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Saga - PT Before the Saga Midday Darkness // The Light is Me, I Am The Light (OCs | Autobiography & Biography)

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by Ewok Poet, Feb 18, 2016.

  1. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014
    Titles: Midday Darkness // The Light is Me, I Am the Light
    Author: Ewok Poet
    Characters: Dyeke, Roula, many other OCs
    Rating: PG-13
    Genre: Biography/autobiography
    Canonicity: Strongly leaning towards the new canon, despite utilising some Legends bits
    Length: Eleven chapters per book, twelve if you count forewords.

    Summary: Dyeke, a Drall painter from Sacorria, was a cult favourite of Corellian Sector's art miglieu, as well as many other art connoisseurs across the Galaxy. Now, what was his life actually like? These two books take turns at exploring it...

    This story should progress to Saga-PT at some point. I don't know how to deal with this before we're allowed to double tag or whatever.

    Updated monthly - ideally, close to the end of the month. There's plenty of time to catch up with each chapter, and the overall pair of companion books.


    A/N: This was supposed to be my entry for the Fifty Titles in Search of a Story challenge. I got the title #7, Darkness at Noon, borrowed from Arthur Koestler. I originally conceived my challenge response as a companion piece to one of my other stories, hence the eventual biography having a very similar name to Koestler's book.

    However, during the month of January, my idea evolved into something completely different - telling two different stories at the same time, accompanied by bits and pieces of "lost material", letters and sketches. One of these pieces remains inspired by the challenge, while the other is a new, new thing. Both of these pieces would are telling the life story of the same character - one as his alleged biography and the other as his alleged autobiography.

    Therefore, I had to do what I had to do and abandon the challenge, in order not to disrupt and disrespect the original idea. Moreover, I did not want to limit my creativity for the sake of adapting to a more conventional structure. Still, I am grateful for the challenge, because it sparked this unusual idea in me. @};-

    Important
    All my fics take place in a shared micro-universe that does not contradict anything that happens before the Sequel Trilogy and is therefore canon-compliant. If you have not read anything I have written before, you're more than welcome to, though it's not obligatory. Ask whatever you want to know - I will be happy to help! And flattered that you're interested!

    Links to "help files"
    - My OCs (original characters)
    - My fanon entry on Sacorria

    Links to related works, listed chronologically:
    - Forever Away from Home
    - Midday Darkness // The Light Is Me, I Am The Light
    - Letters Never Sent
    - The Black Star (contains a reference to Midday Darkness in Chapter 9!)
    - My short stories

    *If there is anything new in this shared universe, this list will be updated*

    Acknowledgements
    Too many. Maybe later.

    Concrit welcome, as long as it's not a personal grudge. I have to learn.

    I will be adding additional thoughts and ideas about the entire concept to this very post as I go, and an eventual study of it once it's finished.
     
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  2. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014
  3. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014
    MIDDAY DARKNESS

    Official biography of the progressive artist Dyeke
    by Roula of Pelayn

    [​IMG]
    Figure 0.1: Dyeke's letter to his mentor, Roula

    Figure 0.1:

    Dear Roula,

    I have to leave everything behind and, as my closest friend, you have to know this. My art has always been the truest and purest expression of who I am, but it has no value unless I spread my ideas as I go about creating further. Therefore, the galactic empire, which sprung like a distant supernova in the night, is the best opportunity that has come my way in a long time! Their ideas are a lot like our own! Progress and unity! I am hereby sacrificing my creation time in order to fight for a better world! Sorry for my messy handwriting, I'm new to High Galactic!

    00 Foreword

    I was tasked with writing a book about a dear friend who had recently passed away. The news of his premature death got me shaking in disbelief. I had not seen him in a couple of years, but I knew from his goodbye note that he had abandoned arts to fight for the Galactic Empire, who are, more or less, tasked with the same noble mission as our own planet’s governing body, the Triad – to bring progress and unity to the entire Galaxy and rid it of anything unnecessarily subversive. It seems fitting that he died for his ideals, as many artists do.

    As a creator of art, a lifelong art appreciator and a patron of arts, I am flattered, yet humbled to be writing this. Comrade Dyeke has left an indisintegrable mark on art and culture of our system. He was a trailblazer, an innovator, yet he remained strictly loyal to Sacorrian customs and traditions. How did he do that? How was that even possible?

    When I first met Dyeke, he was a first year student. He left his home and an exciting future of making Saygos in the glorious city of Curheg on the scholarship provided by the University itself. A graffiti artist, he was picked off the street and placed in the class of Professor Agoste Lylek, a descendent of the Triad Mountain stoneweaver Davoreen Lylek. He was an exceptionally bright student, he never had any problems with his grades and he was loved and appreciated by all of his peers. He was very popular with young comradettes, too. In many ways, he was the Aurek and Zerek of everything that was going at the SUPAS. I am truly grateful to Sacor and the powers that be that I was his mentor during the three short years he attended classes, and that I was there to present him with his Bachelor of Arts degree on the days he passed his final exam and defended his degree with hyper colours!

    From his early installations, such as The Nolerian Wilderness, to his triumphant posthumous exhibition at which I was tasked with signing copies of the second edition of this book as the tears were flowing down my face; Dyeke slowly created a poignant union of art and progress, reaching out from the humblest of the humble depths of his origins. He truly suffered for his art and there was no compromise between what he was really feeling and his expression of himself as an artist. As I have pointed out earlier in this introduction, dying for their ideals is something every artist should dream and even hope for; but I truly regret that we did not get to see even more of this extraordinary being’s creations.

    Dyeke always missed Curheg, but the city remained dear to his heart, as evident in his most famous painting, Curheg Sunset, after which I took the liberty to name this book. He was fascinated by nature as it is and, thanks to his two bare hands and a truly progressive mind directing those hands, the phenomenon of a midday sunset in the Jewel of Berssia was immortalized on the plastoid tile.

    May his glory live on! Progress and Unity, comrades and comradettes!

    - Dr. Roula of Pelayn, Dean of the Sacorrian University of Progressive Arts of Sublata



    Footnotes
    Everything you need to know about Sacorria, the Sacorrian Triad, the cities of Sublata and Curgeg in order to understand the references in this foreword better is in this fanon entry.

    Roula of Pelayn previously appeared in Nolevorution, Of Course! and I got her name from the woman who sung on 20 Fingers' song, Lick It. Google that if you want, it's too NSFW to be linked here. :p
     
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  4. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014
    The Light is Me, I am the Light
    A cautionary story for whoever

    00 Foreword

    Dear reader,

    As long as you really are a sentient being that will consume my little memoir, as opposed to the nothingness brought upon by a disintegration blaster or the warmth of fire, personified, I am humbled that you found this manuscript and that you are willing to give it a go. It’s not going to be particularly pleasant, but this will be the only one hundred percent true account of my life that ever existed. If there is another, it’s not real. And I’m not really writing it for you. I’m writing it for myself, so I would not forget who I am. Not even if I wanted to.

    My name is Dyeke and I am a painter. Correction: I was a painter. I am more than sure that nobody will know of me anymore by the time you find this. I am not going to live for much longer, either way: whether the Sacorrian Triad sends a bounty hunter for me or I embark on another spice and alcohol binge until I have numbed my heart to the point of stopping. That is, if I even have a heart to begin with.

    That is what they say of us Sacorrians here*, that we have no heart. We are so close to them, yet so far away. They say we are mentally unavailable, whatever that means. The other day, I told somebody that we cannot marry offworlders and he responded, flat out, that it’s a redundant rule, for nobody wants to spend the rest of their life with a being sliced beyond the most advanced of droids. And I can see that. I can absolutely see that.

    Over the course of last year, I have managed to open my heart and my mind to so many things that were unknown to me and I think I grew some awareness of the world. I say "grew", because, in my opinion, awareness has to be cultivated like a plant, trimmed regularly and rid of mould, dead flowers and withered lives as often as possible. Otherwise, it's not awareness - it's a delusion, and I know a delusion when I see one, for I have had many and I probably still have some. Why don't I get rid of them, you ask? They keep me alive in this current state that is only one level up from the stasis. I feed and clothe my delusions.

    If you are a Sacorrian yourself, which I am immensely hoping for, I'm sorry. You might want to proceed with caution. You may need to remove any sharp objects or the above mentioned disintegration blasters away from yourself, though I doubt you own the latter. It’s not progressive to own a deadly weapon, right?

    But once you’re prepared for it, dive in. Please. I urge you to. Immerse yourself in what I’m about to tell you. Not because I’m a good writer or something - I know I’m not. One just does not become a writer overnight and the Force - yes, not the Triad, not Sacor - knows I struggle with my writing, like many painters do. Do it because you should know the truth. No. You must know the truth! You must know who you mortal enemies are. It’s not the Doloria. It’s not the CorSec. It’s not the Galactic Empire. It’s not the subversive wailer-groups. It’s the Sacorrian Triad.

    And it’s you.

    Aren’t you surprised?

    I will leave you for a minute until you have digested that.

    So, have I offended you?

    I haven’t I just told you the truth – you’re your own enemy, for as long as you accept the doctrine served to you, the lies they feed you with, the lies you’re adorning yourself in, day by day, night by night, year by year. The beings that offend everybody are at the low end of my personal scale of value and morals, and Force knows I am not living with good sense. I am against people offending others. It’s not my way. It’s not who I am. It's funny how the beings who basically advocate that everybody should offend everybody, that specieist slurs, personal boundaries regarding beliefs and the way we live our lives don't exist are those who are most likely to hold grudges. Hate. Gossip. Ignore. Behave in an inappropriate manner. Those who would accuse you of being crazy, too sensitive. Those who are quick to ignore or diss your ideas. Those most likely to scream at you for things that most others would tolerate. Those threatening you to leave you in situations where everybody else would support you. Those not willing to give you a hand when you need help. Those not willing to hear your side of the story. Those who would never read a book like this, because they have already decided that I am unhinged, not worthy of wasting their time on, unless they’re out to get me. Which they are, but you’ll see.

    Yes, dear reader, you guessed it right - there will be many of them here.

    We need to read the books that wound and stab us and this is one such book.

    Shall I repeat that you should proceed with caution? Why not. Proceed with caution.

    Once you're done with this, please holonet my name. I would like to know where I was buried. I am hoping that my corpse was not mutilated. I am hoping that my grave is kept clean, but that is probably too much to hope for.

    Down with "Progress and Unity"! Death to the Sacorrian Triad! Freedom to all my comrades and comradettes!

    - Dyeke



    Footnotes
    Everything you need to know about Sacorria, the Sacorrian Triad, the cities of Sublata and Curgeg in order to understand the references in this foreword better is in this fanon entry.

    The Doloria are an assassin cult founded by Selonians on Sacorria. There's nothing about them on Wook otherwise, so all you see here is fanon.
     
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  5. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    Ooh, cool, two EP stories in one! :D The idea of doing an in-universe OC biography—and autobiography (as distinct from a diary)—is a really cool one that opens the door to all sorts of interesting meta possibilities: you're writing about others in-universe writing about your OC, and then writing him writing himself—again, in-universe. But even with all the meta, you, EP, leave very much your own mark, not just in the subject and the style but also in very cool touches like the sample of our hero's handwriting (which I know is your own).* :cool:

    Of course, numerous red flags get raised right from the start. Roula's account immediately has that aura of whitewashing about it, which one can see in the buzzwords of progress and unity and Sacorrian values and how wonderful Saygos and Curheg are and how much Dyeke must have missed Curheg. (From what I have seen of the place in your other stories, it's not quite Shangri-La. :p ) I have a feeling our "comrade" is not going to turn out to be quite the squeaky-perfect artist and person she makes him out to be. [face_thinking]

    And then Dyeke's own account begins. Naturally there's a huge, stark contrast in tone and style: this is definitely an artist rather than an administrator writing (and despite what he says, he's not half bad at writing! ;) ). But there's an eerie similarity too, in that both are claiming to be the true account of Dyeke's life. And that kind of makes me doubt both of them? At least a little? Or maybe not. But whichever way, it's all good!

    This part seems like the centerpiece of Dyeke's foreword, and I am guessing that he has ample experience of 100% of the things listed there. But here, too, I don't know if I can believe yet that he was always completely innocent of any support for his homeworld and its government—there are cases in Earth history of dissident artists that, whether they liked it or not, became tools of their regimes (here's one). I wonder if any of those RL histories figured in the making of this one. :cool:

    I have to say, I also love Dyeke's insistence on invoking the Force as opposed to the specific authority figures traditionally looked up to on his home planet. Along the way, I imagine we'll learn [hl=black]how he learned about the Force to begin with and perhaps whether he has the power to use it himself[/hl].

    Looking forward to more and to see how things proceed with this concept—which is definitely a new and fresh one that I haven't seen in fanfic before! :cool:



    *And which I know, in the context of this story, [hl=black]may or may not really be his own[/hl]. But I do know that it's yours, that's for sure!
     
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  6. leiamoody

    leiamoody Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 8, 2005
    (Is it wrong of me to say that going off to fight for the Empire because of a misguided artistic temperament is just like joining any military branch of the Third Reich because Hitler was a painter? Okay, now that I got that random observation out of the way...)

    Okay, Sacorria and its weirdly oppressive in a vaguely accommodating (everybody gets called "Comrade", which is supposed to be all-embracing, right?) culture is definitely becoming familiar territory. In a good way, because it's one of those little corners in the GFFA that was never really developed, and now its become your own space (does that make sense?). Cool. :D

    Like @Findswoman noted, Roula's prologue is definitely suspect. It's so idealistic of Sacorrian culture that it's basically a saccharine valentine to oppression. (And that's even before reading Dyeke's foreword to his autobiography. Reading his version of events versus Roula's makes me wonder if the overly saccharine paean she wrote about him is Sacorria's version of the unperson. Rather than writing them out of official history, they create an alternate reality that complies with party demands and avoids any messy contradictions from true history).

    Then we come to Dyeke's version. For this particular reader, there is only one ultimate version of the truth, and that comes from Dyeke. Even if his perception of his role as artist under an oppressive regime is perhaps distorted...but is it really? Anyone knows when they're being used, especially when its for a talent that benefits said government. His perception of his own truth was most likely distorted by outside influences, so he's doing the best he can to communicate this to anyone in the hopes that someone else can learn and benefit from his existence. That's the hallmark of any true artist: wanting to elucidate when they create.

    I really like this double approach you're taking. It's definitely in-universe meta while also providing out-of-universe commentary on the real world. It also plays around with the illusory nature of "perception" and "truth", particularly when related to an individual versus the collective. Excellent, excellent, all around and looking forward to more. :D
     
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  7. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014
    Thanks for the replies and for the very fact that you gave a go to something following what is otherwise a fairly bizarre format. I plan to update these two stories close to the end of each month, so - hopefully - giving everybody enough time to respond should be handy given its complexity. :)




    [face_whistling][face_thinking]

    Yup, that's how my handwriting looks like, twelve years after the last time I can recall sitting in the classroom and taking notes. [face_blush] It's slightly better in Cyrillic alphabet, I promise.

