Beyond A Glimmer Past Twilight - H/L, L/M (AU) - Updated 8/05/08

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by LadyPadme, Jul 19, 2007.

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  1. LadyPadme Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 26, 2002
    star 5
    Disclaimer: George owns all.

    A/N: About a year ago I wrote a vignette called Twilight (posted below). It was supposed to be a one-shot deal, but something about the premise kept niggling away in my mind and I started working at writing a story to go with the viggie. This is very, very AU, but...hope you enjoy. I'm not finished writing it yet, but for now, will try to post once per week. Thank you greatly to my superlative beta, Gabri_Jade ([whispers]The REAL Mara Jade![/whispers]).

    Twilight

    Twilight is her favorite hour.

    Leia steps onto the balcony to gaze down on the gardens below; the scents of Caamasi jasmine mingles with the essence of the coming night and for a moment, she stops, breathing deeply, letting the fragrance suffuse her being with a measure of tranquility. The waning light cannot reach down past the walls of the garden and it is darkening quickly below; only glimpses of the path that winds between the exotic and lush flowers and trees can be seen from her vantage point, but she takes comfort knowing that if she chooses, she may at any time walk amongst the verdant and seductive flora that grow so luxuriantly and insouciantly throughout the secluded refuge.

    In the distance, over the city of Paere, the light is fading rapidly; rays of orange red mingle with flashes of blue violet, creating a marvelous palette of color that seems to splendor and then dim before her very eyes; the waning light striking sparks off the variegated spires and minarets and obelisks that make up the skyline of the city.

    All too quickly, night gathers about her, bringing with the darkness a damp chill in the air. Reluctantly, Leia retreats back across the balcony and into her quarters for a wrapper before she steps back out.

    She sees the twinkle of speeder lights, long lines of them, likely heading home after a long day. She wonders about those people in the speeders, wonders what kinds of homes will receive them, wonders if they step into homes filled with mirth and warmth, homes where arms reach out to comfort the fatigue and cares of the day.

    She shivers. For that is not the home she has. She has a home of indifference and melancholy, a home where a chill pervades the air?a chill more piercing and bitter than anything the night can conjure.

    But it is the price I paid, she tells herself as she considers the bargain she made so many years ago. And the desolate realization that perhaps she made a terrible mistake does nothing to ease the ache of loneliness and despair that are her daily attendants. She had thought it was love that made her sign away her lifesblood, but now she wonders if such a thing as love exists in the universe at all.

    No, you know what it means to love, she reminds herself.

    ?Your Majesty, it?s nearing dinner time,? a voice sounds from behind.

    Leia nods, not turning just yet. She gazes one final time out into her garden, at the flickering torches that light the pathway between the flowerbeds, and then she sighs and retreats into her bedroom once again.

    Her quarters are sumptuous, with elegant, almost opulent furniture and plush, gorgeously woven carpets, but by her orders, the walls are bare?almost. As she steps inside, she gazes toward the hanging on the wall opposite the balcony doors and her heart stops as always.

    For that object is the one thing she has to adorn her quarters, the corporeal reminder of the bargain she struck, the symbol that ties her to a past that seems to have receded into the distance so far that even the last lingering bond has grown gossamer thin over the years.

    The piece is large, rectangular, over two and a half meters in length. It has a dull, dark gray metallic sheen under the illumination of the display lights. It is a bas-relief of a man, the perfect mold of the figure that once lay in the cavity of the sculpture.

    It is the carbonite block that once held Han Solo.

    The maid who spoke ear
  2. LadyPadme Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 26, 2002
    star 5
    And now, onto the story itself...

    A Glimmer Past Twilight

    Chapter One

    Mara Jade awoke with a start.

    ?Mara Jade?your master calls you??

    The voice echoed in her mind, making her heart race. She sat up in the dark, feeling sand and dirt rustling under her legs, and shivered despite the heat of the night.

    ?Mara Jade! I command you to respond!?

    In the shelter of the cave where she had been sleeping, Mara clenched her fists together tightly, bracing herself against the anticipated onslaught. She wondered if she would hear that voice echoing in her mind for the rest of her life.

