Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by Jedi_Lover, Nov 30, 2012.
I certainly hope that it's Jacen sacrificing himself and that Mara's alive!
You want me to write a necrophilia story? That's sick Ginchy.
I didn't say I wanted you to write CALLIE and Luke!
Ah, yes, this story... you're particularly evil in it JL... I approve!
No, Mara's dead and then you asked for Luke/Mara smut?! But you are right, Luke banging one dead woman is enough.
@RedGold! You better not be this evil in Symbols!
You are an evil evil woman, Donna
I actually liked the way you changed character POVs. I also (much as I hate to admit it) like the way you've kept the same theme as LotF: Bad decisions based on crappy assumptions based on incomplete data. I was hoping that Jacen would be allowed to have some sort of happy ending out of this, but I am not nearly naive enough to think that anymore.
I'm not sold on Mara really being dead yet, but I guess we'll find out.
Who do I talk to about writing an 'evil Jaina' story where we can all say what an *** she is?
Well I was on the edge of my seat on this, bravo. The tenseness and frustration Jacen was feeling, the lead up to Jacen and Lumiya conversing in the tunnel. Then the whole thing with the dart How could you do that to Mara? Though in the end I enjoyed it, awesome stuff.
@Jade_eyes for reading and taking the time to review. Come on guys...you worry too much. I'm a happy ending type of person. Okay, sometimes I can be mean...like my story My Brother's Keeper. You know when a Mod tells you the story is too violent and gory and you have to tone it down...then that is bad.
I wrote all the dialog in 18 days for Nano, but as I add descriptions and such I realize this is going to be much longer than 50K words. I hope the story can keep your interest.
Kavan, Hapes Cluster
Through the maze of tunnels Mark could heard the sound of a lightsaber followed by a loud explosion. He stopped and listened, anxiously trying to figure out which way the sound originated but found it near impossible; the tunnel system carried sound and it echoed up and down in all directions. He decided to double back and try to find Ben. He wasn’t sure who was wielding the lightsaber, but it meant trouble. As he jogged back up the tunnel Ben took earlier the area became eerily quiet. He almost wished he heard the lightsabers again, at least that meant somebody was alive. Finally Ben’s voice rang out in the distance.
“Uncle Mark! Where the kriff are you?”
The sound of fear and despair in the young man’s voice terrified Mark. He pushed on, sprinting faster than he thought possible as dread built up inside him as he drew closer. Eventually he had to slow as the tunnel became darker and dusty. As he rounded a corner he could see the light of a glow stick up ahead…and the sound of Ben weeping, “No, no!” There was a quick spasm of sobs followed by a mournful cry of tortured sorrow.
The blood in Mark’s veins turned to ice water and his breath arrested in his lungs. He raced towards the light as the sound of fresh screams and hysterical sobs resumed. His ysalamiri, clutching to his shoulder harness, yelped as she dug her claws deeper into the leather for a better handhold on the running Jedi. In the distance he could make out the figure of a man on his knees and cradling a person in his arms. As he moved closer he could make out their faces. It was Mara and Ben.
Ben looked up to Mark with sad pleading eyes. “She’s dead,” was all he said before he crushed her to his chest his body shuddering in a spasm of grief.
“Let me see,” Mark yelled as he skidded to a halt in front of the distraught young man. Mark gently pulled Mara out of his arms and laid her down on the floor. He checked her pulse, but found none, but she was still very warm, she couldn’t have been dead for more than a minute or two. There was still time. He quickly took off his shoulder harness with his ysalamiri and handed the animal to Ben. “Hold on to Nibbles for me, I’m going to try something with the Force.”
Ben nodded, hot tears flowing down his face and neck. He grabbed onto the animal and harness and backed away from Mark, getting the ysalamiri as far away as he could while still maintaining a view of the situation.
Mark looked down at Mara’s lifeless body his eyes glistening with unshed tears. He had known her all his life. She was like a sister to him. He couldn’t let her die. He closed his eyes and reached back into his memory…or in actuality the memory of Emperor Palpatine. He had realized long ago that Palpatine had learned from his Master Darth Plagueis the ability to manipulate Midichlorians and in doing so he was able to cure the sick and injured and resurrect the dead.
