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Saga Saga - OT KESSEL RUN 2024 - Traitors and Other Terms of Endearment - All Rebellion challenges

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by DarthIshtar, Jan 8, 2024.

  1. DarthIshtar

    DarthIshtar Chosen One star 10

    Mar 26, 2001
    Author’s Note: All of the entries in this Kessel Run 2024 will take place in the context of the OT Rebellion and some stories about what went on between the battles. I don’t have any specific characters in mind, but some familiar faces will show up up. (i.e. Rieekan is going to make an appearance because this is me, guys.) Enjoy!

    Title: Traitors and Other Terms of Endearment
    Author: DarthIshtar
    Genres: Humor, angst, romance, who knows?
    Timeline: All of the Original Trilogy timeline.


    Post 2: Week 1, In Floods
    Post 8: Week 2 Crazy, Mixed-Up Kids
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2024
  2. DarthIshtar

    DarthIshtar Chosen One star 10

    Mar 26, 2001

    “The rain hadn’t let up in days, and all I wanted to do was scream.”

    This kind of personal interjection was out of place for a debriefing and as someone who regularly attended those, Her Royal Highness Princess Leia Organa of Alderaan should have taken this into account. The recording would not reflect how broadly she grinned when she said this, either.

    “I can appreciate your frustration, Your Highness, but I’d like to hear only the facts about the shipment.”

    “You shall have them,” the Princess said. “I simply want to account for your questions.”

    “And that accounting must include commentary on the weather?”

    “It must,” she stated simply.

    Had one of her usual coterie been in attendance, they would have balked at the question. Solo would have commented about how Derlin would like being up to his aft thrusters in mud and Skywalker would have marveled that any world could have so much rain and he could have retired as a trillionaire if it happened to his moisture farm back at Anchorhead. Princess Leia was a seasoned leader and, despite her unguarded expression, she seemed to know the wisdom of staying on topic.

    “All I wanted to do was scream,” Princess Leia echoed her opening statement, “but that would have done no good. After all, part of my duties involve attending to morale among our soldiers and screaming at them or screaming into the void would help no one. There was plenty of blame to go around because no one could identify the person who had failed to notice the fuel leak before we left base. We spent the majority of the week ensuring that there were no other damaged parts on the transport.”

    “And the refueling was delayed by…”

    “The flooding. The Imperial garrison has been known to monitor all speeder traffic, as they keep the people dependent on more old-fashioned technology. From what I am told, the commander there believes that anyone in enough of a hurry to travel at those speeds must have malicious intent.”

    This was a typical example of Imperial overreach and could be observed on worlds from Toprawa to Geisnar, so Major Derlin let the observation pass without comment.

    “The refueling took mere hours once the supply reached us, but that was after the flooding had been gotten under control. It would also raise suspicion if any space-faring craft took off during extreme weather. That is the reason for our delay.”

    She really was accounting for everything he could have questioned thus far. “Thank you for explaining, but what of the missing parts?”

    There were people soft-hearted in the Alliance who would turn the other way when an angel of mercy diverted supplies, but Derlin knew Organa’s distaste for coddling.

    “They’re not missing,” Her Royal Highness said. “They’re doing wonders for the people of Dilivuh.”

    Yes, they probably could triple the town’s income on the black market. “A bribe?”

    “A gesture,” she corrected, that inexplicable grin widening. “We could have sat there and wrung our hands and our clothing, but we realized that in addition to dozens of able-bodied people, we had an Imperial Center-trained civil engineer and someone who studied geoengineering as a hobby. We didn’t give anything away that wasn’t a surplus and let Lieutenant Vooreh call the shots once he had a plan for helping the Dilivuhans.

    “Also,” she interrupted when Derlin attempted to comment on the need for surplus, “we installed nothing that would draw Imperial attention to advances in technology. Vooreh has some developed some wonderful ideas for how to implement these tactics in making our bases more sustainable.”

