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Saga - Legends Mara Jade's Origin Story

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by JohnLydiaParker, Jun 27, 2020.

  1. JohnLydiaParker

    JohnLydiaParker Jedi Youngling

    Jun 14, 2019
    Title: Jade: An Origin Story

    Author: JohnLydiaParker

    Summery: A very young (and far too jaded for her age) Mara Jade has just enrolled in first grade. Featuring her cruddy parents and school staff, Mara's initial, non-understanding discoveries of her potential in the Force, along with the some of the events that would shape her personality, it finishes with Mara Jade beginning her life as the Emperor's Hand.

    Notes on Chronology and Terminology:

    This story assumes the pre-prequel trilogy timeline, where the Clone Wars ended, the Jedi purge occurred and the Empire was founded 35 years before the start of episode IV, rather than 18. “Year” at school corresponds to “grade” in 21st century America; “Primary school” corresponds to “elementary school,” as it does in real life; as such, the story begins when Mara starts first grade, and takes place roughly a little over a decade before the events of Episode IV and a little over a two decades after the founding of the Empire.
    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha likes this.
  2. JohnLydiaParker

    JohnLydiaParker Jedi Youngling

    Jun 14, 2019
    Chapter 1

    When Mara Jade enrolled in primary school, what her parents suspected was confirmed - she was a borderline athletic prodigy. She could easily compete, on the playground anyway, with the second year students on the next floor of her school. The head of the gymnasium was sufficiently impressed that he invited Mara and her parents to a meeting after school. Her parents readily agreed, although her father seemed to misinterpret the reason. He had been out working one of his usual long days when her mother receive the call, and when he got home her parents had one of their occasional shouting matches, Mara's mother failing to convince him that Mara was not in trouble within her first week of school.

    The meeting occurred in a small administrative office. No sooner had the head of the gymnasium thanked them for coming when Mara's father got to what he believed was the point. "So what did she do?" her father interjected with a touch of anger. "I tried to tell you, she didn't!" her mother quickly retorted.

    "Not to worry, Mara is not in trouble," the gymnasium teacher quickly interjected; the tension in the room falling noticeably as Mara's father slumped into his chair. "Mara is easily the most athletically gifted child I've ever seen. There's a formalized physical testing program that normally is done in the fifth year, and only for those on an athletic team."

    "And?" Mara's mother asked.

    "Simply put, they come by next week, and I would like to have Mara evaluated."

    "That sounds like a pretty good idea, she'll do it," Mara's father replied. Her mother shot him a glance that clearly said, "I told you so." Mara's father noticed, and was about to reply when the gymnasium head interrupted.

    "Please, no need for such things. How about we work out the details."


    Even the gymnasium head was surprised by the results after the testing staff finished their work. Mara was athletic beyond all measure, and results of the tests of her reflexes and reaction time shocked even the testing staff. Even using only half the age adjustment intended for fifth year students, half of the results exceeded any data on record they could find, and the rest exceeded the sensitivity of the measuring equipment. They had her go through it a second time to make sure it wasn't the result of some error, and a week after they left another group of staff showed up with specialized and highly sensitive equipment. They tested her again, and then again, then made her go through it a fifth time to confirm it wasn't some fluke. They finally presented the results 5 days after that in the gymnasium head's office

    The head of the newly arrived testing staff, a middle-aged man, invited them in, and took a seat at the desk. Mara's father quickly claimed a nerf-hide chair along the wall, and her mother took a seat at the divan on the other wall. Mara followed them in and declined the other spot on the divan, sitting in a folding chair in the corner a meter farther away than her parents.

    "Well let's get to business, shall we?" the man said.

    "If even half of what I've heard is true" Mara's father enthusiastically began.

    "Honey, let the man talk" her mother quickly interjected. "Yes, right" he replied, leaning forward in his chair.

    "Mara has discovered a way to cheat the reaction and reflexes test."

    The firm statement left a stunned silence. The turmoil on her father's face was matched by that inside Mara. She had done everything the way they said, so why was he accusing her of cheating?

