Beyond - Legends Forests of Innocence (AU - Luke, Mara, Ben, OCs) ~ Completed Feb 19th

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by Briannakin , Jan 2, 2015.

  1. Briannakin

    Briannakin Grand Moff Darth Fanfic & Costuming/Props Manager star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Feb 25, 2010
    Title: Forests of Innocence
    Author: Briannakin
    Timeframe: 34 ABY - AU
    Characters: Luke Skywalker, Mara Jade, Ben Skywalker, OCs
    Genre: AU, Mystery, Angst, Romance

    Notes: I originally wrote this for the SJRS May/June 2014 Episode 7 Challenge (under the title Dark Mysteries, but I hated the title). People begged me to continue it, so I did, but under a different title (and I stripped the EP 7 part). I tried to write an epic, but I just could not flesh out the story. But I hope you enjoy none-the-less.

    ALSO, I’ve pulled a “Disney” and wiped most of the EU. I’ll fill in the new relevant details in the story and there will be plenty of flash-back chapters, so keep an eye on the timeframe on the top of each chapter.


    PEACE! For the past 30 years, Luke Skywalker and the former Rebel Alliance have restored and maintained peace in the galaxy. Under the banner of the New Republic, with help from the New Jedi Order, the galaxy has seen prosperous times.

    The New Jedi Order, under the leadership of Grand Master Skywalker, has erased the ideas of attachment leading to the dark side and have embraced the concepts of love, marriage and children. The New Republic has modelled itself after the Republic of Old.

    However, not all remains of the vile Empire have been buried. Something still lurks in the shadows. Darkness will soon descend…

    34 ABY

    Luke Skywalker felt the calm, soothing presence of someone who loved him very much - or who had once loved him. He opened his eyes and as they adjusted to the dim light of early morning on Yavin IV, he stretched out to find an empty bed. He was disappointed, but not surprised. He longed to hold his wife, just once more. But the last time she had been in his arms, she had died. That was almost two years ago.

    Luke felt another presence - a cold, calculating, annoying one. With a grunt, he got up and slipped on a black robe.

    He walked down the hallway, stopping at his daughter’s door. He looked in to make sure she was alright. Elianda was the one proof that his wife, Jasmay, had lived and loved. The nine-year-old slept fitfully since the day her mother died. Luke allowed himself a small smile. Elia was sleeping all right tonight. Her dark brown curls cascaded across her face, covering the mangled scars she got the day her mother died.

    His next stop was his son’s room. Ben was twenty-two and a Jedi Knight, like his father. Ben had been a product of an earlier relationship. Luke had loved Ben’s mother, but the relationship never worked out, and they had known that from the start.

    With a sigh, Luke entered the living room to find Ben’s mother crashed out on his couch. “Jade?” he grunted, poking her foot. Sadly, this wasn’t an odd sight for him. Mara Jade and Jasmay Kalan Skywalker had been best friends - Luke and Jasmay had met through Mara - and Mara had often crashed on the Skywalker couch. Luke had an odd relationship with Mara, but it worked. Yet he hadn’t seen her since the funeral.

    Mara grunted and kicked him. “What, Skywalker?” she groaned, opening her green eyes.

    “Why are you on my couch?”

    “Because getting in bed with you would have been a little odd,” she said, sitting up. Her greying red hair was pulled back into a tight braid.

    He rolled his eyes. “Why are you on Yavin IV? Are you in some kind of trouble with the government?”

    “Don’t you want some kind of deniability when they come looking for me?”

    “Mara!” He was frustrated.

    “Relax. My stars, Leia was right, you’ve gotten so uptight,” she said, putting her arms behind her head. “I’m just here because I need to talk to you and Ben. There are children going missing in the Imperial Remnant.”

    He gave her an odd look. “Isn’t that something for the authorities? I thought you hated the Remnant.”

    “I do, but, Luke,” she was serious when she used his first name. “They are going missing by the dozens. They just vanish in the night, from their beds. Emperor Relan is trying to cover it up. Leia was contacted by private citizens and she asked me to investigate. They want answers. I know it isn’t Jedi jurisdiction, and I’m not a Jedi in name, but I need Jedi help.”

    He pursed his lips and nodded. “Ask Ben, and perhaps Jaina and some of their friends can help.”

    “What about you?”

    He shook his head. “I’m needed here. Elia…”

    Mara nodded, in a sad, yet knowing way. “How is she?”

    “She’s doing well most days.”

    “And you?” She reached out to touch his hand.

    “I’m fine,” he said, all too quickly.

    “Luke, I know when you are lying. You aren’t the only one that lost Jas.”

    “I know,” he said, getting up. “But I’m the only one with her blood on my hands.” He walked back into the darkness of the hallway.

    * * *

    Mara sighed slightly as she watched Luke walk away from her. He did not look healthy. He was looking older, and rather scruffy looking with the stubble on his face. They never had a real relationship, so there had been no hard feelings between the two, so she often saw him as a friend and worried as one.

    She laid back down and tried to get a few more minutes of sleep, but as soon as the sun peered through the large window, she heard small footsteps clomp towards her. She opened her eyes to see Elianda stumbling towards her. The girl was so small for her age and much of her right side was damaged. She limped and her right hand was in a permanent fist that she held to her chest. Her dark curls covered most of the right side of her face. Mara couldn’t help but smile as Elia tried to hurry in her pink nightgown.

    “Mara!” she said, practically jumping into Mara’s outstretched arms.

    “Hey there Elia-bug.” Mara set the girl in her lap. “You keeping Ben out of trouble?”

    The girl scoffed. “I try, but it always seems to find him. Where have you been?”

    “You know, around, fighting monsters, making deals with pirates. Where have you been?” she asked, poking the girl’s nose.

    “You know, here, bored, dealing with Dad and Ben.”

    Luke then emerged, dressed in black Jedi robes, still sporting the stubble.

    “What’s with the whiskers, Dad?” Elia asked, smiling at her father.

    “I’m trying something new,” he replied. “I think I might try a beard.”

    Mara smiled slightly. Something new might be good for him.

    “Ben should be out of the sani-steam sometime this decade,” Luke said with a roll of his eyes. “Come on Elianda, lets get you ready for classes.”

    “Can Mara get me ready?” she asked.

    Mara answered before Luke could. “I certainly can.” She helped Elia get up.

    “Thanks, Mara,” the girl said. She babbled as she led Mara to her bedroom. “It’s been forever since I’ve had my hair done pretty. Aunt Leia tried to teach Dad, but he’s all thumbs.”

    Mara laughed. “I bet he is.” Mara wasn’t exactly the ‘girly’ type, being raised by pirates and then later becoming a smuggler, but she knew more than Luke.

    Elianda sat on a oversized foam-mold chair as Mara perused the closet. “What about this for today?” Mara asked, holding a long, medium blue tunic style dress with ruffles and long sleeves, and grey leggings.

    “Perfect!” she said smiling.

    Mara helped Elia get dressed, which was a slow process. Mara had seen all of Alia’s injuries when they had been fresh, Mara had been the one to carry the girl to the medi-speeder. Compared to that day, Mara could handle the scars and disfigurements. She then started Alia’s hair.

    “Do it up in braids, please. Just make sure my right eye is covered.”

    “Are you sure?” Mara asked. “You are such a pretty girl. There’s no need to cover the scars.”

    “I know, but they remind Dad of Mom and I don’t like seeing him sad. Besides, it’s not like I can see out of the eye anyways.”

