Saga "Son of Unveiled Secrets." AU Drama. Obi-Wan, L/M. Chapter #43 upated 10/1/14

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  1. Jade_Pilot Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 10, 2005
    star 5
    Thank you everyone for reading and your words of encouragement. I've been recovering from surgery and have just not gotten back into writing. Special thanks to Falcon, divapilot, ginchy lee, furrylittlebantha, Nyota's Heart, Kahara, aleja2, taramidala, and Jedi_Lover for posting reviews. You guys rock! [face_dancing]

    *****


    Chapter # 40


    Mara dropped to her knees, her head in her hands.

    Luke rushed to her side and whipped out another water flask. Holding it to her lips, he helped her to drink, whispering soft words of comfort. This was a side of Mara he’d never seen before. Even when she first came to them on Tatooine, she’d never radiated such hopelessness. Had to be the concussion. He settled her onto the grass and then took a drink himself. “How’s your head?”

    She looked up at him, her eyes squinting. “Hurts like the seventh bowel of Borreli.”

    “That bad…” Luke capped the flask and reached a hand out pulling Mara to her feet. “We’ve got to get someplace where I can put you into a healing trance.” He reached into his pack and pulled out a hypospray. “This will help a little, but we can’t afford to put you totally under.”

    Mara nodded, bearing her arm. “We can go to our apartment about 2 ½ clicks southeast of here.”

    Luke pressed the spray against her arm until it hissed. Stuffing the hypo back into his pack, he began to strip off his orange flight suit revealing a black shirt and shorts. He retrieved his weapon belt, looping it around his waist and reattaching his lightsaber. “Imperial guards will be searching, how secure is the building?”

    “We leased under false names and made sure it couldn’t be traced back to our current aliases. ‘Course it’s only a matter of time before they start a residence search. We might have a few hours.”

    “A few is all we need.” He wrapped his arm around Mara’s waist and used the Force to help her forward. “Which way to the nearest easily accessed land vehicle?”

    Mara smiled, pointing in the direction of the city’s refuse collection facility. They hobbled away from the wreckage site for about twenty standard minutes through the woods before coming to a huge parking lot.

    Luke waved his free hand, opening a rather battered speeder that was in serious need of a paint job. He settled Mara into the passenger side and then hopped into the driver’s seat. “Hope the owner is on late shift tonight.”

    Mara winced as they pulled out onto a smallish paved lane and then merged onto the highway. “Get off on exit 18.” She leaned back against the head rest and sighed.

    “Don’t go to sleep on me, now.” He stole glances at her puckered brow and wondered how bad a concussion it was. Her face was so pale, setting off the dark smudges under her eyes. She certainly had changed over the year. Her hair was longer. He remembered how she liked to keep it pretty short since she’d be in a flight helmet so often. There was a prominence to her cheekbones that wasn’t there before. “Mara?”

    “I heard you.”

    They managed to make it to the apartment complex undetected, where they stashed the stolen speeder and hobbled up a flight of stairs to the second floor. Mara pulled a key card from a zippered pocket in her pants and gained entrance through the door. She ducked into a doorway and then appeared with a pair of pants and shirt. “These might be a little big.”

    Luke released his belt and shoved his legs into the pants, pulling the zipper up. The cuff puddled onto the floor. He folded the hem up two times and then proceeded to do the same with the shirt. He heard the sound of a faucet turning on and off and then a laugh. Luke looked up to see Mara leaning against the door jam. At least she was smiling. “Guess your lieutenant was a tad taller than me?”

    “A tad.”

    Luke watched as her face crumpled. He closed the short distance to her and wrapped his arm around her shoulder. “You. Healing trance. Now.”

    “I’d really like to get rid of this coat of dust and debris first.”

    He hesitated and then nodded. Luke guided her to the fresher, helping her stand as she stripped down, averting his gaze. He couldn’t help but notice something hanging around her neck. Some kind of ring?

    Mara steeped into the shower and pulled the sliding door shut.

    “You’ll be okay?”

    “Mm-hmm,” she muttered.

    Luke stood leaned against the wall of the fresher, taking in the two toothbrushes sitting in a glass near the sink. “I’m right here is you need me.”

    “Don’t hover.”

