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Reaching for the Stars

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1 Reaching for the Stars on Sun Aug 07, 2011 12:22 am

Alright awesome! Thanks Grievous for helping me get this up! I am OBSESSED with fanfiction. If you ever need advice on a story or anything, just let me know! Wink
Anyway, this is my first official, finished fanfic. Smile It is published on Fanfiction.net, if you'd rather read it there, but I'll be glad to post it here! And I'd LOVE to hear your thoughts on it as well!!!!

Here we go.....Chapter 1!!!! BTW, this story is MOSTLY Original Characters that I made up. Smile Some of the same villains and stuff, but most of them I made up. Partially-Canon. XD


Prelude
She bent over the cradle; a single tear rolling down her cheek. Gently Marlinda picked up her tiny baby girl and looked lovingly into her deep emerald eyes. The small pudgy baby cooed in her mother’s arms. Soon, there was a knock on the door.

Anxious, Marlinda hurried to open it. She cracked open the door to find a tall female red-skinned alien. Dressed in elegant robes and a tunic with a belt, the female introduced herself as Shaak Ti, Jedi Knight. Shaak Ti was a species called Togruta, from the planet Shili. Togrutans had long blue and white head tails, which resembled human hair in some respects.

As the Dantooine prairie winds battered her cloak and robes, Marlinda invited the exotic Jedi into her humble hut-like home. Squeezing her eyes shut in a fruitless effort to stop the tears flowing from them, she turned to face the Jedi Master and Marlinda spoke.

“Master Jedi, I know that my child is Force sensitive. One of your fellow Jedi Knights told me of it on a mission here to Dantooine. I have decided to give my darling baby up to the Jedi Temple in hopes you will train her to use and understand her unique powers.” Marlinda finished, choking a sob.

After a moment, Shaak Ti spoke, “Madame Marlinda Sunstar, the Jedi Order thanks you, and we can promise you that your child will be taken care of. We will teach her and train her as our own. That is the Jedi Way.”

She smiled at Marlinda as the baby was placed in her arms. The little baby’s vibrant green eyes snapped open, and upon noticing the woman holding her was not her mother, she began to cry. Shaak Ti rocked the baby softly in her arms. Marlinda walked the Jedi and her precious baby back to the Jedi’s star-ship, where they began to say goodbye. Marlinda held her baby close one last time, and as her lips kissed the baby’s soft cheek, Marlinda whispered to her child.

“Goodbye my darling, I will always love you, my Marilee” and with that she carried her baby into the Jedi’s ship, placed her in the prepared cradle and walked back down the loading ramp. Standing in the doorway of her home, Marlinda watched the Jedi take off and continued to watch the ship until it blinked from the sky. Only then did she fall to the ground and weep.
……………….

20 YEARS LATER...
Jedi Master Shaak Ti walked quickly and with purpose down the rough flagstone corridors of the revered Jedi Temple on Coruscant. Upon reaching The Room of a Thousand Fountains she swept inside. Near a small clearing of soft yellow-green grass sat her former Padawan, Marilee Sunstar deep in mediation.

“Greetings Master Ti,” Marilee’s melodic voice called out to her once master, “I can sense you have something important to tell me.” Shaak smiled and nodded her head, head-tails swaying.

“Yes, my old Padawan, you and I have both been called on a mission. Our presence is expected in the Grand Council Chambers immediately.” Marilee blinked her evergreen eyes open.

“A mission? Together?” she asked remembering old times with her master. Shaak Ti nodded again and a bubbly Marilee exclaimed, “Then let’s go!”

……………….

The Grand Council Chamber was spacious yet simply decorated. Jedi Masters Yoda, Mace Windu, Plo Koon, and Ki-Adi-Mundi were present in the chamber. Several holographic images provided the presence of multiple other masters whose holograms flickered in the early morning sun, which shone through the large window.

“Master Ti, Knight Sunstar, we have a request for you” Master Windu said.

“Throughout the Galaxy the Clone Wars has spread. Return to Kamino you two must. Need training the new clones do.” Master Yoda finished, folding his diminutive hands in his lap. Marilee could hardly contain her excitement and joy. She loved Kamino. Whenever she was on Kamino, she felt like she was sincerely making a difference to the war effort by training up new soldiers and preparing them for the current and coming battles against the Separatists. She loved to help and spend time with the clones, befriending them.

She was “officially” called “Commander Sunstar” when she was there, but in private with the clones they called her Master Jedi or just Mari. She only half-listened as Master Mundi explained their importance to the war by training new squadrons of clone troopers. Mari listened more intently when she felt Mace Windu’s piercing stare looking straight at her. When Master Mundi finished speaking Master Windu told the team that they would depart in two hours standard time.

Marilee could hardly wait She bowed respectfully and followed Master Ti out of the room. She could already hear the “plit, plit, plink” of the Kaminoan rain.

………….

“Plit, plit, plink, plit, plit, plink” rain thundered and pelted the metal dome of the clone trooper barracks. Shadow sat cleaning his weapon in a corner of his squad’s barracks. As he wiped his gun clean after a day full of training the rest of his squad came in from the mess hall.

Still talking and laughing about the havoc of the “mess”, the crew of clones saw Shadow sitting alone, looking distraught. Shadow was a special clone; he felt feelings his brothers didn’t feel. War was not something he was good at; in fact he hated to fight. He became depressed after witnessing the deaths of so many of his brothers and decided to protest against fighting.

This caused some of the Kaminoans to think that he was a defective clone and sent him to “detention” on Kamino, making him help take care of young clone cadets. After two months of that tedious work, Shadow was sent back out to the battlefield where he kept his mouth shut. Yet he couldn’t stop himself from thinking that there was more to life, well, at least his life, than blasting battle droids to bits. His thoughts were interrupted by Dagger, one of the men in his squad.

“Where were ‘ya Shadow? Didn’t see ‘ya in the mess.”

Shadow rolled his eyes and simply said, “I wasn’t hungry.”

Zipper, one of the other clones in the squad looked at Shadow and laughed, “Kept in your growth chamber too long, eh Shadow?”

“I said I wasn’t hungry,” Shadow muttered, turning away from his brothers who constantly mocked him.

“Oh come on boys, Lay off,” said Longshot, another brother from the Delta Squad,

“We’ve got to greet a bunch on Jedi anyway. Let’s get going boys.”

……………

The Jedi starship landed on the water world of Kamino in the middle of a terrible torrential downpour. Rushing inside as to get out of the rain, Shaak Ti and Marilee Sunstar ran into the white, sparkling clean looking lobby of the Clone Reproduction Facility.

The Kaminoan Cloning Facility was a like a floating building in the middle of the ocean. The rocking waves didn’t seem to bother the fiercely strong metal of the facility’s walls though, as it was stronger than steel.

Two Kaminoan Leaders, two Clone Commanders, and two Clone Trooper Squadrons greeted the soggy Jedi as they entered the building. Immediately recognizing the two Commanders, Marilee excitedly greeted them.

“Rocky, Spike!! So good to see you again!” She shook their hands and continued to greet the two squads, Aqua and Delta, two of the three squads that she trained herself. Even though she shook each clone’s hand, one clone’s shake felt different from the rest. Shadow’s. The Force surged from this clone. Was he Force-sensitive? His embrace wasn’t hard and stiff, instead it was rather warm, kind and friendly. Mari was surprised, but hid it from her face. The Kaminoan leaders asked to speak to Shaak in private and offered to give her a tour of the new wings of the facility, leaving Mari alone to spend time with “her” clones.

“Commander Mari!” exclaimed Longshot of Delta Squad, after the Kaminoans left with Master Ti.

“You came back! We knew you would.” said Ink, another excited clone.

“Zipper, Dagger, Longshot, Ink and Shadow! I’m so glad to be back, it’s nice to see my boys again! And Aqua squad, Jet, Flash, Dax, Flame, Split and Skimmer, it’s nice to see you again too! How have all ‘ya boys been?!?”

All the clones smiled, Mari’s cheerful personality was contagious even in the thick of war-time. Ink replied, “We are holding our own Commander, though the war takes its toll on us clones.”

“Agreed, Commander, we have had no breaks from the war. We only arrived home to Kamino yesterday.” Zipper chimed in.

“We were on our way to the training field” said Longshot.

“Care to join us?” asked Shadow politely.

“Why yes,” Mari answered taking his awaiting arm “I would be honored to join you.”

………………

I hope you enjoyed it! Please review in the Review Thread (that I will make right now) and let me know. Wink


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2 Re: Reaching for the Stars on Sun Aug 07, 2011 7:16 am

Alright, I'll put up Chapter 2. Razz I think we've gotten rid of our little 'friend' now. So I'll put it up! thank you for your nice comments. Very Happy



The mess hall was large, loud and crowded. Clones were everywhere, sitting together in their squads, talking, laughing and eating with each other. Shaak Ti and the two Kaminoan leaders walked through the different rooms explaining their purposes and locations.

Shaak Ti nodded politely and asked some questions about the trainers and training grounds, but she was not entirely focused, as she felt distracted by an unnamed disturbance in the Force. What was it? The future?

“Always in motion is the future, and many possible futures there are” Shaak thought to herself, repeating Master Yoda’s wise words. She felt for certain that something terrible was going to happen. If only she could figure out what...

………………

In the training field, the squads were given “brain teaser” type exercises and then sent to complete them on the indoor grid-like battlefield. The squads ran onto the field in teams, having to work together to accomplish the goal.

Mari sat in a balcony box overlooking the domed training arena with a clone trainer named Greendol. Greendol was a tall Rodian male with green-yellow skin. He wrote out comments on the squads’ performance on a datapad. Mari observed in admiration as the stubborn clones she had trained to work out their differences months ago were now working together and fighting as one.

“They are the best of the best”, Greendol stated, looking down at the fighting troopers. Mari smiled; they had come a long way since the last time she was on Kamino. By the time they had reached the goal point, most of the practice droids had been deactivated and none of the clone troopers were hurt. The alarm sounded signaling the end of the practice run.

“An all-time high record!” exclaimed an impressed Greendol. Mari applauded loudly and cheered for her clone friends. With extremely high marks, and the highest and top time score ever, the proud clones clapped each other on the back in excitement. Mari came down from the floating balcony and celebrated with them. Cheering and hugging happily, the clones decided to go out to the “Clone Cantina” as they called it where Greendol would supply drinks for all.

Everyone was celebrating and happy yet something didn’t feel right. Mari felt uneasy, a disturbance in the Force as Master Yoda would call it. Suddenly she felt her head spin as the disturbance grew. She suddenly felt faint. Something terrible was going to happen. Her gaze found its way over to Shadow, who in the midst of celebration obviously felt the same way. He looked as if he was going to pass out as well. Mari rushed to his side and asked him if he was all right. Pulling him aside and assuring the others to meet them at the bar, Mari asked Shadow what he felt.

“M-my head.” He stammered, “it’s spinning, I have this feeling in the pit of my stomach, l-like something bad is about to happen.” Mari’s bright green eyes snapped open wider and her light red hair swished as she jerked her head upright.

“You are sensing the Force.” She stated, and then she added, “I feel it too.”

………….

Mari skipped the Clone party that evening and went to seek her Master’s council.

“Master? May I speak to you for a moment?” Mari asked, tapping lightly on Shaak Ti’s quarter door, which was slightly ajar.

“Yes, Marilee, come in.” Silently sliding the door closed behind her, Mari stepped into her Master’s room feeling quite uneasy.

“Marilee, what is it?” Shaak Ti asked in her gentle Spanish accent, “I can sense you’re uneasy.”

“Yes, Master” Marilee replied honestly, “Today I felt a strong disturbance in the Force. So did a Clone in Delta Squadron, Shadow.” Mari sighed, something just wasn’t right.

“I have felt it too. I believe that it is a sign for things to come. There is nothing we can do but be prepared.” Shaak Ti answered her former Padawan, knowing that this answer would not satisfy Marilee.

“But Master!” Marilee exclaimed in disbelief, “We cannot simply do anything?! We have to try and do something, anything, to protect us and the others from what is to come!”

“Marilee, Patience young one” Shaak Ti replied matter-of-factly, “We cannot stop what we do not know of”. Mari looked embarrassed by her outburst and stared at her feet.

“We must remain calm, Mari” Shaak Ti told her worried old Padawan. “The only thing we can be is prepared” Shaak added.

“For what Master?” asked Mari earnestly.

“I do not know, Mari,” Shaak Ti said sincerely, “I do not know.”

Together on Kamino, Shaak Ti and Marilee were somewhat cut off from the war and happenings on Coruscant. The Jedi team stayed on the water world and helped aide injured clones, train new clones, teach clone cadets, and work on military strategy. Mari was also able to get closer with her clone friends. The men were often in and out of the base, sent back and forth from the field to the Kaminoan facility.

When off duty, the clones of Delta squad especially liked to spend time with Marilee. Sitting happily in the clone trooper barracks, Delta Squad and Mari loved talking, exchanging stories, playing cards and sharing jokes. Mari was especially drawn to Shadow, the clone who surged with the Force. Together they spent hours talking, about the war, their jobs and the limits of them.

“Being a clone, you are bred for war. To fight, to kill, to destroy. I just, just don’t see how the others can be okay with it. I’ve seen too many of my brothers die at the hands of the Seppies. It makes me want to do many things, fight them and do my duty, and also to stop the fighting and stop risking the lives of my brothers. Because I have trouble choosing, the other clones and cloners think I am, a mistake. I am a free thinker, not a mistake.”

Shadow and Mari were sitting in the mess hall late into the hours of the night, sitting in their favorite corner where they couldn’t be seen by the nighttime scopes. It was dark but the emergency lights provided enough light to see by.

“How do you feel about that?” Mari asked gently prodding him to let her see the real Shadow, the man behind the helmet, so to speak.

“Well, I feel like there is more to life than fighting. But what? All clones are trained to do is fight the Separatists and shoot weapons. But what is so wrong about wanting to leave the army and do something more with my life?”

Marilee nodded and said, “I understand how you feel. As a Jedi, you dedicate your entire life to the Order and that can cause great gaps in your soul. We can’t have personal possessions, care about looks or what people think of us, we can’t do just about anything without getting the Council’s approval first, and we can’t marry or love. Yet we are supposed to be compassionate and use the Force to guide our decisions and choices. If I know all of this by heart, then why do I question it all, wondering if I should be doing something else or be with someone else in my life. Not that I don’t care about the Jedi and the Order, I do, honestly I do, yet I can’t help but wonder why. Why don’t we know our families, or why we aren’t even allowed to know where we come from?”

Mari finished and looked at Shadow’s handsome face. He looked back and added to her statement.

“Why we are expected to follow orders, no matter what they may be.”

“And never question, always be at peace.” She added.

“Why we were bred to fight, and to be someone’s servant.”

“Never allowed to marry or love anyone, yet be passionate and compassionate in all we do.”

In unison, the two said.

“Why we aren’t allowed to leave the Order.”

They looked into each other’s eyes and shared a silent look that said, “This never leaves this room”. Mari smiled lovingly and looked deeper into Shadow’s eyes.

