main
side
curve
  1. Welcome to the new boards! Details here!

Saga Another Other (Saga AU) - Mara Jade, Yoda, updated & completed 27th September

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by Annia Piet, Apr 5, 2015.

  1. Annia Piet

    Annia Piet Jedi Knight star 2

    Registered:
    Feb 7, 2015
    Title: Another Other
    Timeframe: An AU ranging from 12 BBY to the end of RotJ
    Characters: Mara Jade, Yoda, plus Luke and Leia at a distance
    Genre: Drama
    Summary: Mara is rescued from the Emperor at a young age, and is taken to Yoda to be trained.

    A/N: This is a sort of prequel to a post-RotJ AU I’d like to write at some point. I’m writing it as a way of working out the differences in Mara’s character if she had a different upbringing, as an alternate version of her would be one of the characters. I’m also interested in the idea that Yoda might have back up plans (as suggested by his reference to ‘There is another’, hence the title.), and also in exploring why Leia wasn't trained.

    Another Other

    1.

    12 BBY

    Mara’s small form clung to the large man’s shoulder as he carried her inside the dingy building. She peered through her tangled red hair to see where they were. The room, scattered with a variety of aliens and humans sipping drinks at tables and in shadowy booths, was punctuated by a long bar running down it’s centre. A bulky man wiping glasses behind the counter looked up at them sourly, and Mara felt as much as saw the attention of the customers flicker towards them. Curiosity, she felt, particularly at her; the man who carried her belonged here, she did not.

    “This is no place to bring your younglings,” the bar man barked at them, flapping his dish-rag towards the door.

    “Not mine,” the man carrying her replied gruffly. She still did not know his name, for all the weeks they’d spent together now. “Merchandise. I’m meeting a buyer.”

    The bar keep huffed slightly but seemed mollified. Mara felt the attention from round the room drift off into disinterest.

    As he carried her over to a booth in the far corner, Mara wondered at his words. Had he been lying to her all these weeks? Did he really mean her harm after all? Was he just like the others who had stolen her away before?

    She felt his mind reach out to her mind to soothe her. She felt rather than heard the sense of it; trust me. That was what the Dark Man had said too. But this one felt different.

    He settled her down in the darkest corner of the booth, pulling the woollen hood that had fallen off her outside from his pocket and making a valiant attempt to cover her hair with it once again. The poor man seemed utterly bemused as to what to do with a small girl – her hair hadn’t been brushed since the day he’d found her. He signalled for drinks to be brought over. Only one appeared. Mara supposed ‘merchandise’ didn’t get drinks.

    They waited some time. Mara took in everything around her as her companion sipped at his drink in silence. It was so different from everything she had known. All this grime and dirt and sticky pools of some spilt drink on the table was nothing like the crisp, brightly lit rooms she had spent her entire time in the last few years. Nothing like her more distant memories either, of a place filled with warmth and love. She tried to cling to those memories, secretly, against the demands of her keepers, but they slipped further and further away all the time, wiped out a little bit more every time she had been shown to the Dark Man and he reached into her mind…

    Mara shut her eyes tightly against the thought. Maybe she would have to forget the warm place if she were to forget him. Maybe she would just have to. Although that felt like letting him win in some way…

    Feeling her distress, the big man looked down at her, meeting her wide green eyes, and awkwardly took her hand in some gesture of comfort. “It’s alright,” he said softly. “You’ll be safe soon.”

    They both turned heads at the same time to glance at the door, even before it swung open. She could feel the approach of the newcomer even before the hiss of the door release. Someone who stood out, felt iridescent against all the other beings here. Mara found she held her breath as the door slid apart – only to narrow in confusion and disappointment. In the entrance stood a diminutive figure no bigger than herself, swathed in dark red robes with a hood drawn deeply over it’s face, revealing only red electrical lights for eyes glowing from underneath. The new arrival scurried in and chattered at the bar man in a strange language. After reaching up on tiptoe to collect his drink from the bar, the small figure scurried over to their booth and clambered up onto the bench opposite them.

    “A Jawa, huh?” The man beside her said incredulously. “They’re not exactly common in this part of the Galaxy, you know.” Mara glanced with wide eyes between the two beings as she realised this was who they had come to meet.

