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Ali Hassan Mohammed
1 March 2005, 12:36 AM
This is a story that I've had floating around in my head for almost a year now, and I've just now gotten around to writing it down. This is my first time hear on the boards, but it seems like you guys got a comfortable atmosphere here. I plan on breaking it up into numerous sections that I'll post as I write. Anyway, this may be a tad unusual for a Star Wars story, but I'll give it a shot. Enjoy Section One.

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Meurtre chez le Royale

Lierre Cardeux

The massive ventilator fans went into overdrive for the final time that evening at The Royale, ridding the desolate opera house of the lingering malaise of fake fog effects and overpriced perfume into the bleakness of the Coruscant night. It was the first time in months I had been able to enjoy the slight comfort of the mechanical beast's rhythmic yarn. Never before had I truly realized the exquisite beauty behind relatively absolute silence. It was the wail of the fans overhead, the crackling of stage lights burning out that made me realize what had become of me.

As I sat there, legs perched over the side of the stage, I remembered a quote from years long past that had somehow crept into my subconscious. "When an actor leaves the stage, when the final spotlight burns out on closing night, and the mystified audience returns to the seemingly docile venue of their homes, the magic still lives on the stage, waiting to be revitalized." It was a sort of actor's adage I had grown up with, one that plagued my cerebellum like a cancer. And there it was, on a darkened stage on a post-performance eve, that I found who I truly was. The once-famous twinkle in my eye had now become nothing more than a gleaming drip rolling down my cheek, and yet it still served a purpose. It let myself know all had gone wrong, and the present will never compare to what has been accomplished or lost in one's past; ironically enough, it was the woman I had grown to love who allowed the dam to break.

It was three years ago when the tide had rushed back to sea, leaving a naked, shipwrecked man named Lierre Cardeux on the beaches of a world waiting to be reaped. The change of setting was a delightful carbonated refreshment that made your nose tickle and your brightest smile brighter, providing a man singing small venues on luxury liner amphitheatres the lust to perform at an establishment as haunting as The Royale. But the memory of all the trials and tribulations of the past somehow lived within the delicately-crafted woodwork of the theatre walls, a lavishly-strewn velvet exterior providing a resting place for the ills of yesteryear and the darkness of tomorrow.

Underneath the layers of lacquer and through the flesh of the wood lie the secrets to the shadowy past of the majestic opera house. It lived beneath the stage, a virtue known to some and neglected by others called truth that seemed to relapse from time to time in the realm of forgotten antiquities, somehow still breathing despite the Galactic Empire. 107 years ago, the Grand Royale Opera House was erected in the most metropolitan area of Coruscant, the Deblau District. It was refreshing for the aristocrats of the Core Worlds to see the Republic's undisclosed number of credits poured into cultural rehabilitation finally prove their worth; over 60 million credits alone went into the construction of the massive theatre that was soon to become The Royale. As the framework was put up and the permacrete foundation poured, a burly shadow constantly darkened the vacant lot that was occupied by countless workers. Vaga Galan would stare for hours at the sight of his life's work finally being put into action with a crooked smile and thin cigar permanently lodged in the left corner of his mouth. He was a stout man, roughly sixty years old when the project was finally completed, with a clean-shaven face and disposition that projected a youthful man with the wisdom of an elder. Galan was a wealthy, retired senator from the Tirinis System, a collection of high-class resort worlds on lease to the Republic from its governing body of plutocrats. A philanthropist and philharmonic, he devoted his remaining years and well-invested capital into renovating the neighborhood he had grown up in, seeing that the upscale Deblau District become the most culturally rich district in all the Known Galaxy. It was a project that consumed his entire life, both by footing the enormous bill and spending time watching the workers at the construction site write his name into the history datapads with each piece of intertwined steel. Vega Galan would walk for hours around the half-completed suspended structure, a man-made archipelago stretching off Kalabash Boulevard nearly 500 meters and stabilized in mid-air by state of the art repulsorlift thrusters. It gave The Royale a certain air of infallibility, hovering over the rest of the urbanized landscape unadjacent to any other structure. He would pat workers on the back, alien and human alike, tell them they were doing an amazing job, completely losing his billion credit net worth in the blue-collar atmosphere.

