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Saga - OT Till the Shades Lengthen (OCs, vignette, introspection; tie-in to Shaman, Traveler, Oracle)

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by Findswoman, Mar 14, 2019.

  1. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Feb 27, 2014
    Author: Findswoman
    Title: Till the Shades Lengthen
    Era: Saga–OT; could be anywhere from 5 to about 0 BBY, during the later chapters (about 27+) of Shaman, Traveler, Oracle.
    Characters: Crew of the Rose Evergreen, who are all OCs and all female: Telfien Viurraanvi (Gand), Glockel Sternenkranz (Human), Lualani’Draba’Takiil “Lua” (Drabatan), Shulma Trilasha Orrelios (Lasat), R1-K4 “Rika” (astromech droid)
    Genre: Vignette, reflection, introspection
    Summary: While aboard the Rose Evergreen in hyperspace, Telfien reflects on what is to come for the Galaxy at a momentous time, and gives a blessing to each of her friends on board.
    Note: Related to the Lasan Series and to other stories featuring Glockel and Telfien (see the list of stories in the note to this post).

    They were all asleep.

    Well, all of them except the droid, who was recharging in engineering, and the Gand Findswoman, whose species’ ability to store sleep enabled her to be awake for days on end, with only a few hours of dormancy in between. The ship was in hyperspace now, and the Findswoman often used that time to meditate. She always received particularly clear intuition in hyperspace, for there the Mists moved most freely, unhindered by the rude constraints of space or time. Once finishing her meditation, she might write in the ship’s log, or check the diagnostics, or take care of various routine tasks so that her Human spacer companion would not have to later. But whatever she did, she always felt as though she were watching over the others somehow, standing guard over them, protecting them.

    Though from what? she sometimes wondered. They were deep in the Outer Rim, far beyond the reach of the Empire. They were headed back from a successful mission to a safe, friendly haven, where they would receive a warm welcome from a kindly employer—an employer who called them her “dahlings,” even. What did they really have to fear?

    And yet—

    The Mists had shown her that the Galaxy was on the brink of evening. An evening of portentous change, of triumph and tragedy in who knew what proportions. The sun would set on the old ways and old orders, and all their lives would be transfigured in the resulting twilight—for better or for worse. The Findswoman had only seen tiny hints—sparks, inklings—of what might happen, and she knew she could neither stop them nor influence them; only the Mists could do that. But she could at very least ensure that none of her friends aboard that ship would have to endure them alone.

    So she donned her rebreather apparatus, activated her quarters’ airlock, and stepped into the corridor, stopping before each of the doorways.

    To the red-braided Human spacer, her longtime friend and shipmate, she said: Oldest friend, you took in this Gand when she thought she had lost everything. You have taken in two more exiles who truly have lost everything: you have made your ship their home and gladdened them with your friendship. Your kindness will not go unrewarded, in this universe or in the next.

    To the Drabatan seamstress, the amphibious matron with the broad smile, she said: Wise and gentle craftswoman, you who have twice lost your home and livelihood to the forces of evil: rest well now, for a deeper, direr loss soon will stab you to the heart. But know, at very least, that you will not grieve in solitude.

    The Findswoman paused for several moments before the door of the Lasat shaman. What could she possibly say to the seer-giantess who was as sublime and majestic as a storm on a mountaintop? Who was a storm, she thought as she put up her hand to feel her friend’s turbulent Mist-presence…

    At last she found her words: Last rose and light of your homeworld! Even in your slumber the Mists storm around you, and their lightnings pierce you. This Gand cannot calm them. Yet you have seen that your love lives, your warrior fights on. He will come to you, and in his arms your painful lightnings will melt into tender flames.


    The Findswoman turned to see that the astromech droid had rolled up behind her, photoreceptors dimly and queryingly blinking. She placed her gloved, three-fingered hand on its transparent dome.

    “Yes, Rika, Telfien has words of blessing for you, too,” she said, then continued: Faithful helper, through all that happens, keep these four steady, whether with your navbrain, your interface arm, or your electroshock!

    With a binary purr, the droid rolled after her as she made her way to the cockpit. There they both stood for several minutes, gazing out at the Mists of hyperspace. ¶

    The title is from a prayer by Cardinal John Henry Newman (1801–90): “May He support us all the day long, till the shades lengthen and the evening comes, and the busy world is hushed, and the fever of life is over, and our work is done…” I know this text from the breathtaking musical setting by Arvo Pärt (b. 1935), titled Littlemore Tractus, and it was this composition’s blend of transcendence, tranquility, and melancholy that inspired this little story:

    (Yes, I know the flower images are kind of corny… just listen instead of watching. :p )

    “ability to store sleep”: An established Gand ability; see

    “She always received particularly clear intuition in hyperspace”: This is said of Zuckuss, too, in his story in Tales of the Bounty Hunters.

