Saga The Legacy of the Last Starstar (Obi-wan/OC-handmaiden) -- May 16

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by Viridian-Maiden, Aug 14, 2013.

Moderators: Briannakin, mavjade
  1. Viridian-Maiden Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Aug 14, 2013
    star 1
    Title: The Legacy of the Last Starstar
    Author: Viridian-Maiden
    Time frame: post AOTC-ANH
    Pairings: Obi-Wan/OC
    Genre: Romance/Drama
    Summary: The last heir of the Starstars witnesses the end of the Jedi Order and the fall of the Republic from her position on Naboo, playing an important but hidden role in the lives of Obi-wan Kenobi and the Skywalker family.
    Notes: EU to the films. A little bit different take on the Obi-wan/handmaiden ship. (Also the first fan fiction I've posted.)
    Last edited by Viridian-Maiden, May 16, 2016
  2. Viridian-Maiden Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Aug 14, 2013
    star 1
    Prologue: The Jedi and the Handmaid
    The day Padme Amidala told me of her pregnancy by the Jedi Lord Anakin Skywalker, I sat on the balcony of her private apartment overlooking the central plaza of Theed under a dusky-red sky. I watched from my quiet perch in the corner as the usually strong Senator painfully informed me of this news, of which she was absolutely certain in herself, although she had not been tested by a medi-droid.

    “I’m telling you because I need your help,” she said, shifting her gaze to me from the latticed screen above the railing and away from the view toward the Eastern water ledge. “Even now, it must be kept secret, for as long as possible. I want this child and I will keep it, but I tried hard to prevent this from happening. And with the war as it is…I’m afraid to tell him until I know what I should do.”

    She did not explain herself or why she might be afraid of the young knight whose child she now carried, but I sensed an unusual tremor in her voice. I stayed seated and silent, wondering about what lay behind the Senator’s sudden disclosure to me just after he had gone. Although the substance of her announcement was known to me before her confession, her appeals for help nonetheless seemed to reveal things, the implications of which I had not foreseen. And the tone with which she expressed her sentiments gave me an unnerving glimpse behind the Senator’s naïve and idealistic façade of faith in what was an ever-increasingly broken Republic.

    She turned fully away from the railing to face me, looking in my direction as though I, and not she, was owed the respect of an entire system. “If the Council finds out, they’ll surely expel him,” she pleaded. “Even Master Kenobi cannot overlook this…”

    That the Senator carried the Jedi’s child had been suspected for some time among those of us that attended her. But even as I promised Padme in surest sincerity that I would provide what help I could, I was hit with portentous clarity about the extent to which my own situation differed from hers, particularly where the Order and the Council were concerned.

    Certainly, it was not the first time she had mentioned Jedi Master Kenobi to me in all the years since I had been a young handmaiden beginning her first official assignment as part of the diplomatic mission of my people to the Naboo. And he was, at least to my recollection, the only other Jedi but Skywalker that she had mentioned to any of us since the now-dreamlike period before the fiercest fighting had begun.

    She may have been right about the Jedi Master, and about how he might react, but I had reason to doubt that he would be cruel or cold no matter what action the Council itself might take.

    She didn’t know that by then, the Jedi warrior was already tied to me. It was a connection made in the terrific heat of what was not yet known as the beginning of a civil war, and under an impulse of feelings that, despite their emotive force, I could no more call purely emotional than I could call myself Nubian…
  3. mavjade It's so FLUFFY! Fanfic Manager

    Member Since:
    Sep 10, 2005
    star 6
    Welcome to the Jedi Council Forums!!

    This is a great start to a story, I hope you continue!
    And your first fanfic?? Wow! =D=

    LOVED this!

    Great job!
    AzureAngel2 likes this.
  4. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 31, 2004
    star 7
    Welcome and terrific idea and start =D= I also think your user name is lovely. :cool:
    AzureAngel2 likes this.
  5. serendipityaey Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 24, 2004
    star 4
    Very interesting start! Love Obi/oc. Tag or message if you can please :)
    AzureAngel2 likes this.
  6. Viridian-Maiden Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Aug 14, 2013
    star 1
    The Owner of the Astromech

    I had first met the Jedi several months before, at a club in the Water District, where I had gone to meet a small group of semi-officials from around Theed and some of the closer regions of Naboo.

    The past few weeks had brought continually bad news about the Republic’s ability to continue functioning under the strain of war with the Separatist Coalition. The war, it seemed to me, had dominated all conversation, thoughts, and official business for several years. Although the fighting had been pushed mainly to more remote systems, Naboo felt the stress of the war in small ways.

    There had been some increase in traffic to the planet for several months; fighters looking for short refuge from the roughness of the colonies, briefly refueling, or repairing their ships on their way to the Core. But beyond the number of individual fighters and long-range cargo crews, the increase we saw in traffic to the surface was only a small part of the larger fleet of starships that Naboo had to endure stationed outside its atmosphere. While mainly a galactic peacekeeping force determined to maintain senate control over the planet’s resources, it seemed the presence of the fleet was a different kind of siege.

