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Beyond - Legends Fleeting Glory (post-Endor Imperial; EU-based opus) - chapter two up! (9/19/14)

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by GrandAdmiralJello , Dec 21, 2010.

  1. GrandAdmiralJello

    GrandAdmiralJello Comms Admin ❉ Moderator Communitatis Litterarumque star 10 Staff Member Administrator

    Nov 28, 2000

    "La gloire est éphémère, mais l'obscurité est éternelle” – Napoléon I, Emperor of the French

    [​IMG]oruscant. Formerly the Imperial throne world, the ecumenopolis was once again the capital of a republic that spanned the stars. It was the glittering jewel of the galaxy, the center of culture, politics, fashion, and most civilized life. It was also home for a young woman who had not laid eyes on it for half a lifetime.

    The New Republic Senate, in its infinite wisdom, had issued a pardon to former Imperial officials and had invited them to enter public life once more. Many heard the siren call of power and prestige, and took the opportunity. Some saw it as an opportunity for revenge, while others saw it as a cheap ploy to draw “unreconstructed Imperials” away from the entrenched systems in which they now huddled. A few just saw it as a chance to move on.

    Ederlathh Pallopides—Princess Ederlathh—had been away for a long time. She had many happy memories of a childhood in a Palace now occupied by the murderers of her family patriarch. To him, she was the sweet and charming little “Edi.” To her, he was her beloved "Uncle Augie." To everyone else, he was the Emperor Palpatine.

    As her shuttle craft approached her old home, bidden by names such as Mothma, Organa Solo, Bel Iblis, Ackbar, and others, the woman wondered if she mightn't just be left alone.

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  2. GrandAdmiralJello

    GrandAdmiralJello Comms Admin ❉ Moderator Communitatis Litterarumque star 10 Staff Member Administrator

    Nov 28, 2000
    DRAMATIS PERSONAE (updated by appearances)

    The Imperial Family


    Assorted Citizens

    CITIZEN PLACEHOLDER (this space for rent).

    Imperial Rulers and Regents; in order of accession

    SATE PESTAGE, Grand Vizier and Lord Privy Seal (imperator pro tempore)
    YSANNE ISARD, Director of Imperial Intelligence and Stewardess of the Empire (imperatrix, dictatrix, dominatrix!)
    ARS DANGOR, president of the Emperor’s Ruling Circle and Lord Chamberlain (the big fish)
    GRAND ADMIRAL THRAWN, Supreme Commander of the Imperial Forces(generalissimo; or perhaps shogun, because he calls the shots fo’ sho’.)

    Imperial Court members

    ADMIRAL BETL OXTROE (a not-so-old warhorse)
    HER ROYAL MAJESTY, THE QUEEN KYLANTHA (ousted by the New Republic)

    Republic Élite

    Author's Note: I've just posted a teaser so far--the idea just struck me, and I wanted to post it publically as motivation not to drop the idea. I already have a DP written, but I'll wait on that.

    Please do post any and all comments and suggestions: the teaser's not much, but I wanted to post just a tiny bit to stimulate discussion.

    This fiction will be based entirely in canon (edit: at the time I wrote this, EU was canon), with Original Characters only as required (they will be marked in the DP). It will be a "scholarly" work in the sense that it will employ specific and obscure details from the canon to a particular purpose: it will not be self-satisfyingly neoteric, but it will reward those who've read sourcebooks and the like. The story will be, like my other Imperial work, tragic rather than comic.

    I hope you enjoy it. I also hope I'm not as bad about updating as I tend to be. (edit: so much for that.)

    Updates:]Chapter[/url] One - 9/20/11]Chapter[/url] Two = 9/19/14
  3. Sinrebirth

    Sinrebirth Mod-Emperor of the EUC, Lit, RPF and SWC star 10 Staff Member Manager

    Nov 15, 2004
    Nice start, Jello. I always wanted to see what would have happened to the Princess, ever since she appeared in TSG, though I doubt that you will reference TSG, of course. [face_peace]

    PM List, please, if you are doing one.
  4. Luna_Nightshade

    Luna_Nightshade Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Jan 25, 2006
    Interesting beginning. I like that attention will be paid to characters not normally touched upon, and I'd like to see them fluffed out in a story. The Roman take on the Empire is unique. There is a little bit of post-Nazi America flavor to it by letting the Imperials back into the fold, so to speak. It's hard for me to see anyone seeing Emperor Palpatine as a beloved uncle, but then it leads to interesting questions--who were Edi's parents?

    I will follow along with this. I'm on an OT, post-OT, and obscure character kick right now so this is right up my alley.
  5. RK_Striker_JK_5

    RK_Striker_JK_5 Force Ghost star 7

    Jul 2, 2003
    Ederlatth! I've always wondered about her. Great beginning, here. Please add me to the PM list.
  6. imperial_Warlord5

    imperial_Warlord5 Jedi Master star 1

    Dec 8, 2005
    intresting i look forward to more add me to the pm[face_peace]
  7. Darth McClain

    Darth McClain Manager Emeritus star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Feb 5, 2000
    Very interesting start. You've captured my attention, Jello.
  8. GrandAdmiralJello

    GrandAdmiralJello Comms Admin ❉ Moderator Communitatis Litterarumque star 10 Staff Member Administrator

    Nov 28, 2000
    Thanks, everyone! I'm planning to make the first chapter an extensive one, so it may take some time to get it written. There's a lot of fact-checking involved, and I haven't read some of these novels in a loong time...

    As for a PM list, should I do one, I'll use a sock. I will, of course, update the thread title when updates are posted. I'm debating whether to post the DP now or wait for the first chapter--either way, it'll also be announced in the title, as will updates to it or the author's note.

