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Beyond - Legends 'Till Death Do Us Part: (Back From the Dead L/M Challenge): Chap 10 Up 7/13

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by Irish_Jedi_Jade, Mar 12, 2016.

  1. Irish_Jedi_Jade

    Irish_Jedi_Jade Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jul 19, 2007
    Title: ‘Till Death Do Us Part
    Characters: Luke, Mara, Ben, Darth Caedus, Lumiya, Alema Rar.
    Genre: Angst, some hurt!comfort, and an eventual happy ending (promise!)
    Timeframe: A continuation of the Star Wars Legends timeline after Crucible. Takes place between 40-46 ABY.
    Summary: A sacrifice doesn’t have to end in death. Darth Caedus let everyone think Mara died that day in the tunnels, but he knows the truth.
    Notes: This is a response to the Luke and Mara Index & Discussion board's hysterically named"Back from the Dead”/”No-one-can-tell-us-it-is-au-if-it-is-past-Crucible" Challenge. The idea was that somehow, Mara comes back after the events of Crucible. [face_dancing] We couldn’t change the existing events of the books, so things had to unfold as per Legends Cannon. BUT! Since Disney said that our EU is now “Legends”—maybe this is what actually happened. ;) I chose to add events within the Legends Cannon that could logically have occurred in the “spaces.” This will be a multi-post, but this one is unbeta’d, so all mistakes are my own. [face_worried]



    **Italicized text denotes direct quotations from Sacrifice by Karen Traviss**


    45 ABY, Chiloon Rift

    Sitting in the cockpit of the small shuttle Lando had loaned him, Luke stared at the small speck that was Base Prime. The swirling gases of the Rift swirled around the small caravan of ships that hung in the mists, waiting.

    Ben’s voice crackled over the comm. “Everyone ready?” Assents came from the various vessels, and Luke voiced his own with less exuberance than some of the others. “Okay, here we go.”

    It took a moment for anything to become visible, but then the effect of Ben’s action became apparent. The charges planted around Base Prime exploded fantastically, and breached the containment field that held the monolith together. Then the station seemed to expand for a moment…and then shrink in on itself, like a black hole, until all that was left was a pulsing glob of molten concrete and metal.

    A few moments later, everyone else had jumped out of the system…except for Luke. He sat and stared at the glob that had once been the gateway to the greatest fountain of the Living Force he had ever encountered…and wondered.

    Why hadn’t she been there? If the Force was incarnate in the monolith…why hadn’t his Mara been there?

    The ache blossomed in his chest—familiar after five years alone. Five years of struggling to breathe, of reminding himself that his heart was still beating, even though it felt like it had been ripped from his chest.

    He sighed. Perhaps it was for the best. If she had been there…he doubted he would have left with Han and Leia. He ached to hold her, to hear her laugh, to see her smile. Knowing that all the times he thought she had reached out to him throughout the years had actually been Abeloth had only intensified that desire. What would he give for one more day with her? To not have slept through her leaving? To have taken her on that vacation he had promised himself they would go on after finding Lumiya? To tell her one more time that he loved her.

    But that wasn’t to be. Mara was dead.



    40 ABY, Kavan—Hapes Cluster

    The effort froze Jacen for two vital seconds. But he knew if he didn’t get up now and fight back, Mara would come in for the kill, again and again, until he was worn down and too weak to fend her off. He scrambled to his feet, staggering more than standing, and suddenly understood.

    It was Mara who had to die to fulfill his destiny.

    It was so crystal clear to him now. Allana was the one who he loved most, but Ben…Ben was more his son than Allana could ever be. By killing his mother, he would be immortalizing his love for Ben by sacrificing it forever, once he found out that his mentor had taken away his mother.

    He swung at her again, purpose thrumming through his veins.

    Her vibroblade grazed his neck. He fumbled in his belt for a dart. She jerked back with a massive effort, leaving him clutching a handful of red hair, and the only thing that crossed his mind as she arched her back and held her arms high to bring both shoto and vibroblade down into his chest was that she would never, ever harm Ben.

    Jacen stared into her eyes and instantly created the illusion of Ben’s face beneath her. She blinked.

    It gave him the edge for that fraction of a moment.

    But in that fraction of a moment, something flashed before his eyes. He saw Ben, kneeling by the corpse of his mother. He saw Luke decapitating Lumiya as she hung over a cliff. He saw the battle of Fondor and Niathal’s betrayal. He saw Jaina, running with Mandalorians down a shadowy hallway. And then he saw Jaina, leaning over him, and felt her heart breaking as she drove home the blade aimed at his heart.

    He realized in that second that it all depended on this moment, that Mara’s death would galvanize all these events…and her death would lead to his end.

    So he called on the power that flowed within him, and in a moment transformed the molecules of the poison within the dart just as Vergere had taught him. Now instead of being a paralytic that lead to death…it was simply a paralytic. He jabbed the dart into her leg, and she fell.

