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Before - Legends Saga - PT Saga - OT Before the Saga Saga - Legends Findswoman's Fragments & Miscellanea (assorted short stories)

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by Findswoman, Sep 8, 2014.

  1. brodiew

    brodiew Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Oct 11, 2005
    What a great story, findswoman. You have a talent for setting scenes. I love your descriptions which open parts one and two.

    I also love Kiri-Aki. It appears she has talents in addition to gardening. I hope we see her again in part four.
     
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  2. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    First of all, many heartfelt thanks to those of you who have followed this thread so far. @};- I want to begin by assuring you that I do plan to add one more installment to the story started by the three Edited! entries posted above, but in the meantime I came up with a little something in response to one of the prompts in mavjade's Writer's Block Discussion and Challenge Thread, and just couldn't resist posting it here. So, without further ado:

    Author: Findswoman

    Title: “Dearest Delphine!” (from its first line, for lack of anything better)

    Characters: OCs

    Notes: Written in response to some of the DWB Week 2 prompts: letter to an absent loved one, perfection, honesty, neglect. I was about halfway done when I realized the prompt wasn’t just “a letter” but a letter to a “loved one.” Hopefully a good friend counts.

    If it’s OK to submit the same story for two different challenges, this also can serve as an entry for the OC Revolution January “just for fun” challenge (500 words or fewer with “festivities”—Word clocks it just at 497).


    ObSt Nirnstadt​
    FrW Nydringia​
    Sÿstem Rotha​
    Sektor Kathol​
    1.1018.232015​
    Dearest Delphine!
    (sorry, I don’t really know how to spell your real name…)

    I’m sorry I haven’t responded before now to your letter from last month. I’m not trying to neglect you, really I’m not—it’s just I had to be on Coruscant for an assignment the last several weeks, and I only just disembarked in Nirnstadt last night. I’d say that I hope this finds you well, but I’m not sure if that’s the right thing to say, given the sorry state of our Galaxy these days and what were telling me about in your letter. That is very scary about the probe droid hanging around that spaceport. Every day since then I’ve been checking all the news networks—HoloNet, RealTime, TriNebulon, &c.—to see if I can find news of your homeworld, but nothing ever comes up. They just don’t seem to be interested in anything that happens on planets where Humans don’t live. Last week on Coruscant I even stopped by the old Jedi Temple archives, and they had pretty much nothing beyond what I already know from my visit three months ago—gas giant, ammoniac atmosphere, mystical hunters, etc. Though it also mentioned that you managed to stay out of the Jedi and Sith Civil Wars 3000 years ago! Is that really true?

    I still think of that visit, how you invited me to be hinhinnu… oh blast, another word I can’t spell! I’ll be honest, I did find some of the customs a little… odd, and I couldn’t understand anything anyone said—but it was all so beautiful too—the temple, the processions, the far-off singing—and when that elder or priest or whatever was chanting and the temple filled with that funny color-changing smoke… I’ll never forget it. Plus, now I know what you felt like having to walk around in that silly mask when we first met! My face was numb the entire trip home! But it was worth it to be a part of those incredible… festivities, I guess I’ll call them. People sometimes ask me about it. I even had some xenoanthropologist from the Galactic Research Academy on Koaan ask to interview me, Houle or Howle or something I think his name was—but don’t worry, I remember the oath I took before your Elders and rooi… sorry, Delphine, I just can’t today, these words just don’t fit in Aurebesh… Anyway, my point is, I haven’t told anyone.

    Well, time for me to go. For some reason Rose Evergreen’s navcomputer really hated the trip to Coruscant, so I have to take it in to Aurung’s again. Anyway, dear Delphine, my thoughts are with you and your people. Please write soon.

    With many fond greetings across the starry void,
    Your devoted friend
    Glockel

    P.S. So what do you think of the partnership idea? I think we’d make the perfect team: Flygirl and Findswoman! Anyway, do let me know.—M.G.S.K.


