Title: True Blue Author: Divapilot Characters: OCs, Kyp Durron, Kirana Ti, Luke Skywalker, Mara Jade Skywalker, Han Solo, Leia Organa Solo Time frame: NJO Rating: PG Summary: Amid the chaos of a post-Yuuzhan Vong galaxy, a young woman yearns to define herself. Genre: adventure; romance Notes: Written for the Mod Dare Challenge. My challenge, from Nyota’s Heart, is as follows: ”Write up an NJO-timeframe piece which can be expanded into a longer thingy past the challenge parameters involving 1. An earlier invasion. 2. A less destructive force, i.e., a smaller one that is more proactively/constructively handled by the NR government and the Jedi. That is to say, it can still be challenging but they’re not as much standing around going “huh”? and tangled up with infighting. Include Kyp Durron paired with Kirana Ti as a romantic pairing. Have Han and Leia have 4 kids, the fourth being an OC, can be male or female. Jaina and Jacen can be twins or not. Luke and Mara are married and she doesn’t get that blooming illness so she can kick Anor’s butt from here to Canada!” My OCs, Mickey's action figures, The Maker's sandbox. Thank you, Ginchy, for your support and help with this story. Spoiler: links to related fics [link=http://boards.theforce.net/threads/...ution-winter-challenge-response.50026484/]All I Have to Give[/link] - takes place between ch 9 and 10 of this story. [link=http://boards.theforce.net/threads/...complete-authors-thanks-1-18-16.50026135/]The God of Second Chances[/link] - takes place three years after the completion of this story. [Winner: 2014 Fan Fiction Awards - Beyond, Best Original Character (Bree Solo); Best Original Relationship (Bree & Blue)] *** True Blue *** The crowded transport lurched suddenly, and the girl grabbed the nearby handrail to steady herself. Around her, various beings – some in families, most alone – jostled and resettled themselves as the craft began its descent into the atmosphere of Irylia. The small, nondescript planet, a former Imperial shipyard, had become a makeshift interchange station for the hundreds of vessels that had frantically evaded the Vong invasion; its existing infrastructure reconfigured to service roughshod private vessels instead of the elegant destroyers and cruisers of the Emperor’s days. Thousands of people crossed the utilitarian durasteel floors every day. She was sure she would not be noticed among them. The transport landed clumsily, slid into docking position, and shuddered to a halt. With a creak and a gasp, the transport doors slowly opened. The girl took her single bag and slung it across her brown jacket. She was nineteen years old, but she carried herself with confidence beyond her years. That was not uncommon in the post-invasion galaxy. Those who had survived had endured a lifetime of trauma and loss, and the girl was not immune to this. She surreptitiously looked at the news screens to see if there were any broadcasts that she needed to note. Satisfied that the holonews agencies were, as usual, not reporting anything of merit, she pulled her hood forward and, head down, edged her way towards the security station. To her quiet relief, a quick scan of her forged documents triggered no alarms. She tucked the identicard back in her bag and entered the chilly rain of the street level. Smells assailed her – the oily mechanics of the spaceport, rough scents of the beings who walked past, the faint grease of something cooking nearby. Above, speeders interlaced in their assigned lanes, creating a checkerboard of the sky. She paused to get her bearings, and in that moment, a passerby bumped into her, and she stumbled onto the street just as a landspeeder tore around the corner. The driver, a Devaronian man, shrieked at the girl as the vehicle came dangerously close to her. The girl instinctively put her hands out against the vehicle, and was rewarded with a sharp crack and a painful impact to her wrist. Grimacing in pain, she held the injured wrist close to her chest. She blinked furiously through the downpour and spun around, cursing the Devaronian as he careened down the narrow road. The girl hunched over in pain and disbelief that one random moment could be so disastrous. No, she thought, I don’t have the slightest danger sense at all. The wrist was already swelling and she gritted her teeth against the pain. She hadn’t planned on what to do if she had an injury. Think, think. There had to be a medic somewhere. Holding her tracker precariously in her one good hand, she scanned it through eyes wet with rain and held-back tears. There was a healer’s office a short walk away. But could she risk it? A cursory scan of her would surely reveal the lie that her identicard told – and reveal where she was. There had to be a second plan. Where else could she get medical help without arousing suspicions? She raised her head and peered through the rain at the ships docked at the loading bay. She hadn’t planned on returning to open space so very soon, but circumstances called for improvisation. Her father had told her tales of his quick escapes by hiding in plain sight or by fading into those things that people took for granted. Here, that meant blending in with the ships. With this in mind, she made her way to the larger of the two vessels docked at Bay 34. Big ships needed big crews, she reasoned, and she was a competent worker. Where there were ships, there were workers, and where there were workers there would be an infirmary. She could put in her time, then as soon as she could get this bone knitted, she could be on her way. Boxes and crates of all types were being loaded onto the cargo transfer droid as she neared the rear of the ship. A human man was checking the cargo and motioning to the droids, indicating where they should stow the items. She ducked under the shelter of an awning and approached him with what she hoped was a confident, unhurried air. “I’m looking for a job,” she announced. The man looked up from his clipboard, annoyed at the interruption. “Don’t got any work available.” “Come on, you have something. I’m a good