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Saga - PT The Jewels of . . . WHAT?! (Fic-Gift for Ewok Poet, borrowed OC)—COMPLETE as of 1/31

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by Findswoman , Jan 3, 2017.

  1. Raissa Baiard

    Raissa Baiard Favorites of Fanfic Artist Extraordinaire star 4 VIP

    Nov 22, 1999
    So glad to see that Taide and Mammon followed their hosts' advice; I maintain that shoes and underwear are Serious Business in the Space!Midwest, almost as serious as blush-green solari crystals :D

    You truly bring the Temple to life with your rich descriptions! I love all the details: the ornate metal doors, the blue windows leading up into the dark, starless sky of the ceiling, glowing chandeliers and sconces. The altar and its cubic throne sound a little ominous in an otherwise festive atmosphere. Those "milling guests" who pause in their drinking and gossiping just long enough to be polite are the same kind that attend every cocktail party ever, and of course, there's the "makeshift cash bar" ready to cater to them, even in a temple! ;) And of course, there's the culture minister, who in true small town Midwest fashion, seems to be about three decades out of style. But what she lacks in fashion sense, she seems to make up for in eloquence:
    I love this variation on "May the Force be with you." [face_love] It seems to be a GFFA reflection of "God is Love" and it would make a marvelous wedding invocation in that Galaxy. (I must remember this one if I ever marry any of my OTP's "on screen" :D)

    The Days of Light and Love have certainly attracted attention this year, not just Taide and Mammon. The entire Organa family is in attendance. I like the way the sky blue of the temple's windows is repeated in their clothing, and once again your well-chosen descriptions paint a life-like picture. As much as I like Taide, he annoyed me a little bit with this:
    . Perhaps the good professor needs to get his nose out of his books long enough to study Human (or sentient, if you prefer) interactions. Hey, it worked for Twilight Sparkle....oops, wrong fandom!

    And then the ceremony...please no flash photography or video recording! [face_laugh] Good thing Taide has his notebook and stylus (of course he does). The temple shows that it is the "right kind of atmosphere" after all, with glowing pearls and eerie prickles up and down Taide's neck. Still, even with all the supernatural-ish goings on, Taide still has his scholar hat on--still more interested in the costumes than the dancers or their routine and reflecting (ha!) on "nacreous materials in low-light conditions". Things start getting down-right weird when they wheel out the Heart of Mak-Gu-Fina in a heavy box guarded by ysalimiri. :eek: How powerful is this gem, and are the sunglasses necessary so spectators aren't turned into pillars of salt?

    I have certain ideas about what will happen when a powerful gem and a princess with latent Force-sensivity are together in a mystically charged temple. :eek: :eek: :eek:

    Also, given the role that light has been playing throughout the ceremony, this
    seems like it could be significant. [face_thinking]

    As always =D=, looking forward to the finale!
  2. Mistress_Renata

    Mistress_Renata Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Sep 9, 2000

    Which is why I maintain that a sudden trip to the ladies' room several miles away might be in order... :D
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  3. Findswoman

    Findswoman The Fanfic Mod in Pink star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Feb 27, 2014
    Going to take a somewhat piecemeal approach to comment responses this time: since Kahara is still on chapter 1, I'll respond to her separately first (so as not to spoil anything much :p ), then to the folks commenting on chapter 3.

    Thanks so much! The notion of doing a Taide story came from my various chats with Ewok Poet about her Force-sensitive characters and the role of the Force nexus in her oeuvre (that being one of the prompts of her gift request). At one point she mentioned eventually writing a story about Taide herself, and I went back to Letetrs Never Sent and began to look into the character a little more.

    I know Mammon Hoole as the "author" of the two Essential Guides to Aliens back in teh day, which were formative books for me—my first introduction to the various species of SW. :) I haven't read Galaxy of Fear yet, so I'm so glad you felt his character came off well! Though from what I saw while researching Mammon on the Wook it looks really fascinating. I thought he would make a good counterpart to Taide on account of being a scholar in a related field—that way they share some of the same background and social circles, even though their scholarly specialties and approaches are ultimately pretty different.

