Title: To Where Do I Escape?
Author: Jedi Trance Servlaya
Disclaimer: I do not own the fabulous characters of George Lucas (Star Wars god) and Timothy Zahn (Mara Jade's real daddy).
Author's Note: HOLY CRAP HOW LONG HAS IT BEEN? Back in 2008, I was in high school and going through an emo phase and what not. Eight years later, with a Bachelor's Degree under my belt and a part-time job, I finally got my writing mojo back. But rereading this fanfic and really thinking about how Mara Jade's character is really like, I decide d to revamp this story from the very beginning. So without further ado, let's begin!
(BTW I'm in desperate need of a beta reader/editor! So if you're interested, please pm me!)
Chapter 1: Failed Attempt
The front door slides open with loud grunts and obscenities. Two twin men enter the apartment while holding a young woman by each arm, struggling to bring her in. Though weak already with a large, bloody gash on her leg and various bruises about her body, she thrashed against their hold. An older man enters the home last, slamming his callous hand on the door panel to quickly shut the door. Swiping his brow of the sweat and grim, he turned to the scene: the two younger men had pushed the girl onto her knees, one holding her arms behind her back and the other wrenching her head back by her long hair, displaying her bloody and tear-stained face to him.
It was the second time this month that young Mara Jade had tried to run away from home. At the mere age of 17, she could not describe her like as very bearable. She lived here in this rundown apartment in the under city of Coruscant, Level 1998, with the three men surrounding her; her own flesh and blood, her family.
Her mother had left the 'happy' family when Mara was 8 to seek a better life in the upper levels of the city planet. It didn't help that around that time, Mara was starting to show off unique abilities with her mind, from jumping onto counters with a single bound to moving her toys around the room in midair. Her father, full of grief and anger, took it out on his daughter soon after his wife's departure, believing Mara was the reason for his misfortune. Over the years, Mara was treated more like a slave than an actual family member. Any little mistake or backtalk, she was rewarded with rough beatings. She had tried running away multiple times but her family refused to let her leave too.
Pulling a fresh spice stick from behind his ear and into his mouth, he rummaged through his coat pockets before producing a lighter. Lighting it, he puffed the spice stick to life before gazing upon his youngest spawn. Mara glared back at him, refusing to back down.
Barass Jade was truly a force to be reckoned with. He was a burly man in his mid-50s. His once full red mane was colored mostly with grey, with a matching beard. The lines in his face showed his years of struggle, his mud brown eyes cold and hard. He had three gold teeth on the right side of his mouth and wore rugged clothes of dark green and black, with a blaster and whip secured on his belt.
He took a long pull of his drug before emptying the contents into Mara's face, causing her to cough and wheeze.
"I don't know what I'm gonna do wit' ya Jadie," he breathed through the gray haze.
"I give you shelter from the cold and dark. I let you read your little books. Hell I even let you go to that damn school up top of yours! But you know what I get?"
He suddenly picked up a glass bottle from the table next to him and threw it against the wall behind her. Mara jumped and shrunk back a bit from him.
"I GET A LITTLE FREAK DAUGHTER WHO TRIES TO RUN AWAY WITH MY MONEY!"
Mara averted her gaze away from her father, sniffing back tears and taking sharp breaths to relieve the pain in her joints.
"...Suis désolée," she mumbled in Hapan, under her breath.
"SORRY! Sorry she says!" Barass guffawed, before dropping into his armchair. "You really think saying sorry will get you out of this?
He laughed and coughed as he regarded her. His sons chuckled under their breath before adjusting their grip on their sister.
Mara held a deep breath in. How much she wanted to curse them at the top of her lungs. How much she wanted to be stronger than them and be free but she knew better. No matter how much she tried, she wasn't as strong as them and knew the extent of their cruelty.
Barass suddenly grabbed her chin in a bruising grip and forced her to look him dead in the eye, all hints of mirth gone.
"Whether you like it or not, Jadie, we're all you got in this world. Freaks like you don't survive long without help… Best you accept that before you get yourself killed."
He stared at her for a few moments before patting her cheek and standing from his chair. Walking over to the window, he surveyed the world beyond them. Miles and miles of cables and streetlights illuminated closed shops and complexes decorating Level 1998 as far as the eye could see. Neither the sun's or moon's rays ever reached down here. It was a violent world they lived in, full of smugglers, pirates, and thieves and not for the weak.
