Hello, everyone! I wrote this story when I was 19-years-old, the first fan fiction I ever finished. Because of this, it is a little rough around the edges, so just bear that in mind if you decide to read it. I still think the story holds up, and it did become one of the most viewed fan fictions on theforce .net. I hope you enjoy!

Please leave a review—thanks so much!


It's time for peace. After making a truce with the Remnants of the Old Empire, the New Republic is on the brink of uniting the galaxy. A new enemy has seeped into the Republic, however. Not pursuing money or power, they have only one objective: annihilation.

Luke Skywalker and his wife Mara Jade have the only lead to stop the radical aliens. If they fail, not only will the New Republic crumble, but every human in the galaxy will be exterminated. During the quest, Luke and Mara must rely on the Force and each other to stop the genocide before it begins. Can their Jedi instincts prepare them for the battle at hand…especially after the truth behind their alien adversaries is revealed?

Star Wars: The Dividing Factor

Chapter 1…

The vacuum of space sucked the air from Kyp Durron's chest as if it was trying to take his lungs along with it. Reaching out through the Force, the Jedi leaped. Air from the ship rushed past him and into the open cavity of space. Kyp could feel the Force and the power it possessed. Nonetheless, even with all his ability, he could only manage to grasp the edge of the vessel's opening with his fingertips.

Bleeding, his weak digits gripped the brim of the hole; with another Force push, he launched himself through and into the hallway of the alien ship. The wind tugged at him even from inside the vessel, but now it was more like a heavy breeze than the tornado of empty space. He crawled slowly away from it, the last bits of his strength beginning to wane.

Shreds of durasteel and shrapnel flew past. Screams, both alien and human, filled the Jedi's ears from every direction. Some words were as clear as a cloudless night, others as unfamiliar as Basic spoken backwards. They all meant the same thing, however. The ship was dying, and everyone was scuttling throughout it to escape.

Creeping further away from the opening, Kyp Durron finally smiled. It was humorous—even he had to admit. The room's outer wall had been blasted clean off; he barely escaped being rocketed out into space. Now, he was lugging away on his stomach like a man whose legs couldn't function. How dignified he must look at that moment.

To add to the misfortune, the disease in his body was moving throughout him like a dozen pickpockets throughout an expensive suit. He had only been infected with it a few days before and already, he felt it spreading. It certainly wasn't what he expected when he accepted the assignment.

The ship abruptly rocked; the wall he was once crawling across shifted into the wall to his side. He dropped helplessly to the surface next to him. Struggling for consciousness, Kyp blinked and glanced up to the end of the hall. Doors were there. They were shrilling desperately as they fought to close with an alien corpse in their center. The wind lifted the body's legs from the ground as the void demanded that the ship release it. Only its arms kept it trapped, blocking the doors from closing completely.

The ship roared, jerking again; Kyp gripped the light fixture on the wall as his body inched toward the hole close-by. Dangling, he stared at the corridor around him and frowned. No, he couldn't die this way. He had too much to prove—too much to show the galaxy.

He was worth more than people bargained.

Even Luke Skywalker—the Jedi Master. Kyp would prove his worth to the Jedi, especially that one. He couldn't die now. He wouldn't.

The determination flooded into him, and with it, Kyp calmly allowed the Force to flow. He jumped. The ship spun around again; the hallway he had been clinging to a moment before twirled in circles about him. It didn't matter. Kyp wasn't relying on the ship's walls for support anymore.

In the center of the hallway, the leap took him to the doors as they continued to jerk. They were revolving out of control as well, but Kyp didn't care. He straightened his body. Arms raised above his head, he burst through the door's crack. As his legs soared past the corpse, Kyp instantly booted it with his heel, and the doors began to shut. With that, he toppled to the ground.

All the energy zapped from his body, Kyp watched the doors finally adjoin. The wind immediately stopped, and Kyp felt a hint of relief touch the back of his mind. It didn't last long. The illness inside his body started to become more apparent; the wounds he'd obtained, not just from the pressure of the wind, but from the incidents before it, resurfaced inside him. Without warning, his vision began to blur, and Kyp Durron's world turned into the dark shades of nothingness.


The wilderness was surprisingly quiet that morning on Yavin Four. There were a few random cries of animals and bugs, and a gentle breeze which gave an extra chill in the morning's air. No matter how bright Yavin's sun streamed down, it couldn't fight off the frigid chill.

At least, not to Mara Jade Skywalker.

Calmly, she lay near the edge of wildlife, the Jedi Academy's Temple close enough to block out the sunrays. Her lips remained still like the rest of her as she attempted to ignore the plane of goosebumps developing across her arms. She had thick skin, and a rigid stubbornness about her. Besides, it was her own fault for wearing a sleeveless top, anyway.

Eyes shut, Mara adjusted her attention back to the present. Floating at least half a meter off the ground, Mara imagined she looked more like a tabletop than a human. The only piece of her that dangled down was her fire-red hair. Under the present circumstances, she had to wonder why she decided to participate in a student exercise like this in the first place.

