Beyond ~~Paternal Instinct~~ 20 ABY, L/M, some H/L/Solo kids, OCs *DONE! EPILOGUE 12/14*

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by Ridley Solo, Jul 17, 2011.

Moderators: Briannakin, mavjade
  1. Nyota's Heart Combos & Paragraphs Host

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    Aug 31, 2004
    star 6
    Hi there! So glad there's an update and a heart-wrenching one too :( but very well written. @};-

    I think the only thing sadder than an adoption that's held up is where one apparently went through and the birth parents come back and because of a technicality, the child has to be torn from the only home they've ever known :_|

    Still, Ami certainly doesn't need to be stuck in that orphanage for too long - or maybe it's a sneaky trick of the Mynce officials - they hope if they wait long enough LUke will give up.

    Don't bet on it ;)

  2. Book-Geek Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 28, 2011
    star 3
    :_| Such a sad chapter! Poor Ami!
  3. Hazel Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 9, 2010
    star 4
    Poor Ami and poor Luke! :( [:D]

    Very good chapter though, please update soon. @};-
  4. CurtisZidaneZiraa Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 18, 2010
    star 1
    Aaawwwww. Poor Luke and Ami. The rule kinda makes sense, but it still sucks. Keep going!
  5. Ridley Solo Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 27, 2010
    star 4
    Jedi_Lover: Yikes, that sounds scary! :eek: But no, I'm not that kind of writer. I don't like creepy kids. Sorry for depressing you, but it was kind of inevitable. LOL if you had read any of my other stories you'd already know what kind of ending this story would have...;)

    Lady_Misty: Well, in all those old movies (Annie, Anne of Green Gables, Oliver) I've never seen an orphanage with bunk beds...[face_thinking] plus I guess I didn't get across how close together they are...

    Jade_Eyes: Aww, I hope I didn't make you cry! [:D] But yes, very sad chapter. I was tearing up while writing it! No, Luke will never give up.

    Book-Geek: I know. :(

    Hazel: It just makes you want to hug them, doesn't it?

    CurtisZidaneZiraa: Most rules about adoptions do suck. As previously stated I have an intense and very personal reason for hating the system. [face_frustrated] I guess this is my way of taking out my frustrations.

    There will be an update soon! I've gotten about a page done for the next chapter and hope to get more done today. [face_peace] Thank you all so much for being patient! [:D]

  6. Ridley Solo Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 27, 2010
    star 4
    A/N: Back again to the regular boards! If you want to read what I have so far and can't wait for the mods to dig it up, PM me and I'll send it to you.

    ~22~

    News of the impending adoption by Luke Skywalker spread quickly. Apparently the snooty receptionist from the North had a big mouth to match her coldness. It began as a rumor in the Northern Hemisphere of Mynce but soon spread to the rest of the planet. Luke’s students on Yavin IV had heard about it by the time he arrived, and the Solos heard it on Coruscant the following day. The day after, Mara Jade heard about it while delivering spare parts to a mechanic on Corellia. Within a week, most of the galaxy had heard that Jedi Master Luke Skywalker was in the process of trying to adopt a little girl from the war-torn world of Mynce. Some branded it as a publicity stunt to speed the process of admission into the Republic. Some made accusations that he was stooping to new lows to find Jedi students, while others didn’t see why such an important person would bother trying to adopt when he barely had a girlfriend. Those who saw Luke as the greatest hero the galaxy had ever seen weren’t really surprised; as a matter of fact they doubted he was adopting only one child.

    Huddled together in one of many abandoned warehouses still untouched by New Republic construction teams in the Southern Hemisphere of Mynce, the last of the street orphans discussed this turn of events.

    They numbered nine; seven boys and two girls, all human, ranging in age from 14 to 19. Most were too young to be tried for the petty crimes they had committed but generally considered too old to be adopted. Secretly some of them wished to have a normal family life, but were convinced that life on the street was better than a life in either orphanage or prison with no future and no way out. So, for structure, they had formed a gang. Names and identities had long since been cast aside and they were known only by nicknames.

    The gang was led by a 19 year old known as Hawk, who had long, messy black hair and a stolen leather jacket. His weapon of choice was an ancient blaster pistol hidden in his jacket; the only one armed with anything other than stolen or made knives, clubs, and slingshots. Despite his young age, he already had an extensive criminal record and was on the wanted list of both Mynce and New Republic security forces due to killing an elderly caretaker at the tender age of eleven. Tall and muscular, Hawk had been an orphan since toddlerhood and had survived only by being tougher, smarter, and meaner than his peers. He was known as Hawk because he was a silent but deadly killer.

    His second-in-command was long, lean, and all legs. A full eight centimeters taller than Hawk, he could run faster than anyone and was useful for ‘grab-and-dash’ theft. Everyone called him Speed. He was 18.

    One of only two girls and known as ‘belonging’ to the leader was Venom, so named for her acid tongue. 17 and good looking, she had been a streetwalker when Hawk picked her up, took a liking to her, and then killed her boss. Her remarks were sharp enough to cut to all but the coldest of the group and she had been known to rake faces with her long, sharp nails if anyone made any wrong moves toward her.

    Another boy of note was Jitters, a 15 year old addicted to spice. He stayed with Hawk because there was nowhere else he could get it, and Hawk had used Jitters’ addiction to get him to commit crimes he normally wouldn’t do.

