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Awards 2016 Fan Fiction Awards | Excerpts and Synopses Thread for Beyond & Sequel Trilogy

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction and Writing Resource' started by Chyntuck, Apr 6, 2016.

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  1. Chyntuck

    Chyntuck Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 11, 2014
    WELCOME TO THE BEYOND & SEQUEL TRILOGY EXCERPTS AND SYNOPSES THREAD!

    17 April 2016: the excerpts period for the Beyond & ST eras is now over.
    The Excerpts and Synopses Thread for Before, Saga and the Random Award is up, you can see it here.

    In this thread you will find excerpts from the nominated stories in Beyond and ST. We hope that everyone will read these excerpts before voting and vote on the best story/author for the category, not just your favourite person.

    Dates for Excerpts and Synopses in Beyond & ST: from 07 to 16 April 2016
    No excerpts will be excepted after 16 April at midnight PST.

    Remember, Beyond and Sequel Trilogy are separate eras with separate nominations and a separate voting process. The voting thread will go up on 17 April 2016.

    All nominated authors should have already received a PM requesting excerpts or synopses for their nominated stories. If your story is listed below and you haven’t received a PM yet, please contact Beyond_Fanfic_Awards for Beyond and ST Fanfic Awards for Sequel Trilogy.

    Authors who haven’t submitted excerpts/synopses yet may still submit them until 16 April 2016 at midnight PST. If we haven’t received your excerpts/synopses, we will simply have your stories listed with a link to the story thread.

    Rules for Excerpts and Synopses
    • Nominees may submit an excerpt OR a synopsis for each one of their stories.
    • Excerpts/synopses must be submitted by PM.
    • Nominees should not disclose their nominations, publicly or privately, before the Excerpts & Synopses Thread goes live.
    • The absolute deadline to submit excerpts or synopses is the closing date of the excerpts thread (16 April for Beyond & ST).
    • If a story is nominated in more than one category, it is recommended, but not required, that the author submits a different excerpt/synopsis for each category.
    • For Best All-Around, Best Epic, Best Series and Best Author/Best New Author, the maximum word count limit is 600 words.
    • For all other categories, the maximum word count limit is 300 words.
    • Excerpt (NOT synopses) may be prefaced it with an introductory sentence that should not exceed 50 words.
    • For the purpose of word counting, we will be using this word counter.
    • For Best Series, authors may submit either a single, continuous excerpt, or several fragments from the various stories that make up the series.
    • For the character and relationship categories, excerpts should feature the nominated character or relationship.
    • For Best Legends Inclusion (ST only), excerpts should feature at least one Legends element that was included in the story. This can be, but is not limited to, characters, plot points or elements of world-building.
    • For the author categories, authors may submit any sample of their writing that was posted on the JCF during the eligibility dates (01 January 2015 – 31 December 2016).
    • Authors should supply a link for each one of their excerpts/synopses. This may be a link to the opening post of the story, or a link to a specific chapter.
    Other Info

    This thread will be locked and stickied, so if you have any questions please post them in the Awards Guide or PM the overseer or the relevant sock.

    FAQ

    Why are excerpts limited to only 300 words?
    Due to the amount nominations that are going to the voting round, we don't want people to have to read > 20,000 words just to vote. Let’s face it, most people won’t. Keeping the word count down means people are more likely to read before voting. Since it is so low, we are allowing you to link to a specific part of the story, instead of it being the first post. (Obviously, one post stories can’t do this.)

    How do I link to a specific post of a story?
    In your thread, you will see that every post has a number on the bottom right side of the post next to “Like” and “Reply”. Click on that and it will bring up a link to that post. Copy and paste that and use it as your link.

    If my story is nominated for more than one award, do I have to use the same excerpt for every nomination?
    Nope, unless you really want to do so, but we figure the more people see of your story, the better!

    If I’m nominated for Best Interpretation of a Canon Character or Best OC, does that person need to be in the excerpt?
    Yes they do, since the writing of that character was what you were nominated for. If you were nominated for one of the relationship awards, your excerpt should have those two characters interacting.

    ** Note for those nominated - As you are all aware, sometimes the formatting on here can get a little wonky. We try our best to keep it neat, but it doesn’t always work so let us know if we need to fix something!

    TABLE OF CONTENTS

    Post 2: Beyond – Best Alternate Universe
    Last of the Empire by Admiral Volshe​
    Play your Hand by Annia Piet​
    There is Another by JadeLotus​
    Journeyer and Empress by Onderon1​
    A Letter from a Naboo Handmaiden to her Daughter by taramidala​

    Post 3: Beyond – Best Canon
    Beauty Enough by aleja2​
    Like Stone by Annia Piet​
    Elegy by ThreadSketch​

    Post 4: Beyond – Best Humour
    The Most Joyous Spot in the Galaxy by divapilot​
    Artoo's Frazzled Circuits: The 'Hand of Thrawn' Diary by Hazel​
    Corellia Day by JadeLotus​
    The Corellian Roundabout by jcgoble3​
    The Wager by Jedi_Lover​

    Post 5: Beyond – Best All-Around
    A Frivolous Holiday by Annia Piet​
    Chrysalis by JadeLotus​
    I, Warrior by MasterGhandalf​
    This Little Light by Revanfan1​
    Danni's Quest by SiouxFan​
    Invidious Intent by Sokolniki​
    I'll Come With You by ThreadSketch​

    Post 6: Beyond – Best Epic
    The God of Second Chances by divapilot​
    Fragile by pregnantpadme​
    The Fields of Tesserone by Vehn​

    Post 7: Beyond – Best Short Story
    Beauty Enough by aleja2​
    A Letter from a Naboo Handmaiden to her Daughter by taramidala​
    Elegy by ThreadSketch​

    Post 8: Beyond – Best Series
    The Blue/Bree Series by divapilot: All I Have to Give, The God of Second Chances, True Blue
    The Luke/Mara Holiday Fic Series by JadeLotus: My True Love Gave to Me, Celestial Love, Chrysalis, Corellia Day, First Date, Heavy Petting, The Garden of Unearthly Delights
    The Rebirth and Restoration Series by Revanfan1: Masters of the Force, Restoration of Darkness
    The Tainted Ties Series by Tony Mancosu: Tainted Ties, Tainted Ties - Act Two: Rise & Decay

    Post 9: Beyond – Best Interpretation of a Canon Character
    Firmus Piett in Last of the Empire by Admiral Volshe​
    Mara Jade in Beauty Enough by aleja2​
    Sabé in A Letter from a Naboo Handmaiden to her Daughter by taramidala​

    Post 10: Beyond – Best Original Character
    Melinda Rotham in After Her by EmeraldJediFire​
    Zebula Pavish in Strength of Will by JadeLotus​
    Talon Tantiss in The Journal of Talon Tantiss: Jedi Knight and Reluctant Vornskr Owner by Jedi_Lover​

    Post 11: Beyond – Best Villain
    Mishy Lakaylor in Undeniably Evil by aalagartassle​
    Cyrax in Dark Currents by Darth_Furio​
    Darth Nephros in Dark Currents by Darth_Furio​
    Ren'Vhan in Invidious Intent by Sokolniki​
    Eulian Tratzel/Darth Sceptaurus in Tainted Ties by Tony Mancosu​
    Lumiya in The Rising Threat by whiskers​
    Jacen Solo/Darth Caedus in The Truth behind the Lies by x_SwordoftheJedi_x​

    Post 12: Beyond – Best Canon Relationship
    Luke Skywalker and Mara Jade in Counselling by Annia Piet​
    Lando Calrissian and Mara Jade in Like Stone by Annia Piet​
    Luke Skywalker and Mara Jade in Chrysalis by JadeLotus​
    Luke Skywalker and Leia Organa in Elegy by ThreadSketch​

    Post 13: Beyond – Best Original Relationship
    Blue and Bree in The God of Second Chances by divapilot​
    Luke Skywalker and Melinda Rotham in After Her by EmeraldJediFire​
    Talon Tantiss and Zylie Karrde in The Journal of Talon Tantiss: Jedi Knight and Reluctant Vornskr Owner by Jedi_Lover​
    Elena and Lydia Shelvay Notes for When You Are Older by Kahara​
    Jaina Solo and Rian in Trickster's Leap by Onderon1​

    Post 14: Beyond – Best Author
    divapilot​
    Falcon​
    Kahara​
    ThreadSketch​

    Post 15: Beyond – Best New Author
    Admiral Volshe​
    Annia Piet​
    Count Malvern​
    jcgoble3​
    TheLastTalon​

    Post 16: Sequel Trilogy – Best Speculation/Spoiler Fic
    Red Five by JadeLotus​
    Shadow Prince by Onderon1​
    Rey's Sunrise by RX_Sith​
    My Father Has It by taramidala​

    Post 17: Sequel Trilogy – Best Post-Premiere Fic
    The Greater Good by DarthIshtar​
    Royalty by divapilot​
    A Rough Trade by Ewok Poet​
    To Make Things Right by JediMara77​
    Remains of a Memory by Sara_Kenobi​
    The First Steps by taramidala​
    The Jedi Begin by ZaraValinor​

    Post 18: Sequel Trilogy – Best Legends Inclusion
    Reunion by Carlos Danger​
    The Shadow of Fate by JadeLotus​
    Old Soldier by LadyPadme​
    Shadow Prince by Onderon1​
    NRI: Denon by Revanfan1​

    Post 19: Sequel Trilogy – Best Character
    Lor San Tekka in Royalty by divapilot​
    Luke Skywalker in A Rough Trade by Ewok Poet​
    Valara in Red Five by JadeLotus​
    Leia Organa in Old Soldier by LadyPadme​
    Rey in My Father Has It by taramidala​

    Post 20: Sequel Trilogy – Best Relationship
    Luke Skywalker and Leia Organa in The Greater Good by DarthIshtar​
    Luke Skywalker and Valara in Red Five by JadeLotus​
    Luke Skywalker and Rey in The First Steps by taramidala​
    Luke Skywalker and Rey in The Jedi Begin by ZaraValinor​

    Post 21: Sequel Trilogy – Best Author
    divapilot​
    JadeLotus​
    Sara_Kenobi​
    taramidala​
    ZaraValinor​
     
  2. Chyntuck

    Chyntuck Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 11, 2014
    Beyond – Best Alternate Universe


    Last of the Empire by Admiral Volshe

    * * *​

    Play your Hand by Annia Piet

    Play Your Hand is an AU set immediately after the Thrawn Trilogy exploring what went wrong between Luke and Mara – and how it could have gone better. In this scene, Han is having a drink with Mara and is clumsily interfering in the situation:

    “Why, what’s he said to you?”

    He gave her an innocent look. “Nothing. Or I wouldn’t be asking you.”

    Suddenly tired of it, she threw back the rest of the drink, swallowed hard, and started to push her stool back. “It’s late. I have to be up early and fresh with it. See you sometime Solo.”

    “Mara, wait.” He put a hand on her arm to stop her from rising, and she shot him a look that made it clear such an invasion of her personal space was likely to find him face down on the bar in an arm lock. He removed the hand gingerly. “I don’t mean to interfere. No, actually, I totally do. Honestly, Mara, I don’t know whatever it is the kid’s done to put his foot in it with you, but you gotta cut him a break. I haven’t seen him so happy for a long time till you turned up. Now…”

    “It’s not my job to make Skywalker happy,” she bit out.

    “No, no, of course not. But you seemed to be pretty happy too – with this new job, being on Coruscant, hanging round with us lot – and him. Studying to be a Jedi.”

    “I am not studying to be a Jedi!” she retorted.

    “Really? Well you’ve sure been acting like you were! Are you really gonna drop that and let the kid down?”

    “I’ve never promised him anything, Solo! I don’t know where you all get your delusions…”

    “Seriously Mara, what is so wrong with the idea of you both being happy?”

    “You have no idea what makes me happy,” she spat, and turned and walked out.

    As she stalked off, it bothered her to realise that she had no idea what made her happy either.

    * * *​

    There is Another by JadeLotus

    Once, she had failed to kill him and it had haunted her for five years. Now she had failed to save him, and it would haunt her for the rest of her life.

    "I should have killed that clone when I had the chance," she said bitterly.

    Leia looked at her with obvious sympathy. "Luke would probably say that there is no failure in choosing not to kill."

    "Is that what you believe?" Mara challenged her.

    Leia was silent for a few moments, as if considering her answer. "I believe you made a choice to overcome your past, and you succeeded."

    "At what price, though?"

    "One that Luke was willing to pay," Leia said gently, her hand closing around Mara's on the saber hilt. "And one that you must accept."

    As a Jedi there would be no escaping it - maybe that was the point. Leia was offering her forgiveness, trust and friendship, all of the things Mara had never thought she would want or need.

    “I’ll be at my apartment if you make your decision,” Leia told her, a hopeful smile on her face. “I have children to feed and a Jedi Order to rebuild, and there’s at least one of those I can accomplish tonight.” She squeezed Mara’s hand again and then walked back across the roof.

    Mara cast one look final look at the sun as it sank below the horizon, and then down at the lightsaber in her hand. She had never taken a chance in her life - first she had lived the life she had been raised to, and then the life she’d been forced to survive in. Perhaps now was the time for a life she chose for herself

    “Wait,” Mara called after her. “I’ll come with you.”
    * * *​

    Journeyer and Empress by Onderon1

    “Welcome to Bastion, Knight Solo – and Padawan ...?” Sinde asked, shaking their hands.

    Solo cleared his throat before the boy could speak, a polite-if-strained tone to his Coruscanti accent as he replied, “I prefer the title Journeyer, please, Master Sinde. I’ve embraced an older tradition than the Jedi you may be familiar with – I consider myself Je’daii, nowadays.”

    “Very well – Journeyer Solo,” Sinde replied without missing a beat, filing away the data and masking his surprise. The Jedi had shared information with other Force-using groups about the discoveries on Tython of the original Je’daii Order – which had been more balanced between light and dark than the Jedi themselves.

    The idea that Jacen Solo, infamous pacifist turned subverter of the Yuuzhan Vong, identified with the Je’daii of ancient times, seemed at odds with Solo’s sometimes grating light-side obsession.

    The boy with Solo looked a bit impatient for a moment, but composed himself as Solo nodded and said, “My apologies. This is my Padawan – and my son – Tace Solo.”

    “Master Sinde. It’s good to meet you. Bastion is really – ahem, impressive,” the boy said, smiling unguardedly for a moment as he returned Sinde’s handshake.

    * * *​

    A Letter from a Naboo Handmaiden to her Daughter by taramidala

    My Dearest Daughter:

    I write this letter to you here in my diary, knowing that were I to send it formally you would never receive it. You know why. I write this letter to you so that you can know my honest truth: how much I love you, what I wish for your life, and what I desire your future to be.

    You have always been so much your father’s child. You put others before yourself. You put causes before yourself. Dearest, that was noble and true in our rebellious days, but now? Now, I wish for you to have an independent life of happiness, not one of indentured service to a set of ideals that died out long ago.

    Simply, darling, you deserve more. You deserve better.
     
  3. Chyntuck

    Chyntuck Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 11, 2014
    Beyond – Best Canon


    Beauty Enough by aleja2

    * * *​

    Like Stone by Annia Piet

    Like Stone was written for the poetry challenge, and is set at Luke and Mara’s wedding, where Lando and Talon Karrde have a conversation about Lando’s relationship with Mara, and the nature of friendship:

    “I do think you’re looking at the Mara situation incorrectly though.” Karrde observed.

    “Oh? How so?”

    “Your romantic inclinations towards her may have been misplaced, but there’s more between you than that. We have a saying where I come from; ‘The soul selects her own society.’”

    Lando frowned. “What does that mean?” It was the first time he had ever heard the cynical old smuggler refer to his origins. Karrde must be nearly as drunk as he was.

