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Beyond - Legends Ranks of Death (Jaina introspection on Anakin Solo ~ The Celtic Song Challenge)

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by Briannakin , Jan 28, 2017.

  1. Briannakin

    Briannakin Grand Moff Darth Fanfic & Costuming/Props Manager star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Feb 25, 2010
    Title: Ranks of Death
    Author: Briannakin
    Timeframe: 30 ABY
    Characters: Jaina Solo
    Categorization: Legends
    Notes: Written for the Celtic Song Challenge. I got The Minstrel Boy. I actually never got that far into NJO, but I knew what happened to Anakin Solo. Somehow, even though I had plenty of ideas for this song, I just had to do something with Anakin. So I read his death (and bawled my eyes out). I didn’t read much about the fall-out after his death, so this might be an AU. I had an idea for a part 2 of this, but I’m not sure if I’ll write it.



    Jaina Solo stared up at the stars in Myrkr’s night sky as she stood atop of the ruins of some ancient outpost. The cool wind whipped her brown hair and Jedi robes as she gazed over the temperate forest. The war had been over for months now and the galaxy was at peace and rebuilding. Her mother and father were leading in clean-up efforts along with Winter, Tycho, and many other family friends. Aunt Mara, Uncle Luke, and little Ben were on Ossus, with much of the rest of the Jedi, establishing the site of the new Jedi Academy. Jacen was off, galaxy knows where, on some damned journey of self-discovery.

    Anakin was gone. He could only be found among the ranks of death.

    And she was here.

    Jaina knew she should be helping one of the former groups still among the living, like her.

    But she needed to be on Myrkr today, for Anakin. Below the place where he had fallen.

    On this particular night, the skies were clear and peaceful. Jaina had forgotten what it was like to look up and not see death. Though she still felt it.

    Like the moment it happened.

    She knelt on the stone rooftop and opened the cloth bag that had been slung over her shoulder. She took out a green bottle of liquid, set it down, then took out a small music player and turned it on. The sound of the delspeil rang clear over the treetops. Many people did not know this, but their mother had forced her three children to learn classical Alderaanian instruments. Winter had tried to teach Jaina the thresal and Jacen the namcus, but the twins had failed miserably. Anakin, however, had been getting quite talented with the delspeil. The song playing had a minor tone with a smooth melody.

    Jaina picked up the bottle. “I was going to try to get some Alderaanian wine,” she said to the silence. Talking out loud felt awkward, but it felt right. “But it’s difficult to get, and I didn’t want Mom to know.” Jaina let out a tisk that could have resembled a laugh. “‘Don’t tell Mom,’ right? Story of our childhood.” Though both her, and the person she was speaking to, had their childhoods ripped away. “Anyways, and it just felt weird ‘resorting’ to Corellian ale, so I decided on Tatooine malt, because of who you were named after. Uncle Luke pointed me to the best brand, though it wasn’t that expensive, but I did have to travel to Mos Eisley to get it. I didn’t even get ID’d.”

    Jaina then cracked open the bottle open. It fuzzed. “You would have been 19 six months ago,” she said, looking up at the stars once more. The distance seemed to smile at her, like she wasn’t alone. “The legal drinking age for alcohol on most systems.” Jaina had turned that age last year, though she had not drunk. She had wanted to wait until the war was over, until this moment. When the galaxy was at peace and what had occurred here finally made sense. Though the day was here and it did not make any more sense today than the day it had happed.

    Tears began to well in her eyes. “You died three years ago and we won the war thanks to you, but DAMN IT ANAKIN! Why did you have to die?” she shouted in anger, frustration and confusion.

    Instead of daring to let the tears run down her face, Jaina took a swig of out of the bottle. The malt tasted like dirty socks. She instantly spewed brown foaming liquid across the rooftop. What kind of dirt trick had Uncle Luke played on her?

    With a groan, Jaina face planted into the bag. “I can’t even mourn you right.”

    The trees seemed to laugh at her and she felt him. He was somehow here, with her now.

    Jaina rolled over on her back and looked at the stars through tears. “Oh Anakin. Why did I have to grow up? And why won’t you ever?”

    She never received a reply, but a wave of condolence washed over her. Anakin was free and… glad. Glad that they had won the war and that they could be as free as he was. He as not chained by the war that she had survived, not sullied by the darkness that crept within her - and all the survivors of that mission above this planet. He had died loved and he had died brave. His soul was pure and free.
     
