Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by Jedi_Lover, Jan 3, 2012.
I can't imagine those drills being easy even sober. Good for Mark and for you, Donna!
My little brothers are in Navy Cadets (kinda like a boy scout program but military-ized) so I'm getting to know all these terms.
@Hazel I think the hardest part for me was trying not to laugh while my drunken comrades were puking their guts out. I think it was the funniest thing that happened while I was in Basic Training.
@Briannakin --Good for your brothers. My sons are in Boy Scouts. My oldest wants to go into the Army when he turns 18, but he is so tiny. He's growing a mustache, but he is only 78 pounds. He needs to grow some more.
Thanks for reading you guys! I appreciate it!
Entry 101: Rappelling
This week is Rappel training and today our instructor was an attractive female soldier. Deke was so distracted by this young lady that I don't think he's heard a word of what she's said…which is dangerous because she was discussing the different ways to prevent a fatal mistake.
"When using a non-locking carabiner you should take the rope from the belay and pull it into the carabiner from the back and the rope should exit from the bent gate to the front," the instructor said as she demonstrated the technique. "If you do this backwards you have a chance that the rope will cross back across the gate and unclip the carabiner from the rope and that would be a bad thing because that means you will fall to your death."
"I'm falling for her already," Deke whispered to me.
I rolled my eyes. He's talked through most of the safety brief. I'd wish he'd just shut up already.
"You can avoid this problem by using a locking carabiner or two carabiners with the gates facing the opposite directions," she held up the two carabiners to demonstrate the proper way to position them.
"I'm in love," Deke murmured which was answered by my elbow in his side. "Oww."
"I want to hear this," I groused. "I'd rather not die today."
"Before we go on to rappelling with the harness and carabiner we will first learn the body rappel," the instructor said. "Follow me."
"I'll follow her anywhere," Deke muttered.
Stang, he is annoying sometimes. Does he actually think she's going to say, "Wow, I really like how you mumbled distracting sexist comments throughout my class, take me big boy!"?
I gave a mental snort. Knowing Deke he probably did think that would happen.
We trailed the instructor up a small hill that had a shear drop off on one side. A rope was tied to a tree at the top of the knoll and hung over the cliff. The instructor walked up to the rope and straddled it with one foot on each side. "This type of rappel is used when you only have a rope. In this case you use your body as the braking system." The instructor bent down behind her and brought the rope up between her legs and wrapped it around her buttock, up and around her hip, chest and shoulder and finally down her back where she grasped it in her right hand. "As you can see the friction of the rope around my body will slow my descent."
"Gods, I would love to be that rope," Deke chuckled softly and then raised his hand.
"Yes," the instructor said.
"So what you are saying is we are using the chafing of the rope across our crotch to decelerate our decent?"
The instructor frowned. I am sure she heard that question only about a billion times before. "That is correct."
"So in this case, does size matter? Because I don't want to get stuck halfway down."
I made a choking sound. Fierfek! Is he trying to get kicked out?
The instructor's eyes narrowed and I could see a tightening in her jaw. Oh boy, I've seen that look on my wife's face before and it usually results in me sleeping on the couch. I wouldn't be surprised if she tossed Deke over the cliff without a rope.
"I don't think you have anything to worry about," she said with an icy tone. "Why don't you go first."
Deke gave her a winning smile and went over to the instructor. He wrapped the rope around his body and began his descent down the small cliff. When he made it to the bottom he untangled himself and gave a smug grin.
Disappointment showed on the instructor's face; I am fairly certain she hoped he would fall to his death. She turned to me, "His jump buddy is next."
I moved forward and wrapped the rope around me. I hesitated at the edge of the cliff. It wasn't high…only about six meters, but I don't relish the thought of a rope sliding across my groin. I took a deep breath and then slowly moved over the edge. Things started out well, but I must have leaned back a little too far and I ended up flipping backwards. The rope came out from between my legs and ended wrapping around my arm and neck. If my arm didn't get caught up in the rope I would have had to do some quick Jedi levitation to save my neck. As I dangled on the cliff face dying in embarrassment, I heard Deke laughing.
"Nice one Mark," he chuckled. "I guess size does matter." I am near the bottom of the cliff so he props my feet on his shoulders so I could untangle myself.
"Tantiss!" the instructor called down. "You are a no-go at this station. Come back up and do it again."
Gee, I did it wrong? You mean I'm not supposed to hang myself? I thought sarcastically, but wisely kept my thoughts to myself as I walked back up the cliff.
Luckily I was able to do it correctly on the second attempt.
Outch! That had to hurt.
Before this is over, Deke is going to get decked!
Deke is a character all right. LOL
When it happened to me it was more embarrassing than anything...but the last thing I wanted to do was try it again...but I had no choice. I was mega-scared on the second go.