    “Are things as bleak for you?” Sabé asked just after I sat down. Cade Chanden, an under-secretary of Theed City, shrugged at me, looking somewhat bored with the conversation although he soon exclaimed:

    “Even if it were, the Alderaanian army will mobilize. What wouldn’t the Separatists, or the Army of the Republic for that matter, fear from their fleet of destroyers and their ultra-enlightened weapons?” He laughed.

    I found the joke to be in bad taste and did not respond. Alderaan had not had a standing army in years, and it had become the subject of many jokes around the galaxy. Nonetheless, Alderaan supplied a good amount of fighters to any cause, and I very much doubted that we could be left behind or easily swept away if ever there were a need for us to engage. Sabé and Cade rarely brought up Alderaan when we spoke, but I knew they also rarely forgot that I had not been born on Naboo.

    A few moments later Si Nhala’s friendly, accented voice reached the table and she sat down to join with Sabé and Cade in gossip about one of Theed’s newest undersecretaries. I was interested in what she might know, since her siblings told her things we didn’t get to hear at higher levels.

    I surveyed the room restlessly, listening to Nhala but wanting to ignore Cade’s comments on any subject. I had not been to that particular location for some time, but I was at least familiar with most of the people who frequented it. It was an odd favorite, popular both with officials and lower levels of society, like the mechanics who maintained Theed’s complex system of waterways.

    Looking around briefly, I laid eyes on a Jedi knight who had just entered, only the slight contours of his face visible among the shadows of a hood. It was his demeanor and clothing gave him away, but I could also spot a small glimpse of his saber’s silver hilt at his waist.

    He was followed by a small astro-droid who briefly poked around the tables and then settled within arms-length of its human owner next to a vintage service bot. The Jedi glanced fleetingly around, but only sat near the door and began quietly talking with someone I believed to be a member of the palace fleet-keepers. I turned back to Nhala and her story about the undersecretary.

    I admit, I was somewhat interested to see him there but only because it was becoming rare to see members of the Order outside of Coruscant, unless one spent time in official places such as the palace. This was true more particularly now, when they took such a large role leading the Republican army in the war against the Separatists. There was only one Jedi I saw regularly, supposedly coming in to report from missions in the systems and stopping to meet briefly with Senator Amidala when she came. We were often dismissed shortly after his arrival, sometimes before the Senator had even entered her formal reception chamber to greet him. He was wont to roam the room impatiently, black cloak cast carelessly aside. I was unaware of the extent to which the Jedi Council may or may not be involved in his visits, but I had few doubts about why he came to see her. Though it had not been verbally acknowledged to any of us in her service, it was quietly rumored in palace hallways that the Senator had married the young knight. This, of course, defied common knowledge about the Jedi - who did not marry - but that fact was ignored altogether among the few who whispered. It was certainly a political match if also one of passion. But his visits to Naboo were always brief, and unlike this Jedi here, the young Skywalker did not mingle in Nubian society.

    When Nhala had finished her news about the undersecretary, Sabé mentioned a recent massacre of pilgrims to an old Massassi temple who had been attempting to land on Dantooine. Without quite knowing why I found myself shifting ever so slightly, sensing the weapon I carried at the waist and moving to ensure that its form and presence remained indiscernible under the folds of my palace cloak. The Massassi temple was far from here, and the people who had been attempting to land from the Sullustan group of races. I doubted Sabé knew that, or it was likely she would not have brought the subject up at all.

    “But aren’t they very close to Tilasans, Nhala?” I looked up at her on hearing the news. “Don’t you feel something like kinship with them?” I was surprised that she seemed so docile in the face of Sabé’s obvious rudeness.

    Nhala was apparently interested in hearing what Sabé and Cade might say, but if she felt anything her face did not expose it. This was despite how skilled I had grown at reading her signals, like the tone of flush in her golden-flecked skin, or the odd way her eyes changed shape when she was uncertain how to express herself in Basic Standard. But as was typical, she only signaled me to be still while Sabé’s head was briefly turned away.

    “As if the Jedi could prevent any of this.” Sabé snorted in the direction of the table near the door. “Their self-righteous elitism does nothing if they can’t bring the Separatists into submission or get the Federal Fleet out of our way.”

    I hadn’t seen her eat or drink since I arrived, but she took sudden interest in her cup, and averted her eyes from the direction of the Jedi at the table. I sensed both an internal surprise and a subtle aura of curiosity coming from Sabé as she did it – something specific about her feelings toward the Jedi that she did not reveal to us then, even in the precipitousness of her comments about the Order as a whole. I shifted weight again. The weapon seemed heavy at my side.

    Soon, it was apparent that Sabé and Cade had tired of the conversation, and they began to talk about moving on to other activities. Nhala was summoned back to the palace. Cade tried to convince Sabé to join him in search of battle footage pulled from the holonets and broadcast at one of the local arcades. I was certain he was more interested in battle footage than she was but I was equally certain she would follow him to find it. In truth, it was getting too late for some of the arcades, even in the more active Water District.

