Title: Beyond the Wall Author: Divapilot Genre: Drama Rating: PG for drug use Timeframe: about 130 ABY (Legacy Era) Summary: The crew of the Mynock are forced to improvise when Cade Skywalker unwittingly sabotages their plans in order to satisfy his own desires. Characters are from the Star Wars: Legacy comics, written by John Ostrander and Jan Duursema. Cade Skywalker is the descendent of Luke Skywalker and Mara Jade Skywalker. Cade is a pirate, along with his friends Jariah Syn and Deliah Blue. Author’s Note: This repost from 2008 was a request from a friend. It was written in response to a Beatles Songfic Challenge. Part 1. Deliah knew just by Syn’s stiff posture what she would find inside Cade’s cabin on the Mynock. Jariah shook his head in disgust, his dreadlocks swaying with the motion. “Is the money gone, too?” she asked. “Did he at least get the software patch first?” “Look for yourself,” he spat. Deliah edged around Jariah’s muscled arm and leaned into Cade’s cabin. His bunk was torn apart; clothes hung from pipes and peeked out from beneath storage bins. She crinkled her nose at the room’s distinctive rank odor and sighed deeply. “How much of a head start do you think he has?” she asked, discouraged. Jariah picked up the thin mattress from the floor and examined a rip in the material. “The shutta even went for the stash he hides from me,” he scowled. “And no sign of the software he was supposed to get. We should just leave him wherever he decided to collapse this time. Sleemo son of a--” Deliah frowned and put her hands on her hips, resting her fingers on the waistband of her low-slung pants. “No need to use that language, Syn. We leave Cade alone for one day, and he takes all the money he’s got and disappears.” She flipped her blue hair behind her and cocked an eyebrow at Jariah. “So. Do you want alleys or bars?” Jariah threw the mattress down angrily. “He knows we have to get back to Rav, and he pulls this. We don’t have time for this. We should just leave him here. Serves him right.” She pursed her lips and looked up at Syn’s dark eyes. “No, you don’t wanna leave him. Look, he’s pulled your sorry hide out of too many scrapes for you to let him drown in his misery somewhere.” She surveyed the wreckage of Cade’s cabin one more time. “I’ll take alleys. You take bars. We’ll meet back here in three hours.” Jariah snorted his assent, then left the room soundlessly. Deliah picked up a few articles of clothing in a half-hearted attempt to straighten the disaster, then rolled her eyes and put the shirts back on top of the storage bin. “Oh, Cade,” she said softly. “What ghosts got to you now?” *** Raider’s Corner was a rough, dirty, stinkhole of a neighborhood. Natural light seemed to avoid this sector; instead, the streets and alleys beneath the cloudy night skies were illuminated by garish advertisements. Gaudy signs beckoned travelers to unload their credits in exchange for all sorts of promised pleasures. This was not how Deliah had wanted to spend her last evening on this planet. Usually she found Cade within the first hour; he was most likely to hit the nearest bar and wind up nearby. This time, he was nowhere to be seen. Her imagination began to create unsettling scenarios. What if he got into a drunken fight with someone? What if he was hurt somewhere? She forced down her worry and found it replaced by fear. To top things off, her feet were beginning to ache. Her stylish boots were never meant for walking long distances. She looked down to discover that something greasy had stained the soft green suede. Disgusted, she looked up and surveyed her surroundings. There was a building ahead that he might have gone to. It was worth a try. The bar’s bright orange lights proclaimed “Live Tchori Wrestling.” She paused and snorted. What was a Tchori, anyway? And wrestling dead ones didn’t seem sporting, so of course they would be live, right? Her pause attracted a man from out of the shadowy doorway, eager to draw in a customer. “Whassa you like, fem?” the Devaronian chortled. “Come see? Pay and come see?” “No, thanks,” Deliah said. “I’m looking for somebody.” The Devaronian smiled, a leer that split his face to reveal his sharp yellow teeth. “Ah, you look for somebody, eh? I somebody. Mebbe you look for me, eh?” Quickly, he grabbed for Deliah’s arm. “Look, lover boy. I ain’t interested in you, or your Tchori, or your dumpy bar. I want to know if you saw a friend of mine,” she said, trying to pull his hand from her wrist. “Ah, you fighty. I like fighty fem,” the Devaronian growled. He yanked her closer, his eyes glowing and his tongue darting around the edge of his mouth. Deliah’s eyes narrowed. “Yeah, well, I ain’t your type.” The Devaronian suddenly felt a painful jab in his ribs. He looked down to see the barrel of Deliah’s modified blaster firmly pressed against him, then looked up at her with newfound respect in his eyes. He released her wrist and stepped backward. “That’s better,” she said. All the while keeping her eyes and blaster on him, she reached into her jacket pocket and retrieved a flimsy. She snapped it open with one open hand. “Now. You seen him?” she asked. The man scratched behind his horn. “Mebbe. What you want, you lose your man? He come here for our pretties and leave you home with his littles, huh?” “Shut up. Answer the question.” The Devaronian chortled. “Or what? You shoot me?” Deliah scowled and shoved the flimsy back in her pocket. “Aw, forget