Title: Ranks of Death Author: Briannakin Timeframe: 30 ABY Characters: Jaina Solo Categorization: Legends Notes: Written for the Celtic Song Challenge. I got The Minstrel Boy. I actually never got that far into NJO, but I knew what happened to Anakin Solo. Somehow, even though I had plenty of ideas for this song, I just had to do something with Anakin. So I read his death (and bawled my eyes out). I didn’t read much about the fall-out after his death, so this might be an AU. I had an idea for a part 2 of this, but I’m not sure if I’ll write it. Jaina Solo stared up at the stars in Myrkr’s night sky as she stood atop of the ruins of some ancient outpost. The cool wind whipped her brown hair and Jedi robes as she gazed over the temperate forest. The war had been over for months now and the galaxy was at peace and rebuilding. Her mother and father were leading in clean-up efforts along with Winter, Tycho, and many other family friends. Aunt Mara, Uncle Luke, and little Ben were on Ossus, with much of the rest of the Jedi, establishing the site of the new Jedi Academy. Jacen was off, galaxy knows where, on some damned journey of self-discovery. Anakin was gone. He could only be found among the ranks of death. And she was here. Jaina knew she should be helping one of the former groups still among the living, like her. But she needed to be on Myrkr today, for Anakin. Below the place where he had fallen. On this particular night, the skies were clear and peaceful. Jaina had forgotten what it was like to look up and not see death. Though she still felt it. Like the moment it happened. She knelt on the stone rooftop and opened the cloth bag that had been slung over her shoulder. She took out a green bottle of liquid, set it down, then took out a small music player and turned it on. The sound of the delspeil rang clear over the treetops. Many people did not know this, but their mother had forced her three children to learn classical Alderaanian instruments. Winter had tried to teach Jaina the thresal and Jacen the namcus, but the twins had failed miserably. Anakin, however, had been getting quite talented with the delspeil. The song playing had a minor tone with a smooth melody. Jaina picked up the bottle. “I was going to try to get some Alderaanian wine,” she said to the silence. Talking out loud felt awkward, but it felt right. “But it’s difficult to get, and I didn’t want Mom to know.” Jaina let out a tisk that could have resembled a laugh. “‘Don’t tell Mom,’ right? Story of our childhood.” Though both her, and the person she was speaking to, had their childhoods ripped away. “Anyways, and it just felt weird ‘resorting’ to Corellian ale, so I decided on Tatooine malt, because of who you were named after. Uncle Luke pointed me to the best brand, though it wasn’t that expensive, but I did have to travel to Mos Eisley to get it. I didn’t even get ID’d.” Jaina then cracked open the bottle open. It fuzzed. “You would have been 19 six months ago,” she said, looking up at the stars once more. The distance seemed to smile at her, like she wasn’t alone. “The legal drinking age for alcohol on most systems.” Jaina had turned that age last year, though she had not drunk. She had wanted to wait until the war was over, until this moment. When the galaxy was at peace and what had occurred here finally made sense. Though the day was here and it did not make any more sense today than the day it had happed. Tears began to well in her eyes. “You died three years ago and we won the war thanks to you, but DAMN IT ANAKIN! Why did you have to die?” she shouted in anger, frustration and confusion. Instead of daring to let the tears run down her face, Jaina took a swig of out of the bottle. The malt tasted like dirty socks. She instantly spewed brown foaming liquid across the rooftop. What kind of dirt trick had Uncle Luke played on her? With a groan, Jaina face planted into the bag. “I can’t even mourn you right.” The trees seemed to laugh at her and she felt him. He was somehow here, with her now. Jaina rolled over on her back and looked at the stars through tears. “Oh Anakin. Why did I have to grow up? And why won’t you ever?” She never received a reply, but a wave of condolence washed over her. Anakin was free and… glad. Glad that they had won the war and that they could be as free as he was. He as not chained by the war that she had survived, not sullied by the darkness that crept within her - and all the survivors of that mission above this planet. He had died loved and he had died brave. His soul was pure and free.