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Saga - Legends Kaleidoscope Candles – Long Gone 'verse, NEW - Part 3/3 + replies posted 5-9

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by Kahara, Dec 14, 2014.

  1. Kahara

    Kahara Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 3, 2001
    Title: Kaleidoscope Candles

    Summary: Short stories from the alternate universe of Long Gone (completed story: http://boards.theforce.net/threads/long-gone-–-yoda-meets-padmé’s-ghost-complete-replies-for-epilogue-chapters-12-1.50020998/.) These are mostly set between the main chapters and the epilogue, or following the epilogue (around the ROTJ time frame.) Not in chronological order.

    Timeframe: (Legends) Saga, Beyond – mainly set around the time of ESB and ROTJ
    Length: series of shorts, no predicted length
    Genre: AU,character interaction, drama, romance, friendship, family, adventure, other
    Characters: (Incomplete list; will be updated as fics are added) Padmé Amidala, Luke Skywalker, Leia Organa

    Notes: For those who are new to this AU, you can find a short summary of the basics here:

    In Long Gone, Yoda met the Force ghost of Padmé, who had managed to wrangle her way into being able to send a limited number of messages from the afterlife (with a little help from Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon.) They had a series of discussions and Yoda found a different perspective on some of the upcoming choices he would have to make in choosing how to train the next generation of the Jedi Order. In the end, he decided in favor of training both Luke and Leia, and organizing a band of Jedi Purge survivors and other Force-sensitives to create the beginnings of a new lease on life for the Jedi.


    A big thank you to Nyota’s Heart, who helped me pick the title and is beta reading for this collection. :) She reminded me of the word “kaleidoscope”, while “candles” was inspired by the wonderful lines in the Revenge of the Sith novelization by Matthew Stover. “Love is more than a candle.”



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

    Title: Illumination

    Summary: Leia grew up recalling just enough to yearn for more information about her biological mother. Now she and Luke have a chance, however brief, to meet Padmé.

    (A/N: This tale includes a little bit of the twins’ conversation with Amidala’s ghost that we saw but did not hear at the end of Long Gone.)

    Timeframe: Saga (4 ABY; pre-ROTJ time frame)
    Length: ~ 1,400 words
    Genre: AU,character interaction, family
    Characters: Padmé Amidala, Luke Skywalker, Leia Organa, Breha Organa (mentioned)



    Dantooine, 4 ABY

    Her mother is beautiful and a little sad, as Leia has always remembered her. She feels a rush of relief, knowing that her impossible memories must have held a shred of the reality after all. Leia had been adopted as a newborn. Her parents believed her when she told them about the mental picture she had of her mother. But she had begun, as she grew older, to suspect that it was their kindness that made them accept it. They wanted Leia to remember the woman who must have been a very dear friend of theirs. No one would tell her much – it was discouraging – but she could feel them missing her, more quietly and with less confusion than Leia did.

    It astounds her to see her mother’s face just as she knew it would be, even though her form has the eerie transparency of a Force spirit.

    Leia has found that she can speak now without her breath hitching too much, and so she does.

    “Every summer, Breha took me to the water gardens when the moonfire lotuses came into bloom. She said – one time – I thought – that they were yours.”

    Padmé smiles, and Leia suddenly aches in her heart worse than ever. But it is not the hollow kind of ache. She can live with that. It helps a little that she can feel some of the same feelings emanating from Luke, the “if only” mixed with wonder.

    “The festival of Zeunuran was my favorite growing up on Naboo. The adults had to get dressed up in costume and perform songs and dances, but we children were allowed to run around and go down to Shiraya’s gardens first, before all the lights and ceremonies. Our parents would give us moss lanterns. The child who spotted the first flowering lotus of the season got to ask for a wish, of course.”

    “So, did you ever get a wish?” Luke is wide-eyed, fascinated by this apparition of their lost family. Padmé must have looked like that once, Leia thinks. Suddenly, she finds it easy to imagine this glowing spirit as a young child enlivened by the hope to catch a glimpse of that first night-blooming flower.

    “Yes, I did.”

    The twins wait a moment. Leia breaks first.

    “All right, out with it,” she demands playfully. The three of them lean in close for the revelation.

    Their mother grins in a conspiratorial way and says softly, “Can’t tell you! It has to be a secret or it might not work.”

    Luke is the one who bursts out laughing first, but soon they are all clutching their sides. There is something about the sheer childishness of it, Leia thinks. She feels lighter than air.

    “If it might not work, does that mean you never got… what it was that you wished for?”

    She wonders then if she should not have asked, but Padmé’s mirth seems unaffected.

    “I honestly don’t know, Leia. I was a very ambitious youngling and it was not a specific kind of wish. If it’s still doing something out there, it’s probably like any other dream that people have. There’s no telling what the other end of it would look like. So.” Padmé makes the “quiet” gesture and grins again. “But I did know someone who got her wish.”

    “Zeunuran was not only a children’s festival, and it was not only they who got a turn to ask for something. There was a ritual for the adults as well, particularly for young people who hoped to find their true love.” She half-smiles. “I never made it to that one. My life became very busy in the years when most girls would ask Shiraya’s aid. Later, I had already found all that I would have asked for and so there was no need.

    “However, when I was working with the Refugee Relief Movement I became friends with one of the teaching volunteers from Alderaan. When the festival came around, I helped her sneak into the ceremonies to make her wish. It must have worked for her. The next year, when she came to visit she had married that handsome man I’d seen in the pictures she kept on her desk – and they were clearly very happy. Those two couldn’t take their eyes off each other. They seemed to be joined at the soul, every time I saw them.”

    Leia blinks. She knows instinctively who Padmé must be talking about, but –

    “But Breha and Bail had their marriage arranged by their families. Their engagement was long; I remember Breha saying that. They both were working on their causes and moved the time forward. So they had to have already been planning that when you knew her. I’m a little confused.” She looks at Padmé for some clue and sees another smile crinkling at the corners of her mother’s eyes.

    “Well, yes. Because of all that, I felt that Breha needed that wish all the more. She was clearly head-over-heels for Bail in her own way. That meant that she was sensible and calm, and I am pretty sure that he was as aware of the extent of her feelings as he was of the finer points of swoop racing. The Zeunuran ceremony would be just the thing to give a bit of a nudge – to fate or to Breha’s expressiveness. So I talked her into it.”

    “Of course you did.” The laugh bubbles up before Leia knows it’s there. She is beginning to think that she has at least some of the measure of her mother. Padmé Amidala Naberrie Skywalker is gentle, kind, charismatic, and the distilled essence of trouble. It is not that hard for Leia to imagine now that this might be the woman who talked Yoda into reconsidering his plans.

    “I did not see much of Breha during the Zeunuran celebration, since the girls and boys my age were helping out with the lights. But I met up with her afterwards, and she looked like the pittin that ate the summerbird. Her hair was all wet and her clothes were splattered with mud, but she didn’t seem to mind at all.

    “She told me she had found the flower – but while she was leaning over and wishing with all her concentration, an ollopom she hadn’t seen resting in the water nearby took a sudden dive and splashed her. I would have felt terrible for bringing her there, but Breha said it was the best possible luck. She said that it was just what she had needed, to find this unexpected life form hidden among all the ornamental flowers and fountains. That small creature disguised as an ordinary pom petal was what held the meaning for her Alderaanian heart.”

    The thought of regal Breha encountering the ollopom makes Leia smile, and she can hear Luke laughing as well at the flash of imagery she sends to him. Her mother – having such a connection to both Padmé and Breha, she cannot bring herself to call only one “real” – possessed a wisdom that allowed her to find joy in things others would have passed without a second thought.