“You are not just an ordinary clone Shadow,” She said softly as she moved closer to him.

“And you’re no ordinary Jedi.” He moved in closer.

Then in the dim light of the mess hall, Mari and Shadow kissed. He felt her silky soft hair brush against his neck and he relaxed. His hands wrapped her around the waist and they held each other tenderly in the corner of the mess hall. They hugged each other and after several minutes, let go. Both Shadow and Mari never wanted the moment to end.

They looked at each other again, now for the first time acknowledging their forbidden love and Mari whispered.

“We can’t do this, we just spoke about it, it’s against both of what we were taught to believe.”

Shadow nodded and said, “Yes, but who says we have to believe it?” Mari smiled and shook her head.

“I can’t, and neither can you. We both have jobs and duties to the Republic. If we…fall in love, we can never be together. We are forbidden.” Shadow’s brown eyes dulled slightly in disappointment.

“But maybe we could keep it secret and no one would have to know…and…”

“Shadow, you and I both know we can’t live a lie. We both sensed a disturbance in the Force…maybe… maybe things will change.”
………………………….

*sighs* Yes, it's a romance. XDD Don't worry, there's plenty of action and adventure, and there's a lot of excitement coming up too. Wink Le me know what you think!!!! marajade


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3 Re: Reaching for the Stars on Tue Aug 09, 2011 8:05 am

Thank you everyone who reviewed for me. Wink I am so glad you like it so far! To those with more experience with the Clones than I have, thank you! I've kinda already gotten everything written up, so for now I'll just keep it. This was written basically right after the Season Premier of TCW Season 3. Wink So it's based off the first few episodes. Wink I hope you all like it, and let me know your thoughts!
BTW, Guys, I am a girl. I write romance. XD I apologize, my normal audience on this story was a bunch of hopelessly romantic girls like myself. XDD But, don't worry, there is some action. A lot of action actually. And I AM going to write a sequel (I'm in the process of that now) and it's less romance and more action/adventure. Wink

.....................


Unbeknownst to the Jedi and Clones on Kamino, terrible things were happening on Coruscant, things that would jeopardize all of their very existence. The Separatist leaders Count Dooku and General Grievous had been killed. The Clone Wars were over. But another war had begun. The great Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker had fallen to the dark side. He had murdered Master Mace Windu, and joined forces with the great evil that was Darth Sideous, Lord of the Sith. To eliminate the Jedi, Anakin, no, Darth Vader had been sent to slay any remaining Jedi and destroy the Jedi Temple. He killed all the Jedi there, including the younglings. But how would Jedi out on other planets be eliminated?

……………..

Mari sat with her clone friends in their barracks while she awaited Master Ti’s instructions. Shaak was out in the training balcony overlooking a group of Cadets practice. She promised to beep Mari on her commlink when she was ready for the ARC Troopers to come in and show the young Cadets what real troopers looked like.

Shaak Ti was then called in on commlink to report to the Kaminoan Cloner’s office, where she needed to report on the scores of the days Cadets. Shaak called Mari on commlink to tell her where she was going and to dispatch the troop’s looks like training’s over for today.

Mari sighed and leaned back against the wall. “Sorry boys, no action today, Kaminoan’s decided to call off any of the day’s demonstrations.” She said. “You guys can go and do what you like now, if you so choose.”

“Sir, yes, sir!” the clones replied in unison and swept out of the room. Once out in the hallway, Zipper got a message on his commlink.

“The time has come. Execute Order 66” the hideous voice of Darth Sideous said on holotransmission. Order 66 was meant for Clones to betray and slaughter the Jedi. Everyone in Aqua and Delta squads returned to the barracks where Mari was packing up her things.

“Oh, troopers… back so soon?” she asked innocently, though confused. Then the shooting began. Without any warning, the clones turned and fired upon their friend Mari. She whipped out her green lightsaber and counter attacked their precise firing.

All the clones fired on Mari, all except Shadow. His gun was raised but only set for stun. He shot and fired pretending to kill the outgunned Jedi. The other clones stopped firing and looked at Shadow.

“Excellent Job men,” said Zipper, “Let’s move”. Everyone left the barracks except Shadow, who took on the chore of cleaning up the Jedi’s “dead” body. He removed his helmet and lifted Mari’s lifeless form to carry her to safety. Unsure of where to go and knowing his backstabbing brothers would continue to try and assassinate the Jedi until they were positive she was destroyed, he headed toward the hangar bay.

He could not believe that one order would make his brothers want to kill their friend. He refused to kill her, knowing that he...well, loved her. It would destroy him to know that he, or one of his brothers, killed the promising young and cheerful Jedi. Carrying her to the deserted hangar bay, Shadow laid the stunned Mari gently on the inside of the Jedi Star fighter, which was stationed at the clone base. As Shadow took off, not knowing where he was going, Mari began to stir.

“What happened?” she asked, sounding completely dazed. “Shadow? What are you doing? Why did you try and kill me, where am I???” she demanded, her voice rising and sounding completely afraid.

“Commander Mari, all the clones were issued an order to betray the Republic and the Jedi. I did not fire on you, though the others did, I stunned you and brought you to this star fighter which I honestly don’t know where is going.” Said Shadow honestly.

“Shadow,” Mari said, her voice full of gratitude, “I owe you my life! You saved me.” Then a horrible thought struck her and she gasped.

“Master!!!” Mari cried, “Shadow, we have to go back, my Master is still in the facility!! She could be in serious trouble!” Shadow looked at her in alarm and after a moment of thought replied to her calmly.

“Try and raise her on the commlink because I think we have some troubles of our own, two fighter squadrons headed our way!” Mari beeped Shaak Ti on her comm channel but the unit was full of static. She tried a different channel and got a better result. Shaak’s voice came in loud and clear.

“Master! Are you all right? The clones were issued an order from an unknown source to betray the Jedi, are you there Master??”

Shaak Ti’s voice came in a burst of static and then clearly. “I had a little trouble, but now I am on my way to, *static* *static*, Felucia, I’ll be safe there. Where is your destination Marilee?”

Mari looked sideways at Shadow and replied, “We are unsure for the moment, Master,”

“We?” Shaak Ti interrupted.

“Yes we, Clone Trooper Shadow rescued me from the betraying clones. He saved my life.” Mari replied.

Then Shadow called out, “Two fighters have shown up on the scanners, I can’t shake them, I think they know you are still alive!” Mari’s face went from alarm to panic and then she said into her commlink, “Master, we are having some problems, contact me when you arrive on Felucia.” And she cut off the comm channel.

………………

Shadow shot down two of the clone fighter jets that were coming toward and firing at the Jedi Cruiser. Six more were on the way and approaching quickly. Mari seeing the blips on the scanner rushed to the turret gunner and began to aim. As a Jedi who had seen little action in the battlefield, she was only mildly good at aiming and shooting. Managing to down one ship and disable another, Mari cheered for herself, seeing she was not exactly a “fighting type” of Jedi.

The sounds of ships were everywhere, zooming, crashing, exploding, firing, “pew, pew, pew” they were so loud. It was hard for a being to find peace amidst the confusion. But Mari was a Jedi and she found her inner calm, center peace and with her eyes closed, she sensed the different ships with the Force.

Once she felt and saw them in her head, she opened her eyes and fired. She had a direct hit on the leader of the attack. The explosion was so huge; it engulfed the two other fighters surrounding it. Only two left. The range of the two twin fighters was much smaller than their leader’s and they couldn’t seem to lock on a target. Suddenly, the two fighters began to retreat. They would tell their leader where Mari was going!! Shadow couldn’t let that happen.

He blasted the two retreating ships to pieces with proton torpedoes. He was confused. These men who were firing against him were his brothers. He had fought for them and they had fought for him. They worked together and lived to aid the Republic. What was happening?

……………………..


______________________________________________________________________________________________

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4 Re: Reaching for the Stars on Thu Aug 11, 2011 5:54 am

Here is where the action begins. Smile Enjoy, and let me know what you think!! Smile This is what Ley and I call, 'Dramaful'. XDD

.........................

Mari ran into the pilot area of the cruiser. Shadow was staring at the console in incredulity.

“What is it?” asked Mari, who was actually afraid to find out.

“The engines were damaged” Shadow replied feeling horrible. His self-proclaimed mission to save Mari was failing.

“We won’t make it through hyperspace.” He said, his voice sounding incredibly dismayed.

“Oh,” Mari said, realizing that they were probably going to die, “well that’s not good.”

“We will have to land the ship before the engines go out.” Shadow told her, trying to take charge of the situation once again. “If we get the ship down to the surface of the upcoming system we might make it.” He finished. Mari nodded her head and reached over to the navicomputer to her left.

“Look!” she said excitedly, “We are coming up on the Dantooine system now! We just might make it!!” Mari brushed her fine red hair out of her eyes and began to flip the appropriate switches to land the ship.

“Uh-Oh,” she said suddenly, “We have trouble.”

………………….

“What is going on?” Shadow asked, his accent sounding extremely distressed. Mari looked at him in alarm and said.

“We have no landing gear!! We’ll crash!” Shadow looked from the beautiful girl on his left to the beautiful green-yellow planet below him.

“Get to an escape pod.”

Mari looked at him defiantly and said, “No. I’m not leaving here without you. I owe you my life and I intend to repay that debt.”

“Mari! We don’t have time for this! I order you to get to an escape pod immediately!”

“You order me?” Mari snorted “Ha, funny, last time I checked, the Jedi were the ones who ordered the clones. Not the other way around.”

“You said it yourself Mari, I’m no ordinary clone. If but if you want it your way, fine, order yourself to get to an escape pod so you can get to safety!”

“No! I’m not ordering myself to do anything and even if I did, it wouldn’t matter, I won’t go! If this ship goes down, I am going with it.”

Shadow sighed and said, “Fine, but we are going to crash, without the landing gear we will have no way to stop the ship.” The two of them were silent for a moment.

“I guess things changed,” Mari said, looking almost at peace. “We have both somewhat abandoned our jobs, maybe we can…”

Shadow looked at her and answered, “Mari, we are probably going to die and if that happens, how can we do anything?!?”

Mari looked deeply into his brown eyes and said, “We’ll never know unless we try.” Shadow smiled, the feelings he felt in the mess hall over two months ago flooded back to him. Shadow and Mari both came closer to each other and as the warning lights flashed and the alarms sounded, they kissed, happy to be alone even if the cruiser they were alone in was about to crash.

As Shadow’s lips touched hers, everything else faded out for Mari. It was just her and the love of her life. She loved him, he was special, he was not a mistake, he was hers. Shadow’s hands held her lower back and they just sat there for a long time, just holding each other in love.

They both wanted to just stay like that, in each other’s arms. The flashing lights and warning alarms sounded louder and flashed brighter. They had to do something. The ship was going down and Dantooine’s grassy surface was nearing them faster and faster with each passing second. Reluctantly, they let each other go.

………………….

There was nothing that they could do. The ship was flailing down toward the grassland planet at accelerated speeds. All they could do was safely crash the ship, which was near impossible. Shadow kept an eye on the controls as Mari gathered all the soft things she could find. If there was any chance of survival, they would go at it together. Using pillows and mattresses from the cabins (which were not very comforting), Mari and Shadow bundled up and held onto something strong in order to keep from flying across the room upon planetary impact.

Shoved between thin mattresses and four pillows around her head, Mari awaited the blow. She looked through a crack in her pillow prison and was able to see Shadow crawl into a similar position as she was in. His plastioid armor clinked as he shimmied in between two blankets and six pillows plus a foam mattress.

Then it hit. The cruiser jammed into the planet’s surface sending Mari and Shadow flying around the pillow and mattresses. Mari was thrown against a wall, her right arm cut and she heard it break with a sickening crack. She screamed out in pain.

Marilee collapsed and as her damaged arm bled and bruised, Shadow rushed to her aide. The ship would explode any minute, and they needed to be off of it. Thinking quickly, Shadow kicked off the half-hanging open door and picked up the injured Mari to carry her to safety. Tears dripped down her face and Marilee tried very hard to hide it, but Shadow couldn’t do anything about it, yet.

As soon as he dashed Mari over to a nearby boulder, the ship imploded. The boom of its explosion seemed to rock the planet itself. He looked down at Mari only to find that her arm was more injured than he thought.

Shadow immediately jumped into action. He reached into the emergency packs that he was suddenly grateful for grabbing. Injecting bacta into her neck to cleanse the wound and calm the pain, he began to gently mop up some of the blood. Then he put on a bandage over it to try and stop the bleeding. Even though his make-shift bandage would have to work, he knew she would eventually need real medical attention.

Shadow propped Mari’s body up against the large rock and continued to check her for any further wounds. Finding none, he sighed and sat down exhausted next to her behind the rock.

“You know this wouldn’t have happened if you went to the escape pod.” She looked into his eyes and smiled.

“Shadow, you have saved me once again. I don’t know how to repay you.” Blushing slightly, he replied.

“No, you needed help, no repay needed.” He reached over and pointed at her wound. “We need to find you a real medic. That’s broken and cut up. Too bad for a bit of bacta to fix.”

Mari nodded and added, “It hurts like bell too.” Shadow chuckled softly and stood up to take a look around. At first all he saw was grass, grass, grass, and more grass. Then somewhere very far in the distance, he saw a tree, what looked like a blob but was probably an animal of some kind, and…smoke.

Shielding his eyes from the sun, he bent back down and spoke to Marilee.

“There, in the distance, there’s some smoke, maybe a town or farm.” Mari’s sea-green eyes lit up in hope and she said, “Then we should go!”

She tried to get up but failed. Her legs went out from under her and she landed in a heap on the grassy ground. She yelped sharply upon falling to the hard ground.

“Mari!” exclaimed Shadow, now really worried. “You’re more injured than I thought. We have to get you to a medic now.”

“Shadow, I’m fine, just in shock… help me up, I can make it.” Shadow was not convinced but he lifted her up, careful not to touch her injured arm which hung limply at her side. Supporting her almost more than she could support herself, Shadow half carried Mari off in the direction of the smoke in the distance.
……………………….


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5 Re: Reaching for the Stars on Fri Aug 12, 2011 9:55 pm

Wow. Chapter 5 already! xDD Haha! Cool! Smile Okay, once again, DRAMAFUL, but still okay. xDD Dantooine is apparently canon, because there are farms. xDDDDD LOL!
Well, enjoy! Smile
............................
It was getting dark and Shadow didn’t really know what kind of night creatures were on Dantooine. After about an hour of moving slowly across the open prairie, Mari’s legs went limp again and she almost fell. Shadow caught her by her good arm and lifted her body into his arms. It was obvious she needed to rest.

Gently putting her down on the ground, he lowered himself too. Her body leaned against his and they sat there, Mari’s shallow breathing much labored. Mari’s vision faltered as she had a sudden visualization in her mind. A woman, kind, middle-aged, staring at her animals and looking into the distance. The woman looked incredibly familiar but Mari didn’t know from where. Her eyes snapped open again and she used her good hand to touch Shadow’s cheek.

“Shadow,” she gasped for breath before continuing. “I… just had a vision…the smoke and animals, I think they were a woman’s.” She stopped once more to take a deep breath.