    “Okay, but if you ever want to pull your hair back, do it.” Mara then went on to do Alia’s hair in braids, then pinning them into two low buns. She made sure a chunk of hair swooped down and covered Alia’s scared, dead eye. “There, beautiful.”

    “Thanks Mara. You won’t be here for long, will you?”

    Mara sat on the bed, next to Elia. “Sorry, Elia. I only came to see if your brother would help me with an investigation I’ve been asked to do in the Remnant. I’ll be gone before lunch. But after I’m going to try to visit more often. We don’t want your dad turning you into a boy now, do we?”

    “No, we don’t,” she giggled, getting up. She started hobbling towards the kitchen.

    Mara was following her down the hall when two strong, familiar arms wrapped around her. She laughed as they squeezed her and picked her up from behind.

    “Hey Mom! Long time, no see,” a deep voice said.

    “Yes, now let me down so I can see you!”

    He did, and she turned around and smiled at the sight. Ben was tall, but with his father’s face and her red hair. He looked healthy and strong. “Dad said you wanted to talk to me?”

    “Yes. Leia has given me a private mission from civilians in the Remnant. Children are going missing. Dozens have simply vanished. Do you think you can join me?”

    “Yeah, of course.”

    “Do you think Jaina and some of your guys’ friends might be able to join us, undercover of course.”

    “We can certainly ask them. But lets go have breakfast with Dad.”

    “How is your father doing?” Mara asked in a hushed tone.

    “There’s a reason I haven’t left Yavin in two years. He’s working himself to exhaustion with the Jedi and Elia. I think he just wanted to keep himself busy. But he’s beginning to move on, he actually takes his weekends now and just hangs out with me and her. It’s time that I stop holding his hand and get on with my own life.”

    Mara nodded and followed her son out to the kitchen where they both sat down at the table. Oddly, it wasn’t in the least awkward. They all ate as Mara recounted some of her tales from the past two years. Then she and Ben said their goodbyes as Luke and Elianda headed for their classes.

    “Now,” Ben said, “Let me call the gang.”

    Within a few minutes, four more Jedi knights in their twenties showed up and sat around the Skywalker living room.

    Jaina Solo was the first to arrive. “Aunt Mara!” the 25-year-old said with a smile as she hugged Mara. Jaina wasn’t Mara’s niece by blood, but Mara had grown up under Han Solo. He was practically her older brother. Jaina grew up under her father’s eye, and was a fine pilot, but a even finer Jedi, however she looked like a carbon copy of her mother. She had her hair pulled back in a braid and was wearing robes in cream and dark blue tones.

    Tiio and Riio Cegan were the next to arrive. They were Jedi twins; human with dark skin tones. Both wore traditional brown and tan Jedi robes. They had been born Abenchi warriors. Riio, the male twin, had short black hair and was a weapons master. His sister had her hair in elaborate braids. Tiio had expertise the computer skills, including some questionable skills.

    And then Mal’ahki Siboh showed up. He was a male Togruta with red and white skin with sharp, defined features and even sharper Montral.

    Mara gave them a quick debriefing, telling them the details she had told Luke. “This is not a Jedi operation. All actions can not be traced back to the Jedi. Because of this, we will all be undercover, including myself, just to be safe. If anyone does not want to partake for any reason, speak now or forever hold your piece.”

    No one spoke.

    “Then lets go then, fitches!” Mal’ahki exclaimed.
  2. Kahara

    Kahara Force Ghost star 4

    Mar 3, 2001
    :) Glad to see this is being developed and updated again! The Dark Mysteries challenge entry was really intriguing.

    [face_laugh] The scene with Mara and Elianda is adorable. I like the new details (at least, as far as I remember they are new.) It's interesting to see that in this universe Mara seems to have been a smuggler rather than Imperial.
  3. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Aug 31, 2004
    Love the title and so happy this is continuing, even without the Episode 7 components. :p Like Elia and the mystery and of course the L/M. ;)
  4. Gemma

    Gemma Jedi Master star 4

    Dec 25, 2013
    I love the interesting dynamic you have created. The part with Elia and Mara is just so precious. Look forward to move as it comes.
  5. JadeLotus

    JadeLotus Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Mar 27, 2005
    Ah, I remember this. Looking forward to the rest!
  6. mavjade

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

    Sep 10, 2005
    Love, love LOVE!!

    I've never thought about Luke and Mara having a relationship but then just being friends, but the way you write it makes it awesome! Their relationship is still close and full of love, just not in love. I really like Ben and Elia's relationship with her as well.

    I'm very excited to read more!

    (Would you mind tagging me when you update?)
  7. Briannakin

    Briannakin Grand Moff Darth Fanfic & Costuming/Props Manager star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Feb 25, 2010
    Thanks. I love that scene too. When it popped into my head, I just had to continue it. And yeah, there are a couple little details that I changed (IE Elia's name and age).

    Thanks. Technically this could be a ep 7 fic, I just wanted to do some things a bit differently, and of course we all know I have ADD when it comes to long fics :p


    Thanks. A lot of people bugged me to continue it, so I did.

    Thanks. Yeah, I can tag you.
    Kahara likes this.
  8. Briannakin

    Briannakin Grand Moff Darth Fanfic & Costuming/Props Manager star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Feb 25, 2010
    AN: So, I’m completely finished this fic, so I’m just updating it whenever I remember. If it’s been awhile, I’ve probably forgotten, so feel free to poke me to remind me.

    This chapter is PROBABLY one of my favourite pieces I’ve ever written. There is just something about Tycho telling Han he has some explaining to do that cracks me up.

    Tag list: mavjade

    Chapter 2

    7 ABY

    Luke lounged in the main hold of the Millennium Falcon. He swore, between cleaning up the remains of the Empire - the treaty to give them and the followers of Emperor Soontir Fel’s ways their own corner of space was helping in that regard - and re-building the Jedi order, he never got time to relax. But he, Chewbacca and the recently married Han and Leia Solo were coming back from being a part of signing the treaty with Emperor - who had been democratically elected and not a Sith. It was a long time coming and now the New Republic had Coruscant along with many other important core worlds. Luke and his few students now had access to the old Jedi temple, which paled the Jedi Academy he had set up on Yavin IV. More importantly, they had peace.

    A ring on the comm as they were switching hyperspace lanes woke him from his musings. He got up and played the recorded message. Tycho Celchu’s - a member of Rogue Squadron - face appeared. He was a blonde male, Luke’s age.

    “Hey guys. So all the Imps are off Coruscant and some of the other squadrons and us were processing the people who were being held captive at the Imperial palace. We’ve found many potential Force-users and sent them to Tionne and Kam on Yavin. But we found one, I guess Emperor Palpatine took particular interest in her, she was obviously tortured for many years. She is ill, both mentally and physically, so we took her to Coruscant Memorial med-center. I got a name out of her: Mara Jade. I looked up her files and it has Han Solo listed as her emergency contact, but I don’t think she’s some groupie because the file is ten years old. She’s been asking for Han when she’s conscious. I’d think you guys had better get here ASAP, and Han, I think you got some explaining to do.”

    Luke paled. He knew about Han’s past, being raised by pirates then becoming a smuggler. It had involved plenty of women. He awkwardly made his way down the gangway and knocked on the door of the newlywed’s cabin. There were noises coming from within. “Ummm, Han? We have a message that you’d better hear. It seems rather urgent.”

    He waited for a few more moments and was about to knock again when the door opened and out came Han and Leia, both wearing night robes. Leia was blushing while Han was scowling. “This had better be good,” he grumbled.

    “Oh, trust me,” Luke said, following them to the main hold. “It’ll be entertaining.”

