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Saga Before the Saga Swan Songs

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by Mistress_Renata, Feb 19, 2018.

  1. Mistress_Renata

    Mistress_Renata Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Sep 9, 2000
    Title: Swan Songs
    Co-Authors: Team Pentasweet (those who wish to participate, anyway)
    Timeframe: From the Old Republic to the Battle of Endor
    Genre: Action, Romance
    Canonicity: Legends/NuCanon moshup
    Type: series of vignettes & one shots
    Characters: Mostly OCs, but who knows?
    Summary: Mistress_Renata created the Swan of Selonia for her story Mercy Flight. There is a lot of fanon untold and a few people who wanted to contribute to her rich history, and so, as part of the 2018 FF Word Challenge Olympics, Team Pentasweet was invited to come up with viggies. Here are some.

    * * *
    Awakenings by Mistress_Renata

    FROM THE FILES OF KHALDU STRABS, CHIEF ARCHIVIST/HISTORIAN OF SWAN OF SELONIA TRUST, LLC

    Entry 1, 587C.28/B14/F2
    Corellia, the outskirts of Garradhton, 7 BBY

    Mistral Jaiju walked up the pathway towards the house with many misgivings. Her uncle, Leoval e Solo has asked her to visit him, and one did not turn down such an invitation. She wondered what was on his mind, what with all the political upheaval on Corellia. He generally stayed out of such things; his family had officially left politics over one hundred years ago, and yet… the Solo family and their opinions still held a great deal of weight on the homeworld. She gnawed her lower lip. Did he know about her meetings with Garm bel Iblis?

    The house was not particularly large, but it was comfortable, built along traditional lines, with large windows and several outbuildings. The old stone, quarried from the cliffs along Bluestone Bay, was mellow in the morning sun, and the flowers were vivid in the beds nearby. She went to the great doors, and used the ancient doorknocker. A protocol droid appeared. It focused its photoreceptors on her.

    “Good morning,” she said. “My uncle asked to see me?”

    “Yes, Countess, of course.” The droid ushered her inside. “He is in the lower East Gardens, tending to his bees. Would you like to wait in the morning room, while I let him know you are here?”

    “I’ll go to him myself, but please let him know I’m coming.” She nodded to the droid, and went down the corridor into the broad reception room, and out the double doors on to the terrace. The gardens were extensive, and she walked down several levels of terraces, admiring them. Early spring was over, and they were at their best now. The fountains hadn’t been turned on, of course, that would happen for company or grand parties. Sometimes, in the heat of summer, they would be turned on, in hopes that the mist would cool those nearby.

    Her uncle was exactly where the droid had said, bending over one of the conical skeps that housed the busy insects. Mistral could see the fruit trees in flower all around the borders of the garden, and knew that it was a good location for them to gather the nectar. Her uncle was bent over one, gently unscrewing the top dome to inspect the interior. After a long, thorough examination, he took a new skep ring and added it to the hive before putting the top dome back on. He looked up. “Ah, Mistral.”

    She bowed. “Your Majesty.”

    Leoval frowned at her. “Corellia has no kings,” he reminded her.

    “Not officially, anyway.”

    He gestured to a bench nearby. “Take a seat, I’m almost done.” She did so, watching as he addressed the last of his hives. He was not a tall man, or a particularly remarkable one, particularly in the rather shabby knit jacket with holes in the elbows. He was past middle-aged, with graying hair and a spreading bald patch at the back of his head. His eyes though, a soft gray-blue, could be very intent and there was something about him, a stillness, that suggested there was more to him than met the eye. Strangers and off-worlders consistently underestimated him, to their peril.

    “Right, that’s done,” he said, replacing the dome of the last hive. “Thank you ladies, I’ll leave you to your work. Now, Misty, let’s walk a bit, shall we?” Obediently, Mistral got up to join him as they slowly ambled through the gardens. There was definitely something on his mind. But then, there was a lot on her mind, as well.

    “You heard that the Emperor has taken over the shipyards?” she said. “The CEC and all the rest, now under Imperial control.”

    “Yes,” he said, “I’d heard that. Most of them will be shut down.” Mistral did a double-take, this was news to her.

    “How do you know?” she demanded.

    “The contracts for the new Star Destroyers, the big capital ships, they’re all going to Kuat. Sienar’s going to be building the fighters. They’re based off of Corulag, although they’ve opened facilities on Lothal and er, the other place… Absanz, that’s it.”