    Cade inserted a credit chip into the reader and shrugged at me again before following Sabé out the door to leave. I tried not to wonder where they would likely find themselves in the darkened, quiet city of Theed.

    Nhala pulled the sleeves past her wrists and checked her com again. She had little time before she was required to respond, and signaled for a speeder to bring her to the palace gate.

    She smiled in her way as she left, but turned back to the table briefly to ask, “A Master?”

    She must have meant the Jedi, but I had no way of knowing his rank. And I only said I would come soon for games with Ashera’ and Lilyyli if they invited.

    Once Nhala had left, I pulled my own hood up and readjusted the wristlets I wore for palace work. My com-link was still attached to the left wrist, but was dark as it should have been after serving a lengthened dayshift. I finally turned to look again for the Jedi near the door again, but he and the fleet-keeper were gone from the table. The astromech sat still and alone.

    Very few people were left at this point, and by that time the bot had changed musical disks from an upbeat group of ballads popular in all major worlds and available through the holonets to the more singular-sounding songs originating in Theed or other parts of Naboo. I had grown to love them in their way, but only after years of becoming accustomed to the disciplined creation of sound underlying each one. I admit, I found something comforting in them even in their unceasing strangeness to my ears. Perhaps it was their uniformity even between timespans and regions, or the way they spoke to me through the elusive disharmony belying an otherwise beautiful and strongly grounded resonance.

    I had just taken a last sip of the ardees that I had poured myself from the vial Sabé and Cade had left, when I saw someone approach the table.Glancing aside to see who it was, my eyes rested upon the Jedi knight who had previously sat near the door. He was standing before me at the table’s end, upright and with his arms folded. His face was now revealed, his entire cloak thrown behind him. He had a pleasant, casual look despite his hardened stance.

    “I don’t want to trouble you, m'Lady," he said. "But might I sit?” He spoke somewhat low and motioned across the table.

    I nodded slightly from under my own hood. He said nothing after sitting, but watched me and fingered the vial on the table before him.

    “Can I get you something, Master Jedi?” I asked, likely more out of habit than any other reason.

    “Oh, that’s all right. But I will have some of this.” He pointed. I requested a new cup from the service droid and when he had taken a few drinks, he put the cup down and leaned over the table towards me before asking:

    “In what system does your acquaintance originate? Her appearance is…well…striking so to speak.”

    It was not a statement of attraction to Nhala. It was rather a congenial and courteous way of asking about an unrecognized sentient species or race. He chose his words carefully and his voice was not without intonation, but it also had a somewhat flat, white quality common with Jedi warriors. The Jedi could always conceal their real intentions in speaking along with many other things, both confirmed and rumored, that they had the power to do.

    “She’s a Tilasa,” I answered. The Tilasa had no system.

    “I see,” he said.

    I expected the Jedi would be familiar with most minor groups in the galaxy, but Nhala’s was nomadic and insular, preferring to deal only with select planets. They were somewhat more than isolated, although their location was central to important transit routes. They practiced their own, peculiar religion and it was clear to me from Nhala that they did not easily understand even the most rudimentary aspects of Jedi practice.

    “In any case,” the knight continued, “You were quiet most of the evening. I’m glad you didn’t leave with any of your friends…if they can be called that. I couldn’t help but overhear some of what was said.”

    “Sabé and Cade,” I said. “They have little information about the true state of the Republic other than insulting jokes and unintelligent half-truths.”

    But when I looked at him, my complaints didn’t appear to have touched him much. The Jedi only took another drink and chuckled lightly.

    “Is that funny, Master Jedi?” I asked quietly.

    He looked up again.

    “Oh…no,” he responded, putting off his white tone in favor of a more compassionate one. “Not what you said. Only what hasn’t changed…and what has.”

    He smiled naturally at me. I noticed how light his eyes appeared even in the darkened space around us.

    He seemed an odd combination of jovial and serious, but I found myself bitterly adding, “I’m sure they have no feeling for the galaxy as it once was and no vision for what it might be. And,” I ended, “they know I was not born on Naboo.”

    I didn’t know why I had said it. I supposed it was because he was a Jedi and I hoped to find the understanding I knew was central to their belief system. I was surprised to find these words come so easily. For several months, I had been sensing something I could not put full words to. Something in the air that told me the Republic was changing, that foreboded more hardship than this current war, although it was also beginning to feel that the war might go on forever, stagnating until neither I nor Sabé nor Cade could stand to even hear it talked about. Meanwhile, no one could cope with the way the air felt under the presence of the fleet, although we all took orders and performed our duties as though nothing were different.

    “But if you were not born on Naboo, then where?” he asked.

    “Alderaan,” I told him.

    He mirrored my answer slightly before shaking his head. “I must apologize,” he said. “I ought to have also asked your name before asking other details.”

    “Katya.” I said. “Katya Starstar. And your own, Master Jedi?”