    Notes

    News networks: http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/HoloNet_News
    http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Realtime_News
    http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/TriNebulon_News

    “Houle or Howle or something” is meant to refer to Mammon Hoole, the “author” of the Essential Guide to Alien Species (2001) and the New Essential Guide to Alien Species (2006). George Houle, incidentally, is the name of the real-life author of a real-life book frequently consulted in my office: Meter in Music, 1600–1800: Performance, Perception, and Notation (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1987).
     
  3. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 7

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Findswoman - excellent dual responses to the challenge(s). =D= A letter is a great vehicle for revealing characters. :cool: And, you know, you've got me curious about these OCs and how and whether their paths will intersect in future. @};-
     
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  4. Chyntuck

    Chyntuck Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 11, 2014
    Oho, new Gand OC! Welcome to the boards, Delphine, I hope we'll be seeing more of you.

    And you've piqued my curiosity now with this probe droid on Gand. Is there going to be a sequel to this? [face_praying]
     
  5. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014
    While I like the tone this was written in (kinda...journalist-y!), I am afraid I'll be needing far more notes to proceed. But I already asked you about them. ;)

    Oh, wait...these are new OCs, that aren't in the other story I'm to read? Now I'm even more confused.
     
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  6. taramidala

    taramidala Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jun 18, 1999
    This was great! I loved the conversational feel of it, and how apparent the relationship comes through in the writing. Well done! :)
     
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  7. JadeLotus

    JadeLotus Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 27, 2005
    Very interesting! I loved the tone of the letter and the author's conversational style - the friendship really came across.
     
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  8. mavjade

    mavjade It's so FLUFFY! Fanfic Manager star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Sep 10, 2005
    Of course a close friend counts as a loved one! :)

    Lovely story! You can really feel the relationship between them even though we only see the one side of it.

    =D=
     
  9. K'Tai qel Letta-Tanku

    K'Tai qel Letta-Tanku Jedi Grand Master star 3

    Registered:
    Apr 18, 2000
    Very cool! I'm with Chyntuck: I certainly hope we are seeing more of these characters. :)
     
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  10. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    Thank you all very much for reading and commenting—always much appreciated. @};- Yes, without giving too much away, I will say that you will indeed see more of these characters... in fact, you'll see more of them right now, in another response to the Writer's Block challenge:

    Author: Findswoman

    Title: Box of Visions

    Characters: OCs, oblique mention of a canon character

    Genre: Introspective vignette

    Notes: Written in response to the picture prompt from the DWB Week 3 prompts:
    [​IMG]

    Box of Visions

    Telfien emerged from her meditation to find her Human partner slumped unconscious and face-down over a supply crate in the corner of Rose Evergreen’s crew quarters. On the floor, not far from where a fair-skinned, five-fingered hand dangled limply, sat the delicately ornamented box, silent though its lid was open; its spring had long since run down. The young Findswoman knew what had happened: artifacts like this one, infused with the intuitive power of the great Findsmen of yore, often had strong psychometric or psychotropic effects even—nay, especially—on beings with no mystical abilities. (She was, at least thus far, reasonably sure that Glockel was in that category.)

    Gently Telfien lifted the Human from the crate, slung her carefully over her shoulder, and transferred her to a nearby passenger berth. It took time; Telfien was small and slightly built for her species, while Glockel was almost a head and a half taller than she, and rather gangly to boot. At last, once Glockel lay safely in the berth, Telfien knelt beside her and looked her over, checking for any wounds. The Gand removed one glove and touched her three-clawed hand to a yellow-gray bruise that was forming on Glockel’s cheek. Then she stayed a few moments, gazing and wondering.

    What had her inquisitive Human friend seen when she had picked up and opened this ancient relic? What mystic images had sparked in her mind with each of its tiny chimes? Had she too seen the gigantic ice-gray wedges piercing and dispersing her homeworld’s protective gold-orange clouds . . . rank upon rank of white-armored soldiers trampling down helpless citizens in the streets of the Secular Capital . . . Elders and Findsmasters sitting hunched and trembling and weeping under broken temple archways and crumbling temple walls . . . ?