“She…will help us…I know her somehow…” Then after another moment, Mari continued. “I will only slow you down. Go on without me…go get help and then come back.”

Shadow stared at her, and then said, “No, I won’t leave you. If I leave, something could come and get you or you could…” He didn’t finish. He knew as well as Mari did that she was weak. Infection had probably already set in, and she might’ve had a concussion from hitting her head in the ship.

If Shadow left, something could happen and she might die. Shadow then added defiantly, “You wouldn’t leave me, and I won’t leave you. I’ll carry you to the farm before I leave you alone here.”

Mari nodded and thanked him with her eyes. It was apparent that talking or moving exerted too much effort. She needed to sleep. Shadow gripped her limp hand in his strong one and repeated, “I won’t leave you. Not ever.” Mari then closed her eyes and began to drift off to sleep, her head on Shadow’s lap.

……………………

It was daybreak; Shadow had stayed alert all night keeping watch over Mari and their surrounding area. Softly tapping Mari, he tried to wake her. She looked very pale, and it worried Shadow. He lifted her listless looking body from the ground and began to walk toward the trees and animals in the distance.

After about an hour of walking, Mari began to wake. Shadow stopped walking and helped her down to the ground where she woke up fully. Mari’s soft green eyes were alert and as bright as ever despite the fact that her arm was not any better except that the bleeding had stopped.
He could see that her arm was broken by the way it was twisted in an awkward position.

Mari’s light red hair glistened in the early morning sun as it shone down from the Dantooine sky. Shadow stopped and just basked in her beauty. He loved her…so much. After taking in her surroundings slightly, Mari’s face suddenly twisted with pain as the bacta wore off. Shadow looked at how fragile she was at the moment and realized that something must not be right. He looked at the bloody bandage and told her, “Mari, that needs to come off; I need to assess it better and clean it better too.”

Mari nodded miserably. As he gently and carefully unwrapped her arm, Mari winced in pain. Underneath the bandage, Mari’s arm was very badly injured. It was sliced by the metal of the debris and the impact of the ship probably caused it to break. It was critical that Shadow get it cleaned up and better wrapped so that it did not get infected, or rather, more infected. He would not let that happen. Hissing in pain, Mari tried not to think about it and just think about keeping calm, though that was physically impossible at the moment. As Shadow gently sanitized her sensitive arm, Marilee tried to use a Jedi Mind Trick to calm her nerves.

Shadow injected more bacta and with the med supplies in his pack, he washed her wound with caring hands. Mari’s pained cries that escaped her lips every so often echoed in his ears as he cleaned the wound. She was in too much pain, even with the bacta, her pain did not subside. What was wrong? He was no medic, Shadow only knew the basics, but he could tell that her arm was probably already infected, and it was affecting the rest of her.

He rewrapped her arm tightly and created a makeshift sling from part of Mari’s tunic. Breathing heavily, Mari finally sighed and laid back on the soft grass. Her arm throbbed and she focused on finding her center calm. After a moment she did and used the Force to strengthen her body. Gradually, with Shadow’s help, Mari made it to her feet and began to walk again. They walked slowly side by side for hours, occasionally stopping so Mari could rest, before they reached the outskirts of the farm that seemed so far off in the distance just that morning.

…………..

Shadow laid the exhausted and tremendously weak Mari down in the pasture of the farm animals. Two curious cow-like animals called shaaks came over and sniffed her pained body with their long snouts. Shadow walked up the walkway to the door of the hut and knocked on it. A woman answered, surprised by visitors because no one ever came this far out into the wilderness. She was even more surprised to find a clone trooper on her doorstep.

“Who are you?” She demanded, “And where do you come from, and why are you here?”
“I have a gun.” She added.

Shadow bowed to the lady and answered her questions. “I am Clone Trooper Shadow, number CC-5445. I have come with my companion from the water world of Kamino and we seek help. My friend was very badly injured when our ship crashed and she is very ill. I fear she may not live if she doesn’t get help right away.” Glancing behind Shadow and seeing Mari at the edge of her pasture, the woman’s expression changed from defensive too kindly.

“Oh dear, please bring her in. I’ll do all I can to help you.” Full of gratitude, Shadow said,

“Thank you Madame, your help would be greatly appreciated.” Shadow lifted Mari’s seemingly lifeless body from the base of the tree and carried her into the house. The woman closed the door behind them and instructed Shadow to lay his companion down on the sleep-couch. Mari’s body lay limply in Shadow’s arms.

He warily placed her precious body on the couch and brushed the hair from her face. Mari’s eyes blinked open slightly and she glanced around the room. Seeing confusion in her eyes, Shadow told her quietly, “We are in the house we saw. You made it Mari, you made it.” And he sighed in relief.
………………………


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6 Re: Reaching for the Stars on Tue Aug 16, 2011 8:54 am

Well y'all, with all the drama behind us, let's start fresh with a new RFTS chapter. Wink I'm sorry for freaking out before. Razz Let's just stay happy and forget about all that other stuff. Smile Enjoy Chapter 6!!!

....................

The kindly woman fed and clothed Shadow and Mari. Although Mari was weak, Shadow took care of her and gave her the best medical treatment he could manage. As the days passed, their relationship grew and so did their love.

Mari got stronger and stronger and even though she could not walk yet, and her arm was still very injured, Mari was strong enough to talk, change her clothes, and eat. Shadow and the woman were good friends now, but he did not realize that he didn’t even introduce Mari. The woman just called her “your friend” or “her”.

When Marilee was strong enough to speak and eat, she and the woman got to know each other.

“Thank you,” Mari told her when she brought her some soup and bread. “Your kindness is much appreciated…but… I do not even know your name! May I have it so I can thank you properly?” She asked politely.

“Oh yes,” the woman said, “silly me, I did not even introduce myself to you. Well, when we first met you were unconscious!” she laughed for a moment and then answered, “Marlinda,” she said jovially, “My name is Marlinda Sunstar, but you can just call me Marlinda.”

Mari sat bolt upright. Her green eyes widened in disbelief. “Did you say Sunstar?” she asked, wondering if it could be true.

“Why yes, what is the matter?” Marlinda asked with concern.

Mari’s eyes returned to their normal size and she asked suddenly, “Did you ever have a daughter?”

Confused by the question, Marlinda answered, “Umm, yes, yes I did. But that was a long time ago.”

“What did you name her?!?” Mari demanded.

“Marilee.” Marlinda answered getting choked up at the thought of her daughter. Mari gasped and shook her head slowly, as if she could not believe her ears.

“My name is Marilee Sunstar.” she replied, her eyes filling with tears.

The woman, Marlinda, was crying now, the tears dripping down her cheeks.

“My Marilee?” she asked tentatively, “You became a Jedi?” She stopped for a moment to dab her eyes. “I haven’t seen you since you were an infant. Oh my gods, my daughter!!” the two women embraced in complete joy and excitement.

Shadow walked into the room at that moment and upon seeing the women in tears looked incredibly confused.

“What, what’s wrong? Mari, are you alright?” Marlinda and Mari let go of each other and both nodded. Mari told Shadow, “Shadow, you will never believe this!! Marlinda is my mom! I know where I came from! I have a family!”

Shadow smiled clearly happy for them. Marlinda looked from Shadow to Mari and smiled, overjoyed to be a mother to Marilee once again. Mari nodded her gaze never leaving Shadow’s. She smiled then looked at her new mother.

“Mom,” she whispered, as if she was still having trouble believing it.

“You became a Jedi?” Marlinda asked again, hoping her choice to give her daughter up would be worth it.

“Yes, I am a Jedi.” Mari answered. “I have mastered the Force and became a Jedi Knight. I am a Jedi Clone Trainer.” Marlinda’s eyes filled with tears, happy to hear these words. “I am so glad…so, so glad.”

Overjoyed to know where she came from and that she had a family, Mari immediately wanted to meet the rest of her family. She discovered that her father was constantly out of town when she was born and that shortly after her little brother was born, he was killed by robbers while traveling in the middle of the night.

Excited to discover she had a brother, Mari asked about him. Marlinda looked excited and answered, “Why, he’s in town! He is only a few years younger than you and he works at a restaurant in the town.”

Marilee perked up and asked if she could go to meet him. Marlinda said that she was not at all ready to be up and walking around, her body was much weaker than her mind. Shadow began to argue too when Mari said, “Well, I will eventually need to go to town for medical treatment anyway, can’t I meet my brother there?” Nodding reluctantly, Shadow gave in.

“To get to town it is a half a day’s journey.” Marlinda reminded them, “It can be tiring to get there on foot, and I only have a small wagon that I use to bring my fruits to the market in.”

Two hours later, Mari found herself sitting wrapped in a blanket, inside her mother’s small produce wagon. Shadow had a backpack on with four days rations in it. He pulled the wagon behind him with Mari’s still fairly weak body in the back of it. Mari did not want to be pushed around in a wagon for a day, but after trying to walk and having her legs collapse, she gave into the wagon idea.

“Goodbye!!” Marlinda called to them as they left to cross the prairie to get to town later that day, “Good Luck! I’ll see you in a few days!”

They waved behind them and then Mari and Shadow started off across the prairie. Marlinda re-entered her hut and began to fix a midday meal for herself.

……………………..

The half a day’s journey passed quickly for Mari and Shadow. They spoke about what had just happened, their jobs, what would happen if and when they got off of Dantooine and what had caused the clones to turn on Mari like that. Finally, they began to talk about themselves. “We still have to remember that we have duties to the Jedi Order and Clone Order.” Mari said, “We can’t just go planning our future when we have no ideas as to what is going on in the rest of the galaxy.” Shadow nodded and said, “I know that, and you know that, but what we don’t know is what is going on, on Coruscant I mean. Order 66 meant that the Jedi had betrayed the Republic and that they needed to be eliminated.” He stated. “But I don’t believe that the Jedi would do that. Something isn’t right on Coruscant.” Shadow said decisively. “And we have to get to the bottom of it.” Mari finished for him. “Yes,” Shadow said, “And I know how to, in town.” He said gesturing to the town in the near distance. They smiled and Shadow broke into a run, pulling the wagon with Mari in it behind him.

The bustling town of Tre’nar was full of villagers and eager vendors selling their goods. Mari felt foolish being pulled into town on a tiny crate wagon, so she asked Shadow if she could walk into town. With the help of Shadow, Marilee stood and limped slowly into Tre’nar. The first place the two stopped was in a tavern. Women and men alike were welcomed in the Dantooine tavern and this being one of the only settlements, it had only a few people in it. Dressed in farmer clothes, the out-of-towners didn’t look to strange. Shadow was dressed in a pair of rawhide slacks and a cotton olive green tunic. He also wore his clone trooper belt with his blaster attached.

Mari was dressed in a beautiful dark green dress that had lovely yet simple embroidery on the bodice and cuffs of the sleeves. On her leather belt she had a money purse that held their remaining credits, and her lightsaber. Her short red hair was brushed and fell on her shoulders showing off her natural beauty. Mari’s green eyes matched perfectly with her dress, completing her entire look.

The two of them fit in perfectly with the locals and looked like a perfect couple. The tavern owner stood up upon their entry and looked somewhat perplexed.

“Who are you?” the burly man demanded, “You ‘ain’t from around ‘ere.” Shadow looked nervously at Marilee for a moment but quickly regained his composure.
“No, we’re not,” Shadow said coolly, “We are from the core worlds and our ship crashed here. A local named Marlinda Sunstar helped us out and gave us food, shelter and medical attention. My companion here was badly injured.” Mari shifted slightly next to Shadow reveal her bandaged arm.

Shadow looked lovingly at her and said to the man at the counter, “Do you know where we can find a Medic Center?” The man went from unfriendly to slightly sympathetic and answered, “Yea, three shops down, blue door. Ask for Bruce, he’ll ‘elp ‘ya.”

“Thank you kind sir” answered Mari sincerely, giving him a small smile. The two left the tavern with a few strange looks from the locals who were inside.

…………………

Inside the medic office, Shadow and Mari sat in the waiting room waiting until the secretary came to the counter and took their names. Shadow had helped Mari from her wagon onto a chair in the waiting room. When the doors of the office slid open, Shadow stood to talk to the receptionist. The receptionist was a young boy, probably around 16 or 17 with light hair and features. His brown eyes looked up and he smiled politely.

“Welcome to the Tre’nar Institute for Excellence in Medical and Doctorial Services,” the boy said pleasantly, “how can I help you?”

Shadow smiled then his face turned more serious, “We need some help, you see, your ship crashed and her arm is injured.” Shadow said, putting a protective arm around Mari’s waist, “Whatever the cost; I’ll find a way to cover it. She was in critical condition for a few days, but a kind local woman helped us. Now that she’s stable we were able to make the journey to get here so she can be better checked out.”

After hearing their story, the receptionist nodded his head and said, “The doctor will be with you in a moment.”

Then remembering Shadow added, “Oh, we were told to ask for Bruce!”

Behind his shoulder the receptionist waved his hand and said “Yup! Just a minute!” Shadow then returned to Mari’s side and smiled affectionately. He took her hand in his and patted it tenderly.

She looked into his eyes, smiled and said, “Thanks Shadow, for everything.” Then he bent his head to touch hers and whispered in her ear, “Anytime darlin’, anytime.”

…………..

Bruce was the main and best doctor in all of Dantooine. He sat in his office clicking a few keys on his datapad when the receptionist walked into his office.

“Dr. Bruce, you have another patient.”

“Thank you George, I’ll be in room 4 in two minutes.” When Dr. Bruce arrived in room 4, Mari was sitting on the examination table with a medical droid examining and taking scans of Mari’s arm. After explaining their situation again so the doctor could have a record on his datapad, the doctor examined Mari’s arm again and then asked about her symptoms.

“Well,” Mari said, “I was unconscious for two days, my arm is very painful, and, Oh yea, I couldn’t walk and still can’t without feeling faint, what does that amount to?” her voice was so thick with sarcasm that Shadow almost laughed out loud. He tried to hide his smile but was having serious problems doing so.

Dr. Bruce laughed and said, “Well, I believe that it means that we have quite a few tests to take.” Mari so wanted to say that she hadn’t studied, but she could tell by the look on Dr. Bruce’s face that this was no joking matter.

………………..

One hour and several tests later, Dr. Bruce had his answer. Mari had broken her arm in two places and lost quite a bit of blood from the damage to her arm by the broken ship. He also diagnosed that because of the blood loss and infection she still could not walk and often felt faint.

After a half an hour in a bacta tank, Mari’s arm was almost healed and her blood count was back to normal. Shadow anxiously awaited her to come out of the bacta and was pacing in the waiting room when George the receptionist came in and told him that Mari had come out of the bacta and was resting in the Recovery Ward.

Shadow walked in and found Mari laying on a repulsorlift bed looking completely at peace. Her closed eyes were gently shut as if in a light sleep. Her hands were folded across her chest and they moved slightly when she breathed. Mari’s strawberry hair draped the back of the bed and her green dress was folded on a nearby chair along with her belt and shoes. She wore the medical robes that were supplied after treatment and her left arm was professionally bandaged up.

