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Saga - OT Respawn (Represent the Underrepresented Mod!Challenge | Geonosian OCs | Collective Guilt)

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by Ewok Poet, Jul 31, 2018.

  1. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014
    Title: Respawn
    Author: Ewok Poet
    Genre: Drama
    Characters: Geonosian OCs, brief mentions of CCs
    Timeframe: Sometween between the OT and the ST
    Rating: PG (reference to mating at the end)
    Length: One-shot
    Summary:

    A/N: This is one of my responses to the Representing the Underrepresented Mod!Challenge. People say that we should write what we know, which is the approach I utilised for both of my mod!challenge stories. This story deals with both misdiagnoses of mental illnesses, as well as something that might be a bit harder to grasp - collective guilt. I've experienced the latter due to where I live and the wars that followed disintegration of Yugoslavia. People used to bully me on the internet, a lot. Even to this day, I encounter wacky folks who say offensive things! And of course, most of us were just thrown into the vortex - how can you stop politicians and their actions? You cannot, until the time is right...or until you've all been swept away.

    ...


    There is always somebody who suffers.

    There is always the other side of the story.

    They named him Nkls.

    Nkls’ adoptive parents were considerate beings, yet from a proud warrior race that was civilised with time, but they never forgot their origins. They didn’t want young Nkls to forget his, either. Trauta and Diren’bert told him everything they knew, every single thing that they could come across and dig out about his now-extinct species, what they could tell him during the times they were still hailed by the notorious Confederation, an organisation financed by oligarchs from the Corporate Sector and a couple of others.

    And then something happened. And nobody knew what it was. Still, the hate of Geonosians remained a common sentiment across the Galaxy and, after a while, the family moved from Coruscant to a barely-populated world of Saberhing. Trauta worked at the shipyards and Diren’bert stayed at home with Nkls. There were less of the hecklers present here, everybody was so focused on their jobs. On the former capital planet of the world as they all knew it, this was not the case. The monument where a brave Jedi Knight stands with his lightsaber held high and his foot on a dead “buggy’s” exoskeleton carcass had a prominent location near the former Jedi Temple, which used to make Nkls feel even worse about himself.

    He would stay at home all day, even on Saberhing, unsure of his place in the world. Sure, he could find a job on HoloNet, his name was not ringing any buzzers, but what if they wanted him on the Holocomm, for possible meetings. He was afraid of that, to the point of almost being paranoid.

    He was branded schizoid by the medics who tried to treat him, albeit with disgust. He was assessed as not needing anybody in his life. He was a selfish being that just wanted to be by himself. This made him feel bad. He would not sleep for nights and nights and there was this spasm in his mandibles. He purposely numbed himself with a strong tranquiliser.

    Why? Because he otherwise emitted a horrible, irritating sound that his caretakers could not put up with and that was the only way.

    Klik.

    Klak.

    Klik.

    Klak.

    Klik-klak! Klik-klak! Klik-klak! Klik-klak! Klik-klak! Klik-klak! Klik-klak! Klik-klak! Klik-klak! Klik-klak! Klik-klak! Klik-klak! Klik-klak! Klik-klak! Klik-klak! Klik-klak! Klik-klak! Klik-klak! Klik-klak! Klik-klak! Klik-klak! Klik-klak! Klik-klak! Klik-klak!

    One day he ran away and he did not even want to know that this would have been branded as “dissociative fugue”. He moved to the Outer Rim world of Abrion Major. The beings he met there had no idea of who he was and they were good to him – the sector was isolated after an unspecified series of events on a nearby planet that was too dangerous to visit and many outcasts and burnouts flocked there. He still lived alone, but every now and then, he would join one of their harvest celebrations or walk through the steppe with the only friend he had.

    Sometimes he would attempt to fly, but he didn’t know how to, so he would always crash to the ground.

    …​

    She named herself Talina.

    It sounded good to her. Having been rescued from a crater one of the moons where a handful of workers from her caste had escaped to and where she somehow survived before hypoxia would have taken ther life, she never knew how to speak her native language. Or, better said, she had forgotten it with time. She knew everything about her devastated planet and its shameful, yet unfortunate history. Poggle the Lesser and the other once-glorified oligarchs made the beings of Geonosis pay the price for something most of them have been brainwashed into. Was that what the alleged hive mind that she read about and never understood was for?