    And then she grimaced as she considered the fact that she didn?t think she?d be alive much longer, anyway.

    ?Mara Jade!?

    Mara put her hands over her ears, willing the voice to stop, but the echo continued to reverberate in the recesses of her thoughts. ?Stop, stop,? she gritted. She looked out the cave entrance into the sky, almost expecting to see her master standing there, but all she saw was the twinkle of a million uncaring stars.

    She groaned and bent her head down, concentrating on closing her mind to that call. And even as she did so, she asked herself if she was doing the right thing in refusing to obey the command. But vividly, unbidden, the images came back to mind. Images of the slaughter. The massacre of the children. The memory of the screams began to resonate in her mind, drowning out the fading echoes of Palpatine?s call.

    She was the Emperor?s Hand. She had lived to serve Emperor Palpatine, and she had always taken pride in her abilities and accomplishments. Her pride had sustained her through the many years she had served as Imperial assassin and sometimes spy, and kept her going when she suffered hardship and adversity. She had always believed her work to be of the utmost importance to the Empire, and that she served the causes of justice and order.

    But now, for the first time in her life, she dared question Palpatine.

    The massacre at Fiku need not have happened. Mara had been sent to assassinate the governor, to neutralize a system that had recently become dangerously insubordinate over the issue of Imperial commerce taxes. Fiku sat at the intersection of two profitable trade routes, and if the system succeeded in resisting Imperial control, it would likely influence several nearby star systems to do the same.

    With her usual sophisticated efficiency, Mara had completed her mission within two standard days of arriving on Fiku. It was Mara?s habit to leave immediately after completing any assignment, but she was delayed this time because the stabilizing thruster on her ship was faulty.

    And while she waited for the repairs to be completed, she saw perhaps what she was never meant to have seen.

    The scene at the school playground was horrific. No matter how Mara tried to reconcile her trust in Palpatine with the spectacle she witnessed, there was no justification that she could believe. The official holonews reports stated that masked gunmen, likely Rebel soldiers, were responsible for the massacre, but Mara knew that the governor?s daughter was among the dead. Moreover, from the synchronized manner in which the ?Rebels? were shooting, as well as the sophistication of their weaponry, Mara knew that the assassins were Imperial stormtroopers disguised to look like guerilla fighters.

    Could the Rebels really be right? Could Palpatine have really been evil?

    The first time the heretical thought came to mind, Mara had startled like a frightened animal, feeling as though the ground had been pulled loose from under her feet.

    It?s not possible, she?d told herself firmly. There must be something I don?t know, some reason that would justify what happened on Fiku.

    She left Fiku the day after the massacre, but she didn?t return to Coruscant as she usually did. No matter how she tried to reason with herself, she couldn?t bring herself to face Palpatine just yet. She took a detour to Uriope, an Outer Rim system that boasted
  3. Gabri_Jade VIP

    VIP
    Member Since:
    Nov 9, 2002
    star 5
    I hereby give this fic my solemn and official stamp of approval. :-B

    I don't know where you come up with these awesome ideas, Jieh. :D Now get cracking on the rest so I can read it! :p
  4. YodaKenobi VIP

    VIP
    Member Since:
    May 27, 2003
    star 6
    Yay! i loved this viggie a year ago and am so glad you decided to expand it into a full fic :D It's such a creative idea for an AU.


    The scene at the school playground was horrific. No matter how Mara tried to reconcile her trust in Palpatine with the spectacle she witnessed, there was no justification that she could believe. The official holonews reports stated that masked gunmen, likely Rebel soldiers, were responsible for the massacre, but Mara knew that the governor?s daughter was among the dead. Moreover, from the synchronized manner in which the ?Rebels? were shooting, as well as the sophistication of their weaponry, Mara knew that the assassins were Imperial stormtroopers disguised to look like guerilla fighters.
    Could the Rebels really be right? Could Palpatine have really been evil?


