their King in the arms of a woman was at last over.

    “And which ship are you on, King Aeneas? Are you here?” the Queen said quietly, watching a cruiser float over the palace. The air rumbled and the balcony shook as it passed overhead.

    She turned, with a face of deep exaggerated sorrow lightly obscured by her veil, and walked back into her boudoir, servants scrambling to adjust the hem of her gown.

    “Oh Belinda, my heart! My very breath! It aches dear nurse.” and the Queen threw an arm over her heaving chest and bent over as if to fall to the floor.
    Mina got in position, ready to catch her. The dozen servants within the boudoir, all dressed in grey to suit their stature and all permanently bowed with aching backs, trembled for her.

    The Queen threw herself into the arms of her childhood wet-nurse with a great flourish.
    This was a small plump woman in a soft calming blue dress, the only other person in the room of a stature deserving any colour. Belinda quickly maneuvered the two of them to a comfortable chair that could bear their weight, placed her arms around her care, and stroke her cheek as she had so many times before.
    “Ah Belinda, I am prest with torment.” the Queen wept.

    Her head-dress adjusted its gravitational field to maintain proper balance.

    (more to come...)
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2018
  3. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    Oh, this is absolutely priceless—a crossover after my own heart! :D You really, really went all out with this! I love how you GFFAified the story and settings; for some reason Aeneas and co. as Mandos out to conquer Coruscant according to the ancient Jedhai Prophecy is just too perfect, and I adore the queen’s very elaborate and Naboo-like finery (gravitational generators and all) and super-Byzantine infrastructure of servants—quite a well-oiled machine there, and as in Force a wit’ y’ you have a very keen and detailed delineation of the different social strata and their functions at court and on this planet. Speaking of which, I noticed that little moment of connection between the two servants, Mina and Raja—a cute touch! (And that’s in the spirit of the times, too: though it’s not such a big thing in this particular opera, little side romances between servants feature in a lot of other operas and musical theater pieces of this period, all over Europe.)

    So, color me very curious to see where you take the grand, tragic romance of this Mando king and this Carthian queen! It’s off to a fantastic start so far—totally in the spirit of both Purcell’s opera and the GFFA, and I could hear the music in my head as I read. Kudos on diving into this challenge with such gusto, and do give us more soon! =D=

    ETA: P.S.: Don't forget to announce this story in the challenge thread itself, too! ;)
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2018
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  4. GregMcP

    GregMcP Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 7, 2015
    Two
    From outside the boudoir doors came the sound of commotion.
    “Sir! Your Highness! You cannot go in!”
    “Stand aside if you value your life!”
    The ornately carved double doors bent inwards as they were struck once with great force, and then with a second blow they swung open.

    In strode a true man. Tall and broad shouldered, confident of his own authority.
    Queen Dido jumped up with a squeal of joy. “My love. I knew you would return!”

    The man was in full Mandalorian armor, carved from the pearly white tusk of a long extinct Mythosaur. It was so polished and perfect that it seemed to glow. He stepped forward with confident steps and removed his helmet to show the face of a warrior. Tanned by the suns of a hundred worlds, a strong stubbled chin, and piercing brown eyes. His thick mane of curly black hair tumbled down over his shoulders.
    And on his hilt lay the mighty Darksaber! The symbol of the power of the House Viszla since time immemorial. Oh he was a King. A legendary King.

    “My Queen! I can not leave!” he cried. “My fate may be to conquer Coruscant, but my heart is here with you.”
    And he knelt on one knee, head bowed before Queen Dido, his glorious curls falling over his face.

    Behind him came soldiers running. The Queen’s Guard, wearing their gold helmets and formal royal purple uniforms, pushing their way in along with a handful of Mandalorian warriors of high nobility.

    One Mandalorian noble called out “Your Majesty! King Aeneas! Your command ship is awaiting you. There can be no delay! By the the great god Kad Ha'rangir...”