    I have been toying with the overall concept of the universally perceived "truth" as opposed to the actual truth and I simply had to port it to the GFFA and give it an eerie dimension with inclusion of the Sacorrian Triad and its oppressive system.

    And yes - the idea behind this is that it's meta beyond all possible beyondness. :)


    Each time Roula of Pelayn speaks, a cute blue-eyed tooka is Force-choked somewhere. That is how charming she really is.

    And Curheg is as charming as the surroundings of Mayak, really. :(

    There may be the times where these two accounts overlap. But yes, Dyeke's a reasonably talented writer, despite how morbid he is. Roula, however...chi non ha talento insegna.

    He most likely wasn't. One grows up in the system, perhaps even tries to abuse the system. We will see.

    The earlier - yes. The latter - absolutely not.

    *blush*

    I was actually hoping somebody would notice this rather disturbing analogy. Not wrong at all!

    MINE, MINE ALL MINE. YOU CAN'T TAKE IT AWAY FROM ME...COMRADETTE! [face_cow]


    [hl=black]Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, one thousand times yes![/hl]


    That is how I see true artists, too - while the actual process of creation of a work may have been chaotic, they will know how to talk about it and they will be enthusiastic about it.

    As for the rest, as said to Finds above - you'll see. ;)

    I can only add a +1 here and say thanks, once again. :)
     
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  8. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014
    MIDDAY DARKNESS

    Official biography of the progressive artist Dyeke
    by Roula of Pelayn

    01 Marked for Success

    Comrade Dyeke was born to the sight of a particularly colourful sunset fifty years ago as of the time of this book's third edition. One could say he saluted the sunset with his very first cry! The colours painting the Curheg skyline would be the same colours that ended up on his masterpiece, Curheg Sunset - green, yellow and orange. One could say that his destiny was written in the stars: he was born to make the colours come alive, whether they were those of his beloved hometown or those of the Galactic Empire later in life. And just like Sacor in the sky, he remained there even after he succumbed to the eternity of inevitable darkness - it all depends on how you see it and this is how I choose to see it.

    The spacer tale goes like this: his parents, Rogla and Ekram met in the ProSper factory circle, where he was a supervisor and she guided tours to the Saygo Museum. That part of the story is most certainly true, but the rumour that they were under influence while conceiving him is not. That story has been attributed to so many historical figures of past and present and it has no connection with reality, whatsoever. Comrade Dyeke's parents were clean and sober, just like any progressive Curheg resident ever was and will ever be! Do not believe spacer tales, for they are not progressive!

    Comrade Dyeke grew in one of the fifty-thousand identical apartment buildings of the city’s sleeping area, on the very last floor. This inevitably leads us to a logical assumption that his ability to recognise and process colours using his otherwise primitive painting equipment came from countless observations of the city skyline and its surroundings. Art historian Korra Lylek argues that Dyeke was able to see the southernmost buildings of Saccorata on a particularly clear morning. This would further explain the presence of taller buildings in some of his later-era paintings and the river-like shapes in his croquis. He had broad views from day one – both as an artist and literally.

    During his earliest years, comrade Dyeke spent most of the day in the ProSper factory's nursery, playing with the other worker comrades’ younglings and receiving his mandatory pre-school education. He would draw shapes in the sand pit and, after an incident where he used a stylus on the factory building wall, the caretakers were delighted by his art and, instead of punishing him for breaking the rules, as it would have been the standard procedure, they gave him sheets of flimsi and paper, and he responded by folding them, thus making geometrically accurate representations of the factory circle and drawing his nursery friends on the remaining sheets, with accuracy rarely ever seen in such a small dralling. This got him an extra slice of his favourite dessert – angleberry and cream pie – and an even higher status among his peers. One could see that he was a future Red Shirt and an important durabrick in the wall of Sacorrian Progress. He was therefore allowed to create tie-dye uniforms for his fellow nursery mates and they were allowed to wear them once a week, on Triadday. Our world generously supports creative younglings and outside-of-container thinkers and the one of comrade Dyeke was one of the brightest-shining stars in the astral map of such fine examples.

    Yes, he certainly stood out among other drallings - the most obvious reason to this being a black stripe down his back. According to our ancient Drall beliefs, the Celestials' deity otherwise referred to as "the bringer of good luck" bestowed it upon him. Those with a black stripe on their body were destined to reach great heights and leave a mark on the world, just like the Bringer left a mark on them. According to the other younglings who were spending the days at the nursery, while their parents were giving their hearts out to bring us further progress and contribute to our unity, Dyeke was quite loud, easy to make friends with and, for some reason, his Drallish was better than his Basic. He even taught some Human children to speak it, long before they would have learned it at school. He had that highly sought teaching talent from day one! It is widely assumed that his knowledge on the traditions and his ability to blend them came from his parents’ high social status in the Nar’cees Clan*.

    A talent to teach is a very progressive individual trait to have and it most certainly opens the door to other talents a being may develop later in life. Therefore, it should not come as a surprise that Dyeke was very talkative at his large family's ta'sharra! His parents and older siblings taught him all they knew about life on our planet, and he always had more questions that they could have possibly answered within a single storytelling session. Such was the desire of a wide-eyed darling-dralling to know about the world as it was, the precision of the system and the order of the industrial sanctuary he lived in. Once old enough to get around on his own, he was more inclined to visit the libraries for clues on the times that long passed us by, then to frolic in the seemingly endless fields of genuine Sacorrian irises.

    And the children in Curheg, they cannot imagine their lives without smelling the flowers. This indicates the kind of tranquillity you are not going to see anywhere else on Sacorria. From the earliest of their days, the young Curhegers discover the eternal balance between working for benefit of everybody on our planet and having lots of fun frolicking in the fields.

    Sometimes I truly regret the fact that I was not aware of comrade Dyeke at this stage of my life – I would have most certainly become his friend and a faithful supporter of his, his own limmie cheering squad. But sadly, living in Sublata, I was not aware of anybody from Curheg. This is why I advocate students’ exchange between the Sacorrian University of Progressive Arts at Sublata and Polytechnics and Biology Complex of Curheg. And I know that Dyeke would have approved of it – that is how he came to study arts in the first place.

    And his life was only about to get better and better, as he was close to being enrolled into basic school.

    Note for offworlders readers using this book in their Contemporary Artists of the Corellian Sector Outlier Systems course, particularly the University of Nuba City on Nubia: Nar’cees Clan, unlike R’vanye and Pelayn, is a clan that cannot be traced back to our species’ homeworld of Drall in the Corellian System. Nar’cees is a wonderful product of Sacorrian free thinking that came to be when both major clans sent their representatives to Curheg in order to monitor the construction work on the future ProSper factory. The Pelayn clan contributor was one of the bussinessbeings who founded ProSper in Sublata and the R’vanye contributor was an engineer from AARIS - Agricultural Appliances Research Institute of Saccorata. This clearly makes Nar’cees stand out among other Drall clans!)

    [​IMG]
    Figure 2 – Dyeke’s note to Roula of Pelayn, written at the time he obtain his honorary lecturer status at the Sacorrian University of Progressive Arts at Sublata. Courtesy of comradette Roula of Pelayn’s personal collection.

    Figure 2:
    I am eternally grateful to the system for enforcing the progress and unity and to the Sacorrian Triad for having created a city as glorious as Curheg! Growing up there taught me more than almost any other experience at a young age could have!

    HAIL THE TRIAD!



    Footnotes
    Everything you need to know about Sacorria, the Sacorrian Triad and the city of Curheg in order to understand the references in this foreword better is in this fanon entry.

    Durabrick - Material slightly more durable than our bricks. (fanon)

    Since the Nubian character Anra Renek references Midday Darkness in chapter 9 of The Black Star as something he read at the university, it was only fair that this was made an obligatory piece of literature in certain study programmes on Nubia.
     
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  9. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014
    The Light is Me, I am the Light
    A cautionary story for whoever

    01 Destined to Fail

    I came to this world forty-one years from now. It was not my will - I was forced out of my unusually tiny mother's unusually tiny womb. If I had had a chance to choose, I would have decayed inside of her body, or I would have backed out in order not to be picked from wherever the Maker keeps our souls before our future selves are sliced into the blooming zygotes that become us. Some of those zygotes end up being phantom twins absorbed by their stronger mates, some of those end up being the ones swallowing. This may have been the only competition that I have ever won.

    My father, a mouse droid controller in a cleaning service, was invited to the maternity ward's hospital room the moment my mother stopped screaming. The unfortunate hybrid of a baby delivery droid and a standard, Triad-issued GR-2 series protocol musteline never-do-good-bunch-of-scraps held a male dralling in the middle of what otherwise looked like a Doloria retribution murder scene. A lot of love, which is what my parents undoubtedly had, resulted in a lot of blood and a single male offspring screaming his little lungs out. They said I was quite a large baby. My mother was lying in the pool of blood and trying to outscream me, asking the droid to bring me back to her. Instead of it, the malsliced droid just dipped me in a pool of warm water, rubbed me like a topato pre-mashing and didn’t stop until my father asked if he could hold me.

    This is how it started. From the first seconds of my birth, they were fighting over me. Those who loved me were trying to put some sense in me, and whoever was in charge was trying to make my life harder and push me wherever they thought was best. Sure, it did start early, but it was pretty to what was to come.

    The black stripe was the first thing my parents noticed about me, Once the GR-2 droid’s much quieter mate finished cleaning up after my mother and transferred us from the birth table to a proper bed. My mother, Rogla, born in a village close to the Northern polar cap, claimed it was a bad sign. My father, Ekram, whose family had resided in the city for five millennia, laughed and said that it reminded him of garbs worn by the inmates of the Dorthus Tal prison. According to Drall folklore, it was a bad sign, too. The Celestials, who brought us from the edge of the Universe to the planet of Drall, from which we then spread across the Corellian Sector, they believed that a thick, black line was separating good from bad. There was this legend about an airborne being coming down to the ground and turning to stone in a place where a black crack in the ground was separating herbs such as ryoo from mind-altering spices, scholars held in high regard from cheap whores, dreams from nightmares. Despite how pure this ethereal being must have been, it was petrified because it could not manage making a simple decision. This would further imply that a Drall with a black stripe is not a balanced being to begin with.

    Sadly, that does sound like me.

    Nowadays, I don't like seeing my own reflection in a puddle of water, let alone a mirror. Not only that this black stripe has plagued me throughout my life, but I also have this one particular fear that I am going to face the Netherworld on the day my face is nothing but an empty skull peeking from the hood that is my fur. I am not sure if this means I am insane being living in an eerie state of self-induced psychosis, or if it's normal to be stressed and exceptionally morbid after all that happened. I guess I may never know.

    I can bear looking at myself from my younglinghood days, still.

    The last time I looked at the holos of myself on my old datapad, I harmless compared seemed to be generally happy to have arrived to this world. The moment my mother took me in her arms, I stopped screaming and my father managed to snap a quick holo before I went on the first binge of my life.

    The last time I looked at the holos of myself as a baby in an imported holozine somebody left at the lobby, they were of some other dralling. Rounder eyes, bigger than me and no black stripe down his back. Or maybe it was her back. I am pretty sure they holosheded a Progress and Unity poster on the hospital room wall. Those are normally not shown to babies, babies can't read. Then again, the said holozine was from Byblos and called “Juicy Blabber”.

    Sometimes, these things make me doubt my own existence and the shifting perspective on what is really the truth. Even now, that I am fully aware of how Sacorrian system brainwashes its people, every now and then I still doubt who I am – likely because it took me so many years to find out more.

    The medcentre room window was ajar and the shadow of the Triad Mountain looming above Sublata became something that would plague me throughout my life, even now. From the day my mother stood in the window, three days after I was born, the stone-carved faces of Dorthus Tal, Taranya and Roofus were etched – no pun intended – onto my mind, leaving a scar that I could not see, yet I could clearly feel it. Those three beings who had died more than twenty-five millennia ago, they were judging every single step I took, every single cry and every single dream I ever had. I always wondered why they built that monstrosity in the Corelle province, but now I think I know – we were a remote location compared to cities such as Dorthus Tal and Saccorata, there had to be a different way to make sure our spirits are broken, a cruel psychological game to make us obey just like or close to everybody else on Sacorria.

    My mother's stay at the hospital was relatively short. Despite how her giving birth looked like, she was given an all-clear about three days later and they took me home. She never gave birth to another dralling again, having been told that it would be too risky, given her small stature. I am not sure if she and my father would have been able to financially support more than one dralling, either. There was no population control in Sublata at the time I was born, so that would be my most logical assumption.

    I grew up in a three-story apartment building from the era of Ruusan Reformation, close to the tri-bridge square over the Sublata River. The apartment was small, the streets were always crowded, my parents' home appliances did not sit well with the thousand year old plumbing. I can't remember it being quiet. Ever. From five in the morning and the heating system kicking in with a sound similar to blaster fire, to twenty hundred, when I had to be in bed as a child, for the sake of whatever unwritten rule with the word "progressive" in it, there was no single second of peace. If nothing else was going on in the street, my mother would find a reason to yell at me. I don’t blame her. I was a very quiet child, yet I was doing some pretty sneaky things behind her back. I would try to steal random household objects and take them under the bed or lock myself in the bathroom with books that I could not even read yet, as I learned to read way too late for a Drall.

    Similarly, I do blame my mother, to a certain extent – the more she screamed, the less I would talk. On an average day, her screams, the sounds of our outdated household appliances and the enthusiastic, comedic near-shrieks of the salesmen outside would alternate until they would be in unison!

    "Angleberries! Get your fresh angleberries, straight from Vagran, day fresh!"

    "Kzzzzt wwwwwwwwwwwppwwpp!"

    "Dyeke, you cannot draw on the wall!"

    "Angleberries! The new superfood!"

    "Pewpewpewpewpew!"

    "Told you it was going to break if you climb it!"

    "Angleberries!"

    "Zkzkzkzkzkzkzzkzkzkzk!"

    "Dyeke! Stop. Now!"

    "Mom? Can I have a cup of angleberries?"

    And my poor mother, she would give in. She would shake her head, reach for her purse, give me some Republic Credits and send me down to buy myself some angleberries. By now, the whole world is most likely aware that they’re not superfood and that the most recent fad is something else. But when I was a child, adults were all over angleberries for their supposed anti-oxidant properties. Us children? We just loved how angular they were and we pretty much knew that they had more sugar than average candy long before a local branch of Parents for Progressive Future wrote to CESA – that’s Censorship, Education and Scholarship Agency, in case you, dear reader, are not Sacorrian – and advocated to have them banned from our planet. The younglings were enjoying them too much, they claimed. As a logical consequence of all this, I remained hungry for angleberries all my life and the first time I set my foot on Vagran, I asked for a whole bowl. My stomach was in agony for one whole night and half of the day afterwards, but it was worth it. I was never able to resist the power of temptation and, if nothing else, this would have been a pretty harmless character trait if it was only related to gluttony.

