Title: The Black Star Author: Ewok Poet Characters: OCs (see them here), [a young and not as badass yet] Tendra Risant, cameos may occur later in the story. Timeframe: Starts in 3.5 ABY, lasts for about six months Rating: PG-13 for excessive swearing on behalf of some characters and some violence Genre: Thriller/Black Comedy Canonicity: Strongly leaning towards the new canon, despite utilising some characters and places that are now Legends Length: Epic - crossed the 30K mark with the end of part one, with or without the first chapter appendix. Summary Aloof and largely undecided about her future, 17-year-old Sacorrian Human Doria Vorr is spending most of her time arguing with her mother Maris, misjudging her friends and only confiding in her Drall neighbour, Gredda. An error in her university application, a chance meeting with a talkative government official, Gredda’s sudden departure and an unexpected friendship with offworlders will lead Doria far away from the familiar routine of Sacorrian life and further to the world she never thought she could become a part of. Important All my fics take place in a shared micro-universe that does not contradict anything that happens before the Sequel Trilogy and is therefore canon-compliant. If you have not read anything I have written before, you're more than welcome to, though it's not obligatory. Ask whatever you want to know - I will be happy to help! And flattered that you're interested! Links to "help files" - My OCs (original characters) - My fanon entry on Sacorria Links to related works, listed chronologically: Forever Away from Home - Midday Darkness // The Light Is Me, I Am The Light (the first of these in-universe books was referenced in chapter 9 of this story!) - Letters Never Sent - The Black Star - My short stories *If there is anything new in this shared universe, this list will be updated* Part I is now available as e-book. It's TOS-compilant, containing the very same version of the story as the one in this thread - not that there ever was any other. >>>DOWNLOAD HERE<<< Dramatis Personae (part 1) Spoiler Doria Vorr - Student with a confusing set of opportunities presented to her. Gredda - Engineer at AARIS. Doria's best friend. Tendra Risant - Student. Doria's friend. EC. Jan Katisver - One of Doria and Tendra Risant's friends. Dak Gauree - One of Tendra Risant's friends. Really dislikes Doria, has a crush on Tendra that she isn't willing to reciprocate. Maris Inesedam Vorr - Doria's mother. Code:Blue (Joak Bluestar Shykrill Glisse) - Former limmie player and CESA employee. Known for his "baby burp" goal celebration. Code: Red (Red Karnal Zhoorka) - Former limmie player and CESA employee. A party man with an affinity to round numbers. Charon San Valorum - Singer and quetarra player of the pronk wailer-group Deeply Religious. Nubian. Anra Renek - bassoon player and backing vocalist of Deeply Religious. Duros. Nubian. Master Koobs (Koobalt Nubes) - drummer of Deeply Religious. Ortolan. Nubian. Deeina Ferry - A mysterious young woman of many disguises. Aurean. GR-3 - Code:Blue's protocol droid and personal assistant. Musteline, female personality. Darse Loor - Cousin of [Legends character] Kirtan Loor, double agent working with Blobbo's crime empire AND the Galactic Empire. Corellian. Soleo - Citizen sold into slavery. Selonian. From Selonia. Aerenna Geelmen - Stormtrooper commander with a strange affinity to furry aliens. Corellian. Lt. Valoori Bargle - Stormtrooper. From Tarfaglio. Laoda Caraway Kaeni - co-owner of Hotel Taliore in Anaslinea-Hoc. Vagranite. Dale Pavan (Dandelion Roba Pavan) - Drummer in the group Steamy Wasaka Stew (SWS). Corellian. Wompy (Con Brochet) - Bassoon player in SWS. From Tralus, has lived on Corelllia since his teens. Antonio Nokaarbe - Singer and ladies' man in SWS. Supposedly from Kiffu, has lived on Corellia since his pre-teens. Brigada - Sacorrian Intelligence officer. Drall. Blobbo the Hutt (Blobbo Fasolia Toupé) - Crime lord residing in Anasliniea-Hoc. Corellian. Taggo - One of Blobbo's servants. Maggo's indentical twin brother. Toydarian. From Nar Shaddaa. Maggo - One of Blobbo's servants. Taggo's indentical twin brother. Toydarian. From Nar