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Saga - OT The Rains of Scarif (Post-Rogue One AU; Mods’ Time Trials Challenge)

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by Findswoman , Aug 21, 2019.

  1. Findswoman

    Findswoman Fanfic and Pancakes and Waffles Mod (in Pink) star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Feb 27, 2014
    Author: Findswoman
    Title: The Rains of Scarif
    Era: Saga–OT: around 0 ABY
    Characters: Tynnra Pamlo, Mon Mothma, mentions of other Rebels and Rebel officers from Rogue One, and one more…
    Genre: AU, vignette, drama
    Summary: Two senators’ reminiscences shortly after the Rogue One expedition…
    Notes: Written for tier two (five prompts, 48 hours) of the Mods’ Time Trials challenge. The prompts I received were the following:
    1. Your TV Tropes is: First Law of Resurrection
    2. Your weather forecast is: driving rain
    3. Your random word is: addlepated – being mixed up, confused; eccentric
    4. Your required line of dialogue is: “Why didn’t he come and talk to me himself?”
    5. Your picture prompt is:
    Many, many thanks to @Raissa Baiard for beta-reading on very short notice. @};-

    Republic senators Mon Mothma and Tynnra Pamlo stood at the viewport inside the parked shuttle, waiting.

    They were not exactly sure what exactly they were waiting for. For the driving rain to stop? Perhaps, though there was little chance of that after what had happened. The planet’s oceans had boiled dry in the white-hot death blast—and all that steam had needed to go somewhere. Where it had gone was up into the atmosphere to form clouds upon clouds upon clouds—clouds now pouring down torrents that made Kamino’s infamous rains seem like a pleasant drizzle.

    For yes, this was Scarif. The two senators were the first members of the Alliance to visit the erstwhile ocean planet since the catastrophic but pivotal expedition three months before. Pamlo had insisted in the strongest of terms. She, and her homeworld of Taris, had been against the mission from the start—but her warnings had not been heeded. True, the Empire’s horrendous superweapon had been destroyed—but too soon afterward the base on Yavin had been discovered and blockaded; and now, without that central bastion, the Alliance was scattered, and many of its smaller outposts besieged. All at the cost of the lives of sixteen brave Rebels who had defied orders—and countless more who had joined them in the fight. The least the leaders of the Alliance could do, Pamlo had argued, was to go to the place where those lives had been lost; it was the only sincere way to pay their last respects. (Others had argued against it, of course—Draven most vocally of all, not wanting to relive what felt to him like a bitter failure—but Mothma had agreed to accompany her sometime university classmate and longtime friend.)

    And now the they stood there together, waiting for the rain, waiting for something—and time stood still with them. Every so often one of them would glance at her chrono, not knowing why.

    It was Pamlo who spoke first. “So this is the place, huh?”

    “Yes.” Mothma didn’t look at her as she replied. “According to the readouts we are are approximately eight-tenths of a klick southeast of former site of Citadel Tower.”

    “I’ll take their word for it.”

    Mothma allowed herself a small, wry smile at this remark, and but for the pounding of the rain there was silence for a few moments. Finally Mothma spoke again. “Was it worth it, Tynnra? Any of it?”

    “There’s no way to know,” Pamlo shrugged. “There’s just no way to know.”

    “I suppose not,” Mothma sighed. “But when I think of it all—of all the things I could have done—”

    “Moni, don’t beat yourself up about this—”

    “—take the whole Erso business. Just what did Davits think he was doing with that assassination order? We could have arranged for some kind of perfectly quiet extraction, per the original plan—”


    “—but no, he had to take matters into his own hands, and now Galen is dead anyway, and his daughter—and all of them—” Mothma’s voice cracked and quavered, and she turned her eyes aside. “And all because Davits—oh, what was the man thinking? Why didn’t he come and talk to me himself?”

    “Because he was a damn addlepated fool, that’s why,” Pamlo growled in a voice not too unlike the roar of the rain.

    “Yes, I suppose so.” Again Mothma smiled despite herself. “I suppose we all are these days. War does that to one.”

    “Which is exactly why I’ve always said—” Pamlo stopped short. “Sorry, I shouldn’t. Not now.”