    Sinre: With "post-Endor Imperial" in the thread title, I suppose I shouldn't be surprised that you were the first to notice. No, as you surmise, it'll have nothing to do with TSG: I aim to support and buttress canon by filling in the gaps in the mortar.

    Luna: The Roman take is not entirely unique; George Lucas had it in mind, and the earlier WEG EU (and WOTC, to an extent) makes a distinction between the Empire of the upper crust (the Core Worlds, the Imperial Court, etc [Osvald Teshik, Ars Dangor, Teren Rogriss, the "public" persona of Palpatine, the Generationals, etc]), the Empire of the totalitarians (COMPNOR, ideological purity, all that Nazi business [Ishin Il-Raz, Pollux Hax, Sate Pestage, Ysanne Isard, Crueya Vandron, etc.]), the Dark Empire (guess who), and the Empire of the statists/fascists (a little bit of Nazism here too, but also the "Pelly" school of thought--the "Imperial Remnant" in general and most aspects of the New Order). As one might expect, the Princess Edi belongs to the first group.

    As far as allowing Imperials back in the fold--not my invention, either. This occurs during the novel The New Rebellion and causes President Organa Solo no end of trouble. The novel is contemporaneous with the prologue of this story. Edi's entrance into adulthood very neatly matches with that period in the timeline. That's not to say, of course, that it's all we'll see.

    Palpatine as beloved uncle: I suppose it has to be seen to be believed. ;)

    Edi's parents: we don't know, canonically. I am loathe to invent (significant) new characters and only do so if the story requires. So, I suppose we'll just have to see how that goes. I'd like my work to fit with canon and inventing relationships that might well be filled in by EU writers isn't something I like doing.

    I appreciate your questions and comments and invite more. I enjoy the discussion.
  9. TKeira_Lea

    TKeira_Lea Jedi Knight star 5

    Oct 10, 2002
    Beautifully written start, Jello. I'm intrigued.

    Writing within the bounds of canon can be time-consuming, but I always appreciate the effort. Good luck, I will be checking back in on this as time permits.
  10. RC-1991

    RC-1991 Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Dec 2, 2009
    I've always wanted to write a good fan-fic that could exist easily within the bounds of canon. And another based on a dropped plot idea from LOTF :D

    Well done, Jello. I'd like to be added to the PM list. I look forward to this :)
  11. GrandAdmiralJello

    GrandAdmiralJello Comms Admin ❉ Moderator Communitatis Litterarumque star 10 Staff Member Administrator

    Nov 28, 2000
    Thank you. Should anybody be interested in reading something similar in the meantime, I direct you to my other canon-based Imperial work: The Twelve.

    I am toying with resuming work with that one as well. Should I do so, I may well alternate between the two stories.
  12. Trika_Kenobi

    Trika_Kenobi Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Nov 4, 1999
    Fantastic teaser, Jello! Your writing is so eloquently beautiful, and just a taste of it is enough to have me hooked! Please PM me whenever you update this. :)
  13. GrandAdmiralJello

    GrandAdmiralJello Comms Admin ❉ Moderator Communitatis Litterarumque star 10 Staff Member Administrator

    Nov 28, 2000

    Imperial Center.
    22 ED/39:3

    [​IMG]udely awakened by a terrible racket, Princess Ederlathh was in a foul mood and would have given her attendants a terrible scolding had she not been transfixed by the sight that lay before her. She had never seen anything like it; but then, she had never expected that she might. Imperial Center was an orderly world, and the citizens were disciplined and focused: that is why they were the ones tasked with running the galaxy for Uncle Augie.

    “Lady Selton, what are these people doing?” the princess asked her governess.

    Selton took one look at the crowd and sniffed derisively. “Hooligans and vagrants, I expect. Pay them little heed, Your Highness.”

    Yet as much as she knew she shouldn’t look, Edi couldn’t help but be fascinated by the sheer number of people in the crowd. She knew from her studies that Imperial Center was home to over a trillion citizens, but she had never seen so many people in one place at any time—there must have been millions of them! What could possibly cause so many people to gather in one place at one time?

    Edi spared a glance to Selton, whose age-worn face revealed little interest in the goings-on outside the airspeeder. The vehicle could scarcely be called an airspeeder besides, as it was completely covered in… well, whatever it was that one used to make ships! Edi had begged to be allowed to use one of those speedy open-top airspeeders, but Selton wouldn’t hear of it: she said it was unsafe. As if Edi would be driving the speeder herself! Besides, she was eight years old now and didn’t need to be treated like a child! Selton also felt it inappropriate for commoners—even the wealthy sorts that lived in the Palace District—to catch a glimpse of a Princess of the Empire. Edi thought this was nonsense; why should royalty hide in seclusion? She understood why her uncle did it, because of his injuries from the Great War, but she was told that she was getting prettier by the day and everyone at court was simply agog over her choice of fashion!

    Noticing that Edi was still watching the spectacle outside, Selton hit a button on the armrest of her seat which operated the window coverings. Edi crossed her arms in annoyance, and looked around for anything else of interest. She enjoyed playing with her ladies-in-waiting, but Selton firmly discouraged that sort of behavior in her presence. Making faces at the scarlet-robed Imperial Guardsman, then, was entirely out of the question. She always wondered about that lot: she had never seen a single one of them speak, and they were always garbed in robes of such surpassing volume—why, they might be droids and she’d never know it. If he noticed her attention, he gave absolutely no indication of it. Well, that settled it—he was surely a droid, because Edi knew that nobody enjoyed being stared at without squirming uncomfortably.