Shadow sighed and lightly brushed his fingertips against her silky smooth cheek. Her eyelids fluttered at his touch. He felt the Force surge from her body. Mari was healing and her body was growing stronger by the minute. The Medical Droid came and handed Shadow a datapad with all of Mari’s medical information on it.

He read it and discovered that: She would probably wake up within an hour and should be able to walk again. And, her injured arm would take time to heal as it was broken. Mari’s eyelids fluttered again, and the droid checked her charts and scanners dutifully.

Shadow smiled, everything would be all right. He could sense it. Mari would heal, and they would be together. He couldn’t tell how or why he knew these things, but he did. And he did not doubt them.

……………………………..

That was a pretty long chapter! Smile I hope you all liked it!!! Tell me what you think. Smile This was an important one......I'm focusing soooo much now on the sequel and end of the first that I'm forgetting the beginning! LOL! Wink Well, thanks again y'all! *hugs*
JC <3


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7 Re: Reaching for the Stars on Wed Aug 31, 2011 8:10 am

CHAPTAH SEVEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Very Happy I have been SOOOO BUSY. School is some monster that comes and eats me up during the week and spits me out on the weekends......except I'm HOMEschooled, so I don't even get spit out on the weekends. XDD I'll be updating more frequently though, I apologize. Wink Enjoy this chapter and let me know what you think!!!!!! Very Happy

...........


“Rise Lord Vader, you have a new assignment.” The old and horrid voice of Darth Sideous now Emperor Palpatine rang through the room.

The Imperial Palace on Coruscant had a very important meeting of Darth Vader and his Master in his Master’s main chamber. The room held Darth Vader encased in his mechanical prison and also held Emperor Palpatine, now leader of the galaxy, plus the two dismissed Royal Guards.

“You are to locate and exterminate any Jedi who escaped the in the middle of the night Great Jedi Purge or Order 66. They are to be killed on sight. Prove to me your new powers Lord Vader, show me that you are worthy of being my apprentice.” His distorted old withered voice demanded his apprentice.

“Yes my Master,” Lord Vader’s mechanical sounding voice answered obediently. “It will be done.” As Emperor Palpatine dismissed Darth Vader from his throne room, Vader’s mechanical breathing could be heard down the corridors of the Palace.

…………………………

Mari sat up to find Shadow asleep in a chair next to her. His eyes were closed and he was snoring quite loudly. Mari stifled a giggle listening to him. She looked around and it took her a moment to remember where she was. Then she sniffed the air.

“Ugh,” she thought, “Smells like bacta.” Then she looked over to sleeping Shadow again.

She continued to speak to herself through thoughts, “He is so handsome,” and then Shadow rolled over in the chair and almost fell out. She suppressed a fit of laughter.

“He is my hero; I wouldn’t be alive right now if it weren’t for him.” Her face broke into a grin as Shadow flicked open his eyes and saw her sitting up and looking very refreshed and healthy. He smiled happily upon seeing her so alert and awake.

“How are you feeling?” he asked.

“So much better.” Marilee replied with a grin.

“Can you walk?” he asked her and she replied, “I haven’t even tried it yet.”

Then together with some help from Shadow, Mari began to walk, slowly but surely down the hallway of the Med Center. As her rejuvenated muscles started to work properly again, her footing became steadier and within just minutes she was able to walk around on her own.

…………………………

“Goodbye! And thank you so much!!” Mari called behind her as she and Shadow left the Med Clinic. The kind Dr. Bruce covered the cost of treatment and told them that no debt needed to be paid, he was glad to help some foreigners out.

Once out in the Plaza again, Mari began to scan the area for restaurants. It felt good to walk again, flexing her muscles. Her arm hurt something awful, even after the treatments. Dr. Bruce had explained that she had come in contact with after the explosion.

Marilee eventually discovered a building with a crude sign that read, Clay’s Creations: A Dantooine Dining Experience. Eagerly Mari tapped Shadow’s shoulder and said to him.

“Look, restaurant, straight ahead!” She slipped her small slender hand into his strong muscular one as they started off down the dirt road to the restaurant. A bell dinged as they opened the door to the warm and cozy dining establishment. A fairly young man, probably around 18 years old greeted them upon walking in the door.

“Welcome to Clay’s how may I serve you today?” he asked pleasantly.

“Hello,” Mari said sweetly to him, “We would like a table for two please, and a favor.” The young man winked and picked up two menus and started to move towards the depths of the restaurant.

“Table for two with a side of favors, ah, our specialty” Mari and Shadow clasped hands again and started off after the animated and enthusiastic young man. After seating them at their table and offering them some drinks, the young man brought up their favor.

“So, you ordered the favor special, hmmm, very popular these days, very popular. Now, I can tell that you two are from out of town. I know everyone from within miles of here and I would have remembered a beautiful lady such as you,” he said nodding towards Mari.

“So what brings you to Dantooine?” Shadow and Mari told them their story and explained why they were in town. Upon hearing how injured Mari had been, he felt somewhat understanding to their situation.

“Ah, I see,” he said once their story was through.

“So this local woman, what was her name?” Mari looked into his eyes and said, “Marlinda Sunstar. And I am her long lost daughter, Marilee Sunstar.” The boy’s face went from curiosity to shock. He paled and stared at Mari with wide eyes.

“Marilee?” he gasped, sounding almost afraid to say her name, “You are my…Sister? I mean, my mother always talked about my big sister who became a Jedi Knight, but she would always be so sad that I learned to never say her, or your, name. I-I just can’t believe it. This is incredible!! Are you really a Jedi, have you been to other worlds? Can you tell the future? Do you have a lightsaber?”

“Whoa, slow down!” Mari laughed at her excitable newfound brother’s reaction.

“First of all, yes, I am a Jedi, yes I’ve been to other worlds, I can’t tell the future but sometimes I have visions or feelings of what are to come.” Marilee smiled and winked at her Shadow.

“Also does this answer your question?” She unclipped the lightsaber from her belt and held it over the table for the young waiter to see. She flipped the switch that activated the precious weapon. The boy’s mouth dropped open in awe as he saw the Jedi weapon in action.

“No…way…” he breathed as Mari expertly maneuvered the lightsaber. She deactivated it and clipped it back onto her belt.

She looked at him and said, “You said that Marilee was your sister, and if you know my name that would probably make me a terrible sister for not knowing yours.”

The boy smiled and said, “Oh, yes, well, my name is Clay. I am the owner of this restaurant and my mother and I have lived on Dantooine for well, pretty much ever. She never left after she had to give away you to the Jedi temple, and then after I was born, she would tell me stories of my big sister who would become a Jedi. You don’t know how long I have wanted to meet you!”

The siblings hugged and Mari noticed that the Force surged from Clay. He had a lot of Force potential. Then Mari remembered to introduce Shadow.

“Oh and this is my friend Shadow. He is a Clone Trooper who rescued me from a certain death more than once.” She leaned her head on his shoulder lovingly and smiled up at him. He put his arm around her shoulders and smiled back.

“Oh, I see what’s going on... You two are in love.” Clay said knowingly. Mari looked up and was slightly embarrassed that she and Shadow were so easily read. Shadow blushed too. Then they both busted out laughing.

“Wow, that was a bit obvious, wasn’t it?” said Mari laughingly.

“Yea…” Clay said now clearly confused. “I was just assuming, but the way you looked at each other it made me think that…”

“Ha-ha, its ok Clay, you are right. I suppose that there is no point in hiding our love anymore. You see Clay, when someone saves your life multiple times and takes care of you in some of your weakest moments in life; you begin to fall in love with them.”

Clay nodded and said, “Well, in that case, I’m happy for you. Mom will be very pleased. She’ll want to plan the wedding.” He smiled and Mari laughed and nodded and then frowned slightly.

“Clay,” she asked, changing the subject, “Does Dantooine gets any news from the outside worlds? Is there any way we can find out what is happening on Coruscant?” Clay looked thoughtful for a moment and then replied.

“Yes, Market day. On Market day a big freighter comes into town carrying visiting passengers, news of the galaxy, and takes people off the planet too. If you want I suppose that you could leave the planet and head to Coruscant or wherever you are going.” Mari and Shadow both nodded thoughtfully.

“Yes, I supposed that would work” said Shadow. “But your mother is expecting us to come back home. When is market day?”

Clay answered, “Three days from today. You can stay with me if you’d like. My apartment is small but it’ll fit all of us.”

“Thank you brother,” Mari said, “But most of our few possessions are at Mom’s house. If we go there tonight, explain to her what are plans are, and then come back tomorrow, we can stay with you for one more night until it is Market day. Does that sound all right?”

“Sounds great. Now how about I get you some food for the road?” Mari and Shadow nodded gratefully, they hadn’t eaten a decent meal all day. Now as they filled their hungry stomachs with delicious food, the two smiled at each other thinking that for the first time in quite a while they had a plan as to what they should do next.

……………………..

HAHA!!!!! Mari has a brother!!!!!!!!!!! Very Happy I personally LOVE this character, he becomes important later. Wink I created that character to mess with my friend, who had a crush on this guy named Clay at our homeschool group. XD She was the only person reading this as I wrote it, and I made up Clay to drive her nuts. Later though......he ended up becoming a permanent, important character. Wink And my friend got a character of her own too......Wink But that comes later. Let me know what you think! I am sorry if it seems like it's moving too fast.....I have a bad habit of doing that. XDDD
Also, I'm very much a /girl/ and everything seems so happy and such for a while. XDDD But don't worry, drama and action are on the way! Wink LOL! But there's still romance in store. Wink XDD


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8 Re: Reaching for the Stars on Mon Sep 12, 2011 9:18 am

TA-DA!!!!! I'm not dead, and I am still posting this story! XD Chapter 8 here we come! Wink
......


The late afternoon sun shone down on the tired but happy and healthy faces of Mari and Shadow. They spent the half day’s walk back to Mari’s mother’s home by talking about themselves and their future. After walking in a comfortable silence for a while, Shadow spoke.

“What, you said back there, in your brother’s restaurant, did you mean it?” Shadow asked somewhat cautiously. Mari stopped walking and looked around for a moment. The town of Tre’nar was no longer in sight and they couldn’t see her mother’s hut yet so she assumed they were somewhere halfway between the two places.

She locked her eyes on Shadow’s and said completely honest, “Yes. I did mean it. I believe that it is the will of the Force that we are together.” She drew closer to him and said, “I don’t care about the rules of the Jedi Order…I truly and deeply love you, Shadow. I really do.”

Her eyes brimmed with tears of joy as he pulled her close to him and they kissed. The sun was setting behind them and a flock of birds flew across the sky, flying silhouettes flickering across the orange red sky. Mari and Shadow released their lips and held each other watching the sun begin to go down. It would be dark soon but Mari didn’t care. She and Shadow could handle themselves.

Shadow smiled to himself as the two watched the sunset. He caressed her smooth red hair and just held her against him. He knew ever since that moment in the mess hall back on Kamino, which now seemed like a lifetime ago, that this was the girl he wanted to spend the rest of his life with. He kissed her again and she whispered in his ear, “I love you.”

……………….

Back on Coruscant, Darth Vader’s shuttle departed on a course set for three systems. He was supposed to track down and kill a squadron of disobedient clone troopers who helped to save a Jedi Team from Order 66. There were three reports of disloyal clones. One of which was on Dantooine.

A squadron of Clones came to the Imperial Palace with a report that a Jedi escaped Order 66 and it was believed that a defective clone helped her do it. Their last known port of trajectory was the Dantooine system. He would head there next. As the shuttle landed on the first planet’s surface, Vader planned on his battle tactics. Murder; Outright slaughter. That was his plan, and he would stick to it.

…………………………..

“Yes, Yes,” Marlinda said to the couple who just arrived back from the long journey home. “He has lived there for some time now, ever since Old Farmer Jones died and left him the restaurant. Clay always loved to cook and now he’s got his own restaurant to cook in! It was fate.” Marlinda said of Mari meeting her brother. Marlinda was so thrilled to see her daughter standing, walking, and healing.

The mother and daughter stayed up together long after Shadow fell asleep in Clay’s old bedroom. Mari and Shadow were supposed to share it, but Mari was too busy up catching up with her mom.

“Marilee, dear,” Marlinda said after a while of exchanging their stories, “are you in love with your………companion?” she asked somewhat unsurely.

Mari’s eyes became more alert and she said, “Shadow? Oh…well, to be honest, yes, Mom, I think that I am. He saved my life more than once, and he is just so deep, and caring and gentle and…” her voice trailed off. Mari just smiled contently for a while and then looked at her satisfied mother.

“Do you want to get married?” she asked eagerly.

“I don’t know!” Mari said defiantly, “We both were…..are, part of Orders where we are not allowed to marry. We are going to find out on Market day what is going on, on Coruscant so we can plan our future. We can’t go planning weddings when it is forbidden for Clones and Jedi to marry.” Mari finished.

“Clones? Her mother asked clearly perplexed, “What do you mean Clones?” Mari looked up in realization that her mother did not know what a clone was.

“Oh. Um…a clone is a genetically altered human, Mom. The Clones were bred to be used as an army for the Republic and they were programmed to follow orders and not to ask questions. Yet my Shadow is a different clone. He can think freely, has a deeper understanding, and does not like war. He can choose not to follow orders and he can choose to….love.”

Marlinda smiled and said, “He’s a keeper.” She winked. Mari giggled slightly and nodded. Then sighing, Marlinda said, “It’s getting quite late dear, we should head to bed.”

Mari answered, “Yeah, I’ll see you in the morning mom.” She smiled as she turned down the short hallway to the room she and Shadow were sharing. There were two sleep couches in the room and she flopped down on the couch nearest the window.

She looked over at the sleeping form of her beloved and suddenly got butterflies in her stomach. She wanted to run up and hug and kiss him but she restrained herself and began to meditate before bed.

……………………..

“Lightsabers flashed and crashed into each other. One red, one green. There was firing, blue and red laserbolts flew past her. Then she saw her attacker. He had a black outfit and armor including a shiny black helmet. His breathing sounded mechanical. Something struck her weaker arm, the one that been injured before, crippling her. She fell to the ground hugging the arm with torn flesh close, trying in vain to will away the pain but still she screamed in it. The red lightsaber was held above her waiting to strike the final blow…”

…………………….

Mari snapped out of her trance with a start. What had she just seen?!? She was terrified and silently began to cry. She curled up into a ball and hung her head between her knees thinking about the horrifying vision that she just saw in her mind.

“Premonitions,” Master Yoda would say, “Ignore them, you should not.” Premonitions were visions of the future, but was that her future? She turned over on the sleep-couch and began, reluctantly, to fall into a dreamless sleep.

………………………

As Mari and Shadow started out on the now familiar trek to Tre’nar, Shadow noticed that Mari was not in the mood for talking. Something was troubling her and he just couldn’t figure out what it was. He also decided not to ask of bother her about it and just let her tell him when she was ready.

He made some small talk on the way there but did not push her to explain her unusual silence. What shocked Shadow even more was that when they stopped for a midday meal, Mari ate quickly and then walked a few yards off to go meditate. He’d known her long enough that she was not the type of Jedi who just sat down to meditate.