Not that Darth Plagueis exerted his power over life and death for benevolent means. He used the knowledge to cure himself and on rare occasions to resurrect his enemies from the dead only so he could kill him again. It was a Sith skill, but one Mark was more than willing to use to save Mara.
He put his hands on her body and concentrated on drawing the Force to him and to her. He pictured in his mind her body’s midchlorians doing his bidding—repairing injuries, restarting organs, and detoxifying blood. He could feel the Force flowing through him like a rushing river. The inflow was so intense that a bluish hue formed around his body. He knew how to do this—he could see the steps vividly in his mind, but despite his efforts, Mara still lay dead.
“Come on Mara, help me out here!” he whispered fiercely as he tried the procedure again and again. “What the kriff am I doing wrong?” He fought back a sour taste in his throat and gritted his teeth in frustration. He was angry—angry with himself for failing Mara—and he was furious at whoever did this to her.
He stepped up his efforts and tried again. He couldn’t fail her. Mara didn’t deserve to die. She had four children and a husband who loved her very much. She couldn’t die!
Mark’s heart was breaking. As the color from her cheeks faded to a pale grey he realized his error. Palpatine and Plagueis used the dark side to perform this skill. Obviously, if there was a way to do it with the light side of the Force, it was a different technique. For Mark to succeed he would have to open himself fully to the dark side.
He stopped what he was doing for a moment to consider the consequences. If he stepped over that line he may never come back. He could be putting everybody in danger. He glanced over to where Ben was watching him, wide-eyed and full of fear. The young man must have thought Mark had given up the fight and he burst out in renewed sobs.
Mark turned away, not wanting to see Ben’s pain. He looked back down to Mara and made a decision. “Kriff it!” He let his anger and frustration build as he drew onto the dark side of the Force. It flowed into his body like liquid fire. He could feel it creep down his spine and toward his fingertips. It was the Force, but dark and malignant and as it flowed through him he felt powerful, invincible, and full of unbridled rage. He concentrated on Mara once again willing the midichlorians to do his bidding. He held his hands up above his head and he saw sparks of Sith lightning flying from his fingertips. He brought his hands down on her chest and projected his will and his power through her. Her body arched in the same way a person receiving life saving defibrillation shock would. He pulled his hands away and she collapsed back to the ground and after a long moment he heard a gasp as Mara drew in a breath.
“Mara!” he wept as he checked her pulse. She was unconscious, but alive. He continued his machinations, manipulating her midichlorians, commanding them to heal her and make her whole. He leaned down, his face centimeters from hers. “Mara, who did this to you?”
Her eyes fluttered, but did not open. “Use the Force Mara, think about what happened.”
He concentrated, trying to bring his mind to hers. Suddenly an image coalesced in his brain. It was Jacen Solo, eyes troubled, face bleak. He opened his mouth to speak. ‘I’m sorry I had to do this…’
Mark drew in a sharp breath and straightened. He had thought, hoped, Lumiya was responsible, but it looked like he was wrong. He glanced over to Ben. “Come here!”
The young man put the ysalamiri down and ran up to his mother. “Mom?” he called out anxiously.
Mark scooped Mara up in his strong arms lifting her off the ground. “Take your mother to her ship and get her to a medical facility. I did all I could.” He transferred Mara to her son’s arms. Ben looked down to his mother and gave a quivering smile. He looked back to Mark and his smiled dropped off his face as he took a quick step back.
“Uncle Mark,” Ben whispered. “Your eyes.”
The large Jedi put his hand up to his face. “What about my eyes?”
“They’re yellow.” Ben croaked out.
Mark pressed his eyes shut. He knew this could happen, but Mara was worth the risk. “I’ll be alright Ben. Get your mother to a medical facility. She’s still very sick.” He looked down to the ground and retrieved Mara’s lightsaber and clipped it to her belt. “I’ll find who did this to your mother. I’ll take care of it.”
