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Beyond - Legends Betrayal (Luke, Mara, Karrde, Leia, Han and others)

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by Jedi_Lover, Dec 4, 2019.

  1. Jedi_Lover

    Jedi_Lover Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Nov 1, 2004
    Title: Betrayal
    Author: Jedi_Lover

    _____________________
    ‘I should kill him.’ She unholstered her blaster and pointed it toward at the unconscious man lying supine on the bunk. She glared at him for a very long time, her index finger brushing against the trigger, incrementally increasing the pressure, taking out the slack, almost hoping it would go off by accident, before, reluctantly, easing up on the trigger. She hated that she now hesitated to kill. She was Mara Jade, the Emperor’s Hand. She spent her whole life learning the skills of an assassin and one of those skills was the ability to kill readily, and without pity or remorse. But those days were gone. Her hesitation didn’t come from any empathy she had for the blond man under her custody. No, she hated Luke Skywalker with an undying passion. Her reluctance was due to her allegiance to her current employer, Talon Karrde.

    Talon was a smuggler and information broker that gave her a good job with a fair wage after Skywalker killed her master and destroyed her life in the process. Talon wanted Skywalker alive, and, although she knew he probably would forgive her if her blaster accidentally misfired and snuffed out Skywalker’s miserable life…her sense of pride and loyalty prevented her from doing so. She respected Talon Karrde and did not wish to disappoint the man…especially since she had to argue hard and long to convince her boss to capture Skywalker in the first place.

    Yesterday, the Wild Karrde crew found Skywalker stranded in space over a light year from civilization and far from any well-traveled hyperspace lanes. His starfighter’s hyperdrive motivators were fried and his long-range subspace radio disabled. Although his radio was broken, he was calling out through the Force for help. Unfortunately for him, she was the person that heard his plea. She dropped Karrde’s freighter out of hyperspace under the pretense of doing a navigation reading and found Skywalker’s ship floating damaged and helpless.

    She thought her employer would gladly jump at the chance to capture and ransom the hapless castaway, but he didn’t, thinking Skywalker was too much trouble. No amount of money could would be worth the risk of capturing such an important and dangerous Force-user. Mara secretly agreed with Karrde’s thinking, but the urge to look Skywalker in the face as she sold him to the highest bidder was just too much of a temptation to pass.

    Still, the urge to murder Skywalker was another competing temptation that she was struggling with. She walked over to the bed and leaned forward and placing the barrel of the weapon against the man’s head. She stood there, fantasizing about pulling the trigger and splatting brain mater across the back wall. Instead she pushed the barrel against his skull hard enough that it would leave a mark.

    “Do I need to get Aves or Chin to guard him?” Mara jumped at the sound of Karrde’s voice, silently cursing the planet Myrkr’s Force hindering abilities that allowed him to sneak up on her. She returned the blaster to its holster and turned to her boss who was leaning against the doorjamb, arms folded across his chest, his expression stern.

    “No.” She glanced back to Skywalker. “I was just checking to see if he was coming around.”

    Karrde gave her a knowing look. “Don’t check too hard, you might leave a bruise. I don’t want to deliver damaged merchandise.”

    She walked over to a chair next to the bed and dropped down in the seat. “Did you find a buyer?”

    He chuckled. “I’m sure there are plenty of people who want him. The Empire, the Rebels, the Hutts to name a few. The question is, who can we offer him up to without endangering ourselves? His allies will pay the price, but then we’ll become a target of their aggression.”

    She scoffed. “I think you answered your own question. Only one of those organizations wants him alive. The others can care less if we delivered his dead body and they won’t come after us for putting him in that condition. Ransoming him back to his people is dangerous. If he lives, he can return and hunt us down.”

    Karrde looked up to the ceiling in thought before nodding and turning to leave. “You’re right…but don’t kill him. Bringing a bounty in alive always demands a higher price. I’ll make some calls.”
    .
    .
    .
    As Luke slowly regained consciousness he was immediately assaulted by a pounding headache and his body didn’t feel much better. He was on his back lying on an uncomfortable surface. As he struggled to move, he heard the tell-tale squeak of old mattress springs. He was fairly certain he was lying on a worn-out bed ubiquitous to old military bases or seedy hotels. He opened his eyes, but his vision was too blurry to readily make out where he was. He snapped his eyes closed and concentrated, trying to remember what happened.

    He recalled having trouble with his ship and after spending hours trying to make repairs to the long-range radio and then the hyperdrive he quit in frustration and opened up through the force, calling out for help. It appears that he was rescued, but not by the person he hoped for.

    He reached back in his murky memory and remembered a large cargo ship identified as the Wild Karrde arriving to his location and an offer of a ride. He transferred to the ship via a force cylinder, had a short conversation with the captain of the ship who mentioned a woman named Mara Jade had found him…and then nothing. He must have been stunned at that time, but how that was accomplished he was unsure. He didn’t sense a trap or anybody sneaking up on him. Perhaps a droid stunned him.

    After a few more minutes he flickered his eyes open and was relieved that his vision was clearing. He was in a small room dimly lit by sunlight streaming in through an open window. The air was humid, and he could make out what he thought was the smell of coniferous trees and some aromatic flowers. When he went to sit up, he noticed his arms and legs were shackled in stun cuffs. He smiled slightly, knowing he could easily get out of his bindings using the Force. He raised his hands and stared at the cuffs, concentrating, willing them to open. His brow went up in astonishment when nothing happened. It was then he realized he couldn't touch the Force.

    “Don’t like it, do you?” He startled by the sound of a woman’s voice to his side. “This planet has the unique ability to disrupt the flow of the Force...so welcome to the world of mere mortals.”

    He turned to see a beautiful woman, probably in her mid or late twenties sitting in a chair with a blaster resting in her lap. She had shoulder length reddish gold hair and intense emerald eyes that glared at him murderously. She slowly stood, revealing not only luscious curves wrapped snuggly in a skintight bodysuit, but his lightsaber clipped to her waist belt. He was immediately enthralled by the possibility that she was a Force user. The ship’s captain, Talon Karrde, said a member of his crew found him, but didn’t mention how. Did this woman hear him call out through the Force?

    “You must be Mara Jade,” he ventured.

    She smirked. “If you are trying to impress me with your Force abilities, forget it. Karrde told me he mentioned my name before he had your gullible rimworld ass stunned and drugged.”

    He ignored the insult. “He also told me you were the one who found my ship. Thank you.”

    “Save your gratitude,” she bit out. “As far as I’m concerned, the only question left is whether to kill you or sell you to the highest bidder.”

    “Neither of those options sound very appealing,” he said quietly. “Which possibility are you hoping for?”

    His question prompted an evil grin to slide across her face. “I personally want to kill you.”

    He forced himself to remain calm. Captain Karrde was obviously a smuggler or pirate and his crew went to the effort to keep him alive. They clearly planned to either collect a bounty or call in a ransom for his return. What he didn’t understand was why this captivating woman in front of him wanted him dead? He had never met her before; so why did this look like a personal vendetta? He figured he had nothing to lose by asking. “What have I done to you to warrant such hatred?”

    Her jaw dropped apparently shocked by his question. “What have you done? What haven’t you done? You murdered the Emperor and destroyed my life in the process.”

    That answered his question. She was probably a former imperial, possibly an Inquisitor, whose career was derailed by the death of her Sith Master. “First of all, I didn’t kill the Emperor, Darth Vader did.” He ran his cuffed hands through his hair as he struggled to a sitting position. “I was more of a hindrance than help in that matter. I had little training as a Jedi and Palpatine nearly fried me with Force lightning before Vader stopped him.” He gave her a long, searching look and noticed that the fire in her eyes dimmed slightly. He was hopeful he could turn this situation around. “If your anger is over losing a prestigious job within the Empire, perhaps I can help. I have important friends…”

    “Shut up!” She punctuated that sentence by drawing her blaster and aiming it at his head. “Another word and I’ll blast you!”

    “You’re making a mistake. You’d be better off…”

    All conversation ended when a stunbolt impacted the side of his head, making his world go black.
    .
    .
    .
    Two days later, it was time to move Skywalker. Jade went to the room where he was held and found him sitting on his bed looking far more tranquil than he had any right to be. In fact, he looked up and actually smiled. “Does your arrival indicate a ransom was paid for me?”

    She smirked knowingly. “In a way.” She stepped in and pulled out her blaster before glancing over to the door. “You can come in now. I have him secured.”

    A broad grin spread across her face as Skywalker’s smug little smile slipped from his. Entering the room was Princess Leia Organa and her companion Han Solo.

    Skywalker’s eyes went wide. “Leia,” he managed to choke out in a strangled whisper.

    The former princess had tears in her eyes as she gazed at him sadly.

    Skywalker started to stand, but Mara stepped forward and pressed a blaster against his head halting his movement.

    “Don’t hurt him,” Leia said softly. Solo said nothing, but his angry gaze let everybody in the room know what he thought about the situation.

    “Princess Leia, Captain Solo,” Talon Karrde said as he came up behind them in the corridor. “You have proof of life. Let’s go to my office and discuss the details.”

    When the two rebels departed, Skywalker let out a ragged breath.

    “It is time to get you ready for transport.” She switched her blaster from kill to stun and without any hesitation, shot him in the chest.
    .
    .
    .
    When Skywalker finally woke he found himself lying on his back in a transparisteel coffin-sized cylinder. He pushed and pounded at the door trying to escape, but without the Force he was trapped. In his peripheral vision he saw moment. He turned to see Mara Jade walking over to his position. She knelt down next to the cylinder imprisoning him and touched a communication button on a metallic door panel. “Calm down. This is a stasis chamber. You will be safely tucked away inside. It’s a safety measure. We don’t want you trying to exact some revenge before you get to your destination.”

    “I’m not going to try anything.”

    “Empty words coming from a traitor.”

    He gave her a hard look. “It’s debatable whether calling me a traitor is the proper term when you are talking about a rebellion.”

    She scoffed lightly. “Maybe, but I can tell you, you are the most hated man in the galaxy. That is not in question.”

    “I think that’s an exaggeration,” he whispered, his voice miserable. “What I did was in the best interest of the galaxy.”

    She let out a scathing laugh. “You keep telling yourself that…anything that allows you sleep at night. I’m sure it helps you overcome a shipload of cognitive dissonance.”

    He frowned in confusion. “Cognitive what?”

    She sat down on the edge of the stasis cylinder. “Oh, I forgot. The Tatooine farm boy only has a secondary education. You were too busy killing Imperials to go to college.” She crossed her arms across her chest while glaring at Luke. “Cognitive dissonance is the psychological stress experienced when a person holds two or more contradictory beliefs or values.” She stood and pointed down at him. “I’m sure when you look in the mirror at your uniform you wonder, ‘How the hell did I end up where I am?’”

    Luke averted his eyes. “It does sometimes seem unreal.”

    Mara’s eyes narrowed. “But it did happen. You betrayed your friends on Bespin and teamed up with Darth Vader. You and Vader then killed the Emperor and took over the Empire by force. Vader became Emperor and you became Supreme Commander of the Imperial Forces before going off and cracking down on all sedition…which was really easy because you knew the location of all the rebel bases. You betrayed and hunted down your friends! And you question whether the galaxy hates you? Ha!”

    Frustration spilled out in a fiery sigh. “I may have hunted down my friends, but they weren’t harmed. They were given a chance to join the empire or face exile.” He shook his head in frustration. “There was no way for the rebellion to win. We were a rag tag group with a few hundred ships going against an Imperial force with hundreds of Star Destroyers and even more battleships, frigates, cruisers, corvettes, assault ships and at least thirty thousand Tie Fighters. I made a deal with Darth Vader. We would end the war and he would spare the lives of the rebels.”

    “And you murdered the Emperor,” she pointed out. “He was my Master!”

    He closed his eyes for a second, drawing in a calming breath. “The Emperor was insane with power and the Moffs were as cruel as they were corrupt. We had to purge the Empire of their kind.”

    “Hence the reason for my career change.”

    Skywalker reached up and undid the collar clasp of his grey Imperial uniform as his transparisteel prison started to get warm. "I doubt you were cruel or corrupt, otherwise I would be dead already.” He gave her a challenging gaze. “You have to admit, the galaxy is much better off now than under Palpatine…isn’t it?”

    Mara looked away in disgust…not because he was lying…but because she knew he was telling the truth. She didn’t know how he did it, but Skywalker was able to mellow out Darth Vader and curb most of his homicidal tendencies along with making improvements throughout the Imperial government.

    “The Rebellion began because of the Imperial military was oppressing the populace,” Luke explained to his captor. “But things have changed. Grand Admiral Thrawn, Vice Admiral Faro, Admiral Pellaeon and Commodore Vanto control our four main Imperial fleets and they have proven to be worthy commanders. They have ended the tyranny that the Empire was once known for. I have no idea why the rebels refuse to see the sweeping reformations that have been established over the last few years.”

    “The rebels don’t care that you made the Empire a kinder and gentler place to live,” she spat out. “You betrayed your friends. They might have been able to forgive you if you killed Vader, but you didn’t. The Rebels believed Vader and Palpatine were the personification of evil…and that now makes you evil by association.”

    “You worked for the Emperor,” he pointed out. “Do you consider yourself evil?”