Now he was nervous. What was going on that lead her to do unusual things like meditate and be quiet? He would just have to wait and see.

…………………….

“Blasterbolts were everywhere, zooming past her ears, nearly singeing her red hair. She heard a yelp of pain as Shadow was struck in the leg. She instinctively turned her head to look at him, and that moment was when something struck her arm, causing the terrifying, gut wrenching pain to return to her weaker arm.

The red lightsaber raised above her head, ready to strike the blow when a sudden kick from Shadow’s good leg sent an Imperial Storm Trooper into the direct path of the gleaming evil red lightsaber. It sliced through the plastioid armor as if it was cutting through thin paper. Instantly killing the trooper, a confused attacker moved backward in order to avoid tripping on the dead trooper body. The distraction gave Mari just enough time to roll out of the way and back herself against Shadow.

The monster that continually attacked them moved in closer. The two remaining troopers had their blasters raised and pointed at the two immobile victims. A mechanical chatter that was probably supposed to be laughter came from the dark helmet. He raised his weapon again ready to kill both of them this time.”

……………………………..

Mari gasped and opened her eyes, inhaling gulps of air. Shadow ran to her side and asked her what was wrong, what had happened. She just shook her head miserably, pulled her knees up to her chin as she did the night before, and cry.

What was happening, why did she keep having these visions? They frightened her, rocked her core. Shadow sat next to her and wrapped his arms around her shaking frame.

“What happened, why are you so upset?” he asked her, prodding slightly.

“I-I had a vision…” Mari said still sniffing, “I think that it’s of the future.” Shadow looked perplexed.

Mari continued her voice steadying, “We were both there, fighting with… a…monster, a mechanical…droid? No that wasn’t it,” she said her voice starting to steady even more, “He fought with a lightsaber, dressed in black, he had troopers with him. I-I-I don’t know what happened.” She said her voice filling with upset once again.

“We were both fighting him and you were shot in the leg and my arm was injured, and…and, that was it…I don’t know what happened. I don’t know if we live.” Her voice cracked on the last bit.

She lifted her still bandaged arm and grimaced, it still hurt now but even the thought of something else happening to that arm was too much for her to bear. Shadow held her close, kissing her forehead, and stroking her goosebumped shoulders. He tried to calm her down, speaking soothingly to her.

“Shhhhhh, it’s all right. Everything will be fine. No need to worry.”

Mari shook her head and said, “No, we won’t be. Something is going to happen…. to both of us…and I don’t know when…why…or even if we…make it.” The two of them stood up and Shadow hugged Mari close.

“Whatever happens, we will be together.” He said assuredly. “We will make it through. Don’t you worry.” And with that said, the two of them started down the long path to Tre’nar where they would stay until Market Day.

…………………..

Gosh. XD *headdesk* So...this gets much better later, I promise!!!! Wink It's not ALL this lame.....xD LOL! Well, I really do love this story, and I'm having SOOOO MUCH FUN writing the sequel, I'm not even going to look at what this stuff is. XD I'll post the edited chapters as I find them on my desktop, and once I get 'reviews' from y'all. Wink

P.S. Grievous, could you pretty please PM me what you know about the Jedi Enclave on Dantooine!!!! My story IS fairly EU (the sequel is) but I still want to be as accurate on that as possible. Smile Thanks in advance!


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9 Re: Reaching for the Stars on Mon Sep 19, 2011 3:08 am

Hmm....anyone ready for Chapter 9? Y'all still reading? XD Oh well. I've been writing the sequel to this story like crazy, and I am having SO much fun with it. And yes, I will keep saying that until I finish writing it. XD Thanks for reading everyone! Or whoever is reading it! XD Time for Chapter 9!!! Smile

.........


Market day was very busy. Many of Dantooine’s locals came to Market Day to sell their goods and buying things. Marilee and Shadow stayed with Mari’s brother Clay until the transport arrived with news. When the large transport freighter touched down on the grassy Dantooine the few hundred residents of Ecarg ran toward it to get news, leave the planet or greet friends and family coming back.

Mari and Shadow moved toward the freighter with the rest of the crowd and found an attendant who was not yet being spoken too.

They made their way over to him and Mari said, “Hello sir, we seek some information about Coruscant, the core worlds and the war.” Mari was feeling so much better now, having talked to Shadow and spent a day catching up with her brother. Mari and Clay were now great friends and loved each other very much. They found they had a lot in common too.

“The War is over;” the attendant said simply, “the Jedi betrayed the Republic and were destroyed. Chancellor Palpatine is now the Emperor of the Galaxy. The Emperor took on Darth Vader as his new lackey.” Mari’s jaw practically hit the ground in absolute shock.

“Did you say that the War was over? The Clone Wars? And, Empire, Emperor?” She was so confused. So was Shadow. They needed better information. This man seemed like he could care less about politics and the fate of the galaxy. Instead he seemed more interested in getting his next meal. The man walked away rudely leaving Mari’s questions unanswered.

Shadow had a mixture of feelings. If the war was over, that meant he didn’t have to fight anymore and could leave the Army. But Empire, what was that? And who was Darth Vader? The Sith weren’t real, were they?

…………………….

Still unable to uncover enough information of the happenings of the core worlds, Mari and Shadow began the long trek back to Mari’s mother’s house. Clay promised to visit soon, as soon as he was able to get his girlfriend to cover the restaurant for him. Halfway back to the house, Mari and Shadow took a short break to eat a mid-day meal. When they both were ready to keep moving toward the house, Mari and Shadow got up and packed their things.

Then, Shadow surprised Mari by getting down on one knee. He pulled a small gold ring from his pocket and said to Mari, taking her hand.

“Marilee Sunstar, you are the love of my life. We have been through so much together. I knew ever since that day back on Kamino that we were meant to be. Will…..will you marry me?” Mari’s face flew from pure joy to surprise, excitement, to shock. Her eyes brimming with tears, she answered him.

“Oh my gods, Shadow….Yes. Yes I will marry you!!” As he stood up and placed the ring on her finger, she flung her arms around his neck and began to cry happy tears. The two of them practically ran back to Mari’s mom’s home excited to share their news.

………………….

Bursting into the small home, Mari squealed in excitement.

“Mom!!” she called out. “Mom, we’re home! Mom, Guess what?!?” Marlinda came in to the living room where the happy couple was standing, just home.

“What, what is it my child?” Mari thrust out her left hand, somewhat gently, seeing it was still injured to some extent. Upon seeing the slender golden ring on her finger, Marlinda’s face broke into a genuine smile.

“He Propsed?!?” She nearly screamed, “I can’t believe it!!!!” Marilee was at such a loss for words, all she could do was beam raidiantly and nod her head enthusiastically.

“Congratulations to both of you! Oh, we have to plan the wedding, and the food and the guests and everything!”

Mari laughed and said, “Slow down Mother, we can wait a while!”

Marlinda nodded and said abruptly “You must be hungry, come, come, we must eat.” After a filling dinner, the newly engaged couple went down the short hallway to speak in private.

…………………………….

“Aren’t you happy, Mari?” Shadow asked.

“Of course!” Mari said confidently, “It’s just that…….I don’t know what we will do, my dreams…..I don’t want them to come true. Especially if we are to be married and start a family.” Shadow nodded and agreed heartily.

“I know. But we shouldn’t let that stop us from following our destinies. I believe that we are destined to be together, and nothing, not even some….mechanical monster, as you put it, will pull that apart. We are not going to let some vision push our love away, will we?” Mari shook her head sullenly and locked her eyes on his.

“No,” she said, “We will not. I love you, no matter what happens.” They embraced and kissed, Mari’s body relaxed, being held in Shadow’s arms. They both knew that getting married would be a big risk, but at this point in time, it would be a risk they would to take. When they finally let go of the kiss, they continued to stay in each other’s arms. Nothing, no dreams, no injuries, no monsters would ever tear them apart. Their love was stronger than that. They would make it through. It was meant to be. After a while, the two of them let go and decided to get some rest. After all, tomorrow would be busy. They had a wedding to plan.

…………………….

“But why do you have to leave?” Maryanna Sorun complained to her boyfriend Clay.

“My sister and her boyfriend wanted to visit with me,” Clay replied. “At home. I haven’t been home in ages, my mother only sees me on Market Day, Maryanna can’t you just watch……”

Maryanna’s blue eyes flickered, she sighed and said, “Ok Clayie, I’ll watch the shop for you. But only for one day understand?!?”

Clay smiled at his girlfriend, kissed her cheek and said, “Thanks Annie, I owe ‘ya one!” He stood up from the table that the two were sitting at, cleared the dishes into the bust-droid, grabbed Maryanna’s hand and lifted her from the booth like a true gentleman.

She smiled blissfully as he kissed her hand. After taking Maryanna home to her parents and siblings, Clay returned home to pack all of his things. He had a long walk ahead of him.

……………………….

Clay sighed as he walked the long and tedious route to his mother’s home. It would be another three hours before he even came into sight of his mom’s home so he stopped to take a break from the walking and eat a snack. Clay smiled to himself, around this time; Maryanna would be opening the shop.

He wasn’t worried. His shop would be in good hands, Maryanna was very good at keeping her word. Maryanna Sorun was a beautiful, happy and athletic girl with a great personality. She had short wavy auburn hair with blue eyes.

She was perfect for him, practical, smart, funny, and even slightly sarcastic. He loved her so much and could spend the rest of his life with her. Maybe, someday…. Clay stood up, brushed off his pants and began on the long trek to his mom’s house.

………………………

Clay arrived at his mom’s home just after midday. He was met with extreme excitement from Mari and Shadow who exclaimed that they were to be married, soon. Clay was so thrilled for them. Even though he only met his big sister a week and a half ago, but he felt so happy and lucky to get to know her. As Clay set down his things and got something to eat and drink, Mari sat down on the chair next to him.

“What?” Clay asked, seeing how Mari was staring at him.

“Hmm? Oh nothing, just thinking.” Mari answered.

“Bout what?” asked Clay his mouth full of bread and curious to know what his sister was thinking about.

“You. I’m still so excited to have a little brother,” Mari said, grinning at him.

“Oh,” Clay said, “I’m excited too Mari, I never thought I would get to meet you.”

He gazed into her eyes and then said, “Wow, You look so much like Mom.” Mari smiled and laughed shortly, “I would say that I’ve heard that before, but I haven’t.”

Clay laughed too and said, “You know, she was so sad for years and years since giving you up. She wanted the best for you but didn’t want to let you go. She was like that for as long as I remember.” Clay gripped the mug he was holding tightly and said, “I remember one time I asked a question about the little holo of the baby in the family room and she got so upset she only said “Your sister” and teared up. I never asked again.”

Mari nodded. “I wasn’t allowed to ask questions at the Temple. We were always told not to question. I never knew where I came from, why I was there, who my family was…I didn’t understand why I couldn’t know these things.” She picked up the warm mug in front of her and took a sip.

Mari glanced out the little window and grinned, Shadow was having a hard time rounding up some shaaks for her mom. It was quite amusing, watching him. He rounded up three shaaks only to have two of them run away. Then he tripped and fell and landed in a bale of hay. Mari snickered under her breath watching. Her mother then came and helped her soon to be son in law up.

Mari returned her gaze to Clay and asked him abruptly, “Clay, have you ever felt things before they happened?” Clay, startled by this question replied, “What, why, what do you mean?” Realizing how nervous this made her brother, she dug deep into his soul with the Force.

“You know what I mean” she said knowingly. Clay looked upset, reluctant and then he nodded.

“Yes, I-I have. More than once. One time a bunch of Grauls were coming to attack the shaaks in the middle of the night and I dreamt they did before it happened. I woke up and shot those monsters before they even touched my mom’s herd. I also dreamt that a ship would crash in the fields, way out there.” He pointed in the direction that Mari and Shadow came in from on their first time on Dantooine.

“That was my ship.” Mari breathed. “Clay, you sensed I was coming! You are Force-Sensitive!”

Clay looked up and said, “You mean I could be a Jedi?” Mari nodded and got very excited very quickly.

“Yes! You have a lot of potential and I could teach you, you would be my Padawan and it would be amazing!” Clay looked up again and said, “Oh, and Maryanna has dreams too. Only hers aren’t about shaaks and family members. She has dreamt of other worlds, of the war, and stuff happening on the core worlds.”

Marilee looked confused and asked “Who is Maryanna?” Clay smiled warmly and blushed.

“My girlfriend. She is watching the restaurant for me.”

Mari lifted one eyebrow and said, “Awwww, you have a girlfriend! How sweet. Maybe she is Force-Sensitive too. I could train both of you, and Shadow, and if we were to have children them too.” Mari stopped herself and said, “Now, now, I’m getting way ahead of myself. Clay, you will definitely have to introduce me to this girlfriend of yours”

He smiled, “All right Mari, I will, maybe you can come back to town with me tomorrow.” “Shadow too?” she questioned.

“Well, that depends on what Shadow wants to do. But he is definitely welcome to come.” Clay smiled at his sister. Marilee winked back.

…………………………….



It was decided that Mari and Clay would return to town the next day and that Shadow would stay with Mrs. Sunstar to help around the farm. Shadow would come in three days to visit Mari and Clay and then Mari and Shadow would return to Mrs. Sunstar’s home to prepare for their wedding.

As Clay and Mari walked the long hike back to the town, Marilee ran and walked quickly, encouraging her brother to keep up. Clay didn’t realize it at the time, but she was testing his Force-Sensitivity. A Jedi could walk, run, and jump for hours before even getting tired. Mari had been through proper training and this exercise was easy for her.

Clay did surprisingly well; he hardly broke a sweat for the first few hours of walking. Mari recited Jedi Lore for him and explained about the Order. She repeated entire lessons and explained their meanings. She said that if she could change one thing about the Jedi Order it would be the inability to form attachments. She was going to get married after all, and Clay had a girlfriend.

“That was why it was forbidden to know our families. We weren’t supposed to become attached to them. One very rare case, a friend of mine, Anakin Skywalker, knew his mother for nine years before becoming a Jedi, and then there were rumors that after his mother died, he took is anger out on a bunch of Tusken Raiders from the planet Tatooine. He made two mistakes, going after his mother who he wasn’t even supposed to know, and giving into his anger.”

Clay nodded thoughtfully and said, “So having so much love for something can sometimes make you do things you aren’t supposed to do, right?” Mari smiled; her brother was a fast learner.

“Exactly, but if you can balance the two, you can have peace, harmony, and love at the same time.”

“Oh, so you mean, if I understand that death is a part of life, then I wouldn’t go to the Dark Side if you, mom, or Maryanna died?” Whoa, this kid got it. No wonder, he was her brother after all.

“Yes, all the people close to you. A friend, a pet, a place, if you can balance compassion and love with the Force, you can be at peace.” Clay nodded and didn’t ask any more questions for a while.

Eventually he said, “Are you still a Jedi even though you are getting married?” Mari thought for a moment and replied.

