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The Short Fic Weekly Challenge Thread!

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > Community Content > Fan Fiction
The Short Fic Weekly Challenge Thread!
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alaurin's Avatar


alaurin
10.11.2020 , 07:08 PM | #6321
Time to get the prompts caught up as promised.....again, I'm so sorry to get behind again!

Week of September 11, 2020:

What You Take With You: Some characters travel light, with few things to call their own. Others are surrounded with trappings of class and station, or just plain old stuff. Of all this, what is most important? What would they take with them if they had only a few hours or minutes to decide? What things did they think were indispensable only to discover that, in an emergency, they’re really not? What would they give anything to save but can’t, for whatever reason? What precious things do they leave and realize only later are gone forever? Your character can’t bring everything this time, so what do they bring and what do they leave behind?

*Feel free to continue submitting stories for any prompt. A masterpiece missed the deadline? Don’t let it gather electronic dust, share it anyway!

*This week’s prompt not for you? Look for something more to your taste in the Prompt Archive. Consider all the prompts active and waiting to inspire you.

This week’s featured previous prompts are:

Bring on the Gary Stus/Mary Sues: The term arose from a Star Trek fanfiction and used to mean an impossibly perfect character whose story warps the canon characters. It's come to mean any "perfect" character, all too often female regardless of competency. Sometimes that's fun! Complex heroes are great, but not everyone needs a tragic flaw or background angst. More to the point, characters can be the way we wish we were, or could be, even when we know we aren’t. Someone who models behavior, morals, or capabilities we aspire to, realistic or not. After all, no one calls Superman/Clark Kent a Gary Stu.

Marketing - Somebody’s always trying to sell our characters something. Ads, promotions, coupons, flashy events, and more try to attract footsteps and wallets. Sometimes our characters are trying to sell something – be it services, unwanted equipment, or a cargo hold’s worth of hot merchandise. Besides all that, somebody’s got to be the face of advertising campaigns. Sometimes the advertising is right on and sometimes it’s…exaggerated. Write about your character’s experience with marketing.

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alaurin
10.11.2020 , 07:10 PM | #6322
Week of September 18, 2020:

Last Resort: Things have Gotten Real, all the other plans have failed, now it’s the last resort. The final thing to try before failure. So what is it? What went wrong? Is it a serious, life-or-death situation or is your character trying to rescue a nearly-ruined cooking attempt (which might, after all, be life-threatening). Is your character the one their friends or superiors call on as their last resort? How do they rescue the situation? Do they?

*Feel free to continue submitting stories for any prompt. A masterpiece missed the deadline? Don’t let it gather electronic dust, share it anyway!

*This week’s prompt not for you? Look for something more to your taste in the Prompt Archive. Consider all the prompts active and waiting to inspire you.

This week’s featured previous prompts are:

Power! Given this blog started in a Star Wars fandom, it’s surprising this prompt never appeared before. What does your character consider power and how do they pursue it? Just as important: why? Some seek power for its own sake but most have an agenda. Are they a reformer? Do they want to change the system they're part of to fit their vision? Do they want the ability to destroy whomever they view as enemies? A secure enough position to voice their opinions without backlash, or at least without fearing the consequences? Do they gain power despite not wanting it, because their fellows see them as a leader? Or are they seeking more mundane power? A ship fast enough to outrun the authorities? Superpowers: magic, reality-bending abilities, flight (if they can’t already), telepathy, or teleportation?

Downtime: Our characters have plenty of responsibilities. But what do they do when there’s nothing pressing? What fills those little spaces between committee meetings, the time between jobs or assignments, the days in hyperspace en route to the next big crisis? We’ve looked at both hobbies and vacations, let’s take a look at something a little less organized. How does your character fill their downtime? This prompt suggested by DoctorToDannyBoy.

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alaurin
10.11.2020 , 07:11 PM | #6323
Week of September 25, 2020:

Last Day: Is it your character’s last day of vacation? Their last day in their job or position before moving on to a new one? The last day of school? Last day at home before leaving on a long journey, taking up a difficult task, or beginning a new life? Does your character even know it’s their last day, or is it only in hindsight that they realize it? Known last days might be bittersweet in the moment--your character intentionally taking in all the things they know they’ll miss while also anticipating (or fearing) the future. Ones that sneak up are often the opposite--filled with banality that becomes precious (or full of regret) in memory. How does your character celebrate their last day?

