Beyond "Eurydice" (Luke, Mara) Updated 12 October, Complete!

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by JadeLotus, Oct 11, 2011.

Moderators: Briannakin, mavjade
  1. AzureAngel2 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 14, 2005
    star 6
    Did you ever watch the series that Jim Hendson made? It is called "The Storyteller - Greek Myths".

    But to translate the "Metamorphoseon libri" from Latin into German back in the 90ies was hell at times...

    I guess a lot of grammar school students have no found memories of Ovid´s work.
  2. Jade_Pilot Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 10, 2005
    star 5
    Wonderful! Now that I've caught up, I can't wait for more. Love your characterizations!
  3. divapilot Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 30, 2005
    star 4
    I love how welcomed Mara and Luke are. It must have been incredibly hard for her to reconcile the Vader she remembered with the Anakin she met. Yet, she listened and she learned.

    Beautiful writing as always.
    Nyota's Heart likes this.
  4. ThreadSketch Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 22, 2013
    star 3
    Oh ho ho, you're gonna finish that one too? *braces self for the exquisite Angst-a-Thon* [face_mischief]

    I forgot to mention how I LOL'ed at Obi-Wan choosing to say "Delightful girl," in reference to Mara. That's so Ben. [face_laugh]
    Nyota's Heart likes this.
  5. JadeLotus Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 27, 2005
    star 4
    @AzureAngel2 - No, I've never heard of that series - sounds interesting!

    @Jade_Pilot - Thanks, gal! [:D]

    @divapilot - Thank you! It was pretty confronting for Mara, but Anakin had a lot to say she could learn from.

    @ThreadSketch - Oh, yes, that will be finished, if I can bear to get through the angst - eh, who am I kidding, I love the angst! :D I actually think Obi-Wan would really like and approve of Mara and genuinely find her delightful - they have a similar sense of humor and could go toe to toe in a quip-off.
  6. ginchy Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 25, 2005
    star 4
    I love this strange odyssey that Mara's on. I love how she is questioning everything, and receiving answers that she doesn't want, but needs to hear. She and Anakin have a lot in common in some ways, and I like how he asked her to forgive herself. I love Luke meeting with the Masters and being confirmed as a Master himself. This is beautifully written, lady. Just magic.
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  7. JadeLotus Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 27, 2005
    star 4
    @ginchy - Thanks gal! I do think Mara and Anakin are similar in many ways, and he of all people understands what she went through. Mara's very resistant to learning anything on her journey, though [face_laugh]



    Part VI: What Dreams May Come


    Luke walked through a valley of high grass and wildflowers, and in the distance were the most spectacular waterfalls he had ever seen. And yet while he appreciated the beauty of the location, Luke’s gaze was fixed on the two beings standing in the grass to welcome him.

    “Father.” Luke’s voice hitched. Before him he saw the Anakin Skywalker he had always known was behind Vader’s mask, the Anakin everyone else denied still existed. And next to him, holding his hand stood Padmé, still beautiful in her white gown, her brown curls falling over her shoulders and a sweet smile upon her face. When Luke had met her before, she had been crying, overwhelmed with a mixture of acute happiness and bitter sorrow. Now she stood beside her husband with a glowing contentment. “Mother,” he breathed the word, still strange on his tongue.

    “Hello, my son,” Anakin said, his voice thick.

    “Luke,” Padmé greeted him with a radiant smile. “I am so happy to see you again.”

    Luke wanted to say so many things, but found he couldn’t say anything. He sensed that time was short. “Mara?” he asked.

    “She was here.” Anakin nodded solemnly. “But she is at the end of her journey, now.”

    Luke felt his heart constrict. “She’s gone?”

    “Not yet,” Anakin reassured him. “She is at the precipice – the gateway to the very heart of the Force,” he explained. “Once she takes the hand of the gatekeeper, it is the end. She will move on, and you cannot follow her there.”

    “Then I should go,” Luke said, although he desperately wanted to linger, his gaze still fixated on his parents. “Who is the gatekeeper?” he asked, wondering if he would have to fight or otherwise cajole this person into letting Mara go with him. If that was the case he would need to be prepared.

    “The Force itself made manifest,” Anakin told him. “The form is different for everyone.” His eyes lowered and his voice became soft. “Mine is my mother.”

    “Shmi?” Luke asked. He’d visited his grandmother’s grave many times, on the ridge above the homestead. Beru kept it well tended, and every now and then Owen would speak of her and Luke would drink in his words. Owen described Shmi Skywalker as the kindest, strongest and most beautiful woman he had ever known, his usual gruff voice becoming soft and wistful. Although not Owen’s mother by blood, she had been nonetheless the only mother he’d had, and he could not have asked for a more loving one. She’d been killed by Sand People, Owen had explained, and had always taken the opportunity to remind Luke not to venture out into the desert alone.

