Saga - OT [DDC 2017]Teenage Rebellion--Updated 6/21/2017 (Mara/Ezra/Luke

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by Raissa Baiard, Jan 3, 2017.

Moderators: Briannakin, mavjade
  1. Ewok Poet Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 31, 2014
    star 5
    ^ Wow, I kept on thinking of that band ever since I saw the names of Rebels' protagonists for the first time. This is telepathetic...I mean, telepathic. XD AND AWESOME. OMG.

    And I dunno any of their actual songs, actually.

    Anyway...

    Luke's incident was kind of Ace Ventura and kind of Steve Martin. While I felt sorry for him, I loved his OVERLY DRAMATIC EXPLANATION of what HAPPENED, too. :D Now he just needs to burn all of his clothes and curl up in the corner or something. :eek:

    And of course, his agony is the worst ever and only he has feelings. Nobody else. They're all against him, the bastardZ!!11!11

    Not to mention that blisters and a broken heart are apparently of the same intensity? W...whoa.

    No, seriously, I sympathise. I'm like this when at my worst, too.

    The Rogues are being absolute sociopathic kriffsliders here and I hope they end up drinking a tea made of these leaves or something. How would you like a throat full of blisters, poodoo-blasters?

    Nope, you sure aren't. :p

    [face_laugh][face_laugh]

    THIS IS SCARY, INDEED. I mean, Notebook is debatable and kind of pathetic IRL, I can't even begin to imagine the GFFA version. O_O AND IT'S A BOOK. EEEEK.

    And Han really has a strange approach to relationships. But it's not like we didn't know that, right? Here, he could be trolling Luke, but the worst thing about it is that I don't think that's what he's doing. He goes for what us Serbs call "the persistent one gets to kriff, not the handsome one" and wow, it's creepy stuff. In a way, that is.

    Poor Chewie, playing the straight man here, when Leia's not around. Poor, poor Chewie.

    Of course that meds and drinks are not a good idea. Now we can only be glad that the Ace Ventura things didn't happen. I mean, images of a naked Luke coming out of a cybernetic rhino's rectum can't be unseen, r-right? O_O

    Not only that this is a typical drunken teen rant, but he just hit the nerve....

    And wow, Wes Janson - you get an F in romantic relationships, you moron, you.

    Ouch. Ouch. OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOUCH!

    And then Han has more to drink and gets about THE WORST IDEA EVER.

    At the edge of my seat for what happens next, but I have a feeling that it's not going to be pretty... Luke is so blissfully naive and he has this "knight" quality to him, which is a huge disadvantage when one has to face rejection. *gulp*
  2. Findswoman Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 27, 2014
    star 4
    Yep, the teeny-tiny violin solo continues... for the BIG ITCHY BLISTERS, for all those hilariously mopey recent media choices (The Holo-Notebook :p ), for Hobbie and Wes's failed attempt at being lighthearted (and yes, bringing him a bouquet of touch-nots is just the sort of thing those barvey good-for-nothings would do—and that medic was 100% right in throwing their punk shebs [shebses?] out of there), but most of all... drum roll... for the PAIN of a BROKEN HEART and all the ENDLESS SUFFERING it entails. Nee-NEEE-neeneenee-NEEEE, indeed. (That, incidentally, is the ESB love theme. :p ) Absolute gold and absolutely hilarious. I think I'm dying here too. :D

    I have to adore how all of Luke's comparisons are Tatooine-related:
    ...as well as the "thoughts that had been running around in my brain like Jawas at a half-price droid sale." [face_rofl] I'm pretty sure that's one of the points at which I guffawed out loud during the beta. Just priceless—you've got that real comic touch. :cool:

    And then Han comes on the scene, with the very dangerous combo of Whyren's and advice... oh yes, a Very Bad Feeling I have about this, indeed, because I don't think either of those things are what Luke really needs right now. Well, advice in general, sure... but not this advice, which I'm pretty sure is just going to lead to both Luke overextending himself in some callowly awkward way, and Mara either not knowing how to react or reacting awkwardly herself. [face_nail_biting] I love, incidentally, how the "SHOT LEIA!" business totally changes Han's whole attitude toward the matter—it's almost as if Luke knew it might, and deliberately planned to mention it at Just the Right Moment! :eek: (Just a detail, but Chewbacca's background growl at this point invites some speculation... is he surprised himself? Is trying to calm Han down? Is this an "oh no, not this again type of aside? Much food for thought... [face_thinking])

    Thanks for another superb entry—this is so much fun, and you're really doing great things with these three and the various dynamics among them! :)
    Last edited by Findswoman, Mar 20, 2017
  3. Raissa Baiard Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 22, 1999
    star 4
    What else would you expect from the guy who gets emotional over POWER CONVERTERS? :p And Han...yes, probably not the best choice to get romantic advice from. Chewbacca would probably do better, if only he spoke Shryiiiwook.

    [face_blush]Thank you! The Bechdel test was intentional. Ezra might like the idea of his old crush and his girlfriend comparing notes, but they've got more than him in common. I guess it's human nature to think the Galaxy revolves around you, but still…

    No! TOTALLY NOT MOPING! And not overreacting AT ALL! Ryloth Place and Rodian Kisses were listed in the Wook as holodramas, but The Holo-Notebook is fanon, based on, yup, Nicholas Sparks' The Notebook. Something tells me Mara would not approve of Luke's choice of entertainment.

    :D Oh, good, someone got the reference! I have to say, I know this band mostly because they do a cover of "Conjunction Junction" from Schoolhouse Rock that pops up on the Youngling's Pandora feed a lot. However it's become kind of a running gag at our house, because Mr. B got me a stuffed Loth-cat for Christmas. The cat's name is Ezra (What? Don't look at me like that:p), but Mr. B insists that, no, he's Better Than Ezra.

    Once again, thank you very much [face_blush] [face_blush] [face_blush] I'm so glad that you are enjoying it!
    Telepathetic...that's me ;). And I only know one, see above.

    Are you sure he didn't? Have never seen Ace Ventura, but I like the Steve Martin comparison...rather like the lovable, naive and also OVERLY DRAMATIC Navin R. Johnson in The Jerk. ("And that's the only thing I need is *this*. I don't need this or this. Just this ashtray... And this paddle game. - The ashtray and the paddle game and that's all I need... And this remote control. - The ashtray, the paddle game, and the remote control, and that's all I need... And these matches. - The ashtray, and these matches, and the remote control, and the paddle ball...")

    No one else's HEART has ever been BROKEN in SO MANY PIECES. Han and Chewie could never understand what it's like to be in love. Bria Tharen and Mallatobuck would totally not count even if Luke knew about them.

    It's all horrible and no one has ever suffered as much ever in the history of suffering. I don't know that they're of equal intensity (though I've seen some people with pretty bad cases of poison ivy!), but everything piles up and the misery feeds off itself and becomes a self-sustaining supply of pure AAAAANNNNGGGSSTTT. And no one can angst like a Skywalker.

    OUCH!

    [face_laugh] Well, The Notebook did start off as a book... I find these kind of supposedly heartwarming romances a bit pathetic, too, but it seemed like exactly the kind of glurge that VeryHeartbrokenLuke would watch. Because the best way to forget about his broken heart is to drown himself in schlocky romance.

    Actually, I think Han has a lot of the knight/cowboy ethos about him as well, that the "best man" (or at least the fastest on the trigger) should get the girl. If Luke hadn't painted Ezra as an anti-social, lying, PRINCESS-SHOOTING JERK, Han probably would have continued to ply Luke with Whyren's and advised him that there are plenty of other giju in the sea

    Poor Chewie indeed' he never could teach his Corellian better manners. And now I'm really glad that I never saw Ace Ventura....:eek:

    Except that Luke isn't drunk; he's only had one good mouthful of whiskey, just enough to feel a little warm. He has, however, had three days of self-inflicted solitude to wallow in his misery and meditate on Ezra's character failings...and WHY NOT HIM, HE'S A NICE GUY!?!1! And, in Janson's defense (not something I thought I'd write :p), he never said that Ezra "stole Sabine from Hobbie", just that Hobbie didn't like Ezra because he "cut in on Hobbie's action" with her (which action is nonexistent, of course). But, again, Luke's been stewing in his own juices, so Janson's comment gets blown out of proportion.

    Of course, Han's not drunk, either. Not sure if that makes his wonderful, terrible idea better or not. ;) It may not be the worst idea ever, but it will be interesting, to say the least.
    Thank you. At least you will die laughing and not wallowing in a melodramatic swamp of your own making. ;) And you won't have to SUFFER ENDLESSLY (angst! Angst! Oh, TEH ANGST!1!)

    [face_blush]Thanks. I will credit my freshman composition professor, who made us write original similes and metaphors, even in our research based papers. Luke really only has one frame of reference, so it all comes back to Tatooine. It's one reason he has such a hard time coming up with good metaphors for Mara's green eyes--there's nothing green in his world!