    “Spare me your gods! I would gladly burn in the lavas of Koff M’urdor for my love. For you, my sweet Dido, I will defy the gods. For you…” and he reached out a hand to hold hers.

    “Oh my Aeneas. I knew you would not abandon me.” said the Queen softly, tears flowed down her cheeks. “Stand and embrace me.” And so he stood, trembling.

    “Mandalore. Will fall.” a deep voice boomed from the doorway.

    All turned to see a mysterious figure, hidden within a thick hooded brown cloak. It was the Jedhai Seer, Mercuri.

    “One planet, one people, will fall. Be it Mandalore. Be it Coruscant. This is the Prophecy. The Force has foretold this.”

    “You stand too proudly in the Queen’s presence, Jedhai. Bow your head!”, barked a Guard.
    Mercuri nodded down his head slightly, giving a minimal deference to tradition.
    “Prince Aeneas, if you do not leave now, your fleet will be defeated, and then, Mandalore will fall. You must leave now. You must. The Jedhai have seen suffering and death to come. Only you can prevent it.”

    “No! My love for my Queen is all that matters to me. Why must this burden be placed upon my shoulders? Brave Lord Rohan! I offer you my throne. I offer you my sword.”
    There was a gasp from the Mandalorian Nobility.
    “No sir!”
    “You cannot abandon us!”
    “Please!”
    And in that moment, King Aeneas’ resolve faltered for just a moment. He could see the dismay in his men’s faces, and the Prophecy was clear. It would be doom for the millions of his loyal subjects.

    He looked pleading into Dido’s glorious blue eyes. His conflicted pain clear.
    “I love you, but my people....” he said.
    “Go.” she whispered.
    “I cannot live without you.”
    “Then do not live. You have chosen. Leave.”
    “I am torn, but I will let them all die. Just for you. One word. One word from you and I will stay.” Tears welled in his eyes.
    “I SAID GO! LEAVE! GO! SAVE YOUR CURSED PEOPLE AND ABANDON YOUR QUEEN! GUARDS! REMOVE THIS RABBLE FROM MY SIGHT!”

    The Royal Guards stepped forwards, drawing their blasters. The Mandalorians drew theirs. There were the clicks and electronic buzzes of weapons unlocking and charging up. The servants scattered for cover behind furniture with cries in terror. Raja took Mina's wrist and pulled her under the dining table. They huddled together watching the tension rise.

    “My Lord, come with us now!” pleaded General Rohan and grabbed his arm.
    King Aeneas looked in anger, as if ready to strike the General, then turned and took a step towards the door.

    He turned for one final pained look at his love, sending his long black curls waving, and he ran out the door.

    “Noooooo!” Queen Dido screamed from the depths of her very being. She ran for the door, fingers clawing at the air, feet tangling in her long gown, but he was gone.

    Raja and Mina watched the spectacle wide eyed from under the exquisite white stone table.

    And the Queen collapsed to the floor, sobbing, unable to take a breath.

    ---

    King Aeneas stormed past the hundredfold guard that lined the walk up to the ramp of his Royal Warcruiser in a terrible rage. “We will make our mark on this Galaxy. We shall blast the cities of Coruscant into atoms and our fury will be written as legend!”
    His men roared in response and beat their chest plates with their fists as they followed him into the ship.

    “The Blessings of the Jedhai upon you and your army, my King! May the Force be with You!” called Mercuri as the gangway closed.

    The Jedhai Seer pulled his hood back and watched the ship disappear into the sky with yellow tinted eyes.

    When all was quiet, and the great Armada of Mandalore was all away in hyperspace, and all that could be heard on the great fields was the sounds of birds chirping, Mercuri allowed himself a wicked grin. He lifted his sleeve and clicked a button on his wrist.

    “It is done, Master. The fool is finally on his way.”

    The Tragedy. Ugh, such Tragedy. Concludes soon.
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2018
  5. GregMcP

    GregMcP Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 7, 2015
    The End.


