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  1. In Memory of LAJ_FETT: Please share your remembrances and condolences HERE

Saga Heart of a Jedi - H/L L/M O/P - Chapters 14-31 posted! Story finished!

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by PonyTricks, Mar 6, 2014.

  1. PonyTricks

    PonyTricks Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jul 25, 2003
    Yup... another plot bunny finally bit me in the backside. And here is the result. Hopefully there will be frequent updates!

    _____

    Heart of a Jedi


    AU – Story will begin during ROTS, but continues on during the New Hope era (and Beyond?)

    Characters – Han, Leia, Luke, Obi-Wan, and more!



    Prologue

    Coruscant

    Yoda briefly feared he was going to lose this battle, and he’d never lost a lightsaber fight before in his long life. It had been a long, hard fought battle, but finally Sidious was growing tired. As the Sith clung to the rail inside the battle-scarred Senate Chamber, Yoda used the Force to cover his movements, and then leapt upward, lightsaber in hand. The Sith Lord tried to turn quickly enough to defend himself, but the ledge was narrow and his foot slipped. It was only a momentary distraction, but a single moment was all Yoda needed. The old Jedi Master’s lightsaber finally found its mark, and the small Jedi severed the Sith Lord’s hand, loosening the only thing keeping the evil human from taking a deadly plunge.

    The Sith, eyes wide with shock and surprise, fell off his precarious perch and started the long fall toward the bottom of Coruscant. Yoda watched as the Sith desperately tried to stop his death spiral and to ensure the Sith didn’t succeed, Yoda dropped his blade, using the Force to keep it powered up, and to guide it toward its final mark – the black heart of Darth Sidious.


    **

    Mustafar

    The young man that was once Anakin Skywalker reached out with his remaining robotic arm, imploring his former Jedi Master to help him as he slid ever closer to the molten lava.

    “You were the Chosen One!” Obi-Wan screamed out in frustration.

    “I hate you!”

    Obi-Wan nodded, not surprised at Anakin’s reply. “But I loved you, Anakin. You were both my brother and my son, and now you are neither.” He shut his eyes, sensing even from this distance, that Yoda had prevailed. “Darth Sidious is dead, and now you will be joining him.”

    “No….” Vader shouted. “You can’t do this… you can’t kill me!”

    “I couldn’t kill Anakin Skywalker, but I can kill Darth Vader,” Obi-Wan said sadly. He used the Force to push at the loose rocks and stones on the hill above his former student and watched as the young man, screaming out Padme’s name, slipped into the river of lava.

    Obi-Wan suddenly felt very old.

    **

    Polis Massa

    Yoda looked over at the tiny twin babies laying in their incubators. Somehow, Padme had not only survived the terrible ordeal on Mustafar, she had given birth to healthy babies and was now recuperating with the care of the finest doctors the Jedi could supply her with. She would undoubtedly return to Naboo with her babies, although it was likely that at least one, or possibly both, of the twins was strong in the Force.

    “Rebuild the Jedi Order we must.”

    “I’m not sure that’s possible,” Obi-Wan replied. “We’re the only two left.”

    “Two more than the Sith, we are.”

    The comment made Obi-Wan smile. “That’s true. Still, it will be several years before we can even start training these two younglings, and that’s if Padme agrees to allow us to train them.”

    “Allows?” Yoda asked, jerking his head up to look at Obi-Wan. “All that’s left are these. Choice, she does not have.”

    “All parents have a choice, Master Yoda.” Even as he said those words, he wondered how true that statement actually was. The Jedi Order put a great deal of pressure on parents of younglings that showed Force-abilities, and Obi-Wan had witnessed too many heartbreaking scenes of screaming children being ripped from their parents reluctant arms.

    “Then convince her you must, whatever it takes.”

    “When the time comes, I will try.”

    “Do or do not. There is no try.”

    “Yes, Master,” Obi-Wan said tiredly. “But even if both twins are Force-strong, that’s still only two.”

    “Everywhere is the Force, and locate more Force-strong younglings we will,” Yoda said, a stubborn look crossing his wrinkled green face. “Train them all, we must.”

    “What about the rule of one Master to one Padawan?”

    “Special times these are. Special rules they require.”

    Obi-Wan nodded in approval. “It might be a good time to take a hard look at a lot of the other Jedi Order Rules.”

    The old Jedi Master frowned even harder. “Continue, Master Kenobi.”

    Taking a deep breath, Obi-Wan plunged forward, hoping for the best. “I’m thinking about the rule of no attachments, in particular. It seems… misplaced.”

    “Misplaced.”

    There was no going back now, so Obi-Wan continued, “Perhaps, if Anakin had been allowed to remain close to his mother, and been allowed to openly love Padme Amidala, this entire event would not have occurred.”

    “Distraction love is, to Jedi.”

    “Maybe the distraction isn’t love, but the forced absence of love. Maybe telling our Padawans not to have attachments causes other, deeper problems.”

    “Speak from experience, do you, Obi-Wan? Hmmm?” Yoda questioned. When he noticed the human’s flushed expression, he added, “Feelings for Jedi Tachi, you had. Hide this from me you could not.”

    “I’m sure I’m not the only Jedi that’s fallen in love over the years, Master Yoda.”

    “No. Fell in love did Jedi Skywalker. Good the result was not.”

    “And again, I will argue that if love wasn’t something forbidden by the Order, it wouldn’t be a source of shame.”

    Yoda sighed. “Discuss this later, we will. But for now, focus on rebuilding the Order we must.”

    Years later, Obi-Wan would look back and wish he’d pressed the issue, instead of allowing Yoda to simply tune him out. It was a battle that would someday need to be fought again, but with different participants.


    Would the outcome be better than the outcome between Anakin Skywalker and Padme Amidala, or worse?
     
  2. Padawan Fangirl

    Padawan Fangirl Jedi Padawan star 3

    Registered:
    Nov 28, 2013
    Wow....that was impressive. And I like Obi-Wan's insistence that it is strict discouragement of attachment, not love itself, that hurts the Jedi.

    Sent from my stupid little astro droid using TapaTalk 2.
     
  3. ginchy

    ginchy Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    May 25, 2005
    Oh, a new PonyTricks story. Count me in. I love how your fics always... 'fit'. Like your fic 'Kaleidoscope of Illusions' (I think that was the title). I just love the answers you come up with. And wow, the Sith taken out. I like it. I don't think I've read a fic that starts like this before. I'm interested for more!
     
  4. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    [face_dancing] Love it already! :cool: I too like the Sith being eliminated right from the get-go. Also =D= the Obi/Yoda conversation & agree 100%+ with Obi's viewpoint. Hello! It goes without saying that love that isn't conflicted by being hidden would have prevented much heartache.
     
