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Saga - OT The Wind that Shakes the Corley (Celtic Song Challenge) -- COMPLETE!

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by Mistress_Renata, Feb 4, 2017.

  1. Mistress_Renata

    Mistress_Renata Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Sep 9, 2000
    I do love the Loyal Lurkers; I know you're all out there from the page views, but yes, I do like it when people speak up. And I am always tickled to see how much people pick up on; the most subtle clues don't get by you lot! I have very smart readers... [face_love] Keep me on my toes!

    I'm not entirely certain, but I do think that the good Doctor knows a lot of secrets. He's not exactly a young Drall anymore, and his position in the hospital is high enough that his absence would be noted. But, [hl=black]I do think that he uses his extensive network of Drall family members to point people in the right direction, when necessary.[/hl] He remembers living under a Republic, after all.

    Time will tell! [face_devil]


    [face_laugh] Absolutely! As safe as if he was in his own bed back on...oops. But then again, it's getting to the point where nowhere in the galaxy is safe. :(

    And let's face it. It's faster to train an infantry recruit than it is to train a surgeon. His skills would be wasted with a blaster. And of course, this:

    Probably. We'd like to hope not!

    Ah, Ryas does care, and he is self-centered. Will that change? Time will tell. As far as heartbreak... CELTIC SONG!!!

    You are entirely too prescient, Pandora; I give up any hope of ever surprising you. :D

    * * *

    Niall was stuck at the spaceport. How the heck did the Rebellion find new recruits? How did people find their way to the other side? There were no recruiting posters, of course. He hadn’t gotten far beyond the gates of the spaceport before he’d backed out. There were passenger cruisers headed to the far corners of the Galaxy; into the Core Worlds, along the Corellian Trade Spine to the Outer Rim, and you could transfer, but Niall had no idea where to transfer to. By the time he’d ever heard of Rebel activity, it was after the fact, after the Imperial forces had moved in and clamped down. And that was another thing that made him nervous. Imperial stormtroopers, guarding the entrances to the spaceport, checking identification, watching everyone.

    He’d moved away to the commercial side, a lot seedier, where the big freighters came in and out. He looked out of place here, though. He had simple civilian clothes, but there was something about the deep spacers, the freighter crews, the way they walked, their swagger, the particular wear and grime on their flightsuits… Niall bit his lip. Corellians had a reputation as smugglers; he might be able to bribe one to smuggle him somewhere; he still had two bottles of the Alderaanian wine in the small crate of possessions he was taking with him. But smuggle him to where?

    There were Stormtroopers here, too, marching on patrols with their blast rifles at ready. Here the spacers gave them hard looks, especially after they’d passed. One man had made a rude gesture to the back of their helmets. There were a few CorSec personnel nearby who saw it, but they’d simply smirked and exchanged glances. After what had happened in the Square, no one was particularly happy to see the Boys in White, especially not the local forces.

    He found a small caupona and ordered a caff, which he drank while leaning against the counter. Ryas had left him a few messages, which he’d deliberately ignored. He was sure that his fiancé was trying to apologize, but he was afraid of giving away his plan. Would Ryas turn him in? He’d like to think not. Talk him out of it? Definitely. Ryas had been born on Loronar, but his family had been forced to flee when the Clone Wars had spilled over to the planet. Jumping from world to world had been hard on him, and he’d lost his mother and his youngest sister. Above all else, he valued security, stability, and law, the things he’d found when he gone into Imperial service. Niall could understand this.

    But Niall was sure now that those things would never truly happen until the Emperor’s government was overthrown. Until the people of the Galaxy, ALL the people of the Galaxy, had a voice in how things were run. Until the Senate was restored, and a Chancellor was elected, first among equals. And this seemed to be the only way to honor his parents and their teachings…to fight the cruelty and evil that had led to their deaths. To work for peace by destroying the greatest threat to peace. To make sure that no one else ever had to know the same loss he had. Okay, the battle station—Death Star—was gone. What else would the Empire come up with? Who would be punished for its loss?

    And how to get involved? He’d cleaned out the apartment, giving away extra clothes and a lot of books and datacards. The furniture belonged to the landlord. He’d kept all the pictures of his family, along with a few small pieces of artwork from Alderaan and an old atlas of his homeworld. It was useless now, but someday, if he ever had kids, they’d know the world he grew up on. He’d kept the picture of himself with Ryas, too. Whatever his lover might think of him, even if his path was pulling him far away to a place he could never return from, Ryas would always hold a place in his heart. Maybe someday…someday he’d--

    “There you are!” Niall jumped in shock, feeling a guilty flush wash over him. Dannan Antilles was shaking his head. “Dr. Pocrates was worried you might have left already.”

    “Left? Right, I’m just, um, going on vacation.” Niall took a deep breath, aware that his voice sounded unnaturally high. “Yeah, I need a…a break. I was going to call you, uh, when I got back.”

    “Vacation. Right.” Dan rolled his eyes. “And which ship are you taking on…vacation?”

    “Uh…I haven’t bought my ticket yet.”

    “Withdrawn your bank account yet?”

