Beyond Echoes of Always - L/M - Complete - Second Fan Art added 4/10

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by ginchy, Jan 30, 2012.

Moderators: Briannakin, mavjade
  1. Piper057 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 26, 2009
    star 2

    Thank you so much for this! I'll never forgive canon writers that they completely missed this episode but you did it wonderfully. [face_love]
  2. kataja Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 4, 2007
    star 4
    ?Credit for your thoughts?? Luke asked as they entered the second day of waiting for Karrde to get back with them on Niargen?s whereabouts.

    Mara?s mouth quirked. ?I?ll have to see the creds first. To make sure they?re legal standard here
    .?
    [face_laugh] :p


    ?She is amazing,? Mara said, her eyes shining with pride as she thought of her daughter. ?He was so besotted by her. The first time he held her, his grin?? She trailed off and closed her eyes as if remembering that moment.
    [face_blush] I can imagine it exactly!!!


    Luke tried to imagine. A daughter at that time in his life would have given him purpose, the same resolve Ben had given him when he came along later in his life. He had never felt such peace as he had when he had held Ben and imagined his bright future. Perhaps that could have happened for him much earlier in the form of a daughter with Mara, and her very presence could have inspired in him changes to the Jedi Order that could have helped it withstand the dark times to come.

    But at that time he had felt his purpose was to pave a way for his niece and nephews through the Force, but had found the task monumental. There was never a moment?s peace, but he had thought he was doing the work of a Jedi by jumping headlong into so many missions and battles. Plus the Solo kids were kidnapped so often by those seeking to distort their powers in the Force, and he had made so many mistakes with them. So many mistakes that at the time had seemed the only viable options for the kids? safety
    .
    I really love your recapitulation/version of this timeperiod. There's so much about it that I've never liked - but the your way of writing is one of acceptance - not of bitterness. This entire fic is a gesture of peace and contructivism - it's heart-warming!



    ?I did eventually, too, when I realized that the Force was calling me. That I couldn?t have the Master without the Force,? she said, with a small, pained smile.
    Awwww....



    well, you had that sex-ed class back on Tatooine. You know the rest.?

    Luke choked out a laugh, thinking of a long ago class he had taken as a teenager in Anchorhead. Aunt Beru had seemed relieved that the school would be teaching that topic, and he was thrilled, not wanting to hear any stories about his aunt or uncle. He embarrassed easily then, and the idea had been horrific. But the class had been worse. Camie and Windy had been in there with him, and though they could be friendly when Fixer wasn?t around, Camie had seemed angry with him for some imagined slight. She then tried to embarrass him by teaching him how to put a prophylactic on a phallic-looking fruit the teacher had brought in for demonstration.

    ?Um, yes,? he said, rolling his eyes. ?I do remember that. I?m somewhat embarrassed that you do, too.? He couldn?t help but notice that Mara had changed the subject somewhat, trying to steer away from heavier topics to humor.

    Mara looked entirely too pleased with herself
    .
    [face_laugh] [face_laugh]


    I realized what a gift the saber was, and that it had absolutely no strings attached to it. That was almost more amazing to me than the gift itself. It was after that that we started to see one another. A year later, Betrys was conceived
    .?
    A year only? He would the have given the saber to her around 11 ABY?


    ?I told him when I was pregnant with Bets that I would vape him where he stood should he do it to me again. I guess I grew soft in my old age.?
    Thanks for bringing one of my fav lines into this universe too! [face_dancing]

    He knew he should tell her about Byss and his struggles there and afterward, but he was selfish and didn?t want to see the rejection in her eyes when she knew that he had touched the Dark Side.
    Hmmm... I wonder if he will... ?[face_thinking]


    ?I?d imagine my grin when I first held him matched another one in this galaxy,? he said, thinking back to the day of Ben?s birth and his joy at having not just a son, but his wife restored to health.

    Mara looked into his face, her eyes somewhat glassy. ?Y
  3. Mondra Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 12, 2010
    star 1
    You combine humor, angst and romance in a perfect mix, ginchy.

    I loved their light banter during the meal and the way their emotions are always just below the surface and they are trying so hard not to show them... I wonder what happens when they finally give into those emotions...

    I have a very bad feeling about all this Waru situation, but I'll wait and see how the story unfolds before voicing my speculations.

    Thanks for updating so soon! [face_love] Monday is only two days away, yay!!
  4. CurtisZidaneZiraa Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 18, 2010
    star 1
    Oof. Callista? Ouch, thanks for sparing us. Liking this a lot! See ya after the move! Is this going to continue regular posting on Fanfiction.Net while this place is in transit?
  5. Jade_Pilot Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 10, 2005
    star 5
    Wow, you've become a posting machine! [face_laugh] I love their little time together, away from everything. I like how they banter and tease. *sigh* I love imagining them eating noodles and smiling at each other.

    Well done! =D= =D=
  6. ginchy Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 25, 2005
    star 4
    A note on the lack of Callistain this chapter?I didn?t use her because I figure Luke is already embarrassed enough about stuff from his universe. There?s no way he?s going to want to tell Alt Mara about his body-snatching ex! ;) To give Callie some credit, however: I wouldn?t have minded her if she had just stayed in the machine. It was the taking over Cray?s body that got to me. At any rate, thank you all for reading! [:D]


    Jade_eyes: Thanks, gal! It is interesting to look at how different the timelines are. Some of the things I just threw in for word count, I will admit. But a lot of it I tried really hard to think out to logical conclusions. I hope it paid off!

    Hazel: The part about the Sabre was one of my favorite things early on in the story. It was such a huge part of L/M?s early married life, imo. I think Luke?s two years on Dagobah helped him to deal better with things later on, like not allowing Jedi children to lead a strike mission to Myrkr, among other things. Thanks so much for reading!!