    It’s my destiny, Mara—to be a Sith Lord, and bring order and justice…You’re going to save so many people, Mara. You’ve saved Ben. You’ve saved Allana, too. It’s not a waste, believe me.”

    “You’re…as vile as he was.”

    Jacen could hardly understand what she was saying. “Who?”

    “Palpatine.”

    …Mara was breathing heavily now, one hand slack in her lap but the other still clenching and unclenching as if trying to form a fist to give him one final punch. Her vivid green eyes were still bright with relentless purpose. He knew he would try to forget them every day of his life.

    “You think…you’ve won,” she said, slurred, but utterly lucid and unafraid. “But Luke will crush you…and I refuse…to let you…destroy the future…for my Ben.”

    The paralytic reached its apex, and she fell unconscious. Jacen hobbled over and stared at her slumped form, trying to think. What was the Force trying to show him? Why would it show him with blinding clarity that Mara was his sacrifice, and then show him just as clearly that she would cause his end?

    And then he realized…sacrifice didn’t have to synonymous with death.

    He knew what the Force wanted of him. He knew what the Force wanted of Mara.

    “I’m not going to kill you, Mara. I’m going to sacrifice the good in you, the light. You will become the weapon that will crush all those you love on my order. You will be the ultimate immortalization of the Sith legacy. You will be the blade that cuts out the hearts of those I love.”

    Then he placed his hands on her temples, and blasted her from the Force.

    ~//~

    Ben suddenly couldn’t hear the voice of the Sith sphere. His own name—Ben, Ben, Ben—drowned out every other sound, even though deep in his head, it was quieter than a whisper, a summons and a farewell for him alone. He forgot about Lumiya, and stumbled toward the source of the voice, blinded by tears.

    “Mom!” he yelled. “Mom!”

    ~//~


    In the cockpit of his StealthX heading for Hapes, Luke Skywalker felt a hand brush his hair, and as he reached out involuntarily to touch it, he knew his world had ended.


    ~//~


    Grunting, Mara opened her eyes. The world swam for several minutes as she struggled to bring her head up. Finally she was successful, though her head lolled a bit before she could find the strength to hold it steady. Blinking, she took in her surroundings, surprised that they weren’t the nebulous embrace of the Force in the afterlife.

    The small room looked like it had been carved from stone with a pickaxe and a hammer. The walls were crude, rough and uneven. At the top of the room, which was around ten feet above her, were deep crevices that seemed to have some sort of plant life growing in them. She looked in the pocked and cracked mirror that had been propped up to her right, and studied her restraints. It was a roughly square apparatus, fastened to the wall and floor of the room, and was filled with what looked like pipes snaking at all angles, like a maze. She had been secured to various points in the maze with metal restraints that dug into her. Her arms were fastened above her head, twisted so as to keep her shoulders at an awkward angle, and her feet didn’t reach the floor, so she hung painfully.

    She took inventory as best she could, noting first that she felt like her thoughts were swimming through thick mud in her brain…clearly she had been drugged. Closing her eyes, she began to run through a Jedi detoxification technique and tried to remember what had happened.

    Jacen. Lumiya. Caves. Poison. Darkness.

    Her breathing quickened as she realized that the detox wasn’t working…and then she realized why.

    Eyes darting up to the crevices, she saw that they contained not just plants, but animals.

    Yslamiri.

    Gritting her teeth, she stretched out, trying to find a flicker of the Force, anywhere that the cursed animals Force-void bubble didn’t extend.

    Nothing.

    And then the door to her left ground open, and the person Mara hated most in the galaxy stepped through.

    “Hello, Mara.”

    She tried to speak, but found her throat raw and uncooperative. She hung, glaring, as he brought a small cup with a straw over, and she took a deep drink. The liquid burned as it went down, and she coughed convulsively, her shoulders pulsing with agony.

    “Cute little evil lair you have here, Jacen.” She rasped, and he shrugged noncommittally as he replaced the cup on the large metal table next to the mirror. “Just remember Yslamari don’t live forever. As soon as one of them dies—“

    Jacen cut her off smoothly, stepping back so that he was inches from her. “The Force will rush back in a glorious torrent, fill you with strength and you’ll escape and kill me?”

    A smirk twisted her bloodied lips, “Pretty much.”

    He shook his head, almost sadly. “No, it won’t. Because you’re not a Jedi anymore. You don’t have the Force. The next time you feel it, it will be the Dark Side.” He smiled a tiny, self-satisfied smile. “One of the skills that I learned while I was traveling after the Yuuzhan Vong war was how Vergere was able to take the Force from me…and now I’ve done it to you.”

    She gave him a bored look. “Easy to say when you’re standing in the middle of a ring of Yslamiri. Besides,” she coughed a few more times, “you’ve always been a terrible liar.”

