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 Common Ground (Luke & Allana, Post-LOTF Vig) 
BigFatty


Joined: 23 Sep 2007
Posts: 13
Location: Indiana
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Title: Common Ground
Author: BigFatty
Timeframe: Post-LOTF
Characters: Luke Skywalker, Allana Djo, Tenel Ka
Genre: Vignette
Disclaimer: I own nothing relating to Star Wars, please don't sue.
Notes: Big thanks to Zonoma for picking this apart. I hope it's up to her standards. This was written before Inferno came out, so if you see issues with canon events, that's why.



Luke landed gently beside his X-wing and smoothed his hair into something more dignified than the sweaty pilot helmet sculpted on his journey. He tried not to wince as he flexed his stiff joints and again wondered if his age was finally catching up with him or if it was the loss of his wife that stole away his perpetual youthfulness.

Not wishing to continue that line of thought, Luke began to look around the small, well maintained landing pad. He hadn’t stepped foot on Hapes since Ma- since right before he hunted down Lumiya. While he wasn’t precisely avoiding the Consortium, he certainly felt no need to return and that was fine with him.

He didn’t know why the Queen Mother summoned him to this place but he would find out soon enough. He looked to the shadows of the hangar where two of the silent shadows peeled away from the wall and began to approach him. They closed the distance quickly and bowed before the woman on the right addressed him.

“Grand Master Skywalker, you are expected. Your fighter is secure here. If you require nothing immediate, the Queen Mother requests your presence.”

“Thank you, I am ready to see her.” Luke answered.

“Then please follow us.”

He settled in two paces behind the taller women and continued to wonder why he was summoned so urgently. Would she want details of the battle in which Darth Caedus was killed? That would make sense but Luke didn’t know all the details. Jaina only reported to the council that the deed was done before disappearing. Luke followed Leia’s advice and let her go - some things one should face alone. Remembering the haunted look in her eyes during her report, he didn’t envy her position.

Luke thought he should be saddened at the news that his nephew died unredeemed, but he wasn’t. He was honest enough with himself to admit that some small part of him was grimly satisfied, even happy. This way, Luke wasn’t required to find the strength to forgive and accept his wife’s murderer as a nephew and prodigal apprentice. He wasn’t sure he could find that strength. People assumed it was easy for him to forgive and accept his father, but that wasn’t exactly true. Vader was indirectly responsible for the deaths of his aunt and uncle, tortured his sister and best friend, took his right hand, and even tried to shoot him down in the first Death Star’s trenches. No, it wasn’t naïveté that led to Luke’s forgiveness of his father in the end- it was Vader himself. Vader saved his life and in the process Luke felt the repentance and the redemption in the Force, first hand. Caedus, he suspected, was incapable of such a thing.

The Jedi Grand Master was pulled from his reverie when the guards stopped before a set of heavy, ornate doors. Inside he felt the presence of the Queen Mother. Tenel Ka, draped in an elegant and simple gown, stretched out her hand and welcomed Luke inside her private quarters within the palace. “Master Skywalker.”

“Queen Mother.” Luke replied.

“Surely between the two of us, we can do without titles.”

“Of course, Tenel Ka.”

A flicker of emotion passed over her solemn face. It was a brief flash or fear and worry; the same look she would let slip when she worried about displeasing him long ago at the Jedi Academy. Taking a deep breath, she started, “I need your help on a matter, but I need you to also reserve judgment.”

Puzzled, Luke nodded and answered, “I will do what I can.”

“I know you will.” Tenel Ka stepped further into the foyer, down a hallway, and opened a door. After the smallest hesitation, she motioned Luke into the room and closed the door behind him.

Luke felt a brief, fierce emotion radiate from her former student and was about to turn to her when a glint of copper caught his eye. Looking around the room he saw a small bunk, couch, desk, and a few toys. Sitting on the bunk was a girl of about six years. She was clutching a worn, stuffed taun-taun to her small body.

“Hello,” she quietly greeted.

“Hello.” Luke returned. Taking a closer look at her face, he noticed her nose was similar to Leia’s while she bit her lip in nervousness like…

Kriff, he was her father.

Unsure of how to react to the realization, Luke tried to ignore the sudden flash of fear from Tenel Ka and took a seat on the nearby sofa.

“What’s your name?”

“Allana.” Her bright eyes watched him like a little bird, “Who are you?”

“My name is Luke.”

“Are you a Jedi?” She asked, still speaking softly.

“Yes. How did you know?” Luke’s mind worriedly wondered if she was Force-sensitive, Undoubtedly so with her heritage of Skywalkers and Dathomiri witches, and began to fear what her father may have taught her.

Pointing to the silver cylinder attached to Luke’s hip, she answered, “Your lightsaber.”

“Oh,” Luke replied.

