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Before the Saga (UDC VIII) Nothing and Everything--Weeks 16 and 17 (10/30)

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by leiamoody, Apr 10, 2017.

  1. AzureAngel2

    AzureAngel2 Chosen One star 6

    Jun 14, 2005
    What all your drabbles reflect so nicely: the challenge of being a Jedi. Every single day! To keep one´s emotions in check. To serve a greater good! And to explore the Force. @};-
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  2. leiamoody

    leiamoody Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Nov 8, 2005
    The Jedi lead very peculiar yet interesting lives that I like to consider and then write least my interpretation of how those lives exist inside and outside the Jedi Temple.

    Now for the drabbles for Week Fourteen...

    Week 14: The One Left Behind

    66. Talk
    Aduman sat within the safety of his quarters. It was one week after the rescue…and he couldn't leave the room’s dark comfort and venture outside among the residents and staff of the Jedi Temple. Not even his padawan was allowed into this protective sanctum. He didn't want to isolate the boy; Chevor was the only creature he almost wanted to speak with...

    A knock came from the other side of the door. “You must come out.” It was Chevor, and now Aduman didn’t want to speak with him.

    “Go away.”

    “How about ‘no’, Master?’’

    “How about ‘go to hell’, Apprentice?’’

    67. Silence
    “Where are you?” Aduman’s voice, a whisper kept still behind a metaphorical wall constructed through determination and stern Jedi training, called out to Naima in the darkness.

    Six weeks had passed since her death, and he spent more hours trying to contact her than focusing upon his worldly responsibilities. His pleas had been met with natural yet infuriating silence. His quest to find her somewhere, anywhere beyond Life was thus far impossible. She was part of the Force now. Nobody who passed into the Netherworld could ever return. How he could ever find Naima, let alone speak to her again?

    68. Smile
    The man staring back from the mirror was dead, yet he lived.

    Aduman’s reflection was a visible reminder of his reality. Sadness had become the only emotion he could feel. Happiness was extinct and belonged to another man who could never exist again. No chance to smile or laugh anymore. That was gone forever.

    It wasn’t proper for a Jedi to become mired in grief. Those who served the Light Side must have peace contained within their minds.

    “Could I find peace at the bottom of a vat of Whyren’s Reserve?” Then he let a scoff pass between his lips.

    69. Laugh
    Aduman saw Chevor and the young padawan called Kerensa chatting in the hallway near the lightsaber training chambers. His apprentice supposedly ceased to have any kind of relationship with the girl. That denial made very little impression upon him back then, because Naima was still alive.

    The girl laughed at some comment made by Chevor, then tossed her long honey-blonde braid aside from her shoulder. Chevor reached for the braid and stroked the bottom. Kerensa didn’t pull away, despite the fact they were in a public corridor.

    Aduman wanted to envy Chevor, but only felt sad this romance couldn’t last.

    70. Cry
    The box was wrapped in silver tissue paper. There were no attachments on the box, not even an identifier tag to indicate who placed the box in Aduman's quarters or any clue to what lay within the box. But it sat like some foreboding potent on his bed.

    It remained unopened for two days. He knew it contained something that belonged to Naima. But he couldn't open the box until the mental block that held his grief disappeared. Only after tears were shed and curses screamed did Aduman open the box and discovered the golden bracelet with the rose pendant.
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  3. leiamoody

    leiamoody Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Nov 8, 2005
    Week 15: Affair of the Heart

    71. First
    Zia’s initial encounter with Luz Mikayzd occurred at the pazaak table in the afternoon. By the evening they were both on duty (Zia as cook in the Rose of Shara’s main galley, Luz as bandleader in the Taris Ballroom). In those hours between afternoon and evening one thousand credits were won and lost, and countless words were exchanged.

    His flashy clothes or sarcastic demeanor didn’t impress her at first. But more time spent together and the right mixture of alcoholic elements in their cocktails enabled her to see a nice guy that she would like to get to know better.

    72. Impressions
    "You go first." Luz pointed at the large rectangle of jade-colored wax lying on the table. "Put your finger into that stuff, and that will leave a perfect copy of your finger that can be made into a ring."

    Zia laughed. It was the latest gimmick meant to provide the passengers with more trinkets to take home and the cruise line another source of revenue.

    "We've only known each other for two weeks. Isn’t this kind of early?"

    "You’ll want something to remember me by."

    "Like I could ever forget you." But she put her finger into the impression wax.