    Jacen gave her a lazy grin. He reached onto the table, took the blaster from it, and shot four of the Yslamiri. His eyes never left Mara’s, and she felt the beginnings of fear wash over her…nothing had changed. Jacen lazily released the blaster, and it floated up from his hand to be joined by several small rocks that began to spin above his fingers.

    “See? The Yslamiri are here for my benefit. Wouldn’t want anyone to feel what I’m going to be doing, after all. But in case you were hoping that you could get out of your restraints, kill the animals, and save the day…you can’t. Because, like I said, you’re not a Jedi anymore. You’re not anything that I don’t want you to be. But someday…someday you’ll kneel before me.”

    Setting the blaster back on the table, he turned back towards her, oozing nonchalance. She continued to glare as best she could, with one eye swollen halfway shut.

    “I’ll die before that happens Jacen. I didn’t turn for Palpatine, I won’t turn for you.”

    The lazy grin remained in place, and for the first time she saw the yellow beginning to take over the soft brown of his eyes. “Oh, but Palpatine never actually tried to turn you, Mara…he just used you…besides, didn’t you say I’m worse than him? I am going to turn you…and I’m the grandson of Darth Vader, the one who took down your old master.”

    “You’re forgetting Vader’s son. My husband.”

    Jacen’s smile turned predatory. He pulled a data pad from his pocket, and held it out to her.

    On it was grainy security footage…it was of Luke, staring at…her. She was laid out on a table, draped in a white sheet. He took her hand, and his shoulders were hunched, cowed as he pressed a kiss to her forehead. Then her son walked in, and Luke embraced him as Ben’s shoulders shook, crying like the child he was.

    Shock filled her as she watched, and a knife seemed to twist under her heart as she saw the pain on Luke’s face, despite the grainy quality of the image. How could she be laying there? How could he not know that body wasn’t her?

    “You see?” Jacen’s voice interrupted her frantic confusion. “Nobody is coming for you. Luke isn’t scouring the galaxy, senses flung out, searching for your presence. Because you’re dead.” He smirked, “Your funeral is next week.” Sliding the data pad back into his pocket, he walked towards the door, smiling as it began to grind closed.

    “Don’t worry. I’ll give Luke a hug for you.”


    Then the door shut.
     
  2. Briannakin

    Briannakin Grand Moff Darth Fanfic & Costuming/Props Manager star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Feb 25, 2010
    Ohhhhh! This is amazingly evil! I love it (I've actually had a similar plot bunny - great minds think alike! ;) ), but you better fix it! Please Tag me when you update!
     
    Irish_Jedi_Jade likes this.
  3. earlybird-obi-wan

    earlybird-obi-wan Chosen One star 6

    Registered:
    Aug 21, 2006
    Love this Jacen and how he twists everything
     
  4. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Oh what a plausible twisty there Irish! And I know you'll fix it in your inimitable squeelicious!!!!!! like chocolate good way! :D

    =D=
     
    Irish_Jedi_Jade likes this.
  5. divapilot

    divapilot Force Ghost star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 30, 2005
    So deliciously wicked! This is going to be great!
     
    Nyota's Heart likes this.
  6. JadeLotus

    JadeLotus Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 27, 2005
    What a great and unique response to the challenge! This is going to be so angsty, and I am so here for it.

    Jacen being a vile Sithly schemer this way is so much better and more chilling than him just killing Mara.
     
    Nyota's Heart likes this.
  7. Annia Piet

    Annia Piet Jedi Knight star 2

    Registered:
    Feb 7, 2015
    Ooh, this is really evil - good work!
     
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  8. Irish_Jedi_Jade

    Irish_Jedi_Jade Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jul 19, 2007
    Thank you all for reading!!!! Chapter 2, coming right up!!! [:D][face_devil]O:)


    Haha...oh man. I'll forever be grateful to this fic cause it gave me my awesome evil sister!!! [face_devil][face_love] Thank you lady! I hope I do you proud.

    That seems to be the hallmark of Sith Lords! Thanks for reading!

    Thank you friend!!!! I promise that it will end with MANY squees!! You just have to bear with my inner angst-monster a bit! [face_love]


    Thank you, oh L/M-Grammar-Queen!!! ^:)^ I feel like this is something Jade_Pilot would either LOVE that I'm writing or hate me for doing, as my fanfic master :p I know your padawan Myriad_Daydreams would be happy! Someday I just want to be as awesome as you.

    Thank you!!!! I'm glad you're along for the angst-train, because there is going to be SO much angst! But I promise it will pay off in the end O:)



    Thank you!! I'm so glad a fellow L/M lover doesn't hate me too much. But we'll see after the next post! :p
     
  9. Irish_Jedi_Jade

    Irish_Jedi_Jade Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jul 19, 2007
    Chapter 2:
    A/N: There is SO MUCH ANGST in this chapter, and I LOVE it! But for anyone who has a weak stomach, or violence isn't your thing, please feel free to skim/skip. It will be looking up soon for Mara...but it's always darkest before the dawn, right?

