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Beyond - Legends Second To None--Sacrifices : L/M, TK/J, J/J, OCs: COMPLETE: 3/10/2013 with Fan Art

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

  1. Hazel

    Hazel Jedi Master star 4

    Nov 9, 2010
    That geneticist should learn to keep his mouth shut.
  2. ginchy

    ginchy Jedi Master star 4

    May 25, 2005
    “You look like a giant, partially shaved Wookiee, that’s planning on opening his trench coat and exposing himself to sorority coeds.”

    Mark nodded thoughtfully. “Good, that was the look I was going for,” he said in a deadpan voice.


    I love it. Mark is still skirting the dark, I think. The ending is creepy but I have faith in our dude.
  3. SiouxFan

    SiouxFan Jedi Master star 3

    Mar 6, 2012
    Clearly Mark believes that ends justifies the means, so why are we not more concerned by this? Is this not what we were yelling at Jacen about 10 pages ago?

    Isn't blaming the Doc akin to blaming a rape victim? What Mark is doing IS rape, just not in the classic sense of the word.
  4. Jedi_Lover

    Jedi_Lover Force Ghost star 5

    Nov 1, 2004
    Thanks for having faith in my boy. :D I have an artist commissioned to draw a family portrait for the last chapter. It should be interesting.[face_whistling]
  5. EmeraldJediFire

    EmeraldJediFire Jedi Master star 4

    Feb 23, 2012
    Shouldn't have opened your mouth Doc.
  6. Briannakin

    Briannakin Grand Moff Darth Fanfic & Costuming/Props Manager star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Feb 25, 2010
    Great chapter. I think I know what mark is going to do.
  7. Jedi_Lover

    Jedi_Lover Force Ghost star 5

    Nov 1, 2004
    Rape victims are usually not creating nanoviruses to kill people. Also remember in this story Doctor Draco helped create the Blackwing Virus. That is where Lumiya knew him from. Although Dr. Draco is my OC, the Blackwing virus is canon. So this infers that the good doctor worked as part of a special scientific team within the Imperial Bioweapons Division and that team was tasked by Lord Vader to reengineer the Blackwing Virus. This was done on the Star Destroyer Vector (which can hold upwards of 40,000 people according to Wookieepedia) in 1 BBY. Later that year there was an accident that unleashed the virus. The crew of the Vector were infected and turned into zombie-like monsters. That crew took over the ship and attacked the Imperial prison barge Purge with upwards of 100,000 prisoners and infected all those aboard. Rarely did anybody infected survive.

    I guess what I am saying is Dr. Draco is a war criminal. So I think it is going a little too far to say Mark is raping him.
  8. SiouxFan

    SiouxFan Jedi Master star 3

    Mar 6, 2012
    Okay, but Mark has removed his being taken to justice out of the equation. With what I'm pretty sure is coming, it will be impossible to convict him of these war crimes. Even war criminals have rights, and removing his memory (or killing him without trial) is clearly in violation of those rights; Mark is now (and was with his 'arrest' of Jacen) acting above the law and is now setting a dangerous precedence for himself and other Jedi. It is actions like this that lead to the general distrust many have for the Jedi.

    Like I said before, this is a fantastically grey story with no good answers to really complex questions.
  9. Jedi_Lover

    Jedi_Lover Force Ghost star 5

    Nov 1, 2004
    At that point, Mark doesn't have much choice other than fight Deke. Deke was going to kill the ifs, ands or buts. Mark is looking at the ends and not so much the means. You are right about that. Mark is like a Jedi Dick Cheney.

    But what really is he going to do at this point? Morals are great unless they cause the death of hundreds. If they take the guy prisoner for his war crimes then he will use his knowledge that Jacen ordered the Hapan virus to get a reduction of his sentence. That causes the arrest of Jacen, increase of anti-Jedi sentiment and probably the ousting of Tenel Ka as Queen Mother. Who knows if the next Queen Mother will have the same political stance. They may break away from the G.A. all together or maybe demand the disbanding of the Jedi. Borsk Fey'lya is not a fan of the Jedi and he probably would exile the Jedi. Meanwhile Jacen is executed. Perhaps Jaina tries to save him and she is killed in the process.