    Briannakin: Yeah?. Waru. LOL!!! I?m not sure why I chose to use Cresih Station other than it was the midst of Nano and anything goes. I?m glad you liked their little exchanges?I really want to write them conversing well. It?s such a huge part of who they are. Thanks, gal!

    RedGold: Well, not in this case since they?re a widow and a widower! ;) But if Alt Luke and Mara can see through the veil of the Force, I wonder what THEY think about all of this!! Thanks, lady!

    Jedi_Lover: This is a Callie free zone in so far as she?s never mentioned. See my a/n above. LOL! I?m glad I didn?t disappoint. LOL! A happy ending with bootknocking, well? Stay tuned! ;) Thank you!!

    JediMara77: hahahaha! A moving day miracle!! ;) I think you?re right. The little dinner there on the Sabre was definitely a calm before the storm. But what kind of storm?? I?m glad you picked up on Mara?s reluctance to talk about her Luke. I think it just hurts her too much to remember. She?s never had that time to grieve. And I love Betrys and am glad you do, too. You know Luke doted on his baby girl. [face_love] Thanks, lady for all the amazing help and for reading!!

    taramidala: I was imagining a lot of small differences, though being on Dagobah for two years was a big difference! The answer to how it affected Hoth, Cloud City, Han?s rescue and Endor is?. I?m not exactly sure. [face_laugh] [face_blush] I have always been concerned that I haven?t fleshed out the Alt universe enough, so that?s why it?s peppered with little differences. I?m glad you liked Luke?s other lady. LOL! I hear you on that and I need moar updates? just sayin?. ;) A happy ending? well? we?ll see? Thanks for reading, gal!!

    Piper057: Thank you!! I think Mara must have been so amazed with her gift. [face_love]

    kataja: I love all the quotes you have picked out and am so glad you enjoyed them, too!! [:D] This entire fic is a gesture of peace and contructivism - it's heart-warming! Thank you!! I have never wanted LUKE the character to be blamed for profic?s actions, if that makes sense. So I have tried to write it all in a way to make him just look like he was struggling because, let?s face it?being the last of the Jedi and the first of the New would be a hard, hard job! As for the timeline of the lightsaber, I think I might have messed that up a bit. Maybe it happened very late 9/early 10 in this timeline. Betrys was born in 12. As for Waru?just? no. LOL!!! It?s that bad. I had to pull it off the shelf to look up some things and was just? shaking my head. That would explain how he was able to handle things better around the Thrawn campaign - and about starting the Jedi Academy. YES! That?s exactly what I wanted to convey with that. He had a little more time for training and handled those early missteps a little better. Nothing to/>
  7. ginchy Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 25, 2005
    star 4
    IMPORTANT UPDATING NOTE:

    I will continue to update EoA during the board downtime. You can find it at one of two places, either on ff.net at: http://www.fanfiction.net/s/7789470/1/Echoes_of_Always or on my LiveJournal at: http://ginchy.livejournal.com

    Thanks!!


    Here's chapter 9... aka, the chapter in which ginchy tries to write action. Now, we know that I can write action... just... of a different variety. :p So I hope you enjoy my attempt at a different kind of action here...


    CHAPTER 9



    They reached the station after exiting lightspeed. It looked much the same as Luke remembered from the last time he’d been there. Mara grimaced at the black hole, but the station itself protected them from it. He directed her to land and request a shield for the ship, to save it from the intensity of the continual x-ray assault. They managed to find a ride toward the domed city, and Luke told Mara the story of Han violating an alien’s leg when they had been there together in his dimension. Han hadn’t realized it was an alien’s leg appendage and tried to shake it like a hand. It broke the silence that had sprung up between them, and he was glad to share a laugh at Han’s expense if it would bring a smile back to Mara’s face.

    The asylum was far within the city, and the ride was sticky and hot. He had forgotten the tropical heat of the domed city. Long removed were the days of living on Yavin IV, and he was no longer used to humid temperatures. He quickly grew warm. Mara made no complaint but sweat trickled in a thin line down the side of her face.

    Getting in to see Niragen turned out to be quite easy. The asylum had regular visiting hours and during that time most of the patients were seated in a cafeteria-style room with their visitors. Luke thought of all the people who lived here and how in his universe they had evacuated this system so many years before. At least, he hoped they had all been evacuated. He had been in no condition to help at that time and now grew concerned that some of these people may have been lost in that explosion.

    They signed in at the front desk under assumed names and were told that Niargen would pose no threat to them physically, though the specifics of his medical condition could not be discussed. They were told, however, that he had checked himself in under his own cognizance and continued to stay year after year under his own free will. The nurse also mentioned that they were the first visitors he had ever had. Mara gave Luke a sidelong look at the information, before going to find their patient.

    The nurse pointed them in his direction. They found the former scientist seated in a back corner of the cafeteria, the artificial light from the dome shining in over him. Introducing themselves, they went ahead and gave Luke’s real name, thinking that an asylum patient was probably a pretty safe person to reveal a ‘dead’ person to. Luke also dropped the Force disguise he had been using since landing on planet, hoping to appeal to Niragen with nothing but the truth.

    Niragen look up at them quizzically. He was an older human male, his bald head reflecting the light from the windows. “The Emperor’s Hand and Jedi Luke Skywalker,” he said in greeting. “You’re here to see me? To what do I owe this honor?” He paused, his eyebrows sloping inward in thought. “Does the Emperor wish to see me?”

    “The Emperor’s dead,” Mara said bluntly.

    Niargen didn’t look surprised at her statement. “That’s right. I forget that sometimes.”

    “We’ve come to ask you some questions,” Luke said, jumping in before Mara could persist. “If that’s okay.” When Niagren nodded, Luke continued. “I understand that you once were a scientist in the Maw Installation. That you worked for the Empire—for the Emperor.”

