Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by rktho, Jan 10, 2022.
WEEK #5 PROMPT
Title: Even Without The Ray Shield, You're Still Imprisoned (Kessel Run Challenge Week 5 prompt)
Timeline: During Star Wars: The Clone Wars S4E4: Shadow Warrior
Characters: General Grievous, Ronderu lij Kummar
Summary: Inside the mind of General Grievous as he ruminates on his capture at the hands of unlikely foes.
“All things considered, this was an interesting way to wind up in prison.”
Qymaen’s claws itched to squeeze his temples in hopes of alleviating his throbbing headache, but he knew it would be pointless even if he weren’t in binders. “Interesting is not how I would put it,” he groaned aloud in Basic.
“I think you underestimated those fish-men,” Ronderu observed. “They might not have brains, but they’ve sure got guts.”
“Bah!” Qymaen swatted the air indignantly. Or tried to. The blue plasma bubbles encasing his hands and head were joined by short metal connectors. He ended up jerking his head along with his elbow and nearly toppling sideways. “That was not bravery! Where do these fools get the gall to—”
“Yousa waken, General?” His guard turned to look into Qymaen’s cell. “Gibbit up, Grievous. Yousa never escapen here. Yousa under oursen power.”
“I am under no one’s power!” Qymaen roared, springing to his feet and nearly toppling forward from the extra weight of the bubble around his head. “I will break free of these ridiculous restraints and kill you all!”
“Forget it, Sheelal. There’s nothing you can do right now.”
Qymaen snarled. “I refuse to submit to these primitive fools!”
“Yousa have no choice in da matter,” replied the guard, folding his lanky, speckled arms. “Yousa be taken to da Republic to be tried for your crimes, and den de war will be over. My suggest you sit down.”
Qymaen growled deep in what was left of his throat. “Your puny victory means nothing. Count Dooku will arrange for my release.”
“My no tink daresa good chance o’ dat,” the guard smirked. “Wit’out yousa, de clanka army haven no bombad leader. Da Republic never gibben yousa up.”
Qymaen growled one last time at the Gungan guard. He returned to the bench to brood. His chest still felt funny from having an electropole jammed through it. Stupid sensors were on the fritz.
“Bet you regret that, sometimes,” Ronderu observed quietly.
Qymaen gritted what was left of his teeth. “Never.”
“You’re a terrible liar, Sheelal.”
“That’s not my name,” Qymaen growled in Kaleesh.
“Whosa yousa talken to?” asked the guard, furrowing his brow ridges.
“I said nothing!” Qymaen barked, almost yanking himself forward as he tried to lash out with his hand again. Why did they have to truss him up in such a ridiculous position?
The guard turned around again. “They’ve got spirit,” Ronderu remarked. “They’re proud warriors, like the Kaleesh. You’ve had less worthy opponents.”
“Ha!” Qymaen laughed, in his head this time so the guard wouldn’t overhear. “If they hadn’t shut down my army…”
“They’re clever,” said Ronderu. Then she added wryly, “Reminds me of someone I used to know.”
Qymaen’s head throbbed still beneath the duranium plating. He’d never been more humiliated. Poked and jabbed with the Gungans’ primitive electropoles, dragged off like a mumuu in a net. What sort of warrior was he?
“A cocky one,” Ronderu replied. “Also arrogant, conceited, hubristic, and, um, let me think…”
“This isn’t helping.”
“What do you want me to say?” Ronderu demanded. “You’re the one who chose to replace your body parts with fancy gadgets. You’re the one who traded an army of loyal soldiers for unthinking hunks of dumb metal. What happened to you?”
“You know what happened to me,” Qymaen replied bitterly.
Another Gungan guard came to see the great General Grievous bound and jailed. “Yousa gonna pay for all da Gungans you murdered, Grievous,” the guard sneered.
“And you will pay for your insolence,” Qymaen snarled.
“General Tarpals gibben his life to bring yousa to justice,” said the other guard. “Yousa bringen no more fear and terror to da galaxy.”
