Signs and Portents: Trinity

Chapter Five

It wasn't much further before they crossed one of the small clearings that dotted the forest and sent the encrypted message to Karrde. Mara insisted they push on further before stopping at a large tree bole and underneath its canopy as the last bit of dark blue faded from the gaps between the foliage, leaving blackness above them. "We'll make camp here."

She eased down and pulled out the survival kit's worklight and set it to its lowest setting. Now that they had answered the most pressing survival needs, she had time to pay attention to her throbbing ankle and the two people she hadn't expected to become traveling companions. She had hoped to get a spare moment to confess to Skywalker, but now she was second guessing that. His family were all targeted by Thrawn.

Lucinda took the make camp announcement as time to talk. She closed in on Luke. "You're Luke Skywalker. Jedi Knight Luke Skywalker."

He opened his survival kit. "I am."

"You blew up the Death Star."

"The first one I did." He pulled the thermal blanket from the kit.

"You killed Jabba the Hutt."

Mara wondered where this hero worship came from. She hadn't passed on any Luke Skywalker stories to Lucinda, and she had made sure the history lessons were accurate for the events and not holodrama stories. She pulled a glow rod out from her survival kit, so it would be out and ready.

He flattened the blanket next to the tree. "No, I fought all his guards and bounty hunters which gave my sister the chance to kill him."

Lucinda grinned. "Dankin is telling it wrong!"

So it's Dankin's fault, Mara thought ruefully.

"You're Luke Skywalker," Lucinda's voice got serious. "What are you doing on Myrkr?"

And I haven't taught her how to not give information away.

"Ask your mother."

Mara cocked her head as she glared at him. She couldn't believe he just said that.

He ignored her glare as he held out his hand. "Let's treat your leg."

"It's fine," she insisted.

"It's not, and you should not hike for three days on a damaged limb."

Becoming a Jedi had improved his confidence, Mara observed, but she wasn't sure if she approved of that right now. "It's just my ankle and you can't do Jedi magic to it, not on Myrkr."

"I was going to do Rebel-trained medpac on it. You have a problem with that?"

She grabbed his hand, and he leveraged her up and then set her on the thermal blanket. He shifted her survival kit with the lit worklight to her feet. He lifted her right leg and pushed the survival kit under to use as a footrest.

Lucinda waited until both adults settled. "Mommy, why is Luke Skywalker here?"

Mara glared at Luke again, but he ignored it as he untied her boot. She set the glow rod in her lap and drew her blaster out of the forearm holster. "You need to watch for vornskrs." She held out the blaster.

Luci took it and turned to face the dark forest with excellent form. She had practiced that, at least while Mara was away. Luke's expression was sabacc-blank, so he was hiding how he felt. "You think an eight-year-old is too young to know how to shoot."

His eyebrows raised at her snappish tone. "Has someone critiqued your parenting? I was shooting a Czerka 6-2Aug2 hunting rifle when I was her age."

She was expecting critique and argument about what she had done for nine years. And her fear of losing Lucinda still hadn't recovered from learning what Thrawn was up to only to get revved up by seeing her childhood lessons in action followed by stormtroopers who would add the Jades to Thrawn's collection of Force sensitives. And it all could've been avoided had Luke just waited in the shed! Luke peeled off her sock, and Mara sucked in her breath from the throbbing and swelling.

Lucinda looked over her shoulder. "You had a slugthrower when you were a kid? Why?"

"Watch the forest," Mara reminded her.

Luci huffed, but she turned her head back. The droid rocked into place to Mara's right and rotated a sensor dish extended from its dome, so they covered both sides of the camp.

Luke dug for the medpac out of his survival kit. "Blasters are expensive on worlds with harsh climates, which Tatooine qualifies. Slugthrowers take less maintenance, and you can make slugs if you want to take the time." He found the medisensor and aimed it at her ankle. "Second-degree sprain. I think you hurt it worse with the running."

"Well, I wasn't slowly sauntering away from stormtroopers," Mara said.

His gaze shifted back to the medpac. "You should have just turned me in."

Her back straightened right off the tree bole, but his grip on her leg kept that from jerking off the improvised footrest. "You idiot! I was trying to keep them from learning we had you, which you didn't help at all."

He found the flexible tape and began winding it around her ankle and foot to immobilize it. He did it correctly, and she couldn't find fault. "They came to dinner," he said without looking up.

