main
side
curve
  1. Welcome to the new boards! Details here!

Beyond - Legends Whilst you Slumber - update 20th April (L/M ‘Back from the Dead’ challenge)

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by Annia Piet, Mar 15, 2016.

  1. Annia Piet

    Annia Piet Jedi Knight star 2

    Registered:
    Feb 7, 2015
    This is my response to the Luke and Mara 'Back from the Dead' challenge.

    The rules of this challenge were as follows:
    1. The fic can be any genre (romance, fluff, horror, angst) and any length (there is no due date)2. The fic must remain Legends canon-compatible, meaning Sacrifice, the rest of LOTF, FOTJ and Crucible (as horrible as it was) must have happened (though having read them isn’t required). So the fic must take place post-45 ABY (if the events were not dreamt)3. You must return Mara back from the dead in some way.4. You must also include (at least) one of these phrases (or a slightly edited version)- “Yes, yes, yes. Mara Jade Skywalker: back from the dead”- “What happens when ‘till death” is merely a technicality?”- “So, does this make you a zombie? Are you suddenly craving brains?”- “Mara Jade was never one for resting in peace.”- “Because I could not stop for Death, he kindly stopped for me, so I punched him in the face.”

    So, I’m not entirely sure where this will go as yet (this is the first fic I’ve done where I don’t already know the beginning middle and end before I start. So I’ve no idea how this will go…). I’ve fancied doing a post-TFA ‘squash Mara into the new canon’ fic for a while now, but that’s already been done so well by others, so this is my excuse for a rather different take on why Mara isn’t around ;)

    I should also add that I have not read further than the New Jedi Order, although I am broadly aware of subsequent events, but please forgive me if I accidentally break Legends canon through not knowing specific details!

    The first section, in italics, is from The Force Awakens novelisation by Alan Dean Foster, from his version of Rey’s vision, which is notably a bit different from the one in the film.

    Whilst you slumber

    Chapter 1

    ‘Around her now: barren, snowy woods, the sounds of unknown forest creatures, and a conviction she must be losing her mind. Once more she climbed to her feet, her chilled breath preceding her. From in front of her, not far away, came the sounds of battle: the cries of the wounded and the clashing of weapons. Then behind her, anther voice.

    That voice.

    “Stay here. I’ll come back for you.”

    She whirled, glazed eyes desperately scanning the dark gaps between the slender trees, trying to penetrate the darkness.

    “Where are you?” She started running toward the voice.

    “I’ll come back, sweetheart. I promise.”

    “I’m here! Right here! Where are you?”

    No response. She started forward again, running, only to be brought to a sudden halt by a figure appearing without warning from behind a tree.

    She screamed, and screamed again, and fell backward, sitting down hard in –‘

    ***

    Mara’s eyes jerked open in alarm at the pain. Beneath her, the damp chill of slowly melting snow. Above her were the dark shadows of barren trees against a clear night sky beyond, and the silhouette of a head and shoulders. She winced against the pain, squinting to try and make everything come into focus, see if the person was an assailant…

    “Mara!” A familiar voice came from the shape, and a hand roughly took her shoulder to shake it. She bit back a cry of pain. “Mara! Get up! We’ve got to move!” The voice filtered through as consciousness fully returned and she rapidly pieced together where she was and why. Corran’s voice. They were in battle, fighting the Knights of Ren. Trying to flee their latest hiding place. Rey! She suddenly recalled her daughter, out there alone in the snow. She started to pull herself up. “Rey!” she gasped out. “We’ve got to get back to Rey!”

    Corran shook his head, even as he grasped her hand to pull her up. “I’m sorry Mara. I saw him… I saw him take her. Be… Ren. He must have found her, out there in the snow. I couldn’t get to her in time. He went to his ship and… and took off.”

    “He took her?” Mara felt her guts twist in turmoil. For him not to have just outright killed his old master’s daughter – it was inconceivable. But the idea of that monster having her daughter in his clutches, what he might do to her, how he might twist her…

    Corran looked at her with compassion in his eyes. “You know what Luke would say. Maybe there is still good in him…” his voice trailed off with a lack of conviction. Then he looked back up at her with determination. “Take the Fire, Mara. Go after them, now. You might still have a chance to catch him, or at least track where he’s going.”

    She could sense he wasn’t coming with her. “But what about you? It’s the last ship, you’ll have no way to get out.”

    The Jedi glanced out into the woods, then looked back at her with haunted eyes. “Booster’s out there somewhere. He drew a bunch of them off so that Mirax could get away. I need to go find him – or my wife will never forgive me.”

    Mara nodded, suspecting it was more that he would never forgive himself. “I’ll come back for you,” she blurted, wondering if it would be the second time she broke that promise today. Then she turned and started running through the snow in the direction of her ship. She glanced back just once, to see the silhouette of one of the last of the new Jedi heading back out into the forest, silver lightsaber drawn.

    ***

    Strapped into the cockpit of the Jade’s Fire, Mara guided her ship out of the atmosphere, observing the fires and devastation of the battle below. The last outpost of the last of the Jedi, now gone. Now there would be no way for Luke to find them again, when he came back to discover what had happened. No way for him to know exactly what had happened to them, that she had lost their daughter into his nephew’s clutches. No-one even to warn, to leave a message with, without risking everything Leia was working for.

    She shifted uncomfortably in her seat, aware of the bacta patch Corran must have strapped to her side while she was unconscious. She tried to call on the Force to soothe the pain, but her heart was too full of turmoil and pain to focus enough for that. The ship broke atmosphere, out into the star spotted darkness, and she scanned the sky visually for signs of ships while flicking on the ships own scanners. She squinted against the strange light that came from the odd local space phenomena – a strange whirl of gaseous clouds that moved and glowed of apparently it’s own accord. No one had ever been able to explain the phenomenon, but one of it’s lesser known effects was that disrupted the flow of the Force – making it the perfect place to hide a group of Force sensitives.