    ...

    Our life was nothing like what was going on at other Drall households, but I was not aware of that. I had no idea about the sad reality of Sacorria’s social classes and how much of outcasts my parents really were. The clan names such as R’vanye or Pelayn meant nothing to a dralling. Had somebody told me that we were a lowest class family under Pelayn’s jurisdiction, it would not have impacted my life in any way. But my parents chose not to tell me any of it. They never told me that we were among those not welcome to monthly ta’sharra at Touchskies, the House of Pelayn-owned twelve-story building in the centre of the city, once the tallest building in the Corellian Sector’s outlier systems.

    Our ta’sharra were pretty grim. My parents and I would sit around the square table, on three mismatching chairs, and remain silent for up to one standard hour. My mother worked one shift, my father the other and, by the end of the day, they were exhausted and not in the mood for telling me stories. I would have been too tired to listen to them myself, but then, once they were asleep at the table, I would start making my own stories. They never made much sense. They were a combination of whatever I would see from the window of our bedroom, the only one I could reach, and whatever was on the viewscreen. I am glad nobody ever paid attention to my improvised ta'sharra for one - there's got to have been a narrative that was ultimately against the system. Younglings say the strangest things. I can recall that I asked if the Selonian member of the Triad was a man. Had I been an adult, that would have landed me in the Dorthus Tal prison! This way, it could have got my parents in trouble, but we were alone on our floor, the walls were thick and nobody called about a family with a single child where the father was a droid controller and the mother a flower sorter with no major education.

    Eventually, mother and father would wake up and I guess I would fall asleep in the middle of my stories, as I can remember my father carrying me to our bed. My mother could not do this, she was one metre tall and somewhat thin. He was of average height and average stocky build typical for Drall men, but to me, he was the tallest and strongest father in the world as I knew it. Sure, that was not much of a world to begin with, but I admired him and he could not quite understand why. Perhaps he thought I would take it from him and not my mother? I would almost inevitably wake up while he was carrying me, but I would pretend to be sound asleep. My place in the bed was right below the window and the last glance I would catch, sneaking a single batter when my father was not looking, would be the little piece of the sky we could see, Triad Mountain blocking almost all of it.

    There was something shining in the night, but I never quite knew what. Was somebody or something watching us? Why was I not feeling safe, not even in my mother’s embrace, with my head residing between her breasts?

    [​IMG]
    Figure 1: A lesson learned in childhood.

    Figure 1:
    There is nothing wrong with child not being talkative. Its not his or her fault.

    [[IMAGE HOLOPROCESSOR MESSAGE TO HOLOSHED: SPELLING ERROR DETECTED. ACKNOWLEDGE THIS? Y/N]]
    [[YOU ACKNOWLEDGED THE ERROR. SUGGESTED SPELLING FOR NEXT TIME: IT’S]]



    Footnotes
    Everything you need to know about Sacorria, the Sacorrian Triad and the city of Sublata in order to understand the references in this foreword better is in this fanon entry.

    Dralling - A Drall youngling. (fanon)

    Malsliced - Something like "badly hacked". (fanon)

    Most protocol and similar droids on Sacorria are musteline, designed to look like Selonians. GR-2 droids preceed the GR-3 ones, one of which can be seen in The Black Star.

    The black stripe plays a significant role in The Bridge on the Žepa short story by the 1961 Nobel Prize in literature winner, Ivo Andrić. It's my favourite motif in the said story.

    Ryoo is a plant from Naboo, which is the GFFA basil in my headcanon.

    Angleberry is a fruit native to Vagran and I will soon explore its properties in a fanon entry on the said planet.

    Holoshed is the GFFA's take on Adobe Photoshop and it's a product of the Nubian DOBY corporation. It was previously mentioned in The Black Star.
     
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  10. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    Neat how the two chapter-one titles are the opposites of each other. (Actually, that's also true of the the book titles, isn't it?) Naturally that raises for me the question of whether that pattern will continue, or at least sometimes crop up. If it does (whether with perfect consistency or no), it's still a good hint that Dyeke is writing his story the way he is directly in responseto Roula's account—that is, it's not just that he's happening to be writing one at the same time she is, if that makes any kind of sense.

    Ooh, this Frau Doktor Roula von Pelayn is quite a piece of work, isn't she? Just listen to her with her hagiographic claptrap about saluting sunsets with his first cry, his prodigious gifts and his singling out by his teachers, his equally prodigious talkative nature, etc., etc. etc. And of course the moment she makes the huge point of denying things like the intoxicated circumstances of his conception, one can tell immediately they're mort likely to be true.

    The "for some reason" in the sentence about Dyeke's linguistic abilities stands out to me somehow; it's one of the few spots where she seems to be—gasp!—saying something critical of this Progressive Hero of the People. And of course that bit speaks volumes about Sacorria and the kind of homogeneity valued there (cf. also the identical apartment buildings, which are reminiscent of some on this very Earth): none of these inconvenient and unprogressive other non-Basic languages, if you please. :p

    And the utter brazen nerve Roula has to be so cocksure that she and Dyeke would have been perfect friends if they had known each other at that time—I'd say unbelievable, except that this is Roula and Sacorria.

    I guess I shouldn't be surprised to see that his story, like his title, is about the exact opposite of Roula's. His birth is not the idyllic sunset-tinged tableau Roula would have us believe it was; the main color was lots of red rather than some artful mix of greens, oranges, and yellows. (And those rooms don't typically have windows from which one can view sunsets, anyway.) There are no auspicious premonitions of future talent—only the ominous portent of the black stripe (and I'm guessing the legends attached to that are your own fanon, right?). Naturally that would be the sort of thing that the authorities would want to "holoshop" (oh, what was the word again?) out of later lore about him. Which just goes to show how powerful those legends really are.

    Out of curiosity...
    ...do you have an idea in mind about what exactly kind of trauma Rogla sustained to cause all that bleeding during her delivery? Was there a reason they couldn't (or just didn't) do the equivalent of a C-section? And is the phantom-twin thing established (either officially or by you) as something that happens often with Dralls?

    And of course his early residence and home life aren't the collective, progressive paradise Roula makes it out to be: they're messy, chaotic, imperfect—and fantastically described. The sound of the heating kicking in made me smile, as I grew up in a 1910s apartment building with clanky radiators, and that was the sound that lulled me to sleep. The description of the almost-harmony of all the ambient noises—from street peddlers and Rogla's scolding to his own exclamations and pleas—is the centerpiece, and even just that much is (I'd wager) a much more accurate picture of life on Sacorria than anything in Roula's biography. Many memories there, even if all those angleberries did make him sick (and it's just like Sacorria to ban them just because younglings like them, isn't it? :( )

    What with all that, I can completely sympathize with the feeling of just being too tired at the end of the day for much in the way of family togetherness and storytelling sessions. What a world of contrast between those three silent, sullen Drall around the kitchenette table and what the Wook describes as a lively, convivial event for a crowd—that really stood out for me, too (well, lots of things stand out for me, but it would take me too long to name them all). No doubt Rogla and Ekrem's position as outcasts also played into that feeling of sullen fatigue: the feeling of hopelessness and isolation can be a huge damper on the kind of energy needed for a proper ta'sharra. That feeling was rubbing off on Dyeke in spades before he even knew it: the feeling of being watched by that mysterious thing shining in the sky was a corollary of it, in a way. But all that practice telling himself stories did him good, in a way: even amid all his hopelessness and disillusionment he's doing a stunning job at telling his own story right now. :cool:

    Once again, the handwriting in the two "figures" is a really cool touch that adds life to the story (as well as a personal touch, of course). [hl=black]Though knowing who wrote the sample in Dyeke's chapter, I wonder what she'd think about the datapad's subsequent commentary on the incorrect word. :p[/hl]
     
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  11. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014
    First of all, sorry for the delay. I'm not sure how I ended up working as a hired freelancing gun of a ReallyBigCompany after a year of - honestly - not even feeling like working, but I did and there was no way in heck I could've got things done on March 31st. [face_relieved]

    To lurks, because I know this story could frighten anybody remotely sane, thanks for reading - whatever you want to say, it will be equally appreciated. Even if it's an one-liner. :p You don't have to outfinds Finds, or anything! :)



    [quote="Findswoman, post: 53329319, member: 1382244"]Neat how the two chapter-one titles are the opposites of each other. (Actually, that's also true of the the book titles, isn't it?) Naturally that raises for me the question of whether that pattern will continue, or at least sometimes crop up. If it does (whether with perfect consistency or no), it's still a good hint that Dyeke is writing his story the way he is [I]directly in response [/I]to Roula's account—that is, it's not just that he's happening to be writing one at the same time she is, if that makes any kind of sense.[/quote]

    While it's not a response - this will make sense, I promise - yes, one can expect for many things to overlap. Some, however, as you can see by [I]two different cities of birth[/I], won't. :P

    [quote="Findswoman, post: 53329319, member: 1382244"]
    Ooh, this Frau Doktor Roula von Pelayn is quite a piece of work, isn't she? Just listen to her with her hagiographic claptrap about saluting sunsets with his first cry, his prodigious gifts and his singling out by his teachers, his equally prodigious talkative nature, etc., etc. etc. And of course the moment she makes the huge point of denying things like the intoxicated circumstances of his conception, one can tell immediately they're most likely to be true.[/quote]

    FRAU.DOKTOR.ROULA.VON.PELAYN! Bwahahahahaha! That was so hilarious, thanks for the lulz. :D

    And that last thing is, basically, something barely related that she threw in for no reason. Because Roula!

    [quote="Findswoman, post: 53329319, member: 1382244"]
    The "for some reason" in the sentence about Dyeke's linguistic abilities stands out to me somehow; it's one of the few spots where she seems to be—gasp!—saying something [I]critical[/I] of this Progressive Hero of the People. And of course that bit speaks volumes about Sacorria and the kind of homogeneity valued there (cf. also the identical apartment buildings, which are reminiscent of some on this very Earth): none of these inconvenient and unprogressive other non-Basic languages, if you please. :p[/quote]

    All three languages are official, but in the real story, the fact that Dyeke barely spoke the other two shows how much of an awkward kid he was. :( Of course, the way she spins it is something some real world governments would be quite envious of. :P

    [quote="Findswoman, post: 53329319, member: 1382244"]
    And the utter brazen nerve Roula has to be so cocksure that she and Dyeke would have been [I]perfect friends[/I] if they had known each other at that time—I'd say unbelievable, except that this is Roula and Sacorria.[/quote]

    You're in for...well, you'll see!

    [quote="Findswoman, post: 53329319, member: 1382244"]
    I guess I shouldn't be surprised to see that his story, like his title, is about the exact opposite of Roula's. His birth is not the idyllic sunset-tinged tableau Roula would have us believe it was; the main color was lots of red rather than some artful mix of greens, oranges, and yellows.[/quote]

    [quote="Findswoman, post: 53329319, member: 1382244"](And those rooms don't typically have windows from which one can view sunsets, anyway.)[/quote]

    [quote="Findswoman, post: 53329319, member: 1382244"]There are no auspicious premonitions of future talent—only the ominous portent of the black stripe (and I'm guessing the legends attached to that are your own fanon, right?).[/quote]

    [quote="Findswoman, post: 53329319, member: 1382244"]Naturally that [I]would [/I]be the sort of thing that the authorities would want to "holoshop" (oh, what was the word again?) out of later lore about him. Which just goes to show how powerful those legends really are.[/quote]

    [quote="Findswoman, post: 53329319, member: 1382244"]
    Out of curiosity...
    [spoiler=birthing 'n' babies stuff]
    ...do you have an idea in mind about what exactly kind of trauma Rogla sustained to cause all that bleeding during her delivery? Was there a reason they couldn't (or just didn't) do the equivalent of a C-section? And is the phantom-twin thing established (either officially or by you) as something that happens often with Dralls?
    [/spoiler]
    [/quote]

    [spoiler]She got ripped all the way from V to A and otherwise, she was small. The rest...well, I'll let you guess for a bit more, the next chapter should give a clue on that front.[/spoiler]

    [quote="Findswoman, post: 53329319, member: 1382244"]
    And of course his early residence and home life aren't the collective, progressive paradise Roula makes it out to be: they're messy, chaotic, imperfect—and fantastically described. The sound of the heating kicking in made me smile, as I grew up in a 1910s apartment building with clanky radiators, and that was the sound that lulled me to sleep.[/quote]

    Thank you. :) The world he lives in, his immediate surroundings, are anything but "progressive", they may be a bit old-fashioned even in our terms, and I am glad that it shows.

    They were clanking all the time? Ours, 2003-made, they just make a single sound when the heating is done for the day and then when it's back on in the morning. And since that tends to wake me up sometimes, I wonder what it's like when they're that loud!

    [quote="Findswoman, post: 53329319, member: 1382244"]
    The description of the almost-harmony of all the ambient noises—from street peddlers and Rogla's scolding to his own exclamations and pleas—is the centerpiece, and even just that much is (I'd wager) a much more accurate picture of life on Sacorria than anything in Roula's biography. Many memories there, even if all those angleberries did make him sick (and it's just like Sacorria to ban them just because younglings like them, isn't it? :( )[/quote]

    Yes and yes, to all this. Roula is describing some almost canine-like obedience and that does not exist among any ordinary people, anywhere. OK, maybe on [url=https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Island_(2005_film)]The Island[/url]. :P

    [quote="Findswoman, post: 53329319, member: 1382244"]
    What with all that, I can completely sympathize with the feeling of just being too tired at the end of the day for much in the way of family togetherness and storytelling sessions. What a world of contrast between those three silent, sullen Drall around the kitchenette table and what the Wook describes as a lively, convivial event for a crowd—that really stood out for me, too (well, lots of things stand out for me, but it would take me too long to name them all). No doubt Rogla and Ekrem's position as outcasts also played into that feeling of sullen fatigue: the feeling of hopelessness and isolation can be a huge damper on the kind of energy needed for a proper [I]ta'sharra[/I]. That feeling was rubbing off on Dyeke in spades before he even knew it: the feeling of being watched by that mysterious thing shining in the sky was a corollary of it, in a way. But all that practice telling himself stories did him good, in a way: even amid all his hopelessness and disillusionment he's doing a stunning job at telling his own story right now. :cool:[/quote]

    Just one big YES, apart from a single thing: this was a full kitchen.

    [quote="Findswoman, post: 53329319, member: 1382244"]
    Once again, the handwriting in the two "figures" is a really cool touch that adds life to the story (as well as a personal touch, of course). [hl=black]Though knowing who wrote the sample in Dyeke's chapter, I wonder what she'd think about the datapad's subsequent commentary on the incorrect word. :p[/hl][/quote]

    I told mom about it and she didn't mind. :) She didn't write English much, she mostly spoke it, so she's likely to miss stuff.>
     
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  12. Sith-I-5

    Sith-I-5 Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Aug 14, 2002
    Nice touch with the scanned handwritten letter.

    Couple weeks since I read this, and at the time, it had been a long time since I had read the Corellian books where this planet featured, and I clearly confused Sacorrians with Selonians.

