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Saga - Legends [Moving Challenge] "Changing of the Gand" (Zuckuss (who else?), psychodrama)

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by TrakNar, Sep 26, 2012.

  1. TrakNar

    TrakNar Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Apr 4, 2011
    Title: "Changing of the Gand"
    Author: TrakNar
    Timeline: Some time during the rise of the Empire
    Genre: Psychodrama
    Summary: A change is swirling in the mists of Gand, both for the findsman and for the planet he calls "home."
    Notes: Response to the Moving Challenge, "change."

    — — —​
    Changing of the Gand

    A heavy fog had dimmed the cobblestones as Gand walked the streets. He could see the torchmen as they lit the gaslights, forms pronounced by bright pinpricks that illuminated the gray vapors and stretched the shadows to trailing ribbons. Gand could see others lining the streets of the colony, and then he heard it:

    The rhythmic march of hard-soled boots against the stones.

    Their white-clad forms stabbed through the mists and Gand could see that each one of those statuesque beings carried an angular black rifle of a design that he was not familiar with. Soldiers of the Empire, he knew. Those tall, armored beings had become a regular presence in the colonies. He knew when they had come; he had been in the colony on that day, on a simple errand to retrieve supplies for his temple, just as he was doing today. He was there when he caught a fleeting glimpse of the commander who led that punitive sweep of the colony; Darth Vader, a puppet of the Emperor.

    Gand's hand clenched into a tight fist. The Empire invaded his home, brought with them technology that outperformed the findsmen who first clamored for a chance to aid the newcomers, even as their very livelihood was snatched away from them. Rumors haunted the temple corridors; the Empire had no need for the findsmen. Their duties were taken away. Runaways were captured with ease after a soldier employed a full sensor sweep.

    Not long ago, Gand was in the colony and he had seen two findsmen on the street, sitting stock still in a meditative posture. Gand could smell an acrid and pungent stench that stung his sinuses and he could feel the heat from their bodies; their carapaces blackened and charred, their clothes ash, and a strange, foul-smelling liquid oozed between the heat-curled plates as Gand realized, with a sickened feeling in his stomach, that those findsmen had self-immolated in protest to the Empire's presence.

    And several days ago, Gand happened upon an entire nest, secreted in one of the temple's meeting halls. "We are no longer needed, our lives have ceased," the Elder proclaimed to his followers, "The findsmen are dead. We shall walk a new path through the mists, the path of our forefathers, as we rejoin them within the swirling haze." Gand watched as they all drank. Several doubled over in agony as a number simply dropped to the stones. One closest to him had a change of heart and staggered for the door. He pleaded for help, then collapsed, a thick foam rimming his mandibles, dead at Gand's feet.

    They are evil. The Empire is killing us. They are murderers.

    Gand's attention was drawn to the middle of the procession. There walked a tall, thin Human in stately gray, his face enclosed in a breath mask. Some type of commander, Gand surmised.

    He is a bad man. He is the leader of the killers.

    Gand watched the man walk passed him, head held high, with that infuriating air of superiority that was almost palpable.

    He is a bad man. He is a murderer. He is the leader of the killers. Stop him. Only you can stop the killing.

    Gand took a step forward, then another, and another, until he kept pace with the throng of white-armored soldiers.

    Stop him. He is the leader of the killers. Only you can stop the killing. Do something!

    "Murderers!"

    Gand's voice pierced through the thick fog and he could see the parade halt as several turned to face him. "Murderers! You are killing us!"

    They are evil. You must stop them. Force them to face their crimes.

    "We burned by your hands! You are killing us! You are an empire of killers!"

    The tall, uniformed Human pushed his way to the front of the formation. "What is the meaning of this nonsense?"

    He is a bad man. One of the Empire's puppets. Just like Darth Vader.

    "Murderers! You killed an entire nest! Darth Vader killed the findsmen! The Emperor killed us! You took our lives away, you should be punished! Held responsible for your slaughter!"

    "Is that a threat, you little insect?" The man planted his hands firmly on his hips. "You are so naive. Your little cult was already dead. You're a fool." He turned to face the troops. "Just ignore it. That thing can't do anything to us."

    Gand felt the rage boil inside and in one swift motion, he yanked off his shoe and threw it at the man. The firm sole smacked the man square in the back of the head, and Gand saw the soldiers raise their weapons. A bright flash stung his eyes and a deep, ripping burn slashed across the top of his head and sent him falling backward onto the stone street. Within seconds, several soldiers were upon him as he was forced onto his face, his arms wrenched behind his back and his wrists bound.

    — — —​

    His Elders had appealed for his release. Immediately, Gand was brought before them and he stood there in silence as he awaited their word.

    "The Empire has you on record as an insurgent. Your behavior was appalling. You had no place to make such a scene."

    Gand bowed his head. But, what are they to gain if they allow the Empire to kill the findsmen? He could see no benefit; their interference will leave his world a gutted husk.

    "Such outbursts are unbecoming of a findsman, and to make a show of violence against an Imperial Moff! Such flagrant insubordination, such... individual ideals... they only bring misfortune and your wounds are a testament. We should have left you to rot!"

    Those words echoed through the antechamber and stung the burns on his head. Gand remained quiet. How could they not see that he was acting in the interest of the whole?

    "It was difficult, but we have made our determination. We strip you of your identity within the Gand. You are no longer a findsman. You are no longer Gand. You are to leave the planet immediately; you are no longer welcome here. Discard us as we discard you. And if you dare to return, it will cost you your life. Begone."

    — — —​

    Discard us as we discard you.

    Thrown away like rubbish.

    You are no longer Gand.

    He lost everything.

    You are no longer Gand.

    Everything.

    He laid there on his back, eyes blank, the ceiling of a dingy hotel room above him. Surrounded by debris, he lay in an unwashed robe amid the filth. He had not moved in days. He was nothing. He lost everything.

    They can't take your name.

    There was a broken glass at his foot and he kicked at it, the shards crunched and crinkled. He lost everything.

    They can't take your name. You are no longer Gand. You can use your name.

    There was something sticky under his arm and the grubby robe clung to it as he moved. He blinked and focused on the ceiling. They can't take his name. He is no longer Gand. He can be an individual. He can make his own identity.

    His throat felt dry and his mouth clicked as he said the first words he had spoken in weeks.

    "My name is Zuckuss."

    — — —​
     
    Ewok Poet and Findswoman like this.
  2. Alexis_Wingstar

    Alexis_Wingstar Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Sep 16, 2006
    That was very powerful. Very well done.
     
  3. Tarsier

    Tarsier Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2005
    Very well written and very moving. Great work!