Disclaimers: I don’t own Star Wars, and this is a bit of a Star Wars/Xena uber which means it will have love between women.
by AJ Marks
The shuttle bucked slightly heading through the atmosphere of Yavin IV. On board the shuttle several new students headed towards the Jedi Academy to train on how to control and use the Force. Jedi Master Luke Skywalker called for Force sensitive people from all over to come to the Academy. The New Republic wanted a new generation of Jedi Knight to help keep the peace.
On board the shuttle Marline sat beside her daughter, Karen. She was thirteen years old and both she and her lover, Eloria, knew Karen was Force sensitive. They tried their best to hide that fact early on under the rule of the Empire. However, with the fall of the Emperor things had changed within the Republic. So much changed.
“What’s with mother?” Karen asked, her question bringing Marlene out of her thoughts of the past. She looked over at Eloria, who Karen called mother, and noticed the lines of her lover being deep in thought.
“She’s being her normal self, thinking about what you might be doing,” Marlene said. “She remembers before the Jedi Purge, and the awful time that was.”
Eloria and Marlene had kept some secrets from their daughter, this was one.
“Things are different now mom,” Karen replied back to her. “You two always clam up when talking about Jedis.”
“We didn’t want to attract the Empire’s attention for you,” Marlene said, looking down at her daughter, who looked so much like her, long reddish hair, a zest for excitement and trouble, and her lover’s blue eyes.
“The Emperor isn’t running things anymore mom,” Karen said.
“Yes, but we know the Jedi are not invincible, and you will go on dangerous missions. As your parents it’s our right to be worried about you no matter how old you get,” Marlene said. “And you’re growing up, it’s not easy for us.”
“You’ll still be able to see me, not like I’m going out to save the galaxy right away,” Karen replied as the pilot announced they would be landing soon. “You should go sit with mother, she misses you when you’re not beside her.”
“Oh?” Marlene asked, looking at her daughter.
“Yeah, you to always have to be close to each other, you even sit on the same side of the table all of the time,” Karen said.
Marlene gave a slight chuckle before moving over to where Eloria sat. Her tall lover watched with blue eyes as she sat down.
“I take it our trouble maker is sending you over here,” Eloria said.
“Of course love,” Marlene replied. “Said you missed me.”
“Well, I do miss you when you’re not sitting next to me,” Eloria said. Marlene leaned up against Eloria who wrapped her arm around her.
“She’s growing up fast, too fast,” Marlene finally said looking over at their daughter.
“She has your sense of adventure,” Eloria said. “Not sure if that’s a good or bad thing.”
They remained quiet for several seconds, each knowing that training to be a Jedi would not be easy.
“You know, you could-”
“No,” Eloria said, cutting off Marlene. “It’s for the best, we both know that.”
Marlene looked up at the tense lines on Eloria’s face before snuggling back beside her. An old argument ever since the Empire fell. She never pushed it knowing how Eloria felt about it.
They felt the thump of the shuttle as it landed. Eloria walked forward along with the others as they walked onto the landing pad. Eloria watched as a short, blonde-haired man stepped forward dressed in black. She knew from videos and pictures he was Jedi Master Luke Skywalker.
“Looks well maintained,” Marlene said from Eloria’s side.
“Yeah, but I know looks can be deceiving love,” Eloria said, glancing down at the shorter blonde. Giving her attention back the faculties she studied them.
She noticed where fighting had occurred, people still repairing it. The Republic increased security after that attack. She turned her attention back to Luke who walked in front of them all.
“Thank you all for coming,” Luke said to them. “First we’ll give you a quick tour of the building, then new students will head over for a short test. You can’t fail, it’s to assess your abilities so the instructors know what level you are at. Instructors are on hand to answer any questions you might have.”
Eloria followed along with Marlene and Karen as they were shown around the building. The sleeping area was well maintained and rooms were assigned depending on age, gender and race. Another man walked up and introduced himself as Kyle Katarn. Elorea heard of him as well, a Jedi Master who worked with other Jedi. His father had been a Jedi a well and gone looking for the Valley of the Jedi. Eloria pushed it from her mind and instead headed to the training grounds.