    “an employer who called them her dahlings”: Bonvika the Hutt, of course.

    “a deeper, direr loss”: I shall just say that Lua, an OC first introduced in Shaman, Traveler, Oracle, is the mother of Paodok’Draba’Takat “Pao” of Rogue One.
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2019
  2. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha 2 Truths 1 Lie Host star 8 VIP - Game Host

    Aug 31, 2004
    Well, with a one-shot I read yesterday, I'm compiling my favorites of fanfic for 2019 [face_laugh] And this is up there in the one-shots category. ;)


    Gorgeous, just. Telfien's poetic and encouraging words are a balm to the soul of those she speaks to, and the reader as well.


    I adore introspective pieces, and this is one of the bestest!

    Kahara and Findswoman like this.
  3. Kahara

    Kahara Force Ghost star 4

    Mar 3, 2001
    Telfien! :D I really enjoyed the serene, late-night feel of this story. There's no actual night in hyperspace, but when everyone is at rest is about the closest thing. It seems like a very Telfien sort of thing to be making the rounds like this -- sort of being the healer even when things are in the calm before the storms. I loved the way that each of the blessings shows what these incredible women bring to the crew and how far they still have to journey. @};- Though I can't choose between them, Rika's at the end was particularly adorable. [face_love] The music that you mentioned in the notes is perfect for this too, really beautiful and unearthly-sounding.
  4. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Feb 27, 2014
    EDIT: Oopsy-daisy, wrong story! Trying again... sorry about that...
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2019
  5. TheRynJedi

    TheRynJedi Jedi Knight star 3

    Jun 20, 2018
    Lol, hey, the alert about the mention brought me here to read this sweet little story, so no mistake there .
  6. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Feb 27, 2014
    Oh, Ny, thank you so much! That’s such a huge honor coming from you—I really appreciate it and am just overjoyed that you enjoyed this little piece so much. I’ve had this idea/bunny/image on my mind for a while—pretty much ever since the time I started writing about these ladies’ travels on the Rose Evergreen together, so I was thrilled to be able to get it down “on paper” at last.

    Yep, she seemed like the ideal person to be the "night watcher" of the group, given the way her Gand physiology means she can get by on much less sleep. She's a little like the old man with the staff and the lantern in that famous Led Zeppelin "Stairway to Heaven" poster, only much smaller, an alien, and female, of course. :p She is kind of being a preemptive healer, in a way, which of course is just in her nature, and she figures it's the least she can do for these four friends who have been with her through thick and thin. Indeed, even Rika! Astromech droids do have that uncanny knack for keeping their organic counterparts steady and grounded, don't they! :D Arvo Pärt is pretty much my favorite living composer, and so much of his music (especially his choral music) has that otherworldly, minimalistic quality, and Littlemore Tractus is one of my favorites for the way the musical writing so closely fits the affect of the text and conveying that same "late-night" feel.

    Aww, thank you so much! I am always glad to see you here—hope things are going well for you in these busy times. :)
  7. Raissa Baiard

    Raissa Baiard Chosen One star 4

    Nov 22, 1999
    What a lovely little vignette this is! [face_love] Telfien may be the quietest and most soft-spoken of the Rose Evergreen’s crew, but her friendship is no less steadfast for it. We get to hear her thoughts here and see just how devotedly she cares for the others. It shines through in her actions, taking care of little tasks so that Glockel won’t have to, and her emotions, the feeling that she is protecting her friends while they sleep. And I think she is, not from flesh and blood enemies or present threats, but from future hurts—and isn’t that what prayers and blessings are for, to petition the Power That Binds the Universe to shield and strengthen loved ones? Telfien does, offering each of her friends a personal blessing with characteristic brevity but an eloquence to her inner voice we don’t usually see in her speech. Again, her love for each of them, even little Rika, shows through as she chooses just the right words, summing up their essence—oldest friend, wise and gentle craftswoman, last rose and light of your homeworld, faithful helper—and offering a prayer of strength for what’s to come, because, of course, she’s right that the Galaxy is on the edge of change and momentous events are on the horizon. There’s joy and sorrow ahead for all our brave heroines, but they can face it all together, building each other up with their love and faith.