    Jagged Fel in infuriated with the death of Jaina and breaks the treaty. We now have the Hapans, Imperials and Galactic Alliance pitted against each other and the Jedi exiled to some rimworld planet or actively hunted by Hapan Bounty hunters. Ben, Mara and Luke remain on the run, always one step ahead of those wanting to kill them. Han and Leia are able to return to Corellia after they disavowed the Jedi...she never sees the Skywalker clan again and she cries every night missing her twin.

    Mark sells his restaurant and moves to the Firefist Galaxy where he dyes his skin green, quits bathing and poses as a Tof Warrior with his captured human wife. Jaden changes his name and moved deep down in Coruscant underground where he runs a free clinic. Talon becomes a bounty hunter.

    All because Mark had the moral fortitude to do what was right.

    I rather have Grey-Jedi Mark Tantiss.
  10. SiouxFan

    SiouxFan Jedi Master star 3

    Mar 6, 2012
    This is all meant as tongue-in-cheek.

    Keeping with the 'worst case' scenario--Mark blanks Draco's memory (sounds like a Harry Potter plot!), the problem is that his co-workers will catch on and alert their supervisor. Their supervisor, not being an idiot, realizes that no one just 'loses' their memory and understands that the Jedi are behind this act of sabotage and alerts her higher-ups. These political leaders think that there is now a plot for the Jedi to subvert the government of the Empire and that Jaina is behind the scheme. Suddenly, Jaina is arrested for attempting to overthrow the Imperial Government.

    Jacen and Anakin are not going to sit still while their sister is imprisoned and immediately launch a rescue attempt. This act prompts some Hapans to complain that the Jedi are over-stepping their authority and lodge a protest--a protest that is ignored by the Crown. Suddenly, they see their Queen as part of the problem and depose Tenel Ka; the new Queen Mother allies Hapes with the Imperials. We now have the Hapans, Imperials....all because Mark thought he was above the law.

    I understand the fact that the ends sometimes justify the means, but, again, this sets a dangerous precedence for future Jedi. Would we tolerate this from Anakin? Jacen? We've already demonstrated that we won't tolerate it from Jacen.

    I understand why you like 'grey' Mark, life is not clear-cut as this story does a great job of describing. Why do we tolerate a 'grey' Mark when we don't tolerate a 'grey' Jacen? Is it not the actions, but the person? Does that not strike everyone as overly critical?
  11. Jedi_Lover

    Jedi_Lover Force Ghost star 5

    Nov 1, 2004
    My sister had a stroke two days ago and it screwed up her memory...I better call the police and let them know the Jedi might be involved. The guy is 78 years old. I really doubt the first thing they will think is it is a Jedi memory rub. In fact, I bet that is the last thing they will suspect. I did research on amnesia when writing this story and not all memory loss is due to brain injury or disease. Often there is no visible anatomical damage causing the memory loss. Psychogenic amnesia can be caused by stress. Stress can not only hurt the formation of new memories, but can cause retrograde amnesia. So doctors will most likely believe his amnesia is due to natural causes. Also, I really doubt the general population knows about Jedi memory rubs. Luke said in this story that it can be done with the light side of the Force but it is mainly practiced by Sith. In the last fifty years there were only two or three Sith hanging out in the Galaxy. It is very doubtful the populace has any clue that the Jedi can do that unless they work closely with Jedi.