    “You understand that correctly.”

    “I also understand that you created a machine that you called an Inter-Dimensional Device.”

    “I can take credit for that, yes.”

    “Were there only ever two devices created?” Mara asked.

    “I created one in my free time, just a hobby really. The second one I created at the request of my superiors. They felt that it was a great invention, but I felt it was flawed. One could only travel for twenty-four hours and I could not fix that defect.” Niargen fiddled with a cup that was in front of him. “Why?”

    “I heard about it from a former colleague of yours,” Luke answered. “He told me that of the two created that only one still worked. That the other had been blown to pieces on the Death Star.”

    “That was a lie.”

    “A lie?” Mara asked, sitting down next to Niargen. “What do you mean?”

    “I mean that my former colleague lied to you. There was never an IDD on the Death Star. Don’t you think Tarkin would have used it to escape? No, I have the second IDD.”

    “You have it?” Luke asked, his voice hitching in surprise.

    “Of course I do. But why are you so interested?” Niargen looked appraisingly at them both. “Aren’t you dead?” he asked of Luke.

    “No,” he said, and put the backing of the Force behind the word to stop any further questioning.

    Niargen looked confused for a minute. “Why am I here?”

    “We wanted to speak with you,” Mara said. “Don’t you remember? About the IDD that you created?”

    “No, that’s not what I meant. Why am I here? In this asylum. You know I’m a political prisoner.”

    “The nurse told us that you checked yourself in here. Maybe you just missed the power of a black hole,” Mara said, gesturing out to the domed city and the black hole that loomed beyond, just like the black holes surrounding the Maw.

    “Maybe I missed intelligent conversation and this is the only place to find it.”

    “Brains and a sense of humor. I think I’m in love,” Mara snapped. “Look, what can you tell us about this IDD? You say you have the second one?”

    “I can tell you that it is flawed.”

    “Why is it flawed?” Luke asked again.

    “It only works for twenty-four hours! The Emperor didn’t want it.”

    “We know that it only works for twenty-four hours. But the question is—why? Can you jump back to the original galaxy you came from if you accidentally stay past the time period?”

    Niargen shook his head, holding his cup up for a drink. He swallowed and then looked at Luke. “The IDD is only stable for twenty-four hours because that’s all the power I could put behind it. I can’t change the laws of physics.”

    Luke fought the urge to raise his hand to his temple. They were getting nowhere. “What about the second device? You said you had it.”

    “Oh, I have it, Skywalker. It’s right here.”

    Mara and Luke both looked around the table, empty save for Niargen’s cup. “Where?” Luke finally asked.

    “Right here.” Niargen held up his cup. After a beat he started to laugh. “I’m only joking. This is just a cup.”

    Mara did not look amused. “I’m getting impatient, Niargen. Do you have the second IDD or not?”

    “My dear.” He reached out for her hand. Mara pulled it back before he could touch her. “If I had an IDD on my person do you think I’d still be sitting here?”

    A silence grew between them, broken only by the loud chatter of other patients and their families. Finally Luke asked, “Other than the IDD, do you know of a way to move through or to other dimensions?”

    Niargen looked as if he were puzzling it out. Finally he said, “Only if you can harness a power larger than time itself. But then, if you could do that, why would you be sitting here?” He drank his cup dry. “Personally I think you’ll get further by using this cup.”

    Luke let out a frustrated breath and stood. “Thank you for meeting with us.”

    They were nearing the exit when Niragen called about to them. Beside him, Mara rolled her eyes, and Luke shook his head almost imperceptibly. “Hang on, I’ll go see what he wants.” He left her there and jogged back to Niragen’s table. “Yes?”

    Niragen still appeared to be enamored with his cup. “I forgot to tell you that the duplicate you seek is here.”

    “The duplicate?”

    “You were asking me about the second one…it’s here. It used to be housed elsewhere but now, it’s here.”

    The second IDD. Luke’s stomach knotted. After the twists and turns of his earlier conversation with Niragen, he wasn’t sure what to believe. “Here on this station?”

    “Here,” Niragen said, handing Luke his cup. On the cup was a hand-drawn map. “I told you that you’d find more use from the cup.” He didn’t wait for Luke to speak further, getting up and walking away.

    **


    “Well, that was a waste,” Mara murmured as Luke met back up with her at the door. “I thought he might have more answers for us.”

    “Only if they were on the bottom of his cup.” Luke held the cup up for Mara’s inspection and saw her eyes widen as she took in the markings covering it.

    “Is that—a map?” She took the cup from him as they exited the asylum.

    “He told me that the duplicate I seek is actually here on the station, and gave me this map. I have no idea if the information is any good or not, but I couldn’t sense any deception from him.”

    “Or common sense,” Mara disagreed. “The ‘duplicate’. The other IDD, I presume?”

    “I hope so. Do you think we should follow the map?”

    Mara gave him a look as if she were thinking about checking him into Niragen’s asylum. “Of course I think we should follow the map.” She stepped into the taxi that had been waiting to take them back to the entrance of the dome. “But why would Naelli lie to us about it being on the Death Star?”

    “Maybe he still wants it for himself.”

    “Maybe.” Mara reached out to pull open the door and Luke’s danger sense flared. “Did you—” he started to ask her, when she swung up from behind him with her saber and stopped a blaster shot from hitting his head.

    He didn’t speak, grabbing his own saber from the folds of his cloak and moving, already tracking the next blaster shot as it aimed for his head. He turned and crouched, using the rear bumper of the taxi for cover. Mara moved beside him, panting slowly. It was quiet around them, only the driver of the taxi cowering in his seat.

    “What the kriff was that?” Mara growled, eyes scanning the surrounding buildings for the source of the shots.