    Han really doesn't have much useful to contribute to this situation, does he? Why couldn't Leia have sent someon level-headed,like Wedge? (Ok, because it wouldn't have been funny) Han really thinks he's doing right by his friend, though. Hey, Whyren's works for him when he feels bad! I don't think it was calculated on Luke's part to save "SHOT LEIA" until last; he's just working though the list of Ezra's offenses in order of magnitude. Chewie is surprised, too; he's even more driven by honor and fairness than Luke, so the idea that someone would shoot the Princess would set him off.

    No, no...thank you:D
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  4. Raissa Baiard Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 22, 1999
    star 4
    As always, to my amazingly sparkly beta-readers, @Ewok Poet and @Findswoman[:D]

    @mavjade, @Briannakin

    Mara

    Oh good skies! OH. GOOD. SKIES. It’s true about Luke Skywalker. It’s all true...

    I took Leia’s advice about talking to Luke, but when I got to the infirmary, he’d already been discharged. The Force was apparently serious about me needing to see him sooner than later, because as I ran into him on the path between the infirmary and the barracks--or, rather, he almost ran into me. Luke was jogging along with a distracted expression, his lips moving slightly as if he was rehearsing something. I called out to him, but he was so preoccupied with his own thoughts that he didn’t hear me. He looked up at the last possible second and skidded to a stop centimeters in front of me. “Mara!” he cried, his face breaking out into the biggest, mooka pup-est smile ever. “I was just looking for you!”

    “I was looking for you, too,” I said, smiling back, because how could you not smile at that big goofy grin? “I’m glad to see you’re feeling better. I’m sorry I didn’t come visit you in the infirmary, but I just found out you were there from Leia yesterday.”

    “Really?” I would not have thought that it was possible for his smile to get any bigger, but it did. “You missed me?”

    “Well...yes.” Maybe I hadn’t missed having him around constantly, but it had been strange not seeing Luke at all. He is a friend, after all.

    If he really had been a mooka, his tail would have been wagging and he would have been kshhh-ing madly. “I missed you, too! And I...I, uh, wanted to show you something.”

    Something prickled around the edges of the Force when he said that, not a bad feeling, exactly, but almost…portentous. I was torn between being intrigued and apprehensive, and settled on both. “Okay…”

    “Not here,” he said, glancing around as a pair of irate mechanics maneuvered a repulsor sled of equipment around us. “Come on!” He grabbed my hand as if I was a youngling--or he was-- and took off down the path, tugging me after him onto a side path.

    I shook my hand loose--I am not a youngling that I need to hold hands, and not his girlfriend that I want to--and I realized we were in the same clearing where Ezra and I had our picnic. Though I couldn't have said why, apprehension suddenly won out. I took half a step back, out of the glade. “So what is it you wanted to show me?”

    “This!” Luke unclipped something from his belt with another silly mooka grin, a silver and black cylinder about half a meter long. He swept it in a wide arc...and with a very familiar snap-hiss, the brilliant blue blade sprang to life.

    My jaw hit the forest floor. He had a lightsaber. His form was worse than Annina’s when she was five, and he knew just enough technique to keep from cutting off his own nose with it...but he had a lightsaber. The prickling in the Force grew stronger, like the electricity in the air before a storm. “Where did you get that?”

    “Isn’t it incredible?’ He swooshed in a few more careless curves, apparently mistaking my dumbstruck bewilderment for amazement. I had to stop myself from telling him to put it down before he hurt himself. “It belonged to my father; he was a Jedi in the Clone Wars. Ben--I mean, Obi-Wan--gave this to me before I left Tatooine. I’m going to be a Jedi, too.” He did not add “when I grow up,” but his shining eyes were so naive, his voice so childishly enthusiastic that he might as well have.

    I leaned against the nearest tree, hoping it didn’t have any poisonous vines on it, and slid down to the ground. “Your father? Obi-Wan?” Apparently, I wasn’t the only one who’d omitted a few crucial details from my story.

    Luke switched his lightsaber off--finally!--and sat next to me. “Are you okay, Mara?” he asked, his wide blue eyes searching mine. At my faint nod, he continued. “Obi-Wan. Obi-Wan Kenobi...well, I always knew him as Old Ben, this crazy old hermit who lived out by the Dune Sea, but he was really a Jedi. He taught my father before...before Darth Vader killed him.” Luke’s voice hardened and his hand clenched around his saber’s hilt. “Ben...Obi-Wan...started to teach me, but Vader murdered him, too.”

    I was silent, considering. Kenobi. Where did I know that name from? But even if the name wasn’t immediately familiar, the story of a Jedi hiding in the middle of nowhere was, as was the tale of Jedi hunted and killed by the Empire. I’d grown up living in the first story and living with the second, so I could understand the hurt and anger that swirled through Luke’s Force-sense, but there was an ugly little current of hate running just beneath. I knew that part of the reason he wanted to become a Jedi was to get vengeance for their deaths. As if it would be that simple. As if that was what Jedi did. Something else stirred in the back of my mind, something important… “Your father...did you know him?”

    “No.” Luke shook his head sadly, his mop of blonde hair falling into his face. He pushed it back. “He died before I was born, but Obi-Wan told me he was a great pilot, a warrior. His name was Anakin Skywalker.”

    Oh, karabast… Dad’s premonition was right. You really don’t do coincidences, do you? I accused the Force. Anakin Skywalker, Luke’s father, might have been all that this Obi-Wan said and more, but he was also the Jedi’s betrayer. From the tone of wistful admiration in his voice, Luke didn’t know that; I was not going to be the one to tell him. That’s asking a little too much of me, Force! But one thing I didn’t understand: Dad spoke of Anakin Skywalker as if he had become Darth Vader after turning to the Dark Side, while Luke believed that Vader had killed his father. Who was right? Had the betrayer been betrayed in turn?

    “Mara?” Luke’s voice snapped me back from my thoughts. He was watching me worriedly, afraid that I was going to laugh, or run or tell him he was crazy. I knew the feeling; when the whole Galaxy either hates and fears you or thinks you're a myth, trust is not an easy thing. I took a deep breath and smoothed the frown off my face. Another ripple in the Force told me it was my turn to confess. “Don’t worry. I believe you, and…I have something to show you, too.” I reached into my belt satchel and pulled my own lightsaber from the pocket inside.

    Now Luke’s mouth dropped open and he gaped like a giju. “You’re a Jedi, too!”

    Too? I shrugged, refraining from telling him that it takes a lot more than just having a lightsaber to make you a Jedi. “No, just a Padawan. An apprentice,” I added at his confusion. “But the Force sent me here to help you.”

    “Really?” His eyes lit up like Life Day fireworks. “You’ll teach me to be Jedi?”

    “I’ll try.” Do or do not; there is no try; the voice of our holocron’s gatekeeper, a stuffy protocol droid of a Jedi named Paolo L’szelo, popped into my thoughts to remind me of the old adage he’d repeated to me so many times. Oh, be quiet, I told it. What do you want from me? I’m only a padawan, myself. What do I know about teaching someone the ways of the Force? Before I made any promises, I needed to see what I was getting myself into. “Can you show me what you can do?” I wished I kept a deck of sabacc cards in my satchel, like Dad, so I could have Luke read them. That was one of the first exercises any of us did, even before we knew what the suits meant. “Just something simple, like..I don’t know, moving a leaf?”

    “Huh?” Luke frowned at me, so I demonstrated, reaching out in the Force and lifting one of the Massassi leaves from the clutter on the forest floor. I floated it gently over to him. He picked up the leaf and turned it over and over as if he suspected some sort of tricks, like he was going to find wires attached or something. Finding nothing, he tossed it down and scowled at me. “I can’t do that! That’s impossible!”

    I frowned back at him. Clearly, it wasn’t impossible; I’d just done it, hadn’t I? And he hadn’t even tried before proclaiming he couldn’t. Was that the kind of student--the kind of Jedi--he was going to be? Again, I wondered what the Force expected of me. “Fine. So, what can you do?”

    “I can, um, deflect shots from a training remote with my lightsaber when I’m wearing a blast helmet,” he suggested brightly. “Most of the time.”

    “Hmm.” That did not fill me with confidence. I was not going to pull out a blaster and stun my student even before the first lesson. I spotted a small rock, about the size of a large yub nut, hidden in the leaf litter and picked it up. “Okay,” I said, standing. “Ignite your saber and close your eyes. I’m going to throw this at you; you deflect it.”

    “Wait, you’re going to throw a rock at me?!?”

    “It’s no different from deflecting a training shot,” I insisted. “It’ll probably hurt less if it hits you.”

    He didn’t look convinced, but he stood up with a huge, gusty sigh, worthy of Annina when Mom tells her she has to clean her sparkles off the kitchen table. “Okay,” he whined. “I’ll try…” He switched on his saber, gripping it like it was a smashball bat and screwed his eyes shut.