    If anyone wants to know the plot without reading the (mod-approved) violence, just expand the spoiler and you can read the synopsis...and then you'll be ready to roll into the next chapter!

    Basic plot: Jacen tortures Mara for a long time, trying to get her to turn...not a lot of fun. She remains herself, taunting him a bit when she can, and never lets him get the best of her. She thinks of Luke and Ben and her family to keep herself from the Dark Side. Then Jacen has an epiphany, and realizes why the Force wanted him to not kill Mara: because he can use her to kill Luke. He realizes that Luke will never accept Mara as a Sith/Dark Jedi, and will always believe there is good in her, and thus will never be able to strike her down. So he has the perfect way to kill the biggest obstacle to his new Sith plans. He starts trying to get her to hate Luke by using a Dark Side projection that looks like Luke to torture her. Mara's heart breaks, but she doesn't turn.


    ~//~



    Time moved both quickly and slowly for Mara. She supposed that was the point of it, when her mind was clear enough to think such things.

    Jacen had tried blasting her with Force Lighting while ravaging her mind. She started resisting by thinking other thoughts, happy thoughts. But to her horror, Jacen began simply plucking them away...pulling the memory from her mind and leaving only screaming whiteness. Terrified of losing everything, she began to try to think the way the Emperor had taught her, all those years ago. Without the Force, her mental barriers were only marginally effective, as Jacen could sweep them away with a casual thrust of his mind, leaving her scampering for a new mental stronghold. In the end, it turned out to be more exhausting than it was worth.

    So she retreated to the most basic action she could to stave off the agony...repetition. She sang Ben's favorite lullaby over and over and over in her head. When Jacen picked up on that, he ripped it from her mind, and so she began repeating the multiplication table. As she felt him start to pluck, she gritted out,

    "Careful. You don't want an acolyte who's unable to to do basic math, sithling.”

    He growled and left her to her recitation...but only intensified his mental onslaught.


    ~//~



    “I know what I’m going to do with you, Mara, and I know how I’m going to do it.” Jacen had returned, and his teeth glinted like a predator’s as he grinned at her. “You’re going to kill Luke, because no matter what, he will never, ever harm you.”

    Her voice was harsh, rough with disuse. “…Keep…dreaming…Sithling.”

    He grinned. “Oh, but I know how I’m going to make you do it. I’m going to make you hate him.”

    With that proclamation, he strode from the room, closing the door behind him. Mara tried to twist her head to look at the restraints, wondering if a miracle had happened and she could find a way out of them. She heard noises…it sounded like the snap-hiss of a lightsaber…

    And then he walked in.


    “LUKE!” Her voice was somewhere between a whisper and a cry, but she felt the agony that had coiled around her heart for the long months begin to melt away. He smiled at her, blue eyes filled with care and and love as he rushed to her…

    And then his fist connected with her stomach.

    The air left her lungs in a rush and she retched, trying in vain to curl into a ball but the restraints held her. Something like a wand appeared in Luke’s hand that hissed with the static of electric discharge, and she saw his features were contorted with rage and hatred. His voice was wrong, it was filled with vitriol and spite.

    “You left me. You left me alone. Look what I’ve become, and it’s all because of you.”

    Tears burned her eyes as her mind reached for an explanation, for what in the galaxy was happening. “Luke, Luke I didn’t, what—“

    The thing in his hand connected with her flesh, and she began to writhe as the current burrowed its way under her skin, making her muscles contract and her nerves burn.

    This is all your fault.” It connected with her right shoulder, the current making the muscles in her neck spasm so that her head was thrown back against the maze with enough force for stars to explode from behind her eyes. She could smell her skin charring, and the tears falling sizzled as they made contact with the wand. When it pulled away, and her head dropped back down, inches from Luke’s. She tried to turn away, but he yanked her head back to look at him, and used the Force to compel her to open her eyes and look at him.

    “Please.” She tasted blood in her mouth, but she barely noticed. All she saw was the feral grin twisting her husband’s face…but then Luke burned the words into her mind as the wand burned her body…and her heart broke.

    I hate you.”



    ~//~



    She hung from the maze, with no way to mark the passing of the days….but she knew that she had been alone for a long, long time. Nothing changed….her muscles would cramp occasionally at the disuse, and she tried for the first few days to flex her toes, and move as much as she could. But pretty soon, that proved to be useless…and she just thought.

    She thought about Ben, wondered if he was safe, if what Jacen was saying about him was true. Worry would grip her heart in those moments, and she would sent a silent plea to the Force to keep her boy safe. She thought back to him as a baby, she relived each moment she could remember, and silent tears ran down her cheeks as she found only emptiness where Jacen had ripped memories from her mind. She thought about Leia and Han, and if they had realized yet that their last son had turned into a monster, but her heart ached for them as she imagined what she would do if Ben went dark…and realized that she would probably be guilty of the same actions. She thought about Jaina, and wondered how Jacen was hiding his actions from his twin…the person who knew him better than anyone in the galaxy.