    “It refers to the fact that we only meet a few people who we really let into our inner most lives. Mara and I are similar in that we let very few people get that close to us. Friendship is a precious and rare commodity. You spent so much time chasing after her for that very specific extra angle, that you failed to notice she already let you in. She accepted you as her friend. She put up with your cheesy come on’s and inability to take a hint, because she valued you for more than that. Friendship. You and I are among the privileged few she has accorded that status to, and neither of us have lost that now.”

    Lando blinked, and stared at the man in front of him. He had never heard Karrde hold forth on anything so personal. Well on anything personal at all. He really was drunk.

    And of course, he was also right.

    “Well,” Lando struggled for words. “Here’s to friendship.” He lifted his glass.

    * * *​

    Elegy by ThreadSketch
     
  4. Chyntuck

    Chyntuck Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 11, 2014
    Beyond – Best Humour


    The Most Joyous Spot in the Galaxy by divapilot

    “So what ride do we want to go on first?” she asked.

    Luke glanced away from the map and turned to Mara. “The guides say that we should start in the back, in Puzzle Town, and work our way to the front. That way we aren’t fighting the crowds so much.”

    Mara drew her son closer as she looked around. It seemed that thousands of beings had chosen Prima Lirpa as their vacation of choice, and at least ninety percent of the crowd had congregated right here. She didn’t like crowds, but here she was, trapped in the Most Joyous Place in the Galaxy, willingly allowing herself to be jostled by strangers.

    “I don’t care. Let’s just move.”

    Luke turned back to the map. “If we start in Puzzle Town, we could hit Vegetable World by lunchtime. There’s a restaurant over in Legume Land that serves healthy food.” He touched the screen and an image of a silvery oversized bean appeared. Luke glanced at Ben, who at this point was twisting in Mara’s clutches. “I don’t think he needs any more sucre.”

    Ben turned to his parents. “I want to ride the rides!” he wailed, yanking his mother’s arm.

    “Puzzle Town it is,” Mara announced. “Let’s move.”

    Luke switched off the map. “This isn’t a military assault, Mara. Have some fun.”

    * * *​

    Artoo's Frazzled Circuits: The 'Hand of Thrawn' Diary by Hazel

    The events of HoT as seen through Artoo’s photoreceptors.

    *Entry Four*

    ENTRY » START NEW
    GALACTIC DATE » 54:3:15 GrS
    GALACTIC POSITION » Kauron Asteroid Field
    SITUATION » Infiltrating the Cavrilhu pirates' base

    »» SITUATION UPDATE: Master Luke and I have succeeded in infiltrating the Cavrilhu pirates' base and once again I am fighter-sitting.

    »» I will elaborate - with the help of the New Republic Intelligence Office, Master Luke was able to track the pirates to this lair and then came up with a disguise for us. He is a smuggler named Mensio who works for another smuggler named Wesselman and is bringing over some of good the pirate captain had ordered. I am posing as one of the goods - a SB-20, which is an R2 shell outfitted with espionage gearing and programing. Wait a minute... I already had all those things. Does this mean I am actually a SB-20 and not a R2 unit?

    »» Uh-ho! Communications are being jammed. That could only mean Anakin Junior's disguise has been compromised and he is in trouble.

    »» Anakin Junior is not the only one to be in trouble. THE PIRATES ARE COMING HERE!! THE PIRATES ARE COMING HERE!! ANAKIN-JUNIOR, WHERE ARE YOU????

    »» Time to eject the X-Wing from our transport and run interference.

    »» Take that you lousy pirates! And THAT! And THAT!

    »» Oops!! Maybe I shouldn't have destroyed the landing bay's atmosphere shield generator. Master Luke is going to have a hard time coming back.

    »» And where the BLAST IS that BLEEPING KID?!

    ENTRY » CLOSE » ENCRYPT ENTRY

    * * *​

    Corellia Day by JadeLotus

    Textcommo, Centaxday Week 3, Month 3, 20 ABY
    Luke Skywalker/Mara Jade

    0116 hrs

    I’ve lost my shirt.

    What?

    I thinks it stolen. Twi’leks. They gave me their dress.

    I’m sure you look lovely.

    It’s really comfy.


    0134 hrs

    ????

    Luke?

    Why haven you answer me?

    What?

    I talking to you.

    I can’t hear you, Luke, you have to type into the comlink.

    Oh.

    Still having fun?

    Bestest time. Wish you here.

    Me too.


    0209 hrs

    Wonats are cute we should get wonat

    0213 hrs

    I have wonat, I have to hide in my skirt. Shhhhhhh.

    0220 hrs

    I think I got away with it.

    0222 hrs

    It so cute I just want to feel toepads.

    0223 hrs

    He doesn’t like that.

    0224 hrs

    I still think he loves me.

    0246 hrs

    FREE CUPCAKES. GREEN.

    I’m going to bed now, Luke.

    Okay. GREEN.

    0301 hrs

    I feel sick.

    0310 hrs

    Room for more beer now.

    0315 hrs

    Just one more beer.

    0423 hrs

    I had more than one.

    Textcommo, Taungsday Week 3, Month 3, 20 ABY
    Mara Jade/Luke Skywalker

    1132 hrs

    Awake yet, Luke?

    Barely.

    Sounds like it was some night.

    From what I can remember. I don’t know why, but I’m wearing a green dress and a tiara.

    I know. I have evidence - Han was wearing one too.

    For some reason it’s covered in frosting though.

    A drunken cake binge will do that to you,

    Why is there a wonat asleep on my legs?!?

    I think you adopted him during the night. NO YOU CAN’T KEEP HIM.

    He is pretty cute…. he has teeny little toepads! They look so soft.

    Go back to sleep Luke, You’re still drunk.

    * * *​

    The Corellian Roundabout by jcgoble3

    Ever been frustrated by a roundabout? A certain scruffy-looking nerf herder shares those frustrations. Add in a hotshot underage driver, and the result is a recipe for laughter.

    “What... is this?” he asked in confusion.

    “Oh, that's the new thing they put in a couple months ago,” Jaina said. “Called a roundabout.”

    “Well, how the heck do I navigate it?” Han wondered, his voice betraying his nervousness.

    “Easy-peasy,” Jaina said, putting her feet back down. “I read about these. Just slip in, go counter-clockwise, and exit.”

    Han didn't think it was that easy. He approached, then hit the brakes, stopping first.

    “No, don't stop,” Jaina said. “Just—”

    Han was decidedly not in the mood for backseat driving. “Quiet!”

    He waited for a moment, studying the traffic flow, until the driver behind him blew his horn. “Alright, alright,” he muttered as he slowly accelerated—then had to floor the throttle when he nearly got rear-ended by a speeder already in the circle, resulting in another blaring horn.

    “Now—” Jaina tried.

    “Shut up!” Han yelled.
    * * *​

    The Wager by Jedi_Lover

    Luke and Mara compete in a drinking game with unintended consequences.

    “I…I don’t know what I think…but there has been something I’ve wanted to do for a long time,” Mara whispered huskily as she stood and reached over the table and grabbed Luke by the collar of his tunic and pulled him toward her until her lips captured his. Luke was shocked and elated by her response as he brought his arms around her back and neck and returned the kiss with a passion.

    Luke was in heaven until Karrde ran up and pulled them apart like an overprotective father. “Stop it! You two are drunk.”

    Luke gazed at his old friend. “No we’re not.” He turned back to Mara. "We're in love."

    Talon grabbed the bottle off the table and put it on the galley counter. “You two are not in love. You barely tolerate each other.”

    Luke stood and held a hand out to Mara. “No, I’ve loved her for a long time.” He pulled her into his embrace and held Mara tightly against his body. It felt good and so right. He looked into Mara’s deep green eyes. “Let’s go to my cabin...to talk.”

    “Okay,” she said breathlessly.”

    They were walking down the corridor hand-in-hand until two stunbolts from Talon Karrde’s blaster rang out dropping the couple.

    The smuggler boss looked at his crew in a near panic. “Aves, take us out of hyperspace. Ghent, get on the holonet and find out what you gave them to drink. I want to know the symptoms, side effects and treatment for overuse.” He turned to Chin. “Grab Luke and put him in his cabin. I’ll get Mara in hers. Maybe when they wake up they won’t remember any of this.”
     
  5. Chyntuck

    Chyntuck Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 11, 2014
    Beyond – Best All-Around


    A Frivolous Holiday by Annia Piet

    This fic was written for a Father’s Day themed challenge, and focuses on fatherhood as broader concept than just biological paternity, looking at Owen Lars’ relationship with Luke as a boy and how his influence shapes Luke as the man – and father – he will himself become.

    She came and found him, of course, but some time later. His Beru had always known how to handle his moods, and leaving him to stew for a while then let the mood dissipate was always wise. Owen’s pragmatic streak could never hold anger for long; there was always too much to be done to waste time sulking. Usually he and Beru could just ride arguments out, knowing in that unspoken way that came from years of marriage who was in the right and who was wrong, and being able to move quickly on with little more than a swift ‘sorry’ before they went to sleep.

    This time it was too serious for her to leave it, and he knew that. When it came to Luke, and his fathering of him, she took it seriously. He turned from the droid he was working on in the maintenance shed to see his wife quietly standing there, leaning against the doorframe, waiting for his attention. They exchanged a long look.

    “That was unfair, Owen,” she stated softly.

    He grunted. A long silence hung there; he knew he wouldn’t get away that easily. “Is he alright?” he added gruffly.

    “He’s cried it out now.”

    “It’s not like I said anything harsh to the boy.”

    “You didn’t need to. He could see it in your look.”

    “Well then. Not much I can do about that.”

    Beru shook her head, and he winced inside at her disapproval. “You can’t take your frustrations out on him.”

    “I’m sorry he didn’t take it well. But I won’t pretend. Not for anyone.”

    “I know,” she said simply. “And I love you for that, but he’s a boy, and he needs to know he’s loved by a father.”

    “I’m not his father, though. I won’t pretend I am.”

    “But you are in every way that matters, Owen. Your honesty, your principles, your sense of duty; these are all the things that are going into making that boy the man he will become. He knows that. He adores you.” Owen shook his head at the over-emotional term, as mild as Beru’s gentle terms made it sound. “He needs to know you think of him like a father, even if you’re technically not. His teachers are right about that.”

    “I’ve never asked for some stupid day to congratulate me for what I should be doing any way.”

    “I know you don’t need it, Owen. But maybe he does.” They stared at each other for long moments, more passing between them than could be said with words. “Dinner is nearly ready. Luke is playing round the other side of the storage sheds. Could you go and get him in please?” And she turned and left without waiting for an answer.

    Owen sighed, wiped his hands down on a rag, and stepped out of the maintenance shed. The suns were setting, creating the stunning colours that always privately moved his soul. It was funny, how they were exactly the same every evening, and yet he never tired of their beauty. Much like his Beru. Familiarity hadn’t brewed contempt; quite the opposite. He walked to the storage sheds.

    * * *​

    Chrysalis by JadeLotus

    "Mara, my dear," a bone-chilling voice seemed to reverberate through her. "I have been waiting for you."

    It was impossible, and yet there he was, out there in the dark and within herself still. That voice was forever imprinted in her mind, and although his last command had vanished, his voice would always remain. Emperor Palpatine.

    "There was a time," the Emperor spoke as if his voice was seeping from the cave walls themselves. "When you would have knelt at the sound of my voice."

    "It is easy to make a child kneel," she said back into the darkness, even though her voice shook. "And I am a child no longer."

    The Emperor laughed, a chilling sound which had always made her shiver, even when she had adored him. "Yet you still kneel, my dear. Your body may be upright, but in your heart you still bow - do not have sorrow for this, Mara. It is your purpose, you were always made to serve another."

    "No," she shook her head. "I am my own, now. Not yours - never yours again."

    "Alas, that is true," the Emperor said, and Mara felt cold hands on her shoulders. "At least, you are not mine my dear, because you are another's now. You are Skywalker's."

    She tried to shake off the ghostly grip, but he held her firm, forcing to peer into the darkness. There was someone ahead of her in the cave, a shimmering spectre coming sharply into focus. Mara tried again to turn and run, but was still held captive by the Emperor’s strong grip, although when she clawed at her shoulders she could feel nothing. Taking a deep breath, Mara looked upon the vision again, accepting it was something she had to see.

    She saw herself standing there, and yet the figure was so drastically altered Mara couldn't really describe it as herself at all. The apparition was clad in Jedi robes, that itchy homespun Mara had seen depicted as the uniform of the Old Republic Jedi, and Luke himself wore on occasion. Mara scratched her arm absently, as if she was wearing the robes herself. Her mirror was older, hair slightly streaked with grey and wrinkles creasing around her eyes and mouth. In her hand he carried the lightsaber of Anakin Skywalker, but she wore no blaster holster.

    In the distance she saw an image of Luke appear, similarly attired and aged, surrounded by blonde children of varying ages, themselves all wearing Jedi robes and wielding lightsabers. The scene before her was what she could become, the Mara she feared - the perfect Jedi, with her Jedi husband and Jedi children. Utterly indistinct and generic - like the Jedi of old.

    “You see, don’t you?” the Emperor voiced her thoughts, his cold breath in her ear. "You see there is no Jade left in you. He made you one of them; drilled away your sharp edges and dampened your fire until it burned down into something he could control.”

    The mirror of herself looked at Mara with dull green eyes, emphasising the Emperor’s words. Mara forced herself to stare back, but soon her gaze drifted back to Luke, who looked so happy among the children he’d raised in his own image.

    "You are all Skywalker now,” the Emperor rasped. “He made a dynasty from you."

    Mara knew it was not Palpatine speaking - he was dust, and his spirit had been too corrupted to find continued life in the Force. No, it was the fears coiled inside her own heart that that conjured this apparition.

    * * *​

    I, Warrior by MasterGhandalf

    Prologue: Dreams in Darkness

    She stands upon the surface of a dead world. It is not truly a desert- she was born and raised in a desert, and knows that even in the empty wastes of Tatooine there is life if you know how to find it. Nor is it like Coruscant, a world covered in technology with little in the way of true nature. This world is simply dead, from its barren flats to its grey, cloudy sky, as though something has drained it dry and departed in search of other sustenance. To all of her soul- Tusken Raider, Jedi, Yuuzhan Vong- it seems an abominable place, a wound in the living fabric of the galaxy.

    She takes a step forward, and the ground before her opens up. A vast chasm stands where once was featureless barrens, and from it rise the spires of ancient buildings. Temples, tombs, palaces- she doesn't know what they are, exactly, but they are terrible, clawing the sky as if they would drag it down and soar into infinity. Somehow, it feels as if the buildings are alive in a way the rest of this terrible world is not, that they are watching her… waiting…

    A figure stands in front of the nearest temple, wrapped head to foot in a filthy black cloak. It turns towards her, and she can see nothing beneath its hood except for the outline of a chin and two piercing yellow eyes. Its feeling in the Force is familiar, but somehow off, like a familiar face distorted by twisted mirror, and try as she might, she cannot recognize it. The figure sees her, and it smiles- and then it looks up to the heavens and raises its arms.

    A vessel descends from the sky. It is not made from durasteel or any other material familiar to the galaxy, but seems carved or perhaps grown from living coral. She knows that this is an accurate statement- part of her remembers childhood spent on a similar, far larger ship. It hovers over the valley, and then from it descend warriors encased in fearsome spiked armor, their faces tattooed with the symbols of their domain and caste, as well as their own personal glories. They come to stand among the tombs and the cloaked figure welcomes them, and deep within the ground she can feel something rejoicing.

    The cloaked figure turns back to her and beckons, and she takes a step forward almost against her will. And as she does so the ground opens up beneath her feet and she is falling into a vast darkness….