    Thanks for sharing this sweet introspective story!
  8. Mira_Jade

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

    Jun 29, 2004
    Oh this was just lovely! You were able to say so much with so few words, especially for a character who embodies the idea of 'still waters run deep' like Telfien! I really adored this chance to get inside her mind and glimpse as dear a friend as Shulma was able to convey in her musings.

    And, as for the particulars I enjoyed -

    And now I want to get out my Tales of The Bounty Hunters again. The imagery was beautiful here. Spot on fitting. [face_love]

    I love how this note of care and protection was wound throughout the vignette. Whether it's the practical steps she took to ease Glockel's workload (I must say that I envy her ability to 'store' sleep!) to the individual blessings she offered, her bonds with her crew and unexpected new friends shone through. Each prayer was a beautiful moment of insight, both on Telfien's part and for us glimpsing your lovely cast of characters once more through a different perspective. [face_love]

    Such beautiful imagery!! A more perfect metaphore there could not be. [face_love]

    I loved this description of Shulma more than words can say! She's such a humble, modest sort from her own point of view that sometimes it's easy to forget just how powerful a shaman she really is - and how equally powerful she is in will and spirit and even physically next to our Gand narrator. I can only echo Telfien's blessing and hopes for her future!

    Aw! Even Rika is not left out, carrying on as she is the wonderful SW tradition of droids deeply bonding with their organic countetparts. Lovely!

    This was a beautiful piece of writing! As always. [face_love] =D=
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2019
  9. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Feb 27, 2014
    Thank you for reading, as always. :)

    Thank you! :) This kind of scene is one I've had in my mind to write for a while now, and it made for an interesting study, of sorts, to filter the Rose Evergreen characters through Telfien's eyes, since we've already seen them from a different perspective in Shulma's diary. I see Telfien as a calming, centering presence to her shipmates; though she sometimes seems off in her own mystical world, she’s actually been watching them all quite closely, reflecting on her connections to each of them, taking note of their feelings and struggles, and doing what she can to help them heal, since that has been a skill of hers since early in her life. She has true admiration for all of them, all in different ways—even Rika, who keeps them all grounded in the way only a droid can!

    You are very welcome, and I'm so glad you enjoyed this! @};-

    Thanks so much! I appreciate that very much—again, this was an interesting chance for me to study this group of characters from a different angle than before. :)

    Yes, yes, yes, and thank you! That's exactly where I took my inspiration from in writing that bit...

    ...and of course Zuckuss was the one who taught her about those things.

    See above on Telfien's relationship to her crewmates—her quiet, retiring nature hides a truly caring and attentive heart. And being very small and not super strong, this spiritual type of guarding and protection is one type of guarding and protection she definitely can do, despite her size.

    Thank you! :) That was of course inspired by the image of the shades lengthening and the evening/end-of-day/end-of-life imagery in the Arvo Pärt piece that the title is borrowed from.

    Shulma does have the tendency to downplay her own power and worth, and it can be a big tendency. And from her diary we know that she even now isn't quite used to being seen as "big," even though she naturally is, just by virtue of being a Lasat around beings mostly Human-sized or smaller! Telfien was a bit intimidated by Shulma when she first met her in the diary, and even now that they have become good friends I could see her still occasionally being a bit intimidated by Shulma's stature and presence (not that Shulma wants that, of course!). Telfien's good wishes and blessing would mean a lot to Shulma if she were awake to hear them, as the two of them share the bond of being the only two Force-sensitives on board.

    She's an integral member of the crew, too, always there and ready to help and to keep her four organic friends focused on the here and now. SW droids seem to have real a talent for that!

    Thank you so much for that wonderful compliment—always so glad to have you here as a reader. @};-
    Last edited: May 15, 2019
  10. Sith-I-5

    Sith-I-5 Force Ghost star 6

    Aug 14, 2002
    As I went down through the dramatis personae, and saw that this was an all female crew, I was reminded about @Gamiel saying hhe was going to write about one, and I shall have to ask after that.

    Now this was quite the evocative piece, teaching me even more about the Gand. I liked the comment that hyperspace allowed her to see the Mists,
    Verrry nice.

    Good mix of species, your Gand's feelings of gratitude to the human who took her and the others in, as well as wanting to protect her flock, definitely come across.

    And again, a lovely turn of phrase with the Galaxy on the brink of evening. =D=

    Good attention to detail, such as the Telfien re-attaching her re-breather to exit her quarters, and her quarters needing an airlock. Don't often see that for internal rooms on spaceships.

    You really laid on the atmosphere for this.

