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Saga "You want it darker", Shanty Challenge, answers

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by AzureAngel2, Nov 5, 2017.

  1. AzureAngel2

    AzureAngel2 Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jun 14, 2005
    I should add a spoiler alert for for my main Nagina story. If you read this, you are spoilerd!

    Title:“You want it darker”, an answer to the Shanty Challenge

    Summary: Four men, all servants of the Galactic Empire, meet in a cantina. One of them has an astonishing secret that he is forced to reveal by accident.

    Time frame: 14 BBY

    Planet of choice: Lothal

    Disclaimer: SW is owned by George Lucas, Lucas Ltd. and now The Walt Disney Company



    Once Lothal had been a beautiful world. In its temperate climate the Jogan fruit had grown effortlessly. There also had been huge carpets of spine tree forests and prairies sprinkled with rock formations. Of course there had been patches of farmland, too, but somehow the natural environment had been well-balanced.

    Now factories and mines polluted and marred much of the once pristine planet surface. There was a reason behind it. The Empire had a five-year plan for several Outer Rim worlds, including Lothal. Each plan dealt with all aspects of development, foremost the capital goods. This planet unfortunately had minerals, including the scarce kyber crystals.

    In a decade this world would be ruined beyond repair. Another decade later it would contain less life than Hoth or Mustafar.

    Disgusted, Lieutenant Crix Madine from the Imperial Special Forces put his metal mug down. “This is not Correllian ale!” he complained and added a quick curse in Olys Corellisi. “Halle metes chun, petchuck.”

    He stared reproachfully into the mug.

    This is but warm bantha piss,” he added.

    “There is nothing wrong with your drink, but your head, ginger!” commented a cool voice from behind him. “Be glad that Old Jho is in the back and cannot hear your abusive rant! He is old enough to understand your mother language.”

    The Imperial officer swung around in his seat, facing the newcomer. That man, fourteen years his senior, was familiar to him since his childhood days. They had fought bitter battles together, shared Mamma Gita’s self-made cookies later on.

    “Meeting here is a mistake!” he complained to his foster brother. “Hey wait, why am I wearing a uniform and you are not?”

    Dravits Draven, a blond giant, shrugged. He was an agent of the military intelligence forces.“Because I am a cautious man and you are not? It is called camouflage. Should I spell it for you?”

    “This entire planet has gone down the drain,” huffed Crix Madine.

    “Would you rather have gone to Naboo? To that dreadful mausoleum the old man has build for her? Bringing white roses with you?” The agent sat down on one of the barstools. “Or would you rather be with our parents? Sitting down with them at the kitchen table and review what happened to Nagina? Are you sure about that? They never read the autopsy report. We did.”

    Both men exchanged an intense glare.

    The sudden clinking of glasses reminded them that they were not alone in the universe, let alone in this establishment.

    “Gentlemen, there is no need for a bar fight!” announced the heavily accented voice of a third man. “Are you off your faces already? You both just arrived.”

    Large hairy hands put down four wine glasses.

    “Old stinker! What a surprise!” hissed Dravits Draven in utter disgust as he gazed at the human in a white uniform, that had a flamboyant cape.

    The Director of Advanced Weapons Research division, Orson Krennic, bowed mockingly to his old childhood enemy.

    “What brought you here, Orry?” Crix Madine managed to ask. “This is a family reunion.”

    “Is it now? Well, imagine, I am still the custodian of her property. And ISB-021 here,” he made an inviting hand gesture, “Was so kind to inform me of your arrival.”

    In the back of the cantina a tall man with strawberry-blond hair stepped out of a dark booth. He was dressed in a standard ISB uniform protected by a heavy black armoured vest and helmet.

    “Alex!” commented Dravits Draven joylessly. “Long time no see!”

    “Drav!” the other man answered with a curt nod before he joined them at the bar.

    “We know one another from the Academy,” The agent explained to his foster brother under his breath. “Alexsandr is a jolly good agent. Level-headed, clever ruthless and cold as ice.”

    The ISB agent gave Dravits Draven a crooked smile, mirth shining in his brown eyes. “You forgot to mention that I am cruel, remorseful and sadistic as well.”

    “No wonder you and Krennic here hang around together in your leisure time,” his old comrade joked silkily.

    “I am not off duty and the director is not either.”

    “You two match perfectly though. When is the wedding? I would like to come.”

    Agent Kallus’ jaw clenched, but before the tension could grow Orson Krennic grinned and stated, “You are both aware that Lothal is a restricted area?”

    “Like the airspace of Geonosis?” probed Dravits Draven.

    “Have a drink!” The director suggested, distant thunder in his voice. “Dehydrated men suffer from perception disorder and are prone to delusions.”

    Dravits Draven held up a clenched fist, ready to rumble. “My memory is in perfect order. And I remember a lot of things Nagina told me before her death. Mostly about that toy of yours.”