    Do or do not…I thought I told you to be quiet. “Ready?” I lobbed the rock at him. His lightsaber swept through the air...and the rock hit him solidly in the arm.

    “Ow! Mara!” Luke nearly dropped his saber--which would have left him short a foot. He shot me a reproachful look. “This isn’t fair! I knew I couldn’t do it!”

    “And you won’t with that attitude!” I shot back. I reached down and picked up the rock. “One more time, and this time: try. Open yourself to the Force. Don’t rely on your senses.”

    “But…”

    “Try!” Luke huffed out another sigh and closed his eyes, but this time… This time, I felt a tiny shift in the Force, just a bit, just a nudge, but enough. When I tossed the rock, the blue blade of his lightsaber intercepted it and sliced it cleanly in half. In that moment, I could sense him in the Force, and what I felt wasn’t strength, it was potential--vast, raw potential swirling like a blue and white nebula in the Force--and in that moment I could see the kind of Jedi he could become. It was staggering.

    “I did it!” Luke cried, all bouncy mooka enthusiasm again. “So you’ll teach me, right? I can be your…what did you call it?…padawan?”

    “I….” I hesitated. I’m not a Master. I’m not a Jedi. I shouldn’t be taking a padawan, especially not one with this much potential, and this much potential for disaster. How am I supposed to teach him? How am I supposed to teach someone who goes from passionate to peevish in under .5 milliseconds? “I’ll see what I can do.” It was the best I could offer him.

    Dear Force, I know you sent me here to help Luke, but I’m going to need some help on this. I don’t think I can do this alone. Ezra’s not going to like this, but I think I need to talk to Kanan.

    Luke
    OH GOOD SKIES! I DON’T BELIEVE IT1!11 MARA’S A JEDI TOO !1!1

    I knew she was AMAZING...but this! This PROVES it! She’s a JEDI and I’m a JEDI...we are MEANT FOR EACH OTHER! There’s like, what, just the TWO OF US left in the WHOLE GALAXY?

    AND THE FORCE SENT HER HERE TO HELP ME! The FORCE!!1 There’s NO WAY Ezra can beat THAT!

    This just shows she really is MY DESTINY! <3<3<3<3
  5. Briannakin Grand Moff Darth Fanfic & Costuming/Props Manager

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Feb 25, 2010
    star 5
    So Mara knows the truth. This is going to get interesting.

    Also Mara training Luke is a great flip of their canon relationship. Though I'm not sure how Ezra is going to feel about it!
  6. Ewok Poet Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 31, 2014
    star 5
    I laughed out loud the first time I read this, I am laughing out loud now - Mara's version of the story is detailed, Luke...well...all that matters to him is his "logic" aka feelings. Such a Fi dom in a crazy phase there. :p Never mind that a rock hit him in the head (unless that changed him to even crazier), never mind anything when THEY'RE MEANT 2B AND THEY BOTH HAVE DA FOREC1!!!!!!! ZOMG. BEAT TAHT!11111

    But Mara's entry tells us the whole story - Luke acted like a complete immature little clown with the assumption that Mara will be impressed, wielded his lightsaber like Jar Jar Binks would (or close), can blow up a Death Star, but cannot levitate a kriffin' leaf. :D The bloody thing must have been GREEN LIKE MARA'S EYES. And..and...HER LIGHTSABER IS GREEN, TOO!!11111! He's so smitten that he cannot even go darkside, because there are no smarts to this kind of mooka pup behaviour. At this point, he can only pee himself out of pure happiness while lying on his back - and yeah, I have seen dogs do that. :p

    Love seeing the Paolochron again, even if it's just in Mara's flashback (write a story about her training with her dad someday, please, please!) and loved these "different versions of truth" and the...the moment Mara accused the Force?! That's a lot like romancing Cthulhu, but not quite. :p

    And this was perfect, in terms of those different truths:

    Gapping like a giju and eyes like Life Day fireworks - great, great bits of worldbuilding there. But it's you!

    And then, out of all things, she throws A ROCK at him. Twice. Not sure if that could've been Ezra's idea, but it's nice, err, cute, err, PAINFUL vengeance. Good that Luke caught it the second time around, a proof that he's the guy we know for a certain amount of agility, not a complete idiot. Glad he didn't go and get those power converters after all.

    I can imagine Ezra's voice coming from Mara's mouth, yup.

    Despite all of this, they started their entries with almost identical sentences. Now I am like OMGz!!!111!111!!!!

    Also, this is so tr00:

  7. Raissa Baiard Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 22, 1999
    star 4
    Responses coming soon.
    AzureAngel2 and Ewok Poet like this.
  8. Raissa Baiard Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 22, 1999
    star 4
    @Briannakin, @mavjade
    And always to my beta-readers, @Ewok Poet and @Findswoman @};-

    Ezra

    Note to self: do not tell the Force, or the Galaxy, or fate, or whatever to “bring it on,” because it will take you literally.

    I thought things were going my way for once. After breakfast on Benduday, Skywalker just disappeared. I thought maybe he got a clue, or, better, that Doran had misinterpreted his premonition somehow. The Force’s visions don’t always mean what you think they do--mine sure haven’t--and maybe the Force wanted Mara here for a reason that had nothing to do with Skywalker. (And, yeah, I was hoping the reason had something to do with me.) I had three great days with just me and Mara.

    But that’s over now. Skywalker the not-so-harmless mooka pup is here to stay.

    Zeb and I were out running maintenance on the sensory arrays on the southern border of the base--the woolamanders like to pull off the antenna and the strangler vines grow back almost faster than you can cut them off. It’s a pretty boring job, unless you stumble onto a nest of piranha beetles or foraging runyips, but it’s hot, nasty work out in the jungle. I’m sure I smelled almost as good as Zeb by the time we were done. By the time we got back to the Ghost, I just wanted something cold to drink and a long shower before meeting Mara for dinner.

    So I was more than a little surprised to hear her voice--and Kanan’s-- coming from the common area. Zeb heard her, too and smirked. “Well, well, well… someone’s showing up here earlier all the time. If I didn’t know you couldn’t use Jedi mind-tricks on her…What, are you using that VibroAxe cologne now? I hear they put Zeltron pheromones in it.” And Zeb being Zeb, he was compelled to give me a noogie as I tried to get past him, further messing up my hair. Thanks, Zeb, because I didn’t look bad enough before.

    I did my best to smooth it back into place as I entered the common area. Mara and Kanan were sitting at they dejarik table. They were both holding mugs of the tarine tea that Hera likes. Kanan’s was half empty, but Mara’s was mostly untouched. “Hey, Ace, you’re here early. What’s up?”

    Looking back, I should have known something was going on. Any other time, Mara would have teased me about what an interesting look this was for me or wasn’t I happy to see her, but, in fact, she didn't exactly look happy to see me. “Actually…” Mara said, twisting her fingers around her mug. “I needed to talk to Kanan.”

    The way she said it without even looking up from her tea set off warning sirens in my mind. Whatever this was, I was really not going to like it. I slid into the acceleration couch next to her. “Yeah? What about?”

    Mara shrugged. “Just...Jedi stuff.”

    Yeah, that’s not suspicious or anything. “Um, hi, remember me?” I ducked down, trying to catch her eyes over the mug. “Your boyfriend? Also a Jedi? You can talk to me about ‘Jedi stuff’.”

    She finally looked up, and there were sparks in her eyes. “No, I can’t, because it’s about Luke, and every time I mention him, you get all weird.”

    “I do not get weird!” The Force was trying to pair Mara up with the most annoying, clueless pilot in the Galaxy, who just happened to have the hots for her. I wasn’t being weird; I was perfectly reasonable!

    “You’re getting weird right now!” Mara shot back.

    “Okay, okay, settle down, you two.” Kanan held up a hand. “Ezra, if you’re going to stay, you need to listen to what Mara has to say without getting defensive. A Jedi has to be able to put aside his emotions and be objective.”

    Easy for him to say. I bet Kanan would find it pretty hard to put aside emotions if the Force decided Hera needed to work with, say, that sleemo Calrissian. But whatever; I’m a Jedi, I can do this. I leaned against the cabin wall, crossing my arms. “Fine. I can be objective.” Kanan didn’t say anything, but his silence was very…expressive. “I can.”

    He didn’t quite sigh. “Mara, are you certain that Luke is Force-sensitive?”

    “Yes, and he's strong, or at least, he could be.” She answered Kanan, but she was watching me from the corner of her eye. “When he finally opened himself to the Force, I could sense it. He’s got a huge amount of potential, which makes sense, I guess, if his father really was some kind of Chosen One.”

