Beyond "The Shadow of Fate" (SJRS Challenge: Episode VII) Updated 12 December

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by JadeLotus, Jun 9, 2014.

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

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    Aug 31, 2004
    star 6
    I absolutely loved!!!!!!! loved!!!!!!! the flashback! These have been wonderful as to the moment selected and the length is even just-right. =D= This was exquisitely touching. @};- :)

    :eek: The scene with Han -- yikes, a nail-biter that was. I loved him snarking off to the political types. :cool:

    Mysterious meeting with Fin there for Ben, but at least we have a couple of names to go by as adversaries.

    Do like Master Eren and her commentary on L/M. [face_laugh] She's probably right on the mark about Micah's ... connection to the Temple. [face_mischief]
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  2. ThreadSketch Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 22, 2013
    star 3
    I know this is a tiny detail, but I loved the name of Han's Star Destroyer. Too perfect. :D[face_laugh]

    (Now, who would win in a fight, Simple Tricks or Errant Venture? Hehehe.)

    Great pacing, lovely details and wonderful story overall. Two thumbs way up!
    Last edited by ThreadSketch, Jul 16, 2014
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  3. taramidala Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 18, 1999
    star 4
    I want to know if there's a sister ship called Nonsense. ;)
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  4. ThreadSketch Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 22, 2013
    star 3
    Duuuuuuuuuuuuude. For reals. [face_rofl]
    JadeLotus likes this.
  5. JadeLotus Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 27, 2005
    star 4
    Oh my god, I didn't even think of that!!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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  6. Gemma Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 25, 2013
    star 3
    I adored the flashback of Leia's wedding. I know that SW has never done a flashback - but that's one I would love to see onscreen - alot!!

    Great update!
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  7. Jedi_Lover Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Nov 1, 2004
    star 5
    Awesome story! I am way behind in my reading, but I am almost caught up with this one!
    JadeLotus likes this.
  8. Revanfan1 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jun 3, 2013
    star 5
    Sweet! I'm loving your use of flashbacks–and Han's broken leg! :p
    JadeLotus likes this.
  9. JadeLotus Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 27, 2005
    star 4
    @ginchy - Thanks gal, and I appreciate your help with this chapter. I'm hoping the flashbacks provide some context on the present action, although I do love writing my own EU history - How It Should Have Happened! I actually think that Ben probably does look a bit like Luke (well I think Domhnall Gleeson looks like Mark Hamill, anyway), but that Fin's just being a wee bit manipulative. LOL @ the flashback - you know I might have to write some stand-alone fics set in this universe, or convince you to write some ginchy-shine! ;)

    @taramidala - Aww, thanks! I find Leia very hard to write, but thought that moment would be pretty emotional for her. I think she'd think about Bail and Breha a lot.

    @Nyota's Heart - Thank you! The flashbacks are threatening to run away from me a bit since I need to fit in the current action as well, so glad to hear they are about the right length! Eren knows what's what :p although I'm sure Luke and Mara thought they were being very sneaky.

    @ThreadSketch - Thanks! I think Han's Star Destroyer could go toe to toe with any ship in the fleet.

    @taramidala - I could just imagine how much the crew could love working on it! "This is the commander of the *long suffering sigh* Nonsense. Please identify yourselves. Yes, that's right, Nonsense. I didn't name it, okay? Stop laughing." I can't believe I didn't think of it - it's going in!

    @Gemma - Thank you! I know there is unlikely to be flashbacks in the real episode 7, but I enjoy writing them and hope they help explain how things are different in this universe.

    @Jedi_Lover - Thank you! :D

    @Revanfan1 - Thanks! I thought it would be funny to write in the broken leg.
  10. Kahara Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 3, 2001
    star 3
    Leia's reflections on Alderaanian customs in the flashback were amazing, especially when Luke happened to stand in for the role of her missing mother -- by kindness, by accident, and just being there for her when she needed to have the presence of family most.

    “Ah.” Luke broke away, and caught sight of the circlet on the nearby table. He picked it up and held it up towards her. “May I?” he asked, and Leia felt her heart constrict – Luke could not know the significance of the act that was intended to be performed by a bride’s mother.