    At the mention of his mother’s name Anakin’s jaw clenched, and Padmé rubbed his arm gently.

    “I have visited the gateway many times, just to see her,” Anakin said, his voice wavering. “And yet I cannot reach for her, cannot embrace her,” he added sadly. “But I must wait here until it is my time to rejoin the Force.”

    Luke looked at his mother, and understood exactly what Anakin was feeling. He wanted nothing more than to run up and embrace the both of them, consequences be damned. But he could not allow sentiment to draw him away from his purpose. And yet, he couldn’t stop himself from speaking again.

    “What are you waiting for?” he asked, wondering why they kept themselves tethered to this inbetween world rather than joining with the Force.

    Padmé turned her deep brown eyes to him and smiled. He felt her love wash over him like a gentle wave. “Isn’t it obvious?”

    “We are waiting for you, my son,” Anakin reinforced gently, putting his arm around Padmé’s shoulders. “And your sister.”

    Padme’s eyes were fill of tears. “But we are content to wait a long time yet, Luke,” she told him. “You must go now,” she urged, pointing him onward.

    Luke nodded and swallowed heavily, forcing himself to walk the path she had indicated. Again he felt the tug of the Force as the whiteness began to close around him. But Luke kept his eyes on Anakin and Padmé as long as he could, his beloved parents in each other’s arms. He would never forget the image of them, would never stop thinking of them.

    “Remember Luke,” his father called after him. “Do not let Mara take the hand of her gatekeeper, and once you have her, do not look back,” he warned. “If either of you does there is nothing that can save her.”

    Luke nodded, the words striking fresh fear into his heart. What if he was too late?

    “We love you, Luke,” Padmé called faintly, her voice thick. “We will be watching over you.”

    “I love you both,” Luke called back desperately as they faded from view, hoping that they could hear him. “I love you.”


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


    Mara walked through what seemed to be a white mist, waiting for her surroundings to clear and her next destination to be revealed. But nothing formed, and she saw no one. She walked for what seemed like an age but went nowhere. All she could see was white.

    And then, finally, a figure appeared before her. He was no more than a boy, perhaps twelve or thirteen years old, with shaggy red hair and an impish smile. Mara frowned, the boy completely unfamiliar to her.

    He stood on the precipice between the pure blinding light of the transient world she had been inhabiting, and the place beyond. Behind him was an expanse of stars, a million bright constellations suspended in the inky darkness. She felt it call to her, felt the blood quicken in her veins and her heart jump in anticipation. She recognized it as the place she’d touched when he had absorbed the radiation from the Ovid into herself. It was the Force.

    “Hello,” the boy called to her, and Mara turned her gaze back to him. He seemed to be guarding the entrance to the Force, and she raised an eyebrow at him, wondering why such a task would be left to a child.

    “So who are you then?” she asked with good humour. “Luke’s sixth cousin twice removed?”

    The boy laughed. “Not exactly.”

    “Do I know you?” she asked, thrown off by his manner which almost seemed familiar. “Why are you the last person I’m supposed to meet?”

    “The Force is where we all return,” the boy said cryptically, avoiding the question. “But…it is also where we all come from.”

    Mara sighed. “I suppose it was too much to hope for someone in this place to be a straight talker,” she complained.

    “I am usually,” the boy grinned. “Or…I will be, when I get to your world.”

    Mara studied the boy, and could not deny the familiarity of his blue-grey eyes. “The Force is where we come from,” she repeated his words softly to herself. Everyone else she had met had been known to her, or at least, she had been able to place them as people who had once existed. And while she felt as if she should know the boy, she did not recognise him. “You come from the Force,” she realised. “Waiting to be…what? Born in the other world?”

    The boy smiled and nodded.

    “Who are you then?” she asked. Why would the Force send her someone who hadn’t even been born yet?

    The boy stared at her. “You know who I am.”

    “Everyone here is so sure about what I know,” Mara rolled her eyes. “Humor me, kiddo.”

    “My name is Ben,” he told her. “Or,” he cocked his head to the side. “It will be. It may be.”

    “Maybe?” she asked, quirking one eyebrow at him again. “Is there some doubt over whether you will be born?” she added skeptically.

    “It depends on the will of the Force,” Ben answered. “Perhaps I won’t be the same,” the corner of his mouth quirked into a smirk. “But if I’m meant to be born I will be – just under different circumstances.”