    If Mark takes him in you pretty much have a 100% chance of the crap hitting the fan. In your unlikely scenario...probably nothing would happen. Why in the world would the Empire want to say, "Hey Jedi! What did you do with our genocidal war criminal that we have let run around for decades as a free man?". Once his true identity is known he would probably disappear. It's the doctor getting into GA hands you have to worry about.
  12. Demendora

    Demendora Jedi Knight star 2

    Apr 9, 2010
    Makr continues to sacrifice himself. I mean, he is ripping himself apart, drowning his arms deeper and deeper in blood. We can discuss moral principals and norms till the end of the world, but in this situation there is no way back. Mark knows that he have to fix this mess, and he will do it, no matter what. I love and respect him for his strength of a character.
    Jedi_Lover and Jade_eyes like this.
  13. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 7

    Aug 31, 2004
    I agree with Demendora. =d= =D= Mark is cleaning up after someone else's podoo. [face_sigh] So his figurative hands are tied by the circumstances, seemingly. [face_thinking]
    Demendora likes this.
  14. SiouxFan

    SiouxFan Jedi Master star 3

    Mar 6, 2012
    ^^I agree that Mark is doing what he feels needs to be done to protect his family. My bigger point is this: why do we accept this in Mark but not Jacen? They both were doing the same thing, only Jacen's went further south than Mark's did. If Mark would've kept his stupid lightsabre stowed, he wouldn't have to do...what we all know he's going to do.

    Look, I know you all think of me in the same light as your crazy uncle that shows up at Christmas and that we all do our best to avoid. I'm not being critical just for the sake of it; I want us to be able to answer why it is that 'the ends justifies the means' is clearly dependent on who is doing the 'ends'.
  15. Jedi_Lover

    Jedi_Lover Force Ghost star 5

    Nov 1, 2004 crazy uncle was with the 101st Screaming Eagles that jumped into Normandy during Operation he had interesting stories about getting shot and killing the enemy.
    SiouxFan likes this.
  16. Jedi_Lover

    Jedi_Lover Force Ghost star 5

    Nov 1, 2004
    Thanks Jade_eyes, Hazel, ginchy, Briannakin, Demendora, EmeraldJediFire, and SiouxFan for reading and taking the time to review. I will be wrapping this up in the next few chapters. This story is too damn long and needs more bootknocking...although I was told my bootknocking scene was too risqué. Meh! o_O :p


    Coruscant—Jedi Temple

    Jacen stood in front of his ‘fresher sink gazing at his reflection in the mirror and wondering how things could have gotten so complicated. He ran a hand over his chin where rough stubble was already forming on his normally smooth face. He needed to shave, but he just didn’t have the energy to do so this morning.

    He dressed in a casual tunic and trousers and went to the kitchen to get something to eat. He looked at the chrono on the wall and was surprised when he saw it was closer to the midday than morning meal. He usually didn’t sleep in late, but he didn’t get much sleep last night. He not only was upset about the situation with him and Tenel Ka, but disturbing dreams haunted his slumber. He saw himself in strange places doing strange things. Occasionally he saw a familiar face—Tenel Ka, his mother, Aunt Mara, and his cousins. He didn’t know if his memory was returning, if they were visions of the future or just ordinary everyday dreams.

    He pulled out a container of blue milk from the cooling unit and drank directly from the bottle. His face scrunched up in disgust as the putrid contents hit his tongue. He ran to the kitchen sink and spit out the spoiled milk, then he shoved his head under the running spigot to rinse his mouth out with water.

    “Yuck,” he said in disgust. He looked at the ‘use by’ label and realized it was weeks past the expiration date. “I hope this isn’t an indication of how my day is going to go today,” he said sarcastically as he threw the bottle of rancid milk in the trash.

    After Tenel Ka left the night before Jacen found himself falling into a deep funk. All he could think about was Tenel Ka and his daughter…and their fight. Their first fight…at least he thought it was their first fight.

    This was all so confusing. He probably should go see Jaden. It wasn’t normal to be so disorientated and depressed. He first lost six years of memories and then he found out most of those lost years were spent in a romantic relationship with the woman he had a crush on since he was a young teen.

    “And by-the-way you have a daughter…surprise,” he said in a low mocking tone.

