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Beyond - Legends Saga - ST The Spark - ST era fic (canon-Legends); L/M, Rey Skywalker, Ben-Kylo, and others!

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by JediMara77, Jan 2, 2018.

  1. JediMara77

    JediMara77 Force Ghost star 4

    Mar 5, 2004
    Title: The Spark
    Author: JediMara77
    Characters: Luke Skywalker, Mara Jade, Rey (Skywalker), Ben Solo | Kylo Ren, Snoke, Han Solo, Leia Organa, Talon Karrde, and many others to be determined
    Setting: Starting in the Bloodline era through the time of the Sequel Trilogy.
    Summary: After Ben Solo turns to the dark side, Rey Skywalker finally accepts her place as a Jedi.
    Notes: *taps mic* Um, hi, hello, I hope this thing is on. I've been away from the fanfic boards (and fic in general) for awhile. I've written a few short fics recently, but The Last Jedi finally gave me the kick in the pants I needed to finally start the long Rey Skywalker fic I've been plotting in my head for ages. I've got two chapters done so far and have no idea how long this will end up, but it feels good to be writing fic again! I love the ST as is, but I also wanted Rey to desperately be a Skywalker. And of course, I had to include my favs from Legends.

    CHAPTER 1:

    The Holonet message came through the communications console with an urgent beep. Mara glanced up from the datapad in her lap, saw the message was a general news update, and returned to her work. The rest of the galaxy could wait for her to catch up on the news; Karrde could not wait for her report on the unstable ore prices in the outer rim. On the other side of cockpit of her ship, the Jade's Fire, Rey sat in the co-pilot's seat, humming to herself as she pretended to help fly. Although knowing her daughter, there was probably little pretending involved. The girl wore a gray jumpsuit cut similarly to her mother's black one, and her brown hair was pulled back into her favorite three-bun style, a way to distinguish herself from her mother's no-nonsense red ponytail.

    Another message pinged, this time on Mara's datapad. She frowned when she saw it had been sent by Han Solo. She had a rule never to ignore a call from family, no matter how busy she was, so she closed her report and opened the accepted the transmission. Her frown grew deeper when a small hologram of Han projected from her datapad, wearing his standard racing gear. She and Han got along well, but they weren't the type to exchange actual hologram calls while on business. Hell, she rarely exchanged hologram calls with her own husband, but that was mostly due to the problem of him being out of range all the time. Like right now.

    A horrible chill ran down Mara's spine. Her expression must have changed because Han held up his hands and said, "Luke is okay. At least, I think he is."

    Mara restrained her sigh of relief. Rey was watching her and she didn't want to make her daughter nervous. Rey was much too sensitive for a twelve-year-old; yet another reason Mara wished Rey would accept her father's offer of Jedi training instead of shying away from the Force. Plus, the lines in between Han's eyes indicated something else was wrong. "What's going on, then? I'm assuming this isn't a social call, or you would have wiped the grease from your cheek."

    Han glanced toward where Rey was sitting. "Are you alone?"

    "Rey, can you go in the back and check on the hyperdrive motivator?" Mara said without hesitation.

    It was a lame excuse to get Rey out of the cockpit, but her daughter would much rather play mechanic than listen to adults talk about matters of importance. She was much different from her cousin in that way. "Sure, mom," Rey said. She waved to her uncle before sprinting out of the cockpit.

    When she was gone, Mara used the Force to close and lock the door. She turned back to the hologram and crossed her arms over her chest, both to ward off the chill running down her spine and any bad news Han messaged to impart. "What is it?"

    Han sighed. From the background, Mara could tell he was sitting in the cockpit of the Falcon. "I take it you haven't checked the Holonet lately."

    "I try to remain as disconnected as possible while on jobs for Karrde. Especially when it comes to politics." She made a face, grateful once again that Luke had decided to remove himself from galactic affairs long before they ever met.

    "Leia hasn't called you?"

    "No, why would she?" Mara wasn't due back on Hosnian Prime for another week, at least, and the last time she spoke to Leia, she was busy campaigning--or rather, trying to get out of campaigning--for the First Senator position. "Are you sure nothing's wrong with Luke?"

    "To be honest, I'm not sure. You would know better than me."

    I'm not so certain about that anymore, Mara thought. The rise of the First Order and its new leader, Supreme Leader Snoke, was clouding the Force in a way she hadn't experienced since Palpatine. She pushed those old memories aside and waited for Han to speak again.

    When he did, he sounded angrier than Mara had ever heard him. "You ever heard of Senator Casterfo?"

    "Yeah, Leia's complained about him a few times." That was putting it mildly. "He's some sort of Empire worshipper."

    "Somehow he found out about Vader. And he announced it in the middle of a senate session." Han pressed a button outside the pickup range and said, "I just sent you the news report."

    Mara brought it up on the ship's console. She had to remind herself to breathe as Casterfo blurted out Leia's biggest secret to the entire senate--no, to the entire galaxy. Somehow Leia managed to exude poise as she stood up and confirmed the horrible revelation: that Darth Vader was her, and Luke Skywalker's, father.

    It was Leia's worst fear come to life. Mara had never wanted to kill anyone more than she wanted to kill Casterfo in that moment. But that wasn't the Jedi way. Maybe Leia was right in not going through with her training. Mara took a deep breath and said, "How the hell did that little twerp find out about it?"

    "I don't know. I haven't been able to get a hold of Leia yet. I knew you were on your way and was hoping you could talk to her."

    "I'm still a few days out. I don't know how much good it will do by then." She paused, as another thought crossed her mind. "Did Ben hear about it yet?"

    Han's lips thinned. He glared at his feet. Hiding the truth about Vader had been the biggest point of contention in the Skywalker and Solo families. This was exactly the reason Luke had argued to tell their children the truth from the first moment they could understand. "I'm not sure yet," Han said. "I haven't been able to get a hold of him. I'm hoping that means the Holonet can't get a hold of him right now, either."

    Mara nodded. She needed to talk to Luke as soon as possible. If she couldn't contact him by Holonet, the old-fashioned, less-specific Force way would have to do.

    There was a knock at the door. "Can I come in yet?" Rey called, her voice muffled through the bulkhead.

    "Kriff," Han said. "She didn't--"

    "No," Mara said, rubbing her face with her hand. "She didn't hear anything." Not that it mattered. She was suddenly very glad her daughter was so good at keeping secrets. "I have to go. If you talk to Leia, tell her...tell her everything will be okay." The words sounded hollow to Mara's ears but she didn't know what else to say.

    Han nodded, said good-bye, and cut the connection. A few seconds later Rey bounded into the cockpit. "The motivator's all fine," she said. She stopped short when she saw the look on her mother's face. "Wait. What's wrong?"
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2018
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  2. JediMara77

    JediMara77 Force Ghost star 4

    Mar 5, 2004
    CHAPTER 2:

    Luke knew something was wrong the instant he dropped out of hyperspace. He ignored the ping of messages that came over the holocomm that had been building up while they traveled through the out-of-range Unknown Regions. By the time his ship, a tiny two-seater that handled more like a bomber than a starfighter, fell into orbit around Yavin 4, he was certain of danger ahead. The darkness he had sensed creeping across the galaxy was centered on the moon below him, growing stronger by the moment.