    Another loud cheer ensued, audible even though the windows had been shielded with metal. Noticing Edi’s pout, Selton chided her. “Don’t mind petty distractions! A princess should keep aloof. If it weren’t for this awful airlane congestion, you would be nestled in bed by now. Return to your nap, Your Highness.”

    Edi wanted to bite back with a remark, but she had been warned that sarcasm was unbecoming a lady. Not wanting to have her books taken away from her, Edi chose a more polite tack: “I sat through that entire dismal opera without making a fuss, even though everybody knew that the basso was rubbish! Using a human for a Skakoan role is silly, but I knew it would look ill for His Majesty’s grandniece to seem unhappy with an all-human cast.”

    “Good behavior is its own reward,” Selton remarked, “and those Skakoan terrorists should be glad they’re even allowed to set foot on Imperial Center after the devastation their leader caused during the Great War.”

    “Yes,” Edi agreed, wearily, “you’ve told me a thousand times how you were once a lady to that senator and how you fought off assassins single-handedly.”

    “I always thought you enjoyed those stories,” the lady mumbled, sounding a little bit sad. “It was another lifetime ago. Reliving those memories made me feel young again.”

    Edi felt rotten. It must be so terrible to be old. She couldn't recall anybody ever commenting on how pretty Lady Selton was, though she did not look nearly so bad for fifty years of age. Edi imagined for a moment that her governess's face weren't lined with worry lines, and she caught a glimpse of what must have been a very striking woman.

    She was about to apologize when she heard a great crash, and then the entire world turned on its end. She lurched backwards in her seat for a brief moment before being propelled forward into the divider that separated the passenger area from the cockpit. A strong velvety hand gripped her arm and kept her from hitting the transparisteel, but it felt like a lifetime before her vision stopped spinning. She could hear voices, loud ones, and she thought she must have been daydreaming because the guards were speaking. They were shouting, in fact.

    The ringing in her ears was matched by the burning sensation in her throat, and both were soon accompanied by an awful smell. “I threw up,” Edi croaked.

    Edi tensed, awaiting the inevitable chastisement for using holofilm Basic vernacular instead of proper High Galactic, but Selton just took Edi in her arms and patted her on the head. Edi did not expect this sort of familiarity, but it felt comforting all the same.

    "Report." Selton's voice took on an uncharacteristically crisp edge.

    "Emergency evasives concluded. Escort squadrons en route; altitude will increase on rendezvous. All traffic in district grounded, Omega Contingency in effect." Edi was not entirely sure which guard was speaking, or if it was one of the pilots communicating through the speakers.

    "Omega Contingency?" Selton repeated, sounding very worried. "Th—that crowd?"

    "Insurrectionists. Director Isard declared martial law and directed a ret—" Edi did not hear the rest, because Selton pressed her palms against her ears. This only agitated her all the more.

    She let go after a short time, but nobody spoke afterwards. The journey was hardly quiet, however. Edi could hear the high-pitched whine of massed TIE fighter ships, which ought to have been comforting but the worry she heard in Selton's voice earlier left her deeply shaken.

    Upon returning to the Palace, Edi was whisked away by the guards with nary a word. A dozen of them had surrounded her and locked arms together, and they swiftly marched off. They were insistent, but gentle, and one of them stopped to pat her on the shoulder after she nearly tripped on one of the red robes. She could only catch the briefest glimpses outside the crimson walls that surrounded her—the guards were tall!—but she noticed the entire building had worked itself up into something of a fit. People were running around in different directions and nobody seemed to have any idea what they were doing, or how to behave like civilized people. The guards were a pebble of organization amidst a sea of chaos—or something to that effect; Edi was always mixing up her metaphors, much to the consternation of her poetry tutor.

    They took her to a room that wasn't her own, and left her in there for quite some time. The room was cold, dark, and metallic and there were no chronometers so Edi had to find alternatives. She recited verse from Ulic, the family's preferred drama, and her whispered prosody helped her keep time. Somewhere in the eleventh canto, a steward and two guards came to collect her and take her to the Emperor.

    The Palace was eerily quiet as the four of them made their way to the higher spires. Whatever the fuss had been earlier, it must have been attended to and the ill-disciplined fellows punished. The steward did not speak a word until they reached the antechamber, whereupon he told her to proceed into the throne room alone.

    When the great bronze doors opened, Edi swept into the chamber and ran towards the dais, scuffing the marble floors with her heeled slippers in the process. "Uncle Augie," she shrieked, with unbidden tears streaming from her eyes. When she saw that the throne was empty and draped in black, she skidded to a confused halt.

    There was an enrobed man standing next to the throne, not very tall except for the miter he wore. Blinking back her tears, Edi demanded to know where her uncle was.

    "Ah, dear, dear child . . . do you know who I am?"

    Edi scrutinized his face, and then the answer came to her. "You're the Lord . . . Lord P—P—" Her cheeks burned, and a fit of giggles threatened to overcome her. Ladylike, she heard Selton's voice at the back of her mind.

    There might have been the faintest of smiles tugging at the man's lips. "Such sweet innocence. We are fortunate to have such a gracious girl as the trueborn successor. I am Sate Pestage, erstwhile Lord Privy Seal and now your regent."

    She blinked. "My regent? I don't understand, have I been given a planet to rule?" The idea excited her, though she wouldn't know the first thing about being a queen. It could be something of an adventure, though.

