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Saga - Legends Recovering Home (OC Revolution Challenge, Post-ROTS)

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by whiskers, Mar 2, 2015.

  1. whiskers

    whiskers Jedi Grand Master star 4

    May 19, 2005
    Title:Recovering Home
    Timeframe: Two years post Revenge of the Sith
    Characters: OCs
    Genre: Drama
    Summary: After an Imperial attack on a Rebel frigate, a survivor thinks about all that he's lost. A writing exercise. Coincidentally aligns with March's OC challenge.


    I've made my choices, and now I have to live with the consequences, Galen Wentlas thought as he walked into the makeshift medical bay, the cacophony of the Resurgence's wounded filling his ears. He walked down the finely carpeted floor of what he guessed was a hastily converted ballroom of Aldera Palace, passing crew members with severe burns and cuts from shrapnel. He had left the Empire because he felt that it was wrong, and joined with the very same people that now lay wounded because of them.

    "Do you need a med droid?" one of the frigate's nurses said, looking at him.

    "I don't," Galen said. He realized that he probably looked like he may have needed medical attention. His dark green fatigues were tattered and torn from fighting inside of the dying ship, stained with oil and hydraulic fluid from climbing empty turbolift shafts. Blaster burns from enemy shots that were lucky enough to hit him but were unable to fully penetrate the armored breastplate littered the jacket. Weeks worth of beard growth dyed black was framed by the ash of a dying frigate. "I'm looking for Lt. Anya Reiher."

    "Is she wounded?" the nurse said.

    "No," Galen said. It wasn't due to lack of trying on the Imperials part, though. She had been captured with several other crewmembers by the boarding party, looking for prisoners to interrogate. When he and the rest of the strike team came across the group and attempted a rescue, the stormtrooper squad opened up on the prisoners. "Someone back in the hangar said she headed in this direction."

    "Well, there's plenty of volunteers, from the ship and the prince's staff. Just keep looking. She's here somewhere, then."

    Galen nodded and continued walking down the impromptu and irregular hallway, the already soft noises of his black boots on the thin carpet drowned out by the cries of the wounded and dying. He scanned their faces, the wounded of so many species and sexes, and the volunteers beside them, looking for Anya and others. He paused at a male Rodian laying on a small table with two long jagged slashes on his chest. He studied the Rodian's face and the placement of the ridge of horns on his forehead. "Can I help you?" the Caamasi attending the Rodian said.

    "I was seeing if he was a friend of mine," Galen said. The Caamasi nodded his golden fur-covered head, letting his long fur-less snout dangle slightly. He applied a clean towel to the Rodian's chest and held it there, blood already beginning to seep through.

    "There aren't many Rodians here, I'm afraid," the Caamasi said. "There were other places that the wounded were taken," he said. "I wouldn't worry until everyone still alive is accounted for."

    "I guess so," Galen said. "You wouldn't happen to know if there's a Lt. Anya Reiher here, too?"

    "Another wounded friend?" the Caamasi said, his dark pink nose curling downward in confusion.

    "No," Galen said. "We came in on the same ship from the Resurgence. I had to meet with the Senator with the rest of my team, and a member of the hangar crew said she came this way." He looked further down the room. "I mean, she seemed fine back on the ship."

    The Caamasi nodded. "We have several volunteers and medical droids helping your frigate's surviving medical staff until we're able to get some trusted doctors and more droids. Most of them are down there," he said. He pointed a finger down the path, his golden-furred hand stained green with the Rodian's blood. He removed the towel and reached for another one.

    "Thank you," Galen said and turned away to walk towards where the Caamasi had pointed. He paused, brow furrowing in doubt. He could have sworn that the Rodian's injuries were much more severe than they were when the Caamasi had changed his impromptu bandages.

    He found Anya minutes later, a large pile of boxes of bandages in her arms. Her light brown skin shone with perspiration in the bright lights of the room, muddled slightly with dark stains of dirt and ash. Her black hair, normally hanging just past her shoulders was now pulled away from her face in a tight ponytail. The exhaustion in her face melted into a weary smile upon seeing him.

    "Need help, Anya?" he said. He grabbed half of the boxes upon her slight nod.

    "They're not that heavy," Anya said, shifting the weight of the still large pile in her arms. "Just awkward."

    "They still are," Galen said. He made a quick adjustment of his arms as one box slid nearly completely out of his grasp. "Where are we headed with these?"