*Feel free to continue submitting stories for any prompt. A masterpiece missed the deadline? Don’t let it gather electronic dust, share it anyway!

*This week’s prompt not for you? Look for something more to your taste in the Prompt Archive. Consider all the prompts active and waiting to inspire you.

This week’s featured previous prompts are:

Love Letters and Secret Valentines - How do our characters stay in touch with the ones they love when they are far apart? Did they write romantic messages while they were courting? Has a new companion stumbled on some cherished correspondence with an old flame? Perhaps they never worked up the courage to express their feelings except in unsent letters or anonymous notes. In a romantic mood, what would your character write and to whom? Prompt courtesy of @alaurin101

Forgiveness: Harder than it sounds. It’s easy to focus on whether someone deserves forgiveness, or whether the person tried to make amends. But forgiveness happens in the heart of the person wronged, nowhere else. When has your character forgiven another, and for what? When were they the one who begged forgiveness? Did they receive it? Did they offer it? Why? Or do they hold a grudge for all time?

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alaurin
10.11.2020 , 07:13 PM | #6324
Week of October 2, 2020:

Time Flies (Except When it Doesn't): It’s October? Already? When has your character seriously misjudged the passage of time? Was the party over before they realized? Did they miss their curfew or an important appointment because they were so engaged in an activity? Did the council meeting or visit with grandma last 497 years? Write about a time when your character was so engaged time flew by--or a time when it felt like it stopped.

*Feel free to continue submitting stories for any prompt. A masterpiece missed the deadline? Don’t let it gather electronic dust, share it anyway!

*This week’s prompt not for you? Look for something more to your taste in the Prompt Archive. Consider all the prompts active and waiting to inspire you.

This week’s featured previous prompts are:

Happy Together: Your character encounters numerous others in their story. Who’s special? Who is the one they just want to see happy, preferably with them? It could be their SO but it doesn’t have to be; happiness comes in all flavors and sizes and doesn’t have to involve romance. Or, for that matter, even being outwardly nice. There are lots of relationships (fictional or otherwise) where observers would never know how much the people involved respect and care for each other given how often they throw insults around. This week, write your character and another happy together, in whatever form that happiness takes.

Synchronicity - Sometimes coincidences happen up close and sometimes they happen lightyears away. Sometimes it’s a plan clicking into place and sometimes it’s totally unintended. Sometimes it makes things seem like they’re meant to be…sometimes it makes it seem like they’re really not. Write about a time very similar events happened to your characters at the same time and possibly at a distance.

alaurin's Avatar


alaurin
10.11.2020 , 07:15 PM | #6325
And now for the current prompt......happy writing!

Week of October 9, 2020:

“Cuffing Season”: Supposedly, in the early fall (Octoberish to February, or March to August, depending on your Earthly location), people begin pairing off for the winter months. Sometimes the relationships last, but mostly they break up with the ice in spring, past the cold weather and gatherings where companions might be expected. Is there a similar time in your character’s world? Do they want a cuddle buddy for the winter-slash-social gathering-season? Do they happen to find a relationship at that time, regardless of whether they were looking? Maybe they’re out of sync with everyone else and break up instead. Are they then desperate enough to lower their standards? A lot? Maybe they’re not at all interested and watch the spectacle with amusement.

*Feel free to continue submitting stories for any prompt. A masterpiece missed the deadline? Don’t let it gather electronic dust, share it anyway!

*This week’s prompt not for you? Look for something more to your taste in the Prompt Archive. Consider all the prompts active and waiting to inspire you.

This week’s featured previous prompts are:

...And Taxes- It’s said that death and taxes are the only certainties. We covered death in a recent prompt, so how about taxes? Both the Empire and Republic are huge, with countless fees, license requirements, and just plain old taxes. Hutt space is independent, but it still has to run. Does your character accept taxes as part of the cost of doing business, find ways to minimize the bill, or skip it altogether and hope no one notices? Write about your character’s encounters with taxes, fees, tariffs, and other means of government fund-raising.

The Fine Print: Any Bounty Hunter knows better than to sign anything from Gault without reading it first. Still there may have been contracts our OCs wish they hadn't signed. What details did they miss? Was it something small and insignificant, even humorous? Something major and problematic? How did they inconvenience your character? Did they get back at the beings who made the contract and took advantage of them? Chalk it up to a learning experience and move on? Something else? Was the contract more akin to our familiar Terms of Service Agreements that no one reads deciphers anyway? Did they fulfill the contract or did they renege? Why? This week consider what may be hiding in the fine print and how it affects your character.