    He was certain that members of the High Command would find flowery ways to praise her for this, especially considering the four new recruits that had made themselves at home in the areas usually reserved for containers of parts. But Derlin was not amused.

    “Thank you for reporting this,” he grumbled. “I sympathize with the reasons for your delay and would appreciate you reviewing the guidelines on appropriation of Alliance equipment.”

    “Yes, sir,” she replied, attempting to look serious. “I will also make a full inventory of what was donated and append the reports of our engineers on what can be done in their stead.”

    She left to take a long-overdue steristeam a minute later and he opened the recently-forwarded report of the aforementioned civil engineer.

    It was signed The Dam Rebels.
    P.S. From the author. I didn’t mean to call the flooded world’s inhabitants for the Latin term for flood. It just came to me, I posted it, and then I went “Oh.”

    Word of the day
    Diluvial: of, relating to, or brought about by a flood.
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2024
  3. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Aug 31, 2004
    Excellent context for the first prompt. Leia is very detailed in her briefing and I like how she explains every aspect even if Derlin doesn't like it. :D
    AzureAngel2, amidalachick and Kahara like this.
  4. earlybird-obi-wan

    earlybird-obi-wan Chosen One star 6

    Aug 21, 2006
    Perfect story for the first prompt. Leia and her briefing to Derlin and the name for the flooded world.;)
  5. amidalachick

    amidalachick Chosen One star 5

    Aug 3, 2003
    This was a fantastic response to the prompt! I love these 'day-in-the-life' glimpses of life in the Rebellion - like, it's not all blowing up Death Stars, sometimes it's logistics and waiting for refueling because of floods. :p And you write Leia so well, I could hear her voice so clearly in this! Loved it. =D=
  6. ConservativeJedi321

    ConservativeJedi321 Force Ghost star 6

    Mar 19, 2016
    Leia's never one to shy away from voicing her mind, that there can be no doubt of.:p
    I enjoyed her speculating about what Han and Luke would say if they were present.
    It's amusing to see her be so frank, and Derlin telling her to review protocol.
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2024
  7. Theodore Hawkwood

    Theodore Hawkwood Jedi Master star 2

    Jun 17, 2014
    I like this visceral example of Imperial overreach. It's a small example, but certainly a great way to show us a small example of Imperial tyranny.

    I do like the perspective from Major Derlin, so great showing of a minor on screen character.

    Interestingly enough I thought you were writing this from Winter's perspective since she's almost invariably near Leia when things occur.
  8. DarthIshtar

    DarthIshtar Chosen One star 10

    Mar 26, 2001
    @WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Thanks. One of my favorite scenes in ESB is her briefing the pilots before the battle. She really spells things out so she doesn't have a sense of regret over someone dying due to an oversight. (That or the screenwriters really wanted the audience to get where they were going with all of this.)
    @earlybird-obi-wan Thanks. I've been enjoying using Major Derlin in another story because I do have a fondness for everyone on Hoth. :)
    @amidalachick A special thanks for the enthusiasm of this review. One of my inspirations for the slice-of-life stuff was working for two years at my church's headquarters. Some weekends, we had huge amounts of responsibilities and schedules that accounted for every half hour of our shift and I had to be on extra alert because of my role as the emergency response person. And most weekends, we had a few dozen people come in for tours or to ask about administrative stuff or get directions to the other building they were supposed to go to. It's also always nice to be lauded for my Leia stuff. :)
    @ConservativeJedi321 Thanks. I had fun with voicing Luke and Han there. Also, the one time Leia and Derlin really interact is about the shield doors, when she has to agree to his request out of helplessness and resignation. So I wanted to give her a chance to stand up to him a bit.
    @Theodore Hawkwood I had to think of "What sinister purpose could the Empire have for obsessively monitoring traffic?" and that overreach came to mind, so thanks for liking it. I hadn't thought of doing it from Winter's perspective, but this is during her time working with small cells during the Rebellion, so I couldn't get her roped into this. :)

    WEEK 2
    Crazy, Mixed-Up Kids

    Author's note: I don't think I've written exclusively from Lando's POV before, so hope this goes well. The challenge was to have a character share a secret with someone without actually talking to them. I have the secret between Leia and Luke and Leia and Lando in this case.

