Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by Mistress_Renata, Oct 26, 2003.
It's actually rather nice to see Trett kinda getting along with the slaves.
Looks like I missed another three posts -- I hate busy days.
Looks like Rendell's lying in his own blood. It's amazing that he's as coherant as he is. I guess he was blessed with an unusually hard head.
So Seph and the other slaves were definitely bought -- not rustled? Hmm. It does sound more and more like an insurance scam.
Good exercise using the blindfold and the field pack. That sort of thing definitely comes in useful, I'm sure, like now. Good that Rendell put the comlink away from himself, too.
I liked the details of the "colours" of the Force and the way they changed.
Well, at least Myron found somebody who could tell him more or less what's going on, and that Rendell wasn't responsible for stealing the slaves! That's a big help. It does sound like the overseer is involved, though, the way the slave shut up when he saw the overseer glaring at him.
Sounds like this Vhan knows how to work with captured Jedi, taking their belts along with their lightsabers. He doesn't seem to deal with them regularly, though, so maybe he won't be able to find a buyer. I don't like thinking about why people would want a Jedi as a slave, but I did like the way that Rendell's reacting, not letting himself worry, and working on his meditation instead.
Hi, all. Cold, snow, freezing... and it?s not even PRETTY snow, it?s the nasty, wet, icy kind. That I hate to drive in. That I have to drive in. Which isn?t helping my mood, grump, grump.
Kitara, I?m moving where you are!!!
* * *
"Master Myron?" Myron was pulled from his thoughts by Amut, and realized that his younger colleague had been calling him for several minutes.
"Sorry, Amut. What is it?"
"The security chief is holding Ms. Nier for questioning, if you wanted to talk to her."
Myron nodded. It was possible that the head of FETRS knew who was behind the theft. At the least she might have seen Rendell. He fell in beside Amut, walking to the security compound. Security was a tall building, with an excellent vantage point of the auction grounds.
The woman glared at him when he entered the room. She'd obviously been rousted straight from her bed; her clothes were askew, fastened in haste, and her graying blonde hair hung tumbled around her shoulders.
"So," she sneered, "you blew your job and now you've come to blame me."
"Shut it," barked the security chief, a tall, powerful canine. His drooping ears were pricked as he turned to face Myron. "She claims she was alone all night."
Myron looked at her thoughtfully. Chalassa Nier rolled her eyes.
"I returned to my hotel about three hours after sunset, dined alone in my room --there should be a record of the room service call in the memory of the serving droid-- and went to bed shortly after midnight. I was wakened about half an hour ago by certain thugs--" she glared at the Chief "--and dragged here for questioning. I know nothing about the escape, neither I nor my organization had any involvement, and as far as the runaways go, good for them! I hope you never find them."
Myron had tried to open himself to her as she spoke. It was hard to sense her through the waves of anger rippling around her, and yet... he glanced at Amut, who seemed calm in his striped headdress. The younger Knight nodded. Chalassa Nier was telling the truth.
"Did you speak with my apprentice earlier?" he asked.
Nier frowned. "The blonde boy? No, not since we met, why?"
"There was a boy he'd identified, someone who he felt could be helped by intervention by FETRs."
Nier shook her head. "I haven't seen your apprentice at all, he hasn't had a chance to talk to me... or hasn't been allowed to." She glared at Myron.
"Do you have any idea which slaves were taken?" he asked.
She shook her head again. "Just a large group, that's all."
"What did you have planned to disrupt the auctions?" demanded the Chief. Nier bristled.
"Right," she said, "I'm not saying another word until I have a chance to speak with my lawyer."
"So you were plotting something!"
"Requesting counsel is not an admission of anything!"
"Then why won't you answer a simple question?"
"Because you don't have the right to ask it!"
"Chief!" The security chief was growling as he moved to the Jedi. Myron pitched his voice low.
"I believe she is telling the truth. Whatever she may have been planning for the sales, she has nothing to do with the escape tonight. We need to focus on that."
The Chief turned to glare at her. "I think I'd better hold her in custody for a while, just to be sure," he said.
Amut shook his head. "I don't think she's a flight risk," he said, "and you'll be in murky waters, you really have no reason to hold her."
"I don't need a reason," said the Chief. His eyes glittered.