    "My dear princess, has nobody told you?"
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  14. LexiLupin

    LexiLupin Jedi Knight star 4

    Mar 27, 2011

    Well NOW we're talkin'... [face_laugh]

    After some initial confusion which would have been easily avoided had I waited about two more minutes until you had the DP posted... chuckles... I think I'm with you. Not being one who has "read sourcebooks and the like," I shall trust this to be rewarding on its own merits regardless. And despite the early confusion, I am rather intrigued; you have a dry wittiness about your writing that makes up for my lack of familiarity with your principle character (in chapter 1, anyway).

    Though I am left with one burning question after chapter 1-

    Just what IS 'proper High Galactic' for "I threw up"?


    I am still a tad confused on years though- prologue is New Rebellion era which is what, 16 'ABY'? But then for ch. 1, you go back to 22 'ED' which is, in the reader's vernacular... 3 ABY? Or am I just being stupid? (Let it here be said that I am WAY too sleep deprived over the last few nights and am still up at 2 a.m. because my cats wouldn't stop making a racket when I tried to go to bed at 11:30... urgh).
    In any case, I take it this is kicking off pretty much right after Palpatine died (thereby assuming that my math just fails somewhere in the whole 0 BBY/ABY, the new millennium doesn't REALLY start until 2001, that sort of thing)?

    And before I continue rambling in my sleep deprivation, the point is that I hope you'll continue with this (9 month hiatus optional, but not preferable :p). I think I can safely say that this is wholly original to anything that's been posted on the Beyond board in quite some time, and I find the variety refreshing.

    Lastly- She blinked. "My regent? I don't understand, have I been given a planet to rule?" The idea excited her, though she wouldn't know the first thing about being a queen. It could be something of an adventure, though.

    "My dear princess, has nobody told you?"

    You ended this chapter so perfectly; we're left with the amusement and absurdity of the complete nonevent that would be her sudden promotion to queen of an unknown planet- she's not even fazed. But we, of course, know that she's about to be crushed with the truth.
  15. Sinrebirth

    Sinrebirth Mod-Emperor of the EUC, Lit, RPF and SWC star 10 Staff Member Manager

    Nov 15, 2004
    Well, this is a pleasant surprise, to say the least. I quite enjoyed seeing Edi's first reactions to the capital, and Lady Selton was an amusing croon for the plot. It is quite a shame that the Emperor has died just as she arrives... and one cannot shake the creepiness that Lord Pestage always endears to me. Most unpleasant - and, as such, a deeply intriguing entry! Poor Edi is going to be beside herself. :(

    That being said, just hearing Isard's name is sufficient to draw a scowl from me. Damn the woman and her foolishness in losing the Core.
  16. Luna_Nightshade

    Luna_Nightshade Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Jan 25, 2006
    Edi is all sorts of annoying, isn't she? But it seems as if someone has kicked the bucket but not the entirety of the Empire... looking forward to Ed's attempts at governance. Welcome back!
  17. GrandAdmiralJello

    GrandAdmiralJello Comms Admin ❉ Moderator Communitatis Litterarumque star 10 Staff Member Administrator

    Nov 28, 2000
    Some clarifications:

    The prologue is during The New Rebellion. The first chapter is during Return of the Jedi--I'm describing the little Coruscant celebration; you'll notice the references to Iron Fist, The Dark Empire Sourcebook, The Star Wars Adventure Journal, and Mara Jade: By the Emperor's Hand in some of the events described, among others. So yes, someone important has died--and he's called the Emperor. I also wouldn't expect Ederlathh to be governing anything: this work is set entirely within the canon, and she never ruled the Empire.

    This is also not her first trip to Coruscant--she's returning from an opera.

    I caution readers to pay especial attention to the date posted with the chapter headings, as well as to contextual clues. The bulk of the storytelling is done via allusion. There's plenty hidden in the first chapter, and I won't ruin the fun by saying what is being unsaid.

    It's part of the nature of telling the fall of the Galactic Empire through the POV of an eight year-old: the reader is going to pick up on a lot of details that Edi won't, so naturally the POV will reflect her understanding only.
  18. Ceillean

    Ceillean Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Nov 13, 2001

    You speak my mind. ;)


    Before taking a peek at this, I'd honestly not heard of Edi before. It's nice reading about canon characters that I don't know about yet. I like her character so far. :)

    I'll definately be keeping up with this.

    If you have a PM list, would you add me to it please?

  19. MercenaryAce

    MercenaryAce Chosen One star 6

    Aug 10, 2005
    Very impressive work so far. I look forward to reading more of it - and I haven't read a fanfic for a really long time.

    ...Matter of fact, this kind of makes me want to right my own fanfic about Edi (though, admittedly, taking her in a completely different direction)

    I am also impressed by your desire to stick to canon.
    ...Though, on that note, I do question why you listQueen Kylantha as ousted by the New Republic - as far as I can tell, she was rebel leaning, if easily intimidated by the Imperial Player in Galaxies.

    Edit: Also, I will give you twenty credits if you can find a way to include a reference to
  20. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Aug 31, 2004
    Hi, Jello! Awesome start [face_batting] I like Edi a lot and the voice you've given her =D= :cool: More soon? @};- :)
  21. Findswoman

    Findswoman Fanfic and Pancakes and Waffles Mod (in Pink) star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Feb 27, 2014
    Impressive so far, GrandAdmiralJello. Full of erudition, detail, and character—all things I love to see in writing of any kind. Very cool details on the opera and Ulic (which I imagine being similar to one of those old Slavic epics like Slovo o polku Igoreve). Always fun to see an obscure-but-official character brought to life, and this is a very fun take on the whole "rambunctious-royal-child-with-staid-nanny" topos. Edi reminds me somewhat of Eloise—it's cute (and revealing) how she takes the possibility of ruling some random backwater planet as just some everyday thing that could happen to her at any moment!