    She shook her head adamantly. “No, but I was never part of the rebellion. That makes me patriotic and not a traitor to my friends.”

    “Vader and I are now the leaders of the Empire. If you are truly a patriot, you can go back to your old life. I can do that for you.” He paused waiting for an answer, when she remained silent, he continued. “Things are different now. We have wiped out most corruption. I have personally closed all Imperial labor camps. Slavery has been outlawed. We guarantee the rights of all sentients, not just humans. I am trying to make things right, but there was no way I could have gotten those laws passed as a rebel on the losing side.”

    She heaved a sigh, almost feeling bad for the man. He betrayed his comrades, but in the end, he accomplished most of their goals. “Maybe the rebels will come to their senses, but until then my job is to put you on ice so you can face whatever punishment the Princess and your former rebel friends decide to impose on you.”

    Luke talked frantically trying to dissuade Mara Jade from activating the cylinder, but he knew he failed when he lapsed into unconsciousness.
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2020
    Lordban, Kahara, Mira_Jade and 2 others like this.
  2. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host Who Loves Fanfics & RPGs star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    @Jedi_Lover -- I was strolling happily and nostalgically down memory lane, specifically HTTE ;) until THIS:

    You betrayed your friends on Bespin and teamed up with Darth Vader. You and Vader then killed the Emperor and took over the Empire by force. Vader became Emperor and you became Supreme Commander of the Imperial Forces before going off and cracking down on all sedition…which was really easy because you knew the location of all the rebel bases. You betrayed and hunted down your friends!

    Fascinating, plausible, and brilliant AU! I'm loving it to bits so far!

    :cool:

    =D=
     
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  3. Jedi_Lover

    Jedi_Lover Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Nov 1, 2004
    Thanks. I just was thinking about what would have happened if Luke said yes to Vader but didn't turn Sith. What if Vader was more affected by his son, than the other way around?


    __________________________________________________________


    Luke didn’t know how long he was in stasis, but it couldn’t have been too long because the cylinder had not been moved. He looked up and saw Mara Jade talking to Talon Karrde. She must have muted the intercom system of the cylinder because he couldn’t make out what they were saying, but by the flurry of hand gestures and their anxious expressions, it didn’t look like they were happy. Finally, the two smugglers turned and stared at him—which made him nervous because it looked like they were trying to decide his fate. Mara moved forward and unlocked the stasis cylinder door allowing Talon Karrde to reach in and grabbed Luke by the front of his uniform tunic.

    “We need to check you for tracking devices.” Karrde hissed as he roughly pulled him out of the Stasis cylinder and set him on his feet.

    Mara glanced over to Karrde as she unholstered her blaster to guard their prisoner. “I already searched him Talon. I did a very thorough pat down. He isn’t carrying any tracking beacons.”

    “It may not be in his clothing. Did you look for subcutaneous devices?

    Mara scowled at her boss. “Are you asking me if I did a body cavity search?”

    Karrde made a face. “No, I’m not asking that.”

    “You might not be asking,” Luke interrupted as he straightened his grey Imperial uniform. “But that’s a question I would definitely like answered,”

    “Shut up Skywalker!” Mara turned to Karrde and shook her head. “No, I didn’t search his body.”

    “What’s going on?” Luke asked, confused by this change of events.

    “What’s going on,” Karrde said angrily. “Is an Imperial Star Destroyer just dropped out of hyperspace in an orbit above Myrkr and I have a Grand Admiral Thrawn sending out a query on all frequencies as to the location of his Supreme Commander. He knows you are on planet!”

    “Kriff!” Mara turned to Luke. “Do you have a tracker crammed up your darkside?”

    “No,” Luke shook his head adamantly.

    “Did the Empire inject anything under your skin?” Talon asked.

    “No, not that I know of. They've never…” he stopped as he stared at his right hand.

    “What is it,” Mara demanded.

    “My right hand is cybernetic…Imperial issue.” He opened and closed his hand while gazing at the limb. “It’s possible that something was placed inside the circuitry so my…the Emperor could track me.”

    “Shavit!” Talon moaned before he turned to Mara, gazing at her sadly. “We are so dead.”

    She lowered her head. “I’m sorry. This is all my fault.”

    “Kriff! Frack’n Kriff!” Talon cursed as he ran his hands through his shaggy black hair in frustration.

    “What do we do?” Mara pointed her blaster at Luke. “Do we blast him, dump him in the woods and let the vornskrs eat the evidence?”

    “What?!” Luke said wide eyed. “No, you don’t want to do that. Grand Admiral Thrawn probably already knows exactly where I’m located. Even if I’m not carrying a tracker, he is highly intelligent and extremely perceptive. He is shrewd to the point that I think he may be Force sensitive. Killing me is not a good option.”

    Mara rolled her eyes. “Of course you think it’s not a good option, but it may be our only option.”

    “No, I have a better plan.” Luke talked quickly, hoping to avoid becoming a meal to a Vornskr…whatever that is. “You let me go and I will tell my people you saved me.”

    Despite the dire circumstances, both Karrde and Jade laughed at his suggestion.

    “We let you go and we die from a planetary bombardment as soon as you’re safely onboard.” Karrde said.

    “No, I won’t do that. Believe me, I definitely don’t want that.”

    “Stop trying to save your own skin. There is no reason why you wouldn’t want us dead,” Mara’s voice took on a scathing tone. “Especially after I stunned your rimworld butt multiple times before selling you to the rebels.”

    “I don’t want Admiral Thrawn’s troopers to come down here because of the rebels.” He closed his eyes and took a deep breath. “I don’t want Leia to be hurt…or Han”

    Mara gave a derisive laugh. “You had a thing for her at one time, didn’t you?”

    He shook his head. “No, not exactly. I do love her…like a sister. We’ve been through a lot together. I don’t want Leia and Han to be captured…and that will happen if the Imperials come planetside to search for me.” He gazed at Mara. “You know how they work. You were an Imperial.”

    Karrde gave Mara a sideway glance and Luke realized she had probably kept that little tidbit of information from her employer. “We can say a loyal Imperial found me,” Luke continued. “And brought me back to this planet to recuperate.”

    She shook her head while counting all the holes in his story. “The Admiral will wonder why we didn’t contact the government immediately after finding you.” She stared at Luke intently. “It won’t work, unless you can come up with a great reason for not contacting your command.”

    Luke stopped to think. “Maybe we could say I was unconscious, and you didn’t know who I was at first.”

    Karrde shook his head in disbelief. “Everybody knows who you are.”

    Luke blew out a breath. “Help me out here! Come on, you are smugglers. You must come up with impromptu stories to get out of trouble all the time.”

    “Maybe…” Mara started but then stopped.

    “Maybe what?” Luke said, almost frantic at this point. The longer they delayed the greater the chance that Leia and Han would be captured. They had been exiled to Wild Space and if the Imperials found them... then there was nothing that he could do to stop their execution.

    “Maybe if you tell the Admiral that you lied to us about contacting your command. Say you told us you made contact with the Empire…but you actually didn’t because you wanted to stay on this planet a little longer without interruptions.”

    Karrde looked at her incredulously. “Why in the hell would he do that?”

    “Maybe he was attracted to...” Mara closed her eyes and blew out a frustrated breath. “Forget about it; it is a dumb idea.”

    “Attracted to…what? The planet’s ambience?” Karrde scoffed. “Yeah, that is a dumb idea.”

    “That might work,” Luke whispered when he realized what she was thinking. “If you are suggesting that I might have wanted some time uninterrupted with a certain young lady…yeah…I probably would have lied. That is a pretty good idea. I am a young single guy and you are…” He wanted to say gorgeous, but he wasn’t sure if she would stun him again if he did. “Ummm…someone who would spark my interest.”

    “What!” Karrde said incredulously. “You think the Emperor would believe you delayed calling off a galaxy-wide search for you just because you wanted a kriff-call?”

    “Not a Kriff-call. Emperor Vader wouldn’t believe that…if that was the only reason. But she’s a Force Adept and finding one of those is like locating a snowball on Mustafar. It would interest me greatly and the fact that she is a beautiful woman my age would definitely convince the Emperor.”

    Mara winced when he mentioned she was a Force-user and Luke realized she had probably been hiding those abilities from her employer as well. Mara turned to her boss and her brow rose when she noticed he didn’t seem at all surprised.

    “You knew I was a Force adept?”

    Karrde shrugged. “I suspected. Either you were the luckiest person in the galaxy, or you had some mysterious mystical outside help. I didn’t know about your Imperial connection, though.” He turned back to Luke. “What is keeping you from killing us as soon as your precious princess is out of danger?”

    He let out a long sigh. “I am not a monster. I am a man of my word. Please, this will work.” He gazed at Mara. “Especially if you come with me to sell the story.”

    She groaned in disgust. “Are you blackmailing me? Come with you and you’ll let my friends live.”

    He put his hands up in a halting gesture. “No, not at all. You bring me up to the Star Destroyer in a shuttle. I show you around and then you return to the planet. I will then order the Star Destroyer to depart orbit.”

    She stared at him gravely. “Even if I let you go, Vader could find out what happened, and we’d be dead. It’s better that his anger is fixated on the rebels.” She turned to Karrde. “We can shoot Skywalker, kill Organa and Solo and then contact the Imperials. Say the rebels captured Skywalker and then we captured them and found Skywalker dead. They tried to escape, and we shot them.”

    “No!” Luke protested. “Do you really think Leia and Han didn’t tell anybody where they were going? When the rebels realized you killed their leaders, they will let the Imperials know exactly where they were going and who they were going to meet.”

    “Kriff!” Mara moaned before turning back to Talon. “He’s right. Even if we killed everybody involved the damn rebels will probably sell us out.” She threw her hands up in frustration. “We have no choice. Letting him go is our only hope.”

    “But we have to leave now!” Luke’s said urgently. “Can we take a shuttle from here to Grand Admiral Thrawn’s ship? If I am off the planet there isn’t a reason for them to come down and take a look around. In fact, I will order them not to. You bring me to my ship and then take your shuttle back. Don’t let Leia and Han come out of hiding before Thrawn’s ship departs.”

    Mara’s eyes narrowed. “There is no need for me to go. You can take a shuttle and we can slave the flight controls to our computer on Myrkr and fly it back remotely.”

    “I need you Mara.” Luke said pleadingly, “It is going to be hard to sell my story unless they see you.”

    Talon shook his head. “I don’t trust him.”

    She stepped up next to her employer and put a hand on his shoulder. “Talon, we can’t get off planet with a Star Destroyer in orbit. It is only a matter of time before they find us. I got you into this situation. Let me try to get us out.”

    The smuggler rubbed a hand over his eyes, before turning to Mara, looking emotionally exhausted. “Are you sure?”

    She nodded. “I’m sure.” She turned her attention to Skywalker. “My friends will be left in peace, right? Do I have your promise?”

    Skywalker couldn’t hide his obvious relief. “Yes, I promise.”

    “Okay,” she said slowly. “I’ll go.”
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2019
  4. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host Who Loves Fanfics & RPGs star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    :D [face_dancing] A great job Luke did of selling his plan [face_laugh] ... [face_love]
     
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  5. mayo_durron_666

    mayo_durron_666 Jedi Master star 2

    Registered:
    Nov 26, 2005
    That was my reaction exactly! :eek:

    Such a genius twist! =D= To see Luke agree to being on Vader's side! So good!

    [face_rofl] That line from Mara was SO funny!!!

    Loved this scene with these three characters, Talon, Luke and Mara. [face_mischief] Talon annoyed by Imperial tracking devices, Mara thinking up ways around the problem and poor Luke trying to save his skin. [face_laugh]

    Oh this ought to be good! :D Luke and Mara have to go convince the Imperials, especially Thrawn and maybe Vader. :p So much fun and trouble to come I think.

    This is awesome! Can't wait for more! :D
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2019
  6. Jedi_Lover

    Jedi_Lover Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Nov 1, 2004
    Thanks! He can be very convincing sometimes.
    Thanks for reading. I did a lot of writing during NaNoWriMo, but I still don't have a solid plot. I work the best just writing by the seat of my pants, so that is what I am going to do. Thanks for reading!
     
  7. Jedi_Lover

    Jedi_Lover Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Nov 1, 2004
    “Supreme Commander Skywalker, the Emperor will be pleased to hear you are well,” Grand Admiral Thrawn said evenly as he gazed at the transmitted holographic image of his commander. The blue skinned Chiss scrutinized the man closely, his red eyes narrowing slightly. “You have been missing for days. The Emperor was quite concerned.”

    “Ah, yeah, my radio was broken. When I was rescued, I was a bit dehydrated and disorientated. I was about contact the Emperor when you showed up.”

    “Ah,” Thrawn said slowly, suspicious of the story given to him. “I will immediately dispatch a shuttle down to retrieve you.”

    “No need,” Skywalker replied quickly. “I’m aboard a GAT-12 Skipray Blastboat on the way to your location. I should be exiting the atmosphere in the next ten minutes. I’ll transmit the ship’s transponder code.” Skywalker paused. “It’s piloted by one of the people who saved me when I was stranded in space.”

    “I see.” The Admiral muted the communication line before addressing his crew. “Lieutenant Loddki, scan the incoming Skipray for weapons.”

    “Yes Sir,” the female bridge offer acknowledged while pressing buttons on her console. “The ship has the standard armaments for that class of ship, but weapon systems are currently offline, and shields are down.”

