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Saga - Legends "The inmost light", a Cassandra one-shot for the Autumn Bingo Challenge

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by AzureAngel2, Sep 27, 2020.

  1. AzureAngel2

    AzureAngel2 Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jun 14, 2005
    Title:The inmost light”, a Cassandra one-shot for the Autumn BINGO Challenge by @devilinthedetails

    Author: AzureAngel2

    Co-editor and muse: @DarthUncle

    Main beta editor: @WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    Length: one-shot

    BINGO words: Chill in the air, Scarecrow, Changing leaves, Pumpkin, Haystack


    Summary: To summon the dead is always tricky business. Especially when you call forth the wrong soul by accident. A young woman, trying her best at new moon somewhere in the countryside, is in for a big surprise. And so is the person to catch up with her.

    Time frame: The story takes place several months after 0 BBY.

    Planet of choice: Chandrilla

    Disclaimer: SW is owned by George Lucas, Lucas Ltd. and now The Walt Disney Company


    If I share this with you never speak a word
    They would never understand if they ever heard
    Gemini, Capricorn, rising in the east
    Dancing through the witchwood we began to sing...


    In between dark and light in the underworld
    Wrapped around your finger like a string of pearls
    Smiling face, empty hand, 7 golden rings
    Dancing through the starlight we began to sing...


    Ahh, still I hear the whisper..."Cartouche"...

    Caramel coloured leaves spiral in the air
    Diving right into the ground 'round the winding stair
    Stories carved out of wood, jester and the king
    Dancing through the moonlight, we began to sing


    Ahh, still I hear the whisper..."Cartouche"...

    Memories, black and white, hide behind the glass
    In the mirrors and the smoke, its all fading fast
    Written word, turn the card winter into spring
    Dancing through the witchwood we began to sing...


    Ahh, Ahh, still I hear the whisper..."Cartouche"...


    The witching hour:

    Chandrila had been an easy choice for tonight's ritual. In the aftermath of her father's death, the Dark Lord had purchased the Krennic apple farm for her. Including the old farm house and the barn. The latter gave her a greater privacy than the castle.

    Besides, Mustafar had no moon to speak of.

    There was the usual chill in the air before the encounter. The hair at the back of her neck went as stiff as the fur of an agonized Loth-cat.

    Cassandra Morrígain Krennic, dressed in Tyrian purple, did not look up from her black leather boots though. Her composure did not change for a single inch. Only her lovely mouth moved. “Wrong spirit!” she muttered. Then she added, a sourly undertone in her voice, “Be gone or the after-life will get really messy for you!”

    The cold intensified.

    “Whatever it is,” she moved on rather unimpressed, “Take it for granted that you have picked the wrong person to haunt. I can make your existence very miserable if, for example, I choose to command you as my servant from now on, spirit.”

    Having said that and being safe inside the magic circle she had drawn with white chalk for her own protection, she looked up.

    The person in front of her was not her beloved father, who had died in the infamous Battle of Scarif.

    Her piercing eyes met that of a human who was far away from looking like a haggard scarecrow. With his warrior-like body, he had far more substance. But he had suffered heavy skin injuries. As if an entire building had collapsed on him. He was covered in debris and blood. The face was somewhat pockmarked. He wore an outdated pressure suit and held on to the remains of a walking staff. It was tedious business looking into his eyes. They were a blur of colours. For they constantly turned from blue into green and then into brown. It made her rather dizzy to be honest.

    “Where am I?” the stranger asked in an angry, demanding tone.

    “In the wrong place at the wrong time,” the young woman concluded and willing to dismiss the soul that has gotten called by her ritual.

    “And you are?” he kept asking eagerly.

    Of course she would not give him her name. It was the essence of her being. A too powerful tool in the wrong hands. “Your worst enemy, if you keep on going like this!”

    Deep inside, she was still a sweet girl with an inmost light radiating from her, but after some gruesome encounters with several Sith phantoms she was taking no nonsense from anybody. It was a waste of her time. Precious time, she rather liked to spend reading a good book or two.

    “Have I offended you in life?” the stranger asked.

    “I don't know,” she admitted carefully for by now she was sure that the Force itself was trying to teach her a valuable lesson here. Something like: Do not raise the Dead!

    But Sith books unlike Jedi related texts never came with a reader-friendly warning.

    Cassandra bit her underlip very hard and drew some blood.