  5. scooper121s

    scooper121s Jedi Youngling star 2

    Registered:
    Mar 4, 2014
    I like this story, keep it coming :D
     
  6. PonyTricks

    PonyTricks Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jul 25, 2003
    - I've never been too fond of the Rules of the Jedi, myself! ;)



    - Yes, a plot bunny bit me. And I tried to ignore it, but.... you know how that goes! o_O I just hope I don't make too many H/L shippers mad at me, because a LOT is going to happen in this story =(( And some of it is going to be rather shocking, too.


    - The Sith are eliminated, but not every power-mad and evil being in the galaxy is gone! [face_devil]

    - I hope I can post about two chapters a week! :-B

    We can't go too far in this story before the MAIN PEOPLE get involved!

    -----

    Chapter One


    Five years later….

    Naboo

    “No.”

    “President Amidala, be reasonable…”

    The pretty woman had been staring out of the window at the serene beauty of Naboo below her vantage point. Now she spun around to face the Jedi Master, her eyes blazing in fury. “I will not allow you to do to my babies what you did to Anakin.”

    Obi-Wan knew that Padme still blamed him – perhaps justifiably – for Anakin’s downfall and death. He had occasionally seen her over the course of the past year since, having been elected President one year ago, she now spent a great deal of her time on Coruscant along with her growing children. Five years earlier, the Senate had voted to do away with the title of ‘Chancellor’ after the Palpatine debacle and now used the term ‘President’ instead. It was an attempt to put aside the connection between the role of head of the Senate and the Sith. Bail Organa had served as the President for the first four years after Palpatine, and then declined to accept re-election due to his wife’s declining health.

    “President, if you do not agree, Yoda will come here to Naboo to discuss this matter with you,” Obi-Wan warned.

    “I don’t care if he comes with an entire army of battle droids.” Padme folded her arms tightly across her chest, and added rather sarcastically, “What amazes me is that you are still able to convince parents to give up their younglings to what remains of the Jedi, considering how well the last group was protected.”

    Obi-Wan had the grace to flinch at the accuracy of her observation. Every time he located a Force-strong child, he felt heartsick. He hated putting such overwhelming pressure on mothers and fathers, as well as asking to remove a Force-strong child from their loving family without any guarantee he could do a better job of keeping them safe than he was able to do years ago. Thus far, he'd hadn't been successful. Why couldn’t Yoda simply focus on locating Force-sensitive adults? It was a frequent argument between both remaining Jedi Masters. Although Yoda had reluctantly allowed Obi-Wan to start searching out Force-sensitive adults, he still preferred the old method of ‘starting fresh’ with younglings they could mold into perfect Jedi. Obi-Wan would point out that no one was perfect, not even Jedi. Yoda returned back that the reason the Jedi were nearly wiped out was because they started training Anakin ‘too late.’ And so they went – around and around.

    “How many Force-sensitive younglings have you and Yoda found and taken to Coruscant over the past five years?” Padme asked.

    “Three,” he replied, although the description of ‘finding them’ was more than a bit of a stretch. The Force-sensitive younglings had somehow found their way to Coruscant, instead. They had been presented with a young Mon Calamari who showed a great deal of promise as a Healer, as well as two humans – a Corellian male and a human female. It wasn’t much by way of numbers, but it was a start.

    Padme gave a short laugh. “Three? So you are not doing such a wonderful job of recruiting, then. How old are they?”

    Obi-Wan sighed. “They are all younger than your twins. The human girl is only three. The Corellian boy is four, and the Mon Calamari is almost four.”

    “A three-year-old?” Padme asked, her eyes narrowing in disgust. “She’s only a baby.”

    “Her mother came to us,” Obi-Wan replied. “She was a spice addict that wanted to sell her youngling for drug money. It’s fortunate for the girl that her mother didn’t sell her to some underworld criminal, instead.”

    “And fortunate for the girl that she showed promise of Force-sensitivity, or you would have turned them away.”

    “That’s not true, President Amidala,” Obi-Wan said, shocked. “We would have taken her to the appropriate social agency for assistance. We tried to direct the mother there after we took in the girl, but I fear she didn’t take our advice.”

    “In any case, I will not turn over my twins to you. I am their mother, and you will have to kill me first.”

    “President – ”

    “Please, Obi-Wan,” Padme interrupted. “We’ve known each other for too long. Stop calling me by my title and use my first name.”

    “Padme, then.”

    “Tell me about the other two younglings. How did you find them?”

    “They found us, actually,” Obi-Wan admitted. “The boy’s father – Valin Horn - was a son of Jedi Master Nejaa Halcyon. Their relationship was kept a secret from the Jedi Council, even though Master Halcyon trained his son in the Force.”

    Padme gave a bitter smile. “So Anakin wasn’t the only one, was he? Such hypocrisy from the noble, selfless beings known as Jedi.”

    Obi-Wan paused for a moment while also wondering how many illicit affairs Jedi had engaged in over the centuries, and why the Jedi didn’t question their oft-flaunted rules long ago. He continued speaking, “After the death of Master Halcyon during the Clone Wars, Valin was adopted by non-Force users to protect him from harm. Valin, who was now going by the first name of Hal, grew up and had a son of his own, who was born four years ago. After the purge and the death of Darth Sidious, Hal Horn came to me and Yoda and explained his real parentage. He has agreed to tutor his son to become a Jedi, so now we are fortunate to have three Jedi Masters on Coruscant.”

    “Where is the boy’s mother?”

    “Unfortunately, she died in a speeder accident last year.”

    “And the Mon Calamari?”

    “Cilghal was brought to us by her uncle, a prominent Mon Calamari named Ackbar, since her parents are both deceased.”

    “It seems to me that the parents of Force-sensitives have an extremely high mortality rate, don’t you agree?” Padme asked, sounding suspicious.

    Obi-Wan decided it was best not to take Padme’s bait, and plowed ahead with his explanation. “The uncle suspected she was Force-sensitive and might make a good Jedi. Master Yoda is taking Cilghal as his Padawan, and I am going to train the girl.”

    “Then you are busy enough without my twins,” Padme stated.

    “The future of the Jedi needs the off-spring of Anakin Skwalker.”

    She shut her eyes tightly. “What if they become what he became… in the end?”

    “I will not allow that.”

    “You can’t possibly make promises you can’t keep.”

    “I will do my very best to keep that promise.”

    Padme turned to face the window again. “One condition. You can train them on one condition.”

    “Which is?”

    “I continue to live with them, and be their mother.”

    “Master Yoda will not approve,” Obi-Wan said.

    “I don’t care if he approves, or not. That’s my condition. Take it or leave it.”

    Knowing full well he was risking the wrath of Yoda, Obi-Wan said, “Then I agree.”

    **

    Coruscant

    The Falleen paced his beautiful apartment, his back rigid and his jaw clenched. He turned toward his visitor, who seemed bored and unimpressed with his splendid home. This annoyed him as well. “Commander Daala, I do not appreciate my trade dealings with the Hutts being interrupted by this new President. She is getting in my way.”

    “You have to know that Governor Tarkin is doing all that he can to ensure that your supply of slaves is uninterrupted.”

    “He’s not doing enough, then,” Xizor stated.