    I loved the description of why Artoo never told them before because "his mechanical brain held a thousand times the information their inferior organic ones did and he couldn’t be expected to know what humans wanted to be told, since it was all ones and zeros to him." [face_laugh]

    Other fun things: Han's speech (wow, such diplomacy :p), Eren's history with the Skywalkers, more hints about whoever Ben's holding a torch for, and the meeting with Fin. Creepy guy, though he seems to have been raised in such a bubble that I suspect that his ominous Daddy is the one to really watch out for. [face_worried]

    Still impressed at the creative use of the minor details we have learned. Even the broken leg has made an appearance. ;)
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  11. JadeLotus Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 27, 2005
    star 4
    @Kahara - Thank you! I wanted Luke to be there for Leia in that moment but not have Leia forget her past. Yeah, Han's not the best diplomat - I think he'd be a good General, but just doesn't enjoy the politicking. I've tried to include as much of what we know about the new movies into the fic - watch out for the rest of the known cast popping up in the next few chapters.

    Ben's mystery lady will be revealed next as well :)
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  12. taramidala Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 18, 1999
    star 4
    YAY! (I think I know who she is... ;) :D )
  13. JadeLotus Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 27, 2005
    star 4
    @taramidala - I did kind of give it away in the character list on A03 :p



    Thanks to @ginchy for her amazing assistance

    Tags: @Gemma




    A/N: I’ve decided to change the dating system from BBY/ABY, since I think that system doesn’t make much sense and the fic isn’t beholden to the EU. The dates used from here on out will be IE (Imperial Era) which is from 19 BBY- 5 ABY and NRE (New Republic Era) which is from 6 ABY-34 ABY and onwards, which is the present timeframe. The previous chapters will also be amended to use the new system.

    Since I’m sure that’s as clear as mud, to clarify, the flashback in this chapter is the beginning of 1 NRE (as Coruscant New Year/Han and Leia’s wedding was the last chapter), which is 6 ABY and 2 years after ROTJ. The “present” time is 29 NRE which is 34 ABY and 30 years after ROTJ.

    _____________________________________________________________



    1 NRE

    Everything hurt. That was Luke’s first thought as he pulled himself into consciousness, his limbs aching and a severe pounding in his head. With great difficulty he opened his heavy eyes to a dim and unremarkable room.

    He remembered coming out of hyperspace above the planet Myrkr. He’d been intrigued by the world for some time, ever since he’d passed by it on a hyperspace jump and felt a disturbance in the Force. Not one that he had felt before, conveying darkness or death – it had been the absence of the Force on the planet. He didn’t want to blunder into a dangerous situation where there was a potential block to his Jedi powers, so had waited to make the trip.

    It was a forest world with few human settlements, but Luke hadn’t been able find much more information on the New Republic database. He’d been in contact with Lando Calrissian, who had told him that a particularly clever smuggler named Talon Karrde was known to have a base there.

    Luke had surveyed the planet’s surface from his X-Wing and identified a group of strongly fortified buildings at the base of the forest he assumed to be garrisoned by Karrde and his operatives. The smuggler would probably be happy to share information with Luke –for a price. Preferring information of the free kind and choosing first to rely on his own investigational skills, Luke had headed towards the largest settlement, Hyllyard City.

    But then his memory got fuzzy. First he’d felt the Force slip away from him, and then his instruments had failed. His X-Wing had plummeted towards the forest, and the last thing he heard was Artoo’s frantic wailing as everything went dark.

    But someone must have found him. Probably, Luke considered, whoever had shot him down.
    “So, you’re awake.” A crisp female voice cut through his thoughts, and Luke turned his head to see a young woman seated in the room’s only chair. Even in the dim light he could see that she was about his own age, with alabaster skin and flaming red hair. She looked at him with sharp green eyes that seemed even more deadly than the blaster she had pointed at him.

    Gingerly, Luke sat up and swung his legs over the sleeping pallet. The woman seemed a bit jumpy, and brandished her blaster at him.

    “Don’t try anything, Skywalker,” she said dangerously. Luke noticed that she spoke with a somewhat tempered Coruscanti accent – unusual for a smuggler - and filed the information away. He also knew that feigning naiveté often disarmed those intent on killing him and put his head in his hands, as if he was in pain. It was only half for her benefit.

    “I don’t know where I am, my head is killing me and there’s a blaster pointed at my chest,” Luke said genially and looked back up at the woman before him with what he hoped was a disarming smile. “What do you think I’m going to try?”

    The woman smirked at him. “Not to mention that you can’t use the Force.”

    Luke grimaced. That was the first thing he’d felt, but had hoped to bluff his way around the situation until he knew what was causing the block.

    “And why is that?” he asked, opting for the direct approach.

    “So the Jedi is not all-knowing,” she said and appraised him slowly, her gaze dropping to his boots and then moved slowly back up to his face as if assessing him for possible weaknesses. “You’re shorter than I expected.”

    Luke shrugged. “I get that a lot,” he admitted. “Guess everyone looks bigger on the holonet, huh?”

