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Saga - PT The Force Has (No) Favourites (PT AU | Dormé, N. Gunray, Maul, Anakin, Padmé) - Fic-gift for Pandora

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by Ewok Poet, Jan 14, 2018.

  1. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014
    Title: The Force Has (No) Favourites
    Author: Ewok Poet
    Canonicity: Alternate Universe
    Genre: Drama
    Characters: Dormé, Nute Gunray, Maul, Anakin Skywalker, Padmé Naberrie, Jar Jar Binks, Sebulba
    Timeframe: ~22 BBY
    Rating: PG-13 (violence)
    Length: Short

    Summary: In a world where the invasion of Naboo succeeded, a young woman sees her chance...

    A/N: This is a fic-gift for @Pandora, posted as my entry to the 11th Annual Winter Holiday Fic-Gift Exchange (201x). Her requests are under the spoiler.

    Era: Probably PT/intertrilogy, but the OT would be fine as well.

    I would like an alternate universe story in which one of Padmé's handmaidens in the movies--preferably Sabé or Dormé or Rabé, but any one of them would be fine--is not, and has never been, a handmaiden. This is probably implied, but she would be the main character.

    Otherwise, the sky--or the TOS--is your limit storywise. I would prefer that the handmaiden-who-is-not-a-handmaiden does not die (but this is not an absolute if the story leads you there), and that there be nothing from Disney's canon.

    Characters: A Naboo handmaiden of your choosing.

    I came up with a pretty wacky AU idea some two years ago, but it never had substance, for it lacked a central character. When I got this request, I was super-excited because Dormé seemed like a perfect candidate to observe all of the events I have imagined. Sabé has been written about a lot, I would have to come up with something, anything about Rabé...and Dormé has always been my favourite - so, Dormé it is. :)

    The AU was inspired by Erich Maria Remarque novel, Heaven Has No Favourites. I also re-watched Bobby Deerfield, the film based on the said novel and the only Rose Byrne film I have on my computer - Adam. Sure, Hugh Dancy is cute in that, so it was not a problem. ;)

    I added lots of, err, clothes descriptions and vivid, original colours, knowing that the donee likes that stuff.

    Happy 2018, Pandora. Enjoy the story, the new year and, possibly, I hope, a wonderful new dog. @};-



    Dormé was making her way through the crowd at the Chla C'cHaan Stadium. Her long, violently violet gown was rustling in the wind. As a member of the highest caste of the Human hive #14, she got to wear the best velvet and silk, fabric peppered with gold mined from her planet’s three moons. Thought the supervisor job at the remote offices of the Banking Clan and those pesky BD-3000 droids messing with the records were stressful every now and then, there was nothing major for her to complain about.

    The young woman could not hide her excitement – it was the anniversary of the day Naboo was restructured and made so much better. Who could believe that it had already been ten years? The great leader of her people, the Trade Federation Viceroy and the Supreme Ruler of the Purse Worlds, a great politician by the name of Nute Gunray, was to give a speech to all of the Human and Gungan hives and reward the best traders in the top castes with their own starter companies in the “Lake Business Hive”, which apparently used to be called the “Lake County”. On the same event, the animals brought from the Federation’s Factory World of Geonosis were to slay the weakest younglings from all the hives, as a warning for everybody else to prosper and plan one’s future from the earliest days at the youngling hall.

    She was slightly late. Once she sat in her lounge on the second level, a young Gungan female on a hovering platform slowly rising above the centre of the arena was reciting the most uplifting passages from the Encyclical on Historical Greatness. She should have picked more comfortable shoes, or a shorter gown, but that was not an option – the status was all that mattered. The lower castes had nothing but respect for the members of the higher ones, those who knew that their future was a clear, beaten path with no thorns. They were probably slightly jealous as well. But, if nothing else, the two sentient species of Naboo were certainly higher than the Narquois and therefore privileged.

    The youngling disappeared behind the improvised stage at the end of the performance. The audience clapped ecstatically. As the next part of the programme, the Lucrehulk-class Droid Control Ship hovering in the sky above Theed dispatched an army of battle droids, who then performed a simulation of a planetary defense and executed a couple of hundred pickpockets, felons and adulterers. The crowd seemed to be even more excited, with everybody cheering, “Roger-roger! Roger-roger!” A couple of pudgy Gungan younglings in red and golden-brown Youth Commerce robes were snickering loudly a couple of seats close to Dormé, but their parents showed them to be quiet and bribed them with some goldcoin toffees. The troublemaker duo recognised the noseless face on the foil of their sweets and instantly went quiet. They did not want to lose their place in their parents’ caste for misbehaviour, so they promised to each other that they would never laugh at the battle droids again.