    “No, Tynnra, you were right—you were right all along.” Mothma sighed and looked distantly out into the downpour for several moments, glancing uselessly at her chrono. “Just think what they could have done for us if they had lived. That droid knew everything about Imperial security—the pilot too. The Drabatan munitions fellow—a real pro. Galen and all his expertise. And his daughter—” Here she crumpled and quavered again, almost in tears. “Oh, Tynnra, she’s the one I really let down—she could have become one of our best fighters, and I treated her like a—”

    She stopped suddenly short as a dull knocking sound pierced the rain. Pamlo, too, came closer to look. A shadowy, indeterminate, and vaguely humanoid figure had emerged from the rain-haze and was standing near the viewport, knocking on it.

    The two senators looked at each other: they couldn’t simply leave someone outside in a downpour like this. Pamlo (since it was her shuttle) activated the controls for the hatch. For a moment, only the rain and its roar came in—but soon so did the figure they had seen at the window.

    A soaked, bedraggled, Human figure in a gray shirt and vest and scarf, with auburn hair and twinkling slate-blue eyes… Mothma gasped as she saw.

    “Sergeant Erso…”

    “Reporting for duty,” came the reply, along with a crisp, almost playful salute.

    Again the senators exchanged glances, then Pamlo began tentatively. “If you don’t mind our asking—how’d you—I mean, there must be some reason why—”

    “Easy enough.” The slate eyes glinted. “The blast kicked up that big tidal wave, you know, but it boiled away by the time it reached me. All I had to do was lie face down on the shore till it passed.”

    Mothma was still speechless and agape, so it was Pamlo who asked, “And… then what?”

    “Oh, I just sheltered in the ruins once everything died down. I’ve been trying to eat the, er, lovely boiled seafood... not exactly easy, but at least there’s been lots to wash it down with. But listen—Cassian is out there somewhere, and we need to br—Hey! Mmph!—”

    For her words had been cut short by a powerful hug from Mon Mothma, who was now crying tears to match the rainwater soaking them both. ¶

    A few notes on characterization: I admit that Mothma gets pretty emotional in this story, and I know the canon portrayals of her are not like that at all—but, then again, we don’t really get to see her private side in canon very much, and I figure that at the end of the day she’s a sentient being, not a marble statue. :p Also, the friendship and classmateship between Mon Mothma and Senator Tynnra Pamlo of Taris is my own fanon (as is the nickname “Moni”), but it is established (in Mothma’s Wook entry) that Mon Mothma greatly admired Jyn Erso and thought she could have done great things for the Rebellion if she had lived.

    I also admit that the business of the rain resulting from the boiling up of the Scarif oceans is somewhat pulled out of my ear. But heck, for a 48-hour story, what does one want? :p (the main tower of the Imperial security complex on Scarif)

    “The droid”: K-2SO.
    “The pilot”: Bodhi Rook.
    “The Drabatan munitions fellow”: Paodok’Draba’Takat.

    “Cassian is out there somewhere…”: A riff on the last words spoken in A Certain Recent SW Animated Series… three guesses which. ;)
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2019
  2. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Aug 31, 2004
    Delightful and poignant exchange between friends. Wonderful use of the quote/line of dialogue. The driving rain is a perfect counterpoint to the mood until ... SQUEE! Cassian/Jyn is also an OTP pairing just RIGHT for any AU [face_batting] :cool:
    AzureAngel2, Kahara, brodiew and 2 others like this.
  3. JediMaster_Jen

    JediMaster_Jen Force Ghost star 4

    Jun 3, 2002
    Lamenting failures and wishing for what could have told of both brilliantly. Loved the rain pouring down; seems to fit with the sadness of the moment. And the hug[:D]' loved that. The emotion of seeing Jyn alive...beautiful. Well done!
    AzureAngel2, Kahara, brodiew and 2 others like this.
  4. brodiew

    brodiew Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Oct 11, 2005
    Excellent fic, Findswoman! Admittedly I had to look into Tynnra, but all is well. I loved the honest discussion between these two Rebel leaders and their desire to honor the fallen as well as ruminate on mistakes that never should have been made.

