Beyond Walking the Sky - sequel to I, Mara Jade - L/M AU - competed 9/12/12

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by JediMara77, Dec 22, 2011.

Moderators: Briannakin, mavjade
  1. JediMara77 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 5, 2004
    star 4
    Title: Walking the Sky
    Author: JediMara77
    Characters: Mara Jade Skywalker, Luke Skywalker, Soontir Fel, Chaf'orm'bintrano (Aristocra Formbi), Prard'ras'kleoni (General Drask), Daric LaRone, Dean Jinzler, Rida Hano (OC), Callista Masana
    Timeframe: 14 ABY, in the I, Mara Jade timeline, in which Mara became a Jedi Knight in 11 ABY and married Luke one year later. It is not necessary to read that fic to understand this one, although I would love it if you did.
    Genre: Drama, Mystery, Action
    Summary: Luke and Mara Jade Skywalker accompany representatives from the mysterious Chiss Ascendancy and Empire of the Hand to investigate the remains of the long-lost Outbound Flight project. Will investigating the past give the Skywalkers the knowledge to save their future?
    Disclaimer: Don't own anything, although I wish I owned Jedi Master!Luke (even though Mara would probably kill me). Plot ideas and characters have been shamelessly borrowed from Survivor's Quest and Outbound Flight by Timothy Zahn.
    Acknowledgements: Thank you to ginchy for brainstorming, betaing, being my pregnancy advisor, and enthusiastically supporting this project before it was even conceived.



    Cover by Iverna:

    [IMG]



    PM list:
    anakin_sal-solo
    Jade_eyes
    Briannakin
    Mondra
    Jedi_QueenBee
    PadmeSkywalkerSHM
    kataja
    JainaSoloYJK
    CurtisZidaneZiraa
    Katana_Sundancer
    Last edited by JediMara77, Sep 12, 2012
  2. JediMara77 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 5, 2004
    star 4
    A/N: I needed a break from working on my other fic, so here it is. I have so much fic ADD.



    CHAPTER 1





    Strong winds whip around me as I bring my lightsaber up to guard. The magenta blade is bright in the darkness of night. I jump over bright tendrils of light that come from my combatant’s weapon. She is taller than me, covered in black armor and wearing a triangular black headdress. I know her from my time in the Emperor’s service. I do not like her.

    And she does not like me. That is certain as she flicks her lightwhip again in my direction. I am familiar with the odd weapon, but have never fought against one before. I manage to hold my own, and in a moment of vanity, consider myself a much better fighter than this cyborg.

    She wants to take me back to the Empire, but I do not want to go. I have other, more important things to accomplish. My master is dead and there is no place left for me in the new Empire, run by Ysanne Isard. I’d rather work for swoop gangs for the rest of my existence, a thought that brings an unexpected pang to my heart. I miss the Empire, and want it back, but I learned long ago that you can’t always get what you want.

    I wonder how she has found me. I will need to move on after this duel is over, create a new identity and find another way to make money. I’ve never had to worry about such things before, but now my life feels so incredibly unstable. I don’t like having an unknown future.

    It becomes clear that the duel will continue for a long time. The cyborg—her name is Lumiya—does not seem to tire, and neither will I. I will not give her that satisfaction.

    But I am not familiar enough with her lightwhip and she soon gets the better of me. I am disarmed, but I still can protect myself. I reach down to my belt to remove my blaster…but it is not there. I force myself not to panic and reach for my vibroblade. That isn’t there, either. I dive to the ground, evading another attack from Lumiya’s lightwhip.

    But then she is upon me, and there is nothing I can do. My connection to the Force, once strong and potent, has grown weak since the death of my master. I try to call my lightsaber back to my hand, but it will not come. Instead if makes a satisfying thwat as it slaps against Lumiya’s palm. Her expression is triumphant as she looks down at me, completely defenseless against her attack. For a moment, I think she might render me unconscious, and take me back to Isard. Back to the Empire that is falling into pieces.

    But she does not. She is ruthless—a Sith—and draws back my own lightsaber. My eyes widen in fear as she stabs the violet blade into my swollen abdomen.

    My last thought is that not only did I fail myself, but I also failed my unborn child. I failed in my most important task in life—being a mother.






    I woke suddenly, blinking my eyes rapidly against the sunlight streaming in through the window. On instinct, my hand reached below the covers to touch my stomach. I sighed with relief as I felt the small but pronounced bump, safe and sound.

    My pulse raced, so I went through the breathing exercises Cilghal had taught me. Stress was not good for the baby, of course, and my nightmares weren’t doing much good for my health. But no matter how many hours I meditated, no matter how much stress I removed from my life, that nightmare continued to plague me. It had started four months ago, when I’d become pregnant. It was always the same dream—that duel on Caprioril, only different. I’d lost my lightsaber in the duel against Lumiya, but had escaped with my life. In the dream, I was not so lucky.

    The bed was empty, so I got up and went to the ‘fresher, my normal morning routine. Thankfully, I hadn’t yet gotten to the point when I had to pee every minute of the day, and I’d also just gotten over my regular bouts of morning sickness, which weren’t that bad to begin with. All my friends who were mothers—Leia, Mirax, and Tyria, to name a few—cursed me for my relatively easy pregnancy. Of course, they didn’t know about the dreams. Nobody did, but Luke.

    It would have been futile not to tell him about the dreams. He knew immediately that something was wrong, the first time I woke up in a sweat. I’d feigned ignorance then, and claimed that I couldn’t remember what I dreamed about. He let it go, but after the third time of bolting upright in the dark, he insisted that I tell him what was wrong. So I did.