    The Admiral gave a curt nod of acknowledgement before unmuting the communications line. “May I inquire as to the identity of your…pilot?”

    The blond man smiled widely. “One of the people who rescued me was a former Imperial…who I’m trying to convince to return to active service.”

    Admiral Thrawn clasped his hands behind the small of his back, his narrow gaze sharpening on the young man’s face. Thrawn noticed Skywalker's jaw tense and his eyes kept glancing to the left as if looking at somebody just out of the projector range.

    ‘Supreme Commander Skywalker is lying’, he thought. ‘But about what?’ Unlike the Emperor, the best way to acquire information from Skywalker was simply to ask. “Sir, may I inquire as to the name of this former Imperial?”

    A broad smile crossed the young man’s face. “Mara Jade.” He beckoned to somebody to his left. “Mara,” When he got no response, he called out louder. “Mara, put it on autopilot for a minute and come here, please.”

    Thrawn could make out the sound of an irritated groan, followed by somebody unbuckling crash webbing and footsteps to the communications sections of the ship. “What do you want Skywalker?”

    A young woman with reddish gold hair moved into the projector’s view, her eyes growing wide when she realized she was now part of a ship-to-ship call. “Oh, I didn’t know you were using the comms.”

    Luke gestured toward the transceiver holo image. “Mara, I’d like to introduce you to Grand Admiral Thrawn. Admiral, this is Mara Jade, the woman who saved me from certain death and to whom I owe a great amount of gratitude.”

    “It is a pleasure to meet you Grand Admiral,” the redhead said curtly. She placed a hand on the Supreme Commander’s shoulder as she looked at the transceiver camera. Thrawn noticed her touch caused an immediate reaction within his Superior. Skywalker blushed slightly as a small smile curved his lips.

    ‘Mara Jade’. The name didn’t mean anything to Thrawn, but he knew his people were probably doing a records search at that very moment. The Admiral analyzed the woman’s body structure and facial features and noted they were what most humans would consider aesthetically pleasing. Skywalker was young and unattached; a beautiful woman might explain his silence for the last few days. Curiously, the woman did not have the same expression of excited pleasure as Skywalker did. Her facial features were tense, her eyes hard and inscrutable. Thrawn was sure the woman was not accompanying Skywalker willingly, which was an enigma. Luke Skywalker despised slavery and had exhibited compassion, honesty and integrity in all his dealings with friends and foes. So why did he now have a woman on this ship, who, by all appearances, did not wish to accompany him?

    Those answers would have to wait until he could talk to the Supreme Commander in private.

    “The pleasure is all mine, Miss Jade.” He shifted his attention to Skywalker. “Sir, you may dock in bay fifty-six.”
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    Skywalker turned off the transmitter, before turning to Mara and smiling brightly. “See, no problem.”

    She smacked him on the shoulder. “You told him my real name? What’s wrong with you?”

    He looked up at her confused. “Why wouldn’t I use your real name?”

    “Because I probably have a bounty on my head. I worked for Palpatine and I am fairly certain Darth Vader hated me. I think he saw me as competition for Emperor Palpatine’s attention. He might have thought I planned to kill him in order to become the Emperor's apprentice.”

    “Did you plan on killing him?”

    She laughed at the question. “I’m not suicidal. Darth Vader was extremely strong in the Force. I wouldn’t have stood a chance of defeating him.” She returned to the pilot seat and rolled her eyes with a shake of her head. “I am so kriff’d. I will probably be hauled off to the brig once we dock. Even if the Emperor isn’t told about my existence, I can tell you right now, your blue-skinned Admiral didn’t believe a word you said.”

    He gazed at her questioningly as he rose and moved to the cockpit. “Why wouldn’t he believe me? I’m his superior officer.”

    “You may be his Supreme Commander, but you are a lousy liar. Your voice rose an octave when you gave him your concocted story. He probably thinks you are under duress.”

    He shook his head as he sat down in the co-pilot seat. “We have code words that I could have used to indicate duress. I didn’t use any of them.”

    She shrugged. “He has to know something’s amiss. Maybe if I’m lucky he’ll just think you kidnapped me to be your pleasure slave.”

    Luke threw his hands up in disbelief. “Why would you say that? My officers know me better than that.” He gazed at her intently. “Are there horrible rumors about me going around the galaxy?” He pointed to his face. “Look at my eyes. I’m not a Sith. I don’t tap into the darkside.”

    She looked away, not wanting to answer.

    “Really, are there rumors about me?” Luke persisted.

    “No,” she said reluctantly. “Not about the darkside. You are reviled as a traitor by former Rebels, but overall, the people on Imperial held planets welcome your reforms.”

    A disarming grin colored his face. “That’s…well, it’s nice to hear people appreciate the things I've done.”

    “Don’t let that go to your head; Tarkin and Palpatine set a low bar. The people would appreciate anything that didn’t involve their planet being destroyed or a bioweapon decimating their village.” Mara throttled down reducing the ship’s speed as they approached the Star Destroyer's massive ventral docking bay. “Almost there.”

    He motioned to her belt. “By the way, can I have my lightsaber back? If you walk off the ship with it on there will be questions.”

    She didn’t like the idea of him being armed after she spent days threatening to kill him, but what choice did she have? She unhooked it from her belt and handed it over.

    “Thank you.” He snapped it back onto his black leather belt. “When we dock let me exit first. I’ll talk to the deck officer and then call you down. They may check you for weapons.” He glanced over to her. “You do have a holdout blaster somewhere, don’t you? You might want to leave it on the ship. Some of my men might be a little trigger happy after my absence. I am sure the Emperor threatened more than one senior officer with violence if I wasn’t found.”

    She heaved a sigh before reaching down to a side pocket of her jump suit and retrieving a holdout blaster. She placed it on the front console. She turned to him. “Please tell me you are going to keep your word. My crew won’t be harmed.”

    “I’m not going to hurt them. In fact, I’ll make sure they get a nice reward for my safe return. How about one-hundred thousand credits?”

    Her eyes went wide. “You’d do that? Are you crazy or are you just trying to impress me?”

    He grinned widely. “Impress you, of course. I’m hoping I can lure you away from your current employer with the possibility of working for the Empire once again…for a substantial wage, I might add. But I can’t do that if you don’t trust me.”

    She made a humph sound. “Why would I trust somebody who coerced me to accompany him off planet in order to ensure the welfare of my friends.”

    “It was more for the welfare of my friends, Han and Leia.” Skywalker’s jaw tightened. “It is amazing how you have somehow become the victim in this situation when it was actually me that was stunned, drugged and kidnapped by you and your friends. It was you who stunned me twice with a blaster and it was your organization who attempted to sell me to the highest bidder. Despite all that, I agreed not to retaliate. I intended to give your friends a reward…a substantial reward…for my safe return and I am offering you a fairly high-profile job with great pay and benefits.” He paused for dramatic effect. “But somehow you’re the victim and I am the big bad Imperial.”

    Her expression hardened as she looked him up and down. “You’re not that big.”

    He chuckled darkly. “I’ll tell you what, just help me convince the Grand Admiral that I am a lonely Imperial that became mesmerized by a beautiful and Force-strong woman. So much so that I would do anything, include not notifying my command of my rescue, just so I could have a few more hours basking in her beauty. Once he is convinced you can take your ship and leave. If you change your mind about working for me, just let me know. I’ll give you my contact information.”

    She sighed as she maneuvered the ship to the proper docking back and settled the Skipray down onto the Star Destroyer’s deck. She unbuckled her crash webbing and turned to Skywalker. “So, all I have to do is convince your highly intelligent and extremely perceptive Grand Admiral that his Supreme Commander is unlucky in love and he spent the last few days desperately trying to woo a woman that is way out of his league….that shouldn’t be difficult.”

    Luke looked crestfallen. “Ouch…but yeah, that would be good, and you probably only need to convince the deck officer. I doubt you will even see the Admiral.”

    “Do you want me to hang all over you like we are lovers? Should I try to sell the story that after one look at the Supreme Commander I fell madly in love and we spent the last three days kriff’n the days away?”

    “I wish,” she heard him mutter under his breath. When he noticed her murderous gaze, he gave her a sheepish smile. “Just joking. We’ll make it look like I am the one interested in romance, but you want none of it. You are just giving me a ride back to my ship.”

    She gave a noncommittal shrug. “I think I can manage that.”





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    Last edited: Dec 18, 2019
  8. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host Who Loves Fanfics & RPGs star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    I definitely enjoyed the banter between Luke and Mara and the fact that he can show an interest in romance so convincingly. Mara's nonchalance and indifference won't last. ;)
     
  9. Jâd Sphera

    Jâd Sphera Jedi Knight star 1

    Registered:
    Dec 10, 2018
    I am so much liking this! [face_love]
    What a wonderful twist! So very plausible. =D=
    And in your expert hands I'm sure this will be amazing!
    Can't wait to read more!
    :yoda:
     
    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha likes this.
  10. Jedi_Lover

    Jedi_Lover Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Nov 1, 2004
    Knowing Mara she is going to make the farmboy work for it.
    Thanks. I hope I don't disappoint. I am a seat of the pants writer and I am not sure what direction this will go.

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    Luke walked down the Skipray’s boarding ramp fully expecting to meet the deck officer, instead he found himself face-to-face with Grand Admiral Thrawn accompanied by a platoon of Stormtroopers.

    “Admiral,” he said, forcing a smile on his face. “You didn’t need to come in person to meet me.”

    Luke always felt uneasy around the Chiss officer. He may outrank the Admiral, but Luke knew he would never be the man’s equal in the strategy room. He also knew his crew had an almost cult-like devotion to the Chiss officer. So far, Thrawn has been satisfied with his place in the Empire, but Luke knew as soon as Emperor Vader died it was Thrawn that would most likely move into the position of Emperor. Luke just didn’t have enough backing of the people. He destroyed the Death Star and slaughtered a million Imperials in doing so. His reforms had ingratiated himself to a large percentage of the populace, but there was still a very vocal minority that thought he should be executed for his actions during the rebellion.

    The Admiral’s face remained stoic, his red eyes regarding Skywalker inquisitively. “The Emperor insisted that I am to be present to welcome you home…and to meet your guest.” He looked up the ramp. “Is she joining you?”

    Luke mouth suddenly went dry. Mara was right, the Admiral didn’t believe a word he said earlier. “Yes, of course.” He turned and called up the ramp. “Mara, you can come down.”

    The redheaded woman walked down the ramp, head held high, eyes unflinching, as she approached the Admiral. She came up next to Skywalker and stopped before addressing the officer. “It is a pleasure to meet you Grand Admiral Thrawn.”

    Luke noticed the corner of Thrawn’s lips turned up slightly and that scared Luke. Thrawn usually only smiled when he was about to spring a trap.

    “I am pleased to meet the person who rescued our Supreme Commander. If you would be so kind as to accompany us back to Coruscant, the Emperor wishes to thank you in person.” He turned to an Ensign behind him. “Inform the Captain that we are ready to depart.” He returned his attention back to Mara. “And I am honored to meet the legendary Emperor’s Hand.”

    “Kriff,” Mara muttered under her breath. She was confident that her name wouldn’t come up in any Imperial database, but Thrawn didn’t need to search historical records…all he had to do was tell Emperor Vader.

    “The Emperor has ordered me to confine you during our journey for the safety of all on board this ship.” Thrawn motioned to his Stormtroopers who quickly surrounded the smuggler.

    “Stop!” Luke ordered his men before turning to his Admiral. “I’m in charge here and I won’t have her treated like a criminal.”

    “Supreme Commander,” Thrawn said slowly. “The order came from the Emperor himself. I cannot disobey.”

    Luke was flustered at their predicament. “Then confine her to the visiting dignitary quarters. Post guards outside. I don’t want her in the detention facility.”

    Thrawn hesitated for a moment before giving Skywalker a curt nod. “Of course, Sir.” He motioned to the troopers. “Carry out the Supreme Commander’s order.”

    Mara glared at Luke as she was led away by a squad of Stormtroopers.

    He sighed deeply knowing he was a fool to think he could lie to Thrawn convincingly.

    “Supreme Commander,” Admiral Thrawn whispered. “Can I have a word with you in private?”

    Luke gave a frustrated nod.

    “Excellent,” Thrawn said with a slight smile. “If you would be so kind as to join me in my Ready Room.”

    “Sure,” Luke said softly as he followed the admiral down the main ship corridor. It was obvious that Thrawn knew Luke was lying about what happened during his stay on Myrkr, but there was no way he could possibly know what truly happened. All he had to do was deny any accusation.

    When they arrived at the Admiral’s Ready Room, Thrawn punched in his security code and, as the door slid open, he gestured for Luke to enter first. The Admiral followed closely behind closing the door behind him. “I am relieved you are unharmed,” Thrawn spoke first. “The Emperor was very adamant that we locate you.” He hesitated slightly before adding, “He is very protective of his second-in-command.”

    Luke settled down on a small couch as the Admiral took a seat across from his Supreme Commander.

    “I’m glad I was found by a former Imperial and not Rebels.”

    “It was quite fortunate. Did she tell you her title and profession within the Empire?”

    Luke shrugged. “She told me she worked for Emperor Palpatine and that she was a Force-user. She never mentioned a title.”

