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Saga For the Rebellion - Cassian, Luke, Wedge- (One-Shot) Celtic Song Challenge

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by mavjade , May 28, 2017.

  1. mavjade

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

    Registered:
    Sep 10, 2005
    Title: For the Rebellion
    Author: mavjade
    Characters: Cassian, Luke, Wedge
    Timeline: During Rogue One, and during A New Hope
    Status: Complete
    Summary: War means sacrifice. Sometimes it's worth the sacrifice, but for those that are left behind, it's a difficult idea and we all need ways to honor that sacrifice.
    Notes: It took me a bit but this is for the Celtic Song Challenge. The song I received was The Parting Glass. I listened to quite a few versions of the song, but the below video by The Wailin’ Jennys was the version I used for the inspiration for this story. Take a listen before you read, it’s quite beautiful.



    I did not originally intend to post this on Memorial Day (in the US), but as I was giving it a read through, I realized what day it was and thought it appropriate to post. I’m thankful for those who have given their lives in service to my country, and while I know this doesn’t honor their sacrifice, I hope it instils the feelings of gratitude I feel for them. (If that makes any sense at all.)


    >

    And all the harm that e'er I've done, alas, it was to none but me
    And all I've done for want of wit to memory now I can't recall
    So fill to me the parting glass, good night and joy be with you all


    Cassian was looking down at the Churban brandy in his hand, swirling the dark liquid in the glass, feeling so alone in a room that was packed full of people. He had watched as Jyn tried to convince the council to chase after the Death Star plans and the trap her father had laid. When they first ‘rescued’ Jyn, he hadn’t trusted her. She was a loose cannon and only out for herself, she'd double cross them for her own gain, of that he was sure. He’d spent most of his life putting his all into the fight for others so that they may be free. He didn’t understand someone who didn’t want to do everything in their power to right the wrongs they saw every day.

    But as time went on, he saw the same fire ignite in Jyn that had once burned in him. The fire was a passion to help, a burning desire to do what is right and damn the personal cost. The fire that was only flamed by doing what should be done. He, of course, still fought and would continue to do so, but some of that fire had left him. He’d seen too much.

    Done too much.

    He’d crossed the line in the name of righteousness and goodness, and it ate at his soul every day.

    The beings he’d killed in the name of the Rebellion haunted him. Those beings never had time to beg for their lives, they were dead before they had a chance, but their voices yelled out to him in agony none the less. And yet, the voices of those who were being oppressed, tortured, and killed were louder. For now. He worried that the day would come when the voices of those he'd killed would overtake the voices of the oppressed, he had no clue who he'd be then. Cassian knew he’d done what he must to do in order to further the cause that would end the suffering. If he had to sacrifice what was left of him in order to put it all to an end, then that was his burden to shoulder.

    But when he listened to the council debate the merits of doing something that could potentially put a stop to the Empire’s stranglehold on the galaxy, he began to wonder, for the first time, if he was truly on the right side. Not that the Empire was the correct one, no, he’d never contemplate such a thought. But was the Rebellion going in the correct direction? Did there need only to be two sides to the fight?

    Saw Gerrera’s group was trying to further the fight but wasn’t the right direction for him. If anything, they were closer to the Empire than they were to what the Rebellion was trying to accomplish. They used any means necessary and did not consider the cost. And now that Saw was most assuredly dead, there wasn’t much if anything left of his side anyway. The answer didn't lie that way, but he felt it was in a direction he wasn't currently following.

    Cassian looked up from his drink and saw so many faces that mirrored his own. The desperate need to do something. The horror of things that had been done. The pain of lost friends and family, loved ones and compatriots, the look of lost innocence. It was painful to see, painful to wonder if they were doing the right thing.

    “What if we go?” he said unsure of where the idea had suddenly come from. He wasn’t entirely certain he’d said it out loud, but several heads turned his direction. “We could take a group and get the plans ourselves. We don’t need the entire Rebellion.”

    Another human man stood up and walked with his drink over to Cassian. “If that information is going to stop this fight, count me in.”

    There were a few more rumblings of “me too,” “I’m in.” A few others got up and left, but most of the beings who were hanging around seemed to agree to the mission, even if it was unsanctioned.

    “This isn’t going to be easy,” Cassian said. “It’s unsanctioned, and we may not come back. If we do come back, it might not be to the Rebellion.”

