A Whole New Life
Part 2: Alone
By SJ 12-23-01/ (email@example.com)
Disclaimers: Nothing in the Star Wars Universe belong to me; everything belongs
to George Lucas. I'm only writing stories for fun.
See my homepage for more details.
Special thanks to my shy, secret beta-reader and best friend, Adrianne, for
help with the final editing of my new stories. Thanks for giving
me some of your precious time, my friend :)
The next day, Luke reluctantly walked closer and closer to his destination:
transmission room where the galaxy-wide broadcast would take place. After
waking up on the carpet of his temporary quarters, he had first laid as if in a
trance for a long, long while, trying to become one with the gnawing emptiness
which he had felt in his heart and whole self, then, when it had been obvious
that he wouldn't succeed, had weakly pushed himself into a more orthodox
At first, he had only focused his energies on his still-injured thigh, then,
once this had been dealt with, he hadn't had any other excuses to not consider
the future for real.
And he had made his choice.
He had gone this far already, he sternly reminded himself as he felt yet
wave of doubt invade him; he wouldn't stop now, he resolved and slapped the wave
away with a new dose of courage. He stepped into the transmission room.
Normally, he would have expected the technicians to bow their heads to him, then
avoid his gaze, but this time, he didn't, nor did they act so, he soon realized.
Instead of treating him like his former self, they stared at him in shock or
surprise. Well, he conceded, he had rid himself of his black-leather uniforms
and with the help of a sewer droid, had created a new look for himself; it was
as remotely different as it could from his Dark Lord wardrobe.
Hence, he was now wearing a suit composed by dark blue, almost black
white shirt and a color-matched sport jacket; his lightsaber completed his
outfit with just enough formality to maintain his authority while not reminding
anybody of his dark past. In short, it was his first official day as Luke
Skywalker, the young man who would be in charge of the galaxy for the time
"My... Lord," the warder for the broadcast finally welcomed him.
Luke didn't rebuke the man for his shock, nor his former address. Instead, he
went straight to the point of his presence in the room. "Sir, is it
broadcast from the throne room?" he asked politely, returning the bow with
The others men gaped even more at him before one of them answered him.
"We can set up a relay between there and here, my Lord," he
explained as fast as
"Please do," Luke answered, then turned to leave. "Inform me
when it will be
ready for broadcast," he requested gently.
"Yes, my Lord," the others answered in chorus, then he was gone.
He had some things to prepare before he could address the now-freed
Although Mara Jade had meant to leave Coruscant after the destruction of her
master, she was still there, unable to bring herself to climb aboard one of the
hidden ships on the planet.
She couldn't leave Luke. No matter how hard she had argued with herself, and
how many times she had had flashes of the Emperor's death, she couldn't be
strong and do what she had to do. Instead, she was still hanging in the streets
of Coruscant, guzzling down yet another glass of Juri juice.
She had been tempted to go for alcohol this time, she admitted to herself as
gazed at the bottom of her empty glass, but she knew better than to muzzle her
mind in such peculiar times. Hence, she had decided to satisfy her sweet tooth
until she had no spare money left.
What had happened to her lover?, she wondered for the hundredth time since
parting with him. They had been happy, in love, and content to do the Master's
bidding. He had even fulfilled his dream and stepped out of secrecy to become
Lord Vader The Second. It was what he had always wanted, she wanted to argue
with him, hell shake into him if he were sitting in front of her. Ever since
she had met him, he had yearned for more, for his father, for a freedom of
action and he had gotten everything... only to destroy the man who had given it
to him, she sneered to herself, then slapped her glass on the table.
And what about Vader--- the First?, she wondered angrily. What was his role
all this? Had he taken on the Emperor because Luke would be with him anyway?
or had they both been against him, fomenting that plan of theirs for years?
And why had she felt so much disgusting Light while in the throne room?, she
asked herself, then motioned sharply to the nearby waitress.
The light-purple alien girl barely acknowledged her order before she
in the crowd.
"Hey, darling?" a slurry voice suddenly attracted her angry
She barely glanced up--- just in time to see a burly man take hold of the
that was in front of her at her table.
"You seem a little lo---"
Mara's foot instantly appeared on the chair, pinning it back on the floor and
keeping the other from sitting on it.
"Get moving big boy," she growled without giving him a glance, then
"if you know what's best for you."