    He was starting to hate surprises. He also had a uneasy suspicion that people were not telling him something. So many things did not make sense. The biggest question he had was why didn’t his Uncle Mark evacuate him to a medical facility after he received his head injury instead of calling in his son to treat him? Maybe if he got real medical help sooner he wouldn’t have ended up with such profound memory loss.

    Jacen sighed. He would worry about that later. Right now his big concern was his wife and daughter.

    He hadn’t heard from Tenel Ka since she left and he couldn’t blame her. He probably shouldn’t have asked the Queen of Hapes and the mother of his child to get out of his apartment after a passionate sexual encounter. Any other woman in the galaxy would be upset; the Queen Mother must be infuriated. He dreaded another confrontation with her…but at the same time he craved her company. Whenever he closed his eyes he could visualize her lying in his bed rewarding his bedroom performance with a lusty satisfied smile. Gods, he wanted to see that smile again. She was like a drug…and he was addicted. No wonder his pre-amnesia self was ready to agree to anything she wanted.

    He shook his head. Not this time. If he didn’t stand up to her he would find himself a kept man with half a life. He couldn’t go back to the way it was…or the way she said it was like.

    The front door chime startled him out of his musings. He turned toward the door and for a long moment all he could do was gaze at the entryway nervously. He reached out with the Force and sensed Tenel Ka and two other people.

    “She’s probably here to kill or castrate me,” he muttered as he walked to the entrance. He didn’t think he was ready for another discussion with her, but knowing Tenel Ka she would cut a hole in his door with her lightsaber if he didn’t open up.

    “Coming,” he said as he palmed the button next to the doorjamb. As the door slid open his heart skipped a beat when he realized who was with her.

    Tenel Ka and her guard waited at the entrance, but next to his wife stood a young girl with brilliant golden-red hair and lovely grey eyes. There was no mistaking her identity. This was Allana…this was his daughter.

    A lump caught in his throat making speech difficult. “Come in,” Jacen said anxiously as he stepped away from the door allowing them to enter. The Queen gave a nod to her guard who handed her a satchel before the door cycled shut locking him outside.

    Jacen’s heart pounded as he stared dumbstruck at his child. She was a perfect mix of her two parents. She had her mother’s hair and eyes, but her facial features reminded him so much of Jaina when she was this age. She was adorable. He wanted to drop to his knees and hug her, but he wasn’t sure if she even knew who he was. Before he could ask Tenel Ka what Allana knew, the small girl ran up to him and wrapped her arms around one leg. “Hello Jedi Solo!”

    His mouth went dry as he bent down and lifted the small girl into his arms. “Hello Allana.”

    She rubbed a hand over his facial stubble. “You’re scratchy.”

    He laughed warmly. “I shall shave for you, Princess.”

    He turned to his wife questioningly. He didn’t know what decision she had made. Although he wanted to tell the child in his arms he was her father, he was certain the news should come from Tenel Ka.

    The Queen smiled at Jacen and then stepped closer to him. “Allana.”

    The small girl turned to her mother’s voice. “Yes.”

    Tenel Ka gently pushed a lock of hair out of her daughter’s eyes and gave her a tender smile. “Do you remember when I told you I would introduce you to your father when you were old enough?”

    Allana nodded.

    Tenel Ka looked at Jacen and then back to her daughter. “Today’s the day. Allana, Jedi Jacen Solo is your father.”

    The little girl turned to face Jacen. He gave her a nervous smile, not sure how Allana would react to the news.

    “I knew it,” she whispered and put her small arms around his neck and hugged him.

    Tenel Ka frowned in confusion. “How did you know?”

    Allana let go of Jacen and turned back to her mother. “Because you were always very happy when he visited.” She turned back to Jacen. “And you were always happy to see us.”

    Tears welled up in his eyes as he gave his daughter a kiss on the cheek. He then stepped over to Tenel Ka and gave her a quick kiss on the lips. “Thank you for bringing her here.”

    “I should have done this long ago,” She said having trouble containing her emotions. “I’m sorry for what you went through. I love you, Jacen.”