    He smiled. “Not sure if you’ve ever accused me of that before.” Reaching out with the Force, he sensed her relaxing under the hot water. He took a moment to wet a washcloth at the sink and run it over his face and neck. Most of his dust had been on his flight suit. Still if felt good to clean up. He heard Mara turn off the water so he grabbed a towel from the bar, flicking it over the top of the shower.

    “Other one, please.”

    He paused and then noticed another towel hanging on a hook. “Oh…sorry.” He grabbed the other towel as she slid the door open, offering the first towel back to him. A hint of suspicion began to bloom about the nature of her relationship with the lieutenant. He shook his head, as the implications became clear. Obviously, they were in more than just a casual relationship. Her utter devastation should have been his first clue. The jewelry suspended around her neck served to cement his premise. He surmised that there was only one bedroom when she had returned with Ryland’s clothing. Sort of thing happened all the time. Two team members, working close together begin to develop feelings of intimacy. He’d heard stories about pilots dating and becoming inseparable. Absolutely normal. So just why did that thought cause his stomach to clench?

    Mara stepped out to the shower wrapped in her towel and paused.

    “Okay,” Luke asked.

    She nodded and slipped out the door, across to the sleeping quarters and closed the door.

    He waited, shoving his hands into his pockets.

    A minute later, clad in her sleeping attire, she opened the door and gestured to him.

    “Ready?”

    “Yes.” Mara padded to the bed and crawled under the sheets.

    “Trigger word—same as always?”

    Mara smiled. “Don’t let me sleep too long.”

    Luke nodded, taking her hand in his. He placed his other hand on her forehead, watching her eyes flutter to a close. He breathed into her ear and watched her chest rise and fall as her breathing began to slow.


    XXXXX

    Shimmering sunset …

    Mara’s eye flashed open at the sound of her trigger word. Shimmering sunset. It was the word her father had used to describe her hair. She had little memory of him, couldn’t even remember his face, but she did remember the feelings attached to his characterization of her red-gold tresses.

    “Gotta go, Mara!”

    She bolted upright. “How long was I out?”

    “Couple hours—not long enough, but I sensed the imps a few seconds ago.”

    Mara bolted to the closet as Luke raced out the door. She threw on her clothing, buckling her utility belt and began to braid her hair as she exited the room. She paused, noticing Luke and her own pack by the door. “Got everything?”

    “We’ll find out,” said Luke. He shouldered his pack, securing his lightsaber to his belt. “Thought you might need this.” He handed her own lightsaber to her and twisted the door knob. “Ready?”

    Taking a deep breath, she fastened her saber and nodded. “Which direction?”

    “Imperial ground forces are going door to door at the east end of the complex. What’s the best way out of here?”

    Mara took one last look around the room and swallowed. “Follow me.”

    They flew out the room closing the door behind them. Mara led them up several flights of stairs and out onto the rooftop. Instinctively, they both crouched to the ground and then scampered to the edge. Mara felt herself gasping and reached out with the Force. Her grasp felt muddled, but better than before. She calmed her breathing and then rose to peek over the half-wall.

    “See them?”

    She frowned and shook her head, settling back onto the roof.

    “You okay?”

    Mara felt Luke’s hand on her back. “Better…just not 100%.”

    “We’ve got to get to a ship.”

    She nodded. “Good news or bad news?”

    “I’ve always been a good news kind of guy.”

    “We have a ship docked.”

    “Bad news?”

    “It’s in the next city.”

    “Whose lamebrain idea was it to—”
    “Ryland’s.”

    Luke grimaced. “Sorry. Sure he had his reasons.”

    Mara sighed, moving her pack to a more comfortable position. “Moot point now.”

    “How far is it?”

    “Fifteen clicks north.” She flinched as Luke swore in Huttese. Yeah, she had been opposed to the idea of storing their ship that far, but Ryland insisted—and had pulled rank.

    “Too dangerous to take the stolen car. Let’s get down and see to commandeering another vehicle.”

    “This way.” Mara led him to an outer fire escape ladder and began to climb down.

    “Faster, must go faster.”

