Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by Mistress_Renata, Oct 26, 2003.
Perhaps only an insurance snorg...I mean scam, but it seems to be more than that.
Ooh good post...very interesting indeed that they don't want the Jedi to see that ship.
Can't wait for more!
I adore realism! That explains why I spend a good deal of my JC time here. You've set up a most interesting dynamic here between the government, the Jedi, and the slavers (with best pieces being the abolitionist groups you have created and the status of slaves on Coruscant -- to Myron's knowledge).
Particularly I'm enjoying the none-too-subtle glee the Jedi seem to be taking in thwarting slave owners wherever they can. If the law is going to restrict them from what they'd *like* to do (i.e. free all slaves and lock all slavers in a large freezer), then by golly they're going to use the law for all it's worth. If it weren't for the fact that it takes a lot of work for them to catch these people red-handed, and that the slaves really *are* miserable, I would almost accuse them of having too much fun here.
That was very sad the way Myron remembered the Hyperspace Wars.
*hangs up top hat and monocle* I give up on this detective thing. I simply have no clue what is going on! Myron, will you enlighten me? ?
Lucy says that while alligators have a mild brand of intelligence their sense of self-preservation is very strong indeed. I think she has a cousin who lives down that way, or something... She is most pleased you have returned safely, as am I!
Interesting that there should be an abolistionist group here to monitor the auctions. I liked Myron's explanations that there aren't enough Jedi to go around. I'm sure that even if they only concentrated on slavery, there still wouldn't be enough Jedi to monitor every auction everywhere. It's good that there are others willing to step in and support the right thing.
Where did you get the information about the Hyperspace Wars, by the way?
How does Myron know so many "escaped" slaves on Coruscant? Twenty is quite a large number, isn't it. Do they come to the Jedi Temple for sanctuary? Or did he meet them in some other capacity?
I thought that the paragraph about how Myron compared the one-bustling halls of the Temple with the present day quiet was very powerful.
All that to-do about the ship that was raided by slavers. Makes you wonder if they aren't modifying something on the ship -- building in smuggling compartments? Taking them out now that they've served their purpose? Myron's right to want to get there early -- actually, he should sneak away with Trett in the middle of the night and appear even earlier than early morning.
I also liked Myron's opinions about the other two Jedi, thinking that Amut would be good for Sen-sanai.
WeeHee! She's back!
And what a fascinating post. I love the way you layer so much history and backstory interleaved with current events in such a deft way. <happy sigh>
Is it just me, or did a whole chunk of messages disappear? I know it was there this morning, along with a lot of responses that I can't now acknowledge...
Well, I'll put the next bit in, hoping that it might come back.
Meanwhile... Where did you get the information about the Hyperspace Wars, by the way?
Made it up. The only "official" thing I've heard about them is that they took place about 50 years prior to TPM, so Myron would have been quite young.
How does Myron know so many "escaped" slaves on Coruscant? Twenty is quite a large number, isn't it. Do they come to the Jedi Temple for sanctuary? Or did he meet them in some other capacity? Well, Coruscant is a big place. And if they came to the Temple, well, the Jedi would be obligated to turn them in. On the other hand, if Myron bumps into a few as he goes about his day, well, he can hardly be expected to report them right away, now, can he? He'll get around to turning them in... eventually...
Right. Next post. Let's hope it stays up this time.
* * *
The Jedi went through the evening stretching and meditation exercises in the enormous suite prepared for Trett and Myron. Jedi in the field were used to practices and meditations alone; but when possible they liked to do them together. It fostered the sense of community and strengthened the ties of brotherhood within the Order. Now relaxed and centered, Myron pressed a small remote to call for the chambermaids while they all reclined on the cushioned sofas to discuss the case.
It was tawny skinned Anni who responded, and quickly brought back a pot of boiling water and cups for Myron's evening tea. He dismissed her with a smile and a wave of thanks, then nodded at Trett, who knelt by the low table to prepare the hot green tea that his master enjoyed in the evening.
"Well?" said Myron.
"They're keeping it clean," said Amut, watching as Trett carefully whipped the tealeaves into a delicate green froth. "We've checked all the holding facilities and the display areas, as well as the sanitary and kitchen facilities. They're following the book to the letter."