    But the woman refused to be drawn into conversation and went back to staring at him with barely-concealed abhorrence.

    “So I’m assuming I’m presently the guest of Talon Karrde,” Luke tried again, since it was the most logical assumption. “What have I done to him to deserve such fine treatment?” Briefly, his thoughts turned to Artoo, and hoped that the little droid was okay.

    “I’m not here to supply you with information, Jedi,” she almost spat at him.

    “I’m not permitted to know the name of my jailor?” he asked with a smile. It was not returned. “You know who I am,” he pointed out, growing uneasy about her recalcitrance.

    She gave him a long look, and Luke saw nothing but hatred in her eyes. “I’m Mara Jade,” she told him finally, fingering the handle of her blaster. Then she visibly steeled herself, leaning forward on her chair as if in anticipation. “I’m also the woman who is going to kill you.”

    ___________________________________________________________________________________

    29 NRE

    Micah Skywalker walked swiftly through the entrance of the Cracken-Madine Intelligence Centre, headquarters of New Republic Intelligence. The complex was massive, over a hundred stories high and taking up an entire city block. It had been practically home for Micah for three years, and he knew his way around, nodding occasionally to people he knew. However today he was headed towards the military wing of the complex, which he was not as familiar with as the Intelligence wing.

    An insistent buzzing sounded from his pocket, and Micah withdrew the device and looked at the call ID. He switched it on, knowing that only one person would contact him on that frequency.

    “Hey, Shada,” he answered, keeping his pace down the gleaming corridors.

    “Micah.” The low, even voice of Shada D’ukal flowed through the commlink. “Had enough of a vacation?”

    “I wouldn’t exactly call one day a vacation,” Micah commented.

    “Well, you’ll have to now,” Shada told him with businesslike efficiency. “Karrde needs you back on Rodan.”

    “Right now?”

    “Unless you have any other pressing engagements,” Shada responded dryly.

    “Well, actually…my father asked me to take care of something,” Micah explained. “He left this morning and didn’t get time.”

    “Well, as soon as you’ve finished that, then.” Shada was Karrde’s second in command, and an order from her carried as much weight as one from the man himself.

    Still, Micah was reluctant to leave his mother so soon. He’d gone to the family apartment after leaving the spaceport, but found his mother had locked herself in her room and no amount of banging on the door had forced her to emerge.

    “If you’re worried about your mother, tell her to comm me,” Shada said, guessing the reason for his hesitation.

    Micah managed to smile. “If she’s going to be mad about it, I’d be worrying about you, not her.”

    “Hmmph.” He could almost hear Shada’s smile through the comm. “You should know I taught her half of her moves.”

    “Yeah, but Dad taught her the other half,” Micah grinned. “My credits are still on her.” He cleared his throat. “Don’t call her,” he added seriously. “I’ll be back on Rodan tomorrow.”

    “Copy that,” Shada acknowledged and hung up.

    Micah pocketed the comm just as he walked through the entrance to the East Wing of the complex and approached the reception desk.

    “Hi.” Micah greeted the young female Togruta seated there with a charming smile, leaning against the desk casually. “I’d like to see Admiral Antilles, please.”

    The young woman gave him an are-you-kidding-me stare. “The Admiral isn’t available.”

    “No, it’s alright, I know him,” Micah said smoothly, forgetting that he wasn’t as well known by the military staff. “I’m-”

    “Micah Skywalker,” a clear female voice cut him off, and Micah looked up to see a woman only a few years older than himself striding down the corridor. She was wearing a stylishly-cut New Republic uniform adorned with the insignia of both NRI and Rogue Squadron. Her shoulder-length blonde hair bounced slightly as she walked and when she stopped at the desk she gave him a wry smile. “Fancy seeing you here.”

    “Hey, Syal,” Micah greeted her, straightening to his full height, confidence flagging slightly. “Didn’t know you were back on Coruscant.” Last he’d heard Syal Antilles was undercover on Dantooine. And working for Karrde usually meant access to the best information in the business – she must have returned very recently.

    Syal tucked a loose strand of blonde hair behind her ear. “I go where I have to.”

    Things weren’t exactly friendly between the two of them. Syal had been his close friend and mentor when he’d joined New Republic Intelligence, and had taken it personally when Micah had decided to leave eighteen months earlier for Karrde’s organisation. And after what had happened between her and Ben…

    Micah wasn’t his brother’s biggest fan – most of the time he thought Ben was a stuck-up prat. It wasn’t easy to live in the shadow of Ben Skywalker; first of the new generation of Jedi, heir presumptive to running the Order and all-around perfection-in-boots. But he was still family, and he didn’t like to see any of his family hurt.

