Saga The Tristan Betrayal (A/P, L/M, OC's) *Sequel to Will of the Force* Updated 11/13 Ch. 43

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by JediMaster_Jen, Sep 4, 2012.

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  1. JediMaster_Jen Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 3, 2002
    star 4
    Chapter 11

    Coruscant
    The Jedi Temple
    Three Years Later



    In the three years that Tristan Kenobi had spent at the Jedi Temple, he’d grown considerably. All of the physical training had given the young teen the beginnings of a muscular build. He’d grown taller as well, standing at 1.52 meters.

    When Anakin reached the room where Tristan was practicing, he stood a few feet away from the sparring mat, a small smile of pride lighting his face as he watched thirteen year-old Tristan practice for the annual lightsaber tournament to be held in a few days’ time.

    He sent a gentle push through the Force to alert Tristan was there, but not enough to startle the boy.

    “Good, you’re improving,” he complimented moments later as Tristan blocked a series of slashing attacks. “Keep your guard up.”

    Tristan gave a slight nod of his sandy brown head, ignoring the sweat pouring down his face as he continued parrying his opponent’s attacks. Back and forth the two boys went, their green sabers slashing and striking. Then suddenly, the scene before Tristan changed.


    ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

    The room was dark. The only light came from the furious clash of lightsabers clashing together in rapid succession.

    Tristan pushed his opponent further and further backwards until he was pressed against the wall. His opponent was defenseless. His saber had been knocked away.

    Tristan grinned in triumph as he swung his lightsaber, instantly decapitating his foe.


    ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

    With a gasp of horror, the teen dropped to his knees as the vision ended, his lightsaber clanging to the floor beside him, deactivating on impact. He dropped his head into his hands; tears cascading down his cheeks.


    Anakin sprang into action. He took several quick strides towards Tristan and lowered himself beside his shaking Padawan.

    “Tristan?” his opponent called after having switched off his own lightsaber. ”Are you okay?”

    “I’ll take care of him,” Anakin replied for his apprentice. “Thank you, Liam.”

    Liam nodded, clipped his lightsaber to his belt and turned to leave.

    Anakin rubbed Tristan’s back gently. “Tris?”

    Tristan squeezed his eyes tightly shut, shaking his head from side to side.

    “Tris, what happened?” Anakin asked gently. ”What did you see, Padawan?”


    Anakin had spent the last three years dealing with Tristan’s visions. With training, Tristan had learned to control them, but every so often one would hit him unexpectedly and the young man would freeze.

    Tristan remained silent, tears continuing to stream down his face.

    “It’s okay,” Anakin soothed. “You can tell me.”


    He paused, sensing the boy’s terror and sending a wave of comfort through their bond.

    “I…I…saw…I…killed someone,” Tristan gasped.

    “You…what?” Anakin questioned, thinking he had heard the boy wrong.

    “I saw it!” Tristan cried; his terror filled eyes meeting Anakin’s. “I...was fighting…and I killed someone…and I…I…liked it. It was on purpose, Master.”


    He buried his face in his hands, sobbing harder.

    Anakin sat back in shock, his mind reeling. Please don’t let this one come true, he thought, hugging Tristan to him tightly until his sobs subsided.

    “Were you in a battle?” he probed softly.

    “I…don’t know,” Tristan replied, using the sleeve of his tunic to wipe his tears. “We were just fighting. I don’t want to kill anyone, Master!”

    Anakin sighed heavily. The time had come to impart the same words to Tristan that Obi-Wan had spoken to him twenty years earlier.


    “It may be necessary someday Tristan, to save your own life or someone else’s,” he admitted sadly. “Taking a life is never easy.”

    “But I liked it!” the boy insisted loudly.

    Anakin frowned. “Are you certain?”

    Tristan shrugged his shoulders, uncertain of everything but his own name and Anakin’s strong arms around him.


    Anakin thought silently for a few minutes, wishing he had Yoda’s wisdom when it came to visions.

    “Not every vision you have will come to fruition, Tris,” he said reassuringly.

    “Really?” Tristan looked at him hopefully.

    “Really,” Anakin ensured. “I’m not going to pretend to know everything about visions, but I do know the Force can use them to teach us about our weaknesses and fears. We can use our visions to learn where we need to improve the most.”

    “Does my vision mean I would enjoy killing?” Tristan asked wistfully.

    “No,” Anakin replied adamantly. “I can’t give you a definite meaning to your vision, Tristan, but I can tell you the future is not set in stone. Every day you will make decisions and choices that will lead you in different directions. No matter what kind of vision or dream you have, you are in control of your destiny.”


    ”Always in motion is the future,” Tristan whispered.

    “Exactly,” Anakin agreed with a smile. “Life is a very fluid situation, Padawan. Things move, change and change again and again. Worrying about the future serves no useful purpose.”

    Tristan nodded. The last of his tears were dry and he felt a bit better.

    Anakin stood, pulling Tristan up with him. “Let’s go home for now. You’ve practiced enough for one day.”

    *******************************************************************

    Standing in the middle of the quarters he and Tristan shared within the Temple, Anakin held Obi-Wan’s lightsaber in his hands, the same saber he’d carried since Obi-Wan’s death years earlier. Turning it over in his hands, a flood of precious memories flashed before his eyes as his fingers crossed each ridge.


    He smiled sadly as he recalled the many times he and his former master practiced their techniques against each other, often times ending the practice out of exhaustion, with no clear cut winner. He remembered every time Obi-Wan said the words this weapon is your life. He recalled every time Obi-Wan used the weapon in his hands to defend his padawan. He remembered the scene in an old, dusty mechanics shop on a distant planet where…

    He winced, pushing away the images of the last time Obi-Wan used his lightsaber, remembering instead the euphoric feelings they’d both had when they’d each won their bracket in the lightsaber tournament.

    “Master,” Tristan stuck his head in the room, Luke standing at his side. “We’re ready to go to the tournament.”

    “Come here for a minute, Tris,” Anakin replied, his voice cracking just a bit.
    “I have something for you. Luke, can you go out to the front room for me for a few minutes?”


    ”The tournament starts in ten minutes, Dad,” the eight-year old boy reminded his father.

    Anakin smiled. “I know it does. Just give us a few minutes and we’ll be right there.”

    Luke nodded his tousled blonde head as he turned to walk back down the hallway.

    Tristan eyed Anakin curiously as he entered the room.

    Anakin smiled down at him as he handed him the lightsaber. “This was your father’s. I think he’d want you to have it.”

    Tristan’s eyes were lit in wonderment as he ran his fingers along the edges of the lightsaber. For three years he’d seen Anakin wield the weapon with expert accuracy on the missions they’d undertaken together. He knew that Anakin cherished the saber as one of his only remaining connections to Obi-Wan and he was stunned that his master would choose to give the weapon away.

    “In fact,” Anakin continued, clearing his throat. “This lightsaber is the very same one he used to win the Master’s bracket of the tournament.”

    “Thank you, Master!” Tristan exclaimed as he threw his arms around Anakin, hugging him tightly.


    ”You’re quite welcome,” Anakin answered as he hugged the teenager. “It…I’ve carried it with me to remember him. But…”

    Tristan pulled away and looked up at Anakin. “But?”

    Anakin smiled and rested his hands on Tristan's shoulders. “But now I have a much better reminder of him than his lightsaber. Besides, I want you to have it too.”

    They shared a quick smile before exiting the room and leaving with Luke in tow, headed for the annual saber tournament.
  2. jacen200015 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 11, 2002
    star 4
    :) awww. :) :) What words can i say to describe this scene:) Beautiful :)
  3. JediMaster_Jen Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 3, 2002
    star 4
    Thank you!!

    **************************************************


    Chapter 12


    Anakin was beaming proudly as he clamped his arm around Tristan’s shoulders as the boy was presented with his second place plaque in the lightsaber tournament.

    “You did very well, Tristan,” Anakin said smiling broadly. “I’m so proud of you.”

    “Thank you, Master,” Tristan said, returning Anakin’s smile as the spectators began to flood the training area, congratulating all the participants. Tristan’s eyes swept the room, a feeling of sadness beginning to well up inside him as he watched parents hug and kiss their children, some with tears of pride in their eyes.

    Mom, I wish you and Dad could be here, he thought wistfully, as Padme and the rest of the Skywalker’s reached their side.

    “Tristan, that was so great!” eight year-old Luke exclaimed, his blue eyes wide with excitement. “Can I see your plaque?”

    Tristan happily handed over the plaque while accepting accolades from Padme, Leia and Arik.

    “Good match, Tristan,” came a voice from behind.

    Tristan whirled around to see his triumphant opponent, Liam, extending his hand.

    “You almost had me a couple times,” Liam continued as Tristan shook his hand. “I bet you’ll beat me next time.”

    “Thanks,” Tristan replied softly. “You’re really good. I’ll have to practice more.”

    The two talked quietly for a few moments until Master Xan called for silence, announcing a special celebration treat to be served in the Jedi Rectory.

    “See you there!” Liam said heading towards the door.

    Tristan chuckled. Like most of the boys their age, Liam took advantage of every opportunity given him to eat.

    “Master…” Tristan turned and froze before taking another step.

    Anakin was holding a squirming Arik, despite the boy’s protest that he was too old to be held, in one arm while the other was draped around Luke’s shoulders. A sudden surge of anger overwhelmed him at the sight. His jaw locked and his fists clenched at his sides.

    Why does everybody else get to be with their dads while I never knew mine? Tristan wondered furiously, wincing at the same time.

    He’d been with the Skywalker’s for three years now and knew Anakin and Padme loved him. They never treated him differently from Luke or Arik and they were never slow with praise and guidance. Yet on occasion a piercing anger would overcome him when he saw Anakin bestowing affection on Luke and Arik; an anger he didn’t want, but felt powerless to control.

    It’s not fair! he thought bitterly. If that stupid code had never existed, I’d have grown up here, with both of my parents. Mom wouldn’t have gotten sick, my father would still be alive and…

    He looked away quickly blinking back the tears as he struggled to push his thoughts and feelings away. He knew he was lucky; lucky to have the Jedi and the Skywalker’s. They were his family; his parents and siblings, even if not by blood, and he loved them.

    “Tris?” Anakin asked as he walked towards him, a look of concern on his face. “Are you all right?”

    Tristan nodded, forcing a smile. “Yes, Master, let’s go to the rectory. I’m starving.”

    “Me too!” Luke exclaimed. “Wanna race?”

    The boys took off, Tristan barely ahead of Luke.

    “Dad, I wanna race too!” Arik cried.

    Anakin set him down, barely noticing as he took off after Luke and Tristan.

    “Anakin?” Padme squeezed his arm. “Is something wrong?”

    “Something’s bothering Tristan,” he replied, frowning. “A minute ago, he was…filled with a lot of anger. Anger like I’ve never felt from him before.”

    “Over losing the match?” Padme wondered out loud.

    “I don’t think so,” Anakin shrugged. “Whatever caused it, it didn’t last very long. Or perhaps Tristan is getting too good at shielding his feelings.”

    “Anger…” Padme closed her eyes, shuddering.

    The memories of Anakin’s struggle with his anger were still fresh in her mind.

    “Hey, don’t worry,” Anakin assured her with a gentle smile. “I’ll talk to him about it. I’m sure whatever it is, we can deal with it. He’s a good kid.”

    He pulled her into his arms, kissing her quickly. “We’d better head over to the rectory before the boys eat all of whatever the special treat is.”

    Padme wrapped her arm around his waist as the two of them headed out of the training room.

    *******************************************************************

    ”Enjoying your treat, are you?” Master Yoda asked eight year-old Luke.

    The boy turned and bowed respectfully to the Grand Master of the Jedi Order. “Yes Master.”

    The ancient Jedi looked the eldest Skywalker child up and down. Luke was a caring, thoughtful boy with only a mild streak of wildness in him, as opposed to his father and younger brother.

    “Care to learn more about the Jedi of old, would you?” Yoda then asked.

    Luke’s eyes brightened. “Of course, Master.”

    Yoda gave a nod of his head. “Meet me after my class, you will.”

    Luke bowed again as Yoda limped away.

    “Propositioning Yoda for another story?” Padme asked from behind her son.

    Luke shook his head. “No, Mama. He offered. Master Yoda likes me.”

    Padme bent down and kissed Luke’s head. “I know. Everyone likes you.”

    Luke blushed before running off again to join his agemates.

    “Master Yoda has taken quite an interest in him,” Anakin said as he moved next to his wife. “I think it’s good for him.”

    Padme agreed with a nod of her head.

    “I’m going to join Tris and see if I can get him to talk to me about what’s bothering him,” he told her before kissing her gently and walking away.

    Padme smiled as she herself went to join her daughter and a few of Leia’s friends. Her family was together and she was happy. Luke was finding his place within the Jedi Order, Arik was growing up healthy and happy, Leia was just beginning to discover her own likes and dislikes, and Tristan was settling in with their family.

    All was well.
    Last edited by JediMaster_Jen, Aug 5, 2013
  4. JediMaster_Jen Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 3, 2002
    star 4
    Chapter 13


    Luke rushed through the Jedi Temple on his way to Master Yoda’s classroom as fast as he could without being reprimanded by the Masters for running. Even the youngest of initiates were expected to conduct themselves properly at all times, no matter the situation. Running in the Temple was expressly frowned upon, if not completely forbidden.

    It wasn’t as if there was any reason to hurry. Yoda taught the youngest of the Initiates and there was never a set time for his classes to end since the diminutive Master would always spend additional time with the younglings teaching, telling stories or supervising. He’d even been known to play with them once in awhile.

    Luke enjoyed spending as much of his free time as he could with Yoda. He was fascinated with the tales of the ancient Jedi and how their rules and traditions came about, although his absolute favorite stories were about the long ago Sith Wars. Luke loved any kind of battle story even when Yoda took the most exciting of battles and turned them into a stern lesson, all the while reminding the young man that Jedi didn’t crave excitement and adventure.

    “Hey Luke, wait up!”

    Luke turned to see his friend Mara Jade rushing towards him, her flowing red hair flying out behind her.

    “Hi Mara,” he breathed, hoping whatever she wanted wouldn’t take too long.

