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Saga - ST "Sleeping Giants" | Fic-Gift for Ewok Poet | Finn & Rose & Temiri Blagg, Post-ST, Short Story

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by Mira_Jade , Jan 14, 2019.

  1. Mira_Jade

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

    Registered:
    Jun 29, 2004
    Title: "Sleeping Giants"
    Author: Mira_Jade

    Genre
    : Action/Adventure, Drama
    Rating: PG
    Time Frame: Post-ST, ~39 ABY
    Characters: Finn, Rose Tico, Temiri Blagg, OCs

    Summary: Sometimes, Finn thought that Luke Skywalker's decision to let the Jedi die simply meant that it was a whole lot easier than the alternative: namely, finding a reclusive Force-sensitive being on the planet of Nidus that didn’t want to be found. Seriously, they were trying to do a good thing here; he’d appreciate it if the Force would do something useful for a change and actually help them along with their mission. Please and thank-you.

    Only, the Force simply didn’t work that way. It was, he was slowly starting to understand, going to be a life long pursuit to understand just how the Force did work, and what exactly that meant for him.


    Notes: Alrighty, here we are! First of all, I have to apologize for not having this up before the deadline. I picked up this request last minute, and DRL refused to let me make progress as fast as I would have liked. :oops: But I also have to thank you, @Ewok Poet! I've only ever written a few drabbles for the ST, so this prompt was all sorts of interesting to delve into and flesh out. No matter that the ST isn't my preferred cup of tea, I do adore the new trio and Finn especially, so this story turned into quite the character study! My muse was so smitten that this actually turned into a short story, because apparently I'm incapable of writing vignettes. So, there will be about five parts total if all goes according to plan.

    The only other thing I have to mention is that I slightly disobeyed the spirit of your request, if not the actual word for word phrasing. There are no actual Jedi in this story - but the plot does deal with a Force-sensitive Finn, and Rey's efforts to rebuild the Jedi Order post-ST. I hope you can forgive me and enjoy the story regardless. I wasn't quite sure how to work this plot otherwise! [face_blush] [face_whistling]

    Now, that said, thank you for giving me this wonderful idea to work with. I hope that you enjoy reading this tale as much as I enjoyed writing it! :D [face_love] [:D]


    Disclaimer: Nothing is mine, but for the words. :)







    The Request:

    I would like a story in Saga-ST with:

    1. A strange planet with weird residents
    2. A Genius Loci messing with non-Jedi
    3. A bizarre surprise that makes no sense

    I don’t want any actual Jedi in the story.
    I don't want fluff/mush.

    Characters: Finn, Rose, the broom boy - feel free to add or invent more if you need them.







    “Sleeping Giants”
    by Mira_Jade


    I.

    The planet Nidus was cold and dark and damp; miserable, in every way.

    No, really it was.

    They’d hardly been planetside for more than a standard hour, but clammy moisture already dampened his brow and slicked across the back of his neck, which didn't at all help with the chill currently wracking his limbs. His sodden jacket hung straight and heavy from his shoulders, slapping his wet shirt against his ribs while his pants stuck to his thighs and chaffed his skin as he walked. His waterlogged boots made a gross squelching sound with every step, so much so that he didn’t even want to think about the condition of his socks; that was just too gross for words. The entire forest floor seemed spongy with more than just the usual carpet of moss and other such accumulated leaf rot and natural debris. Instead, it was almost as if the entire planet was nothing more than a floating sphere of gelatinous mush, just barely held together by the massive network of roots from the towering, straight trunked trees surrounding them. The sensory information his body was trying to process was contradictory, with the dense, sturdy dependability of the woodland fighting against the instability of the ground underfoot. Distantly, for the first time in a long time, Finn wished for his armor back. Regulated climate controls were the best, even if his helmet always managed to feel too warm and stuffy about his face, no matter how low he programmed the temperature settings. But he was having a hard time remembering his former discomfort as he smacked yet another flying insect that seemed to think that his face was a delicious treat just waiting to be sampled. Which, you know, it wasn’t. He officially wanted off the menu; thanks for the compliment, but no thanks.