"We're hoping to have more luck as the merchants unload the cargo; there's got to be someone who's tinkered with the shipping manifest and declarations," Sen-sanai rumbled to herself.
"You'll find something. I wouldn't expect anything spectacular, though. The auction houses have been in business too long to get caught out." Myron rubbed his chin, idly wondering if he should grow a beard. "I'd be very careful about checking the ages of the children. You might get lucky there; they might get greedy and try to sell an underage child. Even one day early and the child must stay with the mother. And that is a very hefty fine." He glanced quickly at his apprentice, concerned that the boy would take this to heart. But Trett had checked the pot, and was focusing every fiber of his being on pouring the tea into the small cups.
He picked up one and brought it to Amut. By the most formal Jedi precedence, he should have brought it to Myron. But Myron was his own, familiar Master, and hosting the others as well. Myron was pleased that the boy picked up the nuances. It was right that the others should be served first.
Myron let his eyes rest fondly on his own particular stake in the future, who was pouring a third cup for him. The boy faltered, startled at Myron's smile, and returned it tentatively at first. He wasn't quite sure what he'd done to earn his Master's approval. But he soaked it up eagerly, and finally poured a cup for himself, taking a seat nearby.
"What will you do tomorrow, Myron?" asked Sen-sanai, taking a long, appreciative sniff of the floral-scented tea and closing her eyes in pleasure.
Myron sipped slowly. "Go up for a look at the ship," he said, "as early as we can manage it. I wish we could have gotten up without the Prince's knowledge."
"I wouldn't imagine he'd cover up damage by the pirates," said Amut. "If anything, I think he'd make it worse, to justify a higher insurance claim."
at least they are suspicious. I still don't have a clue though
I have no clue either, I am losing my reader instinct, I mean...* clears throat* I know who the villain is!
I think Sen-sanai is on to something here; it's a good idea to see if they can't find somebody who's tinkered with the cargo manifests.
I liked Myron's advice about checking the ages of children. Sounds like he might have had some experience along that line?
I was really touched by the way Rendell was startled at Myron smiling at him, because he didn't know what he'd done right. I'm sure he did soak up Myron's approval, though!
Will they find any patterns or similarities in the different accounts of the pirate raids? I hope so! I liked the way that Myron thought that Rendell would be happy to make a positive contribution to the mission!
On the other hand, if Myron bumps into a few as he goes about his day, well, he can hardly be expected to report them right away, now, can he? He'll get around to turning them in... eventually... Oh gosh, something about that has tickled me rather badly!
There is something so unutterably comforting about tea. I loved the way you inserted it through this scene! And I loved Myron's reaction to Rendell's automatic politeness. Every time it comes through that Trett was by no means 'the ordinary one' of his age group, I get an attack of the grins and can't seem to stop. Oh, lest I forget: Rendell's confusion was priceless.
A nice practical take on when it is a good time to give your apprentice work to do! I confess to a tingle of irony at the thought of Myron growing a beard. I can't remember, though, does he have one later?
Lucy is having a hard time restraining herself from laughing over the beauty of four Jedi calmly discussing ways to fine slave-traders. Her sense of humor sometimes catches me off guard... *balks at glare from her cat* What did I say? ?
I seem to forever committing feline social faux paws, as it were.
Hi, my dears! I apologize; this is a short message because there are incredible windstorms & the power keeps going out. I had enough of candles with that Hurricane, thank you!
I am glad you are all loving it; you are on track with your speculations. And I don't think I ever mentioned whether Myron had a beard or not, somehow, I think he never bothered...
* * *
They rose just before dawn the next morning, moving quickly through the morning exercises and meditations. Myron sent the girls to bring them breakfast while they exercised, so they would not waste time afterwards. Although they were given enough to feed a squadron, they ate little and quickly, though Myron tucked a few pieces of fruit carefully in an inside pocket to keep them from being bruised. He had some experience of growing boys, and a substantial snack would be wanted later.
The shuttle left them at the space station, and from there they followed the skywalks to the orbital repair docks where the Jollo Mooph II was docked at an orbital repair dock. From the outside, there didn't seem to be much damage. Myron rubbed his chin. "What did the Captain's report say again?" he asked.
Trett hesitated. This is not a test, Padawan, thought the older man. He simply didn't remember.