    He reacted as I expected, with concern over the welfare of our unborn child. He was ecstatic to become a father and would take every precaution to make sure our baby was healthy. Hearing that I dreamed about being stabbed in the stomach with my own lightsaber—by his ex-girlfriend, no less—did not bode well for his stress levels, either.

    But impending fatherhood had made Luke more protective, more assertive, so he sat with me in the dark and discussed why I was having these dreams. He even led me in meditation, holding my hands just as we did when I was still an apprentice at the Academy and he forced me to participate in private meditation sessions. It had been beneficial even then, but once our bond in the Force solidified, meditating together was Luke’s normal reaction whenever a problem arose. I still wasn’t the biggest fan of meditation, but in this case, I acquiesced.

    And I found that Luke’s psychoanalysis was correct. The loss of my old lightsaber on Caprioril represented an inability to protect not only myself, but also my unborn child. Of course I always carried other weapons, but since becoming a Jedi, the lightsaber was my main symbol of protection. I prided myself on my fighting ability, even considering it my best asset as a Jedi. While it was still very odd to consider the fact that I was going to be a mother, and I felt less of an innate connection with the baby than Luke did, that “mother bantha” instinct was there from the beginning. If I couldn’t defend myself, and my child, then I had failed.

    Not only that, but the duel with Lumiya and the loss of my old lightsaber represented a clean break from my old life in the Empire. Lumiya was sent to bring me back, and I refused. I’d never been a big believer in symbolism, but even I had to admit that losing the lightsaber that the Emperor had given me represented the start of a new life.

    After taking a shower and dressing myself in a loose tunic and pants (my jumpsuits were starting to get snug around the middle, much to my chagrin), I went into the common area. Luke was busy preparing breakfast. He was always a doting husband, and there were still some moments when I believed that I did not deserve him. We’d been married for two years and our relationship was better than ever, but sometimes, especially after having that nightmare, I wondered how in the galaxy I’d gotten to my place in life. And, not to mention, what my life would have been like if I hadn’t met him.

    I shook those thoughts from my mind as Luke glanced up at me and smiled. He was happy to see me, but also concerned. He always knew when I had a nightmare. They didn’t happen every night, but they were frequent enough. He’d once suggested talking to Cilghal about it, but I refused. I didn’t want to tell anyone about my dreams, and my fear of being a bad mother.

    “You look nice,” he said as he pulled away from my kiss. He placed a hand on my belly, his way of saying hello to our baby. Then his brow furrowed. “You okay?” He’d learned long ago that I didn’t care to needlessly drone on about my dreams, but he always asked how I was anyway.

    I nodded. I placed my hands on top of his, and gave a reassuring squeeze. “I’m fine. Don’t worry.” Luke had a tendency to take the weight of the galaxy on his shoulders, something that bothered me from the day I arrived at the Jedi Academy. He’d gotten much better about sharing his burdens, but he worried a lot about my well-being.

    Luke squeezed back and changed the subject. He’d learned long ago the importance of abiding by the whims of a pregnant wife. “Are you ready to go?” Luke had an appointment to speak with the Senate appropriations committee, so we were leaving for Coruscant that morning. I was looking forward to the trip, although I hoped that Leia would lay off the baby talk. But, knowing Leia, those thoughts were most likely in vain.

    “I just need to file a few reports with Tionne, and then I’ll be ready.” I crossed to the main computer terminal to do my work while Luke finished breakfast.

    He clucked his tongue. “Waiting until the last minute to finish your work, Jedi Skywalker? I should punish you for that.”

    I flashed him a rude gesture over my shoulder. “That’s what got me into this precarious situation, Farmboy.” I rubbed my belly subconsciously.

    He laughed and went back to making breakfast, leaving me to work. The reports were basically finished, and it didn’t take long until Luke and I were sitting at the table together, sharing our meal. “You look nice, too,” I told him, returning his earlier compliment. He also wore a casual tunic and pants, but I always appreciated seeing him wear something besides Jedi attire. I knew he’d packed his Jedi robes for his sessions in front of the Senate, as did I, but it was nice to pretend to be normal from time to time. Or, at the very least, it was nice to wear normal clothes.

    He flashed me another smile. “Thanks.”

    “And you got a haircut.” I’d mentioned that yesterday, but brought it up again to make him feel guilty. I fingered his blond hair, and briefly wondered if it would start turning gray after the baby arrived. Would my red-gold hair turn gray as well, or just go straight to white? “How come you’ll get your hair cut for Borsk Fey’lya, and not for me?”

    “How do you know it’s for Fey’lya and not you?”

    “I just know.”

    Luke had the decency to look sheepish. “But look at the nice breakfast I made you…”

    “Yeah, yeah.” I waved my hand over the table. “You’re lucky you’re a good cook, or I’d think twice about keeping you.”

    He raised his eyebrows at me. “I’m also cute.”

    I leaned over the table to give him another kiss. “That, too.”

    His eyes twinkled, and he leaned over to rub my belly again. “Not to mention a purveyor of good genes.” He wiggled his eyebrows. He was so proud of knocking me up.

    I shook my head and took a bite of toast. “Whatever, Son of Vader.”

    He made a face at me and continued to eat. Those types of comments never bothered him, and we often joked about our less than wholesome pasts. But even though he grew up without a father, he still had an aunt and uncle to look up to. Uncle Owen taught Luke everything he needed to know about being a father, and Luke never once doubted his ability to raise a child. He would do everything in his power to be the father he never had.