    Thus, this artist's decision to run off to fight for the Empire, seemed like an extremely bad idea. I was envisioning a rather short escapade, ending in a blaster bolt.

    Well, not to me. But then I was thinking that this was that tailed individual who could get eighteen pieces of stormtrooper armour off in less than a second, in one of your other stories.

    I enjoyed her treatise of this man's achievements, particularly using "Aurek and Zerek" instead of A to Z; and then referring to his named early works, and triumphant postmortem exhibition. I liked the story of someone pulled from obscurity, and allowed to go up in social class, and succeed.

    I missed the significance of the "popularity with young comradettes". Adding "ette" to a word does not always mean female (and these days, that meaning has died out); it can also mean small or smaller; such as cigar and cigarette; so I did not realise until re-reading to review just now, what that meant. I just thought these were young or junior comrades.

    [face_blush] I was buying everything that Dr Roula was selling; I did not realise until reading @Findwoman 's review, and you're own response, that there were communist or totalitarian keywords going on.


    Dyeke's memoir, written as if put down in a stream of consciousness style was great prose, opening us to his heart, his worries of an assassination team from his homeworld, or his own reaction to the situation he had found himself in, drowning himself in spice and alcohol.

    I loved his warnings to the reader, teasing out who the threat was, and naming the Sacorrian Triad!

    Okay, didn't see that one coming.

    Great idea to get the reader to look him up on the holonet.

    This was an interesting project, that was a pleasure to read, from both points of view, a POV that I happily and blithely thought were from short, furred sentients until I wiki'd (Wookiee'd?) Sacorria just now.

    All that has changed since learning that there is a 33% chance that Dyeke was human, I can perhaps see why he thought he that he and the Empire were on the same page.
     
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  13. Amber Kenobi

    Amber Kenobi Jedi Padawan star 2

    Registered:
    Feb 12, 2016
    EP, I love how you place your words. The language of the story is very precise; as is the plot itself. Your characters are vivid in the sense of handwriting, at least. :) Dyeke's world is plainly unlike ours.
     
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  14. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014
    WOW. Thank you so much for your wonderful replies!

    (answers will go here, I skilled a month and I'm in extreme hurry to post the next bit while it's still April!)

    And here's responses, in May, so another month would not go without leaving them.

    Thank you. :) That's the print version of my handwriting.

    Your confusion probably has something to do with there being Selonians on Sacorria. Sacorria has almost equal populations of Humans, Dralls and Selonians. :) Plus, the words are similar.

    That is what it would probably be like in this case.

    Were you still thinking he was a Selonian at that point? I know I had a very odd response to that, which was probably inspired by the firefighters...in...reverse.

    That guy, Soleo...he's a survivor in so many ways. This one is not street-smart.

    Oh, and Soleo IS a Selonian, also from Selonia proper. :)

    [face_whistling]

    We had "drugovi" and "drugarice" here, so since I was looking for the most ridiculous things from all non-democratic or barely-democratic regimes, I used it. :)


    And that means it worked! :) She is selling it, both literally and otherwise.

    Thank you. :) Stream of consciousness is my preferred way of writing first person stories.

    I have two different equivalents of Wikipedia in the story with the stripping-in-a-second guy. I had those in mind.

    I am glad that it was a pleasure. I opted for one chapter of each of these POVs at the end of each month throughout 2016, because it's quite demanding to write an in-universe book, let alone two, and Roula's POV requires me to make up a lot of extreme bantha poodoo, yet not make it 100% untrue, as some things have to match.

    As for POV, it is from short, furred sentients. Look below:

    Nope. It was in the summary:

    Dyeke, a Drall painter from Sacorria, was a cult favourite of Corellian Sector's art miglieu, as well as many other art connoisseurs across the Galaxy. Now, what was his life actually like? These two books take turns at exploring it...

    I should've probably mentioned it in both intros, though. [face_blush]

    Thank you. His world is...complicated, to say the least.
     
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  15. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014
    MIDDAY DARKNESS

    Official biography of the progressive artist Dyeke
    by Roula of Pelayn

    02 A Happy and Progressive Schoolyoungling

    A careless childhood must come to an end, eventually and each young comrade and comradette have to learn to expand their responsibilities beyond their initial peer group – and what would be the better place to do this than the nine years making up basic school? The Ministry of Education is proud of their colour classification system for a very good reason and, while it remains controversial to outsider education experts, we have proof that it works and that it resulted in a much more progressive society. Moreover, various corporations that benefit our planet have long agreed to supply

    From his first day of school, comrade Dyeke was exactly what one would have expected him to be – everybody’s favourite. Not that something like that would have been hard to achieve in the extremely progressive Curheg Basic School #17. I am hereby assuming that most of you are not familiar with this school district – but you should be, for this school gave us nobody other than Eeris, the creator of the TDK-90 ramship, the Aurek and Thesh of our progressive planet’s mighty defence forces. She is modest about her achievements, and so was dear Dyeke. He would have probably not shared that he went to the same school that Eeris frequented some years before him – that is how humble he was!

    Of course, just like any other basic school in Sacorria, Curheg Basic School #17 was trapezoid. If you’re not Sacorrian, you’re probably wondering what kind of an architectural mastermind could have come up with this revolutionary, progressive concept and what for? Search no HoloNet – it was CESA, one of our planet’s greatest authories on education. Around the time of Ruusan Reformation, they worked hard on a concept that would make our school system more efficient. The highlights of this reform were a later school start age of seven standard years and the trapezoid schools. A research carried out prior to this set of education reforms strongly indicated that younglings age 4-6 are not progressive enough to pay attention in classes and that the square shapes are limiting overall progressiveness of the youth. Our oldest staple of education – the contents of the first class at school – was not changed, though there was a group of beings pushing for it.

    After this little digression, we’re going back to our delightful young protagonist, the progressive hero of Sacorrian arts.

    As the tradition requests, younglings would get up, introduce themselves and go on about singing their favourite songs or reciting their favourite to the class. It is of no surprise that Dyeke’s pick was the anthem of our world!

    Fields of Golden Grains

    I’m a child of progress and unity,
    I serve my duty to the society,
    From the day I’m born to fields of golden grains,
    To the day the shuttle carries me away.

    I am Sacorrian and I am proud,
    The only thing I would say out loud,
    My voice salutes Their Leaderships
    My sweat powers our mighty ramships!

    I live for our world’s immense beauty,
    I value order, obedience and sobriety,
    From the moment I wake up to goldest of sunrises,
    To the time when I call it a day.

    I am Sacorrian and I am proud,
    The only thing I would say out loud,
    My voice salutes Their Leaderships
    My sweat powers our mighty ramships!

    I was not present when this took place, but I am pretty sure that, in my own school-seat thousands of kilometres away in the cold autumn of Sublata, I could hear his dramatic performance, with the hand on my heart. Heroes of the People are like this – you can feel their blood go through your veins, figuratively, of course. And when somebody was the kind of a public speaker our Dyeke was, you can almost hear their voice speak to your values, your progressiveness and your sense of unity.

    It should not come as a surprise that Dyeke’s teacher, Master Saride who now teaches fine arts at my department, was delighted. The amount of time he uttered the word “progressive” to his young protegee in art classes, even during the time before the colour-sorting at the end of the Edumonth, must have been enough to make the young Drall realise that there is no word more beautiful in the endless fields of dustcorn and longwheat that is our world. Progressive is the first word that one is able to recognise as an infant. Progressive is the first word etched on one’s heart. Progressive is the world every true, proud Sacorrian wears on his or her sleeve!

    At the end of the said first month, the younglings were facing their first big day! All first graders were evaluated for colours, in order to have their yellow tesh-tunics, shirts or collars replaced with red, orange or white.

    The latter was, of course, not Dyeke’s case. Despite being a true red, he famously requested an orange tesh, in order to work on constantly improving himself. Master Saride, the whole school board and the envoy of Their Leaderships were initially surprised, but after a brief conversation and the latter giving a discrete nod, they agreed to allow this experiment to be carried, due to the potential they saw in the young Drall with a black stripe on his back. Dyeke’s parents were then informed of this and allowed a day off from their job in the Saygo factories, in order to properly celebrate with their son. Honouring the workers’ family members has always been a very progressive practice, leading to great results, but Dyeke’s case was the first of allowing an extraordinary talent to humble himself down to orange.

    Next to arts, another thing that made Dyeke extremely progressive from day one was his ability to write in all three official languages of our world, simultaneously. His Galactic Basic, Drall and Mandaba were top-notch and he would often help other younglings with their calligraphy and grammar. This was how he met his best friend, Dareanna Domesuto. A human girl from a fellow worker family, she was just what the Triard ordered: the best companion a youngling could have. A true Curhegite, a progressive young woman even at her age of seven, she supported Dyeke throughout his basic school days. They never argued or fought, she was helping him with math and science and he was helping her with languages and arts.

    Dareanna went as far as coming to Dyeke’s home in order to help him with his weakest subject, biology and he would then teach her to paint from the top of the apartment block. Of course, there was always an adult nearby, supervising them, until they were given safety ropes in order to be safe in case they want to fly and reach the amazing colours themselves. This was a typical Curheg precaution, as the flower-covered roof gardens and the beauty of the sky and our blue giant slowly dissolving in colour was known to cause poetic thinking in younglings and there were a couple of cases where this did not end well. To our luck, these two progressives were raised in an era when everything was under control, for the sake of their own well-being.

    This is where I am required to make yet another small digression – my conscience is screaming from the very depth of my throat: despite what was written in some Corellian and out-of-Core holomags, Dareanna and Dyeke were not having a precocious relationship. Sacorrians do not have an instinct for an intespecies romance written in their genes. We are disciplined enough to understand what kind of throwbacks this would cause.

    Another friend Dyeke had during the first day of school, was a fellow orange by the name of Garko Garelbi. They met on the very first day of their basic school studies, while playing limmie. Naturally, they both wanted to be the great Freturr Areichii from Zeltros and they almost fought over this! But our Dyeke, he knew that fighting was not progressive and therefore, he generously allowed Garko to be Areichii for this and every next game during the many years they spent working and living together.

    And Master Saride was fascinated – to this day, he’s telling me stories about how these younglings wanted to be Freturr Areichii. Back then, younglings were not only fascinated by Areichii’s limmie playing, but also his pure Zeltron origin and the unique colour of his skin. And Saride gave these boys precisely what they wanted – a special art class right before the New Year’s Fete, where they could paint themselves to look like their favourite athlete! This was also a far more progressive and creative way to honour the holidays, as opposed to then-uncommon gift lotteries for younglings.

    The only downside to the early days of Dyeke’s schooling was that he had no close friends of his own species. Therefore, his knowledge of Drall culture outside of Sacorria was limited. This was also due to his family being a part of the Nar’cees Clan. However, this was soon to change, as more opportunities were awaiting our hero in the future!




    Footnotes
    Everything you need to know about Sacorria, the Sacorrian Triad and the city of Sublata in order to understand the references in this chapter better is in this fanon entry.
     
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  16. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014
    The Light is Me, I am the Light
    A cautionary story for whoever

    02 Peon to the System

    My blank childhood, silent ta'sharra and days spent watching holocomedies featuring child stars such as Karlina Yaihe - it all came to an end one cold morning, when my mother adorned me with a yellow bow tie, handed me a double waistbag and took me by the hand, all the way to a trapeze-shaped building three streets away. She explained me that the building was trapeze because rectangle and square-shaped buildings make younglings sad. I asked her why the Square Building in Dorthus Tal was not disintegrated and rebuilt as trapeze, and she put her hand on my mouth before I could even finish. Apparently, mentioning “disintegration” and “Square Building” in a single sentence, would have resulted in Sacorrian Intelligence arresting us and questioning my poor mother. She kept on looking behind her back all the way to the trapeze building. She was shaking and I remember thinking that the day was not that cold at all. Glad I didn’t ask her about that at least.

    That was the day I first sat down in a classroom.

    Just like all Sacorrian children, regardless of their social status and species, I started school at the age of seven. To this day, I’ve been wondering if it’s the Triad’s goal to make sure we are taught to obey before we would be taught to make simple decisions on our own, or if they are simply too ignorant to acknowledge that, in other systems of the Corellian Sector, younglings of most species formally start basic school as early as the age of 4-5. They could have had us start working much earlier had they changed the rules. Wasn’t the system supposed to be progressive?

    Our first class was memorable. We all sat down, in whatever free place we could find and then, the blinds were shut and a signal light let us know to be quiet. Following this, flickering blue and white images of three hooded figures with glareshades were shown to us on the holocomm-like demonstrative device; and we were taught to bow to that mess of static noise and secrecy, on the floor next to our desks. The mantra was simple. “By Progress and Unity, we salute Your Leaderships!” Our first teacher, mistress Korunas, then taught us that the tallest figure is Her Selonianship, the shortest one Her Drallship and the remaining one, His Humanship. It took us nine takes until we learned to say "Hail the Triad!" in unison, with our left hand on our hearts and the right hand on our bellies. To a foreigner, the later would be strange. To us, it was normal, a common Sacorrian reference to fertility - both our own, and of our arable lands.

    Luckily, I did not know that nearly all Selonian females on Sacorria were infertile and that they depended on lab-created eggs taken from the ones able to bear children, who would be the Queens in a more natural Selonian society, the way the Maker had intended them to be. The Queens’ own DNA would be removed from the eggs and the new parent’s DNA would be injected into them instead. I did not know that there was population control in Saccorata and most of the Berrsia province, as they were too numerous compared to the rest of us. My world was still ideal, the thin sheet of flimsi portraying it had not gone up in flames, yet. To us children, the salute to the Motherworld and fertility meant that we were going to have cheerful younglings like ourselves, someday, and that those younglings were going to enjoy the dust corn, rapeseed and other things that made us proud Sacorrians.

    For our second class, the blinds went up. I could finally see the faces of the other younglings, but I did not have the time to observe them, yet. The only thing that I caught immediately was that everybody wore yellow, just like me. Mistress Korunas asked us to introduce ourselves and sing a song, or recite a poem. One by one, yellow shirts, collars and bow ties would flash as we would get up, say our names and share whatever we knew with the world.

    Most of us sung or recited. The poem I had prepared for this occasion was a translation of a piece by Karihn, one of my father's favourite poets from Drall.

    Freedom

    Give me the sky
    Where the ibbot flies
    And the day never dies
    In vain.

    Give me the lands
    Where no one stands
    With their back bent
    In pain.

    Give me freedom
    I want wings below me
    And the blue above me.

    Mistress Korunas was puzzled. She had never heard of Karihn and she wrote down his name. A day later, while my mother and I were outside, Karihn's book disappeared from our library, never to be found again. To this day, I don’t know if she handed it over, if somebody took it from our home or if they, simply, broke in and took it away. Still, I never forgot this poem or stopped believing it. Moreover, I visited Karihn’s grave on Drall last year and I was delighted to find these eleven lines carved into the headstone.