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Lady_Thorne
10.12.2020 , 07:02 AM | #6326
I certainly don't want to put any pressure on you! I work in a school (supervising 60+ students' work done at home, similar to homeschooling, but with support from teachers, curriculum assistance, etc.) and I know how hard it is on parents these days, especially if remote schooling is involved, but really, just about anywhere this year!

But I've had personal history that also leads me to question "disappearances" and follow up to be sure things are OK! (Pro-tip: If you're an administrator, and putting someone on administrative leave, letting their colleagues know is a really good idea. You know...before they call the police to do a well-person check to be sure they didn't have a car accident on the way to work or something. True story with a former boss, about something that amounted to nothing, but had to be investigated. It really was a fumble on the part of upper admin to not think to let us know that the boss would be out, and not making a presentation that was planned for that afternoon, etc. We were wrecks!)

I'm very glad to hear that all is well! Best wishes on living a busy life amidst the pandemic!

alaurin's Avatar


alaurin
10.16.2020 , 10:52 AM | #6327
Happy Friday everyone......time for a new prompt!

Week of October 16, 2020:

Consent: One little word covering things from the mundane to the sublime through tragic. We give it without thinking for phone apps and data collection and health care. Ofttimes it is assumed; you have to opt out rather than in. When has your character given their consent? For what? What happened after? Endless spam, an interpersonal experience they’d rather not talk about, or the best time they’d ever had?

*Feel free to continue submitting stories for any prompt. A masterpiece missed the deadline? Don’t let it gather electronic dust, share it anyway!

*This week’s prompt not for you? Look for something more to your taste in the Prompt Archive. Consider all the prompts active and waiting to inspire you.

This week’s featured previous prompts are:

Great Expectations: In the Dickensian sense, "great expectations" is almost a variant of ambition, and your character might not be the only one who dreams of great things for themselves. A family, a teacher, society itself might all have Great Expectations for your character: that they should do Great Things, meaningful things that change the world. Or perhaps maintain the status quo, as is right and proper. What is Expected of your character? Do they live up to it? Willingly? Cast it aside for their own dreams? Do they walk the fine line between doing what is Expected but in their own way? Have their dreams seen an adjustment (up or down) from what is Expected to what is Likely?

Traditions: Everyone has traditions. Family, cultural, or personal. Some we keep out of habit or societal pressure, others because they hold special meaning. What about your characters? What traditions do they follow? Why? Something as complicated as an elaborate religious festival, or as simple as shredding every completed contract? Maybe your character specifically avoids certain traditions they grew up with. Or adopted new ones from an alien culture. Whatever the case, there's a story in it

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alaurin
10.24.2020 , 07:08 AM | #6328
A day late and a dollar short but here's this week's prompt!! Happy writing everyone!

Week of October 23, 2020:

Just a Flesh Wound: In the well-known Monty Python skit (cw: blood, gore, comedy dismemberment) the Black Knight somehow keeps fighting despite losing all his limbs, insisting he’s not hurt. When has your character downplayed the severity of their injuries and why? Was it necessary to complete their mission or useless bravado? What were the repercussions? In a broader sense, have they ever insisted on an argument, opinion, or course of action when it’s obvious to everyone else that they haven’t a (rhetorical) leg to stand on?

*Feel free to continue submitting stories for any prompt. A masterpiece missed the deadline? Don’t let it gather electronic dust, share it anyway!

*This week’s prompt not for you? Look for something more to your taste in the Prompt Archive. Consider all the prompts active and waiting to inspire you.

This week’s featured previous prompts are:

Bushido - The seven classic Western virtues are very individual-oriented. By contrast, the Bushido code stresses community and interaction: Rectitude (gi, righteousness or justice), Courage (yuu), Benevolence (jin), Respect (rei), Honesty (makoto), Honor (meiyo), and Loyalty (chuugi). Write about the presence or absence of bushido virtues in your characters' lives. Thank you, @brightephemera, for this prompt idea.

Ship of Fools: The colloquial meaning is that of one wise person surrounded by idiots, but in the original allegory everyone on the ship is unable to navigate it, all the while vying for the chance or to influence the one currently botching the job. Regardless, the ship goes nowhere, often with recriminations all around. When has your character sailed on a ship of fools? Were they the wise one dealing with incompetence? Or just as clueless but putting up a better front than the rest?