    Ben and Syal had grown up together, the first two children born to the heroes of the Rebellion. And as it so often does, childhood friendship turned to adolescent experimentation, which soon turned to love. That was, until about a year ago. Micah didn’t know exactly what had happened between Syal and his brother, but it had been ugly.

    “I thought you’d be with your family today, Micah,” Syal told him. “I heard your father was back.”

    “He was,” Micah confirmed. “Left again this morning.”

    “Such is life,” Syal said with a shrug. “So how is the family?” she asked with feigned nonchalance.

    “How’s Ben you mean?” Micah asked, giving her a knowing look and then sighing heavily. “I really wouldn’t know, I haven’t seen him in months,” he said to Syal’s obvious disappointment. “I’m sure he’s fine – he always is.”

    Syal bit her lip and looked as if she was about to ask follow up questions, but Micah certainly didn’t want to get drawn into that black hole. “How’s the Admiral?” he asked to divert the topic. Even though he’d known Uncle Wedge since he was a boy, everyone called him “The Admiral,” if only because he hated the nickname so much.

    Syal smiled. “He’s good,” she told him. “He’ll be sorry he missed Uncle Luke, though.”

    “Well, you know,” Micah shrugged. “Jedi business trumps everything else,” he added somewhat bitterly.

    “You don’t have to tell me that,” Syal added with a sudden edge to her voice.

    Micah glanced back at the receptionist, who was listening to their conversation intently. He turned away from the desk and lowered his voice. “Dad asked me to look into those pirates he shot down,” he explained, changing the subject. “Since he couldn’t do it himself.”

    “I was just going to talk to them myself, actually,” Syal said, brightening as she took a datapad the receptionist offered her. “You can tag along, if you like.”

    “Thanks,” he said with genuine gratitude as he followed her down the hallway. She could have refused him, could have said he’d chosen the private sector and so no longer had any standing to interrogate NR prisoners, but had instead shown him generosity. It was her way – quick to anger, but also quick to forgive. Except, Micah mused, when it came to his brother.

    They soon reached the detention blocks, and Syal lead him to an interrogation cell, where the two detainees were waiting behind two-way transparisteel. The boy was fair skinned with close-cropped brown hair, while the girl was dark with wild black hair. Both were humanoid, but had markings and protruding bones on their faces and arms which identified them as Freesi. Neither looked older than eighteen.

    “They’re just kids!” Micah exclaimed.

    Syal smirked at him. “Because you’re so ancient.”

    Micah glowered at her as he pushed through the door to the interview room, Syal following swiftly behind. The two young prisoners looked up and gave them identical blank looks.

    “I’m Commander Antilles,” Syal told them brusquely and sat down at the table across from them. “This is Lieutenant Skywalker.” Syal glanced at him, belatedly realizing that she had referred to him by his military rank, rather than as the more appropriate title of ‘Citizen’. Micah ignored the slip, leaning back casually against the wall and throwing them a lazy salute.

    “What are your names?” Syal asked, turning back to the pair.

    “We don’t talk to the fuzz,” the boy said petulantly.

    “So you told the guards, and we’ve all very impressed by your fortitude,” Syal said disdainfully, studying the file on her datapad before looking back up at them. “I’m going to keep asking, so you might as well tell us.”

    The pair were silent for a few moments, but Syal held her gaze. Micah had been on the receiving end of that stare several times and knew how disconcerting it could be. Finally, the girl shrugged. “I’m Toula.”

    The boy grunted. “Whit.”

    Micah raised his eyebrows. “Whit?” The boy grunted again, and Micah chuckled. “It’s apt,” he said sarcastically.

    “What were you trying to do yesterday, Toula?” Syal asked, wisely focusing her attention on the girl. “Surely you must have known you would never get through.”

    Toula looked up, and there was defiance in her eyes. “We did what she told us to do.”

    “Who’s she?” Syal pressed, but Toula shook her head. “Whoever she is, she set you up to get caught. You accomplished nothing.”

    “Says you,” Whit spat at them.

    Micah reached out through the Force to see if he could detect their motives. Although he did not want to be a Jedi, he appreciated that the Force was a tool he could draw on, just as he could his intellect or strength or blaster. He could feel that the girl was calm and confident, but that the boy was agitated and tense. Micah honed in to try and identify the reason, other than being interrogated of course, and noticed that the boy kept scratching a red spot on his arm.