    “Where are you off to in such a hurry?” she asked suspiciously.

    “Master Yoda’s,” Luke replied uncomfortably, his blue eyes downcast.


    Mara did not share his love of Yoda’s stories. In fact, she thought them boring and out of date and didn’t hesitate to tell him so. At ten years of age, Mara had definite opinions about everything and wasn’t shy about sharing them.

    “Do you have to?” she whined. “I was hoping you could help me find ten interesting facts about Rakrir. I have to present them in Master Secura’s class tomorrow.”

    “Rakrir?” Luke repeated, frowning. “Well, the Rakririans are from there, that’s one.”

    Mara glared at him.

    “I know that,” she replied icily.

    “Oh...well, Mara I wish I could help but I promised Master Yoda I’d stop by and…”

    “Go ahead,” she interrupted sharply. “I’ll find somebody else to help me.”


    She stomped off before Luke could reply.

    Luke sighed. As much as he liked Mara and wanted to help her out, he hated researching more than sitting still. She’ll figure it out, he thought, continuing on his way to Yoda’s. She always does.

    He grinned excitedly as he entered the near empty classroom. Only a couple Initiates remained and they were playing quietly in the center of the room.

    “Hi Master Yoda,” he greeted.

    Yoda turned to face Luke, a warm smile on his face. “Good afternoon, youngling. Ready for another story are you?”

    Luke nodded happily, settling into a comfortable spot on the floor. “Are you going to tell me about another battle with the Sith?”

    “See soon, you will,” Yoda replied. “Make sure the younglings are busy first I must, then tell you a story I will.”


    He chuckled softly to himself as he checked on the younglings playing.

    Yoda was happy to have such an attentive audience in young Luke Skywalker. Over the last few years, many changes had come to the Jedi Order and he was beginning to notice an alarming lack of interest in the rules and traditions amongst the new Initiates. They were more interested in what changes lay ahead rather than learning about the existing traditions, why they were used and keeping them alive.

    Yoda could only hope Luke’s enthusiasm would rub off on the other Initiates as time went by. Change was a good thing, in moderation and when necessary but he would not be around forever to keep things in check. Luke would be a powerful Jedi someday; perhaps he would be the one to take over keeping the traditions alive.


    *******************************************************************

    Leia happily studied the console in front of her as she sat quietly in the Archives, eager to learn all she could about Alderaan and its people. She had already compiled her list of the ten most interesting facts and now she was eagerly reading everything else she could. She loved learning about new cultures and customs. She somehow knew understanding how things were done and why would help her in her duties as a Jedi more than learning the combat techniques she was required to learn.

    A deep sigh of frustration interrupted her concentration and she glanced up in time to see Mara Jade slam her hand down on the table.

    “Mara, what’s wrong?” Leia whispered, glanced around, hoping Master Nu was nowhere in sight. The woman had no tolerance for any kind of noise in her Archives.

    “This is boring,” Mara snapped. “Who cares about what’s happening on Rakrir or anywhere else?”

    “I do,” Leia replied, a little louder than necessary. “And you should too. Learning about different planets and species will only help us as Jedi to help others.”

    “Sure,” Mara snorted. “When we’re Jedi we’ll just tell people what to do and how to do it. We don’t need to learn about their rules.”

    Leia winced at the condescending tone in Mara’s voice. She knew the girl didn’t mean to sound that way, but Mara was known for being quite outspoken and opinionated. She always said what she thought.


    “We can’t just order people around,” Leia replied. “When we’re Jedi, we’re supposed to be…”

    “Girls!” Master Nu’s sharp reprimand caused Leia to nearly jump out of her skin.

    “Sorry,” they whispered in unison.

    “I’ll never get this done! I hate research!” Mara sat back in her seat, sulking. ”It’s so…boring.”

    “I’ve already got my facts done,” Leia said as softly as she could while scooting closer to Mara. “I can help you with yours.”

    Mara glanced at her suspiciously. ”Why would you help me?”

    “I can learn about another planet and you can get your work done,” Leia said, smiling. “Deal?”


    Mara nodded. “Deal.”

    *******************************************************************

    “Master,” Tristan began as they walked through the Temple on their way to pick up the twins and Arik. “Did my father know his family?”

    Anakin glanced at him in surprise.


    Where did that come from? he wondered. “Why?”

    Tristan shrugged. “My mom told me that she researched her family after she left the Jedi and discovered that her parents died when she was young and she didn’t have any brothers or sisters and…I was just wondering if my father did.”


    He looked at Anakin hopefully. “Do you know?”

    Anakin sighed. The older he got, the more Tristan seemed to crave a connection to Obi-Wan, which Anakin could certainly understand but he had absolutely no idea how he was supposed to explain about Benjamen Kenobi’s lack of interest and down right disdain of Obi-Wan and the Jedi. He supposed that the best way was to simply say it.

    “Master?” Tristan asked after a few minutes of silence.

    “He had a brother,” Anakin finally replied.

    “Had?” Tristan whispered, shoulders slumped.

    “Your father’s brother didn’t exactly approve of the Jedi,” Anakin explained. “He thought Obi-Wan should have returned to Wukkar when the war broke out and not gotten involved.”

    “What happened to him?” Tristan asked. “My uncle?”

    “I suppose he’s still there,” Anakin replied honestly. “I went to him after Obi-Wan died to explain…but he didn’t care.”

    Tristan’s eyes widened in horror. “What?”

    “He didn’t know him, Tris,” Anakin continued, hating that he was defending a man that he absolutely loathed. “They had been separated before they ever had a chance to know one another. I’m sure he would have loved Obi-Wan had he been gifted the time to get to know him.”

    “Oh.”


    Tristan was silent as they stopped outside Master Yoda’s classroom. Before entering, Anakin turned to face his apprentice.

    “You know, Luke was your father’s birth name,” he said.

    “Luke?” Tristan’s head snapped up in surprise.

    “Yes,” Anakin nodded. “Your father was born Luke Kenobi. When the twins were born, Padme named Leia and I suggested that we name our son Luke after your father, to honor him.”

    “Dad!”

    A flash of anger swept over Tristan as Luke came rushing out of the classroom and into Anakin’s waiting arms. The boy laughed as Anakin ruffled his blonde hair. He smiled when Anakin asked how he enjoyed his time with Master Yoda.


    Why him came the bitter thought as white hot rage continued to build in Tristan’s stomach. I’m the oldest, I should have my father’s name, not him!

    “Hi Tristan! Wait until you hear what Yoda taught me today.”

    Tristan, having drawn his shields tight around his thoughts, pushed the feeling of resentment away as Luke excitedly told him about his time with Yoda.


    He liked Luke; loved him as a brother. It certainly wasn’t his fault he got Obi-Wan’s name.

    ”Come along boys,” Anakin called as they headed back the way they’d come.

    Tristan listened as best he could, but he was distracted as he noticed, for the first time that his anger, his resentment, his jealousy hadn’t completely faded away. The rage that had sprung up momentarily hadn’t gone away, it had merely settled in his belly, festering.

    Fear settled over Tristan then. His eyes dropped to the boy walking beside him. Luke was still happily jabbering away. Luke was carefree, he was joyful.

    All was well.

    ********************************************************
    Author Note

    Good news! This fic is finished in it's entirety. :) The story was originally posted a few years ago by myself and @KELIA up to chapter 36. I am currently re-posting those original 36 chapters we wrote together; two chapters every other day. Once that is complete, the new chapters will be posted once a week.

    Thanks to everyone who is reading. :)
  5. Jedi_Tyler Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 11, 2005
    star 1
    Good to see this fic back. :)
  6. JediMaster_Jen Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 3, 2002
    star 4
    Chapter 14


    Three Years Later

    “Master, I’ve finished studying the data we have on Ansion.”

    Anakin slowly opened his eyes at the sound of his sixteen-year old Padawan’s voice. He’d been meditating quietly while his apprentice studied the species, culture and customs of the planet they were currently en route to.

    “Good,” he replied. “Are you feeling more comfortable about the mission?”


    Despite Tristan’s strongest attempts to hide it, he’d been unusually anxious about this particular mission. Their past missions had always been to planets where the people were friendly to the Jedi but this one was sending them to deal directly with a people that didn’t like the city dwellers on their own planet, let alone outsiders from another.

    Tristan shrugged as he stood. “I’m trying to, but I sense something…elusive. It’s making me nervous”

    Anakin smiled reassuringly. “Don’t worry, Tris. I’ve dealt with the Alwari nomads before and they’re not as bad as some of the reports make it seem.”

    “Really?” Tristan’s eyes lit up. “They trust you?”

    “I wouldn’t say trust,” Anakin replied with a short laugh. “But after my last mission there with Obi-Wan, I’m looked upon as…” he paused, searching for the right word.


    The truth was Obi-Wan and Master Luminara Unduli were the ones who earned the reluctant trust of the most prominent of the Alwari overclans, thus ensuring a successful mission. He and his fellow Padawan, Barriss Offee, had little to do with the actual negotiations.

    “…honest for an outsider,” he finished.

    “You mean they still don’t like outsiders?” Tristan gasped. “I thought they accepted the assistance of the city dwellers and Republic in the treaty they signed?”

    “They did,” Anakin nodded. “But they still prefer to keep to themselves on their ancestral lands. They have their own way of doing things and they don’t want to become corrupted by the outside world, even though they are willing to accept necessities when it’s unavoidable. They like keeping to themselves. It is simply part of who they are.”

    “Oh.”


    Tristan thought silently for awhile. It seemed strange to him that the nomads would be so distrusting of outsiders after all the time that had passed since Anakin and his father’s mission to Ansion. To not accept medical supplies during an outbreak of a potentially fatal illness unless delivered by Anakin himself was most confusing of all. How could anyone let their people suffer for an extended period of time?

    “Master, do you think there will be any trouble?”


    Anakin had told him of the thwarted kidnapping by the Qulun clan and while he was confident he could handle any attack that came his way, he wasn’t eager for one. It had taken many years, lots of experience and the birth of his own children, but Anakin had tired of battle. He much preferred the simple negotiations Obi-Wan had so favored during their partnership.

    “I don’t think so,” Anakin replied softly. “After the treaty was signed and the war ended, relations among the nomads and city dwellers have been peaceful. Everyone other than the nomads have already received medical treatment from the Republic officials so there’s no need for worry.”


    ”I sense a but in there,” Tristan sighed.

    “But we’ll be on guard for whatever comes our way.”

    He smiled reassuringly as the alarm signaling they were coming out of hyperspace sounded.

    *******************************************************************

    “You okay, Tris?” Anakin called as he watched the young man struggle to keep from falling off the Suubatar.

    “Oh, just fine, Master,” he quipped sarcastically.


    Tristan gritted his teeth, praying to the gods he wouldn’t fall off this strange creature they were forced to ride.

    “Why do the nomads have to live in the middle of nowhere anyway,” he grunted as he nearly slid off the saddle.

    “Lean back, it’ll be easier,” Anakin laughed, remembering his own near fall and Obi-Wan’s amusement.

    Tristan shot him a look of disbelief. Perhaps Anakin’s old age was finally getting to him.


    “How’s that going to help?” he whined. “It’ll just make me fall quicker.”

    “Trust me.”

    Tristan leaned back into the viann, sighing with annoyance. The change was immediate. Anakin was right – it was easier. He couldn’t see the terrain very well, but he no longer had to hold on to the reins for dear life.


    I’ll probably never live this down, he groaned inwardly as he settled back and began to enjoy the ride.

    *******************************************************************

    They arrived at the Borokii encampment late in the afternoon and waited at a respectful distance while three Borokii clansmen rode out to greet them. Tristan gaped in wonderment at the size of the portable buildings, housing everything from residences to commercial enterprises to industrial.

    “Welcome, Master Anakin,” the largest of the clansmen greeted.

    “Bayaar,” Anakin bowed respectfully.

    “You remember?” Bayaar grinned broadly. “I am honored. I see you have brought a guest?”


    He eyed Tristan suspiciously.

    “This is my Padawan Learner, Tristan,” Anakin introduced, deciding quickly that he would not reveal Tristan’s surname. “He is here to help administer the medicine. We can get it done faster with the two…”

    “No,” Bayaar interrupted harshly. “The Council of Elders has decided we will administer the medicine ourselves. You will hand over the medicine and leave.”

    Tristan blinked at him in surprise. “But you don’t know…”

    Anakin placed a warning hand on Tristan’s shoulder.

    “I don’t believe that is wise,” Anakin replied gently. “The medicine must be administered very carefully to avoid an overdose and other adverse effects. May I address the Council to present my concerns?”

    Bayaar shook his head. “They’re decision is final. I am sorry Master Anakin. You have earned mine and my people’s trust but the Council demands tradition above all else and it is not our tradition to allow off-worlders to treat our illnesses.”

    Anakin nodded. “If you wish. We will unload the supplies and…”

    “Master!” Tristan flared, his blue-gray eyes blazing. “They’ll…”

    “Tristan,” Anakin said a tad bit harshly, giving him a stern look. “Help me unload the medicine from the Suubatars.”

    Tristan obeyed silently, fuming inside. They quickly and easily unloaded the medicine and placed it on the ground in front of Bayaar.


    Why didn’t Anakin insist on administering the medicine, Tristan wondered to himself. Without their help, the Borokii were very likely to injure or kill their own people.

    “Thank you, Master Anakin, for respecting our wishes.”


    Bayaar bowed as Anakin and Tristan mounted the Suubatars and prepared to leave.

    “You are most welcome,” Anakin replied sadly.


    “If you need any help…,” his words trailed off. He knew full well the Council would not be requesting any further help. Bayaar nodded as they turned to leave.

    “Why didn’t you force the Borokii to let us help them, Master?” Tristan asked when they were safely out of earshot. “They don’t know what they’re doing and they’re going to do more harm than good. Many of them are now going to die. If they had let us help, those same people would live.”

    “I know,” Anakin sighed deeply. “Sometimes things happen that we just can’t control, Tris. We’re here to help but we can only help those that want our assistance and Bayaar was quite clear the Council of elders didn’t want anymore of our help.”


    Anakin studied the sad expression on Tristan’s face. “With the medicine we brought, they’ll save some.”