    The Queen lay on her bed of exquisitely soft Naboobian Duck Down, groaning, sighing, panting, now dressed in pure white Lashaa silk bed clothes.

    Her servants sat on cushions around the bed, some assigned to weeping, some singing a lamentful chorus to maintain the mood. Handmaiden Mina had the special role of occasionally spraying a light mist of scented perfume from a small crystal bottle, while Raja sat by the doors awaiting news of the attack on Coruscant.

    The door pushed open and a servant handed Raja a scroll.

    ---

    The mighty Mandalorian Armada flashed out of hyperspace over the Governmental Sector of the famed city planet. The endless lights of Galactic administration shined below.

    “Prepare for bombardment!” called General Rohan, but almost immediately the fleet found itself battling massive planetary tractor beams. The Royal Warcruiser shook as the navigators struggled to keep in a stable orbit. And then began the barrage of power disabling Ion cannon energy bolts and shield piercing shock shells.
    It was clear that they had been expected.

    Ships were powerless. Every few moments another cracked apart with great explosions, and some lost the battle against the tractor beams and tumbled down into the planet's atmosphere.

    “Sir! The Republican Fleet has dropped out of hyperspace!” and a rain of laser blasts hailed down on the remaining Warcruisers of Mandalore, shattering, shredding.

    “I have been betrayed.” King Aeneas watched his ships in disarray. “Ahh my dear Dido, I should have stayed in your arms.”

    The trap was complete.

    ----

    Raja crawled on hands and knees over to Belinda, who sat beside Queen Dido, wiping her forehead with a cloth dipped in soothing waters from the waterfall planet of Niagara. He gave her the scroll.

    She unrolled it and squinted her eyes to read. She whispered to Raga, “I can't tell her that. No no. You boy, you read it.”
    Raja shook his head vigorously. The words on the scroll could get him killed.

    “Oh my Belinda. What is it? Is my Aeneas victorious?” asked the Queen, pale and weak. “Is he safe?”

    ---

    King Aeneas stood on the command deck and watched his Armada die. Ships split in half, spouting flames as Republican torpedo frigates prowled amongst the carnage, searching for prey. The bodies of the doomed floated amongst the twisted metal.

    Klaxons blared! The ship lighting turned deep red. Monitors showed Republic Troopcarriers attached like bloodsucking Pelonian Snufflefish to the sides of their hull.

    “Your Majesty! We have been boarded”, General Rohan stood firmly before his King, refusing to show his fear. He bowed then took up a microphone.

    “Attention all good men of Mandalore. The Enemy is here. Show them no mercy. Defend the honour of Mandalore! Defend the King!”

    ---

    Belinda took a deep swallow. A deep breath, and spoke with reluctance.
    “My Queen, whom I have loved and cared for since thine celebrated birth, we have been given a message.” She took a deep breath. “And the message says, ‘There has been a great battle in the skies above Coruscant…’”

    But the Queen knew what was written on the scroll. She fell back into her pillow, full of dread, and her heart thumping and rattling.

    ---

    “Guard the King!” cried General Rohan to the remaining warriors barricaded in the command center, and good men, loyal and true, knelt in a line with blasters charged and aimed. Sparks flew as the blast doors were cut from the outside. They would be through soon.
    There was no stopping them.

    King Aeneas drew Darksaber. It hummed and shimmered black. A glorious, sacred sight for all.

    “For the Honour of Mandalore!” cried The King, and the blast door collapsed, and the enemy charged in, laser bolts flying and good men dying.

    ---

    The Queen felt every word.
    Aeneas bravely wielding Darksaber in his final moment as his men fell. His desperate rage, his kingly power as he struck down his foes. He dove into the Republican troopers with mighty Darksaber aflame and her heart fluttered ever faster. Her breath unable to feed her body with the air it needed.

    And then she felt the inevitable stab to her chest as the laser into the King's heart. She sat bolt upright, wide eyed "Aeneas!", clutching her chest, feeling the sharp shock of mortality.