    73. Safer
    Two rounds of cocktails led into an overly gratuitous display of physical affection in the crew bar. Eventually they stumbled down into the passenger areas, almost got caught dancing outside the Ryloth Lounge, managed to steal several pieces of flatware from the First Class Dining Saloon...

    Zia couldn't remember anything after sliding down the banister of the First Class staircase. But something happened that night six weeks ago.

    The result was a positive and negative conundrum. The positive came in the form of a flashing blue circle, and the negative was the sudden understanding her drunken coupling created potential offspring.

    74. Check
    Zia sat in the ship's infirmary waiting area trying not to bite her lip off. The pregnancy test she bought in the pharmacy had shown her one possibility. But she needed something more reliable to confirm that horrible possibility. Although she already knew there was a new occupant inside her body. It was terrifying, even though the new resident would be no larger than a bean. Yet there was a glimmering of the Force within her...coming from this new being.

    So the test wasn't really necessary. But she needed that confirmation…there it was on the screen…the end of her life?

    75. Last
    Luz kicked his boot against the marble floor. "Will I ever see you again?" He kept his gaze focused upon the blue and green interwoven lines.

    Zia kept her back to him. She wouldn't tell him about the new creation from their union. He was going to a bigger, better gig on the Shimmering Princess, and didn’t want to screw that up.

    "No." She turned away headed down the corridor from the man she’d only known for six weeks but felt like she could have known until death.

    Only when she rounded the corner did she allow tears to flow.
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  4. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Feb 27, 2014
    Catching up on these wonderful miniatures of yours, which I’m glad to see continuing. :)

    11: It looks like we are seeing here Lyra Melides’s first discovery of the fact that she’s had past lives and past memories. What a moment! I can see where the realization that she is, in some way, more than she thought she was could bring her to the point of doubting her current reality, even just a little, and having to remind herself who she is the way she does in the first drabble. It doesn’t help matters, of course, that she (very understandably) feels like she can’t tell anyone, not even her master—at least at first. She works so hard and so systematically to understand the experiences on her own, and it’s rather cool that we readers get to experience her gradual realizations along with her. So, then, what the heck, Master Kestrel? :p I now kind of wonder what it will take to convince Kestrel that these memories in her student’s head are for real—though I imagine that may be a different drabble set. ;)

    12: Arkanum is a new character on me—I don’t know if they (right pronoun?) are new in your ocedarium, or preexisting in earlier stories, but it’s cool to meet them here. The lore you’ve outlined here about the prophetic gifts of two-sex individuals like Arkanum looks like it has similarities to the American Indian notion of two-spirits; was that a source of inspiration? Arkanum’s double nature definitely fits with the concept of being at a crossroads—a vergence, one might say—and that definitely fits with the ways we’re seeing their power being used here. First we see Arkanum helping decide the future of other Jedi students, and then we see them beholding a very important crossroads for galactic history—the rise of a certain “black masked demon” that we in this post-1977 age know very well. Intriguingly, the story cuts off just after Arkanum shares this pivotal vision, and the council’s reaction is left to our imagination; I could say that I hope they (the council) gave Arkanum more credence than Kestrel did Lyra, but given how things ended up going something tells me they probably didn’t! [face_nail_biting]

    13: Another “from Lyra to Lyra” moment here! Love the way you link Jyn’s beautiful, resonant, trademark kyber crystal (which unfortunately they did not put on her Forces of Destiny doll, dangit!) in to her and her mother’s lineage of past lives, going back to the original Lyra. (I guess it’s technically Lyra Erso’s lineage rather than Jyn’s, though Jyn partakes in it as Lyra Erso’s daughter—but it’s neat the way that those psychic and biological lineages are linking up here.) When I saw R1, I was a touch disappointed by the fact that the crystal pendant didn’t turn out to be quite as significant as I’d hoped—it wasn’t really anything more than a symbol—but you’re definitely doing a great job giving it some actual, concrete import. It puts both Lyra and Jyn in a chain of goodness, right, and hope that goes back millennia—they’re no longer just lone renegades this way. (And thinking back again to R1, when Chirrut senses Jyn’s crystal, well, maybe this chain of lineages is part of what he's sensing!)

    14: A wrenching group—Aduman’s grief for Naima is clearly affecting him to the very core of his being, no matter how hard he tries to sidestep or deny that fact. Of course that owes to the fact that his love for her affected him to the very core of his being. The old Aduman is dead with Naima and has become a “past life” or sorts for the new Aduman—which is appropriate, given that this is exactly where he (and his student) start on their quest into their past lives. I recognize the rose pendant, of course—Aduman doesn’t know it yet, but that little keepsake of his beloved will be exactly what will launch that entire quest. The question is, though, who gave it to him? Hmm… [face_thinking] His reaction to Chevor’s little hint of romance shows just how deep his feelings here run: to him, grief and loss are now an absolute certainty, & the only possible outcome of true love.

