Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by Jedi_Lover, Apr 21, 2013.
No, that's not the end. We got to get Luke and Mara together now.
Oh. I imagined Callista's leaving less painful for Luke. But... it's for the best, isn't it?
I think, during his time with Callista both in this story and in canon, Luke was more in love with being in love and having someone to spend his life with, than he was in love with Callista. I'm glad that Luke at least got a goodbye from the 'snatcher. Now Mara can show him he's better off without the computer virus.
Poor Luke. But it's for the best. Callista's right. This is not her time and Luke is not her destiny nor she his.
Great post. You actually made Callista a selfless person in this. Brilliant! Now, he and Mara can begin to explore if perhaps maybe, and make some of those Force-induced, enhanced fantasies come true.
Argh..I can't help but feel how wrong this is... *sighs* I can't help it but....
The only thing that puts me at ease is Callista's search for the Force...so I don't feel so troubled
I bet Luke's next meeting with Mara will be a world of awkward after this.
“You’re my last chance for happiness, Callista.”
Stubborn Farmboy!! So frustrating!
@Briannakin for reading and taking the time to comment. I had some time today so I worked on this story. Also, tomorrow is my son's birthday so he is probably going to want to go buy stuff with his birthday money. We were supposed to go do paintball, but my recent medical problems makes that verboten. I will have to delay that event for a later date.
As for chapter 8, I know that was rough for Luke, but he already thought Callista was thinking of leaving him. He said so in chapter one, so it shouldn't be a big surprise.
Luke reluctantly shut the door after Callista left. He knew if he watched her walk away something inside of him would snap and he'd end up running after her begging and pleading for her to stay. He didn’t want to chase after her like some love-struck teen or worse...a pathetic stalker, especially when he knew she was right.
Despite loving each other, things hadn’t been going well between them. Since Callista's arrival on Yavin IV she had problems adjusting to her new reality. It wasn’t just the fact she was cut off from the Force, she complained about adapting to her new body. She spent decades in the sterile environment of a computer having no physical irritations. Now she found herself on a jungle moon, sweating, getting eaten by insects, enduring allergies to the local fauna, and suffering from normal human chemical and hormonal fluctuations. And on top of all that, she was living in a different era, a time where all of the friends and family she once knew were probably dead.
These various problems triggered depression and anxiety within the former Old Republic Jedi and it was probably only a matter of time before she left. Luke had a feeling Callista was somewhat relieved by the turn of events. She could now break up with him and not be the bad guy. He was certain she convinced herself that what she was doing the right thing—it was for the greater good.
He turned and moved over to his kitchen where he poured himself a stiff shot of whiskey. He chugged it back in one gulp and then shuddered at the taste. He refilled the glass and went back and sat on his couch.
Now he had a bigger problem. What was he going to do about Mara? It wasn’t like he could go over to her quarters and say, ‘Guess what? Callista left me…now lets get to baby making so the Force will leave us alone!’ He groaned at his predicament. This was one problem that wasn’t going away.
He rose and went over to the kitchen counter, grabbing the bottle of whiskey. He needed to see Mara and that required as much liquid courage as possible.
He didn’t need to ask what room Mara was in; he could feel her anxiety oozing through the Force and it led him straight to her quarters. He pushed the door indicator button and waited. Within minutes Mara appeared at the entryway and motioned him inside the guest apartment.
As they walked to the sitting area she noticed the bottle of liquor he was carrying. “That’s a good idea. I’ll get two glasses.” She went to the small food prep area and pulled two small tumblers out of the cabinet above the sink. She walked over and placed them on the small dining table and then took a seat.
Luke sat down across from her and poured out two drinks. He took a swig and heaved a deep sigh. “Well, Callista left me.”
Mara nodded sadly. “I felt your pain through the Force.” She paused for a moment, as if hesitant about saying her next thought. “I shouldn’t have come here. I’ve ruined your life.”
Luke’s head hung pensively, staring at the glass sitting on the table in front of him. He fiddled with the whiskey tumbler for a moment before taking another sip. “No, you know that’s not true, Mara. None of this is of your creation.”
“Still, she'd be with you if I didn’t show up. I shouldn’t have come.” She stood suddenly. “I should leave.”
Mara turned but Luke reached out and grabbed the sleeve of her tunic. “Please stay and talk to me. Callista just left me. I don’t need my closest friend abandoning me also.”