    “Ah,” Thrawn said noncommittally. “Do you believe her a threat? After all, you and the Emperor killed her former Master.”

    Luke glared at the Chiss. “Palpatine was also your Master…are you a threat to me and Emperor Vader?”

    A cold smile crossed Admiral Thrawn’s lips. “Point taken, Supreme Commander.” He folded his arms across his chest before reaching up with one hand and stroking his chin while in thought. “Why didn’t Miss Jade contact the Empire upon locating you?”

    Luke averted his eyes, not wanting to gaze into Thrawn’s eerie red orbs. “I lied to her. They gave me access to their communications room and some privacy. I told her I made the call, but I didn’t. I wanted some time to get to know her.”

    Luke didn’t look up, but still felt Thrawn’s eyes were upon him. “And why is that?”

    Luke kept his eyes down as he shuffled his feet nervously. “You’re the master of observation. I don’t need to tell you why.” He was stalling, hoping the Admiral would fill in the blanks himself.

    Unfortunately, Thrawn, the master strategist, knew exactly what Luke was doing.

    “You have to forgive me, Supreme Commander. I don’t know you well enough to form a conclusive hypothesis as to your motives.”

    Luke grimaced, knowing that was a lie. He looked up and gave his best convincing smile. “She’s beautiful and a Force-user.” His smile faltered somewhat. “And, I’m lonely. My former friends hate me, and my current subordinates don’t quite trust me.”

    Thrawn stared at him stone faced for a long moment before he spoke. “I experienced similar circumstances when I first joined the Empire. Although there are more non-humans in positions of power now, that was not the case twenty years ago. I was an oddity…and to some…an abomination. A blue-skinned alien from a previously unknown civilization working his way up the ranks in a very human-centric military. For many years the only person I truly trusted was my former Imperial Academy roommate, Commodore Vanto.”

    Luke’s jaw went slack with surprise at Thrawn’s admission. Usually the Chiss was very tightlipped when it came to his personal thoughts and history.

    The Admiral obviously picked up Luke’s astonishment from his body language. “Supreme Commander, I am a master of observation…and what you have said is partially true. I suspect you are thin on the details in an effort to protect the former Emperor’s Hand. I trust you enough not to put this ship and crew in jeopardy. I must warn you though, the Emperor will have the same suspicions that I do.” He stood and walked to the Ready Room door which slid open with a push of a button. Thrawn turned to Luke as he gestured to the exit. “You probably want to freshen up and put on a new uniform. Thank you for granting me an audience.”

    Luke stood and straightened his uniform tunic. “Thank you for retrieving me.” He looked down at his cybernetic arm. “How did you find me anyway? Is there a tracker inside my prosthesis?”

    “Not that I know of, Supreme Commander. We found your abandoned shuttle floating in space. A check of the onboard computer showed you had been scanning for any nearby ships. Data records indicate you were picked up by a cargo ship named ‘Wild Karrde’. It didn’t take long to discover the name of the ship’s owner and where it is usually berthed.”

    “Oh,” Luke said softly as he stood and walked to the doorway. “Thank you, Admiral.” Luke exited and immediately moved to where Mara was being held prisoner.
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    Myrkr Base

    “You let him go?” Han Solo’s fists clenched at his sides as he glowered angrily at Talon Karrde. “We gave you twenty-five thousand credits and dragged a stasis cylinder across the galaxy for you to deliver Skywalker to us.”

    “Well, plans changed once a Star Destroyer dropped into orbit and demanded the return of their Supreme Commander.” Talon gestured toward one of his crewmen. “Chin will return your credits.” He turned back to Solo and his companion Leia Organa. “We’ll load the stasis cylinder back to your ship…but I’d suggest you not leave until the Imperial’s depart orbit.”

    “The Imperials aren’t going to leave!” Princess Leia said hotly. “You gave away our only bargaining chip. As soon as Luke is on that Star Destroyer there is nothing stopping the Imperials from doing a planetary bombardment.” The petite woman threw her hands up in disgust as she paced back and forth in frustration. “How could you be so foolish? You kidnapped the Supreme Commander of the Empire, a man who is a Sith apprentice to Lord Vader, and then let him go because he promised to keep your confidence? You have killed us all. The Imperials aren’t going to leave until we’re dead!”

    “I don’t think that’s true,” Karrde replied heatedly. “What he was worried about is your safety. We had to come up with a cover story as to why he didn’t contact his command and my second-in-command accompanied him off planet to help convince the Imperials of our story’s validity.”

    “Then she is a dead as we are,” Leia shot back. “The Imperials won’t leave until they have us…alive or dead.”

    There was a knock on the office door before Karrde’s communications officer, Aves, poked his head in. “Boss, the Imperials are gone.”

    Karrde almost laughed at the look of total astonishment on Solo and Organa’s faces.

    “It looks like you are wrong about the Supreme Commander.” Karrde said with a smirk. “I don’t think you are giving Skywalker enough credit. Haven’t you noticed the changes in the Empire? You should want Skywalker to continue his work instead of killing him.”

    Leia shook her head adamantly. “We don’t want to kill him. We…” Her voice cracked with emotion.

    “We want to deprogram him,” Han continued for Leia. “He’s under Darth Vader’s control and influenced by the darkside.”

    Karrde scoffed. “I really don’t think Skywalker is being influenced by Darth Vader…I think it is the other way around.”

    “Why would you say that?” Han asked.

    His brows arched in clear amusement. “You two must have been hiding out on some rimworld rebel outpost way too long. I’m considering leaving the smuggling business and becoming a legitimate Imperial trader just to get the newly offered Galactic health care. Do you really think Darth Vader was the person who instituted the sweeping reforms in the last couple years? The rebels would be foolish to try to change the political system at this point.”

    “Vader made me watch the destruction of my home world of Alderaan,” Leia words came out in a hiss. “He’s a monster.”

    Talon threw his hands up in defeat. “I agree with you on that point, but right now your friend Skywalker seems to be keeping Vader in check.” He cocked his head to the side inquisitively. “Have you ever thought that maybe your former friend is possibly doing a Jedi Mind Trick on Darth Vader? How else could you explain the Emperor’s actions in the past two years?” He leaned against his office wall. “You may have a man on the inside and you just didn’t know it. Skywalker may actually be the man in control of the Empire.” Karrde glanced over to Aves. “Is Mara on her way back?”

    The man lowered his head. “No. She was on the Star Destroyer when it made its jump to hyperspace.”

    Talon ran a hand over his face in frustration before looking up to Han and Leia. “Aves, Chin go carry this stasis cylinder to Solo’s ship.” He pointed at the two rebels. “You two need to keep your mouths shut about what transpired here. My second-in-command accompanied Skywalker in an effort to protect you two and now she’s gone. Your rebellion depends on smugglers and I have a lot of friends in high and low places. If you let it be known that we captured Skywalker, you’ll get the reputation of being chin-wagging rebel scum and then you can forget about further shipments from the smuggler’s guild.”

    Han glared at the man. “You don’t have to tell me. I’m still part of the guild. Just give us our money and cylinder back and we won’t need to discuss this again.”

    “You’ll get your money,” Karrde sneered before he stomped out the door.
     
  11. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host Who Loves Fanfics & RPGs star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Excellent characterization of Thrawn and how he discomfits everyone in the room for the sheer reason that Luke and Mara's ruse didn't go over as well and thoroughly as they hoped. :oops:


    I am glad Luke was able to cwork out a compromise where Mara is under guard but not treated exactly like a criminal. I can just imagine she's irritated at Luke anyway. He's thinking it's not my fault! ;)

    Talon is definitely frustrated and the Rebels as well. Looks like they each feel like they got the short end of the stick. :p
     
    Jâd Sphera likes this.
  12. mayo_durron_666

    mayo_durron_666 Jedi Master star 2

    Registered:
    Nov 26, 2005
    That's Skywalker! [face_laugh]

    I enjoyed Luke and Mara's interactions before landing.

    Poor Jade though.. She knew Luke gave them away during the call. :rolleyes:

    Thrawn was brilliantly written. =D= Loved that he met them both, that he saw straight threw Luke, that he knew Mara was dangerous and that he even gave some background on himself. Really enjoyed Thrawn! :D

    Poor Han and Leia! They thought the worst of Luke. Not that they shouldn't be worried but I'm glad Talon told them the truth of Luke's intentions/actions as an Imperial, that he is not Dark Side influenced or acting like a complete traitor.

    Great updates! :D Look forward to more!
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2019
  13. Jedi_Lover

    Jedi_Lover Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Nov 1, 2004
    Thanks for reading. I really like the Thrawn novels. Tim Zahn does such a good job with that character. I am glad Thrawn got back into canon. I only wish Mara Jade could make it back also.

    I am trying to put myself in Leia's shoes. If you remember, Luke disappears after his escape of Hoth and doesn't return until Bespin. As far as we know Luke didn't let his friends know where he went. So all that Leia knows is Luke disappears with one of their X-Wings. She had to have questions. Then he shows up on Bespin along with Vader and then he disappears again only to show up as the second-in-command of the Empire. She and Han have to wonder if they misjudged Luke. Especially when you realize that at this time the galaxy only knows of two Force users and both of them are Sith. Along comes Luke, a nascent Force user, it is very possible that he was overcome by the darkside.
    Leia and Han are confused. They don't want to believe that their friend is now working with the enemy. They want to believe the dark side of the Force is at work. So far nobody knows of Luke's relationship with Darth Vader. Luke probably doesn't want his friends to know. I think it is an embarrassment to him. It would be like letting people know your dad is Hitler. I think he wants to become his own man before revealing his heritage.

    Thanks everybody for reading and taking the time to comment.
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    Grand Admiral Thrawn’s Flagship Chimaera

    “I’m sorry,” Luke said for the tenth time in the last five minutes. “In my defense you were not completely upfront as to your role in Palpatine’s Empire.”

    Mara rolled her eyes as she gulped down a glass of extremely expensive wine that was generously stocked in the dignitary quarters. She was stretched out on a luxurious black leather sectional couch; her expression was one of aggravation and disbelief. “I told you I worked for the Emperor and was a Force adept. The title of my position is inconsequential. What did you think I was—the Emperor’s Force-strong pastry chef? I was a loyalty officer and assassin. I also told you I would be hauled off to the brig and I was right.”

    Luke held out his arms and pointed to her surroundings. “This is hardly the brig.”

    “It doesn’t matter. Emperor Vader won’t tolerate my existence. I’m as good as dead.”

    Luke dropped down on the sectional. “Mara, the Emperor won’t kill you. I won’t let him.”

    That got a chuckle out of her. “Skywalker, you are delusional if you think you can take on Darth Vader.” She poured herself another glass of wine emptying the bottle. “I don’t even know how you’ve survived this long. I can understand why Vader didn’t kill you in order to get the location of the rebel bases, but after that there was no reason to keep you alive.” She went silent for a long pause before her gaze snapped up to him. “Do you have something on Lord Vader? Are you somehow blackmailing him?”

    She didn’t give him time to answer before throwing out another theory. “Or did you somehow manage to kill Darth Vader, and now you have some lackey walking around in a Darth Vader suit?” She stood and gazed at him angrily. “I’m right, aren’t I? With Darth Vader’s help you killed the Emperor and then you killed Vader with the intent of taking over the Empire…but you knew nobody would accept you as Emperor, so you have someone under your control pretending to be Darth Vader.” She picked up the empty wine bottle. “And that means YOU are the person refusing to let me leave.” She tossed the bottle at his head but the projectile halted midair before slowly moving to Luke’s grip.

    He smirked at the slightly inebriated women. “Mara, first you accuse me of being some rimworld yokel with a secondary school education that would be delusional to think I could kill a Sith Lord and now you are claiming that I’m a cunning and evil genius that could not only kill Darth Vader, but I’m shrewd enough to replace him with a body double completely under my control. Which is it? You can’t have it both ways. Either I am a criminal mastermind or dumb as a box of Tatooine sand. Which is it?”

    She gazed at him as she finished her drink. “I don’t know. None of this makes any sense. I used to be able to pick up on a person’s intentions and machinations. I was one of the best…but now…I guess I’m off my game.” She dropped back down on the couch and sighed deeply.

    He smiled wanly. “Don’t be too hard on yourself…because you’re not the first person to come up with that idea. A few people have tried to kill the emperor thinking he was an imposter…they didn’t survive.”

    She turned her eyes toward him. “Why do you think I’ll survive my encounter with Emperor Vader?”

    “Because your first theory was correct. I do have something on Vader…or let’s just say, I have something Vader wants.”

    “And what is that?”

    He shrugged. “If I tell you, then you will be privy to information that currently only Lord Vader and I know. I’m not sure you want to take on that knowledge. Sometimes it is safer to be blissfully ignorant.”

    “I’ll take your word for it,” she said with a roll of her eyes. “Since blissfully ignorant seems to be your default.”

    “Ouch…you are a mean drunk.”

    She gave him an intoxicated grin. “I am drunk. That’s why this conversation makes no sense.”

    “So, do you always drink this much?” Luke asked sounding concerned.