    Tahiri Veila came awake with a start, sitting up in her bed and breathing deeply to calm herself. She hadn't had a dream that bad in more than a year- not since before in end of the war, in fact, when her warring personalities had merged into a single being. But she knew at once that this was something entirely different. Her integration had been personal, a battle fought within her own mind. This dream had been her mind reaching out and touching the Force, and being told something in return.

    It hadn't, in fact, been a dream at all, but a vision - one that her instincts told her portended something yet to come. And although Tahiri didn't know what it had meant, she was certain of one thing- it must never be permitted to come to pass.

    * * *​

    This Little Light by Revanfan1

    Mara took her speeder to the tapcaf. She saw Leia's speeder already sitting outside, so she pulled up next to it and went inside. The tapcaf was classically styled, with a greasy-but-clean feel and actual sentient servers rather than droids. Mara saw Leia sitting in one corner. She wore a pair of white pants, a red shirt, and a white vest over it. Mara didn't see Leia's lightsaber clipped to her belt, but that wasn't unusual.

    She walked to Leia's table. As she approached, Leia smiled and rose to hug her sister-in-law. Mara returned the embrace, and then the two of them sat down. A Mirialan waiter walked up and asked for their order; Leia asked for a tea, and Mara asked for hot caf.

    "So, what's going on?" Leia asked.

    "Luke is going to be off-world for a while," Mara said. "I wanted to talk to you."

    "I figured as much when you said not to bring Han," Leia joked. "So what is it? Girl problems?"

    "Sort of..." Mara confirmed. "It's something I feel like I have to tell right now, or I'll go crazy. I want to be the one to tell Luke, so you have to promise to keep this a secret, okay?"

    "Okay," Leia replied, quirking an eyebrow.

    The server returned with their drinks. The two ladies thanked him, and then ordered a small meal of sliced ribenes. As he walked off to tell the cook, Mara leaned in close to Leia.

    "Leia...I'm pregnant."

    Leia choked on her drink and began coughing. Mara reached around and patted her on the back until she cleared her throat. Leia's eyes bugged out of her head as she looked at Mara.

    "You what?"

    Mara smiled weakly. "Yeah...I was as surprised as you are. I sensed the baby this morning when I woke up. I tried to tell Luke but he was so excited about going to Dagobah that he just left before I could get the words out."

    "Mara, this is wonderful," Leia said. "But you're a bit old to be a mother, aren't you?"

    "Barely," Mara replied. "I'm technically just below middle-aged, so it's not like it's that unusual. But I expected Ben to be the next Skywalker to have a child. I wasn't expecting an encore."

    Leia chuckled. "Well, don't worry, you'll be just fine. I'm here for you if you need anything."

    "Thank you, Leia." Mara sipped her caf. "It'll certainly be an interesting experience."

    * * *​

    Danni's Quest by SiouxFan

    * * *​

    Invidious Intent by Sokolniki

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    I'll Come With You by ThreadSketch
     
  6. Chyntuck

    Chyntuck Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 11, 2014
    Beyond – Best Epic


    The God of Second Chances by divapilot – Excerpt from entry 30

    Summary: In The God of Second Chances, Bree Solo and her boyfriend Blue, a medic, face a medical crisis that nearly kills Bree and costs Blue great personal sacrifices to save her life.

    I’ve been so afraid that something would happen, and now that it did, it makes me rethink everything. All this time I’ve been worried about whether or not I would be strong enough to protect him. And yet he was the one who saved me, with his intelligence and stubborn persistence. In the process, though, he sacrificed his sobriety because he needed to stay awake to save me. He knew the cost: he knew what agony lay ahead for him, how hard it was going to be to start all over again, he knew the risk that he might not be successful and he could spiral down into addiction for good. To compound it, if Captain Sia had chosen to press charges against him for misusing the pharmaceutical supplies, he would have been guilty of breaking parole and he would be on his way back to prison.

    All that time that I had spent worrying about how I would protect him, and it was Blue who threw himself down to protect me.

    I feel like, now, more than ever, I know this man who sits next to me. I know him. Not just the geography of his body -- the scars from the long-ago crash that remind me that he downplays how badly injured he actually was, that one crooked tooth he never bothered to get fixed, the gentle roughness of his stubble when he kisses me in the morning. Not just his behaviours – the sound he makes when he’s irritated, the way he breathes when he’s fast asleep. It’s like I know his soul. Like I’ve been inside his heart. And he knows me the same way.

    I know that when I switch this off, I’ll lean into him, and he will turn off his own datapad. He’ll raise his arm up so that I can slip under it and rest my head on his shoulder, then he’ll put his arm around me. We’ll just sit like this, quietly, united in a gesture so full of love and support and security that it makes me feel like right now, today, if something were to happen and for some reason this was our last day, our lives would be fulfilled. Sitting beside him, wrapped in his arms, is such a little thing, but it is enough for us both.

    Life and love are so strangely intertwined. It’s love that makes life worth anything. I’ve been so focused on avoiding attack, on missing my brother, on being hyper-vigilant about our safety – so focused on avoiding death that I think I began to lose focus on living. Having Blue still by my side after all we have gone through reminds me what the point of my life actually is: to love one another.

    * * *​

    Fragile by pregnantpadme

    * * *​

    The Fields of Tesserone by Vehn

    The days of peace and prosperity are fading away. A choice lies before a woman who once was a great leader but turned away from that world. A choice that will decide the fate of the Roon Trade Organization and the very fate of her family...

    To work the land is good for the soul. To love the land is something else entirely.

    That was the Vehn way. That was the way of Eleanor Vehn, the eldest daughter of Verity Vehn and Oisin Trieste. She hadn’t always been a farmer. She’d once been Queen of Naboo, a Senator of the Galactic Republic, an arbiter of peace and justice, but she had turned from that life and now lived quite comfortably with her husband, Rowan, her daughter, Grace, in the family home known as Tesserone.

    Eleanor stopped her hard, tiresome work, and looked across the valley toward the sprawling Laweeya Prairie and the Lady Constance mountain range to the north, white peaks glistening in the early summer sun. That was a good sign. That meant there would be water for irrigating the fields later in the year. Some years the snow was gone by this point while other years it lingered on and provided a good harvest. Her eyes took in all that was around her. The heavy cloud-cover generated shadows across the rolling grass-lands, the soaring of birds of prey hunting for their meal to feed their younglings, the fresh air and the deathly quiet. Out here in the wide expanse, far from galactic pressures, far from people, she felt her mind, body, and spirit swell with happiness. There was no more beautiful a place than right here on Roon. All she could do was smile, wipe the dirt and sweat away from her eyes, and just accept every moment, every blessing, that came her way.

    She heard the distant ringing of a bell. The dinner bell. It’s familiar sound reverberated across the gently sloping hills and called to her soul, called her home. Eleanor swung onto the back of her rock-hopper and galloped at full speed down the slope toward Tesserone. She loved riding rock-hoppers. They were stable, high-spirited, loving, and it was the closest experience she could get to flying these days since she mostly stayed on the family farm. That was fine with her. She’d take the animals over the troubles of the galaxy any day of the week. She urged her rock-hopper forward, faster and faster, the two of them in perfect sync, feeding off one another, as the family home loomed large in front of her. She skidded to a stop and hopped off the saddle, loosely tying her mount to a fence post and slipped inside where her mother confronted her.

    “You were born to lead, Eleanor. I knew that about you from the beginning. Will you take your place as the rightful leader of the RTO?” Verity asked.

    Eleanor wanted to run away. She wanted to hide. She couldn’t handle this, she couldn’t think, she couldn’t—

    “I…” Eleanor stammered.

    She thought of how much she’d loved Naboo. How much she’d hated Coruscant. How much she’d made a difference in the lives of all she came in contact with. Some things in life happened for a reason. This was all coming together so quickly. Too quickly. She had missed leadership. She had missed settling disputes. She’d tried to fill that gaping hole in her soul since she got back to Roon but nothing had come close. Nothing at all. She wasn’t sure she believed in destiny but she did believe in opportunity. This could be an opportunity.

    “I’m afraid, Mama,” Eleanor said.

    “I know, my dear,” Verity replied, “but there’s no reason to be afraid. You’ll be fine. Tell me, Eleanor, will you save what your family has built? Will you save the RTO, save us?”

    “I will.”
     
  7. Chyntuck

    Chyntuck Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 11, 2014
    Beyond – Best Short Story


    Beauty Enough by aleja2

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    A Letter from a Naboo Handmaiden to her Daughter by taramidala

    Your father changed, so I know you can, too. A life of duty without love is the precise opposite of what your father and I ever wanted for you. We only wanted you strong, and free.

    You are, and have been, stronger than I could ever imagine. Yet you are no freer than we were under the Empire.

    Without the one you love, and yes, I know you love him, you are a shadow of the woman I raised. I know you say that you don’t know what love is, but dearest, I have seen it in your eyes and I have heard what’s in your heart. It’s what my heart once held for the man I loved.

    * * *​

    Elegy by ThreadSketch
     
  8. Chyntuck

    Chyntuck Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 11, 2014
    Beyond – Best Series


    The Blue/Bree Series by divapilot (All I Have to Give, The God of Second Chances, True Blue) – Excerpt from The God of Second Chances

    It’s been two months since I’ve seen him. It feels like two years. Every time he leaves, all the color drains out of my life. Then when he comes back, it’s like Fete Week for his entire stay. Having him here with me again is like feeling the sun on my face after a storm. Everything is brighter and warmer when he’s with me.

    I get that there are some people who criticize us. They think that because I’m a member of one of the most important families in the galaxy -- a granddaughter of not just one but two queens, the last Viceroy of Alderaan, and of the Hero With No Fear, and a daughter of the last Princess of Alderaan and the hero of the Rebellion -- then I should have chosen someone more influential or at least more palatable to the public. Certainly not someone whose legal name is Parolee 735204, a convicted drug dealer who served three years in prison for negligent homicide in the death of his friend. They say I can do better. I should do better. I have a duty to do better.

    I don’t care what they think. They don’t know Blue the way I do. We have pushed through so much together. He was beside me in my loneliest days, holding me and wiping away my tears. I defended him when he believed he had been forsaken by everyone. He knows my darkest times and I know his.

    Anyone who presumes to tell me that “I can do better” does not understand. He will always be my Blue and I will always be his Bree.

    * * *​

    The Luke/Mara Holiday Fic Series by JadeLotus (My True Love Gave to Me, Celestial Love, Chrysalis, Corellia Day, First Date, Heavy Petting, The Garden of Unearthly Delights) -- Excerpt from The Garden of Unearthly Delights

    "The wind spirits were serious and knowledgeable creatures, the oldest of the Great Mother's children. They say when she first came to Alderaan the planet was barren - left so by the Killiks. She let out a great breath, making the mountains rise and the seas churn, and so the wind spirits were born, charged with blowing away all remnants of those before. Then she bled onto the great plains, and where her tears fell orowood trees took root. Soon entire forests had grown, but only in those original trees lived dryads. You are aware of the legend of the wind spirit who fell in love with one such creature?"

    "I've heard of it," Luke nodded, giving Mara a quick wink.

    "He showed her the world outside her forest, and she taught him how to dance." Winter smiled. "It's a beautiful story."

    "I'm sure it is," Mara told her, but was distracted by Leia, who had been joined at the standing stones by nine priestesses in flowing scarlet dresses, each leaning down and touching her bare feet and then embracing her.

    "They still see her as their Princess," Mara observed, not missing the reverent and excited looks the crowd.

    Winter smiled. "More like their Queen."

    Mara inclined her head in thought. "I suppose that is more appropriate."

    "It is more than that," Winter told her seriously. "The Queen of Alderaan is the embodiment of the Great Mother in the mortal realm - through her all life is possible."

    Mara was surprised by the sudden passion from the usually composed Winter. "I didn't realise until today that Alderaanian people still held such beliefs." She had never really associated Alderaan with tree spirits and nature gods.

    "We value reason and justice, this is true," Winter explained, but her words were kindly. "But the mind cannot live without the heart, and so they exist in symbiosis. We seek truth and knowledge to nourish our minds, and this is found in our communion with one another, our intellectual society. Yet to nourish the heart we must look elsewhere - to the beauty of the world that sustains us; to give ourselves over to the divine and achieve enlightenment through the understanding that there are things we cannot know or comprehend."

    The necessity of the heart was something Mara was still getting used to, but she found Winter's words moving. Months ago, at the end of the Midwinter Festival, she'd told Luke that she wanted to give herself over to possibility of having a child with him, to relinquish control over it. Perhaps there was something to be said for the Alderaanian concept of balance, and a place for giving oneself up to the unknown.

    When she looked back at Winter the woman was smiling, as if she'd somehow guessed where Mara's thoughts dwelt.

    "Why do they wear red?" Mara enquired, wishing to avoid an awkward line of questioning she was sure Winter was about to launch into, and nodding towards the priestesses gathered in the standing stones.

    "Blue is the colour of royalty and civility," Winter explained, although her knowing smile remained. "It is the sky above us and the oceans that surround us and sustain us. Red is the colour of passion, of fire, that which women bleed in order to give life."

    "And the ceremony?"

    Winter looked back over at the ring of standing stones, and the red priestesses inside. "They will dance and invoke the spirit of the Great Mother - the Sacred Circle symbolises life renewing itself, with no beginning or end."

    * * *​

    Rebirth and Restoration Series by Revanfan1 (Masters of the Force, Restoration of Darkness)

    Jacen stepped out of the ‘fresher, a towel wrapped around his waist. Tenel Ka sat on the bed, wearing a thigh-length bed robe, reading a datapad. Her red hair was unbound and flowed freely over her shoulders. Jacen’s heart leapt anew as he saw her.

    She looked up at him and smiled. He smiled back. He crossed to the dresser and pulled out his clothes–a simple brown and tan tunic. He went back to the ‘fresher to dress. When he came back out, Tenel Ka was dressed, too. She wore brown leggings and a light green leather jerkin.

    “You’ve dressed basically the same since we were teenagers,” he said.

    “Some fashions never go out of smile,” she replied with a demure smile.

    He kissed her on the forehead. She began to braid her hair as he picked up his lightsaber from the nightstand and clipped it to his belt. He looked over his shoulder at her.

    “We need to make sure Tahiri and Aren get together,” he said.

    “Same old meddling Jacen,” she replied. “When will you learn? If they’re meant to be together, they will be together. Worry not, love. I have seen the way Tahiri looks at him. They will find their way to each other sooner than later.”

    “I suppose you’re right. I–”

    Jacen gasped suddenly and felt his knees go weak. Something had shifted phenomenally in the Force. He put his palms flat on the dresser to keep himself balance. He felt bile rise. The dark side.

    “Oh, kriff,” Tenel Ka whispered.

    So she’d felt it too. Jacen felt his body shaking uncontrollably. This was the darkest thing he’d ever felt. He rushed to the ‘fresher and vomited into the toilet. Tenel Ka rushed to his side and put her hands on his shoulders.

    “Jacen. Jacen, get a hold of yourself!”

    He panted and sat down on the floor. He looked up at her, and he saw more worry in her eyes than he’d ever seen before. He knew this was bad, really bad.

    “We need to speak to the Council,” he said. “Now.”

    * * *​

    The Tainted Ties Series by Tony Mancosu (Tainted Ties, Tainted Ties - Act Two: Rise & Decay) – Excerpt from Tainted Ties

    Vhinh, a Jedi padawan, has been severly reprimanded for an indiscretion on his part involving Nea, a female he had befriended. No sooner had the conversation taken place than they received word that the control sector on Muunilinst has just been invaded and is being held hostage...

    “Vhinh... I’m your master. I’m sworn to uphold the values bestowed upon me by the council – by my masters. That is a great responsibility. All that I said before the other masters holds true, and I stand by it. However...”