    “I suppose. I still feel like we should have done more,” Tristan said softly. “So many of them will die for no good reason.”

    “The Force is a formidable ally in any situation,” Anakin replied. “But so is the heart and in my heart and yours, if you examine it closely, you know it would have done more harm than good to force our way into the encampment. Always let your heart guide you and you won’t step wrong.”


    Tristan smiled. Trusting his heart wasn’t as easy at sixteen as it had been at ten. Life and growing up had jaded Tristan’s perceptions just enough that he had learned that decisions needed to be based on fact and not on emotion. Most of the time, he even managed to do it that way. Most of the time.

    “I’ll try.”

    Anakin patted his back. “Do or…”

    Tristan’s laugh was infectious. “…do not, yeah, I know. I can’t promise anything Master, but…”

    “I know you’ll do you best.”

    The two shared a smile and continued their journey.
  7. JediMaster_Jen Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 3, 2002
    star 4
    Chapter 15


    Arik Skywalker, now a spirited and mischievous eight year-old boy, fidgeted anxiously in his seat as Master Plo Koon brought the class to a close.

    Can’t he do anything quickly, he thought with a sigh.

    It was exceedingly rare for any class to end on time let alone early and now due to an unexpected emergency of some sort, Master Koon was ending his class an hour early.

    That gives me plenty of time to run my errand and get back to the Temple in time to surprise Dad and Luke, Arik thought gleefully.

    “I’m sure you will all find suitable ways to spend your free time,” Koon added sternly as he dismissed the class. Few students noticed that his eyes had remained focused on young Arik Skywalker as he’d said the words.

    “Yes, Master Koon,” the initiates replied in perfect unison as they headed for the door.

    Arik shot out of his seat and was the first one out the door before he realized he needed to be less conspicuous if he were to sneak out of the Temple without anyone noticing. He slowed down his exit, trailing after a group of young boys on their way to the dining hall for a quick snack.


    As the other boys rounded the corner, Arik halted. He looked back and forth several times, his blue eyes taking in the sight of some Jedi knights milling about the area. He concluded quickly that none of them were paying attention to him, so he took a deep breath and drew his shields up as tightly as he could, hoping to make himself as inconspicuous as possible. Then he made his escape, right through the front entrance of the Temple.

    *******************************************************************

    Tristan was walking quietly through the near empty corridors on his way to Master Windu’s Advanced Jedi History class, in no particular hurry to get there. He enjoyed history well enough but Mace Windu had a way of making the most fascinating subject unbelievably boring. Master Anakin’s tips from six years ago helped tremendously but Tristan still struggled.

    He sighed as he rounded the corner, just in time to watch Arik bolt out of the Temple.


    What’s he doing now? Tristan thought, frozen in shock.

    Arik was supposed to be in class, not exploring Coruscant. He had always known that Arik was an adventurous boy, but seeing him fleeing the Temple on his own was the first sign that Arik Skywalker was fearless and lacked common sense.

    ”Better watch after him so he doesn’t get hurt,” Tristan whispered to himself, hurrying after Arik and pushing aside all thoughts of the trouble he was going to be in for skipping another one of Master Windu’s classes.

    Tristan followed Arik for hundreds of meters as he traveled further and further down the ramps to the lowest levels of Coruscant.


    “How uncivilized,” Tristan muttered, frowning in distaste at the increasingly dilapidated surroundings. Even though he was only sixteen, Tristan had developed a strong dislike for anything that wasn’t clean and orderly, even people.

    As he walked, he caught sight of buildings that seemed near collapse and the people that found shelter beneath their shadows because they had no place to live. He struggled mightily to keep the glare of disapproval off of his face as he meandered past some of those people while still following Arik.

    “Master Anakin is not going to like this,” he sighed as he followed Arik into a junkyard.

    *******************************************************************

    Finally! Arik thought gleefully as he raced into the Sudime Junkyard his father had been bragging about for years. There were various junkyards located throughout Coruscant, but the Sudime Junkyard on the lowest level was the best. Anakin had told tale after tale of the treasures he’d managed to find buried in the most unlikely places and now Arik was finally going to get the opportunity to dig for his own special treasure.

    But it wasn’t just any treasure Arik was after. He wanted to find a circuit board for a speeder he was helping Luke and Anakin rebuild. They would soon be to the point where the circuit board would be needed to proceed with the rebuild.


    Arik and Luke had both inherited Anakin’s aptitude and love for everything mechanical but while Luke could tinker on anything for hours, while Arik craved variety and became and frustrated if he couldn’t get the job done quickly. In that respect, he lacked the patience and persistence of his elder brother.

    Anakin had been promising Arik he’d bring him down to the junkyard for weeks to look for the circuit board, but an opportunity never seemed to present itself. So while sitting in class, the idea to travel to the junkyard alone had struck him. Now, he was there and he was certain that he would be able to surprise his father and brother.

    He paused for a moment, his eyes widening with excitement at the stacks upon stacks of junk. It was a scavengers paradise, and at that moment, Arik Skywalker wasn’t a Jedi-in-training, he was a scavenger.


    This is where the fun begins, he grinned inwardly, heading towards the nearest pile and beginning his search.

    *******************************************************************

    Tristan stepped inside the junkyard being careful to stay in the shadows, his nose wrinkling in disgust at the smells assaulting him.


    What a lovely smell you’ve discovered, Arik, he thought, flicking a speck of dirt off his tunic.

    He looked around at the enormous piles of trash and shook his head. What could he possibly be looking for here?

    Tristan hurriedly ducked behind a pile of metal as a frustrated and disheveled Arik stood, hands on his hips, scanning the various other scrap piles. He watched, perplexed, as Arik shifted from one foot to another for several long moments, his eyes simply peering into the massive piles of scrap.

    “Yes!” Arik cried in excitement running to a pile in the center of the junkyard.

    ”What the…” Tristan gasped, frozen and watching in horror as the eight year-old attempted to leap onto a small ledge about four and a half meters from the ground.

    Arik leapt, landing precariously in the ledge and tottering dangerously as he struggled to maintain his balance.


    Tristan had felt the boy pull the Force to him just before his leap. It swirled around him, just as it did around every Skywalker, but immediately Tristan knew that Arik had neither the skill nor the experience to execute such a maneuver on such unstable terrain.

    “Arik!” Tristan screamed as the boy fell backwards, scrapping his face and body against the metal edges of the junk as he fell from his perch.

    Tristan ran quickly towards the falling boy, reaching out and catching Arik just before he hit the scrap pile. He fell to his knees and held the shaking boy tightly for a moment.

    “Are you okay?” he asked gently after a moment, his breath returning and his heartbeat slowing down.

    Arik blinked disbelievingly at Tristan for a split second before becoming aware of the pain in his head. Blood ran down his face from a large gash on his forehead. Arik touched his small hand to the wound, starring in shock at the blood he saw on his hand. His fearlessness gone, the child burst into tears.

    “Shh,” Tristan soothed. ”It’s all right, Arik. You’re gonna be fine.”


    He stretched the sleeve of his tunic and held it to the cut. Arik continued to sob even as Tristan moved his hand from the cut and reached into the utility belt around his waist. He pulled out a few supplies and easily finished wiping clean the cut and putting a bacta patch over it.

    “We need to get you to the healers,” he announced, wiping the remnants of Arik’s tears. “This is good enough for now, but you’ll need some meds to prevent infection.”

    “I…can...can’t…leave…yet,” Arik gasped. “I...need…the circuit board.”

    “Huh?” Tristan looked up to the area at which Arik was pointing.


    Sure enough there was a slightly battered circuit board sticking up from the rubble.

    “You’ve got to be kidding,” he breathed, recoiling at the thought of the filth surrounding the circuit board.

    “I…I need it!” Arik wailed. “It’s a surprise…for Dad.”

    “Okay, okay,” Tristan murmured, squeezing Arik’s shoulders. “I’ll get it for you if you stop crying.”

    Arik nodded and wiped his tears. “Thank you, Tris,” Arik smiled.

    “You’ll owe me one,” Tristan added, getting to his feet and trying not to wince at the dirt covering his trousers.


    These are going straight into the garbage chute, he vowed, leaping to the top of the pile and retrieving the circuit board for the boy.

    *******************************************************************

    Arik was resting comfortably in the Healers Ward, Tristan by his side when Anakin burst into the room.

    “Arik,” he said upon seeing his son. He scanned him from head to foot before pulling him into a tight embrace.


    “Are you all right?” he demanded and ruffled Arik’s hair as the boy nodded. “What happened?”

    Arik swallowed uncertainly. For all of his adventures, he’d never gotten into trouble before, but he had the sinking feeling that once he revealed his story to his father, that would change. But, Skywalkers were brave, so he took a deep breath and began explaining.


    “I…went to the Sudime Junkyard,” he admitted, hanging his head.

    “You what?” Anakin cried, his eyes narrowing. “You were supposed to be in class.”

    “Master Koon had an emergency,” Arik replied. “And I wanted to get the circuit board we needed and…”

    “Arik, you know better than to go the junkyard by yourself…”

    “I took him, Master,” Tristan suddenly interrupted.

    Anakin whirled around to face his teenage apprentice.

    “What?”

    Tristan ignored Arik’s stunned expression. “I took him, Master. He wanted to surprise you with the circuit board, so I volunteered to take him.”


    He handed the battered circuit board to Anakin, eyes fixed firmly on the floor.

    Anakin took the board, waiting silently for Tristan to continue.


    “Well, I appreciate that you wanted to surprise me but…” his voice trailed off. “You both know better than to pull a stunt like this. Both of you could have been seriously injured. You’re both lucky that all Arik ended up with is a cut.”

    “I’m sorry Dad.”

    “I’m sorry, Master.”

    “Your mother and I will discuss your punishment when we get home,” Anakin said, kissing Arik’s forehead. “I’m glad that you’re all right. I love you.”


    He then turned to face Tristan. “Master Windu and I will discuss your punishment.”

    Tristan nodded solemnly. “Yes, Master.”

    Anakin nodded before placing a gentle hand on Tristan’s shoulder. The young man looked up and their eyes met.

    “I’m glad that you’re all right as well,” Anakin said softly. “Not my blood…”

    Tristan smiled. “…but my son just the same.”

    Like he had done with Arik, he leaned forward and placed a fatherly kiss on Tristan’s forehead as well.

    With that Anakin turned and left the room.

    A few moments went by before Arik turned to Tristan and frowned. “Why’d you cover for me?”

    Tristan hopped down from the bio-bed and placed his hand on Arik’s back, guiding the boy from the room. They left the Healer’s Ward together and were in the hallway before Tristan answered.

    “Not my blood…” he trailed off.

    Arik grinned. “…but my brother just the same.”

    The stepped into a turbolift and Tristan hugged the smaller child to him and ruffled his hair. “Brothers cover for one another. That’s why I did it.”

    “Thanks.”

    “You’re welcome, little brother.”
  8. jacen200015 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 11, 2002
    star 4
    I love this! :)
  9. Skywalker_Angel Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 12, 2004
    star 1
    Good job, Sis! :) I look forward to the new chapters.
  10. JediMaster_Jen Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 3, 2002
    star 4
    Thank you, @jacen200015. :)

    Wow, you're back!! [face_dancing] Didn't think you still read my stories. :p

    **********************************************************

    On to the next chapter.



    Chapter 16

    Two Years Later

    Yoda sat quietly in his chambers, deep in meditation. Many changes had come to the Jedi Order in the thirteen years since the defeat of the last of the Sith and while Yoda could see the need for change and agreed with them so far, he was deeply troubled by the increasing demands for even more change.

    The allowance of parental involvement in all aspects of the Initiate’s training had gone smoothly at first. Many of the parents were so enthralled with the Jedi, they made little if any request for change and trusted the teachers with whatever they wanted to do.

    Now, however, more and more parents were demanding changes in how their children were trained, what they were being trained in and which path they would ultimately follow as Jedi. Yoda respected the parent’s input but he was firm in his decree that the Jedi Council have the final word on training issues.

    He frowned, settling deeper and deeper into the Force, seeking guidance and wisdom. As Grand Master of the Jedi Order, he was still respected enough that his word was enough to keep tempers under control. While the parents yielded to his final decision on matters, he could sense the growing resentment. He knew that things could spiral out of control quickly.

    Yoda knew he would not be around forever and thus far, there was no one in the Jedi Order known and respected enough to take his place as the final authority on all matters. That was cause for great concern and would mean a complete restructuring of how the Order was run.

    He reached deeper into the Force, feeling it settling comfortably around him as a series of visions began to flash through his mind. Yoda saw himself coaching young Luke Skywalker in lightsaber techniques, battle katas and shielding.

    He saw himself teaching an eager Luke the traditions of the Order as well as tips on incorporating change while holding on to the basic principles of the Jedi.

    Yoda’s eyes snapped open. The Force had made its will clear to him, as he knew it would. He was to become Luke Skywalker’s Master.

    *******************************************************************

    Master Sarela Lerann finished her duties in the Archives, bade Jocasta Nu good evening and made her way to Yoda’s quarters hoping the diminutive Master would be free to speak with her.

    Sarela had become Jocasta Nu’s assistant sixteen years ago after the Battle of Geonosis had left her legs badly injured. While she was still able to walk, the Pydyrian suffered from terrible pain if she stood for long periods of time and was no longer able to go out on missions.

    While she wouldn’t admit it to anyone, she was secretly relieved she was now able to spend all of her time at the Temple. Sarela was never much of a warrior and the Battle of Geonosis had not only left her physically injured, but emotionally scarred, shaken and unsure she would ever be able to do battle again. She was much more comfortable researching, cataloging and helping to train the Jedi going out on missions in different customs and diplomacy than actually completing a mission herself.

    She was quite content to spend the rest of her days with her current duties, however, in the last few months; she felt the urgent whisper of the Force prompting her down a slightly different path.

    *******************************************************************

    Yoda greeted Sarela warmly, welcoming her into his quarters. He prepared a fresh pot of his special Geillian tea while she sat silently on a rounded pod chair, her face lined with concern.

    “A problem you have?” he asked softly, pouring her a cup of tea.