    “What would you have us do? Assassinate Amidala?”

    “Why not?”

    “It’s been attempted in the past, and failed,” Daala pointed out. “We do have a plan, however.”

    “I’m waiting.”

    “Once Amidala’s term of office is up, Tarkin intends to take over as President. Then everything will fall into place.”

    “Amidala is only one year into a four year term. What if she is re-elected?” Xizor snapped back. “Do you expect me to wait for seven long more years?”

    Daala frowned at the Falleen. “Perhaps it will be necessary. With Palpatine gone, you have an excellent chance of controlling a vast portion of the trade in the Republic. But if you make a move too quickly, it will all slip through your fingers.”

    “There is no guarantee that Tarkin will be elected the next President,” Xizor pointed out.

    “Not right now,” Daala agreed easily. “We don’t have enough Moffs, Senators and Governors on our side. The ones that support us are skittish. They fear being exposed after the Palpatine debacle. But beings have a very short memory, and this will change in time. Let Amidala serve her term, or even two terms. Let the beings of the galaxy get lulled into a false sense of security. Then our time will come, and we will strike hard and fast.”

    “I will become the Emperor,” Xizor said smugly. “And Black Sun will be unstoppable.”

    “I agree.”

    “Still, my slave supplies cannot be allowed to dry up. I need them, now more than ever.”

    “You will receive your supplies,” Daala reassured the Falleen. “We just have to be more cautious until Tarkin becomes President.”

    “We?” the Falleen questioned sharply. “How about you staying cautious, Daala? Do not fail me. I do not take disappoint well.”

    **

    Five years later…

    Corellia

    “You are nothing but a disappointment and an embarrassment to the Corellian Navy, Solo,” General Crix Madine snapped, glaring down the quiet, twenty-year-old Lieutenant Han Solo. “It wasn’t bad enough when you got into a bar brawl with a bunch of insane Rodian drunkards and earned yourself six weeks in the brig, but this is going to be the end of your career.”

    “I was doing what I thought was the right thing,” Han replied softly, shifting in his hard chair.

    “You single-handedly and without proper authorization intercepted a shipping transport! A transport that was giving you proper codes over a proper communication frequency!” Madine yelled back, his face turning bright red. “You broke every single rule in the book, and a few we apparently hadn’t thought to include until now.”

    Lieutenant Solo abruptly stood up, sending his chair falling backwards. “But I was right! They were transporting slaves! There were over twenty Wookiees chained up in the hold!”

    “They weren’t slaves, Solo. They were prisoners. The ship’s captain had the proper paperwork for transporting them to serve out sentences on Falleen.”

    “They were slaves,” Han insisted. “So I freed them.”

    “They were PRISONERS… so you helped them ESCAPE!”

    “I did the right thing,” Han repeated stubbornly.

    “What you did was a stupid thing, and it cost you your career,” Madine ground out. “Not only that, but I fully intend to see that you’re blacklisted from any type of career as a pilot, ever again.”

    That’s what you think, Han thought morosely. I’ll do whatever it takes to stay a pilot, even if it means leaving Republic space forever.


    **

    Coruscant, six years later…

    Sixteen-year-old Luke Naberrie wiped the sweat off his brow as he regarded his sparring partner. Both he and his twin sister used the birth name of their mother, and not her ‘royal’ last name ‘Amidala.’ In years past, Luke often wondered about his birth father, and why they didn’t use his last name, instead. Neither he nor Leia had ever been given much information about their father, other than the system where he was born, and a cryptic “I’ll tell you more when you’re older” type of comment from all the adults in their lives. It was annoying, to say the least.

    And while he was thinking about all things annoying, Luke piped up to the pretty red-head standing a few yards away, “You’ll never beat me in a lightsaber fight. Never, ever, ever.”

    The boast served its purpose, and his opponent moved quickly forward, trying to catch Luke off-guard. It didn’t work. “You are such a braggart, all full of hot air and no substance,” Mara snapped. “Your sister is better with a lightsaber than you.”

    “No, she’s not,” Luke responded, intercepting Mara’s downward slash with a block. “Not even close.”

    “There should be no taunting during training sessions,” Obi-Wan said loudly as he observed the practice session from the sideline.

    “Now you got yourself in trouble, didn’t you?” Luke promptly taunted Mara, ignoring the fact he was the one that had started the conversation.

    “And NO BRAGGING, either,” Obi-Wan shouted toward Luke.

    “Now who’s in trouble?” Mara whispered with a snicker as she managed to get her lightsaber close enough to Luke’s sleeve to actually leave a scorch mark.

    Obi-Wan was beginning to understand why the old Jedi Order had assigned one Padawan per Master.

    **

    Sitting on a bench, Corran Horn inched closer to his fellow Padawan. This earned him a glare from the petite brunette as she jerked the flimsy she was writing on further away. “Are you trying to read my answers? This is a test, you know.”

    “I’m not trying to cheat on the test,” Corran objected.

    “Then what are you doing?”

    Corran blushed, not wanting to admit he only wanted to sit close enough to Leia Naberrie to smell her perfume. Sometimes, just being in the same room with her was enough to make him get a bit dizzy. “I, uh…. Err…”

    “Well, despite that wonderful explanation, I’d really rather you get out of my personal space, Horn,” Leia snapped, scooting away.

    Hal Horn was at his desk and he spoke up from across the room, “Corran, will you please not bother Leia so she can complete the exam in peace? If I catch you trying to copy her answers…”

    “No, sir,” Corran piped up, trying to ignore the snicker coming from the object of his affections. “I would never do that. I swear on my honor as a Jedi.”


    “You are a few years away from earning the title of Jedi,” Hal lightly admonished his son, secretly amused at Corran’s crush on Leia, the cute daughter of Senator Amidala. Master Yoda would be most displeased if he knew about Corran’s feelings, but fortunately for Corran, Hal had no intentions of enlightening the old Jedi Master.
     
    Gemma and Nyota's Heart like this.
  7. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    I agree with Padme's observations and applaud her condition. Intriguing stuff with Daala and Xizor. That is one spooky combination [face_laugh] :p Woohoo! We got L/M together, training, but they don't see each other as siblings, nor does Luke and Leia have room for confusion on that score [face_rofl] Makes for a much easier path to romance, not perfectly smooth, ;) but definitely not as complicated.

    =D=
     
  8. scooper121s

    scooper121s Jedi Youngling star 2

    Registered:
    Mar 4, 2014
    Like this part I do, humorous is the multiple padawans to one master :p
     
  9. Padawan Fangirl

    Padawan Fangirl Jedi Padawan star 3

    Registered:
    Nov 28, 2013
    Look, I see one of my favorite Imperial hacks, Daala! :p
    The banter between Luke and Mara and between Corran and Leia is so cute. And I just love Padmé's conversation with Obi-Wan.

    Sent from my stupid little astro droid using TapaTalk 2.
     