    Yep! I've always suspected shapeshifting ability must bring along with it its own very specialized sense of humor. :p You'll see other hints of it throughout the story, too, of course. :)

    Ah, well, you see, it's very much an "avians of a feather" type situation! Academics are a notoriously quirky bunch, and quirky folk with esoteric areas of study need to stick together—it's an absolute necessity. Otherwise they're liable to go stark bantha-mess mad. :p

    The tendency of academics to form little mini-communities and cohorts around esoteric areas of study is, of course, a corollary of the abovementioned quirkiness. And from my own experience in the academic and "alt-ac" sectors, I can say that those mini-communities and cohorts are an immensely valuable and lifesaving thing. No doubt the IGSSA or similar organization has an Archaeogemological Study Group or similar. :p

    Thanks! Just thought these would be a nice little Easter-egg-type nod to EP's universe and characters; she mentioned to me in a chat at one point that [hl=black]Taide did know Doria's mother[/hl], so this was my way of acknowledging that part of his background. It is rather a bummer that various people in-universe seem so down on that relationship—I found it heartbreaking when [hl=black]the narrator of Letters Never Sent[/hl] expressed a similar opinion. (In a good way, EP! It does all fit. ;) )

    As Jeeves would say, I endeavor to give satisfaction. :D

    Oh yes! As the others have said, this is a man who gets WAAAY more excited about new and interesting things within his own recondite scholarly area than about, well, things most people would be excited about. Like: festivals, dancers, beauty queens, parties, :p (I know the type well because I know several people of this very type! Who are all super nice, by the way—don't get me wrong. :p )

    Once again, the sector name was Raissa Baiard 's suggestion, and of course for the SPace!Midwest there can be no other name. And as for Mak-Gu-Fina: well, I strained and strained my brain for clever things to call the jewel, when finally I just asked myself, "why not just call it what it is?" And so I did. :p

    Definitely is—one has to watch what one says in this Imperial era. [face_nail_biting] But he's also up against the tendency of some elements of the scholarly community (here on Earth as well) to be... skeptical about more metaphysical things like that. You will see more of that dynamic in the succeeding chapters.

    More to come soon in response to the chapter 3 commenters, hopefully later today if all goes well. Thank you all once again. :)
    Kahara, Raissa Baiard and Ewok Poet like this.
  4. Findswoman

    Findswoman The Fanfic Mod in Pink star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Feb 27, 2014
    And now, responses to the readers commenting on chapter 3:

    Ah! All I can say at this point is, "[face_whistling]." You shall see what will happen next in not too long.

    Or stuff that you didn't necessarily know but don't really give the fractional part of a tinker's cuss about, like what all the "pretty prancing around" symbolizes, or what random species can do with light and shadow. Because we all know how much those pale in importance alongside FUNNY-COLORED GEMS THAT GO BLINK IN CERTAIN ENVIRONMENTS!1!1! :p

    Thank you so much! I just find that sort of thing—all those sorts of things you mentioned—very enjoyable to write, to the point where I am liable to get a bit carried away. It certainly was fun in this case; besides bits and pieces of various structures in KOTOR and Indiana Jones, I think I may partially have been channeling some locations in The Book of Gand too. Also, I tried to make the clothes of the Organas harmonize with what we've seen on them in the films so far.

    He is indeed! The Veiled Queen of Love and Light has chosen him, out of all those present, to be the one to crown her. Well may you "[face_worried]," because that's exactly what Taide would be doing if he had that smiley available to him right now. As it is, all he can do is goggle, make indeterminate noises, and fumble with his notebook. :p

    Thank you so much! I'm glad you're enjoying

    All I can say to all this at the moment is "[face_whistling]," I'm afraid. But I will take that last sentence as a compliment, and as a big compliment, coming from you, at that! :D

    He is definitely meant to be getting annoying at this point, even dismissive. But even with these Petty Academic Squabbles, these two are still, in the end, reasonable people who know what's good for them and know that those strangers know what they're talking about when it comes to temperature conditions on their own homeworld! :p

    I have had many an "uh-huh" conversation of this very sort with my own academic colleagues past and present, so that may be why they keep recurring in this story. :p But I also know well how frustration on both sides can build up during such conversations, leading to a general "Ochsen am Berge" feeling (to borrow a German idiom)—and that's exactly what's meant to be happening here. Mammon's a bit irked at what he considers to Taide's one-track obsession with something that he (Mammon) considers relatively inconsequential; Taide is irked with Mammon for being dismissive and not taking him (Taide) and his his expertise seriously.