    He took a sharp intake of breath before clearing his mind and shutting himself off from the Force. If something went wrong on the landing it would be difficult to pilot without the Force, but he had to hide his approach. This was the moment he had been waiting for, and even though he hadn't planned for this confrontation, he refused to let Snoke get away again.

    He just wished Ben was anywhere but with him.

    There was a small colony on Yavin 4, settled by former members of the Rebellion and refugees from war-torn Imperial worlds. "Ben, get on the comm," Luke said without explanation. Ben was a smart young man, sometimes too smart for his own good, and more powerful in the Force than any of Luke's other students. Sometimes he suspected Ben was more powerful than he was. Ben had undoubtedly felt Snoke's presence, too, so it was unnecessary to explain anything to him and pointless to lie. "Check for any unusual transmissions from the colony."

    Ben nodded, his mouth thin and jaw set, as he pulled on a headset and activated the comm. A few minutes later he glanced back at Luke and said, "Everything seems normal."

    Luke nodded back at him. Kes Dameron would have tried to contact his son in the Republic fleet if something had gone wrong. Snoke must be after something else on the moon. But why had he chosen to come this far from First Order territory? Why risk retaliation from the New Republic?

    Luke swallowed hard. Every other time he had come close to locating and confronting Snoke, deep in Wild Space or the closest boundaries of the Unknown Regions, the Supreme Leader had managed to disappear without a trace. If Luke was able to find him here, in the Yavin system, it was by Snoke's doing--which meant this was a trap. Luke did not want to give Snoke the satisfaction of having this confrontation on his terms, but Luke knew he could not leave the system with Snoke there. If Luke tried to contact the Republic or the other Jedi for help, Snoke would attack before any ships could arrive. No, Luke had to take care of Snoke himself, even if Snoke was using his concern for his former comrades and innocent civilians as bait.

    "He's down there, isn't he?" Ben's low voice cut through Luke's thoughts. "The Supreme Leader."

    "You know that he is," Luke said. Now was not the time for Jedi lessons in the difference between confidence and vanity. Snoke had been a dark presence since the death of Palpatine, long before Luke even knew his name. It had taken a long time to pinpoint that darkness, and even know Luke barely had learned anything about the Supreme Leader's backstory. He had arrived on the galactic scene seemingly from obscurity to wrest control of the First Order from more level-headed if misguided leaders people like Admiral Sloane. It was Luke's duty to find out how and why that had happened, and what Snoke's intentions were with the galaxy.

    "You want to face him alone. Don't you?" Ben's brown eyes shone with a challenge.

    Luke suppressed a sigh. Ben had inherited his stubborn streak from both his father and his mother. It had proven to be one of the most difficult aspects of his nephew's training. Not that Luke didn't share similar qualities when he was younger. Inherited from his father, and Ben's grandfather, no doubt. "Ben--"

    "I can help you," Ben cut him off. "I'm stronger than you think I am. I'm ready for this. If you don't think I am, why did you even bother taking me with you on your search? Or did you not expect to actually find Snoke, and just wanted to placate me?"

    Luke glanced between the planet Yavin, an orange gas giant hanging overhead, and the verdant moon below their ship. Even without reaching out to the Force, the darkness on the moon pulled on Luke like the tides, impossible to resist. But Luke had no intention of joining this darkness. He had conquered that instinct long ago. "This has nothing to do with strength, Ben. Snoke is powerful, and he knows what he's doing. He wants us to fight him. Why else would he have shown up on Yavin 4?"

    "You still want to confront him. If you didn't, you would have jumped out of the system as soon as you sensed Snoke's presence. Jedi are supposed to fight together, remember?" Ben pressed on. "The light will block out the dark. Remember?"

    Luke hated that his nephew was turning his lessons against him. Most of all, he hated that he agreed with Ben. At Ben's age, Luke had faced off against Darth Vader and lived to tell the tale. Of course, Ben didn't know the real reason Luke had survived that fight. Supreme Leader Snoke had no reason to spare Luke Skywalker, or Ben Solo.

    When it came down to it, Luke needed all the help he could get in the upcoming confrontation, and Ben was the most powerful Jedi he had ever taught.

    That didn't mean he had to like dragging his nephew into danger, both physical and mental.

    "Your mother will kill me when she finds out about this," Luke finally said.

    "My mother gave you her blessing to train me as a Jedi when I was a teenager," Ben retorted. "And now I'm an adult. How am I ever going to become a Jedi Knight if you never let me be challenged? If you keep me sheltered at the temple all the time?"

    Because I'm scared of what you might become. The thought came to Luke's mind unbidden, and he was glad he shut it away quickly. The last thing he needed right now was his nephew sensing his doubts. "We're not at the temple now," Luke said, suppressing a smirk. He wouldn't be an old man if he didn't appreciate making things difficult for his students. Then he thought of Rey, somewhere on the other side of the galaxy with her mother, and his heart panged with longing. Not that he would want Rey here now, either.

    "You know what I mean," Ben said, scowling. "You take me with you all the time because you want to keep an eye on me. Not because you consider me an equal."

    "You're right," Luke said. "But that's not because I think I'm better than you. You're extremely powerful in the Force, Ben. There are people who would like to exploit that."

    "People like Snoke, you mean?"

    "Among others."

    Ben considered that for a moment. "So why don't you insist on training Rey? She's just as strong in the Force as I am, right?"

    Luke refused to let Ben drag him down into this familiar discussion. Not when a confrontation with Snoke lingered ahead of them. That was exactly the sort of distraction the Supreme Leader would orchestrate himself. Luke looked at Ben, with features so familiar to his parents, and yet so different. And so, so strong in the Force. Even now, the raw power emanating off his nephew threatened to overwhelm him. But power didn't necessarily translate into being a good Jedi. Anakin Skywalker was proof enough of that.
    You just have to treat Ben like any other of your students, Mara had once said. Teach him the way you'd teach me.

    Luke had snorted. I don't think Ben would be as susceptible to the same level of snark as you are, my dear.

    He is Han Solo's son, Mara had pointed out. He might surprise you.

    That's what Luke was afraid of most.

    Luke rubbed his face. Ben Solo wanted to become a Jedi Knight, and Luke was the only Jedi Master in the galaxy. It was his duty--no, his right--to train his nephew. He had already taught Ben about fighting the darkness in himself. Now it was time to face the darkness in the galaxy. To stop Snoke before he could ruin everything Luke and his friends had fought for. What better trial was there for his nephew?

    Was Luke afraid Ben wasn't up to the challenge? Or was he afraid he'd failed as a teacher?