Galan never got to see opening night at The Royale; he passed away a week prior to the cutting of the red ribbon from inoperable pancreatic cancer. All those involved in the project were devastated, from the richest socialite in the Republic to the poorest construction worker that still heard Galan complimenting his difficult tasks. Rights of ownership became an issue, and Vega's will left The Royale in the hands of his only son, Kalben Galan. An ungrateful child who received his father's grotesque fortune by his mere right of inheritance, he made immediate offers to sell the unopened complex before the public had even had a chance to see its lush interior. A certain Dr. Philip L'Matu took interest in The Royale, hoping to turn the opera house into his demented "Theatre of the Macabre." A former surgeon in the Republic Army, he was discharged after being acquitted in his Senate hearing on lack of evidence for performing amputation experiments on wounded enemy soldiers. His "Theatre of the Macabre" would have brought the vile art of pain and suffering L'Matu practiced on the battlefield to the eyes of the cultured Deblau residents. Kalben Galan ignored every threat from the bourgeoisie of Coruscant and sold The Royale out of pure spite for his father and his generous donations of the family treasures, philanthropy a practice never injected into his lexicon. Dr. L'Matu purchased the theatre for a mere ten million credits.

Both men soon joined Vega Galan in the afterlife. A month after the sale of The Royale to L'Matu, the sadistic surgeon and bitter-willed capitalist were both found murdered on the stage of the amphitheatre, dismembered and disemboweled. A case never solved, the deaths of L'Matu and Galan were believed to be orchestrated by a mob of angry Coruscant intellectuals who were written into The Royale's mythos by their passionate resistance to the surgeon's absurd sideshow. After the duo's not so untimely death, The Royale was confiscated by the Republic itself in an attempt to recreate the vision that Vaga Galan had sought to deliver. Thus began the opera house's sublime future.

For nearly 100 years, the Grand Royale Opera House served as a place of utmost beauty and exquisite culture to the monetarily elite of the Known Galaxy, drawing in crowds of regal representation from every corner of the region's vast domain. As the king of the Yequan System once said, "The Royale is a place of both reverence and patronage, and should be revered as the primary source of intelligence in this barbaric occupancy we call our galaxy." The king's quote, although bold, was relatively true. Only the best singers and actors were brought into The Royale, including the long since past performances of the infallible soprano Nekar Zalinya and the infamous "velvet vocal cords" of tenor Ushin Luupor. The Royale became synonymous with sophistication, and the legacy of its endeavors would remain unscathed in the history datapads alongside Vaga Galan.

When the Republic was defeated, and the monstrosity we have come to know as the Galactic Empire rose from its ashes and came to power, The Royale was taken over by the imperialistic power of the Emperor. Renamed the Imperial Royale Opera House, the theatre was placed in the authority of the Empire's chief cultural advisor, Rene Gonraie. A capitalist at heart, Mister Gonraie was a man of superior intellect and sophisticated bearing, having obtained doctorates in both musical study and economical business from the highly prestigious Academy of Chandrilla. Born and raised under the wing of the Deblau District's mighty wealth, Rene Gonraie saw it in his dreams to turn the civilized Coruscant region into his own personal cash crop, exploiting the age-old infamy of The Royale to his own benefit. The belief in quality was still kept in retention by Gonraie, but the utilities thereof would end up on a cred-stick with his name on it.

Somehow, in the midst of historical events and chronologically-significant happenings, Lierre Cardeux became part of the legendary story of The Royale. The shipwrecked man discussed earlier in these ramblings was actually myself, a man of broken imaginings who had, in some way, found himself amongst names like Zalinya and Luupor. I was raised in the theatre, my father being a musical genius at the tres'can, and was constantly surrounded by the notion of musical inkling. I took up singing, and was soon discovered by agents looking for a youthful adult to perform onboard the majestic Crimson Rose luxury liner. It was an offer that would come to change my life.

GM_Craig
27 March 2005, 12:20 AM
Well, I've been away for a while, but I decided to see what was up around the fan fiction forum.

Can't believe no one else has replied to your story yet, Ali Hassan Mohammed. It's aesthetically beautiful thus far and it seems to me Lierre Cardeux's segment would make a great opening monologue for a play. Perhaps people think it isn't Star Wars enough, but I've realizedin my own writing that its better to have deep characterization and powerful connotations rather than a blaster/spacecraft heavy story. Can't wait for the next segment. Keep up the great work