    I, on the other hand, did not have any parenting role models. I grew up in the Imperial Palace, raised by nannies and governesses and even nanny droids. As soon as I was old enough, I spent most of my time in school or in various training classes, and those instructors became my caretakers. Since becoming ensconced in the New Republic, I’d been around mothers often enough to know the basics—feeding, diaper changing, rocking the baby to sleep. I’d read all the popular parenting books, and I knew that I would succeed as a mother. It was part of my personality, part of the old Emperor’s Hand who would never fully go away—that I never failed in any mission. (Except for that one time on Tatooine, of course.) But that was okay with me. I’d forgiven myself for being the Emperor’s Hand, and also learned that using my old training to my advantage wasn’t necessarily a bad thing.

    But succeeding as a mother and being a good mother were two totally different things. I didn’t want to just go through the motions, and be a caretaker and protector. I wanted my children to have what I never did—someone to love them. Someone to comfort them when they fell. Someone to lean on.

    I desperately wanted to be that person, but my dreams weren’t helping very much in the confidence department. So I did what I did best. I ignored them as much as possible.





    We ate the rest of the meal in silence, and were soon ready to leave. Luke grabbed our bags and we made our way to the Jade’s Fire, our personal starship. Technically, it was my starship, as my old boss Talon Karrde had given it to me when I still worked for his organization. But after getting married, it became our ship. We even had it reconfigured to make a larger stateroom. Lately, Luke kept mentioning the idea of buying another ship, something bigger. I sarcastically asked him how many children he intended to have, even though he did make a good point. Eventually our child wasn’t going to want to stay in the same stateroom as mommy and daddy, and we'd want privacy as well. But I was attached to the Fire, and not just because of my independence. Luke and I had once reconciled on that ship, and later got engaged there. I never thought I’d be so sentimental, and yet the thought of getting rid of the Fire left me with a strange hitch in my throat.

    Kam and Tionne Solusar were waiting for us in the hangar. Luke and I had said good-bye to our other friends the night before. The Solusars and I had been part of Luke’s first class of apprentices at the Academy, and they had been at the Academy ever since. Kam had recently been promoted to Jedi Master, and Tionne practically ran the entire Academy, even when Luke was present.

    “Hello Kam, Tionne,” Luke said as we approached. I gave them a warm smile.

    “Good morning, Master Skywalker,” Tionne said. “Good luck on your trip.”

    Luke grimaced. “I’d say something like there’s no such thing as luck for a Jedi, but I might need it with Fey’lya in charge of the appropriations committee.”

    Kam nodded in agreement. “Why they gave him that much power, I will never understand.”

    “You know the Bothans,” I said. “They make your skin crawl, but they’re political geniuses.”

    Tionne smiled at me. “How’re you feeling, Mara?”

    I patted my small bump, which wasn’t noticeable under my loose clothing unless you looked hard enough. “Great, actually. It’ll be nice to get away for a while.”

    “Ah, I see. You’ll be relaxing on Coruscant while Luke deals with Fey’lya and the Senate?”

    I laughed. “Of course. I’m not stupid. Listening to Fey’lya drone on can’t be good for the baby, after all.”

    Luke rolled his eyes and wrapped his arm around me. He gave me an affectionate squeeze. “You have everything you need, Tionne?”

    She nodded. “All your classes are covered.”

    “Great.” Luke glanced at me. “Ready?”

    “Always.” We exchanged a round of good-byes, and a few minutes later Luke and I were on our way to Coruscant.
    Last edited by JediMara77, Sep 12, 2012
  3. ginchy Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 25, 2005
    star 4
    *snatches*

    Acknowledgements: Thank you to ginchy for brainstorming, betaing, being my pregnancy advisor, and enthusiastically supporting this project before it was even conceived.


    You should have also put "And pestered me to post." :p hee!

    Very glad this one is here!!! Post-marriage L/M fics are my favorite! I love how proud Luke is to have knocked up his wife. Sweet Farmboy. [face_love] [face_laugh]

    Mara's dream is very unsettling but I speak from experience when I say that pregnancy dreams are NUTS. And every fear you have about being a mother is in them. And Mara would have more fears than most, I'd think. The bit about her thinking of her past makes me so sad. But the love she and Luke have will help her and their baby through.

    And.... WHO IS THAT I see in the character list (that I swear I read)???? :p

    LOVE IT and am SO HAPPY it's finally here!!!!!!!!!!!! [:D]
  4. anakin_sal-solo Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 2, 2011
    star 1
    *snatches too late*:_|

    SWEET TWO SEQUELS IN ONE WEEK AWESOMENES GREAT STORY ARCHES COME FROM GREAT AUTHORS :D

    And I would feel honored to be on such an author's PM list:cool:

    And i was thinking since the lovely couple got together right after the Zahn trilogy luke Never was introduced to that blonde devil lol so how does that factor in........ how is she free of the eye of palapatine?...........does she have the force?.................... is she still a............... lol
  5. taramidala Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jun 18, 1999
    star 4
    Oh I've been so looking forward to this. :)
  6. Nyota's Heart Combos & Paragraphs Host

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    Aug 31, 2004
    star 6
    [face_dancing] [face_dancing]

    Jinkeehaw! It's UPPPPPPPPPP!

    Can you tell I'm glad?