    Han sat down and played the message. Leia stood behind him. Han gasped and went pale at the name “Mara Jade.” Leia went pale at the words “emergency contact.” Luke stood back for the fireworks, hand on his lightsaber just encase he needed to gut Han.

    But then, Han put his head in his hands. Was he crying?

    “Han. You had better kriffing explain. Who in chaos is Mara Jade?” Leia seemed so calm, but her voice was like ice.

    Han breathed deeply and wiped his eyes. He then smiled. “You need not worry Leia, my love. Mara Jade was - is - my sister.”

    Both Luke and Leia let out an undignified, “Huh?”

    “I’d better start from the beginning. Sit down you two.” Luke and Leia obeyed Han’s command. He then started. “You both know my parents - Jaina and Lias Solo - were pirates, under Captain Kames Unisun. After they died when I was 6, Unisun made me his cabin boy. It wasn’t the best upbringing, but it could have been much worse. Anyways, when I was 10, two Corellian Jedi - you know, the kind that can have sex and marry - joined us, seeking refuge from the Imps. Very nice couple. They eventually had a kid, Mara Jade. But they were killed, very randomly during a raid. Unisun took Mara under his wing and we were practically raised together, krell, I raised her. She was like my younger sister. After I was old enough to get out of the pirating business, I took her with me-” He stopped mid-sentence. “Oh gods, I gotta wake Chewie and tell him Mara is alive!” He got up and ran off.

    Luke laughed. “He seems happy.”

    Leia nodded. “Indeed. I’m just peeved that he practically had a sister he never told me about.”

    “To be fair,” he said, “You have a twin brother that you took four years to tell Han about.”

    Leia laughed and punched Luke in the arm.

    Han came back with Chewie behind him. They were both laughing.

    “I guess I’d better finish,” Han said as he and Chewie sat down.

    “Yes, you’d better,” Leia said. “Why haven’t I heard of this Mara Jade?”

    Han let out a sigh. “Mara went missing on a trade run to Corellia a few weeks before I met Luke. From what I investigated, she was taken from a bar by stormtroopers. I searched for her, but deep down I knew that she was taken for her Force abilities. I knew her parents had been Jedi and she did things that no normal person could do. Her reflexes were very handy in a fight - she saved my keester many times. I knew she had been killed, or so I thought. I can only imagine what the Emperor did to her,” he said, clenching his fists.

    “We will get you to her as quickly as possible,” Leia assured him, taking his hand.

    “Would she be a candidate for the Jedi?” Luke asked.

    “Now look here Luke,” Han said, pointing his finger at Luke. “I can only imagine what she has gone through at the hands of the Emperor because her parents were Jedi. You can ask her, but she is not into that mumbo-jumbo.”

    * * *

    When they landed on Coruscant, Han was practically jumping with jitters. He was wearing his standard blue pants with Corellian blood-stripe, white shirt and black vest.

    “If I didn’t know better,” Luke said as they off-boarded at the medcenter, “I’d say you were going to meet your daughter for the first time.”

    Chewbacca laughed.

    “Well, she was only 8 when I took her with me to start smuggling. I was like the older brother that tried to be the father. I failed. She was only 16 when she was taken.”

    “Tycho said she’s been asking for you,” Leia reminded him as they walked to the front receptionist. “You couldn’t have failed that badly.”

    Han nodded, then asked the receptionist for Mara’s room, but were told to wait. They took seats. Soon a doctor appeared. “General Solo, Princess Organa Solo, Master Skywalker, Chewbacca,” he said with a nod. “I am Doctor Zikol. I simply wanted to prepare you on Ms. Jade’s condition. From what we gather, she was held by Emperor Palpatine for four years until his death. He tried to brainwash her to kill rebels, but failed. He drained her of her energy to supply him for his health. After he died, Ysanne Isard - the late Director of Imperial Intelligence - preformed many experiments on her. Mara is malnourished and exhausted. Her body is very brittle but she is doing remarkably well both physically and mentally. If you are willing to watch her recovery for a few weeks, I can release her tomorrow.”

    “Yes, of course. May I see her?” Han asked.

    The doctor nodded. “She has spent much time resting, but she’s been reading up on you and really wants to see you. Though it is probably best if you go in first alone.”

    The doctor led the four to a private room and allowed Han to enter.

    Mara was sitting on the med-center bed, her red hair pulled back in a loose pony-tale, drowning in standard med-center pyjamas. She looked so small, like she did as a child after Unison beat her for doing something wrong. She was looking down at a data-pad.

    Han stepped into the room and cleared his throat. Mara looked up.

    “Han Solo, you hive-rat bastard!” Mara yelled.

    He stopped and gave her his “who, me?” look.

    “Yes, you!” she growled. “It says on the holonet that you are some kind of respectable rebel, sorry ‘New Republic’ general! And Lando is too!” She smacked the data pad.

    “Well, don’t believe everything you read on the holonet,” he said, going in for the hug. He held her tightly. “A general, yes. Respectable? Hell no.”

    She laughed as he let go and sat on the edge of the bed. “Good.”

    “How are you?” he asked, growing quiet. “I feared the worst.”

    “It was worse than death,” she said. “But they’ve already made me talk to some shrink. I’m fine. Well… I’m not fine but I don’t remember much of the past seven years so I’m not going to break down into a blubbering mess anytime soon. If I survived Lando babysitting me for a week when I was 12, I can survive anything.”

    He laughed. “I am so sorry about that by the way.”

    “Anyways, I hear your a married man! To a princess non-the-less! I want to meet my sister-in-law!”

    “Okay, but I also have a surprise, and you have to meet my brother-in-law.”

    “Luke Skywalker,” she said. “I read about him. He’s hot.”

    Han rolled his eyes. “He’s a Jedi. He’s starting a Jedi Order. He’s very interested in your parentage. He may ask you to join, but I’ve told him to lay off, at least till you are feeling better.”

    She nodded, slowly. “To be honest, joining the Jedi order might be a good option. I have missed a third of my life. Your a married General now and it honestly daunts me to think what I’m going to do with my life.”

    “I’m going to help you. As is Luke, Leia, Lando and everyone else. Don’t jump into anything. Just get better, then you can do whatever you damn want to with your life.”

    “Okay,” she resigned. “Now you said something about a surprise?”

    “Okay, close your eyes and try not to fall asleep.”

    Han got up and poked his head out the door to see Luke, Leia and Chewie, all standing and waiting. Leia held a bouquet of flowers, Luke: a stuffed Corellian sand panther and Chewbacca: a small vibro-dagger.

    “Alright, she’ll see you all, but I’ve played Chewie off as a big surprise, so he’d better come in first.”

    Chewbacca barged past Han. Leia and then Luke were quick to follow.

    When she saw Chewbacca, Mara’s face lit up. “Chewie!” she exclaimed as the wookiee made her disappear into a hug. After several growls from him, she responded, “I’m alright, I’m alright, you big lug. I just can’t believe you’re still hanging out with this di’kut,” she said, slapping Han’s arm.

    Chewbacca gave her his gift as he sat at her side. “Thanks. I guess I’m going to have to start my weapons collection again. I don’t even have any clothes, let alone a credit to my name, probably.”

    “While I did presume you died, I didn’t close any of your accounts. I might have borrowed some though… “ he said trailing off. She rolled her eyes. “But we are going to help you out and give you everything you need to start over again, so please don’t worry. Tycho and the Rogues have already done all the paperwork to bring you back to life, so to speak.”

    “They are nice men,” she commented.