    “I’m not sure,” she admitted taking a sip of the tea while Yoda poured himself a cup and settled into his chair. “I’m troubled, Master.”

    Yoda gazed at her compassionately as she attempted a slight smile.

    “I love my duties in the archive,” she began. “But lately, I’ve felt this…this…compelling urge to do more.”

    “Hmmm…” Yoda rubbed his chin. “When the Force speaks to us, listen we must.”

    Sarela nodded. “I know Master, but…but this doesn’t make any sense to me.”

    Yoda chuckled softly. “The ways of the Force, we do not always understand but guide us in the right direction, it always will.”

    Sarela snorted. “I can’t believe the Force would be advising me to...” she stopped suddenly, a flush creeping across her cheeks.

    “Take a Padawan Learner,” Yoda finished.

    Sarela’s head snapped up in shock. “How...how did you know?”

    “The same direction I have been given,” he replied. “No more sense to me does it make than to you it does.”

    “At least you can physically train,” Sarela said sadly. “I can barely walk.”

    She slapped at her legs in frustration. “I can’t take a Padawan! I must be interpreting the Force wrong!”

    Yoda stood from his chair and hobbled over to Sarela. “Much to learn a Padawan has from you,” he assured her patting her arm gently.

    “But Master…”

    “No!” he snapped squeezing her hand. “Understand the why we must not, but do the will of the Force we will.”

    “I will,” Sarela sighed softly. “I’m sorry for bothering you, Master.”

    Yoda smiled compassionately at her. “A bother you are not. Now, someone in mind have you?”

    Sarela nodded, meeting his gaze. “Yes, Master. Leia Skywalker.”
    Last edited by JediMaster_Jen, Jul 24, 2013
  11. JediMaster_Jen Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 3, 2002
    star 4
    Chapter 17


    Anakin slowly entered the Council Chambers and settled into his chair, forcing himself to run through a few calming exercises to settle his anxious nerves. Today’s council meeting was no ordinary one for him. It was the day Luke and Leia would be selected as Padawan Learners.

    He grinned, reflecting on their birth, their first steps, their first words, and the first time they held their miniature lightsabers. How had this day arrived so fast? It seemed to him that it had been just days before that he held them both in his arms on Naboo.

    “How are you holding up?”

    Anakin opened his eyes to find Garen Muln smiling sympathetically at him.


    “I’m all right,” he sighed, running his hand through his long hair as Yoda hobbled into the room.

    Garen took his seat next to Anakin’s chuckling softly.

    “I think,” Anakin added as the meeting was called to order.

    The meeting progressed smoothly as the Council approved of the requested pairings. Since anyone wishing to take a Padawan meditated on it for weeks or months, requests were rarely turned down.

    “Two requests we have left,” Yoda finally announced, much to Anakin’s relief.

    “Master Sarela Lerann has requested Leia Skywalker as her Padawan, and young Leia, agreed she has.”

    Anakin’s eyes widened in shock as the rest of the Council muttered their surprise. While he respected Master Lerann, Anakin was concerned about her limited abilities and he wanted Leia to have a suitable mentor.

    “Master Lerann?” Garen finally asked, turning to Yoda in confusion. ”Are you certain, Master?”

    Yoda held up his hand to quiet the whisperings. “The will of the Force I feel this is.”


    He gazed at Anakin firmly.

    “No ordinary Jedi Leia Skywalker will be,” he said. “Special training she will need.”

    Anakin sat back in his chair, startled by Yoda’s words.


    “What?” he gasped. “Leia is strong in the Force. I’ve felt it. Master, I think…”

    “Strong in the Force she is,” Yoda confirmed, nodding his head. “But suited for the life of a typical Jedi she is not.”

    Anakin swallowed his rising anger. What was Yoda talking about? His daughter was every bit as suited to the life of a Jedi as anyone else.


    “What do you mean by that?” Anakin demanded.


    Mace Windu leaned forward in his seat. “You must have noticed her reluctance to participate in combat training and saber techniques. She’s not a typical child, Anakin. Her talents lie along another path.”

    “I...I...” Anakin frowned. “She’s still a young girl. I’m sure she’ll grow to…”

    “No,” Yoda declared simply. “Force training on her we must not. Her own path Leia must choose.”

    Anakin sighed deeply, his shoulders slumping. “So you’re going to sentence her to a life in the archives?” he said bitterly.

    “Said that, I did not!” Yoda snapped, tapping his gimmer stick on the floor to emphasize his point.


    “Train Leia in history, diplomacy, and various customs Sarela Lerann will,” he paused waiting for Anakin to meet his gaze. “Train Leia in defense and shielding, Master Barriss Offee will. Accompany Master Offee on diplomatic missions Leia will.”

    Anakin’s mouth dropped open in shock. Leia was to have two masters. That was unheard of.


    “I…I’m…thank you, Master,” he breathed, truly grateful Leia would experience missions away from the Temple.

    “Requesting to train Luke Skywalker, I am,” Yoda declared a moment later sending a shockwave reverberating throughout the chamber.

    “At your age?!” Anakin blurted before anyone recovered from the shock.

    Yoda’s eyes narrowed.

    Anakin bit his lip, regretting his words. “Uh…I…I…mean…uh…”

    “For eight-hundred years have I trained Jedi,” Yoda replied in an even tone. “My own council I will keep on when age limits a Jedi.”

    “Master, are you sure you want to do this on top of all your other duties?” Mace asked cautiously.

    “Meditated on this I have,” Yoda said simply. “A special destiny young Skywalker has. Teach him I must. On missions he will accompany whichever Master needs assistance.”


    Anakin sat quietly, his mind reeling. First Leia receives two Masters and now Luke would be trained by many more than that.

    “What sort of destiny?” Kit Fisto inquired.

    “Uncertain that is,” Yoda admitted. “Always in motion is the future. Follow the guidance of the Force we must.”


    He gazed at each of the Masters before him. “Vote on this we shall.”

    Anakin was scarcely aware of the rest of the meeting. He voted along with the rest of the Council to approve Yoda’s request. He didn’t understand why his children were chosen for special training, but he knew better than to question the will of the Force.


    *******************************************************************

    ”Still okay?” Garen as asked as he and Anakin were leaving the Council chamber.

    Anakin took a deep breath and shook his head. “This is all so strange, Garen. I don’t…I don’t know what to think. I wish Obi-Wan…”

    Garen rested a hand on the younger man’s shoulder. “You wish he was here.”

    “Yeah,” he admitted softly. “I thought I’d finally been able to let him go. I thought I’d grown up enough to not need him anymore. I have three children of my own, plus Tristan, and some days I feel like that young, scared, impressionable nine-year old and all I want is Obi-Wan to tell me it’ll all be okay.”

    Garen nodded sadly. “I wish he was here too. My reasons may be different from yours, but I miss him just as much.”

    Anakin felt better just knowing he wasn’t the only one missing Obi-Wan.

    “Well, maybe the answers as to why my children are different will come to me in my meditations.”

    “Good luck with that,” Garen said. “I’ll see you later.”

    Anakin watched his friend was away before turning and heading off in the opposite direction.
  12. JediMaster_Jen Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 3, 2002
    star 4
    Chapter 18


    Luke shifted his weight from foot to foot, carefully studying the movements of his opponent, Tuc Ilesar, as he waited for the next series of attacks.

    Yoda stood a few feet away from the training area, his eyes darting between both young boys, his mind open to the Force.

    Tuc lurched forward with an onslaught of strikes. Luke blocked each blow, but was driven backwards by the taller boy in the process.

    He tightened his grip on his lightsaber, his eyes narrowing into thin slits as his frustration grew as he remained unable to get the upper hand. Tuc, sensing victory was close, increased the speed of his attack as Yoda stepped forward, a look of concern on his face.

    Luke took one step back, ducked and quickly turned catching Tuc off guard. Using the Force, he somersaulted over Tuc’s head. Tuc had barely turned around when Luke began his assault of slashes that quickly knocked Tuc’s lightsaber from his hands.


    Luke stood triumphantly over his opponent, a slight smirk gracing his features.

    “Enough!” Yoda shouted, taping his gimer stick forcefully.

    “Master?” Luke questioned as he turned to Yoda in surprise.

    Tuc shakily got to his feet, collecting his lightsaber; no small amount of fear reflected in his dark eyes.


    “Good match,” he mumbled, bowing gracefully.

    “To your quarters return, Tuc,” Yoda said, smiling compassionately at the young boy. “Performed well you did.”

    “Thank you, Master,” Tuc bowed and quickly left the room.

    “Master, why did you stop the match?” Luke asked, dropping to one knee so as to be more level with his diminutive mentor. “I won.”

    Yoda sighed, shaking his head. “Drew upon your frustration to make your attack more powerful you did. Teach you that did I?”

    “No, but what difference does that make? I won!”

    “Anger, frustration, fear; the dark side of the Force are they. Easily they flow; quick to join in a fight they are. Beware of them!” Yoda instructed as he leaned forward, starring forcefully into Luke’s eyes. “For the power they bring, a heavy price is paid.”

    “Price?” Luke frowned. “What do you mean, Master?”

    “The dark side beckons,” Yoda warned. “Once down the dark path you start, forever will it dominate your destiny. Consume you it will.”

    “Is the dark side stronger?” the boy wondered out loud.

    “No,” Yoda was quick to answer. “Easier, quicker, more seductive it is.”

    Luke swallowed and nodded. “Dad told me about how close he came…”

    Yoda nodded, patting his arm gently. “Remembered his training your father did. A strong, powerful Jedi is your father. The Force is his ally.”

    ”Master, how will I know the good side from the bad?”

    “You will know,” Yoda replied. “When at peace you are; calm, passive. A Jedi uses the Force for knowledge, wisdom; never for attack.”

    “I’m sorry, Master,” Luke whispered brokenly, hanging his head. He realized his mistake and his shoulders slumped under the weight of his failure.

    Yoda reached out and lifted Luke’s chin with one pointed finger. “If remember your training and Anakin’s experience, resist the dark side you will, young Skywalker.”

    *******************************************************************

    “Leia, I’m afraid I’m running a bit behind this afternoon,” Sarela Lerann greeted as Leia arrived at the archives. “Would you mind helping me by filing the reports from Adari? We can begin our studies afterwards.”

    “Of course, Master,” Leia said as she picked up the datapads and scanned the contents as she quickly put them in order. When she reached the third datapad, she gasped in horror at what she read.

    ”Hundreds die every day while thousands are left starving as authorities struggle to find a solution to environmental problems prohibiting the growth and harvesting of crops,” she read softly to herself.

    “Master!” Leia gasped and dropped the remaining datapads and raced to Sarela’s side.

    “My goodness, what is it, Leia?” Sarela turned to her in surprise.

    “What are we doing to help?” Leia asked, handing her bewildered Master the datapad. “It doesn’t say anything about how the Republic or the Jedi are helping?”

    Sarela glanced at the report and sighed. “That’s because we aren’t providing any help at the moment.”

    “What!”

    “Leia Skywalker, lower your tone!” Sarela admonished.

    “Sorry, Master,” Leia flushed. “Why aren’t we helping?”

    “Because the authorities on Adari haven’t asked for it,” Sarela replied sadly. ”Until they do, we cannot interfere.”

    “So we just sit back while people are suffering and dying?” Leia questioned softly, tears gathering in her dark eyes.

    Sarela studied the heartache in Leia’s eyes. She could see as well as sense the desire to help within their depths and her heart broke at the turmoil the girl felt for being unable to provide that help.


    “We can’t force the Adarians to accept our help,” she explained gently. “Chancellor Organa has pledged whatever aide they need but so far his offer of assistance has been refused. They are a prideful and independent people who would sooner die than accept help.”

    “But we can’t just sit back and do nothing,” Leia cried.

    “What do you think we should do?” Sarela asked.

    Leia thought silently for a moment.


    “We could sneak in,” she suggested, a smile beginning to form on her face. “And give the people food and medicine if they need it without the Adari government knowing.”

    “If only it were that easy,” Sarela replied.

    “We’re Jedi, we could do it!” Leia insisted.

    “For one thing,” Sarela began, “There is no way for us to sneak one ship, let alone several hundred onto Adari without the government finding out.”

    Leia sighed, her shoulders slumping.

    “And for another,” Sarela continued, lifting Leia’s chin to meet her compassionate gaze. “Neither the Republic nor the Jedi can override any government’s direct wishes simply because we don’t like them.”

    “But the people are dying,” Leia protested weakly. ”It just isn’t right.”

    “I know,” Sarela admitted. “But imagine for a moment if the Republic were to suddenly go around the galaxy imposing our will on unsuspecting peoples and their governments against their express wishes to the contrary. This Republic is a democracy, Leia, not a dictatorship.”

    ”What if it’s better for them, taking our help whether they like it or not? They should just understand that we’re right and they need to do what we tell them. We have the power to do that.”

    Sarela tightened her grip on Leia’s shoulder, her mind flashing back seventeen years ago when Chancellor Palpatine made that same argument to justify his actions during the Clone Wars. He wanted everyone to bow down to his will because he believed it was right and thought everyone else should believe it as well.

    “Leia, it’s wrong for one person, or even a group of people like the Jedi or the Senate to decide what’s in the best interests of another person or another group of people against their will,” she finally answered. “We learned that under Chancellor Palpatine. He wanted to Emperor, to control the masses. Is that what you want?”

    Leia shuddered, remembering the stories her parents told her and her brothers about how close Palpatine had come to ruling the entire galaxy with an iron first, imposing his rule on billions of galactic citizens, against their will.

    “I understand,” she whispered softly.

    Sarela hugged her tightly. “Leia, you’re so young right now that you see life in black and white. It’s a gift which children have, being able to see right and wrong and nothing that lies in between. Unfortunately, as you grow older and learn more about life, both inside and outside the context of being a Jedi Knight, you’re going to see terrible injustices and tragedies throughout the galaxy. Unfortunately, you’re going to discover that life is not lived in black and white, but most often in varying shades of gray, even for the Jedi, keepers of peace and justice that we are.”


    The tears that filled her eyes earlier fell then as she listened to the words of her wise mentor.