    Darkness crawled into the director’s features. “My DT-29 Heavy Blaster?” he suggested.

    “No, much bigger than that.”

    “Ina is a good story teller, always was. This why her kindie kiddies loved her so much. You seem to be a fan of fairy-tales and urban myths as well.”

    “Yes, we are all here for Nagina tonight,” Crix Madine threw in, before things really got out of hand.

    “I am not,” prompted Agent Kallus unasked.

    “It’s the fifth anniversary of her death,” the lieutenant argued on. “It should be a peaceful occasion, right?”

    Orson Krennic started to chuckle, his eyes still on fire though. “Be lucky that I have two bottles of Naboo blossom wine with me instead of two arrest warrants!”

    “I am not in the mood for wine,” riled Dravits Draven, an ugly snarl on his face.

    “Make an exception, old buddy!” Orson Krennic said with a wink. “Ina would want us to behave civilized and not like a pack of rancors.”

    Grudgingly, the two foster brothers took their glasses and followed their old foe to an illuminated booth. His aid trailed along. The promised wine bottles waited there and also a large Joghan fruit cake.

    “This is macabre,” Crix Madine said wryly.

    Pig’s arse! It used to be her favourite type of cake. We will all have a piece and remember her nicely. This is what anniversaries are there for, right? To tenderly think of a beloved one that is gone.”

    All of a sudden the director’s com rang. His facial expression fell apart, when he gazed at the contact data. “I-I need to take that call!” he stuttered.

    “Be our guest!” purred Dravits Draven with narrowed eyes.

    They all watched him running to the opposite end of the establishment. There he remained in a corner, various emotions shifting over his face. In a soft tone he started speaking to the caller.

    “He has a daughter,” explained Dravits Draven.

    “That is classified information,” Agent Kallus cut in.

    “C’mon, everybody in internal affairs knows! Especially since he took a couple of months paternity leave for her. Besides, we are not talking about one of his usual weapon projects, but about a little girl he named after our deceased sister.”

    “Nagina?” wondered Crix Madine, annoyance and astonishment swinging in his voice.

    “No.” His foster brother shook his head. “Our sister’s second name.”

    “Cassandra?”

    Agent Kallus puffed up his cheeks before saying, “To be correct, he calls the child Cassie.”

    The ginger-haired commander moved a hand over his hurting eyes. “I cannot imagine Orson to be a father. He hates children, always did.”

    Dravits Draven made a discrete warning gesture, but the ISB agent was already on the case. “If you really must know: Jyn Erso is still alive, but in hiding with her parents,” he offered. “We spend a lot of time and resources to find them.”

    “Why would you tell me something like this, Alex?”

    “Because I can. My resources were always better than yours.” Agent Kallus gave back smugly. “The Erso family is one of your favourite research subjects the past years. This has not gone unnoticed by...”

    Singing filled the air. It came from the director.

    “Well my father often told me when I was just a lad,
    A sailors life was very hard,
    The food was always bad.
    But now I’ve joined the navy am aboard a Man o’ war,
    Now I found a sailor ain
    t a sailor any more.”

    Perplexed, Crix Madine gaped at Orson Krennic. This was not a suitable song for a girl, leave alone any child. “How old is she?”

    “Almost seven, but what can you do?” The ISB agent rolled his eyes. “It is night time on Coruscant and little Cassie has those nightmares. The sound of her father’s voice always works miracles on her.”

    Dravits Draven remained unnaturally still, not making one of his usual caustic remarks. His hands were creased in front of him, right there on the table surface. The most scary thing though was his glassy gaze. He looked like a man who just faced an apparition.

    “Don’t haul on the ropes,
    Don’t climb up the mast,
    If you see a sailing ship it might be your last.
    Get your Civvies aready for another run ashore,
    A sailor aint a sailor aint a sailor any more.”


    Old Jho, a benevolent Ithorian male, appeared behind the bar. He was the patron of the cantina since many years. Without a word he put metal boards and cake forks on their table. Then he vanished into the back of the building again.

    “Well the killy cover mess says we have it soft, it wasn’t like that in his day,
    When we were up aloft.
    We like our bunks and sleeping bags, what
    s a hammock for?
    Swinging from the deck head or lying on the floor.


    Don’t haul on the ropes,
    Don’t climb up the mast,
    If you see a sailing ship it might be your last.
    Get your Civvies aready for another run ashore,
    A sailor aint a sailor aint a sailor any more.”


    The usually breathy voice of Orson Krennic had something tender to it, while he sang to his daughter. His face was as peaceful as that of any father performing a lullaby.

    “Well they gave us an engine that first went up and down,
    Then with more technology the engine went around.
    We now steam and desil but what’s it mainly for?
    A stoker aint a stoker with a shovel any more.