    Wow! Zinger of a dream because of the content and its repeating nature [face_worried]

    Very insightful 'causes' underlying why such is happening now =D= =D=

    Loved the warm comfy L/M feel. They feel like snarking lovers, best pals and confidantes. Ingredients for a great working/marital/parenting team LOL

    I can definitely understand Mara's qualms; they're natural even for someone who had a more or less normal/happy childhood [face_thinking] But I believe in her lovingness, her courage, and her fierce devotion and loyalty.

    If she didn't have those things, she wouldn't deserve Luke LOL

    If you're making a PM list, I'd love at the very top!

    [:D]

    A Very :) Jade
  7. Hazel Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 9, 2010
    star 4
    Wow, that is one nasty dream! :(

    Anyway, glad to see Luke and Mara doing so well (besides the dreams) and with a little one on the way, and I'm looking forward to more.


    I'm also very curious to see how you're going to mix Callista with the Chiss. [face_thinking]
  8. Briannakin Grand Moff Darth Fanfic Manager

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Feb 25, 2010
    star 5
    YEEEEEEEEEEEEEESSSSSSSNESSSSS! It's up! Yay! Can you tell that I am excited for this!

    I love the fact that Mara is already pregnant. But that dream was scary... But not as scary as Fay'lya can be.

    Please PM me when you update.

    I think early 2012 is going to be all about sequels here.
  9. Jedi_Lover Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Nov 1, 2004
    star 5
    Very nice. I wish I could write a long review but a construction worker wants to get into my office to put in bookshelves. So I have to go. I will write more later!

    EDIT: I'm back. There was so much noise at work today it was hard for me to screw around and procrastinate properly. I don't like that dream Mara had. I had a dream like that once where I dreamed I was shot to death. I woke up screaming. I have never experienced anything like that before. What is weird is my best friend who was on a military base thousands of miles away called me almost immediately and said "I had a horrible feeling you were dead!" Isn't that weird. It was like he felt a disturbance in the Force. I always wondered why I didn't get any weird feelings when he died a few years later.

    Anyway, it is really horrifying to die in your dreams. I feel really bad for Mara having this happen when she is pregnant. I always enjoy your stories...even with the angst...but not so much with Callista.;)
  10. LouQuinn Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 14, 2010
    star 4
    You told us this fic would be posted on January, you horrible person! D:

    Just kidding, I don't mind an early post :p

    Be right back!

    EDIT: Wuogh! That was a great start. I love how Luke is so proud about his ability of knocking Mara up (heh). That's male for you. And I know how unsettling pregnancy dreams can be (I was the oldest in the house and my mom had about five pregnancies after me; I'm practically an expert) so I sympathize with Mara there.

    And I'm totally with ginchy, who is THAT I saw on the list of characters? But, meh, judging by how attached to the hip Luke is with Mara, I don't think I mind having her around. She certainly won't bring any angst to the table. At least angst that I personally care about #evilperson.

    Can't wait for chapter two!
  11. Mondra Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 12, 2010
    star 1
    I don't know how you manage to write so much, so fast and so good, but I guess that's just talent. ;)

    I'm very curious what will you do with the plot now - save the SW universe perhaps?[face_mischief]

    Put me on the PM list, please!
  12. Jedi_QueenBee Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 5, 2008
    star 3
    WE have a sequel!!!! *Squeal*


    May I be put on the PM list please????:cool:
  13. Piper057 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 26, 2009
    star 2
  14. CurtisZidaneZiraa Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 18, 2010
    star 1
    Woohoo! Sequel! Merry Christmas! What a lovely Christmas present. :D
  15. PadmeSkywalkerSHM Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 25, 2010
    star 2
    I really liked the first one. I hope this one is just as good.

    Put me on the PM list please.
  16. kataja Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 4, 2007
    star 4
    Uuh la laa; the Character list looks most interesting! [face_batting]

    And the cover art!!!:eek: Amazing!!! =D= [face_dancing] [face_love] I just love the peace of it! And how well the Jedi Robes suit Mara![face_peace]

    That dream.... [face_sick] I admit I had to skim the last part - it was sooo baaad... But then, I've had similar dreams myself [face_sick]

    Hearing that I dreamed about being stabbed in the stomach with my own lightsaber?by his ex-girlfriend, no less?did not bode well for his stress levels, either.
    Uh, well, no... :( but somehow so typical, isn't it?o_O [face_mischief]

    meditating together was Luke?s normal reaction whenever a problem arose
    :p

    ?Waiting until the last minute to finish your work, Jedi Skywalker? I should punish you for that.?

    I flashed him a rude gesture over my shoulder. ?That?s what got me into this precarious situation, Farmboy.? I rubbed my belly subconsciously
    .
    [face_laugh] Why can I so vividly imagine that? [face_love]


    it was nice to pretend to be normal from time to time. Or, at the very least, it was nice to wear normal clothes. Tsk tsk - good she's able to correct hereself there :p



    ?How come you?ll get your hair cut for Borsk Fey?lya, and not for me??

    ?How do you know it?s for Fey?lya and not you??

    ?I just know.?

    Luke had the decency to look sheepish. ?But look at the nice breakfast I made you??

    ?Yeah, yeah.? I waved my hand over the table. ?You?re lucky you?re a good cook, or I?d think twice about keeping you.?

    He raised his eyebrows at me. ?I?m also cute.?

    I leaned over the table to give him another kiss. ?That, too.?

    His eyes twinkled, and he leaned over to rub my belly again. ?Not to mention a purveyor of good genes.? He wiggled his eyebrows. He was so proud of knocking me up.