    The first man who had agreed was still standing beside Cassian, he looked into Cassian's eyes as though he was searching for something? Conviction? Truth? Cassian didn't know. Seeming satisfied with what he saw, the man raised his glass, “For Jedha!”

    Most of the others raised their glasses as well and yelled, “For Jedha.”

    “For Jelucan” someone else yelled. “For Jelucan,” everyone in the room repeated.

    Now, everyone in the room was standing with their glasses raised. Cassian could see the same feelings he had right now reflected back in every eye that he could see. It was hope that what they had done and were about to do would not be in vain.

    Cassian jumped on the chair so everyone in the room could see him. He raised his glass and looked at as many of his fellow soldiers as he could. “For the future.”

    “For the future.”

    ~*~*~​


    But since it falls unto my lot that I should rise and you should not
    I'll gently rise, and I'll softly call good night and joy be with you all


    Luke sat in the big open room of the temple that they’d been using as a mess hall. Just a day before it had been full of people, full of life. He’d walked past when he first got to Yavin and saw what looked a little like cantina in Mos Eisley, minus the violence and the band. Now, it was empty, and the jovial atmosphere was gone and replaced by a thick blanket of despair. Yes, they'd won the battle, and it was something to celebrate, but so many lives had been lost in the process.

    He sat alone trying not to think about all the people who had died that day. He barely knew anyone, but the grief of their deaths still covered him. When he arrived at the Yavin base, they had welcomed an unknown kid from a backwater planet like he was an old friend.

    Biggs.

    He and Biggs used to be great friends. It was hard growing up in the harsh environment of Tatooine where friends were few and far between. He and Biggs had been inseparable when they were young, always dreaming of joining the Imperial Academy and flying together.

    When Biggs left for the Academy, Luke felt alone with his dream. He begged and begged to be allowed to go, but his Uncle Owen would never allow it, sometimes giving a reason, but often just leaving the discussion at the word no. Luke thought about just leaving, under the galactic law he was an adult, and therefore there wasn't anything they could if he had decided to leave, but Luke couldn’t do that to his Aunt. She was the only mother than he’d ever known and he loved her. He loved his Uncle as well, but the idea of losing a relationship with his Aunt is what held him back.

    Of course, now they were dead too. Luke wasn’t quite sure he wanted this adventure any longer, and he found himself almost wishing for the long, hot days on the moisture farm under the twin suns of his home.

    Wedge walked into the mess and saw his new friend Luke sitting alone. He could tell by the slump of his shoulders that his friend was struggling with all that had happened to him in such a short time. Wedge had experienced friends and even just acquaintances dying in combat, but this had been quite the blow, even for him. He and Luke were the only ones left of their squadron, but he continued to see the faces of his fallen friends in the hallways and in the few empty fighters that remained.

    Wanting to celebrate their lives and honor their sacrifice, he walked over to Luke and sat beside him, setting the on the table a bottle of Whyren’s Reserve and two cups he had picked up on his way into the hall. He’d had the small bottle of Cornelian whiskey in his kit for quite some time, lugging it around from base to base, waiting for the right time to use it. It was given to him by a very close friend when he joined the Rebellion. He couldn't think of a better time than the celebration of so many lives.

    “There’s a tradition on Corella where you drink to your fallen friends,” Wedge said as he poured a small amount of the amber colored liquor into the glasses. “The tradition says that you drink something that was made in their home city, or at least in the general area. Then you take three drinks, one for the fallen, one for you, the mourner, and one for their friends and family. Your entire group does so, and then you send what’s left to their family. If empty bottles are sent to the family, they know their loved one was cared for and loved a great deal.”

    Wedge pushed the glass over to Luke, “We can’t really do that here. One, we don’t have access to all that liquor and two, we’d be so drunk we’d have to go to the med bay long before we were finished. But we can drink to our friends. I think they deserve that, at least.”

    Luke picked up the glass and looked into it as though the all the answers he was looking for were there. He then looked up at Wedge and nodded. “To Ben,” he said wanting to have some way to acknowledge how much the old Jedi had done for him. Luke raised his glass and took a big swig of the drink, he immediately started coughing, the strength of the whiskey taking him by surprise.

    Wedge patted him on the back and smiled, but said nothing. “To Dreis,” he said as he raised his glass and then took a drink. He knew they couldn’t name everyone who had died, but he thought the leader of his squadron deserved a special mention.