As if to support her claim, she bent her left arm and rested her elbow on the
table, then flicked her wrist. Her pocket blaster slapped into her hand; the
other scurried away without anymore warning. Sighing in annoyance, she laid her
weapon on the table and gazed at it.
Luke had one exactly like hers, wrist holster and everything. They were the
same, she thought seriously. They both loved action, each other, and to serve
the Emperor, and they both hated whoever was against the Emperor... So what had
gone wrong all of a sudden, she wondered as she looked up to pay for her new
glass of juice--- She gasped in shock as she saw the image on the holovid that
was on the wall behind the waitress.
Framed in front of the Emperor's throne and his favorite viewport was Luke...
but not the Luke she knew. He looked... like a Rebel, she thought in
disbelief. While she tried to understand what it meant, someone had the genius
idea to raise the volume while the others shushed to hear the broadcast. Mara
absently paid her drink then settled in to listen to her lover's announcement.
Up in the throne room, Luke waited another twenty seconds for everyone to
the priority one broadcast and gather around the closest holovid screen.
"Citizens of the Republic," he began solemnly, his hands locked
behind his back
to hide his stress. "my name is Luke Skywalker... formerly known as Lord
Vader... slave of Emperor Palpatine."
While Mara felt her jaw hit the top of her table due to her utter disbelief,
people around her made disobliging comments about what Luke had just said.
"What has gotten into the Kid this time?" one asked.
"Daddy won't like it," his companion smirked meanly.
"A slave with the power to rule, right... Does he think that we're
another sneered as he turned away from the screen.
Before Mara could answer or add to the comments, Luke continued.
"I am aware that my last statement might sound foolish, even
most of you, but nonetheless, Palpatine had enslaved my soul with his dark
powers... just as he had tried to do with the rest of the Empire, but now we're
all free," he finished solemnly.
A silence charged with doubt and wariness suddenly invaded the bar, the
street... and the whole galaxy.
"From this day on, the Republic shall be re-instituted," Luke
words coming more smoothly to him now that he 'knew' that he had everyone's
attention. "The only crimes that will be punished will be those against all
forms of lives in our universe. The Empire is dead, both here and everywhere in
the galaxy," he said more explicitly. "As of yesterday, all the
been freed from their compulsory engagement in the Fleet or the army and are
free to return home, but several of them have already signified their intention
to remain and become guardians of peace and justice throughout the known
universe. However, they will always be allowed to leave whenever they
He took a deep breath, then stepped closer to the empty throne. "My father,
has fallen during the battle, and myself, were the spearhead of our collective
escape/rescue," he told the registering device. "While we hope that it
begin to make up for the horrors that we wrought in your lives, we were and I am
still very much aware that nothing will ever replace the ones you lost because
of the Empire... of the Lord Vaders and their Emperor... However, as a Jedi
"I make the solemn pledge to dedicate the rest of my life to you all and
peace in each of your homes as well as on each known planet," Luke
earnestly. "Throughout the next weeks, procedures will begin to reinstate
Senate which will, hopefully, continue what happened yesterday. I give you my
word that no more tyranny will rule us."
Mara was still stricken, unable to compute what she was seeing with what she
knew. Luke wanting to kill the Emperor was one thing, but completely turning to
the Light and going against everything that they had ever learnt... She
couldn't think of anything to say.
On the screen, her lover suddenly pulled his lightsaber from his belt and
activated it; its emerald-green blade stole the spotlight.
"The Empire is dead," he said with a new voice, the voice of
dedication to others, she realized. "Long live the Republic!"
And with that, he swiftly slashed the Emperor's throne in four pieces--- and
cheers went up everywhere around her and farther away.
Mara remained silent, stunned.
Luke had turned to the Light. His sister had indeed managed to corrupt him...
stealing him from her forever. Strangely though, she dimly reflected that she
didn't resent the fact that the galaxy was now free from the Empire; she knew
all too well that bad things had been done to them.
However, she did resent what had been done to her life; it had just been
sacrificed on the altar of galactic freedom. And Vader? she wondered as she
stood up and left the quickly growing revelry of a newly-freed population. Luke
had said that he had fallen, but she knew that he hadn't. He had killed the
Emperor; he had survived the attack... so where was he now? Why hadn't he taken
part to the announcement? It was not typical that Luke, the youngest and less
experienced of the two, was the one to take over the government. There was
something else under all this, she decided as she strolled down the suddenly
crowded streets, and she would find out the rest of the truth.