    “She would have liked Dantooine.” She is surprised to find that the words are not as difficult as she would have thought. Leia has not spoken about her parents at any length in some time. The purple-hued landscape around her is not the most impressive at first glance, but a closer look reveals subtle variations in the terrain and vegetation.

    “Yes, I think she would as well. Breha used to make pictures of the landscape when I knew her on Naboo. They weren’t holographic; it was an antique device she had from home. The machine recorded the images on a kind of thin flimsy, and then later they could be transformed into larger pictures.”

    “Photographs. She preferred the way that the colors turned out.” Sometimes Leia wishes that she could find one or two of those lost photographs, which sometimes seemed to capture the qualities that eluded the more technologically advanced and accurate holograms.

    For a while, the three Skywalkers watch the clouds go by overhead. Their time will eventually run short and Leia has to remind herself to let this meeting just be, before thinking of goodbyes. There is no power that would allow her to store even a single moment the way she wants.

    There is the now, and when now passes into history it will become as imperfect and lovely as one of those old photographs. That will have to be enough.



    Notes:

    The connection between Padmé’s remembered festival and the lotus flowers was inspired by her name. Most sources discussing Star Wars character names say Padmé was derived from the Sanskrit name Padma. (http://www.behindthename.com/name/padma.) It seems very likely, especially since Shmi Skywalker’s first name also resembles that of Lakshmi.

    You can see the real-world lotus plant at this Wikipedia page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nelumbo_nucifera. There are other plants referred to as lotuses, some more closely related than others. This species is the one that Padmé’s namesake refers to. Further information on the religious significance of the term in India here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Padma_(attribute).

    Shiraya (http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Shiraya)

    Night-blooming plants come in many species, including the night-blooming cereus (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Night-blooming_cereus) and Egyptian white water-lily (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nymphaea_lotus.)

    Refugee Relief Movement (http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Refugee_Relief_Movement)

    Pittin (http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Pittin): common household pets with a carnivorous diet.

    Summerbird (http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Yellow-tailed_summerbird)

    Ollopom (http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Ollopom)

    Pom petal (http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Pom_Petal)
     
  2. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

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

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Woot! I love Padme's story about Breha and Bail's beginning and the gorgeous ceremony and water gardens.

    This closing line:
    There is the now, and when now passes into history it will become as imperfect and lovely as one of those old photographs. That will have to be enough. Nice! =D=

    I really enjoy your end notes. They show your attention to detail. :)
     
  3. ThreadSketch

    ThreadSketch Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 22, 2013
    Dude, I'm always blown away by how you manage to mine EU details to use. And yes, that last line is just gold. Guuuuuurl, you did it again. [face_hypnotized]
     
  4. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    Ooh, am I going to like this thread. :cool:

    Beautifully done, with the characteristic Kahara lyricism; loved the details on the festival, the flowers, etc. (and that the Zeunuran festival is also a "festival of lights" seems very seasonally appropriate ;) ). Interesting to think of Padmé having known Breha and even having helped her out in the matchmaking department. :D And the photographs are such a fun, earthy touch! Thanks as always for the exhaustive list of notes. Looking forward to more.
     
  5. JadeLotus

    JadeLotus Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 27, 2005
    I loved this! What a beautiful memory for Padme to share with her children (adore the idea of wishing on a flowering lotus [face_love]:D)

    Looking forward to more in this universe!
     
  6. Tarsier

    Tarsier Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2005
    Very sweet! I like this line especially: That small creature disguised as an ordinary pom petal was what held the meaning for her Alderaanian heart.
     
  7. Chyntuck

    Chyntuck Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 11, 2014
    I'm so glad you decided to go ahead with this thread! "Long gone" was a wonderful story, but by introducing all the Jedi-in-training in the epilogue you left us yearning for more. I loved how you built the Leia-Padmé relationship in this ficlet -- Padmé once again demonstrating her "diplomatic" talent by talking about Leia's adoptive mother and creating her own place alongside her.
     
  8. Kahara

    Kahara Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 3, 2001
    Status Update 2-8-15: I'm currently working on a bit of Ahsoka and Kajin's backstory in this 'verse, but don't know yet if that will be the next thing that gets finished. Since I've committed to doing a few other things (DDC, monthly updates in another diary, snippets for the Galactic Correspondent) and also have other-story plot bunnies, it may or may not be a while.

    Replies - Illumination

    Thank you to everyone who commented or liked the post. :)




    Glad that you liked the story about Padme, Breha, and Bail. :) I have fun doing the notes, so it's great to hear that you enjoy them. :D



    [face_blush] Aww, thanks! I enjoy finding the detail-stuff, and it often gives me the plot bunnies that fill in a story. So I'm glad that you liked them. [face_dancing]



    :D Yay!

    A "festival of lights" -- yes, I was thinking of some Earth festivals that use lanterns and other lights as a central element. In the Southwestern US, there are often luminarias (very simple paper bag lanterns, usually) set outside at churches around Christmas Eve. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luminaria) There's also Hanukkah, of course, and the Chinese New Year -- I'm pretty sure that I've seen pics of floating lanterns from China that probably helped inspire the imagery here. Water and light. :)

    The part about Padme knowing Breha and their friendship was one of the things that I wanted to kind of fix-it for canon; it seems very sad for Leia and Luke to have so little of their parents. I've always liked the idea that Padme was close to the Organas, and then had to wonder how she would have known them earlier than her time in the Senate -- what with the age difference. But I could picture it this way; Padme becoming friends with an older peer mentor who does share her interest in politics as a way of helping other beings.



    Night-blooming plants and lotuses/water lilies of various kinds are fascinating to me. I was suprised to find that there is actually a night-blooming water lily on Earth. :)



    Thanks. It was an image that struck me, so I'm glad you liked it. :D There was some head-canon in there about Alderaanian versus Naboo traditions. They're presented as similar in a lot of canon and fanfic sources, and it makes sense. I'd like to think that they were part of the same cultural group at some point. Then I wonder about the possible variations. The one that I was thinking of here is that perhaps the Alderaanians have an emphasis on the wonder of when life surprises you, while the Naboo focus on its rhythms and circular nature. Kind of congruent, not quite opposing philosophies.



    This is definitely in part a way to fill in some of the missing pieces. Yes, I can see that as an aspect of Padme's way with people. She remembers Breha too and I'm sure there's an element of uncertainty -- will Leia feel like she's trying to replace her? So it makes sense for her to go to the people they have in common. I began this without a very clear plan, but it began to make sense as I was writing that Leia would start out trying to know this new, unknown person and find that the answers bring her back to her familiar past after all. Everything is connected. :)
     
  9. Chyntuck

    Chyntuck Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 11, 2014
    And now I re-read this story directly after re-reading Long gone, and I'm left wanting more =P~ This is such a promising start to this story collection and it definitely earned its nomination, together with its prequel, as best series. I know you have a million more things on your fanfic plate, but I hope you'll be able to continue!
     
  10. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    Agreed! I can't wait to see more stories in this series; whenever they're ready I'll be here. :) I just love your writing—ever since first reading " Long Gone" I've admired it as a model of sheer lyricism and expressivity. So glad this and "Long Gone" were nominated—big congratulations. =D=
     
  11. Kahara

    Kahara Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 3, 2001
    Okay, before posting the next part (yes, there's a new 3-parter starting tonight :D) I just wanted to reply to the last couple of comments. Sorry I forgot to do so earlier!

    Chyntuck and Findswoman, thank you both very much for the congrats and encouragement. [:D] I'm not always entirely sure how I end up accused of things like "lyricism", but it makes me very happy. :D As for continuing, it will -- whenever the plot Hoojibs cooperate as well as they did last weekend. [face_dancing]
     
  12. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014
    I'm writing this comment for the third time, as both the first and the second version have mysteriously disappeared in the post-laser Alderaan asteroid field of my notes...but it's OK, as it appears that I am seeing the story in a completely different way this time.