    She shook her head. “Nope. Only when I think I only have a few days to live. From Myrkr to Coruscant it is a four-day hyperspace journey. I figure if I only have a few days to live I might as well party hard.” She rose on shaky legs and made her way to the liquor cabinet and pulled out a bottle of Rancor Red and two glasses. “Hey, I can only blame myself. It was my idea to capture you. Karrde said you would just bring us trouble, but I convinced him to do it. He was right. So, it is only fitting that I get my just reward…which I assume is getting Force strangled by Darth Vader.” She returned to the couch and set the glasses down as she opened the bottle of whiskey. “You might as well join me,” she said as she poured two glasses. “Hell, you’re a good-looking guy. Maybe we could get in some goodbye kriffs in.” She gave him a look up and down and leered. “I could do a lot worse.”

    Luke buried his head in his hands and sighed deeply. “Mara, I appreciate you saying I’m attractive, and the idea of making love to such a beautiful woman is tempting, but if we do that you will hate me when you walk out of Emperor Vader’s throne room alive and well.”

    She took a shot of the high-end whiskey and shuddered as the liquid burned its way down her throat. “I am willing to take that chance.”

    Luke picked up the shot of whiskey she poured him, sniffed it, before setting it down undrunk. “Well, I’m not. I would really like you to return to Imperial service.”

    “As what?”

    “My bodyguard. There has been a number of attempts on my life. As you can imagine, I am not universally loved throughout the Empire.”

    She gave an unladylike snort of amusement. “That’s not surprising. I’ll tell you what. If I survive my meeting with Vader I’ll consider it.”

    “Great!” He scooted a little closer to her on the couch. “But to make this work we have to stick with the original plan. We have to convince the Emperor that we’re friends and I would be upset if something happened to you?”

    She frowned. “Why? I thought you had something on Vader. What does it matter what our relationship is?”

    Luke stopped in thought. “Ummm….well, Darth Vader won’t want to upset me, so he won’t hurt you…because…because he wants to keep me happy.”

    Her eyes narrowed. “Once again you are not making sense. You say you have something that Vader wants just tell him if he hurts me you won’t give him what he wants.” She shook her head. “What the hell could Vader want from you? This is going to drive me crazy. Just tell me your secret. I really can’t make an informed decision on whether to work for you if I don’t know the truth.”

    Luke blew out a frustrated breath. “Let’s just say Vader wants to keep a good relationship with me.”

    “A good relationship?” A look of horror crossed Mara’s face. “What the…? Are you and Darth Vader…lovers?”

    “No!” Luke was horrified by the implication. “Why would you think that?”

    “I don’t know,” she said with a shrug. “He’s got this all black leather domination thing going on and you…well you are the opposite of that. How am I supposed to interpret your comment that he wants a relationship with you?”

    “He’s my father!” he screamed in frustration.

    “Your father?” Mara’s voice was one of astonishment. She leaned forward and grabbed the bottle of Rancor Red and poured herself another drink. After she slammed down the shot, she rubbed a hand over her face. “That’s even worse?”

    “How is that worse?” Luke said exacerbated. “Having Darth Vader as my father is worse than me and him having….” He couldn’t even say the words. “How is it worse?”

    She glowered at him. “You have been trying to convince the Grand Admiral that you are attracted to me and that is why you delayed contacting the Empire. What if Emperor Vader believes your story? Have you considered Darth Daddy might proclaim me ‘good breeding material’ and gift me to his son?”

    “That’s not going to happen and even if it did, it would be better than getting Force choked.”

    “Forced to be your concubine is better than being Force choked! Is that your answer?” Mara reached back to the decorative pillow behind her head and threw it at the man. Luke ducked avoiding the foam filled missile. “Kriff you, Skywalker!” Mara protested adamantly. “I’m not going to be forced into a life of servitude.”

    Luke threw his hands up. “You’re not! I won’t let that happen. And I promise, my father won’t hurt you.”

    She sat up and gazed at him defiantly. “The Sith I once knew didn’t put a high value on life.”

    “He values me…and if he thinks I value you…he will leave you alone.”

    Her eyes narrowed. “Does that mean if I leave you…it will indicate I no longer have value to you, and he is free to Force choke the life out of me?”

    Luke shook his head. “No. We just have to convince him we are friends…and I would be upset if something happened to my friend. You can go back to your job. If you worry about my father, you can send me occasional video messages to convince him we are still on good terms.”

    She poured herself another drink. “You do know he has the Force. He can sense that we are not friends.”

    “Well, then, I guess we need to become friends so we can persuade him.” Luke stood and retrieved a long stem glass from the liquor cabinet and opened a second bottle of wine. He swirled the contents around the glass before holding it up as in a toast. “To our friendship.”

    “Kriff! This is so messed up.” She narrowed a cold look at him. “Just friends, right.”

    “Just friends.” A teasing smile crossed his face. “I know you probably want more…but I think it best that we keep this relationship platonic.”

    He expected her to toss another pillow, but she simply laughed…albeit a scathing laugh. “Tell me, how did Vader convince you to join him? You fought against him for years. He must have given you some compelling reason…other than ‘I’m your father’.”

    Luke downed his wine before he refilled his glass and returned to the sectional, this time sitting a little closer to the woman. “You obviously heard the story that I confronted Darth Vader on Bespin, but what you don’t know is I didn’t agree to join him and the Empire until months after that meeting.”

    Her brow went up in surprise. “What’s the real story then?”

    “He first told me he was my father…and then he stated the only way I would survive my encounter with him was to join him so we could rule the galaxy as father and son.” Luke took another sip of his wine before continuing. “I opted for death. I jumped into a mile-long chasm in Cloud City fully intending to die.”

    When he paused Mara urged him on. “So, how did you survive?”

    “My father reached out with the Force and I found myself floating up in the air.” Luke chuckled. “I guess I forgot he has the Force and the ability to lift things…including his self-sacrificing son.”

    Mara had to laugh at the thought of the hero of the Rebellion thinking he was going to make the ultimate sacrifice only to find himself hovering helpless and in the clutches of a Sith Lord. “Then what happened?”

    “He must have done something with the Force to knock me out. I woke up in a prison cell in my father’s private castle on Mustafar. I was kept in isolation with only droids as my company…with the exception of my father. He visited me often and kept my existence secret from the Emperor. With each visit he told me a bit of his story. He told me how he met my mother, Padme´Amidala, the Former Queen of Naboo, how they secretly married, how he feared for the life of his unborn child and how Palpatine used that fear to manipulate him into doing his bidding. Eventually he did so many horrible things that he knew he had no place to go but to stay with the Emperor.” Luke stopped talking when his voice became too thick with emotion.

    She grabbed the new bottle of wine Luke opened and poured herself a drink. “He gives you a sob story and you believe it,” she said in disbelief.

    “I also have the Force and I can tell he is not lying.” He drew in a frustrated breath and let it out slowly. “Eventually he convinced me to help him take on Palpatine, but my father underestimated the Emperor’s powers. We confronted Palpatine onboard his Flagship Eclipse. I was taken out by a blast of Force lightning almost immediately. My father got between me and Palpatine and used his lightsaber to deflect the lightning back to the Emperor and I was able to crawl out of the Emperor’s throne room. A few minutes later Palpatine was dead and my father was severely injured.”

    “Wait,” Mara grew incredulous of the story. “If Palpatine was getting injured by his own Force lightning reflecting back at himself…why didn’t he stop?”

    “He did…he’s not stupid. And the second he stopped my father threw his lightsaber at the window behind the Emperor’s throne opening the room up to vacuum. The Emperor was sucked out of the ship. My father held on using his cybernetic limbs and was kept alive by his suit. He eventually made it to the airlock between the throne room and the outside corridor where I was located.”

    “So…you don’t know if the Emperor is dead or not?”

    Luke made a face. “He couldn’t live in a vacuum.”

    “He was the strongest Force-user I have ever met. His death just seems a bit too easy.”

    Luke rolled his eyes. “You're not one of those Palpatine conspiracy theorists, are you? You know the ones that think Palpatine is alive and well and preparing for his big come back?”

    “No…but I always thought I would be able to sense my Master’s death…and I didn’t.”

    “Believe me, he is dead, and his desiccated corpse is floating out in the vastness of space.”

    “Fine, he’s dead.” Mara said impatiently. “I still don’t trust that Darth Vader is now a benevolent Sith.”

    He sighed deeply, knowing Mara’s suspicions were completely understandable. “I am not trying to convince you that he is a changed man. He is still a darkside Sith…but his motives have changed. Before his actions revolved around serving the Emperor and helping him rule the galaxy. Now that he is nearing the end of his lifespan, he sees me as his legacy. He could have tried to convince me to go dark and rule with an iron fist, but he didn’t. He is preparing me to rule the way I want, and I want to be a benevolent ruler.”

    “But you definitely want to rule?”

    Luke grimaced. “Well, not really. When my father dies, I would like to restore the senate. Ruling the galaxy seems…exhausting.”

    Mara nodded in understanding. “It’s not a job I would want.”

    They sat together for a long silent moment before Luke spoke again. “I think if we are going to fool my father, we need to work on becoming friends…talk to each other…get to know one another…in a purely platonic way,” Luke added quickly before she could protest.

    She took another shot of her whiskey before nodding her head. “Okay. You want to play twenty questions?”

    Luke laughed softly. “Yeah, I would.”
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2020
  14. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host Who Loves Fanfics & RPGs star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    [face_rofl] Fun snarky dialogue full of very plausible speculations about Vader--is that him or an imposter, and what are his motives? [face_mischief]

    Wow, the fight with the Emperor definitely took a twist from the way it played out in RoTJ and can understandably lead to the idea that he's still alive out there. :eek:

    Very much in character that Luke would not want to be an autocratic ruler but would want to restore the structure that existed before. [face_thinking]
     
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  15. Jedi_Lover

    Jedi_Lover Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Nov 1, 2004
    Thanks for reading. Now that I finally saw TROS I am not sure if I will add any of that plot into this story. I am not sure because I am still confused as to what happened. There was a bit too much information thrown at me. I appreciate you taking the time to comment.
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    Day 2 Aboard Grand Admiral Thrawn’s Flagship Chimaera

    Mara woke up the next morning lying on the couch and with a migraine so fierce that felt like a family of Orbalisk parasites had taken up residency in her skull. She lifted her head, shifted her body weight and promptly rolled off the couch, landing on four empty wine bottles.

    “Kriff!” She turned over to her knees and slowly stood, her balance wobbly, her vision blurred. She looked down and was relieved none of the bottles broke…and that she was fully clothed. She wasn’t positive, but she faintly remembered propositioning Skywalker the night before.

    She stumbled over to the ‘fresher. As she passed the bedroom, she saw Skywalker sprawled out on top of the bedsheets, in full military uniform, sans his knee-high leather boots.

    “What are you doing here?” she asked. When he didn’t move, she repeated the question, but much louder. Luke stirred, his eyes blinking a few times before his hands went to his temples. “Oh, my head.”

    Mara chuckled at the man’s discomfort. “lightweight.” She leaned against the doorjamb. “Why didn’t you go to your quarters?”

    He groaned as he sat up, swinging his legs over the edge of the bed. “I rarely drink. I didn’t want my men seeing me staggering down the corridor.”

    She crossed her arms across her chest. “Instead you let the guards believe you stayed the night with me.”

    Luke propped his elbows on his knees and cradled his head in his hands. “I did spend the night with you.”

    “You know what I mean.”

    He turned his head enough to look at her. “Mara, we’re trying to convince people I intentionally didn’t contact the Empire after my rescue because I wanted to spend time alone with you. That narrative will be completely unconvincing if I ignore you while on this ship. I am sure by now the guards have notified the Grand Admiral that I never left your quarters and Thrawn has probably passed on that information to my father.”

    “Oh great, now your father thinks I am a wanton woman.”

    “I really doubt that. He knows me too well.”

    “What is that supposed to mean?”

    He chuckled softly. “It means he knows I managed to remain a farmboy at heart and one not prone to entering relationships lightly.” He gazed at her warmly. “You should know that after hours of quizzing me last night.”

    She wanted to argue that fact, but she couldn’t. Last night they talked for hours and she got to know Skywalker…the real Skywalker. He is a good man…something rarely seen in people with absolute power.

    "You may be wholesome man of honor, but that doesn't help me." She made a dismissive gesture with her hand. “You, unfortunately, are not the person who will decide my fate. It’s your father.” She pushed away from the doorjamb and moved down the hall to the ‘fresher.

    When Luke heard the door close, he slipped on his boots, and rose to his feet. He walked over to the room's tri-fold dresser mirror and gazed at himself. His eyes were bloodshot from too much wine, his uniform looked like it was slept in—which it was—and his short blond hair stuck up in odd directions. He opened the dresser looking for a comb or brush, but the drawers were empty. He instead used his fingers to smooth out any wayward hairs.

    He walked out of the room when he heard Mara exit the ‘fresher. He halted mid-step when he realized she was wearing one of the complimentary white bathrobes provided…and obviously little else. Apparently, there were combs or bushes within the ‘fresher because her red-gold shoulder length hair was no longer disheveled, but cleared of all tangles, every strand in place. She had toned arms, curvy hips and a narrow waist. Luke couldn’t understand how she could be in the ‘fresher less than five minutes and come out looking like a…a sexy bathrobe model.

    Mara smirked, obviously noticing the blush heating his face. “When I was arrested, I didn’t have my daytrip bag with me. Maybe you can get one of your men to fetch it from the Skipray.” She walked over to the couch and sat, crossing her legs in a way that she nearly exposed herself. Or perhaps she did; Luke had averted his eyes out of modesty.