    Or, too, just because, in the end, they're both super-cerebral types, and that's how super-cerebral types, at least of a certain sort, express themselves! :D

    No mystery here: it's his expertise as an archaeogemologist (to coin a term), pure and simple, that's giving him his confidence. He really and truly has been in the sorts of places where Force gems go haywire, and after years—decades, even—of detailed research he knows exactly under what conditions such gems go haywire.

    Although the [hl=black]universal love[/hl] has by no means left the story—after all, [hl=black]these two characters' very friendship is itself an example of that[/hl], and it doesn't spoil anything to say that [hl=black]their friendship will survive this story[/hl].

    You know I always feel mighty proud of myself when you, EP, tell me that you didn't expect something in one of my stories! Yep, the Organas are indeed here... but indeed I bet even many of the Khorassanis present weren't expecting them either. :eek:

    Well, as we saw in the previous chapter, she more or less always looks like that—she just intensified the look for the occasion. She's trying to go for that edgy, artsy look—sort of like a high-culture-vulture, quinquagenarian version of Tonks.

    Just wait and see, just wait and see... [face_whistling]

    Connecting "love" to "stars" definitely was my intention, but of course I am always glad to have other interpretations out there, too. :) Of course, the darkness-and-light motifs tie in to all that as well (see below).

    Oh yes, and this is of course the very same phenomenon Taide read about in all those accounts cited in the Ditwar Logas article. This kind of blinding light business has apparently been happening at this festival in some form for centuries—nay, millennia.

    Not in the least—not to worry. :) He's just being a sentientological show-off in a way that happens to dovetail rather disoncertingly with the surrounding atmosphere, or some such.:p

    Yes, though note that the Queen was the one who chose him with her laser-pointer thingamajig. Hopefully it won't be too long before you'll get to see the end—if RL cooperates with me, that is, which it very often doesn't. Fingers crossed, though! [face_good_luck]

    Agreed, agreed! And again, those two may quibble and quarrel sometimes, but they know what's good for them.

    Thanks! Again, I always have a ball (!)—sometimes too much of one—describing environments like this. But what was probably most fun in this case was juxtaposing up this ancient, ominous, Force-suffused structure with the gala cocktail-party culture of modern times (more on that below).

    That's exactly what this event is: equal parts occult Force ritual and gala society cocktail party. (Which is also borrowed loosely from the RL Veiled Prophet ball, though of course all the "ancient" trappings in that aren't really all that ancient. The GFFA, in contrast, affords the perfect opportunity for "ancient" ceremonies that really are—as well as modern gala trappings. Both fit equally well into this universe, I think.)

    Thanks! So glad you like it (I felt it fit well with EP's themes, as noted above), and you would be welcome to use it anytime. :)

    Thanks so much! The blue was inspired largely by the clothes we see on them in the movies, which are various blue, gray, and muted teal shades. But who knows, they may indeed well have chosen those colors to harmonize with the place—they no doubt have some hip and knowledgeable fashion advisors on their royal staff! (In any case, they probably match the place better than the culture minister, whose advisor was probably just her own mirror! :p )

    Oh yes, he definitely is meant to be a bit obnoxious and clueless there. This whole "universal sentient love" business is just not really his forte. He's better by far with rocks. :p

    Hey, they're eminently practical out here in the Space!Midwest! :p

    Came prepared, he did. All good scholars do, don'tcha know! :D

    Oh, natch! He's in absolute esoteric-scholars' nirvana right now. After all, it's all confirmation of his hypothesis about these gems and the effects they are said to cause. Also, up till now his experience with these phenomena has been mainly in an archaeological context—but now he has the chance to see them come to life in his own time.

    We shall see, we shall see! There's nothing really meant to be mysterious about the sunglasses, though—people are really only just pulling them out to cut down on the dazzling glare.

    [face_whistling], [face_whistling], [face_whistling]!

    Again, that's just intended to be Mammon showing off his sentientological knowledge—he's been spouting tidbits about the symbolism of the dances, so naturally he does the same with the sentient species he's made such careful studies of over the years. But it definitely does fit in with the ominous character of the place, in a way I hadn't really thought about before you readers pointed it out. Eekers indeed! :eek:

    Thanks! And again, I'll really, really, really try not to take to long. :)

    Even if ladies’ rooms aren’t technically an option for him, I think Taide must be having similar thoughts at this point! On the other hand… just getting to witness this ceremony is already a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, but to actually be the one who gets to do the crowning? That’s a once-in-about-ten-lifetimes opportunity! Well, soon enough we’ll see how he does, and what happens...