  10. ginchy

    ginchy Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    May 25, 2005
    Daala and Xizor, and Tarkin as president? Oh dear. That is going to be one scary galaxy if it comes to pass. And I love stories with Luke, Leia and Mara growing up as Jedi. Great to see Corran, too. Love seeing what Han's up to--doing what he does best. Not following the rules but doing what's right all the same.
     
  11. EmeraldJediFire

    EmeraldJediFire Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Feb 23, 2012
    Bravo. I simply love this. When you mentioned the Falleen, I thought there's only one person that could be.
     
  12. PonyTricks

    PonyTricks Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jul 25, 2003
    - Xizor intends to make a LOT of trouble! :eek:

    - Poor Jedi Masters... they are a bit overwhelmed. o_O

    - Ah.... Daala will be back in this story. But right now, she's working behind the scenes. :cool:

    -

    IF???? Muahahahahahahaha. [face_skull]

    - Yup. Only one Falleen is spooky enough to TAKE OVER THE GALAXY!!! [face_devil]

    And with this post... we finally catch up to the timeline of A New Hope... Oh... did I mention this is the post where H/L shippers send me cyber stink bombs? I'm sure glad Sticksy isn't still around.... [face_laugh]

    ----


    Chapter Two


    Senator Padme of Naboo was no longer the President and the title had been turned over to grim man she didn’t particularly care for named Wilhuff Tarkin. It seemed to her that somehow history was repeating itself. She had tried to warn the Jedi Masters about her suspicions regarding Tarkin, but Master Yoda had insisted that Tarkin was not a Sith so therefore it wasn’t possible to sway the Senate the same way Palpatine had done. No, Padme thought, but there are other ways of gaining power. Money never fails to persuade the weak. She desperately wished Obi-Wan would help her start a quiet investigation into Tarkin’s financing, but Obi-Wan was always so busy with his Padawans.

    Obi-Wan… Whenever Padme thought about him, her heart would give a small lurch. She tried to analyze her feelings, telling herself that he was just a good friend. But in the still of the night, when she was alone in her cold bed, she knew she was lying to herself. She loved him. But he must never find this out. After her last experience with loving a Jedi, she was too fearful to make the same mistake.

    **

    Sixteen years after they’d been nearly wiped out, the Jedi Order was still rebuilding. After Padme’s conditions for her twins training as Jedi became public knowledge, other parents, too, insisted on moving to Coruscant. It was against the rules, Yoda had railed at the time, and Obi-Wan was almost positive he’d seen steam coming out of the large, green ears.

    If he couldn’t control birth-parents staying attached to their younglings, Yoda had then decided that other relationships were still forbidden, since there had to be some concession to the Old Order.

    One day Obi-Wan had stumbled across Hal Horn sitting at a table in a restaurant, holding hands with a lady. When he’d confronted Hal about it, the Corellian had not only admitted to dating, but had laughingly dismissed Obi-Wan’s concerns about the “Yoda Rule.”

    “I’ve already broken that edict, Obi-Wan,” Hal stated, shaking his head in mock dismay. “Don’t you tell me you’ve never cared for someone.”

    “That was in the past, and it was a mistake of youth,” Obi-Wan argued. “Master Yoda will not be pleased.”

    “My marriage to Nyche was not a mistake,” Hal said, his tone hard.

    “I meant my mistake, not yours.”

    “The past, Obi-Wan? Really?”

    “My love for Siri is in the past,” the older Jedi insisted.

    “I’m not talking about Siri.”

    “Then…?”

    “Don’t be obtuse. I’m talking about Padme Amidala.”

    Obi-Wan opened his mouth, and then snapped it shut. He turned his face away before finally answering his friend. “I’m not in love with Padme.”

    “Liar. She’s in love with you, too.”

    “You are seeing things that are not there.”

    “Am I?”

    “Yes,” Obi-Wan insisted, his cheeks flushing. Were his feelings that obvious? All these years he thought he was keeping his emotions in firm check, and that Padme was simply his good friend. Did she really love him? How did Hal know this for a fact?

    Hal sighed. “Master Yoda can make all the declarations he wants to make, but it’s not going to stop the heart or the hormones. Just look at your students. Hell, if you want, you can look at Corran, too.”

    “My students?”

    “Remember Luke and Mara? Those two students?”

    This bit of news actually stunned Obi-Wan. “Luke and Mara love each other? Since when? And who does Corran love?”

    Hal started laughing. “Luke and Mara have been attracted to each other since they turned twelve, and now they’re teenagers with raging hormones. My poor son thinks he’s in love with Leia, although, to be honest, I’m not sure she feels the same way about him.”

    Obi-Wan found a chair and sat down with a hard thud. “I had no idea…”

    “Sadly, I believe you.”

    “Maybe we should have teamed Mara and Leia, and Luke and Corran when we started their training.”

    “It’s far too late for that,” Hal stated. “And, besides, love would still find a way. It always does.”


    **


    “Thank you for inviting me,” Obi-Wan said, taking his seat at her table. He tried not to pay attention to the way Padme was looking at him. Perhaps Hal Corran was mistaken about the Senator’s feelings. Perhaps Hal was merely teasing a fellow Jedi Master. “Dinner looks wonderful.”

    “You can thank Threepio, later,” Padme said with a soft smile. “I’m not much of a cook. I’ve just never found the time to properly learn culinary skills.”

    He kept his eyes focused on the food. “I’m afraid I have some news to tell you…”

    “Is it bad news?” Judging by his tone, Padme suddenly felt afraid.

    “Uh, well, it’s about Luke.” He hesitated, and then added, “And Mara Jade. She’s one of my other students.”

    “I know Mara quite well, actually,” Padme said. “She comes over quite frequently.”

    “I do believe that Mara and Luke may have feelings for each other.”

    “Yes, that’s true. Is that your news?”

    Obi-Wan looked up sharply from his meal. “Yes. You already know?”

    “Of course,” Padme replied, feeling a sense of relief that there wasn’t something awful about to befall everyone. “All the Padawans know.”

    “Good Force. I must be blind.”

    Padme only raised her eyebrows and said nothing more as she put a forkful of salad into her mouth.


    **


    Urdur, in the Corporate Sector

    “With the powers commanded by the Corporate Authority, I pronounce you husband and wife,” the Priest declared, as the beings once called the ‘Outlaw Techs’ hooted and threw confetti into the air. Now those ‘outlaws’ were no longer outside of the law – in fact, they were the law.

    The former Jessa Vandangante, now Jessa Vandangante-Solo, smiled at her spouse. “I never thought you had it in you to take this daring step into matrimony, Solo.”

    “Don’t you think you should start calling me by my first name, now that we’re married?” Han asked, laughing as Chewie, acting as ‘best man’ rubbed the top of his head for wedded ‘luck.’