    He gave her a cocky grin. “I know.”

    She laughed softly knowing that was his father’s response to Leia’s original proclamation of love. “Solo men are impossible.”

    “But we’re lovable.” He turned back at his daughter and smiled so wide his face hurt. “You look just like your mother…you are beautiful.” He then kissed her on the forehead.

    Suddenly an image swam through his mind. It was of him holding a small baby and saying those exact words. He must have drifted off for a moment because the next thing he knew Tenel Ka was taking Allana out of his arms and was asking him if he was all right.

    He put a hand to his forehead and then walked over to the couch to sit down. “Yes…at least I think I’m okay. I had a vision of me holding a baby with red hair saying the same words.” He looked up to her. “I may be regaining my memories.”

    She sat down next to him, perching Allana on her lap. “I would not be surprised at all.”

    “Why do you say that?”

    Her eyes lowered. “Because our animated discussion last night was very similar to one we had weeks before. I think finding out about your family triggered something inside you.”

    He nodded sadly. “Did we have that particular discussion often?” He asked trying to keep things vague so not to upset Allana.

    Tenel Ka glanced up at Jacen, her eyes locking on his. “Yes, but last night was our final dialogue on the subject.”

    Jacen went cold inside, not knowing what she meant by that comment.

    She reached into her side satchel and pulled out a datapad. She pushed some buttons and a holozine news report popped up. She handed the datapad to him so he could read the news.

    “The Jedi released their news bulletin stating Jedi Jacen Solo and Jedi Mark Tantiss tracked Lumiya to Myrkr where she was… dispatched by Jedi Solo,” She said softly. “That report came out approximately one hour after Hapan Law Enforcement had a press conference confirming Lumiya was the one who attempted to assassinate the Royal family with a nanovirus.”

    “She’s the one who attacked the Royals?” Jacen said surprised. “I heard Jaden and Cilghal talking about the virus, but nobody mentioned Lumiya was involved.”

    “I received the preliminary report yesterday. I failed to mention it when I saw you last night because… I had other things on my mind during our visit” A wistful smile crossed her lips before she turned her attention back to the datapad he was holding. “The overall result is you are now perceived a hero on Hapes.” She hesitated for a moment. “With your new found popularity, I think it may be an appropriate time to declare you as my consort.”

    His eyebrows rose. “Really? Does that mean we can be a family?”

    “Yes.” She gazed at him with sad apologetic eyes. “If you still want to be a family…with me, that is.”

    The anger he felt last night melted away and all he saw before him was the woman he loved for all of his adult life. She was regarding him expectantly with a strange disheartened look on her face and Jacen realized she truly feared losing him.

    “Of course I want to be with you and Allana,” he whispered softly. “I want to be a family.”

    A relieved smile blossomed across her face. “Thank you Jacen. Shall I make the announcement tonight?”

    He shook his head. “No, we need to go see my parents first. I don’t want them to find out I am a husband and a father from the HoloNet.”

    She nodded. “Is it possible to do it soon? The Hapan people are fickle when it comes to their heroes. We should act while your popularity is high.”

    Jacen stood. “Let me get a hold of them to see if they are in…maybe we can arrange a family gathering.” He gazed at his daughter lovingly. “You have a lot of people who will love to meet you. Would you like to meet your grandparents?”

    Her face fell as she looked at her mother worriedly. “They won’t try to kill me? Will they?”

    Jacen was surprised by the question, but then realized to a Hapan Royal that was a very legitimate concern.

    “No Honey. Your father’s parents will love and protect you just like your Grandfather Isolder.”

    She smiled and turned back to Jacen. “I want to meet my grandparents, Daddy.”
  17. EmeraldJediFire

    EmeraldJediFire Jedi Master star 4

    Feb 23, 2012
    Thank you...if we could have openly declared Jacen a consort in some would have been better. Stupid profics. Well, now Allana gets to meet her grandparents and has her father so that's a good thing.
  18. Briannakin

    Briannakin Grand Moff Darth Fanfic & Costuming/Props Manager star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Feb 25, 2010
    Daww. I hope this all works out for Jacen. He was a turd in canon, but I find your Jacen redeemable.