    Niall blinked. “Um, no,” he said. “Why would I?” Dan shook his head again.

    “You done with that? Come on, then.”

    Niall put down the empty caff cup, and looked around the caupona, which was empty. He followed Dan out into the street. “Am I under arrest?” he said stiffly.

    “Only if we get caught.”

    “Caught? Wait, we?”

    Dan raised an eyebrow. “I went looking for you, and asked at the hospital. Dr. Pocrates and I had a long chat. He mentioned your…’vacation plans,’ and I decided to invite myself along.” Niall caught his breath. Dan was going to join the Rebellion? He realized that his friend was in civilian clothes, with a well-worn travel sack slung over one shoulder. The shaggy-haired Corellian glanced over at him. “Let’s face it…you don’t know how to disappear, do you?”

    “No,” admitted Niall.

    “Didn’t think so.” There were steps, he learned. He’d left his commlink in the trash bin at home, a wise move, according to Dan, but his datapad was compromised. He bought a new one, paying cash, but didn’t activate it, per Dan’s orders. He kept his legitimate ID, which could be changed later, and Dan had a second ID under a different name already prepared for him. He’d originally thought he’d keep his bank account, but Dan pointed out that anytime he accessed it, he could be tracked. So instead he withdrew all but a hundred credits (more would be suspicious, according to Dan, as would closing it completely) and followed the young officer on a circuitous path to catch a maglev train.

    Dan didn’t have the airspeeder with him, and Niall had sold his, for a ridiculously low price. Dan shook his head when he’d heard.

    “You should’ve let me haggle,” he said. “When they know you’re an offworlder, they cheat you sixty ways from Primeday.”

    Niall peered out the window, as fields and pastures rushed by at an astounding rate. “Where are we going?”

    “To talk to my uncle.”


    * * *
     
  2. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014
    Aaaah, a cliffie!

    Let's hope that this Dan is for real and not some sort of a double agent. And I thoughtfully enjoyed descriptions of every step one needed to take in order to disappear. Wondering if the next thing is creating a new identity.

    And clearly hoping that Pocrates is not an O'Brien type.
     
  3. RX_Sith

    RX_Sith C&G Game Host star 5 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Mar 13, 2006
    Looks like Niall has a sort of plan worked out and Dan will hopefully help him out with it.
     
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  4. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    Oh, oh, oh... Dan is back, and he's got the same vacation plans as his "other brother"! :eek: And the fact that Pocrates pointed him in Niall's direction really does seem to confirm that the Drall doctor has Rebellion sympathies; I wonder, too, if Pocrates specifically pointed Dan in Niall's direction precisely in order to help him out with the whole "disappearing" process that's so new to him. (Again, I knew that character rocked, but that would make him rock all the more. :cool: ) Niall has been a pretty straight-laced, unassuming citizen up till now and has never before had to do maverick things like abandon his commlink, change identities, etc.—it's no small transition for him. But his determination is giving him strength, and the fact that he won't have to go this alone

    And an uncle? Of an Antilles? Now, this is very, very interesting... I sense [hl=black]an EC cameo[/hl] around the corner (bearing in mind, of course, the usual caveats about [hl=black]Smiths and Joneses[/hl]. [face_thinking] Can't wait to see where this will go! (Yes, I'm sure I sound like a broken record by now, but every time I've said than in comments to this story, I've meant it. :) )
     
  5. Mira_Jade

    Mira_Jade The Fanfic Manager With The Cape star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Jun 29, 2004
    His uncle. I can't wait to see more of the Antilles clan pop up here - especially if that includes a few more familiar faces from amongst the Rebels, but this update was just wonderful in the meantime. I love that Dan invited himself along, and is helping Niall out. Thank-goodness for Pocrates pointing him towards Niall! The poor guy has his heart in the right place, but it's quite one thing to make a decision, and quite another thing to see that decision through. It's not like there's a recruiting station for the Rebellion. Honestly, seeing a 'good, ordinary' citizen moved to such an extreme as 'terrorist activity' is a testament to how the Empire really is its own worst enemy. It's creating more and more rebels each day instead of beating them down into submission.

    That said, I have to comment on the updates I missed, too: I really enjoyed your building the plot to this point. Ryas' callousness in the face of Niall's suffering was awful to read - sickeningly so. The line about 'one million lives' lost on the Death Star versus Niall's entire world being lost was particularly horrible - nearly as much as his final shots at Alderaan and its peaceful mentality as a whole. However, I know that there has to be a reason Niall fell in love with Ryas in the first place. Underneath his buying into the Empire's indoctrinating propaganda and his self-centeredness, I am wondering if there is room for growth in his character, and then hoping that that change won't come too late. :(

    Your supporting cast continues to be wonderful, as well - the fellow Alderaani survivor, and their shared grief was a particularly poignant scene. And Doctor Pocrates continues to be wonderful! As always, I look forward to reading where this goes. [face_love]=D=
     
  6. Pandora

    Pandora Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Apr 13, 2005
    As I suspected, it is no easy thing to join up with the Rebellion--and I don't know what Niall would have done if Dan hadn't made his appearance. It's obvious that Dan does know more than a few things about how to disappear (and I suspect that the as-yet-unnamed uncle, who is almost certainly going to be a character seen in the canon, may have something to do with that knowledge)--and given the foreshadowing when he last appeared in the story, he must have turned toward active rebelling before Niall did. And as for whether or not Dr. Pocrates knew that Niall would need Dan's help in planning his "vacation"--well, I would not at all put it past him.