    "That 2-1B droid over there needs them," Anya said. She slowly turned towards the northeast corner of the room, and pointed there with her elbow. They walked through the narrow corridors between tables filled with crying wounded.

    "You hear anything about your bunkmates?" Galen asked.

    Anya frowned. "No," she said. Her own thoughts matched his own towards his own bunkmates.

    "That doesn't mean anything, you know," he said. "They may have been uninjured and their pod was picked up by another ship. The one we were on is pretty fast."

    "A lot of the other ships made it here," she said.

    "Yeah..." Galen said. "Well, not all ships landed here. They may be on the other side of the planet, or at some rendezvous point just as worried about us as we are them."

    "Maybe," she said. "We'll have to check when you can." She gave a long and desperate sigh. "There's just so much to do! I still have to get a room tonight, or find passage to my parents. I need to get new clothes."

    "I took care of the first one," Galen said. "I got us one together. I didn't mean to presume. I'll change it for you if you want me to."

    "No," Anya said, moving closer towards him, their arms touching. "That's good."

    Painfully soon, the two approached the droid doctor. The three yellow bulbs in each of its eye sockets glowed towards them out of a blue skull-shaped head. It gestured to a nearby serving tray with a skeletal arm of bare metal. "Place the boxes there on the tray," it said.

    Anya's shoulder's sagged under some invisible weight after she had placed the boxes of bandages up, and her lips had the slightest hint of a tremble. Already finished unloading his own armful, Galen began to raise an arm to comfort her.

    "I'm fine," she said, her shoulders immediately perking back up and lips tightening into a thin line of determination. Galen drew his hand back and slowly nodded at her. She looked back at him, and her face softened only slightly. "I'm sor--"

    "This whole thing's stressful," Galen said. "I know."

    She nodded. "Why don't you go ahead and make sure the room has everything we need. Food, clothing, anything else you can think of. I still have a lot more things to do here before I can leave."

    "Just... Just don't overdo it," he said, and gave her the location of their room. "If you see anyone we know, let them know that I'm all right." He walked back to the main door, looking once again at the wounded. A human man barely into his twenties looked back at him, his non-bandaged eye staring coldly at him. Five steps ahead, two Bothans with wounded legs and arms ceased their talking and looked at him with angry eyes.

    They think I had something to do with it all, he thought. On the surface it did make sense. Like the admiral that had led the surprise attack on the small fleet, he too had defected from the Empire, and around the same time as well. It was natural for them to be suspicious. Yet their stares cut deep.

    He was still lost in these thoughts when he arrived at their quarters. The door was currently unlocked and opened with a soft hiss. The walls inside were a light blue with a silver trim in the middle. Dark azure chairs and a matching couch were arranged in a semi-circle on the carpet, facing both the wall with the main entrance and the large window to the right. Between each chair and couch were stands made of a dark wood. To the left was the door leading to the refresher.

    "I certainly need a shower," he said, scratching at the metabolically dyed black stubble on his face. "And a shave. And... Later," he said. He walked to the chair facing the window to the right, luxuriating in the soft cushions. He looked to out of the window, through the still large opening provided by the silver tapestries. The late afternoon sun reflected off of a large lake flanked by mountains green with trees. The shimmering water moved in subtle waves influenced by the wind.

    He consulted the piece of flimsiplast that the Senator's aide have given him, a small piece of flexible wood pulp that had a comlink frequency written on it in black ink. "Let us know if you need anything," the aide had said. Galen input the number into his comlink and was greeted with the voice of the aide. A few pairs of uniforms for himself and Anya were an easy task for them, as was a new datapad.

    He pulled the old datapad out of a pocket in his suit and laid it down on the table. The screen in the middle was cracked in multiple places and the top left corner had slipped out of its casing. The bottom right of the device was bent towards him. It was an older model, a gift from his mother upon graduating from the Republic Judicial Fleet Academy nearly eight years previously, but it was still considered a decent model for the present. He pulled the data card out of the pad and inspected it. It had somehow escaped the destruction of its holder in a collapsing Coruscanti skyscraper.

    It wasn't Coruscant anymore, though, he thought. In just the brief two years from the death of the Republic and the birth of the Empire it had become Imperial Center. The home planet that Galen had loved so much had become an alien world made all that stranger by the vestiges of what remained. With that heartbreak still on his mind, he had returned from the mission to find that the Resurgence was under attack by an Imperial fleet.