By her side sat Jaina Solo, her niece. Not quite a young woman at the age of eleven, Jaina's concentration was solid. She locked eyes with Mara, and utilized her Force abilities to keep the woman steady in the air. Mara observed as the girl gazed at nothing and everything at once. It was almost entrancing—the way Jedi stare out when immersed in the Force.

In actuality, the lesson wasn't really for Jaina. The girl was learning the Force quickly; it wouldn't be long before she would be suspending starfighters over her head. Mara was the one getting the true session that day. It was not one in the Force, but in trust.

The Academy had used the test for years now. Swinging a lightsaber and elevating objects with your mind didn't always mean you were Jedi potential. Having a deeper comprehension was just as relevant. Jedi had to work together, through their thoughts and loyalties. It was a newer lesson for Mara.

Of course, there was only one person that could persuade her to undertake such a task in the first place.

"You're both doing well," Luke Skywalker spoke from Mara's left. With it, Mara felt a new confidence surge from her niece.

Silently, Mara twisted her head to face her husband, and sighed. With Jaina's twin brother Jacen sitting beside him, Luke Skywalker lingered in the air.

His black robe swaying underneath him, the Jedi Master appeared to be sleeping rather than instructing. He had his hands resting in the center of his chest. His eyes remained shut—his expression in a deep state of trust and serenity.

A smile forced itself to Mara's lips. It was almost comical just how much Luke Skywalker stood out. Perhaps it was due to his face constantly on the holo, or the mere fact he always seemed to have a Jedi robe draped across his shoulders. For Mara, however, she imagined it was more.

They had been married for close to six months. Ever since their courtship, they had grown greatly connected with each other's senses and ideas. It wasn't like Luke with his sister or Jacen with his. It wasn't natural—the connection had been created mainly from Luke and Mara's sheer will rather than blood. Of course, almost all of Luke's family was Force-sensitive. With the exception of Han and Chewie, everyone kept their emotions in the spotlight; Mara having a personal thought was no longer easy. To her own surprise, Mara found that she didn't mind so much. It wasn't as if anything she thought didn't get spoken out loud sooner or later.

"You can move me higher, Jacen," Luke instructed, and crossed his ankles.

The young man gave an uneasy expression, and then shifted his eyes between Mara and his sister. Nonetheless, he said nothing, and then Luke was above them all. Jaina seemed anxious to follow her brother's example; before Mara could say anything, she was already another quarter-meter up from the ground. The shove was startling, and on impulse, she reached out with the Force—

"Trust, Mara," Luke explained. "Remember?"

Shooting a look at her husband and his confident expression, Mara smirked. It was trust he wanted, huh?

"Higher, Jaina," Mara exclaimed, keeping her crooked grin.

The girl exhaled a tiny groan. "Are you sure?"

"Of course," Mara explained, and shot a glare at her husband. "I trust you."

With that, Mara was placed another quarter up. Jacen seemed quick to follow her sister's example; Luke was parallel with his wife an instant later. With that, Mara shouted down, "Higher, Jaina. We aim to please here."

"Uh…you're already kinda high—"

"The higher the better. Luke looks bored up here."

For the first time since the lesson begun, Luke's eyes bumped into Mara's. The crystal blue circles expressed shock—clearly questioning her sanity. Mara merely smiled. "Trust, Skywalker. Remember?"

With that, Luke allowed his own mischievous grin to emerge. Keeping his eyes hooked to his wife, the Jedi Master instructed Jacen, "Higher, please."

"Um, Uncle Luke—"

"It's all right," he explained. "You're doing well."

"But I—"

"Higher," both Mara and Luke spoke in unison.

It was almost like being shot out of a missile's port. Both Mara and her husband bolted up another solid meter. Jaina and Jacen could no longer be seen from their sides.

With that, Mara scanned the open air around her, and sighed. "Well, now you've done it, Skywalker. You realize this lesson normally ends with the participants dropping—not landing—right?"

Eyes closed again, Luke merely replied, "What's this? Is Madam Jade showing signs of worry?"

Mara set her jaw. "Knock off the devious teasing, Skywalker. You can't pull it off."

"Knock off the tough smuggler's act, and I'll think about it."

"Will you two stop arguing up there?" Jacen shouted from below.

"Yeah, it's distracting," Jaina added with a strain to her voice.

With that, Mara released a tiny breath, and then turned her head towards the sky. From the corner of her vision, she could see the smallest grin on her husband's face. He was loving this.

On impulse, Mara rolled her eyes, but her mouth twitched to smile. Luke's tranquility was almost infectious at times. Mara was not one for trust or openness, but she seemed to handle both when it came to Luke and his family. She was accepted, and strangely, that trait seemed contagious as well.

"Wow!" a youthful voice suddenly shouted. "They look like flying corpses!"

Then again, trust was an odd thing. Mara, not stretching out with her own abilities to prevent herself from collapsing, immediately found herself hitting dirt. The thump of her butt and head colliding with the ground echoed loudly enough to scare away some neighboring birds. Pain jostled up her back and head, and forced all the wind out of her lungs.