    But it is a big step. Niall has, up until now, been an ordinary citizen, one of--his connection to the aristocratic House of Antilles aside--the faceless billions of the galaxy who are not going to be credited with saving it. And with each step he makes to disappear, he is leaving that life behind, and moving towards the edge, and the unknown. Though you could argue that his old life truly ended the moment the Death Star fired on Alderaan.

    Then there's Ryas: it turns out that we do find out what his backstory is, which for me explains why he values order and stability so highly. Perhaps, in many ways, he and Niall never truly understood each other--after all, while he was bounced from planet to planet with his family, Niall had that secure upbringing in a beautiful and peaceful setting. He had something to lose, while Ryas had already lost everything. One could argue that, for him, the Empire took the place of both homeworld and family.

    And I suspect that--given that he knew first hand the damage caused by the Clone Wars--he wouldn't be too keen on a return to the Republic, the Rebellion's stated goal. It is a good thing that Niall has not tried to contact him, as that would be a conversation that could only end badly.

    And: while Niall has ignored the messages Ryas--despite his parting shot at the restaurant--left for him, I suppose I oughtn't be surprised that Ryas still holds a place in his affections. He loved him for a long time, and love never dies that easily. I'm as convinced as before (but open to being surprised about the circumstances, and the level of pure Celtic pain, that shall be involved) that they will meet again. As ever, I look forward to reading and finding out.
     
  7. AzureAngel2

    AzureAngel2 Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jun 14, 2005
    Normally, the saying goes: "There is another Skywalker!"

    But with members of the Antilles Clan you cannot be sure. ;)

    For there is usually more than one. They are more notorious that a Jawa clan or "The Brady Bunch". :p
     
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  8. Mistress_Renata

    Mistress_Renata Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Sep 9, 2000
    A plan? You're giving Niall way too much credit! :D Fortunately, Dan DOES have a plan.

    We love you, Ewok Poet, even if you're sort of paranoid sometimes! ;) What is an O'Brien? I don't think I know the reference.

    Dan's had more experience with the seedy side, being a cop and all...if anyone knows how to disappear, it's him. I don't think Dr. Pocrates sought him out, but when Dan came looking, the good Doctor was smart enough to realize that this was what our sweet, law-abiding trauma surgeon needed...someone to keep him out of trouble. Sort of.

    Now, see, I can't figure out who you're referring to! Our favorite flyboy is busy evacuating Yavin, and his parents are dead. There IS a small cameo coming up, not sure it's who you think. We're getting there. Only 3 posts left!

    [face_laugh][face_laugh][face_laugh] Too right!!!!!

    Dan's uncle is loosely based on my own dear, late Uncle Joe, a WWII Air Force vet, who could nearly always be found holding court in Booth #3 of the local pub, with a beer at his left hand and the daily paper in front of him.

    * * *

    They wound up in a small town by the ocean, walking along an old stone-paved street. Dan paused before a small, disreputable-looking tapcaf. “He spends most of his day in here.” Niall followed Dan inside, and coughed.

    The air was thick with the smoke from nicsticks and a heady smell of ale and whiskey, while the floor was uncomfortably sticky. It was small and dark, a bar to the left side, with no stools, and a row of booths on the right. Just inside the door was a small machine for gamblers to insert a few credits and try their luck. There were several people inside, mostly humans, but there were a few Drall, and three Selonians in a booth near the door. Everyone fell silent and turned to stare as they walked in. Niall swallowed nervously.

    Dan nodded at the bartender and walked towards a booth at the back. There were three human men there, and he went up to them. “Hey, Unc.”

    “Danny boy!” Dan bent to kiss the old man on the head. Niall looked at him curiously. He seemed very old, with the paper-thin skin drawn in fine wrinkles on his head and dark age spots on his face and hands. His hair was white and bushy, but thinning. Niall could make out pink scalp beneath. The eyes, though, were still sharp, steel-blue. There was a small glass of ale at his left hand, and a datapad with the day’s newsfeed in front of him.

    Dan nodded at Niall. “This is Dr. Niall Antilles. He works at Charterer’s, under Dr. Pocrates. He’s from Alderaan.”

    The three men chuckled. “Ah,” said one, “one of those.” His smile was genuine and they all seemed friendly. Niall realized he was being gently teased, and smiled back. “We’re sorry about Alderaan,” the man continued. “Truly sorry for your loss.”

    “Thank you,” said Niall.

    “There’s something gone on there,” said the other, nodding at the old man. “Something they’re not telling us.”

    Dan cleared his throat, and continued. “This is my great-uncle, Dannan Antilles, my grandfather’s brother. I was named for him. This is my Uncle Cavitt, my father’s eldest brother, and this is Marik Aberden, my uncle Dan’s old friend.” Niall shook hands all around, accepting the murmured words of sympathy.