“I’ve heard that before,” Qymaen sneered. “Your general died a fool.”
“Yousa take dat back!” the Gungan yelled, lunging toward the plasma barrier as he brandished his electropole. His comrade restrained him, glaring at Qymaen.
Inwardly, Qymaen smirked. Such thin skin.
“That general had something you don’t,” said Ronderu. “Honor.”
Qymaen felt a twinge of annoyance. “I have no need for honor. I only need revenge.”
“And once you’ve got it, what then?” Ronderu challenged.
“Then I will have revenge.”
“Just have it?” Ronderu replied sardonically. “As a trophy? As a treasure? Something to put on your wall or wear around your neck? How does one wear revenge around one’s neck?”
“I wear the Jedi’s lightsabers as my trophies.”
“So it’s about lightsabers.”
“Gah!” Qymaen roared aloud, once again jerking his head from side to side with his passionate gesticulations.
“Shake all you want, General,” said the first guard. “Yousa won’t be wrigglen outta dose-a bonds.”
“Silence, fool!” Qymaen bellowed.
“Says the great commander who went all in on soldiers that could be turned off by the flip of a switch,” said Ronderu archly. “Not your most strategically wise decision, Sheelal.”
“Stop calling me that.”
“Why? Because it reminds you of the past you’re running away from?” Ronderu shot back. “Or because you’d rather define yourself by your desire to dominate the universe?”
“You sound like a Jedi,” Qymaen replied with disgust. “You know nothing of what I’ve become. You’re dead.”
“Maybe so,” said Ronderu as Qymaen stared into space, “but here you are, pretending I live inside your head.”
“You are not real. You do not exist.”
“Of course not,” said Ronderu as her voice faded from Qymaen’s mind, to be replaced by his own. “She’s only a daydream, and unlike real dreams, the only thing a daydream can tell you is what you already know yourself.”
The informal epilogue to this piece is of course that General Grievous is released, the war does not end, and he learns absolutely nothing from this brief period of introspection.
Grievous and Gungans and what's inside him. Great response
Thank you! I think it was rather unconventional direction to take the prompt. I'm glad it paid off!
This was awesome! Poor Grevious, his love is only a figment of his imagination.
An unfortunate side effect of one's love having been dead for decades, tragically. Glad you enjoyed it!
OHO, LOVE THE TWIST! Definitely an unexpected and creative approach to ALL elements of this many-sided and difficult prompt—but such a perfect fit for Qymaen and Ronderu. I love how the “now” of the story is so ambiguous and the true situation—that this is actually another one of those Sheelal-type “dreamer” daydreams, as much as Grievous denies it—unfurls itself so gradually over the story, dropping hints along the way as to what’s really up. And that final sentence packs such a huge punch—precisely because it’s so true, and because there was a time no one would have known that better than Mr. Qymaen “The Dreamer” jai Sheelal! Great job once again—I’ve really been enjoying getting to know Qymonderu through your entries in this challenge!
Thank you so much! Ever since I saw Inonibird's interpretation of the moment Sheelal became Grievous, I've been fascinated by Grievous retaining the name Qymaen— and the name losing more and more relevance as everyone around him defaulted to addressing him by the Basic translation of his chosen title, Grievous. And yet as long as he retains that private element of his past, there remains a connection to it he cannot sever. Perhaps he has lost sight of why he took the name Grievous; then again, perhaps not. Perhaps he still misses Ronderu greatly and imagines she's beside him, as she always has been. But he may not like what she has to say about what he's become, whether the voice is the real Ronderu or his own. I also appreciated the opportunity to highlight what I believe was the intended reading from the episode I took inspiration from— not that Grievous is so weak that mere Gungans can defeat him, but that Grievous is so hubristic that he wildly underestimates the Gungans as capable warriors rather than bumbling oafs (much like the audience, who seem to have missed that lesson the first time around in The Phantom Menace.) All this to say, I think the prompt was just complex enough to wring something like this out, so I'm glad it inspired me to write something it may not have occurred to me to explore otherwise.