    “Did you hurt yourself?” Micah asked out of suspicion rather than concern. Whit’s gaze flicked up, and immediately Micah’s danger sense flared. But before he could react, Toula launched herself across the table at Syal, and the two women tumbled to the floor. Micah reached out through the Force to halt Whit’s actions, but it was too late. Blood blossomed under his nails as Whit located his quarry – a small metallic disc, which he pressed together between a thumb and forefinger and disappeared into thin air.

    Syal and Toula tussled on the floor, and Micah went to help her, pulling the younger woman to her feet. But Toula twisted in his arms and punched him in the stomach, the extra bones in her hand connecting painfully with his flesh and knocking him back.

    The general alert overhead sounded, and Syal was on her feet, locking Toula in her grip. “Go,” she grunted. “The other one could be out there.”

    Micah nodded and ran out of the interrogation room, yelling at the guards outside to go in and assist Syal. When he reached the command centre of the detention block, Micah saw that Whit had attacked the computer database. He had acquired a blaster and was currently shooting at the officers and guards trying to apprehend him. The trouble was, the kid was agile, bouncing around the room, balancing on the consoles, leaping between railings and generally making himself a difficult target. Whenever one of the guards tried to tackle him, he pressed the metal disc again and disappeared, re-appearing in a different spot in the room.

    “He’s got a teleporter!” Micah yelled to the others, drawing his own blaster and firing. It missed Whit by centimeters as he jumped out of the way and back to the computer console, waving his free hand over the system. The Freesi were skilled at mechanical manipulation, and knew he couldn’t let the boy do whatever he had obviously let himself be captured to do. Calling upon his connection to the Force, Micah raised his blaster and fired.

    This time the shot connected, burning into Whit’s forearm and causing the boy to tumble backwards to the floor. Micah quickly aimed for the other hand which held the teleporter, but was a split-second too late as Whit disappeared into thin air. The NR officers rushed back to the console to check the damage when an ear-spitting mechanical wail resounded through the room.

    “Syal,” Micah breathed, and ran back down the corridor to the interrogation room. But he was too late again, and only saw Syal and four other guards on the floor holding their heads. “Are you alright?” Micah asked, kneeling down and taking Syal by the shoulder.

    “Fine,” Syal brushed him off and shook her head. “Some kind of noise blast – knocked us out.”

    Micah looked around the room – there was no sign on the pirate pair. He also noticed that Syal’s datapad was missing, and ran his hands through his hair in frustration.

    “Shavit.”

    ______________________________________________________________________


    The office of the Chancellor of the New Republic was not as grand as it had been in the days of the Old. When Mon Mothma had been elected as the first NR Chancellor, she had consented to use the suite in the historic Executive Building, but had replaced the garish sculptures and furnishings with a simpler and more elegant design. When Leia had been elected she had conceptually followed her predecessor, although replacing the gleaming white colour scheme with Alderaanian blues and hanging a large painting of the twin suns of Tatooine, a gift from Luke, on the wall.

    For Leia it was a pleasant and comforting place to work, unless of course she was being visited by the Senator for Kuat, Trax Avarice. Thirty years her senior, he had been a force to be reckoned with in the Old Senate, and Leia had engaged in vigorous debates with him when she was still a teenager. Back then, she had hidden her fear with false bravado, but now she had no reason to feign a cool demeanor.

    “I am to understand that your brother, Jedi Master Skywalker, has returned to Coruscant,” Avarice was saying.

    “Returned, and left again,” Leia told him, careful not to betray her sorrow that his visit had been so short.

    “Oh?” Avarice smiled, and Leia did not believe for a moment the information was new to him. “Is there some kind of emergency?”

    “Senator Avarice, you well know I will not discuss anything my brother has told me in confidence,” Leia told him sharply.

    “Even if that information is of relevance to the Republic?” Avarice pressed, leaning forward slightly in his chair.

    “If it is, I am sure the Jedi will report it to the Senate officially,” Leia continued dismissively. “As Chancellor I cannot subvert official processes.”

    “Madame, you are also a Jedi,” Avarice pointed out.

    “Yes, I am a Jedi,” Leia responded coolly, her hand automatically resting on the hilt of the lightsaber which always hung at her waist. “I also have a doctorate in Alderaanian history and am a qualified hyperdrive mechanic, but I fail to see the relevance.”

    “Your other qualifications do not impact your judgment.” Avarice frowned, the folds of his wrinkled face twisting around his mouth.

    “Nor does my status as a Jedi,” Leia responded, carefully keeping her tone even. “In my opinion, Senator Avarice, the more qualifications and experience one has the better their judgment is. It grants perspective.”

    Avarice looked as if he was about to argue, but Leia waved a dismissive hand. “Thank you for coming to see me, and your concern is noted,” she told him. “Zeb will see you out.”