    *ahem*

    The juxtaposition seen here - of what we thought were Leia's constructed, non-existent memories from Return of the Jedi and the real memories materialising as a reward for a daughter who managed to fit into her mother's shoes as a freedom fighter - is incredible.

    Adding flowers and flowing water as the background to this spiritual encounter has an eastern mysticism vibe to it. I can almost picture the flowers based on various Japanese legends and atmosphere in some of their fairytales. Not quite sure where this comes from, but it's wonderful.

    And just like night-blooming plants, Padmé herself also blossoms late at night.

    Ultimately, this vignette extends a proverb I once read, "For as long as your mother is alive, you're a child". Padmé died after her twins' first breath and once she reappears, they are suddenly children again.

    I am going to withdraw somewhere and sob again. Too sensitive regarding the subject of parents dying and, once again, this brought a tear, one of only two stories on here that provoked such a reaction.
     
    AzureAngel2, Kahara and Findswoman like this.
  13. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014

    Hey, "lyricism" is nothing at which to sneeze! That is one of the biggest compliments a writer can get from someone with a music background, I'll have you know! :p :D

    Very thrilled indeed to hear about this new three-parter. Bring it on, if you please! :)
     
    AzureAngel2 and Kahara like this.
  14. Kahara

    Kahara Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 3, 2001
    Title: Can’t Look Away

    Summary: Becoming Luke’s friend was supposed to be a self-imposed check against her conditioning. Mara just didn’t want to end up killing him – not literally – and that was all. Mostly all. But things didn’t stay that simple, and the string of confrontations with the Empire seems to be growing ever more dangerous.

    L/M ‘ship story set on Echo Base. Expect bad jokes, cavities, and more kissing and cuddling than usual in my stories. (Although there is no kissing in this first chapter. I don’t want to mislead anyone. :p)

    Timeframe: Saga (about 2.5-3 ABY; ESB-ish time frame)
    Length: ~ 2,900 words – Part 1 (~ 5,900 words in the complete story)
    Genre: AU, romance, character interaction, family
    Characters: Mara Jade, Luke Skywalker, Scout, Ahsoka Tano; mentions of Artoo and others

    (Also features some brief appearances by other characters in Parts 2 and 3.)

    Update schedule: This is a completed fic which I’ll be posting in three parts. One post every two weeks worked pretty well for Long Gone, so for the time being I’ll plan on that schedule.

    Other: This story’s title and much of the inspiration for its themes come from the song “The Price of Fire” by the band Capercaillie. You can find a link to a video for it in the end notes for Part 1. And thanks go to Nyota's Heart for beta reading!



    Part 1/3

    There is a terrible racket coming from inside the charred X-wing fighter. Mara can just make out a few words in the litany of Huttese obscenity over the clanking of tools and occasional thumps of things being dropped.

    “Artoo, will you get that? Thanks.” Luke’s voice is weary and a little ragged in the aftermath of shouting into the comm throughout a raid on Imperial facilities at Toprawa. “Ugh. It looks like a womprat’s nest exploded in flames down here. Why do they put the inertial dampeners there? I want to punch an engineer I’ve never met. No. Anger leads to hate. I just want to make them muck out the tauntaun pens so they can think on what they’ve done.”

    She thumps the armored back of her gauntlet against the ship’s hull, creating a resounding clang that clearly startles her prey.

    “Gack!”

    One foot vanishes and she can visualize her farmboy hanging upside down by one foot in there.

    “Luke Skywalker, you are an idiot.”

    “All lies and slander, whatever they said. Mara, you’re back!” He sounds perturbingly happy and she smacks the hull again, scowling.

    “They said that someone was treating his X-wing like a TIE fighter and playing scaredy-nuna with the Lord Darth Vader in a nebula run full of neebrays and space debris. And I know it’s true because I was there and I saw you go off the scopes into never-come-back land.” She can see the smoke of her words hanging in the air, caught and frozen for an instant in Hoth’s eternal winter before they fade. The words that she doesn’t use, too, written in the spaces between. “Afraid” is something that she will never say and never let anyone make her, no matter what. Ever.

    “Oh. That.”

    “That.” The stinging in her eyes is so easy to blame on the cold. Mara looks up when she feels a breeze of the Force playing at the hood of her jacket, drawing out a few flyaway strands of ginger hair that have escaped from their usual braid. Mara is fairly certain that Luke doesn’t even realize he does this sometimes when they meet. Just the soft brush of a summer wind against her face, as if to check that she’s really there and in one piece. She’s never mentioned it, in all truth embarrassed that she doesn’t want him to not do it again.

    Her own usual means of greeting Luke is a little more prosaic. She likes to sneak up and suddenly activate the Force connection between them – one that her teachers say is unusually powerful for one between two Jedi Padawans who live mostly separate existences. It’s still amusing to make him jump, just as it was in the early days of their friendship. But actually part of it’s the fact that even with the startlement, he visibly lights up at the surprise. Mara can’t remember anyone ever looking so pleased just to see her face. Perhaps Scout, but that is a whole other story that still brings her feelings of remorse. Someday she’ll repay her sister’s faith in her, a vow that she keeps tucked away in the back of her mind. She knows it would only trouble Scout. The Mandalorian-Jedi works so hard to give her both training in the Force and a family. It would bother her to be the object of atonement – no matter how desperately Mara feels as though she needs it.

    At the soft thump of Luke’s feet landing on the ground, she steps forward and loops an arm around him in a friendly embrace. Mara breathes in, grounding herself in the smell of grease and leaning her head against his shoulder. Crazy blond idiot Jedi farmboy. Crazy brave, leading Vader’s pack of TIE fighters off the Rebel convoy. She stays there a bit longer than she really ought to, wanting to hold the moment.

    Luke is one of the few she has found she has a hugging kind of relationship with, as a side effect of all that they went through on Mimban and Wayland. Few still being an increase from the total of zero in most of her life, of course.

    All too soon, they disengage and step back. Mara tries not to notice that they both glance away for a second. There are a million and one reasons why they need to concentrate on other things, and why she in particular is no one to be getting herself involved in a relationship right now. They’re just two Rebel comrades, reunited after danger.

    She ignores that she can still feel Luke’s hand against her wrist – not quite holding hands and not quite not, either.

    He clears his throat. “So, how’s life with the Mandos?”

    “Excellent, actually.” She grins. It’s nice how easily that comes to her now.

    Scout, the Jedi sister Mara never knew she had, survived the Purges by living in hiding with Mij Gilamar and Ovolot Qail Uthan. She was adopted in the Mandalorian custom and carries a lot of the Mandalorian philosophy over into her theories on the Jedi way and in her fighting style. What all of this means for Mara is that being Scout’s sister by extension means acquiring a small clan of armor-wearing lunatics. Mandalorians: just another word for people who think that inventing new ways to blow things up faster and better is the height of family bonding.

    “We went on vacation a few weeks ago.”

    “Really, you’re all sightseeing when there’s a war on?” Luke laughs at her, his eyes full of mischief. “So, what went up in flames this time?”

    “Nothing. It was an ecological tour. We were developing an appreciation for the unique flora and wildlife of Vendaxa.”

    “Good grief, and you think I’m reckless.” She returns Luke’s stare evenly.

    “Vendaxa has a dense biome, which means a lot of plants, which means many substances not yet researched can be found there. Ovolot needed some materials for her research, and so off we went to see the lovely acklays in their natural surroundings. And to find a spiny little plant that grows as a symbiont on the underside of predatory mandragora flowers. Fun times.”