    The Supreme Ruler and his right hand, a young and muscular Zabrak male wearing a luxurious pantsuit with an open tunic showcasing his enviable chest muscles got up, to the crowd now going completely out of control. Dormé smiled broadly and grabbed her silverpink opera-goggles to take a better look at the man every single unmarried woman from her caste wanted to make mad, mad love to. His name was Maul and he was as much of the beautiful body of the New System as Gunray was its cunning mind. And nobody minded that his eyes would occasionally emit a flash of golden yellow. That was likely a known mark of his species’ handsomeness.

    The young businesswoman zoomed in closer, having noticed that there was a fellow female on Maul’s arm. The idea that he had been taken filled her with bitterness, but a closer look revealed a chain in his hand. A brunette woman in dirty rags, with three birthmarks on her cheek, and a collar on her neck, was kneeling below her master. Her face was pale, her facial scars were nasty and her hair had clearly not seen anything resembling a brush for ages. It was a dirty, hideous creature, fit to be the handsome Master’s humble slave. For some reason, though, her empty eyes, surrounded with dark circles, sent a shiver down Dormé’s spine: there was a striking, albeit not clear similarity between this shamed woman and herself. Was the very spirit of Chla C'cHaan playing tricks on her mind?

    What further intrigued Dormé is that this woman remained on her scabbed knees, while Gunray and Maul got up to wave to the audience. There was a moment when she was about to lose her balance, or so it seemed, but then Maul’s beautiful eyes flashed yellow, he pulled the chain and pointed to a black saberstaff hung at his hip. The woman swallowed a lump and stepped back. She was not to make a scene during the ceremony.

    The next thing the crowd knew, the two leaders had a surprise for them – a podrace featuring the best pilots from the new purse-worlds in the Outer Rim. That was a dangerous sport and racing those rancors of vehicles in the arena modelled after the one on the Factory World was going to be nothing but a mere exhibition. About a handful of males of all species and one Theelin female were now waving to the audience themselves, the audience responding with another jovial, “Roger-roger.” Dormé glanced to the side discreetly – the two little rascals were not laughing this time. They seemed to be surprised, though.

    “Keep it quiet, you swamprats!” she muttered through her teeth.

    “We are sorry, Mistress! But Anakin Skywalker and Sebulba have a chance for yet another…another rematch here.”

    She must have heard those names before. Skywalker…Sebulba…oh, that’s right – their rivalry was the most famous of them all. One was from Malastare, the other from Tatooine – one Dug (whatever that may have been) and one Human. The latter was pretty popular among the women of lower castes, or so she heard. She zoomed in on him with her opera-goggles. He had sandy-blond hair and yes, he was quite handsome. There was something about him that made her think of Maul, but she could not quite pin-point what it could have been.

    The next couple of minutes were but a blur.

    The “Bettybots” left their place at the side of the pod racers, one of whom appeared to have patted one on her bottom. One of the Human males stopped chatting to the Theelin female, who then ducked her hotpink hair under the safety helmet. The over-enthusiastic Gungan announcer wearing a simple-looking vest pointed to a transparisteel trophy case and said that the winner was going to have the great honour of choosing one of the three head-shaped statues. They were all of cloaked Human men – one younger, with a large mole on his forehead, one middle-aged with streaks of long hair now embodied in gold and one of an older man, whose smile was bordering on a sneer. Skywalker appeared to have been wanting the third one, while the rest of the racers seemed more than happy to have any of the three.

    Dormé wondered if those were cast from real severed heads at any point. She glanced at Maul again. He was patting the weapon on his hip again, giving a knowing look to Nute Gunray. But she did not have the time to think about this further – the race had started early. Apparently, the Gungan announcer was too clumsy and this resulted in the Theelin woman’s podracer piling up against all but one of the others. The other eleven were now ablaze, with the most eccentric-looking one flying up in the air and heading straight to the lounge where The Supreme Leader and Maul were sat at.

    Dormé put her hands on her mouth, trying not to scream. Maul extended his hand and the beat-up podracer crashed right before his feet, hitting the droidekas protecting the governing body of the Trade Federation, with the loudest of the bangs. After the initial explosion shook the grandstands and the smoke cleared, she was relieved to see Gunray and Maul safe.

    Seconds later, the med droids were at the case. They pulled the racer out alive – it was the arrogant and handsome Anakin Skywalker, or what had remained of him. The racers that piled up were gone – there was nothing but burnt carcasses. The Gungan announcer had no choice – he waved the red and chequered flag at the same time, then dropped both and put his hands over his eyestalks. He could not bear the carnage before him!