    Luke exhaled a long breath. "Okay," he said, beginning the landing procedure. "But this isn't just another training exercise. If we're going to fight Snoke together, you need to follow every single order I give you. That includes running away if Snoke proves too powerful. I'm not going to get baited into a fight only to lose everything. Do you understand?"

    "I do, Master Skywalker," Ben said, perfectly serious.

    Luke had been training Ben for years, but he suddenly hated the way those words sounded coming out of his nephew's lips. He was almost glad Rey had never wanted to begin her own training.

    They flew the rest of the way to the surface in silence.


    Mara ignored Rey's question and turned to the comm. On a lark, she tried to connect with the holocomm on Luke's ship. It had been out of range for weeks, but this time it pinged back to her, indicating Luke and Ben were back in known space. But after thirty seconds, there was no response. Mara tried again, hoping the two of them had a logical reason for not answering her comm, but still received only silence.

    "Mom?" Rey said quietly. "Please tell me what's wrong."

    "I need to speak with your father, but he's not answering the comm." Mara waited for the message bounceback to triangulate Luke's location, and frowned when the signal revealed he was in the Yavin system, of all places. What did the Yavin system have to do with tracking First Order movements, or the whereabouts of the Supreme--

    The rest of Mara's question rushed out of her, along with the breath in her lungs. Luke must have finally found Snoke. That was why he wasn't answering comms. Well, Mara had one more than one way of communicating with her husband.

    She closed her eyes. She and Luke shared a bond, not one that allowed them to hold full-fledged conversations or even pass along concrete thoughts, but enough to share images and feelings, and definitely enough to alert Luke to either her physical or mental presence. But when she reached out with the Force, she couldn't sense Luke anywhere. It was like he was...not dead, not even gone, just...blank.

    Now Mara knew for certain Luke had found Snoke. Luke had cut himself off from the Force so the Supreme Leader wouldn't sense his arrival. Surely Luke would instruct Ben to do the same, if Ben had not already done so.

    Which meant Luke and Ben were completely on their own against Snoke. In a moment when Snoke had information that could tear the two apart.

    "Rey, get on the navicomputer," Mara said, her mind made up in an instant. "Calculate the fastest course to Yavin."

    Rey did as ordered without protest. But after the coordinates were set, and the Jade's Fire had jumped to hyperspace, Rey chanced a glance in her mother's direction. "Why are you so worried about Dad? You never worry about Dad. Something's wrong."

    Mara didn't want to lie to her daughter. Lies were what got the family into this mess. She opened the recording Han had sent and played it from the holocomm projector. Rey's small features twisted into righteous indignation as the senator Ransolm Casterfo revealed that Darth Vader and Anakin Skywalker had been the same person. "How did he know that?" Rey said.

    Mara wasn't surprised that her daughter's first question was the same as her own. Unfortunately, all Mara's indignation had dissipated, replaced with worry for her husband and nephew. "I don't know. Neither does Han. But now the whole galaxy know the truth. People will use this to discredit Leia, both in the New Republic and the First Order." Mara didn't necessarily agree that the secrets of Anakin Skywalker should die with their generation, but it was up to Luke and Leia to decide that, not some politician out for his own gain.

    "Is that why you want to contact Dad so badly?" Rey was used to her parents spending weeks, sometimes months apart, and didn't think anything of it when her father went off the grid. Very rarely did anything happen that made it absolutely vital to get in touch with Luke immediately. Of course everything would go wrong all at once.

    "Your know your father has been looking for the Supreme Leader," Mara began.

    Rey suppressed a shudder at the mention of Snoke. Even though Rey was mostly untrained in the ways of the Force, his rise to power had affected her mental well-being over the past several years. If she had her way, she would pretend he never existed.

    "I think your father finally located him," Mara continued. "Normally, this would be a good thing. But right now...well, it's too much of a coincidence."

    "You think Snoke had something to do with that man telling the senate about Vader?"

    "Not necessarily. But that information is something Snoke would find very interesting." Mara didn't finish her thoughts--Especially when it comes to Ben. The knowledge about Darth Vader being her grandfather had been difficult enough for Rey to accept, and had been one of the driving factors in her deciding not to be a Jedi. Luke had been upset by that decision, of course. Mara understood where her daughter was coming from, and fully expected Rey to change her mind one day--most likely after she saw Ben rise to the rank of Jedi Knight and decided she wanted to be just like her cousin.

    But Rey was nothing if not astute. She looked to her hands, the blue whirl of hyperspace shining on her brown hair. "You think Snoke is going to try to use this against Ben."

    "Would you put that past him?"

    "No," Rey agreed. "He's a bad man."

    "That's putting it lightly." Never had Mara been so relieved that the galaxy at large didn't know about her marriage to Luke, much less Rey's existence. Luke and Mara had never bothered to make their marriage legal in the New Republic, and Rey had been born on Jakku, outside the bounds of the New Republic. It wasn't out of shame, but because Luke never wanted his family to be able to be used against him, like it once had with Vader. Ben Solo, on the other hand, was the son of a famous princess turned senator and an infamous smuggler turned racer. While most of the galaxy didn't understand the ways of the Force, and thought of Luke Skywalker as more legend than human being, they all accepted Ben Solo as the big Jedi hope for the future.

    Once, the boy had reveled in that reputation. Now, Mara hoped it wouldn't prove to be his downfall.

    Rey didn't ask any more questions. Mara checked the navicomputer. It would take several more hours to reach the Yavin system, and then who knew how much longer to pinpoint Luke on the moon. Luke still wasn't answering her comm, nor was he responding to her calls through the Force. Mara had nothing left to do but wait.


    The problem with shutting himself off from the Force, Luke soon found, was that it proved impossible to pinpoint Snoke's presence. As the ship descended toward the moon, Luke used his instruments to detect lifeforms, hoping this lure of Snoke's would result in him somehow announcing his presence. When Luke could visually discern Yavin 4's surface features, he decided it was pointless to continue to hide their approach, and stretched out with his feelings. The darkness nearly slammed him back in his seat. He clasped his nephew's hand, ashamed he hadn't thought to warn Ben about what it felt like to be in the presence of such negative energy. "Are you okay?" Luke asked.

    Ben gripped Luke's hand as tightly as he could. "What is he doing down there?" Ben said, ignoring Luke's question. "I thought those were Sith temples." He gestured with his chin toward the towering, pyramid-shaped stone structures cutting through the rainforest the distance.

    "Some of them were," Luke acknowledged. "The Rebellion used one of them as a base before the first Death Star. This was where I first joined the Rebellion."

    "No, I meant...I thought Snoke wasn't a Sith."

    "He's not. That doesn't mean he can't learn anything from them. Or that he's not just as dangerous." Sometimes Luke thought Snoke was more of a threat to the galaxy than a Sith who was bound to adhere to certain rules and teachings. Snoke had no sort of doctrine to adhere to, only the dark side.

    Ben squared his shoulders. His other hand brushed the lightsaber on his belt. Luke had helped him construct it not that long ago. "I'm ready for anything," Ben said.

