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Beyond - Legends Before - Legends Saga - Legends Whiskers' One-Shots - Updated 8/25 w/ Chasing Ghosts (Late 2016 OC Challenge Response)

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by whiskers, Sep 8, 2015.

  1. whiskers

    whiskers Jedi Grand Master star 4

    May 19, 2005
    300's a great movie when it comes to fight scenes, but my main inspiration was World War I films, especially with the Chazrach attack right into the automatic fire. As for fighting until the last breath, it was kind of a necessity due to the circumstances and tensions were running high, but all of them were very brave and loyal in the end.

    Thank you. I try to make my battle scenes especially descriptive. I was a little wary with the blood and gore in regards to board rules, but I hope I was able to skirt the lines without going beyond.

    I knew that Alexis was the stubborn type the first time that I envisioned her back in 2010. What really kickstarted the "survivor" mentality of mine towards her was this line that I wrote in Surviving Hope:

    The words of an old superstition came to her mind. Anya was never one to believe in superstitions, but she still remembered her grandmother telling her this after a cousin had given birth in the aftermath of Grievous' horrific attack on Alderaan. "Children born around death are destined to be followed by it." It had seemed quaint and old fashioned by that time, and the entire family had laughed about it. If true, though, how cursed were children conceived around death?

    After I wrote that, it just reached out at me: she is surrounded by death but never (at the time being, of course) personally touched by it. Of course, I may always change my mind...

    [face_laugh] [face_rofl][face_laugh]
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  2. whiskers

    whiskers Jedi Grand Master star 4

    May 19, 2005
    Title: Chasing Ghosts
    Timeline: 25 BBY, Legends continuity
    Characters: Galen Wentlas (OC)
    Summary: As his graduation day at the Republic Naval Academy draws near, a young cadet finds his thoughts drawn to his father, who died when he was very young. Inspired by Findswoman's challenge prompt for the Late 2016 OC Challenge: Write a story featuring an OC who is never physically present in the story but still manages to influence the events and outcome in a pivotal way.


    They always said that the worst days in the dorms were the first and last. As he tossed and turned in his bunk, Galen Wentlas agreed with the collected wisdom of all the naval officers before him that inhabited the crowded Bakvalen Hall. He laid on the firm mattress, eyes intently studying the white ceiling a meter above him.

    Tomorrow would bring graduation and then commissioning, followed by the duty assignments for 2,630 beings that had spent four years forming friendships and camaraderie. They would be evaluated based off of their grades and performances in the summer duty sessions aboard Judicial Fleet ships and then parceled out to various assignments throughout the galaxy.

    Two of those 2,630 were crammed into a room that would barely be comfortable for a single civilian. It was divided roughly in two by an entertainment console, a desk/bed on each side with a portable computer processor on top of a simple plasteel storage cube already packed with clothing and bound books. Four years of his life and they all fit nicely into a single meter-long cube.

    No matter how long he kept his eyes shut or how still he lay, sleep still remained elusive. Excitement and uncertainty mixed into a single fierce storm that churned deep in his stomach. He wasn't the best student of his class, but he certainly wasn't the worst; a middle of the skylane academic with an above average (but still below exemplary) knack for command theory. Was that enough to avoid being stuck on a dreadnaught until his obligated service was over like the other graduates with low scores? Of course it was, he thought, that line of thinking was just an exaggeration, but the question of his placement after his commissioning still weighed heavily upon his mind.

    He sat up in bed, clad in his warm sleepwear, and let his legs dangle over the edge of his bunk. A chuckle died in his throat before he could wake his roommate with the laugh. Had his own father felt this way upon his own graduation some 25 years previously? His stepfather?

    Galen could ask neither of them. To ask Markus Lekine would admit weakness to a man that tolerated none. He knew that the man held some fondness for him and was proud of his achievements in the Academy, but Lekine was first and foremost a hardass that expected nothing less than perfection. Andur Wentlas, Galen thought as he stepped onto the cold metal desk and climbed down onto the floor, would be 20 years in the grave in a few months.

    He opened the small cooler underneath his desk, too big for the storage cube and would be left for the next cadet assigned to the room, and removed a water pouch from it. He drank from it in silence, looking out the window of his dorm room at the darkened views of the summit ofMountSerrocoand the large academic halls that rose from it.

    Galen had been three years old when his father was killed in action during the Stark Hyperspace War. War, his stepfather and other veterans of those battles had always called it, not the Stark Hyperspace Conflict that it was called by "sniveling peace mongers and simpering politicians." War or Conflict, it had taken the life of his father before he could ever get to know him in something other than old holophoto albums. "Would you be proud of me?" he whispered. "Would you have wanted me to even go here, after all that happened?"


    Galen's cadet uniform was flawless enough. The dark blue uniform of the Judicial Fleet melded with a crimson vest of theNavalAcademy. Across his left shoulder was the cadet sash, filled with medals and patches that he'd never be able to wear again: patches from his three "summers" aboard various corvettes and a dreadnaught, the pin he earned when he was part of the gravball team that beat the Caridan Academy, a ribbon for the one semester where he actually managed to get on the Commandant's List.

