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Beyond - Legends A Journey of Discovery-Bk.2: Pledge (L/M, H/L, OC's) Completed 4/2/04

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by Jedi-2B, Jan 26, 2004.

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  1. Jedi-2B

    Jedi-2B Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 2, 2000
    ***Due to this story being truncated during the boards' move, you can read it in its entirety at ff.n, here:

    https://www.fanfiction.net/s/2489270/1/A-Journey-of-Discovery-Book-Two-Pledge

    (Books One and Three of the Journey of Discovery series, along with my other stories, can also be found there. Just click on my name at the beginning of any of them.)

    As promised, it's time to start the next book in the Journey of Discovery series. Those of you who have read this before on other sites can consider it a reminder course in preparation for Book Three. Those who haven't -- Welcome!! :D

    It's pretty much a necessity that you've read Book One: Pendulum first, or you'll be lost through parts of this. You can find Pendulum [link=https://www.fanfiction.net/s/2447846/1/A-Journey-of-Discovery-Book-One-Pendulum]here[/link].

    As with Book One, I'm going to divide the chapters into three posts, as they are rather long. I'll try to post each weekday, and on weekends when time permits.

    There are spoilers for the original movie trilogy, Shadows of the Empire, By the Emperor's Hand, and even a couple of the old Marvel comics. Forget everything else you've read after that.

    Many thanks to my original betas, especially Angela Jade and JediGirl, and to Gabri_Jade, for helping me polish this up into presentable form.

    Oh, and silent Force dialogue will be marked by asteriks. Chewie's dialogue will be translated and put into brackets, for those of you that don't understand Shyriiwook. ;)

    Disclaimer: All these wonderful characters belong to George Lucas. No Imperial or Republic credits are being made from this story.

    Okay, enough talk. On with the story...


    [B]A Journey of Discovery -- Book Two: Pledge[/B]

    [B]Chapter 1-A[/B]



    "Oh, that feels good! Don't stop!"

    Han Solo leaned his head around to give his beloved a quick kiss, though his fingers continued massaging her tense shoulders. "I hope you repeat those sentiments later tonight, Your Worship," he quipped.

    Leia Organa slumped a little lower in her straight-backed office chair and gave a tired sigh. "If I can stay awake that long."

    "Are you saying my charms aren't enough to keep you awake? I'm wounded." Han paused long enough to cross his hands over his heart in mock indignation.

    "I said, don't stop," Leia scolded, rolling her neck wearily.

    "Yes, ma'am." Han hurried to resume his ministrations, frowning as he caught sight of a gold reflection shuffling through the outer office's doorway.

    "Go away, Goldenrod," he directed sternly. "Can't you see Her Highnessness is on a rest break?"

    "Han, leave him alone." Leia raised one hand, motioning to the protocol droid that it was safe to enter. "What is it, Threepio?"

    "Forgive me for interrupting, Mistress Leia," the eternally jittery droid began, "but Mon Mothma wishes to make certain you've informed Master Luke of the victory celebration tomorrow evening."

    Leia gave a low groan. "Not yet, but I'll track him down this afternoon."

    "Very good, Mistress. I shall inform her immediately."

    "So Luke doesn't know about the big shindig yet?" Han continued his role as masseur, grateful that Threepio had enough sense to exit quickly.

    "No, he's been out on patrol since yesterday."

    "If he's smart, he'll stay there," Han mumbled, wishing he could get out of attending the gala himself.

    Instead of issuing the expected admonishment, Leia rose and stretched, turning to watch the passing Coruscant traffic outside her office window. "I can't say I disagree," she murmured. "These past two months since the Emperor's defeat have been hard on him. And I'm afraid he's not going to like what Mon Mothma has planned."

    "These past months have been rough on you and him both," Han pointed out.

    "Hmmm. I never realized resurrecting the Republic government would be so tiring."

    "You know that's not what I'm talking about," Han chided. When he didn't receive a reply, he walked over to the window also. "Leia ... You and he need to work this out."