    Anyway, I would be glad to see more of this whenever you have any more of it to offer. Kudos!
  22. GrandAdmiralJello

    GrandAdmiralJello Comms Admin ❉ Moderator Communitatis Litterarumque star 10 Staff Member Administrator

    Nov 28, 2000
    Been far too long since I've updated this. Here's a chapter I've been writing on one and off for a few years now. :p

    Tagging Sinrebirth MercenaryAce Ceillean because they expressed interest in being notified.

    Anyway, here we are. Hope it's up to snuff. And as a reminder, the even-numbered chapters are contemporaneous with the prologue. Pay attention to dates.


    17 ABY/52:7

    [​IMG]ow things had changed in a decade. When Edi had last seen the capital, the Palace District was serene, free from the bustle that characterized the rest of the planet. Now, the airspace was clogged with governmental traffic of all sorts. For a moment, she was tempted to become lost amongst the crowd: but she knew that no matter where she went, they would find her. She would not hide, however. She was a Princess of the Empire, and she would face her persecutors.

    Edi's pulse quickened as the grey-green bulk of the Imperial Palace, hewn from the stone of a thousand worlds, grew in the viewports. It was even more beautiful than she remembered, indeed, it was far more beautiful than any holoimage could possibly attest. She knew every spire and crest of that building, every crag and crenellation, and yet it still took her breath away. She could see what damage senseless violence had wrought to it, however—the telltale scars left by laserfire, imperfectly replaced with inferior stone. She could see landing platforms thoughtlessly carved into delicately tapered towers, their artistry tossed aside for the sake of bureaucratic convenience. Worst of all, she could see those vulgar banners fluttering over the Palace's many towers, banners festooned with the accursèd Starbird, as if to commemorate the building's desecration.

    Edi looked away from the window, and shifted uncomfortably in her seat. It had taken quite some time to reach the Core, and the shuttle was scarcely large enough to walk to the landing ramp. The upholstery, if it could be called that, was worn flat and the chair had a worrisome tendency to wobble. There was no crash webbing to be had, and Edi alternatingly wondered if she would be launched from the seat or dropped to the floor. Aside from a sore bottom, her skin chafed from the atrocious synthleather jumpsuit she had condescended to wear. Edi owned precious few garments that could be worn among decent society, but marking herself as a target for robbery was not part of her plan.

    As it stood, though, she was attired more like spacetrash than royalty. Her borrowed boots were dinged, the jumpsuit was accented by an entire constellation of wrinkles, and she wasn't even wearing gloves. Only her visage proclaimed her august heritage. Yet still, her hair was wrapped in a simple peasant's bun, as an ornate coiffure would look startlingly out of place. Edi understood the wisdom of keeping a low profile on the journey, but it irritated her all the same that she was typically better put together for bed than she was on a flight to the Imperial Palace. She couldn't be off this shuttle soon enough.

    She felt the subtle shift in gravity that she had come to associate with landfall, and murmured quick thanks to any and all divinities that the seat had survived the landing. Edi stood up, perhaps with an ungraceful haste that betrayed her fear of the aging vessel. She sought out the captain herself, though under any other circumstance she would have waited for an escort out of a transport. It took little time, for the ship's equally dilapidated captain was ambling down the vessel's cramped hallways in search of his only passenger. Doubtless he was as eager to get her off the vessel as she was to leave it, as he seemed annoyed at her increasingly firm but polite rejections of his attempts at flirtation. Apparently the cheap flimsinovels weren't wrong to portray every ship captain as a rogue, though they significantly exaggerated their charms.

    The man—Captain Salio—gave her one last lingering look. “So here we are then, young miss: Coruscant, the planet of bureaucrats and turbolifts. Enjoy the lines at immigration, you’ll find them everywhere on this ’unk of metal.”

    Edi deflected his attempt at conversation. “Thank you for the pleasant voyage,” she said with only a trace of sincerity, “Here is the agreed-upon fare.” She fished a coin out of her side pocket and tossed it at the captain, which she understood was the standard method by which spacers conducted transactions.

    Though the coin frustratingly sailed considerably afield of where she had projected it, the captain managed to pluck it out of the air. He peered at the coin closely, turned it over a few times, and then had the effrontery to look Edi in the eyes. “These are Imperial credits. What sort of scam are you trying to pull on me, lady?”

    Taken entirely aback by the man’s rude tone, it took Edi a few moments to realize that he was accusing her of knavery. “Excuse me?”

    Salio loomed over her, occupying a space too close for the princess’s comfort and certainly far closer than would ever be acceptable in polite society. He smelled of dried tabac and other odeurs too indelicate to mention. Edi tried her best to keep a calm face, but she could hear her own heart pounding in her ears and it distressed her. Why was she so alarmed?

    “This piece of scrap is worth less than the metal it’s made of,” Salio growled.

    Edi considered pointing out that he had ended his sentence with a preposition, but she thought the better of it.

    “But I know where I can get my money’s worth…” he said with an odd look on his face, and stepped towards her menacingly.

    Much to her shame, Edi squealed with fright. She felt like a child or worse, and she attempted instinctively to squirm out of his grip. A thousand thousand terrible images floated through her mind, images bidden from horror stories and grueseome oeuvres from the most brilliantly depraved artists in the galaxy. Half-remembered self-defense training flooded into her mind, and she took what she hoped was a martial pose with her fists raised to ward off her assaulter.

    Salio looked at her incredulously and began to hoot with laughter. “Whoa, settle down little razor cat! I’m not gonna touch ya – I’m claiming a spacer’s lien on your cargo… you’ll have until I set off again to pay me back, or I confiscate what’s owed.”