    Memories flashed into his mind at the thought of the frigate: finding the ship upon defecting and placed completely out his element when he was assigned in a hangar control bay instead of behind the piloting controls, meeting Anya in that very same control room when she came to repair the malfunction console and finding her so very incredibly beautiful, coming to know more of her than her appearance in the weeks and months that followed and coming to love her, making love to her for the first time in those cramped bunks that were barely wide enough for just one person, his bunkmates giving him a good natured teasing about being locked out of their own room, Belok the Rodian always laughing about his own corny jokes.

    Galen's eyes stung with unshed tears. He blinked, allowing them to fall down and the others building up to follow them. He sat and wept for long minutes until the door opened with an unexpected hiss. He quickly wiped his eyes, not wanting some random aide or another member of the strike team to see him so vulnerable, no matter how justified his feelings were.

    Anya stood in front of the door. Her arms hung limp at her sides, trembling as small sobs wracked her body. He was there with her as fast as he could be, traveling the meters between the door and the chair in what seemed like a mere second. Through his body armor, he could feel the tightness of her own embrace even as he began to hold her.

    "Alexis," she said. "She..." Any other words that she may have wanted to say were drowned out by sobs.

    Galen held her close, a sinking feeling deep inside of his gut that Alexis wouldn't be the only friend that they had lost that day, just the first to be confirmed. "It's..." His own words failed him. "I'm here," he was finally able to say.

    "I'm here."
  2. Kahara

    Kahara Force Ghost star 4

    Mar 3, 2001
    The characters' grief and strain in searching for their missing friends comes through clearly. The sense of chaos and trying to take care of practical things first but being really worried -- all that seems very realistic. Liked the side thoughts that reveal some details of Galen's personality and his concerns about being seen as somehow responsible for the losses. Hope to see more of these OC's. :)
    AzureAngel2, Ewok Poet and whiskers like this.
  3. whiskers

    whiskers Jedi Grand Master star 4

    May 19, 2005
    The grief for missing friends and the worry was something that I was trying to convey in the story, and I'm glad that it was picked up upon.

    I particularly liked writing that part. The sense that everything has completely gone to hell and our friends are either not accounted for at the moment or dead had to collide, in my opinion, with the fact that both Galen and Anya are still very much alive and for them there will be a tomorrow that they have to live through. That includes replacing clothing they've lost and finding someplace to sleep.

    He is (and Anya as well, but hers was not the POV for this) very likely at the most vulnerable point of his life, and that's when we can go in and see them for who they really are.

    As for the seen as somehow responsible for the losses, that was actually something I added in a rewrite. After looking through the character's history and the history of the real traitor, I figured that there would have to be at least some of the survivors who would think that he's partially responsible, especially if they don't know him personally.

    I hope I do get to write more of them. I was actually doing this as a personal writing exercise while taking a novel writing class and I was trying to work a bit on description and characterization before diving into something larger. I'll probably do some more challenges later down the road just for fun.

    Thank you for reading and commenting, Kahara, I appreciate it.
    AzureAngel2 and Kahara like this.
  4. divapilot

    divapilot Force Ghost star 4

    Nov 30, 2005
    Well written. You've done a good job describing the chaos and suspicion that must have occurred with such a dramatic political upheaval. I agree with Kahara - I'd like to see more of Galen and Anya!
    AzureAngel2, whiskers and Kahara like this.
  5. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Aug 31, 2004
    I liked the attention to detail of the situation and the way Galen and Anya are focused on practical, in the moment necessities but underneath are truly worried. All they know has been turned upside down and sideways and on top of that they have to work through grieving and other changes. @};- =D=
    AzureAngel2, whiskers and Kahara like this.
  6. whiskers

    whiskers Jedi Grand Master star 4

    May 19, 2005
    Thank you. I really wanted to convey that sense and at the same time show the immensity of it. As for more Galen and Anya, I've been thinking about doing more vignettes on days I'm stuck on my main project.

    I did all I could to really bring out the description of everything and most people, the characterization of our two leads as well as the dialogue. I thought at the same time that a focus on what they have to do to get settled despite everything that they're going through was something that had to be written as well.

    Thank you for reading, both of you. I appreciate it. Glad you both seemed to enjoy the story.
    AzureAngel2 and Kahara like this.
  7. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Jul 31, 2014
    From the first paragraph on, this is captivating. Actually, no, make that the first sentence. And I have previously enjoyed your story of a survivor (that I need to comment on), so seeing another one with a similar concept was (not) a surprise.