    “But…but with the shipyards shut down…”

    “Oh, they’ll keep a few open. Mostly for repairs and what-not. They’ll still build freighters and shuttles and such, but nothing on the scale they used to. ”

    “But the workers—“

    “Out of work.”

    “But…but why?”

    “An excellent question.” They strolled through a moongate and along a path through a wooded area. Leoval looked at Mistral. “The people of our homeworld aren’t exactly known for obedience. There has a been a certain amount of…resistance to the Emperor’s new policies.”

    “If he is shutting down the shipyards, I don’t see that getting better!”

    Leoval pursed his lips. “Garm bel Iblis has been rather vocal about his opposition,” he said. “Perhaps a bit too vocal. He is treading on thin ice.” He cocked his head, and shot a penetrating look at Mistral. “There have been several…attacks on various Imperial facilities within the system. He hasn’t seemed particularly quick to condemn them.”

    “People are upset,” said Mistral. “Can you blame them? The arrest of so many journalists, confiscating goods and facilities, and now the shipyards! There will be a lot of people out of work! All the engineers—“

    “Oh, I doubt they’ll be out of work for long,” said Leoval, pausing to examine a branch overhanging the pathway. “Most of them are being conscripted to Imperial Service. The Engineering Corps is desperate to recruit.”

    “Why?”

    “Another good question.” They walked along. Leoval paused, taking Mistral by the arm to stop her, and pointed up to a branch. The young Countess caught her breath at the sight of the two colorful agi birds chattering with each other. She exchanged a grin with the man who was not a king.

    “Conscription solves the unemployment problem, too,” he added. “If you can’t build starships on your homeworld, you can wear a uniform and carry a gun on another world.”

    “That’s wrong!” said Mistral angrily. Leoval shook his head.

    “Corellia’s always conscripted,” he pointed out. “For the Defense forces.”

    “Only two years,” countered Mistral. “And they don’t leave the homeworld. They’re free after that, to stay or go as they like. Will the Emperor limit the service time?”

    “Unlikely.” They walked a few more steps. “They’re taking the orphans, too.” Mistral stopped in her tracks.

    “They’re—taking them where?” Family was huge in Corellian society. There were certainly orphans, and children whose parents couldn’t care for them, but it was more usual for them to be taken in by extended family members, or even by close family friends who were considered family. There had been very little need of orphan homes on Corellia…until Palpatine took the throne. Arrests and purges of political opponents had filled jails with parents and family members, and now there were quite a few facilities housing young children whose parents had fallen afoul of Palpatine.

    “New policy. When they reach the age of twelve, they are given a series of aptitude tests, and then they’re taken away, offworld, for further training in whatever branch of Imperial Service they are best suited for.” Leoval sighed. “Who knows what will become of them after that?” he added softly.

    Mistral sank on to a log, sick to her stomach. Many Corellians left the homeworld to go into the stars…as explorers, adventurers, merchants, soldiers…and yes, more than a few pirates and smugglers. But somehow…somehow they always found their way home. Corellia was a part of them, part of their blood and their bones. They were already forbidden to speak Corellsi, the native tongue of the humans in the system, and local history lessons were sketchy. If the children were taken away from home, if they were not allowed to learn their own history and their own culture…everything Corellian would be erased. They’d be just another planet, no different from any other under Palpatine’s boot.

    One ruler…one code of law…one common tongue…one education in social progress. That was Palpatine’s goal, one Empire with humanity as its rulers, utterly loyal to him. All the other beings and species would be subservient.

    Mistral stood up, and glared at Leoval, who had sat down beside her. “He must be stopped!” she said.

    Leoval’s eyes went up. “Who? Palpatine? How do you propose to do that?” he asked.

    “I…I don’t know!” she said. “The Senate…they voted him in! They…they could impeach him!”

    “Will they?” Leoval snorted. “Many of the old Senators have been deposed, and replaced with those loyal to him. The new Senators have made a lot of money off him. The territorial Moffs are the ones who are really in charge.”

    “Garm bel Iblis still speaks out!” Mistral winced inwardly. She shouldn’t have mentioned him. The outspoken Senator knew more than a little about the armed attacks on Imperial facilities.

    “Bel Iblis will have his neck in a noose soon enough,” said Leoval drily. “He’s angered a lot of the wrong people. No.” He got up, wincing a little, and continued along the path. It was winding back up towards the house. “It would take an army, now, to depose Palpatine. I suppose that’s one reason he took our shipyards. Corellian ships are about the only things big enough to take on the new Star Destroyers he’s building.” He smiled faintly. “If I do say so myself.”