    Her most favourite wish was actually not to make her father return from the Dead. But to be with her on-and-off boy-friend, Zevulon Veers. Just to sit on a haystack, as they used to in the past. When the universe had seemed a much simpler place. But that was a life time ago. Things would never be the same for her! Not after Scarif.

    “Blasted rebellion!” she cursed with sudden vehemence.

    “The Rebellion?” A happy glitter slid into the stranger's eyes and he turned into a much younger man, unharmed by war and still in his prime. His hair was now a rich and dark affair, with orange stripes in it. “What of it? What about the dream?”

    “What dream?” she asked straight back.

    “To be free from the Empire!”

    Not only had she managed to call forth the wrong ghost, but to make matters really annoying, she seemed to have a freedom fighter in front of her. Of all encounters possible. As if there were not enough of them already sabotaging the Empire.

    “I demand you,” Cassandra let out with all the authority she could muster, “Tell me who you are!”

    For a brief second, a shiver went into the ghostly apparition in front of her. As if trying to fight her direct command. Then he said in a low voice, “I am Saw Gerrera.”

    And at that, she threw the pumpkin.


    Some hours later:

    His Lambda-class T-4a shuttle, with the comm unit designation ST 321, arrived with the first rays of dawn touching the apple trees. Their leaves were already changing their colour.

    There was not much room for true emotions. Neither in his masked face nor in his artificially modulated voice. But she felt his amusement anyway. It made him stand on his feet with much more ease. Despite all the incredible pain he was constantly in.

    “You came out here, all the way from Mustafar, to speak to your father,” Lord Vader concluded once more. “In a séance.”

    “Your janitor would even follow me to the toilet, if he could!” Cassandra defended herself, her cheeks ablaze with shame. “He is a sneaky worm.”

    “I see.”

    His answer showed her that he was not taking this issue serious enough. “Vaneé looks at me like the notorious Jabba the Hutt at one of his dancing girls.”

    “With good reason,” he gave back. “You were the one who put on the song 'Lapti Nek' and danced through the castle corridors. That left a permanent impression on my steward.”

    Before the young woman was able to reply something more sassy, he knelt down in the remains of the pumpkin.

    “Saw Gerrera, you say,” he moved on, while starring at the mess underneath his boots.

    “Anybody you know personally?” she guessed straight into the blue.

    “Originally, he was an Ondorian resistance fighter. During the Clone Wars the Jedi trained their lot.”

    “Why would they do that?”

    Slowly, he rose on his long, cybernetic legs. “Because they could.”

    She took no time being affronted by such a short, unsatisfying answer. Her guess was that he exchanged more words with her than with anybody else in his surroundings. “And what happened next? After such an act of empowerment of common folk who have way under 2.500 Midi-chlorians per cell?”

    For a long time, only his even breath answered her. Then he said, “Sources of mine believe Saw Gerrera to have perished on Jedha.”

    Cassandra cocked her head. “Wasn't that the little moon Daddy destroyed?”

    “Indeed.” He walked back to her, his black cape swirling behind him elegantly.

    “Did Saw Gerrera come to haunt me?”

    He placed a hand on her shoulder, keeping his touch light. “Why did you throw the pumpkin at him, Cassandra?”

    It was so typical of him to answer a question with a counter-question. It gave her the suspicion that he once had been a Jedi master with a padawan. Always keen on teaching her a lesson or two. Very much like Qui-Gon Jinn.

    “Well,...” she sighed.

    “Yes?” he probed with a patience he hardly possessed in dealing with others. Especially not with the military personnel serving under him. “Search you feelings!”

    “They are a bit jumbled right now. A real jigsaw puzzle.”

    The Dark Lord granted her some time to say more about the matter, but the words would not come. It was too complex for her to describe what made her throw the pumpkin straight at the ghostly spectre.

    “This is what I believe. What really happened here.” Confidentially, he took a step closer. “Saw Gerrera was befriended with the Erso family. Therefore he took Lyra Erso's death through your father's hand very personal.”

    “But...”

    “Cassandra, I am the one talking,” he reminded her matter-of-factly.

    She made a face.

    “Your father told you many lies, when you grew up in his care. He did it out of love. Leave it at that.”

    “As simple as that?” she pressed out.

    He nodded, a simple daily life movement that caused havoc to his nerve system. So she kept her tongue. For now anyway.

    “As I was saying, Saw Gerrera wanted revenge.”

    “Like a good Sith,” she mumbled.