"You don't get your portion rations for this week for your defiance. Any more trouble out of ya, Jadie, and I swear to the gods you can spend a month fending for yourself on Level 1841."
Mara took a sharp intake of air from that. Level 1841 was as depressing as this place came. Littered with rundown brothels and drug houses, she knew she wouldn't last long before she would be picked up and be succumbed to pure wickedness. Mara bowed her head in submission, bending to her father's will.
"Entendu…" she whispered
Sighing, he raised his hand over his shoulder toward his sons as he continued to look out the window. Nodding, the brothers pulled Mara to her feet and pushed her toward the stairs to descend to the lower level of the apartment.
"Merciful, ain't he, Mar," snickered the eldest brother, Edrik.
"Very merciful Ed," cackled the younger brother, Dirgo.
Edrik and Dirgo Jade were identical twins. At the age of 20, they had lived their lives following the orders of their father, smuggling goods through the under city for funds. They found great pleasure bullying their little sister. Both were strong and bulky, with their brown hair cut short and their green eyes almost as cold as their father.
Coming to her room at the end of the hall, they unceremoniously threw Mara in. Edrik turned back to go to one of the other rooms before returning with a roll of bandages, a bottle of rubbing alcohol, a rag, a small pile of clothes and the bag Mara had with her when she was trying to run.
"Get yourself cleaned up! You gotta go to school tomorrow and Dad don't wanna hear from that fancy school of yours again!" said Edrik, shoving the items into Mara's arms before Dirgo closed the door, the clang of the door lock following them after.
Sighing in defeat, Mara limped toward the farthest wall and dropped the contents in her arms into a corner before pulling her twin-sized Murphy bed down from the wall to the floor. The room was originally a storage room but her family had put the bed in so they would have to share a room with her. The bed took up most of the space with various books piled up in one corner of the room and a singular light overhead. Situating herself on the bed, Mara dragged her satchel toward her before pulling out her meager belongings one by one: bottle water, a small set of clothes, her identification card, and so on. Finally pulling out a small mirror, bright emerald green eyes looked over her face through red-gold curls; her cheek was swollen and red and her lip split.
Mara had long, wavy fiery red hair with strands of gold throughout. Her skin was pale with a light freckles on her shoulders. Her body was slender but appropriately curved in places and muscles in her arms, adorned with grime and scratches. She wore a sleeveless, black tunic over loose gray leggings, with her feet encased in thigh-high black boots, one leg stained in red because of the gash. She would be a true beauty if she ever smiled. Shaking her head, the teenager shredded her form of her tattered clothes to get a closer look at her leg and examine all her bruises.
Her ribs were black and blue: broken judging by the pain she felt when she breathed. Her left leg was gushing out blood slowly, with her right leg exhausted from running. Placing her mirror to the side, Mara grabbed a bottle of water and a rag from the floor. Trying to keep her face neutral, she began to cleanse her body of the sweat and grime of the day.
Wringing out the cloth, she poured the alcohol on it and held it tight against the wound on her leg to stop the bleeding. She bit down on her lip to suppress a cry of agony before peeling the cloth away to wrap up her leg.
Sighing, she sipped on the rest of the water to clear her aching throat before pulling on a large white shirt from underneath her tattered blanket. Spreading out the rest of the clothes brought in on her bed, she identified her uniform (a grey skirt that stopped about mid-thigh, a navy blue sweater vest, and a white long-sleeve button down shirt) for school tomorrow and a clean pair of underwear. Sighing and thinking about her run-down shoes in the living room, she folded the clothes back up before plopping down on the bed and curling into a ball under her tattered blanket. Even in here, she felt scared. On the walls were peeling grey paint and on the floor, hints of blood and dust. Rolling onto her back, Mara looked up at the ceiling. Would she ever escape this world and move on to something better? Sighing she closed her eyes and drifted into a light slumber, praying for a miracle to come.
I looked everywhere on the Internet and majority of people say the Hapan language is pretty much the French of the Star Wars universe. Soooo you'll be seeing a lot of French wording because *shrugs* I know French
Suis désolée – I'm sorry
Entendu – Understood/I understand
Review please and let me know what you think!