"No, they were uninvited. We had another set of guests that Karrde figured didn't need to know about you. And since we haven't heard any orbital bombardment, Karrde got them out of Imperial sight." She took a deep breath against the throbbing in her ankle. "For the last time, I don't want to see you in Imperial hands. Especially now that they have ysalamiri. And if Karrde decided in their favor, I was planning on telling you that and equipping you to help your escape."

He looked up at her face, the lingering suspicion clearing from his blue eyes. Her heart turned over in her chest. Nine years, nine years, she should not still have a weakness for those blue eyes after nine years!

Mara's other weakness scuffed her foot against a root. "Why are the Imperials after him? Is it just 'cause you're New Republic or is it something else?" Lucinda didn't turn around with her questions this time.

Mara leaned back against the bole with a sigh. "The Imperials have a new bounty out on him since he broke his hyperdrive getting away from them. We found him on the Wild Karrde's last flight."

"You found me." Luke concentrated on winding the flexible tape around her foot. "Karrde gave you all the credit for that."

Mara didn't want to get into a philosophical debate over what the Force was doing by leading her to him after nine years, so she spoke of her lingering outrage. "Why didn't you just stay put?"

He sighed. "I am sorry for all this. I was trying to get you out of divided loyalties."

He did it for her? She shook her head; of course he did. "Only you could cause this much trouble doing someone a favor, Luke."

"Lucinda's father," he nodded at the little girl without looking at Mara, "must be panicking back at the base."

Oh damn. She wasn't ready for this conversation. Not in front of Lucinda, not to put them both on the spot without any reflection on it. "He's not—"

Lucinda interrupted. "He doesn't care about me. He left Mommy knocked up."

"Who told you that?!" Mara demanded, looking at Lucinda's back. She suspected Karrde had some theories he was using this whole situation to find answers for, but if he was questioning her daughter behind her back, he would rue it.

Luci's shoulders jerked up to her ears. "Ghent," she answered, sounding sorry to get the young man in trouble.

That was less troubling. Mara sighed. "Do not get biographical details of your life from Ghent; he wasn't there. We didn't meet him until you were three and I had to give you the job of keeping him fed because he only looked up from his consoles when he was getting shot at." She looked at Luke, who was pretending fascination with her ankle. "Her father doesn't work for Karrde."

Luke met her eyes with his own. "And didn't keep in touch."

She didn't want him to feel bad about that. She smiled. "You may have missed it, but there was a war going on."

"Still going on." Luke's shoulders slumped as he finished wrapping her ankle and put the flexible tape away.

"Wait, he was running away from the base." Lucinda's voice grew puzzled as she faced the forest. "You found him, but he was running away. You were trying to keep him here?"

"Captain Karrde was keeping Jedi Skywalker here." Mara kept her voice calm. Lucinda was about to go shrill over this, which was probably something else to blame Luke for. "I was trying to keep the Imperials from finding him."

Lucinda whirled around to face the adults and remembered to aim the blaster at the ground. "But Captain Karrde can't just keep people! It's wrong!"

And there it was. Luke smothered his laugh as he set a medical cold pack over her bandaged ankle. Well, if Karrde hadn't had a hellacious time with this venture of who will pay more for a Jedi yet, the Jades would finish that off. "Luci-love, when we get back to the base, I'll make sure that you can tell Captain Karrde keeping people is wrong and you can explain that in great detail."

Lucinda considered that. "Will you lose your job? I'll do it, but you like this job."

"After this fiasco, I'm sure Captain Karrde has learned his lesson." Mara held her hand out for the blaster. She was looking at a suspicious shadow behind Luke.

The droid's dome rotated a few degrees, and it gave a quiet gurgle. "I think Artoo's picked up something." Luke twisted to face the darkness.

"No kidding," Mara said. She aimed the glow rod's beam over Luke's shoulder.

A vornskr stood in the circle of light, its front claws dug into the ground, its whip tail pointed back and waving slowly up and down. It ignored the light as it stepped forward, its attention focused on Luke.

The beast stepped forward twice before the blaster bolt drilled neatly through its head. It collapsed to the ground, its tail giving one last twitch before doing likewise.

"Be faster on the trigger next time, Lucinda," Mara corrected. She played the glow rod over the area, but there were no more suspicious shadows.

"Sorry, I thought the light might scare it off."

"We know better now," Luke said. "Thank you." He nodded at her before he dug into the medpac again.