    The creature chattered at them loudly in what sounded like a rude way, but then an entirely different voice laughed softly from under the hood. “Known well enough they are, that someone can look them up and think them plausible here. And more convenient disguise than Ewok, by far.” The figure chortled, and Mara found herself suppressing a small laugh herself. It faded away as the strange artificial eyes turned on her. “So this is her, yes?” Mara felt the creatures’ scrutiny pressing against her, and shrunk back against the back of the booth, quivering. But the probe against her senses did not turn into the intrusion and pain of the Dark Man, but instead fluttered lightly against her sense of herself and withdrew.

    “Hm,” the little creature grunted. “Strong she is, yes. Much potential. But also quite damaged, already. A risk it will be. Not part of our plans.”

    “Not part of my plans either, old man,” her rescuer said. “This is not my war. I want no part of it.”

    “Yet rescue her, you did. Much risk, you took, much risk. You knew you had to.” It was said lightly but there was something both accusing and mocking in his tone.

    “Yes, yes I did, and I’m pretty sure I’m going to regret getting involved. But once I felt what she was, what they were doing to her, I couldn’t just leave her.” He sighed heavily. “But you have to take her from here Master Y-“ he cut off the name abruptly as though remembering where they were. “I can’t look after her. I wouldn’t know where to start. I have no way of finding her parents, they’re most likely dead. I can’t protect her.”

    Mara felt tears welling up at his blunt appraisal of her situation. But she knew it, knew somewhere deep inside that it was true. She had lost the sense of her parents the day they had taken her, and she knew this gruff but kind man wouldn’t be able to stop the Dark Man finding her and taking her back. She pushed the tears back down, deep inside her, as she’d long learned to do; crying would make no difference to her fate. The Dark Man had made that clear.

    The hooded figure appraised her again, and sighed a deep, heavy sigh. “Unexpected this is.”

    “You have seen nothing of her? In the Force?” The man’s voice dropped even lower at that last word, and she wondered what it meant.

    The small figure sighed again. “Seen her I have. Seen many fates for her. But not this one. What you have done, it changes everything. Not meant to cross, were our paths.”

    “So you won’t take her then?” There was despair in the man’s voice. Mara could hear, and feel, his panic as he didn’t know what to do.

    The cowled figure went very still, glowing eyes becoming obscured as he glanced away in contemplation. Silence fell over the table, the sounds of low conversation and clinking glasses in the cantina reasserting themselves in Mara’s ears. She felt her entire future hang in the balance.

    And abruptly the choice was made, the die cast. The shadowed face turned back to them. “Take her I will. Train her. Protect her.” The small figure chuckled. “Always in motion is the future. In the face of that, a back up plan a bad idea is not.”

    ***

    The ramp of the transport rose and sealed to the hull with a dreadful finality, the face of her nameless rescuer disappeared in a narrowing sliver until he was gone from her sight. She had gripped him tightly round the neck in a silent farewell that seemed to surprise him, and she could feel that he never expected to see her again. Her fate was set now, with this strange little creature taking her who knew where.

    He had picked up a gnarled little walking stick from beside the ramp as they boarded and to her surprise leant heavily on it as he tottered forward. She looked curiously round the small space. On the outside the ship had seemed small compared to the other ships docked around it, silver with smooth sleek lines but heavily battered with age and lack of maintenance. The inside was even smaller, consisting only of the small space she was in, which crammed in a galley space, a couch come bunk and a refresher, and through a hatch at one end she could see the windows of a small one person cockpit, the small figure silhouetted against them as he fiddled with various buttons and leavers. Lights flashed on here and there and the metal flooring beneath her feet started to vibrate as the engines warmed up.

    The creature returned from the cockpit, still leaning heavily on the stick. He stopped right in front of her. Looking at him face to face properly for the first time, she noted that, even though she was just six years old (she thought) herself, she was already taller than this strange creature who had taken charge of her. They stared at each other for a long moment.

    “Are you really a Jawa?” she asked with narrowed eyes. She didn’t even know what one of those were yet, but it seemed a good place to start.

    The figure chortled with more amusement than the comment really warranted. “Jawa? No, Jawa I am not.” He reached up and pushed back the deep hood, and two long pointed ears, adorned with little wisps of white hair, sprung free. They were incongruous against the dark mask beneath them, and a small hand quickly pulled that away as well. The face was green and wizened with age, but she found her eyes drawn to the large brown eyes that examined her reaction intently. “Master Yoda, am I. And what do they call you?”

    “Mara. I’m called Mara. They called me Mara Jade. I think I used to have another name, but I… I can’t remember it now,” she admitted with some distress.