    “What brings you away from the glittering jewel of our fair homeworld?” said Dan Senior to his nephew. “Come, sit, have a drink.”

    “We’d like your advice on, uh, something.” Dan cleared his throat again, and nodded slightly. The other took a hint.

    “I’ll be getting back to work,” said Cavitt. “Uncle Marik, can I drop you somewhere?”

    “No, no, I’m going to run across the street, want to see if Mrs. Mack has any poltubers in stock. I’ll see you tomorrow, Dan. Fair skies.”

    “Fair skies,” replied Dan Senior. When the three of them were alone, Dan’s uncle sat back in the booth. “Well?”

    Dan took a deep breath. “You were right,” he said. “About the Empire. I was there, at Embarkation Square. I saw what they did. It was the Imperial troops, not us local fellows. We wouldn’t have done that to our own people. You were right about him. About--”

    “Tch! No names,” cautioned Dan Senior. “I know who you mean.”

    “And Alderaan was destroyed deliberately. It was a battle station, a giant weapon. First it destroyed Jedha, as a test, then Alderaan. They claimed there was a Rebel base there, and that the Royal family was working with them.”

    Dan Senior pursed his lips. “No Rebel base that I knew of,” he said, “although House Organa certainly were working against the Emperor, rest their souls.”

    Niall was shocked. “I can’t believe—“ he began.

    “You never knew Bail Organa personally, did you?” said Dan Senior. “Not that I was his best friend, you understand, but I knew enough.” He looked down into his glass. “Years and years ago, when I was your age, I worked for RepSec, Republic Security. The Old Republic didn’t have a standing army, but they did have us. We tracked down counterfeiters, arrested smugglers, broke up slave trading rings…tried to keep the peace in the Galaxy. And we worked with the Jedi Knights. Fairly frequently.”

    He looked up to the two young men, fixing them with a cold steely look. “Don’t believe one word of what you’ve heard about them,” he said. “They were good, hard-working people, who were committed to the Galaxy and the cause of peace. I never met one who had greater ambitions or a desire for power. And in one day…” Dan Senior sighed. “In one day, they were slaughtered, and hunted across the Galaxy. Some were my friends. And the Chancellor declared himself Emperor. I could see then what was coming. What they did at Embarkation Square doesn’t surprise me in the least. I wish I could say it did.”

    Niall hesitated, looked around the room. “I…I’ve heard there’s a Rebellion. People fighting it. I’m hoping to join them.”

    “And I’m going, too,” said Dan.

    Dan Senior looked thoughtful. “You didn’t tell your parents?”

    “Of course not!” Dan shook his head. “Mom would never understand. Neither would Dad, Mr. Keep Your Head Down and Don’t Get Involved.”

    Dan Senior took a long swallow from his glass and stared off into space for a moment. “There is a Rebellion,” he said. “Or last time I’d heard.”

    “There is,” said Niall. “They destroyed the battle station. The Death Star, it was called.”

    “How do we find them?” asked Dan.

    “Got some flimsy?” Niall found a piece in his pocket and handed it off to the old man who wrote a few names slowly and painfully in block letters.

    “The fellow you want is Booster Terrik.”

    Dan frowned. “He just went to prison. He won’t be out for five years.”

    “I know. He’s got a kid, running the business while he’s gone.” Dan Senior looked across the bar. “Miep!” he called. An old woman, with a long white braid wandered over.

    “Still not going to marry you, old man,” she said smiling. Dan Senior chuckled.

    “I’ll wear you down one of these days, oh fairest of stars,” he said. “You know my nephew?”

    “Sure, how you doing, Danny-o?” she asked.

    “He’s off looking for a job with Sheev’s competitors,” said Dan Senior. Miep’s eyes widened, and then she smiled.

    “Good for you!” she said.

    “Booster’s off to Kessel for a quint. He’s the only one has the contacts. I used to know a lot more, but that was a long time ago. I lost track when I retired.”

    “And you were smart to do it. Less you know, less you can tell.” Miep picked up the paper and squinted at it. She took the stylus and wrote another name. “Tell her to take you to the Station in the Hyperian cluster, and find this guy. He should be able to take you from there.” She looked at Dan and Niall and smiled. “Fair skies,” she said. “And may the Force be with you.”

    Dan Senior passed the paper off to his nephew. “Right. Go to the spaceport in Essaron. Find the office for Errant Ventures, LLC. You should be able to get a ride there.”

    “Thanks, Unc.” Dan came around the side of the booth and gave the old man a hug. “Can you explain to Dad?”

    “I’ll try. You’re not the first of ours to go haring off, you probably won’t be the last. Take care of yourself, lad. Fair skies and a tailwind.” He stood up and shook hands with Niall. “And you, Doctor…may the stars watch over you.”


    * * *
     
  9. RX_Sith

    RX_Sith C&G Game Host star 5 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Mar 13, 2006
    Looks like Niall and Dan will be joining the Rebellion which is good that they are doing something.
     
  10. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014
    Glad that these people are for real. :) And that Niall will get to join the Rebellion. But I wonder if Booster Terik's absence is something we need to worry about?