    And the flower of Findsmen—his homeworld’s last hope—swooping unfeelingly off into the void in his sleek, customized starfighter . . . ?

    Had Glockel—blithe, curious Glockel—shared these visions? And would they mean anything to her?

    Holding one hand palm-down above Glockel’s forehead, Telfien chanted a quiet prayer. She rose and was about to make her way to the bridge when she noticed the box still sitting open on the floor. With both hands she picked it up, then closed it, latched it, and wound it thoroughly before tucking it safely into her robe. ¶

    Notes

    On music boxes like this one, see this post and this post in the Fanon thread.

    Box of Visions turns out to be the name of an album by one Tom Russell. I found that out quite by chance after giving the story its title, by way of a quick impulse-Google.
     
  11. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 7

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Marvelous =D= Very shocking visions I am sure for Glockel and sad ones for Telfien. [face_thinking]
     
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  12. mavjade

    mavjade It's so FLUFFY! Fanfic Manager star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Sep 10, 2005
    Wow! Very powerful!
    This really makes one wonder about a lot of things... Where did the box come from? Did it show them different things? Did the vision Glockel saw knock him out or was it the act of opening the box iteslf and all the energy that had been contained came out? I love that you didn't answer too many question and left them open for us to wonder about. :)

    Your imagery was fantastic!

    Thank you for sharing with us!
    =D=
     
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  13. Chyntuck

    Chyntuck Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 11, 2014
    The proper spelling of Delphine's name was Telfien? [face_laugh] Lol on the hapless human!

    I was glad to see one of your music boxes in action, I found them very intriguing when you posted about them on the Fanon thread.

    So the probe droid on Gand was apparently followed (or will be followed, if the vision comes true) by star destroyers and stormtroopers :( Here's hoping that specific future doesn't happen. *crosses fingers*
     
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  14. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 7

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Or that Zuckuss can thwart it. [face_batting]
     
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  15. JadeLotus

    JadeLotus Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 27, 2005
    Great concept with the music box, and I enjoyed finding out a bit more about these two.
     
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  16. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014
    I love it how, in some way, Telfien and Glockel are like the subject and the narrator of The Waterboys' Whole of the Moon, like a witch and a muggle, like an absolute master and an absolute beginner. It shows how complex, fascinating and abstract the whole mystical ability spectrum of the Findsmen/women is.

    The idea of Glockel (love the music instrument reference - so you!) sharing such terrifying vision makes me think of the scene in the Fifth Element, when Leeloo learns about war. That, or some warped, sinister version of the Mirror of Erised. Not sure if we're supposed to know if Glockel was able to have a vision and what kind of a vision was it - especially given that you're implying that she's not a Force-sensitive; but I'm curious.

    Mention of Telfien's own vision reminded me of what Yoda was feeling on Kashyyyk in Revenge of the Sith and I can actually imagine her with her eyes closed, not moving and feeling a huge disturbance. Heartbreaking. :(

    If this was a scene from a film, the use of light in it would have to be top-notch. One can just see what's light and what's dark.

    Also, whatever is the relationship between these two, I am curious to know more.
     
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  17. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    Thank you all for your fantastic and thought-provoking comments. I always love it when readers' comments give me new perspectives on my own writing, and that's definitely happened here in spades. @};-

    Ewok Poet, those are wonderful and very interesting perspectives and comparisons, which of course comes as no surprise in a review from you. :) I'll admit that I am not familiar with quite all of them, but you're right to pick up on the huge contrast between Telfien's introverted mysticism and Glockel's inquisitive ebullience (and the fact that they manage to be good friends all the same)—that's a dynamic I hope to do more with.

    mavjade, those are excellent questions, and they partly make me kick myself for making the story so vague! [face_doh] I will say that the music box is meant to be a fairly typical Gand Findsman artifact, as brainstormed in the Fanon Thread links after the story. As for the rest, I do have certain ideas brewing in my mind—though, you (and EP) are absolutely right that I am purposefully leaving most of the details of the vision, Glockel's reaction, etc. up to the reader's imagination. (Not least for practical reasons: I don't want to lock myself in too tightly to one future for these characters, given that I've really just started writing them any number of things might happen along the way.)