    “Kenobi,” he provided.

    Obi-wan Kenobi.

    It echoed in my mind without him saying the full name, but I could only place it within a swirling myriad of memories that contained vague, passing references to who he was. I nonetheless found myself looking away from him less, curious to match his face to any statement I could remember about him.

    He did not look down from me, but leaned back calmly before asking, “Do you know anything about accessing Naboo’s registries of federal seals?”

    “You mean chrono-seals?” I asked, shaking my head. They were outside my experience, and would have been above my clearance level in any case.

    He looked at me expectantly despite what I had just indicated. I was unsure what exactly he wanted.

    “The registries are circular,” I continued slowly. “I think it’s only possible to access them if you have a seal, and one that renews its code regularly. But you probably already know that. And if you had one, you would not have asked.”

    “And you m’lady,” the Jedi nodded at me and smiled, “did not ask why I want to access them.”

    I realized it was true – that I had not thought to ask why he wanted to access them, or why he did not gain the information he needed directly from the Senate. What he was proposing was treason, technically-speaking, but I was sure the Jedi did many things that were considered either licit or illicit, depending on how one viewed their role in the political system.

    “Why don’t you ask the Queen for access?” I said. “The royalty of Naboo are not unaccustomed to giving the Jedi whatever they need. The Queen’s an ally of the Jedi. Like all Nubian monarchs. They owe so much to your service.”

    “I’d rather the Queen not know I’ve accessed them, if possible,” was his simple answer. “The astromech can simulate reception of a seal’s code signal but I would need more than remote access to the computer. Your cloak makes it obvious you’ve come from the palace. I thought you might be returning.”

    “I was about to return home,” I said. “And if they were to find my code and knew the registry had been broken…I told you. I’m not Nubian.”

    The Jedi looked at me for a few moments as though contemplating something.

    “I can ask because you’re not…” he said.

    It was strange, the way he said it. And I began to feel oddly less certain about the Jedi. Images of my Lady and Lord Skywalker once again flashed through my mind. They were distinct thoughts – bringing up the impulsive passions his manner suggested along with his obvious Force abilities. But I considered them unrelated, and tried to keep from wondering.

    I could feel the Jedi's eyes on me, although he appeared unconcerned, as I considered what I thought about each option. There was an obvious sadness when I thought about the Jedi and all they were, along with the sadness I had over things I had sensed earlier in Sabé's only somewhat concealed way of speaking about them.

    “I can escort you to the gate now. Or I can take you through the lower levels, to a remote terminal for the astro-droid. But not until I've slept. Closer to morning.”

    It was the only offer I had.

    “Then I should need somewhere to wait until then,” he said.

    I removed my credit chip, nodding only to show that I understood the request. I pulled my hood lower over my forehead, and at the end of the tune carefully removed myself from the table and did not look back before entering the main canal street through a side exit.

    He followed me out of the restaurant and into a quiet alley. The final guests of some of the neighboring establishments were slowly trickling out. I began heading for the central plaza. It was not the most direct, but certainly the easiest and safest way, to get to my small apartment in Garden City near the Southern Water Rim.

    Neither I nor the Jedi said anything for some time. The astromech was not terribly lively, but continued to follow closely behind.

    We began passing through the main part of the centralized Water District. Each door we passed was lit with Nubian symbols of well-being, the variegated neon signs contrasting somewhat with the otherwise subdued darkness of the city around us.

    The borough was well-known among those on Naboo for its community of artisans that specialized in ritual body-painting and ceremonial costumes, both practices that extended beyond the current monarch into the local governing families and the heads of each region. Even local princesses outside of Theed and the families of regional governors continued to observe the custom. The capitol of Naboo was oddly progressive in this regard.

    While some signs in each successive group of plazas and connecting walkways announced the services of rising artists, the majority advertised the usual droid-assisted treatments for general customers provided at plasma-fueled well-springs. We saw no one come or go, although illumination of the doors suggested that the springs were open. In Theed, droids largely worked at night, whirring up and down the canal streets relatively quietly, while human activity was mainly restricted to daytime. It was an unusual separation, but one that arguably helped maintain Theed’s archaically humanistic pace.

    “Do you miss Alderaan?” the Jedi suddenly asked.

    I nodded.

    “The Nubians are a great people, but in a different way than I think they should be. They pride themselves on the ancientness of their culture and great past achievements but little has changed over time even where it should. And I miss the air on Alderaan. I miss the variety of plants in the mountains...”

    “Your insights do you credit,” the Jedi praised. “I have visited many worlds – most of them less times than I have visited Naboo. But each time I come I find small reminders of things I learned the first time I came.” His voice suggested a state of recollection.

    “The Naboo are very cultured and they have much to offer the galaxy, but they often fail to look to the future or to their deeper instincts. They find beauty in a certain type of ornate complexity. Unlike the people of Alderaan who accept simple beauty wherever it is found.”

    I glanced aside from under my hood. He was looking hard at me, as though he were searching for something.