    The youngest and smallest of the group at 14, the other girl was known as Ferret. In constant competition with Venom for food and clothing, she was kept around only due to her ability for finding things and fitting into tight spaces. Rumor had it she had been born in the Northern Hemisphere, but how and why she had ended up in the South was a secret only she knew. She hated the others with a passion, especially Hawk and Venom, but had no other way of getting food and a place to sleep.

    The last two members were the only siblings; identical twin boys who no one could tell apart and were collectively known as The Changelings. No one knew their real names or how old they were, though they looked to be somewhere between 15 and 18. Their main purpose was pull any stunts that required a lot of distraction. Thanks to the other being in a completely different place than where a crime was committed, they always had an alibi. To keep anyone from catching on to their tricks, they never hit the same place twice.

    The gang members varied in age, abilities, and backstory, but all had three things in common; they were all orphans, all had committed some form of crime, and all stuck together for food and a sense of belonging. The gang was called The Hawkbats and operated mainly at night. Most of their collective offenses were tagging, petty theft, and vandalism, but they also had records of assault, mostly on younger children.

    The Hawkbats had heard of the coming of the New Republic, which had narrowed their ranks by more than half, and of the Jedi, which meant nothing to them until they heard of the pending adoption.

    So they sat in a warehouse not far from the old mines- their ‘headquarters’ -and spoke of Luke.

    Hawk, perched on a large pile of old crates, spoke first. “First the New Republic, now Jedi. I knew this was gonna happen.”

    Venom eyed her ‘boyfriend’ suspiciously. “How would you know a Jedi was going to get involved?”

    Hawk rolled his eyes. “Pfft. Come on. It’s practically a guarantee. The New Republic gets involved, and sooner or later, some egotistical Jedi comes along sticking his nose in everyone’s business.”

    Speed shrugged. “So? He’s just adopting some snot-nose brat.”

    One of the Changelings lounged back with a flask of stolen liquor. “Fine by me. Those weepy-eyed wimps are nothing but trouble. One less to deal with.”

    His twin brother nodded. “Yeah. The sooner they’re both outta here, the better.”

    Ferret, sitting in the corner as she usually was, frowned. “I don’t get it. What do you guys have against Jedi?” Hawk, Venom, and the others gave her a withering stare. She flinched, but continued. “Don’t things usually get better when the Jedi are involved?”

    Hawk looked at her in disgust. “Yeah…for themselves. Come on, everyone with half a brain knows the Jedi are only in it for the power they get. ‘Force powers’? Gimme a break. They just put on a good magic show and pretend to be the saviors of the universe so no one will oppose them. You have any idea how much free rein they’re given? They practically run the galaxy as it is.”

    Speed raised an eyebrow. “If the Jedi had so much power, then why didn’t they prevent the Empire from taking over?”

    Hawk smirked. “I rest my case. I say, to hell with ‘em…all of ‘em. The only way to keep the Jedi out of here is to make an example of Mister all-powerful-Jedi-Skywalker.”

    “What do you mean?” asked Ferret warily.

    “Get rid of him.” Said Hawk with an evil glint in his eye.

    “Huh?” asked Jitters stupidly. “You mean, keep him from coming back?”

    “I mean sending him to hell where he belongs.”

    A thick mantle of silence fell over the rest of the Hawkbats as the idea of such a radical move sank in. It was bold, revolutionary, and very risky.

    Venom issued a catlike smile. “Assassinating a Jedi? That’s ambitious.”

    Jitters’ mouth was hanging open. “Whoa, wait…you’re gonna kill a Jedi?”

    Hawk shrugged casually, as if discussing his favorite color. “Not just any Jedi. Luke Skywalker himself. That’ll get rid of the New Republic.”

    Ferret eyed him, torn between fear and disbelief. “You…can’t!” Despite being a gang member, there were limits to what she considered acceptable. Killing a Jedi was not one of them.

    “Why not? The Empire wiped out most of them. How hard could it be?”

    “They had a Sith on their side. You just can’t kill a Jedi!” insisted Ferret, getting out of her corner.

    Venom looked daggers at the younger girl. “Shut up, Ferret. Nobody asked you.”

    Hawk jumped off of his crate, his eyes wide with bloodlust and big ideas. “Think about it. The Jedi have got so many legends built up around them, everyone treats them like gods. If we kill the one who’s ‘the most powerful’, there goes their reputation. The New Republic would be scared shavitless and gone in two seconds. By killing Luke Skywalker, we would be the most feared gang in the galaxy. We could get whatever we want. Hell, we could even toss that slimy two-faced Ambassador out of here and take over the whole planet!”

    None of the others, except Venom, shared in Hawk’s grand scheme. They exchanged nervous glances, but none of them dared speak up.

    Except one. Ferret, though she was at the bottom of the gang’s pecking order, had heard enough. “You’re insane. You don’t just go around killing anybody who gets in your way….especially not a Jedi.”

    The tall boy scowled. “Yeah? Well who asked you, you little ugnaught?”

    Ferret scowled right back. “I don’t care if anyone asked me. Your idea isn’t going to work.”

    Hawk’s scowl deepened. “Shut up, Ferret.”

    “Sooner or later, these nerfs of yours are going to realize what an idiot you are.”

