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Beyond the Saga The Map of the Dead (OCs | hints of H/L | far future) - Fanon Quote Challenge - NEW: March 26th

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by Ewok Poet, Oct 16, 2016.

  1. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014
    Title: The Map of the Dead
    Author: Ewok Poet
    Genre: I don't know
    Characters: Oolteema Misura (OC), various references to canon characters throughout
    Timeframe: Some 10 000 years after the events of PT, OT and ST
    Rating: PG
    Length: 3 chapters, ~5000 words, perhaps not even that many. Slightly longer than thought at first, not too long...maybe 10K at most?!
    Beta: The awesome Findswoman

    Summary: In a dystopian far future, a young Twi'lek woman is intrigued by the past of the Galaxy. Over the time, she develops a strange obsession.

    This is my response to the Fanon Quote Challenge, where I got divapilot's paragraph on Twi'lek language and the quote "That's no moon!"



    Chapter 01

    As a young Lyceum student living in Nunurra on a scholarship from the Outer Rim Education Guild, Oolteema Misura had this one fantasy. She wanted to be famous for the way she died: she wanted to go out with a huge blast. That was a phrase she had heard in a cheap holodrama, one of those where the only thing vaguely resembling a plot was two smugglers, gangsters or whatever other Galactic Government-unfriendly villains blasting one another. And then, they would become immortal, in a way. The Galaxy would remember them forever, whatever that word could have meant tangled up with the realisation that quadrillions, if not more, beings live in the frightening number of inhabited star systems and that the recorded history of the hyperspace era was, at this point, spanning roughly thirty-five millennia.

    The only thing she wasn’t sure of was what she wanted to be prior to her death, what kind of a villain. And the Force – whatever that had been, by the way – knew that she was obsessed with villains. She spent her visits to Tawntoom digging through various archives, looking into the dark figures of millennia past. Sometimes, she would stumble upon information that would truly shock her: that the Galaxy was not always ruled by a megalomaniac Hutt, that there used to be a peacekeeping order called the Jedi and that there were the days when the word “democracy” did not stand for companies trying to overpower one another. At first, such records would always shock her, but more often than not, she would file them away deep below her neon-metallic headpiece, under her twitching lekku, fascinated by stories of more and more villains.

    The more she grew, the more she realised that her supposedly original ways were nothing but a result of the despair of growing on the dark side of Roon. Becoming an outlaw of whatever kind could save a woman of striking beauty from becoming a slave and being sent to the similarly half-dark planet of Ryloth, rumoured to have been the world her species had actually originated from. Becoming a gangster could prevent a woman from being kidnapped and sold to one. If you cannot beat them, if you cannot stand up against them, join them, she thought. Grabbo, the prefect in charge of the Abrion Sector, was closing his eyes at this outrageous export of what in the times of something referred to as the “Galactic Empire” used to be one of the most harmless places in the Galaxy. In a HoloNews analysis from about two thousand years ago, an expert on xenosociology argued that stabilising the former unsafe routes around the system actually contributed to its corruption. And really, the Roon described in tales as old as time, the planet where now-extinct Mudmen lived across the swamp from cities populated with outcasts from all over the Galaxy, was nothing like what she knew.

    Oolteema wondered what that Galactic Empire was and why it sounded so mighty. A couple of hours of digging through the archives later, as the datapad was struggling to comb through thousands of years of data, she learned of a Sith Lord Darth Sidious and his accomplices, such as Darth Vader, Wilhuff Tarkin, and Thrawn. This period of the Galactic History that the years were – apparently – counted from had more villains than her brutal, dreamer soul could have handled. She would find herself getting off the repulsorladder, walking around the empty corridor in astonishment, gesturing to her own shadow on the greyish-black wall of what she learned was once the headquarters of the Baobab Merchant Fleet, transferred there from another planet called Manda, that must have been too insignificant otherwise.

    Sooner than later, she became interested in times long before her birth – what was the ABE in the name every year? Was that the year when some sort of a savior was born? There had been so many prophecies, she found most of them to be incorrect. The only individual whose birth had occurred around the time whatever big event shook the Galaxy up and down was a fallen Jedi Knight by the name of Ben Solo, who later named himself Kylo Ren. And he was a villain! A strange kind thereof, according to numerous accounts. He had killed his own father, a former smuggler married to…Darth Vader’s daughter. History was so silly sometimes! That would have been an equivalent of her becoming the wife of a Hutt prefect, just slightly less scary.

    This particular story was slowly starting to consume the young Twi’lek’s mind: how did these beings meet? What was their life together like, given that they were seemingly polar opposites? Who was the light and who was the dark? The dark must have been stronger, as it had prevailed in their son. How much of this story was true and how much of it was fictional?