Mara stared at him for a moment before she slowly nodded and sat back down. “What now?”
Luke rubbed his temple not knowing what the hell they were going to do now. “I don’t know. Maybe we can try to figure out what the Force wants from us.”
Mara gave a snort. “I have a pretty good idea what it wants from us. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Force dropped aphrodisiacs and spice in our drinks and then locked us in a room together until we got with the program.”
“I don’t know about that.” Luke tried to smile but it came out as a grimace. “I came over to talk, but I now realize I’m not in the right frame of mind at the moment. Why don’t we sleep on it?”
She raised an eyebrow. “Excuse me?”
He let loose a frustrated breath. “I don’t mean it that way, Mara. We’ll go back to our separate quarters. Neither of us is in any condition to discuss this situation. I haven’t slept in two weeks and I bet you haven’t either.” He got up and walked to the door. “I hope we can get some rest from these visions.”
Mara raised her glass to her lips as he left her room. “So do I.”
Luke woke from his dream with such a start that he actually rolled out of the bed and onto the floor. He pulled himself up to his hands and knees as he gasped for breath. “Oh kriff!”
Mara had said she had some erotic dreams of him…well now he had his first glimpse at what she was talking about. He rolled over to his back, breathing heavy and trembling. He squeezed his eyes shut but the images refused to leave his mind. He and Mara were camping by a lake in some unknown forest. They were sitting around a campfire before she gave him a sultry smile, took his hand and led him to their tent. In the privacy of their shelter Mara did…oh wow…she did things he could only dream of…and in fact he did dream them…in excruciating detail. He was now so aroused he was sure he wouldn’t be able to leave his room for a week. He slowly got up and stumbled over to his ‘fresher shower where he turned on the cold water, stripped out of his nightwear and then jumped in. He yelped at the frigid temperature, but it did the trick and cooled down his overheated body.
He wasn’t sure if Mara’s dreams were that intense, but if they were he could understand why she hadn’t gotten much sleep lately. After a few minutes he left the cool shower and began to dress. Looking over to his wall chrono he realized it was early morning already. In about ten minutes breakfast would be served in the dining hall. If he couldn’t sleep he might as well eat. He finished dressing and started out toward the chow hall.
On the way to the dining facility Luke spotted Mara with her carryall bag in hand stalking toward the Academy landing pad. “Mara!” he called out as he jogged to catch up with her. “Wait! What’s going on?”
She gave him a quick look over her shoulder. “Being here on this moon makes the dreams more intense! And I didn’t think that was possible!” Mara practically snarled at him. “I’m leaving, Skywalker.”
He finally caught up with her and slowed his pace to match hers. “Where are you going?”
She stopped and glared at him. “Myrkr. It’s the only place where I think I can get some sleep.” She turned and started off toward her shuttle again.
“Take me with you?” Luke begged. “I haven’t slept well since the last time you were here and last night…last night…” He trailed off unable to tell her what he dreamt about. She must have sensed his embarrassment because she stopped and swung around to face him.
“Oh poor Luke,” she said sarcastically. “Now you know what I have suffered through for over a week. Was last night your first…sex dream?”
He nodded as his face reddened. “Did you have the same dream last night?”
Her eyes narrowed. “I don’t know, Luke,” she said in a snarky tone. “Was it the dream where we were making out like Endorian Tumble Bunnies in some storage closet after sneaking away from a formal masquerade ball?”
“What?” Luke said shocked. “No.”
“Was it the time we skinny dipped beneath a warm waterfall and then went behind the cascades to have a quickie?”
He shook his head. “No.”
“Was it the time we were camping in the forest and attempted to duplicate every mating technique illustrated in a book you had titled The Complete Guide to Human Pleasure and Spirituality?”
“That’s the one,” Luke managed to croak out before he turned a deeper red.
She looked him up and down appraisingly. “I’m surprised you can walk after experiencing that vision.”
He gave an embarrassed chuckle. “That’s what cold showers are for.”
She smirked sympathetically. “Do you really want to go to Myrkr?”
“Yes, we both need a break from these visions.”
She turned and started walking again. “Fine, I’ll wait for you to pack some stuff. Meanwhile I’ll contact Karrde to see if we can use his base. He went back a few months ago and found the Imperials had left it intact.”