Ben hesitated his eyes still transfixed on Mark’s face. “Shavit! Go now!” Mark bellowed at his nephew, his voice sharp and full of anger.
Ben took a frightened step back but didn’t move. “What are you going to do?”
Mark’s face twisted into a murderous scowl. “I’m going to find who did this and kill him!”
Ben’s eyes went wide. “Him? You mean her.” He looked down at his mother in his arms. “Lumiya did this didn’t she?”
When Mark didn’t respond Ben went pale. “You think Jacen did this?”
Mark took a step forward. “Do you want your mother to die again?! Go.”
Ben took a step backwards. “Jacen couldn’t have done this.” He took a second tentative step back. “Don’t kill him, Uncle Mark. You may be wrong. Promise me you won’t kill him.”
Bitterness twisted in Mark’s soul as a bloodlust fought to overtake him. Finally he calmed himself enough to reply to his nephew. “He’ll live. Now go!”
Ben nodded sadly and then, cradling his mother in his arms, he turned and moved down the tunnels to the direction of the ship hanger.
Mark was shocked at how quickly he lost his temper with Ben. He never yelled at him like that before. He squeezed the bridge of his nose in frustration. He really hoped he hadn’t started down a path of darkness. He hoped, but he was fairly certain some damage was done, because all he felt was the need for murderous revenge… and he knew that wasn’t the Jedi way.
Jacen made it to the hanger and attempted contacting Lumiya with his comlink. When that didn’t work he sprinted to his StealthX and tried using his ship’s transceiver, with no luck. He left a message and hoped she checked her incoming transmissions before she left her ship.
Nothing was going right today. “Damn, damn damn!” he swore while pounding his hand on the fuselage of his fighter. If it became known that Lumiya killed Ta’a Chume he could never admit his connection to her. His only hope now was if his aunt didn’t remember sensing him and Lumiya together.
He was about to go back and check on Mara when he saw something outside. He stepped towards the exterior bay opening and was shocked to see not only Mara’s ship, the Jade Shadow, in the field outside, but his uncle Mark’s Headhunter.
Jacen groaned. This was bad. If Mark was wandering around in some other tunnel he might have sensed Jacen with Lumiya also. He needed an excuse for being here with the Sith.
He thought frantically and then it came to him. He could claim he was following Lumiya, but she escaped. Hopefully Mark would assumed that the Dark Lady of the Sith was the person who attacked his aunt. If Mara’s memory was compromised, then she wouldn’t be able to confirm or deny his take on things.
Unfortunately, if Mara did remember, then he would have to explain why he tranquilized her. He rubbed the back of his neck that was quickly becoming stiff with stress.
“I am completely borked,” he mumbled to himself then took a couple of deep cleansing breaths. “Okay, I’ll go to the hangar Lumiya took off from. Then I’ll double back and claim I chased after her once I realized who she was.” When he said the words out loud they rang false even to his ears, but he was running out of options. He would try that story and if that didn’t work, and Ta’a Chume was assassinated, he might have to get a good high priced lawyer.
He turned and rushed back into the tunnels making sure he concealed himself within the Force. He would go to the hanger Lumiya left from and then double back and locate his uncle.
Mark waited until Ben carried his mother away before he went over and picked up his ysalamiri and buckled up his shoulder harness. He knew Jacen didn’t leave the way he entered so he had to exit in the other direction. He reached down and grabbed the glowstick Ben had left in the corridor and held it high over his head. There were footprints and debris all over the area. He found two pair of prints leaving in the opposite direction he just came. One pair was a person with small feet, possibly Lumiya. The other set of prints were larger and appeared to have a limp. It looked like Mara injured Jacen.
He tightened up his harness and then started following the prints at a slow jog. After a few minutes he saw a figure down the passageway coming towards him. He slowed to a walk. “Who's there?”
“Uncle Mark?” came a familiar voice. “Are you okay? What happened?”