    Aw, karabast… That bad feeling I'd had the first time Mara mentioned Skywalker came back a hundred times worse, because now it was all true. Her dad’s premonition was right. The Force brought her here for Skywalker. No other reason. Not for me. And Mara would do what the Force asked of her, and she’d be with him. Karabast…

    Mara frowned down into her mug again like she couldn’t bring herself to look anywhere else, her hands wrapped tight around it. “Whatever it is the Force thinks I’m supposed to do with him, I don’t think I can do it on my own. Can you help me?

    “I don’t think anyone ever feels ready to take on a student.” Kanan laid a hand on her shoulder. “I know I wondered what I was getting myself into when I started teaching Ezra.” He gave us both a wry smile, but for once there didn’t seem to be a quip about me to follow that. He paused, drumming his fingers against his mug. “Still, I agree it does seem odd for someone so young to be taking on a padawan. Tell him to come by before breakfast tomorrow and we’ll figure out where we need to start.”

    “Whoa...wait a minute! Now I have to share my master and my girlfriend with Skywalker?” I tried to be objective, really, but that was asking a little bit too much. Is the Force going to take everything from me?

    “Sharing me?” Mara’s green eyes flashed like her lightsaber blade, the same color and just as sharp. “You’re not sharing me with Luke any more than you’re sharing me with Kanan. Or Zeb. Or...or Chopper!” She pointed at the droid, who’d just wheeled into the room, thrusting out an angry hand so suddenly that she almost smacked me in the face.

    Chopper froze in the act of plugging himself into the communications console. “Huh?” His dome swiveled towards us and then back and forth in an emphatic negative. “Huh-uh!” He retreated as fast as his servo-motors would go, not wanting to get involved.

    He had the right idea, and I probably should have taken the hint. But, of course, I didn’t. “Yeah, but none of them are after you!”

    She stood up, hands on her hips, and glared down at me. “Not this again! I keep telling you, it doesn’t matter. He’s a friend. Am I not allowed to have male friends now?”

    “That’s not what I said!”

    “No, you just implied it. It doesn’t matter,” she said, shoving past me and the dejarik table to get up from the semi-circular couch--and not very gently, either “I need to get back before Malta and Prisk realize I could have gone to Ithor to get that cup of tea by now.” She crossed the common room--marched across it, really, with the perfect parade-ground Imperial stride she gets from her mom. The one that means she’d really like to shoot something. She stopped at the door to the gangway. “Thanks, Kanan.” Mara gave him a smile that wasn't reflected in her eyes. “I’ll let Luke know.”

    Kanan picked his mug as she left. “You handled that well,” he told me over its rim.

    Thanks, master Jedi, I hadn’t noticed. I pushed off of the couch and ran after her.
    “Mara, wait…”

    She was already halfway down the ramp when I caught up with her. She turned around, standing stiff as a protocol droid, arms crossed tight over her chest. “I could use your help, too, you know.”

    Me? Seriously? I’m not sure I’m instructor material, especially for Skywalker. I think I’d probably have to throttle him halfway through the first lesson. “What do I know about training a padawan? You’ve had way more Jedi training than I have. You’ve got Kanan to help. What do you need me for?”

    “What do I need you for?” Mara gave a sardonic laugh. “I may have had more training but you’ve been out there fighting Inquisitors and Sith and...you know what, never mind. I’m sorry I asked.”

    She turned away again, and I felt her pull her shields up tight, deflector shields over meter-thick durasteel plating; Mara’s really good at shielding her emotions--I guess you have to be, in a family full of Jedi--but she'd never closed me off like that before. Her face was as blank as one of my collection of stormtrooper helmets, but there was a flicker of something deep in her eyes. And it hit me that, underneath all those shields, she wasn’t just angry, she was nervous--maybe even a little scared. Mara--who’s always been fearless. She may not have fought Dark Siders, but she can definitely kick shebs when she wants to. I’ve never seen her back down from anything…bounty hunters, Hutt thugs, corrupt officers. Nothing. So why was this so different?

    Because she was going it alone. Back on Merkesh, she had her whole family. Her mom was the prefect, her dad was her Jedi master, her hold-father was a Bothan spy. There was always someone who had her back. Here on Yavin, she only had…us. Me. And Kanan was right: I hadn’t put my feelings aside. I’d let my own doubts and fears get in the way. No wonder she’d shut me out. I reached out to her, laying a hand on her shoulder. “Mara…hey, I…I’m sorry. I’ll be there tomorrow. I’ll try.” Mara looked back at me, and her shields cracked just a little. I pulled her towards me, held her close and kissed her. “Love you, Ace.”

    She laid he head against my shoulder, the rest of her reserve slowly melting away. “I love you, too.”

    So, no...Force, Fate, whoever don’t bring it on. I don’t need any more challenges. I really don’t need this one. But I’ll do it.

    For Mara.
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  9. Findswoman Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 27, 2014
    star 4
    Yoicks, looks like I've fallen behind on this one too! [face_blush] OK, one catchup, coming right up... :D

    Mara, 3/20 and Luke, 3/20
    First of all—and I know I said this in the beta, but it bears saying again—I just love the way these two entries start with the same exclamation, then go on to relate the same encounter in two absolutely, positively, diametrically, totally different ways! Mara's perception of the ANH-to-ESB-era Luke is so, so interesting and multifaceted here. On one hand she picks up on Luke's immense latent Force potential, on the other hand she can sense the dark current of his desire for revenge trickling through it. (And it seems quite significant that the force is "prickling" here, rather than making the very musical hum that it makes when she and Ezra are together.) Then there's the added issue of his highly imperfect lightsaber technique—which I am SO GLAD to see addressed here, because the films skirt the issue entirely and just have him swinging his pretty blue laser sword al; over the place in an implausibly fluent manner. What you have here—form "worse than Annina's when she was five"—makes tons more sense for a rank beginner, even one with tons of potential. The mini "training scene" here of course got me thinking back to all those "read the cards" sessions in In the Cards, and it's kind of a darker version of that—because of what we know about Luke and what Mara does (from her dad) that he still doesn't know about himself (and keeripes, the fact that she knows—at least tentatively—the truth about Anakin really throws a whole new level of complexity into things!). And even here, even at this early stage, we are seeing hints of the utter disbelief that will ultimately lead to Yoda's heartwrenching "That is why you fail." :eek: Of course, Luke's still a total mooka about it all—at this point, it looks like Mara is seeing him more clearly than he's seeing himself. [face_worried]

    Ezra, 3/29
    Luke isn't the only one with lots to learn, though. We see here that Ezra, too, has a tendency to jump to conclusions when his feelings about something are strong—albeit it takes a very different form than with Luke. He's clearly been forming all sorts of suspicions about Mara and Luke in his mind, and he comes very close to succumbing to unwarranted jealousy. But I just love that it's ultimately his own realization about Mara, and about what she's going through here on this base, far from her home, that sets his attitude right—not anything Kanan tells him, not anything Mara tells him. Though Mara's candidness is absolutely wonderful—"every time I mention him, you get all weird" :p—and she wouldn't be that forthright with him if she didn't really and truly love him, and I like to think that perhaps he realized that somewhere along the way. [face_love] And precisely because ths better Ezra wins out, Mara will not have to go it alone any further in this Whole Luke Business, which just seems to be getting more and more complex. :oops:

    (A detail I couldn't help but notice: Ezra's "I do not get weird!" is pricelessly akin to Luke's "I'm not moping" a few entries back—as well as a similar "Moping? I'm not moping!" that we hear from a completely different mooka-face some 4000 years prior! Continuity, continuity for the win! :D )
    Last edited by Findswoman, Mar 29, 2017
  10. Ewok Poet Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 31, 2014
    star 5
    Ezra, Ezra, Ezra...GO BACK TO YOUR AND ZEB'S CHAMBER ON GHOST. NOW!

    One thing that a Jedi needs to learn is compassion. Luke was missing because of a legit health issue, that some other beings made even worse and, despite how he got into it, he still needs to be understood. Mr. mooka pup would have cared for you. But yeah, three great days with Mara are...three great days with Mara. :D I totally get that.

    Makes me think of kea parrots!

    1. Mmm...smelling like Zeb!

    2. Not grooming as much as you did the first time around, Ezra? NICE trope subversion there, Raissa!


    This whole exchange is like WHOA. Some truly masterful dialogue there. :)

    AHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHA. Touché! Souffle-touché! :p

    And this is where one needs that handy instant "noooooooooooo" button, r-right?

    Enjoying this so, so, so much!

    I can still get Ezra's paranoia, the assumption that Luke is a fake - which blows almost immediately, but he should think of the light and dark side and all...and be careful. Very, very careful.


    Cartoony!Raissa strikes back. :)

    And the great finale is WHOA. Mara being a Galactic!Feminist and Ezra eventually realising that HE could learn a lot from HER, since she can sense the Force in clumsy weirdos like Luke and all. I loved this, I loved every single word of it.

    Keep up the great work! =D=
  11. Briannakin Grand Moff Darth Fanfic & Costuming/Props Manager

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Feb 25, 2010
    star 5
    Ezra still has much learning to do: how to not be possessive, how to be kind, and most importantly, not to tempt the galaxy.