    The others flinched, knowing what was coming. What was Ferret doing? Was she suicidal? Jitters shook her elbow. “C’mon, Ferret. Let it go.”

    Ferret shook him off. “No. I’ve taken about as much as I can from you-“

    The color on Hawk’s face went from pink to red and his eyes flashed in anger. He put his hand on the grip of his blaster. “I said, shut up!”

    “Ferret, zip it!” whispered Jitters urgently.

    Ferret would not be silenced, though by that point her legs were beginning to shake. “You think you’re the hottest thing since vibroblades, but you know what you are? You’re nothing but a self-absorbed murder-”

    “I SAID SHUT UP!!!” In the course of ten seconds Hawk had jumped down off the last crate, cleared five meters, grabbed Ferret’s arm, twisted it behind her back, and shoved the muzzle of the blaster into her forehead.

    Ferret winced in shock and pain. Up until that point, all Hawk had done was bluff. Now she could see just how serious he was about being crossed. She could hardly breathe for fear, and knew that if she got out if this alive she would have a serious bruise on her forehead where Hawk was jamming the blaster.


    “I swear,” he whispered viciously in her ear, “If you say one more word, I will blast your brains into next week and tear you into so many pieces not even a nek battle dog will be able to find anything. Get it?”

    Ferret stopped the squeak from rising in her throat and nodded, trembling. She yelped involuntarily as Hawk gave her a hard shove into the floor, and crawled back into her corner.

    Jitters was the first to try speaking again. “Uh…Hawk?”

    “What?” snarled the gang leader, whirling to point his blaster at a new target.

    “You-“ he gulped. “You kill one Jedi, and the others’ll come after you.”

    Emboldened by the statements of both Ferret and Jitters, one of the Changelings was the next to speak up. “Right. Besides, Skywalker ain’t just no Jedi…he’s a major New Republic bigwig. Even if you could take him out, the New Republic would be here before you could say ‘kriff’. They’d root us out and have you for breakfast.”

    The other Changeling nodded in agreement. “Yeah…there’s other ways of getting a Jedi to go away…less risky ways.”

    Hawk’s temper still simmered, but as much as he hated to admit it, his cronies were right. Kill a Jedi they might, but the New Republic wasn’t one to cower under threat of terrorism. ‘Disposing’ of one of their members only hardened their resolve. He quickly holstered his blaster and changed his story. “Well, I didn’t mean kill him literally…”

    Venom scoffed. “Right, so what did you mean, Laserbrains?” The others shuddered. She was the only one who Hawk would allow to openly disagree with him.

    Hawk slid next to his ‘girlfriend’ and stealthily began stroking her shoulders and arms. “Aw, come on, gorgeous. You know what I meant. Killing him inside…his emotions.” When Venom pulled away from his caresses he turned his attention to the rest of his gang. “Look, the Jedi are supposed to be these caring people who like everyone, right? When someone dies, they feel bad. The best way to hurt is Jedi is to hurt someone they really care about. Now,” here he gave a slick grin. “Who do you think Skywalker cares about most?”

    A collection of sly grins spread around the room as everyone else caught on. They knew exactly who Hawk was talking about. Assassination was impossible. A kidnapping wasn’t. If nothing else, they might be able to gain a tidy sum in ransom money. The question was, how and when.

    Sitting in her corner, nursing a badly-twisted arm, Ferret was the only one not to participate in the conversation. She did what she did best and slipped away into the shadows.
    * * * * *

    Luke was annoyed at the fast spread of news and made certain to stay far away from Coruscant, where the majority of the media was reporting from. He had his hands full with his students.

    Being away from the Jedi praxeum for an entire month had not deadened his Jedi senses, but it did take him some time to remember not to hide his lightsaber, make an extra meal, or reach for a bedtime story. The opinion of the his fellow Jedi and students of the impending adoption was generally positive, while some of the older students wondered how well Luke would be able to handle teaching, various duties across the galaxy, and being a full-time parent. Being a Jedi wasn’t exactly like a regular job with regular hours. Luke was of course aware of this, but tried not to think about it too much. Most of his energy was devoted to getting the adoption finalized and then working out the details.

    The letters of recommendation had been easy enough to come by. Within the first week he’d gotten over twenty of them. Five members of Rogue Squadron, eight former and current Jedi students, two high-ranking New Republic officials, Peckhum the spacer, and thirteen people he had met once or twice but lost contact with over the years all contributed. The most surprising was from Laera, adoptive parent of Malinza Thanas. Two years before, Malinza had been orphaned. Since Luke had been friends with Malinza’s mother, he often visited them on Bakura. Laera’s letter was one of five Luke selected to submit to the adoption agency.

    The secondary residence inspection brought a little more anxiety. His Coruscant apartment passed with flying colors once again, but the Jedi Temple on Yavin IV did not. True, it could be a hazardous environment, especially for a young child. Things were different with Jedi running all over the place, but it took some doing to convince the inspectors of that.

    During these proceedings Luke stayed in constant contact with the adoption agency and, after a bit of convincing, was able to speak with Ami over the video-commlink little more than a week after she’d been dropped off. She was always happy to see and talk with him, always eager to talk to Mara if she happened to be in the background, always clutching Tarfful close by, and always asking when she could come home with him. The conversations were bittersweet, since Ami often cried when the transmission had to end. Luke remained steadfast in his promise that whatever it took and however long it would be, she WOULD be adopted.

