Master Traitor Mara Jade

by Saber Girl Leia

Mara's musings on her past and future. And stuff.

Disclaimer: Timothy Zahn, George Lucas. Thank you! Mara belongs to herself. (and Luke... but that comes later ;) )

Takes place sometime after Mara becomes a Master Trader but before Vision of the Future (one of the best books ever!)

AN: I love Mara! This is not a Mara-bashing fic, no matter what you might assume from the title! Don't assume anything!

I had to delete and re-upload this fic because I first put it under the Star Wars category under games by accident! So I hope all works out now.

Please R&R. Constructive criticism especially appreciated.

Trader.

Traitor.

Funny how two words can sound so alike and mean two entirely different things.

By that I mean the type of funny usually associated with me. As in sarcasm. Or irony. Or cynicism.

Sigh.

Everybody seems to think I've gotten over my past, be that for better or for worse. I even managed to fool myself for a while, I think.

But guess what?

I haven't!

Joy, more irony.

Goodness, sometimes I cannot stand myself!

Though it's better than having him in my head. Anything's better than that. Anything I've yet experienced, anyway.

But about the Master Trader thing.

I've worked so hard, so hard, to get where I am. I've fought my own demons and I've fought a lot that probably should've been somebody else's job. I dare to say I think I've earned my independence and my title. And anybody who challenges that or twists it can stick their head in a rancor pit!

Of course, as I am finding out, one is often her own worst enemy.

Funny-- more irony!-- I thought that was Skywalker's job.

Oooo. I can be dry too. I'd almost forgotten about that one.

Sigh.

Yes, I sigh sometimes too. You have a problem with that?

But, sometimes, it all just bites. It all comes back to haunt me. Maybe I should be training as a Jedi? Maybe I should be dead? Maybe I should be anywhere but here? I just don't know. And I like knowing. I guess I've spent too much time with Karrde.

But, see, no matter what I do, or where I go, everybody else knows. About me. About my past life.

I hate it.

Yes, I know hate is of the darkside. I'm not turning back. Stop assuming! Trust me! Please?

So why did I say that? Listen:

To Imperials, I'm the woman who turned. Who betrayed them. Master Traitor Mara Jade, they sometimes call me, mocking me. Most of them didn't even know I existed when I worked for him. It's all these news reports now, and being acquainted with the higher-ups in the Republic, and being a hero of the Republic.

Yes, I just called myself a hero of the Republic. It was a little hard for me to come to that, but when you think about it, I suppose I am. I don't have an inflated ego, but I'm not overly modest either. I give credit where credit is due. And I deserve some credit.

But that doesn't mean the rest of the Republic views me that way. Maybe Luke, and Leia, and even Han possibly. I know the Solo children see me as a hero-- I did save their lives, after all. But that hardly counts. It is fairly easy to win a child's trust, and having won it, keep it. I am, unfortunately, a perfect example of that. It's even easier to win the trust of parent's whose children you have saved.

Luke, though... Well, he's Luke. A category unto himself, I sometimes think. He trusts me, I know. More than anyone. And I was going to kill him. Yup, definitely a category unto himself.

But he has a little annoying habit of bugging me about the whole Jedi thing. I think we'd be better friends if one of us bent on that issue. Preferably him. I don't intend to. I just wish he'd see-- I do want to train, at least some, if not enough to become a full-fledged Jedi, I'm just not ready yet. If he would just step back, give me some room and some time, I'd come of my own accord... eventually.

It's just that, at the moment, this newfound independence is too precious to lose. I'm not ready to declare myself a part of anything again. Not yet.

And yet we seem to seek each other out. Be it for help, or comfort, or a healthy release to pent-up anger (otherwise known as a screaming match).

Maybe it's because a lot of people don't accept him.

But that's nothing compared to how almost nobody accepts me.

In the Republic, I'm also Master Traitor. The woman who worked against us for years-- HA! A lot of them were 'loyal Imperial citizens' back then, and not all of them had that title in quotations. I'm not the only one whose done regrettable things...

They seem to think that since I 'betrayed' him -- just on a sidebar, I really didn't. I should've, but I didn't. I betrayed his memory... or something like that. But back to all them... since I 'betrayed' him, I am supposedly much more apt than anyone else to betray my new allies.

Do they really think I'm that stupid? To turn my back on both sides? Close all the doors and lock them to myself, possibly forever.

I admit, there were some things I admired in the Empire. Stability, Order.

But a lot of what I admired was all a lie. I would be crazy to want to go back to that. Some of the newer Imperial factions don't seem so bad. But I've had my fill of anything with his symbol on it.

I wonder if those jeering people on both sides ever notice that they share a scapegoat. And I'm sure I'm not the only one. But if I'm Master Traitor Mara Jade to all of them, can they really be that different from each other? Not that I want to become a martyr or anything.

And then there are the times when I lie awake at night, feeling as though I'm betraying part of myself. Is it really in my best interests and my decision to stay away from the Jedi academy, or am I letting insecurity or much worse, spite, lead me by the nose into (or away from) things... again? Am I denying myself by not training?

Or, admit it, do I just want to convince myself of that because I want a friend? Karrde and his people are nice to me and all, and so are all the Solos... but I think the only true friend I've ever had is Skywalker. Luke.

Since when have I cared this much about what the general public thinks of me? It's not like I want to make a good impression on anybody in particular. Is it?

I have a strange feeling (a Force intuition, perhaps??) that I've already met and made an at least decent impression on the people who will really matter.

But I do wish people would make a little more effort to be kind. Not to gape and whisper behind my back.

It's not like I'm telling them to get lost and leave me alone! Doesn't anyone not know? Somebody who might just see some lonely girl and want to say hello? I wouldn't turn my back, I wouldn't even say something sarcast-

I would. Wouldn't I. I can't help it. Can I?

Sigh. Again.

Maybe it's best if I start by trying to improve my relations with a few people, and broaden that from there.

I wonder if Luke and Leia and Han have dinner plans for tonight. They'd better not!

I think I'll give Luke a call...