    He checked the mirror one more time and adjusted the billed cap upon his light brown hair.

    "You're leaving early, aren't you, Galen?" Letti sat upon his own bunk, the diminutive Bimm combing at his drying fur.

    "I've got a couple things to do before the ceremonies start," he said. Galen extended his hand. "If I don't get to see you during or after, it's been good serving with you."

    Letti shook his hand and laughed. "By the Force, Galen, we're walking through the crypts, not joining them."

    "I didn't mean it like that," Galen said, shaking his head.

    Letti let loose a large, fanged grin. "I would say that I hope we're stationed together, but I've seen some of your scores..."

    "Same here, I didn't know that The Sith War III was a proper study tool for Command History."

    Letti's face turned sheepish. "I don't have much room to talk about that, do I?" He placed his comb back onto his desk and took his specialized uniform out of a small closet.

    The conversation over, Galen stepped out of their dorm room. Outside of Bakvalen Hall, the eleven other mountains surrounding the dominating fortress, Castle Pradeux loomed large over him. The cool air bit even stronger through his uniform than it usually did.

    The Academy's location was supposed to be a secret, an ancient law written in a time when the Republic had more to worry about than groups of smugglers and a few discontent systems wanting to play at secession. The official paperwork still kept the planet's name hidden from the public eye, as did the HoloNet News coverage of the Supreme Chancellor's annual commencement speech, but it's location of Prefsbelt IV was an open secret across the galaxy. Parents, siblings, crechemates, brooders, and press in on the secret made their way through the campus, touring the facilities that they'd only seen in holopics. Security was tightened, guards in the red uniforms of the Judicial Fleet's ground forces standing at attention at the entrances to more sensitive buildings.

    Galen took a foot tram upMountKirrek, up to the large tower that housed faculty offices. Millennia old tradition held that any office door was open to graduating students up until an hour before commencement began. Most of the cadets that went flocked to the senior military instructors; even now a long line stretched past multiple office doors and ended at the door to Captain Vargus Dalet, a retired fleet officer that taught a command course.

    The office door that Galen stopped at was empty of visiting students, a simple name tag to the side advised visitors that Dr. Thanan Noguy, Professor of History worked within. Dr. Noguy was a man well into his 70s, dark-skinned and with a snow-white mustache upon his upper lip. He was dressed in traditional academic robes, blue and red in honor of the Academy, the bottom pooling onto the floor as he sat at his desk.

    "Cadet Wentlas," he said. A surprised look appeared on his face. "Or should I say "Ensign Wentlas?"

    Galen removed his cap and sat down opposite Thanan. "I've got another couple of hours before I can be called 'ensign,' Dr. Noguy."

    "Cadet, then," he said. "I'm sorry that I don't have anything to offer you to drink, but I stopped doing that 30 years ago when I realized that most cadets didn't want to see me."

    "Don't worry," Galen said. "I'm fine."

    Thanan nodded and leaned closer to his desk. "So what brings you here, Galen? It's a little late to discuss the final."

    Galen chuckled. "I actually did quite well on that one," he said. "You've been teaching Core World History here for 30 years, right?"

    "33 years next semester." Noguy adjusted the clutter on his desk. "33 years of teaching beings that actually want to be taught."

    Galen tried to swallow down his beating heart that had firmly lodged itself in his throat. "Did you know my father, then? Andur Wentlas?"

    Noguy cupped his head in thought, brow furrowing. "He was a student of mine, if he went here." His voice turned soft, fatherly. "I don't remember him, though."

    Galen's stomach dropped.

    "66 semesters is a long time and a lot of students, and not too many stick out. In a few years, I doubt I'll remember you, save for being the first person to actually come to my office on their last day."

    "I...I guess that's all I had to ask, then," Galen said. He moved to stand.

    "Sit down, cadet, and consider that my last order to you." Noguy pointed to the computer on his desk. "I may forget my students in time, but I do look at their records before hand. I want to see who they are and what I can expect. I saw that you were a legacy admission, the child of another graduate.

    "Most of the legacy admissions I get act like they practically own the place. Their parent's service entitles them in their minds to certain privileges. In theNavalAcademythose privileges stop at somewhat lessened admissions standards, and they certainly don't exist in my classroom."

    "I didn't mean..." He was silenced by a raised hand.

    "Let me finish, now," Noguy continued. "So, I saw that you were not only a single parent legacy, but a two-parent one due to your stepfather. Imagine all of the trouble that I thought I'd get from you, only for you to disappoint me."

    Galen shrugged. "I wasn't raised to be a trouble maker."

    "I imagine that you weren't. Now, why the question about your father? You wanted to know who he was at your age?"

    Galen stared intently at his shined boots. "I never knew him save for a few scattered memories."