    The little man nodded. “Well then. Mara you shall be.”
     
  2. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Yay! It's up. And a great promising start. LOL Even though now Luke is at a distance, woohoo! The RoTJ sequel can bring he and Mara together earlier. [face_dancing] Always, always ready for that! ;)
     
  3. Kahara

    Kahara Force Ghost star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 3, 2001
    Aww, poor scruffy little Mara. :p I like her mysterious rescuer, even though I can't figure out who he is (I'm not sure if I'm meant to or not, anyway.)


    Gah. This is the really disturbing thing if one thinks about Mara's past in any detail -- at some point they drained those memories right out of her. Horrible.

    Oh my, Yoda in disguise. :D Love it!

    So. Cute. [face_laugh]

    I really would love to see more of this AU, so I'm glad you mentioned plans for a sequel!
     
    Annia Piet and Nyota's Heart like this.
  4. JadeLotus

    JadeLotus Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 27, 2005
    Ohh, interesting AU! The thought of Yoda raising Mara is interesting, as I don't think she would perhaps turn out all that different since Yoda is a hard taskmaster looking at the big picture and not a natural caregiver for a young child. The identity of Mara's rescuer intrigues me as well.

    Looking forward to the sequel!
     
    Annia Piet, Nyota's Heart and Kahara like this.
  5. divapilot

    divapilot Force Ghost star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 30, 2005
    Interesting start! If Yoda trains Mara from a young age... is there a need for Luke to be trained too? Will she be the one to lead the battles to come?

    so many questions! And I too am curious about the rescuer. At first I thought it was Obi-Wan but he seems too brusque. [face_thinking]
     
    Annia Piet, Nyota's Heart and Kahara like this.
  6. Annia Piet

    Annia Piet Jedi Knight star 2

    Registered:
    Feb 7, 2015
    Thanks all!

    Her rescuer could be one of several characters in the GFFA, but in truth is I didn't write him specifically intended to be any of them. The reason is that none of the ones that fit are characters I know very well, so it seemed silly to write an existing character badly instead of coming up with a new one. However, if you feel he fits to any of those possibilities, feel free to assume it is. The key thing is that Mara herself has no idea who this man is.

    As for Luke... All will be revealed :).

    Next update in a week or so.
     
    Gemma and Kahara like this.
  7. KELIA

    KELIA Manager Emeritus star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Jul 26, 2005
    I love Yoda and I love this story so far.

    It’s so nice to see Mara have the chance at a better life.

    I look forward to seeing how this goes

    =D==D==D==D=
     
    Annia Piet and Nyota's Heart like this.
  8. Annia Piet

    Annia Piet Jedi Knight star 2

    Registered:
    Feb 7, 2015
    A/N - chapter 2! Although I think maybe it should be rolled in with Chapter 1, as it's a little short...

    2.

    Mara stared at the small hut ahead of them. Yoda had landed his transport some distance away, and their path thus far had been hard and winding, clambering between tangled vines and wading through muddy sections of swamp. Every part of her felt damp and clammy, and she was sure she couldn’t find her way back again if she tried.

    Now Yoda tottered ahead of her towards the domed construction wrapped in the roots of a strange tree. He still leant heavily on his stick, but somehow had found traversing the swamp far easier than she. The strange little building was dark and felt empty and unwelcoming.

    Yoda disappeared into the darkness of the little arched entrance. Mara cautiously stepped after him, ducking her head slightly to get in. As she stepped into the main space inside, Yoda waved a hand and crystals embedded in the walls began to glow gently. She looked curiously round at the mud walls and rough furniture. “You live here?” she asked incredulously.

    Master Yoda crouched beside a small fireplace, arranging kindling. “My home this is. And now,” he glanced back at her with a wizened little smirk, “your home it is too.”

    The girl could do nothing but stare around her, trying to take it in and process this strange place. The clean, crisp surfaces of her last home, constantly cleaned by droids, had always seemed so cold and hard, like the people keeping her there. Now this place, so wet and dank but filled with so much life – she caught glimpses of little creatures scuttling away in the corner of her eyes – it was more different than anything she had ever been able to imagine. It held no physical comforts. And yet… and yet… such a creature, who lived in such a place, couldn’t be anything like her previous caretakers, could he? Couldn’t be like the Dark Man? She found a little comfort in the thought.

