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Beyond - Legends Travelling with Children (OC Revolution Family Challenge Entry)

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by MsLanna, Apr 20, 2015.

  1. MsLanna

    MsLanna Jedi Master star 6

    Jul 8, 2005
    It's a part from a WIP but fitted the challenge just too nicely.


    Travelling with Children

    I felt as if I dropped into bed just to bounce back and return to the walking dead. Sarah was naturally wide awake and excited. It helped a little.

    "Can we go now?"

    "You have to finish breakfast first."

    "Not hungry."

    "Not important." I hid a sigh. "You will be hungry later if you do not eat now."

    "I eat later."

    "There won't be anything to eat later."

    Her eyes grew wide. "Forever?"

    "No, not forever." I should not be allowed to talk when sleep deprived. Not even my own flesh and blood understood me. "Until we arrive." Which was a lie, but she needed to eat something.

    "How long?"

    "Eight hours" It was not that long overall Noris lay on one of the bigger hyperlanes and that made it easy to get there. Once you were in space. I had not anticipated how long it would take just to get into space.

    Sarah mulled that over while pushing the food around on her plate. Admittedly, I was not doing much better. Forcing myself to be a good example I took another bite, chewed and swallowed. It was not the most fun activity I could think of.

    Not that anything but sleep was right then. Even taking sweet revenge on the whole of stubborn Chiss-kind was taking a backseat to that. I made sure, Sarah had gotten at least a little more into her stomach before I let her rush off to check on her bag.

    I followed suit not much later, pocketing a rather high stack of calling cards on my way out. With some foresight I had the main luggage sent to the spaceport already. Still, we made a funny little group, Sarah, Rukh, and I, each with their own preferred item of luggage.

    For reasons unknown, Sarah had insisted on getting a small blue suitcase she could drag behind her. She looked so much like a human child, apart from her blue skin that is, that it almost broke my heart. Whatever else, she was worth anything I was doing here.

    Rukh had a kind of snug fitting backpack that probably did not get in the way of killing people. I had my old duffel bag, the scent and memories of the Empire long gone from it. We walked to the overhead train station and Sarah squealed just get into that. We rarely used it. I had not yet gotten around to taking her places that warranted it much. A visit or two to the outer districts because trees, but overall it did not seem worth the trouble.

    Oh gods, what had I gotten to? Trees not important, my ass. I really needed a reality check. Even if they were not really real trees growing all wild and free, it didn't get any better than that on Csilla.

    "Are we there yet?" Sarah pressed her face against the window of the speed train taking us to the elevator system leading to the surface.

    "No luv," I replied trying to see anything in the greyish white rushing past. "We have not even started."

    "But this is not Csapla."

    "No. It is kilometres of ice in all directions."

    "Where are we?"

    "I have no idea, luv. Somewhere under the ice." An idea struck me. "Do you want to see where we are going?"

    She nodded and I found a way to display the train as a small dot moving across a white field. Csapla was a dark point somewhere and the elevator point was another, blinking slowly as we approached it even slower.

    "This is Noris." It was more of a question as her finger bored into the blinking light.

    "No, luv, that is where we go up to the spaceship." I pulled my finger upwards from the slowly blinking dot. Then I left it hanging in the air over the small table. "That is where we meet Uncle Storm. And then we fly to Noris."

    "How long?"

    "We fly for five hours," I told her. "And we drive in this train for over an hour and go into the elevators for about an hour." My finger followed the stations meticulously. "But in the ship you can unpack some of the toys and play. Or you can draw space."

    The idea excited her for a short time. Then it was up to me again to keep her occupied. There really was not much to do driving through endless tunnels of ice.

    When we finally reached the elevators I envied Storm for not coming with us and evading the task of keeping a child busy on a long boring ride. The space ship would be easy. We had worked out a schedule for that in advance.

    Storm looked well-rested and I hated him for it. His lor'kina mocked me thoroughly for the sorry state I was in and I had no energy left topay him back in kind. Life was so unfair.

    "You look like you need to amend your lifestyle," he said easily.