"You will do what you will do," said Myron quietly, trying to diffuse the other man's anger. "I am just concerned that you are leaving yourself open to legal actions, that's all. If you will excuse us, I want to see if our colleague has learned anything."
Outside, he sighed heavily. "Useless," he said.
"No," Amut reassured him. "It is one less path we have to pursue."
Myron nodded, staring at the morning sun, which had finally made its appearance and was now blazing brightly in the sky. It was later than he?d realized. Time was trickling awa
Okay, so the FETRS group is not to blame (not that I believed that they were). I like how this is going. Nice complex plot and lots of leads so far. Good job.
As for the snow, here it's about 5-6 inches of beautiful white wet snow (but then I only had to drive a little ways in it today). It looked beautiful from inside my warm house!
Such tension!! I can't take it!!
One suspect down, how many left?
No warm day today. But you may think that 62 degrees is warm- I don't.
Clearly I am spreading my brain too thin. Can't remember how old Trett is, can't remember to check for posts often enough to catch each one. And if the canine security guy shows up again, can't remember which fic I am reading is probably next. I'm gonna blame it on the head cold and see if anyone buys that story....
Well, there was also his history homework. But he was pretty sure that a report on the issues surrounding the Treaty of the Ban-ti-Avi Empire and the Federation of the Jimansi Systems wasn't going to have the market value Vhan hoped for. LOL. There's something in the water at the temple that gives them all this sort of sense of humor.
"He's worth more than the entire cargo." This is not good.
"I've heard that there are folks who would be interested...VERY interested in a Jedi. And they pay more if he's alive." This is even more not good. And very alarming as it implies they pay for dead ones as well. Oh dear.
He would not let himself worry. I hope he's better at that than I am.
Trett is being a credit to his master despite getting himself captured.
The cousins have gone home, the silence has returned, Lucy is finally able to come out for air, and I must cut my feedback miserably short to make room for some emergency gift wrapping.
Rendell's mess was every bit as ugly as I could have guessed -- maybe a little worse because you're quite adept at realistic descriptions (in this case: of pain). Still, I am relieved about the little comlink trick! That at least gives Myron a starting point. The info about Jedi technology was really great!
I'm glad that at least Myron knows now that his padawan was not responsible for this mess. I felt so bad for him -- it's not like he didn't have good reason for suspecting Rendell, even if in this case he was wrong. Make that half wrong.
And it seems that FETRS at least is not at the core of the problem here... I found the contrast in the Security station very interesting -- extreme slaver, extreme abolitionism, and the Jedi standing in between trying to keep them from killing each other.
Lucy is alternately puzzling and fretting over Rendell's mysterious extra value. I think she knows you too well, Renata.
Well, it is snowy but sunny today, which put me in a much better frame of mind. I think I need that UV light thing?
Thank you for bearing with me, everyone! Yes, FETRS is in the clear, and the picture is coming together (I hope).
* * *
Trett snapped out of his meditations as the ship dropped out of hyperspace. He had sensed it, the change and shift in the engines, the emotions of the slaves and crew, anticipation, eagerness, fear, despair, greed.
He lay quietly, assessing himself. He was terribly thirsty, and his head was still pounding and swollen from the blow he'd received. His chest, though, had healed. There was no bruising or soreness, and his heartbeat came back steady and strong.
And now... he sighed heavily. Now that they were out of hyperspace, the distress signal would be blazing out through space, picked up by powerful relay stations and sent on to the Temple and the Preceptories. Someone would come to investigate. What they'd do to him when they found him, well... whatever it was, it was better than whatever the pirates had planned for him, that was for sure.
There was nothing to do but wait. He tried to meditate a little, but his mind kept wandering. Finally, he let himself doze. The clomping of boots roused him, and he was fully alert when the pirates arrived at his cell.
Mistral sneered down at him, with her hands on her hips. She turned to the two others. "Get him."
Trett tensed, but the two men, Coio and a large furry being of a species he didn't recognize, scooped him up by the elbows and half-carried, half-dragged him down the ramp of a shuttle and tossed him into a cargo carrier. He tried to see where he was. The sky was a soft lavender, the air was chilly, and the chirp of insects suggested it was either dusk or pre-dawn. Otherwise, he was in a bay of a spaceport, which looked pretty much like every other cargo port he'd ever seen.