    The fire took and warm light spread around the small space, flickering and glancing dark shadows off the walls from the various strange objects and tools scattered round the place. After a few moments the warmth started to spread through the space; not that the humid air needed extra heat, but it seemed to banish the damp a little. “Come, sit.” Master Yoda told her, as he reached for a pan. Mara jumped slightly as one floated off the wall opposite them and deposited itself neatly in his hand.

    “How… how did you do that?” she stammered, but he just chuckled, arranged the pan over the flames and started depositing ingredients into it.

    At a loss, Mara moved to the space opposite him to sit as instructed, having to duck her head down in places as she manoeuvred round the hut. The top of her head skimmed close to the ceiling and it was a relief to sit and not worry about banging her head.

    “Learn to do that too, would you like?” Master Yoda asked her casually, as he stirred the contents of the pot.

    “I don’t know. How did you do it?”

    “Heh. Straight to the point you are. Move it I did not. The Force, it did.”

    Mara considered it. “The Force. Is that what the Dark Man used on me?”

    Yoda eyed her carefully. “Yes, yes it is.”

    “Does that mean you’re like him?” Fear welled up inside her.

    “In some ways, yes. In most, no. For a Sith is he. Sith I am not.”

    “What are you then?”

    “Jedi.”

    “What is that?”

    “Show you, I will. If you are willing.”

    She considered it for long moments. “Will it keep me safe? From the Dark Man?”

    The little alien’s wrinkled face folded as he pursed his lips in thought. “Not safe.” He answered. “But safer than if learn you do not.”


    Mara nodded, turning her options over in her mind. If Master Yoda had powers like the Dark Man, and he taught her those powers too, then maybe the Dark Man would never be able to hurt her again. In a small but determined voice, she finally spoke. “Show me, Master Yoda. Show me everything.”
     
  9. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Excellent! Your Yoda-speak and Mara's resolve! I like the way they're interacting ... Mara's straight to the point blended with Yoda's cryptic. [face_laugh]
     
    Gemma and Annia Piet like this.
  10. divapilot

    divapilot Force Ghost star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 30, 2005
    Cool update! I liked the descriptions and your Yoda-speak is on point here. Yoda's gonna have his hands full with this one.o_O
     
    Gemma, Annia Piet and Nyota's Heart like this.
  11. JadeLotus

    JadeLotus Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 27, 2005
    Oh Yoda, he's a great teacher, but perhaps not as experienced in youngling care - living in swampy Dagobah? That will make Mara just as irritable as in Legends I think! ;)

    Great update, I like Mara's eagerness to learn.
     
    Annia Piet and Nyota's Heart like this.
  12. KELIA

    KELIA Manager Emeritus star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Jul 26, 2005
    I just adore how sweet Yoda is with little Mara. Everything is so overwhelming for her and he is very calming and reassuring.

    It’ll be interesting to see how her training goes.

    Great update

    =D==D==D==D=
     
    Annia Piet and Nyota's Heart like this.
  13. Annia Piet

    Annia Piet Jedi Knight star 2

    Registered:
    Feb 7, 2015
    Thanks all! :D

    Whilst Yoda is an improvement on being raised by Palpatine (obviously!), it's still not going to be an easy upbringing for Mara, and I think a lot of her distinctive character traits will remain in place as a result. Yoda is a fantastic teacher, of course, but as JadeLotus says, maybe not so great at the details of bringing up a human child! ;)
     
  14. Kahara

    Kahara Force Ghost star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 3, 2001
    Wonderful introduction to Yoda and his home. It's definitely an odd place to be raising a child and I can see what others are saying about how he's not really the parenting type (although he does a pretty good job of mentoring when he can hand the kids back at the end of the day, as seen with his youngling classes.) It will be very interesting to see how this goes.

    This part really stood out to me:

    There's something about this that definitely brings out the eerie in him.

    And this, which I love because it shows such a strange sort of honesty from the people who perfected cryptic. And it seems just right. :)
     
    Annia Piet and Nyota's Heart like this.
  15. Gemma

    Gemma Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 25, 2013
    I like the idea of Yoda having an influence in very young Mara's life.
     
    Annia Piet likes this.
  16. Annia Piet

    Annia Piet Jedi Knight star 2

    Registered:
    Feb 7, 2015
    And here's Chapter 3! With thanks to Nyota's Heart for taking the time to look through these for me before posting :)


    3.

