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Before - Legends To Skin a Gundark (Trett) --COMPLETE

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by Mistress_Renata, Oct 26, 2003.

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  1. Ty-gon Jinn

    Ty-gon Jinn Jedi Padawan star 4

    Registered:
    Jan 12, 2000
    Now THIS is an interesting story. It's also a nice comparison... quite a contrast to the Trett we see in Invisible Enemy. Keep up the good work, Renata!

    Oh, and the lump he found? Not dirt, not feces... it must be... SILLY PUTTY!
     
  2. PadawanKitara

    PadawanKitara Jedi Master star 5

    Registered:
    Dec 31, 2001
    Padawans never got lost I sppose you are suggesting that it is themaster who getsd lost or temporarily misplaces his padawan? 8-}
     
  3. Xeana

    Xeana Jedi Youngling star 2

    Registered:
    Nov 9, 2003

    Uh, Trett, you might want to rethink your offer. 'Cause it's not going to be pretty...

    Can't wait to see what happens!

    The thing he found was a hairball? Yuck!
     
  4. Mistress_Renata

    Mistress_Renata Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Sep 9, 2000
    Hairballs? Silly putty?! [face_laugh] No, no, keep at it. You'll figure it out.

    Padawans never got lost. I uppose you are suggesting that it is the master who gets lost or temporarily misplaces his padawan? This, of course, Kitara, is the Padawan's point of view! ;)


    * * *

    Amut led the way around the pens, with a quiet commentary on what was happening and what the Jedi were checking for. Trett was listening and trying to observe as many details as he could, hoping that he could find a violation of one of the rules.

    The pens were clean, and the floors thickly coated with a soft substance, something like sawdust. Even so, the smell was nothing he ever wanted to experience again, the smell of fear, sweat, unwashed bodies, waste...an animal smell. Trett swallowed a lump of nausea, took two deep breaths through his mouth, and reached for the Force. It was there, hovering just at the edges of his awareness. He sensed Amut, too, a different kind of energy from Myron's, more vibrant, more urgent. And yet he liked Myron's slower, serene presence better.

    He was distracted by sobbing, and paused to look curiously into one of the merchant areas. An older woman, Myron's age or even older, was bent over, in tears. The others around her, human men and women her age, seemed shaken and tearful as well. Looking around, Trett couldn't figure out why. There were no obvious injuries to any of them. He tried to spot the merchant. The man was in a back corner of the stall, talking to three other figures in the shadows. Concluding a deal, probably.

    Amut had heard the woman as well, and frowned with concern.

    Trett shifted. "Should we investigate?"

    After a pause, Amut said, "No. No violations here that I can see." He sighed deeply, though, looking at all the elders before turning away. "Force, I hope..."

    "Hope what?"

    "I hope they end up someplace nice," said Amut. He looked at Trett. "Most abolitionists pity the children the most. That's understandable, they are so innocent with lives of hardship ahead of them. But it is the elders who suffer the worst under slavery."

    Trett was confused. "Why?" he asked. They were grown ups. Grown ups always seemed to get along okay, and they could take care of themselves.

    "Slaves only have value as long as they are healthy and able to work," said Amut softly. "The slaves who survive to old age become sick, and can't work, and then they are not wanted. So the slave masters try to dispose of them, selling them to factories for long labor, or freeing them."

    "Freeing them! But that would be great!"

    "Not necessarily." Amut looked into Trett's eyes. "They have no money. They have no homes. No education. Their family, if they have them, are still enslaved and can't help them. They are too old to work to earn money, and often have health problems. No one wants the elderly." He sighed, and stared into space. "If you go to the lower levels of Coruscant," he said, "look at the old people sitting begging on the sideways. Many of them are former slaves. Given their freedom, and nothing else."

    It was a sobering thought, and Trett looked at the weeping woman with a stab of sorrow. In the Jedi Order, the elders were respected and admired. They had great wisdom and were teachers. Even if they became too feeble for missions, or if their minds began to deteriorate with age, they were still cared for with affection. They often went to the crèche to teach or to play with the younger children, helping maintain the ties of the Order across generations. Trett remembered old Master Phee, who had lost both arms in the Hyperspace Wars. He'd often come to play games and tell stories to Trett and the other children in his clan group, and he'd made them small toys. Trett had kept the model starfighter for years. He tried to picture Master Phee, dying sick, alone, neglected and starving in an alley.