    Both Luke and Leia sifted laughs.

    “Oh yes,” Han said. “Mara, I want you to meet my wife, Leia Organa Solo.” He reached for Leia.

    “Hello,” Leia said softly as she set the flowers on a bedside table. “I’ve heard much about you over the past few days and I’ve already started to make arrangements for you to stay with us after you get out of here and I’m more than happy to go shopping with you for whatever you need.” She gently hugged Mara.

    “Thank you. I’ve read much about you. I’m amazed that you turned Han into such a nice man.” Mara leaned into Han. “Do I gotta bow or something?”

    He laughed. “No. And this is her brother, Luke Skywalker.”

    “Hello,” Luke said as he fumbled forward. “Uh, Chewie said you liked felines,” he said, handing her the stuffy.

    Mara gave him a grin as she accepted the gift. “Thank you, I do. I’ve read much about you too. Now,” she said, looking around. “What’s the escape plan?”

    “There isn’t one,” Han said. “The doctors want to monitor you till tomorrow. We can break you out then.”

    “Han,” she said in a low tone, “I’ve been stuck in twelve by twelve white rooms for the past seven years, eating nasty food. I am getting out tonight whether you help me or not.”

    “Fine,” Han sighed. “But only because I know resistance is futile.”

    * * *

    Luke soon found himself driving the speeder to Han and Leia’s new apartment. In the back was Mara Jade, sitting between Chewbacca and Han. She was asleep on Chewie’s shoulder. She was so beautiful with no make up, bags under her eyes, greasy hair and a standard grey sweatsuit on.
    Gemma and Kahara like this.
  9. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Aug 31, 2004
    Bri! Loved the flashback chapter =D= And the revelations and reunions and first meetings. Mara is still so herself even in this AU. ^:)^ Her snark meshes so well with Han's. [face_laugh]
  10. JadeLotus

    JadeLotus Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Mar 27, 2005
    Interesting twists in this AU - I always loved Han and Mara's relationship so for them to have a shared backstory is a neat twist.
    Nyota's Heart likes this.
  11. mavjade

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

    Sep 10, 2005
    Love the back story on Han and Mara! I could really see that with both of their personalities. She's still Mara even though things were very different for her, which is fantastic!

    Wonderful update! =D=

    Thanks for the tag!
    Nyota's Heart likes this.
  12. Gemma

    Gemma Jedi Master star 4

    Dec 25, 2013
    Love the idea of Mara's background being intertwined with Han's. Look forward to more. Thought the comment she made about Luke being hot was cute.

    JEDIFLYSWATTER Jedi Master star 3

    Dec 10, 2004
    I loved the "resistance is futile " statement. Very interesting twist to the familiar relationship between Han and Mara. I too like felines . They are so soft and purry but can turn around cut you down and make you cry. Just like Mara Jade.:) Great job and please put me on your PM list. Thanks.
  14. Briannakin

    Briannakin Grand Moff Darth Fanfic & Costuming/Props Manager star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Feb 25, 2010
    AN: Thanks for reading everyone. I love the idea of Han and Mara sharing a past. It makes me want to do a prequel for this with the adventures of those two with some Lando and Chewie thrown in. Just all the snark. All the snark, ever.

    Tag list:mavjade

    Chapter 3

    34 ABY

    After making sure the Jade Saber was on-course for the Imperial Remnant’s capital planet of Bastion, she made her way to the main hold where the Jedi Knights were all surrounding data-pads. She had given them the basic debriefing back on Yavin IV – what she had told Luke. She honestly didn’t know much beyond that. Children, generally between the ages of five and twelve, were going missing from planets in the Remnant. It seemed to hit one area every few nights and the children, seemingly chosen at random, disappeared from their beds with no traces of break in.

    Ben looked up as she joined them. “Tiio has started a computer program to try to find any pattern or connection between the kids and any pattern between the area affected to see if we can predict where it - whatever it is - will hit next.”

    Mara nodded. “I’ve contacted several private citizens on Bastion under the guise of a private investigator named Jadlyn Mohles. You all will be my assistants. Adopt new names and provide little detail about yourselves.” She opened the table in the middle of the hold and took out a box. “In here are hair dye and skin paints. They are permanent until you wash them off with the specific cleaner. I think there may even be some hair extenders and wigs at the bottom Disguise yourselves well. You can not be even suspected of being Jedi.” She took a box of hair dye and a pallet of skin paint. “There are civilian clothes that should fit all of you in that wardrobe. I don’t even want to recognize you guys when we land in 23 hours.”

    * * *

    By the time they broke the atmosphere above Bastion, Mara barely recognized herself, let alone the Jedi she had brought with her. According to Jaina, they didn’t get to do much undercover work, so when the time came to make themselves over, they all had jumped at the opportunity, Mara had put in hair extenders, including bangs, and had died her hair a dark, mousy brown. She had put on fake tanning serum to make her skin darker and she wore dark make-up and had put in eye drops to make her eyes a dark brown. She wore jewelry, a black skirt, white blouse and a dark blue coat.

    Tiio had brushed out her braids into a large fro and had done her make-up elaborately with bright red lips. She wore a low-cut red dress with sneakers.

    Riio wore a wig of black dreadlocks. He had put on brown cargo-pants and a blue button up shirt.

    Mal’ahki had gone through the long process of dying his once red skin to a definite orange colour and altering the white on his face, Montrals and head-tails. He wore an all-black suit.

    Jaina had her hair died bleach blond, green eye drops in, and her make-up done excessively so. She wore a dark grey pant-suit with a blue-green shirt.

    Ben had his hair died green and had spiked it with gel. He had fake ear stretchers in his ear and fake tattoos all over his body. One of his eyes remained green while the other had been died brown. He wore a black combat suit with the arms tore off.

    Mara had rolled her eyes as soon as she had seen her son. “Your father is going to kill me.”

    “I’ve heard that one before,” Ben said with a laugh.

    They landed at the estate of Enric Nov-eshtein, one of the richest men on Bastion. Two of his children had vanished and he had been one of the many civilians to reach out to Leia Solo for help. Part of the story was that Chief of State Solo had hired Sherl Mohles on behalf of Nov-eshtein.

    As they disembarked, a servant in a black uniform came out to greet them. The human male offered a slight bow. “Hello, Lady Mohles. Greetings from the Nov-eshtein estate. Master Enric is in morning for his two heirs, but he will see you in his office.”

    Mara nodded and the group followed the servant through elaborately decorated halls and into an office richly decorated in luxury items. In the middle of it all was a man with disheveled greying hair with hollow eyes.

    “Leave us, Yavris,” Enric grunted to the servant who then shut the grand doors. “Please, sit,” he gestured to several chairs around the room. “The Chief of State Solo claims you are one of the best in the galaxy.”

    Mara nodded. “Indeed. There have been few mysteries that have eluded me. But I require cooperation.”


    “Were you contacted by anyone before your children disappeared?”

    Enric sighed. “Please don’t tell my wife, but I was. I received an anonymous message from an unknown communication asking me for one-million credits to ensure my children’s safety. I get messages of the like all the time. I contacted the police and upped my children’s securities, but I did not respond. I wish I had.”

    “I am sorry for your loss. Can we have the communication? And do you know of anyone who also got a communication and paid it?”

    He nodded. “Yes, to both,” he said, getting out a communication chip and handing it to Mara. “Thats the comm info. My business partner, Jahren Pene, got a similar message. He took it seriously and paid the money. His daughter, Rema, was not taken.” He gave her another chip. “Here is his information. If you tell him I sent you, he will answer anything.”