    She looked over her shoulder and saw a squad of imps circling around their building. Drawing on the Force, she placed her feet on the outside of the frame and plunged toward the earth. Luke was close behind her, jumping from the ladder a couple meters from the ground and landing before her. He reached up, catching her as she slipped from the ladder’s end.

    “Thanks.”

    “YOU TWO—FREEZE!”

    Mara stiffened, turning to see four imperials ten meters away with their weapons trained on them.

    “Echuta…” Luke flicked his lightsaber on and rushed the four men. They fired rapidly at the approaching Jedi, but couldn’t make it past his deflecting saber. At a meter in, Luke pushed them into the building’s wall with the Force. They fell to the ground unconscious.

    “Let’s go!” Luke shouted.

    Mara realized she had stood watching the entire encounter, offering no help at all. She sped past the pile of useless men, catching up with Luke. “Sorry…I froze. Not sure—”

    “Not 100% remember?” They ran past the building and ducked behind a restaurant and into an alley way.

    “No excuse,” said Mara, panting.

    “We need a vehicle.”

    They followed the alley down away from the residential area and spilled out onto a deserted road.

    “Where are we?”

    Mara tapped Luke on the shoulder and pointed toward another wooded area. “Tasen Forest. We can go north this way and have some cover.”

    He ran a hand through his hair. “Faster if we nab a land speeder.”

    “And risk running into more Imperials?”

    “I don’t like it.”

    “You don’t have to like it, sandboy. You just have to trust my decision making process.”

    He pierced her with an icy blue stare. “I’m not the one recovering from a concussion.”

    “I have home field advantage.”

    Luke growled, attaching his lightsaber to his belt. “Fine. But this better not get us killed.”
    He took Mara’s hand, leading her into the woods.

    Mara felt the corners of her mouth pull upwards. She just wondered which of the two of them he was most worried about getting killed.

    ...to be continued.
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  2. Falcon Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 7, 2002
    star 8
    awesome action and I can't wait for more.

    I hope you recover from your sugery well [:D]
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  3. Jedi_Lover Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 1, 2004
    star 5
    Nice action in this great update!
    Kahara and Nyota's Heart like this.
  4. Nyota's Heart Combos & Paragraphs Host

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    Aug 31, 2004
    star 6
    I love the trigger word--shimmering sunset. So apt! [face_love] [face_love]

    Loved Luke's musings on Ryland and his reaction :p Now the shoe is on the other foot it appears. [face_laugh]

    The teamwork and snark remains excellent. =D=
    Kahara likes this.
  5. bkwrm752003 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 26, 2006
    star 1
    So I have stayed up late to finish binge-reading this amazing story. So many things to love, I can't name them all. I really do hope Sola and Ben meet again. I hope Mara doesn't take too long getting over Rylan. I especially hope that Luke stops referring to Mara as his sister.

    Please take me for future updates. I'm looking forward to it!
    Kahara likes this.
  6. divapilot Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 30, 2005
    star 4
    Excellent action! Our two are working together again. I love it.
    Nyota's Heart likes this.
  7. taramidala Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 18, 1999
    star 4
    Oooh, poor Mara (yes, still). Poor Luke (though he's putting the pieces together and waking up - YAY!). They've still got a long way to go, but I can't wait to read it! :)
    Kahara and Nyota's Heart like this.
  8. JadeLotus Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 27, 2005
    star 4
    Finally been able to catch up on this fic! It is wonderful, @Jade_Pilot - a great twist to have Ben raising Luke and Mara . I loved that they were able to reconnect with Padme's family on Naboo (and Ben/Sola [face_love]) The journey Luke and Mara are on is unique and I can't wait to see how it works out. I absolutely adore the way you've written Ben, every time he calls Mara "dear heart" = my own heart melts. He's such a good father/uncle to both of them.
    Kahara and Nyota's Heart like this.
  9. Kahara Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 3, 2001
    star 3
    So glad to see a new chapter on this! :)

    This looks like it's going to be a hard road for Mara. But at least for now she and Luke have the problem of getting out to serve as a distraction. Why did Ryland think it was a great idea to hide their transport so far away? :rolleyes: Nice moments with Luke trying to help Mara out of her emotional shock over this mess, and beginning to realize how much she's lost here.
  10. ginchy Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 25, 2005
    star 4
    Speaking of authors I adore...! [:D] I hope you're feeling better, gal. And I'm so glad to have you back with this fic. You just delight in making us wonder what's next!! I love how even under different circumstances, Luke and Mara are still an awesome team.
    Nyota's Heart and Kahara like this.
  11. Jade_Pilot Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 10, 2005
    star 5
    Many thanks for the well wishes and readers!!! Special thanks to ginchy lee, divapilot, Kahara, JadeLotus (master!) taramidala, bkwrm752003, Nyota's Heart, Jedi_Lover, and Falcon for your encouraging words. You're the best!