    “Adari is one such tragedy and injustice,” Sarela explained gently. “The government is willing to let its people starve or worse to preserve its pride and independence. We cannot change that. We’ve offered help and it has been refused. So, we move on to the next world whose people will accept our help when we offer it. As Jedi, that is what we do. We help when and where we can. That is all we can do.”

    Leia nodded and wiped away her tears. “I just wish…”

    Sarela smiled. “…that you could help. I know, child, I know.”

    The two finished filing the reports before they delved into Leia’s training. She’d already learned a valuable lesson that day, one which Sarela had hoped would not come so soon. She’d wished the girl could have managed a few more years of seeing in black and white before the Force manifested the gray areas in her life.

    “By the will of the Force, we go,” she whispered to herself as she set Leia to her lessons.
  13. JediMaster_Jen Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 3, 2002
    star 4
    Chapter 19


    Two Years Later

    Padme, whose official title was Senate Liaison to the Chancellor, was working quietly when her desktop intercom chirped.

    “Yes?”

    “Senator Jade has arrived for your appointment,” the crisp voice of Padme’s receptionist announced efficiently.

    “Show him in, Danara,” Padme said as she rose from her desk, moving to the center of her small office to greet her guest. A moment later, the door opened and a tall, stately man around her age entered behind her receptionist.

    “Mrs. Skywalker, a pleasure,” the Senator shook her hand firmly. “Thank you for agreeing to meet with me on such short notice.”

    The receptionist discreetly slipped from the room closing the door behind her.

    “Senator Jade,” Padme greeted leading him to her small reception area consisting of several comfortable chairs surrounding an oblong table.

    “Please, I insist that you call me Darex,” he replied with a pleasant smile as he took his seat.

    “Darex,” Padme repeated. “And you may call me Padme. Mrs. Skywalker makes me feel rather old. Would you like some caf? I have a fresh pot…”

    “No, no, thank you,” he interrupted, shaking his head. “I’m afraid I need to get right down to business.”


    He sighed heavily. “What do you know of the planet Arkania and her people?”

    “The basics,” Padme nodded, her brows furrowing. “They pride themselves of being the leaders in many advanced forms of technology. Arkania boasts the two leading scientists in the galaxy where cyborg creation and micro-circuitry are concerned. They rarely travel off planet and only invite on planet those to whom they wish to peddle their technology.”

    “And generally speaking, the only time they are in the news is when a new technological advance of theirs in unveiled,” Darex added. “Therefore, it will come as a surprise to you that a mysterious illness has spread across the planet and killed twenty percent of the population, including Supreme Governor Jabril. The story ran on the HoloNet News nearly one hour ago.”

    Padme’s mouth dropped open.


    “What?” she gasped. “But that’s impossible! The Chancellor would have been contacted immediately, before it hit the news programs.”

    “The Chancellor should have been contacted,” Darex corrected. “But the Arkanians wish to deal with this matter privately.”

    “Privately?” Padme choked. “How are they supposed to deal with the death of their governor, who also serves this Republic as Arkania’s senator, privately?”

    “Well, the citizens are aware,” Darex explained. “In fact they will be having elections in a few days to name a new governor.”

    “I guess the Republic wasn’t supposed to notice a different Governor of Arkania,” Padme responded sarcastically. ”Do the citizens of Arkania also assume that whomever they elect as governor will also take over Jabril’s place as Galactic Senator of Arkania?”

    “I assume they would have mentioned the change in representation before the new Senate session opened,” Darex chuckled. “As for them assuming that their new governor will also be there new senator, I cannot answer. I have no idea. Truthfully, I would assume so. The position has been a dual one on their planet for centuries. The Senate has allowed it because it hasn’t caused any problems.”


    Padme huffed, clearly displeased with that sentiment. “Perhaps now it has become a problem.”

    ”At any rate, this situation is why I’m here,” he added soberly. “The Arkanians have been devastated by the rapid spread of this illness and they have contacted the Republic with a request that medical supplies, food and water be delivered as soon as possible.”

    Padme nodded as she looked at Darex, the chairman of the Republic Emergency Management Committee. “That seems a reasonable request.”

    “They want their supplies delivered by the Jedi,” he then revealed.

    “The Jedi?” Padme ventured as she sat back in her chair. “Why the Jedi? The Republic has thousands of volunteers who provide delivery and distribution of emergency supplies wherever they are needed.”

    “Yes, I know,” Darex sighed. “But the Arkanian’s are afraid of their technological secrets being stolen and they trust only the Jedi. In fact, one of their requests is that Master Yoda himself be present to oversee the team of Jedi he sends. It seems he has good relations with the Arkanians.”

    “They don’t want much, do they?” Padme snorted.


    “I’m a bit confused,” she confessed gazing into Darex’s clear green eyes. “If the Arkanian’s are so insistent on the Jedi providing the relief, why are you here meeting with me? Why not go directly to the Jedi?”

    “While the Arkanian’s have no respect for the Republic’s policies, I do,” Darex replied simply. “As protocol dictates, all requests for relief aide are to be put before the Chancellor first. I felt it appropriate to come to you as a means of getting the Arkanians request to him before going to the Jedi.”

    Padme nodded. She understood his cautious approach to this situation. “Have you had dealings with the Jedi?”


    “Yes, my daughter is a Padawan Learner at the Temple,” Darex confessed. “You may have met her. She’s good friends with your children, especially your son Luke.”

    “Mara! Mara is your daughter!” Padme exclaimed. “I should have guessed. She looks just like you.”

    “Thank you,” Darex breathed, flushing slightly. “She is the light of my life.”

    “I’m sorry we haven’t met sooner,” Padme said with a sigh. “I try to get to the Temple as often as I can, but more and more I find my duties limiting my time with them to evening meals.”

    “Oh, you don’t have to apologize,” Darex laughed. “My schedule is the much the same. Thankfully I have been able to attend the major achievements in Mara’s life and she has been very understanding and supportive.”

    “She’s an amazing young woman,” Padme replied. “I’ve met her several times and my children enjoy spending time with her.”

    “She is,” Darex smiled wistfully. “I’m very lucky to have her for a daughter.”


    He paused before clearing his throat. “I was wondering if you could help arrange a private meeting with Master Yoda for me.”

    Padme blinked in surprise. “You don’t need me for that. As the parent of a Padawan you have the right…”

    “This needs to be completely private and off the record,” Darex interrupted with a wave of his hand. “I cannot risk making an appointment. I’d like to keep this from the Arkanians until I have an answer from the Temple. If I go through official channels to make the meeting request, the Arkanian government will be aware of it and realize I came to the chancellor before the Jedi. I thought your husband, being on the High Council, could set something up.”

    “I’m sure he could, and I’ll make certain Bail is aware of the situation as well.”

    “I appreciate it,” Darex replied rising to his feet. “I’m sorry but I must be going for another appointment.”

    “I’ll contact you as soon as…”

    Darex shook his head.


    “I would prefer it if you could send the information home with Mara. We have dinner every evening,” he explained. “It would be more discreet that way.”

    “Of course,” Padme rose, walking him to the door.

    “I’m sorry for all the secrecy,” Darex said softly. “I just want to make sure we can provide the Arkanians with the relief they need, no matter how outrageous their terms. I don’t want to get their hopes up if the Jedi refuse their…demand.”

    “I understand,” Padme assured him. “I’ll ask Anakin to set up a meeting as soon as possible.”

    “Thank you,” he replied softly as he left her office.


    *******************************************************************

    “Highly unusual, this request is,” Yoda said to Anakin as the two made their way along the dim corridors of the Temple.

    Anakin, with his long hair tied back with a leather band and hanging regally down past his broad shoulders, nodded. “I agree, Master. When Padme approached me about her conversation with Senator Jade, I was shocked to say the least. The Arkanians are known to keep to themselves and deplore outside contact, but to practically demand help from the Jedi; it makes little sense, Master.”

    Yoda, seated on a hover chair, looked over at the tall Jedi walking beside him. “Sense something amiss, do you?”

    Anakin chuckled. “Oddly enough, no I don’t. I just find it odd that the Republic’s usual method of relief delivery is being cast aside in favor of the Jedi. It seems to be overkill, Master.”

    Yoda was silent for a few moments as he considered the situation.

    Anakin wrapped his arms in his cloak as he waited patiently for Yoda to make his decision.

    “Help, we will,” the diminutive Jedi stated.

    Anakin nodded. “I’ll inform Senator Jade of your decision, Master. I’m sure the Arkanians are waiting for their answer.”

    He bowed respectfully to Yoda before heading off to the comm room to send a message to Darex Jade.

    “Humph,” Yoda muttered. “Unusual indeed.”
  14. Skywalker_Angel Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 12, 2004
    star 1
    I'd forgotten that Mara's father is a senator. Post faster, Sis, I want to read the new chapters. :D
  15. JediMaster_Jen Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 3, 2002
    star 4
    Yep, he's a senator. Not a particularly good one, but...you know. :p

    *************************************


    Chapter 20


    Garen Muln swept into the Council chambers, his cloak swishing behind him as he walked. His ground-eating strides took him to his seat within seconds.

    Anakin turned from his position looking out at the city and smiled at his closest friend. In the years since Obi-Wan’s death, Garen had become a staunch and steadfast supporter and mentor.

    He noticed the troubled look on Garen’s face and went to sit in his own seat next to the older man.

    “Anything wrong?” he asked softly.

    Garen met Anakin’s stare and gave him an impish grin. “No, not…wrong. I’m actually glad you’re here already. There’s something you should know.”

    Anakin’s brows furrowed. “What?”

    Garen grinned again. “I’ve spoken with Arik, and he’s agreed to become my Padawan.”

    Anakin was stunned. He’d forgotten that Arik was now thirteen years old and ready to become a Padawan Learner.

    “Wow,” was all he could manage. “I…”

    Garen chuckled softly. “I know. It seems like yesterday that I came to Naboo just after he was born. I can still remember how it felt to hold him then.”

    Anakin smiled. “The two of you have had a bond since that moment. I could sense it even then. I’m happy that he’ll have you guiding him.”

    Garen released a breath he hadn’t realized he’d been holding. “Thank you.”

    Anakin slapped his friend on the back and laughed. “Let’s see if you can still say that after you spend the next ten or so years putting up with his…impulsiveness.”

    The two men continued talking and laughing softly until Yoda and Mace Windu entered the room.

    *******************************************************************

    Anakin choked back his smile of pride as Luke and Leia were escorted into the Council chamber followed by Mara Jade, Tristan and Barriss Offee. The decision to go to Arkania had been made and he was overwhelmed his oldest two children would be included on the mission; their first major assignment off-planet.

    Yoda quickly called the meeting to order and explained the situation on Arkania.

    “We’ve put together four teams to carry out every aspect of the mission,” Mace Windu continued. “Master Shaak-Ti, you and Mara Jade will oversee the delivery of supplies and make sure they are distributed to the correct areas.”

    Shaak-Ti and Mara gave simultaneous nods.

    “Master Fisto, you and Luke Skywalker will head the convoy delivering supplies to the clans outside the Capital.”

    Anakin bit his lip to suppress a laugh as he felt a surge of pride flow through his son. Luke was finally getting his long desired adventure.

    “Master Offee, you and Leia Skywalker will run the main distribution center in the Capital. You will hand out the supplies and oversee any medical attention the citizens need.”

    Barriss nodded her understanding while Leia beamed in happiness. This was exactly the kind of work she wanted to do the most. She wanted to be in a position to help people who needed it most.

    “Master Skywalker,” Mace turned his pointed stare to Anakin. “You and Tristan will work with the local security team patrolling the capital streets. You will assist in keeping everything orderly while the supplies are being handed out and the elections are held.”

    “Are you expecting trouble?” Tristan asked, his deep voice resonating throughout the room.

    Good, Anakin thought. He’s showing the Council he’s taking the mission seriously enough to think ahead. Perhaps, at twenty years old, he was finally starting to mature.

    “No,” Mace replied. “The Arkanians are a peaceful people. The security measures are just a precaution. We expect this to be a routine mission. You will need to keep in mind the Arkanians expect things to be done their way.”

    “Will we be reporting to them, then?” Barriss wondered.

    “No,” Yoda answered, shaking his head. “Go with you on this mission I will.”


    He paused in amusement as the rest of the Council exchanged surprised looks.

    “Requested to oversee all Jedi activity I was,” he explained.

    Luke’s head snapped up in shock.


    “Master?” he took a tentative step forward. “If you’re coming, why can’t I stay with you?”

    “Needed you are to distribute the supplies,” Yoda replied softly. “Take too long it would for one to handle alone…even for a Jedi Master.”

    “But...but I’m your padawan,” Luke said, his voice tinged with hurt. “My place is by your side.”

    “Need you more the citizens without food, water and medicine do,” Yoda pointed out.


    “Required I am to placate government officials,” he paused, rolling his eyes dramatically causing several snorts of laughter. “Boring, it will be.”

    “What does boring have to do with me performing my duties as your padawan?” Luke argued. “Dad told me all about the boring missions you assigned to his Master and he still had to go.”

    Anakin squirmed in embarrassment as every eye in the chamber suddenly turned to him.

    ”Luke!”

    Luke winced.

    “Humph,” Yoda grunted, tapping his gimer stick.


    “Assigned to Master Fisto you have been,” he continued holding up one clawed hand when Luke opened his mouth to interrupt. “Final my decision is.”

    “Yes Master,” Luke sighed, shoulders slumped, the excitement of being sent on his first big mission suddenly diminished.

    “A freighter is currently being prepared for your journey,” Mace picked up. “Be prepared to leave in two hours. May the Force be with you all.”

    *******************************************************************

    Luke waited a few feet from the Council chambers until the massive doors swung open and the room began to clear. He gave a quick nod to each of the Masters as they passed by him, his eyes searching the emptying room.

    Anakin finally finished speaking with Yoda and stepped into the hallway, stopping abruptly when he spotted his son.

    “I’m sorry about that, Dad,” Luke nodded towards the council room, flashing an exact replica of his father’s lopsided grin.

    “Now you know why you shouldn’t be so quick to speak,” Anakin admonished gently, dropping his arm around Luke’s shoulders. ”You’re fifteen years of age now, well old enough to think before you speak.”