    In short, Finn was officially done with Nidus. He was ready to chalk this one up as a loss and tell Rey: sorry, so sorry, but there’s no potential Jedi here; nope, not a single one. Now, what do you have for us next?

    Finn may have been ready to call it quits, but he had the sneaking suspicion that Rose wasn’t quite ready to second his totally rational and completely justifiable desire to turn around and go back to the ship. Sure enough, when he darted a glance over his shoulder she was staring straight ahead with her brow furrowed and her mouth pursed in that determined moue that Finn knew meant business. She wouldn’t skirt from their path unless their path all but threw her away, and maybe not even then. In a battle of wills between Rose Tico and the Universe Finn knew who he’d bet his credits on, and it wasn't the Universe.

    Maybe, Finn irritably acknowledged on the heels of that last thought, there was some logic behind Rey suggesting they go to Nidus together. His friend was just the funniest sometimes, wasn't she?

    The only one of their group who looked like he was even slightly enjoying himself was Bragg. The lanky teenager had been all wide eyes and wonder since joining their ever growing family of freedom fighters as Rey’s first recruited Jedi hopeful. Well, almost the first, true – but Finn still had difficulties thinking of himself as the very first. If the kid was following him in hopes of learning the ways of the Force, did that make Temiri his apprentice – his Padawan, in Jedi-speak? How was that even supposed to work when he still had no idea what he was doing himself? Even now, a full year later, he still could barely move things with his mind; he could do only a scant fraction of the stunning acrobats Rey was capable of with a lightsaber in hand; and, mind tricks? Forget it. He just had an overwhelming sense of the universe and his place within it that, apparently, was the Force and his connection to it. Honestly, it was still a novelty to understand the something that was different about himself, the something that was more, and give it a name. He still couldn’t completely grasp the changes that had befallen his life since tumbling down to Jakku behind Poe, no matter how much time had passed; it was too much.

    “Why are there white splotches on the trees?” Temiri was asking when Finn drew himself back from his brooding (he wasn’t pouting, thank you very much, Rose) to listen to his companions’ conversation. He blinked, and tried to focus on what they were saying.

    “I don’t know,” Rose answered patiently, just the same as she had with his last dozen questions. The galaxy was still brand new and wonderous with opportunity for Temiri in a way that it hadn’t been possible on Cantonica. Finn understood that feeling better than most, honest he did – he’d put Poe right where Rose was more than a few times in those early days after he traded his number for his name. He'd wanted to know everything. “Alien worlds are just that sometimes: alien.”

    “Gotcha, I understand,” Temiri processed and accepted her answer, not missing a beat. “Is that why the lighting is different too?”

    “Nidus orbits a blue sun,” Rose didn't at all mind explaining. Distantly, Finn could admit that he was jealous, in an abstract way. He never got that gentle tone of voice from his friend – instead, she seemed to enjoy rolling her eyes and punching his arm whenever she was annoyed with him a bit too much. “The light, since the sun is blue, is also blue.”

    “Oh, that makes sense. I think I like it,” Temiri proclaimed after a moment’s thought. “It’s different that what I'm used to.”

    Different, it most certainly was, Finn could agree – though not with as much ease as Temiri. The cobalt tinted sunlight that did manage to make its way down through the murk and the gloom gave everything around them an unreal sort of hazy glow. The white splotches on the trees seemed to shimmer and morph before their eyes, made all the brighter by the off blue lighting. Their surroundings didn’t quite look real, almost, if he had to put the feeling into words.

    Finn narrowed his eyes at the light as it shimmered, not feeling nearly at ease as Temiri was with the unknown. No matter that he was trying to ignore his misgivings, he couldn’t help but shake the ominous suspicion that there was someone – or rather something, his senses whispered – out there watching them. There were eyes in the mist, and he wasn’t sure if the gaze was a friendly one. (Actually, he was pretty sure it most definitely wasn’t.) This planet gave him the creeps, and he didn’t at all care for his feelings of foreboding, not in the slightest. He’d learned to trust his instincts; his intuition was what had kept him alive, what had kept him himself for so long. When his gut spoke, he listened.