The boy didn't refer to his datapad, but squared his shoulders. He obviously thought it was a test. "The pirates attacked with ion cannons, knocking out the ship's main systems, and came in through the docking bay. From there, they attacked and overpowered the crew, locking them in a holding unit, and raiding the slave pens. When they had all the slaves, they left."
Myron nodded as it came back to him. In a nutshell, that was what the report had said. Standard pirate activity. But... something didn't ring true, but he couldn't quite figure out what.
"Well, let's go take a look," he said. Trett fell into his usual place, at Myron's right and a pace behind. They stepped on to the platform, which ferried them to the ship and left them in the docking bay. "This is where they landed."
Trett looked around, noting the scorch marks from blasters on the walls and ceiling. Myron spotted a Sullustan examining a door mechanism, and went over to him, as Trett bent over to scoop something up off the floor and look at it.
"I am Master Myron, of the Jedi Order. This is my Padawan learner, Rendell Trett. We were sent here to investigate the attack?"
The Sullustan eyed him, then turned and garbled something at him. Rendell looked at his Master with a flicker of panic. Myron smiled. The poor kid understood nine languages, and Sullustan wasn't one of them.
"This is Dieph Nepp of the Carnelian Commercial Insurance Company. He's investigating Prince Ma-Barani's claim."
The Sullustan launched into a long explanation, which Myron paraphrased. "Slaves are cargo, and have a value. They are insured against loss or theft, like any other cargo. So since they've been stolen, the prince can file a claim and receive compensation for the loss."
Trett frowned, suddenly upset. Myron didn't need to guess why. He looked at Nepp. "May we accompany you? We are hoping to find something to help us break up the piracy ring." Nepp was enthusiastic, and the three began to move through the empty corridors.
Nepp grunted something, pointing at the blast marks on the walls.
"Mm. Some fight," agreed Myron. Trett glanced up, too.
"Not very good shots," he muttered.
"No, they weren't," said Myron. He turned to Nepp. "Were any of the crew members hurt?"
Nepp shook his head, explaining that they'd been imprisoned in a holding bay.
"Strange," mused Myron, scratching his chin. "So many blast shots and yet no one was killed. And why weren't the crewmen taken with the slaves?"
"Because they weren't human?" suggested Trett. Myron smiled. The boy remembered the earlier lesson.
"Possibly," he said, "but even Neimodians have value. They work well on assembly lines and in accounting positions."
In the slave pens, the two Jedi and the investigator examine
Definitely agree with the man there about emancipation. The pirates raid IS looking rather suspicious, I wonder if it's not so much as abolitionists who took the slaves, or if the Prince had his own ship robbed in order to take the insurance claims and have his slaves as well.
Nice work Renata.
it is looking that way Luney
Pirates are more likely - unless the crew was somehow involved with the abolishionists in the slave raid. Always possible. I'm sure we'll find out soon enough...
And Renata, I think we have the same wind problems. It almost blew me off my feet this evening!
Glad you are all enjoying this! I am picturing dianethx, lunetta and kitara sitting around with suspicious looks on their faces, making a chart of motives and suspects!
It is FREEZING... I'm ready for Spring, now! At least we have LOTR to look forward to.
* * *
Trett trailed Myron to the shuttle, playing with the strange lump of dirt in his pocket. It occurred to him that it could be a clue. "Myron?"
"I found something on the ship. A lump of dirt." He pulled it out and passed it over to his teacher. "If we can analyze it, figure out where it came from, maybe we can find a base, or something."
Myron turned the small lump over in his fingers, and sniffed it. "I don't think it's dirt. It's not feces, either. Hm. Where did you say you found it?"
"In the docking bay where the pirates landed."
"Well," said Myron, passing it back to him, "send a sample back to the Temple for analysis. They'll be able to cross-reference it, maybe we'll be able to find out where it came from or what it is. Good find, boy." He thumped Trett on the shoulder. Trett smiled. He always felt good when he'd done something right.
"Where are we going now?" he asked.
Myron hesitated. "Well," he said, "I'm going down to the slave yards to meet with Amut and Sen-sanai. I want to see if they've learned anything. I think you should go back to the Viceroy's palace. Send the sample to the Temple, then keep analyzing the reports, see if you can find a pattern."
Trett swallowed, hurt. "But..." He took a deep breath, collecting himself. "But I thought I was coming with you? I promise, I'll keep my mouth shut."