Shaddaa. Mousee - Blobbo the Hutt's obsessive-compulsive mouse droid. Female personality. Marinesca - Curheg woman who presents the guests with a traditional Sacorrian snack. Jar Jar Binks - Now, how did he get in here? EC. Gungan. From Naboo. Pretty Dadanna / Dadanna Sarkle - Popular singer, an idol to many girls on Sacorria. Her Drallship - Drall member of the Sacorrian Triad. His Humanship - Human member of the Sacorrian Triad. Her Selonianship - Selonian member of the Sacorrian Triad. Duchess Branna - Current leader of the R'vanye clan. Drall female. Dani Shykrill Glisse - Code:Blue's wife. Female. Ebe - Gredda's younger brother, Duchess Branna's nephew. Drall male. Non-speaking role. Sassvar Graba - Current quetarra player in SWS. Zabrak male. Corellian. Non-speaking role. Kutya - Gredda's mother and Duchess Branna's sister. Non-speaking role. Danyle - Gredda's father and Duchess Branna's brother-in-law. Non-speaking role. Tessar - Gredda's seconds-younger twin brother and the middle child of Kutya and Danyle. Taì, Aarla and Jenik Shykrill Glisse - Code:Blue and Dani's children. Non-speaking roles. Elesandre Vorr - Doria Vorr's father, Maris Inesedam Vorr's husband. Deceased. Mentioned only. Larax Antilless - Maris Inesedam Vorr's aunt who lives on Vagran. Mentioned only. Haylo Cipesz - The greast podracer in the history of Core World's far-less-harmless podracing. Jax Novo - Haylo Cipesz one-time rival, on a decline. Doria Vorr's celebrity crush. Mentioned only. Anjie Mencuri - former quetarra player for SWS, quit two years before the Battle of Yavin, presumably missing. Mentioned only. Aryan Geelmen - the older of the Geelmen siblings. Scientist. Mentioned only. Commoder Tahn - EC. Mentioned only. Padmé Amidala - EC. Mentioned only. Anakin Skywalker - EC. Mentioned only. Denaro - Larax Antilless' deceased husband. Selonian. Mentioned only. Jhorn Risant - Tendra Risant's father. Mentioned only. Nola Katisver - Jan Katisver's mother. Mentioned only. General Roko Porkley - Mentioned only. General Gordi Gauree - Dak Gauree's mother. Mentioned only. Dr. Aphra - EC. Indirect mention only. Kirtan Loor - The Imperial liaison officer to CorSec. EC. Indirect mention only. 1. Ambitions Saccorata, Sacorria, fifth month of 3ABY/22 AE "My name? Doria Vorr. Profession I studied for? Agricultural technician. Biggest wish? To vacation on Vagran again someday... ...Where do I see myself in ten years? I don’t know. Ambitions? I never had them." She feared that they could assume from her facial expressions that she was lying. In reality, it was not that simple. To a certain extent, she did not lie. The brutal, pervasive truth is that she would often discover her ambitions long after whatever goal she was to pursue had long slipped out of her hands. In most cases, those goals would never find their way back to her, and they seemed normal to everybody else. In her young mind, the explanation, albeit abstract, was clear - whatever the fruits hanging way too high above were, the others must have really wanted them, they dedicated everything, every single droplet of matter to getting them. Her graduation speech wasn't cut short by applause. It took about half a minute of awkward silence before Gredda started clapping her furry hands from the front row. A couple of others shrugged and clapped along. They probably assumed that the Drall was hired to do this. Doria, relieved that she somehow didn't pay the high price of being honest, returned to the group of a couple of dozen of other students, all wearing the same long-sleeved red tunics and blue trousers and skirts. "Dear guests, these were all twenty-four graduates of the First Agricultural Institute of Saccorata. The delegate of Their Majesties extends her warmest wishes to these promising young individuals and hopes that they all will serve our planet and contribute to Progress and Unity the best way they can.