    “They looked like blaster shots,” Luke said dryly, his own eyes seeking answers. He cast out with the Force but the immediate sense of danger had past, leaving only a dim uncertainty.

    “What is this? Jedi humor?” Mara snapped. “Where the hell did those shots come from? No one even knows we’re here.”

    “I don’t know. Do you want to pursue or should we continue on with the map?”

    Mara looked at him like he had grown another head. “Pursue, of course. Those shots came out of nowhere and I, for one, want to know why.”

    “Just checking. I don’t want to drag you further into something that’s my fight.” Luke placed the cup in the inner pocket of his cloak.

    “It’s a little late for that, Skywalker.” She turned and sent the taxi off. The driver looked only too pleased to comply, driving off in a cloud of dust and leaving them alone on the street. “Come on, we’re too open here.” Mara grabbed his hand and pulled him to the cover of some nearby buildings. There was still no sense of imminent danger in the Force but Mara was in her element now, tracking through the streets silently, her hand never far from the belt where her saber hung.

    “The shots came from this direction.” Luke took the lead from her and cut through an alley to come out next to a building diagonal from where they had just been standing. They scaled the fire escape quickly, landing lightly on the roof of the building. Luke walked to the edge of the roof and stopped as he reached the far corner of it. He stretched out with the Force. “There were two of them. They were right here.”

    Mara looked down to where they had been standing minutes before. “Who the hell were they?”

    “You had never even heard of this station before I mentioned it, so it’s safe to assume it has to do with us speaking to Niargen. Did anyone other than Karrde know we were going to speak with him?”

    Mara opened her mouth to answer but quickly whipped her head around to track her eyes after an approaching speeder, the Force sending yet another warning to them. “Down!” she screamed as the speeder buzzed them.

    Luke dropped, but as the speeder passed he used enhanced Force speed to run after it, jumping from the edge of the roof to grab the underside of the vehicle.

    “What the kriff?” he heard one of the beings inside of the speeder scream out. “He’s hanging onto the underside!”

    The driver banked left and turned sharply in the air. Luke hung on grimly, managing to grab a hold of the tail fin to hoist himself up to the trunk of the speeder. He could see inside of it now, with a female Twi’lek pilot and human male passenger. The male gave Luke a startled look, but then pulled out a blaster and pointed it. Luke ducked as the back window opened and a shot came out. He held on tightly to the tail fin with his right hand while using the Force to rip the blaster from the man’s hand. “Land this speeder,” he screamed.

    They were back over the roof again, dropping quickly as the pilot kept trying to throw Luke off the back. When her drop to the left didn’t work she swung around and tried going to the right, overcorrecting in the air to wobble dangerously close to the building. Luke felt the danger throb in the Force again and listened to it without thought, letting go of the tail fin as the speeder dropped close to the roof. He fell the few feet from the back, cushioning his fall and rolling with the Force.

    He jumped to his feet and ran to Mara’s side as the speeder managed to right itself momentarily. But on executing the next turn to fly off, the wing of it clipped the side of the building. It started to descend almost immediately, a crash landing imminent. Mara took off down the fire escape again and Luke followed, their speed in the Force no match for the accelerated speed of the vehicle as it plowed into the street below, residents of the dome scattering as it fell.

    They reached the smoking wreck as the male human was exiting. The pilot was lying against the smoking controls, and Mara pulled open the door back to drag her out. The male started to run. Luke sprinted after him, easily outdistancing the injured man. “Stop!” he yelled. “We just want to talk to you.”

    The man did stop, but picked up a rod that had dropped from the underside of the wreckage, aiming it daringly at Luke’s chest. “I don’t want any trouble,” he said, the rod shaking in his hand as Luke’s saber ignited and sliced it in half.

    Mara checked the Twi’lek’s pulse. She laughed at the man’s pronouncement and at the half rod he now held in his hand. “Well, too bad—you’ve found it. Now tell me why you were shooting at us.”

    “We weren’t shooting at you. He,” he pointed at Luke, “kriffin’ jumped on the back of our speeder and forced us to crash!”

    “It was your friend’s bad piloting that caused you to crash,” Mara said. “And she’ll live. I think she’s just unconscious.” Mara placed the Twi’lek on the ground and focused on the male. “Again, why were you shooting at us?”

    The man gulped and glanced Mara’s hard eyes and the saber at her waist. “Are you a… Jedi?”

    “Yes,” Luke answered for the both of them, shutting his own saber down.

    “I didn’t want to be involved in anything like this,” the man said, raising his hand to the gash on his forehead. “I’m sorry.”

    “Oh, he’s sorry,” Mara said, looking at Luke. She brushed her hands together as if cleaning off crumbs. “Well, that’s that, I guess.”

    The sound of a siren came from a distance. The man looked toward it and started to sway on his feet. Luke grabbed him and steadied him. He could feel the deception leeching off the man in the Force, and turned him to face him. “Tell me why you shot at us,” he said, time running out as the sirens came closer.

    The man looked at Luke as if he couldn’t look away. “We were paid to shoot anyone who came to speak to the scientist that you went to see.”

    “Paid by who?” Luke asked, keepingthe power of the Force in his voice.

    “Don’t know him. Met him in a Sabaac game. Fast credits.”

    Luke released the man’s arm and moved back as the security force stopped their vehicle and began to take inventory of the crash. Mara stepped to the side to speak with the alien in charge. Luke stayed back, once again donning his Force disguise to blend into the background. He sighed with the effort of so much Force expenditure, and worked to calm his breath.

    The paramedics took the male and started working on his gash, while the security guards cuffed him to the vehicle. Luke watched with a sort of detachment, thinking of what he had just been told. A Sabaac game. It was all circumstantial evidence, of course, but Naelli had to be the one to pay these two to shoot at anyone visiting Niargen. But which Naelli, and why? Other than Niragen’s ravings about his cup and the map that may not even lead to anything, he hadn’t exactly been a font of information.