    The harsh reality of her parents’ death in a speeder crash back on the island in the Roon Sea made Oolteema forget her obsession for a while. Her grades dropping to the level of the supermassive black hole in the centre of the Galaxy, she was forced to give up her studies and find herself work as a dancer in one of the local cantinas, where slythmongers were regularly supplying the spices from Ryloth to the Human man she would later learn was the sole being responsible for getting Twi’lek women like her addicted and, eventually, sold into slavery. Amazingly, she was resisting the temptation and she even managed to get a couple of fellow dancers out of the hell of their ryll dependency. She even came up with a secret set of signals for the girls warning one another of any suspicious activity around them. She based this form of communication on the long-forgotten Lek language, another thing that set her, a former Lyceum student, apart from her peers. When they were not hanging out with the cantina patrons, she tried to educate them, share the little that she had managed to learn before she remained alone in the world. At first, they saw her as an impostor. It was only when she sold her beloved headpiece, the last remaining trace of her decency, and bought a small apartment for her group of six dancers to live in, that they started seeing her as one of their own.

    How horrible it was, to buy love and trust. Sure, her father had once bought her space at the Lyceum at the expense of a much poorer student who then disappeared after a visit to a wailer-club, but that was a whole different matter – her family really wanted to raise somebody properly educated, somebody who could, someday, get off Roon and see all those stars, far beyond the single one in the remains of the nearby Tascollan Nebula.

    Perhaps, by living in the demiworld where vices ruled over any common law, she was paying back the world that the generation before her stole something from. Perhaps the other girl’s fate had been hers all along.




    Footnotes
    Galactic Government, Outer Rim Education Guild, Hutts ruling the Galaxy and setting a prefect in every sector, unsolved kidnappings - fanon, of course.

    Lyceum - I will leave it open to interpretation. In a society that degenerated itself far beyond what was possible, this could have been just any kind of school, not necessarily the equivalent of the Earth term.

    Roon is a planet in the Abrion Sector, notable for its Roonstones, being the first Taung refugee after they fleed Coruscant and the setting of the last arc of Star Wars: Droids.

    Nunurra is the only large city on Roon.

    Mudmen are a semi-sentient species found on Roon; or, in the case of this story, an extinct species that used to be found on Roon.

    Tascollan Nebula is indeed located in the Abrion Sector.

    The archives that Ooolteema is digging through are implied to have been the relocated Baobab Archives, to what used to be the Fortress of Tawntoom.

     
  2. Sith-I-5

    Sith-I-5 Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Aug 14, 2002
    Fairly good insight into the life of a Twilek dancing girl. A shame that the deadlines came up so fast, as it would have been interesting to see how she brought her two mates back from spice(?) addiction.

    That headpiece must have been worth loads to afford a seven person apartment with the proceeds; I did like that your dancer reflected on having to buy trust.

    Lots of good, and fairly deep world building, making good use of the fanon material.
     
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  3. Raissa Baiard

    Raissa Baiard Chosen One star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 22, 1999
    This is a fascinating dystopian vision of the far future GFFA-- Hutts ruling the galaxy :eek: is both plausible, given their overwhelming ambition, and horrifying.

    I've never really understood the fascination/idolizations of villains in our pop culture (as a librarian, it always disturbed me how many high school term papers were written about serial killers), but you make a good case that for Oolteema, the only way to keep from being used and abused by criminals is to become one. And yet... when she is out on her own, she doesn't become one. Not only is she not a criminal, she is actively working to undermine the criminals by rescuing addicts and helping. If she ever does fulfill that ambition, perhaps she will be a in the mode of Robin Hood, taking from the powerful to give to the weak.

    Looking forward to seeing more of Oolteema and discovering if she can overcome he grim surroundings and her desire for a glorious, villainous death =D=
     
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  4. divapilot

    divapilot Force Ghost star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 30, 2005
    Wow. What an intriguing start! The whole idea of rethinking good and evil is fascinating. Ooteema seems like a very virtuous woman, attempting to help her fellow dancers, being devoted to learning, and yet there is that unexpected wickedness that comes in - the fact that she adores villains, for one. The casual remark that "her father had once bought her space at the Lyceum at the expense of a much poorer student who then disappeared after a visit to a wailer-club" - implying that the other student was "permanently removed" to make room for Ooteema at the Lyceum.

    Her infatuation with villains gives us readers a unique perspective into the life of the characters we know so well, Han and Leia. Especially this part:
    I had never considered this. Was Han the darker one, with his history of criminal activity? Was Leia, as Vader's daughter, the inheritor of her father's darkness, which manifested in their son? Using a character so far removed from the era makes it much more compelling, since she's a scholar and not someone invested in the rebellion or the Resistance or even H/L as people.

    I loved the little drops of Twi'lek fanon there - her desire to maintain her headdress so as not to dishonor her reputation, her mastery of the physical language of Lek and how she tried to teach it to her fellow dancers so they could communicate without the knowledge of their "keepers."