    “Thank you,” Mara said, accepting the chip. “Do you mind if we look around the children’s rooms?”

    “You may,” he said, sounding tired. “Yavris?” Enric called. The servant entered. “Please show Ms. Mohles and her associates to Vivi’s and Wendal’s rooms.”

    “Thank you for all of your help,” Mara said as she got up.

    “No, thank you,” he replied. “The Imperial authorities have done nothing but silence the outrage. You are the first person to come to action.”

    Mara nodded slightly before following the others out.

    “The children’s rooms are in the east wing,” Yavris said, leading the way.

    “What can you tell us about them?” Jaina asked.

    “Master Wendal is nine. He’s your average rich boy. Like his sister he’s in many activities, mostly sports, and goes to Bastion’s best private school. He’s very into sports and is a very active and lively kid. Lady Vivi is quieter and shyer than her brother. She loves arts and crafts.”

    “And there was no signs of foul play the night they disappeared?” Mal’ahki asked.

    “None,” the servant replied. “There are holocams in the hallway - but none in the kids’ rooms - and there was nothing on them, not even time blips or static. There are no signs of anyone even forcing their way into the rooms. Here we are.”

    “Synol, Reen, and Tati, investigate Wendal’s room,” Mara said, ordering Mal’ahki, Riio and Tiio by their undercover names. “Kuké, Liona and I will search Vivi’s room. We will compare notes after.” She hoped by splitting up, Yavris would only follow one of the groups. He ended up following the group with the twins.

    Mara entered the daughter’s room after Ben and Jaina. It looked like any other little girl’s room with artwork on the walls and pretty pink furniture. The bed was unmade. It looked like nothing had been touched since the girl’s disappearance.

    They went over the room with a fine-tooth comb and found nothing amiss except for a few dried red leaves underneath the bed. Mara, as well as Jaina and Ben had reached out with the Force and found the room tainted ever so slightly with the Dark Side.

    They met the others out in the hall. Riio held out a small bag of dried leaves. “All we found were these,” he said.

    “Us too,” Ben replied.

    “Pardon if I interrupt, but my nephew has also gone missing. There was no comm for credits, but my sister found those same red leaves under Simo’s bed,” Yavris said.

    “Do you mind if we talk to her?” Mara asked, thinking a talk with a middle-class family may help.

    “Of course, my sister will do anything willing to help her. You may also want to talk to her neighbor; he has a son the same age as Simo, yet he wasn’t taken,” he said as he wrote information on a piece of flimsy. “Here are their names and addresses. My master told me to tell you that you may leave your ship here and borrow speeders from the estate during your stay here on Bastion.”

    “Thank you.” Mara turned to her associates. “Why don’t you guys go interview the business partner,” she said to Mal’ahki, Riio and Tiio, handing them the chip with the information on it. “See if you can get any information on the money transfer. Afterwards, go to a library and see if you can identify the leaves. The rest of us will go down to Yarvis’ sister.”

    * * *

    Mara was the one to knock on Yarvis’ sister’s door. A boy in his mid teens answered. “Hey, you must be Investigator Mohles. Uncle Yarvis told us you were coming. Come in,” the kid said, welcoming the three in. “Mom’s just in the sitting room.” He led them to an average looking sitting room where a woman, just younger than Mara, was on a chair.

    “Hello, Investigator Mohles,” she said, getting up to shake Mara’s hand. “Thank you so much for giving us your time. Anything we can do to help you in your investigation, we will do it. I’m Katriana.”

    Mara nodded as she sat down. “Thank you, I just have some questions. First off, did you find any strange leaves in your son’s bedroom the morning after he disappeared?”

    “Dried, red, with three points?” Katriana asked. “Yes, I found them under his bed. I have never seen leaves like that in this area. It was the only thing amiss in his bedroom.”

    “How old was Simo?”

    “Eleven,” she replied.

    “What about your other son?”

    “Pytr is fifteen.”

    “Do you have any theories as to why Pytr didn’t disappear but Simo did?”

    “I’ve talked to a few other families who have had children disappear. None of the kids who did had hit puberty yet - they were all generally under the age of twelve or thirteen.”

    Mara nodded. It made sense as to why the kids seemed to be between certain ages.

    “Is there anything else you can tell me?”

    “I honestly wish there was. Simo is your average boy, decent grades, he likes video games, no health issues. I wish I had more to tell you. His father has searched the city for him.”

    “Thank you,” Mara said, standing up.

    “No, thank you for doing something. Please, don’t let the government know what you are doing.”

    “Why?” Ben asked for his mother.

    “I don’t want to say too much, but I don’t think the government wants us to find our children.”

    Mara handed Katriana a data chip with her information on it. “If you can think of anything else, please contact me.”

    They were then on their way next door. Jaina took the lead. She rang the chime. A man, with greying, hair answered. “Yes?”

    “We are here to inquire about your son, Dekkè.”

    “What did he do now?” the man said with a sigh.

    “Nothing. We are investigating the missing children and were wondering if you know why your son isn’t among them,” Jaina said, putting the Force behind her words.

    “I didn’t pay anyone to keep him safe. I’ve often wondered why Simo and others in the area have disappeared, but Dekkè has been safe. Honestly, what sets him apart is the fact that he’s a troubled kid with a dead mom.”

    Jaina smiled tightly. “Thank you. You have been a tremendous help.”

    As they got into the borrowed speeder, Mara looked at Jaina, confused. “Have you figured this out?”

    “Maybe,” Jaina said with a sigh. “My mom used to scare my brother and I with stories of the Tibachi. It was an Aldraanian monster of sorts. It lived in the forests of Aldraan and came to get all children in the middle of the night. It took them to its cave and ate their innocent hearts. However, if the child was grown up and acted mature, it would be tricked into thinking the child was an adult. I consider the night that my brother died to be the night I lost my innocence. Like how a orphan or a kid like Dekkè has lost their innocence.”

    Jaina’s twin brother, Jacen, had died tragically one night. The doctors had ruled it a spontaneous brain aneurism. There were no warning signs and nothing anyone could do.

    “But it was just a story,” Jaina assured her adopted aunt and cousin.

    “Perhaps not a story,” Mara mused. “But a myth based on fact?”

    “You have got to be kidding me. It was just a stupid way my mom got me to act grown up.”

    “Jaina, as much as your parents told you otherwise, there are things that go bump in the night.”
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  15. Gemma

    Gemma Jedi Master star 4

    Dec 25, 2013
    That's a scary thought that it could be a monster taking the children. Yikes!
  16. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Aug 31, 2004
    Woo, liked the disguises [face_laugh] What a mystery this is turning into, children disappearing without a literal trace or demands for ransom. :eek:
  17. mavjade

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

    Sep 10, 2005
    The disguises part was so much fun, especially Ben's (and Mara's reaction)! I want to be able to disguise myself like that and then be able to turn back with a special cleaner... why don't we have this! :p (Body paint doesn't count.)

    Hmm.... sometimes stories come from truth, at least in part. Sounds like Jaina might be on to something, even if she doesn't believe it. [face_thinking]

    Loved that last line!

    Great update!! =D=
  18. JadeLotus

    JadeLotus Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Mar 27, 2005
    I like Mara and Co undercover - and fascinating story about the monster and Jaina's past tragedy.
  19. Briannakin

    Briannakin Grand Moff Darth Fanfic & Costuming/Props Manager star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Feb 25, 2010
    A/N: Thanks everyone for reading. Another trip back in time for this chapter. You can say Mara is OOC all you want, but remember, this ISN’T the Mara of the EU.