Of course, there were good points for caution as well…

To her left, Luke was already beginning to recover from his own plunge.

"I'm sorry!" Jacen and Jaina shouted at once.

From her side, Jaina dropped to her knees, and took Mara's arm. "I thought I had you—I swear!" She shot a glare to her side. "It was all Anakin's fault! If he hadn't distracted us—"

"What did I do?" the other youth spoke, his presence now apparent as Mara reached out with the Force to control the throb in her head.

Anakin squeezed between Mara and Luke, glancing back and forth from one to the other with his gleaming blue eyes. "You guys okay?"

Luke was already rolling over from the fall, a grimace set upon his face like a coat of slime. Not looking at Anakin or anyone else, the Jedi Master replied, "No, it's okay. A tree root broke my fall."

"Aunt Mara?" Jaina inquired when Mara didn't pull herself up.

Gaping at the bright clear sky, Mara merely explained, "Your turn next time, Jaina."

The girl displayed a look of worry, but then Luke approached her, and wrapped an arm across her shoulders. "She's kidding, honey," he explained to the youth, and then knelt down, and placed his hands underneath Mara's arms.

"You really shouldn't scare the children, Mara," he explained lightly as he pulled her partly up to his chest. "They don't quite understand your kind of humor yet."

"Who says I was joking?" Mara asked, and raised both eyebrows to Jaina.

The young girl's expression finally cooled; she crossed her arms. "I'm not a child. And I knew you were teasing."

"Really?" Mara retorted, and then said to her husband, "Is that what you were sensing, Lu—"

Instead of the comforting presence she was used to receiving, something cold and alarming rushed by. She gasped, jerking herself away from her husband.

Too late.

It was as if a thousand cries shrilled into her ears, and bounced throughout her mind like an echo off a canyon wall. Reaching out in the Force, she got control of herself, and swiftly realized that the noise wasn't coming from her.

She faced Luke. His smile was gone. His face was somber—eyes glazed over as if possessed by something she couldn't see or feel. Reluctantly, she brought herself closer to him and focused. At first, the screams were the only thing to sharpen. They were bitter, angry, and afraid, and they waved throughout her brain like a speaker whose volume was swerving up and down. The visions hit a moment after.

They were all discolored.


Children and adults alike lay together. The only ones not crying out were too far gone to bother with any type of plea. Even through the freezing haze of torment and sorrow, something odd crossed Mara's mind.

They were all human. There wasn't one alternate being among them. Then, just as swiftly as the screams had come, the vision blacked out, and Mara was back with Luke and the rest of her family on Yavin Four.

"What's wrong?" Anakin questioned. "I didn't mean to shout so loud!—"

"It's not you, Anakin," Mara explained, and reached out a hand to her nephew. "It's not you."

With that, she veered her eyes back to Luke, and was certain that the dark expression on his face was now reflected on hers.

Neither needed to say it; nonetheless, they both did.

"Leia," they spoke together and stood. Jacen, Anakin, and Jaina followed behind as Luke and Mara hurried back into the Jedi Temple, their recently developed injuries irrelevant to their minds.


As it happened, seven other Jedi had experienced the vision. Grakin, who was merely an apprentice, had been awoken by "screams of death," as he called it. Uramay, who Luke had known for the past two years, had seen sores all over the dead bodies of human victims. The strangest, however, was from Kam and his wife, Tionne. Both had been about as clear as Luke's and Mara's, except theirs flashed through a ship in the middle of nowhere. Kyp Durron was there, tinted a bizarre shade of green, and bleeding to death.

Luke, who had gone through more than a few disagreements with the younger Jedi, still felt a little insulted he wasn't close enough to his student to sense him in danger. Needless to say, Kyp might have actually attempted to throw the vision out to anyone that might see it and aid him. Luke, he realized gravely, wasn't necessarily someone Kyp would ask for help.

Luke reached Leia in a matter of minutes. His twin sister, who he'd sent more than just a couple signals out to in the past, looked at him with a touch of surprise as she appeared on the holo. Her chocolate eyes gleamed with a strong, but exhausted beauty. Luke smiled thinly at her and decided best to go ahead and explain the call. "Leia—"

"I was about to contact you," she cut him off, and then glanced him over as if just noticing his mess of dirt from Yavin's surface. He assumed she'd ask him about it, but instead, she reverted to his face again without question. "Luke, something's happened here. I need you to come to Coruscant as soon as you can."

"Why?" Mara asked as she loomed behind him.

Leia stated plainly, "Something's happened. That's all I'm allowed to say. Please, both of you, come to Coruscant. Bring what Jedi you can. Ones you can trust, Luke. Only ones you trust. It's very serious." Then, just like that, his sister's vision disappeared and the signal died.

Luke glanced at his wife and merely found it in himself to shrug. "You feel up to traveling, sweetheart?"

End of Chapter 1