Lucinda grinned as she skipped to Mara's side and handed back to the holdout blaster. Mara drew her down to sit next to her. Luci yawned and pulled Mara's arm around her.

"Are Karrde's pet vornskrs a different species?" Luke asked. "Or did he have their tails removed?"

Mara blinked at him, impressed at his Jedi calm. Most men staring down a vornskr's gullet wouldn't have noticed a detail like that. "The latter," she told him. "They use those tails as whips—painful alone, but there's a mild poison in them too. At first it was just that Karrde didn't want his people walking around with whip welts all over them; he found out later that removing the tails also kills a lot of their normal hunting aggression."

"They seemed domestic," he said. "Even friendly."

"They were friendly to you?" Lucinda exclaimed. "They keep trying to eat me."

"They weren't that friendly," Mara admitted. "They do better around people who aren't Force sensitive. Karrde's thought about offering them for sale as guard animals. Never gotten around to exploring the potential market."

"Well, you can tell him I'd be glad to serve as a reference." Luke said. "Having looked a vornskr square in the teeth, I can tell you it's not something the average intruder would like to do twice." He moved to Mara's right side and poured some tablets into the palm of his right hand. "Pain killers." He held them out to her.

She shook her head. "Those will blunt my reaction time."

Exasperation finally crossed his face. "I can shoot the vornskrs tonight. You have to rest that ankle."

She glared at him but half-heartedly and then took his hand and licked the three tablets from the palm. That contact jolted him from his Jedi stoicism and a flush spread over his face. He looked away, abashed. There was a glimpse of the younger man she had known within the Jedi. She passed the holdout blaster to him.

He walked around to settle on the left and pressed his back against the tree. Lucinda yawned again between them and snuggled closer to Mara.

"Myrkr," he said. "Reminds me of Endor. A forest always sounds so busy at night."

"Oh, it's busy, all right," Mara said. "A lot of the animals here are nocturnal. Including the vornskrs."

"Strange," he murmured. "Karrde's pets seemed wide enough awake in late afternoon."

She wanted to rest her head on his shoulder. Luckily, the space between them prevented it. "They take small naps around the clock. So do the wild ones. I call them nocturnal because they do most of their hunting at night."

He mulled that over for a moment. "Maybe we ought to travel at night," he suggested. "They'll be hunting us either way—at least then we'd be awake and alert while they were on the prowl."

Mara shook her head. "It'd be more trouble than it's worth. We need to see the terrain if we're going to avoid running into dead ends. Besides, small clearings are as numerous as the trees in this forest."

"Through which a glow rod beam would be visible to an orbiting ship. Okay, we'll travel by day. Good night, Mara."

Her arm tightened around Lucinda as she closed her eyes. "Good night, Luke."

Lucinda was more than ready to make camp after so much walking, all day walking since the sun came up. But Mommy had looked at the sun and decided they could push on further. She didn't dare bring up stopping again, but it was getting so hard to walk faster. She had to because Jedi Skywalker was pulling the travois with Artoo behind her. It would be impolite to slow him down and just stupid to get run over because she didn't get out of the way. But it was getting hard to keep up with Mommy. It didn't look like she was stopping for them, ever.

Her shoulders fell seeing how far ahead Mommy was. She missed her room, chiefly her bed back at the base. The base was no longer so boring, and she no longer wished Mommy would let her go into the forest. She quickened her feet, even if they didn't want to go faster, and they scuffed against the roots and clumps of grass. Sunlight and shadows from the sun sinking in the trees to the right spotted the ground. She wasn't getting closer to Mommy, but she had gotten further ahead of Jedi Skywalker.

Mommy knew Jedi Skywalker. She was giving Lucinda reminders to be polite and call him by his surname and title, but she called him by just his first name a lot. And Mommy didn't do that with anyone else. She always used their surnames.

And since Lucinda didn't remember him at all, it must have been before she was born. She had remembered Ghent when Captain Karrde introduced her and Mommy to the rest of his associates, and the slicer had been so surprised, "But you were so little then!" She remembered a lot more than people thought she would—running from stormtroopers, the crummy jobs that Mommy hated, the bounty hunter who hadn't put her down when Mommy told him to—so she was certain she would remember Jedi Skywalker too. When Mommy met him must have been before Lucinda was born or when she was a tiny baby. No, before, because Jedi Skywalker hadn't known her name. He would have used it when she yelled at him back in the Skipray.