Mark stopped and waited for Jacen to approach him. Clearly he was going to play dumb when it came to what happened to Mara. As his nephew drew closer, Mark noticed he wasn’t limping…until he came into the ysalamiri Force bubble, then he faltered and start favoring one leg slightly. It wasn’t overly noticeable unless you were looking for it…and Mark was looking for it.
Mark put on a sad, distressed face. “Jacen, your Aunt Mara has been attacked.” He watched Solo for any sign of surprise or emotion, but none came.
“Is she okay?”
Mark’s head dropped as anger boiled up within him. “No, she’s down there.” He turned sideways as to allow Jacen to pass as he pointed down the passageway. “She’s dead.”
“Dead?” Jacen gasped sounding shocked. Mark waited until Jacen was almost next to him before he performed a forceful right hook connecting his fist to the side of the young man’s head. With the Ysalamiri masking his intentions, he caught Jacen completely off guard. There was a sickening crunch as his fist smashed into his nephew’s jaw. Mark cringed as Jacen flew sideways and the other side of his head hit the wall with a terrible smack.
Despite his seething rage, the brutality of the assault momentarily shocked Mark and a cold realization hit him—in the second before his fist connected with Jacen’s head, Mark wanted above all else to kill the man. He wanted to beat him senseless and then strangle the life out of his nephew.
These horrific, morbid thoughts were foreign to him. It was like something evil resided in his brain. Nauseous and terrified by his actions the strength ebbed out of his legs and he slowly sank to the ground. “Stang!” He moaned. “What’s happening to me?” He had never experienced such raw, malevolent thoughts. He needed to get back in control before he killed someone.
He gathered himself together and crawled over to Jacen to check his vitals. He was unconscious and breathing. There was a huge bump forming on the side of his head, but there was no open wound.
Mark gathered up his nephew and put him over his free shoulder and started the trek back to his shuttle. Jacen needed medical help for his head and Mark realized he, himself, might need a Jedi healer to help him fight off the darkness that threatened to devour his soul.
I did a little drawing of the scene
OH MY GOODNESS WHAT A CHAPTER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
First off, I'm really glad that Mara's alive, but what a sacrifice! Oh dear. My angst senses are tingling.
That was great.....I should have known you wouldn't kill Mara off. When you described Mark htting Jacen...I could hear it...that sickening thud.
Your art is awesome!
Happy ending? I've got to see how you pull that off. Mark is going to have to explain his 'dark-side' use, (although, as you've already read, I'll gladly offer to argue his case! If the 'dark side' can be used for non-dark purposes, is it really dark?) and there is no way in hell that anyone is going to trust Jacen after this whole fiasco. Even if he gets to live with Tenel Ka, this is going to hang over his head for years; particularly from his aunt who tends to hold a grudge.
This is Star Wars, isn't it supposed to be a bit violent?
oh, Mark is my hero! He will go through this, because he has a family, who loves him. He did it to save Mara. In the end, all in our life has a price.
Is there an emoticon for relief? There should be.
I wonder what's gonna happen to Jacen now...
Do so need an emoticon for relief. Thanks for bringing Mara back and for giving me such an intense surprise I hope Mark can hold it together and love him for trying; he has Luke's (and his own) inner strength. As to the resurrecting skill, you know it must be paralleled on the Light of things, but since the how-to was only provided by a sith so they'll need to do a little digging probably.
In My Brother's Keeper ...I...ah...sort of had the entire crew of the Bloodfin eviscerated and hanging upside down from the ceiling with their guts spilling out on the deck. Jaina was decapitated and the villain was using her head to do an impromptu ventriloquist act while manipulating her head like a sock puppet. The mods said that was a bit too much.
Whoa. Okay, I've got to ask: where did you get that idea? Somebody watched too many slasher flicks as a kid!
No, it was something that happened in real life while I was in the Army, but I don't want to gross people out. Don't worry, it didn't involve humans.
Edit: I PM'd an explanation, but I didn't send you the photo. I don't want to gross you out.
How did I miss this chapter last night?
Did you use paint or was the pic computer made?