    The young man rose from his own desk at the side of the room and ushered Avarice out quickly. The old man went, clearly displeased, and Zeb closed the doors behind him. Then Zeb turned back to Leia with a grin, wiping his hands together in a good-riddance gesture.

    Leia smiled at Zeb fondly. In some ways he was so different from the angry, lonely boy she’d met five years previous, but his spirit was still the same.

    She couldn’t remember why she’d been on the lower levels that day – perhaps it had been the will of the Force. Zeb had been fourteen, but had already experienced a lifetime of pain; the loss of his parents at the age of three, raised by the local gangs and living on the streets. He’d shoved a blaster in her face and pushed her into an alleyway, not that anyone would have come to her rescue on the street. Leia remembered the desperation in his dark eyes; had looked into his heart and saw a kindred spirit. She knew was it was like to lose everything.

    Leia could have disarmed him in a second with the Force, but instead gave him a choice. He could have everything of value she had on her, except her wedding ring and the necklace she wore around her neck. Or he could come with her for the promise of nothing but a chance – the hope of a better life.

    She took him home with her and Zeb had been seamlessly enfolded into their lives. Han had given the boy a quick-once over, and then began to playfully argue with him about his choice of blaster. Jaina was the same age and delighted to have a new friend. Luke and his family had come over for dinner that night, and her brother only mentioned that he had felt Leia’s happiness and was pleased to discover its source. Ben and Micah had quickly taken to Zeb, and Cilla began to pester him about life on the lower-levels with the fasciation that only a nine year old could possess.

    However, Han had put his foot down about Zeb living with them – he didn’t want any boy sleeping three doors down from his teenage daughter. Zeb himself had indicated that he’d been living on his own for years anyway, and didn’t particularly want to be in a house full of people. Leia had asked her brother to find him lodgings at the Jedi Academy, which was easily done, since many offworld student boarded there already. Zeb began to attend the standard lessons with Jaina at the Academy, and visited Leia at the Senate chambers when the students were in Jedi classes.

    Leia had quickly discovered his keen mind and talent for politics, and had quickly made him her assistant, mentoring him in the way Mon Mothma had once done for her. She had plans on making him Senator for Coruscant within a few years, well on track to being Chancellor himself one day.

    “Well, Zeb, I think that’s enough politics for one day.” Leia told him, glancing at her calendar and seeing that for once she had a free evening.

    “One hour with Avarice is enough politics for a lifetime,” Zeb said, collapsing into a chair. “What a wanker.”

    Leia laughed. “Well why don’t you comm Jaina and ask her to meet us, maybe we can grab an early dinner.” She knew Jaina would be training on her own today, as she had felt Mara’s unpleasant mood through the Force. Leia was almost as attuned to Mara’s emotions as she was to Luke’s, and knew that sometimes she fell back into her isolationist ways. But when they’d been barely friends Mara had helped Leia through one of the worst periods of her life, and that tended to bond people together. She’d also been Leia’s family for 26 years, that connection strengthening into one of the most fulfilling friendships of both women’s lives. So she knew that tonight Mara would need to be alone with her sorrow, and tomorrow, she would need Leia’s support.

    Zeb was just getting out his comm unit when the personal unit on Leia’s desk buzzed. She checked the caller ID and saw that it was a direct line from the NR Fleet, and quickly answered.

    “Chancellor Organa Solo.”

    “Madame Chancellor,” a male voice came over the comm. “This is Commander Ravin of the New Republic Star Destroyer Simple Tricks.”

    One of Han’s ships, Leia thought as her heart tightened. “What is it Commander?”

    “There has been an incident on Corellia, Ma’am,” Ravin continued. “An attack on the Capital building.”

    “Han?” Leia asked, the pressure on her heart increasing. Zeb stood in shock, looking worried.

    “He’s alright, Ma’am,” Ravin confirmed. “He’s in surgery now, but they think it’s just a broken leg. As soon as he’s ready to travel we’ll be heading back to Coruscant.”

    “Any casualties?” she asked, treacherous relief flooding her.

    “Unknown at this time Ma’am, but likely. General Solo’s Jedi escort was badly injured.”

    “Has anyone claimed responsibility?” she asked.

    “No.”

    Leia was silent, a million thoughts running through her head. It could be as simple as a pirate attack, or something far more sinister – with the disturbance in the Force Luke had the Jedi investigating Leia’s credits was on the latter.

    “We’ll return immediately with General Solo,” Revin continued. “The Nonsense will stay in orbit above Corellia to monitor the situation.”