The men chained him to the walls of the carrier at his wrists, ankles and neck, then pressed a gag into his mouth and put a dark sack over his head. Great. He could hear noises, sensed the presence of the others as they were herded into the carrier, sweaty, dirty bodies pressed together uncomfortably.
"Hurry up! We need to get them out of here before the inspectors."
"Get moving, you old squatter." The crack of a whip against flesh, and a ragged whimper. Trett bit down on the gag, then tried to release the anger.
"We delivering them straight to Siral?"
"No. Take them to the holding pen. Vhan wants to see about the Jedi before he delivers the rest." The door rumbled as it was slid shut. The boy felt a shudder, a low vibration as the engines of the cargo carrier slowly groaned to life and the small vehicle got underway. Someone was sitting on his legs. Someone else accidentally stepped on his hands.
Someone else patted his knee. "We're still alive," whispered Seph. "We'll find a way out of this, all of us."
"No," said another voice, an old man. "None of us, boy."
"We still have value!" This was another man.
"Oh, yes," said the first man bitterly. "Yes, we have value. Alive and dead."
"How do you mean?" This was a woman, with a strange, thick accent.
"Blood, bone, flesh... They can always find someone to pay for it."
There was a horrified pause.
"Shut up with your stories!" snapped another man. "You're full of poodoo!"
"But I've heard there are some places... Sanolia or Com-phui... human flesh is... is..."
"They wouldn't want dried-up old husks like us," sighed another woman. "They want the young, tender bits. They usually breed their own."
A noise. Someone was crying.
"Blood, bone and flesh," repeated the first man softly. "It all has a value, no matter what you think."
You're in a good mood? Ghoulish!
Ah, yes, the tender bits.... Well, with so many species, I'm sure there's a black market for unusual taste sensations... and some might not care if they are sentient.
Good job. Poor Trett. Hope he gets rescued and the others as well before it's too late!!!
Great job with the last few bits! Trett's situation is definitely becoming more and more urgent. I hope the distress signal is answered before anything too bad happens.
Lovely job as usual, Renata!
I'm still trying to understand FurryDuck's comment on this... LOVELY?
Of course, FurryDuck's signature is "Your mother's pancreas." Sounds like she's in the mood for some "bone, blood, flesh" herself.
I think I'll phrase it a bit differently... well-written as always, Renata.
I meant "lovely" as in "well-written and entertaining". I almost always end my reviews with that.
And my mother's pancreas is fine, thanks.
Poor Trett...taking no risks with him, I can see. The talk on flesh being worth something dead or alive is chilling, and I don't want to think about kind of people are investing in the slaves. But I want to know.
Sorry about last night, all. I am getting a headcold on top of my previous headcold, and wasn?t up to much beside watching the new Battlestar Galactica. Jury is still out. I like the old one better, but so far this one isn?t too bad. Except for the FemmeBot.
Now, Kitara, you must bear in mind that the story was written before I finished posting it! So the current post usually has no reflection on my state of mind. Otherwise, Trett would be lying in bed, whining about having a sore throat and not wanting to get up and face the cold, gray morning.
Thank you, Ty-Gon and Furry! Glad you are liking this. Don?t worry, I understand that lovely doesn?t necessarily refer to the contents of the post.
I hate to say, dianethx, but that innocent comment just gave me a very nasty thought about intergalactic grocery stores! Ugh!
Lunetta, you may have to wait a wee bit longer.
But here we find out just how prophetic you guys are...
* * *
The feeling of unease was growing as the afternoon shadows began to lengthen. Myron pulled out his datapad, staring at Trett's last report. The lump on the floor had been Bantha feed. Which meant what? Nothing.
Someone cleared his throat, trying to get the elder man's attention. Myron pulled himself away from his thoughts, and looked down at Dien Nepp, the Sullustan who had been investigating the pirate raids for the insurance company. He was holding out his data pad, telling Myron that he'd completed the preliminary survey and had a list of the property reported as stolen.
Sighing mentally, Myron took it and scanned it. He forced himself to pay attention as he realized what it said. "Elders? All elders?"
The Sullustan nodded vigorously, adding that there had been a few badly injured slaves who weren't useful for anything else, and a couple of Incorrigibles, slaves who were constantly trying to run away or make trouble. His ears twitched as he pointed to the amount the claims were being made for. It didn't seem outrageous. Myron cast his mind back to the conversation with Maxett.
