Flickr_-_Israel_Defense_Forces_-_Guns_N'_Roses,_Welcome_to_the_Home_Front_JunglePost #15 of the “Dubrillion Burning” series

On her fingers, Jeana ticked off, “You have the spacers, you have your friends in the Senate, and you have us. You have one last, powerful weapon, perhaps the most powerful of all.”

She had Risha’s undivided attention. “I’m all ears,” Risha said.

Jeana nodded to Raffa. “He already touched on it. There are very, very few kings who will walk onto a battlefield to fight for their people. Most of them sit back in a tent or a war room and let other people do the dying for them. The good ones care. The bad ones don’t.”

Jeana squeezed Risha’s shoulder. The Sith’s eyes were soft, dark brown, and beautiful, but Risha felt nothing but majesty in her soul. Risha trembled. “You, Risha Drayen, are the rightful queen of your people, and you’re preparing to enter the battlefield yourself to give them their freedom. You are, literally, a warrior princess.”

Raffa couldn’t help laughing. Jeana didn’t even justify it by looking at him. “Don’t laugh, shithead. I’m making a point,” was all that Jeana did say. Raffa shut up.

Jeana continued, “You’re a ruler who’s willing to shed blood for your people. This makes you more than someone on a throne. You’re one of them, a symbol of everything that the rest of the rulers of Dubrillion aren’t. People will pledge allegiance to that. Some will give their lives for it. Once you embrace this, you’ve already become queen.”

Risha steeled herself. This was bigger than planning a bank job. She’d known what Jeana was saying for a long time, thought about it in her head, but this was the most real it had ever felt. She could feel the heartbeats of everyone on the planet, along with hers. Risha never broke gaze with Jeana’s. “I understand,” she said, and nodded.

Jeana gripped her shoulder tighter. She smiled. “Good,” she said.

You could have heard a pin drop in the room. Jeana let go of Risha’s shoulder. Risha could feel their pride and support as they looked at her. It humbled her. “Where did you learn so much about being a queen?” she asked.

Jeana chuckled. “A few things. I was born the daughter of Jessica Lysset, the Raven of Ashalon. She cast a long shadow. Part of being a dancer is understanding theater, and the movements of the heart. What touches people. Finally, I’ve walked in the Imperial corridors of power. I see what the Sith understand about passions, and what they fail to understand about what brings people together, in common bonds.”


By the way, I wanted to highlight that from here forward I’m going to be using photos that are available under Creative Commons licenses, to ensure there’s no copyright infringement.

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons
Source: Guns N’ Roses: Welcome to the Home Front Jungle
Author: Israel Defense Forces from Israel. This image was taken by the Israel Defense Force and is released under a Creative Commons license by the Israeli Defence Forces Spokesperson’s Unit.

For all you fellow bloggers, the best way I’ve found to obtain free-use photographs is this:
Go to images.google.com
Click “settings” in the lower right-hand corner
Click “advanced search”
Scroll down to the bottom
Under “usage rights,” select “free to use or share”
Provide appropriate credit in your post

I’m still learning this, and will let you know as I know more.

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Comments
  1. A.D. Everard says:

    I enjoyed the dialogue here, you bring in the power of Risha’s calling, even though Raffa laughing at the notion of a warrior princess sounds like he doesn’t believe it, or needs a wake-up call (or a smack in the chops). In Risha’s place, I would assume from Raffa’s laughter that he had no faith in me and I would not be inclined to trust him to have my back.

    I also know (or I think I know) that’s not what you intend, so there might already be a solution planned, or clarification, or an argument brewing. Or it could simply be the way I viewed it. 🙂

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    • Thank you for the critique!

      I need to remember that I know more about the characters’ back stories than the reader does, and bring some of those details forward. Raffa can be a wise-ass. Risha already knows he has her back (which is why she doesn’t react) but Jeana doesn’t (which is why she does). These are all things I’ll need to bring in.

      In this scene, he thinks Jeana’s going over-the-top — and I personally jumped to an image of “Xena: Warrior Princess” — and he just doesn’t get how important this is. That said, he’s a fast learner.

      Like

      • A.D. Everard says:

        Hi Writingsprint! 🙂 Thanks for being okay with my comment. Yeah, the “he doesn’t get how important this is” comes across. That might be something to point out, that he’s incredulous over Jeana’s words, not Risha’s ability or potential. If he doesn’t yet “get it” then when he does could be a big moment for him – and a pleasure for readers to watch. 😀

        Like

      • Your comments are always okay. (By the way, you can call me ‘Matt’ — one of these days I’ll remember to put my name on my blog 🙂 ).

        I’m definitely going to make a note about it for the rewrite. Risha may think “wise ass” — the scene is changing to her point of view — or I may have him actually say, “‘Warrior princess’? What is this, a holovision show?”

        At this point, he only “gets it” in theory. Watching her transform from a smuggler into a queen is going to blow him away over the course of the story, and affect him pretty deeply.

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      • A.D. Everard says:

        Excellent. I look forward to it. And yes, having Raffa say something like that will let the reader know what he’s laughing or smirking about. Laughter on its own came across more “Who? HER?” which is hugely different from laughing because he thinks the dialogue has become a dramatization – that sits very much with his not getting how big this whole thing is.

        I love the idea of Risha’s transformation blowing him away. Sounds like he will be truly awed. With him, of course, will come the reader – equally awed. Nice. 🙂

        Oh, and I’m happy to call you Matt. I’m usually careful on blogs to only go with the name given on site. Thank you for letting me know. “Matt” it is from here on. 😀

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  2. OH! I’m really glad you commented! Yeah, it’s not about “Who? HER?” at all. Great catch. Thank you!

    Truly awed is a good way to put it. Right now, think of her as a female version of Brad Pitt’s character from Ocean’s Eleven. Very smart, a capable leader in her own right, but that’s it. By the end of the story, she’s Cate Blanchett at the end of Elizabeth. (I watch too many movies.) Raffa knows she’s good, and he knows she can be more, but even he doesn’t realize that she’s only scratched the surface of her potential.

    I knew that was why you didn’t use my name 🙂 , and I really appreciated it. The name’ll go up shortly. I tried to avoid using it at first, but since it’ll be on the novel, I might as well put it here too.

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