    A bittersweet sadness squeezed at Luke's heart. "Don't let overconfidence be your weakness."

    Ben nodded, but continued to stare straight ahead, his expression resolute. He let go of Luke's hand and clutched the armrest instead. His other hand never left his saber hilt.

    After several long minutes, Luke landed the ship a few hundred yards away from the tallest temple in the region. He had explored this area long ago, not long after the Battle of Endor, but had left without entering all of the Sith structures. He hadn't wanted to tempt fate on his own. Now, he wished he had, so at least he would have some idea of what to expect.

    "Remember what I said," he told Ben as they exited the ship. He wished he could keep it running, or tell Ben to stay behind the controls for a quick getaway. But leaving Ben alone could be just a dangerous as bringing him along. "Do whatever I tell you, no questions. Understand?"

    Ben nodded and started forward. Luke held out his hand, stopping him with a sharp shove to the chest. "Stay behind me."

    For a moment, Luke thought Ben would argue that he didn't need protection. But the young man adhered to his promise and waited for Luke to go first.

    Luke stepped inside the temple and through a small anteroom, cognizant of Ben following in his footsteps and trying to block out the dark presence in front of him. A memory stirred, of stepping off an elevator with Darth Vader into the Emperor's Throne Room--but before Luke could fully reminisce, he entered the main chamber and saw Snoke standing on the far side, facing some sort of altar.

    Luke could sense the other man's smile before he turned around. Snoke was tall, a member of an alien species Luke had never encountered before, with a bald head and smooth, almost handsome features. Snoke spread his arms in some sort of dark greeting, the sleeves of his elaborate yellow robe draping from his arms. "Jedi Master Luke Skywalker," he said, his voice deep and cultivated, an echo of Chancellor Palpatine during the height of the Clone Wars. Snoke glanced to Luke's right, his demented smile growing larger. "Ah, you brought your nephew! I didn't expect to encounter both the son and grandson of Lord Vader today. I'm honored that you chose to join me here."

    Snoke continued to speak, but Luke was no longer paying attention to anything the Supreme Leader said. All Luke could focus on was those words echoing through his mind--son and grandson of Lord Vader--and the debilitating sense of shock emanating from his nephew.
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2018
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  3. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Aug 31, 2004
    @JediMara77 =D= =D= and [face_dancing] [face_dancing]

    Superb melding of ST with Legends :cool:

    I adore that Luke and Mara are together [face_love] and Rey's parents. Coolest thing ever.

    On the big reveal about Vader ... I don't know if keeping it secret after Endor was a good idea or not, but it certainly wasn't up to that creep Casterfo to let it out! [face_worried]

    I love that Rey's folks are so open with her. That's a lot better and leads to more trust than keeping secrets. The latter thing o often leads to more things being hidden and a sense of betrayal.

    Ben and Rey's stances towards training as Jedi are very interesting. [face_thinking] Whether that leads to good/better outcomes overall circumstances will reveal.
    Findswoman likes this.
  4. JediMara77

    JediMara77 Force Ghost star 4

    Mar 5, 2004
    @WarmNyota_SweetAyesha: Thank you for reading! I haven't written longfic in more than six years, so I feel a little rusty! :p (I think I messed up the prefixes; these new boards still vex me.)

    I, too, disagree with the decision to keep the Vader knowledge from Ben, but of course hindsight is 20/20. Ransolm Casterfo is actually one of my favorite new characters, but I definitely want to smack him in that scene! As for Rey, they're open with her now, but...well, we'll see what happens as events develop. As for their different views on Jedi training, the whys will become evident very soon. :)

    Again, thanks for reading! :)
  5. JediMara77

    JediMara77 Force Ghost star 4

    Mar 5, 2004
    CHAPTER 3:

    Luke's shock lasted for only a fleeting second. Ben. He had to protect Ben, both mind and body. That was his utmost duty as Ben's master. Luke stepped in front of his nephew and ignited his green blade in a defensive position. "Ben, get back!" he shouted over his shoulder.

    But Ben had forgotten his promise to follow orders. He drew alongside Luke, his lightsaber dead weight at his side, his entire body trembling. "You don't know what you're talking about. My grandfather was Anakin Skywalker, a Jedi Knight!"

    "Indeed he was, boy," Snoke said.

    Luke cringed at the language. Childish epithets were not the way to lure Ben to Snoke's side, but it was a surefire way to anger his emotionally volatile nephew.

    "Perhaps your family chose not to share with you the rest of the history," Snoke continued. "Anakin Skywalker and Darth Vader were the same person." He clasped his hands together in mock concern. He carried no lightsaber, or any other visible weapons. He didn't need them. "Did they not tell you?"

    "That's a lie," Ben hissed. Luke wanted to say the same thing right along with him. Anakin had become Vader, yes, but all these years later Luke still thought of them as two separate individuals. Anakin was the person; Vader had been the prison.

    Would Ben see things the same way? His mother certainly never had.

    Snoke slowly looked between Ben and Luke. "Is it really, child?"

    "Of course it is," Ben began...but then he glanced sidelong at his uncle, and his entire body stiffened like a statue. "Uncle Luke? Tell him."

    It was a plea, the entreaty of a child who had suddenly been faced with reality but wanted to continue living in denial. But Ben was an adult; he had said so himself. It was not Luke's place to reveal the truth to him--that right belonged to his parents--but he had been lying to Ben his entire life and to continue to do so now would be to lose Ben's soul. That was why Snoke had come here at this very moment. Somehow he had learned about Vader, and he intended to use that knowledge to break Ben Solo and bend him to his will.

    Luke would be damned if he left this man destroy everything he had created.

    He thinned his lips, senses heightened, acutely aware Ben was staring at him in desperation. Then Luke nodded ever so infinitesimally.

    Ben took a step away from Luke, and Luke's heart broke into a thousand pieces. "I'm sorry," Luke said, softly enough so Snoke couldn't hear. He wondered how often he'd be saying those words over the next several days, or months, or years. But only if you get out of this unscathed. "Please, Ben, I need you to leave. I'll explain everything, I promise. But you're in no place to face Snoke right now."

    Ben's sense in the Force was still a whirlwind, but it calmed slightly as he hesitated, taking in Luke's words. Luke's heart leaped; he prepared to rush forward and fight Snoke alone while Ben escaped. That was the way it should be. But Snoke, like Palpatine before him, would not let the apprentice leave this conflict unscathed. "He's been lying to you your whole life, Ben Solo. He will continue to do so once this is over. Don't you think deserve the truth about your destiny from a real master?"

    Ben snapped his head up, eyes blazing at Snoke with pure hatred. Luke's heart clenched--he wanted to scream out Ben, no!--but it was too late. The blue blade sprang to life in Ben's hand. He sprinted forward, yelling in fury, intent on cutting down the dark being taunting him. In less than a second Luke lifted his hand in an attempt to stop his apprentice with the Force--not out of hatred, but out of love.

