Beyond Agharta - (Mara and Jaina adventure: pre-NJO) Chapter 11: Past Excuses; Mara questions Trogan

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by madman007, Oct 2, 2010.

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  1. madman007 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 22, 2007
    star 4
    Madman Productions presents...




    The Star Wars saga has given many interpretations of the dark side



    The dark side of the Force is a pathway to many abilities some consider to be?unnatural. - Palpatine

    A Jedi's strength flows from the Force. But beware the dark side.
    Anger, fear, aggression. The dark side of the Force are they.
    - Yoda

    You don't know the power of the dark side! - Darth Vader



    On a mission of peace just before the chaos of the Vong War, Mara Jade Skywalker and her new Jedi apprentice, Jaina Solo, will discover a new definition of the dark side



    Mara Jade Skywalker: The Mahra Pirates. They were once a violent nuisance to the Empire back in the day. Now it seems they've turned over a new leaf. They're on Quilura.

    Jaina Solo: I thought the Gurlanins didn't allow humans on their turf.

    Mara: The Mahra have a mix of different species. For some reason, the Gurlanins allow them to share a specific space.

    Jaina: So, we're going into the hostile environment of one species to sign a peace treaty of another formerly hostile group of pirates. Where do I sign up?

    Mara: We already did.



    They will question the difference between what they see and what they believe.



    Mahra leader: We are no longer what we were. Violence is not an answer. We now seek peace.

    Mara: I'll believe that when I see it.



    They will see a mix of cultures coming together in harmony. It is a life that neither has experienced before.

    For Jaina, it is the chance to gain back her sense of childhood




    Jaina: Everybody loved my lightsaber. They were so in awe. They're so calm and happy here.

    Mara: Glad your using your Jedi skills as a circus act.

    Jaina: But it's fun!



    For Mara, it means a life that she doesn't believe she is ready for yet


    A mother holding a baby: Someday, you could be a mother.

    Mara: I don't think so.

    Mother: Oh, yes. You will be a good mother.

    Mara: I'm not so sure.



    Everything seemed to be perfect



    Until...



    [Jaina wakes up suddenly]: I saw...a young girl walking in a forest. She was screaming for help.

    Mara: Was it a vision?

    Jaina: No. It...didn't feel like the Force.

    Mara: What did it feel like?

    Jaina:...Cold.



    There are some things that can seem perfect



    Mara: There is so much that we don't know about the Mahra.



    Some secrets should stay a secret




    Mara [seeing a far away island within a large lake]: What is that out there?

    Mahra leader: That is Neekro island. We do not speak of it. It is forbidden.



    Some places should stay a mystery



    A woman drawing on the ceiling: No! You have to cancel the factors! They're not coming for dinner. Too crowded. Ahhh, so pretty the domes of their heads.

    Jaina: What's wrong with her?

    Mahra clansman: She has never been the same since she came back.

    Jaina: Came back from where?

    Mahra clansman: Neekro island.



    When secrets do escape, panic takes over




    Mahra leader: The Jedi girl. She saw her in a vision and survived. You know what this means? We have to fulfill the prophecy.



    And with panic comes a darkness that the Jedi have not known.



    [scene of a pale young girl walking alone at night in a forest. She screams in silence.]


    Jaina [screaming]: Get out of my head!!





    From the author of the Mary Jane Skyler Trilogy, and Traits Of Descent, comes a story that proves...




    Luke Skywalker: I think we've disturbed something that wasn't meant to be disturbed.

    Lando Calrissian: Not another Sith spirit.

    Luke: No.



    ...the dark side does not always involve the Force



    Luke: Something worse




    Coming soon just in time for Halloween

    From Madman007




    AGHARTA
  2. madman007 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 22, 2007
    star 4
    Welcome to my nightmare.

    Well, my new epic anyway. For a long time I've been wanting to do something big with the characters Mara and Jaina at the time they are teacher and student. I have yet to find any fan fic that deal with this time just before the NJO and profic just one sentences it. And as my outline came around, I saw this as a story just in time for Hallowen. Just how I won't say yet. The trailer is above and the prologue should intrigue you enough to want more. [face_praying] If you want to be on a PM list, I can start one. I'm working on the first Chapter now and it'll be longer. So, see what you think so far and I'll come back with more.