    On the music box:
    There's one in chapter IV of the large-scale story linked in my signature. (I say it that way because I'm not sure to what extent the new rules on story linking apply to other story threads.) If you scroll to the bottom of that chapter, you will find an audio sample as well. ;)


    Careful, now—you two are giving me ideas! :p

    And finally, many fond thanks to those who nominated this thread and stories in it for Best Series in this year's awards. What a day-brightener that was—you're a wonderful bunch. @};-
     
  18. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 7

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Congratulations! 2014 was a year for great debuts of talented authors. :D [face_love]
     
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  19. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014
    THIS IS MEGAINCREDIBLE NEWS. :)
     
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  20. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014
    Finally leaving the comments that (I hope) the first three stories deserve. Now I am puzzled so as to why all five were nominated as parts of two different series, given that it's one series.

    Re: Early Morning Thoughts of a Hutt’s Gardener

    As somebody who lives literally one corner away from a large bothanical garden with a palace-like greenhouse located inside, I had no trouble visualising what Bonvika's microcosm was about. Heck, the next time I go there, I might as well see her.

    "her ongoing territorial conflict with her third-cousin-by-marriage" ...ouch. Sounds like mountains of Montenegro, circa 100 years ago. Just kidding, some areas probably have it right now, too.

    I like the bizarre idea of trading weapons for toys and then, boom, it explodes, like in that Fatboy Slim video. Mad. :D


    Re: Pandemonium at a Hutt’s Garden Party

    As said elsewhere, Bonvika is a crossover of Miss Piggy and Marjory the Trash Heap. She MUST, I mean MUST own a monocular. And she's trying so, so hard to be "mahvelous". :D

    The slip-on-candy scene was hilarious.


    Re: Of Urgent Transmissions and Curious Dropped Objects

    I guess it's now safe to say that the "little friend with big eyes" is Telfien, and that she and Glockel have something to do with the whole operation? And then there comes the annoying purple child, ahahahahahahahahaaha!

    Love it how the scene with Bonvika and the Geonosian is observed from a different angle here.

    The cargo has been ffrgbg. Brrggrb rggrbbr brb brgbrgrrrg.” - don't you hate it when that happens?
     
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  21. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    Thanks, Ewok Poet, for that wonderful review in true EP fashion. :cool: Yes, I too am puzzled about why the three Bonvika stories ended up being nominated separately from my whole thread of short stories, since the thread isn't really necessarliy intended as a unified whole: it's just my holding area for one-shot stories, and right now they happen to feature some of the same characters (the three Edited stories at the beginning being the only ones that belong to the same narrative unit, and I need to write a fourth part to wrap it up). I guess there are different ideas out there of what constitutes a "series." [face_dunno]

    I love botanic gardens, so I jumped for joy when I got the garden prompt in Edited. The dolls (broken toy prompt) are a bit meant to lampoon a certain kind of doll-collecting culture that I got to see a bit of back in my doll-customizing days: hoarding multiple boxes of the same doll, never unboxing them, and then maybe eBaying them later for exorbitant amouts of moulee-rah.

    I coud see Bonvika with a monocle. A fairly big one, of course. :D Good on you for making the connection about Glockel's partner; I was wondering who else might have noticed:

    Telfien is indeed the one whose voice is getting all garbled on Glockel's broken communicator. Besides the big eyes," you may have noted the hints about her "strange hunches," and how she says "She said..." instead of "I said..." when Glockel asks her to repeat herself. At this point, they're independent agents hoping for employment as treasure hunters with Bonvika's court. They will, however, end up playing a role in this story, and that's what the fourth part of the story will be about, once I finaly get around to writing it. :p Soozoo may end up coming back too.