    Snoke did not share the same intent. With a flick of Snoke's wrist, Ben went flying through the air, slamming into the wall meters away from Luke. Not Force lightning, but the impact sounded hard enough to shatter bone. Luke winced, but cracked ribs would be easier to heal than a sundered heart. He tore his attention away from his whimpering nephew and concentrated solely on the Supreme Leader, shifting his lightsaber to distract him. "What do you want, Snoke?"

    Snoke moved away from the altar, walked down a set of stone steps, and stopped halfway across the chamber from Luke. His height reminded Luke of Vader; his demeanor of Palpatine. The worst of both worlds. Luke, used to staring up at his opponents, not to mention his nephew, was not intimidated. "I already got what I wanted, Skywalker," Snoke said. "An apprentice of my own."

    Luke barely let him finish his words. "Ben Solo will never be your apprentice. Neither will any student I ever teach. The dark side has been defeated. The Jedi have returned. Leave this place, and never show for your face in the galaxy again."

    "Oh, I think we both know well enough that you won't let me leave here alive. I've studied your history far too much. Your Jedi Order is much too important to allow someone like me to continue existing. You're more protective of it than you are of your precious Force. It's your greatest creation, and you'll do anything to keep it safe. Even surrender your nephew's soul."

    "You don't know anything about me. The Jedi exist to serve the galaxy. Not me."

    Snoke moved closer. "Then why keep your nephew in the dark about his family's past? Is it..shame?"

    Luke refused to let himself be goaded, not by Snoke or anybody else. He'd learned that lesson long ago. He raised his voice loud enough so Ben could hear. "I'm not ashamed of my father. He was seduced by the dark side, but he returned to the light and saved my life in the process. He killed his master Darth Sidious and brought balance to the Force. Anakin Skywalker was my father, not Darth Vader.

    "Then why remove yourself from the New Republic? Why not train your sister in the ways of the Force? Why not tell the galaxy this same inspiring story? Surely it would have been better for him to hear it from you instead of me." Snoke gave another infuriating smirk.

    Luke stepped closer to him. He tightened his grip on his saber. "What do you care?"

    "I don't. But he does." Snoke gestured at Ben, who was attempting to rise to his feet. "You feared his destiny. You believed if he knew the truth about the power inside him, you would be unable to control him. Any darkness he demonstrated would bring you one step closer to snuffing him out!"

    "That's not true," Luke said firmly, more for Ben's benefit than to prove Snoke wrong. At the same time he remembered instances during Ben's training--pushing another apprentice to the ground after winning a duel; getting into a shouting match about how the Jedi needed to be more proactive against the First Order; insisting that Luke show him a Force technique he wasn't entirely comfortable teaching. Luke had shrugged them off as adolescent moments. He'd had his share of them as a teenager on the moisture farm, during his short training with Obi-Wan on the Falcon, and while on Dagobah with Master Yoda. Ben was a good person. Luke saw it every time his nephew shared a meal with his parents and told them all about his training. Every time he played a juvenile game with his cousin, just to make her happy. Every time he gazed at Luke in pure amazement after another story about the Rebellion or his early travels as a Jedi. Ben loved his parents, but to him, Luke was infallible. The epitome of what a Jedi should be.

    That pressure had never frightened Luke before. He'd always forced himself to live up to the challenge of Ben's worldview. Now, it scared him to death. If Ben came to believe his precious teacher had lied to him out of fear of what he could do....

    And you did, didn't you?

    Luke pushed the voice aside. "You have no place here, Snoke. You have nothing to do with my family. Stand down."

    "Stand down?" Snoke moved closer, until he was close enough for Luke to flick his wrist and strike him down with his lightsaber. "You are the one who came here, at my invitation. It is my place to dismiss you."

    The ground began to shake.

    Anger swelled in Luke. But it was not at Snoke; it was anger at himself for allowing Snoke to play him so easily. "Ben!" he shouted, putting all of his strength in the Force into his words, "get out of here, now!" He didn't even know if Ben was capable of moving, but he knew Snoke was trying to get him to flee without a fight. He pushed forward, striking at Snoke, forcing the Supreme Leader to back away. To Luke's relief, he saw Ben stumble to his feet, give one last glare at Snoke--or was it Luke?--before turning to flee the collapsing temple. Snoke lifted his hand, an attempt to stop Ben in his tracks, but Luke pressed the attack, splitting Snoke's concentration, and Ben escaped without further injury.

    But the damage had already been done.

    Luke should have left. Tended to his nephew's wounded spirit. Explained everything while he still could. Allowed Snoke to bring the temple down on himself. The Supreme Leader would have escaped, too, and lived to fight another day. He thought he had his claws in Ben. He would continue to tighten his grip. He wouldn't stop until he destroyed everything Luke had built. It was the way of the darkness.

    Luke had stopped the darkness once before. He would do so again. It was his right, his responsibility, his mandate.

    He stalked forward and struck again at Snoke. He kept his mind steady, his heart clear, focusing only on the Force. He allowed it to guide him, at the same time using its energy to sustain his fight. Snoke did not attack with a weapon, but simply with the Force itself. Luke dug his feet into the ground, resisting Snoke's attempt to throw him across the temple. He caught Snoke's lightning on the tip of his saber. He raised his other hand, deflecting the rocks that flew toward his head. When the third attack had failed, Luke lifted his lightsaber in what would have been a killing blow against an inferior opponent. Luke pressed on, refusing to allow Snoke time to regroup. He struck again, and again, and again; each time his lightsaber fell upon an invisible shield. But that shield grew closer and closer to Snoke's body as the Supreme Leader grew weaker and weaker.

    Finally, Luke's green blade slashed against the top of Snoke's skull.

    Luke struck again, slicing the tip of his lightsaber down the back of Snoke's head as Snoke fell to the ground.

    But Snoke was still alive. Defeating him would not be enough. He was no Vader; he was a Sidious. A scourge upon the galaxy. Luke had learned enough to know when the Force called on him to throw away his weapon. This was not one of those moments.

    He drew back his lightsaber, aiming for a clear cut across Snoke's neck--

    He never made it. He flew through the air, catching himself at the last moment, landing on his feet rather than smacking the wall like Ben had. Snoke was immobile, but he was still fighting. That was okay. Luke clipped his lightsaber to his belt. He didn't need a weapon to win this battle, either.

    He used the Force to pull Snoke to a standing position. Traces of blood oozed from Snoke's head, but the wounds were otherwise cauterized, causing deep craters in the previously handsome face. Luke lifted his hand, calling on the power deep inside himself to end the terror of the Supreme Leader's reign before it could truly begin.

    Snoke merely laughed. "It will take much more than that to kill me, Skywalker. You should have let the moon burn."

    A burst of energy soared away from Luke's hand. It was too late. As Snoke's laughter grew louder, filling the vast chamber, the ceiling collapsed completely, crushing him. Luke stood there in shock, debating for less than a second whether to rush forward and finish off Snoke or escape being buried alive in the temple. He turned and ran as fast as he could, his arms raised over his head, keeping the stones from striking him.