    “In any case,” he continued, “Alderaanians have always been harbingers of peace. But if you feel that way, then I must ask why you came? And why you stay?” He asked the question in a friendly manner, much more warmly than whitely.

    “I came a long time ago. It seems anyway,” I said. “My father was part of Alderaan’s diplomatic mission to the Queen.” I did not elaborate. Although it would not have been unheard of for my father to move on to another mission and myself to stay behind, the matter was truthfully much more sensitive than that, and possibly part of the reason why Sabé and Cade seemed to show some disdain.

    “You?” I asked, deflecting attention. “You will have grown up at the Academy on Coruscant. But where were you born?”

    He laughed. “There. On Coruscant. To a large family, or so I was told. But except for a few very early memories, the Order is the only life I’ve known. I expect you will have been to Coruscant.”

    “Once,” I said. “I spent several months there by the galactic calendar. And I was summoned once or twice by the Senator.”

    He turned to me suddenly and slowed his steps.

    “The Senator?” he asked. “So you serve Padme then…”

    “Well, Senator Amidala, I should say,” he corrected.

    “Sometimes. I was her handmaiden,” I explained.

    Although I had grown up to just more than young girlhood on Alderaan, I had spent some time on Coruscant and then several years by their time on Criyyus, the cold desert planet in the system of Carissa. After coming to Naboo, it had been part of my father’s own service that I was trained as a handmaiden for Queen Amidala, meant to serve during her second term. The elected monarchs of Naboo were always extremely young, and it was considered important for them to have equally young companions to alleviate the stresses of sovereignty. Most were chosen from specific groups on Naboo – often in an attempt to strengthen the Queen’s ties where electoral results had been weakest. Others came from diplomatic families, officially or unofficially tasked with the weight of their peoples’ missions.

    Nhala, too, came from diplomatic background although she had served Queen Neyutnee. I sensed how her close-knit clan of siblings followed her work, everything they each did coordinated to synergize in specific ways and best represent the Tilasan cause.

    I chose to remain a palace attendant when Padme Amidala had served her terms, but the young Senator and I had always gotten along well, and I was often assigned to her service when she returned to Naboo in execution of her duties in the Galactic Senate.

    “And what about the item you conceal around your waist?” the Jedi asked without looking my direction.

    I was only somewhat surprised at the substance – but not the instinctive power – of the question. I tried very hard to hide that I carried something as valuable as it. An odd fear of reproach suddenly came over me, as though the Jedi Master might soon scold me for having one.

    “I recognized it for the shape under your cloak and the way you appeared aware of it more than anything,” he assured, nodding slightly in my direction. “I doubt the average citizen of Theed will notice that you carry something of such delicate craftsmanship. But then you must be connected to the Order, or Jedi methods of training.”

    “Many in my line were Jedi,” I said, emotionless. I did not tell him that there had been no Jedi in my family for many centuries, maybe even a millennium.

    Conversation lulled, as reluctant as I was to reveal anything. The electric colors of the writing on the doors we passed reminded me a little of Coruscant, giving the reality of Theed in its conservative stillness an atypically halcyon edge.

    Then he laughed again. “Your caution in telling me either its history, or your own, is perhaps suitable. Are you well-trained?” He asked. “I wonder how those are trained outside the Academy, who have an interest in our ways.”

    I am somewhat confident, but I wasn’t sure how much to confess. Techniques I had learned years earlier and only in simulated situations were unlikely to give me what I truly needed. And I had no desire to fight in any case. So I was not certain it counted for much anyway...

    “I’ve been taught more than might be expected, Master. Perhaps more than I ought.”

    “No,” he immediately said. “I have no expectations. And as for ought – that depends on what you use the training for. Were you ever brought before the Jedi for trials?”

    “I was never brought for consideration.” I shook my head. “And I don’t think it would have mattered to them if I had been. I don’t think my family would have let me go.”

    Starstar children were rare enough. And although membership in the Order was an honor to those with the proper qualities, it was not unheard of for students to be trained in the ways of the Force away from their order. There were also those who refused training even after passing the initial trials.

    “Were you trained in other ways?” he asked. “Your mind for example?”

    “I’ve been trained in many ways and many philosophies,” I answered honestly. “Some of them Jedi.”

    We crossed a bridge over the main canal and turned onto a smaller street that served as entrance into Garden City from the Basin. The air grew briefly warmer as we passed the open door of a plasma venting station.

    "Actually, Master Jedi,” I confessed. “I think something’s wrong with it. It doesn’t work. And I don’t know how to fix it. I don’t remember being taught that.”

    Perhaps it was curious then that I still carried it. But he did not respond on that point.

    He only appeared to be thinking as we walked, and then continued.

    “I seem to remember after some thought, that some of the holographic star charts came from the collection of a Starstar. I believe there may be information in the Archives about them. But there are no Starstars in the Order that I’m aware of and I’ve not heard the name in connection with a person. Well, not anyone living anyway. It’s curious I’ve not seen you or heard the name if you serve the Senator. And as for your family…even if they were Jedi, I don’t know anything about them.”