    Her mother broke the silence first. "How do you know this?" she asked.

    "Essentially, it boils down to the results simple being too good to possibly be correct, and we've eliminated every source of error we can find."

    Mara's father finally settled on rage. "Why in the worlds did you do it you sithspawn!" he yelled at Mara.

    "Language, please!"

    "I didn't!" Mara yelled back.

    "And why have you been lying to us about that!"

    "I didn't! I've never told you anything!"

    "Now, Mara's correct, she's never mentioned anything, I've only heard it from others," her mother interjected evenly.

    "Now while figuring out some way to cheat on this is quite impressive for anyone, it's not something that should be encouraged from such a young age," the researcher said, trying to get the conversation back on track.

    "Are you telling me Mara is going to be a criminal!" her father shouted, looking at Mara with his back to the researcher.

    "No, nothing of the sort," the flustered researcher said. "But we really must know how it was done, since we haven't discovered how she went about doing it."

    Mara could tell her father was simmering, and looked toward her mother, who was still calm, her face impassive. After a long second of silence, she finally spoke.

    "Now Mara, tell the man how you did it. You were wrong to do this kind of thing."

    Devastated, anger quickly rose inside Mara as well. "Sithspawn to the three of you!" she yelled, storming out the door. In a momentary fit of anger she kicked at the wall on the way out. The tile on the wall shattered, much to her surprise; she didn't think that would happen, but at that moment she didn't really care.

    Everyone else, however, did. School took it's scheduled week off beginning the next day; Mara spent all of it in at home in her room, although after three days they allowed Mara to sit at the table for meals rather than bring them to her. Mara's home was a tall, narrow three-story structure sharing a wall with another dwelling on both sides and the back, which continued on both sides to the end of the block. With plenty of time on her hands, Mara studied the tree in front of her house, considering it as a possible escape route. But it was half a dozen meters to the closest firm branch, too far to try to jump. She also had plenty of time for brooding; this had to be the third or fourth time her parents had believed somebody else over her. She could hear her parent's shouting matches every night for the first four evenings, but it eventually returned to it's usual every-other-week frequency.

    After nine days of captivity, Mara was finally allowed to leave the house, her punishment at home over as school began again. Looking wistfully at her bedroom window as she left, she realized there was a narrow ledge on the wall a meter below her window. And a few meters over from her window a large, exposed branch of the tree came within two meters of the wall. At least I know how to get out in the future, she thought.

    At school, however, her punishment was just beginning. Officially for breaking the tile, and unofficially for the embarrassment the whole affair had caused for the headmaster as well, she was sentenced to spend every outdoor break for the next week sitting on a bench, facing the fence instead of the playground, and reading material for school.
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2020
  3. JohnLydiaParker

    JohnLydiaParker Jedi Youngling

    Jun 14, 2019
    Chapter 2

    As it turned out, Mara need not have worried. After the first day of school for the week, Mara was sitting in the back of her mother's landspeeder accompanying her on a shopping trip, not that Mara wanted to. Her mother preferred a small store, located on a short stub of a side street in an otherwise solid block of buildings typical of the area. A block away, Mara noticed something odd, something she hadn't felt before. There was a strange sort of tingling, along with a few other odd sensations, which soon became accompanied by an unexplainable sense of dread that slowly grew.

    As her mother turned into the stub of a side street, another landspeeder slammed into the left-rear of the one she and her mother were in. The engine compartment at the rear was smashed in half the width of the speeder. The impact spun the speeder around, sending the forward end crashing sideways into the rear of the other speeder. Mara wasn't seriously hurt; her mother was not so lucky. The local rescue service airpseeders arrived a few minutes later.

    At the hospital the verdict was that Mara's mother had two broken legs. The doctor stated that she would be out of the Bacta tank by morning, as good as new. Mara's mother, much to Mara's surprise, asked her to leave the room and wait outside. Mara did as she was told, and naturally put her ear to the door the moment it was closed to try to hear what was being said. Her mother was concerned about the cost; after all, the airspeeder would be rather expensive to fix, and she needed time to think about the finances.