    *****


    Chapter #41

    “Who’s going to tell him?” Airen Cracken ran his hands down the length of his pant legs for the third time. “I suppose it should be me, since it has to do with my intelligence team, however…” The commander locked his hands into a tight grip on his lap and swallowed. “I’m not all together sure I’m the best choice considering the animosity between us.”

    Mon Mothma sniffed. “And whose fault is that, Airen.”

    Cracken had grace enough to flush at Mothma’s statement.

    “I suppose it should be me.” Mothma glanced around the room. General Dodonna nodded along with Admiral Ackbar and Crix Madine. She pointedly fixed her gaze on Cracken. “And I think it would be best if you were not present when I tell him.”

    Commander Cracken pushed up from his chair. “All things considered, I agree wholeheartedly. If you’ll excuse me.” He exited the room without another word.

    “Took it rather well,” said Ackbar. “I was expecting a fight.”

    Madine grimaced. “He knows he’s in the wrong. He could’ve accepted Obi-Wan’s help with the operation, but his pride got the best of him. Now we’ll have to ask him to step in to assist with this debacle.”

    “I hope and pray they’re all right,” whispered Mothma.

    Silence filled the already tense room.

    The conference room door opened with Ben bursting into the room. “Where are they?”

    Mon Mothma rose extending a hand toward the Jedi Master. “Obi-Wan, please have a seat.”

    “I’ll do no such thing. Tell me where my children are.” He looked around the room, a puzzled look spilling across his face. “Where’s that solling idiot, Cracken?”

    “Master Kenobi, please.” Admiral Ackbar stood, pulling a chair out for him.

    Ben hesitated and then folded his robes, sliding into the chair as the rest of the members seated themselves.

    “Who told you?” growled Dodonna.

    Ben sighed. “You know how pilots are. Nothing stays secret for long.”

    “Obi-Wan,” said Mothma, “we received a transmission from Wedge Antilles a short time ago communicating that his section of Red Squadron was in place near Geonosis when they received a distress call. They entered Geonosian air space and attempted to retrieve two intelligence members—Lieutenant Marcus Rylan and your daughter.”

    Ben leaned forward. “Were they successful?”

    Mothma’s lips pressed together as she shook her head. “Luke and Wes Janson landed on planet and infiltrated the facility housing the weapon. According to Janson, the lieutenant did not survive the blast, but Mara was alive.”

    “Well, thank the stars for that,” said Ben softly.

    “There’s more. The brief intel indicated that Janson and your son were separated during a bombing with Luke attending to Mara. Janson was forced to return to his ship and meet up with the rest of his squadron. It’s unknown at this time where your children are, but Red Squadron is monitoring frequencies from their original rendezvous point. There’s been no contact with Luke and Mara in over three standard hours.”

    Ben stood, sending his chair whirling. “How soon can I have a ship?”

    “We want you out there, Master Kenobi.” Ackbar stood, clasping his hand behind his back. “We’re just not sure it would be wise to send anyone along with you.”

    “I understand,” said Ben. He looked at General Dodonna. “How soon?

    “We have a ship warming up and coordinates being entered as we speak,” said Dodonna.

    “Thank you.” Ben yanked open the door.

    “May the Force be with you,” called Mothma.

    Ben turned and locked eyes with her. “I’ll be in touch as soon as I know anything.”


    XXXXX

    Ben strode down the hall, breaking into a jog as he entered the hangar deck. Deep breaths. Luke and Mara are both fully trained Jedi Knights and extremely capable. He should be feeling sorry for any Imperials they happen to come in contact with. He ducked into the storage locker facility and whipped off his robes. Untying his belt, he slipped off his tunic, boots and pants grabbing an orange pilot flight suit.