    Don’t haul on the ropes,
    Don’t climb up the mast,
    If you see a sailing ship it might be your last.
    Get your Civvies aready for another run ashore,
    A sailor aint a sailor aint a sailor any more.”


    Crix Madine hit his smile behind his right hand. To see the director as a family man was something new and unexpected. But it seemed to be true. Perhaps Nagina’s good example had not been lost on him altogether.

    “Well they gave us a stumpiness so we could do it right,
    They gave us a radio we signal day and night.
    We know our code and cypher so what’s the semaphore?
    A bump n glass a dozen aint a toss any more.


    Don’t haul on the ropes,
    Don’t climb up the mast,
    If you see a sailing ship it might be your last.
    Get your Civvies aready for another run ashore,
    A sailor aint a sailor aint a sailor any more.”


    Orson Krennic paused and immediately there seemed to be protest on the other end of the line. With a loud sigh, he said, “I am only human.”

    For some heartbeats he listened, leaning his brow against the wall.

    “It was a long and hard day. But if you really insist...”

    Then he continued with the rest of the shanty.

    “Two cans of beer a day and that’s you’re bleeding lot.
    But now we have an extra one because we stopped the tot.
    So, we’ll put on our civvy clothes for another run ashore.
    A sailors just a sailor, just like he was before.


    Don’t haul on the ropes,
    Don’t climb up the mast,
    If you see a sailing ship it might be your last.
    Get your Civvies aready for another run ashore,
    A sailor aint a sailor aint a sailor any more.


    Don’t haul on the ropes,
    Don’t climb up the mast,
    If you see a sailing ship it might be your last.
    Get your Civvies aready for another run ashore.
    A sailor aint a sailor aint a sailor any more.”


    A brief conversation followed, exchanged in loving words that were not easily to be heard any more.

    Finally, the director walked back to the others, seeming somewhat exhausted, but strangely content at the same time. “Your service here is not required any longer.”

    Agent Kallus frowned angrily. “By all respect, sir, choose another babysitter!”

    “But she trusts you and we both know that the Coruscant nanny service does not work for her at all.” Orson Krennic took a deep breath and added, “Please!”

    “If you let me fly your ship, sir?”

    “Just go for the rescue, okay? Have my men pick me up in two hours. Gerrara’s cut-throats were seen in the neighbour system.”

    Wordlessly, Agent Kallus got up and left the premises.

    “A child changes everything, does it not?” Dravits Draven announced somewhat triumphantly.

    Orson Krennic held up a tired hand. “Not now. I am off to the loo. If you would excuse me.”

    ********************************************************************

    (To be continued!)


    Translation from the Chandrilan rural dialect into Basic:
    off one's face = drunk
    Pig’s arse! =
    I don't agree with you.
    kindie = kindergarten
    missus= girlfriend/ partner/ wife
    bastard = Often used as a term of endearment between friends.
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2019
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  2. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Undercurrents of past and current hostility blend with Orson's "secret". Interesting context for the song, as a "lullaby"
     
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  3. DarthUncle

    DarthUncle Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Mar 20, 2005
    In a way Orson singing is hilarious, but it is also chilling. A daughter huh, wouldn't have pictured him as a good father, and we know she'll have to miss him before she's say ten due to Rogue One going on, and after that she'll have the burden of knowing he's part of the death of Alderaan. But, somehow, I suspect she'll turn into a strong woman.

    Also interesting to see the link with your Celtic-Challenge post from a few weeks ago, which presumably happened only a few weeks before this one.
    Ina's still with them all, so the foster brothers manage to keep the peace, more or less, despite their intense dislike of Orson. But what happened to her?! Sigh, I can hear you say "Spoilers" AzureAngel2

    Oh, and hey, future Agent Kallus there?! Having just seen that 3rd, 4th episode of Rebels where they get back to Lothal, and we find it so chanced, spoiled, compared to how it was in the 1st season - chilling to have that all described here, before that 1st season had even started. And to think that of the four people in the story (well, maybe Old joe too, but he's probably already more or less passively rebelling) three will end up at the rebels, two probably already prepared to go there as we read the story, with just a last goodbye to their sister.
     
  4. AzureAngel2

    AzureAngel2 Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jun 14, 2005
    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha: Thanks for beta-editing AND giving a warm feedback as well. Posting this before the end of my Nagina story may be a slight mistake. But I could not help being sneaky.

    DarthUncle: I could say a lot now, but that would end in big spoilers. Let me tell you instead that the autumn colours look beautiful as I write this, gazing out of the bathroom window onto the former Siemens Railway track. The children are asleep together, because my colleague & I decided that earlier on. Both groups are not full yet and they need each other's company. 3 plus 4 makes 7.) The 2x2 newcomers are gone since lunch started.) Tell you more about it tonight. My ears are still ringing from the difficult time between 9 until 11 o'clock. Tonight I need to be in the sauna, nothing else.