    I'm looking forward to more! :D
     
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  5. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    I know I've said it before, but this is a really super fascinating concept in several ways, and I can tell that a lot of richness and complexity is going to be packed into this short story. First, it's just not every day that one comes across a story in a very far-future era like this, where the familiar characters and situations of the Saga are at such an immense historical remove as to be unfamiliar, fuzzy, and in several ways more interesting to scholars than to the average Galactic Jack or Jill. But it's especially not every day that a future-set fanfic so carefully explores the implications and perception of that history, and even very concept of eternity and historical memory in a Galaxy of quadrillions with 30,000+ years of recorded history—which is something I've wondered about, so thanks so much for bringing us a little closer to an answer! :cool:

    As others have noted, you've painted that much-later history in an immensely rich way, from the Hutt prefects to the fact that Ryloth—which we Saga mavens know as the Twi'lek homeworld—is now considered only a mythical, rumored homeworld. But for some reason the bit that stands out to me most is the way Ben Solo's birth around 1 ABE stands out—at least in Oolteema's view—as a more pivotal event in galactic history than, say, the the whole Chosen One business surrounding Anakin's birth and early career (or other earlier savior figures like Revan—though I imagine that he must really be lost in the mists of time at this point). I guess it's mainly to do with the circumstantial confluence of the timekeeping change with her deep interest in villains. Though it's very interesting too that the villain Oolteema seizes on is a villain who's trying to be an imitation of an earlier, in some ways more archetypal villain—a copy rather than the original. But this kind of historical remove will do that to one. (I wonder too what might have been different if it had been the ABY system instead—that might have forced her to dig back a little to Anakin, perhaps.)

    And of course I second what divapilot says about Oolteema's musings on Han and Leia. It's only natural that someone as into villains as Oolteema is would indeed speculate pretty deeply on where the tendency might have come from. She almost reminds me of Marla McGivers from the original Star Trek episode "Space Seed," who was similarly interested in forceful, ruthless historical figures (to the point of, well, falling for and marrying one). As to divapilot's question about which parent he might have inherited the darkness from, I suspect the answer is "yes." ;)

    There's a really cool progression from the broad to the particular here: we start with musings on the history of the Galaxy and the lives and deaths of some of its principal figures, and then—with the catastrophic death of Oolteema's parents—progress inward to Oolteema's own here and now: her tragic exile from student life to slave life, and her own valiant efforts to help improve things for her fellow slaves. It says a lot about her character that she threw herself so fully into helping them, and especially that she that she changed her approach when her first approach, educating them book-learning style, didn't work so well (and I could imagine that they would indeed resent her for a bit there). She may have some quirky fantasies, but they don't keep her from having a good heart at the same time. And yet those fantasies aren't totally on hold—those last few sentences show that she's clearly thinking very hard about the ways her current situation may yet lead her to achieve them. [face_thinking] I am guessing the two will start to converge more and more in the coming chapters, which I'm very excited to see! :D

    Super-cool and very original work—bravissima! =D=
     
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  6. Mistress_Renata

    Mistress_Renata Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Sep 9, 2000
    I'm as intrigued as anyone else. It's a difficult start, too, so much exposition to pack into a post. But you've set things up really well. I'll look forward to seeing what she does next.
     
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  7. mavjade

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

    Registered:
    Sep 10, 2005
    This was absolutely fascinating look at a future in the GFFA!

    I loved how it starts off with her not knowing what kind of villain she wants to be, but that she wants to go out in a blaze of glory. But later we learn that at least a part of her is very kind and loving in that she goes out of her way to help others who are in situation like hers. This all makes her very three dimensional; She isn't just a villain, even if she wants, or thinks she wants to be. I have to wonder if this want to be a villain is somewhat self protection, or at least started that way?

    Becoming an outlaw of whatever kind could save a woman of striking beauty from becoming a slave and being sent to a similarly half-dark planet of Ryloth, rumoured to have been the world her species had actually originated from. Becoming a gangster could prevent a woman from being kidnapped and sold to one. If you cannot beat them, if you cannot stand up against them, join them, she thought.
    This was very poignant and that part that made me wonder about the self-protection.

    Great start!
    =D=
     
  8. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014
    First of all, thank you, everybody, for having taken the time to comment on this oddity of a story. Knowing that far future and distant past are not the two most common eras to write and that the non-Legends beyond is an area rarely explored, I am really grateful that you saw something in this AU-ish dystopia. I still need to read the other two stories and vote, so an apology to their authors as well.





    Could be a story for some other time. Also, would be interesting to see where her knowledge of anti-spice treatments, antidotes etc came from.

    Nobody said that they didn't have just one bedroom in that apartment. But either way, there's got to be something about the headpiece that makes it special. Perhaps they're very rare these days!

    The fanon material was pretty minimalistic - a single paragraph. It required a fair amount of imagination to imagine how the Lek language will work, but I enjoyed every single second of it.