She kept an eye on Karen, her eyes looking around at everything, taking it all in. Their daughter looked eager to start as they watched a few padawans working with other instructors. Eloria recalled that same look from her mom when she was younger.
“As you can see, we instruct padawans on proper techniques, using both the Force, skill and intelligence to solve problems. The droids are practice based upon models from the Jedi temple. Different programs allow us to train people from beginners to experienced Masters.”
Eloria watched with a critical eye as a padawan fought with a droid. Her trained eye could tell both were evenly matched. Even as she watched the droid was exploiting weaknesses in the padawan’s style forcing him to adapt. She nodded to herself knowing the importance of such training.
“Is anyone ever injured?” Marlene asked.
“It’s inevitable, but we have a fully trained medical staff on hand. No one has been seriously injured, and most are back training the next day,” Luke answered. “We are careful to keep droids programmed for Masters away from beginners, and the more serious injuries usually come from the Masters.”
Eloria noticed a look over at Kyle who shrugged his shoulders knowing there was an untold story there.
“Seems dangerous,” Marlene said quietly.
“Anything less could endanger their lives later on,” Eloria said, knowing her lover felt concerned over Karen. “Better to learn here than out there where you don’t get a reset.”
She saw Marlene sigh. “I know, doesn’t mean I have to like it.”
Elora wrapped an arm around Marlene as they walked into a large conference room with plenty of seats and refreshments. Parents of younger children watched as their children went off for the testing.
“Exciting, isn’t it mom,” Karen said, smiling.
“I suppose,” Marlene said, looking a bit anxious about it all. Eloria knew Marlene’s motherly instincts had taken over now. She was the one who talked Eloria into getting Karen trained. Now that the moment was upon them her lover was reluctant after seeing it all. Eloria held no illusions of what Karen’s training would undertake. Luke did a good job, and hopefully will avoid past mistakes.
They heard Karen’s name called. Eloria placed a hand on her daughter’s shoulder, her blue eyes looked up into her. Like her mom, she had been excited, now nervousness replaced it.
“Relax, let the Force flow through you,” Eloria told her. “And remember, in this test there is no failing.”
“You’re right mother.”
They watched Karen walk off with the instructor as Eloria wrapped her arm around Marlene. “She’ll be fine.”
Karen followed the instructor to down a hallway. Her mind raced with what they might expect her to do. It could be anything from making things move to more complex things, like dodging lasers.
“All right, here we are, Kyle, you’re next student,” the instructor said.
Karen looked over seeing Kyle Katarn standing by several monitors.
“All right, you’re Karen right?’ Kyle asked.
“Yes sir,” Karen said, feeling nervous again despite her mother’s words.
“This is a multiple part test, no pass or fail, only do the best you can. It’s to gain a measure of how much control of the Force you have. It doesn’t mean you can’t do it, only where we need to start your training so you can,” Kyle said.
Karen nodded her head, but still wanted to do well.
“Head through the door, your first test will appear on the screen, and don’t worry, nothing will harm you,” Kyle said to her.
Karen walked though seeing several objects all around in ranging size, levers behind bars and assorted other items and a large screen in front on one side of the wall. The screen activated upon her arrival into the room and gave her the first task.
Luke mingled with new recruits and parents of children gaining a sense of who they were and their upbringing. Such things could help in training to avoid anyone falling to the Dark Side. He had made a few failures in this regards already and tried hard to not repeat them.
He made his way over to where two women stood, a tall dark-haired woman and a blonde. Both of them had grey in their hair and he recalled they were with a young teen with blonde hair.
“Master Skywalker,” the taller woman said.
“Just Luke,” he replied, never gotten used to the title of Jedi Master.
“Eloria, this is my wife Marlene,” Eloris said,
“I’m glad you allowed your daughter to the academy,” Luke said. “What do you two do?”
“I did some bounty hunter work when I was younger,” Eloria told him, not what he expected to hear. “Settled down when this one wanted a family, and the Empire appeared on the verge of defeat.”
“Work for the Rebellion?” Luke asked.
“No, was too risky for me,” Eloria said, and Luke felt she was hiding something.
“Anyone in your family Force-sensitive?” he asked, this time seeing a quick glance by Marlene towards Eloria.
“Nope,” Eloria said.