@ginchy thanks for reading. I knew a lot of Deke's in the Army.
Entry 102: Mountaineering
Our mountaineering training was fun. We started out easy by top roping. This is where a rope is attached to the top of the mountain or cliff and belayer on the ground. It was the safest way to climb. We then progressed to Lead Climbing where we set up our own safety line as we work our way up the cliff. We passed this phase of training, but we weren't the best. The instructors kept gigging us for improper wear of safety equipment. I would forget to snug up my harness and Deke would forget to lock his carabiner or some other safety violation.
ENTRY 103: Jump School Barracks
Today I received an encrypted message on my handheld imagecaster. Soldiers are allowed to have holograph imagecasters, but most don't because they are expensive and sending a holo was just as costly. The fact that I had a holo communication meant it was probably from Luke. Hopefully nothing is wrong with Kira and the baby. I waited until I had some downtime and found a private place to view the message.
After a second or two the image of Luke Skywalker in full Jedi robes appeared. I was immediately relieved to see him smile.
"Hi Mark. I'm back from Nam Chorios. I'll brief you on the situation when you return. I just wanted to let you know I'll be on Null this week with Generals Madine and Dodonna. We are discussing the role of the Jedi with the military and they want me to see some of the training. I didn't want my presence to surprise you. I don't plan on visiting since you don't want people to know you are a Jedi." He looked off to his right to something out of the holocamera range. "Would you like to talk to him?"
"Of course," came the sound of a familiar voice. Kira and Mara came into the frame. Mara gave me a wave. "I hope you are keeping out of trouble."
Kira gazed at the holocam and I could see tears forming in her eyes. "I love you Mark. Be safe and come home soon." She then turned back to Luke.
"Take care, Mark," Luke said. "Transmission out," with that the image dissolved.
I had to smile. It was good to see Kira. I couldn't wait to go back and be in her arms.
ENTRY 104: Jungle training
We were in Jungle operations training when I felt the familiar buzz in my head. It was feedback between Luke and me. I quickly started shielding and the annoying hum went away. Deke and I were currently making an improvised flotation device for our gear. We would take our packs and wrap them in our rain ponchos and lash everything together with rope. I could hear General Madine talking in the distance, but I didn't look up.
"It looks like a damn VIP tour," Deke said before getting back to the task at hand.
Luckily Luke and the officers wandered off in the opposite direction and I didn't see them after that.
It wasn't until we were given time for lunch that I heard anything about our visitors. Deke sat down next to me and opened his ration pouch and started chowing down. He devoured an entire dehydrated meat patty without first hydrating it. I shuddered. "Deke, I heard if you eat dehydrated food and then you drink water it will swell up in your intestine and kill you."
Deke scoffed. "That's just an urban legend." He took a drink from his canteen. "I heard some rumors about our VIP visitors today."
My brow furrowed. "Like what?"
Deke leaned in and whispered to me. "Like Luke Skywalker was with General Madine and Dodonna being escorted around by the school commandant."
"So," I said cautiously.
"So there is talk there is a Jedi in our class."
"So," I repeated.
"So, we don't want spooks around here." He turned and glared at our major competition, Darkin and Tabaz, who were sitting under a tree across the clearing from us. "I bet those two are Jedi. Those guys don't have enough muscle to beat us so often." He looked back at me. "We are the biggest guys here and those two runts are beating us. They have to be using some Jedi trick."
I shook my head. "Deke, I just think Darkin and Tabaz want it more than we do. They are working hard all the time. You, on the other hand, are screwing around half the time."
He just snorted and glared at Darkin. "I hate Jedi."
I frowned. "Why?
He gave me an incredulous look. "Because they are baby snatching, soul sucking witches."
I couldn't help but laugh. "What? Who told you that?"
"My grandmother and she should know. The Jedi took her brother from her family. They were given no choice. He had Force potential so he was snatched from his mother's arms and brought to the Jedi temple." He paused for a moment to rein in his emotions. "He died in the purge. He was the only son. He was supposed to take over the family business, but the Jedi didn't care."
I looked at him in shock. I knew from the Ossus books that the Jedi trained younglings from birth, but I never knew that they would take a child over the objection of the parents. "I'm sorry to hear that," I said honestly. I couldn't imagine somebody taking my soon-to-be born child for any reason. "Luke Skywalker is hero of the rebellion. He's not kidnapping children."
"Maybe not now, but I'm sure that is in the works. You can't trust Jedi, they are soul vampires."
I scoffed. "The Jedi are not vampires."
"Yes, they are," Deke said adamantly. "My grandmother told me they can bring their face to yours and use the Force to suck your soul right out of your mouth and into theirs."
