Disclaimer: I do not own Star Wars or Lost Odyssey.
I've recently started reading Star Wars stories and this plot bunny latched itself onto my ankle. Not even a crowbar can pry it loose.
The stories from 'A Thousand Years Of Dream' are from Lost Odyssey and are just props, pretty much. If you want to read them go to the Lost Odyssey Wikia and look up the afore mentioned title.
I could hear music...
...No, not music, but harmonious sounds, like the slow random notes of a string instrument of some kind...
Now that I was aware of the notes, it was almost as if the notes became aware of me, becoming slightly louder and warbling like an electric guitar. Other notes began to come in and it was like listening to a symphony of stringed instruments all playing different tunes and melodies that were nothing alike, yet seemed to melt together. Then came drums and keyboards, growing progressively more complex as if whatever the almost-music was, was showing me more and more of itself...
There was an awareness of others listening, far away, but it wasn't important enough to draw my attention from the almost-music.
Occasionally there was a slight tugging that I brushed away in annoyance.
It took me a long time to realise that while I was listening to the almost-music, I could see (but not at the same time), a flowing, translucent river of coloured light particles twisting an giant strands into a webs that expanded beyond comprehension, but that was all secondary to the not-music...
It took even longer for me to realise that I was emitting almost-music of my own; a soft thrumming like an electric guitar being tuned.
As I became more aware of myself, I felt like I was becoming more 'real', the crooning of nearby chords seeming to encourage me deeper into my own sounds...
There is a woman seated at a small desk with what appears to be data-pads, a small blonde boy of about three dozing in her lap, his drowsy sky-hued eyes watching me over his mother's shoulder.
The woman, whose dark hair was pulled up in a sloppy bun, sounded like a mournful, yet hopeful violin.
The child sounded like bass and acoustic and electric guitars, all playing the same notes in sync, like a wave; first bass C-flat, then acoustic C-flat, then electric C-flat, before moving onto the next note. The notes were slow from either drowsiness or his young age.
The woman does not see me, even though I am standing well with-in her personal bubble and in her peripherals.
I tilt my head to the side as I return the child's gaze.
I stay and look around the room for a while before the almost-music calls me back.
I begin to swing between the almost-music and the boy after that, watching as he grows and is sold by the Hutt who owned him and the dark-haired woman, and began to work in the junk shop of a Toydarian named Watto.
The boy's name is Anakin Skywalker and the dark-haired woman is his mother, Shmi Skywalker.
After a time, I start to sit beside the boy as he lay or continued his work after being beaten, humming along with the almost-music in the background as I watching his tiny hands work.
One night I sit down beside Anakin's bed, my back against the side of his bed in the dark.
For the first time, I speak into the darkness, well aware that he is watching me from beneath his covers.
"Would you like to hear a story?" I ask softly.
I feel more than hear his soft agreement.
I lean my head back and stare up at the ceiling as I begin to speak. "This is a story from a series called 'A Thousand Years of Dreaming'. It is about an immortal and physically invulnerable man named Kaim as he went through his thousand years of life. This first one of the chronicles is called 'Hanna's Departure'..."
I can almost hear him listening with intent interest in the gloom.
I begin."The family members have tears in their eyes when they welcome Kaim back to the inn from his long journey. 'Thank you so much for coming.' He understands the situation immediately. The time for departure is drawing near." I sigh softly and continue, my tone soft and almost regretful in the night. "Too soon, too soon. But still, he knows, this day would have come sometime, and not in the distant future.'I might never see you again,' she said to him with a sad smile when he left on this journey, her smiling face almost transparent in its whiteness, so fragile—and therefore indescribably beautiful—as she lay in bed..."
Anakin stays awake to hear the whole story.
We remain in silent companionship until I once again fade into the almost-music.
When I fade in again, Anakin is fixing a droid of some kind. I wander over and sit on a piece of scrap.
"Would you like to hear a story?" I ask him.
Anakin looks at me with his blue-blue eyes and nods, smiling shyly.
I hum and sit back. "This is the next story from 'A Thousand Years of Dreaming'. It is called 'A Hero's Return."
I lean back to watch the sky with its twin scorching suns. "Alone in a crowd of rugged men, nursing his drink in the far corner of the old post town's only tavern: Kaim." I wriggle a bit to get comfortable. "A single man strides in through the tavern door. Massively built, he wears the garb of a warrior. His soiled uniform bespeaks a long journey. Fatigue marks his face, but his eyes wear a penetrating gleam—the look of a fighting man on active duty..."
When the story ends, I am still staring up at the blue-blue of the skies, identical to the blue-blue of the boy's eyes. "It's sad, isn't it?" I murmur to the boy.
I sense the boy nodding in agreement, turning the story over in his head. I turn to look at Anakin, his little blond head staring sightlessly into the droid, his hands still working the wire into its proper shape.
"If I tell you all these stories, will you remember them?" Anakin looks at me. "It is important that some lessons be remembered. These stories have been forgotten by those still alive; only one other alive even knows these stories, and he has relegated them to the very depths of his ancient mind. Not even manuscripts remain."
Anakin nods. "When I have time, can you tell them to me so I can write them down?"
I nod and smile. "We'll wait a few years, but in the mean time, I'll continue telling you the stories, okay?"
Anakin beams, his music rippling like a stream of light through water.
I continue on with the stories when I see Anakin, feeling vaguely like a mouthpiece for the almost-music to speak through, but I don't mind.
Sometimes, when I tell the stories, Anakin cries. The Chronicles of 'A Thousand Years of Dreaming' are not happy tales. They were created to convey the sadder aspects of human nature and to help understand them better.
Anakin likes 'Little Liar' and 'The Tragedy of the Butcher General' best. The 'Little Liar' I can understand, but not such a cruel story as 'The Tragedy of the Butcher General'...
I ask him about it once.
He is working on a hyperdrive while he answers. "Because I never want to be like that. If I keep the story in my memory, then I can remember and avoid being like the Butcher General."
I regard Anakin seriously as he works, the deep lowing of a bamboo shakuhachi flute rippling through the almost-music, affecting the flow of a stream of music.
The Butcher General in the story was a general who killed not only the soldiers and men of the places he conquered, but also the women, the children and the invalids out of fear, cowardice, that someday they would take revenge. That fear led to hate and led to the lonely death of the Butcher General, no one mourning his death, even his own men.
I continue to watch Anakin work, occasionally pointing something out that he missed, but would probably pick up on later.
"What is your name, anyway?"
The question was so abrupt, I half-fell off my perch on a beam.
Anakin looks at me, an amused little smile tugging at his lips. "Your name. What is it? You've been around since I was little and I still don't know what your name is." He shrugs. "I've just been calling you 'Starman' in my head, but it would be nice to know your real name."
When put like that, it was pretty odd that I hadn't mentioned it.
"It's been a long time since I've used it, so I guess I just forgot about it." I smile at Anakin; a wide, playful grin that reveals my sharp white teeth.
"My name is Amarantos di Trikzer, former Master of the Order of the Spectrum." My smile becomes a cheery grin. "But you may call me Rant."
Yeah...Let me know what you think.