Luke was reluctant to let her out of his sight. He wouldn’t put it past Mara to blast off without him, but he could not sense duplicity on her part so he decided to go ahead and get his belongings. “Thanks Mara.”
“Don’t thank me yet,” she said as she lowered the boarding ramp of her ship. “I have a feeling a trip in a confined ship might be the worst idea we've ever had.”
He hesitated when he realized she was right. After his dream last night could he handle being in close proximity with the woman who brought him to unbelievable heights of passion in his dreams? He cleared his throat nervously. “I’m sure we’ve made worse decisions before and survived,” Luke joked half-heartedly.
‘And I really hope I'll survive this time,’ he thought anxiously as he jogged off in the direction of his apartment.
Heehehehehe! The Force know what it's doing and I like it! Great update.
The Force is giving this matchmaking all it's got.
And I want to read about some of those encounters. Um, yeah. Ahem. *shifty eyes*
me too. I want this shine so much!
Amazingly great progress. Woot! Now they're gonna go to Myrkr and would it be a surprise if they still had dreams LOL or visions ... The one behind the waterfall ... sounds not just uniquely sensual but very romantic as well.
This trip to Myrkr is either the best idea these two ever had or the worst
I don't why, but this image are stuck in my head:"Smirking Force" : Run, run! You can't run away from me, you idiots! Hehe! I love those two. They are so funny. "laughing"
Ah I remember that last part...you showed it to me...well let's hope this helps them.
Would Luke keep the knowledge, that she dies before the birth of their grandson to himself?
Who knows? But you've got to ask, what good would it do? We know the significance but Luke doesn't.
@Jade_eyes, and any lurkers out there for reading!
@ginchy if you want to shine up any of Mara's dreams feel free.
This update is a short one.
Mara plotted in the jump to Myrkr then turned in the captain’s chair to gaze at her co-pilot. “It’s not a long trip…just one jump. I would say we would be there in a day-and-a-half standard.”
“Thank…thanks for taking me with you," Luke replied. "I needed to get away from my apartment. There are too many sad memories there now.”
Mara gazed at him, her eyes a mixture of sadness and compassion. “I’m sorry she left. I know how much she meant to you.” She hesitated for a moment before continuing. “I’m not the best at comforting people, but if you want to talk I’ll listen. I know you said it’s not my fault, but I can’t help but feel responsible for your pain.”
Luke took a deep breath and let it out slowly. “I saw it coming. I told you that, didn’t I? When you came to Yavin IV two weeks ago I told you I thought she was going to leave.” He looked back at the hyperspace lines outside the cockpit for a long pause before he spoke again. “So it wasn’t your fault. And even if she did leave because of the visions we were having…it still wouldn’t be your fault.”
She shifted in the pilot seat restlessly, as if the chair had suddenly become uncomfortable. “I was curious about the visions. You said your visions were more family in nature.” She averted her eyes, looking acutely embarrassed. “But most of my images were of you and…you know…us…doing…” She let that sentence hang unfinished.
Luke shrugged. “Maybe the Force was temping us with something we want but don’t have. I wanted a family.” He turned and gave her a cocky grin. “And you wanted a piece of the Jedi Master.” He tried to keep a straight face but failed as Mara jumped out of her seat and punched him, not so playfully, in the shoulder.
“I’m joking Mara.” He laughed some more before catching his breath. “I wasn’t kidding about the family. I do want one…but I know you haven’t been lusting over me for years.”
She sat back down and avoided looking at him.
“So, how damaged is our friendship right about now?” Luke asked.
“That last little dig didn’t help,” She muttered in irritation. “But I probably won’t push you out the airlock.”
He gave her a sheepish grin. “That’s nice to know. Seriously Mara, we have been having very explicit dreams about each other…it has to change the way we see each other…because we’ve seen each other.”
She gave a dismissive snort. “You saw what your mind thought I would look like.”
He considered that possibility. “Well, there is one way to find out.”
She gave him a withering glare. “You really want to die, don’t you?”
He held up his hands in a calming gesture. “I didn’t mean take our clothing off. It’s just in that last dream…I saw a scar…on you…on a place on your body that I know I have never seen before in real life.”
Mara’s cheeks flushed with embarrassment and then turned white as the blood drained from her face. “What scar?” she managed to whisper.