    Great update!.
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  12. AzureAngel2 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 14, 2005
    star 6
    Leia defending Luke like a rancor mother her little one, Han giving Luke love advice, Mara teaching Luke Jedi stuff, Luke being himself (and soooo cute), Kanan acting like a calm Jedi master and Ezra being overtaxed what the Force asks of him - all in all great updates! =D=
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  13. Raissa Baiard Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 22, 1999
    star 4
    Catching up on responses…

    Mara's in a difficult spot, knowing what she knows from her dad's recollections. Unlike Obi-Wan and Yoda, she doesn't know the whole truth, and not knowing Luke all that well, she at least has a better reason for not mentioning what she knows or at least suspects. But it also makes it harder for her to take on teaching him knowing what happened to Anakin.

    They are totally meant for each other--the Force said so! Or did it? Doesn't matter, in Luke's mind--or heart--it did, and that's all that matters. <3<3<3

    Zoom! Swish! Look at me, I've got a lightsaber! Yup, this is the same guy who pointed the thing directly at his face when he received it. Luke training with Yoda in ESB seemed to have the same sort of selective ability in the Force. If he can't imagine it, IT'S IMPOSSIBLE. Not fair! Wah!

    Mara has picked up on her dad's personal but irreverent relationship with the Force. She believes wholeheartedly and will do her best, but like Doran, she's not going to hesitate to tell it "Really, Force, what were you thinking there?"


    Gapping like a giju and eyes like Life Day fireworks - great, great bits of worldbuilding there. But it's you!

    Oh, Mara doesn't need to channel Ezra for any of this. She's been raised by an Imperial prefect, after all, and she's been taking martial arts lessons and weapons training since she was six, so getting a few lumps is no big deal. And of course, she's been trained by Doran, who began Raissa's training by sparring with sticks while she was blindfolded, and Raissa, who told him to stop pulling his blows just because she was a girl…and blindfolded. :p

    It's not the first time the characters have echoed each other's words. They do have a connection to each other, even if they don't see it.

    Luke could only have had a few days training with his lightsaber, at most, and he didn't exactly seem to be a prodigy at it! Mara, on the other hand, has grown up with it. She and Luke do have a common bond, as seen in their identical openings, but not the kind she had with Ezra. The Force prickles with that weird feeling you get when you know something big is going on, even if you're not sure what.

    Yep, Mara knows, or at least suspects, there's a real potential for disaster in untrained or poorly trained Luke--and that's a lot of responsibility to throw onto someone who's just a padawan herself. Like her dad before her, she's got her misgivings about whether she's ready to take on a student. And Luke's disbelief and readiness to declare things impossible add another level of difficulty to this assignment.

    Ezra's got his share of issues--a little hot-headed and over-protective, probably a few lingering issues with abandonment. Fortunately, he realizes in time that he's letting these issues cloud his judgement and get between him and Mara. It may be a struggle for him to keep them in check, though.

    Mara in any universe is nothing if not forthright :) Yes, Ezra realizes deep down that she really loves him, and that he loves her too, and because of that he needs to support her. It may not be easy for him, but he'll be there for her.

    Mookas are mookas no matter the era, it seems...as are sad cupcakes with unruly hair ;)
    To be fair, Ezra doesn't know Luke is in the infirmary. To be honest, though, he probably doesn't care why the mooka has disappeared, so long as he is gone. And if he knew why Luke was incapacitated, he'd probably have a massive case of schadenfreude ;)

    Get this guy some VibroAxe, stat! Ezra's not at his best right now, in either appearance or attitude, it seems.

    [face_blush]Thank you!

    Not even the Dark Side, but he's veering dangerously close to going from protective to possessive...and that's an attitude that's not going to play well with most women, but especially one as determined and independent as Mara.


    Cartoony Raissa is always lurking behind Serious Raissa, ready to drop an anvil or spit blaster bolts ;) Mara could hardly be anything else with her female role models: Prefect Mom, Sascha the bartender, and Grandma who owns a cantina on Corellia (and I promise to bring her into the story somehow!) It takes Ezra a while to realize it, but he finally sees that he needs to back her up.
    Thanks! Ezra's come a long way, but, yes, he has a lot to learn. He's coming around, but it's not easy for him.

    Thank you so much :) I'm glad you're enjoying the story!
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  14. Raissa Baiard Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 22, 1999
    star 4
    @Briannakin, @mavjade
    Luke
    Writing poetry is HARD! I wanted to come up with something better than the old “pyro flowers are red, Ithorian roses are blue…” thing, but all I had was that one line about “Mara, you shine like a star-a”. Nothing rhymes with SPARKLE and the only thing I could think of to rhyme with LEAVES was “heaves”…and that’s not very romantic. So I decided I’d better get some help.

    Threepio works with Leia since we came to Yavin, which I guess is only fair. He belonged to her before he and Artoo landed on Tatooine and got picked up by the Jawas. (And what would I do with a protocol droid, anyway? It’s not like he could work on my X-wing like Artoo.) He was counting barrels and boxes at the supply depot, and planned slip in and talk to him QUIETLY while NO ONE ELSE was around, but I guess I should have known that Threepio is NEVER QUIET.

    “Why, Master Luke! How good to see you!” he exclaimed as soon as he spotted me among the crates. “It must be nearly a full lunar cycle since the last time I saw you! I do ask after you with Artoo, but he’s exceptionally technical minded, and not very good at keeping me apprised of your news.” He slumped a little and waved a hand at the supplies, adding in an aggrieved tone. “Mistress Leia has me doing inventory. Me! This sort of mindless work may be fine for analyst droids like that insufferable AP-5, but it’s hardly a challenge for a protocol droid.”

    “Actually, I could use your help with something,” I told him. “I need someone who’s good with words.”

    Threepio brightened immediately. “Certainly, sir! I am fluent in over six million forms of communication! How can I assist you?”

    “I, uh…” I glanced around to make sure there was no one to hear us. If HOBBIE or JANSON ever got wind of this, I’d NEVER live it down. Even though it was only ME and THREEPIO, I still felt like I had MYNOCKS IN MY STOMACH. . “I need you to help me write a poem. A...a love poem.”

    He threw up his hands in dismay. “A poem? Oh my, I’m afraid that’s not really in my programming, Master Luke.”

    “You must know something about poetry,” I protested. “It’s a form of communication…sort of.”

    “Well...I do have some knowledge of Galactic literature as part of my etiquette programming. Perhaps one of the classic poems would be appropriate?” He cocked his head to one side, thinking. “Oh! I have just the thing!” And then he made the most HORRIBLE snarling noise, like a KRAYT DRAGON choking on a bone!

    I clapped my hands over my ears. “Aaah! Threepio! What was that?!?’

    “Why, it’s a famous ode by the Trandoshan poet, Brrruuns , and... I suppose should translate it into Basic? ‘My love is like a dead, dead Wookiee, that’s newly slain in….’”

    “Uh, no, no… That’s not what I had in mind!” Dead Wookiees newly slain? I needed LOVE POEMS, not HORROR STORIES! I didn’t want to make Mara RUN FROM ME. If I sent her that, she’d think I was CRAZY. “Maybe something a little less...dead.”

    “Oh, well. I assure you it’s considered a classic example of the romantic arts.” Threepio sniffed. (how can a droid sniff, anyway? I don’t know. But Threepio does.) “But perhaps this one from the famous Rodian sonnets would be more suitable.” Threepio struck a dramatic pose, one arm upraised. “‘Shall I compare thee to a thinnekk tree? Thou art greener and more nubby yet! Bark-gnawers mar the greenest tree, and in the swamp it turns to rot!’”

    “Um…” It was better, I guess. I liked the part about the tree, but it still wasn’t quite what I had in mind. “Do you know any more?”

    “I don’t see what was wrong with that one, either. The works of W’lem Jakspeeir have been counted as some of the most beautiful poetry for centuries!” Threepio put his hands on his hips with another electronic sniff.

    “It’s...uh..it’s great. I just thought maybe rotting trees might not be…” This was not going the way I'd planned it. How could someone who knew so many words keep giving the wrong ones? “Maybe...maybe I could tell you about Mara and what I want to say to her and you can help me find a better--a more romantic--way to say it.”

    “An excellent idea, Master Luke. Describing one’s beloved in extravagantly flattering terms is a common device in such poetry!”

    So I told Threepio all about Mara--how BEAUTIFUL she is. How her eyes SPARKLE like GREEN STARS! How her hair is REDDER than the SETTING SUNS! How her voice is as SWEET as a chorus of LITTLE BIRDS! And I WROTE A POEM1!! Or, I guess, we wrote it. I can’t wait to give it to Mara. She’s going to love it as much as I LOVE HER!

