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Saga - Legends Distractions- Mara Jade, The Emperor (Angst)~ Fic-gift for madman007- Truncation Fixed!

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by mavjade , Jan 1, 2009.

  1. mavjade

    mavjade It's so FLUFFY! Fanfic Manager star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Sep 10, 2005
    Truncation Fixed - 2/5/15

    Title: Distractions
    Author: mavjade
    Characters: Mara Jade, The Emperor
    Genre: Angst, kinda AU
    Timeline: ~ 4 years BBY
    Notes: Hmm... I think this is the first time I've done a story in Saga and I know I've never written the Emperor. I hope I do him justice (and the young Mara too! ) .
    Thanks so much to my beta Jace84z, without whom I would never have been able to write the Emperor. [:D]

    This fic was written for the Holiday Fic-gift Exchange. The fic-gift is for madman007 who wanted:
    1. There is a setback or a mistake made by a young Mara Jade during her training as the Emperor's Hand.
    2. Palpatine hints at Mara's origin planet (whether she figures it out or not is up to you, but just don't reveal it. We still want to keep it a mystery.)
    3. At some point there should be a connection or brush with her future husband (this does not have to be physical like they run into each other or something. It can be mental. But, you can choose.)
    I don't want:
    Mush, so don't get too sentimental.

    I hope you enjoy!

    <^><^><^><^><^>

    Fourteen year old Mara Jade was livid. She was confined to her quarters after a small mishap on a mission. The worst part, other than showing her ineptitude, was that she knew a worse punishment was coming. She had been given much more for a lot less.

    One such punishment involved being given no food for days just for being late to a meal. She was to be eating with an instructor who thought he was teaching the young daughter of an officer how to behave at court and please the Emperor. He, like most of her instructors, had no idea of who or what she really was.


    On another such occasion, she had been left in a freeze-chamber designed for the storage of foodstuffs with very little by way of clothing. Her offense: an idle comment made about the temperature in Sidius' private sanctum. After a few hours, young Jade had decided that any such minor temperature change would forever remain beneath her notice.


    Various offenses had often earned her punishment of one kind or another at the hand of an instructor. She had been lashed, burned, and otherwise tortured many times, but none of those infractions had been as major as this most recent. She knew this punishment would be severe, just waiting was almost punishment enough.


    It had been her first entirely solo mission, where previously she had been with an instructor or in contact with someone at all times. This mission was of particularly sensitive nature and she knew that no one, other than the Emperor himself, knew where she was or what she was doing.


    There had been rumors of political uprising on some planet in the Outer Rim, and while it was not a major threat at the time it was gaining popularity and the Emperor wanted it taken care of before it gained any more momentum. She was to infiltrate the group's base of operations, find and recover any information they had on the Empire, and recover it. She was then to make sure the leader of this group met with an unfortunate accident, and all without being seen. She was the Emperor's secret weapon, and he intended for her to remain that way.


    <^><^><^><^><^>


    She arrived on planet and immediately blended in. Having done her research before going to the desert planet she knew what the locals looked like, what they wore, and how they dressed. She made sure she would blend in and not be noticed. In her studies, this was one of the things she was the best at: disguising herself and blending in. She could adapt her mannerisms and accents very easily. She didn't even need the Force to do this, though it could enhance her abilities.


    The first thing she did was to go to the local cantina and see if she could find some information. She did this first because once the leader met his end, she would want to make a quick exit from the planet.


    It was amazing the things you could find out just by listening in public:

    "... organizing people to fight. It's pretty much a suicide mission, but completely worth it," one man was whispering.

    "But you would have to be in danger for a long time before you could get any information," the other man said.

    "Exactly, which is why we want people with homeworld military experience. They are more likely to start out in positions of authority."

    Mara stifled a chuckle. It seemed they were looking for people to work for the Empire and bring information back to this little uprising. They were right that it was a suicide mission. They would certainly be found and killed.


    After listening for quite some time, Mara left to find the headquarters. She had gotten quite a few clues from the two men who were speaking, and a few more from others, but it was clear to her that no one here had all that much information.


    Finding and infiltrating the building had been easy, a little too easy in fact, and Mara hoped she had not missed anything. Their security system could be sliced by a youngling with a random guess and their guards were easily distracted.


    She found the office of the leader and sliced into his computer terminal. This was a little more difficult, but she managed to do so without triggering any security measures. She loaded all of the information onto her datapad to be unencrypted later and then erased the entire hard drive. She hid and waited for the leader to arrive.


    The room had surprisingly few places to hide, so she ended up crammed into a space where she could not see at all. She had to rely on the Force to find his presence and to make sure he was alone. Reaching out, she felt someone coming her way. There were two minds standing right outside the door, and she hoped they would stay where they were. She didn't have a problem keeping quiet, but it was always easier to make it look like an accident if only one person ended up dead.