    As long as it's plausible...;)

    All jokes aside - it's a dark, dark world.

    I never did either. Here, it was a far less common thing prior to the last two decades and we caught up with it in the area when there are no heroes and nice folks in the TV shows and films dominating our media, to the point where something like SW looks like an anachronism. So, I tried to go further beyond the "villains r kewl!1!!!" mindset and find something that could make sense instead. I am glad that it makes sense.

    Her desire may morph into something different. Or not...

    Oolteema's wickedness is a complex thing. As far as the latter goes, Oolteema's father probably could not control what eventually happened to that random stranger, but somebody else could. Somebody above him, perhaps.

    Yup! To somebody so many millenia later, all of it is ambiguous. And that's the true beauty of it.

    This makes me feel so much better. :) Given the brevity of the fanon I got, I was not sure if I would live up to your vision or stain it.

    The fuzzines made it that more interesting to write. I have always been fascinated by far future stories, whether they were written by fans (say, "Tainted Ties"...) or the profic authors themselves (Legacy). Anything that's removed from the continuity that we know presents so many challenges, but - on the other hand - offers extreme freedoms and fun things to speculate on.

    And after so many years from these events, those Jaxs and Jainas you mention are nothing more than stardust and only those who have made some, any impact on the history of the Galaxy as whole might be remembered. Even Oolteema herself is aware of how unimportant she is in the big picture, the motif of being forgotten very quickly unless you make a lasting impression is all there...

    Just to clarify: this does not have to mean that Ryloth is gone. It could have become a world populated by more than one species, made more hospitable...perhaps Roon itself was once unhospitable like Ryloth at first, given that it's also a tide-locked planet, and inhabited only by the Mudmen? Perhaps the Taung were capable of terraforming? And then nobody knew that they were there until the Roonstones were discovered? One never knows...

    She may be connecting things in a way that is so removed from the then-reality that it appears slightly bizarre. If the ABE system was chosen for the reason of the Empire having been defeated in Endor's orbit, that will make sense to those lived back then. Buuut...if a non-savior figure was conceived the very same night, that could lead some crazy, crazy folk to see it the same way Christians would see the year of Jesus' birth....for all the wrong reasons. And who knows what kind of sources she came across first?

    I don't know much about Star Trek - if anything - but I looked her up and I am going to read more about her.

    And yes, the answer is "yes". :D

    She was too immersed in her own fantasy world and, in a way, removed from reality, to be even capable of thinking that everything she has might go down in flames at some point. This might be meta, as we're discussing a story about that on a large message board where at least some of half million people visiting it could be, in theory, removed from the reality, with their minds in the GFFA. Escapism.

    And goat knows some of us use that as their defense system!

    She is never a slave per sé - not sure how much of that is evident from the first chapter, but she can still go where she wants to, ride an actual speeder (which could be ancient as far as we know, but it's her own) and is spared from prostitution. She is in this grey zone where she's neither a slave nor a free woman; but that's not really comforting.

    The society she lives in could be described as anti-intellectual at best. Places that have gone through too many political changes, dictatorship and close-to-dictatorship regimes have that....quality about them. Flaws become street cred. Uncool becomes cool. Antiheroes are worshipped as heroes.

    Wow, a new reader. :) AND an oldbie! Hi. [face_blush] Happy to have you on board! :)

    I am actually not used to long expositions, most of my stories either start with a line of dialogue or have very, very short expositions. Just like writing a character fascinated by villains was a challenge, as I said somewhere above, this was another challenge. Walls of text tend to put people off and there's a good measure that's...pretty hard to achieve.

    This made me smile from ear to ear and I actually said "YES" out loud.

    You are the only person who got her psychologically right - could it be a personality type thing? :D

    I have seen people who had a strange self-defense mechanism. Their survival tactic is complex and it's based on complete self-denial. This is not really about putting on a mask for the world (though, yes, with Oolteema's headpiece off, her real self, her real brain becomes more exposed in a way that she is no longer a fantasy-immersed semi-entity), but more likely about total denial of the real self as a mean of remaining at least somewhat sane and operational in a cruel dystopian world.

    That's her rationalisation of it. Any outright rebellion would put her out there and put her in danger. Being the leader, the villain, the dominant, untouchable one (or so she believes they are) would be an easy way out.
     
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  9. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014
    Chapter 02

    TW: [hl=black]a side character commits suicide[/hl]

    It was a couple of years into what she believed was paying the debt to the student-to-be who could have as well been dead that Oolteema was appointed supervisor of the other dancing girls. Gleb Maradoona, the cantina owner, thought that it would be a good idea – to offer the patrons what they have wanted – a glimpse underneath the girls’ silky costumes and use the “holobrain”, as he called her, to serve as the communication aide between the prostitutes and the willing men. After the demise of the Galactic Basic language, the wonderful invention of a protocol droid was a rare sight outside of the Hutt Space. The lesser beings had to be kept in the dark, discouraged to communicate. Sure, Maradoona could have reported Olteema to the authorities for knowing too much – he had always respected the law – but the varlcredits ultimately became more powerful than justice.