    I will try to continue this fic here with an update.
     
  5. AzureAngel2

    AzureAngel2 Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jun 14, 2005
    I just decided to write this story on free style, otherwise I did not manage any updates this weekend apart from my fanart, WarmNyota_SweetAyesha & DarthUncle.

    Perhaps Kahara is in for some reading, too:


    ********************************************************************

    When it was safe to talk again, Crix Madine said in a low voice, “That was excellent news, was it not?”

    His foster brother shook his head. “I made inquiries. The girl is not his by blood. He adopted her. She is said to be the daughter of one of his former lovers.”

    “He does not take lovers as such. He has one-night-stands only. He hates commitment outside his work environment.”

    Dravits Draven gave the younger man an annoyed look.

    “Why should he take in the girl then?” wondered the commander.

    “There is another question killing me right now, Crix. Why would that particular girl ask for a shanty from Pendar III?”

    “Your home planet?” Crix Madine asked.

    “Never mind.” The speaker waved an impatient hand. “I will get to the bottom of this sooner or later.”

    Orson Krennic returned from the rest rooms. There was some water on his collar. His hair line was also slightly wet.

    “So you killed off the Ersos?” inquired Dravits Draven straight out.

    “It is no big secret that I would like to take the missus out. Her husband is better off without her.” The director stopped talking. “Why would it concern you?”

    “It does not. I am just grateful you could make it to Nagina’s anniversary.”

    The director blinked confused. “Of course. I happen to love her, too, you know.”

    “You must indeed.” The agent grinned. “You still talk about her in present tense.”

    “She is more than a grammatical matter to me.” Annoyance crept over Orson Krennic’s face. “Her kindness even touched an old bastard like you, Drav.”

    Crix Madine quickly raised his glass. “To Nagina then. Dearly missed by all of us.”

    While the director looked uncomfortable and somewhat stricken, Dravits Draven had a full killer smile on his face.

    ********************************************************************

    They finished the first bottle of wine in silence, each of the three Imperial officers following his own hyperspace route of thoughts. But then Orson Krennic uncorked the second bottle, stating in a crisp voice, “I would like to dedicate this one to dear old Belch.”

    That nickname struck a cord within the two foster brothers. While Dravits Draven bolted from his seat, Crix Madine frowned.

    “May Teller rest in peace!” spoke the director in unhidden satisfaction.

    “Berch is not dead!” shouted the ISB agent in defiance.

    Orson Krennic smiled very much like a Loth-Cat after having licked a great deal of whipped cream. “Missing on Tarkin’s home planet is as good as a death certificate signed by a coroner.”

    “Drav, what is the matter with Berch?” asked Crix Madine with a pale, worried face.

    “Shall I tell our young friend here?” the director wondered with false curiosity. “Or do you want to have the honour yourself?”

    Dravits Draven heaved a smile that seemed to have at least five-hundred tons duracrete. “The news just made it through the secret channels this morning. After committing havoc with Tarkin’s personal ship...”

    “Berch wouldn’t,” argued Crix Madine, even though he knew better. His foster brother’s thoughts could be as wild and twisted as his dark corkscrew curls.

    The dry laughter of Orson Krennic sounded like a gust of Tatooine wind. “But he did. He took the famous 'Carrion Spike' and made our dear Wilhuff look like a complete fool. Such actions always come with a price.”

    The ginger-headed Corellian gazed the director straight in the eyes. “Nagina’s murder was never caught.”

    A muscle twitched in Orson Krennic’s face. His eyes though gave nothing away. “You might remember the uproar on Coruscant the day she died. General Gentis almost killed the Emperor and Vader.”

    “The timing of our sister’s murder could not have been any better,” answered Dravits Draven calmly. “Only those closest to Palpatine were informed about the coup. The public never heard a true word about it. It could as well be some urban Coruscant legend. Which leads me to believe that some very influential men are responsible for what happened to Nagina in those critical hours when the Emperor was believed to be dead.”

    “You better let the entire matter rest, both of you.” There was no mockery in the director’s words now, but a great sadness. Too huge to be concealed under his usual mask of charm. “Investigating it almost got me killed as well. Even Boba Fett failed.”

    “Did I?” asked a voice from behind the bar.

    The men jerked their head around.

    ********************************************************************

    A lone figure stood behind the bar. In his full Mandalorian regalia the infamous bounty hunter had entered the building, obviously let in by Old Jho through the back entrance for personal.

    “Long time no see!” jeered the director.

    Without any haste Boba Fett put all his weapons on the counter.

    In no time there was a large pile of armoury. Including a battered helmet. A young and hostile face gazed at the three men.

    [​IMG]


    “Did I mention yet that this is a private party?” stressed Orson Krennic.

    “Wayii!” the bounty hunter replied. “Good grief! It is a memorial service for the woman who battle-adopted me after Geonosis fell.”