    In speaking with the orphanage director, Luke discovered that his absence wore on Ami more than one could see. She ate little, spoke less, and had made only a marginal effort to play with the other children. Without facilities or training her physical therapy was sporadic at best and non-existent at worst. With so many children to keep track of Luke couldn’t be too unhappy with them. It wasn’t their fault that every orphanage on the planet was overcrowded.

    Someone else Luke kept in constant contact with was Ambassador Fereen. Actually it was Ambassador Fereen who kept in contact with Luke, which was at first puzzling. When Luke ventured to ask just why Fereen was so interested in this adoption case, Fereen would only say that he had lost a daughter many years before and couldn’t stand to see someone else go through that. Luke suspected there was more to the story but didn’t push.

    As the weeks dragged on into months with little progress made on the adoption, Luke was hard-pressed to keep his impatience in check. He could hardly wait to have Ami back home and back on her physical therapy regimen. It didn’t help that Jedi were supposed to be more patient than everyone else. Even Jedi had limits.
  7. Book-Geek Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 28, 2011
    star 3
    Poor Ami. *pouts* Hang in there, baby! *squeezes Ami into a hug, at which she stares at me like I'm a creep*

    The orphan gang is really scary, Hawk in pariticular. But I like Ferret. She's got a good heart when it comes down to it.
  8. Lady_Misty Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 21, 2007
    star 4
    Hawk is unstable; plain and simple.

    Ferret on the other hand is pretty smart. I hope she gets out of her situation.

    And it still feels so good to be back! :)
  9. Hazel Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 9, 2010
    star 4
    Ooh, you're back again. :) I love this story so much. Could you tag me when you start the new chapters (again).

    [:D]
  10. Ridley Solo Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 27, 2010
    star 4
    Book-Geek! Lady_Misty! Hazel! My devoted fans! [:D] Oh, it's sooo nice to be back. Good news; my writer's block has left and I'm nearly done with the next chapter! Want me to start a PM/notification list again?
    Hazel likes this.
  11. Lady_Misty Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 21, 2007
    star 4
    just put @ in front of our names and we'll get an alert to let us know.
  12. CurtisZidaneZiraa Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 18, 2010
    star 1
    PM meeee. Hey, can PM lists be started again?
  13. Nyota's Heart Combos & Paragraphs Host

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    Aug 31, 2004
    star 6
    Hi, - so glad there is more coming. Poor Ami indeed and bureaucracy is the same heartless thing in every galaxy it seems :p
  14. Ridley Solo Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 27, 2010
    star 4
    Jade_Eyes! CurtisZidaneZiraa! :D

    Don't worry, I'll tag everyone. Or you could always click 'watch thread' and you'll get an alert whenever a new post is made. :cool:

    ....which should be in 5...4..3...2..
  15. Ridley Solo Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 27, 2010
    star 4
    @Book-Geek @Hazel @Lady_Misty @CurtisZidaneZiraa @Jade_eyes

    ~23~

    In the three months since the petition for admission began, Mynce had already made great strides toward being a healthy, self-sufficient planet. Those in the North had their infrastructure repaired, and those in the South were put to work in the rebuilding effort. Once the basics such as hospitals, orphanages, and law enforcement centers were set up, they began work on building bio-domes with contained mini-climates for farming, eliminating the need to rely in the North for foodstuffs. In the meantime a ‘work-for-food’ program had been set up. Able-bodied men and women from the South would commute via the hover-rail system to the North, where they would help with building and maintenance jobs in return for foodstuffs. While it was neither a permanent nor ideal solution, it kept those who could work from relying exclusively on New Republic aid. Actual admission would take another month on complete.

    While it had changed much on the surface, from orbit it looked much the same, save the increased amount of traffic through the asteroid field. Luke paid little attention to the appearance of the planet this trip, however. His mind was elsewhere.

    Since taking Ami to the orphanage, Luke still had not fully settled back into his pre-parenthood routine. He still found himself looking for the children’s books, making Ami’s favorite foods for dinner, and keeping his lightsaber hidden. If his students noticed his uncharacteristic absentmindedness, they didn’t say anything about it. In lessons he was still the same calm, focused Jedi Master they had always known, so it was nothing more than a quirk.

    The one good thing to come out of all this was a closer relationship with Mara. She dropped by more than one would think a business man like Talon Karrde could allow. She and Luke spent many hours training together on Yavin IV, hanging around Luke’s Coruscant apartment, or just talking. Their bond was beyond just physical; it tapped into the very nature of the Force. Luke had already made up his mind that once Ami’s adoption was finalized, he would ask Mara Jade to be his wife. How such an independent woman like Mara would take the proposal was yet to be seen.

    Luke found himself momentarily distracted by these thoughts as he exited the asteroid field and received permission to land at the single spaceport in the Southern Hemisphere; more of Fereen’s handiwork. The Jedi was forced to clear his mind once again as he maneuvered his ship into the out-of-the-way area. The refurbished spaceport was much like Mos Eisley’s; little more than a large round hole in the ground. The combination of mismatched construction workers and New Republic Security Forces seemed to know what they were doing. Even so, Luke insisted on taking Artoo with him. Luckily the orphanage was within walking distance.