    Luke didn't stop running until his feet reached the grass outside the temple. Ben was lying on the ground, wincing in pain, tears in his eyes, halfway between the temple and the ship. Luke scooped him up, ignoring Ben's protests, trying not to hurt him more. But it was impossible to get him inside the small ship, even using the Force to ease his discomfort.

    Ben slumped against the landing struts, breathing heavily. His black hair was matted against his forehead. "Go," he said, barely able to get out his words. "Leave me here. Go get help."

    "I can't do that," Luke said. He placed his hands on Ben's chest and back, trying to lessen the pain, but he had never been a good healer. "Snoke is still alive."

    "So?" Ben hissed. "Maybe you should let him kill me. I was injured by my own stupidity."

    "Don't say that."

    "Or maybe you should go in there and finish him off. Or call the Republic and have them blast a crater under the temple. Make sure he's really dead."

    Luke's hands trembled. He hoped Ben didn't notice it had nothing to do from adrenaline. "Don't think about him now. You're injured. I'm going to get you out of here."

    "How?" Ben spat.

    The answer came in the form of a small freighter, soaring overhead.
  6. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Aug 31, 2004
    Your Luke is so incredibly amazing! So stalwart and full of courage and clarity! [face_love] Snoke is something like Melkor in LOTR/Silmarillion. Hard to eliminate and pushes any and all buttons to let the Darkness in. [face_nail_biting] Ben is so very vulnerable and when you feel betrayed or lied to, it's so easy to disbelieve every thing the one you feel was dishonest with you. It's so hard to repair that kind of thing, if you even can. :(

  7. JediMara77

    JediMara77 Force Ghost star 4

    Mar 5, 2004
    Thank you, Nyota! I will always love writing Luke. He's the person I aspire to be like, but he's also got his own issues that make writing him so fun. Part of Ben's problem is that he DOES believe the people around him so easily. And when Snoke starts talking to him, well...that's just a recipe for disaster. But in the end, it's Ben's choice. We'll see what happens....

    New chapter coming up!
  8. JediMara77

    JediMara77 Force Ghost star 4

    Mar 5, 2004
    CHAPTER 4:

    It was a long time before anyone spoke on the Jade's Fire. Mara insisted on orbiting Yavin 4 until a Republic cruiser arrived to ensure the planet was safe from any First Order attacks. Only after she was satisfied that the moon was protected did the freighter jump to hyperspace. Luke tended to Ben's wounds in the cockpit, with a medkit Rey found in her parents' quarters. He, too, wanted to ensure Snoke didn't initiate some sort of attack on the moon; he also didn't want to be alone with Ben just yet. He dreaded the inevitable conversation. There was nothing he could say to soften the blow of this new knowledge, or to make Ben understand why his parents had made such a difficult decision.

    Ten minutes into hyperspace, when Ben finally broke the silence, it was everything Luke had been expecting. Luke still wasn't prepared for the rush of memories sparked by Ben's words. "Why didn't you tell me?"

    Ben...why didn't you tell me?

    Luke had never felt so ashamed in his life. Worst of all, he had to continue to lie to his nephew. He refused to tell Ben it had been solely Leia's decision. Even though it was the truth, it was unfair to Leia, like Luke was passing on some of the blame. Perhaps he hadn't argued the point hard enough back then. Perhaps he should have encouraged Han to talk some sense into Leia. But Ben was born barely a year after Vader's death, and Leia's emotions were still so raw. Luke hadn't wanted to press the matter and upset her. As Ben grew up and became knowledgeable of the Force, it felt like too much time had passed to reveal the truth. The perfect moment during Ben's training never came. How could it have, when Ben knew Luke was already concerned about the darkness inside him?

    Luke blew out a breath. Excuses--all of it. His nephew was staring at him with watery eyes, demanding answers. "I'm sorry," Luke said lamely, because it was the only thing he could think of to say. It would never be enough. "I was wrong to keep it from you."

    Ben looked over Luke's shoulder, to where Rey was sitting in the co-pilot's seat, helping Mara fly the Fire. "Did you keep it from her?"

    Luke couldn't look Ben in the eye. His nephew's voice was gruff from exertion, injury, emotion. He sounded both like a child and like someone much older than his twenty-two years.

    Before Luke could attempt to answer the question, Mara cleared her throat. "Ben, your mother sent you a message. You should read it. There's also a Holonet report on here you'll want to watch. It explains how Snoke knew what he did." She handed Luke a datapad, then took Rey by the hand. "We need to check on the hyperdrive motivator." She squeezed Luke's shoulder as she passed, and gave Ben an apologetic look.

    Rey averted her eyes as she left the cockpit. Luke's daughter was rarely scared, especially not around her cousin, but right now she looked like she'd rather be anywhere in the galaxy than on that freighter with him.

    Ben glared after them. "Well," he said when the cockpit door had shut, "let's see the Holonet report." He thrust his hand at the datapad.

    Luke obliged. A hologram sprang from the projector, showing the New Republic Senate on Hosnian Prime. A voiceover explained the proceedings: a senator named Ransolm Casterfo had accused Leia Organa of hiding the truth about her parentage. Luke watched Ben, not the hologram, as Leia confirmed the horrible revelation. Ben raised his chin, not wanting to appear weak, but his jaw was trembling.

    "Snoke didn't waste any time using that knowledge to his advantage." Ben sniffed, rubbing his nose with the back of his hand. "He must have found out beforehand. Maybe that senator told him."

    "Maybe," Luke agreed. The First Order having allies in the senate was not something he wanted to consider, even though it was probably inevitable. Mostly, he felt relieved that Ben was able to recognize that Snoke had an ulterior motive. Ben's emotions were going haywire, but they hadn't completely overwhelmed him--yet. Luke extinguished the HoloNet projection and held out the datapad. "Do you want me to leave while you read the letter?"

    Ben shook his head. Was it because he didn't want to be alone, or because he didn't want to appear weak?

    Hesitantly, Luke handed Ben the datapad. He averted his eyes as Ben read Leia's letter, even though Luke desperately wanted to know what Leia had written to her son. Luke could ask her about that later.

    When Ben was finished, he stared at the datapad for a long time, his eyes still glassy.

    "We should go to Hosnian Prime right away," Luke whispered, reluctant to break the moment, but knowing they had to focus on the reality of the situation. "We've been out of touch so long, this happened more than a week ago. Your mother will want to see you."

    "No," Ben said firmly. "We need to go back to the temple. We need to make sure the students are safe."

    "There's nobody there, Ben. All the students were with their families while we were away."

    "Then we should check on the temple itself! Snoke will want to attack there next!"

    Luke put his hand on Ben's. "Del is there, keeping watch. Everything will be fine."