    “I was just…disa…,” Luke gulped,”…surprised Master Yoda is coming with us. I still don’t understand why I can’t stay with him.”

    “Son, you have to trust Yoda knows what he is doing,” Anakin sighed. “He’s one of the few offworlders the Arkanian’s will deal with and the only one they trust.”

    “I know,” Luke grumbled. “I just wish…”

    “Trust me when I say, the last place you want to be is in a room full of politicians.”

    Luke glanced at his father from the corner of his eye. “You’d better not let Mom or Leia hear you say that.”

    “You’d better not let it slip I said that,” Anakin laughed, reaching over and ruffling Luke’s hair.

    “Dad!” Luke protested weakly.

    Anakin laughed, draping his arm across Luke’s shoulders as they walked.

    Neither was aware of Tristan’s intense scrutiny as he followed silently behind them.
  16. JediMaster_Jen Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 3, 2002
    star 4
    Chapter 21


    Twelve Days Later


    Unable to sleep as his thoughts swirled in his head, Luke climbed from his bed. He cautiously palmed open the door to the sleeping quarters. Casting a quick glance over his shoulder to make sure neither his father, Tristan nor Master Fisto had been awakened by his actions, he slowly walked through the darkened hull, carefully muffling his steps as he passed Master Yoda’s quarters.

    Good, I made it, he thought as he stepped into the holding area.

    “Up a little late, aren’t you, Skywalker?”

    Luke whirled around to find an amused Mara Jade smiling at him. He shrugged as a slight flush began to creep across his cheeks.

    “Did I wake you?” he whispered, peeking over her shoulder to the women’s quarters.

    “No,” Mara shook her head, settling into a well-worn chair, tucking her legs beneath her. “I never sleep much on the way to a new mission. I need the extra time to prepare for every possible variable that could happen.”

    “Are you expecting trouble?” Luke frowned, sitting across from her. “The Council is expecting this to be a routine mission. Master Yoda even said it would be boring.”

    “He said his part would be boring,” Mara corrected. “And no, I’m not expecting anything. I just like to be prepared for everything.”

    Luke nodded, studying her silently for a few moments, his young eyes drinking in the beauty of her flaming red hair and her perfectly sculpted face. “Are you nervous at all?”

    He studied the floor as he waited for her answer. Ordinarily, he wouldn’t dream of asking another Jedi such a question, especially a female Jedi but he and Mara had a special friendship and he knew she would understand his feelings and not think less of him for them.

    “Not nervous,” Mara replied, her brows furrowed in thought. “Just cautious, I suppose. I just think that something seems out of place with the Arkanian’s demands. Their security could protect their precious microcircuitry and cyborging technology from the mercenaries the Republic has. Why bring in Jedi?”

    “Maybe they are too run down from the illness,” Luke offered. “And they trust Master Yoda.”

    “But not the rest of us,” Mara pointed out. “Why? I mean, they’ve requested help and now seem loathe to trust any of us. Does that make any sense to you, Skywalker?”

    Luke shrugged, unable to come up with a response to that question and statement.

    “That’s why I’m preparing for what may come,” she concluded.

    “How do you prepare for the unexpected, which may or may not happen?” Luke wondered aloud.

    “You start by getting an adequate night’s sleep.”

    Luke and Mara jumped, turning to find a disheveled Anakin standing at the entrance to the hold, hands on his hips.

    “Master Skywalker!”

    “Dad!”

    They rose guiltily from their chairs.

    “Good night, Master Skywalker,” Mara beat a hasty retreat, stopping briefly to place a kiss on Luke’s cheek.

    Anakin didn’t miss the kiss his son had just received and it caused him to release a big sigh. He hadn’t been looking forward to this stage of parenthood.

    “Did we wake you?” Luke asked sheepishly, blushing deeply as he followed Anakin back to their quarters.

    “No,” Anakin yawned. “I can always tell when one of my children is up when they’re not supposed to be.”

    “Oh,” Luke sighed, silently cursing the Force.

    “The Force has nothing to do with it,” Anakin chuckled. “It some sort of mysterious gift every parent gets the day their child is born.”

    Luke laughed, thinking back to all times when he was up during the night and his mother would always appear to check on him. In all his fifteen years, there had never been a single time when she didn’t get up after him.

    ”Dad?” Luke asked softly just before they reached their quarters.

    Anakin knew what was coming. “Yes?”

    Luke shuffled his feet back and forth for a moment before speaking. “Mara…well, you saw that she…she…”

    Anakin chuckled. “She kissed you.”

    Luke nodded, blushing again for good measure. “Yeah. Why’d she do it?”

    Anakin cleared his throat. “Well, I’m not an expert seeing as I have no experience with women beyond your mother, but it seems to me that she kissed you because she likes you.”

    Luke frowned, confusing his father.

    “You don’t want her to like you?” he asked gently, leading his son to the sitting area outside their quarters.

    “It’s not that,” Luke assured Anakin. “It’s…I like her too, Dad.”

    Anakin smiled. “I figured that much for myself, Son.”

    “Dad,” Luke groaned. “I mean I really like her; like her so much I was tempted to…turn my head when she kissed my cheek so she’d…well, you get it.”

    Anakin placed a gentle hand atop Luke’s. “Yes, I get it. Luke, I want you to listen to me very carefully. When I was your age, I was already hopelessly in love with your mother and she saw me then as nothing more than a child.”

    “But…” Luke tried to interrupt.

    Anakin held up his hand. “Listen. I know it seems that Mara feels the same for you as you do for her, and that may well be the case, or it may not. I want you to give yourself time to grow up before you decide who you really like. If Mara is the woman you end up falling in love with and she feels the same for you, then I’m all for it, but I want you to be prepared for her to see you as nothing more than a friend. I don’t want you to be hurt.”

    Luke nodded. “I understand.”

    Anakin smiled. “Good. Now, let’s get to bed and get some sleep. We have a busy day tomorrow.”

    They both entered their quarters then and quickly they were both asleep.

    *******************************************************************

    The freighter carrying the Jedi arrived on Arkania the next morning without incident. Yoda lead the procession of Jedi down the ramp where a small welcoming committee was waiting for them.

    “Welcome, Master Yoda,” said a tall, lean Arkanian dressed in official government robes stepped forward, bowing deeply. “I am Kodai Verbeke, acting governor of Arkania.”

    “Pleased to meet you, I am,” Yoda replied with a nod of his head.

    “I have several members of my personal security team all ready to oversee the Jedi you brought with you,” Verbeke announced, gesturing to a group of well-built men standing off to the side. “I’d thought we’d...”

    “No,” Yoda tapped his gimer stick forcefully on the ramp.

    Verbeke starred down at Yoda in shock. “Ex…excuse me? I thought our terms were clear.”

    “Clear they were,” Yoda replied. “No mention of Arkanian’s overseeing Jedi was there.”

    Standing behind Yoda, Anakin had to stifle a laugh at the expression on Verbeke’s face as he was rebuked by the diminutive Jedi Master.

    Yoda then glared at Verbeke. “Agree to such a term, I will not.”

    Verbeke’s mouth fell open. “Bu…bu…but…”

    “Four teams of Jedi I have brought,” Yoda continued, ignoring Verbeke. “In charge of distributing supplies they will be. Work with your security we will. In charge of the Jedi I am.”

    Verbeke exchanged glances with his aides.

    “Very well,” he sighed. “May I suggest one member of my security team be assigned to each of your Jedi teams?”

    Yoda’s eyes narrowed.

    “As an advisor only,” Verbeke quickly added. “We have certain ways of doing things here and while we don’t expect the Jedi to be aware of those ways, we would like you to keep to them.”

    “Agreed,” Yoda replied with a wave of his hand.

    “Thank you,” Verbeke breathed. “I invite you to join me in the governor’s offices. We can monitor the distribution of supplies there as well as follow the elections being held in a couple days.”

    Yoda nodded, turning to face the Jedi behind him as Verbeke stepped away slightly to speak with his men. “Master Skywalker.”

    Anakin knelt quickly in front of him. “Work with the Arkanian’s security the Masters will. The Padawans will follow their Master’s directions,” he instructed.

    Anakin nodded. ”Yes, Master.”

    Yoda leaned forward slightly, gesturing Anakin closer.

    “Be mindful of ulterior motives,” he cautioned silently. “Observe carefully the actions of all the Arkanians.”

    Anakin eyed the security team with thinly veiled suspicion. “I understand, Master.”

    Yoda had to suppress a grin at the determination in Anakin’s voice. He reminded the small Jedi of Obi-Wan in that moment.

    “Proud of you, he would be,” Yoda muttered just loud enough for Anakin to hear. “May the Force be with you, Master Skywalker.”

    Anakin stood and bowed. “May the Force be with us all, Master.”

    Yoda hobbled away then, following Verbeke and leaving the others to begin tending to business.

    Anakin looked up at the clouds and sighed. “I hope you’re proud. Keep a watch the next couple of days, Master.”

    With that, Anakin took a deep breath and set off to work.
    Last edited by JediMaster_Jen, Aug 29, 2013
  17. Jedi_Tyler Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 11, 2005
    star 1
    I didn't remember this part. There's something very strange about those Arkanians and Verbeke seems untrustworthy at best.
  18. JediMaster_Jen Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 3, 2002
    star 4
    It gets stranger, Tyler. :)

    *******************************************


    Chapter 22


    Luke worked silently beside Kit Fisto, his muscles burning as they checked off the supplies that were to be part of the convoy, occasionally sneaking glances around the busy landing docks. Several ships had arrived in the short time they’d been there and were waiting to have their supplies inventoried by Mara and Shaak-Ti before being unloaded and distributed to the correct areas for delivery.

    He sighed as he checked off the last of the medical supplies, anxious to be underway. He stared blankly ahead wondering if they would encounter any danger during the trip. A smile began to form on his lips as he imagined shadowy figures advancing on the convoy…

    “Luke.”

    Drawing his lightsaber in warning…

    “Luke.”

    “Igniting the saber as the creatures continued their approach…

    “Luke!” Kit Fisto’s insistent voice finally broke through his thoughts.

    “Huh?” Luke shook his head, blinking rapidly.

    “The food supplies are ready to be checked,” said Fisto as he pointed to a pile of rations a few feet away.

    “Yes, Master.”


    Flushing with embarrassment, Luke scurried over to the rations.

    ”Such a dreamer, just like your father,” Kit whispered to himself as he finished his task and moved to help Luke with the food supplies.”

    *******************************************************************

    Mara handed the inventory list to Shaak-Ti, who immediately began issuing orders to the ship’s crew on where to distribute the supplies. She sighed softly, her eyes scanning the landing port, wishing she could be anywhere but here.

    Why couldn’t she have been assigned to Master Skywalker and the security team? At least then she’d be able to see the capital and its mysterious inhabitants; or been able to go with Master Offee, though being stuck in another building hardly held more appeal. At least Master Offee and Leia would be dealing with the Arkanians one-on-one.

    Her eyes landed on Luke, smiling at his reddened face. He must have been daydreaming again, she mused with a grin. His assignment was the only one she was glad she didn’t have. Riding some smelly old beast through the barren lands of a strange planet was not her idea of fun.

    She was about to turn her attention back to the ship in front of her, when she caught a sudden movement out of the corner of her eye. Mara turned in time to spot a short, stocky Arkanian looking hastily from side to side before entering the cargo hold of one of the ships waiting to be inspected.

    Without a thought, she crept over to the ship silently, standing off to the side of the ramp. Peering inside, she watched as the Arkanian ruffled through a box marked food rations. Satisfied with his search, he closed the box, picked it up and headed down the ramp.

    “Stop,” Mara commanded, stepping in front of the ramp.

    The Arkanian froze, staring at Mara disbelievingly. He looked her up and down, and not seeing anything threatening in the slender girl, continued down the ramp.

    “I said stop,” Mara repeated, taking her lightsaber in hand and igniting the pale yellow blade.

    “Out of my way Jedi, the man sneered, stopping a foot away from her. “I have official business to attend to.”

    “You’ll have to attend to it without the food you’re stealing,” Mara replied firmly. ”I suggest you put it back where you found it.”

    “My people need this food!” the man spat, glaring at her menacingly.

    “They’ll have to wait just like everyone else,” she countered. “For the last time, put the box down and be on your way.”

    The man’s eyes narrowed into thin slits, his nostrils flared in anger.

    “I don’t have time for this,” he hissed lunging forward and throwing the box at her.

    Mara reacted quickly, swinging her saber, cutting the box and the Arkanian in half.

    His blood curdling scream echoed throughout the entire landing bay before he fell to the ground, dead.

    Mara starred in horror at the mess before her as everyone in the landing bay came running. Shaak-Ti reached her first, gently taking the lightsaber from her hand and shutting it down.

    “Mara, what happened?”

    Mara continued to stare blankly ahead.

    “Mara.”


    Noticing that the seventeen year-olds gaze was still focused on the deceased Arkanian, Shaak-Ti stepped directly in front of her, blocking the ramp from her view.

    “Mara, look at me,” she commanded softly.

    Mara looked up into her Master’s compassionate gaze.

    “What happened?”

    “She’s a murderer!” the Arkanian assigned to their team shouted angrily, pointing to the man on the ramp. The rest of the Arkanians began to murmur heatedly amongst themselves, glaring hatefully at the Jedi. “The girl killed him unprovoked!”

    Shaak-Ti turned to face the crowd, her arm protectively around her padawan.


    “We don’t know what happened yet,” she pointed out.

    “Look at the ramp,” the man shouted indignantly. “She killed Sibar Adrien, the head of the most prominent clan.”

    Mara began to shake at the news. She’d drawn her saber on missions before, but never had she been forced to take another life. Never had she seen death so close.


    “I didn’t mean to kill him,” she said quietly.

    “Liar!” came the collective screams from the assembled crowd.


    The Arkanians began to inch closer to Mara and Shaak-Ti. “You will be taken to the detention center at once. A life for a life, we demand.”

    Kit Fisto quickly moved to stand beside Shaak-Ti, Luke following behind him, both of them with their hands poised on the hilts of their lightsabers, prepared to defend themselves should the need arise.

    “No one is going anywhere,” he announced. “Not until we find out exactly what happened.”