    Thanks again, as always! :)
     
  22. Kahara

    Kahara Force Ghost star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 3, 2001
    That's a chilling vision to see, for certain. The part about the Uncanny One fleeing is very interesting, and I'm curious how that might play out in Book of Gand if that 'verse is connected to this. I like the mismatched-friends dynamic set up with Glockel and Telfien. They're from different worlds -- geographically, in species, in life experiences, and in temperament. I'm glad to see that there are plans for them in future shorts. :) (And I love the ship's name.)
     
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  23. Chyntuck

    Chyntuck Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 11, 2014
    I had a vague idea for a crack!fic, so I came back to this thread because I remembered there were some seriously hilarious things in here -- and I re-read the scene with the Weequay in "a flowing sleeveless gown of peafowl-blue taffeta" and red stiletto heels. And now I don't know how I'm going to get this mahvelous image outside my head, dahling.

    Also, "confit de quadduck à la Coronetisi" reminded me that we need to have a discussion about food and beverages in the GFFA at some point on the Fanon Thread :p

    Congrats on your double nom for this thread -- somehow I sense that in the end, all these little fragments will come together in a coherent story, even though it wasn't part of the plan when you started ;)
     
  24. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    The short answer is that it will eventually play out somehow. More than that, though, would be spoilerific at this point. ;)

    Thanks so much! "Mismatched friends" is exactly what I'm after here; it's a kind of relationship I enjoy reading about in other works, and I've had a few such friendships myself, which I'm sure are going to work their way into my writing about these two.


    And thanks again. :) Rose Evergreen is the title of a choral piece by a composer friend of mine, and I got to hear its premiere several years ago when I lived in California. It was a lovely piece (though members of the choir told me it was also hard), and I couldn't help but think it would work well as the name of a GFFA ship of some sort (see this post in this post in "You know you're a fan fiction writer when..."). :D

    Ooh, a Chyntuck crack!fic is in the works? That will be the true epitome of marvelous, dahling! I cannot wait to see what form that will take. :D Yes, Bonvika's mahvelousness rubs off on everyone she's in contact with, broad-shouldered female Weequay gardeners included. :D

    That would be all kinds of mega super incredible AWESOME, and I say a loud, unequivocal "DO IT." The inspiration for the goofy, faux-French name of the dish comes from P. G. Wodehouse, oddly enough: in at least one of his Jeeves and Wooster stories, one of Bertie Wooster's aunts has this amazing French cook who cooks this amazing food but who's also kind of a diva, and chaos ensues when he (the cook) threatens to leave because Bertie's uncle won't eat anything else. Anyway, all the names of dishes cooked by the French cook have goofy faux-French names like "confit de quadduck à la Coronetisi," only less GFFA-ish. :D

    Also, http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Quadduck .

    It could happen, it certainly could happen, especially with the support and enthusiasm of wonderful readers like you. [:D]

    All right, next story inbound in five... four... three...
     
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  25. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    Title: “There is no death!”
    Author: Findswoman
    Era: Saga, somewhere between Order 66 and the Battle of Yavin
    Genre: Introspection, drama
    Characters: OCs, Darth Vader
    Rating: PG for some violence

    Note: A Jedi Purge survivor on an obscure planet reflects on his imminent end. Written in response to the Movie Quote Challenge, quote 24: “I am not afraid of dying. I’m afraid I haven’t been alive enough.” (Mr. Nobody, 2009)

    I gratefully acknowledge my two beta readers, K'Tai qel Letta-Tanku and Chyntuck, for their invaluable input and support. @};-

    — — —

    A man stood at the upper window of a large, half-timbered, banner-festooned building. He saw a tri-winged shuttle—sleek, angular, icy white—touch down on a landing pad far below. He watched as its landing ramp extended, as its hatch opened, and as a tall figure, helmeted and cloaked in jet black, disembarked. A few other figures followed, some in gray uniforms, some in white plasteel armor, and all made their way toward the entrance of the building.

    Wym Sternenkranz, chief defense advisor to the Chancellor of the Free World of Nydringia, was Jedi. He knew what had come, and who, and why.