it. You don’t know anything. You’re useless.” The man frowned and drew back in indignation. “Useless? I know stuff. I know that man was here a few hours ago.” “Yeah?” she shot back. He grinned a leering grin again. “Took one of the girls upstairs, he did. Then she come back down because he got death sticks, and she no wanna do that.” Deliah sighed. Yeah, that’s Cade, she thought wearily. “Where did he go?” she asked as she holstered her blaster. The Devaronian shrugged. “I don’t know. Threw him out. He was drunk. He no spend no more money.” “Thanks,” she said, turning to leave. He nodded slightly, then moved away. “Hey, good luck you find him,” he called after her. Then he disappeared back into the shadowy doorway. She had gotten half a block down the street when she felt a fat raindrop hit her. She glanced skyward, only to see the cloudy night begin to drop rain at an increasing pace. “Great,” she grumbled. “The only thing better than looking for Cade in the filthy back alleys in the dead of night is looking for Cade in the filthy back alleys in the dead of night in the rain.” Scowling, she pulled her hood up in a futile attempt to stay dry. She was so distracted by the sudden storm that she almost missed the narrow passageway between buildings. She overshot it, then walked backwards to peer down its dark depths. A sudden lightning flash lit the narrow space to reveal a shape slumped against the garbage container. Deliah’s heart stuttered. The shape wasn’t moving. Her throat went dry and she swallowed hard. With determined steps, she folded her arms around herself and strode into the passageway. As she approached the garbage container, she could see two feet sticking out into the alley. She came closer and squatted down beside him. Gently, she picked some trash off his clothing. She shook her head forlornly and blinked back the tears that came unexpectedly to her eyes. When he took a ragged breath, she discovered that she had been holding her own breath, too. Hesitantly, Deliah reached out a hand to the matted blond hair. He stirred slightly. Rain dripped from the ends of his hair and trailed down his face. His clothes were disheveled and soaking. He leaned his head back, his lips moving slowly as if talking to someone. Two empty death stick cylinders lay discarded beside him. Deliah held his head with one hand and patted his scruffy face gently with the other. “Cade, baby. Wake up. We gotta go home.” “Wait, Mara,” he muttered. “No, Cade, it’s Deliah. Don’t confuse me with your date of the evening. Come on, big guy. Let’s go.” Her wet hair lay plastered against her skin, and her clothes were sticking to her body. She started to dig out her commlink from her jacket pocket as Cade looked up at her. “Deliah?” he asked, uncomprehending. He pushed his hair out of his eyes and squinted. “Yeah, it’s me, baby. Now be a good boy and get your cute butt up.” She stood up and tried to get her arm beneath his and pull him upright. Cade staggered up, grabbed the edge of the garbage container, and clumsily knocked the container over. Slimy trash spilled out, splattering over Deliah’s boots and pants. She swore vehemently, then tried to shake the sludge off her boots. “Cade, you are more trouble than you are worth, you know that?” she said angrily. “Stand up. Let’s go.” She retrieved her commlink and switched it on. “Jariah? I got him. I’ll be back in about half an hour.” “Good. Need help?” Jariah’s tinny voice answered her. She paused. “I could use it. I’m in Raider’s Corner. Meet me by the Devaronian bar with the live Tchori wrestling.” Jariah’s voice perked up. “They have Tchori wrestling?” he asked. Deliah frowned in consternation. “What is Tchori wrestling anyway?” she retorted. “Tell you when you’re older,” Jariah said. “Just get him up and moving and I’ll meet you there.” Deliah clicked off the commlink and shoved it back in her pocket. She braced herself to support the weight of Cade’s body and began to move him forward. Cade swayed slightly, then threw his shoulders back. “Deliah, you should’ve left me alone,” he slurred. She turned to look at him, her expression tight. “Yeah, Cade, I should have. But that’s what you wanted, right? Someone else to abandon you so you can have an excuse to slink that garbage into your veins one more time?” They staggered out of the alleyway, narrowly missing a Bothan pedestrian who howled a string of obscenities at them in protest. Cade shuffled along the sidewalk, leaning on Deliah for support. He tilted his head up and let the rain wash down his face, then shook his head rapidly as if to clear his thoughts. “I wanna get back to the ship, Deliah,” he mumbled. “I don’t feel so good.” She shifted her weight around to get a better position. Cade began to walk awkwardly on his own. “Not surprising,” she said, huffing with exertion. “You really did it this time.” Cade steadied himself by moving his hand along the building’s wall. “Yeah, but you found me.” He smiled crookedly at her. Deliah paused. He was charming, true, but she understood that charm was his way of deflecting reality. Her eyes grew sad, and her shoulders slumped almost imperceptibly. “I found you this time. Maybe next time I won’t find you quickly enough. Maybe next time I won’t be around to go looking.” One day you'll look to see I've gone. For tomorrow may rain, so I'll follow the sun. Some day you'll know I was the one. But tomorrow may rain, so I'll follow the sun.