    Notes: Threepio's poems are based on Robert Burns' "My love is like a red, red rose…" and William Shakespeare's Sonnet 18 ("Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?")
    Last edited by Raissa Baiard, Apr 2, 2017
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  15. AzureAngel2 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 14, 2005
    star 6
    Oh dear. Poetry can make some people run away...

    Luke, you are a "desperate romantic"... :rolleyes:
  16. Ewok Poet Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 31, 2014
    star 5
    LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOL, Mynocks in his stomach. That must feel extremely uncomfortable.

    BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHA. [face_rofl]

    Something a little less dead.

    SOMETHING A LITTLE LESS DEAD.

    You're totally in your element here. #hatersgonnahate

    Yes, my favourite sonnet, mangled.

    Oh, KRIFF.

    Let's see how horrible wonderful it is.
  17. Findswoman Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 27, 2014
    star 4
    I mentioned during the beta how much I love this chapter and how hilarious I find it. You win pretty much the entire internet for "the Trandoshan poet, Brrruuns" and his "My love is like a dead, dead Wookiee." [face_laugh] I really and truly laughed out loud when I first read that—well, ditto W’lem Jakspeeir and "Shall I compare thee to a thinnekk tree?" (and kudos for continuing beyond the first couplet), though Brrruuuns was a particular treat because his Earth namesake is not quite as well known a figure as Jakspeeir's. ERUDITE FANFIC HUMOR FOR THE WIN!1!2! :D

    As a side note, I love how Luke uses YET ANOTHER Tatooine comparison in describing the sound of Threepio reciting that poem—and a very evocative one, too! Now, imagine that same krayt dragon simultaneously choking on that bone and scraping its claws across a blackboard... :eek:

    And of course I cannot wait to see what kind of absolutely spectacular specimen of lovestruck doggerel these two have jointly concocted. After reading all Luke's descriptions of Mara "in extravagantly flattering terms"—eyes like green stars, hair like suns, voice like chorus of birds (now I'm pretty sure he didn't get that one from Tatooine...), I'm sure "doozy" will be an understatement. Now, I'm very curious to see what his plan is for actually getting it to Mara—leaving it anonymously as he did with the first one? Or are things going to be in person this time? :eek:

    The other thing here, too, is that now one other being, namely, Threepio, knows about Luke's crush on Mara—what implications could that have down the line? Because he (Threepio) is absolutely, positively, without a doubt capabale of blabbing, and Luke didn't ask him not to... [face_worried]

    Absolutely golden stuff—keep it coming! =D=
    Last edited by Findswoman, Apr 4, 2017
  18. Raissa Baiard Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 22, 1999
    star 4
    Especially when Threepio's had a hand in the writing of it. :D

    Yes, yes he really is[face_love]
    Yep, like butterflies in your stomach...only bigger and scarier.

    Hey, if they can't handle classic love poetry about dead Wookiees....
    You're welcome :D

    Oh, KRIFF.

    Let's see how horrible wonderful it is.[/quote]I think you may have some inkling of how horribly wonderful or wonderfully horrible things might be :p
    Trandoshan love poetry was one of those bizarre ideas that came up in my early discussions with @Ewok Poet. The idea of the violent reptiles writing love poems was too much fun, especially when juxtaposed with poetry from high school (and college) lit classes :) Shakespeare had to make an appearance,too. Geeky English minors have to find something to do with their knowledge:p

    :eek: indeed! It's a fun challenge to come up with all these Tatooine metaphors. Luke is actually quite poetic....until it comes to describing Mara;)

    The "chorus of little birds" is from a "Silly Song with Larry" from Veggie Tales called "The Dance of the Cucumber" (listen to the cucumber/ Oh, how sweet his voice/ The breath from his throats is like a chorus of little birdies) [face_laugh] Moms who listen to Silly Songs too often also have to use their knowledge somehow.

    [face_devil] Imagine what would happen if the Rogues find out [face_devil] Or if Threepio mentions it to "that insufferable AP-5" who mentions it to a certain cranky astromech... Hmmm, the possibilities for disaster are endless...
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  19. Raissa Baiard Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 22, 1999
    star 4
    It's back from hiatus....:D

    As ever, thank you to the SPARKLIEST of beta-readers, @Findswoman and @Ewok Poet

    @Briannakin, @mavjade

    Ezra
    I’ve found the one who can defeat the Sith...and all I want to do is throw a rock at his head…

    I don’t know why Kanan had to schedule the ordeal--I mean learning experience--of training Skywalker so early in the morning. There was no way I was going to be able to face it on an empty stomach, so I made myself some caf-- javarican espress. Zeb wasn’t going to be happy when he found out I’d been in his caf stash, but it was going to take all the caffeine I could get to be awake and pleasant. I’m doing this for Mara, even if it kills me, I reminded myself, because she needs me and I love her. I just had to remember that when Skywalker started making mooka eyes at her.

    I took my caf and a ration bar outside to wait for Mara, but who should come bouncing down the path to the Ghost but Skywalker himself. He stopped dead when he saw me and puffed up like an angry pittin--all fluff and attitude. “You? What are you doing here?”

    “I kind of live here,” I told him gesturing back at the Ghost.

    “But...but I'm supposed to meet Mara and someone named Kanan here for Jedi training!”

    “Yeah, I know. I’m helping too.” I bit back a couple of things I would have liked to have said and made myself smile at him.

    “But she didn’t…I… but this is Jedi stuff ...you’re not…”

    “A Jedi?” I unclipped my lightsaber from my belt and held it up. “Yeah.”

    A good Jedi probably would not have enjoyed the way his mouth dropped open and his eyes threatened to pop right out of his head. Kanan would probably say I need to work on controlling my emotions, but at least I managed not to smirk...much.

    “But I…. But Mara...we….you…” He probably could have gone on stammering like a droid with a broken vocabulator for a long time, except that Mara showed up and that seemed to override his faulty logic circuits. Unfortunately, it also sent him into mooka mode. He lit up when he saw her with the biggest, dumbest grin. “Mara! Hi! I know you said to meet before breakfast, but I stopped by the mess hall and picked up some of Dex’s donuts--I have, um, iced and custard filled.” He pulled a couple of slightly squashed pastries out of his satchel and offered them to her.

    She put down the lumpy rucksack that was slung over her shoulder and took them. “Thanks, that was nice of you. Which one do you want, Ezra?”

    “Oh…” Skywalker’s sunny smile clouded. “I only brought two. Sorry.”

    He did not actually look sorry. I clenched my teeth harder and smiled again. “No problem. I’ve got my ration bar.” That looks like pressed chak fiber and tastes almost as good, but hey, no problem.

    “Looks like everyone’s here now.”

    “Hi Kanan,” Mara greeted him as he came down the ramp for the Ghost. I could tell she was pulling her shields up, hiding the anxiety that flashed through her presence now that he was here and this was really happening. “This is Luke Skywalker. Luke, this is Kanan Jarrus. He’s a Jedi and he agreed to help us with your training.”

    “You’re a Jedi?...but I thought...but you’re…” And perceptive mooka that he is, Skywalker stopped just short of stating the obvious.

    Kanan handled it better than I probably would have. “Blind. Yes...and no. I have the Force to guide me, and with it, I can perceive things in ways that are clearer than sight.” He brushed away whatever awkward thing Skywalker was about to say. “Don’t worry about it; this is all new for you. So, Mara, what did you have in mind for this morning?”

    She took a deep breath, another shiver running through her Force-sense. I could practically hear her reciting the Jedi code---there is no emotion, there is peace--and I sent her a quick wave of assurance. *You’re gonna be great, Ace. You can do this.*

    “I thought it would be a good idea for us to get sort of a feel for what you can do, Luke,” she said. “Since you did pretty well with the lightsaber the other day, I thought that might be a good place to start. Ezra, would you get my knapsack?”

    That thing must have weighed a kiloton. It almost dragged me over when I tried to pick it up. “Ugh! What’ve you got in there, Ace, rocks?”

    She grinned. “Yes, exactly.”

    “Oh no.” Skywalker backed up, shaking his shaggy blond mop vehemently. “You’re not going to throw them at me again!” Can’t say I blamed him. What is it with Jedi, that they think pitching rocks at you is a good way to teach you to use the Force? Because nothing helps you focus like having heavy objects hitting your head.

    “I’m not. Ezra is.”

    I might have grinned just a bit when Mara said that, and Skywalker might have noticed. “WHAT?!??” he yelped. “Noooo!”

    “You did fine last time,” Mara assured him. “You don’t even have to close your eyes this time. I just want to see how you do opening yourself to the Force.”

    “But…”

    “Please, Luke, trust me…”

    Another huffy sigh. “All right. I’ll try.”

    “Wait,” she said as he ignited his lightsaber. “This time, try it like this.” Mara brought out her own saber and took up the ready position. “Feet apart...not that far! Knees flexed. Arms loose. Shoulders relaxed. Don’t hold your saber so tight. Now...inhale, exhale...open yourself to the Force..no, don’t look at me. Let go of your thoughts...anything else?”

