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Redeeming Ciji - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
Redeeming Ciji
Oo, Hayden Christensen on the Tonight Show tomorrow. Yummy. I may actually watch an interview, because I am a dirty old woman. ;)

Anyway, I feel like writing something. I'm Potter-versed out for the moment--I have several things in progress and can't get anywhere--so I'm going to revert to my home fandom and write some Star Wars. I forget where it came from, but a week or so ago, someone mentioned rescuing the worst fanfic you ever wrote, an early effort or something. You were supposed to show the original, but I can't keep that rule, as the original was in spiral notebooks that have long since been lost. You can see pictures of it here as well as the only known surviving bit of text. But let me try to redeem Ciji Skywalker, Luke's way-tortured teenaged daughter, twenty years after RotJ. I'm going to role-play her when I visit my friends, so it's probably time to reacquaint myself anyway.

Start 12:14 am

Ciji Skywalker eased the needle-nosed X-6 into the atmosphere, pulling in the wings to make the craft as sharp and narrow as it could be to avoid the burn. Uncle Han had told her no less than three hundred times that she was going to end up nose-diving if she entered atmospheres that way, but she hadn't done so yet, and the less she had to look at flames licking around her shields, the better she felt about flying.

Which wasn't saying much. She hated flying.

Grandfather was horrified by this. He didn't mind that she had no interest whatsoever in Dad's frequent exhortations to be trained as a Jedi ("Or at least to learn not to make the lights flicker when you're angry!"), but that she had no interest in flying or mechanics made his translucent form go pale and his eyes widen in disbelief. She liked to tweak him with this whenever she could, and suspected that he exaggerated his reaction for her benefit. It was almost a ritual part of their conversations, and had been since she'd first pulled a speeder to a halt, gotten out of it, and informed Uncle Han that she had no intention of pursuing that family hobby, either.

She broke into the clear of the atmosphere--at least as clear as Coruscant ever got--and extended the wings again, catching the upper winds and letting the craft be tossed gently forward like a stone skipping across a brook, losing momentum until it sank into the cloud cover and emerged into the traffic lanes below. She steered it easily enough--hating it didn't mean she was incompetent, after all--and finally dragged it to nearly a stop in the clogged lanes as she approached the Ashes.

The region had many names--burned over, the ruins, the ghost town, the graveyard, Dead Man's Drag. Some even still called it the Temple District. After the initial destruction of the Jedi, the Empire had delighted in destroying more and more of the complex every year, and the ashes from the burning, which even now blew about in a kind of perpetual snowstorm, had given the region its most common name. Only a few spires and a shattered conference room had been left when Dad had settled on the brilliant idea of rebuilding it, taking time with each of his students to come here and fix something--once a year, just like the Empire had done.

Except that building took a lot longer than destroying, and no matter how many padawans he had, and how many they took when they finished their abbreviated training, it wasn't going to come back any time that any of them could see it.

At least not if they kept insisting on doing everything more or less by hand.

She set the ionization on her shields to scatter the flying ash, and piloted the X-6 into the quickly constructed hangar. A padawan she didn't know--a young Ampinuan girl, she thought, a padawan of a padawan's padawan, probably--was directing traffic, and greeted her with a friendly sort of smile. "Mistress Ciji," she said, bowing her head slightly. "I am Tajiu, padawan to Master Volgat. Your father is expecting you. He was waiting here, but--"

Ciji nodded. "I was late, and there are things to be done. I know. Where is he?"

"The Council Room. He and Master Volgat are repairing the ceiling."

"About time. It was breezy in there." Ciji smiled. "How new are you?"

Tajiu smiled proudly. "I was found three standard weeks ago on Ampinua, and was honored to take on training." She frowned, seemed to consider adding something, and then didn't.

Ciji made her way through the ruins of the Temple complex, passing the adolescent padawans, the young adults who had been thrust into mastership nearly as soon as their own training had been completed, a few members of the small group of men and women in their thirties, the first ones Dad had trained. She reached the lift tube that led to the Council Room and stepped onto one of the temporary floater pads that were scattered at the bottom until the actual lift could be replaced. She let it carry her to the top of the spire.

Volgat, Dad's third padawan, hovered just above the broken door, his leathery wings making a pleasant whirring sound as he worked a design into the metal connecting the new plasteel ceiling to the room. He waved to Ciji--it had been Volgat, then just a fresh recruit, who had been staying behind with Mama when Ciji was born (Ciji had, for the only time in her life, been early, and Dad had been called away to La'azum). She waved back, then scanned the room.