    “Blood is thicker than water, right?” Orson Krennic cajoled.

    “I am actually more interested in wine. There is this bottle of Naboo blossom wine in front of you. And I can see one wine glass that is unfilled yet. Since Agent Kallus won’t come back, I claim it. Draven, would you be so kind?”

    The blond giant pulled some wine into the requested glass.

    ********************************************************************

    (To be continued!)
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2018
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  6. DarthUncle

    DarthUncle Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Mar 20, 2005
    ooh, that is a nice way to continue this - I thought you ended it, but indeed Boba should be part of it. And to see Orson emotional, quite shocking :)
     
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  7. AzureAngel2

    AzureAngel2 Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jun 14, 2005
    There was a glass unused by Agent Kallus and while you tried to check me out of the flat like an airline stewardess, I had to write some silly lines about it. Live! From keyboard straight into the thread.
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2018
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  8. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    AzureAngel2 - fascinating details and clues about Nagina's fate. =D= And Boba shows up. [face_thinking] More snark to come.
     
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  9. AzureAngel2

    AzureAngel2 Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jun 14, 2005
    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha: Thanks for making the snark and everything else work! And even taking short notice beta missions from me. @};-
     
  10. DarthUncle

    DarthUncle Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Mar 20, 2005
    So, uh, I wonder, after having read your immediate reactions to Nagina's killing, you write here:
    So, when can we expect that? Will you have time to write during your holidays, and then update when you get back, or what is a avid reader to do? [face_waiting][face_mischief]
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2018
  11. AzureAngel2

    AzureAngel2 Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jun 14, 2005
    @DarthUncle: Let me see, I did two long ski tours (1x14km, 1x8km) and took the bus back each time.

    Then I did a hiking tour of 1x15km with my mom and her friend.

    I read 1,5 books in so far and yesterday I uploaded my e-reader.

    I met 3 dear friends of mine. One came to my mom´s house before we left for the mountains. One did visit me with her mom in the mountains and the third one invited me to dinner in her place last night.

    I did 8 oil crayon paintings, 2 aquarel paintings & 2 acrylic paintings.

    Each evening in the ski club hut I played games with my mom and her friend (= Triominos, Phase 10, Scrabble, Rummy Cup, dice games and some other card games).

    The only thing that I wrote were 12 post cards and 5 letters. So I am afraid, husband, you need to wait for my muse has been deadly silent the past week. When it comes to writing at least.
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2018
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  12. DarthUncle

    DarthUncle Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Mar 20, 2005
    Well at least you had fun,i gather. Could be worse!
     
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  13. AzureAngel2

    AzureAngel2 Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jun 14, 2005
    @DarthUncle: I did not write a single fanfic. But well, I fully enjoyed myself! [face_love]
     
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  14. AzureAngel2

    AzureAngel2 Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jun 14, 2005
    And finally, I round up my fan fic in here , @Kahara, @DarthUncle, @WarmNyota_SweetAyesha, @Darth Gangrenous & @Cowgirl Jedi 1701. Perhaps @earlybird-obi-wan would like to read the end of it:


    ********************************************************************

    Boba Fett remained silent for the rest of the evening, but he gazed at Orson Krennic occasionally. It was the superior look of a predator that knew his prey was not able to escape any more.

    When Dravits Draven and Crix Madine visited the gents together, he reached into the depths of his Mandalorian armour.

    With no great haste he took out a holo device. A landscape appeared, showing a city surrounded by water. Massive, winged cetaceans, known as aiwhas, flew in the skies. Now and then they disappeared into the oceans.

    “What’s this about?” probed the director. “Are you homesick for Tipoca City? Why bother me about it?”

    “I am not a wermo,” the young man stated icily. “And I am still well connected. Besides, I have the money to pay for the questions that I ask. And my reputation helps me to stay alive after I asked them.”

    The director paled, lost for words.

    “Do not worry!” Boba Fett winked at the other human. “I do not intend to leak my knowledge to the Anil clan or anybody else. And certainly not to the Emperor, from whom you stole his most precious possession. Who would have thought that you have the qualities a master thief.”

    A shadow passed Orson Krennic’s face, giving it a demonic quality. “What do you want instead?”

    “Your little secret will grow and then there will be a lot of questions. Just do me the favour of keeping her hidden and out of sight at any time!”

    Before the director could answer, his old enemies returned. He checked his crono, hoping that Agent Kallus had reached Coruscant by now.

    The ST 149 had been altered to be quicker and more efficient than other Delta-class T-3c shuttles. He held no sentimentality for the craft, just had chosen it for the hotted-up engines and its unusual geometry.

    Boba Fett raised a hand and called out the name of the bar owner. “Hey, Jho, might you get us the two bottles of 'Port in a Storm' that I have dropped earlier on?”