    In the breaks between the classes, we happily ran through the corridors and around the yard, repeating the salute to the Triad. Sometimes we would march to it. Some boys were already playing limmie. I was, frankly, too scared to give it a go at this point. They were obsessed with Freturr Areichii, the illegitimate son of the Chandrillan diplomat and a Zeltros masseuse, who was dominating the courts up to the Mid Rim. Or so we were told. It was only recently that I read that he, indeed, existed, and wasn’t a product of, how to say, vivid imagination of the Sacorrian Triad. I was surprised. His story did always seem too much of a fairytale to be real, but somehow it was completely legitimate.

    At the end of the first month at school, we had our first big day, or so we were told. All first grade younglings were evaluated for colours, in order to have their yellow tesh-tunics, shirts or collars replaced with red, orange or white. Or not. The latter was my case, prompting a hug and a pat on the back from my father and some crying on my mother’s behalf – apparently, she was never evaluated in any way, she was just given a white collar, because her whole family never knew of any other colour. It was much latter that I would found out that the system had no patience for peasant families that still owned their properties, and that evaluating me as a yellow was a result of the talents I undoubtedly had not being considered particularly progressive.

    By now, it should be obvious which my least favourite adjective is.

    After this, the twenty of us in the class, we were not eight Humans, six Drall and six Selonians. We were not ten girls and ten boys. We were two red, four orange, nine yellow and five white. Our places in the system were more or less decided for us, already. The two red ones were considered smart enough and obedient enough to make it big. The four orange were likely more intelligent, but likely to be placed in more demanding programme at the university someday and end up buried in piles of work, in order never to have the time to think with their own heads. For the rest of us, life was almost certainly going to be about following the others.

    One of the likely reasons I remained yellow and was not changed to orange was my poor Galactic Basic. At home, we mostly spoke Drallish. I didn’t know a single word of Mandaba at this point. I knew what “korso-korso” meant and that was it.

    The next thing I knew, Mistress Korunas was ordered to place me in additional classes in order to learn Mandaba. It turned out that she was giving these classes herself, being a professor of Mandaba who was relegated to teaching younglings in a basic school, for undisclosed reasons. A very plump Selonian, always wearing hotpink lipstick and blue-rimmed glasses, she loved all twenty of us, regardless of our assigned colours. Unlike most Selonian women I would meet later in life, she was very motherly. There were times where she would pay more attention to me than my own mother would. And I loved her. I really did. She was my first attentive listener, ever. She didn’t mind the fact that I was interested in some things other boys weren’t, such as drawing.

    Next to biology, art was one of my two biggest passions from day one. Later on, one of the most wonderful beings I ever had the pleasure to know, would tell me that, on his planet, it’s assumed that everybody had two passions and that yonglings’ education is being accustomed to that in their school programme, something the Galactic Republic was not too happy about. Isn’t that ironic? They allowed Sacorrian educational system to kill creativity and pressure young ones to become whatever is more useful on an agriworld dedicated to exporting food; yet they have a problem with encouraging creativity on other worlds. Sometimes, I am not surprised that they failed after so many millennia. Not at all.

    In art classes, I would feel like myself. Funny that a youngling sitting at the age of play-yard, sticking to the edge of corridors and not having met a single friend yet, would become a completely different being in presence of various forms of clay, brushes, styluses. And the other younglings would suddenly notice that I existed, too. Whenever Mistress Korunas would turn her back – her concentration seemed to be bad at least once per month or so – they would come to me, requesting help with their little sculptures and drawings. And me? I would try to draw in a different style for each kidlet, so Mistress Korunas would never know it was me. Nowadays, I’m pretty sure that she knew – and I did see a couple of such drawings exhibited, with notes that they belonged to private collections. The same beings who didn’t want to have anything to do with me outside of our art workshop, they were now telling everybody how much they loved me back at school. I am not sure if I should laugh and cry when I read their unrealistic stories. As I have already stated, us Sacorrians, we were taught to have a very specific kind of vivid imagination, we were encouraged to twist our own perspective even further.

    There was one little girl, a Human wearing yellow like me, who didn’t ask for help, at any given time. Her art grades were not the best. Mistress Korunas, who loved everything and everybody, didn’t even look at this girl’s creations. Neither did other children. I don’t remember her drawings being hung on the walls.

    One day, about four months since we started school, I came to her sitting place. To my surprise, what she had drawn did not look bad at all. It was only the colours that weren’t matching.

    “You could use a little blue over there. You have too much yellow.” I pointed at the shape dominating her drawing. It must have been some twisted kind of a volcano, as it most certainly was not a celestial body.

    “Why are you talking about what others drew?” she asked me. “Who gave you the permission to, you little unprogressive wermo? Were you qualified for this?”

    Following this, she got up, came to my desk, spat on my painting and then, as if that was not enough, tore the paper apart.

    “Be lucky that I won’t shove your face in it.” She said, going back to her place.

    This is how I met Dareana Domesuto. She would remain my personal bully until the end of basic school. Nothing she ever did was notable, in any way, but she refused to take advice from everybody who was not a teacher. There were times where she would just push me in the silicate-pen because somebody else told her that she was not on a good way. Apparently, I marked her and she was followed by bad luck.

    Around the New Year fete, we cleared the main classroom for a little party. In a typical Sacorrian fashion, we had to move the desks and chairs ourselves, even though some droids would have been a better option. Our parents gave us food to take to school and Mistress Korunas instructed us to bring small gifts for other children. She then numbered these gifts and asked one of the Human boys for a hat. The giveaway was like a lottery.

    Needless to say, I chuckled when Dareana Domesuto ended up with a bunch of second-hand marbles that my dad had wrapped in a piece of translucent cloth. Needless to say, she protested about this, as she said, attack on her persona.

    Close to the end of the raffle, when the table with gifts was almost empty, Mistress Korunas raised a large, square box wrapped in bright red.“Who has the number seven?”

    There were no responses. I didn’t look at my card until the boy sitting next to me, a Human and a fellow yellow named Garko Garelbi, pointed out that what was scribbled on it was, indeed, a seven.

    My face lit up. I have never received anything that big. Inside of the box, there was a set of toy starships, complete with a planetary system with a star that could be lit up using solar energy, and planets and moons that could levitate in the air using miniature repulsorlifts. This must have cost a lot!”

    “You’re lucky, Dyeke!” Garko was almost drooling. “Say, can I come to your place and play with this? I have one or two models that you don’t, that we could use. I’m pretty good at writing stories.”

    I was confused. Did he just ask to be my friend?

    “My mother makes the best dust corn pudding in Sublata!” He added.

    “Of course, you can come and play with me!” I blurted out, so loudly that Dareana moved away from us. I didn’t even know she was there, but with Garko near me, she was less likely to break my new toys once Mistress Korunas would have turned her back again. “And I…I never tried bread pudding! There is apparently a special recipe my family should be using, but my parents don’t have this recipe.”

    One of the two students in red, who had been ignoring me since the first day of school, a fellow Drall, a girl, turned around. She was previously drinking angleberry juice next to refreshments table and I did see her ear move when Mistress Korunas called number seven, but it was only now that something really got her attention.

    She walked up to Garko and me.

    “What’s your name?” she asked. “I’m Roula.”

    “Garko Garelbi. This is my new friend, Dyeke.” The boy hugged me. It took me a couple of seconds before finally extended my hand towards the girl. Just like me, she was pretty small, even for a Drall youngling.

    “There couldn’t have been a better recipient for my gift than you, I think.” Roula pointed to the remains of the box that I had torn in excitement. She could easily figure out that I was not used to opening boxed toys. “A fellow clan member and the class artist. I’m proud.”

    “That was from you? Thank you!” I wanted to hug her, but she refused. I shrugged and looked to Garko, who just rolled his eyes.

    “Say, can I come and play with the two of you as well?” she cocked her head. There was this air of knowing more than an average child to her. I liked that. I also liked the silver-white embroidery on her otherwise red collar. The pattern was repeating and it resembled a small diamond.

    To Garko’s disappointment, I nodded and grinned from ear to ear. To him, girls and boys were two different worlds.

    Me, I didn’t care. This had been the best day of my life so far. For the first time in my life, I had friends. Two of them! I was finally progressive, in some way. I was making connections with others. I had new toys, too; but first and foremost, I had friends!




    Footnotes
    I am quite fascinated by Arthur Friedenreich. So, I created this one Freturr Areichii.

    Everything you need to know about Sacorria, the Sacorrian Triad and the city of Sublata in order to understand the references in this chapter better is in this fanon entry.
     
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  17. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    You once told me you found Roula's parts of this story hard to write, and I don't blame you—she's absolutely insufferable, from the chapter title to the very last word of her chapter! :p I bet she's not even aware that some of the stuff she's trying so hard (too hard) to cover up is, in a way, completely transparent to any sentient being who hasn't been living under a rock, e.g., that fib about requesting the orange shirt even "despite being a true red." (And it's so cool how just that alone, in her mouth, is enough to clue the reader in that orange shirts are of lesser status than red ones!)

    As always, your Sacorrian world-building is thorough, believable, and just plain fantastic. It all fits together into a cohesive and multifaceted whole: the hierarchy of the shirts ("Our places in the system were more or less decided for us, already"), the one-size-fit-all educational program, the trapezoidal design of the building (for carefully researched reasons having to do with progressive education theory!), the rote memorization of the poems and songs, the unison recitation (again and again) of the "progress and unity" salute, the routine submission to the Triad (or just their holographic projections) that's part of every day.

    The poems are kind of the centerpieces of these chapters, and of course there couldn't be a bigger contrast. The contrast mirrors the tone of the chapters in which they appear, of course, and just as Dyeke's own account is far better written (in-universe, I mean!) than Roula's, it's not suprising that the poem he actually chose is also far better written than the one Roula wishes he chose (!). I remember that Karihn and his "Freedom" came up in your other story here with a Drall protagonist, so that poem apparently means something very important to some subset of the Sacorrian Drall population—and one can see why. [face_thinking]

    And then the friends. Or rather the "friends," in one case. Trust that Roula to twist her subject's "personal bully" into a "best friend"—ooh, how I hate the whole ethos of forced friendships! Dareanna (Dareana? Interesting that the two writers spell it differently...) sounds like a real brat; to snap at Dyeke that way when he was just trying to be friendly and helpful in his characteristic way! Sure serves her right to end up with the bottom-of-the-bucket gift at the New Year Fete grab bag.

    Very interesting how Roula writes herself out of the story here, since the red-shirted Roula Dyeke mentions at this point is most certainly her. (There too the fact that she specifically mentions no Drall friends is a huge indicator that the opposite is probably true.) One would expect her type to want to brag endlessly about she was friends with the Famous Progressive Artist before he was Somebody, so she undoubtedly has a very strong reason (well, strong to her) for outright avoiding doing so. [face_thinking]

    We know already that the adult Dyeke's not feeling so warm toward Roula anymore; certainly we will learn the causes of that over the course of this story, but one can see hints already that their "friendship" isn't going to last long. It says so much about her character that she only bothers to notice yellow-shirted Dyeke once he (by sheer dumb luck) receives the most primo present of all, which of course was from her and which of course she has to advertise. And "Fellow artist"? Really? As if! :p At least both accounts agree about the friendship with Garko, who really does seem like a genuinely friendly sort; I hope that friendship will last longer, because the young Dyeke sounds like he could use a good friend at this time of his life. @};-
     
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  18. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014
    Recently, it involves listening to the bantha poodoo our prime minister says. THE SACRIFICES I HAVE TO TAKE. :eek:

    I did not think about her being unaware, but knowing her, yes, this is possible! Good call!

    The trapezoidal schools are something I read about once upon a time in a "believe it or not" type of an article.

    Yes, that poem is an underground legend among the Sacorrian Dralls. :)

    And Roula's "writing" "style" is the way it is on purpose, of course.

    Her decision to use the Sacorrian anthem as Dyeke's choice for the introduction piece is...hitting the nerve.

    In most cases, Dyeke's spelling would be the correct one. :) And young comradette Domesuto is quite a charming individual.

    Of course it's her. And since she went as far to claim he was born in a different city, it's something HUGE. Or, well, huge to her.


    It's not forbidden to dream. :p

    And OMG SHE DID HIM A FAVOUR. SHE IS SO GREAT.

    Yup! Garko may have been initially attracted by the toy, but he's a sincere child. He's not going to be friends with somebody just because they own something fun. :)
     
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  19. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014
    MIDDAY DARKNESS

    Official biography of the progressive artist Dyeke
    by Roula of Pelayn


    03 Blessed With Struggle

    Life is hard, but isn’t it also an endless, special kind of a wonder?

    Life throws rocks at us, but we make our own little Triad Mountains, complete with the mysterious Black Light!

    Life creates quakes. Quakes create volcanoes. We create the Dorthus Tal Geothermal Power Plant!

    Life gives us arable land. Life takes away the beloved ones. We terraform Sarcophagus in order to take advantage of both!

    Life is a ramship, but we become ramships ourselves and have the dogfights of our dreams!

    How many wide-eyed younglings become outstanding comrades despite their hardships?

    Be progressive, even when you’re running out of air! Be the comrade or comradette you always wanted to be! Take small and big sacrifices, for your day will come and you will be standing on top of Roofus’ head, knowing that the Triad Mountain and the whole of Sacorria are yours!

    As one of the greatest minds in Sacorrian history, the great Dorthus Tal himself, once said, “It’s impossible to be truly progressive without overcoming difficulties at an early age”. This buzzes more than true to me. I was very young when my clan placed a set of choices before me, each of them seemingly more appealing than the others. I could have become an engineer. I could have become a gemmologist. But I chose to live and breathe art, every single day.

    And the greatest among us, one of whom comrade Dyeke most certainly was, they were given choices harder than the core of our planet. The choices more life-defining than the faces of the first Triad carved into the mountain. And sometimes, these choices are wrapped or stacked up together.

    Dyeke was nine years old when a freak accident at the limmie field, involving his best friend Garko Garelbi, put him off the pitch for good. He was devastated. Up to that point, he was the most perspective young limmie player at School #17 in Curheg and some talent scouts were interested in him. His parents had previously refused an offer from no other team than the legendary Abatore Magnets!

    Following this, the young boy spent a couple of months at the medcentre in the Saygo Factory title. There were the talks of sending him to the Dorthus Tal Research Clinic, but he humbly insisted that he would prefer to recover the hard way. A conceptual artist by birth, the need for overcoming hardships flowing through his bones, he may have crossed the line and his teacher, Comrade Saride, insisted on the intervention on behalf of the Sacorrian Triad themselves. Their Leaderships were, unfortunately, busy with an undisclosed operation on Arcadia, so they could only manage to send an envoy.

    Please, do keep in mind that the Sacorrian Triad always acts in the best interest of each and every Sacorrian. If they’re not present for an event, they had something better to do. After all, while we eat, they’re feeding themselves! When we sleep, they’re having a rest! They’re always on the lookout for anything that could possibly threaten our Progress and Unity and, in some way, they are like our own Angels from Iego! They are doing what is best for you. For me. For everybody. For Sacorria.