    He turned to Mara. “Mara?”

    Mara squared her shoulders. “He was stealing food…”

    “Arkanian’s don’t steal!”

    “Its our food!”

    “We don’t need Jedi permission to take what’s ours!”

    “Quiet!” Fisto demanded. “Let her finish.”

    “I told him to stop,” Mara continued in an even voice. “Twice, I told him to stop. He wouldn’t. He threw the box at me and I…” she paused, swallowing the lump in her throat,”…protected myself.”

    “She killed a man for throwing a box!” the Arkanian proclaimed. “That’s Jedi justice?”

    While the yelling was going on between the Arkanians and Masters Shaak-Ti and Kit Fisto, Luke made his way to Mara’s side.

    “Mara,” Luke called softly as he took her smaller hand in his and squeezed tightly. “Are you okay?”

    Mara nodded slightly, biting her lower lip. Luke could see how unsettled she was and he wished he could make the whole situation easier for her.

    “I didn’t do anything wrong,” she declared in a strong voice a moment later.

    “We’ll let the Governor decide that,” the Arkanian pronounced. “You are under arrest.”

    Shaak-Ti stepped in front of Mara. “We’ll see about that. Mara is my padawan and I firmly stand by her actions.”

    “If that’s the way you want it,” the Arkanian sneered. “You’re both under arrest.”
  19. JediMaster_Jen Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 3, 2002
    star 4
    Chapter 23


    “You have no authority to arrest us,” Shaak-Ti pointed out, her voice holding a slightly incredulous air. “The Jedi have diplomatic immunity throughout the galaxy.”

    “You are guests on our planet,” the Arkanian replied through clenched teeth. “Therefore, you are subject to our laws.”

    “The laws of the Republic disagree with you,” sounded a stern voice from behind the crowd. “As do I.”

    “Wha…?” the Arkanian stuttered as he whirled around and came face to face a defiant and angry-looking Anakin Skywalker; Tristan by his side.

    “More Jedi,” he spat. “Just what we need.”

    “Master Skywalker,” Fisto greeted as Anakin and Tristan moved to stand beside him. “We’ve got a bit of a situation.”

    Anakin glanced quickly at the angry Arkanians, quickly assessing the situation. “Yes, it does seem that way, doesn’t it? However, as Master Shaak-Ti mentioned, there will be no arrests here today.”

    “Enough arguing,” the Arkanian declared.

    “I say we lock up the lot of you Jedi and let the governor deal with you,” he spat at Anakin; brave considering Anakin was nearly a foot taller than the Arkanian.

    “And I say you have no authority over us,” Anakin declared in a strong and unyielding voice as he took several menacing steps towards the shorter man.

    “But…” the Arkanian tried to say, but was interrupted.

    “If you’ll recall the instructions given by your acting governor before he departed for his office, Master Yoda is in charge of the Jedi,” he paused, flicking a disgusted look at the Arkanian. “Not you.”

    The Arkanian clenched his fists, his eyes narrowing.

    “Very well,” he hissed. “We’ll interrupt the governor and Yoda but don’t think you can delay justice for long.”

    He reached into his robe, angrily pulling out his comm as he stepped away to contact them.

    Anakin turned to face Kit Fisto. “Someone want to fill me in on what happened while we wait?”

    Shaak-Ti explained the situation, keeping her arm around Mara’s shoulders.

    “I agree, Mara had no choice,” she added, squeezing her shoulders.

    Anakin sighed, running his fingers through his hair. “And he’s the head of a prominent clan?”

    “The most prominent clan,” Luke pointed out.

    “Great,” Anakin sighed as he scanned the landing port. “What was he doing taking supplies directly from the ship? Aren’t we supposed to be in charge of distributing them?”

    He exchanged puzzled glances with Fisto and Shaak-Ti. The six Jedi fell into an awkward silence.

    “Dad,” Luke whispered softly.

    Anakin kept his eyes focused on the back of the Arkanian, not inclined to let the man out of his sight.

    “Hmm?” he asked without turning to face his son.

    “The Arkanian said they demand a life for a life,” he gulped. “Master Yoda won’t let them kill Mara, right?”

    Anakin smiled reassuringly, knowing that Luke saw it. “No. Master Yoda will straighten this out and we’ll all get back to work.”

    *******************************************************************

    Yoda and the governor arrived a short time later, calling everyone to gather around the center of the landing port. They listened quietly as Mara explained what happened in an unrepentant tone.

    “I’m sorry for the outcome,” she concluded. “But I didn’t have a choice.”

    Governor Verbeke turned to Yoda. “Nor do we have a choice. Your Jedi has confessed. She must be arrested immediately.”

    Two Arkanian security guards stepped forward to take Mara into custody.

    “No,” Yoda replied, holding up a clawed hand. The security guard halted, gazing at Verbeke uncertainly.

    “Master Yoda, she has confessed…”

    “An unfortunate accident this was,” Yoda replied firmly.

    “Accident?” Verbeke gasped. “She did not have to kill…”

    “If obeyed a direct order Sibar Adrien had, alive he would still be,” Yoda pronounced, taping his gimer stick. “If explained to us his actions, allowed he would have been to take whatever he needed.”

    “We only asked for your help,” Verbeke scoffed. “Not your interference.”

    “An unfortunate accident this was,” Yoda repeated, frowning. “Necessary punishment is not.”

    “I’m sorry Master Yoda,” Verbeke replied stiffly. “As much as I respect you personally, your Jedi killed a man and accident or not she must be punished.”

    Shaak-Ti stepped forward next to Mara and rested a supportive hand on her shoulder. “Master Yoda, Governor Verbeke, may I speak?”

    Verbeke gapped at her in shock while Yoda nodded his approval.

    “Mara is my padawan and my responsibility,” she began. “After reviewing her actions, I agree she did nothing wrong.”

    “I am sorry for your loss,” she continued, raising her voice above the rising voices of the Arkanians. “Since I am the one in charge, I will share in whatever punishment you deem necessary.”

    “You want to be executed as well?” Verbeke exclaimed.

    “Executed!” Luke shouted as he stepped forward. “You can’t execute them for something that was an accident!”

    Anakin grabbed Luke’s arm, pulling him back to his side. Luke struggled against the hold a bit, wanting to move protectively next to Mara, but Anakin’s grip was firm.

    “Let Master Yoda handle it,” he whispered.

    “No executions will there be,” Yoda replied angrily.

    “There must be justice,” Verbeke countered.

    “Justice for an accident there is not,” Yoda stated firmly. “But if punishment you require, restrict Master Shaak-Ti and Padawan Mara Jade to our ship I will.”

    “Hmm…” Verbeke stroked his chin thoughtfully. “Who will guard the ship to make sure they do not leave it?”

    “One Jedi and one Arkanian,” Yoda announced. ”Acceptable, that is?”

    “Very well,” Verbeke agreed. “But if they try to leave the ship…”

    “Obey our decision they will,” Yoda assured him. “Accept it will your people?”

    “They will do as I order,” he answered firmly.

    *******************************************************************

    Yoda escorted the six Jedi to their waiting ship. “Leave the ship you must not.”

    “Yes Master,” they replied simultaneously.

    “Stand guard with the Arkanian, Tristan will,” he continued.

    “What?” Tristan exclaimed in horror. “Master Yoda, I’ve already got an assignment.”

    “Handle security by himself Master Skywalker can,” Yoda replied.

    “What if there’s more trouble?” Tristan argued. “I shouldn’t have to waste my time babysitting…”

    “Tristan,” Anakin warned, placing an arm on his shoulder.

    “Master Yoda,” he dropped to one knee, meeting Yoda’s stare. “I have to agree with my padawan. He would be better served helping me on the streets of the capital. If Master Shaak-Ti gives her word she and Mara will stay on the ship, we can trust they will.”

    “Agree with you I do,” Yoda sighed. “But placate the Arkanians I must. A job to do we still have.”

    “I’ll stand guard,” Luke suddenly volunteered.

    “Needed you are to distribute the supplies,” Yoda replied, shaking his head. “More dangerous are the clans outside the capital.”

    “Tristan can take my place,” Luke continued. “He’s got more experience than me anyway and…”

    Anakin turned to face his son in shock. Luke was willing to give up his long awaited adventure? He must really like Mara.

    “No,” Yoda declared. “Assigned you were to Master Fisto. Continue your assignment you will.”

    “But Master!” Luke and Tristan cried at the same time. Neither young man was happy with the way events were unfolding. Luke wanted to be there for Mara and Tristan resented being pulled off his duty to attend to what he saw as a task that was far beneath him.

    “Master Yoda, please…” Tristan began, only to be cut off.

    “Argue I will not,” Yoda snapped, tapping his gimer stick forcefully. “Final my decision is.”

    The small Jedi walked off, leaving Anakin, Tristan, Luke, Shaak-Ti, Mara and an Arkanian guard stunned.

    “Wonderful,” Tristan muttered.

    Mara smirked. “If it’s any consolation, Kenobi, I find the idea of being guarded by you as unpleasant an experience as you seem to find guarding me.”

    Tristan only glared at Mara.

    Anakin was still nervous. He cleared his throat and motioned Tristan towards him as Kit and Luke headed back to their assigned duties.

    Once they were out of earshot, Tristan looked at his mentor. “Yes, Master?”

    “I don’t trust these…people,” he said softly. “I want you to keep a close eye on that guard you’re going to be with. Keep your comlink handy. I want you to contact me the moment you sense something wrong.”

    Tristan nodded. “Yes, Master.”

    “Keep your senses alert,” Anakin then instructed. “Something isn’t right here.”

    “I will, Master,” Tristan promised.

    Anakin smiled at his student. “May the Force be with you.”

    Tristan nodded. “May the Force be with you, Master.”

    Anakin walked away then, headed back to his security duties while Tristan took up his post next to the Arkanian guard outside the ship where Mara and Shaak-Ti were now being held.

    The guard was so uninterested he didn’t notice the scowl on Tristan’s face, or the heated, angry gaze of Tristan’s blue/gray eyes.
  20. Skywalker_Angel Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 12, 2004
    star 1
    Loved Kit's comment about Luke being dreamer like his father. :) That is so true. Definitely a trait that Luke and Anakin share.

    Mara confined?? :eek: I didn't remember that she killed that thieving Arkanian.

    This fic is so good. :) Can't wait for the new chapters. Are they coming soon? ;)
    JediMaster_Jen likes this.
  21. Jedi_Tyler Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 11, 2005
    star 1
    Luke's a little worked up there about Mara. :) Hope to see them together before this fic is over.
    JediMaster_Jen likes this.
  22. JediMaster_Jen Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 3, 2002
    star 4
    She didn't mean to kill him. :) Yes she did. ;)

    You will. :)

    **************************************************

    Chapter 24


    Anakin waited quietly in the shadows while Yoda finished conferring with Governor Verbeke. He kept himself as hidden as possible and kept his eyes alert, searching for any trouble that might come along.

    “Master, may I have a word?” he asked softly as he carefully approached Yoda and Verbeke after they’d stopped speaking.

    Yoda turned to Verbeke. “Join you in a moment I will.”

    He led Anakin a few meters away to a semi-private area of the landing dock.

    “Unhappy with my decision you are?” Yoda asked, leaning on his gimer stick and gazing at Anakin with a knowing expression.

    Anakin sighed, lowering to one knee, wanting to be face to face with Yoda.

    “I don’t think Mara or Shaak-Ti should be confined to the ship, Master,” he admitted boldly.

    “A better solution you have?”

    “They should have been allowed to continue their work,” Anakin replied. “We all agreed that Mara did nothing wrong and it’s pointless to have her, Shaak-Ti and my Padawan wasting their time instead of helping the Arkanians like we were asked.”

    “Agree with us the Arkanians did not,” Yoda reminded him sternly.

    “It doesn’t matter,” Anakin flared. “We’re Jedi. They should accept our decision without question.”

    Yoda’s eyes narrowed into thin slits. Though Anakin was much bigger than Yoda in physical stature, he felt quite a bit smaller when the old Jedi glared at him.

    “Or yours at least,” Anakin shrugged.

    Yoda sighed heavily. How he wished it were that simple. Things would be much simpler.

    “If refused any punishment I had…” he began,”…how would the Arkanians have reacted do you think?”

    Anakin thought silently for a few moments. He couldn’t deny the fury of the Arkanians; he’d seen it first hand. What would the reaction have been if Yoda insisted on no punishment?

    Closing his eyes, he reached into the Force searching for an answer. The Force heeded the call of its Chosen One. He watched without reacting as an image began to form behind his closed lids.

    ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

    Shouting...pushing…blows being exchanged as the Arkanians reached for their weapons and the Jedi for their lightsabers.

    Anakin and Tristan raised their sabers together, blocking blaster fire.

    Luke and Kit danced their way through the attacking Arkanians, cutting them down as they sought to destroy their Jedi helpers.

    The battle was fierce, but did not last long. The Arkanians were outmatched by the Jedi. The last of the Arkanians was cut down by Anakin himself, his body cleaved neatly in half.

    When the smoke cleared, Anakin looked around the landing dock littered with bodies, his gaze finally settling on the body of his gravely injured son.


    ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

    Anakin opened his eyes slowly, his shoulders slumping under the weight of his vision and its meaning.

    “Luke,” he breathed.

    “There’s something more going on here, Master,” he whispered, his gaze lingering on a group of Arkanians standing nearby. “I feel it.”

    “As do I,” Yoda nodded somberly. “But tell what it is, I cannot. Be prepared for anything we must.”

    Anakin nodded, rising. “May the Force be with you, Master.”

    “And with you, youngling.”

    *******************************************************************

    After making sure Kit Fisto’s attention was safely diverted, Luke slipped away from the supplies he’d just inventoried. He headed back towards the Jedi’s ship as nonchalantly as possible, trying not to draw any unnecessary attention.

    “Tristan,” he said softly, eyeing the Arkanian standing guard on the opposite side of the ramp cautiously. “Do you mind if I go aboard for a few minutes?”

    “No one enters and no one leaves,” the Arkanian guard barked.

    “Was somebody talking to you?” Tristan hissed, glaring at the guard.

    “I just need a minute,” Luke interrupted. “That’s all, I promise.”