    In the six years since his court-martial from the Corellian Navy, Han had turned back to smuggling for a living. Chewbacca, one of the Wookiees he’d saved from slavery had declared a Life-Debt to him. At first this hadn’t pleased him. Then, after a while, the Wookiee became his closest and truest friend. Their adventures had led them into the Corporate Sector where, after several close calls and brushes with CorpSec Authority, the Outlaw Tech group that had taken them in somehow had turned respectable and actually became the ‘law.’ While Jessa and her father had happily embraced this new respectability, Han Solo struggled with once again finding himself part of the establishment. But he’d fallen in love, and love made a person do things they normally would eschew.

    “Nah,” Jessa argued back. “I’m too used to calling you ‘Solo,’ Solo.”

    “Except he’s not exactly a solo act anymore,” Udur’s Governor, Doc Vandangante, remarked, tugging at his too tight necktie. “When can I expect to be called grampa, anyway?”

    Han staggered backwards, holding his chest. “Come on! We’ve only been married a few minutes!”

    “Well, I’m not a young man anymore,” Doc stated. “You’d better not take too long, or I won’t be able to enjoy spoiling my grandbabies before I kick the old dura-steel bucket.”

    “BABIES?! Plural??” Han shouted in mock horror. “Just how many do you think we should have?”

    “I’d like about half a dozen grandchildren,” Doc replied with a straight face.

    *Me, too,* Chewie piped up, which earned him a glare from his human friend.

    “Since I’ll be the one actually having them, I think the decision is mine,” Jessa said firmly. “I’m not at all sure about having SIX kids.”

    “Finally,” Han said, sighing in relief. “I knew I married a lady with common sense.”

    “I’m glad you agree, Solo,” Jessa remarked. “Eight sounds a little bit better than six.”

    “Is it too late to get this annulled?” Han asked, making chocking noises.

    “YES!” the large crowd all shouted back at the same time.

    **

    Falleen, two years later

    Xizor leaned back in his soft nerf-hide chair, his eyes narrowing as he studied the holo-projection of the human. “I want you to do something, Tarkin.”

    The craggy faced man’s thin lips became a tight line. “What is it this time? You have your slave routes free and clear, just like you asked when you bought me this position.”

    After Tarkin’s inauguration, the Falleen had also purchased an end to term limits for the Office of President, even though former President Padme Amidala had strenuously objected to the amendment passing. So strenuously, in fact, that Xizor had been on the verge of ordering her assassination over now-Admiral Daala’s objections. Fortunately, working the connections between them, the majority of Senators had been swayed to see things their way. It had been a very costly endeavor. “Surely you don’t believe it ends there.”

    “That’s the problem. It never seems to end. Have you any idea how many times I have to make excuses not to investigate your raids on Kashyyk or Ryloth? Or how much I have to grovel to the Senators that know why I’m in this Office?”

    “Not my problems. I own you, body and soul, and you would do well not to forget this fact. As easily as I made you President I can have you replaced. More than one Senator has asked me for this privilege.”

    “Who?” Tarkin snapped out before thinking.

    Xizor laughed. “That information is on a need to know basis, and you would be the last one that would need to know. Especially since you wouldn’t be around to care anymore.”

    The death threat did not go unnoticed. “What do you need me to do?”

    “Declare war on the Corporate Sector.”

    Tarkin’s eyes went wide with shock. “What?”

    “You heard me,” Xizor replied, buffing his dagger-like fingernails.

    “Why would you want to do that?”

    “There is a human living in the Corporate Sector that needs to die.”

    “Can’t you just send out bounty hunters? It would be a lot simpler.”

    “No,” Xizor snapped out. “I want to kill his friends and his family first. I want him to watch as everything he cares about is taken from him, and the planet he lives on is decimated. And then I will have him brought to me and I will kill him myself. Slowly.”

    “But declaring war on an entire region? Just to exact some personal revenge? What did this man do to you, anyway?”

    “Eight years ago this Corellian stopped a shipment of Wookiee slaves and freed them.”

    “That’s all?”


    “All? That was more than enough, Tarkin. I do not forget or forgive a slight against me. Ever.”
     
  13. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    =D= and wow! Just plain wow! Padme and Obi are crazy about each other ;) but not about to breathe a word :p L/M are crazy about each other ... [face_dancing] Natch! Then the last two scenes surprise and rivet me at the same time. Han's already paired up, huh? Interesting twisty there. @};- Xizor's got a vendetta out. Eagerly awaiting more.
     
  14. ginchy

    ginchy Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    May 25, 2005
    Oh, wow. Han! A married man already....but.... oh dear. I'm thinking his one action is going to have huge consequences. Xizor's plan is freaking me out. And, on a lighter note, poor Obi-Wan. Poor in the dark Obi-Wan. LOL Padawn love is in the air. And Padme--well, I can see her hesitation. But Obi-Wan's very different from Anakin. Loving the updates!!
     
    Nyota's Heart likes this.
  15. EGKenobi

    EGKenobi Jedi Master star 3

    Registered:
    Apr 27, 2005
    Great story! Please let me know when you update it.

    Looking forward to seeing how Obi-Wan copes ;-)
     
  16. PonyTricks

    PonyTricks Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jul 25, 2003
    -

    I do like to throw monkey wrenches into things. [face_monkey] I don't plan on making True Love easy for any of our Heroes, even Luke and Mara!

    Yes, that one action is going to come back to haunt poor Han. And Obi-Wan IS in the dark about certain things, isn't he? [face_hypnotized]

    I plan on updating about twice a week. Obi-Wan coping? With Padme, or his Padawans? [face_laugh]

    Now that I've moved my story forward and filled in the 'backstory' with the first few chapters, we shall stay in this general timeline for the rest of the story.

    --------

    Chapter Three


    Coruscant


    “As you can clearly see,” President Tarkin pointed out to the hundreds of beings looking down at his podium in the circular Senate Chamber, “the evidence against Prime Minister Releb Limpan is completely indisputable.” He used a laser pointer to make a circle around holographic diagram depicting a nasty looking cannon. “Time is of the essence.”

    Prime Minister Releb Limpan was a short Duros who lived and ruled from the plant Roonadan in the Bonadan System in the Corporate Sector. It was rumored he was rather ruthless and power hunger, and it was a rumor that President Tarkin was making certain was being heavily discussed and using it to his full advantage.

    Senator Amidala stood up, aware she was breaking protocol by not first being acknowledged. “You are showing us so-called evidence, without allowing us any way to independently confirm.”

    “My spies have been quite forthcoming,” Tarkin argued. “And you are out of order, Senator Amidala.”

    “We cannot simply declare war based on a few holos and rumors.”

    “So you are willing to wait until the Corporate Sector has finished developing this Galactic Sonic weapon? A weapon that will be so powerful, once it is completed and installed on Corporate Dreadnaughts, our Republic fleet will be powerless against it? If it is used against our ships, all living beings will be instantly killed, and then our enemies will take over that ship. If pointed at a planet, it will be able to disintegrate everything that breathes, and then allow the invaders to repopulate. It can even nullify the Force, or so I’ve heard.”

    “So you’ve heard,” Padme repeated dryly. “I’m only asking for a short amount of time. Allow me to send a task force of Jedi into the Corporate Sector and make a confirmation of this weapon and find out Limpan’s intentions.”