"Why would someone steal elders?" he murmured. The pirate raids had been mostly elders, too.
Amut came up and listened to Nepp's report. He was as mystified as Myron. "This makes no sense!" he protested.
"No, it doesn't," agreed the other. He turned to the Sullustan. "Thank you. We'll let you know if we turn up anything you can use." The Sullustan nodded, and trotted back to his work.
"Pirates raid ships and steal elders. Rendell goes missing. A bunch of elders escape... or are stolen."
"The key is the elders," said Amut quietly. "It can't be a coincidence. They are being targeted for a reason."
Sen-senai joined them, and they quickly briefed her on Dien Nepp's findings, although she had already figured it out herself. But she couldn't think of any reason why the older slaves would have been taken.
"Knowledge? Life experience?" Myron was mystified. Most slaves were given just enough education to do their work. "Not colonization; they're too old to start families."
"And I believe Chalassa Nier was telling the truth when she said her organization wasn't involved." Amut considered that statement. "I suppose it's possible that another group of abolitionists planned it and carried it out, but..."
"The young man said a group of people had been secretly negotiating with his dealer earlier in the afternoon. But if they were being sold, why would they be reported as stolen?"
Amut snorted, and a second later Myron realized it, too. "The money," they said. Sell the slaves secretly, declare them stolen and put in an insurance claim. In fact...
"Oh, by the Crystals," groaned Sen-senai, "my brain has gone soft! It's been that all along!"
"What--" began Amut.
"There were never pirates," explained Myron. "The traders faked the raids on their own ships, selling off the elders and the other slaves to other parties, and reporting them as stolen to collect the insurance. That's why the weapons lockers hadn't been plundered
kidnapped Padawans are not a common occurrence."
Amut snorted. "That's not what I remember from my Padawan days
Was Amut much of a trouble target as Trett when he was a padawan?
"There were never pirates," explained Myron. "The traders faked the raids on their own ships, selling off the elders and the other slaves to other parties, and reporting them as stolen to collect the insurance. That's why the weapons lockers hadn't been plundered, and why the crew usually weren't killed or taken. And why the ships suffered so little damage."
Not only that, but the traders aren't really traders! The leader is Old Man Jenkins, from the amusement park!
"And I would have gotten away with it, if it wasn't for you meddling padawans!"
Sorry. That just struck me. As it played out, though, your story is far beyond that. Good writing, as usual.
He wore a rubber pirate mask, and used a holoprojector to make people think... maybe not.
Though a bunny just hopped through. It's a Halloween bunny, though; may have to wait.
Great job discovering what is going on. Loved the comment about kidnapping padawans!
So the Jedi think it's just a blackmarket thing. They just haven't gone far enough in their thinking!
Loved you little comment about the grocery store. Well, it would be an "unusual" taste sensation...
You got a Halloween bunny, too, Renata? They do multiply quickly. I've got one, too. I may have to launch into a third major story next fall just for the sake of having it premiere in late October.
Except for the FemmeBot. Ok that little piece of information I could have gone to my grave without knowing and been the happier. Should I be glad I missed it?
I really liked how they all figured it out by brainstorming there. I'm also very glad that Myron has finally guessed where his padawan might be. I hope he makes it in time...
Amut snorted. "That's not what I remember from my Padawan days," he said. Hee hee hee. Can we look forward to the tale of the kidnapped padawans staring Amut and the rest of Great Dane clan some day?
[DrEvil] I like to see girls of that... caliber. [/DrEvil]
No, Myron, don't discount that lump of Bantha feed! It does mean something, it does!
So the Jedi finally figured out that it really was an insurance scam! Great! Now they can really go after those slavers!
Oooh, nice touch there, to have Amut edge closer to Myron in support as Myron gets the word about his padawan's distress signal. I like Amut. And thank the Force that the Jedi Temple picked up the signal and can send Myron in the right direction.
Champeri IV ... wait a minute. Where was that Proto-Gro manufactured? Here, Trett's sent the answer to Myron on his datapad. A pellet of a Bantha feed supplement, manufactured by Cessarin Agricultural on Champeri IV. I knew it! Trett and the slaves really are headed to the meatgrinder! YUCK!
Go, Myron, go!
I wish plot bunnies would hop through my mind, too. I have some excellent bunny hutches ... but they always seem to remain empty. *wistful sigh*