    When she finally felt that someone was in the room, she gave them a few minutes to get situated and moved to strike. She kept her senses aware so that she would know if anyone was coming. As she was finishing this part of her mission she felt another mind brush with hers. It was a completely untrained young mind, but it was definitely strong in the Force. There was something familiar about the mind, like someone she knew, though she was certain it was not. She had been told this could happen when two Force users were related, but knew that could not be the case in her situation.


    Momentarily distracted, Mara missed the person who was about to enter until it was too late and another being walked into the office. Noticing foul play was afoot, he yelled for the guards and drew his blaster.


    "Kriff," Mara swore as she realized she had messed up big time. She wasn't worried about the man or the guards--she could take care of them easily--but more that she had not done what her master had ordered her to do: kill only the leader and make it look like an accident. All that was about to happen was because she let her concentration slip.


    She took care of the leader, the man who had just entered, and the two guards quickly and made her exit. Hoping to find the Force user to take him to her Master, Mara went looking for him. She searched the entire area, expanding her senses as far as they would go. She had hoped to find this mysterious being and take him back to the Emperor, which might make him overlook her transgression, but it was as though he had disappeared, or had never existed at all.


    After she had spent as much time as she thought possible, she headed back, knowing her master was not going to be pleased.


    <^><^><^><^><^><^><^>


    After having waited for hours locked in her quarters, Mara was even more agitated and were she to really look inside herself, she would find herself to be nervous. She wondered if the Emperor would just take care of her and be done with it; she had seen it happen before when his servants defied his orders.


    Finally, she was summoned to his inner sanctum.


    She tried to push down all the feelings that were raging through her, but it was practically impossible. As she entered, she saw her Master sitting in his usual seat, just staring at her and none of the royal guards were present, which made her heart race.
    "Do not suppress your feelings, child. They make you stronger."


    "Master," Mara said as she bowed at his feet. "I am sorry--"


    "Silence. You did not obey my orders and for that I am very displeased, but you did complete your mission. Tell me, why did you fail?"


    She told him of the feeling she had gotten, how the untrained mind had brushed against hers and distracted her. She also told him of attempting to find the being, but to no avail.


    A strange look crossed his face as she spoke of how it felt somehow familiar, but the look was so quick Mara did not know if it was just her imagination.
    "I should have known you would be impulsive and rash. I see that a lifetime of training has not yet overcome your heritage. You will work harder."


    Mara felt sure he was not speaking of the planet from which she had just come. She filed it away to think about later. Right now, she needed to worry about where she was going and what her punishment would be, not where she came from.


    The Emperor really did not care that she had killed three others, she could have blown up the entire building and he would not have minded. Anything was justified to rid the galaxy of that scum. He knew from watching her training that she would never make the same mistake again; she had learned her lesson. But of course he had to punish her somehow.


    "I am disappointed," he continued, "But letting you dwell on your mistake for the past 4 hours has granted you clarity. I trust you have learned your lesson?"


    "Yes, Master."


    "Good. I am doubling your training regimen, and you will remain here with me until I am satisfied you will not fail me again." With this, her lightsaber flew free of her hip and landed in the outstretched hand of her Emperor. "You may leave."


    Mara bowed again and backed out of the room. She knew the training would be hard, but she enjoyed it so it would not be much of a punishment. She vowed to never be caught off guard on a mission again.


    She was the Emperor's Hand.
     
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  2. madman007

    madman007 Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Aug 22, 2007
    How can I thank you for such a perfect gift? This is just about what I imagined in general. You supplied some impressive details


    She was to be eating with an instructor who thought he was teaching the young daughter of an officer how to behave at court and please the Emperor. He, like most of her instructors, had no idea of who or what she really was.

    That kept up the fact that no one in the Empire knew what Mara was to become.

    I love the fact that there is minimal dialogue; only enough that is needed. This paralleled the relationship between Mara and the Emperor as being almost entirely inside her mind. That is, until the "distraction". And what a distraction! You only gave a hint that the Emperor may have known what (or who) that distraction was.

    You did an excellent job at portraying the Emperor. Very intimidating but with a small indication that he may have had a soft spot for Mara in not fully punishing her.

    Mara bowed again and backed out of the room. She knew the training would be hard, but she enjoyed it so it would not be much of a punishment. She vowed to never be caught off guard on a mission again.

    She was the Emperor's Hand.


    What a finish!


    Thank you - thank you - thank you !!! =D= @};-@};-@};-
     
  3. NYCitygurl

    NYCitygurl Manager Emeritus star 9 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Jul 20, 2002
    Wow, this is raelly cool!! Very interesting insight into Mara's life, especially the punishments. How horrible.
     