While she scrunched up her shoulders and tried to plow through the
crowd, people around her kissed, cheered, played music, drank or ate... and even
offered their products for free to people around themselves. It was chaos, she
reflected grimly; she herself was now more than ever set on her course of
She walked on toward Vader's palace.
After his triumphant announcement, Luke left orders to keep security tight
everywhere in the galaxy to be ready for any bad reactions from remaining
imperial elements, then boarded his shuttle and went up aboard the Annihilator;
the huge ship had arrived just before his broadcast. Unlike usually, Luke
piloted his shuttle himself, using the time spent in flying to reconsider his
The secret was out, which meant that while it was now at the basis of a
of celebrations of relief and happiness, he himself was aware that he had also
steered quite a few hornets here and there. He knew that both the families of
the imperials who had been killed during the coup as well as the organizations
which had profited from the tyranny would seek revenge, if not against him, then
against the regular populace. They would have to be alert for a long while, he
sighed in acceptation.
He then began his approach to the hangar bay--- and felt his eyes widen in
surprise as he saw the number of troops who had gathered to welcome him.
Whereas they would normally be a few squads at the most, the whole ship seemed
to have gathered in perfect, orderly rows, waiting for him. As if he were
Emperor, he suddenly reflected with unease. He hurried to shut down his ship,
then braced himself and walked down the ramp of the shuttle. Admiral Piett and
his subordinates bowed their heads in respect.
"Congratulations on your victory, my Lord," he said formally.
"Thank you, Admiral. There is no need for this anymore, at ease
requested before he waited for him to straighten up once again. "We must
establish a strategy to insure safety in as many sectors as we can."
"Yes... Sir," the other nodded, then followed him.
Behind them, the other officers fell in step even as the troops snapped to a
At first, Luke tried to ignore the meaning of the demonstration, then decided
that he had to make his point with his chosen admiral. "When I will return
Coruscant," he half-whispered as he leaned closer to the older man,
inform the troops that those drills aren't necessary anymore."
"It isn't a drill, Sir," Piett answered, a slight surprise cutting
"It's not?" Luke frowned as he gazed around himself.
"Not today, Sir. They are merely showing you the respect that you have
with your daringness."
"Oh," the youth nodded in confusion, then fell silent.
Respect? Him? Not after the horror he was responsible for, he reflected
then sighed. There would be more elements to consider than he had first
estimated, he admitted to himself.
"Did you contact the rest of the fleet?" he inquired seriously,
"They are waiting for your transmission, Sir," his admiral answered
they continued down the aisle of troops and regular crew.
Just one more proof, Luke thought in relief, that he could count on the
Once in the meeting/communication room, he stood at the end of the strategy
table while his officers from the Annihilator/Freedom sat at the nearby table.
Behind them, small screens allowed him to see the commanding officer of each
remaining ship of the fleet. They all waited for him to speak up.
"Ladies and gentlemen," Luke began, acknowledging for the first
time the newly
nominated female officers of a few ships, "I have gathered you today to
His audience nodded silently in understanding.
"I'm certain that you are aware of the danger that looms over the
population: revenge from a new, far more dangerous rebellion than the one that
the Emperor fought," he continued grimly.
Once again, his message got through.
"While we still have seventy-five ships at our disposal to insure peace,
need to cover more sectors than we have ships. I am open to suggestions,"
finished, spreading his arms in a welcoming gesture.
"We will clearly need to dispatch small patrols or even intervention
Lord," a first commander answered him.
"I am only a military officer now, Commander Mota," he informed the
even as he nodded at his suggestion and entered it in the strategy table.
Behind him, blue dots of allies spread all over the place, but the computer
estimated that they wouldn't be numerous enough if trouble truly broke out.
"What about the local authorities, Sir?" Piett inquired, both to
suggestion and give an example of his new, preferred address. "Can we trust
"Some of them, yes, others no," he answered grimly.