    However, Master?” Vhinh pressed. Where was he going with this?

    “It is true the Jedi remain very dogmatic, though they have relaxed the code somewhat throughout the many millennia of their known existence. I believe this is because they prefer to error on the side of caution. You must realize our entire structure is highly philosophical. You won’t always find all masters in agreement with one another, though we’ve had largely the same training. In fact, we encourage this, for each individual to pursue his or her own personal growth in mind and body, for if not they could never reach their full potential.

    “But we must have some kind of structure, for the Jedi teachings also require great discipline. This is why we look upon any violation of the code as a serious offense. Though it is not my place to say, I would not necessarily prohibit personal relationships in one of your age, for instance – possibly in your case, though, as I have seen a decline in your focus as of late.”

    “I know.”

    “Love... is a beautiful thing, and a driving force. Without its existence, I believe many of our species would never have thrived. However, it can also be very dangerous, as many do not understand how to truly love. We sentient creatures tend to be very materialistic in nature, we want to hold on to things, yet this is not the way of love. When you love someone, you want to give them the galaxy, but how can you do that by keeping them in one place? When one dies, they truly become one with the Force. But many would deny their loved ones this experience, given a choice. It can be confusing, to be sure, and a difficult concept for most beings to grasp, but it is the way of the Jedi.” He could see that Vhinh was struggling with the idea.

    “There is a story of a very wise and accomplished Jedi master of old by the name of Liita Rulon. Her husband died in a very tragic way. Upon receiving the news, she shed a tear for the horror he must have gone through, but was smiling again soon after. She knew then that he was at peace, and in fact she recollected feeling his presence next to her even before hearing of his death, and it had comforted her.

    “The day of his funeral, she was as spirited as ever, reciting humorous anecdotes of their lives together, even poking a little good-natured fun at her departed spouse, as if he was still right beside her.” Vhinh showed a confused frown at this. “You see, padawan, what most forget is that a funeral is meant as a celebration of one’s life. She had loved him deeply, hence she had much to celebrate. The tragic way in which he’d died had not changed how he’d lived, and that is what she chose to remember.

    “Unfortunately, this was lost on the public. Not being the picture of the grieving widow they’d expected or the epitome of the compassionate Jedi they thought they knew, she was scorned, called horrible things. Someone from the procession had even remarked, ‘You’re glad your husband died!’ To this, her simple reply was, ‘No, I’m glad he lived.’”
     
  9. Chyntuck

    Chyntuck Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 11, 2014
    Beyond – Best Interpretation of a Canon Character


    Firmus Piett in Last of the Empire by Admiral Volshe

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    Mara Jade in Beauty Enough by aleja2

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    Sabé in A Letter from a Naboo Handmaiden to her Daughter by taramidala

    If I could go back to the beginning, to square one, I would fight to stay with your father despite the danger. I would shower you with more love than any Master could ever undo. I would fight for you, since you did not wish to fight for yourself. Perhaps you would understand so much more if I had.

    Your Boy came to me, blaming himself for loving you, and I had to tell him the fault was not his. He blames his heritage for the way you both learned things – the truth, for one – and how to be young and strong and in love. When the day comes, and I feel that it will, absolve yourselves of blame.

    Please, darling, break free of what holds you, and return to us. Return to me. Return to your love.

    Is’braylem tué, eena. With all my heart.

    -Your mother
     
  10. Chyntuck

    Chyntuck Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 11, 2014
    Beyond – Best Original Character


    Melinda Rotham in After Her by EmeraldJediFire

    Luke returned her smile wordlessly.

    She took a sip of her wine and set it back down. Melinda cleared her throat and engaged him dead-on. “Now, are you going to tell me what’s going on?”

    “What do you mean?”

    So he was going to play that kind of game.

    “Well, let’s see. You’ve been eyeing me for the past minute and every time I look at you, you find something to be fascinated with—like your napkin—or start commenting on the food. Now, I’ll admit it is endearing, but you needn’t have to do that. We’re both adults, both have been married, raised our children. I think we’re way beyond the silly games of youth.”

    Luke nodded slowly and put down his fork. “You’re right. I’m sorry…I guess I’m just a bit nervous is all.” He smiled and began to toy with his napkin. “I haven’t exactly had a woman in my home for a long time; first time I’ve cooked for another woman since Mara.”Luke explained. “It’s all brand new feeling to me.”

    Her face softened into a mask of understanding. “I understand. One never forgets one’s first love, I certainly won’t.” She paused, looking into his eyes. “I was in your position years ago, when Charles died. I was a mess; I was still quite young and had three young children to raise. I was so beside myself; and I was angry with everything. I started even to blame Charlie. I didn’t think I could ever get over him…I thought there would be no one else.

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    Zebula Pavish in Strength of Will by JadeLotus

    “How about Garazeb - it’s a good, strong name,” Quix mused aloud as he patted the little boy on the shoulder. “And you’re strong, eh?”

    The boy gazed up at him with wide, dark eyes, and nodded fervently. Garazeb in Old Lasan meant mountain of strength, but looking down at the child Quix realised it wasn’t quite right.

    “How 'bout...Zebula?” Quix asked. “Strength of will.”

    "Can I has a cookie?" the kid asked in response, and Quix chuckled softly as he went to the pantry to see what he had that a human child would find appetising. "You need a clan name too, Zeb," he said, falling easily into the nickname. While he would go back to where he’d found the boy the following day and ask around, Quix knew that in all likelihood the boy’s parents were dead, and he therefore had to resume responsibility for him. He could be helpful, in fact - the best player in a con was a kid, since they seemed immediately trustworthy.

    "I don't suppose ya know dat either?" Quix found a packet of salty pop kernels and tossed it across the room. Zeb caught it and shook his head, then ripped open the packet and ate ravenously.

    "Well I found ya in the Pavish district," Quix mused. "Dat's as close to a clan name as you’re probably ever gonna get.”

    The boy smiled for the first time, his teeth full of pop kernels, and Quix chuckled lightly “Well, Zebula Pavish,” he said, covering the kid’s left shoulder with his right claw in a traditional Lasat greeting. Zeb quickly caught onto the meaning, putting aside his kernels and putting his tiny right hand on Quix’s left shoulder - or as close to it as he could get.

    “Welcome to the fam.”

    * * *​

    Talon Tantiss in The Journal of Talon Tantiss: Jedi Knight and Reluctant Vornskr Owner by Jedi_Lover – Excerpt from entry 2


    Ben Skywalker, Talon Tantiss and their respective wives, Valla and Zylie Karrde are getting ready to attend a costume party.

    Zylie was the first to return with an outfit. “This looks so sexy,” she purred as she held up a package. “It is a Savage costume. We have to purchase a fake sword separately, but it is sooo perfect.” She hands me a very small plasto bag with a small piece of fabric inside. I tentatively reached in and pulled out a small loincloth.

    “Stang!” Ben started laughing until his face was as red as his hair.

    “Really, Zylie?” I stood, legs apart in a warrior stance, as I held the loincloth up in front of my crotch. I gave her a sidelong glance. “Be serious. First off, if I went to the party dressed like this I would be swarmed by women and second this is not enough fabric to contain my manly assets.”

    Ben snorted and began laughing again. I turned and threw the costume at him. “But it may fit my little cousin.”

    Before he could give a scathing retort, Valla showed up with a much larger costume. “It’s a Hapan Prince!” She says excitedly.

    “Valla, I hate to break it to you, but your husband is not handsome enough to be a Hapan.” I grabbed the costume with a smirk and checked out the sample image on the package. It showed a male model wearing tight, bun hugging purple pants, an effeminate white puffy shirt, along with a vinyl black belt and a toy blaster. I grinned at Ben. “This is perfect for you. It emphasizes your manly qualities…or lack of.”

    He folded his arms across his chest and glared at me. “Funny Talon. Perhaps the ladies can find something to fit your personality. Maybe you can go as a feminine hygiene product because you can be such a d…”

    “Ben!” Valla warned her husband.
     
  11. Chyntuck

    Chyntuck Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 11, 2014
    Beyond – Best Villain


    Mishy Lakaylor in Undeniably Evil by aalagartassle

    * * *​

    Cyrax in Dark Currents by Darth_Furio – Link to chapter 12, Part 1

    Cyrax was born into a life of violence and brutality at the hands of a farmer that kept slaves. During his time there he developed a relationship as a man with a girl who was subsequently beaten, raped, and killed by their master. Cyrax proceeded to kill everyone on that farm, slaves and slavers alike after his beloved had died.

    He was accepted into a Jedi training facility due to their limited numbers and his significant connection to the Force. Cyrax became a Jedi Knight and in that time he became disillusioned with the Jedi leadership and the politics of the time. Force users that had used the dark side and refused to join the Jedi Order were deemed criminals and incarcerated. This legislation was called the Jedi-Imperial Act and it helped maintained a peace that lasted almost three hundred years.

    Upon discovering a cache of Dark Side artifacts, Cyrax was further seduced by the dark arts of the Sith. This led to Cyrax killing his Jedi Master in cold blood. For decades Cyrax hid his presence. However, he gathered many assets in terms of politicians, captains of industry, and military commanders. He knew they would all help his ascension in the Empire. Cyrax also had a powerful apprentice as his centre piece until the young man was captured by the Jedi Order and turned to the Light Side despite the Empire's laws about user of the Dark Side.

    This forced Cyrax to seek a new apprentice, which he found in the fallen Jedi Knight Lorn Nyeb. Now Cyrax and Lorn have launched an invasion against Coruscant where the Sith Lord has used brutal tactics, stolen military hardware, and biological weapons against the Empire.

    * * *​

    Darth Nephros in Dark Currents by Darth_Furio – Link to chapter 11, part 2

    Darth Nephros at his most brutal and severe, is a man, that kills anyone in his way. If he has an objective and someone stands in front of him he will destroy them or die trying. His given name is Marcus Dal Colle and Marcus was a neglected child with a rough upbringing. His difficult life turned into an anger that carried him into his early twenties. That Anger had also aided in manifesting his Force abilities which are considerable and they were finally noticed by a Dark Side user who wanted to manipulate them for his own gains.

    At First Marcus resisted and joined Cor-Sec to do something with his life. He was happier as he was using his abilities for a significant purpose as he helped lead a group of agents that were fighting organized crime syndicates. During that time he met and fell in love with a Jedi Knight that was assigned to help Marcus' team. She and Marcus developed a love affair that remained hidden until she was brutally killed. Marcus was obviously devastated and fell into a darkness that led him to finally become Darth Nephros with the help of various Sith elements.

    Nephros encounters another Jedi woman that feels that there may be goodness still within him, or at least the abilty to love like he had loved before. She starts to insert doubts about his destiny into his mind that he constatntly deals with. His overall mission is not galactic domination of worlds, but domination of the Force.

    * * *​

    Ren'Vhan in Invidious Intent by Sokolniki

    * * *​

    Eulian Tratzel/Darth Sceptaurus in Tainted Ties by Tony Mancosu

    Darth Sceptaurus is the unseen face of Eulian Tratzel, a successful and calculating multi-trillionaire and owner of many large corporations in addition to many 'off-the-record' business ventures. He has lived many lifetimes over the last two millennia...

    Darth Sceptaurus was, at least in his own mind, one of the most powerful and brilliant Sith Lords ever. He may not have been as strong in the dark side as Darth Sidious, or as wise as Darth Plagueius, but he used what he had, and what he had was the knowledge left behind by generations upon generations of great Sith lords, within holocrons, within documents, some within the Jedi temples themselves, some in hidden locations across the galaxy, whereabouts of which were known only to a very select few beings, ever...

    ... It takes more than a fallen Jedi, more than a dark force user to make a true Sith Lord. It takes the knowledge of whom the Sith actually were, and a true understanding of the mindset of a Sith Lord and how they view the Force: not with reverence and surrender, but contempt, like a beaten vornskr showing its belly in complete submission.

    One has to be the master of the Force in order to bend it to his will, rather than allow the Force to guide his or her actions. It was only a matter of sheer luck that he happened to be the first apprentice who gained access to certain Sith secrets who also possessed both the power and ability to unlock these secrets and the understanding of what this knowledge could actually turn into and how it could be used. Which was why he also had all the time in the galaxy to carry out his plan, once he knew what it was...

    ... Now with the remainder of his life to devote to study, he applied techniques believed to be discovered by Darth Plagueius in conceiving and prolonging life, in conjunction with a rediscovered ancient ability of transferring consciousness from one body to another.

    * * *​

    Lumiya in The Rising Threat by whiskers

    The lid of the crate flew off with a mental push that had meant to be simple but instead propelled the metal square meters away. An ungloved hand grabbed at the Holocron and her mind ripped the sides open.

    A blue figure emerged from the pyramid and stood over her. His once red skin shone a darker shade than the armor that he wore. Fleshy tendrils drooped from his upper lip like an organic moustache. “What lessons do you require today, my apprentice?” The figure looked down upon her and sensed her despair. “I didn’t imprint myself upon this to train weaklings.” The image began to slowly fade.

    “King Adas, wait.” Her voice was weak and her will as frayed as the ends of her weapon. A simple exertion of will through the Force moved between herself and the Holocron. She wasn’t as weak as he said and she knew it.

    The image faded more. “Are you trying to do something, my pupil?” Shira cringed at the voice’s mockery of her plight. She had the power to do what she wanted a more long ago only for it to be replaced by mere echoes. Her limbs, her jaw, several of her internal organs, all of it gone and taking that future away from her forever and it was all his fault. The very same presence that she had felt upon the deaths of the Emperor and her master and it was at his hands. The man that had left her floating in the void of space, slowly dying only to be replaced by this mockery of life. Skywalker. The very name repeating in her brain stoked the fire within her.

    * * *​

    Jacen Solo/Darth Caedus in The Truth behind the Lies by x_SwordoftheJedi_x

    "I've come for Allana, our daughter," Caedus replied nonchalantly, as though they were discussing that day's weather. "As for how I got in? Your pathetic guards are no match for me."

    Tenel Ka kept her lightsaber up, preparing to block any unwanted shots or lightsaber strikes. Some of her thoughts went out to the palace guards that were either dead or dying, but she couldn't do anything for them right now. "If you think that I am just going to hand my daughter over to you, then you are more delusional than I thought." She would not let her daughter into the hands of a Sith Lord, whether he was her father or not.

    "Ah, you see Tenel Ka, I never expected you to just hand her over."

    "I demand that you leave this instant. You are trespassing on royal property, the penalty for which is-"

    Caedus lazily waved his hand towards three of the six GAG troopers behind him, "Seize her."

    The two largest grabbed her by either arm while the other forcefully took her lightsaber (managing in the process to not injure himself, which was a feat in itself) and handed it to Caedus.

    "What do you think you are doing? Get off me!" Tenel Ka struggled against the strong grip of her captors, but it was no use. She called upon the Force to help her, but was shocked to realise that she could no longer feel it. That was when she noticed the cage that was being held by a fourth trooper. Ysalamiri. Distracted, she gasped in surprise and pain as a blaster bolt hit her square in her abdomen, sending her into unconsciousness.
     
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  12. Chyntuck

    Chyntuck Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 11, 2014
    Beyond – Best Canon Relationship


    Luke Skywalker and Mara Jade in Counselling by Annia Piet

    Luke and Mara are in marriage counselling, having found it difficult to adapt to married life after so short a courtship. At the root of their problems is the Force bond they share, and learning to respect the need for space as well as constant intimacy.

    Luke felt an urge to reach out to her through their bond again, to show her the truth of it, to show her how much he loved her. But she was asking him not to do that, and so he withdrew his feelings inside himself, trying to stop them seeping through their bond to her. Her posture changed, as though suddenly lightened, and she glanced at him quizzically.