Dad was at the far end, levitating a large sheet of plasteel while his first padawan, Dritali Neral, attached the rivets to the base of it.

"Ciji," he said. "You're--"

"I know, late."

"I was going to say, just in time to lend a hand. Zemai got a call from Kamino to oversee some negotiations, so we're a little short." He smiled. "Come on. I'm short a hand as it is."

"All right," Ciji said. "But no parlor tricks."

"I don't want to hear about you doing any 'parlor tricks' unless you get a little more training. I don't like how much you can do without discipline now."

"Grandfather explained that to me. In graphic detail." Ciji shrugged. "So I'm not doing stuff."

Dad gave her a suspicious look, but didn't press it. They hardly spent any time together, and neither one of them wanted to spend it arguing about Ciji's refusal to join the family business. They knew one another's positions.

Ciji took the other side of the large pane from where Dritali was working, and among the three of them, they got it secured. For the first time in three decades, the Council Chamber wasn't open to the elements, exept for a tiny hole at the top where the panes met. Volgat flew up there and set a centerpiece. The four of them stood there (well, the three humans stood; Volgat hovered) for a moment, looking around, then Dritali took a deep breath. "Wow," she said. "The Council Chamber."

Volgat nodded. "Is an historical moment," he said, his Toydarian accent strongly overpowering his Standard after a day of tiring work. "Very great." He fluttered to the lift door and looked back. "Mistress Neral?"

Dritali nodded. "Is that all you need for now, Luke?"

"We can get the details finished tomorrow," Dad said, waving her on. "For now, I think I'll spend some time with my daughter, if that's all right."

Dritali attempted to look knowledgeable on this subject, then nodded and left, following Volgat down the lift tube.

Dad crossed his arms and went to the new window. "I've been speaking to your grandfather," he said. "Not here, of course, but he'll sometimes come as far in as the hangar."

Ciji's heart sank. "What did he say?"

"He said you've been having trouble in school."

"He's been trying to talk me into skipping class to race hoppers," Ciji tried. "I... well, I might have thought about it a little bit..."

Dad turned around, his eyebrows raised. "I'm going to have a long talk with Father about that," he said. "But that's not what he came to me about. He said you've been getting into fights."

"Oh, he knows that's not my fault! Everybody tries to pick fights with me because--"

"Because they think they'll get respect for winning a fight witha Jedi Master's daughter. I heard that part, too. I also heard that you don't do a thing to avoid it, and that your friend Danaë had to turn you in to the headmistress to keep you from getting into a street brawl last week."

Ciji was silent.

Dad sighed. "Are you all right, Ceej? Father's worried, and when he worries..."

"When he worries, humans breathe oxygen," Ciji said. "Come on, Dad. I love Grandfather, but he worries a lot."

"I don't want you fighting. Not if it can be avoided at all."

"I know."

"So please, just... just walk away, okay?"

Ciji shrugged. "How's everyone?"


"You know, the padawans and everyone. And you. How are you?"

"Fine. Are we clear on the fighting business?"

"No fighting. Clear. Can we talk about other stuff now? I haven't seen you in four months. Isn't anything going on?"

"Well, er... you can see the work, and--"

Something beeped loudly, and Dad let out an impatient burst of air, then took a deep breath to center himself. He picked up his commlink. "Skywalker," he said.

"Master Skywalker?" a female voice said. "It's Zemai Laryhi, on Kamino. The, er... I'm sorry, but the Kaminoans won't deal with me. They want the head of the Order."

"Did you confirm... what we were discussing?"

"Oh, yeah. They're up to their long necks in it."

Dad nodded and looked across at Ciji apologetically.

Ciji rolled her eyes and waved it off. "Go on," she said. "Kamino, clone factories, negotiations. I get it."

"I'll be there," Dad said into the commlink, and the communication was cut. He touched Ciji's shoulder. "I really am sorry. We need to sit down and talk sometime."


"You're sure you're all right?"

"I'm fine. And Grandfather can keep visiting me. Even if he is reporting back to you."

"And no fighting?"

"No fighting."

Dad went to the lift tube and pulled a floater pad over to himself. "I don't mean to leave you alone..."

"I'm not alone. Well, hardly ever."

"I am sorry."