    “It hardly matters now,” I said. I knew he watched me with something like contemplation, but I didn't look at him.

    The Starstars, specifically my own family as descendants, own a very old home on the second level of Crevasse City. As I remembered, the house sat just at the rounding point of a bend in the canyon, its southernmost room having views in both directions. On one side, the rest of the house ran along the main canyon wall to overlook the first and oldest shield-station. A small circular lookout point connected by a terrace on the other side, branching to a long-blocked path that had once sloped gently up the canyon wall to the public, xeriscaped gardens surrounding the vaporators on top of the city.

    I had last spent summer in the canyon between assignments on Coruscant and Criyyus. It was a beautiful place with simple furnishings, soft colors and fabrics, and some of the most elegant holograms in the core worlds. Each room faded into darkness at the end of day under a hologram selected specifically for it - a mindful match for the space, contours and purpose of the room. They all were shadows of particularly resplendent systems: the young white sun of Carissa, the old yellow of Bespin, the binary system of Tatooine on the Outer Rim. I loved the home in Crevasse. But it was the second Starstar home in Aldera that I had mainly grown up in, a small group of high-rise chambers with views of the grassland, and near to the old university.

    I also knew the Starstars had been some of the earliest travelers among the galaxy. They were among the first to visit other planets and make peace with their inhabitants, and one of the first families to settle on Alderaan, although it was unknown in what core system they had originated.

    But tracking stars – that was their main love from generation to generation! They took to observing the lives of stars, watching carefully as they were born in Nebulae and as they died in great Novas -- whole planetary systems, galactic sectors both violent and calm, growing and changing. What others found tediously slow and considered peripheral to the course of their lives, as inevitable and unnoticed as the march of time, the Starstars carefully tracked and charted. No other family or people tracked the lives of stars like the Starstars had in times past.

    They offered many of their charts and stellar histories to the Jedi and the Republic in turn, to be held in Archives for public use. We counted many families among our friends and allies, even now on Alderaan. But the Starstars were no longer an important family themselves, and I rarely met members of my original family anymore. It was assumed, but not proven, that flare exposure had made Starstar descendants few. Perhaps there were some Starstars elsewhere in the galaxy. I didn't know. Whatever few there were left walked hidden in society, with little notoriety or importance.

    In short, the essence of the Starstars existed in one of two unlikely places. First, as ghosts and shadows in the innumerable territories that made up the galactic organism. And second, in a Nubian palace attendant – an expatriate from the Core worlds who missed the Alderaanian mountain snow and longed for the ease of being home, but for reasons unknown even to herself pretended to prefer the garishness of Theed. Serving the Nubians well even after a diplomatic scandal and throughout the ongoing war, she clutched what little satisfaction she could and always kept close the ancient weapon of a clearly dying belief system.

    This was all that the family of Starstar now was.
    Last edited by Viridian-Maiden, Jan 6, 2014
    Findswoman and AzureAngel2 like this.
  7. windu4 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 15, 2008
    star 4
    Would you terribly mind tagging me in this? I really love the story so far!
    AzureAngel2 and Viridian-Maiden like this.
  8. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 31, 2004
    star 7
    Hi, very glad to see an update. Nice details on Katya and her insights are very candid. Love the tone with Obi-Wan; it's very natural and interested as it would be with someone you just met. There doesn't feel like anything rushed or forced between them. =D= I like the loyalty Katya has for Amidala and the mystery surrounding her family, i.e., that they pretty much chose to be in the background. [face_thinking]
    AzureAngel2 and Viridian-Maiden like this.
  9. Viridian-Maiden Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Aug 14, 2013
    star 1
    Done. Thanks for reading!

    Double thanks for the comments Nyota!
    Findswoman and AzureAngel2 like this.
  10. serendipityaey Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 24, 2004
    star 4
    Very interesting, deep history. Looking forward to seeing them become closer.
  11. Viridian-Maiden Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Aug 14, 2013
    star 1
    Of Sense (pt. 1)

    My rooms were reached through a modest courtyard filled with soil tracks - plasmic glass boxes lacing through a shallow gallery underneath a row of quiet and abstracted apartments. Herbs I had brought from Alderaan once filled my share of the soil, but they could not survive without a more differentiated weather cycle to trigger reproduction and they were dying.

    The apartment itself was small, with the classical exterior of the canal buildings of Theed but interior features lifted from Aldera; the windows were large around the side but not the front, open and seamless to the loft, which was accessible by a narrow stairway along the main glass wall. The loft was relatively empty, containing very little except a galley-style wardrobe closet and the simple bed where I slept.

    Downstairs, its single main room was equipped with a stationary kitchen server, a small table, and a conversation round from which one could see over the back terrace towards the Royal Library tower. There was only one other passageway in the apartment and it was even smaller, hidden behind the wall in the main room, running opposite the house’s control-systems to something like a servant’s bunk. Or maybe it was meant for children. I didn’t know; I had neither so there was no need for it.