    Even though anomalies in his breathing were not common, for some seconds there was one. But he picked up speaking as if nothing of great consequence just had happened.

    “Nagina Samye had enemies who wanted her dead for a very long time. In Saw Gerrera and his partisans they found a dispensable tool to achieve their goal.”

    The world started turning around her, but his firm grip held her anchored in place.

    “Yes, Cassandra, I suspect that Saw Gerrera was chosen to commit the ominous deed. Because he and your father had history with one another.”

    Tears were swimming in her eyes. Angrily, she blinked them away. “Why do I summon the murderer of some kindergarten teacher?”

    “The Force works in mysterious ways,” he offered.

    “C'mon!” she exploded. “You must have guessed by now. I am her. I am Nagina. And somebody brought me back from the Dead by unnatural means. In this new body.”

    Gravely, he shook his head. “Mistress Samye was a much softer woman. By some accident the two of you may share the same genetic code, but you are made of much harder material. As I would suspect from a weapon forged by your father.”

    “Oh really?” she spit. “After what happened to the Death Star you still believe Daddy to be a genius? Who built things for eternity?”

    “Galen Erso sabotaged the project 'Star dust' from within.” He never faltered while saying this to her. “Your father's only fault was to be blind against this deceit until it was too late to do anything against it.”

    With the back of her hand, the young woman dried away her tears. “You would not mind telling the Emperor about your insight, would you?”

    “It is better not to stir his attention in your direction, Cassandra.” His words felt like Durasteel blocks raining on her. “Nothing can ever again repair the Krennic family name.”

    Proudly, she raised her chin. “This is why you renamed me Morrígain Kinnear? As if this could gaslight anybody who really is looking for me.” She thought about the friend whom Zevulon had made before joining the rebellion against the Empire. “That is like changing my name from Darklighter to another family name that is popular among Tatooine's moisture farmer community. Like, like Whitesun. Or, whatsit, Skywalker.”

    His fingers wrapped around the outlines of her jar in a playful way. “I pay a fortune to keep you safe from harm. Never question that.”

    She sniggered. “People must start to wonder if you keep a mistress.”

    “This is no laughing matter.” His hand dropped. “Nor is summoning the Dead.”

    That reproach vexed her extremely. “You started.”

    He was perplex. That she could tell. And took advantage of it.

    “You had Momin build that castle of yours. He could not deliver your greatest wish. Then you heard of Lady Corvax and the Bright Star. But this also would not restore the love of your life…”

    “How…?” he began.

    “Your blood whispers in my veins!” She could not help to roll her eyes at him. “Besides the Oracle talks to me now and then.”

    Now his body visibly shook. “Enough!” he hissed.

    Cassandra jumped back.

    “You will never talk to that creature again! And you will conduct no further séances! Not here and certainly not on Mustafar!”

    Her face lit up like a light. For she already made new plans. If one door was shut another would open.

    He raised a warning finger. “This also includes Coruscant and the Executor.”

    “As if I need a séance to talk to the Dead!” she sneered before turning pale in terror.

    Now the truth was out.

    His chest plate almost collided with her body. “Who else?”

    That was the moment to let the dam break. Normally, she was not such a cry baby.

    “Revan and some others.”

    Which did include her true biological father. But that was a secret she was not prepared to share with him. Not now, not ever.

    He towered above her, appalled and sympathetic at the same time. Then he said, his words drenched in irony, “Be careful not to choke on your tears, Cassandra!

    Dazed, she looked into his masked face. Believing to see a pair of human eyes behind his optical lenses for several heart beats. They were blue and genuine.

    “Before you use my cape as your personal handkerchief, I will wait for you inside the house.” With quick steps the Dark Lord hurried off, stating half-way, “Perhaps I can manage some repairs on that droid of yours while you get a grip on yourself again!”

    While she heard him marching through the apple orchard, a one-man-army on a mission, she sank to her knees. “How could I have been so stupid?”

    “Good question. Keep them coming!” advised a bodiless voice with a little lit friendly.

    “Shut up, Dad!”

    “You never called me that before!” wondered Qui-Gon Jinn.

    “Because right now I am very overtaxed with my life.”

    “Then you should not communicate with the Dead,” the deceased Jedi master suggested.

    She wrinkled her nose. “This coming from you is so not helpful.”

    A warm presence wrapped itself around Cassandra's body. “Did it ever occur to you that Orson is too afraid facing you? That he'd rather watch you and protect you from a safe distance?”