    "There's nothing to work out," Leia countered, though her tone was unconvincing. "We've made it known we're siblings, and our father had been a Jedi. That should be enough."

    "I'm not trying to take his side. But I see that look he gets whenever Vader's name is mentioned. One of these days he's going to blurt something out ? something you may not like." He wrapped one arm around her sl>
     
  2. GreatOne

    GreatOne Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    May 22, 2003
    You mean Luke is not allowed a guest??!! How rude! Anyway... great beginning!! :D :D (did I get first response?)

    EDIT - You CAN'T send Han away on a mission in the beginning of the story.. NOOOOOOO!!! *sobs*
     
  3. RebelMom

    RebelMom Jedi Knight star 6

    Registered:
    Apr 20, 2000
    Time for more popcorn. :D
     
  4. kayladie97

    kayladie97 Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jun 6, 2003
    Yay! Book Two is starting! I love the way you describe Luke and Mara's relationship here...the way they're always together and yet no one knows for sure exactly what's going on between them. That must be driving Leia crazy! :p

    I'm with GreatOne! Luke can't even bring a date?! I wonder if that was purposely done just to keep certain red-heads out? ;)

    Can't wait for mooorrrre! :D :D
     
  5. Jaina_and_Jag

    Jaina_and_Jag Jedi Master star 5

    Registered:
    Apr 19, 2003
    Luke's the guest-of-honor and they don't even allow him a guest?! How rude! :mad: They just don't like Mara's explanation... although I don't blame them... it is kinda lame. :p Great beginning though. [face_love] I can't wait for more! ;)
     
  6. maramijade

    maramijade Jedi Padawan star 4

    Registered:
    Feb 17, 2000
    yeah I mean come on, they took other deserters from the empire .. . why wouldn't they be ok with Mara, especially with all she's done otherwise and with Luke's testimony too.. . .

    Just makes everything more difficult in the long run :D .. . and more fun for the readers :D

     
  7. Gabri_Jade

    Gabri_Jade VIP star 5 VIP

    Registered:
    Nov 9, 2002
    Hooray, it's started! :D I love these stories so much, Michele, and this first post is especially well done and very easy to visualize. :D

    "All right," he relented. "We'll be there."

    "Luke, I'm afraid you don't understand," Leia said, certain that he understood perfectly.


    Leia's not the only one. Of course he understands. :p

    Luke was in one of his rare temperamental moods. And, as odd as it was, it seemed the only person who could soothe his ruffled feathers was the person with the fieriest temper Leia had ever seen.

    Funny how that works, isn't it? But you got it down pat; that's exactly how Luke and Mara are. :D Have I mentioned that I love the JoD books? :D :p
     
  8. Rivad_Bacar

    Rivad_Bacar Jedi Youngling star 2

    Registered:
    Nov 7, 2002
    Woo-Hoo! Now everything is new for me! :D Can't wait J2B!
     
  9. JainaPadmeJade

    JainaPadmeJade Jedi Youngling star 5

    Registered:
    Dec 20, 2002
    Yay! Book 2 has begun!!!!

    I think L/M are cute..always hanging aorund each other!!

    Luke should have a guest!! U know that mara is disappoiunted
     
  10. GreatOne

    GreatOne Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    May 22, 2003
    Upping this! :)
     
  11. Jedi-2B

    Jedi-2B Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 2, 2000
    GreatOne: Thanks for the up. Yes, I'm running a little late this morning.

    You mean Luke is not allowed a guest??!! How rude!

    I had no idea that Mara not coming to the gala would cause such a stir! In response to you, kayladie97, Jaina_and_Jag, maramijade, JainaPadmeJade: The bigwigs didn't purposely try to exclude her. Only Mon Mothma and the Inner Council even know of Mara's involvement in the Empire's fall. It was just that this was a ceremony strictly for government officials and higher-up military officers, which wouldn't include supply coordinators. It was probably broadcast over the holonet for others to watch.