    Lastly, I don't normally bother to press spoiler buttons, however it was worth it here, to learn that your fourth crewmember is the mother to Rogue One's Pao. C'Boath on a bike, that's a long name.

    Very well done. Great story.
    Gamiel, Kahara and Findswoman like this.
  11. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Feb 27, 2014
    Thanks so much for stopping by to read and comment, I-5! :)

    Yes, that they are—with this group of characters I am kind of riffing on the "found family on a spaceship together" trope and making it specifically a sisterhood. I too remember Gamiel talking about creating an all-female crew in at least one of his stories, and I've been curious about what his plans are for that, too. I think the majority, if not all, of the crew members in his "Watering the Jade Lotus" are female.

    Thank you! It has been a bit since I've written Telfien, and it was good to come back to her and her brand of mysticism.

    Thanks again. In a way, Telfien feels like watching over her crewmates is a way of expressing that gratitude, both to Glockel (the Human) for taking her on board and to all of them for being faithful friends. She's well suited for the guardian role already because of her ability to get by with much less sleep than other species, and she turns it into a gesture of friendship.

    Thanks again, I do try! :D Atmosphere makes a lot of difference in a story, that I've always believed. As a Gand (or, specifically, as a Gand of the ammonia-breathing subspecies), Telfien pretty much needs an airlock setup like that at least in her own quarters; it would probably be fairly uncomfortable to wear that mask all the time. It was probably a specially added customization that was made way back when she first joined up with Glockel on this ship.

    Hah, yes it is! His mother's full name is probably similar in length; I just haven't come up with all of it yet. :) I have kind of a long name in RL myself, so I guess I'm drawn to characters that also do!

    Well, thank you again, I-5. I appreciate your coming to read and comment on this little piece of mine, and I'm so glad you enjoyed it! If my readers are happy, then I am. :)
    Gamiel and Kahara like this.
  12. Gamiel

    Gamiel Chosen One star 8

    Dec 16, 2012
    Jumping in and reading this one-shot without any previous knowledge of the characters.

    I liked it. I think I got a good idea of the situation and the people present.

    @Findswoman I noticed that you throughout the story never called Telfien Viurraanvi by her species (except in her internal monolog), but you used "Findswoman" many times instead. Any special reason for this?

    I like this sentence

    Well, we do have the pirates, the slavers, bounty hunters, Imperial ships out in the Outer Rim to just show of the Empire's presence, etc. :-B:p

    I wonder how red look to one who sees in ultraviolet

    Maybe it's because English is my secondary language but it feels to me that it should be "a storm over a mountaintop" instead of "on". But what do I know [face_dunno]

    Are you saying here that the mists on Gand can have lighting discharges?

    First of, it was a mostly female crew, not all. Second @Findswoman is right, it's the crew of the Black Sea’s Serpent, that have appeared in Searching for lost Irellion and Watering the Jade Lotus, that I was working on.
    Findswoman likes this.
  13. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Feb 27, 2014
    Thanks so much for reading and reviewing, Gamiel. :)

    Thanks, glad you did, and I'm glad you felt able to follow who was who! :)

    @Findswoman I noticed that you throughout the story never called Telfien Viurraanvi by her species (except in her internal monolog), but you used "Findswoman" many times instead. Any special reason for this?[/quote]

    Oh, I do describe her as "the Gand Findswoman" the very first time she's mentioned, in the second sentence of the story:

    In a way, her Findswoman talent is the aspect more relevant to the story than her species, I think, though they of course go together, too.

    Thanks! The idea of hyperspace being kind of outside space-time as we know it is one I rather like, and it's hinted at in Zuckuss's story in Tales of the Bounty Hunters, too: he likes to meditate in hyperspace for a similar reason.

    Oh, they're nothing a capable group of women like themselves can't handle! Just another day at the office for galactic independent agents, really. :D

    Well, I imagine she sees in our visible spectrum, too. That particular color might look different to her and have a different name in her language, but it still would translate to "red" as we know it, so I think it's fine to describe it that way. (And of course "red" for hair isn't really red red anyway, more like a shade of orange. ;) )

    Either preposition would work fine, really; I guess I went with "on" as sounding a little more poetic.

    It's possible, I suppose—our clouds do, after all. I think I do have some rain and storms described in The Book of Gand. But she's also specifically referring to the way the Lasat shaman's Force powers have the tendency to manifest as lightning, sparks, etc.

    Glad to have been of help here, and I would look forward to seeing more of your mostly-female crew's adventures, too, Gamiel! Thanks once again for coming here to read and review. :)
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2019
    Gamiel and TheRynJedi like this.