    I shook my head and took a bite of toast. ?Whatever, Son of Vader
    .?
    Again your perfect L/M banter1!![face_dancing] [:D] And I can so imagine Lume to be proud of that :p He's such a Man! :rolleyes: :p



    So I did what I did best. I ignored them as much as possible.
    lol Well, at least she's starting to see when she does it. First step, I guess ;)

    I'm so looking forward to see where this story will go!!!
    [:D] [:D] [:D]
  17. Ridley Solo Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 27, 2010
    star 4
    WOOT! Yes! It's up! [face_dancing]

    ...and you had me by the first paragraph. What a freaky start! :eek: I almost shouted 'no!' at my screen before coming to the part that it was just a bad dream.

    Mara and Luke are expecting, whee! [face_dancing] LOVE their banter! I could practically hear them speaking their dialogue!

    Great start! If there's a PM list, may I be added please? [face_batting]
  18. JediMara77 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 5, 2004
    star 4
    ginchy: That's true, you did pester me. And continue to pester me to write. Even though I'm supposed to be working on another fic. ;)

    And.... WHO IS THAT I see in the character list (that I swear I read)????

    I dunno. There are several people in the list. Could you be more specific? ;)

    [:D]



    anakin sal solo: Will put you on the list!

    Callista is Callista. That is all I'll say about that right now. Also, that it's AU. :)



    taramidala: Hooray! Hope you enjoy!



    Jade eyes: I love Luke and Mara as a couple, especially the way Zahn writes them (I know, surprise surprise). I'm hoping to emulate that here. So there won't be a ton of mush. But probably a lot more than was in Survivor's Quest. LOL.

    Will put you on the list. Thanks!



    Hazel: Yeah, those dreams aren't that great. But as others have said, pregnancy dreams can be nuts. I know how nutty my normal ones can be. I figured that Mara's fear of impending motherhood would manifest in one of her biggest failures - in her opinion, of course - which in this case was losing her first lightsaber.

    You'll have to wait and see on how Callista is involved. But I will say this - the character list is in order of appearance. [face_thinking]



    Briannakin: I'm excited that you're excited! I'm writing TWO sequels right now. What is wrong with me?

    And I will put you on the list!



    Jedi Lover: There's no angst in this fic! Well, not so much. And it's my goal to get everyone to like Callista. It's a lofty one, but I'm going to try.



    LouQuinn: I know, I lied. Blame ginchy and my writer's block on WotF. Thankfully vacation has nipped that in the bud!

    Callista will not bring any angst. It's an angst-free fic. Well, mostly. Except for those nasty dreams. But hey, it can't be hearts and flowers all the time, right? Not with these people! [face_laugh]



    Mondra: Aw, thanks! I write really fast. I should probably slow myself so that I don't make so many mistakes, but I just work fast, I dunno what else to say about that. Will I save the SW universe? I don't know about that. But we'll see. ;)

    I'll put you on the list!



    Jedi Queenbee: It's here!

    I'll put you on the list!



    Piper: Yahoo indeed!



    Curtis: Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed.



    PadmeSkywalker: I hope you like this one just as much, too! Personally, I'm really happy with the story. I changed the outline about 50 times until I came up with the current incarnation.

    I will put you on the list!



    kataja: It does, doesn't it? ;) I love the cover art, too. Iverna is so good.

    I'm sorry you've had similar dreams! And that this one bothered you. But that was the point, of course.

    but somehow so typical, isn't it?

    For him, definitely. :p

    Why can I so vividly imagine that?

    Because they're adorable? ;)

    Again your perfect L/M banter1!!

    Awww. [face_blush]

    lol Well, at least she's starting to see when she does it. First step, I guess

    She's growing. ;) At least she's holding things in so as not to burden Luke, not because she's afraid. It's an altruistic reason. But she also knows when she needs to give in and say what's bothering her. She's matured enough to do that, at least.

    Thanks for reading! :)



    JainaSoloYJK: I'm glad the first part affected you! It was supposed to be very freaky. But Luke and Mara are okay. And having a baby! Wahoo! Of course, they can't just have a nice, simple pregnancy. ;)

    I'll put you on the list!




    I started working on the next chapter. Hopefully it will be up tomorrow or Friday.
  19. Jedi_Liz Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Apr 24, 2000
    star 6
    i'm going to try to do a better job of following this than I did with I, Mara Jade.
  20. JediMara77 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 5, 2004
    star 4
    Jedi Liz: Good to hear! I hope you enjoy.


    CHAPTER 2




    The lightwhip slashes dangerously close to my head. I dodge swiftly to the right, avoiding the strike. Diving into a roll, I rise up on steady feet and parry against my attacker. She is angry that I have not succumbed to her yet, but I refuse to back down.

    I push her back, using all of my strength. She screams in frustration and jumps back further, bringing the full length of her lightwhip against me. But I am ready for her. I throw my lightsaber toward her, slicing upwards and aiming toward her head. She swings her lightwhip up to block. I reach for my blaster to attack her while she is defenseless, but it is already in her hand before I can touch it. I grab for my vibroblade instead—


    “I’m sorry, Master Skywalker, but I just do not understand why the Jedi Academy needs additional funding. According to the documentation that you provided, the Academy is operating on budget. Why should we allocate more funds to the Jedi when there are numerous other, beneficial endeavors across the galaxy that are not operating on budget and could benefit greatly from credits we’d be giving the Jedi Order?”