    Since my daughter was around to listen, I did not tell him what I thought he looked like. Smug bastard. I wondered fleetingly when the right time would be to teach Sarah some decent swearing. Looking at the environment she grew up in, she would certainly need it.

    "I will when you will," I told him instead. "How do you survive those long nights? I had barely an hour of sleep."

    "I didn't have any." His eyes flashed full of amusement. "That is my secret."

    "Why did you and mama not sleep?" Sarah wanted to know. "I sleep. I sleep good."

    "Yes you did." I ruffled her hair, which she graciously allowed. "But Storm and I had business to attend to." Business hours in the Ascendancy certainly sucked.

    "You and dardar did business all night?" Her face scrunched up in concentration "What business?"

    "Well," I had to think a moment. How did you describe long social meetings with no real use apart from showing people how important you were and who your important friends were?

    "We had to talk to important people," Storm came to my help. "You cannot talk to important people just any time you want. You have to wait for the right time to do that." I did not miss the dig in my direction.

    "You wait until night." Sarah nodded as if it made perfect sense. I wished I could ask her to explain it to me.

    But she didn't wait for any other explanation. "Is papa on Noris?"

    She had come to understand that he was far away, just how far and why were still difficult for her to understand. I watched as Storm silently dissolved into thin air, probably into the cockpit. Rukh followed, probably not for polite conversation but more down-to-earth skills. Well, we all had our jobs. "No, papa is not on Noris." I turned back to my daughter.

    "Where is papa?"

    I sighed. Then I picked Sarah up and sat her down before the table with the display.

    "Hold on tight, yes?"

    "Yes, mama." Her small hands grabbed the thick edge of the table

    "Good." I pointed at the planet still hovering in the middle of the image. "You know what that is?"

    "Home!" She crowed. "I know, I know that."

    "Yes, you do. And this is where we are." I tried to stub the blinking point of light with my index finger.

    That was a mistake as Sarah tried to do the same and I had to intervene to keep her from toppling. I waited until she had successfully poked the light before settling her again and letting go. I shrank the image until it had Csilla at one end and Noris at the other. We blinked happily between the two.

    "That is Noris. That is where we go." I shrank the image even further. It was a blessing that the main body of the Ascendancy didn't sprawl. The blinking dot was still well visible. "That is the Ascendancy," I explained. "This is where all Chiss live."

    Sarah didn't mind the many simplifications. Instead she stared at the many stars hovering over the table. "So big? Where is home?"

    I pointed out Csilla that lay conveniently in the middle. There was something very predictable about maps and where the place you lived would be displayed. It was transferable to star charts easily. I spread my thumb to the side a little. "And that is Noris."

    "Not far," Sarah decided. "Is it far?"

    "Not really, luv. There is much more space." It took some making, but I managed to convince the projector to project all space, even the unknown bits. They showed up suspiciously neatly labelled and also in a correct fashion. "Glad to be of help," I murmured under my breath. It had certainly been a weight off everybody's chest to finally get an official source for this when my ship got dissected.

    "What is help?" Her hearing was better than I tended to remember. One day it would be my downfall.

    "Nothing luv," I assured here and tried to orient myself in the mess of stars. It had been some time since I had stared at a chart that did not have Csilla as its shining centre. But I had spent enough time sweating over images of Byss to find that and from there it was easy enough to find the rest of the galaxy.

    I did not comment on how Sartinaynian was called Bastion, though. This map was updated from when I had left my ship. I would have to have some words with Storm. Different words than usually, I mean.

    Sarah didn't notice my silence. Her eyes were all over the chart. "So many stars."

    I smiled and put my finger onto Csilla. "Home." I placed another finger somewhere around Bastion. "Papa."

    She almost fell of the bench again, inching her way along its length to follow from one finger to the other. "That is far."

    "Yes, it is." I sighed. "But there is papa."

    "Papa is far." Her voice was suddenly very small. "Why?"

    It was a long story and one she probably knew by heart. I sat down beside her and put my arm around her shoulders. "Once upon a time, I began, "when papa was very young and handsome..." Some things were easier to explain as a story.