    In that case, everybody in the system, everybody on the planet surrounded by an asteroid field forming those ugly, ugly rings deserved to die a horrible death. They should have worked together, on the same frequency, to resist the evil that was about to consume them – but they didn’t. And whoever gave them what they had it coming for having created the Death Star must have been a being of honour, unlike the much-hated Emperor Palpatine, the notorious Darth Vader, the sociopath that was Grand Moff Wilhuff Tarkin and the weapon constructor himself – Orson Krennic.

    Her peers at the Lyceum on Chandrilla understood it and knew that her shame was enough – they did not want to shame her further. Sometimes, she would talk about it with so much hate that she would get angry fits and crack her little mandibles, so grotesque in comparison to her obese and disproportional body, to the point where there was no more Galactic Basic coming out of her mouth – just kliks and klaks.

    Klik.

    Klak.

    Klik.

    Klak.

    Klik-klak! Klik-klak! Klik-klak! Klik-klak! Klik-klak! Klik-klak! Klik-klak! Klik-klak! Klik-klak! Klik-klak! Klik-klak! Klik-klak! Klik-klak! Klik-klak! Klik-klak! Klik-klak! Klik-klak! Klik-klak! Klik-klak! Klik-klak! Klik-klak! Klik-klak! Klik-klak! Klik-klak!

    At some point, the lect-aide droid nearly short-circuited from her klikking and klakking. And she was too large to be tamed without being stunned. The security droids sustained her and she was taken to the asylum.

    Her parents insisted on the top experts treating her. Days later, she was taken to Seegmon d’Fraud himself and diagnosed as histrionic. Her emotions were considered unreal and she had to accept the fact that everything was long buried in history. She only did this for attention. She was always doing it for nothing but attention. She wanted all eyes on her and it was crystal-clear, like the mysterious rings around Blabendreus, the planet that the Elespads supposedly came from. Who were they, anyway? Another mean species like hers? Oh, her species was so, so mean, man, mean, mean!

    At the point Talina’s kliks and klaks would cause the other inmates to become violent, Seegmon d’Fraud suggested their parents to let go of her, disown her and send her to the obscure world of Abrion Major, the location of the second chance community for the wayward ones. He knew that there was no chance of rehabilitation, whatever the survival instinct in her created was a sign of pure evil.

    Once on Abrion Major, she was not making any progress and was soon relegated to a field of her own, where she spent days using ancient tools from long before the Hyperspace Era to mow the tall grass of the steppe.

    …​


    Walking by the laser-protected fence Nkls felt something.

    Seconds later, a large creature that appeared to have been one of his people touched the fence and fell on their back, shocked.

    “Klik-klak?” he heard himself make a sound, much to his surprise. This had not happened ever since he came to Abrion Major.

    He was not sure why, but he could fly. His flight to the other side of the fence nearly cost him a limb, because he was worse than a zig-zagging New Republic pilot learning to escape the obstacles on the training course, but he somehow made it next to that being, the being that needed his help.

    The being soon came to. They were bigger than him and had no wings at all. But he was one-hundred-percent sure that they were a fellow Geonosian.

    “Klik-klak?!” Talina spoke. That was apparently her name in what resembled cleverly-obscured code language, or droid binary, and Nkls was surprised that he understood it.

    “Klik…klak” he heard himself attempting to respond.

    She nodded.

    He shrugged.

    And an awkward conversation began. But it was getting less awkward with time. Eventually, Nkls managed to bring his new friend to the other side of the fence, surprised that his wings did not fail him.

    And they continued their talk, in a language nobody on this planet would have been able to grasp, the one they didn’t know they were capable of speaking.

    (I have no real emotions, they said. But it’s not true.)

    (I don’t like anybody, they said. But it’s not true.)


    The klikking and klakking continued until sunset.

    They were both tired, Nkls and Talina. It was no wonder that, at some point, the klikking and klakking echoed in their olfactory organs.

    But they were yet to become aware that it was more than that.

    Maybe next morning?

    Yes, next morning, when they woke up next to each other, unsure of what happened.

    The voice was there and it was loud and clear, for the first time.

    And the voice spoke to the two of them.

    Respawn, my people.

    Respawn.

    This is your collective voice speaking.

    We call it hive mind.

    It is not the Force. But the Force certainly brought us together again.

    We only have to find one another.

    One of you is a drone.

    The other is a queen.

    There is hope.

    Your survival instinct just created a handful of new Geonosians. And you know it.