"So the Jedi give open mouth soul sucking kisses," I laughed. Mara and Luke were going to get a kick out of this story when I get back.
"Don't laugh. They have powers you can't understand. And nobody should have that much power."
I couldn't argue that point. "I guess," I said noncommittally as I continued eating. As I forced down the bland tasting meat patty, I thought about what Deke said. The power of the Force was considerable. The Jedi helped balance out the evil of the Sith, but I couldn't help but wonder if the galaxy would be better off with no Force-users at all.
Poor Deke. But I understand. My granny was very superstitious, too! And that pic is great! I haven't seen it before!! When did you make that? Awesome, gal!!
I made that in June. You should go to my gallery more often.
Ooooh, girl, I always forget that site and then spend a day here or there entranced by all the art!!
You and me both. I go on only when I want to procrastinate.
Great entry. I have a terrible feeling that Luke's visit is going to cause some chaos.
So.... acording to the 'general population' Jedi are a mix of vampire and dementor LOL!
@Hazel thanks for reading and taking the time to review. I have only a few more post to go before the end of the Journal then I have to think of what I am going to write about for next years Diary Challenge.
Entry 105: Drop Camp
Ohhrah! I am done with Drop Camp. I wasn't able to write a lot during the training and any free time I did have I usually spent sleeping. Deke and I graduated second in our class. Tabaz and Darkin came in first much to Deke's dismay and grumbling that he was sure they were the Jedi and they shouldn't be allowed. Gripe, moan and complain…stang, he's going to be surprised if he ever finds out I'm the Jedi.
Entry 106: Jump School
I just finished my first week of Air Insertion School. This was what they called ground week. We learned the skills we would need to make a proper parachute-landing fall. All of this instruction is done from platforms in this phase, so we don't kill ourselves when we screw up. You would think it was easy, but for some reason some of the skills I found difficult.
My evil nemesis was the swing lander. It was a simple rope and pulley system. One end of the rope is tied to my body harness. The rope travels ten meters up to a pulley and then down to where two men held the end of the rope. I simply had to walk off the high platform and swing back and forth. At some point the two men would let go of the rope and I would come crashing to the ground and hopefully make a successful parachute landing fall. We had to make two successful drops while going forward and two going backwards to pass the test.
I was okay on the forward drops, but during the back drops I would roll back and forget to tuck my chin. When you forget to tuck your chin your helmet slaps back and hits the ground. Even with protective gear, this could render you unconscious in a real life scenario. If you are knocked out you can't release one of your shoulder snaps and if that isn't done your chute can refill with wind and drag you to your death.
The instructors would not let me proceed to the next station until I had two successful backdrops in a row. About twenty drops later my head was ringing and my eyesight was a little blurry. I have no idea why I can't remember to tuck my chin. Deke had finished about 20 minutes earlier and was watching me and laughing every time my helmet smacked the ground.
This was so embarrassing that I was so very close to using the Force to help me. The head instructor came by to sneer at me and took the opportunity to question my manhood in a very loud and booming voice. Maybe being insulted is what I needed, because I was finally successful in completing two backdrops successfully in a row. I'm glad Mara wasn't around to see this. Gods, she would never let me live it down.
Deke was having a fine time laughing at my misfortune. He rolled his head and crossed his eyes and said jokingly, "I'm Tark Mantiss. Why is the sky spinning?"
"Shut up," I growled at him.
Entry 107: Jump School
I just completed Tower Week. The parachute training consisted of practicing dropship exits. I can't wait until next week when we actually do static line jumps and then freefalls.
I got a care package from Kira! It consisted of various homemade chocolates. I opened it up during our downtime in the barracks. Deke immediately shot out of his bunk when he saw me eating something.
"What'd you got?" he asked as he looked over my shoulder.
"A care package from my wife," I told him and then offered him some chocolate. He took a bite and then gave a moan of pleasure.
"Gods, where did she buy this?"
I shook my head. "She didn't. She made them. She's a chef." I pull out my datapad and brought up a holo of Kira at the restaurant. Deke practically choked on his candy.
"Stang! How did a hairy, redheaded Hutt like you end up with a gorgeous woman like that?"
I smiled. "I saved her from an Imperial detention center and certain death. And if you want more chocolate I wouldn't be calling me a hairy Hutt."
Deke gave me a false apologetic look. "I'm so sorry for calling you a Hutt," he said as he reached over and grabbed another chocolate. "You're a fine looking man…not as good looking as me…but definitely not a Hutt."
He closed his eyes and made a sound of gratification as his teeth sunk into the milk chocolate. "Gods, this is better than sex."
I laughed. "That's sad. Who have you been having sex with?"
He held up his left palm and smirked.