    “Of course, sir!” replied Old Jho very politely.

    The three other men gave him a surprised look. That fortified, high-octane wine from Pamarthe was very expensive.

    “Prince Xizor insisted that I took those bottles with me after our last business meeting was over. He gives his greetings to Nagina’s foster family, Krennic here included.”

    The latter swallowed nervously.

    “A Mandalorian toast to Nagina, okay?” The bounty hunter rose, placing his right fist above his heart.

    “Ni su'cuyi, gar kyr'adyc, ni partayli, gar darasuum. Nagina Cassandra Mandré Palpatine,” Boba Fett said, his eyes half shut and his voice firm. I'm still alive, but you are dead. I remember you, so you are eternal. Nagina Cassandra Mandré Palpatine.

    A harrumph sounded through the room. It was Dravits Draven. “Her last name is Samye. Not Palpatine.”

    “Actually, the last person she was married to is Lor San Tekka,” the director gave to consider.

    Crix Madine gave a startled expression. “This is classified and should remain a secret. For Lore’s sake.”

    “Of course,” answered Orson Krennic dryly. “We do not want to endanger the old book worm, do we?”

    “Oh, do not concern yourself about San Tekka,” the bounty hunter gave to consider. “He loves to smile in the face of danger. But right now he is tucked up somewhere safe.”

    *******************************************************************

    To visit Maz Kanata in her drinking hole, an ancient castle on the planet Takodana, was always a special treat. The famous pirate queen allowed travelling smugglers, adventurers and artists to reside in her home as long as they kept to her rules. To discuss politics and war around her was prohibited. A mantra was written in about a thousand languages above her bar: “All are welcome. (No fighting.)”

    Smiling, Lor San Tekka put his worn backpack down.

    “Ah darling!”

    His hostess had either the eyes of a bird of prey or she had felt him in the Force. Like a whirlwind she zoomed towards him.

    Maz Kanata was no Jedi knight and certainly not a Sith lady. But she was highly Force-sensitive. Yet that was not the reason why they had bonded so easily about a standard year ago. They both were historians of kind. The kind who visited ancient sites instead of reading about them in books and script rolls.

    The Jedah born human quickly took out a necklace that he had found on Ossus.

    “Oh, Lor,” the small orange-skinned alien laughed. “You shouldn’t have. Board and loge are always free for you.”

    “A friend should never come with empty hands,” he countered.

    “Instead of a present I prefer to see my friends alive and well.”

    Maz Kanata, over 900 years old, Lor San Tekka to a table that was far away from the centre of lively cantina action, but a good observation point.

    “This place is thriving, Maz,” he praised her.

    “It is but a small haven for free people,” she shrugged. “But now let us drink to your wife. It is the anniversary of her death today, isn’t it?”

    One of the waiters brought a bottle of Lothalian currant wine. The bubbly liquor was so dark that its purple shade looked almost black.

    His wife had always loved purple. But she also had looked great in other extreme winter colours. Ocean blue. Smaragd. Fuchsia. Turquoise.

    Thinking of Nagina made Lor San Tekka smiley. “I am glad that she is one with the Force.” He lowered his voice. “It would disturb her immensely to see what has become of Lothal, Naboo and Jedha.”

    His hostess gave him a stern look, which the laugh lines around her eyes smoothed out immediately. “Don’t get political now. This is about your wife and not about her uncle.”

    “You are right.”

    Maz Kanata pulled them both a glass. “To Nagina. A wonderful being that became one with the Force long before us. May we be worthy to follow her one fine day!”

    *******************************************************************

    Before entering the private apartment of his ally and close friend, Agent Alexandr Kallus took off his helmet. Not that Cassandra Morrígain Krennic was a little girl that was easy to scare, but it was a matter of politeness.

    He was just about to enter the access code when the door was opened by a tall robot. It was Mary the MV Nanny droid of the Krennic household.

    “Uncle Alexandr!” squeaked a small voice from somewhere in the flat.

    “You are not to open the door!” he reprimanded the five-year-old while he strode towards her bedroom.

    “Mary opened, not I,” protested the invalid girl, who was lying in her bed. “You can adjust her programming straight away. But remember that Daddy told her to fulfil every wish of mine. Might get tricky in the future. Just that you know.”

    There was no way to stay cross with Cassandra for long. Her huge, innocent eyes made that impossible. Eyes that reminded him so much of Nagina, the source of the girl's DNA. The girl was a clone copy, created by no other than Emperor Palpatine.

    Using some mad, but genius plan Commander Krennic had kidnapped this clone from Scarif. Saw Gerrera had been framed for the explosion which had destroyed the top of the Imperial Citadel Tower. His Majesty had believed the clone chamber and its inhabitant to be destroyed.

    But Agent Kallus had found some inconsistencies and had investigated secretly. His efforts had been worthwhile. He had found something valuable in a militarised galaxy. A piece of happiness.