    He cleared his throat. “I’ll have one of my men bring your luggage.” He looked at the empty wine bottles littering the floor. “And restock the wine cooler.” He walked over and picked up the bottles. “You know for somebody who claims they rarely drink…you really put away a lot.”

    She laughed. “I rarely touch the stuff and you did a fairly good job keeping up with me.”

    “And I am regretting it.” He gestured over to the liquor cabinet. “I’ll have some harder stuff brought to the room if you want to kill yourself by alcohol poisoning instead of facing my father. I can see you are scared.”

    “I’m not scared of your father,” she insisted.

    Luke shook his head in disbelief. “Everybody is scared of my father. With the exception of maybe Grand Admiral Thrawn, but he is smart enough to give Vader a wide berth.” He offered her a hard look. “And you are scared of him. I can feel it.”

    She averted her eyes, no longer denying it. “Do you fear him?” she asked.

    Luke tossed the discarded wine bottles in the trash before returning his attention to her. “I would be stupid not to. My father wants a relationship with me, but, what if I disappoint him? I’ve seen what happens to people who don’t rise to his expectations.”

    An unpleasant smile painted her lips. “As have I.”

    Luke sighed deeply as he sat down next to her. “I understand your concern, but he has been very…agreeable when it comes to my suggestions. I think he really wants to change. He talks about my mother often. He loved her. Emperor Palpatine told him he killed her and his unborn child in a rage. He believed him for almost two decades. It wasn’t until he saw me with Ben Kenobi that he became suspicious of the story. Later the Emperor told him he felt a disturbance in the Force and ‘the son of Skywalker must not become a Jedi.’ My father told me he concealed his emotions well, but from that moment he started plotting against the Emperor. He wasn’t even sure my mother was actually dead. He had to have her remains exhumed and genetic tests done to prove her identity. He kept that secret from Palpatine.”

    “He might be agreeable to your suggestions, but I have to warn you, your father never liked me,” she admitted apprehensively. “I am sure he saw me as competition for Palpatine’s attention. He wanted to be the only Force user within Palpatine’s inner circle.”

    “Did he ever threaten you or try to kill you?”

    She scoffed. “If he tried to kill me…I would be dead. He is much stronger in the Force than I will ever be. He was almost as strong as Palpatine.”

    Luke went to put a comforting arm around her shoulder but then thought better of it and placed his hands on his knees. “If he didn’t kill you before, I doubt he’ll kill you now.”

    She turned and glared at him. “He didn’t kill me because he didn’t want to displease the Emperor…who is now dead.”

    He reached out and patted her knee as a comforting gesture. “He won’t kill you …I am sure of it.” He stood and straightened his uniform tunic. “I’m going to my quarters to get cleaned up. I’ll have your bag brought to you from the Skipray. I’ll be back in a few hours.” He walked over to the exit but turned before leaving. “And stop worrying.” The door slid open and he left, the door shutting shut behind him.

    “Stop worrying,” Mara mimicked sarcastically. “That’s easy for him to say. It’s not his life on the line.”

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    About an hour later her bag arrived, carried by a low-level Petty Officer, along with a case of wine to replace what she drank the night before. She showered and changed before plopping down on the couch to watch a holodrama. She decided to abstain from drinking, she was still nursing a hangover and didn’t want to prolong the agony.

    Halfway through the show Skywalker arrived unannounced, but at least he brought her food. He smiled as he pushed a small room service cart into the luxurious cabin. “I thought you might be hungry.” He lifted a metal, bell-shaped, plate cover keeping the food warm, revealing flatcakes, omelets, fruit and biscuits. “I wasn’t sure what you would like, so I got a little of everything offered in the officer dining facility.”

    She was going to make a sarcastic comment, but her growling stomach vetoed that idea. She decided to be polite, especially since Skywalker might be the only person who could assure her safety and release once they get to Coruscant.

    “Thank you.” She watched as he pushed the cart over to the quarter’s small dining area and began placing the serving dishes and plates onto the table. Mara noticed he put out two plates across from each other. “Are you joining me?”

    The smile dipped slightly from his face. “Unless you want to eat alone. I can leave if you want.”

    She shook her head. “No, stay. Although I hate to admit it…you’re not bad company.”

    Luke’s smile broadened. “Thank you.”

    She sat at the table and motioned for Luke to join her. Despite her headache she maintained her appetite. She used her fork to move a couple flatcakes over to her plate. Luke passed her a small jug filled with syrup which she poured over her breakfast. She took a bite and nodded in appreciation. “The food is good. It is nice to see that Imperial food remains tasty. Nobody on the Karrde crew knows how to cook. We bought a discount food synthesizer, but it’s malfunctioning lately. Everything has a slight metallic taste.”

    Luke poured two glasses of fruit juice from a carafe and passed one glass to Mara. “It’s much better than the food we were given in the rebellion. A lot of the meat was killed locally. I don’t think our cooks knew how to clean and butcher animals because once I was served a steak that still had some fur on it.”

    Mara made a face. “You ever figure out what type of animal it was?”

    Luke expression was queasy. “I am fairly sure it was a Yavin 4 Stintaril…which is a tree rodent.”

    “Sorry I asked,” Mara muttered as she ate her meal. She looked up at the man. “You should probably stay here again. Let the rumor mill run amok. It will only reinforce your story that you wanted some private time with me on Myrkr without Imperial interference.”

    Luke’s brow rose in surprise. “What exactly are you suggesting?”

    She pointed to the couch. “I’m suggesting that you take the couch tonight and I’ll sleep in the bed.”

    He smiled warmly, liking the idea of spending as much time as possible with Mara. “That sounds good to me.”

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    Day 3 Aboard Grand Admiral Thrawn’s Flagship Chimaera

    “I have been told you are spending your free time with Miss Jade.”

    Luke looked over to the Chiss admiral, wondering why he had brought this up. They were currently sitting in Thrawn’s ready room going over reports of pirating on the fringe of Imperial space. “Yes,” he admitted. “I enjoy her company greatly.”

    “Ah,” Thrawn commented. “And does the former Emperor’s Hand share that feeling of enjoyment?”

    Luke turned to the Admiral. “Are you suggesting that I am forcing my company upon a detainee?”

    The Admiral did not backpedal his statement but stared at Luke dispassionately. “When Miss Jade came aboard her body language suggested she would rather be anywhere else but here.”

    Luke chuckled. “That’s because she was nervous. I spent three days with her in which I didn’t contact the Emperor alerting him of my whereabouts. She was certain she would be blamed for the delay in contact.”

    “Sir, I suspect her nervousness stemmed from concealing her real position within the old Empire.”

    Luke didn’t argue the point. “You are usually…always…accurate when it comes to these things. She was right to be nervous. We did arrest her, and she's now being dragged across the galaxy to face the most feared man in the galaxy.” Luke paused in thought. “Despite her fear of retribution…she has enjoyed my company during this flight.” Luke was hopeful that his words would convince the Admiral…mostly because he honestly believed the lovely Mara Jade was warming up to him.

    One of the Admiral’s dark eyebrows rose. “I am pleased you and Miss Jade are getting along well. If she is still a loyal Imperial…loyal to the throne and not the former Emperor…she might be very valuable to Emperor Vader’s reign. She is, reportedly, a highly trained Force-user.”

    Luke eyes narrowed, wondering if there was another meaning to the Admiral’s words. Was he talking about involuntary conscription? “That’s up to her,” he said cautiously. “I offered her employment, but she has not made a decision yet.”

    “You never told me what position you offered Miss Jade.”

    Luke grinned slightly. “I said she could be the Supreme Commander’s Hand.”

    The Chiss gave a slight nod of the head. “And what if the Emperor wishes for her to return to her former position of the Emperor’s Hand?”

    The grin slipped from Luke’s face having never considered the option. “I suppose if he wants to make that offer, she will still have to make a decision as to accept or not.”

    “I have never known anybody say ‘No’ to Emperor Vader and survive,” the Chiss said evenly.

    Luke glanced away feeling uncomfortable with the conversation. “Yeah, it won’t come to that.”

    “You are the only man I know who appears comfortable talking on behalf of the Emperor without first consulting with his Eminence.”

    Luke said nothing. In the last couple years, he has realized that if a question was not asked there is no need to reply. Prior to learning that valuable lesson he had volunteered information that often came back to bite him on the ass. He already suspected that Grand Admiral Thrawn’s analytical brain deduced the relationship between Luke and Vader. It was a fact hidden from everybody. Surprisingly, it wasn’t Luke who demanded his paternity be kept secret, but Darth Vader himself. He never really discussed the subject at length. Whenever Luke brought up the name Anakin Skywalker, his father would become prickly before announcing, ‘that name has no meaning to me.’

    “Did I ever tell you that I once worked with your father,” Admiral Thrawn said nonchalantly.

    Luke’s eyes went wide with shock. It was like the Chiss knew exactly what he was thinking. “What?” was all he could think of saying.

    “I worked with General Anakin Skywalker…that was your father, was he not?”

    “Yes,” Luke muttered, now becoming very uncomfortable with the conversation.

    The Chiss sat back in his chair and gazed at the ceiling in thought. “It was over twenty years before the battle of Yavin. I first encountered General Skywalker in orbit above Batuu. He came to the planet to search for a missing senator. I was on an intelligence mission to discover the origins of the Clone Wars that was ravaging the galaxy on the fringes of Chiss space. Your father and I brokered a temporary accord. I would help him find his missing senator and he would educate me on the politics of the galactic conflict threatening to spill over into Chiss territory.”

    “Oh,” Skywalker said cautiously. “That’s interesting.” He looked up to discover red Chiss eyes boring into his.

    “Indeed.” The admiral shifted in his seat slightly to face Luke fully. “I’m surprised that you are not full of questions. I was told General Skywalker died shortly after Order 66 was issued. Did your caretakers give you a full account of his exploits?”

    “My uncle and aunt…yes, they told me about my father.”

    “Excellent.” He pointed to the holomap of the galaxy before continuing his briefing about the pirate attacks.

    Luke then realized his mistake. A boy that grew up without his father would jump on the chance to talk to somebody who knew and worked with his dad…unless his father was still alive and well and able to recount all of his adventures to his son personally. Luke wasn’t positive, but he suspected that Admiral Thrawn had just confirmed that Anakin Skywalker and Darth Vader were one and the same.

    ‘Kriff,’ he thought silently.
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2020
  16. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host Who Loves Fanfics & RPGs star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Wonderful Luke and Mara camaraderie followed by Thrawn's astute subtle probing. [face_worried] =D=
     
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  17. mayo_durron_666

    mayo_durron_666 Jedi Master star 2

    Registered:
    Nov 26, 2005
    Drunk Mara was very entertaining. [face_laugh] I’m glad Luke told her the truth about Vader. Looks like it was a relief to share that info with another person.

    I enjoyed Mara/Luke scenes, it seems like they’re becoming real allies, even friends. It was nice to see Mara admit to liking his company. [face_batting]

    Thrawn is SO good! :D No wonder Luke was starting to sweat. [face_mischief] Thrawn has too much perspective & intelligent not to put things together. I wonder if or how he’ll use this Vader/Luke info in future. [face_thinking]

    Great updates! =D=
     
  18. Jedi_Lover

    Jedi_Lover Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Nov 1, 2004
    Thank you. Thrawn is hard to write mainly because I will never be as smart and analytical as he is.
    Thanks. This story is a little different from most that I have written and read. Usually if Luke joins Vader he becomes dark, but what if it is Luke that affects Darth Vader's actions. In this story Vader is still a Sith, but that doesn't always mean he is evil. He still puts his needs above others...but what if his need is to have a legacy. Also, at some point he realized Palpatine manipulated him. Perhaps he doesn't want to manipulate his son in the same way. I guess I am trying to say is Darth Vader wants to support his son's decisions. He wants to be a good father for the remaining time he has with his son.

    Thank you both for reading and taking the time to review. I had wrote a long chapter, but it was way too long, so I broke it down into three parts.

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    Day 4 Aboard Grand Admiral Thrawn’s Flagship Chimaera

    Mara looked up from the combat hologame she was playing against Luke. “So…I’m the only person who knows you are the son of Vader?”

    “As far as I know…but I am fairly certain that Thrawn has his suspicions.”

    “What happens when Vader discovers that I know? Will he try to silence me?”

    “No. I am going to convince him to announce to the galaxy that he is my father and formally pick me as his heir apparent. That is the only chance I have of keeping control over the galaxy once he passes on.”

    “You keep saying that, is he sick?”

    “Yes,” Luke said softly. “He’s always sick. The suit Palpatine put him in was subpar and keeps him in a constant state of agony. I’ve talked to him about upgrading, but he’s not sure if he will survive the switch. His body may go into shock.”

    “He doesn’t really need a body,” Mara suggested. There are droids that can house a human brain.”

    Luke shivered at the thought. “I think that would totally devoid him of any humanity.”

    “Well, we don’t want that,” she said with a snarky tone. “He’s bad enough as it is.”

    Luke paused the game and looked over at Mara. “He isn’t the same Sith Lord you remember. Once Palpatine was gone he was free to become his own man. Wasn’t it the same for you?”