    But most of all, she thought about Luke. She thought about all they had been through together, all that they had endured to finally find each other…and now he thought she was dead. She wondered how he was doing, if he was adjusting, if he was alright. But she thought about him the most. The color of his eyes, how they would twinkle when he smiled or glow in the darkness when he would kiss her. The way his hair still glinted in the sunlight, even though now it had streaks of grey, or how it was perpetually tousled and adorable in the morning. She thought of him kissing her, of the way his lips moved softly over hers. She thought of the way they made love, of the Force echoing between them as they flowed between themselves and it became impossible to tell where he started and she stopped. She thought of the way he would smile at her, a quick tuck of the corner of his mouth, when she would mutter comments under her breath so only he could hear during council meetings.

    More than anything, she thought of him rescuing her. Of him sweeping in, the restraints releasing with a whisper of thought…and then him sweeping her up, wrapping his cloak around her, and holding her close.

    She tried to not hear his voice echoing in her mind,

    I hate you.”






    Tags: Briannakin

    Nobody hate me, please!!! ;)[face_praying][face_devil][face_love]
     
  10. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Dear Irish I have a very sensitive tummy ;) so I just read the synopsis. @};- @};- I love how Mara is strong and unconquerable. [face_love] She really is a luminous triumphant person. [face_thinking] And now, whew boy! Now I know who will probably win the award for best villain for next year's awards. See, I think ahead [face_laugh] [:D] !!
     
  11. divapilot

    divapilot Force Ghost star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 30, 2005
    Poor Mara! What an evil monster Jacen has become. And yet, he endured something pretty similar when he was a victim of the Vong: the intense pain and torture, the brainwashing, the hopelessness.

    To turn her into something that is the exact opposite of what she fought so hard to overcome. That's unforgivable.
     
    Nyota's Heart likes this.
  12. Briannakin

    Briannakin Grand Moff Darth Fanfic & Costuming/Props Manager star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Feb 25, 2010
    Oh my evil best friend/sister! I am loving this fic (and the fact that our force bond has made you be the evil one writing this :p ) both this version and the more adult one. Jacen is just so twisted, evil and controlling. Mara is so strong, but that last line just kills me! Jacen has become what he used to hate, but I know Mara won't!
     
    Irish_Jedi_Jade likes this.
  13. earlybird-obi-wan

    earlybird-obi-wan Chosen One star 6

    Registered:
    Aug 21, 2006
    Evil Jacen. Will he forever be doomed
     
  14. JadeLotus

    JadeLotus Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 27, 2005
    Oh dear, what an evil plan, and doubly terrible for Mara, Jacen trying to revive the Emperor's last command.
     
  15. Irish_Jedi_Jade

    Irish_Jedi_Jade Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jul 19, 2007
    Haha, you're fine--just glad you're still here for the ride! It will start looking up soon, I promise! And yes...that's what I wanted to focus on here. So many people would crumble under the weight (like Jacen eventually did from what Vergere did) but not Mara!!

    Hopefully you'll forgive me for doing it to her!! [face_love][face_nail_biting]Yes, I wanted to style it after what Jacen went through...but obviously the result will be much different! Thanks for reading!


    I'm so glad that we are evil besties together!!! Jacen is...a jerk. If I could kill him myself in a this story, I would! But since we have to stay with cannon, guess not. But Mara is a champion and won't become him! Couldn't have done this without you!! [face_love]

    Oh, he's doomed forever in my mind. Nobody loves you Jacen, 'cause you're a jerk!! ;)

    You know, I didn't even think of it that way! Bri gave me the idea, that Luke would never believe all the good in Mara would be gone, so he'd never kill her...which makes her the perfect weapon. But you're right!
     
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  16. Irish_Jedi_Jade

    Irish_Jedi_Jade Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jul 19, 2007
    Chapter 3
    A/N: A big "Thank you" to all that are along on the ride with me! I hope that I haven't scared off too many folks with all the angst. This is the last sad chapter (no real violence to speak of in this one), and I promise that things will start looking up for Mara soon!!! Thanks (as always) to Briannakin for helping my evil muse along and helping me shape where this chapter went.



    ~//~


    Jacen considered the stars, tiny points of light against the endless blackness of space. He had woken up that morning, nestled in his bunk on the Anakin Solo with a feeling that the next…part of his life was beginning. The next chapter was about to open. Something was about to happen.

    He also had the strong feeling that he needed to wrap up the loose ends in his life…and the biggest loose end was Mara.

    For a long moment, he considered just pressing on with his plan…but premonitions had never been a good thing to ignore, in his experience. As Vergere had taught him first, and Lumiya had instructed him further, he began to weigh the options in his mind. Part of the responsibility of power was knowing how to look at all the options, and then find the best one to pursue. Weakness took the first solution that appeared. He could kill Mara—that would certainly be a good way to completely eliminate any ambiguity. But he discarded that idea—the Force had shown him her future, and he was doing his best to bring that future to life, so to discard all the work he had done over the last months was foolish.