Luke hesitated. By her reaction she obviously had a scar and if he was correct about the shape and placement was she going to run him through with her lightsaber?
“What scar, Skywalker!” Mara’s voice rose to a screech.
Now it was Luke’s turn to blush. “It was hard to see in the dim light, but it looked like you had a small meandering scar, right about here.” He pointed to an area on her lower abdomen…an area that would normally be covered by even the skimpiest of undies.
Her hand flew to her mouth to stop a startled gasp. “Oh Force!” She suddenly stood and rushed to the ‘fresher.
After a few minutes, Luke stood and moved to the ‘fresher door. “Mara, are you okay?” He waited for a response but got none. He tapped on the door with his knuckles. “Mara, talk to me.”
Her voice was strained. “Go away!”
Luke tilted his head against the door. “You can’t stay in there the entire trip.”
“I’m not, I’m just waiting to die of humiliation.”
Luke leaned against the doorframe. “Mara, don’t be embarrassed. If the Force showed you to me, then that means what you saw in your dreams was what I look like unclothed.”
“Aaaaahh!” came Mara’s stunned shout.
Luke frowned. He wasn’t sure how to take that response. “Mara, if I go to the back of the cargo bay and leave you alone, would that help.”
“I’m leaving.” He grabbed his carryall bag and moved to the back of the shuttle. He wished there was a cabin in this ship, but no such luck. This spacecraft was the smallest in Karrde’s fleet, having only a cockpit, ‘fresher and cargo bay. He settled down on the deck and pulled out his datapad to catch up on some reading.
This was going to be a long trip.
The scream had me in stitches! well, off to read my trashy romance novel. ta!
Oh, poor Mara. For someone like her, that would be extremely embarrassing.
JL Mara's secretly thinking: Gosh, but if that is what Luke really! looks like, dude is yummy and well-equipped Long trip indeed. Will they survive? LOL
Oh yes, this is going to be a VERY LONG trip.
Oh come, Mara! Make use of this situation. You've seen Luke in all his glory too. And I am sure, he has scars in interesting places as well.
Poor Mara. That would be embarrassing. But at least they know the goods on one another. Now to put those goods to ...er.... good use.
I like how awkward this all is. Later it won't be so awkward. Though the 'how did you two get together' story will be interesting. (As if it wasn't already interesting enough. "Well, I wanted to kill Luke. Then I wanted to kriff him. The Force works in mysterious ways.")
@EmeraldJediFire for reading. I think after a good night's sleep Mara may be in a better mood. If you don't sleep well for weeks you will be almost stir crazy. The visions have to have Mara seeing Luke in a whole new light.
Thanks for taking the time to comment!
They arrived at Myrkr base the next day. Luke stood slowly from the hard deck of the ship with a groan. He rolled his head in a circle a few times before he leaned backwards stretching his sore stiff back. He didn’t think he got a minute of sleep the night before. He tried to use what little clothing he brought with him to make a pillow and cushion his back but it didn’t help much. The only good thing about the lack of sleep meant there weren’t any awkward dreams.
Mara powered down the shuttle and moved to the rear of the ship where Luke stood. He could tell she was still upset and embarrassed about the conversation they had the night before. “Mara, I’m sorry…”
She held up a hand and gave him a warning look he couldn’t miss. “Don’t…I don’t want to discuss the visions until I can get some sleep.”
“You still couldn’t sleep last night?” he asked.
She scowled at him. “Unfortunately I did get some sleep, but the Force decided to send me another vision which rudely pulled me out of my slumber.” She grabbed her flight bag off the deck and glared at him. “Kriff’n Force.”
“I didn’t get any sleep either,” he said with a yawn.
She lowered the ramp and walked out to the humid Myrkr air. “Lucky you.”
He grabbed up his gear and followed her down the ramp. When Mara stepped onto the duracret landing-pad she gazed up into the blue sky and closed her eyes. “Do you feel it?”
Luke shook his head. “I don’t feel anything.”
She turned to look at him. “Exactly. No Force.”
“Ahh,” Luke said in understanding. “That’s what we came for.”
Mara marched up to Karrde’s base at a quick clip. “What we came for is sleep and that’s what I am going to do now before I pass out.”