    As usual, Luke picks up on more than seems possible through that intuition of his. “The Candorian plague,” he murmurs softly, mindful of being overheard.

    “She thinks it can be used to synthesize stronger antibodies against it, yes.” Mara sees the compassion in his expression and has to turn away and stare at the walls of Echo Base for a minute. Of all the things she’d seen in her journeys that brought her away from the Empire, that had been one of the worst.

    “Good.” Mara feels a wave of warmth pulse through the link in the Force and returns an acknowledgement.

    She directs the subject away from plague and disaster. “I’m not going to be one of them in all those cultural particulars, I can tell you that much. But it’s been – a good experience, being with the Mandos for a while. It’s the first time I’ve ever been to a place where I actually make sense to people. They understand me in a way that no one else ever has, except for maybe some Jedi apprentice with a death wish.” That goes accompanied with a light elbow bump for emphasis. “And, thank the powers that be, Ovolot and Mij actually started out as members of normal Galactic society. So there’s a bit of a bridge there.”

    It’s something she is coming to love about the Mandos, the sense of belonging somewhere. Even if she is the peculiar half-Jedi cousin, there is nothing less extraordinary than a weird cousin among Mandalorians. Scout’s adopted brother Yenthrekk is some kind of sentient shellfish – species unknown and unfound in the University of Sanbra Guide to Intelligent Life. The rest are mostly human or humanoid, but it’s nothing strange to them. And somehow, even their ancient animosity against the Jedi has been waived by years of exposure to Scout. Mara, in all of her sharp edges and lifelong sense of being the outsider, doesn’t quite know what to do with these people. But she’s glad to know them anyway.

    “Well, you’d best hold on to them, then.” There’s a flash of seriousness in his eyes before he moves on to teasing. “Mara the Mandalorian. I think you need a theme song.”

    For that, she exhales a lungfull of air and uses the Force to send the resulting ice crystals down the back of Luke’s neck. It’s difficult and she doesn’t think she got most of it, but he still looks up startled and rubs at the collar of his coat.

    “I already have one.” She leans in close. “It’s called ‘The Ballad of Why I Left the Commander of Rogue Squadron in the Wampa’s Lair and I’m Not Sorry.’ Want me to sing it for you?”

    “Maybe?”

    Luke does impish much too well, and there ought to be a regulation about that. It does things to the feelings in her stomach that definitely are a distraction. It’s almost funny how things ended up this way. When she’d started out to strike up a conversation the first time, it had been with the intent that she would make Luke her new best friend if it kriffing well killed her. Because somewhere in her mind, she could still feel the frayed ends of her mind link to the Emperor and it whispered things that she spent long nights trying to forget. If she ever acted on those orders (you will kill Luke Skywalker, the voice said sometimes when it was late and she couldn’t read the words on her files anymore), it would be an utter disaster.

    So she’d set about doing everything she had taught herself not to do when dissociating herself from assassination targets. Mara listened to his words, sought out common experiences, shared parts of herself that she’d never told anyone – not even Scout. She invested in Luke Skywalker with nearly everything that her nature allowed. And then was shocked when she went and fell all the way off into the deep end. The one thing she hadn’t counted on was that Luke returned caring for caring, with interest added. It was a fundamental trait of his, that she had learned only too late. Mara does not name the something that grabs at her heart now whenever she hears his voice. With or without name, its power does not diminish either way. One thing she knows is that it keeps running through her mind over and over, how easily she could have lost him in this last battle.

    Luke opens his mouth as if to say something else, but then glances over her shoulder.

    And there is the reason. Scout stands in the doorway of the hangar, arms crossed and foot tapping in a thoroughly un-Jedi-like pose of sisterly irritation.

    “Amarantine Enwandung-Esterhazy -- ”

    “That’s not my name,” she says dryly, without much heat. Scout uses her supposed full name to annoy her. Mara will never quite believe that any parents would sling such a clunker of a name at their little baby girl and no amount of arguing will convince her otherwise. She’s pretty sure her long-lost sister is just playing a long game. “Tallisibeth” is not a name anyone would hang on Scout, either. Scout has always been just Scout, the way that Mara is Mara, and that’s a final and obvious conclusion.

    “ – what have you done to that poor pilot this time?”

    “Something that he inflicted on himself by means of a prior act of war. Janson’s hair needed gluing. That’s all.”

    Mara finds her eyes drawn to the habitual way that Scout moves the fingers of her cybernetic arm in the cold. It’s a realistic model, but the gears and joints tend to stiffen up and malfunction below a certain temperature. Hence the need to keep them moving.

    Luke looks rather pained. “Oh, for the Force’s sake. I know Wes is – well, Wes, but I need him in shape to fly patrol later, Mara. Auggghh.”

    “Not easy being the designated adult around here, is it, Luke?” Scout looks greatly amused at Luke’s noises of pilot commander stress.

    “He’ll be fine,” Mara says indignantly. “His buddies have the solvent. The worst that will happen is that they’ll extort some of his blackmail material from pranks past back from him in exchange for helping. Whereas I was stuck wondering how I ended up having to spend hours chasing flewts out of my quarters every time I returned here. I don’t care what anyone says, those fluttering things are of the Dark Side. I thought they’d been living in the heat system, until I found that barve Janson planting egg cases under all the chairs.” Her companions snicker at this image, though whether it’s Wes’s prank or the inevitable standoff is up for interpretation. “So, you see. Glued hair is too good for him, really.”

    Scout is giving her a Jedi mentor look. That’s going to end in meditation, but she knew it would when she glued Janson’s hair in the first place.

    Luke has a distant look, all of a sudden. “So where’s Ahsoka hiding? I can sense her.”

    Mara hears a shuffling sound from about four meters to the left, and looks on in dismay as someone climbs out from under one of the empty supply crates. “Oh, you have got to be kidding me. How long was she there?” Mara grumbles under her breath.

    Luke, of course, goes practically bounding over to his Jedi “aunt” like a Garnibian bird-retrieving alce on a sugar high. His enthusiasm for bonding time with the woman who could be considered his last surviving family member outside of Leia is rather endearing, actually. Mara can appreciate the sentiment, even if she prefers to be a little more sedate in expressing it. Some sort of animated conversation takes place before he and Ahsoka come to join the others. Mara notices with some amusement that the Togruta woman is wearing some colorful knitted items on her lekku and montrals in order to block out the cold of her surroundings. And here she’d thought that Luke was just really bad at sweaters.

    Unfortunately, Mara can sense that something is up from the subtle tension in Ahsoka’s stance. That usually means only one thing, and she’s soon proven right in her prediction.

    “Scout, I’m glad to have the chance to catch up with you. You too, Mara. But actually, I’ve come here to borrow the two of you for a job.”

    No surprise, given the troubleshooter role that Ahsoka has played for the Alliance. Although she has technically returned to the Jedi, her years as a Gray Paladin stand the formidable Rebel in good stead on all kinds of dangerous assignments. Getting called away by her has happened a few times before, and it’s always exciting – but also always leads to things that Mara considers as “the times we almost died.”

    Luke waves them off, a little disappointed but saying he needs to work on the X-wing. It’s true, and Mara should be glad to have something to do other than freeze on Hoth. But she still finds herself slowing as they walk away further into Echo Base.

    Mara finds herself under scrutiny, with Ahsoka’s sapphire blue eyes regarding her and the fluffier-than-usual lekku flicking thoughtfully like a feline’s tail. The Jedi was her first friend among the Rebels. She had been the one person who was able to see through the quest to finish what Scout started in attempting to show Mara the truth of her existence with the Empire. But she also has been extremely busy and they have been on different missions lately. She misses the fearless Togruta and her sense of humor, so this mission will not be entirely bad even if they do end up being chased by swarms of TIE fighters and the full force of the Inquisitorius. Oh, why not be frank – when they end up being chased by swarms of TIE fighters and the full force of the Inquisitorius.