    As to Luke being able to bring a guest or not, chalk that up to a convenient plot point. If Mara had been friendlier to Leia, Leia might have pulled some strings to get her in. But neither Luke nor Mara really wanted to go; Luke was more or less forced into it.

    EDIT - You CAN'T send Han away on a mission in the beginning of the story.. NOOOOOOO!!! *sobs*

    Keep in mind that this is a L/M story for the most part. We'll see Han later. And Han & Leia will show up a lot more in Book 3. ;)


    RebelMom: Great! I haven't had any popcorn in awhile.


    kayladie97: I love the way you describe Luke and Mara's relationship here...the way they're always together and yet no one knows for sure exactly what's going on between them. That must be driving Leia crazy!

    Luckily for L&M, Leia is too busy with setting up the new govt. to spend much time snooping into Luke's love life (or lack thereof). :D


    Jaina_and_Jag: They just don't like Mara's explanation... although I don't blame them... it is kinda lame.

    Well, Luke did help think up her explanation, and subterfuge isn't his strong suit. [face_laugh]


    maramijade: See my above answer to Great One. They don't even know just how much of a full-fledged Imperial Mara was. To them, she was just a poor dancing girl who was practically a captive herself.


    Just makes everything more difficult in the long run .. . and more fun for the readers.

    Right! This next scene wouldn't have been nearly as effective if Mara had been at the party. Then again, the scene at the party might have been totally different if she'd been there... :)


    Gabri_Jade: Luke was in one of his rare temperamental moods.

    And he gets a lot more temperamental in the next scene, doesn't he?

    Funny how that works, isn't it? But you got it down pat; that's exactly how Luke and Mara are.

    Of course -- they belong together!

    Have I mentioned that I love the JoD books?

    Hmmm... Once or twice. ;) Thanks!


    Rivad_Bacar: You didn't read Bk. 2 yet? Great! Hope you enjoy the ride. :D


    JainaPadmeJade: Luke should have a guest!! U know that mara is disappoiunted

    Really she's not. More like relieved. She's not ready to be cast into the spotlight yet, and have all that many more rumors flying about her and the Hero of Yavin.


    On with the show...
    >
     
  12. Jedi-2B

    Jedi-2B Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 2, 2000
    Chapter 1-B

    The next evening, Luke arrived at the celebration exactly at eighteen-hundred, not a moment sooner. His dress uniform was immaculate, with the creases pressed sharply, his rank insignia attached to his collar, and several medals gleaming on his chest. He gave polite nods as he moved through the crowd, where the political and social elite mingled with the heroes of the recent war. Giving Leia his customary kiss on the cheek and Han a handshake, Luke quietly took his seat at their table.

    After dinner, the festivities continued with testimonials from representatives of several worlds liberated by The Alliance to Restore the Republic, or 'New Republic,' as the fledgling government was now referred to. Mon Mothma extolled the bravery of the military forces, including those who had given their lives in the successful struggle to remove Palpatine's dark influence from the galaxy.

    Medals were distributed to Wedge, Lando, and crew, for destroying the second Death Star. Tributes were awarded Han, Leia, Chewbacca, and their strike team for bringing down the shield generator.

    Mon Mothma returned to the podium, holding up a hand for silence. "Our last award of the evening goes to the man responsible for destroying our greatest enemies, Emperor Palpatine and his dark lord, Darth Vader."

    Leia glanced at Luke, dreading to see the scowl she knew would fill his face. What she saw instead was even more chilling. His visage bore no semblance of expression ? only a cold vacant stare.

    "Gentlebeings, I present to you our very own Jedi Knight, Commander Luke Skywalker. Commander?" Mon Mothma waited while Luke rose to his feet and walked up onto the stage, completely ignoring the thunderous applause filling the room. He stood at perfect attention while the leader of the Rebellion pinned this latest accolade on the front of his uniform. Luke saluted her, Admiral Ackbar, and the other top brass assembled onstage, then exited down the steps with a crisp stride.