He left, leaving Ciji alone in the Council Chamber. She went to the new window (a manufactor's mark was still in the corner) and looked out over the city, a slow, steady pounding in her head. She wished that Grandfather would appear--he was her best company--but she knew that he would never, ever enter the Council Chamber again. The lights flickered, but she didn't notice. Far below, she saw Dad's X-Wing leave the hangar, and she watched it clear the ash storm and dart up into the sky, a tiny flash of fire marking its passage through the lower atmosphere.

The afterimage burned against her eyes for a long time.
14 comments or Leave a comment
rabidfangurl From: rabidfangurl Date: May 6th, 2005 06:20 am (UTC) (Link)
I am so very glad I am not the only one who wrote Star Wars Mary Sues in her misspent youth...
(Deleted comment)
rabidfangurl From: rabidfangurl Date: May 6th, 2005 06:28 am (UTC) (Link)
Ah. Mine merely wound up being dead!Anakin's Padawan, which of course drove poor Luke insane when he found out. ::pets EU Luke, who needs to lighten up::
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: May 6th, 2005 06:35 am (UTC) (Link)
*chants*There is no EU Luke...*chants*


At one point early on, I had Anakin and Vader have separate ghosts (Vader's ghost, of course, glowed red).
rabidfangurl From: rabidfangurl Date: May 6th, 2005 03:57 pm (UTC) (Link)
Interesting concept, and yet, I fear.

::does not get into her pages long psychological evaluation of Anakin/Vader::
lazypadawan From: lazypadawan Date: May 6th, 2005 06:35 am (UTC) (Link)
Hayden brings out the dirty old woman in all of us ;).
ladyaeryn From: ladyaeryn Date: May 6th, 2005 07:14 am (UTC) (Link)
It's been a good week to be dirty. ;) Lousy for him - what with TRL and Regis & Kelly - but good for us. *g* Ah, Hayden, we appreciate your sacrifice.

Redeeming your worst badfic. *shudders* Heck no. My worst badfic is EU-based - even features the Red Monster, I think - and you're not paying me to go there.
vytresna From: vytresna Date: May 6th, 2005 12:12 pm (UTC) (Link)
Nothing to do with the fanfic, but can you believe that TIME said TPM and AotC got "bogged down with political filibustering"? Those were the best parts, in my book, and it's not like they would make any sense otherwise. Does that mean that RotS won't have "political filibustering"? I shudder to think.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: May 6th, 2005 01:16 pm (UTC) (Link)
Nothing to do with the fanfic

Ha, don't worry--none of the comments have said a word about it, which speaks volumes about my ability to rehabilitate this particular Sue. ;)

I agree about the political maneuvering in TPM and AotC--it's a very important part of it, and to me, it's very interesting. On the other hand RotS is getting to the crisis point, where all the filibustering in the world has come to nothing and the galaxy is going to fall apart, so I'm not expecting quite as much of it.
rabidfangurl From: rabidfangurl Date: May 6th, 2005 04:01 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think the political filibustering would have been more interesting if the parallels to historical events had been clearer. I mean, Lucas has said that Ep. III is supposed to have overtones of the rise of Caesar, and it does, so I think if his historical sources for the previous two movies had been more obvious, they would have been more interesting.

Of course, I say this as I work on an AU where I ripped off bits from the American Civil War...
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: May 6th, 2005 05:09 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well, the Hitler parallels with the scheme to be put in place as Chancellor are pretty huge, and interesting to watch outside the milieu.
sreya From: sreya Date: May 6th, 2005 02:17 pm (UTC) (Link)
*laughing* I think Ciji and Nikana (my Skywalker-daughter) would get along quite well! There's something too tempting about writing a child-bucks-family-tradition story. Which CAN make some sense, if done well.

I'm curious -- who is her mother? I remember Anakin rooting for Luke/Dritali a few years back, but it certainly doesn't look like that turned out.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: May 6th, 2005 04:31 pm (UTC) (Link)
Camie, from Anchorhead, of course--who means more to him, emotionally, right? ;)
czgoldedition From: czgoldedition Date: May 6th, 2005 07:21 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ooo, alternate universe Skywalker daughter. Excellent, I'm loving how you portray her in this ficlet. <3

I'm going to revert to my home fandom and write some Star Wars

*cheers* You have no idea how much I was hoping the upcoming release of RotS would prod you into deciding that! Muahahaa. I wants me some more FernWithy-produced goodness to read. :D
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: May 6th, 2005 07:22 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm still oddly unmoved by the approach of RotS. I've read the novel, I've looked at the pictures. I'm sure it will hit me when I'm actually watching it. ;)
14 comments or Leave a comment