    “You are trying to extort me,” Edi accused, her poise returning now that she understood what was happening. She pressed on, lest her confidence fail her. “You seek to frighten me into purchasing succor for my fears, but you know full well that brigandage on the very steps of the Imperial Palace is a fool’s endeavor.”

    “The only extortion, miss high ‘n’ mighty, is forcin’ a ’onest man to accept worthless trinkets as payment,” Salio riposted, “I know my rights, same as any spacer. We go before any tribunal on this lit’gous-minded planet and we’ll see who has the right of it. But I can tell ya that you don’t ‘ave a chance.”

    “I – no, recourse to a tribunal will not be necessary. I shall find some way to effectuate payment.” Shaken, Edi stepped around the captain and walked towards the boarding ramp with all the haste that her dignity would allow. Just before she reached it, she paused and turned back to the captain. “Do be certain to secure my effects.”

    Without waiting for Salio’s response, Edi gingerly ventured out onto the boarding ramp with the expectation that it might collapse at the slightest misstep. The first thing she noticed, before her eyes beheld her former home, was the distinct smell of Coruscant – Imperial Center, once upon a time. Though she had grown up on the galactic capital, the air smelled wrong. A zealot might have proclaimed that the stench of the Rebellion had polluted the air, but truthfully, Edi was just unfamiliar with the sharp artificial smell of the planet. Coruscant did not have the scent of a starship, with the sterile scent of frequently recycled air, nor even the slightly used stench of an old space station whose scrubbers were burnt out by years of neglect. Coruscant had a smell all of its own – it was ineffable.

    And Edi realized with a start that she did not like it. There was a familiarity to it, a comfortable nostalgia that brought with it all the sensations of a happy childhood long obscured by the mists of faded memory and yet it had a sour note, an unnatural astringency to it that soiled those memories. Or perhaps it was simply that her last memories of the world had torn her happier years asunder, as a careless hand casts aside family portraits to shatter upon the ground. Whichever it was, Edi felt anxious as she descended the boarding ramp.

    Her anxiety grew as she caught her first glimpse of the Imperial Palace through her naked eye. The docking platform extended towards a tower of colossal proportions, cresting in a spire that seemed to touch the stars. Though appearing cylindrical from a distance, the tower actually consisted of a delicate series of tapered arches and steps spiraling around the structure, in which were nestled innumerable carvings, bas-reliefs, and sculptures. Yet as massive as the tower seemed, Edi knew it was one of many hundreds, and she could see the bulk of the Palace stretching beyond the tower to encompass her whole world.

    Edi could hear her heart pounding in her ears. She had visualized this very moment dozens of times en route, yet none of her preparation was adequate for this particular moment. In her mind’s eye, she had been as serene as the Solleu and as poised as a guarlara. Now she felt very much like a twenty-one year-old girl, and not very much like a princess. The girl who had never feared entering a building in her life now had to will herself to walk forward to face an uncertain destiny. The leaders of this once and former Rebellion, this New Republic, had promised a pardon to all of those who had served the Galactic Emperor. They had bade Edi attend them at their revolutionary court, their salon of democracy, and their levee of republicanism. Yet Edi had never merely served the Emperor, but had benefited greatly from his status – would these former insurrectionists stoop to one final act of revenge, or would Edi finally live her life in safety?

    As she approached the approached the spire, Edi could make out several figures standing by the threshold of the gatehouse. The landing platform extended towards a doorway that looked rather muted and utilitarian in comparison to its surroundings. Lacking in the way of decorative elements – there was not even an archway present – Edi concluded that this particular platform had been one of the additions that the New Republic had made to the structure. A sliver of irritation wound through her anxiety as she realized that her return home would not be accompanied by the ceremonial pomp that it deserved, but such feelings died quickly. Her home was no longer hers, and it was a considerable relief that the New Republic would not make a big fuss about her humiliating return to the edifice that was now their Capitol.

    The figures resolved into a collection of men in blue and a woman in a New Republic officer’s uniform. Edi couldn’t spot a single diplomat or state official in attendance, which increased her sense of disquiet. The New Republic wasn’t known for overt militarism. She told herself that there was no reason for outright concern, as they might simply be a security detail. She recognized the men in blue as civilians – they were members of the Senate Protective Service, who dressed in blue jumpsuits and wore billed hats with red Starbirds upon them. They constituted the official guard for the Chief of State and President of the Senate, and they provided security for the Imperial Palace, which the new government had attempted to rename Republic House without any sort of success.

    The woman was as a human with honey-colored skin and berry blond hair, and Edi recognized the three pips of a commander on her uniform jacket. Neither the woman nor the guardsmen saluted as Edi approached, although the woman did offer a slight bow at the waist.

    “Welcome to Coruscant, Ms. Pallopides,” the officer offered briskly. “If you’ll follow me, please.” Her accent was not Coruscanti, but might have come from one of a dozen other Core Worlds.

    Edi was relieved that the officer wasn’t one of the more fervent Rimward revolutionaries, but her behavior was still appalling. The princess had considered the possibility that the New Republic would refuse to acknowledge her status, but being treated so rudely in person was still a bit of a shock to her. Her reaction was a bit of a shock as well; Edi didn’t feel angered, outraged, or even serenely superior. Rather, she felt . . . small, as if she were diminished by the officer’s behavior and she felt rather helpless to respond. The presence of the Senate’s “Bluebills” didn’t help in the matter, as she was quite well reminded that she was at the mercy of her enemies here.