    10 BBY

    Mara sighed as she stirred the pot for what must have been the millionth time. She hated Master Yoda’s sense of humour at times, especially when he applied it to her training. He had ordered her to sit beside the bubbling pot of stew and keep on stirring until he returned. When she asked how long that would be, he chuckled and told her that to reveal that would ruin the exercise. She was to learn patience and focus, and being able to maintain those without knowing when the need for them would cease was, apparently, vital. And she would be the one to scrub the pan out if the food got burnt on.

    It was a punishment, Mara knew. She had lost her temper with his stupid exercises the previous day, fed up of going over the same old thing again and again, never seeming to progress, and never starting to feel the power that would make her safer, make her be able to look after herself at last. After her outburst had ended, Master Yoda said nothing but merely sighed deeply and announced the day’s lessons over.

    This morning she had woken to the familiar sweet, sour smell of his usual stew and the sight of Master Yoda holding a wooden spoon up ready for her to take. A few words of instruction: “Stop stirring do not. Never let the stew become still, or know I will.” And then he had tottered towards the archway out of the hovel, glancing back with just one last word of advice. “An opportunity, this is. To practice your skills in the Force, yes. But only if you think in the right way will it come.”

    Mara sent the best of her scowls at his back, but he disappeared outside without any indication of concern. She settled cross-legged beside the fire and started to stir, chin rested in her free hand.

    After a very short time, boredom set in, and her arm began to ache. She tried changing hands a few times, but it didn’t help with the boredom. Her mind ached for stimulation all the time. Life on Dagobah was usually anything but boring, divided as it was between lessons with Yoda, chores (some of which were a bit dull, but Yoda shared the work and made them companionable and fun), and in her limited free time, having the run of the jungle nearby, so full of life, provided endless possibilities for exploration. Despite the climate and the rough hut and strange food and creatures, she was, for the most part, happy in this strange place.

    But stirring a pot was boring. Really, really boring. Master Yoda knew her too well.

    With a sigh she remembered his last words and decided to apply them. Practice her skills. Well that was clear enough. Force applied to spoon would mean less work for her arm, right? But her control when moving objects was still not good. Even getting them moving at all was a great effort, much less directing what they did. Mara took a deep breath, and focused. Feeling the handle of the spoon through the Force, she let her hand drop away.

    The spoon clunked against the side of the pot as she failed to even hold it upright. Mara scowled at it, quickly grasping the spoon again in her hand and stirring the gloopy stew hard before it could start to stick.

    She tried a number more times with little improvement, and the effort of trying tired her far more than just stirring the stew by hand. Mara sighed once more. Knowing Yoda, that might be the point he was pushing. She resigned herself to the normal way being easier, if tedious, and stirred, and stirred, and stirred.

    Before long, her mind began to drift. First, thoughts of her chores to be done, when Master Yoda would return, and whether he would relent and give her proper lessons today. The spoon in her hand turned, and turned. Thoughts of what she would do once her personal time arrived. The place in the story she was reading in the evenings, and where it would go next. Getting out into the jungle outside, finding her favourite hidey-hole, and acting out the more interesting parts of the tales with the rudimentary toy figures her Master had carved for her. The spoon moved round and round the pot, but her glazed eyes no longer saw it. The jungle outside, its moisture and luscious growth. The feel of it, beneath her feet, on her hands as she grasped vines, the dank air inside her nostrils. The sense of it, deep inside her, the emanating Force from all this life, reaching to every part of her, until she felt no longer inside the small hut but instead out there, part of it all…

    And through the trees and leaves and vines and plants and animals, a luminous being, like a beacon drawing her in. She felt towards it through her sense in the Force. The familiar, safe sense of her protector and tutor, glowing within the Force, absorbed in his own working within the life energy of the Universe. He did not react to her mind’s approach, and she found herself drawn into his own meditation, seeing with him what he saw.

    Lush green rolling hills. A beautiful city. A grand, elegant building; a balcony. A small girl, dark haired, playing with small animal figures with a white haired companion. The girl turned as though expecting to see something behind her. Large brown eyes, framed in a pale face surrounded by that hair, which was trying to escape an elaborate style. Mara looked at her in fascination, this little girl who must be around her own age. The girl stepped to the balcony balustrade, looking around, out at the glorious landscape, a smile of happiness and love for her home on her lips, before turning again and re-joining her game with her friend.