    And this is the reason I didn't update here.
  2. Chyntuck

    Chyntuck Force Ghost star 5

    Jul 11, 2014
    Oh MsLanna I am so happy to see you back! [:D] [face_dancing] [:D] I've had your fic on my reading list at FFN forever, but DRL never gave me the time to tackle that behemoth. I'm glad we got a glimpse of it here.
    AzureAngel2 likes this.
  3. Csillan_girl

    Csillan_girl Jedi Master star 5

    May 6, 2003
    Woohoo, you posted it here! :)

    I practically devoured TRIDU part one and two in a marathon read - so nice to see parts of it here, too!
    AzureAngel2 likes this.
  4. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Jul 31, 2014
    Can you, please, add any sort of information of the story and characters and so on? I want to know what I am reading. Thank you. :)
    AzureAngel2 likes this.
  5. whiskers

    whiskers Jedi Grand Master star 4

    May 19, 2005
    Very good dialogue that made me laugh. I could almost hear the exasperation in his voice, especially at the beginning.
    AzureAngel2 likes this.
  6. MsLanna

    MsLanna Jedi Master star 6

    Jul 8, 2005
    @ Ewok Poet - I wouldn't even know where to start. :oops:

    It is approx 14 ABY. They're somewhere between Csilla and Noris in the Chiss Ascendancy.

    In the 300k words of the first part of the story, Mellanna turns from normal to Imperial, saves Thrawn, destroys the Emperor reborn with an alliance between the new Empire, New Republic, and Mandalorians (with Karrde providing the information for everybody). Then she become possibly the wife of Thrawn but certainly the mother of his child which brings her to Csilla in an attempt to revoke his exile.

    100k into part two their child is between 4-ish and 5-ish (different calendars+different development speeds make for great headaches). Storm is an OC, old friend of Thrawn, and her ally, Rukh (the only canon person) is accompanying her due to things that happened in part one. Sarah is aforementioned daughter.

    Thank you Chyntuck. Though the happiness may be premature. I am still having an eye out on what happens to the SSR rule.
    Ehehe, no worries. TRIDU is not going anywhere. I recommend waiting until it's all up at AO3 too, because edited and better version… ;)

    You can still marathon them, Csillan_girl? I hope you kept hydrated and slept some. :S

    Thank you whiskers. It's good to hear my dialogue doesn't just work well for me. And I imagine that having to deal with an excited child on about no sleep at all is even worse than just having to be upright on no sleep at all.
    AzureAngel2, Ewok Poet and Chyntuck like this.
  7. AzureAngel2

    AzureAngel2 Force Ghost star 6

    Jun 14, 2005
    Oh, hallo, Schönheit.

    *looked for you at skype in vain the past days and bought a postcard together with DarthUncle just yesterday, which still needs to be written, of course

    But for some reason I am bewitched by the fanfic sector today. For when stories like yours are popping up on my radar, I MUST read them, no matter what (= laundry, cooking, administration and so on).

    It is good to see Mellanna online again. I know that I can always read about her in FanFictionNet, but you know I enjoy myself in here pretty much already. Otherwise I would not be able to have a off-line life. :p
    Kahara likes this.
  8. Chyntuck

    Chyntuck Force Ghost star 5

    Jul 11, 2014

    Same here on the SSR rule -- although I'm under the impression that the current rule is just an old leftover and that things should move on that front now that Ramza is back.

    TRIDU is on my summer reading list, I'm planning to download it all to pdf and read it during my two weeks without internet *bliss* Thanks for posting this excerpt here in the meantime -- now I'm even more curious.

    AzureAngel2 and Kahara like this.
  9. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Feb 27, 2014
    Wow, I can just imagine traveling that kind of distance under those kind of conditions with an inquisitive, non-tired four- or five-year-old, because I have one of those myself! :D It's interesting how the purpose of the journey is to see the long-lost "papa" (and thanks for explaining who that actually is, which changes matters greatly than if it were just any brand-X Chiss papa), and how the typical mom-kid travel talk segues naturally into the background story of that long-lost papa (and I would imagine that Sarah's own, well, origin story is part of that same story).

