Bonds of Affection
|Title:||Bonds of Affection|
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It was published in Contraband #2 and #3 where it has several illos by the author.
"Trav Leggett" also in the story "Diplomatic Exchange" in "Contraband" #1 (where a fan described her in the first half of the story as a "lady smuggler/rebel sympathizer of the story, Trav Leggett, is indisputably something of a Mary Sue, but a light-hearted, engaging one." ), as well as in the zine The Nerfherder's Companion.
- How to Do a Mary Sue by Liz S. (1984)
Author's CommentsFrom Contraband #2:
BOA is meant to stand by itself. However, for the triviallists among you, the action in this story begins the morning after the last scene in "Diplomatic Exchange" (CONTRABAND 1). In terms of the STAR WARS canon, BOA occurs shortly before the Rebels move into their temporary headquarters on Hoth. (The STARS AND BARS universe stories are meant to be compatible with the movies, insofar as they deal with the canon characters and action at all.) To date, my universe and Chris' and Letitia's do not overlap, but neither do they specifically conflict.
Contents: BOA began life soon after I first saw THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK. It was originally meant as a satirical/allegorical "search" story, as well as a humorous assault on Mary Sue characters and their native habitats. The "Merisoo's", of course, are derived from the main characters of STAR WARS: Luke (Eweredi), Leia (Trustori) and Han (Gudbudi), though the parallels aren't completely precise ("Han" isn't looking for himself), due to plot exigencies and other complications. Merisoo Gudbudi predates her cousins by a good margin. She's been a concept in the back of my mind since I first roughed out Trav Leggett's background and decided that the reason Trav doesn't have a copilot any more (come the Rebellion) is that her last copilot had been an obnoxious "Mary Sue." (For Trav's opinions on the subject, see the [filk] "Merisoo Slandersong" at the very end of CONTRABAND 1.) For those of you who may be interested, the Baron and Lady Trustori's fiance are roughly based on Remington and Murphy, respectively, as seen in the early episodes of REMINGTON STEELE. (You can detect my private sympathies by noting which one the girl gets in the end.) But that parallel is very limited indeed.
The theme: despite my original intentions, the plot of BOA stubbornly insisted on turning serious and staying that way; and the characters likewise refused to be taken altogether lightly. Seeing how far the story has evolved from its original concept, I'd prefer to write Trav out of it completely now, but I feel a certain commitment to what we advertised on the flyer. So for the present, Trav will have to stay put. Some traces of the original concept have persisted. Since the story was devised as a kind of allegory, the symbolism therein contained (imagery, names, titles, and so on) generally has some sort of Deeper Significance. For instance, when I say that the Baron dwells "on the dark side" of his planet, it's meant to be interpreted figuratively, as well as literally. And more, more, more...
Having been constructed to be an "allegory," BOA must, of course, have a moral of some sort to tout. Actually, it has two, one of which I didn't intend. The unintended lesson (now graven deeply on my consciousness) is that it doesn't do to fool around too casually with even the most light weight of characters. Mary Sues will persist in taking on three dimensionality, if you trifle with them for long...
The intended theme of BOA, and its "moral," if you like, is the devastating potential of misguided love. There are several examples of quite sincere affection compelling people to do peculiar and unloving things in the story, in addition to the central one of the Baron's compulsive attraction to Lady Trustori.
Because of the rather grim theme I've chosen to expound, I'd like to make it clear that I don't feel that all love is intrinsically damaging (though it is always potentially dangerous, because of its power). Rather, I'm harping on the ancient notion that you shouldn't take the dictates of your heart for granted: just because you feel strongly doesn't mean you necessarily feel rightly. True love requires the application of intelligence and clear sight, as well as intense emotion and strong faith. To love otherwise is to invite disaster.Not that you necessarily get a choice...
Author's Synopsis of the First Half of the Story
Through the combined efforts of her former copilot (Meriaoo Gudbudi) and Princess Leia Organa, Trav Leggett has been persuaded to under take a delicate Rebel mission. Trav's assignment: to take Gudbudi, and Gudbudi's cousins (Commander Merisoo Eweredi of Tattooine and Lady Merisoo Trustori of Alderaan) to the planet Veleged. There they will negotiate with Baron Musave Courefay, a renegade Alderaanian nobleman who supports the Empire, for the release of an important Rebel hostage (Galaffen Kaprell).
To complicate matters, the Baron is hiding the fact that he even has a prisoner from the Empire, because he wants a particular ransom more than he wants the political benefits which turning his captive in to the higher authorities as he ought to do would bring him. The ransom: Lady Trustori. The Baron has loved her passionately for many years, despite their political differences. He has only just discovered that she, too, survived the destruction of Alderaan.
To further complicate matters, though the Baron is aware that Lady Trustori is fond of Kaprell, and that Kaprell is valuable to the Rebels, he is not aware that Lady Trustori and Kaprell are deeply in love and engaged to be married.
To complicate matters some more, the Baron's chief assistant, Yal Mesti, is playing a secret game of his own. Yal Mesti is a Sith lord, with mysterious Force powers. He is in league with Darth Vader, and he is scheming to overthrow the proud Baron and take control of the strategically valuable facilities on Veleged (in the name of the Emperor, of course) himself. Yal Mesti's plot is almost ripe. Only certain delicate political considerations (including an understandable reluctance to fail Lord Vader) still restrain him from deposing the Baron.
Trav and the Merisoos set out for Veleged in Trav's ship, the Wild Goose. During the trip, the Merisoos meet Rif, Trav's pet bandok, who is large, carnivorous, and empathic. Rif takes an unusual liking to Eweredi. The Merisoos tell Trav a little about themselves. Trav and Gudbudi reminisce about old times. Veleged proves to be a dangerous world.
The Baron's factory complex is protected from the planet's poisonous atmosphere only by a single gigantic force screen, which is not very stable, and has no operational backups. Blasters are not permitted in the complex because of their potential to damage the life support machinery. As a precaution, everyone who moves around the factory is required to carry a portable respirator.
Trav and the Merisoos are escorted by Krob (one of Yal Mesti's secret agents) into the Baron's presence. The Baron turns out to be a more sym pathetic individual than his visitors had envision ed. He serves the Empire out of an old-fashioned sense of duty, rather than personal loyalty; he would prefer to stay out of politics altogether if he could. His growing disaffection with the Empire is symbolized by the fact that he keeps his family crest (a black-and-white heart imposed on a cloud, derived from his family name which means "divided or dreaming heart") on the wall of his personal office, instead of the Imperial insignia. The Baron confers privately with Lady Trustori. She confronts him with the fact of her engagement to Kaprell. The Baron is torn by jealousy and a desire to protect Trustori from her own folly (involvement with the Rebellion). But in the end, his pride and sense of honor compel him to release both Trustori and Kaprell.Meanwhile, Krob has reported the Baron*s suspicious activities to Yal Mesti. When the Sith discovers the identity of the Baron's heretofore secret prisoner, and the presence of Courefay's Rebel visitors, he sees his chance to take action which will not only bring the factory on Veleged under his control, but which might possibly prove to be the downfall of the entire Rebel Alliance...
- from Jundland Wastes #15/16