    The vision slipped backwards, out across plains, up into the sky, through atmosphere, faster and faster, flying through the stars before abruptly focusing on two brilliant suns over a yellow planet. Down the vision flew, to sun starched, barren plains, light so brilliant the land itself was blinding. Flying across rolling landscape again, but this time shifting hills of yellow. To a white dome shaped building beside a hole in the baked ground. In the shadow of the building, a small boy sat, hair bright blonde as though to match the sand around him. Rough toys carved from whitened wood and formed out of pieces of scrap metal were scattered around him. One sat in his hand, meant to be some kind of fighter, and he arched it through the air around him, mouth pursed to make noises Mara could not make out. Abruptly he looked up, right at them, but frowned in confusion, as though he saw nothing there, and went back to his swooping arm movements.

    Abruptly, Mara felt them pull back, through atmosphere, through space, back into Dagobah’s familiar environment – and found herself tipped abruptly out of the vision and back into herself in the little hut.

    Hitchhiker have I gained, she heard Yoda’s voice in her mind. Stay there until I get back, you will.

    Mara’s eyes widened as she focused once again on the stew in front of her and started stirring vigorously. She could feel the thickness at the bottom of the pan as globs of food had started to burn on to it. How long had she been inside Yoda’s vision? She stirred for all she could as she waited for her Master to return, desperately trying to scrape the burnt bits from the bottom.

    In quicker time than seemed likely for the elderly figure, Yoda’s small form shuffled through the doorway. Mara ducked her head down, focusing on the stew, in the vain hope that Yoda may have forgotten he incident in the few minutes that had passed. Instead, he came over and sat on the other side of the hearth, resting both hands on the top of his walking stick, and stared at her intently.

    “An aptitude, it seems you have, for the skills of seeing and communicating through the Force.”

    Mara looked up at him cautiously. He didn’t seem to be angry. But then, Master Yoda never did, really, though he pretended at it sometimes.

    “Heh, heh, learned my lesson a little too well, you did. Serves me right, I suppose.”

    “You… you wanted me to meditate?” she asked cautiously.

    “Yes. Many of these boring exercises intended to focus your ability to meditate are. Succeeded at your task, you did.”

    “Oh.” She stirred the pot again. “Even though I burnt the stew?”

    “Heh, unfortunate but necessary price it was. Expect you to do so well, I did not. Saw too much, you did.”

    “Who were they?” she asked, burning with curiosity. Other children, like her. It seemed a miracle they existed, a strange dream.

    Master Yoda sighed. “Special children are they. Strong in the Force, but with a tragic history, a difficult future.”

    Mara frowned. “Why are you not training them then? Like me?”

    Her Master shook his head. “Too dangerous it is. They would be found, and hurt, and never fulfil their destinies. And fulfil them they must, or all is lost.”

    “Oh.” Her heart sank a little, as her imagination had already raced away with the idea of them coming here to Yoda, training with them, being her friends. “What about me? Do I have a destiny?”

    He pursed his lips. “Difficult to see. Many futures, all too different to pull apart. Hope I do, that one day help these younglings in their task to return the Jedi to the Galaxy you will.”

    “Can I see them again? Through the Force?”

    “No, too dangerous it is. Today was unintended, but untrained as you are, your seeking them could drawn attention from those that hurt them would.” Yoda reached over and took the spoon from her hand. He ladled out a little of the mixture and sipped at it, only wincing slightly at the ruined flavour. “Hmm, good this is, little one. Eat, eat.”


    Feeling exhausted and sensing the conversation to be over, Mara pulled a couple of bowls from the shelf to be filled.
     
  17. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Annia! I love the glimpses of Luke and Leia that Mara got! =D= Indications of her innate Force skills. :cool: Very clever of Yoda that whole thing being a test! :p ;) Your writing showed the flow and ebb of the visions perfectly. =D=
     
    Kahara and Annia Piet like this.
  18. JadeLotus

    JadeLotus Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 27, 2005
    Yoda is such a troll! He's getting his Mr Miyagi on :p

    Loved Yoda's visions of young Luke and Leia (which really makes sense given his "this one, I long time have I watched" statement in ESB), and Mara tagging along for the ride. Mara's loneliness really comes across as well, with only having small toys to play with and acting out scenes herself - Yoda seems to be kind to her, but she needs companionship her own age.

    Great chapter!
     
    Annia Piet, Kahara and Nyota's Heart like this.
  19. Annia Piet

    Annia Piet Jedi Knight star 2

    Registered:
    Feb 7, 2015


    Thanks :) The 'long time have I watched' line is a big inspiration for this fic. Putting Mara on Dagobah during this era gives us the opportunity to see what Yoda was up to during all this time. I've always imagined him watching everything going on in the Galaxy through the Force, pulling strings here and there...