    (“See – that, that right there,” Rey’s smile was like sunlight peeking out from behind the clouds after a storm to say. “That’s the Force! You can already feel it; you could all this time, even if you couldn’t understand it – it was the same for me.”

    “No, it’s called having
    instincts,” Finn had retorted. No matter what the smirking Force ghost – or whatever Luke Skywalker wanted to call himself now – standing behind Rey wanted to say, Finn knew who and what he was. And he most certainly knew what he wasn’t. He wasn’t a Jedi; that was that, case closed, end of story. “Everyone has feelings like those.”

    “Yes, they do,” Rey’s voice was soft in its certainty. Usually, Finn liked it when he could make her eyes glitter like that – like she wasn’t quite carrying the weight of the galaxy on her shoulders, just because he was her friend. But, this time, her fond expression only caused a sinking feeling to grow in the pit of his stomach. “But not like yours – not like mine. The Force is speaking to you, and I think it has for a very long time. It’s just been waiting for you to listen back.”)


    Remembering her words, Finn swatted yet another bug with a grimace. Distracted, he was almost surprised when he slapped the insect against his cheek and successfully killed the nuisance. Apparently, the insects were sticky when crushed. Wonderful; of course they were. He rolled his eyes as he drew his hand away from his cheek, trying his best to flick his fingers to do away with the long strand of glittering goo that pulled away from his skin. Gross, that was so gross.

    But, when he looked up and peered through the straight trunks of the trees again he saw -

    “ - hey guys, I think I see what the holocron was talking about,” Finn squinted to see. Yes, finally. “Up straight ahead – that marking on the tree. Do you see it too?”

    Following their defeat of the First Order, Rey hadn’t been able to go about rebuilding the Jedi as quickly as she first may have wanted. The new New Republic was too weak, just the same as it had been following the defeat of the Empire, and they didn’t want to repeat the same mistakes of the past that had allowed tyrants to rise up again so quickly after they’d last been felled. There was peace to secure and stability that still needed to be sought before she could begin fulfilling her self-assigned mandate of restoring the Jedi Order to its former glory. Nothing solid or long lasting could be built without a strong foundation, without equilibrium first being established. No matter the wisdom there was to be found in waiting, he’d known how the forced idleness had chaffed at Rey while she directed her attentions elsewhere.

    But now, with some sort of galactic democracy finally set in place again through the pains of the last few years and the Republic tenuously set to prosper, Rey was able to start her search for those Force-sensitive beings out there who wanted to train and develop their powers. She was free to follow her course, and she was determined to do so to the best of her abilities. The same as with Rose, Finn almost pitied the forces of the Universe that would try to stand in her way.

    (“Master Skywalker was wrong – ending the Jedi wasn’t his decision to make, and he was arrogant to even begin to think that it was his right to choose in the extreme. The Force resides in everyone; it’s everywhere, and in everything. No matter that there will always be those who choose to indulge the Dark over the Light, we shouldn’t take away the ability for the many to find balance within themselves for fear of the few who would abuse their gifts. I will not let the legacy of the Jedi die out for the sake of one fallen student; I will not let his legacy wink out and die like that. I won’t.”)

    And of course Finn would follow where Rey led; he was capable of – he wanted to do – nothing else. Somehow, her crusade had become his own – too much his own, even, in a way that still made his nose crinkle when he thought about it for too long. But he was adjusting, slowly but surely. Or, at the very least, he was beginning to find some semblance of acceptance for the idea. There was little else he could do.

    Rey’s search had started with the old Jedi temples that they’d known about, and they’d visited Lothal, Illum, and Dantooine in quick succession. Most of the sacred places of the Jedi had gone dormant with the rise of the Dark side and the dimming of the Light, and the more accessible spaces like the ancient enclave on Dantooine had shown signs of destruction from heavy orbital batteries – recent ones, at that. More disturbingly, lightsaber scorches had scoured the physical markers that had remained – it seemed like Kylo Ren had tried to destroy everything he couldn’t access with the Light side of the Force by petulantly battering at the walls themselves when he was thwarted. No matter how the other man may have spent his final moments, Finn still shuddered, glad that his almost manic brand of evil was gone from the galaxy. His fall was disquieting in its senselessness; so many had lost so much for the error of his ways. Finn still couldn’t accept the idea of Ben Solo as Rey could, not after what he and his indoctrinated brothers and sisters – after what the galaxy – had lived through under the First Order’s regime. Especially after knowing the late Han Solo for a time, and General Organa now . . . after knowing the spirit of Luke Skywalker in what small way he could, he understood his fall even less. Instead, he was trying to step in and be what he could in the place Kylo Ren had left behind; these good people deserved nothing less.