    Tristan turned to face Luke. “Why? Is something wrong?”

    Luke flushed, shuffling from foot to foot. Why did he have to ask that? Luke thought.

    “No…um…I just want to see…talk to Mara,” he stammered.

    Tristan studied him silently for a moment. Luke was blushing ferociously and his eyes darting across the landing dock. The boy has it bad, Tristan thought.

    “I’m sure she’s all right,” he whispered, leaning close to Luke so the Arkanian guard couldn’t hear.

    “I...I...know,” Luke gulped. “I just want to see her for a minute. She might be upset or something.”

    His blue eyes bored into Tristan’s amused blue/gray ones, pleading silently.

    “Okay,” Tristan chuckled, shaking his head. “But only for a minute. I’ll be in huge trouble if anyone finds out that I let you go inside.”

    Luke started up the ramp, only to be stopped by the gruff hand of the Arkanian guard grabbing his arm in a tight grip.

    “Orders are no one on and no one off,” he sneered.

    Tristan knocked the Arkanian’s hand off Luke’s, grabbing him by the collar of his robe. He thrust him against the hull of the ship, his back hitting hard.

    “The orders were, the two Jedi onboard don’t leave,” he reminded the guard through clenched teeth. “The rest of us can come and go as we please.”

    “Suit yourself,” the Arkanian sniffed, pulling himself from Tristan’s grasp.

    He straightened his clothing and looked over at Luke. “But you’d better be careful, boy. She might just kill you as well.”

    *******************************************************************

    Luke entered the holding area where Shaak-Ti was meditating. Softening his steps, he quickly rushed past her into the sitting area outside the women’s quarters where Mara was furiously pacing.

    “Hi,” he whispered stepping into her view.

    Mara stopped abruptly.

    “Skywalker?” her brows furrowed in confusion. “What are you doing here?”

    “I just wanted to see if…well, if you were okay,” Luke replied, suddenly feeling foolish. Mara clearly didn’t need any consoling.

    “I’m fine,” she snapped, resuming her pacing. “For someone who didn’t do anything wrong but is being punished anyway that is.”

    “Is...uh…can…I…uh,” Luke’s words trailed off at the fury in her eyes.

    “The Arkanian was clearly in the wrong,” she continued, not hearing him. “I can’t believe Master Yoda would agree to lock Master Shaak-Ti and me up like we’re the criminals. You’d think that old bantha would have at least tried to reason with the Arkanians before agreeing to their…”

    She stopped suddenly, noticing Luke’s compassionate gaze for the first time.

    He came to comfort me, she realized with a jolt.

    Luke looked away, shyly.

    Mara smiled, reaching for his hand and squeezing it tightly. ”How did you manage to get in here?”

    Luke smiled as he sat down on one of the sleep couches. “I made Tristan let me come inside. The Arkanian guard tried to stop me but Tris…well, that doesn’t matter. I’m here.”

    Mara, still holding his hand, sat next to him. “Kenobi probably threatened him.”

    Luke laughed softly. He knew Tristan had a temper and it wouldn’t have surprised him if that’s exactly what had happened.

    “So, are you okay?” Luke asked gently.

    Mara looked over at him, but didn’t speak immediately. She studied his face. She’d noticed that he was becoming quite handsome, but she’d never really studied his features before. His face was already losing the soft dimensions of childhood. He had a strong jaw and high cheekbones; full lips and the most adorable cleft in his chin.

    Before she knew what she was doing, Mara reached out and ran her thumb over the cleft.

    Luke’s was in shock. She’d never touched him before; not like this.

    Clearing his throat, Luke again spoke. “Mara?”

    Shaking her head and dropping her hand as if she’d been burned, Mara nodded. “I’m fine, Skywalker. I’m angry, but otherwise fine.”

    Satisfied, Luke stood. “I should be going. I don’t want Tristan to get into trouble.”

    He headed for the door but was stopped by her voice.

    “Luke?”

    He turned around. “Yes?”

    Mara stood and walked over to him. She stood in front of him and surprised them both by taking his hands in her and leaning forward. Her lips grazed his in a feather-light kiss before she pulled back.

    “Thanks for coming to check on me, Skywalker,” she said softly as she released his hands.

    Luke smiled even as he blushed. “You’re welcome.”

    Then he turned and practically ran from the ship.

    *******************************************************************

    “Whoa! Where’s the fire?” Tristan called out as Luke barreled past him down the ramp.

    Luke turned and grinned, but said nothing as he went back to his work.

    “Odd,” Tristan said to himself.

    “Humph,” the Arkanian guard grumbled next to him.

    The two shared a glare as they continued their assigned task.
    Last edited by JediMaster_Jen, Apr 17, 2014
  23. JediMaster_Jen Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 3, 2002
    star 4
    Chapter 25


    Luke yawned, fighting off his fatigue as the convoy arrived at yet another settlement. He had lost count of how many settlements they had visited in the last two days. They all resembled each other, thought the number of huts and citizens varied. The reception to their arrival had remained the same, though; cool detachment.

    Luke was amazed at how little appreciation the Arkanians showed. They were after all, delivering life saving supplies and most of the settlements were unaware of what had happened at the landing dock. Luke thought they’d have been more warmly received.

    Sliding from the saddle of his dewback, he quickly moved to the rear of the convoy and began helping the accompanying Arkanians unload the supplies while Kit Fisto went to greet the approaching representatives of the settlement.

    “Greetings,” Kit spoke as he smiled at the group of Arkanians, bowing respectfully. “My name is Kit Fisto and I have come…”

    “To bring us food and medicine,” the tallest of the group interrupted. “We know. Let’s dispense with the pleasantries, Master Jedi, and get these supplies delivered. My people are dying, you know, and we’d all like for you to be on your way as soon as possible.”


    He turned towards the settlement and with a wave of his hand, a half dozen young males advanced towards the convoy.

    “Of course,” Kit managed. He bit back his shock at the Arkanian’s abruptness. “If you’ll follow me…”

    “Excuse me, Jedi,” a petite young female called out as she stepped forward.

    Kit turned to her in surprise. “Yes?”

    “I am Rika Adrien. I believe you met my husband two days ago.”

    Kit froze at her announcement, knowing instinctively who her husband must have been. Glancing at the retreating group of Arkanians, he stepped forward hoping to keep anyone who hadn’t heard of the incident from learning of it.

    “Yes,” he gazed at her compassionately. “I, and the rest of the Jedi, am very sorry for what happened. It was an unfortunate…”

    “Accident,” she finished with a huff. “So we’ve been told.”

    Kit opened his mouth to reply, but she held up a hand to stop him.

    “While I do not agree with Governor Verbeke’s decision to not punish the person responsible, I have accepted that decision,” she stated calmly. I am only here to collect the supplies for my settlement.”

    “Wha…what was that?” Kit didn’t bother to hide his surprise.

    “My settlement is fifty kilometers to the South, through the mountains and difficult to find unless you know where to look,” she explained. “The trip is quite treacherous and not recommended for non natives and since it was to be your last stop, you don’t have to be concerned with me taking more than the settlement has been allotted.”

    “I assure you we are capable of making the trip,” Kit replied. “It won’t take long to finish up here…”

    “And I assure you it would be better for your sake to allow me to collect our supplies,” Rika sniffed. “My people may be in dire straits but they are still quite capable of expressing their extreme displeasure over what happened if any Jedi show up.”

    Kit studied her closely. Rika’s face was etched with worry lines, her eyes devoid of any emotion. Her voice and demeanor were sincere but he could feel deception hanging heavily in the air. Something was not right. She met his gaze without flinching.

    “Well?” she finally said breaking the silence.

    “You may take the last of the supplies,” he acquiesced. “My fellow Jedi and I will head back to the Capital once we have dispersed the supplies here.”

    *******************************************************************


    Anakin surveyed the crowds waiting their turn in the voting spheres carefully. The air was dripping with tense anticipation. His every nerve had been on alert for any sign of trouble for three days now but everything seemed to be going smoothly.

    To his relief, Leia and Barriss Offee completed handing out supplies to the citizens of the capital without incident. They returned to the ship stunned to learn of the events leading to confinement of Mara and Shaak-Ti. Leia had been so upset; she offered to stay aboard the ship to keep Mara company.

    Anakin and Barriss quickly agreed. While Anakin wanted all the help with security he could get for the voting, he and Barriss both knew Leia wasn’t prepared for any unexpected danger. He knew she could handle her lightsaber well enough to survive a battle, but he was more than happy to have her in a position where that wouldn’t be required.

    Luke and Kit Fisto had arrived back at the landing dock earlier than expected with news of Rika Adrien’s insistent demand for them not to travel to her settlement. Even considering her husband’s death, that was an alarming development. There was more to her insistence, Anakin was sure of that.

    Luke had immediately requested permission to stay on the ship, to keep out of trouble, he’d mumbled; not fooling anyone. After a brief conference with Kit and Barriss, Anakin agreed to allow Luke to remain on the ship. They all sensed something…elusive and knew it would be better for Luke to remain out of harm’s way. Anakin was just relieved Luke’s infatuation with Mara kept him from sensing that his long desired adventure could have been at hand.

    He sighed, releasing his fatigue and anxiety into the Force. He was able to convince Yoda and Governor Verbeke to allow Tristan to resume his place by Anakin’s side. They all agreed the Arkanian guard could remain on duty by himself. With a Jedi Master and three Padawans on board the ship, there was little danger of anything happening.


    Tristan, like Anakin, had shed his cloak as they walked about the crowd. Anakin felt it prudent that they not be hampered by anything should they need to defend themselves.

    “This is quite boring, Master,” Tristan quipped.

    Anakin smiled. “Just the way we want it, Padawan. In a situation like this, boring is the best we can hope for.”

    “I bet you wished for something more exciting when you were my age,” the younger man said.

    Anakin shook his head. “When I was your age, I was fighting alongside your father during the Clone Wars. Nothing about that time was exciting. I wished for the normalcy and relative calm of doing something as simple as this.”

    Tristan didn’t comment, just went back to combing the crowd with his eyes, watching for anything suspicious or out of the ordinary.

    “Let’s separate,” Anakin said moments later. “You take that area over there, and I’ll patrol this way.”

    Tristan nodded. “Yes, Master.”

    He headed in the direction Anakin had pointed and continued watching the crowd.

    *******************************************************************

    The hours passed slowly. The Arkanians cast their votes and gathered in the credenza outside the governor’s office to wait for the results. The crowds kept themselves entertained with singing, games and an occasional shouting match that didn’t last very long when a Jedi or local security would show their faces.

    Anakin followed the last voters to the credenza, joining Kit, Barriss and Tristan on the outskirts of the crowds as the acting Governor, his security and Yoda stepped onto the balcony.

    Verbeke called for silence before announcing his formal election as Governor. The crowds cheered wildly. Verbeke observed the celebration quietly, a joyous smile on his face. When everyone had quieted down again, he raised his hands, preparing to speak.

    “Despite the tragedy in the landing dock a few days ago,” he began, looking down at Yoda. “I would like to thank Jedi Master Yoda for his willingness to come to our planet and help deliver the necessary supplies.”

    The crowd applauded politely. Anakin rested his hand on his lightsaber. The intense feeling of wrongness he’d had since they arrived continued to make the hairs on the back of his neck stand on end.

    “I ask you all to join me as I escort Master Yoda and his fellow Jedi back to the landing dock so we may give them a proper Arkanian farewell.”

    Anakin exchanged startled glances with Kit, Barriss and Tristan as the crowd turned to face them. The waited awkwardly as Verbeke and Yoda made their way towards them, the crowds parting in cooperation.

    No one spoke as Verbeke lead the procession to the lone ship remaining in the landing dock. Verbeke halted at the ramp, quickly dismissing the Arkanian guard before turning to Yoda.

    “Master Yoda,” he bowed slightly. “On behalf of my people, thank you for your assistance.”


    He turned to nod at Anakin, Kit, Barriss and Tristan. “Goodbye.”

    Anakin bit his tongue as his temper flared. After everything the Jedi had done, this was the extent of Verbeke’s gratitude? They were practically being thrown off the planet!


    ”Good riddance,” Anakin muttered under his breath.

    “Welcome you are,” Yoda replied evenly, ignoring Anakin’s words that only he had heard. “In peace we go.”


    Anakin watched in amusement and Yoda proceeded to take his time hobbling up the ramp. Never had he seen the diminutive Master not give a customary bow when greeting or saying goodbye.

    Anakin didn’t bother to hide his smile as he followed Kit, Barriss and Tristan onto the ship, all ignoring Verbeke.

    Everyone gathered in the holding area, sitting quietly as the ship lifted off without incident.

    “Master,” Anakin called as he moved next to Yoda. “Something more was going on down there.”


    He frowned, glancing at his fellow Jedi. “We all felt it. Their rude dismissal of us only adds to the feeling.”

    “Agree with you I do,” Yoda nodded, running his clawed hand through his thinning hair. “Tense the entire time the Arkanians were. Keep an eye on this planet we must.”

    *******************************************************************

    Kodai Verbeke entered his office, releasing a sigh of exhaustion. Finally he was rid of those pesky Jedi. He reached under his desk, pushing a hidden button, sitting back in his chair to wait.

    A moment later, a holograph of a cloaked face appeared before him.

    “Yes.”

    “Everything went exactly as planned and the Jedi have left,” Verbeke announced triumphantly.

    “Excellent,” a calm voice congratulated. “And the factory?”

    “Remains undiscovered,” Verbeke answered. “Now that I have the means to get the employees healthy enough to resume work, we will be back on schedule within a month.”


    He swallowed nervously, hoping his answer would be satisfactory.

    “You’ve done well,” the voice replied, clearly pleased. “If you continue to do so, you will be rewarded.”

    “Thank you,” Verbeke breathed in relief as the image faded.
  24. jacen200015 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 11, 2002
    star 4
    Another Sith huh?

    A factory: battle droids? warships? weapons?

    Hmmm......
  25. Jedi_Tyler Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 11, 2005
    star 1
    Read this last night, but just now getting a chance to comment. :)

    Love the interaction between Luke and Mara. =D= Can't wait to see what this Verbeke is up to. Great work.
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