    “We’ve got fourteen hours before we need to go,” Ahsoka says, glancing backwards at the X-wing and the shadowed form of Luke – now tinkering industriously with something underneath the fighter. Scout walks on several paces ahead, pretending ignorance of the conversation. She’s never been much more comfortable with emotional subjects than Mara is.

    “Mara, this is going to be a difficult one. For you and for all of us. I think that there’s something there with you and Luke that you’re not telling us,” and she holds up a hand in a calming gesture. “Which is none of my business, yes. We’ve chosen not to mandate against relationships and I stand by that.” Mara looks back with an attempt at blankness. She really wishes Ahsoka would get onto a different track.

    “It’s only that you’re both important to me and – I’ve stood at crossroads like that. Once I said nothing, and before I knew it he was gone. The next time I grabbed at the possibility like a drowning woman, and that relationship was a total disaster.” She sighs, her striped face pensive. “Kaj was the one where I finally got it right. Thank the Force for Kaj.”

    “You really are smitten, aren’t you?” She raises an eyebrow and smiles at Ahsoka’s wry look.

    Mara waits uncertainly as the Jedi collects her thoughts. “The problem is that we could be gone tomorrow, Mara. I don’t want you to face that test not being honest with yourself, or with regrets. Whatever those might be. So I won’t tell you to postpone your feelings, or act on them, or anything else. I just ask that you look into your true self and see what it holds, with patience.”



    Notes:

    The song mentioned in the beginning notes can be listened to at this link:

    The battle mentioned is not meant to be an exact counterpart to any of the canonical events, but Toprawa (http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Toprawa) was a development site for the Death Star.

    Neebrays (http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Neebray) – very large creatures that can survive in vacuum and feed on nebula gases. They are found in areas such as the Balmorra Run, which runs through a nebula. (http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Balmorra_Run)

    Scout (http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Tallisibeth_Enwandung-Esterhazy) – in this particular AU, she happens to be Mara’s older sister who was given to the Jedi at a young age. One difference from the Legends version is that she did eventually choose to be adopted as a member of her guardians’ Mandalorian group rather than sticking strictly to the Jedi path. But her canon history leaves off at a certain point, so I’m just theorizing that it happened later.

    Mij Gilamar (http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Mij_Gilamar) and Ovolot Qail Uthan (http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Ovolot_Qail_Uthan)

    What happened on Mimban (http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Mimban) and Wayland? I don’t know yet! (*runs away*) But I’ve always liked Splinter of the Mind’s Eye and I’m sure that with Mara there it would be a bit less facepalm-inducing on the Skywalker front. [face_laugh]

    Vendaxa (http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Vendaxa) – home of the acklay and other toothy things.

    Mandragora flowers are named after this genus and the associated legends about mandrake plants. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mandragora_(genus))

    Candorian plague (http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Candorian_plague)

    Yenthrekk is an OC. I’m not sure what his species will turn out to actually be.

    The University of Sanbra Guide to Intelligent Life (http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/The_University_of_Sanbra_Guide_to_Intelligent_Life)

    Regarding Scout’s name for Mara, I’m not entirely sure whether she’s trolling or not. :p Amarantine is an alternate spelling of the word “amaranthine.” (https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/amaranthine#English) It has some interesting meanings and I rather like it – but it is a mouthful! [face_laugh]

    Flewts (http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Flewt)

    Ahsoka’s hiding under the box trick was entirely inspired by a Tumblr gif that shows her and Anakin sneaking around underneath boxes in the Clone Wars. It’s about as goofily adorable as that sounds.

    The Garnibian bird-retrieving alce was meant to be a Golden Retriever stand-in, but I decided to go with this creature (http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Feathered_dog) for inspiration. It looked a bit like a gryphon without wings, and that form is called an alce in European heraldry. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Griffin#Form) Their homeworld is Garnib. (http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Garnib)

    The knitted lekku-sweaters were inspired by Tumblr as well. People were theorizing about how Hera keeps from getting cold on the Ghost, I believe. [face_laugh]

    Gray Paladin (http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Gray_Paladin)

    The “Kaj” mentioned is Kajin Savaros (http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Kajin_Savaros) – as seen in the epilogue of Long Gone, I’ve gone with the idea that he recovered from the worst of his issues in the Coruscant Nights series and eventually met Ahsoka after he had been left at a healing facility on Shili.
     
  15. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

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

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    A gorgeous! gorgeous! song and very suited to this AU. =D= I love what you've done with Mara, particularly. She has a different back-story entirely, but she's still the Mara we love! Excellent! The on-the-brinkness of their relationship :) :) and Luke is of course totally uber! himself. [face_love]

    Scout continues to fascinate. :cool:
     
  16. JadeLotus

    JadeLotus Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 27, 2005
    Glad to see more of this! I love the AU-ness of Luke and Mara's relationship here, and yet it feels very true to the core characters. They are friends first and foremost, but with that pull towards each other that can't be ignored. Love the affection between them - Mara letting someone hug her!

    I also love the backstory you've given them and Mara's determination to make him her friend so that she could erase and overcome her conditioning to hate and kill him. Really interesting perspective that in some ways is the polar opposite of Mara's behaviour in Legends, but very fitting in this AU you've created.

    I particularly liked this little moment - so very sweet and very Luke [face_love] And then Mara's fondness for surprising him - so cute!
     
  17. AzureAngel2

    AzureAngel2 Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jun 14, 2005
    The tenderness between your Luke & Mara is great.

    Also liked the Padmé and Leia story earlier on.

    This section of the boards keeps the SW alive that I started loving as a child.

    Thanks! @};-
     
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  18. Gemma

    Gemma Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 25, 2013
    Loved your beginning here -- I love different views on how Luke and Mara get together, please tag me in. Thank you.
     
  19. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014
    There's going to be kissing, you say? No wonder the planet is called Hoth. :p

    So far, not much character development has taken place for the two main characters in the story itself, but the AU-ness of your, well, AU needed to be introduced with major shocks - as in, you shoot first and then you talk - here the backstories serve as character development before character development..if that make sense. I expect the other two chapters to be completely different than this one and closer to Long Gone, but then again, my hunch may be as much of a crackpot theory as your theory of my OC Gunlaag being a Dulok. I enjoy being proven wrong as much as I enjoy being right.

    I like the idea of Luke and Mara meeting while young and further from the perfection people describe in the stories I mostly have trouble immersing in. Here, these two use the Force in the same way the Simpsons electrocute each other in that strange episode with dr. Marvin Monroe; and Mara's attempt at friendship as a form of suppressing what she was originally "programmed" to do is an interesting way to kick off a potential relationship.

    “Ugh. It looks like a womprat’s nest exploded in flames down here. Why do they put the inertial dampeners there? I want to punch an engineer I’ve never met. No. Anger leads to hate. I just want to make them muck out the tauntaun pens so they can think on what they’ve done.”

    This has got to be one of the best rants in history. It fits the characters' age so well, there's that diva behaviour despite the implied Jedi stoicism and it sits so well as Mara is a Gray Paladin (love how you incorporated the stuff from Coruscant Nights here) and Luke is a mere Jedi apprentice (Or a Jedi-apprentice-to-be, in case this is not different in your AU?). And then, boom, the rash Leeroy Jenkins-y Ahsoka pops up as their mentor of sorts. Opa, Rebels-style!

    “You really are smitten, aren’t you?” She raises an eyebrow and smiles at Ahsoka’s wry look.

    Not to mention that I am very curious about Kaj's future, too. ;) Lalalala, I didn't hear anything, OK?

    She ignores that she can still feel Luke’s hand against her wrist – not quite holding hands and not quite not, either.

