She held the small package in her hand and pondered what to do next. Inside the package held secrets of her past, of her family, and she knew that what was in the package would change her life forever. It would connect her to her family and let her understand more about herself.
She unwrapped the package and saw that it contained a small, wooden box as well as a data card. The small box contained a necklace made of well worn blue glass beads. As she picked up the necklace, she felt the Force swim around her. This necklace had a strong connection to her family, and she assumed that the data card would explain the rest of the story.
She picked up the data card, inserted it into her data pad, and steeled herself for the information the data card held.
She was going to learn about her family.
I held the necklace made of tiny glass bead in my trembling hands. I knew this was no ordinary necklace, even though it looked as though a child had constructed it. The necklace was composed of what looked like a random assortment and combination of blue glass beads. I knew there was a pattern in the randomness that would reveal a secret message, coded just for me.
A message that could destroy us if it were discovered.
A message that would oust our secret love.
A message that would betray us as Jedi.
The necklace came in a simple, wooden box, wrapped and padded to ensure that its treasure arrived safely into my hands. The necklace, crafted by strong, yet gentle, hands, placed each bead in its unique order.
A sob escaped my lips because I knew what the message meant.
He was to send a message if he sensed he was about to be betrayed, in hopes that I would receive the message and somehow save myself.
Nevertheless, I knew the inevitable...I would not survive. They would probably trace me through the very package I cradled in my hands.
I began to decode his last message. I owed him that much.
"I hove you Macy," the message read.
I sat, puzzled at the strange message. Is this in code too? I wondered.
I decoded it again, and again, but I still received the same message. "I hove you Macy."
A smile crept across my face as I realized what had happened. The L and the H were not far apart in our code, and he must have mistakenly coded hove for love.
I giggled at the mistake that he made as he tried to be crafty. There were so many ways that he could have told me that he loved me, but he just had to go and do something completely out of the ordinary. I knew that he would have liked that his message could make me smile and laugh even in the darkest of times.
I slipped the necklace on and whispered to the Force, "I hove you too, Dyan."
The Force has a rather large sense of humor.
The last time I was with Dyan, we had...relations. It appeared that I not only had to protect myself now but also my unborn child.
Dyan had left a small piece of himself with me besides my necklace. I would always have someone that would remind me of his smile, as well as someone to cuddle with, at least until he or she became old enough not to need the warmth of a mother's embrace.
It hit me again that I had no experience whatsoever of what a mother should be like. I was raised in the Jedi Temple where love and relations were strictly forbidden. I ruefully thought of why they were forbidden as I rubbed my belly that had yet to start showing.
I wondered if Dyan would want a boy or a girl. I wanted a boy so that he could grow up to be tall and strong like his father and have dark hair and green eyes like him.
He would probably have argued that I should have a little girl, one that would grow up to be as beautiful and smart as I am. I laughed as I remembered arguing with him about how I wasn't beautiful especially since my long blonde hair was so curly that it would end up frizzing on missions that had any moisture on the planet at all. He joked that perhaps I should volunteer for all of the missions on Tatooine so that my hair would be perfect. I always laughed at that.
Now we would never have another moment like that, but we never should have in the first place. It was forbidden for the Jedi to love, but many had accidentally fallen in love with their comrades. I was sure that even some had had relations with them too, but our case was different.
He was my master.
I suppose that was why the Jedi rarely assigned padawans to masters of different sexes. While it was forbidden to have relations, the bond between master and padawan was one so strong that it could easily turn into something more, as it had in our case.
Had we not been at war, we would have been discovered and the Council would have had to deal with us. But the Council had long ago been destroyed, as well as most of our rules. The Jedi did whatever they could to survive and many of the old rules had been broken as a result.
I still occasionally wondered how we would have been dealt with by the Council. We had been assigned to each other shortly before the Clone Wars began. All of the madness of the Clone Wars had forced us to bond more quickly than other master-apprentice teams. Once the purges started we were forced to go underground and hide. The lines between master and padawan had blurred then, and we fell in love.