    Thank you all once again for sticking with this and being such a wonderful bunch of readers! @};-
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  5. Findswoman

    Findswoman The Fanfic Mod in Pink star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Feb 27, 2014
    And here is the fourth and final chapter, in time for Ewok Poet 's slava (family nameday). Many thanks once again to Raissa Baiard for her invaluable beta-reading help. @};-


    “Ah—um—yes—well, now—”

    Taide stuffed the notebook in his pocket and advanced gingerly to the front of the room, where the Veiled Queen and her attendants stood awaiting him at the foot of the altar steps. He could feel the eyes of the whole room upon him, from House Organa to Mammon (whom he swore he had seen raise his glass and wink, the old so-and-so) down to the lowliest cocktail waiter. And there was the pesky tingle in his spine again, which seemed to grow stronger with each step toward the fateful metal box on the cart. All the while, the single contrabass viol in the orchestra continued its low drone.

    “So—er—um—what do I, um—”

    “As the veiled Queen of Love and Light ascends again to her lofty throne”—again the culture minister’s voice boomed over the sound system, and as it did the two dancer-attendants conducted the Queen back up the stairs—“the chosen servant shall remove the ancient tiara from its casket.”

    Tentatively, Taide opened the metal box. He squinted for a moment as the blush-green fire of the Heart of Mak-Gu-Fina blazed up at him. How different that enigmatic stone looked now! Back in the culture ministry office, under the ordinary office tube-lights, it had simply been a rather pretty half-pink, half-green gem. But here, even in the dim, dusky light of the temple sconces, its rare hues sparked constantly into one another in an endless color-changing blaze.

    By now the Queen was already seated on the cubical stone throne, perfectly upright and motionless, her attendants beside her. Taide’s hands trembled as he removed the tiara from the velvoid-lined interior of the box; his knees wobbled as he began his ascent. With each step the gem seemed to gleam brighter, the tingling intensified. Taide noticed now that the drone of the contrabass viol had been joined by the other Rindao viols in the orchestra, together forming a sustained, insistent chord.

    The dancer-attendants guided Taide behind the cubical throne, then returned to their places at the Queen’s side. He took a moment to glance about the room, taking in the members of House Organa in their elevated alcove, Mammon sipping his cocktail, the droid at the door, the other droid at the cash bar, and the whole panoply of strangers’ faces staring up at him with motionless expectancy—

    “The chosen servant shall now crown the Veiled Queen of Love and Light with the ancient Tiara of Mak-Gu-Fina.”

    Taking a deep breath in, Taide placed the tiara—gently, gingerly—upon the veiled head of the Queen. He had just time to see her rise to her feet, her arms outstretched—and then it happened.

    The Heart of Mak-Gu-Fina blazed forth with a dazzling, pure, supernova-like white light. At the same time, the very air began to crackle and spark, as though a thousand static grenades had gone off all at once, and the ground and walls of the temple began to shake. The room was thrown into confusion—there was popping and pinging, crashing and clattering, gasps and screams from the assembled guests—

    “It’s happening!” Taide heard someone cry—he had no idea who—then another: “Yes! She’s the one!” And another: “I knew it!”

    The white blaze waxed greater and greater, enveloping the entire inner space of the temple. Taide tried to shield his eyes, but it was no use, for the light had enveloped him too, forcing him to his knees, to his face—

    And then—

    * * *






    School days. Coursework. Seminars. Papers. Late-night cram sessions. Conferences. Abstracts. Articles. Drafts, drafts, drafts. Peer review. Revise and resubmit. Reject. Accept. Write up. Edit. Defend. Finish.

    Interviews. Fellowships. Residencies. University of Chandrila Residency. In Sentient Studies. Research: cultural sentientology: sun festivals. Friendships—Mammon! Colloquium. Paper—THE Paper. THE Iasonné paper. The Iasonné sun festival paper. Congratulations! Admiration! High hopes . . .

    . . . disappointment. Article unfinished. New project started. Research: cultural sentientology? No—xenoarchaeology.

    Jewels. Glittering jewels, special jewels, jewels that go BLINK in the night.