    Lando’s plans were suddenly very simple.

    His administration of Cloud CIty had been built on connections and respecting balances of power, knowing who needed autonomy and who could be called on to act for the greater good.

    All of that became irrelevant the moment that his people turned on the Empire at his command. His choices were simple because he had very few left.

    As the Falcon fled the station, the cockpit was silent. Chewie was handling the navigation while Her Royal Highness sat in Han’s seat, silent and efficient. It was a lucky thing that they’d let him on board at all and he wasn’t about to press his luck any further. For now, his greatest contribution had been to investigate an alarm on one of the control panels and diverting some of the energy from the deflector shields to maintaining the coolant line that had too much pressure building up.

    His current philosophy was Act Now, Atone Later and it seemed to be working just fine for now. At least, neither of his new friends had tried to kill him since they took off.

    And then, in a voice that was completely unlike any he’d heard come from her before, the Princess breathed a single word.


    It had to be an afterthought. Rebels’ remorse for being part of a trap and then nearly leaving the victim behind. Vader was obsessed with Skywalker, but Leia had enough conviction to talk Chewie into flying back into the jaws of death.

    All Lando could do, once Chewie roared bloodthirstily enough to change his attitude, was keep an eye on the city he’d just surrendered and take orders without argument.

    He efficiently opened the top hatch, riding the lift into winds that could have knocked him from his perch if he hadn’t secured himself to the ship before going to the rescue.

    Vader had been obsessed with this Skywalker, but the kid was bloodied and suffering from shock and looking pretty defeated. Lando didn’t let him know that he could relate, just held him up long enough to get to the cockpit’s entrance and snagged a warming blanket from the hold to fend off the shock..

    Leia caught the friend who had failed to come to her aid, standing firm to lend and accept support, but Lando moved past them to take the pilot’s seat now that the best he could do was use his knowledge to sneak out the system’s equivalent of a back door before Vader regrouped and took another interest in the Millennium Falcon.

    Looking over his shoulder, he saw Leia leading young Skywalker away, her anxious determination of several minutes ago replaced by a single-minded tenderness towards someone whose voice she’d responded to when the least of their worries was a Dark Lord’s capital ship blocking their best escape route.

    He had never met this Skywalker before, but he somehow knew at the end of that bizarre return to Bespin that Leia loved Luke no less fiercely than she did Han Solo.

    He’d just have to get the story on that once the number of people trying to kill him were limited to the crew of this ship.
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2024
    JediMara77, AzureAngel2, LLL and 6 others like this.
  9. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Aug 31, 2004
    Great entry and Lando POV showing this pivotal ESB scene.
  10. earlybird-obi-wan

    earlybird-obi-wan Chosen One star 6

    Aug 21, 2006
    Perfect for the second prompt. Lando and his loyalties to the rebels and knowing that Leia loved Luke too besides her fierce love for Han
  11. Chyntuck

    Chyntuck Force Ghost star 5

    Jul 11, 2014
    I was very happy to see you sign up for the KR, because most stories I've read from you are long-form and I was interested in seeing a few one-offs, and this series promises to be exactly what I was wishing for! So, without further ado...

    In Floods

    I don't think I ever read a version of Leia by you that I didn't like and this one was perfect. I loved how she anticipated everything Derlin would ask or say or criticise – because she's such a seasoned Rebel and politician, and she knows exactly what she needs to address to account for her actions. And "The Dam Rebels"? [face_laugh] Derlin must be wondering if the universe is trolling him!