I shook my head in disgust. "Too much information, Deke."
"Hey, you asked," he said as he reached out to grab another chocolate. I smacked his hand away. "I'll give you some. I don't know where that hand has been." I gave him half of my remaining chocolates.
"I was just kidding," Deke said as he retreated back to his bunk and slowly ate the candy. "You're one lucky Kriff," he said to me. "Your wife spoils you."
I just smiled. He's right, I am extremely lucky.
Entry 108: Jump School
We did our first static line jumps from a dropship this week. A static line is a cord attached to the jumper's parachute and then to the ship. When I jump out of the ship the static line becomes taut and it pulls a pilot chute free from my chute backpack and deploys the main canopy. This type of parachuting is done during low altitude drops and also for training. It was pretty fun, but later in the week we did freefalls. That was awesome! What a rush.
Entry 109: Jump School
I really enjoyed Hawkbat training. The hawkbat suit is the name used for the winged jumpsuit used by combat parachutists. There is fabric between the legs and also between the arms and torso that creates 'wings' allowing the soldier to glide for some distance before opening his chute. They are especially useful when used to jump off of cliffs or other high objects. Although the jet pack jumptrooper suit has greater control and 'shock and awe' potential, sometimes you need stealth. These suits are impregnated with special chemicals that supposedly reduce your infrared signature. We started out doing practice glides in a vertical wind tunnel. The wind blows up from the floor grate at over 200 kph allowing me to float a couple meters above the floor and practice maneuvering. Later that week we did actual glides. It is an amazing sensation rushing over the ground at high speed before deploying my chute. I'm loving this.
Entry 110: Jump School
I was issued my Jetpack jumpsuit this week. I don't want to sound vain…but I look amazing in this gear. It is much better than those boring Jedi robes. When I get back to the temple I am going to try to talk Luke into buying these for some of our Jedi Warriors.
This week we learned to handle the suit on the ground and how to use them to jump to high platforms. I crashed a few times, but after a few bad landings I seemed to get the hang of it. That was fun. I look forward to doing an actual drop from a ship.
Entry 111: Jump School
I love the jet pack Jump Trooper suit! I would quit the Jedi and join a NR Jump Trooper Battalion if I didn't think Kira would kill me. I don't think she would like the long deployments, especially when she is expecting our first child. Who am I kidding; I don't want to be away from her any longer than I have to. Gods I love her, but I need to get one of these suits! It feels great flying through the air and I can make the ground tremble when I land. Boom! The sound of a platoon or company of Jump Troopers landing all at once is something impressive. We shake the walls of nearby buildings. Awesome!
[Mark in his Jet Pack Jump Trooper Suit]
Lol. Mark with a jet pack! Too much awesome!
ALSO. The phrase 'hairy Hutt' made me think of a cross between a Wookiee and a Hutt. I'll leave you with that visual.
Deke is a piece of work!!! LOL And I love the pic of Mark!!
I get the feeling Mark is having way more fun that Kira in this timeframe. She should make him babysit often.
That picture reminds me of the Souldiers of the Future.
@Hazel for reading. I do think Mark is having much more fun than Kira is with her morning sickness. lol! And
@Briannakin I am imagining a hairy hutt. Just picture Chewie waking up next to Mama the Hutt and saying in Shyriiwook, "Oh Sith...I was way too drunk last night."
Zorba the Hutt had a beard and hair...so there are hairy Hutts.
Anyway, here is the next post.
Entry 112: Jump School
We are getting to the end of the course. This week we will be tested on our survival and Jump skills. We will have to land navigate through rough terrain to a predetermined Landing Zone where we will go up in drop ships and perform multiple parachute jumps. We will then navigate to a second site where Deke and I will practice Buddy-team live fire maneuvering and urban terrain operations. Upon completion we are off to another location where we will do Jet Pack insertions. We have three days to complete the course.
We started the exercise with a fourth of the men who started the training three months ago. Using primitive magnetic compasses we did day and night land navigation through thick forests, brush and marsh lands. We were lucky that the weather was good. Deke and I reached a rock face that we would have to climb over to get to our next checkpoint.
I am the stronger climber so we decided I would be the lead climber. I used various Spring loaded camming devices, nuts or hexes to anchor our ascent. As I climb up Deke belayed me and then I would belay him as he climbed. We were far ahead of the other groups so we were the only ones on the mountain at the time.
Things were going well. We were almost to the top before disaster struck. I was belaying Deke as he climbed up toward me. He was about halfway up his climb when the rock gave way under his hands. I expected him to fall a couple meters before my belay halted his fall, but then the unthinkable happened. The rope and belay device somehow separated from his harness carabiner. He grabbed hold of a rock outcrop but I could see he was quickly losing his grip.