    Cassandra, lovingly called 'Cassie' by her adoptive father, turned towards her night stand. Two mugs with hot chocolate and a board filled with Wookie cookies stood there, waiting to be used.

    “How did you know I was coming?” the ISB agent wondered, sat down and, by doing so, picked up Hardy. The shabby looking toy dog had been fixed so many countless times that he looked like a science experiment that had gone utterly wrong.

    [​IMG]

    “Daddy always sends you when he is busy. Right now he is on Lothal.”

    He could not help to think that the girl was Force-sensitive. Not for the first time.

    “Did you bring me something apart from Daddy’s love?” Cassandra asked.

    He reached out into a hidden pocket underneath his armour. “These are grass seeds from Lothal.”

    Her bright smile was pure gratification. “Thank you, Uncle Alex.”

    Each time he was with his godchild, he remembered why he was serving the Empire. To save its citizens from Saw Gerrera and other rebellious scum. The Clone Wars had proven that a galaxy, ruled by a senate was not effective. That freedom of mind and speech brought only separatist ideas with them.
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2019
  15. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Wonderful conversations with Lor and Maz. Cassandra is a darling. :)
     
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  16. DarthUncle

    DarthUncle Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Mar 20, 2005
    Little Cassandra is a treasure, and a very lively spirit. Hmm, and Boba figured out where Krennic got his daughter then, glad she's got someone else to watch over her, especially after the Rogue One events.

    By the way, I like this young Kallus, though we know that for a time, he turns harsh, maybe he loses touch with Cassandra, because I can't imagine she'd allow him to become like that!

    And Lor and Maz really seem like natural friends to me, both apt to be a bit mysterious, and tending to save the world, but not in grand overt ways. But when did she meet Nagina? Does sheev know about her too? [face_worried]


    edit: just recalled, I think Maz met Nagina in the toilet of Dexter's Diner on Corsucant, somewhere in the early chapters of Nagina's story (just after/before her speederbike ride with Sheev), right? Hm, and I don't think Sheev would go into the ladies...
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2018
  17. AzureAngel2

    AzureAngel2 Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jun 14, 2005
    Your insight serves you well, Luke erm husband, @DarthUncle ! [face_blush]

    Actually all this happens in Chapter 5:

    ... The waitress bustles back, picking up empties and replacing them with clean glasses. When she turns up at our table, I use her appearance as an excuse to take another pee.

    *******************************************************************

    The woman who stares at me through the looking glass is a stranger. Her eyes are wide with sorrow, her features are somewhat worn out due to fatigue.

    How I possibly want to appear at work tomorrow morning I do not know. But there is no trying. Not at least in my life.

    I take out a moist towelette and wipe over my face. “Pull your act together, Nagina!”

    As I step backwards, one of the toilet booths opens.

    A relatively small alien walks out. It looks somewhat like a Goolam, but the skin is orange instead of midnight blue. A pair of huge goggles make the eyes appear like dishes. In contrast to the simple clothing is an impressive collection of rings and bracelets.

    [​IMG]

    Shyly, I smile at the female.

    “Are you also bar hopping tonight, my dear?” she asks cheerfully.

    I shake my head. “Just saying good-bye to somebody I hold dear.”

    “Me, too.” She moves closer to me. “For my Wookie friends I left my watering hole on Takodana. They are such darlings. A pity that Chewie and his pals are off to their home world soon. General Tarfful needs them back.”

    Of course I have heard of the impressive warrior Chewbacca. Together with the Jedi Padawan Ahsoka Tano and two younglings, Jinx and O-Mer, he had fallen victim to one of my uncle's sinister schemes. Fortunately, it did not turn out the way it should have. “This war demands too much from all of us,” I consider.

    “You are too young to be so sad,” announces the alien woman, her eyes scanning me more intently. “Who ever he is to you, let him go. He does not make you happy. Perhaps he did once, but not any more. The past is the past. Leave it behind.”

    *******************************************************************

    ...


    And later on, during Nagina´s quarrel with Sheev dear Maz is in the background:

    I stare back at him, wide-eyed. His eyes are yellow and blood-shoot. This is really happening in public.

    “I did not have the favour of child protection like you did. The minute we arrived in the ER you got all the help you needed. Your own social worker, an army of therapists, basically all the goodies Theed had to offer.”

    Tears flow over my cheeks like rivers. “Are you implying that you are jealous of me? Because you took the blame? And only made me the victim? Denying yourself the same attention and also the humiliation to be Cosinga's punch ball?”

    Surprise is in his eyes who change into blue twin lakes again.

    “I am going home now, Sheev.” My stomach churns for a moment, then settles again. I have to play it cool and aloof. As loud as I can I say, “Do not, I repeat, do not follow me!”

    With that I get up and rush out of the diner.