    “I see,” Mara replied, even though she really didn’t. Or, her treacherous heart told her, she didn’t want to. Luke had often told her that the future was always in motion, and whatever the might-have-beens, the fact was she was dead and there was nothing to be done about that. Whatever life she might have lived didn’t matter now.

    “So what wisdom do you have to share with me, Ben?” she asked, folding her arms together. “You here to extol Skywalker’s virtues some more?” she asked rather snidely. “To be honest I’ve had quite enough of that.”

    “No,” Ben answered, suddenly serious. “I’m here for you.”

    “Finally,” she said sarcastically. “Someone for me.” She bit her lip and looked away, ashamed of how a note of hurt had bled through her wry words.

    “They couldn’t relate to you any other way, Mara,” Ben said sympathetically. “They were his family, they understand him. It was natural for them to talk about him.”

    “And who understands me?” she asked. “You?”

    “Yeah.” Ben nodded and grinned at her. “I know that you’re strong – strong enough to admit when you were wrong about everything you had believed your entire life,” he continued seriously. “I know that you are brave enough to defy an order you knew was wrong, and accept compassion even though you had been taught to do so was weak. I know that every day of your life has been a struggle to stay in the light, and yet you kept fighting.”

    Mara shrugged, not wanting to betray how his words had cut at her heart. “What else was I meant to do?”

    “You don’t have to fight anymore, Mara,” Ben said gently. “You can come home now, if you want.”

    “Home?” she asked. “You mean the Force.”

    “You have three choices,” he nodded at her. “You can take my hand,” he reached out to her, offering his palm. “And I will take you on to the Force. Or you can stay here,” he stretched his hands outwards, indicating the white space around them. “You can create the world you want, watch those still living, and wait for whoever you wish to.”

    “Pass,” Mara replied immediately. She could think of nothing worse than to hang around and creepily watch people from beyond the grave. No – the worst thing would be to have no one to talk to except the Jedi, who would drive her insane with their backwards talk and philsophising. The only person she could probably stand would be Padmé, but knew that she and Anakin would be a package deal, and couldn’t bear any more discussions with him.

    She looked to the stars behind Ben and was fixated by the beauty of them, far more vibrant than she ever remembered. “What will happen?” she asked, her voice small.

    “You will become one with the Force,” Ben told her, his face lighting up with the words. “You will be enfolded back into the fabric of the universe. Perhaps you will be reborn as a star, or perhaps your life energy will fuel a sunburst. Perhaps you will return in a living form.” Ben shrugged. “We cannot know.”

    “So it is the end.” Even though Mara was prepared to accept death, the realization that this was it saddened her.

    “There is no end,” Ben corrected her. “Nothing ever ends, and no one ever truly dies. The Force is eternal – an unending cycle of birth and death and birth again.”

    “So basically you’re saying I will be recycled.” Mara scrunched her nose in distaste.

    “If you want to think of it that way, sure,” he shrugged. “It is true once you rejoin the Force you will no longer be as you were back there, or as you are now,” he continued. “But there is peace.”

    Mara thought back over her life of struggle, her childhood consumed by lessons and training with no time for play, no opportunity to make friends. Her teenage years which had been filled with orders and missions and blood on her hands. The hard years after the Emperor died, scrounging a living between systems, working for Karrde who she respected but was unwilling to form a true friendship with. Always on edge, always looking to be betrayed, or dismissed or abandoned. Reluctant, even, to trust the one man who had always shown her compassion and unconditional friendship.

    Looking back, she had few good memories and too many evil ones. So some peace didn’t sound too bad – and it wasn’t as if she could go back. Mara was proud that her death had at least accomplished something, had saved a life so vital that perhaps it would make up for those she had taken.

    “Alright,” she turned back to Ben. “I’m ready.”

    He looked sad for a moment, but the expression was immediately concealed with a smile and a nod.

    “If you’re sure.” He held out his hand again, palm upwards, and Mara stepped closer to him, lifting her own hand to place in his offered one. Time seemed to slow down in that instant as she lowered her hand, closing the distance between them.

    “No!”

    The desperate cry came from behind her just as Mara’s hand dropped. And yet, it hit nothing, as Ben pulled away at the last moment. Mara turned to the sound of the voice, and was engulfed by a black-grey blur pulling her away from Ben and into strong arms.

    Mara struggled against the force which held her, pulling back as the face of her captor came into focus.

    “Skywalker?” she asked in disbelief. “What are you doing here?” A sudden anger lanced through her as she realised there was only one way he could be. “I just saved your doltish ass,” she spat at him angrily. “The least you could have done was make it count.”

    “I’m not dead, Mara,” he told her softly, and stroked her hair. “I came for you.”