    It was no surprise. For years now he had sensed the darkness that was creeping over the Galaxy, enveloping it slowly but surely. He had seen it dispatch his fellow Jedi one by one, his own Master and countless valued friends among them; he had felt in his bones how each of those deaths seemed to leach the very Light from the Force. Wym knew it was only a matter of time before that darkness would reach his own homeworld: Nydringia, far on the rimward edge of the Kathol Sector, quaint and distant yet proud and sovereign.

    Today it had come, and Wym Sternenkranz knew it had come for him. But not to kill him. For he had something the darkness wanted.

    Like most Jedi, he had been brought to the Jedi Temple as a mere youngling to be trained in the ways of the Force. While he was still quite young, his teachers had noticed in him a rare and unique Force ability: called finta sempli in the ancient holocrons, it allowed him to cloak his Force signature at will—which not only prevented any other Force-user from sensing his presence in the Force but also allowed him to pass himself off as a non-Force-sensitive. This power, combined with natural resourcefulness and stealth, had served him well in many a mock battle, recon exercise, and away mission during his padawan years. The path of the Jedi Sentinel was the natural choice for him, and he was soon accepted for training as a Jedi Shadow with a prominent Shadow from his own homeworld, Hinrisch thur Mohlen.

    Wym often thought of Master thur Mohlen. The bearded, blue-eyed Shadow Master had taken great pride in his student’s unique ability. He never missed a chance to remind him of the immense value and rarity of finta sempli, and cautioned him constantly never to let that power fall into the hands of the Dark Side—for finta sempli was one of the few Force abilities that could be stolen from its possessor by Force Drain techniques. “Besides,” thur Mohlen was fond of saying, “who knows but it may save your life sometime?”

    That time came, in the form of the Great Purge. It was only two days after Wym’s advancement to knighthood that he had received a garbled holotransmission from his master—something about darkness and a frightening vision, concluding with a panicked warning to his student to flee to his remote homeworld and cloak himself. Only the day after that, while Wym was on a transport back to the Kathol Sector, Master thur Mohlen had met his own gruesome end, thrown by his own troops beneath the feet of his AT-TE.

    In his second-class berth Wym had felt thur Mohlen’s death slash the fabric of hyperspace as with a vibroblade. Nevertheless, he resolved to keep his master’s advice. The moment he had disembarked from the transport onto the cobbled streets of his homeworld’s capital of Nirnstadt, he had thrown the entirety of his powers into finta sempli. Once initiated, the cloak could be maintained for years if necessary—and so Wym had done. But staying cloaked for so long took effort, and his defenses certainly had slipped along the way. That he knew from the shuttle on the landing pad outside.

    And now, Wym wondered darkly, should he feel flattered, nay, honored, that none less than Darth Vader, Dark Lord of the Sith—for the fearsome dark personage that had emerged from the shuttle could be no one else—had come to claim for himself the power of finta sempli? Should he, Wylhem Eberholdt Sternenkranz, swell with pride to think of the ways his own humble powers could help this mightiest of Sith Lords hunt down and root out the remaining Jedi—and perhaps even to overthrow the Emperor himself? Should he eagerly await the crushing grip of those gloved hands, the searing mental pain of the Force Drain that would rip this rare, precious ability from his conscious and subconscious alike? For so the Force had told him it would be. It was no more than he deserved, he mused, having failed his master so carelessly . . .

    But that same master had told him he must preserve his power at all costs. And now the only way do that was to join the Force himself.

    Wym’s hand strayed to the hilt of his lightsaber, then pulled quickly away again, as if it had touched something red-hot.

    He was afraid.

    Afraid? A Jedi afraid? Had not Master thur Mohlen taught him so long ago that a Jedi must not know fear? What was he afraid of, anyway? The fatal swath the luminous blade must soon cut through his body and soul?

    No, certainly not that. Like all good Jedi, Wym knew well that death was really no more than a joining with the Force. All who joined the Force added to its strength and to the strength of those who wielded it for good. And during these dark times, the Force needed all the strength it could get.

