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Beyond - Legends A Thousand Dancing Lights - [Luke/Mara/Han/Leia/ Jaina] April/May SJRS "Secrets" Challenge

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by madman007, Jun 3, 2013.

  1. madman007

    madman007 Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Aug 22, 2007
    Welcome folks to my first story in a few years. Been missing it but I may still have it. You'll have to decide.

    This was for the Skywalker-Jade Revival Secrets Challenge. Mine was "The first time I never sat alone was in the psych ward."

    Here it goes. And as always, enjoy and review as you see fit!


    A Thousand Dancing Lights
    Setting: Approximately one month after events of Union. At the Coruscant Systems Court.

    Luke Skywalker opened up the double doors that separated the courtroom from the inner hallway of the Coruscant Systems Court. He knew he had bad news for his family who were waiting impatiently on the other side. The jury had already carried out a guilty verdict easily. The sentencing was what took so long. Their choice was not what his family wanted.
    The doors closed behind him and he faced the members of his family who were waiting, including his new wife. Before he could utter a single word, Han Solo displayed his bluntness.
    "So...are they hanging him?"
    Luke breathed and replied simply, "No. Kwan has been committed to a mental institution for life."
    Their reactions were as the Jedi Master had expected. And just as loud. The cries of disappointment and anger were heard by all inside the hallway. His sister, niece, and friend shouted out their disgust at the sentence. His wife kept silent as she went to the viewport.
    Jaina exclaimed, "Why does he get to sit in a padded room when he killed one of our friends?"
    Leia shouted, "Not to mention the ones he killed before he got to Senator Sedias."
    Han added, "All murdered for his fun."
    Luke stated, "The fact that the murders were committed for his fun was the reason why Kwan was committed to a mental institution. He was deemed unfit to stand trial by reason of his insanity. He will never be let out of the institution."
    Jaina spat, "So Kwan lives while Sedias dies without justice!"
    Luke calmly explained, "I wouldn't say it's without justice. Kwan will be committed forever. He will be watched by several doctors and security guards."
    Leia asked, "Where will he be going?"
    Before Luke could answer, Mara Jade uttered from her view of the Coruscant afternoon traffic, "Hesperidium."
    They all looked in Mara's direction for a moment before glancing back at Luke. He nodded. "Yes, the Hesperidium Wing in the Valorum section of CorMed."
    Han scoffed. "That figures."
    Jaina asked, "Isn't that where all the space nuts go?"
    "Jaina, don't categorize," Leia scolded. "There's some serious mentally ill patients there."
    Han gave his famous half grin. "I don't know, hun. You've got to be pretty crazy to end up there. If the Emperor had lived, that's where I'd put him."
    Luke quickly shot a look at his wife, afraid she would react to Han's remark about her former boss. She continued to stare out of the viewport staying silent. Luke tried to nudge her in the Force but she gave no response. He had thought they talked about her blocking him in thought since before the start of their marriage. Luke lost his train of thought as Leia now scolded her husband. A common occurrence.
    "You are such a wonderful father figure, laserbrain."
    Han's daughter placed her arm around his neck and pondered, "How did that saying go? 'Who's the more foolish? The fool or the fool who follows him?'"
    Han tried to feign innocence and said, "I don't remember."
    Jaina cheered, "Well, consider me your fool, dad."
    Leia just shook her head and said, "Great, you're already a daddy's girl." Han could only shrug as Jaina planted a kiss on his cheek. Leia turned to her brother. "So, there's nothing we can do?"
    Luke shook his head. "No. There's no appeal process after a sentencing. Especially after a guilty verdict." He eyed his niece, "That has to act as justice."
    Jaina shrugged as she nuzzled in her father's arms. "Maybe. It's like you said. He's never getting out of there. I mean who does get out of Hesperidium?"
    Han answered, "Even if someone is released from that place, they'll never be sane again."
    As Leia rolled her eyes, Jaina asked, "Really?"
    Han replied, "Let's put it this way. I have never met anyone to this day who has been through Hesperidium and stayed sane."
    Suddenly, Mara relinquished her position in front of the viewport and walked up to Han and faced him. "Yes, you have. Me." She then walked past him down the hallway.
    Luke followed his wife to an outside veranda that extended to a platform so as to catch an air speeder. She was leaning on the railing. He knew where she went. She all but called out her position. The traces she left in the Force were too intense. Hidden emotions were once again eating at Mara Jade. Luke had ceased to wonder about the amount of secrets that built up inside the woman. Perhaps he didn't want to know.
    Luke leaned against the railing to be beside her. The wind from the traffic and the atmosphere swirled around them. Mara had put her red gold hair in a single long braid for a more professional look in court. It swayed back and forth in the wind. She had not spoken yet, which was always his cue to do so first.
    "And here I thought I knew everything about my wife."
    "I like to keep some things secret. Guess that plan's moot after marrying you."
    To an outsider, the remark would seem like an insult. Only Luke could tell that she meant it in the highest respect. He pried. "Do you want to talk about it?"
    "Not particularly. I've never talked about it since it happened. Not even to Karrde. On record, it never happened. Isard wiped those records clean."
    Luke uttered, "Ysanne Isard. This must have been when she detained you after Palpatine's death."
    Mara scoffed. "Detain? You sure know how to sugar coat things, Farmboy."
    He waited for her to continue but she didn't. Luke should have known. Mara's secrets did not escape willingly. He had to pry again. "What happened?"
    Mara breathed out as if in defeat and replied, "After the Emperor's death, I was taken to Hesperidium for several days. You should know why."
    "I know that the Emperor's death affected you greatly. I didn't know it made you crazy."
    "I wasn't crazy!" she snapped.
    Luke replied back, "Mara, they don't send you there if you're sane."
    "You can never understand."
    "Try me."
    "No, you could never understand. You grew up with people around you. An aunt. An uncle. Friends."