“Yes. The Jedi are masters of the Force and have the ability to use the Force to do things normal beings can’t. Just because I am getting married doesn’t mean that I am abandoning the Jedi Way all together.” Clay nodded again and smiled at his big sister. He had a Jedi as his big sister. That was so amazing. Best part was that she was going to make him a Jedi too, and maybe even his girlfriend.

He looked down and remembered the bandages on his sister’s arm and became curious. Mari and Shadow only told him that their ship crashed and they needed medical attention and that was why they were on Dantooine, but what had really happened, he wondered.

“Mari,” Clay asked, “What happened to your arm?” Mari, startled by the question sighed and explained what had happened to her and Shadow.

“Our ship crashed. Way out in the middle of nowhere. There was no room in the escape pods for both of us and I refused to leave. Shadow was fine, but I was thrown against a wall and broke my arm. Then, something flew from the ship and cut my arm. It hurt like crazy. All I remember was screaming and then nearly passing out. Shadow picked me up and we ran away from the ship. Then it exploded.” Clay looked sympathetic as his sister gingerly touched the wrap on her arm with a sad look in her eyes.

“Then,” she said, “We saw way out in the distance what was our mom’s house. We began to walk all the way there but after too long, my legs gave out. I passed out, probably from exhaustion, but we found out later that it’s because my arm was already infected. The next day was terrible. I could barely breathe I was so ill. Shadow had to carry me most of the way to mom’s house. It was….not good. Without Shadow or our Mom, I wouldn’t be here right now.”

Clay looked at her and said, “Weren’t you afraid…..and didn’t it hurt?”

Mari chuckled and said, “Jedi don’t feel fear, or pain, but to me, I was sick and boy did it hurt.”

Clay laughed and said, “Yeah, it must’ve.” They were almost to town now and Clay turned to Mari and spoke to her.

“You know, as bad as that was, I’m glad it happened.” “Why?” Mari asked. “Because, if you didn’t need help or a medic, I wouldn’t have gotten to meet my big sister.” He smiled and gave Mari a hug.
……………………….

*winces* .....Eh? Razz I like the last maybe, two and a half chapters of this story best. Oh yeah....chapters 28+....and we're on Chapter 9. XD *headdesk* Ignore my sappiness. Review for me! Wink


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10 Re: Reaching for the Stars on Fri Sep 23, 2011 10:22 am

Time for Chapter 10? Razz I think it's like chapter 11/12 ish that things start getting /serious/ and /dramaful/. XD Well....we'll see.........enjoy y'all!!!!!!
......................

Mari met Maryanna for the first time in Clay’s Creations just before closing that day. “Maryanna, how nice to meet you! Clay has told me all about you.” Mari smiled her charming smile at Clay’s girlfriend.

“It’s nice to meet you as well Marilee,” Maryanna said, politely using Mari’s full name. Giggling, Mari said, “Just Mari will do.” Maryanna smiled, her pretty face practically lighting up with her smile. They shook hands and almost as soon as Mari’s hand touched Maryanna’s, Maryanna withdrew her hand quickly. She looked startled. Mari was not startled however, she had a feeling that Maryanna would be frightened and remove her grip. It happened sometimes when Force-Sensitive beings came into contact with other Force-Sensitives.

Mari guessed that something similar had happened the first time she met her brother. Mari’s eyes drilled into Maryanna as she waited for her to figure things out.

“What...Who, are you?”

Mari nodded slowly and said, “I am like you. I am a Force-Sensitive. I am a Jedi, I have mastered my powers and I understand why I have visions, just like you do.” Maryanna gasped and took a few steps back. She stopped abruptly when she walked into Clay, who held her in his arms.

Maryanna looked at Mari and said, “How did you know I had visions?” She demanded. Mari shifted her gaze toward her brother who simply said meekly, “Guilty.” Maryanna looked a mixture of wanting to kiss him and punch him.

Marilee said, “Maryanna, you have extreme Jedi potential. You probably have as many midi-chlorians as Clay, who also is very Force-Sensitive. If you so choose, I can teach you to control and manipulate your powers to become a Jedi.”

Maryanna, now standing next to Clay, holding his hand, answered, “Ummm, Maybe, I mean, If Clay will. You really think I can become a Jedi?” Mari nodded and Clay did too.

“Annie, I want to be a Jedi too. We can go on missions and…stuff.” Clay said, unsure of what to say.

Mari nodded and said, “I will train you. As soon as Shadow and I are married and we get settled down. We may even move off planet if you so choose.”

Maryanna looked uncertain, “I’m not so sure on that one. My parents, my siblings….”

Mari bobbed her head and said, “I understand. I’m not exactly keen on leaving my new-found mother either.”

Maryanna nodded enthusiastically, “Thanks. Now how does this Jedi thing work? Are there rules?” Mari rolled her eyes.

“Unfortunately, the Jedi are all about rules. But never fear, I think that we can “tweak” the Jedi Order a little. Maybe even improve it. I’m not really sure what is going on Coruscant right now, so I don’t know the latest with the Jedi Temple.”

Clay smiled at his sister and girlfriend and said, “Who’s hungry?”

………………………

Shadow arrived within two days and the wedding was in the planning stages. Maryanna was a close friend of Mari’s now, she often went to her for advice, news and even just to talk. They spent hours together, chatting about life, family, and their futures. No matter what their topic of conversation was, Mari and Maryanna always found something to talk about. They acted like teenage girls who were best friends, like the kind you found on Coruscant, rather than the practically grown adults that they both were.

Maryanna invited Mari over one night to come to dinner with her family. Maryanna’s home was quite large, as her family was fairly big. Maryanna had five siblings, plus her two parents and a couple family pets. Maryanna was the oldest of all the children. Justin, Valerieen, Holly, Lizzy and Jordin were her siblings, all very excitable, loud, and intrigued by the ‘Jedi Knight’ who came to visit.

Mari was introduced to the whole family, including the many pets. Jordin had adopted a Dantooine Bull Frog, naming him Toady. Valerieen and Justin had two small rabbit-like creatures whose species were impossible to tell. Mari enjoyed spending time with the kids, and her best friend. The dinner was incredible and everyone had a great time.

Jordin and Elizabeth bonded immediately with Mari, sitting on her lap whenever they had the chance. Justin kept staring at Mari, thinking about how pretty and nice she was. Maryanna had a feeling that her little brother had a crush on her best friend. Valerieen and Holly peppered Mari with multiple and fast questions on being a Jedi, the Jedi way, the Jedi Order, Lightsabers, where they could get one, why their sister was Jedi material and they weren’t, and so on. The list was endless.

When it was finally time for Mari to go home, it was already dark out. Clay had pulled up in his landspeeder and knocked on the door. Holly answered it and upon seeing Clay she smirked and shouted across the house.

“MARYANNA!!! CLAY’S HERE!!!!!!!!!” Maryanna’s face turned bright red, as did Clay’s as she walked Mari out to Clay’s speeder. Maryanna wanted to kick Holly for doing that but refrained as her parents were sitting right there. Clay laughed as Maryanna mumbled an embarrassed goodnight, and then he kissed her.

“Awwww, how sweet!” Mari thought, although she wouldn’t dare ruin the moment. Walking back inside and basically floating on air, Maryanna thought of how lucky she was to have a Jedi as a best friend.

A Jedi whose brother just kissed her. Whose brother was her boyfriend. A best friend who was teaching her all about how to become a Jedi herself. She was excited; not only was she going to be a Jedi, she was going to be in her new best friend’s wedding!

……………………..

Two short weeks later, Mari and Shadow were wed. They had a sweet little ceremony in town with the Dantooine Holy Man. Guests included the Dr. Bruce and his intern/receptionist George, Mr. Murls the tavern owner, Clay, Maryanna, Maryanna’s family, Mrs. Sunstar, Clay’s friends, Some of Marlinda’s friends and even a few unknown townspeople.

It was a beautiful sunny day on the day of the wedding and Marilee looked beautiful. She wore an elegant white and silver dress that her mother wore on her wedding day. Shadow looked his best too, wearing a suit that Clay borrowed to him. Mari had her short hair up in a braided bun with small curls framing her face. Her arm was now fully healed, though it was still weaker than her other arm, and the bandages had come off.

“I now pronounce you Husband and Wife.” the Holy Man said pleasantly, “You may kiss your bride.” Mari flew into Shadow’s arms and they spun around, kissing, and completely happy. After walking back down the aisle, the crowd headed to Clay’s Creations for dinner.

Clay and his beautiful girlfriend Maryanna sat next to the newlyweds who were beyond delighted. Their joy was overflowing as they sat together hugging and kissing. Clay looked somewhat uncomfortable until his girlfriend Maryanna kissed him on the cheek. They smiled at each other and enjoyed their dinners.

………………..

As Mari lay down in the bed that she and Shadow now shared as a married couple, she felt uneasy. Not only had they missed any chance of getting off Dantooine, but they also had gotten no news. Mari promised Clay and Maryanna that she and Shadow would come and help in the restaurant tomorrow, as to pay off the food that was served at her wedding. Shadow sat down on the bed, pulling his new wife into his arms.

“I love you.” He whispered. Mari smiled and looked up at him.

“I love you too.” She said, kissing him happily. The two laid together in the bed, content in each other’s arms. After a while, Mari fell asleep, only to have another frightening dream.

……………………..

“A baby began to cry. Mari reached down and picked up the baby, calming it. Then, there were blasts outside, and the windows of the home blew in. Mari shielded the baby in her arms, protecting her from the flying glass.

Mari screamed as the Black Monster walked into her home, red lightsaber ignited. Shadow ran into the room upon hearing her scream. His cheek was cut, from a shard of glass. Mari had scrapes all over both arms and her face. The baby was safe.

The Black Monster walked forward and signaled the troopers to stay by his side, weapons raised. Mari held the baby in one hand and lightsaber in the other. She sliced two troopers down, handing one gun to Shadow, who shot down two more. The Black Monster raised his weapon higher and sliced through the baby cradle next to Mari. The battle had begun.”

Mari awoke and started shuddering. She began to cry and Shadow, roused from his sleep, immediately asked her what was wrong. She only managed to choke out the words, “Dreams, Black Monster, Baby, and Battle.” Shadow looked at her, wondering if she was slightly delirious and calmed her down. Why was his Marilee having these dreams? And a Baby? What did that mean? They would figure things out. He would help her through it. If some Monster did come, they would just have to be ready.
…………………………..

*winces* Gah.....well, now things are moving way too fast, but there is no slowing it down, because it's already written! XD Okay, allow me to explain something real quick. Maryanna is 'introduced' in this chapter, and she becomes pretty important later. She is also a character very near and dear to me, because she was inspired by my best friend. Very Happy
Maryanna was inspired by my best friend, as I said just before, but this chapter is also full of 'inside jokes' between her and I. All of Maryanna's siblings' names are taken from friends of mine, or nicknames of theirs. xD The bit between 'Holly' and Maryanna (when Clay comes to pick up Mari) REALLY HAPPENED! XD The character of Clay was inspired by a guy my friend Maryanna had a crush on, and I created him just to mess with her. XD Holly was inspired by her little sister, who totally embarrassed her by saying that in front of her crush at a soccer game (I think....xD) BTW She'll kill me for telling you people all of this, but it really helps make a bit more sense when you're reading it. I guess...
Anyway, what'd you think of the wedding? And Mari's visions? Wink Review and let me know! Sorry for the long author's note......XDDD


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11 Re: Reaching for the Stars on Fri Oct 07, 2011 9:50 pm

Alright, Alright. I'm back, I've already got this story completely written and such, so I'll post Chapter 11 (this chapter and the next chapter make me cringe with displeasure, and I'm always terrified for people to read this. O.O)

Anywho, here's the next chapter.....enjoy and tell me what ya think!!!!! Very Happy

P.S. I'll be writing more to the RolePlay this weekend and publishing it too!!! Very Happy

.......
Darth Vader’s shuttle touched down on the borders of Tre’nar during the thick black of night. He stepped out of his shuttle and made his way over to the Stormtroopers who were assessing the area. He was feeling defeated. His previous missions had been failures. He needed to impress his master. He needed to win this one.

Darth Vader felt so destroyed. He had no one to live for anymore, his wife…Padmè was…dead, killed, by his own two hands. That was one death he could not stand to have on his conscience. It absolutely tore him apart to know that it was himself who took the life of his wife and their unborn child. How could he have done it?

He wanted to cry, but his distorted and damaged face wouldn’t produce the tears. He bitterly thought of Obi-Wan, his former Jedi Master who practically killed him. He wished he was dead. He hated him. Darth Vader couldn’t wait until he was ordered to search out Obi-Wan Kenobi. That was one life he would take pleasure in diminishing.

It was Obi-Wan’s fault that he was like this, trapped in this wretched life support suit. He had stringed along his precious Padme` to try and kill him. It was HIS FAULT!!! Vader calmed himself and then his thoughts trailed to the Jedi he had killed. He felt somewhat guilty about taking the lives of the younglings but the older Jedi had deserved to die.

They were traitors to the Republic, and to his new Master, Emperor Palpatine. It was Palpatine who helped him discover his true powers, his strength. This time he would not fail his master, he would destroy the disobedient clone, and the Jedi he was protecting.

“In time,” he told himself, “in time.” He needed a plan. No plan is what caused him to fail last time. This time there was no room for failures in planning.

…………………………….

Marilee fiddled with the lightsaber hook on her belt. The dress she wore felt very comfortable and light. She felt happy. Yet the visions from her nightmares continued to dance in her head, torturing her with the unknown. She and Shadow were helping clean up at her brother’s restaurant after a busy day of cooking and baking. After such a long day, Mari, Shadow and Clay were glad to turn in early and get some rest. Throughout the restaurant, there were rumors that the Republic had fallen; leaving a ruthless Empire that was led by Palpatine. The only information they could find was tidbits of Sith Lord, Darth Vader, Empire, Dead Jedi, and a Destroyed Jedi Temple… The parts about the Jedi deeply upset Mari; the Temple was her home, the Jedi the only family she had ever known.

“Mari,” Clay asked cautiously once they shut the restaurant for the night and was finally sitting down for their own dinner, “Is everything ok? You seem upset.” Mari nodded her head and looked gloomily down at her plate. It was as if the life had been sucked from her.

Then she lifted her head and her bright sea-green eyes shining she said, “I’ll be just fine, Clay. I have a family now and an amazing husband.” She smiled up at Shadow upon whose shoulder she rested her head.

“I will be just fine” she repeated “Hopefully” under her breath but Clay didn’t hear. Shadow did, however and looked at her pointedly.

“Honey,” he said, “It will be fine, let’s not worry about that right now.”

“What is wrong?” Maryanna asked, somewhat confused, Clay answered her.

“Oh, Mari had another Jedi Dream that might be telling the future. This one was really bad, and Mari is still shaken from it.” Maryanna looked curiously at Mari and nodded sympathetically.

Mari nodded back and repeated, “Everything is ok, and I’ll be fine,” But inside, Mari knew something wasn’t right. She and Shadow had a long way to walk tomorrow to get all of their belongings from Marlinda’s house so that they could move into the town, and be with their friends. Mari looked down at her plate and simply picked at her food. She wasn’t very hungry. She had good reason to be as well; despite she had no idea of the coming battle.