    He could leave her as she was, take a large shipment of protein cubes and simply depend on the droids to feed her daily. Without the Force, the probability of her escaping was very slim—it was an uninhabited asteroid, after all. But he disliked the even the slightest possibility of a problem, so he set that idea aside as possible, but not ideal.

    A Force trance of some sort was another option…but it held the same issues as feeding her. Something unforeseen could happen and she could wake up and escape. She had been the Emperor’s Hand after all…he wouldn’t put it past her.

    For a long moment, he sat and stared out the viewport at the stars as they slowly drifted by…until the perfect option came to him. Pulling his comlink from his belt, he keyed it on to his assistant’s frequency.

    “Get one of the stasis pods from medical, and load it onto my shuttle immediately.”


    ~//~

    Offloading the stasis pod was an easy task for someone with the Force. Programming it, connecting it to the generator, and fiddling with the 2B’s programming yet again to make him able to monitor it’s status was a bit more of a challenge…but he figured it out.

    Preparations complete, he moved to the door of the dark room. He smiled, thinking of the silence screaming at Mara for so long, and hoped yet again that whatever this new chapter the Force was opening to him, it would conclude quickly so he could get back here and complete his task.

    Pushing open the door, he flicked the light on. She flinched as the light assaulted her eyes, blinding her for a long moment as her pupils struggled to adjust to the sudden brightness. Taking that opportunity, he undid her restraints and took the syringe full of preparation drugs and a little something extra and stuck it into her arm. It was pocked from many injections of various types, as well as the burn scars left from Luke’s treatment of her. He heard her sharp intake of breath as the needle slid into her skin, but she said nothing. Offhandedly, he wondered what it would take to break her considerable will…but turned his mind to the task at hand as she began to fight against his hold as he picked her up and carried her out.

    He laid her in the stasis pod, and almost enjoyed her struggle. She fought against him, but with the Force to pin her down, it was easy to settle her into the conforming body cavity, though she continued to push against him weakly.

    “Why are you doing this, why now?” She was beginning to breathe hard from the drugs he had injected into her. “How long are you going to keep me in here?” Her words began to slur as the psychotic began to take effect.

    “It doesn’t matter why. You’re going to be frozen in time…nothing will change, you’re body will stay nearly exactly as it is right now. So you’ll be ready to go when I get back.”

    He seemed to pause, and stared into the distance. When his eyes came back to her, they were yellow…feral, burning, and evil.

    “Can’t have you just napping while I’m gone though…so…enjoy the dreams, Mara.”

    That was the last thing Mara heard before he blasted her into an endless nightmare.

    ~//~

    They were sparring, blades flashing like green and blue lightning. Luke had always been just a tiny bit better than she was, but she felt like today might be the day that she won. They parried and deflected, dancing around each other like fireflies in the night. Their bond sang with the best kind of camaraderie, tension and teasing, as both dared the other to try harder, fight faster, to win. But then something changed, and it was like someone’s hands were over hers, pushing her movements impossibly fast. Luke’s eyes flicked to hers as he was forced to take the defensive, and confusion trickled into their bond. “What are you doing?” She tried to speak, tried to say something…but no words came out. Then it was like her lips moved of their own accord, words she would never say flowing out, “I’m killing you. Like I should have all those years ago.” She swept her leg and caught his, dumping him onto his back. His lightsaber fell from his hand, the blade whispering away into nothingness. She couldn’t look away, couldn’t see anything but his eyes as the invisible hands pushed her lightsaber down towards his heart….

    She was holding Ben, just after the end of the Yuzhaan Vong war. He was sleeping peacefully, head pillowed against her chest, still clutching the toy speeder that was the center of his four-year-old world. She smiled as she began to sing to him softly, a lullaby that seemed unfamiliar, even as the words tumbled from her lips…and then she realized she was singing about the dark side, about chaos and death and pain. Ben’s eyes opened, and his eyes burned with angry fire, and she felt an invisible hand close around her throat. He began to laugh as she gasped for air…

    She was walking through the Wild Karrde, its corridors as familiar to her as any place she had ever called home. She walked onto the bridge and a frown creased her lips. Why wasn’t anyone at their stations? This was not how they ran things on this ship. Then she saw the blood seeping along the floor, and she realized that the bridge was occupied…with corpses. A choking noise grabbed her attention, and she ran towards it. Karrde was crumpled next to the Captain’s chair, a gaping wound seeping bright red blood from his abdomen. He coughed, and more blood spilled from his lips. She dropped to her knees, begging him to tell her what had happened. He looked into her eyes, and she saw betrayal. “You were like a daughter to me. Why would you do this?” And then his eyes rolled up into his head…

