Saga - OT From a Flimsi Scrap Found on the Crystal Cliffs, Lira San (post-Rebels angst; CW suicide)

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by Findswoman , Oct 30, 2022.

  1. Findswoman

    Findswoman Ammonia-Breathing Fanfic Mod in Pink star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Feb 27, 2014
    Author: Findswoman
    Title: From a Flimsi Scrap Found on the Crystal Cliffs, Lira San
    Era: Saga—OT (sometime post-Rebels and post-Endor)
    Genre: Monologue, found document, angst, unsympathetic protagonist
    Characters: Established character identified only by initials; mentions of Garazeb “Zeb” Orrelios, Chava the Wise
    Summary: A note of farewell found on the cliffs of Lira San.
    CONTENT WARNINGS: Suicide, genocide, fairly major character death.
    Written for the Gothic Literature Quote Roulette challenge hosted by @ViariSkywalker in the Angstmongers Anonymous thread. The quote I received was: “I am the chief of sinners, I am the chief of sufferers also.” —Robert Louis Stevenson, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

    Thanks as usual to @Raissa Baiard for beta reading and feedback. <3

    With this, I say farewell.

    To you who greeted me, I say farewell. I place no hand over fist; I am unworthy of that ancient and noble gesture. I should never have been greeted, especially not here. Your greeting was not for me and never was. I accepted it like an arrogant, complacent fool.

    And ever since, I have suffered. As I should.

    Even when Garazeb removed his hands from his eyes with his “surprise, heh heh!” I suffered: the view of your world was too bright for me, for I knew what it meant. When Wise Chava and her guards welcomed me with their beaming smiles, I suffered more, for in them I could see only the horrid grimaces of disruptor-induced death. When the bright-eyed multitudes greeted us with songs on the promenade, among the blooming springapple trees, that was the worst: I could only see the heaps of mangled bodies that had piled up at my command.

    I ran from the city the first chance I could, telling you I wanted to explore. I could not look at another one of you (I dare not say your people’s name) without remembering. I thought, like an arrogant, complacent fool, to escape that remembrance.

    But I cannot. In your white mountains and moonwashed cliffs I see only the purple-gray peaks that I know are now crumbled to dust. In the fragrant springapple blossoms I smell only the charred bristlecone forests. In the song of the cliffdove I hear only the lone whipkillow mourning before her burnt nest. When I gaze out over your shimmering ocean, I see nothing but the desiccated, salt-grimed crater that the ISDs made of your regal Lake Yabsh.

    Nowhere, nowhere at all I can go on your beautiful homeworld of homeworlds that will not cast my wrongs in my face: the unspeakable wrongs I perpetrated against (as I know now) such a noble people. This world is not for me and can never be. Here on this cliff I give myself to it in the only way it will (and can) take me.

    My final plea (not that I have any right to make it): do not go looking for me, and do not bid me farewell.

    A. K.

    All of the flora, fauna, and locations mentioned here is fanon, and all of it was created by me except for the bristlecone tree (by @Raissa Baiard) and the whipkillow (by @Fuzzy ambassador , fuzzydemolitionsquad on Tumblr and AO3).

    If you know Rebels, you probably can identify the author of the note.
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2022
  2. Seldes_Katne

    Seldes_Katne Force Ghost star 3

    Mar 18, 2002
    I get what the story is saying and I admire the craftsmanship, but I can't bring myself to click on "Like." I need an extra big serving of hot chocolate right now.... [face_sigh]

    Good job on creating angst, however.... [face_peace]
  3. Findswoman

    Findswoman Ammonia-Breathing Fanfic Mod in Pink star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Feb 27, 2014
    I understand completely, and I take that as a compliment all the same! Thank you so much for coming by to read; it’s always great to see you. :)
  4. Kahara

    Kahara Force Ghost star 4

    Mar 3, 2001
    Ouch, yes, I could definitely see this being a possible outcome of how they ended this character's storyline in the series. With the actual Galactic conflict being over, it's all too plausible that whatever sense of conscience caused an about-turn in the first place could start to really make the guilt unbearable. Without a daily struggle to deal with, the real impact and all the lives lost would be much harder to not face up to. Though I do feel bad for the loss of life of someone who was at least trying to turn things around, I also feel really awful for Zeb being kind of left with this emotional bombshell plus the death of a person that he had been trying to help. :( Not the most considerate thing "A. K." could have done, though with suffering something like what was probably suicidal depression, I suppose I can't grudge him that much either.
  5. earlybird-obi-wan

    earlybird-obi-wan Clash of Titans Winner star 6 VIP - Game Winner

    Aug 21, 2006
    Never seen rebels but a touching angsty story about a character
  6. Findswoman

    Findswoman Ammonia-Breathing Fanfic Mod in Pink star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Feb 27, 2014
    Thanks so much for the comments, you two! :)

    Yes, exactly the kind of thing I was thinking—absolutely something that could happen under these circumstances.