    Short of the new play yard, the District 49 Center for Orphans looked the same as it had two months before. Several children were outside. Though there wasn’t much to do in the fenced rectangle of hard-packed, rust-colored ground furnished with sand pits and benches, these orphans were quite resourceful. Some were jumping rope, others were tumbling in the sand pits, some were vaulting over the benches, and some were playing chase games. Luke recognized a few children from his last visit, including the two Zabrak brothers, but couldn’t find Ami for quite some time.

    Finally, he spotted her. The little girl looked healthy enough, but her appearance was still disturbing. Her blond hair hung loose in windblown locks, her arms held Tarfful the stuffed Wookiee in a chokehold, and her eyes seemed to stare at her shoes. She sat all alone at the extreme end of a bench and no children made any move to interact with her.

    Luke felt the familiar ache of sympathy and helplessness attack him again, and he had to back away lest Ami catch on to his mood. He caught sight of Cyana holding a toddler in her arms and nodded at her.

    Cyana, while still holding the look of perpetual fatigue, brightened upon seeing Luke. His visit had been expected, but she would arrange some alone time for him and Ami so the other children wouldn’t get jealous. They were jealous enough knowing Ami’s stay was only temporary. Only one other child in the entire orphanage was in the process of being adopted, and that was a human infant only three months old.

    Accordingly, Cyana raised her voice. “All right, children. Time to go in.”

    After receiving some loud protests, the woman was able to herd the ragtag bunch back inside, taking Ami by the hand and whispering something in her ear.

    Within minutes, Luke was in the lobby. Once the other children were led back up to their rooms, Cyana took Ami down to meet him. She was still staring at her feet.

    “Ami, look. Someone’s here to see you,” said Cyana quietly.

    Ami reluctantly lifted her head, then froze as recognition kicked in.

    Luke smiled and got to his feet. “Hi, Ami.”

    In the space of two seconds the child’s jaw dropped and she broke free of Cyana’s gentle grip to run straight into Luke’s waiting arms.

    It was another battle for Luke to keep his composure as Ami half-strangled him, Tarfful still held in one arm. He settled for a gentle laugh and picked her up. When the embrace loosened just a bit, Ami’s face was a mixture of surprise, joy, and confusion. “You came back!” she cried happily.

    “Well of course I came back,” said Luke, smoothing back Ami’s stubborn bangs. “I promised, remember?”

    “Yeah. But you were gone tho long I ‘fought…I ‘fought it might be a long time before I thaw you again…” Ami’s lip trembled. “Like forever.”

    Luke held the child close as both eyes and conscience stung. “Oh, Ami. I’m sorry I didn’t come and see you sooner. I’ve been really busy, with my job, and working on adopting you…but I’m back now,” he said, smiling.

    Ami chewed her lip and got a peculiar look on her face, as if she wanted to ask a question but was afraid of the answer. “Am I ‘dopted yet? Can we go home now?”

    Luke’s smile faded. He despised the fact that he had to shake his head. “No. Not yet. I’m just visiting.”

    Ami’s face fell and she hung her head for a moment, but didn’t cry. She just shifted her weight and leaned her head against Luke’s shoulder.

    “How are you feeling?” asked Luke, trying to help the little girl feel better. “What’s it like here?”

    Ami shrugged.

    “Aren’t the people nice?”

    The girl nodded.

    “What about the other children? It looks like there’s a lot of them here. Have you made any friends?”

    At this Ami lifted her head frowned, and shook her head. “Dey’re mean.”

    Luke frowned in concern. “How are they mean?”

    “Dey call me and everybody little ‘thorty’ and take our toyth away. Dey even took Tarfful away!” said Ami in a small but indignant voice.

    “That’s not nice. What did you do?” Luke wanted to know.

    “I hided Tarfful tho da mean kidth wouldn’t find him anymore.”

    “I see,” replied Luke, nodding. He shouldn’t have been surprised, given the backgrounds of the children. “How’s your arm? Have you been doing your exercises?”

    Ami’s face was stricken with guilt and she hung her head, as if thinking she was in trouble.

    Luke kept his response measured. “I see.”

    Wordlessly the little girl buried her face in Luke’s shoulder. When Luke asked why, she burst into tears.

    Cyana, who was nearby, stepped in. “Oh, it wasn’t her fault, Master Skywalker. We haven’t had the time or the resources. Believe me, if we could find a way to continue her physical therapy, we would.”

    “I know,” Luke nodded, annoyed that his question had upset the girl. He held her close and tried to calm her down.

    “I…I t-tried, but…da udder kidth kept taking da ballth away.” Ami sputtered through her tears.

    “Shh. Ami, It’s all right. Don’t cry,” Luke said gently, brushing away her tears. “I’m not mad at you. I’m proud of you for trying to keep it up on your own. Don’t worry. We’ll do your physical therapy again.”

    Ami sniffled and wiped her eyes. Once again Luke’s calming presence had worked its magic, and soon her eyes were dry. “Really?”

    Luke smiled. “Of course. You need to help your muscles get strong. As a matter of fact…” Luke looked around for something to help Ami build strength. Seeing nothing, he decided to improvise. “Why don’t we try and do some physical therapy right now?”

    Ami frowned. “How?”

    The Jedi Master set the little girl down. “Hold on. I have an idea…”

    For the next half hour, Luke helped Ami build the muscles in her arm. It had grown stiff once again from disuse, but not nearly as much as before the operation. Luke had Ami toss Tarfful into the air, make fists, and squeeze his palm as hard as she could. Her grip was improving and Luke had to hide his wince when Ami squeezed just a little too hard.