We realized that we had to separate then because we feared being discovered and knew that the chance of discovery increased with numbers. And so we separated, after spending one last night together, which resulted in the tiny being growing inside of me.
In some ways I envied Dyan who was now one with the Force. He didn't have to figure out how to protect himself and his unborn child, and on top of that, how to survive in this new and scary galaxy. So what does an unwed, soon-to-be-mother, not-quite-Jedi do?
I will let you know when I figure it out.
I soon found that it was possible to survive in this new world. My cover story for myself and my baby was that her father, my husband, had been killed in the war. People took pity on us when they found that out, and while I wasn't particularly fond of their pity, I did find it much easier to survive. There were many people had lost so much already during this war, and I was just one of them.
My poor daughter had been cursed with my curly, blonde hair, but she did at least get Dyan's green eyes.
Oh, how I wished he was here. I wished that we could raise our daughter together and that we could teach her the ways of the Jedi. Maybe my daughter and I would start a new order, one that mirrored the Corellian Jedi.
I had done a number of odd jobs on a number of different planets during my pregnancy, but for the last six months I had stayed in one spot being a waitress. The little café that I worked in allowed me to keep my little girl, Kari, with me while I worked. That time spent together allowed me to understand what it really meant to be a mother. Was this what the Jedi kept me from? Perhaps it is better that the old ways of the Jedi are gone now. Maybe once things die down I can train Kari without fear of being killed because we are Jedi.
But that day may never come, and so I must get Kari and myself ready to go on our next journey to our new home. We have already stayed far too long in one place, but I have done what is best for my daughter. Now it is time for us to leave this place and find a new home.
Oh, how I wish that home could be with Dyan and our little girl.
Kari has become quite used to moving around. She doesn't know life any other way, which makes it easier.
Today she asked about my necklace. She wanted to know if she could wear it. I told her that one day, when she was old enough, I would give it to her. I told her how you made it just for me and that you also helped make her. Daddy was always with us through her and through my necklace. When it became hers, she will always know that you are with her.
Assuming that either of us survives long enough to see that day.
The galaxy is still a dangerous place. The Clone Wars have long ended, but a new threat has risen in its place. I am afraid that this threat is worse than the one that we faced during our time. I can only hope that somewhere, someone is being raised that will be able to overthrow this new regime. Perhaps it will be Kari.
Should I train her, Dyan? It will pose a great threat to both of us. But I do not want the Order to die out with me. I hope that it can somehow survive.
I have trained Kari a little, not very much of course because every time we use the Force we open ourselves up to the threat of being discovered. I have taught her how to shield her mind and to be able to tell if someone is lying or not. Perhaps I will eventually teach her how to sway minds and other useful things. I do not know if she will ever reach the level of Jedi, or even Jedi apprentice, but I highly doubt it considering I never advanced enough to be considered a knight.
I have started to think that maybe I will settle down in one place and raise my, our daughter, there. Time will tell if I will be able to. Perhaps I can once the Emperor has been dethroned.
I was able to settle on a planet after all. I settled in the most unlikely place ? Tatooine.
Oh, how you would laugh, Dyan. My hair is almost straight from the heat and lack of moisture.
Kari is growing into a beautiful young lady. She reminds me of you in so many ways. I have been able to train her, but I think we both know that she will never reach the level of Jedi Knight under my tutelage. We also know that she is far too old to begin serious training, even though there has been rumor of a young man that attained the level of Knight without much training. But then again, he is rumored to be the son of Skywalker, which could explain everything.
I am growing restless for greener pastures, literally. Tatooine is far too desolate and...well...boring. There is an almost complete lack of life here, and while it is nice to no longer fear being hunted down, I wish for a planet that is a bit more interesting.
Kari wishes to stay.
I can't blame her, though. There is a certain young man that has caught her fancy. He is a moisture farmer.
Yes, can you imagine it? The daughter of a Jedi Master and a Jedi Padawan marrying a moisture farmer from Tatooine? Oh the ironic nature of the Force. Perhaps if they have a child he or she can be raised in the ways of the Jedi, although I would not have given up being able to raise Kari for anything. Well, almost anything. I might have let the Temple raise her if I could have had you. The Jedi would have also had to survive to train her, but that is all in the past which cannot be changed.