    And suddenly all of the cryptic statements by those she had met made sense – they had known Luke was coming for her, that it was not the end. And yet…

    “How is that possible?” she queried, pulling out of Luke’s embrace and turned back to Ben. “I’m dead, I can’t go back.”

    But Ben just smiled at her. “I told you there was a third option.”

    Mara berated herself for not picking up on his earlier words. Had she been so willing to accept death, to move on to the peace promised by the Force? Was Anakin right, had a part of her been so willing to sacrifice herself to save Luke because she was happy to find an easy way out?

    “Mara,” Luke said softly, and she looked back at him. He was fixated on her, his gaze intense and unwavering. He didn’t even seem to notice Ben standing near them both, or seem interested on questioning who he was. All his attention was for her, and the magnitude of what he’d done sunk in. Luke had braved death for her, had thought her life was worth enough to come for her against insurmountable odds. And suddenly she wondered if she’d been so eager to embrace the peace offered by a return to the Force because she’d been afraid of the life she had left behind – afraid to take a chance.

    Luke held his hand out to her, palm up, inviting her to take it, to return with him. “It’s time to go home.”

    Home? That was what Ben had called the Force. She looked back at the boy and saw that his hand was also outstretched, indicating that she still had the option of going with him to the Force. She could still take the easy way out.

    Mara Jade did not back down from a challenge, she told herself. Mara Jade had stood firm in the face of death, unafraid of it. Perhaps now she needed to be equally unafraid of life. Of her potential. Of being a Jedi. Of following her heart.

    She reached out to take Luke’s hand, and felt instant warmth at the connection. Luke grinned with happiness and relief, his fingers closing around hers as he stepped backwards, pulling her with him.

    And yet Mara felt a tug at her heart, wanting to see Ben one last time. The boy with his clear blue-grey eyes that were so familiar, the cleft in his chin, the red hair which was the same shade she saw in the mirror every day. Ben had been right – she knew exactly who he was. And one day she would meet him, but for now Mara wanted one more glimpse to tide her over, wanted to capture the image of him in her mind so she could cherish and grasp if she had any future doubts.

    So she turned.

    “No, Mara,” she heard Luke call desperately, at the fringes of her consciousness. “Don’t look back.”

    But it was too late – his hand was pulled from hers by an unseen force. She was alone in the mist again, unable even to see Ben or the gateway to the Force. She flailed about, panicked, searching for purchase but it felt as if she was about to fall away into oblivion.

    Then Mara felt Luke’s hand grab hers again, pulling her back, away from the precipice. She could not see him, but felt his arms wrap around her, tethering her to him. And yet it was not enough, as Mara tried to grasp him, hold onto him, but he kept slipping away.

    “Luke?” she called into the white mist surrounding her. She felt her soul splintering as she stumbled blindly to try and grasp him, follow him back into the world of the living.

    And then she felt Luke again, but this time, he was inside her. She felt his gentle hands caress her, but he did not hold onto her arms or fold her into his embrace as he had done before. She felt his touch around her heart, in her veins, coursing along with her blood. Luke was there in her mind, holding her, pulling her back.

    She gave herself over to it, pushing herself back at him and his mind and heart were open, waiting for her, taking her inside of himself gratefully and enclosing himself around her.

    Then she heard music, the sweetest sound she had ever heard. It was enlivening, drawing her back into her body and yet she was not alone. Luke was there, as if her mind and body were no longer solely her own – it was as if they were now sharing the same space, the same energy, the same lifeforce. She felt him, the very essence of Luke Skywalker that she had always known and yet only now truly understood, and knew that he was feeling the same about her.

    And yet she did not run from it, did not dare pull away from his strong hold. She clutched at him and held him to her, and in that moment they were each other as the Force enfolded around them, wound through them, and bound them irrevocably together in its eternal hold.
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  8. Nyota's Heart Combos & Paragraphs Host

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    Aug 31, 2004
    star 6
  9. K'Tai qel Letta-Tanku Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 18, 2000
    star 2
    This is wonderful, just wonderful! =D= I was a bit concerned about the fact that Anakin *touched* Mara...my thought was Uh-oh. Luke's gonna get there, she's going to be stuck, and poor Anakin has yet another example of doing something that seems harmless at the time and it going south. Glad that I was wrong. [face_relieved]