    Back home. Anaslinea-Hoc, Kaz’aan Bay, Vagran— Galaxy-class museum, rich history, buried city, intriguing ruins—full of jewels! Curator position—perfect! All intriguing ruins, all intriguing jewels, all the time. Brooches, rings, bracelets . . . perfectly preserved in those intriguing ruins. What could it all mean? Still finding out, but maybe there are others like them?

    Yes—many! All over the Galaxy! Catalog—comprehensive study—full-color holos—sabbatical! Perfect! Museum after museum, holo after holo, notes notes notes notes notes notes . . . and now here, here in my hands . . .

    THE jewel.

    So many jewels. So many glittering jewels. Glittering jewels in cases. Glittering jewels on . . . WHAT?! in cases. In the ground, in the past, in cases, on breastplates, on heads—on WHOSE HEAD?! Jewels glittering. Jewels glittering everywhere. Little stars, little hard-crystal stars, little lights . . .




    * * *

    The first thing Taide did, after blinking and regaining consciousness, was to take out his notebook and scrawl down as much as he could about what had happened to him. He was, indeed, not entirely sure what it was that had happened to him. It was true that psychotropic effects were well documented in First Rakatan structures—Marmavere Worris-Hairwick had described such phenomena extensively in her article, after all. But somehow Taide never imagined that he would actually experience such things himself, let alone with that much intensity. Whether it would be appropriate to reference such experiences in the context of his Force-gem catalog was another question, but he resolved to worry about that later.

    He paused for a moment and looked around. The air was still crackling a bit, and several of the lights in the room still flickered. Sounds of confusion and hubbub still filled, though not as much as before. But the Queen—

    The Queen was gone.

    Taide pocketed the notebook, shuffled to his feet, and looked around. The Veiled Queen of Love and Light was not with the dancers or the page boy, who were clustered at the bottom of the altar steps. She wasn’t in either of the raised side alcoves, with the orchestra or the Alderaanian royal family. No veiled figures in white were visible among the throng of guests below. He wondered if she had been taken away by emergency medservice—there were a few of them about in bright yellow vests and fatigues.

    Then Taide noticed that steps descended behind the cubical throne as well. Immediately he scrambled down them; there seemed to be more of them than in front, descending into darkness. But he had not gone down very many of the steps before he stubbed his foot on a white-robed figure lying face-down and motionless on one of them. The tiara lay one step below, its ancient gem still flashing and sparkling but doing nothing more.

    “Oh no—oh no oh no oh no—”

    Taide dropped to his knees and turned the unconscious Queen onto her back as quickly and as gently as he could. He picked up her wrist to feel for a pulse, but it was difficult in the thickly wrapped white drapery. The white veil still covered her face. There simply was no other way . . . she could be badly hurt . . .

    He pulled back the veil.

    The Queen was an adolescent Human girl of striking beauty. Her face had a perfectly balanced rose-cream complexion, marred only by a bruise forming on one side of her face where she had fallen. Most striking of all, though, were her luxuriant tresses of glossy chestnut-brown, which had been done up in an intricate braided coiffure and which were now coming undone in several places. Thankfully she still seemed to be breathing.

    But wait a minute—those braids—wasn’t she the one who had been all over the HoloNet news, the one who was rumored to be leading some kind of . . . rebellion or resistance movement against the Empire? You know, the princess-senator person from—

    —Alderaan! But wait a minute—isn’t she up there in the box with her parents . . . ?

    Taide craned his neck upward toward the alcove where the Alderaanian royal family was sitting. Though it was difficult from where he was, he did manage to catch a glimpse of the girl in the ice-blue hooded gown, who was huddled with her parents in a comforting embrace. He glanced back at the unconscious brunette Queen, then back again to the girl in the alcove, then back again to the Queen. It didn’t seem possible—and yet, if it really was . . . All those crazy theories and mother avian’s tales about the Heart of Mak-Gu-Fina and the Queen and saviors of the Galaxy came flooding back into his mind . . .

    “Pardon me, but would you mind giving me a hand, please?”

    Taide jumped. It was the Veiled Queen who had spoken, and who was now looking cheerfully but urgently up at him through sparkling dark brown eyes.

    “Wh-why yes! Yes! Of course! Certainly!” He helped her to her feet, and she covered her face once again with the veil. “Oh, and, um—”


    Quickly Taide picked up the tiara and placed it in her hand. “I—I believe you’ll want this.”