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Jimcorpus
10.25.2020 , 05:03 AM | #6329
[QUOTE=alaurin;9887479]And now for the current prompt......happy writing!

Week of October 9, 2020:

“Cuffing Season”: Supposedly, in the early fall (Octoberish to February, or March to August, depending on your Earthly location), people begin pairing off for the winter months. Sometimes the relationships last, but mostly they break up with the ice in spring, past the cold weather and gatherings where companions might be expected. Is there a similar time in your character’s world? Do they want a cuddle buddy for the winter-slash-social gathering-season? Do they happen to find a relationship at that time, regardless of whether they were looking? Maybe they’re out of sync with everyone else and break up instead. Are they then desperate enough to lower their standards? A lot? Maybe they’re not at all interested and watch the spectacle with amusement.



Cuffing Season

Looking at what was left of his starship, imperial agent Kaygeebee acknowledged there was nothing left to salvage. Food rations and the water dispenser were moved to the shelter. The emergency power unit was working in the shelter, and would last the winter. The antennae, the reason for the mission, was perched on a nearby hill. It would be able to intercept transmissions from pirate and republic ships or bases on the planet, or even in orbit. He looked upon an intact bridge, and a totally wrecked body of the ship. Among the wreckage were the crewmates in the main part of the ship. He turned and went to the shelter.

It was cold on Canath, even for him. He experienced living in frigid places for so many years. He was a Chiss with blue skin, dark hair, and red eyes. Living in the cold was norm for him much of his life. The location of the crash happened to be on the part of the planet where winter will soon begin, and it will be getting colder for the next four months. This was supposed to be a routine mission of planting a listening device. When coming out of hyperspace, there was not supposed to be an asteroid belt surrounding the planet. The inevitable crash into one of the asteroids sent the starship hurling into the atmosphere. He did the best he could landing the damaged ship into the ice and snow of the planet. The bridge remained intact, but the body of the ship was thoroughly damaged and its occupants killed.

The Rattataki anarchist, thoroughly enjoying death and destruction, never thought about it happening to her. The diplomat, who joined with a Killik nest so he could try to be better at negotiating with them, now lay in the wreckage with his body smashed and black ooze coming out where there should have been blood. The scientist, perhaps more appropriately the mad scientist, who experimented on himself with the dangerous Rakghoul plague, lay with his body slashed from a piece of the ship’s hull, in a form that seemed a mix between the rakghoul form and human form. Lastly, the sentient droid. The droid that thought it was better than all others in the galaxy, superior to all droids and all lifeforms. It said there was absolutely no danger coming out of hyperspace near the planet. It now laid on the floor of the ship with a metal beam from the ship’s hull impaled in its head, crushing the central processing unit in the process.

Making it to the entrance of the shelter, he looked to make sure the front looked secure. Parts of the hull were welded together, covering the front of the shelter thereby giving extra protection from the elements. It also gave a little extra time in case they were the recipients of blaster fire. He went through the opening in the hull pieces, then took a welder he had near the front of the shelter and went to work welding together the pieces in front of the door. When finished, he put the welder down and entered the shelter.

The shelter was around ten meters by five meters, with walls that were pliable to conform to the walls of the shallow cave. The power unit was on, being able to give power continuously for one year. Food rations and the water dispenser were on the side.

Looking to the back of the shelter, he saw his lieutenant with the intelligence service. A human with brunette hair, brown eyes, light complexion, she had the body of one trained for endurance sports. She had proven for the past several months a highly proficient intelligence operative. She had been out of the academy around a year ago, yet has recently been helpful many times. It seemed easier as time went on to work with her.

When he left the shelter the last time, she noted she was tired from the long day they had, crashing on the planet and setting up the shelter to survive. Now she was laying in the only shelter bed available, a bag with cushioning underneath, meant for two to keep each other warm during frigid weather conditions. To the side of the bed were her outer garments. She still had on a thermal body suit to keep warm.

If the Sith Empire went forth with its plans when this mission started, military ships will come to the system in four months to destroy any resistance and set up a base at Canath. The transmissions gathered from the antennae for the next four months will help decide what type and how many ships will be sent in four months. Until then, the Empire will not send anything, regardless of the situation.

“Commander, standard protocol stipulates survivors need to facilitate keeping each other warm during inhospitable cold conditions.”

“Who am I to dispute protocol Lieutenant?” He walked towards the shelter bag, undressing his outer clothes when he stood by it. With only his thermal body suit on, he quickly joined her in the bag.