    15: Ooh, now this is something very interesting and new! I confess I’ve been curious about Chevor’s paternity ever since we first met him and Zia (and I hope it’s OK that I don’t black the names out, because it’s now pretty clear who’s the child of whom). And now I know! There was drunken canoodling for sure, but there was also some true romance between Luz (great name—“light” in Spanish, “nut” in Hebrew) and Zia, and for a moment there (in the ring impression drabble) it looked like things could go the “happily ever after” route. Very interesting trope reversal in that last drabble: so often it’s the woman wants to know “will I ever see you again?” and the man who says no and abandons her, but this time it’s the opposite. Zia does seem to be doing what she’s doing out of perceived concern for Luz’s well being: she doesn’t want to mess up his rising career. And yet—the tears she sheds once alone show also seems to immediately regret. Or is her emotion in that moment something other than regret? Something deeper? As always, you are an ace at portraying these very complex mixtures of emotions.

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  5. leiamoody

    leiamoody Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Nov 8, 2005
    (reply to most recent reply coming soon)

    Week 16: The Searcher

    76. Mountain
    Aduman climbed to the top of Mount Isandra. Then he spent an interminable amount of time searching for the stone pyramid where those legendary Whills archives were supposedly hidden at the center of some mysterious maze.

    He saw a tall stone pyramid with softened edges that lay at the center of the Sacred Lake. Perhaps that was his destination, and maybe those archives really existed. Or maybe his imagination had pulled him into pursuing imaginary relics, despite Nellith and Ophalin Kaido’s assurances.

    Yet he was here on Xaan Doro, so he had to believe those archives existed in some fashion.

    77. River
    Aduman ‘s descent from the mountain led him along a winding path that cut through the jungle until he reached the River of Light.

    He knelt down by the river and picked up a large black stone. The rocks that lay scattered among the rushing water were infused with Force energy. Of course Aduman thought it was a superstitious notion, because inanimate objects didn’t possess Force sensitivity…

    …the stone between his fingers thrummed as if the object absorbed and then reflected life energy.

    Maybe it was alive?

    “Strange planet,” he muttered, then placed the stone back into the flowing water.

    78. Tree
    Aduman walked away from the riverside, pulled inexorably toward a large ch’ala tree that radiated Force energy like a supernova. Force sensitive trees were ancient reminders of the connection between the Jedi and the Light Side, hence the reason why one certain specimen lay at the heart of the Jedi Temple.

    What resonated from the ch’hala tree wasn’t just Force energy. It was stronger, immense, surrounding him, unseen yet palpable.

    Perhaps this world was the source of a Light Side nexus? These portals were supposed to exist in various hidden corners of the galaxy. But could one really exist here?

    79. Earth
    Aduman closed his eyes and permitted the sensation of the combined Force rhythm that emanated from the rocks, trees, and everything which inhabited all corners of Xaan Doro to enter his consciousness. The smell of humidity-infused earth filled his nostrils and flooded into his mind. It was a tangible reminder that life was omnipresent in the physical realm. All things and beings were filled and reinforced by the Light Side.

    He sighed. This was a lesson from those celestial watchers who controlled events in the Living World and Afterlife. Life after death was important, but so was life within life.

    80. Horizon
    Aduman stood at the prow of the ferry taking him to the necropolis called the Isle of Repose. It was the ultimate destination, where the stone pyramid that housed the Whills archives among ancient bones of priests and priestesses. He would use the golden rose charm from Naima’s bracelet to open the door and find the lost repository.

    He took in a deep breath. This journey was a first step toward knowledge that would change the future of physical life in the galaxy. All the suffering that had occurred since Naima’s death was in the service of a greater cause.

    Week 17: Lost Words

    (this set of drabbles occurs in 3 ABY)

    81. History
    Meaithe turned the pages of the ancient book she discovered in the basement of the history building of the Cultural University. The text was unreadable since it was penned in an indecipherable script. But she already knew this volume was part of the lost Jedi Codices written by the First Grand Master, Kinel Skywalker.

    It was her job to translate that vanished language, so knowledge of the Afterlife could be spread across the galaxy. Returning knowledge of that important component of the life cycle to the Living World would help prevent another recurrence of darkness…well, that was the Overseers’ intention.

    82. Write
    "How am I supposed to do any translating?" Meaithe held up the book for Aduman’s perusal. "I don’t even know what language this is supposed to be."