    “Thank you so much,” came the young Queen’s gracious reply. She donned the tiara and ascended the steps to the cubical throne, before which she stood with her arms outstretched. Within moments the Heart of Mak-Gu-Fina shone, white and blush and green—not so violently this time, but rather with what Taide would later describe in his notebook as a “serene, starlike glow.”

    “Long live the Queen of Love and Light!” someone shouted. Others joined in: “Hooray for the Queen!” “We love you, Your Majesty!” “Love and Light forever!” For a moment Taide thought he even heard someone call out “The one who will save us!”—followed by a brusque “Shh!” from someone else.

    But all of it quickly dissolved in a thunder of applause.

    * * *

    Taide applauded too as he rounded the side of the central platform and made his way back to his table. Once there he took out his notebook and began to jot down a few more notes. He had not been there long when one of the emergency medservice workers, holding a small cocktail glass, sidled up to him and spoke in a familiar voice.

    “So, Taide, old chum, I just have to know. Was she a droid?”


    “And what about the, er . . . other possibility we discussed?”

    “Other possibility? What other possibility?”

    “Savior of the Galaxy and all that. You know. And don’t tell me you didn’t hear all those people yelling ‘she’s the one’ and suchlike.”

    “Oh, that! Well, uh, um—”

    Taide paused, unsure of how much he should say. On one hand, Mammon was a good friend and a trusted colleague. On the other hand, the identity of the Queen was supposed to be kept a secret, and he was only halfway sure about it himself . . .

    Suddenly the cheering swelled. Taide looked toward the front of the room. The young woman in the ice-blue gown, from the Alderaanian box, had ascended the steps and was presenting the Queen of Love and Light with a large bouquet of flowers. The Queen remained veiled, but Taide noticed that the other woman’s hood was now down—and that silver-blond hair was cascading over her shoulders.

    Taide turned again to face Mammon. “So yes, that other possibility . . . I guess what I would say is—I certainly hope so.”

    “Well, then.” Mammon winked as he raised his glass. “To hope.”

    “Yes. To hope.” ¶

    I’m sure it’s clear by now who the Queen of Love and Light is. If not, the last lines of the story are a hint (especially for those who have seen Rogue One—and yes, those last lines are intended to recall Rogue One). ;)

    If you are up on your Legends lore, you have no doubt also identified the Alderaanian woman in the ice-blue hooded gown with the white-blond hair: it’s none other than Winter, who was also adopted by Queen Breha and Prince Bail Organa and who grew up as a sister and confidante to Leia.

    In the Force vision, the paragraph beginning “Back home. Anaslinea-Hoc” is based on the character’s background as established in EP’s Letters Never Sent. Most of the other stuff in the vision I came up with—and I lot of it I have left deliberately vague in this story in case EP decides to fill it in later in future stories. ;)

    Credit for the phrase “jewels that go BLINK in the night” goes to Kahara —you can see it one of her comments above. :)

    And of course I thank Raissa Baiard once again for being a whizbang beta reader and sounding board, and EP for this immensely fun opportunity to play in her sandbox. @};-
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  6. Onderon1

    Onderon1 Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Mar 18, 2008

    Brilliant. There aren't words to describe how satisfying this ending is, Findswoman. :D

    But I shall try to do it justice. ;) It's an absolutely delightful bit of homage and Legends interplay - Winter doesn't get nearly enough appearances in these latter days, and NOT having Leia be the Queen would have been a disappointment. I also found Taide's own response quite telling ... I don't want to assume he's a latent, but perhaps he caught some spillover of Force projection from Leia and the Rakatan architecture? She's long been noted as the stronger telepath of the Skywalker twins, so it'd make perfect sense.

    Thanks again for sharing. [face_party]
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  7. mavjade

    mavjade Former Manager star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Sep 10, 2005

    I loved the descriptions of dancing in chapter 3. Dancing isn't easy to describe without using technical terms but this:
    really gives you something to picture which is individual to the reader, but still the emotion you are trying to convey.

    This was great! I want to see it myself! :D
    And then the effects were so chaotic but beautiful. I found myself reading that part very fast, like the images were crossing my mind quickly.

    I love how you indicate that the Queen is Leia without ever telling us, especially by using the last few lines about hope.