    An hour later Mara's father arrived. After a rather loud debate he had with her mother about whether or not she was responsible for "this mess," which her mother won, they reached a decision. With a bit of medical assistance, Mara's mother would forgo the cost of the Bacta and stay at home instead, while Mara stayed home from school and took care of both her and the house.

    Mara was not consulted on this decision; nor was she happy with it. After six days of mixed success taking care of anything her mother needed done, either for her mother or around the house, and near complete failure trying to cook anything, Mara was more than fed up with the whole arrangement. So was her mother. In the middle of the day, she declared that a Bacta dip was the better choice, called a speeder to take her to the hospital, and left Mara at the house, with instructions to "explain it to her father" when arrived home. Four hours later he did, and as Mara had known from the beginning, was stuck standing in for her mother in the inevitable shouting match, despite having nothing to do with her decision, exactly as Mara suspected her mother had intended.

    At least she had missed the punishment at school. A couple weeks later, Mara was on the playground, looking at a tree, and considering how to best climb it; It was one of the few there she hadn't climbed already. Behind her an athletic game was going on. Suddenly, Mara had a strange, instant compulsion to duck. She didn't know why, but for whatever reason she followed it. A split second later a ball flew right over her where her head had been. One of the other students worked up the nerve to approach her to ask how she had managed that. She brushed him off. She had always tended to be a loner, besides, Mara couldn't explain it herself either. She had never felt a compulsion like that before, not even during the testing program.
    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha likes this.
  4. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

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

    Aug 31, 2004
    Very plausible that Mara's gifts would be a mystery to everyone and that they'd assume she must be cheating somehow. Also believable is that she herself doesn't understand and cannot explain the nature of her abilities. [face_thinking] =D=
  5. JohnLydiaParker

    JohnLydiaParker Jedi Youngling

    Jun 14, 2019
    Chapter 3

    As the year progressed, another secret talent Mara discovered she had was that of stealth. She could sneak around the house quite easily, and capped it off with secretly observing her mother logging on to the house's computer terminal. After a couple of tries, she assembled from the various observations her mother's password, and now could use it for whatever she wanted when her parents were gone. She wasn't allowed to use the terminal at all, but that was never something that stopped her.

    Neither was the threat of enforced absence from school. A trio of girls had tried to bully her. She had responded with her fists and a few well-placed kicks. That had earned her a week of enforced absence. When she returned, a pair of boys tried their luck with her. They quickly wound up running away after they realized, painfully, that even as one of the smaller girls in her class, Mara was no pushover. After stories spread throughout the school as to how two boys nearly a head taller had ended up with faces full of bruises, nobody bothered her. Nobody talked to her either. If Mara might have had any small desire for a friend, that had certainly ended it. Both by inclination and circumstance, Mara spent all her time by herself, left out of the school's social circle.

    The second fight had earned her a month of forced absence, less than a week after the one from the first fight ended. None of the staff believed Mara that she was simply defending herself; this was nothing new, her parents routinely believed anyone else over her anyway. During the time she was going through enforced absence from school, her parents believed, as always, that punishment at home was suitable as well. In this case, Mara was to spend all day in her room. On the first day her father caught her sneaking out of her room; after that, she was locked into her room.

    That provided the perfect opportunity to try out the escape route Mara had discovered after the last time. The ledge was only 10 centimeters wide, and was a good four meters along the ledge to the closest point to the tree, and then a two meter jump to the branch. Slipping out her bedroom window for the first time, Mara carefully left it cracked a few centimeters, shimmied along the ledge, than jumped. It was three stories down, but she felt no fear; she had climbed trees higher than this in the past, and was confident in her abilities.

    It actually proved easier than she had expected. The branch was thick and sturdy enough to support her easily, and the surrounding foliage was perfectly shaped to provide something to grab without being in the way. Climbing back up was even easier. It quickly became routine. Four days before she was set to once again return to school, the routine went wrong. She returned to her bedroom window to discover the window had somehow closed, and worse the latch had fallen closed, on the wrong side of the window.