    Schrödinger's hand-holding FTW. At this point, I giggle at how mundane their conversation seems to be next to the descriptions you're giving us of what happened in this AU.

    They understand me in a way that no one else ever has, except for maybe some Jedi apprentice with a death wish. - Kekekeke, wondering who that might be. :p

    “Mara the Mandalorian. I think you need a theme song.”

    Make it sound like anime theme songs, they're epic.

    “Something that he inflicted on himself by means of a prior act of war. Janson’s hair needed gluing. That’s all.”

    As you do. These two sentences made me giggle.

    Looking forward to see what happens next! :)
     
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  20. ThreadSketch

    ThreadSketch Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 22, 2013
    IT'S BAAAAAAAAAAAACK!!! *tackles you*

    [​IMG]

    I just...I...hhgnnn...please just settle for now with deciphering the meaning behind my set of flails as I read this just before bedtime and have an incoherent meltdown of feels.
     
  21. Kahara

    Kahara Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 3, 2001
    See Part 1 for summary. http://boards.theforce.net/threads/kaleidoscope-candles-–-long-gone-au-new-story-4-18-l-m-on-hoth-part-1-3.50025565/#post-52316065

    A/N: Thank you very much to all who left reviews on Part 1! [:D] I will reply at more length some time before the next story post.

    Thanks also to Nyota's Heart for beta reading. :)


    Can't Look Away - Part 2/3

    It’s not so easy to do, Mara thinks later as she brings herself out of an unsuccessful attempt at meditation. At least she thinks of it as a failure, though Scout claims that she won't always know what benefits it may have yielded without her knowing. A few stories of subconscious warnings have convinced her that it may indeed work that way for fully-fledged adepts, but Mara isn't so sure about herself. She doesn’t always know where she is in regards to the Force, and it drives her spare at times. The subtleties have always come more easily to her. But at those rare times when she sees into the depths where possible futures lie, everything twists sideways on her. It’s all very frustrating.

    Giving up on meditation to show her the way, she crawls into bed and drifts into a dreamless sleep.

    Thud!

    “Rise and shine, Red!”

    “Blargh.” There needs to be some sort of law about people expecting her to be sentient at this hour. Whatever hour it is. The chrono reveals that she has gotten exactly an hour and twenty-four minutes of sleep.

    “She lives, friends,” Cilghal intones, hearing the bleary threats streaming from within Mara’s room. There are other feet scuffing about in the hallway. Resigned and in a state of dress – if not as fully awake as she’d like – Mara opens the door and gives the small herd outside a baleful glare. The Mon Calamari Padawan appears to have collected an entourage.

    “What is it now?”

    “Morning, Mara. We’re going to get stinking drunk before we run off to pull on Lord Jerec’s cape.” Korto Vos gestures cheerfully at the group.

    The sorrel-haired woman standing next to Cilghal sighs. Mara remembers vaguely that she is a scientist working with the Alliance. Another of the faces that come and go from Echo Base as often as Mara does herself, known to her only through mentions in passing. Possibly named Dust or something. “What he means is that we’re going to have a small amount of something mildly alcoholic and wish we were irresponsible enough to actually get smashed before an important mission.”

    With an offer like that, how can she refuse? However, it beats meditation hands down. Although Cilghal and Korto are the only ones there that Mara knows at all well, Runab having been a later addition to T’ra Saa’s Jedi class, it isn’t as bad as she expected. The Rodian pilot Andoorni Hui has some common interests and soon she and Mara are enthralled in discussing one of the base’s latest acquired ships, a Z-95 Headhunter that both agree could be improved by retrofitting the existing cobbled-together arrangement that makes it a truly “Ugly” starfighter.

    She’s concerned in spite of herself at the way their second medic seems content to sit on the fringe in Cilghal’s shadow and brood over the mixer whose liquor content is quite likely a matter of name and optimistic imagination only. Mara suspects it’s the result of Nyinahl knowing the Jedi and their warnings about combining the Force with alcohol – particularly when it regards their wayward apprentices. The medic, pilot, and scientist are all “guilty” by association with the young Jedi students. Mara manages to pry a name out of the short-haired woman, but trying to get actual social interaction from Aurin Leith today appears to be like squeezing blood from a carbonite block. Still, Cilghal seems to have the situation in hand since there is a quiet discussion going on between her and Leith when Mara heads for the door.

    She wanders the corridors, the air growing colder and draftier as she approaches the outer regions where the vehicles are housed. The Alliance’s efforts at insulating the base can only extend so far. Mara pauses outside the hangar bay doors, seeing the faint outline of herself reflected back and transformed to a hazy outline by the mist of her breath. She looks like nothing more than a wraith glimpsed in the nearly opaque durasteel. It used to be that was all she was meant to be, the unseen hand that rearranged the patterns of other’s lives and deaths in the night. Always gone by the morning.

    I can be more than that, is the mantra that she silently repeats with every step. The doors hiss shut behind her.

    The battered X-wing is still there, and in only somewhat better condition to her practiced eye. But Luke, who is normally prone to tend his fighter and astromech as though they were wounded friends, is nowhere to be seen. Mara scans the bay, swiftly analyzing the smattering of pilots, technicians, and others at work. No Skywalkers to be seen.

    Drawing her coat closer around her, she heads back. The pang of disappointment is hard to suppress, though it was always possible that she wouldn’t be able to spot him before leaving. He might already be off on that patrol, and that will take several hours. When he returns, he’ll probably be too tired to comprehend a word she says. Typical Luke timing.

    She slams her palm against the handlock, about ready to pick a fight with the next man, woman, droid, or wampa ice monster that she sees on this day that was clearly carved out in poodoo before it began.

    “Mara, there you are! I’ve been looking everywhere. I thought you were going to be departing on Ahsoka’s ship down in the other quadrant. How did you end up in here?”

    “You.” She looks at him, driven nearly speechless. “You –“ Mara aims an accusatory finger at him, then stares at it, as if in annoyance at its inadequacy. Her hands describe an object of wavering dimensions in the air, the sketch of an emotion that isn’t quite outrage but only because she can’t quite pin it down. “You. Why do you think I was here? Why am I always coming here, Luke? Do you think it’s so I can better enjoy the fresh mountain breezes of Frozen Shebs Fun World?”

    Comprehension dawns at last. “Oh.”

    “Yes, farmboy,” she says through a hand pressed to her face. “I was here because I was looking for you.”

    “Actually, I was talking to Scout yesterday and – “

    “You were?”

    “And I’ve been thinking about it ever since, and so – “

    “Well, I was thinking too, actually – and – “

    “I kept trying to find you, but this place is a maze and you were quiet in the Force, so I came back and here you are, and – “

    It’s amazing really, how much an emergent Force bond does not do to promote grace in communications. Mara feels the moment of unspoken reaching stretch, and realizes that if she lets this go on she’s going to forever be known to herself as the Mara Jade who was completely inarticulate and communicating in mime at a very critical point.

    She clears her throat. “I would really like it if you would kiss me right now. Really.”

    The smile she gets in return for this exercise in romantic poetry is as brilliant as the heart of a supernova. Luke has the most wonderful eyes – it’s not the first time she’s thought so lately. It’s all too much and she can’t look away as much as all her old voices tell her that getting this close to another can never end well.

    “Same here.”

    They lean in as one, and manage to bump noses rather awkwardly in the process. It hardly registers, because then they find the way and there is the feeling – cliché as it sounds to her even now – that time has stopped entirely outside the world that consists of the taste of Luke’s mouth on hers, the press of her hand against his shoulder, and the feel of his arms around her waist. She can sense that the Force is doing something, turning about on its axis in a chain reaction of fate. But it doesn’t matter a bit. Mara could not give two credits for the Force right now, because it has nothing to do with what is and matters most. It’s the who of her and Luke that makes her feel giddy, not the what.