    And as always, enjoy and review as you see fit.


    ***********************************************


    Agharta



    Prologue


    "Mara, look out for that...tree!" Luke Skywalker had to duck down into the seat of the skiff in order to avoid the rushing limb that threatened to decapitate him. The limb whizzed by as they were traveling at tremendous speed. While the skiff was dodging the oncoming trees and foliage, Luke was reminded of another high-speed chase he had been involved in while in the woods on the Endor moon so many ages ago. The difference this time was that he was a passenger.

    His wife, Mara Jade Skywalker, was the pilot of the low grade skiff they found at a moment's notice. She was too focused to concentrate on her husband's words, despite her yelling out, "Do not tell me how to fly, Skywalker!"

    "Did you jam his comlink?"

    "Already done! Though, I don't think he'll contact anyone!"

    It was hard to understand her speech while the wind was thrusting against them. Luckily, the Skywalker couple had their Force bond for such occasions to hear themselves. "Why do you say that?" he yelled his question to her. He grabbed the edge of the front dash to hold on to after Mara made a sudden bank to the left to miss a large tree stump.

    Mara straightened out her swerve as she tried to catch up to the craft ahead of them. She yelled out, "Tell you later! I'm a bit busy!"

    Luke kept a hold of the dash as she swerved to the left and right almost at random to avoid the trees and limbs in her way. By the look of determination in her face, there was no way she was going to relinquish the controls.

    The craft they were chasing was very fast and the pilot could maneuver fairly well. After a few minutes of flying low to the ground, the craft suddenly lurched upward towards the treetops. Mara tried to compensate but the ancient skiff couldn't handle such a quick bank. She overshot the turn and almost ran themselves into a giant yerchwood before she corrected it and went upward to follow the craft. She uttered an audible, "Sithspawn!" as she continued her pursuit of the craft, which was quite well ahead of them now. "This guy's good!"

    Luke shouted, "I thought he was just a security officer!"

    "He's too good to be just any officer. He's had training! And I think I know where!"

    Luke pressed down his foot onto an imaginary brake as she made the skiff reach speeds it wasn't ready for. The old repulsor engines behind them whined in protest. "Let's talk about it after we survive!"

    "Good idea! I'm catching up to him!"

    Sure enough, Luke noticed that she was gaining on the craft. The blue-white crescent-shaped engines started to get closer. He wondered what she had in mind before they were fried from those engines. At least the craft leveled off and the treetops were now out of the way and below them. Her acceleration had increased mightily as the craft seemed to suddenly come closer in view. That was when Luke realized what it was doing.

    "Mara! You're not gaining on him! He's slowing down! There's no way this heap could catch up to him!"

    "You're right! But, why would he, unless?"

    Suddenly, they got their answer.

    Slightly above the craft's repulsor engine was a small compartment that started to open. Usually, the hatch was for dumping excess debris out before a jump into hyperspace. As soon as the door of the compartment fully s
  3. Piper057 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 26, 2009
    star 2
    My favourite timeline)) And so little is written about it((

    I love your trailer! [:D]

    After a beat, Han asked in an almost casual exasperated tone, "Again?"

    [face_laugh]That's Han we all know and love.))

    Could you add me to PM list, please?

  4. Lady_Jedi93 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 11, 2010
    star 4
    Wow! That trailer was chilling :cool: and the teaser :D was awesome! L/M is the the best! Add me to your PM list pretty please [face_batting]
  5. Nyota's Heart Combos & Paragraphs Host

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    Aug 31, 2004
    star 6
    Wow! Cool time and wonderfully unique and compelling start you have here with a Mara/Jaina focus.

    :D

  6. JediMara77 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 5, 2004
    star 4
    Mara and Jaina pre-NJO? Sign me up!
  7. Master_Jaina1011 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 20, 2002
    star 4
    I saw your trailer in Resource and now you do have me hooked!

    Loved the Luke/Mara banter

    and then Han's reaction to Jaina getting Kidnapped...priceless

    Again?![face_laugh]

    Great start!
  8. Overboard4aFel Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 16, 2010
    star 2
    Nice!