Mommy hated talking about before. She said nothing about Lucinda's father, and just a few details about her own childhood. Mommy was from Coruscant and loved going to the opera there. She had had dancing lessons with all her other classes and practiced them by teaching Lucinda. Luci wanted to move that pretty, but she felt tied down by gravity while Mommy soared like an avian.

But there hadn't been a hint of Mommy in any of the holodramas she had watched covering the adventures of Luke Skywalker. Mommy had told her that the holodramas took what happened and made it bigger and more exciting. Aves had said the same thing to Chin and Ghent after they had finished Luke Skywalker and the Citadel of Ktath'atn, that there was no way it could be true. And Jedi Skywalker already told her how Dankin was telling Jabba's death wrong. He would tell her the other things the holodramas got wrong.

Her right foot kicked through what she thought was just a clump of grass and plowed through a clump of dirt instead. Dirt clung to her boot and tiny insects crawled out of it. "Ugh!" She jumped away from the mound and stomped her feet. The dirt fell away, but the red bugs were still on her. "Ugh!"

"Lucinda?" Jedi Skywalker stopped before he reached the remains of the dirt nest.

"Solenopsis biters, be careful." She bent over and brushed the tiny segmented bodies off her boot and trousers. Luckily, she had tucked her trousers into her boots, so they didn't find any skin to bite on her legs. And her hands were moving too fast for them to bite there. She stomped again and was sure they were all off her now.

Artoo squealed. Lucinda jerked her head up to look at the droid. Jedi Skywalker dropped the handles of the travois and grabbed her off the ground. She was against his chest before she could cry out. There was a solid thump on the ground behind her. The cackle/purr cry was louder than the snap-hiss of the lightsaber. Her hands tightened on Jedi Skywalker, but she looked over her shoulder, anyway.

The vornskr crouched in the spot she had been in, and the green glow of the lightsaber made its yellow eyes glow more. Jedi Skywalker had the blade extended from his left hand between them and the predator. It didn't seem to care and continued staring at them without blinking.

"This is why everyone at the base said stay with the crashed ship on Myrkr," she whispered.

"I'm sure they weren't thinking of stormtroopers when they told you that." Jedi Skywalker tightened his grip on her, but otherwise didn't move.

The vornskr tightened its crouch to spring, but the blaster bolt hit it and it crumpled to the ground instead.

"What were you waiting for?" Mommy said as she stomped closer.

Jedi Skywalker shut off the lightsaber. "I haven't practiced left-handed dueling that much, specifically not while holding a child." He set Lucinda on the ground and stepped closer to the vornskr's body, making sure the blaster bolt killed it.

"I'm fine," Lucinda blurted, so Mommy wouldn't look so worried. And it was true, if she ignored how hard her heart was still beating.

Mommy stopped stomping, but her lips pressed together. They finally parted to say, "Whoever trained you in lightsaber should have made sure you were ambidextrous."

Jedi Skywalker smirked at Mommy. "That's something for me to work on." He wouldn't think that was funny if he watched Mommy at the target range.

"Can we take a rest?" Lucinda asked Mommy. "Please?"

Mommy didn't tell her not to whine but looked at the angle of the sun instead. "We have to go while we can. I'll carry you."

"You can't," Jedi Skywalker said.

Mommy's eyes narrowed. He should know how Mommy didn't like anyone telling her she can't do anything.

"Not with your ankle the way it is," he continued before turning to Lucinda. "Do you trust me enough to ride my back while I pull the travois?"

She did trust him, now that they weren't flying. "I can do that." She hadn't ridden Mommy's back for years, but Mommy wasn't objecting, so Lucinda climbed onto Jedi Skywalker's back, squeezing his waist with her legs and holding onto his shoulders.

Mommy rested her hand on Lucinda's back, looking wistful as Jedi Skywalker stood up. The expression she didn't see often on Mommy's face disappeared as she lifted the travois handles to Jedi Skywalker's hands. "You have it?"

"Lead the way." He followed behind Mommy, and it seemed like they were going faster than she could. She watched the tree branches they walked under but didn't see any vornskrs waiting up there. "You okay?" He asked over his shoulder.

"I'm okay," Luci answered. "Is your sister really a princess?"

"Yes, she is. Princess Leia Organa of Alderaan."

"How come you're not a prince?"

