Haven't really got a working title for this one because I'm still working with my Xander fic and will be for the forseeable future but I wanted to toss this idea down and babble about it to encourage some discussion and development before it flits away on wings of fancy.
It doesn't really concern pilots, at least not in its infancy, but I suspect that the plot lines I have for it will eventually take it in that direction. See below.
In keeping with my preference for protagonists more in-line with the tradition of Byronic and tragic heroes as well as anti-heroes, this character would be a younger guy, born around 9 ABY so that he's a mid-teen by the time the Yuuzhan Vong War comes about.
The idea is that he's grown up mostly on Yavin 4, undergoing his Jedi training. Then the Vong War comes and he's thrust into the middle of it with all the others. I picture him being on-planet for when the Vong attack Yavin 4 and being captured alongside Tahiri, undergoing the heretical Shaping acts of Mezhan Kwaad.
I think the Shaping process might have fully taken with him, though, so I can explore a much more invasive personality disorder than was experienced by Tahiri in the various books following her partial-Shaping.
Eventually, he'll find himself in conflict with his former friends and allies and I can work some kind of redemption-ish angle that fits with the overall scope of the SW universe but it won't be all fuzzy and happy. It'll be probably more Lane-like than anything else; a really torturous journey of emotional and physical suffering as he tries to recapture his original identity while warring with what the Vong have done to him.
I figure as a being before the Shaping, he probably evidenced a good mix of technological ability and empathy towards others and animals (literal empathy, as in the telepathic sort), which will be key for him later.
I'm trying to decide what caste he'll become once he does become a Yuuzhan Vong; clearly, he can't be surpreme overlord and I don't think he'd be a worker, so I've got a debate between the shaper, priest and warrior castes.
As a Shaper, it'd be really interesting to see him trying to reintegrate into society, since GA society is suffused with technology and he'd probably have a real issue with tech stuff in the aftermath of being fully Shaped into a YV. Even more interesting would be how he might react to a lightsaber; would he prefer to use an amphistaff?
Would he still worship Yun-Ne'Shel?
This caste has minimal scarring except what you'd expect from having a Shaper hand added and they also had some kind of crazy headdress. It'd make him look all Medusa-like.
How far would he have advanced? What would it mean for him to have been turned into a Master Shaper, with a Shaper Hand?
As a Warrior, I don't envision him going much beyond the initial rank of 'warrior' unless I made him into a Hunter or a Slayer (either of which would be REALLY scary) but it would still be interesting to see how comfortable he'd be in Vonduun crab armor and wielding an amphistaff.
Actually come to think of it, being a Slayer would be a beautiful irony, since they were designed specifically to fight Jeedai (extra 'e' intentional).
I'm pretty comfortable avoiding the priest caste but a Slayer or a Shaper would be really neat. I'm strongly leaning towards Slayer.
Anyway, so what would have to happen is after the war, he'd undergo something not terribly dissimilar to what the crew of the Enterprise-D did for Captain Picard after he was Borg-ified into Locutus in 'Best of Both Worlds,' with a sort of detox.
I bet there'd be a scene where he went bananas about people trying to take his vonduun crab armor, amphistaff and such-like away, popping his Steng's Talons and going absolutely bug-nuts so much that they decide to just leave him alone physically and work on his mental recovery instead.
I envision him eventually finding a balance between the use of technology and Yuuzhan Vong biots. It'd be interesting to see him become an engineer in both philosophies, making use of a blaster and stuff alongside thud-bugs and his amphistaff. That'd be pretty scary. He might have a lingering aversion to lightsabers because of his Shaping as a specifically anti-Jedi warrior.
It might be interesting to see him rehabilitated towards technology through the use of flight simulators where he's flying a coralskipper, to show him that the result is the same, even if the method is different.
He might end up permanently prejudiced against droids, though, which would be pretty entertaining.