“ The group of students went to the large tables, nearly crumbling under the weight of food. It was a warm day and the refreshment was gone very fast, prompting a group of waiter droids to restock. Maris Inesedam Vorr did not attend her daughter's graduation. The mother and the daughter had a minor quarrel day earlier and thus were not speaking for what must have been the fifth time that month. Gredda, however, would not have missed this for anything in the world. The blonde-brownish Drall, wearing a black star pendant around her neck, had more patience than ten humans together and she would forgive Doria her shortcomings almost immediately. Furthermore, she did not have the same criteria for what a shortcoming was as Maris did. “You survived it. Congratulations, my friend!” She waved her short arms. Doria hugged her. “Thank you, Gredda. If anybody knows how unenthusiastic I have been about this joke of a ceremony, it’s you.” “Shusssh! You never know who might be listening to us.” “They can always ask what I am so unenthusiastic about if they care…and I am as bemused by what is inevitably going to happen tonight. They’re all going to get poodoo-drunk and convince themselves that they’re free, desirable and whatever else is common for…you know, young people.” “And you…?” “I hate whatever young people like!” the Human blurted out, taking a large bite of a grain bar covered in fruit. It was too chewy for her taste. “So, are you coming to the banquet Duchess Branna will be holding for the graduates from our clan? Tomorrow evening at seven.” “I would not miss that for anything in the world. And tonight, I’m going to tuck myself in, listen to some good pronk and sleep…in no particular order.” The two friends said goodbye to each other, as Gredda noticed the aforementioned Drall students and went to congratulate them. Doria continued in the direction of her home on the outskirts of Saccorata. The afternoon was more or less pleasant and she found herself rethinking her decision to have an early night. The idea of staying up at least until the sun actually goes down suddenly seemed appealing. "Doria! Wait up!" That was Tendra Risant's voice. She increased the pace, pretending not to have heard anything, until a bulky open-top Saygo landcar stopped right next to her. "I said wait up! Where you are going?" "Where there are no people like you." Doria blurted sotto voce, then turned around and smiled. “Home, to show mom this incredible piece of flimsi we just got.” “Aren’t you going to the party?” “Not feeling like it. Maybe in, say…8 years from now? I’m a busy person, you know?” She turned again and was about to leave, when Tendra spoke again. "I guess you’ll be free for other things, though? I thought you could teach me to ‘sheet one of these days." "Excuse me..? I may not be rich, but I don't clean bloody refreshers!" "HoloSheet, I bought a licensed copy from DOBY. I need to make myself look a tiny bit thinner in my application holo for the Dorthus Tal University. I still didn't send it!" "Aaah, HoloShed!" Doria snapped her fingers. She was confused so as to why would somebody like Tendra need to take an entrance exam either way, given how powerful her family. “So?” “Yes, I can help you. Comm me early next week or something. Now I really have to go.” “Okay…you may want to watch out for those…” Tendra and her three male companions stood still as their classmate was taking a shortcut through a dust corn field.“…grain flies.” The daughter of a government legislator had no idea what was going on. Two of her three friends, however, started giving their own points of view as soon as the red graduation robe disappeared among the long stalks. "That disgusting little rodent is filling Doria's head with those...outlandish concepts of theirs. A female ruling the Galaxy someday, some Angel types of things having built the Corellian system, the outside world being in the middle of a devastating, all-around war rather than just terrorist acts committed by Rebel scum, the Triad not having any powers at the moment..." The blond one stuck up his nose. "I don't think it's the Dralls, Dak. She's unhinged to begin with.” The third young man just shrugged and grinned. “Porky and Dak, you are both ridiculous. Have you ever been lonely? Say, how many ‘right’ people can we hang out with and how many years left of freedom do we have until we’re stuck in Dorthus Tal’s administration jobs and elite parties, forever?” “Tendra …wake up and smell the caf." The overweight blonde one