    "No, it won't!" Ben's shout was so loud, Luke was certain Mara and Rey had heard him from the back of the ship. Luke almost told Ben to calm down, but he stopped himself; Ben's outburst was an understandable reaction to devastating information, not an indication of darkness. But then Ben got up and shoved the back of the the pilot's chair so hard, Luke was surprised it didn't separate from the floor. "She said you all wanted to protect me. That there was never a good moment. So instead all of you lied to me my entire life! Even my baby cousin!"

    "There's never a good moment to find out your grandfather was a Sith Lord. Or your father," Luke added, almost as an afterthought.

    That got Ben to stop his raging around the cockpit. His mouth snapped shut. His fingers left indentations in the hide of the chairback as he forced himself to remain in one place. As if he realized that Luke, too, had once had to process the reality of his parentage. "Mom said you knew first. She told me to ask you what happened. Said you'd explain it better than she could." Ben looked at him then. "So how did you find out?"

    It was such a simple question, but with such a difficult answer. Even though Luke believed Ben deserved to know the truth, he had hoped he would never again be faced with this discussion. He paused, thinking back to that moment in Cloud City. For nearly a year, he had been the only person in the Alliance who knew the truth about Vader. He had dreaded telling Han and Leia, or any of his other friends in the Rebellion, fearful they would think he was the same as Vader and abandon him. Or even worse, that they would think he had known the entire time and lied to them. So he told no one, keeping the revelation deep inside, where it nearly ate him alive. Then, when it came time for him to tell Leia the truth, it was even worse than he'd ever imagined. Because he'd had to tell her that she was Vader's child, too. And he finally understood why those who'd claimed to love him had lied to him all those years.

    "I left my Jedi training to save your mother and father on Cloud City," Luke began the tale. "I ended up fighting Vader instead. He overpowered me. He cut off my hand. And then he told me he was my father." Telling it that way--all the facts, no emotion--made it a little easier. With so many years gone by, he was able to separate himself from that young, headstrong apprentice. Then, Luke realized--"I was the same age you are."

    That caught Ben's attention. "What did you do?"

    "Did the only thing I could. Jumped. I would have rather died than join him, and I wanted him to know that. But I survived the fall, and thankfully, your mother saved my life before Vader could capture me."

    "No, I did you react?"

    "I told you," Luke said. "I jumped." He had felt so utterly alone in that moment. The last thing he wanted was for Ben to feel the same way now. Luke would keep talking as long as it gave Ben comfort that things weren't so hopeless. Luke had survived the horrid news all alone, and so could Ben with the help of his family. "For three years, I'd believed that monster killed my father. To hear Vader say he was my father, that he was part of me, and I was part of him, was the worst possible thing anyone could ever tell me. I kept thinking to myself, why didn't they tell me?" Luke rubbed the bridge of his nose with his fingertips. He was starting to develop a headache--or maybe he'd had one for a while and the adrenaline had finally worn off enough for him to notice it. "After the Falcon saved me, I kept the secret hidden until I got confirmation from Master Yoda. Then I had to tell your mother--and I suddenly understood why everyone had kept it from me. It's not the sort of thing you want to tell people. There's no easy way to say it. There's never any good time. It's easier to just pretend, to protect others from the pain. That's what your mother wanted to do for you."

    Ben considered that. His expression grew softer. "Did your aunt and uncle know?"

    Luke nodded. "Not many others knew the truth. Obi-Wan and Master Yoda, your grandmother and grandfather." No matter what, Luke would never stop referring to Bail and Breha Organa that way. They had been Leia's true parents, just like Owen and Beru had been Luke's.

    "And you were angry with them all for lying to you."

    "How could I not be?"

    "Then you should have known better!" Ben threw the datapad to the ground. His flash of rage was like a living entity, pressing Luke back against his chair. "You should have told me the truth from the moment I could understand!"

    "Ben, I'm 46 years old, and I still don't understand."

    "You know what I mean!" Ben began pacing the cockpit again. Luke remained seated, hands clasped on his lap. He had to remain calm, for Ben's sake, no matter how distraught he felt.

    "You're right," Luke said. "I was angry with them, for a long time. They were wrong. But they never wanted to hurt me. They did what they did out of love."

    Ben snorted. "So I'm supposed to forgive you and move on with my life? Pretend all this never happened?"

    Luke looked up at Ben, looming over him. Like Vader once had. "I'm not asking you to do that. I understand if you stay angry about this for the rest of your life. But please, Ben, know that your parents only want the best for you."

    "And what about you?"

    "I want you to be the best Jedi you can be."

    "How can I be, if Darth Vader is my grandfather? Nobody comes back from the dark side, Uncle Luke. You've said so yourself. That means there must be some darkness in me."

    "Is there darkness in me?"

    "Well, I--"

    Luke cut him off. "Let me tell you a story." He indicated for Ben to sit back down across from him. Then he took a deep breath, trying to decide where to begin. He hadn't talked about what had happened on the Death Star in over five years, after Rey had overheard him and Mara talking about the Empire and he had no choice but to tell her the truth. He'd glossed over much of the tale, as Rey had been only seven and didn't understand the complicated nature of the dark side and the light, but he'd told her what was most important: that Anakin Skywalker had returned in the end. She had taken it as well as could be expected, Luke had thought.

    Later, she had told her parents she didn't want to be a Jedi. The timing, Luke knew, wasn't coincidental.

    But this conversation wasn't about Rey; it was about Ben. At twenty-two, having completed many years of Jedi training, and on the verge of Knighthood himself, he was more than able to understand what had happened in the Emperor's throne room.

    So Luke told him, starting with his conversations with Yoda and Obi-Wan, detailing his confession to Leia, his surrender to Vader, and the confrontation with the Emperor. Ben listened without interrupting, a look of amazement shifting to one of horror and back again.

    "I was so certain he would save me," Luke said. "Even after he brought me to the Emperor. When the Emperor tried to kill me, I thought that was the end. But I was wrong. Anakin came back. He killed his Sith master, Darth Sidious. And he saved my life. He saved the galaxy."

    "Then why didn't you tell me the truth?" Ben demanded. "Why didn't you tell everyone the truth?"

    Luke gestured at the datapad, now resting on the floor. "You saw how they reacted--and that was the senate. Most people don't understand the Force, Ben. They wouldn't understand how someone who had helped commit genocide could still be a good person. And honestly, if I hadn't witnessed his turn myself, I'd probably think the same thing."

    "Is that how my mother thinks?"

    "Yes," Luke admitted. "Vader tortured her. He forced her to watch her planet die. He tortured your father. As hard as it was for me to accept, it was ten times harder for her. Sometimes I wonder if she's ever really believed that Vader and Anakin were two different people."

    "But..." Ben trailed off, his troubled mind evident in the Force. "You taught me that once you start down the dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny. Is that not true?"

    "It is, just not in the way the Jedi originally thought. You can always turn away from darkness. But the things you do while under it...those will never go away. And sometimes, those things cannot be forgiven. If my father hadn't died after saving me..." Luke paused, fighting a surge of emotion as he remembered their good-bye in the Death Star's hangar. Tell your sister you were right. Luke had done as Anakin had asked. Leia's opinion about Vader had never changed. Luke shrugged. "Who knows what would have happened to him afterward."