    The thoughts rolled around in Luke’s head and he began to wonder if it had been chance that this particular dimension had been keyed into the IDD in the first place. He had thought that to be the case, but if Naelli had paid someone to shoot anyone who visited the one man who could feasibly build another IDD…not to mention that Daala had been so very intent that the Jedi guard the item…

    Luke’s mouth twisted and his stomach rolled, the implication too much to handle. None of this had been by chance at all. He’d been set up all along, falling for it headfirst and with no questions asked./>/>
    Last edited by ginchy, Jan 30, 2014
  8. Nyota's Heart Combos & Paragraphs Host

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    Aug 31, 2004
    star 6
    Niargen - wow, definitely can tell he's one fry short of a Happy Meal :p - hope the map helps [face_thinking] Hmmm. Not surprised about Naeli pulling a double cross [face_worried] and definitely not surprised about Daala either o_O Anyone who thinks Tarken's hot stuff is bonkers anyway.


    Superb action ginchy! =D= I congratulate you on branching out ;)

    **

    Looking forward to the next post either on JC or LJ.

    [:D]

  9. JediMara77 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 5, 2004
    star 4
    Here's chapter 9... aka, the chapter in which ginchy tries to write action. Now, we know that I can write action... just... of a different variety. So I hope you enjoy my attempt at a different kind of action here...

    [face_laugh]

    Han hadn?t realized it was an alien?s leg appendage and tried to shake it like a hand. It broke the silence that had sprung up between them, and he was glad to share a laugh at Han?s expense if it would bring a smile back to Mara?s face.

    That is pretty funny. Stop making me laugh at something in The Crystal Star. Lol.

    Niargen didn?t look surprised at her statement. ?That?s right. I forget that sometimes.?

    Eeek. He really IS nuts!

    ?Brains and a sense of humor. I think I?m in love,? Mara snapped.

    Such a PERFECT Mara line!

    ?Only if you can harness a power larger than time itself.

    OOOH! OOOH! I think I know of such a power! PICK ME, PICK ME!!!

    ?Here,? Niragen said, handing Luke his cup. On the cup was a hand-drawn map. ?I told you that you?d find more use from the cup.? He didn?t wait for Luke to speak further, getting up and walking away.

    ooooh...such a good twist!!! Who says you can't write this plot-y stuff???

    ?What the kriff was that?? Mara growled, eyes scanning the surrounding buildings for the source of the shots.

    ?They looked like blaster shots,? Luke said dryly, his own eyes seeking answers.


    Perfect L/M. :)

    Luke?s mouth twisted and his stomach rolled, the implication too much to handle. None of this had been by chance at all. He?d been set up all along, falling for it headfirst and with no questions asked.

    :eek: That dirty stinking DAALA!!!!! Who needs exile when you can just send them to another dimension????

    :mad:
  10. Jedi_Lover Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Nov 1, 2004
    star 5
    Dum Dee Dum Dum DUMMMMM!! Fooled by the old Get the Jedi to enter an alternate dimension by the temptation of seeing his dead wife trick!

    At least they know there is another device. For some reason when they got the map on a napkin I thought of those maps my kids used to get at McDonalds as placemats. Did the crazy scientist draw a little maze with the IDD in the center and a little doodle of Luke on the outside. The instructions say "Help the Jedi find his way home." LOL!

    I think you write great action. I was able to follow what was going on. You write action a hellava lot better than I write romance which usually consists of "They kissed and then had hot sex." Your action is much more descriptive.

    I was feeling really bummed this morning, but this helped boost my mood. Great job as always!!
  11. Briannakin Grand Moff Darth Fanfic Manager

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Feb 25, 2010
    star 5
    Grrrg. I don't know if I am more pissed at Daala for setting this up, or at Farmboy for falling for it.

    Great action.

    Follow the map of the crazy dude! Follow it!
  12. RedGold Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 29, 2004
    star 4
    You sure know how to write crazy... 8-}
  13. Hazel Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 9, 2010
    star 4
    Works every time, doesn't it? :p


    Ginchy, you write this type of action very well too. Great chapter!
  14. Jade_Pilot Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 10, 2005
    star 5
    A TRAP! A big stinking trap! And they used Mara as bait. If only Luke could look at this as a win-win situation...oh, yeah-there's that alternate reality and Ben. *sigh*

    Bravo on the action scene! =D=

    Was it really back in '08 we talked about this fic??????? :eek: Hard to believe, isn't it? Someday we have to get back to our other fic!

    Well done! =D=
  15. Piper057 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 26, 2009
    star 2
    When the writer is good, he is really good at everything)))

    And I also love the way you're creating suspense.))
  16. ginchy Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 25, 2005
    star 4
    I'm so sad the boards are going down! What am I going to do with my life?? I'm on the boards approx. 8003 times an hour!!! :_| Anyway, thank you all for reading! [:D] Please don't forget ginchy or EoA. We will still be at http://ginchy.livejournal.com and http://www.fanfiction.net/s/7789470/1/Echoes_of_Always and the story will be updated on Mondays.


    Jade_eyes : LOL!!!!! One fry short of a Happy Meal is right, girl!! ;) And thank you so much! I was nervous about the action. Thanks for following during the board down time? HINT: ?Love? (Interlude 3) is coming up very soon? ;) Thank you!!

    JediMara77 : bwhahahaha?. That part of The Crystal Star actually was pretty funny. It?s the rest of the novel that?s the problem? it?s not meant to be funny, but? ;) YES! Why exile him for 10 years when you can just send him away?. FOREVER!! [face_devil] Thanks so much for all your help, girl!!!

    Jedi_Lover: LOL, girl. You always crack me up! I hope it wasn?t too cheesy but what is SW without some cheez???? I?m glad the action read well and that I helped cheer you up some. I hope you?re feeling better! Thanks, gal!