    Mistral snorted. “There are other worlds with starfaring tech,” she pointed out. “The Mons Cal, the Duros, even the Hutts—“

    Leoval shook his head. “The Mons Cal ships are large, but they’re not really designed as warships. The gun placements are awkward. Duros ships are well-built, but they’re small, mid range. As for the Hutts--“ He rolled his eyes. “Have you ever been on a Hutt ship? Poorly built. If you so much as sneeze, they start to come apart at the seams. No, about the only thing that could take on one of the new Star Destroyers are some of our ships. And we’re losing them.” He rubbed the side of his nose. “The Defense forces have been ordered to decommission eight of their ships. With the new Empire, the argument is that local defense forces won’t be needed.”

    “Eight?”

    “Mm. Six Corvettes, and two of the Gozanti frigates. Two of those Corvettes haven’t even seen service. Pity.”

    “What will happen to them?” asked Mistral. Her mind was racing. If those ships could be intercepted…

    “They’re being sent to the Breakers’ Yards, up on the moon of Kalish, over Selonia. Captain Angua Settinir, she could tell you all about it. She was supposed to get the Perseid, and now the only cruise she’ll get is taking it to be taken apart. She’s a little bitter about that, if you hadn’t guessed.” Leoval shook his head. “Those ships would do a lot of good somewhere. Terrible waste, if you ask me.”

    Mistral frowned, and turned her head for a good look at her uncle. It was impossible to tell what he was really trying to say. Officially, he had no voice in any political happenings on the homeworld or in system. As far as she knew, he was utterly ignorant of the small resistance band which was beginning to form in opposition to Palpatine’s rule. And yet…

    “Perhaps they’ll be stolen,” she said. “Piracy still seems to run rampant in the Galaxy.”

    “Too true,” said Leoval. “I suppose it could happen. Wouldn’t surprise me in the least.” Mistral squinted. No, it wasn’t her imagination. To anyone who didn’t know him, he would no doubt appear utterly indifferent to the fate of the Corellian warships. But she knew him. And there was an undeniable shadow at the corners of his mouth, the very faintest suggestion of a smile to anyone who knew him. Her suggestion, that the ships would be stolen, pleased him.

    She cleared her throat. “Captain Settinir, did you say?” she asked.

    “Mm. Nice girl. Family live over near Banthahead.”

    “Perhaps I’ll stop by to commiserate. Buy her a drink.”

    “I’m sure she’d welcome that. Speaking of ships—“ Leoval paused, peering at a bush. With a frown, he bent over to pluck a leafsucker off the stem, crushing it between his fingers. “The reason I asked you over here…”

    “Not to tell me about the shipyards?” Mistral was surprised.

    “Hm? No, of course not. You’d hear about that on the news sometime this week, why would I drag you all the way here for that? This is about the Swan.”

    Mistral caught her breath. The Swan of Selonia had been a royal warship, created for the Prince Admiral of Corellia 600 years ago, and it had remained in service as the Royal flagship up to the abdication of Berethron e Solo three hundred years later. It had done more service, mostly in deep space exploration and as an aid ship, before being decommissioned. For the last two hundred years it had been in geosynchronius orbit above Brillianton, a museum open to anyone willing to pay the fee. It was in private hands, but few knew that it was still in Royal hands. The Solo family had purchased it, and opened it to all. Mistral had been aboard many times, and loved it, the elegant, sleek lines, the royal swan statue on its prow, the elegant wooden paneling in many of its rooms.

    “What about it?” she asked.

    “The Trustees of the Foundation are a bit concerned about the old girl. She’s showing her age. We’ve all decided that we should probably take her off display and have her conserved and refitted. Spruce her up a bit, keep her going for a while. We’ll need someone to head up this project, and naturally, I thought of you. You’re the ideal person for the job.”

    “Me?” Mistral was confused. “I’m not an engineer.”

    “No, but in terms of organization and logistics, you’re the best person I know. As far as engineers, well…” Leoval tutted. “There will be quite a few out of work in a few weeks, and not all of them will be willing to work for the Empire, so, in terms of finding staff…”

    “I guess the timing is perfect,” admitted Mistral.

    Leoval nodded, leading her up the slope to the house. Inside, he rummaged on the desk and handed her a datacrystal. “Strabs, the Chief Archivist, went over the ship with the conservators. Here are their recommendations.”

    Mistral pocketed the datacrystal. She’d look at it more thoroughly later. Leoval tapped a control on his desktop, and they both stood, rapt, gazing at the holo of the Swan in her heyday. Gleaming white, with delicate gold accents and four masts with the solar sails spread to their fullest, gathering in all the ambient radiation in space to convert to power…

    “What a magnificent ship she must have been, back then,” sighed Mistral.