    “You’re doing fine,” Kanan told her. “I’m just here to watch right now.”

    “Okay,” Mara sighed. “Ready? Go.”

    I tossed the rock, and it sailed past Skywalker; he swooshed his saber so hard he nearly spun himself around. He blew out a noisy breath and gave me a dirty look, like it was my fault he missed. I pitched another one that whizzed over his head. The third rock grazed his leg; the next one smacked into his shoulder, and his glare started to smolder. “Ow! You did that on purpose,” he whined, and even Mara’s little sister in full pout never sounded half as pathetic.

    “No, I didn’t. You’re just not focusing.” I remember that part from my own training: focus! You’ve got to focus… How many times had I heard that from Kanan? Can’t believe I was the one saying it this time, but it turns out it was true.

    “I am focusing! Mara, tell him I’m focusing!”

    She glanced between us uneasily, and if she wasn’t starting to wonder what the Force had gotten her into, I sure was. “Well, actually…” she said. “You're focusing too much on the rock. You need to open yourself to the Force. Don’t rely on your eyes.”

    “Right,” he huffed. He tightened his grip on his hilt, like he was trying to throttle it…or me. I pulled another rock from the knapsack and lobbed it towards him.

    It barely touched him, but he squealed like a poked goozim. “You’re enjoying this!” he accused. Skywalker turned to Mara with an indignant glance. “He’s trying to hit me in the head!”

    “That was nowhere near your head!”

    “I can’t do this!” He shut down his saber with a scowl and threw up his hands. “It’s too hard!”

    Mara let out a sigh of frustration; for a second, I thought she was going to throw her hands up, too. *How am I supposed to teach him?* she thought to me and Kanan and probably the Force itself. *How can you teach someone who won’t learn?*

    I don’t know if Kanan could sense the edge of desperation behind her words, but I did and I kind of lost it. Mara was doing her best to teach Mr. Mooka Pup like he wanted her to--like the Force wanted her to--and all he could do was whine and complain. “Get over yourself, Skywalker. You wanna know how long it took me before I finally hit one? Three hundred twenty-five tries.” Not that I was counting...

    “That’s not saying much for you, is it?” he retorted.

    “It says I didn’t give up after five minutes!”

    Kanan stepped in, holding up a hand. “Okay, I think we’re getting a little…”

    The rock came zooming out of nowhere before I had time to react. It was a good thing it wasn’t a very big one, not even the size of a fist, because it slammed into my stomach with a lot of Force behind it, knocking my breath from me. I doubled over and collapsed onto the ground.

    “Ezra!” Mara ran over to me and helped me up. “Are you okay?”

    “I’m sorry! I’m sorry!” Skywalker babbled from behind her, peering over her shoulder with the expression of a kicked mooka. “I didn’t mean to…”

    “Wow,” I gasped, still mostly doubled over. So that’s the way this is gonna be, huh, Skywalker? “I guess you can you use the Force, after all. Now you’ve just got to learn some focus…that was nowhere near my head!”

    “Ezra…” There was a warning in Kanan’s voice.

    “I’m fine,” I told Mara, and kissed her on top of the head. “But I think I’m gonna take a break now.” Before I said something I was really going to get in trouble for.

    Skywalker was still babbling as I headed up the ramp. “I’m really sorry. I didn’t know I could do that! Ben--Obi-Wan never told me I could do that! I guess we really didn’t have time to when he was teaching me stuff on the trip from Tatooine…”

    Obi-Wan.

    Tatooine.

    A lot of things fell together and hit me harder than Skywalker’s Force-powered rock.

    My vision of twin suns and Obi-Wan…it was only part of the truth. Mara said that Skywalker was the son of some Jedi Chosen One. He’d lived on Tatooine, and Obi-Wan had been teaching him…

    Obi-Wan wasn’t the key to defeating the Sith.

    Skywalker was. Which made him kind of the new Chosen One...

    And he was after my girlfriend.
    Last edited by Raissa Baiard, May 8, 2017
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  20. AzureAngel2 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 14, 2005
    star 6
    Poor Ezra. If our cooling elements would not be used by three kids already, I would give him one.

    But I ask myself what hit him harder. The rock or the realisation about a new Chosen One.
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  21. Ewok Poet Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 31, 2014
    star 5
    MORE LUKE AND MORE ROCKS. Will E. Coyote would be jealous. And I can totally imagine Ezra reading a newsflimsi with a huge NOOOOOOOOOOOOO picture of Luke on it and the headline & sub being something like: Chosen One. // Is he after your girlfriend? :p

    Oh, no, Zeb is not going to be happy about this!

    Poor Luke probably thinks the world is against him. How could Ezra, the arch nemesis who doesn't understand that HE should own Mara's HEART now be a Jedi and teach him? Of course, Ezra himself is not happy that he has to do this and the unenthusiastic tone of this entry is a clear proof of it.

    At the end of the day, not many folks are going to be happy with anything here. The discovery that the guy who lacks basic social cues (the donut thing, the blindness thing) is the Chosen one is sure to cause many issues. And we'll be here with popcorn, watching it all unfold. :D
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  22. Findswoman Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 27, 2014
    star 4
    This chapter has all the fantastically written teen snark, infatuation, banter, mooka-tude, and attitude that we've come to love about this story—and now that the training of Luke has begun for real, the story is starting to take on a new dimension of sorts. For we see that Mara, with the help of Kanan and Ezra, is now taking on the role that Yoda took in the Saga—and that Luke is reacting in exactly the same way: "I can't do this! I don't believe it! Not fair! You did that on purpose!" A very striking instance of "the more things change, the more they stay the same"—yes, even in an AU some things do stay the same. I can't help but wonder if one of the things that will stay the same is that Luke will experience a brush with the dark side sometime soon, or else an interruption to his training in the form of having to rescue friends.

    Mara, in contrast, has the patience of a saint—she gives Luke gentle guidance about what needs fixing and how to make it better. I'd say she's an even more patient teacher than Yoda was, and perhaps even more so than Kanan was toward Ezra, or at least in seasons 1 and 2 of Rebels. Which of course throws Luke's impatience and huffiness into even greater relief. Ezra's intervention is an interesting moment that raises some questions: in standing up for Mara and telling Luke exactly where he gets off, is he too losing control? Does he "cause" Luke's inadvertent rock attack? Much to think about there. But Ezra's still totally right about not giving up—I remember your drabble about his 325 rock-hits as well, so nice intra-oeuvre continuity there! :D

    Another thing that seems to herald a new direction for this story is Ezra's realization about Luke's connection to Tatooine, Obi-Wan, and the Chosen One. He now knows he's up against more than just a mooka pup; this particular mooka pup's Force ability is prodigious and potentially dangerous. And if he brings that prodigious, dangerous power to bear on STEALING MARA... :eek: I love how that's naturally what comes to Ezra's mind first, being as he is a Teenager in Love. :p Though at the same time I wonder if it will really happen—yoicks! [face_nail_biting]

    Better give us more soon, so the suspense won't kill us too hard! :D ;)
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  23. Mistress_Renata Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 9, 2000
    star 4
    I'm thinking this is why the old Jedi Order put in the "a Jedi shall not know love" rule. Because hormonal teenage padawans trying to get the attention of the opposite sex... oy. No one learns anything and the order dies out, LOL.

    I love the over dramatics of the two teenagers. Counting the posts until Mara knocks their heads together and runs off with Lando! :p
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  24. Raissa Baiard Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 22, 1999
    star 4
    Being hit with a Force-powered rock may hurt for a moment, but figuring out that your rival is the Chosen One? That's going to sting for a while!
    ROCKS! The gift that keeps on giving! They impress your crush! They're useful training devices! ROCKS! Get yours now!

    And I love the news flimsi image. The article just needs a quiz to go with it : 1.) When the Chosen One sees your girlfriend, does he: A.) Shake her hand politely, B.) Stare at her like a mooka pup, or C.) Kiss her passionately? If you answered B or C, the Chosen One may be after your girlfriend. You should throw a rock at his head, just to be safe.

    Of course Luke thinks EVERYONE HATEZ HIM now. (How much? You'll see...) How can Ezra be a Jedi, the princess-shooting jerk? And Ezra's not happy either, but he'll do it, even if it kills him (and he clearly expects it to) because HE LOVES MARA!

    No, pretty much no one is happy at this point.

