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Saga I Rise

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by Shira A'dola, Nov 20, 2015.

  1. Shira A'dola

    Shira A'dola Jedi Master star 6

    Sep 4, 2012
    Title: I Rise
    Author: Shira A'dola
    Characters: All OC's
    Timeframe: OT Timeline
    Rating: G
    Genre: One-Shot
    Length: 1,527 words
    Summary: Entry for the Poetry Inspiration Challenge. Jaye finally gets his own ship.
    Note: Done for the Poetry Inspiration Challenge by Findswoman. Sorry this took so long! I've been traveling and dealing with medical issues. But I finally got around to posting it! The poem was "I Rise" by Maya Angelou.

    This is Part 3 of Jay's story.

    Part 1: Mondo

    Part 2: "Here's How It Started"

    You may write me down in history
    With your bitter, twisted lies,
    You may tread me in the very dirt
    But still, like dust, I’ll rise.

    “Admiral Tatsu, the ISD Victorious is now yours. Treat her well and glory to the Empire!”

    “Glory to the Empire,” Jaye repeated, bowing to the Fleet Admiral. “Thank you.” The superior officer nodded and walked away, leaving Jaye to follow his new captain to the bridge. He took a second to let it fully sink in: he was an admiral with his own ship. This is a historic day, he thought to himself. After all this time, after all he had gone through, he was finally here.

    Does my sassiness upset you?
    Why are you beset with gloom?
    ’Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
    Pumping in my living room.

    A small, sly grin lit upon his face as he looked down the grey corridor. Memories of his childhood came to mind, memories of playing Admiral as a young boy. He had ached for his own ship since before he could remember. Desire had led to intense schooling. Years upon years of mathematics, engineering, strategy, sociology. The classes had gone on and on. But he’d put all of his effort and hard work into his studies, both the lectures and the practical classes. He’d exceeded every expectation.

    “Admiral?” The captain next to him spoke up tentatively. “If you’ll follow me, the bridge is this way.”

    He started off down on end of the corridor, Jaye walking next to him. He didn’t need a guide; he knew every inch of this ship. But he was going to savour every bit of this moment.

    Just like moons and like suns,
    With the certainty of tides,
    Just like hopes springing high,
    Still I’ll rise.

    Jaye looked sideways at the captain striding beside him. What was his name? Something along the lines of Dewan. He remembered being a captain. The awful impatience, the need for promotion. But he had kept the impatience locked away. It was all strategy, after all. Strategy aches for patience, for the ability to wait until the key moment to strike. When it came to working the people around him, Jaye had honed his strategy to perfection. See how far I’ve risen.

    Did you want to see me broken?
    Bowed head and lowered eyes?
    Shoulders falling down like teardrops.
    Weakened by my soulful cries.

    It had been hard,let no one say otherwise. He recalled something his mother had said when he was in his teenage years, about his mixed heritage not giving him any advantage or disadvantage to his chances. But as he’d grown older and gotten through increasingly competitive classes and studies, he’d learned that wasn’t quite true. Xenophobia was real -- and it was ugly. They had seen that he was human. Worse, they had seen that he wasn’t entirely human. He was a mixed-breed. Mud. They had tried so hard to wear him down, to make him quit.

    Does my haughtiness offend you?
    Don’t you take it awful hard
    ’Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
    Diggin’ in my own back yard.

    But try as they might, no matter how many times he had gone home in a fury, discouraged and disheartened, he’d only had to look at the holos of his father in the front room to remember why he was doing this. He wasn’t doing this for others. He wasn’t doing it for the fame and pride. He was doing it for himself. He was pursuing this course of action as proof to himself that he wasn’t less than anyone else. That he could serve the Empire just as well, or better, than anyone in that classroom. And so, every morning, he’d waltzed back into the lessons with a grin and a wink at anyone who dared try to knock him down.

    You may shoot me with your words,
    You may cut me with your eyes,
    You may kill me with your hatefulness,
    But still, like air, I’ll rise.

    That’s not to say that their words hadn’t hurt. It was common practice at the military academies to expel any student who initiated violence, so physical attacks had been rare. But the barbed and poisonous words they had shot in his direction had always been calculated and efficient. He was an oddity, a halfling. The other students had made it very clear that they had no place for him in the classroom, and no place in the Empire. The nights he had gone home in anguish and depression, convincing himself that this wasn’t worth it anymore, counted in the thousands. But from those attacks, he had learned perseverance, patience and strategic retribution.

    Out of the huts of history’s shame
    I rise

    Jaye stepped into the lift and turned to face the doors. The captain, close behind him, fidgeted slightly as they began to rise. Jaye didn’t know what he’d heard, but it was obviously making the man uncomfortable. He silently shrugged it off. He was an admiral now. Whatever shame he had endured in the past didn’t matter now. What the lower-ranked officers thought of him didn’t matter. All that mattered now was the application of all he’d learned, everything he had absorbed and taken in.

    Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
    I rise

    All of his suffering, all of his abuse and torment at the hands of his fellow students could all be justified in this moment. If he was being honest with himself, Jaye was still having a difficult time believing that this was all real. It seemed too good to be true at this point. Elation filled his chest and he had to keep a triumphant smirk off of his face. You’ve got to keep it together, Jaye. You’re one of the big boys now. You’re an admiral!

    I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
    Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
    Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
    I rise

    No more would he pay heed to the insidious thoughts that had invaded his mind as a result of what he’d been forced to listen to. No more would the lies and cruel criticism be given any attention. He’d shown them all up now. He’d proven to himself and his family that his all of hard work had paid off. He’d proven that his parents had been right all along; species didn’t matter. Race, species, wealth, position, gender, talent, nothing mattered in this game but hard work. And he’d worked hard than all of them.

    Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
    I rise

    Jaye’s eyes snapped forward as the soft hiss of the lift door opened. He kept all his excitement in his mind, adopting a cool, stoic mask that gave away nothing. He stepped onto the bridge and strode down the walkway, noting the two sunken areas of workspace and navigational desks on either side. He walked down to the end of the durasteel path and took a quick look out of the triangular windows, his wide, dark eyes the only feature betraying his awe.

    He turned his eyes quickly to the systems desktop in front of him, swiftly looking over charts and data. He wanted to make sure his ship (My ship! he thought, excitedly) was in perfect condition before taking her out anywhere. He didn’t want anything to go wrong.

    Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
    I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
    I rise


    Jaye turned around to face the captain. Drexel, that was his name.

    “What is it, Captain?”

    “Is everything to your satisfaction?”

    Jaye gave the bridge a secondary glance, taking in all the detail. “Yes, Captain. Everything seems to be in order.”

    Drexel nodded. “Good. Then we have received instruction to fly to Ord Mantell. There’s a growing rumor about a rebel cell located there. We’ve been ordered to check it out and, if necessary, destroy the cell.”

    He handed Jaye a datapad containing a brief log of information and orders, which Jaye looked over before nodding.

    “Noted, Captain. Get ready to enter light-speed then. We head for Ord Mantell immediately.” The captain nodded and walked away. Jaye went back to his desktop and began reading through a more thorough analysis of their mission. He wondered, idly, if his father had felt this way upon his first mission: excitement and victory along with a mix of nerves and doubt. He shook the doubt away. He had no time for it anymore. This was his time to shine, to contribute, to show everyone what he could do.

    One of the technicians began speaking, inputting the coordinates dictated by the orders.

    “Setting course for hyperspace, sir. In three…two…one…” He pulled the lever slowly and the crew braced themselves for the sudden jump. Jaye watched, with awed, determination, as the stars began to lengthen and the Victorious jumped into hyperspace. The rich blue light reflected onto his face as they gained speed. His back to his new crew, Jaye allowed a slow, determined grin cross his face.

    This is where he belonged.

    I rise.
  2. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host Who Loves Fanfics & RPGs star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Aug 31, 2004
    Superb poem and definitely great use of it! =d= The perseverance mixed with triumph. @};-
    Shira A'dola likes this.
  3. yahiko

    yahiko Jedi Knight star 2

    Nov 12, 2015
    The poem is beautiful and I liked the way you sliced it to insert your own text. I would use this kind of technique someday I guess.
    But, I feel puzzled about your own text. Descriptions are good and we easily understand which kind of background the main character had, and his personality. This is not an issue.
    The fact is with such a strong poem, one could await for some tension in the plot. A fight, a near death, loosing a beloved one, etc. It is just a feeling of mine which does not cancel all the qualities of your work. ;-)
    Keep going on!
    Ewok Poet likes this.
  4. Shira A'dola

    Shira A'dola Jedi Master star 6

    Sep 4, 2012
    Thanks for the response! I'm just a bit confused about what you're trying to say, haha. Could be me, I'm pretty tired. Would you mind clarifying a bit? :)

    Thanks Nyota's Heart!
  5. yahiko

    yahiko Jedi Knight star 2

    Nov 12, 2015
    The quote you made from my post is a little bit strange too. You truncated it in the middle. So I am not sure of what you are confused... ^_^
    It is a nice work anyway, do not worry.
  6. Shira A'dola

    Shira A'dola Jedi Master star 6

    Sep 4, 2012
    I quoted that part that confused me :) You said something puzzled you about my piece, but then you didn't specify what that was and I was curious what criticism you had :)
  7. yahiko

    yahiko Jedi Knight star 2

    Nov 12, 2015
    My criticism is exactly the part of my post you did not quote :p
  8. Shira A'dola

    Shira A'dola Jedi Master star 6

    Sep 4, 2012
    Oh I'm sorry! The way I read it came across as you saying you were expecting that in a future piece :p I understand now, thank you :)
  9. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Feb 27, 2014
    Nice work here. :) I enjoyed meeting Jaye and became curious as I read to hear more detail about his origins, his early struggles, etc.—do you have any other stories from that earlier stage of his life, or is he an all-new character? Do tell more. :)

    I hope this won't sound too silly, but I thought it was a fresh touch to apply this poem to a male character—not only because the poet is female and is understood to be at least partly talking about her own experiences here, but also because some of the imagery in the poem could be taken as specifically gendered: not just the fact that the "sassiness" is particularly upsetting (women being socialized to be more polite, etc.) but also the stanza about "diamonds / At the meeting of my thighs"—the only one you didn't quote within the story, and I'd be curious to know why (this isn't a criticism, just a point of curiosity).