    “IT ALL MESA FAULT! IT MOOIE MOOIE BAD!” he blurted out into his repulsor-microphone and then ran to the site of the crash, before a couple of battle droids stopped him and instructed him to go back to his place.

    The situation had escalated, indeed.

    Despite this, Sebulba the Dug was jumping around parc fermé on his front legs, has had apparently won the race. He was most clearly eyeing the head-sculptures. It would have been hard for him to pick one. Some of the crowd was chanting for him. Roger-rogers, and more and more roger-rogers. Even more roger-rogers.

    However, Dormé didn’t care about that. Apparently, there had been another causality. Maul’s rag-clad slave had been hit by debris from the foolish Skywalker’s vehicle. Whatever had hit her, apparently, suffocated her. She fought for air for a couple more minutes and then closed her eyes.

    The sight of the woman lying in the foetal position next to Maul’s feet was upsetting to Dormé, even though she never cared much about the slaves. For some reason, she felt that this was to impact her performance at work. Another thing that intrigued her was the handsome Master Maul seemingly inquiring about Skywalker’s health and being somewhat unfazed to hear that the Human would survive, but that all of his limbs were severed and that he was badly burned. In fact, he seemed…happy about it?! She leaned over the railing to take a closer look at him, hoping that she would have been able to read his lips.

    And that was when he let the med droids go and walked right up to her. Her heart was beating faster than ever before in her young, successful life.

    “Is everything in order, young woman? You have come close to the scene and you have… these eyes… and hair and I have been wondering…” He paused, uncharacteristically and then shook his head. “Sorry, I was thinking about going to see that unfortunate young man tomorrow, I had lost my repulsortrain of thought. Either way…I recognised your garbs. Are you from the Banking Clan? The supervisor who told the chancellor Finis Valorum that we don’t recognise his "credits" here?”

    Dormé bowed and responded with a sheepish smile. “Yes. It’s a great honour to talk to you, my Master.”

    “The pleasure is all mine.”

    “Do you think so…?”

    “Why, yes. You too seem shaken by this unfortunate carnage.”

    She had to react fast. “Yes. I was… afraid that the debris would hit you and… disfigure you!”

    “That would have never happened, but I do understand that you were worried for my safety. So…”

    “So?”

    “Would you like to join me at the Supreme Ruler’s annual banquet and make sure nobody else attempts to harm me?

    Though, at this point, her mind had been screaming an avalanche of loud “yes” and “kriffin’ great”, Dormé again bowed to Maul and muttered a shy, “Of course, my Master. That will be a honour.”

    “Then, let’s go.”

    “Yes, let’s go.”

    Two “Bettybots” escorted the pair to Maul’s speeder. A small smile curved Dormé’s prune-tinted lips. Perhaps this was the day she was to show those other women what she was made for, after all




    Footnotes:
    Purse world

    Narquois

    Encyclical on Historical Greatness - I changed its timeline and contents a bit. This is an AU, after all.

    Lucrehulk-class Droid Control Ship

    BD-3000 luxury droid aka "Bettybot"

    Neimoidian communal hive
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2018
  2. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host Who Loves Fanfics & RPGs star 7

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Bravo on setting up such a convincing scenario and setting where the audience is all agog for the spectacle to come! How they are totally like herd-beasts going tamely along :rolleyes: :eek: with the "roger-roger" and keeping "proper behavior" even among the exuberant younglings, can't lose one's caste position, you know. :p
    Dorme -- her unexplainable sympathy, awareness of Maul's slave.
    The fact that Maul is so avidly admired is quite ironic; a brilliant exchange at the end between Maul and Dorme. She really doesn't know what she's about to get into. :oops:

    =D=
     
  3. mavjade

    mavjade It's so FLUFFY! Fanfic Manager star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Sep 10, 2005
    Woah! What an interesting turn of events! I love AUs where one thing changes and it cascades into drastic changes for everyone and everything. This is a great 'what if'!

    You set that tone right away with Dormé being excited for the anniversary of the restructuring. It's hard to think of that being a good thing, but at the same time understandable. I'm sure the propaganda after the invasion succeeded would have been strong. (The winners get to write the history!) But then too see how Anakin never got away from slavery and Maul taking a more prominent role was what really dove the changes home.

    And then for Dormé to go with Maul and so happy about it at the end was like the cherry on top of this changed universe.