    And there are so many levels where you pay attention to details here. Of course only Alderaan would allow for a ballroom to be an improvised hospital. Of course that the protagonist cannot hear his own thoughts - whether that is for better or worse - amidst so much noise, sounds of wounded soldiers in agony and whatnot. The chaos and pain on various levels in the middle of unnecessary luxury. Clever, clever, clever.

    Later on, it gets slightly confusing, so I have a couple of questions, if you don't mind.

    Is there any particular reason why Galen's beard is dyed black? Are the Imperials looking for him and is that his disguise?

    "No," Galen said. It wasn't due to lack of trying on the Imperials part, though. She had been captured with several other crewmembers by the boarding party, looking for prisoners to interrogate. When he and the rest of the strike team came across the group and attempted a rescue, the stormtrooper squad opened up on the prisoners. "Someone back in the hangar said she headed in this direction."

    How actually did Anya survive, then?


    "Yeah..." Galen said. "Well, not all ships landed here. They may be on the other side of the planet, or at some rendezvous point just as worried about us as we are them."

    This sounds like...reassurance. Of the kind where you want to believe, but you actually don't. Goosebumps!

    Galen's search for Anya got me worried and I am glad he found her, eventually. Sadly, Alexis is gone. I assume that the relation to family challenge was based around them being family, brothers and sisters in arms? That's a very interesting way to look at it.

    I would like to see these events from Anya's point of view as well. I think it would be fun.

    Overall, confusing in some places, but enjoyable! :)
  8. whiskers

    whiskers Jedi Grand Master star 4

    May 19, 2005
    Thank you, I certainly wanted to hook a reader in almost immediately, so I'm glad that it worked at least in your case.

    I wanted to make that connection. Alderaan is a very peaceful culture, yet they're behind a rebellion against the Empire that will be very violent. Also, in addition to the contradiction, it's also a relatively good place to hide them all, assuming that there's no official functions planned.

    First off, I absolutely welcome constructive criticism. I'm doing this to try and improve at writing, so any tips that anyone has are more than welcome. As for Galen's dyed beard and hair, that is part of his description that would have been explained if I had not accidentally cut the line that made it relevant. In the line where he's thinking about how Coruscant is no longer Coruscant, I originally (and will probably restore) a line that makes it far more clear that he was there just recently. As an Imperial defector and Rebel that traveled undercover into the very heart of the Empire for a prolonged stay, he was going to disguise himself as much as he could: hair cut short, dyed a different color, etc.

    It actually looks like I did leave a mention in there, but it could have been much clearer.

    I'm not even sure that Galen knows how she didn't get shot in that exchange other than pure luck. The soldier started shooting at one end of the line and was killed by the other Rebels before he reached the spot in the line that she was in.

    He obviously doesn't know if any of their friends made it and he's trying to do his best to reassure not only her but himself as well.

    My main approach to the theme of family was mainly the relation to it and home. He grew up in Coruscant and now the Empire took that away from him and now the ship that he'd been living in, where he met his girlfriend and other friends; now that's gone, too. The family that he had created for himself aboard the ship is gone except for her.

    It does sound like fun and can provide a unique perspective on both the aftermath shown here, but the actual attack itself. Sorry for the confusion, and I hope that I cleared up your questions enough.
    AzureAngel2, Kahara and Ewok Poet like this.
  9. Rau_Fang

    Rau_Fang Jedi Master star 2

    Mar 28, 2005
    I know this has already been covered by Nyota's Heart but was super impressed with the way you handled the practicalities after a major tragedy. Their grief had to be suspended - I think that takes a massive amount of strength for both Galen and Anya to keep it together while there was important work to be done. That underlying stress was expressed really well. I was really feeling like there needed to be some kind of release and it finally felt natural with Galen and Anya together.

    quick question: There is still a chance that Belok made it right?
  10. Chyntuck

    Chyntuck Force Ghost star 5

    Jul 11, 2014
    What everyone said ^^^ This was truly beautiful in all its aspects. The one element I'll add is that I really enjoyed how you described the Caamasi's body language; I've been playing around with alien body language too recently, and this was very well done. I also didn't find the tidbit about Galen's dyed beard confusing -- one of my hobbies when reading (and writing) stories is to associate the little pieces of information to form a whole.

    I hope we see more of these characters! But in the meantime, I'll go and read your fic about their daughter (thank you OC Index!)
    Kahara, whiskers and AzureAngel2 like this.
  11. AzureAngel2

    AzureAngel2 Force Ghost star 6

    Jun 14, 2005
    whiskers: I am very crossed with you for getting hooked. It worked. earlybird-obi-wan and Nyota's Heart heart both do their little magic when writing about ER´s and dire medical situations. You also caught me in your web of worry and suspense. I am glad that I do not have class tests to correct as a kindergarten teacher, but have time to read brilliant fanfics here and then.