    Luke shot back without a pause, "All of who ridiculed me and made fun of me at every chance they got."
    She shook her head. "Doesn't matter. You were never alone."
    Luke waited for her to elaborate to her cryptic reply. This time, he didn't have to wait long.
    "Through all of my childhood, I had no one but Palpatine. He raised me and trained me by himself when I was young. When I got older, he placed me into a military regiment. Relationships, friends, connections of any kind were frowned upon. They were weaknesses in their eyes. And Palpatine's. I had to rely on myself for all situations. Just like I was taught. I could be in a ballroom full of the most prestigious members of the Empire and I still felt alone. Other than my physical appearance, I didn't attract attention to myself. The strange thing is that I didn't care at the time. Only the missions mattered. Single-minded. Even when I was on missions far across the galaxy, my only communication was with the Emperor through the Force. It was him and I. Alone."
    She paused and Luke let her continue without interruption. He knew how hard this was for her. She took a breath before she went on again. "At the moment when he died, after he screamed that message and the false image to me through the Force, I felt a pain that I never felt before or since. The pain was so intense that I thought I was in another dimension. I mind."
    "What? What did you see?"
    "You're going to laugh."
    "You know I won't."
    "I saw...lights. A thousand little lights rushing at me. Kind of like the molted star lines of hyperspace but more random. It was almost like they were dancing. Don't ask me why. I didn't know which way was up or down. I collapsed somewhere in the Imperial Palace. I was in a daze. A dream state. I didn't even feel it when I was put on a stretcher and they carried me out. But I knew where they had taken me. Hesperidium. The psych ward. I was with all the space-happy nuts. They watched my every move. Every doctor had their eye on me. In my cell of a room. In the caf. In the rec room. Everywhere. This time I was at the center of attention. Of course, they didn't know who I was then. I carried no ident cards by design."
    "How long were you there?"
    "Oh, I believe about a month, more or less. Time meant nothing to me at that moment. I completely lost the ability to use the Force. I lost many things after the Battle of Endor. Same as you, I suppose."
    Luke didn't reply, though he could argue that he gained much more after that battle. He wanted her to focus on her problem for the moment. He nudged again. "Why did you hide this from me until now?"
    "Honestly, I tried to forget it. It had such a significance in my life."
    "How so?"
    "See, this is the part I don't think you can relate to. Up until that moment, I was always alone. Physically and mentally. The first time I never sat alone was in the psych ward. Savor that irony. I wasn't crazy. I think they knew that. They just didn't know if I would be suicidal."
    Luke gasped. "You? Taking your own life?"
    "I know. It would never happen. They didn't know that. They didn't know me. After Palpatine died, no one in the galaxy knew me. The doctors treated me as per their procedure when someone displays outrageous reactions. They thought I'd go space-nuts at any moment. I was just confused. I had so many questions with no answers."
    "And Isard answered them for you."
    Mara took a moment of reflection before she stated, "In a way, she did. Her abduction of me from Hesperidium was actually a blessing. It brought back all of my skills that I was trained for and I escaped. I then planned to complete the last mission that the Emperor gave me." Luke gave her a strange look and she quickly snapped, "Not that mission. The one where I ended Dequc and his Black Nebula dreams."
    Luke let it go and said, "You say you conveniently forgot that you were in a mental ward. You had to have known it would come up during this hearing."
    "The thought had occurred to me. I figured Kwar wouldn't get the death sentence. He may be faking his insanity, which I can see through, but he only had to convince the jury. I knew he would end up at Hesperidium."
    "And when Han said what he did, you just had to react."
    Mara shrugged. "You know me best. Amazing, though, how ideals can change within a lifetime. When I was younger, I cherished being alone. It was almost a badge of success for me. Now I'm frightened to be alone." She turned to face him with her green eyes watering. "Even when I'm by myself, I know I'll never be alone."
    Luke reached over and their lips touched softly. He pulled back and asked, "Was that the last of your secrets, or are there more for us to discover?"
    "What do you think?"
    "I don't have to think. I know that you can tell me anything. We've been through this too many times for me to explain why."
    "No, you don't. Guess I was also a little embarrassed that I was there."
    "You don't have to be. Contrary to what Han believes, there are people who have been released from Hesperidium with their sanity intact."
    Mara nodded. "It's also a bit of irony when Han Solo calls someone crazy."
    Luke laughed. "He has no room to talk."
    Mara let go of him and formed a dark grin. "I feel like making it up to him." She walked towards the veranda's exit.
    Luke uttered, "That's never a good line coming from you."
    When Mara arrived back in the hallway, with Luke behind her, she was greeted by her niece first.
    "Oh, Aunt Mara, I'm so sorry you had to go there. It's such a bad place. Are you all right?"
    "I'm fine, Jaina. It was a long time ago before you were born."
    Leia joked, "It makes so much more sense now. I mean you did marry my brother. Only a former space-nut could do that."
    Luke lightly punched Leia in her arm. "Thanks, sis."
    Han came up to Mara with an uncertain look on his face. He then said, "You know, I hear that those who come out of Hesperidium are stronger than when they went in."
    "Uh, huh," Mara replied. "Did you just learn to recite that in the few minutes I was gone?"
    Han looked hurt. "Of course not. I never said you were crazy."
    She came up closer to him and said with a mischievous grin, "Guess you'll find out when I SNAP back into my madness!" She then gave a maniacal laugh and said dreamily, "Oh, I love all thousand of those dancing lights." She walked past him with Jaina and Leia following her and trying to stifle their laughter. Mara kept speaking. "You know, I think there's someone in my head but it's not me. Come on, it's feeding time! I'm in the mood for some blue fishies! La la la la!"
    Luke trailed behind them as he merely shrugged at Han.
    Han stood staring straight ahead in their opposite direction with a blank stare. He was speechless.