    Trying to figure out some way to open it, without having her entire scheme fall apart, Mara mentally pictured it, wondering perhaps if it was magnetic, and if it was close enough to the windowpane for that to work. Of course she had no idea how to get something to try that, she thought, idly tracing the path it would follow along the window with her finger.

    Much to Mara's surprise if not outright shock, as she did so the latch opened. Some people might risk falling from the narrow ledge she was on if surprised; Mara was not one of them. Counting her good luck but not understanding, she slipped back inside.

    The last day before she would return to school the same thing happened again, despite Mara's careful efforts to prevent a recurrence. Hoping against hope, she tried tracking the window with her finger again.

    Nothing happened. Wondering what in the worlds she was going to do next, Mara ran through her head what could possibly have caused the previous near-miracle.

    Tracing her finger on the window repeatedly, she considered the wind, weather, and anything else she could think of. Picturing the latch to try to figure out what could possibly have affected it, she was surprised to find the latch moving with her finger again. It couldn't have possibly been what I was thinking about. Could it?

    Mara tried the window again, this time picturing the latch in her head. Much to her surprise, the latch moved with her finger.

    Mentally counting to ten, she tried the experiment again. Pushing her luck in miracles was a poor idea, since now the latch was open, but it responded to her finger, moving closed as her finger traced the window. After counting again, she tried opening it this time, and once again it worked. Mara didn't understand why, or even comprehend how that could possibly have worked, but decided that since, inexplicably, it did, it was something she could use if it ever happened again. But not something I should rely on; only if I have to.
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2020
  6. JohnLydiaParker

    JohnLydiaParker Jedi Youngling

    Jun 14, 2019
    Chapter 4

    School resumed, and Mara's life returned to normal; normal, that is, for when she was not in trouble for something. Construction started on a new building next to the gymnasium. Gym class sounded unusually quiet, no doubt due to the soundproofing the construction droids had applied to the exterior walls. Outside, though, it was noticeably louder than usual. After a month, Mara found herself in trouble with the school yet again. The school officials had decided that since she had been absent for her punishment for breaking the tile all the way back at the beginning of the year, she now had to serve it. Furthermore, since she "had a pattern of behavior," it was to last for the next three months. There was also a story going around that the headmaster had been embarrassed yet again over her "cheating" on the physical tests. As before, she was to spend all of outdoor break sitting on a bench at the edge of the playground, facing away, and reading textbooks on a school datapad.

    But this time Mara had a solution. She discovered that the school's datapad was the same model as one her parents owned. And since she had full access to the house's computer terminal with her mother's password, she could put whatever she wanted on it. Things quickly settled into a routine. Mara would bring her parent's datapad to school in her bag, swap it for the school's one before she headed outside, and rather than read textbooks, she would watch holovids, usually action or adventure, that most would definitely not approve of for someone her age. The construction covered the noise; with bushes and trees on each side, and her back to the rest of the playground, nobody could see it either.

    By the simple expedient of not mentioning it to her parents, for once Mara was not in trouble at home either. She once again accompanied her mother on shopping trips, not that Mara wanted to. A month later, they had just finished loading her parent's landspeeder with groceries and were beginning to leave the store when Mara felt that strange sensation again. As it grew, Mara wondered if it meant something again, and whether she should say anything. The speeder was just beginning to turn out the stub of a side street the store was located in when another landspeeder sped by and slammed its outboard engine into the nose of their speeder.

    There were only minor injuries this time around. For various cuts and bruises her mother got an hour in the Bacta tank. For a pair of cuts Mara got stitches and Ryll, her mother explaining that she would hate floating in a Bacta tank with nothing to do. At home, there was one of the bigger shouting matches, with her mother accusing her father of making her use the store on the dangerous side street to save money, and swore she was never going back there again.
  7. JohnLydiaParker

    JohnLydiaParker Jedi Youngling

    Jun 14, 2019
    Chapter 5

    Several days later Mara accompanied her mother on a shopping trip to a different store, the largest on this side of town. Occupying half of a full city block and three stories tall, it boasted of having everything a person might need. Mara had also overheard discussion from local COMPNOR groups about how unsuitable it was a Twi’lek owning such a large establishment; Mara herself had never cared much for politics.