    Beautiful and fascinating story!
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  8. Mistress_Renata

    Mistress_Renata Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Sep 9, 2000
    Oh, loved it! And I confess, I never considered an Amidala-switch with Winter! Perfect, perfect, perfect! I love all your description, and all the little details of academic publishing & etc. make this character's mindset so REAL.

    =D==D==D= Faaaaah-bulous, dahling!!!
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  9. Kahara

    Kahara Favorites of Fanfic Hostess Extraordinaire star 4 VIP - Game Host

    Mar 3, 2001
    Ooh, this was a really cool conclusion. Really liked the way that you conveyed the sort of free-association, trance-like nature of the vision. (And there were jewels that go BLINK in the night after all! :D) I'd wondered what Leia's presence would have to do with all this -- loved the nod to Rogue One, as well as the Winter-as-decoy thing from Legends. Excellent ending! =D=
    Ewok Poet and Findswoman like this.
  10. Raissa Baiard

    Raissa Baiard Favorites of Fanfic Artist Extraordinaire star 4 VIP

    Nov 22, 1999
    =D= =D= =D= What an absolutely fantastic ending to a story that sparkles like a blush-green solari crystal! I love how you bring together rich descriptions, fun characters and mystical trippy-ness into a rousing conclusion.

    Poor Taide! The hapless scholar never expected to be front-and-center in this ceremony, and you can practically feel his squirming discomfort as every eye in the Temple is on him! No doubt he'd prefer to observe and take notes from a safely anonymous perch. There's such an ominous atmosphere with the insistently droning music, the equally insistent prickle down Taide's spine (which makes me wonder if he has a touch of Force-sensitivity himself), and EVERYONE WATCHING. And when he finally, hesitantly crowns the queen....boom! His life passes before his eyes, quite literally. I really liked how you inverted darkness/light at the beginning and end of his vision--very nice touch! :) Of course, once all the excitement dies down a bit, he's right back to taking notes.

    The Queen is not a droid after all, but she is the Savior of the Galaxy. :D I thought that Leia might be the Queen when the Queen as Savior was mentioned (because it certainly couldn't have been Luke :p) and I think you did an excellent job planting subtle clues that made me suspect she had Winter in her place...but far from certain. Leia is gracious as ever, even when recovering from a nasty bump to the head. I wonder what her experience was when the tiara was placed on her head? Did her life flash before her eyes as well, or perhaps she had a vision of the future....

    The Heart of Mak-Gu-Fina itself has gone from being a mere macguffin to being almost a character in its own right in this chapter. It changes from merely a pretty gem to one that blazes and BLINKS, and seems to have moods of its own, going from a whirling blaze of color in the anticipatory moments before Leia is crowned to a "serene, star-like glow" once it rests on her brow. It has found its proper place and is content now. [face_love]

    I adore the last conversation between Taide and Mammon, the way it ties the story with the rest of the Saga and picks up on the motif of hope and the last line of Rogue One. It's so elegant and resonant...the perfect cap to this wonderful story. It was my pleasure and privilege to be able to be part of it @};- Bravo, =D= ^:)^
    Kahara, Ewok Poet and Findswoman like this.
  11. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Jul 31, 2014
    Now...that was just great. :D I had two theories: one revolved around Mammon being a prankster, the other - more plausible - just had to include Leia as the Veiled Queen of Love. The fact that Leia does wear a veil in her "you're my only hope" message intended for Obi-Wan makes this even more of a perfect tie-in. And, in a way, Taide is a foreshadowing of many people equally awkward whom she will be encountering throughout her life and who will soften her up a bit. For one, her own brother is clumsy and then, later down the line, Finn and Rey. Okay, I may be going too far with these parallels. :p

    What stands out in this chapter, other than the big reveal, is Taide's life flashing before his eyes upon placing the Heart of Mak-Gu-Fina on the Queen's head. And the beginning and the end hold the question and the answer - from light to darkness, from darkness to light - the balance of the Force. In a way, this magnificent gem is like a personalised holocron of every single individual's mind and soul; but at the same time, it appears to be bringing everybody together, to a hive-mind-sort-of-state and broadcast an important message: to balance the light and the dark, you have to learn from your own past, on your own, but work together, on your future. Just.too.bloody.brilliant! [face_love]

    The whole concept of psychotropic jewels is bloody brilliant, too. One doesn't need opiates for this kind of a revelation.