    Surprise! Jyn's not dead? What how?
    Great explanation. And Cassian is alive, too. Or, so Jyn says. Find him! ;)
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  5. Cowgirl Jedi 1701

    Cowgirl Jedi 1701 Force Ghost star 5

    Dec 21, 2016
    It actually sounds like a fairly plausible concept to me. Actually, you are a genius. Because I think you've come up with a believable way for Jyn and Cassian to survive that could fit into established canon.
    AzureAngel2, Kahara and Findswoman like this.
  6. Oddly_Salacious

    Oddly_Salacious Jedi Grand Master star 1

    Dec 5, 2005
    *Hooray! Taris!
    Great characterizations and you met the challenges well. I especially liked how you blended the random word into the mood.
    Well done!
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  7. Kahara

    Kahara Chosen One star 4

    Mar 3, 2001
    This was wonderful! =D= The first minor fix-it, which I love, is that Mon Mothma isn't just a one-note contrary-for-the-sake-of-it plot device. (So sue me, but that tendency in the books and later film kind of annoys me -- if she was that bad of a leader she'd have run the Rebellion into the ground long before ANH!) It's cathartic to see her and Tynnra make their sort of pilgrimage to where so many were lost, and I really liked the friendship shown. They're both in similar roles with lots of responsibility and can't be overcome with emotion all the time, but they're able to support each other in what just isn't an easy day for anyone. Tynnra's concerns about the cost of beginning the Rebellion in earnest when they did make a lot of sense. I hadn't known she was supposed to be from Taris; that makes for an interesting KOTOR connection.

    That the funeral was (in at least two cases) premature is a twist that I wasn't expecting at all. Jyn and Cassian -- both of them! For a minute I thought maybe it had just been Jyn that made it... better than no one at all, but oww my heart! So glad to know that Cassian's more or less alright too. Even though there are still many losses to mourn, at least two stories didn't end there, and now those two have a fighting chance. [face_love]
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  8. divapilot

    divapilot Force Ghost star 4

    Nov 30, 2005
    I loved this. This really gets to the heart of what must weigh so heavily on Mon Motha: Is it worth it? Are all the sacrifices going to make a difference in the end? Remember, she's been there since the beginning: the rebellion began with the three of them: Bail, Padmé, and herself. And by this point, she's the only one of the original members left.
    There's no memorial for the Rogue One crew. There is no body to bury, no funeral to observe. They were obliterated. I can imagine that Mon would have wished for something more substantial to remember them by. I think, in the actual film, the whole planet of Scarif is pretty much wiped out, but I like the idea here that the Death Star just sort of smacked it hard upside the head and it survived, if addled a bit meteorologically.

    I like how you brought Tynnra into this as a foil for Mon. She's an interesting figure here.
    Tynnra brings reality back to Mon. She sympathizes, but she has a practical view of it. There is no point in beating yourself up over what's already been done.

    Then, just as they are at the point where they have succumbed to the somber fact that the loss of the R1 crew was inevitable...
    [face_skull] HA! SHE LIVES! :cool:

    And if Jyn could survive, living off a year-round clambake...

    [face_dancing]THEY COULD ALL LIVE! [face_praying]

    Rebellions are not the only things built on hope. @};-

    Excellent response to the challenge. =D=
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2019
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  9. Raissa Baiard

    Raissa Baiard Chosen One star 4

    Nov 22, 1999
    =D= Bravo on your use of these prompts to tell a compelling and intriguing story. I really like the idea that the Death Star’s targeted strike didn’t wipe out all life on Scarif. It makes sense that if the ocean boiled, all that steam would eventually condense into clouds and rain. And rain. And rain.... And that rain creates a suitably melancholy atmosphere for Mon Mothma and Pamlo to discuss their regrets. I don’t see Mothma being emotional here as in any way against how she’s portrayed in Canon. After all, the Mon Mothma we see on screen is the public face of a Rebel Leader. Here, she’s alone with a friend, and it in no way diminishes her strength that she has these feelings of doubt and regret. She wouldn’t be human and the leader that she is if she didn’t wonder whether, in hindsight, if they made the right decisions and to think of the lives lost with regret.