    "Do...would it cost much to buy an elder?" he asked softly.

    Amut sighed. "They're cheaper than children, but cost more to keep. Very few would keep them even as pets. Only a few... small t
     
  5. dianethx

    dianethx Jedi Master star 6

    Registered:
    Mar 1, 2002
    Horrible about selling the elders but it makes great economic sense - just what a corporation or large conglomerate would do or anyone else without a heart! Like how you've put the larger issues into this story.

    Keep it up!
     
  6. PadawanKitara

    PadawanKitara Jedi Master star 5

    Registered:
    Dec 31, 2001
    very sad, but true. It sounds just like modern day corporate America.

    I like Trett's observation that he likes the feel of his master's aura better because it is calmer and more serene.
     
  7. Ty-gon Jinn

    Ty-gon Jinn Jedi Padawan star 4

    Registered:
    Jan 12, 2000
    Wow... how sad.

    And yet, there's a certain amount of logic to it... this an almost scary account in its realism, economic realities and all.

    Oh, and it's not soil, it's not feces, and it's not silly putty... then it must be that 'lump of nausea.'
     
  8. Ty-gon Jinn

    Ty-gon Jinn Jedi Padawan star 4

    Registered:
    Jan 12, 2000
    Whoo! I just read "Bound to Happen" and "Protest," and, since those threads are locked, I must commend you in here, Renata. You really are a good writer.

    *goes to clean snort muck off his boots*
     
  9. Jane Jinn

    Jane Jinn Jedi Knight star 5

    Registered:
    Jan 12, 2000
    I keep thinking about that lump that Rendell found, and I just can't think of what it could be. It seems to be dry -- he didn't wipe his fingers after picking it up, and wasn't hesitant about putting it in his pocket. Not dirt and not feces ... not a hairball, not silly putty, but we know it must be something important. Skin, maybe? A slice of dried black skin? Horrible thing to imagine, I know, but there just aren't that many dark, dry products around.

    I liked Myron's explanations about unskilled workers. And Trett defended himself very nicely against this Chassala Nier. Despite her approval of his answer, Nier doesn't seem to have much of an opinion about the Jedi, does she? Seems a bit condescending to them.

    I also liked the way that Amut seemed pleased to have Rendell accompany him. And I had to laugh at the way Rendell was thinking that he always did mean to be obedient, but it just didn't always work out that way. Foreshadowing here? ;)

    Good description of the fate of elderly slaves -- good, but sad. I liked the contrast to Master Phee, and how elders were treated in general in the Temple.

    Hmm, so now Charissa Nier is doing something suspicious? Maybe her comments about "so many Jedi" were indicative of true disgruntlement that so many showed up just when she was hoping that there'd be only one, whom she could easily escape? I wonder what's going on ...

     
  10. padawan lunetta

    padawan lunetta Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Registered:
    May 15, 1999
    That's very sad concerning the elderly slaves...and disturbing as well. Sad how Trett got excited that they would be freed, only to face the reality of it.

     
  11. Mistress_Renata

    Mistress_Renata Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Sep 9, 2000
    Thank you, everyone! Such nice compliments... [face_blush]

    Originally, Kitara, I was going to have more of a subtheme, but I left it out. At any rate, Amut's about the age to start thinking of taking an apprentice of his own. Myron's just trying to encourage him, with a loaner. :D

    You will all figure out (okay, most of you) will figure out the lump soon enough. Really. I like the way you're analyzing it, Jane. Good ideas!

    Waving at Tahi and Ishtar, who are probably racing to catch up. And Xeana, jodiwent, Sarah_K, dianethx, KD and everyone else. And the Loyal Lurkers.

    Glad you liked those stories, Ty-Gon! Someday I will write a sequel to Protest; give Mace a place in the spotlight.

    Right. Not much else to say tonight. And this post is fairly short. So...