    But what, then, was making him so fearful? Wym gazed out the window beyond the landing pad at the picturesque antique skyline of Nirnstadt, his planet’s capital, from the step-gabled houses with their lush windowboxes, to the majestic stone chronotowers, and far beyond them to the rolling forested hills. A black-and-white magapi flew past the window, crying out “chak-chak!” in its comical scolding manner.

    It was for those houses, buildings, towers, and hills—even for that magapi, Wym realized—that he was afraid. If he sacrificed himself now, he would have no chance to fight for them, to save them and their inhabitants from the growing darkness of the Empire. For such was his duty—as a Jedi sworn to defend all living things, as a Jedi Shadow sworn to uproot the Dark Side in all its forms, and as his homeworld’s chief advisor on defense. He knew the Chancellor of the Free World of Nydringia counted on him as one of her best fighters. To give himself to the Force would be to betray her and her people, to turn all the beauty and goodness of his home over to be razed, subjugated, transformed into ugliness and terror. Would the gain within the Force be enough to cancel out that loss?

    And what of Glockel?

    Dear Glockel of the red-blond hair and laughing gray eyes, poor Wylhard’s daughter, only twelve Standard years old . . . he was afraid for her too. She was his niece, the orphan of his late brother, who, along with his wife, had been killed in a speeder crash when Glockel was only five. Since then she had lived in Nirnstadt’s largest orphanage. Although Wym’s Jedi vows of nonattachment and his official duties made it impossible for him to actually adopt her (for which he often secretly cursed both), he visited her often at the orphanage, and they corresponded regularly by holocube. He was the only family member she had left in the universe; could he really leave her all alone to the tender mercies of the Empire? He had heard gruesome stories of what Imperial soldiers did to the women and girls of the worlds they conquered . . .

    He too would lose if he cut himself down now. He would miss out on her growth to adulthood, on the new skills, knowledge, and awareness she was gaining daily—just next month she would be competing with the Nydringian delegation of the Junior Spacer Olympics, and he would not be there to cheer her on. He would never hear her silvery laughter again, nor see her bright smile light up the dusky orphanage halls, nor have the chance to wipe away her tears during those moments when the memory of her parents overcame her—for that still happened even after seven years. And never again would another living creature address him as “Uncle Wym”. . .

    No, it wasn’t death that he feared. It was that he had not yet lived his life to the fullest, not yet fulfilled the purposes for which the Force had placed him in the universe, both as a sentient being and as a citizen of the Free World of Nydringia. It was that those who depended on him—his people, his chancellor, Glockel—might never have the chance to fulfill the purpose of their own lives. All because of him and his selfish feelings of guilt.

    He was their shatterpoint, their confluence in the endless and infinite currents of the Force—and that alone was enough to make him feel afraid.

    Wym retreated from the window, assumed a meditative posture, and redoubled finta sempli.

    * * *

    “You have a lot of gall coming here, Lord Vader!” A human woman of late middle age, in official robes of brown and black and a tasseled black velvet flatcap, struggled in the grip of two Imperial stormtroopers; her brown eyes flashed daggers at her cloaked captor and the gray-uniformed officers surrounding him. “Hoping to add another system to your doddering old Emperor’s collection, are you? You are both deluded if you think Nydringia shall surrender without a fight.”

    “Chancellor Sigrada Vierdanck Tinctorius.” Darth Vader’s rasping synthesized voice dripped with disdain. “It is you who are deluded. Do not flatter yourself that the Empire takes any serious interest in your puny, backrocket world. No, worth more to me than all your quaint chronotowers and half-timbered hovels is the Jedi Wylhem Sternenkranz. Deliver him to me at once and I may spare you. Resist, and you shall suffer.”

    “Well, then, go look for him yourself,” Tinctorius retorted, cocking her head defiantly. The tassel of her cap twitched as she did so. “Certainly you can sense his presence in the Force or some such poodoo, neh?”

    Vader bristled at this obviously deliberate jibe. “It is not worth your while to provoke me further, Chancellor,” he hissed. “You will hand him over now or suffer the consequences.”

    “Ah, ha ha!” Tinctorius laughed. “Never.”