    And in the midst of the deluge comes a knock at the door....:eek: These two ladies handled it much better than I would have; i’m not sure I would have answered, at least not without a blaster in hand. But fortunately, the mysterious figure is none other than Jyn (speak of the devil!). She’s alive and so is Cassian (and yes. I got the Rebels reference #WheresCassian?;)) it makes me wonder who else has survived—either on the Imperial or Rebellion side. If Jyn and Cassian, close as they were to the strike point, were able to survive, surely others who were farther away did too. [face_thinking] There’s an interesting story there.

    Great entry to the challenge!
  10. Mira_Jade

    Mira_Jade The (FavoriteTM) Fanfic Mod With the Cape star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Jun 29, 2004
    Wow!! This was an amazingly poignant, heartfelt vignette. I loved how you were able to take your prompts and craft something this heavy hitting but uplifting at the same time. You could litteraly feel the weight lifting and releasing from Mon Mothma throughout the course of the story, not quite unlike the rains falling all around her! This one really stuck in my head, and I've thought about it for days after reading. =D=

    My goodness, how creative! I know that you said that you hand waved the science, but this sounded completely plausible to me. I love how you took the weather prompt and made it an integral part of the story, rather than just a backdrop scenery. The rain felt like a character all its own, so close to the heart of the story as it was.

    Beautiful; I loved your choice of characters, paying respect to the fallen. This is so something Mon Mothma would do!

    Oh! Mon is such a graceful figure who projects such serenity and gravitas. That made it even more beautiful to see her grief breaking here. The framework of the dialogue building and building, all the while with Pamlo trying to interrupt, was just so poignant; a real gut punch. =((

    I like Pamlo. [face_love] [face_laugh] Excellent use of the prompt word!

    Easy peasy, when put that way! [face_laugh] Oh Jyn, you dear - what a beautiful use of the Law of Resurrection trope! Having her show up - alive and well and hopeful about the fates of the rest of her crew - was just the light shining after the storm that Mon needed! I love how she broke down and hugged Jyn, who was oblivious to her emotional turmoil. I had such a smile at the end here, I can't even find the words. :D [face_dancing]

    Brava on the fantastic vignette! Thank you so much, again, for participating in the challenge! =D=
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2019
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  11. AzureAngel2

    AzureAngel2 Chosen One star 6

    Jun 14, 2005
    I read this on the way home recently and I always have great difficulties typing something in with my mobile phone.

    This is a unique and wonderful idea! There are survivors on Scarif. And not just any survivors!

    I can´t wait to see how this plays out.
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  12. Findswoman

    Findswoman Fanfic and Pancakes and Waffles Mod (in Pink) star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Feb 27, 2014
    Thank you all for reading and reviewing—so very appreciated, as always! :)

    Thank you so much! I'm glad you enjoyed this story; I very much enjoyed crafting it from these prompts. And I have to say, Jyn/Cassian has been growing on me since I started this! :D

    Oh, thank you! I'm a real sucker for the whole "atmospheric conditions reflecting the mood" thing, and "driving rain" is just so evocative that I was thrilled to receive that one. It was also kind of a fun experiment to try to express those kinds of emotions with a character whom we don't see express emotion much—namely, Mon Mothma. But her admiration for Jyn was so real that I imagine it would have bubbled out in a situation like this! Thanks so much once again.:)

    Thanks so much for coming and reading, Brodie! I needed to look up Tynnra Pamlo in the course of writing this, too (I knew her by face rather than by name, kind of), and given her initial very vocal opposition to the Rogue One expedition I felt she would make for a good foil for Mon Mothma (who I guess was kind of more ambivalent about it than outright opposed). And yes, when I got that "first law of resurrection" trope as my prompt, my mine immediately went to Rogue One and especially to Jyn! If she could survive, then so could he! A new hope of sorts for the Rebellion in and of itself. Thanks again. :)

    Well, shucks, thanks—I'm very flattered that you say that. :) I mean, we really don't see anything else beyond them hugging and the big tidal wave rolling up, and of course the blast would have heated everything—so why the hey not, I say! :D

    That's what I felt, too, when I read where Pamlo was from! :D

    Thank you so much—that's great praise from a writer as skilled at setting moods and settings as you are. :) I admit that I felt a little stuck with "addle-pated," at first, since it felt like it was in such a different mood than the rest of the prompts—and then I saw it made a near-perfect response to the prompt quote I received, and things weren't so bad. ;) Thanks again, and I'm so glad you enjoyed this!