mechanic. I used to help my dad keep his old piece of junk flying all the time.” “Hold on.” The man strode over to the cargo droid and began to yell at it in Huttese. The girl followed him, persistent. “You won’t be sorry,” she called after him. “I swear, I can fix anything. I can be really useful.” The man turned back to her. “Look, kid, there isn’t any work here for you, and don’t think I don’t see you’re hurt. If you’re looking for any kind of work and you can’t even move your arm, then you’re running from something and we don’t need no more trouble than we already got.” He switched off his device and pointed to the opposite side of the street with his stylus. “You gotta go. I hope you get something, kid, but it ain’t gonna be here.” The girl sighed, nodded slowly, then turned to leave, heading in the direction the man had indicated. Her wrist was swelling worse and the pain began radiating up her arm. All right, maybe it was time for a third plan. She glanced through the gray murk of the rain and spotted a group of people, mostly human, beginning to assemble near the passenger entrance of the docking bay. The girl moved toward the back of the crowd, in the relative dryness of an overhang. She pulled off her the damp hood of her jacket with her good hand and sat and waited. Eventually the group grew to about sixty people, of all ages and species. They were clearly exhausted and hungry; tired refugees from all over the galaxy, thrown together by chance at this bay on their next step to a settlement. A bell chimed and the sodden group picked up what few belongings they still had and began to shuffle toward the entrance. The girl pulled her hood back on and quietly slipped in among them. She slowly moved along with the crowd, glancing to either side of her to see any reactions of those around her, but they were preoccupied with their own affairs. With growing despair she realized that each person was holding a passcard -- their boarding ticket. Just a small green pass that she didn’t have. The girl began to formulate some way she could talk her way past the ticket taker. As long as there was an actual person and not some stuffy protocol droid, she might be able to charm him or her into letting her on board. Her hopes dimmed when she saw the droid at the entrance. One after another, the passengers presented their green passcards for the droid’s approval. She was actually considering hiding behind one of the larger beings when she felt a hand at her elbow. Turning sharply toward her right at the intrusion, she saw a young human glance conspiratorially at her from under his rain-soaked hood. “Hang on,” he said quietly. They reached the front of the line. The droid turned to the man, who raised his passcard for scanning. His was similar to the others’ except for a black stripe on the bottom. “Welcome aboard, Doc,” the droid said. “Your quarters are ready for you.” “Thanks, Entoo-ell,” he said. Gesturing to the girl, he continued. “This is my patient. She’s with me.” The droid turned to her. “Welcome aboard, Patient of Doc.” The droid inserted the man’s passcard into a reader and returned it. The man pocketed the passcard, then smiled at her reassuringly and escorted her into the narrow corridor. She leaned back against the wall, relief rippling off of her, grateful to be out of the rain and on the move again. Her wrist throbbed with pain. He cautiously steered her toward the rear of the ship, navigating through numbed refugees and their wailing children. “The way I figure, there’s never an accurate count on these refugee transfer ships. What’s one more person aboard?” He raised an eyebrow and gestured toward her arm. “You really should get that taken care of.” The girl smiled weakly. “Know any good healers?” A steady line of passengers shuffled past them, pushing their way down the hallway. Each passenger who bumped into her shot a spark of pain ripping up her arm, and she cringed despite her best effort to maintain a stoic appearance. He grew serious. “I’ll be by to check in on the passengers in about half an hour. I can take care of it then. Can you hang on that long?” He reached up and pulled the hood off his head, revealing a delicate set of tattoos on his forehead and long, straight blue hair that fell in damp rivulets down his back. The girl nodded. “Yes, that would be great. Thank you, Doc,” she said. He laughed quietly and shook his head. “Not doc yet. Just a medical student. But I’m hoping to finish my training when everything gets stabilized and I can go back home to Baroli. Everyone here just calls me Blue.” “Well then, thank you, Blue,” she said, a small smile tracing her lips. She could not help but notice how his dark indigo eyes shone when he smiled. Hastily, as if to change the subject, he pointed down the corridor. “So, um, you can find a place to sleep down there if you don’t mind sharing with someone. There are some basic supplies; blankets, cleaning cloths, that sort of thing.” She had turned to go when she heard him calling behind her. “You got a name, Patient of Doc?” She turned around again to see him standing in the corridor, watching her, his arms folded across his black jacket and head tilted inquisitively to one side. “Bree,” she called back. Then she quickly turned around to continue her search for an open area to settle in. She realized with a start that she hadn’t told him the name printed on her false identicard – and although Bree wasn’t her actual name it was close enough. Close enough to the name she sought to escape, the name that chained her to a world of responsibilities and expectations that she had never had a choice about accepting. She was determined that for once in her life she was going to stand on her own two feet and do things her way. She had made it this far, and once she got this medical help, she would be on her way again. She would succeed or fail based on her skills and merits alone. She was not going to shoulder the burden of being Breha Amidala Solo, missing daughter of Rebel hero Han Solo and the former Princess Leia of Alderaan, anymore.