    But that wasn’t something he was going to consider any further when the shadows had eyes here on Nidus. Disquietingly, he felt like his thoughts were feeding the mists around them, and he wouldn't give whatever was out there anything more of himself.

    From the ice temple on Illum, at least, Finn had been resigned when a kyber crystal had chosen him and refused to let him leave it behind – no matter how delighted Rey had been with the bond he'd unwittingly forged. He still had yet to build his own lightsaber from the crystal; he couldn’t even begin to explain why he was so hesitant. His reluctance to accept his new reality didn’t make any sense when he made the conscious effort to understand it himself. But, inside the Lothal temple – the moody deathtrap that place was, once again proving that the Force had a less than funny sense of humor – they’d found a holocron in one of the many hidden chambers, detailing the location of dozens of satellite temples and enclaves from the oldest eras of the Jedi Order. The holocron had been a historian’s treasure trove of waiting wisdom, and Rey was often immersed in gleaning what she could of its knowledge with every chance she got. That holocron had then led them here, to Nidus.

    Their working theory was that the Jedi had lived on these planets before, as a result these worlds were concentrated wellsprings of power in the Force. Hopefully, descendants from the time before the stigmas against attachment would perhaps bear higher midichlorian counts than the average populace of the galaxy. Perhaps, residents of those planets would be more inclined towards Force-sensitivity, just for the plethora of power that dwelled in their homeworlds. It was a thin theory to go on – Finn knew that they were grasping for a tether line in a hurricane, so to speak, but it was the best idea they had, and they were running with it.

    So, divvying up the list to divide and conquer, Finn and Rose had gotten Nidus next to search. Rey, meanwhile, had taken Poe and BB-8 to investigate an abandoned temple on a planet called Dorin. He hoped that they were having a better time of it than they were, because this place was cold and miserable and his socks were wet and he really hoped that these bugs weren’t poisonous. Did it look like his face was swelling? Rose hadn’t said anything, at least, so there was a small comfort to be found in that. Kinda.

    “Really, where? I don’t see anything,” Rose squinted, looking down at the datapad in her hands and then up again where Finn had gestured. The little holographic display shimmered, almost swallowed in the dull blue mist surrounding them, but he knew the symbol by heart now. It was easy to find.

    “I think I see it too,” Temiri said, darting forward before Finn could reach out and stop him. “Right there, right? That symbol?”

    Sure enough, what looked like – yet another – tree actually was not a tree in the slightest. Instead, it was a tree carved of stone, cleverly designed to blend into the forest and etched with the ancient symbol of the Jedi Order. Finn reached up and brushed his hand across the insignia, feeling as if static sparked over his fingertips for doing so.

    But still Rose stared. “Nope,” she said, tilting her head quizzically. “Still nothing.”

    “It must be a Jedi thing,” Temiri beamed to state. Again, Finn wondered at the kid. It was just so easy for him, wasn’t it? “You just can’t see it like we can.”

    “Yeah,” Finn found his voice tight to second. “It’s a Jedi thing.”

    Oh, goody.

    But, that meant that they were very close to finding what they’d come here for. They could then take a quick look around the temple and leave. He didn’t think that they were going to stumble across any Jedi hopefuls on this planet, no matter what Rey would have liked. They hadn’t even come across anything remotely sentient, and his boots were feeling more and more squishy by the second. He was ready to call this one and move on.