    It was certainly bigger, as Mara discovered, with all the foodstuffs on the first floor. In a side aisle near the front Mara found the first toy she had actually wanted in a few years - a toy blaster that fired a tiny blaster bolt. The bolt was weak enough to only give a moderate burn the size of an Imperial coin to any bare flesh it hit, or ruin a spot of clothing much the same size. She asked both her mother and her father; both told her in no uncertain terms that she was nevergoing to get to play with something like that.

    So Mara decided to buy it herself. As far as her parents knew she had 45 credits to her name, birthday and holiday money in an envelope in her dresser drawer. She was 35 credits short of the purchase price and had no allowance, but Mara quickly discovered credits were easy to come by. Literally. Whenever her parents left a small bunch of bills and coins sitting out, or when there were plenty in a bag or wallet, Mara would relieve it of something, a 1 credit coin here, a 5 credit bill there. Leaving the rest where it was, her parents never noticed that there was slightly less than there was before. In three weeks, Mara had enough to buy the toy blaster outright. She snuck out of the house when her parents were away, and headed for the major store. Only to find disappointment. She was told at the store in no uncertain terms that you had to be an adult in order to buy one.
  8. JohnLydiaParker

    JohnLydiaParker Jedi Youngling

    Jun 14, 2019
    Now the action picks up!

    Chapter 6

    With any chance of buying one gone, Mara still didn't give up. Now she turned her attention to how to steal one. After all, the staff at school had said she was on the wrong track, so why not live up to it? Since the toy blaster was potentially dangerous, each box containing one was enclosed in its own clear transpariplast case, with at least two, as best as she could determine, security devices on it. One set off an alarm at the front door if it was being stolen; the other set off an alarm if the case was forced open in the store. After careful consideration, she realized she had no chance of beating the security.

    Instead, she had a different plan. Wearing a child's "toy" satchel, she waited outside the store until an unaccompanied women entered, then putting on her best "innocent child" persona, she followed her in, hoping everyone would assume the women was her mother. She parted ways and heading for the shelf with the toy blasters. Mara climbed up to the top shelf, well out of her "normal" reach and took one, then climbed onto the top of the row of shelves.

    Carefully peaking over each edge, then leaping from one set of shelves to another whenever the coast was clear, she made her way to the cold section. She left the blaster in its case on top of the shelves, along with her satchel. Quietly dropping down, she headed back to the front. Completely changing her demeanor to that of "innocent child playing shopping," Mara "happily" picked up the smallest basket, from next to the grav containers. Staying "playful," she added some apparently random, but actually carefully selected, bags of vegetables and a handful of fruits.

    Returning to the cold section, Mara made straight for the largest containers. She had noticed when accompanying her mother on trips there that they were stored on an inclined rack, and when a carton was pulled off the shelf, another one would slide down to take its place. She had also noticed that there was a room behind the racks where they were refilled from. She put all three of the remaining containers in her basket, grabbed the rest of the basket's contents, then climbed to where she left her satchel and her prize before. She had to stuff a few of them in her clothing, but even carrying the rest she was able to make the climb to the top shelf.

    Now Mara put the second part of her plan in action. She pulled out of her satchel several large sheets of flimsaplast, wrapping them around the transpariplast case while putting the vegetable bags in between, tuning a rectangle into a lump. Then she stuck the fruits inside, and crushed them. Grabbing her satchel, she peaked over the edge. Two people were nearby, but they didn't see her, and they were soon gone. Jumping down, what now looked like a lump of trash in her hand, she headed for the rack she had emptied. Taking a final look around, she carefully, but quickly, squeezed through the now empty rack. It was a tight fit, but Mara was small even for her age.