    The envoy of Their Leaderships was fascinated by how well-groomed the youngling was and how much attention his parents were giving him, despite the fact that their shifts at the factory would often be extended at their own will, in order to produce more Saygos for the progressive beings. He made the controversial decision to limit their working hours to six per day, so they would spend more time with their son while he’s recovering. This led to approximately 0.473 less Saygos made per day, but the co-workers soon became more efficient in the hours when Ekrem and Rogla were no longer working! In the end, the deficit was reduced to only 0.071 Saygos per day!

    Dyeke was well-aware of the sacrifice the whole planet was taking for his recovery and he made sure he followed his classes from the medcentre bed. His well-read mother Rogla, accompanied by his faithful friend Garko Garelbi, would read him history books and engineering booklets given away to the factory employees during the period of time he could not read himself due to extensive eye exams.

    Once Dyeke could see the beautiful colours of the Curheg sunsets and sunrises and the natural phenomenon of midday darkness that I used as the title of his book, his perception of colour was better than ever before. Why? The Ministry of Education decided to place experimental nanoparticles in his eyes, in order for him to perceive the colours that most beings could not see. This was done in collaboration with the most eminent scientists from Kamino, with whom we have been collaborating for millenia.

    What about the other health issues Dyeke was treated for?

    He had significant Drall dwarfism and he needed to be put on growth hormone in order to achieve the height that would allow him to continue his life without cybernetics. The treatment, unfortunately, resulted in health complications that kept him bedridden for much longer than expected, but everybody in his surroundings considered him to be a true ramship admiral for the courage he had during the process.

    Finally, after his tenth birthday, the brave little ramship was released from the medcentre and sent to school to catch up with everything he had missed. He had to use a hoverchair for quite a while, but that did not stop him from being a limmie goalkeeper. That is the kind of a progressive ideal all sick younglings should strive for.

    I lament on this every now and then, but in all honesty, I really do suffer because I didn’t know Dyeke back then. He would have changed my life and taken it towards some other stars. I firmly believe that he was able to see beyond the edges of our Galaxy, just like the only being that could be compared to the greatness of the First Triad – the Galactic Emperor Palpatine himself!




    Footnotes
    Dorthus Tal Geothermal Power Plant - It was implied that the Dorthus Tal prison uses geothermal energy from a nearby volcano, so that would be it. Fanon.

    Ramships are automated ships that err, go and hit another ship.

    Abatore Magnets are a legendary limmie team from Vagran. Fanon.

    Dorthus Tal Research Clinic is fanon.

    Everything else you need to know about Sacorria, the Sacorrian Triad and the city of Sublata in order to understand the references in this chapter better is in this fanon entry.
     
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  20. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014
    The Light is Me, I am the Light
    A cautionary story for whoever

    03 On Growing And Not Growing

    So far, the story of my life has been the kind one reads and does not feel anything. That is what my first reader said. Sure, she is the strangest little girl I have ever seen, she keeps this large transparisteel jar in her room and she refuses to tell me what is inside, but if nothing else, she seemed to be the first person I could trust with this.

    There are these stereotypical stories about youth everywhere. Childhood is wonderful, I heard that so many times. Childhood is hell on whatever planet, I heard about as many times, if not more often in the recent years. I have never been a person of extremes, despite my history and I disagree with such harsh statements. This is precisely why I want to throw a completely different credit in the fountain.

    School kills creativity. Or at least that’s what it did to me.

    I don’t remember basic school after the first semestre as much as I thought I would have. As the days, weeks, no, months went by, everything was getting more and more dull. Even then, I was sure that the educational system was created to make us sick of liking things, so we would just end up absorbing them. Nobody was asking any questions. Sometimes, even the traditionally talkative oranges were bored in class.

    But once the signal buzzed at the end of the seventh class, we were free to do whatever we wanted to. Garko would get up off his seat almost immediately, jump over other younglings’ desks behind Comradette Korunas’ back and grab me like an oversized limmie ball, barely allowing me to pick up my centuries-old datapad, styluses and flimsi. It was like carrying a stuffed toy. He was already over 180 cm tall and I was the shortest youngling in the class, by far! And then we would go outside and play limmie with the others – believe it or not, Dareana Domesuto was one of the best goalkeepers our school ever had. Belligerent, with large hands, she once went for four standard weeks without being defeated.

    In the end, it was me who did it. I had never scored a goal before, but Roula, who was always the referee and never liked to actually play with us, caught one of the tallest Selonian boys, Rocas, kick me in the shin. That was a free kick. Dareana laughed and leaned on the goal. She knew how it would usually go with me – the ball would not get very far, or I would completely miss the goal.

    “What are you looking at, grain fly?” She pointed at me, laughing. It should be noted that the phrase “grain fly” was not associated with sex when I was a youngling. Grain flies are small, so that's what it was about.

    Grain flies can also be deadly. Looking at Dareana stand on the edge of the goal, I got so mad. She did not even expect the ball to get any close to her. So…I kicked it as if my life had depended on it. I kicked it so hard and it headed straight to the middle of the goal. Dareana ran and she was close to catching it, but it flew over her hands, straight into the rope-net. And she pulled her face into one of the strangest grimaces I have ever seen. Nowadays, it seems that many goalies make such an expression. Limmie players also have the worst headfur and hair styles in the world, but that would be a quite different story.

    Garko jumped high and let a cry that would have been more appropriate for a grey bear. He picked me up and put me on his shoulders. Dareana still stood there for a couple of minutes, and then she put her head in her hands and cried. Rocas came to comfort her, she pushed him away, screaming at him. She said that something had gotten into her eye. I don’t think anybody believed her. She just did not expected to be beaten by me, out of all students.

    And we celebrated, a lot. Garko had some credits and he bought us all ice-on-stick. I didn’t tell my parents. They were the kind of beings that would give you treats only at fetes and when you would get good grades. Rocas finally came up to us and asked for a rematch next Arcadiday, after the art class. It was a wonderful day. In the end, a red-faced Dareana came and congratulated me. Her handshake lasted about a millisecond and she was not looking into my eyes, despite having knelt in order to be able to do sonm

    However, there was this one being not celebrating. Roula was looking at us from the rock she was sitting on. I could not tell it by her facial expression if she felt like she was missing out by not playing with us, or if she just had a bad day. For somebody who supposedly enjoyed the trill of the game, she seemed bemused. For somebody calling herself my friend, she did not seem to care much. But back then, I thought she was just shy, serious, because she was from the clan’s ruling family.

    Once Garko put me down, I walked towards her.

    “Roula, are you feeling poorly?”

    “No.” she gave me her best grin, the one that I later learned was her battle cry. “I’m just hungry. Want to come and have lunch at my home?”

    “Why not?” I shrugged and followed her. I was curious. I had never been to her home before; she was always coming to my family’s modest dwelling to play with me.

    The Pelayn clan resides in a 12-level building named Touchskies. It’s about as old as the blocks where I grew up, but it’s of solid build and white as snow. There is a running joke that one cannot even see it during heavy Sublatan winters, but on a summer day, it just sticks out. Back when it was built, it was the tallest building on Sacorria. The Square Building was modelled to look similar, except that they used brown brick, in order not to hurt the feelings of the members of R’vanye, the rival clan to Pelayn. And, unlike the members of the actual R’vanye family, who were scattered around Saccorata and the surrounding farms, the Pelayn stuck together.

    Once in the spacious apartment on the top floor, I met Roula’s aunt, Pata. She was a Duchess. I had learned how to properly greet a Duchess at school, but I was so scared when Roula introduced us to each other and I ended up greeting her the way little girls should. I should have only stepped out and bowed. Pata thought that was funny, or so it seemed to a nine-year-old.

    “Are you that Dyeke that Rou keeps on talking about? The one whom she befriended when he won her New Year’s gift?”

    I nodded and managed to properly greet her this time. She smiled and pointed her large ring towards me.

    “She said you were good at drawing. And biology.”

    “But comradette Duchess, I want to be a limmie player!” I declared. She snickered.

    “You’re too short for that. You’re too short for a Drall to begin with. What do you normally eat?”

    “The usual.” I found myself standing on one foot, then the other. “A handful for breakfast, three for lunch, two for supper.”

    Pata’s blindingly white ring turned around, as she stopped playing with it. “Handfuls of what?”

    “Dust cornmeal, of course.” Roula answered the question for me. “He never brings snack money to school, either.”

    “And you didn’t tell me of this before?” Pata’s tone got somewhat threatening. “You keep on telling me irrelevant things and you aren’t telling me that the boy could be very ill! You will never be a Duchess prospect if you do not pay attention to details! You are to show authority…”

    “I’m a limmie referee!”

    “…do not dare interrupt me! You are to show authority, but also notice when somebody from our clan has nothing to eat!”

    I opened my eyes wide. “Your clan?”

    “Boy, you’re a Pelayn! Don’t tell me that she didn’t speak of it!”

    I shook my head.

    “We are going to comm your parents now.”

    “Only my mother is home at this time of the day. My parents are never at home at the same time.”

    “Then we’re going to go to your home together in the evening. I assume I’ll find them both here. They need to be informed about my plan to get you out of school for a couple of weeks for all the necessary tests.”

    I continued nodding to everything she said. My neck hurt for good five hours when I finally curled up next to my mother and father that evening.

    …​
    The couple of weeks ended up being a hospital stay until the end of the school year. I needed an operation and multiple tests. I cannot even remember what was done. It is not that I’m not grateful for Sacorrian doctors, who used to be among the best in the Sector and nowadays are nothing but servile minions of the Galactic Empire – it is just that some of the things that happened during that hospital stay turned me into a cynic at the tender age of ten.

    They said I was malnourished. According to the Programme, with a capital "P", younglings have to eat fruit, vegetables and meat, too. I hated all three. Not that we had the time to eat anything other than the dust corn meal.

    My parents were invited for long consultations with the medical team and an envoy of the Sacorrian Triad themselves. I was sitting in a small hoverchair next to numerous holograms showing every single bone and organ in my body. And even that chair was too big for me.

    My mother, otherwise working “in production”, which really meant that she was checking thousands of packs of dust cornmeal for export to other systems, explained that she was not being paid in credits. To my knowledge, most white shirts aren’t. The envoy of Their Leaderships was trying to make it look as if it was her fault and then he criticised my father for not working enough. This was the first time I saw my father cry. He explained that he could not make it more than ten hours per day and that he was never able to advance. The envoy was furious.

    It was only through Duchess Pata's intervention that my parents were not sent for the second hearing in the Square Building in Dorthus Tal City. She somehow heard what was going on and arrived straight from a business meeting at the Touchskies’ conference room.

    The only thing she did was flash her ring. The envoy then asked my mother about her colour at school, she looked down and replied “white”. Duchess Pata probably forgot about that, because she kept quiet for a couple of minutes.

    “Comradette Rogla can fill the position of the kitchen assistant at my home. Fregli, my chief of staff, will teach her how to prepare my favourite meals. I am hereby declaring myself as the guarantee of her future standard.” She finally said. “Comrade Ekram could then be given a seven-hour shift, so he could sleep more and therefore be more progressive. Tired beings don’t work as efficiently as those who eat and sleep well.”

    The medcentre was the same place where my mother gave birth. It did not change much, with one exception - the droids were slightly more efficient. In the beginning, I had to strip in front of a whole group of doctors and an advanced medical droid that did not look advanced at all. And they examined every single bit of me for the doctors to use for their research. Garko, who was visiting me every day, once asked me if they were planning to clone me or have me stuffed. His jokes were so strange sometimes, but with what I know nowadays, I would have probably believed the cloning thing.

    The other person visiting me every day was my mother. After Duchess Pata hired her, she looked somewhat happier than usual and she was wearing better clothes. Gone were her clumsy combinations of patterns, she was now dressed like a cross between a high-standing Pelayn and a HoloNews anchor. And she was smiling. Once the team of doctors decided to schedule me for a series of eye exams that left me blindfolded for close to one standard month, I could not see her smile anymore, but her soothing voice, less fearful than what I remember from my earlier years, was still there to guide me.

    There was this one day Garko didn't come to read me stories about the legendary Jedi on Tython and when she came, I asked her to. She claimed that she was frustrated about some cake recipe, but I insisted on it.

    And that was when she broke down.

    "I can't read." She said.

    "You can't read?" Her voice was barely audible, so I had to repeat what I'd just heard.

    "But I want to." She said. "I kept it as my biggest secret. Nobody knows. Not even your father. Teach me."

    I realised that this may have been the reason my mother was a white shirt and never selected for a proper job before – her parents were illiterate, too. Back then, I was still an idealist and I did not wonder why somebody in the hyperspace era would be illiterate in the first place. Nowadays, I have this desire to hang the Minister of Education to the top of the Watchtower Base, by his silly red-coloured underpants. And I know he's wearing red – habits from school days die slowly.

    The next day, Garko and my mother came to visit me at the same time and, despite her request for silence, I told him to start teaching her to read, so she would not have to memorise the recipes anymore. He was a pretty good, patient teacher and nobody else had to know what we were doing, regardless of who they were – the Sacorrian Triad, CESA, Pata of Pelayn or my father.

    …​

    The next thing that changed my faith in the world as it is was considerably worse than my mother's illiteracy.

    The longer I stayed at the medcentre, the more I was bored. I wanted to go home, play limmie and draw. Sure, I was doing schoolwork in my sanitabed thanks to a tutor droid Pata decommissioned at an undisclosed location, but I wanted the other younglings to see what I was drawing. I wanted to draw in multiple styles, one per each student in the class. I had too many ideas.

    Slowly, I started to make friends with the doctors and other staff. They would allow me to walk around, as long as I remained on the fifth floor.

    And you know what happens when you tell younglings not to eat the candy.

    One evening, when most of the staff was having their caf break, I sneaked out and headed to the fourth floor. I wanted to see the women's ward and the maternity. I was curious about where I saw the light of the world. I passed by the empty reception area and ran through the corridor.

    Most rooms were closed and there was no light coming from them. I was close to becoming disappointed, when I heard noise from the very end of the corridor, accompanied by the brightest of the bright lights. I tiptoed to the mysterious room, hoping to find something big, something important. I am not sure what I was thinking, probably something silly, in the lines of a baby Jedi kicking a limmie ball.

    I walked in, without thinking too much about it. And there I saw the worst thing in my life up to that point.

    Next to a large machine, there was my plump and upbeat school teacher, Comradette Korunas, in a completely different state. She was tied with durasteel hand and leg cuffs to a bed that looked like a torture device. She was covered with a steri-sheet, but I could see that two pipes were directed at her lower back.

    I came closer, trying not to panic so I would not be spotted. She was lying on her belly, with another durasteel cuff around her neck and she could not spot me until I crawled below the bed and got to the space between her head and the wall.

    "Dyeke!" She was surprised. "Go back to wherever they have put you. We'll both be in trouble!"