A silence stretched in the room, then slowly, more suggestions were brought
Two hours and half later, Luke retired to his quarters, satisfied with the
knowledge that his chosen officers would do everything that they could to
protect the regular citizens. While he briefly sat on the steps of his former
meditation/control desk, he reflected that the addition of women in the line of
command had brought new perspectives and wisdom in the up-to-now male
strategies. The suggestion to combine all their best strategies into a single
one had been a woman's, he remembered with a small smile, and it had been the
best that he could have asked for. Now it remained to be seen if it would be up
to the undoubtedly upcoming challenge.
He was starting another train of thoughts when he felt a presence coming
he straightened up, then welcomed Admiral Piett. When he had considered his
chain of command, Luke had studied his choices very carefully, and had
eventually decided to leave Piett as his first man on the field.
Piett, although younger than the average admirals and a conscript at the
had demonstrated that he was gifted with a quick mind, a certain independence
which allowed him to adapt to emergencies without the need for approval from
superiors, and he had never hurt anyone except when he didn't have any other
"Admiral," Luke welcomed him.
"Sir," the other saluted, then stood rigidly in front of him.
"At ease, Sir," the young Jedi commented as he stood closer to him.
Since Piett didn't know why he had been summoned in the private quarters of
ex-lord, he threw his ex-lord a barely hidden curious gaze as he obeyed him.
Luke decided to not make him languish.
"You are a good man, Piett," he began seriously, locking his gaze
other's. "You would never endanger the lives of the troops anymore than
necessary, and I know that you have volunteered to stay with the Fleet, I quote:
"to serve and protect,"," he continued with a note of approval in
Given the slight widening of Piett's eyes upon hearing his note on his latest
report, Luke knew that the other was surprised to discover that he had, indeed,
read all the reports.
"I accept your offer, Admiral," he told him solemnly, then added:
remain in charge of the Freedom as well as of the whole fleet and army when I
won't be nearby to oversee it."
"Sir?" the other finally gaped in disbelief.
"You may choose other officers to help you keep good and efficient
the remnants of the military, Admiral, and you may name them as you see fit.
Your authority won't be challenged given your unchanged status in the chain of
command. I trust you to make choices that will always be for the benefit of the
larger population," he continued earnestly.
Even if his blind trust in him shocked him, Piett still managed to retain
kind of composure. Except for his eyes.
"I... will be worthy of your trust, Sir," he answered, reflexively
salute once again.
"I will still contact you to see how things are going, but you will be
autonomous out there, Sir."
"I understand, Sir," he answered, saluting again for lack of any
etiquette in mind.
Luke however was beginning to become annoyed by this.
"One more thing," he added in a gentler tone. "While I
understand that the army
needs drills to work properly, I will ask of you to change everything that was
related to the imperial service and etiquette. They will only hamper the
transition of the military units into volunteers units."
"Yes, Sir," he saluted, then dropped his hand to his side.
While it wasn't exactly what he wanted, Luke conceded that it was a
"Now, I believe you have work to do, Admiral," he dismissed him
with a light
smirk to try and lighten the mood.
"Yes... Sir. Thank you, Sir," the other nodded, caught once again
by his human attitudes.
However, he didn't let himself be distracted by it. Instead, he snapped his
heels, then turned around and left the room. With time perhaps, Luke sighed to
himself as he turned away and entered the secret part of his quarters. Soon,
they wouldn't be secret anymore, he decided as he headed straight for his office
and the secret hangar under them.
Twenty minutes later, he was back on the main level of his quarters, leaving
construction droid to begin its remodeling work. The next time that he would
enter his quarters, he knew that they wouldn't be the same; they wouldn't remind
him of his dark past anymore.
Before he returned on Coruscant however, he wanted to retrieve a few items
the doomed quarters. Hence, he went into his library/study room and stashed his
real, leather-bound books into a backpack, then entered his bed room. There,
exactly where he had left them before leaving for Coruscant, were his father's
old lightsaber and his mother's pendant. Back when his father had given it to
him, he had meant to give the weapon to his sister... when she would have been
'worthy', he sneered in disgust at his old self.
What a fool he had been to think that he knew what was better for her... Had
succeeded, he admitted shamefully as he slowly pulled the turned-off weapon from
its hiding place in his night table, he would have ruined her life... her
happiness. And Force knew how close he had been to turning her, he shivered and
closed his eyes in horror. He had been way to good at that, he admitted, then
shook himself free of the memories of his dark victories. He would never go
down that path ever again; no matter how intoxicating the power that he had felt
was, he would never, ever give in again.