    He reached out a hand and placed it tentatively on hers. “Mara…”

    She pinned him with her striking eyes. “Oh shut up, Skywalker, and just kiss me. Like a real person.”

    He stared at her incredulously, not quite understanding what she was asking, then she took matters into her own hands. Her hand slid round his neck and pulled his face close to hers. Familiar lips touched to his hungrily. From habit he started to reach to her through their bond, only to feel a sharp reproval. He withdrew his force sense back into himself and concentrated instead on how it felt – the sensation of lips on lips, tongue on tongue, heart next to heart.

    It felt like kissing her again for the first time.

    They eventually parted, foreheads leaning together for a long time while they took deep, steadying breaths.

    “I need you, farmboy,” Mara breathed. “I need you, and I love you, but I need space too. All these other details…” she waved a hand. “…are just minutiae. We can work them out. But the spaces between us are important too.”

    Luke nodded silently. Mara looked up at him. “Let’s go home, Luke.”

    Later that night, she let her barriers down and let him in again for the first time in months. And it was worth the wait.

    * * *​

    Lando Calrissian and Mara Jade in Like Stone by Annia Piet

    Like Stone was written for the poetry challenge, and is set at Luke and Mara’s wedding, where Lando and Talon Karrde have a conversation about Lando’s relationship with Mara, and the nature of friendship.

    Lando stared out at the beautiful woman in his old friend’s arms. Mara leant back from Luke’s embrace to laugh at something her husband had said, that familiar sardonic quirk to her mouth. She smiled more now. More that he remembered the entire time he’d known her.

    “I pursued her a long time, as you know. I’d be an idiot not to, I mean just look at her. And that mind…. She’s a remarkable woman. I mean. Did you never think to…?” He glanced at the other man.

    “I don’t mix business with pleasure,” Karrde said coolly.

    “Well, yeah, fair enough. But you know, I could just get no-where with her. Business, yeah. And fun, we had some fun times too. But when it came down to it… Like stone. No way in.”

    “Mara doesn’t take on emotional relationships lightly. Given her background, that should not surprise you.”

    “Yeah, I know, and that’s why I gave it time, didn’t give up too easily. Gave her every opportunity to ease up and let me in. But ultimately, those barriers never came down.

    “Then one time, we were travelling together to a business meet up somewhere. Stopped off at Yavin to make a supply drop, as it was on our route. It was weird. She and Luke just avoided each other. I’d never noticed before how odd things had got between them, somewhere along the way. Then they decided to catch up on lightsaber practice, and went off to spar together. I tagged along to watch… And then I knew.” He sighed. “All that time chasing her, but in truth she’d let someone else in long ago, and shut the doors firmly on the rest of us.”

    * * *​

    Luke Skywalker and Mara Jade in Chrysalis by JadeLotus

    “Well, I suppose I should apologise,” Luke started, playing absently with the hem of the blanket. “I never realised how you felt - about losing yourself.”

    Mara put a hand on his knee. “How could you, when I never said anything?” She remembered her earlier anger at him which had prompted her to lash out, but now it seemed that had dissipated, leaving only a dull ache of sadness. “When I hardly knew myself?”

    “Still, through our bond,” Luke looked back at her, frowning. “I should have picked up on it.”

    “No, you shouldn’t,” Mara shook her head. “I think that was our problem - we used the bond as a crutch. I expected you to know how I felt rather than simply talking to you - you were right, I wasn’t honest.” She took a deep breath and squeezed his knee again. “I was relieved,” she told him. “When I saw the negative pregnancy test. I’m sure you’ve concocted all sorts of terrible reasons why, but did you wonder whether my reaction surprised me as much as it did you?”

    It was clear from his reaction that he hadn’t, and his hand covered hers on his knee, their fingers intertwining.

    “Maybe I just wasn’t ready,” she told him, finding the words easier to sayr. “I left it up to chance, and I wasn’t prepared for the reality of it - of how I would feel either way.”

    “I thought perhaps you did it for me - because you knew it was what I wanted. Another sacrifice you had to make.” His words were bitter, and yet this time they were directed at himself.

    She turned around in his arms, cupping his face in her hands and brushing away the tears that had formed. “No,” she told him emphatically.

    * * *​

    Luke Skywalker and Leia Organa in Elegy by ThreadSketch
     
  13. Chyntuck

    Chyntuck Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 11, 2014
    Beyond – Best Original Relationship


    Blue and Bree in The God of Second Chances by divapilot – Excerpt from entry 40

    He shook his head. “Bree, I can’t live without you.”

    I sat up and put my finger on his lips. ”No, baby. Don’t say that. Don’t ever say that. You’re smart and kind and so many people love you. Don’t ever say you can’t live without me.”

    “But –“

    “No. If anything ever happened to me, you would honor me by living a wonderful life after me. You would have to go on. Who would tell our story if you were gone too?”

    He turned away, blinking back tears, his anxious concern finally finding release. I placed my hand on his cheek and turned his face back toward me. “Someday, my love,” I told him, “one of us is bound to leave and the other will be left behind. It’s inevitable. If I lost you, my heart would break and never reassemble. But I would find a way to remember when I had you right beside me like we are now, and it would be enough to see me through. Then I would tell anyone who would listen about us, tell them our story, and they would hold their own heart empty and small in comparison and be jealous that we had such a love as this.”

    He reached up and wiped my own tears, then took my hand in his, kissing it. Then he put his arms around me and gently, mindful of my injuries, he pulled me in and kissed me. We lay back down, and I huddled close to him. I felt protected and loved, and that was all I wanted right then. The galaxy could go on without us tonight. I was home again.

    * * *​

    Luke Skywalker and Melinda Rotham in After Her by EmeraldJediFire

    He looked up at her in pure astonishment.

    “Well,” She prompted when he didn’t speak. “Say something.”

    Luke closed his mouth.

    “I’m sorry,” He finally said. “I was just…shocked to see this.” He gestured. “May I?”

    “Of course.” Melinda handed the holo over to him.

    He took it in both his hands, turning it slightly as if the truth would be revealed by doing this. He eyed the holo.

    “This was long ago.” He commented.

    Melinda said. “I know.”

    “Where did you get this?” A thought lit in his eyes visibly. “Did you get this…recently?”

    She could see him going through the possible scenarios. It was true showing him something like this was completely out of the blue—and to be frank, she wouldn’t have blame him if he thought she had gotten an old-archived holo.

    “I found it tucked away in the back of my closet.” She laid her fingertips on the projector. “I was looking for something else when like a complete klutz.” A dramatic sigh fell from her lips. “And a box fell and these spilled out on the floor...”

    “I see.” He looked up, surprised. “Did you say ‘these’? There’s more?”

    She chuckled at his reaction.

    “Only one of you unfortunately, Dearie.” Melinda reached over to pat his hand. “No, what I was referring to was something else…when I began to look through the box again I found this.” She reached into the box once more and extracted another disc.

    She swapped the discs out then pressed play.
    * * *​

    Talon Tantiss and Zylie Karrde in The Journal of Talon Tantiss: Jedi Knight and Reluctant Vornskr Owner by Jedi_Lover – Excerpt from entry 30

    Talon Tantiss (named after his father’s best friend, Talon Karrde) ended marrying Karrde’s youngest daughter, Zylie Karrde.

    “Is there any other surprises on the ship that we should know about…any other secrets that you had second thoughts about?”

    Karrde averted his eyes. “No.”

    “Daddy…” Zylie said in her ‘I know you are lying’ voice.

    Karrde shrugged. “There are three more small partitions. In the three cabins there is a hidden compartment for a blaster in the bedside tables.”

    “Thank you, Daddy,” Zylie said in an overly cheerful voice before her brow furrowed in confusion. “Why didn’t you tell us about those hidden compartments? Those could come in handy.”

    Her dad sighed deeply as he looked to something or someone to his side. “Those blaster compartments can’t be locked. Your mother and I didn’t want you to forget that there was a blaster there and then some child gets ahold of the weapon.”

    “What?” I interrupted. The only child that has ever been on this ship has been my son. As far as I know, Karrde was never told about Marcus. “What child are you talking about?”

    At that point Zylie’s mother, Zara, crowded into the viewing area to address that question. “We were hoping to have grandchildren sometime in the future.”

    Karrde blushed slightly at his wife’s comment, but then gave a nod. “I am in my seventies and not getting any younger.”

    I put my arm around Zylie and smirked. “I’ll start working on that right away, sir.”

    Zylie gave me an evil look as she gave my hand resting on her hip a slap. “Knock it off.”

    I grabbed my wife around the waist and started pulling her toward the door. “No time to waste. Let’s get to baby making.”

    Karrde snickered. “You don’t need to get on that mission right this minute, but sometime in my lifetime would be nice.”

    * * *​

    Elena and Lydia Shelvay Notes for When You Are Older by Kahara – Excerpt from entry 9

    This section comes from an entry from Legends/EU Imperial character Elena Shelvay's diary describing her daughter Lydia's early years. Here, Elena ponders Lydia's personality and what her daughter may have inherited from her tangled family history.

    The latest interest in your world is the undying quest to flop yourself over like a fish out of water. It’s an expected feat and utterly charming, but reminds me that you will soon be on the move. I have – a feeling about that. The apartment has long been baby-proofed, but I still get entirely un-psychic premonitions about that look in your eyes. It’s a very Shelvay look. One that reminds me of my brothers and sister, and of all the heart attacks we caused our parents.

    I’ve worried so much about you inheriting some wild Force talent from your father’s side, that I forgot what you would almost certainly get from mine. You’re likely to be curious, stubborn, opinionated, and nothing but trouble. We all were.

    I often find myself looking for traces of the other Lydia in you. I don’t worry so much about the wisdom of choosing your name anymore. For the first few weeks, I thought that I might not be able to handle calling you that all the time, but it’s become you. And you are indeed a different little person. That’s clear even now. But I do see those echoes sometimes, because your name reminds me. Someday when you’re older, I’ll have to tell you about Lydia, and Ansel and our parents. I don’t know if I can ever stand to speak my other brother’s name in your presence. I don’t know how I can explain when I’ve never understood why he would throw us all away for those Jedi. It may be the penance for giving you such a loaded name that someday I will have to put it all into words.

    * * *​

    Jaina Solo and Rian in Trickster’s Leap by Onderon1

    “But he makes you happy. I’m tired of you putting me before your happiness, Mom.”

    Jaina froze, looking over her groat-flakes and blue milk as her son Rian blushed at his forthrightness.

    The 10-year-old nibbled his toast, Solo-brown hair dangling in his blue eyes as he added softly, “I love you, and I want you to be with someone who treats you right. I won't be here forever.”

    Ice froze around the heart of the Coruscant Academy’s chief lightsaber instructor. “Rian, I'm not –” she started to protest.

    Part of it was a mother’s fear – sayings like “I won’t be here forever” from a Force-strong child carried far more weight than they should.

    (Especially given who Rian’s biological father had been.)

    But part of it was still very much the untouchable “Goddess,” hiding behind her defenses and making lame excuses. Worse, she’d put her son in the middle of her issues, when she’d vowed otherwise.

    “You’re right. I’m sorry ... I shouldn’t use you as an excuse. I never wanted to ... but I’ve done it,” Jaina admitted, relieved as Rian smiled a little.

    There was more than a bit of Solo smirk there, but also a curve of pure Teyr-born confidence.
     
  14. Chyntuck

    Chyntuck Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 11, 2014
    Beyond – Best Author


    divapilot – Excerpt from The God of Second Chances

    “Okay, maybe right now you’re both still a little hurting and a little frightened. You both went through some tough times. I get that. But you’re tough people. There’s supporting each other, and then there’s sticking to each other like a mynock to a hull.”

    I looked down at my half-eaten food as Dad put his hand on my forearm. “Kid, the best relationships are those where the people choose to be with each other, not the ones where they feel obligated to be together. Your mom and me – we don’t have the same interests all the time. That doesn’t mean we don’t love each other. In fact, it gives us new things to learn about each other, and that makes us closer.”

    Satisfied that he had made his point, he leaned back and put another forkful of drippy ribenes into his mouth and chewed. We finished our meal, and I cleaned up. Then I came back to sit with my dad as we put in a holodrama to pass the time until the next hyperspace clearance.

    I moved closer to my father and leaned my head against his shoulder. “You aren’t really that old, Dad,” I said, referring to his earlier remark.

    He ran his hand through his short gray hair. “I’m sixty-three, Breha. I ain’t young.”

    “Yeah, but that’s just about middle age, though.”

    He shifted. “In years. But that’s not how this body feels.” He put his arm across the back of my seat, over my shoulder.

    It’s an odd feeling, knowing that my parents are getting older. I don’t think of the years passing; I don’t see the subtle shifts of age in their faces. But they are aging, and strange as it seems, someday they would be gone. I don’t like to think about it, even though I know it’s inevitable. But at that point right then, I was sitting with my dad on his ship, and there was nothing more comforting to me.

    I felt like if I listened closely enough, I was sure I could hear the echo of all the other times my siblings and I had traveled across the galaxy with our parents, as if the memories were imprinted onto the Falcon’s very walls. If I closed my eyes I could still see my dad sitting in the pilot’s seat while my mom got us four kids under control. I could hear Jaina and Jacen bickering over something while Anakin poked me playfully. And if I really tried, I could burrow myself into Chewbacca’s soft, warm fur and fall asleep.

    No wonder Dad waited for me to come with him to the Remnant long after everyone else had left: those memories must be twice as loud for him. I hugged him, put my head on his shoulder, and we watched the rest of the show in comfortable silence.

    * * *​

    Falcon – Excerpt from A Secret Ally – Scoundrel Trouble

    I walked to where Han was kneeled down on the ground pulling up weeds causing me to feel some satisfaction. Fress wasn’t too far behind me as I gave his leg a light kick, hard enough to lightly bruise the skin causing Han to curse. He looked up and the anger immediately fell and turned to one of terror. I levitated him into the air and turned him upside down. “Leia already gave me permission in case you were wondering.”

    “What are you going to do? Force choke me?” Han questioned with a frown.

    “I asked Leia, but lucky for you she said no because I would’ve otherwise,” I answered honestly. “But I can torment you within reason,” I explained with a serious expression. “Han, that drug could’ve permanently paralyzed me. Luckily I have a good medic who made sure that didn’t happen. I spent three days in the med ward. On top of that, you kidnapped my daughter and dragged her halfway across the galaxy to where a bunch of dangerous people live called the Night sisters clan. What have you got to say for yourself?”

    “I made a mistake bringing her here,” Han quickly agreed as his face turned red. It must be from all the blood rushing to his head. “I did a stupid thing to you and I’m sorry. I acted desperately without thinking.”

    “Obviously,” I gritted my teeth. “Did Leia mention she wasn’t interested in the Prince and was only being kind about them pushing? She loves you, Han. If I were you, I would beg for her mercy on your knees and her forgiveness. Don’t make the same mistake I made because you will lose Leia. Jealousy can be an ugly thing. The last person to push himself onto Padme in a sexual way in front of me ended up needing stitches. Padme would not speak to me for a week after that incident and it nearly cost me my marriage.”

    “She mentioned it shortly after she woke up,” Han answered honestly. “Then it turned into a fight.”

    “That’s enough, dad,” Leia spoke from behind me. “Han has learned his lesson, I didn’t talk to him the entire way here.”

    “Really?” I questioned as Han nodded in agreement as I righted him in the air then deliberately lost my concentration dropping Han on the ground the last few feet. He hit the ground rear end first with a loud thud and grunted as he glared at me. “I lost my concentration. It must’ve had to do with you hitting me on the back of my head.”

    “I find that hard to believe,” Han said as he stood up and dusted himself off. “Are you done?”

    “For now, yes he is,” Leia warned as she stared me down. “Did you really have to kick him?”