Luke followed her as she punched in the door codes to the main entrance. The door slowly slid open with some effort. It was obvious the place needed some maintenance, but that could wait. Sleep was calling for them. Mara walked down to a maintenance room where she wasted no time in raiding the supply closet to get clean linen. She handed Luke a bundle of sheets and she grabbed some for herself. She motioned down the hall with her head. “Claim a room and get some rest. Later on I’ll see if any of the emergency rations are still edible. If not, I can take the shuttle to Hyllyard City and scrounge some up.”
She didn’t wait for Luke to answer. She walked into a room and shut the door behind her.
He wandered down the hall and found a room with a bunk and prepared for sleep…wonderful and hopefully dreamless sleep.
Later Mara woke him from the best sleep he had in weeks. It was a deep, deep slumber, restful and dreamless. Mara was standing next to his bed smirking. “Are you going to sleep forever?”
Luke looked out the window and noticed the sun was setting. They arrived in the early afternoon, so he wasn’t sure why she decided to wake him. “What did I get, four hours sleep?” He swung his feet off the bed and stood feeling unusually stiff.
“More like one full planetary rotation and four hours. This is the next day.” She held out some ration bars and bottled juice. “I thought you might be hungry.”
He looked down at his wrist chrono. “Stang, I didn’t realize how tired I was.” He gave Mara a bright smile as he accepted the offered rations. “Thanks. I hope you got enough rest.”
She turned and headed out of his room and down the hall. “It was glorious. I had a dream, but it wasn’t about you.”
Luke followed her while unwrapping his ration bar. “Oh, anything you can tell me about?”
She chuckled. “I dreamt Vader and Palpatine were drunk and singing the Imperial Academy Alma Mater song.”
Luke laughed out loud. “That’s not so bad.”
“You haven’t heard your father sing.”
He grinned. He was glad Mara was in a better mood. “No I haven’t fortunately.” He took another bite of his ration bar and chewed. “Did you eat?” he asked after he swallowed the bland tasting sustenance.
“Yes, but more than two days and we will be out of food.” She stopped to look at him. “How long are we staying?”
“I’m not sure.” Luke took a sip of his juice and thought about it. “I guess we should sit down and discuss what’s happened. I think we need to analyze these dreams. I know you think the Force is playing matchmaker, but I believe there may be a greater purpose and we won’t know what it is until we sit down and scrutinize all the visions.”
The delicate features of her face tensed. “I really don’t want to do that.”
Luke could see her face flush with embarrassment as she turned and continued down the hall to a large lounge area of the base. She sat down on a small couch and Luke claimed a large leather seat across from her. “Mara I don’t need details about any…erotic vision. I am more interested in any other type of dream. Almost all of my visions involved family. Did you have any visions where we weren’t…you know.”
Her brow creased in concentration. “There were a few. In one we were in a cavern of some sort and we were fighting Sentinel droids. Another time we were underground somewhere…it could have been the lower levels of Coruscant. We were there with a group of people and for some reason you were skinny dipping in some red stagnant water.”
Luke’s face went slack in surprise. “Skinny dipping? And among a group of people? That doesn’t sound like something I would do.” He gave her a sly look. “But you did say in another vision we were swimming in the nude by a waterfall. You must be a bad influence on me.”
She rolled her eyes. “Yeah, that must be it. There was something else.” She hesitated for a long moment. “It was a disturbing vision. It looked like we were aboard the Falcon. You were sprawled out on a sleeping platform, battered and beaten and looking very dead. I was crying over your body.” She paused as she visibly steadied her nerves to continue. “Some of the details are fuzzy, but I do remember holding my hands over a nasty wound on your chest and suddenly you took a sharp breath and your eyes opened.”
Luke sat silently, transfixed by the story. “Then what?”
Mara gave him a sad smile. “You reached up, caressed my hair and then said, I’ll live, my love.”
Luke blew out an uneasy breath. “At least I survived.” As soon as he said the words he remembered the disturbing vision he had about Mara. He closed his eyes briefly, considering if he should tell her or not.
Mara’s eyes narrowed with suspicion. “What are you hiding?”
He sighed deeply. “I dreamt our son brought over my newborn grandson for me to see. But after he handed me the baby he said, ‘I wish mom lived to see her grandson.’”
“Oh,” she said with an air of resignation. “Hopefully I didn’t die soon after giving birth.”