  2. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    I don't know the NJO well at all, but I enjoyed this very heartfelt piece. You have a very interesting and unexpected take on the song here. It's unstated in the song whether the minstrel boy has anyone to remember or mourn him after he falls in battle and is taken prisoner, but if he did, it could certainly be someone and something like this drinking his health, recounting a childhood too early pulled away, and mixing a little laughter with the tears. And that mixture of pathos and snark is something at which you are an undisputed ace. :cool:

    The Alderaanian instruments (which I am guessing are fanon, because I can't find them in the Wook) are a lovely touch here, and they invite a picture of Anakin that's similar to that of the minstrel boy of the song: going off to battle with his instrument over his shoulder. And did he, like the boy of the song, tear that instrument to pieces (the song's most wrenching image) once he realized he had fallen? "Thy songs were made for the pure and free; / They shall never sound in slavery"—only this time the song of Anakin's delspeil does live on to be heard by the pure and free, thanks to his sister's recording. And that song, of course, is emblematic of Anakin's own pure, free soul. @};-

    Wonderful job with this, and thanks so much for being part of this challenge! =D=
     
    Ewok Poet, AzureAngel2 and Kahara like this.
  3. Onderon1

    Onderon1 Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 18, 2008
    Briannakin - superb look back, here; I can see Jaina - after she worked through her own issues - going back to face where her brother died. :(
     
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  4. AzureAngel2

    AzureAngel2 Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jun 14, 2005
    Jaina rolled over on her back and looked at the stars through tears. “Oh Anakin. Why did I have to grow up? And why won’t you ever?”

    She never received a reply, but a wave of condolence washed over her. Anakin was free and… glad. Glad that they had won the war and that they could be as free as he was. He as not chained by the war that she had survived, not sullied by the darkness that crept within her - and all the survivors of that mission above this planet. He had died loved and he had died brave. His soul was pure and free.


    I knew when I would read your challenge answer, I would end up crying in front of the computer screen. Argh! You always manage to write something brave, thoughtful, funny and yet tragic. There have to be Celtic roots in your family. Like a bard you are a dangerous master of words and enchant your audience (aka your readers). Sniff!
     
    Kahara likes this.
  5. Mira_Jade

    Mira_Jade The Fanfic Manager With The Cape star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Jun 29, 2004
    This story had such a great combination of tones! Jaina's grief was wonderfully expressed, and I love that she took the time to privately mourn her brother's death the best way she knew how. The Alderaani traditions were perfectly interspersed - I loved the line about Leia teaching them their instruments. Even the line about the legal drinking age packed a punch - sometimes it's easy to forget just how young they were during the Vong war, and how much they had put on their shoulders for that youth. Anakin was too young to go out like that, and his loss through his sister's eyes packed a punch that was beautifully expressed here.

    Instead of daring to let the tears run down her face, Jaina took a swig of out of the bottle. The malt tasted like dirty socks. She instantly spewed brown foaming liquid across the rooftop. What kind of dirt trick had Uncle Luke played on her?

    With a groan, Jaina face planted into the bag. “I can’t even mourn you right.”

    The trees seemed to laugh at her and she felt him. He was somehow here, with her now.

    Once again - a great mix of moods! Having Anakin's almost tangible presence at the end was the perfect way to cap this off. A beautifully healing moment for Jaina that, in turn, was cathartic for us as well. =D==D=
     
  6. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014
    Just like Findswoman - I don't know the NJO too well (and Onderon1 is probably used to my stupid questions by now, he-he), but from what I know about Anakin Solo's mission to Myrkr and his death seems like a perfect subject for this challenge. And you aced it. It's haunting, beautiful and the whole idea of Jaina paying respect to her fallen younger brother, while talking to him - whether it's through the Force or just metaphorically - seems to be fitting.

    From what I know about the Solo kids in Legends, Anakin struck me as the most abstract one, the one most likely to be a dreamer. Totally makes sense that he would have been good at playing an instrument and really, really neat that his sister had a recording of him playing it. In a way, he's alive through his music.