whom she addressed as Porky spoke again. "You are living a strange fantasy and it’s time to cut it out. Haven’t these four years in Saccorata with all of the grassroots scum taught you anything? They don’t like us, they don’t want to mingle and they’re all crazy. You just happen to be desperate to befriend the craziest among them.” He stopped for a moment. "Jan, of course that you have no opinion here. You never seem to have an opinion on anything Doloria-related. Whoops, I called my lying ex-girlfriend that!" … "Vorr E, Doria. Honors: none." Maris shook her head, looking at the diploma bearing the sharp, red, star-shaped logo of the Institute. "No honors, but I did graduate with the average of 4.6. For honors, you’d have to be very serv...” "Your father was right. If you had dedicated as much time to studying as you did to having your head in the clouds, you would have been in Dorthus Tall by now, with the perspective of eventually working in administration one day!" Nobody asked Doria if she wanted such a thing in the first place. But the next sentence angered her even further. "And you could have married a government official!" "Yes, government...that exists. And it’s always been a dream of mine to marry young and die of ennui. Sure, mom." If this had been somebody from her circle of not-really-friends-to-begin-with, they would have raised their eyebrows at the claim that the government does not exist, and if that had been Gredda, she would have warned her not to say such things out loud. But this was mom, the one who never seemed to have listened to anybody other than herself, as if she was admiring the sound of her own, dramatic, high-pitched voice. "This way, you may not end up being anything more than somebody repelling the grain flies off the rear of a huge, price-winning beast of burden!" "Don’t they have droids for such purpose? The KR-1FF ones?” “Sure, KR-1FF… wait a moment, I am not falling for that! Doria, you’re being a complete immature youngling again. Sometimes I wonder why I ever bother. Ever since your father had died, I practically have no reason to live.” Maris broke down. Her daughter tried to comfort her, but she pushed her away. “Get out of my sight. NOW!” Doria went to her room, pulled down the blinds, kicked off her shoes, changed into a mismatching tracksuit pants and a tesh-tunic and climbed up in the bunk bed. She pulled out the datapad, activated the option #4 for bypassing the government surveillance and was about to spend the rest of the day reading up on a couple more obscure Outer Rim planets. Everything was better than crying herself out to sleep and replaying the entire day; which – to her – seemed more brutal than any holovid one could come across among the shelves in the heavily controlled rental across the field from the Vorrs’ home. The HoloNet was down again. Recently, it had been happening so often that she lost count. She could have got up out of the bed and gone to the living room, where her mother was probably watching some cheesy holocomedy and laughing out loud as if she wasn’t claiming her life had no purpose come half an hour ago. She could have, but she didn’t feel like having another argument. Footnotes Spoiler First Agricultural Institute of Saccorata - Farmschool/Lyceum in the biggest city (but not the capital and the administrative centre) of Sacorria. Fanon. DOBY - a joint venture of two corporations from Nubia, known for their ground-breaking, Galaxy-wide famous software Holoshed, as well as Stylus, HyperThreads, Thunderoo, HyperFilmsi. Coming up by 4ABY: HoloMatinee and Starfield - HOLOSHED, BUT FOR HOLOVIDEOS!!! Fanon. Holoshed - A renowned tool for sophisticated holography editing, the use of which among amateurs is often frowned upon by professionals. Though DOBY was never in direct control of the Empire, it has been rumoured that the Imperial Intelligence is using a special, advanced version of Holoshed for psychological war. Holoshed is so popular that a neologism "holosheding" ended up in the University of Coruscant dictionary of modern Basic; meaning "to enhance one's features by the use of Holoshed". Fan. Landcar - for some reason, Sacorrian landspeeders are called this. Fan.