    Wow, life has been busy recently! Apologies for the long gap; here's the next installment :)


    4.

    7 BBY

    Matted, tangled hair flying out around her, Mara ran joyously through the jungle, launching herself off logs and over patches of bog, bouncing off tree trunks and clambering nimbly between branches. Running free like this, using her muscles and lungs and eyes and senses made her happiest. She could feel every part of the jungle around her, and it felt as though they worked together to guide her through rather than being a battle of her body against nature.

    Eventually she bounced, using the Force to push a little higher, up into the spread branches of her particular tree. She easily found purchase and settled down into its embrace, knowing from long experience the most comfortable way to position herself. From her pouch she pulled the battered old data pad she shared with Master Yoda. Both the power for it and the time with it were precious. But within it’s memory cells lay the galaxy beyond, all it’s stories and landscapes and histories and dreams. In these precious hours of freedom from chores and instruction, to simply sit and read, here in her favourite tree, was her preferred occupation.

    She flicked at random through articles, letting instinct – or the Force? – guide her as she usually did, until she came to something that drew her interest and imagination. Today she browsed through entries on planets, waiting for one to draw her in and tell her it’s stories. Brown, white, blue-green, purple-orange, metallic orbs all flickered in front of her eyes, and then a yellow-gold one appeared. It held her attention for long moments as she somehow felt it, so far away. The image showed two suns just rising behind the globe, and with a flick of her fingers, she went to the full entry.

    ‘TATOOINE’ read the heading. She scrolled down, taking in the basic information. Not much of interest beyond an intriguing connection to smuggling and the criminal world. But she found herself reading on anyway, looking at images of sun-baked sands and familiar rolling dunes. Natives called Tuskens, ‘Sand People’ more colloquially. The efforts to farm even enough moisture to survive. She wondered why anyone would bother to try, on a world so barren of life. She shifted against the bark of her tree, glad to feel it’s life under her, feeling lucky this place was hers.

    Mara stared at the images of white dwellings against golden backgrounds and felt herself drawn in, her eyes becoming hazy as she recalled the boy she had seen years ago, sitting in the sand playing. Something about the sense of him burned in her memory, and instinctively she reached out, feeling towards that sense of the golden planet far away. In the blink of an eye she found herself in the flow of the force, taking her to that place just as when she had accidentally followed Yoda’s vision a couple of years before. Now her strength and control of the Force was far more developed, and she realised that she could now do this for herself, without needing Yoda to guide her through it. Golden sands seemed to fly beneath her before she knew it, and even as she did so, she recalled that she should not do so; she should shake herself out of this vision, as Yoda had warned her against seeing them again. But what harm can a little peep do? she asked herself, as the white dome of his home shot into view. Just to see another human face, another child, like herself. What would it be like to know him, to play with him? To run across sand-dunes with him, bounce through jungles?

    Before she knew it, she found herself abruptly out of the dazzling sun and through a wall into a cool stone interior. Two scrawny legs poked out horizontally from under some strange machine. A voice, feminine, but echoing oddly through her sense of the Force, came from outside; “Luke? Would you like a drink?”

    The legs shot out from under the machine, followed by the skinny form of a boy dressed all in white, topped with a still sun-bleached mop of hair. The boy. He sat up eagerly, putting down some tool as he turned to the voice. “Yes please, Aunt Beru!”

    A homely, middle aged woman pushed her way into the room, balancing a tray before her containing a couple of drinks and a plate of some unfamiliar snack. The boy, who Mara judged couldn’t have been much older than herself, pushed himself to his feet and wiped oily hands on his clothes. Mara caught the woman giving him a rueful glance and a ‘tut’ at the action, but she handed him the drink without comment.

    “Your uncle was looking for you. He wants a hand with something.”

    “Aww, do I have to?” The boy’s tone was somewhat whiney. “I really want to get finished here!”

    “He said something about finally letting you tinker with that new ‘vaporator. Since you did so well at fixing up that battered old one.”

    “Really?” The boy’s face lit up with a big, unreserved grin. “Well, maybe I can leave this till later.”