    “This is not fair,” she sniffed.

    The warmth increased without becoming unpleasant. “No, life in general is not fair.”

    “And the Force does not take sides, right?”

    Deep laughter pearled through the barn. “But you try to. Very desperately and being very stubborn about it.”

    “Because I try to understand all the mess that I am left with. The story of my life makes no sense any more. I am not the person I am supposed to be.”

    Invisible hands placed themselves against her back, nudging her towards the exit. “How many times to you wish to discuss that? You are who you are. A young woman who was raised by an Imperial officer to his best knowledge and abilities. And that is all that matters in the end.”

    “I wish it would be so simple,” she disagreed.

    “But it is. Make it so!”

    Outside, Cassandra let her gaze wander towards the shuttle that had been parked at the edge of the apple farm.

    Her cousin had come here all on his own. Despite his pressing duties to the Emperor. Despite his status. And despite the frantic search for Luke Skywalker, the young rebel pilot responsible for the destruction of the Death Star.

    “Are you still there?” she asked in a low voice.

    “No, I am just the wind in your hair,” joked Qui-Gon.

    “Why do you waste your hopes on me?”

    “Good advice is wasted on you, now and again,” he pointed out. “But if anybody can help your cousin to better his ways, it is you.”

    “Because I know the pitfalls of the Sith teachings?” she commented dryly. "By trying them out? In dangerous self-experiments?”

    “Your asset is that you are fully aware of the mistakes the Jedi order committed on this galaxy and their people.”

    The front door of the old farm house swang open and Jay, the old nursing droid of her grandfather, stepped out. “Mistress Morrígain, the tea is ready!” he informed her loud and clear.

    Tears of joy flooded her eyes. “He repaired Jay. Just like that.”

    “As a small boy, he was good at fixing things. You brought that back to him.”

    Taking a deep breath, the young woman stepped into the crisp autumn morning. Her responsibilities lay with the living, not the Dead. And Lord Vader was the only family that she had left.


    Sources:
    The song “Cartouche” by Blackmore's Night (2003)
    Wookieepedia – The Star Wars Wiki
    Hidden quotes from SW movies and the SW universe
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2020
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  2. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Conversations blending snark and warmth
     
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  3. AzureAngel2

    AzureAngel2 Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jun 14, 2005
    Well, I am too late for the actual competition any way. I just noticed AFTER I posted this and went to @devilinthedetails thread. But thanks for reacting to my post and the story attached to it. [:D] This always means a lot to me, Ny.
     
  4. Kahara

    Kahara Force Ghost star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 3, 2001
    Well, I'm glad that you wrote it anyway! It's not really fall weather here yet, but I'm trying to feel autumnal and this helps. :p I do enjoy that Cassie's brand as a young adult has emerged as this combination of prim and proper professional by day, yelling at ghosts and dancing through the castle by night, blowing her nose on Darth Vader's cape occasionally. ;)

    [face_laugh] Her completely blase attitude towards making ghosts angry is... well, it actually does seem pretty predictable from kid!Cassie now that I think about it. She's always been a bit too curious for her own good, and sees ghosts all over when she's not even trying sometimes.

    [face_pumpkin] Number one solution to wrong number ghost calls, according to Cassie.

    LOL, I think Ghost Dad and Sith Dad (well, cousin if we're being technical) are in agreement for once! :p Nice to see that she's at least able to accept support from Vader in her grief, strange source though his Sithliness is! :vader:
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2020
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  5. AzureAngel2

    AzureAngel2 Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jun 14, 2005
    @Kahara: For this time of the year it´s by far too warm in this part of my country. Perhaps I was the only person who was cheerful when some mist rose on Thursday morning. Real mist, not smog.

    The lime tree that stands in front of my husband´s office already has some golden leaves here and there.

    As for Cassandra as a young adult: well any person possessing Palpatine DNA, having been raised by Director Krennic & being taken in by Darth Vader in her hour of need ends up being interesting.

    About her seeing ghosts now and then: cannot be helped but instead of acting like a scared chicken, she gives her best to be cool about it. Humour, even if it´s dark and sarcastic, is her way dealing with stuff life throws at her.

    Well, in the original "Sleepy Hollow" story there is also a smashed pumpkin, right? And it´s more spectacular than throwing an apple.

    DarthUncle laughed very hard when he read the following:

    Thanks for finding the time to react to my story! I am so grateful to you.
     
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