    No sign of anything by sight, but her ships advanced scanners were able to pick up the hyperspace signature of a recently departed ship. At least, they highlighted something, but the direction wasn’t clear. She would need to get closer to the trail, but that meant getting closer to the phenomenon, which seemed to be disrupting her readers.

    She kicked in the sublight engines to approach it tentatively, trying to reach out with the Force as the scanners ran their cycles in the hopes of picking up some sense or intention behind where Ben planned to go next. The ship started to be buffeted by the flows of the phenomena, a strange thing to feel in space, and simultaneously Mara found her Force sense buffeted, psychically knocking her mind to and fro. She found herself drawn into a Force vision, strange images of places and people both familiar and unknown flowing before her eyes.

    A fortress, shaped like a hand, reaching up into the sky. Herself, floating as though lifeless in a body of water. The Jade’s Fire flying towards its doom in some great sacrifice.

    “You mean if we get out of here alive?”

    “I mean regardless.”

    Ben’s face; but when he was so much younger, so much more innocent… but beside him – a sister? A twin sister? It was impossible. And there beyond, a younger brother.

    Strange twisted ships full of twisted aliens. Sickness and pain, growing within her. Tears – tears born of that pain, and tears that healed. The destruction of worlds, once so familiar, now never the same again. Myrkr – where she first met Luke! – but twisted now, even more horrific versions of vornskrs hunting that younger brother, now on the cusp of manhood.

    She saw him struck down. She saw Luke weep for his mistakes.

    And in amongst it all, the face of a baby – so familiar! Rey! Her little Rey! But no… the planes of that face were so familiar, but instead there was red hair and blue eyes. She held the baby close, knowing it was hers even as she didn’t know its name.

    Time sped up. Peace and joy came, for a while. There was Luke, always, her guiding star. They became older, their child grew, edging towards manhood as that lost Solo brother once had. Darkness started to fall on the galaxy again. And again it was him – him! Ben Solo. She faced him… and she fell…

    Mara jerked out of the vision abruptly. All around her swirled the colours of the phenomenon – she was deep inside it! Glancing at the chrono, she saw that almost an hour had passed. She had to get out of here, the readings of Ben’s ship would be lost, she wouldn’t be able to find her daughter… Rey! Desperation seized her.

    She grasped the joystick and urgently tried to get control of the Fire once again, fighting against the unnatural buffeting to dive the ship back out of the cloud of swirling colours. Finally the ship burst out of the maelstrom into the thankful black of space –

    And imminent impact with an enormous, bright red, ancient star destroyer.

    ***

    “What do you mean, the Jade’s Fire just crashed into you?!”

    The one thing that Talon Karrde had always deeply, secretly, feared the most was losing his mental capacity. Now as the years pressed on, that fear came more to mind more often, as he started to forget odd details here and there, and fail to make certain connections.

    At this particular moment, he was wondering whether his mental abilities had finally come crashing dramatically down around him. Or Booster’s had. Or if Booster was playing some particularly ill-judged prank. But his old friend looked deadly serious.

    “I’m not joking, Karrde. You need to get out here. It’s the Fire alright – or as damned close a copy as is possible. And there’s a woman on board. She’s unconscious right now but… well, I think you should be here when she wakes up.”
     
    Kahara likes this.
  2. Irish_Jedi_Jade

    Irish_Jedi_Jade Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jul 19, 2007
    *snags first post*

    I LOVE this!!!!!!! Hmmmmm....I feel like now I need to read TFA book!

    Mara and Corran were always like my favorite pair (not couple, but just like...work buddies). With his background in CorSec, and her as the Hand, I felt like they were very similar and both had a refreshing view on the Force and the galaxy. Anyways, I love the exchange of Mirax never forgiving him for not finding Booster--HAH! :p That's why I love Mirax!

    I like how you wove the events together here, and I'm super excited to see where you go with it!! Also (this might be silly) but I think my favorite part was Karrde's fear of losing his mind. I can totally see that *actually* being something he'd fear, and it cracks me up! [face_rofl]

    Can't wait for more!!
     
    Nyota's Heart and Annia Piet like this.
  3. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Bravo - bravo Annia! So plausible and so riveting!!! =D= Oh yes, I do love merging of TFA with Legends no matter how it's done!!! :cool: :cool:
     
    Annia Piet likes this.
  4. divapilot

    divapilot Force Ghost star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 30, 2005
    Very cool! I guess she's the one to find Booster, huh.
    I love the idea of Mara being Rey's mom. It's an alternate reality for both of them.o_O
     
    Annia Piet and Nyota's Heart like this.
  5. Briannakin

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

    Registered:
    Feb 25, 2010
    AHAHHAHAHA! I think this is the first I've seen of a Legends character in the New-Canon going back to the Legends-verse! I love the premise and I can't wait to see where this goes. Also, I love this bit:

    Karrde is getting old :p
     
  6. JadeLotus

    JadeLotus Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 27, 2005
    Wow, I LOVE the idea of a TFA-universe Mara being sucked into Legends, and can't wait to see where you go with this.
     
    Annia Piet and Nyota's Heart like this.
  7. Annia Piet

    Annia Piet Jedi Knight star 2

    Registered:
    Feb 7, 2015
    Thanks folks! I have plot bunnies for this coming out of my ears now and need to get them into order. In particular Old!Karrde and old!Booster are trying to run off with the plot. In my head they're kind of a bit like this at this point;

    [​IMG]

    They're old and grumpy and want to steal Mara for themselves in a 'well you Jedi didn't look after her very well' kinda way, but I need to get her off to Luke somehow!
     
  8. Annia Piet

    Annia Piet Jedi Knight star 2

    Registered:
    Feb 7, 2015
    I feel I should mention before I go any further that I'll be playing with some ideas about the nu-canon universe which I find amusing, but they're not necessarily what I actually think is going to emerge in canon!