He would never hurt anyone anymore, he resolved once again with
then locked his gaze on his father's lightsaber. This was the weapon of a Jedi;
it had been crafted by a heart filled with love and hopes... Its blade seemed to
sing with those feelings, he reflected more wistfully as he turned it on to
admire its craft once again. The electric blue blade was as pure as ever,
untainted by any darkness nor blood... Perhaps, he thought more seriously, he
should make himself a new weapon---
Suddenly, as if on its own volition, his free hand took hold of his own
and turned it on, setting its brilliant green blade side by side with his
father's former blade. At first stunned by his unexplainable action, Luke
failed to understand what it meant--- until his eyes finally rested on the two
blades. Both were so bright that he had trouble not to be dazzled by them; both
were also untainted in any way, and both were colors which were the opposite of
what he used to be.
He had never been a Dark Lord, he slowly gaped in awe as the deeper meaning
his observation reached his mind. Even as a child, he had never willingly
chosen the Dark Side. He hadn't been given a choice, and as such, his Light had
always been there... if dangerously threatened of extinction when he had reached
sixteen years old, he remembered as those years of frustration and almost
constant anger came back to him. But they were gone now, he thought seriously
as he shut down both weapons; his dangerous grief for his sister was also over,
and he himself had finally been able to freely 'choose' a side.
He was a Jedi Knight, he thought with more insurance, and he didn't have to
his past; it was merely hiding the truth from him. With that decided, he
clipped his own weapon back to his belt, then bent down again and retrieved his
The wooden jewelry and his father's lightsaber were the only things that he
left from his parents, bringing home once again how alone he was all of a
sudden... but also reinforcing his determination to succeed so that their old
dream could come true. He gazed at the items one last time, then attached his
father's lightsaber to his belt beside his own and stashed his mother's pendant
in his breast pocket.
He had some work to do now.
Back in his father's castle on Coruscant, he spent the following five hours
thinking about ways to take his current enterprise a step further.
However, it was much, much more complex than he had first thought.
He finally turned away from the gathered cards, then reflexively retrieved
mother's pendant from his desktop. He somehow had the feeling that his only
link with his mother, who had been the youngest and greatest politician ever in
the universe, would help him conjure up a workable strategy to avoid the
mistakes of the past... but it hadn't happened yet.
Sighing tiredly, he stood up and went by the huge bay window which was giving
him an unobstructed view of Coruscant at night. If only the trinket could
somehow imbue him with the famed wisdom of his mother, he thought wistfully...
or else bring Leia back with him if only in the spiritual plane... He was not a
politician, he thought in mild frustration. When his father and himself had
discussed the future, Anakin had planned to be with him, to take care of the
rebuilding of the Senate while he himself would oversee the military transition
of the Fleet and army.
He simply had no idea how to proceed to reinstate the Senate. He knew why the
old Senate had fallen, why things had turned extremely bad for every one, but he
himself, despite all his good faith and experience in life, couldn't set up a
new Senate without risking the same problems. If a new Emperor wouldn't rise
from this new attempt, then the welfare of the galaxy would soon go unheard by
the chosen politicians.
Once again overcame by a wave of helplessness, he cast his eyes down in
weariness; his eyesight rested on the hand-carved piece of japor snippet. His
father had poured love into this jewel, he reflected with a small smile. He
still didn't know exactly when he had crafted it, nor how, but even now, he
could still feel his hopes for a better world... for an ideal love.
Or so the lines of rich orange and brown seemed to tell him anyway, he
foolishly to himself, or perhaps it was the warm touch of the wooden material,
he shrugged, then gazed up at the sight of the teeming city. Whatever it was
didn't really matter anyway. The only thing that did matter was that it was a
part of both of his parents.
Their love, he sighed in growing tiredness and despair, was the only
that was truly keeping him going at the moment. If he couldn't have something
similar himself... If his father had to exile himself... Then he would at least
do everything in his powers to ensure that the rest of the galaxy wouldn't
suffer like his family and did... And he would do so the right way this time, he
thought more seriously.
In a way, he admitted sadly, he had had the right idea after Leia's death...
had completely mistaken his goal with the means to reach it...