    Luke was sitting next to her at the seashore. The sun was smiling down on them, and she felt peace lapping at her like the tide. They stared out at the water together in silence for a long time, until he turned to her and started nibbling her ear. Pushing her down gently, he eased himself on top of her and started to kiss her neck. She smiled, moving her head to give him better access. And then he bit her, hard. She gasped and pushed him away. His lips were red with her blood, and shock thundered through her as she looked into his eyes. They were yellow, like smoldering fire. He smiled a predatory smile at her, and licked the blood from his lips with the grace of a prey beast. Then he began to hit her, laughing as each blow left its mark on her skin…


    ~//~

    2B turned his glowing eyes to the displays. He was not programmed to feel boredom, or loneliness, but he could not deny that the distinct lack of…variety caused him to have strange flutters in his operating system. It had been a nearly five years since Master Jacen had left, and he had checked the various readouts on the stasis pod every four hours per his instructions. He had done as best as his programming would allow to optimize the stasis, to ensure that it was proceeding with minimum degradation and optimal health maintenance for the subject. He knew that he was not allowed to give her any medications to promote healing, or to use the brain wave stabilizers to reduce the nightmares she was having…Master Jacen had been very explicit in those instructions.

    Turning away from the status board, 2B began another self-diagnostic check on his systems, and turned his attention to the only other thing that changed on the slowly-rotating asteroid.

    The crack that had begun forming 168 days ago on the ceiling.
     
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  17. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Superb intensity Irish!! =D= You are very terrific at the sweet gooey ooey, and now I discover how excellent your angst/dramatic descriptions are. @};- The monitoring droid seems almost sympathetic. [face_thinking]

    As for what happens eventually ... I just know the mush is gonna be stel-lar! [face_batting]
     
  18. Briannakin

    Briannakin Grand Moff Darth Fanfic & Costuming/Props Manager star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Feb 25, 2010
    I already read this over on AO3, BUT THIS IS STILL SO VERY EVIL! Having "Luke" attack her in her nightmares is just chilling. Also, I am so very glad that this is canon and that Jaina got Jacen's jerk-butt.

    I like the added last scene and how you get into the med-droid's "head".

    Make this better soon, please???
     
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  19. Annia Piet

    Annia Piet Jedi Knight star 2

    Registered:
    Feb 7, 2015
    Five years of enforced nightmares!? Harsh! I do like your evil mind though... :)
     
  20. JadeLotus

    JadeLotus Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 27, 2005
    *shakes fist at Jacen*

    Poor Mara - no escape from her nightmares.
     
  21. earlybird-obi-wan

    earlybird-obi-wan Chosen One star 6

    Registered:
    Aug 21, 2006
    Hmmm a droid with ideas?
    Jacen is the big evil
     
  22. Onderon1

    Onderon1 Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 18, 2008
    I just wanted to say - as awful as the situation is for Mara, this is a far more menacing Darth Caedus than we had in Legends canon.

    There's a commitment to his malice that was, IMHO, frequently lacking in canon!Caedus' Sithly career (no matter how twisted he got - and he became quite twisted - there was more a sense that he was putting on a show to hide a goal nobody every quite explained, not even in FOTJ).

    This Caedus, OHOH, is avoiding the frequent "MWHAHAHAHA!!!" that so many Sith (or even "just" dark-siders) fall into, and instead owning his horrible behavior while not craving it like some twisted junkie. It's in service to his goals - it's controlled, instead of controlling him, and that makes it all the worse, because he's actively choosing this. :(

    Well-written, and thought-provoking, stuff indeed. =D=

    - Onderon1
     
  23. Irish_Jedi_Jade

    Irish_Jedi_Jade Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jul 19, 2007
    Ahhhh thanks lady!!! Haha, I guess I didn't know I had it in me! But I promise that the payoff will be toe-curling! [face_love]

    Thanks friend!!! You know I was going for evil, so I'm glad I delivered!!! I'll make it better, I promise!

    I know....So awful!! [face_devil] This story makes me wonder about myself sometimes...;) Thanks for coming along!

    He is a jerk!!!! [face_beatup] No worries...the worst is over.



    Jacen is nobody's favorite. [face_phbbbbt] And I think the droid is more of a...dispassionate outsider. He isn't compassionate, but intellectually empathetic.

    Wow, thank you for the feedback! [:D] I'm glad that what was in my head is making it out, because that was totally what I was going for! I'll admit, I couldn't bear to read the whole series--I got about 2 books in and couldn't stand it. So I hope my Cadus isn't too far from what could be.


    Thank you for reading everyone!!!! Next chapter coming up!!!! It's going to be looking up now O:)
     
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  24. Irish_Jedi_Jade

    Irish_Jedi_Jade Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jul 19, 2007
    Chapter 4
    A/N: SHE LIVES!!!!!! [face_love][face_party][:D]




    Mara jolted awake with a gasp.

    The first thing she felt was pain. Her right leg felt like it was on fire, broken and screaming.

    The second thing she felt was relief. The nightmares were over. She didn’t know how long she had been in stasis, but it felt like an eternity…and that eternity was over.