    "Tythonese." The former Jedi Master turned spiritual guide had been dead for five hundred years but was still able to flip a pile of datacards in mid-air without touching them.

    Meaithe frowned. “How can I begin understanding these words?”

    Aduman let the datacards drop to the wooden floor. “You have resources available to you.”

    “Accessing the Universal Archives is difficult when I’m trapped within flesh.”

    “Then utilize physical resources. The Manchisky Codex, perhaps?”

    83. Archive
    One week of making some valiant attempt at translating the ancient volume using the Manchisky Codex had yielded nothing for Meaithe but a title.

    “The Book of Eternity.” She turned the yellowed pages wrapped in a faded brown Bantha hide. “This is the final volume of the Jedi Codices, and the second composed by Kinel Skywalker before his death.” It was the last volume, but the most important because it would help Luke Skywalker, one of two living descendants of that ancient Grand Master, reintroduce knowledge about the Afterlife and how to retain one’s spiritual identity after cessation of life.

    84. Artifact
    “Do you feel like a relic?” Chevor passed his hand through the wall, then pulled it back out.

    “Of course. But we’ve existed for so long that I can’t help feeling like some artifact.” Aduman stared out the window. “Sometimes it’s impossible to keep going across the centuries.”

    The former apprentice flexed his fingers. “We’re going to continue existing until this mission we agreed upon is completed.”

    The former master continued his perusal of the garden outside the boardinghouse. “I agreed to see this knowledge passed to Skywalker’s heir just like you did. Fortunately he will learn this knowledge soon.”

    85. Memory
    “Do you ever remember anything from your past lives?” Chevor asked, levitating near the sitting room ceiling in the old Jedi meditation position.

    Aduman stared at his own hands, now fashioned from ephemeral stuff rather than tangible flesh. “I always remember appendages. Hands, claws, or something of that ilk.”

    “Out of everything you ever possessed, you always remember hands?”

    “Touch is a very underestimated sense.”

    “I won’t argue that point.”

    “So you remember what things are supposed to feel like as well.”

    “Mostly people.”

    “I only remember one person.”

    “You’ll be with her again.”

    “That’s always been my plan.”

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  6. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Feb 27, 2014
    16: What a beautiful series of moments in Aduman’s journey toward the knowledge of the beyond. That old saw that “the journey matters as much as the destination” is so true here: Aduman is learning at least as much about the nature of life and the Living Force on his trek up and down Mt. Isandra, along the riverbank, and through the forest as he will in the Whills Archive itself. Life goes on within life, and it can be found in surprising places, like those smooth black river rocks that seem to have a spirit of their own, like those trees that fairly shine with Force energy. There almost certainly is a Force nexus here—but in a way the bigger realization lies within Aduman himself: he is now seeing the bigger purpose to his quest, and coming to realize that Naima’s death—however grievous it was—was not necessarily in vain.

    I love that each drabble of this group begins with Aduman’s name, directing the reader outward over the wonders he’s beholding. We’re experiencing the journey right there beside him.

    17: If I’m understanding this aright, Aduman is now at a much more advanced stage of his journey: he’s noncorporeal himself and acting as a guide to the newer generation of those seeking knowledge of the afterlife—like Meaithe, and hopefully like Luke (and it would be so, so cool to see Luke interact with and learn from your OC spirit guides—hopefully that will be coming in future drabbles and/or stories). I smiled to see that Chevor is now among the guiding spirits; I’ve always had a soft spot for him among your OCs, and it makes me to see that even now, after all these years and after becoming a spirit, his eager resolve and his love of learning have not left him. His conversation with his (former) Master in the last drabble was one of my favorite moments: it shows not only Chevor’s caring concern for the more personal side of Aduman’s quest, but also that Aduman is now more willing to open up about it to Chevor than he was back in their days in the flesh—they’re more like friends and equals, now, than teacher and student.

    Plus, there is something really super compelling and beautiful in the idea of a noncorporeal being acknowledging the value and beauty of the sense of touch! I’m with Chevor: Aduman be with her again, and I look forward to being there when that happens. Wonderful as always. @};-
  7. divapilot

    divapilot Force Ghost star 4

    Nov 30, 2005
    These are gorgeous, as I expected. Your combination of lyrical writing, deep empathy for your characters, and superb world building are always first class.

    I love how you weave the idea of "the same eyes in different people" through the rebirths and in the desperate attempt to reach across the chasm that separates the living from the dead. Wonderful writing here. I hope you continue these.
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