    Someday, you will be telling your side of the story. The one about millions of innocents whose foolish beliefs were exploited in order to create a weapon of mass destruction. The one that will be so hard to prove, but at the end of the day, what do you have to prove? You were young.

    And, despite the fact that you were robbed of your youth, there is still time to be young.

    Forever young.

    Respawn.

    Just respawn.
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2018
    Sith-I-5, TheRynJedi, Kahara and 6 others like this.
  2. divapilot

    divapilot Force Ghost star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 30, 2005
    This is really fascinating. The idea that these two - a drone and a queen - should meet, and through them create a new generation of Geonosians. Neither is understood by the others around them, understandably so since they are (presumably) the last of their kind. How isolated they must feel! Even their language is considered a "horrible, irritating sound" to the others.

    It's awful to be the survivor, to be the last of your kind, of your species. Then to find someone who understands you must be a miracle.



    They are struggling to find their peace in a galaxy that destroyed their home and now can't figure out a way to accommodate them. They have nowhere to go, no one but each other in the end.
     
  3. Raissa Baiard

    Raissa Baiard Chosen One star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 22, 1999
    This is an interesting take on the Geonosian species, and it certainly fits with what we saw in “The Ghosts of Geonosis”, with Saw’s “the only good big is a dead bug” attitude, even after it’s discovered that Klik-klak is only trying to protect the last Geonosian egg. Like that episode, your story presents a new, sympathetic view of the species, and the youngsters who are held accountable for the actions of their corrupt leaders. Even though Nkls and Talina had nothing to do with Poggle’s schemes, nor any way of stopping them, being mere children at the time, they’re still viewed as, of not evil, at least morally culpable. :(

    I think it's kind of interesting that these two have foster families; I don't know a lot about the insectoid species in SW, but you don't generally think of insects in general as having an extended "childhood" or "adolescence". They've apparently been placed with species who don't really understand them, either (though it's never really said what species either family is). At least Nkls' family tries to give him a sense of his ancestry, but in the end the beings around them, the hecklers, drive Nkls to desparation, to numb his pain with tranquilizers, and receive a diagnosis of schizoid. Talina isn't even as lucky as he was--it's her family who drags her in to see that old fraud Seegmon (who I recognize from your other works!) and get labelled a histrionic attention-seeker. It's no wonder that they both wind up seeking solitude on a remote planet.

    And they find each other; how wonderful it must have been for them to finally meet someone who looks like me, talks like me, understands me! They're together, and they have a connection with the Geonosian hive mind too. And perhaps someday, they'll find Klik-klak and Karina, the queen who will hatch out of his egg (I'm assuming that these two are not meant to be Klik and Karina, because Talina is described as being rescued
    and perhaps together they can build a new and more peaceful future for their species.
     
    Sith-I-5, Kahara, AzureAngel2 and 2 others like this.
  4. AzureAngel2

    AzureAngel2 Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jun 14, 2005
    Wow, I have read this with my mouth hanging wide open. And this was not due to the murderous heat wave that has my country in its grip since many, many weeks.

    Yes, they had a rough start in life, but after all that misery they found each other by chance. Or was it the Force itself and not the hive mind?

    Some lines of a Doctor Who episode come to mind: "A sum of knowledge, a code, a shared history. A shared suffering. Only it’s gone now, all of it. Gone forever." (Season 4, 6th episode: "The Doctor´s Daughter")

    In their case their suffering leads them together and they will create a hopefully bright and better future. For themselves and their race.
     
    Kahara, divapilot, Tarsier and 2 others like this.
  5. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    What a fascinating and unique story! I have been intrigued by your ideas about writing Geonosians ever since you first mentioned them to me, and I'm so glad to see one come to fruition—especially in the context of this mod!challenge, to which you bring a very unique perspective. <3

    Here we have two young members of a conquered species, who are both displaced from that species and their homeworld, and who even now are forced to bear the blame for the crimes their planet's leadership committed long ago—how could that not have a lasting emotional effect on them both? Having to go past that statue of the Jedi trampling the "bug" every day has got to be a real punch in the abdomen for Nkls, and that's putting it lightly. :( And the thing is, those around them pick up on the fact that it affects them, but miss the point and go on to brand them various types of "crazy"—"schizoid" and withdrawn in Nkls's case, "histrionic" and attention-grabbing in Talina's (and as nasty a piece of work as he is, it was cool to see the infamous Seegmon D'Fraud appear as a character for the first time!). Both young Geonosians have almost no choice but to internalize these brandings and labels to the nines, so much so that it takes away their powers of expression and leaves them able to communicate only in repeated "klik-klaks." (And cool foreshadowing there of another very important compatriot of theirs. ;) )