    Yes, that’s unfortunately one of the main tragedies of suicide: at least as devastating for the people left behind as for the person who commits it, who never gets a chance to get better, see clearer (because you’re right that depression darkens things a lot), and achieve full potential. And from what I have seen (it’s happened in my own family and in some of my past workplaces too) it is most definitely an inconsiderate act, supremely so. Thank you all the same, though, for taking the chance on this story and leaving such an insightful comment; I’m glad it touched you! <3

    Thank you so much, earlybird. I appreciate your giving the story a chance even without knowing the characters, and I always am happy when you come by to comment! :)
  7. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Clash of Titans Winner star 8 VIP - Game Winner

    Aug 31, 2004
    @Findswoman -- beautifully evocative writing! =D= I totally get the sense of A.K.'s feeling there is no way to be forgiven by others or even himself for the atrocities he carried out, although he didn't initiate them but was following orders from higher up, that doesn't negate the sense of horrific guilt. All the devastation of a lost world and culture cannot be regained even if there is a rebuilding of sorts happening. @};-
  8. Mira Grau

    Mira Grau Force Ghost star 4

    May 11, 2016
    Wow dark story, quite an unusal thing to see on the boards. But yeah things like that, the guilt and self hatred can drive a person to the point they see death as their only way out. Makes me think of Ulrika who in my stories was driven suicide after also being forced to participate in an atrocity, though she ultimatley survived the attempt.
    Makes me think even more than there should be therapists in the SW universe to take care of people like A.K, cause suicide can never be the correct answer, there are always better ways.
  9. devilinthedetails

    devilinthedetails Fiendish Fanfic & SWTV Manager, Admin of Comms star 6 Staff Member Administrator

    Jun 19, 2019
    @Findswoman Oh, wow, this is like a gutpunch in the best possible way. It packs so much poignant angst into such a small space. It creates a haunting feeling that lingers with the reader after the story is done.

    I must admit that I am not familiar with Rebels (so much to stream and so little time is the mantra of my life currently), but I felt that I did not need to know the exact name of the letter writer beyond the initials or the precise details of the situation that drove the narrator to this final, terrible decision. Because of my ignorance of Rebels, it ended up feeling as if I were picking up that scrap of flimsi left on the cliffs and knew no more than what was included in the letter when it came to understanding the sad fate of its writer.

    There was a deep sense of torment--of a grief and guilt that the letter writer cannot seem to exorcise--pervading the piece but also at the same time a sense of offsetting, aching beauty. A beauty that is mourned and lost.

    There is a clear self-loathing behind this farewell, but also a tradition and culture that is established here. Even in short works like this, your worldbuilding is rich and enriches the tale. I always appreciate those details you include that flesh out your stories and make them feel more real.

    The juxtaposition of images was just heart-wrenching here. One gets the sense that beauty is being transformed to ugliness and horror by the guilty and grieving memory of the letter writer.

    The images here paint a true picture in my mind. I am especially fond of the evocative description of the "moonwashed cliffs" and of the "purple-gray peaks." I really love how you focused on nature as a reflection of a narrator's internal state so much in this piece. It reminds me of some of my favorite Gothic literature, which does the same thing. I am thinking of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, which I read this October as part of my spooky lead up to Halloween, and how the austere beauty of nature is such an important part of that story. Your story seems to draw on that tradition in a wonderful way.

    All my senses of smell and hearing are engaged here. It reads like poetry to me. Well done!

    And what haunting final words to read from anyone!

    This piece offered an excellent insight into a troubled, tormented mind. You really captured the voice of the narrator so well in this letter. Very moving and haunting. Perfect for a chilling fall read.
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2022
  10. Findswoman

    Findswoman Ammonia-Breathing Fanfic Mod in Pink star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Feb 27, 2014
    Thank you all so much for the reads and comments! :)

    Oh yes, absolutely true on all counts—and thanks so much, as always! @};-

    Thank you so much! It's an unusual area for me to write in, too, but it seemed to fit the prompt I got! That is so absolutely true, and such a common and understandable outcome when someone feels that kind of guilt. (Though I'm glad to hear Ulrika survived!) Therapists definitely can be lifesavers—though there's another side of that coin, and that is that people have to be willing to go to them and take their advice to heart. I can't say whether this character would have done that, but it's something to speculate on, for sure. Thanks so much again, and good to see you here!

    Thank you so much! Glad you enjoyed this—it was a new kind of story for me, but I always enjoy trying something new, and I was very glad I was able to contribute to the challenge after all! I appreciate your taking the chance on this story even without being familiar with the source material; in a way, that makes the you the ideal "found documents" reader. :D You're absolutely right about what I was going for: all the beauty of the new world he sees only reminds him of the beauty of the world he helped destroy and thus makes all those feelings of guilt well up. But it's not just about feelings, because it is indeed battering all his senses, too, and coming concretely alive for him. (Also compounding matters is the fact that the planet he's on now is actually the original homeworld of the people who lived on that other planet—the people who welcomed him to this world are members of the same species that he had been tasked with destroying, and the hand-over-fist gesture is one of relatively few little worldbuilding details that the show itself gives about them—I always do feel such details add a lot!) Many thanks again for your awesome review—I'm glad to know this story touched you and fit into your fall spirit! :)
  11. Oddly_Salacious

    Oddly_Salacious Jedi Grand Master star 1

    Dec 5, 2005
    If I've said "Yeesh" and felt the tingle-prickles behind my ear, then this is angst, right?

    *Swivels in chair to look at the grey skies and rain's rattle-pattle on the window.

    That'll do nicely, Finds. Very nicely. It got me. Well played.
    Kahara and Findswoman like this.
  12. Findswoman

    Findswoman Ammonia-Breathing Fanfic Mod in Pink star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Feb 27, 2014
    Yes, I would say that means the story has done its job, more or less! :D Thank you so much for coming by to read and comment, Odd; always a pleasure to see you here, and I appreciate your giving this story a chance! :)
    Kahara and Oddly_Salacious like this.