“Good Night Mari, Shadow” Maryanna said as Clay offered to walk her home. Mari hugged her friend good night and Clay told them that he would meet Mari and Shadow in his apartment later. Maryanna and Clay left the restaurant with a ding from the door. Then all was silent, for now.

………………………..

Mari and Shadow probably made it around a mile away from the town of Tre’nar before Mari felt anything. Suddenly, while walking, Mari felt faint, and she collapsed. Shadow’s head started to pound as if someone was beating on it like a drum. He collapsed as well.

“The Dark Side,” Mari murmured, holding her head in her hands. “It is very strong here.”

Shadow nodded and said, “I feel it. We must be careful.” Mari shook her head as if to rid herself of the darkness. She had never, in all her days at the Jedi Temple felt anything like it. That was when she saw it. The Black Monster. He was here, on Dantooine, red lightsaber raised, poised for attack.

………………….

Mari wanted to cry out, but her lungs wouldn’t produce the sound. She wanted to run as fast as her legs would carry her, but her legs felt like lead. Shadow knew immediately that this, this thing, was the monster that tortured Mari’s dreams.

Then suddenly snapping back to attention, Mari jumped up and swung her lightsaber out from her belt and raised it to counter attack her worst nightmare. Shadow pulled out his rifle and shot at two of the Stormtroopers standing between Mari and the monster. Mari’s green lightsaber contrasted with the Black Monster’s red one. He raised his weapon and slashed it down on Mari’s. The fight had begun.

……………………..

As Mari clashed and flashed her lightsaber to counter attack the monster’s red one, he taunted her. “Weakling,” he said, trying to make her angry. “You should be dead, just like all the other Jedi in the Galaxy! I am Lord Darth Vader. The most powerful Sith Lord in the universe!!” Suddenly, Mari felt her feet lift from the ground and the air leave her windpipe. He was choking her! She knew that she needed air, fast. She gathered what power she could from the Force and pushed back at Vader, sending him sprawling back into one of his troopers.

Momentarily confused, Mari gulped in giant gasps of breath and then began once again to slice down the growing number of Stormtroopers. Looking at Shadow, the couple fought in synchronization. Quickly and precisely, they shot and sliced the stormtroopers down, one by one. Darth Vader, now recovered from his Force push, rushed at Mari, abruptly continuing to battle her with his lightsaber. Almost right after Mari and Shadow broke up their fight pattern; Shadow was shot in the leg by a blaster bolt. Without the strong and durable plastioid suit he was used to, the bolt caused him great pain and to fall.

“Shadow!” Mari yelled out, upset to see her husband fall. Shadow’s leg was injured, but he still shot his gun at the remaining troopers.

Darth Vader pulled his lightsaber down hard on Marilee’s. “Marilee Sunstar.” He sneered. “You never were a particularly strong Jedi in a fight.” The Sith Lord said with vengeance. “I should know….we were in class together after all!!”

Marilee felt shaken. “Anakin?” she whispered. “Anakin Skywalker?” Darth Vader clashed his lightsaber down with even more strength.

“That name has NO meaning to me!” he cried, “I am Darth Vader! Lord of the Sith!!!” Marilee pushed back with unexpected Force from her lightsaber.

“Anakin! This is not you!! What happened? You were the Chosen One! The nicest Padawan I knew! How did you fall so far?” Darth Vader snarled in anger and moved in on Marilee.

In one fluid motion, he severed her left arm, the one holding her lightsaber. Mari screamed in pain, as her hand, wrist, and part of her forearm were cut away from the rest of her body. She screamed intensely and pulled her maimed arm close. She fell to the ground in pain and fear. She couldn’t move. Then to her horror, exactly as her dream predicted, the red lightsaber blazed above her head, ready to strike the final blow.

……………………………..

Oh goodness…..*buries face in hands* There you have it. Chapter 11. *sighs* I don’t know why this chapter freaks me out so….actually, the next chapter is worse….if that’s possible……those who 'review' will get a virtual cookie for being so awesome and actually reading this piece of trash. XD Thanks everyone! *hugs*

P.S. Let me clear some things up. Marilee and Anakin Skywalker went to ‘padawan school’ together. They were in many of the same classes as ‘Padawans’ and were good friends. (not romantic friends, but good friends) Marilee was on the rural planet of Dantooine when the Jedi homing beacon thing went off, thus she had no way other than the Force to reach the others. Technically, she DID feel the disturbance in the Force, of all the deaths of the Jedi, but still. Razz Now if you have any questions, ask me and I’ll answer you in the review thread!!!! Thank you!

P.P.S. I am very bad about confidence when it comes to writing sometimes.....XD


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12 Re: Reaching for the Stars on Tue Oct 11, 2011 9:44 am

Okie Dokie. Smile So I know Grievous read and reviewed, so I'll go ahead and put up the next chapter, because of the evil cliffhanger at the end of that last one. Wink Also, Grievous (and Jango) I'm working on the RP!!! I promise I am! I have been busy with getting caught up with school, so I haven't had time for writing ANYTHING, let alone fanfics. Sad Sorry!!! Wink
Okay, now on to chapter 12!!!! Very Happy

.....

Again, just as her dream depicted, Shadow kicked a stormtrooper in the path of Darth Vader’s lightsaber, giving Mari enough time to roll out of the way. Shadow looked in dismay at his wife’s missing hand and was shocked.

“No.” he thought, he wouldn’t let his wife’s pain be in vain. He shot at Darth Vader who dodged each blast. Just as two stormtroopers moved in to kill defenseless Mari and Shadow, two blaster bolts struck each of the troopers in the back.

The troopers fell away revealing Clay and Maryanna, standing with blasters in hand. The two began to shoot at Vader, who backed away, parrying every shot with his lightsaber. Almost every shot. Shadow shot him from the behind, causing Vader’s life support system inside his suit to malfunction. He began to retreat, moving to a ship not so far off. After a few minutes, the Sith Lord was gone.

………………………………

Clay looked horrified as upon seeing his sister’s mutilated arm. He shook his head.

“No,” he whined quietly, feeling horribly for his sister, “Oh, Mari, look at you.” Mari began to cry, pain and shock starting to set in. Maryanna fell to Mari’s side, carefully taking Mari’s maimed arm in her gentle hands.

“Mari,” she whispered, feeling a tear drop down her cheek, “What happened?” Clay looked at Shadow, who lay a few feet off, unable to get up because of his injured leg. Clay walked over and helped his brother in law up and let him lean on him as they got to a speeder.

“Mari,” Shadow croaked, looking back at his wife, who clutched her injured arm to her chest. Maryanna picked up Marilee’s lightsaber, which lay a few feet off near a rock. Clay, seeing and feeling Mari’s pain, hurried her and Shadow over to the speeder that he and Maryanna used to get to their aide. Within minutes, they reached the town where the newly married couple was instantly admitted into Dr. Bruce’s office.

Hurriedly explaining his sister’s case, Clay expressed her need for immediate help. Because Marilee’s arm was severed by a lightsaber, the laser energy from the weapon caused the skin around the severed area to burn and cauterize, leaving very little blood. Mari held her disfigured arm against her chest, gently and as carefully as possible to avoid more pain than she was already experiencing. Dr. Bruce was surprised to see what had happened to Mari’s arm, and hooked her up to many rejuvenating machines straightaway. Mari was now numb with pain and shock, still trying to comprehend the monster from her nightmares was a man she had respected and was good friends with when she was younger.

………………………….

Two days had passed since the living nightmare of the fight with Darth Vader. Mari had since healed fairly fast, a trip to the bacta tank had solved Shadow’s wounds and most of Mari’s as well. Unfortunately, a bacta tank couldn’t bring back her hand so Marilee was fitted with a cybernetic hand which was joined to her nerve endings already existing in her arm, allowing her new hand to not only look and feel like the original, but also be able to touch and function and feel like her natural arm did. Shadow’s leg was completely healed and he no longer felt pain thanks to the powerful bacta. Mari’s arm was better too, although the throbbing pain would sometimes return as something called “phantom limb syndrome”. It often happened to Force-Sensitives who lost limbs in combat. When fear or the Dark Side was near, their injury would pain them.

Though it was unfortunate, but Mari was more than glad that she was able to have something to help her recovery. Shadow came in to see her with Clay and Maryanna on the second day of her stay to the Medical Ward. Shadow beamed at her to see her awake and in little pain. Mari smiled back and sat up on the medical bed that she lay on.

She hugged and kissed her husband, and hugged her brother and best friend as well. Shadow was amazed at the incredible technology that had replaced his wife’s hand. Clay gently touched her new hand, and Mari, upon feeling his touch lifted her fingers to grip him back. Clay smiled, Mari would be fine. Maryanna hugged her again and they started to talk and chat like the girlfriends that they were. Shadow broke into the conversation when there was a slight gap.

“How exactly did you guys know we were in trouble?” he asked Maryanna and Clay. Clay shrugged and said, “I had a bad feeling, and so did Annie, and we left. We used what Mari taught us about the Force to find you guys. It wasn’t all that hard; we heard Mari’s scream from a mile away.” Clay said the last part teasingly. Mari giggled.

“She was loud.” Maryanna chimed in now, “We saw that you were in quite a situation and decided to help out.” Mari and Shadow once again expressed their gratefulness to their friends.

Mari then gasped and said, “No one told Mom!” Clay looked at her and they both busted out laughed.

“Uh-oh. She won’t be happy about that one!” Mari laughed too. Just then, Dr. Bruce walked in the room.

“Well, I can see someone is feeling better!” he said, “And Shadow, it’s good to see you up and about again.” Mari looked at the doctor and smiled. She and Shadow thanked him multiple times too. Dr. Bruce flipped a few switches and politely asked for a pathway to be made so that he could get through. Clay and Maryanna stepped aside, and Shadow stepped over to Mari’s side, where he grasped her good hand.

Dr. Bruce moved over and after flipping a few more switches, overturned a small panel on Mari’s new hand. He opened it and flipped even more switches, allowing her full and functional movement.

“There,” he said, satisfied, “You are good to go. Just like new.” The medical droid next to the doctor handed the datapad he was holding to the doctor upon which he took notes. Mari got up from the bed and felt her new hand, testing it out. She and Shadow embraced, glad to be together again, and alive.

Maryanna and Clay hugged her again as well and she tested her new hand with them. Although Mari felt slightly uncomfortable, she knew that she would be just fine. Her hand was replaced, her husband was healed, and her family was together, now all that was left to do was explain it all to her mother.

………………

“You did WHAT?” Marlinda exclaimed, upset and worried for her children.

“I told you, we were attacked, and then I…” Marlinda interrupted, shook her head and said,

“Oh, my baby Marilee, are you sure you are all right?” Marlinda brought her hands up to Mari’s cheeks, which was kind of awkward because Mari was taller than her mother.

“Mom, I’m just fine! I told you, it doesn’t hurt and I’ll be just fine. The doctor said that I would not have any problems.” Marlinda nodded and then smiled at her daughter, pulling her into warm hug once again.

“Oh Baby, promise me you won’t ever do that again, please stop getting hurt! It kills me a little inside, each time I see you so hurt.” Mari nodded and smiled as her mother stroked her new hand tenderly, and carefully.

“Ok Mom, I’ll try.” Yoda’s voice rang through her head as soon as she spoke the word “try”. “Do or Do Not. There is no Try.”

“Yes Master Yoda,” she murmured, out of habit.

“Hmmm, What was that Marilee? Are you alright?” Snapping out of thought, Mari said,

“What? Oh, Yes, I’m fine. Just… reminiscing.” Mari sighed; she missed Master Yoda’s backwards way of speaking, his wise sayings, her Master Shaak Ti’s kind but strict voice, Master Kenobi’s English accent and sense of humor, Master Windu’s deep and penetrating eyes, and Master Luminara Unduli’s strict by the book teachings, and Master Jocasta Nu’s helpful hints in the Jedi Library. Where were they all now? Would she ever see any of them again? What had really happened to them? Were the Jedi really dead, as Anakin….Darth Vader had said? Or was he just trying to scare her? She had so many questions. All of them unanswered.

It was hard to take in, all her friends, her family practically, were…..dead. As she thought all of these things, Mari’s eyes welled up with tears. They began to drip down her face, the salty tears running down her cheeks. Marlinda had left the room to check on her animals and as Mari began crying Shadow walked in. He walked with a very slight limp; the blaster bolt wound had a small side effect.

He saw her wet cheeks and wrapped her in his arms, and then asked what was wrong. Mari snuggled up against her husband and heaved a shuddering sigh.

“What’s up? Are you ok?” Shadow asked for the second time, “Just tell me Mari.”

Mari nodded and smiling through her tears she said, “I was just…thinking….remembering the Temple and my friends there. I just…miss them, I guess.”

Shadow nodded. “I understand, don’t worry, you’re here, with us now. I’m your family, and so are your mom and Clay and Maryanna. Please don’t get worried about it now, ok?”

“I’ll try” said Mari, who once again started to tear up upon saying “try” again. Shadow calmed her and hugged her close.

“Please Mari, please.” Mari stopped crying and agreed, “I will, do or do not. There is no try.” Shadow nodded and smiled at her.

“Good” he said in the accent that Marilee loved so much. “I’m glad. Now let’s gather our things. We have a lot to do before we can get to our new home.” Mari nodded and dried her eyes.

“Yes. Let’s” and together they walked out of the door.

………………………

Mari and Shadow worked together all day that day and the next day to pack all of their belongings and prepare everything to move into the town of Tre’nar. Mari wasn’t even sure if they should stay in Tre’nar………what if Darth Vader came back to seek revenge?

No. She shook her head as if to remove the thoughts from her brain. She had voiced her concerns with Shadow who pretty much told her to stay calm and that they’d discuss it with Maryanna and Clay when they got to Tre’nar. After saying goodbye to Marlinda, the couple started on their way, with all of their possessions in tow, toward the tiny town of Tre’nar.

Mari toyed with her lightsaber as they walked, probably thinking too much for her own good again. She glanced down at her artificial hand and grimaced. She recalled the moment it was severed with dread. It was still just as horrifying over a week later. Shadow didn’t make comments on her hand or her feelings on it. That relieved Mari to know that her husband knew when to just stay quiet.

She was secretly grateful that Shadow didn’t pry into her feelings, partly because she was afraid to find them out for herself. After all that had happened, Mari felt sure that Darth Vader wouldn’t be happy with simply leaving and not coming back for revenge. He would, she just knew it.

She didn’t want her family or friends to get hurt just because he wanted her dead. But Mari didn’t think she could face him again. Not after…..she looked down at her replica hand again and lowered her head, and then used her new hand to brush the hair out of her eyes. It was odd, because it felt the same as her natural hand, yet different in the same way.

Shadow was quietly keeping his eye on her, trying to sense her feelings. He knew that Mari was upset about losing her hand to Darth Vader, and that was perfectly understandable. In fact he was quite upset too. Shadow knew that Vader would be back, and hopefully they wouldn’t be here. They would leave; take Maryanna and Clay with them, as they were Force-Sensitive too. They would fly to……Well, who knew where on the next freighter, taking their belongings with them.