    * * *

    The Viceroy's palace was cool and breezy after the baking sun of the slave markets. Myron chose a corner of the suite to begin work. Pilar brought a pitcher of tall, iced mentha tea, and Ferss drew thin draperies across the windows to keep the sunlight out. There was nothing else they could do for him, although they lingered hopefully. But he waved them off with a vague smile, and the young women withdrew, leaving him relaxed in front of the dataport.

    Myron drew up the manifests of the ships that had been plundered by the pirates. There was a pattern to the raids, he'd noted. Most took place as the ships were inbound to the slave markets. Logical; that would be the time when they would be full of their valuable cargo. The losses themselves...

    He frowned, and touched a button to re-sort the lists. Nearly all the slaves taken were elders, over the age of fifty. "Now that's interesting," he said to himself softly. Granted, pirates weren't fussy; they'd take what they could get. But elders fetched lower prices at auction. It was strange that the ships would be laden with such a specific population in the first place. And that the pirates were predominantly targeting these ships...

    "The pirates who don't behave like pirates," he mused. Myron got up and paced in a circle. Why were they stealing low-valued cargoes?

    He sat down and looked at the lists again. There were a few younger people scattered on the lists among the elders, but a closer look showed that these slaves had disabilities or illnesses that decreased their value. A few were simply discipline problems, "incorrigibles."

    Myron turned to check on the claims being made against the losses. The claims were high, higher than the prices he'd expect to see for slaves like these. Something was rotten, as rotten as the garbage trawlers of Jass'mir. Dien Nepp was right to be suspicious. Myron was suspicious. The pirates did not behave like pirates, and the cargoes were not typical pirate targets. Could it be abolitionists?

    "I don't like this," he muttered. He rubbed his nose thoughtfully, then got up to go to the Viceroy's library. He needed a chat with Senator Maxett.





     
  12. Xeana

    Xeana Jedi Youngling star 2

    Registered:
    Nov 9, 2003

    Those drated pirates again! Wow! Two post! I need to check this more often. The part about the elders was sad.
     
  13. Knight_Dilettante

    Knight_Dilettante Jedi Padawan star 4

    Registered:
    Jul 24, 2002
    Having read somewhere today (on the author interview thread I think) something that makes me think Myron might look a bit like Sam Waterstone I suddenly think maybe the chambermaids' attentiveness might have a bit less to do with not wanting to be punished than perhaps I might have initially thought. I love how naturally he deals with them. Not overly compensating and thus making them nervous that way. Yet not taking advantage (in any way) of their status.

    Of course something is rotten somewhere. Jedi never get to go anywhere for fun! Silly Myron.

    Between this story and Invisible Enemy I'm so suspicious of everyone I'm twitching.

    KD
     
  14. PadawanKitara

    PadawanKitara Jedi Master star 5

    Registered:
    Dec 31, 2001
    The only really solid clue you have given us is that they overvalued the slaves for insurance purposes. Not much to go on other than a lump of non-snorg droppings.
     
  15. Jane Jinn

    Jane Jinn Jedi Knight star 5

    Registered:
    Jan 12, 2000
    Iced mentha tea? That does sound good right about now.

    It almost seems as though the slave owners are deliberately filling the ships with old and disabled slaves, then causing them to be attacked ... I wonder if this is all a distraction so that the Jedi's attention is drawn away from something else, something more illegal. Hmm. I haven't quite figured this out yet.

    I don't think that it's abolitionists, unless the slave owners know somehow in advance which ships they will be attacking, and make sure that they don't lose any really valuable cargo. It almost sounds like an idea -- bribe a member of the abolitionists to supply information about an upcoming raid, then fill the ships with cargo that won't bring any profit anyway, and try to hoodwink the insurance company out of more money than the slaves are actually worth.

    Or maybe this so called abolitionist group is really just an arm of the slave traders -- a front to make it seem as though the traders are being attacked and harassed, when actually they are initiating the raids themselves in order to get the insurance money. Wonder what they do with the "freed" slaves -- dump them on some planet somewhere, or kill them?

    Oh, so many theories!