Corel Painter and a Wacom tablet.
YIKES. Let me say that again. YIKES. YIKES. I remember you telling me all of this long ago but it's so creepy to actually see Mark skirting the dark side. Thank goodness he could restore Mara, but at what price??? But I got a kick out of him punching Jacen, not gonna lie!! Great work building the tension and I love the artwork, too!!
@EmeraldJediFire for reading and taking the time to review. As you can guess the title Sacrifices refers to Mark. He loves Mara. She is family to him and he couldn't let her die.
I want to thank
@Hazel for looking over this chapter and giving me advice.
After tending to Jacen’s leg wound, Mark dropped the man down into the copilot seat of his Headhunter and tightened the crash webbing around him. He went to a cargo locker where he stored weapons and binders. He rummaged around the compartment and pulled out a pair of detainee restraints he often used when transporting enemy prisoners of war or captured criminals during his many Jedi or G.A. missions. He went back to his nephew and reached down and secured binders on his feet and hands. He then wrapped a chain around his waist locking him to the seat. As an added precaution Mark put his ysalamiri, Nibbles, sitting in a nutrient cage on the deck next to Jacen. He needed to ensure his prisoner stayed in one place while he went back to the tunnels for a quick look. He needed to collect any evidence that might provide concrete proof Jacen was involved in Mara’s attack. He also wanted to confirm that Lumiya wasn’t lurking nearby. He gave Jacen’s restrains a tug to make sure they were fastened properly then exited his Headhunter. He locked down his ship, and then jogged off to the location where Mara was attacked.
Mark returned an hour later. He searched the nearby tunnels thoroughly, but couldn’t locate Lumiya. Only a few footprints were any indication that she was actually there at all. He did find something interesting though. It was an injector dart lying on the ground a couple meters where Ben found Mara. Once he was back in his well-lit ship he could make out the writing on the label and immediately recognized the toxin as one used by assassins and bounty hunters. The active ingredient was Malkite Themfar. It was a particularly lethal toxin known to be quick, deadly and somewhat painless. Mark took some comfort in knowing Fex-M3 wasn’t used on Mara. That toxin triggered the brain to release all its stored energy resulting in the brain boiling within the skull. He was told the brain didn’t have pain receptors and therefore was the most humane toxin, but he didn’t believe it. He had seen men die from that poison and it looked anything but painless. He sealed the injector in a plastic bag and locked it away in a storage cabinet. It could be used as evidence for any upcoming trial. He walked up to the cockpit to check on Jacen. Mark found him slumped in the seat unconscious. While his nephew was knocked out he took the opportunity to check the young man’s facial injuries.
Jacen’s face was deeply bruised, with a nasty upraised knot where his head hit the wall. The other side of his face wasn’t much better. A black eye was forming and his jaw was swollen where Mark punched him. There was some blood dripping out between his lips. Mark pried open his mouth to make sure he didn’t swallow any dislodged teeth. Once he saw there were no missing molars he let the man’s mouth plop shut. Jacen appeared to be in stable condition, but Mark knew he could have a concussion…and he had seen enough combat head injuries to know that was not something to mess around with.
He fired up the ship and took off. As he maneuvered his spacecraft out of Kavan’s atmosphere he considered his options. He could go to Hapes for help, but he heard they were not very friendly toward the Jedi despite the status of their Queen. There was also the added problem of security. If Jacen had truly turned to the dark side everyday guards wouldn’t have a chance of restraining him for long.
Mark needed a place to think and sort this out while keeping Jacen secure…and he couldn’t think of a better place than the planet Myrkr. He also needed a healer—he had to get a hold of his son Jaden. Jedi Jaden Tantiss was a certified physician and graduate of Coruscanti’s finest medical academies. He was also trained in Force healing having interned with the Temple’s Jedi healer Cilghal.
He reached over to the ship’s radio and dialed in a secure channel to Talon Karrde. Within a few seconds the face of his old friend and boss appeared on the screen. The dark-haired, bearded man smiled at the Jedi. “Mark, it’s good to see you again,” his smile faded a bit. “Are you alright?”