    Emerging on the other side, she took a look around. She'd examined the exterior of the building earlier, and noticed there were no other ways in. But a garbage chute came out over a dumpster on one side, a story below the main building where the ground sloped downwards. And what was in the dumpster hadn't been through a trash compacter. If her memory served, it should be right around the next corner in the back stock room.

    Again carefully peering around the corner, she headed around, and there it was. The garbage chute, right where it should be. She dumped her 'trash' down the chute, and turned to head back toward where she had made her improvised entry. As she neared the corner, she noticed a strange sensation, and strange sensory flickers of senses she didn't have; stopping to think about it, she realized it was the same thing she had felt before the landspeeder accidents.

    Then a black furred Bothean in an employee's uniform rounded a corner, and quickly spotted her. But Mara had thought ahead, and already had her next line of defense prepared. Acting "innocent and playful" again, she exclaimed she had crawled back to see what was back here! The Bothean seemed to believe her, and soon brought her back into the main part of the store. She was brought into an office on the third floor, meeting the Twi’lek who owned the store. They had a discussion; it seemed the Bothean wanted to gain something out of this event, and the Twi’lek wanted the problem over. As Mara gazed out the window overlooking the street, she had an idea. Picking a random landspeeder, she pointed at it, exclaiming that it was her mother's landspeeder, and suggested she simply wait for her mother there. The Twi’lek seemed to like a quick solution, although the Bothean did not, and with a final warning, she headed out the front for a clean getaway.
  9. JohnLydiaParker

    JohnLydiaParker Jedi Youngling

    Jun 14, 2019
    Chapter 7

    That night she snuck out of the house. Putting pillows in her bed to make it look as if she was still there, she opened the window, retracing her "escape route" of a few months prior, moving out onto the ledge below it and leaving the window cracked. She reached the point on the ledge to jump from and leapt for it, easily making it and landing in a crouch directly on top of the limb. She didn't even have to hold out a hand to steady or catch herself.

    Climbing down, she headed back to the store she had visited earlier in the day. Heading around the back, she put on her old jacket, headed for the dumpster under the garbage chute, and jumped up to grab the rim. Climbing on to it, she realized the trash was a few feet below the top of the bin. She went over the side, hanging from one knee face-downwards inside the bin, using her other leg to push herself away from the wall. Not far enough. Mara thought for a second, then turned so she was facing the wall of the bin. Her left foot she hooked over the lip of the bin to hold her weight, her right leg pushed her away from the wall, and now she could reach the top of the pile of trash. Her package wasn't near the top, and Mara had to sort through some rather disgusting half-open bags of rotten food. A few locks of her red-gold hair, hanging down below her head, got into some of the trash. But Mara, unlike most girls her age, was not the slightest bit squeamish. Finally she found her package, and climbed back out. Her jacket was ruined; she tossed into the dumpster, knowing she would explain to her parents the next day she had 'lost' it.

    When she reached her house, she grabbed a large rock from a neighbor’s small front garden and smashed the case open. Here it was, her own (toy) blaster. Retracing her previous route, she climbed three stories up the tree, jumped to the ledge, and returned to her window, hardly encumbered by her prize. The latch on her bedroom window had fallen closed. Of course it had. Mara decided to see if the strange trick from a few months before still worked, and it still did. Apparently it really is no fluke, she thought to herself. Cleaning herself up, she hid the blaster inside and just around the corner of a vent in the lower part of the wall of her room.
  10. Cowgirl Jedi 1701

    Cowgirl Jedi 1701 Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Dec 21, 2016
    Cool to see little Mara figuring out how to put her Force skills to practical use, even though she doesn't know that's what's going on yet.
  11. JohnLydiaParker

    JohnLydiaParker Jedi Youngling

    Jun 14, 2019
    Chapter 8

    The next two weeks she didn't have a chance to use her new blaster. A visiting relative had apparently made a remark that the house was disgusting, or at least her parents seemed to think that, and was in thorough need of cleaning. Mara didn’t recall hearing anything to that effect herself, and from her recollection would have been surprised if it had, but that was beside the point. Mara's parents had a shouting match that night over who was to blame, something they now did twice a week.