They will be “forced” to spend the next four months together in the shelter together. As each looked into the other’s eyes, it was an assignment they were enthusiastic to be “forced” into. The things Intelligence would do for the glory of the Empire.

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Jimcorpus
10.25.2020 , 05:08 AM | #6330
[QUOTE=alaurin;9888237]Happy Friday everyone......time for a new prompt!

Week of October 16, 2020:

Consent: One little word covering things from the mundane to the sublime through tragic. We give it without thinking for phone apps and data collection and health care. Ofttimes it is assumed; you have to opt out rather than in. When has your character given their consent? For what? What happened after? Endless spam, an interpersonal experience they’d rather not talk about, or the best time they’d ever had?


Consent
The major sat at the holoprojector, looking around at the strangers on his ship, wondering when they would leave. He thought the return to Coruscant would be uneventful. He was to go to headquarters and report on the recent mission his squad completed successfully. Afterwards, he would be briefed on the new mission his special forces unit would be assigned to do.

When he was asked by the senate liason to the Republic Army for consent to allow his starship to be checked for compromises to its fighting ability, he had no idea it was a way for Republic Intelligence to inspect his ship. He also didn’t expect that he and his squad would have to endure endless irritating questions from interrogators from Intelligence.

The databanks of the ship were copied and thoroughly searched. Each squad member was asked the same questions, but in separate rooms from different interrogators to try to get them to contradict each other. How can a squad so small be so successful, when they are able to complete missions that a company of Republic troops failed? How was a medic that came from Sith space able to get into special forces? How was she able to find a successful vaccine for a plague outbreak on Alderaan when other medical specialists failed? Of course, Intelligence didn’t want to mention much of those other medical specialists on Alderaan had a problem using narcs. How was she married to the commander of the unit? They seemed not to like the idea there was no regulation against that.

How can someone that was demoted get so many rewards for heroism? How was he able to get rank back up so quickly when he was earlier demoted? Republic intelligence certainly seemed to have a grudge against him, perhaps because the Cathar exposed an unethical operation Intelligence did with a few Republic soldiers.

Then they questioned extensively about the former Weequay weapons expert that was previously part of the squad. How was he able to be part of the squad? The interrogator became irritated when told the Weequay was assigned. How was he able to do illegal arms sales when he was part of the squad? The interrogator didn’t like when he was reminded those actions were before he joined the squad. How can the commanding officer of the squad did not do a thing to prevent the death of the weapons expert? The soldier was reassigned from the squad and was on leave. He died in a firefight during an illegal arms sale set up by a corrupt senator from Ord Mantell that also died in the firefight. Intelligence did not like that reminder since this particular senator was a strong advocate in the Galactic Senate for the Republic Intelligence. The last question was so ridiculous for intelligence to ask. Why would the commander of a special forces squad marry his medic? “We love each other!” The interrogator was obviously single and not involved in a relationship, seeming flustered at the answer.

Then they had to question his scout, the Gand that had become a great friend to all of the squad. The interrogator for him understood the language of the Gand, but was oblivious to the culture. The scout later told the major about the interrogator rolling his eyes when answers were given, explaining to the interrogator about events happening in harmony with the galaxy.

Finally, the interrogation of the assault droid. His memory was copied to a portable storage device. The droid’s interrogator was intending for succinct answers, however 4X gave long, expanding, exhaustive explanations intertwined with the glory of the Republic and what a better political system it is.

Parts of the walls were taken off, looking for unauthorized devices. The engines were inspected to see if any illegal modifications were made. The hull was thoroughly looked at to see if there were some unexplained blaster marks. Finally, Republic Intelligence was done with their actions they were given “consent” for. Thank you Major. You may depart for space now.”

“Not your authority to give that consent” came the reply from the major. The lead of the interrogation could not hide his frown from that statement, then led his group off the squad’s starship.

The major took off his chest armor, took a small device off the inside of his armor, then plugged into the holoprojector. Within a few seconds a holovid image emerged, showing the location of the listening device Republic Intelligence placed onto the starship.

“4X?” The major looked at the assault droid.

“Yes Major.” The droid quickly responded enthusiastically.

“Do you still have the audio when we did the humanitarian mission on Tatooine?”

“Major, the one in which we aided the Jawas with the gastrointestinal difficulties?”

“That’s the one. Play that for the listening device for two hours, then destroy the device.”

“Yes Major.”