    "The Republic would have executed him."

    "Maybe," Luke said, thinking of all the Imperial defectors he'd known in the Rebellion. Thinking of people like Del Meeko, who Luke now trusted to look after his training temple while he was away. Thinking of his wife Mara, who had once served the Emperor himself. Once, she had despised Luke for taking her old life away from her. Now she would do anything to make the Republic a better place, to atone for all her sins.

    But none of those people had been Sith. They hadn't accepted the dark side. As much as Luke wished he'd had more time with Anakin Skywalker, perhaps it couldn't have ended any other way.

    "Listen, Ben," Luke said. "I know you're angry, and you have every right to be. But you know that Snoke orchestrated this for a reason. He's been watching the Jedi grow for a long time. He has his own followers, but he covets a true apprentice of his own. And you're the most powerful Jedi I've ever trained. Vader thought telling me he was my father would make me more likely to join him. Snoke is betting on the same thing with you."

    "I know," Ben whispered. "Don't worry. I won't let him get his way."

    Luke placed his hand on Ben's shoulder. "I'm glad." Their eyes met, and for the first time since leaving Yavin 4, Luke didn't see anger in Ben.

    Then Ben shifted, both physically and mentally, and he glanced to the door of the cockpit. "What about Rey?"

    Luke's throat went dry. "What about her?"

    "You said I'm the most powerful Jedi you've ever trained. But you haven't trained her yet."

    "She doesn't want to become a Jedi."

    "I'm beginning to understand why." Ben looked back at him. "I know she's more powerful than me. Snoke will figure that out, too."

    "Snoke doesn't know she exists," Luke said, his voice hard. "Mara and I intend to keep it that way."

    "I hope so," Ben said. He glanced at his clenched fists, looked like he wanted to say something else to Luke, but changed his mind. He shoved himself to his feet. "Is it okay if I get some sleep?"

    Luke was thrown by the change in subject. But they were tired, and sleep would do them both a world of good. "Sure," he said. "Take Rey's cabin. She can stay with me and Mara."

    "Fine." Ben left the cockpit without another word, leaving the door open behind him.

    Luke played back the end of their conversation, wondering if he had said anything to hurt Ben. The boy's attitude had been improving so well. What had caused the abrupt regression?

    Then Luke realized--it wasn't anything he'd said. It was what he didn't say.

    He hadn't denied that Rey was stronger in the Force than Ben.
    Findswoman and Starkiller_Ren like this.
  9. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Aug 31, 2004
    Superb honesty and realistic reactions! It's hard to balance realizing people kept things from you for 3 reasons: 1. They found it hard to accept themselves so wanted to almost deny the truth of those things. 2. There never would be an ideal time to reveal them, so the more time passes, the harder it is to bring them up. 3. They want to spare the person they have to tell the pain of knowing something so earth-shattering.
    Ben's balance and acceptance are very precarious. [face_thinking]
    Even if Rey did not want to be a Jedi proper, being totally untrained makes her incredibly vulnerable just in case she is found out by hostile forces. [face_worried]
    Findswoman likes this.
  10. Sith-I-5

    Sith-I-5 Force Ghost star 6

    Aug 14, 2002
    Rusty? I don't think so.

    Read three chapters, and will certainly investigate that fourth one.

    I love the family situation and world that you have built here, with Rey as a pre-teen alongside her mother, easily persuaded to leave the cockpit cos she doesn't care about grown-up conversations, and her acceptance of her parents bring apart so often.

    Then the Solo family dynamic.

    I liked the holocomm messaging, general news, then Han's, and him commenting that Mara had not heard the latest.

    You are a really good writer of Luke, as well as all your other characters, and that was an interesting choice, as Luke's ship descended towards Yavin, not to have the Academy there, but a colony instead.

    This was splendid work, from mentioning that Mara would be returning to Hosnian Prime (eliciting an "Ooooh ****" from this quarter), to Mara being able to tell a social call from an urgent one, based on a grease smear.

    Well done. :xwing:
  11. Findswoman

    Findswoman Fanfic and Pancakes and Waffles Mod (in Pink) star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Feb 27, 2014
    A friend recommended this story, and I’m so glad I found it! Wonderful job here melding Canon and Legends lore—you’ve made Luke’s marriage to Mara and Rey as their daughter fit seamlessly into existing canon, and it all makes perfect sense: your sweet, smart, razor-sharp Rey really is a great fit as a daughter to both Mara and Luke. [face_love] No surprise at all that she can sense immediately that something pretty serious is going down with her dad—and big cousin.

    I love too the way you’ve integrated the issue of the Skywalkers’ family lineage from Vader and the way it’s affected the family on both political and personal levels and the repercussions of Sen. Casterfo’s “big reveal.” I can understand both Leia and Luke having had to think very hard abouthow to break the truth to their kids, but then again long-kept secrets have that way of being powder kegs... we see in that wonderfully climactic scene between Snoke, Ben, and Luke! :eek: Oh my gosh, of all the people for fiery, volatile Ben to learn this from...! Naturally that nasty, manipulative Snoke doesn’t let up even when Luke admits the truth—Snoke takes the opportunity to immediately twists it into “your uncle’s been lying to you” and a way to win Ben to himself as his own apprentice. Which sets off a whole domino effect of expectations and self-doubt and self-anger and a wonderful confrontation between Luke and Snoke—amazingly done. And Mara and Rey show up just in time, too! [face_relieved]

    Ben and Luke’s conversation at the end is superb. Both are so in character, and I love the way you have Luke share his own experience with learning Vader was his dad. Lots of really amazing nuance here, especially in the contrast between Luke and Leia’s perceptions of the reveal, and the whole question of whether redemption really is possible for one who committed the kind of crimes Vader committed. And just as it looks like Ben is starting to calm down andunderstand, there’s that one tiny little detail about Rey that suddenly brings his anger back... and which in a way is a much more understandable and believable reason for his turn to the dark than anything we saw in TLJ. I’m not sure if that is the end of the story or not, but it definitely made for a very intriguing and thought-provoking wrap-up to Luke and Ben’s conversation. Really, that last chapter was great all around—just chock full of those “never thought about it before, but it makes perfect sense” moments that are one of the things I love most about fanfic! :D

    Very well done, and many, many thanks for sharing this extremely insightful and sensitive take on the ST! =D=
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2019
    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha likes this.
  12. Jedi_Lover

    Jedi_Lover Chosen One star 5

    Nov 1, 2004
    It is so nice to see you back writing! Your four first chapters are awesome! I look forward to reading more! :D It never occurred to me that Snoke's deformity might have been caused by a fight with Luke. There is so much we don't know about the characters. I am really hoping that EP9 answers all of my questions. I really don't want to have to buy new EU books to find the backstories of the characters.
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2019