    “They won’t try to kill me? Will they?”

    That's so sad that that's a legitimate question.
  19. Demendora

    Demendora Jedi Knight star 2

    Apr 9, 2010
    It would be wonderful for them to open their cards now. Jacen and Allana will have normal family now, who is ready to chop off some heads for them.
    Jedi_Lover likes this.
  20. Hazel

    Hazel Jedi Master star 4

    Nov 9, 2010
    That was a very sweet scene. :)
    Things seem to be working out for the best now.
  21. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 7

    Aug 31, 2004
    Melting, happy squee! :D I'm all gooey inside. [face_dancing] [:D] !!!!
  22. SiouxFan

    SiouxFan Jedi Master star 3

    Mar 6, 2012
    Yea! I'm hoping that Tenel Ka and Jacen can make Hapes better.
  23. Jedi_Lover

    Jedi_Lover Force Ghost star 5

    Nov 1, 2004
    Luckily my sons were home to help me off the floor after I read this review and fell out of my seat.:eek:
  24. SiouxFan

    SiouxFan Jedi Master star 3

    Mar 6, 2012
    I thought I heard a 'thump'!

    To paraphrase Jessica Rabbit: "I'm not bad, I just write that way."
  25. Jedi_Lover

    Jedi_Lover Force Ghost star 5

    Nov 1, 2004
    Thanks SiouxFan, Jade_eyes, Hazel, Demendora, Briannakin and EmeraldJediFire for reading and taking the time to review. Now I am starting the wrap up. This is a short post but I wanted to work on the next part and I keep screwing with this chapter to avoid the next chapter. So I will post it to get it away from me as a distraction.



    Mark watched as the pinpoint light of the stars suddenly stretched and streaked past the viewport as they made the jump into hyperspace. Deke did some final checks of the readouts before he turned in the pilot seat and gave Mark a frosty little smile. “You should have killed him. He’s a loose end.”

    Mark shook his head. “He doesn’t remember making the virus or seeing Jacen.”

    “Yeah, but how long do those memory rubs last?”

    Mark shrugged. “I don’t know, years maybe. I assume if an investigation is ordered it will be soon and not ten years down the line. Jacen’s safe.”

    Deke’s eyes narrowed fractionally and there was the telltale twitch of his lips that Mark often saw when his friend was irritated. “It’s not just Jacen we’re protecting. I have the Queen’s interests in mind.”

    Mark scowled at his friend. “He was an unarmed old man.”

    “Yeah, he’s an unarmed old man who happens to make genocidal nanoviruses,” Deke’s voice was dripping with sarcasm. “Mark, we’re not talking about a innocent bystander that was at the wrong place at the wrong time and saw something he shouldn’t.”

    “I’m not like you Deke,” Mark said heatedly. “I can’t kill people who’ve surrendered. I can’t be the “take no prisoners” type of person you are.”

    Deke made a face. “What’s that supposed to mean?”

    Mark glared at him. “During my debrief about the Vong conflict I was told it was your battalion that went in to kill the survivors…not just the warriors, but women, children…everybody.”

    “What?” Deke scoffed. “Who told you that?”

    “It was part of my debrief. I was told it came from the top.”

    Deke laughed sardonically. “You mean Borsk Fey’lya ordered your debrief.” He shook his head in astonishment. “Mark we took prisoners. Anybody who was willing to surrender was taken alive. There was a whole mess of aliens called ‘The Shamed One’ enslaved on the ships. They were more than willing to surrender.”

    Mark looked at Deke puzzled. “If that’s true, where are they?”

    He shrugged. “That was never officially revealed, but I have buddies in Intel and there’s a rumor that Fey’lya gave them a habitable world in the Maw to live.”

    Mark was still confused. “Why was I told a lie? Luke was also given the same story.”

