Timeframe: NJO and DN
Characters: Mara Jade
Keywords: beginnings, middles, ends, first, last
Everyone forgot to tell her fires roared like dragons. She wished the man holding her would put her down. She wanted her mama. Daddy had passed her to him, though, so she trusted this man because Daddy did.
The night was cold and she stared into the chaos, searching for some sign of her family. She shivered.
A gnarled hand gripped her shoulder, “They aren’t coming, little one. They saved you by passing you out to us, Mara.”
She knew the man was right, she could feel it.
“What will happen to me now?”
“You will come live with me.”
Mara allowed the Senator’s eyes to travel her body lecherously and repressed the flash of revulsion. She had a job to do, and allowing him this brief moment of triumph was part of it. She took a small breath before speaking, allowing her breasts to strain the confines of her gown.
“The Emperor wishes you to know that your game was well played. I am sent to you with his compliments.”
Her hands opened, beckoning, and he came to her willingly. She let down her hair, smiling enticingly as she stuck the lacquered pin from her hair into his jugular.
Screaming, she fell to the ground holding her head in traitorous, trembling hands. People gave her a wide berth, but no one stood forward to offer help. Instincts of Mos Eisley natives were sound, offering to help her right now was tantamount to suicide.
Kill Luke Skywalker!
Rage. Awful uncontrolled rage. Pain. Heat. Then the awful, icy rage again.
Kill Luke Skywalker! Kill Luke Skywalker!
She knew, stumbling blindly back to her transport, that her service to the Emperor was ended the way it began so long ago. In heat and pain and loss. In flames that roared like dragons.
Doubting was something Mara was becoming more accustomed to, since the Emperor’s death so many years ago. Admitting them out loud was something new.
Extending her hand out to the man before her, she introduced herself to Corran Horn. It was hard, allowing someone to know she was vulnerable. Is this what friendship was?
She couldn’t quite explain it, but expressing her doubts about Luke’s teaching methods to Corran was safe. He wouldn’t turn on Luke. He was Luke’s friend and as concerned as she was. He also needed someone, apparently, to express his doubts to.
Perhaps this was friendship.
She sat in the dark, arms trembling from fatigue, systematically educating Skywalker on the error of his ways. She should be able to do this in her sleep.
Except it hurt.
The look in his eyes, as he clung to his perch beside her, was like a kick in the gut.
As she forced herself to continue, she felt the last of her doubts slide away. These weren’t the arrogant acts of another egocentric maniac, but rather the idealistic and innocent mistakes of a simple farmboy that, for all his laurels, was still naive about the way the universe worked.