    “So be it.” Vader raised his hand and gripped it into a fist. At once Tinctorius doubled over and began to gag violently.

    Just then the Sith Lord flinched violently, as if he had received a sudden blow to the head from behind. Reflexively he released his grip, causing Tinctorius to slump half-conscious onto the shoulder of one of the troopers. Then he looked up.

    A tall, slim, redheaded Human stood on a balcony high above, gripping before him a burning green lightsaber blade. His gray eyes glared fixedly down at the black-red orbs of Darth Vader’s helmet—which in turn gazed just as fixedly back at him. Several silent moments passed as the two stood there, looking at each other, motionless.

    Or were they? The Sith Lord noticed that the hands holding the green lightsaber were trembling—and that with each of those tiny tremors came a larger tremor in the Force. Pulses of uncertainty, of barely masked inner conflict—of fear unseemly in a Jedi—emanated from that solitary figure overhead. With each of those pulses an image flashed to life: blue eyes twinkling from the shadows of a hood, rolling tree-covered hills giving way to majestic peaks, a chattering black-and-white bird, happy citizens going about their daily business in the marketplace of Nirnstadt . . . then, finally, a young girl’s cheerful face, encircled by red braids . . .

    Vader paused a moment. There was something familiar to him about that fear, that conflict, those tremors. Even the images were familiar, though they had been different ones: the gentle-faced matron tortured at the hands of desert savages, the brown-eyed bride racked with the pain of birthing, two blue lightsabers flashing like shooting stars across fields of smoldering redness . . .

    And then, suddenly, the silence was shattered. Starlike radiance gleamed in Wym Sternenkranz’s eyes as he proclaimed in a clear, lyrical voice:

    Eth geit kei Dod; eth geit nor de Makht!

    There was a single swoop of the green blade, and he collapsed to the floor.

    With unexpected alacrity, Vader ran up the grand staircase to the balcony. Then he stopped and gazed downward. Craning their heads to see, the troopers and officers noticed that he stood before what seemed to be a pile of this planet’s traditional male clothing: brown leather trousers, a homespun tunic, a dark-green embroidered vest. They saw their lord prod the pile with a heavy black boot; they heard a brief clatter as something metallic rolled out; and, finally, they shuddered as the same object—the hilt of a lightsaber—crashed noisily to the stone floor below. ¶

    — — —

    Notes

    The ability of finta sempli is original to me and is described in the Fanon Thread here.

    Nydringia is an original planet and is meant to be sort of a Germanic, North European counterpart to Naboo. I imagine it as being designed around the aesthetics of the Northern Renaissance just as Naboo (one of my favorite GFFA locations) is designed around the aesthetics of the Italian Renaissance (and the classicism so revered by that renaissance). More will come in a fanon post at some point.

    Jedi Shadows: http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Jedi_Shadow

    Stepped gable: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crow-stepped_gable
    Half-timbering: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timber_framing
    Note that these links lead not to Wookieepedia but to Wikipedia; these are real-life architectural features characteristic of medieval and early modern buildings throughout Northern Europe.

    Wym Sternenkranz’s last name means “wreath of stars.” It was meant not only to resonate with Hamlet’s Rosenkrantz but also to be somewhat analogous to GFFA names like Skywalker, Darklighter, Whitesun, etc.

    Hinrisch thur Mohlen’s name is borrowed from a figure who cropped up in my dissertation research: one Hinrich thor Molen, who lived in Hamburg in the late decades of the sixteenth century, was an early teacher of Hieronymus Praetorius (1560–1629), a prominent North German organist-composer of the early seventeenth century.

    Eth geit kei Dod . . .”: The clue to the meaning of Wym’s final words is in the title of the story. ;)
    It is indeed that very well-known line from the Jedi Code, only in Wym’s native Nydringian. I’ve based it partly (but not solely) on the dialect of Late Middle Low German spoken in Hamburg around 1550, which figured in my dissertation research. Besides tweaking some of the orthography to get things slightly more “exotic,” I also threw in elements from other Germanic dialects such as Kölsch and Yiddish.