"Grab the rope, Deke," I called out.
"I can't let go, I don't have foot holds," he yelled back his voice tinged with panic.
"Hold on, Deke," I said as I started descending down the cliff to grab him. I know I could use the Force to levitate him up, but I wanted to avoid that if possible. I was about a meter from him when the rock crumbled beneath his fingers. His eyes went wide as he frantically tried to grab anything to halt his fall, but in a split second he knew he was a goner. He closed his eyes and started screaming like a man who knew he was going to have a very painful death.
I reached my hand out and grabbed him with the Force. He fell another couple meters before his downward progress halted and he started moving up towards me. Deke still had his eyes closed and was screaming hysterically.
"Deke!" I called out at him. "I have you!"
His eyes popped open. He looked around and found himself floating up the cliff face. "What the Kriff!" he yelled alarmed.
"Don't worry," I said as he was almost up to me. "I'm a Jedi." I didn't think his eyes could get wider, but they did and he started screaming again as he floated up toward me.
"Shavit, Deke! Your grandmother must have really told you some scary Jedi horror stories," I said with a chuckle. Finally I got a hand on my panic-stricken jump buddy and clipped him into the safety line. I noticed then his carabiner was not locked…again. I screwed the lock down and glared at him for his stupidity. I don't think Deke noticed my disapproval because he was busy having a full-blown panic attack.
"Oh kriff, oh kriff," he was mumbling and I could see his body noticeably shaking.
"You're okay," I said trying to calm him down.
He turned to me. "I'm not okay! My jump buddy is a kriff'n Jedi! Why didn't you tell me?"
"Deke, I am here undercover. Nobody is supposed to know."
A strange look crossed his face. "What are you going to do with me now that I do know?"
I grinned evilly. "I guess I am going to have to suck out your soul and drop your lifeless carcass off this cliff." I then grabbed him by his uniform shirt and started drawing him to me. "Come on; give me a big soul sucking kiss."
At that point Deke started screaming again. I laughed as I let him go. "Stang, Deke! Your grandmother really hated Jedi. Nothing is going to happen. If you want to tell everybody I am a Jedi, that's fine."
He finally settled down, albeit he was still breathing erratically. "How could you be a Jedi? I've seen you sweat."
I guffawed. "Jedi have sweat glands." I started readying myself to lead climbing again.
"I mean you are working hard," he explained. "And you let Darkin and Tabaz beat us during drop camp!"
"That's because today is the first time I used the Force," I said. "I wanted to complete the course like everybody else."
He shook his head as he tried to calm his breathing. "You don't suck out souls?" he asked me nervously.
I frowned. "Deke, believe me, even if I knew how to suck out a soul and had an overpowering desire to do so…I certainly wouldn't suck it out of you."
"Hey," he said looking a little insulted. "What's wrong with me?" He then laughed and gave a sheepish look. "I wasn't scared, just surprised."
I snorted. "Is that why I smell urine?"
He looked down at his pants. "I didn't wet myself."
"Made you look, though," I chuckled as I started climbing again.
Lol! Too funny! Mark is a cruel, cruel human being!
Way to go Mark!
@Briannakin for reading and taking the time to comment. I really appreciate it.
Entry 113: Jump School Graduation
I graduated today! The ceremony was fairly impressive. The soon-to-be graduating Jump Troopers loaded up into drop ships which took off and traveled to the school's large parade field before settling into a slow, low altitude circular pattern. My comrades and I were in full battle gear and dressed to impress. Below was a large viewing stand full of dignitaries, friends and family. I was told Kira, Luke and Mara were definitely going to be at the graduation ceremony. I couldn't wait to see Kira again. I missed her. I missed everything about her. And I wanted to see her baby bump. Kira said she knew the sex of the baby, but wanted to tell me in person. I just can't believe that in a few months I'm going to be a daddy. That's better than any jump suit flight any day.
"Listen up," the Jump Master's voice rang out inside my helmet. "We practiced this, so don't screw it up! When you jump, try to come down in some semblance of a formation. Do a three point landing, two feet and left hand on the ground. Wait for the order to stand. Then pop up and do a chest thump with your right hand and an 'oohrah' to the audience. Any questions?"
There were none. "Jump Troopers, stand up!" he called out. "Line up!"
We queued up to the edge of the side exits. "Go! Go! Go!" the Jump Master called out signaling each row of troopers to exit the ship.
I jumped out and activated my thrusters. My platoon managed to stick together in a loose formation. I increased my thruster strength since I always fell faster due to my weight. As the ground came rushing up I really hoped I nailed this landing. I didn't want my pregnant wife having to witness me getting splattered across the parade field.