    “That’s my boy,” his aunt said with a gentle smile, and reached up to ruffle his hair. Mara felt a pang at the sign of affection, the loving look on the woman’s face. What would it be like to have someone to care for her like that? Not that Yoda was bad company, but… on some level, she knew it was not the same. The boy bounded up the steps to the door…

    And Mara found herself falling, yanked abruptly from the vision, and landed hard on her side in the damp foliage at the bottom of the tree. She gasped in shock and pain for a moment, then squinted up at the tree branches above. Yoda perched in the bowl of the tree where she had sat, the scowl he threw down at her thunderous.

    “What did you do that for?” she spat out, pulling on the Force to try and suppress the pain from her side, where surely a large bruise would soon emerge.

    “Same question might I ask you!” the little Jedi Master growled back, stepping forward out of the tree to jump down gently and easily despite the tree’s relatively great height compared to his stature. “Told you I did! Seek him do not, I did say!” He stepped towards her, bringing his walking stick up to poke her in the shoulder. “Risk everything, you do! Because you will not do as you are told!”

    “I… I’m sorry, Master Yoda. I didn’t mean to…”

    Ancient eyebrows raised mockingly. “Help yourself, could you not, eh? This little control too difficult, is it? Perhaps you have not what it takes to be a Jedi after all!”

    Mara ducked her head in shame, tears of failure stinging in her eyes. All retorts drifted from her mind in the face of Yoda’s disappointment in her. He may not give her the affection Luke’s aunt provided, but he was all she had. “Master Yoda, I’m sorry. I was wrong. I just wanted to see another person, to know they’re out there. But I was wrong.”

    Silence fell between them for a long time. Then Yoda sighed deeply. “A good place to grow up, this is not.” He finally said. “But the best we have it is. Get up, child. Return home. Fix this mess, I must.”


    As she stumbled away through the jungle, Mara could feel her Master slip into his own meditation, reaching out himself to communicate with someone. Not the boy, someone else… But she knew already that she would not dare to ask who.
     
    Kahara likes this.
  20. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    :oops: Aha! So Mara's been "exploring" intentionally"!!! No wonder Yoda was in a royal snit! [face_worried] And feels like he needs to do damage control. Love that there's a connection tying Luke to Mara already. :)
     
    Kahara and Annia Piet like this.
  21. JadeLotus

    JadeLotus Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 27, 2005
    Great to see this updated - love Mara being drawn to Tatooine and to Luke. Poor girl, it must be so lonely for her, and I loved the little scene with Luke and Beru [face_love]

    (Although I do wonder how they're powering that datapad? ;))
     
    Kahara, Annia Piet and Nyota's Heart like this.
  22. Annia Piet

    Annia Piet Jedi Knight star 2

    Registered:
    Feb 7, 2015
    Thank you :). I figure Yoda has some kinda solar powered recharger set up somewhere high in the branches, but it probably doesn't work too well in Dagobah's dingy light, hence use of energy devices being somewhat rationed :)
     
    Kahara and JadeLotus like this.
  23. taramidala

    taramidala Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jun 18, 1999
    This was really great! I love how Yoda acknowledged that Dagobah wasn't really the place for a child (and a teenager no less! (she is a teen, right?)), and yet...will he do something about it? I love that your Mara's a reader. It's a nice little detail.
     
    Kahara and Nyota's Heart like this.
  24. Annia Piet

    Annia Piet Jedi Knight star 2

    Registered:
    Feb 7, 2015
    Thanks :) She's actually still only about 10 at this point, but I imagine her to have a more mature inner voice due to her weird upbringing and lack of company of other children (I tend to think this would be the case with canon child-Mara too). It's difficult to find the right balance between normal child and old-beyond-her-years though...

    The reading seems a logical thing for a lonely child to sink herself into. And also Mara always seemed a well read type to me in the books - she's always done her research for any given situation, you know? Not just relying on skill and talent to get her through things but also her brains and knowledge and research to find the optimum solution. Which suggests to me a voracious reader. Having said that, I'm probably just projecting my own biases on to her, as I spent many happy hours as a child up a tree reading a book! :)
     
    Kahara and Nyota's Heart like this.
  25. Kahara

    Kahara Force Ghost star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 3, 2001
    I really like the idea of bookworm-kid Mara. It's adorable, and seems very likely to me. :) The loneliness of her life on Dagobah is not easy to take, and Yoda realizes that even though he's primarily interested in hiding Luke. It will be interesting to see what happens thanks to this latest exploration -- if anything does. [face_thinking]
     
    Nyota's Heart and Annia Piet like this.