"Because a royal family didn't adopt me. Our aunt and uncle raised me."

She adjusted her grip on his shoulders. "They didn't want both of you?"

Jedi Skywalker sighed. "I don't think they were given a choice. The remainder of the Jedi Order was trying to keep us safe from the Emperor, so they separated us."

That was sad, and they didn't meet again until they had grown up. That had been in her New Republic lesson. Better to move onto something not sad. "Is she going to be a Jedi too?"

"One day. Right now, she's busy with her duties as Minister of State."

He didn't sound like he was tired of her asking questions. It was easy to tell when she annoyed adults. "So, what happened in the Citadel of Ktath'atn?"

"The what?"

She was sure that she said it the same way the actors had on the holodrama. "The Citadel of Ktath'atn; we saw a holodrama about it."

Mommy was close enough to hear, and she whirled around. "What holodrama did you watch?"

Lucinda sighed. "Luke Skywalker and the Citadel of Ktath'atn. Aves, Chin, and Ghent all made sure it was age appropriate."

Jedi Skywalker chuckled. "Had to explain that a few times to the smugglers?"

"Captain Karrde did," Luci explained. "He said they were all responsible for me turning out as well as Mirax Terrik."

"Well, that's a goal."

Mommy frowned. "You know Mirax?"

"We have friends in common, but I haven't met her yet." He aimed the next over his shoulder to Lucinda. "But your mother is right. Some holodramas with my name on them are not nice stories for kids, and you shouldn't watch them." He sighed as they started moving again.

"Have you watched them?" Mommy asked, and it sounded like she was trying not to laugh.

"I try not to," he said. "After seeing how much they improved upon what happened on the first Death Star in the first one, I don't want to. And I doubly don't want to see the ones they outright made up because events haven't been declassified yet. But some of my friends think it's funny to pass the ale and see my reactions while watching them."

"That doesn't sound very nice," Lucinda said.

"They're trying to build my immunity by exposure," he said. "Krayt dragons don't breathe fire if you've seen Luke Skywalker and the Dragons of Tatooine."

If Mommy was in one of the holodramas, it was probably one Lucinda couldn't watch. She let go of finding that out right now. "But they make holodramas out of things that happened to you?"

"What's been declassified for them to use, yes."

"Did they change the names about the Citadel? Or did they change the stuff that happened there? Because Aves didn't believe that could happen, and I want to tell him what really happened. Did psychic bugs try to take over your brain?"

"Is there a species of psychic bugs?"

Mommy shrugged. "I haven't met any."

"I haven't had any bugs try to take over my brain, so they probably made that part up. But I haven't seen that one, so I don't know what they are basing it on."

"Oh. Do you want me to tell you about it then?"

"Sure, why not? Maybe I'll win the next Rogues drinking while viewing game."

Lucinda didn't understand how knowing about the holodrama would help win drinking ale or how they had made that a game, but she ignored the weirdness from adults and tell the holodrama. "Okay, you went to a cantina all alone, and the non-humans in the cantina didn't like humans and started fighting you. A human female, Aphra, helped you in the fight because she wanted your help."

"Introducing the love interest early, I see," Mommy said.

"No, another girl kissed Aphra later, not Jedi Skywalker. Only you weren't a Jedi yet, you kept repeating that over and over again. Not that anyone else listened. They kept calling you Jedi."

"Before the Battle of Hoth then?" Jedi Skywalker glanced back at her as best he could.

"I guess so. They talked about the Battle of Yavin. Anyway, Aphra had an ancient crystal with a dead Jedi recorded in it."

"A crystal, not a holocron?"

Lucinda blinked. "I thought you said you didn't see it? Aphra said the crystal was weird because it wasn't a holocron."

"Holocrons are what the Jedi used to record themselves for other Jedi," he explained. "I haven't found many; I think the Empire destroyed them in the Purge. So, the writer of this holodrama gets points for getting terminology right. What did Aphra want for the crystal?"

"She wanted to play it and see what it said about a thousand years ago. But you couldn't turn it on. Her next idea was to take it to the Queen of the Ktath'atn and get her to activate the crystal. She talked you into going."

"Upgrading from a Princess to a Queen," Mommy said. "You get around in the holodramas."

"Something that has endlessly amused my friends, who know it isn't true."

"So, the Queen holds a party once a year to grant somebody their request if they impress her with a unique gift." Lucinda took a deep breath. "Aphra got you to dress up and gave you to the Queen at the party."