    Tag list: @mavjade

    Chapter 4

    11 ABY

    Luke Skywalker allowed himself to smile as the Jade Sabre landed on the rooftop of the Yavin IV Jedi Academy. Over the past 4 years Luke and Mara had become friends. He had tried to convince Mara to train as a Jedi, but she always said no. She was a freelancer of sorts. If someone wanted an obscure object or information, Mara was your woman. She disliked the the term smuggler, but many would consider her line of work questionably legal.

    Now, she apparently needed his help.

    “So, the great Mara Jade finally needs Luke Skywalker,” he said as she walked down the boarding ramp.

    “Shut up Skywalker, Lando’s the one who’s in trouble,” she said, throwing her bag at him. “Han practically begged me to look for him.”

    No one had heard from Lando for about three weeks. He had won some stupid map to an abandoned Star Destroyer off in the unknown regions. Mara had gone after him, but had found nothing. She was on Yavin getting supplies, refuelling and picking up Luke who had offered to help.

    “I have a warm meal made and my guest room clean. We can leave after you’ve had some rest,” Luke said as he led her down into the temple. “I’ll have someone re-stock and refuel the Sabre.”

    “Thanks. You are the best. Though I think I might have to use your sanisteam before I eat your food.”

    “Of course, Mara.”

    * * *

    After a long hot sanisteam, Mara walked into Luke’s small kitchen to find a lovely dinner on the table. “Skywalker, when I said I wanted some real grub, I didn’t mean for you to go through all this trouble.”

    He shrugged as he put a pot of buzziki noodles onto the table. “It’s been awhile since I’ve had company. I’d thought I’d take advantage of it and make a nice dinner for myself as well.”

    “Well, thanks,” she said, sitting down. “Truth be told, it’s been far too long since I’ve had a nice, home cooked meal. Han and Leia have been so busy with the twins that I haven’t had dinner with them in awhile.”

    Luke smiled at the mention of his niece and nephew. Jaina and Jacen were two years old. “How are they?”

    Mara laughed. “The twins are pure trouble. I swear they are plotting to kill Han and Leia.”

    “I’m so jealous,” he said, taking a bite of his noodles. “I wish I could see them more often.”

    They continued to chat over dinner until Mara yawned.

    “You should go to bed,” Luke said, getting up and taking her empty plate. “I can clean up.”

    “Are you sure?”

    “Yes. You’ve been scanning the Unknown Regions for a week. Go have a good night sleep.”

    “Skywalker, you are so good. How the krill are you single?”

    “I’m just waiting for the right woman,” he said with a slight smile.

    * * *

    “So you set up bingers all across this area?” Luke asked, pointing to an area on the Jade Sabre’s galaxy map. He and Mara were currently on their way to the edge of the unknown regions.

    “Yeah, in a grid pattern. They are moving across as we speak and I’m hoping we will get a ping by the time we get back there. My best guess is that he was sent to this area,” she said, pointing to a smaller region. “There is literally nothing there.”

    “Any guesses on who took him?”

    “Considering no ransom has been ordered, my guess is one of the many people Lando cheated in his past.”

    “I just can’t believe he was dumb enough to fly into a trap.”

    “I can… it’s Lando.”

    “Can you make a list of people he has wronged?”

    “Can you make one of how many women he has slept with? Because would be that times ten.”

    “Good point,” Luke said, rolling his eyes. “So is there literally nothing we can do but wait for the bingers to find something?”

    “Unless you want to search the whole of the unknown regions, or have some sort of Force thing to find him, then yeah.”

    Luke worked his jaw in thought. “That isn’t a bad idea - using the Force.”

    “You have got to be kidding me, I’m no Jedi…”

    “Yeah, I know, you refuse to be.”

    Mara rolled her eyes, “But I do know not even you are strong enough in the Force to find Lando in all of Wild Space.”

    “Yes, but if we work together, maybe I can narrow it down.”

    Mara let out a deep sigh. “You know I don’t use the Force.”
    “Why not?”

    “You know why. I don’t know how and I don’t want to know how.”

    “Why not?” He had bugged her about this many times.

    “Why must you push me about this?” she asked, throwing her hands in the air and getting up.

    “Because l see potential in you.”

    She finally, after 5 years, exploded. “Yeah, potential to fall to the dark side and destroy everything I hold dear. I spent nearly 8 kriffing year being tortured by horrible people. I don’t want to turn into that.” She finally stormed off to her cabin, leaving Luke feeling defeated.

    * * *

    A few hours later, Luke knocked on Mara’s cabin door. “Mara, you don’t have to come out, or even reply, but just listen. I’m sorry. I think you would make a great Jedi and I think training would give you the confidence to know that you could never fall to the dark side-.”

    The door opening interrupted him. “You cocky son of a Sith.” He knew she meant every word. “You of all kriffing people know that anyone can fall to the dark side.”

    “Okay. I’m sorry. You are right. But training would give you the strength to resist temptation. However, you did remind me that you lost 8 years of your life. You should do what you want to do. I will aways look out for you and make sure you never fall to the dark side. I just hope, Jedi or not, you will do the same for me.”

    “Thank you,” she said with a deep breath. “I will. You can count on that.”

    “Thank you. Now. I made some brunch. Just some juice and fresh fruit I brought on board.”

    She smiled. “Master Skywalker, are you trying to get on my good side?”

    “I also brought cocoa dip.”

    She gasped. “You are!”

    “Nope,” he said, taking a step towards her. “I’m trying to seduce a woman who I’ve admired for a very long time.” From the awkward silence, he instantly regretted his words.

    “Luke, you know I love you, as a friend, but I don’t think anything could work out between us.”

    He let out a sigh and stepped back. “I know, I’m sorry. I’ve been in love with you for a very long time and I’ve been lonely. Just forget I said anything.” He turned to walk away.

    She grabbed his hand. “Luke, stop. Things are going to be awkward between us now. Might as well have some fun before it gets weird.” She then kissed him on the lips.

    He kissed her back.

    * * *

    Hours later Mara laid in Luke’s arms. They were on her bunk, naked, sweaty and breathing hard.

    “What the kriff did we just do?” Mara asked.

    “I don’t know, but it was amazing.”

    “Now what?” she asked.

    “We got it out of our system. I want more, but I’ll respect the fact that you don’t. Do you think we can ever just go back to being friends?”

    “I hope so, I do value your friendship. I know you are not a one time kind of guy, but we can just consider it a one time deal? Must we complicate it? We were both lonely, bored, and wanted someone to do.”

    He grinned. “Okay. So we shared an inmate moment as friends.”


    “You want to do it again?”

    “Yeah. But get that fruit and cocoa. I’m hungry and I have an idea.”

    Luke jumped out of the bed.

    * * *

    One week later Mara’s ship received a signal from one of the bingers. It was Lando. Pirates that he had once cheated had taken him and tortured him. Luke and Mara rescued him. Luke helped the beaten and ragged Lando into the med-bay of the Jade Sabre.

    “So,” Lando drawled with a busted lip and missing teeth. “What are you two doing in this neck of the woods?”

    Luke stalled, but Mara handled it smoothly. “You’ve been missing for a month and Han practically grovelled at my feet for me to come find you and you have so many enemies that I needed kriffing Jedi help.” She was gathering medical supplies as Luke eased Lando down on the bunk.

    “I’m going to plot us a route to the nearest planet with a half decent medcenter,” Luke said, rushing off.

    “What’s gotten into him?” Lando slurred as Mara gave him a hypospray.