    As for your question, O'Brien is the guy who recruits Winston Smith in 1984 and turns out not to be a rebel at all.
     
  11. AzureAngel2

    AzureAngel2 Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jun 14, 2005
    The air was thick with the smoke from nicsticks and a heady smell of ale and whiskey, while the floor was uncomfortably sticky. It was small and dark, a bar to the left side, with no stools, and a row of booths on the right. Just inside the door was a small machine for gamblers to insert a few credits and try their luck.

    You really know how to describe a bar scene. ;)

    I am glad Niall has plans for the future instead of being blue.
     
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  12. Briannakin

    Briannakin Grand Moff Darth Fanfic & Costuming/Props Manager star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Feb 25, 2010
    Ack! Sorry for getting behind (again! I really suck at keeping up with fics). But I’m glad I remembered to catch up!

    Dan’s uncle was really interesting.

    Dan Senior looked thoughtful. “You didn’t tell your parents?”

    Isn’t that rule number one of any rebellion :p “Don’t tell your parents”

    Booster Terrik

    HAHAHAHAHAHA! YES! JUST YES!

    He’s got a kid, running the business while he’s gone.

    Oh MAN! I really hope it is who I think it is!!!!

    Great updates!
     
  13. Mistress_Renata

    Mistress_Renata Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Sep 9, 2000
    Yes, indeed! Hard to say, at this point, what their impact will be. But they'll feel better about it all.

    It's been years since I've read 1984. I'd say I need to re-read it, but I'm afraid we're living it... :( Booster, according to Legends, was arrested by CorSec for spice smuggling, sentenced for 5 years. So don't worry, he'll be fine.

    Ha! :) Well, my dear great-uncle did like to hang out at the corner tavern, which is very similar to the one in the story. Whenever Mom & I went to visit him (check up on him), if he wasn't at home, we'd just cross the street and walk to the corner, and there he was. It was like Cheers, but a bit grungier. Still, everyone knew all the regulars, and all the regulars had their preferred seats, and heaven help you if you sat in someone's preferred spot. They wouldn't come over or kick you out or anything, but you got a lot of dirty looks the whole time you were there.

    I think it's Rule One of any adventure, which is why so many of them involve orphans, or kids without Moms. You might be able to slip an adventure under Dad's nose, but there is no way that any Mom is going to let her baby risk his neck, even if the fate of the Galaxy is at stake!

    "Ask, and it shall be given unto you!" ;)


    Chapter after this is the last one.

    * * *

    As they walked out the door, Niall looked around nervously, wondering if the place had been bugged. No one seemed to be taking any notice of them. He trailed Dan back to the maglev station. Essaron was nearby, only one stop.

    “Were we right to tell him?” he asked. “If they find out he helped us…”

    “He’s helped a lot of people,” said Dan. “He told you he knew many of the Jedi Knights. He was friends with them. I strongly suspect he may have brought a few into hiding and done a few other things that the Emperor would consider…seditious.” He looked at Niall. “I’m pretty sure he was part of the Rebellion before it was the Rebellion. He left, though. Got old, health dicey, slowing down...got to be more of a liability. I think he still keeps his ears open, though. Does what he can.”

    “Like pointing runaways in the right direction.”

    “Yup.”

    Niall wasn’t sure about Errant Ventures LLC. They walked past the office twice before they found it, a shabby heap of duracrete, with a broken sign next to a small doorway. There was a wall enclosing the docking bay beyond. Inside, his opinion didn’t improve.

    The synthplast floor was dirty, cracked and stained, the furniture was grimy and worn. There was a reception droid behind the desk, in what seemed to be a permanent state of malfunction. Dan pounded on a small call button on the desk, and walked towards a door in the back. Niall hesitantly moved to one of the battered couches, with cushions that had been repaired with tactape, and perched on the edge. There was a dead insect on the floor. He looked away.

    “Hey!” shouted Dan. “Anyone home?”

    “Hold your tauntauns, sheesh!” There was a flurry of movement at the doorway, and a young woman stormed in and glared at Dan. Niall looked at her curiously. She was pretty, brown eyes and long black hair pulled into a messy braid. He judged her to be in her late teens. She frowned at Dan. “What do you want, CorSec?”

    “Business. I want to hire you.”

    The girl looked puzzled. “You want to hire me?” She looked at Niall. “Who’s your friend?”

    “I actually want to hire your father, but he’s got a few years left on his sentence, yeah? Your father occasionally ran shipments to…Sheev’s competitors. We’re…looking for a job. Maybe they’ll hire us.”

    The girl’s mouth dropped open. Then she snorted. “Right,” she said, “I’m supposed to believe that you’ve gone over to the Dark Side?”

    “I was at Embarkation Square,” he said grimly. “Miep Terrik told me you would help us out.” He showed her the paper.

    “Oh.” The girl’s eyes widened. She started to speak, studied the paper again, then nodded slowly, handing it back to him. “Oh. I see.” She looked at Niall. “And him?”

    “He was born on Alderaan. Dr. Pocrates at Charity will vouch for him. Do you have any idea how to…get in touch with…?”