    “I’m saving you!” he often told them. “If it hadn’t been for me, you would have been sold into offworld slave rings!”

    Despite their lack of education and a life lived with their heads down, the dancers knew that this was not true.

    Oolteema was devastated.

    Once again, she felt that she would never get her redemption. She never wanted to be privileged in any way and her cursed knowledge, so humble compared to that of the other students at her former Lyceum, yet so precious in the world behind the darkened windows, was standing in the way. Her friends were effectively becoming slaves, and she was the closest thing there was to a free woman.

    Slowly, the other girls turned their backs to her, thinking that she had somehow managed to charm Maradoona in order to escape prostitution and remain as free as somebody paid in food, water and the most basic of the belongings could have been. They moved out of the shared apartment, one by one. Kea Tranckyuila, the youngest of them all, remained behind, too scared of herself and others to take a step against her perceived traitor. One morning, without any prior warning signs, she jumped off the window to her death. A devastated Oolteema found a datacard in her belongings – it contained a poetry reading named "That's No Moon". It seemed to have been composed of almost nonsensical sentences, that could have been spoken by some random farmer, such as "Hey! Point that thing someplace else!" or "We are all fine here, and how are you?"

    She wondered when such nonsensical sentences ever could have been art. After Kea’s very gloomy funeral at the planet's only cemetery, a place called, for some reason, Bantha Graveyard, where the other five prostitutes did not acknowledge her presence, she found herself at the Archives again. That night, for the first time since Maradoona had relegated the others to the level of prostitutes, there would not have been a performance at the cantina and she had some time to find an answer to her question. Luckily, her student keycode was still working.

    The search was slow, the holograms flickered before her eyes. It took her a couple of hours to find something.

    "That's No Moon" used to be a song around the time of the birth of the son Kylo Ren, the beginning of the bastard times she lived in. The song had been performed by an artist named Bakojj D. Baobab, often accused of riding on the laser beam of his father's fame.

    The first thing that got Oolteema's attention is that this father, Dalyn R. Baobab, had won many awards for his work, many of which he was reluctant to receive, feeling that others had deserved and wanted them more. The second was that the song was about Han Solo, the name that had stuck to her mind back in the better days. Apparently, the nonsensical sentences were taken straight from his biography.

    Suddenly, it all came back to her. The villain fantasy, it was still there, bouncing against the insides of her skull, below her now-bare lekku. And perhaps, just perhaps, it was time to start thinking about it again.

    If anybody was going to pay, it was going to be Gleb Maradoona, that nasty, sleazy, stocky short-as-poodoo bithface. And that way, she would redeem herself and fulfill her long forgotten fantasy.

    The first thing that she decided was that he was going to end up the way poor Kea did. He would get to the point where he would be begging her for mercy and realising that the only way out would be to kill himself. Now, how about the prostitutes just carry him out to the balcony and throw him off? After all, they were the ones he had tricked into submission. But how would they trust Oolteema when they probably believed that she had been driving poor, sweet Kea crazy? Just what was she going to do? The desired result was clear, which was often not the case with her ideas, but the steps leading up to it seemed to be as connected as the top of Horizon Mountain was to the historical Roon Games arena. She had to think about this. And knowing herself, once things had been buried in time, she was less likely to act on them.

    She drove her old speeder back to the cantina, to take off the announcement of Kea’s death and one-day-break off the door and replace it with an ad for the next night’s repertoire. It was morning and nobody was around. Sure, it was dark all day and all night, but a simulated timetable existed for most of the planet’s history, in order for those who really wanted to live there (and not on the light side) to have some kind of a schedule. Predictably, diurnal beings such as Humans and near-Humans suffered in environments like these. Evolution had not changed that one part of their psyche, the one that always yearned for the light. Twi’leks, however, had no problem with it and Oolteema could not care less if the biolumilamps were about to start working or not. Darkness was a way of life.

    Ironically, it was only when the biolumilamps went on that she spotted a green being with huge eyes sleeping on a fibreplast blanket on the pavement, wrapped in another blanket. He seemed strangely peaceful and unaware of how dangerous the neighbourhood of Mungo – why was this town named what it was, anyway – was during the alleged night.

    “What are you doing here?” She tapped her foot. “This is not a safe place to sleep outside!”

    He got up. She had to laugh at his snout. In combo with his large, pupil-less eyes, it made him look permanently worried.

    "I had come here to find the alleged ‘holobrain’ dancer." He said. "But they are closed, out of mourning for ‘little zherry’, whoever that may be. Too bad. I have been obsessed with her for a while."