    Also I'd again like to emphasise that I haven't read any of the books after the end of NJO, so my knowledge of where Legends characters is based only on Wookiepedia and fan discussions, so it's entirely possible I'll accidentally make references that don't fit with Legends canon or people may be OOC purely by accident! If I go too far off piste, let me know - or treat it as a Legends AU if you like :)

    Chapter 2

    Karrde stared down at the familiar features of the woman in the med bay and felt like he’d stepped back in time. She looked so young, as youthful as they day that he’d given her away at her wedding. And at the same time let her go from his employ into the life of a Jedi, which had led to her death. That old pain twisted inside him.

    But this woman couldn’t be her, couldn’t be his dear old friend. She was long gone now, and this woman was far too young. To all intents she seemed identical, even down to that familiar red-gold hair, but there was no sign of the streaks of grey that had been emerging the last time he had seen his friend. Too young.

    So who could she be, to be so similar? Perhaps some relative, finally turned up to reveal Mara’s own origins, far too late to allow any healing for that ancient harm. Or maybe a clone. Karrde felt anger rise. Yes. The Fire had been lost on Nirauan, where Mara and Skywalker had found cloning technology in use. Someone there must have got a sample, cloned her, put together a replica of her ship and…

    He shook his head. Age was definitely taking its toll. What would be the point of such a scheme?

    The door to the Errant Venture’s med bay slid open and Booster Terrik hobbled in, leaning heavily on his stick. The man had always had a big frame, but with old age that had brought it’s own problems, and all the medical fixes money can buy didn’t prevent the need for a little extra help to get about.
    “Medics have given her the all clear,” he said gruffly to Karrde. “We can bring her out of the induced coma whenever you’re ready.”

    Karrde grunted and carried on staring at her face, wondering whether he would ever be ready. While she was still lying there like this, he could wallow in the fantasy that his old friend had somehow come back. Once they woke her, the undoubtedly mundane truth would emerge.

    But that old driving curiosity niggled at him and surfaced. The memory returned of a woman of whom he had once been so desperate to learn the secrets of her past. So long ago now. But part of him had not changed. Information, secrets, still called to him, like the breath of his youth.

    “Let’s do it,” his cracked old voice exhaled.

    Booster signaled to the med droid, which hovered over and began flicking switches on the life support and drug delivery system next to her. On a whim, Karrde grasped her smooth young hand in his ancient worn one, for some reason wanting her to have something to hold onto as she emerged from her slumber.

    Ginger eyelashes flickered falteringly, and the eyes opened tentatively, squinting against the light of the bay. Shards of green emerged between the slits of lids and opened up into familiar orbs. Eyes he had never dreamed to see again…

    “Lor,” she croaked out through dry lips. Karrde dropped her hand in shock, as though burned. “Dang, but how are you so old?”

    “My name is Talon Karrde,” he replied as firmly as he could, wondering if Booster had picked up on that first word she had uttered. “You are on the Errant Venture.”

    She frowned with confusion. “You haven’t gone by that pseudonym for a long, long time, Lor.”

    Karrde felt dizzy with shock, and gripped at the side of the bed to keep himself upright. He needed to get back control of this situation. “May I… may I ask you your name, young lady?”

    She squinted up at him. “I’m Mara. Mara Jade. What in all the hells is going on?”

    ***

    “I need to find Ben.” Mara sat perched on the side of the bed, being prodded and inspected by the med droid to make sure all functioning had fully returned.

    “I’m sure we can arrange that,” Karrde said gently. The woman seemed quite agitated. “But I think we need to understand a little more about who exactly you are and where you’ve come from.”

    The woman gave him a very familiar, scathing ‘have you gone mad?’ glance. “I’m Mara. How many times do I have to say it, Lor?”

    Karrde glanced surreptitiously over at Booster, who was discussing something with a member of his crew. “Please stop using that name. I haven’t used it for more than… sixty years now. I’ve been Talon Karrde far longer than I ever was him.” It was true. It was a very long time since he’d even thought of himself as anything but Karrde.

    She cocked her head, eyes narrowing. “You went back to it when you became a follower of the Force.”

    “A what?” He shook his head. “That doesn’t sound like me.” He turned his head toward Booster approaching them. He shot a quick warning glance at the woman, and she gave a small nod of understanding.

    “So it seems you have a rather different recollection of recent history to us. May I ask how old you are?”

    “I’m thirty seven standard years old, give or take.” She looked at them both in an appraising fashion. “I should more be asking how old you two are, as I saw you Booster just a few days ago, and you did not look like this. In fact – what year is this?”

    “It is forty five years after the battle of Yavin, young lady,” Booster said gruffly.

    “What?” the woman exclaimed with alarm. “No, that can’t be, that’s impossible!”

    Karrde remembered back to when Mara had turned 37. It had been an important year for her, for all of them, when everything changed. “You think it’s nineteen after Yavin, don’t you?”

    “Yes. This is terrible! I… I can’t be here. I have to find Ben!” She started getting up and looking around her, obviously looking for clothes, fumbling with the ties of her medical robe. Karrde put a hand on her shoulder to try and calm her.

    “Before we try and do anything, we really need to work out exactly what’s going on. Booster, what did your people find out?”

    Booster shifted, moving his stick from one hand to another. “A fair bit. But can we go and sit first? I suspect this may be a long conversation.” The old man guided them over to a small arrangement of consulting chairs in the corner of the bay. He settled down into one of the seats with a sigh of satisfaction, and while Karrde did better at hiding it, it was somewhat of a relief to him too. At his age better to be sitting if any more shocks were to come.

    “So, young lady – “

    “Mara,” she interjected irritably.

    Booster just nodded. “You may not recall clearly now. I was scouting out this phenomena, ostensibly to see if it held any gas mining potential.” He lowered his voice. “But in truth, it was because Jysella asked me too. Practically begged. I thought it was probably just… Well. But I just can’t say no to her on something like this these days, not with the way she is…” Karrde gave his old friend a sympathetic look. Damned Jedi, ended up hurting everything they touched. “So here we were, loitering around it, running a few scans, and abruptly a ship – of which we had seen now sign of in the area in the hours we’d been there – burst out of the phenomenon and straight towards our hull! Luckily you must have pulled up in time, as you mainly skidded across the hull and out the other side! Left some pretty bad damage to both our ships, I can tell you.” He paused and looked speculatively at Karrde. “Hey, if she’s from 19 ABY, doesn’t that mean she’s still your employee? So repairing this is on you!”