Luke paused formulating his next question when his communicator went off. “Luke here.” He answered.
“Luke,” he heard Kyle’s voice say. “I think you’ll want to come over and see this.”
“All right, be right there,” Luke said, excusing himself from his conversation with Eloria and Marlene, making his way to the testing area.
He made his way down the hallway wondering what Kyle needed him to look at.
“What’s up?” Luke asked entering the room.
“Take a look,” Kyle replied looking at the screen. “I’ve given her a few of the more complex tests on a hunch. She’s completing tasks that some second years couldn’t complete. She has had training.”
Luke thought about that while watching as the girl on the screen jumped up onto the ledge with the help of the Force. Most second year padawans had trouble with such a task.
“I see, all right, we’ll talk to her for a bit,” Luke said as Kyle ended the testing. The door opened allowing the girl to walk out.
Karen walked out of the testing room wondering what she might have missed and done wrong. She knew of a few things she did right, some of the objectives were easy, others were harder than anything she ever done before. She noticed that Master Skywalker stood next to Kyle Katarn.
“Most impressive,” Master Skywalker said to her, causing her to blush slightly at the praise.
“Thank you master, but I don’t think I did that well,” Karen replied honestly. “There were some things I knew I could do better.”
“Where did you learn to use the Force?” Luke asked her.
“My mom and mother,” Karen replied, thinking back to all the times they had worked with her. “They’ve always been supportive and making me learn how to control what I can do. I don’t think they wanted me to attract attention of the Empire.”
“Wise parents,” Luke said to them. “You’re parents are Eloria and Marlene are they not? You look like them.”
“That’s them, one usually has their arms wrapped around the other,” Karen said. It was her normal memory of them, and while it embarrassed her at times, secretly she hoped for a similar lover when she grew up.
“I didn’t get to talk to them that much, let’s go talk to them some more. I’d like to know some of these teachings they gave you. I might help parents of Force sensitive children who do not wish to bring them to the academy,” Luke said, looking over at Kyle. “Let me know about any others.”
“Got it,” Kyle said.
Karen followed Luke out of the room.
Marlene mingled with the others, some were waiting for their test, and others were parents of children. The ages ranged from in their thirties to five. The parents of the younger children brought their kids because they did not know how to handle such powers.
Marlene considered that for a second. If she had been without Eloria would she know what to do? She felt sure the Empire would have discovered Karen and taken her away. That thought chilled Marlene as she considered how many children it happened to.
Eloria draped an arm around her pulling her close. She always knew when something was bothering her.
“Seems like our little trouble maker is coming back,” Eloria said, turning slightly to the door. Sure enough Marlene watched as Karen and Luke walked into the room, looking around and headed straight towards them. “Wonder what happened?”
Marlene shrugged content to watch what might happen next.
“Luke,” Eloria said greeting him.
“She didn’t do anything wrong?” Marlene asked, knowing her daughter’s ability to get into trouble.
“No, but she is very skilled in the Force,” Luke said, something Marlene already knew but waited for Eloria to speak. This was her fight, Marlene would say nothing.
“Taught her right from wrong. I was told once that with great power comes great responsibility, and the Force is a great power. We also had to make sure she did not attract attention by the Empire, who took away anyone showing signs of the Force,” Eloria said.
Before Luke could reply they heard a commotion, as a wall crumbled under the force of an attack. Two training droids armed with lightsabers causing panic.
“My training droids, they are designed to go all out,” Luke muttered, quickly moving to engage one of the droids.
Marlene felt Eloria tense as another droid headed towards them. She moved taking Karen with her.
“Get behind me,” Eloria said.
Marlene said nothing, feeling the rush of old times flow through her once more. She pulled Karen with her, who protested slightly.
“Mom won’t be able to handle that droid,” Karen said, her voice fearful and tense.
“Stay behind her, do not split her concentration,” Marlene said told her daughter.
She watched Eloria’s hand, seeing the familiar flick of the hand as a cylindrical, metallic object appeared even as she shed her cloak. The click-hiss surprised everyone but Marlene as a yellow lightsaber appeared and blocked the blue lightsaber of the droid.
Karen stopped talking as they watched Eloria switch from defense to offense.
End part 1
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