    Please tell me there is more...
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  10. JadeLotus Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 27, 2005
    star 4
    Oops! This is an example of me trying to write a scene and forgetting my overall premise.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  11. ThreadSketch Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 22, 2013
    star 3
    No, this is when you handwave. Always handwave. :p
  12. taramidala Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jun 18, 1999
    star 4
    That was gorgeous, @JadeLotus. I loved that you made Mara's last visitor Ben, and that it was up to her whether or not he had a chance of being born; powerful stuff. Now, we wait for the aftermath. :D
  13. ginchy Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 25, 2005
    star 4
    Oooh, gorgeous. I was wondering how you would handle the looking back. That's why I thought this was all over before it ever began. But I see that ace you had up your sleeve and me likey. I love that Ben was the last visitor. It reminds me of Rebirth when Ben helped to save Mara before he was even born. I can't wait for more!!!
  14. divapilot Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 30, 2005
    star 4
    Stellar. Amazing and poetic. I adore how you echo the myth with this story. And I love how the person who knows her best is her son.
  15. Briannakin Grand Moff Darth Fanfic Manager

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Feb 25, 2010
    star 5
    Oh, that was simply beautiful. Very nicely done!
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  16. Gemma Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 25, 2013
    star 3
    What I have read is wonderful! But I hope there's more, please?
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  17. Demendora Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 9, 2010
    star 2
    okay, I have to ask.Did you played "Mass effect 3"? Wonderful chapter.Poor Mara, even after life she can't read of Skywalker. He is literally everywhere.
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  18. JadeLotus Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 27, 2005
    star 4
    Thank you!

    Thanks for picking up my terrible mistake! :p You know, I was so careful not to have anyone touch Mara in the other chapters, but I was trying to make the scene with her and Anakin more emotional and I just plain forgot about it! This is what happens when I don't use a beta!

    I've gone back and edited out that plot whole.

    [face_laugh] I'm not sure I could handwave that, though...

    I think it had to be Ben - the only person who actually has a connection directly to her, and could make her stop lying to herself - and also give her some responsibility and consequences for her choices.

    You know, the looking back was actually a late addition but it's nice when you come up with something at the last moment and it just fits. I had you worried, didn't I? :p

    Thank you! I think Ben is a lot like her, and is the one to truly understand her.

    Thanks!

    Thank you! Yes, there will be one more chapter and an epilogue after this.

    Thanks! It kinda sucked for Mara that the only people who knew how to become blue ghosties were all connected to Luke, but at least she got to meet her son :) I haven't played any of the Mass Effect games (I'm not really into video games.)
  19. Findswoman Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 27, 2014
    star 4
    Just getting caught up on my fanfic reading again after a vacation, but I'm still enjoying this so far. Very astute observation in chapter 5 about Luke's never having had a yardstick by which to declare himself a Jedi Master, and comforting that these masters of ages past are giving him a vote of confidence. And Obi-Wan's "delightful girl" comment is so spot on for the character! I can hear it in either MacGregor's or Guinness's voice.

    In chapter 6: the "gatekeeper" idea is very compelling, especially the "no turning back" rule (which of course is very resonant with the Orpheus and Eurydice myth). I like Luke's inner tension, wishing he could embrace his parents but fearing the danger involved in doing so. It's so nice that Mara did finally get to meet someone who was there just for her, none other than her own (future) little boy. And wow, what a cliffhanger of an ending! Can't wait to see what the results of Mara's "looking back" will be. (So understandable that she would want to see that face one more time!)
  20. Jedi_Lover Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Nov 1, 2004
    star 5
    It doesn't get more intimate than that. :D Nice update. I'm glad Luke was able to save her. I look forward to reading more.
  21. AzureAngel2 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 14, 2005
    star 6
    I cried a lot during THIS udate...

    :_|

    Wow, it really went under my skin!
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  22. Irish_Jedi_Jade Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 19, 2007
    star 4
    OH MY GOSH MORE!!!! I think you updated since I last lurked out and read it....and now you finish it??? Pretty pretty please????? [face_love][face_love][face_love][face_love][face_love][face_love][face_love][face_love][face_love][face_love][face_love]

    [face_good_luck] Irish
  23. Nyota's Heart Combos & Paragraphs Host

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    Aug 31, 2004
    star 6
    Gotta love Irish's ebullience - oh yes, I do. Validates my own emoticon-rich enthusiasm [face_laugh] :*
    Last edited by Nyota's Heart, Sep 19, 2014
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  24. JediMara77 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 5, 2004
    star 4
    I finally caught up with this. It's still beautiful. I can't wait to read the rest. :)
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  25. JadeLotus Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 27, 2005
    star 4
    Thank you! I had run writing the Jedi Masters, and giving Luke a moment of validation. The consequences of the looking back may not be quite in line with the myth, but I think it will make sense for the story :)

    My own take on the PG Force bond ;)

    Aww, thanks!

    Well, thank you! :D The next chapter is about the be posted.

    Thank you! :) It's taken me a while, but the end is in sight!
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