    Kahara, whiskers and Nyota's Heart like this.
  12. whiskers

    whiskers Jedi Grand Master star 4

    May 19, 2005
    I certainly wanted to show that, especially in regards to when Anya--who lived through the entire attack and seen more of the wounded than Galen has--nearly breaks down in the converted ballroom. And finally, when both are in their quarters, they're finally able to give in to their grief.

    In this story, I personally don't think that it matters, only the perception that he may be dead. Yeah, it's kind of a non-answer, so sorry about that.

    I wanted that little tidbit in there for a little bit of world-building/alienness. Of course an alien species wouldn't have the same type of gestures that a human or near-human would, so I decided to show the snout curling and fur bristling slightly.

    The index is a lifesaver. I don't have to keep looking at my created topics all the time. As for seeing the characters again, I think that can be arranged.

    Thank you for reading. I wanted to portray the chaos and trauma after such a devastating attack while at the same time focusing on these two characters. I wanted them to react to the situation, but also each other.
  13. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Feb 27, 2014
    Nice job here expressing the way these old friends and shipmates (who are now also more than that, as we learn) come together as something like a family unit during this time of disaster. That makes losses like that of Alexis all the more tragic—and Anya's strong reaction to her (right?) death makes me curious to know more about that character's friendship with the two we meet here.

    "I'm here": two very powerful words, and—if you will permit me to go momentarily from the sublime to the ridiculous—those you hear when you switch to the player character in KOTOR. :D I hope you won't feel offended if I wonder whether that was at least an unconscious influence, because if so, it transforms that one little phrase so much. :cool:

    Like Ewok Poet, I found the ballroom location striking and significant, enhancing the pathos of the situation. And like Chyntuck, I liked what you did with the Caamasi's gestures and expressions—I always appreciate it when authors go the extra mile to make their alien characters move and in noticeably alien, nonhuman ways. Good work on this! :)
  14. JadeLotus

    JadeLotus Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Mar 27, 2005
    It wasn't Coruscant anymore, though, he thought. In just the brief two years from the death of the Republic and the birth of the Empire it had become Imperial Center. The home planet that Galen had loved so much had become an alien world made all that stranger by the vestiges of what remained.

    I really liked this detail - the obliteration of Coruscant's soul must have been hard to deal with. Comrades can quickly become family, and the loss here felt by the survivor's is palpable.
    Kahara and whiskers like this.
  15. whiskers

    whiskers Jedi Grand Master star 4

    May 19, 2005
    I wanted to convey that, at least for the moment, that each other are the only two that they have left. As for Anya's strong reaction, I wrote it as her being unable to take anymore. She was on the frigate for the entirety of the attack and also in that makeshift hospital a lot longer than Galen was. Add in your best friend and cabin-mate on the ship being found dying... And, as per Ewok_Poet's suggestion, I am plotting a POV sequel to this from her viewpoint.

    Steam says I have over 15 hours having played the original Knights of the Old Republic. It's lying. Having "I'm here" be a subtle nod to that would have be subconsciously. I wrote it as that's the only thing that Galen can say at the moment. There's no way to reassure her that everything's going to be fine, especially since he's likely going to have go out and find the people responsible.

    Thank you!

    I certainly wanted to include that here. For Galen, Coruscant was his first home and now he's found out about just how much has changed in two years.
  16. Chyntuck

    Chyntuck Force Ghost star 5

    Jul 11, 2014
    Well, I said six months ago that I'd read the story about Galen and Anya's daughter, and I finally got around to doing it -- as a matter of fact I'm reading the Galen Wentlas Omnibus today after Empire Day reminded me that I had some catching up to do. So there's a flurry of reviews coming your way now :p but since I re-read this one first, I thought I'd leave a comment after the second read, or rather a question: did you write anything about this Alexis that passed away in this fic? Because that's presumably whom Galen and Anya named their daughter after.
    Kahara and whiskers like this.
  17. whiskers

    whiskers Jedi Grand Master star 4

    May 19, 2005
    Omnibus. Now that's an interesting way to put it.

    She's actually in another work called The Death of Resurgence, which is Anya's POV to the previously mentioned events in the story.
    Chyntuck likes this.