    There was no usual bright make-up on her face. Her turquoise-rimmed glasses and hoop earings were not present, either. In this state, she looked older, tired and, beyond anything else, helpless. Her grey-blue eyes seemed almost idle.

    "I am worried about you!" I put my hand on her cheek, not knowing how else to show compassion. "Did something happen at school?"

    "No, Dyeke. I am heading back to school on Triadday. And you will be back to school after this summer's vacation, too. We will meet there and pretend that this never happened."

    "Enh?" I was confused.

    "You like to pretend you're twenty different artists, yet I know you're the only youngling in the class who actually draws. You like to pretend you're that limmie player. Right?"

    "Right. So we can pretend that this is a dream?"

    "You're such a smart and progressive boy!" She managed a tired, almost tortured smile. "In this dream, there is a certain price I’m paying for Progress and Unity. But in reality, I'm the bright pink Korunas you know."

    "You are!" I said and smiled.

    "Now go. You will go back to your room at the youngling ward and wake up from this nightmare. And then we will see each other again, soon!"

    I nodded, kissed her on the very top of her muzzle and ran back to my room. For the next couple of days, I kept on trying to wake up, but nothing was happening. I was sure that what I have seen was not a result of a nightmare and smart enough to keep it for myself.

    Today, I am more than aware of what I have seen. Comradette Korunas was one in millions of Selonians – a Queen. She was therefore exploited for her ability to breed and the ova her four ovaries would produce would then be stripped off her DNA and given the genetic imprint of the future baby's parents. And nobody other than her birth family knew this – they were told what their daughter would be used for, explained that they were created through this process themselves, and then they were never seen again. Most Queens are kept as fit as possible in order not to keep anybody guessing, and infertile females are led to believe that their species evolved on Sacorria, while, in reality, the process is carried away through procedures masked as routine ones and the fact that all Selonian females have remains of an uterus which – ironically – implies that the species evolved to be the way it is on their actual homeworld, makes the procedure almost transparent. This is why there is this misbelief about Sacorrian Selonians being insatiable and producing children before getting married. It explains the unusual number of divorces in their species' sub-population, too.

    To summarise, Selonians on Sacorria were and are mostly their parents' clones with little to no genetic variation added. Ethically created clones, but clones, nevertheless. About one-fifth of those younger than forty are my teacher's children, in some way. And once she passes away, nobody will ever know that she existed as something far more than a non-remarkable basic school teacher that her former students keep on pointing on in some old yearholos.

    I see nothing wrong with the process itself. But I don't understand why they're hiding the truth from us. The species is not evolving on Sacorria. On the contrary.

    …​
    A couple of weeks after my birthday, which I celebrated with my parents and Garko on the balcony of the staff room in the hospital, I was out of the medcentre and sent to a progressive younglings’ resort on the coast of the Dorthus Tal Sea. This building was demolished some years after, in order to make expensive housing for rising limmie stars and the younglings were given an enclosure on the other side of the Dorthus Tal Island.

    I was happy and I did not think much about what happened in the hospital, those thoughts were yet to resurface. My spine was no longer at the danger of becoming deformed to the point where I would need cybernetics, I was eating fruits and vegetables, even some that I hated, such as ayava. I could run much faster. I was happy.

    It was only that I came back to Sublata that I realised there was somebody who never asked about me: Roula of Pelayn.




    Footnotes
    Dareana Domesuto's blooper and Dyeke's goal were inspired by the situation in the 1/8 finals of the 1994 World Cup, when the Irish goalkeeper Pat Bonner dropped the ball after the Netherlands' Wim Jonk's free kick. See here. The grimace, as far as I can remember, was an Italian goalie's expression from a video compilation around the same time.

    Arcadiday would be one of the custom day names on Sacorria before the Imperial Era. Fanon. Coming soon.

    Everything else you need to know about Sacorria, the Sacorrian Triad and the city of Sublata in order to understand the references in this chapter better is in this fanon entry.
     
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  21. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    Ooh, Roula and her canned motivational platitudes! Ooh, that kind of thing always makes my skin crawl! (Or my chitin plates, if we're going by my forums persona. :p ) She reminds me of... I don't know, pseudo-motivational speakers and management consultants I have known. And whenever those types say things like that, it means that they're trying to squash everything into the same mold... which is just what Roula is doing, because we see the same old tired, "progressive" rationalizations for anything in her subject's life that wasn't 100% perfect. But someone like Dyeke and his life simply resist being squashed into molds. And the gall she has to continue portraying herself as someone who "lives and breathes art" when she is basically nothing more than a petty dictator! I have seen that in the same types described above, and I hate it too. :p

    This all said—I'm almost wondering if the part of the nanoparticles in the eyes might actually be true, given Dyeke's talents. Or is she just desperately trying to come up with a mechanical, empirical explanation for something that's really just a talent? And why the continued insistence that she didn't know Dyeke—if she's really such an "artist" too, again I ask: why wouldn't she want to flaunt her connection to one of her planet's best artists? Sinister, sinister. [face_thinking]

    The fact that Dyeke's corresponding chapter is so long and complex is part of why it took me so long to get around to reviewing this. I'm glad he gets a chance to put that snotty Dareana in her place on the limmie field—anger really can be a huge motivator! And I am not sure what to make of the fact that he finds out that he's a clanmate of Roula's—and the fact that Roula says nothing about that in her own chapters! Again, wouldn't she want to play up any connection to this famous artist instead of down? But the situation is more complicated than that, I know. It looks like Dyeke and his family may have found a real friend and advocate in Duchess Pata, in any case; I'm glad she was able to secure a better job for Rogla. And Garko continues to be a real friend, to Rogla as well as to Dyeke; I hope he doesn't blab about her (soon former) illiteracy!

    Then, oh my gosh, to come across his beloved teacher Korunas in this, well, vulnerable state—that really can be life-changing, especially for a youngling! (Let me see if I'm getting this right: her eggs are being harvested so that they can become "carriers" for the genetic information of other Selonians so as to allow them to have children? Wow. Dud(ette).) She is clearly doing her best to stay as "bright pink" as possible, true to her nature, though as Dyeke observes it's clearly wearing her down and taking a toll on her. And it is kind of funny (funny strange) that the process is kept so hush-hush, though that's oh-so-Sacorrian in a way, too, isn't it?

    Looking forward to more, as usual! :)
     
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  22. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014
    I'm behind my dates, so I had to come up with a new (tentative) schedule. The next chapter will be just Dyeke's, as Roula will combine many years of Dyeke's life into a single chapter, as opposed to his two or three. Thanks for reading! More coming up later today or tomorrow.




    That made me laugh! :D

    She does think that everything and everybody can be forced into cookie-cutter type of things. But it remains unclear if she really believed it all along OR if she taught herself to believe her own what-the-kriff analogies.

    Remember, the general public does not know that she [hl=black]is Her Drallship[/hl].

    AND HECK TO THE YES!

    Definitely the latter! Describing him what he really was like is somehow not product-of-progress-and-unity-y enough.

    You'll see...

    [face_blush][face_blush][face_blush]

    Duchess Pata is surprisingly cool compared to pretty much any other high-positioned Pelayn. :)

    Yes, that is precisely what kind of a procedure she's undergoing. And being "bright pink" is her way to cope with it, likely the reason she is so un-Sacorrian in terms of her dedication to the younglings. Poor woman. :(


    Coming right up. ;)
     
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  23. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014
    The Light is Me, I am the Light
    A cautionary story for whoever

    04 Awakenings and a Stasis

    Puberty caught me by surprise.

    I was feeling like a tiny watership in the middle of an ocean world, with no land in sight. And mind you, I had never seen an ocean at this point of my life. There must have been predatory animals everywhere and yet, I was blissfully unaware of it at first. I am not sure how common this is for former sick younglings. Could it have been fear of growing up, or, even better, fear of not growing up, the kind of a situation where everybody else is taking ten steps when you take one? I didn't know.

    My parents, of course, had no time to talk to me about any of the physical and social changes I was about to experience. My father had more time to hang out with his friends at the nearby state-approved cantina and go fishing now that his working shift was shorter and my mother was clearly working overtime at her new job. The situation with my friends wasn’t much better - I was literally left alone within a timespan of a week or two, or so it seemed, and my loneliness lasted quite a while. Maybe a year. Maybe two.

    It started with my best friend. Garko’s behaviour changed and I had no idea if he hated me at first. He would tell me that he had no time to hang out after classes, he always had his comm link buzzing, the way people from the Trade District did.

    At first, I was wondering if he got an illegal job. One of the reasons I wondered so is because he had acquired a speeder! It was a couple of hundred years old, but still – I would have not been able to afford that. It had got to have been a job. On Sacorria, it's not allowed to work until one has completed their education – every employer who truly respects the values of Progress and Unity will reject a yellow, orange or red shirt. White shirts may be considered, as they are the precious cogs keeping the system going, after all.

    I was partly wrong and I was not aware what was going on until I saw a familiar face on a large street-poster advertising the new, youth-oriented Saygo. There he was, my best friend, wearing a pair of swimming trunks and holding the hand of Karlina Yaihe, ten years his senior, and who had made an overnight transition from a younglings' education programme host to a romdram starlet. He was also advertising the new expensive properties on the Dorthus Tal Island – yes, the very same place where I had gone to recover from my multiple illnesses as a child.

    Garko had become a model. And that temporarily drew him away from his old clique – me, Dareana and a couple of others. We used to play limmie and hang around, now he was more interested in picking up girls in his trashy speeder, riding around with them and often much, much more. The Human women, including some of our teachers, considered him attractive and there was more than one occasion when he was asked for an autograph.

    I had no choice but to try and hang out with my own species. Not Roula. The others. But I did not belong there either. There was something about me that made me unlikeable.

    The other Drall boys were talking about ta’devsh all day, every day. I had no idea what that was, I was so strangely oblivious about sexuality in general and the Sacorrian school system was and is still against Human women, Selonian and Drall men finding out more about their bodies, learning how to please themselves and even having any kind of sexual thoughts before their families and clan leaders have found them mates. But, of course, the forbidden is tastier than what is allowed. Moments of sexual awakening are the angleberries of Sacorrian youth – you cannot have them, yet you would do anything to get hold of them. And, just like attempts to illegally breed angleberries, they result in something wrong.

    I was told that ta’devsh was something physical. A piece of skin on my member that gets painfully torn apart the first time a female Drall is on top of me. Yes, on top, because there is no other way to make love. That same way, Dareana was told that she would bleed for days if she allows a man to, I quote this, dishonour her. In the end, this didn’t happen and there was nothing bleeding. And, for some reason, I was the one she ran up to after an experience that had her dragging herself in an enclosure on a field with somebody whose name she didn’t even know. When I asked her why, she responded that she was sure I would not judge her. I did not. I was just confused so as to…how fast it all happened.

    Not everybody I knew was an early fly like Garko and Dareana, most of my class mates were perfectly fine holding hands. But even that seemed unachievable to me. And not solely unachievable, but also sinful, in a way. I was developing a certain amount of hate towards romance; it was the kind of a not-so-high power, stealing my friends. Or so I thought. Romance was worse than Progress and Unity, or so I thought.

    …​


    My fair-weather friend, Roula of Pelayn, was the only one sticking up with me during this age of loneliness. However, in order to hang out with her, I had to pretend everything was fine. I had to grin and assure her that I was happy, because “she could not stand to see me sad” and if I would comm her with any sign of sadness in my voice, she would find a reason not to meet up with me at all. There were the times when she would just stop the conversation, not telling me what was wrong. Over the time, I learned how to sound happier than I actually was.

    And then came the evening that changed our relationship, forever.

    We were about sixteen standard years of age and studying for what was to be the final exam of the last year at school. This was before whatever instance of Their Leaderships decided that there should be primary and secondary education and that the latter would often have young comrades and comradettes study the things they were otherwise not interested in, in order to make them even more obedient.

    The exam was complicated, long and we were required to start preparing from it twelve months before it was to take place. And we were doing so in Rou’s apartment on the top floor of Touchskies. She had previously practiced for two hours with her tutor and it did not take me long to see that she was not in the mood for studying.

    “Hey, Dyeke…” She grabbed my hand. “How about we do something else?”

    I nodded, hoping that we could go for a walk or watch limmie on her giant viewscreen. “Sounds fine by me.”

    To my surprise, she promptly leaned in and kissed me. I didn’t like that. I didn’t like that at all. It was worse than the smell of the cattle pens in my mother’s village. Not to mention that it was probably less charming than a GR-series droid doing the same.

    “Do you like me?” She asked. “Be sincere.” There was no single sign of any attraction, whether physical or emotional, in her speech and body language. And even I, the one who could not love or be loved, knew that much.

    “No.” I was quick to reply. “You are my patron’s niece. You’re my friend, though I wish you were not just a fair-weath…”

    “And I thought you were pretty kriffin’ progressive.” She said, interrupting me. Actually, she didn’t “say” anything, she screamed in my face. I was shocked by the fact that there was a youngling, swearing, and that it was a redshirt and my friend.

    “How could falling in love with you be considered progressive?” I was trying to rationalise her proposal the best way I knew. Or maybe the worst way. “Dinner dates can result in poor work performance the next day, sex should not be practiced too often because cleaning sheets increases our carbon footprint, which is, again, bad for the annual dust corn production goals.” I was hanging on by every single thing I had ever read in the Book of Law.

    Roula smirked and looked up first, refusing for her eyes to meet mine. She counted on her fingers and, eventually, took a deep breath and begun her doctrine-infected mini-speech.

    “One can see you’re a progressive individual after all. You know how things work. Of course, the Book of Law does not tell you that romance and sex were popularised in order to keep control of the more problematic individuals and keep them away from the important matters in the interest of Progress and Unity. Repression of the sexes of lower importance in a species – that is, Human females and Selonian and Drall males – keeps the system safe.” She paused and took a deep breath, to deliver the final blast. “But…that is also why individuals like you are expected to willingly submit to your superior partner’s desires.”

    I was looking at the door at this point. I was not sure if she was going to molest me for the sake of Progress and Unity, or if this was just a figure of speech. I was not good at taking hints at such a young age. She continued.

    “But don’t worry, that is not going to happen here. You were sick for so long, you’re the son of a yellow and a white and your genes would not result in what I want.” She clapped her tiny hands. “I am fascinated by this system used on Kuat, these alleged Telbuns. I can totally see how a similar system would result in much, much better genetics for my offspring. While I cannot actually have a nameless man-slave, I can always have the perfect donor. When the time comes, I will have it my way – find the perfect piece of DNA in the system-wide records and opt for artificial insemination, then make sure I do not carry a baby boy. But that individual would not be used for anything else. He would not even know that he fathered Her future Drallship.”

    I swallowed a lump. Knowing that she did not want an intercourse with me, now or ever, was meant to be reassuring. But at this point, I would have preferred that to her genetic engineering ambitions. In fact, I would have willingly submitted to her if that was the guarantee of the most incompetent Triad Prospect ever being born. And these thoughts were racing in my head. Could she read my mind? Did the Red invent anything like that at any point, or was I just way too disturbed by all she had said to that point?