    Thank you so much, Kahara; wonderful as always to have you here! :) Yes, I wholeheartedly agree with you about Mothma—it's really kind of a shame that she's so often gotten this portrayal as Stodgy Parade-Raining Rebel Leader, and that's a large part of why I chose her for this story and portrayed her the way I did as Tynnra's friend. Again, I enjoyed playing a bit with the subtle differences between the kind of opposition Mothma showed (and which nevertheless didn't exclude admiration for Jyn) and the kind Tynnra showed. And yes, I was really stoked to find that out about Tynnra, too, as I said to Oddly above. :)

    Oh yes, the trope I received seemed like a perfect match for R1! I did waffle a bit about which characters to have survive and settled on Jyn and Cassian because, once again, I think that tidal wave scene makes it possible to fudge some things a bit. :D Thanks so much once again, as always!

    Thanks so much, I'm glad you enjoyed this! Mothma's got so much on her mind—indeed, she pretty much is in a constant state of having much on her mind ever since the founding of the Rebellion, and the doubt and fear about whether what she's fighting for is worth it probably comes back to her again and again (if not weigh on her all the time). It's still too early to tell, and will be for a long time.

    I guess my impression was that the Death Star laser cannon wasn't quite up to planet-obliterating capabilities at that stage, and that the most it could do was maybe destroy a particular area of the planet (as happened with Jedha)—that's what I understood as happening with that part of Scarif, and I just kind of went from there in spinning out the "first law of resurrection" plotline. :p But yes, whatever the Death Star did to the planet, it most definitely left nothing resembling graves or markers for any of those that fell.

    Thanks! Her vocal opposition to the quest to retrieve the plans was a moment that stood out for me in R1, so I very much enjoyed learning more about her.

    She did seem to be a very practical person—the kind of friend who helps a friend by helping them be grounded, if that makes sense.

    The darkest hour is just before dawn! <3

    Indeed so—and when you put it that way, it actually sounds kind of tasty!

    Absolutely agreed! :)

    Thank you so much, and I'm so glad it brought joy to an avid R1 fan and Rebelcaptain aficionado such as yourself! @};-

    Thank you so much, I'm so glad you liked the results of this little experiment! You're awfully kind about the rain premise; I pretty much just pulled that out of my ear in keeping with the "first law of resurrection" trope, which kind of lends itself to out-of-ear-pulling, but I also really wanted the rain to set the mood, so I'm glad that worked. This was my first time writing either Mothma or Pamlo, and I really had a ball with it for all the reasons above mentioned; they both seemed like thoughtful, conscientious, and ultimately very caring leaders.

    Yes, I admit I probably would have been pretty freaked out by that knock, too! And if Jyn was Out There Somewhere, why not Cassian, too? And why not others? (One of the first that came to mind when I was pondering R1 ideas for this story was the excellent Pao, of course, which is part of why I made sure to give him a cameo mention. :D ) It is definitely something I'll keep in mind (in the hutch) for a future story!

    Thank you so much, and I'm so glad you enjoyed this! :)

    Thanks so much, Mira, that is so much appreciated! I'm so glad (and honored, too!) that this had an emotional impact on you. <3

    Thanks, and I'm so glad you liked how that turned out, even if it was admittedly kind of pulled out of my ear! :p There's something about "driving rain" (as opposed to just plain rain) that has that distinctly melancholy quality—and I just loved how perfectly it fit with both the regretful mood of the required dialogue line and with the tragic happenings of Rogue One.

    Thanks so much, and I thought so, too. The Rogue One crew more than deserves it. @};-

    Yes, it can often be the most stoical characters who, under it all, are affected the most, and I absolutely imagine Mothma being that way. She wouldn't have been able to found something like the Rebellion if she'd just been a cold, emotionless block of marble, I think. And now that you mention this, I think Pamlo's interruptions grow out of the fact that she sees just how affected Mothma really is by all of this—it might be a little hard on her to see that happen to see to such a solid rock of a friend.