    The 2B droid’s metallic face appeared above her and she reached out with the Force to hurl him away…but nothing happened. She tried again, pushing with all her strength…with no result.

    Disorientation pulled at her, and she fell back into the stasis pod’s moulded interior. Part of her wanted to just fall asleep, and sleep this time without dreaming. The other part of her wanted to be free…and that part of her won.

    Her fingers felt shakily along the seam of the pod’s clear cover, until she felt the locking mechanism. The cover had warped just enough that she could feel the pieces, and she pushed against what she hoped was the tumbler.

    She was rewarded with a click and a soft hiss as the pod cover released. The 2B helped her from the pod, and she cried out as she put weight on her leg. It helped her to sit on the table, and then turned away, shuffling towards the door. Mara picked up the blaster sitting on the table, and squeezed the trigger.

    The 2B’s head exploded in a flash of light and burned circuitry. She tried to fire a second shot, but the blaster seemed to gasp and beeped at her a low-power tone.

    Mara breathed what seemed like the first deep breath since waking up. The logical part of her brain told her the the 2B had only been acting in accordance with the programming Jacen had loaded into it. But that part of her brain was not what was cheering now, seeing the only other willing party to all the torture she had endured no longer functioning.

    Looking around the room, she tried to push away the fear that shook her as she saw the maze, her mind flashing back to writhing against it helplessly. Taking another deep breath, she took stock of her situation.

    Physically, she felt exactly like she would have expected. Jacen had told her that she wouldn’t heal, wouldn’t change…and judging by the pain slowly overcoming the surge of adrenaline that had filled her when she woke up, she decided he hadn’t been lying. A quick glance in the mirror showed that she looked about as horrible as she felt.

    The room looked the same as it had before she had been put under, except for the sizable chunk of rock that had fallen from the ceiling and lay on the stasis pod. There has to be a generator somewhere…otherwise there wouldn’t be power, atmosphere. That’s where I’d put any communications. She climbed down from the table and crawled, painfully across the floor, trying to avoid putting any weight on her lower leg.

    She crawled through the room with the table and two chairs, and through the adjacent door, and found what she was looking for. There was a generator, an atmosphere unit, and—almost like an afterthought—a comm unit.

    Relief washed over Mara as she saw it and made her way to it. Pulling herself up, she leaned against the wall as she tapped the keys…and her heart sank. The comm system had limited range, probably only able to broadcast on intra-system frequencies. There was a pulse beacon that was transmitting…but as she looked at the technical specifications of the signal, she realized she had no way to decrypt it with the tools she had on hand. But then her eyes landed on the date at the upper left of the screen and she clutched the edge of the unit as she began to tremble.

    Five years. She had been gone for five years.

    A long moment later, she forced herself to focus on the task at hand...so she did what she could for the moment. She keyed a standard S-O-S on all the frequencies she could access…and sank to the floor. Her last thought before the combination of pain and exhaustion dragged her under was a prayer that someone would find her…wherever she was.


    ~//~


    Double checking the seal, Kyte pushed open the hatch and began to pull his way through the docking umbilical. He reached the small hatch and pulled it open, shutting it behind him and pressing the environmental system to cycle. Atmosphere flooded the tiny chamber, and he checked his arm sensors.

    “Looks like atmosphere is good. I’m heading in now.” The standard two-click acknowledgement came back from his shipmates, and he cycled the next lock.

    He came into the room with the table and chairs. He headed towards the right door, and stopped when he saw what was in the room.

    “Ummm…you guys seeing this?” He moved his head back and forth so that the camera in his helmet could transmit what he was seeing.

    “Yeah.” Varn’s voice came back slightly wobbly, and Kyte coughed as nausea threatened to overtake him as he surveyed the room. “Don’t see anyone there. Looks like the life reading is to the left of you.”

    “Heading there now.” Taking one last look, Kyte noticed something. “Hey, you see those things up there? What are they?” There was silence on the other end, and a new voice answered.

    “Those are Yslamiri. I hauled them off some once. Nasty little things.” Dram sounded contemplative. “But the only reason they’re a hot commodity is because they block the Force. You might have a Jedi there.”

    “Huh.” Kyte shut the door as he turned away. “Well…we’ll see if their magical powers are what they’re cracked up to be. Moving to the left as Varn had instructed, he headed towards the other door.

    On the floor was a woman, huddled against the wall and the generator. Her right leg looked like it had been crushed and she was riddled with scars and bruises, blood seeping from several cuts.

    “Tarkin’s teeth! Varn, Dram get in here, she needs help!!!!”
     
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  25. Briannakin

    Briannakin Grand Moff Darth Fanfic & Costuming/Props Manager star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Feb 25, 2010
    OHHHHH! I can not wait for the next part!!!!!! (even though I have already read it[face_whistling])

    I love how Mara just goes into "Hand-mode". She knows what she can do and just does it.