    “Hm. I’d put her up against any of these new Star Destroyers they’re producing on Kuat. Ugly pointy things. I think she could still hold her own.” He gave her a sidelong glance. “Actually…” He picked up another datacrystal. “We were thinking that there were a few things that could be…modernized. Just a bit. You know, for…the convenience of the public.”

    Mistral looked at it, curiously. “More ‘freshers?” she asked.

    “Just a few…upgrades. Shields, hyperdrives…that sort of thing.”

    “Hyperdrives?” Mistral stared at him. “She’s docked! On exhibition. Why would she need a hyperdrive?”

    “Well, obviously, she wouldn’t! Still…” He looked straight into her eyes. “A few…improvements might be…a good idea.”

    Mistral opened her mouth to say something, and caught her breath. Something about the way he’d said it, his comment about needing an army to go up against the Empire, thinking that the Swan could still hold her own against a Star Destroyer…Carefully she secured the datacrystals in an inside, hidden pocket. She’d have to look these over very carefully.

    “We’ve already released the announcement,” he said, “and we’ve got a drydock in one of the old CEC yards. Moff Vorru has given us his blessing, and we’ve got plenty of money raised. Desikar Antilles, chief engineer of the CEC military division has agreed to come aboard. Got pushed into mandatory retirement with the Imperial takeover, so he’s at a loose end. He’s already looked over both the proposals and he has some very…interesting ideas. So…by the beginning of next month, we should be good to go. If you’ll take the job, that is.”

    Mistral took a long look at the holoimage above her uncle’s desk, and smiled at him. That ingenuous look didn’t fool her at all. “I would be happy to take the job,” she said.

    “It doesn’t pay very well,” he cautioned her.

    Mistral chuckled. “I have a trust fund, you know,” she said.

    “Yes, I know.” He began to walk her to the door. “And don’t worry about the Swan. She’s very well insured.”

    “Insured?”

    “Well, yes, piracy, theft, that sort of thing.”

    Mistral raised an eyebrow. “Theft? Of the Swan?” He looked back at her blandly.

    “Well…it could happen,” he murmured. She laughed then, and put her arms around his neck, hugging him fiercely.

    “I’ll take very good care of her,” she promised as she stepped outside.

    “I’m sure you will. Oh, and…when you see Senator Bel Iblis…do give him my regards.”

    END
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2018
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  2. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    The Corellian setting sounds absolutely breathtaking with the extensive gardens. @};-
    Coolest stuff that the Solo family is one of the more prominent ones, if not the most. ;) :D [face_laugh] If Leia only knew .... [face_shhh]
    I like Mistral's honest indignation and her uncle's subtle but clear approval of the stuff she and Bel Iblis are actually up to. Rather like Bail Organa -- her uncle keeps a tight lid on his true opinions but he's not going to stand in the way of some active Rebelling :) =D=
     
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  3. brodiew

    brodiew Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Oct 11, 2005
    Excellent story, @Mistress_Renata! I loved the loaded back and forth between Mistral and her Uncle Leoval. Like Nyota, I thought you set the scene well which, for me, was a Tuscan Estate overlooking vineyards or the sea. I absolutely adored reading the name Garm Bel Iblis. love that guy! I think I'll be checking out 'Mercy Flight'!
     
  4. Mira_Jade

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

    Registered:
    Jun 29, 2004
    Oh my goodness! There are so many wonderful bits of fandom in here that I am definitely going to have to give your Mercy Flight a read - if just to better know what's going on here. [face_thinking]

    I too really enjoyed the dialogue between Mistral and Leoval. It was chock full with lots of things unsaid. This was such an interesting take on another front of rebellion against the Empire, all with some awesome world-building for Corellia and their society as a whole. The scenery you described was just gorgeous! I loved the idea of the Swan, and her use now, just as I'm really intrigued by Mistral, and curious as to where her story will go. [face_thinking]=D=

    Yep - you have me hooked as a reader. Now I just need to get up to speed on this 'verse. ;)
     
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  5. Cowgirl Jedi 1701

    Cowgirl Jedi 1701 Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 21, 2016
    I like this. What makes it especially cool is that Han apparently has no idea that his family is this important. Or does he? Sometimes I wonder.
     