    The courtyard was empty as it usually was, even in the daytime and after asking – on behalf of the droid – if there was a power connector in the courtyard the Jedi left the astromech on its own without comment. Other than one or two short blips of inquiry, the docile creation made no sound in protest.

    The door had a magnetic lock, and I engaged it as soon as the Jedi had entered behind me before lowering my hood and beckoning him to sit in the conversation round. I lit the other neuro-lamp, keeping the glass windows near the conversation circle closed although the night was cool enough for a breeze.

    Trying to appear graceful as I excused myself to what privacy I could in the intimacy of the space, I removed myself up the stairs to the loft, where I stripped off my palace cloak and then, starting to unhook the saber hilt from my side as usual, suddenly decided against it.

    The Jedi had already called me out for carrying it, and while I didn’t really fear him, thoughts of Skywalker ran through my mind again and that made me want to keep it with me.

    I couldn’t get it out of my mind, but Skywalker seemed a non-sensical mirror for the cipher of shivers that paralyzed me then. I found myself breathing for a moment in the loft room, trying to let feelings both of suspicion and awkwardness pass into oblivion before returning to attend to my guest. Whatever my apparent apprehensions…their cause was nebulous.

    It was late enough when we’d arrived and by the time I padded down stairs to the main floor again, the daytime grid had powered down and the house was quiet.

    The room was darker than it should have been, but the reason for that was obvious when I looked for the Jedi since Master Kenobi had opened the glass door out to the balcony. Rather than surveying the view, however, he knelt in front of the portal focused on a pattern of complex projections that emanated from the small com onto the terrace floor.

    “Master Jedi?” I asked, trying not disturb whatever was running through his mind. “I have neighbors.”

    I supposed he should have known as much, but he was obviously unconcerned about anyone else who might be spying on what I supposed to be a very particular map.

    “Not a map,” he answered when I asked. “More like a schematic. Several things I’ve been mulling over. The patterns of seal issuance among Federation officials…there’s something odd about them.”

    “That’s a neuro-lamp, Master Jedi,” I reminded him. “I didn’t suppose anyone needed to know I’ve a Jedi as my companion tonight.”

    I realized too late the way it came out. The failure was clear by the way he jerked to look at me – the fact that he had caught my slip sensible through the odd involuntariness of the act.

    “I didn’t think you’d want that…” I tried to redeem myself. “And I expected you’d want to rest soon anyway.”

    I was sure it hadn’t worked from the way the Jedi’s attention shifted.

    He stood and flipped off the schematic.

    “I am tired,” he said. “But rest comes in many forms – both in sleep as well as the pleasure of gracious company.”

    I placed one hand in the pocket of my gown, feeling instinctively for the chain trailing the saber hilt from my waist.

    “Proverbial…but true, “ I confessed.

    I felt confused about just how I’d done it but I felt myself slipping into a mistakenly-created, but obvious undercurrent.

    I was unaccustomed to making verbal errors, and that itself was odd. But odder still was the way the Jedi seemed to be acting ungracious about this one. He said little, but I knew his internal mind raced – for good or bad – over the suggestion that had just been said. I wondered if he really did want something…

    I saw the warrior glance fleetingly towards the hilt I was fingering but still subtly trying to hide. I was flustered and blushing.

    “I’ll set breakfast,” I either said or thought – I wasn’t sure which – and turned back into the main room in flight. Master Kenobi followed without a word, shutting the window as he came back towards the circle. The room became instantly slightly brighter, the toned down light from the holo in the center of the room augmented by the beams of my neurolamp.

    I moved for the kitchen droid to set it for an early breakfast, while the Jedi sat in the conversation round. When I returned to the circle myself, the awkward moment had thankfully appeared to pass.

    He smiled slightly as I sat.

    “Tell me more about the schematics,” I asked.

    “Mm…it’s the pattern of seal issuance among Federation officials,” he answered. “There’s something odd about them.”

    There was an obvious reason I could think of for that.

    “It’s the war. It skews everything,” I said. I partly thought about my own self when I said it.

    The Jedi nodded and sat back in the round, settling in as though to converse.

    “Yes, but the patterns have been irregular long before that. Our trawlers are long-term scavengers. They’re designed not to act rashly. It was Valorum who initially alerted the Order; it was only weeks ago that the bot came back. I’ve been studying the data ever since.”

    I didn’t ask what he thought about that.

    “More about you,” the Jedi turned attention again. “You live alone. And your family...returned without you?”

    The truth was much more sensitive than that. He had been implicated in a plan to overthrow Queen Jamilia some months before the popular vote removed her from office. They had been Republican Loyalists – the ones who asked him to get involved - concerned with the Queen’s more-than-rumored Separatist sympathies. Even now, I wasn’t certain if he had truly agreed to the Loyalists plot, but the action would have violated the second Treaty of Malistair despite its cause. This, and the diplomatic nature of the crime, made the allegations against him a matter for federation trial. Wartime fervor meant the courts were not lenient, and the political breakdown of the judiciary made an appeal near impossible.