    “Remember me” and Queen Dido, Merciful and Beloved Ruler of Carthia and the Twenty Subjugated Systems, fell back to her bed, and into that endless sleep.

    ---

    The Queen lay, regal and immaculate. Mina had assisted in dressing her in the full gold, white and purple funereal costume that tradition demanded. The ancient crown of a hundred rulers sat upon her head. Her hands delicately lay upon her chest, holding a simple perfect red Carthillium from the palace gardens.

    As the royalty and dignitaries, the priests and the powerful, took their turns to offer their respect in a long day of feigned sorrows and platitudes, the Queen's servants sat and sang for a final time. Beyond today they did not know their fate with no one to serve, but of course their fate was unimportant.

    Mina and Raja sat crosslegged side by side upon a beautifully woven Wanakan rug that sixteen men had given their lives fighting through deepest jungles to bring to the palace. The servants were careful to sit lower than the people of great importance who entered the Queen's boudoir. Nobody noticed or cared that two of them sat with fingers intertwined.
    And it didn't matter to them either.


    Chorus:
    With drooping wings ye Cupids come,
    And scatter roses on her tomb.
    Soft and gentle as her heart
    Keep here your watch, and never part.



     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2018
  6. divapilot

    divapilot Force Ghost star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 30, 2005
    Very cool! I knew that Jedi was up to no good. Wonderful descriptions to boot.
     
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  7. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 7

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    =D= [face_laugh] Very intensely mmelodramatic ;) and an excellent blend of SW with a "classic tragedy"!
     
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  8. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    WOW! :eek: This is. Just. Plain. Awesome. You did indeed have me at “high baroque Star Wars,” and you didn’t disappoint in the least. Once again, I’m awed at how you really went whole hog with this challenge: you worked in pretty much every part of the opera and then some, and did so in a very “operatic” style throughout. For some reason I got an especially big smile out of how you transformed the “spirit” character sent by the witches in the original opera to “the Jedhai seer Mercuri” who turned out to be a Sith and who set off pretty much the whole Jedi-Mandalore conflict. That kind of turns the original story of Aeneas on its head in an interesting way: the original Aeneas is ultimately victorious in founding Rome, the new Troy, but it looks like this Aeneas close to suffering defeat. There is a touch of the Force in it, too, in the way Dido can sense what is happening to Aeneas and his troops from afar.

    And of course juxtaposed with all that, we get to follow Raja and Mina and their subtle expressions of love throughout the story—a humbler and perhaps ultimately happier romance going on right under the nose of the big royal romance, though of course, as you point out, no one is likely to notice given how highly stratified and regimented their society is. But I noticed! :D

    I have to echo what the others have said of your absolutely amazing descriptions of the decor, the characters, their outfits, their expressions and gestures—all so finely and precisely crafted in that baroque way, and very true to the style. Mighty fine work! :cool:

    Thanks again for being part of this challenge and sharing with us this very cool reimagining of a classic operatic tragedy in the GFFA—in a way both fully in the spirit of the opera and fully in the spirit of the GFFA! =D=
     
  9. Vek Talis

    Vek Talis Jedi Knight star 2

    Registered:
    Oct 12, 2018
    "Queen Dido, Merciful and Beloved Ruler of Carthia and the Twenty Subjugated Systems" Who Cares Nothing for the Pitiful Peasants of Her Realm...

    Just thought I'd add a bit more to that. :p

    Very excellent, though. I wondered if the 'Jedhai' Mercuri, was really a Sith in disguise, trying to weaken both the Republic and Mandalorians with a single, terrible battle.
     
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  10. GregMcP

    GregMcP Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 7, 2015
    Well, the politics of the story is nothing more that it suiting the mood of the moment. These Sith had some sort of wicked desire to ruin Mandalore. Because they were baddies.

    If I followed the Opera more closely, the Mandos would conquer Coruscant, and then generations down the track, the Coruscantians would go to war with Carthia and wipe it out of existence.
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2018