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Three hundred forty four entries now, huh?

Here's a couple bits of spur-of-the-moment commentfic I wrote days or weeks ago which I'll copypaste here.  First involving Grodin Tierce.

For a long time he floated through darkness, half asleep. Sometimes he'd open his eyes and see light, blurred and distant. Once he reached out to try and touch it, but his outstretched fingers hit something smooth and curved, and he knew that he was in a tube.

It bothered him sometimes. He knew, he knew he wasn't supposed to be here. He was pretty sure that this was a bacta tank. It had to be. He wasn't at all sure how he'd been hurt enough to need a long bacta dip, and he vaguely remembered that last time he'd been in a tank he'd had a mask on his face and was breathing air, instead of having his lungs filled with fluid, but it had to be bacta. Even if it didn't taste like it, even if it wasn't yellow or pink, it was the only thing he would accept.

But it was hard to worry. He was tired. He was so tired, and the thing coiled inside him, the thing saying Wasting time. Shouldn’t be here came and went, but was never louder than a whisper, never more powerful than the need to close his eyes again and go back to sleep.

And then one day he woke up completely as the bacta he was floating in started to drain through slots in the floor of the tube, pulling him down with it. He tried to stand when it got low enough for his feet to touch the floor, but as the bacta drained lower he fell to his knees, and then to his hands. The viscous fluid poured off of him, and as it dripped he coughed everything out of his lungs.

Then his body wanted him to vomit, but nothing came up but more of the fluid. He felt better after, though. Stronger. His throat was raw and each breath of air stung, and there was still residue in his nose and ears, but he could stand, and he did, and since the tube had swung open he walked out, still feeling like he was bobbing gently up and down.

Outside of the tube it seemed bitterly cold, and he felt his skin rise up into bumps as he shivered. A 2-1B droid stuck a hypo into his upper arm, injecting him and withdrawing as he flinched, then gave him a towel to wrap around himself.

He saw then that he was on a catwalk of sorts, in a vast, cavernous room. Below him on either side there were dozens of other tubes and med droids, and dozens of men doing what he'd just done, most of them clutching towels to themselves and staring around in confusion. There was something wrong about them, though. He couldn't quite -

Same face, the thing inside whispered, no stronger than it had been in the tank. Out here, with so much to engage his senses, it was hard to hear. Same face, same hair. Spaarti cylinders. Clones.

He was adjusting to the room's temperature, but that thought made him chill all over again.

Somehow he staggered to the other end of the catwalk, and went down the stairs he found there. There was a room, and a sort of robe that he pulled on over his body. There was someone else in the room there too, one of the men he’d seen with that same face, that same bedraggled wet look, and that same confused, lost expression. The man jerked in surprise when he did, and it was a moment before he realized he was looking at a mirror.

It’s all wrong, the thing whispered as he stared into his face, less certain than it had been in the tank. Shouldn’t be here. Wasting time. Uniform – ship – have to crush the Rebels, have to get ready.

Maybe – he’d been above all of them, not in a crowd. Yes. That meant something, right? Had to mean something. He still might – yes, it still could have been a bacta tank, and the clones had matured while he was healing. Yes. Despite the holes in that idea, he clung to it. He was real. He had to be real.

Some time passed, long enough for him to shake off any lingering weakness, let the fluid drain out of his ears, examine the room, and consciously realize that while he felt strong, he also felt strangely distant, and he was thinking too slowly. It would wear off, he hoped.

Eventually a familiar voice rang out over the bulky comlink set into the wall, formally requesting a status report. He responded automatically, saying that he was in a poor state but willing. His voice was hoarse and rusty, and he stumbled over some of the syllables, and only after he’d closed his mouth did he realize he hadn’t been speaking Basic. Some other language, with a name he couldn’t quite remember.

“Good,” the voice told him, this time in Basic. The satisfaction in it set a kind of happy pain in his chest, made him stand taller. “What is your name, position, and designation?”

"I'm... I'm..." He hesitated. The thing coiled inside him started to hiss mitth – mitth-, but it was fainter than ever before and he knew it wasn't right. And he had to be right. He couldn’t disappoint the voice. "I'm... Tierce. I'm - my name is Grodin Tierce. Emperor's Royal Guard. TR-87936."

No, the thing said, almost too quiet to understand. No! No, no, NO!

The voice cut over the thing inside him. “Good. Now you must rest. When you have recovered fully, we will need to test you. Sleep now.”

“Yes, sir,” he told it, though he sensed that it wasn’t listening now. He laid down on the room’s cot and closed his eyes. Somewhere inside of him that thing was still speaking, but he couldn’t understand it now.

The thing inside him was false, no more sure than he was. It sounded like the voice on the speaker, yes, but the real voice was strong and certain and knew what he had to do. He was meant to follow it, and on that thought, sleep fell gently across him and dragged him into vague, uneasy dreams.

And one with Tycho Celchu.

Tycho closed his eyes, trying to concentrate on how long Wes seemed to be taking to get to the point. Still nothing but weariness. He wasn't surprised. If Alderaan couldn't make him feel anything more than the pain and guilt and determination that had always been under the rage, the chances of him being angered by an old wingmate taking his time to say something were pretty slim.

Finally, since Wes was so obviously waiting for an answer, he said, "Ram your fighter into a Star Destroyer's bridge and hope your death holo looks good?"

He'd expected Wes to reply with that same flippant attitude Tycho had been seeing from him since he got back, but he'd been wrong. "What? Tych, c'mon, offending Elscol and Plourr is one thing, but you've never talked like that about suicide before."

If he'd been in a better state of mind, Tycho would have said that it was a joke, that a man's standards of decency changed after Isard got hold of him. Instead he leaned back and laid his forearm across his eyes, hoping Wes would get the message soon.

"Seriously, Tycho. And I don't do seriously much anymore." Vain hope. Tycho took his arm away, and yes, Wes actually was looking serious, even worried. "Are you okay?"

I woke up one day and found that I can't feel anger anymore, Tycho wanted to say. Of course I'm not okay. Instead he said, "Fine. I'm just tired. Ackbar's people had me elaborating on the briefing I gave. We were there all night long."

"Oh, well, that's just sleep," Wes said, his cheer restored. "What was I saying - oh, yes. Life's short. Too short to be bored or unhappy. Let's make it exciting!"

Some day one or both might become the core of its own bigger fic.  But not now.

Symphony of Science.



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November 2014


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