    “My spies have already done this,” Tarkin barked out. “Sending Jedi would be redundant.”

    “It would be prudent.”

    “I am willing to stake my reputation upon this information,” Tarkin said, turning his back to Amidala. “And if the Senators vote against taking offensive action, then the blood of Republic citizens will not be on my hands.”

    **

    The Jedi Master and Knights stood around a large table, watching in stunned silence as the Senate took votes on invading the Corporate Sector. When the vote was complete, the vote was two-thirds in favor of an invasion. War had been declared.

    “This is a mistake,” Hal Horn stated grimly.

    “Mistakes, the Senate makes with frequency,” Yoda agreed.

    “Padme kept hinting that something was up with Tarkin, and we kept dismissing her concerns,” Obi-Wan said. “I do believe sending a Jedi Task Force to the Corporate Sector is a wise idea, if a bit late in coming.”

    “Dangerous it will be,” Yoda stated. “Move fast, Tarkin now will.”

    “Then we will have to move faster.”

    “Mother knew how the vote was going to go down, and she has already filed an emergency injunction with the Supreme Court to put a stop to this insanity,” Leia said. “It probably won’t do any good, but it might slow Tarkin down for a few days while the lawyers haggle.”

    Luke moved to raise his arm. “I’d like to volunteer for this mission. I’m a Jedi Knight now, and I think I’ve earned this opportunity to show my skills.”

    “You’re not the only Jedi Knight in the Republic, Luke,” Leia put in. “I’d like to go, as well.”

    Corran Horn nodded. “Me, too.”

    “Don’t forget I’m part of this group,” Mara added.

    Yoda nodded. “Lead task force of Jedi Luke and Jedi Corran, Master Obi-Wan will, to Roonadan.”

    “What?” Luke and Corran piped up at the same time. They both glared at each other, before Luke said, “But Master Yoda… Jedi Mara is my normal partner, as well as Master Obi-Wan’s Padawan.”

    “Normal?” Corran repeated. “So you think I’m abnormal?”

    “I didn’t say that!”

    “Well, you sort of did.”

    “Did not!”

    “Stop this bickering!” Yoda said, thumping his gimer stick on the floor for emphasis. “Jedi you claim to be, but younglings you are sounding like.”

    “Why can’t Leia and I go on this mission?” Mara asked, folding her arms across her chest in annoyance.

    “Go, you shall as well, with Master Horn to Urdur, to where this supposed weapon is being constructed,” Yoda declared.

    “You know where it’s located?” Hal asked in surprise. “How did you find out that information?”

    Yoda pulled out a small disk from his robe, and then handed it to Horn. “Received this from Senators’ Amidala and Borsk Fey’lya. Intercepted transmission from Tarkin’s spies to his private comm.”

    “Is that legal?” Luke asked, eyes wide.

    Mara snorted. “Sometimes you can be so naïve, Naberrie.”

    Hal nodded. “We’ll have to work fast. I can’t imagine that Tarkin will take much time to gather up his strike force and move them toward the Corporate Sector.”

    “I still don’t know why I can’t be teamed with my father and Leia,” Corran gripped as Yoda turned and hobbled to leave the conference room. He looked over at Leia, his expression that of devoted admiration. “Leia and I work so well together.”

    “Naïve Jedi Luke may be,” Yoda muttered loudly as he opened the door. “Naïve Master Yoda is not.”

    **

    Urdur

    Jessa Solo gave a brief smile as she watched her husband sitting on their living room floor, shaking a noisy rattle at their one-year old daughter, a little blonde-haired girl they’d named Callian. It was hard to believe they had been married for two years. It was even harder to believe that Han Solo had happily settled into the role of husband and father.

    “My father just sent me a message,” Jessa told Han. “The news isn’t good.”

    Han looked up at his wife, seeing the grim expression on her face. “What happened?”

    “The Republic has lost its mind. They’ve voted to go to war with the Corporate Sector based on some lame rumors that we’re building a super weapon.”

    “What about the rumor Tarkin is building a super weapon of his own? What are they calling it? A space fortress that can move through hyperspace?”

    “I guess that doesn’t count,” Jessa said, shaking her head. “My father is pretty upset. He’s been in meetings for days on end with the other Corporate Governors as well as Prime Minister Releb Limpan. No one wants a war with the Republic, but we have to defend ourselves.”

    “Yeah, that’d be a good idea.” Jessa cleared her throat, and Han frowned. “What? There’s more?”

    “Well, actually…”

    “Spill it.”

    “My father would like you to lead a defensive task force at the outer perimeter,” Jessa said, sounding unhappy with the idea of sending her spouse to the frontline of a battle.

    “What?! Why me? Don’t you already have a bunch cranky Admirals and grumpy Generals that are in charge of these kinds of things? Talk about stepping on their toes with nepotism. Even if they are a species that don’t have toes, they still might be offended if a Governor’s son-in-law is suddenly put in charge.”

    “The Prime Minister is worried about their loyalties. He suspects that one, or maybe more than one of them, may be working for Tarkin.”

    “Oh, for the love of the stars,” Han muttered as he scrambled to his feet, watching as Jessa gathered up Callian.

    “Will you do it?”

    How could he say no? Not with the life of his family on the line. “Sure. You know how I love uniforms and rules. Adore them, matter of fact.”
     
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  17. PonyTricks

    PonyTricks Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jul 25, 2003
    NO readers for Chapter Three??? :( Oh, well... I will try posting one more chapter before I give up!

    -------
    Chapter Four



    Admiral Daala, now in charge of the Republic Centurion battlecruiser The Sovereign, tilted her chin slightly as she addressed her employer. “Senator Amidala has filed with the Supreme Court to stop our offensive.”

    “It will not do her any good.”

    Daala gave a wary smile down at the shimmering, small form of Prince Xizor standing in the center of the holo-projector. “There are Jedi heading into the Corporate Sector. They could cause us problems, then.”

    “I am already aware of this, Daala. The Jedi will not cause me any trouble. I have already inserted distractions into their tiny, easily manipulated minds.”

    “You have?” Daala asked, surprised. “How?”

    “I have many spies in my circle, Daala. Do not think you are unique.”

    “I see,” Daala said, gritting her teeth in annoyance as she watched Xizor preen in front of a hand-held mirror. The man was certainly vain.

    “In fact,” he added, “I am pleased the Senator’s daughter is heading to Urdur. It makes this invasion even sweeter. Urdur is where you are to take your fleet, and once there, you will prevent anyone from fleeing the system as you destroy the planet, and everyone on it.”

    “What if the Supreme Court rules in Amidala’s favor?”

    Xizor laughed. “Do not worry, Daala. I have everything under control.”

    **

    Coruscant

    Corran Horn shoved a few supplies into a satchel, grumbling under this breath all the while. His roommate was a Jedi-in-training by the name of Kyle Katarn, originally from the agricultural moon of Sulon.