Shadow knew that and was planning on it, but decided not to tell Mari just yet. She would jump to conclusions and he didn’t want her disappointed. Maryanna may not want to leave her family and Clay his mom. Mari and Shadow already said a tearful goodbye that morning when leaving. As Mari and Shadow walked together down the long path to Tre’nar, Shadow held Mari’s good hand, the one not damaged by a lightsaber or a ship crash. Mari smiled at him, although her smile was somewhat sad. He kissed her quickly and then continued to walk, almost to their destination.

…………………..

“But why?” Maryanna asked in an exasperated and almost whiny voice. “I have siblings and parents and chores…”

Mari had just brought up the topic of moving off planet. Maryanna was resisting. Her heart was torn. She knew how important it was to be safe yet she had no desire to leave her family or friends in Tre’nar.

“Annie, please, you know how important this is.” Clay was trying to help convince his girlfriend to come with them to whatever planet they were going to. Mari took Maryanna’s hands in hers and looked deep into her eyes.

“Come on Maryanna, what happens if he comes back, looking for me and finds …you, you’re Force-Sensitive. You’re in danger too! Maryanna, I probably wouldn’t ever get to see you again.”

Maryanna’s face scrunched up in thought and she finally said, “I need to think about it Ok? I’ll need to talk it over with my parents.”

“Good, we’ll be here when you’re ready. Remember, Market day is in four days, so we have to decide by then.” Maryanna nodded and left Clay’s apartment where everyone had gathered. Boxes and bags were packed against the wall, all of them filled with Mari and Shadows things. Because their ship crashing they were left with basically nothing, Marlinda gave them clothes and they now had more belongings that they bought from Tre’nar.

Clay walked back in the room and smiled, he and Maryanna just kissed goodnight. He loved her, she was so sweet. Now back in his apartment, and with Mari and Shadow staring at him strangely, Clay hid his excitement. Mari chuckled beside herself as her brother tried in vain to hide his smile. After saying goodnight to his sister and his brother in law, Clay went upstairs to his room, where he planned to stay until morning.

……………………
Wow. That was pretty long! XD When I rewrote this thing over summer, the medic/scene of the crime-ish scenes were rewritten at least six times each. XD At first, Mari was written too wimpy, and it was just OVERLY angsty. Even worse than usual for me! XDD I think she's better here, I don't find her to be wimpy, so I hope it was okay. Wink This is MUCHHH better than the original. Wink
But I'm not sure on the part where Mari remembers the Jedi. I am assuming it is fitting, but you tell me. Wink
Thanks!!
JC <3
P.S. I'm working on my self-esteem when it comes to writing. XDD


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13 Re: Reaching for the Stars on Sat Oct 22, 2011 10:20 am

Thanks for reviewing all these chapters everyone!!! Here's Chapter 13...I think this is about the half-way point of the story. Wink Read on!!!! xD

......

Mari and Shadow went into the spare room which they shared until they could buy their own place. The married couple stayed up into the late hours of the night talking about their futures and where they would go from here. Eventually, Shadow began to prod gently at her fear of Vader.

“So, you’re afraid he’ll come back?” he asked carefully, not wanting to upset Mari.

She nodded her head and said, “Yes. If he came back and found me not to be here, he would take down anyone else who knew me or anyone with similar powers.”

“Like Clay or Maryanna.” Shadow said. Mari nodded again.

“Exactly. But after what happened last time…..” She lightly touched her left hand and shuddered. Shadow looked at her sympathetically. Visions of Mari’s hand being severed and her dropping to the ground screaming in pain flew back into the minds of both of them.


Shadow pulled Mari into his arms and he just held her for the longest time. They drew close and kissed, the moonlight streaming through the small window bright like a spotlight. After a few moments they drew away and sat back down on the bed.

“You are…afraid,” Shadow stated after a while, quietly, trying once again to not upset Mari. In the moonlight, she looked up slightly startled by what he said.

“A Jedi does not feel fear, or anger. We feel it, but it does not affect us. That is the Jedi Way.” She stated simply. Shadow nodded although in the dark Mari couldn’t see.

He answered, “It is alright to feel fear, Mari. I don’t think that you could tell me that you weren’t afraid when Darth Vader cut off your hand.” Mari winced, surprised that he spoke about it out right like that, and not wanting to remember it herself. She almost felt tears welling up inside her eyes again, but she pushed them back down.

“Of course I was afraid, more afraid than I had ever been in my life. And probably in as much pain. That was like going to bell and back and I was terrified. I still am, though I am not supposed to be.”

Shadow put his arm around her shoulders and said, “Darling, you can still be a Jedi and not follow the Order exactly. If you are feeling guilty about betraying the Jedi, don’t be. According to Darth Vader, the Jedi were all slaughtered, killed. The Jedi Order destroyed. You and probably a few others are the only Jedi left. You are part of a real family now. Me, Clay, Mother, and Maryanna too. Aren’t you glad you have that?” Mari sighed and relaxed her shoulders, leaning on Shadow gently.

“I am overjoyed to have a family. I love you all so much….it just that I need to get used to being free of the rules. I never, in all my life, have been able to love freely. I was always told that no attachments were allowed, yet I grew attached to everyone. My Masters, my friends, my teachers, my partners, my clones….” She looked at Shadow who kissed her cheek.

“I know. Just think of it this way. You can still be a Jedi and you can also be free.” Mari pondered his words after a while she whispered to her husband.

“Goodnight Shadow, I love you. And thank you, for everything.” Mari and Shadow kissed again and then they both rolled over and fell asleep.

It was five days later. Maryanna, Clay, Shadow and Mari were sitting in the cramped quarters that they shared in the Market day freighter. Maryanna decided in her best interest to leave Dantooine and go with her boyfriend and her best friend on an adventure.

Mari trained Clay, Maryanna and Shadow while they were in the freighter to pass the time it would take for them to get to Coruscant, their destination of choice. They made a vague plan for their arrival on the city world, they would buy a ship with the credits they pulled together, and then they would try and contact Mari’s master, Shaak Ti on Felucia. They had failed to reach her, and Mari now knew that she was on her own.

Mari made everyone understand that being a Jedi meant sometimes being secretive.
While on Coruscant, they would all have to be very careful not to raise attention to themselves. The freighter docked around sundown on the third day of their journey. Mari, Shadow, Clay and Maryanna disembarked, dressed as pheasant people.

After stepping into Coruscant, Mari’s jaw dropped open in complete and utter shock. It was so different. The place where the Jedi Temple had been was demolished. Instead a menacing Imperial building was in its place.

Stormtroopers lined the streets and people hurried around in total fear. Mari looked around and felt that the one place that she called home for so long was no longer there. The Coruscant shops and businesses had all been changed or closed, but Mari felt certain that she could still find her way around.

“Wow,” Maryanna and Clay both gasped, amazed at the large city planet.

“Mari,” asked Shadow, who had been to Coruscant many times before, “Do you think you can still find your way around? Everything is so….different.” Mari nodded reluctantly. She swept her vision around once again, searching for familiar landmarks.

“Yes, I think I can. I doubt that the Underworld has been changed….that much.” Each grabbing Maryanna and Clay by the hand, and dragged them down the dank Coruscant streets toward the “lower” part of town. Once in the “slum district” Mari and Shadow practically hauled Maryanna and Clay through the crazy and crowded and even dangerous Coruscant Underworld. Mari signaled for Shadow to wait with her distracted brother and best friend, who were still trying to take in all the sights of the large city that was Coruscant.

Mari entered the closest pawn shop which was about twenty feet in front of her, and stood at the counter. A husky looking man with one eye came to the counter. He had receding hair and a scar over the place where his missing eye would be. Mari’s lip curled instinctively at the man’s hideousness.

He growled at her, “What do you want? I’ve got things to do!” Mari immediately hid the disgust on her face and made her attitude mysterious and sly.

“What I want,” she said smoothly “is a ship, something fast, and small enough for me and three passengers, plus cargo. Now if you’re busy sir, I can go the shop up the street, and just…”

The man cut in, “Now, now, I said I was busy, not that I wasn’t interested in doing business, a ship you say, hmmmmmm, I can get you one. For a price.” Mari smiled smugly at him and said, “Name it.” He named a price. Mari was kind of shocked. To buy the ship she would have to use all of her credits. Leaving nothing left for fuel, food, or port entry fees.

Mari thought it over and said, “That would take all my credits. Now if you include port and fuel fees I might consider the deal.”

The man looked at her and said, “No deal. I want the money up front. No attachment fees.” Mari tilted her head and looked out the mucky window in the front of the store.

“Well, maybe the fine establishment up the street would be able to provide a better deal…” The man looked uneasy.

“No. He’ll….he’ll cheat ya out of your money. You’re better off going with my deal.”

Mari gave him a stare that only a Jedi could withstand and said, “And why should I believe you? What if the man down the street could give me the kind of deal I’m looking for?”

The man cracked, “Fine, you’ve got yourself a deal. I need the credits more than that shlub does.” Only the man didn’t say “shlub”.

Less than an hour later, Mari had a ship and credits for fuel and port entries. Shadow had sat with Maryanna and Clay for over an hour on the bench that Mari had left them at. He was getting worried. She sure was taking a long time.

“She’s a Jedi.” He told himself. “Mari can take care of herself. No need to worry.” Almost exactly after he thought these things, Mari appeared with the keys to a ship, and a pocket full of credits.

………………………….

Together, Mari, Shadow, Clay and Maryanna walked through Coruscant to get to the loading docks, where they tried to get some information. Mari was incredibly overjoyed to find a friend of hers from the Temple who had apparently gone undercover as a pilot. She walked up to Ember Sparkstone and tapped her shoulder.

“Marilee!!!!” Ember said excitedly and wrapping her in a hug, “I can’t believe you are here, how did you escape the purge?”

Confused, Mari asked, “Purge? Ember, what are you talking about? What has happened to Coruscant? And where is the Temple?” Ember shifted her gaze around the room to make sure no one was watching them.

“Mari, the Jedi have been killed. The Temple was destroyed. The Clones have been working with for the Seppies all along. They were programmed by Darth Sideous to betray and murder the Jedi. Only a handful of us are left.” Looking behind Mari’s troubled eyes; Ember saw Shadow, Clay and Maryanna.

“Who are they?” she asked Mari.

Mari looked over her shoulder and said, “Oh that is Shadow, my…..” She looked into Ember’s eyes and said, “Husband.” Ember’s violet eyes opened wide.

“You broke the Order?” she gasped, “You? Marilee Sunstar? Are you sure?”

Mari smiled sheepishly and replied, “Yes….and that is my brother Clay and friend Maryanna. They are both from Dantooine. I found my birth-mother there, and a lot has happened.” Mari unconsciously clasped her left wrist, where the small black glove she wore covered her prosthetic.

Curious, Ember said, “What’s going on Mari? And by the Force, why are you on Coruscant? The remaining Jedi are being hunted down and killed by Darth Vader. I’m surprised you are still alive! I’m only here to fuel up and then I’m heading for the Naboo system. Got more business there anyway.” Mari nodded and looked seriously at her friend.

“Ember, I did meet with Darth Vader, and that is why I had to run away from Dantooine, I was afraid he would come back and this time, I wouldn’t escape.” Mari looked at her left hand again, and hid it behind her back.

“What is with the glove Marilee? Are you sportin’ the whole ‘Michaelll Jaxxon’ thing too?”

Mari rolled her eyes and clenched her left hand behind her back. She quietly explained what had happened with Darth Vader to her friend through the Force. Ember lost the smirk on her face and looked sympathetic.

“Oh, Mari! I..I didn’t realize…” She stuttered in apology.

Mari just shook her head shortly and said, “It’s fine. Only reason we’re here is because we needed a ship, fast. I don’t know where we’ll go next.” Ember nodded and then spun around and she gasped.

“Stormtrooper inspection! You need to hide! All the Jedi are on a Wanted list and they are supposed to be on the lookout for them.”

“But what about you?” Mari asked. Ember lifted off the hat that she wore on her head, which Mari thought was to keep her hair out of her face. To Mari’s surprise, underneath Ember’s hat was…..nothing. She had cut off all her hair, shaved her thick curls to disguise herself from the Empire. Ember wore a scarf on her head and was wearing overalls and a pilot’s uniform.

Mari gasped, and Ember, obviously not wanting to talk about it shoved Mari and her companions inside of her ship. Ember closed and locked the door, grabbed a wrench and pretended to be working on repairs. Two Stormtroopers walked by and stopped in front of Ember’s ship. Ember saluted the two troopers and continued to work on her ship.

“Cargo and Destination,” asked the first trooper.

“Imperial Cargo and Uniforms to Belazura,” Ember said.

The second trooper then demanded, “Name and Ship number.” Ember looked up from her work and said, “Rean Stone, ship number 1138.” The first trooper held out his hand.

“ID docs.” Ember reached into her back pocket and handed the trooper her fake ID docs.

“Everything checks out…” said trooper one, and then he added, “Continue with your business.” He signaled to trooper two and the both of them moved on to the last ship and out of the building. Ember finally let out her breath and opened her ship door again. Mari, Shadow, Clay and Maryanna basically tumbled out.

Ember helped her old friend up and then helped up her “husband” and friends.

Mari dusted herself off and said “Thanks….Rean.” Ember laughed and shook her hairless head.

“That was too close. I made fake ID docs for that reason.” Mari nodded and hugged her friend.

“Seriously, thank you Ember. We need to get going before the next inspection. Hopefully I’ll see you again soon?” Ember nodded and hugged Mari again.

“Good Luck. I’ll be thinking about you.” Mari nodded and said goodbye.

…………………..

Marilee and her family got into their own ship and began to make preparations before takeoff.

“Everyone strapped in?” asked Shadow who was in the pilot’s seat. After everyone nodding in agreement, Mari spoke.

“Then we are go in 3……2……1…..Ignition.” The ship began to lift off and then rose up into the Coruscant atmosphere. Mari glanced back from where she was sitting in the co-pilot’s seat.

Then she said, “Jump to hyperspace in 30 seconds.” Thirty seconds later, the ship blasted into hyperspace, headed toward the outer rim systems.

……………………………….

Oh-oh-oh!!!! Wink EMBER SPARKSTONE is in this chapter!!!!!! Seriously, Ember is AMAZING. Wink I know y'all have only just met her, but she is probably one of my FAVORITE characters EVER. Wink My best friend, and cousin, (I call her "Chibi" in the Online world), IS Ember Sparkstone. The character is inspired by her, designed after her, and many of Ember's lines in this story are written by Chibi. Wink Ember even has her own whacky mini-series, The Amazing Adventures of Ember Sparkstone. Wink That was written JUSt by Chibi, not me. Haha. Wink The "Michaelll Jaxxon" thing was input by Chibi, who I asked for help with Ember's character and lines when re-writing this. Wink What do y'all think? Ember becomes more important later btw. XDD She's hysterical in everything else. Wink Thanks for reading!!!!!! Smile


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