    Oolteema's lekku tightened and she grabbed him by the collar. "The Holobrain is not open to any master’s wishes. She is just a translator and a dancer!"

    Was she threatening him? He took a step back, only for his back to meet the durasteel wall behind.

    “I…I know. I am not interested in prostitutes and dancers, either way. I was going to pretend that I wanted to buy her and then get her to a dark room for a private dance and actually interview her for my book on…”

    “You want me to be in your book?” Oolteema nearly screamed. It took him a bit of thinking to realise that she was indeed the Holobrain. “What is going on here? And are you really that stupid?”

    He shrugged. She continued.

    “If you’re a spy, and I think you really aren’t, you would have done your homework. You don’t ask me for a private dance. I dance for the public, I translate for the prostitutes…” She stopped in mid-sentence, realising that she had never called the other girls that before. This was the first time.

    “I am not a spy. It’s a long story.”

    She finally loosened her grip.

    “I am ready to listen.”




    Footnotes
    I am not sure why I named a character after Diego Maradona, but a small stocky male Twi'lek who has his mannerisms was...an amusing idea.

    Demise of Galactic basic language, varlcredits, offworld slave rings, biolumilamps, bithface - fanon, of course

    Kea Tranckyuila - Imagine a kea parrot being calm. Didn't work? Well, it came from somebody who named the protagonist "Ultimate Measurement"

    Bantha Graveyard - a Legends location on Roon

    Dalyn R. Baobab was previously mentioned in Nolevorution, Of Course!. I kind of...wanted to give a nod to current events in the world at the time of writing this story. The character should actually appear in a story sometime, though I don't expect him to have a big role. After all, he prefers to be left alone!

    Kobajj D. Baobab is a logical consequence of the above.

    Mungo - of course, named after Mungo Baobab, the handsome hero from the third arc of Star Wars: Droids, the man who discovered a safer route to Roon.
     
  10. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    Let me make sure I am understanding this aright, since I think I may have misunderstood some things in chapter 1: Maradoona is (a) prostituting his dancers, and (b) making the "holobrain" Oolteema serve the interpreter between those other girls and their clients on account of her superior (at least to the other dancers) education. Right? Which of course, and perhaps understandably, puts her in an extremely uncomfortable position with the other girls, causing them to resent her (and in a way perhaps not without reason). It's sort of a "no good deed goes unpunished" dynamic

    Now Kea... her death is immensely sad, of course, but there seems to be more at work here than meets the eye. Is it really just the feeling of mixed loyalties—whether to side with the other five women or with Oolteema—that tore her apart and led to her suicide? Or
    or was there something else? And naturally I am wondering how she acquired the datacard with this rather... idiosyncratic (and yet familiar!) poetry. (And yes, I did catch the Dalyn Baobab reference, right down to his rejection of the various awards. Bakojj you had to explain to me, though, as I recall. :D )

    But as to the datacard... was it just a chance acquisition? Was it something she had been hoping to show to Oolteema anyway? Would any of Oolteema's roommates have known about her obsession with that early ABE era and its villains? I realize that may be outside the purview of this particular story, but it seems significant, somehow, that she came across that particular artifact right then and there—because, as she found out, it fits exactly perfectly with her obsession. Perhaps too perfectly, given the thoughts it kindles in her: how to achieve villain status herself by taking out the slimy Gleb Maradoona. (And slimy he sure is, with that "If it weren't for me!" garbage. Ugh!) There too I hope I'm understanding things correctly.

    From that viewpoint, it's kind of a lucky thing she stumbles across this green, snouted stranger sleeping on the street, since otherwise she certainly would have been capable of carrying out that plan. To him, too, there's clearly more than meets the eye: there's got to be a story behind his interest in the "holobrain," and of course what is his book about? And how will it all connect to Oolteema's own obsession? (Will it?) Oolteema is rather rough on him at first (really, he's stupid for not knowing exactly how the "holobrain" arrangement really works?), though I guess much of her reaction is born of sheer shock and surprise, and ultimately (!) her smart and perspicacious side wins over and gives him a chance to tell his side of the story.

    Which I too am ready to listen to! He's got an obsession and so does she, and I am guessing the conversation to come will bring those obsessions to the fore in surprising, forceful ways. (Again, the external-internal progression! Though this time perhaps going the opposite direction from chapter 1.)

    As you know, I can't wait to see more of this complex and intriguing tale! :cool:
     
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  11. Mistress_Renata

    Mistress_Renata Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Sep 9, 2000
    I am having visions of Galactic folksingers entertaining their crowds with "That's No Moon: the Ballad of Han Solo," while musicologists publish doctoral dissertations: That's No Moon: Feminist Hegemony and Astral Imagery in trans-Republic Folklore.

    So now what does the book writer want? Is there another post coming soon?
     