    Somewhere in the back of the diner I hear someone cheer and clap enthusiastically.

    “Well done! Show him!”

    A chorus of Wookies agrees.

    @WarmNyota_SweetAyesha: Thanks for the quick PM response and speed beta-editing! I had hoped to do some Yoga today, but after yesterday I am still to worn out and I have a tough working-day behind me. (With eve more colleagues missing.)

    And were do I end up? On-line, gah!
     
  18. DarthUncle

    DarthUncle Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Mar 20, 2005
    Thanks for the reminder, good read @AzureAngel2

    Aw, only now did the fanart of Kallus with 'shabby toy dog' load fully for me. It fits him!
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2018
  19. AzureAngel2

    AzureAngel2 Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jun 14, 2005
    I might do more Kallus fanart next weekend, @DarthUncle.
     
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  20. AzureAngel2

    AzureAngel2 Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jun 14, 2005
    Well, I had to re-write the last scene. The one when Alex enters the Krennic flat. Because Cassandra is still not able to walk around the 5th death anniversary of Nagina.

    Having recently read a long article about time in the SW universe and the Coruscant calender, I was able to determine Nagina´s death day. It´s actually the 28th day of 9th month in 19 BBY. I had to check her entire story for that, making notes in an extra book.

    This is why I can tell you now that 3 days later, on the 1st day of the Festival of Stars, Palpatine creates Nagina´s clone copy and places her soul in it, which was frozen in time & space by a certain Sith brooch.

    That means my actual Cassie story starts exactly 5 years later on the morning of her unofficial 5th birthday, that she has no clue about. This is why I am starting with a row of "nightmares" that are a mix of Force visions of the far way future (34 ABY) and memories of the original Nagina.
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2019
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  21. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Great final scene, with the adjusted timeline. =D=
     
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  22. Kahara

    Kahara Force Ghost star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 3, 2001
    Oh timeline woes, the bane of a writer's existence (well, one of them). I hadn't even noticed there was a discrepancy there -- but if it gets us this nice vignette then I'm glad that you did. Liked Cassie's bit of mischief about Mary; she's always less cautious than her anxious guardians and she knows that very well. ;) I was amused by Kallus finding the anti-Separatist angle on a whole situation that actually doesn't make the Empire look that great if you think about it. But it's so consistent with his personality and way of seeing things, and as always you have a knack for showing us characters that are in that grey area between being a reliable narrator and not. Grass seeds from Lothal are an interesting gift, sounds like time for a gardening project. :)
     
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  23. earlybird-obi-wan

    earlybird-obi-wan Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Aug 21, 2006
    Timelines are often messed up even by the pro-writers. I like your vignete
     
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  24. DarthUncle

    DarthUncle Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Mar 20, 2005
    Those timelines, it can become a frightfull tangle - but, I am glad you managed to untie the knots and have found time and energy to lay it out for yourself - I have witnessed you struggling to perfect the timeline in the Isabeau, Sionnach,Grianan, Lucien saga as well as when weaving Nagina's life through the events of the Legends and new canon while it was springing into existance, not an easy task at any time, so I hope this will easy your burden.

    And jay, it got us a nice, interesting vignette too.
    Reread most of the original here too.
    Jay, being spoiled after the fact feels quite good :)

    LOL, still great bit of banter between foster brothers.
    Yeah, so he knows some, but not the full story there, I think.
    Well, by now I have realised Cassie is growing up in quite a different context to Nagina, and without all of what she knows too, so I am no longer all that sure that she won't see the "it is for the empire" thing as valid. She might even feel betrayed by his turn to love and cameraderie in the Rebellion, even though that is consistent with how she showed him life can be, and the empire isn't. Nice to have a re-read here and ponder my own thoughts again, thanks for luring me here ^^
    Again, very well said. Also, it's consistent with Kallus' journey through SW:Rebels, well done by @AzureAngel2, a nice example of fanfiction/using a canon character in your own story done well.
     
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  25. AzureAngel2

    AzureAngel2 Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jun 14, 2005
    @WarmNyota_SweetAyesha: I now own a little booklet with the important fact & dates of my Nagina plus Cassie story.


    @Kahara: Then I must be a good writer if mistakes are not in the spotlight immediately. :D And yes, Cassie is careless, but not in the same way as the original Nagina. As for Kallus, he is a cutie for me with a dangerous attitude and even more dangerous skills. And yes, those grass seeds from Lothal get mentioned in the first chapter of the Cassie story. O:)


    @earlybird-obi-wan: Thanks, dear bird. This coming from you is always a special treat.


    @DarthUncle: Straight to the core of my fic again, with a kyber crystal sharp gaze. This is what I love about you husband. The level you dive into my stories & the stern manner in which you help to get rid of story parts that do not really fit nicely. Although your feedback is sometimes heart-crushing you lead me straight to a good text. :*