    “Could you speak up?” Kyle asked, raising his eyebrows. “It’s rude to talk soft enough that I can’t understand what you’re saying.”

    “I was saying,” Corran said, spinning on his toes to face Kyle, “that Master Yoda is deliberately keeping me from Leia. I just know that if I could spend some serious one-on-one time with her, she’d finally fall for me, but we’re never alone. It’s so frustrating.”

    “Luke was complaining to me about the same thing with Jade,” Kyle said with a laugh.

    “It’s not the same thing,” Corran said. “Mara actually seems to like Luke.”

    “And Leia doesn’t like you?”

    “Only as a friend. I want more than that.”

    “She’s known you almost her entire life,” Kyle pointed out. “She sees you almost like her brother. What you need to do is get her attention.”

    “How?”

    “Well, if I were in your shoes, I’d make her jealous.”

    “I don’t understand.”

    Kyle sighed, and repressed the urge to roll his eyes. “Find a different girl, Horn. Start flaunting another relationship.”

    “Really? You think that’d work?”

    “Sure. If Leia sees you’re not there at her beck and call, then you’ll become more interesting to her. She’ll notice you. Trust me.”

    Corran stroked his chin thoughtfully. “But who should I start showing an interest in? Mara?”

    Kyle gave a barking laugh. “Oh, that’s a great idea. You’ll never have to see him again after trying to take his girl. After all, he’s only Leia’s twin brother..”

    “Okay. I get it. So who should I ask out?”

    “How about Shira? She’s pretty.”

    “Shira Brie?”

    “You know another Shira?”

    “She seems… kind of prickly.”

    “So does Mara, but Luke likes her anyway. Besides, what difference does it make? You’re only using her to get to Leia.”

    “Doesn’t that seem wrong?”

    “All is fair in love and war,” Kyle remarked. “That’s what I’ve heard, anyway.”

    “You’re right,” Corran said firmly. “As soon as I get back from the Corporate Sector, I’m going to hit on Shira.”

    “You won’t be sorry.”

    **

    Kyle walked up to Luke Naberrie in the corridor of the Jedi Temple, slapping him on his back. “I’m jealous.”

    “About what?”

    “That you get to go on an actual mission,” Kyle said with a sad sigh. “The rest of us are stuck here, practicing lightsaber techniques with remotes.”

    Luke gave a tired smile, shifting his satchel to his other hand. He was on his way to the flight hanger, and was worried about the time. Master Kenobi wouldn’t be too happy if was late. “I wish I could be going with Mara.”

    Kyle shifted his eyes downward. “Yeah, well…I heard about that. Sorry it didn’t work out.”

    “There will be other missions, I suppose.”

    “Missions? Oh, yeah. Missions. Right.”

    “Well, what are you talking about?” Luke asked, suddenly suspicious.

    “Mara Jade.”

    “What about her?”

    “Rumor has it that she’s seeing Erling Tredway, but it’s supposed to be a secret.”

    Luke staggered back, floored by this information. “She’s never said anything at all to me about Tredway. Are you sure about that? ”

    “No. It’s just a rumor going around. It might not be true. You know how rumors get started.”

    “Uh… I guess.”

    “Well, don’t worry about it… too much. Have a safe trip.” Kyle walked away, giving Luke a jaunty wave.

    **

    As he entered the hanger, Luke wondered where Mara was, and if he had time to track her down in order to give her a proper goodbye. Of course, he thought a bit belatedly, he should also say goodbye to his sister, and wish them both good fortune on their mission. Maybe he could even ask her about the Tredway rumor, and they could both get a big laugh out of it before leaving for the Corporate Sector. It was during these musings that Shira Brie popped up from seemingly nowhere and threw her arms around a surprised Luke’s neck, planting a lingering kiss on his lips just as he was headed toward his ship. “What are you doing?” he asked, trying to disengage her grip. Shira had always been a bit aloof toward him, so her sudden, amorous attention was rather mind-boggling.

    “That was for luck,” she purred. “Come back safely, okay? I’ll miss you.”

    “Err, okay.” She’ll miss me? Since when? Luke thought before he finally managed to free himself, and staggered backwards a few steps. Shira gave him a wink before turning away, swaying her hips as she left the hanger. After a few seconds of profound confusion, Luke turned and headed up the ramp and out of sight.

    He never noticed that Mara was standing across the large space, watching the bizarre ‘good-bye scene’ unfold.


    **

    A few hours later, in a café.

    “I’m not sure this is such a good plan, Shira,” Kyle said, sipping his coco, while considering it was a bit too late to back out at this point.

    “Of course it is,” Shira snapped out, glaring at the Jedi sitting across from her in the booth. “I want Luke, and you want Leia. How else are we going to break Luke up with Mara, and make sure Leia and Corran never get together?”

    He turned the cup in his hand. “I never knew you had a thing for Luke.”

    “Why would I tell you?”

    “What if Corran’s flirting with you really does make Leia jealous? It could drive her right into his arms, instead of mine.”

    “It won’t. You just have to make sure you play your cards right and make sure you’re there to comfort her, and tell her what a cad Horn is. She’ll forget all about Horn once you’ve kissed her. And I have to play up Luke’s insecurities with Jade.”

    “I still think we should’ve waited until they got back from the Corporate Sector,” Kyle said, his doubts creeping ever closer. “This could be a huge distraction for the mission.”

    “This mission isn’t dangerous,” Shira argued. “All they’re going to do is ask a few questions and then come back to Coruscant. In the meantime, all those doubts you’ve planted in Luke’s mind will be growing and growing…”

    “I hope Tredway doesn’t find out how we’ve used him in our plan,” Kyle said worriedly. “For a Jedi, he’s got a hot temper.”

    “Don’t you worry about a thing,” Shira said reassuringly. “I’ve got everything under control.”
     
  18. newdawn12

    newdawn12 Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Feb 9, 2013
    I like it, please continue
     
  19. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    [face_laugh] [face_laugh] Oh no! The romantic tangle is as knotted and twisted as it can possibly get without snapping [face_laugh] Looks like there'll be a lot of snippy distracted Jedi and a battle going on ;) Love Han's sarcasm and yet am not surprised he agreed to lead the fighting forces. :p
     
  20. Jedi-2B

    Jedi-2B Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 2, 2000
    Keep posting, we're reading!

    So this is what I get for suggesting more young Jedi? You try to break up L/M? :oops: Corran and Leia -- it would never work anyway. He needs to find a cute smuggler named Mirax. [face_love]

    And I was all right thinking Han's new wife might be doomed, but now you've thrown a baby into the mix. [face_nail_biting] This is getting complicated.