    Crazy, Mixed-Up Kids

    Oooh, what a great take on the prompt! I saw you mention somewhere that this story featured Lando before I came around here to read, but this was not what I expected, and I think that you have his voice down perfectly for this moment in time ("act now, atone later" does sound like a very Lando thing to say!) But I also love how you worked around the "secret" prompt, and it's an absolutely great twist to have Leia reveal through her actions a secret that she doesn't even now she's holding.
  12. amidalachick

    amidalachick Chosen One star 5

    Aug 3, 2003
    [face_laugh] You nailed Lando, this definitely sounds like him!

    In all seriousness, I really enjoyed this. I liked seeing these events from Lando's POV and it was a really great way to use the prompt. Another great response!
  13. ConservativeJedi321

    ConservativeJedi321 Force Ghost star 6

    Mar 19, 2016
    A nice short story that that definitely reads in Lando's voice.
  14. LLL

    LLL Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Jul 16, 2000
    I love the Lando vignette. He never struck me as a particularly deep person, so this gives him a perceptive cast that works well.
  15. DarthIshtar

    DarthIshtar Chosen One star 10

    Mar 26, 2001
    @WarmNyota_SweetAyesha I’ve been interested in how they all got from Chewie choking Lando to going with him to Tatooine. Thanks for liking characterization.
    @earlybird-obi-wan Thanks. Completely different aspects of love that are equal, I think.
    @Chyntuck i once did 100 vignettes in 100 days. I should give you something like that to read. Now to the rest. :). I’m delighted by you liking Leia in all of her different incarnations. And I just like exasperating minor characters. (Keep an eye out for Rieekan this week!). Thank you VERY much for approving of Lando. I realized I channeled his “or this’ll be the shortest offensive of all time” cynicism in this scene. Yes! That was what I was going for with the message of the scene.
    @amidalachick It warms my little weird heart e’he people use a laughing emoji at things I found funny myself. Thanks.
    @ConservativeJedi321 Thanks. Glad you enjoyed.
    @LLL Part of why I never really wrote him in general was that I didn’t get him at times and didn’t connect with his EU stuff much. Thanks.

    Not a Sound From the Pavement
    Prompt: Midnight

    Han knew the senses of oppression. Stormtrooper boots in the streets. Blaster stenches so unique he could tell an officer’s rank within about five seconds of a near-miss. .

    Leia’s triggers were simpler. Rhythmic breathing, heavier tread, a lightsaber.

    Tonight, with the last day of the Empire turning into the first day of the New Republic, they heard Ewoks getting themselves good and drunk and Rebels giddy with survival. They smelled the sap on the logs of the bonfires. The only ships in the sky were going freely from victory party to victorious fleet.

    Both of them finally slept soundly tonight.

    Prompt: Endeavor

    Author’s note: this is based on the ROTJ novelization where Luke and Han and even an Ewok wax poetic about the cause and Leia says…this.

    “Do it for the trees.”

    Han hoped Luke would be as confused as him by the five-word argument for the furballs joining the war, but Luke was nodding in understanding and Chewie rumbled an agreement. Chewie he could understand, since this place was Kashyyyk on a tiny scale, but the only thing he could figure was that Luke had found his inner environmentalist when he found the Force.

    Her Worship probably knew the trees, mountains, rivers, and flowers that she’d left and lost on Alderaan. Given a purpose in the war, she did it for things that made up home.

    A More Civilized Age
    Prompt: Inheritance

    Of course he needed a new lightsaber. Luke had never seen one before a fateful conversation with Ben, but once he took up the weapon, it was impossible to leave behind.

    But he had left it behind with his hand when he decided at Bespin that death was preferable to the Dark Side.

    Before Yavin, he’d been proud to hear that his commander flew with his father. After Bespin, he hated mentions of Jedi heroes.

    Leia noticed something, but said nothing. But she made sure he had the supplies for a new saber that had no place in his inheritance.

    Echo Omega
    Prompt: Disaster

    Rieekan was prepared. It wasn’t the first time he’d had to scramble off a base; he secretly thought High Command crazy for chancing Echo Base to someone with a record of fleeing for his life.