    Deke thought about it for a moment. “I don’t know for sure, but I can venture a guess.” Deke turned to Mark and his lips twisted into a sarcastic smirk. “First of all, one”. Deke held up his thumb to show the count. “Borsk Fey’lya’s military encountered and defeated an alien race of warriors who are immune to the Force.” He raised another finger. “Two, Borsk Fey’lya doesn’t like the Jedi. Three, he tells the Jedi all the aliens are dead. And four he hides away a Force-resistant potential Jedi-killing army of aliens in the Maw.” Deke gave an amused snort. “Guess what Ol’ Borsky is up to? Come on, guess.” He poked Mark’s shoulder with his hand like an irritating younger brother. “Bet you can’t guess.”

    Mark slapped his hand away. “Knock it off.” He looked at Deke intently. “Do you think he plans on attacking the Jedi?”

    “Nah,” Deke said with a shake of his head. “I doubt it…at least not now. I think it is a secret reserve he has stashed away in case the Jedi become a problem to him.”

    “Why didn’t you tell me is before?” Mark’s voice was tinged with annoyance.

    “Until now, I thought you knew.” Deke gave Mark a steady gaze. “That is one tidbit of information you might want to share with Skywalker.”

    Mark nodded. “I definitely will.”

    “What are you going to tell the Grand Master about the plague?”

    Mark’s shoulders slumped as he let out a dramatic sigh. “Nothing.”

    Deke cocked an eyebrow in surprise. “You are going to keep everything a secret?”

    Mark started to stroke his beard nervously showing his discomfort with his decision. “Yes, nothing good can come out of telling him.”

    "Good, because I really doubt Skywalker would sit on this information." Deke stared at him curiously. “But...I thought you are supposed to put the Jedi above everything?”

    Mark spent a moment considering his reply. “We are…and that has been a problem for me since Luke made that proclamation. My family comes first. It’s always had.” He paused in thought as his expression saddened. “It may be time for me to leave the Order. If what we did today is ever revealed, it would be better if I wasn’t a Jedi.”

    Deke’s eyebrows rose in surprise. “You’re quitting?” He gave a low whistle. “You must really like your nephew to go that far for him.”

    “I do like him. He’s not a bad person…just confused and under a lot of pressure. Besides we’re family. And no, I’m not quitting. I’m retiring. I put almost three decades into serving the Jedi and my two sons are Jedi. I think I’ve given enough to the Order.” He turned to Deke and made a gesture of resignation. “Besides, I want to spend more time with Kira…maybe travel the Galaxy.”

    “You’ve been all over the Galaxy,” Deke pointed out. “Join the Void Jumpers, travel to exotic worlds, meet interesting people…and kill them.”

    Mark smiled sourly. “That’s the point. I was usually in the armpit of the planet being shot at. I would like to go to the beach or mountains and not have to worry about finding a LZ and popping smoke.” He looked over to Deke. “What are you going to tell the Queen?”

    Deke shifted in the pilot’s chair uncomfortably. “I’m going to tell her we did an investigation and there is no physical evidence showing Jacen’s involvement in the plague.”

    “No longer any physical evidence,” Mark pointed out.

    Deke shrugged. “I need to reassure her and at the same time give her plausible deniability. Anyway, if she really wanted to know the truth she can do one of those Jedi spook brain probes on me.”

    Mark laughed. “Did she probe you a lot?”

    Deke gave an amused chuckle. “Never…at least I don’t think so.” He grinned wildly. “Unless she did it at night while I slept. You just can’t trust women around a good-looking guy like me.” He laughed as he gestured his two thumbs to his chest.

    “Gods, you have a high opinion of yourself.” Mark scoffed. He then paused in thought as he looked out at the hyperspace lines racing past the ship. “So… I guess it’s settled. Jacen Solo was not involved in the Hapan plague.”

    “But he killed the person who did carry out the attack,” Deke added.

    Mark nodded. “Sounds good to me.”
    Jade_eyes likes this.