    Karrde spluttered. “It’s 45 ABY here, so I don’t think…”

    “I don’t work for Karrde anymore,” the woman interjected. “Not for a long time. I’m a Jedi.”

    Both old men turned and stared at her, blinking owlishly. After a few long moments, Booster shrugged. “Oh well, worth a try, I suppose.

    “Anyway, we scrambled a rescue crew and went out and picked up your ship and rushed you here to the med bay. You were unconscious and pretty bashed up from the collision… but you also already had some injuries, before that, didn’t you? Been in some kind of recent battle?”

    She just nodded, clearly not wanting to discuss it.

    “Well, we fixed you up good. Meantime, my people have been looking at our scans of this phenomena. I didn’t quite understand everything they said, to be honest – all a bit too hypothetical physics for me. I’m a man of solid realities and hard cash, let’s be honest. But they think the phenomena may have the effect of twisting reality in some way.”

    “So time travel?”

    “Yes, something like that.”

    “So I have to go back in. Get back to my time!”

    Booster looked uneasy, and Karrde had a feeling he knew what was coming.

    “It’s not that simple. There’s no way of knowing whether it would take you back to where you started. It might just spring you even further forward in time.”

    She looked determined. “I have to try. Even if I end up in the wrong time again, I won’t be in any worse position than I am now!"

    “I really don’t think that’s a good idea, Mara. It could be dangerous as well.”

    “Karrde, I have to find Ben.” There was something very urgent to her tone.

    “Has… has something bad happened to him? Where you’re from?” Karrde almost didn’t want to know.

    “Yes. Yes, very bad indeed.” She had a look to her eye that suggested some kind of emotional shell shock, like she couldn’t believe it. Clearly something had gone very wrong back in her time frame. And this woman had always been one to take action.

    Karrde sighed. “Very well, Mara,” he said, finally accepting who she was. “We’ll help you to get back.”

    ***

    Mara had just pulled her trousers and a vest on when the door comm twittered. “Come,” she said towards it.

    The door slid open, and the old man who called himself Karrde came in. Mara turned back to her pile of clothes and equipment, not wanting to examine what age had done to her old friend.

    “The repairs to the Fire are going well,” he said. “And there seems no problem with the hyperdrive. Booster is organising a good array of supplies to be put on board – yours seemed surprisingly depleted.”

    Mara grunted. “Hard times.” She attached her worn wrist holster and then pulled her brown robe over her shoulders and clinched it with a wide belt. Once in place she took her tiny blaster and fixed it in place under the wide arm of the short robe. Then she frowned down at her pile of personal belongings before glancing up at Karrde. “Where’s my lightsaber?”

    “That’s everything you had on you – apart from the vest, that was too damaged to retain, I understand. There was no lightsaber.”

    She frowned, thinking back. When she got up from the snow… had she picked up her lightsaber? She couldn’t remember doing so. She had assumed it was back on her belt, but in the rush of the moment hadn’t checked. It must have fallen from her hand in battle, when she was injured. She cursed under her breath at her sloppiness. It probably still lay there now, under growing layers of snow. The chances of anyone finding it again… although eventually Maz would arrive with a supply run and discover what had happened. Maybe she, with her talent for finding things, would somehow pick it up. Maybe she would be able to get it back to Luke, who had given it to her…

    She sighed. There was nothing to be done about it now. She would have to make a new one. Luke had been on at her to do that for years. But that lightsaber had been special. She’d never allowed herself to feel sentimental about objects, but the loss of this one stung. Luke had given it to her. It had been the start of… everything. Luke…

    She shook her head. She needed to focus on finding Ben Solo and her daughter. She turned to the old man with her friend’s aged face. “So am I good to go?”

    “Any time now.”

    “In that case I’ll head down to the Fire and starting checking her over.”

    “Of course. Come this way.”

    ***

    The Jade’s Fire swooped around in a wide oval before slowing to take up position before the many coloured gaseous mists of the phenomenon. She checked over her readings once more while she waited for the Errant Venture to finish getting well out of range. She watched the enormous ship as it completed its maneuver. The star destroyer was ancient now, showing many signs of the wear and tear of the years. Its famous red colouring was now fading, and now gave more the impression of a pinkish hue. Mara smiled to herself briefly, wondering how the Booster she knew would respond to the idea of his ship ending up pink. Probably best if she never mentioned it. If he’s even still alive…

    “We’re in position now,” came Karrde’s voice over the sub space radio.

    “Thank you. I’d better get going then.”

    “Indeed. Goodbye Mara… it’s been good to see you again.” She heard sadness and pain in his voice, and briefly regretted not having found out what had happened to herself over the years. She could tell from the subtext of conversations that she no longer lived in this time, but her gut – and maybe the wisdom of the Force – told her it was best not to know. If she managed to return to her own time, it might all shift again, but she’d be left worrying about a hypothetical future for the rest of her life. Luke’s own experiences had taught knowledge of the future needed to be handled carefully. Luke…

    She couldn’t help herself, and blurted out; “Karrde, before I go… Luke. Is Luke alright?”

    There was a long pause. “Yes,” Karrde’s voice came. “Yes, he’s fine, he’s still alive, here. He’s had a hard life, but he’s fine.

    Mara nodded her head to herself. Of course. Unless she got back to her time and found Ben, he had probably suffered not only his nephew’s fall to the dark side, but then also the loss of both his wife and daughter. But at least nothing had happened to him. That meant, in her own time, he must still be out there somewhere, for her to find.

    “Thank you Karrde. For everything.” She paused. “Goodbye, old friend.”

    She hit the sub-light drive and started heading into the phenomenon.