    I enjoyed that! Please sign me up for the PM list!! Nice choice on time period-- Jaina's still cocky and feeling invincible, Mara's steady, but fiery... Oh yay!!:D

    Looking forward to the next installment!

    :D

    O4aF
  9. madman007 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 22, 2007
    star 4
    Piper057 - My favourite timeline)) And so little is written about it. Tell me about it!



    I love your trailer! Thanks! Tried to make it attractive.

    After a beat, Han asked in an almost casual exasperated tone, "Again?"

    That's Han we all know and love.))
    Yep. And a background story of how I came up with that line is below.

    Could you add me to PM list, please? Of course!



    Lady_Jedi93 - If you thought the trailer was chilling, wait till you get into the main part of the story! [face_skull] You shall be added.

    Jade_eyes - Cool time and wonderfully unique and compelling start you have here with a Mara/Jaina focus. Thanks. This is about the only time frame I could fit the story in. There's almost too much going on with the twins at this time.


    JediMara77 - Mara and Jaina pre-NJO? Sign me up! That's the spirit! It isn't just that there isn't enough Mara and Jaina fics; there aren't any. At least any that I could find. Consider yourself signed up!

    Master_Jaina1011 - I saw your trailer in Resource and now you do have me hooked!
    Ah, so the trailer did it's job! Good to hear.

    Loved the Luke/Mara banter

    and then Han's reaction to Jaina getting Kidnapped...priceless.


    Wait till you read my Mara/Jaina banter! Funny thing how Han's reaction came about; when I was in the planning stages on this story (I actually still am) I thought about a Jaina kidnaping and thought that's been done so many times. But I still used that plot bc it made sense and I made my reaction the same as Han's.

    Overboard4aFel - I enjoyed that! Please sign me up for the PM list!! Nice choice on time period-- Jaina's still cocky and feeling invincible, Mara's steady, but fiery... That's the way Star Wars women should be! And an eerie parallel between the two that I don't think has been explored in detail yet.

    Looking forward to the next installment!

    It shall be here soon! Just getting chapter 1 completed and typed. Look for it by the weekend!

    PM list (so far)

    Piper057
    Lady_Jedi93
    Jade_eyes
    JediMara77
    Master_Jaina1011
    Overboard4aFel
  10. madman007 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 22, 2007
    star 4
    Behold, the first chapter out of many. I'll send PM's in the morning. Spent all evening revising. Enjoy and review as you see fit.


    Chapter One - The Mission



    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Approximately four standard days earlier



    On board the Jade Sabre

    This is what she needed. Calm concentration. Peace at no cost. There were no pesky brothers antagonizing her here. No spirits of Sith Lords interfering with the Force. She even managed to purge her excitement of flying her father's graduation present to her. It was an old Z-95 Headhunter heavily modified in the usual Solo style. It took her great will power to not bring it along with her on this trip.

    At the moment, it was only her and the Force.

    It had been some time since she had experienced the calm of the Force as a Jedi. She cherished the tranquility of meditation as she used the Force to levitate a few objects inside her quarters. Not since she had been a student on Yavin 4 did she so completely immerse herself in the Force and could feel the objects around her. Within the far distance of that feeling was the presence of her twin. He would always be common ground whenever she concentrated this hard in the Force. It was inevitable. They were both once part of a cell that separated into two wholly different beings. People have said how different they were from each other, and scientists proclaimed that fraternal twins did not always share the same traits. She wasn't so sure. Was their bond even more focused than other fraternal twins because of the Force? If heredity did play a part in their bond, then what about her Uncle Luke and Aunt Mara's bond in the Force? They were not blood related, yet their bond is as strong as her and her twins' bond. Her love for her brother was one thing. To have a life partner whom you could communicate with mentally from anywhere within the galaxy would be ideal for her.