    “The fact that you look like you got trampled by ranchors,” she replied, lying him down. “How are you not dead?” she mumbled to herself.

    “Cuz I’m cute!” he replied.

    “And you’re brain damaged.” She gave him another dose of the hypospray. He was instantly out. She was bandaging him up and she felt the ship go into hyperspace.

    When Luke came back, she spun around and pointed a finger at him. “Look, I’m fine with the fact that we had sex and staying friends, but if you are going to suddenly act all weird about it, we are going to have problems.”

    “I know, I’m sorry. Maybe you should drop me off after we get Lando in proper care.”

    Mara let out a sigh. “Did we just destroy our friendship?”

    Luke shook his head. “No, but I don’t think I can respect your wishes right now. Maybe if we give each other some space we can forget what happened.”

    “I don’t want any hard feelings between us,” Mara said with a tone of annoyance. “I still really want to be friends.”

    “Me too.”


    * * *

    It had been two months since Luke had seen Mara. It wasn’t abnormal for them not to see each other for months, but he often wondered if she was avoiding him. So when he entered his chambers one evening after a long day of work, he was surprised to see Mara, sitting on his couch. Her body language looked like she was closed-off; her legs were crossed and her arms were folded. Yet her Force signature screamed vulnerability. She looked like she hadn’t eaten, or slept, in days.

    “Mara? What are you doing here?” he asked, taking off his boots. When she didn’t reply - she was to busy biting her lip to do so - he asked. “Is everything alright?”

    He was shocked when she started crying. He wrapped his arm around her. “Mara, I’m here to help you with whatever is wrong. I’m your friend, it’s what I’m here for. Just tell me what is it?”

    Mara took a few deep breaths. “Luke, I’m pregnant.”

    Luke found his mouth instantly dry. “It’s mine.” It was a statement, not a question.

    She nodded. “I’m sorry. I just found out and I just didn’t know who to go to. I want this baby, I don’t believe in abortions, but I’m scared sick. I know this changes a lot for you, it changes a lot for me. And I just don’t know what I’m going to do. I don’t want to hurt your chances of finding love just because you have a child with another woman, but I don’t want to do this alone. And now I’m blabbering on like a hormonal moron.”

    He hushed her with a kiss to the forehead. “Mara, we are going to make it through this. I say we because I want this child too. You will not do this alone, nor will you hurt my chances of finding a wife. If I stumble across a woman who does not accept the entirety of my past, then she isn’t the one for me. I love you as a friend, Mara, and we will make this work.”

    “Okay,” she mumbled, laying her head on his shoulder.

    “Can I tell you something?”


    “I’m so excited. I’m going to be a daddy. I don’t care if we are not the most conventional family. I’m going to be a daddy to a beautiful little girl or boy.”

    Mara smiled. “You are going to be a great dad.”

    “And you are going to be a wonderful mother. Can I make you something to eat?”

    “Actually, that would be great. I haven’t eaten anything since I took the test.”

    “Okay. Why don’t you have a sanisteam? I can get some comfy clothes from the Jade Sabre and make us something to eat.”

    “Do I really smell that bad?” Mara asked.

    “No,” Luke said, all too quickly.

    “Skywalker, I’m a grouchy pregnant lady; you are going to have to learn to lie better than that.”

    * * *

    Mara let the beads of hot water hit her body. She wondered if she had done the right thing. Perhaps she should have just swallowed her morals, gotten the abortion and never told Luke. His life was going to change so much now, and she wasn’t sure if it was for the better.

    The knock on the door startled her. “Yeah?”

    “I got you some pyjamas,” Luke said. “They are here by the sink. The towels on the rack are clean. I have some hot-cakes in the warmer.”

    Mara found herself crying.


    She didn’t reply.

    “It’s going to be fine. I promise.”
    Gemma likes this.
  20. mavjade

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

    Sep 10, 2005
    Loved this update! It was great to get the back story here.

    I really like the way you've written Mara, she's still Mara, but is just a little bit softer. You did a great job with the tension and akwardness between them before and after they slept together.

    [face_laugh] Poor Lando, but it's probably true.

    I'm looking forward to more!
    Gemma likes this.
  21. JadeLotus

    JadeLotus Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Mar 27, 2005
    Great chapter and I liked seeing how Ben came about.

    Nice cameo from Lando! :D
  22. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Aug 31, 2004
    Wow, just. Wow. So that's how it happened, i.e., the emotional logistics. He wouldn't have minded mre but she didn't want anything more than friendship. :( Nothing worse than being on different wavelengths romantically. Glad they were able to stay friends, though. @};-
    Gemma likes this.
  23. Briannakin

    Briannakin Grand Moff Darth Fanfic & Costuming/Props Manager star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Feb 25, 2010
    A/N: Thanks everyone for reading. Lando needs more cameos I feel.

    Tag list: mavjade

    Chapter 5

    34 ABY

    Mara, Ben and Jaina met up with Riio, Tiio and Mal’ahki at a diner. They sat at the back. They all quickly ordered meals, then got to work.

    Tiio reported what they had found from Enric’s business partner, Jahren Pene. “He paid the ransom as soon as he got a threatening comm. I traced both the comm number and the bank account number. I got blocked by the government, but I figured out a way around the block, yet the comm number was a throw away and the identity of the owner of the bank account - which is empty now - is a fake.”

    “I get the feeling the Imps are are somehow tied into this,” Mara grumbled as she took a swig of her drink. “I’m going to need something stronger by the end of this.”

    “We then went to the public library here and scanned the leaves,” Mal’ahki said. “It took us a while to find the right one, but they are from the sica tree. It was native to Alderaan, but scientists managed to clone it and there are groves of the tree in a wildlife park just outside the city.”

    Jaina then told them what they had discovered and the myth of the Tibachi.

    “Is there anyway this myth could be based off of truth?” Tiio asked. “I’ve read about animals using the Force. Could this be something like that.”

    “I don’t know,” Mara said, truthfully, “But these Sica trees are the only lead we have and I find it rather odd that both the trees and the myth originate from Alderaan.”

    “So you think we should go to the park?” Ben asked.

    “It can’t hurt,” she replied. “Lets eat, then check it out.”

    * * *

    They arrived at the Bastian wilderness park late that night. The park entrance was closed, but the group easily found their way in, jumping a fence with the aid of the Force.

    “Maybe we should have waited till this place opened in the morning,” Tiio suggested. “I get the feeling we shouldn’t be here.”

    “Then that’s a good sign,” Ben countered as he followed the others to a large map. “The government here is obviously hiding something.”

    Jaina scanned the map. “The grove of Sica trees are just down this path.”

    They were headed down the path when they suddenly felt other presences. Four large security guards then approached them, carrying glow rods. “Hey, you guys can’t be here.”

    Ben was instantly on defence. “Why not? What are you hiding?”

    “This is private property, kid,” one of the other guards said. “No one is supposed to be here after the gates close.”

    “Okay, we are so sorry,” Tiio said. “We were just leaving.”

    “No you weren’t,” the first guard replied. “You ruffians were up to no good. Bastion doesn’t need scum like you. We’re going to take you into the department.”

    “No,” Mal’ahki said with a slight movement of his wrist. “There’s no need for that. We were just on our way.”

    The Force suggestion did not work, but the guards did not notice one had been tried.

    “Hands in the air, all of you,” one guard said as the others surrounded them. “You’re all up to no good. The proper authorities can deal with y’all.”

    * * *

    “Gods, you smell,” Ben mumbled to Riio across the small concrete room.

    “You smell worse,” Riio replied.