    “To Red Squadron,” Luke added and they both drank.

    Wedge poured another small amount into their glasses. “For all those who give the ultimate sacrifice for the idea of a better galaxy.”

    “For the rebellion."​
     
    Kahara, Chyntuck, AzureAngel2 and 5 others like this.
  2. ZaraValinor

    ZaraValinor Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    May 31, 2002
    =D= I love this. I've always thought it was so interesting in Rogue One that it became easy to cross the line, even in trying to do good. Cassian deciding to do what was right, despite orders. And then Wedge and Luke, unknowingly (at least Luke) saluting them. Perfection.
     
  3. Mistress_Renata

    Mistress_Renata Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Sep 9, 2000
    This is so lovely! Reflective, but not gloomy, with thoughtful reflection of the ones who fell. Cassian, pondering his actions, regretting some of them, but knowing that the fight must go on. Luke, facing huge tragedy and loss in a short time, and possibly for the first time in his life. Wedge, who has already seen combat and lost friends, helping him cope. And toasting the lost, in the true Celtic tradition.

    Well done, mavjade! =D=
     
    mavjade and Findswoman like this.
  4. RX_Sith

    RX_Sith C&G Game Host star 5 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Mar 13, 2006
    A great story about how military losses can be recognized for the bravery of those who died in the line of duty and the respect from those still serving.
     
  5. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014
    This is short, but beautiful. I love the idea of initial mistrust than turns into a chain of trust, in both situations. :)
     
  6. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    This is a very fitting story for Memorial Day—your timing couldn't have been better. @};- Cassian and Luke seem at first to be such polar opposites that I would never have guessed to juxtapose them, but it totally works: the exigencies of war have put both of them in the similar situation of having to do something to the point of sacrificing all. In Cassian’s portion we see him at the beginning of a mission—one in which we readers know he’ll give all—and as he and his comrades depart on their quest, they raise their glasses to two places that gave their all and were ravaged by the Empire. Luke and Wedge, in contrast, are at the end of the famous Yavin trench run; their mission has been successful and they survived, but they are conscious of his many comrades whose lot fell that they should not rise, and it is to them that they raise their glass following the Corellian custom. The “parting glass” links these two freedom fighters in a compelling way and fits both their cases perfectly: first to speed the drinker’s departure on a fatal mission, and then to commemorate the departure of the fallen—very Celtic indeed!

    Thanks so much for sharing this sad but beautiful story, which we’re proud to have as part of this challenge! @};-
     
  7. AzureAngel2

    AzureAngel2 Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jun 14, 2005
    More beautiful magic from you. With a nice framework of stories and characters echoing into one another. @};-
     
    mavjade likes this.
  8. mavjade

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

    Registered:
    Sep 10, 2005
    Thank you for your comments everyone. My muse is a bit fickle with Star Wars at the moment, but I really enjoyed writing this. It was a bit cathartic.

    Thank you so much, Zara! [:D] That's part of what I liked about Rogue One, it showed the 'good guys' in maybe not the most pure light. I'd been wanted to explore a bit of how close the timelines of the two movies are, and this felt like a good way to connect them, other than the obvious.

    Thank you! I've always loved the Celtic toasting tradition, and I've always thought of the Corellians as kinda Irish like, so it felt fitting. I tried to make it a little more original, but it was hard to move far away from what amounts to a toast to the dead. The song, while haunting and sad still felt uplifting in a way so I hoped to keep a similar feeling.

    Thanks! That's exactly what I was going for! I'm glad you enjoyed!

    Thank you! One of the things I love about Rogue One is that while it doesn't leave a lot of room for speculative fic because of the way it ends, it does have some pretty complex emotional beats. The distrust between Cassian and Jyn was pretty high, and then he turned around and decided to trust her. It was fun exploring how he might have come to that decision.

    Both of these things happened kinda by accident. I was very close to finished when I realized it was Memorial Day and felt it appropriate, so it pushed me to post it. When I first started the story, it was just going to be Cassian and the Rogue One cast, but then as I was writing the group toasting to those who were lost, I thought about all those who were lost at the Battle of Yavin. How Cassian steps up when he's needed most, and Luke did the same. You're right, on the surface, they have nothing in common, but underneath the desire to do good connects them. The major victories in SW are wrapped in major losses (I guess as most wars are), and it felt like a way I could tie the movies together in a way that's more than R1 runs upto ANH.