  4. Ulic_Starwalker

    Ulic_Starwalker Jedi Youngling star 2

    Registered:
    Jul 3, 2006
    Great story! =D= I love Mara's days in her service to the Emperor. And you did a good job on her characterisation. Well done! :)
     
  5. divapilot

    divapilot Force Ghost star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 30, 2005
    Cool story. I love the look into her early days, and the mission to Tatooine was great. Those two are fated to be together, even though they started at very different points.

    Great job with the challenge! =D=
     
  6. KELIA

    KELIA Manager Emeritus star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Jul 26, 2005
    WOW

    That was an amazing peek into Mara's early life as the Emperor's Hand.

    It doesn't surprise me Sidious would be so harsh with his punishments...but poor Mara!

    :_| :_| :_| :_|

    Great job on this

    =D= =D= =D= =D=
     
  7. mavjade

    mavjade It's so FLUFFY! Fanfic Manager star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Sep 10, 2005
    madman007:
    How can I thank you for such a perfect gift? This is just about what I imagined in general. You supplied some impressive details
    Thank you so much! I'm very happy you enjoyed it! :D

    That kept up the fact that no one in the Empire knew what Mara was to become.
    That is exactly what I was trying to show! :)

    I love the fact that there is minimal dialogue; only enough that is needed. This paralleled the relationship between Mara and the Emperor as being almost entirely inside her mind. That is, until the "distraction". And what a distraction! You only gave a hint that the Emperor may have known what (or who) that distraction was.
    Thank you. I usually get nervous when a fic ends up with very little dialogue, that it will be too hard to read, but I thought it worked here and I'm glad you thought so too! I didn't want the Emperor to know exactly what it was, or it would have thrown it completely into an AU and I really didn't want to do that.

    You did an excellent job at portraying the Emperor. Very intimidating but with a small indication that he may have had a soft spot for Mara in not fully punishing her.
    Thanks! I had planned on watching ROTJ to get into the Emperor but I've been taking care of my grandfather at his house and didn't have them with me, so I spent a very long time on the phone with my fiance talking through his dialogue and thoughts. With out him the Emperor would have probably turned out very badly! ;) I was worried about the punishment not being severe enough (can you tell I worry a lot! :p ) but I liked it, so I kept it. :)

    What a finish!
    :D It came to me in a dream! 8-}

    Thank you - thank you - thank you !!!
    No, thank you! I'm glad you liked it and it was what you wanted! :D


    NYCitygurl:
    Wow, this is raelly cool!! Very interesting insight into Mara's life, especially the punishments. How horrible.
    Thanks, Nat! [:D] It took a lot for me to get into that aspect of her life since I've gotten used to the fluffier Mara, though it was fun to write. (And I did some reading in another fandom that has a lot of torture to come up with ideas! :p )

    Ulic_Starwalker:
    Great story!
    Thank you so much!

    I love Mara's days in her service to the Emperor. And you did a good job on her characterisation. Well done!
    I love those days too! I was a little nervous about writing them since I've been writing Mara in her later years where she is much softer. I'm glad the characterization was good!
    Thanks for reading!

    divapilot:
    Cool story. I love the look into her early days, and the mission to Tatooine was great.
    Thanks! I find her early days facinating but I never think to write it, and this gave me that chance! :)

    Those two are fated to be together, even though they started at very different points.
    Great job with the challenge!

    They were fated to be together and their different backgrounds made them so perfect for each other!
    Thanks for reading, diva! [:D]

    KELIA:
    WOW
    That was an amazing peek into Mara's early life as the Emperor's Hand.

    Thank you!! I'm glad you enjoyed it! :D

    It doesn't surprise me Sidious would be so harsh with his punishments...but poor Mara!
    From her personality I figure she lead a very hard early life, and we know the Emperor has no problems with torture and you put those together and it leads to bad things. :( But I figure Mara was a big proponent of 'What doesn't kill you only makes you stronger.'

    Great job on this
    Thank you! Thanks for reading!
     
  8. DaenaBenjen42

    DaenaBenjen42 Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    May 15, 2005
    On another such occasion, she had been left in a freeze-chamber designed for the storage of foodstuffs with very little by way of clothing. Her offense: an idle comment made about the temperature in Sidius' private sanctum. After a few hours, young Jade had decided that any such minor temperature change would forever remain beneath her notice.

    It was this part, right in the middle of the start, that really stood out for me... it rings true for Palpatine to train her that way, because it's the little things that can give you away, but... wow. No wonder she's so tightly wound up later on... just look at how she was trained.