    Briannakin: Farmboy wasn?t in the right frame of mind. But you know? Daala probably isn?t, either (and never has been). LOL Thanks!!

    RedGold : Um? thanks????

    Hazel: Thank you!!!! [:D]

    Jade_Pilot : Girl, I know! Can you believe it?s been brewing that long??? Yes, Luke has Ben to think of, but I think maybe he?s realizing there are some benefits to this drawback? We?ll see. ;) Thanks, lady!!!

    Piper057: Thanks so much!! I was worried the suspense wouldn?t work.
    />
  17. DARTH_MU Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 9, 2005
    star 4
    I discovered this fic on fanfic.net just today. Was bummed that you stopped updating :p But now I know you only update on Mondays :)
  18. divapilot Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 30, 2005
    star 4
    Been busy lately but GIRL, I'm still loving this story. So it was a set-up! No wonder Luke felt iffy about it.

    Love the wonderful mix of humor and banter and action and bittersweet memories. This story is just fantastic. :D
  19. DaenaBenjen42 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 15, 2005
    star 5
    Will continue to get caught up in one of those two locations, then. :)
  20. Jedi_Lover Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Nov 1, 2004
    star 5
    Ginchy!! I know I read this over at FFN, but you need to finish this story here so I can make my smart mouth comments about BOOTKNOCKING!
  21. ginchy Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 25, 2005
    star 4
    I'm not sure if I should go on and post the rest of it here or not! I guess I should just so it'll be complete... The one time I write something more than a one-shot and the boards go down for 6 months. I'm afraid to start another. [face_rofl]

    ahahahaa boot-knocking. ;)
  22. Jedi_Lover Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Nov 1, 2004
    star 5
    @ginchy --- What is funny is when you started writing this story 6 months ago I stopped writing my fic Alter of Waru because I was afraid it was going to be too much like your story. I started posting it in the temp boards last month once I knew how yours ended and now we are both posting our stories at the same time on these boards anyway. But after seeing your story and you know how mine ends I think they are pretty different. I think you should finish posting it. Maybe add more bootknocking. And maybe think about shining up my Alter of Waru. :p
    Jade_eyes likes this.
  23. ginchy Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 25, 2005
    star 4
    I guess I'll go ahead and finish posting the story here. Hopefully the truncating issues will be fixed eventually and the entire story can be read as one. I'll post another new chapter every day or so until it's finished.


    EDIT 1/30/14: The story is now complete, all truncation issues with the story text fixed. Thanks for reading!!



    Chapter 10

    After providing statements to the authorities they were allowed to leave. The uniformed aliens had encouraged them to leave the system completely, but there was little chance of that since they still had Niargen's crudely drawn map to follow.

    "Give me that," Mara snapped, taking the cup from him. She narrowed her eyes to try to read it. "I'm guessing it starts at the asylum and sends us—" She paused and looked over the neatly laid out streets before turning her back toward the black holes visible through the dome. "In this direction."

    She took off down the street, pushing damp hair back from her head. The heat was stifling and Luke discreetly wiped at his own face as he followed meekly behind. He wondered if he should tell her what he had just realized about having been set up by Daala. There was too much information jumbling around in his mind, too many questions and what-ifs. Why would Daala send him to another dimension? Why not just kill him? What was she doing to the Jedi in his absence?

    The thought propelled him forward. He stepped into stride beside Mara as he realized anew that he needed that device to get back home. He couldn't afford to be wishy-washy. Everything he had worked so hard to build could be falling to pieces back in his own dimension. Not to mention Ben. He could only hope that Daala hadn't acted against the Order in any way. But if she had, he had faith in his Jedi, though he still felt a pang of fear in his heart.

    He followed Mara as she took a sharp detour between two buildings, her finger following the line on the cup. The Force sharpened her senses and he hesitantly reached out with his own Force inquiry, trying to determine if the path they were on was the correct one.

    "Don't do that." Mara's harsh words cut into his concentration.

    "Do what?" They had stopped in the shadow of the two buildings but he could still see the glint of ire in Mara's eyes.

    "Don't overlap your presence with mine."

    "I… I didn't realize that I was," he said, thinking back over the last few moments and realizing that he was being honest with her. He hadn't intentionally tried to merge with her, thinking that ability lost with the bond that had never existed between them.

    "Well, you were. So don't." Mara's words were crisp and he found himself nodding to appease her. She glared at him a moment longer but relented, turning back into the consummate Jedi he had come to admire. She traced the lines on the cup again and looked out over the landscape that stretched before them. They had reached the end of the city and there was only a barren field between them and the base of the dome. "According to this, there should be something here."

    "Perhaps it's buried?" He sounded skeptical even to his own ears.

    "Anything's possible, I guess." Mara flipped the cup upside down. "Unless I was supposed to read it this way."

    Luke took the cup from her and tilted it on its side. "Or like this."

    But she didn't smile as he had hoped she would. She didn't even offer a "Cute, Skywalker." She just marched out into the field, leaving him to follow her once more. He trudged on after her, casting out his Force sense, suspicious of the open field and the rooftops of the fringe of buildings behind them. He was careful not to overlap with Mara's strong presence but it was hard for him not to do so, having missed the pure beauty of her Force essence. Glancing down at the cup he stopped in his tracks, tilting it again to view it in the bright, artificial dome light. Something about the pattern of the lines and points seemed familiar to him.

    Mara's voice cut into his puzzling thoughts. "I think Niargen is in the asylum for a reason, Skywalker."

    "What?" He looked up from the cup and the tantalizing answer, just out of his reach. He looked around at the barren field and kicked at a tuft of browning grass under his feet. "I think you're right. I don't think the IDD was ever here. I guess that leaves us to wonder if it survived the Death Star after all."