    “Would you both just shut up,” Mal’ahki groaned from the bunk. The three had been trapped in the same cell for the past 24 hours. Apparently, the authorities in the Imperial Remnant did not take kindly to a bunch of teenagers snooping around one of their national parks. Ben did not know if it was because they had something to hid, or if they just really liked their trees.

    Tiio, Jania and Mara were being held in another cell. Thankfully, none of their identities had been discovered.

    “How long can they keep us here?”

    “Twenty-five hours,” one of the jailers said, walking down the corridor. “But one of your rich daddies has made a generous donation to the park, so management isn’t going to press charges,” he said, unlocking the cell with his pass. “You are free to go. Your female conspirators are waiting for you.”

    The guys followed the jailer out to the common area where Mara, Jaina, and Tiio were waiting for them along with Ben’s father and sister were waiting. They were both in disguises.

    Luke played the part of the ashamed father from beneath his beard and wig. “Kuké Mohles,” he said, calling Ben by his undercover name, “I can not believe you would drag your mentally ill aunt into something stupid like this. Come on you guys,” he said with a sigh, speaking to the entire group. “I’m speaking to all your parents. And Sherl,” he said, gently taking Mara’s hand. “Let’s get you back to the mental institute, okay?” He guided Mara out of the jail, with the rest following.

    Once they were in the large speeder van Luke had rented, Mara glared at him. “If you didn’t just rescue us, I would be slapping you right now.”

    Luke chuckled for the first time in a long while. “Sorry, I had to.”

    “Can we get out of here, please,” Ben pleaded.

    Luke started up the speeder and started to drive. “Geez. I let you stay with your mom for three days and you are already some green haired, impatient punk. More to the point, what moron decided it was a good idea to trespass in an Imperial park in the dark when you all could have very easily walked in there in broad daylight?”

    “Mom’s,” Ben said.

    “Wow, sell out much?” she said, shoving him lightly. “I just didn’t see a reason why anyone would patrol a nature park.”

    “Well, they were,” Luke replied.

    “Which means they they have something to hide. I think we are on the right path,” Jaina said from the back. She then filled her uncle in on the myth of the Tibachi and why they were in the park looking for clues.

    “I think you guys on the right path, but you are not dragging me into this. Elia and I are going back to Yavin in the morning. Anyone is welcome to join us, but I think you all should stay and try to figure this out.”

    “Oh, come on Dad,” Elia whined from beside Ben. “It sounds interesting. Can’t we stay and help?”

    “No, Elianda. I’m needed back at the academy and it is too dangerous for you.”

    “You never let me do anything,” Elia murmured.

    “Elianda Karie Skywalker,” he said sternly, “Can we have this conversation another time?”

    “Fine, whatever,” she replied.

    The rest of the speeder ride was spent in awkward silence.

    * * *

    After every one of the Jedi Knights decided they were staying with her on Bastion, she crossed the hanger from the Jade Saber to the Kalen’s Legacy. Jasmay had owned the ship before she died. It had been named after her father.

    Mara entered the code and boarded. She found Luke in the main hold, swirling ice around in an empty glass. The wig was gone, as was the fake beard, but he still had his stubble.

    “Hey,” she said, softly. “Everyone decided they are staying. They are on the Saber, redoing their disguises.”

    He nodded. “I’ll be taking off in the morning.”

    She nodded. “Thanks for, you know, bailing us out.”

    He shrugged. “Any time. It got me out of the academy. Just try not to get arrested again. I have enough to worry about.”

    “For what it’s worth, you are right to take Elia away here. Something weird is going on here. I don’t want her mixed up in this.”

    “Thank you,” Luke said, horsely. “That means a lot to me, especially from you. You knew Jas longer than I did.”

    “That being said, Jas would not want you to lock Elia, or yourself, in that temple. She has to live. You have to live.”

    “I know. I’ve been trying to move on. I’ve come to accept Jas’ not coming back. But it’s hard, being happy without her.”

    “But being happy is your natural state,” Mara said, finally sitting down. “It sounds cheesy, but she would want you to be happy. She did love your smile, and I miss it. I’m sure Ben and Elia miss it too.”

    He smiled. “Thanks. Uh. Would you like a drink?”

    “Sure,” she said. She was glad he was finally opening up. He got her a drink and sat back down.

    “I was thinking. Elia really likes having you around, and you always seem to knock sense into me. Maybe, after all this is figured out, would you consider coming back to Yavin for awhile? I think I need some help with Elia. I know she needs freedom, I’m just scared to give it to her.”

    “Of course.”

    Luke then started chucking.

    “What?” Mara asked.

    “Jas aways said you and I always had something between us.”

    “Yeah, Ben.” She then took another drink. “She tried setting us up after Ben was born, before I got you to dance with her. I think she wanted us together, but when she realized it just wasn’t happening, she took you. She just wanted you to be happy.”

    “She made me very happy.”

    “Why do I sense a but?”

    Luke gulped and closed his eyes. “Please don’t tell anyone this.” He let out a breath. “I loved Jas dearly, and she loved me, but I’m not sure we were ever in love. It was a relationship for our mutual benefit. I always feared we were one huge fight away from it not working. And it always makes me feel so guilty to think that now she’s dead I have a chance at the woman I’ve always wanted.”

    “Me,” she completed his thought.

    He looked her in the eye and nodded. “That’s why it took me so long to get over her and why I’m so scared to move on. If I move on, does that make me a horrible husband to Jasmay and a horrible father to Elianda?”

    “No,” she said simply. “You loved her and I know you love Elia.” Mara let out a sigh. “I was Jasmay’s best friend. I knew she married you because it would make both you and her happy. I didn’t say anything, because it wasn’t my place. I think you and her were just too nice for each other. But, hey, it may have worked. I’m not one to judge relationships.”

    “Thank you. Knowing that, would you judge me if I said I wanted to start a romantic relationship?”

    “No. You are human, Luke, just like the rest of the race. You are a widower, and a fairly young one. No one has ever doubted your love and devotion to Jas. But no one would find it odd that you would want to seek love again. It has been over two years since her death, no one can claim you are moving too fast. No matter what the circumstances of your marriage was, if you want to be happy again, you can be happy again.” She sighed. “I think I know your next question.” With that, she kissed him.

    He kissed her back. It felt so right.

    When they parted, he looked at her with amazement. “So, you are open to the idea of possibly starting something with me.”

    “I’m not the woman I was 23 years ago. I’m not afraid of commitment or love. Ben has taught me that. But can we figure this out when I get back from this mission?”

    He nodded, and then he kissed her. “I’ll come say goodbye in the morning.”

    * * *

    Mara and the Jedi Knights were sitting around the hold of the Jade Saber, drinking caff and working out exactly how they were going to get back into the park without drawing attention to themselves, when Luke burst in, looking like he was having a panic attack. “Elia! Elia is gone. They took Elia!”
    Gemma likes this.
  24. mavjade

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

    Sep 10, 2005
    So near the end I was all.... YAY!!! :D [face_love]

    And then there was that last part: [face_worried]

    Mara gives some really good advice here, about Elia and about Luke moving on. She's one smart lady!

    Loved this! All I could think was, Luke is so dead when they get out of there.

    Awesome update! I can't wait for more!
    Gemma and Nyota's Heart like this.
  25. jcgoble3

    jcgoble3 Force Ghost star 5

    Nov 7, 2010
    Great start to the story! I always enjoy a good Luke/Mara/Ben AU.

    The latest cliffhanger, though... [face_nail_biting]
    Nyota's Heart likes this.