    So strange, Mara thinks. People look at her hair, feel the sting of her temper, and call her fiery. But here and now she knows that for her, Luke is where fire lives. Sunlight on her face in the light of a new day, the spark of flame and smell of wax for every candle she’s seen lit by those waiting for something better, the singing heart of the lightsaber she built with her own hands, the blaze of a starship’s engines taking flight, the gleam of a luna hawk’s feathers on a clear night.

    Stars, she is making kriffing poetry here after all.

    Eventually, though, they have to come up for air. She leans back, considering Luke’s expression with a smug smile.

    “Just for the record,” he whispers, “that was a great idea. I wish to subscribe to your holozine.”

    It’s only at this point that she notices they’ve gathered an audience, judging from the sounds of applause and anooba whistles echoing from the corners of the hangar.

    Luke makes some remark in Huttese that causes the main part of the crowd to chuckle and back off to their work. Or perhaps it is the giant mynock-eating grin she gives the lot of them, her teeth bared in fierce exhultation. The one that says just try and make me embarrassed, little boys and girls. So this is what it feels like, when people say that their love makes them feel alive. Who would have thought?


    Notes:
    Some of these characters were also mentioned in the epilogue chapters of Long Gone, but I’ll re-link them here since it’s been a while.

    Cilghal (http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Cilghal) is one of the other Jedi apprentices in this AU, and a member of Luke’s New Jedi Order in the books. Here she’s started training earlier and as a contemporary of him and Mara.

    Korto Vos (http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Korto_Vos) is also part of that generation of new Jedi in this ‘verse (though there’s no telling what happened to him in Legends.)

    Jerec (http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Jerec) - one of the Dark Jedi working for the Empire.

    The scientist named “Dust or something” ;) can be found here: http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Dusque_Mistflier

    T’ra Saa (http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/T'ra_Saa) – one of the Jedi Purge survivors mentoring this motley bunch of apprentices.

    Runab Ehata is an OC who was also mentioned in Long Gone. He’s an Ishi Tib who works for the Rebellion and was found to be Force-sensitive, so now he’s in Jedi training as well.

    Andoorni Hui (http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Andoorni_Hui) is a Rodian pilot from the Rogue Squadron books, which are apparently not specific on when she started as an X-wing pilot. Also, this is AU. ;) So here she is already there by the time they are at Echo base.

    Z-95 Headhunter (http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Z-95)

    Ugly (http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Ugly) – cobbled-together ships, usually starfighters.

    Nyinahl is an OC and apparently has the thankless job of bartending at Echo Base. :p

    Aurin Leith (http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Aurin_Leith) appears in one of the Adventure Journal short stories collected in Tales from the Empire. The events of that story explain why she seems so morose here.

    In more immature news, "shebs" is Mandalorian slang for “butt.” I’ve assumed that Mara picked it up since she’s been around Scout.
     
  22. JadeLotus

    JadeLotus Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 27, 2005
    Loved the appearance from Cilghal, she was always one of my favourites of the "first class" of Luke's Jedi.

    And then the lovely sketch of Mara's characters here, still her but because of the AU-ness of the tale more open about how she feels and what she wants. He saying she'd "really like" for him to kiss her was very precious.

    So strange, Mara thinks. People look at her hair, feel the sting of her temper, and call her fiery. But here and now she knows that for her, Luke is where fire lives. Sunlight on her face in the light of a new day, the spark of flame and smell of wax for every candle she’s seen lit by those waiting for something better, the singing heart of the lightsaber she built with her own hands, the blaze of a starship’s engines taking flight, the gleam of a luna hawk’s feathers on a clear night.

    Stars, she is making kriffing poetry here after all.


    This was lovely! Beautifully written to articulate Mara's feelings but still perfectly in character there at the end.


    “Just for the record,” he whispers, “that was a great idea. I wish to subscribe to your holozine.”

    [face_laugh] I am always here for snarky!Luke
     
  23. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

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

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Big, fat SQUEEEEE! Oh yummy poetry and mutual magnetic pull!
     
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  24. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014
    Huh-huh, in this one she says "butt" and in the other one she says "flatulence". Great Cornholio's bunghole likes this!

    I think my predictions for this chapter were right, regardless of what you say. There is more reflection than in the first chapter and, as far as I am concerned, you maaaay be setting the bar very high for people who usually write in this niche. :D Not to mention that your ability to make perfect sense by combining these third-trooper-on-the-left characters into groups and giving them larger roles than anybody would've ever known is something I have nothing but pure respect for!

    Korto Vos as a Jedi Padawan? Sign me up, I'm all ears and I am going to bug you about a possible separate story about this until your US state declares a war to my Belgrade neighbourhood.

    “Rise and shine, Red!”

    “Blargh.” There needs to be some sort of law about people expecting her to be sentient at this hour. Whatever hour it is. The chrono reveals that she has gotten exactly an hour and twenty-four minutes of sleep.

    Now, THAT was funny. One can tell there are a lot of young, reckless people here and that they have more than just training on their mind. Perfect discipline, yeah, right.

    She slams her palm against the handlock, about ready to pick a fight with the next man, woman, droid, or wampa ice monster that she sees on this day that was clearly carved out in poodoo before it began.

    This is funny, too. :D I like absurd.

    “You.” She looks at him, driven nearly speechless. “You –“ Mara aims an accusatory finger at him, then stares at it, as if in annoyance at its inadequacy. Her hands describe an object of wavering dimensions in the air, the sketch of an emotion that isn’t quite outrage but only because she can’t quite pin it down. “You. Why do you think I was here? Why am I always coming here, Luke? Do you think it’s so I can better enjoy the fresh mountain breezes of Frozen Shebs Fun World?”

    Comprehension dawns at last. “Oh.”

    FIREWORKS. HE FIGURES IT OUT.

    And then, there is that clumsy, youthful kiss. I liked that. I am all for the idea that young people and those who are really falling hard for each other should be awkward, strange and whatnot.

    Snow/ice, alcohol, leaving a party, an awkward convo where a woman is borderline abusive and the guy is unnaturally sweet, followed by an awkward kiss, mixed with weird statements definitely related to the Force, kriffin' poetry. Wait a moment. Wait. This happened before. Subconscious is a miracle. I think I am freaking out now. XD

    EP IS OFFICIALLY FLATTERED.
     
  25. Kahara

    Kahara Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 3, 2001
    Replies 5-9 - various

    Thank you all very much for reading and/or commenting. [:D]


    This post includes replies to comments for Parts 1 and 2 of Can’t Look Away, as well as one left on Illumination.


    Part 1

    Nyota's Heart:


    It’s a wonderful song and very inspiring for fanfic. :) Glad that Mara and Luke (and their relationship) seem in-character if AU to you! :D AU-influenced versions of the same people is what I hoped to convey.