    Luke....didn't get out much on Tatooine. Aunt Beru did her best to teach him, but he preferred to hole up in his room and play with his spaceships :p I'd give him the donut flub, since he didn't know Ezra would be there (though he did know "some guy named Kanan" would be) and remarking on Kanan's blindness...well, that was pretty graceless, though in my experience, people are more awkward saying something about a person's disability than the person with the disability is having it remarked upon (unless the comment is outright rude). (E.g., people were more uncomfortable finding out I had heart problems than I was talking about them.)
    Thank you! Yes, Luke is still very much himself in early ESB-mode here. He can't believe, won't try, gives up...not exactly a model student. He still needs to gain some maturity, hopefully before one or more of his teachers decide to aim those rocks more carefully. ;)
    Looking back, I seriously wonder about Yoda's training methods and what the heck his plan was. He leaves Luke on his own for nearly 20 years, and when Luke finally comes to him, he finds one reason after another why he can't teach him. Perhaps his social skills have just degraded living in the swamp with only the occasional blue ghost for company?

    Mara, at least, has some recent experience with recalcitrant younglings in the form of her younger siblings, and I imagine she's done her fair share of instruction with them. However, Luke may be pushing the boundaries of Mara's patience--he's certainly taxing Ezra's already limited forbearance. Ezra could definitely have phrased his objections to Luke's behavior more diplomatically, so yes, he could be losing control, but ultimately, it's Luke's choice to hurl that rock.

    Because nothing in the Galaxy is as important as Ezra Bridger's love life! At least, not to Ezra... Will be interesting to see if Ezra chooses to share these suspicions regarding Luke's Chosen status with anyone :hmm:
    Kanan, as the representative old Jedi/responsible adult, may agree with you. ;) Or if he doesn't now, he will soon.

    You may be waiting a while for Lando, though. (And wouldn't that just send Ezra over to the Dark Side--first that sleemo hits on Sabine and Hera, and then he runs off with Mara? Noooooooo!)
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  25. Raissa Baiard Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 22, 1999
    star 4
    Thanks to @Findswoman and @Ewok Poet for beta-reading@};-

    @Briannakin, @mavjade

    -------------------------------
    Mara

    Could this day have been any worse?

    I guess the Empire could have finally assaulted the base, but otherwise, I’m not sure how.

    I should have known it was not going to be a good day when I found another note outside the barracks addressed to me in the same sloppy handwriting, my name in the same sappy heart. I’m glad that I was the one who found and no one else saw it, because, oh good skies, I would never live this one down. It was a poem this time.

    A love poem.

    Kind of...

    Dearest, lovely, perfect Mara
    Your eyes greener than a million trees,
    They sparkle like the Mon Cal waves
    And I am lost upon their seas

    Not even Wookiee fur can live up to
    The shine of your flowing red-gold locks
    Your head is like a bird nest to hide in,
    And now little me-like birds arrive in flocks.

    When they sing their songs of praise to you
    Their voices are not as sweet than thine
    Oh dearest, lovely, perfect Mara
    I pray the Maker you’ll be mine.

    What. The. Kriff.

    I would have thought that after I called out Hobbie for the first note whoever is sending these things would have gotten the message. The stupid rock was bad enough, but this…. It can’t be serious, right? Who writes like this? Hair like Wookiee fur? Eyes greener than a million trees? I pray the Maker? Was it written by a droid?

    And yet, I had a really bad feeling that it was serious. Holo-flash for you, mysterious poet, if I don’t even know who you are, you’re not really in love with me. And I am definitely not in love with you. I wadded the poem up and shoved it in my belt satchel as soon as I finished reading it, because I didn’t have time to deal with that kind of poodoo--I was already running late for Luke’s training.

    That turned out to be poodoo of a different kind.

    My first time as a Jedi instructor was an absolute disaster. I don’t know what was worse, Ezra and Luke scrapping at each other like a couple of tookas, or Luke turning into a total drama gualama. At least Ezra tried, though; I have to give him that. I could sense him trying to keep it all in check while Luke kept getting whinier and whinier. You would have thought I was asking Luke to levitate the Ghost the way he carried on. “I can’t! Too hard! Not fair!” Annina doesn’t whine that much, and even she isn’t afraid of taking a few lumps. That’s how you learn.

    And when Ezra finally lost it and pointed this out to Luke... Luke hit him with a rock. If this is what happens when he loses control of his emotions over something little...Oh. Good. Skies. How am I ever supposed to keep him from getting himself into trouble and doing something really stupid? How can I teach him anything when he won’t even try?

    Luke just kept telling me--me, not Ezra!--”I’m sorry, I’m so sorry! I didn’t know I could do that!” when Ezra stormed off, before he really let Luke have it. I really couldn’t blame Ezra for leaving...I wished I could leave. I don’t think I’ve ever failed so bad at anything in my life, and the Force was trusting me to do this. I slammed up all my shields, because I was not going to cry in front of Luke Skywalker.

    Kanan laid a hand on my shoulder; I’m sure he could tell that I was holding things in. I don’t know what he must have thought of me, the Galaxy’s worst instructor, but all he said was, “Maybe Ezra has the right idea. I think we should all take a break for this morning.” And he headed backed into the Ghost, leaving me with babbling Luke.

    “What happened there?” I demanded. “Jedi have to be in control of their emotions. You can’t go hurling rocks at everyone who says something you don’t like.”

    “You never told me HE was a Jedi,” Luke complained, like that answered anything.

    “I’m sorry, but I didn’t know you were Force-sensitive until yesterday.” It wasn’t something I went around telling everyone. Even here on Yavin, I didn’t know who I could trust with the truth about myself, and I certainly wasn’t going to put Ezra at risk, too.

    Luke’s expression was peevish and his voiced stretched into a whine, “But Obi-Wan said...he said all the Jedi had been destroyed by the Empire...and now there’s Kanan and..and HIM... and how many more are there?”

    “I don’t know… “ I shrugged. I still didn’t see what this had to do with anything. Why should Ezra and Kanan being Jedi mean Luke got to whine and throw rocks? “At least four. My whole family is Force-sensitive--Mom, Dad, my younger brother and sister.”

    “But….” I was beginning to think that “but” was Luke Skywalker’s favorite word. “But...I thought...it was just you and me...you said the Force sent you here for me!” And there was something about him--the look in his eyes, the tone of his voice-that was so much like Annina‘s when she had breathlessly proclaimed that Ezra was my true love that I knew Luke wasn’t talking about Jedi training.

    Oh no. No, no, no… He thought he was in love with me. He thought I should be in love with him. “Luke, you know that Ezra and I are together, right?” I tried to say it gently, because he’s such a mooka pup, I didn’t want to hurt him. Maybe he didn’t realize…how could he not realize?

    His mooka eyes got bigger and sadder. “Yeah, but…”

    There was that word again. “No. There is no ‘but’. I’m your friend, and I’ll do everything I can to help you become a Jedi, but that’s as far as it can go.” He looked at me like I’d just kicked him, but what else could I say? I love Ezra, and no matter what either of them may think, I’m not some flighty thing who’s going to change my mind just like that! And whatever Luke thinks, I refuse to believe the Force sent me here for him. Like I don’t get a say about who I’m with? I tried to smile at him and hoped it was reassuring or encouraging, or something besides sickly, which is how I felt behind my shields. “I’ll let you know later when we can meet for our next training session, okay?”

    “Yeah, sure,” Luke moped and he slumped off back towards the barracks, leaving me with a bag of rocks and a couple squashed donuts.

    What am I going to do now? Will he even come back for more training? What if he doesn’t? I can’t just leave him untrained. He’s too powerful to leave on his own. If he goes to the Dark Side, it would be disastrous. His father betrayed the Jedi and destroyed them… But I can’t pretend I’m in love with him just so he can become a Jedi. I won’t. I’ve had enough of pretending to be someone I’m not.

    If you’ve got any ideas on this, Force, I’m listening….

    Luke

    My first Jedi lesson was a DISASTER and it was ALL HIS FAULT.

    How can HE be a Jedi? Aren’t Jedi supposed to be noble or something, not nerf-herding, princess-shooting jerks who throw ROCKS at your HEAD? I know I could have done better if HE hadn’t been there...if he hadn’t been throwing things at me! And I KNOW he was trying to hit me, no matter what HE says! He just makes me so….ugh! He can’t be much of a Jedi if it took him THREE HUNDRED TRIES to hit a stupid rock! And then he started LECTURING ME...and I don’t really know what happened after that… I mean, I kind of wanted to throw the rock back at him and the next thing I knew, it just went whizzing towards him...and WHAM. I didn't know I could do that! I really didn’t!

    The way Mara looked at me after it happened, like she was so disappointed in me… :-( But I didn't MEAN TO! And I don’t know what she sees in him! She can’t REALLY love him, can she? Not if the FORCE sent her here for ME!

    I have to do better next time! I have to show Mara I’m the BETTER MAN, just like Han said! I’ll do everything right and then she’ll see...I’m not just the BETTER MAN, I’m a BETTER JEDI, too! And she’ll see WE’RE MEANT TO BE. <3<3<3

    Notes: credit for the middle stanza of Luke and Threepio's Epic Love Poem goes to @Ewok Poet, whose Epic Poetry skillz are truly EPIC.
    Last edited by Raissa Baiard, Jun 3, 2017
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