    She scowled. “No, when Vader killed Palpatine any protection I once had vanished. I ended up on the fringes of the galaxy working demeaning jobs and planning for the day I would kill the man who turned my life upside down.”

    Luke gave her a wary glance before unpausing the hologame. He maneuvered his hologram soldier to an area where he could get a good shot at the enemy. “That urge to kill is gone, isn’t it?”

    Mara gave an evil grin. “No, the urge is growing, and growing. Soon you will be dead, and I shall rule.”

    “What?” Luke muttered in confusion.

    He jumped when Mara yelled out. “Bam! You are dead!” She laughed as she motioned toward the hologame. “I win. Sniper shot to your head and I am now the High Commander of this holoworld!”

    Luke blew out a breath. “Oh, yeah. You got me there.”

    She set down the game controller and picked up a glass of fizz-water. “We’ll be there in a few hours.” She didn’t expound on that thought and she didn’t need to. Luke knew she was worried about her fate.

    “Yeah, don’t worry. I’ll accompany you. My father will interview…interrogate…perhaps thank you and you can go on your way.”

    She took a sip of her drink and set it down. “Can you do me a favor?”

    Luke looked to her and smiled. “Yes, of course.”

    “You mentioned that Thrawn probably already sent a message to your father, so that means you have a hyperwave transceiver…can I use it to contact my crew? Knowing Talon, he's probably worried sick and planning a rescue mission. I don’t want him getting hurt by doing something stupid.”

    Luke nodded. “Sure, there is a transceiver in this room. I will input the codes to allow its use.” He stood and walked over to communication nook, turned on the transceiver and punched in a security code. He turned to Mara. “I assume you want me to leave.”

    He was surprised when she demurred. “Not necessary.”

    “Maybe I should, so you will feel free to talk to Karrde privately about…I don’t know…private matters.”

    “Private matters?” Mara smirked. “Do you think Talon and I are romantically involved?”

    “No, no!” Luke said quickly.

    “Talon is like a father to me and Chin and Aves are like very annoying older brothers…but I they are the closest thing to family I have. I assume they are concerned about my welfare.” She turned and waved Luke off. “Just move to the side so they don’t see you.”

    She walked over to the communication unit and sat down in front of the holoprojector. She inputted Karrde’s communication code and initiated the call. It took a long minute before Talon's image appeared. A broad smile crossed his bearded face and a look of relief colored his expression. “Mara! I’m so glad to see you. Are you alright?”

    “Yes, I’ve been staying in the dignitary wing of the ship. I got to use their hyperwave radio, which is probably monitored, but I thought I’d give you a call anyway. Are you surviving at work without me?”

    Talon shrugged. “It’s tough, but we are managing. The reward money Skywalker transferred to us is a big help.”

    Mara couldn’t help but give a sideward glance to Skywalker who averted his eyes. “He told me he was planning to send one hundred thousand credits.”

    Talon’s grin grew wider. “He did and don’t worry, I put your hundred thousand in the bank for safe keeping.”

    “We got one hundred thousand credits EACH?” Mara turned to Skywalker again and this time talked. “You really do want to impress me.” She returned her attention back to the holoprojector only to find Talon smirking.

    “He’s in your quarters? He’s there to monitor your conversation, I assume.” Karrde’s voice was playful and sarcastic at the same time. Obviously, he believed something was going on between the two.

    “He’s been my personal guard since I boarded this ship. He’s sticking to me like glue.”

    Karrde laughed. “I’m glad things are going well. When are you coming back to work?”

    Mara hesitated slightly. “As soon as possible…unless I am given a job offer that I can’t refuse. The Emperor has invited me to Coruscant so he can personally thank me.”

    “Ah,” Karrde muttered, sounding nervous. “I hope everything works out for the best. Please keep in contact.”

    “I’ll contact you as soon as my meeting with the Emperor concludes. I should know by then what my future holds.”

    “I look forward to hearing from you again.”

    “Same here. See you soon.” With that said, she signed off. She turned to Skywalker. “That is a hefty reward.”

    “It is,” he admitted. “But I’m worth it.”

    She made a scoffing sound. “I see becoming Supreme Commander didn’t go to your head.”

    “I’m sure my father is going to take it out of my pay. Fortunately, the pay for a Supreme Commander is a lot more than my Rebel Alliance stipend.”

    She turned in her seat and gazed at him questioningly. “Do you miss being a Rebel?”

    He shrugged slightly. “I miss my friends…but I know there is no going back.”

    “And why would you go back? I have no idea what they are still rebelling against? Galactic Health Care? Universal Sentient Rights? Or maybe the abolishment of slavery?”

    Luke smiled. “I think they are basically rebelling against my father. I understand it. Darth Vader is responsible for the death of billions. The fact that he remains in charge is abhorrent to them.”

    “Well, there is not much they can do about that.” Mara said. “Darth Vader is one of the most powerful Sith Lords that has ever lived, and he has the 501st Legion protecting him. There is no getting to him.” She thought about it for a pause. “You know, maybe that’s why the rebels wanted you alive.”

    “What do you mean?”

    “I think they wanted to flip you…bring you back to their cause. You have access to Darth Vader…they don’t know you are kin…so they probably believe you can be swayed to return to the rebellion. They could use you to kill Vader and then they believe they can step into the leadership void.”

    Luke knitted his brow. “Why would they think they could fill a leadership void? We have a chain of command. If I killed my father, I would be shot and then Grand Admiral Thrawn would take over the government.”

    “Exactly, but that’s how you rebels think. When you blew up the Death Star did you believe the Imperial government would collapse on itself?”

    He looked away, remaining silent.

    Mara let out a barking laugh. “You did, didn’t you? I guess you forgot about all of those hundreds of Star Destroyers and thousands of frigates and cruisers, and maybe a million of Tie Fighters and let us not forget an Imperial army and navy of over four billion people. Your rebellion didn’t have the manpower to take over the Empire.”

    “I know. That point was discussed in depth by my father. It was one of the reasons I decided to join him. He showed to me the futility of what we were trying to do.” Luke walked to the door. “We will exit hyperspace shortly. I have some things to do before we get to Coruscant.”

    “Okay, I’ll be here,” she muttered as he left. “Hopefully I will still be around after our meeting with Darth Daddy.”
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2020
  19. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host Who Loves Fanfics & RPGs star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Great exchange with Talon and very interesting one about what the Rebels expected after eliminating the Death Star. Yes, it was a very crucial and meaningful victory but the Imperial structure was definitely wieldy, as Mara points out. [face_thinking]
     
  20. Jâd Sphera

    Jâd Sphera Jedi Knight star 1

    Registered:
    Dec 10, 2018
    I'm loving this more and more [face_love]
    Can't wait for that meeting with "Darth Daddy" :D
     
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  21. Cowgirl Jedi 1701

    Cowgirl Jedi 1701 Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 21, 2016
    Same.
     
  22. Jedi_Lover

    Jedi_Lover Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Nov 1, 2004
    Thanks. The Empire has this giant military and If you kill the Emperor you will end up with either a Moff taking over as Emperor or total chaos with various Admiral and Generals turning into ruthless warlords. The Rebels didn't have a chance.
    Thanks @Jâd Sphera and @Cowgirl Jedi 1701 for reading and taking the time to respond. I was thinking about what Mara and Vader would say and wondering how Vader would react if he really didn't want to destroy his relationship with Luke. I wrote about five different scenarios, but decided at this point less is more. I hope this chapter doesn't disappoint.

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    Imperial Palace, Coruscant

    Luke walked out of his father’s office feeling exhausted. He told Vader his fake story about how he purposely didn't contact the Empire in order to spend more time with a woman he found fascinating. His father asked a number of questions before dismissing him and telling him to escort Mara Jade inside.

    “He’s ready to see you.” Mara rose from a corridor bench and entered the Emperor’s throne room. When Luke tried to follow the Royal Guards brought down their Force pikes barring his entrance. He looked back and forth to the guards. “What’s going on?”

    “Emperor’s orders,” the red helmeted guardsman said in a low voice. “He wishes to see the former Emperor’s Hand alone.”

    “No!” Luke went to push his way past the guards, but one guardsman’s frantic whisper gave him pause, “Sir, if we fail to follow orders…our lives are forfeit.” Luke took a step back, knowing he was now left in an impossible situation. He could force his way into the throne room to protect Mara…and in doing so condemn two loyal soldiers to death. Or he could let her meet his father alone and hope his ruse worked. He gazed at Mara sadly. “I’m sorry.”

    “It’s okay,” Mara said softly. “I knew this would happen.” She turned and strolled into the Emperor’s throne room, the door silently sliding shut behind her. She moved without hesitation; her head held high. Sitting on what was once Palpatine’s throne was Darth Vader. Everything about him was as she remembered with the exception that his once matte black cape was now trimmed with gold fringe indicating his new rank as Emperor. She moved forward until she was only four meters from the man and centered upon his throne. She dropped down to a knee, something she had done hundreds of times for Emperor Palpatine. As she bowed her head, she greeted the new ruler. “Your Majesty.”

    Vader looked to the guards surrounding his throne and waved them off. “Leave us.”

    They did not hesitate but filed out of the room immediately. When the doors were shut, and privacy assured Darth Vader rose out of his seat. “The Supreme Commander debriefed me about his rescue. It was a very interesting story…unfortunately the Supreme Commander is not skilled at deception. The only thing he was truthful about was the fact that he told you I am his father.” He stepped down from throne platform and moved toward Mara. “I am giving you one chance to tell me the truth.”

    Mara sighed deeply as she rose to her feet. She knew she was dead, so there was no reason to hold back. “I captured your son after sensing him call out through the Force and tried to sell him to the highest bidder. The purchase was interrupted by the untimely arrival of Admiral Thrawn.”

    Mara kept her eyes down waiting for the killing blow, but it never arrived. All she heard was the coarse mechanical breathing of the Sith Lord. Eventually the Emperor spoke. “You heard him call out through the Force?”

    Mara was confused by the question. “Yes, Lord Vader. I am a Force Adept.”

    Her eyes remained down, but she heard him return to his throne. She glanced up to find the Sith Lord gazing down at her. “Force communication was always your strength.”

    “It was Emperor Palpatine’s strength,” Mara corrected. “Skywalker’s voice was the first I have heard since my master’s Death. I suspect he is the one with a talent for Force communication.”

    Mara heard a strange rumbling sound coming from Vader. It took a few seconds before she realized he was…laughing. “You underestimate your power in the Force. Emperor Palpatine could not communicate with me across the galaxy as he did with you.” He sat down, still regarding her; his expression hidden by his dark mask. “That type of communication is rare and usually only possible between two people with a strong Force bond…such as Master and apprentice or two closely related individuals. I heard my son’s call for help. It is strange that you heard it as well.”

    Mara shrugged. “As far as I know I am no relation to you or your son.”

    “That is what makes your connection as curious as it is rare.”

    “Your son and I do not have a connection. He was dying in space and was practically screaming out through the Force. Probably every Force user in a hundred parsec radius heard his call.”

    “That is doubtful,” Vader said slowly. “Reach out in the Force and call to him.”

    “Why? There’s no bond between us,” she insisted.

    She jumped back when Vader quickly stood and shouted at her. “Call to him!”

    ‘Luke!’ she shouted out through the Force. To her surprise Luke’s voice immediately popped into her head.

    ‘Mara! Are you alright?’

    Her jaw went slack as her eyes widened with surprise. She truly believed it was a fluke when she heard Skywalker’s frantic call for help through the Force, but evidently, she could communicate with him just as clearly. She didn’t know if Emperor Vader was privy to their thoughts, but it was obvious that he knew he had proven his point when he chuckled and sat back down. She swallowed hard before allaying Luke’s fears. ‘I’m okay, Luke’

    “The Force binds us all together,” Vader said in his deep baritone voice, “but some bonds are greater than others.”

    “Well…that’s just great.” Mara wasn’t thrilled with all this talk about bonding. She waited for Vader to continue, but when he remained silent, she asked, “So…am I free to go?”

    “What are your intentions when it comes to my son?”

    This question caught Jade completely off guard. “Intentions? I have no intentions when it comes to Luke Skywalker.”

    “Then why did he sleep in your quarters?”

    She blew out a frustrated breath. “To make his concocted story more believable. He didn’t want it discovered that I kidnapped him. He needed a compelling reason to explain why he didn’t contact you for a few days. He thought if you believed we had romantic feelings for each other, you might spare me.”

    Do you have amorous feelings for him?”

    “Aggghh,” Mara groaned. “I just met your son less than a week ago. I haven’t had time to develop any feelings for him. Does that mean you’re going to kill me?” She glared at Vader. “Do I need to kriff your son and give you a grandchild in order to live? Because I can do that. A year out of my life in exchange for my freedom. You got it. If that’s what you really want.”

    There was a very long pause before Vader leaned back in his throne. “That is not a decision I can make.”

    She was confused by that comment. “You’re the galaxy’s all-powerful Emperor. Of course, it is your decision.”

    “No,” he said softly before pausing, his mechanical breathing sounding harsher then she remembered. “That is a choice you must make freely. I cannot interfere with the will of the Force.” He shifted his weight on his throne before making a shooing motion with his hand. “Go.” When she didn’t move, he repeated himself in a much louder voice. “Go!”

    Mara turned and rushed out of the throne room only to be intercepted by Skywalker in the corridor. “What did he say?”