In terms of character, the post-Vong being would be wracked with all kinds of conflicting personality traits, including what I suspect to be a very significant relationship with pain. I would be endlessly amused if he managed to acquire and regularly use an Embrace of Pain, much to the dismay of everyone who ever saw him using it. His physiology forever changed (especially since as a Slayer he'd have a regenerative ability of frightening potency), the Embrace would be an interesting link between his second heritage and his birth heritage.
So you've got his unhealthy (by our standards) ideas of pain, his mix of technology and biots, his attitude towards droids as anaethema, his views on battle (as a member of the Warrior caste, he'd undoubtedly be belligerent and aggressive), his contempt/fear (?) of Jedi...
And his ability to touch the Force.
EDIT: In deference to the pilot-orientation of these forums, he'd probably be spending a lot of time with *shudder* Corran, Jaina and other pilot-Jedi types who would be exposing him to their love of flight as a means of staying connected to the galaxy, which would be key in helping him bridge that gap between Vong hatred of tech and full acceptance of it.
Ultimately, I see him as a potential addition to either Wraith or Rogue Squadron in their post-NJO era existence.
I apologize for not having time to read and respond in detail, but in reference to your final line, I think he'd fit well into Wraith Squadron. He'd be, for lack of any better phrasing, a bit of a misfit, which matches up with the unit's demographic.
|QUOTE (Jesina Dreis @ Jan 4 2008, 01:39 PM)|
| I apologize for not having time to read and respond in detail, but in reference to your final line, I think he'd fit well into Wraith Squadron. He'd be, for lack of any better phrasing, a bit of a misfit, which matches up with the unit's demographic. |
Hey, everyone has lives, right? Thanks for taking the time.
I was thinking about the Wraiths largely from the moment I started thinking about involving him with pilots. Circa 30 ABY, I expect most of the original Wraiths would be gone. Tyria's gone before 10 ABY because she ends up becoming a Jedi, Dia's probably gone shortly after Zsinj in order to get back to Ryloth... That'd leave who? Face, Piggy, Kell, Runt, Shalla and Elassar. By the YV invasion, these guys (except for Shalla) are written as still having been there, so I can always see.
Wedge, Wes and Myn would have gone back to Rogue Squadron and then of course Lara would have become Kirney on Corellia... with 'Kettch,' lol.
The question is, WOULD he end up with an NR/GA unit again? Would he be stable enough? Or would that be the first plot arc, him flaming out of an organized unit because he simply can't handle it anymore?
That last isn't a bad idea... he could fail in an ordinary unit and maybe get shuffled off to the wraiths... could be a focus on them pulling together to see him through... myn was none too stable when he went to the wraiths.
|QUOTE (Jesina Dreis @ Jan 5 2008, 11:02 AM)|
| That last isn't a bad idea... he could fail in an ordinary unit and maybe get shuffled off to the wraiths... could be a focus on them pulling together to see him through... myn was none too stable when he went to the wraiths. |
Yeah, there are plenty of options.
Of course, the basic notion is that he was a Jedi at one point, if only a teenage, developing Jedi when the war began. Whether he's captured on Yavin 4 or he joins the strike team that goes to Myrkr and is captured there, that should prove to be interesting, since the YV are likely to mess with his perceptions of his powers as well. They'll want him to use them but they would certainly place aversions in him to Jedi philosophy and stuff, which is probably what drives him to flying in the first place.
So he comes back and tries for a regular squadron first, yeah, that'd seem to make sense. And yeah, Myn was messed up pretty badly, which actually parallels this guy's journey somewhat, especially since random things would set him off. "Shiner's gone, sir!"
I wonder what he would try to fly? I guess keeping it to X-Wings would be simple, though he'd have an older X-Wing, since he wouldn't initially join an elite squadron. Then I have to find some suitable enemy to throw him at... I can probably justify the old factions of the Empire looking to reassert the dominance of Palpatine's New Galactic Order at the opportune moment when most of the galaxy is still reeling from a half-decade of savage warfare with the YV.
And... cut to the dirty warlord and his sector fleet as they start taking back the colonies along the invasion vector! Sneaky. Something like that, bring it back to the classics a bit.