    This time, they were scattering with no next destination. They had a rendezvous point and he hoped they would get coordinates if not sympathy from Mon Mothma. She’d order everyone into bunks or medcenters, have hot meals in every mess, and figure out what to do in the morning.

    A lot of people died on Hoth, but the body blow was to a foundering rebellion.

    Bring me that horizon
    Prompt: Horizon

    There was no need for her to be awake. The medics had sternly advised rest and the command briefing wasn’t for several more hours.

    There were a few guards on watch and mechanics tuning up the fighters and people were quietly waging a war all over base, but Leia, the surviving member of the Royal House of Alderaan, sat outside the temple with dawn breaking.

    The person she had been in captivity had never expected to see another world’s horizon. She’d counted days by the shift changes on a space station.

    She’d last seen daylight on the world she lost.
  16. Theodore Hawkwood

    Theodore Hawkwood Jedi Master star 2

    Jun 17, 2014

    I have to say that I quite like this set of drabbles. You really manage to paint vivid imagery with the 100 word limits:

    I like the way this one is contrasted with the things that trigger Han and Leia at the start of Not a Sound from the Pavement.

    I could actually hear these sentences in Han's voice. Excellent work.

    Love how supportive Leia is of Luke and knows he's suffering but knows not to pry. Really excellent way to show the bond between them.

    The peek inside Rieekan's head is very well done here. You show me the burden of a commander dealing with the very human emotion of self doubt with this sentence and it's one I find resonant. Excellent.

    Powerful hit to the feels with this sentence. I'm somehow reminded of Dostoevsky's account of his own execution and the stay thereof from this particular drabble.
  17. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Aug 31, 2004
    Beautifully poignant. =D=
    AzureAngel2 and Kahara like this.
  18. earlybird-obi-wan

    earlybird-obi-wan Chosen One star 6

    Aug 21, 2006
    Great way to use the prompts. From Han and Leia after the victory at Endor. Going back in time Luke needing a new lightsaber, to Rieekan fleeing Hoth and Leia rescued from the Death Star
  19. AzureAngel2

    AzureAngel2 Chosen One star 6

    Jun 14, 2005
    No matter if you write a vignette or a drabble, your fanfics always sparkle with deep character insight and fun dialogues. Thanks for saving me, handicapped as I am at present, from boredom with wonderful stories from a galaxy far, far away!
  20. amidalachick

    amidalachick Chosen One star 5

    Aug 3, 2003
    Oh, these were all incredible! You really get into the characters' heads and give us such poignant, believable moments.

    This is so Han! And the idea of Leia fighting for her trees, the ones she lost with Alderaan, is my head-canon now.

    This hit hard. Amazing writing, and an all-round amazing set of drabbles. =D=
  21. DarthIshtar

    DarthIshtar Chosen One star 10

    Mar 26, 2001
    @Theodore Hawkwood thanks for finding them vivid. It was good to get into these very brief moments for Week 3. I’ve loved Rieekan since, well, the moment he joked around with Han when I saw the trilogy in 1994 and I haven’t written his POV in years. I love Leia giving herself permission to grieve by giving Luke the same thing. I need to read that Dostoevsky. I remember a story of Dimitri Shostakovich being called in for questioning and being so certain that he would be arrested that he packed his luggage and made his goodbyes to his family and then the officer who was to interrogate him never came to the appointment and was killed before the rescheduled interview. Shostakovich lived decades longer.
    @WarmNyota_SweetAyesha thanks.
    @earlybird-obi-wan I’m glad to hear that you connected with them. I told a fellow fanfic writer that everyone is kind of depressed this week and explained the Drabble themes. She thought I was just being my usual angst-loving self.
    @AzureAngel2 Stop being so kind, really. Blushing and getting teary-eyed is currently happening. Thanks for stopping by register such lovely appreciation.
    @amidalachick and the blushing continues. I don’t hate drabbles. Word counts stopped scaring me when I had to cut 37000 words from a manuscript, so seeing what I can do 100 at a time puts a sparkle in my eye. :). Yay for head-canon. Thanks again.