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  12. Raissa Baiard

    Raissa Baiard Chosen One star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 22, 1999
    Poor Oolteema! Her hard-won knowledge, the one advantage she has, is turned against her. Maradonna is a sleemo in the parlance of the Hutts--turning his dancers into prostitutes and acting as if it is a kindness. I wonder how much he knew of her activities to educate the dancers he knew about, because he could not have created a better way to alienate them from Oolteema. By elevating her to translator, he sets her apart and above them, not a friend, just another oppressor. The knowledge she was using for them is another tool used against them. (Translating between the girls and their johns sounds like a horrible, surreal duty...one which must have further scarred Oolteema).

    She loses the trust of her former friends, only poor, scared Kea remaining behind.(Her nickname "little zherry" is just...[face_bleh] [face_sick] given some of the connotations of the RL fruit..) And then Kea commits suicide...or does she? I have to agree with Findswoman that the datacard from a poetry reading seems like an odd thing for an uneducated dancer to have. If it was a message for Oolteema, who gave it to Kea...or left it on her body. Just a coincidence that the Rodian author shows up shortly after?

    This is so sad and so telling....

    On a lighter note, I love that the GFFA's version of Bob Dylan is making folk songs about Han, and that later random Han lines become pretentious poetry. Wherever Han is in the Force, he must be laughing his head off :D
     
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  13. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014
    Thank you so much for reading - the Moose had been hyperactive and I totally forgot. O_O




    Yes, precisely, that is his sneaky plan for her.

    See below.

    Dalyn has Bakojj, [hl='black']Bob has Jakob and darn, Jakob was kinda cute and he still ain't bad.[/hl] :D

    See what Raissa Baiard says - I think she got it perfectly. :)

    Poor Kea was just...not strong enough for it. It was a coincidence.


    This is all rhetorical, so I shall just nod. AND OMG, I USED THAT WEIRD FOREIGN WORD.

    Our views of "soon" are different, but shall I say yes?

    And that vision is a consequence of reading this and Finds' The Jewels of . . . WHAT?!, I think. :D


    Nothing to add here.

    Antonio Nokaarbe likes this. [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    You're right. You're very, very right.

    She was shunned, but she was still doing her best.

    Dalyn lived back in those days, so he must have run out of ideas at some point and did that. Or maybe he worked with some crazy artist who'd be into sampling. ;) One never knows. OR WE COULD HAVE HAD A GONE TILL NOVEMBER.*

    * Bob randomly appears in that music video. I never understood why, but it's nice, I dunno.
     
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  14. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014
    So, before I update - achtung, I'll be posting the "raw" chapter at first, so mistakes are possible #savethebetas - I wanted to thank you for having nominated this story for the Best Story in Beyond at the 2017 Fanfic Awards. This was my first excursion to that particular era and taking such a huge leap is risky, but I'm humbled that people like it.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you. :) @};-
     
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  15. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014
    Chapter 03

    He spoke while she was donning her costume under the nearest biolight. It seemed that he was slightly uncomfortable by it, yet she knew that she was somewhat covered compared to the prostitutes, whose attire was leaving little to nothing to imagination. His large eyes and a snout that gave him a permanent expression of wonder with everything and everybody were following her around the yet-to-open establishment, as she was pulling the chairs off the tables, directing the little cleaning droid and cleaning the glasses from two nights ago. Bottoms full of scum, stained with remains of alcohol were becoming spotless one after another. And then he followed her to the terrace, where she had to change some of the decorations.

    While she was changing the decorations representing the short mourning for Kea, into the common, suggestive ones signifying that the place was indeed a bordello and not a morgue, he told her some of his story. His name was Kaargo, he was in his late thirties and he had come from Rhodia. She didn’t know much of it, other than it was a jungle planet. He said that many of his ancestors were bounty hunters, scammers and con-artists, while he was just a mere spacer, hoping to earn enough credits to pursue his dream – write a large book about cultures of the faraway worlds. Initially, he said, he only wanted to present his planet to those who had no idea about it. But the more he travelled and worked the most diverse on the jobs on a bright, colourful array of some of the most obscure Outer Rim planets, the more he fell in love with different cultures out there.

    She was finally done with the decorations. The distant stars were glistening in the eternal night sky and the two of them, they sat there for a while, not saying a word, when somebody interrupted them. It was the owner of the place, the very man that Oolteema wanted dead.

    “What is going on?” Maradoona asked, his right hand on his hip, his left hand and his lekku pointing to the quasi-privileged among his staff.

    “We, ummm, have an early customer, Gleb.” Oolteema said, with an unconvincing grin on her face. But for her not-so-rightful owner, that had been enough. He mirrored the grin and sighed.

    “Well, let him in and ask him if he wants drinks…” He changed the tone and turned to the Rodian. “I’m terribly sorry, but our Queens have not arrived yet.”