Mark smirked. Obviously news moved quickly in the universe. “I’m fine. Do you know Mara’s condition?”
Talon frowned. “She is in the sickbay of a Galactic Alliance Star Destroyer headed back to Coruscant. She apparently was poisoned. They are trying to detoxify her system, but while that is going on she is in an induced coma.”
“Can you contact the doctors and let them know the toxin Malkite Therfar was most likely used.”
Talon Karrde’s eyes went wide. “If that’s the case, I’m surprised she’s alive.”
Mark nodded sadly. “Did she talk at all?” Mark asked. “Did she tell anybody what happened?”
Talon shook his head. “No, she never regained consciousness…and the Jedi are somewhat concerned about you…” Talon trailed off.
Mark gave Talon a force, uneasy smile. “Ben's telling everybody I went the to dark side, right?”
“Not exactly, all he said was your eyes were yellow like a Sith. What happened Mark?”
He took a deep breath and then let it out slowly. “Jacen tried to kill Mara. I take that back…he did kill her. I had to use a Sith technique to bring her back. I had to touch the dark side to use the power of resurrection.”
“She was dead?” Talon let out a quick astonished breath. “It seems that part was left out of the story told to me.”
“Yeah,” Mark replied. “I guess my eyes turned all Sithy yellow while saving her and it scared Ben.”
“Why do suspect Jacen?” Talon asked.
“Once I revived her, I asked Mara who did this to her. She sent me images through the Force of Jacen.” Mark said. “I also found him in the tunnels not far from her body.”
As if almost on cue, Jacen Solo stirred in the seat next to him. He groaned and then looked around in confusion. He tried to move, but was prevented by the restraints. When he spotted Mark he began struggling furiously at his bindings, but with a ysalamiri sitting next to him his ability to touch the Force was non-existent. “Let me go!” he yelled, his voice deeply slurred by his jaw injury.
Mark smiled as he looked to Talon on the view screen. “It seems my passenger has awakened and from what I see he is not too much worse for wear. Just a second,” he said as he drew his blaster from his holster, set it to stun and then unceremoniously shot Jacen. The Jedi slumped over unconscious in his seat.
Talon remained unflappable. “That’s one way to pacify a suspected killer.”
“Yeah, but I need help with that.” Mark said. “Talon, can I use your Myrkr base? Do you still have it as a fallback outpost? Is it stocked?”
Talon nodded. “Yes, I’ll transmit entry codes.”
“Thanks,” Mark said relieved. “Also can you get a hold of my son Jaden…quietly? I want a doctor to look over Jacen.”
“Why don’t you call in Cilghal? And Luke for that matter.”
Mark shrugged. “I don’t know. It could be a Force thing. I just want to make sure Jacen is secure before I let the Jedi know where he is. If he is strong enough to take on Mara…then he’s more dangerous than anybody imagined.”
Karrde nodded in agreement. “That makes sense.” He looked down at the ground hesitantly. “It’s too bad you want to see Jaden and not your other son Talon…he’s here on the Wild Karrde.”
Mark gave him a surprised look. “Why? Did Luke send him to hunt me down?”
Karrde gave a disparaging laugh. “I wish. It seems he’s dating my daughter.”
Mark’s jaw dropped. “He’s dating Valla?”
Karrde shook his head. “No, Zylie.”
“Zylie! She’s a child!” Mark shot back.
Karrde gave him a tight smile. “It’s been a while since you have seen her. She’s now nineteen and enrolled at Corsucanti University.” Karrde paused. “Mark, we both know my namesake’s reputation when it comes to the ladies. I’d appreciate it if you would ask him not to break my little girl’s heart.”
“I’ll tell him to end the relationship completely,” Mark offered.
Talon shook his head. “I have a feeling making the romance forbidden would only make it more tantalizing to a teenage girl.” He looked at Mark obviously ill at ease. “If you can just remind him she’s not a Jedi groupie, she’s my daughter and our two families have been friends for decades. I don’t want to see her hurt.”