    "And to figure out how to get you home." Mara looked straight at him as she said the words, no fear of him leaving visible in her eyes this time as there had been the first time he had tried to go.

    He swallowed hard. "Yeah, that too."
    .
    .
    They headed back to the ship, discouraged and silent with one another. The Sabre was where they had left it, still under its shield. Luke went warily up the ramp, a quiet Mara trailing behind him. Her mood had darkened even further as they trekked back through the hot city.

    They ran through the startups quickly and departed; the one nice thing about a giant black hole as a planetary backdrop was that there wasn't much traffic to queue into.

    Luke's head hit the back of the co-pilot's seat as they hit lightspeed. The fact that he was no closer to getting back home assaulted him. He had been hopeful that Niargen could provide an answer, but he had clearly been in no condition to help him. He was obviously not of the same mentality as the man who had created the IDD those many years earlier. His cup map had turned out to be a bust, even if Luke still kept it in his cloak due to the familiarity of the lines on it. And now the new idea that he had been set up was gurgling in his mind, too fresh for him to share with Mara just yet.

    Mara was silently fuming in her seat and he dreaded to look at her, to see the anger in her eyes. He could feel it coming off her in waves, not as strongly as he would have felt it were they bonded, but strongly enough that he grimaced. A pissed-off Mara Jade was a scary Mara Jade. He had known that since the very beginning.

    She tapped at the autopilot and stood up to sweep from the cockpit before he could speak. He sighed and put a hand to his forehead. Should he go after her? He could feel the anger still. It wasn't dissipating as she moved away, but he didn't want to spend the rest of the flight home with her like this. He was stuck in her dimension now; what did that mean? He would never stop trying to get home to Ben, but who would he be to Mara and her kids? A stranger? A nobody? The thought terrified him.

    He waited another few minutes, watching the starlines that gave him no answer as to what to do. He discarded his cloak and left the cockpit. He found Mara in the open lounge, performing a kata that he had often witnessed her perform when trying to expel excess negative energy.

    "Mara?" he asked tentatively. She didn't answer but continued with her kata. He sighed and watched, his eyes tracing over the line of muscles in her arm as she moved. She was as beautiful as he remembered, and just as stubborn. "Mara, can we talk?"

    Still she didn't answer. She twisted her arm up and around, releasing the tension in her shoulder as she lowered it to her waist. She looked at him and her mouth was a thin line on her face, the tension still evident there.

    "I just wanted to say that I'm sorry."

    With that she dropped her combat mode and gave him a blank stare. "You're sorry?"

    "For so many things—the map to nowhere and getting us shot at not the least of it. I never wanted to drag you into anything like this."

    Mara's eyes hardened. "You didn't—" She broke off in a laugh. "Skywalker, you created this whole mess by jumping universes in the first place!"

    "But I never meant for anything like this to happen! I'm so sorry, Mara." And he was. He could feel through the Force more than just her anger. There was a feeling of despair and he knew that he was the cause of it. It hurt him to realize that he had upset her so badly.

    "You're sorry?" she repeated. "You should be. You came here without invitation and turned my life upside down! You've shown me what I can't have and what I shouldn't want."

    Luke winced. She was right, but he had told her that already and was getting sick of apologizing. "I thought we had moved past this, Mara. We already discussed how wrong I was to come here. But go ahead and tell me again. You've always been so good at telling me how wrong I am."

    "Maybe your Mara was, but I'm not used to being in that position," she sneered. "My husband would never have put me in a situation like this. He never would have almost gotten me killed!"

    "You're always throwing that into my face. Was he really so different from me? Or are you hiding behind that idea to keep your emotional walls in place? You forget Mara, I know you, just as well as you know me." Luke was breathing hard but felt relieved that she was arguing with him. This was familiar territory, even with a different Mara.

    "If you know me so well why did you come here to find me? You should have known that I wouldn't have wanted that." Mara blew a breath out of her mouth when she finished.

    Luke gave her an appraising look. "But see, Mara, I know that's not true. You like to pretend you don't need me, or want me, but you do. You always do."

    Mara's eyes widened and she looked caught, so he wasn't surprised when the next words out of her mouth were meant to provoke. "Want you? I want my husband, and you aren't him. Just like I'm not your wife. They're both dead and they're not coming back! You're just going to have to get over her and deal with it!"

    "You think I don't know that?" Luke's voice was deceptively calm as he ran a hand through his hair. "You think I didn't see her body in the morgue, kiss her cold lips? They were so cold, Mara…" His eyes fluttered closed as he remembered. "And all I wanted to know was why? Why would she do that? Why would she leave me with nothing more than a note? Gone hunting for a few days. Don't be mad at me, farmboy… I can repeat the damn note word for word but I still don't understand it."

    Mara's eyes narrowed as she listened to the words of her doppleganger's last note to her husband. Her brow furrowed. "She left a note?"

    But he wasn't really listening. He paced the floor in front of her. "I mean, I just don't understand. I've puzzled it out. Intellectually I can understand that she did it for Ben, but to throw twenty years away, to not trust me…" He trailed off and turned, seeing Mara, looking at her as if he had never seen her before. "Why would you leave me in the middle of the night, with nothing more than a note, Mara?"

    "I didn't leave you!" Mara growled. She stalked close to him. "I am not your wife. I don't know why she left you like that, and I can't answer for her."

    "Then I'll never know," he murmured.

    "Not since you're stuck here, no." The light in her eyes betrayed the anger still flaring there.

    "How many times do I need to apologize to you?"

    "I don't want your apology. I want you to understand what you've done! How do you think I felt, watching that sleemo lift that pipe toward you, to hit you in the chest? Right where Luke was wounded?"