    Noguy nodded. "I've seen a lot of young beings come through these halls, Cadet Wentlas, each of them are their own sentient. Worry about becoming your own self; not chasing ghosts. Know that he'd be proud of you, whatever you do."

    Those words haunted Galen even as he sat in one of the many temporary cafes set up on the quad. He picked at the Coruscanti food in his plasto tray, moving the baked and seasoned porcine around the sauce.

    Of course he hoped that his father would be proud of him, and had felt that feeling ever since he had died. " 'Chasing ghosts...' " he muttered. The professor was right, Galen knew, maybe for the wrong reasons, but he was right. His mother had told him about his father, giving an account of a love and friendship that had ended too soon, a rose-polarized vision that omitted the flaws. He checked the chronometer on his comlink: an hour left until he had to report for graduation.

    "Galen, I've been looking for you!" Letti raced down the quad, short stature adept at ducking between the gathered crowds. He was out of breath as he reached Galen's table.

    "What's the matter?" He checked his chronometer again. "I've still got an hour." He frowned. "Unless this thing's broken again..."

    "Your mom stopped by the room when you were gone."

    Galen looked at Letti in confusion. "I was supposed to meet with them after I got my duty assignment."

    Letti shrugged. "Well, she was looking for you anyway." He laid a metal emblem on the table. It was wrapped in a fine sheet of soft flimsiplast, the ferrous metal tarnished over the years. An eight-spoked wheel inside of a circle was the pin's main feature, surrounded by the wings of a starbird. The year 950 was engraved over the centerpiece.

    "My father's graduation pin?"

    Letti shrugged. "I didn't look at it, she just said that you might want to have it with you. So that's what they used to look like. I think they got rid of those starbird wings about ten years ago. It looks nice."

    Galen felt the coolness of the metal in his hand before cupping his fingers over it. He placed it in his pocket. "Thanks for getting this to me, Letti," he said.

    The Bimm made a dismissive gesture. "I owed you one."

    Nearly an hour later and 30 minutes after Letti left, Galen stood from his seat. He could the old pin through his uniform, close to his heart. He had started the day searching for who his father really was and had come no closer to where he had been. He left a few credit chips on the table for a tip and walked towards the rest of the gathering recruits and towards a future--uncertain as it was with talks of secession and potential war-- that was entirely his own to make.
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  3. Findswoman

    Findswoman Fanfic and Pancakes and Waffles Mod (in Pink) star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Feb 27, 2014
    OK, I have to say that there's part of me that wants to swat Dr. Noguy (No-gooey? No-gai?) upside the head with a rolled-up newspaper. Really, that's how he talks to a young man who wants very naturally to learn more about a parent he never got to know? "Chasing the ghosts" of one's decesased forebears is not mutually exclusive with "becoming one's own self"; in fact, I would say that, done right, it's a very good and effective way one can learn about oneself. Indeed, this whole scenario made me think of some lines from T. S. Eliot's "Little Gidding" (part of Four Quartets):
    I think Galen started out here with a hunch that learning all he can about his deceased father would indeed be a way of "being born with the dead" and "bringing [his father] with him" to his graduation and future military career, if that makes sense. And I hope to goodness that Dr. Noguy hasn't totally beaten that very natural desire out of him! The fact that Noguy is so adamant about it almost makes me wonder if he has some lingering ghosts of his own. [face_thinking]

    But fortunately things don't end on quite that desolate note, because then we see Letti bringing his friend his father's old graduation pin—and maybe that is where the moment (however brief) of "returning and bringing us with them" takes place in this story. And that, of course makes me wonder whether the story will continue. Will it? :D (If not, it works fine as is too—just wondered. :) )
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  4. whiskers

    whiskers Jedi Grand Master star 4

    May 19, 2005

    I honestly think that Noguy was out of his league there, at least with Galen's problems. He didn't know the guy at all, tried to put his pupil's worries to rest, and completely kriffed up in the attempt.

    In a way, the first sentence is kind of a theme: Galen records a message to his unborn daughter in an unpublished story, and decades later, Alexis has a nightmare about her own daughter blaming her for not coming home when the former's in an almost certainly fatal situation. All of that is shaped by the fact that Galen never really got to know who his father really was when he was young.

    I don't think that Noguy has discouraged him completely, though he certainly didn't help matters much. As for whether or not he has ghosts of his own? Don't we all?

    It certainly has an element of that part of the poem. Galen is handed one of the few surviving mementos of his father that's left (because I can't imagine a whole lot of his standard military belongings surviving the battles on Qotile), and thus is able to connect with him, however briefly. I don't know if I'll directly continue on with the plot of this story, but there are certainly more Wentlas stories to be told.

    And one more thing, I think it's quickly becoming a running gag that Galen's roommates, when he has them, have included aliens. Consider that a contrast to the Human High Culture of the Empire.

    Thanks for reading and reviewing, Findswoman!
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