    I'm still wondering what that lump is. Fried leather, maybe, from a piece of clothing? Fried as in from a blaster shot, I mean.
     
  16. dianethx

    dianethx Jedi Master star 6

    Registered:
    Mar 1, 2002
    The pirates could be in collusion with the slavers - stealing the elders, then selling them off elsewhere and the slavers get the insurance. Typical insurance scam! However, they could be sending the elders off elsewhere - hopefully not for body parts!
    I doubt if it's the abolishionists. It sounds too much like the slavers are getting a great deal!
     
  17. Mistress_Renata

    Mistress_Renata Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Sep 9, 2000
    Oh, you're all very warm, definitely on the right track! I swear, I can't put anything over on you. :) At some point the penny will drop and Trett's most faithful fans will know exactly what that lump is! Meanwhile, speaking of our young troublemaker...

    (Yes, indeed, KD, Sam is who I had in mind...)

    Right. Trett.

    * * *

    Trett obeyed Amut's instructions. He took a roundabout route that led him into a crowd of buyers, while Amut slipped in through a service entrance. Inside, Trett paused looking around the building. It was large, centuries old, with high vaults holding up the roof. Oval windows under the eaves allowed air circulation. A sea of benches were in the central area, with metal stepped bleachers up either side. At the back was a three-tiered balcony, with sales staff manning communications consoles, taking bids from buyers off-site. A large, well-lit platform was at the front. At the moment, ten nervous teenage boys, mostly human, were standing there, shifting from foot to foot as the Rodian auctioneer accepted the bids.

    Trett shuddered. For one moment, he wanted to do what Myron had cautioned him against, wanted to jump to the platform with his saber drawn and tell the boys to run! He swallowed hard and looked away resolutely. Nier and the other two were standing to the side of the bleachers, partially underneath them, talking in a low voice.

    He moved through the crowds, and slipped through the framework supporting the stands, crawling on the floor in the shadows. That wasn't pleasant; the floor hadn't been cleaned any time recently, and what wasn't crusted in dust was sticky with spilled drinks and other liquids he didn't care to contemplate. Tickets, pamphlets, the butts of nicsticks and other stimulants...it was all there, but he grit his teeth and crawled through it, getting as close as he could to the three conspirators.

    "I'd hoped we could find some!" said Nier.

    "I know, it's hard to believe," agreed the dark-skinned man. "I've been to all the scavengers, and they all claim they don't have elders available."

    The Ithorian said a few words in her own language. Trett didn't understand it, and she wasn't wearing a translator.

    "I know," said Nier, "but after that terrible flu, I didn't expect to find many elders last year. But this year there must be SOME traders who want to cut the dead wood out of their stock." She looked at the dark-skinned man. "We've got three facilities ready to take them and shelter them, if we can get them."

    The Ithorian said a few more words.

    "He wanted HOW much?" gasped the dark skinned man. After a long explanation, he and Nier exchanged a long look. "Something's going on," said the man at last. "No one wants that much for a group of elders."

    Nier paced back and forth for a moment. After a few minutes, she turned to them. "Is there any word from Kyarrl?"

    "No, nothing."

    The Ithorian rumbled a question. The man shook his head. "No, I don't think he's learned anything." He looked at Niers. "And if the Jedi are investigating, I'm wondering how far he'll get?"

    The woman snorted. "Further than they will," she snorted. "They'll be too busy measuring the size of the collars to notice anything." The three turned as the bell signaling the end of the bidding sounded.

    "Seventeen thousand," said the man softly. "Good price."

    The Ithorian made a comment, and Niers nodded. "Yes, the prices are higher this year. I'm wondering if that's a reflection on the restrictions... or if it indicates a bigger demand." She sighed. "Come on, let's go see what we can do. There must be a few available. Osoku, you look in the main trading area, and Daru, you go through the remnant barns again. I'm going to go look in the small dealer's area. We're not leaving empty handed. Not this time."

    Trett waited until they'd left and slipped out from under the risers, shaking his robes in a half-hearted effort to get the gunk off them. Amut appeared at his side in moments.