“I hope not either,” he said softly. “I remember another vision where I am in a nursery, holding a baby, and talking to someone outside by field of view. I was saying we should hide the Jedi children in the Maw until the war was over.”
Mara frowned. “The Maw? Why there? Why not another planet? Unless…”
“Unless the entire galaxy was at war,” Luke finished.
Mara nodded. “In some of my less…erotic dreams, I got the impression that something bad was happening…something big. Do you think the Force wants us to change things? Change the future?”
“The future is always in motion,” Luke said with little conviction in his voice. “But these visions might be already changing our future.”
Mara shrugged. “Or these visions might have set us on the course leading to that particular future.”
“True, we might be doing exactly what led us to that future. We have no way of knowing what we could do now that is definitely different from the future in the visions.” Luke sighed and drew his hand through his hair in frustration.
Mara fidgeted in her seat for a moment before she looked up and gazed into Luke’s eyes. “There was something in my vision where we fought the sentinel droids though…”Mara said softly. “When we fought the droids our minds melded together and we formed a bond. During the vision I got the distinct impression that prior to that point we were just friends. We were not dating. Or had any romantic entanglement.”
“Oh,” Luke said uneasily. He thought she knew where she was going with this but he didn’t dare venture a guess. “And that is important…why?”
Her dark green eyes frosted a bit. “You know why. You just don’t want to say it.”
“Like you don’t want to say it?” he shot back.
“Ugghhh,” she groaned in frustration. “Fine! I’ll say it. If we start a relationship prior to getting stuck in a cavern and fighting off sentinel droids…then we will know for sure we are doing something different…we could possibly make changes in the future and maybe avoid whatever major conflict.”
Luke chuckled uneasily. “Or we could swear never to see each other again, never get married, never have a child and that would be another way to ensure we are doing something different.”
She crossed her arms in front on her chest. “Do you want to sleep with a ysalamiri under your pillow for the rest of your life?” Mara said sarcastically. “Because I can’t believe the Force threw in dozens of skinholo visions so I would avoid you all my life?”
He took another sip of juice and stared at her intently. If he didn’t know better, he would think she was actually considering a relationship with him. “What exactly are you suggesting?”
“Nothing,” Mara said harshly. “We shouldn’t try to make changes. We may make things worse.”
“What could be worse than a possible galactic-wide war?”
“How about a wandering black hole coming too close to our galaxy and sucking everything in to it.” She drummed her fingers on her knee nervously. “I’m open for suggestions.”
Their gaze locked and there was a moment of profound awareness between them. “We did look happy together,” Luke said softly. “We really, really looked happy.”
She turned away from his probing eyes. “I know, but this is all so new. We never dated each other, we don’t know if we’re compatible.” She flopped down on her side so she was half sitting, half lying on the couch. She reached up and clutched her reddish-gold hair in frustration. “Gods, why is the Force doing this to us.”
“I don’t know,” Luke admitted then gave her a nervous smile. “Listen, Mara, I’m not asking anything from you. Neither of us is ready for a relationship. I’m still reeling from Callista leaving and you don’t need a Jedi Master on the rebound. We can take things one day at a time. We could see if we can tolerate being around each other and go from there.” Luke hesitated slightly. “That is if you’re interested in a relationship…I don’t even know if you’re attracted to me.” His words came out sounding shy and insecure.
Mara shifted on the couch propping her head up on her hand and elbow. “You never cease to amaze me, Skywalker.”
He looked at her questioningly. “How’s that?”
“You do realize you were voted ‘Sexiest Man in the Galaxy’ by Sentient Holozine last year.”
Luke blushed slightly. The tabloid holozines printed a lot of things about him, most of it false. “I heard about that gross exaggeration.”
Mara sat back up on the couch and laughed. “You’re adorable when you are self-deprecating.” Her eyes slid across his body and Luke got the distinct impression that she was envisioning him unclothed. “You’re toned, handsome, heroic and possess an aura of strength and authority.” She lifted one firmly arched eyebrow. “I guess I could do worse.”
His jaw dropped in shocked amusement. “Thanks, I guess.”
“One day at a time. That’s what you suggested.” She gazed at the ceiling thoughtfully. “I guess we can try that and ease into things and see how it works.”
A wide smile blossomed across his face. “I think we have a plan.”