“Neither do I.”
There was a long pause between the two men. “I’ll find Jaden and ask him to meet you at my Myrkr base.”
“I’d appreciate that,” Mark said quietly.
“And Mark,” Talon began and then stopped.
The Information Broker cleared his throat. “Are you sure you’re alright?” Talon asked with a calm and serious tone. “You’re eyes look different and I don’t mean the color. They have a coldness to them that I have never seen before.”
Mark heaved a sigh. “The darkness touched me and brought out intense emotions. Some that I never experienced before…others that I’ve always have been able to control…but, I’m getting better…its effect is waning,” Mark said haltingly. “As long as something doesn’t trigger my anger again, I should be alright.” He looked up at his friend. “I’m not going to harm my son if that is what you are worried about…or Jacen. I made a promise to Ben…plus I owe my life to Han…he found me on Wayland…I owe him everything.”
Talon nodded. “Okay, I’ll make sure Jaden gets the coordinates to the base.”
“Thank you. Mark Tantiss out.” He switched off the comm system and glanced over to Jacen. He was knocked out cold, slumped over in his seat with a string of drool slowly moving from his open mouth and down the front of his black tunic.
He shook his head. “What happened to you, Jacen?” Mark couldn’t believe the young man who used to tell him stupid jokes and sometimes helped him care for the ysalamiri could turn to the dark side or try to kill a family member. Lumiya must have totally warped his mind and tricked him into doing her bidding; the same way Palpatine tricked Anakin Skywalker.
Jacen slowly woke in excruciating pain. His head was throbbing like an angry Akk dog was trapped in his skull and was trying to claw its way out. His eyes fluttered open and he could see he was in a ship. From the viewport he could make out the elongated lines of stars created when in hyperspace. He went to turn to see the pilot and groaned when the slight movement caused a sharp pain in the jaw. His muddled mind tried to piece together what had happened. He was on Kavan and saw his uncle. He momentarily woke up on this ship and then he was fairly certain his uncle stunned him with a blaster. It had been some time since he was stunned. It was an uncomfortable experience and caused confusion and a host of other nasty side effects. He carefully turned his head toward the pilot’s seat, trying not to trigger another stabbing jolt of pain.
He gave a furtive glance to where Mark Tantiss sat. He was lounging in the pilot seat and writing on a datapad. Movement caught Jacen’s eyes and he slowly looked down to the deck and caught a glimpse of a ysalamiri in a nutrient cage. That would explain why he couldn’t touch the Force. When he looked back up he found himself staring into his uncle’s eyes. Jacen took a sharp intake of breath at what he saw. The whites of his Mark’s eyes were bloodshot red and the irises were a sickly yellow—they were the eyes of a Sith.
“Oh kriff,” he muttered.
Mark gave him an evil grin that sent a shiver up Jacen’s spine. “Awake I see.” His uncle pulled out his blaster and aimed it at him. “Be quiet and I won’t stun you again. Keep your mouth shut.” His voice was low and menacing. “I’m not feeling like myself today.”
Jacen was too shocked to talk. He merely nodded then cringed when the movement caused such pain, darkness swam in front of his eyes. He reached his cuffed hands up and felt the side of his head. He was startled by the size of the lump on his right temple. It had to be upraised by at least four centimeters.
‘What is going on?’ he thought frantically. He had no idea what had happened to Mark, but his eyes gave Jacen every indication that he was Sith. A spinning nausea hit his stomach as a dreadful thought occurred to him. Could his uncle be the great evil Lumiya talked about? Was that the reason she asked to see him while in the Temple? Did she suspect Mark Tantiss of being a Sith?
An uneasy shiver ran through his body as he recalled his uncle’s origins. An insane dark Force-user created Mark Tantiss. He was genetically cloned and bred to kill Jedi. Not only that, he held the secrets of one of the most powerful Sith Lords that ever lived, Emperor Palpatine. Was it possible that his uncle had been hiding his Sith propensities for twenty-five years? Was that the reason he kept a ysalamiri with him while in the Temple…to prevent people from sensing his darkness?