    “It wasn’t that hard,” I reassured Leia with a frown. “It’s just hard enough to lightly bruise him, he’s not permanently damaged,” I walked to Han and grabbed him from the collar. “On the other hand I feel like punching him just once.”

    “No,” Leia spoke up causing me to pause. “You had your fun with him, and I warned you not to overdo it. Don’t push your luck. Remember, I outrank you.” I let go of Han’s collar and groaned as Leia reminded me that my own daughter outranked me. “You’re in enough hot water as is after what you did with Ta’Chume.”

    * * *​

    Kahara – Excerpt from Notes for When You Are Older

    This section comes from an entry from Legends/EU Imperial character Elena Shelvay's diary describing her daughter Lydia's early years. In this one, we're introduced to an autumn celebration on their new homeworld and to the fact that even the GFFA has leftover zucchini problems.

    Unlike those Core celebrations, here the festival has mutated after sundown as the officially sponsored events wind down and the participants wind off into side streets where the festivities are melding into a sort of hodgepodge harvest festival. The date is out of sync with most of the settlers' traditional holidays. The one I remember from my childhood would have taken place months ago.

    But the change in seasons seems to be bringing out this not-so-organized response as the chill in the air -- or possibly the surplus of sakarra gourds taking up countertop space -- has inspired the citizens of Tulekahju to start up a series of neighborhood celebrations. On Coruscant this sort of activity would be much too hazardous to be allowed. However, Shullia is much more like my homeworld in that respect and the security forces are keeping only a minimal watch. (If it is anything like what I recall, they’re more likely to face the drunk and disorderly than the seditious tonight!) The scents and sounds are different, but the feel of the crowd is familiar. You and I will stay here and watch from a distance, since I don’t wish to risk wandering the festival with you; the locals are probably mostly harmless but they would make excellent cover for Isard’s agents with all of the commotion.

    Many of the partygoers are in costume, either celebrating early or late for a holiday of their memories. I can see a group of young men and women garbed in the silver robes and phosphorescent mist streamers of the Quian ceremony of First Frost, dancing slowly down Vesin Street in an elegantly choreographed ritual sequence. I witnessed that ceremony on Quian once, or rather a much more extensive version. An important official was poisoned with the mist during the dance due to a Rebel plot. I realize that is not the usual progression of the ceremony, and yet I find myself a bit unnerved. Some Rhinnalian men painted with blood-red temporary skin tatoos are engaging in a ferocious-looking pretend battle. There are also several large groups of Grannans adorned in brilliant yellow fancy dress who are dancing much less sedately and seem to be determined to wear out their shoes before the night is out. And over towards Torimi Street, a Twi’lek parade is taking place with dancers dressed as trees, other species of aliens, battle droids, and ferocious creatures – the costumes are a bit mix and match and it can be hard to tell which dancer is portraying what sort of being.

    That last group is where I glimpsed Ahnjai a few minutes ago. He would have stayed with the two of us, but I urged him to go since I could see the celebrations had captured his interest and I can take care of things for one night. This autumn breeze has even me seized with a restless energy. The air is humming with the rhythms of a dozen different songs coming from the sound systems and live performers out in the streets. So you and I performed our own completely ridiculous waltz across the roof until you finally seemed tired. I can smell baked sakarra gourd bread. I’ll have to see if I can find a recipe, seeing as some people keep slipping their unwanted produce into my work space.

    * * *​

    ThreadSketch
     
  15. Chyntuck

    Chyntuck Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 11, 2014
    Beyond – Best New Author


    Admiral Volshe

    * * *​

    Annia Piet – Excerpt from Professional Pride

    This extract is from Professional Pride, set just after the Thrawn Trilogy, in which Mara Jade finds out who originally owned the lightsaber Luke has given her and reacts to it quite badly.

    She stepped out onto a different roof than the one she had shared with Skywalker at sunset, but they might as well have been the same. Just one of many, perfect places for someone to watch from, someone to have a clandestine meeting at, someone to lure a target to for a kill… She shook the memory away, shocked by the unexpected twinge of guilt. She couldn’t face that just yet. These memories kept coming back to her, randomly triggered by the littlest of things. The people she had hurt and killed, at his order. Every one she had thought was right and just, at the time. Done in service to her Master, the legitimate ruler of the Galaxy. Who had raised her. Who she had loved and served without question.

    And now, each time one of these memories surfaced, she would find herself, if she did not guard herself against it, going through what details she could remember of each instance. Trying to work out if that particular one had been right, deserved, or whether it had just been murder.

    She stepped to the stone railings and looked out at the darkness of the city, punctuated with a multitude of lights in buildings as big as mountains. An endless galaxy of people, all of whom had been objects to Palpatine, to be disposed of on a whim. Her eyes had been opened now, opened by a farmboy, and she couldn’t see, or feel, anything but that multitude of lives. She had been so wilfully blind. But for some reason Luke forgave her for it all, with out even asking the details of her sins.

    Absent mindedly, she lifted the saber from her belt and turned it over in her hands, thinking of the man who had once held it, and all the evils he had done. Luke insisted Vader had come back to the light at the end. He was so able to forgive his father all his wrongs, but the rest of the Galaxy did not see it that way. If they knew the details of her crimes, in the name of that… that tyrant, the Galaxy would not forgive her either, no matter what Skywalker thought.
    She lay the metal tube on the balustrade, wondering if she should just push it off, let it fall into the night. Lose the sabre, sever that connection to the past. But given the history of the damned thing, it would probably find it’s way back anyway.

    Skywalker was so damned certain about her. He was so sure that with her completion of the Emperor’s last command, she was freed and all that was put behind her. Such faith in such a simple act. But she was a killer, brought up and trained to be. How could he know she could really leave that all behind? She couldn't even face up to the truth of it herself yet, couldn’t face the memories. And all those nights spent dreaming of him, dreaming of his painful death. She closed her eyes against the memory of it, somewhere in her core clenching in a strange agony at the thought. All those many, many plans of how she would do it, when she finally caught up with the Jedi. She had planned to make her way towards Coruscant, get on planet, then use her knowledge of the Imperial Palace to get to him and claim him in the night.

    Only instead, she’d used that knowledge to save his sister and her children. It was funny how things turned out.

    * * *​

    Count Malvern Link to chapter 2 of Star Wars: Vindication

    The galaxy is celebrating the 200 year celebration since the collapse of Darth Krayt's Empire and the rise of the Galactic Federation Triumvirate. The galaxy is in what seems to be an era of peace as the jedi have grown in number acting as Ambassadors for the Republic once again. However on the planet Serenno the descendant of the most feared Force User in the galaxy is born. He will embark on quests to not only find himself but to also escape from the curse of his family.

    * * *​
    jcgoble3 – Excerpt from The Corellian Roundabout

    Ever been frustrated by a roundabout? A certain scruffy-looking nerf herder shares those frustrations. Add in a hotshot underage driver, and the result is a recipe for laughter.

    “What... is this?” he asked in confusion.

    “Oh, that's the new thing they put in a couple months ago,” Jaina said. “Called a roundabout.”

    “Well, how the heck do I navigate it?” Han wondered, his voice betraying his nervousness.

    “Easy-peasy,” Jaina said, putting her feet back down. “I read about these. Just slip in, go counter-clockwise, and exit.”

    Han didn't think it was that easy. He approached, then hit the brakes, stopping first.

    “No, don't stop,” Jaina said. “Just—”

    Han was decidedly not in the mood for backseat driving. “Quiet!”

    He waited for a moment, studying the traffic flow, until the driver behind him blew his horn. “Alright, alright,” he muttered as he slowly accelerated—then had to floor the throttle when he nearly got rear-ended by a speeder already in the circle, resulting in another blaring horn.

    “Now—” Jaina tried.

    “Shut up!” Han yelled.

    * * *​

    TheLastTalon
     
  16. Chyntuck

    Chyntuck Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 11, 2014
    ST – Best Speculation/Spoiler


    Red Five by JadeLotus

    "So, Ben," she changed the subject. "Do you want to be a Jedi like your Uncle Luke?"

    "Yep," Ben nodded his head. "It's my destiny."

    "That's a big word for a little boy," she said, clamping down on her laughter at his serious expression.

    "It's a big destiny," Ben raised his chin. "I have to be a Jedi."

    Valara covered her mouth to conceal her smile. Although the little boy very much resembled Han, the determined resolve in his face was all Skywalker.

    "Now, now Ben," Han called. "As your mother and I have told you a dozen times, you don't have to be anything."

    "I know, Dad." Ben rolled his eyes as if his father was a supreme embarrassment. "But it's the family tradition - that's what everyone says."

    "Well, don't forget that other family tradition," Han suggested, hauling himself to his feet and ambling over to the dejarik table.

    "What, smuggling?" Valara asked, amused.

    "No…" Han crept up beside Ben and then lifted him up into his arms. "Nerfherding!" He swung Ben around and the child's seriousness fell away as he dissolved into giggles as they play-wrestled on the floor.

    "Alright, alright, I give." Han was on his back, Ben kneeling triumphantly on his chest with a wide smile on his face. Gone was the serious, precocious boy of a few minutes earlier, and in his place was a typical five year old, elated by the affection of his father.

    "I got you good, Dad," Ben said, hopping off his father's chest and allowing him to sit up.

    "You sure did, sport," Han ruffled his hair again, and Valara couldn't help but smile. "Just remember, no matter what Jedi stuff your Uncle Luke teaches you, it's your old man who can show you how to fight dirty."

    * * *​

    Shadow Prince by Onderon1

    Grandfather ...

    Mother - she insisted Kylo call her "Mom," but he didn't mean to be disrespectful, just factual - never liked it when Father talked about Grandfather Anakin. "There's only one lesson there," she'd say.

    I know the dark side's dangerous. I just want to know why he fell ... Kylo wondered.

    And he wondered, if maybe - just maybe - there was an answer there for his mother's illness.

    The adults didn't say much about it, but ever since that awful mission to Monor II, Mother hadn't ... felt right, in the Force. Jemma cried sometimes about it, telling Kylo she was scared ... and so was he.

    Mother's sick, and even if the adults are trying to help, nobody's getting anywhere, he worried.

    He didn't think the answer was in his grandfather being Sith - no good had ever come of that, Master Tionne's stories had proven - but the light side of the Force didn't seem to be helping.

    Kylo sighed; he might be smarter than his cousins - or just think clearer - but he had no answers.

    Yet, he promised. I will someday.

    If I have to be the strongest Jedi who ever lived, I'll help my mother.

    * * *​

    Rey's Sunrise by RX_Sith

    Rey awoke to the twin sunrise of Tatooine's suns as they rose over the desert piercing through her curtains telling her to wake up to a new day.

    She sprang to life and wondered outside of her hut to inspect the sun's further. They were magnificent in their beauty as they pierced the dry landscape teasing the land with their heat and intensity. Even in the morning, the temperature was beyond hot as Rey felt her sweat start to run down her face.

    She wiped away the glistening sweat, but as she did more beads began to form even more intensely than before as the sun was sweltering now. If she stayed out unprotected any longer, she surely would get severe sunburn.

    She quickly threw on more layers of clothing to protect her from the sun's damaging effects. 'Strange,' she thought as she quickly started to sweat even more, 'I'd rather have hardly anything on', yet the effects of the sun had been known to kill before those that did not protect themselves from its intense heat and radiation.

    She had a busy day planned for herself, but as usual she was running late to do her chores out in the harsh desert landscape. 'Those moisture evaporators are going to be ruined if you are late again,' she told herself as she loaded everything that she needed on her speeder and its additional cargo hold that was towed beyond the speeder.

    She arrived at her destination and quickly activated the moisture evaporators which collected what little water that they could to keep the crops growing. It would be time to harvest soon, and she always looked forward to that time of year as it meant a break before planting again for the next season.

    * * *​

    My Father Has It by taramidala

    Breathing out the final threads of fear, she rose to her feet. Her eyes flicked around the chamber, lit with a faint golden light. There were dozens of shipping trunks scattered about. Several crudely-cut windows. A small sleeping pallet on the floor. An Old Republic era Astromech droid next to it. And before her, the stooped figure of an old man draped in tattered black robes.

    His face showed no displeasure. His eyes remained closed, and a low hum rumbled from his time-worn throat. “So my sister sends a child to do her dirty work?” he asked.

    “I bring a message from Queen Leia Organa of the Resistance. Are you the one called Skywalker?”

    The man chuckled, a wispy, hissy sound that cut the air and grated against her ears. “That depends on who’s asking,” he said. “Who are you?”

    She hesitated a moment before replying. “I am Rey,” she said.

    There was a soft grunt as he shifted to sit on the closest rock. His movements were slow, but careful and steady, and wouldn’t betray his agility to an ordinary observer.

    Too many years in the Jakku scrapyards, however, made her far from ordinary. He was merely playing the part of an elder; his skills and strength remained undiminished.

    His voice came softly. “Why are you here?” he asked.
     
  17. Chyntuck

    Chyntuck Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 11, 2014
    ST – Best Post-Premiere


    The Greater Good by DarthIshtar

    Luke had expected tears. Stars knew she deserved his grief. He had not needed to tell their daughter that Mama was dead because the moment it had happened, an instinctive scream had welled up in her like a krayt dragon’s cry and burst forth to demand that the universe acknowledge her loss. Leia had wept for the sister she’d lost and the son who carried the blame. Han had broken a lot of things, but Luke suspected that the worst of his grief was something that he couldn’t put into words. Luke had lost his wife, but the entire clan had lost their orientation in the cruel galaxy.

    He remembered a throat-searing terror from his younger years. About six months before Hoth, he’d run into an ion cannon blast a few heartbeats before debris had spiraled into his path. Knocked off course by an impact that his systems should have compensated for, he had found himself out of control, powerless and in a tailspin. If he had been in atmosphere, he would have seen the broad side of a mountain before oblivion took him.

    He did not feel the same way until the days after his wife’s death. There were Jedi to protect and strategies to devise. There was a republic to save and a daughter to comfort, but he felt as if nothing he could do could change the death spiral.

    After that first terrible night, their daughter did not scream. He did, however, come to her at the first whimper and let her curl against him while she sobbed inconsolably for her mother. His only comfort was in realizing that she was too young to understand why she should hate him as much as Ben did.

    If he took it all in, he would crash and burn.

    * * *​

    Royalty by divapilot

    This story is an introspection from the point of view of Lor San Tekka, who holds a valuable secret: not only does he protect the data module that shows where Luke has gone, he understands that this is a diversion from the true treasure hidden in plain sight.

    He opened the book and began to read the ancient text. However, despite his intention to study, his memory floated backward again, to his youth on Alderaan. Lor San Tekka had come to understand these diversions of thought as not mere daydreams or unfocused wanderings but gentle nudging from the Force itself, a suggestion that something else required his attention, and he allowed his memory to take him where it would. In his mind, he was a youth again, in the capital city of Aldera. There was pageantry of some type, and he remembered the Viceroy, Prince Organa, standing on a balcony. Beside him was his daughter, the Princess. They stood at attention as a parade progressed through the boulevard. He remembered shielding his eyes from the sun as he looked up at her. She was just a young girl then, so aloof and regal, so beautiful and strong.

    A few years after that he had slipped away to pursue his studies as a novitiate in the Church of the Force, a daring move since the Jedi had been condemned as criminals and outward support of their beliefs had been seen as nothing short of political treason. His mother had pleaded with him to stop following this unsanctioned faith, to stop needlessly endangering himself, to stay home and be safe. Within a year she and the rest of his world were murdered by the Empire. His faith became his world, his family, from that point on.

    * * *​

    A Rough Trade by Ewok Poet

    Just after the Jedi Massacre, Luke Skywalker records a message to R2-D2 before putting him to sleep and departing for Ahch-To. Following his initial shock, he remembers his first visit to Endor in many years, the first with his nephew and then-Padawan, Ben Solo.