    May I ask what TRIDU stands for? :)
    AzureAngel2 and Kahara like this.
  10. JadeLotus

    JadeLotus Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Mar 27, 2005
    Interesting response to the challenge - a family separated by distance is always heartbreaking, especially with a child so young.
    AzureAngel2 likes this.
  11. Csillan_girl

    Csillan_girl Jedi Master star 5

    May 6, 2003
    Findswoman: TRIDU = The Reason I Didn't Update. ;)

    Hehe, MsLanna, I'm still following it over there on ff.n!
    When you get a review by CG, that's me, but you probably guessed already. ;)
    When I found it a few weeks ago, I just thought, WHY did I not find this great story before?
    Ah well, I'm hooked now...
    AzureAngel2 likes this.
  12. leiamoody

    leiamoody Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Nov 8, 2005
    Little kids are always inquisitive, particularly when distance is involved. Yet they are simultaneously impatient and do not want to listen or obey anything. But then they expect Sarah is definitely a healthy child. :p

    This is a cute vignette that seems like a respite from something more terrible and large. (Reading your response to EP, I can definitely understand that Mellanna has been through a lot of stuff in her past. So this little interlude with her daughter (and Rukh, of course) is very refreshing.
    Ewok Poet likes this.
  13. MsLanna

    MsLanna Jedi Master star 6

    Jul 8, 2005
    Well, Azure, the story ain't going no nowhere. And you know what? It's perfectly fine if it's not worth going to ffn. (Few things are, tbh.) And hey, real life can be nice. Or so I heard… :p

    That's what I got out of the discussion as well, Chyntuck. But until it's official…
    Oh dear. When does summer start? I better get my act together on AO3. [face_worried]

    If you have a child that age and you think Sarah is credible, that's SUCH a load off my chest, Findswoman. I don't have much (any) experience with children at all. [face_blush]
    And the journey is just travelling to uncle Storm's holiday house for some down time. The long lost papa is actually somewhere in Imperial space around Bastion. Hopefully kicking the new Imperial Senate into shape and kicking some Yevethan butt.
    I see your question has been answered already. The reason I called the story that was that it was my long-standing excuse to update no other stories. Howe could I? I was trapped a long time ago. ;)

    Thank you JadeLotus. :D

    Oh, well.
    I was sure I should know who CG was Csillan_girl, but I am an obnoxiously socially-incompetent old hag. :oops: The reason you didn't find it is probably because it's a self-insert and those don't fly well in any fandom. I keep being surprised that people actually read it. o_O

    Thank you leiamoody. I don't know the first thing about children so writing Sarah is always worrying me. The rest of the story is pretty much everybody making intrigues that go way over Mellanna's head. Though she is starting to catch up in chapter 80 or so. The holiday is definitely needed. :D
  14. Kahara

    Kahara Force Ghost star 4

    Mar 3, 2001
    Oh, it's nice to see something from this series (reminds me of how I haven't managed to catch up in a long, long time. [face_blush])

    Like the detail of Rukh's "kind of snug fitting backpack that probably did not get in the way of killing people." :p

    [face_laugh] Funny and poignant at the same time; I take it that their lives have not allowed for a lot of time to smell the roses. I like the way that we're reminded throughout that Sarah is in many ways just a regular kid. Very interesting to see the lead-in to the story that we already know through Sarah and Melanna's recollections. :)
    Ewok Poet likes this.
  15. MsLanna

    MsLanna Jedi Master star 6

    Jul 8, 2005
    No worries, Kahara. You can just pretend to wait until the whole thing is finished. Then you'll never have to catch up. :D
    They live on Csilla which is covered in ice. So the cities are under the ice and I have no clue where Legends are at with that at the moment. I had the Chiss build nice cities with actual plants and such, but everything is very controlled. No rain, no sun, no wind, a selection of flora and fauna that can be easily controlled. I imagine it would be all very limited.
    I bet Thrawn makes a better Prince in stories than in reality. Good thing he's not around to accidentally correct the image painted of him. :p
    Kahara likes this.