    "Did you learn anything?" he asked. Trett reported the conversation, none of whic
     
  18. Ty-gon Jinn

    Ty-gon Jinn Jedi Padawan star 4

    Registered:
    Jan 12, 2000
    Ach. The mention of "remnants" is HEARTBREAKING, Renata.

    Now what?
     
  19. PadawanKitara

    PadawanKitara Jedi Master star 5

    Registered:
    Dec 31, 2001
    I am trying not to focus on the depressing part of the post, so instead I'll just amuse myself with But be careful. Myron will take me apart slowly and painfully if anything happens to you
     
  20. padawan lunetta

    padawan lunetta Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Registered:
    May 15, 1999
    Very sad...why am I questioning the groups who are building shelters for the Elderly? Maybe I'm hunting for sinister plots, but if the Prince's slaves were elderly, and he got the insurance for them, he'd get more money...or something. ;) Can't wait for more!
     
  21. dianethx

    dianethx Jedi Master star 6

    Registered:
    Mar 1, 2002
    This is just so sad. Treating people like they were little more than dumb animals is just...awful. Poor Trett. He's heading for trouble and his Master will kill him if he does!

    Good job. Still haven't figured out the lump!
     
  22. Keeper_of_Swords

    Keeper_of_Swords Jedi Master star 5

    Registered:
    Sep 20, 2003
    I liked the scavenger idea.
     
  23. Mistress_Renata

    Mistress_Renata Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Sep 9, 2000
    It's got to be a conspiracy... it always rains on WEDNESDAYS, the one day of the week I have to leave my dry, toasty apartment... grr... :mad:

    Eh, well. I did warn you all that this is depressing. Don't give up!

    * * *

    "Myron!"

    "Hello, Max." Myron had known Triore Maxett since he was a Padawan, helping a shaggy-haired Corellian boy escape from a swoop gang. The shaggy, scruffy boy had turned into a tall, distinguished man, with a mane of silver hair and sparkling green eyes.

    "So? What are you up to? How is your new boy shaping up?"

    "He's doing well, though this assignment is taking a toll, I'm afraid." Myron hesitated. "He's not had much exposure to slavery, and he's not taking it well."

    "I can't blame him a bit." Maxett settled back. "So? What have you learned?"

    "Not much. Max... have you heard of anyone specifically buying up elders?"

    "Elders?" The Senator was startled.

    "The majority of the losses of the pirate raids are elders, over fifties."

    The Senator sat back, silent. "I haven't heard anything about this," he said finally. "If it's true, it hasn't come by my office."

    "If it's true..." Myron looked at him. "Why?"

    Maxett interlaced his fingers as he considered this. "Granted, you and I are a bit biased, we could easily figure out why a senior would be of value."

    "But the collected wisdom of a lifetime has never had much market value before."

    Maxett tensed. "Food?" he suggested. "The Saranoles regard human organs as a delicacy."

    "Possibly." The Jedi Master suppressed the urge to shudder. "Is there any word about increased imports to Sanolia?"

    "I hadn't heard, but I'll ask around." Maxett leaned forward, trying to get a clearer picture of his friend through the holo connection. "What do you think?"

    "There is something behind this, Max, but I can't figure out what. I don't sense anything through the Force."

    "From what you've described, you don't need the Force to smell something rotten."

    Myron nodded, still reaching out. And then he did feel a ripple in the Force, subtle...

    Maxett was alert to his friend's face. "What is it?"

    "It's Rendell. My apprentice. I'll get back to you. Let me know if you learn anything."

    Myron logged out and headed back to the suite. Very few Masters were fortunate enough to have a telepathic bond with their apprentices, and he wasn't one of them. But he could sense the boy...and Rendell was upset about something.


     
  24. Ty-gon Jinn

    Ty-gon Jinn Jedi Padawan star 4

    Registered:
    Jan 12, 2000
    Ba ba BUUUUUUMMMMM!

    Oh, man. Food?

    And so sad that it's relegated to "If it is true, it hasn't come by my office."
     
  25. PadawanKitara

    PadawanKitara Jedi Master star 5

    Registered:
    Dec 31, 2001
    Food? Good thing I already ate dinner.
     
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