    (only for you do I go to the trouble of looking up my old password so I can post. LOL!)
     
    ginchy, taramidala and Nyota's Heart like this.
  21. taramidala

    taramidala Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jun 18, 1999
    PonyTricks: This is all very complicated, but I'm eager to see how it all plays out! =D=




    And a Jedi-2B sighting? I know you! :) Can we get some of the other girls back to play, too? [face_love]
     
    Nyota's Heart likes this.
  22. scooper121s

    scooper121s Jedi Youngling star 2

    Registered:
    Mar 4, 2014
    We are reading; don't you dare stop posting
     
    Nyota's Heart likes this.
  23. ginchy

    ginchy Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    May 25, 2005
    Oh dear. [face_laugh] I can't wait to read how all this mess untangles.

    Wait, how did I miss the chapter with Han?? I blame work being nuts. :oops: But never fear, I am a loyal reader! And I am worried for Han's family. [face_nail_biting]
     
  24. divapilot

    divapilot Force Ghost star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 30, 2005
    Great story!
     
    Nyota's Heart likes this.
  25. PonyTricks

    PonyTricks Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jul 25, 2003
    Whew! [face_relieved]I still have readers!


    - Okay! I will. :D


    - Yes, I have made this very confusing, even for the author... [face_laugh] I will have to start keeping actual paper notes, like I did when I was helping write "Perfect Pairs".

    -

    Awwww! [face_blush] Thanks! And, yes, I am trying to break up L/M!! [face_devil] What fun would it be if the path to true love was smooth? (thanks for the names!)

    -

    Yup. It's complicated. It's starting to make my brain hurt keeping track of things. [face_worried]

    Thank you for reading!!! I do appreciate it. [:D]



    - Yeah... me too! [face_nail_biting]



    Thank you!!! @};-

    And onto the next chapter. After this one, things are going to start getting interesting for all of our heroes. And I know Han hasn't been in this story very much, but in chapter six he will get a much larger role, especially after... [face_shhh]

    Hopefully another post will come on Friday!

    ---------------


    Chapter Five


    Leia approached their shiny frigate, smiling broadly at Mara Jade. “I just heard the Supreme Court ruled in Mother’s favor. Our mission is now officially sanctioned by the Republic, not to mention we also have some extra time before Tarkin is permitted to launch a strike force. I wish Luke, Corran and Master Kenobi hadn’t already left for Roonadan before we heard this news.”

    “Yeah, that’d been great,” Mara muttered, looking up at the underside of the ship and intently studying the panel seams.

    “What’s the matter?” Leia asked, instantly sensing Mara’s grim mood.

    “I can’t tell you.”

    “Why not?”

    Mara turned her green-eyed gaze to stare at Leia. “If I told you why not, then you’d pretty much know why, wouldn’t you?”

    “So you don’t trust me?”

    Jedi Jade sighed. “All right. But don’t get defensive, because this concerns your brother.”

    “Luke?”

    “You have another brother?”

    Leia pursed her lips in annoyance. “No.”

    “Right before he left, I saw him and Shira locking lips in a grand send-off.”

    “You’re kidding!”

    “Do I look like I’m kidding?” Mara snapped.

    “Well, no. This is just so… unexpected. I never saw Luke and Shira hanging around together, other than when we’re all in a group together. It makes about as much sense as what Katarn said to me.”

    “What did he say?”

    “He came to see me, and was acting very weird about an hour ago.” Leia scowled as she recalled their conversation. “He told me he was going to really miss me, and that I should be glad Master Yoda didn’t put you and Corran together as a team because Corran has a thing for red-heads.”

    “What’s that supposed to mean?”

    “I don’t have a clue,” Leia admitted. “I’m pretty sure Kyle expected me to kiss him goodbye since he was leaning down and puckering up his lips, but I just shook his hand instead.”

    “I will never understand men.”

    **

    On board the Consular-class shuttle The Dogger, Luke stared glumly out of the cockpit at the blur of stars. He didn’t even hear as Corran entered the area, only to jump in surprise when Horn coughed and sat down in the co-pilot’s chair. “You’ve been awfully quiet, Luke.”

    “I’ve been thinking.”

    “Does that hurt much?”

    “Ha, ha. Not very funny.”

    Corran shrugged. “My comedy routine needs work.”

    Luke spun around in his seat, to face Corran. “Do you think Mara and Erling Tredway are an item?”

    “Now who’s trying to be funny?”

    “No, I’m serious.”

    “Of course I don’t think Mara and Erling are an item. Where did you hear that?”

    “Kyle Katarn told me it’s a rumor that’s going around.”

    “If it’s just a rumor, then he shouldn’t be spreading it,” Corran said sourly. “I don’t like Katarn, much.”

    “Why?”

    “I don’t know… I just don’t trust the guy. I don’t like the way he looks at Leia.”

    Luke laughed. “So you’re jealous?”

    “Only if you’re jealous of Tredway.”

    “Do you think Shira has a thing for me?” Luke asked.

    “What?” Corran asked, confused at the unexpected question. “Why do would you think that?”

    “Well, she kissed me goodbye, and told me she was going to miss me.”

    “A green-eyed red-head handing on each arm, huh, Naberrie?”

    “Still not funny, Horn.”

    “Sorry. This is all just so… odd.”

    “Yeah, I know. I’ll never understand women.”

    **

    “It can’t be helped,” Tarkin said, barely able to contain his rage as he addressed Xizor over their secure communications channel. “Even the President has to follow the order of the Supreme Court.”

    “The Jedi will report back, and inform the Senate there is no Sonic weapon. We cannot allow that to happen.”

    Tarkin threw his hands up. “What would you have me do?”

    “Send your fleet to Urdur. Destroy the planet, and you destroy the evidence, or the lack of evidence.”

    “Destroy an entire planet? It would take a fleet of Star Destroyers, and my commanders may not be too inclined to obey that order. They are still loyal to the laws of the Republic, unfortunately.”

    “The battle station that I have been financing and overseeing should be almost complete. It will make short work of Urdur.”

    “It’s completed?” Tarkin asked, surprised.

    “Ninety-eight percent complete. Enough that it will do what it was built to do.”

    Tarkin rubbed the back of his neck, grimacing. “Who should I put in charge of my battle station?”

    “Send Admiral Daala to Despayre,” Xizor ordered. “And it is not your battle station, Tarkin. I am the one that paid for it, and I am the one who made certain my slaves built it.”

    “I am well aware of that, Lord Xizor.”

    “Send just one Dreadnought to orbit over Roonadan. You can always tell the Senate you are giving military support to the Jedi. It will also send a message to Prime Minister Limpan that we are deadly serious.”

    Tarkin nodded, knowing full well he couldn’t win an argument with Xizor, although he was certain sending a Dreadnought would escalate matters greatly. The Senate and the Supreme Court would be furious. But if the battle station was complete, what would that matter? No one would dare oppose him once the battle station was deployed. “I will send The Resolution, then. The man in command of that ship is General Crix Madine.”

    “Can he be trusted?”

    “He was up for demotion a few years back, due to his inability to stop slave trafficking along the Corellian Trade Spine. Of course, since we needed those slaves, I used my influence to ensure he didn’t lose his command. He owes me a thing or two.”

    “And you owe me, Tarkin,” Xizor said with a feral grin. “You owe me everything.”
     
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