    “Master Kenobi!” Nadya Saer froze at the sight of her Jedi Master in partial dress.

    “Outside, padwan!” barked Ben, shoving his left leg into the jumpsuit.

    Nadya turned around facing away, but not moving toward the exit, “But Master—I want to go with you. I can help you find Luke. I’m a good pilot, ask General Dodonna.”

    Ben threaded his right leg through and pulled the garment to his waist. “I am well aware of your piloting skills, however, this is a particularly delicate mission and I will not be needing your assistance.” He snaked both arms through the arm holes and yanked the zipper to his throat.

    The young woman advanced on him, grabbing his forearm. “But I’ve learned so much, please—”

    “Nadya!” Ben shoved his lightsaber into the pocket of his suit and grabbed his padawan by the shoulder with a shake. Stars save him from histrionic teenage girls in the throes of romantic crushes! “You cannot help him, child. Not this time. This is a clandestine operation that only I will be pursuing. There are already a half squadron of pilots waiting at a rendezvous point for my arrival.” He paused, taking in her pale complexion and gentled his voice. “He’ll be fine, trust me…yes?”

    She blinked rapidly and nodded her head. “Yes, of course. I’m sorry, Master it’s just that—”

    “You want to help. I understand.” Ben pulled a locker door open, finding it empty. “Help me find a helmet, then.”

    Helmet found, they scurried out to the hangar deck and Ben’s awaiting X-wing. Using the Force he leaped up the ladder and into the cockpit.

    “You’re all set, Master Kenobi,” called the deck manager.

    Ben made final preparations and with a quick salute and taxied out onto the runway. “Hold on younglings, I’m on my way.”

    XXXXX


    Making the jump to hyperspace, Ben drew in a deep breath and allowed the Force to envelope him. His fears quickly left, replaced with the familiar peace and tranquility. Would he be able to sense his children from orbit? He remembered back a year ago when he’d been captured by Captain Typho and had been able to make Force contact with Luke. His bond with Luke had always been strong, but even he had been surprised at the swiftness of the link. He close his eyes, drifting off into a meditative state, hoping the next ten hours would go swiftly.

    The navigational unit chimed as Ben approached the pre-programed coordinates. Placing his hand back onto the stick he pulled out of hyperspace and glided near, but a safe distance away from Red Squadron’s formation. “Red Squadron this is Obi-Wan Kenobi. Sending identification codes now.” He paused waiting for acknowledgement.

    “Master Kenobi, this is Wedge Antilles—Red leader.”

    “Report, Red leader.”

    “No word from Red Five or Agent Jade, sir. Imperial communications are lighting up the board and it looks like several Imperial battle cruisers out of Coruscant are headed our way.”

    Ben swore softly.

    “My thoughts exactly, sir.”

    “Janson!” Ben snapped.

    “Sir.”

    “Send me the coordinates where you and Luke left your ships.”

    “Yes, sir! Sending coordinates now.”

    Ben flexed his left hand, forcing himself to breathe through his nose. As the coordinates flashed onto his screen, he quickly programmed the navcomputer and pulled back on the stick. “I want all of you to head back to base.”

    “But, sir—”

    Now, Antilles. That’s an order.”

    “Yes, sir,” said Red leader.


    Ben waited until the X-wings had gone into hyperspace and then let the navcomputer guide him into hyperspace in the opposite direction. So far, no battle cruisers in sight. Moments later, he entered Geonosian air space and maneuvered his ship within a click of the last know coordinates of Luke’s ship. He hovered near a large wooded area and then landed west of the forest. Disengaging the engines, he popped his ship’s canopy and released the crash webbing. He somersaulted out onto the wet grass and pulled off his helmet.

    Reaching out with the Force, Ben attempted to sense Luke. His eyes flew open as he felt a strange, dark signature echo back at him. Grasping, he steadied his pulse and tried again, this time dropping his shields completely. The same dark Force signature crashed into his consciousness. What in Hoth? If Ben didn’t know better, he’d swear he was in the vicinity of his old padawan. He shivered, remembering the cold, dark visage of his former student on Mustafar. Impossible! The Executor was not even orbiting the planet. Still, he couldn’t shake the sensation that the Sith lord was near. “Vader…”

    Ben stashed his helmet and retrieved a portable beacon device. Thumbing a switch, the instrument panel lit up as he punched in Luke’s X-Wing beacon retrieval code. He rolled his neck, trying to throw off the last lingering feelings of anxiety and then—nothing. No readout at all. It was as if Luke’s ship was not on planet…or worse.