    Without waiting for a reply, the officer turned on her heel and began walking towards the archway. The guards assumed a column with the officer at the head and Edi in the middle, and marched her towards her uncertain fate. A painful memory – one she thought suppressed – floated upward and Edi was reminded of a very different night many years ago where she had been escorted by a phalanx of guardsmen. She was much shorter then, and those guards wore voluminous red robes instead of neatly trimmed blue jackets, but somehow Edi had never felt more stifled, more claustrophobically trapped than she did now. She hoped that the familiarity of her old home would bring some comfort to her, some totem of comforting stability to ease her anxiety and calm the rollicking storm of fears and unbidden imaginings in her mind.

    She saw no other personnel manning the entrance to the building proper, a fact she immediately noted as incongruous. While Palace security would have never dared subjected a princess of the blood imperial to an entrance screening, Edi had gotten quite familiar with the ubiquity of security personnel and their absence was quite glaring. Edi supposed it had to do with the pretentions of liberty and freedom that the Rebels were always trumpeting, though it seemed sheer folly to take such talk to its logical conclusion and allow free access to the Palace.

    The commander led the group along without making the slightest bit of conversation, and their journey took them through several unmarked hallways that Edi suspected were newly constructed. After some time wandering alien corridors, the party finally happened upon a part of the Palace that was familiar to Edi – or rather, a portion of the Palace that seemed it ought to look familiar. The architecture and layout of the long, vaulted hallway seemed very familiar to Edi but its current condition made her feel as if she were recalling something that she had once dreamed. The corridor contained niches and alcoves that once housed pedestals and displays of artwork and artifacts from hundreds of species and thousands of worlds across the galaxy, given in homage to their great universal monarch. The walls were once covered with warm colored marbles from Naboo, inlaid with rare red-veined marble and porphyry bas-relief sculpts of the Imperial emblem.
    This was once one of Edi’s favorite places in the Palace, one among many of its like which highlighted the vast extent of the Empire and the even vaster depth of the citizens’ love for her great-uncle. Now, the niches were bare and the walls were defaced with a mural in a horrifyingly abstracted style which purported to show youths of various different species coming together hoist a billowing flag emblazoned with the Starbird. There was something strangely disconcerting about the version of reality that the mural wanted its viewers to believe. She well understood the injustices that some species had faced in the aftermath of what was now called the Clone Wars, but she felt that it was one thing to acknowledge the mistakes of the past and another entirely to manipulate them for one’s gain.

    Her mind circled back to the reports she had once read with keen interest, detailing the delicate political situation in the old Rebellion’s Provisional Council. The Mothmatist faction – and this was truly the only name for them, since they refused to organize in any structure resembling a party – attempted to govern with something resembling revolutionary zeal, rejecting the New Order consensus but still paying homage to the ideal of the Old Republic. The coterie around Borsk Fey’lya, the Bothan high councilor, formed their own political party premised on the idea that it was time for the aliens to take their own place at the ruling table. It was a ludicrous notion on many levels – beyond Edi’s inability to comprehend the concept that a species needed representation in order to be treated fairly, the Mothmatists had already given the aliens what they wanted. Still they clamored – and this mural was proving to be a master example of Fey’lya’s artifice: tell the people the story they want to believe rather than the story that truly is.

    Edi did not have long to dwell on the mural, noticing instead that the group had slightly increased its pace. This signaled to her that they were almost at their destination. They walked across the mezzanine of one of the Palace’s many grand staircases, which served to divide the various wings of the enormous edifice. Architectural styles mingled here, with the Naboo styling of the museum wing giving way to the regal Atrisian of the Court. Other wings were styled differently, from the neoclassical Notron of the state reception wing to the Calamarian Inglenook. Her imperial uncle’s private chambers were decorated in an imposing ancient style known as Sith, managing to be simultaneously awe-inspiring and awful, ghastly and glorious.

    They entered the sumptuously appointed Court quarters, where the good and great – lords and ladies all – once mingled. Here were the residences of those who were given the all-important entrée into galactic high society. The state of these chambers indicated to Edi what she had already known: that the New Republic had abolished the old Imperial peerage, and that their form of politics had no place for a Court of Courts. These rooms were now empty, devoid of activity, and had been for some time, judging by the dust that had been allowed to settle.

    Yet for the first time in forever, Edi felt a glimmer of long-buried joy suffice her being. Despite everything, she could imagine herself gowned in exquisite drapery amidst the music, light, and pageantry of better days. She could see the empty halls and ballrooms filled with people and sheer life. There were darker memories here too – shadowy fears that once exercised such control over her. Yet those shadows felt dwarfed by the passage of time: made small by distance. The dark memories belonged in the past; today was a different day. She knew that it would all end tomorrow, but Edi allowed herself a small smile nonetheless – despite everything, it was truly great to be home once again.

    Though initially irritated by her escort’s rudeness in refusing to engage in polite conversation, Edi now welcomed the silence. It allowed her to lose herself in her memories, if only for the briefest of moments. But even as a stray thought burrowed its way into her memories – why bring her here, of all places – an answer followed close in. One of the walls slid open almost imperceptibly, and Edi would have been hard-pressed to have noticed any incongruity in the highly carved stone. Having seen their previous lackadaisical attempts at architectural restoration, Edi was a little surprised to see that the New Republic could have wrought so cunning a secret lair.

    “Follow me, please,” the commander spoke at last. The guards continued marching onwards, but left a gap so that Edi could follow the older woman as the door slid shut behind the two of them.

    As they continued walking in silence down plain metallic hallways devoid of the slightest decoration, Edi found herself unable to bear the silence any longer. “Do you hate me?” she asked, intending a note of challenge in her voice but registering that it came out sounding plaintive.