    Luke took his seat, having not uttered a single word during the entire ceremony. Leia started to say something when Han laid a hand on her arm. "Leave him be," he whispered. "This is hard enough on him."

    "That doesn't give him the right to be rude," Leia whispered back. Han shook his head, eliciting a glare from her. She wouldn't cause a scene now, but she'd sure give her brother a piece of her mind later.

    An orchestra began playing just then, signaling the final portion of the evening. Han rose and offered his elbow to the still-fuming light of his life. When they returned to their seats after dancing, Luke was gone.



    * * * * * * * * * * *



    When the door announcer chimed at Mara Jade's small apartment, she knew who it was even before opening the door. Luke stood there, his very posture illuminating the dejection she could feel flowing from him.

    "Celebration over already?"

    "It is for me," he growled sullenly.

    "Well, come in." She ushered him toward her worn couch, one of the few pieces of furniture in the room. "Would you like a drink?" she offered. "You look like you could use one."

    Luke hesitated a moment, then shook his head. "No, thanks." He leaned his head back on the couch as Mara curled herself into a seat at the opposite end. "I'm afraid I'm not very good company," he muttered, staring at the ceiling. "I shouldn't have come here."

    "You know you're always welcome," she assured him.

    Luke rose and wandered to the window, staring out at the city's endless lights. "They gave me a medal, Mara," he bit out suddenly. "They gave me a damn medal for killing my own father." He reached up and yanked the decoration off his jacket, throwing it down in frustration.

    Mara quickly crossed the room, rubbing his shoulders in understanding. "Luke..." she soothed.

    Luke stiffened slightly at her touch, but didn't shrug her off. She moved around in front of him, gazing up into his sorrowful azure eyes.

    "They think I killed Darth Vader, Mara, and they thanked me for it."

    It was at that po
     
  13. Rivad_Bacar

    Rivad_Bacar Jedi Youngling star 2

    Registered:
    Nov 7, 2002
    She narrowed her eyes and waved one hand slowly in front of his face. "You want to wear this shirt," she intoned solemnly.

    Luke gave her an incredulous look, then burst out laughing. Maybe this evening would turn out all right, after all.


    [face_shocked]
    ROFLOL! [face_laugh]

    Only Mara would try a Jedi mind trick on Luke! :D
     
  14. RebelMom

    RebelMom Jedi Knight star 6

    Registered:
    Apr 20, 2000
    Poor Luke. Getting a medal for killing his father has got to be the worst feeling. So glad Mara is there for him. the reasons they mentioned that they are best friends makes perfect sense.
     
  15. GreatOne

    GreatOne Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    May 22, 2003
    Very good post. Just one question. Are the New Republic Officials aware Vader was Luke's father? (I apologize in advance... there are so many stories to keep track of..) If they are not aware of it, I think Luke should be a little more understanding when they praise him for killing Vader. If they ARE aware of it, then they are really rather thoughtless. But I suppose this is the same group that wanted Leia to dump Han and marry a Prince she didn't know just to help the government financially, so I know they are more than a bit thoughtless/heartless.
     
  16. EmilieDarklighter

    EmilieDarklighter Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jan 19, 2002
    I apologize for not keeping up with book 1, Michele, but I sure will with this one! This is my favorite L/M story ever!
     
  17. Jaina_and_Jag

    Jaina_and_Jag Jedi Master star 5

    Registered:
    Apr 19, 2003
    That was great! :D Poor Luke! :( They gave him a medal for "killing" his father. :( Although in their eyes he did something good. :( Mara trying to cheer him up is very sweet. [face_love]

    Mara stubbornly pulled it right back out. She narrowed her eyes and waved one hand slowly in front of his face. "You want to wear this shirt," she intoned solemnly.
    [face_laugh] Mara! [face_laugh]
     
  18. J_M_Bulldog

    J_M_Bulldog Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Apr 24, 2003
    Hey, I found it. :cool: start Jedi-2B

    Poor Luke. Everyone's thanking him for killing the bad guys when his father came back to the light and saved him. Why do people have to be so stubborn not to accept that?