    They passed that first marker, and it wasn’t long before they found another and another. There was an invisible path in the forest, showing the knowing searcher home like lightways offering a safe path through a darkened harbor. It was a comparison that Finn didn’t much care for, not in the slightest, and so he pushed it out of mind. Irritably, he tried to wring his jacket free of moisture as he walked, but his efforts were futile.

    It wasn’t long before the monotony of the trees was interrupted by a stone wall appearing in the path before them – definitely a building made by sentient hands. Thanks to the thick gloom of the mists, he couldn’t even begin to see the full scope of the temple. There was only the grey wall before them stretching off to his right and his left and then up as far as his eye could see, which, admittedly, wasn’t very far given the gloom. The stone was old and weathered, and marked with the same white globs of not-color, just the same as the trees. The white blotches shone underneath the dull blue sunlight, casting an almost unreal glow, just the same as the rest of the woods. Finn fought a shiver for the sight, feeling as a prickling sensation danced between his shoulder-blades.

    And still Rose furrowed her brow. “You know, I still can’t see it.”

    “Really?”

    “Yeah,” her mouth tucked down at the edges to say. “But I think I can feel it.” She reached out her hands to place them on the wall, and her fingertips turned white with the pressure she exerted. “Something is here, obviously – I just can’t see it with my eyes.”

    “Well, if there’s an illusion hiding it, hopefully it will break once we’re inside,” Finn said carefully. The temple on Lothal had been a nasty one – and it definitely didn’t take kindly to those who weren’t Force-sensitive, as Poe had learned the hard way. Hopefully this one would be different, or else -

    “ - maybe this part of our journey just isn’t meant for me,” Rose said softly.

    Finn scoffed at that. “The Force has terrible taste then, if that's the case,” he turned up his nose to say.

    Rose shrugged. “The Force has lost so much; of course it has to be leery to protect the little that it has left,” her hands brushed down the side of the wall, her touch whisper soft. “I believe in the Force, and I know its within me – it doesn’t matter that I can’t reach out and touch it in return as you can. But that’s okay,” her smile, when she gave it, dimpled the curve of her cheeks. “I’ll be here waiting for you guys when you come out.”

    Finn frowned for that, still wary. She really expected them to go inside this thing? “I don’t even know if there’s a way in,” he wasn’t too hopeful. Actually, he was kinda feeling the exact opposite. “Maybe it would just be better if - ”

    “Finn! Over here!” He heard Temiri’s voice exclaim, and he whipped around, feeling his heart leap in his throat when he realized that he couldn’t immediately see the kid. He’d only turned away for one second, he inwardly grumbled, and if he lost Rey’s only potential Jedi they'd found so far, she’d never let him live it down or trust him again to -

    - but Temiri was unharmed. Instead, Finn could just see his shoulders and hands peak out of what looked to be a shadowy chasm in the wall. He could instantly think of a hundred different reasons not to enter strange dark places on strange dark worlds, but apparently the kid didn’t have a lick his commonsense. He was going to have to work on that if Temiri was really going to be his student-apprentice-padawan or whatever. Seriously.

    Rose’s eyes, meanwhile, boggled. “Temiri!” she exclaimed, darting forward. “I can’t see all of you!”

    Huh . . . Finn tried to imagine that, and grimaced. Not exactly a comforting sight on an already creepy cold dark world where there may or may not have been something watching them from the mists.

    “You can't? How wizard!” Temiri’s eyes brightened, and he darted wholly into the chasm in the wall, letting the shadows swallow him completely.

    “Temiri!” Finn exclaimed, reaching into the gloom after him. “Don’t you dare - ”

    “ - don’t worry, I’m okay!” Definitely not giving him much reason not to worry, Temiri stuck his hat out and waved. “Can you see that?”

    “Yeah, we can see you,” Finn rolled his eyes and reached forward to grab the thin wrist holding out the hat. He tugged, and Temiri stumbled back out of the strange entrance to the temple, for which Finn was grateful.

    “Now, new rule: don’t ever dart into dark scary places alone, not if - ”

    “ - but we’re going in there, aren’t we?” Temiri’s eyes widened to say. “That’s what we’re here for, right?”