    Regardless of what they decided, the burden of most of the cleaning fell on Mara. Perhaps they had decided Mara was to blame; it wouldn’t have surprised her. She spent nearly every moment she wasn't at school cleaning something, wondering if it was better to get in trouble again so should could spend her time escaped from her room.

    School proved adventurous during that time. At school on the playground, watching an action holovid on parents’ datapad rather than a textbook on the school's datapad with her back to the playground as she always did, it happened again. She received a strange feeling, coupled with flickers of senses she didn't have. She received a sudden urge to dive to the side, and for some reason she did so. Halfway to the ground a small, hard ball went flying through where she had just been. Turning around, she saw the game behind her frozen in place. Scowling to herself, she returned to what she was doing. It happened again twice the next week. Mara certainly wanted to find out why they kept coming her way, but nobody would say anything. But whatever the strange thing going on in her head was, it certainly helped, and Mara wasn't hit either time.

    Then trouble yet again found Mara. Getting her parent's and the school's datapads mixed up, a teacher discovered she wasn't reading a textbook at all. The teacher declared he would keep a close eye on her and she was to stay in place, and said in no uncertain terms if he saw her get up or stop reading she wouldn't be allowed outside for a month.

    Mara had no choice but to comply. She was told to do it the next day as well. That day, she felt that almost familiar strange sensation. She dove to the side, looked up, and a ball went flying past 4 meters away. Apparently, she thought to herself, it doesn't always mean something bad would happen. She started to get up, to see who was responsible, but the teacher happened to see that. Of coursehe didn't see the ball thrown at her. Nearly yelling, he told Mara to stay still if she wanted to be let outside anytime soon. Mara cut off the reply she was about to make, and sat back down. A few minutes later the sensation was back for a second. She saw the teacher standing half a dozen meters away looking right at her. Well, if it doesn't always mean trouble... A sudden compulsion filled her. This time, she was able to resist, and was beginning to congratulate herself on that.
    Then she blacked out.

    When she woke up, she was lying on the ground beside the bench, with the teacher standing over her and pain blossoming from the back of her head. A rock the size of her fist speckled with blood lay on the ground beside her; this was not an accident. Rather, someone had graduated to throwing rocks specifically at her. She was told to stay down, and soon a medical airspeeder arrived. She was loaded onto a grav stretcher, and taken to the hospital.

    She had a concussion, whatever that was, and this time around Mara's parents actually paid for Bacta treatment for her. Exactly as the emdee droid said, she spent the entire time in the tank unconscious. So my mother was lying to me about the Bacta tank last time. Not very surprised. Late that night she finally got home, but was unable to sleep, and had plenty of time to think about things she had never put much thought into before.

    What -are-these feelings I get? What are these urges and compulsions? Other people don't get them. Right? Am I crazy? I don't think I am. What should I do if I get them again?

    But they are always -right. How do I know this, or whatever it is knows this? I couldn't have possibly known what was going on that fast. Whatever this is, it comes before I can possibly know. But how can whatever this is know what will happen ahead of time? That's crazy.

    Well, whatever it is, it's useful. And it works. From now on I'm going to listen to it, whatever or whenever it may be.
  12. JohnLydiaParker

    JohnLydiaParker Jedi Youngling

    Jun 14, 2019
    Chapter 9

    When she returned to school, she quickly learned a few things. It turned out somebody had started a "hit Mara with a ball" 'game,' given the widespread rumors that she could dodge anything, even if she didn't know it was coming and her back was turned. That is was a rock rather than a ball seemed to be ignored. Second, the children who had started it had parents of some influence, so while the 'game' was most definitively over, there wouldn't be any punishments.

    Mara didn't care about the last bit. She simply administered it herself. THAT got her enforced absence until the last week of school for the year. "Justice" wasn't a concept that seemed to work for Mara; nobody got anything if they did anything to HER, and the only 'justice' in her life was that she did on her own, which always got her in more trouble.