    Jaina Solo groaned slightly while still concentrating in the Force. Her love life was another matter that she pushed to the back burner of her mind. Whenever she mentioned Zekk or even the new candidate, Jagged Fel, people close to her would tell her that she was too young to think of such things now. Yet, with all that had happened to her in her short fifteen years of her life, Jaina felt much more mature than most girls her age. When she really thought about it, she had been through more adventures and emotional tragedies than most normal people experience in their whole lifetimes. It was strange to think about, but Jaina's young maturity made her feel older. It was as if the spirit of Exar Kun, the Shadow Academy, and the recent battle on the way to Mon Calamari had somehow drew her away from a proper childhood.

    Just like Mara Jade.

    Jaina was excited when she heard that she was to be apprentice to the Mara Jade Skywalker, despite the fact that she was her aunt. After she graduated to Jedi Apprentice, she and Mara stayed on Yavin for a few weeks so Jaina could get a feel for Mara's brand of training. Immediately, she could tell the difference between Luke and Mara as instructors. Whereas Luke would explain the reasoning and the purpose of each exercise before giving it, Mara Jade would keep silent. Her lessons seemed to blend in with everyday chores. Jaina would not realize a job was a hidden lesson until after Mara pointed out the Jedi skill involved. Not only that, but Mara's fighting style with a lightsaber was much more aggressive than Luke's. Though Jaina respected defense, she also felt there was a need for offense. She would learn from both teachers equally. Though, she wished that Mara had been a full time instructor at the Jedi Academy from the beginning.

    Jaina seemed more at ease with her aunt. Not that she loved her uncle any less. She also loved her brothers and parents equally. There just was a time when she had to be away from them. This was that time. And Mara Jade Skywalker was the perfect person to spend that time with.

    Jaina had been in her mediation s
  11. Lady_Jedi93 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 11, 2010
    star 4
    I read it and thoroughly enjoyed it.:) I love Mara and Jaina working together and I think you captured their personalities quite nicely. =D= Great job! :D
  12. JediMara77 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 5, 2004
    star 4
    Fantastic start. You've really captured what I liked about Jaina during the early NJO, when I still really liked her character.
  13. Overboard4aFel Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 16, 2010
    star 2
    very nice!

    You have it set up very logically-- feels like it should be profic...

    And yay! The Jaina I always loved-- Quick, confident, and good! And with Mara-- It's nice to actually see the Master/Apprentice relationship going on there-- we only ever heard about it as something in the past..

    Excellent job! Looking forward to the next part!!

    O4aF
  14. Master_Jaina1011 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 20, 2002
    star 4
    You were right about the Mara/Jaina banter. You have that down pat!

    You have me intrigued, and very curious about this race.

    Great job!
  15. Piper057 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 26, 2009
    star 2
    Jaina sighed. "Uncle Luke was right. You are a hopeless case."

    "What? When did he say that? I'm not hopeless. Next time I see him, I'll show him hopeless. And why are you smiling at this?"

    "Anakin was right, too. The best way to get you mad is to mention something Uncle Luke said about you."


    [face_laugh][face_laugh][face_laugh]



    The truth was that Jaina was an excellent pilot. It was so fitting that Han had given his daughter an old Z-95 Headhunter for a graduation present. That was also Mara's first ship when she started flying star fighters at Jaina's age. Given that similarity and all of the adventures that Jaina had experienced at such a young age, Mara thought there may be a strange parallel between she and her niece. Neither had lived through normal childhoods. She wondered if that was a flaw with both Jania's and her own personalities. Was a proper childhood required to become a well adjusted adult? And just what makes a childhood proper, anyway? Was there a wrong way to raise a child? Luke Skywalker was raised all right on Tatooine, yet he still had issues to work out as an adult.

    The old Mara would say that childhood was not practical. Then again, the old Mara would say that children and family were impractical as well. Mara slightly cringed at the subject of children. Her mind always seemed to find it's way back to the subject lately. The discussion of having offspring had been brought up more than once during their first years of marriage. It was during those discussions when she was glad that she married one of the most patient men in the galaxy. How could she raise a child with all of their duties? Training an apprentice as a Jedi was one thing. Raising a child the right way was another shockball game altogether.