    Author’s note: I had a sick day today (thanks, COVID-19!), so when I was feeling alert, I looked up a LOT of technical specs (thanks, Wookieepedia!). Hope you enjoy the POV of Luke’s targeting computer.

    The Incom Corporation T-65 X-wing AA-589 was equipped with a Carbanti transceiver package as its sensors. At a maximum atmospheric velocity of 1,050 kilometers per hour and a powerful acceleration capacity, AA-589 would sustain considerable damage to its titanium alloy hull or even its Incom 4L4 Fusial Thrust Engines if the Melihat “Multi Imager” dedicated energy receptor did not register the proximity of threats.

    The dedicated energy receptor detected adverse conditions. It was the function of the targeting computer to enable responses to the threats. The Fabritech ANq 3.6 tracking computer required user input, but provided reliable and state-of-the-art renderings through the IN-344-B “Sightline” holographic imaging system once the parameters of the target were identified.

    AA-589’s tracking computer had primarily responded to the signals of the flight stick, as the PL-1 unit did not accept the auto-track option upon pre-flight calibration. The Sightline instruments had identified gunnery emplacements at regular intervals and used programmed schematics to recommend the angle at which a fired shot should strike the tower.

    This split-second assessment had resulted in PL-1 successfully eliminating many targets. AA-589’s current operator communicated verbally that he would “worry about that tower.” ANq 3.6 served its function as the PL-1 directed.

    The PL-1 suddenly cleared the cache of targets and input a target distance, width and height, and changed the weaponry settings to his torpedo launchers. The numbers on the Sightline registered his approach vector and while the transceivers urgently indicated the proximity of TIE fighters with an alarm and the communication system relayed messages from pilots in other Incom Corporation starfighters, ANq 3.6 performed its function.

    The number registering distance to target had just passed 21090 when the PL-1 deactivated ANq 3.6. It was not in active mode when he fired the Krupx MG 7 proton torpedo launchers, nor when his outbound vector registered that AA-589 was returning to the fourth moon of the Yavin system.

    The communication system transmitted an opinion that the weapons discharged not enabled by ANq 3.6 was “one in a million.”
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2024
  22. earlybird-obi-wan

    earlybird-obi-wan Chosen One star 6

    Aug 21, 2006
    that thing is 'technical' and using big words. ;)Worry about that tower.:( One in a million. :)
  23. DarthIshtar

    DarthIshtar Chosen One star 10

    Mar 26, 2001
    I literally decided that being inanimate, there would be no curb on the precise details that boil down to such intensity in real time. Might have been inspired by Andy Weir talking about the long road from manufacture to failure in The Martian so we know why a habitat breached. ;)
  24. Chyntuck

    Chyntuck Force Ghost star 5

    Jul 11, 2014
    Ooof, you weren't kidding when you said that "everyone is depressed" in your drabbles! There was some powerful emotion and imagery in all of them, but (as usual, I guess) I was particularly touched by Plea and Bring me that horizon and their focus on Leia. I would have expected to hear the sentence "Do it for the trees" from Chewie, but said by Leia it takes an entirely different and poignant meaning, as you aptly pointed out. And that image of Leia sitting outside the Yavin temple and realising that the last time she had been on a living planet was on a planet that exists no more was gut-wrenching. I really feel that Leia's trauma at losing her homeworld was never done justice in profic, and I love how you're redressing the balance in your stories.

    Fantastic use of the inanimate object prompt in Stay on Target. You have just enough technobabble in there to really convey the sense that this is about mechanics, yet your insertion of two little lines of dialogue enabled you to connect it not only narratively but also emotionally to the movie. That was really, really well done!
  25. amidalachick

    amidalachick Chosen One star 5

    Aug 3, 2003
    This was such a cool POV! It's like getting a brand-new look at such an iconic scene. Amazing work! =D=