    “No, we’re not - ”

    “Yes, of course you are - ”


    But both Finn and Rose snapped their mouths shut at the exact same time and turned to stare at each other. “What do you mean you’re not going in?” for all that Rose was a good deal shorter than him and about as intimidating to look at as a porg, she propped her hands on her hips and stared up at him to scowl. He winced; usually that scowl meant bad things for him. Reflexively, he stepped back out of her striking range.

    “I mean,” Finn said patiently, “that we don't know what's in there.” Or out here, he thought to himself. “It could be dangerous - ”

    “ - and we’ve lived our lives so carefully up to this point, haven’t we?” Rose retorted. “The entire reason we’re even here today is because the risks we took paid off. And you have one of the biggest rewards imaginable awaiting you, Finn! Think about it: you’re helping rebuild the Jedi Order. Has that really sank in for you yet? Do you realize just how massive a responsibility that is? It something that means so much for so many – not just for those who can touch the Force, but for everyone who benefits from having the Jedi in the galaxy. And you get to be a part of it. That . . . that honor is amazing.”

    As always, Rose had a way of speaking about the bigger picture that humbled him. She reminded him of General Organa in a way, though Leia’s own hope was touched with a bit more world-weary realism in her later years. Finn, for his part, just knew that he wanted to do his best to protect and support those around him. He was conditioned to be a part of a unit, and no matter how he'd thrown off the yoke of his programing in so many other ways he still thrived as such. Sometimes, it was difficult for him to look past his immediate surroundings to see the galaxy as Rose did - as Rey did.

    But . . . going into the unknown was what Rey would want him to do, wasn't it? This was part of his mission objective, even if he had a bad feeling - a very bad feeling - about whatever it was they were going to find inside.

    “Rose,” he sighed her name, not knowing where to begin.

    “I’m right and you know it, is that what you want to say?” Rose cheekily finished for him. “Just like I always am.”

    “Well,” he still had too much pride to agree with her completely, “not always.”

    “Uh huh, right.” Apparently, he wasn’t convincing enough. She smiled, and, grudgingly, he smiled back.

    “I was just going to say that you should be careful while we’re gone,” Finn said instead, his voice sobering. “There’s something out here, and I don’t like it.”

    Which was a massive understatement, really, but, what else was he going to say?

    Solemnly, Rose nodded. “I know,” she said quietly. “I may not have the Force, but I know when I’m being followed.” She let her hand fall to the blaster strapped to her side. “But don’t worry, I can take care of myself.”

    “Oh, I wasn’t worried,” he attempted a nonchalance he didn’t exactly feel. Not entirely. “I was more worried about what would happen if we needed to call for help and you were otherwise occupied with . . . whatever's in the mists.”

    Which, let’s be honest, he could more likely see happening.

    “Don’t worry,” Rose puffed up to promise, “I can take care of all of us. Now, get in there and see what you can find. The sooner you do,” for the first, she looked the slightest bit uncomfortable as she crossed her arms over her chest, warming herself against the chill in the air, “the sooner we can get off of this miserable rock.”

    “I second you there,” Finn enthused. He shook his head in vigorous agreement. “The next place Rey sends us better have a beach.”

    “With fruity little drinks we can drink underneath some sort of tropical tree!”

    “Oh, the fruitiest of drinks, you better believe it!” Finn seconded. “Alrighty, let’s get through this and then we are so there.”

    “So there,” Rose beamed to agree.

    But, first . . . he turned, and stared at the foreboding cast of the wall. “Alright then,” his jaw tightened to say. “Wish us luck.”

    “May the Force be with you,” Rose said instead, her voice following him as Finn walked over to where Temiri was impatiently waiting by the hidden entrance in the wall. The kid, at least, looked all but eager to enter the temple and see what secrets it was hiding inside. Firmly, he steeled his resolve.

    “Yeah,” Finn swallowed to say as he peered into the shadows, “I think we’re going to need it.”



    ~MJ @};-
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2019
    Kahara and Ewok Poet like this.
  2. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

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

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Superb descriptions of the weird landscape and the mystery! =D=
     
    Ewok Poet likes this.
  3. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014
    Just woke up. First reaction: AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!