    Thank you so much! I have to say, when I received my prompts, I was thrilled to see how perfectly the word "addlepated" fit as a response to the required dialogue line—they went together like the proverbial peanut butter and chocolate! :D

    That "easy peasy" feeling seems so often to go hand in hand with the First Law of Resurrection trope, doesn't it—going all the way back to Sherlock Holmes! :D And there, too, I remember how happy Watson was to see his best friend back and alive and well, so I imagined Mothma reacting similarly—and felt that something as big as this would have a good chance of breaking down the stoical, official manner we so often associate with the character. Everyone wins: Jyn gains a new lease on life, and Mothma gains an amazing fighter for her cause.

    You are very, very welcome, and thank you and the rest of the mod team for giving me this wonderful opportunity to write it with your fun challenge! =D=

    Thank you so much, Azure! I'm glad you enjoyed this, and I really appreciate your coming by to read. Now, this is just a one-shot, so I'm afraid the continuation won't be part of this particular story—but I'm definitely keeping open the possibility of future stories, so we shall see! :D Many thanks again.
  13. Briannakin

    Briannakin Former Manager star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Feb 25, 2010
    Oh man this is so brilliant! I loved seeing these two amazing female alliance leaders in the aftermath of the events on Scarif! Love how it begins with such a somber tone, but gradually elevates to the big reveal! I'm so glad you decided to use this trope and bring back someone who really deserves more screen time (and by that, I mean Cassian :p though Jyn is pretty awesome too).

    Oh, man. You and your imagery! and I love it. I'm not a meteorologist, but I like to think this makes sense.

    I really enjoy seeing Tyrrna Pamlo. I enjoyed seeing how she and Mon Mothma were together as both colleagues and as old friends. I liked Tyrrna's sass, but she didn't dismiss the seriousness of the occasion.

    Jyn! That is just so her.
    Obviously it's a tragedy, but I laughed at the idea of all the boiled sea creatures.
    CASSIAN! They gotta go find Cassian!!!

    I love the hug at the ending!
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  14. Findswoman

    Findswoman Fanfic and Pancakes and Waffles Mod (in Pink) star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Feb 27, 2014
    Thank you so much for reading and commenting, Bri, I’m so glad you enjoyed this! As soon as I saw the “first law of resurrection” trope among my prompts, Rogue One came immediately to mind, and I admit it wasn’t an easy decision to choose who to bring back among the many worthy characters who lost their lives—which Was why I decided what the heck, why not bring back both Rebel and Captain! :D

    Thank you! I’m no weather expert either, but I loved the “driving rain” prompt so much—so evocative, so many emotional possibilities and connotations there, and those made for a good match for Rogue One, too.

    It was a lot of fun getting to know Pamlo in the course of writing this. One of the challenges I set for myself here was to write a post-R1 story with an all-female cast (I still can’t believe they didn’t make even one other member of the actual Rogue One expedition female), and first Pamlo, then Mothma, popped to mind. When I first watched R1, I remember Pamlo standing out to me for her bold-but-earnest way of speaking out about the dangers of retrieving the plans, and that got me thinking about what she might think and feel after it all happened: some of that outspokenness would certainly still be there, but definitely tempered somewhat.

    Yes, our Stardust always had that playful, childlike edge to her! :D

    Hey, one has to survive the best way one can! :p And under other circumstances, I could see that sort of thing being, well, not untasty! :D

    Oh, for sure! #wherescassian :D Again, I just couldn’t resist bringing them both back.

    Aw, thanks! I figured there was nothing like a hug for expressing feelings too powerful for words! [:D] Thanks so much once again for coming by and reading; I’m glad that this story spoke to you. :)
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  15. ConservativeJedi321

    ConservativeJedi321 Force Ghost star 6

    Mar 19, 2016
    Finally got around to reading this (Been a long week).
    Good story, Mothma and Senator Pamlo were probably among the last people I expected to be on the shuttle.
    For what it's worth I think your characterization of Mon isn't all that out there. She is definitely someone who grieves every loss that happens under her command, that goes all the way back to her first appearance in ROTJ. Maybe she's a little more blunt than normal, but in such a private setting with only a friend's ear to judge her I can see it.