    As before, she felt a strange buffeting as the ship entered, rocking the ship to and fro. Carefully she adjusted with thrusters, keeping a firm hand on the joystick. She reached out to the Force, waiting for the sensation she had felt before to begin. Surrounded by gaseous colour, the experience was much like flying blind in an atmospheric storm. She waited for a Force trance or vision to assert itself – but nothing happened. Tentatively, she reached out to the Force, trying to sense the phenomena through it. But although she could feel the twists and eddies of the Force around her and the ship, what she had felt before did not substantiate.

    Abruptly she emerged out the other side of the phenomena, breaking free of the billowing clouds. Mara glanced around. That was much quicker than last time. She glanced at the pale planet below her spinning against its distant sun. She looked to her readings. Another ship was in the vicinity. Her gut sank in realisation. She brought the Fire around in a broad sweep, speeding around the edges of the phenomena, taking care not to be dragged in again, working her way back round to her starting point. It took a few minutes, but then finally the gasses cleared enough to see the ship that was on her sensors.


    As she feared, an ancient star destroyer painted in red-faded-to-pink hung before her. The Errant Venture, unchanged from when she last saw it. She hadn’t gone anywhere.
     
    Kahara likes this.
  9. Briannakin

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

    Registered:
    Feb 25, 2010
    HAHAHA! I say let Old!Karrde and old!Booster take over the plot! They are great.

    Oh dear! Mara is bound for some confusing times ahead (especially with "Ben's" identity).

    Also, can I just say I find the idea of giving Legends Luke a hot young Mara a hoot! It's something I've wanted to do, but never really figured out how. So, yeah, I can't wait to see where this goes.
     
    Annia Piet likes this.
  10. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Oh, wow. That was cool! Karrde=Lor. And hmmm. Going back in and trying to emerge out the other side didn't take her elsewhen. [face_nail_biting] Eagerly awaiting more! I think Jedi_Lover had a fic where there was - yeah, "The Alter of Waru" where a younger Luke wound up with Mara. ;) [face_mischief] Works, either way. [face_laugh]
     
    Annia Piet likes this.
  11. JadeLotus

    JadeLotus Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 27, 2005
    Karrde as Lor San Tekka - awesome!!

    I'm very interested in more of Alt Mara's backstory (love the idea of Maz finding the lightsaber), and how long the Ben/Ben confusion can go on ;)
     
    Nyota's Heart and Annia Piet like this.
  12. Annia Piet

    Annia Piet Jedi Knight star 2

    Registered:
    Feb 7, 2015
    Thank you, my big struggle with this story seems to be making sure I don't get distracted with Old!Karrde and Old!Booster running off and having octagenarian adventures around the galaxy whilst ignoring whatever mess the Jedi have got themselves into this time!

    As to hot young Mara and old Luke... well, we'll have to see where that one goes. Have to admit I find it a bit weird when I realise that she's around my age whilst he's closer to my Dad. hmmmm.... But the contrast in perspectives of them at different ages will hopefully be interesting!

    Altar of Waru is an awesome fic, I have it in mind a little bit here, although it is indeed flipped around rather a lot! It's going to p;ay out a little differently here too, I think...


    Karrde as Lor is one of my cheeky 'I know he's not but wouldn't it be cool if he was!' moments. I kinda love the idea of his life having gone down a very different path in the other timeline, and there's some very intriguing hints about Lor having once been a 'soldier of fortune' in some of the released materials.

    I only have a very broad idea of TFA Mara's backstory so far, although I expect I shall add more detail as I'm writing this. It's a really fund way of speculating! :)

    And here's the next instalment;

    Chapter 3

    The ramp of the Jade’s Fire clanked loudly against the star destroyer’s deck and Mara Jade strode down it, scowl scrawled across her face. Karrde and Booster stood ten meters away, already there waiting for her return. They looked older than the stars, just as before. Nothing had changed.

    “What happened?” Karrde asked with that unfamiliar croak to his voice.

    “Nothing,” Mara growled out. “Absolutely nothing. It didn’t work.”

    Booster shifted position around his stick. “Any idea why not?”

    She grunted sourly. “Don’t know. It was different this time. Felt different.” She kept walking past them toward the turbolifts.

    Felt different? Is this one of these weird Force things?” Booster asked.

    “Yeah. Maybe. I want to look at your readings again, compare them to what I’ve just got from the Fire, make sure there’s nothing good old space physics can explain it with instead.” She slapped the call button and turned to speak again, only to realise the two men were several meters behind her making their way slowly after her. They couldn’t keep up with her anymore. This was going to take some getting used to.

    “You see, this is why I should never have agreed to my daughter marrying some Force sensitive,” Booster was grumbling to Karrde. “Leads to nothing but trouble.”

    “Agreed?” Karrde frowned at his old friend. “That’s not quite how I recall it…”

    They reached her side just as the turbolift door slid open. “So this is all some Force trouble eh?” Booster asserted.

    “Not necessarily,” Mara said, stepping inside. “Lets check things out first. I want to see whether there were differences in conditions around the phenomenon at the times I went in. There might be a simple solution.”

    “Oh come on Mara, we’ve been around you and Skywalker long enough to know when there’s something more to it than that,” Karrde told her, an unusual note of impatience in his tone, Another thing time had changed about the man, she supposed. “You said it felt different. How so?”

    She leant herself against the cool wall of the lift, and tried not to watch too closely as Booster fiddled with the top of his stick, spreading the handle out, and then arranged it under his bottom to perch upon as they went upwards. “It’s not so much that it felt different, more that a feeling wasn’t there at all. The last time I went in, bringing me here, it felt like the Force drew me in. I saw a vision of… well of all sorts of strange things, visions of the future maybe. Then when I came out of it, a lot of time had passed and I ran into a star destroyer. This time, none of that happened – even seeking it out, none of it happened.”

    Silence lay between them for long moments as the two older men were obviously turning the information over in their heads.