    This is a interesting twist. Not only do we have Luke joining Palpatine instead of making a stand against him, we have Mara beginning to question her association with the Emperor on her own [face_thinking] Could we see Mara rescuing Luke from the Emperor's hold over him? :eek:

    After three days of hiking in the wilderness, Mara?s clothes were scuffed and dirty and her long braid of red-gold hair was rumpled with bits of sand and gravel intertwined in the locks; moreover, she was sure she smelled. But she held herself proudly and erectly as though she was a queen come to bestow favors even as she calmly held up her hands. ?My name is Mara Jade. And I?m here to surrender.?

    :D

    What a great start, LP =D= Definitely not a twist I saw coming, and I really like all the possibilities this opens :D The Rebels going farther under ground really adds an element of excitement here, and I can't wait to see Mara joining them. I'm hoping she'll run into Han soon [face_mischief] I'm wondering how he's doing :(

    I also loved all your descriptions and the way you presented Mara's story. It was all beautifully written :)

    Can't wait to see where you're going with this :D
  5. Bri_Windstar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 27, 2002
    star 4
    *high pitched SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE* :D :D :D :D :D

    This makes me so obnoxiously happy!! I'm between classes right now and can't read it (ACK, btw! :( ) but I wanted to claim a spot, say I'm in for the ride, and a big HELL YEAH! [face_dancing]

    It's so awesome to see you up and running with another story, LP. It's been far too long. [:D] [:D]

    Edit: Back, yo. :cool:

    I'm actually really really hoping that Luke isn't the one who was/will be named the new Sith heir and that there's something else going on with him that we'll learn later. But you're evil, so who knows. :p

    And it was a pleasant surprise to see Mara as the subject of the first chapter. Mara as a Rebel... [face_thinking]

    SO count me in for the ride!


  6. ccp Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 29, 2005
    star 4
    Intrigueing. I am very interested to see where this is going.
  7. StarFighter5 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 25, 2003
    star 4
    Hello, LP. Im very excited to see where this goes. Both Mara and Leia's situations seem a hopeless, but they are strong enough to pull through. I wonder where Han is during all of this...[face_worried]
  8. dm1 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 9, 2004
    star 4
    I remember that first post. I felt bad for Leia there, but the end told everything. Glad to see you are writing again. Will you also work on "In Name Only" at some point? I really want to know how that turns out.

    Edit: Yippee, you did post an update to "In Name Only!" Fantastic!
  9. RebelMom Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 20, 2000
    star 6
    LP has a new story? :eek:
    I remember the prologue. It is good to see you writing again. Welcome back.
  10. BigFatty Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 9, 2005
    star 4
    I, too, remember reading the prologue and being intrigued. Glad to see you writing again, and very excited to see where you take this.
  11. redtenko Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 7, 2006
    star 1
    oooh I like this start, I like it a lot! You've got layers set for intrigue, and I'm already interested to know if Luke's turned dark or if he's hiding things too. And Mara joining the rebellion is looking to be a really interesting take on her character. Great setup for an AU, I'm looking foreward to more! If you're doing PMs I'd like one, and if you're not I'll just have to keep my eyes open for updates
  12. jedi_princess18 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 7, 2005
    star 3
    I absolutely love this idea! So intriguing. I can't wait to read more!
  13. KELIA Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jul 26, 2005
    star 6
    Very intriguing beginning.

    How brave or foolish of Mara to try and run from Palpatine. With her ability to hear him no matter where she is, can she ever really escape?

    Luke's a prisoner? :eek: :eek: [face_worried] [face_worried] I don't even want to imagine what he's been through.

    I admire Leia for making what had to be the most difficult decision of her life and I'm glad to see her husband keeping his end of the deal.

    If you have a PM list for this, please add me? [face_praying]

    Looking forward to more

    =D= =D= =D= =D=
  14. TenelKaSolo Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Oct 18, 2004
    star 1
    Very interesting concept! Please add me to you PM list if you have one!
  15. PonyTricks Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 25, 2003
    star 4
    A new story by LP!! [face_dancing] [face_dancing]

    Very interesting. Leia's married to another man, so she could protect Han and their child.