I heard a beeping in my helmet indicating it was time to activate my thrusters full force for the landing sequence. I felt the ground shudder as my company landed in unison in a perfect three-point landing. We could hear the 'ohhs' and 'awws' of the spectators. "Ready, stand!" the commander's voice echoed in my helmet. I jumped to my feet and brought my right hand to the left side of my chest making an awe inspiring thump—gauntlet against breastplate.
"Ohh Rahh!" we all called out.
The crowd broke out into a wild cheer. I searched the stands for Kira and spotted her with Luke and Mara in the VIP box next to some of the higher-ranking officers. I smiled broadly upon seeing my wife as she searched the crowd looking for me. Luke said something to her and then pointed in my direction. She looked my way and waved ecstatically. I really doubt she can actually identify me with all my gear on, but she was at least waving in the right direction.
I waited patiently as the commandant gave his long-winded graduation speech, droning on about duty, honor and the New Republic. Finally he got around to dismissing us. "Ladies and Gentle beings, I would like to present the newest members of a elite band of soldiers–they are the best of the best—they are Jump Troopers." He stopped and looked over the graduates while smiling like a proud father.
"Each of you gathered here this morning has answered that same call. I want to thank you for stepping forward to serve either the New Republic or your individual planetary security forces. The safety of our citizens and the peace of the galaxy will soon be in your hands - the best of hands. Never falter; do not fail and always know that the New Republic stands behind you." He paused for dramatic effect before saying, "Jump Troopers, dismissed."
There was a loud roar from the men within the ranks. Some of the soldiers stayed around the parade field looking for family while others bounded over to the barracks to turn in their suits and sign out on leave so they can return home to their loved ones.
I looked over to Deke. "Are your parents coming?"
He lifted his hands in a 'who knows' gesture. "I sent them an invite, but I didn't hear from them."
I put my hand on his shoulder. "Come on and meet my family. I saw them in the stands." As we walked toward the seating area I craned my neck trying to locate my wife, but it was difficult while weaving our way through civilians and armored troops.
Eventually I heard the most heavenly voice calling out my name. I turned to the right and saw Kira waving her arms while running towards me. I quickly removed my helmet as she drew near. When we came together I hugged her as gently as I could while burdened with armor and jet pack. I bent down and gave her a long, long kiss. It must have been too long because I heard Deke clearing his throat behind me. I broke away from Kira and gave her a broad smile. "I missed you."
"I missed you too," she said all teary-eyed.
I turned to Deke. "Kira this is my Jump buddy Deke Tavik."
Kira smiled brightly as she reached out to shake his hand. "I've heard so much about you. Mark sent me messages daily."
Deke shook Kira's hand and grinned. "All good, I hope," Deke said as released her hand and removed his helmet.
"There were good things," Kira said discreetly. I had to stifle a smile. She must be taking lessons in diplomacy from Leia because half the time I was complaining about him. "I have something for you Deke." She reached into a side satchel and pulled out a small box. She handed it over to my jump buddy and smiled. "Mark said you liked my chocolates."
A wide smile blossomed across his face. "Thank you, Ma'am. They're delicious."
I frowned. "Don't I get some?"
She shook her head. "They were for you until you sent your last message telling me that horrible practical joke you pulled on poor Deke here." She put her hand on her hips and glared at me. "Soul sucking kiss! You're terrible."
Deke gave me a poodoo-eating grin as he started scoffing down the chocolate. "This makes it worth it."
I gave a mental shrug. Deke does deserve it. What I did was mean. I smiled and put a gloved hand over Kira's baby bulge. She is a little over five months along and already she is showing. "The baby is getting big," I said happily.
Kira laughed. "Cilghal said it is going to be a big baby. I wouldn't be surprised if I give birth to an eight-kilogram baby boy seeing how huge his father is."
"A boy?" I said grinning. "We're having a boy!"
"Congratulations," Deke mumbled with his mouth full.
I went to hug and pick her up but my body armor made a tender embrace too difficult. I looked back to the barracks to see if there was a line for turn-in and then turned back to Kira. "Why don't I return my suit, get into my dress uniform and meet you at the reception area?"
Kira gave a mock look of disappointment. "It's too bad you have to turn-in this uniform," she said softly so Deke couldn't hear. "You look incredibly sexy in it."
I leaned down and nuzzled her ear. "It's not practical for bedroom play. You'd get me so turned on it might cause premature ignition of my jet pack and set the bed on fire."
Kira laughed. "Okay, go turn it in. I'll meet you at the reception." She looked around searchingly. "I have to find Mara and Luke anyway. They got side tracked by various dignitaries and visitors."