    “Yeah. Yeah, I do. I know someone. Someone offworld. I’ll run you out myself.” She looked at them suspiciously. “I don’t suppose you have any money?”

    Niall rummaged in his travel sack. “How about this?” he asked. The girl looked at it, and her dark eyes widened.

    “Alderaanian Pavanne!” she said.

    “My sister and her husband had a vineyard in Nosorra. This was…was one of theirs. It wasn’t the best vintage, but I thought that, well, maybe now…might be worth something.”

    “Oh, yeah, you could definitely say that!” The girl stared at the bottle, and then she looked up at Niall, and gently rested her hand on his arm. “I’m so sorry…about your family. About…everything.”

    Niall swallowed hard. “It wasn’t your fault,” he said.

    “I know,” she said. “But it shouldn’t have happened.”

    He felt his chest constrict. He thought he was over this by now. “Thank you,” he said.

    She looked at a chron flashing the time on the wall. “Can you come back tomorrow morning? Most flights take off at 0900 hours; if we leave between 1000 and 1030 that won’t seem suspicious, and it will give me time to get the Skate ready.”

    Dan nodded. “Okay. Thanks, Mirax.” He looked at Niall. “Come on. We can crash at my uncle’s place tonight.”

    “And we can trust her?”

    “Oh, yeah. Her family are smugglers. But they’re honest ones. She’ll probably check us out before she takes us. But it will be fine.”

    As they walked along the road, Niall looked at his friend. “Are we crazy?” he asked.

    “Yes.”

    “These people are dangerous terrorists.”

    “Some of them,” said Dan. He looked at Niall. “I’m willing to bet a lot of them are just good people who got tired of turning a blind eye, though. People like us. Do you want to give up now? It’s not too late. You can turn back. But I’m going.”

    Niall thought of his family, enjoying a summer evening by dining out in the garden. He thought of the frightened little girl he’d operated on the day after the Embarkation Square vigil, soft brown arms replaced with cold metal. Of a battle station called a Death Star. And a beautiful young man who was blind to the darkness he was walking into. “No,” he said. “I don’t know what to expect, and yeah, it all scares me a little. But…I’m in.”

    * * *
     
  14. RX_Sith

    RX_Sith C&G Game Host star 5 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Mar 13, 2006
    Wishing good luck to both of them as they get ready to embark on their new journey.
     
  15. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014
    I thought Mirax Terrik was cool from reading about her on Wook, I used her dad in a single chapter of my story where the protagonist epicly misspells his name, but this is the first time I'm actually reading a fic that includes any of them. :) And yup, I like this girl, I really do. I enjoyed her banter a lot. This sentence in particular was epic:

    And I am not sure if I was supposed to notice this before, but I love the idea that one of the contacts shares the first name with the immensely wonderful woman who recovered the Diary of Anne Frank. :D

    I love the emotions going through Niall's head, though the thought of everything coming back to him each time he's to make a decision is alarming. :/ But all those scenes that stayed with him just show that he has a good heart.
     
  16. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    OK, finally caught up—sorry to have slipped behind!

    Well, the EC cameo did in fact turn out to be not what I had expected (indeed, I'm not quite sure what I was expecting, since I think I had my chronology screwed up), but it's a wonderful one all the same, and both Dan and Niall couldn't ask for better initial contacts to "Sheev's competitors" ( :D ). Dan Senior is a very cool and likable old fellow, with a bit of that "old space!salt" vibe. And it's wonderful to see Mirax here as the person who will make Dan and Niall's defection (!) to the Rebellion "for reals"!

    The last paragraph of the penultimate chapter is very striking. We see from it that even as he's taking this huge step, Niall's doubts and fears are still (very believably) following him around. Even now he is still able to call the Rebels "dangerous terrorists," and not just in his head—out loud to Dan. But there is simply no way that he can know what we readers (and Dan, perhaps, too) know about the true nature of the Rebellion. And he has in no wise forgotten about his "beautiful young man" Ryas, nor even totally given up on him, it seems. I have a feeling a confrontation of sorts is in store very soon. [face_nail_biting]

    And I knew the name Miep sounded familiar, but I couldn't quite place it until Ewok Poet reminded me in her comment above. Lovely tie-in there.

    Can't wait to see how things will go down in the final installment! Bracing myself for a huge moment of truth... :eek:
     
  17. AzureAngel2

    AzureAngel2 Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jun 14, 2005
    And I knew the name Miep sounded familiar, but I couldn't quite place it until @Ewok Poet reminded me in her comment above. Lovely tie-in there.

    That name will always be connected to Anne Frank in my head.:-B But the name Mirax sure rings a bell in connection with smugglers... :D
     
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  18. Mistress_Renata

    Mistress_Renata Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Sep 9, 2000
    They'll need it! :D
    Good catch, Ewok Poet, that is exactly who I named her after!

    It has only been a week or two, within the story; I think he is still trying to come to terms with what has happened. Grief will probably be with him for a long time and crop up when he least expects it, but working and living and moving forward with his life will be his revenge, in a way.