    She walked up to me again and gave me an awkward hug. “Still, you could fall in love with me because I would provide you with financial security. Marry me someday. Be the househusband of the heir of Pelayn.” She pointed to the white embroidery on her collar. “And you would have everything you desire. You could become the househusband of a Duchess someday, as I am most certainly going to be one after whoever succeeds aunt Pata!”

    Even I knew that this was not how falling in love was supposed to work. And no, I didn’t know anybody else who planned things that far ahead!

    “Roula, we are just sixteen.” I finally managed the first excuse that came to my mind. “And we’re both going to attend university. It’s too early to settle.”

    “It does not matter.” She attempted to wink, but failed miserably. “You would not be pulled from schooling or anything – in fact, I would almost certainly make it sure that you get the education that best suits you. You are good at drawing, you could be the official artist of the Drall community on Sacorria! Sure, that would include a certain set of rules and regulations, in order to keep my image consistent.” She patted me on the back. “And, of course, you will claim the daughter as your own.”

    “Roula…” I could not say anything particularly coherent, so I ended up shaking my head. I pulled out of her uncomfortable embrace and headed for the door. “I am telling your aunt.”

    And so I did. Duchess Pata was just laughing and saying that the world does not work the way Roula thinks it does. What I did not like is that she also found my concerns entertaining, in some way. She did not see any kind of threat in her niece’s words.

    …​


    After this event, I was doing my best to avoid Roula. I did not exactly have the nightmares where she would force me to marry her, but each time I thought of her, I felt slightly sick. Instead of making use of her connections to tutors that I could not afford, not even with my parents’ new jobs, I resorted to trying to win my old friends back. I was doing my best to prove them that I was as prog as them, worthy of their friendship.

    And…it worked! Sooner than later, we had our little group that would hang out every night after supper – Garko, Dareana, Rocas and I. We were not obliged to meet that late, but at first, it was the only time we could – Dareana was seeing her five-year-older boyfriend before his night shift, and Garko had a small role on the latest romdram with Karlina Yaihe, “The Steppes of the Corn Valley.” We would sit below the southernmost bridge on the edge of the city, where the old-fashioned apartment buildings gave way to small family homes and sparse farms. The further we were from the Triad Mountain, the more we were allowed to do what we wanted, whenever we wanted!

    Soon, this turned into drinking games and dares. Rocas’ cousin Garade worked in Curheg, at the very same facility where the Seven Rivers whiskey was produced. He had this special variant, with a white flimsi-label, which was said to be much different than what was made to represent the largest city on the planet across the Sector. Apparently, the Curhegites themselves were keener on drinking the liquor that was produced from the corn from non-isolated fields. And since we did manage to snatch a bottle of the regular, export-only thing from my father’s supplies at home, this was not a spacer tale – the lower-grade was more than just a drink. And it was not burning one’s throat, like most hard liquor would. I had become an expert on getting vibro-hammered overnight. And, being the smallest one in our group, I was more or less intoxicated all day long. I would go to my classes in the morning singing the jingles from romdrams and laugh at the experiments in our alien biology classes. You know, those where you take a small reptilite and dissect it. Ironically, this made our biology professor, Trudee Steurpa, sign me up for her advanced, additional classes. She wanted me to excel where she could not, follow her path, then go further than she did, and become a researcher. And there I was, laughing at every single thing we would render unconscious and dissect.

    One evening, Garko came to us wearing a frown, carrying a bunch of bottles. Whatever had happened, it was clear that he wanted to forget about it.

    “What is wrong?” Rocas was the first who managed to form a coherent sentence. “Did all of your ramships hit a star, pal?”

    “I was fired.” Garko managed to utter through his teeth. “Karlee has a boyfriend and he is not happy about the fact that he is ugly and…stupid and that I am young and handsome. Kriffslider!”

    “So, this is why you were not with your other girls anymore?” Dareana pointed her finger at Garko. “You were kriffing Karlina Yaihe, out of all people! And you expected her not to have more…admirers?”

    Garko certainly didn’t like when Dareana was right. But she was right.

    “He is, like, thirty-three. Old. And has this funny moustache.” He sat down, taking a large sip from the white-label Curhegite whiskey bottle. “He didn’t want to tell me his name, but he said that I had to choose between Karlee and my career. So, I chose the latter.” He managed a bitter smile. “After all, who would be driving you home after we’re done here? Who is the top prog guy around here?”

    He came closer to me, picked me up like he used to when we were younglings and shook me. “You’re not going to drink tonight, you little Drall, you…” I attempted to protest, but he continued. “I’m already too vibro to bring y’all back to yer homes. So, you gonna sit on me – hic – lap and drive, while I’ll be just pretending to steer.” He screamed the last couple of words in my face.

    Following what was one of the most unpleasant sights I have ever observed – half-drunk and half-dressed Dareana bathing in the Sublata River with credit-naked Garko, while Rocas was attempting to catch a scalefish from the mythical world of Naboo with what was most certainly a plain vine, I had no choice but to attempt to drive a landcar. I feared that I was too small to reach some of the controls, but this was clearly not a Saygo and everything was in its right place. Garko was holding his hands on my waist, while the other two were already sleeping in the backseat.

    I am not sure if some unknown, complicated, omnipresent entity, such as the Force was protecting us or if we were just ridiculously lucky, but we got home safely. I sneaked into the pantry that was now also my improvised bedroom and snuggled up against a large wreath of chyntucks. I vowed never to take any kind of an opiate again. Caf and an occasional sweet treat were a far more harmless vice – or so I thought.

    …​

    The next morning, in the middle of our art session, the school board came to our classroom, together with three members of Sacorrian Intelligence. My heart stopped there for a second. Were they taking the fact that I was producing artwork for the other students that seriously?

    Our art teacher nodded. Roula got up and shook her hands with one of the three Dralls dressed in dark blue.

    “It’s them.” She pointed at our group. “Comrades Dyeke, Garelbi and Rocas, together with comradette Domesuto. They were threatening the core values of Progress and Unity last night at the Suburb Bridge.”

    The rest of the class gasped. Sooner than we knew, a bunch of accusations of inappropriate behaviour were thrown at us – for our classmates had to be vigilant and report every single thing that came to their minds. Roula just stood there, a blank expression on her face. She did not bring up the fact that I refused her inane marriage proposal, but even then, I was completely sure that it had something to do with this.

    “Stand up.” The teacher demanded. “All four of you non-progressives!” Seconds later she was comming school security. They were going to take us to the Youngling Court Unit of the Corelle Province and notify our families that the trial was to take place, immediately, in order to set an example to the other students.

    As a security droid was holding my paint-covered hands behind my back, I realised Roula was standing right next to me.

    “What have you done?” An angrier, fiercer Dyeke was speaking through his teeth, surprising the lost youngling I had been, up to that point. “I thought you were one of my best friends!”

    Roula turned her head to me. Her lips were still not moving. She probably practiced this neutral expression in front of a large mirror.

    “My best friends are those who like me and do what I know would be best for them.” she said. “You kind of stopped liking me at some point and that’s where the tables turned, comrade Dyeke.”

    “Kriff you!” I thought, but I had no courage to say it out loud. “Kriff you, kriff you, kriff you!” Was I afraid of Roula? Or was she afraid of me? And why was she addressing me in a formal way, all of the sudden?”

    And that was the last time I saw her for a long time. She did not appear at our trial, which was delayed for a week in order to get an opinion from CESA officials. Garko, Dareana, Rocas and I spent that whole week serving as school’s cleaning droids, with no gloves or any other sanitary material provided. We had to sleep on the cold floor in the corridors and the other young comrades and comradettes were encouraged to laugh at us. We were entitled to one shower per day, a sonic in the disinfection chamber.

    Our verdict came as not much of a surprise to those who knew Sacorrian law. Dareana and Garko were accused of being inappropriate around a member of a different species. His acting career was vetoed, though somebody’s vote saved his modelling from the similar fate. Dareana, she was not allowed to continue her studies after this year as she was found to have been too loose for a Human woman, despite not having fondled Garko in any way and having her undergarments on. In addition to this, they were both given two more months of part-time cleaning service after classes. Rocas was demoted to a white shirt for his alleged betrayal of Selonian values and offered a job of a guard at the Dorthus Tal Prison as the only option for the first five years. He was to be incarcerated and serve at the same time, more or less.

    My verdict was arguably the worst, and CESA and the Court’s reasoning was that I drove a speeder without a licence, sat on a man’s lap thus possibly wishing for a forbidden homosexual relationship, which was a direct violation of the values laid out in the Book of Law’s third section, Book of Love. And, since Garko was Human, this was also violating the policy of interspecies relationships. For that, I was to spend one year in the penal colony on Noleria, with no contact to my friends and family on Sacorria, followed by a year of community service somewhere on our homeworld. After that, I was to be integrated into the society again, provided that my alleged homosexual and interspecies tendencies, both of which were referred to as “bestiality” were cured by hard work and introduction to progressive values.

    Bestiality. Homosexuality. Interspecies tendencies. Nobody even cared about my drinking problem and the fact that a sixteen-year old underdeveloped youngling should not have one. The progressive values had nothing to do with catering to an individual’s problems and needs and they still don’t.

    With those words in my mind, I boarded the shuttle to the penal colony on Noleria. My parents were not allowed to be around when I was escorted, they were only expected to pack my luggage, which was then checked by the Intelligence for harmful substances and unwanted encouraging messages. I did not even know what they thought about my verdict!

    Once on the shuttle, I took one last look at Sublata and the blackish light shining from the Triad Mountain. What was that thing once again? Was it a spying centre?

    Next to me, there was a man heading for a stint at the prison hospital there. He was once a doctor in the Dorthus Tal Prison, he said, but they needed to dispose of him and Noleria was only the first step of removing him from the progressive society.

    I didn’t believe him back then. Nowadays, I do. It takes one to know one.




    Footnotes
    Watership would be, in my mind, what all regular ships are called, in order to be differentiated from spaceships. And yes, I love Watership Down.

    Trade District - a district of Sublata where headquarters of companies such as ProSper are located.

    Garko Garelbi's faceclaim is the handsome Italian actor and model Gabriel Garko - of course he would've become a heart throb.

    Ta'devsh on Drall males is an elastic flap of skin extending from their foreskin, covering most of their penises' heads. The cultural role of this is very similar to the role of hymens in human women - they're expected to painfully break during one's first sexual intercourse, whether this has been invalidated by the science or not. I hate the concept of virginity and this is my way to rebel against it, yes!

    The Telbuns of Kuat that Roula is referring to are canon, though I learned about them through @Pandora's excellent fanon post.

    The Steppes of the Corn Valley is one of the romdram series that was showing on Sacorria at the time these events were taking place. The word "romdram" was coined by leiamoody.

    The Seven Rivers whiskey which is said to originate from Saccorata, yet is produced in Curheg was also @leiamoody's invention and otherwise appears in her excellent story, The Bitter Girl.

    Troudee Steurpa's last name is a tribute to Louis Pasteur.

    "Did all of your ramships hit a star, pal?" would be the Sacorrian equivalent of that common Earth saying about all of one's ships having sunk. Fanon, of course.

    Credit-naked = buck-naked. Fanon.

    Chyntuck is the onion-like vegetable from Kashyyyk. Since it's "safe for human consumption", I can imagine it to be popular all around GFFA.

    Youngling Court Unit - Fanon.

    I don't drink alcohol and I don't know much about it, so if I got anything wrong here, do correct me. I don't want to be stupid.

    Noleria is the fourth planet in the Sacorrian system and I made it terraformed and inhabitated as per my fanon. It was previously mentioned in my story, Nolevorution, Of Course!.

    And yes, you read it well - a common Sacorrian at the time believed that Naboo was a mythical, fictional world.
     
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  24. Kahara

    Kahara Force Ghost star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 3, 2001
    Hey, I know you're still worried about catching up on comments and all, but just thought I'd drop a super-short note to say that I'm still reading. Really interesting chapters, and I love the surreality of the double viewpoint. :)
     
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  25. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    OK, what struck me most about this newest installment is the fact that there is no corresponding chapter from Roula. And I thiiink I can see why... because it would tax even her abilities in spinning and truth-bending to try to put a pro-Roula, progressive spin on the events of this chapter. :eek: And I guess I could see where she would find it beneath her dignity to even touch on the puberty- and sex-related issues that are such a huge theme here. Indeed, this is a hugely packed chapter that corresponds to the other very recent, hugely packed chapter of your other current Drall oeuvre.

    And oh boy, is this one area where Sacorria's dark side really comes through in spades. Given that Dyeke belogs to a segment of the population that is really being systematically and deliberately repressed where these matters are concerned, it's no wonder that he develops an aversion to romance. After all, judging by his fellow Drall boys' talk about the ta'devsh, it's supposed to lead to something REALLY PAINFUL happening to one of the tenderest spots of his body—right? right? Though no doubt that is about as mythical as a lot of the hymen kerfuffle around Human females in this Galaxy. (From the way you describe the ta'devsh in the notes, [hl=black]I am having a hard time seeing how the painful ripping would even happen during normal intercourse. Unless the woman actually reached down with her hand and PULLED the thing off... ouch[/hl]! OK, no more about that. :p

    Roula's attempt at wooing Dyeke is just... just... well, ham-handed and inept and all kinds of wrong, but in a way that is COMPLETELY true to that character. She would think it's romantic and mood-setting to remind a prospective mate that he has to "willingly submit to your superior partner’s desires." :rolleyes: And after that she seems to be basically negging him by telling him how genetically undesirable he is. Good on him for sticking up to her and telling her Aunt Pata, even if the result is that she (Pata) is a bit dismissive.

    And then on top of all the sex and puberty stuff, this also seems to be where at least one of Dyeke's addictions begins. What a horrendously awkward experience with Garko and the others in the aftermath of Garko's firing; I get the feeling this may be the start of a downward spiral for him. [face_nail_biting] Scary, too, with having to drive a vehicle that's too big while sitting on the lap of a writhing drunk. :eek: Immensely lucky that they all made it through that—Dyeke's guardian angel has a full-time job.

    But Roula... oh, words can't describe... WHAT. A. SNITCH. What a brazen, two-timing snitch. :mad: At least I think I can see now why she wrote herself out of her own account of Dyeke's life. And the disgustingly, bizarrely trumped-up charges leveled against Dyeke and the others—really, sitting on another man's lap in a TOTALLY NONROMANTIC SITUATION = "homosexual and interspecies tendencies"?! And that gets him sent all the way to a penal colony?! That plus the seriously karked-up priorities:

    Well, one can expect nothing less from Sacorria, I suppose!

    And so off he goes—a new chapter in his life, for sure, I guess one could say. :( All in the shadow of that ominous black light coming from the top of Triad Mountain (about which I have a few guesses, but only guesses). I have a feeling this will not be the only chapter of Dyeke's life that will be conspicuously absent from Roula's biography. [face_thinking]
     
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