"What a waste of time," he sighed, then leaned his forehead against
And now how could he make sure that no more time would be lost due to his
of experience?.. It was out of question that he took over the throne himself,
and it was also impossible to merely bring back the old Senate without bringing
back corruption with it.
"Think, Skywalker," he admonished himself even as he hit his
the unyielding window. "You were clever when you were Vader, so think
Show them what a Skywalker is made of----"
"So it's Skywalker now, huh?" Mara's voice suddenly interrupted his
Luke instantly whirled around, his hand instinctively going for his
before he could stop it.
"None of that, Skywalker," his lover warned as she stepped in the
wicked pocket blaster aimed at him.
Even as he registered her threat, slowly assuming a more relaxed posture, he
became aware that he hadn't felt her at all.
"How long have you been watching?" he finally asked her once she
beside his desk, still out of his range but close enough for them to gaze into
each other's eyes.
"Long enough," she answered shortly. "So what happened
she sneered at his true name.
Luke sighed, then turned his back to her. Either she would kill him and he
would be done with his life... or she still loved him and would spare him.
Either way though, he knew that he wouldn't be able to stop her from doing what
she had come here to do so better not torment himself with her beautiful,
unreachable sight and close presence.
"It's a long story," he explained briefly.
"Oh, I've got all the time in the universe," she retorted
all," she added more lowly, "I'm job-less for now."
Her resent poured over him, threatening to make him review his plans to make
up to 'her'... the only love in his life. Slowly, he gathered his courage and
turned toward her, his eyes brimming with tears of regret.
"I'm sorry, Mara," he apologized earnestly. "I never meant to
lie to you."
"When did you begin to?" she asked in answer, a flash of anger
green eyes for a moment.
"The... night after I recovered you from the rebels," he began
regretfully, "Leia's spirit came to me..."
Mara had expected to discover something about Lue falling under Leia's spell,
but the news of her ex-friend's spirit being with him--- it shocked her
senseless. Despite her rigid training and cool heart, she almost dropped her
weapon at that.
"Spirit?" she finally gasped once she had managed to close her
mouth to speak
"In spite of what we thought," he explained, "Leia was a Jedi
when she died...
and she chose to remain with Father and myself to save us from the Dark
"Save you?" the red-head repeated, her wariness returning as did
smoldering anger about what that man had done to her. "More like mislead
she spat vehemently.
"No, the Emperor was lying to us all," her wise boyfriend countered
had dazzled us with visions of grandeur and power, skewing our vision of reality
until what we did was 'right', but it was not."
Suddenly spiked by his last sentence, Mara tightened her grip on her blaster
brought it back to a straight aiming position.
"Killing the outlaws and destroying troublemakers was right," she
"But orphaning children, destroying regular lives and forbidding
was not," Luke retorted, taking a step closer to her.
She instantly took a step back even though she knew that he hadn't moved to
attack her. Instead, she could feel compassion from him... a desire to comfort
No, she reminded herself. She wouldn't let him come close for the moment; she
had come here to discover the whole truth and make a decision about the future.
She didn't want to be influenced by what had corrupted him.
"So once you 'realized' that," she sneered in disgust, "you
began to lie to me
and to plan against the Emperor."
"At first, it was only a question of survival," he answered her,
then gazed down
at his left hand.
He had meant to take his eyes off of her pained eyes, but instead found
gazing at his mother's pendant. He had completely forgotten that he was still
holding it--- then he understood who his mother had to help next.
"Mara," he began softly. "I... don't expect you to understand
what happened to
my father and myself, but I can tell you this: deep down, we've always been who
we are now."
"Meaning?" his girlfriend asked suspiciously.
Luke gazed up at her, then tentatively reached out to contact her through the
*We have always loved and cared,* he sent, baring his heart and mind to hers.
He didn't know what to expect from this, didn't even know if his sending had
made it through her walls, but at the moment, he didn't care. The only thing
that mattered was that he had told her that he had always loved her and that he
For a long moment, a heavy silence hung between them, then Jade finally
answered; she lowered her aim until his life wasn't threatened anymore.
She couldn't kill him. Now even more than in the throne room, she couldn't
him; he was the only person in her whole life who had never hurt her. She now
knew that even when he had hidden the truth from her, he had done so to protect
her from loosing him to the Emperor's wrath. She still couldn't understand why
he had turned from Dark Lord of the Sith to Light Jedi Knight, but she had no
choice but to accept it, she sighed in confusion.