    Fantastic story and great job really changing Dormé story! =D=
     
  4. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    Well, you are the undisputed mistress of dystopian writing in the GFFA, there’s no doubt about that. :cool: Yet another amazingly detailed setting, both physical and social-political—I can think of few things more dystopian than the breathtakingly beautiful Lake Country of Naboo transformed into a “business hive.” :eek: And at the same time, you work in some very recognizable Naboo elements—notably, the pretty regimented social order where members of one level don’t really know the members of other levels, and of course the gorgeous dresses with their rich colors and material. (Given that apparel types and colors can have a lot of meaning in Naboo lore, does the purple of Dormé’s dress mean anything in particular?)

    Dormé was a great choice here; I always rather liked her too, and of course other than Sabé, the decoy, she’s the handmaiden we hear the most from in the films. It is interesting to see her role and Padmé’s so radically reversed in this AU—at least, I’m pretty sure that’s who that bedraggled, scarred slave woman at Maul’s side is, who later dies a hideous death from the flying debris of Anakin’s podracer (and the race was an interesting touch, and very true to the Remarque novel on which you based this). Dormé’s one brief pang of sympathy for her is quite a moment, in its way—a tiny echo of the loyalty she shows to her lady in the “prime” universe of AOTC—and then it’s of course immediately eaten up by opportunism and oneupwomanship as she sees Maul’s droids summoning her. The calamity of the crash immediately becomes a moment for social climbing—of some kind of climbing, because I’m pretty sure it’s Mr. Leisure!Suit!Maul himself that Dormé ultimately would like to, um, mount. He of course is all “very hair such eyes wow” when he sees her, so the feeling could certainly be mutual, though he’s such a sleazebag that he no doubt has some kind of manipulative plan up his sleeve in this moment too.

    Interesting that Anakin has a fiery metamorphosis in this universe, too, as a result of his speeder crash; I’m put in mind of gaarastar58’s “The Broken Boy and the Blind Master,” an AU founded on a similar premise. Of course we readers know exactly why Maul is interested in Anakin, and why Dormé senses a similarity between them; I almost wonder if Maul has plans for Anakin’s mangled, broken future. And ohmigosh, now I’m imagining the skeezy, manipulative Maul of Rebels taking not Ezra but Anakin as his apprentice! Now there’s a thought! :eek:
    (Apropos Sith, I’m thinking I should recognize the three trophy statues, though other than being pretty sure one of them is Palpatine, I’m not sure I do. I also wonder if I should recognize some of the spectators you describe; is the Theelin this universe’s equivalent of Diva Shaliqua?)

    Great job transforming Dormé, Padmé, Maul, and, well, all of them in a way that is both totally, perfectly twisted and immediately recognizable. It would be very cool to see more of this AU in future stories! =D=
     
  5. Raissa Baiard

    Raissa Baiard Chosen One star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 22, 1999
    :eek:[face_hypnotized]HEADSPLODE.... MOOIE MOOIE HEADSPLODE!

    Wow, what a dark take on the GFFA! The Nemoidians take over Naboo. Padmé is reduced to slavery (and I fear that whatever Maul has been doing to or with her is worse than just physical deprivation and cruelty.) Because Padmé never leaves Naboo for Coruscant, Anakin is never discovered by the Jedi, and presumably there’s no one to oppose Palpatine’s Machiavellian schemes—Though I wonder, given Maul’s prominence here if Palpy’s apprentice did what all good Sith do and betrayed his master. Maul seems like he’s planning to take the scarred and burned Anakin and perform exactly the kind of transformation on him that Palpy did at the end of RotS.

    Dormé, of course, never became a handmaiden, because there was no queen to be hand maiden to. Instead, she’s honored to live her regimented, repressed life in Lake Business Hive. She’s happy and grateful to celebrate the “restructuring” of her planet. Ugh, what a horribly sanitized way to refer to an invasion. Just one of the insidious little ways this beautiful planet has changed. The festival showcasing the killing of the weakest younglings and the slaughter of petty criminals in a gladiatorial spectacle...double and triple ugh! And the fact that Dormé accepts that what a woman is “really made for” is to be Maul’s new toy is truly nauseating. Yes, Dormé, you and that hideous slave had a lot in common...but you’re not going to like the next thing you have in common. [face_sick] We know, even if she doesn’t, what a twisted manipulative creature he really is.

    I’m curious about the head sculptures, too. I wonder if they represent Maul’s enemies, which would make the middle one Qui-Gon? I’m assuming he defeated Qui-Gon (and Obi-Wan) in this universe, and is still, er, himself from the waist down... And the Gungan announcer seems MOOIE MOOIE FAMILIAR. Poor JarJar wreaks havoc whatever AU he’s in, doesn’t he? (Also wondering if the Theelin podracer was the same one who is mentioned in Doaba Ke’demii—I think her name was Diva Alovera?)