    I didn't originally plan to put Mirax in here, but somehow she found her way in...smuggling people might be a new branch for her. And from Miep's full name, you'll see that Mirax's great-aunt has a certain amount of influence over her. :D


    Well, Ryas is up in the air...as we shall see...

    This is the last post and the end of the story. Thank you all for reading and commenting; and a big thanks to Pandora and Findswoman for posting the Challenge, which took me in directions I didn't expect. I'm pleased with how this turned out. I hope you all are, too.
    * * *

    Epilogue

    Work was insane. They had received the preliminary performance reports from the Death Star and were still analyzing the data when it was destroyed, which led to even more frantic analyses, trying to figure out what weakness had allowed its destruction and how the Rebels had found it. And of course, the entire group was soon being moved off to someplace called “Sanctuary” (the code name, since no one was allowed to know the name of the planet) to start work on the mysterious new project that no one had explained yet and there were files to organize and archive, which was tricky, since the destruction of Scarif meant confusion over how that was to be done and where they should be sent.

    It was over a week before Ryas had a chance to see Niall. He’d tried calling a few times, but had gotten no answer. Of course not. After his outburst at the restaurant, of course Niall was angry at him. He regretted it, it was out of line. Of course Alderaanians weren’t cowards or weaklings, heck, there were many serving in the Imperial forces. And he’d met Niall’s parents, warm, generous people who had welcomed him as a new son. He felt terrible about their deaths, remembering the few times he’d been able to visit and how they had gone out of their way to spoil him, the special dishes they’d prepared for him. He should never have said what he’d said, especially not now.

    The power of the weapon was astonishing, but it was supposed to be a deterrent, never to be used, never needed. That Tarkin had boldly deployed it—and against one of the Core Worlds!—Ryas couldn’t believe there wasn’t more about it on the Holonet. COMPNOR must have everything clamped down pretty well. He had to give credit to his lover; that Niall was even able to function at all said a lot about his strength. At least from the data, there was one small consolation. Niall’s family would’ve felt a short earth tremor, that was all. The rest was instantaneous. They couldn’t have suffered.

    Another reason to apologize and marry quickly. If he was sent off to the new project (a new Death Star? Would they, really?), Niall would be completely alone. Sure, he had friends, but Ryas was the closest thing he’d have to family, and if they weren’t married, he’d have no legal protections.

    He’d gone to visit, to find no one home. What alarmed him was when he showed up at the hospital, hoping to catch his fiancé at the end of his shift. But the receptionist on duty said that Niall had resigned from the hospital, and no one had any idea where he was.

    Ryas toyed with the idea of trying to contact Dannan Antilles, but he just couldn’t bring himself to do it. It was jealousy, he admitted it. He knew that there was no romantic relationship between the two, but there was an ease, a sort of relaxed friendship that he envied.

    In the end, desperate, he bought a big box of figs, one of Niall’s favorite fruits, and headed for their hill among the corley fields. The corley was nearly ripe now, a week or two from being cut, and in the late afternoon sunlight it shimmered in the wind like burnished gold.

    His heart dropped when he realized there was no one there. As he got closer, he realized there was a gift tube nestled in a branch of the tree, partially hidden by the leaves, the type used to give bottles of liquor. His name was on it, with a coded lock. It took him a moment to figure out the code, but he had an idea who it was from, and then it was easy. The date of the engagement was wrong, but the date they’d met caused the tube to unseal.

    A bottle of sparkili, the bubbly, delicate wine of Alderaan. A bottle Niall had been saving for their honeymoon toast. A small circlet of braided corley stalks was looped over the neck, and a sheet of flimsy was scrolled around the bottle. Ryas read the message, then re-read it. And then he sat, staring out over the fields to the bay as the sun set.

    Ryas:

    I love you so much. I want to be with you forever. But with everything that has happened, I cannot marry you. Not with things the way they are.

    I’d like to think I know you well enough that you regret what you said to me the last time we parted. That anger, that isn’t you. You know full well that I and my people were not cowards or weaklings. You know that my family never supported the Rebellion. You’ve met them. You’ve stayed under their roof many times. Was their death justified?

    You know that if Moff Tarkin had wanted to find the Rebels on Alderaan (assuming there actually were any there), there were many ways he could have done it. He could have easily sent down troops, who would have met with no resistance; he could have arrested the Royal Family. But he chose not to. Why?

    The destruction of Alderaan was murder, plain and simple. All the accusations and finger-pointing against the Rebellion don’t change that. It hurts me to see you wearing the uniform of the people who murdered my family. You didn’t push the button that fired the weapon, or build that space station…but you are standing up with the people who did. You continue to make excuses for those actions. I’m sorry. I can’t accept that. I thought you were better than that.

    You speak of peace and law and order, but peace does not come through fear. Fear is the justification that the Emperor uses to increase the military, to build bigger and bigger weapons, to garrison peaceful worlds with masses of troops…and in conjunction with this come bigger profits for his corporate cronies, the arms dealers. Fear is what destroyed my world. Fear of what the Rebels might have been planning, fear of the support they might have had… Think through this, look for the truth.

    You were trained as an engineer to build things, to create…not to destroy. To make this galaxy a better place. I was trained to heal people, not kill them. I’d like to think we both have similar goals.

