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 Spoiler 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.