    “So you tried to do your weird Force stuff again? To make it happen again?” Booster prompted.

    “Yes, of course,” she said impatiently. “Nothing happened. I could feel the Force eddies and currents within the phenomenon, but nothing I could grasp hold of, so to speak. And then I was out the other side again in no time.”

    The two men shared glances, and she knew that they were having some shared thought, an idea coming to them both at once. But they said nothing, riding the last few moments of the trip up to the bridge in silence.

    As they stepped out, Booster gestured to a couple of his techs to come over and assist Mara, and she went with them to a data terminal where they ran through all the readings they’d taken from the phenomenon over the couple of weeks since the Errant Venture had first arrived here. She jacked in her own most recent readings to compare, aware that somewhere behind her Karrde and Booster were earnestly discussing something between themselves in low tones. She focused determinedly on the figures and graphs in front of her. They’d share when they were ready.

    The readings showed no drastic changes at any point except from at the exact moment when she’d first burst out of the cloud, without warning. Beyond the spikes around that moment, the phenomenon showed a certain amount of shifts and variations but never anything extreme at any particular points or times, and no sign of any cycles. There appeared to be no substantial difference in the nature of the cloud between the day she’d arrived and today.
    Of course, the one thing the ship couldn’t take readings of was the Force. Only a sentient, Force sensitive being could do that, and then they could only express that through words describing feelings, not through any specific measurements. Mara recalled an entertaining conversation with Luke, back when they’d first started training together, on this very subject. She, who needed the solid and substantial, had been frustrated with his wishy-washy spiritual ways of describing the Force. Debating fiercely that there must be some way to measure, say, the severity of the sense of danger the Force could engender. Laughing at the idea of using the field medic way of measuring pain, with little graphs of facial expressions to measure against – except Luke said that her graph would be of levels of sheer irritation, not pain. How he’d taken her irritation and wore it down with humour until they were laughing and doing anything but focusing on their training…

    She sighed, focusing back on the readings. Luke – her Luke – was far gone, out there somewhere in the past, looking desperately for her and Rey. She had to find a way to get back. To reunite them, To see his broad smile of joy at the sight of his little girl once again.

    Nothing. Absolutely nothing to be gained from these readings. No clues or hints of what she needed to do. She glanced up at the front view ports with their enormous triangular frames breaking up the many colours drifting around in space beyond them. She would have to go back in, and just fly about, trying to meditate and connect with the Force, for as long as it took to find the key, they way to slip into the Force eddies and get back again…

    As she stared into the colours, she felt herself drifting away, floating on the Force, as though that distant phenomenon were reaching out to her, as it had when she’d first flown here. Part of her wanted to call out to Booster, to take us closer! But the words died on her lips as she knew with all the certainty that the Force could sometimes insistently inflict on those sensitive to it. It wouldn’t work. She’d been brought here for a reason. She wouldn’t be able to find her way back until she’d done whatever it was she was supposed to do here.

    The touch of the Force receded, and Mara shook off it’s lingering affects, swearing violently as she did so. Luke had always been happy to accept the direction of the Force; she had never been so comfortable with it, beyond the prodding of her immediate sense of danger. The techs next to her stepped back with alarm at the tone of her language, and she felt Karrde and Booster approaching. She let out a deep sigh and looked up at them.

    “Any luck?” Karrde asked.

    She shook her head. “Nothing. Nothing to indicate anything different between conditions now and any other time. Nothing I can use.”

    The men nodded, and she got the feeling this was no real surprise to them.

    “So the Force is the differing factor?” Booster asked.

    “Yes.”

    He glanced at Karrde, who had a sour expression on his face. “And you had no luck using the Force to get back this time?”

    “No.”

    “Well then. It seems to me that what you’d be needing at this point is a Jedi Master.”

    She narrowed her eyes at him. “How do you figure that?”

    Booster shrugged. “Well it makes sense, doesn’t it? You need the Force to get you back, you’ve had no luck with it, you need someone with more expertise and a lot more years experience to help you work it out.”

    Turmoil moved in her gut as she knew what he was about to suggest. “We need to take you to Luke Skywalker.”

    “I don’t think that follows,” Karrde asserted grumpily before she could respond. “There are other Jedi Masters out there. Your son-in-law included.”

    “Corran’s a Jedi Master?” Mara almost laughed at the thought. “Really?”

    “As you can tell from her reaction to that, I doubt that Corran’s the right person for this job. And anyway, surely she needs the best?”

    “The best? The best at screwing everything up, don’t you mean!”

    “Now then, Karrde, I know you have your issues with Luke these days, but you really shouldn’t let that get in the way of getting Mara here the best help she can. And he is her husband, after all. He should know.”

    “I don’t know about that. He didn’t exactly look after her well the last time.”

    “She seemed pretty happy with her lot, Karrde.”

    “For the short time it lasted.”

    “Hey! I’m right here!” Mara interjected, feeling like some ghost listening in on the living talking about the dead.

    They both glanced at her apologetically. “For Sith’s sake, Karrde, I’ve got as much – if not more – reason to be angry with the Jedi.” Booster glared at Karrde with clear annoyance. ‘Look at how they’ve messed up my family. But if she’s stuck here, Luke needs to be told. And he’s the best person to help her, and you know it.”

    You take her then.”

    “I can’t and you know it. The Venture can’t go anywhere near Coruscant anymore.”

    Mara blinked in confusion as to why Luke would be on the old Imperial Centre. “Why can’t you go to Coruscant?” she asked instead.

    “I may, ahem, have attacked it a little bit last time I was there.”

    Her eyebrows shot up. “A little bit?!”

    “It was in a good cause.” Booster shrugged.

    “I’m sure I can make my way there myself, if needs be. But I note neither of you have asked me if I think this is a good idea yet!”

    Owlish old eyes turned on her again. “Good point,” Karrde grunted. “Do you want to go see your husband?”