    Thank you for your lovely comments! @};- I've always loved the idea of raising a glass to a life, and songs that include this idea (one of my favorites that's kinda along that line is One Last Drink by Enter the Haggis). I'd never heard The Parting Glass, but I fell in love with it and the initial idea for this came to me immediately.



    Thank you so much! I'm so glad you enjoyed it! While Luke and Cassian don't have much in common on first glance, they both have a drive to do what is right and that connects them.
     
    AzureAngel2, Ewok Poet and Findswoman like this.
  9. Pandora

    Pandora Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Apr 13, 2005
    First off, I should admit that I haven't seen Rogue One, so this is the most I have ever read before now about Cassian. But I get a good impression of what sort of person he is: someone who has done terrible things for his cause, and knows it, but also knows that you can't fight a revolution without getting blood on your hands. He also clearly holds himself to exacting standards--and given the line He didn’t understand someone who didn’t want to do everything in their power to right the wrongs they saw every day, others as well. I have the feeling it was no easy thing for Jyn to have gained his trust.

    He is, as others have noted, quite different from Luke--while Luke has only just had the adventure of the rebellion thrust upon him, Cassian has long since lost his innocence. It might even be that after a while, he knowingly sacrificed it--just as he is willing to sacrifice his life if it means striking the Empire a major blow. He would know there is always the chance he won't survive a given mission, and that he won't ever see this future he is fighting for. And while I may not know much about the movie he appears in, I do know this much: Cassian, along with those who will accompany him, will indeed not return from the mission he is calling for.

    This scene takes place at the beginning of the mission, so it is only suitable that the following scene takes place in the aftermath of one, of the infamous Battle of Yavin. It is fitting (and Wedge would know this better than he would like) that the happy few who survived drink a toast to the many who were lost, and the lyrics from "The Parting Glass" that you chose as epigraph could not be more suitable: While these lines are referring to rising only from a night of drinking, I can easily see--and often do when I'm listening to it--the meaning they have in this story.

    Finally, thank you so much for sharing this with the challenge!
     
  10. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Oh this is one of the most thoughtful, thought-provoking, and empathetic pieces I've read. =D= Beautiful and absolutely real. An excellent response to the challenge.
     
  11. divapilot

    divapilot Force Ghost star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 30, 2005
    Cassian's a fascinating man. He believes in the "righteous kill," the idea that there must be sacrifices for the greater good. But each person he killed has affected him, and he tries to compartmentalize it, but the guilt is always there in the background. This is a great missing scene, where he makes the decision to "go rogue." He believes in the spirit of the rebellion, the idea that this oppressive Empire must be stopped, but there has to be a way to do it in a way that doesn't cause more harm in the cure than in the disease. Cassian has seen the horrors of war and has grown exhausted from the killing, but to Luke, this is all new to him.

    Then to move to the same situation with Luke and Wedge is so genius. Wedge was probably there when Cassian was, at Yavin. It's easy to forget that Luke and Cassian missed each other by only a matter of weeks, at most; days, more likely. After all, Leia had sent the very plans Cassian and the Rogues obtained to Tattooine at the end of Rogue One. It will be just a matter of days before Luke comes across her message. It makes me wonder if Luke ever comes across any of Cassian's (or any other of the people on that mission) personal posessions. Someone is now living in Cassian's quarters, someone had to dispose of his things. They were probably still cleaning out the rooms when Luke arrived.

    Cassian and Jyn, and those who believed that "rebellions were built on hope," didn't live to see the arrival of Luke, and the "new hope." And now they are the ones who, as Wedge puts it, "give the ultimate sacrifice for the idea of a better galaxy."

    Excellent response to the challenge! =D=
     
  12. Chyntuck

    Chyntuck Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 11, 2014
    I love how you connected the stories of RO and ANH in this story – a straight line from the suicide mission of Scarif to the major victory of Yavin, from the lives that were taken by Cassian in the buildup to Scarif to the lives that were lost to Luke in the last-ditch effort to save the rebellion on Yavin. Cassian's and Luke's paths are so diametrically opposed, one having joined the Rebellion as a child and spent years in its fold, the other having been parachuted into it just days earlier by the vagaries of life. Yet they find themselves in situations that mirror each other, one before the battle, the other after victory; they find a friend to talk to, with whom they can share a drink, and think of the future and remember the past. This was really very nicely done =D=