    “I will have Admiral Antilles send reinforcements and medical personnel,” Leia promised, and couldn’t even feel her usual mirth when hearing the name of Han’s second personal Star Destroyer. The names for Han’s ships had been Luke’s suggestion in jest, but Han had seized on the idea. He’d never wanted the ships anyway and took much pleasure in their ridiculous titles.

    “Thank you, Ma’am,” Revin said with relief, and Leia ended the call, leaning forward on the desk and pinching the bridge of her nose. She was no stranger to bad news, but that didn’t mean she ever got used to it.

    “I’ll call the Admiral,” Zeb said gently and Leia nodded, straightening in her chair again. But before he could move back to the comm unit the doors to Leia’s office opened again and Micah strode in – one of the only people who could confuse Threepio into letting them pass without being announced.

    “Hey, Aunt Leia,” he greeted her. “Zeb,” Micah gave him a friendly punch in the arm and sank down into an armchair. “Well have I had a day.”

    Leia and Zeb shared a look before she told him briefly about the situation he’d interrupted, and Micah’s irreverent façade slipped away. Not as well trained to control his emotions as his brother, Micah’s distress felt jagged and sharp against Leia’s Force sense - he’d always had a close relationship with Han.

    Leia pressed him to continue with his own news, and her mood plummeted even further hearing about the situation at NRI headquarters. It hardly seemed to be a coincidence.

    “They found some spyware loaded onto the NRI database, and managed to delete it,” Micah explained, still glum. “But there was information on that datapad that could be damaging, if they crack the codes.”

    “Well, looks like I’m going to be here late tonight,” Leia sighed, already working out the calls she’d have to make in her mind. “You go out though, Zeb.”

    “No, I need to stay and help you,” the young man insisted.

    “Go, that’s an order,” Leia told him sharply. “Take Jaina out and try to cheer her up. Micah, why don’t you go too?”

    “Can’t,” Micah said regretfully. “Karrde needs me back on Rodan.”

    Leia didn’t like to have so much of her family away from Coruscant at once. But duty came first, she of all people understood that.

    “I’ve told Syal I’ll see what I can find out through Karrde’s contacts,” Micah continued. “I’ll do the same for the situation on Corellia,” he promised.

    “Thank you, Micah.” Leia rose and beckoned her young nephew towards her, folding him into a tight embrace. She had to remind herself that when she was his age she’d been helping run the Rebellion on Hoth; when she was Jaina’s age she’d already been captured by the Empire and had seen her planet be blown to bits; when she was Ben’s age she’d been married. Even Cilla – sweet, exuberant Cilla – Leia had already been in the Imperial Senate at fourteen. She looked at the hardships of her own life that forced her to grow up all too soon and desperately wanted to avoid that for her daughter, niece and nephews. She, Luke and Han had worked so hard to build a world of peace for their children, where they knew love, family and prosperity.

    She wouldn’t let anyone take that victory away from her.
    Last edited by JadeLotus, Jul 24, 2014
  14. taramidala Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 18, 1999
    star 4
    @JadeLotus: Well, well, well. First off...I LOVE THIS STORY. Can they please film this?!?

    The flashback was excellent - so similar to the source, but with a difference. Of course, we don't know what that difference is yet, but I can't wait to find out!

    Micah/Syal: Again, I WAS RIGHT! Hee. And I love how fleshed out all the kids are, even if their scenes aren't very long. They feel real and that's wonderful. I'm invested in their happiness just as much as I am in their parents'. But the pirates are just kids...Force sensitive kids...kids who can escape! Yikes.

    Leia: Her whole scene was awesome, lady, and all that stuff at the end? *sniff* I have a feeling about what she bonded with Mara over, too, and I have for a while. [face_worried] But that last line about no one taking the victory that started in Jedi away from her? Perfect.

    Now I'll just imitate @ginchy here and say "MOAR!!!!" :)
    Last edited by taramidala, Jul 24, 2014
  15. Nyota's Heart Combos & Paragraphs Host

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    Aug 31, 2004
    star 6
    JadeLotus:

    To say I adored the flashback [face_mischief] yes, I did! So Zahn-ish. Looked at the reading list for the canon compliant stuff starting in Sept. Wish TZ was on it LOL just for that wonderful knack of his of creating characters we love!!!

    Great backstory on Syal and Ben. I think they must've had a clash based on nuances of her comments to Micah about Ben's priorities when it comes to Jedi business. [face_thinking]

    Teleporting pirates, the attack on the "Simple Tricks" added to the mix, definitely not a coincidence. [face_worried] Someone is behind all these busy-busy diversionary tactics.