    She was surprised that she didn’t have an immediate answer. Part of her wanted desperately to see him, to see her Luke again, to be held in his arms and comforted against everything that had happened since she last saw him. The destruction of the Jedi temple. Ben’s betrayal. Fleeing, hiding, fighting. Ben taking Rey. The cloud, and winding up here… But would he be the Luke she knew? He’d be older now, worn from the pain of all these things happening, all these years. His Mara was long gone – would she hurt him to appear again now, like this? Was it the right thing to do? Was this what the Force wanted her to do?

    She turned to her two old friends. “Will he want to see me?”

    They were silent long moments, each waiting for the other to speak. Karrde looked down to the floor, then looked up at her with those familiar cool blue eyes. “Yes, I believe so. Very much.”


    She nodded. “Then let’s go.”
     
    Kahara likes this.
  13. Briannakin

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

    Registered:
    Feb 25, 2010
    Oh! I love seeing Karrde as Mara's father figure!

    Part of me wants to see Mara get back to her Rey and Luke (eventually, to have he on the island in TFA) but I also want legends Luke to have Mara again.
     
    Annia Piet and Nyota's Heart like this.
  14. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Very nice musings on what is behind Mara's not being able to get back, and her own mixed feelings about seeing Luke in this different time/place, in direct contrast to the certainty that he would want to see Mara again, even a different one. Intrigued by learning she feels there must be something to accomplish and until she does, she won't be able to leave. [face_thinking]
     
    Annia Piet likes this.
  15. Annia Piet

    Annia Piet Jedi Knight star 2

    Registered:
    Feb 7, 2015
    Sorry for the long gap before updating this - my fanfic time has been rather taken up with reading through al the great fics that have been nominated for the awards! Also, apologies that I'm not reading and commenting on the other responses to this challenge just yet - I'm a bit worried that I'll get derailed with other people's plot bunnies! I'm looking forward to reading them all once I've got a little further in this story :)

    Anyway, here finally is the next instalment. A character from Legends that I'm not terribly familiar with appears in here, so apologies in advance if they are ooc or I have got details about them wrong;

    Chapter 4

    Despite knowing that she had been thrown into the future, this journey felt more like a trip into her distant past. First the journey through hyperspace on the Wild Karrde, a ship she had seen destroyed in battle years ago when the Karrde she had known finally made the decision to throw all in with the New Republic and had become Lor San Tekka once again. In this timeline, the ship still existed, hobbling on. It was very old now, and had clearly had many revamps and upgrades over the years to keep it going. This Lor clearly had the money to keep an ancient ship not only functional but entirely up to date, and it led to subtle differences that helped to remind her that she was not in the past. And yet to walk it’s familiar, long lost corridors again was to feel as though she were twenty three again. A life-time ago.

    At least Shada, Lor’s long time companion who had helped him find his new path, was still sat there beside her old friend on the bridge. Her dark hair was now almost completely white, and it seemed here she was no more a Force worshipper than this Karrde, but the comfortable looks of long standing love and loyalty she gave the old man were the same as ever.

    Shada’s seat was the one that Mara once would have sat in, a long time ago when she was still his second in command. Now she simply leaned against a console as the ship fell out of light speed and into view of a world she had thought never to see again.

    That glistening, shining planet of ancient, painful memories. Her childhood home, where she had grown, and trained, and learned to do his bidding. She had not been back since the Empire fell, since the Emperor died. Imperial Centre.

    The local sun shone brightly behind them as they moved down into their place in queue to go through Planetary Space Control. It’s light spread across the planet below, buildings gleaming like polished, iridescent metal, helpfully reminding her of why it was given it’s old name, Coruscant, which Karrde kept on using now. It seemed the old bastion of Imperial loyalists had finally joined the New Republic. Everything changes with enough time, she supposed.

    The comm beeped and Karrde’s furry comms officer flicked it on. “Coruscant Control here, Wild Karrde. Please state the purpose of your visit?”

    “Captain Talon Karrde here. We’re here to meet with Master Luke Skywalker of the Jedi Order.” It was probably more specific information than space control needed, but Karrde was undoubtedly counting on the name dropping to speed them through the process.

    “Thank you Captain Karrde. We’ll just check your credentials and message the Jedi Temple, and then you should be clear to land shortly.”

    Jedi Temple? Mara wondered. Why in space would Luke set up a temple on Imperial Central? Clearly a lot had changed in the intervening years.

    Karrde drummed his fingers impatiently on his own console. He appeared to be uncomfortable and irritable at being here at all, let alone at being kept waiting.

    A few minutes later Coruscant Control commed again. “Wild Karrde, I’m pleased to confirm that you are cleared for landing. However, we have commed the Jedi Temple and it appears that Master Skywalker is currently off planet. Do you still wish to proceed with your landing?”

    Karrde waved for the comm to be muted for a moment as he and Shada exchanged meaningful glance.

    “He most likely really is off planet, Talon,” the elegant older woman said gently. “He has no reason to be cutting you out deliberately at this point. We can go down and talk to the other Jedi.”

    Karrde audibly harrumphed, but signalled for the comm to be put on again. “Thank you Control, we’ll land anyway and make further enquiries at the Temple.”
    “Very well, Captain Karrde. Welcome to Coruscant, I hope you have a profitable stay.”

    Their flight path to the docking bays cleared, the Wild Karrde swooped down over the planet, skimming above the tips of the gargantuan buildings that reached into the lower atmosphere. There were subtle changes to the planet since her time there, Mara could see. Many familiar landmarks had long since been swept away, the angular and triangular styles of the Imperial era replaced by smooth lines that aped those famed in the old republic. The place felt warmer as well, as though some dark shadow had long since been swept away. Mara realised that the metropolis planet sensed different to her in the Force, the sense of millions of people living ordinary, complicated lives that were happy and sad and all things between, but not tainted with the constant fear that had touched every soul when she had lived here before.