    Shoving a few more objects into the pockets of his flight suit, Ben entered the coordinates given to him by Janson into his hand-held. As the screen flashed the information, he took off into the woods running. He steadied his heartbeat as he flashed past huge trees with gnarled roots systems. It was imperative that he get to the landing site before Vader. The thought of his children falling into his hands… Ben huffed, the irony of his thoughts not lost on him.

    He streaked into a clearing, the coordinates arrival chime sounding as he came to a halt. The smell of burning fuel hit him like a stampeding krayt dragon. “No…” The entire ship lay in ruins, smoke still hovering against the humidity of dusk. Ben stumbled the rest of the way to the pile of debris and almost fell to his knees when he noticed a bright orange flight suit. He clasped the material to his chest and breathed. No signs of damage. Luke must not have been in the ship when it was destroyed. He and Mara were possibly still alive!

    He took in another deep breath and froze, sensing, again, the familiar Force marker. Slipping his hand to his lightsaber, he turned around and gasped. It wasn’t Vader. Standing twenty meters away was a small figure clad entirely in black. A child? Ben reached out and was stunned at the ferocity of the presence before him. No, no child could have such a strong imprint in the Force. He dropped the flight suit, falling into combat stance, as the visage continued to approach.

    “Who are you?” Ben asked. “Identify yourself!”

    The figure remained silent, stepping closer and finally drawing their own lightsaber. The red blade hissed open in response to his own. “I go by many names.”

    A woman! Ben took in the rich contralto of her voice. She moved like liquid darkness, one foot in front of the other. As she drew ten meters away, he realized her eyes were unveiled—deep, velvet brown circled in gold. Sith, gold.

    She paused as if sensing his own Force power. “Some have called me by my given name—Sadice. Other’s—by my surname, Cyn, even Lady Cyn.” The woman began to unwrap the ebony covering of her lower face, revealing full lips pulled into a cynical smile. “But you may call me by my title—my Imperial title…”

    Ben felt his throat constrict as recognition slammed into him. “And what might that be, young one?”

    She frowned at the moniker, but recovered quickly. Taking another step forward, she lifted her saber over her head and smiled. “I am the Emperor’s Hand.”

    Stars above! Ben swallowed back the bitter bile rising in his throat as the realization came crashing down on him. No wonder he had sensed his former padawan. She had her mother’s eyes and her father’s stubborn chin. He dropped the tip of his lightsaber towards the ground and whispered, “Leia…”

    ...to be continued. :p
    Last edited by Jade_Pilot, Aug 4, 2014
  12. Nyota's Heart Combos & Paragraphs Host

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    Aug 31, 2004
    star 6
    Fascinating ;) of course. =D= Eagerly awaiting Ben's duel of sabers and/or words with Sadice Cyn as she names herself. :cool: An awesome bit of complexity to the interpersonal mix. =D=
    Last edited by Nyota's Heart, Aug 5, 2014
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  13. Falcon Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 7, 2002
    star 8
    Leia is still alive and Palpatine managed to get his hands on her?

    grabs popcorn, this just got really interesting
  14. taramidala Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 18, 1999
    star 4
    I KNEW IT! [face_dancing]

    What will they all do now? I can't wait!!
  15. Jade_Pilot Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 10, 2005
    star 5
    Yeah, yeah- you were right. ;)
  16. taramidala Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 18, 1999
    star 4
    [:D]
    Last edited by taramidala, Aug 5, 2014
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  17. bkwrm752003 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 26, 2006
    star 1
    Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa. Things just got more complicated and intense! I was NOT expecting Leia at all!

    Does this mean that Han Solo will eventually make an appearance?