    Thanks so much for taking part in the challenge—good to have you on board! :)
    Ewok Poet and Nyota's Heart like this.
  10. Shira A'dola

    Shira A'dola Jedi Master star 6

    Sep 4, 2012
    Thank you! Jaye is a completely new character. I created him for the "French Lit" challenge and liked him so much I've used him for every challenge I've completed thus far. So no other stories besides what I've posted here :)

    That doesn't sound silly at all :) I didn't include that particular stanza simply because I didn't want to come across a picky mod who thought I was toeing TOS standards, as that particular stanza may come across as a bit sexual to some users. A bit overly cautious, I admit :p

    But thanks for the challenge! I had a lot of fun with that :)
    Ewok Poet and Findswoman like this.
  11. Chyntuck

    Chyntuck Force Ghost star 5

    Jul 11, 2014
    Ooh, Jaye as an adult and an admiral! I love how this character that you initiallly created for a single challenge entry took a life of his own, and how each one of the three vignettes you wrote pick up where the previous one left off. And I can recognize Jaye's voice here -- he may be a grown-up now, but bits of child-Jaye as we saw him in the previous stories still come across in his excitement over a dream come true.

    I really enjoyed what you did with the poem here, how you integrated it in the story to mirror Jaye's thoughts. Like Findswoman I thought it was a cool idea to use it for a male protagonist :) and I liked how you expanded on the elements of discrimination against non-humans that you mentioned in Here's how it started to build his tale and his personality. Also, the bit about him not remembering his captain's name straight away was a nice touch -- now Jaye has the luxury of not having to be absolutely perfect about such things, and focusing on his ship instead.

    And now, someone needs to come up with a challenge, because I want to find out what happened on Ord Mantell. You could make it a DDC, or a "Fifty titles in search of a story" thing though -- I think that Jaye deserves longer fics by now ;)
  12. Admiral Volshe

    Admiral Volshe Force Ghost star 10

    Sep 2, 2012
    Sorry this took so long, Shiraz. [:D]

    I have to start off saying how much Jaye enthralls me as a character - he has an aura about him that is intriguing and so very natural. He is a real living being, one that is entirely relatable. His struggles are real, far from the perfection of the trap of fiction that many tend to fall into. The format is great, as well. Each stanza of the poem flows well into the narrative, and vice versa. It feels as though Maya wrote the poem with this scene in mind, and that is a testament to how well you crafted your story around the poem! :)

    I really would love to hear more about him now that you've opened up such a world of possibilities with this story. I can only imagine what challenged and successes he faces in the future, and his past certainly intrigues me as well, beyond what you mentioned here. :D

    You've got me hooked, you talented writer, you. [face_batting]@};-
  13. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Jul 31, 2014
    So, Jaye had his dream come true, after all! All hail the new Imperial admiral. I'm not saying that Volshe and you should do a collab where he meets one certain master Firmus Piett...but you totally should. :p

    Now, while I do not normally even understand the concept of songfics, this is something different. Using an actual poem here in the way one would use a song is pretty bold and unorthodox. And poetry may be the only genre that allows that - its beauty lies in the possibility to be interpreted in almost any way the reader wants to interpret it. That said, yahiko's comment is neither right, nor wrong. It's a Schrödinger thing. :) What's "strong" depends on one's point of view and Jaye's emotions actually are strong - he feels strongly about fulfilling his lifelong dream. Suitably enough, with Maya Angelou being a black woman, there are even more parallels.

    It's interesting how all the things that seemed to be a part of his big stories as a child and teenager come to life here. The racism he talked about was juxtaposed against his teenage lies in Here's How it Started is very real now.

    One thing I have to object to - and I can, since it's not concrit - is the fact that these three stories are in different threads. Somebody who stumbles upon one won't realise these extremely kewl connections among all three and may or may not understand that they need to be read in a specific order. So, what I would suggest you - if you don't mind the suggestion - is to have links on top of each, before the start of the actual story, explaining that they are part 1, part 2 and part 3 of the series and that one can read the other two to understand Jaye's coming out of age better.
  14. Shira A'dola

    Shira A'dola Jedi Master star 6

    Sep 4, 2012
    Thank you for your kind words, Ewok! They mean a lot ^^

    I never considered this :p Admiral Volshe?

    No, I don't object at all! Thanks for the suggestion, I'll definitely do that :)
  15. Admiral Volshe

    Admiral Volshe Force Ghost star 10

    Sep 2, 2012
    Yes? You know where to find me. :p

    I'm sure he could find Firmus, too. Somewhere. Navy gala. Training. Academy. Death Squadron. Mission.