    This is longer than I intended it to be. I’ve decided to leave Corellia and leave the program. I need to deal with all of this somewhere else, where I’m not being pressured to hurry up and get over it. Someday, maybe you can understand what I am saying. There is a good and honorable man of high ideals who I fell in love with. I think that right now he is ignoring a terrible reality. Someday, I hope, you will see things in the light of truth, real truth, not what we’re fed by the propaganda machine. On that day, come and find me. My heart will still be yours.

    Forever,

    Niall



    THE END
     
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  19. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014
    Now, that's some sad, sad ending. But Ryas needed to eventually learn the truth, even though Niall didn't tell him everything. Creative use of the message in a bottle. This place must have meant a lot to both of them. :)

    Congrats on finishing the story!
     
  20. RX_Sith

    RX_Sith C&G Game Host star 5 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Mar 13, 2006
    A sad ending for Ryas and Niall that ends their relationship.
     
  21. AzureAngel2

    AzureAngel2 Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jun 14, 2005
    A bitter end of a love. Niall is the more mature one here and truly shows it in his letter. :_|
     
  22. divapilot

    divapilot Force Ghost star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 30, 2005
    A wonderful story. I loved the insertion of Mirax, and I'm totally not surprised that she'd be running the family business while Daddy was "upstate" and that she would already have ties to the rebellion.

    The ending scene was beautiful and heartbreaking. I can see him sitting there, with the note in his hand, watching the sun set over the golden corley and trying to come to terms with the fact that he was too late. :_| Niall is gone; and although there is the slightest hope that maybe Ryas can find him again some day, it seems impossible.

    A wonderful story. Truly. =D=
     
  23. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    Well, well! I admit that this wasn't at all the kind of ending I'd expected for this story—I was sure that Niall and Ryas would end up confronting each other somehow, perhaps on the field of battle—but this was an super effective way to wrap up the story after all. And there is a confrontation of sorts, in the form of Niall's immensely eloquent letter—wow, that was a real tour de force, and if I tried to quote all the parts of it that struck me I'd be here till the bovids come home.

    I absolutely love that the letter isn't in any way condemnatory in tone. Niall could have just said, "that's it, it's all off, I can't love you anymore, you're a monster," but he categorically doesn't. Instead, he holds out hope that Ryas's own perspicacity and conscience will eventually win out and lighten his eyes to the knowledge of what it is he's really siding with—and that, if so, Niall's heart is there, ready to be his again.

    And will Ryas's better side win out? That part you seem to be leaving to our imagination (or to a future story?)—but given as he's a sentient being instead of a marble statue, I would like to feel that his fiancé's letter has moved his heart at least somewhat. What a change that would be from all the mental excuses, all the "didn't realizes," all the "apologize and marry quicklies" that are going through his mind at the start of the chapter. Of course, those could also mean that maybe he was starting toward that realization himself, even before he found the bottle, and one can hope that Niall's message will be what turns those inklings into actual resolutions.

    Finally, just how perfect was it that Ryas receives this message in the story's beautiful, idyllic opening setting—their favorite corley field and their favorite tree! As if to echo the letter's invitation to realize and to return. Just gorgeous. [face_love]

    GREAT work on this story—a real tour-de-force from beginning to end, very much in keeping with the song that prompted it, and taking its themes in all-new directions. I'm proud to have it as part of this challenge, and I hope you are very proud of it too. Bravissima! =D= @};-
     
  24. Mistress_Renata

    Mistress_Renata Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Sep 9, 2000
    Thank you, everyone! Glad you all liked this. I confess, I don't know what happens to Ryas; I hope the plot bunnies tell me eventually. I don't know if he goes off to Endor all broken-hearted and bitter, or if he rethinks things and realizes that Niall made some good points. Too soon to tell. Thank you, Pandora & Findswoman for the challenge; this is not something I would've written otherwise, I think. It was a good stretch!

    And Ewok Poet, RX_Sith, Mira_Jade, Briannakin, Kahara, AzureAngel2 and divapilot, thank you all for your thoughtful comments! You picked up on all the hints I've dropped. I love having smart readers! :*
     
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  25. Mira_Jade

    Mira_Jade The Fanfic Manager With The Cape star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Jun 29, 2004
    I'm a bit late to the party here, but I couldn't let this go without saying congratulations for completing the challenge! [face_dancing]=D=

    For the last chapter: Mirax!! :D I loved seeing her pop up in this story. It seems as if Niall has taken his first step into a larger world - and though he's understandably still leery, something tells me that he's going to do wonderfully contributing to something greater than himself. I hope that he finds some healing through his service. [face_love]

    And Ryas! :( Oh, my heart hurt for him here. He really is a good guy at the core, just swept up in propaganda and misguided at heart. Even his own conscience is nagging at him before Niall's letter - but Niall's letter. That beautifully tied all of the threads for this story together. The line about him being meant to create, and Niall to heal, was particularly poignant. Though this story ended in a very fittingly Celtic place, as per the inspiration, I do have hopes for them meeting again. This was beautifully done. =D==D=
     
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