    Kaargo nodded. “I am not interested, anyway. I want this one.” He pointed to Oolteema. “And she is not willing. Not willing at all.”

    “She is not for sale. She is our translator.”

    “What if I give you …this.” Kaargo showed him a large chunk of what appeared to be gold.

    Gleb was almost drooling. “That, that changes everything! There’s the right place for every single thing in the Universe.” His hands and lekku shaking, he dropped the little ball of gold in his satchel.

    Oolteema was ready to protest, but Kaargo showed her to shush. They went to the nearby meadow and, once they were far enough from the inn, he finally spoke.

    “So, if you want to get rid of him and get off this planet, this is the right way to start. We need to have a plan. And we have to think fast, before he realises that it’s not gold and decides I’m just another bug-eyed lizard scammer.”

    “How do you know that I want to get rid of him?”

    “It was so obvious, from the way you were looking at him. You humanoids have small eyes, but they are very expressive. One has to pay attention to your expressions in order to understand things, your eyes are…not static, if you know what I mean?”

    She figured it out. His eternal expression of wonder meant nothing. He had to talk, while her face was failing her every now and then. A good profiler would know that her smile was not always real.

    In the conversations in the twilight outside, the violet and pink bioluminescent flowers would at first remind her of how much time she was spending inside, roaming through the palace corridors. But the more he spoke, the more they were losing their wonder, the more she was impressed by the distant stars in the sky. He said that so many of them were circled by planets just like Roon, but with day and night constantly altering. Wow!

    She remained silent for a while.

    “And you, Ooltema, what’s your dream?” Kaargo asked. She had no time to prepare a convincing answer.

    More silence.

    “I…asked you about your dream.”

    “Kriff that.”

    He was surprised to find out that she had no dreams of her own. Usually, every single being he would met would share his sense of wonder and come up with something. But not this young woman. And what came next was more silence.

    “You strike me as somewhat foolish, Kaargo.” She spoke. “How can anybody have dreams in a world like this? There is nothing beautiful to look forward to. You’re too much of a dreamer”

    “I…I understand that you’re feeling disadvantaged for living on a planet that was placed under a strange set of rules. I could not quite stand the warlike culture on my home planet, but it was when I left that it started to feel less liberating. We’re supposed to be bounty hunters, spies and so on…me, I have to pose as one in order for other beings to take me seriously.”

    This was when the tips of the girl’s lekku raised up, resembling upward-pointing arches.

    “Strange set of rules? What are you talking about?”

    Was he ever supposed to say this? It would have not been the first time that he got in trouble over saying something that he wasn’t supposed to be saying. But it could have been the last.

    “Plus, you’re lying.” He tried to get out of this. “One can see that you believe every single word I say and that you think that there is such a thing as the Force. Your cynicism is not real. I can also see that you do not intend to kill anybody for real. You’re too good for that.”

    “How about we come back and release them…whenever? And assume that Gleb will get what’s coming for him from somebody else? Is it…the will of the Force? Do we not have to be evil?”

    “Yes, the Force exists.” Kaargo clapped his hands. “And not everybody who has a grasp of it is a hero, or a villain.”

    “So, we can be…neither. Like, the balance thing?” Oolteema’s right leku wrapped around her wrist. She was thinking.

    “That would be oversimplifying it, but you can say so, yes.”

    “So…since I figured all of this out, do you have a ship and can we get the kriff out of here?”

    “Yes!” Kaargo would have winked, had he been a humanoid. But he could only jump and clap his hands, like a little child, which somehow matched the single expression that he was capable of. The patterned picture of the girl before him, as seen through his large eyes was, this time, smiling for real. And he could tell it.


     
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  16. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    The more I see of this Kaargo person, the more I like him. He's perceptive, he's sincere, he gives every indication of being a good listener and being levelheaded. With those big, round, seemingly-wonder-filled (!) eyes he seems able to see right through Oolteema and her villain fantasy; I wonder if part of the reason she decides to trust him and go with him is that she, too, is starting to realize that her own cynicism isn't real. (Which is smart of her! But she is, after all, the Holobrain. ;) )

    The whole theme of liberating oneself from a planet bound by a "strange set of rules" is of course one that's familiar from your Sacorrian stories, and it's interesting to see it at work here in a non-Sacorrian setting (though the dystopian element is one thing in common). And of course, as Kaargo notes, he himself is an example of that—he dared to be a writer and cultural historian on a world that valued hunting and violence above all else.

    For some reason I find myself wondering just what it was it that Kaargo gave Gleb, will that turn out to be something important? Are we through with Gleb for now, or not yet? Hmmm... [face_thinking]

    In any case, I hope the escape will be successful, and I can't wait to see where things will go for Oolteema wherever she ends up. Though even just for now, it's encouraging to see her smiling. And of course I hope I'm understanding things aright in this many-layered story! Keep it coming. :cool:
     
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