    The ship hovered on its repulsors over a large oval landing platform for long moments before settling gently down. Karrde rose from his captain’s chair with some subtle assistance from Shada and prepared to leave the ship, but Mara found herself looking out of the front viewport with narrowed eyes at a figure that stood waiting for them below. They weren’t expecting anyone to greet them, and there was nothing familiar about the figure to her. Mara pulled her eyes away and followed Karrde out of the bridge.

    As the ships ramp lowered and they stepped onto the platform, Mara could feel Karrde’s tension as the figure ahead came into view. Swathed in long Jedi robes, the figure appeared to be a Barabel, a female if Mara was any judge. It looked like the Temple had sent out a greeting party.

    The figure walked slowly towards them, something hesitant in her step, none of the confident calm Mara would expect of someone who wore these robes. Her reptilian eyes were fixed on Mara’s face the whole way. They met somewhere in the middle of the platform, a meter or so between them. The Barabel said nothing, just continuing to stare.

    As the tension became unbearable, Karrde broke the silence, a note of irritation in his voice. “Master Sebatyne. You did not need to come and meet us; we would have been content to wait for Master Skywalker’s return by ourselves.”

    The Barabel ignored him, finally sputtering out “Mara? Mara, iz that you? How… how can thiz be?” She sounded stunned.

    “That’s what we came to talk to Skywalker about,” Karrde stated, irritation building further in his tone.

    “I, I felt you coming, old friend,” the Barabel continued. “I know it is you. I felt your presence as you approached the planet, and then the call- I knew you had some how returned. But how?

    “I’m sorry, I have no idea who you are,” Mara shook her head at the poor woman.

    Karrde glanced between them, realizing the problem. “Ah.” He said, considering. “Mara, this is Master Saba Sebatyne of the new Jedi Order, one of the highest ranked of their kind, whose resume includes being sometime Grand Master of the Order and also one of the leaders of the Galactic Alliance.” He saw the blank look on her face. “Ah, sorry, I should have brought you up to speed. The New Republic has been renamed the Galactic Alliance since your time.”

    “Okay,” Mara said, for little else to say, unsure how this was relevant to her.

    “You and Master Sebatyne were colleagues and apparently good friends before you…” He trailed off, unable to say it, bitterness heavy in his voice.

    “Oh. I see.” Mara turned back to the alien, eyes narrowing, considering her. “I’m very sorry, Master Sebatyne. I am Mara, but I’m not the Mara you knew. I don’t know you. We’ve never met before.”

    Mara felt the Barabel’s confusion and anguish coming off her in waves, but she simply replied. “I zee. It seemz we must talk.” And the reptilian woman turned to leave the platform, clearly expecting them to follow.

    Mara exchanged glances with Karrde and Shada, gave a shrug, and stepped after the Jedi Master.

    ***

    The view over the Coruscant skyline as the sun went down was spectacular, and completely surreal considering where Mara was viewing it from. She sat with Saba (as the Barabel insisted she call her), Karrde and Shada in the very uppermost peak of the new Jedi Temple. The entire place was bizarre to Mara: that this colossal set of pyramids had been built over the ruins of the Jedi Temple of the Old Republic; that the new order had grown so much that it needed such space; and more than anything, the strange looks she had received from unfamiliar Jedi and Padawans alike as Saba had led them through the temple.

    Now the unfamiliar Jedi Master in front of her had listened and taken in what they had to say, and had fallen silent, considering. Mara could feel her reaching out to the Force for guidance. Eventually, she spoke.

    “I zee. It iz the truth; I feel it. But why doez the Force bring you to uz here, now? What iz it it needz you to do?”

    “I don’t know.” Mara replied simply. “All I know is that I need to get back. I need to find Ben. And there’s something I need to do here before I can do that. Can you help me?” Maybe it was this woman that would help her find her way back. She was a Jedi Master, and clearly a very powerful and experienced one. Maybe the Force didn’t want her to cross paths with Luke here after all; maybe it would save him that pain and she would be gone before he arrived back.
    Saba looked at her and shook her head sadly. “I fear this iz not something I personally will be able to solve for you. The Force iz giving me little guidance, but what it whisperz to me is family. It iz your family that will help you back.”

    Mara’s shoulders slumped, although part of her insides fluttered to know that she must see her husband, or at least this version of the man she knew as her husband, before she left.

    “However,” Saba continued, “I can at least help you with one part of your aimz. In a fashion. Come with me.” She rose from her seat in the circle of chairs, and the rest of them got up to follow her. She led them down through the temple, into what appeared to be a residential section. They passed curious eyes again as they went through long corridors lined with identical doors, until they stopped in front of one that seemed like all the rest, but somehow felt different. Mara felt the sense of someone inside – someone who was simultaneously incredibly familiar and also an absolute stranger to her.

    Saba reached up to the door pad, but paused at the last moment to look at her. “In a moment, I will you through and speak to the one within to prepare them for the sight of you. But inside this room iz the one you seek.


    “Inside this room iz Ben.”
     
    Kahara and WarmNyota_SweetAyesha like this.
  16. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    =D= Saba! :cool: I am eagerly awaiting Mara's talk with this Ben, name so similar to the Ben in the other continuity but way, way different in temperament etc. :p It must be daunting as all get out for those who "recognize" Mara but she's not "their" Mara, exactly. [face_thinking]
     
    Annia Piet likes this.
  17. aleja2

    aleja2 Jedi Master star 2

    Registered:
    Aug 4, 2005
    I just gobbled up the story until now and I LOVE it!

    Such an awesome blending of nuCanon and EUCanon. The part about Maz finding the lightsaber - genius. As is Karrde as Lor San Tekka. And the Ben/Ben confusion is so delicious...can't wait for more!
     
  18. divapilot

    divapilot Force Ghost star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 30, 2005
    Mara is in for a shock when she meets this Ben. How bizarre to think of one child you love dearly never existing in this universe, while another child who remembers how deeply you loved him is a total stranger to you.

    Making Lor San Tekka and Talon Karrde the same person is genius. And the idea that she is not only in the wrong place but in the wrong time - everyone she knows is so much older; she's an anachronism. Great update!