    Scout is intriguing in Legends and I’m going to have to research her in more detail, because I’m sure there’s a story (several stories, probably) to be told about her and Mara. :D Not to mention whatever she may have been up to between Order 66 and now…


    JadeLotus:


    [face_dancing] Always happy to hear that something as out-there as this did not come across as complete crack. The pull that can’t be ignored and the friendship, yes. :) Those are things that appeal to me about them in Zahn’s books. I was on the fence about having them be all huggy – but somehow it made sense to me that they had already been through some things and so Mara is a bit more touchy-feely than expected here. (Other things I may write someday if possible: what in the name of fluffy Hoojibs happened on Mimban and Wayland to cause this? :p)

    It is kind of a 180-degree variation! [face_laugh] For some reason, that tidbit was one of the first things that occurred to me when thinking about the L/M relationship in this AU; that Mara would actually be trying to break her conditioning for reasons only peripherally related to Luke. And then end up falling head-over-heels, whoops! ;)



    Aww, thanks. Writing this sort of mush is nerve-wracking for me since it’s not my usual and I’m trying to branch out a bit. :) It was fun to write, but I do worry about whether it turned out well. I clearly owe a penny to the Anxious Writers’ Neurosis jar :p


    AzureAngel2

    Thank you very much! That means a lot to me that you said it reminds you of old Star Wars memories. [face_love]

    Gemma



    It can be a lot of fun to invent or read AU’s! Thanks. :D And you’ll get your tag on the last part – though I’m embarrassed to say that I forgot to tag you for Part 2 (which can be found here: http://boards.theforce.net/threads/kaleidoscope-candles-–-long-gone-au-new-part-2-3-posted-5-3.50025565/#post-52356548)


    Ewok Poet


    [face_shame_on_you] Don’t know what I did to deserve this kind of pun-ishment, Poet. [face_laugh]


    Well, since I’m late in replying that somewhat affects my answer here. Earlier it would have been “wait and see.” :p But yes, it’s mostly conversation and not much happens at-the-moment in Part 1. (Then again, most of the action of Long Gone consists of Yoda making stew and grumping at dead people. ;))



    They are pretty young and impulsive here (and more inclined to be playful, as with the thing you compared to the Simpsons. :p) While I am actually pretty intimidated by the massive number of well-characterized fics featuring these two (seriously, everything has been done at least once and probably better than I can manage ;)), I’m very glad you find this take on them intriguing! The programming avoidance thing was, as I mentioned in an earlier response, something that seemed to fit this AU from the time I started pondering sequels. Definitely a weird start to a friendship – almost as weird as constantly talking about how you’re going to assassinate someone while wandering around the jungles of Myrkr. [face_laugh]


    :D Thanks. And yes, it’s definitely a late teens/twenty-something rant, though I’m sure there are days when I can still summon one. [face_laugh] Coruscant Nights was an interesting series and I naturally wanted to incorporate some of it once I decided to bring some Legends into things. Mara’s apprenticed to Scout, technically, who I’m thinking was Ahsoka’s student at some point early in this Rebellion – this was basically an advanced studies and trials thing. So yes, Mara’s got some Gray Paladin influence along with the Mandalorian and Jedi. She’s a mishmash of traditions. :) And Luke is, indeed, a Jedi apprentice at this point.

    Re: Ahsoka being Leeroy Jenkins, I had to go look that up and giggle a bit. Well, she does have a propensity for popping up out of nowhere, though hopefully she can keep her party alive. Otherwise, the Rebels would have moved bases and “forgotten” to tell her. :p


    My memory is so bad I can’t remember what you didn’t hear! [face_laugh] But yes, if I get it written at some point we will see more of Kaj and what he has been doing all these years.


    [face_laugh] Well, someday perhaps I’ll end up writing the stories of some of those wild and whacky things that happened. “Schrödinger's hand-holding” is a great phrase!


    Can’t imagine. ;)
    Maybe so!
    Well, they’re a bit silly at times… got to do something in their time off, and what else but driving each other to distraction? ;)

    ThreadSketch
    Nice to see you around here again. [:D] And I like deciphering flails, it’s very entertaining! :D

    Part 2

    JadeLotus:


    One of the things I’ve really enjoyed about this AU is building the cast out of various corners of the Legends universe. I may eventually work in some Rebels or new canon characters as well somehow, since I’ve no objection to mixing and matching canons. :p Cilghal was an appealing choice to me because of her focus on healing and steady personality – a contrast to some of the more hotheaded types that are also in training. ;) Also, she is a diplomat in the New Republic in Legends, a Mon Calamari, and a relative of Ackbar; some of that could play into the Rebellion era in interesting ways. [face_thinking] And I wanted this Jedi class to have some more aliens to balance out the number of Humans that are there for plot reasons. Many of the central members of this Jedi group are aliens (Yoda, Ahsoka, T’ra Saa) and come from the Old Republic Jedi, so I think they might tend to be able to locate alien students more easily than Luke knew how to in the New Republic. There might be some information that they remember that was lost over time.


    Thanks! :D Just what I was hoping for this to show regarding her personality and the influence of a somewhat different past. And I am so glad that you liked that one part, since it’s kind of a crucial bit of the story! ;)
    *raises hand* Me too, me too! :p Which is to say, I’m glad if the snark seemed Luke-ish.


    Nyota's Heart:


    [face_dancing] Thanks! “Mutual magnetic pull”, yes. ;) And thanks again for beta reading (and squee-ing over) the this project while it was in progress. That helped keep me on track really well while writing! [:D]

    Ewok Poet:


    Ewok Poet:



    *sigh* [face_sigh][face_not_talking][face_laugh]


    This has been a different kind of story than what I usually do (or so it seems to me), so it’s very interesting to see your thoughts on how the chapters work plot-wise! :) As for the bar, I think I saw it hanging in the stratosphere – I see many things that are just “wow” levels of fantastic and there’s so much! :eek: But I’m flattered that you think this is a good example of the type of thing. [face_dancing] I am so much obsessed with writing third troopers on the left it’s not even funny, as you well know from reading the Unquiet Waters stories. ;) So I do like to feature them, even when it’s as background.


    Now this I have got to hear more about! :D Korto is an interesting unresolved mystery in Legends. I suppose “and they all disappeared forever” is about the happiest ending that canon could have given his family, but it does provide plot bunnies!

    Re: the young, reckless people and Mara’s ruminations about fighting everything + wampas, I’m glad those were amusing! Definitely a part of the mood that I was looking to evoke. They’re on the path to being Jedi, but also still in a transitional stage. And it’s kind of a state that’s shared by all these other young Rebels in their age range, who are often working on the same teams and so on. So it definitely gives the place a certain mood! Which is often a bit silly. [face_laugh]


    Pretty much! [face_laugh]


    Thanks! :) Just the kind of interaction that I intended to come across from that part – yes, they’re very in love but they’re also a bit confuzzled and so on. :p

    Well, if my subconscious got it from there then I think my subconscious must have good taste in fics. ;) That’s a really interesting set of parallels, and no I hadn’t thought of it consciously. But it’s very interesting! [face_thinking]

    Illumination (reply on earlier story)

    Ewok Poet:

    Augh, I hate it when I lose things that I'm working on. Been there and done that. Glad you had time to come back to it! :)


    :) It was sad to learn how little Leia actually had contact with Padme in the films, so yes -- in a way, this was a form of retrieving those cherished memories that we got just a glimpse of from Leia in ROTJ. I do think that it's entirely possible that she did have some real recollection of her mother through the Force, which is the tactic that I used here. Children aren't as organized in their thoughts as adults, so I think a very young Leia might have been more open to a Force vision or echo of sorts (not knowing what it was.)

    Just what I wanted to achieve with those elements, so that's wonderful to hear. I've always been intrigued by the Sanskrit roots of Padme's name and the water theme that surrounds both her and her homeworld of Naboo (that funeral is such a beautifully symbolic scene.) The way that it then contrasts against Anakin's relationship with fire, too... the son of the suns and a daughter of the rivers.

    That's a very insightful saying! I remember reading once, regarding family issues, that we have more trouble dealing like adults around our families because the first, most ingrained reflexes we have around them are those of the children we were while growing up. Here it's more the positive aspect, that Leia and Luke get to be children enjoying an afternoon with family for a few minutes. Thanks for bringing that quote, it's very evocative of a theme that I was thinking of while writing but didn't have a snappy phrase to describe. :D

    And I'm honored that you found this that moving. [:D]