    Very interesting reflections about childhood and adult life, but still I'd say that having people who love you and care about you really means much better childhood then growing up alone.
    Oh, and Luke and patience...:D

    I've never been Jaina's fan and I doubt I'll ever be (yes, I'm eretic, I know [face_blush])but I'll always enjoy these Master/Apprentice interactions. Mara as a Master is priceless. [:D]Looking forward to more. :)
  16. madman007 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 22, 2007
    star 4
    Lady_Jedi93 - I read it and thoroughly enjoyed it.
    That's all I ask for.
    I love Mara and Jaina working together and I think you captured their personalities quite nicely. Thanks. I was worried about getting Jaina correct at this time.

    JediMara77 - Fantastic start. You've really captured what I liked about Jaina during the early NJO, when I still really liked her character. Thanks again! Seems a lot of people liked Jaina at this time before the boytoy wars of Zakk and Jag.

    Overboard4aFel - You have it set up very logically-- feels like it should be profic... What a compliment! Thanks, but sometimes I think that's my curse. Many of the more popular fics I see that have a gazillion replies have 85% dialogue and hardly any insight to the characters. Maybe my fics are too hard to read.

    The Jaina I always loved-- Quick, confident, and good! And with Mara-- It's nice to actually see the Master/Apprentice relationship going on there-- we only ever heard about it as something in the past.. Exactly my point in choosing an adventure with these two. Don't think it's ever been done to this extent.

    Master_Jaina1011 - You have me intrigued, and very curious about this race.You ain't seen nothing yet. I have plans concerning the Gurlanins. Nice to have a reader intrigued. Thanks!

    Piper057 - Very interesting reflections about childhood and adult life, but still I'd say that having people who love you and care about you really means much better childhood then growing up alone. That may be a lesson that both Mara and Jaina will learn soon.

    I've never been Jaina's fan and I doubt I'll ever be (yes, I'm eretic, I know ) I do hope you meant erratic. Let me work on your Jaina hate for a while and we'll see.

    Thanks for reading, all.

    I'm going to try and get these next chapters in as quick as I can. DRL never cooperates. I will tell you that the next chapter will introduce the creepy side of this story. Just in time for Halloween!!! [face_skull] [face_pumpkin]
  17. Piper057 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 26, 2009
    star 2
    "I do hope you meant erratic. Let me work on your Jaina hate for a while and we'll see."

    Do I need to know what that word meant? [face_blush]I wanted to say "heretic" because there are so many Jaina's fans here... I don't hate her of course, she is just not interesting for me as a character. Is this word proper?

    And about your so-called curse... Don't you ever change, please! [face_praying]
  18. madman007 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 22, 2007
    star 4
    I'll try not to, but I've already changed something big.

    The title!

    As I write the next chapter of this soon to be epic, I found that the original title of Dark Paradise is too generic. Therefore, I have changed the title to Agharta. What does it mean? Well, there is an Earth translation that involves Buddhism. But that has nothing to do with my story. Guess you'll have to read on to find out.
  19. madman007 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 22, 2007
    star 4
    Welcome back after a whole month. I do apologize for the delay but I get sidetracked easily these days. First thing you're probably wondering about is the change in title. As I said in the last post, when I wrote more into this, I felt "Dark Paradise" was too vague and generalized. I wanted to give the title a specific and mysterious name. Trust me, you will know more about it by the end of this chapter. Which is not to say you'll know all about it. Yet.

    In case you need a recap so you don't have to read the previous chapters again, Mara and Jaina are together as Jedi mentor and apprentice just about a year before the chaos of NJO happens. Their mission is to research a clan of pirates called the Mahra, who now claim to want peace and join the New Republic. Mara and Jaina are on Qiilura to find out if this group of pirates are for real, or if they have an ulterior motive. Once they land on Qiilura, they are greeted by a rugged male who is the Head of Security for the Mahra, named Trogan Eclane. They also meet a native creature of Qiilura called a gurlanin. They can shape-shift into just about anything living or non-living. Ruht is one such creature who is now in the form of a human and is the liaison between the gurlanins and the Mahra. The four of them are now traveling back to the Mahra compound. And that's where the next chapter takes you.

    As always, enjoy and review as you see fit!