Yes, Luke had always loved and cared. From their first meeting until their
one, she had always felt that inner warmth which had obviously turned him into
Skywalker... and the same warmth had been in Vader's senses whenever he had been
with his children, she belatedly remembered.
Suddenly, everything became clear to her; Leia had only needed to nurture
side of the 'Vaders' to turn them, she understood in mild anger, but it was
short-lived. It was over now, and her master had fallen under the power of
Love. She could only adapt to the new reality, she decided sadly, and she
couldn't kill the one person responsible for it.
"I...," she finally began hesitantly. "I think... I
Luke remained silent, waiting for her to continue.
"This is no cover-up... is it?" she inquired glumly, involuntarily
taking a step
closer to her lover.
"I would never lie to you, Mara," was Luke's answer. "I'm just
sorry that the
truth is breaking us apart."
"Yeah," she mumbled as she stashed her blaster back in her wrist
sorry too," she finished, avoiding his eyes as she became aware of what she
wanted to do.
She didn't want to leave him; she wanted to stay, change with him, and just
in his arms forever.
No, she rebuked herself. She might not be able to kill Luke, but she wouldn't
betray her old self by staying with the traitor whom he had become. She had to
somehow avenge what she had lost because of him.
"What will you do now?" her lover asked her, taking a step closer
"I'm leaving," was her answer.
She kept her gaze away from him.
"I understand," Luke nodded slightly. "I won't modify the
access that you have
to imperial credits," he informed her seriously. "and as I told you
door will always be open for you."
He wasn't cutting her off??, she gaped in disbelief; she looked back at him.
The moment that her gaze met his own, she felt her resolve falter, but forced it
to remain strong. She 'couldn't' stay.
"What about your father?" she asked seriously.
"Father left in exile," her lover answered, his last word catching
in his throat
in obvious sadness. "He said that he couldn't stay as long as he would be
as Darth Vader."
Ah, so that was why her boyfriend seemed to be the figurehead of the whole
thing, she understood. He was alone now, and she too was about to leave him for
real, she reminded herself glumly.
She, like his father, would abandon him to his fate and life-work when he
than ever needed help... and family--- Well, she had no choice, she sternly
rebuked herself for even considering the opposite decision. She might love him,
but she hadn't forgiven him for his betrayal. She locked her gaze one last time
with his, then lowered her eyesight and turned to leave--- when Luke's hand shot
outward and took hold of hers, keeping her from leaving.
"Mara," he said before she could react to his touch. "There's
something I want
you to have."
Wary of any attempts to sweet-talk her into staying with him, she barely
even as she pulled her hand free from his electrifying, mesmerizing hold.
Aware of his girlfriend's sudden annoyance, Luke gathered his courage, took
of her hand once again, turned it palm up, then laid his mother's pendant in it
and closed her hand around it once again.
"My father made this for my mother," he explained wistfully, sadly,
"as a gage
of his enduring love for her. I'd be honored if you'd accept it as such from me
A long silence followed his daring offer. He watched her as she opened her
to study the trinket, then slowly closed her hand once again around it, but
gently this time. At that moment, he knew that there might still be hope that
they would someday meet again and share the same path once again.
Someday, somehow, their love would be reborn, but until then, he himself had
accept the necessary separation... and its resulting loneliness.
As if reading his thoughts, she slowly raised her head until she could gaze
his eyes once again---- then her free hand suddenly took hold of his shirt's
lapel and pulled him into a passionate kiss.
Luke was too startled to react at first, simply overwhelmed by their suddenly
strong bond and her intoxicating presence.
*I love you too, Luke,* she sent him sadly, then before he could return her
or sending, she pulled away and turned away from him.
"Mara," he called instinctively, taking a step toward her.
His girlfriend didn't let her catch up with her; she hastened her steps.
Understanding her message, he relented and simply watched her as she left his
life for gods knew how long.
"Mara..." he whispered in despair, then, when no one came back in
turned away from the door that she had used to leave... and returned to his
lonelier than lonely life.
He didn't have anything else left...
TBC in part 3: Doubts
SJ: Skyjade@globetrotter.net (any positive stuff is welcome, but negative or
mean comments will be thrown down the Sarlacc s throat without being read.)
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