    Luke is Palp's prisoner... and new heir?? :eek: :eek:

    Vader is... ? ? ?

    Han is still a Rebel.

    Mara is about to become a Rebel.

    Will this turn into a Han/Mara love story? [face_batting]

    I can't wait for more!!
  16. Jaded_Rose Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 15, 2006
    star 3
    I can't wait to readi this story as it comes along! I read ILAW and the rest of your epic AU when I first discovered the boards, and they remain some of my favorite stories of all time. This story promises the same, at least to me!

    J_Ro
  17. Dunc T'racen Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 11, 2000
    star 3
    Interesting... I'm looking forward to more!
  18. maramijade Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 17, 2000
    star 4
    most definitely interesting :D

  19. jade51999 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 5, 1999
    star 5
    Alright.....

    now that was interesting...
  20. Golden_Jedi Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 10, 2005
    star 4
    Very interesting exchange of characters... I wonder how *bad* things can go from here... [face_worried]
  21. Blue_Milkshake Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 18, 2005
    star 3
    Ooooh, I'm hooked. Looking forward to more of your story!
  22. LadyPadme Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 26, 2002
    star 5
    Mei: I don't know where you come up with these awesome ideas, Jieh. Now get cracking on the rest so I can read it!

    - Ideas? Huh? I just do what my muse tells me and I'm glad to get the work! :p

    - As for writing more, what about YOU??


    ...runs :p

    YodaKenobi: Ooh! Great to have you along!

    What a great start, LP Definitely not a twist I saw coming, and I really like all the possibilities this opens The Rebels going farther under ground really adds an element of excitement here, and I can't wait to see Mara joining them. I'm hoping she'll run into Han soon I'm wondering how he's doing

    - Oh, you'll see them. You'll have to wait a bit, but they'll show up :)

    Can't wait to see where you're going with this

    * giggles * Me neither!

    Bri-Chan: *high pitched SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE*

    * falls over backward *

    * staggers to feet *

    Huh??? :confused:

    And it was a pleasant surprise to see Mara as the subject of the first chapter. Mara as a Rebel...

    - I think to some extent being a rebel is Mara's natural milieu. ;)

    - Thanks so much for reading!

    ccp: Thanks for reading. Hope you find more if it intriguing :D

    Starfighter5: Hey, great to see you again!

    Both Mara and Leia's situations seem a hopeless, but they are strong enough to pull through. I wonder where Han is during all of this...

    - That's exactly where I like my characters...in completely hopeless situations [face_devil] As for Han, you'll see him one day :D

    dm1: I remember that first post. I felt bad for Leia there, but the end told everything. Glad to see you are writing again.

    - It's definitely a nice feeling to be writing again. Thanks for reading and for your faithfulness in INO :) * hugs *

    RebelMom: LP has a new story?

    - Yeah, I know. I feel that way, myself :p

    BigFatty: Thank you for coming in to read!

    redtenko: You've got layers set for intrigue, and I'm already interested to know if Luke's turned dark or if he's hiding things too.

    * cackles * We'll get to Luke. All in good time. [face_devil]

    - Thanks for reading!

    jediprincess18: Thanks for coming into the story!

    KELIA: How brave or foolish of Mara to try and run from Palpatine. With her ability to hear him no matter where she is, can she ever really escape?

    - I guess that answer remains to be seen... [face_mischief]

    - Thank you so much for reading. :)

    TenelkaSolo: Thank you for coming into the story!

    PonyTricks: A Han/Mara story? Didn't you already cover that with Mara Laura Jade? :p

    - Thanks so much for reading ;)

    Jaded_Rose: Wow, I'm quite flattered that you've read my other stories. Thank you for coming into read this one :)

    Dunc T'racen: Thanks for reading!

    maramijade: Hey, nice to see you again!

    jade51999: Wow, great to see you, too!

    Golden_Jedi: I wonder how *bad* things can go from here...

    * grins * I wonder how bad I can make things go from here... [face_devil] Thanks for reading!