    “The courts are corrupt,” Master Kenobi said when I’d finished. “That’s no secret.”

    “The courts might be corrupt…” I replied. “But he was guilty. I saw them come and go. They were Loyalists, but they did want an overthrow. And he was stupid. Because for him it was a matter of diplomatic law, for the federal courts. They didn’t get the same treatment. They were all tried here. And everyone knows they were pardoned by Neyutnee, even if it was done privately.”

    He was trying to soothe me over what couldn’t be undone. But it didn’t matter anyway. I was unconcerned about that. It had been Amidala who had the compassion to ignored the diplomatic scandal that might otherwise have ruined any chance of public success. I almost never thought about it and no one would bother me.

    The Jedi stood when I did. I was about to show him to the small bunk, sure this conversation could go nowhere else I possibly wanted.

    As I moved to switch off the holo and dim the power of the neurolamp, I suddenly felt the Jedi move past.

    I was caught up on one side, the warrior tightly grasping the chain linking my waist to the saber at the other end.

    “You will allow me, milady?” he said, looking into my eyes at least once but not so much asking. I nodded and stepped closer so he could take hold of the saber more fully from my waist. He took it in hand, and appearing to observe for signs of reaction, he methodically unfastened the weapon from its place at my side.

    He fingered its hilt comfortably for a moment, and then drew it to let its silvery-green light illuminate the space around us. Its core had a more dulcet drone than modern synth-crystals, but like all sabers of every kind became highly dissonant when it came into contact with other cores. The warrior gave it a few flicks of the wrist, then withdrew the blade and the silvery-green light once again disappeared.

    He turned to me, but did not hand it back.

    “I see nothing wrong,” he said.

    The Jedi let the saber hang loosely at his side while he awaited my response. It seemed to me more natural in his hand than my own, but he held it in a curious way – comfortable but cautious – less concerned with damaging its physical form than seeming to show respect for the fact that it was his for but a brief moment.

    I felt exposed, certain that he was searching something.

    “It doesn’t feel right,” I answered. “I don’t know why, but something seems off.”

    His gaze wasn’t in any way soft, focused fully on me rather than the weapon in hand. He did not smile.

    “Maybe it’s just me,” I shrugged and looked away.

    “But Katya…” he said, shaking his head. “The connection is good.”

    He addressed me informally, but any feeling I had about that was overcome entirely by the way he emphasized every word in the sentence. The. Connection. Is. Good…as though each particle carried equal weight in conveying extreme confidence in the message.

    “I wish you told me why you were here,” I said.

    He laughed wholeheartedly.

    “But I did.”

    “You said you need to access the seal registry. But that isn’t everything, and your voice tells me little,” I whispered. “Your tone gets cold, and then it’s hot…”

    I bit my lip.

    He felt very close to me then.
    Last edited by Viridian-Maiden, May 17, 2016
  12. Viridian-Maiden Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Aug 14, 2013
    star 1
    (User error/double post deleted.)
    Last edited by Viridian-Maiden, May 16, 2016
  13. AzureAngel2 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 14, 2005
    star 6
    Another intriguing fic from you! Myths, politics, love interests, all perfectly entangled like the threads of a tapestry. I even had put on Loreena McKennitt songs while reading it. [face_love]
    Viridian-Maiden likes this.
  14. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 31, 2004
    star 7
    [face_dancing] Great emotive feels here between these two, what is spoken and not. @};- I love how Katya has a sense of depth of history and perceptiveness and I have a feeling Kenobi wants to explore both LOL ;)
    Viridian-Maiden likes this.
  15. Findswoman Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 27, 2014
    star 5
    Good to see you back and to see this continuing. This is a densely packed story you've got here: there's a good mix of Galactic political intrigue (what's behind Obi's interest in federal seal issuance, of all things?), the complexities of Naboo court life, Katya's own complicated relationship with the Force and Force training, her family history and Alderaanian origins, and in which charting the stars plays such an paramount role (and that seems like a particulalry significant point somehow, especially if they were the ones who made the Jedi Temple charts).

    And to add to things, there's this Jedi Knight who comes smack dab into the middle of it all and starts looking at strange, complex projections of said federal seals right there on our heroine's balcony. :p As if that weren't enough, he then proceeds to determine that Katya's lightsaber actually works perfectly fine! So what, then, is causing it to feel "off" to Katya? Will we find out? What is he there for? Deep waters, indeed—keep it coming, and don't be a stranger! :cool:
    Last edited by Findswoman, May 17, 2016
  16. Chyntuck Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 11, 2014
    star 5
    Everything Findswoman said ^^^ Plus, I'm very, very happy to see this story back! I've always been very curious about Katya, and the many layers of the plot as we get to see them here makes me even more curious. Dare I ask for more in the not-too-distant future?

    Viridian-Maiden and Findswoman like this.
Moderators: Briannakin, mavjade