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  6. Chyntuck

    Chyntuck Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 11, 2014
    Renata, this is SPECTACULAR! So many elements of worldbuilding about Corellia, the royal family and life under the Imperial yoke, such fantastic OCs and, most importantly, amazing dialogue! I am in awe at the way you handled the transition from saying things to not saying them but making them understood throughout this story – and bringing in Mistral's private thoughts just at the right moment to confirm what I sensed as a reader. With this beginning to the series the rest of us Pentasweets are going to have to step up our game!

    And meanwhile, yes, @brodiew @Mira_Jade you definitely want to have a look at Mercy Flight. The Swan plays a small role in it, but a crucial one.

    =D=
     
  7. Mistress_Renata

    Mistress_Renata Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Sep 9, 2000
    I should have put my footnotes up at the intro, but I'll plug them in here...

    I cannot take full credit for the Royal Corellian House of Solo, it is actually Legends-Canon, mostly from Dave Wolverton's Courtship of Princess Leia, with conflicting information as to whether our favorite scruffy Nerf Herder was a descendant.
    It seems he wasn't, being that his ancestor was a Pretender to the throne and not an actual royal. Not that anyone would care.
    I took a few liberties with the rest --Leoval and Mistral are my creations (with a little inspiration from Michael Kitchen and Michelle Yeoh). Mistral, of course, goes on to become Captain of the Swan. Ambri Merrin finds her intimidating.

    Garm bel Iblis is, of course, also Legends-Canon, an outspoken Corellian Senator (is there any other kind?) who had been leading a rebellion against Palpatine from his accession to power, although he later split off from the rest of the Rebellion.

    I did try to (sorta) keep it in line with the way I've written Corellia in other stories, but of course the rest of the viggies will be what they are (that is to say, wonderful!)
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2018
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  8. gizkaspice

    gizkaspice Jedi Master star 3

    Registered:
    Nov 27, 2013
    So great that you wrote a little thing about the lovely Swan! I love the history lesson about her, from being a royal warship, an aid ship, and then a museum. I really hope you someday make a huge fanon post just about the Swan’s ancient history and adventures!
    I also like the integration of the legends-canon Corellian elements into the world building for this story--- you really bring a lot of depth into it and the characters.

    And of course, I agree with @Chyntuck there about checking out Mercy Flight.
     
  9. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014
    I...guess that I have to check the first two stories now?! I've been putting that off...for a while.
     
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  10. Mistress_Renata

    Mistress_Renata Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Sep 9, 2000
    You don't HAVE to... Mercy Flight is where the Swan first appears, that's all. You don't need to read that to follow this. Unless you want to, of course!! :D
     
  11. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014
    I want to. :) I have a V.I.P. list now and you're among teh peepZ on it.
     
  12. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014
    (board lag, double post!)
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2018
  13. Kahara

    Kahara Force Ghost star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 3, 2001
    Oh wow, I missed this one the first time around and it's fantastic! =D= The idea of going into the twists and turns of a ship's history is really interesting. (That was something I liked about the idea of the book Millennium Falcon, though I still haven't gotten around to reading it...)

    And I really enjoyed the sort of quiet-for-now rebellions that Mistral and her uncle are discussing in a roundabout way here. You've really captured this strong sense that there are two kinds of Corellians -- one will tell you no to your face and go do exactly as they please, and the other will agree with you politely and then go do exactly as they please. :p Kind of reminds me of Rostek Horn and his gardening hobby. ;) Something tells me these theoretical thefts, including the Swan, are now in the works.

    Also really loved the rich fanon of Corellia that you managed to pack in here without it feeling dense or explanatory at all! :) Leoval and Mistral's concerns about how the Empire is going to affect Corellia are really well-drawn, and this makes so much sense for what we see of Corellia in Legends and in New Canon. Palps is effectively trying to stamp out their culture while keeping them around as "normal Imperial Humans" to serve the Imperial war machine. Sounds about right. :rolleyes:
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2020
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  14. Cowgirl Jedi 1701

    Cowgirl Jedi 1701 Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 21, 2016
    Just skimmed over this one again, and some of the things they mention the Empire doing (banning the native language, in particular) gives vibes of Things in Irish History. Like, Reasons For Writing Wearing Of The Green Things.

    I forget what that period in the history was actually called.
     
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  15. Mistress_Renata

    Mistress_Renata Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Sep 9, 2000
    Thank you both for reminding me that I wrote this, LOL! I don't know what that period was called either, I thought it just came under the general heading of "the Troubles."
     
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  16. Cowgirl Jedi 1701

    Cowgirl Jedi 1701 Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 21, 2016
    Hmm, yeah, The Troubles sounds about right.
     
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