    For some moments, the sound of footsteps was the only answer she got.

    “No, I don’t hate you,” the New Republic commander finally answered. “I pity you.”

    “You pity me,” Edi repeated, nearly breathless with surprise. “I had always imagined that your type hated Imperials.”

    The officer’s tresses shook from side to side as they followed the motion of her head. “We never hated you. Not even when we should have – but you, I pity. I pity all those who had the chance to see the Empire for what it really was, but who willingly blinded themselves to its crimes.”

    Memories flashed through Edi’s mind – memories that she had just tried to suppress. She clamped down hard on them, and surprised herself with the harshness in her own tone. “Crimes? You speak to me about crimes while leading me like a prisoner through my own home, a home that you and yours drove me from as a little girl? How dare you – you have no right.”

    The officer suddenly stopped, but did not turn. “The Empire murdered my husband,” she said simply, matter-of-factly, with such an iron control over her tone that it was almost impossible to detect the deep hurt that revealed itself in those words.

    Edi didn’t know what to say to that. She yearned to offer some words of solace, of understanding, and perhaps even apology, but she stayed her voice, sensing that the woman did not want nor need the sympathy of an enemy.

    The officer resumed her walk and the subsequent silence was welcome this time. The pair eventually reached a small office with two men seated at the edge of a table. Edi tried to dispel the idea that it was an interrogation room, but she felt anxious just the same.

    The older man rose at her arrival, mercifully offering Edi some dignity. The younger man – still at least a decade older than Edi – had been standing with his back to the door, but he turned and grinned as soon as he saw them. The grin was plainly for the officer escorting her, but it almost seemed as if he was looking straight at Edi.

    “Commander! Now this is a surprise – how’s the Boss doing these days?” he blurted animatedly, before falling silent at a look by his companion. He still ambled over to them, and to her surprise, the officer offered her arm to the man and let him escort her from the room, clearly engaged in a quiet conversation.

    Despite not knowing the woman, Edi felt a quiet relief that she did have friends of some sort. Some people in the galaxy were humorless and let their work drive their lives, and they always saddened Edi. Companionship was important, and its absence soul-crushing – Edi knew this very well.

    The other man shook his head in resignation. He had a receding hairline, which had clearly gone grey some time ago, but he had neither the paunch nor gaunt looks of a man who had let himself go. He also lacked the handsome look and the obvious athleticism of his just departed colleague. Edi’s cheeks warmed slightly, though the mental comparison had been innocent.

    “He calls himself a professional, and yet he insists on acting the rogue.” He smiled tightly, “I apologize. I’m Airen Cracken, Director of New Republic Intelligence.”

    General Airen Cracken, Edi thought with alarm. She willed herself not to step backwards in fear. The New Republic’s spymaster had abducted her, and he clearly intended to have her killed – or worse. Deep down, she had expected this outcome but she hoped that perhaps the New Republic would be true to its word – that they were the idealists they so proudly claimed to be. Now she cursed herself for ever chartering this flight to Imperial Center, and boarding that scoundrel Salio’s wretched ship.

    Salio – Salio ! Edi’s eyes widened. “That man just now – he looked just like Captain Salio, but shorn of those unseemly whiskers.”

    Cracken nodded, and Edi almost thought she could detect a glimmer of respect in his eyes. One could never be certain with a man like him, whose commerce was deceit. “Very good,” he allowed. “I had hoped you would recognize him. You see, we’ve been watching you for some time, and tapped ‘Salio’ to bring you here.”

    “Why? So that you could flaunt your trickery before you have me strangled or shot, or paraded naked before your slathering soldiers?” Edi challenged, finding a sudden surge of bravery in extremis. She might have squirmed with discomfort at the notion that Rebel agents had been secretly peering at her, but she actually could feel her spine stiffen with proverbial resolve. If she was to die, then she could face her death as a princess should.

    Cracken actually looked shocked. “Murder you? Stars, girl! Who do you think was keeping you alive this whole time?”

    His shock looked genuine, felt genuine – but if he were the New Republic’s spy-in-chief, he would be a sublime master of emotions and expressions. Edi did not trust him at all. “I know who’s kept me alive – and it certainly has not been Rebel agents. If anything, your assassins have ruined the best years of my life.”

    His eyes hardened, just a bit. “We do not assassinate our enemies. Not even when they sorely deserve it – and none of us are unhinged enough to think a mere child deserves death.”

    Well aware that he had just called her a child, and aware that he denied the murder of the Emperor, Edi almost let her temper get the better of her. She was prepared to give this ill-mannered sneak the tongue-lashing he justly deserved, but she was smote with a troubling thought that had the uncomfortable air of truth to it. The Rebels hadn’t been the ones who tried to have her killed – but if not them, then who?
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  23. ThreadSketch

    ThreadSketch Jedi Master star 4

    Dec 22, 2013


    Tag me, bro.
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  24. Findswoman

    Findswoman Fanfic and Pancakes and Waffles Mod (in Pink) star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Feb 27, 2014
    Great to see this at last, GrandAdmiralJello. You do a great job with Edi's introspection on all the changes that have happened since she was last at the palace, and on the not always positive effects the founding of the New Republic had on her family and on Imperial society and culture; the tension in her conversation with the commander is palpable. But I also like how you don't make the Rebels totally "evil" either—this is going to be a very nuanced story, I can tell. And I love the detailed descriptions of the palace, its rooms, its architectural styles. Looking forward to more. @};-
  25. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Aug 31, 2004
    Enjoyed Edi's various reactions to being home again, more or less... her unexpected sympathy towards her escort and the entire exchange with Airen =D=