    The simpering tones of Borsk Fey’lya ripped me from of my daydream. I bit my lip and clamped down on my emotions, knowing that Luke would sense them. I did not want to distract him during such an important meeting. Even still, he glanced at me over his shoulder. It only lasted a moment, but it was enough to let me know that he'd sensed my emotions and that he could ask for a short break if I needed one. I’m fine, I sent to him, although I wasn’t sure if I was. There was something odd about this dream, although I couldn’t put my finger on it. Unlike the others, the ending was foggy. But for some reason I knew that was not necessarily a bad thing.

    I gave him another reassuring smile. There was a mental caress, and then his attention shifted fully back on Fey’lya and the task at hand. “Of course, Councilor, I understand your concerns.” Luke was much more patient with Fey’lya than I’d ever be, which is probably why I was able to get out of participating in the meeting. I would have ditched it all together, but I decided to attend at the last minute, just for moral support. I figured that Luke deserved it. Plus, I knew I’d hear all about the meeting later on anyway, so I might as well be there to witness it firsthand. “But the Jedi Order cannot grow if we continue to remained centered on Yavin IV on a permanent basis,” Luke continued, the picture of composure.

    “Is your Academy no longer operating to your standards?” The Bothan’s face furrowed into what could only be interpreted as fake concern.

    I felt the telltale stirrings of annoyance welling up within my husband, but as always he reached down into that vast well of Jedi patience. That patience would serve him well as a father. “Yes it is, very much so. That is why we wish to expand our ranks and open additional training facilities on other worlds.”

    “Additional training facilities?” Fey’lya sounded surprised, although he had no reason to be so. Building new facilities was clearly spelled out in the documentation that Luke had previously provided.

    Luke shifted in his seat and ran his fingers through his hair, one of his major signs of frustration. I let out a tiny giggle. It took a lot to frustrate my husband, but politics was one surefire way to do the job. “Yes, Councilor,” he said in clipped tones. “It is clearly outlined in the proposal that Jedi Solusar forwarded to your office over a week ago in preparation for this meeting.”

    “Of course.” Fey’lya made a dismissive gesture. “I merely hoped you could provide some clarification on why new trainees cannot be brought to the Yavin IV facility, instead of spending vast amounts of funds to open new facilities elsewhere.”

    “Well, that is how we’ve been operating for the past several years,” Luke said, once again the measure of patience. “But in order for the Jedi Order to spread across the galaxy, as it once did, we need to literally do just that. Open up additional facilities elsewhere. Teach people that they no longer have to fear the Jedi. That we are the defenders of peace and justice throughout the galaxy.”

    Before that meeting, I had never before witnessed a Bothan roll his eyes. But Fey’lya did so, right in the middle of my husband’s impassioned speech. I narrowed my eyes in anger, and then lowered my right hand to my stomach as I felt a wave of nausea. I took in a few deep breaths and let them out slowly, trying to calm my upset stomach.

    Luke turned around fully this time and his eyes locked with mine. You okay?

    I nodded and motioned for him to turn around. I’m fine. The baby just doesn’t like Fey’lya. Now go on, pay attention!

    Luke smiled at my joke and did as ordered, although I could tell he’d return to the topic later on. Fey’lya glanced at the two of us, ready to pounce. “Is there a problem, Master Skywalker?”

    “No, no problem,” Luke said quickly. It had not yet been made public that I was pregnant. All of our friends and family knew, but we saw no reason to make a formal announcement to the galaxy as we did when we got engaged. We didn’t want our baby to be part of a media circus. Once I started showing, the holoshills would do enough talking on their own.

    I glared back at Fey’lya, almost daring him to call me into the meeting, so I could give him a piece of my mind. But he backed down. He’d never liked me very much, even after I aided the New Republic during the Thrawn crisis.

    “Well Master Skywalker, the committee has looked over your proposal. For now, it seems sound and we will present it for approval in the full Senate.”

    Luke nodded. We'd both predicted that Fey’lya would give him a hard time, but in the end would acquiesce to the requests. “And when do you anticipate that vote occurring?”

    Fey’lya shrugged. “I will have my secretary contact you when additional information arises. Until then.” He stood in abrupt dismissal. Luke again kept his annoyance in check as he shook the Bothan’s hand while remaining firmly in place. Fey’lya and the rest of the committee swept out of the room, leaving Luke and me alone.

    Luke lowered his head into his hands as soon as the door closed. I got up from my seat and took the chair next to him. “Stop moping,” I told him, and rubbed his back soothingly. “We got what we wanted, right?”

    Luke nodded and rubbed his temples. “I know. I know. It’s just so...frustrating!”

    I snorted. It was almost cute to see Luke so angry. “Yeah, you’re telling me.”

    He glanced up at me with a concerned expression. “Oh, I’m such an idiot. Are you okay?”

    I waved my hand dismissively. “I told you I’m fine, just had a little nausea. Stop worrying.”

    “Okay,” Luke said hesitantly. Then he grinned. “I should punish you for dozing off during the meeting.”

    I grabbed his elbow and pulled him out of his chair. “Please. You’re lucky I even came to this thing.”

    “I know.” Luke wrapped his arms around me and kissed my cheek. “I am lucky.”

    “And don’t you forget it.” I smacked him on his rear. “Now come on, Master Skywalker. We need to get ready to do battle with the Solos.”





    “Uncle Luke! Aunt Mara!”

    We barely got two steps inside the Solo's apartment before Jaina, Jacen, and Anakin threw themselves at us. The three terrors.

    Luke smiled at them and lifted little Anakin into his arms. “Hey, kids! How are you?”

    It was the wrong question to ask. They all piped up, eager for our undivided attention. “Daddy let me sit on his lap when he flew the Falcon!” Anakin said proudly.