    The underlying note of Luke's suggested "alcoholic drink" not being one is breathing some humour to this otherwise painful vignette. Of course that somebody would sell you some random poodoo on Tatooine and, of course that such a thing wouldn't cross your naive uncle's mind, regardless of how many other talents he has. But then again, you fell for it too, girl... *snort*

    With or without Anakin's reply - perhaps one can't reach out to the Force ghosts when in Jaina's state - the motif of freedom and the stars makes it look like he's everywhere, like the proverbial stardust, and he definitely heard her. <3
     
    Kahara, AzureAngel2 and Findswoman like this.
  7. Briannakin

    Briannakin Grand Moff Darth Fanfic & Costuming/Props Manager star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Feb 25, 2010
    Perhaps we interpreted it in different ways, but I thought the minstrel boy died in the song (after destroying his instrument so it could not be taken by the enemy). Thank you. I love mixing pathos and snark.

    Yes, they are fanon. Hoewever, the delspeil has appeared in a fic of mine before, being played by Breha Organa.

    Thanks again! It was a really fun challenge!

    Thanks. I think going back to face where Anakin died would be part of the healing process.

    I love writing tragedies with humor! And, yes, I have strong Irish roots, with a bit of Scottish thrown in.

    To me, the song just sounded to be about a young boy, which Anakin was. This was just so enjoyable to write Jaina again after so many years of never really touching her.

    Don't worry, my knowledge of the NJO arc is really limited to the first couple of books and me reading wookieepeida and skimming the major plot points in the books. But Anakin just fit the song.

    And, yeah, to me Anakin seemed much more like the dreamer and the one with the most patience to actually learn an instrument.

    And yeah, I'm not sure why I didn't have Anakin appear as a force ghost, but it just didn't feel right, like Jaina needed to mourn on her own and realize he is a part of the Force and that the Force is everywhere.

    Thanks so much for reading and the comments
     
  8. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    Perhaps so; I always understood "the foeman's chain" and "they shall never sound in slavery" to mean that the minstrel boy was taken prisoner and made a slave, but the other interpretation isn't invalid either. And you are most welcome, of course! :)
     
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  9. Pandora

    Pandora Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Apr 13, 2005
    I should admit that, like several earlier commenters, I'm not at all familiar with the NJO--though I did know of Anakin Solo's death during the Myrkr mission. But I think (and I know I included a variation on this theme in my comments for several other stories written for this challenge) it works even if one doesn't know the source material--as the story of a young woman mourning her lost brother, as well as her own war-inflicted wounds, which he was spared having to endure by dying. I think you made the right choice in not having Anakin actually appear in Force-ghost form--this is something that, really, Jaina needs to do for herself.

    It does feel right, and necessary, that Jaina has returned to where it all happened to have this time for her brother. Though it must be weird for her to see a world she has associated with death (though I gathered from reading the relevant entry on wookieepedia that they never actually set foot on the world during the mission)--and to see a peaceful temperate forest under equally peaceful skies. Life, as always, has gone on.

    The bit about Anakin's talent with the delspeil ties in well with the song--and it shows a side of him, and his siblings, that you don't see much of in Star Wars, or space opera in general. And I would suppose that Jaina could not have known when that recording was made what it would someday mean to her.

    Then, yes, even in this somber scene, there is a note of humor, courtesy of the Tatooine Malt. Seriously--does anything good come from that desert rock?

    Thank you for writing this for the challenge!

    ---

    Oh, and to return to "The Minstrel Boy"--I also thought he died in the song, but when I looked at the lyrics, I can see why Findswoman interrupted it as him being taken prisoner: there is the reference to the "foeman's chains," and he would have the time in captivity to destroy his "wild harp" that he wouldn't have if he fell on the field of battle.
     
  10. Force Smuggler

    Force Smuggler Force Ghost star 7

    Registered:
    Sep 2, 2012
    Very emotional story. Always good seeing another NJO series related story.
    I could totally see Jaina doing this after the war was over.
     
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  11. A Blind Prophet

    A Blind Prophet Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 25, 2016
    very well done, and like force smuggler, i could totally see jaina doing this. especially since she's the one that handled everything the best out of herself and jacen. i think in a way, anakin's death was the beginning of the end for him, because it was after that that he was captured and... well, we all know how that ultimately ended up.

    Tears began to well in her eyes. “You died three years ago and we won the war thanks to you, but DAMN IT ANAKIN! Why did you have to die?” she shouted in anger, frustration and confusion.

    this was the part that really stood out to me the most, it felt the most raw and the most real. such a jaina way to react. it struck me as even more poignant because it was followed by the dirty sock liquor, which provided a nice moment of levity, though still tinged by sadness. excellent little story looking at a life changing moment that i always felt was just kind of swept under the rug ultimately in the official EU. thanks for giving us a peek at it.
     
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