    When one has the Force, there are various degrees of connections that we may feel with others who do. Sometimes, we recognise one another from the very first moment we look into each other’s eyes. In my case, this was almost always happening with the beings strong in light side of the Force. I can feel them. I can feel the good in them even if they’re having a fit of rage. I can sense their love even when they’re radiating fear. This is something that the Old Jedi Order may have got wrong.

    Perhaps it was thoughts like these that should have brought me back to Endor throughout the years I was absent. Perhaps it was the other way round and my conflicting feelings and the meditations I knew would be taking place were slightly frightening. The planetoid was strong in the dark side of the Force. The Emperor died there…the man who chaotically emitted dark side energy from his body even when my redeemed Father was throwing him down the shift! And he killed my father, who redeemed himself saving me and the Galaxy. The time I had with him was limited to mere minutes. This led me to believe that Anakin Skywalker had accepted the roughest trade of his life in order to leave the fate of the Jedi Order, the Forest Moon of Endor and the Galaxy at large in the hands of somebody who could see through his own eyes and was significantly more able-bodied than him. I lost him before I could even think of getting to know him. Sooner than my first Master. Even sooner than my second Master. What seems like centuries, compared to the family that raised me.

    * * *​

    To Make Things Right by JediMara77

    An extension of Luke and Rey’s meeting on Ahch-To in The Force Awakens.

    She walked forward and stood next to him, on the other side of the strange rock near his feet. A lump formed in Rey's throat and she had to struggle to keep from breaking down. "I thought you would come back," she said.

    His eyes darted towards the rock, a dark shadow crossing his face. "I thought you were dead."

    She followed his gaze, heart pounding faster as she realized what that rock represented. She could see scratches on the surface -- two names. No--three.

    Rey.

    Her mother.

    Ben.

    "I thought you were dead," he repeated, as if trying to convince himself of that fact. "I couldn't feel you any longer. I tried to find you so many times, thinking I had to be mistaken, you had to be alive, but everyone said I needed to accept reality. I started to think they were right. I'd make myself crazy if I convinced myself you were alive. So I left, and I went searching for answers." His mechanical hand clenched at his side. "I'm so sorry."

    "It wasn't your fault."

    Luke shook his head. "Obi-Wan told me the same thing. He was lying through his teeth."

    Rey didn't know who Obi-Wan was, but she figured that was a story for another time. "It's true. It was him--Kylo Ren." She shivered, the confrontation haunting her. "He killed Han."

    "I know." Luke's eyes went fuzzy again, and she wondered what exactly he'd felt in that moment. What he'd felt when Kylo betrayed him. She wondered if the grief had become too much for him. If that's why he went away.

    She had to make him understand.

    * * *​

    Remains of a Memory by Sara_Kenobi

    * * *​

    The First Steps by taramidala

    It, the day, begins unremarkably. The sky stretches across the horizon, clear as far as his eyes can see. Waves batter the rocks below his feet and on every isle that surrounds this refuge.

    Clean air fills his lungs, birds sing around him, life on the island continues as it always has for over a thousand generations.

    Perseverance, too, is a way of the Force. For him, and for everyone who came before him.

    He closes his eyes and breathes through the pain - the fresh sting of a trillion deaths - the souls that continue to cry out - the echoes of which would never leave him.

    The Republic. The Resistance.

    Han.

    How had it come to this?

    Leia, he calls silently, reaching out to her for the first time in an age. Leia, I’m sorry.

    When her heart answers back, it coils around his like a balm, pushing her pain aside to soothe his.

    Same as always.

    I love you. I need you. We need you. Please. Come home. Don’t send

    The Millennium Falcon cuts through the morning tranquility, crashing through the atmosphere with a roar. His eyes track the trajectory as it soars through the skies, weaving and circling through the islands with precision and skill.

    But Han...but how…?

    The old beauty banks as it crests a distant hill before disappearing below his sightline. He casts out his senses to the travelers below.

    Chewbacca. Artoo. And…

    No. How…?

    Whoever they are, they are here for him.

    He refuses to believe. And yet…

    She’s approaching. Up up up the mountain. The Wookiee and the droid remain behind.

    * * *​

    The Jedi Begin by ZaraValinor

    “Where are we?” Rey asked.

    He came to stand in the middle of the room, his arms outstretched. “This is the Jedi’s legacy. Every scrap of information and data on the Force and the Jedi I was able to find in the last thirteen years.”

    “It feels wonderful,” she said, giddy and quickly forgetting she was angry with him.

    “Yes it does. I warn you, there is another room where I keep the stuff that feels not so wonderful. The Jedi were not the only ones who maintained their history. I’ve destroyed some of it. I wish I could destroy the rest, but Snoke…,” he drew off, his brow furrowed in remembered trauma. “He has hundreds of years on me. Hundreds of years on the dark side. I was ill-prepared when he emerged, I will not be so again.”

    Understanding dawned on her. “That’s the reason you left.”

    “One of the many,” he assured. “I’d also lost my nephew, my students, my friends. I stayed to watch that loss tear my sister and her husband apart. We were being hunted. I knew the longer I stayed, the worse it would be for them. Snoke and his Knights of Ren wanted me dead. A sign that the dark side had finally won.”

    “So you vanished?”

    He sat at his desk, rummaging through datapads and film sheets. “Not immediately. I dissolved. I’ve heard the rumors, but there were many reports of people seeing me throughout the galaxy. Most of those reports were true. I needed a plan. It took some doing, but I eventually found the map to this place. Leia had a contact who had worshipped the Force back on Alderaan during the Empire years and I left THE piece of it with him.”
     
  18. Chyntuck

    Chyntuck Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 11, 2014
    ST – Best Legends Inclusion


    Reunion by Carlos Danger

    After the death of the Emperor, Mara Jade took on the new identity of Litassa Colay, but continued to work for the Empire.

    “I am honored that a First Order high official has lowered herself to confront me in person.” He put his hands out in front of his body. “Do you wish to cuff me, Commander?”

    She shook her head in annoyance. “Stuff it, Skywalker. You may have been charming the first time I captured you three decades ago, but now you are a decrepit old hermit.”

    Luke gave her a hurt look. “I still have a lot of fight in me…if you are interested in going against me, one-on-one.”

    The counterintelligence officer rested her palm on her blaster grip and smirked at the Jedi. “Perhaps another time. This isn’t a recreational visit. Things are going bad real quick.”

    Luke nodded at he gestured to the building he appropriated as his living quarters. “Please join me in my quarters.” He smiled when her eyes narrowed suspiciously. “To get out of the wind, Commander.”

    She gave him a curt nod before moving past him and into the stone shelter. He followed behind and smiled as he remembered her as a young woman, probably no older than twenty and working for the Inquisitorius. She captured him, he escaped, he captured her, she escaped and eventually they came to an understanding that resulted in a thirty-year friendship and the creation of the Resistance’s greatest undercover agent. She was Luke’s greatest love and greatest regret. He wanted to run away with her, talk her into leaving the Empire and later the First Order, but his sister and Resistance leaders wouldn’t hear of it. Commander Litassa Colay was a key source of intelligence and that took a priority over Luke’s love life.

    * * *​

    The Shadow of Fate by JadeLotus

    “When I served the Emperor,” Mara said after a long silence. “I had a weapons master - he was a Zabrak, from a warrior caste. I particularly admired the Iridonian blades he fought with - such beautiful weapons of precision and power if used correctly. One day he made a point to explain the forging process."

    Luke was unsure of the direction of her words, but listened silently, watching her perfect posture as she faced away from him into the darkness of his apartment.

    "He told me that before such a weapon is forged, the raw materials have the potential to be anything," Mara continued. "But to make the blade the steel must be heated to remove imperfections, and any elements of low quality cast aside. Then it must be hammered into shape, polished and sharpened until it is exactly what its maker wants. And the result is beautiful - so much more than the formless lump of metal it was before. But the price of such beauty is that it no longer has the potential of the raw material. It is a weapon; that is it’s only function. It cannot made into anything else.” Mara’s voice trembled as she took a ragged breath. “It is no longer good for anything else.”

    Luke’s heart ached at her words, aghast that she had been taught something so terrible when she had been too young to question it. He stepped forward and gently put his hand on her shoulder, squeezing slightly in what he hoped was comfort.

    “But a weapon is inanimate,” he told her. “It has no thought or choice as to how it is wielded. You are in control of yourself now, Mara - that is the difference.”

    * * *​

    Old Soldier by LadyPadme

    * * *​

    Shadow Prince by Onderon1

    Oh, for the love of the Force ...

    Kylo looked up from his homework - he much preferred astrogation and history to the "soft" sciences of biology and healing, which his twin Jemma just delighted in (as much as she delighted in spukamae, which showed to Kylo just how much his sister really thought about the real galaxy).

    "... You practice," the 8-year-old Skywalker heir heard float down the Falcon's hallway - Anakin, whining again.

    "I spend more time alone than you do," Jacen replied, and Kylo rolled his eyes at his cousins.

    Jemma was back on Yavin, studying wildlife with Master Cilghal and Tahiri, which was just as well; Kylo enjoyed any chance he could get to spend time in space, especially aboard the Falcon.

    It'd help if my cousins - Father's "worthy" apprentices - weren't such rivals all the time, he fumed.

    Kylo saved his work and stood, pushing black curls out of his brown eyes. Some people were confused at how the son of a red-haired mother and a sandy-blond haired father had black hair, until Kylo pointed out the holo of Great-Grandmother Shmi that Aunt Leia had recovered from Tatooine.

    She must've had the patience of an Iegan angel, if Grandfather was half so annoying as Anakin. And Jacen's just as bad, the boy grumbled, stomping to the back hold - this stupidity had to stop.

    * * *​

    NRI: Denon by Revanfan1

    Devlin and Saccar sat in a speeder parked a block down from Docking Bay 32-A. Goskar had come through; the datacard indicated that this was the hangar where the First Order's suppliers would be touching down. Unfortunately, the air of anticipation for the mission was killed by the fact that just hours ago, they'd witnessed the death of the Republic's capitol, along with the Chancellor, most of the Senate, and a good chunk of the fleet.

    The two of them sat in heavy silence. Their comms were silent, too, indicating that the other two members of their team–Trey Courser and Ana Lek–were silent, too. None of them could believe what they'd seen.

    As soon as the news feed had appeared, Devlin and Saccar had rushed back to base. Their supervising officer had confirmed Hosnian's destruction, but insisted that they carry on with their mission. Devlin knew she had been right. There's no doubt now that the First Order has violated the treaty, he thought grimly. They had annihilated it along with Hosnian Prime.

    Devlin glanced over at Saccar. The two of them had been working together for a long time, and Saccar had always been quiet, but Devlin could see the difference between his friend's normal quietness and the anguished silence he was now in.

    "Hey, look sharp, guys," Trey said softly. "Ship's coming in."
     
  19. Chyntuck

    Chyntuck Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 11, 2014
    ST – Best Character


    Lor San Tekka in Royalty by divapilot

    Lor San Tekka occasionally wondered how his life had taken such odd turns, such strange pathways to such unexpected destinations. Those thoughts, however, he dismissed. It was not his to question the inscrutable ways of the Force.

    Oh, he had seen amazing things in his many years. Such beauty – the soaring, snowcapped mountains of Alderaan, the turbulent waterfalls of Naboo, the floating rocks of Ryloth. The exhilarating experience of lightspeed, with time and space reduced to spears of light that pierced the fabric of the galaxy. All these memories stayed as sharp in his mind as ever, regardless of his advanced age.

    He remembered a more civilized time when people could depend on security and stability, when Jedi were revered as protectors of justice throughout the galaxy. When he was just a boy, he and his family enjoyed a quiet existence, absent from stormtroopers or self-styled emperors or radicalized militarists. His family had been artists, teachers, scientists, back when such pursuits still held some value and respect. Now, only vulgar commerce mattered.

    Lor San Tekka sighed as he sat at his small table, the remains of his simple meal before him. He rose quietly, gathered the bowl and spoon and walked to the basin and began to wipe them clean. His task completed, he put the bowl and spoon back on the shelf, then returned to the table and pulled his chair in. A leather-bound book, its pages worn, sat in a corner of the table, and he slid it toward him in preparation for his nightly ritual of meditation and prayer. He lay his wrinkled hand on its cover reverentially, knowing that inside a hollowed out section of the book hid a precious key to a mystery.

    * * *​

    Luke Skywalker in A Rough Trade by Ewok Poet

    Just after the Jedi Massacre, Luke Skywalker records a message for R2-D2 before putting him to sleep and departing for Ahch-To. Shocked, he seeks help from his mentors, but there is nothing...

    You are reckless!

    Why, Yoda? And why Yoda? And out of all wise things he said to me, why does the one that was, ultimately, wrong, stick out? Why everything else seems garbled, twisted around, and spoken in a language I don't even understand. Could it be that no other soul who ever lived, that nobody else out of the three beings who became one with the living Force can reach through to me? Could it be that this place is so strong with the dark side?

    Where is old Ben, when I need him most? He guided me through all the decisions I have made during the worst and the darkest of times and now, he is not speaking to me. Whoever had taught him to have the patience he had for a wide-eyed boy from the place where the maker had said goodnight to the world must have been somebody reckless himself, in some way.

    Where is my father? The one who sometime comes to visit me in the shape of a young man I never knew, with the face I have never seen, as the man dying in my arms was disfigured and helpless. The one who redeemed himself in the end? The alleged Chosen One?

    My thoughts are betraying me and my feelings are failing me. I understand that this place is now the closest to hell as one can be, so many slaughtered, innocent souls lying motionless in the rain. Is somebody trying to make me think something I otherwise would not? Did I underestimate his abilities, just like his father once thought of mine as a delusion, at the worst point possible...right now?

    Was training my nephew ultimately a mistake, no worse than master Yoda claimed would have been Ben training my father?

    * * *​

    Valara in Red Five by JadeLotus

    "A one in a million shot, or so I heard.” Valara was staring at him again, and Luke felt the hair raise at the back of his neck. He had the disconcerting feeling that she could somehow perceive him, even though she could not see. “It’s unusual for a pilot to claim luck instead of skill - I certainly wouldn’t if I’d made that shot. Where you from, Skywalker?”

    “Tatooine.”

    “Never heard of it.”

    “I’m not surprised,” Luke said, and perched himself on the side of her bed.

    “Did I say you could sit?” she snapped, her whole body tensing and Luke moved cautiously back to his feet.

    “Sorry.”

    Valara sighed. “I just...like my personal space,” she explained, gently touching her temple where the skin was covered in angry red welts. “Especially...you know.”

    Luke understood - they’d been times in the X-Wing when he hadn’t been able to see ships approaching in his blind spot, and knew the panic such uncertainty could cause. “They said you helped get the Death Star plans,” he said, trying a different track.

    Valara huffed, her mouth creasing with obvious displeasure. “Who told you that?”

    “Wedge Antilles.”

    “Yeah, Antilles would say I helped,” Valara said snippishly. “I led the team, Skywalker.”

    Luke didn’t doubt it. “Well, I hope you’ve been thanked.”

    Valara tilted her head, fixing him again with her unseeing gaze. “They sent some grunt to give me a commendation - but to be honest visitors have been few and far between.”

    “What, with the warm welcome you give them?” Luke teased. “I don’t believe it.”

    “Ha.” Valara almost smiled. “No one wants to talk to the blind girl. Except you...the man who finished what I started.”

    “It seems we make a good team,” Luke said, and finally won a smile from her.

    * * *​

    Leia Organa in Old Soldier by LadyPadme

    * * *​

    Rey in My Father Has It by taramidala

    She was...kneeling in a damp puddle in a black cave filled with ghosts and darkness. A thick fog filled her mind, clouding all clarity.