    Jaina rolled her eyes to show that she was completely unimpressed. “Big deal. Daddy let me help him fix the Falcon.

    Jacen pulled on the end of my tunic so I’d look at him. When I did, he grinned. “I found a lizard.”

    I felt my eyes widen but tried hard to clamp down on my surprise. “That’s…nice.” I glanced at Luke, but he was still focused on Jaina and Anakin.

    Jacen beamed and stood on his toes. I leaned down so I could hear him better. “You wanna see it?” he whispered conspiratorially.

    “Um…no thanks. Jacen, does your mother know you have a lizard in the house?”

    Jacen shrugged. “It’s in a cage! It can’t hurt anybody.”

    “Right.” I stood motionless for a moment, not really knowing what else to say.

    Thankfully, Han Solo came to my rescue. He sauntered in the room with a drink already in hand. “Kids! Give your aunt and uncle some space! They just got here.”

    The kids sighed in disappointment. “Okay.” They backed up approximately two meters.

    Han grinned and moved in toward us, offering Luke a handshake and me a tentative hug. “How’re you doing, Jade? Any weird cravings lately?”

    “Not at all, Solo.” I spared a glance at the children, who had dragged Luke into the common area and now were arguing over who got first dibs on one of their many hologames.

    Han followed my gaze and grinned. “What do you say? You ready for that?”

    Inwardly, I cringed. No, I definitely was not ready for three rambunctious children running around my house. But I couldn’t let Han know that, so I just shrugged nonchalantly. “Thankfully we’re only having one, and that’s the way it’s going to be for quite some time.”

    Han snorted. “Sure, whatever you say.”

    My retort was cut off as Leia entered the foyer. “Han! Stop bothering Mara!”

    “Hey, I’m not doing anything!”

    “Right, like I believe that.” Leia approached me and gave me a small squeeze. We’d had a precarious relationship, mainly because I broke her brother’s heart a few years back when I left the Jedi Academy. But we managed to put aside our differences after Luke and I reconciled and I returned to Yavin IV.

    “Hello, Leia,” I said. “Do you any help in the kitchen?” For once I was hoping she'd say yes, so that I could get away from the three rowdy children (and my husband) who were now involved in a heated round of a hologame called “Jedi vs. Sith.”

    But Leia shook her head. “Absolutely not. You need to relax.” She gave her husband a sharp look. “You—set the table, now!”

    Han knew better than to argue. He just rolled his eyes at Leia’s back and shuffled into the dining room.

    Even though she said otherwise, I followed Leia into the kitchen. “Seriously, can I help?”

    She gave me a knowing look and gestured toward the living area. “Too loud for you in there?”

    I smiled, embarrassed that she found me out so easily, and took a seat on one of the kitchen stools. “Do you ever get used to it?” I asked, wanting an honest answer.

    While people often made fun of Leia’s spiceloaf, she was actually a pretty good cook when it came to other types of food, especially Alderaanian, which was on the menu for the evening. As she hurried around the kitchen, getting everything prepared for dinner, I found myself wondering if I’d ever be as domestic as Leia. She was a princess, a hero of the Rebellion, and a leader of the New Republic, yet she seemed completely at ease in her kitchen. I was a good enough cook, but never felt very comfortable in domestic situations. It was just one more reason to worry about my unsure maternal instincts.

    Leia smirked at me. “Do you want the answer that will make you feel better, or the truth?”

    “You don’t have to coddle me, Leia. Give me the truth.”

    Leia shrugged nonchalantly and turned back to the food. “I keep waiting for them to quiet down. Everyone tells me that it should happen any time now, but I have a feeling I’ll be waiting until they leave home.”

    “I was afraid you’d say that.”





    The rest of the evening could only be described as organized chaos. The kids were behaved enough while eating, but once the food was gone they started kicking and poking at each other. And after dessert they were in desperate need of a bath, so Han and Leia rounded them up in the ‘fresher. Luke and I sat on the couch, absentmindedly watching some news show, but I wasn't really paying attention. Even though I’d had three long years to get used to the Solo kids, being around them always left me somewhat shell shocked. Intellectually, I knew that kids were supposed to be loud and obnoxious. But if I’d acted like that when I was a kid, I would have been sent to the dungeons. Literally.

    Finally Han and Leia came back into the living area. Leia poured us all a drink—nonalcoholic for me, of course—and the conversation turned to Luke’s meeting with Fey’lya.

    “I know Fey’lya can be frustrating, but you got what you wanted, right?” Leia said.

    “Sure.” Luke took a measured sip of his Whyren’s. “But I’m not looking forward to Fey’lya pushing against the Jedi Order at every opportunity.”

    “Just make sure your lightsaber is clearly visible at the next meeting, kid.” Han raised his glass in a toast. “You’ll be sure to get whatever you want.”

    Luke shook his head in disbelief. “I’m not doing that, Han.”

    “Well, then have your wife do it. Even Fey’lya will know better than to mess with an angry pregnant woman. Especially Mara Jade.”

    “You mess with me all the time, Han,” I pointed out.

    He grinned. “That’s just because I’m a glutton for punishment.”

    “Oh really?” Leia raised one perfectly manicured eyebrow. “Is that why you’re married to me?”

    Han shivered and took a large sip of his drink. “I plead the fifth.” We all laughed.

    “Seriously, though.” Luke fiddled with the small cocktail straw in his glass. Leia always went all out for company, even just family. “If we’re going to face this kind of combativeness every time the Jedi Order tries to expand its numbers…” He sighed heavily. “I’m not sure it’s going to work.”