Myron sighed. "That isn't the issue."
The boy took a deep breath, feeling his heart beat faster. "I want to help!" he insisted.
"You will be helping."
Trett looked away. "I won't screw up," he said softly. That had to be the reason Myron wanted to leave him behind. "Please? Take me with you?"
Myron looked at him for a long time, started to speak. Then he turned his head. "You... you're not ready to see this," he said.
Trett frowned. His master must think he was incompetent. That had to be it. "Myron...please? I won't disappoint you. I promise!"
"I'm sure you won't." The older man sighed heavily and looked off into space for a long time. "Very well. But try to remember. Stay focused. Don't let your emotions control you."
"I will. You won't be disappointed."
Myron didn't reply. He simply boarded the shuttle. Anxious, Trett took the seat beside him, tense as the small vessel made its way to the planet below. From time to time he glanced over at the older man. Even when he tried to stay calm and relax, it was hard to put it out of his mind. He doesn't trust me. Suppressing the lump in his throat, he took out his commlink and wiped the specimen across the input plate, before composing a quiet request to the Temple for analysis. I'll show him. I can be mature. I'll do it all right, and he'll be proud.
"He said that it is a dirty business we are involved in, and the sooner the Senate declares Emancipation, the better off the Galaxy will be."
Trett nodded. No one could argue with that.
Uh oh. What is it Myron trying to keep Treet from seeing?
That's what I'm wondering...wonder what Trett found? Cute at how he was kind of beaming about doing something right.
I too am worried about what Myron's trying to protect him from...
*gets out speculation note book*
Hummm...starts writing down more clues on her blackboard.... begins to draw lines among the clues...
A small lump that isn't dirt and isn't feces... Could be anything... plastic explosive, hairball, peach pit....
I can understand why Myron didn't want Trett to go. It's going to be pretty awful where they are headed!
I guess the slave yards is not a pretty sight.
Ooops, missed another update. I hate being so busy all the time.
I liked the way that Myron asked Rendell about the captain's report and Rendell automatically assumed it was a test, even though Myron was thinking that he simply couldn't remember.
I'll just bet that the insurance company is eager to find proof that will enable them not to have to pay. With the blaster marks on the ceiling, I should think it's more than the pirates not being good shots -- it sounds like they were deliberately shooting away from their 'targets'. And the crew never reached for their weapons? Never put up a fight? Very suspicious!
Loved the line about even Neimoidians having value!
That lump ... not dirt, not feces ... what else could it be? Strange! But a good clue, and clever of Rendell to pick it up.
I loved the way Myron wanted to keep Rendell away from the auctions in order to protect him, and the way Rendell automatically assumed that he wasn't being allowed to go because Myron thought he'd screw up, because Myron didn't trust him. I have to ask again, has there been a mission before where Rendell DID screw up? Does he have a reason for thinking that Myron doesn't trust him? Or is it just his continual self-doubt here? Although if I recall from my own life, self-doubt usually comes as a progression of many small events that add up over the years ... poor Rendell! And if Myron wants to protect him, then it sounds like the auction is going to be a harsh place!
It?s a funny thing about the master/padawan pairing that it is generally the master who is more laid-back than the apprentice. Maybe it?s a throw-back from their stay in the Temple (with all the learning that must be done in just 13 years, and the remnants of ?I must impress a master so I will be chosen!? still clinging to them), or maybe midiclorians lead to temporary over-achieving and self-criticism. *glances at Thom Capella* Okay, so that?s not it.
Never mind about that. The nice thing to keep in mind is that eventually time mellows all padawans and they become wonderful masters (like Myron and later Rendell)! I liked the way you showed the contrast here with Myron?s short lapse in memory. Poor Trett! At least he had the satisfaction of getting it right and of picking up that little dirt clod (or whatever it is); heck, *I?m* proud of him!
You did a good job with the Sullustan here and his own opinions on slavery; not only abolitionists and Jedi are against the practice.
The mystery mounts: what IS going on here?? My two old guesses still stand (in the absence of any better ones), but really? I?m hopelessly in the dark.
I?m very worried about this visit, mostly because I trust Myron?s judgment more than I trust Rendell?s ability to keep his righteous anger in check. Besides, if a slave beauty pageant was bad, I don?t want to know what passes for more casual slave owning/trading.