    The End
  2. Lady_Misty

    Lady_Misty Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Mar 21, 2007
    The insanity plea is rough on lots of people.

    Sweet moments with Luke and Mara. :)
  3. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Aug 31, 2004
    Excellent in intensity and humor both. Very plausible consequence in the wake of Palps' loss and your L/M: still rocks. =D= =D=
  4. Demendora

    Demendora Jedi Knight star 2

    Apr 9, 2010
    Great response to a challenge! I can perfectly imagine Mara being in this state after Palpatine's death.
  5. Hazel

    Hazel Jedi Master star 4

    Nov 9, 2010
    Excellent response to the challenge. I can see this happening.
    Jade_eyes likes this.
  6. Jedi_Lover

    Jedi_Lover Chosen One star 5

    Nov 1, 2004
    I thought I heard a little Pink Floyd at the end. :) Nicely done!
    Jade_eyes likes this.
  7. Briannakin

    Briannakin Former Manager star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Feb 25, 2010
    Lol. The ending was just fabulous. Great use of the secret.
  8. Stone Jade

    Stone Jade Jedi Knight star 1

    Feb 27, 2013
    Great story, loved the ending. Welcome (back).
    Jade_eyes likes this.
  9. ginchy

    ginchy Jedi Grand Master star 4

    May 25, 2005
    That would have been a tough prompt. Nice work incorporating the secret. With a past like Mara's, anything is possible.
  10. Gemma

    Gemma Jedi Master star 4

    Dec 25, 2013
    I like Mara's comment back to Han at the end. Nice touch!