I will let Kari choose her own path, just as I did.
Kari did choose her own path. She married a nice young moisture farmer named Tryst. He is like many moisture farmers here: strong, brave, and very gruff. I do hope that Kari enjoys her life.
Tryst knows Kari by her Tatooine name: Cassa. We changed our cover name each time we moved in hopes of throwing off anyone that may be tracking them. Although, Force knows that changing a name is not enough to throw off Jedi Hunters.
They had a splendid ceremony earlier this year. They wed beneath the sunset, which is a tradition for those on Tatooine because the setting of the two suns represents the merging of the two families into one.
The life of a moisture farmer's wife will not be an easy one. Kari will be faced with many difficulties, but I know that she will survive.
She is like me./
She will be able to survive anything, just as I have. I do hope that she does not have to face as many hardships as I have. I want so much for her.
On the day that she was wed, I gave her my prized possession: my necklace. She now has the last part of you that I own.
Oh, how I still miss you, Dyan.
Kari's favorite story while she was growing up was the one about my necklace ? how I got it and what it meant. It was her favorite bedtime story, about her funny daddy that coded his message wrong.
She loved to whisper to me before she went to sleep how she "hoved" me. I would whisper it back to her as she went to sleep.
Oh how I did love her.
How I had loved her.
How I know you will love her now.
She will be with you now, Dyan.
She is one with the Force.
I received word, along with the necklace, of her death as well as Tryst's. They had fought as bravely as they could have, but in the end, they lost out.
They even lost their little girl.
I had not heard from Kari in a long while. She was able to send me a few transmissions, but those transmissions had always been garbled. I was never able to learn her daughter's name.
Somehow the necklace and the news were able to reach me.
I am amazed that I still have enough will to live.
I have lost so much.
My poor darlings.
If I had only stayed... But I cannot change the past. If I had stayed with you, we might have survived together, but then again, we might also be dead. One must not dwell in the past.
But at least now you can play with your little girl, Dyan. You would have been so proud of her.
There has been rumor of a new Jedi Academy starting up. Perhaps I will go and help train up students in this new academy. I am sure that young Skywalker will need help with all of the students, especially considering that he was never fully trained. There are so many rules and traditions that he needs to be taught.
Or perhaps the new order will be better off without them.
Time will tell.
The galaxy is yet again in turmoil.
Oh, how I hate what evils can be committed in this galaxy. I thought that I had seen every possible atrocity, but I was wrong. The new threat challenges our very way of doing things, our very way of living.
Skywalker has done well with his new order.
He has found recruits from all over the galaxy and trained them to be Jedi Knights. There is one particular young lady that has attracted my attention.
She reminds me of? but she cannot be. She died a long time ago.
The new threat has called for the eradication of the Jedi, just as Palpatine did with the Jedi. But we all know how well he did at that.
This new threat will not defeat us either.
The Jedi will survive.
I am sure of it.
My dear Kari, why didn?t you tell me that your little girl survived?
She looks just like you. Blonde, curly hair; bright green eyes. She is beautiful, just like you. She is also strong and far too sad for her own good.
She has lost much for her young life.
My poor girl has much in common with me. We have both lost loves.
I knew who she was the moment when she lost him. Oh, how my heart ached for her.
But she is my granddaughter. I know she is strong, and that she can survive this too.
Tahiri sat quietly as she pondered what she had read.
She knew it was all true.
She could feel that it was true.
She now knew of her parents and grandparents, and how they lived and sacrificed so that she could have life.
Even though her heart ached and she no longer wished to live without him, she knew that she, like her mother and grandmother, would be able to survive.
She slipped the necklace on silently and at once felt connected to her past. She was also filled with an immense hope for the future.
Tahiri heard a soft knock at the door.
Tahiri quickly rose to answer it.
Original cover by Jaya Solo. HTML formatting copyright 2006 TheForce.Net LLC.