    Another very, very interesting thing is how nobody seems to notice the moment Leia fell and Taide went down there and picked her up. And even that mirrors the whole story - of her own father falling, of the world around her falling and how she will be brought back where she belongs, with a little help of some unexpected friends along the way.

    The inclusion of Winter was something I wondered about from the last chapter on - the dress style screamed "decoy" and if Sabé lived on Alderaan in this universe, then she could have brought up that idea, r-right?

    And then, that tie-in to Rogue One, with that great pun. I CAN'T EVEN.

    I respect Taide's decision not to share more at this time. But given that Leia is *wanted* at this point in time, it's common sense.

    And whatdoyaknow, it's called Heart of Mak-Gu-Fina, but it's not a MacGuffin at all! :D

    Next on my reading list will totally be Galaxy of Fear. I did not know of Mammon before this and, thanks to Kahara 's helpful comment, I totally want to read more on him.

    P.S. How convenient for you to place a plot bunny for me in your story.


    Once again, thank you, thank you, thank you for the beautiful fic-gift!
  12. Vek Talis

    Vek Talis Jedi Master star 3

    Oct 12, 2018
    The Jewels of . . . WHAT?!
    Hilarious title [face_rofl]

    “You haven’t changed a bit!”

    Uh-huh, now tell me another one.

    the first mayor of Mayzopolis.

    I'll have a ham on rye, hold the mayzopolis. :p

    What do you say, Taide, old fellow?

    Sounds like Taide is going to end up with something similar to King Tut's mummy curse. [face_skull]


    This is sooo mahvelous, dahling!

    It is Zsa Zsa the Hutt! :D

    grace, flexibility, generosity.

    Three traits I personally enjoy in sentient love. :p

    Wonderful so far. =D= Indiana Jones this Taide fellow isn't, but he's interesting all the same.
  13. Cowgirl Jedi 1701

    Cowgirl Jedi 1701 Force Ghost star 5

    Dec 21, 2016
    I can't believe it took me a second reading of this story to figure out the obvious.

    The Heart of Mak-Gu-Fina...... is the MacGuffin.
    Vek Talis and Findswoman like this.
  14. Vek Talis

    Vek Talis Jedi Master star 3

    Oct 12, 2018


    Be careful when you start worshiping mammon, Taide. :p

    It’s definitely a representative specimen of the architecture of the First Rakatan Empire.

    It's, as @Cowgirl Jedi 1701 pointed out, the real Macguffin. ;)

    If you say so. I’ll look forward to a full account of your findings.

    Mammon doesn't seem nearly as well read as his colleague. :-B

    starless, infinite night

    Night in the Infinite Empire.

    Thank you all for your cooperation,” concluded the minister, “and...

    Put down those personal communication devices and pay attention, darn it!!! :mad:

    for now the dancers were at the front of the temple, spread out in a semicircular formation and swaying like arboray trees in a spring breeze.

    He can't see anything but an experiment, can he? Not a notice for the dancers themselves, just how they relate to the experiment. He's a lonely boy. :-B

    Representing the unbridled joy that only universal love can give

    While totally missing out on the passion of it all. :rolleyes:

    This whole affair was turning out to be somewhat of a disappointment.

    He really doesn't get out very often, does he? o_O

    The boy and his cart stopped just before the steps up to the Veiled Queen’s seat, made an elaborate bow, and stood at attention.

    Anybody want to buy an Icee?

    Excellent third chapter. =D=
  15. Vek Talis

    Vek Talis Jedi Master star 3

    Oct 12, 2018
    Ah, Leia, sweet, sweet Leia. [face_love] Glad to see it was her as the Queen of Love. Excellent ending, @Findswoman ! Brava! =D==D==D==D=
    Ewok Poet and Findswoman like this.
  16. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Jul 31, 2014
    He's so far appeared in two other shorts, in one of which he miserably fails at something and rumour has it that he will be present in two epics, but not yet... ;)

    And @Findswoman nailed his character perfectly! =D==D==D=
    Vek Talis and Findswoman like this.
  17. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Aug 31, 2004
    Such a lovely setting and tiara. The Queen of Love and Light is a worthy recipient. Awesome to include Winter in the mix. @};-
    Findswoman , Ewok Poet and Vek Talis like this.