Chapter Nine - Mara's Sentence
I own nothing from either Lord of the Rings
or Star Wars
Mara watched desperately as the King’s guards led Luke out of the White Hall, her vision blurred by tears. She hated herself for crying. She hated Luke for agreeing to stand in Vader’s place. She hated Vader for starting all this in the first place. She hated the King and Queen for robbing her of her husband.
No one seemed to notice that she was still standing off to the side or if they did, they did not seem to care. Legolas and Faramir were talking softly by Faramir’s black chair while the King and Queen were silent and still.
What was she supposed to do now? Where was she supposed to go? She wanted to sit outside Luke’s cell until the day she died, but he wouldn’t want her to waste her life that way. But if he told her to leave him, she was sure that she would fade away into nothing. She would join her mythical wraith-girl and wander through the Force forever.
Legolas and Faramir were looking at her. Anger suddenly replaced her sorrow and she stormed over to the black throne. “You can’t do this!” she said.
Fixing her with an intent glare, Legolas evenly replied, “It is none of your concern.”
“But he’s my – my master!” Mara shot back, catching herself at the last moment. “What am I supposed to do if he’s in jail for the rest of his life?”
“You are in a city, girl,” Legolas pointed out. “Gondorians are a good people. You will find another master, I am sure.”
Mara deflated. What could she say to that? Any normal servant would be okay with finding a new master in the end.
The Elf was still studying her. “He is not merely your master,” he finally said.
She bristled. “I have no idea what you’re talking about.”
A smirk tugged at Legolas’s mouth. “You are in love with him, aren’t you?”
“That’s Kryat dung,” Mara retorted. Inwardly she cringed. She was that transparent? The Emperor would have been so disappointed in her.
Legolas ignored her denial and continued, “It never ends well in situations like this. Use Elessar’s judgment to give yourself a clean break. Forget Skywalker.”
Mara narrowed her eyes. “Never.”
A hard look settled in Legolas’s eye. “Then you sentence yourself to his fate.”
His words hit her hard. She pushed past him and ran up the steps toward the King and Queen. They both looked at her in surprise.
“You can’t do this!” she cried. Seconds later, she felt Legolas and Faramir grab her roughly by the arms, but she didn’t stop. “You have no authority over us! You do not have the right – ”
Elessar stood and thundered, “Enough!”
Stunned by the echo of his voice, Mara stopped her tirade and stood silent. The King glared at her furiously. “You dare question my right to punish criminals in my own land? You dare to tell me that I don’t have the authority to pass judgment on the son of a man who destroyed the happiness of the Last Homely House?”
“That’s just it!” Mara said. “The son of the man! My master has not done anything except come before you in the spirit of cooperation and you repay him by taking his life away!”
“You forget your place, girl,” Elessar said. “It is only by my good grace that you are allowed to remain free. Another word of disrespect and you will find yourself in a cell next to your master’s.”
Her inclination toward the Dark Side, fostered by years under Palpatine’s tutelage, was telling her to use her anger to blast away Elessar and all of his followers. But then she heard Luke’s gentle voice in her mind whispered, “There is no emotion; there is peace.” His presence helped calm her and after a moment, she was able to dismiss her anger.
Elessar was staring at her. She lowered her head and nodded. When she looked up again, she met Queen Arwen’s eyes and asked softly, “Please don’t do this to Luke.”
The Elven queen looked truly sad, but shook her head. She stood by King Elessar’s side and said, “There is nothing I can do.”
Then Elessar waved toward the entrance of the hall. Mara felt Legolas and Faramir turn her around and force her outside. Faramir said nothing before disappearing inside, but Legolas waited for a moment. “It is for the best, Jade,” he said. “You’ll see.”
Mara frowned when she realized that Legolas truly believed this decision would help her. She bit back her angry reply and simply nodded. Legolas seemed satisfied by this and returned to the Citadel.
Alone, Mara began to wander the streets of Minas Tirith. Arda’s sun was setting and it cast long shadows through the narrow stone streets. At first, she turned toward the prison, but then she realized that she was not quite ready to see Luke yet. If she saw him in that small cell, knowing that he was sentenced to be there forever, she knew that she would lose it.
So instead she followed her instincts and let the Force tell her where to go. She found herself climbing up a steep slope. There was a stranger structure at the top – a hut that housed an organized stack of kindling.
Mara had no idea what she had found, but she didn’t really care either. She had found the highest place in Minas Tirith. It was as close as she could get to home.
Coruscant was easy to find when she looked up into the dusky sky. It was always one of the first stars to appear. She sighed as she gazed at it. It was so far away.
Mara was not very close to her new sister-in-law. She suspected that Leia was still not ready to forgive her for trying to kill Luke all those years ago. Still, she was Force-sensitive, Leia was Force-sensitive, and she could not think of anything else to do.
Closing her eyes, Mara stretched her senses out toward space. The Force surrounding her was thick and murky. It was a strain just to feel the people moving around in the city below her.
She opened her eyes and let out a frustrated groan. There was a tugging at the back of her mind. She smiled sadly. Luke wanted her. He had always been more powerful than her.
He was sitting in the same place by the bars when she came down the stairs in the prison. “Hey farmboy,” she said softly.
Luke tried to smile when he saw her. “Hey,” he replied.
Mara knelt outside his cell and reached for his hand. He jerked it away and she realized that it was his bionic right hand. “Luke,” she murmured. “Please. Just hold my hand.”
Reluctantly, he laced his artificial fingers through hers. “You’d think that after sixteen years, I would be used to missing a part of my body,” he said.
“That hand is a part of you to me,” Mara said. She smirked humorlessly. “Plus, I killed your real right hand, remember?”
In spite of himself, Luke cracked a smile. “How could I forget?”
Mara’s face fell. “Luke, I know you don’t want to bring Leia into this, but I don’t think we have a choice anymore. I tried to reach for her, but it was too hard to get past Arda. You’re stronger in the Force than I am and she is your twin.”
Luke squeezed her hand gently. “I already tried, Mara. I can’t sense anything outside of this planet.”
Mara sagged. “Maybe I can make it back to the ship. Then I can use the comm.”
Luke raised an eyebrow. “You’re going to make that months-long trek alone? And not get lost?”
“Well have you got a better idea?” she asked.
He nodded calmly. “We wait. The Force will guide us. We will get out of this.” He brought her hand up to his lips. “I promise.”
Smiling ruefully, she said, “Legolas figured out that I’m in love with you. He thinks you being in jail for the rest of your life will help me make a clean break. I think in some strange way he wants to help me.”
“Legolas has a good heart,” said Luke.
Mara snorted. “Yet he arrested you and turned you over to the King who currently has you imprisoned.”
She stayed curled up outside his cell for the rest of the night. It didn’t much matter to her if anyone found her. What did matter was that for the first time since they landed on Arda, she once again fell asleep soothed by her husband’s touch.