    Luke and Ami’s visit was to be for the entire day, so under the supervision of Children’s Services, he took Ami to the Northern Hemisphere to visit one of their newly-rebuilt parks. Ami had never been to a park before and didn’t even know what one was.

    While most of the park was well-kept and pleasant, the play area was relatively simple. None of the typical play equipment for humanoid children was there; no slides, swings, or anything higher up than a meter. There was just a series of organic sculptures, ground-level tunnels, stepping stones, and balance beams. Ami, while she was enthused about the greenery, didn’t leave Luke’s side.

    “Don’t you want to play?” asked Luke.

    Ami shook her head and clung to Luke’s arm.

    “Are you sure?”

    Ami hesitated. “Will you go wif me?” she asked.

    While Luke could understand Ami’s reluctance, she really hadn’t been getting enough exercise or fresh air in the last two months. It wasn’t healthy for a child to sit and stare and watch the galaxy pass by. He was about to hesitate, then changed his mind at the last minute and nodded. “All right. Here, do you want me to hold Tarfful for you so you don’t drop him?”

    Ami nodded, handed him the stuffed toy, then cautiously approached the strange landscape.

    Luke had to show her what everything was, but she was a fast learner and caught on quickly. Before long the pair was running around, jumping over obstacles, and crawling through tunnels. Through it all Ami never once let go of Luke’s hand. They played in the fresh air for several hours, ignoring the odd looks of passers-by and just savoring every minute.

    All too soon, it was time to return to the orphanage.

    “Do we have to?” asked Ami in her small voice, holding Tarfful tightly in her arms.

    “I’m afraid so,” said Luke. “If I don’t take you back, I’ll get into big trouble.”

    “How big?” Ami wanted to know.

    Luke cringed. “Very big.” If he failed to return Ami be the specified time, he would be charged with kidnapping and the adoption would be terminated. Luke didn’t want to go into details for fear of further upsetting the little girl.



    There were more hugs and tears when Luke had to leave, and once again the Jedi was plagued with feelings of guilt and impatience. As he walked back to the docking bay, he wanted nothing more than to run straight back to the orphanage, scoop Ami up into his arms, and take her home, promising there would be no more mean children to deal with, no more loneliness, and no more poverty. Duty and the law compelled him not to listen.

    Luke was so distracted that he didn’t sense the tall, skinny form hiding in the background, watching his every move.

    * * * * * *

    It was unusually cold in the Southern hemisphere that evening. Having little clothing to call his own, the tall teenager was ill-prepared for the weather and shivered as he crouched in the shadows. How much longer? He wondered. I’m freezing my backside off out here!
    He had been waiting there for two hours against his will. At that moment the boy most wanted to get inside and drink something warm; maybe caff with a shot of the local liquor known only as Liquid Fire. The former miners made it in stills built from old mining equipment. If that didn’t warm him up, nothing would. Technically it was illegal to buy or sell, but legality didn’t matter much to the boy.
    He noticed movement outside the nearby docking bay. Finally! The boy scooted farther back into the alley to keep from being seen.
    It was a man of moderate height and athletic build, dressed in the unmistakable robes of a Jedi. He walked with the air of a man confident in where he was going, though there was the hint of anger mixed in. Something half-hidden in the folds of his robe made its way to the surface and seemed to blink. It was the hilt of a lightsaber. He was followed by a little blue astromech droid of the R2 series.
    That’s Skywalker, all right. Half-elated that he’d found his quarry and half-terrified that Luke would see or sense him, the gang member known only as Speed turned tail and ran.
    Hawk would be pleased.
    Last edited by JainaSoloYJK, Sep 12, 2012
  16. Nyota's Heart Combos & Paragraphs Host

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    Aug 31, 2004
    star 6
    [face_nail_biting]

    :oops:

    I'm glad Luke and Ami had a fun time together but it was all too brief.

    And oh, yes, Luke's idea about Mara - another reason the adoption needs to hurry up LOL
  17. Lady_Misty Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 21, 2007
    star 4
    Luke's thinking of asking Mara to marry him? I hope that it becomes a marriage based on love and devotion..

    I have a bad feeling about this.
  18. Book-Geek Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 28, 2011
    star 3
    Awww, Ami and Luke are reuninted, if only for a day![face_love] But, uh oh, Speed's going to report to Hawk. This can't be good.[face_nail_biting]
  19. Hazel Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 9, 2010
    star 4
    Lovely time with Luke and Ami, but so sad that they had to part.

    Oh-ho! Trouble's coming.
  20. Jedi_Liz Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 24, 2000
    star 6
    [face_nail_biting] <---- is worried

    Glad Luke is thinking of proposing....my question is....will Mara accept?

    mara's danger sense is better than his...wish she was actually there with him!

    I have this on Watch, but you can TAG me when a new post comes
  21. Ridley Solo Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 27, 2010
    star 4
    Jade_Eyes: Things will be speeding up soon enough...
    Lady_Misty: Luke and Mara are totally in love with each other. I haven't been writing about it because my romance muse is kind of weak right now. Don't worry...soon it'll be obvious that they're meant for each other.;)
    Book-Geek: My evil suspense is working, mu-wa-ha-ha-ha! [face_devil]
    Hazel: I wish it didn't have to be so obvious...oh, well. More fun to have the audeince shouting 'look out!' at fictional characters.;)
    Jedi_Liz: Wow, three people biting their nails? Is that good or bad...? Yes, unfortunately, everyone has to wait for Mara to show up. And, yes, I'll definitely tag you!