    Love that Leia and Mara are close and tickled about Shada being Mara's friend too. :D

    Nice to know more about Zeb and how he's really part of the family of Sky/Solos.

    Speaking of which, I don't like the family being scattered either. [face_nail_biting]

    =D=
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  16. Gemma Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 25, 2013
    star 3
    Excellent update - I agree with what is said above. And I smile a bit every time a fanfic author work's Harrison's broken leg in.
    JadeLotus likes this.
  17. ThreadSketch Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 22, 2013
    star 3
    THE NONSENSE IS OFFICIAL, YAAAASSSSSSS. *headbangsquee* [face_laugh][face_dancing]8-}
  18. taramidala Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 18, 1999
    star 4
    Oh goodness, I forgot to mention that, @JadeLotus! YES. Thank you! :D
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  19. JadeLotus Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 27, 2005
    star 4
    @taramidala - I re-read the first scene between Luke and Mara in Heir to the Empire, so the scene is very much an homage to that, but my own version. The differences, other than being three years earlier, will become clear in later flashbacks :D You were right about Syal! Since I had the opportunity to make them the same age, she seemed like a good match for Ben. I'm so happy that the kids come across as fleshed out, they are fun to write!

    @Nyota's Heart - A comparison to Zahn is the greatest compliment! Thank you :) I really hope he gets to write books in the new canon as well. Ben and Syal's backstory will be revealed in time, but you are correct that it is Jedi business of sorts that came between them ;) I really wanted to give Mara female friends in this fic (and have more female characters in general) as well as make Mara and Leia closer, so glad you liked that.

    @Gemma - I know, poor Harrison! :p

    @ThreadSketch - [face_laugh] I had to put that in - and I think it makes sense for Han to prefer the Falcon and make Madine regret giving those Destroyers to him.

    @taramidala - Thank you! ;)
    Kahara likes this.
  20. Kahara Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 3, 2001
    star 3
    Very enjoyable chapter. The way that the kids with the teleport managed to snatch the datapad was quite interesting, and I liked that it was down to tech as well as any Force-sensitivity they may have. I'm curious to know more about them. Also liked seeing more of Zeb's past and how he came to be Leia's protégé. Luke and Mara seem to have started out in a very similar way to the Thrawn trilogy; something in the middle definitely happened differently, though. Another thing that I liked was having Syal as part of the second-generation cast; she seems to have an intriguing story here and I like the background on her and the Skywalker kids.
    JadeLotus and Nyota's Heart like this.
  21. Revanfan1 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jun 3, 2013
    star 5
    Simple Tricks and Nonsense makes me simply LOL. [face_laugh]
    JadeLotus and Kahara like this.
  22. ginchy Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 25, 2005
    star 4
    I'm sorry I'm late in replying (as usual! I think I just need to change my avatar to say 'Sorry, late with replies!!') but you KNOW I love this!!!! I want this to be Episode VII!!! I love the flashback. I love Micah. The scene with the pirates was amazing action. I want to know more of the backstory with Ben and Syal and I love the backstory on Zeb. Oh, and how Leia thought of Mara, how they are truly sisters. I love it all and can't wait for more. This story makes me squeeeee. Cause I love it, but also cause I adore the author!!! [:D]
  23. Jedi_Lover Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Nov 1, 2004
    star 5
    I love the flashback...but I always loved that scene in the profics. Luke was so vulnerable and in bed (and in every one of my fanfics he is wearing boxer-briefs). Bow chicka chicka bow wow! [face_laugh]

    I am loving this story. Nice update!
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  24. Nyota's Heart Combos & Paragraphs Host

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    Aug 31, 2004
    star 6
    ginchy said: I want this to be Episode VII! Seconded! Point by point! =D= =D=
    JadeLotus likes this.
  25. JadeLotus Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 27, 2005
    star 4
    @Kahara - Using advanced tech is my cheat's way to getting through the action without our heroes seeming too inept ;) They'll show up again. I'm glad you liked Syal, as well, her history with Ben will be explored eventually. As for Luke and Mara, I'm using the Thrawn Trilogy (or at least HttE) heavilly as source material of course, but there will be a few tweaks along the way to explain the differences later on. Thank for the review!

    @Revanfan1 - :D

    @ginchy - [:D] I adore you too, gal, and thanks for all your help and support. One thing I really wanted to do in this fic was give the female characters strong relationships (although it's yet to pass the Bechdel test, oops!) and especially Leia and Mara - as you know, the reason why they are so close will become clear!

    @Jedi_Lover - [face_laugh] I love those fics!

    @Nyota's Heart - Thanks! :D
    Revanfan1 and Kahara like this.
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