    I love this line; I love this line so much. But seriously, you have to make a different love interest for Nadya. She simply cannot have Luke. I can't watch Mara go through that again.
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  18. JadeLotus Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 27, 2005
    star 4
    Wow, I had wondered if Leia was still alive, and she's Emperor's Hand and a Sith! Great chapter :)
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  19. divapilot Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 30, 2005
    star 4
    [face_hypnotized][face_hypnotized][face_hypnotized]

    Did not see that coming. Really well written! I love that line about "liquid darkness."
  20. ginchy Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 25, 2005
    star 4
    I knew you had an ace up your sleeve!!!! Now Luke has too many sisters!!!! ;) [:D]
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  21. Nyota's Heart Combos & Paragraphs Host

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    Member Since:
    Aug 31, 2004
    star 6
    Yuppers, and the "Emperor's Hand" has an agenda and an attitude [face_laugh] :cool:
    Last edited by Nyota's Heart, Aug 13, 2014
  22. Jade_Pilot Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 10, 2005
    star 5
    Thanks to everyone still reading and your patience! Special [:D] to Nyota's Heart, ginchy lee, Jedi_Lover, divapilot, Jadelotus, bkwrm 752003, taramidala, and Falcon for posting!!!

    *****


    CHAPTER # 42

    Mara leaned against the tall tree, drinking from the water flask. Her arm throbbed in time to the beating of her heart. He was gone. She reached into the neck of her shirt, retrieving the chain with her engagement ring dangling at the end. Had it only been a day since Rylan had proposed?

    “Okay, that should do it.” Luke dropped onto the ground and strolled to Mara’s side. Standing next to her, he reached for the flask and drank deeply.

    Mara watched his corded neck as he swallowed.

    “How’s the arm?”

    “Hurts.”

    He stoppered the flask and handed it back to her. “Another healing trance should help. You ready?”

    Mara looked up into the top branches of the huge tree. Luke had secured a single survival hammock into the canopy of the tree. His pack hung on an adjacent branch. “Looks pretty small…sure we’ll both fit?”

    “Absolutely. Come on, I’ll help you.” He extended both hands towards her.

    Mara sighed and allowed herself to be hoisted over Luke’s left shoulder. “It’s been a while since we practiced this maneuver.”

    Luke wrapped his left arm around her waist and shot up onto the first branch five meters off the ground, grabbing it with his right hand. “Tree climbing on Naboo?”

    “Nope.” She felt his arm tighten as he grunted, climbing up onto the next highest branch. “Further back than that.”

    He paused, adjusting her weight. “Survival training on the outskirts of Varykino?”

    “Keep going.”

    “Geez, Mara that was when we first got there.” He shimmied up the tree and stopped to catch his breath. “I give up—when?”

    “King of the Dunes.”

    Luke laughed and pulled them up onto the last branch. “Stars! I had forgotten all about that ridiculous game.” He slipped into the hammock and maneuvered Mara around to his right, knocking against his pack which caused them to sway a bit.

    She lay to the side of him with her head on his chest, listening to his thundering heartbeat. “There better not be any indigenous insects crawling around up here.”

    Luke raised a hand, sending a wave shuddering through the leaves. “There. All indigenous insects gone.”

    Mara rolled her eyes. “I remember… I had just arrived on Tatooine. You were none too pleased at my arrival.”

    He drank from the flask, emptying the contents. “I was a kid. Of course I wasn’t happy about someone invading my turf.”

    “You snuck off with Fixer and the rest of his idiot group towards the Dune Sea to play that ludicrous, testosterone blazing game.”

    “Fixer. I wonder what ever happened to that reprobate…”

    “Probably doing time on Kessel.”

    Luke chuckled.

    She liked the way it rumbled against her ear. “Of course you were right there with the rest of them on that sand dune.”

    “My boyhood pride was at stake.”

    Mara lifted her head, taking in the smiling blue eyes. “That wasn’t the only reason.” She smirked at the puzzled look on his face. “Cami…”

    Luke’s face flushed an adorable crimson shade. He shoved Mara’s head back down to his chest, cupping the back of her head. “Cut it, Cheeka.”

    “You had it ba-ad, Sandboy.”

    “Mara…” he warned.

    “Ba-aaaaad.”

    He nodded, absentmindedly stroking her hair with his fingertips. “Yeah, I did.” Luke sighed. “She didn’t even know I existed. Well, she knew. She just thought I was a complete…”

    “Her loss.” Mara felt his hand still and then rest on top of her shoulder.