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Agharta

    Chapter 2 - A Delay Before Entry


    Qiilura: En route to the Mahra compound

    The old Imperial transport crawled on its treads back into the wooded area at it's fastest speed. Mara knew she was getting along in age and her agility wasn't the same as it had been when she was the Emperor's Hand. She still figured she could run faster than this ancient PX-7 transport. It did have its advantages. Whereas a repulsor lift would have a hard time running over fallen tree limbs and thick grasses, the PX-7 would simply climb over them with its huge treads. With the terrain made up this way, it made the trip very bumpy.

    Mara and Jaina sat on the port side bench. They each had one hand on one of the support beams that held up the tarp. With each bump, Mara and Jaina would struggle to hold on. Trogan Eclane merely sat on the opposite bench with his arms folded against his chest. His body moved with the bumps as they happened. It was used to it.

    For what seemed like the longest several minutes, they were all silent. Jaina started fiddling with the end of her lightsaber hilt. At a point when there were no bumps to shake them, Jaina finally broke the silence and said to Trogan, "You're really talkative."

    Trogan gave a small shrug. "I thought you two would have more questions. Didn't think you'd be afraid to ask them."

    "We're not afraid," Jaina snapped.

    Mara placed a hand on Jaina's shoulder and followed by saying to Trogan, "What my apprentice meant to say was that fear has nothing to do with our silence. When you're guests of a new territory, it's best to let the host speak first."

    Trogan scoffed and flashed a crooked smirk. "Whatever."

    Seeing how he needed a push, Mara started to let him open up. "How long have you been the Head of Security for the Mahra pirates?"

    "Ah, seems like forever. I guess I joined up with them when I was barely eighteen."

    "Pretty young," Mara commented.

    Trogan nodded in a way that Mara couldn't tell if it was in agreement with her or if he was reacting to the latest bump. Regardless, he muttered, "Young and stupid."

    Jaina expressed, "Those two don't always go together."

    "Maybe not for Jedi like you," he shot back with sarcasm.

    Jaina looked down at the floor. "I'm not a Jedi, yet. But I will be soon."

    Trogan reflected, "Wish I had your confidence when I was your age. Before I came here, I was lost."

    "But the Mahra pirates saved you," sneered Mara with the same amount of sarcasm as he displayed before.

    He seemed to ignore her patronizing and warned. "I'd be careful about calling them pirates."

    "That's what they were back then," s
  20. JediMara77 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 5, 2004
    star 4
    Excellent! Love the characterizations of Mara and Jaina that you're presenting.
  21. Piper057 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 26, 2009
    star 2
    "Well, it better not be another Sith lord. I've had my fill of them for two lifetimes."

    I don't think about Sacrifice, I don't think about Sacrifice... I won't cry! [face_worried]



    Jaina approached Ruht this time but kept her distance. She said with caution, "We are not like the dark man. We are good. We come in peace." She stopped and asked herself, "Did I just say that?"

    "You did," Mara replied.

    "Great, now I sound like a mythic tale."


    [...]
    "No, I only lifted the rock and you ran into it."

    [face_laugh][face_laugh][face_laugh] Wonderful!)))

    This dead zone is very interesting... [face_thinking]
  22. madman007 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 22, 2007
    star 4
    JediMara77 - Thanks. I was worried about writing Jaina at this point in time. She's much less gloomy before the NJO hits.

    Piper057 - I don't think about Sacrifice, I don't think about Sacrifice... I won't cry! And at this point in canon, she hasn't even encountered her neph-...er...Darth Caedus yet.

    That line after "we come in peace" actually was said by me after I wrote it. So I made that Jaina's reply. Sometimes the best lines are improvised!

    This dead zone is very interesting... Just keep that incident in the back of your mind as you read further. If you know my works, you'll know that even the slightest of details can mean something big later on.

    Thanks for reading!
  23. Overboard4aFel Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 16, 2010
    star 2
    Ah! I forgot to reply! This was spectacular as always! As I said befre, I love your characterizations- Spot on! (any typos, please forgive- I have a cat who's demanding attention on my lap.)

    ANd the story continues to tangle! Yay!

    ENjoying greatly, looking forward to the next part!!