I gave her another quick kiss and then Deke and I bounded back to the barracks where technicians helped us out of the bulky suits. I made my way to a storage locker and quickly put on my borrowed New Republic Dress uniform. Deke came over to me in a hideous brown-colored Taris Defense Force uniform.
"How do I look?"
I screwed up my face. "Like a brown skid mark," I said then laughed so he knew I was joking.
"Ha, ha," he said then looked me up and down. "Is that even your uniform? Don't you Jedi wear those ugly brown robes?"
My brow furrowed. "Don't remind me. I try to avoid wearing those whenever possible. And no, this is not my real uniform. I'm not officially in the NR Army."
We walked out of the barracks toward a group of large white tents on the parade field where the graduation reception would take place. As we got closer to the tents I could see Kira. She was standing next to Luke and Mara who were talking to an officer I didn't recognize. Both were wearing their Jedi robes with lightsabers. I turned to Deke and said with a smirk, "The rest of my guests are Jedi, but don't worry, they promised no soul sucking."
Deke's gaze raked over Mara. "I don't know, I wouldn't mind if that sexy looking lady Jedi sucked…"
I slapped him on the back of the head, cutting him off mid-sentence. "Watch it, that's my sister you're talking about and she's also Luke Skywalker's wife."
Deke looked over to me in shock. "Your sister? You mean you're related to Skywalker?"
"Yes we're related," I said truthfully. "So be nice."
As we joined the group Luke shook the hand of the officer he was talking to and said his goodbyes. He then turned and gave me a big smile. "Congratulations Mark." He shook my hand enthusiastically. When I broke free from the Luke's handclasp, Mara took the opportunity to give me a big hug. "I heard you did great."
"Thanks," I said as I turned to introduce Deke to the group. "This is my jump buddy, Deke. Deke this is Luke, Mara and you know Kira."
Deke stared at Luke slack jawed for a moment before he grinned and offered the Jedi his hand. "It's such a pleasure meeting you Commander Skywalker," Deke said with a slight tremor in his voice. I soon realized he wasn't nervous about meeting a Jedi…Deke was star struck by Luke's celebrity. Not Jedi Master Luke, but Luke Skywalker, Rogue pilot and hero of the rebellion. I scoffed internally. All that nonsense about not trusting Luke and Jedi and all this time he was secretly a Skywalker fanboy. "You're the reason I joined the service," Deke continued. "As a kid I had a lunch box with your image on it."
Luke frowned at that comment while Mara bit her lower lip and tried not to laugh. I did the math in my head and realized Deke was seven years old when Luke made that historic shot over Yavin IV.
"Ah…thank you," Luke said politely.
Luckily, that awkward moment was interrupted when we heard somebody call out Deke's name. The young man turned and burst out in a wide smile. "Mom, Dad, Grandma!" he called out as he went to hug his family members.
'Grandma?' I thought nervously.
I was hoping they would wander off to the refreshment table, but Deke turned them towards our group. "I want you to meet my Jump Buddy Mark Tantiss, his sister Mara and her husband, who you probably recognize, Commander Luke Skywalker."
His grandmother was a frail looking woman with gray hair and who leaned on a cane for support. The elderly lady's eyes locked on mine as she walked up to me with a sense of purpose. I just hoped her purpose wasn't to jab that cane in my crotch while calling me a baby snatching Jedi vampire. I was a little shocked when she gave me a warm hug and started crying. "You saved my little Dekey."
'Little Dekey?' I thought while trying not to laugh. I looked over to Deke who appeared mortified that his grandmother used what was probably his childhood nickname.
"No problem. That's what Jump Buddies are for, we watch each other's back. He would do the same for me if he could." I looked up to Deke and said, "Right Dekey?" A deep scowl crossed his face but he didn't respond to my jab.
Deke's grandmother smiled as she pulled away. She gave Luke and Mara the once over. "You trained him well," she said while giving a nod in my direction.
Thankfully that was all that was said about the Jedi. We talked a few minutes but I was getting anxious to say my goodbyes. I have gone four long months without my wife, without a good meal and without much sleep. It was ready to go.
I clasped Deke on the shoulder. "No mission too difficult."
"No task too great," he came back with the remainder of our class motto.
I smiled, "Take care of yourself. You have my contact information, so don't be a stranger."
He nodded as we parted ways. I couldn't help but be a little sad to see him go. Hopefully the next time we meet it wouldn't be on a battlefield.
I pulled Kira into my arms and gave her a proper kiss now that my armor was off. She eyed my New Republic Dress uniform appraisingly. "I like that outfit also," she said flirtatiously.
I put my forehead to hers. "Good, because I can keep this one." I looked over to Mara and Luke. "I'm ready to go home. Can I hitch a ride back with you?"
"I guess there's room in the Shadow for one more," Mara said with a grin. "Let's go home."