    Blue_Milkshake: Welcome to the story! Thanks for reading!

  23. LadyPadme Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 26, 2002
    star 5
    Chapter Two

    ~*~ Part One ~*~

    ?Your Majesties, please be sure you?re strapped in; we?ll be coming out of hyperspace to Coruscanti airspace in five minutes.?

    Leia, Queen of Nio, nodded and turned toward her son who was seated on her left. He was small for a boy of five, somewhat pallid, with a mop of unruly brown hair, big hazel eyes and an air of solemnity unusual in a child of his age. ?Jace, are you strapped in??

    ?Yes, Mamma.?

    Leia checked her own straps under her crash webbing and then at last, turned toward her husband who was seated on her right. By force of habit, her gaze rested at a point just below his chin. His elaborate ceremonial dress uniform was a bit rumpled, but nothing that couldn?t be easily fixed just before they disembarked. He was securely strapped in, his calm demeanor belying the disquiet that Leia knew he felt.

    ?Make sure that the child doesn?t speak during the arrival?I don?t want the boy embarrassing me in front of the Emperor,? he muttered as he turned and looked out the porthole.

    Leia turned away from her husband and gave her son?s hand a sympathetic squeeze. Viper, the thought came, laden with contempt.

    Almost as if sensing her spike in antagonism, her husband turned toward her with a speculative look in his eyes. ?You look quite lovely, my dear,? he said, his voice smooth as marble. ?I?m sure the Imperial Court will be very impressed by your impeccable beauty and grace.?

    Leia bit back her retort although she was sure the jaded and intensely corrupt Imperial Court would have far better things to do than to pay attention to her, the unimportant queen of a medium sized planetary system along the Corellian Trade Spine.

    The ship came out of hyperspace and shuddered as it entered Coruscant?s gravity well. Despite her professed indifference to their destination, Leia couldn?t resist her curiosity as she looked down at the endless cityscape of the galaxy?s capital planet. It had been many years since she?d been to Coruscant?not since she?d been the Senator of Alderaan. Leia sat back in her chair as the Manarai mountain range came into view, remembering the last time she had attended a session of the Senate before the Emperor had dissolved the council. She had come to make an official appeal for aid to starving miners on Baladar Four even as she spent her spare time covertly seeking backers and money to fund the fledgling Rebel Alliance.

    So many years, and such a long road, Leia thought wearily, as her fingertips blindly traced the embroidery on her elaborate formal gown. The Imperial Palace hovered into view and Leia couldn?t quite suppress a shudder. Palpatine, she thought, a sudden revulsion rising into her throat and making her feel clammy and nauseated.

    It was almost inconceivable to her that after so many years and such a legacy of terror that the Emperor could still be alive. But he continued to defy all the odds even as he did his best to hunt down the last remnants of the Rebel Alliance in his unending quest to rid the galaxy of all his opponents.

    Leia thought of Alderaan and the old feeling of despair rose in her breast. This time, it was her son who gave her hand a sympathetic squeeze. Leia turned toward him and smiled her appreciation.

    The smile faded as she glanced out the window again. The ship was nearing its landing pad. Leia took a deep breath to try to gather her strength. During all the years she had been married, she had never accompanied her husband on any of his visits to Coruscant, had never had any desire to return to the planet. Even now?especially now?as the Emperor prepared to mark the fifth anniversary of the Battle of Endor with a grand celebration, Leia would have refused her husband?s command to attend the festivities but for a chance remark she had overheard several weeks ago. She thought back to the conversation that took place between her husband and his grand vizier:

    ?I?ve also heard tell the Emperor will be introducing his new heir, your Majesty.?

    ?An heir??

    ?Rumor has it that the heir
  24. ccp Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 29, 2005
    star 4
    Excellent.
    I wonder if the correlian scoundrel will make an appearance.
  25. Golden_Jedi Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 10, 2005
    star 4
    Leia doesn't seem to know that Luke is her brother... I worry if Han is still encased in carbonite. [face_worried]

    PS: Just reread the first chapter. No, he's not in carbonite anymore. :D
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