    Well done, mav. :)
     
  9. mavjade

    mavjade It's so FLUFFY! Fanfic Manager star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Sep 10, 2005
    Daena: It was this part, right in the middle of the start, that really stood out for me... it rings true for Palpatine to train her that way, because it's the little things that can give you away, but... wow. No wonder she's so tightly wound up later on... just look at how she was trained.
    I was a little worried that this would be too much detail, but I am glad it stood out. It was important to me to show how she was treated and why she ended up the way she did. I've always had visions of Palpatine torturing her and usually it is the little things that get you in the most trouble.


    Well done, mav.
    Thanks so much, Daena! Sorry it took me so long to respond!
     
  10. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha 2 Truths 1 Lie Host star 8 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    mavjade -- Lord how did I miss this? Thank goodness it was linked in Chyn's "overplayed." Wonderful characterization and very much how I would imagine an early mission and yay for the mental touch. [face_dancing] [:D]
     
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  11. Chyntuck

    Chyntuck Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 11, 2014
    You already know I read this and loved it, since I mentioned it as a source of inspiration for my own story, but I'm going to write up a few comments about elements I really liked anyway :)

    First of all, I really enjoyed how, in such a short piece, you managed to drop just enough hints about the fact that Mara grew up in a world of concealment (e.g. the instructor who "thought he was teaching the young daughter of an officer how to behave at court and please the Emperor"). This is clearly an essential formative element of her personality, as is the fact that she ignores everything that is unessential ("such a minor temperature change would forever remain beneath her notice") which remains one of her habits later in life. Another aspect I thought you did a great job at highlighting is the fact that Mara was trained to operate with or without the Force, that she is as much an intelligence agent as a Force-sensitive ("Having done her research before going to the desert planet she knew what the locals looked like, what they wore, and how they dressed, etc.") -- which remains an essential part of her character in her later years.
    If only she knew... Great irony here.
    Great foreshadowing of the fact that, at this young age, Mara's absolute trust in the strength of the Empire makes her somewhat overconfident. It makes this young Mara a very credible early version of the Mara we all know and love, who has learned not to underestimate her enemy.

    Lastly, I think you wrote Palpatine's manipulation of Mara very well. He hints that he knows things about her that she doesn't know herself, with the fleeting reference to her "heritage", but he does so at a time when she will never summon the courage to ask the question. And most importantly:
    He manages to "demote" her, but also to make her punishment come across as a blessing in the same sentence. And that... well, it's absolutely creepy. She's in a position where she exists to please him, in her own way -- and she has a long way to go to become her own person.

    This was a great read! =D=
     
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  12. Annia Piet

    Annia Piet Jedi Knight star 2

    Registered:
    Feb 7, 2015
    I really enjoyed this, a very nice look at Mara's early days as the Emperors Hand
     
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  13. ZaraValinor

    ZaraValinor Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    May 31, 2002
    I can't believe I've missed this. Great early Mara fic. Brava!
     
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  14. mavjade

    mavjade It's so FLUFFY! Fanfic Manager star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Sep 10, 2005
    I'm feel so terrible! I went to retag this and realized I never gave thank yous to new readers! I'm so sorry! I always want to say thank you!

    Thank you so much! I find Hand Mara to be an interesting challenge and I remember enjoying writing this very much!

    That is an amazing compliment, that you used this as a source of inspiration! [:D] Thank you!

    I always found that she was almost completely unknown to others quite fascinating and interested in how such things would shape who she is. I also wanted to show that she was a girl who learned never to make the same mistake twice, that her training really drilled that in, that such mistakes could be deadly. Later in her life, she certainly did not pay attention to such minor things and while she certainly made many mistakes, she was methodical in her thinking.

    That's always been one of my favorite parts about Mara... she's really smart and doesn't need the Force to get things done, she just uses it as an extra advantage when she can. She proved that more than once in the books and I did my best to get that across here.

    :D Yep! I wanted to show a bit about how strong she really is in the Force, that she might not understand everything, but she knows there is something.

    My biggest concern was to make her someone that you could see growing up into the Mara we know in the books. I wanted to show a few reasons for why she is the way she is in the future. I'm glad that came through!

    Yay! Creepy is exactly what I was going for! :D Palpatine is the ultimate manipulator, we saw significantly in RotS, he knows exactly what needs to be done and I felt like hinting at things Mara may not know about herself would be a huge way to string her along and push her down a peg at the same time, yet he knows she will enjoy the challenge and he allows it because he knows she will learn her lesson. I was really worried about writing him, I'm glad he came across in character.

    Thank you so much! And thank you for such a thoughtful review! [:D]

    Thank you! Hand Mara is fun to think about! Thanks for reading!

    Thank you Zara! [:D]
     
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