“Mama has one too, but she doesn’t wear it on her clothes.”

“Ahh.” Luke said, content to offer single-worded responses as long as he could.

“Jacen had one, too.” Allana whispered. That caused Luke’s head to snap up. The girl was looking down at the toy, which hugged even closer to her chest. “He was a Jedi, too,” she added.

His retort died on his lips. How could he ruin this child’s innocent view of a man that she clearly loved? A small nod seemed to be the only acceptable answer. Not wanting to start a conversation, or perhaps not knowing what to talk about, they sat side by side in silence until Luke looked at the stuffed toy she clung to. “You know,” he said pointing to the animal, “I used to ride those.”

“Really? What were they like?” She asked, eyes lighting up.

“Smelly. Does it have a name?”

“Yes,” she whispered, focusing once more at the intricate pattern on her bedspread. “But you won’t like it.”

His eyebrows came together in confusion, “How do you know I won’t like it?”

“I just do. I can feel it. It will make you hurt and sad. Like you feel when you look at me.”

Guilt crashed into him. How could he direct such things at a child? He wanted to deny her claims, but they were true. “It’s not you that makes me hurt.”

“It’s Jacen.”

“Yes,” Luke sighed.

“You knew him?”

He paused before answering. Should he tell her they were related? He wasn’t sure how much the child knew or, more importantly, how much she should know in light of the vicious Hapan politics. Nodding once again seemed to be the only answer available.

Several minutes passed before Allana asked another question. “Was he always sad?”

That wasn’t the emotion Luke associated with the thing his nephew had become. “No.” He forced down the anger that tried to surface and tried to remember his nephew. “He used to be happy, telling jokes… honoring life. He used to love animals.”

“I know. He took me a zoo once and was telling me all about the animals we saw.”

“He took you to the zoo?”

“Yes, but we had to go undercovers.” She added, thinking he was, like most people around her, primarily concerned with security issues.

Luke began to pinch the bridge of his nose. Had there been a small part of the old Jacen left that they all missed? Was there something to reach out and redeem? Surely Jaina had tried; they all had at some point and time. Could Sith only be brought back to light by their children?

“Was Jacen a bad guy?”

“What makes you think that?” Luke asked.

“People here were scared of him, even Mama sometimes.”

“Were you scared of him?”

“Not really. He was always nice to me. One time, when he thought I was asleep, he came and sat by my bed for a while. He said he was going to make the galaxy safe for me.”

The statement took Luke’s mind to files uncovered within Artoo several years ago; data the little droid had been reluctant to share. From what Luke could tell, Jacen’s reason for going to such extremes was sounding eerily familiar to why Anakin Skywalker had turned to the dark side. But it was Allana’s next statement that made Luke’s galaxy jerk on its axis.

“What happens to bad Jedi when they die?”

He couldn’t even think of how to answer her. The question never entered his mind, even in light of recent events. He supposed during his battle against Exar Kun, getting rid of the dead monster was more important than asking how he accomplished such a feat. Luke sadly hoped his lost nephew forgot what occurred when he was two, but Luke doubted he could be so lucky. No one in the family had received any visitations from Force ghosts lately, so Luke was unsure if Caedus was possible of such a thing.

What would have happened if Vader had died a “bad Jedi”? Certainly Luke’s younger nephew would have a different name. Would Luke have allowed the Jedi to marry and have children in the new order? Would things have been better that way? Would it be worth still having Mara alive if she couldn’t be his wife?

He was brought out of his whirlwind of thoughts when he felt a small hand on his arm. Opening his eyes, he saw Allana standing before him with a worried expression on her face. “Did I do something wrong?”

“No.” Luke said as he gathered her up and set her on his lap, hugging his great niece. “No, you didn’t do anything wrong.”
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JayCee
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Joined: 17 Jul 2007
Posts: 573
Location: England, Midlands
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very heart breaking this is... but Jacen brought it upon himself... Sad

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FalconFan


Joined: 21 Feb 2009
Posts: 12
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Wonderful! I always wondered when Luke would learn about Allana's true parentage--when they actually meet and interact someday, I don't think there'll be any question in Luke's mind: he knew Jacen so well--as he was before the Yuuzhan Vong--there's no way he could possibly miss his nephew's echo in Allana (Leia recognized it right away in LOTF: Fury)... I love the interaction between them--totally appropriate for the child's age, and totally in-character for Luke, who really did love the Jacen-that-was...of course he would feel that for his great-niece as well... I wish with all my heart there had been some way to bring Jacen back...but it just wasn't in the story arc, I guess. This is a nice way to tie up some of those Legacy "loose ends," though--well done, Sara. It could well have been canon, had TK kept Allana with her...that's still something I don't entirely understand (outside of her fearing her daughter would die at the hands of Hapan assassins...)... Very nice work, in any case!

FF

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