If that were the case, what was he going to do to him...to his family? Now that Jacen knew his true nature would Mark kill him?
Despite the Rancor-sized pain that racked his brain he attempted to converse with his uncle, he needed to find out what he planned. “Why am I captive?”
“Why are you captive?” Mark’s voice was an incredulous growl and his yellow eyes glared at Jacen with a dangerous ferocity. “You killed Mara!”
The words stunned Jacen. “What? How? How could she be dead?”
Seething yellow eyes pinned Jacen in place. “She could be dead because somebody poisoned her.” His voice rose in a frenzied rage and Jacen could see his uncle’s fists tighten until his knuckles turned white. Jacen startled as Mark exploded out of his chair and put his face up next to his and jabbed an index finger against Jacen’s chest. “You killed her! You!” As his uncle pulled away a large meaty hand smacked Jacen upside the head causing an explosion of pain behind his eyes. The combination of pain, fear and dread that his aunt was truly dead was too much; Jacen bent over and became violently ill.
Mark let out a string of obscenities that would probably make a Void Jumper blush as he walked to the back of his ship. When he returned he unstrapped Jacen’s crash webbing and the chain holding him to the chair. He then shoved a microfiber towel in between his bound hands.
“Clean up that puke you murderous Di’kut!”
“I didn’t kill Aunt Mara,” Jacen protested as he slowly bent down to clean up the vomit, but even as he said the words his mind went to the tranquilizer dart. Could his aunt have had a fatal reaction to the chemicals…or did Lumiya betray him? Or did Mark kill her while she lay unconscious?
Mark stared at Jacen with open animosity and contempt. “Don’t lie to me. Just clean your retch off my deck before I make you lick it up.”
Jacen shuddered. He had a feeling that wasn’t an idle threat. He wiped up the mess he made and then slowly rose to his feet with a groan. He hadn’t felt this bad in a very long time. His uncle grabbed him by the shoulder and brusquely pushed him toward the ‘fresher located in the back area of the ship. As they moved away from the cockpit, and the ysalamiri, Jacen could feel a light touch of the Force, not enough for him to do telekinesis or to unlock his cuffs, but it was enough for him to feel the monstrous darkness simmering within Mark Tantiss. A fear gripped Jacen’s heart like a cold hand as he realized his uncle truly was dark.
Mark pushed him into the ‘fresher and ordered him to clean himself up. Jacen could feel the Force flickering in and out like a weak transceiver radio signal. When his connection to the Force hit a peak he made his move. He swung his cuffed hands in an arc and landed a two-handed blow across Mark’s jaw.
Jacen stood in shock as he realized the punch had no effect on his giant of an uncle… other than further fueling his rage. Mark grabbed the back of his collar and painfully manhandled him to the ‘fresher floor. He then dragged Jacen to the ‘fresher toilet, unlocked the seat cover's vacuum seal and perched his head over the bowl.
“If you try that again,” Mark growled as he shoved Jacen’s head down until it was almost touching the blue sanitizing liquid. “I’ll forget how much I like your parents and drown your sorry ass in the toilet.” He pulled Jacen’s head up so he could look at him. “Do we understand each other?”
Jacen bristled with fear and outrage. “Perfectly.”
“Clean yourself up,” Mark said and then left Jacen alone in the ‘fresher. Jacen quickly searched the latrine for anything he could use as a weapon, but it looked like his uncle was one step ahead of him. The drawers were empty. Everything else was unbreakable, with mirrors made of shatterproof reflective film and a stainless steal toilet.
Maybe he would have a chance to use the ship’s radio. He needed to warn his family and let Grand Master Skywalker know there was a dangerous Sith among them and it wasn’t Lumiya—it was Jedi Master Mark Tantiss.
:shock: Ooh, intensity gets larger, if possible.
Right, warn them. There's a Evil Sith all right.
Oh, I am so angry at Jacen, that I adore Mark even stronger after this chapter. And I know, that he will be fine, he is so strong, and his has a big heart.