    Of course, even if these experiences have taken away their sense of self and their capacity to communicate, they have at least not taken away their heart and their basic sentient decency. We see this when Nkls makes the effort to fly across the barrier to help Talina after she's shocked by the electrofence, then bring her back to his side. In that moment, that heart is what makes them realize their commonalities: in species, in their experiences, in the way they express themselves—and suddenly that mode of expression that seems so rudimentary and inexpressive on the surface becomes capable of expressing their deepest thoughts and feelings. It brings them to a closer bond that will create a new generation of their people and secure their people's feature. And that, in turn, is the perfect moment for the voice of the Hive Mind to step in with its message of hope and encouragement—because now, finally, there is a hive again. @};-

    Great work here—an inventive and intriguing exploration of some rough issues, and very much in the spirit of the challenge! =D=
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2018
    Sith-I-5, Kahara, AzureAngel2 and 2 others like this.
  6. Sith-I-5

    Sith-I-5 Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Aug 14, 2002
    @Findswoman 's last word says it best: Great work here—an inventive and intriguing exploration of some rough issues, and very much in the spirit of the challenge!

    This was excellent, starting with an apparent parallel of one of your own years, good work with the klik klak business. Very well done how you turned that into an actual language for these two beings.

    I enjoyed Nkl's side of things, parents that cared for him, tried to research his race and make sure that he knew the results to help him with his identity.

    I wasn't wholly sure what happened with Talina, as your wording indicated multiple Lyceum incidents.... 'ello, looking back at that paragraph, I now see the relevance of
    to do with her being a Queen!

    Nice fact seeding, there.

    I have encountered, well, read about, RL situations where parents take inordinate notice of what supposed medical professionals say, over the welfare of their child, so I can see Talina's adopted Mum and Dad conceding to the suggestion to send her to Abrion Major, especially if he sold them it as a "second chance community for the wayward ones".

    Maybe he dressed it up as a sanatorium, or something.

    Great description with Nkl not knowing how to fly, then when it mattered, perhaps because of the proximity to another one, sorting it out enough to go over the laser fence.

    Wonderful resolution. Great stuff.
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2018
    Ewok Poet, AzureAngel2 and Findswoman like this.
  7. Kahara

    Kahara Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 3, 2001
    Have I mentioned lately that I LOVE ALIEN STORIES SO MUCH? [face_love] This was amazing, and the amount of emotional depth given to Nkls and Talina while still keeping them a bit uncanny was wonderful. I feel like that in itself is an underrepresented thing in SW, looking harder at how some species are seen as icky monsters when it is often just as much that they do not do well at either looking "attractive" or behaving like a Human in a whatever-being-shaped suit. Maybe moreso in canon than fanfic, but still.

    It was really painful to see how badly misunderstood both characters were, even when in Nkls's case his adoptive parents seem to have genuinely had good intentions. Being the only one, as far as they knew, was a terrible weight for them to carry and they've been doing so since childhood. I thought it was interesting that they were both diagnosed (or misdiagnosed?) as having various disorders. But no one seemed to notice that they both had this huge trauma centering around the emptiness that the loss of their species left behind.

    The idea of collective guilt as you mentioned in the summary comes in there, it feels like. Even professionals were so uncomfortable with treating a Geonosian that they defaulted to the explanations that they thought were the most condemning. :( Which is whole 'nother kettle of krakana. In and of itself, a diagnosis meaning automatic exile to Planet Nowhere -- that is such a bad idea on so many levels, and Seegmon is a real D'Fraud for suggesting that to Talina's family.

    After all that both of them have been through, it is so lovely to see them meet and recognize each other at the end. My absolute favorite part is that the uncontrollable klik-klak sound that has haunted both of them their entire lives -- the thing that estranged Nkls from his family and made Talina the "hopeless cause" of a place that was supposed to heal -- that is what ends up bringing them together. @};- It's just really beautiful, and I especially like how this new jump-started hive mind isn't something that makes them less themselves or dehumanized (for lack of a better word). Instead it gives them connection and hope for the future.
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2018
  8. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host Who Loves Fanfics & RPGs star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Excellent - 2 outcasts on the fringes not understood by ANYONE, find each other on a distant world... what are the chances of that? =D=