    Hang in there, guys. I need to do some editing on the next chapter, but once I'm done, up it goes.
  22. CurtisZidaneZiraa Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 18, 2010
    star 1
    Start a PM list again for me!
  23. Ridley Solo Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 27, 2010
    star 4
    Will tagging work? PM's aren't the same as they were before.
    Don't worry, CurtisZidaneZiraa. One way or another, I WILL let you know when new chapters are posted. :)
  24. CurtisZidaneZiraa Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 18, 2010
    star 1
  25. Ridley Solo Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 27, 2010
    star 4
    @Jade_eyes @Lady_Misty @Book-Geek @Hazel @Jedi_Liz @CurtisZidaneZiraa



    ~24~

    The staff at the District 49 Center for Orphans was very surprised when a human teenage girl showed up at the door not seven days after Luke’s departure. They were naturally very suspicious of the dark-haired female at first. Orphans never turned themselves in, and this one seemed very odd in that she said she had no memory of who she was or where she came from, only that she didn’t have any family and needed a place to stay. They ran her physical description through the planetwide database for children and soon a match came up.

    Known only as Mina, aged fourteen, the child had seemingly come out of nowhere some three years before and had been on the street ever since, committing random acts of petty theft. The whereabouts of any family were unknown. Though they were short on space, the orphanage was under civic duty to take in the new arrival.

    From the moment she stepped in through the doors, Mina was a misfit. She was unusually quiet and well-behaved compared to the rest of the children her age, and was a full six centimeters shorter than any other teen in the complex. The other teenage girls called her a sell-out and teased her mercilessly for her short stature, but beyond a few dirty looks, Mina made no move to defend herself.

    What made Mina stand out the most from the other girls was her maternal instincts. She took almost instantly to the younger girls; especially little Ami. Before long a friendship was formed. The girls weren’t close, but there was something about Mina that Ami had come to trust.

    Cyana was happy to see Ami finally connecting to someone, but something wasn’t right. Mina always walked around with a look of deep guilt and shame on her face. That was not unusual in orphans who had been forced to steal food, but there was more to it than just a sensitive conscience. Most unnerving of all was her tendency to start at certain noises and sounds, and stare constantly at the windows and doors. It was almost as if she was expecting the entire building to come down at any moment. This behavior was alarming to Cyana. Perhaps there was a darker, more sinister reason she had turned herself in. Had she planted a bomb?

    New Republic Security thoroughly searched the premises and found nothing, but Cyana’s unease remained. She made a mental note to keep an extra-close eye on Mina.



    * * * * *



    Luke had been in the middle of a lecture to his students when Tionne Solusar approached from behind. Luke stopped midsentence and turned around. “Yes?”

    Tionne gave a quick half-bow. “Excuse me, Master Skywalker. But you have a live commlink message from Ambassador Fereen. He says the message is urgent.”

    Luke raised his eyebrows in surprise. That was unusual. Luke had never received a live comm. from Fereen before and it had only been a month since his visit with Ami. “Thank you, Tionne. Will you take the class, please?”

    Tionne nodded. “Certainly.” Quickly she and Luke traded places.

    “Thank you.” Luke’s mind was already working overtime as he strode into the communications wing of the Massassi temple. Was this good news? Bad? An urgent message from Fereen could go either way. A pit began to form in his stomach when the thought that something might have happened to Ami crossed his mind, but Luke cleared his mind of such ruminations.

    The console was blinking yellow- an indication of a message on hold. Luke quickly sat down and pushed the button for video feed. In two seconds Fereen appeared on the screen.

    “Ah! There you are, Master Skywalker.” Fereen frowned in slight embarrassment. “I hope I’m not interrupting anything…?”

    “No, of course not,” said Luke. Perhaps he was overanalyzing, but Fereen didn’t seem to be worried. As a matter of fact he looked as though he was trying to contain his happiness. That put Luke a bit more at ease. “Is something wrong?”

    “Oh, no. No, Master Skywalker. Everything is fine. As a matter of fact…well, the Department of Internal Affairs here on Mynce just received word that our admission into the Republic is complete.” Fereen smiled in relief.

    “Congratulations, Ambassador.” said Luke, offered a slight bow.

    “It was your doing, Master Skywalker. Had you not given the report to the Senate…”

    “I hardly deserve the credit. It was you who organized your people and brought them together. Will we be seeing representatives from Mynce in the Senate soon?”

    Fereen shook his head. “Not for a while yet, I’m afraid. But as soon as Mynce has recovered enough, both North and South will be holding elections.”

    Luke smiled. “That’s wonderful.”

    The Ambassador’s grin widened. “There’s more good news; this time it concerns you personally. I could have let them tell you themselves, but I was so happy for you I felt as though I had to tell you the news myself.”

    Luke froze, his heart almost afraid to hope…Ami? “Who? Tell me what, Ambassador?”

    “You have many friends in high places, Master Jedi. Apparently the adoption agency has decided to finalize your adoption of Ami early,” said Fereen.