    Mara pushed past him intent on getting off the planet as soon as possible. “He said he knew you were lying. He asked me for the truth, which I told him.”

    Luke followed her, increasing his pace until he was next to her. “What did he say then?”

    “He said I was free to go.”

    Luke made a face. “You are lying about something. What exactly did he say?”

    Mara stopped and whirled around on her heel to face Skywalker. “He hinted that our ability to communicate through the Force means we have a Force bond.”

    Luke looked confused. “What does that mean?”

    “I don’t know. He also asked if I had any romantic feelings for you.”

    “Oh…” Mara could sense his unspoken question. He wanted to know that answer to that particular query but was too shy to ask.

    “I told him we haven’t known each other long enough to develop any type of relationship.” Mara turned and started walking again. “I need to get back to my crew.”

    Luke caught up with her. “Can’t I convince you to stay?”

    “No, I am getting out while I have a chance.”

    Skywalker looked disappointed but didn’t argue. “We’ll take my shuttle up to the Admiral’s ship and you can leave in your Skipray.”

    Mara didn’t want to go back to an Imperial ship, but she also didn’t want Karrde to lose a valuable Skipray. “Fine,” she said with a nod.

    She was still a little shaken as they walked down the palace corridors to the shuttle bay. She faced Darth Vader and lived, but she knew the Sith could change his mind at any moment and she wanted to be out of the Emperor’s reach in case that happened. She turned to Luke. “Are you going to get in trouble now that I told your father the truth?”

    He pulled out a key fob as they neared his Imperial shuttle and pushed a button to lower the ramp. “I doubt it. As you said, he knew I was lying.”

    She got halfway up the ramp before she stopped and turned. “But he doesn’t know the real reason why you lied.”

    Luke gazed at her in confusion. “To protect you.”

    She shook her head adamantly. “No, to protect your precious Princess along with your own ass. I really doubt you care about what happens to a bunch of cutthroat smugglers.”

    He turned and walked the rest of the way up the ramp. “That is not entirely true. I would like you to join me. I could use a Force adept on my side.”

    “But you mainly did it for the Princess,” Mara bit out. She didn’t know why, but the fact that he cared so much for a woman who was willing to pay to have him thrust into a stasis cylinder irritated her. This was especially confusing because last week all she wanted to do was murder Luke Skywalker. Why did she suddenly feel protective of the man? “Am I wrong?”

    A blush warmed his face. “It is true, but what I told you was the truth. I love Leia like a sister and Han is like a brother to me. Leia and I never…we were never romantic. I thought something might happen between us at first, but…I don’t know…things changed…feelings changed. I think I was picking up her attraction to Han. Han is this older, cocky guy, with a ship of his own. He’s the kind of guy who always gets the girl.”

    She raised a slim eyebrow. “You are now in command of fleets of Imperial ships. What’s your excuse now?”

    Luke blew out a frustrated breath. “I don’t know…you tell me. You’re a woman who just can’t wait to get away from me. Why?”

    Her usual stern facial expression softened. “There is nothing wrong with you. I’ve actually grown to like you…as a friend, but you have to understand, I am just overcoming my recent misplaced hatred for you and your father is a Dark Lord Sith that I fear might choke me to death on a whim. It is a bit overwhelming.”

    Luke sighed deeply as he looked down at the deck. “When we announce that I am the son of Vader it will be a bit overwhelming for any woman. It won’t matter how many fleets I command. I’ll be seen as a dangerous Force-adept…a freak of nature…something to be feared…like my father. No one will feel truly comfortable in a relationship with me.”

    Mara gave a roll of her eyes as she moved to the shuttle's flight deck. “Please, don’t get all gloomy on me. Hell, if you desire female companionship you can always visit your royal pleasure harem.”

    “I don’t have a harem,” Luke groused as he sat the pilot’s seat.

    “Maybe you should get one,” Mara teased. “I’m sure a lot of women would sign up voluntarily. Many ladies are attracted to men in uniform and in position of power despite the eerie Force abilities. As long as there isn’t emotional connection, they may feel safe enough kriff’n the son of Vader.”

    “I doubt it,” he said slowly. “I don’t see many women throwing themselves at my father.”

    She laughed as she sat in the copilot seat. “Can he even have a physical relationship? I mean, I never seen him out of his suit.”

    Luke laughed harshly. “It’s nice to know you haven’t seen my father in the nude.”

    She gave a disapproving glare. “You know what I mean…in regular clothing and not his leather domination outfit. Have you seen him in something other than his leather suit?”

    He remained silent for a long time. “Yes, when he does his bacta immersions. He wears bacta shorts with weighted belt. He is missing his arms and legs. He would have just gotten cybernetic limbs if it wasn’t for his respiratory problems. His lungs are shot…something about breathing in Sulphur dioxide and extreme heat damaging his lungs. The suit has an artificial lung. The only reason he can get out of it for the bacta dips is he is in a special hyperbaric chamber. He explained it to me…something about the high oxygen content and pressure in the chamber can increase the oxygen levels in the blood plasma. Also, he has special bacta with high oxygen levels. I don’t think a normal person would survive any of this though. He relies heavily on the Force when he is out of the suit.”

    “Kriff, that was more than I wanted to know. I was just curious if he could have sex.”

    “Oh,” Luke thought about it. “I don’t think so. Most of his flesh is burnt off. The damage is so severe I assume all protruding parts of his body suffered the same fate.”

    “Okay,” Mara said slowly. “Now I know why he is always so pissed off.”

    “And why he doesn’t want to lose me,” Luke added. “He can never have more children.” Luke looked down at the flight controls and started the shuttle pre-check.

    Mara went silent when he brought up the subject of children. Vader’s words confused her. Why was he so…nonthreatening…insisting that her relationship with his son had to be completely consensual? It was like he knew something…perhaps a vision of the future.

    “Mara?” Luke said softly. “Are you alright?”

    “Yes.” She blinked a few times pulling herself out of her musings. “I like your father’s new cape,” she said, deliberately changing the subject. “Was that your idea or his?”

    “I think it was Grand Admiral Thrawn’s idea. Since my father can’t wear a military uniform, that was the next best thing. It looks a little more military and less…” Luke paused, looking for the right word.

    “Sithy?” Mara suggested.

    He laughed as he powered up his shuttle. “Yes, Sithy.” The green light on the console panel indicated the ship was ready to fly. Luke put both hands on the steering yoke before turning to her. “Are you sure you want to leave? I can pay more than Karrde can.”

    “You don’t know what Karrde pays me,” she pointed out.

    “It doesn’t matter,” he replied. “I can pay more.”

    She averted her eyes as she drew in a calming breath. “I just want to go home. Perhaps under different circumstances I would have given you a different answer…but right now I want to return to my crew.”

    Luke heaved a sigh as he maneuvered the ship up and out of the docking bay. “Maybe we’ll meet again. Please consider my offer until then.”

    She glanced over to him and smiled. “I’ll consider your offer.”

    He nodded. “That is all I can ask.”
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2020
  23. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host Who Loves Fanfics & RPGs star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    [face_laugh] Mara's discomfiture with the whole situation around bonds and choices, very understandable. Naturally it's a lot to process and she wants to return to Karrde and crew. Luke's offer sounds genuine and I would guess not even he is aware of the actual motivation behind it. ;)

    I love the idea that the Force communication talent was Mara's and not Palpatine's per se. :cool:
     
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  24. Jâd Sphera

    Jâd Sphera Jedi Knight star 1

    Registered:
    Dec 10, 2018
    I loved this too! [face_love]

    Can't wait to see how Luke and Mara are reunited :D
     
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  25. Jedi_Lover

    Jedi_Lover Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Nov 1, 2004
    Thanks for reading. I was thinking about Palpatine and how we never saw him communicate with Darth Vader the way he did with Mara Jade. I think Mara had a special talent for it. In the books she is able to communicate with Leia and Luke...so a Force-bond wasn't necessary. Also, I faintly remember her communicating with Luke through the Force while flying a combat mission and a Jedi overheard her thoughts (probably Corran). So, I think Mara has a special talent.
    They will reunite soon, but he is going to get a visit from somebody else first.

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    Grand Admiral Thrawn's Flagship Chimaera

    As soon as Mara was back on the Chimaera, she said her goodbyes to Skywalker and boarded her skipray. Within ten minutes she was gone, leaving Luke with a hollow feeling. He had hoped she would stay. He truly thought her finding him in the vastness of space was the will of the Force…that she came into his life for a reason, but he could see the error of his thinking. Sometimes things just happen. After seeing Mara off Luke returned to his quarters only to find an unwelcome guest sitting on his couch.

    “Hello, there,” the bluish apparition of Obi-Wan Kenobi said cordially. “You didn’t return back to your quarters for the last few nights. Could that be because of that attractive redhead I saw you with earlier.”

    Luke glowered at his former master. “How long are you going to haunt me?”

    “Until you come to your senses and realize the Empire is an immoral and malicious government and your father is the epitome of evil.”

    “Says the man who lied to me constantly from the day we met until the day he died.”

    “Luke, if I told you the truth you would have ran to your father,” the elderly Jedi responded. “I know what it is like growing up without parents—the thought of reuniting with your family is never far from one’s mind.”

    “And still you kept me away from my father.” Luke glared at him angrily. “And not only that…you tore my father away from his mother! The Jedi separated two generations of Skywalkers from their families!”

    “You father wanted to be a Jedi. He didn’t come kicking and screaming.”

    “He was nine years old and idolized the Jedi order.” Luke huffed before walking over to the kitchen and pulling out a juice bottle from the cooling unit. “You and the Jedi were the reason he turned to the darkside.”

    “What rubbish!” Obi-Wan threw his hands up in the air. “How did he justify blaming the Jedi for him turning evil?”

    Luke sat on a chair across from Obi-Wan and took a long sip of of his drink before responding. “You tore him away from his mother and left her in slavery! Why didn’t you free her?”

    “It…it was unavoidable.” Obi-Wan stammered as he ran his hand over his white beard. “We were not in Republic territory. Out credits weren’t good there.”

    “Really, you are actually going with that excuse?” Luke shook his head in disgust. “There is a currency exchange kiosk in every spaceport in the galaxy.”

    “I assure you, there was not.”

    “Okay, how about after you left? Once you got to Coruscant or wherever you were going you could have picked up the proper currency, jewelry, rare minerals and went back and bought his mother’s freedom…but you didn’t. In fact, the Jedi didn’t seem to care about eradicating slavery…but do you know who eventually did end slavery…Darth Vader!”

    The Jedi apparition pointed a finger at Luke. “You eradicated slavery, not Vader! I know all of the recent reforms came from you and not your father.”

    “You’re trying to change the subject. You left my grandmother to languish as a slave.”

    “The woman was bought by a man who became her husband. She didn’t languish as a slave.”

    “Did you know that?”

    Obi-Wan looked away.

    “Answer me,” Luke insisted. “Did you know that?”

    The apparition looked down at the floor. “No.”

    “So that brings me back to my original statement about the Jedi being responsible for his fall. My father returned to Tatooine only to discover his mother was kidnapped by Tuskin Raiders and tortured. When he found her, she died in his arms. It was a turning point for him and one that could have been prevented if you had returned to the planet and made sure his mother was freed.”

    “The Jedi don’t get involved in planetary politics outside of the Republic.”

    “That’s a load of crock and you know it.”

    “Luke,” the Force ghost pleaded. “Can we please get back to the subject at hand. You cannot allow yourself to be manipulated by Vader.”

    “You are contradicting yourself,” Luke was near the end of his patience. “First you say all the reforms came from me and not my father and then you state Vader is manipulating me. Name one evil thing that I have done since I joined my father. Just one!”

    The hazy blue apparition did not answer.

    “See, every change in the Empire in the last two years has been beneficial…but you don’t want to see it. It is the same with the rebellion. You have a score to settle with my father and you just can’t let it go.”

    “Yes, I have a score to settle. He killed me.”

    “I saw your death. You let him kill you…and I know why. It was you manipulating me! You wanted to make sure I hated Darth Vader. You fought him to a standstill until you knew I was watching and then you raised your lightsaber and let him kill you…all in an effort to turn me against my father.”

    “Need I remind you that your father captured and tortured your friends.”

    “True, but they weren’t permanently harmed, whereas you tortured my father, cut off his limbs and left him for dead in scorching lava. You could have at least put him out of his misery…but instead you stole his lightsaber and left him to suffer horribly. Then you give me his lightsaber and tell me he wanted me to have it…like you parted as friends and you were just passing on a gift.”

    The dead Jedi Master crossed his arms across his chest and shook his head. “Your father and I were in a fight to the death. I begged him not to attack me…I had the high ground.”

    Luke groaned as he buried his head in his hands. “There you go again with the high ground.”

    Obi-wan looked indignant. “Everyone knows the high ground has a tactical advantage.”

    Luke stood and pointed at the specter. “Leave me alone and get off my couch…and why do you need to sit at all? Are your ghost feet getting sore?”

    “I do it to make you feel more comfortable. If you like I could float around the ceiling.”

    “Oh, so you can proclaim that you have the high ground? I’ll take a hard pass on that. Go away!”

    Obi-wan frowned deeply before fading off to nothing.

    “This is so kriffed up,” Luke groused before going off to bed.