    O4aF
  24. madman007 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 22, 2007
    star 4
    Thanks Overboard4aFel! I've always said characterization is the key to a good story. And be prepared to be tangled further.

    As far as the next post, I'm trying to get it out of my brain and onto paper. My job hunt has dominated my time so far. And there is the holidays too. I'll try to have an update by the weekend or by next Mon at the latest. Don't bail out just yet. This story is just getting started. Thanks to all who are following it so far.
  25. madman007 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 22, 2007
    star 4
    Finally! I guess my plan to update sooner was moot. I promise to try to update sooner, but this is probably the most complex story I've ever come up with. Though it is safe to say this will be my last update of 2010.

    There's nothing left to add except, MERRY CHRISTMAS everyone! What I really would like for Xmas is more readers! But I'll appreciate the ones I have now. Thanks for reading. Enjoy and review as you see fit.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Agharta

    Chapter Three: The Mahra Compound



    The transport suddenly stopped again hours later and Jaina's head jerked up. She was about to say "not again" when Trogan beat her to it.

    "Don't worry. This stop is on purpose," he assured her. "Wait here." He exited the transport.

    It was completely daylight now. It seemed brighter than when they landed. Jaina pulled back a part of the tarp and a bright white sun peeked through. The gray clouds that dominated the sky when they landed on Quilura were now gone. Jaina looked over at her Jedi mentor next to her and saw her fully awake already. Mara had a tray of ration bars that she was eating out of.

    Mara asked her, "Breakfast?"

    Jaina glanced at the tray and winced. She uttered with sarcasm, "Mmm...dehydrated nerf sticks."

    Mara nodded and exclaimed, "Food of the gods. Or at least with a certain Jedi Master."

    After Jaina grabbed a dried meat stick, she mentioned, "I was hoping you could improve my uncle's diet once you two got married."

    "A Jedi cannot work miracles."

    After a few bites she chewed off, Jaina spoke hesitantly. "I know you haven't mentioned my actions last night. I got the impression that you didn't approve."

    Mara countered with, "Nonsense. You subtly displayed a combination of your mother's diplomacy and your father's tenacity."

    "Best of both worlds." She took another chew and said, "It's just hard to tell how you felt about it last night."

    Mara admitted, "I was in a huff over Trogan's assumptions."

    "Mara, you are always in a huff about something."

    "It's been brought to my attention." Mara nodded at the exit and asked, "Where did he go?"

    "Don't know. He just left."

    Mara closed the ration tray and put it back in her pack. "Let's go."

    Both exited the transport and saw a small metal hut a few meters away. To it's right side was a locked gate that led to an obscured area.

    "This can't be the compound," said Jaina.

    "It's not," cried the voice of Trogan from behind them. "Get your things. We walk from here."

    "Something else wrong with the transport?" sneered Mara.

    "No. The compound is around that yerchwood tree there a few meters away. This is my utility shed."

    Jaina uttered, "You're not just their Security Officer but their maintenance man too?"

    "Yep. Ruht is my assistant. He's a pretty good mechanic, too."

    Jaina questioned, "Ruht's not coming with us?"

    "No. Fact is, he can't." Trogan disappeared before they could ask what he meant.

    Jaina remarked, "That was ominous."

    "Trogan doesn't strike me as a man who gives information easily. He's very selective on facts about the Mahra." Mara looked back at her and said, "Come on, get your pack." They each grabbed their packs and headed toward Trogan, who was listing chores for Ruht.

    "I want a full diagnostic on the PX. Tell the computer to focus on that tibana fuel line. After that, I want you to organize those condensers I brought in last week. Don't worry if most of them don't work. We only need one for the south generator. I'll come back when I can to help. Got it, Ruht?"

    The gurlanin nodded and mumbled, "Ruht understand." He went inside the hut.

    Trogan turned to the women. "Got your packs, girls? Good. Let's go." He started walking ahead at a steady pace. Mara and Jaina followed him. When they walked around the gate to the hut, Mara saw what was behind it. Stretching out beyond where the eye could see was a vast wasteland of junk. Several ships and parts in various stages of decay were strewn across the area with no sense of pattern. By watching the uncontrolled chaos of the junkyard, Mara lagged
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