Lucy has just pointed out to me that, if Renata were considering this canon, it would be no wonder that Rendell was horrified at Arwen?s bout of slavery -- quite aside from the initial kidnapping. She?s right, of course (?as always? SHE says).
LOTR certainly compensates for lousy weather! Still, I?m very glad I made my elven dress out of a heavier material than silk.
Dads are so great. Mine spoils me! He was in town for a convention, so I drove up to spend the day with him. We didn't do much beside wander around the dealers' halls, but it was nice just hanging out together. And he treated me to lunch. So I am in a very good mood!
Glad you are enjoying this, Xeana! I didn't have a chance to say "hi" when the weird glitchy hit. It seems to be okay now... But your question & Lunetta's is answered by Jane, dianethx, and kitara... This next bit gets darker and very sad. Everyone take your blood pressure lowering pills!
And don't worry too much about Trett, Jane & Sarah! Teenagers are always questioning themselves, and you know he'll mellow, eventually. I had a bunny for a fairly short one set in Trett's elder years (when he's even older than Myron)...
Right, now for the dark, sad bit...
The slave auctions.
* * *
The slaveyards were vast, an enormous complex of long, low-roofed buildings stretched across a plain of hard-baked mud. There were no trees, and the only vegetation was baked dry in the merciless sun. The broad avenues between the building were thronged with buyers, and groups of slaves being moved around slowly, sluggish in the heat and from the slightly heavy gravity of the planet. There were as many different types of beings as there were on Coruscant, thought Trett. Many of the species he couldn't even identify. He followed closely on Myron's heels; it would be too easy to be separated here. Not lost, of course. He was a Jedi Padawan. Padawans never got lost.
"Myron...the buildings? Those are the..."
"The slave pens."
Trett pressed his lips more tightly together. "Of course," he muttered. He faltered as a group of slaves was herded past him. Boys and girls, mostly human but a few others, all around his age. They didn't look up, but trudged along after their handlers, resigned to their fate after so many years.
Focus. Control. Be positive. The boy squared his shoulders, and looked ahead. Myron headed straight for the sales arenas. Trett glanced up at a sign, trying to decipher it.
"Lot seventeen...unskilled?" he asked.
"Laborers, fighters, young people, unskilled workers... they are sold off first. Later in the week they'll move on to the skilled slaves. Dancers, pilots, cooks, factory workers."
"Young people are unskilled?" Trett had to frown at that.
"Because they haven't been trained in anything. They generally fetch good prices, though. Young people learn quickly, and can be very valuable when they come of age."
The boy snorted, and didn't look at the sales platform as they slipped inside and edged along the room to the corridor leading to the offices.
Amut was there, speaking with Karaffnik and a human woman. She was middle-aged and slim, with blonde hair streaked with gray and keen blue eyes. The woman turned to give them a long, intent look.
"Master Myron," said Amut. "May I introduce Chassala Nier? Her organization, FETRS, is monitoring the auctions, to ensure compliance with the Haoule-Simini Act."
Myron bowed politely. "Ms. Nier."
"Master Myron." Her eyes flickered over Trett. "You brought a child here?"
Trett bristled at the implication, but bit his tongue. "My Padawan learner," said Myron. "Rendell Trett. His assistance is invaluable, and he is a very capable investigator."
"It seems a bit harsh," said Nier. "I'm surprised you'd expose someone so young to this atmosphere."
Trett took a deep breath. "It is a part of life," he said. "Slavery is part of life in the Galaxy, and everyone is exposed to it. Don't you think young people should be aware of the whole experience of it, not just the cleaned up side?"
Nier arched an eyebrow, and managed a small smile. "Hm." Trett got the impression that she was pleased by his response. She glanced around. "I am surprised so many of you are here. We're usually lucky to get as many as two Jedi to monitor the sales."
Myron cleared his throat. "I am here to investigate the pirate activity, actually. Amut and Sen-sanai are here to ensure that Lord Karaffn
Very readable. I liked the slave yard discription.
Poor Trett. I'm not sure he is really ready to do the inspections. It was especially sad that he saw kids his own age as slaves. I can't imagine how he feels...it must be terrible...
Yeah...I'm not sure he his either, would be uncomfortable seeing other humans being treated like animals, held in "pens". Ugh. Loved how he offered to help though.