    Luke's brow furrowed and he backtracked over the memories of the last few hours. He vaguely recalled the man they had chased raising a pipe in defense, but he had easily sheered it in half. It has never been a danger to him. "Mara, I had that under control."

    He knew the words were the wrong ones the second they left his mouth. Mara's eyes flashed, the green fire in them more dangerous to him than any lightsaber.

    "You had it under control? Just like everything else in your life, Master Skywalker? What about when you jumped on the back of that speeder, or, I don't know, when you left your son and jumped dimensions to find a woman who is not your wife? How in control were you then?"

    He opened his mouth to speak, but Mara was on a roll. "What am I supposed to do with you now, Skywalker? Do you plan to come home with me and pretend to be my Luke? The father of our kids?" She brought her hand to her mouth and choked back a small sob, her eyes glassy in her red face.

    He wanted to deny her words, but she was right. He was not her husband and would never claim to be. Would never try to take or fill his place. But the thought of being stuck in this galaxy, unable to be with her, to know she was so close but so out of his reach… "I don't know what I'm going to do now, Mara. All I know is the thought of being without you…" he trailed off. "Don't you know that's why I'm here? I've missed you," he said, repeating the words he said to her when he first arrived. "I miss you."

    The air between them grew thick and Luke felt overly sensitized as he brought a hand out to grasp her arm. Her skin was smooth under his fingers and he rubbed his thumb in a small circle on her arm, amazed to just be touching her again, even so innocent of a touch.

    Mara gasped and instinctively pulled her arm away, using the back of her hand to wipe against her eyes. She backed up but he followed, knowing that they were on a precipice here and he may never again get this chance. He grasped her arm again and pulled her to him, looking down into her eyes. She fought against his hold but he knew it was only for show; she could easily remove herself from his grasp if she really wanted to. His eyes skated over her beautiful face, the face he had loved so well. "Mara."

    Her eyes flashed to his and she visibly crumpled before him, tears leaking out of the corner of her eyes. "Luke." She brought a hand to his face and caressed his cheek.

    "Don't you understand, Mara? I did it because I missed her…you. Because every day without you felt like I was living a half life and it was killing me." He advanced on her and took his time to look at her, eyes tracing over features he had long since memorized. "And now I've gotten to know you, Mara. This version of you, so much the same as my wife, but also different. I know you're not her, but I long for you the same way I did for her. The thought of never seeing you again…never touching you, never speaking with you… I couldn't… can't… handle it."

    The words were unspoken between them but he knew that she caught what he meant, that he didn't know how he could live in the same galaxy with her and not be her husband. This new reality was even more unsettling than the one he had left behind.

    "You should have thought about that before!" she seethed, moving in to his personal space and staring up at him. "You should have thought about what it would do to me to see you again, the man that I want more than anything in this galaxy and can't have!"

    Her chest was heaving as she finished her sentence and he didn't think, only reacted, just as she accused him of doing. He moved his grasp to her upper arms and pulled her to him, kissing her lips.

    Fireworks exploded behind his eyes at the touch of her lips, so long missed and denied, only a hint of the passion in the kiss they shared when they had thought he was leaving. Her lips were slightly chapped and he pulled back to see if she were going to deck him or push him away. Instead she pushed back into him, kissing him this time, and her lips softened under the intensity of the kiss. He couldn't think any longer and could only take in the sensations, the familiarity of her perfect lips moving against his, her scent and silky skin under his hands. He loosened his grip just slightly to run his right hand up and into her hair. He caressed the skin at her hairline and tilted her head upward to his liking.

    Mara groaned against his lips, opening her mouth to him even as her momentum pushed him back to the bulkhead wall. He collapsed against it and kept kissing her, the taste of her as addictive and sweet as he remembered. They pulled back for breath but he didn't let her get far, kissing a line from her mouth to her ear by way of her jaw. He breathed hotly into her sensitive ear, murmuring her name until she shivered against him.

    She grabbed his face and pulled him back into a kiss, moving closer to him until her chest rubbed against his and her legs bumped against his own. He instinctively leaned down and grasped her under her bottom. She jumped up and wrapped her legs around his waist. He turned and pushed her into the wall, never breaking his kiss with her.

    White-hot need bled out from Mara's Force sense and he groaned into her kiss, the unreality of the situation escaping him as his body reacted to the touch of his wife. A gasp escaped his throat at the exquisite sensation of pleasure. He hadn't been this turned on in a long time, hadn't wanted sex when the one he loved was gone.

    But the Mara in his arms was no memory. She was as warm and as alive as he remembered, giving and taking from him only as she could. Her fingernails dug into his back through his shirt as he lifted her against the wall. He nuzzled his head into her neck and kissed her pulse point.

    He held her suspended just above him on the wall. "Mara?"

    She seemed to understand his unasked question. She kissed him again, parting his lips to deepen the caress. It was answer enough for him, but it wouldn't happen here.

    He turned from the wall and carried her to her stateroom.
    .
    .

    If you've read this before, I did a little gentle edititing to make it more PG friendly. The next chapter, Interlude 3: Love, has two versions, PG and NC-17. I will post the PG one here, and if you have interest in the other version, and are over 18, PM me for details. Thanks for reading! />/>
    Last edited by ginchy, Jan 30, 2014
  24. JediMara77 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 5, 2004
    star 4
    My favorite chapter. :D [face_love]

    Have I mentioned how much I love this fic? I love it. I want to hug it. [:D]

    I'm sooooo proud of you for finishing this. It's one of the best fics I've read!
  25. Nyota's Heart Combos & Paragraphs Host

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    Aug 31, 2004
    star 6
    SQQQQQQQQQQUEEEEEEEEEE! Oh yes, this is classic, vintage ginchy! Like a lovely, sultry, slow saxophone melody on the computer screen. :) [face_love]

    Oh, I am so utterly vaporized! [face_dancing] [face_dancing]
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