    During her enforced absence, she discovered that her mother had gotten a job during school hours, with the apparent result that she wasn't locked in her room, just the house. Along with her enforced absence and her father working most of the day, that meant she had plenty of time on her own. The lock on the house door was no problem; it took her less than two days of secret observation to find the passcode. She had her new toy blaster to try out, and spent countless hours in the woods a few kilometers from her house. She was good with it, she discovered. Shooting knots on trees was no challenge at all, even at the limit of the toy blaster's range. Birds fell victim next, at first large ones perched, then small ones, then the smallest ones, and finally shooting the smallest ones while in flight. She missed the toughest shots sometimes, but hit more often than she missed.

    Whatever the strange thing in her head was, it proved useful as well. She could count on it to keep from getting caught by the occasional other people enjoying in the woods.
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2020
  13. JohnLydiaParker

    JohnLydiaParker Jedi Youngling

    Jun 14, 2019
    Chapter 10

    Mara returned to class a week before the end of the year. The dynamic had gone to its fullest extent. Nobody bothered her, but nobody spoke to her either, going to the point of avoiding her. The other students had seemed to decide that they messed with Mara Jade at their own peril. She could, and would, beat you down herself no matter who or how big you were.

    Three days later, on the second to last day of class for the year, the school held a ceremony handing out awards for physical prowess in the gymnasium. Sitting on the seventh row of the bleachers against the duracrete block wall of the gymnasium, her parents didn’t attend as most of the other student body’s parents did, not caring enough to take time off work and assuming Mara wouldn’t receive anything anyway. She ignored the angry glares from most of the more athletically inclined boys, which grew as the ceremony went on. For first year students, Mara received the top prize for everything from agility, to fastest climb, to fastest runner, to best tumbler to most flexible. As it turned out, in every single category save brute strength. Mara also noticed with warped satisfaction that more than one of her actual figures in the corner of the presentation screen exceeded that of students in the next grade or even higher. That apparently also explained why somebody had set up a holocam across the room, one she doubted the school had; somebody wanted to record this. Who knows, maybe this will wind up on the local holonet. Some of the other students seem to think that the awards handed out were very valuable; Mara could tell they were nothing but cheap metal covered in metallic paint. The ceremony was preparing to finish, when Mara felt that strange tingling sensation come back.

    What danger could there possibly be here, she thought. But the feelings kept getting stronger and stronger, and, as Mara reminded herself, she had decided to heed it.

    Finally, Mara reached her breaking point. She leapt down from the bleachers, and made headlong for the door. Not the close one next the bleachers, she realized as she was running; the far one that led outside. Countless people yelled at her; she couldn't make any of it out, but none of it was good.

    Then the wall next to the bleachers caved in. What looked like the outline of a construction gravtruck appeared through the top of the wall, 20 meters up. Nobody had a chance. The avalanche of duracrete blocks crushed them.

    Nobody, that is, save Mara. She was just far enough away to avoid the first wave of debris. As the gravtruck tried to correct itself, portions of other walls began to collapse. Duracrete blocks weighing more than Mara did began to fall. They rained across her path, but her compulsions and sensory flickers had begun, and she followed them. She darted and rolled left and right as she ran, ducking and weaving, paying attention to whatever was going on in her head more than anything she could see. The lights flickered out. Mara suddenly had a compulsion that part of her thought made no sense, but that part of her was not in charge. She dived to her right, and then stopped and crouched low.

    A wave of air washed over her, and she could tell that a massive object had landed around her. Other lights snapped on, and Mara realized she was standing in an opening in one of the 50-meter long durasteel trusses that held up the roof. She didn't have time to think about that, as whatever she was feeling told her to keep moving. She dove under a block that was about to hit the floor, barely clearing it. The doors fell from their tracks as she neared them, and the opening partially collapsed. She was clambering though the opening when she saw a large bolt falling directly toward her. In the confined space she couldn't move out of the way in time. For some reason, she willed that it would somehow miss, and somehow it did, landing next to her. Then she was outside, and safe.