    “So, refresh my memory about the rest of the story.”

    “I followed you—”

    “As you always did—”

    “—and watched you sand rats making fools of yourself.”

    “As we always did.”

    Mara actually giggled. “And I decided that I was going to tell you laser brains what a bunch of howdungas you were. So, I made my presence known and began to ridicule Fixer’s entire entourage.”

    “Including me.” Luke shifted his weight and snuggled his chin onto Mara’s head, wrapping is other arm around her. “But why, for star’s sake? You were so little. Why take on a bunch of stoopa boys playing a stoopa game?”

    “I was four—who knows?”

    “I’ll never forget the look on Fixer’s face when you marched up to the dune, ready to take him on.”

    Mara huffed. “I could’ve done it, too.”

    “I know…”

    She paused, thinking hard about what he just said. Mara had always thought that Luke, being intensely mortified by his little sister’s challenge to the biggest kid in Anchorhead, had scooped her up over his shoulder to ease his own embarrassment. He’d marched her back home and dumped her onto the garage floor, lecturing her the entire way. She’s been as mad as a wet krayt dragon and had pushed him onto the ground with the Force. He hadn’t even retaliated, just pulled himself up and went into the domicile. She swallowed, “You were afraid I would use the Force, weren’t you?”

    She felt his head nod against her own. “Yep. I saw it in your eyes.”

    “Stang, Skywalker. You probably saved my life.”

    “Our lives.”

    Mara shook her head, grazing Luke’s chest. “Was I that much of an imbecile?”

    “No,” said Luke softly. “You were this angry little girl with a chip the size of a bantha on your shoulder.”

    “I had no idea you were looking out for me.”

    “Of course.”

    Mara stared out through the leaves of the tree, noting the darkening of the forest. “I’m sorry, I was such a pain.” She listened to the sounds of the dozing woods, shivering against the cool breeze.

    “Cold?”

    She nodded, snuggling in closer.

    Luke reached up and opened his pack, retrieving the survival blanket. With a flick of his wrist, the fabric snapped and covered the length of them. “Better?”

    “Yes.” Mara felt herself drifting off as Luke’s breathing deepened.

    “Ready for another healing trance?”

    Her eyes fluttered to a close at the sound of his voice. “Oh, yeah.” She felt his hand on her forehead and dropped her shields, relaxing her shoulders.

    His breath tickled her ear. “You weren’t an imbecile, Mara. You were just—”

    Mara’s eyes flew open as she sensed his body stiffen. “What? What’s wrong?”

    Luke pulled the blanket down and struggled to sit. “Did…did you sense that? Just now—in the Force.”

    She sat up, leaning against him. Reaching out with her feelings, she probed the immediate area. “No, I don’t sense anything.”

    “It’s a Force signature.”

    “Do you think it’s Uncle Ben?”

    Luke reopened his pack, pulling out a blaster. “No, it’s not him.”

    “Then who?”

    “I don’t know,” said Luke. He checked to make sure his lightsaber was close. “But whoever it is, they reek of the Dark Side.”


    ...to be continued.
    Last edited by Jade_Pilot, Sep 10, 2014
    Random Comments likes this.
  23. Nyota's Heart Combos & Paragraphs Host

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    Aug 31, 2004
    star 6
    An update! [face_dancing] I know this is a platonic cuddle on a hammock but I was getting all melty and gooey LOL and their reminiscing - so sweet. Then :eek: Mood changer. =D= Guess the healing trance will have to wait. Looking forward to further confrontations and more cuddles. ;)

    ^:)^
  24. bkwrm752003 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 26, 2006
    star 1
    Short but sweet.

    It looks to me that Mara's residual feelings for Luke are surfacing. know it's not going to happen anytime soon, but I am eagerly anticipating when both Luke and Mara are on the same page about their feelings for each other.

    Now who is this Dark Sider Luke sensed? I can't wait to find out!
    Nyota's Heart likes this.
  25. Random Comments Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 25, 2012
    star 5
    New post! Aaahhhh!

    More seriously, =D=
    Last edited by Random Comments, Sep 10, 2014
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