    Mara stubbornly pulled it right back out. She narrowed her eyes and waved one hand slowly in front of his face. "You want to wear this shirt," she intoned solemnly.
    [face_laugh] I loved that. That's sooo Mara.
     
  19. JainaPadmeJade

    JainaPadmeJade Jedi Youngling star 5

    Registered:
    Dec 20, 2002
    aaw..this was such a good post!!

    "soft hands"..well at least he didn't say something like soft legs. ;)

    and the last part was the best..i love mara
     
  20. Jedi-2B

    Jedi-2B Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 2, 2000
    Rivad_Bacar: ROFLOL!

    Only Mara would try a Jedi mind trick on Luke!


    I'm sure she knew it wouldn't work, but just the attempt was enough to get him to wear the shirt, so in a roundabout way, it did work. :D


    RebelMom: Poor Luke. Getting a medal for killing his father has got to be the worst feeling. So glad Mara is there for him.

    Besides Han & Leia, no one else knows how that medal would both sadden and anger him. Quite a change from his Battle of Yavin medal.

    ...the reasons they mentioned that they are best friends makes perfect sense.

    Right. Both loners (Mara moreso than Luke); both Force-strong; both hiding secrets.


    GreatOne: Are the New Republic Officials aware Vader was Luke's father? (I apologize in advance... there are so many stories to keep track of..)

    I perfectly understand about how hard it is to keep stories straight. No, the NR doesn't know that Vader was Luke & Leia's father. Luke wants to tell, to redeem his father's reputation (he optimistically thinks that's possible), but Leia is not ready to reveal to the galaxy that she is Vader's daughter, (she doesn't even like admitting it to herself) and Luke is respecting her wishes. All anyone knows is that L&L are twins, and that their father, Anakin Skywalker, had been a Jedi.

    If they are not aware of it, I think Luke should be a little more understanding when they praise him for killing Vader.

    Deep down, he does understand, but he's started to get frustrated over all the praises he's receiving, frustrated over Leia's refusal to let him tell the truth, frustrated cause he realizes the truth could very well be damaging to both him and Leia. And he was just in one of his 'rare tempermental moods' that evening. ;)


    EmilieDarklighter: Thanks! Quite a compliment. [face_blush]


    Jaina_and_Jag: Mara trying to cheer him up is very sweet.

    Mara wouldn't do that for just anyone, you know. ;)


    J_M_Bulldog: Everyone's thanking him for killing the bad guys when his father came back to the light and saved him. Why do people have to be so stubborn not to accept that?

    After all the horrendous things Vader did, it would be hard for anyone to easily accept that he miraculously turned into a saint just before dying. (And remember that they don't know he was Luke's father). At this point, L&M are probably the only people that accept it, perhaps because they were the only witnesses. Rare are those that have not seen, and yet believe.


    JainaPadmeJade: "soft hands"..well at least he didn't say something like soft legs.

    [face_laugh] It's surprising, since Luke is so good at sticking his foot in his mouth.


    Thanks, everyone, for your comments. I'll hurry and put the next part up, then I'm itching to go watch 'Comic Book: The Movie.' :D
     
  21. Jedi-2B

    Jedi-2B Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 2, 2000
    Chapter 1-C


    Luke and Mara entered the Ranat Roost tapcafe a short time later. A haze of smoke drifted across the room, and lively music filled the air from a trio of jizz wailers in a far corner. The assorted patrons, most in various stages of intoxication, paid little attention to the newcomers.

    As they spied an empty table and made their way across the crowded space to claim it, Luke thought he recognized several of the customers as being from his military base. Suddenly, his hand instinctively flew toward his lightsaber as he was shoved from behind.

    "Hey, buddy, watch it!" a raspy voice came from below them. Spinning around, Luke's eyes traveled down to an inebriated Kloperian, now sitting haplessly on the floor.

    "Could ya help a fella up?" the short, gray alien said, raising both bloodshot eyes and a limp tentacle toward Luke.