I gave Kira another kiss. "I can't wait to get you home."
[Note, I couldn't wait to get home. Hey, we had a private cabin on the Shadow. HA!]
Mark, you sick man
Great chapter! I loved the reunion!
Luke frowned at that comment while Mara bit her lower lip and tried not to laugh. I did the math in my head and realized Deke was seven years old when Luke made that historic shot over Yavin IV.
One of those 'oh god I feel so old' moments. I had one of those the other day.
Bri, if you're feeling old, I must be ancient!
This was one of my favorite chapters, gal! A secret Skywalker fanboy, that Deke. LOL!!!
And I must be dead! I don't want to jinx myself. I must be almost dead...or the walking dead...no my boys said I am not cool enough to be a zombie.
Oh that was funny! Little Dekey is a Skywalker fanboy.
@ginchy ! I really appreciate you reading. You can't blame Deke for being a Skywalker Fanboy. Luke is the biggest hero of the galaxy afterall. You gotta love the Farmboy.
ENTRY 114: Coruscant
It was good getting back to my own bed, real food, my old routine and once again have the company of a beautiful woman instead of a barracks full of dirt covered, sweaty and smelly guys.
After settling back into my apartment I decided to check on my pet ysalamiri, Nibbles. She hadn't been away from me for this long since I picked her up on Myrkr a couple years ago. I was afraid she might not eat if her routine was disrupted. To my dismay I found my pet ysalamiri had gained weight during my absence…a lot of weight.
"Kira," I called out. "What have you been feeding Nibbles?"
She came into the back room where I kept the caged animals. "Nothing, I just gave the ysalamiri fresh water and made sure the nutrient cages were serviced weekly. Why?"
I pointed to Nibbles who was now so portly she was lying on her side panting as if the short walk from her water dispenser had taken all the energy out of her. "Look at her," I said as I started to get worried that Nibbles was sick. I opened the cage door and went to pet her. I was startled when she bit my hand drawing blood. "Whoa!" I said. She hadn't bit me since her capture.
I used the Force to sooth her asleep; it was a technique I used to when I first captured her. "Go to sleep Nibbles," I repeated softly until her eyes closed and she began to slumber. It wasn't until then that I tentatively reached out to pick her up.
As I removed her from the cage I was immediately concerned. I felt bumps and wiggling in her lower abdomen. "I think she has parasites," I said worriedly. "Feel her belly, Kira."
Kira cautiously reached out and touched the ysalamiri's stomach. Her brow creased in concentration and then shot up. "Mark, I think she's pregnant!"
"What!" I scoffed. "She hasn't been around a male in two years, I highly doubt that."
Kira eyed Nibbles' companion, an irritable ysalamiri who I call Pisser. "What about the other ysalamiri in the cage?"
I shook my head. "Pisser's a female also."
Kira gave me a questioning look. "Mark, how do you know Pisser's a female?"
I shrugged my shoulders. "I looked between her legs. There is no male equipment."
Kira groaned and shook her head in disbelief. "Mark, these are reptiles, aren't they?"
I nodded. "Yes, so?
She now started laughing. "Mark, reptiles are cold blooded."
I looked at her blankly. I don't have biology flash training so I wasn't sure what she was driving at. "So?"
She smirked. "Mark, male warm blooded animals like mammals need to keep their sperm cooler than body temperature, that is why their gonads are located on the outside of their body. Reptiles don't have that problem, so their sexual organs are inside. Usually the only way you can tell the difference between a male and female is by looking at pre-anal pores at the base of the tale or using a probe…which I wouldn't suggest if you don't know what you're doing."
I shook my head in dismay, "How in the worlds do you know something like that?"
She rolled her eyes. "I'm a chef."
I stared at her slack jawed for a moment before I found my voice. "Kira," I whispered. "Please tell me that has nothing to do with the conversation we're having."
She burst out laughing. "I do cook food for all species, including Barabels who have a craving for reptiles. I need to know how to clean and cook lizards and often you prepare the food differently depending on the sex of the animal."
My face scrunched up in disgust. "Eww, I hope you never fed me a lizard."
"No, I didn't," she reassured me. She looked over to Nibbles. "I'll call the vet to check on her and I'll get a carpenter in to build another cage for Pisser."
"Wait, don't reptiles laid eggs," I said somewhat confused.
"They normally do," Kira remarked. "But some have live births."
"Oh," I said as I put Nibbles back in her cage and then went to clean up the bite wound. I don't know how Luke is going to like a brood of ysalamiri living in the temple. I think I may have to plan a trip back to Myrkr. Until then, it looks like I was going to have another irritable pregnant female in the apartment with me. At least Kira doesn't bite…at least not this hard. Ha!