    You are truly the mistress of headsploding AU’s! Bravo=D=
     
  6. Pandora

    Pandora Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Apr 13, 2005
    Well, that was certainly different.


    I have encountered several AUs of a successfully Trade Federation controlled Naboo before this--but you have taken your world much further, and in a decidedly stranger and more alien direction, than any of those authors dared to imagine. Naboo has been utterly transformed into a good Trade Federation purse-world--and (on the surface, at least), after a decade of conquest, all is properly assimilated. Somehow, I'm not surprised to see the Naboo--the nameless background masses who needed saving by a teenaged queen in the movie version--have taken so well to their new overlords. They shout "roger-roger" at this celebration of Trade Federation might as enthusiastically--and mindlessly--as they once adored the doll-goddess of a girl sitting on the throne.

    But beneath their surface, they have changed in more surprising ways: the once peaceful Naboo can cheer on while watching mass executions, and then there is the fact that there are petty criminals amongst the population to be executed at all. (As for the "adulterers," perhaps that is a bone thrown to the leftover shred of Naboo prudery?) I can't imagine pickpockets lurking at all in the clean empty streets of the Theed shown in TPM.

    Also: I note that in this new world, the human Naboo and Gungans appear to be on equal (though separately in separate hives) standing, which I don't think was the case before the invasion. This aspect stays in the background of Dormé's POV--if she ever gave it much thought, after this many years, she would take it for granted--but I wonder how that might have affected the Gungans' view of, and their initial adjustment to, the new world order.

    Dormé certainly has taken to the restructured world with alacrity: here, she is a successful, highly ranked businesswoman in the foreground wherever she goes. (And as an aside--going from real world royal ladies-in-waiting--I have always thought of Dormé, as well as the other handmaidens, as coming from an aristocratic background.) She is thriving in a world where there are consequences for those who don't, and she doesn't seem at all like the woman glimpsed in AOTC.

    But wait!: she does have that one moment of compassion, that she can only just recognize for what it is, for the nameless slave chained at Maul's side. We know--as she can't--who this woman who resembles her has to be, and who she once was. This sort of moment is oftentimes depicted in AUs as the characters having a fleeting glimpse of their lives in the real and canon universe. Perhaps that was your intention, but I actually prefer another reading--that this is a glimpse of Dormé's true, and usually repressed nature, as someone who is naturally empathic and caring.

    But in this universe, the canon one isn't so much as a shadow: here, Nute Gunray and Maul (and oh yes, I think Maul has Gunray on the end of his sithly chain) are the main characters, the ones who matter, and Padmé is the nameless nothing drudge who gets killed off and forgotten.

    On the other hand, it seems that Anakin's fate (and it looks like Tatooine is also now a purse-world, which makes me wonder what is going on at the galactic level) is to once again be a quadruple amputee with third degree burns, and the interest of Sith.

    And the unnamed, but recognizable all the same, Jar Jar Binks is still "clumsy", and is still committing the fashion crime of wearing a vest with no shirt. Tsk, tsk.

    It's obvious at the end what interest Maul has with Anakin Skywalker, but his intentions for Dormé--while obviously they can't be good--are more ambiguous. He invites her to join him under the guise of protecting him (and that is an echo of her mostly unused role of bodyguard in the canon universe)--but she hasn't the Force, and she would seem to be too highly ranked to easily reduce to slavery. And he does recognize her, aside from her hair and her eyes and her wow, in her professional capacity--as the supervisor who told off Chancellor Valorum.

    But still, he is not to be trusted--and in the end, she may be no better off--and in fact, worse off--than she was as the silent shadow of a mere handmaiden.

    Also, on the subject of language and fancy colors: Her long, violently violet gown was rustling in the wind.

    I have actually used a variation of "violent and violet" at least several times, though I can't recall if one of those times was in a story posted here on the boards. If not--then how did you magically know that?

    Finally: after I posted this request, I had second thoughts, wondering if I had given out a request that no one, ever, would want to write. After all, I was asking for an AU for a character with a barely defined canon self. So that said, I'm glad that you had a universe/story waiting where you could find a use for it. I am also glad I left things wide open, because I don't think I would have imagined any of this myself. Especially the never-true-pairing of Dormé/Maul.

    And of course, thank you for writing this story for me. I apologize for taking this long to respond, and hope that the short story length of this response will somewhat make up for it.
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2018