    “What do you want with me?” she whispered.

    No reply came. Not that she expected one.

    “Enough,” she hissed, pushing herself to her feet. She brushed her slime-covered hands on the seat of her trousers and pressed on.

    The ghostly voices ebbed and flowed through the tunnel, their sighs and strains bouncing off the walls. She could no longer pinpoint them, nor could she stop them, but she was no longer afraid. The creeping darkness in her heart dissipated even as it held fast around her, as though she were a beacon cutting through it.

    She thought then of her mission here and wondered again why the Queen had chosen her.

    I think you know,” she had said when Rey asked her that very question.

    Reaching a vee in the cave, Rey paused. She had no idea how long she’d been down there, but surely the target wasn’t much further. Fighting to hear herself over those waves and voices, she listened for the tiny guiding voice that had become so vocal lately. When it whispered its choice, she followed.

    Light trickled in at the corners of her eyes as she climbed down a narrow set of steps, until it grew so bright she tumbled to the bottom. The voices roared once more as she lay on the ground, screaming and cackling their fury against her prone form. Rey opened her mouth to cry out when --

    “Enough!” The boom echoed in the chamber with enough force to knock Rey to her back. Then...silence. The ghosts, the waves, were just...gone.

    She had never heard anything more beautiful in her life.
     
  20. Chyntuck

    Chyntuck Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 11, 2014
    ST – Best Relationship


    Luke Skywalker and Leia Organa in The Greater Good by DarthIshtar

    “If you doubt me,” Leia offered, “I have Jedi, pilots and most of the Resistance who would bear witness.”

    “I wish I could believe you,” Luke confessed, “but I wasn’t strong enough to stop him.”

    “I understand.”

    Rather than wall him off, Leia opened her mind to him and her claim of understanding resonated in the voice of a girl who had not been strong enough to stop Tarkin from destroying her planet. She did not understand how he was to blame, but she comprehended his reasons for claiming responsibility. He only wished that she were right to have faith in him.

    “She can’t stay here,” he echoed himself.

    He remembered then a woman who had grown a few years since being the last Senator of Alderaan, who had been made to suffer on Bespin for the crime of mattering to Luke Skywalker. He remembered even more vividly that the same dark Jedi had seen another way to exploit her.

    “If you will not turn to the Dark Side, then perhaps she will.”

    “She can’t stay here,” he blurted out, voice rising. “Not within striking distance, not where he could find her…”

    He saw Leia’s jaw clench and her shoulders squared. “We would not let it come to that,” Leia announced.

    “You don’t understand,” he accused. “I don’t want anyone to stand bravely in the way. I don’t want anyone else to die because an agent of the Dark Side was within striking distance.”

    For all her heartfelt bravado, Leia went pale at that. “Not even Ben?”

    It came to that, then. She hated what her son had done--they all grieved for the choice--but she feared that Master Skywalker would strike hard, fast, and without mercy.

    “I want him back,” Luke admitted. “I don’t want him dead.”

    * * *​

    Luke Skywalker and Valara in Red Five by JadeLotus

    "You think your life won't mean anything until it's over," he said desperately. "But it means something to me."

    "What?" she asked, lifting her chin - every sorrow clear in her face. When he looked at her his heart broke, all his love and longing flowing outward through the Force and cascading against her tightly held barriers. He grasped her hand and held it to his chest, his eyes locked on hers.

    "Everything."

    Her face crumpled and she looked close to breaking, fresh tears spilling down her cheeks as Luke gently wiped them away. Through the Force her barriers began to tumble, exposing cracks through which the depth of her agony could be glimpsed. Luke flinched at the dark intensity but did not pull away, filling the holes with his own light and warmth as he held her close and Valara gave a ragged sigh of what seemed like relief.

    "I can't make you want to live," he told her. "But I'm not just going to walk away."

    "No," Valara said, pulling herself from his grip again, her Force barriers back as strong as ever. "You need to."

    "V-" Luke reached for her again but Valara stepped back.

    "You're a good man, Luke." She almost smiled. "But you never wanted me. You just wanted to save me."

    Luke was stung by her accusation. "That's not true."

    "Isn't it?" she challenged him. "Not even a little?"

    Luke thought back to the first time they'd met. He'd helped, perhaps, ease her pain but her eyes had mended on their own. It hadn't required his intervention at all, but oh how he'd wanted to claim credit for it.

    "You can't save me, Luke," Valara said softly, her eyes now dry and her resolve returned. "I was lost before you ever met me."

    * * *​

    Luke Skywalker and Rey in The First Steps by taramidala

    Her newfound voice calls to him softly, as though she spoke aloud beside him. Turn ‘round... Please.

    He does, slowly, and draws back the hood of his cloak.

    Peering through the mist, the sight of her brings a strangled breath, a choking sensation in the back of his throat that threatens to overpower the moment. His eyes rake over her form, trying to capture every inch of her, longing to find something familiar. He knows her, and yet he does not. Gone is the child and in her place, a woman. Beautiful, steely, and strong. The angle of her cheeks, the cut of her chin, so like his own from a lifetime ago.

    And yet, her eyes...in their vulnerability...

    His grandmothers.

    His mother.

    Leia.

    And She, whose name he cannot bear to say.

    She reaches into her bag, a weathered leather thing that speaks of a careworn life, but not a hopeless one. The lightsaber, once lost and now found again, stretches towards him from her outstretched, trembling hand.

    He does not reach back, but retreats when she presses forward. Those sad eyes scream at him now, pleading, tearing, battering at the crumbling walls of his heart.

    Why? she asks.

    I’m sorry, he answers. He blinks, and his eyes come away wet. Another breath, another rock in his heart falls. We only ever wanted to protect you. I never wanted this for you.

    She steps towards him again. Please let me stay.

    He cannot refuse her, now or ever again. Always. Always, Kir-

    Rey, she says.

    Kireya.

    She smiles. This time, he steps forward, daring her to meet him halfway.

    She does.

    The gap between them is no longer so wide.

    * * *​

    Luke Skywalker and Rey in The Jedi Begin by ZaraValinor

    “Do you trust me?” he asked.

    She wanted to tell him yes, didn't feel like she could say no. He was a stranger. A myth. A story she'd clung too as her own world had been bleak and dark. The rebel alliance, the Jedi. For the first time, she thought about the things she'd left behind on Jakku. He doll made of the remains of a rebel pilots flightsuit. The helmet, she'd plant on her head, imaging that she wasn't alone. She had a squadron, friends, a family.

    “I need you to jump,” he said, not waiting for answer. “About a meter from where you’re standing. Jump and drop down. I'll catch you.”

    “But the door...the door unlocking is straight ahead.”

    “Don't worry about the door, listen to me, Rey.”

    “Why? Why should I?”

    “What did you come here for, Rey?” he asked instead of answered.

    “I came here to find you,” she grunted, glowering into the shadow.

    “Yes, and?”

    “And what?”

    “Why are you really here?”

    “I want to know,” she finally snapped. “I can do things…things I’ve never seen anyone do. I want to know why? Ren…he said I needed a teacher.”

    “Have you come to learn?”

    “YES!” she was beyond frustrated now. She was used to people wanting things from her. Her junk, her mind, her body. But answers, personal answers. That was out of her experience.

    “Then jump,” he told her softly.

    She never knew what exactly propelled her forward, it was too much of a miasma of mixing emotions and desires. Anger, frustration, hope, longing. But she did jump. The rush of the fall stole the cry from her lips. Her eyes shut tight, she imagined that she would soon be flattened on a very hard stone floor.
     
  21. Chyntuck

    Chyntuck Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 11, 2014
    ST – Best Author


    divapilot – Excerpt from Across a Barren Plain

    This is a backstory for Rey’s mother, based on the trailer for The Force Awakens and hints of Rogue One.

    She began to gather her dusty outer clothing and slung her satchel across her shoulder. “I’ll stay in the back room behind the cantina. That way the baby won’t bother you, once she’s born.”

    “A girl, huh?”

    She smiled slightly at last, a smile edged in sadness. “Yeah.”

    “You got a name for her yet?”

    She looked at her belly, rubbed her hand across its taut skin, and felt the fluttering movement beneath. “Erirey. It means ‘promise.’”

    “Erirey,” he repeated, nodding approval. “You realize everyone will call her Rey, for short.”

    “I know.”

    She looked outside the grimy window. Rey. It was appropriate; the baby’s father’s name had meant “light.” Rey, like Ray. A Ray of Light. The one bright ray left in the bone-barren plain of her life.

    * * *​

    JadeLotus -- Excerpt from The Shadow of Fate

    Pain shot through Luke's left side as he lay sprawled against the cold stone of the Palace Plaza. He couldn't feel the Force at all, the ysalamiri venom still pumping through his veins no matter how his body worked at expelling it. Luke leaned against his bionic hand to force himself to sit up, wincing in pain - his arm was broken and he'd likely shattered half a dozen ribs.

    Delrond loomed above him at the top of the stone stairs in triumph, and he began to close the distance between them with savoured steps, his lightsaber in one hand and the other clenched as if grasping at something. Luke found himself held in Delrond's Force grip, as if an icy hand had grasped his heart and was squeezing the life out of it. He couldn't move, he could only watch his death draw nearer. Without the Force, Luke could not even reach out to Mara and say goodbye, whisper a last I love you to his children. He'd long suspected that his life would end in battle, but Luke had never thought he would die alone.

    But his strength rallied at such thought, and Luke tore himself from Svel's grip, as if somehow he was still able to reach out to the Force, to break through the ysalamiri venom as he'd once tried to teach himself to do. It hadn't been until this moment he'd had the will to achieve it.

    "This is inevitable, Skywalker," Delrond said. "No matter what you do, you have lost." He brandished his lightsaber as Luke tried to crawl beyond his reach, tried to summon the Force back to himself. It was weak, not enough to complete a Force push or call for his lightsaber - all he could feel was a tendril of the Force which he was unable to grasp fully. But in the distance behind Delrond he saw a blur of movement, of a figure running full pelt from the gardens by the palace, his blue saber a whirl of light.

    Ben.

    Instead of relief, Luke felt his vision glaze over as he saw two possible futures - one where Delrond killed him, and another where Ben got to him in time. In both he saw pain and suffering, but only in the later he saw true tragedy - his visions made manifest. Leia with her spirit broken, Mara inconsolable, in tears of anger and grief - the hooded figure with its mechanical arm holding Darth Vader's helmet - Jaina with her blood-red blade. The child crying alone in the woods.

    It all depended on this moment - a shatterpoint - on whether or not Luke would die. He stopped crawling and turned to face Delrond again, this time resigned. He would gladly welcome death to spare his loved ones the future his dark visions foretold. He had prepared his soul as Obi-Wan's journals had instructed, to retain form after death. He looked up at Delrond, without defence and ready to accept his fate.

    But then he saw Ben advance down the steps as Delrond held his saber high, ready to strike.

    "No!" Luke screamed, but it was too late.

    Ben's blue blade slid through Delrond's neck to sever his head in a single movement, and the Sith's body crumpled to the ground. Triumph shone through Ben's injured face; a deep cut across his nose and between his eyes with dried blood smeared across his cheek. But even with his tenuous link to the Force Luke could feel his son's glory and relief, tempered by a small hint of darkness which scared him more than his own death.

    * * *​

    Sara_Kenobi

    * * *​

    taramidala – Excerpt from The First Steps

    A fog rolls in with her every step, and suddenly he’s inside her mind as though she’s meant for him to be there. In her life. In her memories.

    ...

    A kind voice. Her voice. Wiping away the child’s tears and smoothing her trembling lip. “Stay here. I’ll come back for for you. I’ll come back, sweetheart. I promise.”

    ...

    A bulbous hand tugging, gripping, yanking the girl away to a life of hardship and misery as she screams. “No! Come back!”

    ...

    Another voice, clear and sharp as metal, speaking the thoughts of hundreds. “I am an independent operator, scavenger of the metal lands, free of debt and beholden to no one. I have...my freedom and my pride.”

    ...

    “I know all about waiting. For my family. They'll be back. One day.” Her voice finally falters.

    ...

    The soothing voice of an old friend. “It calls to you.”

    ...

    Visions shooting terror into her soul. Ghosts she wasn’t ready to understand. “I'm sorry. I shouldn't have gone in there. I want no part of this!”

    ...

    The deep soothing voice of him, trying to lull her to a false sense of security, preying on the adoration she held for him so long ago. “At night, desperate to sleep, you imagine an ocean...I can see it. I can see the island.”

    ...

    Then, a change, an unlocking within her, and she knew him as well as she ever had. “You're afraid: that you'll never be as strong as Darth Vader!”

    ...

    The lightsaber, flying to her, sending him into a rage. “It is you.”

    ...

    Deciding, accepting, acknowledging. “This is how it has to be. This is how it should be.”

    And now...silence. A pregnant pause stretched out between them as her spirit emerged in his soul. Another moment - heartbeat...beat...beat - as he tries to calm his heart that breaks from the knowledge of her here, now.

    * * *​

    ZaraValinor -- Excerpt from The Jedi Begin

    Healing trances were supposed to be calming, restive, Kylo Ren found this one to be anything but. The blaster burn at his side and the lightsaber slash on his face hissed with pain. He felt cracked and withered, his connection to the Force a static ebb and flow, like the power racing through his shattered crystal.

    He was supposed to be powerful, the most powerful Knight of Ren, the personal apprentice to Supreme Leader Snoke. He’d been beaten by a novice. A gifted one, but a novice nonetheless.

    And to add insult to injury he’d been rescued by that sycophant Hux.

    It doesn’t have to be this way, Ben. Go back to Luke,

    “Shut up,” he growled between clenched teeth.

    He didn’t know how it was possible. It shouldn’t have been. His father had never been strong with the Force. But he was there, a ghost haunting him on the edge of his perception. This was not his victory. He had not shut out the light as he’d promised his grandfather. His father had almost reached him, he’d been on the edge between dark and light.

    It almost seemed as though his lightsaber had ignited by itself. He’d made his decision 12 years ago. Everything he’d done leading up to that moment, he could not completely turn away from it. His father had helped him. He’d given his life.

    So if he’d given his life so readily for him, why did he still cling to it? Why did he feel his presence and his constant badgering?

    I lived with Jedi for a good part of my life, kid. You didn’t think I’d pick up a few tricks?

    Was this Luke Skywalker taunting him? Some sort of trick or mirage? The sentiment that had caused Darth Vader to abandon his quest and save his only son.

    Sorry, son, Luke’s busy right now.

    “The girl?” he asked disdainfully. His father didn’t answer. “So she’s found him.” It irked him even more to know that she’d gained another advantage over him. “I hope she enjoys her time with him, for she is bound for the Supreme Leader.”

    I failed,he thought. And now I must prove my worth to the Supreme Leader.

    Son/

    “Father?” And he hated the yearning in that single word.

    I warned you. Snoke will crush you when he’s through.

    “You don’t understand. You never did.”

    I was there, wasn’t I? The moment you gave in. Funny that it was then, in your hope to save me, we were ruined, kid.

    Ren squeezed his already shut eyes. A futile attempt to block a memory that could not be denied. He’d been twelve, there’d been an earthquake and he and his father had been caught underneath crumbling prefab. He’d heard Snoke’s voice before, in his head, encouraging, taunting. But it was then that he’d truly listened, the first time he’d followed and obeyed. He’d seen his father, lying in the rubble, unconscious, bleeding profusely from a head wound. He’d been so frightened.

    “Snoke was the reason I saved your life that day,” he muttered.

    He’s the reason I lost my life, my son, my wife.

    “Why are you here?” Ren demanded. “What is the point of this?”

    Snoke got his chance to whisper at you. Now it’s mine and you will listen, junior.
     
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