    “How early?” asked Luke. His heart was on the verge of rising right out of his chest.

    “Three months early.” Fereen beamed. “In other words, very soon. They told me you can pick her up at your convenience any time after the end of this week.”

    For the first time in his life, Luke wondered if he was having hearing problems. “This week?”

    Fereen nodded. “This week, Master Skywalker. Congratulations.”

    Singing, dancing, and shouting for joy were not appropriate behaviors for a Jedi Master- especially when speaking to a high-ranking official of another planet- but at that moment Luke felt he could dispense with protocol and do all three. Thinking of Leia’s reaction- and the fact that Fereen’s face was a mixture of conflicting emotions, probably from remembering the daughter he’d lost – Luke kept his ‘serious’ mask firmly in place but for the widest smile he’d had in ages. “Thank you very much, Ambassador.”

    After a formal parting of ‘May the Force be with you’ and waiting until the line was quiet, Luke let out a whoop of exhilaration and joy; something he had not done since his reckless years as a hotshot pilot.

    Startled by the noise, several Jedi students watched Luke with wide eyes as he walked out of the communications room. Luke was unaware of the audience until he executed a perfect backflip over a meter-high boulder that he usually walked around and was greeted by cheering and laughter. Luke cleared his throat and walked back to his class of students as if nothing had happened.


    Tionne greeted him with amusement. “Let me guess…Ami?”

    Luke smiled, nodded, and let out a happy sigh. “Thank you, Tionne. I’ll take it from here.” And with that, Jedi Master Skywalker resumed the lesson.



    * * * * *



    The remainder of the week was a whirlwind of activity for Luke. There were things to do and people to tell. Luke was so thrilled that he wanted to tell the entire galaxy, but limited his enthusiasm to his closest friends and family. He knew he couldn’t get rid of the media entirely, but at least wanted to limit their involvement.

    First he commed Mara. Mara’s reaction was reserved, as she was, but Luke could tell she was happy. As a matter of fact she made comments about a ‘private celebration’ that made Luke blush. The comm. was ended quickly for fear of melting the screen.

    The entire Solo family greeted the news with excitement and Jacen and Jaina were practically bouncing off the wall in anticipation of having a cousin.

    Luke set about preparing for Ami’s arrival. With the help of Leia and Jaina, he fixed up Ami’s bedroom on Yavin IV and in his apartment on Coruscant with her favorite colors, which were green and blue. He began making babysitting arrangements for when he would be away…that was far easier said than done.


    There was no shortage of potential babysitters, but only a few were viable options. Experience with the Solo children told Luke that Threepio would not do. Most of Rogue Squadron was also out of the question. Wes Janson would probably teach Ami bad habits and Hobbie Kilvan didn’t censor his rough talk even when children were present. Corran Horn was a distant possibility, as was Wedge Antilles, but the chances of finding either of them available were slim to none. While they already had her hands full looking after his students, Tionne and Kam Solusar were probably the best choice for Yavin IV. Babysitters for Coruscant would have to wait.

    Ami was not told about the finalization of the adoption. When Luke asked why, there were three reasons given. First, she had been bullied and teased about the fact that her adoptive father was a Jedi, and that teasing might increase if the exact date of adoption was known. Second, the girl would likely be too excited to sleep, and since she was still recovering from her time on the streets, any hurdle on the road to health was to be avoided. And third, Ami had grown so jaded with the orphanage that she might not believe the staff anyway. So it was going to be a surprise.

    On the last day of the week, Luke locked Artoo into the astromech station in his personal cruiser and set off for Mynce. He’d asked Mara to come along but, being in the middle of a run through a sketchy part of the galaxy, the redheaded woman had to decline and promised to come and see Luke and Ami as soon as she could.

    Not five minutes after he had jumped to lightspeed, the comm. light blinked. Luke recognized the signal as coming from Mynce and assumed it was someone from the orphanage working out the last-minute details. He flipped the switch with a smile. “Skywalker.”

    “Master Skywalker!” said the frantic voice on the other end. “We’ve been trying to reach you for hours. First we tried your Jedi Academy and then we had to go through fifteen different channels on Coruscant when someone informed us you had already left.”

    “Cyana?” Luke frowned at the worried tone of her voice. “What’s wrong? Is it Ami?”

    The orphanage director seemed to be near tears. “Yes. Master Skywalker, I’m so sorry. It all happened so fast, there was nothing we could-“

    Luke interrupted in worry. “What? What happened?”
    Cyana took a deep breath, as if trying to steady herself. “Ami’s been kidnapped.”

    NO! Luke’s heart, which moments ago had been dancing beyond the reach of the Outer Rim, dropped to the bottoms of his boots. Simultaneous feelings of fear, anger, and disbelief coursed through him. He had to take a deep breath to fend off the approach of the Dark Side and to keep from shouting at the already upset Cyana. “When? How?”

    “Last night. We’re not sure how, but it appears someone broke into the top floor and took her and another girl. We don’t know who it was or why. Please get here as soon as you can. The authorities want to ask you a few questions.” Cyana seemed to pause through her tears. “Please. Master Skywalker, I am so sorry…”

    “It’s all right. I know.” Luke struggled to keep his voice from cracking with emotion. “I’m on my way.”
    Last edited by JainaSoloYJK, Sep 17, 2012
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