    Leia glanced at him sharply. “What are you talking about?”

    “I’m beginning to wonder if the Jedi Order should even be a part of the New Republic,” Luke said cautiously. “The Jedi served the Republic once before, and look what happened then.”

    “Don’t be ridiculous.” Leia grabbed a coaster to put under Han’s glass. “That sort of thing will never happen again.”

    “Are you so sure?”

    “Why are you saying this, Luke? You like Mon Mothma.”

    “I do, very much! But this has nothing to do with her, or anyone else in the government. It’s the bureaucracy. It worries me.”

    “Well, that’s the New Republic for you. I don't know what else to tell you.”

    “Perhaps the Jedi Order should be an autonomous organization. Or perhaps it should be a part of many governments. I don’t know.” Luke shrugged his shoulders and took another sip of his drink.

    Leia stared at him for a moment. “Many governments? You mean the Empire?”

    “The Imperial Remnant, yes,” Luke clarified.

    “Is that such a good idea?”

    “She’s got a point,” Han said. “Would the Empire want a bunch of Jedi Knights running around their part of the galaxy?”

    Luke nodded. “With Pellaeon in charge of the Remnant, yes they would. And we need to have a better relationship with them, anyway. We’ve had peace for over two years and we still don’t even have an ambassador permanently stationed on Bastion. Nor does the Remnant have an ambassador on Coruscant.”

    “I know, but what do you want me to do?” Leia asked. “The Advisory Council and the Senate are more concerned with the New Republic’s problems than improving diplomatic relations.”

    “Maybe the Remnant could help with those problems,” Luke said. “Not to mention the Empire of the Hand.”

    Leia paused and took a big sip of her drink. When she was finished, she placed her glass on a coaster and leaned back in her seat. “I don’t know what you want from me, Luke. I can’t force them to listen to me.”

    “Why not?” Han put his arm around her. “You do it to me all the time.”

    We all laughed, and the mood lightened. I’d remained silent during the exchange, having shared my opinion on the matter with Luke many times. I understood why he was considering making the Jedi Order an autonomous organization. After growing up in the Empire, I appreciated a smooth-running government more than anybody. But I also knew that such a thing came at a huge cost. Sure, the Empire provided stability, but only if one was of a certain species and class. Everyone else lived in abject poverty, and those who dared to speak their minds were thrown in prison, or killed. Several years ago, I was asked to stay on Nirauan and join the mysterious Empire of the Hand. I refused then, because I knew that my place was with the Jedi and the New Republic. Not to mention Luke.

    Leia turned to me and changed the subject. “So, Mara. Have you gotten an ultrasound yet?”

    I smiled at her and prepared myself for yet another enthralling round of baby talk. How in the galaxy had I gotten to a place in my life where I'd be sitting in Leia Organa's living room, and pregnant with Luke Skywalker's child? My life would never cease to amaze me.
    Last edited by JediMara77, Sep 12, 2012
  21. ginchy Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 25, 2005
    star 4
    Yay!! New update!!! [face_dancing]

    Too bad that Fey'lya wasn't one of the 'many Bothans', eh? Lord. And rolling his eyes. That would actually be pretty funny to see!!

    I love Mara with the Solo terrors. At least Jacen is just annoying her here, not murdering her. Always a refreshing change. [face_laugh][face_laugh] Kidding aside, I'm happy to see that the Solo kids are kids here. Not uber baby Jedi or anything else--just kids. Love it!!

    And I understand Mara's mothering fears. It's so overwhelming. I love her talk with Leia!

    Excellent update, lady!! [:D]
  22. taramidala Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jun 18, 1999
    star 4
    Oh, Borsk, you nasty piece of work. Never did like him much. [face_laugh]

    Luke seeing the roots of corruption in the NR is an interesting twist, and you've tied it back to I,MJ nicely with the peace treaty and the Empire of the Hand business.



    I do have one small nitpicky criticism, but please feel free to disagree with me. You have Han say "I plead the fifth," which is a phrase from our universe (not theirs) and stuck out to me. Of course you can easily fanwank it and say that there's a Constitution in the GFFA with a Fifth Amendment so if that's easier for you by all means keep it. Just understand the risk that it could potentially pull a reader out of the story momentarily because it's so easily identifiable as an Americanism. :)

    Other than that I really love how you're continuing to develop Mara's pending motherhood here.
  23. Jedi_Lover Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Nov 1, 2004
    star 5
    Most excellent update. When I was reading that part with Fey'lya it reminded me of a little naughty viggie I wrote once.:p

    I like Luke thinking about what the Jedi place in the galaxy should be. I mean it is great when your old war buddies are in charge, but what happens when people you hate get in control and now you have to obey Fey'lya or even worse Admiral Daala? (Did I spell that right). The trouble with being autonomous is who do you help and who will fund your Jedi? You don't want to end up as mercenaries.

    I always love your stories because they look at realistic and complex problems. I look forward to reading more.
  24. LVB Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 23, 2005
    star 1
    What a great update! I loved Mara and Leia and the tentative forging of a friendship here. Jacen also cracked me up. I miss lizard loving Jacen as opposed to 'loves murdering his family Jacen. All in all, a wonderful chapter :)
  25. PadmeSkywalkerSHM Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 25, 2010
    star 2
    I like the friendship between Leia and Mara. I also liked Hans comment about pregnant Mara. Actually in general I really like the update, I was smiling through mostly all of it, more so during the family dinner gathering of corse. But those solo kids are just so darn cute!
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