    "Looks like you've had enough for the evening, friend," Luke advised him, relaxing and pulling the being to a shaky upright position. As the Kloperian moved back toward the bar, Luke noticed Mara tucking her tiny blaster back into its sleeve holster.

    "C'mon, Skywalker, it's time to start our own celebrating." They reached the small round table, and Mara shoved aside the empty containers from its last occupants. Luke activated the holo-menu, and they each punched in their selections.

    As the holomenu disappeared, two young girls, barely out of their teens, approached the table.

    "Commander? Commander Skywalker?" they exclaimed, giggling in unison.

    "Yes?" Luke answered politely, trying to avert his eyes from their overly revealing attire. 'I told you it was him,' he heard the blonde whisper to the brunette. The girls eyed Mara suspiciously, then turned back to the object of their fawning.

    "Hmmm, we work in Data Files, over at Liberty Base, and we've seen you come through," the blonde spoke up.

    "That's nice," Luke answered noncommittally.

    "We, uh, just wanted to introduce ourselves," the brunette continued. "I'm Daxia."

    "And I'm Tirzah," her companion added.

    "Nice to meet you," Luke murmured. He glanced at Mara out of the corner of his eye. *Would you like me to introduce you to them?* he sent silently.

    *Don't you dare!* she shot back.

    "If you ever need any files retrieved," Tirzah was saying, brazenly laying one hand on Luke's shoulder, "or anything else ...," she batted her long lashes at him, "don't hesitate to look us up."

    "We'd be glad to help you out in any way," Daxia purred.

    "Uh, thanks," Luke muttered, trying to think of some way to get rid of them.

    "Here are our names and home comm numbers, if you need anything after hours," Daxia continued, handing him a pair of small data chits. "Anything at all." Luke took the chits wordlessly, dropping them in his shirt pocket. With exaggerated wiggles, the pair moved back to a group of young people gathered near the band.

    Mara rolled her eyes, stifling her laughter. "Get propositioned often, do you?"

    Luke gave her a glare, then amusement began trickling into his expression. "Why? Jealous?"

    "Of those two? Please!"

    Luke was saved from having to retort by the appearance of the waiter droid bringing their order of staga ribs and lomin-ales. They continued their casual banter throughout their meal, each relishing the comfortable feeling of just being together.

    All evening, Mara had been tapping her feet to the tunes being belted out by the tapcafe's resident band. "You know, Skywalker, people are dancing over there."

    Luke glanced over at the small, crowded dance floor. "Hmm-mmm."

    "The music's not bad. Easy to dance to," Mara continued. Can the man not take a hint?

    "I suppose. If you like that kind of thing." Luke leaned back in his chair, sipping his drink, his face a mask of boredom.

    Mara narrowed her eyes impatiently, resting her elbow on the table and her chin in her hand. "It's a great way to release pent-up tension."

    "Guess so. Don't feel any tension right now, myself." Luke swore he heard a low growl coming from his dinner companion. Perhaps it w
     
  22. RebelMom

    RebelMom Jedi Knight star 6

    Registered:
    Apr 20, 2000
    I had forgotten alot of this. It is great for the refresher. :)
     
  23. GreatOne

    GreatOne Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    May 22, 2003
    Great Post! Luke's got groupies!!! :D
     
  24. Jaina_and_Jag

    Jaina_and_Jag Jedi Master star 5

    Registered:
    Apr 19, 2003
    Great post! :D Those groupies made me laugh! [face_laugh] Sounds like someone fawning over Orlando Bloom... if they could get close enough. :p So Mara is going to get away... very understandable, I think she feels that Luke and her are too close and they need some time apart... which is exacley what they do need. They need to know themselves better and then they can be best friends or whatever it is they want to be.
     
  25. Rivad_Bacar

    Rivad_Bacar Jedi Youngling star 2

    Registered:
    Nov 7, 2002
    Bully's just need to be thumped on the head. Be nice! :D
     
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