Mommy barked out a laugh.

"They went there in a children's holodrama?" Jedi Skywalker sounded dismayed.

"Went where? The Queen told you to come to breakfast after you shoved someone with the Force."

"Not slavery?"

"No, she wanted to make you and Aphra part of her hive."

Mommy laughed again. "Of course, she did."

"That's not a good thing, Mommy. The Queen sucked energy from members of her hive to battle a Jedi. She wanted to eat Jedi Skywalker!"

Mommy tried to stifle her snickers but didn't do a good job.

Lucinda ignored her mother's rude behavior over the story the woman was not taking seriously at all and continued. "They put the psychic bugs on the breakfast table, so you and Aphra would get infected and the bugs would have your bodies. You ran and fought and got out and that's when the Princess, Han Solo, and Aphra's old girlfriend showed up to rescue you. Only that doesn't work, and everybody ends up running and fighting the rest of the hive."

Jedi Skywalker shook his head. "I'm sad to say that bit sounds accurate for many rescue missions."

"So, it really happened?"

"I don't think so, but how does it end?"

"Han Solo got taken over by a bug and started fighting against all of you. The Queen caught Aphra, but the Queen decided that she delivered a Jedi and activated the crystal for her. Then you got infected, but the bug in you decided it wanted to be king of the hive and got into a psychic battle with the Queen. Aphra decided not to run away and got the working crystal near you so the Jedi inside could tell you how to win. Only he wasn't a Jedi and he wanted all your power and the power of the hive, so you didn't listen to him. You detached from the psychic bug all on your own. The Queen killed it but was shocked when you didn't die and you slashed her with your lightsaber." Lucinda frowned, remembering a detail about that. "They got your lightsaber wrong. It had a blue blade."

"They got that right if they set the holodrama close to the Battle of Yavin. I was using my father's lightsaber then, and it had a blue blade. This one I built and the kyber crystal inside turned it green."

"Oh. Well, without the Queen, the hive fell apart, and people started waking up. Han got the psychic bug taken out of his head and you told Aphra that nothing worthwhile is easy and people who think there's a shortcut to getting what they want are deluded."

"Ah, there it is. The ever-redeeming moral to make up for the ridiculousness of the rest of it," Mommy said.

Artoo whistled and beeped from the travois behind her. They hadn't started Binary lessons yet, so she didn't know what he said.

"Artoo wants to know what he and Threepio were doing in this holodrama." Jedi Skywalker asked.

"They weren't in it. Aphra had some bad droids with her. It left out Chewbacca too for a Wookiee bounty hunter."

Artoo screeched. Mommy whirled around with her blaster drawn. Lucinda cringed against Jedi Skywalker's back. Jedi Skywalker sighed. "How about you save that volume for the vornskrs, Artoo? Sorry, he's just upset that they wrote him and Threepio out."

Mommy glared, but only shook her head and turned back around.

"I'm sorry you weren't in the holodrama," Lucinda said over her shoulder.

Artoo beeped at her.

"He knows it's not your fault," Jedi Skywalker said. "Don't worry about it. When Artoo and Threepio have some time together, they'll send a comm to the executives in charge of the holodrama about everything they got wrong with droid representation."

Artoo beeped again, but his tone sounded embarrassed to Lucinda.

Jedi Skywalker let out a ragged sigh. "Of course, I know about those. You two use my comm console to send them. Though I appreciate you erasing the data, so it doesn't look like I sent them."

Artoo whistled at him.

Jedi Skywalker sighed again, but this one sounded more like Mommy's when she thought something was funny but trying to hide that. "It sounds like a good holodrama, Lucinda, but nothing like that has ever happened to me. I'm afraid they made all of it up."

Lucinda pouted. She had wanted it to be a real adventure, and she wanted to know what adventure he had met Mommy on, but she couldn't just ask. Mommy wouldn't tell her and wouldn't let Jedi Skywalker tell her either. "Are you okay with them just making up stories about you?"

"Most of the time, it's embarrassing. I'm not the dashing hero they put in those stories; I'm just Luke. Wars don't make one great."

"And I guess having holodramas with your name on them don't make you great either."

"True." It sounded like Jedi Skywalker was smiling. "Do you want to start on Binary now?"

"Yes!" She hadn't forgotten her curiosity about Mommy, but it could wait.

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